Chapter 28 - Tara

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The car ride was silent, awkward, but I refused to let it get to me. Where we were now driving was now my one and only concern, the rest would be dealt with probably directly after. I refused to look at Jake, keeping my eyes on either the ground, or what was rushing past the window outside the car. It was now twilight and all I could see were the remnants of the sun lingering behind the trees and small houses soaring past. I fiddled with my ring, twisting and turning it but careful not to let it slip off of my finger. I thought about my mother and what she had said to me. Not once had she mentioned I was different. Did she even know? What if my father and mother weren’t normal either? What did that mean for my sister?

“How are you doing back there?” Julian’s voice snapped me from my thoughts

I sighed still staring out the window “Fine”

“It’ll be over before you know it” He assured me as we began to slow in speed.

I moved my eyes from my side of the window to Julian’s side, and that’s when I saw it. A large mansion home sat in between what would simply be another pine forest hanging off a desert tar road in desperate need of maintenance. The house was instantly recognizable as stunning, and not in the way you would automatically expect to see a mansion. Instead of bricks, the house was made of natural wood, each section of the walls blending in with the nature around the mahogany deep brown. The roof was tin, slanting with each design of room inside, black.
Julian parked the car alongside the tar road opposite the house before we removed ourselves from what I knew, to what I had no idea about. I kept my eyes on the house, crowds of fancy dressed people slowly making their way up the stone walkway towards the large wooden doors. Wide windows lined along certain rooms, one in particular I could see a spiral staircase in the middle, from bottom to top where a bright glimmering chandelier hung from the roof.

“Ready?” Julian asked me as he held his arm out for me. I hesitated, taking a slow intake of breathe before letting it roughly out. I nodded and linked my arm in with his; still aware Jake lingered behind us.

Together, we walked across the road, onto the green perfect grass and onto the stone walkway joining the other couples. My eyes kept alert, focusing on as much as I could. I noticed the woman in front of me with her partner, tall, blond, beautiful. Her hair was waved to perfection as it hung long on her bare back, her dress revealing, yet elegant as its vanilla sparkling colour seemed to make her perfect tan glow. My eyes quickly moved on, not wanting to feel any more inferior amongst such perfect crowds. I glanced up at the house, its beauty coming into direct view as we stepped upwards onto the porch. A smell of strong Sandalwood rushed through me, overpowering, yet relaxing me - Once upon a time, when my mother was still alive, she would light candles instead of using lights. Her favourites were Jasmine and Sandalwood. The fragrance put my mind at ease as we entered the house with a slow careful pace. I assumed Julian to be giving me small steps in case I stumbled on my new found height, silently, I thanked him for it as my hands began to shake, my eyes darting around the inside of the house we now stood inside. The roof above was tall, cathedral as I attempted not to lift my head too obviously. The floor was a polished dark brown wood panelling as the sound of heels clicked against it from all around. Julian then led me past the staircase I had noticed earlier, its beauty only more divine up close.
“It’s beautiful” I mumbled to myself before I looked at Julian who was smirking at something ahead of us where a large crowd of people seemed to have set up camp. I instantly knew this would be the Ball room. Tables of foods and drinks were set up against the dark vanilla painted walls around the large room big enough to be my old home entirely. On the far right towards the back of the house a classical band sat formally and straight-faced, their music light and soothing as they concentrated hard on their job for the night. I had always imagined this kind of thing to be in movies, old horse-n-cart kind of movies where the woman would wear an overbearingly tight corset dress, her father eying each single man off in the room in search for a dashing rich husband for her. But I needed to keep reminding myself, this was the home of a werewolf, a powerful werewolf I was yet to meet. There was also a Witch in my presence, somewhere lurking uncomfortably, a Witch named Tara would be waiting for me.
My eyes returned to what Julian was staring at, his face wild with intention as I made the connection; one woman staring straight back at him with the same expression plastered on her face.

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