Chapter 7-Beneath the Golden Hill

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My neck hurts like I slept on it wrong or something. With a yawn, I slide out of bed and rub the sleep from my eyes. My phone lights up alerting me to four text messages and three missed calls from Will last night. I read his texts first while heading into the bathroom to wash my face.

At Silvet's house, found black diamond pack dead!

Do not leave your home. We think the cops are behind it.

Why aren't you answering me? The police are lying and you're in danger like I've been telling you all along! Call me!

Found baby in my parent's attic. Patty is dead. Call me now. We need to talk and you really need to hear this!

After I finish reading Will's messages, I force myself to remain calm. What could a baby have been doing in his parents' home? I hope it's okay, he didn't say the condition they found it in. And Patty, to think she's dead now just doesn't feel real. Why is everything happening so suddenly like this?

"Crystel, Stella!" I holler while dashing out of the bathroom and going downstairs into the kitchen.

My voice wavers seeing Will sitting at the kitchen table in deep conversation with the two of them, "Will?"

"I take it you read my messages. I've been trying to get a hold of the police all morning, but some of our members decided to cause a riot downtown and they're held up handling the crowd."

"That's because he told them what that disgusting familiar of yours did to my mother!" Stella cries out while slamming her fork down on her plate.

Crystal hugs her arms looking sick while shoving a bite of pancake anxiously into her mouth. A faraway gaze grows on Will's face as he stares over at the staircase as if remembering something that's scarred him for life.

"What?" I mumble looking between him and my best friend.

Stella speaks first. She takes a shaky breath the thick material of her grey fall sweater shifts with her stiff movements as she sits up straight in her chair with a serious expression looking me dead in the eyes, "He saw a giant black snake eat her. I thought I was scared for you when we found out he was a hybrid, but now I'm just terrified. He shouldn't have been able to even get in his parents' place without alerting the coven -- it's still warded. He killed the most powerful witch, Valerie. He can kill of us." Stella finishes in a whisper.

Will gulps, " No sane person would be able to do it. None of you saw what happened, but me. That could have been only the handiwork of the devil. The devil's come for us," Will continues in a darker tone looking at me, "And you. You can't go out anymore. I hexed the house. You can't leave here. I won't let you, not until the high council confirms they've taken him into custody." Will says in a hollow voice and I clench my fists wanting to scream, but at the same time, I am scared because deep down I know he's right.

We're all in trouble. Our town is different now, it's not safe for witches to walk the streets or anyone really. Now that the coven knows the devil or vamps are behind Patty's death they'll be confident enough to hurt me and anyone else associated with me. They're already out on the streets probably trying to attack the police.

"I thought you said it was the devil." I turn to Stella, "We can't be sure it's Nick yet."

Crystal stands up abruptly gripping her empty plate looking rigid with fury. "Oh give me a break! Will told me everything. You're just trying to protect that lying vampire hybrid. We all know he's leading the radical vampire supremacists and you just don't want to admit it! They're all in league with the devil," I watch in unease as her hazel eyes focus on me with a new level of dark intent. She raises a closed fist in my direction, "And so are you."

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