Chapter 23-Playing Pretend

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A lithe, silky body moves around my arm in a slow circle. I peel my eyes open, blinking against the blinding morning sun coming in through the window.

"You didn't shift back?"

My heart goes cold when I hear no response. I open my eyes, sitting up in a panic when I don't feel our magic moving around us. Nothing, but the stuffy air I first smelled stepping into Tom's house. I yelp, seeing the snake much thinner than Nick and green like one of those snake's everyone's always finding in their garden in the heat of summer.

I shake my arm rapidly. My magic isn't working again and I scream when the snake bites me against the movement. Something moves at the foot of my bed. Marcella's green eyes watch me with scorn as she moves to stand up by the bedside. She lifts her thin, bony arm while uttering a spell.

The snake explodes and I recoil backward.

"What are you doing here?" I demand, not bothering to cover-up the accusation in my tone.

I gasp in shock, but my mouth forms a hard line seeing her turn into the mirror image of Nick. "Making sure you're in the right mind. William says you're doing swell, but last night you looked ready to jump in my arms," she says. "It wasn't easy to conceal my powers and replicate his, but it was enough to prove you still are attached to him -- as I thought."

"No!"

Marcella laughs at me, but my mind is racing. How dare she trick me! How could I have been so stupid? My arm pulsated where the snake she literally planted in my bed decided to bite me. It bruises an ugly yellow and grey color while trickling with a steady stream of blood. I move to make her leave, but my legs shake and I fall backward onto the bed. I blink hard as my vision doubles, but it's not good enough to regain my focus.

***

Colin

Heinrich won't stop whining in my mind about Valerie being somewhere she isn't supposed to be. Noctus hasn't spoken a word since the brute paraded into my girlfriend's house and kidnapped me. They dragged me out to the car, and so here I am, on the highway to hell.

At least this time around my maker has given me the capacity to think for myself...I think.

Noctus parks the car in front of the old farmhouse, then he steps out. The gravel crunches beneath our feet as we make our way inside the dark building. The front door swings open in the early morning wind. 

Heinrich presses the barrel of his gun into my spine to make me quicken my pace. A second later, our leader disappears. When Heinrich and I meet him upstairs, we help him sit a very dead looking Valerie up in the bed. Some kind of animal must have bit her arm, but the bump is too swelled up and oozing yellow goop to tell just what exactly bit her.

Heinrich lifts up one of her wrists feeling for her pulse, "Still here. Faint, need hurry."

We all are caught by surprise when Valerie's eyes pop open, a bright green instead of their dark blue. Before we know it, Marcella's got us all pinned against the wall by way of her annoying craft capabilities.

"You are all guilty of several degrees of murder and conspiring against the state of supernatural affairs as well as the statehood! No one is leaving this room until I get the high council in here to convict you all!" she shrieks while giving me a wild look as her dark hair drifts violently around her face.

Her multi-colored skirts flare out from below her as furniture around the room gets lifted up off the floor and thrown around. She shouldn't be able to see through Noctus's concealment. He should still appear as Tommy, that including his yellow aura concealing his real one too. Marcella's going off on a limb here.

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