Author: Isabella Estates PM
Love, lies, and black magic. Welcome back to Crowhaven Road. *Chapters 27 and 28 just posted.Rated: Fiction T - English - Supernatural/Romance - Cassie B. - Chapters: 28 - Words: 81,017 - Reviews: 306 - Favs: 132 - Follows: 145 - Updated: 06-21-12 - Published: 08-23-06 - Status: Complete - id: 3119414
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: These characters (Cassie and the Circle, etc.) were originally created by L.J. Smith. They all belong to her creative genius. However, the plot of this story and a few new characters are my own creations. I'm not making any money off of this, so please don't sue me.
"You can say that again," Laurel sighed. Melanie and Diana nodded in agreement. The four girls were having an impromptu pizza party at Diana's house to celebrate the end of the fall semester. It seemed, however, that they were far more excited to be finished with Black John than their classes, but no one wanted to darken the mood by mentioning that.
Cassie looked at Diana, as she sat in her window seat. Prisms dangled above her head, causing the lamplight in the room to reflect over her as if she were some sort of fairy princess. She looks like one, thought Cassie. Diana's long blond hair had always made Cassie think of sunlight and moonlight woven together. It was absolutely beautiful.
Had it really only been three months ago that she first walked by this pretty yellow house and saw Diana through the window? Now it was almost hard to imagine a time where she didn't know Diana. These past three months had been filled with so much turmoil that it felt like it had been three years since Cassie moved here.
"What's on your mind, Cass?" Melanie's cool gray eyes were focused on her.
Cassie hadn't realized that she had been staring off into space. She shook her head. "I was just thinking that it feels like I've lived here forever, but it's really only been a few months." She paused. "This time last year I was still in California, completely unaware of my heritage. I was just a little bit of a dreamer and kind of shy. Well, I guess I was practically a wallflower. I didn't even know any boys my age." She laughed softly.
"You've changed a lot," Laurel grinned and took a bite of her veggie pizza.
"Yeah, I have," Cassie agreed.
"You've gotten stronger," Diana said.
"I think we all have," responded Cassie, thinking about how they all stuck together to defeat Black John. In the end, even Sean had gathered the courage to stand up and fight.
There's nothing frightening in the dark if you just face it. Her grandmother's words. How she wished her grandmother was still around. Those words had helped give Cassie the strength to stand up to Faye, as well.
I'm not the strong one, Cassie thought silently. It's you, Diana.
Diana had given up the one thing she loved the most--Adam. That took strength. Cassie had tried to give Adam up in the beginning, when she found out that he was Diana's boyfriend, but she had failed miserably. When Diana had given her a second chance, it had still been hard, but she had managed to control herself. Of course, she had Nick to lean on then.
Nick. He had been so good to her. She wanted to love him. She wanted to make herself love him. But she couldn't. She just couldn't get Adam out of her system. Their connection was too strong. The silver cord cannot be denied.
Apparently Diana had realized that, as well. She had graciously stepped aside so her "little sister" and her childhood sweetheart could be together.
As Diana laughed at something that Laurel said, Cassie wondered if inside Diana was truly happy. If it had been the other way around, Cassie was sure that she, herself, would be dying on the inside. She didn't think that she would have been able to give up the person she had loved for so long. Especially if it meant being around him and his new girlfriend all the time. But then again, she wasn't Diana. Maybe Diana really was too good to be true.
Cassie awoke with a start. She was sitting upright in her wooden four poster bed, with its pink hangings around it. She took a deep breath and let it out. It was just a nightmare, she thought with relief. She couldn't really remember what it was about, but she knew it had seemed real. It left her feeling kind of shaky.
"Cassie? Are you up in there? You're going to be late for school!" Her mother called from the hall.
"I'm up," muttered Cassie, and headed towards the bathroom. She still had thirty minutes before Adam was going to pick her up for school. Her heart pounded at the thought of him. They had only really been together for about a week, but Cassie still couldn't believe it. After spending so much time trying to stay apart, every second they had together felt amazing.
"You alright?" Adam asked as they walked to his Jeep Cherokee parked in the driveway.
Cassie nodded. "Of course," she replied. "Why wouldn't I be?"
Adam shrugged and started the ignition. "You just seem a little shaken."
She grimaced. "Oh, it's nothing really. I think I had terrible nightmares last night, but I don't really remember what they were about."
"Well, I would ask if you wanted to talk about it, but since you don't really remember, there's not much of a point," he teased. Then he flashed her one of his reckless grins.
She laughed and smacked his arm playfully.
"There you go," he said. "I got you to smile already."
Cassie gazed at his blue-gray eyes, which were focusing again on the road. With Adam around how could she possibly feel bad? Her day was getting brighter already. By the time they arrived at New Salem High School, the remnants of Cassie's nightmare had been long forgotten.
Cassie's eyes widened instinctively. It was Portia. I can handle this, thought Cassie. I'm not that same tongue-tied, insecure girl that I used to be. But before Cassie could open her mouth, Portia was speaking.
"I know you had something to do with Mr. Brunswick's disappearance," she said. Her voice was venomous and her hazel eyes had narrowed to angry slits. "You and your stupid Club think that you have everyone fooled. But I'm not stupid. I know exactly what you are and what you are capable of."
"Portia--" Cassie began, but the other girl cut her off.
"Save the crap," Portia snapped haughtily. "Mr. Brunswick was taking a stand. He was putting a stop to all of your special privileges. He was changing things around here. That's why you had to get rid of him."
"You have no idea what you are talking about!" Cassie exclaimed.
"I'm talking about the truth," Portia said. "I know what you all are capable of--I've witnessed it firsthand!"
Cassie rolled her eyes. "And you learned nothing from it," she replied, finally thinking of a witty retort to Portia. Maybe she really had changed.
Portia glared at her in return. "Mr. Brunswick didn't just innocently disappear during that storm. You did something to him, you and The Club. And you're going to pay for it," she hissed.
"Is that some kind of threat?" Cassie asked, trying to sound more confident than she really was.
"I don't make threats," Portia replied coolly. "I make promises."
Try as she might, Cassie could not think of a witty response. Suddenly Cassie felt like the babbling idiot she had been last summer, with Portia always having the upper-hand in every conversation. Maybe I haven't changed as much as I thought.
Portia glared angrily for a moment longer and then turned abruptly on her heel, storming away.
Cassie cursed under her breath. Sean was staring from the other side of the hall, his eyes wide. Apparently he had witnessed the whole thing. He looked worried.
"It's alright, Sean," Cassie said grimly. "We'll handle it."
He swallowed nervously and nodded. "Yeah," he agreed, his voice sounding a little higher than normal.
Cassie glanced at her watch. She was going to be late for her writing class if she didn't hurry. "I'll catch you later!" she called to Sean as she headed toward her classroom.
She still couldn't believe that Portia had the audacity to openly threaten her. Especially considering what happened over Thanksgiving when Sally, Portia, and Portia's brothers had kidnapped Cassie. It had hardly been a challenge for the Circle to take them down. Portia had ended up flat against a tree with Raj growling at her.
Who would have thought that Portia would dare to do something now? Cassie shook her head to herself as she walked down the hallway. Then again, it was Portia Bainbridge. Aside from debating, collecting pistols, and treating others like dirt, witch-hunting appeared to be her family's favorite pastime. Cassie recalled the look in Jordan's eyes when she had made a peace offering. They would never give up. The hate would never stop.
"Why don't you come over tonight?" Faye's voice was low and husky. Cassie could see her long mane of black hair. She was leaning over someone in the far corner of the landing, half a flight of stairs above Cassie. The rest of the stairwell was deserted. Faye was obviously trying to lure some poor guy to her house. To her lair, thought Cassie.
Cassie gritted her teeth. If she was going to make it to class, she was going to have to walk right by them. Not that Faye would mind the interruption. Faye loved any sort of attention and she would get a kick out of making Cassie feel uncomfortable.
Cassie started up the stairs. It wasn't until she reached the landing that she realized who Faye was talking to. He had dark hair and eyes like polished mahogany. Nick.
Cassie was so stunned that she stopped dead in her tracks. His icily handsome face turned towards her. Cassie thought something flickered in those dark eyes for an instant, but his face was a mask of control and she couldn't read his expression. It wasn't unfriendly, though.
Suddenly, a memory surged up inside of Cassie. She was outside in front of the school and she could hear Faye's voice telling Susan that Nick was off-limits because they had an "arrangement." But that was months ago, right? Besides, Nick had blown Faye off at the Homecoming Dance. And he had dated me, she thought irrationally.
He couldn't still be interested in her, could he? He wasn't about to agree to go to her house tonight, was he? Something hot was boiling up inside Cassie.
Wait a second, why do you care? She asked herself. The thought didn't stop the blinding white heat that was building up inside of her, but it did bring her back to reality.
Cassie realized her jaw was open. She snapped it closed.
Faye was smiling, thoroughly enjoying Cassie's reaction. "Why, Cassie, what a surprise to see you," she drawled. "Nick and I were just having a private conversation. You wouldn't mind leaving us now, would you?"
It was too much for Cassie. First the run-in with Portia and now this. She'd reached her breaking point.
Nick was opening his mouth to say something.
"Oh, do what you want!" Cassie snapped at him. Then she continued up the stairs. She could hear Faye's throaty laughter behind her.