Abruptly, Blaine was in front of me smiling like a wild man, his eyes dancing with amusement.

"That's a cute trick" He said brusquely. I smiled shyly, raising my chin a fraction of an inch.

"I thought so" I replied.

My door opened and Twix strode in on her long, feline-like legs. She paused momentarily to look Blaine up and down slowly and then lounged on my bed. As I observed her I noticed that all of Twix's movements were lithe and graceful; cat-like.

"I guess I'll see you around" Blaine said, smirking at me. He winked and then disappeared through the window. I was pretty sure I saw him morph into a falcon when he jumped.

"So…" Twix started, studying me with critical eyes "what's going on between you and the vampire?"

I felt myself flush deep red and stuttered out an excuse.

"Nothing" I said finally.

Twix's eyes narrowed ever so slightly and the corner of her mouth quirked up into that small smile that said: I'm on to you Callista Adler.

Aloud, Twix said "Dinner's ready. And yes you have to go- your mom's insisting. Something about letting us in on what's going on"

I followed Twix down the stairs and into our giant dining room, with one of those huge tables that seats twenty on either side. A bit ridiculous, but necessary for when we throw our coming home ball every time my mother or anyone else takes reign. I won't get to throw a ball until I turn eighteen, and am actually able to make decisions about the coven with the rest of my family. Stupid rules…

The rest of the dinner was my mother explaining that there have been sightings of the creature demons all over the Other Side- and they seem to be causing trouble for Hex Hollow.

I could see why, seeing as Hex Hollow is pretty out in the boonies- even for the Other Side. We're completely secluded.

The Old Wood forest is off to one side, and then to the other is Lake Dread. I don't even want to get into how many horrible things are swimming within the murky waters of that lake. So basically, if anyone wanted to attack us- we'd be the perfect targets because we have nowhere to run. Only idiots would take their chances in the Old Wood.

It was still a sad feeling though, that someone could take away so easily what my family took empires to build. And apparently, my mom wasn't giving up without a fight- she was going to make some wards- the most powerful ones, designed to keep demons away. They seemed to be inhabiting the Old Wood now. Great.

"Don't forget to practice those spells before you go to bed! I'll be checking to make sure you know them tomorrow" My mom called as I walked towards my room.

I closed my eyes, gritting my teeth. Damnit, I forgot all about those stupid spells. Turning the corner, I collided into Fiona. She glared at me, looking like she was contemplating violence, but then just said:

"Watch where you're going, freak" and shoved me into the wall.

Since when did I become the freak? If we're all witches I'd be one of many freaks- Fiona included.

I shook it off and continued my long trek towards my bedroom. Hopefully, one of those spells that I have to learn is a teleporting spell- it would make getting to my bedroom a hell of a lot easier.

After looking through my grimoire for a whole hour and a half (because that would probably satisfy my mom) I closed the book of magic and stumbled over to my bed. This day had been exhausting. I felt a small urge coarse through me and I walked up to my window, opening it. After looking out into the darkness of the forest beyond, I stepped out and tugged roughly on one of the vines against the house. It didn't give.

Slowly, I began pulling myself from the window and towards the roof of the Manor. Once, I was up and out, I trekked across the roof up onto the highest tower- and sat down.

I was staring directly into the face of the largest moon. The one with the black aura.

"It's not safe out here" said a brusque voice behind me. I jumped and whirled around.

It was Jack, the orphan werewolf.

"What are you doing out here then?" I asked

He scuffed his shoe against the roof and shrugged, staring up at the moon high overhead.

"I like it" He said.

I turned back to the black moon and began biting my fingernails. Jack sighed and walked towards the edge of the roof. I was about to warn him to be careful, but he just looked back at me and said in the same brusque voice:

"Don't stay out too long"

And then he jumped!

Well, he didn't really jump- it was more like, he walked off the roof; but it still had the same effect.

I leapt to my feet and rushed over to the edge only to see him landing gracefully on the ground and walking through the front door.

That wasn't normal. Werewolves who haven't started the change can't do that.

I scowled at the grass below, as a falcon perched itself on one of the tiers beside me.

"Three times in one night- I'm getting good" said Blaine from the castle tier- the bird was gone. I turned to him with suspiciously raised eyebrows.

"Why are you tracking me?" I asked, sitting back down, and swinging my legs over the edge of the roof.

"Tracking you would consist of me scouting you out through scent, sight, or hearing. I think it's different if I simply know where you live and like to make my presence known" Blaine replied caustically. I snickered, but kept my intent stare directed at him.

"So what do you want?" I asked, suspicious.

A vampire doesn't just follow people around for no good reason.

"Actually" Blaine chimed "Vampires follow people around for no good reason all the time- living forever gets boring. We like to spice it up by seeing how other people live and then laughing at them"

The corner of my mouth twitched "Is that what you're doing to me?"

Blaine looked puzzled "You? No. I just want to show you something. Come here"

He stood as he spoke and so did I, walking towards him.

"What?" I demanded. He closed the distance between us rather quickly and brought his eyes down to level with mine. Unable to look away, I stared at the color swirling around in his irises feeling like I was being sucked into another universe. After an eternity of what seemed like simply staring at each other- Blaine flicked his gaze away from me and smiled wickedly.

I looked around and felt my jaw go slack. We weren't on the roof of The Manor anymore, we were in the Old Wood.

I didn't know for sure where we were, but my intuition told me it was the Old Wood.

"What are we doing here?" I asked shivering involuntarily as my eyes scanned the dark forest.

The Old Wood was like the Grim Forest only worse. There were…things in here. I could hear them running through the trees, watching us.

"Don't worry, you're safe" Blaine assured "Trust me?"

I nodded, surprised to find that I actually did trust this vampire that I had only known for a few hours. Blaine took my hand in his and began leading me through the forest, gracefully maneuvering me away from the creepers and tree branches that reached out to grab me.

"It's this way" He said softly, as we set out on whatever search we were on.


After walking for only a few minutes, we made it to the center of the forest. The trees were playing mind games on us- making us think that we had traveled farther than we actually were.

Blaine tugged me along, and I numbly followed; glancing warily at the menacing trees and creepers that trailed along the forest floor.

I hadn't noticed that Blaine had stopped until I stumbled into his back. He flashed me an amused expression before pointedly staring out in front of him.

"Don't worry" He consoled "They can't see us"

I slowly peaked around Blaine to look at whatever he had come to show me, once I had- I wished I hadn't.

There, in a small clearing of the forest was Fiona. And she wasn't alone.

There was a boy with her, and they were locked in a passionate embrace- but it was obvious that something wasn't right almost immediately.

This man, had black hair that was cropped short and spiky, his eyes were a deep, liquid gold, and he had the teeth of a shark…or a piranha. The teeth of a demon.

And right now, they were raking over Fiona's throat, drawing blood, which he sucked greedily into his mouth. Fiona's eyes opened and I took a step back with a start.

Those were not Fiona's icy blue eyes. Those eyes, were demonic- evil.

I stared at the aura around the witch and felt like I might faint. It was a dark, murky brown with white lightning shooting through it. Her aura was worse than anything I had seen; nothing like her usual glowing, ice-white aura. And what was worse, were the creatures around the couple.

Featureless, creature demons with contorted bodies were watching from above, hovering in the trees. There were hundreds of them, and I couldn't help the icy shiver that spread over my spine.

I tugged on Blaine's jacket sleeve "Take me home. Take me home, now"

Blaine turned to me with a sigh, and slipped out of his jacket, handing it over to me. I graciously took it and put it on.

"Alright lets go" Blaine said, and in a movement too fast for my eyes to follow he took me by the arm and whipped me around so that I was clutching his neck piggy-back style.

"Hang tight' He warned.

I snuggled into his shoulder, expecting him to take off at a speedy run. The vampire completely surprised me when he jumped up and kept going until we brushed past the tree tops.

I let out a small screech, and Blaine smiled.

He hovered above the forest for a few seconds before zooming over the forest and Hex Hollow as we neared The Manor.


Within sixty seconds, I was back in my bedroom feeling more than a little sick to my stomach, and Blaine was sitting comfortably in one of my purple suede chairs.

He raised his one of a kind eyes to me, and they were filled with curiosity.

"So what are you going to do?' He asked. I paced along in front of him, nervously tapping my Ouroboros choker.

I don't know! I screamed in mentally.

'Well you're going to have to do something' Blaine's caustic voice sounded in my head.

Help! I demanded, in my most vulnerable mental voice. what was she doing with that demon? Why was her aura like that? What is it all supposed to mean to me?

"It means that you witches have a problem" Blaine said aloud. "Because, apparently, there's a demon powerful enough to overpower a witches will and posses her. And this same demon has an army of creature demons along with an irrational grudge towards your kind"

"You mean Fiona wasn't willing going into this?" I asked. Blaine gave me an irritated look.

"Seriously, that was all you got out of what I just said?" He replied, disbelievingly.

When I only stared at him expectantly, Blaine sighed.

"She was…somewhat willing, I suppose. But she went into this with an agenda of her own. The demon made her a deal, and she agreed to get him what he needed in return for his help."

"What was the deal?" I asked, unsure if I really wanted to hear the answer. Instincts were telling me that it needed to be heard, so that I could do something to stop whatever Fiona was planning, but intuition was telling me that this was bad. That I would wish I hadn't heard it because I may not be able to do anything to stop it.

Blaine sighed "Fiona went to the demon because she wanted to get rid of the competition. She's turning eighteen soon, and it will be her turn to take reign- but she doesn't seem like the type to share. And she's not. She wanted to get rid of the most revered of the ruling witch families- but the Adler family in particular. The demon promised her he would get rid of all of the witches in line for the ruling in return for Fiona convincing her mother to leave her term early, and for Fiona becoming a carrier of one of his lower level demons"

Again, the first half of what he said went in one ear and out the other.

"Why would she let one of those things inside of her. It doesn't make any sense"

"Oh, yes it does." Blaine argued "Those things can multiply rather quickly. The plan was to get each of you possessed by one so that not only would you be helpless, but also under the demon's control."

My eyes shot-wide and I quickly became panicked.

"I bumped into her earlier- do I have one inside of me? Can you see?"

A small smile tugged at the corners of Blaine's lips. "Yes, I can see. And no- you don't. Just steer clear of her and have your witch friends ingest a lot of iron."

I nodded, shivering at the thought of Fiona.

How could she do this? How could she betray everyone for the sake of power? I knew she hated me but she was willing to take it this far? Even though we hadn't had any contact for over a year and a half?

That's the part that I got confused on, Blaine admitted. I only just realized that I had been projecting my thoughts when I heard his smooth voice in my head.

She started all of this, earlier this year. Out of curiosity, I watched her. I found her hatred towards you in particular completely irrational- so I thought I should meet you for myself to see what all the fuss was about. It's easier to see now, why she hates you so much.

I gaped at him, my expression turning to one of hurt before I could help it.

You have this…thing- that draws people towards you. That makes them want to be in your presence, and you're completely oblivious. It's like you don't even notice the lustful looks from boys or the affectionate glances between your friends that would gladly trade their life for yours. You don't seem to realize how this could look to Fiona. She thinks that you are some superficial girl with the loving family, and the fiercely protective friends who doesn't even acknowledge what she has. When really, you are just completely naïve. You don't see that people like Fiona are jealous because you have what she wants- and you waste it.

Now my look turned indignant. "I do not." I stated "And I have never once received a lustful look in my life- those are for Josephine and Twix. I don't know if you've noticed- but I look like a thirteen year old"

"You look like a maiden"

My mouth bobbed open and closed like a fish, but I found myself unable to say anything, so I just stared at the vampire across from me.

A deep frown settled over my face and I glared at Blaine. My silky hair brushed over my face and I imagined it to be Blaine's fingers, trailing lightly over my jaw.

Stop it! I commanded vehemently. Sneaky, perverted vampire- trying to influence me?

Blaine smirked and I narrowed my eyes.

"Get out" I said icily. "I'm tired"

Blaine and I had a brief stare down before he hopped up from the purple chair and bowed gentlemanly towards me.

"I will see you soon, Callista Adler" He said silkily, his words caressing my neck like silk.

"It's Cali" I corrected as he strutted to my window.

Blaine tossed me a wild look and smiled. "Sleep well, Cali"

I nodded and collapsed onto my bed once the vampire was gone.

I had only just gotten here, and I already had an issue on my hands.

This year was going to be great. I could already tell.

I turned over in bed and fell asleep with bitter thoughts swirling around in my head.


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