Cassie POV

It has been 6 months since we defeated Black John and the Circle is a mess. No one is really speaking to everyone. We are constantly fighting and have yet to decide how we are going to use the Master Tools that are currently held by Diana under a protection spell, where exactly they are only she and probably Adam know.

Since we defeated my father, Black John, it has been nothing but chaos and drama. Faye was being Faye- performing love spells and having those damn kittens of her spy on everyone so she was in full blackmail mode and pissed off just about every one of us. The only people Deborah were speaking to were the Henderson twins, Chris and Doug, and her cousin Nick. Nick was back to being the cold Nick I remember from when I first moved to North Salem. He was always on the outskirts of the circle. Never saying much to anyone and since I broke up with him to be with Adam, well he hadn't even looked in my direction since that night the Circle fought alongside one another at Number Thirteen. Suzan, Laurel and Melanie were not really mad at anyone though they were disappointed in Faye and it showed. Sean and the Henderson brothers were still talking and hanging out with everyone on an individual basis. Adam was really only speaking to Diana as things between Adam and I are strained. Diana and I are barely speaking because even though Adam was supposedly connected to me but they were still spending all their time together so I decided to let him go. Go back to her. Even though the cord was still there the halo that surrounded the cord was gone.

I started to notice it diminishing not long after he declared his love for me in front of the Circle at Number Thirteen. It was about a week later, I was sitting in the window seat of my bedroom looking though my book of shadows and saw Diana and Adam walking on the beach together alone. I thought nothing of it at first, however, as the days passed it started to turn into an everyday thing. I was growing jealous of Diana. Her long hair that shone like the moon, her self-confidence, her kind heart, all started to irritate the crap out of me. I had to approach her and Adam together about how I was feeling. After all these were my best friend and my boyfriend. If I couldn't be honest with them who could I be honest with? It was a Thursday evening about an hour before a Circle meeting. I had just finished up my homework and I glanced out the window as I shoved the papers into my checkered backpack and saw them sitting on the rocks next to each other. An emotion filled through me and I needed to calm myself. Air earth fire and wind please help me stay calm from within. I said to myself as I grabbed my sweater and book of shadows and headed down the beach.

I was nervous but I was calm. I knew that if I didn't get these emotions out that I would only do harm. The last thing I wanted to do was harm anyone else. I mean I had already hurt Nick when I broke up with him for Adam and that was plaguing me. I couldn't get him out of my mind. The way his mahogany eyes used to give a look that was only for only me, the feeling of comfort and safety I got when we were together. Those were things I longed for. Those we things that I felt an immense amount of guilt for wanting, for needing. The way he always stuck up for me and never questioned my judgment had not changed. He believed me in a way that I thought Adam never could. Even though he and Diana had broken up and he and I were together, he still always sided with her. That hurt me in ways I couldn't even comprehend.

I kicked off my flip flops as I got to the beach, picked them up and started walking towards the rocks where Adam and Diana were sitting. It was almost sun set and the sand felt warm beneath my toes. The taste of the warm salty air was familiar and comforting. I knew that sky and sea were on my side today. As I approached Adam and Diana I could see the rainbow of reds that the setting sun bounced off of Adam's hair. Seeing that usually make my knees wobble but not today. In that exact moment with the sun setting I knew what I needed to do.

"Hi Cassie" Diana greeted me warmly. Adam jumped off the rock and greeted me with a kiss on the cheek. It felt uncomfortable and forced as did the majority of our intimate moments did these days. "hey" I said and I took a deep breath hoping I could get this out without tears or anger. "I need to talk to you guys" I started. "is everything ok?" Adam inquired. I paused looking for the words and from the look on my face he could see something was weighing heavily on my mind. He could also see I needed some physical distance between him so he went back to rock and sat next to Diana who looked concerned. "look, everything is not really OK. I know that you Diana, gave up the love of your life because of the silver cord thinking Adam and I were soul mates. I am so grateful for that as I know how painful that must have been for you, however, and I am so sorry Adam, I just don't see the silver cord connecting Adam and I anymore." Adams face fell although he had a knowing look on his face. "You felt it too?" I asked him he just nodded and Diana's mouth fell open. "Im not saying there isn't a cord because there is. It connects us all together as a Circle, as a family but the halo that used to surround the section that connected me and Adam is no longer there." Adam then did something I wasn't expecting. He took Diana's hand in his and there it was. The glowing cord. "see" I said to Diana "it is you and Adam that are soul mates. Not me and Adam" She was still stunned but managed to get out "Then why was it so strong for you Adam before, when you first met?" "I am not sure" I said deep in thought. "I think it was that strong to not only connect me to Adam and the circle but to connect me to you Diana, my soul sister" Diana smiled, leapt off the rock and into my arms. We hugged and she was crying. "thank you" she said and went over to Adam. "Cassie" he started to say. "No Adam its ok you don't have to say anything." "are you going to be ok?" he asked. "yeah I will be. If you guys don't mind I'm going to skip the circle meeting tonight. I need some time to sort some things out" Adam noticed Doug, Chris and Deborah walking towards us and he ran over to them as to spare me the task of having to explain to them what had happened. I was grateful that I didn't have to witness the Adam and Diana reunion. Diana came over and put her arm around me "Nick will come around" she said. I was shocked how did she know that? Was she reading my journal or something? "How did you know?" I asked. "I guess as your true platonic feelings for Adam has surfaced I noticed the cord getting brighter between you and Nick" she said. "Really? Hmm. I haven't noticed that." I thought "I don't think you will until you are ready to see it. To believe that he never stopped loving you and you two get stuff straightened out" she responded . I couldn't even say anything. Was what she said true? Did Nick still love me? I was falling deeper in thought when we heard more voices and noticed the rest of the circle joining Adam. Nick was trailing behind them as usual. "I can't face him right now. What is he going to think of me for breaking up with him for Adam just to dump Adam a few months later?" I said to Diana. She didn't answer my question. "go. Ill figure out an excuse to give them" I gave her a quick hug and ran up the bluff to the path that led to Number Twelve.

I got up to the house and didn't know what to do with myself. I didn't even know why I decided to skip the meeting. Maybe because I thought tensions amongst the Circle were high enough and I knew Deborah would clock me for breaking up with Nick just get with someone I wasn't going to stay with. I decided to run a lavender and rose bath and relax for a little while. I thought better when I was relaxed. As the warm water engulfed my body and I took in the sweet scent of roses and lavender, I leaned my head back, closed my eyes and tried to clear my mind which was a fruitless effort. All I could do was think about Nick. His tan toned arms, his dark shaggy hair and those mahogany eyes. I remembered the night he asked me to give us a try- after we saw John Black in his human form for the first time. The minute he put those strong arms around me, a fire for him burned deep inside me and I never wanted to love anyone more that I wanted to love Nick. A fire that had never been extinguished. As I lay in the tub remembering my time with Nick I realized something. How could I want to love someone I already loved? I loved Nick. Not Adam. I never really loved anything more than the idea of Adam, Adam himself not so much. Adam wasn't a bad guy, don't get me wrong. He was strong and honest and kind but he wasn't Nick. Nick was special. Nick was cool and aloof and never really let anyone except for me in. I sighed. I know those walls were way up now by the way avoided me every chance he got. I needed to talk to him. I needed to talk to him tonight. I jumped out of tub splashing water all over the tile floor I almost slipped in the puddle as I got out. I wrapped a towel around me and headed into my room. It was the middle of June and the evening air was comfortable. I put on my favorite pair of skinny jeans, a white guinea tee and my favorite red hoodie and red flip flops. I quickly brushed my hair and my teeth. Put a little lip gloss on and some oil of roses behind my ears and on my wrist. I knew my friends would be hanging out on the beach after the Circle meeting especially on a night like this so I decided to text Diana before heading down there. Im coming down to the beach. What did you tell them. It only took a minute for my phone to buzz I told them your mother wouldn't let you come out until you finished your Shakespeare essay for English class. She responded. Then my phone buzzed again if you are coming to talk to him he's still here I just don't know for how long. I didn't even bother to respond with more than an OK. I ran downstairs told my mom where I was going and heading down the bluff to the beach. I could see my friends and a bon fire in the distance. Then I froze. I had been eager to talk to Nick and as I got closer to the group I was overcome by fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of confrontation. Fear of the outcome. Fear of not knowing what the future held for me and Nick. I was overcome by the smell of cigarette smoke. Nick was standing right in front of me.