Chapter Nine


"Where is Baker?" Jed- no, detective West asked.

"At the Bakery, I guess," Cathy said blankly, "usually where bakers hang out."

Shock and guilt swept through Cathy as she stared at the white walls of the interrogation room. How the hell had she forgotten to tell Baker about the weird vibe she'd gotten from Jed, the questions he'd asked? Truth was she just hadn't thought it was important and now Morris was in jail because of her lack of foresight.

"Where does Baker live?" Jed questioned and Cathy laughed.

"You tell me…you're the undercover, right? Surely you must know everything."

Jed slammed his hand down on the table in front of her and lowered his head, leaning it to the side; he was less than an inch away from her and Cathy had the urge to spit in his eye.

"You think you're funny? We could charge you with helping a fugitive, you know," Jed said angrily.

"You could… if you could prove that I knew where he was, which you can't, since I don't." Cathy said calmly.

"That's my girl! Don't tell these lying arses anything," Owen said approvingly. Jed looked at him with disgust while Owen took a swig of vodka and kicked his feet up on the table.

"Mr. Reynolds, your daughter could be charged in relation to these crimes, and yet you don't seem to care. I'm not sure you're aware of how serious this is." Detective West said, frustrated.

"Detective West, are you aware that you're a fucking moron?" Owen asked mockingly.

Detective West stood up and put his hands on his hips. He looked around the room and stared at Cathy for a moment.

"I'm done here. Don't say I didn't warn you."

"We've been warned," Owen stage whispered. Cathy rolled her eyes and stood.

The two filed out of the room and Owen went to the front desk while Cathy waited by the door. Cathy could hear Owen arguing about not getting a ride home, but Cathy tuned him out. She had never been to a place she hated more than a police station. The very air of shit places like this felt oppressive.

"Let's just get out of here," Cathy called to Owen.

"They gave us a ride here they can bloody well give us a ride back!" Owen retorted, before turning back to the counter and beginning an argument.

"Yeah, well I'm leaving," Cathy announced.

Owen didn't answer so Cathy walked out. Owen would just have to take care of himself, but she said a silent prayer that he wouldn't get himself arrested.

"Excuse me! Do you know where a bus stop that goes to Cokeworth is?" Cathy asked a couple on the sidewalk.

The lady, obviously wealthy wrinkled her nose in distaste. "Do I look as if I take the bus?"

"Madeline, that was rude," The man standing with her said before looking at Cathy, "there's a bus stop two blocks up that goes to Cokeworth."

"Thanks," Cathy muttered walking away.

Cathy sat down on the curb since the bus stop didn't have a bench. An hour passed before the bus got there and her leg had fallen asleep in the meantime. She was the only passenger so it didn't take very long to get home. Cathy found it hard to go to sleep so she watched TV instead.

By the time Owen came in around nine in the morning Cathy had showered and was getting ready to leave.

"How'd you get home?" Cathy asked idly.

"Walked," Owen retorted irritably. Cathy merely nodded. Owen walked into the kitchen and Cathy could hear him opening a beer so she went to join him.

"Heard anything from Baker?" Owen asked.

Cathy shook her head. "I'm going by there in a few. You can come too if you want."

Owen snorted, "I'm the last person Baker wants to see. He hates me."

"That's not true," Cathy responded. Owen looked at her doubtfully.

"You go on by yourself. Let me know what's going on when you get back."

Cathy knocked on the door of Baker's brick-house and waited. The door cracked slightly before being swung open fully by Morris's oldest kid, nine year old, Jake. Jake glanced at her before calling into the house.

"Baker, Cathy's here!"

"Let her in!" Baker called back.

When she got into the house she saw suitcases scattered on the living room floor. The twin's, Emma and Maggie, were sitting on the floor quietly, a strange occurrence for the normally active five year olds.

"What's happening?" Cathy asked Baker when she entered the kitchen.

Baker sighed. "Katherine has gone to bail Morris out."

Cathy sighed in relief. "That's good. What'd he get charged with?"

Baker looked away squinting his eyes and Cathy felt a wave of panic. Baker had never been one to hesitate before saying something.

"Baker, what was he charged with?" Cathy repeated slowly.

"Running a gambling ring and Manslaughter," Baker finally said.

"Who'd they think he murdered?" Cathy asked.

Baker got up and walked to the living room, checking on the girls. When he came back to the kitchen he lowered his voice. "He got into a car accident late last night; the police said he hit a wealthy family and their accusing him of being negligent so it's being treating as manslaughter."

"What does that have to do with gambling?"

Baker shrugged, "Nothing really. It seems they placed an undercover in the diner to catch us running the gambling ring in the bar, but when Morris got in that accident they decided to just take him in on that and try to get us on the gambling as well."

"Dad's here!" Jake called and Baker walked into the other room.

Cathy could hear them in their talking but she waited in the kitchen Katherine came in first, and she looked upset, not that Cathy blamed her. Baker and Morris came in behind her.

"I'm not running Katherine," Morris said, "I didn't cause that car wreck."

"You have to go," Katherine said desperately.

"I'm stay and fighting the charge, Katherine," Morris said firmly, a determined look on his face.

"You were drinking and driving Morris! They're never going to believe you didn't do it."

"She's right," Baker interjected when Morris began to protest again, "doesn't matter if you caused the accident or not; the man was wealthy and he's dead now. They'll be looking for someone to blame and it's going to be you."

Katherine seemed to notice Cathy just then and she turned to Baker. "Can we talk alone? Just family," Katherine said looking pointedly at Cathy.

"Cathy is family," Morris and Baker stated and Katherine scoffed. Katherine had never liked Cathy and Cathy had never figured out why, but she didn't think now was the time to ask.

"It's fine. I'll go up the street to the store; does anyone need anything?" Cathy asked and they shook their heads.

Cathy hadn't really wanted anything from the store but she'd ended up buying biscuits and milk anyway. When she got back Morris, Baker, and Jake were loading the suitcases into the car and Katherine was buckling in Emma and Maggie into the backseat.

"I guess this means you're going," Cathy commented.

Morris nodded and wrapped her into a hug, kissing her forehead. "Not forever. Just until we can get this worked out."

Cathy hugged him back. "Where are you going?"

"Katherine's grandmother lives in Germany. We'll stay there for a while."

"Well just tell everyone where we're going," Katherine cut in angrily, "why not just dial the police and let them know too."

Morris frowned. "Cathy's not going to tell anyone."

Katherine got into the front seat and slammed the door.

"I'll be back as soon as I can," Morris said letting Cathy go, "watch out for dad for me, will you?"

Cathy nodded and stepped back so Baker could talk to him. Once everyone was in the car Baker and Cathy stood on the porch and watched the car disappear.

"Baker, I have to tell you something," Cathy said interrupting the silence.

Baker glanced at her questioningly. "Well go head."

"A few days ago, when I was on break at the diner, Jed asked me some questions; I thought it was strange at the time, but I forgot to tell you…" Cathy said feeling tears well up in her eyes. "It was my fault that Jed didn't get found out."

Baker wrapped an arm around Cathy. "I knew Baker was a detective."

Cathy looked at him in shock. "You did?"

Baker nodded. "Course I did. But even if I hadn't, it wouldn't have been your fault that I hired an undercover."

Cathy frowned. "Why did you hire a detective?"

Baker shrugged. "Police have been looking into my business for a while now, trying to compile enough evidence to charge me; which they won't ever be able to do, mind you. When they sent a detective to apply for a job at the diner, I figured it wouldn't hurt anything. It didn't either; they still don't have any evidence."

"Hey, Baker." Cathy said after a few moments of quiet.


"Next time you hire an undercover, maybe let me know."

Baker laughed gruffly. "Will do; now all I need to do is figure out a way to get Morris out of this mess."

"Do you think he did it?" Cathy asked and Baker shook his head.

"No. I don't think he did it. But knowing is different from proving and the evidence isn't in his favor. The fact that the man was wealthy and the police have been gunning for us which certainly doesn't help matters."


Petunia got off the bus way before her stop. She didn't want to get home too quickly. It was already light outside and though she didn't know the time, she knew her parents would be awake already.

She felt sick as she walked into the house and she took a deep breath in preparation for dealing with her parents.

Rachel barely glanced at Petunia when she walked in. Instead she walked straight into the foyer and began rifling through her purse. Her mother's back straightened over the small table before her shoulders slumped and she released a strangled sob.

"Mum? Is everything okay?" Petunia asked uncomfortably.

Rachel turned back to look at Petunia. Her hand was on her hip and Petunia winced at the tired expression on her mother's face.

"No, everything's not okay, Petunia," Rachel said forcefully, "Your father's best friend, Emmitt was killed in a car accident last night and it wasn't until his son was dropped off here that we noticed you'd gone missing. Again."

Petunia's eyes widened but her mother cut her off before she could talk.

"We'll be talking about you coming home at seven in the morning later," Rachel said, "right now we're trying to get in contact with Erik's grandparents."

"Erik?" Petunia repeated.

"Emmitt's son; now go upstairs before your father sees you." Rachel ordered. "I'll let him know your home, but he's understandably upset right now."

"Where's his mum?" Petunia asked.

"She was in the accident too," Rachel responded, "she's in the hospital in critical condition and she's unresponsive. Emmitt's dead. Now, would you please go!"

Petunia wanted to stay and talk to her mother, to explain to her that she hadn't meant to mess up like this, but her mother had already turned back around. Petunia reluctantly went upstairs. She turned the music up and opened her windows to hide the smell of her cigarettes.

Opening one of the journals Cathy had translated she began pouring over the texts, attempting to learn more about Hunters and dark creatures. Three hours later and she hadn't learned anything she hadn't known before. Sighing Petunia pushed the journals under her bed and plopped down on her bed.

She wanted to call Cathy but she didn't want to run into her father and she hadn't gotten any sleep last night. The memory of last night jarred Petunia awake and she replayed it in her head. Whatever she had fought last night was strong and she hadn't even been able to hit it. It had touched her and it was like she'd been paralyzed.

"Come in," Petunia called to the person knocking on her door. It opened revealing a younger boy, around fourteen with blonde hair and forest green eyes, who Petunia assumed was Erik.

"You're mum said come to dinner." Erik said looking down at the carpet.

"Thanks," Petunia responded, sitting up and Erik nodded, leaving the room quickly. Petunia rubbed her eyes and padded downstairs.

Her parents were already in the dining room when she got there. Petunia sat down and made her plate and her mother said grace. Afterwards a strained silence fell over the table before her mother interrupted it with pointless chatter. Petunia's father pointedly refused to look at her and her mother was being too cheerful for it to be sincere. The awkwardness of the moment would have gotten to Petunia a lot more if she hadn't been so tired.

""Were you with Terrence last night?" Petunia's father asked finally.

"What?- No, dad," Petunia stumbled over her words.

"George, I don't think now's the time," Rachel started.

"Then when is the time? Ever since she started dating this boy she's been blindly disobeying our rules, sneaking out at all hours of the night," George said angrily.

"Why do you think everything I do is because of Terrence?" Petunia asked in frustration. "Stop blaming him for my decisions, just because you don't like him."

"The boy is trouble," George said.

Petunia slammed her fork down on her plate. "The 'boy' made a mistake when he was fifteen years old and you refuse to let it go."

"He was arrested less than a week ago," George pointed out, "that doesn't show me that he's learned from his mistake."

Petunia reluctantly had to agree that that was a fair point, but her dad just didn't understand it. Terrence had gotten drunk and gotten into a fight; who hadn't done that? Petunia was sure that when her father was younger he had done the same thing.

"I don't want you to see him anymore."

Petunia 's eyes flew to her father's face. "What?"

"You heard me Petunia. I don't want you around that boy anymore," George said sternly.

"I'm not going to stop seeing him," Petunia said defiantly.

George sat back in his seat with an unreadable expression Petunia had never seen before. The look in his eyes though was uncompromising.

"Terrence has applied to Cambridge, were you aware of that?"

"Yes." Petunia replied uneasily.

George nodded thoughtfully. "Well, I happen to be great friends with people on the board of admissions. It'd be a shame if Terrence couldn't make the cut."

"George!" Rachel said astonished.

"Are you trying to blackmail me?" Petunia asked in shock.

George leaned forward. "All I'm saying is that I don't want you seeing Terrence. There'll be other boys that you'll be interested in soon. Ones that don't have criminal activities as a past-time…"

"I'm not going to stop seeing Terrence," Petunia said coldly, "and if you do anything to compromise Terrence getting into Cambridge, I will never speak to you again."

Her father's eyes widened as Petunia got up and stormed from the table. Anger coursed through her and she grabbed the car keys off the hook in the foyer.

"Petunia! Petunia where are you going?" Rachel called as Petunia peeled out of the driveway.

Petunia rang the doorbell of the Moore house and breathed a sigh of relief when Terrence answered.

"Hey," Terrence said surprised. "I thought you had plans today."

"Long story," Petunia said. Terrence wrapped his arms around her waist and gave her a kiss. Petunia smiled as they finally parted, feeling her earlier anger melt away. Terrence stared at her for a moment before swiping a piece of hair out of her face.

"Can I come in?" Petunia asked after a moment.

"Sorry," Terrence responded moving aside. Petunia followed him up the stairs to his room. It was huge. Everything in the room was huge, from his bed to the closet, the fireplace and the balcony. It was also very clean, which Petunia immediately attributed to the housekeeper, Amanda; Terrence couldn't keep anything clean and she wondered what he would do without Amanda when he went off to Cambridge.

'Can I stay here tonight?" Petunia asked, plopping down on the bed. It was hands down the most comfortable bed she'd ever been on and she was halfway asleep when she asked the question.

"Of course you can," Terrence said, "The parents are out of town though, so I don't know how happy your dad would be if he found out you're over here alone."

Petunia's mood darkened at the mention of her father and she sat up so quickly that she felt light headed.

"Are you okay?" Terrence asked concerned as her steadied her.

"I'm tired. I didn't get any sleep last night."

Terrence scooted closer to her and wrapped his arm around her. "Your dad didn't keep you up because of me, did he?"

Petunia shook her head. "No, but today he told me he didn't want me to see you anymore."

Terrence's eyes narrowed and he looked angry but Petunia reluctantly continued. "He also said that he'd make sure you didn't get into Cambridge if we didn't break up."

"You're not breaking up with me are you?" Terrence asked.

"I want to be with you," Petunia said softly, "but you're the one my dad's threatening. He can make sure you don't get into Cambridge."

Terrence shrugged. "I don't care about Cambridge."

Petunia laughed disbelievingly. "Cambridge is all you've ever talked about! Of course you care."

Terrence sighed and pulled her closer against him. "I care a little," he admitted. "But I love you and there's no way I'm leaving you because your father's being an arse."

"You love me?" Petunia repeated.

"Yeah, I do," Terrence said. "I love you Petunia. You don't have to say it back. I just wanted you to know."

Petunia smiled and shook her head. "I love you too."

A throat cleared in the doorway and hey turned around to see Nelly standing there, a furious look on her face.

"You know, if you wanted me out the house so you could fuck my brother you could have just said so. You didn't have to make some elaborate plan and make me wait at some stupid ice rink and pretend to be my friend just to do it," Nelly said before storming away.

Petunia's eyes widened as she realized she'd forgotten all about their plans for today and she jumped up to chase after her. Terrence started to get up but Petunia shook her head.

"I need to talk to her alone." Petunia said and walked to Nelly's room. She knocked on the door.

"Go away!" Nelly called.

"Nelly, would you please let me explain."

Petunia's only answer was silence but she wasn't going to give up. Ten minutes passed and Petunia was still knocking on the door. At this point her knuckles would be bleeding soon.

"I'm not going away until you let me explain." Petunia called again.

Nelly opened the door and stood in front of it, her hand wrapped around the handle. "Fine, explain. You have sixty seconds."

"I wasn't pretending to be your friend," Petunia said hurriedly seeing the impatient look on Nelly's face, "last night my dad's friend got into a car accident. His son's staying with us and everything's been chaotic and my dad's being an arse. I just forgot."

Nelly's face softened. "Want to talk about it?"

"Actually we were kind of busy," Terrence said coming up behind her and wrapping his arms around her waist.

"I told you not to come," Petunia said irritably. "We can talk now, Nelly."

Nelly glanced at them. "No, it's okay. We can talk at school tomorrow."

Petunia reached out and gave Nelly a hug, which was more awkward than she thought it'd be since Terrence was still holding her. They laughed for a minute before Terrence dragged her away.

"I'm glad you two made up," Terrence commented as they sat back on his bed.

"Me too. Didn't I tell you not to come along?" Petunia asked and Terrence grinned.

"You'd been gone for a long time. I was worried that Nelly might have killed you."

Petunia snorted, "Nelly wouldn't kill anyone."

"Are you going to sleep?" Terrence asked. Petunia nodded.

"Are you?"

Terrence shook his head, "It's only eight thirty. I'm going out for a little bit. I'll be back in a few hours."

"Goodnight," Petunia said as she snuggled under the covers.

"Night," Terrence responded placing a kiss on her shoulder before walking out the room.

The cemetery was on fire. Petunia was hurled forward into the flames but they didn't burn her. The fire seemed to dance around her, never touching her skin. The flames parted revealing the monster she had fought the night before.

Petunia stared in shock as the monster transformed from human to a small blue and grey creature, no bigger than Petunia's waist. The creature was standing over a human woman, and Petunia flinched when the monster held up a whip and in one smooth motion brought it down on the woman's skin cutting clear through her body.

The monster stood over the woman and chanted something and then suddenly it took on the appearance of the woman. Petunia's eyes widened in comprehension, and something deep within her stirred awake.

You must kill it.

You must kill it.

When Petunia woke up she felt more alert than she'd been in months. As she got out of the shower, she thought about the dream she'd had. The monster had taken on the appearance of the dead woman and Petunia shivered slightly at the thought that the monster could really be anyone.

"Are you okay?" Nelly asked.

Petunia glanced up from her breakfast and nodded. "I'm fine; just thinking about my parents."

"Speaking of your parents," Terrence interrupted, "do you want me to drop you off at home?"

Petunia thought about it for a minute before looking at Nelly. "Well, when I get home I'll probably be grounded so do you want to take that trip to the ice rink first?"

Nelly smiled. "Sure."

"Oh, before we go can I make a call first?" Petunia asked.


Cathy laughed disbelievingly into the phone. She'd just seen Petunia Friday night and it seemed like everything went to pieces since then. Morris had been to jail and fled the country with his wife and kids, Petunia's had almost died, and Petunia's father had blackmailed her boyfriend. It was almost laughable how quickly everything managed to take a turn for the worse.

"Tell me more about the vision," Cathy told her rummaging through the boxes she'd packed. Greg would be there soon to help them move. She let out a cry of triumph as she found Ingrid's box in the first box she searched.

""He cut in to the woman and then, before she died, he chanted something- a spell, a curse- I couldn't make out the words. Then he took on her appearance."

"What did it look like?" Cathy asked.

"Blue and grey with huge black eyes- it was short though, only waist high."

Cathy flipped through the brittle pages, carefully looking at each drawing and scanning the text quickly.

"I can't believe you went to the cemetery without telling me." Cathy commented irritably.

"I didn't want you to get hurt," Petunia responded and Cathy snorted.

"Found it; it's a shape-shifter and I'll decide what situations are too dangerous for me," Cathy told her.

"Does it say how to kill it?" Petunia asked eagerly, ignoring Cathy's statement.

"Are you going to let me come when you go to the cemetery?" Cathy asked.

Petunia sighed into the phone. "Fine. But you can only come if you promise to wait by the gates," Petunia finally said and Cathy agreed.

"There's a picture of a snake next to it. The description of the snake says it's black above and yellow or brown below; 28 to 35 inches long and it lives in the sea. It says the venom will kill the shape-shifter."

'Does it say where we can get a snake like this?" Petunia asked and Cathy rolled her eyes.

"Petunia, this book was written in the 16th century; I don't even know if the snake still exists, much less where to find it or what it's called."

Petunia cursed into the phone. "Would you do some research, maybe see if you can find the name of the snake? I know it's asking a lot-"

"It's fine. I'll have Owen, Greg, and Baker move the boxes and I'll check some bookstores; I can't promise that I'll find anything though."

"Where will you be around ten tonight?" Petunia wanted to know.

"This house," Cathy responded. She decided to put the book into her carry bag in case she needed it later.

"Okay, I'll come over tonight then, and we'll go to the cemetery. Even if we don't have the snake venom I still need to kill some of the other creatures."

"Cathy," Owen called from the living room. "These fucking detectives are back!"

"Petunia, I've got to go; the police are here," Cathy said.

"Do you want me to come over there?" Petunia asked.

"No, but if I get arrested I wouldn't object to you bailing me out," Cathy said jokingly.

"Don't worry; my family has the best attorney's money can afford. You won't spend a night in jail," Petunia replied.

When Cathy entered the living room she was expected Jed, but he wasn't there. Instead it was two men she was unfamiliar with.

"Why are you here?" Cathy asked leaning against the doorway to the kitchen.

"Ms. Reynolds, I'm detective Carson. I have a few questions to ask you, I'd like you to come down to the department."

Owen frowned. "We were just there."

"We're aware of that, but there have been a few new developments." Detective Carson said.

"What kind of developments?" Cathy asked.

"Detective West was murdered last night," The younger detective blurted out.

Owen lifted his bottle, "Well good riddance and Godspeed, I say!"

"That man was a father and an officer." Detective Carson said sharply. "You show him some respect."

"What does this have to do with me?" Cathy asked.

"We think you know who did it- maybe you even did it yourself," Detective Carson accused.

Cathy scoffed. "That's ridiculous."

"Really?" Detective Carson asked dubiously. "So it just so happens that after Detective West infiltrates Morris's organization and is found to be an officer, one who would be testifying against Morris, he's murdered… and yet you say that there's no connection?"

"That's exactly what I'm saying," Cathy said firmly.

"I don't believe you," Detective Carson said leaning forward.

"I don't care what you believe. You need to leave," Cathy said walking toward the door. She held it up and gestured that they should leave. The youngest one went out the door first but the older one stopped in front of her.

"This is your last chance. If you don't tell me what you know you're going down with the lot of them," Detective Carson told her.

Cathy bit back on the need to threaten him with something that might later incriminate her.

"Leave my house," Cathy repeated.

"You sure do have a lot of drama going on- maybe you're more like me than your mother after all," Owen commented leaning back against the couch.

Cathy banged her head softly against the door in frustration.

"You don't think Baker had anything to do with it, do you?" Owen asked after a moment. His face was screwed up thoughtfully as he lit his cigarette.

"No." Cathy said simply.

She didn't think Baker did it. It wasn't that she didn't think he was capable of murder. It was just that killing Jed wouldn't help Morris, not really. Jed hadn't found out anything that could convict Baker or Morris, so Jed was irrelevant to getting Morris free. It just didn't make sense that Baker would kill Jed.

"Greg and Baker will be here soon. Help them move the things to the house," Cathy told Owen, throwing on her coat. "I need to go the library."

Cathy dashed out of the door before he could protest, which she knew he would. Her father hated any type of work. He hadn't always been like that, but the last few years had changed him, in both good and bad ways. Cathy supposed people could say the same about her changing too.


Petunia waved at Nelly and Terrence as they drove away. Unlike the other times she had disobeyed her parents she wasn't nearly as nervous to go inside. She was angry at her father for a legitimate reason, but she knew it was wrong to use that anger to justify not listening to her parents.

"Mum, I'm home!" Petunia called out but she didn't wait for her mum to answer. Instead she went to her room. It didn't take but a moment for her mother to follow her.

"Your father and I have decided against grounding you," Rachel said coming into her room. "It didn't seem to do any good the last time."

Petunia was shocked; if she had been expecting anything it certainly wasn't that. Her mother looked defeated and Petunia felt guilt start to creep up; guilt was a feeling she'd become well acquainted with recently.

Petunia sighed. "Mum, I really am sorry that I snuck out."

'Where did you go?"

"I wasn't with Terrence," Petunia told part of the truth. She hadn't been with Terrence Friday night but she had been with him Saturday.

Rachel shook her head, a tired expression covering her face. "If you weren't with Terrence where were you? Who were you with?"

"I was just out with some friends. After Friday's disaster dinner I just didn't feel like staying home."

"You didn't feel like staying home? Petunia, that's not a good enough reason to sneak off in the middle of the night. Girls get murdered when they do things like that."

Petunia was well aware that girls got murdered. It's why she had to sneak out in the first place. "Mum, I promise I'll be better."

Petunia had to be better; better at sneaking out and better at hunting. She didn't have a choice anymore.

"Yes, well, you'll forgive me if I don't take you at your word. You have to earn that trust back," Rachel said angrily.

Petunia nodded and her mother sighed. "This family's going through a rough time. Your dad can sure use your forgiveness right now."

Petunia's gaze turned cold. "Then he needs to apologize for attempting to blackmail me and he needs to make an effort with Terrence."

"You Evans girls… just like your father," Rachel commented.

"I'm nothing like him," Petunia protested.

"Yes, you are. And your father hasn't had it easy these few days. He lost his best friend and he feels as though he's losing his daughter," Rachel lectured. "Just think about that, okay?"

"The only way he'll lose me is if he keeps pushing me away. And mum- if I have to choose, I'll pick Terrence," Petunia responded.

Her mother looked at her slack jawed. "Petunia, you barely know this boy."

"I've known him for years, but that's not the point; he's not the one asking me to choose, is he?"

Petunia's mum looked at her like she'd never seen her before and Petunia looked at the carpet until she heard the door close.

Petunia meant what she had said. She loved her father, had always loved him and she always would. The simple truth was Petunia hated ultimatums. If someone gave her one then she would always make the choice that would make them unhappy. It was how she worked, the way she was wired; if Terrence was asking her to choose then she would choose her father. But her father was the one trying to make her choose and she hoped he wouldn't force her hand.

Petunia pushed the thoughts aside and focused on what she would have to do tonight. She needed to find somewhere she could steal weapons from, since she had left the ones she'd stolen from her dad's shed at the cemetery, and she would have to fight the shape-shifter. She hoped Cathy would be able to figure out what snake it was and where they could find one, but if not Petunia would have to fight anyway.

She just hoped she wouldn't come as close to dying this time.