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Death Knocks Eagerly
"Why you saying things like this?" Mason asked me.
He was looking at me in my face and seemed a little perplexed. The look on his face was something that I admit I expected from him. It was this reaction that stated he wasn't expecting my honesty. Truth was I wasn't expecting my honesty either. I had to confront him though. I had to let him know how I felt before someone else snatched him up completely.
"I'm just being real."
His face was blunt and didn't seem to be registering in the moment. It was then that I realized the chemistry could have all been in my mind. I could have created some elaborate fantasy where magic was real and happily ever after existed. What was chemistry anyway? Wasn't it just a desire that was so strong in oneself that you believe it was shared with someone else?
Chemistry didn't exist here.
"What are the two of you still doing out here?" a voice stated with stern discipline from behind us.
From the opened door of the classroom was Bah. His face wrinkled with this unexplained annoyance. I rarely saw Bah look annoyed but he did at this moment. It was as though he was reacting to something. It made me wonder. Had he heard a part of the conversation.
"I just need a moment," Mason told Bah, "I have to clear up some stuff. We will be in the class in a minute. You can start without us."
"Get in class now."
Mason seemed shocked by Bah's order. I was a little shocked by Bah's order as well. Bah didn't ever like talking back but it didn't seem as serious as Bah was making it right now. I watched as Mason turned his back on Bah completley.
"We'll be in there in a second...like I said," Mason said.
"Micko...hit him in the face..." Bah said.
I looked at Bah as though he had lost his mind. There was no way in the hell I was going to hit Mason in the face but then I saw my body acting without my mind's consent. I'd almost forgotten Bah's ability to body control. I watched as my fists balled up and hit Mason hard in the fact with more strength than I probably could have had on my own. The pain in my fist was all real when it connected with his face. He had fallen backward.
"What the f***k!" Mason said.
"Micko kick him."
My foot volleyed into his torso and Mason lay on the ground squirming with pain. I watched in disbelief that I couldn't even stand a chance at fighting Bah's influence. It was so strong and definite.
Just at that moment Mason got up off his feed but instead of coming at me like I thought he would have he went at Bah. He grabbed him physically and pinned Bah against the wall. Mason was more defined than Bah. Bah didn't even struggle as Mason held him up against the wall. It was clear that Mason was in better physical shape. It was even more clear however that Bah was not concerned how strong Mason was. Bah never depended on physical strength. Even with Mason pinning Bah on the wall like he was I was scared for him. I was scared FOR Mason. Bah's cool...demeanor scared me. How far would he go next time. What would he do to hurt Mason?
"Mason don't..." I stopped him, "Please."
Mason dropped his hands off of Bah. Mason's disregard for Bah's authority alarmed me. No matter what Bah did to him he still continued to challenge him.
"I'm out of here. F***k your class."
Mason turned and walked away not looking back at either Bah nor me. I watched as he walked away and when he was out of sight Bah was still in sight. His smirk had disappeared. He was staring right through me at this moment and I felt so afraid. I felt almost like a tiger was peering into me. It freaked me out having him stare at me like this.
"He is a little worked up," I stated , "He'll come back."
Bah seemed uninterested.
"Get into class."
"Oh and Micko."
"Whatever you have going on with him. It ends today."
I stopped in my footsteps. He had heard some of the conversation but why did he assume we had something going on. Mason had denied me. Whatever could have been was gone anyway. Why did he even care?
"Sir I'm not following," I told Bah.
"I won't my coven distracted by things like emotions."
' "If you haven't noticed Victor and Angelica are extremely close. They are probably closer to being a distraction then Mason and I."
"It just is. I don't explain myself to you. I order and you obey. This is how it works every single time. Whether it is willingly or not. You will obey. You understand me? I own you. I own all of you."
I didn't respond but I did what Bah said and walked into the class.
I couldn't understand it though. Why was Bah concerned with Mason and I but not concerned with Victor and Angelica who seemed like they could actually have already been in a relationship. I didn't get it. The fact that he wasn't answering me didn't help either. For some reason Bah just did not want Mason and I even consider the idea of liking one another.
The King's ball wasn't something that I was particularly interested in. They had provided us special outfits to attend the ball. I wasn't sure who brought it but I knew that when I got to the room later that evening there was a tuxedo on my bed. It was a red tuxedo with a black tie and even came with some neat looking black shoes. I was surprised that the clothing was so modern. I honestly expected a pointed hat or horns or something. Mason was no where to be found and the fact that there was no tuxedo on his bed and his bed was made up made me assume that he'd already left out for the evening. I figured that was better for me anyway. I still needed time to think about what I had told him earlier that day. I needed time to think about how Bah reacted to what I told him.
"Love your outfit," Brandon said.
He was being a smart ass because he was wearing the exact same thing. The suit was perfectly tailored for our frame and it was so strange how well they fit because I was never measured at all. Still in the tower I was slowly beginning to get used to not knowing how things worked. It was easier to just expect the unexpected. The fact that everyone else was going to the King's ball with a date left me playing tag-along with Brandon Ferris. It wasn't the ideal situation. Brandon was handsome in his own way but I wasn't at all attracted to him. He also had a tendency to idolize Genesis Bah all the time and Bah could do no wrong. So now when I had an urge to talk about Bah's strange behavior earlier in the day I knew Brandon would be the last one I'd want to talk to about it.
The ballroom was an elaborate obstacle as well. I had to admit there wasn't a lot creativity however. Every male wore the same outfit in one of four colors and every girl wore the same dress in one of four colors. The males all seemed to be rather handsome. Some of the faces were familiar. I could see the Royals Coven standing up and immediately noticed Corey among the batch of handsomely dressed men in black. It was hard not to realize they were the center of attention in the room. Corey's coven seemed the most in their element in formal attire. They were dapper young men and by the look on their faces it was clear this wasn't the first time they've worn a tuxedo. The females outfit was a long mermaid shaped dress and for that moment I was happy that I had a penis. Whether or not the dress fit the girls didn't seem to matter. I felt especially bad for the Divination girls in their tight white mermaid gowns. It seemed to show every single flaw in their shape. The more out of shape Divination girls seemed to huddle together away from everyone else clearly embarrassed by how unflattering they looked.
"Do you see the others?" Brandon asked me, looking around the room.
He seemed uneasy. I didn't blame him. We hadn't really gone out of our way to meet the other covens. I didn't think it was our fault though. The way people looked at us 'goat killers' made me think we were not fans.
"No not yet," I told Brandon.
"They should be here by now," he stated, "Maybe we should go back and get them."
I shook my head, "They are all on dates remember. Relax. Let's go socialize."
There was music again from the podium where the Royal family was. It was a very small live band and they played some sort of folk music that I really couldn't get into. I made my way up to the podium until I found a face that I recognized. Corey was there and as soon as he saw me he gave me that unique charming smile.
"Damn, look at you," he said.
He always had a way of making me blush and feel good about myself. I hadn't noticed Brandon had followed me up on the podium until Corey extended his hand to Brandon.
For half a second I had been expecting Brandon to be rude and coarse like Mason. He wasn't though. He even smiled back at Corey making me kind of exhale a little bit. Even though I was happy he was being polite I kind of missed the idea of how Mason would acted in that situation. He would have been his guarded, protected self and given Corey the worst look of suspicion.
"You enjoy yourself?"
"We just arrived," I told him, "What's this about?""
"We come together to celebrate the king. Being the king has benefits here. After the ball he is going to be granted his wish."
"He gets anything he wants. Anything in the world," Corey stated, "He'll announce it in a little bit. He's over there probably thinking it over in his head now."
Brandon shook his head, "That's kind of serious."
"The wish is the most powerful thing in the world," a voice said.
I turned and saw Eli Vincent standing there. He had a smile on his face. Everytime I saw this man a shiver came up my spine. It was so weird that his twin brother could make me feel so relaxed while he can make me feel so uneasy. He slithered his way into our conversation not bothering to introduce himself to Brandon.
Corey nodded in agreement with his brother, "It's a touch decision."
"The past kings wished for immortality or power or riches," Eli stated, "King Juju has all of those things. What do you give the man who has it all?"
I raised my eyebrow. Juju got to be granted any wish he wanted in the world and we'd toast to it? No big deal.
I noticed the king in the distance. No one talked to him specifically. He sat in a chair away from the others. I wondered if it was because people were just intimidated by him or if it was procedure that he shouldn't talk to anyone at the party. He was just a kid in my eyes.
"He looks so young. It's hard knowing that he actually much older than he seems," I stated shaking my head.
"Yes the most powerful one of us. The only other one close to him would be Genesis," Corey stated.
"Speak of the devil..." Eli stated.
He was saying that because Genesis had walked up at that moment. He had his aunt Catalina trailing behind him. She had on her red mermaid gown and her painted smile. She managed to stand out however due to her makeup and accessories from the other ladies in the crowd. It was almost as though he knew they were discussing him. He came out of no where. I never knew how to read Genesis or his expressions. Even with the Royals there I was the the first person his eyes connected to.
"Genesis," Brandon stated, "We were looking for you."
"I didn't know my coven was becoming social butterflies," Bah stated with a blank expression. It was clear even through his blank expression that he wasn't happy about Brandon and I being over here talking to the Royals.
The Vincent brothers exchanged looks as though equally offended but they didn't say anything of it.
Corey smiled, "I've heard your coven is growing strong Bah. For a new coven I'm really impressed at how much you've taught them in such a short time."
"We aren't a new coven. We've been around for centuries," Bah corrected him shaking his head.
"Well new members."
"How do your people know what I've been teaching my people?" Bah asked.
Corey looked like he was caught in some sort of net that Bah had intentionally laid out for him. He seemed to stumble over his words at that moment clearly intimidated, "Well. I don't know. The tower is small. You know? People talk all the time. Well. That's all that means. Um. I was just trying to compliment you."
I felt bad for him. His words were twisted. He wasn't as smooth as Eli and from the look of it I didn't think that Corey was as smart either. He seemed so easily scrambled by Bah.
"It's a small place with a lot of walls. So tell me how you got Juju's spies to look through those walls," Bah asked.
The tension was thick. It felt like there were politics here that I wasn't aware of. It was clear that the antagonism from the dinner wasn't just a one time thing. There was carried over hostility between Bah and the Royal Coven.
"It's King Juju," Eli corrected Bah with a intensity that could cut steel, "Remember that Bah. Also remember that the king doesn't have to answer to you. He is the king you know. The downside of being second best is that you are the first loser."
Bah smiled. He seemed to be more evenly matched with Eli than Corey but he didn't seem too effected by Eli's harsh words. His eyes didn't even connect with Eli. They danced around Eli as though Eli was some abstract concept he was trying to get his head around. Catalina turned away first and left but Bah silently followed her lead. It was a gesture that only someone like Genesis Bah could really pull off. He seemed to cut Eli without having to say a single word to him. The look on Eli's face when Genesis didn't bother to respond was priceless. It looked like he was about to go crazy.
"I don't know who that man thinks he is," Eli stated.
"Come on," Brandon said.
It was clear he didn't want to make Bah anymore annoyed by staying around the Royals. I looked over at Eli and his angry face and then at Corey. Brandon was right. I had no idea what Bah's beef with the Royals really stemmed from but I knew that I didn't want to get on Bah's bad side.
The party seemed even more tense when people started sitting at tables. Our table was a table all the way in the back of the room. It was also really small and I assumed it was a slight by the royals by the whispers and offended look Catalina was sharing with Bah. Brandon and I sat across from them clearly separate and it remained rather segregated until the others started filling the table. Rio followed behind the Atwoods. From the look of it Vincent and Angelica were getting rather close. They were holding hands and it would have made my stomach turn if they weren't so innocent looking together. Melody and Rio were barely acknowledging each other even though I supposed they had come together to the ball. They looked like they had just discovered they weren't compatible at all and sat on the opposite ends of the table.
Light conversation picked up at our table when food was served. It was good food relatively speaking and Rio seemed rather excited about that. Everyone seemed in high spirit until Mason showed up out of no where.
He wasn't alone...
"Mason," I said.
He nodded, "This is Tiana McDonald."
I wasn't sure he was talking to me or announcing it to the table. He said it in a stern voice. My heart stopped as I saw the slim tall girl that Mason had met secretly in the staircase. She was wearing a red gown but unlike most of the other girls she looked good on hers. The tail of the mermaid gown wasn't too long. It landed perfectly on the ground. She was simple in the face but had a natural beauty and dark rich looking skin.
"McDonald?" Catalina asked, "Why does that name sound familiar?"
Tiana smiled, "My father was Dorian McDonald."
She said it as though it should mean something but when I noticed the look in her eyes I knew who she was directing it to. She was looking right at Genesis. Genesis didn't seem to have anything click at that moment but Catalina all of a sudden jumped at arms.
"She can't sit here," Catalina said.
"Excuse me?" Mason asked, "This is my date."
His date? He had brought this strange girl to our table and was calling her his date. I looked at the others who were clearly paying attention to this too. I remembered the first day how we had gotten bad vibe from the one other coven that wore red. She was a part of that coven. People didn't seem to trust us because of them.
"You don't understand Mason," Catalina stated.
"I INVITED her."
He was getting defensive.
I was shocked when it was actually Bah who backed down first, "She can stay."
What was the history here? Bah smiled. He seemed amused about something. He was the only one smiling though. As soon as Mason came to the table with this Tiana everything was back to being tense and uneasy. Tiana sat between Mason and Angelica. Angelica was clearly uncomfortable with her being there. She even moved closer to Victor. Tiana hadn't smiled since she came to the table. She hadn't extended her hand to meet anyone. She hadn't removed her eyes off of Bah. Her eyes were stuck on him the entire time. They didn't flinch. They didn't waver. She looked as though she was some sort of animal watching her food intently as if it'd disappear if she turned her head. There was SOMETHING here.
"This is awkward..." Rio stated.
The silence kept going on. Brandon reached down for the food. Our entire coven was staring at him and his date. Was he trying to make us uncomfortable having this girl here who stared at Bah like this? Catalina knew what was going on and seemed to have a defensive posture.
"You got an issue?" Brandon asked, "You want to say why you keep looking at him like that?"
He was addressing Tiana. I wasn't surprised that Brandon was coming to Bah's defense at all. He looked like he was shook up or something. I was thankful he was addressing it. It had become weird. Mason was ignoring it but the rest of us felt really uncomfortable by this creepy girl.
"Why don't you ask him? Why don't you ask him what the issue is?" Tiana asked.
Bah nodded, "I killed her daddy."
It was Melody who burst out into laughter. I didn't know exactly where that came from. She seemed somewhat entertained by this. I didn't know however if that was the weird part of all this. Even as she struggled to manager her nervous giggling everyone else was quiet. Brandon looked at Rio and Rio looked at Brandon. Victor and Angelica looked like they wanted to escape at that moment.
"You did what?" Mason asked and turned to Tiana, "He did what!
"Guess your little girlfriend didn't share everything with you huh?" I asked Mason.
I didn't know where that was coming from but I was annoyed that he brought this girl to our table without even knowing an important fact like that.
Bah was very calm in all of this. He wasn't even looking at Tiana too hard. The rest of us seemed on the brink of panic while Bah unfolded his handkerchief. He started to cut his meat into even square pieces, on his plate. Tiana wasn't the only one intently watching his actions at this point. He hadn't even looked up from his meal.
He put the first square in his mouth chewed it and said sedately, "The last time I came to this tower I was alone. I represented the coven alone. The other Sacrificial coven took me under their wing. However it came a time where it was every man for themselves. I turned on them. I killed a few of them. One of them just so happened to be Tiana's father."
His voice was monotone throughout it all.
"Why didn't you tell me that?" Mason asked Tiana.
"I just needed a way to get close...I needed a way to see him."
She had used Mason. It was clear to see.
She didn't seem even the slightest bit concerned with Mason. At this point Brandon was on his feet. I looked at him confused at why he was standing on his feet but I knew he was uneasy with this girl being at this table.
It was Bah who seemed to give her an invitation though still not looking up from his plate, "Make your move b***h."
It seemed almost immediate that the girl took one of the knives off the table and she did something that shocked all of us. She grabbed for Angelica but somehow Victor managed to push Angelica out of the way. I watched as Victor wrestled with the girl but somehow she she managed to pin him down to the ground. She was a lean girl stronger than I thought.
Catalina was the one who seemed to read what this girl was doing, "She is trying to make a sacrifice."
It made sense! The girl Tiana was like us. She used Sacrificial magic. It made sense that she was looking for a sacrifice. This wasn't a bird though. This wasn't sacrificing a few drops of blood from her palm. This was different. She was threatening Victor's life!
Angelica let out this piercing scream, "Please! Please! Don't hurt him!"
We all managed to get to our feet.
"STAY BACK!" the girl stated.
I noticed in the distance others dressed in red. They didn't do anything. They weren't assisting this Tiana with what she was doing but they weren't really stopping her either. They were just watching. Angelica's scream had brought a few people's attention in the ball. It seemed like people were stopping what they were doing immediately. After a moment or two even the music stopped. The entire room's attention was turned to Tiana pressing a knife to Victor's throat.
In the corner of my eye I saw Bah still sitting. I had to fix my eyes to make sure that I saw it right. He seemed like one of the only people in the room who knew what was going on and still maintained his cool. He was...he was...EATING! He seemed completely oblivious to this.
"Don't do this," Mason explained, "I know you are upset but its not worth it. Please know its not worth it."
The Atwoods were definitely up. Melody's laughter had all but evaporated. Angelica was in tears and seemed too weak to stand at that point. She was on the ground holding herself. I was looking over at Tiana and she looked over at me then looked over at Mason. Then after her eyes went from Mason they went over to Rio who was slowly advancing towards her.
"STAY BACK!" she shouted at Rio.
Rio tossed his hands in the air, "Ok! Ok...just put the knife down. Mason. GET HER TO PUT HTE KNIFE DOWN!"
Mason looked confused and repeated in a lower calmer voice, "Tiana, this isn't worth it."
She wasn't listening. It was clear she wasn't listening. I watched as this girl was standing there. What was the point of her doing this now? There were a million times she saw Bah walking around. If she wanted to attack him or us why wouldn't she just have done it. Why did she wait until this day? I realized the eyes looking at her though. Was it the spectacle she was looking forward to? Did this Tiana girl want some sort of acknowledgment? If that was her motivation she was definitely getting it. All eyes were on her. Even the Royal coven had come down from their pedestal and joined the circle of onlookers trying to see what this girl was going to do.
I didn't know why it occurred to me but I found myself concentrating more on Victor than on her, "It's going to be ok, Victor. It's going to be ok."
His eyes were full of fear. It was at that moment I realized that everyone was so worried about her that no one took into account how Victor was feeling. I needed to let him know that we were here for him. His eyes were full of so much meaning. He stared blankly at me and I think he heard me. I could see a look of some sort of comfort in his eyes. The soft glimmer of comfort was immediately substituted by one of protruding agony when she started stabbing him.
I'd never forget Angelica's scream.
I'd never forget the look of pain as Melody's knees gave out almost completely. As powerful as she fashioned herself to think she was she was weak at that moment when her cousin's blood splattered from his neck and his upper torso. Tiana continued to stab frantically. She seemed to have no sort of recognition for life. My heart dropped watching him. It was such a strange feeling to see someone's eyes when they are alive and then see the life being completely sucked out of them.
There was panic at that moment. There were screams everywhere. People were saying something and I felt someone pulling me. They were grabbing me and pulling me away. It wasn't until I tripped over the person that I realized who it was that was pulling me. It was Corey Vincent.
We fell on each other in the midst of the chaos and I realized why he was pulling me away from the floor. What was once Tiana no longer was her.
She had mutated into some sort of giant serpent thing. The serpent was just as long as Tiana was tall. It was almost at 6 feet. I didn't get too much of a look at it before Corey was pulling again tugging me trying to get me to my feet. There was so much chaos.
"Go!" I heard him saying.
I didn't know what he was saying though. It really didn't occur to me what he was saying. I noticed Brandon and Rio running to protect Bah. I noticed some of the Castors pulling out there stick wants but watching intently instead of using any sort of spells. There were flashes of light and I wasn't sure exactly sure where they were coming from. I noticed it was Mason who jumped for the snake with a stake knife but the snake was fast and maneuvered away from him and under some furniture.
Before I knew it Mason was grabbing at me, "Come on, get behind me."
"He's fine," Corey said, "I got him."
"I want to go with Mason."
It was almost automatic for me to say. I didn't even have to think of it. Corey let go of me but I could tell there was a sort of disappointment even in the midst of all of this going on. I just felt safer with Mason and I didn't know how to explain it. Mason was crazy but I felt like I had a better chance around him. The snake had made it's way over around where Bah was sitting. Bah was still sitting however and calm as ever. There were three people between the snake. It was Catalina standing there with a knife in her hand. Behind her were Brandon and Rio guarding Bah. I wondered how Brandon was able to get Rio to put his life on the line for Bah but then I figured they'd been spending so much time later that maybe Rio just naturally started to idolize Bah as well. There was no way I was going to be anywhere around them. The crowd had formed a circle around the snake. They didn't attack though. No one was even getting close.
"Why is no one helping them? Why is everyone just watching?" I asked.
"They want this...they all want that snake to kill Bah," Mason stated.
He was right. The snake was huge. People had taken out weapons but all of them had defensive postures. It seemed like they were all fine with the snake doing what it was going to do unless it turned on them. They had backed up giving the snake ample room to get to Bah. No one was around Bah but Brandon and Rio. I even remembered how Corey had swooped in to grab me so quickly. If they wanted to save Bah they could have done it. They WANTED Bah dead.
Just at that moment I watched Catalina do something quite desperate. She started to cut her face with the knife in her hand. I could almost faint at the scene as she started to maim her face with deep lacerations. People managed to look away even though there was a deadly gigantic snake there.
When Catalina maimed her face enough she opened her mouth and she let out a scream. It was a piercing scream and at first I didn't think it made much difference but then I noticed that the snake seemed to be effected by it. The rest of us simply were able to hear the sound as an inconvenience but the snake began to whither up and slowly changed back into Tiana.
There were several shakings from Tiana after that and her ears were bleeding. This was magic. This was some sort of sick display of magic though. Catalina had managed to completely negate whatever it was Tiana had done to herself.
It was Angelica who grabbed the knife that Tiana had used to kill Victor right out of Victor's body walked over to Tiana and slit her throat.
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