Melanie didn't say anything to me. She walked around me, setting the hookah down on the table in the center of the circle and they all scooted closer. From her pocket, she pulled out a little baggy, emptying it's contents into the bowl at the head of the hookah and sealed it with an aluminum cage. I watched her as she stepped around me, digging into the box and pulling out a few stones. She dumped them into a container; she did something else next but I couldn't quite see her. Soon, she was stepping around me again with metal prongs in hand, dropping a few stones atop the cage.

“We're going to the moon Shawn,” she was saying to me eventually. “Whether you come or not is your decision to make –but if you leave now, I can't guarantee that you'll be invited again.”

I'll never know what it was that made me stay that night. It could have been the pleading I saw in Jessica's eyes. She was looking at me desperately, biting into her bottom lip. I could feel it, some kind of tug from her to me, she needed me for something. Or, it could have very well have been Melanie. She had a certain way of getting people to do what she wanted them to.

She was looking at me too now, those gold eyes of hers staring into me hard. There was this intense battle between my head and my heart –cliche, kill me – and I found myself wanting to do whatever I could to please her. Pleasing Melanie Frostwood became the most important thing in my life that night. Suddenly, my will was not my own. What Melanie wanted, Melanie got. Everything was hers.

The End

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