Chapter Sixteen: Snow
It was the second last Sunday of November the snow that had once littered the ground was gone and now there was no snow to be seen, it was a strange sensation of longing for the white menace to fall. I despised snow so greatly, the ice, the falling and all the cold dampness, it was uncomfortable. But that night it was cold, colder than it had been for some time now and yet the sky was cloudless as I peered through the giant picture window of Video Stop while I was working.
It was absolutely dead quiet in the building. No one had come in since seven and it was almost nine by the time I had allowed myself to look up at the clock. I groaned at the sight of it and walked through the splotchy array of movies for something to entertain the next two hours with.
"Ollie?" I heard Michael's voice call from the front of the store. "I brought a visitor."
I couldn't see him past the tower of movies so I grabbed the closest case to me and made a line towards his voice. Though my smile faded when I saw Alex standing next to Michael, an inch taller and more striking than I'd remembered.
"Alex?" His name caught in my throat.
He rolled his eyes. "No, I'm a hologram. Of course it's me." The same smug grin spread liquid-like across his face.
"Is Skylar back too?" I tried to look around them in hope.
"Ya. She's back with her coven, they weren't too pleased that I took her as a weapon to The Courts." He grimaced.
"Oh you know... fairies, pixies, nymphs ECT." Alex shrugged. "Since you and your Mom left they'd been having troubles with getting along, so Skylar and I went to set some boundaries."
And to see Melissa's grave? I dropped my glance and stared at the movie I'd picked. Hercules. The Disney version. I rolled my eyes and walked behind the counter and popped in the old VHS and pressed play.
"There's a demon in my gym class." I said flatly as I turned back to look at the two boys.
"Vivian told me, but he's harmless. Jonathon Marks. An outcast from HAEDES." Alex shrugged. "Last time I met him he was trying to protect Lucien's reject daughter."
"Lucien has a daughter?" I spat.
"Mhmm ... only one and she's useless." Alex sighed.
Michael left Alex's side and slipped behind the counter to look over the schedules, I watched out of the corner of my eye as he flipped through the binder. I bit my lower lip in an attempt at keeping my questions and secrets all locked up.
"Well... at least she's no threat." I sighed outwardly and moved to perch on the only black stool behind the counter, Michael was watching me and came to stand next to me.
"I have to get going home, I'll see you tomorrow." He kissed my nose and I blushed and with that he hopped over the counter and out the door.
I watched him leave, still biting on my bottom lip and turned back to Alex remembering he was still there.
"That's an odd habit you've picked up." His lips pulled into a smug grin.
I sneered at him and then turned my body to watch my movie. "Maybe."
"Any visions while I was gone?" Alex changed the subject.
"Nope. Not a... " I stopped, suddenly recalling the vision of my future home and the voice of my potential husband, "...one."
"Well there was one, but... it's not any of your concern."
Alex was silent.
I turned my attention back to the movie I'd chosen and tried to ignore the fact that Alex was prying for more. I couldn't tell him about what I was hoping to come from the vision; that my future home in Morden would belong to Michael and I, but it made my stomach curl just to think of the possibilities.
"I hope you'll come back to our place, Kat says she misses you and we really should resume your training."
"Ya sure. I will.” I nodded slightly and watched as he left from the corner of my eye. Can I really pretend to be friends with him after all this? After he left without telling me where he was going or what he was doing? I'm going to kill Skylar. I wonder if he took her by force. GYAH! This is killing me!
I was locking up, making sure I'd counted the till properly and quickly turned off all the lights and closed the safe. The darkness was unnerving. I stepped out of the glass-lined doors and turned my chin up to the clear starlit sky. Chills ran throughout my body sending a sharp tingling up and down my spine in an uncomfortable fashion.
Cold enough for snow, warm enough for rain. Mother Nature sure is messed up.
I locked the door behind me and began my walk home. It was a long trek and I was beginning to regret not taking the truck to work.
"Need a ride?" The voice beckoned out of the shadow of the building and I jumped and spun around.
Though, I saw no one I could still feel their presence. My bones rippled with fear and I felt panic grip every part of me.
"... Who - who's there?" I stuttered.
No answer came. I was standing in a vacant lot talking to myself. I must've looked like a nut, but I still felt someone there. I stood frozen, unable to make my legs move, unable to turn my head to see all around me.
"I asked if you wanted a ride..."
There he was, tall and eerie.
My limbs trembled in panic. Alex hadn't taught me how to fight demons.
"You can relax, I'm not here to eat you or anything." He was laughing.
"What do you want then?"
"Help." His smile faded ad he turned his back to me.
My jaw had dropped, my mouth still agape as I followed him behind the Shoppers building, the whole time I was very aware of him.
He knelt down beside something - no - someone.
He killed someone? Am I next?
"Relax." He said breathlessly. "It's Celone, she passed out."
Celone? "Who?" I blinked in the darkness.
"'Lucien's reject daughter' I believe that's what the Hunter called her."
"Oh." I couldn't think of anything else to say.
"Could you help?" Jonathon begged.
"How? You can carry her, can't you?" Now I was irritated. He was by far larger than myself and possessed demonic abilities, so why ask for my help.
"Yes, I can. But..." He fell silent and looked down at the small, crumpled figure. "I have no where to take her."
I shivered. "So what... you expect me to take her in?"
"Please. The other Hunters won't." Jonathon begged.
"Fine." I growled. "But I don't have a vehicle."
"That's why I asked if you wanted a ride."
"Then, let's go." I wagged my finger and he picked up Celone and turned to go back to his car.
"Nice try Jonathon." There was Alex, standing against a black Mercedes in the parking lot.
"Hunter..." Jonathon growled.
"Did you really think you could just hang around here all evening and I wouldn't notice."
"Not like I was trying to kill her." Jonathon growled.
"Ya. What happened to the mutt?"
"Alex, don't call her that." I snapped.
"That's what she is Olivia. Half demon, half human. Lucien's greatest weakness."
Alex seemed so smug, just like when I'd first met him. He was smiling, yet his eyes were narrowed and the line of his cheek was angry.
"Fine, but she's out cold and needs to have a place to re-cover."
"Recover from what? Olivia, she's a demon. She doesn't need to recover. It was an excuse to get invited into your house, he knew that-"
"That's not it!" Jonathon snarled. "Celone just needs a place to stay, Lexie might get her."
"Lexie?" I bit my bottom lip and looked at Alex.
He looked at me with a quick glance, eyes wide and innocent. He hadn't wanted to tell me that Lexie was still around and Celone would just put a larger target on myself.
"She can't stay with Olivia, she'll stay with us." Alex said angrily, the line of his jaw was tight and worried.
Jonathon stared at him, obviously contemplating the idea. "Fine." He quickly answered. "But she better stay alive."
"I don't see any point in killing her." Alex grumbled. He looked at me, his eyes smug. "Come on Olivia, I'll take you home."
"Jonathon, I believe you know where I live."
Jonathon paused for a second and then nodded. "Yes. I'll be there."
Alex rolled his eyes and took my wrist firmly and led me to the silver Audi. "Don't get caught up with him. He may be an outcast, but that makes him all that more dangerous."
I blinked. Because he'd do anything to get back on Lucien's good side? Must be an excellent dental plan. I giggled and let Alex take me and shove me into his car. His roughness was unnecessary, but oddly welcome after not being able to see him for so long. The interior of his car was comfortable and safe, all the more reason why he need not shove. I snuggled into the seat and let all my muscles relax.
"Olivia?" Alex asked.
"When did you and Michael start dating?" He didn't look at me; he was staring straight ahead as he drove down Main Street to lengthen the ride.
"The day Vivian finally came to bowling." And my first day back at school when I found out that you and Skylar were both gone. I missed you. I bit my lip.
"Oh? Did she happen to have anything to do with it?"
I glanced over at him with a flaming curiosity. "No. It all started with a pushy carnie."
This time he looked at me, waiting for me to explain the joke, but I didn't. We arrived at my house, once again all the lights were off and no one was inside waiting up for me.
"No one's home?" Alex asked, his tone worried.
"No. My Mother's in Winnipeg and Sabrine's in Paris." I sighed inwardly, the sharp intake of breath brought tears to my eyes.
"Why don't you come stay at our place tonight? You know we have room."
"We have school tomorrow, and I don't think Michael would much appreciate it. He doesn't really-" I stopped. "I'm just going to call Michael and tell him where to pick me up tomorrow."
"Nonsense. We'll give you a ride-"
"Alex, just stop. Go home. I'm going inside." I opened my car door and stepped halfway out of the door. "Goodnight Alex. Don't stake out my house, send Kat over." I slammed my door shut and walked up the driveway and marched up the font steps. Headlights shone off the house. The Mazda pulled up the drive as I turned around.
Sure enough, he stepped out of the car and wandered past Alex's car and up the steps towards me. His car locked with the keyless entry remote. "Hey." He mumbled.
"I thought you'd call for a ride." Michael looked at me disapprovingly.
"I had planned on walking home, but then there was a demon and Alex intercepted. Then he wanted me to stay under lock and key at his place while Jonathon and Celone are around. It's a long story." I paused as the Audi withdrew from its previous parked state. "Want to come in?"
Michael watched me wearily. "It's late, I should really be heading home."
I dropped my eyes and unlocked the door and opened it wide. I glanced back up at him and leaned against the doorframe, lit up under the porch lamp. I pulled on his shirt and brought him into me. His body froze and his limbs went rigid.
"What's wrong?" My heart sunk.
"I can't. Not right now Olivia." He looked away from me, his body defensive.
"Do what? I just-" I paused as I felt anger fill me. "I didn't want anything to happen tonight. I just wanted someone to keep me company."
"Then why didn't you stay at Alex's?" He snapped.
"...Because, that's why I have you." I snarled, releasing him and pushing him back.
"Why didn't you call me for a ride then?"
"I told you, I had planned on walking, everything just happened really quickly."
Michael stood at the edge of the top step, his eyes downcast and hands in his pockets. For the longest time he stood there, quiet, saying nothing.
"Michael...?" I bit my bottom lip.
He walked towards me slowly, his eyes locking with my own. Everything about him was confident, smug... nervous. I didn't like the look in his eyes and my heart started to pound painfully against the inside of my ribcage. He pushed me through the doorway, closing the door behind him. He pushed me against the far wall next to the stairs, his hands slid around me and down my back and rested on my lower back. He pulled me towards him as his lips crushed against mine and forced them open. I found my lips moving along with his, he slid his hands lower.
My breath caught in my throat and I pulled away to catch it. I met his eyes, the taste of him still in my mouth. I licked my lips and looked at him. Both of us were breathing heavily and smiling like kids in a candy shop.
We hadn't done anything like this, it had always been puppy kisses and sensual hugs, and this was white-hot lust. Our teenage hormones whipping around like wild fire inside of us, it was ridiculous how good it felt just to be that intimate with him. It had been less than a month since we had changed our relationship from friends, to enemies to friends, to a couple. Everything was just moving so quickly, but at that moment I really didn’t mind. It was fantastic, and I felt so alive.
Before I knew it, Michael lifted me off the ground and awkwardly carried me downstairs, taking each step slowly. I held my breath as his hands touched me and set me back down on my bed and leaned over me.
He kissed my forehead and then my nose, working his way down to my lips. My lips parted with his and moved along as he tried to breath and kiss me at the same time.
My fingers fumbled over the buttons on the top of his shirt, I only got the top three undone before he pushed me back on my bed. I could feel his thigh muscles tightening at my hips, and his hands moved against my shirt, lifting it to expose my pale, bare stomach. Goosebumps lifted on my skin and I shivered beneath him. I let my hands play in his hair as his lips moved down my neck and-
The phone began to ring. I moaned and Michael looked down at me begging, but I knew that if it were my Mother she would just call back.
"I'm sorry." My voice was weak and breathless and I worried about how it would come across on the phone.
I picked up the receiver on my nightstand. "Hello?"
"It's Alex. Do you still want me to send over Kat?"
"No." I answered quickly.
"Alright. Is something wrong? You sound nervous."
"I'm fine. Goodnight Alex." I snapped down the phone and looked back up at Michael. "Sorry."
"It's okay, kinda ruined the moment though." He laughed as he took a sharp breath.
"Ya. You're still welcome to spend the night." I blushed.
"Okay. Mind if I at least take my shirt off?"
I smirked devilishly. "Oh, I don't mind. You can take your jeans off too." I winked.
I picked out my pjs from the top drawer of my dresser and went to the bathroom. I shut the door behind me and took a look in the mirror. My cheeks were a brilliant color of red and my eyes were wide and very blue. I smiled back at my reflection, and even gave it a ‘thumbs-up’. Pulling on my shorts and long-sleeved sweatshirt, I moved towards the door and thought of how to get the mood back. It didn't seem that it would happen though.
I walked into my bedroom and Michael was sitting at the head of my bed, flipping through a book I'd left on my nightstand. He looked up at me as I re-entered the room and appraised my pajamas.
I beamed. "Thanks." I scooted onto my bed and curled up next to him, slinging his arms around my shoulders and kissed his bare collarbone. He still had his jeans on, but I could see his dark red boxers above the belt line.
He blushed. "Thanks, I forgot these ones have a hole in the back."
I giggled, trying to pull my mind out of the gutter. "Aw." I leaned over him and let my head fall against his chest, blonde curls obviously tickling him.
"That tickles." He smirked.
"I thought so."
"I'm tired Ollie." He let his head fall on mine, while his hot breath tussled my hair.
"Me too." I closed my eyes and he wrapped his arms around me. We sunk down on the bed and pulled the blankets over each other.
His arms tightened around me, and I snuggled against his chest. I could still feel his hot breath on the top of my head, and I felt incredibly safe and slipped into a deep sleep.
The next morning, I woke up and rolled away from Michael. It was 6am and I just couldn't sleep any longer. I showered quickly, appraising myself in the foggy mirror as I often did, but I just looked so different today. My whole face seemed brighter, I felt lighter in a sense. I pushed away from the vanity and pulled on the clothes I'd brought with me. My black jeans and a light blue t-shirt and gray, v-neck sweater. Quietly I walked upstairs, only to find Michael staring out the large picture window in the kitchen.
He turned to greet me with a smile. "It snowed."
As I got closer, I could see the soft white blanket that covered the Earth, still reflecting the sun's glow. "It's about time." I sighed and turned and gave him a kiss. "Morning." I beamed.