Jasper Clinton was a good boy. When he was 18, he graduated as valid Victorian of his class. His death was pure misfortune. He died a good young man, defending his beliefs and taking the bullet (Literally). Where is he now, you ask? In line with me at the Silver Raven, waiting to get inside.
"So, the girl that's dying tonight-…" Jasper started. I cut him off, "Oh, she won't be dying tonight. Not if I can help it."
"Okay," he said slowly and ran a hand through his already messy brown hair (A nervous habit, I noticed).
"So, what do we do to prevent her death?" The line moved forward. I took a slow breath, "Simple. We find her, bring her out and take her home." See? Simple…Okay, maybe not. All three of those objectives would be difficult. I already knew that. Jasper raised an eyebrow, "Uh…could you at least tell me what she looks like?"
"Look, Jasper, in cases like this, ignorance is bliss. The less you know about the situation, the better." Okay, that one was a lie. I just didn't want Jasper to be changed by his experience as a Dealer. He had so much potential; I could just feel it.
"Who knows what could happen if you got caught?" I know what would happen: Cal would happen. I bet my knee high boots and sparkly black tank that Cal was here, ready for me. Great.
"But wouldn't it be helpful if…"
"We're in." We passed through the door and into the busy club. Boys still stared at me, but Jasper's presence stopped them before they could try to take me home. All but one boy, of course. Cal was standing by the bar, speaking to Aspen. He hadn't seen me yet. Good. Maybe if I could just…
"Leslie!" Shit. I'd been too busy calculating (While also looking for Alicia Page) that I hadn't seen Cal catch my eye. He smiled and strode over; fangs poking out. He glanced at Jasper.
"Who's the puppy?"
"I asked you a question, Lez." He was looking at me now, his eyes blazing with green fire. He was pissed. Good. I guess.
"Jasper," Jasper answered for me. It made Cal look back at him. There was something (It might've been jealousy) in his eyes, but it disappeared when he looked back at me, "So what brings you and…Jasper here?" He laughed and added, "Is he supposed to be your new bodyguard?" I ignored his mocking tone and crossed my arms protectively, "Higher beings predict you're about to kill again. You remember Alicia Page, right?"
"Mmm," Cal closed his eyes, apparently savoring the memory, "The one that got away. Well, apart from you, of course." Damn him. Good thing Jasper was here. Without him, I wouldn't be restrained from kicking Cal Raven's immortal ass. My hands twitched at the thought.
"So, you're here to protect her again?"
"I'd like to see you try." Now, wait a minute.
"And why is that, Caleb?"
"Because Alicia's already dead." My eyes widened at his words. Alicia page…was dead? Already? I shook my head quickly.
"I don't believe you." Cal chuckled and took my wrist before I could pull away, "Don't believe me? Want proof?" I didn't like the knowing smile on the vampire's face. I found soon that I didn't want to see Alicia and Cal's proof. If she was dead, I should've been able to see her soul. But I didn't. It meant she wasn't dead. Cal was lying. That, or I'd lost the ability to be a Death Dealer.
"Cal, let me go. Alicia's not…" My voice trailed off as I looked at the body slumped over at the bar. Cal's strong hand yanked me against him. Shit. I could make out the body now. It was Alicia. She was so damn pale. So…
"What did you do to her?" She wasn't dead; she's still breathing. Barely. There was a simple drinking glass on the counter next to her body. My eyes narrowed. Cal sat me down beside Alicia and took out a dagger. Uh-oh. I didn't even flinch when the dagger was speared through my wrist, pinning me once again to the counter. Saw that one coming.
"Come on, that's getting old. Any other tricks?" Cal smiled and glanced at Alicia, then the drink sitting innocently inches away. What was in that drink?
"What did you do to her, Cal?" I repeated, lightly tugging at the knife in my wrist.
"Nightlock." The music in the club stopped. All conversation ceased, and all eyes seemed to turn to where we were sitting. Great. Everything became fuzzy. It all clicked.
"Nightlock," I echoed. Alicia had been a witch. Oh, God. The nightlock was why I couldn't see Alicia's soul. She wasn't dead. At least not yet. But she'd be gone once the nightlock reached her heart and stopped it. I felt sick all of the sudden. Alicia was a witch. One of Cal's many victims. Guess magical beings had been added to his list. Jasper looked at our audience, confused. He didn't know what Alicia was. He sure didn't know what I was. Being half-witch was the reason Cal had targeted me. It didn't make me feel better about my imprisonment or death. I looked back at Jasper. He lifted his shoulders in a shrug. Huh. First night on the job and he's already nonchalant about death. Good for him. I knew the exact moment when Alicia Page died. It was pretty obvious. Well, with the mist, then the transparent body hanging around, it was simple. Only Death Dealers (And maybe crazy people) can see ghosts. Okay, they're called souls. Sorry, I'm a bit superstitious. Cal couldn't even see the soul that drifted toward me, drawn to me for some reason.
"You, where am I?" Alicia looked around, confused. I sighed. This was the first step to a soul's closure. They had to face the fact that they were, well, dead. Then they had to be taken to…well, I can't really tell you that. You might blab about it. Nothing personal.
"How do you know my name?! Where…?" She looked at her dead body, "Oh my God, is that me?"
"Uh, yeah." I sounded so professional (Sarcasm). I reached toward her.
"Who are you talking to? Alicia's ghost?" Cal was mocking me…again. I nodded, "Yes, Cal, I am. She's confused."
"Souls usually are after death." I glared at him, "And what would you know about souls?" Cal laughed, "I was in Hell once, remember? I'm damned." You should have stayed there, I thought to myself, then this wouldn't have happened. I turned my attention to Alicia, "It'll be okay, Alicia…"
"But I'm dead!" Alicia whined, wisps of her persona flying everywhere before uniting once again. Denial.
"Yes, you are, but-…"
"I'm a witch! Immortal! I don't die."
"Well, your body begs to differ. Come on, Alicia, hear me out." This was not going well. I felt frustration build quickly inside me. Frustration leads to anger, and anger…
"Want me to help?" A hand touched my shoulder gently and Jasper was there, looking confident.
"B-but you-…" I sputtered. Jasper wasn't qualified. He was a new recruit.
"Just trust me, Leslie," Jasper reassured. I rolled my eyes, "Fine, what are you gonna do?"
"Calm her down." And with that, Jasper stepped toward the soul slowly and carefully. I had to give him gut points. First night and he was already stepping up. I would've applauded, if not for the dagger still in my wrist. Without hesitation, I pulled it out and heard it quickly clatter to the floor. No one noticed the gold blood coming from the wound; it healed fast.
"So, Leslie, how's the afterlife?" I groaned under my breath. I needed something to do; anything to get away; to prevent what the conversation had come to.
"It's alright. Being half witch has its perks, as you know," I replied, my voice surprisingly level. Then I stopped myself, "Wait, how many of your victims have been witches? Is that why Casey was-…"
"Whoa, whoa, whoa. Slow down, love." Cal put a hand on my back. I ignored the shiver forming, and growled, "Don't call me 'love'." He laughed. There was no scent of blood on him. Hmm.
"Answer me, Cal. How many victims?" Instead of Cal answering, Aspen did, "Honestly, I've lost count. Cal's got a thin for their magical, powerful blood." Damn. That was…I couldn't even finish my thought. Cal's seductive, and sinister, laugh filled my ears. I thought back to when Cal had found me in his club. It wasn't a welcome memory, and I squeezed my eyes shut, "Stop."
"I'm not doing anything."
"Yes, you are. Cut the crap and stop it." Stop…My head was throbbing; pulse pounding in my head. Stop…NOW! I yelled in pain and anger as it consumed me. What the Hell? It was an unfamiliar feeling; pure rage, but something else….power?
"Power," I murmured, "Even though I'm half witch, I still have powers. Am I right or am I right, Cal?" Cal looked at me for a moment and nodded slowly. Power. It was overwhelming. Why I was getting a sudden burst of it now, I don't know. All I knew was that my Mom's blood and power ran through my veins. And it felt…almost good.
"Leslie, are you alright?" I glanced over my shoulder to Jasper, who was standing beside Alicia's ghost. She looked much calmer, which was a good thing.
"I'm fine." Alicia glided toward me, her ghostly wisps wild, "You've found your power." It wasn't a question, but I still replied, "Yes." I tried to sound brave, but my voice sounded shaky. The witch's soul smiled and held out her hand, "Welcome to the coven, young one." It felt weird to be called "young one" when Alicia was only one year older than me. As a ghost, though, she looked almost ancient. Would I look forever young? Then I remembered my undead status. Oh, yeah. I'm already dead, so I'll always look 18. Oh well.
"What is my power anyway?" The spirit's brow furrowed, "You don't know? Didn't your ancestor tell you?"
"You mean my Mom?" I sighed, "No, she never mentioned I was a witch, let alone that I had powers. I-…" The sudden pain in my back cut off my words. Cal had dug his nails into my back and raked them downward. I managed to keep the scream of pain from escaping. My power, whatever it was, spiked. The wounds would heal, but it still hurt. Cal didn't pull his hand away. My shirt was shredded, and I could see the golden blood dripping onto the floor. Great.
"Magical, powerful blood. It's one of the reasons I chose you, princess," Cal whispered into my ear.
"One of the reasons? What are the others?" Before he could deliver the punch line, I beat him to it, "Got it, got it. You won't tell me. Maybe some day."
"Getting wiser by the day," Cal murmured with a confident smile.
"Leslie, um, you're bleeding," Jasper pointed out. Cal finally released me and, suddenly exhausted, I propped myself against a barstool.
"No shit," I muttered and looked over at my ex, "What's it gonna take to let us out of here?" Since I know for a fact it won't be easy. Cal turned away from me, "Go. Run." He'd whispered it, and I barely heard it, much less comprehended it. I stood up straight. I head the struggle in his voice.
"I said, 'run', Leslie. Run!" And he surged toward me. Before he could touch me, something weird happened. My palms felt warm all of the sudden and it caused me to look at them. A light emitted from them: fire. Oh, God. Fire was my power. I looked up from my hands to meet Cal's eyes. They glistened in the firelight. I could feel Jasper's wide blue eyes watching me in wonder and Alicia's spectral electricity. I didn't hesitate. Concentrating on my hands, the light grew stronger, as did the burning sensation in my chest. When I could see the flames rising, I thrust my hands out toward Cal. He didn't flinch. The fire didn't leave my hands. Shit.
"What the Hell?" Jasper voiced our situation. I looked back at him, but didn't answer. I met Cal's eyes, "Let us leave, or I'll burn this place down." Cal almost looked worried, but it soon morphed into a joking smile.
"You don't know how to control those little powers, do you?" He had a point. And I hated it. A very bad point, but whatever. As soon as we discovered Alicia's death, I'd wanted us to go home. I knew Jasper did too. I could get us out, if I could distract Cal. And that'd only be possible if I set something (Or someone) on fire. Everything depended on my new power. Great. I shook my head, "I don't have all night, Cal. Let us leave. Alicia's dead. It's over." As I said it, the flames in front of me flickered.
"I don't want to fight you. I don't want to hurt anyone." I really didn't. Cal just stood feet from me, smirking. God, I wanted to burn his face off.
"I said 'go' earlier," Cal reasoned, his smirk widening, "You didn't. Now you can't go."
"Leslie?" I didn't turn to the sound of Jasper's warning voice; I watched Cal.
"Jasper, take Alicia's soul to Ash." I finally looked back at my partner. His eyes widened, "What about you? I'm not leave-…"
"Yes, you are. Go. Now!" Jasper heard the urgency in my voice and actually ran out, Alicia following him. God, it was almost over. Almost. I sighed and let the fire dissipate. All that was left was smoke.
"Exhausted?" Not looking at him, I walked past Cal (Yes, I was leaving) , all the way until I got out of the stupid club. Too bad I don't get paid for my job. I would've been paid double for this one.