Chapter 2: The Hawthorn Pearl
People seem to get nostalgic about a lot of things they weren't so crazy about the first time around. ~Author Unknown
The Hawthorn Pearl isn't a nightclub. It isn't run by vampires or werewolves. The Hawthorn Pearl is, however, a bar run by witches. Yes, witches. The fiery sensation in my throat had died down greatly now that we were away from humans, but every now and again I'd catch a whiff of human. The limo stopped, and Henri opened his door. Now waiting for him, I pushed my door open. I was faced with a neon-red sign and two warlocks standing outside a black-and-gray building/warehouse. The warlocks didn't scare me. Witches are more deadly. Both species, though, are mischievous and like playing tricks on humans. Good thing I'm not a human anymore.
"Why are we at a witch bar? We're not witches." Henri didn't look at me; he just kept walking. We went right up to the warlock bouncers, or bodyguards; whatever they were.
"What do you want?" The one on the right said. He had green-dyed hair and a lip ring. He wore all black like his partner, who had blue-black hair and sunglasses. Maybe they were just warlock wannabes. I didn't want to find out. Witches might've been more dangerous, but warlocks were much stronger. Both warlocks in front of us had an athletic build with clearly muscled arms. They were supposed to look intimidating. They looked bored.
"I'm here to see Maria Day," Henri replied calmly, and leaned forward, taking in the warlock's features, "Is she here, Daniel?" Daniel's pierced lip curled, and he smiled sourly, "Who's asking, bloodsucker?" The other warlock grunted, "What's it matter, Danny? They're vampires. The girl's definitely a newborn. She can barely even hide her fangs." He laughed when I felt my lip tremble. Maria…As in Giselle's witch? Shit. This was not good.
"Maria," I turned to glare at Henri," Why are we here to see Maria? I killed her friend. She'll kill me when she sees me."
"You're already dead."
"She'll burn me alive, then," I snapped, "I'm not going in there." I saw Henri roll his eyes.
"Look, Maria's busy at the moment. You could stay until the sun comes up. I'm sure she'll be free by then," Daniel pointed out, chuckling.
"Give me a name, and I'll give her the message," the other warlock cackled, his big shoulders bobbing as he laughed. A secret about me: I hate being laughed at. It's true. I absolutely despise it. My fists clenched, then went limp when a strong hand caught my wrist and squeezed before I could throw a punch. Henri squeezed until I heard a crack and I couldn't feel my hand anymore. He'd broken it, but it would heal. The blue-black haired warlock raised his eyebrows over the dark sunglasses.
"Seriously, who are you guys and why do you want to see Maria?" Daniel asked, his eyes locking on Henri's. Henri didn't flinch. You don't like to a warlock. The leaves rustled behind me. The wind was picking up suddenly. Magic. Dark magic. Very slowly, Henri answered, "I need her help."
"Does this have anything to do with your clan?"
"Yes," Henri said, his voice calculated and slow. The wind seemed to calm to a whisper. Henri looked down at me. I pressed closer to him. Daniel nodded to his partner, "Zachary, go get Maria. I'll bring these two inside." Zachary grunted again and opened the door to the bar. The door slammed behind him. Daniel looked at me before turning to the door.
"Follow me," he muttered. We did, Henri gripping my hand and me trying to stay quiet and calm. It wasn't easy. Damn, I hated being a newborn at the moment. The bar was bathed in a red-purple glow. The place wasn't empty. Two teenage witches were laughing and giggling, obviously high off of the hawthorn and alcohol in their systems. Yeah, alcohol can get a witch/warlock drunk. Werewolves get high off of wolfsbane (It's like catnip), and vampires, of course, can get drunk by blood only, if they drink too much. Henri finally released my hand when he sat me on a stool and took the one beside me. The place wasn't packed with furniture or anything. There were a few tables scattered across the room. When I faced the bartender (A witch, duh), I faced a mirror. Contrary to belief, vamps do have reflections. That's why I could see my deathly pale face and blood-red irises. My hair was wild and tangled, and I looked tired. I looked like shit, to tell you the truth. I sighed and met the bartender's amber gaze. No, it wasn't Maria.
"Hey, what can I get you two? I'm out of blood at the moment." The witch had honey-blonde hair running down to her ass. She looked nice enough…and young, but that's how witches usually look. They use magic to safeguard their age and youth.
"Nothing, thank you," Henri said slowly, then added, "We're waiting for someone."
"Ah. May I ask who?" She then looked at me, "Is she your lover? I'm confused. She's newly turned, but she doesn't smell like you. Wanna explain?"
"Samantha, get back to work! I don't pay you to grill the guests." I flinched. It was Maria. She hadn't really changed since Gavin's party, so long ago. Same auburn-brown hair and deep amber eyes. When our gazes met, she frowned, eyes narrowing, "Why is she here?" Henri cleared his throat to divert her attention toward him and away from me, "Maria Day. Nice to see you again." Maria smiled sweetly at him, "Henri Sinclair. Is it a pleasure or a curse that you're here…with…her?" She looked at me again, a coldness coming into her unique eyes.
"You remember Antoinette Drake." Anger and what looked like irritation flickered in her eyes, "How could I possibly forget her? She's the one who killed Giselle Beauregard, my friend, your creator." Henri would protect me. He would protect me, I was sure of it. I sure didn't like being the center of attention. The high witches at the bar were no longer laughing hysterically. Sam the bartender was staring at me suspiciously. We were outnumbered; and that was just the supernaturals in sight. Who knew how many of them were hiding? We shouldn't have come here. I don't even know why we did come here; Henri never even told me.
"Why are you here, Henri?" Maria asked, crossing her arms. I'd like to know that too.
"I'm in trouble with the clan."
"Mm," was all that came out of Maria's mouth. I looked from Henri to Maria and back again. Oh, yeah. I'd almost forgotten. My uncle wanted to execute Henri. Yeah. But why go to witches?
"What kind of trouble?" The lights above us flickered. Damn, witches were so powerful. Maria must've been old. Really old.
"Robert Drake wants me dead for protecting his niece. As you can see, Toni's a vampire now." Maria shrugged, "And what do you want me to do about that?" She sounded so amused; so damn arrogant. It made me mad. This time, I killed the urge without Henri's help, and earned silent pride from the vamp beside me. I was learning so fast. Good.
"I need a spell that will disguise Toni and I until we leave New York safely." Maria's eyes widened. So did mine. I wanted to protest. I even glared at Henri, but I didn't say a word. I just stood there, fuming. We were leaving New York?! I wanted to cry, or scream, or both. Henri took my hand in his. He was gently squeezing it, reassuring me. Or that's what he was aiming for. He didn't tell me my fangs could come out if I was pissed. I was piercing my own lip at the moment. I squeezed Henri's hand back until it crunched. He now knew I was angry.
"Uh…why the sudden urge to leave the state, Henri?" Maria asked, her surprise quickly turning back into amusement. Great.
"I already told you, Maria, I'm-we're in trouble with the clan."
"You mean, Robert Drake? Well…" She came to sit at a stool next to us and glanced at Sam before coming to stare at us, "Is a disguise spell all you want? No passports?"
"No," Henri replied lowly. He sounded angry. Or annoyed.
"Alright. Suit yourself." She stood up, "The spells for each of you will be done in about 20 hours so just come by at midnight tonight, okay?" She smiled at me then, and I didn't like that smile. I didn't trust Maria. I don't like witches much. Maybe that's why.
"Fine. Thank you."
"Anything for a friend." I turned my back to her. Her voice was too sweet and dangerous to be sincere. I wanted to voice my suspicions, but it wasn't the best time to insult a black magic-casting witch. Plus, Henri was already leading me out into the cold. I pulled my hand away once the door closed behind us and growled, "What the Hell was that?! Where are we going?"
"No!" I cried, anger building. I could feel the tips of my fangs poking my bottom lip, lightly pressing.
"Henri, why do we need to leave the state? What's going on? We should NOT trust Maria. Don't you see-?"
"Antoinette!" His voice echoed, bouncing off the walls of buildings. He opened the car door without looking at me, and I slid inside. I felt like blowing up again, but I felt exhausted. The hunger was back. Great.
"Are we still going to see Rinka?"
"It's not daylight yet. We still have time." That was where our conversation ended on the ride over. My life never gets any easier, I realized, even after I died and came back. Damn it all.