An Empty Grave, Chap. 17

It’s Sunday! That means Chase and Bianca are back!

I’ve only got one chapter for you today but it’s a long one. Lots happens in this one. Like, comment, and let me know what you think!

Happy Reading!

Chapter Seventeen

Chase

“What the hell was that?” Hayden breathes next to me as we run to the edge of the rocks, staring down into the water. “It’s like something pulled her in.”

“I don’t know, but I’m going in to get her,” I say, kicking off my shoes.

“What?” Hayden gasps. “Chase, you can’t. It’s the middle of the night, you’re not going to be able to find her.”

“Then what do I do? Sit around and hope she makes it up,” I respond, throwing her an agitated look. I pull my phone from my pocket and toss it at her. “Call Duke and tell him what’s happened. Codes 4-6-4-4.”

I don’t look at her. I step up to the edge of the rocks, and dive into the water. Even though it’s June, the temperature hasn’t been a steady high. The water isn’t freezing but it isn’t warm either. Also considering that it’s Lake Michigan, the waters polluted and hard to see through. I swim towards the bottom, looking around and trying to see as I pull myself deeper.

I hold my breath for as long as i can.

I’m about to swim back up for air when I see her. She’s below me, suspended, floating with her eyes closed and hair wrapping around her face.

I pull myself farther down, kicking ferociously at the water until I can reach her. I grab her arm and begin puling her up, kicking as hard as I can.

There’s a tug, like something is pulling her in the opposite direction. I look down, but her eyes are still closed, her body immobile. There’s nothing around her. It’s just me and her.

With burning lungs, i kick even harder, dragging her until we both breach the surface. I take a large gulp of air, gasping it in greedily, and drag her closer to the wall.

Hayden rests on her knees at the edge of the rocks, relief in her gaze. She holds her arms out and I pull Bianca’s still body until Hayden is holding her, keeping her head above water. Hayden starts to pull her from the water, and I climb out before circling around and help lift Bianca onto the ledge. We lay her down gently, and I lay my ear on her chest to hear for a heartbeat. A moment goes by without a sound.

Rearing back, I cup Bianca’s mouth and breath into her mouth. One. Two. Three. Four. Five.

I pull back, bringing my hands to her chest and start compressions. I do five before Bianca curls to the side and coughs up water. I pat her back hard to help get all of the water out.

She sags onto the ground, her body shaking as she rakes in rough breaths.

“Are you alright?” I ask, running a hand up and down her back.

“Chase,” She groans, her voice harsh from the lack of air.

“I’m right here,” I tell her, leaning over and moving the hair from her face.

“Where’s the knife?” She asks, starting to roll onto her back.

I look up, my eyes meeting Hayden’s. We both still, confusion covering our features.

“Why do you need the knife, B?” Hayden asks, cautiously.

“I need to finish it,” she says, rolling onto her stomach. She lifts her head and I must see the knife on the ground about five feet in front of us at the same time Bianca does. She starts to crawl towards it. “Please, let me finish it.”

I jump to my feet and run over to the knife, picking it up and shoving it into my back pocket.

Bianca staggers to her feet, swaying slightly.

“Chase, give me the knife,” she says, her eyes red and wild, her lips curled back.

“No. We’ve got to get you Deklan,” I tell her as she inches towards me, her eyes on my hands.

“I’m not going anywhere,” she growls. “Now give me the damn knife!”

She steps towards me, rage lighting her eyes. On instinct, I take a step back. How do I stop her? I can’t hurt her.

But then Hayden is behind her, and all thoughts stop. I can’t do anything but stare as Hayden wraps her arm around Bianca’s neck.

Bianca’s eyes widen in shock and she starts to struggle, clawing at Hayden’s arm. Hayden holds tight, not even flinching. Bianca’s face turns red, her movements slowing. Her eyes slowly drift shut and after a moment her body says against Hayden.

“I can’t believe you just did that,” I tell Hayden, my eyes on Bianca.

“Either that or she tries to kill you. Went with the safer option. What the hell was that? What is going on?”

I shake my head. “It’s a long story. For now we’ve got to get back to Haven.”

Coming to her, I lift Bianca into my arms and we turn, walking to my truck with fast steps. Hayden pulls open the passenger door as I place Bianca’s body on the seat gently.

Squealing tires has both Hayden and I looking up.

Duke pulls his car behind mine, and hops out of the drivers seat.

“What the hell happened?” He asked, looking from me to Bianca.

Remi comes around and gasps when she sees Bianca.

“Why is she wet? Why are you wet? Why is she asleep? Please tell me she’s asleep.”

I shake my head as I round to the drivers side. “We’ve got to get her to Haven before she wakes up.”

Duke frowns. “How exactly did you get her to sleep?”

I look at Duke I pull open my door. “Do you want to sit around and talk about what happened or take her and get her help?”

Duke’s eyes blaze with anger but he nods.

“Then move your truck,” i say. He jumps into action and I look at Hayden. “Ride with him.”

Hayden nods and jobs over to Duke while I slide into the drivers seat. I lift Bianca’s long figure so that I have more room and lay her head on my thigh. Gently, I trace her cheek. Finally, she looks peaceful.

Giving myself a shake, I start the car, and reverse quickly turning the car around and continuing on.

Duke and I make it there in record time, him seconds before me. Once my car is in park, he is already at the passenger door lifting Bianca into his arms. He rushes into the building with Hayden, Remi, and I following.

We burst through the doorway on the first floor and I freeze looking around.

The lights are on but there are candles all over the floor. Damen and Sarah stand in the far corner. In the center of the room there is a circle of candles with Marian standing just outside of it. She’s talking to Deklan but stops once she’s hears us come in. Deklan takes in all of us, and when his gaze lands on me, it stays there. I meet his stare unflinching. I did what I had to do. Either he will see that or he won’t.

“Bring her this way,” Marian says, motioning to the center of the candles.

Duke carries Bianca over and sets her gently on the ground. Her head lolls to the side, hair covering her face. I fight the urge to go over to her.

“It’s almost time,” Marian says. “This won’t be easy to watch. If you don’t want to see it, leave now.”

No one in the room makes a move.

“Damen,” Marian calls, holding out a book to him.

He steps over to her, grasping the book in his hands. He looks from it to her.

“Don’t falter in your words,” she says. “No matter what happens. Don’t stop reading.”

“I’ve got it,” Damen says.

The elevator dings once more and I turn to see Alec step off. He holds two sets of sweatpants and shirts. He hands one pair to me.

“Heard you needed some clothes.”

“Thanks,” I say, and step into the bathroom and change. I leave my wet clothes and shoes in the tub, and step out of the bathroom barefoot.

When I go to step into the room Deklan is suddenly in front of me, pushing me up against the door.

“What did you do?” He asks, his voice hard and eyes nearly black telling me he’s struggling to control his anger.

“I didn’t do anything,” I say, keeping my voice and my pulse steady. I don’t want him to know I’m lying. Not yet. I just… need a little more time with her.

Deklan looks me up and down. “She was brought back to life by magic. We know that. You’re the only one that was there and you swore she came back on her own. Where’s the lie, Chase? It’s somewhere in there.”

I shake my head and shrug. “I don’t have any answers for you.”

Deklan purses his lips. “I no longer trust a single thing you say. I’ll find out. Chase. And you better have a damn good reason for lying to me. To all of us.”

“We’re starting,” Marian announces.

Deklan pulls away from me and moves to the circle.

“Turn off the lights,” Marian says, and someone hits the switch, encasing is in darkness.

Lumos,” she says, lifting her right hand from where it rests at her side, with her palm up until it is stretched out in front of her.

All of the candles around the room spark to life.

Bianca is still immobile in the center of the circle.

“Darkling of the Underworld,” Marian says. “I call to thee. Tell me your name?”

Bianca stirs, her head moving from one side to the other. Then she’s still again.

“Darkling,” Marian continues. “I know you are there. No need to hide. Tell me your name.”

Bianca doesn’t move again.

Marian sighs and pulls a small vial out of her pocket. She twists of the lid and flicks water onto Bianca. Her body jerks, and a shallow hiss falls from her mouth. She slowly blinks revealing eyes that are pitch black.

“Ahh, there we go,” Marian says with a smile. She circles around so that Bianca has to twist to look at her.

“What is your name?” Marian asks again.

“Allistair,” Bianca hisses. She rolls over onto all fours and crawls towards Marian but doesn’t pass through the circles of candles.

“And what do you want with the girl whose body you are currently inhabiting?”

“I want her soul and then I want her body,” it hisses, a sinister grin on its lips. “She’s strong. I could wonders.”

“We can’t let you do that,” Marian says.

“It’s not up to you,” it hisses.

Marian just smiles. She looks to Damen and nods.

He begins reading whatever is in the book, speaking loudly and clearly in a foreign language.

“It won’t work,” the thing inside of Bianca’s body hisses.

“It will,” Marian says, sounding confidant. “It has numerous times before.”

“I almost had her it,” it hisses a keening cry falling from Bianca’s mouth. “Almost. She was giving in. You all had done your part.”

Bianca slowly crawls around the circle, eyeing each person outside of it. She looks like a hunter watching its prey.

She turns to Hayden first.

“You’ll never be friends. She knows you want what she has. She’ll never let you have it.”

Hayden doesn’t give a response. She just rolls her eyes and backs away until she’s leaning against the wall farthest from all of us.

She looks at Sarah. “She resents you. You’re not her mother. You never will be. She wishes it was you that was dead.”

“That’s enough!” Duke shouts.

She rolls, literally rolls until she’s on the other side of the circle staring at Remi and Duke with bloodthirsty smiles. Duke pushes Remi behind him.

“You both were her best friends but you didn’t see that something was going on with her. Right in front of your faces. You were so concerned with each other. Six months she’s seen me and none of you even knew.”

I don’t look at their reactions. I just keep my eyes on Bianca.

She looks at Damen.

“You’re the closest thing she has to a father and you’re not even around.”

Damen’s words falter.

“Don’t stop,” Marian shouts and he instantly continues. “It’s just trying to bait you. It wants out of the circle.”

“It’s the truth,” it – Bianca – hisses.

Bianca looks at Deklan. “She’s no use to you anymore. You think she doesn’t know that? Why do you think that she’s been working out so much, so she can prove herself to you. But you’ve already written her off, haven’t you? There’s no need to protect her, to help her. She’s no use to you.”

Deklan looks away.

She looks around the room as if she’s trying to find her next victim. Her eyes fall on me. She grins wickedly, like she has a secret, and rolls to the edge of the circle I am close to you.

“You,” she chides. “Kissing other girls, trying to make her jealous. Tsk, tsk, tsk.”

“That wasn’t my fault,” I growl between clenched teeth.

“Of course not,” she pouts. “But that’s not what Bianca thinks. But you’ve also lied haven’t you. So many lies to the girl you love. Do you even really love her?”

“Of course I do,” I say.

She lifts a finger, curling towards her in a come here motion.

I shake my head.

She inclines hers, cocking it to the side. There’s a gleam in her eyes and I slowly move closer to her in fear of what she might do if I don’t come closer.

“Don’t break the circle,” Marion warns.

I nod and squat so that Bianca and I are nearly face to face.

“Is it true?” She asks, her teeth chattering like she’s cold. When I don’t respond she frowns. “More lies. That’s a bad habit to have.”

“You’re a demon,” I scoff.

She grins. “She’ll never forgive you. But you must know that already.”

I don’t say anything else. I back away as Damen’s voice get louder,

Bianca’s head drops back, her back hitting the floor. She arcs her back, her hips and head still touching the ground a pained cry spilling from her mouth.

“Almost there,” Marian says, flicking more water on her.

Marian closes her eyes, clasping her hands forget her in front of her chest and starts whispering some sort of chant.

Bianca’s hands smack the ground, hands flat against the wood, and her entire body tenses like a tight guitar string.

A dark cloud of some kind comes out of Bianca’s body, hovering over her for a moment. Bianca rolls over onto her side, curling into a ball, and gasps for breath. The cloud drops, splattering onto the ground next to Bianca.

Marian stops chanting and tells Damen to stop.

I look over at her. She meets my eyes and nods. I break through the circle of candles at the same time that they blow out, encasing the room in darkness. Someone flips the switch for the light.

Reaching Bianca, I help her sit up, and grabs her face in my hands.

“Are you alright?” I ask her. “How do you feel?”

“My head is killing me,” she groans. “How did I get here? The last thing I remember is being at the lake.”

“You were possessed,” Marian steps up. “Do you remember seeing – “

“My mother?” Bianca nods. “Yes.”

Marian shakes her head. “It wasn’t your mother. It was a demon that was trying to posses your body.”

Bianca frowns looking at all the faces that surround her.

“What?” She scoffs. “How is that even possible?”

Deklan looks to me. “I think Chase would be the best person to explain.”

I look away and my hands fall from Bianca’s face. I take a step back as she watches me.

Marian clears her throat. “It seems that the night that you died, you were brought back with dark magic. That allows demons to latch onto the soul. They try to take over the body. Try to manipulate your mind. Do you remember what the demon wanted from you?”

Bianca takes a deep breath, and looks down at the ground. “She, uh, it wanted me to… it wanted me to take my own life.”

A chill runs through me.

“I was… so angry all the time. She fueled it, making it even worse.”

“Do you feel that anger anymore?” Marian asks.

Bianca thinks about it for a moment, and then shakes her head.

“No,” she says.

Marian claps her hands together. “Then I think my job here is done. If you see anything out of the ordinary, including your mother, then I need you to tell someone.”

Bianca nods. “I will.”

Marian turns away and starts gathering her supplies. Bianca turns her eyes to Deklan.

“Why did this happen?” She asks.

Deklan takes a deep breath. “We were told that when you died, you came back on your own. I didn’t think that this happening was even a factor.”

Bianca’s frown deepens. “You… were told wrong?”

No one says a thing. Even Marian freezes. Bianca looks at me, her eyes wide in pain.

“You… lied?” She asks.

I stand stock still, not moving or saying a thing.

“Dark magic…” Bianca says. “That means a witch brought me back. And the only which that was there that night, was the one working with the Aldinn. And that means that she brought me back.”

I watch her as she pieces everything together. Even the final and biggest piece.

“But he… they wouldn’t do it just because. Not when they spent so long trying to kill me.” Bianca shakes her head. “What did you give him?”

I stare into her eyes, unable to say the words. Once I do, everything will change. I just need a little more time.

“Chase, what did you do?” Bianca asks, tears forming in her eyes.

“I’m not ready,” I say, my voice rough.

Her eyes widen in shock and confusion. She pulls back almost like I had hit her. The tears are back, twinkling in her eyes but she doesn’t let them fall.

“Bianca,” her aunt says, stepping up. Sarah places her hands on Bianca’s shoulders. “You should rest.”

Bianca looks at her and then looks back at me. She lets her aunt pull her away and towards the door. Bianca gives me one last look before she disappears through the threshold. Damen gives me a hard look before he follows after his wife. Duke doesn’t say anything until Remi pulls on his arm, trying to follow after Bianca.

“I – ” Duke starts, but his words fall short.

“Duke,” Remi calls.

Duke shakes his head and then follows his girlfriend out of the room.

Besides Marian who is still gathering her stuff, it’s just Deklan and I left in the room.

“Do you have anything to say for yourself?” He asks.

I take a deep breath. “She’s safe. She’s alive and safe.”

Deklan doesn’t say anything. He shakes his head and turns to Marian, dismissing me. Taking that as my cue, I go to the bathroom to grab my clothes and shoes and make my way out.

The End. For now.

What do you think Chase traded so that Bianca could live?

3 Comments

  1. Darnell Cureton

    That chapter had a lot of action and drama. Bianca now knows the truth of how she came back to life. Dark magic can allow demons to attach themselves to you when you come back to life? Wow! Is that a “thing” in magic/fantasy or is that only in your story? It seems to me it must be a rule somewhere and therefore the reason not to use it. In this case, it really drives the story forward.
    Well Done.

    Ohh. Did Chase give his soul for her life? That’s what I think he did.

    Liked by 1 person

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