Chap. 22-23, An Empty Grave

It feels like it’s been months rather two weeks. Did you have a good Valentine’s Day?

Just a recap: We found out that Bianca died the night the Aldinn kidnapped Chase and Bianca, but Bianca didn’t come back to life like Chase had said. No, Chase used dark magic to bring her back. He won’t tell what he did or gave up to bring her back, but now the secrets out and everyone is mad at him for lying. Bianca broke up with him, because she couldn’t take him lying again, and now they’re both keeping their distance, and Bianca and Hayden seem to be growing a little closer. Dare I say… their even becoming friends?

Hope you enjoy this weeks chapters! And be sure to check back for more!

Stay Rad.

-Catie 🙂

Chapter Twenty-Two

Bianca

“You’re going,” My Aunt Sarah announces, stomping into my room. She pulls the curtains open before clomping her way over to the bed and literally ripping the covers off of my body.

“No,” I say, rolling over and groaning into the pillow.

“Bianca, you are acting like a child,” she scolds, and this gets my blood boiling. Yes, I may be acting like a child, but so is she. What’s the big deal if I don’t go to prom? I dislike about ninety-percent of the people that are going, so why should I even go?

“I don’t care,” I say, lifting my head up to look at her. She stands next to the bed with her arms crossed over her chest and a deep frown across her face. “And I definitely don’t care about prom. I don’t want to go and pretend that everything is okay, when it’s not. I don’t want to go and see all the couples that think they’re going to be together forever, and their life will be amazing when in reality couples break up and people peak in high school.”

She sits down next to me, looking down at the bedding.

“I’ve never seen you as bitter,” she says.

“Really? I feel like this is normally how I am,” I say, rolling over onto my back and laying my head back down.

“Sarcastic yes, bitter no,” she says with a light chuckle.

I don’t feel like responding, so I don’t.

“Have you talked to Chase at all?” She asks after a beat.

I close my eyes for a moment.

No, I haven’t spoke to Chase since the day that I broke up with him. He called me once that night but it was long after Duke had brought me home, and I was fast asleep. When I called him back the next morning, he sent my call to voicemail. Neither of us tried reaching out after that. It’s been almost a week.

“No,” I answer, my voice scratchy and rough.

“Look,” she breathes. “I know why you don’t want to go, but don’t think of going tonight for you. Think about it as doing it for me. I went out and bought you a beautiful dress, and I did spend a lot of money on it. Plus, I already bought your ticket. And Duke is going, and I would love it if I got pictures of both of my children dressed up and fancy.”

“Both of your children?” I ask, raising an eyebrow and rolling my head to the side to look at her clearly.

She rolls her eyes, and hits my arm playfully. “Don’t be like that. Officially, you are my adopted daughter, and un-officially, you are just as much my daughter as Duke is my son,” she says, and reaching out to brush a hand over my hair. “I love you.”

“I love you, too,” I tell her, my voice muffled by the pillow. l let out a deep sigh, and say “If it means that much to you… I guess that means I’ll go.”

“Yes!” She cheers, clapping her hands together excitedly. “Get up, get dressed, and come downstairs to see the dress.”

She practically floats out of the room, and I let out a groan into my pillow.

“Shit.” There goes my plan for laying in bed all weekend.

Then a thought occurs to me. I pull out my phone and draft a new message.

‘R u going to prom?’ I send.

I stand up and go to my dresser, grabbing a pair of sweats. My phone dings, and I go back to the bed to look at it.

‘Ew, no,’ Hayden replies, making me laugh.

‘Want 2 go w/ me?’ I reply. ‘I kind of got guilted into going.’

‘LOL. Sure.’

‘Pick u up at 7,’ I say.

I toss the phone back down on the bed, and I pull on the pants. Then I go downstairs. I find Duke and Sarah down into the kitchen, Duke at the stove making food.

“Want some pancakes?” Duke asks, glancing over his shoulder at me.

“When do I ever say no to pancakes?” I chuckle, pulling out a plate and sitting down at the table.

“So I heard you’re going to Prom,” Duke says, turning and setting a short stack of fluffy goodness on my plate.

“Yeah,” I say, looking over at Sarah. “She guilted me into it.”

Sarah smirks as she sips her coffee.

“Just wait until you see the dress,” she says.

“Oh god,” I reply. “Please tell me it’s at least cute.”

“It’s very cute,” Duke says as he sits down with his own plate.

“Sure, that makes me feel better,” I chuckle.

Duke rolls his eyes. “Don’t be dramatic. How long do you think it will take you to get ready?”

I shrug. “I don’t know, maybe an hour.”

“Alright. Just make sure you’re ready by six-thirty,” he says, giving me a look.

“Please,” I say, with a roll of my own eyes. “I’m usually the one waiting on you in the mornings.”

This makes Sarah laugh, and Duke glare.

“Give me back my pancakes,” he jokes, trying to grab at my plate.

I cover the plate with one hand and hold my fork like it’s a weapon in the other.

“Uh-uh, don’t even try it,” I say, laughing.

Sarah wouldn’t let me see the dress before I got ready. She said she wanted it to be a surprise. Though, she did tell me was that it was blue – a dark navy blue. So, I straightened my hair and did my makeup to match a dark blue dress, hoping that it all matched well.

“Are you ready?” Sarah asks from the hallway.

“Yeah,” I say, standing up and smoothing out my robe.

She opens the door comes into my bedroom carrying a clothing bag. She hangs it on your closet door.

“You look beautiful,” she says when she steps back and turns around. “But you’re gonna look even better in this dress.”

Her words make me chuckle.

“I’ll be down in a few minutes,” I say after a beat.

Sarah nods and then steps out back out of the room.

Slowly, I approach the dress and unzip it.

It’s a dark blue floor length gown with a heart shaped bust that is black and glittery. It’s a strapless dress so I shuck off my robe and pull a strapless bra out of my closet. I unhook the dress, unzip the back and pull it over my head. Once it’s settle in, I zip it up as much as I can by myself, and take a look in the mirror. Since, I’ve been working out, I’ve lost a decent amount of weight and toned up a bit, giving me a more common dress size, meaning I don’t have to get things altered to fit me best. The dress isn’t too short for my tall body, hitting a spot just above my ankles, which is good – no chance of me tripping over it in heels.

Speaking of, I go into my closet and grab a pair of black heels. Their simple – just three inches with a strap around the ankle, and a thick strap around the toes. Sitting on the bed, I strap my feet in, and then I stand, ready to go.

With my phone in one hand, and the other holding my dress to make sure it doesn’t slide, I exit my room and go downstairs.

The three people standing in the front room all turn to look at me as my heels click against the hardwood floor.

“Wow,” Damen says, with a soft smile on his face. “You look beautiful.”

Sarah grins from ear to ear. “I knew it would look fabulous on you.”

“Yeah,” I say, shifting nervously. “You got the size right exactly.”

This makes Sarah chuckles. “I’ve been helping you buy your clothes for the last year, I think I could figure out your dress size.”

Duke steps forward, wearing a dark grey tux with a black button down shirt.

“You look dapper,” I say, nodding to him.

“Yeah, you look pretty good, too.”

“Thanks. Think you can zip me up. My arms couldn’t bend that way.”

He chuckles and comes around zipping me up all the way.

“Pictures,” Sarah cheers pulling out her phones. “Get together.”

I frown. “We’re going to look like we’re a couple.”

Sarah scolds me. “Oh shut up. And if someone thinks that, then they’re not important. Now, get together and act like you love each other.”

Duke and I both laugh at Sarah’s words as we come together. Sarah snaps a few pictures.

“Alright, let’s head out,” Duke says after a minute, cutting Sarah off.

“I want pictures with you and Remi!” Sarah shouts as we wave goodbye and walk out the door.

Duke unlocks his SUV, and I slide into the passenger seat, making sure to tuck my dress all the way in before closing the door.

“After we pick Remi up,” I say as Duke starts the car. “Can we swing by and pick up my date?”

Duke swings his gaze to me, surprise in his eyes.

“Your date?”

“Don’t sound so surprised, dear cousin. I am quite the catch.”

Duke holds his hands up in surrender. “I’m not surprised,” he lies.

He puts the car in park, and within minutes we’re in front of Remi’s house. Duke goes in to get her and take pictures with her for her parents and I hang back, not wanting to feel like the third wheel and move into the backseat.

When they step from the house, holding hands, Remi is wearing a dark grey silk gown with a long slit up her right thigh. Her hair is styled in a half up do, with long tendrils falling and framing her face.

“Hey, B,” she greets as Duke helps her into the passenger seat. She spins in her seat to look at me.

“Are you sure you don’t want to just be my date?” She asks. “I can totally ditch this guy. Chicks before dicks, ya know?”

I watch her for a minute. I know that she and Duke really weren’t expecting me to go tonight, but she’s wearing a dress to match his suit. Who would I be to split them up tonight?

“Actually,” Duke says, before I can answer. “She’s got a date.”

Remi’s eyes widen in surprise. “Really?”

I nod. “Turn left at the corner,” I instruct Duke.

I don’t tell them to go to Deklan’s building right away, because the it might be obvious who I’m going with, unless they think it’s Alec. But, I don’t want to hear their thoughts on going with Hayden.

“Are we…?” Duke asks after a few instructions, clearly starting to figure out where we are going.

I text Hayden that we’re coming around the block, and by the time, we get there, she’s stepping out of the front doors. She’s wearing a strapless blood red dress, with long slits from the waist down, all around the dress. It’s got multiple layers, each layer cut at a different spot, so when she moves, you can see leg but not too much leg. She has a red see-through shawl wrapped around her shoulders. Her short hair is slicked back, with light makeup, and bright red lips.

I step out of the car.

“You look hot,” I say as she steps close.

She grins. “So do you.”

I slide into the car, moving to the other side so that she has room to climb in.

“Hey,” she greets Remi and Duke.

“‘Sup,” Duke replies, putting the car in drive once more when the door is securely shut.

“Hey,” Remi replies, sounding quiet and withdrawn all of a sudden.

“Have you heard from Chase?” Hayden asks, leaning close. “Is he going to be there?”

I shrug. “I haven’t spoken to or seen him since the day that we went to see your brother.”

“Really?” She says, surprised. “I thought you would have made up by now.”

I give a sharp shake of my head. “It’s not the first time he’s lied,” I saw, but don’t elaborate on anything else, not wanting to think about all of that.

Her mouth forms the shape of an ‘O’.

“So, I got sneak peak of Alec on his way out of the building,” She says, changing the subject, a sly smile sliding onto her face.

I peer over at her, with an eyebrow raised in piqued curiosity. “You got a thing for Alec?”

“He’s definitely hot,” she says.

The car comes to a stop.

“You want to get out here, and we’ll park the car?” Duke asks.

“Sure,” I say, and Hayden and I climb out.

I come around the back end of the car, and come shoulder to shoulder with Hayden. We both look at the building before us, clusters of girls and guys entering the doors, everyone wearing bright and sparkly gowns with the men matching.

“I can’t believe you got me to prom,” Hayden says.

“I can’t believe I got talked into going,” I reply.

“Ready?” She asks, holding out her elbow.

I weave my arm around hers. “No, but we’re here.”

We start towards the line, both of us pulling out tickets.

“How were you able to get your ticket, by the way?” I ask, as we get near the door.

“Oh, uh, when I told Lily that I was going, she pulled out the ticket. I was supposed to go back at my old school. Had my date and my dress, and the only reason why I was going was because the hot football star had asked me out. But then those vamp guys approached us and Luke left, and then we came here. Lily felt bad that I wasn’t able to go, so she bought me a ticket, and shoved the dress into my hands this morning. I wasn’t going to go, but then you texted, so I figured why not, I got the stuff.”

I peer at her, seeing a softer, vulnerable side of Hayden I’ve never seen before.

“Sorry you didn’t get to go with the hot football player,” I say.

Hayden let’s out a laugh another smile making it’s way onto her lips. “Are you kidding? You’re a way better date than him. I’m pretty sure all his brains were in his biceps.”

I let out a loud laugh. That sounds like something I would say.

We hand over our tickets at the door and make our way to the gym that has been transformed for the prom. The theme is a starry night, with a black ceiling and stars hanging down. There are round tables with dark blue table covers and roses in the center, spread along the floor, forming a sort of ‘U’ shape with the center being cleared in front of the stage. A live band is performing, but right now they are still setting up. People are filling up the front tables closest to the stage, and Hayden drags me over to one near the center, where she places her shawl over the back of one of the chairs, claiming her seat. To the right there is a bar set up – non-alcoholic, of course. Currently standing at the bar are two men standing, waiting for drinks.

One is wearing a dark red suit, with a black button down, and black bow tie. Alec. Hearing about colored suits I always think of the powder blue suits men wore in the – 70’s? 80’s? – total cringe worthy. But, I’ve got to say, Hayden was right, Alec does look good.

Next to Alec, is Chase, dressed in solid black suit, with a black button down. Unlike Alec, he has no tie on and the top three buttons of his shirts undone. His wavy blonde hair is all of the place, and he runs a hand through it before he leans down against the counter, his fingers laced together. He says something to Alec, his eyes on the guy behind the bar who I assume is fixing his drink.

Alec leans his back against the counter, his elbows on the surface behind him as he surveys the room. His eyes fall on me. He nods to me before turning to Chase. His mouth moves, and then Chase’s head is turning, and I spin quickly, not quite ready to face him just yet. I really didn’t think he would be here.

“You good?” Hayden asks, raising an eyebrow at me.

“Always,” I nod, and take a deep breath.

Tonight’s going to be a long night.

Chapter Twenty – Three

Chase

“Can you at least tell me what’s going to happen?” Jules asks from the doorway of my room. She’s leaning against the door frame, her arms crossed over her chest. Her hair is pulled back showing more of her face that looks… sad.

“Are you going to die? Is he going to hurt you? How much time do we have left with you? Is this the last time that I’m going to be able to hug you?”

Her voice sounds desperate and I hate it. I know she feels lost, not knowing what to do. But that’s part of why I haven’t told anyone what’s going to happen. They’ll act different, sad, and I don’t want that. I was hoping that none of them would find out at all, but of course that didn’t happen. When they found out, they acted as I expected. I knew Deklan would be pissed, as well as the others. Especially, Bianca. I didn’t think she would actually break up with me, but in hind sight it makes sense. She hates being left out of the look, and it’s not like this if the first time I’ve lied to her, even though I’ve just being trying to protect her. All along, that’s all I’ve wanted to do. Sarah was the only one that took me by surprise.

She came knocking on our front door the other day. My bruises had faded from the beating I got from The Aldinn’s lackeys, so I thankfully didn’t have to explain that one to her.

When I opened the door, and found Sarah on her doorstep, I thought she was going to scold me for hurting her niece.

Instead, she said ‘I just wanted to say thank you. I don’t… I don’t know what you gave up but thank you for bringing her back. I’m so grateful that she is alive.’

After she said that, she then went on to say, ‘I don’t know if you’re going to prom, but Bianca will be going. I’ll drag her there myself if I have too. You know, just in case you want to go and ask her to dance.’

She winked at me before wandering back to the street where she parked her car.

Out of all the people I thought wouldn’t be mad at me, I did not expect Sarah to be at the top of the list.

Anyway, that’s why I’m here, getting ready for prom.

I let out a deep breath and stand, facing Jules.

“I am going to be around for a long time,” I say, and I know what you’re thinking, I’m lying to her. But I swear, I’m not. I don’t plan on going anywhere.

Jules lets out a sight of relief, tears forming in her eyes.

“Really?” She asks, sounding hopeful.

I nod my head, smiling at her.

“Yeah.”

She steps into the room, her arms opening, and I step forward pulling her into a hug.

“I can’t believe my little brothers going to prom,” she says when she pulls away.

A knock sounds at the door downstairs.

“That’s Alec,” I tell her.

We both go to step out of the room, but my father coming out of his room makes me hesitate in the hallway.

“Chase, do you have a moment?” He asks.

I look at Jules. “Can you tell Alec I’ll be down in a minute?” I ask.

She nods, looking between my father and I. Then she turns and jogs down the stairs. I look back at dad.

He hasn’t been drinking lately. I guess your son almost dying can do that, but he still sleeps a lot. He’s different now, more focused on what’s going on. He knows about what’s going on – that I made a deal with Aldinn, and sometimes when he looks at me, I think he knows that I did, what I’m going to do.

“Are you going to see Bianca tonight?” He asks, stepping up to me.

I nod. “I plan on it.”

“Then I want you to give her this,” he says, pulling something out of his pocket. He opens his palm, holding out a ring.

“I – we broke up, Dad,” I tell him, even though he already knows this.

He runs this other hand through the air, to dismiss my words.

“Do you love her?” He asks.

I nod.

“Then that’s all that matters,” he says. “This ring was your mothers. I gave it to her when we were in high school and I want you to give it your girl. Whether your broken up, or together, it will mean something.”

Hesitantly, I take the ring from his hand and look it over.

“It’s a Claddagh ring,” Dad explains. “You wear the heart pointed towards you if you’re taken. It means that someone has your heart.”

“I don’t – I don’t know if it will fit her,” I say, still not sure if I should take it.

Dad chuckles, and shakes his head. “Stop thinking of excuses. If it doesn’t fit her, bring a chain so she can wear it around her neck, or get it resized. You’re mother would want you to have it, Chase. She would want you to give it to the girl that you love.”

I nod, deciding to do as he says, and close my palm around the ring.

“Have fun tonight,” he says, and I pull him into a hug.

“Thanks, Dad.”

He pulls away. “Go, don’t make your date wait any longer,” he says, motioning downstairs to where Alec is waiting.

I frown.

“He’s not my date,” I object, but Dad just laughs as he walks back to his room.

I slip into my room, finding a loose chain, just in case the ring doesn’t fit her, and then I put the items in my pocket. I make sure I have my phone, before going downstairs to where Alec and Jules stand talking.

“Ready?” I ask Alec.

He nods. “See you later, Jules.”

I hug my sister goodbye, and then we’re walking outside to Alec’s car.

Alec and I pull up to the dance, and since it seems we’re earlier than most of the others, we find parking easily. We walk inside to find there’s already a crowd forming in the front, girls squealing as they see their friends, like they haven’t seen each other in years.

I spot Jen, the girl I once used to make Bianca jealous with, over by a table right next to the stage. Her eyes meet mine before I look away, not giving her a second glance.

Alec and I go over to the makeshift bar, both of us ordering a coke, and then I lean against the counter.

“I can’t believe you made me come to this thing,” Alec says, leaning back against the counter, as he checks out the crowd before him.

“I didn’t make you do anything,” I chuckle.

I feel Alec turn and look at me after a second.

“Your girls here,” he says. “And I think she brought a date.”

My head whips around so fast, the room spins. I spot her instantly. She stands a few yards away, in a blue dress with Hayden at her side. That’s an interesting combination. I never thought I would see them together by choice.

I sock Alec in the shoulder. “That’s not a date.”

Alec shrugs with a grin. “They came in together.”

I raise an eyebrow at Alec. “We came together.”

The grin fall from his face instantly. “Yeah, not a date.”

This makes me laugh. That’s what I thought.

The bartender hands me my coke, and I look back at Alec, finding him checking out Hayden. A thought pops into my head.

“You into her?” I ask, nodding my head at the girl in red.

Alec shrugs. “Maybe a little. She’s interesting, that’s for sure. Why?”

“Feel like being my wingman?” I ask.

Alec grins. “Let’s go.”

The End. For Now.

What did you think? What do you think Chase gave up in order for Bianca to live? Lots of options, only one outcome…

They’re finally at Prom! Eek.

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