An Empty Grave, Chap. 24-25

Here we are, another week brings another two chapters of Bianca and Chase. Hope you enjoy! Happy reading and have a great week!

Chapter Twenty-Four

Bianca

I don’t look back to see if Chase is coming this way, I just hope that he’s not. I spot Remi and Duke coming near us, and I’m grateful for the distraction.

“We grabbed this table, is this close enough for you guys?” I ask them as they get closer.

They both shrug, seeming like they really could care less.

“Hey,” A new voice says. We all look to see Alec approaching Hayden. Chase is a few feet behind him but I try not to look at him. “Looks like we’re matching. You know what that means.”

Hayden slides him a look that says she really doesn’t care, and replies, “That red’s a popular color?”

I can’t help the laugh that comes out, and I wrap my arm around Hayden’s arm.

“She’s my date, Alec. Get your own,” I say, which makes him chuckle.

Alec throws Chase – who is now standing next to him – a look I can’t read, before turning back to us.

“Is this seat taken?” Alec asks, motioning to the chair right next to Hayden’s. “No, okay.”

He sits in it before anyone gets a word out.

I can feel Chase’s eyes on me, but I don’t look at him. Instead, I pull out my chair, and lower myself in the seat on the other side of Hayden, while giving Remi a look. She nods, and sits next to me, instantly starting up a random conversation about how the student council picked the theme for tonight.

“I heard it was supposed to be a Casino night, but when the principal heard that he shut it down real quick. But, I think they did really well on ‘Starry Night’. I mean, look at the ceiling. Who would’ve thought a stinky gym could look this good?”

We all nod along as Remi chatters along, barely even taking a breath.

More and more couples pile into the gym, all finding seats in front of us. Some go over to the photographer set up in the corner, taking corny couples photos.

“B, wanna go get a drink?” Hayden asks, and I jump at the thought.

“Yes, please.”

Without a look at the table, we both get up and walk over to the bar, both of us ordering cokes.

“I didn’t think he would be here,” Hayden whispers to me.

I nod. “I didn’t either.”

“Does he know about the talk you had with Deklan?”

I shake my head. In fact, she’s the only one that knows about it.

Wednesday night I had an idea and I stopped by to talk to Deklan about it. I found him on the top floor, and I made sure that there was no one else around.

“What can I help you with, Bianca?” He asked, a little surprised to see me there.

I had spent the beginning of the week avoiding everyone. Chase and I didn’t look at each other in the halls at school or at class. I noticed the bruises on his face – they healed fast but they were still noticeable on Monday. Even though I wanted to ask, I didn’t. I wasn’t sure what lies I would get from him. I hardly spoke to Duke or Remi, all caught up in my own head. And I didn’t see Deklan at all. I didn’t know what to say to them, any of them. I no longer felt like bad-ass Bianca, Vampire Huntress. Instead, I felt like a child who didn’t know where she fit in anymore. But on Wednesday I figured out how to change that.

“Can you get Marian back here?” I asked.

Deklan straightens at this. “I can. Why?”

“I want… I want to know if she can bring my powers back. They were magic right? I mean, even though I was born with them, they had to originate from somewhere? What if that someplace was a witch? Magic is what took them away from me. What if Magic could bring them back?”

Deklan watched me for a moment, with dark and curious eyes.

“That is… a very smart idea.”

I nodded. “Yeah, I’m kind of surprised I thought of it and you didn’t.”

“Well, to be honest I’ve been more focused on trying to figure out what it is that Chase traded the Aldinn. There’s not much that he would want. I just know it’s got to be a hefty price.”

“I’ve been trying not to focus on that,” I told him. “I think that’s why I was able to figure this out.”

“Tell you what, I’ll call Marian and see if what she thinks. If she can do it, I’ll let you know when and where.”

“Thanks, Dek.”

He gave me a sad smile. “Are you sure you want your powers back? You can be a normal girl with a normal life. You don’t have to do this.”

“I can’t not know about them. If I could be completely normal and not know about vampires or werewolves, then yeah I’d love that life. But I can’t know about them and not do something about it. Without my powers, I feel lost. I just… I want to feel like me again.”

“I’ll give her a call.”

I was leaving the building when Hayden was walking up. She asked me what I was doing there – not being accusatory or anything like that, but she had noticed that I was avoiding pretty much everyone. I didn’t half to tell her, hell, I didn’t even think I had wanted too. But, I found myself opening my mouth and spilling it all to her. And, she hasn’t told anyone. It’s between her and I.

“He called me today, while I was getting ready,” I tell her, my voice a whisper. I could hardly believe what he had said.

“Who?” Hayden asks as she leans her hip against the counter.

“Deklan.”

At my answer, Hayden straightens. “What did he say?”

“He wants me to meet him at Haven tonight after I leave here. Marian said she thinks she can do it.”

Hayden’s eyes widen. “She thinks she can give you your powers back?”

I nod, a small smile spreading across my face. “I don’t want to get any hopes up, just in case she can’t but… yeah.”

“That’s awesome. Just imagine: me and you, out on the town, and hunting vampires.”

This makes me laugh. “That actually sounds fun,” I tell her.

“Hell yeah, it does,” she replies.

The guy behind the counter gives us our drinks and then slowly, we walk back towards the table.

“Should we go get our pictures taken?” Hayden asks, motioning to the photographer near the front. “Get a souvenir for this wonderful event?”

For a moment I can’ tell if she’s joking or being serious, but I decide that if I want her to be serious. We drop off our drinks at the table, and then with my arm linked with hers, we take off to the photographer.

Chapter Twenty-Five

Chase

My eyes follow her as she walks from the table to the photographer over in the corner. She’s barely even looked at me tonight. I know she’s been avoiding me all week, almost as much as I’ve been avoiding her. I watch as she laughs with her arm through Hayden’s and I can’t help but be surprised at the pair. Just a few weeks ago, they seemed to have hated each other, but now they’re like best friends. At that thought, I risk a glance at Remi. She smiles at something Duke said, but it doesn’t seem to quite reach her eyes. She casts a glance behind me – I suspect to look at Bianca and Hayden – and glances away sharply.

I know it’s got to be hard for everyone after hearing those words fall from Bianca’s lips the night of the exorcism. I know that even though it wasn’t really her talking, there’s probably still a little truth behind the words. The only thing to say is that Bianca bounced back quickly, and she’s never brought up the words – whether she doesn’t remember them or doesn’t want to talk about them.

Glancing back at Bianca, I wait until they’ve had their pictures taken before I hit Alec in the arm.

“You’re up,” I say, before taking one last sip of my drink and standing up.

Alec follows me and we both walk over to the girls, as they stand laughing so much, they’re both doubling over.

I have to say the right thing that won’t make her run away from me. But I don’t want to sound desperate either. Even thought I definitely am.

Hayden sees us first, eyes widening in shock as they lock onto mine. She says something to Bianca that I can’t hear and Bianca’s spine goes straight.

Alec gets to Hayden first, holding out his hand.

“Dance with me?” He asks.

Hayden looks from me to Bianca. I catch the slight nod Bianca gives, and hesitantly, Hayden places her hand in his. They start to walk past and Hayden makes sure to shove her shoulder into mine as they pass.

“So, you’ve been avoiding me,” I tell Bianca as I circle around so we’re facing each other.

“I – no,” she stutters, trying to look at everything but me.

“It’s okay,” I tell her, honestly. “I was avoiding you, too.”

Finally, her eyes meet mine and she chuckles. “Yeah, you’re right.”

“You look beautiful,” I tell her.

Her hands go to her dress, smoothing it down. “Thank you.”

We’re quiet a moment, neither of us really knowing what to say.

“Chase,” she begins, taking a deep breath.

“Wait,” I stop her. “Can I ask you something?”

She hesitates and then nods, biting at her lips.

“Do you still love me?”

A frown forms on her face.

“I’m not asking you to forgive me or pretend that everything’s okay. I ust want to know – do you still love me?”

“Of course I do,” she breathes. “It’s not a switch. I can’t just stop.”

I nod, a sense of relief filling me. I just needed to hear her say it.

“I have something for you,” I say, reaching my hand into my pocket. “My father actually wanted you to have it.”

I hold out the ring that I’ve attached to a silver chain. At first she doesn’t reach for it.

“I think, right now, it’s best for us to be apart. This isn’t some ploy to guilt you into taking me back. But, my dad gave this to me before I left the house tonight, telling me that I should give it to you. Because even though we’re not together, I do still love you. So, please, take it.”

She bites at her lip again, indecision in her eyes, and then slowly, she reaches out and takes the ring from me.

“It’s a Claddagh ring,” I explain, just like dad told me earlier. “The crown means loyalty,the hands mean friendship, and the heart means loves. You wear it with the heart pointing to you when someone has your heart.”

“Chase, it’s beautiful,” she says, gazing at the ring as if awestruck. “I love it.”

I take it from her and stand behind her so that I can clasp it around her neck. When she turns to face me she has a small smile on her face, her right hand fiddling with the ring.

Hayden comes over, grabbing Bianca by the hand.

“Come on,” she says to both of us. “We’re going to do a group photo.”

Hayden drags Bianca to where Duke, Remi, and Alec are already standing in front of the photographer. Bianca slides in next to Remi with Hayden on the other side of her, arms linked together. Alec steps in next to Hayden wrapping an arm around her waist, and I stand next to Alec, my elbow on his shoulder.

“Alright take four steps back,” the photographer says, and we all do exactly that. “Good, now on three. One. Two. Three.”

The camera flashes a few times and then we’re walking away, heading back to our table and taking our seats. Bianca smiles at me now, from where she sits, and at least for a moment I feel better. We might not be together, but at least we’re okay. For a moment it feels like everything is going to be okay.

The End. For now.

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