No one’s POV
Nikita’s light medication induced slumber was interrupted by the not so delicate footsteps of her little brother. With a frown her eyes forced themselves open as she remembered last night’s events.
She’d pushed her knees too far again.
She’d known they were feeling a little shaky after the rough day she’d had, but she still didn’t want to miss her Friday dance. He was the only partner worth dancing with.
They hadn’t gotten any warning. Her knees had given out suddenly and without any warning, and he’d helped her out with the intent to go to the hospital. She’d managed to convince him to just bring her home. She knew her knees just needed some rest, and she needed her pain meds at home. After that…well she remembered her dad looking concerned and unhappy, and then the exhaustion and the meds kicked in and she’d fallen asleep.
She stretched with a groan as her sore muscles protested from the lack of a bed. Nikita rubbed her eyes as her brother opened up the fridge.
“What time is it?” She asked. She examined her knees with her hands. “These things are treacherous. Hey what were you still doing up yester-”
Nikita looked up to scold her brother for looking disappointed in her yesterday, when he’d brought her home. It hadn’t been a big deal. Nikolas didn’t have any reason to look at her as if she were the younger sibling.
The words got stuck in her throat, almost making her cough from the surprise. He was right there.
And here she was convinced he’d long left. What was he still doing here!?
He’s still asleep, she realized as her facial expression calmed. She bit the inside of her cheek. Of course she’d guessed it was him. But it was still a shock to see him without the mask. To mix her prince charming with Tyzel.
As much as she wanted to…she didn’t mean it that way. Highschool might have been host to a lot of bickering between the two, and the first few weeks of work with him were an unpleasant surprise…But after she’d managed to see past her own jealousy, he didn’t seem to be so bad.
Actually she was kind of ashamed to admit she’d been jealous now. She’d still had hope she could reach her full dancing capacities, and then he’d arrived and captured everyone’s attention with his dancing. Tyzel might have been…left behind by his family because of his lack of supernaturalism, but he still had a great amount of dancing talent. When the students praise him, he keeps insisting that it’s nothing compared to what the Talent Troupe itself can do, but the dance style is so unique and captivating that it doesn’t matter.
It’s only once Nikita found out Tyzel wasn’t working exclusively for her dance academy, but for practically every single one in Ridgevalley and other close towns, that she started to pay actual attention. The Talent Troupe postponed their arrival on the continent to the end of summer, in August, and people were getting restless at the idea. The Talent Troupe is extremely popular for their performances, and most of the dance teams wanted to incorporate that unique style into their routines for the summer competitions. And Tyzel just happened to be the only representative of the Talent Troupe living in Ridgevalley.
Basically, in a matter of weeks, Nikita had found herself respecting him and admiring his work. She didn’t talk to him, but she didn’t try to point out all his faults either. Which at that point, she would’ve had a hard time coming up with good insults. She’d thought it would stay at that, until she’d met him at the club on a Friday. She didn’t immediately recognize him. In her defense, it was dark, foggy, and he didn’t have his glasses on. Plus, you know, he had a mask on. Okay, so she’d gone right up to him and flirted with him because, damn he’d looked like the hottest one there. When he’d turned towards her she’d nearly had a heart attack. He looked just as surprised, but he’d responded in kind and the next thing she knew she was having the time of her life dancing with him.
Next time she saw him at work, they’d acted as if nothing had happened, even though she could feel her cheeks hot on her face every time their gazes crossed. Next Friday, he found her and the night started all over again.
Nikolas closed the fridge door loudly, making Nikita jump. He took big slow steps towards Tyzel’s couch, giving his sister a look she didn’t like.
“Yeah,” He said. “He stayed all night for you…” He drew out the words mockingly and she felt her cheeks go warm. He sauntered over to Tyzel and lightly slapped the back of his head before Nikita could loudly whisper her DON’T. “She’s awake.”
“Yeah I know.” Tyzel muttered, rubbing his eyebrows as he ‘woke up’.
Nikolas made his sweet escape as his sister exploded. “You were awake the whole time!”
“The whole time? That was just three seconds.” Tyzel mumbled, picking up his glasses from his lap.
“You faked being asleep!?” Nikita exclaimed.
“I was just resting my eyes jeesus.” Tyzel rolled his eyes at her nervous outburst.
“Why are you still here? Don’t you have somewhere else to be?” She narrowed her eyes at him.
“Your dad kept me up all night to interrogate me. I crashed for just two hours it’s no biggie.” Tyzel said with a shrug.
“You poor baby.” Nikita rolled her eyes and crossed her arms.
Tyzel rubbed his throat. “I also wanted to apologize.”
She raised an eyebrow. “Apologize? What did you do?”
“Your…knees.” He forced out, guiltily avoiding her eyes.
“I don’t see how that’s your fault.” She frowned.
“If we hadn’t bickered at prom-”
She cut him off. “That was mostly my fault…”
“I should’ve known your knees were weak. Insisted you didn’t stay out so late-” He said, now referring to last night.
She snorted. “Like that would’ve worked. These traitors are my responsibility,” She said, lightly slapping her knees. “So don’t go feeling pity for me.”
“Believe me, no pity here.” He said, and she believed him. He took off his glasses, wiping them off on his shirt as he sniffled. Meanwhile Nikita was playing with her nails, trying to work up the courage to get over her prideful teenage self.
“My aunt’s wedding is next weekend,” She began. “Do you want to be my date?”
Tyzel stopped mid wiping his second lens, his eyes meeting hers. “Really?” He asked in disbelief. “Sniffles and all?” He gestured at his face.
She smiled, getting butterflies she was trying her best to smother. “Pretty sure you take nose drops for that now right?”
He scoffed, putting his glasses back on his nose. “Sure, I wouldn’t mind being your date.”
That’s about where Nikolas started to feel simultaneously disturbed and happy for his sister. One because he was already getting more details about his sister’s love life than he wanted to know, and two because he had to admit it was kind of cute to see them both getting over their stubborn.
Here’s to hoping these two don’t screw it up and go back to going for each other’s throats.
Which if all goes well, they might go for each other’s necks anyways- Nikolas groaned loudly, giving himself a big shake. He did not want to have mental images of that.
Veronica had been excitedly talking our ears off about her mom’s wedding this weekend, and my mind had drifted off to my violin. Or more specifically, a couple of songs Aunt Erin had suggested I play at her wedding. Yeah you heard that right! She actually trusted and appreciated my violin enough to ask me to play on her wedding day. I don’t want to screw it up, and I’m pretty excited.
For now I just had to get through the day. And right now that meant deciding what junk food I wanted to buy.
Veronica and Salandra were happily chatting – er well I should say Veronica was happily chatting. She’d long ago monopolized the conversation to freak out about her mom’s wedding.
“-rented this gorgeous place! It’s open air though, so let’s hope it doesn’t rain or anything. She’s setting up some tents though. So far everyone’s coming to the wedding! Can’t remember last time the whole family gathered up-”
“It was just a few months ago, for my pa’s birthday.” I cut in.
“Right well not everyone came to that one.” Veronica said.
“I don’t think my grandpa is going to show up at your mom’s wedding.” I snorted.
“Well that one’s obvious, but I mean people we haven’t seen in ages. Like some of Maxwell’s relatives.”
“Oh is he going to show up?” I asked with annoyance.
“Obviously, it’s his mom’s wedding.” Vero rolled her eyes.
“Just feels like he dropped off the face of the earth.” I said, finally choosing a chocolate bar for later. Probably in history class, when we go over supernatural lore again.
Veronica looked like she had just about as many negative feelings to share towards her brother as I did, but she kept her mouth shut and turned back to Sal.
“You should come Sallie! It’d be so much fun! There’s going to be cake, and Alistair is going to be there, so that’s going to be a show when he finds the bar!” Veronica enthused.
Salandra shrugged slightly. “I wouldn’t want to impose. I don’t know most of your family and I wasn’t invited.”
Having Sal there could prove fun. Family gatherings always tended to be long and boring and all anyone did was talk about the little boring things in life. Sure a wedding is going to have a few amusing parts…along with huge gaps of boring in between.
“That’s fine you can just be my plus one.” I told Sal. Aunt Erin had practically told me to invite her to the wedding anyhow. I’m sure she’ll be absolutely fine with it.
Veronica stared at me with my wide eyes.
“You hear that?” She smirked. She slapped my chest with the back of her hand. “You can be his plus one.”
I shrugged. “Yeah, you can-”
“-be his plus one.” Veronica cut in, hitting me again.
“Will you stop it already?”
“I think I need to say it one more time.” Thankfully, Salandra interrupted her.
“In that case, I’d love to go!” She said with a grin. Veronica went over and draped her arm over her shoulder.
“Oh this’ll be fun.”
“GET OFF YOUR HIGH HORSE.” Somebody yelled from the other side of the cafeteria.
Out of nowhere, Tatiana had apparently gotten up to pick a fight with Zac who’d been….doing what? I have no idea.
“Leave him alone dirtbag.” Tatiana practically spat at Zac.
“What the fuck are you doing. You don’t even know what’s going on.” Zac rolled his eyes, ready to end the conversation before it really started. Tatiana grabbed onto his shoulder.
“It’s pretty darn clear he doesn’t want to talk to you.” She snapped, gesturing at the guy standing awkwardly in the background.
“Yeah well he doesn’t have a fucking choice.” Zac growled.
“Tatiana…” Kaan tried to ease his friend away, but the purple haired girl seemed intent on getting on Zac’s case.
“We already have enough of people dying over something as petty as supernaturalism, we don’t need bullies exerting non-existing authority.” She said, flicking his forehead.
Zac was bullying the guy? That and the clear anger on his face motivated me to cut in.
“Hey guys…what’s going on here?” I asked as casually as I could. Pretty sure I didn’t fool anyone.
Zac gave me one exasperated look, another glance at the still peeved Tatiana, and decided to shoulder his way past us and out the cafeteria.
“Ah geez…” The guy in the back mumbled.
“What was all that about?” I asked. Kaan shrugged.
“Let’s ask him.” Tatiana crossed her arms and gave the brown-haired guy an unwarranted glare.
“Didn’t need to make a bigdealout of it – it’s nothing,” He mumbled, some of his words melting together. “I just owedhimsome cash, but I’m broke – he said I could gethimtotalk to Alice instead youknowthatfireguyssister, but shit I dumped her like two weeks ago.” He swallowed with some difficulty at our half-understanding stares.
“What?” Kaan demanded clarification for us.
“Can I go? I have to be somewhere.” He asked, halfway through pushing past us. We didn’t have much of a chance to reply before he was already out of here.
“So if I understood correctly…” I started. “Zac wasn’t being a bully, you just-”
Tatiana snapped towards me, her cold hard stare attempting to cut open my skull.
“Totally exploded on him for no reason.” I finished.
“I don’t need this shit from you of all people right now.” She practically shouted. What the hell?
“Oh well excuse me, did I offend you? Or is it attack anyone who speaks day?” I said through gritted teeth, feeling my anger rise.
She groaned loudly. “Shut up, just SHUT UP.” She snapped before storming off herself.
Goddamn it, what the fuck is her problem?
“That was a little….unnecessary.” Salandra said. I’d barely even noticed her arrival.
“Yeah….” Kaan mumbled.
“What is her deal?” I asked as Tatiana burst out the cafeteria doors.
“It’s just not a good day for her.” Kaan said with a shrug.
“She must be really stressed out.” Salandra said.
“You have no idea. I have no idea.” Kaan said, rubbing the back of his neck.
I stared at the cafeteria door. I’ve been meaning to confront Tatiana about the bank robbery and her involvement. I’m pretty much 99% sure of it. She’s just generally suspicious all around, walking around like she knows more about everything than anyone else does. Plus there was the whole graveyard thing. She leads me to a graveyard where the biker lady just happens to be, and then she disappears into thin air? Biker lady who just happened to know exactly when the bank robbery was going to happen?
I just need to get that extra 1% cleared up…and maybe interrogate her on that basement. Curses? What’s it hiding?
Ok so I have a lot of questions actually to ask, but she’s not really making this easy is she? Half of the time I can’t find her because I’m pretty sure she avoids me, and the other half she’s just not talkable.
Went from ‘sort of’ friends, to complete stranger to avoid like the plague since after the graveyard thing. Suspicious? Hell yeah.
No one’s POV
“You look gorgeous.” Xavier smiled, as his soon to be wedded friend gave another twirl.
“I like the way it flows.” Erin said, admiring herself in the mirror.
“How are you holding up?” Xavier asked, putting his hands in his pockets. There was a discernable tinge of worry in his voice.
“Holding up? This is my wedding day Xavier.” Erin scoffed.
“You know what I mean.” He said, much too soberly for her taste. She knew what he was referring to. He’d been the recipient of her tired depressive phone calls after all. Of how her life felt meaningless. Of how she didn’t feel she was doing everything she could. How she loved her children, and her family, but that didn’t seem to be enough to make her smile on some days.
“Once again, my wedding day. Not really the best time.” She said, just as confidently.
“I feel like you rushed this.” He said, crossing his arms this time. He’d repeated this to her hundreds of times marriage won’t save your relationship, but that’s not what this was about, and he didn’t seem to get that. She would’ve hoped that now, of all days, he would’ve just accepted her decision.
“I’m sure you do.”
“Xav whatever my reasons I’m happy right now.” Erin insisted, with the same smile. Even his continuous worry couldn’t deter her today. This day wasn’t just about her getting married. It was also about getting everyone together. A little bit of joy amongst all these senseless tragedies and fights, if you will. “This makes me happy. Don’t try to ruin this for me.”
“I wasn’t!” Xavier protested.
“Of course you weren’t.” Erin smiled and tapped her best friend’s nose. “I’m going to go check up on your son.”
She gently knocked on the door and waited to be let in by her nephew. She couldn’t help but snort when she saw he’d buttoned his shirt all wrong.
“I hate buttons.” Nikolas grumbled. Erin just chuckled and fixed it for him.
“There we go! A little more presentable.” She said. Her eyes lingered on Niko’s forehead. “Hmm the bandana though…”
“Ah no, are you serious?” Nikolas exclaimed, bringing his hands up to protect it. Erin nodded.
“Ugh fine.” Nikolas groaned before taking off his headband and tossing it onto his bed.
Erin stroked her chin, her eyes still looking at Niko’s general hair area. “Don’t you ever feel like…changing your hair up a bit?”
“I think it’s absolutely fine the way it is.” Nikolas attempted.
“Wait… whose wedding is it today?” Erin asked innocently.
Nikolas grimaced. “Would you like to play with my hair aunt Erin?” He asked mockingly.
“I sure would, sit down.” Erin grinned, picking up Niko’s comb and hair gel as he sat down on his bed.
“I practiced the songs you suggested. A lot.” Nikolas said as Erin set about on his hair. “I’ll try not to miss or screw up any notes.”
“I’m sure it’s going to be wonderful to listen to.” Erin smiled.
Nikolas wrung his slightly sore hands. “I hope so.”
She tapped his nose with the comb. “Even if I knew you’d screw it up, I’d still want you to play your violin.”
“But…aren’t wedding days supposed to be ‘perfect’?” Niko asked, making air quotes.
“I’m not trying to achieve the perfect wedding here. Just a fun one. As long as everyone is having fun…” Erin said, giving his hair two final comb strokes. “There we go!”
“Ugh I can’t look.” Nikolas said, covering his eyes.
“It’s not that bad.” Erin rolled her eyes.
“I probably won’t even recognize myself. A complete stranger is going to be staring back at me. If he’s attractive that’s going to make me feel bad.”
“Stop joking around and look you little dork.”
Nikolas uncovered his eyes and recoiled back as if he’d been thrown acid on his face. “IT BURNS!”
“Just for my wedding. It’s nice to change things up once in a while.” Erin smirked.
It was weird to say this about a hairstyle – but somehow seeing it gave him the definitive feeling…the weird certainty, that this was a wedding that was going to be remembered.