Warning: HUGE CHAPTER, a little more than 3x times my usual size. It’s heavy, and maybe I could’ve split it…but instead you guys get a big fat update 🙂
It’s my aunt Erin’s wedding.
Not much to report here. Nothing yet considering we just got here.
We all arrived pretty much at the same time, but Nikita and Tyzel had to ride in another car because there weren’t enough places since Salandra was tagging along.
Most of the guests were already there talking – a lot of people I barely remember or have just never met. Dad and pa quickly dispersed to talk to the guests, leaving Sal and I alone.
She stepped forward and spun around slowly, taking in the venue Erin and Evan had chosen.
“The place is gorgeous!” She grinned. “Your family is very big too…” She said casting another glance at the small crowd. This was just half of the people my dad knew. I shrugged.
The whole family would have to include my pa’s side, plus my grandpa’s vampire family…
And there’s extended family on my dad’s adoptive parents side.
It all starts to branch out pretty fast.
“Sallie! You’re here!”
Veronica surprise ambushed Salandra, grabbing onto her hands and already pulling her away.
“I’m so happy you made it, come on I need to show you things!” Vero said, trying to drag a resistant Sal away. She glanced back at me.
She gave me a slightly apologetic smile and I realized she was waiting for me to give her permission, or something weird like that.
“Yeah, yeah, off you guys go. I’ll be fine. There’s plenty of interesting people here.” I said. Casting a hesitant glance around. Salandra didn’t look convinced. “Have fun.” I insisted with a last wave and Veronica dragged my plus one away.
The girls weren’t gone two seconds that a pesky voice I recognized all too well rose up an octave. Jesse was already here, chatting with his buddy about god knows what…oh wait I can catch a few snippets…
“-burrow I swear!” Jesse squeaked.
“If it was a fox, it’s a den.” His friend corrected.
“It can be a burrow too!” Jesses insisted and his friend shrugged.
So boring stuff.
“Nikolas! Just the boy I wanted to see.”
I turned to say hi to Traz – Jesse’s dad. I had a moment of panic thinking he might ask me to babysit Jesse at the wedding or something. Which was ridiculous considering I haven’t babysat Jesse since he turned twelve.
“I’ve been meaning to talk to you about your particular power. Your father’s told us a bit about it, but he wasn’t very detailed about it.” Traz said.
I’m not surprised. We haven’t really talked about it in great detail. Dad mostly wants me to get control over my magic first. “Can’t you see everything with your eye?”
“I can see general facts.” He replied. “As you know, Annaliese and I do a lot of work to help upcoming supernaturals, particular those with uncommon powers. Like yours. If you’d be willing, we’d have some people examine y-”
I cut him off right there.
“Woah woah, you want to turn me into a lab rat?” I nearly burst out laughing.
“It’s difficult to analyze something without studying it. It could be a fun opportunity for you Niko. Your power could be really useful…like for spying.” He said with an excited smile.
“This sounds like some kind of no turning back recruitment plan.” To some kind of big movement, like a mini-army. I have heard rumors of people trying to build armies because of the rising conflicts, and Traz and Annaliese are right in the middle of it. “Have you asked my fathers about this?”
“I wanted to pass it by you first, to see if you were willing.”
“Even if I were you know my dad wouldn’t be okay with that.” The idea of joining some army isn’t appealing in the least either.
“That’s true that Xavier can be a little…restricted. Just know that you’re not alone with your odd power.” He said, putting his hand on my shoulder. I feel patronized right now. “Annaliese and I work with these kinds of people every week. Annaliese’s healing ability itself is considered an odd power.”
“Ok Traz.” I said with a nod. “I need to go greet Lucas.” I attempted a sweet escape and he let me have it.
“Niko! Finally, you’ve come to my rescue.” Luke practically crumpled to his knees went I made my way over.
“Hey man, how are you holding up?”
“I can’t stand it anymore Niko.”
“All anyone talks about is my mom’s baby. You can try and steer the conversation to something else, but it always comes back around because they want to feel a baby kick or feel it thinking or some crap like that. I’m so done with everyone gushing over how I’ll become a big brother. UGH.” Lucas complained, tugging at his hair.
“It’s really that bad?”
“It really is. I just want it to be born already so people can stop fussing over it.”
“I don’t think that’s going to reduce any kind of fussing.” I snorted.
“My life is over.”
I laughed and rolled my eyes. “It can’t be that bad to have a little sibling! Niki tells me its bearable most of the time.”
“Jesse is giving you the stink eye by the way.” Lucas mumbled.
I glanced back to see the brat sticking his nose up at me. I gave him the middle finger in reply. The look of shock and outrage on his face was the first fun thing to happen at this wedding.
Looking back, I noticed something else. Someone was standing over my violin case, looking a little too interested for my taste. I should’ve put it near the bar or something.
“I gotta go check something Luke.” I weaved back to the entrance.
“Oh hello there!” The lady I didn’t recognize exclaimed. “Is this your instrument?” She asked.
“I was wondering who left it there.” She said with a big smile.
“I probably should’ve put it somewhere else.” I said with a nervous chuckle.
“My name’s Lia.” She declared, offering her hand. “I’m kind of like Erin’s little sister.”
I shook her hand. “I’m Nikolas. Her kind of nephew. Are you Evan’s sister or…?”
“Oh no no! I’m actually Maxwell’s aunt.” She said, gesturing at said mature adult on the other side of the wedding venue.
“Ohh…” I muttered when I realized exactly who she was.
“Erin’s always been like a big sister to me. From the start.” She smiled. “Even after my brother died.”
A third voice suddenly appeared. “You’re not being subtle enough.” It said in a very sad attempt to be silent.
Jesse had his hand in my violin case, and his friend was on the side being clearly unhelpful.
“Oh oh. He noticed.” His friend said.
“Arthur you are HORRIBLE at standing guard!” Jesse squeaked.
“Jesse what the hell are you doing?” I growled at him.
He stood upright, my violin bow in his hand. “Jerk.” He said, sticking his tongue out and taking off running. With my violin bow!
I took off after him. “Nice meeting you Nikolas!”
Jesse made me chase him out of the venue and around before he dropped my violin bow in some bushes and stepped away from the scene.
Not some bushes. In a hole in some bushes.
“Are you fucking kidding me?” I snapped at him.
Jesse was beyond out of breath trying to force some words out. “Nobody….wants to hear you….play anyway…” And then he somehow managed to laugh.
“I’m going to kill you after this.”
I got down on my knees and stuck my hand inside the hole.
I swear this kid is not going to live to see the light of day again. Does he not realize how fragile a violin bow is?
My fingers dug around in the dirt before my fingers finally closed around the end of my bow. I started to tug at it when I suddenly felt something shift. I hesitated, waited for a few seconds, and then started to pull at my bow again.
Something moved again and painfully grabbed onto my hand. I let go of my bow and tried to pull my hand out. I met some resistance before I finally pulled it free.
“There’s a goddamn animal in there!” I exclaimed, holding my bleeding hand.
Jesse burst out laughing. “Yeah, I saw a fox earlier!”
Something felt odd about my hand, apart from the obvious bite marks.
My name bracelet is gone. The darn animal took it with him!
Oh fuck no.
I went back into the hole and found my bow again without any trouble. I tried tapping around for my bracelet but it was nowhere to be found. The fox seemed to have retreated farther in the hole too. I doubted I’d be able to retrieve the bracelet now, if the animal had decided to keep it.
I grabbed my bow and pulled it out….split in half. The bow was kept in one piece only by the strings.
Jesse had meanwhile been laughing his ass off the entire time.
I put my bow in my pocket, alongside my wand, and stormed over to this selfish little prat.
I must’ve had one hell of an intimidating look because he practically stumbled back in fear. He found some long lost confidence to hold my stare. I had half a mind to punch him. This kid is lucky I carry a spare bow with my violin or I wouldn’t have hesitated.
“You can’t punch me.” He declared. “Or else you’ll get in trouble. I’ll tell if you do anything.” He grinned victoriously.
I stared him down, unfortunately realizing that he was right. But then a smirk of my own appeared and he faltered.
“Challenge accepted.” I said. Then I bent down, uprooted a few plants, and before he could run off, I stuffed them, with their dirt encrusted roots, down the back of his suit.
“NIKO!” He squeaked trying, but amusingly failing, to get them out of his suit. “I’M GOING TO TELL!”
“Have fun getting that out.” I sneered before heading back. This was nothing compared to what this brat deserved, but it would have to do for now.
I wandered back into the venue, my hand stinging from the bite.
I spotted Salandra over by the future buffet and jogged over.
“I am so sorry, but it wasn’t my fault!” I exclaimed.
“Niko?” She said, surprised.
“It’s goddamn Jesse he threw my bow in a stupid fox’s den and when the fox bit me it took my bracelet along with it!” I exclaimed. Her eyes drifted to my hand. The bleeding had already stopped. Sort of. “I didn’t mean to lose it Sal, I love it, but the fox took it and I couldn’t find it again. I’m really sor-”
With a small smile she grabbed my hands to stop them from flailing.
“Niko it’s fine.” She said, calming me down. I hadn’t even realized I was kind of…panicking.
But it was a gift. You don’t lose gifts.
“I’m just…” Sal began, still looking at my injured hand. Her other hand was placed gently over it, probably trying not to hurt me. “overjoyed that you even wore it this long.”
“Overjoyed?” My voice came out quieter than I’d intended.
Salandra couldn’t meet my eyes and her hold on my hands lightened. And then she grabbed my right wrist.
“Come on, let’s get you fixed up.” She said, gently tugging me to one of the tables. I let myself be dragged.
I sat down on the small table as Salandra brought a bowl of water and some bandages from under the buffet table.
She cleaned the bite marks and set about bandaging my hand. Sometimes she’d brush some hair behind her ear, but her concentration was always on my hand, making sure the bandage wasn’t too tight, tapping my wounds lightly…
For the life of me, I couldn’t right then remember why people ever referred to her as Ice Queen.
“You’re too nice. You care too much.” I said.
“Do I?” She responded a little stiffly. “They don’t call me ice queen for nothing.” She said, still looking only at my hand.
“Only time I ever remember you doing anything rude is when you slapped me.” I said with a slight smirk.
Her blue eyes finally came up to meet mine. She brought her hand up to try and cover the laugh she was trying to stifle. You shouldn’t keep laughs locked up.
“My cheek’s still sore you know.” I said, rubbing my cheek with a grin.
This time she giggled. “I did apologize!” She added.
I shook my head. “Getting called Ice Queen just because you reject a few unwanted advances? That’s absolutely ridiculous.” I said, remembering what Elvis had told me.
“Believe me, it has some truth to it. I’m not really that nice.” She said with a self-deprecating scoff.
“I don’t believe you.” I said. She blinked at me, and then attempted to find a good example.
“Didn’t you overhear what I said to Elaine?” I did say attempt.
“Oh she totally had it coming.” She smiled at that.
She hummed, clutching her chin thoughtfully as she realized I wouldn’t be that easy to convince. “I may act nice, but it doesn’t stop me from wanting to teach your little cousin a lesson. Jesse’s a real brat sometimes!”
“Not sometimes. All the time.” I laughed.
“It’s hard not to just snap at people when they do stupid things.” She admitted.
“Tell me about it.”
She chuckled. “You’ve never stopped yourself.”
“Heh true, but I’ve been trying not to get into fights.” I defended. “I can’t recall one since the holidays!”
“You’re sure?” She teased.
“Well there might have been that one time…but I’m pretty sure that was just a dream. Pretty sure.” I joked.
She laughed again and I was so distracted, that I didn’t see Jesse sneak up to our table until the last minute. He reached over for the bowl of water Sal had used to clean up my wounds, and tossed it at me. The water spilled all over my shoes, which I rapidly kicked off before they soaked my socks.
I flipped around on the table to grab Jesse and make sure he would regret it this time, but the brat had disappeared.
He’d gone around the table and grabbed my shoes. He was already running off with them.
“Funny you should show up JESSE! We were just talking about you!” I shouted at him as I pushed myself off the table and ran after the little jerk.
Jesse zigzagged through the crowd of guests, and I just barely had the time to see him toss my shoes in the nearest garbage can, before I bumped head first into someone.
With my luck today, my dad was the one I’d bumped into.
“Niko…” Dad said, with a clear warning tone.
“It’s not my fault! Jesse ran off with my shoes!” I complained gesturing at Jesse who was making ugly faces at me.
Dad’s eyes darted to my pocket, noticing my broken bow. Before I could do anything he took it and examined it. “Nikolas you broke it?”
“It was an accident.” I mumbled. Because apparently blaming Jesse means absolutely nothing.
“Why haven’t you fixed it?” He asked.
I frowned at him. “Because…I can’t?”
“With the spell I taught you.” He specified. I swallowed.
“Eh….” I’ve barely even mastered that, let alone managed the beginner version.
Dad sighed and cast a quick spell that instantly fixed my bow. He handed it back to me.
“Try not to ruin Erin’s wedding.” He issued out his warning and went back to talking with the guests.
I dragged my feet over to my violin case – when I noticed someone had moved it. Judging from the way Lia, Maxwell’s aunt, was giving me a thumbs up when I glanced her way, I guess she was the one who’d moved it.
I packed away my magically repaired bow and was almost installed hailed by Catarina.
Being the only vampire here, she’d retreated to the shade covered areas of the venue, but it hadn’t stopped her from going around showing off her baby. She’d grown since the last time I’d seen her.
“You probably don’t remember him.” My aunt grinned. “Kristina, meet Nikolas, your cousin.”
I grinned and held out my hand. “It’s a pleasure to meet you again Kristy!”
My aunt’s eyes widened. “What happened to your hand?”
“It’s just a scratch.” I shrugged, as Kristy stared at my hand like no one had ever offered to shake hers.
After a second though, she lunged forwards and grabbed onto my fingers with both her tiny little hands. She tried to shake my hand with the cutest grin. My aunt and I both chuckled at her.
And then she tugged on my fingers, and her eyes lit up.
Not in that toddler baby happy kind of way.
In that it lit up and suddenly my astral mode clicked on, and then off, and then on, and then off again so many times, that I eventually couldn’t make sense of which mode I was in kind of way.
I was unbalanced and I started to feel nauseous, so I tore my hand away, gaping at Kristina.
“So it was you!” I exclaimed. She’d been the one to cause whatever had happened, when I’d touched my aunt’s pregnant belly and when she’d come to visit at pa’s birthday.
I explained to my aunt what had happened. Well to the best of my ability.
“Huh, it’s only with you guys. Xavier did mention something about his sixth sense being enhanced? Or something about-”
This time, I’d clutched my little cousin’s hands.
“Okay let’s try this again, with a little more control this time okay?” I said, grinning at her.
Kristina giggled and I got her response when her eyes lit up.
My astral mode flickered a little again, but this time I willed it to activate and this time it switched permanently.
Something was different.
Apart from all the lines again just like last time, I felt like I had more control. It’s not like the last time where I felt like I was floating in jell-o.
I let go of my cousin’s hands. Time had stopped. Everyone was still. And right now this felt like the normal. As if…it’s hard to make sense of, but basically I suddenly feel like I can achieve what I’ve been practicing for weeks now.
Going back in time.
I can never slow time down past complete stillness. But this time…
I clutched my fist and turned my arm counter clockwise as if I was turning time back on a clock. It’s not a movement I really need to do for this to work, but I feel like this needs at least some kind of gesture. “Tic toc…”
And just like that, everyone started to move. Kristina went back to clinging to her mother’s shoulder and my hand jutted from my chest to meet her own before going back to my side. I saw myself walking backwards back towards my violin.
I turned my arm faster, and time spun backwards all the way to the point where all the lines that had been previously swirling around me where gone. All except one. It was getting faint, but I had a feeling it was the one connected to my little cousin. Whose hands I was still technically holding, in the present.
I gave it a tug and time suddenly sped up, all the guests coming back to the wedding and giving my head a nauseous twirl.
“I think I’ve got Kristy’s power figured out! I think she can like give people upgrades? Or unlocks? On their own specials powers? Because now that I think about it, it’s AFTER I touched your belly and that weird thing happened that my own power started showing. And then after the second time, I could stop time willingly. And then now I can finally turn it back and-”
“That would make sense with what others have been telling me!” Catarina exclaimed. She booped her daughter on the nose. “I have to go tell this to the others. Thanks for the help Nikolas.”
My aunt said before heading towards the group that had formed between my fathers and their old friends. “Oh no, thanks to Kristina.” I fist pumped . “Yes! I can finally do it!”
I went back into astral mode. I couldn’t resist trying it out again. It wasn’t as easy, but I still managed to rewind time for what looks like at least a few minutes.
This time around, I noticed Maxwell and Alistair arguing in a corner. I tiptoed over, even though I knew they couldn’t see or hear me.
“She whines about you all the fucking time!” Maxwell snapped.
“Why should I care? What the hell are you getting at?” Alistair grunted.
“Will you just get your goddamn act together? Stop mooching off your brother for goodness sakes.”
“HMPH, maybe you should concentrate on your problems instead of mine asshole.” Alistair said.
“YOU ARE ONE OF MY PROBLEMS.” Maxwell shouted.
“Fuck you.” Alistair rolled his eyes and made a beeline for the bar.
“Get back here jerk!” Maxwell hissed at him, but Alistair flipped him off.
Max kicked some grass before heading towards—he suddenly jumped as if he’d seen a ghost. But he was looking directly at me.
“Holy SHIT, I did not mean to eavesdrop.” I blurted out. I thought he couldn’t see me in astral mode?? GUESS I was wrong!
Maxwell instantly relaxed. “Jeesus you surprised me.”
“Yeah uh…sorry?” I muttered.
“What the hell are you doing here?” Maxwell asked.
“Um, not eavesdropping?” I gave a nervous smile.
“You’re supposed to be with him.”
Ok now I’m confused. “Who?”
“Oh you’re doubled now are you.” Maxwell said with a defeated sigh. This time he was looking at something behind. Myself? Wait… “Ugh, I have to stop talking to my hallucinations.” Maxwell groaned, turning away.
Wait he wasn’t talking to me, he was talking to one of his ghosts! There’s a ghost at this wedding?
I switched off my astral mode – which apparently required me to go through another sickening speed forward to get back to my body.
I didn’t waste any time, considering Maxwell was in the exact same place.
“Oh hi Niko. No shoes?”
“Do you happen to perchance see a ghost here? Like I dunno, maybe you’ve interacted with it…do you see any ghosts? Cause last one you saw had one hell of a back story.” I grinned.
Maxwell’s face fell. “There’s no ghosts.”
“Really are you sure?” I insisted.
“Ok look I have to go talk to people okay?” He said, walking off.
“Okay fine whatever.” I scoffed at him, but he didn’t turn around. Jeez, he’s still rude and boring.
Some arguing near the bar caught my attention.
“You’re not DAD jeez!” Alistair yelled at pa, who was reprimanding him on his obvious alcohol abuse.
Can’t say nobody saw that coming.
Well, I can see things have officially gotten back to really boring now. But doesn’t have to be that way! I know someone who should be happy to learn about my new ability.
That kind of implied going into astral mode for a little while, and me randomly standing still might raise some questions.
I looked around, and decided I could just hide my body behind the bathroom building.
That sounded really weird, but that’s basically what I’m doing so….heh
Finding Zac wasn’t difficult. He’d just left his house.
“Fucking cheese crackers.” He exclaimed as I appeared.
“Hi to you too Zac.” I snorted.
“Nope, not today, nope, I’m busy Nikolas.” He said, trying to pass by me.
“But Zac! I can rewind time now!” I announced with a grin.
I waited for him to break into an excited grin and insist we test it out.
He didn’t. He stared at me for a few seconds. “Wow. That’s awesome. I really need to go.” He said attempting to get past me again.
“What could possibly be more interesting Zac? We’re talking about time travel here, imagine with your teleportation abilities…”
“I’ll have you know, I was heading to a date with a fine ass.” Zac said.
I snorted. “Time travel is better come on.”
“I don’t think you understand how attractive that ass was.” Zac insisted.
I put my hand on his shoulder. “She probably didn’t even say yes.” I said with a smile.
“That hurts Niko.”
“I hate you.” Zac grumbled.
I took my hand off his shoulder hesitantly, and grinned when I saw that he was still there. He as in his astral form I’d just pulled out of his now on the floor body. “Hey look! I don’t need to be touching you the entire time.”
“I still hate you.”
“Look, you’ll be able to get to your date. This is time travel, we’ll be back in time!” I said.
His sour mood seemed to lighten up at that.
“Actual time travel huh.” He said, warming up to the idea.
“Yeah. I can go back to the past, but only in my astral form. But with your teleportation powers…who knows we could actually go into the past…” I said with a grin.
“How far can you go back?” I knew he’d warm up to the idea.
“I don’t know let’s see…”
I brought us to my house, as a safe haven base kind of thing. Cause one thing I distinctly remember from the past is that darn cat. It never tried to attack me inside the house, so it was a safe bet in case we encountered it. Maybe it can’t hurt me if we’re from two different time periods…but I don’t want to take that risk.
I reached out and turned my invisible clock backwards. Even though I don’t need to do these gestures, turns out they really help me concentrate on this. Time started to turn back, and we saw my family going about their daily lives backwards. It wasn’t going fast enough though, so I put both hands on my invisible clock-wheel and spun it harshly. Time reversed so quickly we were just seeing blurs of movement, until suddenly my chest constricted painfully and I stopped time from rewinding.
I had to take a minute to recover. Apparently this was as far as I could go without imploding or whatever. For now.
“Heeyyy, is that you?” Zac said, peering at the other side of the room. “Are you babysitting? Anyway, guess it’s my turn now. Let’s give your past self a heart attack.” He said, as he concentrated to try and teleport us to this specific place in time.
I looked up and took in the scene…and the memory came crashing back to me.
So that’s what that was.
I laughed aloud as a ripple appeared. Zac frowned. “That’s not what usually happens…”
“For you know, general information,” I said as my past self took notice of us. “I activate my power by thinking as hard as I can about where I’ve already been, and I have to want it just as bad.”
Now Zac was frowning at me. “Ok then? Hey what are you doing?”
I stepped forwards and touched the ripple, my past self enticed to do the same.
I knew what was going to happen before it did. We ended up switching bodies.
So I guess I can’t really time travel. Even with Zac’s help.
It felt weird to be in the past again. Everything was screaming déjà vu at me and… I feel shorter. I also feel weaker…and I forgot how annoying the holes in my shoes could be sometimes.
“Heh…interesting.” I said, rolling my shoulders. It’s like I got crammed into a way too small space. I glanced behind me, where the ripple had been.
“Niko? What just happened?” A squeaky voice came from below.
“Hey! It’s mini Jesse!” I forgot he could be this small and less annoying!
I scooped him up.
“Look at you, you’re so cute.” I said, knowing he’d be pissed.
“Stop it, put me down!” Jesse complained.
“Are you kidding? Gotta appreciate this tiny version of you while I still can.” Who knows what other dumb thing he’s going to pull when I get back to the wedding.
“You’re being weird.” He grumbled.
“Aw so cute. Don’t worry Jesse, it’ll be over soon.” I said, flipping him upside down.
I shouldn’t be taking this much pleasure from pissing off a younger version of Jesse, but I am.
“Now we just have to wait for them to figure it out.” At this point, Zac should’ve already explained to me how to use my power to help pinpoint our position again.
I wonder if what I switched was my astral bodies….or if this could happen to anyone…Would Zac have switched with his past self? Somehow I doubt it.
“For who? You don’t make any sense! Put me down!”
“There they are.” I grinned as the ripple appeared again.
Thinking back on it, I wonder what would’ve happened if I’d reacted any differently? Would Zac have gotten thrown back to his own body? Would I have been stuck like this? In the past?
That was kind of a scary thought.
I quickly touched the ripple again to switch back.
“Let’s not do that again anytime soon.” I said, already beginning to slowly fast forward time. If I can avoid getting nauseous again that’d be great.
“I don’t know, I thought it was kind of amusing.” He grinned.
“Next time we’ll go see your younger self then.”
I dropped Zac back into his body so he could go on his date, and I went back to the wedding.
When I saw through my own eyes again, Sallie’s face was just a few inches from mine.
I jumped back in surprise. My heart sprouting out of my chest.
“HOLY- Sallie!? Jeez, you surprised me.”
“Surprised you!? Niko are you okay?”
Oh. How long has she been there? “Uh…”
“You were just standing there doing nothing! You wouldn’t respond….and you cast a spell? You scared me Niko. Is everything okay?” The amount of genuine worry flashing across her face made me feel really bad.
“I can see how that might be worrying…but I’m fine! It’s nothing bad!” I said.
She didn’t look convinced. “What was it?”
“It’s kind of like a power of mine. I guess I’m like those odd people developing non-supernatural powers. Not like the ones that have a tattoo, but the ones born that way.” I said, hoping I wasn’t confusing her. “It’s kind of an astral thing?”
She didn’t say anything.
“Look Sal, I’ll explain it all to you okay? I promise! But some other time…” I added as someone rounded the corner.
“There you guys are! Come on Niko, I thought you were supposed to play mom’s wedding march.”
The wedding was sweet to watch, and I played the wedding song pretty damn well if I do say so myself. A few people, like Lia, came to see me afterwards to comment on it.
After the marriage came the supper! Everybody was pretty much starving at that point, and from then on a few guests started to leave. Eventually people gravitated towards the dance floor, with the bride and groom getting the first dance.
Our table happened to be beside Tatiana’s and her parents (I hadn’t even realized she’d come to the wedding until it was supper time. It makes sense, considering her parents were good friends with mine).
When things got boring Sal and I managed to include her in our conversation. She looked like she’d rather crawl in a hole and die than be here at my aunt’s wedding. The conversation dried up pretty quickly. Mostly do to her monotone one-word replies. It got so boring Salandra got up with the excuse of needing to use the toilet. I would’ve done the same, but going right after would’ve been suspicious.
Instead, I decided to jump on what is a pretty rare occasion.
“I’m going to get right to the point.” I started and her eyes lazily made their way up to mine. “Last year, at the end of the school year, there was a robbery at my bank.” She stiffened. “There was a robber there who pointed a gun at me and had your purple eyes.”
Her face scrunched up unhappily and she shot up from her seat. Was I finally going to get an answer? After months of throwing not so subtle comments her way?
“Look! Fine, okay?” She hissed in a low voice. “I pointed a gun at you. So what? Just leave it be, it’s not like I shot you!” I knew it!
“Jeez, you can’t blame me for being a little curious. Someone my age carrying a gun and robbing banks?”
“We didn’t rob-” She began, whispering, before cutting herself off.
“Shut up. This is bigger than you and your treasure hunting. You’ve got no mind sticking your nose in business that doesn’t concern you. Stop trying to be more than you are, larut.” She shot under her breath, the last word quieter than the others.
Larut. A pretty offensive and really uncommon word, meant to insult supernaturals who can barely even be regarded as supernaturals because of how weak they are. And she’s spouting this at me as if she’s better? As if she’s a supernatural herself with a power stronger than mine?
I leapt to my feet, anger pumping hard in my limbs. She’d shot the word out, and instantly stormed off. For the better too, because in that moment I wouldn’t have hesitated in hurting a girl.
I let myself slump back into my chair and bit my tongue, waiting for my head to cool off.
When Sal came back I didn’t waste any time in telling her what I’d learned, namely that the robber we’d seen at the bank was definitely Tatiana, and she was also officially a bitch and should be avoided at all costs.
Whoops, cheers and a few laughs erupted from the dance floor as Nikita and Tyzel put on a show. That’s when I noticed someone who probably hadn’t been invited to the wedding, watching the dance on the side. A party crasher?
I got up and headed over to get a better look at who it was. Maybe they were just excruciatingly late.
They guy had on a mask, sunglasses, and a hoodie. You couldn’t be less dressed for a wedding than this.
“Um…hi?” I attempted. Not too sure how to address someone…who so clearly was trying to camouflage themselves.
The man heaved a sigh. “It’s fucking stupid I tell you.” He mumbled. His mask muffling his voice a bit.
“Weddings aren’t that bad.” I said with a shrug.
“Just, what the hell!? You know? What’s the point if you’re just going to be a-a-a spectator? It’s stupid, that’s the point, to be stupid.” He huffed. He rubbed his temple. “Sorry, sorry, I still have some ranting to do apparently.”
This guy didn’t seem to be in a very party crashing mood. “What are you doing here then?”
“That’s a mighty good question. I’m not doing what I should be doing that’s for sure, considering he told me not to talk to you.” He said with a snort. It sounded almost like he was mocking himself. “See that?” He said gesturing at the people dancing, before I could ask what he meant.
“You have to appreciate the little moments, and I think I forgot to. I just have to deal with the fact that I have no control. And neither do you so, like, appreciate the present and shit.” He summed up his little life lesson.
“Okay, will do.” I said, trying to catch anything familiar about him. Wait that thing around his neck… “I have to say that’s quite the fancy outfit you have. It’s very spot on for the event.”
“It’s the best I could do on short notice.” He said with a shrug. “The sunglasses are growing on me. I’m not much of a fan of the hoodie I’ll admit.”
“You fucking bet! It’s comfier that’s for sure.” He agreed.
I have this weird feeling that I can’t shake that I’m supposed to know him.
I edged a little closer. “Who are you related to? I don’t remember seeing you around.” I think I heard him snort under the mask. “Can’t mind me asking, it’s not like I can recognize you with that pretty suspicious mask and-”
He was there just a second ago. I didn’t even see him leave. I blinked.
I looked around, but there was no sight of him.
Jeesus, can I see ghosts now too?
It was past midnight and pretty much everyone had left, save for some of my aunt’s closest friends, which happened to include their children as well. More specifically, Lucas, Veronica and I were still here. Sal had stayed too, since we were her ride back home.
While the adults chatted about whatever at a table, we decided to stargaze on the grass.
“I see absolutely no stars.” Lucas cleverly noticed.
“Eh what can you do. Ridgevalley nightsky.” Veronica shrugged. “If you squint really hard you can see some stars.”
“I think that’s a plane.” I smirked. Vero slapped me on the arm.
“I mean look over there, see those faint dots…”
“I’m just seeing a lot of light pollution.” Luke said.
“It’s almost 2am and the sky seems so bright and orange, it kind of – hm,” Sal said. I’d expected her to compare it to something, but she cut herself off.
“2am? That’s like hours after my bedtime.” Lucas groaned. “I’m so beat.”
Veronica cackled. “You go to bed way too early.”
“And you don’t even sleep.” Lucas replied.
“I can’t help it. My pillows aren’t as comfy as you.” Veronica said, as she shifted towards her boyfriend.
Annnnd things suddenly got a little awkward on our end.
“One day,” Veronica began. “We should get on one of those planes.”
“And go where?” Lucas asked.
“Anywhere. That’s not here. I hear there’s no hate between supernaturals and naturals in Champs les sims. Or that place with all the sand and the pyramids. They’re more concerned with real problems – like sandstorms.”
“Bet they don’t throw around the word larut so easily over there.” I scoffed.
“Shit man who said that?” Lucas asked.
“Bah, doesn’t matter.” She might’ve meant it, but it doesn’t make it anymore true. Even if I do suck really bad at being a witch.
I sprawled my arms out on my side. “Ugh, I’m beat too. Feels like I’m sinking into the ground.”
“Don’t you boys worry, the adults are probably almost done talking. You can go into your cozy beds and fall asleep.”
“Dunno, your mom looked like she still had a lot of energy to spare.” I grinned.
“She looked so happy! Hopefully it stays for a long while and rubs off on Maxwell. My big bro is such a party pooper these days.” Veronica said.
Yes well, no surprise there. Wonder what the hell he’s dealing with to be such a downer.
I heard some movement on my left.
I stared at Salandra’s stiff back, her wave of blue hair sprawling on the grass like a coral reef ocean.
I don’t think he’s the only one dealing with stuff.