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Who Will You Save?
Author's note: I was inspired by my friends because all of the characters in the story look exactly like all of my closest friends. My one friend told me to base the main character off of me. She has my personality and looks, but a more exciting life. That's what you get with books.
It wasn't until I saw the meadow that I realized I was dead. I thought I was dreaming. It was too bright and the sky was too blue. It was the middle of winter. Nothing could be this beautiful, at least in my opinion. Then I saw the people. Well, they looked like people but their skin was translucent and they could not talk. They looked at me as if I was a creature from a new planet coming to greet them. Then I saw him. He was the most beautiful creature I have ever seen in my entire life but before I get to him, I might want to tell you my story.
I went through my usual day at Ramington High or as I like to call it, "Lame-ington High." Nothing exciting ever happens in southwestern Pennsylvania. The only excitement is the FFA talking about the Farm Show. Anyway, I was putting my books in my locker when a voice came from behind me.
"Ms. Embers, you have the right to remain silent," commanded the voice.
"Are you going to arrest me?" I said while turning around.
I knew that deep masculine voice from a mile away. It was Greg Brooks. My boyfriend of officially a year since Thursday. He looked the way he usually did; midnight black hair, a straight nose, strong chin, and, according to every girl in the school, the juiciest blue eyes in the school along with the juiciest abs.
"Are you coming over tonight?" he asked giving me his questioning eyebrow.
"You should already know I am. Five, right?"
"Yeah. I'll order pizza if you want."
"Sure," I said.
He took my hand and we started walking down the hall when I realized I left my purse near my locker.
"Um, I have to go get my purse. You can go. I can walk home. I'll call you when I get there so you know I'm home," I said attempting to sound nonchalant.
There are two things I absolutely hate, walking in the snow and Lana McKinders a.k.a. The Perfect Woman.
"I can wait. You aren't walking in the snow. It's too cold and there is, like, eight inches of it."
"No. No. Go ahead. I'll just call you."
"Ok. Be careful," Greg said.
He leaned down to kiss me. I kept my eyes closed for a second to take in his scent and kiss.
As I walked down the hallway, I thought of everything. My mother never talking to me or listening to my problems. My father abandoning us when I was three years old. The first time I rode a bike and fell off and hearing a little boy's voice saying, "Are you ok?" and looking up and seeing his big blue eyes and warm smile.
I found my purse sitting neatly against my locker and picked it up. I started down the hallway again. I looked out the window and saw it was lightly snowing. How could something so delicate and fragile be so deadly and cold, I asked myself.
I exited the front doors and began the trek home. It seems so much longer in the winter, like a mirage. It looks so close but keeps getting farther away.
I was about halfway home when I dropped my books. Papers blew everywhere, my sparkly pens fell in the snow, and my notes from Taylor were spread throughout the blinding snow.
I ran to grab the last paper, but my foot tripped over a log. I went tumbling down a steep slope and into an old car. I smacked my head on the door and I could already feel the blood trickling down the back of my head. It wasn't like in the movies when people hit their heads and they constantly feel agonizing pain. It was more like a numbing pain. I could sense the throbbing but the wound felt completely numb. I was shocked that I didn't pass out like a loser.
"I'm going to die. Oh God, I'm going to die," I kept repeating to myself.
I was losing a lot of blood and I felt colder. I began convusively shivering. My whole body was becoming a rag doll. I couldn't feel my legs but I knew there was something I had to do. I reached into my purse and grabbed my phone. I pressed the speed dial for Greg. The phone rang twice before I heard a husky voice answer.
"Help...Cold...Help please," I said, my words barely above a whisper.
"Sadie? Sades, is that you? Where are you? What are you doing?" he asked.
"Woods...In the woods."
"The woods? I'm coming baby. Hang in there. Please Sadie, stay still," he said trying to sound comforting but failing miserably. I could hear the worry in his voice. I knew he was scared. Scared for me, scared for our relationship, scared for my life.
I was almost unconcious when I felt arms supporting me. I knew it was Greg but it wasn't the Greg I recognized. This Greg looked weak and worn down, like he had been running a marathon.
"I'm here. I called an ambulance. It's going to be okay. You're going to be fine."
"Sleepy...Mama? Sleep now?" I asked.
"No. No, don't sleep. You can't sleep, sweetheart. Just stay still."
My body felt like it was being crushed by a million boulders. Everything began to fade away. First, I knew my eyes had closed. I could still hear Greg talking to me. Then, my sense of touch went away.
"Sadie? Sadie, can you hear me? God, Sades, please answer me," Greg was saying frantically.
Finally, I couldn't hear anything. Not his voice telling me to "hang in there," or the dog that was barking in the distance or the cracking of the branches as the snow weighted on them. Everything was completely silent. Then, I felt a tug. It was subtle but noticeable. Suddenly, another tug and another until I was gently being lifted.
I looked down and saw Greg with a girl. She had dark chocolate brown hair and light brown skin. She had blood smeared across her cheek. It was me. That was me, lying in the snow looking peaceful and tranquil while a boy held my lifeless body and cried. I was dead. Sadie Embers was dead. The quiet girl who thought she would never see the day of dating the most handsome boy in school or be voted prettiest eyes. That Sadie was dead. The new Sadie was a ghost, a see-through image. Nothing but imagination.
Here is where you came in, when I realized I was officially dead. It was too bright, the sky was too blue, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah. What you are waiting for is to hear about the most beautiful person I have ever met.
He looked like a God. He had honey blonde hair that made his green eyes pop. His skin, although almost tranparent, was deeply tanned and shimmered but what I noticed the most was his smile. It was like a celebrity. No, it was better than a celebrity's fake veneers. It was natural but unnatural at the same time, perfectly straight with an angelic gleam.
I looked at him and he looked back at me. He raised his hand to say hello to me. I returned the greeting and started to walk towards him. At least, I thought I was walking but when I looked at my feet, I was floating. My toes lightly brushed the grass of the meadow.
I finally reached him. He looked at me and smiled and I thought my head might blow off from excitement.
"Hello. My name is Xavier. I am your greeter," he said.
I attempted to talk but no words came out. I could only see the air from my weak breath.
"Ah, yes. I should mention you cannot talk. Only I am allowed to speak for I shall guide you unto thy heavenly gates."
I looked at him questioningly and he took my hand. His touch felt warm and sent a tingle up my spine. My face must have turned red by then because I could feel it becoming hot.
"Unless you wish to return to your body," he said with a smile.
I nodded to him. Not that I didn't love this absolutely gorgeous guy holding my hand and making me tingly all over, but I did want to return to my life. I wanted Greg and I wanted my bed and sadly, I wanted school.
Xavier gave me one quick nod and closed his eyes. I felt the sudden tugging again and then I was back in my body. I heard a siren wailing and my eyes fluttered open. Greg was standing by my mother, and he was crying. My mother was crying too. It was a complete shock. She never cried.
"Miss, can you hear me? We are here to help you," said one of the EMTs.
My head was throbbing from uncontrollable pain. The EMTs lifted me onto a stretcher and put me in the back of the ambulance. They left the doors open for a little so I could hear what they were saying.
"We will take her to the hospital and they can take care of her from there. You can ride in the ambulance with us if you would like, Ms. Embers, but the young man will have to drive there himself," said an EMT.
"Her injury looks pretty bad. She definitely recieved a concussion but the doctor will see if anything else has gone wrong. It's surprising she is still alive," said the other.
One closed the doors while the other climbed into the driver's seat. My mother got into the passenger seat of the vehicle and we began to drive off to the hospital.
The drive seemed like it took forever. By the time we got there, I felt like passing out and my head was killing me (ha ha. "killing me." get it?). The EMTs lifted me out of the ambulance and rolled me into the hospital.
After an hour of listening to the doctor talk and explain medical terms to me, I decided I wanted to sleep.
"I was worried about you," Greg said as he lightly stroked my hair.
"It was scary but I don't want to talk about it."
"Okay baby. I'll let you sleep. Goodnight. I love you."
He bent down and gently kissed my forehead.
"Love you too. Goodnight," I said as a yawn accented my words.
I was laying in bed trying to sleep when I heard a tapping on the window. I got up and opened it and Xavier came in. Well, technically, drifted in.
"Hello and how are you this beautiful night?"
"How did you get here? I thought you were in heaven. You can't be here. What if someone sees you?"
I was blurting out questions like I just saw the answers to a test and couldn't hold them in. I had a right to know why he was in my room though. Well, hospital room. My heart did skip a beat, but that didn't matter. A guy was in my room.
"I said I was your greeter. Here I am, greeting you again. Now, we have business to settle," he said.
"Wait, why aren't you talking all fancy like before?" I asked.
"There's no need to. I only had to do that because the boss would have heard, and I would have been demoted if that makes sense."
He came over and sat on the edge of my bed. I couldn't believe it. A spirit or whatever was in my room. A hot spirit was in my room. My room. I swore I was dreaming until I felt the throbbing in my head again. I decided I would play detective and find out as much as I could about him.
"First, I want to ask you some questions. Were you always a greeter, like were you made for it?"
"No," he answered.
"So you died and then became a greeter?" I asked.
"Yes, I died."
"It was a long time ago. A very long time, right around the time of the Constitution. I was cutting wood with my father and when we were finished, I decided to take a walk. I had very little free time and if I did, it was the best time of my life."
"I heard a growl, but I ignored it like any teenage boy would. That was my mistake. A bear came from behind and mauled me. It was an unpleasant situation. When I didn't come back, my father went looking for me. I was dead by the time he got to me. I watched them bury my body," he explained.
He bowed his head and I knew how he felt. To feel like no one is coming and all you can do is lay down and die. It's terrible.
"I'm sorry," I said, "I didn't mean to be nosy like that. I...I don't know."
"It's okay. Now, onto you. How are you feeling? That was a pretty hard whack in the head."
"I'm fine. Just a headache now. I was about to fall asleep," I answered with a little bit of annoyance. I was extremely tired. Ten hours of sleep and hopefully, I would feel brand new. He looked up and stared at me. He was smiling and looked as if he was in complete awe.
"You are beautiful. You remind me of someone. A slave I once knew."
"Gee, thanks. I've always wanted to be compared to a slave. That's my life goal," I said even more annoyed.
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to offend you. We were dating. Secretly, of course. My parents would have never approved. I did love her," he said, a smile showing in his eyes, "She was very beautiful and smart. She loved reading. She said if she were ever set free, we would run away together to the north. I wanted to be with her forever."
"What was her name?"
"Lilah," Xavier said.
"That's a pretty name. She sounded wonderful."
"Yes. She was indeed. One day, we were talking and she looked at me and grabbed my hand and said 'If I ever leave you, or you ever leave me, we will always know we love each other. 'Til death do us part' she said and I repeated the line," he said.
He said her line with great appreciation, like he needed to worship her. I was starting to feel really crappy about his situation. Here I was, complaining about a head and he's dealing with being dead and losing the love of his life. I felt so conceited.
I got up and moved to the end of the bed to sit by him. I put my hand on his and he looked at me and smiled. He was so gorgeous. I just wanted to put my head on his shoulder and tell him my deepest darkest secrets. He seemed like someone I could trust. The butterflies in my stomach started fluttering around. Then, I felt dizzy. I could sense my body swaying and then everything went dark.
* * *
I awoke the next morning with sunlight streaming in through the window. Xavier was sitting on the window sill looking more handsome than Hercules. I sat up and let out a sigh. My head still hurt but not as bad as before.
"Good morning," I said with a yawn.
"You're finally awake. Your mother is here. She went to get coffee and your...your boyfriend is coming soon," he said while looking down.
I had a strange feeling he was going to say another word than boyfriend. He seemed a little angry now, like Greg was his arch enemy.
I was about to ask him why he had paused when my mom walked in. She looked different. She didn't look tired or beat down and her face was glowing. Her long black hair was tied back in a ponytail, she was smiling, and there was no scent of alcohol. She was my old mom. The one who told me stories when I was little and hugged me if I had a nightmare.
"Oh good. You're awake. I got you some juice if you want it," she said, setting down the cup, "Are you feeling okay? Does your head hurt? I was so scared for you, honey. I never wanted to see you in that situation. I should have talked to you more and done more for you. I'm a worthless mother," she complained.
"Mom, no you aren't. You're my mother and I love you. You are not worthless."
"I just wish I had been there. What exactly happened anyway?"
"I forgot my purse and had to walk back to my locker. I told Greg to go without me, but he refused so I told him I would call him when I got home. While I was walking, I dropped my books and was trying to pick up my papers before they blew away. I tripped over a log I think and fell down a slope. I hit my head and that's all I remember," I explained.
I couldn't tell her about the meadow and the people. She would put me in an asylum.
"Oh, sweetheart, that's terrible," she said as she stood up, "Greg should be here soon. I have to go shopping and I'll be back later. Love you."
She walked over and kissed my cheek and swept out the door. It was nice to see her like her old self. I missed it. Maybe she will start making her homemade double chocolate chip cookies again.
I forgot Xavier was still in the room until I turned my head and saw him standing over me.
"We have to talk," he said in a serious tone.
"Okay. Let's talk."
"I think you're the reincarnation of Lilah."
I couldn't help but laugh at his logic. Reincarnation? Ha! Like I believed in that mumbo jumbo. It's a silly idea.
"What?" he said while interrupting my loud guffaws.
"Reincarnation of Lilah? Dang, you are one funny guy. I don't believe in that stuff. It's a bunch of hooey and hocus pocus and bippidy boppidy boo," I said, still chuckling a little.
He stared at me as if I were the weird one. He was the one who thought I was another person. I wanted to laugh even louder at that moment.
"I do. You look like her. You talk like her. I know you are smart and love to read. You are exactly like her. I know it sounds crazy, but I strongly believe in the idea."
I wanted to laugh some more but Greg came in.
"Knock, knock," he said, flashing his hundred watt smile, "How's my girl today?"
"Fine and dandy like Laffy Taffy candy."
"You and Taylor still say that?"
"You know it. I wonder if she called me or texted. She has to know something is wrong. She will freak. Of course, Victor is probably keeping her occupied," I said.
"Oh, about Taylor and Victor. They got into a huge fight last night. He called me up and sounded really ticked off. It didn't sound good. They seemed like they would last too."
Poor Taylor, I thought. She was absolutely in love with him. I wonder what they were fighting about. I knew they had minor complications before but this sounded bad. They were always all over each other and went out every chance they could. She never cancelled on him and he never cancelled on her. They were so compatible.
"Sadie? Earth to Sadie."
I turned towards him and he gave me a questioning look.
"Hey, welcome back. You zoned out there for a minute. Were you thinking about something?"
"Just Taylor. I feel awful now. I hope she's okay," I said.
"She'll be fine. I'm not worried about her at the moment though. I'm worried about you. I hope you get out soon," he said while reaching for my hand.
I didn't know why but I felt like I had to tell Greg about Xavier. Hopefully, he would believe me. He listens to everything. I hope this is one of them.
"Greg?" I asked.
"Can I tell you something and will you promise me you won't think I'm crazy?"
"I promise," he swore.
"Okay. Well, when I hit my head, I lost all my senses."
"And I thought you were dead?" he asked, quietly laughing to himself.
"Yeah, Greg, I was dead. I felt a pulling and I was out of my body. I saw you holding me and crying. Then I was in a meadow full of people. They couldn't talk but I knew they wanted to. I looked around, and I saw this guy. He smiled at me and," I paused to look at him and continued, "and I went towards him. He could talk. He told me he was my greeter and his name is Xavier. He's here right now"
Greg stared at me with the strangest expression. I knew he probably wanted to slap me and say, "What's wrong with you, woman?" but he just stared at me.
"Sades, you hit your head. You were probably imagining him," he said calmly.
"But he's here! He's right there! On the window sill!"
I knew what he was seeing. He only saw a window with white drapes. I saw a person.
"I think you're hallucinating. There isn't anyone."
"Yes there is!" I yelled.
I couldn't control my anger. It poured out of me. Greg was the one person who understood me most, and he didn't believe me. It was so aggrivating. I wanted to punch him.
"If you don't believe me, then leave!"
"Fine! I'll leave if you want me to!" He screamed at me.
A nurse opened the door and came in. She was young and didn't look like she enjoyed walking into a hospital everyday just to shove needles in people's arms.
"What is going on in here?" she said and turned to look at Greg, "You don't look like family. I'm going to have to ask you to leave."
"Yes, please do so. He was a being a jerk anyway," I said and gave him a sneer.
After Greg and the nurse left the room, I got up and walked over to Xavier.
"I don't know if you were supposed to tell him about me," he said.
"Be quiet and kiss me," I said while reaching up to put my arms around him.
It was a long, powerful kiss. His lips were moving in perfect motion with mine. I could feel his grip tightening around me. I pulled away a little.
"I think I'm Lilah," I said.
I couldn't believe the reality of my words. I did feel like another person. I felt powerful at that moment, like no one could overrule me in any shape or form. It was astounding.
"Be with me," he whispered.
I didn't know what I was thinking. It was an impulse. I wanted to just run away, but I couldn't. I was just another teenage girl so infatuated by a guy's hottness that I did whatever he wanted
Of course, I might be Lilah. I mean, I look like her. I talk like her. We could even be related. It's possible, right? So why did I feel so unsure? It isn't likely for me to be unsure of myself. I was a confident person. I always had everything in order and planned out. Apparently, this time I didn't.
I stopped my babbling to myself when Xavier stopped walking. We were in the middle of the woods, and I was freezing. Of all the pleasant places, he had to pick the center of the woods? I already had a headache and now he wanted me to freeze. How nice of him.
"This is it," he said.
"Huh? Oh, sorry. I was a little distracted. Maybe it was the cold wind."
He gave me a sudden look of disagreement. I didn't give him a look back but he knew I was thinking about it.
"This is where I lived before I died. My home was on this very plot of land. I remember everything. Father telling me to finish my chores. Mother yelling at my sister and I for playing pranks on Mr. Lawson. I enjoyed it very much."
"I can tell. I'm still sorry about what happened. You didn't deserve such a thing," I said quietly, looping my arm through his, "but it's fate. We can't decide when to die. It just happens. Do you think I wanted to die while lying in the snow and bleeding? No, but it happened. If it didn't, I wouldn't have met you. That would have been tragic."
He moved his hand down and intertwined his fingers with mine. He smiled at me and something started to feel right but wrong at the same time.
Should I kiss him now? Maybe it would be weird but he is so gorgeous, I thought.
I looked at him in his bright green eyes. I felt the pull towards him. I wanted to kiss him. I really did. It was the right moment. Maybe a kiss would warm me up.
I tilted my head up and he instantly responded. He leaned down to kiss me. His hand moved to the small of my back and the force made me lean in more. I wrapped one arm around his neck and...
I pulled away a little to attempt to reach into my pocket.
"No. Ignore it," he whispered.
His lips gently brushed mine. It felt really nice, but I had to get my phone. Maybe it was Taylor. I know she would want to talk and I wanted to talk to her.
"It's only a phone. The message can wait."
"I have to read it. It might be important," I said.
He backed away and let me pull out my phone just as another message came through.
sadie answer plz. im srry.
r u there?
i should have believed u. forgive me?
Only Greg. How pathetic, but he did sound sorry. He was my first love and I didn't want to let him go just yet, but then there's Xavier. He cares about me. He loves me, I think.
I flipped open my phone and started texting back.
I forgive you. You were being a jerk.
i know. meet me at my house?
I'll be there.
k. love u.
Love you too.
How was I supposed to go there without Xavier? I never thought of that. The bigger problem was now I have two boyfriends.
"I have to go," I blurted out.
"Greg's. He wants to talk. Just for a little while. I'm still a little angry, but I don't like holding gudges. I need to settle this.'
"You can't go. He was angry with you. How do you know he won't be angry when you get there?" he said.
He had a good point. What if Greg was just messing with my mind? I can't tell if he's angry over a text. He could be saying all of that just to get me over his house so he can tell me I'm crazy some more. It was a set up, but I was still going over there. I'll give him a piece of my mind. He won't know what to say.
"I have to go to his house. I'm going to tell him off," I said with surprising confidence.
"Well, if that's your reason, let's head over there."
We arrived at Greg's about five minutes before six. I rang the doorbell and Greg answered so quickly, I thought he was standing by the door waiting for me.
"Now listen here, I don't know why you got over your little hissy fit so quickly, but I'm not----"
I couldn't finish my sentence because he pulled me to him and kissed me. It was so familiar. His tongue knew what to do with mine. We've kissed so many times before.
I wanted to keep kissing him until I heard someone clear their throat. I knew it was Xavier. It had to have been awkward standing there watching us kiss. He kissed me before and he loved me too now. I doubt he would want someone kissing the girl he loves.
"I'm really sorry, Sades. I want to believe you, but it's hard. You're everything to me and I can't lose you now. Every guy would be after you if I let you go," Greg said,
"I highly doubt that."
"I don't. Have you ever actually looked at yourself?"
"Not really. I like being simple which means not observing myself for half an hour just to make sure my hair is perfect," I explained.
"You should though. You're beautiful. I've thought that ever since the first time I saw you."
"What is this? Is he going to start a confession rant?" Xavier asked.
"Really?" I asked, ignoring Xavier's remark.
"Yes. When we were little and you fell off your bike. I knew when I saw you that you were beautiful," he answered and paused for a moment, "When we entered high school, I was scared to talk to you. Every time I brought you up to a friend, they said they barely knew you. I didn't know what to do, but I did know I wanted to be with you. I needed you. When I came up to you, I had no idea what to say."
"Which explains why I thought you were some ignorant pig who just stared at my chest."
"Yeah, sorry about that. Anyway, you looked amazing. I wasn't planning on asking you out but I started rambling and it came out. I'm glad I said it too. If I hadn't, I wouldn't have had the most beautiful, smartest girl in the school who I'm sure will be prom queen," he said with a smile.
"Oh, stop it. I think being prom queen would be degrading to my well-being. It's all a pretty contest."
"Hm, then you will definitely lose."
"Can I punch him? That was very rude and inconsiderate. Why did you date this guy?" Xavier asked.
I didn't mention the fact that Greg and I were still dating. Xavier would become very angry after that.
"What is that supposed to mean?"
"You said it was a pretty contest. You aren't pretty. You're beautiful so obviously you would lose," he explained.
"Ah, yes. Now I get it. That was a very smooth move, Mr. Brooks."
"Pshh. Ignorant oaf," Xavier insulted.
He was becoming a little annoying now. He seemed so irritated. He needed to calm down. He was so up for this before and now he acted as if he wanted to puke all over the carpet. It isn't that bad. Greg and I have been together for a while. Of course, we would flirt with each other. Besides, I enjoyed it.
"So, we are supposed to talk so let's talk. This 'guy' is following you around and saying he's your greeter?" Greg asked.
"Yes. His name is Xavier. I met him when I died, in the meadow. You can't see him, but I can. He talks to me and I talk to him. He died a long time ago and he thinks I'm the reincarnation of his girlfriend, Lilah."
Greg raised an eyebrow and I knew he thought I was crazy. I had to tell him everything. He wanted to know, didn't he? I was only being honest on the fact that a dead hot spirit guide or whatever was following me around and he is in love with me and I kinda like him.
That does sound a bit crazy, I thought.
"That is, um, absolutely terrific. A creep is following around my girl." Greg said, sounding annoyed.
Xavier started advancing towards Greg. I knew he wanted to hit him. I could tell by the expression on his face.
"Xavier stop. He didn't do anything to you. He is only talking," I said.
"Easy for you to say. He called me a creep. I am no such thing. I only wish the best for you."
"I know you do, but so does he. Please don't argue with me."
"I'm not trying to argue with you. I just don't enjoy being called a creep," he complained.
"I know, I know."
"Wait, is he talking to you?" said Greg, interrupting Xavier and I.
I saw a shimmer of light and then I saw Xavier. He materialized right in front of my eyes. He looked solid and human, but still had an angelic presence. He looked at me with an expression of awe and then turned his gaze toward Greg.
"Yes, I am talking to her, and I am not a creep or a 'guy.' I'm Xavier and I'm a greeter. Sadie's greeter."
"Whoa, hold up. I thought I could only see you. You never told me you could just show up when you want. Talk about not giving details," I ranted, "Why didn't you tell me? This would have saved me a lot of trouble before and someone wouldn't have thought I was crazy."
"Yes, well, I am terribly sorry but it was the only way you would listen to me. I never intended any harm. He was supposed to listen to you."
"Hm, now that we're all good buddies, can someone explain all this to me?" Greg asked while waving his arms up and down at Xavier.
"Can we talk about this on, like, Monday? I really want to go home and tomorrow, I'm going to call Taylor and try to get her out of her house because I know she is stuck there."
Both guys said yes and that was my signal to get up and leave. I could sense the awkwardness bouncing around the room and I didn't want it to continue. It could free itself on Monday where I would be with both of them.
Sunday was a typical Sunday. It was relaxed and peaceful and everything a teenager would want it to be. My mom went to work and I hung out with Taylor. She looked like she had been crying nonstop. It was terrible.
Monday was the longest day of my entire life. I wanted to get the little meeting after school over, but it seemed like the time would never come. To make matters worse, there was a new student. His name was, hm, let's see, oh yeah, Xavier. How ironic. He looked the Xaiver I knew, he talked like the Xavier I knew, and, well, gosh darn it, he even knew my name. Ain't that one heck of a siteeation, as the southerners would say. Well, I think that's what they say.
Every girl wanted a piece of him, not that that was a surprise or anything. Besides being totally gorgeous, he was smart too. Another ironic situation, I needed help in physics. Who was good at physics? Xavier, of course.
I kinda liked it though. It was nice. He was so nice and helped me out a lot. Although the other girls disapproved. I heard Lana McKinders say, "Ew. How could so many guys like her? She's such a freak. I even heard Cory, you know, captain of the football team and my boyfriend, yeah, well, he said she was hot. Like, WTF?"
I wanted to walk up to her and laugh in her face. It felt so good. Lana was becoming jealous of me. Lana McKinders, the girl with a timeless face and long, flowing blonde hair and curves that could stop traffic. It made me sick, but now those curves weren't being put to good use.
Finally, the longest day of my life was over. I started towards my car when I heard my name being called. It was Lana. That was officially the weirdest moment of my life. She never talked to me.
She walked over to me shaking her hips so much that I thought she might knock over someone.
"Sadie, right?" she asked.
"Here," she said, handing me an envelope, "It's an invitation to a party this weekend. Cory wanted me to give it to you and wear something nice. Not some tacky outfit."
"Lana, I know how to dress and what do you have against me?" I asked.
I have been dying to ask that question. She was right here in front of me. It's not like she could run away or anything. She had to answer.
"You want to know why I hate you? Because I was after Greg. That's why. You ruined my chance. You got in the way and now everybody is seeing that you're pretty and---"
"Wait, you just said I was pretty." I said.
There was a tone of shock in my voice. Lana McKinders just said I was pretty. Me. Sadie Embers, the normal quiet girl.
"What did you think I was going to say? That you were ugly? Well, sadly, you aren't. Although, that shirt is probably crying on you. It's too loose. Anyway, just show up on Friday night, wear something not so dreadful, and don't mess up," she said.
"I know this is going to be a stupid question and I know we don't like each other, but would you like to help me get ready? I mean, that's if you want. You can get ready over at my house and Greg can drive us there."
After that last sentence, that girl lit up like a firework on the 4th of July. I thought she might burst. It was a tiny bit scary, but I felt like I did a good deed.
"I'll be over at five and um, do you have a pen? I'll write down my number and you can just text me or call me. Maybe we can even go shopping for some new outfits," then she paused and cleared her throat, "I mean, you need all the help you can get. Here's my number. See ya."
I waved a goodbye to her and made my way towards my car. My car was like my baby. I cared for it and it loved me. My rich fancy smancy Uncle Carl bought it for me. It was a cherry red porsche, and she sure was a beauty.
When I arrived home, I felt uneasy. Something wasn't right. It was too quiet. Usually my mother would be watching the tv or cooking. This just wasn't normal.
I walked into the kitchen and before I opened the refrigerator, I found a note.
I had to go to Baltimore on a business trip. I may be promoted. That's great, isn't it? There is food in the fridge. Be safe. It will only be a few days. I love you.
I was very relieved after reading the note. My mom might actually be promoted. That was fantastic.
I reached in and grabbed grapes. I figured I wouldn't want to risk my health by cooking for myself. I was smart and could follow directions but was no good at following a recipe. I guess I would never be a gourmet chef.
I went into the livingroom and sat down on the couch. My legs were aching. I was so tired too. I layed my head on a pillow and turned on some music.
* * *
I woke with a start. It was dark. I knew I forgot something but I couldn't remember what it was.
I decided to go take a shower. Showers always helped me remember things. They were so relaxing. Whoever invented the shower head should have been named king or queen of America. Powerful jets just hitting your body. Who couldn't love that?
I stepped out of the shower and walked in my room to find Xavier. I almost dropped my towel from shock. Did he think he was allowed to just waltz in, but before I could answer my own question, I saw Greg climbing in through the window.
"You couldn't help?" he asked Xavier.
"You said you didn't want any help, so why would I help?"
"Oh look, my knights in aluminum foil. I'm so flattered. Why are you in my room?" I asked trying to sound nonchalant.
It wasn't the easiest thing to do. There were two guys in my room while I was practically naked. They could at least exit the room and let me get dressed. It was so typical for----
Oh my gosh. We were supposed to meet tonight. That's why they're here. How could you be so stupid?, I thought.
"I am so sorry. I totally forgot. Let me put some clothes on and we can talk," I said.
Both guys walked out and I rushed to find shorts and a t-shirt. Of course, the only ones I could find were really tight. Well, I would have to deal with it.
I walked out of my room with my head held high. I needed to show some pride in myself. Even though I looked like one of those slutty cheerleaders, I still had my dignity.
"Do you want that pretty boy face punched in? I'll be happy to do it!" Greg yelled.
"You are such an annoying person! I don't know how she put up with you for that long!" Xavier yelled back.
"You're like a million years old! You can't have her! That's, like, rape!"
"I'm not a million years old! I'm nineteen! I can have her! She was mine first!"
Greg started moving towards Xavier. Xavier stepped forward. I stepped in between and pushed my arms out.
"Stop! Hurt each other and I'll hurt both of you! You got that?"
They nodded and I told them to sit down. When they tried to sit on either sides of me, I had to elaborate by saying "sit down," I meant to sit where we were all facing each other.
"Ok. Let's begin. Now what were we going to talk about?" I asked.
"We were going to talk about him," Greg said and sneered at Xavier.
"Ah, yes. Well, I told you about him and how he's my greeter and how he died. What more is there to explain?"
"Nothing. Absolutely nothing," Xavier said.
"Yes there is. Like, who is this Lilah chick?"
"She wasn't a chick. She was my girlfriend and Sadie, here, could possibly be the reincarnation of her. It happens. I've witnessed it. Sometimes to the most unexpected people but for Sadie, it wasn't unexpected. She is exactly like Lilah." Xavier explained with a proud smile.
"Dude, I got to give it to you. You know how to pick 'em. You're girlfriend must have been one heck of a hassle if she was like Sades. Was she strict?"
"Yes, yes she was but she wasn't free."
"Huh?" said Greg, looking dumbfounded.
"Greg, sweetie, Xavier lived over 200 years ago. Lilah was a slave. That's what he means by her not being free" I said.
Greg was handsome and very smooth with his words, but I had to admit he wasn't the sharpest nail in the box.
"Oh. That's sad. I'm sorry."
Right before Xavier could reply there was a knock at the door.
I walked over to it, opened it, and there stood Lana. She was dressed in her usual designer clothes.
"Hey. I didn't know what you were doing tonight so I came over," she said while letting herself in, "I thought maybe we could talk or someth---"
She stopped and stared at the two guys in the livingroom and her mouth twisted into a seducing smirk.
"Well, hello, I don't believe we have met. I'm Lana and you are?"
She stuck out her hand to Xavier and he took it.
"I'm Xavier," he said.
"Oh, now I remember you. You're the new guy. I'd be happy to show you around."
"Thank you for the offer, but Sadie has shown me around. It's a very nice school."
"Ok. Well, could you two give Sadie and I a moment? We need to talk. You know, girl things," she said as she grabbed my arm to whisk me away.
She pulled me around my house until she found my room. She pushed me in and locked the door and for a seond, I was scared she might rip my throat out with those daggers of death attached to her fingers.
"You could have told me he was here," she whispered but it sounded more like hissing.
"I fell asleep and I didn't know you were coming here. Thanks for the heads up by the way."
"Yeah, anyway, he is totally gorgeous. He could be a model. Is he single?"
"Um, pshh, yeah! Girl, go for it. He can be all your's. Mhm. Hitch up that wagon and go for a ride," I told her.
I couldn't believe how utterly stupid I sounded. Of course, I didn't want her to get with him. Not that he sounded so interested in her though.
"Ok. I was thinking about it because Cory and I aren't really connecting anymore."
"No offense but I just thought you always played guys."
"Everybody thinks that. I don't. Guys just don't want to be with me after awhile. I'm difficult to handle," she said.
She turned away and I started to feel bad for her. I was beginning to see the real side of her. She wasn't the confident busty blonde I always made her out to be. She was weak, vulnerable. She had her heart broken so many times and now it finally caught up to her. Somewhere inside was a little girl who was huddled in a corner with nowhere to go.
"It's ok. You are a strong independent woman who can handle anything," I said, trying to comfort her.
"Thanks, but I really like Cory. He means a lot to me," she said shakily.
She started wiping the tears from her face and I pulled her into a hug. I never thought I would see the day was I was trying to comfort the most popular girl in school.
"Hey, you're ok. Cory will stay with you and when we go to that party, he will want to be all over you. He will be like, 'Dang girl, yummy yum yum, and all that,' He will want you like no guy has ever wanted a girl before."
"If you say so. Well, maybe I should go and let you talk to them."
"No, you can stay. Actually, if you want, you can spend the night. My mom is out of town and it might get a little lonely," I said.
"Okay. Let me call my parents and tell them."
As she called her parents, I made my way back to the livingroom. The guys didn't sound to happy about leaving, but they did decide to just quit with the meetings and let me decide. I thought it was fair, but I still had two boyfriends.
Lana came out of my room and she looked like she had never spilled a tear. I wonder how she managed to always look perfect. It somewhat frightened me.
We talked about things I never imagined talking about. We talked more than Taylor and I talked in a week. Lana was nice! She was actually nice! I liked it and we were becoming friends! The nerd and the popular unite. How amazing.
We watched as many movies as possible and rated the guy's in our school by hotness. Xavier was voted Mr. Hottie of the next century. I wasn't going to tell him that because Greg would find out and become jealous. He was in second place though.
We finally fell asleep at I don't know what time in the morning and when we woke up, we were dead tired. I allowed her to get ready first which was a huge mistake. She took forever and when she was finally done, I had to rush and had no time to dry my hair.
I didn't know what to expect when I pulled in at school. Everybody stared at us like we had feathers falling off of us. Taylor rushed up to me and I thought she might have a heart attack. Her hair was windblown and her cheeks were flushed with red.
"What was that?" she asked.
"What was what?"
"All of that! Every guy in there was picturing both of you in slow motion! It was crazy! Since when is she your friend?"
"Since last night. She stayed over my house. We had fun." I said blandly.
"I'm sure you did. You were almost late. We better go and, um, she isn't your new best friend, is she?"
"Tay, no one can replace you. You will always be my best friend," I said.
* * *
Friday night came quickly and I found myself sitting on a chair while Lana did my hair. She actually let me touch her's and I found it surprising.
When we finished, we looked amazing. I was wearing the cutest pair of skinny jeans I ever saw, a black camisole with a gray jacket, and black ballet flats. Lana was wearing a mini skirt with a navy blue tank and those sandals that look like Grecian sandals but fancier. I thought she was crazy since it was freezing outside but she said Cory's house was really warm.
We walked out of my room and waited for Greg to come pick us up. It wasn't a very long wait according to Lana, but for me, it took forever. I was anxious and never attended parties.
As soon as I heard his car horn, I rushed out of the house and ran to his car. I was so excited. I was going to have so much fun.
Before we stepped inside, I could hear the music blasting out of stereos. It was a madhouse. People were inside, outside, even on the roof. I never imagined something like this.
By ten o' clock, about half of the guests were drunk. I can proudly say I was not one of them but Lana was. She reeked of alcohol and Cory was all over her, but not like the what I meant. They were on the couch in a full makeout session. He didn't have a shirt on either.
I walked upstairs to find the bathroom and when I walked in, I thought I would go blind. Kyle Zeffera and Cindy "Psycho" Franklin were in the bathtub fully naked. For a moment, I was amused because I never witnessed anything like that before and then I snapped out of it.
I went back down the steps and walked over to Greg. He smelled slightly of alcohol but I knew he wasn't drunk.
He wrapped his arms around me and I leaned my head into his shoulder. He felt so strong and masculine. I wanted him to sweep me off my feet and carry me into a land very far away.
"Wasn't Xavier supposed to come? He was invited," I yelled over the music.
"I didn't know. He never showed up."
"Oh. Okay. You wanna go outside? It's quieter."
"Sure," he said as he grabbed my hand and guided me through the crowd.
It felt nice outside. Cory's house was really hot. I wanted to bury my face in the snow to try and cool it off.
"How do you like it? Is it what you expected?" Greg asked me.
"No. It's not. I didn't think it would be this crazy and there are so many people doing, well, stuff."
"Do you want to do that?"
There was a long pause before I said something. I was trying to think of what he meant.
I didn't know what he meant. He could have been more specific.
"Do you want to do stuff?"
Now I knew what he was talking about. I surely did not want to do that but it couldn't help to experiment, could it? I am a woman. I was free to do what I want with my life.
I wrapped my arm around Greg's neck and pulled him to kiss me. It was fierce and filled with passion.
I leaned into him more. He moved his hand to the edge of my shirt and gripped it. He wasn't afraid to do anything. That's one of the reasons why I fell in love with him. He wasn't scared. He was fearless.
He lifted his shirt over his head. He was breathing heavy. It was kinda sexy.
"Let's go," he said in a husky voice.
"To the extra room. Cory won't mind. There's a bed. Come on, baby," he said.
He lifted me and carried me into the house and up to a room. It was all white with a bed covered by pillows.
I've always wondered why people need so many pillows. Was there a reason? Did people need so much support? It's really not needed.
Anyway, he layed me down on the bed and started stripping off my clothes. I reached up and began unbuttoning his pants.
I felt so excited. It was amazing. I didn't know why I was excited. It's normal human nature. I was bound to do it sometime.
Greg stopped for a moment and looked at me. I thought he was about to change his mind. It's possible.
"Sades?" he said.
"Yes," I answered.
"How come I never knew you were this beautiful?" he said as he started kissing my neck.
"Oh, shut up. No I'm not."
"Mmm. I beg to differ."
For the first time, I made love. It was urgent and needed. I didn't feel like the girls in my school who slept with anyone and didn't care. I was with Greg. We loved each other. It was meant to be. Our souls reached each others and never pulled away.
* * *
I awoke the next morning to my alarm. I didn't remember setting it for 6 a.m. No one sets an alarm for 6 o' clock a.m. on a Saturday.
My head was throbbing and I really did not want to sit up. The blankets felt so good on my naked skin.
Naked skin? I thought.
I sat up and saw Xavier. He looked like someone had stabbed him with a knife. His face was stricken with hurt.
"What happened?" I asked innocently.
"Greg left about 15 minutes ago. You lost your virginity. Good job."
"Yes. It was like watching bad porn. I found it quite disturbing," he said.
"You watched? Wait, I remember doing, well, that, at Cory's."
He sat down on the edge of the bed. I didn't know what to think. Had he been at Cory's but not in his solid form? He probably saw everything.
"For the record, I wasn't there. He brought you back here and I guess he got lucky for a second time. It was painful to watch," he explained.
Ugh. Just what I needed. Someone watching me do the dirty.
"Why did you watch?" I asked.
"I don't know. It fascinated me. I never saw anything like it. I wasn't meaning to watch him but I had to because I was watching you. I know it sounds like a stalker, but you looked so graceful. I just wish it was me instead of him."
Great. Now he was a horny lil' bugger. How sickening is that or is it? He was very attractive, and he supposedly loved me. It didn't seem so bad.
I flipped over the covers and crawled over to him. It was a sensual crawl. I never felt so powerful before. It just came to me.
I started rubbing my hand on his leg. I could feel him shudder under my touch.
"What are you doing?" he asked. His voice cracked a little but I pretended not to notice.
"You seem so...tense. I'm just helping you relax," I said, my voice deep and seductive.
I heard him sigh and I knew he wanted me. It was so easy to tell.
Ring! Ring! Ring!
"Who is it?" I asked into the phone.
"It's Lana. Are you busy?"
"Oh, just a little."
I heard Xavier snort in the background. I turned around and saw him leaning against the door. He looked so devastatingly handsome.
"What? What could you want? It's early," I said.
"Well, I am so sorry. I figured you would be up already doing some smart stuff. Hey, do you want to go shopping later? We could stop for something afterwards. You can bring that Tyler or Taylor or what's-her-faces-name, too," she said.
"It's Taylor and I'll see. I'll call you back in an hour or so."
I hung up the phone and walked over to Xavier. He smiled down at me and I layed my head against his shoulder and sighed.
"Something wrong?" he asked.
"No. Lana just wants me to go shopping."
"You should go. You'll have fun. Go buy some stuff."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'll go, but first, where were we?" I asked while grabbing his wrist.
I pulled him to my room and shut the door. I pushed him onto the bed and sat over him. I began kissing him. He moaned and pulled me closer.
I thought it was going well until he pushed me away a little.
"You aren't like this," he said.
"But I want you and you want me."
"I do want you but not like this. We shouldn't be just lust. We should be more."
I stopped and sat up. I felt so rejected. He didn't want me? I was sure he did. He implied it.
"I'm sorry. I...I should go call Lana back. Th...Th...Then, I'll call Taylor," I stuttered.
Tears began to sting my eyes. I didn't want to feel like he didn't want me. It hurt.
I was almost to the phone when I heard footsteps behind me.
"Please, don't be sad. I didn't mean to hurt you," he said sounding concerned.
"No. I'm fine. Don't worry about me.
He came up behind me and wrapped his arms around me. It felt nice. I liked his solid form much better than his transparent form. It made me feel safer.
"I hurt you. I didn't mean to. You are my Lilah. I will take care of you."
He turned me around and kissed my forehead. That's what I liked about him. He wasn't one of those guys who kiss you smack on the lips. He takes his time. He's sweet and gentle and cares about a girl's feeling.
"Call Lana and Taylor. I'll let you get ready and then you can go with them. Just have fun," he said.
He sat on the counter while I called Lana back. She seemed a little too happy that I decided to hang out with her. I thought her top might blow off.
After listening to Lana babble about what we were going to do, I called Taylor. I knew she would be pretty sane about the situation.
"Really?" she asked.
"Yeah. Let's have fun."
"Ok. I have to get ready. Are we carpooling or are we drving seperately?"
"Lana is picking me up and then she will stop by your house. Be ready by, like, ten," I said.
"Ok. We are going to have so much fun. I need a new pair of wedges for summer."
We talked for a little longer before hanging up. At first, it seemed like it wasn't going to be a good day but now it was. I was going shopping with my best friend and my new friend. Nothing wrong with that, eh?
I walked past Xavier and went to my room. I didn't know what I was going to wear and if I should wear my hair up or down. It's so hard being a girl. So many choices, so little time.
"Move," Xavier said.
I moved over to the side while he started looking through my clothes. It was kinda creepy. I never imagined a guy looking at my clothes.
"This," he said, while throwing clothes onto the bed, "is what you're wearing."
I picked up the jeans, cami, and polo. He knew how to coordinate, even creepier but flattering.
"Um, thanks, I guess. I haven't worn this shirt in a while. I don't know if it fits," I said nervously.
"You'll look fine."
I walked to the bathroom and stopped. Something didn't seem right. I set down my clothes and looked in the mirror.
"It's ok, Sades. You're just nervous about how the day is going to end up. No worries. Just breathe. Everything will be fine," I encouraged myself.
I got undressed and stepped into the shower. It felt so relaxing. I decided to indulge myself a little more than usual. I deserved it.
After an hour long shower and shriveling like a prune, I dried off and and put on my clothes. He was right. I did look fine. My shirt fit me perfectly. Before, I couldn't fill it out, but now I could. Yay me. I have boobs. That's an accomplishment.
I was about to walk into the hallway when I had that feeling again. I knew for sure that something wasn't right. I blew it off before, but now I wasn't going to.
I looked everywhere before I found a note. I picked it up and found Greg's writing.
I don't know what to do. I go crazy when I'm not around you. You are always on my mind.
Some of it was scibbled out. I tried to read it but I couldnt.
I love you. I'll always love you and I know you love me.
We are meant for each other. I know we are young, but will you marry me?
Oh my god! He really wants me to marry him. That's so romantic, but we are young. Although, I do love him with all my heart. He's willing to put up with me for the rest of his life? Dang. That takes guts.
I would have continued talking in my head until I read the rest of the note. Where Greg's name should have been, it was scribbled out. It had Xavier's name in his spot. Was this a fluke? Was it really Xavier asking me to marry him? They could possibly have the same handwriting but I was sure it was Greg. I knew his writing.
I went to my room and looked at Xavier.
"What is this?" I asked while holding up the note.
"Looks like a note," he said nonchalantly.
"From Greg, but it has your name on it. Why?"
"How do you know I didn't write the note?"
"Because his name is scribbled out and has your's and I know his writing. Besides, you never call me 'Sades.' Only Greg does. I have to call him," I said.
Xavier grabbed my wrist and pulled me back. What the heck? Did he think he was in charge of me now or something?
"You cannot call him," he said fiercely.
"Let go of me and why can't I?" I asked.
"He can't talk. He's sick."
"What did you do?"
He looked at me for a moment and then looked down. He looked very suspicious. I wanted to slap him so he would tell me.
"What did you do?" I repeated.
"He doesn't deserve you. He doesn't love you. He can't. I love you, Lilah. I love you more than anything. You should be with me."
"You...You called me Lilah. I'm not her. I'm sure of it now. I may look like her but I am not her."
"But you are. You have to be. I love you. You can be with me. You don't have to be with him. Be with me," he pleaded.
"No! I want Greg! I love him! What have you done with him? Tell me now! What have you done?" I yelled.
Xavier looked at me and I saw a gleam in his eyes. He was enjoying my pain. It was sickening.
"Do you want to know what I did? I'll tell you. He didn't leave. I took him out into the woods. I couldn't stand watching him make love to you. It disgusted me, so I took him out there and knocked him out. I left him there for dead. He's probably good and frozen now. Do you still want him?" he said with a crazed look, "Do you?"
I wanted to curl up and die right there. Greg was dead. There was no way he could survive out in the snow. It was impossible unless he woke up and found help. Greg, my Greg, was dead and there was nothing I could do about it, but I needed to still find him. I couldn't live with the guilt of his parents never seeing him again.
"I'm going to find him, alive or dead. Don't even follow me unless you want to be hurt. Lana and Taylor will find out what I've done. They'll understand. By the way, I hope you go to hell," I said.
I walked out of my room and grabbed my cell and a jacket. I didn't know where to start looking, but I was going to find him. I knew I would.
I was walking for about and fifteen minutes when I heard a ringing. It sounded close. I followed the noise and came to the car I had hit my head off of.
I wiped my hand across the window and looked inside. I saw Greg shivering while cocooned in a blanket. He was so pale and looked like he was in agonizing pain. I opened the door and climbed in.
"Sadie? Sadie, where are you? Sadie?" he said.
His teeth were chattering like crazy. I couldn't stand looking at him like this. It was too hard.
"I'm here. I'll help you. Don't worry, I'm here."
I reached into my pocket, grabbed my phone, and called an ambulance. Then, I called his parents. I felt so horrible. What would they say?
"I...I love you. Don't...leave," Greg said.
"I won't. I'll never leave you. I'll always be here."
"Re...Reach...into my....pocket. The...right one."
I reached in and shuffled through his pocket until I found a little box. I opened it and saw a ring. I knew what he wanted.
"If I live, will...will you marry me?' he asked and finally opened his eyes.
I saw the pleading in his eyes. His electric blue gaze minimized to an ocean blue stare.
"Yes, yes I'll marry you. I love you," I said and leaned down to kiss his cheek.
I heard sirens wailing and I got out of the car. They pulled in and got out. His parents arrived a few minutes later. His mom looked hysterical and his father concerned. I couldn't imagine what was going through their heads.
* * *
"What happened?" Mr. Brooks asked.
"Truthfully, I don't know. He called me and told me he was freezing and told me he was in a car. I knew where the car was because I had an accident there. I found him inside lying down. I don't know how he managed to survive it. It's a miracle," I explained.
Yeah, it was a lie but I couldn't tell them that some spirit guy came down and thought I was a reincarnation and decided to kill their son. That would make me sound crazy.
"He is very lucky. I'm so glad he is with you, Sadie. You are such a nice girl. He talks about you all the time. It seems like love to me," said Mrs. Brooks.
"That reminds me, Mr. Brooks, I'm sorry, but can I talk to your wife for just a moment?"
Mr. Brooks walked back into Greg's room and left me with Mrs. Brooks.
"Well, let's talk. Um, I don't know how to say this, but do you believe I love your son?"
"Yes and I believe he loves you, too. I thought it was just young love at first, but now, it seems like so much more."
"It is. I love him with everything in me and I have something to tell you," I said as I swallowed.
She raised an eyebrow at me and I knew what she was thinking.
"He proposed to me and I said yes. I know you may think we might be too young, but I love him."
"Oh, thank god. I thought it was more serious than that. Well, I'm glad he did. I wouldn't mind you for a daughter-in-law. I already love you," she said while getting up to hug me.
We told Mr. Brooks after Greg was concious. I thought he would be against it but he was so happy, he almost squeezed my guts out.
"When's the big day, huh?" he asked.
"Um, dad, I just asked. How about I get out of here first and then we can decide? I think that's a really good idea," Greg said.
After a little chatting, I left the room to call my mom. I had to tell her about the big news.
"Oh, sweetie, that's wonderful! Greg is such a nice boy. You are both so grown up for your age, too. You are going to have a big wedding. Mhm. You will be so beautiful."
"Thanks, Mom," I said, trying not to cry.
"You will have everything. I got promoted which means more money and more fancy things for your wedding day."
I talked to her until I was told Greg wanted to see me. I went into his room and sat beside him on the bed. He took my hand and looked at me and then smiled.
"What?" I asked.
"You really said yes," he said while still smiling.
"Of course I said yes. I love you, remember?"
"If you love me so much, how come you aren't wearing the ring?"
"Well, I wasn't going to put it on myself. That's just not right," I said.
He sat up and stuck out his hand. I knew he wanted the ring. I handed him the box and he opened it. I gave him my hand and he put the ring on it. I felt tears welling up in my eyes.
I leaned down and kissed him. I was going to marry him. I couldn't believe it.
I was about to tell him about Xavier when Xavier, himself, showed up. He didn't have a sickening smirk on his face anymore. It was a gentle smile.
"Get out of here! I never want to see you again! Just go away!" I yelled.
I would have kept yelling until I saw a shimmer of light. A girl about my age appeared. She looked exactly like me except for the glow around her.
"Hello," she said.
"Uh, hi there."
"Xavier is very sorry for his actions. He was very childish."
She walked over to the bed and looked at me and then looked at Greg. He was in about as much awe as I was.
"Gregory, is it?" she asked.
"Yes," he answered in a dreamy voice.
"Why, you are handsome. She's a very lucky girl. Xavier, would you like to say something to this young man?"
"I'm really sorry. I was jealous. I should have never done that. Sadie belongs with you," he said.
"I...I, surprisingly, forgive you."
"Well, yay. I have a question. Are you---"
"Yes. I'm Lilah."
"Whoa, wait a minute, this is the girl who you thought Sadie was?" Greg asked.
Xavier nodded and Greg's mouth dropped open.
"Wow. They do look alike. I would say she's your twin except for her glow and being dead and all. No offense."
Lilah smiled at Greg and said, "You're a charmer."
"So, now that this is all cleared up, can we go back to our lives?" I asked.
"Yes we definitely can and congrats on the proposal. I'm sorry I almost ruined it," Xavier said.
Lilah looked at me and smiled. I knew what she was thinking and it didn't need to be said.
Xavier and Lilah disappeared into a light and the room was quiet again. The next day, I couldn't remember if I really saw them or not so I decided to let it go.
I called Taylor and told her about Greg and I. I think she was happier than I was. She couldn't stop laughing and telling me all of the plans she had. Lana was concerned at why I never showed up at first, but after I told her, she completely forgot about shopping for clothes and wanted to started shopping for a dress.
"We need to go soon. Your mom is going to cry. I already know it. When are you planning to get married?"
"I want a spring wedding so maybe in May. I decided that without Greg's opinion but I doubt he cares. He wants what I want," I answered.
She continued to babble for a while and I listened. I was so happy. My life was finally back to normal. It was great.
Greg was released from the hospital on Monday, and I went to his house. His mom and I talked about wedding plans while his father had a "man-to-man" talk with him.
"Are you sure you want to be stuck with me forever?" I asked when we were sitting in his room.
"Sadie Embers, I am shocked that you would even ask that question. I couldn't live another day without you in my life."
He laughed at me and kissed me. It was deep and passionate.
"I love you, Greg Brooks," I said.
"As I love you, Sadie Embers," he replied back.
Taylor knew Sadie was her best friend. After all, she was going to be her maid of honor. But it seems like they were drifting apart. It's like she was losing her sister.
She picked up her phone and decided to try to call Sadie again. Wouldn't hurt to try a sixth time, right? It might annoy the heck out of someone but it's always good to keep trying.
The phone rang...and rang...and rang.
"Jesus, does she ever answer?" Taylor asked herself.
"Hello?" said a cheery voice.
"Hey, Sades. What's up?"
"Sitting at home with Greg. Wanna come over?"
"Sure. I'll be there in five minutes," Taylor said with a little too much happy in her voice.
"Coolio, my friend. Head on up. Maybe we can have like scary movie night or something. Break from wedding plans and all."
"Ok. See ya."
Taylor set down the phone and thought for a moment. Maybe she could call Victor. She didn't want to feel like a third wheel. She let him have a break for while. He was bound to be cooled off by now.
She picked up her cell again. She called Victor. He picked up on the first ring.
"Hi. Um, I was wondering if you would want to go with me to Sadie's. Movie night. Yay."
"I'll be there and Tay?"
"I'm sorry I was jerk. I like being your boyfriend."
He was sorry? That was a shock. What an unusual thing for a boy.
Taylor stood up and walked into the bathroom. She didn't want to look terrible for Victor. She was really starting to like him. They had so much in common.
"Ugh. Maybe I'll change my clothes," she said to herself.
She walked out of the bathroom and to her closet. She wasn't going to dress up, but she was going to wear something cute. If there was one thing everyone knew about Taylor, it would be that she couldn't possibly wear trashy clothes.
Why are you so worried about your clothes, Taylor? They are your friends. Like they would care how you dress, she thought.
She finally pulled out her favorite shirt from Hollister and her cute shredded jeans and headed out the door to her car with pride. There was no need to be so worked up. It was just Sadie. Best friends forever, right?
She put the key in the ignition and turned it. Her bug purred to life. It was a little car but it held up when she really need it. She could never give up that pretty little green bug. It was a piece of her from the coconut air freshner to the Scooby Doo mats(a lovely touch since she absolutely adored Scooby). No one could convince her to trade. She would live in it if someone would let her.
The drive to Sadie's wasn't a usual drive. Taylor felt like she was being followed. It was creepy in so many ways. She swore she saw a shadow in the trees. It was a blur, but she saw it.
She pulled into the driveway and got out of the car as quick as possible. Her senses were alert for anything that was lurking in the bushes.
As she walked up to the door, she heard a rustling from behind.
"Is someone there?" she called out.
"Victor, if that's you, it isn't funny!"
"Come out! Now!"
"Tay, what the heck are you yelling at?" Sadie asked.
Taylor looked at Sadie with wild eyes. She knew her friend thought she was crazy. She was yelling into the air.
"Gosh, Sades. Seriously, you scared the bejeezus out of me. I...I just thought I saw something. I heard some noise and---Nevermind."
"It was probably a cat. Come in. Vic's here already. Thanks for telling me he was coming," Sadie said with a hint of irritation.
Taylor walked into the house and tried not to look behind her. She knew something was following her. She just didn't know what.
"So, I had Greg rent some movies. We can chose which ones to watch. They all freak me out though."
"Baby, I love you. You know that, but if you are going to wimp out on me and walk out, pshh, wedding is off," said Greg.
Sadie mocked punch him in the arm and then stood on her toes to kiss him. Taylor watched with fascination. They were the perfect couple. Always laughing and loving each other. Taylor hoped to have that someday for herself. The perfect guy with the perfect family. Maybe she could have that with Vic. He was a nice guy. They understood each other.
"Hey! Taylor! Yoohoo!" Victor was saying.
"Huh? Oh, sorry. Distracted."
"Blanked out there for a moment, eh? Well, we have a variety in the movie selection. Let's choose."
"Let's watch a good one. One that will scare us so we can't sleep," Greg said.
"I would rather watch Barney," said Sadie.
"I'll protect you. Don't worry."
Sadie let out a little giggle and snorted. They all couldn't help but laugh.
"How about Psycho? It's a classic and Alfred Hitchcock was a genius," Vic said.
Everyone nodded and Taylor saw Sadie shuddered a little.
This is going to be one heck of a night, Taylor thought.
And it definitely would be.
They were all soundly asleep. Sadie was laying beside Greg, her head on his chest. Taylor was on the floor with Victor beside her. His arm was wrapped snuggly around her waist.
There was a tapping on the window above the kitchen sink. Taylor was the only one who woke up.
"Vic? Victor? Wake up," she said while shaking him.
"Who? What? What's wrong?" he said, sleepily staring at her with his vivid green eyes.
"I think there's something outside."
"It's just...It's just a tree. Trees make noise."
"No. It's tapping on the window."
Vic groaned and reluctantly, got up and walked over to the window. He looked back and forth to make sure nothing was there. He only saw darkness.
"Babe, there's nothing there. It's pitch black," he told her.
"Oh. Well, ok."
She laid her head back down and Vic laid down beside her. He rested his arm around her and she moved in to fit the shape of his body.
"You're alright. There's nothing there. Stop shaking like a chihuahua," he said. She could tell he was smiling.
"I'll try. Vic?"
"Let's never fight again."
"Ok," said Vic, kissing her hair lightly.
* * *
She awoke with a start. The tapping came from the window again. She knew Victor wouldn't get up once more to check, so she put it on herself to get up and look for the mysterious noise maker.
On the way to the window, Taylor picked up a knife. If there was a psycho crazy killer, she could hack him to death.
That movie went straight to my head, she thought.
She opened the window slowly and looked out. Nothing. She felt a breeze and closed it.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
This time she turned quickly to the window. A person. At least, she thought it was a person. He was there, but a little transparent.
He tapped again. Taylor stared at him. He looked irritated by her blank stare.
"Will you please open the window?" he asked.
"Uh, do I know you?"
"Just open it. I'm a friend of Sadie's and I know you."
Taylor wasn't thinking. Her instincts told her to open the window. We are always told to follow our instincts, so no harm done if she happened to open the window.
She began to reach for the window when she stopped. He said he knew her. How could he have possibly known her?
"Before I do open the window, how do you know me?" she asked.
"Open the window and I will tell you."
She slid open the window and the man came through. He was absolutely drop dead gorgeous. She just wanted to run her fingers through his sun-kissed hair. His eyes were like jewels and his skin was flawless.
"Kid, breathe," he said.
"Huh? Oh, um, hi. Sorry. Wait, who are you?"
"I am Xavier. I know Sadie."
"But how do you know me?" she asked, her voice going up an octave.
"Well, let's just say I'm your uncle from way back. A couple hundred years back."
Okay, now he was crazy. There was no way that she was related to him. It couldn't be possible. He was just some crazy guy who she let in. He could have been a stalker. How would she know though? She couldn't prove it. She was the one who let him in.
She heard a noise in the livingroom, so she walked over so she could see what it was. Sadie was waking up. She would kill Taylor for letting in some weirdo in while everyone was sleeping.
Taylor walked into the livingroom and over to Sadie. The man followed.
"Taylor? Why are you up? It's so early," Sadie said while trying to hold back a yawn.
"I have a situation."
"What? What's wrong?"
"This," said Taylor as she stepped aside.
"Xavier!" Sadie yelled.
"Shh. Sleeping people."
"Hello again," Xaiver said.
Great. They knew each other. It looks like Taylor wasn't getting rid of him very quickly.
He truthfully didn't seem like the kind of guy that would harm a girl. Warm smile, beautiful eyes, seemed quick as a whip.
"What are you doing here?" Sadie asked.
"I came for Taylor."
"Taylor? But, why? How do you know him? He's barely here."
"Yeah, I know. I don't really know him. He said he's my uncle from a long time ago."
Taylor knew the look on Sadie's face. She always made it when she was observing something very closely. This time, Sadie was definitely looking closely.
"Hm," she said.
"What?" both Xavier and Taylor said.
"You look alike."
"No we don't!" Taylor exclaimed.
"Yes you do. The blonde hair, the tan skin, the big green eyes. You are definitely related. He looks like your twin."
Everyone looked over when they saw Greg move.
Oh joy, another person to put their two cents in, Taylor thought.
"It's five in the morning and you have to have a convers---"
Greg paused when he saw Xavier. Taylor could tell by the look in his eyes that he held something against him, but she didn't know what.
Greg stood up and stretched. He looked at Sadie and Taylor, paused at Victor, sniffed, and then, looked at Xavier.
Taylor could sense the stillness in the room. It was dead silent except for Victor's muffled snore.
"Well, good morning, cutie. Want some coffee? I'll make it. Hopefully, it's a beautiful day today. I would love go to the park," Sadie said. She was absolutely terrible at hiding how nervous she was. It reminded Taylor of the time in sixth grade when they had to present speeches. Sadie was smart and had a full speech, but when she saw all of the people, she almost passed out.
"What's happening?" Greg asked.
"I would love to explain this," Taylor said.
Taylor explained everything that happened up until that point and when she looked at Greg, he looked like someone gave him a difficult question.
"So, let me get this straight. He walks up to the window, says he knows you and Sadie, you let him in, he's related to you, and now we all sit here like it's normal?"
"Yes, handsome. That is how it goes," came a voice from the floor.
Taylor looked over a saw a girl on the floor.
"Sadie, when did you move there?" Taylor asked.
"I'm in here!" Sadie yelled.
"Then who are you?"
"I'm Lilah. Xavier's, um, dear, what am I?" Lilah asked Xavier.
Xavier walked over to where Lilah was sitting and sat down beside her. He took her hand and turned it over to kiss her palm.
"You are everything to me, my love," he whispered.
"How adorable," Victor sarcastically said.
Taylor looked down at Vic to see him smile up at her. She thought he was so cute when he was tired.
"I'm sorry we woke you up," she said, kneeling down to kiss his cheek.
"Mm. One more kiss and you can wake me up anytime."
As Taylor stood up, she almost ran into Sadie while she was holding two mugs of coffee. It was way to early for any of this. Not that she wasn't a morning person, but meeting new people wasn't fun at five o' clock in the morning.
"There is more in the kitchen. Tay, you want to help me get more?" Sadie asked.
"Yeah, sure. Um, do you two drink coffee?"
"Can't," Xavier said. To make his point, he pushed his hand through himself and became transparent.
"What the heck? Is this some kind of sick joke? I don't like it!" Victor started yelling.
"Anyway," Xavier continued, "I need your help. My sister is missing."
"How can she be missing? She's, I'm sorry to say, dead by now," Said Sadie.
"Yes, but she went missing. Without her, Taylor won't exist."
"But I do. I'm right here!" Taylor yelled.
"I realize that. But there is someone, someone powerful, who is messing with our little, hm, timeline, I guess you could say."
"Wait just a minute. Are you saying that some dude with some magicky powers is mixing up time?" Vic asked.
"Some woman actually," Xavier answered.
Taylor didn't know what to say. She didn't even believe in witchcraft and time traveling. It was crazy.
She shook herself out of her mental chat room and looked up to see Xavier walking towards her. He looked amazing when he walked. He was so confident, and she could tell her knew what he was doing all the time. He wasn't hot. He was gorgeous. Absolutely drop-dead, slap your face, better than any guy gorgeous.
Ew. Get a hold of yourself. He's related to you. That is so gross, Taylor internally complained.
He was standing in front of her, waving his hand in front of her.
When she looked up, he was on the verge of laughing a little. She had just zoned out in front of him. Of course, he would laugh. Everyone does when she zones out.
He's from so far back. He is barely your uncle. It's not really that gross. Plus, he is so cute when he smiles.
"Taylor? Ah, there we are. We need to talk. Sadie, you might want to come, too. I don't think she is entirely comfortable with me yet," he said.
Sadie joined them in the dining room. They all stood around for a second to make sure no one was eavesdropping. The only noise they could hear was Greg and Victor quietly talking with Lilah.
"Okay. Let's get down to business," Taylor said.
"Um, am I just a witness? Because I would love to not be in the middle of a bad situation again," Sadie said, trying to sound innocent.
"Sorry. You are in this again," Xaiver said and then paused for a low groan from Sadie and continued, "Taylor, we need to talk about our family."
"Actually, I'll start a better way. Taylor, you're a witch."
"I just met you. Gosh. I don't think I'm that mean. Yes, sometimes I'm to the point but---"
"He means an actual witch, Tay," Sadie cut her off.
Taylor stared at them for a second. She thought they were crazy. No, she knew they were crazy. There was no doubt about it. There were no such things as witches. They were fiction, right?
"Witches don't exist. They are just the bad character someone put in a story to scare people," she said.
"Harsh, kid, truly harsh. Not all witches are bad. In my case, sorcerers. Anyway, they do exist. I was one," Xavier said back.
"Ok. Well, let's see if I still got it. See that candle?"
"Watch," he said as he lift his hand.
Even though she didn't believe in magic, she thought, maybe, the candle would light up and a little flame would appear, but it didn't. When he raised his hand, the candle melted until it was liquid wax with a wick.
Taylor thought this was amazing. Power flowed through her blood. She probably had powers that she never would have imagined.
"Hey! That was my favorite one!" Sadie exclaimed.
"Sorry," Xavier apologized.
"So, how come you never told me this before we went through all of that other stuff?"
"I didn't think you would have believed me."
"You are dead and standing in front of me. I'm pretty dang sure that's something I might have believed."
As Sadie and Xavier continued, Taylor walked over to the candle and stood in front of it. She observed it for a little and then concentrated. She saw the candle forming in a mold. It's wick standing up straight and long.
She focused on the smell. Blueberry muffin, drifting through the house. Her and Sadie eating warm muffins for breakfast, not knowing what the day will bring.
Lastly, she held out her hand, slow and steady. She moved it over the melted wax and closed her eyes.
Taylor opened her eyes and saw a candle, new and untouched, sitting on the table. She thought she was dreaming and pinched herself to make sure she wasn't.
"Um, guys?" she asked while she turned around.
"Yes, Taylor?" Xavier said.
She turned back around, stepped aside, and pointed at the candle. Sadie's eyes opened wide with shock, and Xavier's jaw dropped. She knew what they were thinking. She could see it in their expressions.
"Taylor, did you do this?" Xavier questioned.
"Yes," Taylor answered back.
"Have you ever done something you couldn't explain?"
"Huh? What? No."
"You are more powerful than I thought. You are the one. This is absolutely wonderful. You are the one in the ancient prophecy. It was told that one witch would come back and defeat the Black Widow, but I wouldn't even imagine the witch in my bloodline."
Xavier quickly wrapped his arms around Taylor and embraced her in a hug before she could react. How could she defeat a witch? Throw a bucket of water?
Xavier stepped back and looked up and down at Taylor. His eyebrows scrunched together and then he huffed out air.
"What?" Taylor asked quickly.
"You aren't in top physical shape, but we can fix that."
"Hey! I try. It's not my fault I can't obtain any muscle when I work out."
"Tay, you hate the gym and you skipped out on gym for almost the whole year," Sadie interjected.
"I can't help that I'm no good at sports like some people."
"Grr," Sadie said as she flexed her arms.
"So lucky I'm agreeing to this so I can exist," Taylor mumbled.
Xavier let go of Taylor and made a motion for them to follow him into the livingroom.
Everyone stood when they walked in. Greg automatically went to Sadie, Taylor sat beside Victor, and Xavier and Lilah met in the middle of the room.
"I have some some bad news and Xavier is going to tell it," Taylor announced.
"Thanks, kid, and there is good news, too."
Victor shyly raised his hand and Taylor thought he looked so adorable doing it.
"Bad news first, please?" he asked.
"Sure. Ok, well, Taylor has to fight an evil witch or the Black Widow, and kill her or Taylor won't exist here. And you will remember that she was here so don't think you won't know anything.
"The good news, you all get to come with us. Each one of you plays a role in this whether you know it or not. It's in the prophecy. Don't ask what it is. Just follow me here. So, we will go back to my time, fight, come back, live happily ever after."
Everyone besides Taylor was staring at Xavier like he had gone mad. Obviously, they didn't believe him, but he's dead so it's not impossible to time travel, right?
"You want us to go back to your time?" Greg said.
"And fight this evil witch?" Victor finished.
"You have to. Don't, and, hm, you're whole world will change as you know it. You will be either slaves or dead."
"Xavier, you did not say we would be doing such a thing. We cannot depend on ourselves to save the entire world. We need someone powerful. You are the only sorcerer and the whole lot of us is surely bound to lose," Lilah explained.
"Love, we have another. Taylor. She's a witch. Powerful, indeed. She harnessed her power for the first time just a few moments ago and she was in complete control."
"That makes two, but how will we do our part? Surely, if someone is hurt, I can use my healing and Sadie might have some of the healing powers because she is my blood, but what about the two boys?"
"May I say something?" Greg asked.
"Yes, dear," Lilah told him.
"You said you have healing powers. Is that like heal inside wounds, like emotional, or can you actually heal physical wounds?"
"Physical, whether inside or outside."
"Oh. Okay," he said, wrapping his arm around Sadie's waist.
Victor bumped Taylor's shoulder. She knew he was waiting to say something to her. He always tapped his foot when he wanted to say something but couldn't.
She looked at him and he nodded his head for her to follow him. He was always wanting to ask questions. He wasn't afraid to ask either. It was in his nature. Taylor thought he held the record for most questions asked, but she never told him that.
They went back into the kitchen and Taylor looked over at the candle she had made reform. All of these years and she never once considered looking at her family's history. She wasn't into history very much though. Her parents probably didn't know anything about her powers either. She wondered if Xavier was from her mother or father's side.
"Babe, are we really going back to save his sister?" Victor asked.
"Oh, uh, we have to. I won't exist. She's like my grandma but add a lot of greats to that grandma. Without her, I won't be here and the evil witch will control everyone."
"But if you supposedly have powers and that guy does and Sadie and Lilah can heal people, what do Greg and I do? We aren't full of magic. She could kill us easily."
A light bulb went off in Taylor's head. She remembered her diary and the stories she wrote in them. Some were about a evil witch and others were about warriors that would defeat her. She felt the connection. She knew she needed that diary. It was the key to solving their problem.
"Vic, we have to go to my house. Now," Taylor blurted out.
"We just have to. All of us. You come in my car. Sadie will bring Greg, Xavier, and Lilah."
She pulled his hand and practically dragged him into the livingroom. She could feel his tugging, as if he was trying to make her slow down, but she couldn't. She needed to get back home as soon as possible.
"What's wrong?" Lilah asked, "You look frantic, child."
"We need to go to my house," said Taylor.
"Why, may I ask?"
"Everything we need to kill her is there. I already told Victor. He is riding with me. Everyone else goes with Sadie. Her car is bigger. You don't mind, do you?"
"No. Well, gosh, let's go. Not talk," Sadie said, making a "pick up the pace" motion.
Sadie quickly wrote a note for her mom saying she was staying at Greg's for a while.
I hope they get the wedding they dream of, Taylor thought.
They rushed out to the two cars and quickly got in and drove off to Taylor's.
* * *
"This is amazing," Greg said, while going to sit down.
"Does anyone else know about what you wrote?" Xavier asked.
"Well, my parents. My mom found it and read it and said I should be an author. I was little, but imaginitive. My dad said something like 'Wow. She's got it. You don't know it yet, but you are a very special, kid,'" Taylor answered.
"Is your father here right now?"
"He's out back. Why?"
"No reason," Xavier said as he shimmered and disappeared.
She knew he was up to something. No guy just decided to ask where someone's dad is and then disappear. That doesn't happen.
"I don't know where you are, but you better not hurt him!" Taylor yelled.
She heard a laugh from outside of the door. He was sneaky and clever. It fit his looks and that eyebrow that tended to raise when he was thinking.
"Hey, Taylor?" Sadie asked.
"How old is your dad?"
"You aren't going to hit on him, are you?"
"He is devastatingly handsome," Lilah put in.
Taylor could feel Greg and Victor staring at them.
"He's 36. Why?"
"Well, first of all, sorry Greg, I did have a crush on him when I was younger. He is hot. Oh, don't make that face. Second of all, why does he look like he's a teenager?"
They all moved closer to the window and everyone couldn't believe what they saw. They saw a young man working on a motorcycle. He looked like an exact copy of Xavier except he had a slight cleft in his chin and his hair was a little longer.
"What? I do not know what everyone is so surprised about," Lilah interjected.
"Lil, do you mind if I call you Lil? Well, Lil, what do you see?" Greg questioned.
"I see Taylor's father."
"You don't see a teenager?"
"No. I only see her father."
When they moved away from the window, Victor reached for the diary and sifted through it. His lips went into a thin line and he began mumbling to himself.
"These two warriors, right here in the third paragraph on page 12, they don't have names. Actually, no one does, but you described what everyone looks like. I think I know what roles Greg and I play in."
"And what would that be?" Taylor questioned.
"Answers these questions. What color is my hair and eyes?"
"Chesnut brown and vibrant green."
"What color is Greg's hair and eyes?"
"Stark black and that amazing blue that even the ocean would be jealous of."
"Watch yourself, Tay. He's mine," Sadie interrupted.
"Sorry. So what does this have to do with anything?"
"Read the third paragraph," Vic said to her, handing her the little book.
Taylor read through the paragraph and then fell on her bed. She couldn't believe the answers to his questions were the exact words on the page. She described everyone who was with her with precise detail.
There was no way she would have known that something like this would happen someday. It wasn't possible. She was so young.
Xavier walked in to see them all sitting around and staring at nothing. They were in complete shock. They all knew what was going through Taylor's head.
"You kids want anything to drink?" said Taylor's father's voice in Xavier's body.
She looked up and saw the cleft. That was the only way she would have known it was him. It was a good thing no one said anything to him.
"Everyone looks like they are scared. That's no good. Well, I will leave you all alone, so you can hang out. Don't do anything stupid."
"Dad?" Taylor blurted out before he walked away.
"Can I ask you something?"
"Sure," he said, walking in, "Sadie, I didn't know you had a twin."
"Oh, uh, I don't. She's my cousin. She's just visiting. Everyone thinks we are twins. Her name is Lilah," Sadie quickly told him.
"Well, hi, so what's your question?"
Taylor noticed he was beginning to look like his original self again as Xavier entered the room. He looked confused.
"Who's this?" Mr. Carmichaels asked.
"Xavier. Lilah's boyfriend. He's what I wanted to ask you about."
"Boy, look at me."
"You know, you are technically a boy to me so you should really---What? He is," Xavier told Taylor when she gave him a "shut up" look.
"You look like me when I was younger. Hm. Such a crazy thing. You can't be related though because my family has---" he stopped when he saw the talon marks on Xavier's wrist.
"The Mark of the Eagle," Xavier and Mr. Carmichaels said at the same time.
"Taylor, do you know?" her father questioned.
"That you're a witch?"
Taylor could see the fear in his eyes. She could feel the tension in the air. Everyone had gone completely silent. She couldn't answer. It was caught in her throat. The fear of admitting her power. Her fingers felt like they were on fire. There was a tingling sensation in her body. It wanted to be set free.
"Yes, I know," Taylor finally said after it felt like forever.
"Xavier, where are you from?"
"I was going to say it before Taylor told me to be quiet. I'm not from your time. I'm from over 300 years ago. The Black Widow, I'm sure you have heard of her, is messing up time. She caused my sister to go missing and without my sister, you and your daughter won't exist. We have to go back to my time and kill her. If we don't, everyone's lives will be destroyed."
"And are you all planning on going?"
"We have to. Taylor and Xavier are our magic, Sadie and Lilah can help heal us, and Vic and I are the warriors. Besides, we won't let anyone touch these beautiful girls," Greg said.
"That's right, dude. No one is ever gonna touch some really hot chicks. I would rip their heads off," Victor added.
"Come with me. There is something for you in my office. I was given it when I was younger and was told it would come in handy one day," Mr. Carmichaels told Taylor.
They followed him to his office and watched as he opened the safe that sat in their and wasn't opened until this day. He pulled out a huge chest that looked like it dated back a thousand years. It was obviously heavy and had hand-carved designs into it. There were vines and flowers, but what stood out the most was the lock. It wasn't only enormous, but it had three claw marks slashing through the middle of it. They gleamed in the light and sent a reflection across Taylor's face, which had her squinting as she tried to see the key her father was holding.
The key was nearly as big as the lock. It was obviously ancient and had only been touched a few times. There was no way that key could open a lock. It would crumble to dust.
"Kid, remember what I would call you when you were younger?" Mr. Carmichaels asked.
"Um, 'Little Savior?'" Taylor responded.
"Mr. Carmichaels, what does that have to do with anything?" Sadie said, sitting on the floor next to him.
"Sadie, you have known me for the longest time. You don't have to call me by a formal name. You can call me by my first name."
"Sorry. So, uh, Rick, what does that name have to do with any of this?"
"I knew this would happen someday. I was waiting for it, so I gave her a nickname. She didn't understand what it meant back then, but I'm sure she does now.
Anyway, are you all sure you are going to do this? It's the fate of mankind we are talking about, and no offense, but you are a bunch of kids. I don't know if this is the way to prove how mature you all are."
"Excuse me, Rick?" Greg asked.
"Yes, Greg," Rick said as he turned to look at Greg.
"I know we are young, but we are mature. We surely can handle some evil force planning on destroying mankind as we know it. We were chosen for this duty. No one else was. If we can't save this planet, no one will. You have to believe in us. You have to believe in your daughter. We need you."
"Aw, that was the smartest and sweetest thing you have ever said, babe," Sadie cooed.
Greg smiled and then made a face. He looked around the room and cocked his head to the side.
Taylor looked around also to try to see what Greg was looking at. She couldn't figure it out unless he saw something she didn't.
"Where's Xavier and Lilah?" he finally asked.
Everyone looked around for them. They were nowhere in sight. Disappearing out of the blue seemed to come in handy for them at times. Hopefully, they don't disappear in a fight.
Taylor walked out of the room and looked up and down the hallway. There was still no sight of them.
She kept walking but stopped when she heard whispering on the other side of her father's bedroom door. She leaned against the door to listen.
"Xavier, this could kill them," Taylor heard Lilah whisper.
"We have to save everyone on the planet. They are choosing to do this. We all are," Xavier told her.
"I am scared for their lives. They are just children."
"We are, too."
"We look like children. We are much older than that."
"Yes, but when we return to our time, we will be alive. We will have to fight for our lives also. We have to do this, Lilah. Maybe we could travel back here alive and continue our lives here. You have to see the opportunities," he explained.
"It does sound nice. Okay, let's go, but if we do come back here, where will we live?"
"We will surely find a home," Xavier answered as he opened the door.
Taylor hit the floor with a thud and looked up to see Lilah and Xavier staring down at her. They most likely thought she was an idiot for leaning against the door when it was bound to be open.
She pushed up to her hands and knees, blinked a few times, and then stood up. Lilah was still staring at her and Xavier was obviously trying not to laugh.
I should punch him, Taylor thought.
"Are you alright?" Lilah asked.
"Yeah. Fine. Um, so, you're thinking about living here?"
"Maybe. It is lovely here, and I would like to learn about the devices you use."
"She will probably be infatuated with the cell phone just like every other girl in this country," Xavier interrupted.
"Anyway," Taylor continued, "you will love it here. I think we should go back to my dad. That chest seems like it holds something that we need."
All three of the teenagers walked back to the room where they stopped to and blankly squinted at a bright light that was coming from a sword.
The blade was a magnificent gold. It gleamed even in the dim light of the room, and it would definitely slice through anything that crossed its path.
The hilt was absolutely stunning. It was as decadent as the blade itself, embroidered with various intertwining vines. They seemed to form a lock around the hilt, as if they could never be removed. Something about it was mysterious.
"Taylor?" Rick asked, as he looked at his daughter.
Taylor raised her eyebrows as she watched her father stand up in front of her. He held out the sword and took in a deep breath. He slowly breathed out.
"I believe that this belongs to you," he said.
Everyone stared at Rick with gazing doe-eyed expressions. He actually expected his daughter to wield around some old dusty sword and kill a person. She already had trouble stepping on a bug without cringing at it. How could she slice up someone?
She reluctantly reached for the sword. She knew nothing about ancient weaponary and magic and such, but it seemed that this sword was made for her. It fit her hand perfectly. It was neither heavy nor light, but she knew it could drive a blow like the force of an elephant without weighing her down. She could even feel the energy of it. It buzzed through her veins. She felt alert and like she was a powerful woman instead of a scrawny teenager.
Without thinking, she sliced the air. Once, twice...
She heard a scream. Xavier was lying on the floor, groaning in pain. Everyone rushed to him. Taylor stood, horrified at what she done.
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry...sorry," she muttered.
Xavier opened his eyes and croaked, "Come here."
Taylor leaned down beside him and put her hand on his. She was scared. She knew he would probably die if he didn't get to a hospital.
"I'm already dead, remember?" Xaiver said, as he quickly got up.
Yup, now I'm really going to punch him, Taylor thought.
"Whew, that was great!" Xaiver exclaimed.
"Why the heck would you do that?" Taylor asked, trying not to lose her temper.
"First lesson, never trust anyone."
"As angry as that makes me, I have to agree with him. An enemy could easily pretend to be dying and take a swipe," said Rick.
Everyone was silent for a moment. All nonsense and humor left the room. No one spoke for what seemed like forever. Then, Taylor saw a tear leak from Sadie's eye. She went to her best friend and wrapped and arm around her. The tears started to flow harder.
"I'm going to step out for a moment," Rick awkwardly commented. Obviously, he knew a teen issue was coming up.
After he left, Taylor calmly said, "What's wrong?"
"I-I just want a normal life. We are so young. Why do we have to defeat evil? Can't someone else do it?" she sobbed.
Taylor handed her over to Greg. He could comfort Sadie more than she could. As he told her everything was okay, Taylor stroked her hand. She knew how she felt. They all knew how she felt. Six kids going out to destroy evil isn't your everyday walk in the park.
Taylor's eyes started to become wet, too. She sat down heavily and wiped at a tear. Victor walked up to her and took her hand. He pulled her out of the room. She thought he would stop there but he kept walking. She was becoming suspicious. If he wanted to talk, why didn't he just stop outside of the door?
He led her out to her car, made her hand him the keys, and shut the door. He walked around the car and got into the driver's side.
"What are you doing?" she asked as he started the car.
"Driving," he replied back, smiling.
"Somewhere," he said again with the same smile.
"Look, if you are like kidnapping me, you have got the wrong id---"
"Taylor, I would never kidnap you. That's just sick. Now, sit back, enjoy the ride, and let me cheer you up."
She did as he said without the "enjoy the ride" part. Actually, she did somewhat enjoy it. She took a little nap while listening to her Lady Gaga CD. Who knew a lady that likes to dress in fire-shooting bras would be soothing?
She awoke when she heard the door of the driver's side open and close. Victor was getting it with two cups. He handed one to her and she took a sip.
"Mmm," she moaned.
"I know how much you love a good ol' chai tea from Starbucks. Every time you drink one, you smile," he said, taking a sip of coffee from his cup.
"You know me so well."
He set his cup in a holder and look down while he twirled his thumbs. He only did this when he was nervous or frustrated. Taylor put her hand on his and he looked up at her glumly. She cocked her head to one side and bit her lip. She didn't know what was up with him.
"What is it? Why are you like this?" she finally asked.
"Like what?" he said, his expression becoming sullen.
"The thumb twirling. You're angry. Why?"
He turned his hand over and gripped her's. She could feel her face becoming hot. She turned her head, but he turned it back so he could look at her. She could see grief and pain in his eyes.
"Taylor, I love you. You're different from all the other girls. Okay, yes, I know I sound like any other guy telling his girl this, but I mean it. I can feel it. I mean, literally, feel it. When you are sad, I'm sad. If you're happy, I'm happy. There's a connection. I can't live without you. I need you," he blurted out quickly. His eyes were pleading.
"I need you, too. And I thought it was just me feeling those things. Maybe...Maybe we were put here for each other," Taylor said as she moved her hand up to his face and continued, "We are in this together. No matter what. All of us. We will be unstoppable."
"Yes! And we will defeat whatever is messing up our lives and she---"
"Victor, shut up and kiss me already."
He stroked her cheek and said, "Yes ma'am," before he gently kissed her and started the car for the ride back.
"So, what you're saying is, we form a little ceremonial circle, perform the spell, and we arrive back to your time?" Taylor asked Xavier.
"Basically. You have to concentrate though. It's not like in those silly books where you say a bunch of words that rhyme and there's a big flash and swirling wind and 'zap,' you're there," he answered back.
"So, what is it like?" Greg questioned.
"Pain, bleeding, blisters from the heat of the spell."
"That's it. I'm out. Find another big, tough warrior," Greg miffed.
"I'm just kidding. You fade out and fade in. You don't notice it though."
"You have a weird way of joking with people, dude."
Xavier shrugged and picked up a stick. He began to draw a large circle. He obviously knew what he was doing. He spoke while he walked; whispering gently at the ground. He looked like a man now. The words flowed from his mouth like a waterfall. His features seemed to become more pronounced. He became powerful at that moment.
He signaled for Lilah to start spreading herbs around the circle. She moved with the same confidence as he did, but her power was more graceful. It seemed as if her feet were gliding around the circle. She moved to a beat of her own and smiled while she let the loose herbs as they flowed to the ground. Lilah wasn't afraid of what was about to happen.
"Lil?" Greg asked.
"Yes, my dear?" she said without looking up.
Greg flushed from the "my dear" and said, "What is that stuff?"
"Sage, willow, juniper. Sacred herbs."
"And are these really going to pro---"
"Greg, please stop giving her the third degree. She knows what she's doing," Taylor interjected.
She didn't mean to sound rude. He was only scared and she knew why he asked. He didn't want Sadie getting hurt in the process of all of it. He could care less if he died. As long as she was safe, he would be happy.
Taylor looked at Greg and said a silent "sorry" to him and he smiled back. After all, he was like a brother. She couldn't afford to lose someone as a friend at a time like this.
"The circle is ready," Xavier mumbled and looked away.
"Why is he looking away? Should he be looking away? Something's wrong! Oh God, something is so wrong! I know it!" Sadie exclaimed.
"Nothing is wrong. I know what I'm doing. Taylor," Xavier turned to me and continued, "did you hear that?"
"The shrieking?" she suggested.
"Yes," he replied bluntly.
"It sounded a like a cat being scratched by barbed wire."
"Hurry. Get into the circle."
"But shouldn't we go check out the noise?"
"Now!" he bellowed.
Everyone rushed into the circle. There was no need to suddenly grab onto each other but it felt right. It made them all feel comfortable and safe.
Taylor could hear Xavier shouting words. She couldn't hear them clearly, but she knew they were causing the present world she was in to fade out. Everything around her was becoming dark. She didn't even get to say goodbye to all of her friends and family. She may not come back. Obviously, someone, besides her dad, wouldn't think this was normal. Four kids just disappearing out of the blue? That sounds ridiculous.
Taylor felt her world fade out and a new one fade in. All she saw around her were trees. Big trees, too. Nothing like the ones back home. These were gigantic, and she heard an ax. It was chopping away at one of these enormous trees. She turned around and around and around. She finally understood why people were trying to preserve nature. It was absolutely beautiful. The look, smell, even the taste of the crisp air. Nothing could be more refreshing.
Victor came up behind her and took her hand in his. She turned around to face him and she knew he was enjoying the land, too. He lifted up her and turned it over to kiss her palm.
"You look...wonderful," he adored.
"I look exactly the same."
"Yes, I know, but there's a light in your eyes that gives the world light. Ah, her eyes are my guide through the blackest of tunnels. Those lips are my lips. She lets them fall upon my cheek. She is mine, and I am her's. Any other man shall perish in her path for which only I am allowed to follow. She is mine, and I am her's. Only I will lay beside this maiden when she cries tears of sorrow. She is mine, and I am hers. Only her's for she is only mine," he recited, transforming into a man with a love for a woman only he could express.
"That was the most beautiful, adoring, thrilling thing I have ever heard. Was it Shakespeare? Poe?" Taylor asked.
"It was mine. I wrote it for you," Vic answered back, his face turning a bright shade of red.
"Victor! Why have you not told me it before? You should be a poet. That was captivating!"
"She is right, Victor. Even I was hypnotized by your compelling words," Lilah said.
"I do wish I could write something like that for you, but I'm not gifted with the mind of a poet," Xavier complained.
Taylor was about to say something when she noticed Sadie and Greg were not in sight. She turned around a looked for them, but she still didn't seem them. Then, she heard rip behind a tree and began to walk towards it. As she looked on the other side of the tree, she saw Greg pushing Sadie up against the tree and they were sucking face.
"Oh, yeah, go right ahead and make out. It's not like we have the world to save or anything," Taylor sarcastically commented.
They automatically broke apart and were breathing extremely heavy. Greg's shirt was torn up the middle, which Taylor assumed he tried to tear off. Sadie waved off Taylor, and wrapped her arms around Greg again and started kissing his neck. He leaned into it and lifted her up so her legs were around his waist. Taylor knew she had to walk away before she witnessed something she didn't want to see.
She began walking back when she felt a sudden burst of energy flow through her and knocked her to the ground. When she sat back up, she saw her sword attached to her hip.
"I totally forgot about this," she murmured to herself.
She got back up and walked back to where she was, but stopped when she saw Lilah on top of Xavier.
"Gosh! Can't anybody stay off of each other?" she fumed.
"They can't hear you," Victor told her, "I tried to say something, they waved me away, so here I am. What were you doing?"
"Watching Greg and Sadie do the same thing. Seems like the old hormones are raging."
She walked up to Lilah and Xavier and bent down and poked Lilah. She completely ignored Taylor. It was time to do it the hard way. She turned toward Victor and he raised an eyebrow.
"Go pull Greg away from Sadie. I'll take care of these two," she ordered.
Vic nodded and walked away. Taylor reached down and got a good grip on Lilah. She mentally counted to three and pulled Lilah off of Xavier. She tried to resist, but when she broke free, she gave up and looked confused. Taylor her Greg yell loudly and it suddenly stopped. Then, she saw all three of them walking back. Vic was in the middle.
"Someone please explain why we have the sudden urge to be all over each other," Taylor demanded.
"It was the herbs. Sometimes they cause a change in hormones. I don't see why you thought it was so bad," Xavier said and held up his hand to stop Taylor's rant.
While Lilah pulled Xavier up, she said, "We should go to your family. We need to explain all of this, and I don't care if they know about me. The world's is at stake and your sister is missing. It shouldn't matter what I look like now."
The five of them stared at Lilah like she had just gone crazy.
"You spoke your mind. That was....That was amazing, Lilah," Xavier gushed.
"Well, I'm not letting your family degrade me when Rose is missing. We have bigger problems. Second of all, shouldn't we all change? We stick out too much. We need clothing from this time."
"I guess this means we are taking a little walk to my home," Xavier mumbled.
* * *
She continued to stare at herself in the mirror. She felt like she was actually from colonial times. Luckily, Rose was the same size as her, Sadie, and Lilah.
The gown flowed around her and was a nice, blue color. It was the most comfortable, but she had to fit in. She couldn't walk around wearing jeans and Nikes without getting a second glance.
She walked out of the room and saw Lilah and Sadie were wearing dresses of the same pattern, but Sadie's was yellow and Lilah's was purple. They both look stunning.
Taylor continued to walk and she ran into Greg and Vic. Her lips began to twitch as she looked at their outfits. They looked as if they couldn't breathe. Greg was practically popping out of his shirt and coat.
I knew there was a downside to being muscular, Taylor thought.
She couldn't hold her laughter in any longer and let out a loud guffaw. Her eyes began to water and she actually fell to the floor. They looked ridiculous.
"It's not that funny," said Victor.
"Hey, Vic, ready for tea time? And Greg, how's that shirt fittin' ya?" she asked.
Taylor would have let out another remark if it weren't for the someone clearing their throat behind her.
She turned around to see a man that looked almost exactly like Xavier except he had stubble, blue eyes, and was more muscular. Obviously, this was Xavier's father and he made old-fashioned clothing look good on a guy.
"Who are you?" he questioned in a booming deep voice.
Victor was about to answer him when Xavier came running up to his father. He also made the clothing look good. It fit him perfectly in every way.
His father stared at him with wild eyes and reached up to cup his son's face in between his hands. He kept staring at him and his eyes became wet. Xavier smiled at his father and this tore the man to pieces. He dropped to his knees and began to cry like a child. He put his head in his hands and sobbed, loudly.
As he shook his head back and forth, he whimpered, "I saw your body. We buried you. How is this possible? How could you be here?"
"He came back with them, dear. They are from a different time," said a gentle voice.
A woman walked up to his father and grabbed his arm. She had wore her hair in a long braid that was the not quite brown but close. Her body was slender but she had curves. She walked with a certain gracefulness that made you know she was in the room, but what stuck out the most were her eyes. They were the same fierce vibrant green as Xavier's eyes. They looked like they could tell a story though.
But, Taylor noticed something about those eyes. They didn't look at his father or look at any of the people in the room. They just blankly stared.
His father stood up and looked at the woman and asked, "Just them? Are there more?"
"Yes. There are two girls. Follow me," she replied.
"Mother, wait. Before you go, I need you to know that you might not approve of---"
His mother went to her son and touched his cheek.
"Ah, still my handsome boy. You think that I may not approve of these girls because of their skin tone? Sweetheart, I know about Lilah. I don't disapprove of it. You are happy with her. The other girl, she is a descendant of Lilah. She looks like her. Beautiful girls they are. We cannot let anyone else know though. That will cause trouble," she told him as she smiled and continued to say, "Now, where were we? Oh, yes, meeting the other girls."
She walked into a room where Sadie and Lilah must have went and I heard her gentle voice leaking from the room. Xavier's father continued to look at the other teenagers standing there trying not to look like they were staring back at him. He wasn't anybody to mess with.
"Might as well break the ice. I'm Greg, this is Victor, and this is Taylor. She's actually related to you," Greg said.
"Nice to meet you all. Especially you, Taylor. Is she a---" the man flicked his fingers.
"Witch? Yes, she is. You see, my father is sorcerer. He is able to do much more than I am. My mother has visions, but she is blind. That explains that staring," he explained and Taylor turned her head, "Yeah, don't act like I didn't see that. You kept looking at her eyes. Anyway, she can't see except when she has visions. Although, she could say what you look like and pick you out in a crowd if she wanted to. She basically sees with her ears, so she never hits anything and doesn't need a guide."
"That's really cool," Victor said in awe.
Xavier's father raised his eyebrows and looked at his son. Apparentally, he didn't understand the meaning of "cool" whenever Vic had said it.
Xavier started to explain what it meant when his mother came back. Sadie and Lilah were behind her and looked very peaceful and calm.
"Well, what do you say we all sit down and talk?" Xavier offered.
They all agreed and followed his parents to discuss the situation.
"Do you mind if I call you Will?" Sadie said to Xavier's father as they sat down with his parents.
"Call us whatever you like," he replied back, giving her a soft smile.
Sadie giggled a little and her face flushed. Lilah looked at him and he winked at her. Lilah started biting her lip and ran her hand through her hair. Xavier's mom looked at her husband and laughed a little.
"I can't see but I know what you are doing, William," she told him and put her chin on her hand and said, "He loves women. I don't know how I ever put up with him, but I do love him."
He gave her an appreciating smile and she returned it to him. Taylor wondered how she knew exactly what was always going on in the world.
Taylor looked away from Xavier's mother long enough to notice Xavier standing and looking out of the window. His face was like stone. Something was going on inside his head that was bothering him. He didn't move or change expression or even blink. He just stared. If she had been outside looking in, she would think he was a statue.
Lilah got up and walked over to him. She moved quietly across the wooden floor. Everyone watched her. It was hard not to. She had the gracefulness of a ballerina.
She put her hand on his shoulder and he turned to look at her. Energy sizzled between them. Taylor was surprised fireworks didn't start exploding from the passion.
Forcing a weak smile on his face, he whispered, "I'm fine. Don't worry about me, darling."
"No. You are not fine. Tell me what's wrong," she whispered back.
He let out a sigh and his eyes became dark and wet. He looked like a man being tortured from the inside. He wouldn't look at any of them, not even Lilah. He wasnt Xavier, the tough, handsome, sarcastic, guy anymore. He was Xavier, the guy who couldn't tell anyone how he felt because of the fear he would breakdown in front of his friends and family.
"You can tell me, Xavier. You know you can. Please. Tell me, please," Lilah pleaded.
His eyes shifted up to her's and he took her hand.
"Rose. It's Rose. She's missing, and I can't help look for her."
"What do you mean you can't help?" Greg said furiously.
Xavier raised a hand to him to calm him down and said, "The people here think I'm dead. They can't see me walking around outside like nothing freaking happened. Do you know what happens to people when the citizens expect something is wrong with them? They die. Hung. Salem Witch Trials? Ring a bell? Yeah, people like us," he made a motion towards himself, his parents, and Taylor, "will be killed. Sometimes even crushed to death. It isn't pleasant."
Lilah wiped his tear away with her finger. Then, another sobbing started to form from behind Taylor. She turned around to see Sadie in Greg's arms. Sadie was very emotional, but this time, Taylor didn't know why she was crying.
"Sades, honey, why are you crying?" Greg asked as he soothed her.
"I-I don't know. I just sta-started crying, and I don't kn-know why," she whimpered.
"Wait, she started crying when he did," Victor said.
"I'm not crying!" Xavier yelled.
Xavier's mother shot him a glance and he looked down. He knew that meant for him to lower his voice.
"Vic does make a point. This happened before though. Any time there's intense emotion in the room, Sadie starts to cry. Maybe...Maybe she feels our emotions, but they have to be strong emotions," Taylor pointed out.
"I-I think Tay-Taylor is making se-sense," Sadie hiccuped.
Greg lead Sadie to sit down in a chair. She finally opened her eyes all of the way and everyone stared. Taylor's hand went to her mouth. William's mouth hung wide open. Greg looked like he wanted to scream.
"Dear sweet baby Jesus," Vic whispered.
"Wh-What," Sadie questioned.
"Your eyes. Your eyes, babe," Greg said.
"What's wrong with them? What aren't you telling me? Tell me!"
"Your eyes. They...They are all pupil. Like a deer. A friggin' deer in headlights! Oh God, what's wrong with them? Xavier, you...you know magic! What's wrong with them?"
"How the heck would I know? They do look awfully similar to a---"
Xavier was cut off by Taylor's scream. Now both of her hands were at her mouth and she was shaking her head. Taylor didn't screma often, but when she did, everyone paid attention.
Xavier's mother rushed over and William's got up and walked over to look at Sadie's eyes. They began to take on the actual look of a deer.
"What is it? Why did you scream?" Xavier's mother asked quickly.
"She has deer ears!" Taylor exclaimed.
"What?" Sadie squealed.
Suddenly, everyone stared behind her. She actually had the ears of a deer. She was becoming an animal right before their eyes. Taylor knew who was doing this. The Black Widow. She didn't know how she knew, but she had that feeling. This evil witch was going to try to take out her friends one by one until she had to fight alone. She wasn't going to let some old hag without a life mess up her's. No way.
William took Sadie from Greg and began to walk away with his wife. Taylor followed them and when the boys and Lilah wanted to come, she waved them off.
They went into an old room with what seemed like a wooden operating table in it. There were different bundles of herbs laying around. Different size candles sat upon saucers. They burned, but the wax didn't melt and the flames were each different hues. There were no windows, so light couldn't peek through in the day. The last thing Taylor observed was the door in the floor.
It wasn't easy to notice. It layed perfectly flat in the floor. It wasn't small, but it wasn't huge either, so a man Will's size could fit into it. The strange thing about it was that it didn't have a handle. It was just a door.
Hm, how odd. Why have a door if you can't get into it? Taylor thought.
"I think I can help her before she fully shifts," William said.
"What do you mean 'you think?' You are going to help her," Taylor told him fiercely.
He looked at her and saw her expression. He kept staring and she finally made a "well" motion with her hands. After that, he moved around the room like a whirlwind. He grabbed different liquids and herbs and sat them on another table. He opened some vials and mixed them together. He knew what he was doing. Good.
He brought over the mixture just as Taylor notice Sadie had hooves instead of feet.
"Hurry!" Taylor commanded.
He took the vial and tipped it into Sadie's mouth. She began to cough and her eyes started to close like she was drifting asleep. Then her body went limp.
Taylor went into shock mode. She shook Sadie, but she wouldn't respond. She just moved from the force of the push.
"You killed her! You killed my best friend! I thought you were helping her!" Taylor screamed as tears poured from her eyes.
"I didn't kill her. She's still alive. Look," William pointed to Sadie's body.
Tears were coming from Sadie's closed eyes.
"She's unconcious. She will become fully human again before she wakes up. It will soothe her so she doesn't have to see herself change back."
Taylor wiped her face and looked at Sadie. She did look peaceful. Taylor wondered what Sadie would be like as a deer, but she wouldn't dare say that aloud.
"I wonder what would make her begin to change into a deer," Xavier's mother wondered.
"Uh, well, Mrs...I'm sorry. I don't know your name," Taylor said.
"It is Beatrice, dear," she said.
"Ok. Well, Beatrice, I think I know who did this," Taylor told her.
"And who would that be?" Will demanded.
"The Black Widow. She's influencing time. She caused your daughter to go missing. We are here, including your son and Lilah, to defeat her. I'm your, well, a lot of greats granddaughter. My father gave me a sword. I guess I need it to defeat her or something. If we don't, I won't exist and your family tree will not exist after Xavier and Rose. If we do, your family will live on and Xavier might have a chance to live afterwards. He will even get to choose where he lives. By the way, I can't carry around a sword wearing this dress. I need to wear my jeans. Yes, women wear jeans. In my time, women do a lot of things where I'm from. We have jobs and own our own homes and sometimes have more power over men. It's great," Taylor saw William snort and she continued, "Well, I need my pants and t-shirt and shoes. We all do. We can't fight in stuff like this. Can I go change now?"
Xavier's parents looked at her with confused expressions. Beatrice walked over and put her hand on Taylor's shoulder.
"Go change, child. We have much to explain before you prepare for battle," Beatrice said before Taylor ran off to change.
Taylor walked out wearing her jeans, t-shirt, and favorite tennis shoes and felt like she was on top. Lilah looked as if she enjoyed the dress better, but Taylor secretly knew she liked the other clothes better. Greg and Victor came out with huge grins on their faces. Xavier looked amazing, as usual. He was only wearing jeans, t-shirt, and a polo, but boy, did he know how to work it.
"These are clothes woman wear from your time?" Beatrice asked as she non-shyly felt the fabric of Taylor's clothing.
"Yeah. We like to be comfortable and when you're feelin' lazy, it feels good to be wearing some jeans instead of a dress."
"Plus, men find it more attractive now. We like to see the curves instead of them being hidden by a bunch of frilly-ness," Vic said.
"Enough about clothing. We need to know what you children are doing about an ancient evil witch trying to destroy our world," William stated.
Each person looked at one another. They had no idead. They were young and still had a lot to learn. What could they do?
Finally, Greg stood up.
"I know what we are going to do," he mused with a grin growing on his face.
Everyone looked at him, waiting for him to finish.
He let out a sigh, and announced, "We are going to go out there. We are going to fight. Fight for ourselves, our friends, our family. Fight for everyone. And I don't know about you, but I'm ready to fight. She can't win against us. After all, we were chosen for this, so why not win?"
Victor let out a loud "Let's get it!" and everyone stood up and prepared to fight.
God. He didn't know why he had said that. He didn't want to fight. He just wanted to go home and have his biggest worry be how he wasn't going to faint before saying "I do."
He sat beside Sadie's unconcious body and thought about how he could protect her. He only wanted to protect her. He didn't want to be shallow or anything, but if something happened to her, he couldn't go on with life. She had him wrapped around her little finger.
"Sades, wake up. Please. You are back to normal now. Come on. We need you. I need you," he begged.
There was still no response to his plea. She layed on the table like a ragdoll. He thought she still looked like an angel. No matter what, he knew she was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. It wasn't just her looks though. It was her movement and her speech. She made you want to listen. He didn't understand half of the words she said(That's what he gets for not paying attention in school), but those words sounded like heaven to him.
Sadie stirred on the table. Her eyes flickered open and she blinked a few times. Greg bent down a little to get a good look at her eyes. They were the same beautiful opaque he loved.
"Ugh. My head is killing me," she groaned.
"I bet. You were out for a long time. Everybody's gone. I waited for you," Greg told her.
Sadie sat up and put her hand to her head. She arched her back to stretch and yawned at the same time. When she tried to stand up, her knees gave out and Greg caught her.
"Whoa. Hey, don't rush," he said while helping her sit down.
She sat back and closed her eyes. With them still closed, she asked, "What time is it?"
"Yeah, nine. Told you that stuff knocked you out."
She huffed and looked up at him and smiled.
Ugh! That smile could stop his heart in a second! She was killing him. He couldn't think of battle and then think of her. It would tear him apart. His love,Sadie Embers, fighting for her life and the good of mankind. Killing and sweet girls don't mix. They just don't!
Then, there was his other Sadie. His strong, powerful Sadie. She fought her herself. No one could beat her at anything. She was a warrior, and she knew it.
"Ya know, you think a lot more than I noticed," commented Sadie.
"Is that a compliment?" he questioned.
"From me, yes, it is. Ow!" she exclaimed as she gripped herself.
"What? What's wrong?"
"Nothing. Just a cramp."
She stood up and walked over to sit on his lap. This comforted him. He needed her close to him. She leaned her cheek on his hair and he layed his head on her chest. They were both quiet for a long moment. They didn't need words to understand each other.
"I don't know if this is appropriate for colonial times," Sadie whispered.
He hugged her tighter and whispered back, "I don't know much about colonial times, so I don't care."
She laughed and he could feel the rumble in her chest. He wished he could hear her laugh every minute of every single day of his life. He wouldn't mind. As long as it was her, he would never mind.
"We need to go," Greg murmured.
"To where? I'm fine here."
"Yeah, I can tell, but we have to help everyone. We are supposed to be lookouts. We can sit outside. It's a clear night. Plenty of stars."
"Sounds romantic. Let's go," Sadie replied while hopping of his lap.
* * *
Greg and Sadie layed in the grass and looked up at the sky. It really was a beautiful night. Sadie pointed out constellations while Greg acted like he knew them. He knew a few, but not as many as her.
"You make me look stupid," Greg fussed.
"No I don't and you are not stupid. I know you're smart. You think a lot. That shows intelligence. Therefore, you are not stupid," she explained.
"See, you make me feel like Albert Einstein. That's why I love you."
"I love you, too," she vowed as she moved over to lay her head on his chest. He relaxed a little bit more and moved one hand to stroke her hair.
"Are you scared?" he implored.
"Of what?" she asked back.
"Of getting married. It's a big step in life. I don't want you to feel like you're making a mistake."
"Greg, I am not making a mistake. You are everything I want in my life. I'm marrying you. No matter what."
He laughed a little and teased, "Well, I didn't say I wanted to marry you for sure yet."
Sadie sat up and punched his arm, but in a joking way. She knew he was kidding. He wanted to marry her ever since he asked her out. There was no way he was backing out.
She sucked in a breath and grabbed herself. Something was wrong.
"Why are you in pain?" he asked her.
"I have cramps. Just calm down," she reassured him.
Sadie layed back down on his chest and he went back to stroking her hair. He forgot about everything that was happening in the world. He forgot his friends were out there fighting or that Xavier's sister was missing or that he may never see his family again. He just wanted to remember this moment.
He hadn't realized Sadie had fallen asleep until he looked at her and saw her eyes closed. His eyes began to close also and the present world drifted away.
Greg woke up with a jolt after he had heard yelling. The sun was just peaking over the horizon. He wiped his eyes and saw Taylor bent over in the distance. He got up, attempting not to wake Sadie, and sprinted over to Taylor. She was breathing heavily and coughed every so often.
"Are you okay?" Greg asked frantically.
She waved him off and he backed away. A minute later, Victor came dashing out of the trees. His hair was a mess and he kept cussing under his breath.
"Tay, it was a raccoon. God, you run fast," Vic said.
"It was creepy. Did you see its beady little eyes?" she murmured.
Greg was about to make a smart comment when he heard a sweet sigh come from behind him. He turned around and saw that Sadie was awake. He left Victor and Taylor to argue about a raccoon and walked over to his fiancee.
He took a seat beside her and just looked at her and smiled. When she noticed him smiling, she smiled back and pushed her hair behind her ear. Oh, how he longed to be the one always pushing her hair out of her beautiful face, but then again, he loved the way her hair fell perfectly around her. As if it were a veil and it were hiding a mysterious secret of some sort. He wanted to know the secret. He needed to know the secret. Then they could laugh like little school children about it and lay together as life went on.
His thoughts dispersed after he saw her looking at him with a confused look. Her eyebrows were scrunched together, so he reached up and smoothed the wrinkle away. She took his hand and put it against her cheek. Her began to stroke her cheek and she closed her eyes and let out a little airy laugh.
"Tell me, what do you think about?" she questioned.
"You," he replied back.
"You have to think about more than just me."
"I do, but I mostly think about you. Most of my thoughts are towards you. I could go on for hours just talking about your lips."
"Oh, really? Hm, remember when you never noticed me and I was just the smart girl?" remarked Sadie.
"Well, since you brought that up, remeber when you thought I was the popular jerk who only dated sluts?"
"Point made. For the record, I still thought you were gorgeous."
"No offense, but when I went to a party, me and some guys were talking about how hot you looked one day. Brett, yes, Brett Jackson, said 'Did you see that Embers girl? Things I would do to her, dude. She's too smart though.' That was like a week before I asked you out. He wanted to kill me," Greg said.
This made her laugh more. She continued to laugh and Greg began to think she was becoming hysterical. He began to laugh himself. He couldn't watch her laugh without letting out a chuckle or two. Sadie fell over and was still laughing. She snorted loudly and that did Greg in. He doubled over and rumbled on the ground.
After a few moments, Greg sat back up, wiping his eyes, and questioned, "Why were you laughing?"
Sadie sat up, too and caught her breath before she said, "Brett thought I was hot?" Greg nodded and Sadie continued, "That's absolutely amazing. He use to push me in the dirt in kindergarten. Not that he had anything better to do. His brain is made of meat and protein bars. I must look good for him to call me hot."
Greg explained again to Sadie that she did look good. He didn't mind telling her. He loved telling her as much as possible.
She scooted over to him and started playing with his hair. He knew something was bothering her. Hair twirling was one of her ways to cope with being nervous or scared.
He grabbed her hand and put in on her lap. She stared at her hand for a few seconds, and then looked up at him. She stared at him...and stared...and stared.
Sadie fell into his arms. His hands began to quiver under her body. He could feel a sudden warm, wet liquid on his hands. Greg lifter his hand near his face and could see blood covering his palms.
His eyes became wet, but he knew he couldn't just sit there and cry. He had to get her help.
He lifted her up and ran towards Xavier's home. When he reached the door, he kicked it in and rushed through. He looked around for somewhere to lay her and then he remembered the table William had layed her on.
He sprinted to the room with the table and set her down on it and ran back out. He called for Taylor. He knew she was still near.
She was there before he realized. His head was spinning as she tried to ask him what happened.
"Greg, you have to tell me or we can't help," she said as she gripped him by the shoulders," What happened to her?"
"I don't know. She stared at me and fell and she was bleeding," he told her.
He thought back to her "cramps" she was having. She would blow them off like nothing was wrong.
"She...She said she had cramps, but I knew something else was wrong. She wouldn't tell me and she kept blowing it off like nothing was happening. I wanted her to tell someone, but she wouldn't and I was scared. It's not cramps. I know it's not cramps! She can't die!" Greg yelled.
He was bawling like a baby by now and Taylor was talking to someone. He didn't notice who. He didn't want to know who as long as they helped his Sadie.
He did notice hands around his arm pulling him up. He stood up and saw Victor. He was trying to comfort him, but obviously, he didn't exactly know how to comfort another man.
William and Beatrice parted the kids like the Red Sea and went into where Sadie was. Greg followed them.
Sadie was somewhat awake now and obviously in the middle of one of her "cramps."
Greg grabbed her hand and she squeezed it. William and Beatrice looked at Greg and he looked back. He knew they had bad knews.
"We're sending you back. She needs more help than we can give and it is urgent," Beatrice told him, not exactly looking at him.
"Can you send us to a hospital at least?" Greg asked.
"Yes, but you will have to do the rest. Just relax and close your eyes."
Greg did as she said and he could hear movement and then a jolt.
Greg blinked a few times and saw he was in a waiting room in a hospital. He felt lethargic. He looked around and saw two other people. The woman nodded.
"You okay?" the guy next to him questioned.
"Uh, yeah," Greg replied.
"I hope your girlfriend's alright. The doctor came out to tell you you could go back, but you were out like a light. Actually, you mumbled something, but other than that, you were asleep."
"Did he say exactly what was wrong with her?"
"No. Sorry. I saw something like that happen before. It's not something you want to happen. Trust me," he told Greg.
Greg sat up quickly and he became alert. It must be serious for him to say something like that.
"What did you see?"
"The blood and the 'cramps' aren't normal. My wife put it off. She didn't want me to worry. Then, it got worse. She called me. I was working. I drove like a maniac to get to her. When we got here, found out she had a miscarriage," the man explained.
He lowered his head and Greg felt sorry for him, but he also felt angry. Sadie never told him. How long was she going to wait before he found out? She kept this secret from him. Looks like the veil couldn't hide it for long.
Greg murmured a thanks to the guy and went back to Sadie. He furiously stepped into the room. Sadie turned her head, and he could see that her eyes were red. He couldn't let this get to him. He was still angry. He continued to look at her and she finally turned her head away.
He walked closer to her and she pulled the blankets up around her and curled up.
"Don't come closer," she whispered.
She sounded exhausted and nothing like the girl he was in love with. She was different.
"Please don't yell at me. I'm not in the mood."
Greg let out a breath and asked, "Why didn't you tell me, Sadie? I should have known, but you never told me. Why?"
"I didn't know I could," she retorted.
"What do you mean you didn't know? Of course you could have told me! I would have listened, but you didn't bother to let me know! Did you think I was just going to leave?" he exclaimed.
She turned over and glared at him with a gaze that could put out a fire.
"I didn't know I could ever have children!" she fired back.
This hit him. His knees became weak and he had to sit down. He looked at her, but she had already turned back over.
"Why did you think that?" he asked gently.
"I haven't had my...well...that little mother nature's gift since I was nine. I just stopped, so I thought it would never happen to me. I didn't bother considering it. But a week before we went to Cory's party, it actually happened. I was so happy, but when I skipped the next month, I was worried so I bought a pregnancy test. Actually, I bought six. They all came up negative..." she trailed off, sounding hoarse again.
The dizziness came back to Greg. His breathing was slightly irregular. Here he was, Greg Brooks, sitting next to the woman he loves trying to think of a way to comfort her after he just yelled at her for something she didn't know about.
Her lips upturned in a slight smile and she put her hand out for his hand. Greg put his hand in her's and squeezed. He couldn't be mad at Sadie. She was his everything. He couldn't let that go.
"Greg?" Sadie whispered going back to her weak voice because her normal was too exhausting.
"Yes, sweetheart," he responded.
"I...Don't be mad, okay?" she asked and Greg nodded and she continued, "I...I do wish that the tests were positive."
Greg sucked in so much air he thought his head would become a balloon. How could she wish for something like that at their age? They were way too young, and he couldn't be a father. He could barely care for himself. How could he care for a child? He certainly didn't need more responsibility.
"Sades, you know we couldn't raise a baby," he told her.
Sadie sat up slowly and cocked her head to the left. She reached out to touch Greg's face. She gently stroked his cheek. He stared at her. He was puzzled by her movement.
"What are you thinking about?" he asked.
"Oh, nothing," she whispered in a sensual voice.
Now he definitely knew she was thinking about something she wanted, and he would have to give it to her.
"Please tell me what you want," he demanded.
As she continued to stroke his cheek, she moved her face closer to his and said, "I want the wedding to be soon."
"Oh, maybe...Tomorrow," she cooed.
Way to rush it, babe, Greg thought. The wedding couldn't be tomorrow. They were in the middle of saving the world! They couldn't just throw in a wedding in the chaos they're already dealing with. It wasn't possible. Weddings are special. They are meant to be cherished.
On the other hand, they could be married. They could be husband and wife without worrying about dying before getting the opportunity. He wouldn't have to wait for months to see her as beautiful as ever walking towards him, smiling, waiting to finally say their vows. This chance couldn't be missed, but what about their families?
Obviously, their families wouldn't want to miss the affair. Everyone they know and love would have to be there. Sadie's mother and his parents have been planning this since they found out about the engagement. They would never forgive their children if they ran off and got married without allowing them to at least give them the consent.
A light bulb went off in Greg's head. He knew exactly how to handle the dilemma.
"Let's have the ceremony. Tomorrow, but in Xavier's time. It could be small, but it will be worth it. Then, when we come back, we could have a big wedding. Our families could be there. It's perfect," he explained to her.
"See, you are smart," she whispered before they blacked out.
Greg was beginning to notice how much he hated blacking out when he looked up and saw Taylor snapping at him. He blinked a few times to make sure he wasn't dreaming and batted Taylor's hand away from his face.
He sat up and immediately looked for Sadie. It was his instinct to look for her when she wasn't near.
"She's sleeping. She woke up half an hour ago, but she fell asleep. Greg, what...What was wrong with her?" Taylor asked.
Greg thought about his answer before he said anything. He didn't want them to know what happened. It wasn't their business.
"I can't tell you."
God, why did I say that? I didn't even mean to say that, he thought.
Taylor looked at him and he could see that her eyes were red. She had been crying.
Greg stood up. He looked around the room again. Just Taylor. Just red-eyed, lonely Taylor. He kept looking at her and he could tell that she wanted to know what happened. She was Sadie's best friend. She knew everything about Sadie. Heck, she knew everything about Greg because of Sadie. They told each other everything. Greg couldn't stand there and not tell her what happened while they were at the hospital. She was bound to find out.
But, what if this was the one thing Sadie didn't want to tell her? Sadie hadn't known about it herself. Why should anyone else know? Only they should know. Not their family or friends or people at school. Just them.
"Greg, please. You have to tell me," Taylor begged.
Greg considered how she would react and sat back down heavily. He put his head in his hands and murmured, "She almost died."
"How?" Taylor asked as she moved to sit beside him.
"She had a miscarriage."
Taylor gasped. The statement was expressionless. There wasn't any possible way he could add emotion to what he had just said. He just said it.
Taylor was crying on his shoulder when Victor walked in. He was laughing, but the action came to a halt when he saw his girlfriend sobbing all over Greg. He walked over to her and grabbed her arm gently. She stood and wrapped her arms around him and cried into his neck. Greg stared straight.
"What did I miss? How's Sadie? She's not...Well..." Victor's voice trailed off.
"No. She's not. She's sleeping. Still," Greg whispered.
Taylor marched over to Greg and grabbed his shirt by the collar. He looked up immediately at her. She was furious. Her eyes had a cynical gleam to them. The light seemed to reflect off of them. Her body was radiating heat. The heat began to increase. Greg could feel it passing through his shirt. Beads of sweat were beginning to form. Taylor made him feel fear. She was angry, and she wanted him to know it. His breath became shallow and he began to choke. He needed air, but he couldn't get in a good gasp. His throat felt like smoke was swirling inside of it. Then, he could smell it. Smoke was in his throat. It was appearing in clouds in front of his eyes. Taylor was causing his shirt to burn.
"This is your fault! You knew, but you didn't stop her from coming and that messed up everything! You caused an innocent life to die!" she yelled.
Vic bolted up behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist and yanked her away. As soon as her grasp was gone from Greg's shirt, the smoke and heat disappeared. He caught his breath. Taylor was more powerful than he thought.
"Why? Why would you do that?" Taylor demanded.
"I didn't! She didn't know! I didn't cause it to happen! I would never do that!" he told her. His tone came out more harsh than he had intended.
None of them heard Sadie wake up and walk out. They didn't expect her to.
"So, they know now?" she asked in a tiny voice.
Greg stood up and turned to look at her. She had a quilt wrapped around her and she looked about six years old. Her eyes were sleepy and her hair was messy. Greg thought she looked like the cutest thing in the world.
"Yes, we know," Victor answered.
Taylor started to walk over to Sadie, but Victor stopped her and whispered something only she could hear. She nodded to him and gave Sadie and sad smile as she walked out with Vic.
Sadie shuffled over to Greg and leaned her head against his chest. She let out a sigh. He put his chin on her head and stroked hair hair. She sighed again. He stopped stroking her hair and squeezed her against him. She coughed a very strict, teach- like, you-better-pay-attention-to-me cough and he pulled away to give her a puzzled look. She let out yet another sigh.
"Okay. I get it. What's wrong?" he asked.
"I'm nervous," she answered.
"Don't tell me you forgot already."
"I didn't. Are you nervous about being my bride?"
"Never, Mr. Brooks" she teased and nipped at his ear.
Greg thought about what they had just said. He realized they never told anybody about their plans.
"We need to tell everybody, so we can go through with the ceremony as soon as possible," he told her.
She nodded in agreement and leaned into Greg more. She looked up at him and chewed her lip and then put her face into his chest. His shirt suddenly felt wet.
He pulled away again and noticed she was crying.
"Sadie, please don't. It's okay. You're fine," he assured her.
"It-It's not about the wedding. It's about the baby," she sobbed.
"What about it?" he asked and he stiffened.
She could feel his body tense up and she stepped away. He didn't mean for her to let go of him. Babies just seemed like a touchy subject at the moment.
"Nothing. Nevermind. Just go tell everyone so we can get it over with," she said.
Greg stepped back to her and wrapped his arms around her waist. She looked at him.
"Ba...Sades, tell me," he whispered.
She coughed before saying, "I just wanted to know what our baby would look like. That's all. I didn't mean to cry. I just wanted to know."
Tears were pooling in her eyes. She wiped away one that slowly trickled down her cheek.
Greg put his hands on her face and leaned down to kiss her. He knew she needed comfort. They both did.
"You know, as well as I know, that that little baby would have been beautiful. No matter which one of us it would have looked like or if it looked like both of us," he explained and continued, "now, how about we both tell everybody about our plans?"
"Okay, let me get this straight. You wanna get married. Here and now. In the middle of all of this? Are you high?" Xavier asked.
Lilah gave Xavier a "Don't be rude" look and turned to speak.
"Are you sure? We are dealing with supernatural forces at the moment. You couldn't wait until we go back?" she asked.
"We want to get married now. We were planning on doing it all over again when we go back," Greg explained.
"If we go back," mumbled Xavier.
"When we go back, our families can actually be there," Sadie said.
Greg was about to mention another detail when he noticed Victor and Taylor were the only ones who hadn't said a word.
He looked at them and realized they were staring off into the distance. They didn't move. They weren't breathing either.
Greg slowly walked over to stand in front of Vic. He snapped his fingers, but Vic didn't flinch. He continued to stare.
Greg did the same to Taylor and she stared, too. It was like they were under a trance of some sort.
"You went back," Victor moaned.
"To try to move forward," Taylor said in the same low moan.
"But you did not look in between," they both echoed.
"Your answer is not here," Taylor continued.
"Look in the time of the Nazi king," Victor moaned again.
"And there you shall find the evil queen," they creepily finished.
Taylor and Victor looked up at the group of bug-eyed teenagers. Greg hadn't a clue whether to move and ask if they were okay or if to turn and run. His instincts said ask, but his body said run, so he did what he thought was the best decision.
"What the hell?" Vic yelled, his hand rubbing against his cheek.
Taylor yelped in pain and gave Greg a look that could make even the sun hide behind clouds.
Victor looked around the room at everyone staring at him. He still had his hand against his cheek even though the red handprint was beginning to fade. Greg was about to ask him what was wrong with him when Sadie, once again, announced their plans of getting married.
Taylor jumped up and squealed and hugged her best friend and Greg. Greg knew what she was thinking. She's Sadie's best friend which means 1) Taylor automatically becomes maid of honor, 2) Taylor gets all caught up in planning an over the top wedding, forgetting her witchy duties, and 3) She drags everyone else in, so in the end, the whole group begins to forget how saving the world and finding Xavier's sister is more important than the wedding. The sad part was that Greg even knew that.
Greg analyzed the entire situation again. He did want to marry Sadie. He wanted to more than anything. Maybe right now just wasn't the right time. The world could end. Well, either way it would because Sadie won't be happy about it, but Xavier's sister is missing and their is an evil force out there trying to destroy all of mankind.
He looked at Sadie and she saw the worry in his eyes. He knew because when she did, she bit her lip. She squeezed out of the gripping hug Taylor was still continuing to give her and walked over to him.
"Let's go. We need to talk," Greg said and held her hand as they walked outside.
He was walking quickly now and his hands were sweating. He was nervous.
"Greg? What's wrong? What are we. . . ?" she stopped.
Greg stopped walking and turned around to look at her. She was staring up at him with those deep brown eyes. He forgot what to say. He knew exactly what he was going to say to make this easier on her.
Sadie put her arms around his neck and leaned against him. He closed his eyes and took in her scent. He could hold her like this forever. He couldn't hurt her.
"Baby, tell me what's wrong, please," she whispered.
He pulled away a little and looked at her. He sighed and kissed her softly. She smiled.
"I'm just worried about, well, how Taylor is going to be in the wedding without passing out," he said with a laugh.
"Don't you ever scare me like that again Gregory Brooks! I almost peed!" Sadie exclaimed.
"Oh, just shh. We have a wedding to plan," Greg said and took her hand as they walked back into the chaos that was waiting for them.
"We have go! We have go now!" Xavier was yelling. His hair was messy with pieces sticking out everywhere and his eyes were fierce.
Everyone was staring at him like he had gone crazy. Obviously, they had to leave to find his sister, but there was no need to flip out like he did.
Greg was still holding Sadie’s hand as they walked into the house. Greg followed everyone’s eyes to Xavier, who was now calmer than a minute ago. Sadie let go of Greg’s hand and went over to whisper something to Taylor. Greg figured she was asking what happened before they returned.
“Everyone sit!” Will yelled. The guy really was intimidating. He had arms like a lumberjack and there was no way anyone of them would mess with him.
All of the teenagers and Xavier’s mother sat down waiting for what William had to say next. He stood there for a moment seeming to think of what he should say and then sighed.
“My daughter is missing. Right now, we do not have time for anyone to have an outrage,” his eyes moving quickly to look at Xavier, “and I certainly do not feel like yelling. You all chose to do this, but you cannot go into something without planning it first. World War II is what you will be entering. You all know of it, I assume. Don’t get caught. Adolf Hitler is a very dangerous man. You were all born after the war so you did not have to live through it. Now you do.”
Will would have continued, but Victor was already asking his question before another word could leave Will’s mouth.
“Wait, how do you know about World War II? We should know more than you since it was before our time,” Victor stated.
“Witches, remember? We can know everything we want if we try,” Xavier replied.
Beatrice shook her head at her soon. Apparently she knew something Xavier was thinking that we didn’t.
Everyone was quiet for a few minutes and the silence became awkward. It wasn’t just that no one had anything to say, but the fact that six teenagers were about to enter into a period of time where blonde hair and blue eyes was considered dominant and anything else was a disgrace.
Sadie was the first one to speak and as usual, Greg was the first to admire her logic.
“Truthfully, we can’t have a plan. Anything could automatically change it. It’s impossible to know exactly what to do,” she explained.
“That is true. We could have a plan and if one detail goes wrong, there goes our master plan like that,” Greg said and snapped his fingers to accent the “that.”
Taylor and Victor looked at each other and gave nods of agreement. Lilah shrugged her shoulders and nodded, too. Beatrice smiled.
“I don’t care what we do. I just want Rose back here,” Xavier said.
“Then it’s settled. You will leave tomorrow,” William said.
Everybody stood up to disperse and Greg took a hold of Sadie’s hand. She smiled up at him and he smiled back. He tugged on her hand a little and nodded his head towards the door. She followed.
They walked outside and Greg wrapped his arms around Sadie to block the cool air from hitting her. They continued to walk until they reached an oak tree. The tree had to be old because its trunk could hide a car under it.
Greg sat down and pulled Sadie onto his lap and she leaned back against him. He put his chin on top of her head. His arms held her tighter and she let out a sigh. He knew it was a content sigh. He kissed her hair.
Tomorrow, they would leave this time period to go to another, they would find Rose, they would kill the Black Widow, but that was tomorrow. They were going to enjoy their lives for right now; for today. Nothing would stop them.