Hidden in the Immortals

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 7 (v.1) - Chapter 7

Submitted: November 29, 2017

Reads: 85

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Submitted: November 29, 2017

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When you were kids, getting into a fight with your best friend seemed like the end of the world. You felt like you would never have anyone to tell you inner most secrets too, have late night conversations with, or have movie nights with, ever again. One to two days later however, the friendship would be fixed like nothing had ever happened. That's what it had been like for me and Chad; until this fight.

Five days had passed since his little meltdown at the coffee shop and he still hadn't apologized. In fact, not even a word had been spoken between us. I wasn't about to be the first one to talk, he's the one who needed to apologize before that happened. I didn't completely believe what Chad did and said was out of jealously; I think he just believes he has some protection over me because I haven't really dated anyone and he's afraid of me getting hurt.

First period, Monday morning, was yet another silent and hostile class. Since Chad and I had stopped talking, I had been taking a lot more notes than I usually did. I wasn't a slacker though. I always did my homework on time and aced most of the tests I took. The only class I didn't excel in, was gym. Up until now, of course. Mr. Beckett, the gym teacher, was shocked and confused as to how I seemed to become more athletic overnight. I lied and told him that I had simply started running.

Now, Chad was very smart and knew the material for all of his classes, even English, but he hardly ever did the assignments because of his burning hatred for Mr. Nelson. He did enough to pass the class, but not much more than that. Gym was the only class he had gotten straight A's in since grade school, and now I knew why.

"Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine, making the green one red." Mr. Nelson read aloud from Macbeth. He brought his head up and looked to our table. "Mr. Addams," He called from behind his podium. Chad's head poked up from the doodles he was working on. "What do you think Macbeth was saying here?" He asked with a small grin.

Chad cleared his throat and sat up straight. He wore a smug grin. "Well, Macbeth was feeling guilty for murdering Duncan and he felt the blood would never be wiped away even after he washed his hands." He answered haughtily. "Oh, and 'incarnadine' is sixteenth century Latin for a pinkish red color, which is obviously an adjective; but here Shakespeare uses it as a verb in the sense of to redden the ocean." He finished and crossed his arms, still sporting the smug grin. Mr. Nelson stood there with a surprised look on his face. "I know, I'm pretty and smart. Don't stereotype, Nelson."

Mr. Nelson chuckled. "Very good, Chad." He replied in an almost cocky voice. Chad looked at him questionably in an attempt to figure out where he was going with this. "You seem to know a lot about bloody hands," Chad took a deep inhale and his jaw clenched. "Are you feeling guilty? Do I have to contact someone?" The class laughed at this.

"No, Mr. Nelson, that won't be necessary." Chad retorted with a spring in his voice. "What about you? It sounds to me like you're projecting. Are you feeling guilty about something?" The class laughed again; enjoying Mr. Nelson and Chad's seemingly harmless witty banter as usual.

Mr. Nelson huffed and slowly made his way over to our table. Then he placed both of his hands down on it in front of Chad and leaned in toward him. "Not. Even. Slightly." He hissed in a low voice. "Detention tonight again, Addams." Mr. Nelson told him as he backed away. "Till seven; once again."

Chad groaned and threw his head back in annoyance. "Really?! Seven?!" He fumed. "I feel like I should be able to be home for supper."

Mr. Nelson let out an awful chuckle as he made his way back behind his podium. He closed the book and looked back at Chad. "I'm sure your mother, will wait for you." His voice sort of taunting. "She has nobody else to wait for." He whispered this so quietly Chad and I were the only ones to hear it. I looked at Chad in shock and he looked at me for a second and I could see the fury in his eyes.

Chad shot up from the table probably faster than he should've, then shoved the table so far away that it was almost touching the podium; our materials flew off the table. The class murmured. "That was too far!" He bellowed and took a few steps toward Mr. Nelson who stood there with a rather bored look on his face. "Don't you ever say anything like that to me again!" Chad snarled, then turned around to the table again.

"Principal's office." Mr. Nelson said as he pointed to the door.

Chad was about to pick up his books as he said this. "I was already leaving." He grumbled and then stormed out of the class.

It was silent for a few moments before Mr. Nelson sighed. "Sorry about that class." He spoke with a head shake. "I'm pretty sure that kid is a lost cause." He added as he walked over to the table Chad had shoved and pushed it back into its original spot. Then he picked up my stuff from the floor and placed them on the table in front of me. He gave me a small smile before going back up to the front of the class.

I wanted to say something to that. Even though Chad and I were fighting, he was still my best friend and he most certainly was not a lost cause. He had been through a lot already. He lost his father and brother too soon in life and it wasn't in the least bit fair. And to sit here and listen to Mr. Nelson torment him about that was cruel and evil. However, Mr. Nelson was tied up in the hunter world with my father and I didn't want to get caught up in something that might result in me never being able to see Chad again. I remained silent, but I was fuming on the inside. I decided then that I was going to set aside my pride and talk to Chad about everything; from the Garrett thing to Mr. Nelson and his out of line comments. Even though he was a hunter, I would think he would have more than enough class to keep his business out of the classroom.

After school got out, I stuck around to see if I could sneak in a little talk with Chad. I just had to be careful to not get caught by Mr. Nelson. I moved stealthy down the hall, but looked casual if a teacher walked by. I reached the corner of Mr. Nelson's classroom and peered around it. He was out in the hall talking with Principal Santos about what a troublemaker Chad was and if he could move him to a different English class. Principal Santos told him he couldn't because the other classes were full and it was too late to move him anyway. Mr. Nelson wasn't too pleased with this.

"Look, Shaun," Principal Santos began in a professional voice. "I know you're not very fond of the boy, but all he needs is a little push in the right direction and he'll become a better behaved student."

Mr. Nelson huffed. "He will never be a better anything!" He retorted. "The kid's an Immort—" Mr. Nelson caught himself but wore a nervous look. He cleared his throat. "He's an immoral, rude, back talking little punk that needs to be punished." Nice save, jerk.

Principal Santos did not look too fond of Mr. Nelson's words. "Here at this school we do not talk about our students in the way." His voice was sharp and stern. "He's not a bad kid; he's just been through some unfortunate circumstances. It's understandable that Chad is acting out, but belittling him, calling him names, and giving him detention after detention, isn't going to make him stop." Mr. Nelson didn't respond; he simply looked down at the floor. "I'm going to tell him that he's free to go." Principal Santos told him. Mr. Nelson looked like he was about to protest, but shut his mouth. Principal Santos began walking into the classroom, but stopped and faced Mr. Nelson again. "And if I hear you talking that way about a student again, your employment here will be terminated." He told him plainly. Mr. Nelson nodded once, and then followed him into the classroom. I heard Principal Santos release Chad and Chad thanking him profusely.

I heard Chad's footsteps coming in my direction and as he rounded the corner I grabbed his arm. He blinked in surprise. "Hey." I greeted in a soft voice with a small smile. I couldn't tell what he was thinking or feeling from the look on his and it was making me nervous. I released my grip on his arm.

"Hey." He replied in a surprised voice. Neither of us said anything for a good five seconds. "What's up?" He finally said.

I gave a small shrug. "I just thought it was about time we finally talked." I replied.

He looked a looked a little surprised by this, but then he smiled. "Yeah, me too." He beamed. "I'm surprised you came to me first." He said in a smug voice. "Miss me?" He teased.

I rolled my eyes and pulled his arm to walk. "I'm not sure, it was hard to tell from all the blind fury."

He was looking at me as if he were trying to figure out if I was joking or not. "Yeah, I'm sorry about all that." He told me in an apologetic voice. "You haven't really dated anyone in a while and it scares me because guys are horrible nowadays." I could hear the concern in his voice and I could see it in his eyes as well. "I'm just nervous." We approached my locker and I began to grab my books out.

I sighed, looked over at him, and gave him a small smile. "Chad, I'm a big girl, I can take care of myself." I shoved my books into my backpack and zipped it up. He looked unconvinced by my statement. I chuckled and patted his arm. "I can." I assured him. I slung my backpack over my shoulder. We began to walk out of the school. "So, that was quite the scene this morning." I commented as we descended the steps.

Chad shoved his hands into his coat pockets. "I hate that guy so much." He grumbled. "I can't believe he said that to me. He mocks my dead father and brother right in front of me and the entire class." He huffed. "Who does that?" He removed a hand from his pocket and ran it swiftly through his hair. "A hunter." He answered his own question. We approached my car then.

"I'm sorry, Chad." I didn't know what else to say. Chad nodded and clicked his tongue in response while looking around the parking lot. "I don't know about you, but I enjoyed the lecture by Principal Santos." I added with a bounce in my voice in hopes of cheering him up.

Chad chuckled. "Yeah, that was pretty awesome." I could see that Chad was really hurting from Mr. Nelson's works. More than just angry. He was crushed, destroyed, humiliated. I knew him well enough to see that he was putting up a front to seem he was only furious about it, but it cut him deeper than he wanted to let on, and that alone hurt me.

I opened the driver side door of my car and tossed my backpack onto the passenger seat. "He's a low life, don't let what he says get to you." I shot him a small smile to which he returned. I could see that it was a genuine smile too. I grabbed my car door and sighed.

"Hey, how are you doing...with Andres still being missing?" He reached over and placed his hand on mine that was still resting on the car door. I removed it and rubbed my arm. I was still unsure what to do about Chad maybe having feelings for me.

"I'm tired of sitting at home with my family who are practically ghosts right now waiting for some news about him." I replied irritably. "I think I'm going to go look for him."

His eyes widened. "By yourself?!" He exclaimed.

I nodded. "That's the plan." I answered simply. "I'm done waiting." It was apparent that the bonehead cops weren't getting anywhere, and if Andres had ran away or God forbid, was dead—I was going to find out. My family and I had to know and deserved to know what happened to him or we would go even more insane than we already were. "If I don't hear anything by Friday, I'm going to find him."

Chad crossed his arms and smirked. "Well, then I'm going to help you." He told me firmly. I was about to protest, but he cut me off. "Don't even try to tell me no. I'm coming."

I groaned dramatically. "Fine." My reluctance didn't seem to bother him at all. I walked closer to him and poked him in the chest with my index finger. "Just don't slow me down." I ordered with a grin.

He huffed. "More like don't slow me down." He retorted and returned my grin.

I rolled my eyes. "Well, I'd love to stand here and banter, but I have to work."

He shoved his hands back into his pockets. "Do you want to hang out after?" He asked.

I shook my head. "I have a lot of homework tonight." I responded. "But I don't tomorrow and I was wondering if you could teach me that spiral thing you did with the water."

He looked a little apprehensive, but nodded his head. "Just don't burn my face off, please."

I waved him off. "Oh, don't be a baby; you'll be fine." Truth be told, I was kind of nervous to use my fire in such a large way when I've hardly gotten any playing time with it. But I was just going to have to trust myself and stay in control. "But just to be safe, could I have just a little bit of human blood before we start?" I tried to keep my voice from sounding desperate. I knew well enough that I shouldn't have any, but I really wanted some.

He chuckled. "I know, it's good stuff." He replied. "Honestly, I'm just now coming down from the high from turning you." I rubbed the scar on my neck softly. It felt cold against my fingers. "You can have a little. It's incredibly hard to kick a human blood addiction."

"Why is that?" I enjoyed the euphoric sensation that human blood gave me immensely, along with the feeling of incredible strength and fulfilment. I knew there wasn't anything out there that would give me this kind of hunger and ravenous desire, ever.

Chad chuckled. "Well there isn't exactly a patch for it, Julianna." He teased. "You have to kick it cold turkey, and it's not easy."

I smirked and sat down on my seat. "Oh, I'm not going to get addicted." I assured him. If there was one thing I've proven since becoming an Immortal, is my incredible self-control when I was thirsty and around humans. I wasn't going to become addicted; a little bit here and there wouldn't hurt. I started my car and checked the time. "I really got to go." I told him. "I'll talk to you tomorrow."

He gave me a smile. "Yeah," He replied. "Have a good night at work."

I flashed him a grin and a nod. "And don't forget what I said about Mr. Nelson's words getting to you." I reminded him. "He doesn't matter."

He nodded once. "I know." I smiled, said goodbye to him one last time, and then drove in the direction of the coffee shop.

As I was driving, even though I was worried about Andres, all I could think about was me and Chad's discussion about human blood. Even though it was delicious and I more than enjoyed the way it made me feel, I could live without it if I had to. Maybe other Vampires have a hard time kicking a human blood addiction, but I was different. Even if I got a little dependent on it, I would just drink extra animal blood and it would be fine.

 

I entered the coffee shop and smiled as I approached Kathy who was wiping down the counter. "Hey." I greeted, as I went to grab my apron. "What's it been like in here today?" I inquired as I tied it around my waist.

She chuckled. "Not bad, but the after school rush is beginning." She gestured to the parking lot. Like clockwork, teenagers started pulling up; not to mention the students who were already sitting at the tables. She smirked. "Have fun. I have to do inventory in the back."

I sighed, but I did my job without complaining. Toward the end of my shift, Kathy came out from the back and began cleaning up little messes left by customers. There was only a couple sitting at a table at the far end of the café. I cleared my throat. "Hey, can I run something by you?" I asked Kathy.

She nodded and ceased sweeping. "Sure." I could see a little worry in her expressions, which I assumed to be due by the tone of my voice and facial expressions.

"My cousin has been missing for about three weeks." I told her. She went wide eyed and placed her hand over her mouth. "No one has seen or heard from him."

"Oh no." She said in a whisper. I nodded solemnly and looked down at the counter. "Well, take off whenever you need to. Cassie and I can cover your shifts if need be."

I smiled. "Thank you." I wasn't scheduled to work Saturday, so I didn't need to call in for the search for Andres. The search for him. Not his body. He was out there somewhere, I was sure of it. Gabi had said he had been acting strange for about a year, maybe he simply left to figure things out for himself. Who knows; but he was not dead.

As usual, it was 9 when I clocked out. I was hit with a wave of thick, unexpected humidity as I walked out the door. The weather here in September was so unpredictable. One day it would be 30 degrees and rainy, and the next it would be 80 degrees and sunny. I got to my car and began driving towards home. As I was passing City Hall, I spotted my dad and Roger talking in the parking lot next to my dad's car. Curiosity got the better of me, so I pulled my car to the curb about a block away so I could hear and see with ease without being spotted.

"So, I'll meet you at your house at the usual time, right?" Roger asked my dad.

"Yep." My dad confirmed. "I feel like using a bow tonight." He added with a light tone to his voice.

Roger chuckled. "There's only one hunter in this town that's skilled with a bow, Jay." He said in a factual, but humorous voice. "And it's not you or me."

Dad huffed. "Practice makes perfect, doesn't it?" He sighed and leaned up against his car. "But I'm so ready to take out those last two Immortals." My dad practically growled.

Roger swatted my dad's arm with a smirk. "They have no chance of getting away from us this time." The tone of Roger's voice made me want to throw up. Then he cleared his throat. "Hey, when do you think you're going to tell your girls?" He asked curiously.

Dad shook his head. "Not for a long while." He replied plainly. "I still don't believe they're ready for this quite yet."

It was quiet between the two of them for a moment. "I'm not trying to challenge you on how to raise your kids, but why?" Roger asked. "I told my kids before they could walk."

Dad nodded. "And I applaud you for that, but Julianna and Jana aren't ready physically or mentally to hunt." He said factually.

It was silent again. "How can you be sure of that?" Roger asked. Dad didn't respond. "Is it because they're girls?" He pressed. "Because Layla is one of the best hunters I know...and I'm not just saying that because she's my daughter." He said proudly.

Dad shook his head. "No, it has nothing to do with them being girls; of course not." He replied firmly. "It's because they're my girls. I want them to be safe. I want them to feel safe."

Roger shrugged and crossed his arms. "Well, what better way to make them be and feel safe than training them up into hunters?" Roger was making such valid points that even I was beginning to question my dad. Dad didn't respond. "Julianna's almost eighteen, right?" Roger asked. Dad nodded. "She's going to be out on her own not long from now and she needs to know how to defend herself. You know for a fact that Immortals would do anything to kill our families."

Dad smirked. "Julianna is a tough one." He replied. "There's no doubt she'll catch on fast and make a fantastic hunter."

Roger snickered. "Of course she will; it's in her blood."

Dad sighed as he shoved his hands into his pants pockets. "I don't know, maybe you're right." He said in an exasperated voice. "I could tell Julianna earlier than I planned, but I still don't want to tell Jana until she's older."

Roger nodded and shot him a supportive smile. "And that's your decision, buddy."

I decided I had heard enough, so I started my car again and began to drive toward home. Great; I was about to be tossed into the family business. Uncle Romeo had given Andres and Gabi a choice if they wanted to hunt or not. Would my dad do the same for me and Jana? The meticulous tactics he has used to keep us in the dark all these years told me one of two things; he either wanted us to hunt, but would give us the choice or he wanted us to hunt and we would hunt. Either way, I was dreading that conversation. Especially when I told him that I wouldn't be hunting.

I felt absolutely drained when I finally got home. I grabbed my backpack from the passenger seat and slumped out of the car and into the house. Mom greeted me at the door.

"Hey sweetie," She greeted in her cheerful mom voice. "How was your day?" I just grunted and shrugged my shoulder in response. "Do you want something to eat?"

I shook my head. "I'm really tired." I responded while slipping my shoes off. "I'm going to do my homework and go to bed." She gave me a small smile and a nod, then I walked passed her and into the kitchen. Jana sat at the table eating an apple and reading a book that was opened before her. "Hey." I greeted.

She smiled. "Hey." She placed a bookmark into the page she was on and closed the book, then met my eyes again. "How was work?"

I sighed. "It was fine." I readjusted my backpack on my shoulder. "I got a lot of homework to do, so I'll talk to you in the morning." I told her as I started to make my way to the staircase.

She nodded once. "Okay, goodnight." I gave her one last smile, before I turned and marched up the stairs. I respected that dad loved us enough from the fact that he hadn't pushed hunting onto us the minute we exited the womb, but it would've been nice to know what was going on at least. Eighteen years of lies.

I kicked my bedroom door open with a grumble and trudged into my room. I strolled over to my desk and basically emptied the contents of my backpack onto the floor next to it. As I did my homework, I tried to keep my concentration on my assignments, but my thoughts were everywhere else. Plus, I was exhausted. I could hardly keep my eyes open as I scribbled down my answers. And I failed; I work up the next morning still at my desk. I groaned loudly and banged my head against my desk. A quick glance at my clock informed me that I had also awoken thirteen minutes before I had to be up. I groaned again, louder this time. This wasn't too bad though, because that meant I had extra time for blood before school. I chuckled; early bird catches the rabbit.

I managed to shower and dress myself without collapsing and slowly went down the stairs with my backpack in my hand and a scowl on my face. Jana smirked when she saw me. "What's that face?"

I glared at her. "It's my 'I'm exhausted, leave me alone' face." I replied irritably.

She chuckled lowly. "Geesh, I guess." I didn't respond as I headed to the door. Jana chased after me. "Whoa, are you leaving already?"

I nodded. "Yeah, I got some homework I forgot about." I lied. "Why?"

"Chloe's mom can't give me a ride today so I was going to ask you if you could take me." She shot me a big, toothy grin at the end. Well, there goes my plan for feeding this morning. Would I even be able to get through school today without ripping someone's head off? Literally and figuratively.

"Yeah, I'll take you." I replied. Human blood at Chad's tonight... She smiled widely. "But don't get used to it." I added with a smirk. Really; don't.

 

After school, I pulled into Chad's driveway feeling like someone had stuck a fire poker down my throat. I could not rely on having the chance to feed before school anymore. If I ever had to give Jana a ride to school again, I would have to go through school in unbearable pain and thirst. Plus, it scared me to be around other people when I let myself become this thirsty; especially when my craving for human blood was becoming more intense. Night time hunts were something I would have to get used to.

I hopped out of my car the second I threw it into park. Chad was leaning up against the back end of his while he waited for me to arrive. "I need blood, now." I almost growled as I dashed passed him and into the house. I was in front of the ceramic teapot on the counter in an instant and pulled out the small key. I sped over to the pantry door and flung it open. Then, I pushed the canned foods aside and grabbed the lock box out.

Chad stood in the kitchen with his arms crossed and a smirk on his face. "Little thirsty today?" He asked teasingly. His eyes darted down to my neck and gave me a little cringe. "I guess so; you're blotching out." I ripped the top off the blood bag with my teeth. "Why did you let yourself get so thirsty?" He asked. I squeezed a generous amount of blood into my mouth and swallowed it. I let out a happy sigh as the indescribable feeling swept over me.

I smacked my lips and smiled. "Because I'm the best sister ever." I replied and squeezed more blood into my mouth. I swear, each time I drank human blood it would make me feel better than the last. "I gave Jana a ride to school this morning."

He snickered. "Why didn't you just make her ride the bus?"

I huffed. "I might be an Immortal, but I'm not a monster." I replied plainly, and squeezed the last bit of the blood into my mouth. "Chloe's mom had to go into work early and Jana normally hitches a ride with her." I tossed the empty blood bag into the trash can.

He sighed. "Okay." He took a few steps toward the patio door. "Do you want to learn the spiral trick or not?"

I dashed over to him in a second. "Yes!" I exclaimed. "Let's go." I slid the patio door open and sped outside before giving him a chance to reply. Once we were a good distance away from the house, I conjured up a small ball of fire in my hands. I wanted to see if I could do it on my own first. I focused on making the fire larger until it rose about five inches above my head.

"Julianna, wait a minute." Chad said frantically as he rushed over to me. I let the fire die out. "Please, let me show you the ropes before you get fire crazy." I shot him a dirty look. "I'm sorry, but it's dangerous."

I rolled my eyes and crossed my arms. "Fine. Continue."

Chad walked over to the gardening hose. "Caleb taught me this trick when I was about eight." He smiled. "He came up with it himself." He twisted the knob on the hose and water started to spurt out. Then, he began to rotate his arm in a large circle and the water rose to about his stomach. The water immediately began to mimic Chad's arm movements. "Start by doing exactly what I'm doing."

I closed my eyes and let out a deep breath of air before opening my eyes again. In that same moment, both of my hands ignited in flames. I laughed as I held my hands up to show Chad. I swung both of my ignited fists at him as if I were going to punch him. "Don't mess with me, kid." I said with another small laugh.

Chad smirked. "Calm down before I extinguish you." He transformed the water into a thin stream of water and lashed it toward me as if it were a whip. I smirked at him. He began to rotate his arm in a circle again and the water moved with it. "Follow my lead." I watched his arm movements carefully to ensure that I would be doing it correctly. I pressed my hands up against each other and exchanged the fire from my left hand to my right. Then I began to copy Chad's arm movements. I peeked up at what he was doing once more, and then back down to the fire on my hand. I mimicked Chad's actions as closely as I could and it began moving in the same way his was. I looked up at him. He smiled at me. "Great." He said. "Now, remove your hand, but keep your focus on having the fire continue moving in the circle." He instructed. He slowly brought his hand to his side but the water continued moving in the circle. I did the same; focusing with all my might to keep the fire floating in the air. As soon as I brought my hand down, the circle of fire became wavy.

"Whoa." I muttered. I brought my hand back above the fire and resumed moving it in the large circle to which it instantly caused the waves to die down. I looked back up at Chad. "What did I do wrong?" I asked.

He shook his head and took a few steps toward me. "Nothing, it just takes a little practice to get the hang of it." He waved his hand to the ground twice. "Cut the fire." He instructed me. I closed my eyes and let out another deep breath and the fire went out. "Now, let me help you." He said and closed the distance between us. He awkwardly reached over and grabbed my hand and lifted it into the position it was in a moment earlier. I felt a strange stirring in my stomach that almost felt like butterflies. The two of us locked eyes for a few moments before I looked away. Chad cleared his throat. "Okay, so without using your fire this time; move your arm like this." He began guiding my hand in the circular motion. "Ah, I see the problem. The waves weren't due to your lack of concentration," He grabbed my fingers and straightened them out completely. "Your fingers have to be completely flat." He let go of my hand and backed up a few feet. "Okay, now try it with fire."

I continued the circular motion and with barely any thought, fire started to move around the circle. When I felt it was steady, I slowly brought my hand to my side but the fire stayed where it was. I watched it for a few moments waiting to see if it would become wavy again, but it continued moving in a perfect circle. I let out a small triumphant laugh and looked over at Chad who was looking back at me with a proud smile. "Alright, here goes nothing." I placed my hands behind my back just like Chad did the other day. I shot him a glance with a small grin. "No hands." I said in a mocking voice. He simply rolled his eyes. I brought my attention back to the fire and stared at it intently for a moment. Then, it started to move up in the air and began to transform into a spiral. As it went higher, it seemed that more fire was being ignited into the spiral. I gawked in amazement at what I was doing. I felt more in control and more powerful than I ever had in my entire life. I sighed and squinted my eyes shut. When I opened them again, the spiral was gone. I brought my attention back to Chad. "How was that?" I asked in a proud voice.

He clapped as he made his way toward me. "Incredible." He replied with a smile. "But don't go getting a big head and forget who taught you that." He added and pushed my shoulder.

I chuckled. "You don't forget who can do that trick way better than you." I pushed him in the shoulder back, but before I could bring my arm back, he had grabbed me and pulled me into him.

"That's the biggest lie I've ever heard." He muttered with a slight grin. I rolled my eyes, but then locked eyes with his. His eyes were filled with some kind of emotion that I couldn't seem to figure out, but for whatever reason it made my stomach do cartwheels. I pulled out of his grasp and sighed.

"Chad..." I began, not meeting his eyes. "I need to ask you something, and I need you to be honest with me." I finished, and then met his eyes again.

He looked at me curiously, but nodded his head. "Okay, shoot." He replied.

I sighed deeply again. "I really don't know how to ask this because it's just a weird thing to wonder after being friends for as long as we have, but..." I paused and tried to interpret what he was thinking from the look on his face. I tucked a strand of hair behind my ear. "Do you have feelings for me?" I asked in a small, awkward voice.

He looked quite taken aback by this at first, but then he chuckled. "Why do you ask?"

I looked down and awkwardly rubbed my arm. "Because Noelle and Ben were saying that you were jealous when Garrett asked me out and that's why you got mad." I answered, and looked back up at him. "And everyone has been saying for our entire lives that you like me and I just want you to give me an answer so we can forget about it." It felt so uncomfortable to be saying this to him after thirteen years of friendship.

He wore a small smirk and walked up to me. He stood there for a moment before looking down with the same smirk on his face. With mild hesitation, he reached over and intertwined his fingers with mine. Then, he met my eyes again. "Well," He started with a sigh. "They've all been right." He said this with confidence and sincerity. "I've had feelings for you for a very long time." I suddenly began to feel hot all over and my nerves starting spiking. "Julianna, I can hear your heart pounding right now..." He added in a soft voice. "Does this really come as that big of a shock to you?"

I removed my hand from his and took a step back. "Well, yeah." I replied and took another half step back. I wasn't even sure how to process this information. "It's just we've been friends..." I stopped as my voice trailed off and I shook my head. "Why didn't you tell me?"

He huffed and crossed his arms. "Are you serious?" I nodded. He let out a half chuckle. "Put yourself in my shoes for a minute," He said challengingly. "Would you have told me?" I thought about it for a moment. Chad and I had such a good friendship; we always have and I definitely didn't want to do anything that could compromise it. With that I realized that if roles were reversed, I wouldn't have said anything either. When I didn't say anything, Chad half chuckled again. "Exactly."

I sighed and looked at him. "This doesn't change anything." I told him seriously. "We're just friends, I'm going to date Garrett, and I don't have feelings for you."

He smirked. "Are you completely certain about that?" His tone was light and teasing.

I put my hands on my hips. "Of course I am." I defended. "Are you trying to suggest that I have feelings for you?" I asked, while shooting him a dirty look.

He laughed and put his hands up in defense. "I'm not suggesting anything." He said with a smirk. "Merely asking a question." He dragged a hand through the hair that had fallen in his face. His pretty hazel eyes danced with amusement. I wanted to smack the smug right out of him. I could see from the look on his face that he was aware of that, too.

I rolled my eyes and started to walk toward the house. "Well, I'm going home before I start you on fire; unwillingly or not." That and I was feeling extremely uncomfortable being around him right now.

He shook his head with a chuckle. "Fine, see you tomorrow." I gave him a small wave as I entered the house. My eyes darted to the lock box on the table; the blood bags staring me right in the face. I glanced over my shoulder at Chad who was turning off the hose. I bit my lip, and against my better judgement, I sped over to the lock box and snatched one of the blood bags out. I hurried out of the house before Chad had time to see me off. I got in my car and sat there in silence for a bit.

It was then I realized that I might have a problem. But I so desperately needed human blood; there was no other way around it. I looked down at the blood bag in my hand. "This is the last time I'm going to drink human blood." I promised myself in a whisper. I opened the glove compartment and placed the blood bag inside of it. I sighed and started the car. "The last time."

I drove home in a bit of a blur; mostly from being shaken up at Chad's confession. This was the last thing I needed right now. From becoming an Immortal, to discovering my parents and the Mayor's family, and all of their close friends are Immortal hunters, to potentially starting my first real relationship - was just way too much on top of all that. Honestly, I couldn't handle anymore crazy, life changing events right now.

I got home and bolted straight for my room in an attempt to avoid socialization with anyone. I shut my bedroom door behind me and let out a way too dramatic sigh. On my floor, I noticed my dirty pair of jeans that I wore the other day with Garrett's card hanging out of the back pocket. I realized that I hadn't even looked at it yet and figured now was as good time as any to call him up and plan our first date. I grabbed the card out of my pants pocket and pulled out my cell phone from my jacket pocket. I looked down at the card in my hand and my heart immediately stopped the second I took in what was typed on it. I closed my eyes and dropped the card onto the floor. I realized Garrett and I never exchanged out full names. I tossed my head back and laughed in irony.

I was about to plan a date with Garrett Nelson.


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