Chapter 7: The Great Escape
Our bags sat on the stone porch in the dark, softly illuminated by the street lights. I sat on my black duffel bag that Danny had given to me, clutching the cell phone in my hand while I listened to Gracie hum an unfamiliar tune as we waited for Danny to return with his car.
My nerves were working in over drive, and I could feel a thin layer of sweat trail down the back of my neck. My aunt Sade was out of town, but who knew who or what was hiding in the mysterious Victorian house that loomed above her? What was to say Sade wouldn't set out on her own journey to stop her from doing what they were doing?
The cell phone buzzed in my hand, interrupting my thoughts and causing me to jump. I rolled my eyes and opened the new message.
Be there in 10, had a flat. Sorry I'm running late.
I shook my head, glancing over at Gracie, who was typing furiously into her phone. I replied a simple okay, and locked the screen, closing my eyes and wishing my nerves would just stop. Making myself sick wasn't on my list of things to do this morning.
A loud vehicle pulled up in front of the house, and I felt myself scowl even before I'd decided upon doing it in general. My eyes shot open - I'd had to have dozed off for a moment.
"What to do you think you're doing," I hissed at him as he climbed out of the driver side of a loud, black coup. It was hard to tell what kind of car it was in this lighting, but it was clearly older and a sports car. There was no hiding it - I was disgusted as soon as he pulled up.
"That piece of junk is loud, and probably about ready to fall apart, Danny," I scolded, anger evident in my tone as I crossed my arms. "I'm not getting in that... car."
He scoffed at me, shaking his head as I continued to glare at him. "Just hurry up and get your ass in here. We don't have time for this, especially since somebody decided to slash my tire before I got there," he growled back at me.
If somebody is taking the time to try to sabotage our trip, wouldn't they be a little more... thorough? I couldn't help but think to myself bitterly. There really was no way I was getting in that car with him.
Gracie hopped off of the cold stone steps, grabbing her overnight bag with a grin and skipped to the junky car without any problem. I watched as she climbed into the back seat without difficulty, her small frame disappearing into the dark.
"She has no problem with it, so get in," Danny growled at me, losing his patience, if he even had any to begin with.
I let out a huff. "They're going to find us in that car." I didn't care how ridiculously stubborn I was being, and maybe that was my worst mistake this morning.
He let out a disgruntled noise. "No, they're not, Lauren, now get in my car, now. Preferably before I drag you into it."
I stared at him dumbfounded. He really wouldn't drag me into his car... would he? I didn't picture him as the more aggressive type, and I didn't think that he would subject his little sister to watching him manhandle somebody else.
Of course, I was caught off guard as he appeared out of nowhere, throwing me over his shoulder. I flailed my arms and legs, or at least tried to, but found that they were as useless as a log for some reason. I tried letting out a scream, but my throat felt clogged with clay.
Gracie giggled in the backseat as Danny roughly tossed me into the passenger seat, strapping me in securely with the seat belt before freeing me. I couldn't bring myself to snap at either of them, mainly for Gracie's sake, so I sunk down into the seat, glaring out the window into the dark night.
Did he really have a plan for them? What kind of coven would give them a lead on where we were supposed to go? Why did my mother always speak in riddles? Why was she so vague? Why didn't she miss me?
Millions of questions ambushed my thoughts, pummeling through the invisible barricade I had always built up to avoid thinking about it. I tried to build it back up as Danny put his obnoxiously loud car into drive and sped off, but it didn't entirely work. Questions seemed to pile up at top speed; the faster he maneuvered through town, the faster the thoughts came. I watched the street lights flick past us, until I couldn't remember anything else.
"Do you know what a prophetess is," Danny's low voice pulled me out of a light sleep and I sat up, blinking my eyes rapidly.
I hadn't realized I'd fallen asleep, let alone had stayed asleep for... I glanced at the clock on the dashboard quickly. 6:03 AM. I'd been out for two hours.
I shook my head slightly. "I've only ever heard stories, that they can see the future," I murmured, my voice thick with sleep still, and cleared my throat.
He chuckled. "They can predict major events that are critical to life. They have many names. Prophets, prophetess, seer, seeress, volur, spokana. Your aunt? She can't see what we're doing right now, unless she's some sort of crazed hybrid that has eyes everywhere," he murmured, gripping the steering wheel tighter.
I shifted in my seat. "Why are you telling me all of this? I mean, you don't owe me anything. We just have to rescue your friends and my mom, right," I asked, eyeing him carefully.
He looked nervous, his dark shaggy hair a mess and hiding his eyes. His lips were pulled back into a tight, forced smile, and he held his body too rigidly. He shook his head.
"We'll be there in a few hours, and they have a volur there. She likes being called that, and her name is Katiana. She's lovely, and nothing like your aunt," he told me, his body relaxing slightly as of he were lost in a memory.
I nodded slightly. "Where exactly is there," I asked him, not sure if I liked not knowing where I was going. Especially when I didn't know the person I was with. I barely registered the fact that Gracie was no longer in the vehicle with us.
Looking out the windshield, I couldn't tell where we were. It was all flat and hardly green outside. Were we in West Virginia still?
"Well, it's hard to explain, actually," Danny muttered, playing with the radio. "Maybe it'll be longer than a few hours... Are you hungry?" His abrupt question caught me off guard as we passed a sign that said the next exit was a mile and a half ahead, and that there was a restaurant in the town it led to.
My stomach growled in response and he smiled triumphantly as I groaned. "I'll take that as a yes," he told me, speeding up.
How he could safely go any faster, I had no idea. He was already going seventy miles per hour before going faster. I closed my eyes and willed myself not to get carsick. Before I knew it, we were turning off onto the exit.
The town was small, and caught in what everyone would probably imagine as the safety net of the woods. We passed a large green sign, that no doubt had said the name of the town, but I had forgotten about it almost as soon as I'd laid my eyes on it. Danny slowed his car to the speed limit finally, and I let out a breath that I hadn't realized I'd been holding. We passed a couple of churches, a gas station, a couple of grocery stores, and after passing a couple of cafes, we finally pulled up beside a lonely looking one with a blinking sign that read Dee Dee's Diner.
Danny cleared his throat. "I used to come here with the others," he said finally. "On our way to the coven, anyway. We used to come here all the time. I haven't... haven't really been back since," he told me, his voice sounding distant as I looked at the small little diner.
It was cute, with big windows where you could look inside and see the many booth seats and the bar seats, too. There were only a couple of older couples inside, eating their breakfast together and reading their morning papers. I felt a smile creep across my face as I turned to face him.
"That sounds lovely, Danny," I murmured softly, looking at him questioningly. During the car ride so far, he was acting like a different person entirely. He wasn't moody, he wasn't snapping at me, he wasn't ripping my head off. I quite enjoyed this version of Danny, actually.
He chuckled. "It was. Come on, we can finish talking over some breakfast. I'm sure you've been yearning for some real food, right," he asked me, winking as he climbed quickly out of his black car, his bright blue eyes glistening with joy and excitement.
Yes, I definitely liked this version of Danny a lot better. I wasn't sure what was making him act this way, but I wasn't about to bring it up either.
"Daniel Jayce? Are my old eyes deceiving me or is that really you I see sitting in front of me," an older woman all but demanded good-naturedly as she approached our booth with a broad, toothy smile, her grey hair falling out of her messy bun as she dried her damp hands on her apron, pulling a writing pad from a pocket.
His eyes widened and he just about spit his ice water that the younger bleach blonde haired waitress had given him moments ago, all over the table and in my face. "Liz? You're still working here?
I shot him a glare, wiping the spit from my face and watching the exchange quietly. The woman's, Liz's, silver eyes sparkled in an odd way... almost glowed... but not quite in a magical way. No, it couldn't be...
"Laura, baby doll. Remember this. People will follow you as you grow older, like follow the leader. Like in your favorite game, remember? You've got the gorgeous eyes your mama has. See these?" My mom pointed to her eyes as she spoke, showing me her liquid copper eyes.
I nodded my small head, bobbing my black curls as I did so. "Yes, mama," I answered, not understanding what she was talking about.
"Only full witches have bright glowing eyes like mama and you," she told me with a wicked smile, her copper eyes taking on a whole new light.
"Laura?" Danny's voice pulled me to the present, interrupting my memory. He was smiling up at the woman now that he'd gotten my attention, telling her that he wanted whatever their breakfast special was for today. It was some sort of three egg omelet, with tomatoes, peppers, and ham inside of it with hash browns, white toast, and orange juice.
I shook my head. "Yeah?" I asked him, wondering what I'd missed while I spaced out, my cheeks growing warm as I fidgeted in my seat.
"What would you like, sweetie?" Liz asked me sweetly, turning her silvery gaze onto me, making me even more nervous than I was before, and reminding me of what my mother had said.
Gulping, I began stuttering. "Uh... umm...," I stammered, still looking at my menu. Think, Laura, think! There's got to be some sort of breakfast out there that you like! Oh... what I'd do for some-
Suddenly, I wasn't looking at the menu anymore - I was looking into bright, knowing, sapphire blue eyes. And those eyes seemed to be mocking me. Especially when I sucked in a startled breath, biting back the scream that was building in my throat.
-bacon, all I wanted was some damn bacon, god!
"She'll take the same thing as me, except with bacon and apple juice," Danny said coolly, grinning up at Liz and handing her the menus before I could even blink.
I was still confused as to what had just happened. I couldn't seem to wrap my mind around what in the world I'd just seen. Those sapphire eyes... they looked so... familiar. Wait.
Wait. Wait just one second.
Jerking my head around to face Danny, I shot him a glare. He just smirked at me, more than likely knowing I'd caught on.
"What the hell was that?" I growled out, clenching my fists underneath the table.