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Obligatory.

Summary:
There are somethings about being in this coven that are obligatory.
General deceitfulness seems to be one of them. ((reposted.))


Notes:


4. prologue IV, chapter four.

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Prologue IV He cast down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself. There were things I liked, and things I didn’t. Mostly there were things I could live with. I could live with murder. I could live with the fact I was a monster. I could live with being driven by hate. I could live with obeying Leinna’s every whim. But I would not, I could not, live with being ordered to forget my faith. There was a reckoning at that point, an all out brawl between the four of us. Wallace had been all to eager to forget our God to please Leinna, but Asher and I held on tight to our beliefs. It was us against them, an alliance between a Catholic and a Jew against a Celt and a newly formed atheist. It must have looked awkward and strange from the outside. It was awkward and strange from the inside, as well. We fought to the bloody end, though, Leinna sinking her teeth into all of us, eventually, including her precious prodigy, Wallace. From then on she had full control of us, but we had earned enough respect to continue practicing our religions. But if we stepped out of line, those scars burned like the fires of Hell. Asher had fallen from Leinna’s graces after that, Wallace moving up as her right hand man. It was horrible to see Asher, an old man in comparison to us, so put out. It near about broke my heart. He was so upset to be so quickly betrayed. But there was a positive. There always is. Now, Asher and I stuck together the way Wallace and I had in the beginning. And this new relationship would prove much, much more useful. Chapter Four. My nephew was fast asleep when I snuck into the room before we left. Collins was in her bed snoring and Parrish was in his cradle at the bed’s foot. He was so tiny. I clutched the wooden plaque in my hand tighter. I knew what I was doing well enough. I was protecting him. Leaning over the cradle, my breath froze in my chest when he let out a tiny giggle in his sleep. I reached forward instinctively, tapping his teeny nose gently. I hung the plaque above his head with care, making sure its placement was nothing short of proper. It was completely necessary to protect little Parrish from Lilith. He would make her an excellent prize, and I wasn’t planning on letting that happen. Not at all. If she came for Collins, though, that was another matter entirely. She could have her for all I cared. I was totally ready to let her go. After the plaque was firmly in place, a turned silently and strode out of the room. My ears strained behind me from any sound from the cradle. There was nothing, so I relaxed and left in peace. Harold, Asher, and Wallace were all waiting for me downstairs, the latter two so we could leave, the former to say goodbye. I couldn’t help but smile at Harold, standing there in faded cargoes and a black t-shirt, his sandy blonde hair looking particularly shabby. He was, as usual, shoeless, and my polka dotted bag was slung over his shoulder, my beach-bag proportioned purse at his feet. As soon as I was close enough he reached out and pulled me to him, kissing me one last time before I left and slipping me my bag in one motion. Behind us, Wallace made gagging noises as Harold kissed my temple and hugged me just a little tighter. “Some time today,” said Asher, scooping up his own bag. Harold chuckled and released me, slipping me my purse and grinning at me. “See you soon, Nora.” “I hope so,” I said sourly, standing on my tip toes for one more kiss. “By today I mean now, love birds,” Asher said tiredly. Harold nodded at him over my shoulder. “You should really get going now, Nor. Call me when you’re in Washington.” “Yeah, sure,” I said sarcastically, patting the lump in my jean’s pocket where I had stashed my phone. A low, rumbling laugh filled the room as Harold all but pushed me out the door after Wallace and Asher. The door clicked behind me. I stood on the porch a moment until I heard Harold’s footsteps tromping up the stairs and then I set out after Asher’s frame. It was a little alarming how quickly he was disappearing down the mountain, even at the leisurely walk they had set. I caught up to them after a quick sprint. “Finally, she decided to leave,” Wallace teased. Asher laughed. I frowned, “Not funny.” “Of course not,” said Asher, throwing a fatherly arm around my shoulders. Wallace groaned and broke into a run, Asher and I chasing after him. Though Asher was physically quite a bit older than us, he still kept up with ease. I was still faster than him though. After a moment, I passed Wallace. I was faster than him, too. The only one in our coven quicker than me was Ariel. I was pretty sure she was the fastest person in the universe, though; she moved like lightning streaks across the sky. I arrived at the garage first and all but flew to my Vanquish, opening the truck and shoving in my bag. I left it open for Wallace and Asher. Climbing into the driver’s seat, I put my purse in the passenger’s floor board. See if I care about their foot room. I brought the engine to life just as Wallace and Asher made their appearance, stowing their own luggage away. Wallace automatically clambered into the back, Asher taking the front and placing my monstrously large purse in his lap. “Is this really necessary?” he asked, gesturing to its size. “Yes,” I answered, pulling out of the garage. Wallace leaned between the front seats, setting the radio to some station that did little more than scream. Horrifically enough, he screamed along with it. I cut my eyes at Asher. He was just as displeased with the music as I was. Asher, if possible, was even more old fashioned than me. He preferred his music strictly classical and very traditional. I was fond of anything swingish or jazzy. But Wallace… Wallace liked his music screaming. “It’s going to be a long night,” I muttered as I took the exit by storm. Asher groaned, “You said it.” That night in the hotel was a little better than my stay in the Holiday Inn a few weeks before. Wallace was practically useless; he spent the whole night ordering room service he really didn’t need. Asher was a good bunkmate, though. He kept me entertained for the most part, telling me stories from times gone by. It was ridiculous that, no matter how old I got, I was still silent and at attention when Asher decided to tell me a story. It was worth looking like a fool to listen in on one of his stories. We checked out early, the three of us slinking out silently and piling into the Vanquish. Wallace sprinted before me to the driver’s seat, and I got into the passenger’s. Asher gracefully accepted his fate to the back seat. Wallace drove much too fast, even by my standards, and we were closing the distance between us and Washington at an alarming rate. Day two of our travel was nothing short of God awful. Wallace was on fire with thirst and gave us the commentary on what he imagined each little honey blonde girl or brunette beauty we passed in our road rage would taste like. He seemed to have a preference for the blondes. After a while, venom started to drizzle from his mouth as he viciously described a particular bleach blonde girl with silvery eyes he kept pace with for close to seven miles. I smacked his arm, reminding him he was a vegetarian now, and would be until Leinna said otherwise. Reluctantly, he swallowed his venom and pouted. “How much farther do I have to drive?” Wallace asked impatiently. “Not too far,” said Asher, “we’ll probably arrive late tonight.” “We should have just run,” muttered Wallace, more to himself than me or Asher. I sighed, throwing myself against my seat. My fingers drummed on the small green phone in my hand. Call me when you’re in Washington. Harold’s voice rang through my head. I took a deep breath, releasing it almost angrily and quite audibly. Wallace chanced a glance at me. “Car,” I said. Wallace’s eyes snapped back to the road and he swerved around an old Ford van just in the nick of time. I glared at him from the corners of my eyes. “I would really appreciate it if you would be more careful with my car,” I said sarcastically. “I don’t want to buy another.” “Sure,” said Wallace, his expression grim. He was the worst driver out of all of us. Even Asher had better control behind the wheel than him, and Asher had a touch of trouble keeping up with us younger-bodied people in most everything. I was pretty sure that was more than a little embarrassing for Wallace to admit. After all, wasn’t he Leinna’s little favorite? Shouldn’t he be the best at everything? Apparently, he should. And obviously, he wasn’t. “Take a left, Wallace,” Asher instructed as we entered the Forks city limits several hours later. I perked up. As much as I loved my car, I had spent far too long in it recently for my tastes. The car lurched as Wallace took his turn, taking us on an obscured lane just past the high school. It would be my high school, I realized with a touch of disappointment. I had only been twice, for similar reasons as now, but I still hated it. So many human teenagers in one place… it was almost my definition of Hell, only it lacked in the continual darkness department. I was rather fond of light. “Right,” muttered Asher. Wallace swerved right onto, if possible, an even narrower lane. And then I saw it. Our house. It wasn’t too large, just big enough for the three of us, really. There was only one floor, but that was perfectly alright. I don’t like shuttling myself up and down stairs anyway. The outside was buttery yellow, striking against all the green, and the porch large with a swing on either end. I jumped from the car and went to the door. It was unlocked, as I expected, and I slipped inside. The boys could handle my bags, I knew. Inside was just as lovely as outside. The walls were all a light brown, and the vaulted ceiling making everything angular. It was already furnished, all antique and fragile-looking. The only modern touches were the extensive stereo hook up and the wide TV that was fastened to the far wall. The windows were tall, nearly reaching from the ceiling to the floor. I stalked quickly to the farthest room, which was small with dark red painted walls. A desk was in one corner, some shelves and a couch arranged against the other wall. Lots of open space. “Nor!” Wallace yelled. “Come and get your junk!” I exited the room. Wallace had tossed my bag and purse carelessly on the hardwood floor just inside the room. He had already snuck off for some exploring of his own. I grabbed my bag and purse, returning to the red room. After I had moved my clothes into the closet and put my few books on the shelf, I decided I was done staking out what was mine and whipped out my phone. I dialed and held it to my ear, listening to the rings anxiously. “So I take it you’re in Washington.” Harold. I smiled, “Yep. Sure am. I thought I was going to murder Wallace on the way up here.” A rumbling laugh. I felt a pang of lonesomeness, absentmindedly wishing he was here as I settled onto the couch. We talked and talked, giving him the play by play account of the road trip from Hell, to which he replied with a humorous tale about Ariel finally getting revenge on Collins. “She’s sporting some spiky black thing on her head now.” Harold laughed at his own story, and then broke into another about how Parrish was already growing in teeth and he bit everything in sight. I sighed, listening to the trivial goings on of that obscure little cabin in the Smokies. Mostly I was jealous that Ariel, Leinna, and Collins were getting to enjoy Harold’s company, when I knew they couldn’t appreciate it properly. Secondarily, I was jealous that they didn’t have to commit Leinna’s crimes for her. “I miss you, Nora. It feels like you’ve already been gone forever already.” My chest ached as I realized just how much I already missed him.