Which only makes his behavior more upsetting and me more freaked out—even before it becomes obvious that he’s going to prevent me from closing my door until he decides it’s okay.
“Hey! What are you doing?” I grab his arm and start trying to tug him back through the door.
He just shrugs me off. “Don’t worry. I’m not getting any closer.” Then he grins at my cousin. “Hey, Macy.”
“Hi, Mekhi.” She’s still bleary-eyed and in her pajamas, which probably accounts for why she doesn’t notice the power struggle going on between us. The cup of coffee in her hand attests to the fact that we didn’t wake her up, but I’m still glad she wasn’t in her underwear or something. “What’s up?”
“Nothing. He was just leaving.” I shoot him a warning look.
He doesn’t even pretend to look shamefaced when he says, “Jaxon doesn’t want her going to class today.”
“Okay.” She doesn’t even pause.
“Okay?” I demand. “Jaxon doesn’t get to tell me—”
“My dad already told her teachers she wouldn’t be there after what happened yesterday. Great minds and all that.” She scowls at me. “You’re supposed to be in bed.”
“You going to stay with her?” Mekhi asks before I can defend myself.
“Yeah, absolutely. Why? What’s going on?”
“I don’t know yet. But I’m pretty sure that’s what Jaxon aims to find out.”
Macy’s face tightens. “Is something wrong?”
“I don’t know yet.” Mekhi nods toward me. “I’ll let her tell you about it.”
“You know I’m standing right here in front of you, yeah? Which means you can talk to me instead of over me.”
Mekhi’s brows hit his forehead. “Oh, really? Because I’m pretty sure I already tried that.”
“You know what? Bite me.” I make an oops face. “Oh right, I forgot. Someone already did.”
Macy whips her head around like it’s on springs. “What did you say?”
“She knows, Mace.”
If possible, my cousin turns even paler. “What exactly does she know, Mekhi?”
“You can go now,” I tell him, grabbing on to the edge of the door and using it to back him off the threshold.
“Look, Grace, I’m really sorry,” he says right before I get the door closed.
I pause. “Did you bite me?”
“What? No! Of course not.”
“Then you’ve got nothing to apologize for.” I sigh as some of the rage drains away. “I’m not mad at you personally, Mekhi. I’m just mad…and scared.”
“I get that.” He looks hesitant. “Does this mean you’re not mad at Jaxon, either?”
“Oh, no. I’ve got all the anger stored up for Jaxon, so don’t you dare go telling him otherwise.”
“Believe me, I won’t.” Mekhi grins. “The last thing I’m interested in doing is getting in the middle of that argument. Besides, it might be time someone takes my boy down a peg or two.”
“More like twelve,” I answer with a snort. “Now go away. I have stuff to do.”
With that, I close the door right in his face. And now that it’s just Macy and me, everything suddenly gets a whole shit ton more real.
I take a second to gather my wits, to try to formulate what I want to say. But Macy jumps in before I can do much more than have an OMG moment.
“Grace, it’s not—”
I turn to face her. “I’m going to ask you one question, Macy. Just one. And I want you to be totally honest with me. Because if you’re not…if you’re not, I’m going to pack up all my shit and go back to California. I’ll stay with Heather; I’ll file for emancipation; I’ll do whatever I have to do. But I swear, you will never see or hear from me again. Got it?”
If it’s possible, she grows even paler. Plus, if her eyes got any bigger, they’d take over her entire face. But that doesn’t stop her from nodding and saying quietly, “Okay.”
“Are you a vampire?” I can’t even believe I’m asking the question.
“What?” She shakes her head vehemently. “No.”
The answer has me sagging with relief…at least until I realize one question isn’t going to cut it. I have dozens.
“Is your father a vampire?”
“Was my father a vampire?”
“Absolutely not.” She reaches a hand out to me. “Oh, Grace, is that what you’re afraid of?”
I blow out a long breath as the biggest, tightest knot in my stomach unwinds. “At this moment, I don’t know what I’m afraid of, Macy. But since you’re not acting like I’m losing my mind for asking these questions—and I have a perfect bite mark on my neck at this very moment—I assume that means vampires are real.”
“They are, yes.”
“And they go to this school.”
She nods. “Yes.”
“And Jaxon is a vampire.” I hold my breath as I wait for her answer.
“I really think you should talk to him about that, Grace. I mean—”
“Macy.” I drop the anger, let her see the fear and frustration that are riding me hard. “Please.”
She just looks at me, her face miserable.
“I thought we were friends, not just family.”
“We are. Of course we are.”
“Then tell me the truth. Is. Jaxon. Vega. A. Vampire?”
Macy sighs. “Yes.”
I was expecting it—I was—and still it explodes over me like a grenade. My knees go out from under me, and I hit the floor hard.
“Grace!” Macy’s next to me in the space between one second and the next. “Are you okay?”
“I have no idea.” I close my eyes, lean my head back against the door, which is conveniently close to where I dropped. “That’s why he can be outside without a jacket.”
“So that means Lia…”
I nod. “Flint?”
“No, no. Flint’s definitely not a vamp.”
I close my eyes as relief sweeps through me, at least until she continues. “He’s a…”
“What?” I open one eye. “He’s a what?”
“I’m not sure you’re ready.”
“Will I ever be ready? Finish the sentence, please. He’s a…”
Now I open both eyes. “Say that again?”
She sighs. “He’s a dragon, Grace. Flint is a dragon.”
“Of course he is. You mean he’s got—” I hold my arms up and kind of flap them up and down.
“Yes, he’s got wings.”
“And…fire?” I answer my own question. “Of course he does. With a name like Flint, how could he not?”
My brain is imploding. I can feel it actually turning to mush and folding in on itself under the weight of all this new information. I mean, who needs LSD when you go to Monster High?
Even worse, something tells me we aren’t done yet. Which is probably what leads me to snark, “And that makes you what? A fairy?”
“I’m not a fairy.” She sounds insulted.
“Not a fairy, not a vampire, not a…dragon?”
Macy sighs. “I’m a witch, Grace.”
I run her words back through my head another time or five, but still. They make the least amount of sense of anything I’ve heard this afternoon. “I’m sorry?”
“You heard me.” Now she’s smirking at me. “And you want to know something else?”
“At this point, no. I don’t. Not even a little bit. I’m done. My brain is—”
“You should have been one, too.”
What You Witch For
Her words go off like a bomb inside me. They can’t be right—she can’t be right. I mean, the whole idea is absurd.
“I’m sorry, but you just blew it.” Not for the first time in the last ten minutes, I stare at my cousin like she’s a few pieces of straw short of a broomstick. Or, perhaps more appropriately, as if she’s taken to riding a broom around our dorm room in a pointy black hat.
“Whatever prank this is, whatever weird-ass mass hallucination you have going on here, you took it one step too far with that claim. Because I may be a lot of things, but I am not, nor have I ever been, a witch.”
I wave my hand in a magic-wand kind of gesture. “See, nothing happens. No glass dissolving and sending you tumbling into a snake pit. No ruby-red slippers to click together and take me home. No poisoned apple or magic mirror. So no, definitely not a witch.”
Macy laughs. She actually laughs. “I’m not saying you are a witch. I’m just saying that if your dad hadn’t fallen in love with your mom and lost his magic, you probably would be.”
“Wait a minute. You’re saying my dad was a witch?”
“A warlock, yeah. Just like my dad. And I’m a witch. It’s a family thing.”
I’m pretty sure my mind has stretched as far as it can go before just full-on caving in on itself. “I don’t understand. How could my dad be a witch and I not know it?”
“Because he lost his powers when he fell for your mom. Witches aren’t supposed to marry ordinary humans—weakens the bloodlines. So usually, when a witch falls in love with one, they…lose their powers.”
“So my dad was a warlock, but then he wasn’t. And that’s why I’m not a witch?” Looks like I was wrong. My mind can still boggle.
“Pretty much. Yeah.”
“Are you screwing with me, Macy?” I ask, because I have to. “I mean, you have to be messing with me, right?”