Greetings, Adventurers! I hope you all had a restful weekend full of giving and receiving thanks, not to mention delicious food. Or do. Yes, do mention delicious food, often and with pride. I myself enjoyed many delicious dishes, but most importantly, a bourbon pecan pie, which had just the right amount of bourbon and pecans, and maple syrup in the pie part. But I digress. Last week, our smokin’ hot Necromancer friend laid a bomb on us that we have yet to diffuse, by telling us he was supposed to make sure we were dead, so you all chose to B.  Pull out the wand you know Daphne keeps tucked by the washbin for stain emergencies and point it at Eli

So let’s put on our adventure panties and pull out that wand! Er…

Chapter 12: Better Off Dead

“What the fuck?” comes out of you mouth at the same time that you complete your first wordless spell, calling the wand you knew Daphne kept hidden under the wash bin to your grasp. Even though you know this is the wand you used to use in primary school, and not nearly as fine-tuned as your current wand, you still revel in its solid feel as you point it at the boy with whom, not too long ago, you were much more interested in pursuing activities of a carnal nature.

“What?!” Eli lifts both his hands in a gesture of surrender.

“What?’ you echo. Why is he asking questions, when he was the one who pretty much just told you he was going to kill you?

“No. I’m — you don’t ask questions!” There. But what to do now? “Explain yourself.” You mentally pat yourself on the back for how much you sound like Professor MacDougall.

“What?” he repeats.

“Did I stutter?”

You are one smooth witch. Which feels really good after everything that’s happened tonight with your boyfriend and father.

Realization dawns on Eli’s face, and he shakes his head. “No, no, Tabs,” he offers his hands in supplication. “You misunderstand me.”

“How do I misunderstand you being sent to kill me?”

“I never said that.” he replies. “I was speaking, thinking that you had seen what I know happened in that meeting.” He paused, looking for recognition in my face. “With your dad… why they’ve cast a spell on him…” I thought back to what I had seen at the Order meeting, but kept my wand trained on Eli’s face. I had used the petrificous acnerious spell before, and was not afraid to use it again. Painful pustules erupting on one’s face is a bigger distraction than you might think.

“Did they talk about you being… different than the other witches and wizards?” You nod at his question.

“Tabitha,” Eli meets your eyes and you see… is there longing there? “Your mother was a necromancer. From a long line of necromancers. You were cursed when you were only 5-years old, and she raised you. It’s because of your combined wizard and necromancer blood that being dead didn’t stop you from growing and being able to live a normal life…”

He may have continued talking, but suddenly, you were in a tunnel, and the walls of it closed around you, and you were floating up, up and back, away from all of this. One image was stable in your mind. That of a woman, a beautiful woman, with hair like yours and the same chin, instead of the blonde, blue-eyed ice princess that had raised you. Raised you. Ha. Your mother was a necromancer.

HOLY SHIT. Your mother was a necromancer!

Suddenly, your eyes opened to see Eli in a crouch over you, his arms wrapped around your head. Why were you lying on the floor? And where was that wand?

“You… you fell…” was that panic on Eli’s face? And did you just faint?!!!! You were dead. And your mother raised you. And somehow now you were growing like a normal girl, and living and feeling all the things a normal girl would feel.

You grab Eli’s head in your hands and bring his face to yours, crashing lips and tongues and teeth, needing, yearning, feeling. You suddenly need affirmation that you are, indeed alive, and when his soft lips are on yours, demanding — both gentle and unyielding — you feel really, really alive.

Finally, but all too soon, Eli pulls back, so his lips are barely touching your own, his breath ragged. “Tab…” he pulls your bottom lip between his and gently tugs before releasing you again.

And then, as much as you would rather just stay on the laundry room floor making out with this ridiculously hot boy, the gravity of the situation comes crashing down around you.

“The contract!” You blurt out. “The one my dad signed! That’s why they’ve been controlling him! Dace must be working for his father to get the contract which will mean…” What exactly would it mean?

Eli answers your unspoken question. “Using necromancers to help cast spells that would make all young witches and wizards into necromancer hybrids like you.”

“But that’s crazy!” You sputter. “If my mom was a necromancer, then I have it in my blood! The rest of the kids… they might not survive something like that!”

Eli nods gravely. “Which is why I was sent to make sure you were who everybody thought you were.”

“And who is that?” Right now you just realized that the witch you thought was your mother was just an imposter and your real mother was someone you barely had a memory of.

“The daughter of Charlotte Denueve. One of the most talented and famous necromancers of her age.”

“But… what happened to her? Where is she?” You suddenly question everything you’ve ever known. Your father always did seem to be longing for something… or someone.

“She disappeared shortly after she allegedly raised you from the dead… We don’t know.” Eli looked at me apologetically.

Well, you’d just have to think about that tomorrow. Right now, you had to stop Dace from getting that contract to his father. “I’m going after Dace.”

“Tabs, wait,” Eli’s hand on your wrist is both cool and hot at the same time. You glance down at it before meeting his eyes. “What can I do to help?” he asks, causing you to smile.

“Well,” you’re not really sure what you’re going to do, yourself. “Come with me, and we’ll figure it out as we go?” You wish your voice hadn’t gone up at the end of that sentence, making it a question.

Eli nods, and the two of you make your way back to the main floor, searching for any sign of Dace, the gargantu-nad who was not only cheating on you, but had been in on betraying the whole wizarding race — and using your own father to do it.

Thankfully, you don’t have to look far. Dace has his overnight bag at his feet, and is shrugging into his robes at the back door. You gesture to Eli to stay hidden, before you approach Dace.

“Baby?” You internally cringe at the nickname he always used, but figure you’ve got to pull out all the stops for this mission.

It works. Dace turns to you, his face stricken. “Hey.”

You remember what Dru said to you about Dace’s pre-emptive damage control. “I talked to Dru. I’m sorry I stormed out on you without giving you time to explain.” You almost choke on the bile that this lie brings to your throat. “So I’m glad I found you…” you try to give him your most coy look, “Don’t go. Let’s talk.” You reach out for him.

Dace, to his credit, acts like this is exactly what he wants to hear.

“Oh babe,” He reaches out and tucks your hair behind your ear. “I’m so sorry.” Yeah right, you think. Somebody doesn’t accidentally start having gay sex. It’s not like he fell off his broom and onto Adam Voltaire’s wand.

But you prudently keep this thought to yourself.

“But, I gotta go.” He looks really sad. If you didn’t know he was such a liar, you might believe the act. Before you can respond, two things happen simultaneously: your dad stumbles through the door, obviously affected by whatever spell they’ve got him under, and Eli steps around the corner, addressing Dace, “Tabs asked you to stay.”

You see Dace going for his wand at the same time you reach for the old one you tucked into the waistband of your pants.

You recognize the words forming on Dace’s lips: “Abbra Kedabra” — The forbidden spell. The killing spell. But he’s pointing at your father with one hand and Eli with the other —

Which leaves you no choice, but to:

A. Cast a blocking spell to save your dad. And hope the curse wasn’t aimed at Eli.

B. Cast a blocking spell to save Eli. And hope the curse wasn’t aimed at your dad.

C. Cast a stun spell at Dace. And hope it hits him before he finishes his killing curse.

D. Wait just one second to see which direction Dace’s curse is headed, and fling yourself in its path. Maybe since you’re already dead you can stop a killing curse.

Jenny grew up on a steady diet of Piers Anthony, Isaac Asimov and Star Wars novels. She has now expanded her tastes to include television, movies, and YA fiction.