WARNING: This chapter contains strong language and sexual innuendos.
I’m at a loss as to what to say. Ebony is staring at us, and it’s obvious she’s seen something. I don’t know what, exactly, but given the state of our undress, it’s not hard to guess.
And yet, as I’m about to conjure up some sort of excuse as to my behavior, I realize that I don’t, and shouldn’t, have to. I’m a grown adult, and now that Ebony is back, what use are my powers? I’ve been considering this for quite some time – I needed them to bring my sister back. But I couldn’t use them before, not without risking exposure. And I realize now, without a doubt, that I want to be with Dominic.
I have an answer for him now. I don’t care if I lose my powers. If he keeps making me feel as good as he has been, I’ll live as a powerless mortal forever.
But while I may have an answer for Dominic (who has yanked up his briefs and ducked behind the counter in a rare display of embarrassment), I don’t have one for Ebony, who’s staring daggers at me, clearly wondering what the hell I was thinking.
“What the hell is this?” she demands, confirming my thoughts.
I grip my bra strap and pull it up. I hear Dominic zip up behind me. What right does my younger sister have to lecture me? Dominic and I are both consenting adults, and considering this is Dominic’s house, we can do whatever we want in it.
“People eat in here!” Ebony shrieks before I can answer.
Oh. She’s more upset about the fact that we’re banging in the kitchen, where food is prepared and served, than the mere fact that we were banging at all.
“Sorry,” I stammer. “It was, uh...heat of the moment.”
“Yeah, I can see that. Listen, Lydia, I have something to show you.”
Relieved that we’re both off the hook, I follow Ebony up to the room she’s staying in. I haven’t been in here lately, but she’s clearly been playing with magic some more. The room no longer looks like it was decorated for a blind great-aunt. It reflects Ebony’s enigmatic and sensual personality.
“Ebony,” I ask as I whirl around, taking it all in, “how and when did you do this?”
“What do you mean, how did I do this? Lydia, this is child’s play. Dominic never comes in here, and if he does, I’ll tell him that I redecorated.”
“Uh, Eb, this isn’t your house to redecorate, and you couldn’t have done all this in one day. No mortal could have.”
“Good thing I’m not a mortal, huh?”
“You can’t let people know that!” I hiss, exasperated. Why can’t she get this? I hope to God that if Dominic ever sees it, he’ll believe me when I tell him my sister is gothic. That would explain the dark ambiance in here.
Ebony rolls her green eyes. “Whatever. Look, I was gonna show you this two years ago, before...” she trails off, but I know what she’s going to say. Whatever she’s about to show me, she’d planned to before she’d died.
Ebony rolls up her shirt and reveals a black cat tattoo spread across her stomach, even through her naval piercing.
“Holy shit, Ebony,” I gasp. “Are you trying to out yourself as a witch?”
“Of course not. People can like black cats and not be witches. Besides, the real reason I got it was to tease guys.”
Ebony sniggers and explains, “I’d ask them if they wanted to see my pussy, and I’d show them this tattoo.”
She throws her head back and cackles like this is the most hilarious thing on the planet. I can’t believe she did something like this...but she’s a legal adult now, capable of making her own decisions. I have tattoos myself, but nothing like that.
Between the tattoo, her ferocity, and her redecorated bedroom, I realize something about Ebony that I was blind to before. My little sister has a dark side.
I don’t know what caused Ebony to develop her dark side. Is it because she was resurrected? Was she always like this and I didn’t know it because I was so busy with my studies? I don’t know, but it’s pretty unnerving.
But there’s something more important I have to do right now. I knock on Dominic’s bedroom door, and he answers it.
“Hey, sheila,” he greets with a grin. I smile back and tell him, “I have something to tell you.”
He looks puzzled, but stands aside to allow me into the bedroom. I haven’t been back in it since our erotic encounter with my leather outfit, but it looks pretty well the same.
Not wanting to waste time, I look at Dominic and avow, “I have an answer for you.”
“About our relationship.”
Dominic stares at me, his eyes agape, as he tries to decide how to react. He doesn’t know if my answer is good or bad.
“Were you serious when you said that you wanted a relationship with me?” I ask. “Like, an actual relationship, not just friends with benefits?”
“I was dead serious, sheila. I can live without sex. I know, considering what’s been going on, you probably don’t believe me, but I swear it’s true. I don’t know what it is about you, Lydia. You’re gorgeous, but it’s almost like you’ve...got some sort of spell on me.”
I almost crack up at that one. There is no spell for love. That’s something that happens naturally. If there were a spell for it, then there wouldn’t be a curse to protect against it.
So, instead of letting out a loud guffaw, I reply, “I can assure you that I don’t have any sort of spell on you. But, what I do have is a big crush on you. And after all we’ve been through, all you’ve done for me...I think we can give it a try. But I think we should start with an official date.”
“Yes. Like, an actual, sit-down dinner date with fancy clothes and no sex afterward. A real first date.”
“Some people have sex on the first date.”
“Well, not me. I don’t believe in that. Take it or leave it.”
“Well, sheila, for you, I’ll take it. But let me do this right. I should be the one to ask you.”
Dominic stands in front of me, takes a deep breath as though he’s nervous, and asks with a hint of stutter, “Lydia, would you like to go out to dinner with me sometime?”
I can’t suppress a giggle. I play along, also acting coy, as I reply quietly, almost inaudibly, “Yes, I’d love to, Dominic.”
We both laugh some more and agree to have our first official date this Friday night. How perfect.
Friday night couldn’t get here fast enough, but now it’s arrived at last. I ended up telling Ebony about my plans for this evening, after she wouldn’t shut up about it. Now I’m starting to regret it; she’s still concerned about the curse, but her paranoia is getting on my nerves.
“Lydia, think about it,” she’s telling me now as I apply some lipstick in my room. “You say you’re not in love with this guy, but I can tell you’re attracted to him. You’re falling for him more and more every day. You have to sever this bond now before someone gets hurt.”
“Ebony,” I say from the mirror, “I know what I’m doing. And I’ve already made a decision.”
“I may be in love with him already. But if that’s the case, I’ll choose him over my magic. And I only have to worry about that if he finds out.”
Ebony’s jaw drops in the mirror. Clearly she wasn’t anticipating this response.
“Are you fucking nuts?!” she barks. “You’d give up your magic, the very thing that defines you, for a mortal who only wants you as a fuck buddy? I thought you had more brains than that!”
“He doesn’t just want me for sex!” I growl back at her, losing my patience. “And if he does, it’s my business, not yours! I didn’t bring you back from the dead so you could try to boss me around!”
“Then maybe you shouldn’t have brought me back at all! Maybe I should have just stayed dead!”
I spin around, hurt and agitated.
“How can you say that?” I retort. “I’ve missed you so much these past two years. I was the only one who believed you were murdered! It was no accident what happened to you! It took me this long to get all the necessary ingredients to perform the ritual, plus it was risky to even attempt it, and this is how you repay me? What the hell is your problem, Ebony?”
“My problem is that I don’t want my older sister getting hurt. This guy’s bad news, Lydia. I can feel it. He’ll break your heart, and you’ll have sacrificed your magic for nothing.”
“It wouldn’t be for nothing. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. I’ve enjoyed being a witch, but in a world where they aren’t supposed to exist, what good does it do me? If anything, it’s more of a burden than a blessing because I can’t actually use my magic to help me without someone finding out about it. And I can’t even have a boyfriend without risking some sort of dire consequence.”
“There’s more to life than having a boyfriend. Lydia, if you forsake your powers, you might as well forsake your life, too. Because a witch is who, and what, you are. It’s what you’ll always be, so you might as well learn to embrace it.”
There’s no reasoning with her. I know she means well, and her heart is in the right place, but I’ve made my decision. And she’s going to have to embrace that rather than me embracing what she thinks should define me.
A knock at the door causes me to send Ebony a warning glare. She rolls her eyes but sits down mutely. I open the door and see Dominic standing before me looking impossibly handsome in a pressed grey and blue suit, but still with the Outback charm of some sort of exotic pendant dangling from his neck.
“Ready to go?” he asks. I nod eagerly. We both wave goodbye to Ebony, who half-heartedly waves back.
“What’s with her?” Dominic whispers to me as we head to his car.
That’s a shitty excuse.
“That her sister is going out on a date after she was brought...er, after she came here.”
“Well, do you want to stay in tonight?”
“No. She can take care of herself.”
Dominic just shrugs, but I can tell that he’s relieved I’m not backing out. He opens the car door for me, ever the gentleman, and ushers me inside before getting in himself. Then, he puts the car into gear and we’re on our way to our very first date.