I spent a few more hours with Luz, and while most of that time she was asleep, I didn't mind. By the time she came around again, I was just softly humming to myself, rubbing her bruised knuckles. The tune wasn't anything specific at first, but then it slowly shifted to some song Luz had showed me a bit ago.
"Nice tunes." She mumbled, making me jump. Looking over at her, I could see the small smile on her face, her tired eyes filled with happiness. I scoffed, shaking my head slightly.
"Not like you haven't heard my tunes before." I mumbled, feeling my cheeks warming up. Luz gave a small shrug, laying her head back onto her cot.
"Still doesn't mean I don't think they're nice." I could see her other hand move by her side, gently tracing and poking at different spots. "I can't tell if I'm numb or if I'm just poking too high up." She said, making me roll my eyes.
I gave her hand a small squeeze. "How bout, you don't test it and just relax?" I told her, which only made her shake her head.
"But how am I supposed to know if the witch blood didn't make me immune to pain?" She mumbled, poking a spot a little closer to her wound, which clearly didn't feel good. Instantly, she bit her lip, holding back her words as her hand clenched into a fist. "Not... immune to pain." She finally said after a minute through clenched teeth.
"I told you not to." Luz sighed, moving her hand away from her side to run her fingers through her hair. "But, you didn't listen." I could hear a low chuckle as she gave my hand a couple of squeezes.
"But Amity!" Luz made sure to drag out my name, making me roll my eyes. "How am I supposed to know what new witch blood powers I've got if I don't try?"
"Luz, nobody said the blood would give you magic powers." She put on a pout, giving me puppy eyes. "And besides, you need to just take it easy."
"But that's like asking a shark to stop swimming!" She groaned, placing her arm over her eyes in a dramatic fashion. I raised an eyebrow, trying to figure out what kind of creature she was talking about.
"A what now?" I chuckled, making her move her arm slightly to look at me before sighing.
"Right, you don't know. Honestly why do I keep forgetting that?" She softly asked herself, making me chuckle again. "So basically, a shark is a really dangerous kind of fish. That's probably the best way for me to describe it."
I hummed in response, softly nodding my head. My eyes slowly moved to the wall, catching a glimpse outside to see the sun setting. A yawn rose up from my throat and I struggled to stop myself from stretching out.
Luz caught onto my actions, her expression quickly becoming tinted with a bit of worry. "What?" I asked, rubbing my eyes softly.
"You tired?" I noticed how her voice suddenly was a lot softer than before, all that energy from moments ago instantly being toned down.
"Maybe a little." I told her with a sigh, straightening out my back to pop it a few times before going back to my current position. "But I'm alright, don't worry about it."
"Well, you can go if you want. You don't have to just stay here with me." She told me with a chuckle. "Besides, you should take care of yourself, especially since I gave you such a scare yesterday." Once again, she chuckled, but this one sounded more guilty than the last.
Shaking my head, I let go of Luz's hand to take out my hair, my ears going down for a moment before perking back up. Slipping the hair tie on my wrist, I took a look at her, noticing her wide eyed stare. Her look made me chuckle, then I shot her a wink, watching the blush rise to her cheeks.
She leaned her head back, covering her face with her hands as she let out a low squeal, clearly making sure to be careful of her wound. Her reaction made me laugh, which only made her squeal get worse. "You're cute." I muttered, not completely sure if she caught what I said.
"Smooth Blight, real smooth." Luz said, still covering her face.
"Hey, I learned it from you Noceda." I shot back, making her freeze up. She slowly lowered her hands from her face, which was a bright red, before she squinted at me.
"Okay hold on, you can't just be a bright red beautiful mess when I fall asleep, then just turn into a flirt when I wake up. Who are you and what did you do to my Amity?" We both froze up for a minute, my ears slowly going down and turning red. Then, Luz let out a nervous chuckle, rubbing both of her cheeks. "Okay... so now we're both red."
"Yep..." I mumbled, feeling a lopsided grin rising to my lips before a small fit of giggles. "Gods this is weird..." I said, my eyes widening when the words escaped my mouth. "Not like a bad kind of weird! I'm just... still not used to it!" I panicked, mentally cringing at my reaction. "You get what I mean, right?"
"I get it." Luz chuckled, wincing slightly at the pain, but still kept a smile on her face. "But hey! It probably won't take that long to get used to, right?" I shrugged, taking a hold of her hand again before starting to do circles on her palm with my thumb.
"Probably." I said, stifling another yawn. We both fell quiet, just relaxing with one another. I have no idea how long we sat there like that, but it was nice.
"Know what I want to do right now?" Luz asked me, breaking the silence and making my ears perk up at her words. I hummed in response, making her smile. "I kinda just wanna snuggle up with you."
Her answer nearly made me choke, my face feeling like it was on fire. "What?" I managed to say, but Luz only chuckled.
"I mean, clearly we can't do that right now cause of..." She gestured to her side as she stared up at the ceiling. "This. But once I get a little better, we'd be able to do that. Just the two of us relaxing, you running your fingers through my hair while we both doze off... Sounds nice, don't cha think?" Her voice was soft, a lot dreamier than before.
Instead of saying anything, I nodded my head, my cheeks burning while my mind went a million miles a minute. But, my thoughts were interrupted when my scroll suddenly buzzed, startling us both. I pulled my hands away from Luz, pulling out my scroll to see what it was.
It was just a message from Em. "Mittens you dork, let's go hang out at the studio or something. Besides, owl lady says you should let Luz get some rest." I rolled my eyes, quickly typing out a message in response.
"Em, honestly I'm tired. I don't want to hang out at the studio." I let out a sigh, making my scroll disappear.
"What's up?" Luz asked, raising an eyebrow.
"I'll have to get going here soon. Eda wants you to get some rest." I watched her eyes widen slightly, then Luz smiled, her gaze turning downward. My scroll buzzed again while Luz mumbled something under her breath.
"Aww c'mon Mittens! It'd be fun!" Emira said, only making me roll my eyes, knowing there's no point in trying to argue against her. I glanced up at Luz for a moment, noticing how she was staring out the window before I started to type out my response.
"Look, if I hang out for an hour, would that satisfy you?" I asked, my ears twitching slightly in annoyance. There was a moment of silence, then Emira started to type.
"Sure." I rolled my eyes again, putting away my scroll before standing up. Luz's eyes followed me as she tilted her head slightly.
"I'm gonna go, but I'll be back tomorrow after practice, alright?" She nodded her head, then her eyes lit up.
"Amity wait!" I didn't move, watching as Luz struggled to sit up, gritting her teeth.
"Luz, you need to stay down." I told her, reaching out to gently push her down by her shoulder, but she shook her head. As quick as she could, she managed to prop herself up, surprisingly without aggravating her wound any more than needed.
"But there's something I've got to do first!" She said, the spark of energy in her voice making me smile. Once she was propped up, she motioned for me to move closer. "C'mere real quick." I did as she asked, bending down until my eyes lined up with hers.
She smiled at me, then, slowly she reached up and cupped my face with both of her hands, her fingertips just barely below my earlobes. The contact made me tense up, my ears instantly pinning themselves down.
Luz chuckled at my reaction, lightly scratching behind my ears. The action brought a smile on my face as I leaned into her touch, closing my eyes and savoring the moment. It was like I was in my own little world for a minute. "Dios mio, you purr?!"
"What?!" I snapped out of my little trance, trying to pull away from Luz, but her hands kept me in place. She continued to scratch, an excited look in her eyes while I struggled to stop the sound that was rising from my throat.
"And I thought you couldn't get any cuter!" She said, reaching up a little higher, finding a spot that made my ears softly flap. While the feeling was nice, it was overshadowed by just how hot my face was burning. "You really are like a cat!" She suddenly exclaimed, then I pulled away.
"Alright enough." I muttered sternly, puffing out my cheeks slightly, which only made Luz squeal. "Is that all you wanted to do?" I asked her, but she shook her head and motioned for me to move back, chuckling softly.
"No no no, come back. That's not what I was gonna do, I just got distracted. I didn't even know you did that." She said, waving me over. I shot her a glare, folding my arms over my chest. We both stared at each other for a moment, then I sighed, letting my arms fall limp at my sides while I rolled my eyes, moving back over to Luz.
She cupped my face in her hands again, placing her hands in the same spot as before. I could see the mischievous glint in her eyes as she gave me a lopsided smile. "Don't." I warned her, making her laugh.
"Fine, I won't. However, I will do this." She pulled me forward, struggling to get closer to me without moving too much. Then, she gave me a quick peck on the tip of my nose, sparking the already hot flames that burned on my face into a bonfire.
I scrunched up my nose, pulling away from the drummer and quickly covering my dark red face, feeling my ears flapping. Quickly realizing what they were doing, I tried to hold those down, then tried to cover my face again before groaning and throwing my arms up in the air in defeat, making Luz laugh.
"Stop laughing!" I managed to squeak out before instantly clasping a hand over my mouth. My gaze went down to the floor as my face continued to burn and I could hear Luz continue to laugh, a few cute snorts slipping out here and there.
Finally, she seemed to pull herself together, her laughter dying down to a few chuckles. "I don't mean to laugh, but you're reaction was amazing." She told me, rubbing her eyes.
"Whatever." I mumbled, removing my hand from my mouth. Standing back up and dusting myself off even though I knew there was nothing there, I slowly started to make my way to the door. "I'll see you after practice tomorrow, okay?"
"Wait! Bring an Azura book when you come by tomorrow! Please?" Luz brought her hands together, placing them under her chin as she fluttered her eyes.
Rolling my eyes, I gave her a smile before chuckling. "Dork." I muttered, softly shaking my head. I could hear her chuckle before she put a finger gun under her chin.
"Your dork." She told me, giving me a wink. I chuckled again, looking down towards the floor.
"Yeah, my dork." It felt so nice to say that. To say she was mine, it sent an electric jolt down my spine, a familiar fluttering feeling rising to my chest before snaring my heart. "My dork..." I mumbled, too quiet for her to hear. Then, I shook my head looking back over at Luz before giving her a smile. "What book do you want me to bring?"
"Whatever one's your favorite!" She chirped, and I gave her a nod. Then, still staring at her, I slowly started to walk out of the room. Before I could leave, Luz blew me a kiss, giving me another wink.
Her actions made me smile and I was quick to repeat them before leaving her room. Once her door quietly closed behind me, I let out a dreamy sigh, clutching my hands over my heart.
I was trembling, but I wasn't nervous. My fingers were tingling and I had no idea why. I knew my face was some shade of red, but for once I didn't care. I couldn't understand any of it, this was different than how I was before when I was around Luz.
But what I did understand was that it felt nice, and I didn't want it to end.
Taking a deep breath, I left the fairly empty hospital, making my way to the studio while the sun set completely. It was quiet outside, something that was a little unusual for the Boiling Isles, but it was pleasant none the less.
While walking, I realized just how tired I was. Luz's energy was the only thing keeping me up, but now I was alone, heading to the studio when I could just be heading home to sleep. But, I told Em that'd I would at least stay an hour, so that's what I was going to do.
Dragging my feet, I walked up to the studio door, noting how I couldn't see any lights coming from the windows. Opening the door I found it was quiet inside, the lights off. With a sigh, I turned the lights on and moved over to the table in the main room, taking a seat.
Pulling out my scroll, I pulled up my sister's contact. "Where are you guys?" I messaged, waiting for a response.
"Changing into some new clothes. Things got a little messy." Her answer made me roll my eyes, but I didn't shoot her another message, instead, I just put my scroll away and leaned my head on my hand, staring at part of the wall.
My eyes slowly started to droop, blurring my vision of the wall as my head slowly started to nod forward. I jerked back up, but I quickly started to doze off again.
Then, there was a sudden set of knocks at the door before it slowly opened, startling me awake. "Uh, hello? You here Emmy?" Viney suddenly poked her head into the room, glancing around before her eyes landed on me.
"Hi Viney." I called out, trying to sound more awake than I was. She slowly slipped into the room, closing the door behind her softly before looking around. We both went quiet for a minute, then she cleared her throat.
"Uh, do you know where Emira is?" She asked me, but I only shrugged.
"Probably still at home. Give her a few minutes and she'll show." I told her, making her nod her head. She stood there for a minute, reaching a hand up to her earring and softly flicking it a few times, then she started to whistle.
While she did her thing, I turned my gaze back to the wall, letting out a small sigh. "You don't have to stand there y'know. You can come take a seat over here or go to Emira's room or something. Surprise her if you want." I glanced over at the beastkeeper, noticing her eyes widening slightly.
"Right, right, I'll uh, just go to her room." She let out a nervous laugh, then froze up. "Where is her room exactly?" Her tone made me snort, which only made her ears go down in response.
"Down the hall over there." I motioned towards the hallway, Viney's eyes following where I was motioning. "Her name's on the door, not hard to miss." Viney nodded her head again, then slowly started to make her way to the hall.
"Thanks Amity." She said as she passed me, but then she froze. "Actually, before I go, how's Luz?" I perked up slightly at Luz's name, feeling a bit of pink rise to my cheeks.
"She's up and she's the same old Luz. Eager, optimistic, and ready to get back into the action. It's hard to convince her to stay down." Viney chuckled, softly shaking her head.
"Sounds like Luz." She mumbled, starting to walk away. I watched her as she made her way to the hallway, noticing something that made me raise an eyebrow.
"Viney wait." The beastkeeper spun around on her heel to face me, raising an eyebrow to me as well. I pointed to the side of my neck, putting on a small smile. "What's on your neck?" She blinked a few times, then her ears slowly started to go down as she quickly slapped a hand over the mark.
"Griffin bite!" She quickly lied before letting out a nervous chuckle, her green eyes darting around while her free hand fiddled with her shirt. Then, she started to stutter. "You, you know how the babies get! Always nipping at whatever they can..." Another nervous laugh escaped the witch, her hand that rested on her neck closing into a fist.
I eyed her up and down, clearly making her even more nervous before I just shook my head. "Sure..." I said nothing else, turning my gaze away from the witch. She let out another laugh and I could see her move her hand back down to her side out of the corner of my eye.
"Well then, I'm gonna go!" She said quickly, pointing down the hallway before disappearing, making me laugh. Honestly, it made me wonder if I acted the same way. I thought that I probably did, which only made me shake my head.
A door down the hallway opened, but I didn't hear it close. I let out a soft sigh, resting my head back down on my hand and shutting my eyes, relaxing in the silence, though it didn't last long. The front door opened again, this time louder than the last, making me jump.
"Heya Mittens!" Edric greeted, leaning on the back of my chair before resting his chin on my head. I groaned, pushing him back slightly. "How was hanging out with Luz?" He asked, moving to my side, the dark jacket that was tied around his waist almost blending in with his black shirt. My eyes glanced down to his bandaged hand, a few questions popping up that I wanted to ask.
"Peaceful. Unlike now." I muttered, making him gasp and place a hand over his chest. However, Emira laughed, and turning around I saw her placing a bag by the door, her baggy t-shirt almost sinking down to her knees.
"Whatever you say sis." She walked over to the two of us, then ruffled my hair, making me groan in annoyance. "What's up with you having your hair down huh?" My sister asked, making me roll my eyes.
"Just wanted it down. What's wrong with that?" I said as I ran my hands through my hair. Emira shook her head, then ruffled my hair again. "Would you cut that out?"
"Nah, it's fun watching you get all red." She told me with a smile as she popped her fingers. I rolled my eyes, turning my gaze over to Edric, who took a seat at the table with his scroll pulled out.
"Well, go find something better to do. There's a surprise waiting in your room anyways." That made her perk up slightly, blinking a few times before tilting her head and raising an eyebrow.
Slowly, she started to walk to the hallway, peering down it for a moment before turning back to the two of us. Our sister stared at us for a second, then started to walk down the hall.
There was a moment of silence, then I could hear both of their excited voices drift out into the main room until their door closed. Edric looked over in the hallway's direction, a big smirk plastered on his face. "Think I could get some good blackmail while we're here?" He asked me, making me shrug.
"What's even the point of this again?" I asked my brother, which he only shrugged and leaned back into his chair, balancing himself by setting his foot on the table.
"Call it... a celebration now that Luz is awake." He said, but I rolled my eyes.
"Edric, there's only four of us here, one of them isn't even on the band." I pointed out. He thought about it for a minute, his eyes slowly moving across the floor before he perked up with an idea. His sudden movement nearly made him fall out of his chair, making him yelp and force himself forward.
Once he was sure he wasn't going to fall, he smiled, giving me a nervous chuckle. "Well then, it's a pre-celebration! Tomorrow we can have the real celebration!"
"We have practice tomorrow." I said, making him roll his eyes.
"Do we really need it though?" Edric asked, leaning his chin on the palm of his hand. "We've got the songs down, and we've still got five days till the show. It wouldn't hurt to let one practice slip, would it?"
I didn't give him an answer, turning my gaze away from him and down to the table, my finger lightly tracing the lines in the wood.
"I'll take your silence as a yes!" Edric said after a minute, standing up and heading towards the front door. "Anyways, if you need me, I'll be in the spare storage!"
"Why?" I asked, turning around in my chair to face him. He shrugged, opening the door.
"To organize." He said simply, then quickly slipped out the door. I stared at the front door for a moment, then sighed, shaking my head.
"Note to self, don't go to the spare storage." I said aloud, then stood up, stretching my arms over my head as I stifled another yawn. Dragging my feet, I made my way to the hallway, slowly going down to my room.
I passed by Emira room on the way, noticing the door was cracked open. Peering inside, I found both of them sitting side by side, their hands intertwined while my sister laughed at something that Viney said.
Leaving them alone, I went to my room and pushed open the door and went into the room, not even bothering to close the door as I flopped face down onto my cot.
Turning my head to stare at my desk, I felt my eyes slowly falling closed, then I closed them completely, relaxing in the silence.
Not too long later I opened my eyes again, noting that it was quiet. Sitting up and stretching, I looked out in the hall, noting the lights were still on. Running a hand through my hair, I figured now would be a good time to go, so I got up and left my room, closing my door behind me.
Once I walked out into the hall, I noticed that Emira's room lights were still on. Walking up to her door, I gave it a few soft knocks, then slowly pushed it open.
Inside, both Emira and Viney were snuggled up against one another, the beastkeeper wearing my sister's shirt and was asleep in her arms, her arms wrapped around Emira's waist as she nuzzled her head into my sister's neck. Emira was in a light tank top only halfway awake, running her hand though Viney's hair with a smile on her face before she noticed me and tensed up.
"Amity!" She whisper shouted, catching me a little off guard that she used my name rather than the nickname she'd always use. "What's up?" She asked a little softer, her eyes darting nervously between me and the girl in her arms.
I leaned against her doorway and shrugged, rubbing my eyes. "Figured I'd let you know I'm leaving." I mumbled. "Cause I'm pretty sure I've been here an hour, but I don't really know." Emira nodded her head, still stroking Viney's hair.
"Alright." She said, tensing up when Viney started to shift. The beastkeeper mumbled something in her sleep that I couldn't hear, but whatever it was it made Emira's cheeks light up. Her reaction made me give her half a smile, then I got off her doorway.
"Want me to lock up studio?" I asked, shoving my hands in my pockets. "Cause from the looks of it, you and your girlfriend seem to be pretty comfortable." My remark made her cheeks turn a darker shade of red.
I could see her struggle for an answer for a minute, then she spoke. "You can if you want to, but I think Viney and I will be heading home here in a bit." I nodded my head, moving away from her door. "Is Ed still here?"
"Dunno." I told her, making her nod her head. "I'll check the spare storage before I leave." I said, then started to walk away. "See you later Em."
"See you later." She called after me, watching me as I closed her door. I sighed, shaking my head and heading to the studio's front door. Yawning, I pulled open the front door, rubbing my eyes.
But, instead of being met with the usual view of outside, I was met with a very angry owl lady, her teeth bared and her nostrils flaring.
"Eda?" Her golden eyes met with mine, her pupils small in anger. "What are you doing here?" I asked, making her scoff.
"Dunno, why don't you ask him?" She snapped at me, then motioned something forward, showing me Matt bound in spells, a little bloody and bruised. He growled, turning his head to glare at the owl lady. "Go on!" Eda hissed, but Matt only shook his head.
Matt turned to face me, his eyes widening and his ears going down when he realized who I was. "Amity!" He nervously chuckled, his eyes darting back to Eda for a moment. Eda suddenly tightened her fist, the spells around Matt tightening as well.
"You're lucky I didn't hurt you any more than I already have when I saw you lowering that fire spell onto her face." Eda spat as she shot our sound director a cold glare, making my eyes go wide.
"What?" I asked, watching as Matt's face drained in color. He frantically glanced between me and Eda, struggling to come up with something to say to save him.
"Go on, tell her what you were gonna do to Luz!" She hissed, making my eyes go wide. Suddenly, I wasn't tired anymore and it was quickly being replaced by anger.
The sound director couldn't even come up with a response to save himself. I could feel my blood boiling, quickly spilling over the edge as Eda threw Matt down onto the ground, removing the spell. Matt stayed down on the ground, not daring to move while the owl lady was glaring at him.
Then, she spun around to face me, rubbing her temples in frustration. "You figure out what to do with him. I'm going back home." She growled, getting ready to leave before I grabbed her arm to stop her.
"Luz isn't hurt, right?" I asked, worry masking my anger for a moment. Eda shook her head, her eyes meeting with Matt's for a moment.
"No, at least, not any more than she already is. I managed to stop him before then." She said as I let go of her arm, then she walked out of the door, waving behind her. "Have fun."
Matt stood up, dusting himself off. Instantly, I went over to him, shoving him back down to the ground. "What were you doing?!" I yelled at him, watching as he rolled his eyes and scoffed.
"What kind of answer do you want me to give you?" He asked sarcastically, his voice wavering slightly even though he tried to cover it. His response only made me even angrier, my nails digging into the palms of my hands.
"You know damn well what kind of answer I want Mattholomule!" I hissed, watching his eyes widen slightly when I used his real name. Before he could blink, I grabbed him by his shirt, wanting to desperately wring out his neck.
"Uh... what's going on out here?" Emira popped her head out from the hallway, Viney following shortly after.
"This doesn't involve you!" Matt yelled over his shoulder, but I shook him to focus on me instead of her. "Look, I can't give you the answers you want if you keep shaking me like that!"
"I could force it out of you this way though!" I hissed, his hands going up to tightly grip at my wrists. "Now you better be able to think on your feet because if I don't hear a good excuse on why you were trying to light Luz's face up in flames I will rip you apart!"
Matt gulped, the fear in his eyes quickly disappearing as he shook his head. "No point in sugarcoating it." He said with a laugh, suddenly looking up at me with a sick smile. "I was going to finish the job."
I froze up in my spot, Matt's eyes darting over my features. "What...?" I finally mumbled, making him chuckle.
"What's the matter? Is the blood pumping to your ears too quickly for you to hear me?" He mocked, flapping his ears softly to mimic me. "I said, I was going to finish the job." I pushed Matt back to the ground, almost like he burned me.
He quickly stood back up, glaring at me. I could feel myself shaking, my vision slowly blurring, whether it was out of anger or because of tears I couldn't tell, but what I did know was that staring at Matt was making it worse.
"First that creep and now you..." I growled, but that only made him laugh even harder. "What, am I some kind of stand up comedian now? What are you finding so funny?"
"It's just hilarious how much you really care for that human, it really is." He said, wiping away a tear from his eye. His answer made me scowl, popping my fingers in an effort to distract myself. "After all, what has she really done for you?"
"And here we go again with your stupid grudge against Luz!" I threw my hands up in the air, but he only rolled his eyes. "What has she ever done to you anyways? What have humans done to you? Or are you just mad at her because we like her more than you?"
"You act like you can't see the big problem with her being here Amity!" He yelled, avoiding my questions.
"That doesn't answer anything I've asked!" I said back, watching as his face started getting red. He sputtered and shook in anger, taking a deep breath in an effort to compose himself.
"She's the one who helped Augustus steal back the H.A.S from me." He finally said, his eyes darting to the hallway for a moment, then back to me. There was something hidden in his eyes that I couldn't read, but whatever it was, it was getting on my nerves.
"I..." I couldn't think of what to say, the gears turning in my head. "Are you fucking serious? That's it?! All because you lost some stupid club back at Hexside?!" I yelled, Matt taking a step back from me.
But the longer I thought about his answer, the more something seemed off. "Dude that's a dumb reason!" Viney yelled from the hallway, making Matt whirl around to glare at her, but I didn't pay him any mind. Why was his answer not making any sense?
Then it hit me.
"Wait a minute..." I mumbled, catching Matt's attention. "That's not the real reason, is it?" I asked him, watching as his eyes widened slightly before he put on his signature glare.
"And what makes you think it isn't?" I could feel my ears twitch as he gave me a dumb smirk, folding his arms over his chest.
"Because Luz wasn't even here when Augustus took that club back from you. He did that all on his own." I hissed, getting in his face. That smirk on his face dropped, now turning into a look of fear. I grabbed a hold of his shirt again, this time pulling him up off the floor.
"I, no he, she uh..." He started to stammer, lamely kicking his feet in an attempt to loosen my grip. However, that only made me grip onto his shirt even tighter, making sure he wouldn't be able to escape my grasp.
"Go on, give me the real reason then." I growled lowly, hearing him gulp. "Or am I gonna have to guess why? Because right now, I'm at the end of my rope and making me guess why you'd pull something like this will make me snap."
He blinked a few times, then an angry glint filled his eyes. "Well then go on! Go and make me sound like the bad guy!" He threatened, making my eyebrows furrow tightly together.
"Do you really think you're innocent right now? You were just at the hospital going to hurt Luz!" I yelled. "You are the bad guy!" His eyebrows bunched together as he bared his teeth, giving my bruised wrist a rough hit, making me drop him.
I held my wrist, a short hiss of pain escaping my lips. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Emira glaring at Matt, her grip on the wall turning her knuckles white. "You're acting like this is the worst thing a witch has done." He spat, making my anger shoot through the roof. "In fact, I'm doing the Boiling Isles a favor getting rid of her!" The fact he sounded so confident about it was making me see red.
"And what makes you think that?" I asked him, clenching my jaw so tightly together my teeth hurt. "So help me gods, if you use that excuse that 'She's human! She doesn't belong here!' I will not hesitate to throttle you."
"Like you'd have the guts to." He mumbled under his breath, but before I could do anything, he held up a hand to stop me. "But I'm doing the Isles a favor because it's clear humans are bad luck! Haven't you noticed?" I blinked a few times, staring at the sound director in pure confusion.
"How do all of your answers somehow make me angrier? But, I... I seriously can't tell if you actually believe that or not." I said, making him shake his head.
"Oh come on Amity. She shows up and joins the band, then that creep found your sister in the market and tried to hit on her." My eyes widened and I looked up to Emira for conformation, but she looked just as confused as I was. "Then, after her first big gig, that creep shows up and nearly injures you!"
"That wasn't Luz's fault!" I interjected, noticing how Viney and Emira disappeared from sight, leaving me alone with Matt. "None of that was Luz's fault! It was all that guy's fault!" Matt only shook his head, a low chuckle rising from his throat.
"And how are you so sure of that? Are you really willing to place your life on the line to test it?" Luz wasn't bad luck, everyone here knew that. There had to be something here I was missing, but I couldn't tell what.
Emira suddenly reappeared from around the corner, a familiar smile on her face. "Hey Matty?" She said sweetly, making the sound director spin around. I could hear him huff as he folded his arms over his chest.
"Can't you see we're busy here?" He asked her in an annoyed tone, making my sister twitch and clasp her hands together, but she nodded.
"I know you two are, but it's just a few quick questions before I go for the night." She told him, making him groan and probably glare at her. He turned back to me for a moment, weighing his options, then he turned back to my sister.
"Fine, make it quick." He hissed, turning his head to the side. I looked at my sister, noticing a familiar glint in her eyes, the kind she'd get when she was planning something.
"Great!" She chirped, clasping her hands together, her eyes meeting with mine for a moment before moving back to him. "First question, how are you absolutely sure our drummer is bad luck?"
Matt scoffed, his arms limply falling to his sides. "Because unlike all of you, I'm not blind. I can see it whenever she walks into the room." His response made me twitch, my eyes zoned in on him while he roughly jabbed his temple to prove his point.
Emira nodded her head, humming in response. "Okay, okay, next question. How'd you know that creep cornered Luz and I in the market?" That made Matt laugh, shaking his head at my sister.
"You really think I don't know about something I had planned?" He asked, then instantly slapped a hand over his mouth, his ears pinning down as fast as possible as he realized his mistake. Emira's smile dropped, turning into a fierce glare.
She turned to look up at me, then gave me another smile. "Well sis, what's that one phase Luz would use? The cat's out of the bag?" I nodded my head, making her chuckle. "That's what I thought. Now Matt, can I ask you another question?"
"No more questions!" He yelled, spinning around only to run straight into me, where I roughly grabbed him by the arms and held him in place. "Let me go!" Before I could tell him that I wouldn't, he drew a spell circle, pushing me off of him.
"You little-" I pushed myself back up and grabbed a hold of him again, watching the color drain from his cheeks. "Did you send him to hurt Luz too?! How'd he even get that weapon?" I asked him angrily, watching his eye twitch.
"Do you think I really wanted the human as my original target?" He spat, ignoring my second question and roughly shoving me away. "What would I get out of her? You were supposed to be the original target!" Matt yelled, making me roll my eyes.
"Gee, I had no idea! It's not like you sent your stupid friend to follow me into the alleyway and pin me against the wall!" I noticed my voice was rising in pitch, but I didn't care. Matt's hands clenched into tight fists, steam practically blowing out of his ears.
"And you know what? I would've gotten what I wanted too if that human didn't interject!"
"What do you even want out of me? A pay raise? Cause jeez, that's the best way to do it! Send one of your friends to corner me in the alleyway and threaten me!" I said sarcastically, folding my arms over my chest. But, instead of saying anything, he just laughed.
"Honestly what's the point of telling you anything?" He chuckled, running a hand through his hair. I let out a low growl, gritting my teeth together.
"Then why don't you tell me how he got the weapon then?" I hissed, but that only made Matt chuckle even more.
"Being a previous H.A.S. member has its perks." He said, glancing to the side. "You find things dumped off by the owl lady, things picked up by trash slugs, honestly I'm surprised I didn't find one of those things sooner." He laughed again, making me squint.
"And how'd you figure out how to use it? I thought you were too much of an idiot to know what different human items were, let alone how to use them?" I said to him, making him glare for a moment before just shaking his head.
"Humans are simple." He shrugged, still smirking. "They're constantly making little books and manuals on how to use things. But that's all you're gonna get out of me, like I said before, what's the point in telling you anything else? You'll do nothing with the rest of the info."
"Oh no, I'll use it to determine how bad I should beat you." I mumbled, popping my knuckles. "Which, might I add, I'm already considering crippling you because of what you did to Luz." Matt rolled his eyes, putting on a scowl.
"C'mon, you can't do worse than what my friend did to Luz." He taunted, smirking at my reaction. "Though, I should say, he should've done worse."
"Matty..." Emira tried to warn him, but he ignored her.
"I've gotta say, I am pretty mad that he didn't do worse actually. A shot to the side? Really?" He shook his head. "I mean, I know humans are pretty fragile, but most would survive that right? Then again, if he held his focus and kept you in that spell, he would've been able to do worse."
"Matt." Emira said in more of a grave tone, reaching out to stop him, but he swatted her hand away.
"In fact, if he had hesitated for a second longer, he would've been able to get a clear hit right between her eyes." The sound director taunted, and the longer he was talking the more I could feel myself shaking. I could see Emira back away from Matt, giving up on helping him. "Wouldn't that have been a sight to see huh? You coming back as a sniveling mess, completely covered in her blood because you couldn't save her."
My throat felt tight, my hands balled into fists so tightly I couldn't tell if my nails were drawing blood or not. "Stop..." I managed to choke out, my voice low.
"You should've let her die out there and you know it!" He got up in my face, still smiling. "But you couldn't do that because of your stupid feelings, could you? I was fine with this band until she showed up, and everything went downhill from there." Matt's smirk dropped, his dark eyes staring into mine. "I wish I had been there to finish the job the first time, just to see the look on your face since you care so deeply for her."
He grabbed onto my shoulder, giving it a tight squeeze. Everything was starting to sound like static, but I could hear him loud and clear when he got close to my ear, a smile still plastered on his lips.
"After all, I've said it before, that stupid human should've died when she walked through that door."
I saw red, then snapped.
I don't remember throwing the punch, but I do remember watching Matt stumble back and hitting the floor, clutching his face with blood running down his nose while my hand burned. My breathing was heavy as I towered over him, noticing the fear in his eyes.
"Get out." I told him, noticing his eyes widen even more. I brought my foot down onto his chest, knocking the wind out of him. "You're gonna leave, and you're never gonna come back. You're fired."
We stared at each other in silence, then I dug my heel into his chest. He winced, letting out a choked yelp as he struggled to push me off of him. "What? Did I hit a soft spot?" He gave me a strained smile, but it was quick to disappear.
"You hit a soft spot awhile ago, and your lucky I haven't hit your's." I told him, giving him one last shove in the chest before getting off of him. He slowly stood back up, dusting himself off. "Now get out."
"Choosing a human over your own kind..." He muttered under his breath, running a hand under his nose, smearing the blood over his lip.
"You're right, I am. But everyone here knows you don't deserve to be called a witch." Matt tensed up. "And I think you know it too. In fact, Luz is more of a witch than you'll ever be." I could tell I was hitting his own soft spot.
His hands were shaking, and out of the corner of my eye I could see his hands balling into fists. "That human can't be more of a witch." He managed to growl, but I only smirked.
"But at least she actually uses magic in a fight, unlike you. You're a coward." I moved a little closer, watching as he hid his face. "And that's all you'll ever be to me. Not a big bad villain, not even after all you've done. All I see when I look at you, is a coward."
I knew I was pushing his buttons, but I didn't care. I was angry, and I was going to let it out in the most peaceful way possible. After all, it was better than beating him to a pulp. But, I knew with each word that came out of my mouth, the more and more of a chance that he'd try to strike back.
And he did.
He let out a yell, his eyes blazing with fury as he raised his hand up to punch me. I couldn't help but flinch, waiting for the strike, but that never came. Matt grunted and I opened my eyes, seeing a spell tightly wrapped around Matt's wrist, holding his fist just barely a few inches in front of my face.
"Wanna end up like your buddy?" Emira asked, her finger connected to the spell holding Matt in place. Matt's eyes widened, his arm falling limp. I took a step back from him, noticing how my breathing was suddenly shaky. "Get out." She told him, letting the spell go.
Matt stood there for a minute, just staring at my sister. "What's the matter? Is the blood pumping to your ears too quickly for you to hear her?" I put on a voice to mock Matt, remembering what he said earlier. Placing a hand on his shoulder, I gave it a tight squeeze, hearing him squeak in response.
"You guys will regret this..." He mumbled in a shaky tone, making my sister laugh.
"Will we?" She asked me, to which I shook my head.
"Get out." I repeated to him, shoving him forward. "And watch your back. I told you once, you mess with Luz, and I'll make you afraid of me." His eyes widened slightly as he quickly made his way towards the door. "Now, are you gonna stick around and figure out what I mean by that, or do you want to give yourself a running head start?"
Matt let out another squeak, then quickly darted out the door, slamming it behind him. I stared at the doorway for a moment, my hands shaking. Then, I let out a shaky sigh, jumping when Emira placed her hand on my shoulder. "You really gonna chase after him?" She asked with a smirk, but I shook my head.
The stinging pain in my hand was slowly starting to get worse and worse, making me wince. I looked down at my hand, seeing the bit of blood trickling down. Emira's eyes widened slightly, then she waved Viney over, who glanced at my knuckles before sucking in a breath.
"Geez, you hit him hard huh?" The beastkeeper said with a chuckle, gently taking my hand in her's to look over my wound. "Hold still for a second, I'll fix this." Viney drew a quick spell circle, then in a flash, my knuckles were healed.
"Thanks Viney." I mumbled, opening and closing my hand a few times. I then let out a sigh, feeling myself slump down slightly. "Even though I want to beat him into the ground, I think I've had enough excitement for one night..." I said with a groan, Emira and Viney both nodding their heads.
"Well then, let's go home." Emira suggested, wrapping her arm around Viney, who's cheeks turned pink at the contact. "And don't you worry your gay little head about old Batty Matty. Ed and I will make sure to take care of him."
"Don't go hunting after him." I mumbled, glaring slightly at my sister for her remark before I made my way towards the door. "But, if you do run into him in the market or something, do whatever you want."
She looked a little surprised by my response, but she followed after me. "You really don't want us to go after him? Get revenge?" I sighed, motioning for them to go out the door so I could lock it up.
"Believe me, I want you to." I told her, turning around to lock the door. "But I'm not going to risk anyone else I care about getting hurt because of that maniac." There was a slight waver in my voice, but I didn't care. "If you guys hunt after him, there's no telling what might happen. So don't. I'm not planning one of your guy's funeral this young..."
"I..." Emira trailed off, and when I turned around, I could see in the dark lighting that her eyes were glossy. "Alright Mittens... we won't go after him." Her voice was soft, Viney slowly intertwined their hands together, giving my sister's hand a squeeze.
We started to walk home after we checked the storage for Edric, and at first our walk was in silence. I let out a sigh, running my hands through my hair. "Guys? Quick question. Why didn't you fire Matt before?" Viney asked, breaking the tension in the air.
"Never had a solid reason to." I muttered, looking down at my hands. "Sure, his attitude wasn't great and he got on our nerves. Sure, he would make remarks, but none of it was good enough to get rid of him."
"Honestly we should've gotten rid of him sooner. Save us all this trouble." Emira said, rubbing the back of her neck. I nodded, but I didn't say anything. We all fell silent again.
"Em? Why couldn't we have been a normal band?" I asked, running my hands through my hair again. Emira laughed, shrugging her shoulders.
"All bands deal with creeps and freaks and obsessive fans, I'm surprised it took this long for one to show up." She said.
"But no other band has dealt with something like this! Now our entire thing is thrown through a loop, you're gonna have to manage the sound job and the special effects, Edric's gonna have to fill in for Luz until she's healed-" Emira held her hand up to stop me.
"Mittens, take a deep breath. I can handle Matt's dinky sound job and the special effects for one show. Everything's gonna be fine." She waved it off, then ruffled my hair. "Besides, we've dealt with worse."
I fell silent, not knowing what else to say. My sister pulled me closer to her, giving me a side hug. I leaned into her touch, my eyes drooping slightly. Then, I moved away from her, which she didn't object to, and to break the silence Viney struck up a conversation, which we held until we made it home for the night.