The Three Sisters Have Dates
After Ursa left and before Cassandra could head up to her room, Layla said, "Mom, we need to talk to you."
Cassandra looked down at her daughters with a smile, but didn't get any in return. She frowned. It was something serious. "I really need to get some work done, girls. We've been busy at the shop lately. Business is really picking up. So many formal events in spring..."
"Please, mom," Vix said.
Cassandra always had a hard time saying no to Vix, her little baby. She sighed. "Alright. What is it?"
"Can you sit down?" It was more of a demand from Layla than a request.
With another sigh, Cassandra sat at the table with her daughters.
Layla cleared her throat, looking nervous. Layla never looked nervous. What was going on? "Mom, a lot has happened over the last few days."
The dark-haired woman felt her face go tense.
"First, we want to know exactly how what you did is affecting Ursa. She doesn't have any memory of what happened, and she's acting all weird."
Cassandra had no desire to talk about magic with them; however, she realized that it was a good opportunity to find out if Layla and Vix were affected by the dispersal of Ursa's love. "She doesn't remember loving him or anything related to loving him. That's all. The... spell...did have one unforeseen side-effect, which is that Ursa seems to have developed a... fear of me."
They all stared at each other for a moment.
Then, after looking at Layla, Vix closed her eyes tightly and asked, "Did you do something to us?"
Cassandra's eyes narrowed on Vix, then darted to Layla, who looked back, clenching her teeth. "Have you two been experiencing some... intense feelings?"
Layla hung her head, looking defeated and Vix opened her eyes, looking hurt.
"It was you." Layla mumbled to the table. Her voice was full of cold accusation.
"How could you, mom?" Vix asked. Cassandra knew she was about to cry.
As much as she wanted to flee from this conversation, Cassandra sat rigid. "I didn't do anything to you. Not purposely. You two were affected by the dispersal of Ursa's love."
To their mother's surprise, Layla was the one who started crying. She slammed her fist on the table. "Dammit, mom!"
"What happened?" Cassandra asked. "Are you in love?"
Vix was the one to answer. "Yes."
"Both of you?"
Layla looked up defiantly with tears running down her cheeks. "Yes."
"Oh, girls. I'm so sorry." It hurt to see her strongest daughter in tears.
"So, it's not real?" Layla demanded to know.
"It's definitely real. It just might not be right."
"What does that mean?" Vix asked. Cassandra thought that Vix might look hopeful.
"It was Ursa's love. So it's as if Ursa was the one to choose who you connected with."
"So, it might be that Chris is actually the one for me?"
"Or that Galen might not be the one for me?"
Cassandra suddenly had the urge to disperse all feelings of love from all of her daughters forever, but she quelled it ferociously. She'd done this to them. "That's right. Ursa might want someone different for you than you want for yourselves."
"How do we know?" Layla asked.
"We're going out with them tonight, mom," Vix added.
Cassandra stood up, feeling furious, ready to protest, but once again forced herself to soften. "Ursa's love will fade from you. It shouldn't last more than a few days. Then, you'll know. The feelings will go away."
"What about Chris?" Layla asked.
The tall woman was worried about Layla. "The same will happen for them."
Layla looked so hurt. Then she straightened and tried on a strong face. "Mom. We're old enough. Tell us about our dads."
That, Cassandra would not do. She pushed her chair in roughly. "That's enough for today." She turned and headed upstairs.
"Mom!" she heard Layla shout angrily.
The bar, Curly's, was only a few blocks from Daughtry's neighborhood. Ursa felt wild as she walked in. She was ready to get all that happened at his house out of her head. She spotted Louis sitting at the bar and she sat next to him. He looked even better than usual.
The bartender noticed her first. "Whiskey sour," she told him. He nodded, not just at her order, but at her looks as well. He didn't even ask her for I.D.
Louis turned. "Hey!" Then he said. "Whoa! You, uh, wow."
Ursa relaxed fully. Being around Louis was so much easier than... She decided not to think about him. "Hi, Louis. You look nice."
"You too. This has got to be your color."
"Thank you," she said happily.
When the bartender came back with her drink, Louis said, "She's on my tab."
Ursa laughed. "You'd better not. I plan on drinking."
He shrugged, smiling. "This is a date, right?"
She lifted her drink. "Right."
He lifted his beer to her glass. "To living a little."
With a grin, she said, "Cheers."
Vix felt bad for Layla after hearing that they truly were being affected by magic, especially since she'd gone so far with Chris. They were driving to the bowling alley and Layla looked down in the dumps.
"You can't worry about it, Layla."
"I can't stand the thought of Chris losing his feelings for me. He's so sweet, Vix. So cute. So sexy..."
"Stop. There's no point until you find out if it's real or not."
Layla cracked a tiny smile. "Why are you so wise, Vix?"
Vix shrugged. "Maybe I got it from my dad."
"Hmm," Layla said, noncommittally.
"Hey Layla, do you think my dad disappeared, too?"
Layla glanced over at her sister. "I really hope not."
Meanwhile, Ursa was getting drunk.
"I almost laughed in his face!" Ursa said. "How could anyone think that movies are a more important art form than books?"
Louis chuckled. "Sad, little nimrod. Why isn't he in theater or something, instead of creative writing?"
"I dunno, but I swear, if Mr. Winn pairs me up with him one more time..."
"I hate those stupid pair-ups. What good does it do, really?"
She shrugged. "Not a clue! You know, I love writing, but his class annoys me. He doesn't really give you any criticism or advice about your work. He just corrects the spelling and grammar."
"Yeah, what exactly are we paying for? Writing prompts?" He signaled the bartender for two more.
"Write a hundred words about freedom? Come on!"
"Ugh. That was the worst assignment ever."
"I know, I was pissed. I ended up writing about how our freedoms are gradually being taken away."
"No way! So did I!"
They laughed together and Ursa felt great.
Vix and Layla arrived at the bowling alley earlier than planned, so they went ahead and set up a lane for four and got their shoes.
When they settled in at their lane to put their shoes on they heard someone say, "Vix?"
Vix turned around, expecting to see Galen. "Kyle?" He was with a group of friends the next lane over.
He walked over. "Hey," he said, showing an uncertain smile.
Vix felt a little uncomfortable, but she was happy to see him. "Hi."
"Girly?" Vix finished for him dryly.
"I was going to say, 'hot', but yeah, girly too." He grinned playfully.
Vix couldn't help but smile back. No one had ever called her hot before. She finally really looked at him. He looked fresh and very cute. "You look good, too."
"Um, hello?" Layla said, sounding frustrated. "Can I get an introduction?"
"Oh," Vix said. "Kyle, this is my sister, Layla."
Kyle smiled at Layla winningly. "Hi. I take shop with Vix."
"Nice to meet you," Layla said, smirking back.
One of his friends called out, "You're up, Kyle."
"Ah," Kyle said. "Talk to you later."
After he went back to his lane, Layla eyed Vix deviously. "That was the guy, wasn't it?"
"Shhh!" hissed Vix. She moved to sit next to her sister so she could whisper, "Yes, that's him."
The sisters watched Kyle bowl. He knocked down nine pins; then picked up the spare.
"He's really cute, Vix. What is he, sixteen?"
Vix nodded. "Okay, stop staring at him."
Layla shrugged and looked around the bowling alley. "Oh! There's Chris!"
Vix was taken aback at Layla's attitude. Talk about girly. Then, she saw Chris for the first time. "Whoa!" The guy was really good-looking. He was tall, fit, and handsome. For some reason, Vix had been convinced that he couldn't be suitable for her beautiful sister. That conviction fell away.
Chris saw Layla and grinned. Vix was proud of Layla; she waved back calmly, not letting him see her ridiculous excitement. Layla lifted her foot, showing him her bowling shoes and he nodded and stopped at the counter.
"Isn't that Galen?" Layla asked.
It was. Vix stood up and waved, and Galen grinned at her. "My heart is pounding!" She told her sister as she sat.
"Mine too," Layla replied.
The two sisters smirked at each other, full of uncertainty and excitement.
Chris pulled Layla to her feet and kissed her, making Vix remember all the noises she'd heard the two of them making the day before. She blushed.
Layla pulled back, grinning. "Chris, this is my little sister, Vix."
Chris tilted his head to look at her. "Hey, Vix. You're pretty cute."
"Oh!" Vix blushed harder. "You too." Then, completely embarrassed, she put her face in her hands.
Chris laughed. "Thanks."
"Hey Galen," Layla said.
Vix looked up.
"Hi," Galen said, looking into Vix's eyes.
"Hey, man," Chris said, holding out his hand. "I'm Chris."
Galen took it. "Hey, I'm Galen."
The four of them were grinning like fools.
Ursa was laughing her ass off. She was indeed drunk.
"I'm telling you," Louis said, smirking and leaning forward unstably. "My place is awesome."
"You're trying to get me to go home with you!" she accused with a giggle.
"So?" He smiled. "What's so bad about that?"
"You can't drive. You're a lightweight." Though, Ursa wasn't in any condition to drive either.
He put his hands on her knees. "I... will call us a cab." He nodded.
She snorted. "You are sooo cute!"
He nodded again. "You too. Sooo cute."
"Yep. I'll come over." She nodded decisively.
"Hooray!" he called, holding up his beer.
That sent Ursa into another fit of giggles. She leaned against his shoulder and watched him dial a number on his phone. "You have a cab company on speed dial?"
He put his finger to his lips. "Shh. Ursa. Shh." Then he gently placed his finger to her lips.
Ursa's eyes widened. It turned her on. She kissed his finger.
"Uh..." he said, into the phone, watching Ursa's lips. "I...need a cab. Yeah. Curly's. Russel street? Yeah."
"And hurry," Ursa said, grabbing his hand in hers and bringing it down to her side.
"Hurry," Louis repeated into the phone, sounding dazed. He dropped the phone onto the table and felt the fabric of her dress. "Ursa, you are a stone, cold, fox."
She fell against him, laughing.
He laughed too, patting her head. "You're damn sexy."
She sat back, wiping tears from her eyes. "Hah. You are so much fun to hang out with, Louis." Then she frowned. This wasn't right. "I'm really sorry. I think I've been using you."
"Ah," he said, tapping her on the nose. "Too good to be true."
"You knew, didn't you?"
He nodded. "You aren't nervous. When you like somebody you get nervous."
She put her head in her hands.
"You were gonna use me for sex, though, so I guess I should feel flattered."
She nodded. "I'm so sorry. I have to go." She stood and turned to leave.
"Hey, you're not driving are you?"
She gave him a soft smile. "Nope. Don't worry about me."