The sisters argue about what to do next. How will their mother react when she finds out what they've done?
“So, what are you going to do now?” Layla asked Ursa. “I mean, you know now. Are you going to talk to her about it?”
“I really don't want to. What if she just does it to me again?”
Layla frowned at the way Ursa was staring at Daughtry. They were being so lame. Oh well. At least Daughtry wasn't grossed out about Ursa's stunning pukes.
“Ursa,” Vix said. “There's something else we should tell you about what mom did to you.”
“Oh no,” Ursa groaned.
“Vix,” Layla warned.
“Shouldn't she know everything?” Vix snapped.
Layla glared at her. Why couldn't she keep her trap shut?
While Layla shook her head in annoyance, Vix told Ursa about the dispersal and the feelings that were now residing in her sisters.
“Wait a minute,” Daughtry said, obviously working something out in that perverted old brain of his. “It's Chris, right?”
“Nah,” Layla said, waving him off, hoping he'd believe her.
They stared at each other for a minute, then Daughtry said. “You can't fool me, Layla. You’re just like your dad and he was as good as a brother to me.”
“Look,” Layla said, getting pissed. “Don't say anything to Chris, alright? I like him and I don't want you scaring him off.”
“Don't you think he should know? No wonder he's been acting all pissy lately. Nobody should have to deal with feelings that aren't their own.”
Layla glared at him. Sure, he should be furious at Cassandra for having him hooked on her for so long, but this was different. “We feel the same way about each other, so leave us alone.”
Ursa looked at her sadly. “Layla, don't you want to be with someone who you really care about? Not just someone I want you to be with?”
Layla frowned at her sister. “I trust you, Ursa. If you think he's good for me, then I'm fine. I wouldn't change a thing.”
Ursa looked at Vix. “What about you?”
Vix sent a silent apology to Layla; then to Ursa she said, “I don't like it. It's making me confused. When I'm with Galen, I get so wrapped up in him that I can't think straight. Then when we're apart, I think about someone else.”
Layla seethed. The little traitor. “Mom said that the feelings would wear off anyway. There's no reason to do anything.”
“Vix is a kid, Layla,” Ursa said. “She shouldn't be exposed to all this.”
“Actually,” Vix said. “It's okay. I'm fine. It's confusing, but it's okay. I think I know that it's not right between us.”
Layla relaxed. “Ursa, just let me have this. I've never felt so happy than when I'm with him. I feel like I've been waiting for him my whole life.”
Ursa's brow furrowed. “Do you know how crazy that sounds?”
“Look at you!” Layla snapped. “You had your feelings for this guy erased and you’re still trying to get naked for him.”
Both Ursa and Daughtry's faces turned red. “Layla,” Ursa warned.
“I'm just saying: you still somehow ended up at his house, even when mom took all your love away. How can you deny that some relationships were just meant to be?”
Daughtry smiled. “Good point.”
Ursa stared at him dopily, and Layla felt like making her own little yak pile.
Vix said, “Mom says it won't hurt when it's over. The feelings will just fade away.”
Ursa nodded. “Okay. As long as you're both okay with it.”
Layla grinned. “What could we do about it, anyway?”
“Well,” Vix said. “You know, what happened in the woods the other night.”
Ursa froze. “What about it?”
“We might be able to do—“
“Shut the fuck up, Vix!” Layla snapped. “Don't you ever shut the fuck up?”
Vix glared back at Layla. “What? Are you afraid?”
“Hell yes, I'm afraid! Look at all the stuff mom did without even trying to. You want to be like that?”
Daughtry glanced at each of them in turn. “What are you talking about? Are you all like her? Are you—“
“No,” Layla snapped. “We're not witches.”
“I think we are,” Vix said.
“Vix,” Layla warned.
“Call Chris,” Ursa said, suddenly. “Call Galen.”
“What?” Layla, Vix and Erik all said together.
“Get them over here. Tell them what's going on. Tell them that we might be witches.”
“No,” Layla said.
“Why not?” Vix asked. “I'm okay with it.”
“It's after eleven,” Layla said. “Your little boyfriend is probably asleep.”
“If I have to tell him, I'll tell him when we're alone.”
“Will he believe you?” Erik asked.
“Seriously,” Vix said. “Wouldn't it be easiest to convince them while we're all together?”
“This is stupid,” Layla said. “This is all really, fucking, stupid.”
“They might still be at the bowling alley,” said Vix. “Give me the cell phone, I’ll call Galen.”
Layla shook her head repeatedly. “No.”
“I admit, I’d rather not have a house-full of underage kids, but since we’ve already got one…” Erik said, shrugging. “If I were them, I’d want to be told.” He frowned, sympathetically at Layla.
“Would you? You wouldn’t be able to do anything about it. And what if all this lust and love wears off and these guys go around town pissed off and yelling about the witches we are? We’d end up having to move. Mom would lose her shop.” Layla was not herself. She knew it but couldn’t stop. “And besides, I just don’t want to tell him! What if he hates me?”
They all stared at Layla.
She took a deep breath. “Please. Let me have this.”
Ursa glanced at Vix, who looked back with her head tilted.
She’s growing up, Ursa thought. They both are. She stared at Layla, her usually calm little sister. She was asking for something and she never asked for anything. “Fine.”
Layla closed her eyes, sighing with relief. She sank down into the couch.
Ursa turned to Erik. “Are you worried that I might have you under a spell?”
He grinned down at her, making her cheeks heat up. “No. I think I can tell the difference now.”
She smiled back with wonder. Maybe her mother had taken her feelings for this man away, but new feelings had grown in their place. “We should get home.”
He nodded. “So, come see me again tomorrow.” He grinned again. “Don’t be drunk this time.”
Her mouth dropped open. He was making her think of what had happened between them on the couch. Her nipples hardened, remembering the way his thumbs had circled… “I’ll see what I can do,” she said, through a dry throat.
Erik sent a bemused look over her sisters. “Oh, right. Hold on a second. I have something for Layla.
He went to the kitchen and came back with a slip of paper, which he passed to Layla. “It’s your aunt’s address.”
Layla took the folded paper and shoved it into her pocket without opening it.
Outside, Ursa told Layla to go back to Curly’s for the wagon. “You’re still drunk,” Layla said, opening the driver door.
“Vix can drive.”
“What?” Vix sputtered. “I don’t have my license yet!”
“You’ve got your permit and you’ll be riding with me.”
“Ursa, I’ve only driven like, two times!”
Ursa smiled at her littlest sister. “You know more about cars than most adults. You’ll be fine. It’s not far.”
Vix was freaking out behind the steering wheel. Ursa was passed out in the passenger seat and Layla hadn’t waited for Vix to follow her.
Vix hummed, trying to calm down and her thoughts raced.
She thought, suddenly, of Kyle and the kiss he had surprised her with. She blushed. He was so much more her type than Galen.
However, when she thought of Galen, she blushed again. Cute and cool, he was just the kind of guy any girl would fall for. He was sweet, too, and defended her to one of the most popular and beautiful girls in their class.
But Kyle… he was so serious and focused. His skills in shop were close to hers. He was funny and he liked her for reasons she could be proud of. And why did Galen like her? Because of some magical transferal of Ursa’s feelings? He probably wouldn’t even like her at all otherwise.
She frowned, turning down her street. As she neared the house, she almost stomped on the brake. Her mother was outside, towering over Layla, looking furious.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about mom,” Layla said, somehow remaining calm in the face of her mother’s dangerous rage. “Ursa just called us to come get her. I guess she got carried away on her date.”
“Don’t you lie to me, Layla,” Cassandra warned crazily, seeming taller than ever.
Layla looked down and saw that her mother was hovering over the ground. She swallowed. She turned, startled, when Vix pulled down the driveway. “See, there they are.”
Cassandra’s head snapped queerly around to eye her youngest daughter as she hopped out and went around to help Ursa out of the car.
Layla cringed when she noticed that Ursa still had some dopey, love-struck face on.
Cassandra flew past Layla and reared up on Ursa.
Ursa stared up at her raging mother, shocked. “Mom.”
“You saw him,” Cassandra accused with a hiss.
Layla cringed again.
Ursa, however, calmed. “I did. I know what you did to me. And it worked. But it wasn’t any use, Mom. I’m sorry.”
Layla, though terrified, crept closer.
Vix stepped out in front of Ursa. “It’s not her fault Mom. She tried—“
Cassandra snapped her hand out, sending Vix flying backward. She hit the station wagon’s bumper and crumpled to the ground.
That was it. Layla was pissed. She stomped up, locked arms with Ursa and glared at her mother. “Stop it.”
Cassandra’s baleful, glowing gaze landed on Layla, who clenched her teeth.
Vix whimpered and used the bumper to prop herself up.
Cassandra’s teeth were bared. “You went into the forest.”
Vix stumbled to grab Ursa’s other arm. “Yes, we did,” she grunted.
Their mother’s eyes flicked restlessly from one daughter to the next. “You took back your powers,” she muttered coldly.
Layla swallowed hard. “Yes. We did.”
Cassandra’s eyes snapped to her. “You have no idea what you’ve done.”
“What have we done? Gone against you? You had to guess that we wouldn’t let you continue to tamper with our lives!”
Slowly, Cassandra’s feet came to rest on the ground. “You’ll let him out,” she said, her eyes now tinged with fear. She glanced around nervously. “Maybe he’s already out. You have no idea what I’ve sacrificed…”
“Who?” Ursa asked with a cracking voice. “Who are you so worried about?”
Cassandra swallowed, hard. “My father.”