Name: Ryan

Day/Time: Sunday, 4:21 AM

Current state of mind: Slightly murderous with a hint of calm

What are you wearing? Jeans and a sweater

What are you listening to? Wanted Dead Or Alive by Bon Jovi

What are you drinking? Beer

Where are you? Sunroom

What’s up? For all of you first-timers, I’m Ryan. I’m the Coven’s trainer and second-in-command. Now, I’m not gonna get into all the details of who I am and all that fun stuff. Been there. Done that. Wrote the blog. I’m gonna be honest here, it’s been a long-ass night and all I want to do is chill by the fire and drink my beer. So I’m gonna jump straight into story time. Gather around kiddies and let me tell you about how my night went from fun to fucked.

There’s nothing like a snowstorm to kick off the first day of spring. The Vernal Equinox is a big deal around here. The city hosts an annual festival to commemorate the season of rebirth and renewal, but obviously it got canceled. Now, if you thought a little snow was gonna keep us from celebrating, you thought wrong. When life hands you lemons, bust out the tequila and salt, and throw a party. And that’s exactly what we did.

Nick gave the staff the day off, along with a bonus and a raise. They work their asses off and we appreciate everything they do. They deserve some down time too. Besides, we’re perfectly capable of cooking a meal—well, most of us are. Look, I’m not saying Riss can’t cook, I’m just saying we prefer she doesn’t. But she makes a killer sangria, so she got to work on that while we got to work on dinner. It was a win-win for everyone.

Despite a few hiccups and some minor drama, dinner was a success. We all gathered around the fireplace in the sunroom afterward. Normally, we’d have a bonfire outside, but the weather hindered those plans, so we improvised. We put on some tunes, tossed back a few drinks, and reminisced about the past.

Man, it felt good to kick back and relax for a change. Demons are a fucking buzzkill and pain in my ass. Don’t get me wrong, I love kicking some demon ass, but I’ve been fighting nonstop for almost two weeks. I needed a break. We all did. And I’m not just talking about the Coven; I’m talking about everyone in this city. Tensions have been running high, and this place has been like a ticking time bomb, ready to blow at any second. So Nick and I intervened.

I’m not saying we caused the storm, but we did amplify it. Sure, we could’ve just canceled the festival, but it wouldn’t have prevented people from flocking downtown. It wouldn’t have prevented the demons from coming out to play. So we paused the game. Being a powerful and ancient witch-hybrid has its perks.

Anyway, the night couldn’t have been more perfect. We were chilling by the fire, having some laughs, and just shooting the shit. We were telling Aria and Lexi about Luna Cove’s founding history when my baby sister called. Ella never calls me, not unless she’s in trouble. And at twenty-one, my sister is a magnet for it.

Ella was a hysterical and rambling mess when I answered. She wasn’t making any sense. It took me five minutes just to calm her down enough to tell me she was at some party and needed a ride home. She didn’t go into details and I didn’t need them—at least, not yet. I just needed to know she was safe, and she swore she was. But I was still concerned.

My sister needed me, and there was shit anyone could say or do to stop me from leaving. I didn’t give a flying fuck about the snowstorm; I’ve driven in worse. At first, I thought Nick was gonna play Mr. Reasonable and try to stop me, but that wasn’t the case. He offered to drive, and I took him up on it—not like he would’ve taken no for an answer. Nick’s a stubborn control freak like that, but he’s always got my back.

The two of us didn’t waste any time, we tossed on our jackets and gloves, and hit the road. I’ve gotta admit, I was impressed with the magnitude of the storm. Man, we’ve got some mad skills. The snow was coming down fast and heavy, coating the streets in a thick, white powdery sheet. Thank fuck we’re used to driving in this kind of shit or we’d be screwed. I tried calling and texting Ella, but she wasn’t answering, which had me worried. I didn’t know if she’d been hurt or what. We have plenty of enemies and Ella inherited mine by default. If someone wanted to get to me, they could use my sister to do so. Sure, she can protect herself. I’m the one who taught her how to fight, but she was hammered, and alcohol would’ve rendered those skills useless.

We finally pulled up to the house, but my sister was nowhere in sight. I called and texted her again, but got no answer. I wasn’t about to sit in the car and wait for one either. Nick and I hopped out of the SUV and crashed the party.

The old colonial was a disaster. Empty beer bottles, pizza boxes, and red plastic cups littered the once white carpet. Nick and I weaved our way through the sea of dumbass drunks when we spotted Ella arguing with her boyfriend, Markus. She twisted away from him, her puffy, bloodshot eyes flashing to mine. She beelined towards me, but Markus yanked her back by her arm, which was a dumb fucking move.

Ella elbowed him in the ribs and stumbled over to me. I caught her and held her up. Other than her disheveled hair and tear-stained face, she didn’t appear to be injured. She assured me she was fine and just wanted to go home. She’d get her wish, after I schooled that dumbass boyfriend of hers in the art of manners.

Nick took care of my sister, while I went after Markus, who tried to make a run for it, but he didn’t get far. I caught him by his collar, whipped him around, and pinned him against the wall by his throat. I was gonna kill the asshole. I might be an easygoing guy, but you put your hands on my sister, and I’ll return the favor.

Ella’s voice cut through my murderous haze, begging me not to kill him. As much as I wanted to murder him, and man I was tempted, I restrained myself. But just because murder was off the table, didn’t mean I wasn’t gonna leave the asshole with one hell of a parting gift. You hurt my sister, and I’ll hurt you.

I planted all sorts of violent images and promises of a slow and agonizing death into that tiny brain of his. If he so much as blinked in my sister’s direction, I would eviscerate the fucker. I released him and cold-cocked the asshole. Magic might be handy, but sometimes a good old-fashioned crack in the face is just as effective and just as satisfying. We left the dumbass snoozing on the floor and headed home.

Ella didn’t say much once we got back and ended up crying herself to sleep on my shoulder. Man, I hate it when my sister cries, it’s like a punch in the damn gut. I wish I could take away her pain, but I can’t. The only thing I can do is lend her my shoulder and let her sleep. For now. We’ll talk later, after she gets some rest.

I’m gonna sign off and try to chill before I hit the sheets. If you’ve got any questions or comments, feel free to drop them below.

Ryan

© 2021 Amelia Kayne