"Winter knows, Winter knows," The childlike voice sings around the frozen field, and as usual, I can’t find the singer but Elissa is here. I can feel her next to me before I even turn to look at her.
“I have a lot of questions,” I say, as I look around the cold world we are stood in. The song plays over and over in the background, stuck like an old record.
Elissa is stood completely still as the cold wind whips around her, as if she isn’t really here. I want to reach out and shake her but I can’t. Elissa’s long black hair flies in the cold wind, mixing with her swaying white dress. Her blue eyes watch me closely, not saying a word.
"I'm related to you, aren't I?" I ask when she doesn’t respond to me. I don’t need her answer because I’m sure I already know. I just don’t want to know.
"You are my only granddaughter." She says.
It’s all real, what the demon king said about me and it makes me feel like my world is crashing down. My mother lied to me; she can’t be my mother when this woman’s daughter must be.
"The demon king wasn't lying," I say, and pain haunts her face as she speaks,
"Every word he says is usually a lie but not this time. I loved him and had a child with him many years ago," she says the words slowly. Her eyes are glazed with unshed tears. I want to comfort her but I can’t. I don’t really know her; she is still a stranger to me.
"My mother?" I ask and she nods.
"She was half demon and half goddess. You have a lot of her in you but what's important is the human side you got from your father," she says and moves closer. I hold my breath as she goes to rest a hand on my shoulder but changes her mind at the last second.
"Why is it important?" I ask her.
"Every little thing is important in the end." She whispers and steps back.
"Riddles again," I mutter, trying to move forward but it’s no use. The cold wind gets stronger and blows into my face as I hear her speak.
"You call my spirit into your dreams and I cannot tell you everything. Look into the past and you will find the future."
"That makes no sense, Elissa. This all doesn't, everything is going wrong! The demons are taking over and he is back!" I shout. I have to hold my hands in front of my face, as the wind gets stronger. I can’t see Elissa anymore.
"It's not too late, the past, Winter. Find the past!" She shouts at me over the wind and everything goes blurry as I feel myself falling.
"Win, babe wake up," Alex's voice comes through the haze as I open my eyes. The bed is empty where I'm sleeping, Jaxson no longer in it. His shirt is stuck to me with sweat and my hair is all over my face. I push it out of the way as I sit up.
Alex looks stunning as usual; her red hair is up high in a ponytail and her makeup is done to perfection. Not that she needs it.
"Where's Jax?" I ask her, rubbing my eyes. I glance at the clock on Jaxson’s bedside table; it says it’s only seven in the morning. What happened to sleeping in?
"Jax is with Dabriel and Atti. Wyatt is helping Jax’s aunt with the last of the funeral arrangements," she says.
"It's today," I mumble, suddenly remembering we are burying Atti’s mother today. The days are mixing together with my guilt over letting the demon king free and my worrying about how we are going to survive this. Atti is distant with me; well, he won’t even speak to me. Jaxson says it’s just his way of coping and it isn’t anything to do with me. I don’t believe that.
"Has Atti spoken to you yet?" Alex asks.
"No, he won't let me close, I'm worried he’s going to do something stupid like go straight to the witch queen and try to kill her," I say. I watch as Alex looks at me closely.
"Why would that be bad? That bitch totally needs a kick up the ass," Alex says and I just notice that she’s dressed in all white. I’m really not with it, that dream with Elissa is stuck in my mind. What did she mean about my past?
I know I need to speak to my mum, but how can I just ask her. How can I even look at her without feeling so angry that she has lied to me? I’m sure she had a reason but doesn’t everyone deserve to know who their parents are?
I eye the white dress on the end of the bed.
"Not black?" I ask.
"No, light witches wear white to their funerals. Drake said it’s a tradition of theirs. Atti can’t bury his mother where she deserves so the funeral needs to be as close as it can to a witch’s funeral." She says and I nod.
"Oh right, I guess that makes a lot of sense.” I say quietly.
“I still think he should go and kill the queen,”
“It would be a bad idea. He can't just kill the new queen. Not only has she been messing with the demons, but she is also going to be very powerful. The people respect her, she won the crown and Atti could kill her but he wouldn’t win the people that way. Atti is a light witch, the dark witches will not follow him and the city would be at war."
"I still think Atti could take her," Alex huffs. I know how she feels; I want to kill the stupid queen for hurting Atti that way.
"You haven't met her," I say with a small smile.
"I’m just saying that guy is built like a tank," she says and winks at me.
“I haven’t noticed,” I mumble.
“Don’t go holding back on me now. How is werewolf sex?” she asks and I go bright red.
“Does he prefer doggy style?” she asks making me laugh. I go to tell her to mind her own business when the door is slammed open.
"Milo ate all the good food in the house," Freddy says as he comes in the room. Milo, my own little sub demon, comes flying in behind him and lands on my lap. Alex bought some doll clothes for him so he doesn’t have to wear those rags we found him in. Now he looks a little like a sailor, with white shorts and a blue shirt with an anchor in the middle. He has his blue hair tied with a little blue headband. Overall, he looks like a little Smurf, a really cute one with light silver wings.
"Milo, not the chocolate," I say and he nods, the melted chocolate all over his face a good giveaway.
"He ate it all Winter, and every bit of junk food he could find. Uncle J is going to go ape when he sees his chocolate brownies are gone," Freddy says in annoyance. I smile over at him, seeing him dressed in white trousers and a crinkle- free white shirt. I slide out of bed and put Milo on the dresser.
"Freddy your tie is a little crooked, come here," I wave him over and he lets me straighten it up before I kiss the top of his head as he hugs me. Wyatt chooses that moment to walk into the bedroom, seeing me hugging his son. Wyatt and Freddy haven't said two words to each other since Jaxson introduced them. Freddy just said he didn't like vampires and stormed off. Wyatt is just as stubborn and won’t talk about it. They are way too alike. I don’t think Wyatt has any plans to tell Freddy who he is any time soon. It wasn't a good father and son meeting. It doesn't help that Freddy has no idea who Wyatt is to him. Or the fact he is a half vampire, half wolf in the first place.
I guess Wyatt has a lot of problems at the moment to deal with, like the fact no one can get near the vampire castle. There’s a massive red barrier that’s appeared around it. Jaxson sent wolves out to find any survivors and Wyatt went with them a week ago. That’s when he saw the barrier. We haven’t been able to find anyone. Not a single human or vampire that had escaped.
“I’m happy you’re here, can we watch Harry Potter again? You’re the only one that likes it.” Freddy says.
“Didn’t you watch it with Dabriel last night?” I ask.
“Yes, but he kept pausing the first film to ask me questions. I’m not watching any more with him,” he says.
"Hi, Wyatt," I say and Freddy turns around quickly. Wyatt has a white shirt on and it’s tucked into smart white trousers. His blonde hair has been cut since I saw him yesterday and now it’s just an inch short all over his head. It’s styled to the left away from his eyes, eyes that are watching me. A feeling of warmth and love flows over me from him through our bond. I can tell it’s him because of how it feels; it’s different from my own emotions.
"When are you leaving, vampire?" Freddy says tensely, a slight growl coming out with his words. Freddy may not know who he is but Wyatt gets a response out of him every time they’re in the same room. Jaxson thinks it Freddy’s wolf that’s sensing who Wyatt is but Freddy won’t listen. He’s too young to truly understand.
"That's not nice," I tell Freddy, but he doesn’t respond as he stares down Wyatt. His skin is shaking and I’m sure he’s close to shifting.
"My name is Wyatt and I am the prince of the vampires. I will not be leaving, and you would do wise to learn some respect," Wyatt says.
Oh god, he’s going all dad mode already. It's really bad that I think it's hot.
"Whatever," Freddy says and storms out of the room, slamming the door shut, making the whole wall shake.
"He is already acting like a teenager, holy smokes, you two will have your hands full." Alex comments and we both glare at her. She holds her hands up.
"I’ll take Milo for a bath," she says and picks him up. He smiles at me with a cheeky grin and tries to move closer to Alex as she holds him with one hand.
"Don't try to hug me, I'm wearing white, you little demon," she says and I hear Milo laughing as they walk out. Wyatt closes the door and turns to face me.
"How's Atti?" I ask him.
"He needs you but doesn't know how to talk to you." He tells me as he moves to stand close to me. He smooth’s a hand down my hip and watches me. Every touch with Wyatt feels like pleasure, even when Jaxson’s shirt is in the way.
"Oh," I say a little breathless.
"Winter,” Wyatt says and he turns away from me. I place my hand on his back as he stares up at Jaxson’s sword on the wall.
“I called myself a prince but I'm not really anymore. My people are likely all dead or demons by now." He says quietly.
"You couldn't save them," I say. There was nothing we could have done and it’s not Wyatt’s fault. It’s mine; it was my blood that opened that hellhole in the first place.
"Isn't that what a king is meant to do?" he asks.
"What? Die for no reason?" I say moving around him. I glance up at his glowing, dark eyes, watching as his teeth grow in anger. I feel my teeth respond without my control. I'm sure my eyes are glowing silver now.
"Yes, kings die for their people, I ran like a coward," Wyatt says, his power slipping into his words and making my head hurt.
"You didn't have a choice, you had no weapons and were weakened. If you stayed, I would have died.” I say, knowing the words are true. I grab his head and try to turn him to look at me but he just stares at the sword.
“We would both be dead or worse," I tell him angrily. My hands start glowing blue as I hold them around his face and he finally looks down at me.
"I failed them, my people. How do you know I won't fail you?" He asks me. Every word is filled with desperation. I know his worst fear is to lose me; I don’t need to feel the fear in our bond to know that. Wyatt looks at the ground, like he can’t hear my answer.
"Because I believe in you," I tell him, lifting his head with my hands. I press my lips gently to his and he kisses me back. I feel his relief and strength in our bond; it’s enough to make me know I’ve gotten through to him. Being around Freddy is so much more difficult than he can tell me. Wyatt told me one day that he looks so much like Demi. I break away from the kiss when Wyatt’s hands start raising Jaxson’s shirt, knowing this can't go any further right now.
"I’m going to get dressed," I tell him and he nods with a little smirk. I glance over my shoulder as I grab the dress, some new underwear and then go into Jaxson’s bathroom. Wyatt is standing where I left him, a predatory look in his eyes, a look full of promise for our future.