In chapter 8 'Black Widow Curse & the Coven'
This is a big chapter and a lot happens. Here Meridian and Tallulah get off the plane and the spirit guides all get to see her for the first time since she has went through the change. Relic is the only one who has seen her. To add Meridian goes into a restaurant that I have actually eaten in when I was in Salem. The Howling Wolf Taqueria. We had a great time, the bar tender was fun and she made a great margarita for me while I waited for my food. So I had to write it into the story. Here Meridian meets new friends and her behavior upsets Tallulah.
A new character comes in, Lahash. I can't help it, after writing him in this book and the last two, he has become my favorite. I can't decide which book I like him in the most, but he makes his introduction here. Last but not least, Meridian's curse strikes again. Read to find out!
Chapter 8 Black Widow Curse & The Coven (#2)
The group waited at the airport gate where Tallulah and Meridian would be coming from. They were able to get a read on Tallulah’s mind before she boarded the plane.
“Are you sure this is the gate, Relic?” Luna pushed her way through the bustling group of guides walking through all the humans at the busy airport.
“Well, yes; I heard Tallulah’s thoughts,” Relic answered
“Will you quit, please. The agent that checked her in told her that,” Ridge popped off.
Relic just stood and grinned at Luna as he listened to Ridge bust him and give him a hard time. Slaten and Pramlee were standing a way off from the trio as they stood talking. Relic took notice of the familiar face he missed so much as she exited the terminal. It was hard for Luna to watch her husband stare at the one person he just could not quite let go of, even as hard as he tried. Once everyone saw that Meridian had made it off the plane, they all just stopped and stared at the girl they didn’t recognize at all.
“I told you all,” Relic stated.
“Man, you weren’t kidding around. It doesn’t even really look like Meridian,” Slaten said in awe, and he watched Meridian trot through the airport alongside Tallulah who was shuffling her luggage and digging through her large bucket style purse.
“Pramlee, look your best friend isn’t so pretty anymore is she?” Luna let out a rare snarky remark.
“Luna, she is just as beautiful as she ever was. She just has black hair, and she dresses a little different, and um…a little revealing and…” Pramlee stopped talking.
“Yes, she is still beautiful, she just looks human is all,” Relic said as he managed to keep up with the pair as they whirled through the airport.
The one person who was the most in shock was Kieren. “I barely recognize her. Why does she look so different? Her hair? I mean she still looks like Meridian, but she doesn’t at the same time,” Kieren asked.
No one regarded Kieren. Instead, they were all ears when Relic was spilling the details he knew of Warrick’s curse. Tallulah and Meridian made it to luggage claim, and everyone trailed behind Relic as he explained, “When Warrick banished her from Etheria he meant it to be a banishing like Talon’s.” Relic looked back to the fallen friend. “She didn’t turn out like Talon completely. She looks more human, and she isn’t evil at all - which is strange. I believe it is because she was born of the realm and she has gifts she never had the chance to discover before the curse. She is darker physically, and her personality is darker and maybe not so innocent as we are starting to see,” Relic said.
“What is he talking about?” Kieren asked impatiently to the other guides.
“Any man she sleeps with will die, if it is not true love.” Relic was reluctant and held a longer pause than usual.
“What? I thought she was looking for Aiden.” Kieren asked.
“She is looking for Aiden. She just doesn’t know why yet. In the meantime, she is now a human girl, and she has needs.” Relic grinned as he made that statement.
“Well, that is just great. Don’t tell me anymore; I just want to get her back before she realizes why she is looking for Aiden.” Kieren shoved Relic out of his way so he could stand next to Meridian. Once at her side, he glared at Relic. Kieren held his arms crossed tightly across his chest and shook his head in disgust at Relic for his not well-received commentary.
Talon stood next to Relic as the pair watched Kieren and Meridian standing at baggage claim. “I don’t want her to find Aiden either. I don’t want my son to die. Furthermore, we are headed back to a place that draws more demons, and this will be difficult for me.” Talon grew tired of listening to the two suitors verbally spar at one another over the very girl he had grown protective over. The girl he watched connect to his only son.
“We will make sure everything will be okay. Maybe Luna can use some of her mad fairy skills and keep you out of trouble?” Ridge winked at the quiet fairy as he made his coy statement.
The human pair dashed out of the airport and sported a car rental to get them around for the duration of their trip. They had a bit to drive to make it to the quaint town of Salem, leaving time for a small chit chat.
“Tallulah, when do we get to go and see your friends?” Meridian questioned as she looked outside the window of the car.
“I’ll answer that shortly. But first I want to say a few things about your episode. I don’t like you taking off like that with strange men. We have had our discussions about this in the past. It seems that I do not do any good. I can’t tell you what to do, but I wish you would pay more mind to the fact that I have been a human all my life, and I know how men can be.” Tallulah stopped talking to see if Meridian was paying any attention.
“I know, I know. But when I am with men, I feel alive. Like something that has been missing is brought to me, even for a small time. I have freedom to do things. I can’t really remember much about my parents or who they were, but it may be that I was not allowed this same kind of freedom. I don’t know.”
Tallulah gave pause to Meridian’s short and ridiculous explanation. She continued to drive without a response. Meridian had not come to understand that what she was truly feeling while in the company of these random men was a temporary suspension of loneliness. A familiar feeling to Tallulah who felt alone all her life.
“Well, we will arrive shortly and head out on the town. I wanted to go out and shop a little before it gets too crazy out there. As you can see, we can barely park. Halloween in this town is not just an event; it is a lifestyle and an art form. People come from all around,” Tallulah explained as she pointed to the hundreds of people who were waiting at the crosswalk for their turn to cross the street.
“Well this town certainly has an appeal to it, and I am so excited to be here. The town feels familiar to me,” Meridian said with zeal, and she seemed to have forgotten the morning’s events.
Meridian and Tallulah left the hotel and went walking the main streets of Salem, checking out the happenings that included hundreds of vendors who had set up for the days leading up to Halloween. The air was crisp with the smell of apple cider, beer, and incense. Tourists filled the streets making it difficult to walk. “This place is nuts! I love it! I am getting wore out and could use something to eat, though,” Meridian’s pace had slowed down even more than the sluggish movements of the tourists.
They soon found themselves at The Howling Wolf Taqueria. The place was packed with tourists, and it was very loud with all the laughing, talking, and silverware clanging the plates. With nowhere to sit, they decided to go and stand at the bar and wait for an available table.
Meridian was getting admiring glances from a couple of men at the bar. Meridian’s attire, as usual, all black and barely there. They couldn’t jump out of their seats fast enough to offer her their seat. As they walked over toward Meridian, Relic and Kieren could be counted on to be right there worrying for her - even though they knew they couldn’t do much about it. Before the suitors could get to the two women, Tallulah quickly commented to Meridian under her breath as she stared at the two guys coming over to her. “With the way you are dressed, no wonder they are headed over here.”
“Look, guys, for me, please. I can’t be around anger, or any of that or I will lose it. In case you haven’t noticed where we are.” Talon was reminding them of the possibilities. “I just hope she doesn’t do anything else to get me in that state.” He looked around at everyone.
“Relax. I don’t think this is the place you should be worried about. It’s the real nightlife that will get you.” Ridge rolled his eyes, and Relic stood smiling at Talon, who didn’t appreciate Relic taking pleasure in what Talon considered the worst part of himself - turning into the angered and uncontrolled demon.
“Come on, man! I know you hate it, but you don’t have our point of view. It is hard not to appreciate it,” Relic laughed. Talon did not reply. Instead, he chose to turn his back and take a walk around the restaurant.
As Meridian and Tallulah conversed with the two men that had offered them their seats, Meridian wasn’t thinking about the tragedy from earlier, and she found she was growing fond of the men that were entertaining her. Tallulah kept a watchful eye on Meridian, and every once in a while, Tallulah would raise her eyebrow at Meridian as a reminder of their prior conversation.