Home > Boundary Crossed (Boundary Magic #1)(12)

Boundary Crossed (Boundary Magic #1)(12)
Author: Melissa F. Olson

“Don’t worry,” Simon reassured me. “That thing about vampires needing to be invited into a house, that’s true. So I’m sure your family will be fine.”

I considered that for a second. “Then how did they manage to kidnap Charlie out of her crib two nights ago?”

“That’s . . .” Simon began, and then he paused, looking perplexed. “That’s actually a really good point.” He sighed, raking a hand through his shaggy hair. “I don’t know how they got in. Gravitational magic—that’s what we call the natural tendency for magic to collect in certain places, like a home—isn’t very well understood. When we get through this, I can ask my mom about it. She’d know more than I do.” He paused for a moment. “Is your sister at the house, too?”

“She died,” I said shortly. “Ten months ago.”

“I’m sorry.” He flew over a speed bump, an act I generally approved of, but the jostling made my back scream, and I let out a grunt of pain before I could stop myself. Simon glanced over at me. “How are you feeling?” he asked, concern in his voice.

“Like my insides are still knitting together.”

“Well,” Simon said sensibly, “they probably are.”

“Still, all things considered, that potion thing was amazing. Why doesn’t your sister sell it to hospitals or something?”

Simon was silent long enough for me to look over at him. There was a faraway expression on his face. Finally he said quietly, “Because then people would find out about us. Witches, I mean.”

“Would that be so bad?”

“Finding out about witches? Maybe not. But the vampires and the werewolves would cause a panic. And there’s been too much tension among the species for one of us to come out and not the rest.” He shook his head. “The Old World—that’s what we usually call the supernatural side—has existed for as long as it has by staying hidden. The first rule of Fight Club and all that.” When I didn’t reply, he glanced over. “You never saw that movie?”

“What movie?”

Simon shook his head, smiling a little. “Never mind. Anyway. The Old World doesn’t have a single governing body. Instead, it’s separated loosely into territories, each with its own rules. But one rule stays the same everywhere: you don’t tell humans about the Old World. So I can’t give the healing charm to a human—”

“And it doesn’t work typically on witches,” I finished for him. “That’s like a paradox.”

“Yes.” He shot me a small smile. “I’ll admit . . . I was kind of excited to use it.”

“But doesn’t the fact that it worked mean I’m not actually a witch?” I pointed out.

“Or you could just have a lot of power that you’re not using.”

I had nothing to say to that, so we rode along in silence for a few minutes. There weren’t many people on the streets, and without my asking, Simon was speeding through town. When we reached a red light at a deserted intersection, I told him to run it. There was probably a camera, but I wasn’t going to risk Charlie’s life over a traffic ticket.

I was trying really hard not to think about John and Charlie being at the mercy of the couple from the Depot. John was assuming the police would show up any second, but nobody else was coming. Fear twisted in my gut, and I took deep breaths.

“There’s something you need to know before we go in there,” Simon said soberly.

“What?”

He glanced at me, his expression unreadable. “You’re technically a witch, we think, so you’re allowed to know about the Old World. But you can’t ever tell humans what we are. Not even your family.”

“Why? What happens if I tell?”

“They’ll have to be pressed, like Quinn tried to do to you,” he warned. “But pressing someone only works if it’s done right away. If a human knows about the Old World for more than a day or so, the memory’s rooted too deep to be removed.”

There was something else in his voice, an aversion, so I pushed him. “And what if that happens?”

He stared straight out over the steering wheel. “They have to die,” he said quietly.

“What?”

“It’s not my rule, okay? It’s the one universal Old World law. Witches have a tiny bit of leeway these days—we can tell people we’re Wiccan, even use the word ‘witch,’ but we can never mention the bigger picture or use serious magic in front of people. Humans who can’t be pressed are either killed or forced to join up.”

“Forced to . . . like, become a witch?”

He shook his head again, his face grim. “Witches are born, not made. Humans who find out have to try to become a vampire or a werewolf.”

“Who enforces that rule?” I asked, frustrated. “I thought you said there was no government.”

“No governing body,” Simon corrected. “But that’s for the Old World as a whole. Individual territories are almost all controlled by one faction or another. You’re in vampire territory, so the vampires have final say on everything.”

“Okay, this is too much information.” I exhaled a long, slow breath, my thoughts reeling. “Let’s just leave it at ‘don’t tell anyone.’ I can work with that.”

He nodded, shooting me a sympathetic look.

   
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