Home > The Divide (The Secret Circle #4)(2)

The Divide (The Secret Circle #4)(2)
Author: L.J. Smith

"Um," she said. It was weird. Cassie kind of agreed with Faye on this one, which may have been the first time she ever agreed with Faye on anything. She didn't want to side with Faye over Diana, but how could they just destroy the Tools? What if Black John came back? These were their only means of self-defense. She wished Diana had discussed this with her before now.

"We can talk to Constance for help getting rid of them," Diana offered. "If that's what we decide to do." Melanie's great-aunt Constance had been helping the Circle with their magic. Since she'd tapped into her powers to nurse Cassie's mother back to health last winter, she'd become more willing to share her knowledge of the old ways.

"Constance probably knows a spell we can use," Diana said. "And with Black John gone for good, I bet she'll agree it's time to put the Tools to rest."

Cassie could see Diana felt strongly about this. As did Faye - that familiar fiery anger had snuck its way into her sharp features.

"We should take a vote," a strong voice called out. It belonged to Nick, who rarely spoke at Circle meetings.

Hearing him express an opinion on this caught Cassie off guard.

"Nick's right," Melanie said. "We should all have equal say in a decision so important."

Diana nodded. "I'm fine with that."

Faye dramatically swept her red nails at the group. "Vote then," she said, with the confidence of someone who'd already won.

Melanie stood and stepped to the center of the room.

She always called out Circle votes, Cassie noticed. "All those in favor of destroying the Master Tools," she said,

"raise your hands."

Diana's hand went up first, followed by Melanie's own, then Laurel's. After a second long pause, Nick raised his, and then finally Adam.

Cassie couldn't believe it. Adam had voted with Diana, even though she knew he'd rather experiment with the Tools.

"All those in favor of keeping the Tools," Melanie said,

"raise your - "

"Wait," Cassie called out. She'd gotten distracted and lost the chance to choose Diana's side.

Faye laughed. "You snooze, you lose, Cassie. And a vote against Diana is a vote for me."

"Wrong," Cassie said, surprising herself as she said it.

"It's a vote for me."

She paused to look at Adam and saw he was smiling proudly.

"I propose a third option," she said. "We keep the Tools, in case we need them. We don't destroy their power, but we also don't experiment with them."

"In that case," Faye said, "I'd be happy to keep the Tools safe until we need them."

"Not a chance," Adam said.

Cassie raised her hand. "I wasn't finished." She eyed Faye and then Diana. "I propose that each leader hide one of the three relics, so they can only be used if the whole group knows about it."

Everyone got quiet then, as they mulled over this new possibility in their minds.

It was a good idea, and Cassie knew it. What she didn't know was how she'd come up with it right there on the spot like that. When she took control of the floor, she hadn't had the slightest idea what she was going to say.

Diana spoke first. "That does seem like a fair compromise," she said. "Melanie, I call for a revote."

"I second the call for a revote," Nick said gall antly.

Melanie raised her eyebrows. "Okay then. All those in favor of . . . Cassie's idea, raise your hands." All hands went up, except for Deborah's, Suzan's, and Faye's.

"It's decided then," Melanie said.

Faye stood perfectly still. She didn't move a muscle, but a dark shadow fell over her face.

Suzan bounced out of her chair. "Oh, well," she said. "I guess that's that. I'm starving. Can we go eat now?"

"Yeah, let's go get tacos," Sean said.

One by one, everyone stood up and began gathering their things, talking about meeting at Melanie's great-aunt Constance's later to practice their invocations. Diana snuffed out the candles and turned down the lanterns. All the while, Faye remained motionless.

"You," she said.

Instinctively, Cassie took a step back even though Faye was across the room.

"Don't be too proud of yourself." She sauntered over to Cassie and leaned in close. Cassie could smell her heady perfume, and it made her dizzy. "You may have won the battle," Faye said. "But . . . well, you know." Cassie drew away from Faye's reach. Her fear still got the best of her every time Faye threatened her. Whether or not Faye was actually stronger was beside the point. She had the singleness of mind of a sociopath and a complete lack of conscience. Faye couldn't be reasoned with, and that was what made her dangerous.

"We're on the same side," Cassie said weakly. "We want the same thing."

Faye narrowed her honey-colored eyes. "Not really," she said. "Not yet, anyway."

It sounded like a threat, and Cassie knew Faye never made an empty threat.

Chapter 2

Cassie and Adam barely said a word the whole drive back to Cassie's house. She was still shaken up by Faye's words, and Adam, sensing that, just quietly held her hand while he drove.

She clicked on the radio for a pleasant distraction and fiddled with its dial till she found a song she liked. She couldn't remember the song's title, but it triggered a feeling of nostalgia in her heart, a memory of a time when her life was much simpler than it was now. She had been in New Salem less than a year, but it felt like forever and a day.

Instead of watching the spring night drift by her window, Cassie closed her eyes. She let the music wash over her and tried to remember what it felt like to be not a witch but just a girl.

Then she opened her eyes for a little peek at Adam. He was beautiful. In the pale moonlight, his hair appeared auburn and his eyes darkened to a deep navy that matched the night sky. How was it possible that this boy was in love with her, and only her? The Cassie from last year would never have believed it.

She glanced at her own reflection in the car's side-view mirror. She didn't even look like the self she knew in California. Back then, she'd always felt so average.

Average height, average build, ordinary brown hair. But now Cassie noticed her own multicolored highlights, and how big and round her grayish blue eyes were. And most importantly, she recognized how she'd matured into her power. She was confident now in a way she never could have imagined.

When they pulled up to Number Twelve, the last house on the bluff, Cassie remembered the first time she'd seen it, how frightening and old it appeared to her with its sloping roof and weathered gray clapboard siding. Was it a good thing that she'd grown so used to it, and to all the old houses on Crowhaven Road? Everything that had struck her as odd and a little creepy before had become normal to her - it had become her life.

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