Authors: Nicole Bailey
Being newly bound to Nick was more than I hoped it
would be. It still felt weird to be eighteen, a senior in high
school, and have a husband and my own apartment. But it
was a relief to know that we could live out in the open now.
No more sneaking around or running away.
Ky and Marco had been shunned by all of us, and they
continued to sit alone at lunch every day. Fortunately,
neither Nick nor I had any classes with Ky. I honestly think
I would have switched classes if I did—even though there
was only a month and a half of school left.
“I can’t believe we’re finally gonna graduate,” Nat
squealed at lunch one day.
“I wish I was,” Jack’s little sister, Helene said.
“Yeah, stop rubbin’ it in our faces already,” Matty
added. Matty and Tristan from the pack, and Helene, Jack’s
little sister, were only juniors.
Dash made it a habit to sit next to me more often than
not at lunch and he leaned in and whispered, “Do you really
think Jack would kill me if I asked Helene to prom?” he
wiggled his eyebrows at me.
“Why don’t you ask and find out,” I grinned.
“What trouble are you getting into now, Dash?” Nat
“I’m never in trouble,” he pretended to be offended.
“I’m not so sure you should do it while he’s around
though,” I whispered to him. He nodded in agreement.
“And, hey, she might not even want to go with you. So
better to wait until she says yes before you say anything to
“What are you two conspiring about over here?” Nick
asked from my other side.
“Just his prom date,” I answered.
“Do I want to know?” Nick raised his eyebrow at me.
“Probably not,” I smiled. “Though, you better be
prepared to protect Dash from Jack at some point.” Nick
shook his head at me and turned back to the conversation
he was having with Jack and Rene. They were planning
where we were going before prom. It was still two weeks
away, so I was impressed that they were thinking so far
The bell rang just then and we all stood to leave for
classes. I noticed Dash in his, “Every great idea I have gets
me in trouble” T-shirt, pull Helene aside. Nat gave me a
questioning look, but I just pushed her and Jack along in
front of me. We may have started out hating each other, but
Dash had really grown on me. He actually looked nervous.
“He must really like her,” Nick whispered. “If he just
thought she was ‘hot’, he wouldn’t smell like that right
“He smells?” I scrunched my face up.
“The pheromones he’s giving off right now are
seriously overwhelming,” he smiled.
“Well, that’s good. Because if he hurts Helene, not only
will Jack kill him, but I’ll help,” I laughed.
“No, I can tell he really likes her,” Nick assured me.
We hadn’t even made it through the doors yet when I
heard Dash shout, “She said yes!” as he pumped his fists in
the air in victory.
Jack turned at the commotion and saw Helene smiling
at Dash. “Oh snap,” Nat said. She held Jack’s hand as
tightly as she could.
Dash looked over at Jack and went stiff. “Oh crap,
dude. I swear I really like her,” he had his hands up in
surrender as Jack stormed in their direction. He was
practically dragging Nat behind him.
“Do something,” I told Nick. “They’re gonna cause a
He was chuckling. “No way, and miss this?” The
lunchroom was pretty empty now. Only a few of the circle/
pack members had lagged behind to watch.
“Well, if you’re not going to rescue him, I will,” I
pulled away from Nick and ran over to stand in front of
He just stood there, hands still raised. Helene was
smiling. “Dude, Jack. You’re my boy. You know that,
right?” Dash said.
Jack stood silently glaring at Dash. “Jack, look at me
for a sec,” I said.
He turned to look at me, but kept one eye on Dash.
“Sof, you can’t let this happen.”
“Me? What am I supposed to do about it? And besides,
like her,” I told him.
“You’re his boss aren’t you?”
Dash laughed out loud, “My boss?”
“I might be Alpha female, but that doesn’t mean I can,
or even want to, tell him not to ask your sister to prom,” I
“But…” Jack sputtered.
“I swear man, I’m cool. I really like Helene,” her face
lit up as he said it. “I just want to take her to prom. We’ll all
be in a big group so you can even keep an eye on me.”
“Jack, you have to admit, he has grown up a little in the
last couple weeks.” Jack looked at me like I was crazy.
“Okay, so not much, but I do believe him. Just let it go.”
“Fine,” he gave in. “But so help me, Dash, if you so
“I know. You’ll sick Sofia on me,” Dash said.
Jack actually laughed and slightly relaxed. The bell
rang to signal that we were all officially late to our next
class. We hurried out of the cafeteria after the drama was
over. I noticed Dash walk Helene to her class, but didn’t
point it out to anyone.
Nick hated to let me go every day after art. Nat always
came over to our apartment, and now that I was no longer
distracted about my feelings for Nick and the drama
between our families, I spent the time catching up on
“So, do you really think Jack will let Dash live?” Nat
asked while we were in my living room doing homework
on the sofa.
I looked up at her from my laptop. “Yeah, I think he’ll
survive. I know Dash really likes Helene. He’s been asking
me about her since the first day we all sat together.”
“Really?” she seemed surprised. “By the way, it’s so
cool that we can all sit together now. I’m glad you made us
“I know. It feels right somehow,” I agreed.
“All thanks to you.”
“All I did was force everyone to start talking to each
other,” I said.
“Exactly. And now another werewolf is asking a witch
out,” she smiled.
“I still don’t understand how it all happened,” I
furrowed my eyebrows.
“How what happened?” I heard Nick from the doorway.
I jumped up and ran to hug him. I wrapped my arms around
his neck and he picked me up.
“How you guys got together,” Nat said, without
pretending to barf for once.
Nick put me back down and walked to the couch, where
he sat on the arm. “It is strange, no? In however many
hundreds of years, that we would be the first witch and
werewolf to be drawn together.”
“I wonder if it says anything about it in your nonna’s
book?” Nat wondered.
“Like if maybe we aren’t the first? I don’t think
Mamma read all the way through the book yet,” I said.
“Or maybe it says why it would happen
,” Nat said.
“Maybe I should ask her to look at it just for fun. I’m
still really curious as to what this strange force was that
literally pulled us to one another.”
“Literally?” Nat laughed. “Are you sure you don’t
mean that figuratively?”
“Whatever, grammar police. You know what I meant,” I
smarted. “I’m serious though. Nick felt it, too. Maybe even
stronger than I did. It was nearly impossible to stay away
from him after we kissed that first time.” I smiled at him.
“Sὶ, exactly,” Nick agreed. “Do you really think there
might be something in the book about it? You kept saying
we were supposed to be together.”
“Well, could be important. Maybe we’re supposed to do
something more,” I said.
“There are sure a lot of ‘maybes’ in this conversation,”
Nat said. “Well, I’m outta here for now. You kids have
fun.” She grinned at me.
After art the next afternoon, Nick ditched his last class
and came with me to Mamma’s store. I wanted to talk to
her about Nonna’s book. “Ciao, Mamma,” I said as we
walked in through the back door. She was alone,
reorganizing the candle shelf.
“So, I was wondering. How much of Nonna’s book did
you read? I, well we, have some questions.”
“Well, I started at the beginning and skipped over
everything Luca already found. I haven’t had time to look
through it for over a week, so I’m still about two hundred
years before now. Why? What are you looking for?”
“We were talking with Nat yesterday, and I’m still
curious about this ‘force’ that brought Nick and I together.
Do you think there would be anything about it in the
book?” I asked.
“Hmm…” she thought for a minute. The bell on the
front door dinged before she could answer and someone
walked in. “I’ll be right back.”
Nick hadn’t been in the store before so he wandered
around. “Do regular people actually use this stuff?” he
“Yeah, there are a lot of New Age people in town who
believe in the power of crystals, herbs, oils, all that stuff.”
“Would they ever really be able to make anything
“Not really. I mean oils and herbs can help people with
mental and physical health, but that’s not really magic,” I
answered. The customer quickly found the one thing she
was looking for and Mamma was back.
“I thought about it and it’s worth a look. You described
a very powerful force. There might be something foretold
of in the book,” she said to me.
“Well, do you mind if I pick it up and go through it? I
promise to be careful with it,” I asked.
“Of course, Piccola.”
“Oh wait, it was in Florentine. I can’t really read that,” I
“No, the newer parts are in modern Italian. You should
do fine with it.”
“Awesome. We’ll go pick it up,” I said, kissing her on
“Ciao,” she said. “And good luck.”
We left the store and drove to my parents’ house where
we found Babbo in the living room watching TV.
“Eww, that is so gross,” I said as I looked over at what
he was watching. He had one of those real life ER trauma
“It is helpful,” he said. “They always show extreme
cases, and it is always good to be prepared for the unusual.”
“Whatevs, it’s still completely disgusting. Anywho,
we’re here for Nonna’s book. Mamma said we could
“Ciao, Signor Morini,” Nick said politely.
“Ah, no. Call me Francesco,” my dad shook his head.
“What do you want the book for?”
“Well, we were just wondering if there would be
anything in it about Nick and me. I mean the whole
‘destined to be together’ thing,” I answered with air quotes.
He chuckled. “Well, I think it is in our room on the
“I’ll grab it and be right back,” I told Nick. I went down
the hallway to the bedroom and grabbed the book that was
actually on Mamma’s nightstand. “Got it, let’s jet.” I
skipped over to Babbo and kissed him on the cheek before
Nick and I went home and sat on the couch to go
through the book together. “How far back do you think we
should go?” he asked as I flipped the book open.
“Well, probably two hundred years since that’s where
Mamma stopped. She would’ve said if she’d seen
something before that. This could take a looong time,” I
dragged the word out.
“Do you want my help? I can read one side if you
want,” Nick offered.
“Nah. There might be stuff in here you don’t
understand. Mamma used the word ‘foretold’, which would
indicate there could be prophecies in here.”
“What? You guys can see the future?” he asked,
“Very few witches can. Usually it’s someone who is
already a coven leader. Though not always. It can also be
one of the older witches. As far as I know, there’s only one
every generation,” I explained.
“So, it’s only women?”
“Yep, pretty cool, huh?” I smiled.
“Not if you’re a guy,” he laughed. “How do you know
who it is? And do you have one now?”
“Well, she will start to have visions, but the only way to
know for sure she’s the one, is if the visions actually start to
come true. And to answer your other question, we do have
one now. It’s my nonna.”
“Has she ever seen anything? Maybe we should ask her
about us?” he asked.
“The only thing I know of that she’s ever seen was all
the families moving to America,” I answered.
our families all come over? And why
the same town if everyone hated each other?”
“That’s an excellent question and I have absolutely no
idea what the answer is. We should ask our parents one of
these days. But let’s focus on the current task.” I looked
down at the book in my lap and Nick went into the
bedroom for his laptop. “No way, is Nico Bartolini
seriously going to do homework right now?”
“Hey, I do homework all the time,” he pretended to be
offended. “Okay, so maybe not since I met you and turned
into a newlywed.”
“This is still so strange. We’re only eighteen. How is it
? We haven’t even graduated,” I said.
“Well, first of all,
the one who proposed to
And secondly, your parents were bound at eighteen. What
does it matter if we’re still in high school? We can finish
school and be married at the same time,” he smiled.
“I know, but it’s still weird,” I mumbled as I looked
down at the book again. We sat in silence for a long time;
the only sound was the clicking of the keyboard.
“Anything yet?” Nick asked awhile later.
“Some cool spells and a little bit of history, but nothing
that looks like a prophecy. I need a break. My eyes are
going all wonky from this tiny, fancy script,” I answered.
“Do you want me to order dinner?” he offered.
“How ‘bout we go to the restaurant?” I suggested.
“Sure, if you want.” I nodded and we left for his
family’s restaurant, Aberto’s. They had absolutely the best
Italian food in all of northern Arizona.
“Sofia!” Nick’s mom, Daniela yelled across the
restaurant as soon as we walked in.
“Mamma, don’t embarrass her. You’re being loud,”
Nick told her.
“Oh, nonsense,” she said, walking over and hugging
me. It was amazing how quickly she and Aberto had given
up on the whole Beth thing—she was Nick’s werewolf ex.
Once they found out Nick and I bound ourselves to each
other and the feud ended, they adopted me into the family
with open arms. It still blew my mind.
Babbo and Mamma had gathered her circle and
Aberto’s pack the morning after our ceremony. They took
the book with them, explained the story of Henri and
Adelina, and insisted the feud end. Some of the older
leaders struggled for a while. Within the week, Aberto and
Daniela wanted to meet me.
They had accepted the binding—well they had to—but
as soon as they saw us together, they fully supported us.
His mom practically said the same thing as Mamma,
insisting she saw the connection between us right away.
“You cannot deny this,” she had said to Aberto. And she
was the one I worried about the most because she had been
so dead set on Nick being with Beth because she was a
“Sit, let me get you something,” she said now. “What
sounds good tonight?”
“Mmm… how about your lasagna,” I answered.
“Roberto!” she screamed across the restaurant for
Nick’s little brother. “Bring Nico and Sofia some bread.”
“Mamma, seriously. Inside voice,” Nick chastised.
“I am Italian. I have no inside voice,” she laughed as
she walked away to the kitchen. “Aberto, the children are
here,” we heard her yell again.
“Good grief, that woman is louder than my mom even,”
“Try growing up with her. Every conversation sounded
like she was mad at me,” Nick rolled his eyes.
Robby came out with the bread and practically dropped
it on the table. “What’s up with you?” Nick asked.
“Sorry. Mamma won’t stop yelling at me. ‘Roberto, set
table forty-four.’ ‘Roberto, you didn’t fold the napkins
right.’ ‘Roberto, they need more water’. You get the idea,”
“Sit down and eat with us,” I offered.
“Are you kidding? I’m banished to the kitchen when
I’m finally allowed to eat. And even then, I get like two
bites before she’s bossing me around again.”
“Who is bossing around?” Daniela asked as she walked
up to our table with dinner.
“Daniela, do you think it would be okay for Robby to
have dinner with us tonight? I haven’t really had time to
ask him about school,” I asked as sweetly as possible.
“Sὶ, that is okay. But don’t be too long,” she said,
pointing her finger at him. I laughed when she walked
“So, how is school anyway?” I asked as I started to eat
“I can’t wait to be a freshman,” he instantly got excited.
“Good thing we’re graduating. I won’t have to see you
at school next year,” Nick teased. He and Robby actually
had a strong relationship.
“That’s not very nice,” I said. “He is your little brother
“Yeah, but he’s like Dash Jr. I don’t know if Mason
High can handle another one.”
“No. Sweet Robby? No way,” I smiled, rubbing his
head and messing up his hair. I knew he was a
troublemaker at the middle school, but I doubted anyone
could be as bad as Dash.
Robby chattered on about school and some cute were
girl his age while we ate. He seemed excited to be able to
sit down and talk to people. He complained that he could
never go anywhere because he was always at the restaurant.
“Let me get my violin,” Nick scoffed. “I had to do it
before you were old enough.” Robby mumbled something
about how much it sucked anyway. Just like he said,
Daniela didn’t let him sit for long. She was back to shuffle
him off to the kitchen after only a few minutes.
Nick and I didn’t stay too long. I looked through the
book a little more before bed that night, but it was so huge
that it took forever to get very far. “I’ve still only gotten
through about thirty years,” I complained as Nick turned
the light off.
“We’re not in any hurry, Bella. Just take your time and
enjoy the book. He rolled over to face me in bed and kissed
me softly on the mouth. “Ti voglio bene,” he whispered.
“I love you back. Forever, Nick. Nothing could ever
separate us,” I smiled. “Now, I have to close my eyes.
They’re still burning from reading.”