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Nona's Garden- Chapter 12

Good Girls Don't...

I looked at Mateo’s sleeping body on the ground for a second, then I glanced up…

The large six-foot figure that had grew from the ground behind him, had now slowly morphed down into Nikki’s small frame… ending the transformation with a scowl etched on her face. “What did I just interrupt??” She asked in an accusing tone. “I could hear your heart racing a mile away.”

I didn’t answer her but chose to say instead, “Where have you been? You didn’t answer my call right away!” I had shot out my energy, my way of calling her, minutes ago.

Her facial expression turned sheepish. “I… was caught up. I didn’t get the message right away.”

“Caught up?? With what?” I took in her whole body now… she seemed like she had been in a fight or something. Her clothes and hair not the way I left her… “What were you doing Nikki?”

“Nothing! Just forget about it… we’ve got what we came for. Let’s just go before someone sees us.”

I squinted my eyes at her with suspicion… we did have to go but this conversation wasn’t over with. Nikki had been up to something, she looked way too guilty. “Fine. Go get the SUV while I stay here and make sure no one sees him laying on the ground.” I watched Nikki take off towards the general store. After she was a good distance away, I turned my attention back to Mateo.

I knelt on the ground next to him and gazed into his face… he looked so handsome and peaceful asleep. I brushed some wayward black hair from his forehead. “I’m sorry.” I whispered to the unconscious figure. “But there’s too many odd things going on, including you. Why are you different? What’s up with the portal and all that’s coming through lately? It’s just too much for me alone to handle, I need my sister to help me figure all this out. Which means you are coming with us.”

I looked at him a bit longer… I wonder what things could be like as an ordinary woman loving a man like him. I sighed inwardly- the familiar pang in my chest making itself known. We live the hand we are dealt… I know this better than anyone. This had to be done.

Maybe it was for the best… he deserved a good woman who could share her short life with him. Someone not like me. I was no good girl. Good girls didn’t go around kidnapping men against their wills. No, I wasn’t a good girl…

I was a Goddess.

It didn’t take us long to get Mateo loaded into the car, and surprisingly no one stopped us in the process. I had my qualms about encouraging information out of his family and workers earlier, but I didn’t want anyone looking for him for a few days… so a quick stop at the general store was needed. I found the people I was searching for and made sure they got it that he didn’t want to be bothered for a while.

Evidently, he owned the place and was responsible for managing its day-to-day operations, so it wasn’t as easy as I thought. A lot of resistance came up… especially from his dad, he was a strong willed one. But in the end, even he must submit… I did promise they would be ok without him. To make sure the farm won’t suffer in his absence, I already had a team of helpers on their way… I just hope no one realizes that they weren’t human. I’m pretty sure I covered my bases, but you never know… I didn’t want a town panic on my hands. No need to bring on a modern Salem Witch Trial.

“I can’t believe we have to drive to Florida… this is crazy. I don’t like this at all.” Nikki was coming down off her buzz and she was a tad grumpy. You’d think abduction would be more exciting and fun, but no.

“Don’t worry… you’ll be back to your mountain in no time. What happen to your good mood we left with?”

“It left me the moment we left Georgia… I haven’t left the state in a century. It makes me uneasy.” She shivered in her seat like a blast of cold hit her. I did feel bad for making her leave her home for me, even if it was temporary.

“After we get these current dilemmas taken care of, I will not cause trouble for at least 20 more years. I promise!” I gave her a bright smile that she just rolled her eyes to. She didn’t believe me.

We both heard the groan from the third row back seat at the same time. Nikki glanced back toward the sound, while I just froze in place. It was time to face him… and to watch his face turn into horror, as so many I’ve seen before, when he found out that I wasn’t human and that I had taken him against his will. It made my stomach turn to think about that caring look he last gave me at the farm, turning into hate. But then, it’s not like me and him could ever have a chance to be together. Even if he turned out to be immortal, me and my sisters weren’t relationship material… we were different than all other beings. People and deities came to us for help, guidance, or manipulation. My family only had each other… and in this current world, we couldn’t even have that.

Even Nikki will leave me one day… she was long lived but not immortal in the true sense. She would be with me for as long as she could… but if Stone Mountain ever lost its life, she would lose hers as well. Or she could voluntarily give up her partial immortality, maybe wanting to spend some of that time with another being, having a family of her own… away from the constant problems I must deal with. Without me, her life would be peaceful.

I silently looked out the window… watching the landscape fill with more palm trees with every mile we covered. “Hang tight ladies, looks like it’s starting to rain.” The driver announced.

“Yeah, I know…” I responded absentmindedly.

“What happened? Where am I?” Came a groggy voice from the back. I heard some rustling around as I imagined him trying to move but finding that his arms were bound. “Why am I tied up? What’s going on??” Dread starting to replace the grogginess, he struggled some more.

“Calm down pretty boy, we won’t hurt you.” Nikki paused and looked at me, “I don’t think?”

“No, we aren’t going to hurt him.” I confirmed.

“Nona?? You’re behind this?” I flinched at the shock in his voice.

“Yes.” I finally turned to look at him behind my seat. The bewilderment when he laid eyes on me was clear… he was so confused.

“If this is about the piglet’s mess…”

“No… it’s not about that.” I couldn’t help but smile, kidnapping over hogs would be extreme even for me.

“Then, you gotta tell me what’s going on because I’m kinda freaking out here.”

“Do you need me to pull over Miss?” The driver asked helpfully… what was his name again? Oh yeah… Kenny.

“No, keep driving.”

“You have a driver helping you abduct me?” His voice raised two octaves, like this just got even weirder… he didn’t even know the half of it.

I took a deep breath and prepared myself… I unclicked my seat belt and began to scoot myself into the back seat next to him. He didn’t even move away from me as I made myself comfortable… even tied up he didn’t seem to fear me. I guess he thought I wasn’t a threat. And truth, he seemed to not be affected by me so far, so maybe I wasn’t a threat to him out right. My power wasn’t in my physical strength like Nikki… but that didn’t mean I wasn’t dangerous.

I took a moment to gather my thoughts by staring at the back of Nikki’s seat, then I turned to face him again… he was staring dead at me. Like he was in a dream and didn’t know what to expect.

“I’m sorry to have to drag you into my world, but there has been a lot of things going on that I don’t know how to fix or don’t understand. When I don’t understand something, that could mess with the very fabric of our reality.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Do you believe in the supernatural, Mateo?” My eyes never leaving his… I needed to see his every reaction. I tried to look into his soul.

His eyes got big, “You mean ghosts and witches?”

“Well, I guess so… but also myths, fairytales and legends that were thought to be just stories but have deep roots in truth.” This is not something a grown man would have luck wrapping their head around, it sounded insane to mortals.

He turned away from me for a bit… like he was remembering something. “Why do you ask me that?” He said without turning back to me.

“Do you believe in such things? I need to know so I can better explain.”

“I actually do believe… yes.”

I was shocked… I didn’t expect that at all. “Oh… ok. Well, that makes things slightly easier.”

“My mother is from a small village in Italy… her family is very old and is considered highly superstitious. I used to think they all were nuts until I went to live with them for a few years when I was fifteen. I saw somethings I couldn’t comprehend while there… it made me consider a lot of stuff other people wouldn’t.”

Nikki turned around, now slightly interested… she popped a BBQ potato chip in her mouth while she listened, the crunch sounded loud in the car. “A man with an open mind… I like it.”

Mateo looked at her like he was just now really seeing her, but didn’t say anything.

“I’m glad you’ve had some experience because what I’m about to tell you will probably sound ridiculous.”

“Don’t tell me your actually an old witchy hag.” Panic popped into his voice again…

Nikki’s cackling laugh made me jump from the suddenness of it… she laughed so hard she began choking on one of her potato chips. I leaned forward to give her my glowering look from around the seat… she had literal tears streaming down her face so she couldn’t see my death stare. “Not funny Nicolette.”

“Kind of was…” She squeezed out as she wiped the tears from her face.

“So, you really are a witch?”

“No… Nikki’s just got a weird sense of humor.” I said as I sat back in my seat. “I’m not a hag either!” I kicked the back of her seat… more laughter from Nikki’s seat.

“I feel like I should know what she’s laughing about.”

“It’s nothing… trust me.”

“You abducted me… why would I trust you?” Fair point.

“ANY. WAY… back to what is important.” I say loudly enough to make sure everyone heard me. “There has been a lot of paranormal activity recently, people are dying, soul are being lost, and mysteries are popping up. I need to fix it all, right now… but I can’t do it alone. I need my sister, worse case… both sisters.”

“What does this have to do with me?” He croaked.

“You are one of those mysteries… you haven’t reacted as a normal human should. It’s perplexing.”

“You knocked me out because I perplexed you? I just wanted a kiss.”

“Whoa… What?” Nikki whipped her head around the seat, chip bag back in hand. “I thought he was attacking you when I took him out?”

“Hold on, you choked me? I’m five-foot-eleven… What are you, five feet tall? The person behind me was over six-foot tall! And I wasn’t attacking her… for the record. I don’t attack women.” He clarified.

“Oh… Nikki isn’t human. Don’t let her size fool you” I chimed in… not liking the attention he was giving her. Statistically, they had a better chance at a relationship than him and me. Regardless of everything, that didn’t sit well at all.

“Nope… not human.” She said. Another crunch.

“Well, what are you then?”

“I’m a Nymph…” she said matter-of-factly, popping another chip in her mouth. It was my turn to be shocked… guess she was in a detail sharing mood. I wonder why. Now I really grew suspicious…

“A what!?”

“I’m a Nymph… from the mountains. A Mountain Spirit.” She said around chewing. Her crunching was now grating on my nerves. You’d swear she’d smoked something that made her hungry, the way she was eating those chips. I rolled my shoulders back to loosen myself up, and laid my arms on the side rests… I needed to get myself together. I have never experience jealousy until this man, and it wasn’t a good feeling. If she started asking him personal questions, I might just tear this car apart.

Mateo shook his head in amazement, trying to clear his thoughts. “That’s a lot to ask me to believe in. I studied mythology in college as a minor… it was part of my classical studies. But I never gave one thought to it being real.” He said in disbelief. Moments passed without anyone saying a thing. We were giving him time to absorb the information. “Then are you supposed to be one too?” He asked after a while, finally turning his attention back on me… but then his gaze slid lower, landing on where I had been shredding the interior of the car with my talons, and the disbelief in his face faded.

“Oh… I’m not a mountain nymph.” I said slowly.

He visibly swallowed… “Are those… claws?? Nona, what are you?” Hearing that question, Nikki shot around the seat again.

“Nona!” She said in surprise. “I’m starting to get the impression-”

“Oh shut up…” I snapped, stopping her sentence… causing her to smirk as she turned back around in her seat. I waited for her to fully turn around before I said to him, “To answer your question… you’ll just have to wait and see. You’ve been passed out for most of the ride thanks to a poppy juice spray that helps you sleep, but we are in Florida now. If you haven’t noticed. We’ll be reaching my sister’s home shortly. We’ll tell you everything there- and then I’ll take you back home.”

Please join us and continue Nona's story with Chapter 13, 'Welcome to Treasure Island' in the next blog post.

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