The Sacrifice by Jessica Gadziala

And over the pounding of the rain hitting the roof, I could hear the rumble of Seven's bike coming down the road that led to the house.

Maybe normal people would worry about his safety, riding on a bike in the rain.

But we weren't normal.

We weren't even people.

And since we couldn't die, there was no reason to worry about anything.

The engine cut, and a moment later, the front door groaned open and slammed shut before Seven's footsteps came down the hall, and into the front room where we were situated.

Seven was tall, but more solidly built and dark-skinned, with his long black hair loc'd. His dark brown eyes had a starburst of red from the pupil, making them look on fire, something that always made people take a step back from him.

"Fucking crazy," Seven said, shaking his head as he shrugged out of his dripping leather jacket.

"The rain?" Ace asked.

"Yeah, but only because everything is clear."

"What do you mean everything is clear?" Ace asked, glancing over at him.

"I mean I was driving for over an hour. It's only raining here."

"In this town?" Drex clarified.

"On this street," Seven told him, shaking his head.

Ace slowly turned from the window, looking over at me, brows pinched.

"Do you think it's her?" he asked me.

"Her who?" Seven asked, having been out of town when the shipment came in.

"The new witch," Drex said, having been the one to pick her up several days before.

"It's that time again?" Seven asked, shrugging.

"The other one has been gone for years," Ace reminded him.

"Years, days, it's hard to keep track," Seven said, moving over to get himself a drink. "How would it be her?"

"Remember the one, what, three generations ago? When she got pissed, she set shit on fire," Drex recalled, likely because his very own jacket was once set on fire. While he wore it.

"So, what?" I asked. "This one is sad?" I asked, rolling my eyes.

"You know how they are," Ace said, and I wasn't sure if he meant witches, women, or humans in general. In all cases, I figured he had a point.

"Someone should go talk to her. Has anyone even let her out?" Seven asked.

"Minos has been feeding her," Ace said, shrugging.

"For how long?" Seven pressed.

"I don't know. A week? Something like that," Drex said, waving it off.

"Maybe someone should go talk to her," Seven suggested.

"What?" I asked when Ace's gaze fell once again on me. "Me? You want me to go talk to her? Why the fuck me?"

I couldn't be considered the softest touch of all of us. If anything, I was probably the worst with human interactions in general.

"Send Minos. Even Seven would be a better choice." Drex always needed to be left out of interactions with humans if it required anything resembling diplomacy.

"I need her to stop making it fucking rain," Ace snapped, "not assure her everything is going to be alright."

"So you want me to scare her?" I clarified.

"Whatever it takes. I don't give a shit. Just make it stop," Ace demanded, storming out of the room.

Once upon a time, Ace had been in charge of all of us. Which was why, when we decided to create the MC a hundred or so years before, Ace had stepped into the role of president without any of us questioning it.

So when he issued an order, he expected it followed through.

"You're going to want a drink first," Drex insisted, holding out a glass toward me.

He was right.

I did.

So I took it.

Threw it back.

Then moved to stand.

We always kept the witches in the basement. At least at first. We'd learned early on that giving them too much freedom at the beginning only created minor disasters. Things being broken. Spells being cast. Jackets lit on fire.

We took them from the van and into the basement, leaving them there for a few months or a few years until their spirits broke enough to allow for them to do what was needed.

There wasn't much to be said about the space. It was a massive, cold part of the house where the damo seeped in through the cinderblock walls, chilling you through to the bone if you stayed for more than a few moments.

We'd thrown shit down there to keep the witches from losing their minds. A bed with a passably comfortable mattress, a couple lights, extra blankets.