Void - CoraLee June, Raven Kennedy Page 0,1

It hurt me to lie to him, but my entire life felt like an act ever since I’d been exiled to live with humans. Reed knew me better than most, but it still only scratched the surface of my existence. I wanted nothing more than to go with him to LA and live a human life. I wanted to explore life outside of my mother’s grasp with my best friend, away from the hate and fear of the supernaturals, but that fate wasn’t meant for me. I was a Void. A girl could dream though.

“My first tattoo is going to be Betty on my arm with a heart around her,” I joked while brushing the dust off my black sweats that were too tight to be considered loungewear. I couldn’t actually get tattoos either. My body rejected them. My body rejected most everything. Drugs, alcohol, and people.

There was only one thing my body wanted. Power.

I looked down at my creamy skin as if I could see the dark magic trapped beneath. I was out of uniform, my crop top riding up so high it nearly showed off a good portion of underboob. I was so sick of the oversized uniforms that I promised myself that the moment I moved to the cabin, I’d go buck naked for a week straight, cold weather be damned.

Reed and I had busted ass to graduate a semester early. We’d stayed up late studying most nights, forgoing the forbidden parties in the dorm rooms, to piss off our controlling parents and grumpy headmaster by getting the hell out of this damn school. Both of us turned eighteen this year, which meant that the only thing holding us here was a diploma. We tested out of the easy courses and aced final exams. Even though I knew nothing awaited me after this, I still wanted Reed to get out of this hellhole where he was bullied daily and criticized for who he was at his core.

I guess, in many ways, we connected because we were both hated and ostracized for who we were, and we bonded because of our desire to get the fuck away.

“My first tattoo is going to be Molly in script over my heart. I wanna always remember where I came from. That poor girl survived a lot,” Reed replied while staring at the joint in his hand, rolling it between his fingers as smoke circled his wrist.

I smiled with understanding. Reed wasn’t the sort to shy away from the shit that bothered him. He wore it proudly on his chest, like armor.

I brushed my fingers over my amber amulet adorned in a silver cage. Closing my eyes, I tried to picture the future Reed painted while remembering why it wasn’t possible for me to escape. I was a Void. I was deadly to supernaturals and hated for it. My necklace was a reminder of everything I was capable of but also the only thing keeping me safe.

“I think that’ll be great. But you might have to explain it to future girlfriends. Girls get jealous when they think their boyfriend is holding a torch for an ex.”

Reed snorted and took another slow drag of his joint, holding it in his chest for as long as he could before coughing it out. I looked around the safety of our attic space. We’d hidden here so many times over the years. I’d been shipped off here when I was ten, and Reed came just a year later. I’d had zero friends. The girls had made fun of me when I woke up one night after a nightmare and started talking about magic. Reed had been instantly ostracized too for having a “boy” haircut and walking to his own beat. This attic space was our sanctuary from all the judgmental bullshit, and I’d be sad to see it go, but more importantly, I was sad to see Reed go. I took in the dust covering the floor and the tacked posters on the wall. I’d miss this—hanging out, just the two of us. Reed might not know anything about the existence of supernaturals, but he knew me without just seeing the Void, and that meant more to me than anything.

“I hope any girlfriends I have would know about Molly long before seeing the tattoo,” he replied.

I always liked how he referred to his alternate ego like she was a separate entity, similar to how I felt about my power—the Void. It was a part of me