I bounced around my bedroom, oddly excited, getting ready for the party. A party I was hosting, apparently. Well, someone who was claiming to be me.
I hadn’t been able to find anything online about the party, which I found odd. There had been so many posts about my supposed activities up until recently. It made me wonder why all of a sudden it stopped. The party didn’t seem to be a big secret. At least, I didn’t think it was. If the four morons from the other night knew about it, how could it be? They didn’t seem like the sharpest tools in the shed. They were definitely tools, though.
I couldn’t decide what to do about my hair. My snakes always had a mind of their own, and I was worried that they’d give me away. Ultimately, I decided to go with a bun and shoved a baseball cap in my bag, just in case. The guys didn’t recognize me before, so I doubted they would tonight.
The night was warm, but there was a nice breeze, so I enjoyed the walk to the coffee shop where I was meeting Luca. He wanted to pick me up, but I couldn’t have him showing up at the God Complex.
When the coffee shop came into view, I spotted Luca waiting for me. He was leaning against the wall smoking. I tried to hide the grimace that washed over my face at the sight of the cigarette and returned his smile.
“Hey, you made it,” Luca said.
“Yep. Thanks for inviting me.”
“Did you want to get a coffee or anything before we head to the party?” he asked.
“No thanks.” I looked around, wondering where his car was.
“Okay. I’m just right over here.” He gestured to the shiny black sports car parked in the middle of two spaces.
That was the last thing I expected him to be driving. I must have misjudged him. As we drove and made small talk, I wondered what else I might have gotten wrong.
The longer we were in the car together, the more uncomfortable I became. I couldn’t put my finger on what was bothering me, but something about him felt off. My snakes must have sensed it, too, because they shifted slightly. Luca kept his eyes on the road while he drove, so he didn’t see the movement.
We finally pulled up to a huge house, if you could even call it a house. It almost looked like a castle. It even had turrets, all it was missing was a moat.
“The party is at a mansion?” I asked in disbelief. Cars were lined up parked in every available space, and I wondered once again why there wasn’t any talk of it on social media.
“Of course. It is Medusa’s party, after all. What else would you expect?” Luca handed off his keys to the valet and took my hand.
I didn’t respond because this was not something I would do, at all. Whoever was doing this obviously knew nothing about who I really was.
“We’re meeting the guys inside. I hope you don’t mind,” Luca said distractedly while searching the crowd.
I took the opportunity to free my hand and scanned the room. The speakers blasted out horrible techno music, and the repetitive beat instantly got on my nerves. Of course, they would be playing the one thing I couldn’t stand. I shook my head and followed Luca through the sweaty mass of bodies, thankful he didn’t seem to want to dance.
“There they are,” Luca yelled, trying to be heard over the music.
He grabbed my hand again and pulled me along. I gritted my teeth and let him drag me around until we were in a semi-quiet room.
“I thought we agreed you weren’t going to bring her,” Steve hissed.
“No, we agreed that you’d mind your own damn business. Has she shown up yet?” Luca asked.
“I still don’t think she needs to hear any of this,” Steve argued, crossing his arms.
I reached up and lightly patted my bun, urging my snakes to relax. They were as irritated as I was, but I was here for information, not for a good time. So I plastered a smile on my face and pretended I wasn’t paying attention to their conversation.
“Dude, relax. What’s going on? Is she here yet or not?” Luca demanded.
“Not yet…” Steve leaned closer to Luca and lowered his voice so I couldn’t catch the rest of what he said.
I zeroed in on Eliot, who was sitting stiffly on the couch, constantly fidgeting. “Hey, Eliot, right?”
He jumped, then smiled. “Yeah. That’s me. It’s Matty, isn’t it?” Eliot slid a glance toward Steve, then whispered, “Be careful, he’s—”
Steve silenced him with a glare. That was interesting. I assumed Luca was the leader of their little group, but Eliot seemed to defer to Steve.
For such a huge party, it was awfully dull. I yawned and wandered over to the doorway, peeking out. A few people were milling about, drinking and talking, probably just trying to get away from that horrible music. I couldn’t blame them.
“The Daughters of the Snake are supposed to be here soon,” John exclaimed.
My head snapped up. “What now?”
“Oh, wait until you see them!” John was practically vibrating with excitement.
“Let’s just tell everyone, then. Do you want to post some pictures to Instagram, too?” Steve asked.
“Oh, that’s a great idea!” John pulled out his phone as he spoke.
“Put that away, moron! And stop calling them that. It’s the Daughters of Medusa, and you know it.” Luca snarled. “It’s almost time.”
“Time for what? Is Medusa coming?” I asked as sweetly as I could manage.
Luca slid his arm around my waist and pulled me up against his chest. Looking down at me, he replied, “The Daughters of Medusa will come and judge. If they find us worthy, then Medusa will make an appearance.” He spoke the words as he closed in on my neck, his breath brushing softly over my skin.
I did my best to keep still when he kissed my neck, even though his touch made my skin crawl. “So, um…she has kids?” I was very proud of myself for being able to ask the question without laughing.
“No. They are part of a super-secret—” John started.
Luca straightened. “And what part of super-secret do you not understand, Johnny boy?” he asked, walking over to John and punctuating his words by poking him in the chest as he spoke.
“Hey, you brought her. She’s going to see. She might even be chosen. You don’t know!” John replied with a smile.
“Yes, well, we’ll just have to see,” Steve said, pushing past everyone to stick his head out the door.
“It will be fine,” Luca said.
“They are getting ready. Time to go,” Steve said with a huge smile.
“What’s going on?” I asked as we headed out. I followed them through the house, past the party, and into a stairwell leading down into what I assumed was the basement. Candles lined the edge of every step. When the door closed behind us, it was quiet. No one spoke, and I wondered what we were walking into.
The basement was lit with more candles and filled with people. Some were wearing black robes, and some were holding those stupid masks that only covered their eyes. “Oh, shit! Please tell me this isn’t a cult,” I said under my breath.