Part 1 is here, Part 2 is here, Part 3 is here, Part 4 is here, Part 5 is here
I looked around the worn but clean one-bedroom apartment, conscious of the landlady standing a few feet away. I liked it, but I knew better than to show my feelings to her.
"How much did you say?" I asked.
"$800 a month, plus first and last month's rent, plus a $400 deposit," she rattled off the numbers in a tone that was neither encouraging nor hostile. She was an older woman with a fatigued look. "Rent is due on the 1st, late fees start on the 5th."
I nodded. "I'll take it."
I called David while the woman prepared the paperwork and told him to come over. I signed the check as he strode in.
He eyeballed the room and the landlady before walking over and pressing a kiss to my cheek. "You're moving in here? I thought you were gonna live with me."
"I decided to get a place of my own."
He walked around the room, peering into the bedroom and ignoring the landlady as she gathered up the paperwork. "How can you afford it?"
I noticed the landlady glance down at my check out of the corner of my eye. "I've got work. It pays good."
The landlady pressed the keys into my hand and mumbled a goodbye before leaving.
David watched the door close before turning to me. "What kind of work could you be doing that pays so well?"
I shrugged. "It's... healing." I noticed his frown. "Like what I did for you after the car accident."
David froze. He stared at me, swallowing several times. "You... You are doing THAT?"
I winced. "What do you mean, no?" My mind raced as I tried to figure out what he was trying to say.
He walked up to me, thrusting a finger in my face. I flinched back.
"I mean, you can't do that stuff, LunaMae. It isn't right."
"What are you talking about?"
"I won't stand by and let you get into that... witchcraft! You are messing with spirits and demons, LunaMae, and I won't allow it!"
I crossed my arms over my chest. "You don't get to tell me what to do, David. That's not how this works."
He stepped back and took a long look at my face. I set my jaw, ignoring the fact that my lower lip was sticking out a little.
"If that's how you want it," he said.
"I do," I snapped back.
"Then, I guess that's it." He walked to the door. "We are done."
I dropped my arms. "What?"
David paused with his hand on the doorknob. "I didn't sign up to be with a witch. I don't want this mumbo-jumbo, woo-woo bullshit in my life."
My hands curled into fists. "That 'woo-woo bullshit' SAVED your life!"
He shrugged. "I won't put up with it. If you want to stay with me, you give up this demonic, voodoo witchcraft."
He watched me for a long moment. I realized he was waiting for me to cave in to his demands. I just couldn't do it. This was my chance to be free from being dependent on him, on my mother.
I lifted my chin.
His lip curled in a snarl and he slammed out of the apartment. I heaved a sigh.