The Mimic - Chapters 4 and 5

Chapter 4

“This cannot be good,” Bret said stating the obvious.  We were all sitting on the couches in the living room, and still in shock over what we had just seen. 

“No kidding.”  Angel rolled her eyes at him.  She turned and looked at Debra.  “So what is going on?  What’s the deal with that crazy necklace?  And how was he able to trace it to you?”

“Jeez, chill out,” Jamey said.  “What makes you think she knows all of the answers?”

“She seems to know everything else,” Angel answered.  Angel turned and looked at me as if I was the sole person who was able to confirm what she said.  However, I stayed silent, looking at Debra and waited.  She did not keep me waiting long.

“Contrary to popular belief,” she started.  “I don’t know everything.  I only know what he knows.   Even then it is not complete, and I’m not sure I understand what I do know.

“From what I could figure out, his necklace is linked to the one Jamey has.  I’m not sure how, but it is.  It seems they act as a tracer in the sense he is able to trace any magical energy this necklace comes into contact with.”

“How is he able to tell the difference?” Angel asked.  She was a lot more interested in this than I thought she would be.  I thought she would be as freaked out as I was.

“I’m not really sure.  It was one of the things I couldn’t figure out.  I’m not even sure he knows.  He just knows what it can do but not how.  It’s not something he is worried about, and he doesn’t need to be.  He was able to trace the magic to me, so he knows it is working as it should.  Why would he worry about anything else?”

“That makes sense,” Bret said while running his hands through his hair.  “But there is one thing that doesn’t.  If he could trace the magic to you, why can’t he just trace the magic directly to her? It would seem a lot more logical to just skip you all together.”

            It seemed fitting my boyfriend would think of the one question I had about the whole thing.  However, I wasn’t sure he was going to like the “magical is illogical” explanation.

            “I thought the same thing,” Debra said.  “I don’t think he has figured that out yet.”

            “How could he not?”  Angel asked.  “It was so obvious; I figured it out in seconds.”

            “He’s very experienced in using magic, but I never said he was good at deductive reasoning.”

            “That is probably a good thing, because he would have found me out right.”  Jamey looked sick.  “What is he after?  I’m sure he isn’t looking for me to tell me he’s a long lost relative.”

            “I don’t have an answer.”  None of us liked that response.  “Let me explain.  He was never acting on impulse, which makes mind reading near impossible.  However, I was having trouble getting a good read on him.  I think I was being blocked.  It’s not really surprising, considering his experience with arcane energy.   He’s holding some resentment, which is obvious.  The question is why he’s holding that resentment. “

            “I bet the necklace is the key,” Angel said.

            “Maybe,” Debra responded.  “It’s definitely a good place to start.”

            “Do we know Jamey is who he is searching for?  How many of those necklaces are out there?” Angel asked.

            “Please,” I said with a slight hint of irritation.  “You’re smarter than that.  She’s already told us her mother doesn’t use the magic anymore.  I wouldn’t say it’s a coincidence he showed up the night after we met her.  There are only two people who have used the magic around Jamey in the last two days.”

            I was about to say more, but stopped when a thought occurred to me.  I didn’t voice them but instead glanced at Bret.  He was looking directly at me.  He obviously had figured out what I had.  There were only two people who had used magic around Jamey in the last two days.  He had already shown up at Debra’s doorstep.  There was only one other place he would go next.  It was the logical conclusion, and it wasn’t lost on either of us. 

             “I think we should probably get going,” Bret said.

            “Why?”  Angel asked.  “I still have more questions.”

            “Bret is right.” Debra obviously was done talking.  “There isn’t any more I can tell you that you haven’t already figured out yourselves.”  She turned and spoke directly to Jamey.  “You’re starting point is your mother.  She’s the one who gave you the necklace.  I’m sure she can shed some light on things for you.”

            Jamey looked skeptical.  She was not at all happy with that piece of advice, but she said nothing.  We got up and started to leave.  Debra stopped me after Angel and Jamey had passed through the front door. 

            “You know what is coming next,” she said to me.  I only nodded in response.  “Don’t do anything that isn’t needed.”

            “I’ll take care of her,” Bret said.

            Debra just waved him off.  “You won’t be able to.  He’s not going to contact her with you around.  He’s not dumb enough to do it in front of others, and she is more than capable of taking care of herself.  She just needs to keep her wits about her.  He’s powerful, but beatable.”

            After that last piece of advice we left, and made out way back up north.  Everyone else was somber about what we had just heard, but I was looking forward to my encounter with him.

****

            Forty-five minutes later we arrived back at my house, and I was grateful when Angel finally pulled in front of my house to drop off Bret and me.  No one had said much the whole drive up from Downtown, and the reasons were obvious.  Angel was still mad that we left when we did.  Bret, who wasn’t loud and obnoxious by nature, wouldn’t buy into Angel’s transparent attempts to start an argument.  Jamey was also understandably quiet, but I still didn’t understand why she was so visibly upset about talking to her mother about the necklace, and her mom was the originator of the necklace.  Later I would ask Angel what the deal was.  I was sure she knew. 

            Bret had also decided to call it a day, and before he climbed into his truck, he asked, “Are you going to be okay?”

            I leaned on the side of his truck, which would normally irritate him, and answered, “Sure, I’ll be fine.  I’ve seen what this guy can do, and I’m sure it is nothing I can’t handle.”

            “He’s not the one I’m worried about.”

            “What do you mean?”

             He walked over and stood directly in front of me.  He seemed hesitant to touch me at first, but eventually he gently caressed my cheek, his green eyes looking directly into mine.

            “I know how power hungry you become whenever you use the magic,” he said to my surprise.  “It’s always written all over your face.”

            I had no idea it was that obvious.  Using the magic had always given me a feeling of invincibility and left me feeling like the most powerful person that ever existed.  It didn’t matter what I was actually doing, the powerful, invincible feelings were always the only constant, and it was something I was quite aware of.  Having that feeling in and of itself wasn’t a big deal, but the problem was whenever I used the magic, I never wanted the feeling to end.  It was a struggle to stop myself from using it more than necessary.  Using the magic for healing purposes didn’t change those feelings.  I just felt a power over life and death better left to God than to an eighteen- year-old. 

            “I think I’ll be okay,” I said.

            Bret’s skepticism was noticeable and well deserved.  I wasn’t very convincing.  He wrapped his arms around me, and as usual, his hug caught me off guard.  I wasn’t complaining because I had long since gotten used to them, not to mention that I enjoyed them.  I placed both of my hands on his chest as he said, “When you get yourself into trouble, just think of me.”

            He had really laid the cheese on pretty thick.  I had to stop myself from laughing when I saw how serious he looked, but it turned out he actually was not that serious because he dropped the act and started to chuckle.  Then, he kissed me rather deeply, and I hoped my parents weren’t spying on us through the windows.  At times, I wondered about those two.

            “I love you,” Bret said and then he smiled. 

            I was momentarily stunned as this was unexpected.  He had never said those three words to me before, and he didn’t need to.  It wasn’t because I didn’t think he meant it.  I was very aware of how he felt, and he didn’t go out of his way to hide it.  It went unsaid.    Besides, I wasn’t one of those girls who were so insecure with their men had to reaffirm their love for them every five seconds.  However, that didn’t mean I didn’t like hearing him saying it, and I did return his sentiment. He turned climbed into his truck and quickly drove off after he got it started, leaving me standing in the driveway still in a state of shock.   

When he was out of sight, I headed into the house and was met by my sixteen-year-old brother, Chad.  He was had just come down the stairs and the moment he saw me he plastered on an evil smile.

“Mom has been looking for you all day,” he said.  “It’s about time someone else is getting in trouble around here besides me.” 

It was not surprising he had said that.  He was widely considered to be the trouble maker of the two of us, and it was mostly because of Chad’s obsession with becoming a hip-hop icon.  It kept him from doing many of the things my parents wanted, and also kept all kinds of riff-raff running around my parents’ house.  Believe it or not, he had actually gotten better at it since the start of the school year, but he still wasn’t good enough to obtain any kind of record deal.  It would take many more hours of hard work to convince even the shadiest of producers he had any kind of talent, and that was the problem.  Since he puts all of his time in his music, he refused to get a part-time job, and as a result, Mom refused to get him a car on his sixteenth birthday.  He’s been mad at them for months, even though he should have known better.  One of the stipulations of me getting a car was I was responsible for the upkeep, which included paying for any maintenance.  His insistence on being hard headed has caused many early morning arguments.

I ignored him, a usual occurrence, and headed right to my mother’s office.  It was her usual hang out on the weekends when she was catching up on work that she wasn’t able to complete during the week.  Even though she lived the life of a high priced lawyer, she certainly didn’t look it.  Her youthful face and long brown hair, lacking even a hint of grey, didn’t convey the long hours she had put in over the years.  Whenever we went somewhere together, everyone thought she was my sister, and she was underestimated frequently because of it.  However, she was smart, quick witted, and with the exception of her profession, was my hero.  That was except for times such as this when I knew I was going to hear it.

I actually found her in the kitchen preparing dinner, and it was quite unsettling.  Cooking wasn’t one of Mom’s favorite hobbies, even though she was quite good at it.  Breakfast was the only thing she cooked with any kind of frequency.   When I entered the kitchen, she directed me to sit at the kitchen table, and took a seat directly across from me.  

“I didn’t know Debra was a client of yours,” I said.  I had decided to head Mom off at the pass.  I knew where this conversation was going, and I wanted to soften the blows I was about to receive. 

“She’s a new client,” she responded.  “She sought me out, which was rather weird.  Most of my new clients are referred to me by other clients.  However, she was not.”

I wasn’t surprised by that bit of information.  I had learned early on that Debra could be rather resourceful when she wanted to be. 

“What do you think of her?” I asked.

“She’s quite interesting,” Mom answered.  “Though I have a problem getting a handle on her, and she always seems to know what I’m thinking and it is quite frustrating.”  I knew the feeling.  Mom changed the subject.  “How are things between you and Bret?”

“It’s fine.  It’s not any different than normal.”

“That isn’t what I heard, but we’ll get to that shortly.”  It didn’t take her long to notify me that she knew a lot more about our more private moments than I wanted, causing me to privately curse Angel’s very existence.  “I was just wondering what’s going to happen come July?”

   The question, while not surprising, was not expected right at that particular moment.  She had caught me off guard, but she knew Bret was planning to enter the baseball draft, and it meant we wouldn’t be spending the whole summer together before I headed to college in Texas.  I should have seen this question coming. 

“I don’t know,” I answered.  “We haven’t discussed it.”

Mom shot me a glance.  “Don’t you think that is a little strange?  Graduation is a little over a week away.  The draft is at the end of June, not to mention you going to Texas in August.  Isn’t this something the two of you should be discussing?”

“It’s not because we haven’t thought about it.”  I hate it when Mom puts me on the defensive, like Debra it always seems to happen whenever we talked.  She was very difficult to fool, and I had long since given up trying to.  I continued, “Trying to avoid it would be a more accurate description.”

Mom looked at me and said.  “Avoiding it isn’t going to make the situation go away.  That being said, I think spending some time apart might be good for you.”

I knew why she was saying this, mainly because she had never said this before now.  Considering that I know what she knows, I wasn’t surprised by it.  However it was interesting that she wasn’t really telling me what do.  It was more of observation, and I was curious as to what brought about the change in tone.

“Why do you say that?”

“It’s just a feeling I have.  He’s going to live the life of the professional ballplayer.  Faithfulness is not included in their reputations.  That is where trust comes in, and I hope you two haven’t made promises to each other that can’t be kept.”

“That is something we usually don’t do,” I said with confidence.  “We are more of the take it one day at a time type.”

“Well that’s good to know.”

Again, I decided to take the bull by the horns, and just get to the point.  “Look, I know that you know about our more, um, intimate moments.  I’m not going to lie to you about it, but I assure you that we were responsible.”

Mom actually laughed.  “In reality, I wasn’t really worried about whether or not you would be responsible.  If it was your knuckle-head brother, then I would be worried.”

“Then why bring up all of this?”

“Well, I just wanted you to know that it is okay to talk to me about it.  I’m pretty sure one of the main reasons why you didn’t tell me was because you were afraid of my reaction.”  She waved me off when I started to protest.  “Don’t even try to convince me otherwise, I was your age once, I know the situation well.  You are technically an adult, even though you are my daughter, so I’m not really going to tell you what you can and can’t do.  I just hope that you weren’t pressured into it.”

I actually chuckled at this.  “Pressured into it?  Don’t you remember how good Bret looked the night of the prom?  If anything, I was the one who pressured him into it.”

As soon as that last sentence came out of my mouth, I was wishing I could take it back.  It was a mistake I had a tendency to make sometimes when talking to Mom.  I sometime forget that she is my mom, and I talk to her like I would my friends, usually it’s not a bad mistake to make because I am never disrespectful.  However, this time I had hit a nerve.  Mom sat with her eyes closed, taking deep breaths.  I didn’t think what I said was actually all that bad, but I was wrong on that one.  I was expecting to get blasted into next week.

I was fortunate.  After taking one last deep breath, Mom opened her eyes and looked at me.  Her eyes were narrow, a clear sign that she was none to happy with me.

“I think it would be in your best interest to get out of here,” she said.  Her anger was evident in her voice.  “I don’t think I want to talk to you right now.”

I would have been stupid not to take the advice, and I was out of the kitchen before she could say anything else.  I had my hardest final exam, the first thing Tuesday morning, and it was a great excuse to lock myself in my room for a couple of hours while Mom let off steam.    As matter of fact, I didn’t leave my room for the rest of the night except to get something to eat, spending the night studying hundreds of vocabulary words.


 

Chapter 5

Late Tuesday morning, Bret and I were sitting in the cafeteria eating lunch discussing the English exam we had taken earlier in the morning.  Needless to say we were both relieved that we had gotten through it and had basically finished stressing about that class forever.  I didn’t think it was a class either of us would ever forget because it was total torture.  It was also the only class we shared, so it was the first opportunity that we could discuss the horribleness that was the final.  By the time Angel arrived to join us, I was starting to suspect he might have actually done better on it then I did. 

“You two look horrendous,” Angel said when she arrived.  “What have the two of you been doing all morning?”

“Try taking a final from Mrs. Ross’ class and see how you look afterwards,” Bret said.  “I would actually like to graduate on time.”

“Like you actually have anything to worry about.”  Angel was not impressed.  “You two could probably score zeros and still pass the class.”

Neither one of us wanted to be chastised by someone who had no idea of what we had gone through the entire year, so I changed the subject.

“Have you talked to Jamey since Sunday?”  I asked her.

“No.  Why would I?”

“I was wondering if she had asked her mom about the necklace.”

“Well I haven’t talked to her since Sunday, so even if she had I wouldn’t know.”

Bret frowned at the response.  “Well, do you at least know why she didn’t want to ask her mom about it?”

Angel looked at him curiously.  “Why do you care about it so much?  You hate the magic.”

“Let’s just say that I have a vested interest in what happens.”

The look of skepticism on Angel’s face couldn’t go unnoticed.  “Oh it must be about the creepy Englishman.”  She turned to me and said.  “I guess that means he hasn’t showed up yet.”

“Are you going to answer my question or not?” Bret asked.

“Hold on, damn,” she said, but she did start talking.  “As I told you the other day, I don’t really hang out with Jamey all that much, so I don’t really know much about her mother either, at least I probably don’t know much more than you do, Bret.”

I wasn’t sure what that meant, and neither did he.  His frustration was evident by his sigh and the roll of his eyes.

Angel continued on as if nothing was happening.  “Her mom is the Gloria Selwood.”

“Oh,” Bret said.  “That explains a lot.”  He instantly frowned after she said the name, having instantly recognized it.  On the other hand, I was clueless.

“Who’s Gloria Selwood?” I asked.

“That would be Mrs. Gloria Selwood to you. “  Angel cracked an evil smile.  “I don’t think she would appreciate you not addressing her in the proper manner.”

“What is she talking about?” I asked Bret.

“She’s talking about one of the most influential and high society minded women in town. “  His answer with full of disdain, and I had never heard him speak that way about anyone except Kendra, his ex-girlfriend.  He continued, “She’s like an adult version of Kendra, but she’s a lot smarter and ten times meaner.”

“I didn’t think that was even possible,” I said in disbelief.

“Oh, it’s possible,” Angel confirmed.  “She’s decides whose who of Spring Hill, and as you might expect, it’s all about prestige and money.”

“So in other words,” I said.  “It’s no different than anything else around here.” 

They both ignored me.  If there was one thing that annoyed me more than anything else about Angel and Bret, it was their ability to act like they were just like regular people when they were anything but, including their disdain for obvious snobbishness.  At a minimum, they were just as bad as everyone else I’ve met who lived here.  Bring them back to the realm of reality was something I did frequently.

“Believe me,” Bret started.  “She’s just like the people you read in all of the books, and see in the movies.”

“She’s worse,” Angel said.  “She belongs in Beverly Hills, but surprising enough, no one knows much about her.  My mom couldn’t even tell you where she’s grown up or what her background is, but she sure is judgmental about everyone else’s.”

“Nice,” I said.

“Meeting her is quite an experience,” Bret said.

“I’m sure it is.”

They were speaking as if I might actually meet her at some point and was giving me a warning of what I would have to put up with.  Still it was quite weird, because Jamey had said the other day that her mom was a magic user, and Jamey herself liked to mimic mother.  I wondered what happened to change all of that.  It seemed inconceivable that the person the two of them just described to me had any kind of magic abilities.  Magic must doesn’t discriminate.      

“Still we need to find out what her mother might know,” I said.

“Why?” Bret asked.  ‘This is Jamey’s thing.  Why do you need to get involved?”

“Because if that guy shows up, any information I have can be used to my advantage.”  He frowned at my answer, but I continued on.  “Besides, Debra could have told Jamey all what we learned a day or so ago without me being around.   There was a reason she wanted me to know what was going on.  I’m going to play a role in what is about to happen.”

“Why not ask Debra why you need to be involved in the first place?” Angel asked.

“Because if there was one thing I could say about Debra,” I started.  “She isn’t very forthcoming with information, especially about future events that aren’t totally set in stone.  I’m going to play a role in what’s going on here.  Whatever it was, big or small, it hasn’t been determined yet.”

 

****

After school, I did what was known as my normal routine, which basically consisted of a nap, my daily jog, and getting ready for work.  It was a ritual that was the only constant outside of the track season, and it was probably one I was going to have to change once I started college in Texas.  I had originally wanted to go to UCLA.  It was always a dream of mine, but after doing a little bit of research earlier in the winter, I had decided that going to Texas was probably better for me.  The coach there was quite successful as a couple of his athletes would later become Olympic gold medalists in the event that I specialized in.  Now, I wasn’t going to think I would follow the same fate, but I wanted to be coached by the best.  Besides, I wanted to really get out of California, and experience a different part of the country.  Of course, Texas was probably too different, but I figured if I could survive a few years there without killing myself than I could probably survive anywhere.

I had woken up from my nap a couple of hours after I had lain down, and after changing into a pair of shorts, t-shirt, and running shoes, I jumped into my black BMW and headed to a park that was near my house.  This was the only change of my after school routine since we had moved to Spring Hill last summer, and it happened because I needed a change of scenery.  The run had started to get a little too easy and boring, and it was the school’s track coach that had given me the idea to head to the park to do my jogs.  There were also plenty of hills that would help with my endurance, and it was the main reason I chose to take his advice.  It had proven to be quite a work out that I had enjoyed immensely the last couple of months. 

The park was located about three miles from my house, and like everything else in North San Diego Country, it was more desert than a park.  It was a place I was familiar with, as I came here once after learning the magic to experiment.  I had learned a lot that day, and I could not get over how much help that one afternoon of practice would later become. 

After parking the car, I sat on the concrete next to my parked car to stretch.  It was the one thing outside of the run itself that I took very seriously.  I hated getting injured and being an athlete, becoming injured was a real possibility.  I usually spent a half-hour stretching, and I didn’t deviate from the normal routine.  When I felt I was probably stretched, I started to jog down a trail that started to wind around the small hills inside the park.  It was quite hot and the sunlight was brutal.  I didn’t usually wear sunglasses while running, but it was necessity on this day as the sunlight was blinding.  The trail I was following was quite long and after about a half a mile-I had started pass some high trees.  It was the one place in town that could conceivably be called woods.  The trees were tall and blocked much of the sunlight that had bothered me earlier in the run. 

After another few minutes running without interruption, I started to experience a feeling I had felt only once prior, the nagging feeling that I was being followed.    The feeling crept up my bones and into my head, but after a quick look over my shoulder, I didn’t see any sign of anyone.  I didn’t risk a second look to minimize the risk of tripping over my own feet and kept running forward, and when I reached the end of the trail, I turned around to go back the way I had come.  I still had the nagging feeling of being followed, but I continued to ignore it until I returned to spot where the feeling had first arrived.  It was a spot on the trail where the woods were denser than anywhere else. 

I stopped dead in my tracks and surveyed the surrounding trees, but I still saw no one.  Being followed was no longer, and the change that made being followed a secondary issue was one I immediately recognized.  The arcane energy wasn’t particularly strong, but there was no mistaking its existence.  I continued to look around, and after another five minutes of seeing no one, I started to become frustrated. 

“Look, whoever you are, you might as well come out.”  My voice echoed through the trees.  “I know you’re there.  Don’t be a coward.”

No response was immediately forthcoming, but I did notice a shift in the bushes to my immediate left.  I immediately turned in that direction and waited.  It wasn’t a long wait, and out of the trees stepped the Englishmen.  He was dressed the same as I had seen him previously, in all black.  However, his long blond hair was pulled back into a ponytail.  His hairstyle seemed to accent his blue eyes, making them much more noticeable.  His gaze was fixed on me as he walked, and if he was trying to be intimidating, he was quite successful.  He walked with the confidence of someone with no fear, which was deserved considering what he could do with magic.  He was also moving at a significantly slow pace, but his steps were without hesitation, as if he knew exactly where to step and avoid tripping over wayward branches.  He finally stopped when he blocked what would have my progress had I not stopped running.  It was an intelligent move, and I turned to face him head on.

“Who are you and what do you want?” I asked him.

“I’m looking for a replica of this,” he said ignoring the question.  He threw me the carbon copy of Jamey’s necklace he wore around his neck.  I caught the necklace in my right hand and since having seen it before, I immediately hurled it right back at him without looking at it.  It was a move that seem to catch him by surprise.  He face registered the look of shock of someone was totally caught with his guard down, but otherwise, he didn’t move until it hit him square in the chest and landed harmlessly in front of the trail in front of him.  He winced in pain and rubbed his chest before bending over to retrieve the necklace.  Even though the guy was as thin as a fishing pole, I didn’t think he was fragile.  I hadn’t thrown it that hard.

“So?”  I asked him.   Shouldn’t you be out somewhere looking for it?”  I had made the decision to play his game for as long as was necessary, or until I got tired of it, whichever came first.

He looked me over curiously before responding.  “I know you know where the person is who has it.  You’ve been in contact with it.”

“How do you know that?” I asked him.  “All you shown me is you’re looking for some stupid necklace.  I don’t even know who has it, so I’m not sure that you do either.”

His face went down trodden after my response, but I had to be careful about lying to him.  If he could block Debra’s mind reading abilities, who’s to say that he can’t also be a mind reader himself.  His reaction to my response, however, made the possibility unlikely.

“You really don’t know who has it, do you?”  I asked in disbelief.

He just looked at me, and no answer was immediately forthcoming.  He just stood there trying to look tough.  He was unsuccessful.  His eyes were betraying his thoughts, and I knew instantly by looking straight into his eyes, a difficult task, that he had no idea who was holding the necklace. 

“That’s an interesting concept,” I said to him.  “And not an altogether wise one.”  Actually, it was quite stupid, but I wouldn’t hold it against him.  He obviously knew we used magic, and that was as a good starting point as any. 

“It is interesting,” he said with a sly smile.  “You do know who holds the necklace.  I can easily sniff out lies.”  He paused apparently waiting for me to respond, and when I didn’t he continued.  “You will take me to that person.”

“And if I don’t?” I asked him.  “Oh, wait you’ll kill me right?”

Again, I had caught him off guard.  He started to speak and then stopped.  His confidence was starting to waver, but I didn’t think I getting the upper hand on him.  I just stood there waiting. 

“If you don’t take me to the person who holds the necklace, it will become necessary that I dispose of you.”

“I’m not sure how that’s necessary.”

“Sure it is,” he said with a hint of irritation.  “I can’t have many people knowing of my existence.”

“That would mean you plan on killing the holder of the necklace when you find them.” 

“Of course.”

“Well, give me your best shot.  I want to see if you are really up to the challenge.”

“Are you sure that is what you wish?”  I could feel the change in the makeup of the arcane energy that he possessed.  He was starting a spell, but weirdly enough, he didn’t unleash it right away.  He was waiting for something.  Or was it hesitation?

“I’m always sure,” I confirmed for him.

“Really?” he asked.  “I think you’re lying again.”

“I guess that means you’re not as good at sniffing out lies as you thought.”  I looked him expectantly.  “Or is that your ego talking?”

  “Why are you being so difficult?”  The frustration in his voice was evident, but his confidence didn’t waver.  The fact I was willing to challenge him should have, at a minimum, made him reconsider a little.  However, I couldn’t say he didn’t rethink things, but it was evident from his body language he believed he would win this battle. 

“It’s not being difficult,” I countered.  “You’re going to kill me anyway regardless.  Why not make things a little more interesting?”

“If that is what you want, I’ll gladly oblige.”

Having apparently made his decision, the wooden spikes appeared again.  There weren’t nearly as many as in Debra’s place, and they were twice as long, not to mention twice as sharp.  The energy around him was massive, a lot stronger than in Debra’s place.  I was secretly wondered how he could control it.

However, I was not impressed and gave him an exaggerated eye roll.  “Is this the best you could come up with?”  To be honest, when I first saw this magic, I had thought it was a little lame, for lack of a better description.

He gave a sly smile and his eyes twinkled with delight.  “You have no idea what I can do.”

He then lifted his arm to finish his work, but I lifted my arm as well, and the result being the spikes only moved about ten feet and then stopped in their tracks frozen in mid air.  The blond Englishman could still move, and he lowered his arm and glared at me in apparent disgust.  I shot him an evil smile in return, but I wasn’t finished.  My arm was still raised, and with a quick flick of my wrist, each spike simultaneously burst into flames and quickly turned to ash.

“You should really learn some new tricks,” I said when the ashes had completely fallen harmlessly to the ground. 

I didn’t give him an opportunity to respond or to otherwise react.  While still in a magical high, I quickly sprinted towards him.  I didn’t ever remember moving as fast as I did in that moment, and all the time spent playing tackle football with the boys when I was younger was welcomed asset as I knocked his legs from under him.  He landed hard on his back with me on top of him after a perfect tackle.  I quickly straddled his chest grabbed him by the neck.  His struggles were futile as I was too strong for him, but to add insult to injury, I used the magic to fill him with heat.  The effect was immediate as his face and neck started to drip with sweat, but my grip remained strong.

“Not so confident now are you?” I asked with unconcealed glee.  His response was to only continue to struggle.  “You know, I could kill you with a thought, and believe me when I say that right now, I would like nothing more.”

I used the magic to raise his body temperature even more to prove my point.   I loved every minute of what I was doing.  The feeling of using the magic in this way gave me a feeling of joy I hadn’t felt in months.  It was a feeling that I had secretly longed for, and I didn’t want to give it up, even for a second. I enjoyed it even more when he coughed while struggling to speak.  I loosened my grip on his neck, but not enough to lose control of the situation, and I didn’t break the spell.

“So why don’t you?” he asked as his hair started to release white smoke. 

“Because,” I said and quickly let him out of my grasp, releasing him from the spell.  “I’m not like you.”

He continued to lie on the ground in a crumpled heap.

“Get up.”

He obeyed, but it was a struggle to even get to one knee.   The heat spell must have done more damage than I had realized.  When he was able to stand on both feet without so much as a waiver, he eyed me with wonder.

“You are a true user,” he said.  The wonder was still in his voice, and I had no clue as to what he was talking about.  “But you are afraid.”

“Afraid of what?”

He gave me a look that I couldn’t place.  It seemed as if he was in awe, and it gave me the creeps.  “You’re afraid of reaching your true potential, afraid to let the magic run its course.  You’re afraid to be what God has meant you to be.”

I laughed at him openly.  “You really are some kind of a nut job.  If God has meant me to be anything like you, I’ll gladly pass.”

“Are you sure?” I really didn’t like him questioning my motives.  “You don’t show much conviction, and the joy I sensed when you manipulate the energy says otherwise.”

“You know nothing about me to say make that kind of assumption.”

“I don’t need to.  Besides, if what I say isn’t true, then why are you getting so upset?”  He didn’t wait for an answer, but instead turned to leave.  Before he took his first step, he turned back and said, “We will meet again.  I swear on it, and I promise I’ll know some new tricks when we do.”  He then staggered off, leaving me there to fume by myself.


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ajodom
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Synopsis
I've finally got around to posting Chapters 4 and 5. I had written them a while ago, but I have been quite busy. I'll try to post more a little more quickly for now on.
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