Sunday, July 26, 2009

Chapter 11

It had been a week since the night of the Fall Ball and Faith was exhausted. All she wanted to do was stay in bed. How could she face another day with Chase hounding her every step? She had to admit, he was wearing her down considerably. Sometimes all she wanted to do was give in. It would be so easy to just enjoy being kissed by Chase, feeling his silky blonde hair in her hands, watching his grey eyes cloud with desire; but she was determined to have Chase admit that there was more between them than that kiss under the tree. She knew it. She could feel it and knew that he could too; but he was masking it by making light of the kiss that they had shared. Whatever. She would be safe today anyhow. Today was their field trip to Salem and although Chase would be going too, she could more easily slip out of his grasp in a busy tourist town than in the confines of the school. Faith made her way downstairs and nearly ran into Robert as she entered to kitchen to grab some breakfast before school.

“Whoa! ‘Morning Robert! How are you feeling today?”
“I’m feeling much improved, Miss Faith.”
“Well, that’s good. I’m glad you’re feeling better.”
“Faith,” Alex interjected, “We have to go. We’ll see you later Robert.”
“Good day Master Alex, Miss Faith.”

As Alex and Faith were heading out of the house, Alex’s mom called out from the top of the stairs, “I’m going to be late coming home today. I have to stay at work to go over some paperwork for some clients that are coming in tomorrow, ok? Robert said that he would have dinner ready for you at the usual time. Don’t wait up for me.”
“Ok mom. We’re going on our trip to Salem today, we may be coming home a bit later than we normally do.”
“Oh, that’s right. I forgot I signed those permission slips for you two. Well, you kids have fun!”
“Bye mom.”“Bye Aunt Libby.”

Faith was seated safely between Alex and the window in the coach bus, with Nick and Chase seated behind them. A few rows up sat Reese with Luke; Layla, Justin, and Cole were scattered in the seats surrounding Reese. Ever since last Friday Reese had made it abundantly clear that he wanted nothing more to do with her. Not that she cared, because she had planned on dumping him anyway. It seemed that her whole plan had backfired. She had wanted to use Reese to help her find her own friends and liberate herself from Alex and his pals, and here she was, sitting with them on her way up to Salem. Letting out a sigh, she turned her face toward the window.

“Faith,” Alex said quietly moving close to her to keep their conversation between the two of them. He looked back and saw that both Chase and Nick were listening to their iPods. Good.
“What is it Alex?”
“What is up with you and Chase? Why are you two acting more strangely toward each other than you usually do?”
“You’re going to have to ask Chase that question.”
“Great,” Alex said throwing his hands up in exasperation, “Thank you for that insightful answer.”
“Listen, I’m not saying that just to be contrary. I honestly don’t know what is going on between us; ever since that night at the cove things have been…different. I’m not sure if it’s because we shared power or what…”
“What do you mean by ‘different’?”
“I don’t know. It’s like were suddenly attracted to each other or something. God! I can’t believe I’m even talking to you about this! Forget it!”
“Fine! But you need to remember that we all need to stay focused and prepared for the Dark Power to strike again. We can’t risk having you and Chase distracted.”
“Yeah, well, I think you’d better tell Chase that.”
“I plan on it.” Alex looked back at Chase who gave him an innocent look.

Alex turned back around and slumped into his seat. He hadn’t meant to start a fight with Faith, but he hadn’t expected to hear that she and Chase were ‘attracted’ to each other either. Chase had always loathed Faith. He had teased her ever since they were babies. What was different now? He decided that he was going to talk to Chase once they got to Salem; so, like Nick and Chase, he pulled out his iPod and let the music distract him for a while.

So far the trip had been relatively uneventful. They moved in groups from museum to museum looking at the artifacts, watching the reenactments, and listening to curators retell the tale of the fourteen women and six men who lost their lives during the witch hunt of 1692. Faith dutifully took notes and grabbed pamphlets from each museum so that she would have the required amount of ‘scholarly’ sources that Mr. Kovacs was looking for. The Three merely watched in disinterest as the latest curator droned on about the trials of the alleged witches.

The class moved on to the last museum walking through the crowds of ‘witches’ strolling through the town. It was October in Salem; it was no surprise to see the masses of tourists, such as themselves, and neo-pagans draped in cloaks walking about the streets. Faith watched as Chase used his power to dazzle the crowds with a mysterious dancing broom outside of a coffee shop. Alex and Nick both hit him in his shoulders and the broom fell to the ground, lifeless. As Faith walked by the broom, she felt herself being pulled into the alley way next to coffee shop. Turning to see who it was, she saw a glimpse of Chase’s mischievous grey eyes before he pulled her to him.

This is what he’d been waiting for all week. He kissed Faith, soaking in the feel of her against him. It was as if he was drowning in her. He once again felt the overwhelming sense of Faith, like he could hear her thoughts and feel her emotions if he let his guard down. As he sank deeper and deeper, Faith found his face with her hands and opened herself up to the kiss. Unlike Chase, Faith gave into the kiss and opened herself completely to its power. Chase felt a rush of emotion come from Faith and amidst the torrent, one thought stood out: this is meant to be. The thought rocked Chase. Then it hit him.
You didn’t like me because everything in you was rebelling against fate. You always were stubborn.
Chase heard Faith’s thoughts in his mind. How come you can hear me?
I think it’s because we were meant to be and because the bond between us is stronger since we shared power.
Interrupting their reverie, a yell came from outside their link. Struggling to pull back from their connection, they snapped out of the trance-like state and found themselves holding each other in the alley. Chase grabbed Faith’s hand and they ran toward the yelling. Reese and Nick were pointing down the street. Faith scanned the street to see what they were looking at and saw Alex running after a man in a cloak. Chase pushed Faith into Nick, “Watch her,” he curtly demanded and took off running after Alex.
“Chase, wait!” Nick yelled. He looked down at Faith.
“What is going on?” Faith asked.
“Some guy in a cloak was holding Reese in some kind of trance. I accidentally bumped into them and then the guy took off running. Alex thinks it’s him, the Dark Power.”
Faith grabbed Reese and his face in her hands and searched his eyes, “Are you ok?”
“I’m fine. That guy was just a weirdo. You’d better call your cousin off before he gets us all into trouble,” Reese said, his eyes darting around in search of Mr. Kovacs.
“Nick and I will get them back. We’ll meet you at the bus, ok? Tell Mr. Kovacs we went to go and grab some souvenirs if he asks you where we are.”
Faith and Nick took off in the same direction as Alex and Chase.
“How do you plan on finding them? There must be hundreds of people in the streets right now.”
Faith stopped right where she was. Nick was right. They needed something more effective than just looking around. She gathered her power and looked to the sky:

Power of wing; lift and take flight,
Lend to me your gift of sight.
Lead me to those who are dear to me,
As I will, so mote it be.

As Faith finished her spell a large crow took off from the rooftop of the building closest to her.
“Follow the bird,” Faith told Nick.
Nick and Faith zigzagged through the streets pushing between groups of people trying to keep up with the bird. People in cloaks were everywhere and worry was eking its way into the back of her mind.

“Faith! Nick! Over here!” Alex yelled from across the side street Faith and Nick had just turned on to. Nick and Faith crossed over to where Alex and Chase stood.
“I thought I told you to watch her,” Chase reprimanded Nick.
“What does it look like I’m doing?” Nick responded.
“It was him. We lost him, but I know it was him,” Alex said to the group.
“Let’s get back to the bus before we get into trouble. We can try and find him once we get back home,” Faith said.
“How?” Alex asked.
“You’ll see.”

The bus dropped them back off at the school around 5pm. Nick and Chase dropped their book bags off in their rooms and went with Alex and Faith back to the house where Robert was anticipating them all for dinner.

By the time they all appeared in the dining room for dinner, Robert looked completely worn down. His eyes were sunken into his skull and the once Regal Robert was now walking with a pronounced hunch; almost like he was too weak to hold himself up properly. His necklace hung away from his body—the ring attached to it swung from side to side as Robert walked slowly toward the kitchen to grab the rest of the food.

“Robert, let me get that. You’ve probably been running around all day. Here, you sit down and I’ll bring out the plates.” Before Robert could answer back, Faith ran into the adjoining kitchen, picked up the rest of the plates, and brought them into the dining room.
“There! Let’s eat!”
They ate and made small talk, all the while taking cautious glances at Robert to make sure he was ok. He seemed to gain back a little strength after the meal.
“I do believe that I will turn in for the night. If you find that you need anything, please come and knock on my door.”
“We’ll be fine Robert. Mom is coming home soon anyway. You go and rest.”
Robert excused himself from the table and left the Three and Faith to discuss what had occurred that day in Salem.

“It seemed to appear right after Chase made the broom dance. I think that he uses our magic as a homing device. He’s drawn to it; so, whenever we use it, he knows just where to find us,” Alex thought aloud.
“That makes sense. So we should just not use our powers anymore?” Nick asked.
“I think that you guys can use your powers, just not the ones he gave to you,” Faith said. “The three of you are natural witches, like me; but your Dark Powers overshadow what should come to you naturally.”
“Um, Faith, no offense, but other than your force field/shield thing we’d be pretty powerless against this thing,” Chase remarked.
“Just because I don’t flaunt my power like some people doesn’t mean that I don’t have any, Chase.”
“Prove it.”
“I’ll do better than prove it to you. I’ll teach it to you. Starting tomorrow. For now, we need to try and find the Dark Power. Alex, could you get me a bowl of water? I’m going to run upstairs and get my stuff.”

Back in the dining room, Faith sat at the head of the table with the bowl of water in front of her. She held a clear quartz stone in her hand to help give clarity to her thoughts and amplify her power.

“Now I want you all to think about the Dark Power; what he looks like, what he sounds like, anything. I’ll say the spell and we should be able to see him in the water, ok?”
The boys nodded.
Faith took a deep breath and said:

Water I call, the sea I beseech
Find he who lies outside my reach.
Show me the one who hides from me,
As I will, so mote it be.

The water in the bowl rippled with power. As it calmed, a clear image came into view; Alex’s house.
“Why is it showing my house?”
“My guess is that he must be lurking around outside. Let’s punch up the spell and see if that helps. Focus on the Dark Power again.” Faith squeezed the stone in her hand, gathered her power and called to the element closest to her heart:

Of the Earth I am, to the Earth I cry!
I seek to find, I seek to scry.
Show me what I ask to see,
As I will, so mote it be.

Before the spell was finished she could feel the Dark Power push back at her with his power. Faith stood up and pushed back:

I summon Fire and call the Air,
This dark being has no power here!
It is I who will win this battle tonight,
With will, with power, with strength, with might!
I strike back at he who threatens me,
As I will, so mote it be.

The power rushed out of Faith into the night. She looked into the bowl and saw the dining room, with the four of them standing at the table. The power was in the house watching them. She and the Three looked around the room to see where the power was; but there was no sign, not a hint of him.

“You must have scared him off,” Nick suggested.
“Yeah, you must have. I don’t sense him anywhere. There isn’t even a remnant of power,” Alex said moving around the room. “Are you sure this scrying thing works, Faith?”
“Yes. It works. He must have interrupted it somehow…”
“He did interrupt it Faith. We all felt him take a slap at you,” Chase commented.
“Yeah, well, I slapped back, didn’t I?”
“I’d like it better if you didn’t leave yourself open for that kind of attack again. I think you should lay off using magic that requires a spell. He turned Alex’s dad’s magic against him and he might be able to do the same to you.”
“The magic Uncle Matthew was using originated from that thing. Mine is different.”
“We still shouldn’t take that chance. Look at what happened tonight.”
“Chase is right, Faith,” Alex said before Faith could argue. “We need to play it safe. Which means no spells for you and no magic for us. And although I know he didn’t attack me on my birthday, you two should stay the night next Saturday for Nick’s birthday.”
“It’s not like I had anything better planned anyhow,” Nick said with a shrug.

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