Sunday, August 2, 2009

Chapter 16

Tricking Reese was going to be easy, Chase thought. Reese lived in the dorms just like he and Nick did. All they would have to do is let Reese ‘overhear’ him and Nick talking about some new development in how to defeat the Dark Power. Then, assuming Reese really was in league with the Dark Power, Reese would follow them to see what was going on. Simple yet effective.

After talking about it with Alex and Nick, it was determined that the best time to try and lure Reese out to the circle would be tonight. Today was Nick’s birthday and he and Alex would be at full power. Faith would have to rush in order to gather up the materials she needed for the binding spell…something about wax and ribbon.

“Are you ready?” Chase asked Nick as they waited in the stairwell of the dormitory wing.
“Sure. I just hope this works.”
“It will. It has to.”
“Yeah, well, things haven’t really been going our way lately, have they?”
Chase snorted and Nick signaled him to be quiet.
“I think he’s coming…listen.”
Chase leaned down over the railing of the stairs and strained to hear who was coming up the steps. From the sound of the arrogant tone of voice, Chase confirmed Nick’s suspicion. It was Reese and a friend.
“He’s got Cole with him,” Nick said worriedly.
“Cole lives on the second floor, maybe Reese will keep walking up by himself.”
Nick and Chase listened closely to hear Cole go through the second floor door by himself and Reese kept walking up the stairs toward the room that he shared with Luke.
“Looks like we’re finally catching a break,” Chase said with a shove to Nick. “Let’s get moving.”
Nick and Chase started their conversation as they opened up the third floor door.
“So, we’re all set for tonight, right?” Nick asked looking behind him to see if Reese was following.
“Of course. Now that we know how to contain the Dark Power we’ll be able to fight back.”
“It’ll definitely help that Alex and I are at full power too.”
“And Faith has all the stuff she needs to bind his power, right?” Chase said as he looked at the door to the stairwell. It was propped open. Reese had to be listening in.
“Yeah, she said that she bought the last ingredient last night.”
“Perfect. So, we’ll meet at Alex’s house for your birthday party and then head out to the circle in the woods tonight and get it done then.”
“Let’s go and pack up our stuff for tonight. We don’t want to forget anything.”
Nick and Chase unlocked the door to their room and were stepping in when they heard the stairwell door open up. Chase stole a quick glance and saw a smirk on Reese’s face before Reese turned to walk in the opposite direction to his own room.
“He’s hooked,” Chase said to Nick with a smirk of his own.
Nick smiled back.

The Three and Faith celebrated Nick’s birthday in a low key get together at Alex’s house. They ordered a pizza and Alex’s mom baked a cake.
“How’s your mother, Nick?” Libby asked.
“She’s doing okay. She just didn’t feel up to getting out of the house today. You know how she is…”
“Well, I’ll save a slice of cake for her and bring it over to her tomorrow.”
“She’d like that,” Nick said to Alex’s mom as she walked out of the dining room to go and wrap up a slice of cake.
“Is your mom really okay Nick?” Alex asked.
“Yeah, she’s just been having a rough time. I think that she’s worried that what happened to your dad will happen to her because she has power. She’s never been strong and all the anxiety is making things a little worse for her.”
“Hopefully we’ll get one step closer to getting rid of the Dark Power tonight. Assuming Reese actually did take the bait,” Alex said with a glance toward Chase.
“He did. I know it,” Chase said. “I saw his face.”
Alex nodded and got up out of his chair. “What time is it?”
“Nearly 8:30pm,” Faith replied.
“We better start heading out to the circle. Are you ready, Faith?”
“Yep. I have the wax figure and red ribbon right here in this bag,” Faith answered as she picked up the bag and hooked it onto her shoulder.
Ok. What about the spell?”
“It’s all right up here,” Faith said tapping her head.
“This is it. Let’s go.”
Faith, Chase, and Nick got up out of their chairs and followed Alex out of the door and into the night.

The four of them cast the circle and waited for any sign of Reese. At first they looked around cautiously and kept silent so they could hear even the quietest rustle of the falling leaves; however, as the time passed so did their initial nervousness. The boys ended up reminiscing about the crazy things they did growing up together as Faith listened and laughed. How ironic, Faith thought to herself as she looked at the four of them sitting around companionably. She never would have thought three years ago that this was possible. But here they all were getting along. United against the Dark Power.
A lull in the boys’ conversation allowed Faith to hear the faint snapping of twigs off in the distance. She smiled to herself and looked down at her watch. Time to give the signal.
“Wow, it’s nearly eleven-thirty,” she commented aloud.
“Only a half of an hour left to go,” Nick said with a smile.
“We should probably start getting the spell underway, don’t you think?” Alex asked his cousin with a wink.
“I think not, Alex,” Reese said as he stepped away from the tree he had been hiding behind. Right on cue, Faith thought.
“Hello Reese,” Alex calmly replied as Faith, Nick, and Chase all moved toward him into the center of their circle.
“I couldn’t help but overhear that you were going to cast a spell. What spell might that be?”
“Well, let’s see. We’ve had a couple on our minds lately, right Faith?”
“Oh yeah. Let’s see what we have here,” Faith said as she rummaged through her bag and took out the wax figurine and red ribbon. “Ah, just what we need to bind the Dark Power,” she said as she held the objects out so that Reese could see them.
“You can’t bind his power,” Reese said, false calm lacing his voice.
“Is that what he told you? Allow me to inform you that he is wrong. There are four of us and one of him. Do you honestly think that we’ll lose? Please…” Chase said condescendingly to Reese.

What little control Reese had over his emotions snapped, “You have no idea what you’re up against!” Reese became enraged and started moving closer to the circle as he continued his rant. “You all think that you’re so much better than everyone else, but the truth is that you’re fakes. Your power isn’t even yours! You stole it! From my family!”

Just a little closer, Faith thought to herself. He needs to be in the circle so that the Dark Power couldn’t interfere…she nudged Chase to see if he could further incite Reese’s anger. She wasn’t disappointed.

“Reese, we don’t need to hear your sob story. All that matters is that we have power and you don’t.”
“You want to see power? I’ll show you power!” Reese bellowed as he ran toward Chase and into the circle.
“Do it now, Faith!” Alex yelled as he, Nick, and Chase grabbed Reese and struggled to hold him down.
Faith grabbed the wax figurine, the ribbon, and a safety pin. She was going to need a drop of Reese’s blood.

“Hold him still. I need to prick his finger to get a drop of his blood.”
“No!” Reese yelled and fought his arm free and tried to wrap it around Nick’s head.
“Oh no you don’t,” Chase said and punched Reese in the face and knocked him out, and as luck would have it, gave him a bloody nose. “Will that do?” Chase asked Faith as rubbed his knuckles and looked down at Reese’s face.

“Sure. Um, thanks.” Faith bent down and dabbed the wax figurine into the blood that was trickling out of Reese’s nose and began her spell.

Rain and breeze, fire and flower,
I bind you, Reese, from using power.
You can not cause harm to The Three nor me,
As I will, so mote it be.

Faith began to wrap the red ribbon around the wax figurine and finished the spell:

I bind you, Reese, from doing harm to others or harm to yourself.

As the spell finished they could hear a frustrated screech out in the woods. The Dark Power wasn’t happy.

“That’s it?” Alex asked incredulously.
“That’s it. It’s a simple spell, but it gets the job done.”
“What are we going to do with him?” Chase said nudging Reese’s limp arm with his foot.
“Maybe we should wake him up,” Nick suggested.

Faith grabbed a cloth from her bag and knelt down to wipe the blood that had come out of Reese’s nose and was now pooling on upper lip and dripping down his face.

“Maybe you shouldn’t have hit him so hard,” Faith admonished Chase.
“You weren’t the one who had to hold him down. He was going nuts, not to mention he was about the put Nick into a headlock.”
“Okay. Okay. If he wakes up anytime soon he’s not going to be too excited to see us. I doubt he’s going to want to participate in a conversation with us, let alone tell us anything about the Dark Power.”
“What are you suggesting Faith?” Alex asked.
“I don’t know… I just want him to see the truth, but he’s been so brainwashed by David Godfrey… what do you think we should do?” Faith looked up at Alex, fatigue showing in her glassy brown eyes.
“Maybe we can have him stay the night at my house. We’ll put him in my room and cast a circle around him… maybe after we all get some sleep we can try to reason with him. He can’t have been under the Dark Power’s influence for too long. He did help us out down at the cove…We’ll just have to show him evidence. Show him that there have been no wolf sightings in New Jerusalem in centuries. Show him the journal. Show him what the Dark Power did to my father…”
“We can do that. You three can carry him home…somehow. I’ll run ahead and cast the circle in Alex’s room.” Faith started to put her supplied back into her bag.
“No, let’s stay together. I don’t want to take any chances, especially now that we’ve seriously pissed the Dark Power off.”
Ok, Alex.”

Nick and Faith hauled Reese off the ground and propped him up against a tree while Alex and Chase used their arms to make a chair for Reese to sit in as they carried him back to the house. Faith and Nick tried to position Reese so that he would just fall into the ‘chair,’ unfortunately he ended up back on the forest floor.

“Would you two be careful!” Alex exclaimed. “He’s of little use to us if he’s brain damaged.”
“He’s a bit more difficult to maneuver than he looks, Alex. I didn’t see you and Chase trying to catch him,” Faith answered back in defense.
“Children, children,” Chase joked trying to diffuse the rising tempers of the two cousins. All he got in return were two dirty looks. He merely shook his head and re-linked his harms with Alex’s.
By the third attempt, Reese was successfully cradled in Chase’s and Alex’s arms.

“Shit. He’s heavier than he looks,” Chase puffed as they made their way into the house and up the stairs. Faith threw Alex a smug look that said I told you so. She walked into her cousin’s room and started forming the circle that, for all intents and purposes, would hold Reese captive.
Alex and Chase carried Reese over to the bed and out of sheer exhaustion dropped him onto the bed. It didn’t help that their hands and arms were already slick with sweat from the exertion of hauling Reese from the woods to the house. Unconsciously, both of the boys wiped their hands on their jeans before they grabbed hands with Nick and Faith and completed the circle.

“One more thing,” Faith said and bounced out of the room and up to her own bedroom. She hurriedly rummaged through her witchy supplies for the right ingredients to make a charm for Reese. They’d need him to be nice and calm when he woke up.
She rushed back into Alex’s room, pouch in one hand and additional stones in another.

“Faith, I have my pouch under the pillow still.”
“This is a different one. Take yours and put it under whatever pillow you plan on using tonight. This one is specifically for Reese. It’s to help balance him. So are these,” Faith said as she placed several pieces of quartz around the circle. “These will help to cleanse him of any hold that the Dark Power might have over him.”
She moved over to the bed and gently pushed the pouch under the pillow. She laid her hands on either side of Reese’s face and whispered a spell that only he would hear:

Calm as the sea, soft as a breeze;
I weave this spell to put you at ease.
When you awake, the truth you will see;
As I will, so mote it be.

Chase felt a twinge of jealousy run through him. Part of him wished it was his face that Faith would hold. Get a hold of yourself, he thought. To keep any more errant thoughts from popping into his head, he turned and walked out of the room. The other three followed him out and nearly walked right into Robert.

“Good evening master Alex.”
“Uh, hey Robert. What are you doing up so late?”
“I thought I heard a commotion and thought it best to check on you and Miss Faith.”
“We’re fine, we were just moving stuff around upstairs so that Nick, Chase and I could all sleep downstairs in the den.”
“Would you like me to fetch some blankets from your bedroom?”
“NO!” all four of them yelled at once.
“What we meant to say is that it’s late and you should get back to bed. I’ll grab the blankets for them, Robert,” Faith said as she gently guided Robert back down the stairs and toward his room. She made a note to herself to charm the door locked tonight. Just in case.

“That was close,” Nick remarked, heaving a sigh of relief.
“Yeah. Too close. I keep forgetting that my mom and Robert might pose a problem…Let’s go grab some pillows and blankets.”
“Faith said she’d grab them,” Chase said as he made his way down the stairs.
“Don’t be an ass, Chase.”
“It’s what I’m best at, Alex.”

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