Thursday, August 6, 2009

Chapter 17

The next morning Faith woke up early to go and check on Reese. She quickly showered and dressed so that she could sneak into Alex’s room before the boys had a chance to wake up.

Quietly, she walked out of her room and tiptoed to her cousin’s room, the plush runner under her feet helping to soften the noise the weight of her body on the old floorboards created.
She put her hand on the doorknob to break the charm she had placed on it the night before to keep it locked and noticed small marks on the door jam; the kind of marks that would show up if someone were trying to force the door open. Faith ran her fingers over the scratches. Who would try to break into the room? And why? Becoming nervous, Faith steeled herself and broke the locking charm. Slowly, she turned the knob and heard the click of the latch. Millimeter by millimeter she carefully opened the door. Taking a deep breath she eased her foot into the small opening in the door and peeked her head into the room, using the door as a shield. Her eyes darted around the room looking for anything out of the ordinary. Reese still lay on the bed in the middle of the room undisturbed. Their circle still keeping him safe.

Although she didn’t see anything suspicious, Faith still half-ran to the safety of the circle around the bed. Once inside of the circle she searched the room around one more time and then turned to the boy on the bed. He was still asleep. The serene expression on his face alluded to the peaceful nature of his dreams. Good, thought Faith, at least the charm under his pillow was working. As she turned to go and wake up the Three she felt a hand grab her wrist. Seconds later, she found herself laying on the bed with Reese standing over her, his hands holding her wrists down on either side of her head.

Uh oh, so much for the charm, Faith thought before saying, “What the hell are you doing, Reese?”
“I could ask you the same thing. Where am I and what have you all done to me?”

Struggling to stay calm so that the situation didn’t escalate Faith answered him truthfully, “You’re at my aunt’s house in Alex’s bedroom. We thought you’d be safest here. And we didn’t do anything to you. We’re trying to help you. Now, let me up.”
“Help me? How have you helped me? By trapping me in your house?”
“No! No…you don’t understand. The Dark Power was using you….”
“Yeah, using me to take back what was rightfully mine! Now you’ve ruined it! He said that you’d do this. That you’d lie to me and try to turn me against him.”

“Well, well, well. What have we here? I’m not interrupting anything, am I?” Chase asked coolly from the doorway to the bedroom.

With Reese distracted by Chase, Faith wrestled her way out from underneath Reese. She gave him a shove before leaving the circle to go and stand with Chase.

“I thought you said that pouch would calm him?” Chase commented sarcastically.
“How do you know it didn’t?” Faith answered back.

Alex and Nick came to the doorway, “What’s going on?” Alex asked.
“Your cousin here was making nice with the prisoner.”
“Shut up Chase. Seriously, do us all a favor and keep your mouth shut. I came in here to check on Reese, but he pulled me under him and started asking me some questions. And, although I don’t agree with his tactics, he does have a right to some answers, Alex.”
“I agree. Should we just talk with him now then?”
“I don’t give a shit about anything the four of you have to say to me. Let me go now or I’m calling the cops,” Reese proclaimed while digging in his empty pockets searching for the cell phone that Nick had cleverly remembered to take out of his pocket.

“Reese, please, just listen to us. We are trying to do the right thing. You still have power. You’re still a witch; we just locked it up for the time being. We couldn’t be sure that you wouldn’t try to hurt us.”
“Me hurt you? You’ve got it all wrong. That guy,” Reese said pointing to Chase, “knocked me out and you’re worried about me hurting you?”
“It’s not like it isn’t plausible, Reese. That Dark Power you’re all buddy-buddy with put my father in the hospital,” Alex said quietly.
“Yeah ri…wait, what?”
“My father is in a coma because he was using his power to get home more quickly. The Dark Power sensed it and then turned my father’s power against him. He’s strong and only growing stronger as each day passes.”
“How do you know it was him? Huh? Maybe your dad was too cocky about his power.”
“Because I saw it!” Alex yelled back. Then more calmly he added, “I saw it in my mind…like I was in a dream.”

“I saw it too,” Faith said in a hushed voice. Everyone’s eyes all turned to her. Alex looked at her with a confused expression on his face.

“I was doing a spell to try and alleviate some of your stress on the way to school one day,” Faith said placing her hand on her cousin’s arm. Realization dawned on Alex and he gave a nod.

“He’s telling you the truth, Reese.”
“Whoa,” Reese said looking around nervously, “I had nothing to do with that. He never said anything about hurting anyone, just taking back what is rightfully mine.”
“What else did he tell you, Reese?” Faith queried.
“Nothing, really,” Reese said and looked at the four pairs of eyes staring at him. He nervously shifted his weight from one foot to the other. Giving in, he looked down and quickly added, “He just told me that your ancestors took my family’s power and then made my ancestors forget that they were even witches so that you could all keep it to yourselves. That’s it. I swear.” Reese sank down onto the bed.

Faith walked around the room gathering up all of the quartz stones that she had placed around the room. She then joined the Three and they closed the circle.

“Come with us Reese. There’s a lot that you need to know,” Alex turned and walked out of the room and toward the library. Faith and Nick followed right behind him. Not wanting to take any chances, Chase waited for Reese to leave the room first and then cautiously walked behind him all the way to the library.

“So, wait. The Dark Power is my great-great-whatever grandfather?” Reese asked incredulously.
“Yes,” answered Faith as she closed the journal of Eliza Martin.
“And he became evil after his wife was killed by a wolf?”
“But I’m still a witch?”
Faith sighed. “Yes.”

To say that Reese was bewildered would be the understatement of the century.

“So, what did you do to me out in the woods?”
“Oh, that. Well, just because you didn’t know you were a witch didn’t mean that you didn’t have power. And we didn’t know if the Dark Power was teaching you anything, so we had to bind you from being able to harm us…or yourself come to think of it.”
“He told me that I didn’t have any power…”
“You may not have the added powers that these three have,” Faith said motioning to the Three who were sprawled out on the leather library furniture, “but you have natural magic. You’re a hereditary witch like all of us, but your powers are a bit more limited, like mine.”
“We can teach you, Reese, if that’s what you want.”
Reese ran his hand through his hair. The tousled hairdo he created only added to his befuddled appearance. “I’m not sure of what I want anymore.”
“To be honest, we don’t know much about our natural magic either,” Alex added sympathetically from the couch. “We’ve relied on the other kind too much; but Faith has been helping us out a lot since coming up here.”

“Take some time to let things sink in Reese. Whenever you’re ready, you can come to us. Or not. It’s up to you. But, while you’re taking some time to think, I want you to carry this with you.” Faith held up a sizeable flat yet oval shaped piece of obsidian. “It will help to keep him away from you, just in case. Also, as a symbol of trust, I’m going to undo the binding spell. What do you guys think?” Faith asked the Three.

Alex and Nick nodded in agreement. Chase looked at them as if they were traitors and then looked away. Taking that as a sign of acquiescence, Faith took the wax doll out of her ever-present bag of magical goods and snipped the red ribbon that had been wrapped around the figure. The ribbon fell unceremoniously to the floor with a whisper. Faith picked the ribbon up and stuffed it along with the doll back into her bag. She then handed the obsidian she had placed on the table to Reese.

Reese held the stone in his hand and lightly rubbed it with his thumb.

“Keep it in your pocket. If you ever feel like you might be in danger just say these words: Wind and Flame, Rain and Tree,/Hold me safe, keep harm from me. Repeat it.”
Reese repeated the spell and felt a sense of warmth steal over him, “Whoa.”

He stood for a second trying to let everything sink in. “I think it’s time for me to head home,” he said wearily.

All four of them walked Reese to the door.
“I’ll give you a ride home,” Nick offered.
“Thanks.” Reese turned and looked at the four teenage witches standing together. “I guess I’ll see you all at school.”
“We’ll see you Monday, man,” Alex said offering him his hand. Reese accepted the peace offering with a firm grasp and a lopsided grin. Then he and Nick headed down to the car.
“Yeah, Faith?”
“Blessed be.”

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