Megan lay against him with her eyes closed, enjoying their closeness and the feel of his fingers gently caressing along her bare back. The sun that filtered through the trees was warm and soothing.
"Are you hungry?" Lucas asked, and she felt his fingers drift up to brush through her hair.
"Mm... not really," Megan said as she nuzzled further against him and enjoyed the heat of his bare body against her own. He moved a bit beneath her, and she opened her eyes to glance up at him. He looked suddenly uncomfortable.
"Are you okay?" Megan asked with a frown. Lucas moved a little and cleared his throat a bit awkwardly. It took Megan a moment to realize why.
"Oh... sorry, again." She said and sat up, glancing away from him. Megan ran her hand back through her hair a bit nervously. Despite this being what felt like the millionth time she'd accidentally aroused him, she still felt weirdly embarrassed.
"Don't be. It's just, yunno... I am a guy, and I reaalllyyy want you, and you're naked... and rubbing against me." Lucas said with a slight chuckle as he tried to keep it light. Megan felt her cheeks burn a bit.
"I'm sorry," Megan said again. There was a brief moment of silence before Lucas sighed.
"This is getting reaaalllyyy hard, and I mean that both literally... and figuratively." He added in a slightly more serious tone. Megan kept her eyes averted. She felt extremely uncomfortable.
"I know... I'm sorry." Megan said.
"Stop saying sorry. I just... wish you'd let me know why-" Lucas started.
"I can't. I wish I could... but I just can't." Megan said. She heard him take a frustrated breath. She frowned and fidgeted uneasily. It didn't matter how close she felt to him now; she couldn't find it in herself to tell him.
What would she say? If he mated with her, that he might die a horrific blood-spewing death? Even though she knew it was selfish... she couldn't bear the thought of not seeing him again.
Megan jumped a bit when she felt his hand on her back. He nuzzled into her neck from behind, and she relaxed into his touch. She hadn't even noticed she'd tensed.
"No, I'm sorry. I know you'll tell me when you're ready." Lucas said. Megan relaxed fully against him and frowned.
"I don't deserve this," Megan said as she felt the guilt of it all full force.
"Stop that." He said with his usual joking tone. Megan tilted her head slightly as he nuzzled in further, and she got a slight shiver as he planted soft little kisses down her neck.
"You're worth the wait, but don't expect to be leaving that bed for a few weeks once we do," Lucas said teasingly. Megan couldn't help but smile a bit.
"Well... I am starving. Ready to head back?" Lucas asked. Megan nodded. He helped her up, and they both shifted and darted into the woodland.
Two days later...
"I'm not leaving," Lucas growled with finality. Megan frowned at him. She didn't expect this sudden anger from him...
"I have work for the next few days, and you know why I can't have you here-" Megan began to try to reason with him. The Blood Moon was only three days away... and she knew she wouldn't be able to resist him.
"So you can go fuck that guy again?" Lucas snapped. Megan stared at him, shocked.
"I can't even begin to comprehend what's going on with you... I get that; you need to sort things out... but that, I just... I won't... I can't stand it." Lucas said, fumbling over his words in anger. Megan could barely breathe.
"That's not-" Megan began.
"I'm not an idiot," Lucas growled. Megan pursed her lips and glanced away from him. There was a long silence.
"Obviously... I know that thing must block your bond... but if that's what you want, fine, why can't you do that with me? Let me be the one to take care of you." Lucas said. Megan grit her teeth as she felt the slight sting of tears.
"I mean... you seem to like me. Maybe not at first, but that's changed... hasn't it?" Lucas asked. Megan grit her teeth harder as she struggled to find words. There was a long silence before Lucas sighed.
"Fine..." He said, and he disappeared back into the bedroom. She heard him angrily packing his stuff, and Megan focused on steadying her breathing. She couldn't even bring herself to look at him when he reemerged.
It wasn't until the front door slammed so hard it cracked the molding that she let the tears break free and she sank to her knees, unable to stop the sobs.
"All right... good," Nadya said. Megan sat there, feeling a bit hollow. She was starting to resent the lessons and the lectures. What was the fucking point? She didn't care about any of this stuff. She just wanted to be able to control it.
"Megan," Nadya said sternly. Megan glanced up at her, having not even realized she'd asked a question. Nadya sighed.
"Is something wrong?" Nadya asked. Megan shook her head unconvincingly. Nadya stared at her for a moment, and Megan took a deep breath.
"Nothing... I'm fine." Megan insisted. Nadya didn't argue and began again, talking about history... and Megan let her mind drift off again. She thought about Lucas and wondered if he'd ever come back.
"MEGAN!" Nadya shouted. Megan glanced up at her again. Nadya frowned at her.
"We're done for the day." She said. Megan didn't even bother arguing.
"What's the matter with you?" Nadya began.
"Why do you bother asking me... when I know you already know," Megan said, a bit irritated. She found it annoying how much Nadya knew sometimes. Nadya sighed.
"Because despite what you might think, I don't like butting into other people's business. Having my gift is something I didn't choose... something I would never choose if I had the choice. It's considered a curse to our kind." Nadya said. Megan glanced up at her... that was the first she'd heard of that. She furrowed her brow curiously.
"What do you mean?" Megan asked.
"All of our kind are born with different gifts. Some.. like me, are unlucky enough to be born with what we refer to as 'the sight.' It's a rare one." Nadya said.
"What exactly does it involve?" Megan asked.
"I can sense things before they happen.. I'm very good at reading people, as you well know. I see things.. sometimes, things I don't want to. Just by looking at your palm... I know exactly what you'll do with your life, if you'll do things that are considered good... or bad. How many children you'll have.. how many years you'll live." Nadya said. Megan stared at her... she hadn't realized how deeply her gift ran.
"What did you see in me?" Megan asked. Nadya had looked at her palms several times over the passed months but had never said anything. Nadya sighed.
"I make it a point not to read for other witches. There are things that they shouldn't know about themselves; it can lead to false assurances." Nadya added.
"But you said our fates are set... what difference does it make then?" Megan asked.
"Not all fates... some are set with only one... others have two or three potential routes, it all depends on which directions they take in the crossroads of their lives. And then there are those who refuse fate's course entirely; they travel along a completely different path.. nothing fate has set. Their futures are blurry, for they are creating their own trail through the universe. Those are the types who either do great things... or very very terrible things. As a rule... you shouldn't trust those people." Nadya said. Megan frowned.
"That sounds... complicated," Megan said. Nadya smirked.
"The way the sight works is very complicated. I can never even begin to make you understand how I see things... and what it involves. Try being in my head every once in a while and I guarantee you'll appreciate your own problems." Nadya said with a slightly teasing tone, but Megan knew her enough by now that she wasn't truly joking.
"So... am I that type then? The one that has no path?" Megan said, uncertain. Nadya watched her curiously for a moment as if trying to decide if she should say something or not. Finally, she spoke.
"No, not at all. Those people are extremely rare. You are on fate's course. I see two paths for you. And one of them... there is a lot of potential in it. It's why I chose to help you, to steer you down the right path." Nadya said. Megan stared at her, unsure how she should feel about that.
"But the other... it's a very dark trail, and it leads to a short, miserable life. I will tell you no more than that." Nadya continued. Megan let the shock of those words sink in. It went silent for a time.
"Are you ready to listen again?" Nadya said. Megan looked away from her. She felt odd. She wished she'd never asked her any of that.
"Why can't we just skip to the spells-" Megan began.
"What I'm teaching you now... all our five-year-olds know. I can assure you; I am not wasting your time. You cannot cook a dish you've never made before without some kind of recipe. Magic and your ability to control it deals so much with having a clear understanding of how everything works. Casting is all about knowledge." Nadya said. Megan frowned at her.. she never thought of it that way.
"Let's skip ahead a bit then... to something you might find interesting. What do you know about silver?" Nadya said. Megan glanced up at her.
"Other then it burns? Nothing." Megan said. Nadya smirked a bit.
"Do you know why it hurts you?" Nadya asked. Megan shook her head.
"Silver is one of the only elemental objects in this world that contains magical properties. It's a conduit of sorts. It's why all our talismans are made of silver. It can absorb magic and keep it for centuries. Let's see... how to explain this." Nadya said. It went silent for a moment.
"It's just like how a hot object burns you with heat conduction. Anything hotter than our body temperature will transfer its heat.. and it's the heat flowing in that burns. So now.. think of silver as an empty conduit. It pulls magic into it. Wolf shifters have magic in every part of their being. Having it forcefully pulled from them can cause serious damage. As I said before... a wolf shifter cannot live without their magic." Nadya said. Megan furrowed her brow.
"Then... how does the bracelet you gave me work?" Megan asked, confused.
"During the time of the blood moon, I spelled it to activate. Magic imbued silver already has met its quota... in other words, it's full. It can't take in any more magic. In those instances... it won't burn you, because it doesn't steal your magic." Nadya said.
"Ulfhéðinn also have a very interesting ability to grow resistant over time if they are exposed regularly to silver. Because their magic is a natural kind... it's able to adapt... and although they would never be fully immune, their magic would resist being pulled out. It's just another fascinating ability of your kind." Nadya said. Megan sat quietly for a time.
"How do you know so much about them?" Megan asked.
"Time brings you lots of knowledge. My mother has lived a long time, and she's a bit of a history enthusiast. Although most who live in the shadows of the human world try to keep to themselves, she's always been very fascinated by them. She likes to study them... She will find you fascinating when you finally meet." Nadya said. Megan frowned. Not that she wanted to meet any of her Coven.., but Nadya already explained she'd have to... when she took her test.
"How old are you?" Megan asked. Nadya just smirked.
"Older then I look... but that's a conversation for another time," Nadya replied. Megan knew better than to argue with her. Once she said it was for another time... no amount of persistence would change that. She glanced to the table where she'd laid out a few artifacts. One was a small silver pendant. Megan stared at it for a moment, and a thought occurred to her then.
"So.. are you saying that anyone with magic in them can be harmed by silver?" Megan asked.
"Yes... any creature that has magic in them will have a similar reaction. The more they have, the worse it would be." Nadya said. Megan again sat quietly for a time, letting it all sink in.
"Do vampires have magic in them?" Megan asked. She'd only run into a few in her lifetime, and they had minded their own business. She couldn't help her curiosity.
"No... well, sort of. Not in the way someone who was born with it does. The curse that keeps them alive is more like a… hm, I’m not sure how to put this, I guess you can think of it as a scar. They have been touched by magic, powerful blood magic, but not a speck of it remains. It's why it can't be broken; there is nothing left there to break. Whoever created that curse in the dark ages, was likely a very smart... very powerful witch." Nadya said.
"They were created by a witch?" Megan asked, stunned.
"Well... no one alive today knows for sure, but we have all heard the stories that get moved along down the ages, and it's very clear by the marks on their auras that they were touched by something very dark. There are a few other theories that I find plausible, but we'll go into those another time." Nadya said.
"Thousands of years ago... there were much more powerful witches then there are today. I suppose that's a good thing, seeing as how there was a lot of terrible things done in those times. Most of the spells we use today were written by them." Nadya said. Megan frowned a bit.
"A witch can't write her own spells?" Megan asked. Nadya laughed.
"I doubt there is a witch alive today that still has that ability. Spell writing is a long lost art.. one must be not only very talented but exceptionally intelligent with a very deep insight into all magic lore to navigate the complex nature of spell writing." Nadya said. She paused briefly and moved over to the table. Megan watched her pick up the large leather book that seemed like it was a thousand years old by its scent, and Nadya brought it back to set it in front of her. Megan frowned down at it.
"This is a grimoire. My own in fact." Nadya said.
"Every magical family has their own... it's basically a book of their family's spells. Every families' is different and unique. Although a lot of the spells might be of a similar nature, they all have slight variations. Think of it as a recipe book. Chocolate cake is chocolate cake no matter how you make it, but they will all taste a bit different depending on the style of baking and ingredients added." Nadya said.
Megan looked down at the book, and lightly brushed her fingers over it. Nadya had a strange way of simplifying things that otherwise seemed like they should be complicated.
"Most grimoires are a few thousand years old. Because, as I said before, no one holds that kind of power these days." Nadya said. A brief pause followed as if Nadya was considering her next words very carefully.
"It is passed along generations, from mother to daughter," Nadya said. Megan frowned a bit. She felt a weird sting from that.
"What if there is more than one daughter?" Megan asked to change the subject slightly.
"There are ways to duplicate a grimoire. The one I have here is a reproduction of my mother's… and that was a reproduction of her mother's. I have four sisters." Nadya said. Megan watched her for a moment... and another strange thought hit her.
"Are there any male witches?" Megan asked.
"Yes... but they are rare and trust me when I tell you you'd never want to meet one." Nadya said quite seriously. Megan furrowed her brow.
"Why?" Megan asked. Nadya laughed.
"All those of witch ancestry only bear daughters, it's just the way of it, but every once in a while a male is born, usually only one a century or so... They hold a lot of power and tend to be very reckless." Nadya said as she gathered up her grimoire. Megan frowned.
"What if I have a male?" Megan asked, though having children was the farthest thing from her mind right now.
"You are a strange case with your mixed blood... You very likely will have male children, especially if your mate is of Alpha blood, though it is highly unlikely they will carry the gift, nearly impossible actually. But, if by some chance.. you do have a male that shows witch blood, then you probably shouldn't let it live. Warlocks that are raised within a coven that have strict guidelines still come out untamed. Their powers are so much different than a witch's. They are difficult to train because they draw their power from a different source then we do. I can't imagine a wild one would be good for this world... especially not a part Ulfhéðinn one." Nadya said. Megan stared at her, shocked by her words.
"Since you have no family ties... you will need to start your own grimoire. I will show you which spells to copy from mine... and you will use it as a guide." Nadya continued. Megan just nodded. She still felt weird. Nadya began to walk away... but shortly paused.
"Your mother is still alive," Nadya said it like a statement, not a question. Megan pursed her lips a bit.
"I am very curious about your parents, and the fact that you did not go to your mother for help," Nadya asked. Megan glanced away from her. She had no good answer for that.
"I just... I never knew her. My father took me away when I was very young." Megan said. Nadya stared at her for a moment, but Megan kept her eyes averted. There was a long silence.
"Fair enough." Nadya finally said and turned to put away her book.
"So... what are you going to do about Thursday?" Nadya asked her. Megan glanced over at her with a frown. She knew she was talking about the Blood Moon.
"I was... going to try to just get through it on my own," Megan said. Nadya slammed something down, and Megan jumped.
"Are you crazy?" Nadya snapped. Megan glanced away from her.
"I can't do that anymore... you have no idea how it makes me feel afterward," Megan said, recalling all the times she'd come out of her wild state, and the sickening violation that followed when she became fully aware of who she'd been with. But it was more than that, the thought of Lucas finding out she'd been with someone else, was crushing. Nadya sighed.
"Is it the man? I can switch the spell to another if you wish. It might be best actually, I'm sure his unexplained disappearances every six months are starting to get noticed." Nadya said. Megan glanced over at her with a frown.
"Unexplained?" Megan asked. Nadya just smirked a bit.
"Well... he forgets about you every time he leaves. I made it so he doesn't even remember who you are between the Blood Moons. If you passed him on the street, you wouldn't even get a second glance." Nadya said. Megan frowned, that explained why he never came back for his wallet.
"I chose him for the fact that his stamina would be up to the challenge of your needs, which might I say, is quite rare for a human, and also for the fact that he is.. well, rather unlikeable, as I'm sure you've noticed. I figured you'd have no problems at all not developing any form of attachment to him. He's the abusive husband of one of my client's.. so if you did accidentally kill him, the world would have been better for it." Nadya said with a bit of an amused tone.
Megan felt a slight lump in her throat from her words... Granted, she'd never asked questions about how the spell worked before. She just put the bracelet on, and Ray would show up. Then he'd leave, and not bother her again until the next time. She didn't even wonder how he was able to find her. Megan felt incredibly stupid now for not asking these things sooner.
"He's married?" Megan asked. She felt just a bit sicker.
"Has a few kids too... he knocks them all around. So like I said... I wasn't sure the spell would work, but if it didn't, he was expendable." Nadya said. Megan stared at her, shocked. She felt a wave of anger.
"You told me it would work," Megan said angrily.
"No, I told you it should work. Not that it was guaranteed. I told you... wording is key." Nadya said. Megan grit her teeth a bit.. how could she just talk about killing someone so off-handedly?
"What’s passed is passed. Do you want me to switch it to a different male?" Nadya asked. Megan glanced away from her.
"No... I'm not using it." She said firmly. It went quiet for a moment.
"You realize how dangerous you can be in your crazed state?" Nadya said.
"Can't you... just give me something to knock me out for a day?" Megan asked, suddenly hopeful. Again, Nadya sighed.
"Without getting that relief... you realize it will agitate you for months afterward.. don't you? It will be that much harder to control yourself." Nadya asked.
"I don't care," Megan said.
"Fine... let me call my sister. Come back on Wednesday, early, and I should have something for you." Nadya said. Megan glanced back at her, a bit surprised.
"Thank you," Megan said, her tone carrying her extreme gratitude.
"I wouldn't thank me yet. It's going to cost you. And you're going to have one hell of a headache afterward." Nadya said, but Megan hardly cared.