The next morning I wake up with a clear head I'm going to find out how to break this bond to Cain. I'm not going to be anyone's keeper or key whatever. I barely have my magic under control, I can't be some curse holder for some really hot ancient guy.
I go back to my house determined but I'm thrown off when I get to the front door and there is a note waiting for me.
Elsie, I have something to take care of. I will return soon. -Cain
What that heck. What could he possibly have to take care of? I just accidentally freed him. You know what? This is great. He's not my problem anymore. With a new pep in my step, I get back in the car and drive back to the coven house. I park my car and make it just in time for my first class of the day.
The classrooms in the coven house are like normal classrooms with desks and chairs. I take my regular seat in the back with Patrick and Cynthia in front of me.
Cynthia turns around in her chair to glare at me.
"What?" I asked.
"You know what. I almost pissed myself because I was so scared what the High Priestess would do to me if you didn't come home."
"She wouldn't do anything to you."
She rolls her eyes. "I think you sometimes forget that we aren't all related to her. She'd punished us."
"She punished me. I have to help the brownies clean. She knows how much I hate cleaning."
"Elsie, cleaning is nothing compared to being stripped of your magic."
"She wouldn't do that."
"If it came to your safety. She definitely would."
Cynthia turns back around and Patrick doesn't even look at me. Guilt takes over me. I'm about to apologize when someone takes a seat next to me.
I smile at Jaxon. His black hair is in twists, his eyes are a deep brown, he's way taller than me and has abs for days. I know that because he's my friend with benefits. I didn't do the whole boyfriend thing. Guys are too much trouble. I much rather sex it up and part ways. And Jaxon is perfect for it. He doesn't try to overstep and he respects my boundaries. We never talked about it but he understands that I don't like getting close to people. I've had too many people leave me.
"I tried texting you this morning."
"Sorry, busy morning."
He nods. "We should get together later today? Get some food?"
I turn around in the front with Professor Evans walks into the room. He has dark skin, a shaved head, and a big stomach.
"Good Evening. Today we will talk about Illusions."
Everyone groans including me. I am not looking forward to the whole working a job thing when graduation was here. I wasn't lazy when it came to hard work, I just don't want to do it. Especially if they try to make me a guard. Guards protect the witches and humans. If there were ever a war between any other supernatural the guards would be on the frontline. I was more of a behind the scenes kind of girl.
"Illusions are like masks. They hide what's really behind the mask." He walks over to his desk and puts his briefcase down. “Witches that make the Illusion can make you see whatever they want you to. The only downfall is the Illusion can be ruined if the Illusionist is killed or harmed. If you want the Illusion gone, cut down the Illusionist." He claps his hands. "Now, let's practice. Can I get a volunteer?" He looks around the room and his eyes land on me. "Miss Clermont. Thank you."
I roll my eyes but go up to the front without argument. He grabs a spare chair off to the side and sits in front of me.
"Close your eyes and try to clear your mind. Let all other distractions go."
I do as he says.
"I want you to make me see sunflowers growing from the ground."
I call on my magic and channel it into the Illusion. I keep my eyes closed and focus on him seeing the sunflowers. I can feel my magic pumping into the illusion, keeping it steady.
"Good. I can see the dirt. Keep going."
I get excited by the approval in his tone. I open my eyes to see my own illusion. The rest of the class can't see it but a sunflower grows out of the wooden floor, slowly blossoming into a bright sunflower. It stands tall right in front of Professor Evans.
"Perfect Miss Clermont. Now, make it die."
I imagine the flower decaying. I channel my magic into the flower it doesn't even move. It isn't until Professor Evans screams that I look up and see his arm is starting to decay instead of the flower
"Cut it off," he yelled as his arm looks like it's about to fall off.
I quickly drop my magic and he lets out a sound of relief.
"I-I-I'm sorry. I didn't mean to."
I look around the room and everyone in class doesn't look surprised that I messed up. Why would they? It's what I do.
"It's o-okay." He turns to address the class. "We'll end it here today."
I grab my bag and run out of the room despite my name being called. I run straight to my room and lock the door behind me. I get greeted by my two favorite boys, I give them kisses and go to my bed. Before I can even lay my head on my pillow tears fill my eyes. I'm such a mess up. Why can't I do anything right? What is wrong with me? I wipe my tears as they fall. I hated crying.
Ever since I could remember I've had problems with control. Not only with my magic but with my emotions. My parents helped me over the years but once they both left I was on my own. Now, I can barely hold it together for a simple illusion. Someone has to know how to help me. Someone must know something more. By the time my tears dry up, one name pops up in my head. Cain. Cain can help me. I don’t know how but I have to find him again.
The next few days I spend it looking for Cain. He didn’t exactly leave a number for me to call so I tried every spell I could to track him. He told me we are bonded and yet I couldn’t even do a locator spell.
One afternoon I decide to try one more time. I leave my room and straight to the spell room. Shelves with jars of herbs, magic, and some things I wish we didn't have filled the room. I grab a few jars of herbs I need and my blood. This is the last locator spell, I can think of. I put the herbs inside the bowl with my few drops of blood. I hope that this doesn't backfire on me. I call on my magic and set fire to the bowl.
"What are you doing."
I jump at Cynthia's voice.
"Don't scare me when I'm doing a spell."
I chant the words for the spell and watch the fire turn into bright red smoke. I close my eyes and inhale the smoke. I let the smoke fill my body so that it can fill my mind with images of Cain. I channel the bond with him and images fill my head. I feel the heat on my skin. I look around and see sand, cantus and a big house. It looks like he's in some sort of dessert. The vision moves and I see a sign. Welcome to Arizona. Arizona? What is he doing in Arizona? I don't get time to think about it when I have pushed away, mentally, and physically. Cynthia barely catches me before I land on the floor.
"Did the spell not work?"
"It did." I get upright. "The spell worked but I think he kicked me out of his mind."
"Who is he?"
I forgot I haven't told her about the whole releasing Cain thing.
"This guy I met a few days ago. Just wanted to make sure it isn't some serial killer."
I hated lying to her but I didn't want to get her mixed up in this unless I had to. She and Patrick have always had to help me fix my problems. We've known each other since we were in diapers. Well, most of the witches in the coven my age knew each other. Covens are normally passed down by birth. Meaning if your parents were in a coven you would be in that one too.
"Does he check out?"
"Yeah." I start to clean up. "What are you doing here."
"I came to check on you. You’ve been avoiding me for days. Are you okay?"
"Am I okay that I almost made Professor Evans' arm fall off? No, I'm not okay with that. Am I okay with the fact that I barely can get anything right? Getting there."
"Don't do that."
"Do what?” I asked but didn’t turn to look at her.
She grabs my arms and turns me toward her.
"Don't act like you're not the strongest one of us. You're a young witch El. That kind of magic doesn't come with ease. It comes with practice."
I sigh. "I know. It still doesn't feel good."
"Of course it doesn't. But you're not alone. We're all here to help you, Elsie. And if it makes you feel any better Zaire almost burned off half the class eyebrows when we were learning Banishment spells."
I laugh because that does make me feel a little better. I notice that today she's wearing a tight bright blue sundress that clings to her brown skin and shows a little too much cleavage.
"You're welcome. Didn't your parents teach you some techniques to help?"
She starts to help me clean up while I answer.
"Yeah, just breathing and focusing. My mom mostly used fighting as a way to keep me focused. She said the more you focus on the pain the more reality becomes clear. Pain brings you back and reminds you that you are in control of how much you feel. Pain is mostly in your head."
"Then remember that when you're trying to control your magic. Have you talked to your dad?"
I shake my head. I've tried using the number he gave me but it also goes straight to voicemail. I tried location spells but he's blocking them. I just want to make sure he's okay. I understand that he had to leave but to cut his connection off of his only child? It's not like him. He's always been there for me no matter what. I used to be used to him leaving because he and mom were always going off on business trips but this is the longest I've gone without talking to him. One phone call would ease my worry.
"Hey, you know what you need?"
"A shopping trip..." she grinned at me.
"And a party! Lucky for us, The crystal coven is having a party. Their class just graduated. Should be fun. Beautiful men and women all barely clothed and lots of lots of sexual energy, "
I bit my lip while thinking about it. A graduation party would be fun. Of course, we don't do it as humans do. I could use a party. Something to take the edge off and keep my mind off of everything.
"Yeah, I'll go."
She practically jumps up and down. "I'll go to bring my car around." She rushes out of the room, leaving me alone.
I finish cleaning up, grab my purse, and make my way outside. Cynthia is waiting for me in her bright blue 1960s Mercedes convertible. It originally came in this god awful yellow but Cynthia had it painted blue the day after her dad bought it for her. She puts on her Chanel sunglasses and drives us straight to the mall.
The Strongsville mall was more packed than I thought it would be. Cynthia had to park further than she wanted to and we had to walk far through the hot Oklahoma air to get inside. Thankfully it was air conditioned.
"I was thinking something white for graduation and something sexy for the after party."
We walked inside a store with tons of dresses.
Not all covens are friendly with each other. We try to stay peaceful but sometimes petty arguments start forming petty fights which leave for people being killed. Graduations are sacred because as the new generation of witches comes into their power the older ones become vulnerable if there were ever any attacks. They get their strength back eventually but they have to channel so much during the ceremony that it leaves them weak. Having another coven there is the best way to keep everyone safe. The Crystal coven is one of our allies so it's our job to help protect them during the ceremony.
"Yeah," I said trying to sound as excited even though I didn't feel it.
I pick through the racks. Looking at the different colored dresses.
"You still haven't told me what you were doing at your house yesterday."
I picked up a white dress, I know she'll love to distract her. It works and she snatches it out of my hand and tries it on. I look through the dresses until I find one I like. After trying it on Cynthia and I buy them and head off to another store. A couple of hours later we have more clothes and shoes than we came for and we get ready to go. When we get back to the mansion we both go to Cynthia's room to get ready.
"That looks gorgeous on you," Cynthia said as I smooth out the dress.
It's plain white with lace on the short sleeves. The dress clings to my body showing my curves.
"Definitely. Can I do your hair?"
I groan as I sit in front of her vanity.
I see her smirk in the mirror. "No promises."
I let her use her magic to make my box braids look as new as when I first got them done. She adds a few gold strings on a couple of the braids. I also let her do my makeup which she prefers to do by hand. She puts on some moisturizer that makes my skin glow, even more, a bold red lip and some black eyeliner.
"I wish I had your cheekbones."
"Fishing for compliments?"
She laughs and pushes me out of the seat to do her own hair and makeup. I put on a pair of white wedges and take a look in the mirror to make sure I look okay. When everything looks good I sit on Cynthia's bed and wait for her to be finished. I'm about to doze off when a knock comes on the door. I go to open it and Jaxon and Patrick are standing there. They are both wearing white.
Patrick's hair has brown curls on the top and a fade for the rest of his head. He's wearing a white button down shirt with no tie, white and black pants, and white shoes. Jaxon has a short buzz cut and it looks like he got his beard trimmed. He's wearing a plain white shirt with a designer mark in the small corner, white jeans, and white sneakers. He looks so good that I know I'll have him in my bed before the night is over. By the way, he is looking me up and down I know he feels the same way.
"Can you hurry up?" Patrick yelled at his twin sister.
Cynthia adds in the last blue flowers in her brown loose curls. She's wearing a white dress that's strapless and has little flowers at the bottom. I have no idea what's up with her and flowers but she's always wearing them somewhere on her. She put some Fenty shimmer on her and added a few bright color accessories. She grabs a pair of white heels, her purse, her brother's hand and we're out the door.
As soon as we pull into the Crystal coven's mansion we are greeted by a couple of girls who act like we're old friends.
We walk inside and let the few hours of graduation begin.