Destined

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For Every Brother

Gabe

I walk home still reeling from my conversation with Holly on the beach.

I spent the last few years pretending I didn’t know that Holly Devereaux even existed. The most communication between us was a head nod. Honestly, I couldn’t even stand seeing her... but my entire childhood it was forced on me that she was my soulmate or some shit. I didn’t believe it then. Since Brian died, though, my outlook on his sister has changed dramatically.

Suddenly I can’t stop thinking about her. When I saw her on the beach last night it’s like I was drawn to her, like I didn’t have a choice in wether or not I went to her.

Now I know she feels it too. She’s pushing away so much though.

I realize this is all new to her, but I’m impatient, ready for her to let me in. I don’t know how much more proof she needs after her little display earlier. Powerful. She’s stronger than anyone I’ve ever met—anyone I’ve ever heard about. It’s sexy as hell.

And I’m not the only one who’s noticed.

I step through the front door of my house. August is on the couch, flipping through TV channels.

“What are you doing?” I confront him.

“Watching TV?” He asks, confused.

“With Holly,” I clarify.

Understanding dawns on him. “Right. Holly.”

“Yes, Holly,” I repeat. “You asked her on a date? What were you thinking?”

“Honestly? I don’t even know. When I saw her... I can’t even explain it. I just wanted to talk to her, get to know her better. We just clicked. When I asked her out it was... it was like I didn’t have control over what I was doing. I couldn’t let her go without knowing I’d see her again.”

“You will see her again,” I growl. “With me. You know just as well as I do who she’s supposed to be with. So just leave her alone.”

“How do you know that you’re the one?” He counters. “The Book says ‘for every brother, there shall be a sister’ and does not specifically say who belongs with who.”

“It’s inferred,” I spit back. “Besides, you may think that the two of you click, but there’s magic with me and Holly. When I touch her there’s definitely a witchy reaction.”

His face darkens and he gets up from his spot on the couch. He may be a bit taller than me, but he surely doesn’t scare me.

“Since when have you been touching her?” He demands. “I thought last week you wanted nothing to do with her.”

“Last week my best friend wasn’t dead!” His face softens a little as he hears this but I continue. “When he died it set something right cosmically. Corrected fate or something. When he was here, I didn’t give a damn about her. Now that he’s gone... she’s all of a sudden the only thing that matters.”

What about Grace?

I don’t know where that thought came from. Grace was nice, sure. Cute. She’s a couple years older than me, though. So even if I wasn’t going crazy over Holly, I wouldn’t pursue her sister.

She was easy to talk to, though.

And gorgeous.

I’m not sure why I’m thinking these things. I’ve seen Grace around before too and never cared either way about her either.

“Look, I don’t know what to tell you. When I saw Holly today there was something there between us. She’s been around you, possibly felt this magic you’re talking about, and she still agreed to go out with me.”

He’s got a point... does she like August?

I’m furious that he’s got me questioning this newfound attraction to my girl.

“If you’re not interested in Grace, why don’t you do us all a favor and go back to Australia?”

I storm away dramatically, realizing that this girl has me acting like a chick, but I ignore this fact and head to my parents’ home gym. I turn the music up loud and hope that lifting weights will help clear my mind of the drama.

An hour later I’m chugging a Gatorade when there’s a knock at the door. August is still on the couch, now working on his computer. I’m still annoyed with him, but I’m not angry anymore. As long as he stays away from Holly.

When I swing open the door I find her standing in front of me, beautiful as ever. She’s wearing denim shorts that hug her curves just right and an oversized v-neck t-shirt that shows off just enough of her cleavage. Her hair is damp, the waves cascading halfway down her back. She looks nervous.

“Hey,” she says.

I smile. “Hey.”

“Um, I was hoping we could talk about everything that happened earlier.”

August walks up behind me then, pulling the door open wider.

“Holly,” he drawls. “What’s up?”

I can’t help but notice the way she smiles at him. Fury.

“Hey,” she says. “I just came to talk to Gabe.” She looks at me pointedly and I get the feeling that this is going to be a difficult conversation.

“Come on in,” he tells her.

She looks at me for confirmation and I nod.

“Is he—does he... does he know... I don’t know how to ask exactly...” she mutters quietly, walking close to my side. I resist the urge to put my arm around her waist. Don’t want to scare her off.

“Yeah,” I answer honestly. No need to keep secrets anymore. “Nothing was ever hidden from us,” I say, knowing that August can hear me now. “We were raised around magic, taught how to use it.”

August raises an eyebrow at me. I nod in response to his unspoken question.

“August knows the same things I do. We can answer any questions you have.”

She looks at August now. “So this is real... this witch stuff?” She says the word ‘witch’ like it’s a bad word.

“Very real,” he tells her, sitting back down on the couch. “How’d you find out?” He asks her.

“Uh, Gabe told me,” she says uncertainly.

“Oh, Gabe did?” He says and I can hear the accusatory tone.

Regardless of her being a witch or not, she knew nothing about magic. Me telling her was selfish, because I wanted her to know. I turned her world upside down.

I knew better.

I need to find a way to apologize to her. She would’ve eventually figured it out on her own. If only she didn’t have plans with August tomorrow night, and I doubt the way he acted that he’s going to cancel.

The fact that Holly belongs with me is one secret I will be keeping. For the time being, anyway. Me knowing that she was meant for me only pushed me away. I don’t want her to feel forced or pressured.

“I’m sure that was a big shock for you,” he says now, his voice conveying the pity he had for her that her old life had been pulled out from under her in one fell swoop.

I cringe.

She laughs breathlessly. “Yeah, you could say that.”

“What do you want to know?” I ask her, not liking to see her and my brother interacting.

She looks at me as though what she wants to know is obvious. “Uh, everything.”

I glance at August. He shrugs. “That could take a while,” I warn.

She bites her lip. I’m distracted by the action, imagining what it would be like if I could bite her lip.

“I have plans with Grace in a little bit. Takeout and a movie kind of night.”

Asking if we could come over would be rude, but getting August around Grace would be just what I need to keep him away from Holly.

No.

I push the feeling that creeps up on me down. Why would I care that Grace should be with him?

“Well, if this isn’t a private event, we could always join the two of you,” I say. “I assume you told her everything after I left anyway.”

She frowns at me in a way that lets me know that I was right.

“Okay...” she says, unsure. “Just let me make sure with Grace that that’s okay and I’ll let you know in a few minutes.”

She heads back towards the front door and I feel panic rose that she’s leaving. If I can see her, I know that she’s safe.

“See you in a little while, Holly,” August calls to her.

She smiles. “Bye, Auggie.”
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