Follow My Lead

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Falling Down the Rabbit’s Hole

Grabbing Eidan’s wrist, I dragged him back around the corner he came from and marched up the sidewalk. A wide horseshoe driveway opened up a few feet ahead of, and I turned up the walkway towards the entrance. The old library loomed ahead, otherworldly on the small hill.

It used to be a really fancy mansion. Some old white guy who owned a lot of somethings used to live there, making it a historical monument. I never really cared too much for the guy, but I’m a sucker for an old piece of architecture filled to the brim with books. It was gorgeously preserved. State of the art columns and wrought-iron balconies paired with limestone carvings kept the building lively on the outside, while polished and waxed dark red wood accentuated the interior.

How could you not be entranced?

I reached for the front door after we climbed the stairs, but found myself tumbling backwards before I made contact.

“What is your-”

Eidan’s height towered over me then, his grimace silencing me mid-bark.

“Don’t do that. Got it?”

My head bounced up and down without knowing what I was even agreeing to. All I knew was that I needed to do whatever I could to get that look off his face.

I was willing to safely bet Eidan was equally as ‘not human’ as myself, but that only made the situation more complicated. Ya see, I had never actually met another magical creature that wasn’t a Conjurer. There are spirits of course, but they don’t count since they’re deceased and either human or Conjurer. That meant something in my research was about to be moved firmly into a Non-Extinct category, and I’d been paired with it for life.

In layman’s terms, I had no idea what kind of magical creature Eidan was, but I did not want to get on his bad side before finding out.

Eidan gave a sharp nod of his own before opening the door. When he didn’t move after, my face twisted in confusion.

“Uh… What are you doing?” I questioned.

“Holding the door for you, duh. I just told you not to open it.” The lost look on his face relaxes mine. He’s absolutely… adorable.

“What the Hell am I gonna do with you?” I chuckled. With a shake of my head, I walked through the open door.

I made it about two steps before rough skin slid along my palm. I damn near jumped a foot in the air at the unfamiliar sensation. Looking down, I saw Eidan’s calloused fingers resting between mine. With a look of bewilderment, my eyes jerked up to his. I wasn’t sure if I should be angry or insulted by the fact that he wasn’t even looking at me.

A worker at the front desk had noticed our entrance, and Eidan was focused on assuring the guy we were fine. I tried pulling my hand away, but it didn’t budge. When I tried pulling harder, his grip actually tightened. Fully irritated now, I went to separate the fingers individually, and Eidan pulled my hand behind his back.

My first reaction was to yell, but I froze when his mouth grazed my ear.

“Cut that out Hael Storm.”

Oy. There was some very noticeable bass in that first bit. And, I’m sorry. What was that name? I couldn’t even almost object. I practically felt steam rising from my body at the sound. Not one to be outdone by my hormones or emotions, I tried to pull away from him again. I didn’t even make it half a step.

“Stop fighting me please?”

Eidan’s thumb slid between our hands and began to massage the center of my palm. My body slumped, and I didn’t stand a chance.

“I’ll go wherever you wanna take me, Hael Storm, but you gotta stop fighting me, yeah?”

“Mmmmmmm.”

What the Hell noise just came outta my throat?!

His rumbling chest shook me just enough to dissipate my trance of relaxation.

“Yo,” I slurred. “You needa stop doing stuff like that outta nowhere. Not cool.”

“Mhmm.” His sincerity was paper thin.

My eyes took a few moments to readjust once Eidan felt I’d cooled my head. The bright warm lighting was rough after a face full of dark T-shirt. After I got my bearings, I led him down a few hallways into a back private study room. It seemed to have been empty for a while, so I felt comfortable having this incredibly secret conversation here.

Eidan took his sweet time actually walking into the room. His eyes were restless, lapping up every detail around him. A large wooden conference table set took up most of the room. It was one of those tables that was clearly handcrafted, the curls of each carving connected seamlessly. Other than that, the room had some short bookshelves on each wall and a couple of windows. Not the fanciest, but it would do.

“Yeah, it’s beautiful, but we have something very important to discuss.”

His eyes lazily dragged to my face, before a single eyebrow rose.

Real mature.

I threw a quick prayer for sanity to the Ancestors before clearing my throat.

“I would very much like to have this conversation. Would you mind taking a seat, and I’ll give you a tour later?” Every word was sharp and bubbling over with restrained anger.

Of course, neither phased Eidan. With a childlike smile, he waltzed over to one of the chairs and pulled it from under the table. I realized he was waiting for me to take the seat after a beat of silence.

“Oh.”

How much chivalry does he have?

After making sure I was completely comfortable, Eidan grabbed the chair next to mine. Dragging it impossibly closer, he entwined our hands again, before looking at me in silence.

“Okay… I guess that means I’ll start. What are you?”

Eidan’s laughter was easy to get lost in. The heat kinda floated around in the air.

“No delay huh? You’re a very direct person, Hael Storm. I like it. But I’m pretty sure I asked you first.”

Everything about the encounter seemed playful. Eidan’s eyes were dancing every time they looked at me, and his smile just kept growing. I’d been searching for something to help me get a clearer understanding of this guy, and I was getting nowhere. He just screamed happy!

I couldn’t have been the only person to find that suspicious. He wasn’t going to answer my question first, I knew that much. I should've given him some slack for vocalizing the ‘non-human’ factor before me. He really just flat out told me we were Soul Mates. That’s a big risk, especially if I had turned out to be a human.

I squinted a bit, desperate for another solution, but I was drawing blanks.

“Fine,” I heaved. “I’m… a Conjure Woman. More commonly referred to as a-”

“Witch! That’s so cool! You’re a witch. Can you do spells? Like change the table into a fridge? Or do you have to have a bunch of stuff to do that?” Eidan’s excitement crashed into me like a wave. The revelation brought him actual happiness.

“1. I prefer Conjure Woman. White women have a real long history with witchcraft, but it doesn’t quite cover everything that we do, know, or experience. 2. I do cast spells, although I’m not doing that one. And 3. Yes, some spells require tools, but not all of them.”

“Can you do something?”

“This is not a talent show.”

“How else am I supposed to know you’re telling the truth?” His devilish smirk gave away his true intentions.

“Bullshit. You’re just a kid in a damn candy store. But I’ll do it,” I huffed. “I want answers right after this though.”

Eidan’s head bounced like a bobblehead, before he released my hand. I sighed in mild exasperation, as I tried to figure out what to Conjure. I needed something small that wouldn’t use too much energy. It’s not like I was trying to impress him.

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