“Is he asleep yet?” Sheila asked quietly.
“Yeah, but even the most advanced sleep spell will only work if he’s relaxed. If he has a nightmare or something...” I trailed off gently toying with his hair.
Vex wouldn’t leave us alone so I let him stay with us. His wings were wrapped tightly around me as we laid on the floor. The floor was covered in blankets and pillows and my favorite comforter was laid over us. His back was facing Sheila so I could see her pretty well as I faced him.
I’m not worried about Vex’s wings tearing it but he was at first.
“Then we have some time to talk,” she said scooting herself up onto an elbow.
I nodded silently looking at her waiting to see what she wanted to talk about.
“If he’s so overprotective now, I wonder what he’ll be like when you’re dating,” Sheila said in a worried tone.
I rolled my eyes at her in the most exaggerated way I could.
“I took some pictures in the stores you guys couldn’t go to. You were looking for something to get Vex right?” She asked.
“Yeah, I figured giving him so much anxiety in one day deserved some kind of reward.”
“I’ll send you some pictures and we can go to the Dollar Store and Walmart tomorrow for some materials.”
I gave Sheila a wide smile to thank her for helping me. The Dollar Store and Walmart won’t be as crowded as the mall so it’ll be a good place to get cheap materials.
We spent most of the night texting back and forth about different ideas for presents for the guys and Sheila telling me what she wanted so I could tell her what I needed to make the things.
My focus was held together with willpower alone. My magic trembled from moving molecules since I got back to my dorm, even with Sebastian’s help stabilizing it, exhaustion was drowning me.
The method I use moved molecules as groups so you could move lots at a time but it’s difficult to focus and after moving groups they have to be cleaned around the edges and reattached to the other groups.
Finally every piece was finished.
The second I was done every muscle in my body gave out sending me haphazardly falling to the floor. My floor has never felt so comfortable.
Relaxing on the floor my eyes drooped and any strength to get up seemed to have vanished.
Even breathing let me know that as soon as his job was done Sebastian had fallen asleep. I’ve used magic around him but this was the most work he’s had to actively do.
“You okay?” Sheila checked.
“Just tired,” I mumbled already halfway to a deep sleep.
I didn’t bother getting up from the floor, just closed my eyes curling up into the pile of clothes and random objects.
It seemed like only a moment later the alarm shrieked at me.
When I got up my eyes still felt a little like sandpaper. Which is normally something I would be able to take care of with half a cup of blood but with Vex always over my shoulder it’s not like I can feed on anything.
Unless I did it here and feeding on Sheila isn’t an option. Even taking a little blood would be risky because I might lose control feeding on a live host. She’s not really strong enough to be okay if I do.
Sebastian still looked tired yawning loudly and laying curled on the bed. Though his exhaustion was mentally, mine is bone-deep.
As I struggled to get into my uniform clumsily Sheila came over and silently held my elbow balancing me.
“Thank you,” I lisped.
“Can I help?” She asked knowingly.
“No, too risky,”
“What about Vex?”
Shaking my head made me dizzy. Sheila pursed her lips just picking up my brush and gently leading me to the edge of my bed.
“I should have known with the power suppressor this many things would be too much for you,” she sighed gently running the brush through my hair.
“It’s not really that, I just haven’t fed in over three weeks,”
“Is that weakening you?”
“Not necessarily, my magic just doesn’t recover as quickly as usual. I’ll be fine in about four hours,”
“Can I have your human form charm? It’ll be easier to help you with it, and I need to talk to Sheila,” Sebastian asked.
I nodded and he stretched before going off to get the charm.
By the time he changed into the few clothes I got for him Sheila was done with my hair.
“I’ve got her, you can get ready,” Sebastian told her looping one of my arms around his shoulders.
“What if someone attacks her while she’s like this?”
“Then her bloodline and adrenaline will recover her mana,” he answered vaguely. That could happen, but other things could happen too. Most of them end badly.
He stood me up forcing me to lean on him.
“Come brush your teeth, you smell,” he complained.
“What a sweet, caring familiar I have,” I snarked.
Despite his words he patiently carried me to the bathroom and helped hold me up while I brushed my teeth, put on deodorant, and put on perfume.
I’m not sure if it’s because he didn’t think I could make it all the way to the cafeteria or if he just didn’t want to embarrass me but he moved so I wasn’t tiredly stumbling after him but rather just lying on his back.
Which could be perceived to be just lazy but not weak.
“I owe you a present,” I said smiling tiredly at him.
“You just made me ten yesterday,”
As Sebastian walked down the hallway my eyes slowly closed. By the time we got to the cafeteria I was nearly asleep again.
I only noticed that we got to the cafeteria when I was set down.
“I’ll go get you something to eat,”
A minute later he got back to me and handed me a very stereotypical potion bottle and a donut. Why didn’t I think of that?
Gratefully I took the mana restoration potion chugging the rubber-like liquid in one gulp.
A tiny bit of my strength restored slowly over time. Taking the edge off of my exhaustion but not doing anything to fix it. Last night I had nearly drained my mana pool dry, and with how large my mana pool is it had only recovered to a quarter full.
Technically I have enough for spells still but having a small ratio makes me lethargic.
My eyes didn’t fight so hard to close and my muscles though still limp were no longer like pudding.
“Wow you look like hell,” Vex commented loudly.
“Thanks for your concern,” I rolled my eyes.
"She spent all night manifesting objects,” I glared at Sheila for answering for me.
“I can fix that,”
Vex didn’t give me very long to question his goofy but confident smirk. With my mind fogged I didn’t quite catch what he meant just staring dumbly at him.
Vex laid one hand down on the table near me and leaned smugly towards me. Just for a lingering second he caught me off guard holding my chin with one hand and gently pressing his lips to mine.
For the first time in my life my face lit to a bright scarlet.
Sexual bloodlines are not particularly prone to blushing, especially if the cause is romantic. Just for a second I forgot all the reasons I shouldn’t be kissing him.
I forgot that I shouldn’t feed on others and I forgot that I shouldn’t trust him as much as I do. I didn’t remember to not take anything from him. As he separated from me I instantly wanted more than the short chaste kiss he had given me.
He'd probably only meant it to be a short joke or to see how I would react.
With one hand raised and reaching to pull him back to me I froze as I heard a loud shattering sound.
“Shit,” I swore. My seal has only broken a few times in my life, it’s usually maintained over time but it hadn’t been while I was at school.
My bloodline rushed against me, free from the restraint of its seal.
The effect it had on me was similar to what Vex was like without his human charm. My hands flew up to the turned horns that usually you could never see.
My eyes turned pitch black and my teeth had sharpened to fangs. When Vex had kissed me my wings had popped out of my back little spikes on the edges.
The smells in the room overwhelmed my usually dulled senses, when I looked around I saw others recoiling from the unrestrained power flooding off of me.
I couldn’t block the bombarding sound no matter how hard I held my palms to my ears.
My breathing was ragged and fast, the anxiety that the crowd at school gave my bloodline washed over me. Each breath almost a growl as my emotions teetered between fear and aggression.
“Sheila, I need you to get Mr. Jed, now!” I instructed.
Without a word she bolted from the room. Sebastian struggled to contain my bloodline as it naturally tried to unbalance itself.
“Sebastian, you’re her familiar. What happened?” Vex whispered quietly.
“Her power restricting seal broke, usually it keeps her mood swings down. You broke it when she fed on you,” he said. “We just need to keep her calm and happy until the headmaster gets here.”
Covering my ears didn’t stop the frightened whispers from reaching me or the pounding of hundreds of hearts that sounded like music calling to me.
“Retra, look at me, drown them out,” Vex requested.
My eyes focused on the smallest of details in his eyes, which I had never truly seen before. I forced myself to pay attention to him.
“That’s it,” he carefully sat down near me holding both of my hands. “It’s all alright.”
Turning my body towards him I held my arms around his neck burying my head in his chest hoping it would help me drown out the noise and scent of everyone else.
There are only four people in this school in no danger from me, and Vex is one of them.
Vex’s wings wrapped loosely around me shielding me from view. Which at this point felt like a godsend, being away from view let me relax a little more.
“You’re more trouble than you’re worth,” I teased with a shaky smile. My voice was barely held together.
“I’ll make it up to you,” he promised setting his head gently on top of mine.
“Isn’t that uncomfortable?”
“It’s fine as long as I’m careful.”
Last time my seal broke, all hell broke loose, so far this is an improvement.
“What the hell is taking him so long?” I grumbled.
“Just be patient, he has to find a strong witch to give you another seal,”
“How do you know that?”
“You aren’t the only one with secrets babe,”
I chuckled a little at the nickname, it’s still ironic and he only seems to use it when he wants to make me laugh. I'd been wondering if that was what's up with him.
“I always knew something was wrong with you,”
“That isn’t what I said,”
“Close enough,” I mumbled with a genuine smile.
“I’m assuming you have Retra?” Mr. Jed asked.
Vex moved his head so I could move mine. Peeking out over his wing I saw Mr. Jed looking at me sympathetically.
“I’m fine, just fix me please,” looking at him made it easier for me to notice all of the people staring at me. My skin crawled.
“Let’s go to my office, do you want Vex and Sheila with you?”
Nodding almost desperately I scrambled up to get up to leave.
Vex held my hand and covered the sides of my view with his wings. As much as it reminded me of those horse blinders it did help that I couldn’t see anything.
On the way out I noticed I had a five-person entourage that was just crowding me. They didn’t look for a threat outside of me, it was clear I was the only threat they were worried about.
My grip tightened more than I intended to do and every muscle tensed. Every staff member in this school is one of the strongest people in the country, and they were all looking at me ready for a fight.
“You’re doing better than last time,” Mr. Jed commented.
“I’ve got a lot more control practice,”
The second the cafeteria doors closed and the assault on my senses stopped I felt better. I still have more stress than a college student with five finals after fifteen cups of coffee, but it’s better than before.
The walk to the office was at a brisk pace as most of my entourage seemed to want me away from the other students. I don't blame them.
I stepped through the door to the headmaster’s office jittery and ready to have my power sealed again.
My eyebrows furrowed when I saw that the room was filled with highly capable witch fusions. It must be every witch fusion on the staff team.
Every time it had just been me and my mother, so why are there so many?
“Retra, we’re going to try to put the seal back on,” Mr. Jed told me. “But you need to prepare yourself for the possibility that it might not work.”
“Might not work? You’ve got half a damn coven here and it might not work?” My words weren’t nearly as sharp as my glare. My temper a raging fire being fed by gasoline.
Rationally I know snaraling isn't going to help anything, but that thought seemed muffled.
“The reason we’ve always been so insistent on you is because we know one of these days, we won’t be able to seal your power again. Our estimate was by the time you turned eighteen we wouldn’t be able to help you anymore,”
“What? You’re supposed to fix me, you said you’d fix me!”
“There isn’t anything to fix Retra, not anymore. The last time your seal broke you attacked the first person you saw. You were in the most crowded place in this entire town without hurting anyone,”
“I’m a hazard!”
“Not like you used to be. We’re going to do what we can do, and you’ll be in control, but you’ll have to fight for control. You might not be normal again,”
Tears pooled in my eyes as I stared at Mr. Jed. I've lived huge portions of my life afraid of hurting someone. It always seemed like if I would be okay anywhere it would be here.
Since I was little I thought here would be the place where all my problems could be dealt with. It's the only place I thought might make me normal.
If anyone could fix me, I thought it would be Mr. Jed.
“Just... do what you can,” I whispered.