A Witch's Love

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Mark Kwon

Luna slammed down onto her bed, burying her face into her pillow. How in the world could Adam think that she liked Kwon? That she was in love with him, with Kwon? The thought sent shudders down her spine. There was no way that she would ever have feelings for him. He could do a one-eighty and change completely and she still wouldn't have feelings for him. She wouldn't even think about being his friend. She would never make that mistake again.

During their freshman year, he had transferred into their school. It had been during the middle of the school year and his arrival had raised many eyebrows. The students and staff were used to transfer students from all around the United States and even from other countries. But Kwon was the first one that they had seen from South Korea.

_____


Luna sat in her seat reading the book that Mrs. Dickinson had assigned for homework the day before. The book was none other than Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. She was enraptured by the book. She dove into the Shakespearean world and lost herself into the plot and characters.

The quiet of the classroom became a different kind of quiet. One that was filled with whispers and murmurs that were loud enough for her to pick out individual words and even full sentences.

"A new student?"

"A foreigner."

"Wonder if he speaks English."

"Cute."

Luna flipped her book over onto the desk. Turning around in her seat she looked to see who was the cause of all the commotion. Standing inside the doorway fidgeting with the hem of his shirt was a boy around her age. His hair and eyebrows were a deep black and his eyes were a dark color. His skin was the color of toasted almond and it reminded her of the Japanese student that had studied at their school last year.

He shifted his weight onto his other foot and looked down at the floor. A pink blush bloomed across his cheeks. Luna looked behind her to where Mrs. Dickinson's desk was located. It was empty. Weird, class technically started five minutes ago and she still hadn't arrived.

Luna stood up from her desk and walked across the little walkway in front of the desks to the otherside. Lining the wall by the door were shelves filled with books. She grabbed a copy of Romeo and Juliet and walked up to the boy. She held out a hand for him to shake. "I'm Luna, Luna Ravenwood."

He looked up at her. Taking her hand in his and gave a small, relieved smile. "I'm Kwon Mark. I mean Mark Kwon." The whispers around them increased as the students soaked up the information.

She smiled at him hoping to show him that he didn't need to be embarrassed or nervous. "This is the book that we're reading for this class. We just started reading it yesterday so it shouldn't be too hard for you to catch up." She handed him the book. He grimaced as he read the title. "It's not that bad and if you need any help with understanding the old English just ask someone."

"Trust me, you won't be the only one lost," Lyla told him. When Mark looked at her she gave a small wave. The blush on Mark's face deepened causing Lyla and a few of the girls surrounding her to giggle.

"Must not be used to all the hot girls." Carl sneered. Luna shot him a glare which only caused the jock to burst into laughter. She needed to work on her glare if she wanted to be more intimidating to the idiots that she was surrounded by.

Shaking her head, she turned her attention back onto Mark. "Do you have your schedule yet?" Mark fished around in his back pocket and handed her a folded piece of paper. She carefully unfolded it and read the schedule. "It looks like we have lunch and biology together." She smiled.

"Lunch? Does everyone not eat lunch together?" He took the paper back from her and stuffed it into its home in the back pocket of his black skinny jeans.

She shook her head at his question. "Because there are so many students, lunch is broken into two sections, A and B." He looked down at his feet. His fingers found the hem of his shirt and started twisting themselves in the fabric once again. "By lunchtime, if you haven't found anyone to sit with, you're always welcome to sit with me."

Mark looked up. Hope shined in his dark brown eyes. "Only if you want your social reputation smeared by being friends with the nerd." Carl scoffed.

"You say that like it's a bad thing." Luna tilted her head in contemplation. "I would think that it would be a good thing to be friends with someone that could help you with homework problems."

"You wouldn't have to worry about failing a class." Lyla smiled sweetly at Carl while her tone of voice was mocking.

"Oh!" Mrs. Dickinson almost bumped into them. Luna instinctively tugged Mark out of the way. "You must be my new student. I'm sorry I'm late. The printers on this floor are malfunctioning."

Mark gave a slight bow. "I'm Mark Kwon." He introduced himself.

Mrs. Dickinson gave him a warm smile. She handed him and Luna each a paper. "The desk behind Luna is empty." She called over her shoulder as she handed papers out to the rest of the class.

Four hours later, Luna sat down at the table that she and Isaac had claimed at the beginning of the year. Today's lunch was hamburgers and french fries. She of course just had a side of fries and what was constituted as a salad. "Did you finish your biology homework and did you hear about the new student? Apparently, he's a total cutie."

She fished her biology folder out of her bag and handed it to Isaac. "Remember not to copy it word for word."

He gave her a look, his hands on his hips. "I know. I don't even know half of the words that you use."

A shadow fell over their table. Mark stood on her other side. A tray sat awkwardly in his hands as he fidgeted from foot to foot. Isaac poked her in the side, a questioning look in his eyes. Luna ignored him. "Have a seat." She smiled at Mark.

He glanced between the two of them. His eyebrows furrowed together and a light blush painted itself on the visible part of his neck. "Are you sure? I don't want to interrupt your alone time."

Luna became puzzled at his words. Why would she and Isaac need alone time? And why would Mark be so embarrassed about interrupting them?

Isaac slammed his hand down onto the table, erupting into a fit of laughter. "He thinks....that we are...a couple!" He wheezed in between laughs.

"Huh?" Luna glanced between Isaac and Mark. Watching Mark's embarrassed fidgeting told her that Isaac was right. She let out her own laughter at the situation. "We're not a couple." She waved a hand up and down herself. "I'm afraid I'm the wrong gender for him."

"Oh." Mark hesitantly sat down beside her. He gently laid the tray down as if he was afraid of breaking it. "Sorry."

Luna shook her head. "It's fine. It's an easy mistake to make for someone who just arrived. Don't worry, you'll learn about everyone, their secrets and not so secret secrets. Though I guess everything isn't so much of a secret." He laughed at her pondering. The tension and nerves drained out of his system as he finally began to relax.

Luna's eyes wandered over to the gymnasium doors. They were large wooden doors with small glass windows cut out in them. The table was situated in the right spot at the right distance for her to peer into those small windows. On the other side was an active gym class. It looked like today's game was basketball but she wasn't interested in knowing what sport was going on. No, what she was interested in was a particular student. A tall, well-toned, tan student with curly blonde hair and eyes so green that they looked like gemstones.

A hand waved itself in her line of sight. "Earth to Luna." She turned an annoyed stare on the person who interrupted her search. "Don't look at me like that. Mark has been trying to get your attention." Isaac pointed a hand at a flustered looking Mark.

"Sorry. What is it?"

"It's nothing." He whispered. His eyes strayed to the gymnasium doors with a curious expression. "What were you looking at?" He asked in a more normal tone. The momentary unease that had gripped him seemed to be gone.

"Oh, she was trying to spy on her Romeo." Isaac clasped his hands together and started making kissing faces.

She grabbed her biology folder and smacked him with it. "He's not my Romeo nor do I want him to be. That story ends in a tragedy and I don't want that to happen to Adam."

"Adam?"

Isaac laughed and leaned across the table. "He's destined to be the school's number one jock by junior year. He's the outrageously tall, tanned, Greek God-like student that you may have seen wandering the halls. He's also Luna's first and only crush."

"Isaac!" She hissed. She could feel her cheeks burning.

"What? Everyone already knows you like him. Well, except for him himself." Isaac turned his attention back to Mark. "The only smart thing about him is his strategy during sports. Other than that, he has bolts for brains."

"That's not true. His grades this year are at a steady C average." Luna defended him. Sure, those grades weren't very good but they were high enough that he could continue participating in sports. She was secretly amazed by his grades. He played both lacrosse and basketball while still maintaining average grades. She actually wasn't sure if that was considered good or not. She mainly just stuck to academics and avoided sports, so it might actually be easy to do well in both.

"Are you two dating?" Luna wasn't sure but Mark's tone sounded almost deflated.

Isaac barked out laughter, banging his hand against the table. "Dating! She can't even talk to him. She turns all red and flustered and looks like a fish out of water!"

Luna puffed her cheeks out. Isaac was right about his observation and analogy. Even though he was right still didn't mean that it didn't hurt. She was plenty aware of her shortcomings, especially when it came to Adam.

"It would be easier if Carl wasn't always around." It wasn't a complete lie. Carl made sure that Luna had a difficult time getting close to Adam. He even threatened her a couple of times. It was getting to the point that she was suspicious of his feelings toward his best friend.

Mark fell silent after that. Luna also became silent as she continued her search for her crush and Isaac busied himself with copying her homework.

...

By the time biology rolled around, Luna found herself looking for Mark. "He's late."

"Who is?" Lyla blew a bubble with her chewing gum.

"Mark." She had invited him to be a part of their group. At the beginning of the year, their teacher had them pair up into groups of four. Her group was the only one with three members; her, Isaac, and Lyla. She was pretty sure Lyla only joined their group to have help with the assignments and because none of her friends were in the same class.

The door opened and Mark walked in with the teacher right behind him. Lyla gave him a curious once over when he sat down beside her. "You seem different from this morning." She commented in a whisper so that she wouldn’t be overheard.

He shrugged his shoulders as he pulled out a notebook. Looking up, he smiled at them. "I signed up for basketball. Since their first practice is tonight and they were short a player they gave me a spot on the team."

His words shocked Luna. She never pegged him as one for sports. "Cool. I can't wait to watch you out there."

"Are students allowed to watch practices?" His expression mirrored the puzzlement in his voice.

"Of course," Lyla said a bit too loudly. The teacher turned toward their group and put a finger to his lips telling them to stop talking.



Luna opened the gymnasium doors. The players were all wearing shorts and muscle shirts, even Mark. All of them were crowded around the bench. Some were tying their shoes while most were talking and laughing. She found Isaac already sitting on the bleacher that was pulled out for students who wanted to watch the practice. She scurried over to where he sat.

She caught Mark looking in their direction. She waved to him. He looked away from them and toward the ground, ignoring her. She wondered what that was about. Maybe he was nervous?

The doors opened again as Adam strutted to where the rest of the players were. The black shorts that he wore revealed the long, toned legs that were usually hidden underneath jeans. The red muscle shirt was cut down the sides revealing the tantalizing skin of his chest. She didn't think she would ever get used to the way his body looked and the way that it made her heart flutter and her cheeks burn.

The Coach walked in and started talking to the players. He blew the whistle that hung around his neck and everyone except for Mark took off. Luna hated the look that her friend wore as he watched the other players run across the floor, passing the ball back and forth. "I really hope he gets to participate."

Isaac nodded and squeezed her hand. "Yeah, me too." Just then, one of the players fell onto the ground as Carl ran past him. The player, Luna was pretty sure that he was a senior, got up off the ground only to fall again. "I think his ankle is twisted," Isaac whispered to her.

"Why are you whispering?" Adam helped the player up. The guy stood with most of his weight on one leg. "Nevermind. I think you're right about the ankle."

The coach signaled for Mark to go out onto the court while Adam helped the guy with the injured ankle over to the bench.

Luna watched as Mark got the ball on the first try. He dribbled it for a second before he shot. The ball soared through the air, brown and black blending together. It hit the ring of the net and stayed there, wobbling back and forth before falling into the basket.

Practice carried on for another hour. It was pretty much just Adam and Mark scoring baskets. A couple of the other guys made some baskets and tried to keep up but never could. It was almost too painful to watch as they struggled against Mark's speed and Adam's strength.

The coach blew the whistle signaling the end of practice. He grabbed Mark on his way out and started talking to him. She had a feeling that Mark won't be sitting on the bench again in the future.

The group of girls that were sitting near them started whistling and fanning themselves. When Luna looked at what had their attention she felt like joining them.

Adam had a towel wrapped around his neck. Sweat lined his hair and dribbled down into his face. He walked over to where they sat, his eyes trained on the group of girls. "Kendra, I need to talk to you." His voice came out steady and showed no signs of exhaustion.

Kendra stood up and slowly walked down the bleacher steps. A coy smile splayed across her lips. Her long brown hair was pulled into a ponytail, the lights reflecting off of the gold highlights. When she reached the bottom, she didn't stop but kept on walking past Adam. He watched her walk away. The goofy grin that he wore pulled on her heart, twisting it until it became painful.

Isaac pulled on her arm. "Stop worrying and come on." She allowed him to pull her up and drag her down off of the bleachers. "I'm gonna grab a drink for Mark. Do you want one?" She shook her head. After he disappeared around the corner, she leaned against the wall, the locker rooms were across the hall.

Far quicker than she thought they would, the guys came out of the locker room. Everyone except for Adam. She spotted Mark lingering behind everyone. "You were amazing." She said once she reached him. He gave her a small smile that didn't reach his eyes. "So, is Adam still in there?" She made to move past him but he grabbed her arm. "What? I'm not actually going to go in there." She laughed. She tried to pull her arm free but he tightened his grip, digging his fingers into the soft skin. "Mark?"

He kept his eyes glued to the ground. "Mark, let go. It's starting to hurt." She tried to pry her arm away but his grip wasn't loosening. She felt his fingers flex against her skin as his arm tensed. That was the only warning she had before she found herself pressed up against the cold, hard brick wall.

Mark leaned in close. His dark brown eyes appeared black. "Stay away from him or else." Was all he said before he let go of her. His voice sent shudders down her spine.

Out of the corner of her eye, she watched as he turned the corner that led into the cafeteria. Her legs started to shake then turn to jelly. She found herself sliding down the wall no longer able to stand. What was all that about and when did Mark suddenly turn scary? There had been no trace of that shy and nervous kid that she had met earlier that day.

_____

Someone pounded on her bedroom door hard enough to make the door knob rattle. For one crazy moment she thought it was Kwon on the other side ready to pull another mean stunt. Then she remembered that Isaac was staying with her and that it was probably him on the other side of the door and not Kwon.

She opened the door to find a grinning Isaac. "You'll never guess what I found. When I walked into my room I saw the ID laying on the nightstand so I went to return it to your aunt's safe. There was a secret compartment filled with spells in her handwriting. And guess what was written on one of the papers. Directions for a love potion." The words tumbled out and she had a hard time following but she was able to get the gist of it.

"Let me see." He handed her a faded piece of scrap paper. In her aunt's curly script were the directions to a simple potion. One that was apparently a love potion, according to the name that was written in the top corner.

. . . . .

Luna placed the pot of water on the stove then turned the burner on. "I wonder if this will actually work."

"It's one of your aunt's potions. I'm sure it will work." Isaac sat at the kitchen table drinking a glass of lemonade.

"I know. It's just so simple. I've never brewed a potion as simple as this one. I mean, there's only three ingredients." Most of the potions that her aunt had her create in the past required multiple ingredients and had various steps. It just seemed odd to her to literally just boil water. Okay, so it just wasn't water. Once it reaches the right temperature she'll be able to add the other two ingredients. It also required two steps; boiling and cooling. It really was a simple potion, the only downside was that it was time-consuming.

Tiny bubbles formed in the water, growing until they broke through the top layer. Luna turned off the burner and removed the pot from the hot burner. Then she added a few drops of sweat that she had collected from herself earlier. Isaac came up behind her. "Is it done?"

Luna shook her head. "I still have to wait for it to reach room temperature." She looked at the pot of water. How was she supposed to get Adam to drink this?

"How are you supposed to get Adam to take this? I mean it looks like water. What are you supposed to do with that?" Isaac voiced her own concerns.

It would be easier if it was in a solid or gelatin state where she could pass it off as some sort of sweet. That's it! She'll just have to make something that requires water and no baking. She went over to the fridge and started grabbing ingredients. She wasn't very talented in cooking food but she excelled in baking.

"What are you doing?" Isaac peered over her shoulder. Watching with curiosity as she began piling butter, eggs, milk, flour, sugar, and various other cooking ingredients on the counter.

"I'm going to make some sugar cookies. Once the potion is done, I'll use some of it to make the icing. That's how I'll get Adam to take it." She couldn't put the potion in the actual cookie because she wasn't sure if reheating the potion would cause it to change properties or cancel out its magical effects.

Isaac pulled on her shirt sleeve. "Make some without the potion.

"Don't worry. There will be some for us. I'm only gonna make one potion infused frosted cookie." She chuckled. She poured the milk into a cup, then put the rest back. The actual baking couldn't begin until the cold ingredients were at room temperature which would give time for the potion to cool off as well.

. . . . .

Luna pulled the cookies out of the oven and laid them on top of the stove to cool. then went over to the potion and checked the temperature. Once she was satisfied, she leaned down and blew onto the water. That was the last ingredient that the recipe called for and she had to admit that she felt a little ridiculous. Where her breath touched the water as it grazed across, a pinkish-purple light shined. It lasted only a second before it winked out.

She was a little surprised that it actually worked. Well, she wasn't sure if it actually worked or not. The only thing that light told her was that the water was now imbued with magic.

She set to making the icing. Once everything was whipped, she set a little bit to the side. Picking the dropper that she had laid out, she squeezed some of the potion into it then squeezed a few drops into the spoonful of icing that she had set aside. Taking inspiration from the potion, she added pink coloring to it so that she would be able to tell Adam's cookie apart from the others. The pink coloring also tasted like cherry which was Adam's favorite.

Isaac walked into the kitchen and grabbed one of the white-iced cookies. "So, I'm guessing in this case that the pink one is bad. You should add his name to it. It would give it that extra feeling."

Luna cocked an eyebrow. "It sounds kinda creepy to me." She looked at the leftover potion. It might be a good idea to keep it in case the cookie idea failed. For some reason, the only thing that she could find to store it in was a water bottle that she assumed that Isaac must have dragged home.

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