Authors: Bonnie Lamer
“Do you want to know how I really feel,” he asks narrowing his eyes at me.
“I feel like kissing you until you can’t think about anything other than my lips on yours.”
“Oh.” That’s not what I thought he was going to say. But I can’t say it sounds like a bad idea.
Releasing his hold on my wrists he leans back and this time the smile does appear on his face. “But I’m not going to because I don’t want to be accused of only being attracted to you because I have no better options.” Simpering, he stands up and walks away and I lay there wishing I could shoot Fairy darts at him with my eyes.
Kallen insists that I practice for two more hours until I am so tired that I have a hard time drawing a drop of magic from the earth. But even then he doesn’t let me go inside. I’m pretty sure he’s just trying to torture me.
“Why can’t I go inside if I’m not able to draw any more magic right now?”
Without any sympathy whatsoever for my frozen fingers and toes, he says, “Because I want to show you what it should feel like channeling someone else’s magic.”
I back up and cross my arms over my chest. “Uh uh, no way. You are not going to burn me with your magic.”
Kallen crosses his own arms and looks at me stubbornly. “That is my point, it should not burn which is why I want to teach you the proper way to do it.”
I still shake my head. “Why do I have to learn to channel my magic through someone else if I’m learning to control it?”
“So you can tell when you are close to killing someone,” he says evenly.
He knows I can’t say no now but I’m not happy about it. I don’t believe that it’s not going to hurt. This would be the perfect opportunity for him to get his revenge for all the times when my magic burned through him. Grudgingly, I take off my glove and hold my hand out to him.
Kallen takes my hand and almost immediately I can feel a warmth spread through me. It’s not unpleasant but I still don’t like it. I don’t like being at someone else’s mercy and I’m starting to get agitated. I want him to pull his magic back. I try pulling my hand out of his but he holds on to it more tightly. I’m beginning to get the same claustrophobic feeling I had when we were covered by snow in the avalanche. I have to get his magic out of me but I’m too weak from all the practicing.
As if it hears me and says ‘no you’re not,’ my magic starts to rise. It starts out weak but it gets stronger and I hear Kallen say, “Xandra, let it go.” But I can’t. I feel like even though his magic is coming from the same place as mine that his magic is foreign and impure and my magic needs to cleanse me of it. I try to push my magic back down but it won’t go, not as long as Kallen’s magic is inside of me. Finally, I have pushed his magic out and I try to send mine back to the earth but now it shifts from defense to offense and it is determined to attack Kallen who is trying to let go of my hand and is letting his own magic retreat but I hold tight and he can’t pry my fingers loose as my magic begins to burn through him. Attacking him because he attacked me. I’m trying to regain control but it’s as if the most base part of my brain has taken over and is reacting on pure instinct and no signals from the higher functioning parts of my brain are able to communicate with it. I know I’m hurting him and I don’t know how to stop.
“Xandra, please,” I hear him gasp and he’s on his knees now. I try to let go of his hand but I can’t and I know Kallen’s trying to fight but he’s not strong enough. The instant the fight goes out of him and he loses consciousness my magic retreats. It flows down through me so fast I drop to my knees next to Kallen and open my eyes. He’s so pale and still that for the longest second of my life, I think he’s dead. Dead because I killed him.
But then he takes a breath, a gasping raspy breath that sounds like he can’t get enough oxygen but he’s breathing and I’m so happy that tears I didn’t know had formed start to fall from my eyes. “Kallen, wake up. You have to wake up!” I yell and I want to shake him but I don’t know how badly I hurt him, if there are physical injuries caused by my magic.
Finally, he opens his eyes but they close again immediately but I hear him trying to talk. I put my ear close to his mouth to try to catch what he’s saying. “Too strong, couldn’t get it out,” he says in a barely audible whisper.
I have to get him out of the snow. I need to get him inside where it’s warm. “Kallen,” I yell because I think he lost consciousness again. “I need to get you inside but you have to help me because I can’t lift you on my own.” I put my arm under his shoulders and hang his arm over mine and I pull. I’m able to get him to a sitting position but I can’t stand him up. “Kallen, you need to help me. I want to get you into the cabin. Please, you have to stand up and walk with me.”
He nods slightly and even though he seems as weak as a baby, he somehow helps me stand him up and we walk slowly back to the cabin. I almost lose my grip on him several times and I am so relieved when I can reach the handle on the door and push it open. “Just a few more feet,” I tell him. We make it to the cot and he slumps down on it. I push him down and swing his legs up so he’s laying on it. I feel like every muscle in my body has been strained but I don’t care, I got him in here. I take a blanket from the shelf above the cot and I cover him with it.
When I have him situated, I go to the fire and stoke it. I add more wood until I have a nice blaze going and the cabin begins to feel warm. I’m so worried about Kallen that I can hardly see straight. I go back to the cot and feel his forehead and he’s so cold. Too cold and he’s begun to shiver. I need to warm him up.
I grab a clean pan from the wall and I go outside and fill it with snow. Back in the cabin, I light a burner on the stove and I begin heating the snow until it becomes hot water in the pan. There are no towels in the cabin so I take off my outer sweater and I dip the sleeve in the water and wring it out. Then I place it on Kallen’s forehead. I feel him start to relax as the warmth flows into him. When the sleeve becomes cool, I bring it back to the hot water and dip it back in. I keep doing this getting more and more worried that he’s not waking up.
What if he never wakes up? “Kallen,” I whisper. “Please, you have to wake up. I need you. I’m so very sorry I did this to you, please come back. You are haughty and arrogant and infuriatingly sexy and you laugh at me way too much but you’re so important to me. I need you to teach me how to be a better Fairy. I promise I’ll never hurt you again. Just please, come back to me. I care so very much for you, I can’t lose you.” I lay my head down on his chest and my tears soak into the blanket as I hold the warm sweater to him.
After what feels like forever, I feel him stir. “Kallen, are you awake?” I shake him gently by the arm. “Please be awake.”
He pats my hand with his other arm. “I’m okay,” he whispers. “Just need to sleep.”
I nod even though his eyes are closed and he can’t see me. I make sure the blanket is around him snugly and I retreat to the table leaving him in peace to sleep now that I know he’s most likely okay. Folding my arms on the table I lay my head down and you’d think that I’d have no more tears left by now but they keep coming. I’m never going to learn to control my magic and the prophecy is probably going to come true not because I want it to but because I won’t be able to stop it.
At some point I fall asleep. It’s dark outside when I wake up stiff from sleeping at the table. When I sit up and yawn, I see Kallen sitting up on the cot with his back against the wall.
“You’re awake,” I say with a relieved smile. He nods and he has the strangest expression in his eyes. If I didn’t know better, I would say it was fear. “How do you feel?”
“Better,” he says.
“Can I get you anything? Are you hungry?” I would do just about anything for him to get that look out of his eyes.
He shakes his head. “No, thank you.”
“I’m sorry,” I say quietly and he doesn’t respond, he just nods his head once.
“At least you get the cot,” I say with a poor attempt at humor. This he doesn’t respond to at all.
“Kallen, please talk to me. I’ve been so worried.”
“Why didn’t you stop?” he asks and I hear the accusation in his voice.
“I couldn’t. I tried but I couldn’t make it stop.”
“I let my magic go but you still didn’t stop.”
“Kallen, I swear, I tried to make it stop but I couldn’t. I would never hurt you like this on purpose.”
“I thought I was going to die.”
My chest tightens and I feel like I can’t breathe. “I’m so sorry.”
“Do you hate me so very much?”
“What?” I ask in bewilderment. “I don’t hate you at all. Kallen, you have to believe me. I didn’t do this on purpose.”
“Every Fairy but you can control his or her magic.”
I hang my head and my tears start to fall again. I turn away from him and sit on the floor with my knees pulled up to my chest because I can’t face him right now. I can’t stand to keep looking at the fear and accusation in his eyes. “Maybe,” I begin but I have to stifle a sob before I can continue. “Maybe you were right when you came here. Maybe I am too much of a threat to both realms. I don’t want to destroy anything, Kallen, but I can’t control my magic. I would rather die by your hand than open the gateway with my dying blood.”
Kallen doesn’t say anything for a long time as I continue to stare into the fire. For all I know, he went back to sleep. I continue to hug my knees not even feeling the warmth of the fire as my tears continue to flow.
“Xandra,” Kallen says softly.
“Yes?” I say but I don’t turn around. I’m scared of what he’s going to say.
“Will you please stop being so dramatic and come here?”
My brows slam together in mystification and I let go of my knees so I can turn around. He’s still sitting on the cot with his back against the wall. He’s still pale but not as pale as he was. “What did you say?”
“I asked you to stop being so dramatic and come here.”
I search his face trying to understand what he’s saying because it’s not making sense to me. I nod numbly and I stand up walking towards him slowly. When I reach the cot, he stretches out lying on his side and he pats the empty space on the narrow cot in front of him. Is this some kind of trick?
“Why?” I ask stupidly.
He sighs. “Because I am tired and I want to go back to sleep and that will be a lot easier if I do not have to hear you cry. It is much more pleasant when you are lying quietly next to me.”
“You want me to sleep with you?”
“I am always amazed by your brilliant deduction,” he says sardonically. “Yes, I want you to sleep with me.”
“Why?” I ask again.
“Xandra, please stop talking and lay down. You’re making my headache worse.”
I have no idea how to respond to that so I do what he wants and I lie down next to him. The cot is almost too narrow for the two of us but Kallen wraps his arms around me like he did when we were in my sleeping bag and he pushes my hair aside so it’s not in his face. He dumbfounds me even more when he lifts his head to kiss my cheek leaving my skin tingling. “I lied to you,” he whispers in my ear.
Any other time I would have been angry about him admitting to another lie but I don’t care right now. “It’s okay.”
He chuckles softly. “Do you not want to know what I lied about?”
I shake my head. “Whatever it is, it’s okay.”
I feel him smile against my cheek. “I’m not sure I like you this forgiving, it takes the fun out of teasing you. I lied to you when I said I would stop underestimating your power and overestimating your control over it. You were right when you called yourself an enigma and I’ve been treating you as a Fairy instead of a Witch Fairy. I need to admit that I have no idea how strong you are or how wild your magic is. And that I have no idea how to teach you to control it.”