Reckless Magic (Page 12)

“I’m fine,” I answered, or, at least, I was fine until he showed up.

“Good,” he took a step closer. I pushed the door closed and leaned back against it, not really sure what to do now. I glanced around the room, debating if I should ask him if he wanted something to eat, or if I should just kick him out.

“Yep,” I replied shortly, filling the awkward silence. I looked around the room again; hoping some piece of interesting information would come to me, and noticed he was still looking at me. “What?” I said half-laughing, half-humiliated.

“What are you wearing?” he took another step closer and lifted the hem of my sweatshirt with one finger, letting his other fingers brush lightly against my thigh.

I couldn’t move. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t do anything with him that close. Although his fingers were barely touching me, they were completely weighing me down. The excitement his touch brought, scared me and I found myself trying to remember how to breathe.

“Eden,” he breathed softly, almost whispering. I willed myself to look up into his eyes. His gaze was so intense I couldn’t look away; he smiled softly. “Why haven’t you called to let me know you are all right? After saving your life on numerous occasions, I think I deserve at least a phone call.... A friend would have called,” he pouted sarcastically but leaned his face in closer. It was too bad for him that I saw through him.

“I apparently need to remind you that we are not friends,” I retorted quickly, snapping out of my daze. “Plus, I don’t your phone number….” I mumbled hastily. His eyes flashed with something that looked like frustration, but instead of offering his number, he softened his gaze and refused to look away. A wave of embarrassment washed over me; he shouldn’t be able to manipulate me so easily just because he was the most gorgeous thing I had ever seen.

I tore my eyes away from his and walked across the room, leaving him to face the door alone. Maybe he would take the hint. I definitely did not need to be reminded of how often I fainted in the last few days.

I didn’t care if I had to stand ten feet away from him at all times, I was not going to let him get to me so easily. His face flashed with frustration, before he put his seductive mask back on. Apparently, he thought I would be easy.

“Oh come on,” he crooned, “We’re friends. I thought we were going to try to get along.”

“You thought wrong,” I said flatly. Now that my emotions had calmed down, I could feel the slow tingling of electricity making its way through my veins. It was days since I had to deal with the energy, I almost forgot how uncomfortable it was.

“Eden, what do you have against me? Why all the hostility?” he gave me a playful smile and walked over to one of Syl’s oversized, leather couches and plopped down. Great…. How did you get rid of somebody who refused to be gotten rid of?

“What hostility?” I questioned, feigning innocence.

“I just don’t understand why you won’t confide in me,” although his posture was relaxed, his gaze remained intense and I watched his jaw flex and un-flex. I wondered at his use of the word “confide.” Weren’t we just talking about my gratitude?

“Kiran, there is nothing to confide. I have no idea what you are talking about. If you want a thank you, well then, thank you. I appreciate all of the concussions you saved me from,” I laughed a little, trying to pretend he was as ridiculous as he sounded.

“You’re lying. You are more than what you seem,” he sat up straight and folded his arms across his chest. He looked like a little kid pouting. “I could help you, you know.”

“Oh, you want to help me?” I mocked, mimicking his accent, although it came out very badly. I wasn’t sure exactly what ethnicity I just impersonated… Indian, perhaps? “Now, I’ll tell you. Oh wait, there’s nothing to tell.” I finished sarcastically.

“Are you expecting someone?” he stood up abruptly and glanced around the room.

“My aunt,” I said, looking around as well. We were standing at opposite sides of the room, but the electricity coursing through my blood grew steadily stronger.

“No, someone else,” he squinted his eyes and walked around the room. “I’m getting tired of this, old man,” he mumbled it so quietly, and his accent was so thick that I was not sure what or who he was talking to.

He turned away from the window and walked straight over to me, dropping all pretenses. His eyes were hungry and his face said something I didn’t recognize…. maybe desire? I backed slowly away from him, not sure what he was about to do. My foot bumped into the fireplace and I knew that I was pinned. Electricity and anxiety washed over me.

Kiran let me struggle; I saw the familiar smirk returning to his lips. He looked over me until his eyes finally settled on mine. I lost myself in the depth of his ocean-blue eyes and worried that I would say or do anything he wanted now.

“You’re not crazy, you know,” he placed his hands on my arms and pulled me slightly closer. My stomach erupted with butterflies, making me forget about the energy that nearly knocked me off my feet.

“I wish I knew what you were talking about,” I lied, but I knew the conviction didn’t reach my voice.

“Sure,” he leaned in closer, hesitating for a moment, our lips just barely apart. Kiran looked at me for a second longer before changing his mind and kissing me tenderly on the cheek. He let his lips linger on my face, while the warmth of his body heat warmed me all over. I felt my body tremble as his sweet breath tickled my face.

I was not sure how to react, or even if I could react. Since this was the first kiss I had ever received from a boy, ever…. I was completely frozen. His lips left my cheek burning, and my body began to overheat. I couldn’t tell if it was from his kiss or the electricity surging through me at an alarming rate.

He looked into my eyes again, watching my reaction. Unfortunately, for him, all I could do was stand perfectly still while willing my body under control. He laughed gently, then turned around, and walked out the front door.

I placed my hands behind my back and pointed them towards the fireplace. Not entirely sure why I felt the need to be discreet in my own home, especially now that I was alone, I let the energy escape through my palms and into the open hearth. Thankfully the only damage was to my ears, from the loud popping noise of the small explosion that I created; otherwise, a large fire was the only evidence of the electricity I let escape.

I heard the garage door open and knew that it was my aunt coming home for sure this time. I was too shell-shocked from Kiran's surprise visit to want to see or talk to her, so I headed for the stairs. My weak body and a stomach still full of butterflies, affirmed that I didn't understand my feelings for Kiran. It was no wonder that I could barely control my actions either. A shiver ran over me, and I couldn't decide if it was from excitement or fear.

Just as I passed by the living room window, however, I saw somebody or something move from behind a tree in the front yard. I stood there staring for a few seconds, one foot on the staircase, one on the wood floor, expecting Kiran to jump out from behind the large oak or something. But instead of Kiran, a tall, masculine figure walked out from behind the tree, clearly not Kiran.

In a long trench coat and bowler hat, he walked slowly and purposefully across my yard and down the street. A shiver once again traveled up my back, but this time I clearly recognized it as fear. Somebody was watching me.

Chapter Eleven

I parked my car in the long line of black something or others, taking up two parking spaces. My sunflower yellow Land Rover stuck out terribly, but I could have cared less. I took a big breath, thankful that I didn’t fit in there. But even more thankful that I was allowed to drive myself that morning.

Of course, that was only due to the fact that Aunt Syl was called into the ER in the middle of the night. Feeling slightly sorry for her, but still happy to have my independence back, I grabbed my backpack and stepped out of the car.

Although I was running significantly late, I stopped to take another deep breath and mentally prepared myself. I had no idea how my body would handle returning to school after my short hiatus. I was definitely concerned about the whole fainting thing, and would have rather avoided it for the rest of my life.

I was pleased that my close encounter with Kiran brought no immediate spells of unconsciousness, and hoped that my previous behavior was all just a phase I was now, hopefully, over. I still could not mentally wrap my head around Kiran’s unexpected visit or his even more unexpected exit. I unconsciously brought my hand to my cheek and smiled. I felt the heat rise beneath my fingers and quickly shook my head, physically trying to forget last night’s intimate moment.

The student parking lot sat on the back of campus, near the football and soccer fields, so I bypassed the Administration Building and headed straight for English. A nice change from being dropped off at the front of campus like all of the other students who were too young or too rich to drive themselves.

A handful of students were in front of me, scrambling to get to class on time. All of them dressed in their navy blue and white uniforms; the only change today was the addition of navy blue or cardinal red cardigans, signaling the change in temperature. I was always amazed at the ability some girls had of changing a dowdy school uniform into a stripper piece from some teenage boy’s wildest fantasy; I was not one of those girls.

I clearly picked out Kiran and Talbott in the throng of students ahead of me since they were walking much slower than everybody else. I slowed my pace slightly, not sure if I wanted to pass them, or be brave enough to join them. I mean Kiran and I were friends right? Or something more? Or something entirely different all together? I actually had no idea what we were.

I noticed how much taller Talbott was than Kiran, how much taller than everybody he was, and how strong he was built. I had a hard time picturing him in a bowler hat, but realized it must have been him behind the tree last night. An instant wave of relief washed over me. I had no idea why he would wear a disguise to accompany Kiran to my house, but it was the only thing that made any sense.

I was still pondering whether to pass or wait them out when they simultaneously turned around to look at me. Kiran gave me a small wave and an almost sheepish grin. I noticed near embarrassment in his eyes; it was the most endearing he had ever looked. I gave a small wave back and felt my cheeks burning from the memory of last night.

Talbott noticed our exchange and slapped the back of Kiran’s head. My mouth dropped open from shock and amusement. Kiran stopped dead in his tracks and Talbott followed suit. They stood there staring at each other, both refusing to say or do anything more. For a second I thought they were going to fight.

“Enough of this Kiran, go to class,” Talbott demanded.

“Who do you think you are?” Kiran shouted hostilely. They were both angry enough that their accents were making it difficult to understand them. The remainder of students, running as late as we were, turned to watch the exchange. I wiped the smile off of my face and realized this could get serious.

“Go to class,” instead of shouting, Talbott’s voice was a low growl.