Reckless Magic (Page 13)

“You cannot talk to me like that. I won’t forget this,” Kiran snarled back, but obediently and without looking at me again, walked on. Talbott did not continue walking however, but stayed where he was. His demeanor remained calm, and he turned his body to face me. After I refused to walk any closer to him, he signaled me with his hand.

“You can’t keep playing this game with him,” he started speaking to me as soon as I was close; a look of sincere determination on his face.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I replied, slightly offended, and feeling like I used that phrase an awful lot lately. If there really was anything between Kiran and me, who was Talbott to get in the way? More importantly, why was Talbott getting in the way? And even more importantly, was there anything between Kiran and me?

“I’m afraid you do,” he alleged softer, making his accent thick. I continued walking and he matched his strides with mine. “Listen, we are all curious about you, I’m sure you understand, but Kiran is taking this too far. It’s not fair to him and it’s definitely not fair to you. You are only going to get hurt.”

“Thank you for your concern, but really there is nothing for you to worry about,” I tried to stay polite, but get the message across at the same time. The soft undulating energy that was only a hum a moment ago was steadily growing stronger the longer I talked with Talbott, making my temper even harder to control.

“I am warning you for your own good,” he persisted. “Stay away from him.”

“I am trying to stay away from him. Maybe it’s him you should be having this conversation with.”

“I’ve tried to talk to him….. He is focused. When he finds something to…. entertain him, it is hard to refocus him; and you Eden, are turning out to be much more than mere entertainment. I am afraid the game is getting dangerous,” When I opened my mouth to say something he continued quickly, “You should know that he has a girlfriend,” he looked at me out of the corner of his eye and I knew that he was waiting for me to react. So I played it as cool as I could, continuing en route to English class.

“Really. Who?” I tried to ask coyly, but I could feel my blood temperature rise and not from the electricity this time, for whomever the girl was. The energy rushing through my veins centered unexpectedly and surged out through my fingertips into the grass, creating a small fire. I stopped suddenly to stomp it out, hoping Talbott didn’t notice. And he didn’t, or at least he pretended he didn’t.

“Seraphina. That is why we are at Kingsley. He moved here to be closer to her,” he reached out to open the door for me and the gesture gave me a second to recover.

“Figures,” I sighed under my breath. “Listen, I’m really not into him. As far as I’m concerned, there is nothing for you to worry about. Seraphina and Kiran make a nice couple, really, they deserve each other,” I finished through gritted teeth. All anger had vanished; instead I could only feel disgust for myself. Clearly, I was making something out of nothing.

“So I have your word, you will not distract him anymore?” his language was confusing to me, I was not going to give “my word” about anything; the promise seemed too binding. Besides that wasn’t really up to me, right?

“Whatever Talbott, I won’t bother him anymore,” we were almost to class and I could not wait to be finished with the conversation; for some unexplainable reason I was suddenly depressed. I hoped I wasn’t jealous of Seraphina. I found that especially degrading.

Before I could get through the classroom door however, Talbott put a soft hand on my shoulder, stopping me. “Eden, he can be quite persistent. He is very intrigued by you. He has never met anyone quite like you, so you will have to give him a clear message,” I turned to look at him in the face, hoping that he was joking, but I was met with frighteningly serious eyes. “Even if you are human, Seraphina will not be very forgiving if she senses any competition,” he tightened his grip on my shoulder, sending lightning bolts running down my arm. I was officially irritated.

“Listen, this doesn’t sound like my problem. If Kiran is unhappy with his relationship then let them work it out. As far as I’m concerned, none of this has anything to do with me,” I was finished with this, so I pushed passed Talbott into the classroom. I was late again and I could hear Mr. Lambert lecturing me as I headed straight for my seat. Wasn’t it just last night that I was looking forward to coming to school?

The rest of the day went surprisingly quick. I was very prepared to ignore Kiran completely, but as it turned out, he was the one to give me the cold shoulder. This irritated me more than anything.

All day I began plotting what I would say to him if we happened to bump into each other. But I soon realized all of our previous run-ins must have actually been on purpose, because suddenly he was nowhere to be seen. By the time I was sitting in eighth hour Chemistry, I felt terribly mopey.

The most irritating thing of all was that I had never noticed Kiran and Seraphina were a couple. Seraphina was loud and obnoxious, always drawing attention to herself; never once had I looked up to see Kiran at her side, worshiping her like the rest of the sheep.

Occasionally they would sit next to each other in class, and always at lunch, but I just thought those were their social obligations, since they were the cool kids and all. Now, every time I looked up they seemed to be side by side…. Laughing…. Touching…. Was I so consumed with myself I couldn’t see what was going on around me?

On top of everything I could not figure out why this bothered me so much. Or why I felt like Kiran lied to me. It’s not like I had asked him if he had a girlfriend and he said no. And he never really pursued me, or said that he liked me. Most of the time, he made me angry.

I doodled on my paper, resting my head on my arm. The electricity was at a medium hum, but my energy level was much lower. I recognized my depression and it depressed me even more. I shouldn’t let this get to me as much as it was.

Suddenly, I snapped out of my funk and saw everything clearly. I was a game to him, just a game. Nothing was real, not even last night. It was just like Talbott said, I was only entertainment.

I bought into the whole good-looking, charming accent, playfully-mischievous persona and allowed myself to get emotionally involved. I was sure that if he didn’t have that damn accent I would have seen through him immediately. Oh, those Brits could be so charming and manipulative with their proper way of talking.

I tried to sort through my feelings further. I never really felt anything more than physical attraction…. did I? I mean sure, the whole kiss thing last night left an impression, but I was sure any girl would have had the same reaction. He was the one who was practically stalking me; he showed up at my house uninvited. I never wanted anything to do with him; he forced himself on me.

What may have been construed as jealousy or resentment for Seraphina was really just pity. I felt bad for her; she had no idea what kind of person she was dating. He was probably just using her too. He seemed like that type of guy.…

I was no longer depressed; there was no more reason to feel sorry for myself; because I was livid, absolutely livid. I saw Kiran for who he was now, a disgusting, narcissistic pig. Albeit a completely gorgeous, perfect pig; but definitely a pig. And I certainly didn’t want anything more to do with him.

I was interrupted from my epiphany by someone knocking on the classroom door. Mr. Hayman looked up from the chalk board at the front of the class and walked across the room to open it. A tall, athletic man in a black track suit entered, carrying a clip board and wearing a whistle.

“This couldn’t have waited until the end of class?” Mr. Hayman asked the man.

“Who is that?” I whispered to Lilly.

“That’s Mr. Lawly, our P.E. teacher,” she whispered back.

“We have P.E.?” I said shocked. I didn’t realize I had signed up for P.E., and I was sure I would have found a different elective if given the choice.

“Upper classman have a special kind of P.E.,” she replied, but didn’t get a chance to explain. The two men had stopped talking to each other and Mr. Lawly called for the attention of the class.

“As you know our camping trip was scheduled for later in the quarter. But due to unforeseen problems in scheduling and the fact that I am worried about weather if we wait any longer, we are going to take it this weekend. The arrangements have been made and your parents notified. I am happy to say I spoke to all of them personally and not one of you has a legitimate excuse to miss,” audible groans were heard throughout the classroom. “You can pick up permission slips and a list of what to bring on your way out of class. And may I remind you, all of you are required to attend,” when he said this last bit, he looked directly at Kiran. I found that amusing.

“What camping trip? I don’t remember signing up for a camping trip,” I looked, panicked and wild eyed to Lilly, hoping she would have some answers.

“It’s on your class schedule as Special Elective,” she rolled her eyes. “The camping trip is our P.E. class. The school board wants us to get ‘real life’ experience.”

“So the whole class is over in one weekend?” I asked hopefully.

“Hardly…. Kingsley believes itself too important to fill our day with a menial class like P.E. So to fulfill the requirement they send us on one of these god-awful trips every quarter. I think next time we go rock climbing or something as equally terrible as camping. Everybody hates them, but there is seriously no way to get out of it. They think of everything, trust me.”

“I have never been camping in my life,” I was terrified. The only thing I knew about camping, was that every camper in any scary movie I had ever seen was always hacked to pieces.

“That’s the idea,” she rolled her eyes again. “The trips are meant to get us out of our comfort zone, make us do something we would never choose to do.”

“Oh. Fantastic,” It was my turn to roll my eyes.

A weekend trapped in the woods with this group of people sounded exactly like a horror movie to me. Could I request specifically that they check everyone’s bags for chainsaws and hockey masks? Because surely, I would be the first one to die.

Chapter Twelve

“We’re here,” Lilly sighed despondently and I opened my eyes. I hadn’t really been asleep, but there was nothing else to do on the four hour journey to the middle of nowhere.

“This is it? Please tell me we don’t have to hike for hours into that jungle,” I whined. Our bus was parked in the middle of a gravel parking lot surrounded completely by trees. There was literally nothing else but trees. I searched frantically for a gas station, or convenience store nearby, but all I could see were trees. I was not even sure if this was a legal camping area.

I yawned widely and had a feeling that my breath smelled awful. I glanced down at my wrinkled sweats and t-shirt and realized I looked as bad as I felt. I was pretty sure this was what the rest of the weekend was going to be like: sloppy clothes and bad breath. Our 4:00 AM. departure time didn’t help the fact that I had been perpetually grumpy since I set foot on the bus. Mr. Lawly seemed like such a nice man at first until I realized he was a drill sergeant with the intention of fully entrenching us in the wilderness. My idea of camping entailed an RV and heated swimming pool; it was obvious I was about to be sorely disappointed.