Reckless Magic (Page 33)

“Hey!” I blurted out a little too loudly, overcome with joy to see him. “I thought you told me you weren’t coming to this thing?” I nudged him with my elbow playfully. He turned and faced me with a horrified expression on his face that quickly turned to anger.

“What are you doing here?” Avalon demanded, practically dropping his punch.

“Um, I don’t know,” I responded tentatively, unsure what to make of his reaction.

“You’re not supposed to be here, Eden,” his tone was accusing and I could not figure out what he was so mad about.

“You told me you weren’t coming either,” I accused back, not half as mad as he was, but at least it was something.

“I changed my mind,” he growled.

“Well, me too,” I folded my arms stubbornly, not sure if I wanted to stand here any longer, and not sure if I was ready to head back to the table. Thankfully, it looked like couples were beginning to dance.

“Don’t tell me you came here with him,” Avalon squinted his eyes in disapproval and looked in the direction of Kiran.

“He came with his girlfriend,” I mimicked Avalon’s facial expression and realized I sounded jealous.

“Then who are you here with?” Avalon turned to face me, his expression still hard and angry.

“Talbott,” I said softly and fearfully.

“Oh, like that’s any better,” Avalon raised his voice and gestured with his arms wildly, spilling his punch. He looked down at the puddle on the floor frustrated and instantly it was gone. I felt his surge of magic as he cleaned up the mess with only a thought.

“I don’t know what you want me to say. I was forced here against my will! I’m not happy about it either,” I raised my voice and hardened my eyes. How dare he blame me! I didn’t want to be here anymore than anyone wanted me here.

I pushed past Avalon and fought back tears. I had never felt so alone. I was tired of apologizing for things I did or people I talked to. Why couldn’t I just have a normal life with no magic, no exiled friends and no freaking Prince?

I ran through the closest door and found a staircase leading upwards. I took it not knowing where it would lead to. My six inch heels click-clacked on the wooden staircase, eventually drowning out the house music below. Soon the dance was only a faint hum as I made my way to the top.

At the top of the staircase there was only a heavy metal door with a push bar for a handle. I contemplated rejoining the party, but decided quickly against that. I also contemplated just sitting down at the top of the stairs to have a good cry, but decided quickly against that as well. In the end, curiosity got the better of me and I pushed through the heavy door.

I half expected some type of alarm to go off, but only the quiet of the evening greeted me. The cool fall air wrapped itself around me and I found myself on the roof of the gym. I took off my shoes, stepping gingerly over the cool concrete and to the ledge of the building.

All of Omaha surrounded me and the sight was breathtaking. The tall, lighted buildings of downtown sat to my east and the quiet suburban neighborhoods were located to my west. I could see St. Cecilia’s Cathedral towers to my North and the Mutual of Omaha building to my South. Despite being in the middle of a big city, the stars still shone brightly overhead. I inhaled a big breath, finding serenity for the first time all night.

“Stop being so over-dramatic. There’s no need to jump,” Kiran’s clean accent sounded amused as he entered through the roof top door.

“Go away!” I whined, exasperated, covering my face with my hands.

“Oh come now, you don’t mean that,” he walked slowly over to me, hands in his pockets, letting his eyes float over my figure.

“Where’s Talbott?” I asked, looking past him. I wasn’t sure if I wanted him to leave or not. I had never been more emotionally confused; I felt frustrated, irritated, nervous and excited all at once.

“Dancing, I expect,” Kiran glanced over his shoulder and then continued to walk towards me.

“I better join him,” I decided on my escape route. “He’s probably wondering where I am,” I walked quickly towards the door, but Kiran stepped in front of me before I got too far.

“I doubt that,” Kiran gazed into my eyes intently, his signature smirk flaring up. He took a step towards me, and instinctively I took a step back until my heels touched the ledge of the building once again. “What’s with all the hard-to-get nonsense; I thought we were passed that,” his fingers brushed my arm gently, sending butterflies and magic racing inside of me.

“That was before I learned you were engaged,” I held my ground, despite the dizziness his closeness was causing.

“I’m not engaged,” He said firmly. When I gave him a doubtful look he continued, “I’m betrothed. And the two are very different things.”

“Oh, really? How so?” I challenged.

“An engagement would suggest that I asked her to marry me; that it was my idea to get married or that we had been in a relationship prior to the proposal. But a betrothal is an arrangement made by parents; I had never even met her before I came to this school.” He jutted his bottom lip out and looked up at me from beneath his eye lashes. He reminded me of a little boy, and I couldn’t help but melt at the sight of him.

“Oh,” I gave in a little, leaning back against the building’s ledge and relaxing. “But you are going to marry her?” I asked glumly.

“Well that is what my father expects,” I heard the sadness in his tone and felt sorry for him.

“When?” I sunk down against the ledge and managed to sit down, legs stretched long without ripping my dress.

“If father had it his way we would already be married, with little ones on the way,” he joined me on the ground, and although our current position was not as seductive, he still sat close enough so our bodies touched. “We compromised; that’s why I’m here. I’m supposed to get to know her.”

“How is that a compromise?”

“The Kingdom wants stability; they want to see that their future King is steady and responsible. It doesn’t matter that I will live forever, or that my father will for that matter. They can be quite demanding,” he gave me his smirk again. At least he could joke about it.

“The Kingdom… oh brother,” I mimicked his expression.

“Yes, the Kingdom,” he gave me a playful nudge with his elbow. “And how is it that you didn’t know about our betrothal? This whole time I thought you were defying royal law on purpose!”

“Of course it wasn’t on purpose! I’m new to this whole Immortal thing, remember?” It was my turn to give him a nudge, I found his rib bones and he squirmed.

“How could I forget?” he rolled his eyes teasingly and then laid his head on my shoulder. The gesture was so unexpected, but so charming that I simply allowed it. “So, I suppose I have no chance with you now?” he picked up a rock and skipped it across the rooftop.

“Nope, absolutely no chance,” I blurted out defensively, although I was not sure if I believed myself. “What kind of home wrecker do you think I am?”

“I was just hoping that we could….” he lifted his head off my shoulder and leaned in until our faces were only millimeters apart. I knew he was about to kiss me again and no matter what I just said I was powerless to stop him.

Unfortunately, instead of butterflies and lightning storms, the magic suddenly became overwhelmingly alert and my senses focused sharply. I sat up straight before any contact was made and noticed that Kiran had done the same. We struggled to our feet just in time to meet five cloaked bodies burst through the roof top door.

Chapter Twenty-Nine

The men surrounded us quickly with the roof’s edge to our backs and readied themselves for battle. Four of the men were different from our first battle, I could tell that because their magic felt different. But one man stood apart, but familiar, the same man that escaped the forest before, and the same man that was in my dream last night. He stood directly in front of us clearly leading the attack.

Our bodies mimicked our attackers and we awaited an assault at any moment. Kiran positioned his body in front of mine as if protecting me; but the carnal instinct to fight flooded my veins. I cursed my short, tight, expensive dress underneath my breath.

“It’s time for you to go Eden. This fight doesn’t concern you,” the leader of the men addressed me and I flinched when I heard him say my name. Murderous intent mingled with magic and I was completely focused on the looming battle; but something familiar about the leader forced me to second guess myself.

“I’ll stay, if you don’t mind,” I growled through gritted teeth. I had no doubt that I would win this battle, although I was unsure yet of how I would succeed. Unlike the forest that was full of natural tools and props to use, the rooftop was bare and the fall to the ground below long.

“Get out of here,” the leader growled back, surprisingly emotional. I wanted to believe that he was asking me to leave because of the powerfulness of my skills, but something deep inside told me it was for different reasons.

“Let her stay if she wants to fight,” a different masked man, to my right taunted. “If she wants to try and protect the spoiled brat, let her,” disgust filled his voice, and there was no doubt in my mind that he meant to kill Kiran.

“Eden, go. If they are willing to let you go unharmed, then go,” Kiran commanded me. His magic was strong and I could feel the heat from his boiling blood radiate off of his skin. He was not going to give up this fight easily, but neither was I willing to let him. “What do you want with him?” I deflected Kiran’s command and addressed the leader once again. Nothing in my body was willing to settle this dispute calmly; talking it out was only a decoy until I figured out what to use to my advantage.

“We want a new King,” another cloaked figure to my left shouted. “A King who will give us our magic freely.”

“A King who will let all of our people free,” Another man roared louder. Their response was turning into their war cry.

“We want to destroy this bloodline and end the bloodshed and prejudice. We want what we were promised,” the leader spoke softer, but equally as menacing.

And then the battle began. One of the men to my right let out a battle cry before shifting into a grizzly bear, towering over the still human rest of us. He crossed the distance between Kiran and himself in less than a second. I closed my eyes expecting the fight to be over before it began, but I heard the roar of the bear and opened my eyes to see that Kiran had eluded him.

Kiran was fast, much faster than the overly large bear; but he would not last long. Another man joined his companion, shifting into a chocolate brown wolf. Kiran used his skill and power, making it impossible for either attacker to touch him, but there were three other men closing in.

I focused my magic, making it palpable in my hand. The three men, who were apparently going to remain men, were circling Kiran waiting for the opportunity to strike. The men who chose to ignore me had made their first mistake. I threw the magic at them with force, sending out a type of pulse, knocking them off their feet and surprising them all.