Reckless Magic (Page 40)

Titus was also an imposing figure, only a little shorter than the other two. He also wore scruff on his face; only his brilliant red hair and stockier stature made him look more like a lumberjack than a well-bred Immortal.

“Are you twins?” I asked with honest curiosity.

“We wish,” Xander replied enthusiastically. “Unfortunately, only you two get to carry that cross,” his eyes darted between mine and Avalon’s. When I gave him a puzzled look he changed the subject. “This is my kid brother.” He grabbed Xavier around the neck and pulled him into a headlock. Xavier zapped Xander’s foot with a shot of magic forcing Xander to let go and let him stand up. They pushed each other playfully until Titus stepped in, grabbed both of their heads and slammed them together. I cringed when I heard the crushing sound the impact made. They seemed unharmed however and shook it off, rejoining the circle with smug smiles on their faces.

“So why haven’t I met you before?” I tried to refocus the group away from physical violence.

“Technically you have met us before,” Jericho spoke up. “Remember the rooftop?”

“I mean properly,” I clarified my meaning, but I was sure they understood that from the beginning.

“Because we didn’t know if we could trust you,” Avalon said simply and the other boys averted their eyes at the awkward pause Avalon’s comment caused.

“And yet they trust you,” I said disdainfully, only half kidding.

“Cute,” Avalon mumbled under his breath. “Eden, do you mind? We need to go over some logistics before we head back. I’ll be ready soon though.”

“Sure,” I said a little disheartened. I offered a small wave and walked away aimlessly. Avalon was obviously important and Amory seemed to be mad at me; I wondered at the reason I even came to this meeting. I hoped they didn’t expect me to really join their cause. How could they?

“You look just like your mother, dear,” Angelica’s soft voice summoned me out of my pity party.

“Do I?” I was instantly drawn into her conversation by the very mention of my mother. She patted the hay bale she was still perched upon and I joined her, pulling my skirt down behind my legs so the straw would not scratch me. “Did you know her?”

“Yes of course. We all knew her. Well, except for the young ones. But how brave they are? They have never known a time without tyranny and yet they are willing to fight for a freedom that is foreign to them,” she sighed as if remembering something sad.

“I’ve never seen them before. Do Resistance fighters go to school somewhere else?” I asked, wishing I could figure out a way to bring up my mother again.

“Oh no, not here they don’t. I suppose those boys have all finished school, except for your brother,” she patted my knee familiarly. “You know, our numbers have never been this big. I suppose that means a war is coming soon.” She turned her head, and for a moment I imagined I saw a tear run down her cheek.

“Was my mother in the Resistance?” I asked, hoping to glean something from this sentimental old woman.

“In her own way she resisted; I suppose she fought against both sides. You could say that she made her own path, much like you dear,” she turned to face me again, searching my eyes for…. something. “Your brother is a good leader; much like your father and grandfather. One day I am afraid we will ask too much of you both,” she shifted her eyes away from mine and to the circle of boys listening intently to Avalon’s instructions.

“What happened to them, I mean my parents?” I asked feeling brave.

“Your brother is waiting for you, dear,” she continued to look in the direction of Avalon who seemed to be still in the middle of conversation. I was about to ask her my question again, anxious for more information other than we just look and behave like our parents, but then Avalon was looking in my direction waving for me to follow him.

“It was nice to meet you Angelica,” I stood up, and reached out my hand to shake hers.

“Oh, it wasn’t the first time we have met,” she put her hand in mine and although I couldn’t recall ever meeting her before, once our flesh met, the magic that flowed between us was familiar and sweet. Our currents mingled for a second before she let go of my hand and walked away.

“Eden, let’s go,” Avalon yelled at me, a little impatiently.

I walked passed him and towards the truck. I couldn’t remember ever feeling more irritated with him than at that moment. As far as brothers go, I thought he stood up to the expectations just fine.

“I don’t think it's fair you can’t go,” Jericho matched steps with mine.

“Oh yeah, why’s that?” I asked, truly interested, “Everyone else seems dead set against it.”

“Funny choice of words,” Jericho looked at me curiously out of the corner of his eye. “I think you should be allowed to fight. Clearly you are capable. They can’t hide you forever, especially with the way the Prince apparently feels about you.”

My cheeks instantly flamed with the mention of Kiran and his feelings for me. I pressed my cool hands to my face hoping to calm my nerves. We reached the truck and Jericho lingered by the passenger side door.

“Well thank you, I guess,” I forced myself to look him in the eye and carefully formed my next question. “Where is the feast anyway? What did Amory call it, the Judiciary something…?” I batted my eyelashes and gave the cutest confused look I imagined I was capable of.

“The Judiciary Courts Citadel,” Jericho smiled shyly, aware that I was flirting with him. “Romania.”

“How can we have our own Citadel without humans wanting to know more about us?” I asked innocently.

“The Citadel is not as large as you are probably imagining it, but it’s also hidden in the mountains.”

“It’s like its own town? Does it have a name?” I pried.

“Yes, and yes. But that’s all that you’ll get out of me,” he smiled shyly. He reached past my waist, bumping my side gently with his arm and pulled the door open behind me.

I waited for him to walk away before I struggled awkwardly into the truck cab. No matter how many times I practiced the tall steps into the passenger’s seat, I could never seem to accomplish the feat looking like a lady.

“You better change your mind,” Avalon grumbled after buckling his seat belt and starting the engine. I understood that he was referring to joining the “cause” but I chose to ignore it.

“Avalon, do you know anything about our parents?” I asked softly.

“No,” he replied quickly, but then took a long pause. “I mean, I know enough to know what kind of people they were and that they would have wanted us to join the Resistance,” I caught his not so subtle hint, but chose to ignore that one too.

“What kind of people were they?”

“Strong…. Smart…. Powerful…. Kind. Just like me,” he quipped.

“But they didn’t join the Resistance?”

“Amory tells me, they didn’t get a chance to.” Avalon’s voice was soft and far off. Let me go with you. I pled using our mutual telepathy.

“No,” he said firmly and out loud.

I shut my mind off to him completely, angry at his stubbornness and at my own helplessness. I decided I must ask Kiran for help, I had no other option. Surely he would want to help Lilly, especially after she fought to save his life. He would have to help me.

Chapter Thirty-Five

“Ms. Matthews is there something you would like to share with the class?” Mr. Lambert called me out sharply in the middle of English class. I sat up straight and shook my head in a humiliated and ashamed “No.”

Mr. Lambert returned to his lecture and I returned to my plotting, although anything else I attempted would not be done during first period. I looked over at Kiran who was now sitting two desks away from me, with Talbott in between. I had been trying to get his attention for days without any luck.

Any note I had passed, Talbott destroyed. Any attempt at suggestive looks, Talbott interceded. Any outright demands for attention, Talbott deflected. I didn’t know many bodyguards in general, but I imagined Talbott was really good at his job.

My perfect posture turned to poor as I pouted in my desk, arms folded stubbornly across my chest. My last attempt at the “Pssst. PSSST!” obviously didn’t pan out, and so I schemed silently, determined to have an audience with the Crown Prince almighty.

I refused to let Lilly face trial alone. She did a great thing by revealing her true identity in a fight for Kiran’s life and she should have been rewarded, not punished. Besides all of the talk about execution and judiciary courts had me nervous. She was innocent as far as I was concerned and I was bound and determined to enlist Kiran in my cause.

And if he chose not to help, thereby destroying any hope I had that he actually had a soul, I would just have to do it on my own. I had to; I could not in moral conscious or as a friend to her, let her be found guilty. Kiran’s privileged life wasn’t the only life I was going to get into the habit of saving. I at least knew that I liked Lilly, and she liked me.

Kiran gave me so many mixed signals I couldn’t even identify my true feelings for him. As soon as I thought I could not be more head over heels for him, he didn’t talk to me for weeks on end and then I was confused once again.

He hadn’t even spoken to me since the Fall Equinox Dance. In fact, he hadn’t even looked me in the eyes since then. He went to all of the trouble of getting me to the dance, and then let a little thing like a midnight battle and falling from a rooftop get in the way of all the progress we had just made.

I supposed I should figure out my facts about this whole trial thing just in case he was another dead end. I knew the trial would take place on Halloween. I knew that the trial would take place in Romania. I knew that the trial would take place in the mountains in Romania; which thanks to Google, I knew were called the Carpathian Mountains. I knew Lilly would be the first defendant tried, and would probably not be facing execution, although I was not very encouraged by that. I knew that there was some type of festival after the trial took place called the All Saints Festival; but only Immortals were invited.

Basically I knew nothing in great detail, and nothing that got me on location. I needed the exact location of the Citadel; but more than that, I needed to know where the trial was going to take place once I got inside the Citadel. I also needed to know who was representing Lilly so that I could convince them to let me be a witness. I needed a passport, and I needed a plane ticket. My heart sunk with despair and I was convinced more than ever that I needed Kiran’s help.

The bell finally rung, but I chose to gather my things slowly. I watched Kiran out of the corner of my eye and noticed him glance in my direction several times before exiting the classroom in front of Talbott. I decided to pick up my pace and cut him off in the hallway. Talbott couldn’t block him from every direction.

“Ms. Matthews, I would appreciate a more valiant effort for your attention in my class, if you please,” Mr. Lambert interrupted my desperate plan with just a few snide remarks.