Reckless Magic (Page 53)

I was irritated with Avalon, but soon my bad feelings turned to adoration as we drove silently through Geneva at night. The streets were lit in the soft glow of streetlamps and from the bright windows of buildings built before America was even a recognized country.

Our ride took us past Lake Geneva, glistening in the moonlight. A large fountain sprayed a cascade of water from the middle of the lake, and the Alps sat as a backdrop to the perfect postcard picture. The streets were narrow, with historical buildings rising to either side. I marveled at their intricate architecture, and embellished building fronts.

When the car finally came to a stop in front of a charming palace, I was somehow not surprised. After witnessing the grand architecture and style of the Citadel, I was finally able to wrap my head around the words “Monarchy” and “Crown Prince.” I hadn’t really been expecting quite this grandeur however.

“Is this one of their palaces?” I whispered, hoping Avalon would answer.

“This is a hotel,” Avalon responded irritably. I blushed, feeling very ignorant. “Ok, it used to be one of their palaces; now it’s just a hotel,” After feeling my embarrassment, Avalon conceded the truth.

The palace turned hotel was exquisite. I was dumbstruck by the beauty and elegance of what was formerly Kiran’s family’s home. I followed Avalon out of the car and stayed timidly behind him. I glanced down at my ill-fitting, makeshift outfit and felt embarrassingly under-dressed.

As we entered the foyer of the grand hotel my mouth dropped open in awe. We were surrounded by marble pillars that reached from expansive marbled floor to vaulted marble ceiling. Intricately, upholstered furniture with golden thread filled the entrance hall. The only evidence that this was not a palace but indeed a hotel was the circulation desk with uniformed employees standing behind it.

My nerves were on edge thanks to Avalon; although he appeared relaxed and calm, his magic was surging at high alert. Because of our connection my senses were heightened with his and our magic circulated in unison. He bypassed the hotel clerks and headed straight up a wide, winding, ivory staircase.

After walking up several flights of stairs, Avalon led me into a long hallway. The hairs on the back of my neck rose suddenly when I felt the strong presence of other Immortals. Avalon slowed his pace and I noticed him clench and unclench his fists regularly.

We walked the hallway slowly and I didn’t complain. I was not sure what to expect but Avalon was so uncomfortable and tense that I regretted him coming. I felt like it was my fault and therefore also felt guilty and blameworthy; but then remembered we were ordered to come here and I was even ordered specifically not to make any more decisions. I sent this thought poignantly to Avalon; he returned it with a dirty look.

At the end of the hallway Avalon paused and took a big breath. He raised his fist to knock on the cream colored door but paused again as if he couldn’t make himself do it.

“I don’t know what’s behind this door Eden,” Avalon whispered fiercely to me and I was surprised by the apprehension in his voice. “We could be walking into a trap…. Eden,” He paused again and I waited nervously, expecting some type of brotherly declaration, instead Avalon continued, “Eden, let me have Kiran; I’ll enjoy killing him much more than you will.”

Before I could think of any response Avalon knocked forcefully on the door. He gave me another nervous sideways glance and shoved his hands deep into his pockets to appear casual. I wished he felt as calm as he was working so hard to look; his nervous energy was making me edgy.

Talbott opened the door and for some reason that surprised me. He was dressed casually and his hair was a little messier than at school. When he opened the door he was laughing and involved in a conversation. Avalon stared at him suspiciously, until he gestured with his hand for us to enter.

I was more than a little surprised to find Amory in the extravagant room. He was sitting on a plush, periwinkle sofa, holding a snifter full of a golden brown liquid. He was the one involved in conversation with Talbott, and it appeared they were having a very animated but pleasant conversation.

Avalon grunted grumpily before taking a seat close to Amory. Although he relaxed his magic a little, he was still in a sour mood. Avalon reclined in his seat and slammed his feet cross-legged onto the gold, inlaid, glass coffee table. His movement made a terrible crashing sound although he managed not to shatter the fragile antique.

The attention of everyone in the room was now on Avalon who smiled smugly in reply. Amory relaxed on the sofa and put an arm around Avalon in a very paternal way. I stood in the middle of the room not entirely sure what to do.

“I’m glad you’re safe, Eden,” Talbott said out of the blue. I was not the only one surprised by his statement.

“Thank you,” I replied humbly.

“Eden?” Kiran appeared out of the bedroom and said my name almost reverently.

I turned to face him and was struck ferociously with emotion. He stood in the doorway, hair tussled and eyes piercing. His hands fidgeted nervously, but his gaze never left mine and never softened in intensity.

Moments ago, I hadn’t known whether to sit or stand, but once I saw the look of pure desire cross Kiran’s face I knew there was only one place I wanted to be. I closed the distance between us in seconds, sprinting across the expansive suite and leaping into his arms.

He caught me instinctively and found my mouth immediately. My legs wrapped around his waist and my hands held his face firmly to mine; our magic mingled together in a perfect symphony of all consuming power.

At this most passionate moment there was no one else besides Kiran and nothing else existed besides our love. I was thrilled to find his feelings as intense as mine. My thoughts, my consciousness, my very blood filled with a desire bigger than me, bigger than I could even hope to understand.

I could have lived in that moment forever, but like all good things it had to come to an end. After several throat clears from our audience and then a pillow to the back of my head thanks to Avalon, I relinquished my hold on Kiran. He set me down gently and then kissed me one more time sweetly on the lips.

“Ok, that’s enough…. seriously,” Avalon interrupted in an irritated voice. “The rest of us are trying to exist here; we don’t need your crazy magic suffocating us.”

I turned around embarrassed, heat flooded my cheeks. Avalon could not look more disgusted and Amory and Talbott couldn’t even look in our general direction. Kiran intertwined his fingers through mine and pulled me closer to him protectively.

“Excuse us, gentlemen,” Kiran addressed the room politely; his crisp, English accent perfectly enunciating every consonant.

Chapter Forty-Six

Kiran walked backwards into one of the bedrooms of the massive suite, pulling me with him. If I thought I felt humiliation before, that was nothing compared to the sweeping embarrassment of being taken into Kiran’s bedroom with three sets of suspicious eyes following my every step. Luckily, Kiran closed the door quickly behind us.

The bedroom looked like some place a prince would stay. A huge four poster bed with royal blue and gold striped silk comforter sat in the middle of the room facing an enormous flat screened TV. Kiran’s suitcase and clothes were laid haphazardly on a royal blue divan. I noticed a golden crown half buried underneath a pair of designer jeans.

Kiran walked across the room, pulling me behind him, and out onto a balcony overlooking Lake Geneva. The moonlight glistened off the black water and I saw the outline of the Swiss Alps in the distance; their tall peaks turning white at the top, billowy clouds resting on them, melting into mere extensions of a vast midnight sky.

The mid-autumn night air was frigid and I sent a burst of magic through my blood to warm up.

“Did you know that you can use your magic for more than an occasional space heater?” Kiran asked softly but sarcastically, while leaning back against the outer wall of the hotel.

“I’m cold,” I responded, a little defensively.

“Here….” he replied, pulling me against his body. I laid my head against his chest and listened to the soft beating of this heart.

“Thank you for saving Lilly,” I mumbled into his warm embrace.

“My pleasure,” he replied, amused. “And thank you for nearly getting yourself killed. Thank goodness your grandfather was there to help you escape. I don’t know how I would have survived losing you,” he held me tighter, kissing the top of my head.

“I’m sorry, did you say grandfather?” I asked, wishing I could just dwell on Kiran's sweet sentiments, but instead I found myself unable to move past the next big mystery of my life revealed. Would it never end?

“Yes, you’re grandfather…. Amory.” Kiran paused to look me in the eyes. “Are you telling me you didn’t know that he is your grandfather?” he asked incredulously.

“I had no idea….” I laughed out loud a little. “But I guess it makes sense,” I could now explain away all of the times Amory seemed so paternal, apparently he was just being grandfatherly.

“I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to spoil anything,” Kiran gave me his signature smirk and I swore I fell even more in love with him.

“It’s alright; something tells me he was waiting for me to figure it out on my own,” I returned my head to Kiran’s chest, butterflies flooding my stomach.

“He should know better than to wait for that,” Kiran joked lightly.

I couldn’t help but agree with him. I hadn’t figured anything out on my own yet, what made Amory think I would start with that?

“God only knows what I have left to figure out,” I mumbled.

“Yes He does, but He’s gotten you this far….” Kiran surprised me with his answer.

“Do you believe in God?” I asked, confused.

“Of course. Don’t you?” I pulled my head away from his chest to look him in the eye; for some reason I found it hard to believe he was serious.

“I mean I guess I did when I was human, but now I don’t know what to believe,” I left the closeness of his embrace, feeling slightly embarrassed and walked over to the balcony’s edge.

“That seems backwards to me,” Kiran responded and joined me. We stood silently for a moment enjoying the beauty of Lake Geneva before he continued, “You believed in God when you thought you were human; when you suffered pain and hunger, tyranny and war. But now that you live above that, with unlimited power and unlimited life you doubt that there is an entity greater than you? Someone created all of this, all of the beauty of the earth, all of the fragility of human life and all of the extraordinary existence of us. Choosing to believe in God only when you are surrounded by death and destruction is to truly not know God at all.”

Kiran put an arm around me and kissed the top of my head again. Despite his point, I knew his feelings for me were as strong as ever.

“Am I not still surrounded by death and destruction?” I asked, feeling characteristically defensive.

“No, you’re not. Believe me. I’ve done my homework; you could not have a stronger genealogy. But the rest of us, yeah…. maybe…. But isn’t that where we find our substance? I think there is a certain beauty to death; a macabre exquisiteness that brings meaning to life.”