Home > Tegan's Return (The Ultimate Power #2)(11)

Tegan's Return (The Ultimate Power #2)(11)
Author: L.H. Cosway

I sip on the tea, pleasantly surprised by the explosion of fresh peppermint as I swallow it down my throat. “I came back because Finn asked a favour; he needed some help with a certain DOH mission.”

“Oooh, juicy gossip,” says Rita, both of her thin hands clasped around the sides of her mug. “Come on, spill the beans.”

“I’m not sure if I can, I think it might be confidential.”

Rita tuts and throws her eyes to the heavens. “Oh for Goddess’ sake, well I hope that you’re at least getting paid for whatever it is you’re helping him with.”

I smirk. “Of course I’m getting paid, what do you take me for?”

Rita grins in return. “That’s my girl.”

“Um, there was actually a purpose for my visit,” I say tentatively. Wolf is sitting by my feet, and I think I see his ears perk up at this, like he wants to hear if Rita has an explanation for what happened to me at lunch the other day just as much as I do.

Rita’s dark eyes slowly flick to mine. “Well I wouldn’t expect anything less. I don’t think you’ve ever come to me without having some kind of problem to be solved.”

“Don’t be mean to the girl, Reet,” says Alvie, Rita glares at him but doesn’t respond.

“Why are you here Tegan?” Gabriel asks quietly, speaking up for the first time.

I glance between Gabriel and Alvie. “Would you two mind if I spoke to Rita alone for a minute?”

Gabriel looks like he’s about to say something when Rita interrupts him. “Whatever you have to say, you can say in front of these two,” her arms are folded now, and I wonder why she’s suddenly annoyed with me. Perhaps she’d thought I’d come to see her just for the pleasure of her company for once. Now I feel bad.

“Fine,” I reply tightly. “The other day I caused a fork to vibrate and levitate just by lifting up my hand. I thought you might be able to explain why that happened.”

For a split second Rita’s mouth gapes open, but she quickly shuts it and replies, “Are you certain you didn’t imagine it?”

“Yes I’m sure, Wolf was with me when it happened.” I pat the big dog on the head, and he whines in response, perhaps to inform Rita that I’m telling the truth. I really am getting fond of Finn’s pet.

Rita eyes me curiously, then she stands up and walks over to me, pulling me up by the elbow. “Hey, go easy,” I say, as she yanks the living day lights out of my arm.

She positions me directly in front of her. “Oh quit whining and stay still,” she says, placing a hand on either side of my head. She stares deeply into my eyes before closing hers. Nothing happens for a minute, but then an odd sensation comes over me. A fizzing in my brain. It’s almost like the time when Ethan had invaded my mind and planted an erotic image of the two of us there, but not quite. This feels less invasive, but an invasion of sorts all the same. I’m just about to pull away when Rita’s grip suddenly loosens and her hands slip away from me. Her eyes are wide and interested.

“You’ve got something in you, something magical,” she breathes.

“Yeah, that’s just my mother’s concealment spell Rita,” I reply in annoyance.

“No it’s not that. I located your mother’s spell, there’s something else there, something weird.”

“Weird like what Rita?” Alvie asks, his teacup held up to his mouth.

“I’m not sure, it feels like inherited magic, but it can’t be, you’re not related to the magical families.”

“Well neither are you, apparently,” I say, though I have my suspicions about who Rita’s absent father is. She still reminds me of Theodore every time I look into her eyes.

“Yes but I’ve spent my life practising, building up my stores of magic. You haven’t and yet you feel just like me, like you’ve been a witch all your life too.”

“That can’t be true, the only time I’ve been around magic was when I’ve been with you, or when I was a baby with my mum. These last two years I haven’t even so much as meditated.” I laugh, but I’m too nervous and it comes out strange and joyless.

“Why are you complaining Tegan?” Rita asks. “You’ve got a big luxurious store of magic inside of you, something any witch would give her back teeth for, and you’re standing there with a face like a smacked arse.”

I scowl at her before shrugging off her comment. “Perhaps it’s my blood that you sensed then?”

Rita rolls her eyes and shakes her head. “Nope, you don’t understand. When I used my third eye to sense you, which is what I did just now, I felt three things. The first was your mother’s spell, the second was a large, all-encompassing field of magic spread throughout your blood, and the third was like,” she pauses a moment to think about it, “it was like a ball of fire in your belly, magical fire. And it’s becoming too much to be contained. Maybe that’s why you caused a fork to levitate, the magic needed to drain out because there wasn’t enough room left to contain it.”

I drop back down into one of the chairs and scrunch up my nose in bewilderment. “You’re making me feel like a ticking time bomb here Rita.”

She sits too, fiddling with the rim of her teacup, she glances at Gabriel. “What do you think, Gabe?”

Gabriel blows air out of his mouth. “I think Tegan’s something of a Rubik’s cube, you get all the squares lined up on one side only to find that the other sides are a mess.”

I smile sourly. “Jesus Gabriel, thanks for the compliment.”

He looks embarrassed then. “No that’s not what I meant. What I meant was that we discover one thing about you but it only leads us to another mystery and then another.”

Alvie laughs as he looks across the table at Gabriel. “You’re a great help you are, the girl came here for answers not metaphors.”

Gabriel’s brow furrows ever so slightly. “Sorry, but I can’t think of what could account for this,” he stops and makes air quotes with his fingers, “ball of magic that Rita felt in Tegan.” He turns to look at me now. “I suppose there might have been a witch or a warlock in your family tree somewhere along the way. I know that the magical families tend to keep pretty much to themselves, but I’m sure that every once in a while one of them veers off the beaten track in terms of choosing their…bed partners.” This makes me remember Ethan explaining to Eliza why I smell different back in the club. Does Ethan know something about me that I don’t?

A blush rises on Gabriel’s cheeks, causing Rita to nudge him in the arm and laugh. “Jesus Gabe, you’d think you were some sort of repressed Catholic. Just say it, sex, sex, sex. Every once in a while a witch or a warlock has sex with a normal human, meaning there could be humans out there with magical abilities they are completely unaware of.”

I grin when I see Gabriel’s mortified expression.

“What about my mum, she was a witch right? Perhaps she belonged to one of the magical families and ran away. I never met my maternal grandmother, she died before I was born.”

A thoughtful expression forms on Rita’s face. “There’s an idea, what was your mum’s maiden name?”

“Peters,” I answer hopefully, because I really want to figure this out and be done with all of the mystery.

The interest drops from Rita’s face when she replies, “No, that’s not a magical name. Shit, I thought you were onto something there.”

“Me too,” I say with disappointment.

“Well, let’s not get hung up trying to figure out where the magic came from,” says Alvie, “clearly we need to focus on teaching Tegan how to manage the magic, so that it doesn’t spill out of her involuntarily again.”

“I guess,” Rita responds, but her posture is still hunched over the table top, like she wishes she could give me some real answers.

“That’s an excellent idea Alvie,” says Gabriel enthusiastically, and Alvie seems delighted with the affirmation. He doesn’t take his eyes off Gabriel for a minute, and it makes me wonder if he has a little bit of a crush on the dhamphir. I’d always thought Gabriel was straight, but you never know.

Rita sighs and stands up. “Okay then, let’s go into the living room and I’ll show Tegan the basics of containing magic.”

We all get up and follow Rita into the next room. She makes me stand with her by the window and instructs me to look outside and find something small to focus my attention on. I pick a pretty red rose in a thorny bush out by her front gate.

“Have you found something yet?” she asks.


“Good. Now, I want you to imagine an impenetrable container around the thing you’re looking at.”

I do my best to follow Rita’s instructions. In my mind I picture a clear glass bubble surrounding the rose, imagining that it’s so strong nothing could ever break past it, a glass that it’s impossible to shatter. It’s difficult to visualise the bubble with my eyes still open, so I close them, and it really helps. Something inside of me tells me that it was the right thing to do, like the ball of magic in my belly is singing in praise.

Rita lets out a low curse, and I hear Gabriel and Alvie step up closer to me. Wondering what’s going on I open my eyes, and when I do I see that the red rose is shimmering among the dull green leaves of the bush. I drop my concentration in shock and the rose returns to its normal colour.

Rita laughs. “It wasn’t the rose you were focusing on, was it?”

“I’ve never seen a student get that on the first try before,” says Gabriel, amazement in his voice.

“Did I do that?” I whisper.

“Yes you did Tegan, you f**king lucky magic having bitch.” Rita answers, her expression thoroughly amused. “Now try it again on something else, something in this room.”

My eyes lock on the old television set in the corner. Rita seems to follow my gaze because she says, “Oh no, not the TV Tegan, something that isn’t in danger of blowing up.”

I look for a non-electrical object and settle for a cushion with an intricately embroidered picture of a Persian cat’s face on the front. I close my eyes, picturing the cushion in my head and I try to do the exact same thing I did with the rose.

After about thirty seconds I ask, “Is it working yet?”

“No,” Rita answers. “You’re over thinking it this time, you need to relax and not anticipate any results, just visualise.”

So I visualise, and it only takes a moment before Alvie claps in glee and I find the cushion surrounded by a warm, shimmering, vibrant glow.

“This is all really interesting Rita, but how is it going to help me contain the magic inside of me?”

Rita lets out a heavy sigh. “It’s all about practice you impatient trollop. Once you figure out a process for containing different objects, all you’ll need to do is go through the exact same pattern when you want to contain your own magic. It’s safer to do it with small objects before trying it out on your body, just in case something happens to go awry and you let the wrong thought into your head. Magic is both a gift and a curse. If you’re lucky enough to have it then you need to be responsible and learn how to control it, so that you don’t unintentionally hurt someone.”

I raise my hands in surrender. “All right, all right, no need for a lecture.”

Rita smirks. “Whatever. So this is your homework assignment. Practice for a few minutes before you go to bed each night for the next few days and then we’ll see about moving to the next level.”

“There’s a next level?” I groan.

“Oh there are many,” says Alvie, “and you’re going to have to commit a lot more time than a few minutes a night if you’re going to become a proper witch.”

“I have no intention of becoming a proper witch,” I reply defensively. “I just want to learn how not to make crockery go flying across the room when I’m trying to eat a meal.”

Rita and Alvie eye each other mischievously. “You won’t be complaining when you realise how much power you could wield,” says Rita. “It’s hard work at first, but once you get the hang of things you’ll be flying. Perhaps even literally,” she grins. “That’s when magic can become addictive, so you’ll have to learn how to find a balance.”

“You’re not putting my mind at ease here,” I complain, then I glance up at the clock. It’s already six and I’d been planning on going to see Ethan early before the club gets busy.

“I better get going,” I tell my friends. “But I’ll practice like you told me to and then I’ll come to see you again.”

“Got a hot date or something?” Rita asks with a smirk.

I shoot her a rueful glance. “If by hot you mean fiery, ergo, dangerous, then yes, I have a very, very hot date.” I answer, shrugging into my coat.

“Some girls have all the fun,” Rita winks, as I say goodbye to Alvie and Gabriel and pat Wolf on the head. The big dog stands up immediately and trails me out the door.

My mind whirls with the possibilities, as I walk down the dark street with Wolf. Magic. I have the potential to use magic just like Rita. Just like my mother. The idea makes me feel closer to my long lost parent somehow. I’m almost at Finn’s house and I’m still in a daze, too caught up in my own thoughts to be watchful of what’s going on around me. I don’t pay attention to Wolf as he becomes tense and begins to growl low in his throat.

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