Home > Tegan's Magic (The Ultimate Power #3)(14)

Tegan's Magic (The Ultimate Power #3)(14)
Author: L.H. Cosway

“Hey, any way for you to tell your ex to f**k off sending her blood donors to try and kill me?” I ask, angry at how he’s just standing there, staring at me in that cold, judgemental way of his.

He glances at me impassively. “What are you jabbering about?”

“Eliza sent one of her blood donors here today to spy on us. If it weren’t for Rita giving him a truth spell and hypnotising him then he might have gotten away with it as well.”

Out of the corner of my eye I see Rita face-palming. Oh right, maybe I shouldn’t have told Ethan about her doing spells like that. Although he has seen her flood a mansion, so it can’t be that big of a deal. Maybe she just doesn’t want me reminding him of her powers. Good luck to her with that. Just like the elephants, Ethan never forgets.

The only indication of his surprise is a slight twitching of his brow. “She did that?”

“Yes, apparently she wanted him to cart me across the river to vampire territory so that she could kill me publicly as some kind of an example to traitors.”

Ethan nods, scratching his short nails across his jaw. “Eliza is not the kind of person to let go of a grudge, and after what you did to her in her father’s home, I’m assuming that her grudge against you is now quite a substantial one.”

“All of you aren’t the kind of people to let go of a grudge,” I mutter under my breath.

One end of Ethan’s mouth tilts up. “What was that?”

“You heard me,” I reply, turning away from him dismissively.

“You’re acting like a petulant child.”

“Compared to you I am a f**king child.”

He laughs harshly. “Is that a put down about my age?”

“What do you think?”

“I think you need to learn some manners.”

“I think you need to pull that stick out of your arse.”

We stare each other down and I’m vaguely aware of Rita’s amused laughter.

“Oh for God’s sake,” says Delilah, pushing Ethan away from me and down into a seat. “I thought we agreed that you, Finn and my brother would avoid being all in the same place at the same time from now on.”

“Finn’s upstairs,” I say flippantly. “And you lot are the ones who came over here.”

“Yes well, we came to see if Rita would like to join us again in our hunt tonight.”

“You bet I would!” Rita puts in enthusiastically.

The fact that they’re going out of their way to include Rita irritates me, mostly because I’d bet my last snickers it was Ethan’s idea. Now that the lust spell is almost worn off, I’m remembering how much he gets on my nerves.

Delilah smiles at Rita, but the smile vanishes when she turns back to me. “There’s the three of you in it, yes, but that also needs to apply to you and my brother. You two should go back to not talking to one another at all. I’m sick of this squabbling.”

“Okay, Mother,” I reply snappily. Jesus, Ethan’s right, I am petulant.

Delilah scowls at me.

“Speaking of mothers,” says Rita, “mine just called. She, Alvie and Gabe will be home in about a half an hour, so would you three mind if we wait until they get here? They said they have news.”

“Of course,” Ethan answers her, with a well-practised smile of charm. More and more these days I’m becoming irritated by his too-polished way of interacting with people. Maybe that’s why I like to push his buttons. I enjoy seeing his genteel mask slip.

“Good news or bad news?” I ask.

She pulls a stray thread from the sleeve of her top. “Um, I’m not sure. She didn’t specify.”

“Well you told them you figured out how to kill the mists, right?”

“Yeah. It’s not about that. Apparently this warlock dude they visited has crazy psychic skills. He can cast spells that allow him to project his mind into another person’s and see their intentions.”

“Can he see anybody’s intentions, or just those who are in the room with him?” Ethan questions.

“Anybody’s, I think,” Rita answers with a shrug.

“Ah, this news should be interesting then.”

He clasps his palms together and sits back in his chair, a contemplative look on his perfect face.

Chapter Seven

You’re Lovable, But You’re Just Trouble

We spend the next half hour in awkward conversation, and it gets even more awkward when Finn comes down. He and Ethan don’t breathe a word to one another, however there are quite a few cutting looks being thrown back and forth. I make myself some tea and sit up on the kitchen counter, since there are no seats left. I look up at one point to see Ethan watching me closely.

“Has Marcel’s potion worn off yet?” he asks over the conversation of the others. Finn’s describing Pamphrock’s idea for modifying the fire extinguishers.

“Yes,” I answer, a half lie. I’m not sure whether the tingles I get when he looks at me now are from the potion, or just the usual “Ethan effect”. I see a small glimpse of the warmth on his face that he used to show me and I feel a pang of loss. It makes me remember the affection I once held for him. Who could have predicted it would be a vampire who’d be so troubling to my much abused heart?

“Good,” he replies, emotionless now. Delilah gives him a stern look, warning him to stop talking to me in case it escalates into another argument.

The front door opens and Noreen, Gabriel and Alvie spill into the kitchen, after which there are hugs and warm welcomes exchanged. I make tea for everyone, although Ethan and Lucas decline a cup. I’m half tempted to make a joke about adding a drop of blood so that it’ll be more their style, but I rein it in. I think I’ve made enough snooty comments to Ethan tonight as it is.

The atmosphere in the room gets hushed when Gabriel begins to tell us the news Noreen had alluded to over the phone. I take the razor Finn gave me out of my pocket and begin flicking it open and shut. The movement comes strangely easily to me. I’m antsy right now, and when I’m antsy I like to fidget.

Gabriel puts his hands around his mug, but he seems a little hesitant to start talking.

“Out with it,” says Rita impatiently when he still doesn’t speak.

“I take it you all know about the spells Neil can do,” he says finally, glancing around the room.

“Neil’s your warlock friend?” Delilah asks.

“That’s right.”

“Yeah, we know. Rita told us.” I interject.

“Okay,” says Gabriel. “Well, after Rita called to let us know that she’d figured out how to kill the mists we decided to make use of the trip by getting Neil to perform one of his spells. This was with the intention of projecting himself into Theodore’s mind.”

There’s an audible communal intake of breath during Gabriel’s brief pause.

“He managed to successfully connect with the sorcerer and discovered that he has an active affiliation with hell and can now bring entities over to this side whenever he likes. That’s what he’s been doing with the mists.”

“The bastard!” Rita exclaims.

“That’s what I said when Neil told us,” says Alvie with a quirky grin. Rita gives him a little fist bump.

“But that’s not all,” Gabriel goes on. “He’s been bringing the mists over here with a distinct purpose.”

“And what’s that?” asks Ethan.

Gabriel swallows. “He wants to drive the humans insane so that their numbers will dwindle.”

“Why though?” I interrupt.

“Because if the humans start to die out there’ll be less and less blood sources for vampires and they’ll be forced to leave the city. The ones who stay will end up fighting amongst themselves for the remaining humans to feed off. In other words, things on the south side will be left wide open for Theodore to step in and take control.”

Ethan rises swiftly from his chair at this piece of information. He paces back and forth across the small room.

“Well, I can’t say I find the thing about the vamps very upsetting,” says Finn. “But I can certainly see the disadvantages of Theodore having the run of the city. The DOH is still recovering its numbers, so if he gets rid of Whitfield and sets his sights on Pamphrock it’d be lights out for us.”

I can’t help watching Ethan as he paces. “Why are you so on edge?” I ask him. “These are the people who exiled you. Do you really care if they’re forced to leave the city? It’s not like they’d stay just to prove a point. They’d starve if they did that. Obviously they’ll just move on to some other place.”

Ethan laughs without joy. “Do you have any clue about my people? We do not simply bow down to an attack. We fight against it. Vampires have staked their claim in Tribane for hundreds of years. They will not simply run away with their tails between their legs. There will be a war even worse than the one we just fought.”

“So we keep killing the mists every night before they have a chance to infect people,” says Rita. “Theodore can keep bringing them over here and we’ll just keep killing them. Simple as that.”

“She has a point,” says Finn.

“But then the fight will never end. It could be a continual struggle for years and years,” Ethan objects.

“Well that’s nothing new. I’ve been killing vampires for years; it can’t be much different to killing chaos.”

Ethan hisses at him loudly and it makes me almost jump out of my own skin in fright. Delilah pulls her brother back to sit down in the seat he vacated a minute ago. She whispers soothing words in his ear and he visibly calms. Without realising it I’m flicking the razor in and out more rapidly, shifting it from one hand to the other in nervousness.

“Jesus!” Rita exclaims when her eyes land on me. “Where the hell did you learn how to do that?”

Everyone looks to me then and I let the blade fall to the floor.

“I didn’t learn it. I was just fidgeting,” I explain.

“You were not fidgeting. You were flicking that thing around like a f**king ninja,” says Alvie. “I was watching you.”

“Is that the razor Finn gave you?” Rita asks.

“Um, yeah.”

She turns to Finn. “Where did you get it from?”

“I have a set of them. They belonged to my grandfather. He was a barber in his day.”

“Aha! So it has meaning for you?” Rita questions him further.

“Yeah, quite a bit actually. My grandfather taught me how to shave with them when I was in my teens.”

“A gift that holds meaning given to one who means something to you can be a powerful thing, especially so if the gift is bestowed upon a person with magic,” Noreen interjects sagely.

“Meaning…” Finn prompts.

“Meaning Tegan is your close friend and she has magic, which in turn means that when you gifted her the blade there was an exchange of power, or of skill to be exact. Through the giving of the gift you have also given her your talent for using it,” Noreen explains further.

Finn turns to me with a huge grin. “Score! That’ll save me the time teaching you how to use it.”

“Handy,” I agree, smiling back and bending over to pick it up from off the floor.

When I glance at Rita I see her shaking her head at me and smiling. “Every day it’s something new with you. Tomorrow we’ll probably discover that you can time travel or something.”

“That, too, would be handy,” I tell her, closing the razor and slipping it back inside my pocket.

“Can we get back to the topic at hand?” Ethan requests coldly. He seems annoyed that the attention is on me, or maybe that I’m being praised.

“Of course,” says Gabriel. “I plan to continue researching this matter. Perhaps there’s a way for us to break the connection Theodore has with hell. If we can do that then it’ll be one less thing he has to use in his favour.”

“Me and Alvie can help with that,” Rita adds.

“Thank you,” says Gabriel.

“Well, if that’s everything, we have a long night ahead of us. We better get moving,” says Delilah, rising from her seat. Lucas, Ethan and Rita follow her from the room. Gabriel heads upstairs to his room and Noreen and Alvie go out to the RV. That leaves me still sitting on the counter, alone in the kitchen with Finn.

He grins. “No need to thank me.”

“Thank you for what?”

“Uh, for giving you my skills with a blade. Now you’ve got your magic and expert knife-fighting chops. Any opponent you come up against will be hard pushed to get the upper hand with you.”

I laugh. “Yeah, you’re right. I must be in, like, super hero territory now or something.”

“And it’s all thanks to me,” Finn adds. “So, I’ll say it again, how are you going to thank me for this wonderful gift?”

“I dunno, bake you a cake?”

He shakes his head. “I haven’t got much of a sweet tooth. How about another kiss? I don’t think I got enough of one from you last night.”

I do my best to come across cool and unaffected. “If you want one, take one.”

At this he moves to stand before me at the counter, pushing my legs apart and standing in between them. He runs his hands up my thighs, taking in a deep breath. Instead of going straight in for my lips, he brushes his mouth along my jaw line. The sensual touch causes a small moan to escape me. Next he grips the back of my neck, his hands warm and solid against my skin. His mouth moves along to meet mine and he slips his tongue slowly inside.

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