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

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

I can see him struggle internally to keep his mouth shut about it. Unfortunately, his trap wins out.

“A bit nippy in here, isn’t it?” he says, doing his best to keep a straight face. Without meaning to, I let out a loud snicker. All eyes dart to me as I struggle to keep my giggles under control. Finn smiles widely.

“What’s so funny?” asks Rita. She’s not sitting in direct view of Delilah, so she doesn’t get it.

“Nothing, just choked on a crumb.” I answer.

Finn steps up close to me and glances down, kicking my foot lightly with his boot. “How’s the weather down there, Missy?”

“Oh, just fabulous.” I glance over at the vampires and roll my eyes, not caring that I’m being obvious.

Finn nods in understanding. I peek briefly at Ethan to see him looking between the two of us questioningly. If there’s one thing I’ve noticed about vampires, it’s that they’re often oblivious to sarcasm. It just goes right over their heads.

Finn turns to look at Gabriel, avoiding making eye contact with any of the vamps. “So, how do we start this, Gabe?”

Gabriel coughs to clear his throat. “Well, I was hoping that Tegan could give us a more detailed account of what happened to her today.” He glances at me as a prompt.

I put down my tortilla chips, dust off my hands and begin talking. “In a nutshell, I was having a wander around the shops and when I came to Campion Row it was like I’d stepped into bizarro world. People were beating on each other at random like crazed animals. Then this one man, I’m telling you he couldn’t look any more dowdy and average, decided to attack me when I told him to stop fighting with another man. In the end I had to do a runner to get away from the riots. The man kept chasing me though, and when I turned around to confront him he began rambling. He was all confused and couldn’t explain why he was after me. Something dodgy was going on.”

“Wait a second, some man attacked you?” Finn asks, looking angrily at Rita. “You never told me that part.”

Rita shrugs, nonchalant. “Ethan gave her some of his blood to heal her injuries. She’s fine now.”

Finn looks cuttingly at Ethan for an explanation. “You gave her blood, is that some kind of kinky role reversal?”

“Our blood heals human injuries, slayer. I thought you of all people would know that,” Ethan answers, his voice low. I can tell he doesn’t enjoy being questioned by Finn.

Finn laughs joylessly, but doesn’t respond. His coping mechanism with being around the vampires seems to be to ignore them as much as he can.

I break the silence by saying, “Um, I think you’re both missing the point here. The city centre just randomly turned into a war zone today, no explanations, nothing. Has anybody seen anything on the news?” I glance about the room, but don’t get an answer.

The vampires won’t speak to me, and the others just seem clueless. I shake my head and stand up to grab the remote, before switching on the television and sitting back down. I flick through the stations, but there’s another five minutes to wait until the nine o’clock news starts. Feeling awkward in the tension-filled silence, I blow air out through my mouth.

Lucas and Dru begin whispering quietly to each other and then Lucas lets out a low laugh. Huh. I wonder what that was all about. Some joke at my expense, no doubt. These vamps can act like bitchy teenage schoolgirls at times.

Finn sits down beside me and gives me a wink and a smile, perhaps to cheer me up. I give him a weak smile in return. I can’t help glancing up at Ethan, expecting to see him looking at me blandly as usual. Instead I discover him with an almighty scowl on his face. Well, perhaps he doesn’t like my friendship with Finn, since the two of them are mortal enemies.

When the news starts up, a blond woman wearing a fitted grey blouse and a suit jacket comes on the screen. She reports on a few other stories before she finally gets around to talking about the riot, and it’s only a few short lines.

“There are reports of a violent disturbance that occurred in Tribane city centre earlier today. Several department stores were broken into and looted, and a number of people were critically injured. It is thought that the disturbance was gang related. The police are currently investigating the matter.”

And that’s all she says. If I ever had my doubts about the selective nature of what gets reported on the news, they are well and truly put to rest now. Gang related, my arse. The man who attacked me today was certainly not connected to any gang.

“Well, that was a load of BS,” says Rita, folding her arms.

“I don’t know,” Delilah murmurs. “Perhaps it was just some human gang war. These sorts of things are a regular occurrence nowadays.”

Rita gives her a sharp look, then turns to me. “Tegan, did the man who beat you up today look like a member of a gang?”

“Not unless it’s suddenly become stylish for gang members to wear brown leather dress shoes and woolly jumpers.” I answer. “Oh, and not unless middle class dads are now partaking in gang membership.”

Delilah narrows her gaze on me. Rita laughs and nods her head to the dhamphir. “You see?” she asks, but before Delilah can respond, Rita’s entire body bucks forward as though she’s having a fit. My heart speeds up in panic as she lets out a loud wail of pain and then collapses onto the floor.

Chapter Two

What’s That Skeleton Inside Your Closet?

Alvie and Noreen rush to Rita’s side as she coughs violently, holding onto her throat. Soon her coughing dies down and they help her back onto the couch. Her eyes are wide and fearful, and the first person she looks at is her mother.

“He knows,” she whispers, almost imperceptibly. Noreen makes soothing noises and rubs her daughter’s back.

“Who knows what, Reet?” asks Alvie.

I stand up then and go to kneel down in front of her. I take her small, thin hands into my own.

“What just happened?” I ask her quietly, not failing to notice the rapt attention of the vampires in the room.

They all know that Rita is a powerful witch – that she could prove a very useful ally – yet they also seem to be keen to understand the source of her power, which is still very much a mystery to them. The fact that her father is a sorcerer is the skeleton in her closet that she’s most likely desperate to keep hidden.

Rita glances quickly between her mother, Alvie and myself. She looks me dead in the eye and silently mouths, “Theodore.”

Oh shit. As I said, the vampires don’t yet know of Rita’s unusual paternity. We’re all supposed to be working together now, but perhaps it would be wise to keep this piece of information private.

I lean in closer to her and whisper, “Did you see him?”

Noreen is clearly shaken; her entire face is pale as a ghost.

Rita nods and taps a finger to her forehead. “In here,” she answers in a low voice. “He was…trying to persuade me to go to him. It took all of my will power not to succumb. He knows what I am to him.”

“Where did he want you to go?” The vampires are on the edge of their seats, intently watching and listening to our cryptic conversation.

Rita’s dark brown eyes go wide, but then she lets her gaze drop. “I don’t know. I could just feel him pulling on me, like there was a thread around my wrist.” I can tell from the look on her face that she’s holding something back, but I don’t try to push her.

Ethan stands and approaches us. “What is all this, and who are you both whispering about?”

I glare at him. “None of your business.”

Ethan ignores my cutting stare and focuses on Rita. “Little witch, are you hurt?”

“I’m fine,” she answers, plastering a breezy grin on her face. “Nothing to worry about.”

“You’re hiding something,” says Ethan. “Don’t do that. It will not end well.”

“Are you threatening her?” Gabriel asks, rushing to Rita’s defence.

Ethan smiles at him falsely. “Of course not, Gabriel. No need to get your panties all twisted up.”

“Don’t talk to him like that,” Alvie interjects suddenly, angered by Ethan’s mocking tone towards Gabriel.

Ethan’s eyes drift slowly – condescendingly – over Alvie, a satisfied smirk on his face. “I’m sorry, did I offend your boyfriend?”

“You’re a real piece of work, you are,” says Alvie. “Would it kill you to be pleasant to him? He is your half brother, you know.”

Ethan laughs and looks back at Gabriel. “Isn’t that sweet? Your little boy toy is sticking up for you.”

Gabriel’s green eyes are like slits. He stands up to face Ethan head on. “If you so much as look at him that way again I’ll end you.”

“End me? Don’t flatter yourself, brother, you would only hurt yourself trying.”

Finn, who’s sitting casually on the other side of the room, interjects with smooth confidence, “Oh, he’ll have help.”

Ethan is just about ready to make some other smart comment to Finn when I jump up and put my hand over his mouth. “Enough. That’s enough sniping from all of you. We’re supposed to be allies, not enemies. I know it’s going to take some getting used to, but everybody is going to have to put their prejudices aside and make a concerted effort to get along.”

“Here, here,” Lucas puts in mockingly. I silence him with a sharp look.

Ethan’s eyes are levelled on mine. He grabs a hold of my wrist and swiftly removes my hand from his mouth. “Very well then,” he says. He holds onto me hard for a moment longer than necessary, still staring at me. When he lets go of my hand it falls limply to my side.

Unexpectedly, the vampire barman named Will speaks up, his gaze trained on me. “Who do you think you are to tell everyone how they should behave? You are nothing but a traitorous, lying little bitch.”

His venomous words hit me like a sledgehammer. From what I have experienced of him, Will seems to be the brooding, silent type. He doesn’t often say much, but I never would have guessed his opinion of me was so hateful.

“Will,” says Ethan, a quiet reprimand.

Will stares at his superior in frustration, but doesn’t utter another word.

Dru shakes her head, “Oh come on, she played you for a fool and now we’re all paying the price. We should be allowed to express our opinions.”

Oh great, so Dru hates me too. I’d thought she was just going along with the whole thing because she’d pledged her loyalty to Ethan and wanted to keep him happy. I guess not.

“Um, can I remind you all that I was saving a little girl’s life? I hardly did it for selfish reasons.”

I try to ignore the voice in my head that says, well Tegan, you did get paid for your efforts now didn’t you. I need to stand up for myself with these vamps, otherwise they’ll trample all over me.

“Yeah, you’re a modern day Mother Theresa,” says Lucas. He pauses to glance about at the gathering of humans, dhamphirs and vampires with a grin. “Can someone remind me who thought it would be a good idea for everyone to be in one room together?”

I let out a long sigh.

“I did,” says Finn. “Now, I’m probably the last person to be happy about this reluctant alliance we’ve built, but there’s no use sitting in here fighting like cats and dogs. This is my house, so I’m going to call the shots for now. If the riots in the city today were Theodore’s doing then we need to find out where he is and put a stop to it. The vampires can search at night and the humans and dhamphirs during the day.”

Ethan is focused on Finn as he speaks. It unnerves me, because I don’t know whether he’s going to accept the slayer giving orders or if he will fight it.

Thankfully, he finally admits, “It might surprise you, slayer, but I agree. We vampires will begin our searches tonight.” He steps forward then and shakes Finn’s hand, both men still staring each other down.

“Good stuff,” says Finn nodding, while Ethan gestures for Lucas, Dru, Will and Delilah to follow him out of the house.

Delilah hovers by the door and shoots Gabriel an apologetic look, perhaps for the way in which Ethan had spoken to him. Those two have grown substantially closer this past week or so. I wonder what Ethan thinks of that. Gabriel silently nods to her and she leaves the room.

Once all of the vampires are gone I sit myself down beside Rita, taking a moment to study her. She seems jittery, but like she’s trying to disguise it. She glances at me and tenses up.

“What?” she asks, somewhat indignantly.

“What aren’t you telling us Rita?”

“Nothing,” she replies, rubbing her hands up and down her arms as though to rid herself of a chill.

“Tegan’s right, you’re hiding something. Out with it,” says Alvie encouragingly.

Rita remains silent, but looks to each person in the room in turn. First me, then Finn, Gabriel, Alvie, and finally her mother.

After a moment she begins to speak. “I don’t mind working with the vampires, but you all have to promise to keep your mouths shut about who my dad is. If it got out they’d probably end up trying to use me to blackmail Theodore in some way.”

A short silence ensues. “To be honest,” says Gabriel, “I don’t think Theodore cares about anyone other than himself, so using you as currency wouldn’t exactly work even if the vampires did try it.”

“That’s not true,” Rita whispers, her eyes drifting off for a minute before she focuses again. “Theodore just went out of his way to visit my mind. His message was clear; he wants me to join him. He might not think much of me in terms of paternal love, but he certainly knows I inherited some of his power and he wants me close by. So, as you might guess, if the vamps did try to use me as leverage to get to him, it could very well work. Only I’m not sure they’d ever let him have me in the long run. They’d probably just trick him in some way and then do away with me. Nobody wants a sorcerer’s daughter running free to cause mayhem in the future. So, as far as the vamps are concerned I’m just an average, everyday witch, do you all hear me? Nothing to write home about.”

Hot Series
» Vampire Academy Series read online
» Crossfire Series read online
» Fifty Shades trilogy read online
» Kate Daniels Series read online
» Black Dagger Brotherhood Series read online
» Cassandra Palmer Series read online
» Rosemary Beach Series read online
» Sea Breeze Series read online
» Too Far Series read online
» Shatter Me Series read online
» Thoughtless Series read online
» Marriage to a Billionaire Series read online
Most Popular
» Drawn into Love (Fluke My Life #4)
» Nightchaser (Endeavor #1)
» Right Where I Want You
» Tangled Like Us (Like Us #4)
» Be the Girl
» Playing for Keeps (Heartbreaker Bay #7)
» If I Only Knew
» Vengeance Road (Torpedo Ink #2)
» 99 Percent Mine
» Free (Chaos #6)
» Work in Progress (Red Lipstick Coalition #3
» Moonlight Scandals (de Vincent #3)