“Now, I’m not saying you’re making the wrong choice, I’m just asking if you’re making it for the right reasons.” Matias King glanced at Kieran for a moment before turning back to the game on the screen.
Kieran frowned. Not him too. He’d just had this conversation with his mother a week ago and he really didn’t want to hear it from Matt as well. It was his life, his decision. A concept his mother didn’t seem to get.
“Now, Kieran, hear me out before you get all upset.” Matt turned his full attention on Kieran, which just made him feel worse. Matt was a laid-back kind of guy and Kieran preferred talking to him over Eva but it looked like Matt wanted to be serious today. Damn it.
“Your mother and I…I know we didn’t set the best example for you kids, getting married the way we did. But the reason it took so long was because we weren’t ready. There were still secrets that I didn’t know about her and that she didn’t know about me. When she was pregnant with Steven, the thought of marriage crossed my mind but I knew it wasn’t the right time. And when I finally did propose, it was awkward and kind of half-assed.
“What I’m trying to say is that marriage is not something you rush into. Some people, like your great-grandparents, have a spark that sizzles and simmers from the very start. And some people, like me and your mom, sizzle right away but take a while to get that simmer. Do you understand?”
“Not a clue.” Kieran sort of knew what Matt was trying to say. Aaliyah and Antonio Torres fell in love the moment they met. At least that was the story. Matt and Eva took years to get to that point. But at least they gave it a chance.
“Love is a tricky thing, Al. It demands a lot from you without showing you what you can have in return, not until you’re too far gone. But when you do get the reciprocity, it’s better than anything else in the world. The love of a good woman will make your skin sizzle and your blood simmer. It will feel like she lit a fire inside you. And you’ll want her to both put it out and fan the flames. Getting married to someone who makes you feel anything less than that…” Matt shook his head and looked back at the TV screen. “I want more for you.”
They were quiet for a moment and sat watching the screen. Kieran wanted that for himself too. And he could have that with Lorde. He knew he could. He loved being with her and she felt the same. There was just –
“Matt, can I ask you something?” He continued to watch the TV. “It’s about my ability.”
Matt had spent countless hours researching and learning as much as he could about Kieran’s abilities. He’d done his best to help Kieran understand and control his magic. His mother had helped too but she was limited in what she could do, since her abilities could only effect herself. She’d spent most of the time being a guinea pig for their experiments but she’d done it happily. Kieran remembered walking in the house to see his mother trying her best to control her emotions, emotions that Matt had suggested to her. Kieran had learned how to pick up on moods and feelings and how to block unwanted ones from his parents.
“Of course. What do you need to know?”
“I can’t read Lorde. At all. It’s like she’s a void whenever I try. Only once did I catch a glimpse of something. During our, umm…during the first time we made love. And it was so brief I couldn’t hold on to it.”
Matt leaned back, a thoughtful expression on his face. “Really? Is she a witch? A powerful one could block you.”
“No. At least I don’t think so. I don’t think she’s doing it on purpose.” Kieran frowned. He’d never even considered that Lorde might be a Supernatural.
“She’s either doing it on purpose or her future is so tied to your own that she’s being blocked from you. But even then, you’d still be able to sense something. Take your mother for instance. You can’t see her past but you can still feel her emotions.”
Kieran nodded slowly. Okay, so, “Lorde is doing it on purpose?”
“Maybe. Some humans can be so emotionally detached that they literally have nothing emotive to pass on. I won’t know until I meet her but if you haven’t sensed any magic then I doubt she’s a witch. You’d have noticed.”
Kieran again nodded. When he was younger, his mother had explained how they were a very rare breed of witches. Kieran’s grandmother, Rae Rose had been imbued with magic from a Genie and she’d passed that along to her children. Kieran’s mother was the most adept, mainly because Siobhan had chosen to help her learn how to use the magic.
Matt had classified Rae Rose as a Human with Fae Blood. A human with seemingly no Fae ancestry who suddenly develops strong magical abilities. HFBs were better with magic than a normal witch was; they could create stronger charms, curses and spells. As they had children, their offspring would grow stronger. It was how new branches of magic were created. And they were very rare.
It was why Siobhan had been so eager to teach Eva. She’d been the first witch born to a HFB in millennia and Siobhan had wanted to teach her the old ways. Knowledge that Kieran’s mother had passed on to him and Matt, too. Matt said it was a blessing for the witch community since Siobhan was the oldest living Fae anyone had seen in hundreds of years. He’d made Eva promise to teach more witches what she knew.
Eva and Matt had founded a school and were teaching young witches about the craft. They were doing good work, helping many witches learn about their history and how to control their powers. Matt said if he could prevent what happened to his father and sister from happening to anyone else then all the work would be worth it.
“Maybe my abilities are changing again,” Kieran said.
Matt frowned. “Are they? It’s a little late for you to have another power shift.”
Kieran shook his head. “I don’t feel any different. I’m just wondering if maybe that’s why I can’t read her. Maybe I’m losing that ability.”
“No, I don’t think so. Your powers set after your 18th birthday. I don’t think they’ll change again. But I’ll check the books.”
Kieran nodded. When he was a kid, he’d had a lot of power; he could see both the future and the past. He didn’t even need to touch anything. When he hit puberty, his magic went haywire and he lost many of his abilities. Matt had said that was normal for a witch. Magic worked on a spectrum and children were able to tap into that power more easily than adults were. Puberty forced a witch to hone in on their specialty. In some cases, like with Kieran’s cousin, Emma, it forced a witch to develop powers.
It was different for HFBs though. They could go through several magic spurts before choosing just one or two. For Emma, it was telepathy and telekinesis. Siobhan had several tomes dedicated to HFBs and Matt had read them all. Those were the books he was referring to now, those and hundreds more like them that the fairy princess had left to Kieran’s mother.
Matt turned back to the game. It was nice to see him enjoying something so mundane. He spent too much time transcribing the books and other writings into electronic form. Kieran was getting worried about him. He knew that Matt feared losing his mind and becoming a burden. He was trying to make the time he had left count for something. Kieran wished he would realize that it already did; to him and Eva, to Steph, and to the countless people that he helped every single day.
Kieran sat quietly next to his step-dad and thought about what Matt had said about Lorde. From what Kieran knew of her past, he could see her becoming emotionally closed off. Her work and her family life would have been enough to make her unwillingly to feel anything too deeply. Maybe he could help her like Matt had helped Eva.
“Hey, how are you? How is she?” Kieran was sitting in the backyard of his parent’s house next to Eden and a silent Bellamy. He could see no change in the girl’s demeanor but Eden said she liked being outside.
“She’s getting better.” Eden looked at his sister with worry clear in his eyes. Kieran knew that wasn’t quite true. Bellamy was not getting better but she wasn’t getting worse either. She just…was.
“Listen, I wanted to talk to you about this hospital that the doctor mentioned,” Kieran started uncomfortably.
Eden just shook his head. “Don’t even go there man. She’s my responsibility now and I’m not going to ship her off to the looney bin just because she’s not healing as fast as some idiot doctor thinks she should.”
“Eden, it’s not a looney bin.” Kieran tried to grab him when Eden stood up. “Come on man, sit down and just listen for a minute. She can’t get better here. My parents are good but they aren’t that good. She needs to be around people who can monitor her and help her. Eden!”
Eden started to pace, chewing on a nail as he frowned. “I can’t afford to put her in a place like that. At least here, I know she’s safe and I can stay with her. I can’t do that if they take her away.”
“Eden, you know I’ll help you with the cost. I can’t believe you’d even think -”
“No!” Eden cut him off. “I don’t want or need your charity. But I will take your help.” He came and sat back down next to Kieran. “If you really want to help, I have a job that will bring in so much cash I could hire a full-time therapist for Belle. What do you think?”
Kieran was speechless for a moment. He couldn’t believe that Eden was considering stealing again. Like that wasn’t what got his parents murdered and his sister assaulted. “You are un-fucking-real. Do you hear yourself? What the fuck Eden!”
Now it was Kieran’s turn to stand up and pace. Eden lowered his head and said, “I have to do this. They won’t leave me alone until I do, Al. It will be my last job, I swear. I just need to do this so they will get off my back, man. Please.”
“Eden, if you need help getting out, I can do that. I can help you do that. But I’m not going to help you fuck up your life any more than it already is. Think of your sister…”
“I do! I am. All I think about is Belle and my parents and how this is all my fucking fault! You don’t think I know that? You don’t think I know I’ll have to live with that shit for the rest of my life? Whatever, Alistair. Fuck this!”
Eden stood abruptly. Taking the handle of his sister’s wheelchair, he removed the brakes and pushed her further into the yard. He knelt in front of Belle and whispered something in her ear while Kieran watched.
This was not the way he’d wanted that conversation to go but he couldn’t – he wouldn’t – help Eden in this and Eden couldn’t do it alone. That thought was the only thing keeping Kieran from caving and saying okay. It was a two-man job. If he didn’t help, then Eden would have no choice but to stay safe. He sighed deeply and turned to walk back into the house.
“Is it done?”
Jupiter sat back and nodded. He ran a hand across his sweat-dampened forehead and through his short hair. He hoped she was pleased.
“And you found him?”
“It-it was easy. He’s not even trying to hide.”
The corner of her lips lifted. “He always did underestimate me.”