Illusions begin, p.27
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       Illusions Begin, p.27

           N.L. Greene
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  Chapter Eighteen

  Becky fell back against the couch and stared at Blaine, her dreams crashing down around her once again. She couldn’t go away with him. Even if she worked up the courage to tell her parents she was unhappy and wanted to do something else with her life, she wouldn’t be able to just leave them.

  “I know it’s not the best time for this and that it is a difficult decision for you to make, but it’s the only way. There are so many things you need to learn and the middle of New York City isn’t even close to the ideal place to begin teaching you those things.”

  She began to shake her head no before she even spoke. “I can’t.”

  “Why not?” He asked, sounding just as disappointed as she felt.

  “I can’t leave my parents. They’re all I have Blaine,” she sighed as she sank back into the couch even further.

  He leaned forward and took her hands in his, the warmth of them engulfing her much smaller ones and seeping into her body. The feeling was so nice that she had to force herself to focus on what he was saying. “It wouldn’t be forever Becky. In fact, we could even break up the training.” A new light entered his eyes and he began to get excited, dropping her hands and becoming more animated as his plans started flying out of his mouth. “You could come with me for a month. It would give you a chance to meet everyone, especially my grandfather. We could give you the history of our group, how we started, and all the important stuff you would need to know. Then you could come home for a while; spend time with your family, and start figuring out if this is something you want to pursue. Then if you do, which I really hope you do, you can go back with me for small periods of time for training. You wouldn’t be gone for too long at any given time and you would still get to see your family. Once the training is done, you can still live here just like I do.”

  Blaine’s enthusiasm was rubbing off on her. She could see how that might work. It wouldn’t be any different than normal people going away to train for a new job or something. Maybe she could even get around telling her parents about her doubts and lack of interest in her current job for now. At least until she knew more about Blaine and the MysticSeekers and could decide if that was a path she wanted to pursue. Truthfully, she couldn’t even make the decision about whether or not she wanted to learn more about magic until she went with Blaine and everything was explained to her. She could even decide she didn’t want to be a part of their group once she knew all the details. They could all be some sort of cult or something filled with crazy people for all she knew at this point.

  She rolled her eyes at herself and her wayward thoughts then glanced at Blaine. He wasn’t crazy. She knew it, she could feel it. She doubted the people he wanted her to meet were either. But it was a huge leap of faith for her to consider going away with him somewhere, alone. She still needed more facts and details before she could consider this crazy idea further.

  “Where is this place you want me to go?”

  “It’s actually not that far, just up in Pennsylvania. My family owns a lot of land up there. We get the privacy we need to practice magic without anyone seeing anything out of the ordinary and asking questions. We can also make the area more secure and guarded since we own the land and it’s in the middle of nowhere.”

  “So a day’s drive? I could come back whenever I needed to pretty easily?”

  “Yeah, but there will be so much information for you to learn in order for you to decide if you want to join us or not. It would be much quicker and more efficient if you just stayed for a few weeks. You could meet a lot of my family; see how we do things, how the organization works and is run, and learn our history and everything we stand for. That way you can decide if it’s for you.”

  He looked so excited and hopeful. She wished she felt that way too. She seemed to be on this rollercoaster of emotions when it came to everything Blaine was telling her. She wanted, more than anything in the world for everything he was telling her to be completely true. She not only wanted there to be real magic, but she wanted to be able to use it. She couldn’t even imagine how that would feel. But then her rational, grown-up self would step in, reminding her just how crazy all of this was and how it couldn’t possibly be real. A whole secret organization, living right there in Pennsylvania, full of magic users, and they wanted her to join them? What could she contribute to a group like that? And what did they even do with all of these alleged amazing abilities? Her modern day super hero scenario jumped back into her head. She could see them all in some super-secret compound, learning magic to help save the world. That was a pretty cool idea actually. Her parents would be cool with that as a career, except she probably wouldn’t be able to tell them.

  She let out a frustrated breath completely confused and having no clue what she should do.

  Once again, Blaine knew exactly what she was feeling and what to say to relieve some of the pressure. “Listen, you don’t have to decide now. Why don’t you think about it and call me. I’ll answer whatever questions I am able to, but truthfully, that’s not going to be too many. So don’t get to upset with me,” he shot her a teasing wink as he stood. She stood beside him, intending to walk him to the door. She didn’t really want him to leave but she knew she had some thinking to do and wouldn’t be able to do that with him so close to her. When she stood though, he didn’t move back to give her space. Instead, he turned to her, their bodies so close they were almost touching. He looked down at her, his eyes filled with the electrical charge she had seen so many times already, as he reached his hand up to cup the side of her face. Tiny tingles began to move through her skin, warming it and comforting her at the same time. “I don’t want to pressure you but I really hope you decide to take a chance on me. I think we would make a really great team. Think about it, please?” his voice was whisper soft, just like his hand was on her skin.

  She nodded her head, unable to speak past the lump in her throat and knot in her stomach. She stared into his eyes and everything else faded away. He was so handsome and kind, but there was more. There was this pull to him that she couldn’t seem to resist and she didn’t want to. Her body swayed toward his all on its own, her hand moving to his chest. His free hand moved to her hip and she immediately felt another, more intense jolt of electricity where his fingers grazed the bare skin that was exposed between her shirt and pants.

  “Why does it feel like this?” she asked breathlessly. She didn’t mean to ask that out loud but now that she had, she waited for an answer.

  “I don’t know,” Blaine whispered softly, “I’ve never felt it before.”

  “Oh,” she breathed out as his face began to move slowly toward hers. She licked her lips in anticipation of his beautiful lips touching hers and didn’t miss how his eyes followed the movement. When their eyes reconnected, there was a new heat in his and it was blazing.

  Just as she felt the tickle of his warm breath on her waiting lips, his only millimeters from finally touching hers, Becky’s phone started to ring. They both froze as the shrill sound blared into the quiet room. She blinked a few times at the offending sound and then groaned, knowing that it was her mother calling. “Sorry,” she mumbled as she pulled away from Blaine’s embrace, startled by how close he had seemed to pull her to his body without her even noticing. Embarrassed over being so caught up in him and now at being interrupted by her mother, she avoided his gaze as she made her way over to the bar where her purse was. She pulled the phone out and confirmed that it was, indeed her mother. Knowing that answering was the only option, unless Becky wanted her mother to get in the car and come over, she grimaced but put the phone to her ear.

  “Hi Mom.” She tried to sound happy to be hearing from her mother, but she knew she was failing miserably. Her nerves were already frazzled from that almost kiss and the fact that she could feel Blaine’s eyes on her, watching her every move, wasn’t helping matters.

  “Oh honey! Thank goodness I got you,
her mothers’ frantic voice had Becky freezing, her own worries completely forgotten. Becky never heard this tone in her mother’s voice before but she knew her mother well enough to be alarmed by it.

  “What is it momma?” Becky whispered, terrified of what the answer was going to be. She felt Blaine move to her side instantly, his hand tighten on her arm. She must have been unsteady on her feet because he moved her to a chair and forced her to sit in it. This was only a vague awareness though, all she was concentrating on was the sound of her mother’s voice and the terror it sent coursing through her veins.

  Although her mother was trying to keep it together she could hear the unshed tears in her voice when she spoke again. “It’s your father sweetheart. I think he’s had a heart attack. I’m on my way to the hospital now. Will you meet me there, please?” Her strong, stubborn mother sounded so vulnerable that it nearly broke Becky’s heart.

  “Of course momma, I’m leaving right now,” she reassured her as she stood and immediately began to throw things in her purse. Once she had her things, she hurriedly slipped her shoes back on while still reassuring her mother that she was on her way. Blaine handed her a coat and they both left the apartment together. He didn’t ask her any questions; just kept a firm hand on the small of her back as he escorted her to the elevator and then to the street, all while Becky remained on the line with her mother. She just couldn’t let her go right now.

  Becky quickly moved to the edge of the sidewalk and thrust her hand in the air. “Which hospital?” she asked her mother as she watched all of the cabs zip right past her, not one of them even giving her a second glance. She blew out a frustrated breath and was about to let out a curse to go with it when Blaine stepped beside her, then into the rode right in front of an oncoming cab. Becky gasped as the cab came to a screeching halt just inches before hitting him. He motioned for her to come to him and she didn’t hesitate. He held open the door for her and she scrambled inside while telling the cab driver the name of the hospital her mother had just given her. She turned to pull the door shut but instead had to slide over when Blaine followed her into the cab.

  She didn’t have time to protest. She turned her attention back to the phone at her ear. Her mother was trying to explain to her what happened, but Becky couldn’t understand a word. Her mother had completely lost it when Becky confirmed that she was in a cab and on her way. So instead of trying to figure out what her mother’s was saying she focused on trying to soothe her instead, all the while fighting her own tears.

  Having sensed her need for comfort, Blaine’s warm hand engulfed her free one, holding it tight during the entire ride. She had never been so grateful for such a small gesture in her entire life. Having Blaine’s hand tightly wrapped around hers somehow kept her grounded and calm when she needed to be the most.

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