Bound By Magic

Chelsea Jamison would love to be a normal girl and go to university like everyone else her age but she can’t. Her controlling parents keep her at home under their watchful eyes waiting for the moment that her powers awaken.
Leo West came to Eastbridge with only one thing on his mind. Revenge. Revenge on the people that murdered his parents.
One touch and their lives are changed forever.
Will Chelsea be able to control her powers? Can they learn to love a stranger? Or will dark secrets tear them apart?

Cover by Zillah Designs.

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16. Chapter Fifteen: Chelsea

IT HAD ACTUALLY happened. That was my first thought when I opened my eyes to the inside of Leo’s bedroom. I was in London! I’d escaped my parents! I burst into a huge grin and resisted the urge to squeal in delight.

Hearing the sound of heavy breathing, I propped myself up on my elbows. Leo was stretched out on the sofa. The only part of him I could see were his feet hanging over the edge. I’d felt bad taking the bed but I’d known that Leo wouldn’t have been happy if I hadn’t. The memory of Leo touching my lip the night before made my stomach do flips. I flexed my hand making the black swirls dance. It was so strange to have such a personal connection with someone and know hardly anything about them. I did want to get to know Leo and to spend time with him but I still wasn’t sure I trusted him.

Light was streaming through a gap in the curtains and, interested to see what the view was like, I got out of bed, walking over to it with bare feet. I peeled the dark material back. The window faced out onto a small garden and in the distance I could see skyscrapers.

“Like the view?”

Leo was sat up on the sofa watching me. His hair was messy and I could see the top of the t-shirt he was wearing.

I nodded. “I’ve never seen buildings that tall before.”

“Would you like to see them close up?” he asked, getting to his feet and joining me. Leo drew back the curtains fully, flooding the room with light. “We could go sightseeing.”

“I would love that.” I smiled up at him, surprised to find him right next to me. I was also shocked to see that Leo was only wearing boxers on his lower half and felt my cheeks redden.

“Winnie the Pooh.”

“Who?” I asked confused.

Leo gestured to my pyjamas. “The bear is Winnie the Pooh.”

“Huh, strange name.” I examined the yellow animal closely, saying a silent thank you that Phoebe had had long sleeved sleepwear for me to borrow.

“I suppose it is. You better not tell Phoebe that you don’t know who he is though, otherwise she’ll take it upon herself to educate you.”

Maybe that wouldn’t be so bad – I quite liked Phoebe. She seemed nice plus she was an amazing cook.

“Shall we get dressed and have breakfast?” Leo asked, resting a hand on the wall. “Then we can start your London experience.”

“I’d like that.”

“Pancakes sound good?”

“They sound wonderful.” I beamed.

 

 

After a quick shower, I dressed in clothes that Phoebe had given me the day before – jeans and a striped long sleeved top. The pancakes that Leo had made had been misshapen but tasty and I had definitely eaten more than I should have.

“Ready?” Leo asked, pulling on a dark green jacket.

I nodded excitedly while fastening up the duffel coat that Phoebe had let me borrow.

“Let’s go then.” He smiled, opening the front door.

I went to step outside but stopped when I realised there was someone standing in the way. The man was tall enough that he would have to duck down to enter the house. His skin was dark and puckered in a nasty scar that ran from the corner of his left eye down to the middle of his chin. Black eyes were fixed on me and I felt the urge to reach for Leo’s hand.

“Slade.” Leo’s voice was stiff and he stepped protectively in front of me.

“It’s good to see you back early,” the stranger, Slade, said. So this was the sect leader. He was definitely intimidating enough. “I need you to do something for me.”

“I’ve got plans.” Leo was gritting his teeth. Did he not get on with Slade or was he angry because our sightseeing trip was in jeopardy?

“Then put them on hold,” Slade ordered, his gaze meeting mine.

“It . . . it’s fine,” I found myself saying. “We can go another time.”

Leo glanced back at me, disappointment and annoyance flickering across his face.

“Fine. Let’s go.”

Without even saying goodbye Leo strode away with Slade leaving me standing in the doorway feeling dejected. Shutting the door, I sagged against it and closed my eyes. Slade wouldn’t have taken no for an answer – he reminded me of my dad that way. I suppressed a shudder and removed Phoebe’s coat, hanging it on a coat hook.

Hoping that Phoebe would be awake seeing as it was after nine o’clock, I knocked on her door.

“Come in!”

“Hi, Phoebe.” I hovered in the doorway unsure whether to go inside or not.

“Come and join me.” She waved a hand at me while lying on the floor examining a pink crystal. “Is Leo out with Slade?”

“How did you know?” I sat down beside her, intrigued by the row of crystals and vials that was lined up in front of a small, black cauldron.

With a shrug, she handed me the small crystal. “Know what this is?”

 “Rose quartz,” I replied, rolling the smooth object around my palm. Mum had gone through a phase of teaching me crystal names and properties. “It reduces stress and promotes inner healing, self worth, self love and self confidence.”

Phoebe’s grey eyes were sad. “Correct me if I’m wrong but you could do with some of that, couldn’t you?”

Tears threatened to spill down my cheeks. “Yes.”

Sitting up, she grabbed some black leather and threaded it into a bracelet, incorporating the crystal into it.

“Here.” Phoebe tied it around my wrist.

“Thank you,” I murmured, examining the bracelet. “Why are you being so nice to me?”

“You’ve had a hard life.” Then with a knowing smile, she added, “And I have a feeling that we’re going to be good friends.”

 

 

Mid-afternoon the front door slammed shut making me jump and my concentration slip from the Disney film Phoebe and I were watching. What was it called again? The Lion King? Yes that was it. I was still forcing back tears from when the main character’s dad had died. Phoebe had cried freely and sung along to all the songs.

Eyes fixed on the door, Phoebe swore under her breath.

“Leo?” I asked, hopefully.

She shook her head and returned her attention to the movie, her eyebrows fashioned into a scowl. Surely Phoebe wouldn’t react that way if the person in question was her brother. Harry could be a possibility – I didn’t know how well they got on. Or did someone else live here?

I found out the answer to my question when, nearly at the end of the film, the door opened to reveal a petite but curvy young woman. Straight, blonde hair fell just past her shoulders and she was wearing a miniskirt, a tight white shirt and high-heeled boots. Piercing ice-blue eyes passed straight over me without interest.

“Why don’t you just let yourself in, Lucy?” Phoebe snapped sarcastically.

“Who’s that?”

Grinding her teeth, Phoebe replied, “This is Chelsea, a friend of mine.”

I frowned. Had Leo told his housemates not to tell anyone that I was his soul mate?

Lucy gave a snort. “Like you have friends.”

“What do you want?” Phoebe sighed.

“Where’s Leo?”

I didn’t like the way she said his name.

“Out,” was Phoebe’s answer.

“I know that. Where specifically?” Lucy demanded like she had a right to know.

Phoebe didn’t reply and when it became clear that she wasn’t going to Lucy left, shutting the door loudly behind her.

“God, I hate her.” Phoebe stopped the film looking agitated. “Fancy going shopping?”

I nodded. I could do with some clothes of my own. “I don’t have any money though.”

“That’s okay, my treat.”

 

 

We caught a bus and got off near a shopping centre. There were so many people that I had a small moment of agoraphobia but Phoebe soon pulled me into a quiet store and I was able to breathe again. Phoebe talked practically nonstop as we shopped telling me how she had been obese as a child and had been bullied as a result. She had only just reached a size that she was happy with and was worried that she would end up putting all the weight back on. Phoebe told me about her parents who had gone travelling and were currently in Peru having a fantastic time. She confessed that she was concerned about her brother, Toby, who was a bit of a hermit.

Phoebe also spent hundreds of pounds on clothes as if she did it every day.

Seeing my face, she explained, “Don’t worry about it – my parents are rich.”

That explained how they could afford to travel then.

“I’m not a spoiled rich girl who always has to have the latest trends,” Phoebe told me smiling as we got into a taxi. “I’ve been meaning to replace my old clothes, some of which are several sizes too big, for a while. You gave me the perfect opportunity to.”

“I really appreciate you buying all these for me.” I gestured to the bags pooled at my feet.

“What are friends for?”

When the black taxi stopped outside my new home, Phoebe and I struggled with our haul as we went up the steps. The front door swung open for us. Leo was stood just inside, arms crossed and looking very angry. It had suddenly become very windy and my braid nearly whipped me in the face. I gripped my shopping tightly afraid that it would blow away.

“Where the hell have you been?” he practically yelled, nostrils flared. Focusing his frustration on Phoebe, he snapped, “Why didn’t you answer your phone? I left several messages.”

Withdrawing her mobile from her pocket, Phoebe raised an eyebrow. “Oh yes so you did.” After pressing a few buttons, she added, “I’ve replied. Happy now?” Without waiting for Leo to answer, Phoebe shoved past him and went inside leaving me staring at my feet uncomfortably.

Exhaling loudly, Leo took the bags from me, his fingers grazing mine and making my heart flutter. I met his intense gaze and muttered an apology.

“It’s okay.” He looked and sounded much calmer now. The wind had died down too. “It’s my fault – I didn’t know where you were and I overreacted.” Glancing around, Leo stepped aside. “We should go in.”

When we were inside the warm house, Leo locked the door while I removed my new shoes – Converse I think they were called. They were purple and the most expensive footwear I had owned.

“I’ll have to get you your own phone,” Leo said half to himself. “I’m sure Harry’s got some rattling around somewhere.”

“I really am sorry that I worried you.” I played with the ends of my sleeves, feeling very guilty about the whole thing. Part of me, however, was pleased because surely if Leo had gotten so wound up that meant that he cared about me?

“I’m just glad that you’re safe.” He smiled. “Did you have fun? It looks like you bought a lot.”

“It was nice and definitely better than shopping with my mum.” The only reason she would take me with her was to carry the bags.

“Do you want to go out for dinner tonight? Just the two of us.”

Maybe it would give the two of us a chance to get to know each other better.

“Sounds perfect.”

 

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