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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6. Chapter Five: Chelsea

DAD LEFT FOR work at seven as usual and I could hear Mum downstairs moving things around. I pressed my face into my pillow knowing that I only had half an hour at the most before Mum insisted I get out of bed. Sighing, I rolled onto my back and held my right hand up. The tattoo-like Ánuims was still there. I had kind of been hoping that it had all been a bad dream. I dropped my hand and stared at the ceiling, fighting back tears. Sooner or later my parents were going to find out that I had met my soul mate and I knew that they would freak out.

Dragging myself out of bed, I grabbed a pair of jeans and a white shirt from my wardrobe and slowly got dressed. I noticed with pleasant surprise that the jeans were loose. I had lost weight, which was probably because of the diet Mum had put me on. Pinching the excess skin around my stomach, I pulled a face. I still had some puppy fat to shift.

“Chelsea!” Mum called from downstairs.

“Yes?” I replied, buttoning up my shirt.

“I’m going to my book club. I want your room spotless when I get back!”

I held my breath and listened intently to see if Mum had teleported away yet. I waited for a minute before I exhaled. There was only silence downstairs – she was gone. Mum’s book club usually lasted all morning but I always made it back to the house for eleven just in case. Monday’s were the days that I had the most time to myself so that was when I visited my aunt Lindsay. She was mum’s sister but a few years ago, around the time of my uncle’s death, we had stopped visiting her and my parents seemed to pretend that my aunt didn’t exist. Retrieving the book Lindsay had let me borrow from under my mattress I bounded down the stairs. After slipping my feet into some plain flats, I locked the front door behind me and practically jogged down the road. Aunt Lindsay lived on the other side of Eastbridge so I walked via the lake, soaking in the freedom of being away from home and my controlling parents. I kept my head down, not wanting anyone to stop and talk to me, and clutched the book to my chest.

I paused when I reached the drive of Lindsay’s house. There were clothes thrown all over the garden.

“Not again.” Groaning, I rushed inside. “Aunt Lindsay?” I called, knocking on the door. It opened by itself and I stepped inside.

There was music playing in the kitchen so I headed there. Lindsay was sat at the table in her nightdress doing a crossword puzzle. She looked up at the sound of my footsteps. Lindsay’s once red hair was now mostly grey and was in a messy bob which she had cut herself.

“Chelsea, what are you doing here?” she asked, pleased but confused to see me.

“It’s Monday.” I sat in the chair opposite her. “Why are your clothes all over the garden?”

Frowning, Aunt Lindsay replied, “It must have been the gnomes.”

“The gnomes?” I repeated.

She nodded and leaned forwards, gesturing for me to come closer. “They live under the house. They think I can’t hear them talking about me but I can,” Lindsay whispered.

I patted her hand soothingly. “I’ll pick up all the clothes and put them somewhere safe for you. I brought that book back that you let me borrow.” I slid it across to her and Aunt Lindsay touched the cover.

“That’s one of Jack’s books.”

“Yes, you said I could borrow it,” I said quietly.

Tears filled her eyes and she gripped the book tightly, her knuckles turning white. “Where is he? Where’s my husband?”

Moving around the table so that I was kneeling beside her, I took Lindsay’s hands in mine. “He’s gone, auntie. I’m so sorry.”

Aunt Lindsay started sobbing and I hugged her, fighting back tears of my own. My uncle had died three years ago in a car accident and ever since Lindsay had been slowly losing her mind. Sometimes she was fine and could remember everything but lately things had been getting worse. It was because of the Ánuims. Without Uncle Jack around, Lindsay was half of a whole. I couldn’t imagine what that must feel like; to have part of you missing. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if Mum helped me look after Aunt Lindsay but for some reason they weren’t close. Most of the time I only snuck out of the house to visit her once a week – I wished it could be more often but I didn’t want to push my luck.

“Why don’t you go and have a shower?” I suggested after a while. “I’ll get your clothes and make a cup of tea.”

When I could hear running water, I went into Jack’s study to return the book. The room was exactly as he’d left it except for the thick layer of dust that had settled on everything. I placed the book, which had been a thought-provoking read, back in its rightful place on the huge bookshelf that filled one of the walls. Uncle Jack had been an accountant with a passion for poetry and a very kind and generous man. He and Lindsay had never had any children so I had spent a lot of time with them throughout my childhood. I had more happy memories with my aunt and uncle then I did with my parents.

After gathering all the clothes together, I kept one outfit aside for Lindsay to dress in and put the rest in the washing machine. The kettle had just boiled when my aunt returned.

“Are you hungry?” I asked as I made our drinks. Lindsay was thin, too thin. “How about I make us something?”

“Pasta.” She rubbed her Ánuims absently. “I would like some pasta.”

I made Lindsay a pasta bake with peppers, mushrooms and a cheese layer on top. There were at least three portions but she ate all of it.

“Better?” I asked with a smile when she slouched back in her chair and laid a hand on her stomach.

“Much, thank you.” Lindsay sounded back to her normal self. Her eyes fell on my hands. “Is that . . . you got your Ánuims?”

I had been wearing gloves but I’d taken them off to prepare the pasta. “Yes, I was hoping I could talk to you about it.” I was worried that bringing up the topic of soul mates would upset her but seeing as she was more herself maybe now was the time to broach the subject.

“Who is he?” Aunt Lindsay gushed, breaking into a grin. “How did you meet? Have you kissed?”

I laughed. She was definitely back to her usual happy, playful self. She was like a sister, best friend and aunt all wrapped into one. “I don’t actually know his name.” I told Lindsay how I had bumped into him and about me running away.

“What did you do that for?”

“I freaked out. I didn’t know what to do,” I muttered embarrassed.

“So you haven’t seen him since?”

I shook my head.

“Do your parents know?” Lindsay’s expression was unreadable.

“No and I . . . I’m scared that if he tries to take me away that they won’t let him, that they’re always going to control my life.”

Squeezing my hand, she said, “Have you received your power yet?”

“No. Aunt Lindsay what if it never comes? I’m such a disappointment to them already . . . They hate me, I know they do.” I broke down crying and she wrapped her arms around me, gently rocking me.

“No, Chelsea, of course they don’t. They are your parents, how could they hate you?”

I didn’t know but they definitely did.

 

 

 

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