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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8. Chapter Seven: Chelsea

I WAS STUCK inside all day Tuesday but on Wednesday morning Mum announced that she was going shopping. The instant she was gone I grabbed my book and headed to the lake. I would only have an hour or so before she would be back. Reaching the lakeside, I sat down on the wooden walkway and removed my shoes. I put them beside me and rolled up the bottom of my jeans before plunging my feet into the cold water. With smile I wiggled my toes and opened up my book. The sun was out but there was a cool breeze that kept blowing my hair over my face so it wasn’t too hot and despite everything I felt relaxed.

 Someone grabbed my shoulder making me jump in surprise. It was Neville, an elderly man who rented out yellow pedalos for tourists to use on the lake. He had a white beard that fell to his flat stomach and always wore a faded navy cap.

“Hi Neville.” I smiled. “Sorry, I was absorbed in my book.”

“Tha’s alright, girl. How are ya? I don’t see ya out much.”

I shifted uncomfortably and replied, “Yeah, well my parents keep me busy.”

“Please tell me ya didn’t get one a those tattoos.” Neville’s eyes were narrowed as they stared at my Ánuims. I had taken off my gloves because it was too hard to turn pages when wearing them. “I could swear tha half tha town has tha same damn tattoo.”

Hiding it from view, I changed the subject. “How’s business?”

“Slow,” Neville grumbled. “Not enough tourists.”

“It will be summer soon and it will get busier,” I reassured him even though I had no idea why anyone would want to come to Eastbridge, because the only interesting things about it were the lake and some cute shops.

Neville and I talked for a while longer before he left. Glancing at my watch, I swore. Mum would be home soon. I put my shoes back on and got to my feet. I practically ran home and luckily no one was there.

I had just yanked my gloves on when Mum’s voice travelled upstairs. “Chelsea, come and help me unpack the bags.”

Trudging downstairs, I put the shopping away.

“After lunch we’ll see if you’ve inherited your father’s power.”

I flinched but Mum didn’t seem to notice.

Out of all the powers I could possibly have, fire was not one that I wanted.

 

 

Dad had just returned home when I started setting the table for dinner. He didn’t greet me and went straight into the kitchen where Mum was preparing our meals. I could hear them talking and tried to block it out. Mum was probably telling Dad about the failed test to light a candle.

 “Why are you wearing those ridiculous gloves again?” Mum demanded as she entered the room. “Take them off, Chelsea.”

Concealing my hands behind my back, I shook my head. Sweat was forming on my forehead. I never defied my parents and for a very good reason; I didn’t want to be punished.

“Do as you’re told,” she snapped, expression darkening. Mum crossed the room towards me and I stepped backwards. She had backed me into a corner; I was trapped. Oh God. This could not be happening.

Mum grabbed me roughly and tore the gloves off. Her gaze fell upon the Ánuims and the blood drained from her face. “Grant!” she cried her voice shaky.

Dad burst into the room and Mum thrust my right hand at him. His eyes widened at the sight of the Ánuims and he turned red. I swallowed a whimper.

“When did this happen?” he yelled, seeming to grow taller with his anger.

“Last Sunday.” My reply was quiet as I kept my eyes focused on the carpet.

“Who?” Dad growled.

Tears filled my eyes. “I don’t know.”

“WHAT?” he erupted, slapping his hands on my shoulders. Squeezing me enough that it hurt, Dad yelled, “Who the hell is your soul mate?”

“He’s a stranger . . . he was at the waterfront and I ran into him.”

His hands growing hotter, he clenched his jaw. “What were you doing at the lake? We told you to go straight home after the Gathering.”

I didn’t answer.

“That is why you need to do as you’re told!” Dad pulled me forwards then shoved me back, slamming my body against the wall. His hands were growing hotter and starting to burn through my top.

“I won’t do it again. I promise.” I sobbed, my shoulders screaming in agony.

“You’re right, you won’t,” Dad said, releasing me. “Go upstairs now.”

Slipping passed him I hurried upstairs to the bathroom. I switched the light on, my hands trembled as I peeled my top off. The skin  on my shoulders was red and blistered. I wet my flannel with cold water and pressed it to one of the burns, hissing in pain. I caught sight of some of my old punishments that snaked around my stomach to my back. Averting my eyes I exhaled slowly as tears slid down my cheeks.

Things had been bad before but they would be worse now.

 

 

Dad stayed home from work on Thursday and Friday. I don’t know what he and Mum did because I was stuck in my room. Mum brought me a tray of food twice a day but didn’t say a word. Only on Sunday was I allowed to leave the house and that was because of the Gathering which was the one thing that I wouldn’t have minded missing.

I had just finished getting dressed in a long, black skirt and a white shirt that rubbed my still store shoulders when Mum opened my bedroom door. Dad stood beside her. Neither of them spoke as Mum took hold of my arm and teleported us to the hall at the edge of the village.

“Stay with us and don’t say a word,” Dad growled, glaring at me.

I nodded meekly and followed after my parents as they spoke with the various other magical inhabitants of Eastbridge.

Mrs Greene’s laughter pierced my ears and I looked up. A tall man with sandy brown hair was standing beside her across the room. He seemed vaguely familiar but I couldn’t fully see his face. Mrs Greene touched his chest and he stepped away from her. I immediately liked him. Almost as if the man could feel me watching him, he looked over his shoulder and met my gaze. A gasp escaped my lips and Mum glanced at me in annoyance.

It was him. My soul mate.

Recognising me, he smiled and strode across the hall towards me, completely ignoring Mrs Greene who had been chatting to him.

I started panicking. Oh God. What would my parents do when they found out who he was?

“Hi,” the man said when he was standing in front of me. “Fancy seeing you here.”

“Excuse me?” Dad pushed me behind him and scowled at my soul mate. “Who are you and how do you know my daughter?”

“I’m Leo Webb,” he replied, reluctantly moving his dark green eyes from me to my intimidating parents. Extending his Ánuims covered hand, he said, “I am your daughter’s soul mate.”

Mum and Dad simultaneously tensed.

Leo. That was his name.

“What’s your name?” Leo asked when none of us spoke.

“I’m Chelsea, Chelsea Jamison.” I reached around Dad to shake Leo’s hand. The moment our skin touched an electric current travelled up my arm and the lights in the ceiling flickered, causing several people to mutter in confusion.

My parents found their voices and started interrogating Leo but I didn’t hear a word of it because I was staring at Leo. His touch had filled me with warmth and from the way his eyes kept flickering to me, I knew he had felt it too.

I couldn’t help but feel pity for him as I wondered if he knew what he was getting himself into.

 

 

 

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