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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14. Chapter Thirteen: Chelsea

WAKING UP IN an unfamiliar room startled me and it took a while before I realised where I was – Leo’s hotel room. I’d never been in a hotel before. The room was nice and spacious with cream furniture. I could hear the shower which was where Leo must be. Rubbing my face, I felt suddenly anxious. What was going to happen now? Was Leo going to take me to London? I played with the sleeves of my pyjama top, glad that they covered all my skin. How would Leo react to the scars from the many burns my Dad had given me? Would he be repulsed? I planned to conceal them for as long as I could.

Once Leo left the bathroom he bought some clothes for me from a nearby shop seeing as in my haste to leave home I hadn’t thought to bring any clothing with me. The idea that Leo had picked out the underwear made me blush but fortunately they, like the rest of the things he had purchased, fit me even if they were slightly big.

I hadn’t expected Leo to agree to let me say goodbye to Aunt Lindsay – he seemed eager to leave Eastbridge – but he did. I hoped she would be okay without me around and had to fight tears as I said goodbye.

Now Leo and I were in the car heading to London. The radio was on but neither of us were talking. Aunt Lindsay had let me keep a poetry book, and I gripped it tightly. Leo seemed deep in thought about something. Was he already regretting taking me with him?

Clearing my throat, I decided to break the ice. “Have you always lived in London?”

Leo glanced at me in surprise as if he’d forgotten I was there. “When I was growing up we lived in the countryside but after my parents’ deaths I moved to London.”

“Your parents are dead? I’m so sorry.”

Leo’s hands tightened around the steering wheel. “It’s fine. It was a long time ago.”

His strained expression betrayed his words and I gazed out the window. Well done, Chelsea. I thought to myself. Any chance of an enjoyable journey had fizzled away like a spent sparkler.

I jumped when a hand squeezed mine. Leo’s dark green eyes met mine, sending electricity through my arm, and he smiled sadly.

“Been to London before?” he asked.

“No. I’ve never left Eastbridge.”

“What?” Leo returned his hand to the steering wheel, shocked. “Wow. Your parents are a piece of work.”

He had no idea.

 

 

Around three hours later Leo stopped the car outside a row of what Leo told me were Victorian terraces. My hands were shaking as I unbuckled my seatbelt.

“You okay?” Leo asked.

Damn. He must have noticed.

“I’m a bit nervous,” I admitted, blushing.

Leo had explained during the journey that he lived in a house with other members of his sect. I was worried that they wouldn’t like me.

“You don’t need to be,” he assured me, voice kind.

We got out of the car and I examined my surroundings while Leo retrieved his bag from the stairs. The road was quiet and there were trees lining it.

“Come on.” Leo smiled, taking the steps up to the front door.

Following him, I wiped my sweaty hands on my jeans and stepped inside. The hallway had a high ceiling, a stone floor and was empty except for a small wooden table. Leo ignored the several doors that led off the hallway and ascended the stairs. I hurried after him. Leo stopped by the second door on the left.

“This is my room.” He twisted the door handle and walked in.

I hesitated in the doorway, taking it all in. The room was surprisingly big with lots of furniture including a double bed, wardrobe and sofa.

“You can come in you know.” Leo laughed, shoving clothes from his bag into a basket.

I entered the room, eyes scanning the walls which were covered with posters of films that I hadn’t seen and photos of people that I didn’t know.

Leo cleared his throat and I glanced over my shoulder to find him sat on the bed patting the space beside him. He must have been talking to me but I hadn’t heard a word.

Ruffling his hair, Leo said, “I know this is a bit of an odd situation.”

It was more than odd. The last thing Leo had probably expected to do when he went to Eastbridge was to meet his soul mate and now here we were in London. Leo was stuck with me, no doubt wondering how he had been so unlucky.

“I don’t want you to feel like you’re not welcome here because you are. You’ll be safe here, Chelsea. I’ll look after you.”

I smiled gratefully, hoping that I wouldn’t be a burden.

“You remember when I told your parents that I had an office job here in London?” When I nodded, Leo continued, “That was a lie. I don’t work in an office. I work for my sect leader, Slade, in return for a home and protection.”

“What kind of jobs do you do for Slade?” I was wary and hoped that Leo wasn’t going to say something terrible.

“Nothing bad,” he replied, seeing the look on my face. “I mainly just ensure that another sect doesn’t hurt anyone in our territory.”

“Huh.”

“Not what you were expecting?”

“No. So a sect is a bit like a gang?”

We had learned a little bit about American gangs in History lessons at high school which I had attended with both magical and non-magical students.

“I guess so.”

“Things can get violent then?” Just the thing I wanted to avoid.

“Rarely.” Leo took one of my hands in his, his touch filling me with warmth. “Chelsea, you’re safe here, I swear.”

“Will I have to become part of the sect?”

Before Leo could answer there was the sound of heavy footsteps on the stairs. A head popped around the doorframe and grinned widely.

“Dude! You’re back!”

The rest of the person’s body stepped into view. It was a young man who seemed to be a similar age to Leo. He was tall, maybe just under six feet tall, with longish, messy blond hair and dark blue eyes.

Leo hopped to his feet and slapped the newcomer on the shoulder. “It’s good to see you.” Turning around, he gestured for me to come and meet his friend. “Chelsea, this is Harry my best friend. Harry, meet Chelsea.”

“It’s nice to meet you.” I shook his outstretched hand.

Harry surprised me by pulling me into a hug, then drew back to examine me. “When you told me you were going on holiday I didn’t expect you to come back with a new piece of skirt,” he told Leo, voice full of amusement.

I scowled. Was Leo a ladies’ man?

“This is no ‘piece of skirt’, Harry,” he growled. “Chelsea is my soul mate.” Leo held out the hand with his Ánuims.

Harry’s eyebrows shot up. “Well that was unexpected. I guess you’re one of us now then, Chelsea. Welcome to Hell.”

 

 

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