Tainted Enchantment

Seventeen year old Sophie has just enrolled herself into a magical boarding school for fairies, a creature no one at her age believes, and doesn't know it. But whilst struggling with the distance from her boyfriend Drake and family, she unravels the truth about her real father and why people are out to kill her. In the end, who can Sophie trust? The boyfriend that has come to rescue her? Her best friend? Her roommate? Or the fey father she never knew she was related to? Which one is out to kill one of the most powerful fairies in history? Will the surprise she discovers send her into waves of depression? Follow the journey as Sophie learns who to keep close, and who not to keep close.

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15. Chapter Fifteen

I was awake in bed, unable to get to sleep, when I heard Max talking with Sara just outside the door.

     "She hasn't!" Maxine shouted in a whisper to Sara. I heard her nod silently. After all, it was half past two in the morning. I shuddered and threw the sheets and quilt cover over my head.

     "She has. You know she struggles to hold herself back."

     "But she was doing so well," Maxine almost begged. I groaned and suddenly became suspicious. What if they knew I was awake? What if they suddenly burst into the room and saw me sitting with my ear to the wall, a bucket of popcorn in front of me, listening in on their presumably secret conversation with much interest?

     "She's a vampire, Max, she's bound to be a bit rebellious every now and then! Plus, we are talking about Honey here. Anyway, it was just one human and they'll probably last her this next century given she lives forever and all."

     I stepped away from the door.  A vampire?  These people had to be all out of their minds... Max thinks she's a witch, Markis assumes that he's a werewolf, and supposedly, Honey is a vampire...  This was probably all staged.  That's why all of this is happening.  It's all a prank on the new girl... Well, I don't think I can take anymore craziness.  I need air. 

     It took some prying before I could get the window open.  It creaked, and I stopped to see if the door would suddenly open and Sara and Maxine would come inside.  When I counted to thirty and they didn't, I opened the window enough so that I could fit through and I climbed outside.  Shutting it behind me, I ran.  To  someone watching, I probably looked ridiculous running in a silk pink nightgown, but I needed to breathe, to get some air, and just let this ridiculousness go for at least until sunrise.

     Once I was far enough away, I stopped to catch my breath.  Then I took in my surroundings.  I was in a clearing, surrounded by trees.  And I was alone, but then again, who else would be roaming around at two in the morning?  I sat down where I was, my stomach feeling queasy.  The air here smelled like fresh-cut grass, and the stars looked beautiful.  I could just lay here awhile and relax...

 

 

"Hey are you alright?"

     A stranger's voice was in my ear, jerking me back to consciousness.  My eyes flew open and I sat up.  Beside me, there was a boy kneeling.

      "Who are you?" was the first question I could get out of my mouth.  "Were you just watching me sleep?"

     He raised his eyebrows at me.  "Did you not get assigned a dorm room?  It's not the smartest idea to be outdoors at night, especially at this school."

     I sighed; so much for being alone.  "I did, but I felt uneasy with my dorm roommate, so I came out to get fresh air.  I guess I didn't realize how tired I was, and I sort of fell asleep."  I flushed, and thanked the darkness that he couldn't see it.  "So, if it's not the best idea to be outside at night, what are you doing out."

     "The same reason as you," he said after a moment.  "Except, of course, I don't plan on sleeping outdoors."

     "Oh," I said, unsure of what to say.  Then I just kind of fell back and looked back up at the sky.  It took a moment to realize that he wasn't leaving when he stayed right beside me.  "Aren't you going to get back to getting some fresh air?" I asked.

     "And leave you out here by yourself, without any defense?  I don't think so," was his reply.  "I can take in fresh air and watch over you at the same time."

     At that response, I propped myself up onto my elbows and looked at him.  The darkness prevented me from making out his features, so I asked, "Just who are you?"

     "Oh, my apologies," he became formal.  "I'm Ryder Mason."

     "Ryder..." I tested out the name on my lips.  "I'm Sophie.  Sophie Langston."

     "A beautiful name for a beautiful girl," he responded, making me laugh.

     "You're alright, Ryder," I said.  "I think you're the most normal person I've met at this school so far."

     "That's a first for me," was his response.

     We spent time, talking and getting to know each other.  It felt so normal, getting to know this boy named Ryder, someone who didn't seem to be involved with magic or tricking me into believing it was real, and he didn't appear to have the intent of tormenting me.  After awhile, it occurred to me to ask what time it was.

     "Almost five," was his response.

     That made me sit up.  "I've been outside for three hours?  What time was it when you found me?"

     "About three o'clock," he sounded like it was the most normal thing in the world.

     Without knowing it, I had spent two hours talking to this stranger.  "Time really slipped by."

    "I know," he said, getting to his feet.  He extended a hand to her.  "Let's go."

     Trustingly, I took his hand and he helped pull me to my feet.  "Where are we going?"

     "You said you've never been riding, so I'm going to take you.  Sunrise is the best time to go riding, especially when you're just starting out with friends."

 

 

Once they were inside the stables, Ryder lit some kerosene lanterns and she was able to make out his appearance.  His dark beauty made me gasp; his hair was the color of midnight, and his eyes the color of the night sky.  His clothes were all black; his button up shirt, his pants, his boots, and even the cape he wore.  In the flicking firelight, he was astonishing.

     And his smile was dazzling.  "Are you going to stand there staring all night, or are you going to come in and pick a horse?" 

     He was saddling a black horse, and I couldn't help noticing what a nice butt the boy had.  Beside the stall, a wooden name plate read Night Star.

     "I don't have a horse," I told him.

     "Well, just pick a horse," was his response.  "I know most of the riders at this school.  They won't mind, so long as you return the horse in pristine condition.  Unless, of course, you'd like to both sit on midnight."

 

 

"Oh, that was so amazing!" I exclaimed when we got back from riding.

     Ryder had taken me riding all over the campus.  I had ridden Dancer, and him Midnight Star.  We were back at the stables now, and he was unsaddling the horses.

     "You were amazing," he complimented.  "Especially when considering that this is your first time."

     I smiled at him as I returned an unsaddled Dancer to her stall.  "We should do this together more often."

     "Just what do you think you're doing?" an angry, new voice interrupted.

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