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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4. Chapter Four

Todd sauntered into the house right then with his girlfriend, Cassandra.  She was a small thing, almost pixie-like.  Her eyes were like doe eyes-- they were so large and brown on her small heart-shaped face.  Whenever she smiled, it always seemed to be full of mischief.  I always thought that that was what she and Todd had in common: trouble.

     "I'm so sorry that I'm late," Todd began, pulling out a chair that Cassandra fell into.  He seated himself right beside her.  "Cassandra's doctor's appointment went on longer than I thought it would."

     “Hey, Todd,” I said in a small voice, chewing on my morsel of food slowly and poorly. I was so upset and dreary that when I said my greeting the food nearly slipped out of my mouth, but with his toothy grin shining at me as he walked in with his girlfriend, I relaxed, muscle by muscle.

     “Do doctors ever run on time?” he asked being his usual self – humorous and never taking anything too seriously – and the whole family breathed a sigh of relief and continued on through the dinner reasonably calmly.

            I looked around when my aunt cleared the plates with Todd’s girlfriend. I wanted to get him by himself, to talk face to face and him alone. Without excusing myself from the table, I took Todd by his wrist and dragged him into the guest room. I nearly threw him in and he stumbled, falling on the bed like a right idiot.

            He smirked at me. “If I didn’t know any better, I’d think you were making a move.”

            I shook my head and began pacing, ignoring his gorgeous face. “Ew, we’re related by blood. That’s disgusting.”

            “And the fact that you’re my best friend would get in the way of that too. What’s up?”

            I sat down next to him, resting against his well-built body. He relaxed underneath me and wrapped one protective arm around me, starting to rock. I smiled to myself through the pain I was experiencing and patted his chest like a best friend would.

            “What’s up?” he asked again, brushing the hair out of my eyes as I sat up once more, my cheeks damp with inevitable tears.

            So I told him.

            His reaction was nothing like anyone else’s. He was supportive and excited when I told him about the boarding part of the deal. I wasn’t sure what to really expect from a best friend and cousin like him, but it certainly wasn’t this. He’d always been a bit biased with me, going along with whatever I wanted to do and agreeing that when I said I didn’t cheat on my maths test in fourth grade, he believed me. But until now, I’d thought it was all an act. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

            “That’s great, I’m really happy for you. When did you finally decide you were going to apply?”

            I stared at him in shock, resting up against the piano in the corner a loud bang of random notes flying into our ears. I watched him wince and wish I hadn’t. It was in times like these when Nanna really shouldn’t have dropped a glass of firewater onto the wooden cover.

            “A few weeks ago. You really think it’s a good idea?” I still couldn’t believe it.

            Down the hall, I could – and he could, too – hear the raised voices of my parents’ versus his and Nanna. I could pick out my aunt’s voice immediately; the high pitched one with a piercing shot about it, almost like one of those alcoholic shots Todd offered me at his twentieth birthday last year.

            “Drake’s not happy?” he asked, cocking a eyebrow up at me.

            “Not even in the slightest. I think … I think he broke up with me a few days ago. He hasn’t called or messaged and I have nightmares in my head about seeing him tomorrow when I’m not even asleep! Todd, tell me there’s nothing wrong with me.”

            His lips stretched in a smile from ear to ear and he rubbed his chin, putting on a strange accent that I couldn’t decipher. “Um … well...”

            I walked over and smacked his arm playfully. He tackled me to the ground and started tickling my sides. I squealed and pinched him, making him retreat with a put-on scowl shot in my direction. He scooped me up into a friendly hug and bent down to whisper in my ear.

            “You should call him.”

 

I stared at the phone with Drake's contact profile popping up with his picture. Well, our picture anyway. We took it only a few weeks ago and I was the only one smiling at the camera – he was just kissing my cheek like a scene out of the movies.

            I’d always thought Drake and I were meant to be. Not soul mates, but just a lucky coincidence that we found each other and fell in love. We did almost everything together: if I wanted to go to the cinema to see the latest girly movie he’d go with me, though we didn’t end up watching the movie much. We were otherwise occupied. If I wanted to drive out of town to visit or stay at Todd’s cheap apartment for a week or so in my holidays, he’d drive and at least pretend he wasn’t attracted to Cassandra in any way.

            Forcing myself to get a grip and telling myself aloud to be confident, I pressed the ‘call’ button and held the phone to my ear with a shaky hand. He answered after three extraordinarily long rings and I could hear my speedy heart.

            “Hello?” he said, as if he didn’t know it was me. I sighed heavily and clenched my empty hand into a fist.

            “Drake, it’s me.”

            “I know. I saw your picture come up on my iPhone. Thanks for calling.” Had he seriously just said that? Was our bitterness over? Was all swell and back to normal except for the tiny detail that I was leaving and would probably only see him once or twice a year … tops?

            “The suspense is killing me,” I confessed.

            I imagined him shifting on his bed, resting up against his pillow, like he always did when he got nervous about something. I wanted it to be real and I wanted to be there with him so I could kiss his worries away.

            “Thanks for giving me time to, uh, think.”

            “Oh, sure. Drake, I just want you to know that I still love you no matter what the circumstances are.”

            I heard his mother call to him and anger boiled within me. They were always late dinner eaters because his mum was an emergency nurse and had annoying shifts with minds of their own. Drake’s parents split before he was old enough to remember the pain and hadn’t seen his dad since. He had no siblings and I guess that’s why he took such a great interest in Owen, and my best friend, and cousin, Todd.

            “Look I have to go, my mum’s calling. Will I see you tomorrow?”

            I looked out the window and my eyes welled with tears. It didn’t help that I was due for my period with all of the mood swings but I needed this as my way of getting through it. The phone call helped though – gave me a chance of ever turning up at school again.

            “Yeah, I’ll be at school. Drake, I do love you,” I repeated in case he’d missed it before.

            This next comment kept me awake all night. “I know, Sophie.”

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