The days seemed to all run collectively. Honestly I couldn’t remember the last time Drake and I had a nice relaxing evening together. We’d been busying ourselves with Christopher, taking him on outings and teaching him the ways of the world. Drake and I often debated over who would get to pull him in his wagon and while I could never hear, I believed Christopher thought it was funny seeing us fight over him.
He really enjoyed the park and though sometimes he’d force us to stay until we started to bake, we could never allow ourselves to drag him away. His laughter filled my dreams and gave me a sense of comfort knowing he was happy.
We got back home and I walked into the kitchen to fix CJ’s lunch. I’d agreed to not bother Drake about certain things; things concerning his deal that he believed did not involve me and would place both Chris and I in danger if I knew. I kicked myself for agreeing to let the subject go. I was only thinking about Christopher but I was still very nervous about the conversation I’d overheard that night and the implications that danger was sleeping in my bed.
I was afraid of telling Drake and I’d blocked him from my thoughts as much as possible. CJ also seemed to be acting a bit strange. Drake was teaching him about magic which we’d fought over often. My thoughts were that Chris was too young to learn about the powers in our family, but Drake believed it would be best to start him early. His reasons were not made clear but I was sure it had to do with the voice in Christopher’s room that night.
“Prepare the child”, the voice said. Prepare the child, I constantly thought about what that meant. The voice seemed pleased that Chris had access to my magic. In fact he praised me for allowing him to get to the well. Whatever his plans were for my Son, I was going to do my best to ensure it never happened.
The bottle was warm enough; I grabbed it from the microwave and headed upstairs to Christopher.
I walked into CJ’s room to check on him and stopped in my tracks.
“Drake?” I waited for him to join me in the baby’s room.
“Yes Sweetheart?” he smiled lovingly knowing what was coming.
“What’s this?” I’d been ignoring much of his secretive behavior with Christopher, trusting that he was doing what was needed, but this was too much to overlook.
Christopher was using his magic to play with the toys in his room.
“I don’t want him using magic like this, Drake! Can you imagine what this would be like when he goes to school? He’ll expose us all!”
“Zoe, relax, he’s enjoying himself and exploring his magical nature.”
“Relax? I will not relax, Drake. Make him stop!”
He picked Christopher up; he had a big smile for me as Drake spoke to him.
“What are you telling him?”
“That you are uncomfortable with his use of magic like this. He doesn’t understand though. But he said he’d stop.”
“Let him know I’m not mad at him, I’m just scared, Drake! You shouldn’t encourage this type of magic use! You of all people know the consequences of using magic freely!”
“Baby, you’re right and I’m sorry ok?”
I nodded and walked over to Chris.
I handed him a bottle and watched him feed. He drank hungrily from the rubber nipple until the plastic container was completely devoured.
“Zoe, you really need to understand why it’s important that Chris learns his magic early.”
“Drake I still don’t understand how he can use it without the ring. I figured it was something you did, but I know you won’t tell me.”
Drake looked at me, thinking; deciding on how best to approach the situation. “Baby will you do me a favor?”
“I’m not in the favor doing business,” I said turning to take the empty bottle to the kitchen.
He grabbed my arm and smiled. “Call your Mom here, please. I want you to talk to her about the magic in your family. The two of you have never had that talk. I think it will do you some good to hear.”
“I don’t know, Drake. She’s been popping in a lot more lately and it’s going to start to wear on her.”
“It won’t and that’s only because you are able to use your full source of magic. Trust me, Zoe. You can do this. I need you to do this. It’ll help you with what you are feeling about Christopher.”
I relented. Of course I relented. Drake always gets his way.
I dropped the bottle in the sink and headed to the magic room.
“What exactly are we supposed to talk about?”
“Just start by asking her how she first discovered the magic. She can figure out the conversation from there,” he explained.
I waited to see the fiery figure of my Mom appear in the room. She smiled and waved at us before her shape changed solid.
“Hello my Dear Hearts! Where’s my Grandson?” she asked rushing up to Christopher’s room before we could answer.
He flew into her arms as the door opened. “Whoa! I was not expecting that!”she smiled hugging him tight.
“Yeah, Chris has many new tricks I’m not too fond of myself,” I said looking at Drake.
“Has Mommy and Daddy been treating you ok?”
“Talk to your daughter, Laurie,” Drake smiled. “She needs to understand the importance of knowing the magics early.”
“Is that why you called me here? I would like to say that first and foremost, I’m not too sure I am ok with Christopher playing around with magic this early myself.”
I gave Drake a look.
“But,” she added. “It is important he learns as quickly as he can. If you have decided that age zero is appropriate for your family, I have no say in that.”
“And apparently neither do I,” I added watching her snuggle Chris. His smile was huge as he enjoyed his Grandma’s love. He snuck his head under her chin as she turned to talk to us.
“It’s ok, Zoe. If he’s hungry, he can feed.”
I watched as Chris sank his fangs into her neck. She squinted feeling his sharp teeth pinch her flesh but relaxed as he got his fill.
“Will you heal quickly?”
“I’ll be fine, dear,” she replied.
“Zoe, I won’t talk to you about what Drake has asked unless you are sure you want to know. I don’t want to get in the middle of whatever argument the two of you are having about raising Christopher, that’s not my place.”
“It’s ok Mom, I’m trying to be open for Drake’s sake. I know he means well. I just don’t like the way he is going about it. But HOPEFULLY we can get that resolved soon too,” I glared at him.
He smiled nervously and took a seat on the couch near the wall and I joined him.
“So Mom, let’s have the talk. How did you first discover magic?”
Mom sat Chris on the floor before she began.
“I was a teenager when I first learned my Mom was a witch,” she said. “Your Grandmother was a very secretive person. I would always sneak into her things and play with her makeup, you know, girl stuff.”
“One day I was in her jewelry box and I found that ring that’s on your finger. Her hands had become swollen from recent medical problems and she took it off temporarily. The minute I put it on I became dizzy and my nose began to bleed.”
“Mom walked in and immediately started scolding me,” she smiled. “She had me remove the ring and promise never to touch it again.”
“Once she saw how close to tears I was, she explained everything to me. The magics we had within our family and everything that meant for me.”
“Were you scared the first time you felt the source’s energy?” I asked.
“Of course! I thought the woman was crazy and it was one of those joy buzzer rings! But I quickly learned just how truthful her words were. Strange things started happening and people were always visiting her even at really odd hours of the night.”
“The day Mom died, I was telling her my plans to drop out of college and marry your father. I’d already had Maggie by then and we were making plans to live together. He’d proposed and he braved going to see her with me. She was never really fond of him. She thought that I could do better and I was determined to prove her wrong. He was the son of a local plumber, he’d decided to go into his family’s business and she looked down on that. But I loved him too much to care about what he did for a living.”
“Ironic and striking similarities between that day and the day I died: I had a fight with her before I went to school just as you and I did before I left home. After her funeral, I put the ring on again and instantly I was connected to everyone within the coven. I had the guidance of all of her friends to show me what my new role was and help me get accustomed to life as a witch.”
“There were so many of us, Zoe. Witches, warlocks and mystics of every size, shape and color; all of us were lost. That’s the reason I created the Eve; we needed a place to learn more about ourselves and help one another, especially considering the dangers that lurked.”
“The day your father and I died, I had my reasons for not wanting you or Maggie to leave the house. I told you that you couldn’t stay at Samantha’s that night because of the threat that had just got to town, one you know well, Zavier Kayne. He’d found me. After years of protecting you girls and cloaking the coven from him, he’d somehow discovered our location.”
“I’d first met him at the second Witches’ Eve. He’d approached me and asked me hundreds of questions about who I was, what the Eve was about and specifically what kinds of powers I possessed. I thought he was one of the newcomers; he was the first vampire I’d ever encountered. I felt uncomfortable answering a few of his questions but for some reason I couldn’t stop myself from feeding him the answers.”
“He compelled you,” Drake chimed in.
She nodded. “He pumped me for information until he was happy with what he got. A few days after that he came to the house and I invited him inside.”
“We talked for a while, but the conversation began to turn dark. Your father sent you and Maggie to your rooms and joined me in the dining room with Zavier.”
“It was then that I realized what he was and what he really wanted. He proposed that I make a deal with him, join him and let him have access to the power source. He threatened Robert and you girls. And he told me that he’d take away my happy existence if I crossed him.”
“He gave me 24hrs to make my decision before he made it for me. That night I packed up just the necessities and we ran. You and Maggie were really young and had no idea what was happening. I cast a protection spell on all of us and the coven helped us make an escape.”
“Zoe, when Zavier had discovered us again, I didn’t know what to do. I hadn’t told you or Maggie anything about what we were or what was out there. I thought I was doing the right thing, just as my Mom before me. The minute he came back, I regretted having not told you and not teaching you for the years we went magic free.”
“It’s ok Mom, I know you were only trying to protect us. I have to admit I was very scared the first time I experienced our magics, but I had Drake,” I said smiling in his direction. “He guided me through the entire thing.”
She smiled at him. “And I love him for that. I hadn’t used much magic during the years we hid. Your Dad and I were on the way to get the source restored when we saw someone following us. He tried to lose them, but we ran into a roadblock and there was Zavier standing in front of the car.”
“Your Dad pulled over, thinking we could reason with him and maybe get him to understand the gravity of what he was requesting. He refused to hear us.”
“Instead, he threatened you and Maggie again. That angered me and I tossed him without thinking. I sent volts of electricity through him and tried to kill him.”
“Thinking he was dead, your Dad and I jumped back into the car and rushed home. We needed to get lost again. Zavier quickly caught up to us.”
“He watched as we sped through the streets and he used oncoming traffic to take us out. We were hit from the side and the car was tossed around the road. The same car came crashing back into us and the result was the ‘accident’ that caused our deaths.”
I shifted in my seat hearing her detail the day I lost them; the day she and Dad were taken from us. Drake placed his arm around me and held me hearing my thoughts and emotions. I felt sad and depressed, grief shook me and I mourned for her all over again. But the feelings got worse as she continued.
“We didn’t die immediately; Zavier came down to the scene and as I lay wrenched under the crushing weight of the twisted metal, he laughed and told me he’d have better luck with you or Maggie. He reached into the window for my hand and tried to remove the ring. It shocked him and I heard the sirens of the approaching ambulance.”
“Your Dad looked at me; his eyes were sad and I couldn’t help but cry thinking about you girls and what would become of you. He comforted me, with his dying breath he told me you’d be alright and I had to believe we raised you strong.”
“The car caught fire and he took my hand in his and we sat inside that inferno together. He could have escaped, he could have saved himself, but he stayed by my side. I was trapped in that car and your father’s love caused him to sacrifice himself for me.”
“We did raise you strong. You and Maggie are healthy and well, considering. You came into your powers and have been able to fight to remain on top of the coven and the constant bouts with evil. I cannot begin to tell you how proud I am of you and Maggie.”
Tears were streaming down my cheeks. CJ started crying and Drake left with him to warm a bottle. Mom sat with me. “Baby, we’re ok. Your Dad and I have been able to watch you and Maggie grow and in this form, we feel no pain.”
“I’m happy to know that Mom, but that doesn’t make the loss any better. Being able to talk to you like this and have you back again has been what I needed. Maggie was always the strong one. I don’t know how I am the witch. I’m her ‘artsy fartsy brat of a sister’,” I smiled remembering the way Maggie described me to her friends when we were kids.
“Zoe sweetie, you and I are similar in so many ways it’s scary. You are strong, you are very capable and you became the witch because you are the youngest in the family and the one to best embrace the source’s power. And judging by the way Maggie reacted when you first found out about the witchcraft; I don’t think she would have been as open. It was your ‘artsy fartsy’ imaginative attitude that was able to accept it as reality and adjust as needed.”
“Yeah and open my life to so much danger. I get scared thinking about the constant threats and now I have a son to worry about! I need to be able to keep him safe and protect him from the people that will want to take him and use him against me.”
“I don’t want you to have to worry about Drake and Chris. I want you to be able to have that piece of mind. But I can’t advise you to go against your husband, I won’t. I know you trust him though you fear what he has done. Just keep that faith in him. He’s been your guardian your entire life, he knows what’s best for you and he can keep Chris safe as well.”
I nodded. “I trust him.” I laid my head in her lap, “Thank you, Mom. I love you.”
Drake rejoined us with Chris in his arms. “He was asking for you, Zoe,” he said handing him to me.
“I should get going. I want to be able to visit more, but I am being called back and if I don’t listen and leave, I won’t be able to return. You should get working on another child too, preferably a daughter,” she smiled.
I placed Christopher on the floor and he crawled over to his toy box and I gave her a curious look before I hugged her and she disappeared.
“So, did you learn anything?” Drake asked. “What’s your stance now?”
“I hate the idea of him learning magic this young. He still has to get through school and I fear him exposing us to those that want to harm us and the possibility of them using him to get to us. But the overall consensus, we should start training him, Drake. This new information about Zavier and knowing how he came after Mom, I want to make sure we’re well prepared.”
Drake smiled. It was his intention to make me understand why it was important to teach Chris and Mom did her job well. “I’m happy to hear you say that, Zoe. It’s your magic he’ll need in order to keep the family safe. Let’s get started.”