Cassie was in the public library reading up on witch hunters. She could see Faye teasing Jake between the book stacks. And she also peeked over the top of the book she held and saw Melissa, Diana and Adam at the next table doing the same research. She had no right to be jealous of any of them, but she was. Adam caught her eye and winked. Cassie ducked behind the book, her face flaming in embarrassment for getting caught.
"In your dreams!" Faye said loudly.
"SSHH!" A few people hissed.
Faye rolled her eyes and sat down with Cassie. Jake followed her and made sure he sat across from the two of them. Cassie felt his eyes on her, but ignored him and turned to Faye.
"These books don't say much. I think this is a dead end." Cassie said, closing the one she had.
"I agree and I'm bored," Faye complained.
"Maybe we should hunt for the missing family books," Jake suggested.
Both girls looked at him. Cassie's eyes met Jake's and she couldn't look away. "Where would we look?"
Faye didn't like being ignored, "attics, bedrooms and offices."
Diana, Adam and Melissa arrived at the table also. Adam sat down between Cassie and Diana. Melissa chose to remain standing. Melissa said, "I don't think my step-mom or dad will let me into the attic."
Faye said, "we can wait until parent-teacher night. I think that's tomorrow actually. They'll be gone and we can do it then."
Adam added, "and we only have to make a quick appearance and then can leave."
"Since Cassie and I have our books already, we'll help Melissa look for hers," Jake offered.
"Okay, then Faye and Diana can help me look for mine," Adam said.
Cassie suggested, "we could meet back at the school to make sure Faye's mom is still busy and then we can all help her look for hers." Putting everyones attention on Faye, had the result Cassie had hoped for. Faye stopped staring hate daggers at her.
Faye stood up and everyone followed. Cassie stayed behind to put away the books she had taken off the shelves. The others all left. Jake went in another direction entirely. He waited until Faye, Adam, Diana and Melissa had all left. Then he went to find Cassie. He found her on a ladder trying to put away a book that was too high for her to reach. He grinned as he watched her stretch to push it on the shelf. She had only one foot and one hand on the ladder, in her effort to get the book back to where it belonged.
"Why don't you use some magic to put it back?" Jake asked, looking around to make sure no one was near by.
Not knowing anyone was watching her, a surprised Cassie lost her balance and began to fall. She let out a small shriek, then Jake's muscular arms caught her.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to startle you," Jake apologized. He enjoyed having her in his arms and his eyes reflected his mounting desire.
"Thanks for saving me," Cassie said softly. She was staring into his eyes. She couldn't look away. Her heart began beating faster.
Jake put her down and she stood in front of him, still with her arms around his neck. His gaze dropped down to her lips and she felt his direct attention on her. She let go of him and stepped back. Cassie wasn't ready to have him kiss her again. The first time they had kissed was on a dare. The second time she'd done it and he had rejected her. She found Jake to be so confusing. One minute he showed interest and the next he shut down and pushed her away.
"Unlike Faye, I don't want to use magic in public. It's too dangerous."
At the mention of Faye, Jake's eyes went cold. He became his cool self again. "Falling off a ladder isn't safe either."
"Point taken," Cassie replied.
Jake turned to go, then remembered why he'd come to find Cassie. "Since your car is still at the body shop, I'll pick you up from the school."
"Okay, thanks." Cassie had to say something, "um, Jake?"
"What?" Jake turned around to face her.
"I didn't have a chance to really thank you for everything to do with that medallion. You were so brave letting me into your mind."
"Okay," was all Jake said, shrugging his shoulders.
Cassie put a hand on his wrist. She looked up at him and gently said, "I'm sorry you had to go through seeing your parents die again. Are you okay?"
Jake appreciated that she cared enough to ask, but he wasn't ready to let the pain in again. "I'm fine. Look I've got to go, see you later."
Her heart went out to him as she saw he was struggling to keep his control. His eyes got wet, but he didn't shed the tears. He left quickly. Cassie knew their circle hadn't forgiven him for being a jerk in the past or for being a witch hunter. But Cassie wasn't like that, she forgave him, it was trusting him that was hard. There was a dangerous vibe he gave off, it scared her as much as it intrigued her. When he'd caught her, he stirred something sexual deep down inside her. If he would just let down his wall a little, show more of his humanity….
"I thought I'd find you still here," Adam said, coming around the corner.
Seeing Adam snapped Cassie back to reality. "I was just cleaning up."
"Need any help?"
"No I'm done. Could I get a ride home with you and Diana?"
"Diana left with Melissa and Faye, so it will be just us." Adam watched for Cassie's reaction, but she kept her face neutral.
They walked to his car after leaving the library, talking about the witch hunters. Cassie only half listened. She felt a connection to Adam, since the first time they'd met. Just like her and Jake, she'd kissed Adam too. With Adam she felt safe, but he still loved Diana. Diana had chosen to end their relationship due to what was written in the stars. But they both found being 'just friends' very hard. Cassie didn't want to hurt either of them. And Adam didn't like Cassie pursuing her investigation into her dark magic. He felt she was being selfish and reckless. It was one of the things that made her keep secrets from him.
Adam dropped her off, hoping Cassie would invite him in, but she didn't. He drove away, but he really wanted to stay. He knew she was putting some distance between them, because of her loyalty to Diana. What Cassie didn't know, was that when Adam was with her, it made letting Diana go, a lot easier.
Once Cassie was home, she microwaved her diner and went to her room. Her grandmother was still away and she missed her a lot, but having the whole place to herself was awesome too. She turned on her stereo nice and loud, then sat on her bed to do some homework. Once she was done the questions about her magic and heritage ran through her mind. She got out a new piece of paper, and organized her thoughts. She wrote down what she knew so far about everyones past that was linked to her circle. Cassie found it odd that mostly it was their mothers who had died, the exception being Jake. He lost both parents in the fire. And if they all had magic, then so should the remaining parents. Why did their parents not talk to them about the past? What were they hiding? Was her grandmother the only one with a crystal? Were there more crystals out there? So many questions made her mind hurt.
"Maybe I'll try to meditate," she said out loud to no one but herself. If she could relax, maybe she could turn the world off for a little bit.
Sitting on the floor, her back to her bed, Cassie crossed her legs. Closing her eyes she concentrated on her breathing. Slow deep breaths. At first her mind tried to wander, then it focused on nothingness. At last she began to relax.
Cassie and Melissa waited for Jake to pick them up. They had made sure Melissa's parents had seen them. Cassie talked to Faye's mom, the principle, advising that her grandmother was still away. They slipped out and waited on the sidewalk. Jake pulled up in his black pickup. Cassie got in beside him and Melissa followed.
"I don't think we'll find anything tonight, I've looked before," Melissa said.
"Did you use a locator or finder spell?" Jake asked.
"No, but that's a great idea!" Melissa praised.
Cassie was quiet, Jake slid her a glance. She was looking at where their thighs touched. He grinned to himself. He felt it too. She tore her eyes away and looked at Melissa.
"This will be my first time at your house," Cassie said.
"Too bad we don't have time for the grand tour," Jake said sarcastically.
Melissa smiled at Cassie, "some day you'll see it."
They arrived, but parked a few houses away. Jake and Cassie followed Melissa through the yard to the backdoor. Melissa unlocked it and turned on her flashlight. She led the way upstairs. Jake removed the attic panel. Then he boosted Melissa up through the hole. Melissa dropped down the rope ladder. Cassie started up, while Jake held the rope steady. Jake admired the view of her ass. Once the girls were clear of the hole, he climbed up and joined them.
With their flashlights set on the floor, they held hands. Cassie's eyes shot to Jake, as she felt an electric tingle where their skin met. He had his eyes closed. But he did squeeze her right hand a little harder then released the pressure, letting her alone know he had felt it too.
"Concentrate on the book and will yourself to find it," Jake said. He waited a moment and said an incantation. The girls repeated it with him three times.
He let go of their hands and picked up his flashlight. They did the same. It was like all attics; dusty and full of junk. Melissa sneezed when she moved some books aside.
"This place is disgusting. It's obvious no one has been up here in years," Melissa observed.
Cassie was shining her light over some binders when her light seemed to get brighter. She went in closer for a better look. "I think I found something."
"The book?" Melissa asked.
"No, but a paper with symbols and words."
Jake came over to look at it. He put his flashlight over the page. "Take it with you for now, we'll look at it later." He moved on.
A mouse ran over Melissa's hand. She shrieked and jumped backwards. In the process of doing so she tripped over an old suitcase and bumped into Cassie. Cassie began to fall backwards too. Jake caught Cassie, saving both girls from their fall.
"Ladies if you want to be in my arms, we should go to Melissa's bedroom," Jake said.
Cassie and Melissa said in unison, "not going to happen."
Then Cassie asked if Melissa was okay. Melissa confirmed she was and explained about the mouse. "Hey look, this suitcase got knocked open. It's full of papers. This one is definitely a spell of some sort." Melissa waived a paper at them.
Jake wandered over, "close it up and I'll carry it out to my truck."
They did as he asked and kept searching. They had found nothing else by the time he returned. They called it quits. Melissa and Cassie climbed down the ladder, then Jake pulled it up and lowered himself down. As they were in the process of leaving, car lights lit up the front of the house.
"Oh no! My parents are home early," Melissa whispered, "quick out the backdoor!"
They ran for the trees lining the fenced yard, Melissa's adrenaline making her faster than Cassie and Jake. The house lights came on, just as Cassie tripped. She landed on her stomach. Jake made it to the bushes and whispered to Cassie to stay down for a minute.
"I think I twisted my ankle," Cassie whimpered.
Jake swore softly, "wait here and don't move. I'll come back for you."
He went to his truck and explained to Melissa what happened. They would pull up into the driveway, as if Jake was dropping Melissa off. Then he'd leave and Melissa would distract her parents, until they texted her they were safe. Jake dropped Melissa off as planned and parked just past her house. He back tracked along the fence line to where Cassie was. He helped her stand, then picked her up and carried her to the truck. Cassie was embarrassed and couldn't look at him. She felt like she was a nuisance.
"I'm sorry Jake," she said softly.
He rolled his eyes. "Let me take a look at your ankle."
She did as he asked, putting her foot into his lap. He was surprisingly gentle when he removed her boot and touched her leg.
"It's starting to swell. We need to get ice on it right away. I'll drive you home. Text Melissa that we're safe."
Melissa's return text said she had to stay in for the rest of the night. Cassie replied not to worry about it, but to let Faye know. Then to Jake she said, "I can't wait to look into that suitcase of papers."
Jake shrugged, "it's probably stuff we already know."
They rode in silence until they arrived at Cassie's grandmother's house. He helped her into the house. She sat on the kitchen counter with her leg up, as Jake got some ice and put it on her ankle. Cassie noticed that the counter put her at the perfect hight. She couldn't help admiring his jaw, his lips and mouth. He noticed where her line of sight was. He moved to stand in front of her, his own eyes waiting for her's to meet his. She looked up as his hand reached out to pick some grass from her hair. Her breath caught in her throat. She swallowed hard. His face was inches from hers and she took a chance. Leaning forward her lips lightly brushed his. She couldn't handle it if he rejected her again.
Jake was drawn to her, the kitchen light flickered crazily, but neither noticed. "Cassie," he whispered against her lips. Then he caressed her jaw and kissed her deeply.
The bag of ice on Cassie's ankle melted into water instantly. The lights seemed to pulse with their heart beats. At last they drew back, both breathless. Before either could say anything, both their cell phones went off, interrupting the moment.
"It's Diana, she said they found nothing and will meet us back at the school. I guess we should go," Cassie said reluctantly.
Jake nodded and picked up the baggie of water. His breathing was still irregular. Cassie put her sock back on and he helped her with the boot. As Jake's hands went around her waist to help her off the counter, he heard Cassie suck in her breath.
"Does it hurt bad?" He asked.
"No it's okay," she said softly. Her hand was gripping his arm and she felt his muscles tense under it. "Please don't tell anyone why I'm limping, I feel stupid as it is."
Jake smirked, "it'll be our little secret."
When they arrived, Faye got a ride with them. Faye made sure she sat between Jake and Cassie. Faye also possessively rested her hand on Jake's thigh. Cassie noticed he did not remove it.
"Melissa texted me and said you guys did a locator spell and found some papers," Faye said.
Jake didn't answer, so Cassie was forced to. "A suitcase full of papers. We haven't gone through them yet, so we don't know what they are."
As they arrived at Faye's house, Adam and Diana parked two houses up and Jake parked two houses down. It was extra precaution, as Faye advised that her mom said she'd be busy for a few hours.
Faye noticed Cassie limping, "Melissa also mentioned your fall. I wish I had been there to see it." Faye laughed.
Diana noticed too and offered, "I'll help you Cassie."
Faye put her hand on Jake's arm and said with disgust, "Cassie always plays the victim."
Jake took her hand off his arm, but he did chuckle at what she said. Jake laughing at her, hurt Cassie's feelings, but she didn't show it. But when Adam joined Diana helping Cassie, she was relieved they were so nice. Cassie noticed Jake's eyes narrow when she leaned on Adam. Once they all stood in a circle, they held hands and chanted Jake's finder spell. Cassie and Diana stayed on the main floor to search, the rest of them went upstairs.
"We should do this at Faye's grandfather's cabin too. Jake said that he was probably an elder, so he should have something about witchcraft there," Diana said.
"True, but that may be really hard on her. After everything that happened the last time we were there, she probably wont want to go, " Cassie replied.
"Well there is nothing down here," Diana finally sighed.
"You go help the others, I'll be fine here," Cassie said as she sat down on the stairs.
While Cassie waited she thought about the kiss with Jake and kissing Adam. She didn't mean to lead them on. What a mess. It was like they had a magnetic force, she couldn't resist the temptation. As cool and laid back as Jake was, she knew deep down he was like a child craving love. Adam was recovering from Diana breaking up with him. If only she could meet a guy outside of the circle, then it would solve everything. She could hear everyone coming down the stairs.
"Did you guys find anything?" Cassie asked to no one in particular.
"Nothing," Faye said disappointedly.
Diana looked at Cassie, who nodded. Diana gently suggested, "your grandfather's place may have something. Maybe one day we can go back there and look?"
Faye struggled with her emotions and finally answered, "um, okay…maybe on a weekend."
Diana got a text and checked her phone. "We need to get back to the school. I just got a text from my dad and he's looking for me."
Cassie looked at Jake and Faye, "we can go back to my house and look through Melissa's papers."
Faye wrinkled her nose, "boring. I'm staying home," she looked invitingly at Jake, but he didn't take the bait.
Jake instead said, "I'll drive you home. I'll help until Adam and Diana arrive."
"I'll text you after I talk to my dad," Diana said as they got into Adam's Bronco.
In Jake's truck on the way to Cassie's, he turned on the music loud enough to discourage conversation. He parked at his house and suitcase in hand, they walked over to her house. Once inside Cassie took off her boots and sat down at the dining room table. She put her sore foot on a chair. Surprisingly, without her saying anything, Jake got them both a glass of pop. Then he gave her a bag of frozen peas.
"Sorry you didn't have any ice made," Jake said, putting the peas on her ankle.
Cassie sneezed when they opened up the suitcase, "excuse me."
Jake took out a stack of papers and gave some to Cassie and took a pile for himself. The first few pages, were just about herbs and their healing abilities. That was stuff that they could find on the internet. In Jake's pile were papers on crystals and elements, stuff they learn in chemistry and science. They put them in a pile to dump back in the suitcase later. As they continued sorting through the pages, someone knocked on the front door.
Cassie started to get up, and Jake stopped her. "I'll get it, you stay off your feet."
As he came back to the dining room, Faye followed him. "My mom was being bitchy, so I left."
"Grab some papers and start reading. Whatever is generic or we can find on the internet, put in that pile," Jake instructed.
Faye nodded, then in five minutes in a coy voice asked, "Cassie can I get myself a drink?"
Cassie shrugged distractedly, "sure, whatever."
Jake caught Faye's eye and she winked at him. She went to the liquor cabinet. Only when she brought Jake a rum and coke, did Cassie notice. Cassie frowned at Faye.
Faye rose her eyebrow in challenge, "what? You didn't specify what I had to drink."
Cassie didn't feel like fighting and went back to the papers. She sent a text to Diana, who replied that they would be over there soon. She took the page that she had in her pocket out, "this looks like a spell of some sort," she said handing the page to Jake.
He looked it over, "ya it's an old spell for wealth."
Faye got interested, "that's a keeper."
Cassie got up to let Adam and Diana in. "We found one spell and the rest is just junk, so far."
Adam peeked into the suitcase. "There's lots of papers still here to go through."
Jake stood up, downed his drink and said, "that's my cue to leave."
"No one's stopping you," Adam said snidely.
Diana nudged Adam and he grumbled under his breath. He took Jake's chair and began his search. Diana shook her head and sat down. Cassie got up to let Jake out.
"Don't bother, I'll let myself out," Jake said.
"Have a good night," Cassie said.
Faye stood up, "I'll make sure he does."
After she left to catch up to Jake, Adam said what Cassie was thinking, "good riddance."
Diana went to scold Adam again, but stopped when Cassie agreed, "she really irritates me sometimes!"
They found two more spells, a bunch of useless pages and some more herbal remedies. Diana yawned and it became infectious. Adam pushed his chair back and stretched.
"Should we leave this stuff here?" Diana asked Cassie.
"Probably not. Adam in my closet there is a box labeled shoes. It's empty, we could use that, if you don't mind getting it."
"Sure no problem."
Adam retrieved the box and they took all the papers and transferred them over. The stuff that they deemed to be junk, they put back in the old suitcase, which Diana took outside.
When she came back inside, Diana asked, "are you ready to go?"
Cassie looked at her, "thanks, but I'll just stay here tonight. You two go on home."
Everyone said goodnight. Cassie locked up and then made her way slowly upstairs. She was breathless when she got to her room, her ankle throbbing. Gingerly she limped around, getting ready for bed. It would be nice sleeping in her own bed again. She looked out her bedroom window at Jake's house. It was dark. Cassie felt jealousy rise up in her, but after looking at a picture of her mom, she was calm again. Counting the stars on the ceiling, she eventually fell asleep.
The shrill scream of the alarm clock woke Cassie up. Her ankle was feeling much better, but she'd still have a limp. No heals today, she'd have to wear her Nikes. With a look at the curtain, they parted to let the sunshine in. After a quick shower, Cassie put on her TNA pants and a cute top. When she checked herself in the mirror, she saw Jake's reflection through the window. He had his shirt off and was doing something in his room. She didn't mean to stare, but he had a nice body, ripped abs. Her breathing got heavier and sexual desire flowed through her veins.
In his own room, Jake felt Cassie's stare. When he turned to the window, he could see her standing in front of her mirror, her back to him. He opened the window a crack, just so he could linger longer, without being too obvious. He felt a surge of sexual need, he wanted to be with Cassie.
Cassie tossed her hair with a shake of her head and looked away from the mirror. She was a little embarrassed by her body's reaction. The ring of her cell phone provided a great distraction. "Hello? Oh, hi Adam…Sure I'd love a ride to school. I'll be down in five minutes."
Adam and Diana were waiting for her when she got into his Ford. Cassie said good morning to them both and Diana asked about her ankle. She confirmed it was getting better. They discussed going over the papers after school. Adam parked and they all walked towards the school together.
"I have a math quiz today," Cassie complained to no one in particular.
"Damn, I forgot about that test," Adam said.
Diana sighed, "I can't wait to graduate, school sucks."
Cassie laughed, "with everything that has happened lately, doing something normal is a relief."
Faye heard her as she walked over with Melissa, "normal is over-rated."
Ignoring Faye's comment, Cassie asked, "are you two coming over after school to look at those papers?"
Melissa said, "sure, but first I have to work on my english essay. Would you mind helping me with it Diana?"
Diana agreed to help and Faye rolled her eyes. "I've got plans tonight, sorry."
The bell rang and everyone scrambled to get to their homerooms. Cassie noticed a new guy in hers. He was tall like Jake, asian and very cute. She liked his short spikey hair. She sat beside him and he shot her a quick smile. Finally she was no longer the new kid at school.
"Hi I'm Cassie," she whispered.
He leaned into her and said, "I'm Raiden. What's your first class?"
"Damn, mine's math," he said.
Cassie smiled, "I feel your pain, today I have a math quiz. But I can show you where the room is, it's on my way."
They left homeroom and Cassie found out that Raiden's uncle was Calvin, the missing antique store owner. Raiden said his mom got a strange letter in the mail saying that Calvin had to leave town and wasn't sure when he'd be back. Cassie confirmed that she hadn't seen the store open in weeks. They chatted a little longer and then went to their separate classes. Cassie sent a mass text message to her circle, letting them know about Raiden and Calvin.
Cassie didn't see Raiden after class, but she ran into Diana. "Oh my god, he is so cute."
"In that case I can't wait to meet him," Diana replied.
Cassie looked around and then saw Raiden, "well here's your chance, he's right there." She dragged Diana with her.
"Hi Cassie," Raiden greeted her warmly.
"Hi Raiden, this is my friend Diana. She's been at the school longer than I have. If you need help around here, she's your girl."
He said hello. Then boldly looked them up and down. "Wow I'm going to love this high-school, the girls here are all so hot." He winked at them both.
Cassie and Diana blushed. "What's your next class?"
"I have a two hour spare next," Raiden said. "I'm going to the shop to give my mom a hand packing up some of the stuff."
"Well it was nice to meet you," Diana said politely.
"See you later," Cassie added.
Raiden invited, "Cassie, you should come by the shop some time."
Cassie nodded and both girls watched him leave. They admired his wide shoulders and slim waist. Diana and Cassie looked at each other with stupid grins and went to their chemistry class. They gossiped about Raiden with Faye and Melissa until Adam joined them. Chemistry class ended up being very boring, as they were not doing any labs and just copying notes off the blackboard. They didn't see Raiden for the rest of the day, which the girls all found very disappointing. Jake showed up after school and offered Cassie a ride home. Melissa went with Diana and Adam.
"Don't tell the others, but I want to break into Calvin's shop and see if he has any more scrolls about our families or magic," Cassie confessed to Jake.
"If we get caught, it's jail time," Jake warned.
"So you'll help me?"
"Cassie, you knew I would, or you wouldn't have told me what you're planning on doing."
"Thank you," she smiled at Jake. "The new guy at school, Raiden, said his mom was packing up some of the artifacts that Calvin has. He said they don't have prices on them, so his mom wont sell them until the price can be confirmed. They are putting the stuff into storage. He also said they will run the store while Calvin is away."
"It's definitely worth checking what clues the store may hold. It was Calvin who gave you that scroll about your father," Jake said.
Cassie nodded. Then said, "I appreciate the ride, but I could have just gone with the others."
Jake shrugged, "I was close by and coming to your place to look through the papers again anyway. How's the ankle?"
"Better, but still sore."
As they came down their street, Jake asked, "so why don't you want the others to know about breaking into Calvin's shop?"
"Because they'll make a big deal about me doing things that are potentially dangerous and on my own," Cassie answered.
"The girls or just Adam?" Jake probed.
"Adam and Diana."
"Ah, the control freaks," Jake joked.
They got out and everyone followed Cassie to her house. Inside she got everyone a drink and they sat down to go through the remaining pages. Diana sat with Melissa on the couch, to help with her english essay.
"Hey, this is interesting. It's a list of all the types of witchcraft or magic. And some history about it," Cassie said.
Adam took a look, "Elizabethan Age… In 1562 Against Conjurations, Enchantments and Witchcrafts Act was passed."
Jake nodded without looking up, "the law that allowed hunters to hang witches."
Adam mumbled, "you would know, traitor."
Cassie defended Jake, "give it a rest Adam."
Jake ignored him and added, "the Elizabethan Age was when the Bubonic Plague or Black Death happened, which didn't help matters."
Cassie read on, "there is Egyptian witchcraft, Scarab, Medievil, Native American, Wicca, Voodoo and Daoist. It lists them all and explains each sector. I'm keeping this, it's interesting."
"You will find that like all religions, witchcraft has many similarities in each culture," Jake explained.
Adam couldn't resist another jab, "you're a regular encyclopedia on witchcraft aren't you?"
Jake started to reply, when Cassie suddenly stood up. "Adam shut up! I'm sick of the Jake bashing. He's here to help just like you."
Everyone stopped what they were doing and stared at Cassie. Realizing how mean she had sounded, she apologized and went into the kitchen. Adam's jealousy and hate of Jake, frustrated her. Sure Jake had made some major mistakes in his past, but so had she. Her anger boiled inside her. She clenched her fists, feeling the black magic surging through her body. The glass she was holding shattered in her hand, yet she didn't feel any pain. She stood there watching blood run into the sink.
Jake came into the kitchen and saw Cassie standing over the sink. "Cassie?"
When she didn't answer or move, he came closer. Being taller than her, he easily saw the broken glass and her bloody hand. "Shit, Cassie what happened?" Jake asked with concern.
She still didn't respond. Jake saw she still clutched a piece of the glass in her hand. He backed up and asked Adam to come into the kitchen. Adam took one look at Jake's face and didn't argue.
"What?" Adam asked.
Jake said, "don't alarm the girls, but Cassie seems to be in a trance. I think her anger is channeling dark magic. She isn't responding at all."
Adam walked over to look at Cassie. Her eyes were wide and her face wore no expression. She definitely looked like she was in a trance. Blood kept dripping from her hand. "What do we do?" Adam asked quietly.
"We're both going to touch her hand and tell her to open it. Then think about tranquility and calm thoughts," Jake said.
Adam did as Jake said. They both put their hands on Cassie's and slowly her breathing got normal, her hand then opened. She still didn't move. Adam cleaned her hand, picking out the glass shards. Jake whispered a chant into Cassie's ear and finally she moved.
Cassie looked at her hand, then at Adam and Jake. "Oh no, what happened? Did I hurt you?"
Adam answered, "no, we're both fine. You broke a glass."
Jake turned her to look at him. "You let your anger put you into a trance."
Jake explained, "your dark magic is fuelled by anger, hate and fear. I think it flooded you and put you into a trance. Do you remember anything?"
Cassie got scared, "no… just yelling at Adam. That's it," she whispered. Then added, "don't tell Melissa and Diana."
Adam nodded and went back to the table, brining out a new glass for Cassie. Jake stayed to bandage her hand. Cassie grabbed his hand with her good one.
"Wait Jake. I'm scared. The circle binding was supposed to help control our magic. So why is mine so out of control?"
"I'm sorry Cassie, I don't know. Maybe we can find some answers at Calvin's"
Cassie put her hands over her face. "I'm becoming a monster."
"No you're not. Think of it like going through magical puberty," Jake suggested.
Cassie began to giggle through her hands, then she let Jake remove them from her face. She looked at him and saw his big grin. She started laughing hard. It was infectious and soon Jake was laughing too. Adam, Melissa and Diana came into the kitchen to see what was so funny. They too started laughing, not even knowing why. Soon they all were bent over, Cassie laughed so hard tears came out of her eyes. Just when Jake thought he had himself under control, he made the mistake of looking at Cassie. She was on the floor laughing hysterically. That started him all over again.
"Oh…my… god, my face hurts, " Cassie gasped through laughs, "please everyone stop."
Diana and Melissa left the kitchen and finally were able to stop giggling. Adam took deep breaths and he too stopped. Jake turned away from Cassie and finally regained control. With everyone else no longer laughing, Cassie finally was able to stop too.
Melissa and Diana came back into the kitchen. Diana asked, "what happened to your hand?"
Cassie looked at the gauze, "I broke a glass in the sink."
"Are you okay?" Melissa asked.
"Ya, I just feel stupid. My hand got cut up." Cassie looked over at Jake and the laughter was gone.
"That's not funny," Melissa observed.
"No, but having magical puberty is," Cassie explained.
Adam, Melissa and Diana gave her a weird look. Adam looked over at Jake and then smiled at Cassie, realizing what she had meant. It was a great way to explain what Cassie was going through. The girls went with Cassie back to the living room. Jake and Adam stayed behind a moment.
"I would have said it was magical PMS, but I didn't want to die today," Jake said.
Adam grinned, "ya, she wouldn't have laughed about that."
Jake got serious, "I hope her grandmother comes back soon. Maybe she can teach Cassie how to control her magical outbursts."
Adam agreed, "I hate keeping things from the others. Secrets destroy the circle."
Cassie pretended to get a call on her cell phone from her grandmother. She told her circle that her grandmother was coming home that night. She was lying and Adam knew it. As they left that evening, he confronted her about it and she confirmed that she had lied. Cassie explained she didn't want to impose on Diana and her father any longer. Adam left also and then Cassie was finally alone. She put away the papers they had sorted through and then sent a text message to Jake. Fifteen minutes later he came back.
"Hi, sorry I took so long. I had to take Faye home."
Cassie shrugged, "it gave me time to change into all black clothing."
"Taking cues from TV shows huh?" Jake teased.
"Seriously though, how are we going to break into the antique shop?" Cassie asked.
"A simple lock unlock spell, so no entry damage," Jake explained.
"I have my flashlight and it's almost midnight, let's go," she said impatiently.
Cassie locked her house and got into Jake's truck. Jake advised, "we'll do a drive by first and make sure it's safe. Then I'll park close by and we stick to the shadows and go around back."
Cassie raised her eyebrow, "you've got this all planned out?"
Jake grinned, "one of us needs to be prepared."
"Do you know a spell to make us disappear if we're about to get caught?" Cassie questioned.
"You've been watching too much Harry Potter," Jake laughed. Then more seriously he added, "don't worry Cassie, I'll keep you safe."
She looked him in the eyes and knew he meant it. That's when she realized that Jake had parked. "Okay let's do this."
Jake took the lead and they went into the shadows until they were at the back door of Calvin's shop. Jake put his hand on the door lock and they heard a faint click as it unlocked.
"What about an alarm?" Cassie asked.
"Good point," Jake said. Then he whispered a quick chant. "Okay we're good."
They looked around the shop, there were a lot of marked boxes, where items had already been packed. Cassie noticed that the glass case where the witch hunter tools had been was empty. She wandered over to where Jake was.
"If we take something, do you think someone would notice?" Cassie whispered.
"No, I checked to see if there was an inventory list and found nothing. So it should be okay," Jake replied quietly.
Jake pocketed some objects, he showed one to Cassie, "these are amulets or talismans. They'll be handy one day and not worth much to someone who doesn't know how to use them."
Cassie looked through scrolls, until she found one that had symbols and strange words on it. "Jake look at this."
He went to her and shined his light on the scroll, "I don't know what it says, but the symbols look like some of what was on the other scroll Calvin gave you. Take the case and the scroll. You should take a picture of it on your phone too."
Jake recognized a lot of things from his witch hunting days, but he didn't tell Cassie that. He felt guilty enough as it was, for being the one who had killed Calvin, during his witch hating phase.
Car lights came through the front window and Cassie peaked around a display. There was a police car outside. "Jake there's someone here! We have to hide," she whispered in a panicked voice.
"Follow me, there's a few big boxes over here and moving blankets. We'll hide here," Jake whispered back.
He moved one box full of stuff aside, so Cassie could pass by. He got behind it too and then pushed it back in place. He saw a flashlight coming through the window and ducked down. They got the moving blankets ready to put over their heads. Off went their flashlights too. Jake could see Cassie's wide scared eyes in the moonlight that came through the windows above them. He took her hand in his and squeezed it.
When she looked at him, he said softly, "breath with me, in and out, nice and slow…. That's it."
They heard the cop check to make sure the doors front and back were locked. The door at the back rattled, but stayed closed. Cassie got alarmed again, so Jake did the only thing he could think of to distract her. He leaned in, cupped her face in his hands and gently kissed her. At first she tried to pull away, but then she slowly responded. It was a long deep kiss and when they stopped, both were breathless.
"Jake…I.," Cassie began.
"Shh… listen," Jake interrupted.
They listened to the silence and heard a car door slam. An engine started and they heard a car drive away. Jake peaked up over the boxes and made sure they were in the clear. He moved the box they were behind and stepped forward. He told Cassie to come out.
"Phew, that was close. We should probably go and come back another night," Jake said, not looking at Cassie.
She didn't know whether to be relieved or upset that he was ignoring her. She quietly followed him to the back door and heard the lock release. She waited until he re-locked the shop. He took her hand in his and lead her safely back to his truck. Jake unlocked it with his keys and they got in.
"We should take the stuff we got back to the abandoned house," Cassie said. She wasn't ready to call it a night yet, her adrenaline was super charged.
"Okay, we'll go there before heading home," Jake agreed, starting the engine.
"Do you think we set off an alarm?" Cassie asked.
"Doubt it. The cop was probably cruising by and saw the flashlights reflecting off something."
"Well as scared as I was, it was such a rush!" Cassie admitted. What she didn't say was how exhilarating it was kissing him. They definitely had chemistry.
She watched him lick his lips and touched a finger to her own. They were a bit swollen from kissing him. His lips had been so soft, until she'd responded. Then their kiss had been equally hungry. Cassie wasn't totally sure she could trust him, but that mysteriousness around him added to her attraction.
When they began their walk through the woods to the Blackwell house, Jake took her hand in his and lead the way. Cassie stumbled and grabbed on to his arm to steady herself.
"Sorry, I forgot about you sore ankle. I'll go slower," he said.
Once at the house, they unloaded what they'd stolen. Jake sat down, "you know we're going to have to tell the circle where we got these things."
"I know, but not yet. Let's just hide it downstairs for now… Please Jake?" Cassie pleaded.
He looked at her and couldn't say no, "alright. I'll hide it in that desk down there."
He got up and took the stuff downstairs. Cassie followed him, but waited on the last step. When Jake came back, Cassie wouldn't move out of the way. He saw that with her on the last step, it made them the same height. He looked into her eyes.
"Cassie," was all he said. He gently moved her hair off her cheek and took a deep breath.
She reached for him, using his neck to pull him closer. "Jake," she whispered, then closed her eyes and kissed him hard.
They embraced and she felt his need, his sexual desire. And she wanted more. But he slowly pulled away. "Cassie we shouldn't do this."
Damn his control. She was offended and started to get mad. He touched her chin and made her look at him. "I want you, but not like this, not here."
Cassie's anger left and she knew he was right. Just being with him at the store tonight, was betraying Adam's trust in her. There was something about Jake that drew her to him. Sometimes he reminded her of a wounded animal. He needed love, but she wasn't sure if she could give all of hers to him.
"I'm sorry, it's my fault. The adrenaline from tonight…." Cassie tried to explain.
"Nothing to be sorry about, I wanted to kiss you too. Now's just not the right time." Jake kissed her forehead and moved past her, going upstairs.
Cassie gave her head a shake, she knew he was right. but how could something so wrong, feel so good?
Once they were back upstairs, Jake said they should go home. "It's late and you have school tomorrow."
He took her home and waited until she got in her house, before he left. He sent Faye a text, but got no response. Tonight he'd go to sleep frustrated.