Quick Note: I am mostly writing this story because I really wanted to see the book 5 come out. I picked up the story right where Don't Hex with Texas left off. I am trying to follow Shenna's style, but I am not her. I am also going to be introducing new characters. I hope you like the story and please leave comments!
Enchanted Inc. – The forever after
Monday came around quicker than I hoped for. The events of the past week had happened not only so quickly, but also so unexpectedly, that I barely could remember my arrival in New York the night before. I looked around the tiny apartment that I shared with Gemma and Marcia. There was nothing spectacular or glamorous about it. The tiny kitchen made my mom blink in awe, and not the good kind, when she visited during last Thanksgiving. But it was more than enough for me. Even though I missed my crazy family, I couldn't but feel at home here, in Manhattan, with my friends, MSI, and of course with Owen.
After he picked me up from the airport yesterday, he held on to me tight the entire ride back. I think part of him was holding on to me because Rocky and Rollo were driving, but I had a feeling it was more than that. He had a healthy skin glow and did not look as tired as he was after the battle with Idris. A good night sleep and getting away from my crazy family must have restored enough of his energy for him to look like his old handsome and bashful self. I rested my head against his chest and could feel his peaceful breathing. This phase did not last long, as Rocky and Rollo started to speed down Brooklyn/Queens Express Way.
"Faster!" directed Rollo, as Rocky blindly pressed the pedal. "Slow down…slower…BRAAAAAAAAAKE!" yelled Rollo as the car screeched to a stop, a faction of an inch away from a broken down car in the middle of the express lane. I was glad that I was wearing a seatbelt and had the protective grasp of Owen's arm around my waist. My whole body swung forward, almost hitting the seat in front of me.
I looked at Owen, who was as calm as always, and couldn't hold back a smile. The memories of the trip to his foster parents' house have flashed before my eyes and I could tell that Owen must have remembered them too.
"I hope you are not too jetlagged. I have a surprise for you," Owen whispered into my ear and the light pink blush spread around his cheeks as he grinned with an uncanning smile that made my stomach do a flip. If I had any doubts about moving back to New York, they were gone in an instance.
"As long as it doesn't involve chasing after our enemies, I can't wait," I smiled back at him, as Owen turned a brighter shade of pink. As well as I knew him, I still could not figure out how he managed to blush furiously at anything remotely personal. If anyone met him on the street, no one would assume that he is one of the most powerful wizards on Earth.
As we drove into Manhattan, Rollo's yells to brake have become louder and more frequent. Finally, the car stopped in front of the Central Park.
"Take Katie's luggage to her house," said Owen to Rocky and Rollo.
"Aye, aye, boss." Rollo winked at us, sending Owen into blush attack, and then rolled down the street, into the busy Manhattan day.
Owen turned to me and looked straight into my eyes. I felt my body tingle. His deep blue eyes radiated warmth that made my legs go soft. It was a perfect warm April day. The sun was shining and the birds were chirping. The spring was in its full bloom. People hurried across the streets, avoiding other people around them. Owen took my hand into his and brushed his palm across my cheek. Whoever could have thought that one touch could feel like magic, even though I knew he did not have to use any magic on me, even if he could?
"Let's go," he said softly, as he led me into the park.
We strolled down the path hand in hand. No words were spoken as went in further into the park, but all I wanted to do was yell THIS HANDSOME GUY IS MINE! at the passing by people. If this was the kind of new life I had chosen, I could get used to it rather quickly.
We approached the Belvedere Castle and headed towards the arch-enclosed terrace. It was surprisingly empty, except for a group of people fussing around the picnic table. My eyes grew wide as all of a sudden they all turned in my direction.
"KATIE!" yelled Marcia, running towards me, with Gemma behind her. They both embraced me as if I had been gone for three years, and not three months. Tears of joy streamed down my cheeks, as I hugged them. "We are so glad that you are back. It has not been the same without you," said Gemma.
"So you are not mad at me?" I looked at them with hopeful eyes.
"Are you kidding me? You introduced us to the whole new world that we never knew existed. And to new people." Marcia glanced back at Rod, who was standing a bit behind, as she got a hint of blush on her cheeks. I wondered if blushing was contagious. I looked at Owen and saw him smiling. "Besides, we al' suspected that you had an inner devil in ya," laughed Gemma, as she tried to fake a Texas accent. I hugged them again before going in to say hi to everyone else.
My heart fluttered with joy as I hugged Rod, Philip, Isabel, and Trix. Ethan was standing next to Trix, looking a bit awkward, but smiling at the same time. Even though there have been sad feelings in the past on my part, I was happy to see him. "Things didn't change that much while I was gone, huh?" I said tilting my head in Trix's direction. "I guess not," answered Ethan with a gleam in his eyes.
Merlin emerged from the terrace and headed towards me. Seeing him made me self conscious. He was the legendary wizard who put King Arthur on the throne. He was also the one to organized MSI and now returned to be its CEO once again. Even though he was the one who approved my return to New York, I couldn't help but look down at the ground. I had put Owen into dangerous situation than ever wanted to. As much as fairy tales idealize damsels in distress as romantic set ups, in real life it was nothing short of horror. Owen was smart, strong, and handsome. When he was mad he went quiet. But even then, he always had a confident look in his eyes. I still remember the day when I saw panic in those eyes. That look was what pushed me to escape into Texas. I never wanted to see him be put into that situation again. But I guess "never say never" expression is true. After getting away from the enemies, I still managed to get trapped into a similar situation, putting Owen, myself, and the rest of the world in danger once again.
I looked up to see Merlin standing in front of me with his pleasant and content smile. I felt the weight lift off my shoulders. "I presume Mr. Owen accommodated you with a pleasant flight." Even though he was more than a thousand years old, his tone and choice of words reminded me of something my brothers would say. "It was. I am just happy to be back." Merlin's smile turned serious and friendly as the same time. "Saving the world has its limits. Even magic people know not to interfere with love." This was my turn to turn bright red. I felt my face flushing and warmth spreading up my cheeks. I hoped for the sake of Owen that he did not hear that comment. I turned only to see him furiously blushing. I wondered if Merlin was making assumptions or knew something more.
Merlin, as a great savior once again, turned everyone's attention to himself. He waved his hands and full champagne glasses appeared in everyone's hands. "I would like to make a toast." Everyone raised their glasses and listened. "I have lived through many years and many times, but never have I met such a young extraordinary lady. In the times when the enemy is lurking in the shadows, even friendship and loyalties can prove to be weak. Miss Chandler has the unique ability to keep those qualities close to her heart and remind everyone about the cause we are fighting for." Merlin looked over each one of us. This was an incredible crowd gathered. All three worlds, so different and so distant on the normal occasions, have been brought together today. Merlin, Rod, and Owen were wizards. Isabel was part giant. Trix was a fairy. Ethan and I were immunes. Gemma and Marcia were the normal ones. It reminded me of how Owen fit in with my family so well, even though you would think he would feel out of place. Maybe things that looked different did not necessarily mean that they did not belong together. As I stood there, looking at the dearest group of friends I had, Merlin continued. "I would like to raise this glass and welcome back my executive assistant."
I could not believe my ears. Not only was I standing next to Owen, who was the one who asked me to come back to him, but I also got my old job back. I closed my eyes and pinched myself to make sure that it was not all a dream. When I opened my eyes, everything was still the way it was a few seconds ago.
We all drank our champagne and scattered around the terrace. Marcia was batting eyelashes at Rod, who appeared to have not eaten in a while, as he was biting one of the biggest burgers I had ever seen. Ethan and Trix were talking a walk around the castle. I was not sure if they were curious to learn its history or if they just wanted some seclusion.
I walked towards Owen, who appeared to admiring the view of the park. I stood a few minutes, admiring my own view. The gentle wind was ruffling Owen's hair. The whole set up looked liked from a movie. The rays of sun were illuminating his slender figure. My feet moved me towards him on their own. As I stood next to him, he wrapped his arm around my shoulders and squeezed.
We walked down the steps to the bank of Belvedere Lake. The water sparkled as the sun shone brightly. I looked up and immediately drowned in the gorgeous sparkling blue eyes. Owen leaned down and kissed me with such passion, that it took my breath away. My legs wobbled and I leaned into him, afraid of falling. His sturdy grip told me I did not have anything to worry about though.
"Katie Chandler, I am not going to ever let you go again." At that moment I knew that he was as much in love with me, as I was with him.