Table of Contents
appeared in issue 277.
Lynda, a college freshman, passes her last test to earn the title of junior wizard by casting a complicated spell on an unsuspecting victim: Jason. She expects to turn him into a servant, but the spell backfires and they fall in love.
Lynda discovers that another junior wizard has designs on capturing the Mayor’s office. Lynda fears he will try to take over the city and thereby cause extensive problems for the other wizards. The master wizards tell her that they can’t help her stop him unless he sets foot on their property. With only the assistance of the man who was first her victim and now her lover, she sets out to confront the evil wizard.
The morning sun splattered across my face and dug sharp claws through my eyeballs. I pulled my pillow over my head and turned over. The grating sound of an opening door shrieked in my ears and I hugged the pillow tightly. Dust from the couch cushion found its way up my nose and I sneezed and sat up coughing.
The sight of a large pile of junk at one end of the living room ended my coughing fit and I stared at it. The sound of Jason tromping down the front stairs dragged my attention away from the pile and I turned to look at him. His arms were full of clothing and his face had a determined, focused expression.
He dumped the clothes on the pile then noticed me watching. “Sorry, didn’t mean to wake you.”
“The sun’s flooding in through the open door, you’re making enough noise for a herd of elephants and you didn’t think it would wake me up?” I wasn’t sure whether to be angry or confused.
Jason closed the door and sat next to me. I settled on confused and pointed to the pile. “What’s that?”
“My clothes. You told me to bring them back from my mom’s party. Remember?”
“Oh.” I squinted at the pile. “I expected a few shirts and some pants.”
Jason grinned. “I brought a few shirts and some pants.”
I pursed my lips and gave him a look. “And enough other junk to open a thrift store.”
He grinned broader. “Be glad I didn’t have a chance to empty my closet. I only brought about half my stuff.”
I stared at the pile again. “Half?”
“Of my clothes,” Jason nodded. “Course, they’re piled on my stereo and a box of books, so it just looks like there’s a lot.”
“You brought your stereo?”
“You didn’t say I couldn’t.”
I couldn’t think of a response. He was right; I hadn’t said what he couldn’t drag back, just what he had to. Not that I had an objection to a stereo, but we didn’t have any place to put one. I wondered what books were in the box.
“I have to go back and get the rest of my stuff before my mom decides to send it to the dump.”
“Your mom... what?” I peered at him. The last I’d heard, he was her precious angel.
“She’s a little mad at me at the moment.”
I sneezed again then tried to look him in the eye, which wasn’t easy since the sun was blazing through the living room window behind him and it blinded me. Jason leaned against the couch and cut off the light with his shadow. “Why’s your mom...”
The grin vanished from his face and the determined set to his jaw reappeared. “I didn’t stay for her entire party last night. I left half way through.”
“Because you were screaming for help.”
I stared at him. “You heard...”
“Loudly. Did you know your car can do 110 miles an hour?”
I hadn’t, but I was grateful it could. I was also pretty glad he hadn’t passed any cops on the way home. “So where’d you get...” I pointed at the pile. My brain was still shaking off the fog of sleep and had settled into dumb blond mode for the moment.
“I packed the car before the party started. At least as much as I could before my mom dragged me off to help get things going.” His face darkened. “She ran me around for a couple hours then dragged some girl over and tried to set me up with her.” My face imitated his, but he didn’t notice. “She made it pretty plain the entire reason she wanted me over there last night, without you, was so she could hook me up with someone she approves of.”
“Lovely. Well the next time she has a party just tell her...”
“Oh, she won’t try it again.” He turned to face me. “You started screaming about five minutes after she introduced us. She was rambling on about Sarah’s great family and wouldn’t shut up. I yelled at her that we’d eloped already and stormed out.”
“I stormed out.”
“I yelled at her that you and I had eloped.”
I didn’t know whether to be angry with him for lying or fall over laughing at the image of his mother’s probable reaction. He grinned at me. “You’re pretty when you blush.”
“I’m not blushing!” At least I hoped I wasn’t. The day was rapidly headed into complete confusion. I took a deep breath and tried being upset. “You shouldn’t have lied to your mom like that. What if she...”
“I didn’t lie.”
“You... yes you did!” my voice rose to a squeak of indignation.
“You told her we’d eloped!”
“We’re not married, Jason.”
“Yes we are. You bound us tighter with that spell than any preacher could. We just don’t have any paperwork on file at the courthouse.”
I opened my mouth and nothing came out. I sat on the couch, staring at him, while his words ran around in my brain and Kathy’s chortling face floated before my eyes. He grinned at me again, reached over and lifted my chin. His touch was electrifying and my heart skipped a beat. I looked into his eyes and forgot how to talk. He removed the necessity by kissing me.
We surfaced for air several minutes later and I took a deep breath and glanced at my room. Ugly memories from the night before swam to the surface of my thoughts and I shuddered. “I need to get dressed and we need to go talk to Gino. I hope he’s caught Darnell.”
Jason’s face hardened and his eyes glittered. “He’d better hope Gino catches him before I do.”
“Darnell’s a wizard, Jason.”
“So? He’d better be able to cast faster than I can punch.”
I shook my head and leaned against his chest. “If he knew you were coming...”
“Go get dressed and let’s go talk to Gino.”
I surprised myself by obeying him and tried to sort through the quagmire of confusion I’d awakened in. My hall door was gone and my bedroom boasted a blank wall, but it took all my courage to walk to the closet.
I thought about Gino while pulling on my clothes, and wondering how far he’d gotten in the hunt then paused before the full length mirror attached to my closet door and studied my face. “No wrinkles.” I peered closer. “I just feel like I’m a hundred years old.” My imagination painted an image of Mrs. Colter’s countenance over top of mine and I gagged. “Not a chance.” No way was I turning into a prune. Jason would probably become as handsome as his Dad, but I had no intention of letting my own face match his Mom’s.
I glanced at the bedroom door and shook my head. “Bound us tighter...” No wonder Gino’d laughed at me when I insisted on casting that spell for my final. And put me off when I wanted a two-bedroom.
I set my jaw and frowned at Kathy then sighed and gave up the fight. She was right, I was stuck. I shuddered at the sudden thought of who she might have picked other than Jason and broke out in a cold sweat. “I guess we better get the paperwork taken care of,” I muttered as I shut my closet door. “Can’t get tax exemptions just ’cause we’re spellbound.”
I wasn’t about to pay for anything fancy though, especially not now. The courthouse was cheap and quick. Not open on Sunday, but Jason got off around two in the afternoon and I could tell the bank I had a previous commitment and only work half a day on Monday. I’d be training for a couple weeks anyway, so I hoped they’d be reasonable and not fire me or something for wanting my first day at work to be short.
I joined Jason on the front porch, locked the apartment and accompanied him upstairs to Gino’s... and what I hoped would be good news.
Copyright © 2006 by Crystalwizard