“Let’s try telekinesis this time. Take a seat.” Evan tucked his laptop into his bag then stood and walked the few paces to the bookshelves. He plucked a book off the middle shelf and tossed it on the table in front of us where it landed with a thud. I took a seat and bent to pull on my shoes and tie up the laces as I waited.
“You’re going to try and move it,” he said, nodding at the book, after contemplating me for a moment. I tried not to shrivel into a ball under his inspection.
“I don’t think I can.”
“I think you can.”
“I really don’t think I can.”
“Try and see. Look at the book.”
I sighed. There was clearly no point in arguing. I looked at the book. It was a slim hardback and looked like it was a novel though I couldn’t make out the print upside down. “How do I do this?”
“You have to tap into the magic inside you.” Evan placed a hand over his heart and tapped his fingers. “You have to believe that you can do it.”
“I still don’t understand.”
“You don’t have to, Stella. Just try. Focus on the book. Feel it, feel your mind reach for it.”
I stared at it for long minutes that stretched on. I felt like the weight of the task was pressing down on me. It was hardly the carefree blink of an eye magic that Étoile had demonstrated to me several times. I wondered if I would ever have such control or if I was just a one-stunt dud. A depressing thought. Maybe they wouldn’t want me if I couldn’t stump up the goods. Where would that leave me? I sighed. I seemed to be spending a lot of time sighing lately. It wasn’t healthy.
“What are you thinking about, Stella? It doesn’t seem like the task.” Evan sounded frustrated. Like I wasn’t!
I surprised myself by answering coherently. “I’m wondering if I’m a dud.”
It was Evan’s turn to surprise me and his face cracked into an effortless smile as he chuckled over my concerns. His eyes wrinkled at the edges with laughter lines and his mouth was broad with perfectly pink lips. He really did have a lovely face when he smiled. What was I thinking?
He said slowly, “You are, categorically, not a dud. You just need to learn.”
“Not a dud,” I repeated like a moron. My eyes fixed on the book again and I felt myself fix on it with a strange sort of longing as I tuned in to the rise and fall of my lungs. Hell, I wanted the damn thing to move and, at last, it did, wriggling just a few short millimetres to the left.
I looked up at Evan with the most enormous smile on my face and then bewilderment as I realised the natural light had dimmed. I must have focused on the book for much longer than I had thought. But I had done it.
“So, not a dud.” Evan smiled at me, an easy smile this time, but not one of a proud teacher. He seemed to be assessing me and I returned his gaze without a quiver. A shiver ran through me and I was the first to turn away even though I would have been quite content to continue appraising him. On the sly, anyway.
“We’ll start again tomorrow.”
And just like that, Evan was gone, before I even remembered that I still wanted to ask the question of what he was.
Hi, I'm Camilla and I'm the author of Illicit Magic and Unruly Magic, the first two books in the Stella Mayweather Paranormal Series. The series starts with a lonely young woman, Stella, who has been caught up in a terrifying witch hunt and is whisked thousands of miles away to what she thinks is safety to learn her craft. The series is a blend of magic, mystery and romance with a splash of humour - and while the girls really do go all out to save themselves, there's always a hunky guy or two on hand to help them out.
I live in London, UK but I try to travel as often as I can - lately I've been to Paris, all over Denmark, Luxembourg, and several US states. In my day job I'm a journalist and editor so I write for magazines, newspapers and websites throughout the world (my favourite assignment was spending a week riding rollercoasters - if you listen carefully you can probably still hear me screaming).
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