~The Celtic Wizard~

Chapter 10  

Catherine yawned as she went in the kitchen with Kevin.  She wasn’t tired just unbelievably refreshed.  Seeing Nick she smiled, “Hi.”

Nick grinned, “Dates with Kevin can be boring.”

“It’s not a date and Kevin isn’t boring, he very interesting,” Catherine retorted very quickly, as she watched Nick place the flowers on the neatly set table.

Kevin stood behind her in the doorway with a smug grin on face.  Nick could hear him going ‘Ha, ha, nice try stupid,’ in his head.

Nick was a little put off by the way she fired back at him, but then he deserved it.  “I’m just joking Catherine, take it easy.”

“You guys joke around with each other often, don’t you?” she asked when he beamed her a smile that said he was not offended by her remark.

“Yep, especially Kevin, he is so serious,” Nick ambled to the fridge and opened it.  Seeing that she had a soda, he asked if she wanted another.

“Make yourself at home Nick,” Kevin said in tone that Nick understood very clearly.

“Well I’m not staying long Bro, I have some errands to run, decisions to make,” Nick shrugged his shoulders as he helped himself and popped the top.

“What a shame,” Kevin shot back.

Catherine watched the two exchange more body language than words.  It was amusing, they were the best of friends but had a tendency to try and want to out do one another.  “I would like to thank you Nick for helping me out last week.  To say that I was embarrassed would be putting it mildly, I felt like a klutz.” 

“No biggie, we all do things that embarrass us, just ask Train about the snowboarding accident and the time he split his pants on stage and then there was…” 

“Nick…” Kevin was warning him.

Nick was having a ball, Kevin was in a cold sweat.  He hadn’t seen this in a long time.  “You’re more than sweet on her,” Nick channeled to him mentally.

“I’m sorry you have to rush off it sounds like an interesting conversation,” Catherine leaned back on the countertop and crossed her dainty ankles. 

Nick’s eyes traveled from the ankles all the way up the long legs, up her body to her face, very quickly.  He then focused his attention on Kevin since Catherine really hadn’t noticed or was politely ignoring him. 

“Nick we need to talk,” as Kevin shoved the young man out on the patio. 

“What the hell are you doin’?,” Kevin questioned, not appreciating the devouring looks that he had just directed at Catherine.

“Just checkin’ her out.  Why are you getting so hyper?”  Nick defended himself but already knew the answer.  Nick wasn’t interested in Catherine but he did want to see how interested Kevin was in Catherine.

“I said you could come over to set things right.  You’re acting like an idiot.”  Kevin said in a hushed tone knowing that Catherine was watching both of them.

Nick punched him the arm playfully, “Chill dude, it’s under control.” 

Nick walked back in the house.  “Hey Catherine, I’m sorry, I was being rude.  I just wanted to see… ya know.”

Catherine found the entire incident trying if anything.  “No Nick I don’t know but it was rude and boorish of you.  Besides we’re just friends.”

“Does he know that?”  Nick lifted the lid on the pot and stuck his finger in it.  Pulling it out he tasted it.  “Hmmm, pretty good.”

“Why don’t you stay for dinner?”  Kevin asked from the door.  Nick wasn’t sure if he was being sarcastic or not.

“It’s up to Catherine this is your date?”  Nick smiled.

Catherine winced, “This isn’t a date.  I don’t date I’m too busy studying and teaching.”

“Well in that case, I think I’ll pass.  Again Catherine I do apologize I don’t normally act like that.”

Catherine laughed loudly, she had caught on, “Only when it involves someone that you care about, right Nick?”

Nick ducked his head to the side, slightly abashed, “Well I love the big jerk, even though he’s demanding, ruthless, controlling…

“Don’t forget pushy,” Catherine giggled.

“Oh yeah that too,” Nick’s hand flew out from his side.  Offering her a handshake, “Thanks for understanding.  It’s a shame you didn’t have a crush on me, you’re darn smart too.”

Catherine leaned forward, she had a new appreciation for Nick.  All her romantic notions of him from the past had disappeared Nick was not her type.  Nick would make a good friend to anyone.  Grabbing his hand she squeezed it, “Thanks, It’s nice to finally meet you Nick.”

“Well I gotta go,” Nick turned back to Kevin who had finally come in from the patio.  “I bought the flowers for dinner, since you spent so much last week on the poesies.”  Nick laughed loudly as he headed to the front door saying he could see himself out.

Kevin coughed trying to figure out what to say next.  Nick had left them both uncomfortable with each other.

“I say we eat,” Catherine smiled as she saw the table that Kevin had taken the time to set.  Her comment eased them both back into a good mood.

“Good idea,” Kevin pulled items from the fridge and put water on to boil.  He told Catherine to just sit back and relax, she tried but ended up helping with the salad.  They talked more about the ancients and other things as well for hours.  Sipping wine and enjoying dinner was a luxury both of them enjoyed.

Kevin began clearing the dishes when Catherine turned to him, “Was this a date?”

Kevin wanted it to be a date but he didn’t want to scare her off.  His world was intimidating to most women.  Fresh out of a long relationship was enough to scare anyone away.  Then of course the Wizard part of him, “Did you want it to be a date?”

“Not at first, but I am nervous about dating.”  Catherine put things in the fridge for lack of better things to do.

“Why would you be nervous about dating?”  Kevin talked as he loaded the dishwasher, trying desperately not to pop into her head and make sure she was telling him the truth.

Catherine hesitated before the answer spilled out of her in a gush of words, “I don’t date much, I feel awkward.”

“I feel the same way sometimes.  I always think that people just want to be with me because of who I am, not the real me.  So let’s just say it was a date, did you have a good time?”

A soft smile crossed her face, “Yes I did.”

Kevin smiled, “Then I would say it was a date, we’ve had a couple of them ya know.”  Slowly he crossed the floor to her.  His hand clasped hers; “I would like to have more dates if it’s okay with you.”

She tipped her head up slightly and he gazed into her eyes and at those lips.  Lowering his head a little, he faintly brushed his lips against hers.  Her eyes doubled in size and she flushed.  “I think I would like that too.”  She could feel her lips sizzling and he just barely touched her.

The chant of, “Go Train,” in his head was seriously ruining this moment for him.  “A.J. get the fuck out here now!”

Kevin leaned in again, only to hear Brian this time telling him to stop and take her home.  Okay so Brian was his grounding force these days.  “Why?” as Kevin watch Catherine close her eyes anticipating a kiss but trembling slightly.

“She’s not ready,” Brian answered solemnly.

Kevin’s eyes rolled back in his head, what would he expect from his chaste cousin.  Sighing Kevin backed up, “Let’s get you home, I bet Bert is starving.”

Catherine was befuddled; she thought she had done something wrong.  She wanted to spit it out and just tell him, “Kevin...I,”

“It’s fine Catherine, I just want to take things a little slower.”  Grabbing his keys, he left her there and waited by the front door.

Wordlessly he drove her home.  Something was up and he just couldn’t put his finger on it.  Brian would have never stepped in had he not found something out.  He would call him when he got home.

Walking her to her door, he made sure it was unlocked and open.  Tipping slightly he gave her a chaste kiss on the cheek.  “I’ll call you,” he whispered as she shut the door.  Again a simple kiss had generated an immense rush of emotions and sparks.

Kevin fell into his bed without calling Brian.  He was hormonally charged and not in the mood.  Closing his eyes he sighed recalling the feel of her lips on his, a slight twitch in his loins did nothing but reaffirm it.  He had felt the heat and intense need the minute he touched her in the den the first time.

Maybe if he checked on her, he would see she was okay.  Ending the date abruptly seemed like the only thing to do.  There was no way he could control himself any longer.  The hunger had been hammering at him to take more.  The off-handed idea to charm her into his bed had fluttered in his mind too.

Calling to the spirits for guidance, he shut his eyes, in no time he was standing in her room once again.  Sitting at the vanity, she looked at the far side of the bed.  The sudden chill came over her again and she froze.

A feeling of helplessness overcame her and fear.  She was trying to ignore it as much as possible.  She turned the light off and went to the bed.  Crawling in the bed she pulled the covers up as far as she could.  She trembled under the sheets.

Kevin quickly left, he did not intend to frighten her, he just wanted to see her.

A phone ringing woke Catherine from her sleep.  Carelessly she dropped the phone to the floor as she picked it up.  Finally getting it under control, she spoke.  “Hello.”

A cheerful southern drawl was on the on the end.  “Morning Catherine.”

“Morning Kevin,” she smiled feeling a warm rush through her body.

“What are you doing this fine morning?” he chirped into the phone.  He was more than cheerful but he wanted to make sure she was okay from last night.

“Umm, working...” she yawned.

“Wants some company?”

“No Kevin, I’m working, I’m mobile now, I need to get to the research library.” Catherine tossed on her robe as she treaded to the kitchen.

“Oh, lunch maybe?”

“No Kevin, I have the kids today,” Catherine shook her head, yes he was pushy.

“Dinner?”  Kevin was trying.

“Kevin we just had dinner last night,” Catherine was exasperated now.  “Call me later and I’ll see how I’m doing okay.”

“Okay,” he frowned into the phone.

Catherine left her condo when the kids left, she wanted to finish her research work.

Putting Kevin off seemed to be difficult for her.  She liked him but she really needed to focus on her studies and her job.  Not getting back to well after dark, she never checked the answering machine for messages.

For days Catherine dug deeper into the archives at the library.  She would examine and study anything that she found relating to the ancients.  Taking notes, memorize things, anything it took.  The kids were progressing nicely in their studies, which made it easier for her to get her own work done.

Rushed phone calls and constantly telling Kevin no, were now daily occurrences.  She felt dreadful because she did want to see him again, she just couldn’t free any time up.  It really didn’t matter, after the way their last date ended she figure he really wasn’t that interested anyway.  As she drove home, she sang along with radio.

Reaching her spot at the condo, she saw her lights on, she became suspicious but then she figured she had been careless when she left.  Hurrying up the stairs, she unlocked and open the door.  She was outraged to see Kevin standing in her kitchen.  “How did you get in here?” as she tossed her stuff on the chair.

“Bert let me in,” Kevin smiled.

“It’s not amusing, how did you get in my apartment?”  Catherine glared at him.

“The super let me in,” Kevin shrugged.

“You’re a liar, she wouldn’t do that.”  Catherine looked at the condo, man what a mess.

“You need to clean this place up Catherine,” Kevin tossed her a rag.

Catherine’s mouth went slack, of all the nerve.  “Kevin it’s late, the only thing I’m going to do is go to bed.”

Kevin smirked at the remark.

“And you are leaving,” Catherine began to push him out the door.

Kevin left willingly with his point being made.  Catherine could ignore him but he wasn’t giving up the chase just yet.  She wasn’t that busy she was just unsure of herself.  





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