~The Celtic Wizard~

Chapter 23  

Catherine woke to the sound of Bert meowing at the bottom of the bed.

“Shut up Bert, she’ll feed you in a minute,” Kevin grumbled as he rolled on his stomach.  Using one of the pillows to block the noise from the ever-insistent animal.

Catherine watched as the indignant cat waltzed up the middle of the bed, climbed on Kevin’s back, and sat down.  Bert proceeded to take a bath, licking his paws.  Catherine giggled; she could have sworn Bert was smiling. 

“Bert, cats have nine lives, now get off me or you’re going to lose one.”  A muffled voice came from the pillow.

Bert’s claws became unsheathed and dug in to the flesh it was resting on.

“Okay Bert you win,” Kevin groaned.

Bert released his claws from Kevin’s skin and jumped down.  Wiggling his way into the small space between Catherine and Kevin.  He then wedged himself between them.  His back against Catherine and his feet pushing into Kevin’s side.

Kevin removed the pillow, turned and looked hard at him.  “Jealousy will get you no where Bert.  Catherine is mine too.  We can share.”

Catherine’s laughter sprouted forth at the antics of two males, both territorial but different species.

Suddenly rolling on his side, he frowned at the cat as Catherine reached for her robe.  Catherine was still sheepish around Kevin, Kevin didn’t mind it either.  It continuously reminded him of her vulnerability in their relationship.  Kevin’s eyes went from Catherine’s naked backside and back to the cat.  One brought a smile to his face the other a grimace. 

As Catherine left the room, Kevin eyebrows knitted together in confusion and anger.  Having the ability to speak to animals came in handy once in awhile.  “You better be lying Bert!”  Kevin stumbled out of the bed, grabbing his shorts on the way.  Hopping on one leg to get them on and then the other.  “Catherine!” he shouted as he hopped to a stop in the kitchen.

Catherine almost dropped the coffeepot as she filled it with water.  “Don’t shout at me Kevin.  I’m not one of your unruly teenagers.”

Kevin stood, somewhat meeker then when he had entered the kitchen.  “Was Nick in your room last night?”

Catherine locked her eyes on the Bert who now sat at Kevin’s feet.  “Bert, shame on you,” she shook her finger at him.

Bert ambled to his bowl, sat, and he waited.

Kevin looked between the mistress and her animal.  “CARTER!”

“Kevin stop yelling,” Catherine shook her finger at him. 

Kevin saw a tiny electrical charge radiate from the tip of her nail.

“Stop acting like a barbarian.  Yes Nick was here, we had a little talk.”  Catherine was now once again levitating ever so slightly a few inches off the ground from anger.  “You should thank him because if it wasn’t for him, last night wouldn’t have happened and this wouldn’t have happened.”  Violently she grabbed the leather string around her neck and shook the silver circle at him.

Kevin dropped his head, not knowing what to say to her.  “I’m sorry.”  The last thing he wanted to do after last night was upset her in any way.  Seeing that she was losing control, backing off was his only option.

“You should be, now go get dressed.  I have to leave and so do you,” Catherine turned her back to him.  She indeed was angry.  Kevin was not going to yell at Nick or anyone else in her home.

She felt his arms wrap around her.  Pulling her back against his chest.  “I’m sorry, I was acting like a barbarian.”  His hands gently stroked up and down her arms as they crossed around her body.

Leaning back, she looked at the side of his jaw as she spoke.  “I never knew you were that jealous Kevin.  First Bert and now Nick.”

“I’m not jealous of Bert,” came as a quick retort.

“Yes you are Kevin, admit it.”  Catherine smiled slightly. 

“Well maybe a little because he gets to sleep with you every night.”

Catherine pulled away, “Go get dressed.”  An uneasy feeling had swept over her out of the blue.  Just as Kevin headed back to the bedroom, her apartment door was knocked on.  Pulling her robe tightly around her neck, she cracked the door open.  She fought to swallow the dryness in her throat.  “Dean?” she half-smiled.

Bert came flying in the bedroom and raced to Kevin.  Almost tripping him, trying to get his attention.  Finally, Kevin gave up and walked to the door.  He stopped dead in his tracks when he heard the Dean’s voice once again.  “He is one stupid asshole,” Kevin muttered as he reached for his pants.  Tossing on a shirt, he began to head out to the kitchen to confront the man.  Kevin was picking up on Catherine’s energies, she was frightened and scared. 

“This shit is going to stop, right now.”  Kevin stopped when he heard A.J. yell at him to do so.

“Not now Bone, I have some business to take care of,” Kevin looked at the empty space in front of him.

“No you don’t, let her handle it.  You’re not to interfere,” A.J. was as adamant as Kevin was confused.

“You’re joking right, I’m supposed to stand here and let him talk to her like that,” Kevin spat out to no one.

“The dude is weird as shit Kev but we need to know why.  There is something going on here that we don’t know about.”  A.J. sat in his living room trying desperately to get Kevin to understand that he needed to stop.

Kevin hand was planted on the knob now.  “Train stop!”  Nick whispered loudly.

“You, ya little player.  I wanna talk to your ass.  What were you doing in this room last night?”

Nick smiled as he sat across from Brian at Brian’s condo.  Nick had Kevin’s undivided attention now.  “Hey dude I was just helpin’, ya know.  I didn’t want you to lose your lady love.  It’s your destiny, I wouldn’t want you to lose her to some blonde sex symbol,” he giggled.  “I almost got a peek too,” Nick added for affect.

“A peek at what?”   Kevin growled back.

“See, Catherine’s closet is a cool place to hang,” Nick laughed.

Brian was looking at Nick like he had just gone and lost his mind for saying that. 

“You’re gonna get a beatin’ boy,” Kevin snarled.

“Gotta find me first dude,” Nick was laying on the couching holding his stomach, ever since he was a kid he had practiced pushing Kevin’s buttons.  He had it down to an art form now.  Tease the hell out of him about his women.

Kevin waited in the bedroom, grinding his teeth together.  He hadn’t paid much attention to what was going on outside of her bedroom, only to tell Catherine to relax.  Once the door opened, her face was void of color.  Kevin dropped a kiss on her lips and mumbled he’d be back after he had a meeting with the guys.

“Oh,” Catherine watched as he left the condo, stuffing his wallet into the back of his pants.

Catherine sat on her bed, lost and upset.  The Dean had called a meeting and that is why he had stopped by.  He felt that they needed to touch-base and set Catherine’s summer schedule up.  Also he needed to check on her dissertation, this was Catherine’s final semester.  It would happen after her classes tonight, in his office.

The more Catherine delved into what Kevin had been telling her; the feeling that he was right was becoming stronger and stronger.  She thought about every single thing the Dean had done for her.  He had brought her out here from Virginia when she was sixteen.  He said he saw fire in her eyes and ‘the yearn to learn’ as he had told her.  Catherine had always had a never-ending thirst for knowledge.  The Dean had always been kind to her; he made sure all her needs were met.  When she told him she wanted to move out of his house after her eighteenth birthday he became livid with her.  He kept demanding to know why.  For days they fought and then she finally told him that she felt too sheltered and that she wanted a little privacy.

In the end, he relented by setting her up in the faculty condominiums.  When transportation became a problem, he bought her the car.  Not any car, the car.  Nothing like a Porsche for your birthday.

The phone ringing shook her back to the present.  Hanging up she smiled.  “Thank you Jenna,” she sighed.

An invitation to work out was the perfect distraction.  Meeting Jenna at the gym, they hit the punching bag first.  Jenna was watching the amount of frustration Catherine was working out on the bag.

“So Catherine what has you so upset?” Jenna joined her on the bag next to her.

“Everything, too much pressure,” Catherine squeaked as she nailed the bag dead on.  “The Dean doesn’t want me to see Kevin.  Now Kevin and I are seeing each other ‘officially’ and I’m stuck.  This sucks,” Catherine cocked back her arm and threw her entire weight behind the bag.

“Oh man trouble,” Jenna raised eyebrow.  “What do you mean officially and why would the Dean care?”

“The Dean doesn’t feel that Kevin is the type of person I should be seeing.  He said I could lose my job if I keep seeing him.”  Catherine stopped for a drink from her water bottle.

“And?”  Jenna stared at her.

“And what?” as she waited for someone to come over and unlace the gloves.

“Officially?”  Jenna added.

“Officially as in a pre-engagement, test the waters, type deal.”  Catherine looked around to make sure nobody could here her speaking.  “Can we go some where and just talk?  I really need to talk to someone.”

“Come on Professor, it’s a girly day,” Jenna grinned as she headed to the locker room.

Pre-engagement?  Oh this is gonna be good, Jenna thought to herself.

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This is a work of fiction.
The characters and events portrayed are fictitious.
Any resemblance to real people or events is purely coincidental.

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