~The Celtic Wizard~

Chapter 25 

Apprehensively Catherine approached the Dean’s office once class had drawn to a close.  Knocking on the door, he motioned her in.  “Hello dear how was your day?”

“Just fine Sir,” Catherine went to the chair that he had pointed to. 

Removing his glasses, he set them down on the desk, “Oh Catherine, this is very good work.  I’m so proud of my girl.  You shouldn’t have any problem getting this published once the manuscript is done.”

“It is done,” Catherine looked at him quizzically.

“Well not completely, you have made some valid points but you need to substantiate them.  If you don’t mind me saying, you seem to be some what confused on the role of Cernunnos.  You have no proof that Cernunnos could communicate to animals.  We assume so because of the elder’s text but it isn’t based on fact.”  The Dean glared at her.

Catherine knew the look he was giving her; it was one of displeasure.  She had done something once again that he did not approve of.  This look she had been getting more frequently then in the past.  “Sir I believe it is a valid point that I have raised.  I don’t have facts and I didn’t state that it was a fact but an observation.”

“An observation based on what Catherine?”  The Dean laced his fingers together and tightened them.

Catherine’s trepidation grew three fold just from the steely glare she was getting.  She felt that she was double talking herself and indeed, she was.  What was she supposed to do make a statement in her book, ‘Well I’ve had sexual relations with the Horned One and he talks to my cat.  I know him, and he’s a Wizard but guess what, he’s a Backstreet Boy.’  The horror unfolded in her head, she instantly gasped for air.  “From various art pieces and text that I have seen and read,” she babbled out. 

The Dean’s eyes narrowed at her.  “Like the piece that you are now wearing around your neck.”  He got up from his desk and went to the wet bar.  Grabbing a tumbler, he placed some ice and water in the glass, glancing back, he made sure she wasn’t looking.  Going to her side he knelt down to her level.  “Here my dear, you don’t look well.”

Grabbing for the glass, she gulped the water.  She felt a sharp pain in her chest and realized it was because she was holding her breath.  A nagging fear became a blazing one.  “Um, yes and other pieces at the Reading Center.”

“I see,” he spoke softly as he took the glass from her.  Heading back to the wet bar, he refilled it again.  Slowly he walked back to her.  “I do believe that we have reached an understanding about your recent desire to date this Kevin?”

Catherine wanted to say something, anything; her voice was lost in her throat.  “Sir, I really think...”

A hand went to her chest, her eyes followed.  “This is an interesting piece.  Where did you get it?  I’ve never seen anything like this.  Take it off, I would like to see it up close.”

Catherine could feel her heat pounding violently in her chest.  He was too close, too familiar, Kevin was right.  “I would rather not. A close friend gave it to me.”

Suddenly the Dean clasped the amulet and then released it just as quickly.  Placing his index finger under her chin, he raised her face up to meet his.  He frowned at her, “Suit yourself my dear.”  

Walking back to the desk, he surveyed the book in front of him.  Snapping it closed he handed it back to her.  “You have a lot more work to do on this before it is suitable to me.  I will expect you back here on Monday.”

“But my vacation?”  Catherine was almost in tears.  She wanted to go home and be with her family.  They had moved back to Ohio from Virginia.  Her dad’s assignment was done. 

“Is cancelled until you can do better my dear,” The Dean stood up and walked to the door.  Dropping her head, she felt ashamed.  Some how he knew she had lied to him, she could feel it. 

“I wanted to see my family...” she mumbled as she quietly walked out the door.

“You will Catherine when the tasks that have been set before you are finished.”  The Dean closed the door softly.

Catherine hurried to her office.  Gathering her up things, she sprinted to her car.  She didn’t want the Dean to see that she was upset, that she was now aware that some thing was not on the up and up with their relationship.  Catherine wanted to see her family; her last two trips home were cancelled by the Dean.  The last time her trip was cancelled she had called her parents.  They had already been informed that she wasn’t coming home by the Dean. 

Catherine drove to where Kevin had requested that she meet him, she tried to control the tears in her eyes.  She had to end her relationship with him, and now she wasn’t going to be able to see her family either.  Sitting in the car, she became slightly light-headed and disorientated.  Waiting for it to pass, she entered the club.  The burly man at the door didn’t even try to stop her as she walked in.

Waiting for her eyes to adjust to the interior lighting of the club, she fought off another wave of dizziness.  A ‘hey there you are,’ made her turn to her right.  It was Nick much to her relief. 

Nick’s face screwed up and he seemed a little upset to see her.  “Wassup Professor?”

“Nothing Nick, Is Kevin here?  I really need to talk to him.”  Catherine needed to get this over with right now.

“Yeah, come on I’ll take you to him, but you don’t look good.  Come on let’s talk first,” Nick grabbed her hand and weaved her through a crowd of patrons.  They went to the back of the club and through a door.  Once the door was shut, the music and noise could barely be heard.

“Nick please, I really need to talk to Kevin,” Catherine was more or less pleading with Nick to take her to him. 

“What’s going on, you’ve been crying?”  Nick pointed to the mirror as if Catherine needed to see for herself.

“Oh, I do look awful, don’t I?” as she wiped a tissue under her eyes.  “I guess it’s a good thing I don’t wear too much make-up.”

Nick opened a drawer, “Here, help yourself.”

A quizzical look on Catherine’s face was enough to make Nick offer an explanation.  “It’s stage make-up but It will do.”

“Oh,” she giggled.

“Hey now, don’t be thinking like that!  I’m not in the closet or nothin’.”  Nick flashed her his patented smile.  “So what’s up with this?” as he offered her another tissue.

“The Dean cancelled my vacation again.  I’m upset, I wanted to go home and see my parents.”

“So go anyway,” Nick shrugged his shoulders.

“I can’t, he won’t let me,” Catherine sighed.

“How can he stop you?” Kevin entered the room.  “You were looking forward to this.  I was going go home and then drive up to meet your parents.”

“I can’t do this any more,” Catherine professed.  “The Dean is scaring me.  He asked me to take off my amulet because he wanted to see it.  He went over my entire dissertation and the only thing he brought up was you, twice.”

Kevin nodded to Nick who left through the door that Kevin had just come through.  Catherine was standing in the middle of the room.  She looked upset, tired, and not herself.  She seemed over-burdened with the entire Dean scenario.  After doing research today, he knew why.  The Boys called in some favors as well as their security team.  The Dean traveled in many of the same circles as the Boys themselves.  It wasn’t the Backstreet circle that they had in common but the Magick circle. 

Kevin and his entourage had discovered a side of the Dean that surprised all of them.  Yes, the Dean was involved in Magick, very heavily and for a long time. 

Nick had made an off-handed remark, after they had discovered this side of the Dean that maybe Catherine was being trained as a High Priestess for a new covenant.  Everyone had laughed at the silly remark.  Once again, Nick’s profound words had set them down the correct path.  “Hey, how do you know?  He certainly doesn’t want you around her.  Why is that?  Because if she is with you, she can’t be in another covenant.”

Kevin leaned back on the desk as Catherine sat on the couch in the office.  Her face seemed paler now as she rubbed the back her neck.  He noted that she still held a death grip on the amulet.  Kevin needed to show her how important she was to him.  To show her that she could walk away from the Dean and still have a life to call her own, a life with him.

“Come on sweet thing, you need to eat.  You’ve had a long day.”

Offering his hand to her, her face turned up to him.

The amulet now rested on her chest in plain view.  She didn’t feel the need to hide it from prying eyes here. “We need to talk Kevin, this isn’t going to work.” 

Her blue eyes were not radiant and large.  They weren’t dilated huge and blue like they were when he made love to her, when he sent her off to soar and then she came back to him.  “We’ll talk while we eat,” Kevin mumbled as he pulled her out the door and threaded her through the crowd to a doorway off the club area.   

Catherine watched the crowd part as he held her hand on their way to the door.  People were staring at her, some even ogling her.  The women were whispering and pointing.  All of the patrons seemed to be stunned by her appearance.  She followed Kevin blindly, dropping her chin slightly to avoid their gazes.  A gently squeeze of her hand forced her to look at him.  A slow smile grew on his face and his dimple showed.  “That’s my girl,” came to her in a slow southern drawl.





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