~The Celtic Wizard~

Chapter 26  

Once the door was closed, they were seated in a private dining room on the second level.  A two-way mirror replaced the one wall.  They could see below the patrons they had just moved by.  “Kevin why are they looking up here?”

“Because Catherine you are here and you are with me.  Come and eat please,” he held out her chair.

“I don’t understand?” as she took her seat next to the glass.  “The people down here are looking up here like they can see us.”

“They know by the amulet that I have chosen you.”  Kevin joined her at the table.  The statement was delivered with a hint of pride and possessiveness.

“Oh,” Catherine was edgy but somewhat relaxed now.  She almost felt like she had imbibed in the bottle of wine that was sitting on the table in front of her.

His hand caught hers, “Are you okay?”

Shaking her head, she tried to shake off the punch-drunk feeling.  “Yes, I’m just very upset.”

“I want to talk to you about the Dean,” Kevin waited while food was set on the table. 

Catherine never questioned that the food was ready, her favorite, and piping hot.  Why wouldn’t he know, he knows everything.

“Thank you,” she smiled as she dug in.

“Anything for you,” a grin on his face.  “I found something out about the Dean today and I don’t like it.”

“Well he doesn’t like you either, he brought up his request today, again.”  Catherine spoke between bites of food.

“Did anyone ever tell you, you eat like a horse?”  Kevin snorted slightly.  He was amazed that the statuesque blonde could ‘pack it away’ as they said.  It was a refreshing sight to see in the land of anorexics on the west coast.

Catherine’s fork froze in mid-air.  “Do I?”

Kevin understood that the comment was taken wrong, “Not your table manners.  I meant you have a healthy appetite.”

Catherine waved her fork in the air, “I like to eat, and I can’t cook.  If someone is going to cook for me, I can at least eat it and enjoy it.” 

Catherine had turned somewhat playful on him suddenly.  “That’s true, you can’t cook.  Maybe you could learn?”

“Why?  You cook, don’t you?”  Catherine was skeptical to the remark.

“Well if you’re not with me, you’ll starve.”  Kevin began to fathom the depth of Catherine’s lack of culinary skills.  What he didn’t miss about the comment was the reference to the fact that there would be a relationship.  “So there is an us in the future?”

Catherine paused, and then set her fork down.  For a moment, she felt normal, not weighted or influence by outside pressures.  When Kevin asked the question, the Dean was the first thing that had popped into her head.  “I want there to be and I almost told him that, then he made me feel small again.”

Kevin’s head swayed slowly back and forth.  The Dean has a unique grip on Catherine, a grip that he was going to loosen and eliminate as soon as possible.  Nick’s words rolled around in his head over and over again. 

The balance of the meal was filled with their normal chitchat about books and a new exhibit at the museum.  The current news and events of the day.  “So, where did you go today after class?”

Catherine began to cough, she had accepted Kevin’s intrusions into her life but there were times when she would like some privacy.  “I just made a stop after the meeting.”

“Oh, anything interesting?” a smirk playing on his face.

A flicker of anger stirred in her, “Why would you care?”

A slight shrug of his shoulders as he sipped his wine indicated indifference to her.  “Because I don’t like the way that meeting went with the Dean today.  I don’t like the way you were upset when you left there.  Would you care to expand on what that meeting was about?”

“I told you, my dissertation.”  Catherine was beginning to get peeved.  All he wanted to talk about was the Dean.  Remarks had slipped into the entire conversation.  Tossing her napkin onto her plate, she suddenly stood up.  Glancing to the mirror, the patrons had gone back to their own business.  “I want to go down there and dance, but I’m a terrible dancer.”

“You’re avoiding the topic,” Kevin sat back in the chair.

“I said I want to go dance,” Catherine’s energy level caused a slight surge in the candle’s flame.  The last thing Kevin needed was a scene at the one place, besides his home, that he could relax.  An apprentice witch with a temper was dangerous as it was.  Catherine was losing control of her temper; this was not her normal demeanor.  Something was amiss. 

“Okay,” Kevin vacated his chair.  The nagging feeling that she wasn’t herself was pestering him.  “Let’s go,” as he held open the door.

Catherine marched by in a huff, almost treading on Nick in the process.  Nick’s eyebrows raised in questioning gesture.  Kevin threw his hands up in the air, shaking his head from side to side.

Walking straight to the dance floor she stopped in the middle and waited.  Her chin held in the air as if to say, “You’ll do what I want.”

Slight smiles graced the patrons as they watched Kevin follow her out to the dance floor.  Little giggles in the crowd.  Placing one arm around her waist and grabbing her hand, he leaned down to her ear.  “I don’t know what is up with you but stop this little display.  You are embarrassing me in front of my friends and associates.”

Catherine looked up at him with those big blue eyes.  Beginning to become slightly watery now,  “Forgive me, I don’t know what is wrong with me.”

“I do, it’s called being unsure, insecure, and not feeling safe.  You’re safe with me Catherine.  I love you, you’ll always be safe with me,” he whispered as he pressed her head against his shoulders.  They swayed softly to the music.  The patrons danced around them but did not crowd them.

Catherine’s hands held tightly onto him; Kevin was moving her across the dance floor, she was following his lead.  After two songs, the beat picked up, pulling back, a silent communication passed between them.  Dropping a quick kiss on her forehead, he looked over the crowd.  “Let’s go home and finish our evening, alone.” 

Walking into Kevin’s house, Catherine again seemed to blindly follow him.  No tête-à-tête, no words, just a physical pull for both of them.  

Kevin walked into his bedroom with Catherine right behind him.  Immediately she began to undress.  His hands reached out and grabbing onto the sheer fabric of her top.  “Stop!” he barked at her.

Tears welled up in her eyes as he yelled her.  “I don’t understand?” she spoke.

“Neither do I,” as Kevin began to slowly re-button her shirt.  “You are not yourself that I can see, you’re upset, angry, and out of control.  You’re not questioning me, you’re like a zombie.  As much as I want to throw you down on that bed and make you scream my name, it’s not going to happen tonight.”

A sniffle came from her, “I’m going home.”  Catherine bolted out of the room, leaving him aching physically and emotionally.  He had just told her that she would always be safe with him and now he had made her feel insecure and not wanted.

Kevin could hear her car pulling out of the driveway.  He would go to her later, right now he was going to go see the Dean, personally.  He was at the root of this problem and Kevin had every intention of cutting him off at the knees.  Outsiders were no longer going to determine whom he had in his life.

Opening her apartment door, Catherine felt a wave of queasiness overcome her.  In front of her stood the Dean and the man Jenna had named, “Dr. Freak,” from the emergency room.

“Where have you been Catherine?  Have you been out with Kevin again, or should I call him Cernunnos?  I thought we had an agreement?”

As Catherine began to back into the hall, she was yanked back into her condo and the door slammed shut. 

Kevin sat in his car until the wee hours of the morning, waiting for a sign that the Dean was there.  He had recruited Carlos to be with him.  Carlos was not pleased to be involved in any of this.  He knew what Kevin was up to after all the years. 

“Boss, give it up, it’s almost morning, the guy isn’t home or he’s fast asleep.”

Sighing loudly, Kevin’s head rolled to the side on the headrest.  “Something isn’t right.  I’ll drop you off and then I’ll go see Catherine.”

“You have to pass her place to take me home so why don’t I stop with you,” Carlos worded the statement so Kevin understood he wasn’t going to be questioned and he was going.

Time had elapsed but she couldn’t clear her head to know how much time.  Catherine could feel the pain in her back, her head, arms, and legs.  There was pain in every direction; she couldn’t get away from it.  The harder she tried the more unbearable the pain became.  Someone was hitting her, but her hands were covering her face.  She couldn’t see who was doing this to her.  She could feel a warm wetness down her back, she felt her skin spilt open and screamed out for them to please stop before they killed her.  A haunted laugh made her shiver, then she heard the words, “You will do as I have requested.  Is that understood?  You are mine and nothing will come between us.  I have chosen you.”

“What ever you want, please stop,” she cried.  Catherine’s eyes fluttered open.  She could see the face that was hitting her; it was Kevin’s.  Deep down in her heart, she wanted to believe that it wasn’t him, that he wasn’t capable of this.  The room began to spin as she lost consciousness.





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