~The Celtic Wizard~

Chapter 33  

Kevin paced downstairs.  Catherine had awakened quite a while ago, but hadn’t come down.  Now knowing things because they were connected in all aspects of their lives could make things complicated, he needed to watch himself as far as the free will clause was concerned.  Even though he could touch on her thinking he had to be careful not to influence her choices or decisions. 

Looking down into his brew, he knew his medicine would work much like his grandmother’s but not affect Catherine so severally.  She could rest without pain but also without the nightmares.

After stirring his potion, he began to prepare a light dinner for her.  Unsure if she would even eat or come downstairs he made it simple too.  “Chicken soup always makes you feel better,” as he swirled the mixture in the pot that was simmering on the stove. 

He set the small table in the corner of the kitchen.  Sitting down, he watched the sun hang low in the sky, glowing a bright red-orange.  “Nick always says, ‘Red sky at night, a sailor’s delight.’”  Glancing around his home, he was truly happy here.  It was a large cabin of sorts with an open floor plan, very few walls. The lower floor consisted of a large great room.  On one side stood a huge two-story fireplace a bank of large windows on the other.

Kevin began to sip his soup slowly; breaking off a piece of bread, he dipped it into the broth.  His mind began to slip away as he waited to see if she would show.

Catherine now languished in the huge brass Jacuzzi tub.  Upon waking, she was uneasy, she breathed a sigh of relief when the world came into focus and she recognized the room she was in, Kevin’s bedroom.

Sniffing the air, she smelled a foul order; it was her own body.  “Catherine you smell,” she spoke as she maneuvered out of the huge four-poster bed.  Her body ached but not as much as it had.  She caught her reflection in the Cheval mirror as she stiffly walked by.  Stopping short, she glanced at herself.  Her head dropped as she looked down at her torso.  Her body was wrapped in gauze.  “It wasn’t a dream,” she whispered as she picked at the small pieces of tape resting on her ribs that were holding the knots tightly to her body.  Slowly she pulled and let the gauze drop to the floor.  She found the source of the odor; an ointment had been smeared on her body.  She turned halfway around and looked in the mirror.  What she saw made her sick and scared.  Large red lines and welts decorated her back, overlapping each other.  She had scabs in certain spots.  Covering her mouth so she wouldn’t scream, what had happened had come to light, “He did this to me.”  Sobbing slightly as her balled up fists rose up to her temples.  She pressed them tightly to the sides of her head.  “I can’t remember if it was Kevin.  I know somebody said it wasn’t but now I’m here in his house…. I was at home.”

Swallowing hard, she closed her eyes and concentrated.  She tired to recall the events, then she did remember Kevin holding her, he was crying.  Searching her memory, as hazy as it was, she had a dim recollection of men around her and a circle of colors, then of women around her, then Nick.  “Nick, Nick is the one I asked, he told me it wasn’t Kevin.”

Catherine stood in front of the mirror for a long period of time.  She saw marks in other places, her hand went to her neck and she clasped the silver disc.  “You said nothing would happen to me if I kept it on…  Unless it was you,” she said sadly as she walked away from the mirror and into the bathroom.  Standing at the door, she almost felt queasy, “This is not the same bathroom…”  Catherine turned to leave as Bert sauntered into the room.  He hopped up on the tub as if everything was normal.

Shoving her insecurities aside, she studied the animal.  Catherine’s head cocked to the side.  “Bert is that you?”

A loud meow came from the cantankerous feline. 

“Okay, then I guess it would be okay if I used the bathtub.  I smell like three day old fish.”  Catherine leaned forward, turning the knob on the tub.  As she shut the bathroom door, she found a women’s nightgown hanging on a hook.  “It must be his house, his women are well-clothed.”  Catherine fingered the fine Chinese silk.  She turned to Bert who then gave her a pleasing purr. 

Catherine entered the tub and sat back with a loud sigh.  She could not figure out how to turn the tub jets on so she left it alone.  “I might break it,” she glanced to Bert.  “It might hurt too, I’m still very sore.”

Bert had now taken up residence on the closed seat of the commode.  He sat facing Catherine but every so often would glance towards the door.

“What’s the matter fella?  You look upset…”

Bert watched the door and then let out a nasty growl followed by a screech. 

Catherine tripped as she jumped out of the tub.  Now she was scared, Bert had never reacted like that to anything she had ever seen.  He was now hissing and his teeth were barred.  “KE- VIN!!!”  Catherine began screaming as she was caught between whatever was scaring Bert and the door. 

The door flung open and Kevin’s masculine body filled the frame.  “What’s the matter?”

Catherine threw her body into his, soaking wet and naked.  She was trembling in his arms and dripping water all over him.  “What’s wrong Professor?” as he wrapped his arms around her, and then picked her up. 

“Bert is acting weird,” she whispered as her arms wrapped tightly around his neck.  In his arms, she experienced the feeling of safety but her anxiety lingered.

“Easy sweet thing, it’s gonna be alright.”  Kevin walked to the bed and cautiously set her down on the mattress since she had inadvertently climbed up into his arms out of fear.  “It’s okay baby.”

Kevin called Bert to him.  As mindlessly as he could, Kevin dried a terrified, slick, wet, and naked beautiful woman with his hands while talking to a cat his head.

“Quince!”  Kevin barked and a black cat flew out from under the bed.  Narrowing his eyes at the cat, he frowned.  “That is really low buddy, don’t do it again.”

Quietly Catherine spoke, still shaking in Kevin’s hands  “Kevin?”

His head turned to hers, his eyes locking onto hers.  “What sweet thing?”

“Are you talking to the cats?” she blinked.

“I’m trying too, it seems Quincy wanted to meet you.  Bert didn’t think you being in the tub would have been appropriate.”  Kevin had to snicker at the lunacy of it, but it definitely had picked up his spirits.

“Your cat wanted to meet me?”  She looked at the black ball of fur.

Kevin nodded as he stood up; he went to his closet.  He began to search one side looking for something for Catherine to wear.  He knew she had seen the nightgown in the bathroom, you couldn’t miss it.  However, he preferred that she wear something that another woman hadn’t worn previously.  One of his shirts would do nicely.

“A black cat, all black… what a surprise, another cliché.  Well, come up here then,” Catherine patted the bed.

Quincy jumped up with Bert following him.  “Well you are very beautiful.”  Catherine lavished each cat with attention.  She received licks and purrs in return.  “I’m glad you are friends and thank you Bert, for defending my honor.”  Catherine patted her best friend as the skin on her back began to smart.  Kevin had been pulling something over her head and inadvertently he had brushed her skin.

“Kevin…”

“I know it hurts and I have something for you that will help.”  Kevin answered without her finishing the sentence.

“I’m a little hungry…  The chicken soup smells delicious.”  Catherine held out her hand for Kevin’s aid.

His hand was there in a flash pushing her back down into the bed.  “You stay in bed, I’ll bring it to you.”  Flashing the cats a warning gesture, they both sat on the bed facing each other.  Kevin checked his amusement at her remark about the soup.  Yes, they were linked.

Catherine surveyed both animals, “You shouldn’t fight, you’re both very nice.  Bert is my best friend and I bet your Kevin’s.”  Catherine watched them both and then her mouth fell open.  For the first time she heard voices.  She didn’t speak she just listened as the cat’s conversed. 

“Nice set of Chakrah’s,” Quincy quipped as Bert hissed.

“I heard that Quincy!”  Catherine crossed her arms over her chest.  “You’re a male, I bet you aren’t fixed either.”

“Nope, fixing males goes against Kevin’s feelings.  He was going too, I asked him once how he would feel being on the other end of the scalpel.  “

“Quincy you’re such a liar and I don’t ever want to here anything about Catherine’s Chakrah’s again.  You don’t even know what a Chakrah is.”  Kevin’s voice boomed in the room, but Kevin wasn’t there. 

It didn’t take too long for Kevin to come into the room bearing a tray.  Setting it on the dresser, he walked to the bed and fluffed Catherine’s pillows.  Catherine enjoyed the comfort of having him near by and his attention as she sat back careful not to put too much pressure on her back.  Her uneasiness was fading.

Kevin retrieved the tray from the dresser and set it over her lap.  “I hope you like this, it’s my secret recipe.”  Kevin handed her the spoon.

Catherine gingery placed the spoon in the bowl.  Pulling the spoon up to her lips, she felt a slight stab of pain as her damaged skin rebelled from the motion of her arms. 

She flinched and the spoon was removed from her hand.  “Let me help you,” Kevin dipped the spoon into the bowl.  Bringing the contents to her lips, she sipped. 

“Please Kevin, I can feed myself, I’m not…”  Catherine was cut-off when a spoon was stuck in her mouth be. 

“Shut up Professor and eat.  You love to eat, and you need your strength back.”  Kevin kept feeding her, more for his sake than Catherine’s.  If she was eating, she couldn’t ask questions.  Feeding her had become some fun for him as his finger trailed over her lips to wipe cracker crumbs from her mouth. His senses were abosorbing everything about her.

Catherine smiled when she heard Quincy.  “She must be the one, he’s letting her eat crackers in his bed.  Nobody gets to eat crackers in his bed.  Hey Bert, want to drive Kevin nuts, let’s go leave fur balls on the white bedspread in the spare bedroom.”

Catherine watched as both cats trotted out the door.  As much pain as she was in, she began smirk.

Kevin looked at the door and then back to Catherine, then back to the door again.  He was waving his spoon at the door.  “I swear you two make a mess, you’ll sleep outside!”

Kevin set the tray down and then handed Catherine a tablespoon of something.  Catherine’s head backed up as she observed the brown syrup.  Dipping her finger in it, she tasted it.

“I wouldn’t poison you.  Now take it.”  Kevin held the spoon to her lips.  Satisfied when she had finished the dosage, he reached for the gauze and the tub ointment.  Catherine’s eyes bulged, mocking him.  “I know it stinks but it works and you need it.”

Catherine began to scoot her bottom to the other side of the bed, just out of reach.

Kevin pleaded with her, “Catherine please…”  

Catherine struggled to raise the hem of the shirt.  Large, warms hands swept up the sides of her body, grazing her skin.  She felt a little surge of energy in her body. 

Kevin’s hands began to massage her shoulders as her head dropped to her bended knees.  “You’re such a good patient,” Kevin whispered in her ear.  He heard the small sigh; which was pretty close to whimper and assumed he needed to just get this over with.  They needed time to talk; Catherine needed time to heal.  He finished as quickly as possible.  Catherine had been almost asleep by the time he was done.

Lifting her chin, he looked at her clouded eyes.  The medicine and magick were a powerful combination and they had begun to work.  “Sweet thing, may I sleep with you?”

“Please,” was the sweet sound that bathed his ears.  As lethargic as she was, she was still able to answer him.

Readying himself for bed, which in his case had always been in the buff.  It didn’t take too long for commonsense to prevail when he slid on a pair of boxers.  Snapping the waistband, he sighed at the beautiful blonde sprawled in his bed.  “This is for you, not me.  I have trouble keeping things to myself when you’re around.” 

Carefully lifting the covers, he climbed into bed, wincing when cracker crumbs scraped over the bare skin of his back.  “No more crackers in bed for you,” he groaned as he cuddled her has close as he dared.

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This is a work of fiction.
The characters and events portrayed are fictitious.
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