~The Celtic Wizard~

Chapter 34 

The next morning Kevin studied Catherine as she walked around the lower floor of his home.  Her hand skimmed the mantle of the fireplace.  She fingered the intricate art that had been placed on display for all eyes to see.

Kevin had an eclectic mix of his heritage, a little of this, a little of that.  Included were carvings and statues of bone, wood, and other natural materials. 

“Catherine, come and eat.”  Kevin spoke as she still wandered around the great room familiarizing herself with all of the details no matter how ornate or plain they were.  Kevin waited, she still had not joined him at the table, and she was deep in thought.  “Catherine!”  Kevin raised his voice to get her attention. 

“Mind your manners son, she is still confused and scared,” Anne’s voice echoed in his head.

Catherine turned to Kevin, who stood by the table holding the chair out for her, his eyes closed.  “It’s fine Mrs. Richardson, he’s grouchy because he’s waiting to start a conversation that I’m not ready to have yet.”

“Just make your own decisions dear,” Anne spoke and then it became extremely quiet. 

The clank of an eating utensil being dropped on a plate resonated in the room.  The Last thing Kevin wanted was parental concern right now as he took his seat.

“Kevin, I don’t know what to do…”   Catherine ambled to the table. 

Sipping his coffee, he said nothing.  Kevin did not want to make any mistakes this time around.  He was keeping his mouth shut.

“Are you going to at least talk to me?”  Catherine queried as she stirred the food around on her plate.

“Yes, I’m just not offering any advice or opinions.  I don’t want it to come back and haunt me later.”  Setting his cup down, he stared at his food.  Hunger was not what he wanted.  He wanted to tell her what he was feeling inside.

“Kevin, please, just answer my questions and ask me questions.”

“I’ll try,” he nodded as fear danced around inside him.  Sitting back in the chair, he frowned as he crossed his arms.

Catherine ate and let him watch her eat.  This was foolish; she was raised to discuss things of importance with the person you were involved with.  Kevin was going to be difficult with her; the frown he was wearing depressed her even more.  He didn’t want his input to be misconstrued later due to the free will clause, even though she had requested it.

Catherine had again had the vivid dream of Kevin chasing her through the woods.  She was being forced to choose between good and evil.  Picking her head up, she gazed at the upset and agitated man sitting across from her.  This man had turned her life upside down and inside out.  He had awakened feelings in her that she didn’t know had existed or that she was capable of having. 

Sitting back in her chair, she returned his searching gaze, still lost in her own thoughts.  Kevin could be demanding, she had seen that, and he was quite the taskmaster when it came to teaching her magick. 

Kevin watched and cheated just a little as he eavesdropped on her thinking.  When he heard her talking to herself, he was a little defensive but listened anyway.

“He’s a neat freak, he’s hyper, he can be serious yet funny.  He’s self-assured on one hand but insecure on the other.  He likes being in charge and making all of the decisions.  Is he capable of sharing them with me?”  Catherine watched as Kevin’s frown turned into a scowl.  His fists now were balled as they rested under his arms.  The demeanor change was obvious and it also told her he was listening to her thoughts and that is something he shouldn’t be doing in her eyes.  “You’re not suppose to be doing that,” she accused him in her head,

Catherine heard him answer her.  “I’m not doing anything…”

“Are too,” was her silent thought.

“Fine I’ll go for a walk!’  Kevin shoved the chair out from the table violently.

“No don’t!  Please, sit down.  We need to have this conversation, verbally.  We need to open our mouths and speak to each other.”

“I can’t dammit!  Can’t you see that!”  Kevin was infuriated at everything around him.  He began to pace the kitchen section of the house.  Turning his back to her, his fingers started to drum on the countertop as if he were playing a tune on the piano.

“Kevin?”  Catherine whispered. 

“WHAT!”  Kevin shouted full force at her as he whipped around.  The air began to crackle with energy that was coming from him.

Catherine shook her head from side to side at his display of childish temper; she had forgotten that part of his personality.  “Come and sit down.  I have a mind,  I believe I think with it very well.  I’ll make my own decision, when I’m ready.”

Kevin’s shoulders tipped slightly forward.  Catherine smiled to herself but made no comment verbally or otherwise when he heard him say, “What if it isn’t what I want?”  The voice sounded like an upset child who wasn’t going to get his way.  Slowly he walked back to the table.

“Kevin, do you care about me?”

“Ask intelligent questions Catherine, not stupid ones,” Kevin groaned.  How absurd that she would think otherwise.  Kevin laced his fingers together and placed them behind his head.  Waiting for her to ask another question.

“Do you love me Kevin?”  Catherine was scared to ask.  What if he said no.

“Shit Professor, whatever gave you that idea?”  The sarcasm in his voice wasn’t missed and it wasn’t meant to be missed.  “I courted you for months on the phone, dinner, and flowers the whole enchilada.  Then all hell breaks loose and I bring you here.” 

Scooting his chair back, he walked over to her.  Going down on one knee, he grasped her hand.  He saw the hurt look in her blue eyes and it wasn’t a look he wanted to ever see in her again.  “Yes I care about you.  Yes, I love you.  I want to marry you, I want to have a family, and I want us to live happily ever after.  We have many more obstacles to get over before we can do this.  I need to know if you care about me enough that eventually you could love me once we take care of some of these problems.”

“KEVIN!”  Jerald Senior’s voice came from the livingroom.

“But out!  She asked me, I told her.”  Kevin had begun to defend himself already.

“Mr. Richardson, please, I mean no disrespect, but Kevin and I need to discuss this openly and honestly.  I mean Kevin can be difficult, willful, stubborn, and all around spoiled when he doesn’t get his own way.  He has a sharp tongue and a quick temper.  If you want me to spend the rest of my life with him, mortal and otherwise, then I need to have some training for this.  Your son can be hard to deal with sometimes, he doesn’t take no for an answer very well and he sulks like a baby.”  Catherine smiled as she heard the elder Richardson chuckle.

Kevin stood there with his mouth hanging open, gaping at her.

“I’m going to talk to your mother.  I’ll see if I can’t get you some more recipes, one of us is going to have to cook.”  Catherine kissed Kevin cheek and left him standing in his spot, speechless. 

“Can you believe she just said all that about me?”  Kevin still watched Catherine as she followed the well-beaten path to his Mother’s home.

“She’s right son,” Jerald slapped him on the back.

“She should learn to cook, she’ll be at home more than me.  That is a wife duty not a husband duty.”

“Kevin…”   Jerald began as he wrapped an arm around his youngest’s shoulders.  “There are a few things about marriage you should know about.  By the way, congratulations, I think that was a ‘yes’.”

“Oh yeah, thanks, I think it was too…”   Kevin turned back to the door.  “At least, I think it was.”

“Anyway, as I was saying, you always eat what is put in front of you, be thankful, and, of course, ask for seconds.”  Jerald chuckled.

Kevin began to laugh with him, “Ah, not a problem Dad, trust me.  Catherine nearly burned my kitchen up the last time she tried to cook.  Frying an egg is a hardship for her.”

“Really!”  Jerald looked shocked.

“Oh yeah, really, but we’ll figure it out.”  Kevin’s eyes searched the door; he wanted Catherine to come back.

“You could get a cook…  Maybe your Mom could go out to the west coast with you for awhile.  It would do her some good.  She could help Catherine practice her Magick and her culinary skills.

“YES!”  Kevin picked up his father and spun him around. 

“Fine, now let’s talk about the Dean.  You’re a little rusty, you need some practice.  Come on Son, we need a game plan here.  Call the Boys and get them here at least mentally.  They are stalling the Dean and Mark in Florida as we speak.  We need to discuss all the details before Catherine begins to ask you questions.  Right now, she’s still giddy over your proposal.  After your Mother is done with her, you’ll be answering questions all night, I’m sure.”

Kevin nodded and followed his Father’s suggestions, as always.

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