“I’ve taught you how to use your magic for many things. There is always more to master. Your coven training will commence six months prior to your birth date. But what of your outbreak? You could protect yourself if she let you learn to what?” Orm closed the door behind us.
“You know what I want to learn.”
“And you know why we are not allowing it.”
“I know, but...” I plopped into an arm chair.
“Why did you mention your father?” The seven-hundred-year-old witch lowered himself into the seat beside me.
“I don’t know. I’m tired.”
I regretted clueing them into the fact that I wished I could meet my father. Since I’d given him up as Mother’s mystery mission target, I hadn’t given too much away though. But she asked if I’d sensed any people like us, interesting people was her code phrase, every day, and I grew tired of the routine. Couldn’t she trust that I’d tell her if I thought I was in danger? I longed to have friends, friends who were like me. Why would I hide them from her?
Other vampire younglings were home-schooled for fear their unbridled impulses would lead to unwanted outcomes, like the bully literally getting killed on the playground. In the evenings, they attended vampire school, learning vampire history, government, and acquiescence to human activity. But Mother believed in mainstreaming and rarely allowed me to mingle with vampires. Maybe she thought if I made a real friend, I’d share my secret and we’d all be doomed. But why had she created me in the first place if I was going to be saddled with so many restrictions? What was the purpose? Orm reminded me almost daily that eighteen years was but a drop in the bucket to beings like ourselves. When you were seventeen with the brain and hormones of an adolescent half-vampire, it felt like torture.
Acting as tutor, mentor, and stand-in father, Orm taught me all the vampire and witch histories and helped me hone my powers. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out. Mother was a vampire so by default my father would be a witch like Orm. But who was he? What did he look like? Where did he live?
I flicked my finger, and the lights of the room dimmed. I focused on the logs in the fireplace, and flames gushed from the planks of wood.
“Being a bit dramatic, aren’t we?” Orm asked.
“I am a teenager.”
“I don’t think you really want to be home-schooled.”
“No, I don’t”
“Well, you need to keep your emotions in check.” Orm shifted in his chair.
“I’ve been cloaked all day. If there’s some place to be able to break down, it should be with your family.”
“You are right. But your mother will pull you from school if she doesn’t think you can hold it together.”
“Well, now I’m listening.”
“And you know why you can’t learn to fly yet.”
“But it would be so fun.” I jumped to the edge of my chair. “We could go out into the desert and practice there. No one would see us.”
“When you’re eighteen.”
“You promise?” I stared into his eyes.
Swirling my finger in the air, I started the stereo, and Bach trickled from the speakers. I lay my head on the back of the seat. I had to figure this magical eighteen thing out. Eighteen-year-old witches gained their full powers when they became members of a coven. I would join Orm’s coven, making us a family of two. But there was something more they were keeping from me. My mind wandered back to all I knew.
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