Excerpt for Reflections End (Reflections Series Book 5) by , available in its entirety at Smashwords


Reflections End

(Reflections Series Book 5)

By

Sandra Corton




Copyright © 2015 by Sandra Corton

ISBN: 978-0-6480239-2-0

All rights reserved.

Published by Sandra Corton

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any forms or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Cover Design by Marianne Nowicki



To

Ane Krebs Pedersen,

We have never met in person but

you have always been a great support of

all my stories.

So this one is for you.



Table of Contents

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Sneak peek Rippling Reflections (Book 6 of the Reflections series)

About the author



Chapter 1

Kale

It happened at a normal dinner one night. I went from accepting my differences to hating them. Nothing unusual started it; I was in the middle of laughing at Xander and Matilda's antics when it struck me. I was different, I didn't fit in here, and I never had.

Sure, I’ve always known it, but it wasn't until that moment that it affected me. I wondered what had changed but glancing around at my family it seemed that nothing had, only me. Dad’s brow furrowed as if he sensed the change but I shrugged.

"Kale, come in here for a minute." Dad called to me as I went to walk past his office after the fateful dinner. I tried to act casual as I walked through the door but my dad knew me too well for that.

"Hey, Dad, what's wrong?" I asked as I plastered a fake grin on my face.

"Don't try that, Kale," Dad’s probing look was one I swear he learnt off mum. It mesmerised you into telling him everything, yet it didn't even require a spell. "Tell me what happened."

"I haven't got a clue. One second everything was fine and then it wasn't." I told him with the confusion evident in my voice.

"That's all it was?"

"Pretty much."

"Is everything okay in here, my boys?" Mum poked her head in with a smile.

"I'm not sure, Leena." Dad answered as he gestured for her to enter.

"Tell me what's bothering you?" she said as she sat next to dad and looked at me with eyes identical to mine.

"Something changed in me at dinner. I know that I'm not supposed to be here anymore." I replied while still trying to pinpoint the problem in my own mind.

"Not supposed to be where?" Dad asked with a frown.

"Here," I waved my hand at his obliviousness. "In Argonia." I told him, which made him pinch his brow.

"Kale, you can't live on earth permanently, you never spent enough time there when you were younger." Mum sounded sad.

"Do you think I don't know that already?" I replied in exasperation.

"Back up for one moment and explain how you know you're not supposed to be here anymore?" Dad asked his face serious.

"I don't know but I never fit here that well anyway." I looked around the room as I admitted it, not daring to look at either of their faces.

"What do you mean, Kale?" Mum asked with concern etched in her voice.

"You must be able to see it. I'm different, and I've always been different. I'm not like Tilda or Xander. I don't belong here." I finished on a whisper, afraid to hear what my parents would say.

"You believe that don't you, Kale?" Dad asked his voice low and a bit intimidating. I forced myself to look at him, not wanting to see the disappointment on his face.

"Yes, I do." I went with honesty. He sighed, pinched his brow and stared at me.

"Then come to work for me on earth. You will have to make your timings perfect so you don't get earth sickness." Dad offered me.

At his simple offer, my heart almost burst out of my chest. This was what I needed. I had to escape the confines of Argonia. I would be free.

"Yes, I will work out the timings. That would be great, Dad, thanks." I stood up with excitement buzzing through me and ran from the room.

"Do you think that's a good idea, Hayden?" I heard mum ask from as far as my bedroom.

"I don't know, love. He's struggled for a while now and I have watched him worsening. Perhaps this will be what he needs." Dad answered and I sighed with relief that he wasn't changing his mind.

Sometimes super hearing was such an awesome talent! That was until I heard my sister and Xander going at it all the way from across the ambassador complex. Then I groaned and tried to drown the pair of them out.

I was jealous. I had wanted what they had my whole life. They have had each other from the day they were born and then there was me. I always tagged along and tried to include myself but the bond those two had always left me on the outside.

I made the executive decision to step back and try not to be so in their faces. That was of course the moment I knew I wasn't like any other Argonian’s. I can't even explain the how or why of it, but I knew it was the truth.

Mum and dad don't understand everything. I've never told them about knowing I was different until today.

I remember when Tilda came back to life; it seems like so long ago now. She said things to me, while she was still a growing child that baffled me at the time but seemed right. She told me the Goddess was not the reason I existed. I have always questioned that with why am I here. If the Goddess thought I wasn't supposed to be here then I shouldn't be. The question that followed of course was if I didn't belong here then where was I supposed to belong.

I was determined to let go of my impossible thoughts. Instead, I tried to focus on what tomorrow might bring me. Tomorrow was my chance to let Argonia go and embrace a whole new world. To me that was an exciting prospect.

Crossing through the Gate that day and into the old cottage in Dundoon seemed to take forever. I was impatient for my new life to begin. When we finally arrived, I was almost bouncing with excitement.

I saw Mary as soon as we walked through, so I waved at her and smiled. It surprised me when all she did was frown. Mary was the friendliest and the oldest person known to exist on Argonia. When a strange gong went off, dad and I looked around while Mary sighed, her face drooping with sadness. She directed her gaze at me and apprehension crept along my spine.

"I should have guessed it would be a Johnson." She said on another sigh.

"Is something wrong, Mary?" Dad asked as the woman continued to stare at me.

"It depends. It could be right or it could be wrong. Who knows?" she muttered to herself. "Right, you two, stay here, I have to go and retrieve something."

She disappeared making dad and I look at each other. When we had waited five minutes, I wondered what was taking so long. Once it reached a good half hour, I pondered if it was that important. Roger tottered in with a tray of tea and scrumptious looking biscuits.

"Mary sends her apologies. She seems to have misplaced what she was after." Roger said as he gestured for us to sit, which we did.

"I hope she won't be too much longer. I did have meetings planned today." Dad said into the quiet.

"Hayden, this may not seem a big deal yet, but I can assure you that it’s far more important than any meeting you have planned." Roger said and dad’s eyes widened in surprise.

"In that case I am happy to wait." Dad answered.

I pondered over Roger's words as they continued to talk. What could be more important than Dad’s meeting? So a gong went off that was different to the normal one, what could that mean? The look that Mary gave me still made me want to shiver. She knew something about me that I had no clue of, I was sure of that.

"I found it at last, my lovelies! Sorry it took so long." Mary walked back into the room triumphant with water dripping from every inch of her.

"See I told you it was in the sea dragon’s pool." Roger sounded smug while Mary’s look of loving disdain faced him.

"Yes, of course it was," Mary told Roger before she turned to me. "I hate to put this burden on you, lad. As it was foretold... so I must obey."

"I don't understand." I murmured.

"You will, all in good time and then you may regret this turn of events." Mary’s riddle left me frowning as she handed me a chain with a round, ugly jewel hanging from it.

"What do I do with this?" I asked.

As I touched the jewel, a gong once again echoed around the room. This one was loud enough to make my ears ring. Mary and Roger both looked sad, their grim expressions not boding well for me at all.

"It is you, lad." Mary said letting out a long breath.

"What about me? I don't think I understand."

"I had hoped never to have to pass this on but it seems I cannot change the events," Mary said as she clasped her bony hands around my cheeks. "Calm lad." She told me but that didn't help. All of this had me wanting to panic.

"What is going on?" I muttered looking up into her warm but resolute eyes.

"Look into my eyes and see the truth." She told me.

I did as she asked and the world tipped upside down around me. Nausea engulfed me as I heard her say words that I couldn't understand in ancient Argonian. Colours flared, as I seemed to flow from side to side before becoming upright.

"Oh Goddess, what was that?" I groaned as I clamped my hands over my ringing ears.

"The truth is now instilled in you." Mary patted me on the back before standing.

"I don't get it." I told her, which made her appear sadder.

"That jewel I gave you is important."

I looked down expecting to see an ugly jewel and a disgusting old chain. I gasped at the beauty of the jewellery in my hands. It was exquisite. The chain was now bright gold, while the hanging pendant’s pure white seemed to glow.

"How?" I murmured.

"Kale, focus," Mary demanded, so I turned to her. "You must wear the jewel at all times. When that jewel turns pink, you must come and see me straight away. You must bring whoever is in the room with you as well. Do you understand?"

"I’m not sure?" I mumbled still puzzled by everything.

"Kale, repeat what I said." Mary snapped her fingers in front of my face.

"Must wear jewel. Jewel goes pink must see you and bring whoever is with me." My voice came out in a hypnotic daze as I dropped the chain around my neck.

"Good it worked, you won't forget. That is all, you may continue with your day." She swished us away but I had so many questions that I didn't move.

"No, I need answers." I told her and she sighed.

"You will get them with time, Kale, I can promise you that. You will find out things you wish you never knew." Mary replied as she once again swished at us.

I let her this time. My mind was full of everything that had occurred and I needed to process it. Dad shook my arm snapping me from my daze. He looked worried over everything as he stared between the jewel around my neck and my eyes.

"Do you want for talk about that?" he asked me when we entered the Ambassador complex on Earth.

"Not yet, I'm not sure what to say," I told him as I fingered the jewel around my neck. "I know I'm supposed to come here to help you work but would you mind if I go for a walk?" I asked needing fresh air in my lungs.

"No, Kale, I understand. Would you go and get a coffee for me? There's a place near here." He handed me a picture of a park with a big city at its back.

"Do you want me to blink and zap there?" I asked him with a frown and he nodded.

"Walk through the park to clear your head. After that find the coffee shop, and bring me back an espresso. Here is what earth people exchange for goods and services." He handed me strange looking discs and pieces of paper.

"I see, and you want an expressooo?” I asked my moth jumbling up the strange word. Dad smiled at me.

"Espresso, Kale, and put that money in your pocket or you'll get yourself mugged."

"Dad, what the hell is espresso, money or mugged? That made no sense to me at all." I asked in exasperation.

It seemed these humans were a lot more complicated than I had thought. I know I should have paid more attention in my earth studies class but it was so damn boring that I had trouble staying awake. Plus, I thought I'd never need it. Argonia was my home and I was happy there, at least until last night.

Dad grinned at me but outlined the words he had meant. I frowned still not understanding. So far, my morning had been full of that.

"For the Goddess's sake, Kale, don't use your magic unless you are in a heap of trouble." Dad’s last warning bothered me but I nodded as if I knew what he meant.

I guess I hadn't spent enough time on earth. I'd forgotten they had no magic. They were similar to what Teturia used to be before Matilda died and made their magic reappear with her rebirth. So no magic, weird things to use for purchasing an espresso, and see the park. That doesn't sound too hard.

I zapped to the park and made my first mistake, I had zapped into the open. A few people noticed me, their mouths gaping open as they stared at me. Awkward moment number two came when I realised they were staring at my eyes. Yep, a guy with violet eyes isn't common on earth, I guessed. I walked straight past the people as I muttered a quick spell to adjust my eyes to be the same as my dad’s brown.

These people were odd, I realised. I saw people running because they wanted to, not to get somewhere. Some were walking fluffy looking creatures who smelled bad and panted a lot. Give me a Corn any day; at least you could get a conversation out of them.

The buildings, they had me shocked with their strange, rectangular shapes. Then there was a tiny building that someone pushed around that smelt like food but looked like nothing I had ever seen before.

I stared around me in amazement as someone walked by with music coming from his ears. Then another talked into what looked like a flat piece of metal. Whom in Goddesses name were they talking too? Everything going on in this place baffled me. It didn't help that my super hearing made every noise deafening.

Then amongst all that other human stuff going on I heard it, I heard her. The voice was sweet, melodious and beautiful. It had my heart racing and my nerves thrumming. I knew I had to find this woman.

At the last minute, I found out that cars, which are huge rumbling things, drive on those black strips of what they call road. The man in the car abused me but I had much bigger things that needed my attention. I had to find her. Trying to focus on her voice became harder so I figured I was walking in the wrong direction. I turned and bumped into a woman with children scurrying around her.

"Goddess, I'm so sorry." I said as I retrieved the parcels that I had made her drop.

"Not from around here?" the woman smiled at me and I nodded. "May I ask what you're looking for?"

"Um, the coffee shop?"

"Oh, go and see Ellie dear, she makes the best coffee." The woman gushed while a strange sensation swirled in my chest at the name she mentioned.

"May I ask where that is?" I asked and she gave me directions.

As I followed what she had told me, the voice became clearer. The voice laughed and it was light, wonderful and made me giddy. I rounded another corner to find a quaint little cake store. It looked so welcoming that I wanted to walk right in.

I stopped, because there she was. The world halted around me and all I saw was her. Chestnut curls bounced against a delicate face that made my heart stutter. Her slim but curvy figure had a rather Argonian dress on with a frilly apron too. What took me was the intense blue of those eyes.

I knew that I was in deep trouble. Deeper than magic could ever save me from. I had found my life bond. She stood on the other side of the window seeming a world away. Smiling and laughing at something someone had said.

My heart clenched, my body warmed and responded to her presence. Life for me became a hundred times more complicated with seeing her and realising that my life bond was a human.



Chapter 2

Ellie

I sensed someone watching me as I spoke to one of my regular customers. Glancing up, the world stopped around me. I’ve heard so many times that seeing my mate would be love at first sight but I had never believed it until that moment. My heart raced, my stomach fluttered with uncontrollable butterflies, and the sweetest feeling shivered through me.

He was tall and more handsome than any male I had ever seen, except he looked young enough as to be still in his teens. His blonde hair fell around his face, his lips were full begging me to kiss them, but his eyes, I knew there was something wrong with his eyes. I couldn’t place what it was but I knew that wasn’t his natural eye colour.

I had no idea how long I stared at him, or we stared at each other. Ruby, my patron made a comment I missed and then she giggled. I dragged my eyes away from him and looked towards her.

“He certainly is a looker, Ellie, maybe a bit young.” Ruby winked at me and I realised how unprofessional I had acted.

“Oh, sorry, Ruby! What was I saying?” I asked as I tried to avoid where she wanted to take the conversation.

“I don’t think it matters now.” Ruby said as she waved me away with a grin.

He walked into my shop with a confident swagger. It took everything within me not to stop and stare. My sister came out from the back with a tray of tarts and almost dropped them when she saw him. Her flirty face came on and anger flashed through me.

I rushed behind the counter, caught her eye and shook my head. She pouted at me so I narrowed my eyes and glared. I could never understand why she persisted in her flirting ways. She had her mate, had known him since childhood and yet she was all over any male specimen who walked through the door.

No, Abigail.” I snapped in my mind at her.

Oh, why not? He is young but he’s still such a cutie.” She did that little giggle thing that I hated.

He’s mine.” The words were a threatening growl and she looked at me in shock.

Do you mean…..” She trailed off as said person approached the counter.

“Hello, what can I get you?” I asked with a smile but it came out far more suggestive than I liked.

“Good morning! I need a… hmmm,” his face frowned and he looked adorable. “Dear Goddess, I forgot the stupid name, something like express?” he finished seeming confused.

“Do you mean espresso?” Abigail blurted from behind me until I turned and glared at her so she retreated to the back room.

“Yes, that’s it! What a weird word,” he said with a shake of his head. “I’m Kale, by the way.” He turned a full watt smile on me, making my stomach dip with a pleasant twist.

“I’m Ellie.” I shook his outstretched hand, which created an intense and delightful sensation.

“Kale? As in the lettuce?” my sister stuck her head out again to look at us so I puffed out a breath and frowned, wishing she would go away.

“Um, no, I’m not sure what lettuce is.” He answered and a chuckle escaped me at the way he said the word.

There were so many questions I wanted to ask him. He intrigued me from the second I saw him. The fact that he didn’t know what lettuce or an espresso was only made him that much more fascinating to me. I did wonder how old he was because he seemed so young.

“An espresso and nothing else?” I asked and my voice once again turned suggestive.

“I have no idea how much any of this is.” He pulled a wad of notes out from his pocket and stared at them as if having no idea what they represented.

“Not from around here?” I asked and he laughed. I stared at him for a moment caught up in that deep but joyous sound that seemed more wonderful than any other I had heard.

“You guessed it! I’m about a world away from here.” He replied with another laugh. I turned away to make his coffee, too afraid that I might keep staring at him all day.

“If you don’t know what an espresso is, can I ask why you are buying one of them?” I glanced back at him only to find him staring at me.

“My dad, I’m starting work for him today.”

“The coffee is for your father?” I asked making him grin and nod.

I envied the relationship he had with his parents. The problem was mine would be fine with me if I accepted one of the men they kept throwing my way. I was holding out for my mate and it looked like I had found him. I smiled to myself, glad that I had waited for his arrival. It was worth all the loneliness and arguments with my parents to have found him.

I couldn’t wait to show him off to my parents. Glancing back at him again, I realised that would be throwing my poor Kale to the wolves in the worst sense. Geez, I had to slow my thoughts down some, we had just met. He might have no idea of the importance of us together.

“Here you go and take these, they are on the house.” I handed him the coffee and a box of cupcakes.

“What is on the house?” he asked in confusion and I laughed. He had to be the most adorable, but clueless guy I had ever met.

“The cupcakes, it means you don’t have to pay for them.” I patted the box and his eyes brightened with understanding.

“You humans sure have weird ideas.” He muttered under his breath as he sorted through the notes he had.

“Here let me.”

I pulled his hand towards me and he stilled. I looked up into his eyes that seemed wrong to me somehow. Fire burned in them for me. I shivered a little wanting everything those eyes offered me. Taking in a deep breath, I focused on the notes in his hand. I pulled out the required amount and handed him change. He seemed disappointed as he took the change and his items.

“Maybe I’ll see you tomorrow?” he sounded hopeful and my insides fluttered with the thought that he wanted to see me.

“I’m always here.” I replied with a smile.

“Excellent! See you later, Ellie.”

He turned and walked out of my shop. I watched him until he disappeared into the crowd. My life had changed from the moment our eyes met. I had found my mate. He was a little strange but so adorable and all mine.

“You think a guy that young and named after lettuce is your mate?” Abigail asked from behind me.

“He’s not named after lettuce and, yes, I do.” I told her, hoping she would drop the subject.

“Wait until Mum and Dad find out.” She sang out and anger infused me.

“Please don’t tell them!” I turned on her and she backed away.

“They will find out.”

“I know that, but let me get to know him first and then I’ll introduce them.” I promised her and she nodded her head.

“Fine, but don’t think you can take forever.” She pointed a finger at me so I huffed out a breath.

The rest of the day was a blur. I hoped that Kale would come back. Every time the bell rang heralding another customer, my hopes dwindled. By closing time, my anxiety that I may never see him again fought with the elation that I had found him.

I couldn’t sleep that night in my small one bedroom apartment. Abigail thought I was nuts to live in such a tiny place when I could afford better, but I liked the cosiness of it. This was my space and nobody’ else’s.

I didn’t want to live at home, as she did. She had always had the perfect mate who had my parent’s approval. She was the perfect poster child while I was a bit of a black wolf. Nobody had ever understood me, or my motives in life.

I opened the store the next morning with a dancing eagerness. I bounced on my feet as I placed cakes in the oven, or iced cooled ones. Abigail’s mouth popped open at how much I had completed by the time she arrived

“Wow, finding your mate makes you keen.” She said with a laugh.

“Really, Abi?” I asked as I stirred another batch of icing.

The violet colour of this sang to me for reason unknown to me. In an odd way, it made me think of Kale as I continued to stir the mixture.

“Yes, it’s nice to see you like this.” Abigail said as she stashed her purse away and came over to assist me.

“Like what?”

“Happy and energised.” She finished with a shrug and I couldn’t argue.

All morning I was on edge, waiting for his return. He had said he would. As the hours past, my hopes dwindled. What was I going to do if he never came back? I pushed away those negative thoughts as I stacked more cakes onto their shelves for cooling.

“Ellie, you have a visitor. He seems a bit disappointed to see me.” Abigail sounded sly as she walked into the baking room.

“Kale?” I had trouble saying his name through my excitement.

“Who else?” Abigail smirked at me as I tried to tidy myself. “Get out there already.”

She shoved me in the back so I stumbled into the customer area. He stood there looking happy to see me as I flushed bright at his unexpected appearance. I was back to staring at him but I couldn’t stop myself.

“Morning, Ellie.” He said disrupting my crazed staring.

“Hi, Kale.” My voice came out all breathy.

“Dad said to pay you for the cakes.” Kale said as he once again pulled money from his pocket. I could only wonder why he didn’t carry a wallet.

“No, Kale it’s fine,” I swished my hands at him. “Do you want another espresso for him?”

“Yeah, well that and something else.” He scrubbed at the back of his neck looking uncomfortable.

“What else?” I asked as I leaned over the counter.

“Would you like to go and have lunch?” he sounded hopeful and my heart soared.

“Yes, that would be nice.” I said with a smile.

Turning, I saw my sister grinning and sending me on my way. I untied my apron, hung it on a hook and grabbed my handbag before walking out to him. He stood there in odd pants and a strange shirt but he still looked perfect. All I could do was smile at him.

“What do you want to eat?” I asked as we headed out into the sunshine.

“Whatever you think is good.” He answered smiling back at me.

He trapped me for a moment as the sunlight flickered through the golden strands of his hair and his lips beckoned me closer. I couldn’t believe how easy he enthralled me.

“Have you got time?” I glanced his way and he nodded. “I only ask because where I’m thinking is a bit of a walk.”

“Sure as long as you like.” He sounded confident but I sensed an underlying unease coming from him.

“Is your dad waiting on that coffee?” I teased.

“No, it’s not dad. I don’t want to get earth sickness.” He muttered the last bit but my acute hearing caught everything.

“Earth sickness?” I repeated and he sighed.

“Yeah, I guess it sounds odd to you but this place makes me sick if I stay here too long.” He shrugged his shoulders as if hoping to drop the subject, so I let him.

“Fair enough,” I answered with a nod. I wanted to ask more but I was determined not to make him uncomfortable. “So tell me what you’re doing with your dad?” I asked and he seemed to baulk at answering that one too.

“Not much, administrative stuff most of the time,” he shrugged his shoulders and I frowned at the evasive answers I received. “Sorry I ended up late; my sister was being a drama queen.” He rolled his eyes and I smiled. I knew what that was like.

“Do you only have one sister?” I asked and he nodded.

“Yeah she’s my twin.” He told me as I led him down the crowded street.

“Twins hey? How old are you?” my mouth kept blurting random questions but he seemed happy to answer.

“Fifteen point six, how about you?” he replied and I frowned at his peculiar answer.

“What does fifteen point six mean?” I asked and he slapped his forehead.

“Sorry, Matilda and I will be twenty one this year. That’s supposed to mean a lot in this world but it’s not important where I’m from.” He answered but the only thing I understood was that he was twenty-one.

“You look a lot younger than twenty one.” I pointed out and he grinned at me making my stomach dance.

“That’s the joy of being Argonian,” he pointed to himself before slapping a hand to his forehead. “Ignore my blathering.” He told me as he pinched his brow.

“I happen to find whatever you are telling me quite interesting, even if I don’t understand most of it.” I bumped his arm with mine.

“That’s because I can’t seem to stop telling you things.” He said with a shake of his head.

“I’m technically twenty one this year too.” I winked as I said it and his brows raised.

He was right about the telling the truth thing. He wasn’t the only one blurting out random stuff. I hadn’t been twenty-one for a long time but I still looked it, so that was the age I went by. He looked much younger than I did, until you looked into his eyes and saw a wisdom that belied his looks.

“Technically?” he looked at me with those brown eyes that still seemed wrong.

“Yeah, I’ll tell you about it one day. Look here’s the place. Have you ever had pizza?” I laughed at his confused face.” I guess not.” I smiled at him.

“I think I’ve heard the name, a long time ago but I’ve never had any before,” he answered as he took a deep breath. “That smells great!”

“Wait until you try it.” I grinned at the enthusiastic look he gave me.

We stood in the queue, until a perky waitress, who eyed Kale up and down seated us. I glared at her, and she shrugged. Kale pulled a chair out for me and the gesture touched me. I took a seat and he pushed the chair in for me

“My great grandmother would smack me silly if I didn’t do that,” he said as he sat down opposite me. “I think my Nanna would too. Then again she is pretty kick arse.”

I frowned at him for a moment. Sometimes he used modern words but in a way that seemed completely odd. A grandmother who is kick arse? Not too sure if I want to meet her. Then again, if he knew his great grandmother, perhaps his family were as long lived as my own.

“You know your great grandmother?” I asked with my curiosity heightened.

“Yes, and she’s something.” He said with a warm smile

“You seem to have close family.” I mused.

“We are. Where I come from my family don’t quite fit the mould, not in a bad way but we are different. All you have to do is say the Johnson’s in my world and everybody could tell you who we are.”

“Kale Johnson,” I tilted my head to look at him. “The name suits you.”

“You’re forgetting all my fantastic middle names.” He waggled his eyebrows at me.

“That many, huh?” I asked as the waitress returned.

“Can I get you drinks?” she looked with a smile at Kale who then glanced at me in a bit of a panic.

“Two cokes, a cheese pizza and a supreme.” I made my voice icy and she seemed to get the message as she wrote the order down and left.

“The only word I understood in there was cheese.” Kale admitted and I laughed.

“Trust me, you’ll like it. I hope you’re hungry because I ordered a lot.”

“I’m always hungry, well not as much as my friend Xander.” He chuckled at that.

“Most men are. My brothers are forever hungry.” I said as I fiddled with the serviette in front of me.

“Brothers, as in more than one.” He looked cautious.

“Yes and no, one of them is my brother in law. I have one brother and one sister who I’ll introduce you to later.” I answered as the waitress delivered the drinks.

Kale eyed the soft drink with deep suspicion. As it fizzed, he put his nose close to the edge of the glass. When the bubbles popped, his eyes went wide with surprise. A giggle escaped me and I’m not a giggling type of girl but his fascination with the drink drove me to it.

He looked over to me for help, so I took a sip from the straw. He watched me still seeming quite dubious but slowly put his lips onto the straw. After the first mouthful, he almost choked and I couldn’t stop the laugh from escaping me.

“What is in this potion, poisonous gas?” he got the words out around gagging.

“No, it’s soft drink,” I said as another giggle escaped me at his adorable face. “You need to drink it slower.” I advised.

“Oh, okay,” from then on, he seemed to get the gist of it. “I can’t believe you drink something that is brown,” he told me making another laugh escape from me. “It does taste pretty good.”

“Drinks come in all colours.” I pointed to the fridge where multi coloured bottles sat.

“And they are not different types of potion?” he asked as he looked towards where I pointed.

“No, they’re drinks that have different food colouring in them. What do you mean by potion?” I asked and his face froze.

“You are too easy to talk to.” He muttered as he pinched his brow.

“Kale?” I called his name, as he seemed to distance himself from me.

“Why, oh, why did you have to be human?” he muttered and that one sure got my attention.

“Kale, everyone is human.” I said in a straightforward manner and he snorted.

“You can’t ever visit my home, Ellie. You will never be able to live there and I can’t live here. Why am I doing this to myself?” he sounded downright depressed and my heart went out to him. I couldn’t understand what he was going on about, but I knew it was distressing him.

“Kale, everything has a solution.”

Then I did a stupid thing; I reached across and touched the back of his hand. I’d forgotten about the tingles I had from being in contact with him. How the world shrunk to only us. I sensed his eyes on me, intent and yet still conflicted. When I met his eyes, the violet orbs staring back at me astounded me.

“Your eyes are stunning.” I babbled.

In an instant, they returned to brown and disappointment gripped me. It seemed as if he was trying to hide from me. I knew I would wonder about it later, how he could miraculously change his eye colour but at that moment, it was a tiny concern. He was still upset over his previous comments, which made no sense to me whatsoever.

Pizza, delicious pizza delivered to our table was a true godsend. It distracted Kale from his thoughts as he eyed the steaming food. Once again, it was as if he didn’t know what to do with the food placed in front of him. He stared with a longing look at the pizza, so I put him out of his misery and picked up a slice.

“This is pizza, Kale. That one is cheese and the other is supreme.” I gestured before taking a bite.

I watched as he picked up a cheese slice, still prepared for it to bite back. He took a bite and the look on his face fascinated me. His eyes lit up, those gorgeous lips stretched into a grin, and his beauty overwhelmed me.

Never had I been as drawn to someone as I was to Kale. He was my intended mate, no matter what anyone tried to tell me. Even Kale’s doubts from a moment ago seemed like nothing when compared to being without him. I would do anything to spend my time with this captivating man. No matter how difficult, I would endure it to be with him.



Chapter 3

Kale

She was too darn perfect and sweet. I knew as soon as I asked her to lunch that I shouldn't have. She may be my life bond but we were from different worlds, it could never work out between us. Still I couldn't resist her and the words were out of my mouth inviting her to lunch before I could stop myself.

Now as we walked away from that delicious pizza shop, I couldn't stop looking at her. From the top of those glorious chestnut curls to her bright blue eyes and a body that took my breath. She sideswiped me every time.

"Have I got food on my face?" she asked with a comical little frown.

"No, why?" I smiled at her.

"You keep staring at me." Those blue eyes of hers trapped me in their depths.

"That's because you're beautiful." I replied and her smile made my heart clench.

"Thank you. Can I ask you something?" her face turned serious for a moment as we kept walking.

"Sure, haven't you been asking me stuff all through lunch?" I teased enjoying bantering with her.

"Yes, I have but this might bother you," she scrunched up her face a little so I waved her onwards with her questions. "Why don't you like your eyes?"

I flinched at that one. In Argonia, any eye colour is acceptable. It was only because I was descended from the Snow Elves that my eyes were such an odd colour anyway. I couldn't tell her that, she would never understand.

"It's different; out here it’s weird to have violet eyes. Mum’s side of the family is where I received them, Matilda has them too." I replied.

"They are a little on the unique side but they are beautiful. Plus, they suit your face," she stopped only to stand in front of me and stare. I wasn't complaining because then I could look at her. "Please change them." She spoke so soft and I knew I couldn't refuse her. I let go of the spell as I had accidentally earlier.

"I stand out too much." I muttered as people began doing a double take to look at me.

"Maybe you do but it’s who you are." She said with a shrug.

"You sound like my sister." I grumbled.

"Then she sounds smart."

"She likes to think she is."

"What does she do?" Ellie asked as my eyes drifted to somewhere they shouldn't. I snapped my eyes back to her face at her question.

"Do?"

"Is she studying? Does she have a job? That kind of thing." She said as we went back to walking.

"Oh, in that case I now understand. She is studying with the Corns at the moment. She is one of those people who wants to try everything, while poor old Xander follows right along. They tried to be apart for a while, and boy was that a dismal failure." I chuckled to myself at those two being apart.

"You are a strange individual, Kale, but I must admit it’s appealing." She smiled at me and my heart pounded harder.

When we turned a familiar corner and I noticed her shop getting closer, I sighed. It was time to say goodbye to her again, and ponder how to tell my family that my life bond was human.

Matilda knew something was up when I got home yesterday. I couldn't bring myself to tell her. I hated the thought of disappointing my family but there was no way to change anything.

"Come in and I'll introduce you to my sister." Ellie encouraged as she touched my arm.

My body thrummed in response to any time she touched me. It made me want to pull her closer and lose myself in kissing those soft looking lips. I wished I could spend the rest of my days with her but I knew I was setting myself up for failure.

It was only then the jewel Mary had given me turned warm. I frowned and dug the necklace out from under my shirt. In all truth, I had forgotten about the jewels existence. It was there and I hadn't thought about it at all.

I breathed a sigh of relief that the pendant remained glowing white and hadn't turned pink. There were at least ten people in this room that I would have had to take with me to Dundoon if it had. That could have been awkward to explain.

Ellie led me behind the counter and I followed a bit slower than I guess I should have. I tucked the jewel away as she reached for my hand and tugged. She then seemed to realise what she did and dropped my hand. Her apologetic look made me grin. She could hold my hand any day she wanted.

"Kale, this is my sister Abigail and Abigail, this is Kale." She said once we were in the huge back room.

I had trouble focusing on her sister with all the delicious scents from the baking in the room. Every surface contained cakes, both cooking and cooling. There were bowls of different coloured goo and huge baking machines the like of which I had never seen before.

The woman from yesterday who had interrupted our conversation appeared. She had a flirty gleam in her eyes that she aimed right at me. What made me frown was how little she looked like Ellie. Her hair was a darker brown, her eyes more grey than blue and nowhere near as beautiful as Ellie.

"Hello, Abigail." I forced a smile on my face as I stretched out a hand to her.

"Hello, sexy young Kale." The woman answered in a sultry voice.

When her hand touched mine, I wanted to pull away as fast as I could. Her hand had a furry texture to me, which seemed odd. When she let go of me, it was hard not to look down at my palm to see if she had somehow left stray hairs there.

"Hell, I'm freaking shedding! What is this?" Abigail looked to me as hairs as brown as the ones on her head began sprouting all over her hands.

"Not in here, Abi!" Ellie insisted as I looked away from the pair of them.

That was untoward when I thought about the fact that I was in the human world. It seemed as if it was somehow my fault. I wiped my palm down my leg and the brown hairs that fell off surprised me.

"Sorry about her." Ellie sounded flustered.

"Will she be alright?"

"Yes, don't worry." She said as she led me back out into the customer area.

"I sure hope she will be fine." I muttered as a sense of responsibility overwhelmed me.

"Listen, Kale I was wondering if you would like to go out tonight, like on a date?" Ellie spoke fast but aimed a nervous smile at me.

I beamed so hard that I thought my cheeks might burst. I was about to jump around shouting until the truth dawned on me. Today I had already spent too much time on earth. I couldn't be here tonight without the dreaded earth sickness getting me. Ellie must have watched me carefully because I saw disappointment fill her face.

"Ellie, I’d love that but I can't tonight. Could we postpone until tomorrow?" my voice rose with hope and she seemed to sigh with relief.

"Sure, do you want to meet me here? I close at six."

"Yeah, it’ll will work for me." I assured her.

I smiled at her and wished that I never had to leave her side. In fact, I wanted everyone behind us who wanted coffee to leave so I could at least kiss her. Not for the first time did I wonder what those ruby lips of hers tasted like. I wanted to experience how good it would be to hold her, touch her and press out bodies close together. That was of course the moment my body responded to my thoughts, and I had to grit my teeth against the intensity of my reaction.

"I guess I'll see you then?" Ellie asked as I found myself lost in those glorious blue eyes of hers.

"I'll be here." I promised.

Turning, I walked out of her shop grinning to myself. I had spent the last few hours with the most wonderful girl and I couldn't wait for tomorrow night. I made the decision that I would roll with whatever happened between us.

Zapping back to the Ambassador complex, a happiness that I hadn’t had for a long time engulfed me. I hadn't realised I forgot dad’s coffee until he remarked about it, with a sly grin. I went home soon after, I couldn't concentrate on anything and I was useless in trying to accomplish anything.

If only Matilda wasn't home early. I loved my sister but she knew me better than anyone did. With my mind occupied by tossing silver orbs in the air, she came into my room without knocking. I should have known by the sheer determined look on her face that I was in for one of her questioning sessions.

"Kale, what is up with you?" she asked as she sat down on the edge of my bed and stared at me.

"What are you talking about, Tilda?" I tried to shrug her off but I should've known that wouldn't stop her.

"Hello, all of this!" she pointed to my face and to the balls floating in the air.

"I think you're imagining things." I told her with a roll of my eyes.

That's when she became the deviate girl that we all know and love. She set the orbs on fire. I cursed as they heated my hands when they passed through my fingers.

"No water element." I hissed the words at her while she raised her eyebrows and left me to suffer.

"Tilly, why are you annoying Kale?" Xander came into the room, frowning at his life bond before snatching the fiery orbs from my grasp and extinguishing them.

"Thanks, man." I muttered.

"Xander! You spoil all my fun."

Matilda pouted, which was all for Xander’s benefit. That expression never worked on me. If she had an honest emotion like crying, I felt it. I knew whenever my sister had any upheavals good or bad.

I'm sure it worked the same for her too, which was why she was here. She knew I was in a sudden happy state, so of course she would wonder why.

The problem was I wasn't ready to tell anyone about Ellie yet. A human life bond had never happened before from my knowledge. I'm not even sure if it had ever occurred in the history of Argonia. I didn't want to be the first one who everyone looked at funny or talked about due to that.

"I will get it out of you!" Matilda’s determination made me sigh knowing nothing ever slowed my sister.

"Listen, Kale and I have a session planned okay?" Xander told my sister who looked suspicious.

"I didn't know that," she nodded before she eyed me with a fierce expression. "If he tells you anything and I do mean anything, Xander, then I expect you to tell me." Her voice went back to determined making me grin. I loved my sister, no matter how much she annoyed me.

"Tilly." Xander shook his head while smiling at my sister.

"Fine, I’ll be listening." She warned pointing at both of us and I knew it was time for pay back.

"Not like I would be," I tapped my ears and smirked. "I wish you two would keep it down at night." They both blushed and I wiggled my eyebrows.

"Then stop listening so hard." Matilda grumbled as she walked to the door.

"I try not to listen at all, but you're so damn loud."

I deserved the fireball she threw at my face before slamming the door. Xander caught it, as I knew he would. His strong water element engulfed it until it disappeared.

"Thanks again, man." I grinned at him as I raised my hand to him. He slapped my palm and smiled back as he shook his head.

"You should know not to tease her." He told me and I nodded in agreement.

"What did you plan to do today?" I asked as I pushed myself off the bed.

"Combat with swords? We haven't done that for ages." He answered and I nodded.

This was what I liked about my best mate Xander, he never interfered. Matilda will pump him for information later but hear nothing. Xander at least had the decency to wait without demanding answers. He was an awesome person and I couldn't ask for anyone better for my sister than him.

We went down to the parade grounds in the Ambassador complex. For hours, we wielded our swords with both of us scoring hits. We had thrown our shirts off ages ago and were now slashing at each other with the curved Argonian lance instead of the traditional sword we had started with.

It wasn't until I heard an odd whistle that I moved my concentration from Xander to the crowd who had gathered around us. We both stopped as we realised many of the workers from within the complex were now watching us.

I gathered up my shirt, wiped my face with it before pulling it over my head. Groans from the crowd that it was over had them all going their separate ways. I looked to Xander who had jerked his shirt over his head. He shrugged his shoulders and we went back inside, neither of us liked being a spectacle.

Dinner was awkward that night. Matilda kept bugging me for information, which I refused to tell of course. Dad came in late, so in front of everyone I had to ask if I could skip work tomorrow. Dad, of course, grinned and nodded but Matilda went in for the kill with that one.

She badgered me all night about why I wouldn't go to work. Eventually, I went to my room and tried to ignore her shouting across the Ambassador complex at me, she knew that I would hear every word. At last, I heard Xander threaten that he would go home to his parents’ house if she didn't stop her nonsense. I grinned to myself, knowing that would work.

Silence, blessed silence until I woke up screaming. I knew what it was and guilt assailed me for not warning Ellie. She wouldn't have a clue as to why she woke up screaming. No nightmare was ever as bad as your soul screaming out for your life bond. It was heart wrenching and agonising, but we were both stuck with it. How do I explain this to a simple human?

I heard knocking on my door and I managed to tell them to enter. Mum came in, sympathy in her eyes and I knew that she knew I had found my life bond. She ran a hand through my hair to soothe me. She said nothing but I knew she wanted to ask about Ellie.

"I'll wait, Kale. You tell us when you're ready." She assured me as she kissed my forehead and let me be.

All the next day I had an anxious excitement consuming me. I was going to see Ellie. Even better, we were going on a date. Nobody mentioned my screaming episode, but Matilda looked like she wanted to demand answers. She had to leave and see the Corns, which had me sighing with relief.

I knew I left too early but I couldn't stand the waiting anymore. I forgot to time it right in my anxious state to see her. It was becoming a habit where I lost track of time when I was around her. I wasn't being careful. I was a fool who had found his life bond so I blamed that for my giddy state.

This need to take her something special grew but I had no idea what. Something Argonian was what I wanted, but I knew I shouldn't give her anything from my own world. It was only when I saw mum’s rose garden that I knew what I would give her.

I went through the Gate and was about to zap out when Mary touched my shoulder. I turned back to her serious, melancholy face. She asked me nothing, said not one word as she reached for the necklace. She examined the jewel and sighed.

"Soon, Kale." She said before gesturing me on my way.

Her ominous warning rang through me, making me edgy as I zapped into the bushes of the city park. I had never been here at dusk and the magnitude of all those lights shocked me. Still I took a deep breath and walked towards Ellie's shop.

I heard her scream and curse from a long distance away. She screeched out her sister’s name and I sensed the pain in her panted word. Something bad had happened to Ellie. I knew I had zapped out of that park in front of many people but I couldn't care, I had to get to her. I was at her shop in an instant, which looked empty. Staring through the door, I could hear her harsh breathing.

I zapped and went straight into the back room. Blood spattered everywhere and she clutched at her hand as she whimpered in pain. My heart clenched, my stomach tightened with fear and for a moment, I couldn't concentrate. She turned to me and seemed relieved.

"Kale, call an ambulance please?" her voice shook as hard as her bleeding hands.

She pointed to one of those strange objects that I had seen someone talking into. I frowned as she cradled her hand tight to her chest, with blood still oozing from the wound. When it dawned on me that I could heal her, I wanted to hit myself.

"Give me your hand, Ellie." I stated.

She frowned at me before slowly holding out her bleeding and trembling digits to me. I had seen worse on Matilda, Xander and I over the years and it had never bothered me. Now, my concern increased. It seemed that she had sliced a deep cut into two of her fingers.

I took her shaking hand into my own and a shriek escaped her. With great care, I led her to the nearest flat surface, which happened to be a table. Lifting her up, I settled her there as she screeched in pain and clutched her hand back to her trembling chest.

"It will be okay, Ellie." I reassured her.

"Need... to call an ambulance." She stuttered out the words as shock started to hit her.

"I don't know what an ambulance is." I told her and she gasped.

"Trust me, Ellie." I tried to calm her.

She stared at me, her face both pale and unsure. Slowly, she nodded her head through the shaking of her body. I wrapped both my hands around her injured one and focused all of my healing magic into them. I concentrated on resetting anything she had severed, the worst being a ligament that she had sheered. After that, I began to heal the wound and close the skin back together.

"That's burning me, Kale! It's roasting hot." She said in a panicked voice.


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