Chapter Eleven: Uncertain

"What are you doing here?"

I jumped so violently, I could feel the first tickles of the leaves from the magnolia tree above me. Angel Burns leaned casually against its trunk, as if he had been there the whole time. My body froze at the horrifying thought that maybe he had been there. And he had seen me bring the bird and flower back to life. I shook my head. No it wasn't possible. People, things, everything died and that just the way it is. What I had done has been some uncontrolled magic; I hadn't been thinking right.

"What are you doing here?" he repeated, his eyes narrowing

I swallowed; his mere presence set my blood ablaze with hatred, and vile. I didn't like the way he looked at me, with his piercing eyes. Yet, when I met them, and saw the power and inhuman anger that Witches possessed, I found myself cowering. He was a Witch, and I was alone with him. And it wasn't because of the fact that he was a male. It was because I felt his dehumanizing stare weigh heavy on me. For the first time, I regretted leaving Sue. Curiosity, among all the unwanted feelings I had in me, arose. What did something as powerful as Angel need protecting from? Being immortal meant you couldn't die? Why did they need the Gypsies?

"Nothing" I finally blurted,

"You're lying" he stated bluntly

I raised my eyebrows. Usually, no one dared contradict me. I guess it was due to the fact that I had a reputation at the Institute of fighting dirty.

"How do you know that?" I spit back

He relaxed his hands at his side "you can't lie to me." He sneered "I'm your master"

I stood, feeling the blood heat my fingertips "I was doing nothing. I just had to get some fresh air"

"and you left your Trainer. You left your studies. That's a mistake that could get you killed, Electra. Don't you know Training is an important step for a growing Guardian Gypsy?"

I curled my fingertips. He sounded exactly like a know-it-all adult; which he had no right to sound like since he looked only twenty. And I was seventeen. He couldn't boss me around

A smirk curled across his features "I'm your master" he said "and a Burns. And a Witch. I can do anything I want; especially with you"

Energy coursed through my fingertips; somehow, I wished Dodge was with me so he could fulfill his promise and knock Angel on his obnoxious back with a good spell.

"Now tell me the truth" he ordered

"Fine" I said "you want to know the truth? I'm not feeling well. It's my lady's-"

He shrunk back like I had burned him. His eyes filled with the horror that flashed across most guys' features when a chick mentioned her 'lady's emergency'.

He shuddered "that's all I need to know" he said

I placed my hand on my hips "apparently, that's not all you need to know. Since you're so sure I'm lying do you want me to go get you some evidence?"

Something flashed across his features; for a second, the hard Witch Angel Burns melted away and I saw a brief, gentler human face flash on his features. He looked like he was going to laugh, since I was pretty sure I had overstepped a boundary. But then, he reverted back to the hard, possessive creature that he was

"That's not funny" he said

I opened my mouth to begin to point out that in fact, he had looked like he was about to laugh. The words were swallowed when he moved with uncanny rapid speed and grabbed my arm, pulling me to him. Again, I saw the hard Witch disappear and be replaced by something softer, something almost human. And again, he pushed it back. He forced my palm open, and I broke out in cold sweat. Could he see the last few traces of the magic that I had just done? Was he going to take me to Headmaster Brown, and dishonor me even more by stating in front of the whole Instititute that I was a freak? A weirdo? His brown eyes studied my palm, and his lips set in a rigid line.

He let me go, and pushed me away

"Go" he ordered

And like the little slave I was, I tripped over my own two feet and half stumbled half ran away from the bench under the magnolia tree where Angel stood

[***]

I tore down the empty hallways of the Institute. My palms were sweaty, and my cotton clothing clung to my body tightly. Where would I go? Where could I run to be safe from the ever watchful gaze of Headmaster Brown, and Angel? Did they know? Had Angel seen me do…whatever I had done?

I found myself tearing into up the path to my own dorm. How could so many strange things happen to me in one week? How had I ended up in such a mess? What was wrong with me?

I opened the door to my dorm, and murmured a lock spell. I didn't want anyone coming into my room; not when I didn't understand what was happening to me. I sat on my bed and placed my head in my hands. What was wrong with me? The thought raced through my mind again. Why couldn't I be normal? Why couldn't I be like regular Gypsies? Why did I have to be the one who didn't have a parent, who didn't have true powers, and who was being enslaved so young?

Being a gypsy means you are here to protect people. Isn't the simple satisfaction of protecting and loving selflessly enough?

I cursed Sue's stupid old saying. I cursed Sue for suddenly turning obi won Kenobi on me. How was I supposed to learn to guard the life of an all powerful creature in a year? In fact, what was the point of my special training? What was the point in learning the 'true reason' behind the protection of the Witches when most of my life, most of all the Trainees lives, we had simply been trained to wield magic and fight monsters. What was the point of teaching us how to guard the Witches so late in our lives? If our purpose was to guard the Witches, shouldn't that have been hammered into us when we were young and not when we were hot wired to fight monsters? And where did these monsters come from? What were they doing on Earth? The floor of my dorm abruptly began to swim. The thoughts jumbled and tangled in my mind. I had never thought these questions, never ever wondered such raw truths. Yet, using my magic to bring something back to life was pushing me to the brink. The questions came forth, and so did the doubt and fear and suspicion until I felt like I was being choked. What really was our purpose? What really was the point of the Gypsies existence? We could have been wiped out from the very first Gypsy. If the Witches had wanted we could have never existed

I curled on my bed, and tried to breathe. Tried to calm down, and claim myself. I tried to reclaim my witty, old self, before everything had changed. I thought back to the day in the park, when we had fought that monster, and I had passed out. I tried to remember what had been doing before the monster had attacked? I tried to claim that brief piece of the norm before…

It came back to me. We had been in Florida, actually, and Jen and I had been planning to go to a beach with Dodge, since it was his first official Outing. It was a break from the learning and magic wielding, and for me, it was a break from the social awkwardness. I recalled the pure joy of watching the humans, of mixing in with their society. I had felt so…well, normal. It had been everything I had wanted and needed. And then, before going to the beach, we had decided to see a park. That was when the monster had appeared, and my Outing had been ruined.

I took in a calm breathe. The memory helped me relax; the feeling of mixing in with the humans made me feel good.

I lifted my head. the thoughts still swirled, they still wanted to strangle me, and hurt me until they got the answers that they deserved. I would have to go apologize to Sue and digest the fact that she was a specialist, and that there was a new part of her that wasn't my adopted mother. And then there was Angel Burns, who still set my blood on fire, and still frightened me. I lay flat on my bed, and closed my eyes. Strangely, I saw Angel. But not the hard Witch that was oppressing me. I saw the brief humanized boy. The Burns blood and the Witch powers didn't belong with that boy. His face burned into the back of my eyelids, until I had to squeeze my hands over my eyes. And even then, I still felt the searing heat of his hand grabbing mines before he flipped it over to look at my palm.

Weirdly, it didn't burn this time.