Over the Hedge
1 november 2004
It's hard to describe how it feels to suddenly be in control of your own body again, but it is a very distinct feeling and as soon as I experienced it I knew what it was. John was on top of me, his hand holding my jaw, our eyes locked together.
"John, you...I thought you were going to do it," I answered.
"Sorry," he said, practically jumping off me. He quickly grabbed my towel and handed it to me. "I couldn't let her see what I was doing, with the book you know, and it seemed the only thing that would work." He was looking away as he pulled on his pants. I sat up, pulling the towel tightly around myself and looking over to see the book that had been under my head.
"It's...it's okay, John. Thank you. I was just scared, I guess, that you were going to-" I looked up and realized he was still avoiding looking at me. "I'm covered now. Not that it much matters anymore." He glanced over, then sighed and sat down on the opposite end of the couch.
"It wasn't you. Sorry I didn't see it sooner. But I couldn't do it. Not once I knew it wasn't you." We sat in silence for far longer than was comfortable. "Are you okay?" he whispered.
"No. Not really. But it isn't your fault. I'm just glad you could resist and had this book handy."
"Well, resistance isn't that hard. It's just sex, right?" He gave me a weak smile. I stared at him for a moment.
"I mean, sex, you know? It's fine, but it's not that big a deal." He waved his hand dismissively. "It's just a thing people do."
"It's just--we'll want to talk about that later. I have a lot to process here." We sat in silence again, me hugging my towel tightly to my body and him twiddling his thumbs. The curtains were a mess, his clothes scattered around the floor near the couch, a pair of boxers torn in half. Papers that had been in the room were scattered everywhere, and even a few books from the bookcase by the TV were on the floor and open to random pages. I slowly picked up the notebook and looked at the symbols on the page.
"You did it, you know. My notes were wrong, or at least they were for the wrong thing. That was for a demon exorcism, you changed it so it would work."
"I remember. But how? And why did I stay possessed at all? Shouldn't proximity to you have prevented," I swung my hand to indicate the mess of the room, "all of this?"
"Power freely given." I set the book down.
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"My dad was afraid, something he saw in one of his books. When he realized what I can do, he warned me that some of his notes suggested I couldn't break power freely given. I can't, without help, kick out someone that was invited to be there, I can't break a bond that was willfully forged, not without difficulty. Maybe when you gave her unspecified and unlimited power over you, you also shielded her from my...ability. It's why I keep my true name secret, giving it to someone is freely giving them a certain kind of power over me."
"Wait. You have a true name?"
"Dad has always been pretty paranoid. It's not that big a deal, a secret part of my name that was given to me at birth but not written on any records so my full name couldn't be accessed easily. It's not even on my birth certificate."
"Clever. But I was able to cast a spell while...touching you."
"I allowed it."
"You can do that?"
"Apparently. I wasn't sure, but evidence says so now." I chuckled and wiped the hair from my face.
"I was weak," I said. "My mentor...she didn't want you to know, but she's been calling me every night the past few days. Always looking for information on you. I haven't been sleeping and that means Alethea was able to catch me off guard and I had already promised to help and this was all a big mess."
"Look, we're both dealing with something new here, right?" I nodded. "So let's not beat ourselves up over it, yeah? I better start cleaning up. You should get dressed. Last thing we need is to have Jacob find us like this, I get the impression he already thinks we're sleeping together." I stood, slowly, bracing myself against the arm of the couch. I took a deep breath, then started walking to the bathroom.
"I'm a bisexual Latina, John. Everyone thinks I'm sleeping with someone they know." He laughed, and as I stopped in the bathroom doorway and glanced back, I saw him kneel and begin cleaning up the papers scattered around the room. "Hey." He stopped and looked up at me. "Thanks." He smiled, and I slipped into the bathroom to get dressed.
The blog of Jackie Veracruz.