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Caz Pedroso

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Caz Pedroso last won the day on January 16 2018

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    Sussex, UK
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    Reading, Crocheting, Reading, Writing, Reading, Walking, oh, and did I say, Reading???

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  1. Caz Pedroso

    Complete Story

    Thank you for pointing this out. I will edit this as soon as i have time to proof read the whole thing again (I've noticed a few more mistakes and want to do the whole thing together). I'm glad you enjoyed the story and thank you for reading and commenting. I am sorry it has taken so long for me to answer.
  2. So would i. I'm sure it will be told to me eventually and maybe i can add an extra scene in at some point. I only split this into chapters because i knew it would be posted all at once. otherwise it would have been split into sections within one complete chapter/post. It isn't supposed to be complete. It is a HFN and not a HEA. I left it open for a sequel at some point. Lastly it was rushed as i was (and still am) very busy and only just got this draft finished in time for the deadline. if i had had time to reread and expand it may have been longer and maybe better put together. I'm glad you still liked it. I'm sure it will be written at some point. Soon as i can I promise to write it one day... I may be able to expand it one day. but i think an extra ending chapter will be first to say what happened to the bad guys. Hmmm, i don't now what would make you say that Although i am also sure you are very right This is not the end. it is a end for now. Confronting his tormentors is the first step in his recovery. he still needs to face his parents and just work his way through the emotional upheaval this will have caused. Hopefully i will be able to write more soon to add onto this story. Thank you all for reading and commenting. I am so sorry it has taken so long to reply but this year seems to be one thing after another.
  3. I think all readers say that about all the stories/books they read I remember the pushing aside it happening a lot when i was at school. someone had to only be a little bit different from the norm and they were either made a target of or ignored. Trust me being ignored was infinitely better than being made the target. This happened with teachers as well as kids. Hopefully, Owen can help Grey and Mica make a difference. Exiling him is as much to protect him as to punish him. When word gets round about his participation in what has been happening there are probably parents that will be out for blood for the treatment of their children. Even letting it be known he hadn't been a fully willing accomplice may not keep him safe. So he would be better off at a different place. Plus there is the fact that he wouldn't have the trust of anyone any more, a start would be best for him. Oh, yes, Grey is really angry and i think the school is in for a shake up. I'm sure Owen will get his chance and that Mica will be there for him all the way. Thank you all for reading and commenting. I am so sorry it has taken so long to reply but this year seems to be one thing after another.
  4. We found out in chapter two (Present Day) I'm sure the bad guys will get what they deserve. He has had to grow up quickly and i think he is more mature for his age than others. I agree whole heartedly. I don't know what will happen in the end but I know he will have to confront at least some of the bad guys if not all. Thank you all for reading and commenting. I am so sorry it has taken so long to reply but this year seems to be one thing after another.
  5. i understood this story was being posted completed, so i decided to section it off into chapters instead of just posting it as one long chapter separated by **** Thanks, Gary. In this case i think Mica would just walk away from the coven, as the tittle says, MAtes come first. Thank you all for reading and commenting, so sorry for the delay in replying.
  6. Caz Pedroso

    Present Day

    Mr Mosely, was my favourite character in this story, even though he had such a small written part. Mica may grow on you They say when a partner (wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend) is cheeting the other person is always the last to know, because they are so close to the situtaton. We'll have to wait and see what the reason is for Mica and Grey. Thank you both for reading and comenting, sorry it took so long to reply
  7. Caz Pedroso

    3 Months Ago

    Unfortunately there re always peopple who think they are better than others and that that gives them the right to tread on other people. Thank you Chris. I'm glad you like the opening. Thanks, Gary, unfortunately this wasn't that hard to write i just needed to use my friends and mine experiences. but hopefully the rest of the story will make up for the not so nice beginning for Owen. yep, exactly like real life. Theres always at least one ring leader. Thank you all for reading and commenting. i am sorry it took so long to reply.
  8. Thank you both for reading and comenting. I am so sorry it has taken me so long to reply. These characters will be part of a bigger story but i'm afraid i haven't got the time to comit to it at the moment. Hopefully I will be able to free up some time soon. Thanks again
  9. Eighteen year old Owen has escaped the bullies from his home coven and started a new life in Teonards. He never want to have anything to do with his old coven ever again. The coven have been looking for Owen since he was discovered missing. Mica is in Teonards on a supply run and decides to ask around while he's there. When the two meet fireworks and revelations are abound. Can minds be changed?
  10. 3 Months Earlier "Hey, freak!" Owen closed his eyes and ignored the other mage. He needed to finish this assignment, and then he only had one exam and he would be free. Another month and he would be eighteen, able to leave the coven and never return to be tormented daily ever again. His life had been the same from when he started school at five years old. His magic was different from all the other kids, and he couldn't do the spells the teachers were teaching. The kids hated him and made is life hell. It took five years until one teacher, Miss Dooli, tried teaching him an alternative way of doing the spell she was trying to teach Owen, and Owen finally managed to complete his first basic spell. That teacher was the best thing to happen to Owen. He had soon started to catch up with the other mages his age. Until one day he arrived in class to find out Miss Dooli had been reassigned. Miss Dooli had promised she would tell the new teacher, and his training would continue as it had been. But Mr. Ceeman insisted that Owen do spells the 'proper' way. It wasn't long before Owen was way behind the other kids once again. Then the bullying started up again. It started with name-calling until one day he snapped and answered one of the name-calling bullies back. That was the first beating, and more had quickly followed. He'd tried to go for help, but it had been useless. The bullies had highborn parents, and no one would take the word of the weird only child of parents who had to work for their money—or so he had been told when someone told on him to the bullies. His parents both worked all the hours they could to build their family wealth. Nothing was more important to them than being the wealthiest they could be. A slap to his shoulder brought his head up in time to meet another slap, this time right across his face. "Don't ignore me when I'm talking to you, freak. I think you need to be taught how to treat your betters." Blinking the tears from his eyes, Owen glared up at his main tormentor, Ian Woodrow. Ian was older than him and had already graduated. He was at the school a few days a week to mentor the younger kids. In reality, all he did was torment them and steal their money before beating the crap out of them. Owen didn't bother answering Ian. It never made any difference what he said; he was going to get a beating either way. "Hey, Trevor." Ian grabbed Owen's hair when Owen tried to use his moment of distraction to get away. "Want to help me teach this powerless trash how to act in the presence of those older and more powerful than him?" Owen went limp and waited as Trevor yelled his acceptance from across the library—because, of course, none of them would get into trouble for making too much noise in the library silent zone. "Meet us out the back," Ian instructed and proceeded to drag Owen from his chair and out the nearest fire exit. 'Out the back' was code for a small concrete yard behind the library building that was a camera black spot. Owen was thrown to the ground, and the beating began. Owen centred his mind and started to list everything he still needed to get ready for leaving. One month and he would be away from the coven. He needed to make sure his CV was up to date so he could find a job when his savings started running out. He let his mind float and pushed the pain of what was happening to his body as far away as he could. When he finally came back to himself, he was alone. Ian and Trevor probably got bored when he didn't respond to their 'lesson'. Sending magic through his body, he healed his broken arm and wrist. He was surprised; the damage was usually worse with several broken ribs and fingers. His magic wouldn't heal bruises, but he could dull the pain enough to get home. He felt around his face and winced when he prodded his left eye and chin. Another push of magic and he cast a glamour. He needed to get home and up to his room so he could put himself into a healing sleep. His parents most likely wouldn't notice anything amiss, but the servants would and he couldn't afford to bring the wrong sort of attention to himself when he was so close to escaping. Moving slowly, he righted his clothes and then made sure to walk smoothly to get out of school and head home. Back home in his suite of rooms he collapsed on the bed and groaned as magic pulled him into sleep.
  11. Mica looked up as the cafe door jingled, then sighed when it still wasn't the person he was waiting for. He swished the remains of his second cup of coffee and considered if he should order another or give up. "I'm still not going back." Mica's head snapped up, and he couldn't help but grin when he saw Owen standing there. "You came," he crowed and then tried to hide a cringe at the totally obvious statement. Owen smiled and waved to the barista. After getting a nod in return, Owen slid into the chair opposite Mica. Once he was seated, he met Mica's gaze with his smile still fixed firmly in place. However, now he was closer, Mica could see the smile didn't reach Owen's beautiful green eyes. Those eyes were, instead, filled with a mixture of apprehension and fear. Mica was confounded. What did some spoiled rich kid have to fear? He needed to get to the bottom of the mystery and fast. He didn't want to be the one to tell everyone that the boy—man–they had all been searching for was found but was refusing to come home. "So, what do you want to know?" Owen's tone was full of false bravado. Mica decided direct might be the best way to go. "Why did you leave the coven without telling anyone? Your parents and friends are worried about you." Mica was surprised by the bitter laugh Owen let out. "Friends? I had no friends in that coven. As for my parents, I bet they weren't the ones to notice I was missing. They never get their heads out of their businesses or social calendars long enough to remember they have a child. I'm a worthless waste of their time and an unwanted drain on their money, seeing as I wasn't even making a good mage of myself. I bet if they were—by some miracle—the ones to raise the alarm, it was because I wasn't there for some function they wanted me to attend with them so we could pretend to be the perfect happy family." Mica didn't want to admit Owen was right about his parents only noticing he wasn't around for graduation. So he concentrated on the first part of Owen's statement. "Of course you have friends. Ian Woodrow and Trevor Finaham were very worried that you hadn't contacted them for ages and hadn't been on social media even." Owen's face and body language radiated rage. "Ian and Trevor are no friends of mine. The only interaction I had with those bastards was when they decided I had done something wrong and needed to be put in my place. I'll tell you why I left that hellhole without telling anyone; I left because I was sick of not being good enough. I left because I spent most of my time trying to conform to what you lot thought was 'normal', and when I fell short, I spent time healing myself from the beatings. Only one teacher found a way for me to use my magic, then she was reassigned, and I had to do it the new teacher's way or no way. So, no way it was. If you have checked my records, then you know I was only going to graduate academically. Magically, I wasn’t allowed to take the exams as it would be, and I quote, 'a waste of school resources and teachers time' unquote. "All I wanted was to practice my magic and learn, but since my parents had been told by my teacher how bad I was, I was banned from using magic at home. I couldn't at school because the practice rooms were reserved for those who had a chance of taking and passing the magic exams. I even wrote to leader Grayson to ask for help. All I got was a standard reply back, saying my request had been received and was being taken under advisement. I wrote every week for three months, but only got the same reply... That was three years ago. "Oh, and lastly," Owen said as he rose. "Someone did know I had left the coven. Why do you think I was so beat up when Mr. Mosely found me? Trevor and Ian caught me sneaking out. They beat me so badly I was bleeding internally. Luckily, I had gotten real good at healing magic. I healed the worst but didn't have the energy or anywhere to rest up to heal the rest." Owen turned, obviously meaning to leave, but stopped suddenly and stared at Mica. Mica was furious. No letters requesting help had come across Gray's desk. Gray would have mentioned it to him. Besides, he went through the post mostly, because Cravin dumped it on the first desk he came to each morning and that was Mica's. Mica clenched his fist. He could feel his magic wanting to escape. It wanted him to hunt down anyone who had hurt his mate and teach them what happened to people who treated others like crap. "You're an elemental mage!" Owen's harsh statement brought Mica out of his murderous thoughts. He looked where Owen was staring and winced at his hand. Lightening was flickering between his clenched fingers, and the tabletop was getting chipped and scratched. He was going to have to pay for that before he left. He looked back up at his mate with a frown, “Yes, I am. My power comes from electricity. You should know that if you paid attention in your class about coven leadership.” Owen scowled. "The only thing we learnt in that class was leader Grayson and second Jacobson are powerful and busy men. Apparently, they don't have the time to waste with half-taught children. However, if we did well and graduated in our magic classes, leader Grayson would be there to hand out our qualifications. We were told how leader Grayson himself wrote the school curriculum and any student failing wouldn't be worth his time to meet." Mica was getting angrier by the moment, but Owen wasn't finished. "If you are an elemental mage, why is it not taught in the coven school?" Owen held out one of his hands and a glowing ball of water coalesced in it, spinning merrily. "I would have been able to keep up no trouble and would have passed all my magic classes if I had been able to use my elemental power. But Mr. Ceeman, who took over from Miss Dooli, said that wasn't the way it was done and I had to do it the right way or I would be failed. I'll give you a hint; I failed. Miss Dooli was the only teacher to ever tell me what my magic was, and why I couldn't do what the other teachers wanted me to do with it. Then one day she was reassigned, and I was told it was none of my business where and why when I asked. Now I would be taught the correct way to use magic. Water had no place in magic unless it was to do washing or cleaning. I would just have to learn to do magic properly, like the other kids." By the end of his tirade Owen was up in Mica's face, yelling. Mica was grateful the cafe was empty, and their only audience was the barista. When Owen spun to leave again, Mica grabbed Owen's arm. A few seconds later he let go with a yelp. Shaking his hand, he stared at the steam rising from Owen's arm. Owen sneered. "The human body is mostly water; it doesn't take much to heat up specific parts. Never grab me like that again." Mica had a terrible thought that if he allowed Owen to leave, he wouldn't get to see him again. He threw out the first thing he thought of. "But, you're my mate. You must have felt it." Owen glared at him. "Of course I felt it. Why fate would give me a mate I couldn't be with, I don't know. But, we will both just have to deal with it." "Why can't we be together? You know we are both elemental mages. Our magic will be compatible, and if you want me to, I can help you with your magic training." "Why would I want your help? And how could we be together? You are the second to the leader of a coven I’ve vowed to never set foot in ever again. I can't, not even for my mate. I'm sorry." "I'll leave the coven. I'll transfer here." Mica didn't know who was more surprised by his offer. He meant every word, but it would be hard to leave the coven he'd grown up in to start all over again in a new place. He would do it for his mate, though. He would do anything to keep Owen. Mates were sacred; no one could interfere in a matebond without serious consequences. Owen dropped back into his seat with a thump. "You'd move here? Just to be with me? You don't even know me." "Then tell me about you."
  12. Mica threw things into his suitcase and listened to the ringtone on his phone. He'd hit the speaker and flung it on the bed so he could get packed as quickly as possible. "Mica, what's happening. Did you find out what was going on with Owen?" "Oh, I found out what was going on all right," Mica growled. Owen had gone over every part of his time at the coven school. By the end, Mica had had to pay for an entirely new table. The scorch marks and chips were too bad to be covered up. He retold everything to Gray and was pleased to hear the string of swear words coming through the tinny speaker. "How did we never get the letters?" Gray asked the question that had been circling Mica's head. "More to the point, why did we not hear any rumours about this? If this has been going on for as long as he says, we should have heard something." Unfortunately, Mica thought Gray wouldn't like the option he'd come up with. "I don't know why we haven't heard any rumours, but I think I have an idea for the letters. They must have been intercepted before reaching us." He ignored the grunted 'obviously' from Gray. He wanted to lay it all out as he'd done in his head and see if Gray came to the same conclusion. "That didn't narrow it down much for me at first. I suggested to Owen that his parents' servants may not have sent the letters. He agreed, but said he'd posted the last few himself. He even hand-delivered the last to the office personally. He left them with the security in the reception. The first ones could have been lost in the post, but it seems very unlikely that many letters could go missing. The post people are all shift workers and so the same person doesn't deliver to our office often enough to have interfered. That leaves Cravin. The post is delivered to him, and he passes it on to us." "But why would he mess with the post? As far as I know Cravin doesn't have anything to do with the school. Also, how would he know who the letters were from? I assume he typed them. People these days rarely handwrite anything anymore. So, there would be no handwriting to identify." "I did ask Owen if there were any identifying things about his letters that would have told someone who the sender was." Gray heaved out a sigh. "Let me guess, he put a return address on them." "Got it in one." "But that doesn't answer the why, or why didn't Owen email us?" Mica paused in his packing to scrub his hands over his face. "I did a check on him before I called you. I wanted to be sure before I accused him. Cravin's mother, Marie, is the sister of Ian Woodrow’s mother—he is the main bully, if you remember. It seems Cravin has been covering for his cousin and trying to keep him out of trouble. Also, he does have access to our email accounts as well, remember? We gave him access when we got sick of wading through all the spam. I don't know why he is helping Ian or how else he may be doing it. But I will be asking as soon as I get home." "Is there no way we can get Owen to return here? We could get all this sorted out." Mica growled. "Would you want to return to a place where you spent most of your time being ridiculed and beaten? I am only returning home to confront Cravin and anyone who has hurt my mate, and then I am putting in for a transfer to Teonards." "You're leaving the coven?" Gray sounded distraught. Mica didn't understand why it was such a surprise; everyone knew that mates trump everything. "Please, can you at least bring him to meet me? I would like the opportunity to apologise for how he has been treated and to meet the man who has captured my best friend." Mica snorted. "You also will try and talk him into staying with me at the coven." Gray grunted but Mica could picture the shrug he couldn't see. "Maybe. You can't blame me. You became my second twenty years ago when Dad stood down. I know you've been looking for your mate for decades, but the coven would really suffer without you." Mica took a deep breath in and then blew it out. He didn't want to leave the coven he'd grown up in, but he also didn't want his mate to have to live somewhere with bad memories and the possibility of him bumping into someone who would demean him. "All I will promise is to talk to him. Maybe I can get him to come with me to see my maybe soon-to-be-former living space. If he says no, I will not pressure him." "No, no I wouldn't want you to. Send me what you've found on Cravin, and I'll see if I can find more." "Fine. I'll see you tomorrow." Mica hung up after Gray said his goodbyes and congratulations one more time. He was not looking forward to trying to talk to his mate about returning to the place he most hated. This could go very badly. He heaved a sigh and picked up his phone again. "What's wrong?" Mica had to chuckle at Owen's greeting. "Why does something have to be wrong for me to call you? You are my mate, remember?" "You said you were going to call tomorrow when you got back to the coven. If you're ringing now then you've most likely spoken to Leader Grayson, and he has asked you to talk to me. So, what is wrong? Is he refusing to let you leave the coven? Mr. Mosely's lawyer can deal with that if you need her to." Mica chuckled again. "You are partially right and very smart. I have talked to Gray. He isn't going to refuse to allow me to leave. He can't; mates come first in all paranormal law. He did, however, ask me to talk to you. He wants to meet you. You know he and I have been friends since school, as I told you earlier. He is my best friend and wants to meet my mate. He is asking that you come with me and meet him. I will get him to meet us at my place, and you won't see anyone else. I will warn you that he is very upset at what you told me about your treatment at the coven, and he will definitely want to ask you for more information." Mica spoke fast because he didn't want Owen to interrupt and refuse outright before he got out everything he wanted to say to persuade him to agree. Owen was silent for so long Mica was ready to rescind his request and go back to their original arrangement of Mica going alone and coming back to Owen in three days. "Okay." The one word was almost too quiet so Mica nearly missed it. As soon as he was sure of what he had heard, Mica jumped to attention. "What? You'll come?" "Yes, I'll come. But I want it understood I don't want to see anyone—except Leader Grayson." "Yes, all received and understood." Owen chuckled as Mica had intended. "Well, you'd better fill me in on anything I need to know about your best friend, who also happens to be a coven leader. I don't want to stick my foot in my mouth when I meet him. You didn't tell me that much earlier except you were friends and met in school." Mica sniggered and started his tale. "Well, as you said, we met in school. I was two years below him and was having trouble with a couple of older boys who thought I was too poor to attend their school, and that I was acting too big for my britches." Mica heard an indrawn breath at the admission he'd had trouble at school and then a muffled laugh at the old saying. "Yes, even in my day there were jerks who thought they had the right to pick on anyone they chose. I had good control of my lightning already, but we were too near to some school equipment for me to use it, and so they got a few good hits in before a very loud voice told them to stop or else. It turned out the son of the then-current leader of the coven didn't like bullies, and he was also very powerful even then. Both boys found themselves pinned to the wall by magic and unable to move. The headmaster was called—it was Mr. Yenkins back then—and they were both sent home to their parents. Turned out their parents were just as elitist as the boys, and they were told they were no longer welcome in the coven. "When I was twenty, Gray's dad stepped down and Gray became leader. He made me his second, and no one dared to mess with the poor boy ever again. Of course, we always have lots of things to deal with. We deal with all complaints personally. That is why after talking to you, we think we have an idea who intercepted your letters to Gray. I'll be having words with the person when we get to the coven after we've spoken to Gray. If I don't like the answers then the person may or may not have a coven to call home by the end of it." "You do know that is the sweetest thing anyone has said to me ever. No one has ever offered to stand up for me." Mica growled. "You deserve to live the life you want, and you deserved to be taught how to use your magic properly. You shouldn't have had to learn on your own through trial and error. You can bet I will be talking to your ex-teachers and those bullies. I mean they are four years older than you; they were meant to be mentoring the younger generation. They were not there to make any of the students feel less or to make anyone's life harder. As for the teacher, he should have followed on from the teacher you had who figured out what your magic was powered by. What did you say her name was?" "Miss Dooli. She said she would fill my next teacher in so my training would be continued as she'd been doing. Then when Mr. Ceeman arrived, he told me he didn't have time to dedicate to a student who couldn't be bothered to do magic the right way. As I told you earlier, it was his way or no way. You know what I chose." Mica made a noise of agreement as he tried to shove his clothes into his bag. The stupid things had fit when he left home. "When can you be ready to leave? I was going to set out at sunrise and get to the coven in time for lunch. But if we want to talk to Gray and still have time for me to confront the jerks, then maybe we should leave tonight and I'll drive through. We can be there in time for breakfast and can talk to Gray before he leaves for the office." "I can be ready when you are. Pick me up at the shop. I live over the top in Mr. Mosely's spare room." Mica agreed and they hung up so he could make sure he had everything.
  13. Owen looked around at the house as they entered. It was huge. The front door opened into a spacious foyer with a lovely pine table in the centre. There was a staircase off to the left covered in red carpet that curved around as it ascended. The floor was light brown wood and the walls were a soft rose. A settee along one wall was strewn with colourful throw cushions. Owen felt at home. The size was offset by the soft and bright colours. "Good, you're here." Owen let out a manly yelp. Then he dropped into a bow as he saw leader Grayson sitting on an armchair he had yet to notice. Mica let out a growl. "What are you doing here? I told you we'd come by your place for breakfast. We've been driving for hours. We need a shower and a nap before we get into any explanations." Gray waved a hand. "I wanted to meet your mate, and since I knew you were nearly home, I thought I'd just meet you here. I did bring breakfast; it's being kept warm by Mina in the kitchen." Mica rolled his eyes. "Let me guess, it's muffin baking day. I hope you left some for other people." Gray adopted the fakest innocent face Owen had ever seen, and he couldn't help smiling. Gray winked then turned away from Mica sticking his nose in the air. "I am sure I don't know what you mean. I do not eat muffins for breakfast; it isn't good for me." Owen stifled a chuckle as they followed their leader into the kitchen where the smells were good enough to have the dead rising to eat. ### Mica and Gray walked into their office, and Cravin looked up with a bright smile. "Morning, sirs. You're both early today. Mr. Grayson, your first appointment isn't for another three hours. Mr. Jacobson, I wasn't expecting you back yet, and so your calendar is clear for today." Gray smiled. "That's okay, we wanted to talk to you before anything else today anyway." "Of course, sir." Cravin didn't look worried, just interested and attentive. Mica was looking forward to changing that. Gray and Mica led Cravin to the office seating area and they all found places. "Now," Gray started, "we need to talk about the mail this office is receiving. It has come to our attention that letters are going missing. More specifically, complaints are not getting to us. I would like you to explain." Cravin wasn't looking so happy now. In fact, he looked like he wanted to run away and hide. "I'm afraid I would need to do an investigation to find out what is happening." Mica shook his head. "Maybe it would help if I told you I met my mate yesterday—" Cravin clapped his hands. "That's great." Then he frowned. "But, what would that have to do with missing mail?" Mica had to hand it to him, he did innocent well. But not well enough. The tell was in Cravin's eyes. There Mica could see fear lurking. "My mate is Owen Kerby. Maybe you recognise the name?" And there it was. Cravin's face filled with fear, then he dropped his head to his hands with a sob. "What's going to happen to me?" The words were garbled by tears but understandable. Gray sat back in his chair. "That depends on you. Start talking." Cravin hiccupped a few times then pulled himself together. "I assume you know who my sister is and that her son is Ian Woodrow?" Mica and Gray nodded. "My mother’s sister, Sharon, came to me some years ago. She couldn't control Ian, and he was getting into trouble. At first, I told her to go to one of you. I told her you'd be able to help. But she said he wasn't that bad. It was just a bit of name-calling, and she was sure he would grow out of it soon. She was worried; however, about complaints from the students or their families. She didn't want Ian's record dirtied by what she called silly schoolboy teasing. At first, she would send me names of students so I could intercept any complaints and answer them in your name. I don't know how she got the names, and I didn't ask. Then things changed. The complaints were changing from name-calling to physical violence. I tried to call Sharon, but her mate answered and said I had better keep doing what I was doing, or I may be the one needing to complain about physical violence. Then Ian contacted me about three years ago and demanded I stop a boy called Owen Kirby from contacting you. I asked what was going on, but he told me unless I wanted him to let it out that I was covering and forging letters from our leader, I would do as I was told and not ask questions. I pointed out that he would get into trouble as well if I did, but he said he would just talk to his dad and let him deal with me. I was in too deep by then to come to you." He jumped up and Mica tensed, but he only went to his desk and pulled a folder out of a locked drawer. He returned to his seat and handed the folder to Gray. "I made copies of everything that was sent and what I replied back. Everything is dated, and I also recorded the calls after the third one from Sharon. I have her mate and Ian threatening me and then telling me details of what I need to look out for to cover for Ian." Mica couldn't believe their luck. They had everything they needed to bring down the bullies and kick them out of the coven. But Gray wasn't finished. "How did this stay quiet this long? I mean, I haven't even heard any rumours that there was a problem at the school." Cravin looked pained. "Apparently, Ian learnt how to use magic to coerce. He can make sure that the person he is bullying doesn't talk about what is happening. If they do, they will be in pain. That's why they tried to write or email you. The only one it didn't work on was Owen. However, the boy didn't try to call you, and apparently, he didn't talk to anyone else. When he ran away, Ian got me to send the search parties off in the directions he told me. I think he knew either where Owen was or at least where he was headed, although I don't know how he could know anything like that." Mica knew, and it set his blood boiling again. Gray was still talking. "We are going visit to the school today. I checked the registers and Ian and his sidekick are scheduled to be there. You are to call the headmaster and let him know about our visit, and that we are going to expect to talk to all the students, mentors, and teachers of the school. You are not to contact anyone else or to tell anyone about the reason for our visit. Then you can clear your desk. You have twenty-four hours to pack up and be out of this coven. The council will be informed about your actions, and they will have to decide if you deserve any more punishment, and they will find you a new coven." Cravin nodded and went back to his desk to make the calls. Mica turned to Gray. "So, what's the plan?" Gray gave a fierce grin. "We are going to rain a storm down on that school and find out what gets washed out."
  14. They walked into the school and were met by the headmaster. Mr. Theakin was wringing his hands and sweating, but he bowed and greeted them politely. "Good morning, sirs. I wasn't sure how you wanted to talk to the kids and teachers, so I have them all gathered in the assembly hall." Gray gave a sharp smile. "That's perfect. Shall we?" The headmaster led the way, and they were led through a door that led straight to the base of the steps to the stage. Gray climbed up first and Mica followed. "Good morning, everyone," Gray's voice echoed through the hall with the help of a simple spell. "For those of you students I haven't had the pleasure of meeting, I am Leader Oliver Grayson or Gray to my friends." The crowd chuckled at his accompanying wink. Gray held out his arm to indicate Mica. "This is my second, Mica Jacobson. We have come today to speak to you all about a matter that has come to our attention. "I have been told that your teachers haven't been teaching you everything you need to know about this coven and its leadership. So first, I would like to ask some simple questions. Please raise your hand if you know the answer. How many kinds of magic are there in this coven?" A few hands went up, and Gray pointed to a boy at random. "One, sir. Since there is only one type of magic, sir." Gray shook his head. "I'm afraid that is wrong. I will explain after my next question. If there is only one type of magic, how does Second Mica do this?" On cue, Mica allowed his magic to light up between his fingers, and he held his hand high for all to see. Gray waited for the gasps and whispers to fade before he spoke again. "Second Mica is an elemental mage. He uses electricity to power his spells." Suddenly there was a hiss, and Mica shook his hand, spraying water over Gray too. "It looks like our other elemental mage is nearby. Are you going to join us?" He called the question out, and Owen appeared at the bottom of the steps to the stage. Mica was gobsmacked. When he and Gray had left the house for the office, Owen had been adamant he didn't want to see or speak to anyone. Mica had even fixed a transmitter to his shirt so Owen could hear everything that was happening without having to be there. "I think some of you may recognise Second Mica's mate, Owen Kerby. As you may have seen when he doused his mate, he uses the power of water for his spells. Owen, why not give another demonstration?" Owen nodded and made a ball of glowing water hover over his hand as he had done in the cafe with Mica. There was a sudden hubbub from the children, and Mica looked up to see a small girl standing with wide eyes. Gray noticed as well and called to her, "What's your name, little one?" "I'm Nancy, sir." She gave a small curtsy but didn't take her eyes off of Owen. "Did you want to ask something, Nancy?" Instead of answering, she held up her hand. A small flame lit up and hovered there. The children nearest to her moved away, but she held firm and the flame stayed over her hand. With a grin, Owen flipped his water until it was hovering over Nancy, dripping on her and making her flame sputter and cough. Mica noticed the water also contained something else. There was a spell in the water Owen was sending to Nancy, but Mica couldn't tell what it was. Owen grinned as Nancy giggled. "Do you know, Nancy, that water and fire make the best cleansing spells? All you have to do is think about your element flowing through you and, in your case, burning away any nasty things it finds." Nancy frowned in concentration and the flame went out as she glowed as though lit from the inside. The glow lasted a few seconds before fading. "I feel different, better," she said with wonder in her voice. "My teacher told me I shouldn't use fire to do spells. Why did she say that?" While Gray tried to reassure Nancy and find out who her teacher was, Owen grabbed Mica's hand and tugged him to the edge of the stage. "I need you to set off the sprinkler system without setting off the alarms." He kept his voice to whisper. Mica frowned. "Why? What have you thought of?" "If Nancy is feeling better now for no apparent reason, then she may have had a spell on her. I know I felt something wrong in her before I told her about the cleansing spell. If you can get it to rain indoors, I can put the cleansing spell in the water. Why don't we see how many kids would like to talk to you after they've been washed?" Nodding, Mica thought about how to do it and decided on making a show of it. Getting Gray's attention, he used some signals they'd made up as children to communicate what he wanted. Gray nodded. "It seems that Mica thinks he should be able to get his own back on Owen. What do you all think? Can he make something as impressive as Owen?" Varied answers were being called out as Mica called the electricity in the room to him. He sent bolts through the room like fireworks and had the children oohing and ahhing. He then sent one off course and hit the sprinkler in the centre of the hall. The children yelped as they were doused in freezing water. Mica could feel Owen's magic mixing with the water. At his mate's nod, he sent another bolt to the sprinkler and made it shut off. They'd definitely brought down a storm on the school, Mica thought with a wry grin. Owen laughed. "Since my mate made you all wet, let me help dry you all." He sent out a wave of magic, and steam started rising from the various people in the room. Soon everyone was dry, and the children were chattering amongst themselves. Gray clapped his hands for attention. "Now that we have all had fun, I need to talk to your teachers. I have asked all your dinner supervisors to come in early, and so you can all go outside to play until someone comes to get you. I will be here all day with Second Mica and his mate Owen. We will be in the headmaster's office until the final bell. If you want to talk to us at any time after lunch today, please tell your teacher and they will allow you to come to the office. Until then, go have some fun." The children all filed out, and Gray turned his attention to the teachers who were now gathered at the back of the room. "Ladies and gentlemen, let's go to the conference room and talk. Mentors, Ian and Trevor, please join us as well." ### The group all entered the conference room attached to the headmaster's office and everyone found seats. Once they were all seated, Gray leaned on his steepled fingers from his position at the head of the table. "Ian and Trevor, do you have any clue why you've been included in this group?" Ian and Trevor were silent with their eyes fixed on the ground. Gray tsked. "Would it help if I told you I have recordings of you, Ian, arranging for my assistant Cravin to cover up what you'd been up to? No? Fine. Ian Woodrow and Trevor Finaham, you have both been found to have been terrorising the children of this school for a number of years. You are both to return home until I have spoken to your parents. I will then decide whether you will be staying in this coven or not." The boys exited the room silently, and Gray turned his attention to the teachers. A knock on the door preceded the entry of a small lady with a beaming smile. "Miss Dooli," Owen called with a wave, he had been hoping to see her again. Miss Dooli grinned. "Owen, how are you? Have you been working with your element?" She seemed to notice who else was at the table and flushed. "I am so sorry, Leader Grayson." She dropped into a curtsy at the same time Gray waved her to a seat. She flushed again and sat next to Owen. "When I got the notice from you, Leader Grayson, that I was being reassigned I made sure to inform my replacement about Owen and got his reassurance that Owen would be supported to catch up with the other kids. The poor boy didn't even know what an elemental mage was. I assume you helped him finish catching up, Mr. Ceeman?" Miss Dooli turned to Mr. Ceeman expectantly. He huffed but finally answered her silent stare. "I did everything I could to bring the boy up to an acceptable standard. However, he refused to follow instructions and wasn't able to master the most basic spells. I couldn't concentrate on him to the detriment of his fellow students. So, I set him some written work and put him in a nearby classroom. He was to graduate academically, and his certificate was being sent to his parents’ house." Owen was wishing a hole would open up. Mica had told him why his parents had missed him. He couldn’t understand why they were told about him being bad at magic but not told that he wouldn’t be included in the graduation ceremony. That was a question for another day. Miss Dooli was sputtering. "What do you mean he couldn't master basic spells? When I left, he had already reached level two in spell work and his classmates were on level four. You should have easily been able to catch him up and not neglected the other students. He already had brilliant control of his water power. He had even taught himself healing. He scratched himself on something during a class and healed it completely no problem. Healing is level six so he was even ahead of his classmates in somethings." Mr. Ceeman stuck his nose in the air. "Water magic is not a recognised magic in the school's curriculum. He needed to use his magic the way every other student was required to." Mica lifted his hand and let sparks zing between his fingers. Owen hid a grin; Mr. Ceeman was in for a shock. "I attended this school, and I helped Gray rewrite the curriculum fifteen years ago when the then-current headmistress left to join her mate's coven. I distinctly remember adding a test that determined a student’s power type. If someone tested as a magic power that wasn't covered by the current teachers, then a request should be sent to the leader's office and either Gray or I would find and assign a new teacher for that person or persons." Mr. Ceeman shook his head. "There is no such test, and even if there was, why should one student get preferential treatment over others?" Miss Dooli leaned forward and waved her hands; her tone was scathing, "Preferential treatment? How is it preferential treatment to receive an education? Elemental magic doesn't work the same as the more common magics. Owen needed another elemental mage to teach him how to gather and use his magic. Even if you weren't an elemental mage, you should have been able to teach him the theory, and you wouldn't have been neglecting the other students as you would have been teaching them about elemental mages anyway during the leadership classes." "Miss Dooli,” Owen interrupted. "No student in Mr. Ceeman's class learnt about elemental mages. In fact, he refused to accept they even exist." Gray interrupted before Miss Dooli could lay into Mr. Ceeman again. "There is going to be a full council investigation of everyone involved with this school. I have already placed the call, and an investigating team is on their way. Any teacher found to be voluntarily complicit in this debacle will be summarily banished from this coven and sent to the council for any further punishment. I am very disappointed in all of you. I was going to give each of you the chance to defend yourselves, but I think I will wait for the investigators. Until then you are all under house arrest. Enforcers will escort you home and see you all stay there." Gray tapped his phone, and enforcers started filing into the room. Each teacher was escorted out until only Miss Dooli, Gray, Mica, and Owen were left. "Well, it is nice to see you again, Owen. I hope that even with this you have been bettering your magic." Owen nodded happily. "Yes, miss." Miss Dooli waved a hand in the air. "You're an adult now and mated I hear. My name is Dehlia or DD if you wish." Owen didn't know what to say. She had always been Miss Dooli to him. "I'll try." He decided on and she nodded. Gray cleared his throat. "Can I ask where you were reassigned to? Because although the order may have come from my office, it didn't come directly from me." "Oh," Miss Dehlia said in dismay. "I was reassigned to admin. The headmaster delivered your orders, and he made sure to also tell me that admin staff were not to have interactions with students. If I was found breaking this school rule, I would lose my job, and it would be reported to your office." Mica shook his head. "This is going to take ages to sort through and find out exactly who was doing what and why." Owen agreed and it suddenly came to him there was one way he could help. "Then it is a good thing that this coven has such a great leader and an even better second then, isn't it?" Mica turned wide eyes to him as Gray whined, "How can Mica be better than me if I'm the leader?" Owen vaguely heard Dehlia laughingly tell Gray that mates trump everything, but his focus was on his mate, who had pulled him into his lap. "You know I am eighteen not eight. I'm a bit too old for lap siting." Mica ignored the jab. "Did you mean it? You want to stay?" Owen smiled and framed Mica's face with his hands. "Yes, I meant it. We should stay and help Gray get all this mess sorted out. I realised when I was listening to you and Gray confront Cravin. Although I will have to go and see Mr. Mosely and tell him everything that has happened. I take it you’re happy to stay here?" he asked teasingly. Mica didn't answer, instead Owen was treated to his first kiss from his mate...and what a kiss it was.
  15. Dee let out a shrill whistle along with a fierce wave of Alpha power. Everyone froze then dropped to their knees. No one in the pack had ever known she was a powerful alpha in her own right. The only reason she wasn’t her mother’s heir was she hadn’t wanted to lead a pack on her own. The shifter council was full of old farts that still thought if a female was mated then the male was dominant and therefore in charge. It was why she had been so taken in by Steven’s promises. Only his name would be on the pack, but they would lead as equals. Well, she knew now it had all been a lie. She wasn’t going to hide anything from now on. She may be a pack Alpha, but she was an alpha and it was time she got the respect she deserved. “I am ashamed of all of you. I have seen pups that are better behaved than you all put together. Do you hear yourselves? Who are you to say who someone should fall in love with? Who are you to decide who is right for someone…well, is no one going to answer me?” The silence was deafening. “No one?” there was a collective shuffling of feet, but still no one spoke. “Fine. It is nearly time for me to leave.” This caused a gasp to ripple through the staying side of the room. “Before my group and I leave however I have some information for you that I have just learnt. Alpha Steven has informed me that anyone accompanying me, Harry, and Freddy will be considered banished. That means that if you were to try and come back for any reason, even just to visit your family, you will be killed on sight.” This time here was cries of dismay and anguish echoing in the room. “Beth, you can’t go, I forbid it.” Beth moved to the front of Dee’s group. Her glare for her mate held fire and contempt. “Hank, do you really think I’m staying in a pack that won’t accept my son?” Hank frowned until his son Jerry moved forward holding the hand of Kevin. The love both young men had for each other was obvious, as was their sadness. “Dad, we can’t stay here.” Jerry sounded close to tears. “I love you and you’ve been a brilliant dad to e, but I need Kevin and we aren’t safe here.” The last part brought Hank’s head up sharply. “Safe? What do you mean you aren’t safe here?” Dee wanted to know the answer too. She hoped the idea forming in her mind wasn’t true. Jerry looked at Kevin and at his nod took a deep breath. “The teachers at school have lessons on pack history and mating. According to them, the old human customs of stoning is the best way to deal with deviant behaviour. When someone asked what deviant behaviour was the teacher listed the usual things like disobeying the alpha, putting the pack in danger, then he added being with someone the same gender as you. When asked why he just said it was against nature and mates were for procreating. Since two people the same gender couldn’t reproduce then they were putting the pack at risk of dying out and therefor deserved punishment. When Kevin and I realised we were falling in love I went to mum and she assured me she stilled loved me just as I was. Then when we heard Harry was leaving with his mum she and I decided to go with them. Kevin and his mum said the decision to join us was easy. Our mums said that anywhere their sons weren’t welcome wasn’t a place they wanted to be.” Hank had tears in his eyes, and he turned to face his alpha. “Alpha, please tell me this isn’t true. Surely you aren’t going to banish my mate so I can’t even have a chance of getting my family to come home?” Steven was looking between the two groups in the room. Dee knew he was trying to find a way to get himself out of the mess he was in, but she couldn’t see any way out unless he decided to suddenly accept his son and his chosen mate. Even if he did that Dee didn’t think many would trust him enough to stay. Horns sounded from outside. Dee clapped. “That’s our rides. All those coming please grab your essentials and make sure the rest of your things are in the pick-up points I gave you earlier.” As Steven stood there sputtering people moved to pick up backpacks and shoulder bags. “Wait,” Hank yelled. “I need to pack quickly, can you wait for me, please?” Beth grinned at her mate and waved at an extra duffle bag she had at her feet. “I already packed for you. I knew you’d come to your senses.” The family embraced and made their way out to the waiting cars. As Dee made her way out behind her group she could hear the mutterings beginning. Most were along the lines of thinking about how long it would take to pack and would they still be welcome. When Dee reached the door she turned one more time. “The invitation to transfer and follow your families will remain open. The pack scouts have been informed by my mother to take names of anyone asking entry and she will personally meet with you to make sure you know the pack rules before reuniting you with your family. There is no end date on this. Take your time and think about your decision. But I will say that my mother may accept you into the pack, however, your mates may not be so forgiving if you take too long.” With one last smile, she headed out to join her son and begin her new life.
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