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Mature story contains dark themes involving graphic violence and taboo topics that may contain triggers for sensitive readers. Please do not read further if this bothers you.

Rich Boy: Growing Pains - 23. Chapter 23

"Ah knew Ah'd find you up here." Kyle drawled as he entered Worthington's bedroom on the fifth floor of Clairville Keep. The drapes were drawn back from the southern facing windows and showed the reddening of the sky as sunset approached. It had been raining off and on all day, and the skies were still partly cloudy.

"What are you wearing?" Worthington asked him with a frown as he turned around from his desk area and looked towards the brown-haired young man that had been so frustrating to him of late. Kyle was wearing soft white pants that ended just below his knees and green knee-high socks along with tennis shoes and a white t-shirt with green sleeves.

"It's suhpposed to be ah baseball uniform," Kyle drawled. "Ah made the mistake of mentionin' that I didn't have nothin' up here to practice with the last time Ah came up and one of them dwarves of yours heard me. This time I found a bunch of these things in the closet when we got here. Ah tell ya though, Rawlings ain't ever made a uniform this nice before. Sapha told me them dwarves found pictures of me on the Internet from a game last year and made these up for me. Mighty nice of them, I say."

"I see." Worthington frowned, turning back to his computer and saving the document he had been working on when Kyle came up. "Is Carl still helping with your pitching practice?"

"He is." Kyle laughed. "The guy wants to be a catcher, and he might just be good enough to make the school team, not that there's a lot of competition from what I've seen among the freshmen."

"That's good," Worthington said. "Was there a reason you came up here?"

"What's wrong with comin' to see ya?" Kyle asked as he crossed the room and took a seat near Worthington, stretching out his legs and crossing them at the ankles in a way that showed off way too much of his lean body to make Worthington comfortable. The guy was infuriating at times. He'd be cold as a fish one moment, and then doing something like this, showing off his toned, athletic body, and sitting in a way that made it all but impossible not to notice the sizeable bulge in his pants.

"Kyle, you've barely spoken to me for the last week except for when we're doing our lessons." Worthington retorted as a wave of ire swept through him. "Half the time you treat me like I have the plague and the other half you're my best buddy."

"Ah'm sorry about that, ya know?" Kyle said in a questioning tone.

"No, I don't know," Worthington growled. "What the hell is going on with you anyway? I threw that birthday party for you last week, and you practically ran out of the room."

"Ya surprised me, that's all." Kyle frowned, looking at his feet as he wiggled them a bit.

"I thought that was the whole purpose of a ‘surprise party,' you know?" Worthington said with exasperation, unconsciously mimicking the other teen's speech pattern.

"It is." Kyle shrugged. "It's just…it was mah first birthday without mah family, and it was kind of a bad time."

"I'm sorry." Worthington frowned as he thought that over. "I can see how it would have been a bit much for you in that situation. Maybe I should have thought that through some more."

"You did fine." Kyle shrugged. "Ah should have told you how Ah was feeling, and why Ah've been so touchy lately. It hasn't been easy, ya know. The doc you have me seeing has got me convinced. Ah can't blame mah' self for what happened, but I still feel weird."

"Have you changed your mind about your magic?" Worthington asked cautiously.

"No, you were right about that too," Kyle said with that shy little smile that drove Worthington to the brink of insanity. It was a cocky, but somehow shy at the same time smile with his head tilted slightly down so that his eyes were looking through his eyelashes. "Ah can do more good with it than I can without it in this world. It's this whole moving back and forth between mundane and magical that's got me feeling like this, and you of course."

"Me?" Worthington asked with a frown.

"You've got me thinkin' about a lot of things that ain't exactly comfortable." Kyle frowned now, and Worthington waited for him to continue. "Like, I grew up all my life goin' to church every Sunday and trying to be a good kid. You know, like the bible says we should be, but now, I just don't know. You, and those women who call themselves Jamie's mothers, y' all should be evil, but now that Ah know y' all, Ah know you're good people, as good as any back home and that's got me confused a right bit. Plus, in all this magic, Ah can't help wondering where God is, and those are some heavy questions to deal with for me."

"I wish I could be more help for you there," Worthington said with a frown on his face and was surprised at how much he meant those words. "You're a good guy, Kyle, and I happen to like you a lot."

"You're a good friend too, Worthington, no matter what anyone might say," Kyle replied with a very slight blush. "Ah guess I've just been feeling lonely and sorry for mah' self. You know, next week's Thanksgiving and it was always a happy time for me. Your family's been right kind and all, but it will still feel weird not being around my own."

"You'd rather spend it with your Aunt and Uncle?" Worthington asked.

"God no!" Kyle snorted and then laughed. "Well, like I said, you got me thinking about a lot of things. It'd be nice if we could just go away, maybe, for a few days. What do you think? Just you and me, get up and go somewhere that ain't here, or ain't in Phoenix. Now that summer's over it's a right nice enough place, but I'm feeling the need for a change of scenery, and something besides family dinner and that stuff. Ah know I ain't got a right to ask it, especially since Ah don't have any money of my own, but I was wondering if you'd think something like that would be possible."

"Just you and me?" Worthington asked with a frown. He wasn't sure why Kyle was asking for something like that. "What about your girlfriend?"

"Dianne?" Kyle frowned. "Why would Ah ask her to go? I was just thinking you and me, two friends you know, going out and having a good time together somewhere."

"I'll see what I can manage," Worthington promised. "As for money, I told you already don't worry about a damn thing. If you want to keep track of it all, that's fine. You can pay me back once you're trained and earning money working as a mage. The pay is good, and you'll be able to afford it without a problem, but you don't have to do that. As far as I'm concerned, you're a part of my family now and family helps family."

"You'll never know how much I appreciate that," Kyle said with another of those smiles as he stood up. "You're a damn good guy, Worthington, and a good friend."

"Thanks for the compliment, Kyle." Worthington smiled. "You know, having you around makes my day better all the time, too. You've taught me a lot of stuff about what it means to be a good friend that I never understood before. As far as I'm concerned, that's been payment enough."

"Well, I better get back to mah room and get changed for dinner," Kyle said as he nodded before striding out in that confident walk of his that left Worthington with an aching erection in his pants before the door closed behind Kyle. That outfit was just too tight, and showed off a perfectly formed bubble butt to perfection. No wonder Jamie had been chasing that pitcher last year if they looked that good in uniform.

Then again, Kyle looked good no matter what he was wearing.

When he turned back to his computer, he was looking up stuff on Google instead of working on the essay assignment that was due on Monday morning. Outside, the sounds of a chopper coming in and landing on the helipad outside the main gates distracted him for a few minutes, but he ignored it after sensing no urgency or alarm and considered the options for a Thanksgiving getaway with Kyle.

That entire weekend would be a good time to get away, and he realized the idea was as appealing to him as it seemed to be for Kyle. As much as he loved Jamie's family, and was looking forward to seeing Richie again, holidays like this one left him feeling a little bit of an interloper. They were Jamie's family, and while Worthington was always welcome and knew that, it was also true that the traditions weren't a part of his childhood or his life. It was something borrowed, something he'd gained from them and as much as he'd been bound to Jamie emotionally and mentally, now that they were separated he was finding he wanted to assert his independence more and more.

This time there was a knock on his door before it was opened, and he felt the identity of the person outside. Someone who was not permitted up here would find it all but impossible to come this far without triggering an alarm or more active magical defense, so he had already known it had to be one of those ‘trusted' people. They numbered somewhere around fifty now though, so he was glad to be able to know who it was before he signaled for the wards to let the person in the room, and the door swung open.

"Michael, it's good to see you again," Worthington said as he stood up and crossed to shake the hand of Michael Lowenthal. The government mage looked healthier than the last time he'd seen the man three weeks ago, and had regained much of the weight he'd lost in the weeks and months following the final fight with Zaroc. "Welcome back."

"It's good to see you again too, Worthington." Michael Lowenthal said warmly and surprised Worthington when he drew him into a hug after they shook hands. He'd been extremely attracted to the man before, but now thought of him as a friend first and foremost, and Lowenthal had always rejected his advances, so the hug was a surprise.

"Was that you coming in on the chopper?" Worthington asked as he led the government mage further into the room and sat down on a chair near the fireplace. As Lowenthal sat in a chair across from him, he gave a mental tug to a specific ward set in place, signaling that he would like some refreshments brought up. Sapha had made this particular ward, and depending on how he tugged at it would bring different types of refreshment.

"Yes, along with the new Director of Mage Operations, as they're now calling the position," Lowenthal said with a slight grimace. "He sent me up here since I'm keyed for access up here, and to smooth over any… problems there might be beforehand."

"Why would there be any problems?" Worthington asked with a real frown. "I told the government that I would work with whoever they picked."

"It's someone you've met before," Lowenthal said gently as the door opened and a dwarf appeared with a tray set for two. The coffee was good and strong, and Worthington blessed the fact that he could have it again.

"Who is it?" He asked when Lowenthal said nothing more after fixing his coffee and taking a couple of sips.

"Gerald Norman," Lowenthal said, and Worthington did frown then.

"Why him?" Worthington asked as calmly as he could manage.

"You're taking that better than I expected," Lowenthal said with a wide grin on his face.

"Do you think you know me that well?" Worthington shot back at the man who grinned even more.

"Sinclair, we've been in the field together, fought against each other, and together," Lowenthal said seriously. "You spent the weeks before that trying to get into my pants, and you've tried a few times since then, but not as seriously. It's for the same reason I never slept with Collins. When your life depends on someone, it's a lot easier to not mix love or even just sex into the situation. I know you as well as anyone amongst the mages in my Department, and people understand that. That's one of the reasons it is Norman in the lead position, that and the fact that he's had more seniority and experience than any other surviving mage. He was the fifth mage taken into the Department, and the only one of the originals to survive the demon attacks."

"I see," Worthington said slowly. "So it had nothing to do with any animosity he might have towards me?"

"I never got the impression that you had a grudge against him." Lowenthal's smile was starting to slip from his broad, ruggedly handsome face.

"I don't," Worthington confirmed. "Does he bear one though? I pretty much humiliated him that day."

"You taught him a valuable lesson about ‘wild' mages." Lowenthal shrugged. "He doesn't bear a grudge, but neither is he a big fan of yours. It is my impression that he intends to trust you only so long as he can keep an eye on you, and then not much. That is exactly what the higher ups in the government want right now. You're still a fairly unknown quantity to them, and only time will fix that."

"So they sent you up here to soften the blow?" Worthington asked.

"Yes, and to ask you to come down and meet Mr. Norman in his official capacity," Lowenthal said, and now he wasn't smiling at all. "Look, I know you let Collins save me in that fight. Weatherby said you could have easily directed they kill me right off the bat and they would have done it the way they did… well, you know. I could even feel it when you were attacking the shields that I held, that you didn't want to hurt me, and somehow that gave me the strength to fight the controls for just those seconds. I owe you, and that's why they don't trust me as much as they did. I shouldn't tell you this, but Norman's got a plan to force you to spend more time training our mages directly than you are now. Most of the brass is convinced you're holding out on ‘em, and he's been told to light a fire under you."

"Thanks for the warning." Worthington smiled at the man. Curse the fucking Light and its demands on him. "You're right, I was trying hard to get into your pants, and you're right about things being different now. Us having sex would complicate things, something neither one of us needs. I would like us to be friends though."

"Friends would be good." Lowenthal smiled. "You never know when I'll need to borrow money."

"Oh, so it's just my money you wanted after all!" Worthington smiled as he joked, and was pleased at the laughter from the man.

"Don't ya know I was just playing hard to get so you wouldn't make me sign a pre-nup?" He joked back.

"See, that's why I should never get married to a guy or a woman." Worthington continued the joke, and they laughed at each other for a moment before he turned serious a little bit. "If there's ever anything I can do for you, Lowenthal."

"Call me Michael, please." Was the earnest reply. "You were right when you said I was no longer really enlisted, and I'm no longer really military either. Those days are over, and I need to learn to live in the world I'm in now, not the world I was in before."

"My name's Worthington, Michael," Worthington said as he stood up and held out his hand. They shook for a moment before Michael nodded and released his hand.

"What should I tell Norman?" Michael asked.

"Tell him that I will see him in two hours, after the evening meal," Worthington said, and then he smiled. "By the way, I'm eating with family and close friends this evening. You are invited."

"Thank you, I accept." Michael smiled in a way that showed he understood the game Worthington was playing and didn't mind being used that way. Gerald Norman would be stewing in his juices when he found out, and Worthington would make sure he found out before dinner.

After Michael had left, Worthington went back to the computer and looked up a few more things on his idea for the trip with Kyle before he ended up picking up the phone and calling to talk to someone directly. The fact was he'd never done something like this before, and although he had heard Kyle mentioning wanting to take a trip there before, he wasn't convinced it was exactly the right thing.

He spent a long time on the phone and had barely hung up when Brandon stuck his head in the door to tell him everyone was here for dinner. Worthington sighed as he got up, more confident in his belief he had found the right thing for Kyle and him to do but felt surprisingly nervous about the whole thing. The dinner/conference room in their private suite area was full, with Elizabeth and Stacy having made their way up the mountains for the night, and he plastered a smile on his face as he sat down at the head of the table with Jamie already seated at the other end.

"You look tired," Stacy said as one of the humans who had been raised in the dwarf halls and was now working on his staff began putting the first course on the table, which was a salad.

"It's been a long day, and I still haven't finished that essay for English," Worthington admitted with a sigh, and she laughed. The conversation stayed focus on ‘personal' matters until after the salad was taken away and the second course, a seafood bisque was also finished.

"The government has selected a mage to lead their operations," Worthington said as the main course, finely sliced and prepared roasted pork on a base of spicy rice was placed in front of them. He proceeded to tell everyone the news Michael had given him, and since the man himself was seated there, he added a few comments of his own.

"The guy's last name is Norman?" Kyle asked with a frown. "Do you think he's related to me?"

"No." Michael Lowenthal replied quickly. "Why would you think that?"

"My mother's maiden name was Norman," Kyle answered, still frowning.

"How did he respond to my reply?" Worthington asked the man to change the subject. He'd have someone looked into the possible issue.

"He wasn't happy." Michael smiled slightly. "I was even reminded that I work for him and should not step above my pay grade."

"Ouch." Worthington frowned. "Sorry about that."

"You do not need to be apologizing for that, Worthington," Michael said sharply, pointing his fork at Worthington as he spoke. "There's been talk among the mages in the government ranks that used to do some other type of work. Curtis Parks for instance. I believe you met him when you encountered Gerald Norman the first time?"

"Yes," Worthington confirmed.

"He is talking about returning to the FBI instead of continuing work with the DPRR," Michael said with a shrug. "There are a few others that had other careers before the Department snapped them up, and now they're thinking about returning to those careers. Gerald made the mistake of dismissing the idea out of hand, but there's some sympathy among the mundane leadership, and they're starting to look at us in a new light, thanks to some of the things you've told them. They are starting to wonder if it might not be better, in the long run, to have our people less concentrated in one area."

"Are you thinking about doing something else, Michael?" Stacy asked. She had taken a few turns training some of the government mages and had gotten to know Lowenthal quite well.

"No." Lowenthal smiled as he said that. "I fit in quite well with the Department and the work fits me. I'll be happy staying where I'm at. You need to understand, I might disagree with Gerald on some things, but I believe in the Department, and the fact that there needs to be some oversight of mage activities."

"I see," Stacy said with a nod. "But at least you understand why others of us are reticent in this regard."

"Yes." He confirmed. "It is not an easy thing to try and balance what we are finding out about each other, but something is going to have to be done. Magic is growing more commonplace, and that means that it won't be hidden forever."

"Even the Adepts are beginning to recognize that," Worthington admitted. "I won't say they're happy about things, but they recognize that things are changing and there's little they can do to put this particular genie back in its lamp."

"Let's talk about something else," Jamie said with a frown. "No offense, but we talk about this stuff all the time as it is. I'd like to think about normal things once in a while."

"I hear you, and the Grassley girl are becoming an item," Elizabeth said with a smile at her son, and Worthington chuckled as Jamie blushed slightly.

"Mom!" Jamie protested in a near-whine.

"I caught them kissing at school last week," Carl added in a sing-song and then paled as Jamie glared at him while everyone else laughed.

"So it is getting serious," Elizabeth said with a smile on her face.

"I wouldn't go that far, Liz," Stacy said with a smirk. "He's been as bad as Worthington here about jumping from bed to bed."

"I would have you know I haven't been doing much bed jumping lately," Worthington said with a glare at them while Jamie sputtered. "I've been reduced to living vicariously through listening in on Jamie's nocturnal activities.

"Don't worry, dear," Stacy said with a bright smile at Worthington. "I'm sure the skin will grow back in time. Rubbing it raw will do that, you know."

"Oh my," Kyle said in a gentle drawl as his cheeks burned bright red. "I don't think I've ever heard a discussion like this at the supper table."

"Sorry, son," Stacy said with the barest of smiles. Her relationship with Kyle was still strained after their inauspicious first meeting. "We're all just a bunch of heathens at time."

"God helps me but Ah've been learning that," Kyle said dropping into a heavier Texas drawl. "Ah don't know what's worse, hearing all this evil talk or getting hard at the dinner table from listening to it."

"Oh dear." Elizabeth murmured as the wine Stacy had been sipping spurted out her noise from her astonishment. Everyone stared at Kyle in shock, and he put another piece of meat into his mouth with a satisfied smirk on his face as Elizabeth helped a choking Stacy recover.

"You naughty boy!" Stacy chastised him, but now she was grinning at him affectionately instead of with the previous caution. "That was quite rude of you, waiting until I was drinking my wine before using that line."

"Mah timing hasn't fallen off yet, at least." Kyle's voice was smug as he grinned at her, and everyone laughed.

"I think we better keep an eye on that boy from now on," Elizabeth said with a wide smile on her face. "Hanging around Worthington so much has corrupted him."

"Worthington?" Kyle asked and then shook his head. "Naw, it's been hanging around Jamie that's corrupted me."

"That's your son," Stacy said with a smirk of satisfaction. "My boy's the decent one, remember."

"You mean Richie?" Kyle asked as Stacy lifted her wine glass to her mouth. She nodded before taking a sip. "Worthington, ain't he the one who gave me the list of slutty girls at school I could lose my virginity with?"

"Not again." Elizabeth moaned as wine flew across the table from Stacy, and everyone laughed again. Worthington knew Richie had done no such thing, but it was still amusing to see his mother's reaction. Stacy was now glaring at Kyle, who looked particularly smug. He'd learn soon enough that Stacy was more than capable of achieving revenge, and Worthington was looking forward to whatever punishment she would cook up for tonight's little gags.

Waiting until after dinner to meet with Gerald Norman had been the right decision to make, because Worthington was still in a good mood, with a smile on his face as he finished changing and walked downstairs to the second-floor office that had been set aside for him. He rarely used this office, in fact, he only used it for meetings like this one, but it was still kept at the ready for him. There was the typical large oak desk, computer, phone and other equipment to make it look like he actually used it as an office. Also, there was a couch and a few armchairs as well as a small bar area.

Deciding to take the time to change into a formal three-piece pin-striped suit with a blue tie was the right decision to make. Gerald Norman was dressed similarly and had a surprised look on his face as he looked at Worthington. Norman's suit was of a less expensive cut, but his dark, graying hair was perfectly groomed, and his eyes had a look of wariness to them.

"Mr. Norman, thank you for taking the time to drop by and talk," Worthington said, taking the initiative as he crossed the office and shook the man's hand. There was a slight tingle as their shields met, and sparked, and he returned the man's firm grip without showing any emotion on his face.

"We meet again, Mr. Sinclair." Gerald Norman said in a cold voice as he released Worthington's hand, unable to gain an advantage there.

"We do indeed." Worthington smiled. "Would you like to have a seat? May I get you something to drink?"

"No thank you on the drink." Gerald Norman said with a frown as he moved to one of the plush leather armchairs near the couch. Worthington was doing his best to make this as ‘welcoming' as he could, and sat in the armchair to the left of the man, moving the chair, so it faced his at an angle.

"Congratulations on your recent promotion," Worthington said as he faced the man with a smile. "I look forward to our working together for many years."

"Do you?" Gerald Normal asked. "Mr. Sinclair, after our last encounter, I admit that I find such a statement hard to believe. You have contracted to teach our psionics about fighting demons, and other abilities, but you limit your lessons to a few hours each week, most of those on the weekend."

"My firm, Sinclair Protection, has contracted with the government for training of up to twenty mages at a time, with a similar number of mundane soldiers," Worthington replied in a calm voice. "We have specified in our contract to provide twenty hours per week of training for those mages, both individually and as a group and space to practice their magic for at least another twenty hours per week. There was no mention of specific trainers being involved, only that training would happen. As it stands now, the government has not consistently sent twenty mages here for training, and the number of soldiers has fluctuated between ten and forty. As it is, all mages who have been here having averaged at least twenty-six hours of direct training per week, including an average of fourteen hours per week in direct training with myself. That is beyond the minimum levels of our contract, and we are not being paid for the extra work we do with your mages."

"Psionics, Sinclair." Gerald Norman's voice was stern, and he frowned as he spoke.

"Tomato, tomaato." Worthington shrugged, stretching out the ‘a' sound on the second word. "

"Your trainers have refused to show our psionics some of the more powerful spells that they know." Gerald Norman complained next.

"There are spells unique to the Dark and the Light paths that are not normally taught to people who do not follow those paths." Worthington shrugged.

"You have used Light spells and never been Light, correct?" The man retorted.

"You are well informed, Mr. Norman," Worthington said. "I walk the Gray path, which is made up of both Light and Dark magic. As a result, I can work both, although I have never been formally taught Light magic."

"Convenient." Norman sneered. "It seems you have a smooth answer for every criticism of your attempts to not fully fulfill your contractual obligations."

"It would seem you have either not reviewed the terms of the contract, or have chosen to try and renegotiate it even though it is signed and binding." Worthington countered calmly.

"I did not sign the contract." Norman retorted.

"Yet it is still binding as it was approved by your direct superior, Ms. Huntington," Worthington said without hesitation. "If you wish to renegotiate the contract, you may contact my staff, and we will discuss the matter. However, you may be assured that we will continue to not only meet the minimum terms of the contract but do all in our power to assist in the fight against demons. My personal involvement in the last engagement was not contractually required, but I went anyway. I am as dedicated as any of you to ending the threat posed by demons."

"But you still waste time going to school?" Gerald Norman snorted.

"Mr. Norman, hopefully, you will forgive me for remembering this since I took it from your mind during our last encounter, but you yourself are dedicated to the notion that mages must obey the laws of this country, that we cannot use our powers to enable us to ignore our country's laws." Worthington countered the man's attitude with a calmness that wasn't entirely contrived. "It is the law of this country that I must finish my basic high school education, and I am complying with that law. Would you have me use my magic as an excuse to ignore the law, to live above it?"

"Cute, use my own beliefs against me." Norman snorted.

"Mr. Norman, I am not attempting to do that, but the fact of the matter is that your beliefs in this matter agree with my actions," Worthington said with a slight shrug. "I am merely pointing them out. Now that the wrestling season has ended, I will be available more hours during the week, and on the weekends. Further, next semester I will not be needing to take the afternoon Sports P.E. and will be out of school earlier in the day, freeing up more time. Now, some of that must be used for homework. I have an English essay that I have been working on for two days now that I have not been able to complete yet. It is due tomorrow morning, and I'll be staying up late to finish it before heading down the hill to school in the morning."

"Fine, but I expect the number of hours you personally use in instructions to increase." Gerald Norman said sharply. "I also want to discuss living accommodations for my people. I am not happy with them staying here, under your thumb."

"Where would you have them stay?" Worthington asked. "The nearest town is thirty minutes away."

"No, there's a town right outside this damn castle." Norman countered, and Worthington smiled.

"Ah, then you will wish to speak with Governor Lokar," Worthington said. "I believe that there are still homes not yet sold that you can buy, or possibly lease, but those arrangements will have to be discussed with him directly."

"Don't you own all this land?" The man asked.

"Own it?" Worthington shrugged. "I own it, but I have signed contracts with the dwarves granting them permanent rights to the land, so the houses and other buildings on the land are theirs to sell or lease. From those proceeds, I receive a small income, but the management of the land is theirs."

"How convenient for you." Norman sneered.

"Mr. Norman, we got off to a bad start on both of our parts." Worthington sighed. "I do not expect you and I to become bosom buddies. Frankly, I might have preferred almost anyone in your position other than you. The fact is though that you do hold your position, and are legitimately in charge of your mages. I have to deal with you, and it is in my best interests to put away as much of the animosity I feel towards you as I possible can, and to do my best to deal with you fairly."

"How kind of you." Norman's sneer was worse now, and Worthington wondered if this was hopeless after all.

"You may find this hard to believe, but I do admire you," Worthington said. "The government program and its mages have managed a good control over your magical abilities and done something many mages would have thought impossible. You have operated in a dangerous world for years without the history, traditions, and training of centuries of magic that I and other mages possess. What is more, you are dedicated to principles of fairness and equality, both of which are admiral goals. For me, that is enough to put aside past differences and seek to work together with you."

"That may be enough for you, but it is not for me." Norman frowned as he stood up and looked down at Worthington. "I would prefer it if we had nothing to do with you and your kind unless you were behind a cell door. However, the leadership has decided otherwise, and for now, at least I must comply with their decisions. I will be watching you though. I know you're not really onboard with us, and when you slip up, I will be there waiting."

"Thank you for your honesty and candor," Worthington said as he also stood up and the two men stared at each other before Norman turned on his heels and marched out of the room. For his part, Worthington sighed and mentally added one more problem to the list of those to deal with.

Copyright © 2018 dkstories; All Rights Reserved.
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Some people are just willing to kill themselves and others to keep from admitting that they need help.  It appears that Sinclair is going to have to deal with one of those more closely than he or anyone else would like.

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Excellent chapter! Mr. Norman will be a tremendous pain in Worthington’s neck. The pompous fool has shown his hand, and Worthington will have to find a way to make sure that they live up to the contracts to the letter. The trip with Kyle should prove interesting. Lowenthal is definitely leaning toward Worthington and may prove to be a valuable asset in the government  department. I’m definitely looking forward to the next chapter! 😃❤️

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Really not into this whole solo trip thing with Kyle. Yes he's scorching and whatnot, but he was with people that were associated with Worthington's uncle & W hasn't 'checked' for Sinclair meddling. 

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