[chapter seven]

Disclaimer: If you've heard of them, I don't own them. Everything else is mine, so no stealing, pretty please. ;-)

**

Jimmie knew she would be at the shop. No matter that it had long since been closed and she should have been home, he knew Vrai was there.

Disregarding the "Closed - Please Call Again" sign in the window, he tried the door and gasped slightly when the knob turned in his hand. He stepped into the candlelight and could see the Vrai within the shadows, knelt inside a circle of stones near her altar at the back of the shop.

With every intention of asking her about the message, of asking her about their power, of asking her why him, he strode over to her. She looked up at him, her eyes in shadow, her hair seemingly lit to a fiery red from the candles behind her. She stood up and was about to speak when he was pulled towards her.

Crossing the circle of stones, he didn't utter a word as he tugged her into his arms and slammed his lips into hers. She gasped into his mouth as their arms wound around each other, their lips, their tongues searching for the other.

Jimmie felt a cool wind swirl around them, felt a crackle of power force its way through him as he pulled her closer to his chest. He relished the feelings of power as he assaulted her mouth, relished the feeling of her body pressed to his.

He felt like he was riding the power, riding it with Vrai - and it felt really, really good.

After a minute of boiling emotions, his mind finally regained control from his body and he pushed away from her, more roughly than he meant. Her eyes sought his, and he saw his own emotions mirrored in them.

Shock. Lust. Confusion. Fear.

"What the hell was that?" He whispered, his voice rough and unsteady as he deliberately step back outside the circle of stones she had created.

Vrai shook her head slowly. "I'm not sure even I can explain that." She said, her voice a little shaky.

"Try." Jimmie begged softly. "Was it this circle or something?"

Vrai shrugged, her breath still coming in short bursts from his assault on her body, her mind. "Nothing to do with the stones - that was just a simple purification spell I was doing."

"Then what?" He asked.

Vrai straightened her skirt and ran a hand through her hair in a nervous gesture. "Mother Nature. Guiding us to each other. We can't fight it, Jimmie." She said softly.

"A love spell?" Jimmie asked, puzzled. "Sent from Mother Nature?"

Vrai emitted a soft laugh. "I don't think so." She sighed. "Natural magic. There is a connection between us that is more than emotional, more than physical. It's…spiritual."

"How can that be?" Jimmie asked, sinking down into a nearby chair and dropping his head into his hands.

"It's not uncommon for two strong witches…or in this case, witch and warlock…to find that they are…"

"I'm not a warlock." Jimmie said firmly.

Vrai sighed, finally frustrated with his constant denial. "Fine, Jimmie. You aren't. You have no power. You can't send messages with your mind, or call the winds or feel the power. You have no psychic abilities. You can't call on nature to give you strength. You can't see power in candles. You can't feel pulls of magic in your every day life. You have no power. Fine. What you felt just now was just lust run amok, right? No riding the power, no winds swirling at your call. Fine." She said, turning away from him to begin snuffing out candles.

She whirled back around as she heard something like a sob from Jimmie's throat. "I don't know what to do, Vrai." He said pitifully, his head still in his hands.

Vrai bit her lip, sorry for her own outburst. So many people with natural abilities denied them forever, or had difficulty adjusting to this type of life. It went against so many conventional wisdoms, conventional religions, and some people never adjusted.

She had had higher hopes for Jimmie.

"I can't help you, Jimmie. Not with your own struggles." Vrai said softly. "Maybe it would be best if you just…" She waved her hand towards the door.

Jimmie stood and heaved a shaking breath. "I'm sorry." He whispered, looking at her for the briefest of moments before letting himself out of the shop.

But not before Vrai saw the tears shimmering in his eyes.

"I'm sorry, too." She whispered.

chapter eight