All Kinds of Magic (1) – Chapter One – The Bar

16 Jan


Jim nods to me as I lean against the bar. He reaches below for my preferred poison and brings it to me with a thick tumbler.
I like Jim. He’s my kind of eye candy – in the older, married sort. He is the reason this bar caught my attention so long ago and the main motivation for making McGuffin’s a regular stop. The years have only refined his beauty. Jim crooks a smile as he opens the bottle and pours.
“Haven’t seen you in a while, Kimi.”
Kimi…the name he’d given me when we’d met and I neglected to give him something to call me. He’d told me it meant something back then. I have since forgotten. I blame it on the distraction that is Jim from shaggy auburn head all the way down to worn boots.
“Aw, you missed me, love.” I toss back amber liquid and relish the instant warmth that trickles down my insides.
“Inasmuch as I don’t want to see your picture on the news associated with a recent crime, local or national.”
“You’d never see that.” My lips curve over the rim of the glass.
Jim pours another when my glass clunks on the mahogany bar. His eyes flick to his right, then back at me. “I was hoping you’d be by tonight.”
I met his eyes.
“How long?”
“They’ve been here a week already.”
“They can wait one or two more nights.”
He nods. “Second pool table. Been sharkin’ up the place. Leavin’ the regulars alone, pretty much.”
I glance towards the group of black velvet-covered pool tables. Two guys brandish the long sticks like quarterstaffs. They stick out by the smiles that only grace their lips and the churning blues of their auras.
Turning back to Jim, I wave a hand in front of my face shaping a glamour. Blue eyes turn brown, small lips fill out, makeup darkens and I give myself the slimmer nose I’ve always thought I wanted. My hair lightens from black to brown, the white streak deepens into indigo. Dark jeans creep up my legs to become a short business skirt and I unbutton the top two buttons of my blue top. I trendy up the cut of my bangs and reach to pull apart the messy bun, dropping lengths of hair just passed my shoulders and shake it out dramatically.
Jim fills my glass, recorks the bottle and slides it back to its place beneath the bar. “So. Karen tonight.”
Karen is a small business owner with the weight of the world on her shoulders and an empty apartment. Karen is not me. Karen is a persona I use to suss out information before I allow questers to ask things of me. I kinda want to know if I can help them before I talk to them. These guys are young and cute and full of responsibility. Karen will easily connect with them. Seems routine, nothing I do not do on a regular basis, when I’m in town.
You have to understand something about me. I am powerful. Not only do I have a natural talent for utilizing magic, I am a magical being. Like when people say, “I’m rich. No. I mean it. I’m rich,” meaning they have more money than God, when I say I’m powerful, I mean The Almighty bestowed a grand heritage upon me of almost all the magical genetic material out there. While I’m not a pure blood anything, I’m more powerful than just about everything. A little glamour for me is like putting on lipstick.
Jim slides a five across the bar to outward appearance giving me change. I run a finger over Lincoln’s face, pick up the paper and rub both sides with my forefinger and thumb. Images, incomplete thoughts, raging emotions flicker behind my eyes. I add an angelic sigil on the inside of my right wrist and an ancient Irish protection knot on the inside of my left. The carved hematite cross between my breasts can stay. I push the bill back to Jim and sip my drink. Jim returns to bartending duties.
McGuffin’s popularity fluctuates. Sometimes it stays crowded every night for months. Sometimes it stays dead, a peaceful place to relax with my friend. Tonight is somewhere in between: less crowded than it could get and not as dead as I sometimes like it. Which translates into you can move around without bumping people, but nowhere is completely private.
While the boys could shark the pool table all night, they wouldn’t hit any of the regulars. I can sit comfortably for a bit lost in my own thoughts.
Content to travel in my own head, it is truly troublesome when the young lawyer sidles up beside me, places his hand tentatively at the small of my back and asks if he can buy my next drink.
I feel my face squench up. Why? I don’t really know. He is attractive and has a nice aura. But he’s interrupted my thoughts. It feels as though he’s started talking during the best part of the movie. Mostly, he just isn’t my mark.
“No thank you, Josh. Try Katy over in the corner. She thinks you’re cute.”
His face goes blank for a brief moment. Then he nods as if I’ve given him an order and makes a beeline for the quiet, spectacled girl sitting alone in the corner booth.
I feel eyes on me. I catch Jim shaking his head the tiniest bit. His eyes flicker to the guys at the pool table. I follow his gaze.
The younger of them meets my eyes full on. The other’s back faces me. He rubs the back of his neck.
Interesting. They are sensitive to magic, crazy sensitive. It is the rare human perceptive to my machinations. Either I’d been more frustrated with Josh than I’d thought, or these guys are not normal human. This is a little less routine.
I hold the gaze of the one looking at me. He breaks first.
Sliding from the barstool, I hit the ladies’ room.
When I return, it is the older one standing next to my stool dropping bills on the bar. I pause when I see him as if hesitating. With a slower pace and a deeper roll of my hips, I return to my seat.
A fresh drink waits for me. I raise my eyebrows and he nods. I thank him softly and take a sip. I have to focus on the bottom of my glass through the liquid rather than look directly at this guy. He is almost more attractive than Jim, and I can stare at beautiful Jim for hours. Actually, I have, on occasion, just sat at the bar and watched Jim work, the body of a dancer gracefully gliding through the small space between the bar and the shelves behind it.
This guy, this quester, I can watch with the same fascination. I have to look at him from the corner of my eye. One does not look directly at the sun.
“Come here often?”
Ack! His voice is that perfect mix of gravelly chocolate. As much of a loner as I am, I still get twitterpated in my nethers. Truly, I still pass for a twenty-something human. Though Jim knows damned well I haven’t been in my twenties for a while. I’m still fairly young for my mixed species anyway.
“Think your looks keep you from having to come up with an original pick up?” I refocus on the tumbler in my hands.
He leans closer, bringing his lips in line with my ear almost, but not quite touching. His words now are a much better pick up, but unimportant.
Proximity alone sends everything I need to know straight into my brain. Most of it is a rush of all that makes him Logan DeBlanc. I’ll have to piece through all of it later. Why does his name have a familiar ring to it?
Let me explain. Humans have an innate “magical sense.” Most of the time this sense has a bunch of “firewalls” blocking him or her from even touching it. Those natural firewalls also protect against a general probing by most magical species. Those firewalls keep human emotion and thought from overwhelming most of us who can touch it, except of course, the extreme empaths who feel everything from everyone.
So…even though no skin touches as is the usual requisite, the essence of him slinks through my brain. His breath on my ear, his human warmth, his need for carnal diversion fades into a background of urgency and impatience. Poor, Logan.
I wrap him in our raging auras and begin the distraction.

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Posted by on January 16, 2014 in All Kinds of Magic


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