Welcome to another chapter of Spell Tracker! Monday morning brings a whole lot of trouble for Luca after the events of the weekend. He winds up feeling less like a Light Mage and more like an earthbound teenager as a result. Luca also discovers that Mina's meddling has caused an unexpected rift between him and Devin.
You can catch up on chapters one through sixteen via the New series label at the top of this post, and thank you very much for reading 💕.
17 A Rumor
at homeroom as late as I dared. After my conversation with Devin the day
before, I didn’t trust myself not to lose my temper when I first saw Mina. I
hadn’t looked at social media since the afternoon before the party, just in case
it provoked me even more.
hadn’t just slept with Nate. She’d made sure Gabe was the one to discover them
together in her bedroom. She’d gone on and on about how cool it was to be with
such an “alpha guy,” giving Gabe pointed looks all the while. Devin told me he’d
half expected her to out Gabe in front of the entire party.
said Nate had the look of someone who’d clicked on an interesting link and landed
on a website that scared the hell out of him, but the page had frozen and he
couldn’t close it.
party ended, Mina caused a massive fight between Nate and Gabe, who were still
shouting at each other when they left her house. At which point Mina burst into
tears and sobbed on Devin’s shoulder until she eventually fell asleep.
don’t know her life path. You don’t know her life path. I repeated it over and over, like the
words could somehow turn me back into the nonjudgmental guardian I used to be.
stopped in the almost empty hallway. Am. The guardian I am. Shit.
overtook me, their footsteps brisk. It was Mrs. Stanton. “Step on it, Mr.
Sequani, unless you want me to mark you down as late.”
was tempted to use a spell and get out of the day completely, I knew it wasn’t
an option. It wasn’t like I had time to spare, even if I did appear to be
having an existential crisis.
Stanton looked over her shoulder when I didn’t immediately follow. “If you’re
interested in detention this evening, I have plenty of freshman papers that
No way. “Thanks, Mrs. Stanton,
but I just realized I really want to get to homeroom.”
I do like to motivate my students.”
carried on walking and I ran ahead to get the door for her. The usual silence
descended as soon as everyone noticed her arrival. I had to walk past Devin,
Mina, Gabe, and Cass to get to my seat at the back. It felt like the longest
walk of my life.
late, I remembered I should close myself off to Devin’s and Cass’s emotions. My
breath caught in my throat at the onslaught and I nearly stumbled. All I could
do was put my head down and keep going. By the time I reached my chair I was
ready to throw up. Just as well my internal organs are only an illusion,
was a mess. Torn between Gabe and Mina, unable to make things better for either
of them, he was angry and scared. The connection between us magnified his
feelings like a cellphone mast. There was something linked to me, too, but I
couldn’t figure out what.
Cass… What I sensed around her was terrifying. The darkness was now threaded
with hope. Fragile and new, sparkling like shards of glass in sunlight, and
just as dangerous.
usually a good thing. Under most circumstances, I encouraged it. But Cass was
not most circumstances. She wasn’t ready for hope. Not yet. Her balance between
light and dark was right on the edge of tipping. And shattered hopes can turn
to darkness as fast as the lights go off in a blackout. Game over.
wrong-footed again. I had expected him to give Cass something to fear.
Not something to wish for. If I couldn’t help her find it…
Stanton was staring at me.
take that as a yes?”
I had no
idea what she’d asked. “Itero,” I said under my breath, staring back. I
hoped it would sound like “I don’t know” to the boy next to me.
hesitated. I was about to say the spell again when she opened her mouth. “It
seems I have no option but to repeat myself.” She fixed me with a glare that
made me want to shrink backward. She can’t know about the spell. Can she?
like you and Miss Vryson to write a short report about the challenges of
joining a new high school in senior year. Most of the class will be going to
college, and there are parallels between the two scenarios.”
muttered someone on the other side of the classroom. “I hear sleeping with your
mentor really gives you a head start.” A ripple of laughter was interrupted by
Mrs. Stanton, whose expression was furious.
enough. The next person to make such an ill-advised observation will be in
detention with me for the entire week. Do I make myself clear?”
I was horrified. Is that what they all think we’re doing? Cass, sitting
at the table in front of me, didn’t react.
you, Mr. Redston, you can go straight to the principal’s office, where I will
join you shortly.”
turned back to me. “I trust I don’t need to ask you a third time?”
I’ll—we’ll—do it.” Cass turned around and gave me a smile. Not yet knowing what
he’d done to make her so happy, I found myself in the ridiculous position
of wishing her scowl back.
stood up. She looked exhausted, but she made a fair attempt to tilt her head in
imitation of her usual arrogance. “I have an ill-advised comment to make,” she
said. “In exchange for the week’s detention.”
Stanton raised her eyebrows. “Indeed? Unless you have something extraordinary
to say, I encourage you to reconsider.”
was pulling at the back pocket of Mina’s jeans, trying to get her to sit down.
She ignored him. I tuned into her emotions to see if I could find out what was
Who is she jealous of?
thought barely had time to register before Mina started speaking. To Cass.
your holier-than-thou attitude was just a front, but even I didn’t think you’d
give it up this fast. How long did it take him to get your panties down?”
were a few gasps of horror, and most of the class turned to look at me. I half
rose out of my seat, a silencing spell on my lips. Were it not for the size of
my audience, I’d have used it already.
of my classroom, young lady,” said Mrs. Stanton. She went to the door and held
it open, adding, “Now!” when Mina didn’t move.
stood up and put her hands on her hips. Although her eyes blazed with anger,
her voice was calm. “Bad weekend, Mina?” She deliberately shifted her gaze lower.
“Maybe you should pull your own back up before you start asking about mine.”
accompanied the gasps this time. I expected Mina to throw a punch or something in
retaliation but, within seconds, her face crumpled. She ran past Mrs. Stanton
into the hallway.
spoke. The bell rang for first period.
right. Show’s over,” said Mrs. Stanton. “I’m sure you all have somewhere you
need to be.”
broke out, getting louder as people left the room. It seemed like everyone else
knew more about what had just happened than I did. Cass looked up from putting
something into her backpack and gave me a shrug.
sure she did. Um… what the hell is going on?”
marched up to me before she could answer. “I need to talk to you,” he said. “Is
true?” He looked mad. Was there a script for today I hadn’t been given?
said Mrs. Stanton. “I appreciate you were not the instigator of that little
exchange, but your comments were inappropriate, nonetheless. Detention. This
detention is me being reasonable, I assure you.” She glanced at me. “You seem
to be mixed up in all of this, Mr. Sequani. You can join us.”
I protested. “That’s not fair. I didn’t even say anything!”
my transformation into an earthbound teenager is officially complete.
Stanton ignored my outburst. “You can both use the time to write the report I
asked you for,” she said. “At least while you’re in my classroom I can be sure
you’re not doing anything inappropriate.”
haven’t done anything inappropriate,” said Cass, rolling her eyes. “What
do you take me for, Mrs. Stanton?”
haven’t?” said Devin. His angry expression wavered. “Cass, tell me the truth.
For once. Please.”
answer. Gabe came up behind Devin and gave me an accusing look.
I said, glaring back. “What’s your problem?”
it’s OK,” said Devin, taking hold of Gabe’s upper arm. Gabe looked down at
Devin’s hand with a pained expression. Devin winced.
he said hastily, lifting his hand.
do me any favors.” Gabe practically spat the words.
more seats in detention, gentlemen,” said Mrs. Stanton. “Or perhaps you could
go to first period and postpone your discussion until you’ve calmed down?”
at our audition later,” said Cass, giving me a grin. “There’s something I want
to ask you. I had this idea yesterday.”
I did my
best to return her smile.
asked you a question!” Devin raised his voice as she walked away.
Dev,” she replied, without turning back. “I’m late.”
Stanton looked pointedly at the clock on the wall.
All of you. And if you run into Miss Daylin, please direct her to the principal’s
office, which is where I’m going to be.”
realized I should probably try to help her. There was no way I could sit
through double Math without knowing what the hell was going on, anyway.
reached the doorway, Gabe turned left and Devin and I turned right. Gabe wasn’t
in Mr. Fennick’s class.
Devin’s voice was apologetic. “I’ll meet you at lunch, OK? Let me know if you
see Mina anywhere.”
Just remember—that door was locked. You only have his word about what happened
his head down and walked off.
going to be late,” said Devin.
have to. I need a good grade in this class.”
said, relieved. “I guess I’ll see you later, then.”
no,” he said, grabbing my hand. “No way. I’ve just had the night from hell,
thanks to you. You’re not going anywhere until I get an explanation.”
I tried to resist, but he dragged me after him. He was a lot stronger than he looked.
Actually, it was kind of hot. I could have used a spell to escape, but I didn’t
we weren’t so late that we had to sit at the front. I took my phone out of my
pocket and murmured, “Non video,” before putting it on the table. I was
determined to catch up on what I’d missed.
emotions subsided when he switched his concentration to the lesson. Keeping an
eye on Mr. Fennick to avoid having to use itero like I had on Mrs.
Stanton, I checked my social media accounts.
backlash against Mina had been considerable. To begin with, on the night of the
party, she’d been a hero. It was all about how cool she was for owning her
choices and bagging herself a college boyfriend. The day after—not so much.
seemed to think Gabe had feelings for her, and that she’d deliberately broken
his heart by choosing his brother. There were suggestions it had been going on
for a while. Some people thought Mina was pregnant. Others said she must be
frigid, because she’d turned so nasty over the summer. It was horrible.
scrolled past the comments after a while, finding them too difficult to read.
How much worse must it have been for Mina? Then I noticed something new. Mina
had joined in the conversation late last night, saying she had a “scoop for all
“Cavi. After tryouts. Behind a locked
classroom door. Anyone want to know which classroom? Which teacher’s desk they
used? Play nice and I might tell you.”