Happy Easter! Here's ANOTHER chapter as an Easter Gift!
"Well isn't this touching?" A clear voice chimed from the curtained archway leading to the store front.
Amethyst stiffened in Dillan's arms and tried to pull away. "Amber. We weren't expecting you for a while yet."
Dillan held on tightly and turned his head towards the newcomer. "Who are you?"
The woman stepped into the light and revealed that she was holding something. Or rather someone. Her hair was a bright, almost unnatural red hair brushed her shoulders as she moved further into the room. "Amber McCloud. Amethyst called me. Now really, why are you all on the floor. Does it have anything to do with her?"
Shayla dropped not so gently onto the floor to punctuate Amber's question. She was awake but stunned, blinking rapidly as if adjusting to the dim light.
"Yes it does, actually. He attacked and tried to call her to him." Amethyst's eyes held a question.
"She was just lying in the grass when I got here. I'm assuming you weakened whatever spell he was using. The call is still there, but faint."
Dillan tilted his head in confusion. "But we broke the spell on the door. I know we did that."
"That was the majority of the spell, the anchor. Some of the spell was woven into her aura. That little bit is still there. And could be useful." It was the witch still in his arms that answered.
"Problem I'm having is this: He would have needed to touch this door to do this spell. How did he get in here?" Amber posed an excellent question. But the others were not without answers.
"Putting Shayla in the room with Soren was the mistake. He must have pushed his power through her to wake him. He can control Soren completely, but with the spell on him it would only last for mere minutes." This from Dillan.
"Well leave the boy in the room, we'll ward it, then work with her."
Dillan and Amethyst split apart and looked down at Shayla once on their feet.
"Is she okay?" Amethyst's voice was worried.
Amber knelt down and put a finger to her forehead. Once she straightened back up, she answered, "She's fine. Mostly the effects of the compulsion spell. I've overlaid it with a healing charm and put a temporary block in her mind to keep him out. It'll hold for a while."
The two witches who had lain on the floor embracing were now very busy looking anywhere but at each other. "Dillan, why don't you ward Soren's room, and check the spell on him, make sure it's intact. Get whatever you need from the store."
Dillan nodded and jumped to the task a little too quickly than necessary. Amber noticed his eagerness to be away from them.
"Ame, what is going on with him?" The red-head's voice was less business-like and much more friendly once he was out of earshot.
"Nothing! Not a thing!" She flushed bright red as she answered and turned away too late to avoid Amber noticing.
She wisely decided not to comment, but a small chuckle did escape. Her chiming laugh seemed to echo through the building, and a tension between Amethyst's shoulders and in the air itself eased. "Let's go, Ame. We have work to do with this one. Whatever wonky binding you lot attempted nearly shredded part of her aura. Better fixed now, than later."
She nodded quickly and the two set off up the stairs, supporting the stunned woman between them.