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All that I Can Be – Chapter 5

Welcome back for another new chapter of All that I Can Be! I hope you’re enjoying it so far <3

All that I Can Be is a continuous series, and I recommend you read the chapters in order. If you’re not caught up, you can do so here:

Chapter 1

Chapter 4

All that I Can Be - Chapter Five

Elena got home wet, disappointed, and irritated with her overly active mind. A late-night summer shower had surprised her halfway home and soaked her. She’d run the rest of the way, but by the time she got back there wasn’t a dry patch left on her.

If he’d really given her magic, she would have willed the rain away or made her clothes remain dry—God knew she’d tried.

But no new power had listened to her. She had imagined the whole thing; she must have done. Her parents always told her that her imagination was like a wild beast. Tonight, she’d visited the lake thinking of the devil, her grandmama’s story echoing in her head. Of course her mind had made it up.

The idea of him and what he could offer her had been altogether too inviting.

Elena shivered as she pulled the clinging fabrics off her skin. She tiptoed to the bathroom to get a towel, scared she’d wake her parents with the slightest sound.

She scoffed at herself. Like the devil himself would dance on a lake with her! She was too old for such tales.

Elena rubbed her hair dry and wrapped herself in another towel. Everyone else was asleep and she couldn’t wait to sink naked into her bedsheets, but she didn’t feel comfortable sneaking around without anything to cover her. If her brother got up to get a glass of water and found her traipsing through the house in her birthday suit, she’d never be able to explain it.

She’d had enough drama for one night.

Elena left her wet pjiamas and jacket hanging over her chair to dry. The last thing she needed now was dreams to feast on her already mad imagination, but she was tired. Today had been long enough.

She dropped the towel on the floor and slid under her blanket, grateful for the dry warmth, and nestled her head into her pillow.

And met something solid.

“Ouch! Damn it, Vasile, stick to your own room!”

Elena rubbed her head, and took the pillow aside to see which toy her brother had hidden in her bed.

But it wasn’t a toy.

It was a book.

A book with an upside-down pentagram on the worn leather cover.

A book she definitely hadn’t seen before.

She sat up straight, and raised her legs so she could hide the tome in her lap. It was heavy, ancient, and forbidden. Elena knew the symbol and what it meant. The normal pointy-side-up pentagram was a symbol of magic, but this one, standing on its head, was the sign of the devil. That it was here, under her pillow, made it difficult to breathe.

She hadn’t imagined anything. He’d really been there, with her, on the lake. This book was his end of the bargain.

Her mind whirled and a thousand butterflies danced in her stomach. She had magic, after all.

Tentatively, she leafed through the book. The pages were yellowed and looked brittle but didn’t crumble at her touch. All instructions were written in a fast hand and accompanied by drawings—herbs, flowers, phials, animal claws and furs.

She had never seen something so intricate.

Her excitement died fast when she read over complicated spells, potions, and rituals she neither had the time nor the ingredients for.

A deer’s antlers.

A hawk’s feathers.

The pure water of melted glacier ice.

A ritual knife.

It was all right there, and yet so impossible for her.

Elena shut the book with a deflated sigh, when her finger caught on a page. She opened it, expecting more of the same–

But this recipe looked simple. A love potion. A bit of simple magic that would make anyone fall in love with her.

She pictured Ralu’s luscious brown hair, her beautiful smile, her soft lips on Elena’s rather than Nicolae’s.

And all she needed was clean water, rose petals, her own desire, and one of Ralu’s hairs.

Tempting. So tempting.

Elena slammed the book shut. It was wrong, she wouldn’t do it. If she couldn’t earn Ralu’s love, she didn’t deserve it.

She’ll never love you, Lena. She likes men, not whiny girls. This is why you came to me.

She ignored the devil’s voice and shoved the book under her bed, buried with forgotten jumpers and layers of dust.

She’d simply have to earn Ralu’s love—her true love—another way, without cheating.

End of Chapter Five

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All writing belongs to the author, Sarina Langer

Photo by Olia Gozha on Unsplash

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