Technically, I didn't need her talents until it was time for me to go to sleep. She was a dreamwalker and she was going to enter my dreams and see if she could find out what was going on with my mysterious and disturbing dreams.
I mean, they were sort of wet dreams and nightmares blended together in a potent cocktail guaranteed to make any teenage girl shudder.
At any rate, Anna decided to spend the entire day following me around and acting like we were best friends. I found Anna's constant presence to be annoying at first, but the more time I spent around her, the more I noticed how beautiful she was.
Her skin was smooth and perfect, and I found myself wanting to touch her and sample the smoothness of her flawless skin and run my fingertips all over her. Her skin seemed to blend perfectly with her silky golden blonde hair. And her large, hazel eyes and full sensual lips made her face at treat to stare into.
Her waist was narrow and her belly flat. She also had shapely legs and a firm ass with adorable, feminine curves. Of course, she wore blue jeans that were so tight that every curve of her ass and thighs showed through the fabric. The denim magically hugged the curves of her body in such a way that I could easily imagine what she would look like naked.
Anna and I sat in a coffee shop. She was drinking an iced coffee with caramel and other yummy things. I couldn't help but notice how luscious her lips looked as she sucked her sweet, caffeinated beverage through a straw. I felt a confusing yet powerful desire for Anna's lips to be pressed against mine so I could see if her mouth felt as exquisite as it looked.
I'm not a lesbian and I've never been an overtly sexual person, but since these dreams started, I've found myself becoming hypersexualized and having strong feelings of sexual arousal when around beautiful women. I couldn't understand it, but it made it almost impossible to take my eyes off Anna. Her oval-shaped face, high cheekbones and exquisite lips made me feel things for her. I had an insistent craving that urged me to take her into my arms and kiss her passionately. It wasn't the sort of thing I could just shake off either. It was maddening and potent. It became difficult to think of anything else.
"So, what are your plans for today?" Anna asked as she looked up from her iced coffee drink.
"My dad promised to take me car shopping," I replied, "It's sort of a big deal. He promised to buy me a car if I got good grades and graduated, so I studied hard, made the honor roll, graduated high school and now I reap the rewards of all my hard work."
"Your dad sounds like he's an exceptional father," said Anna and I watched her alluring lips as she talked. I seriously wanted to kiss her, but that sort of thing just wasn't done. Anna was practically a stranger, and we were in public. Also, I had no idea if she was even into girls.
"Well, he's the only dad I've ever had, but I think he's done a pretty good job."
Anna gave me smile that caused my brain to release a burst of endorphins and said, "So, what does he do for a living that he can afford to buy you a new car?"
"Oh that," I said and took another sip of my coffee before adding, "Well, he's history professor. I don't think that ordinarily pays all that well, but he's gotten three books published on the Albigensian Crusade and one book on the Catholic Church's relationship with the Italian government both before and during the Mussolini regime. Only one of his books was a financial success, but in the world of history professors, one financially successful book has turned him into some sort of god. Other history professors treat him like he's Robert Downey Jr. or something."
* * *
It turns out that Anna was a huge history buff and that she'd read two of my dad's books. Not only had she read them, but she'd committed a lot of the material to memory. I had never been a huge fan of my dad's work, but Anna was bubbling over with enthusiasm as she discussed the Cathars, the Catholic Church, Pope Innocent III, Pope Gregory IX, the Languedoc region of France and European mercenaries with my dad.
"Pope Innocent the third was basically a terrorist mastermind," Anna said to my father, "He hired a band of mercenaries, sent them to Béziers, and they basically burned down the entire town, killing men women and children...all because some of them were practicing the 'wrong' religion."
My father apparently agreed with Anna. He smiled and told her, "I was thinking the same thing. I wanted to compare Pope Innocent to Osama Bin Laden, but my publisher said that I'd be killing sales if I compared a Christian religious leader to a Muslim terrorist mastermind."
"Publishers," Anna said, her voice heavy with contempt, "pffttt."
I was enchanted with Anna's exceptional good looks and my dad was enchanted with Anna's exceptional knowledge of 13th century European history. Between the two of us, Anna had a small but devoted fan club.
After my father and I had decided on a car, we were alone for a while as they installed a LoJack in my new vehicle. While we waited for them to finish, Anna went down the vending machine to get a soda. My dad turned to me, smiled, and said, "Well, I think you and Anna are an adorable couple."
"Wait, what?" I blurted out, "What do you mean, couple?"
"Oh, come on," my dad said, "All day long you've been looking at her the way your mom used to look at me. You're infatuated with her."
"Dad," I protested loudly, I found my feelings for Anna to be both confusing and awkward. There was no way I ready to talk to my dad about them yet.
"Oh, don't blush," my dad said, "There's nothing wrong with being into girls. Lesbians are socially acceptable and popular right now. Remember when Britney Spears and Madonna kissed at the MTV video music awards?"
"Dad," I whined, "can we not talk about this?"
"But you look so cute together," my dad countered. His voice was getting playful and boyish. That meant he meant he wasn't going to be willing to just let the topic drop. He was emotionally invested in Anna and me being a couple...even though we weren't really a couple at all.
"Dad, we are not a couple!" I spat out loudly.
He raised his eyebrows at me, probably surprised by my loud, angry outburst. Yeah, I was getting way too emotional. I suppose I was overly sensitive about the subject.
"I see," he said, although I kind of doubt he understood my relationship with Anna at all.
"Look, I barely even know her," I added hastily.
And then, in a much quieter tone of voice, I said, "And I've never felt this way before. I mean...being into girls...I never thought that I was the type to ever be into girls. This caught me by surprise. Yeah, I've been totally mesmerized by Anna's girlish good looks, but I have no idea what I'm supposed to do about it."
Anna chose that moment to come back, which meant my dad and I had to either end our conversation abruptly or include Anna in the discussion.
We ended our conversation abruptly. I think we made the right decision.
"So, did I miss anything while I was gone?" Anna asked and then she sat down next to me.
"Nope," I replied quickly, before my father could say anything, "We're still waiting for them to finish up."
It took a lot longer for the LoJack to be installed than I thought it would. And during the long wait, I spent a lot of time talking with Anna. I eventually concluded that I had a crush on her and realized that at some point I'd have to tell her. Either that or just pine for her and feel miserable and frustrated.
I decided that telling her while my dad was watching was a bad idea. Having your middle-aged dad preaching about how lesbians are socially acceptable and telling you not to blush was about the most un-sexy way to tell a girl that you're attracted to her. If I were going to tell Anna that I had a crush on her, it would have to be when my dad wasn't around.
Eventually my dad went home, and Anna invited me to come over to her home. That fit perfectly in with my plans, so to Anna's home we went.
"Anna, who's your friend?" Anna's mother asked when we entered the kitchen.
I dunno, but somehow, I was expecting Anna's parents to have a mystical look about them. Anna's mother looked like a typical suburban housewife. Okay, she looked too young to have a teenage daughter, but that could just be good genetics.
"This is Candice," Anna told her mom, "She's a normal who needs my protection."
"What sort of protection? Is it the sort of thing that would put your father and I at risk?"
"Mom," Anna whined indignantly, "I wouldn't have brought her here if I thought it would put you and Dad in danger. Somebody has been invading her dreams."
"Wait," I said, "What's a normal? Have I just been insulted?"
Both mother and daughter gave me a thoughtful look and finally Anna replied, "It's the opposite of a paranormal. Witches and wizards and all other practitioners of magic are paranormals. Ordinary humans with no magical abilities with no magical abilities are normals."
I blinked twice, trying to think of some witty response and then I said, "You don't call ordinary people like me muggles?"
Both Anna and her mother laughed and then Anna responded, "Muggle is a term from the Harry Potter books. That's fiction."
And then Anna's mother added, "Real witches have their own vocabulary for describing such things."
Anna's mother then turned to her daughter and said, "You haven't known her for very long, have you?"
"I just met her this morning," Anna explained, "I haven't taught her all the stuff I taught you."
"Taught?" I asked as I looked from one woman to another, "There's stuff I'm supposed to be taught? Is there going to be a test later?"
With an amused smirk on her face, Anna's mother explained, "Not long after Anna joined a coven, she spent several weeks explaining things to us, things like spells, rituals, vampires, succubi, panikmachen and the like."
"Wait! What?" I exclaimed, "Vampires are real?"
"Calm down," Anna cautioned, "Take it one step at a time. You can't learn it all in one day."
"And panikmachen?" I asked, "What's a panikmachen?"
"It's a type of sentient non-human," Anna replied, "Most of the time it looks human, but it feeds off your emotions."
"It feeds off fear," Anna's mother corrected, "That's the only emotion Panikmachen feed off. They'll do all sorts of horrific things to keep their victims terrified."
"Geez, mom," Anna protested, "Doesn't Candice have enough to be afraid of already? Stop with the scary talk!"
"I'm just telling her what you told me," her mother replied defensively.
Anna then placed one arm around my waist and a hand on my shoulder. Her hands on my body felt comforting and warm. There was an invigorating tingle as I enjoyed the physical contact and Anna admonished her mother, "Mom, you've scared off one of my friends already. Let me keep this one."
I decided that I liked being held by Anna and wanted her to keep doing it. I gently reached out to her and pulled her in slightly closer. She even smelled nice, like strawberries, I breathed in her scent and had to resist an urge to snuggle her and bury my face in her neck.
"Yeah, don't scare me off," I said, echoing Anna's sentiments, "I only just met your daughter today. There'll be plenty of opportunities to frighten me when Halloween rolls around."
My heartbeat quickened as Anna's body moved in closer to mine and we almost hugged. I marveled at the intensity of my emotions for her, realizing that it was weird for me to have a crush on a girl, but not caring about the newness or the strangeness of the situation. Being close to Anna excited me and made me happy, so I urged my brain to shut up and stop over-analyzing things.
"Fine," Anna's mother said brusquely, "but come late October, I get to tell you everything I know about vampires and other predatory things that go bump in the night."
Late October was about five months away. I wondered just how deeply I could embed myself into Anna's life by then. I was hoping to go pretty deep. Was she a lesbian? I was desperately hoping that she was. It was probably rude to come right out and ask Anna about her sexuality immediately after meeting her, but maybe it would be okay if I waited a week and then asked her? I wasn't sure about the social conventions in matters like this.
Anna and her mother wrapped up their conversation and then Anna led me back to her bedroom. I allowed Anna to precede me down the hallway and kept my eyes riveted to the curves of her ass as I walked behind her. I felt like a pervy teenage boy as I fixated on the movements of her firm, rounded backside, but I decided I could probably forgive myself.
If you saw Anna's backside you'd understand. Her skinny jeans did nothing to hide the perfection of her firm, tight butt. As she walked, the way her glutes moved hypnotized me. There was a graceful beauty to the way her buttocks moved as she walked. Her buttocks beckoned to me. It was almost as if her bottom was deliberately attempting to seduce me without Anna's knowledge.
I spent four years in Fairhaven High surrounded by girls wearing bicycle shorts, leggings, miniskirts, and yoga pants, and not once was I ever tempted to stare at another girl's ass.
But with Anna, I found myself incapable of looking away.
"So, how did you become a witch?" I asked after Anna let me into her room. I wasn't especially interested, but she had almost caught me staring at her ass and I needed to redirect her attention before she noticed where my eyes had been focused.
"Oh, that was all Beth's doing," Anna replied as she led me deep into her room.
"Beth?" I asked.
"Beth Blackwell," Anna explained, "She's the leader of our coven. When we first met, I thought she was just a crazy, old woman. It turns out she knew I had scads of mystical potential before I ever did."
"How could she know?" I asked, "I mean if you didn't know?"
Anna gestured wildly with her hands and said, "No matter where we are, we are always surrounded by metaphysical energy...think of it as a giant web that has wrapped itself around the entire planet. Well, normals can walk through that web as if it isn't even there. They don't disturb a single strand. With me so far?"
I nodded my head in the affirmative.
"Well, people like me can't walk through the web without disturbing it. Even when I didn't know how to cast spells or weave protective wards, my mere presence in the web caused ripples and pulses that could be sensed miles away by an experienced practitioner like Beth."
"Oh," I said, getting a feeling that Beth Blackwell was more like a predatory spider chasing down her prey than a teacher seeking out a student.
Finally, I added the words, "Beth Blackwell sounds scary."
"Oh, you have no idea," Anna replied, "but at least she's on our side."
"So, you have a scary leader."
"Scary, yes," Anna replied, "But also smart, brave, resourceful and loyal. And she's a great teacher. In my opinion, Beth Blackwell is one of the best coven leaders in America."
It turns out that Beth Blackwell taught Anna how to cast glamours, make potions, enter other people's dreams and a few other esoteric skills. Beth Blackwell may be scary as fuck, but Anna considered her to be a mentor and someone worthy of her respect.
"Let me show you something," Anna said and then she went to a large wooden chest and unlocked it. Inside there were multiple shelves. Upon those wooden shelves were jars, bottles, and test tubes of liquids I couldn't identify.
She then pulled out a small bottle that contained an amber-colored liquid and she held it up to the light.
"This is a potion that Beth taught me how to make," as she held it up and gestured melodramatically with her left hand, "It's going to help immensely when I enter your dreams tonight."
"Really?" I asked, my curiosity got the better of me and I stared at the amber liquid and with the light reflecting off the glass bottle. It looked mystical to my eyes.
"What's it called?"
"Iunctio poculum," she replied, still holding a dramatic pose as she displayed her potion, "It will help join our minds together. When dreamwalking there are a multitude of problems that can occur to separate a dreamwalker from the person she's trying to follow. This potion will make it almost impossible for us to be separated."
According to Anna we would each have to take a large swig of the potion and for approximately twenty-four hours, our minds would be joined. It would almost be like telepathy in that we would sometimes be able to sense each other's thoughts, memories, and emotions.
I was a little worried about Anna being able to read my thoughts. What if she learned something personal and embarrassing about me? I voiced my concerns to Anna, but she assured me that this was necessary for safety reasons. She couldn't protect me in my dreams if we got separated.
"Just think of me as your doctor," Anna said as she held the potion up higher, "Doctors are bound by doctor/patient confidentiality. Anything I learn while we're joined will be held in the strictest confidence. I won't tell anyone what I've learned unless you tell me it's okay to do so."
I looked into Anna's face and the expression on her face looked so friendly and welcoming. I'd only known her for a few hours, but she seemed extremely trustworthy and helpful. I decided to trust her, and I took a swig of her potion.
The potion tasted awful. It was like licking the underside of a garbage truck. Next, Anna took a swig of the potion. I could tell from the look on her face, she wasn't fond of the taste either.
"Okay, so what was that potion made out of?" I asked, "motor oil and cigarette ash?"
Before she could answer, I discovered that the potion worked both ways. I had been concerned about Anna accessing my thoughts and memories. I totally glossed over the possibility that I might have access to her thoughts and memories as well.
A memory from Anna's childhood flooded smoothly into my mind as if it were the most natural thing in the world for another girl's memories to be in my head.
She was about ten or eleven years old. She was skateboarding down a hill on Strauss Lane. She was enjoying the adrenaline rush as she accelerated with exhilarating speed and she rocketed faster and faster as she got closer to the bottom of the hill. Then, she unexpectedly lost her balance, fell off her skateboard and skinned both knees.
Then, she retrieved her skateboard, got back on it, and fearlessly accelerated again.
Damn, Anna was a tough, little kid.
Just as I was enjoying that memory, it was pushed aside by another memory. Anna was fourteen years old and she came out to her mother as a lesbian. She was fearful of her mother's reaction and so she strategically waited until they were in a public place, thus reducing the risk of her mother making a scene.
"You're not mad, are you?" Anna asked her mother, and then a maternal smile blossomed on her mother's face.
Then her mother responded, "No, darling. I'm proud you feel enough confidence in yourself to be who you are."
Memories flowed into my head from Anna's past, each one giving me insights into her character. And the more I learned about Anna's character, the more I liked her. She was brave, tenacious, congenial, and filled with intellectual curiosity.
When the flood of memories slowed to a trickle, I smiled at her and she smiled back at me.
"So, you have a crush on me," she said. It wasn't a question. She knew exactly how I felt about her.
"Yeah," I admitted, "I don't normally do that. It normally takes me a long time to warm up to people, and even then, I don't want to kiss them."
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