Hey baby girl.
My body tensed up at the voice echoing around my head.
I closed my eyes and took several deep breaths before I responded.
What do you want Lucas?
My voice was harsh, maybe needlessly so. But I couldn’t help it. My ex-boyfriend’s voice in my head was jarring.
He was doing it on purpose, I knew that. I wasn’t sure why I hadn’t shut him out completely yet.
We need to talk. His voice had changed. It had become brisk, hard, flint-like.
He could feel my annoyance. He could feel my hurt.
I’m on my way. My telepathic voice was resigned, and Lucas must have felt like I had smacked him.
He pulled away quickly, leaving my mind thankfully, painfully, empty.
Lucas was waiting for me at our favorite Chinese restaurant in downtown Chicago.
He had already ordered my pork fried noodles and egg rolls, but there was no food in front of him.
Lucas hadn’t spotted me yet where he sat at the window of the shop, looking down at his hands that were folded on the table.
It was always hard seeing my soul tie, knowing that our relationship was broken beyond repair.
Lucas and I had spent three amazing years together. Finding your soul tie is a blessing that many people do not get. And the knowledge of that was what had driven our relationship forward.
We had known we were lucky to have found one another. We had known that there would be no second chances.
That knowledge, which we had clung onto so desperately, had colored the reality of our relationship.
Until the day we could no longer lie to ourselves.
The breakup had been ugly. And painful.
But he was my soul tie, and he would never leave my life. Large physical distances between soul ties were not recommended.
So we couldn’t help that.
My breath hitched in my throat when I walked into the restaurant and slid into the red, plastic chair across from him.
When we were together, breathing had been extremely easy. Now that we were apart, I could barely take a breath.
His face was haggard and tired when he looked up at me. There was a slight bruise underneath his right eye, and there were cuts all over his large brown hands.
I wanted to question him, I needed to question him. Every instinct that I possessed screamed at me to get up and comfort him. To use my magic to heal him.
But I forced myself to remain seated and I started tucking into my food.
“Why did you call me?” My voice betrayed me. It cracked and rippled over the words, and I bit my lip to stop myself from screaming.
He didn’t make a wisecrack, didn’t smile, didn’t even smirk. Instead, Lucas looked up at me, then sniffed and ran a hand through his hair.
“I need your help,” he started. Then he stopped, swallowing. Like he was steeling himself for my rejection.
But he was asking me anyway.
I could feel his desperation through the soul tie bond.
“I need your help. Because you’re the only one who can help me. And if you don’t help me, I’m going to die.”
The doorway to Lucas’s pocket dimension was in the bean.
Cloud Gate was several miles away from the Chinese restaurant, and Lucas and I walked there.
I noticed that he was having difficulty walking right away. And when I focused on my own body, I noticed shards of pain trembling in my right leg.
I was perfectly healthy, so I knew the pain was vibrating all the way through the soul tie bond.
“Hey, stop.” The words spilled from me in an order, and he stopped obediently.
I don’t think he could have done anything else. When I looked at him, his face was so haggard that it looked as though he was about to fall apart.
Misery radiated from him, so palpable that it made me feel slightly nauseas.
I closed the small distance between us, and placed my hand on the inside of his wrist.
It still burned when we touched, and I watched his eyes flutter close as I traced charms onto his skin.
Charms of healing, charms of protection, charms of love.
When it came to Lucas, I couldn’t choose the charms that came from me.
Any time I used a charm, it was always specific to the person I was charming.
And I still loved Lucas, even though I wanted to swallow down the feelings that I was choking on.
But it was clear he needed a little love right then.
When his eyes opened again, he wasn’t looking at me. Instead, his eyes looked brighter, and there was a new air of determination around him.
He still struggled to walk as we came up to the underside of Cloud Gate. It was close to midnight in Chicago, and the place was deserted.
Lucas was walking with more energy now, but I had a feeling that the pain in his right leg was nothing that I could cure.
He whispered the words in his language when we walked up to the exact spot where the invisible doorway was.
I felt the air around us ripple and change as he spoke, and suddenly the silver underside of the bean shimmered. Lucas reached back to grab my hand, and I let him take it, ignoring the burn of my skin against his.
And together, we stepped into the pocket dimension that my soul tie called home.
The air became thicker as we walked through, and while I found it difficult to breathe, I could feel Lucas relaxing next to me.
Suddenly his hand left mine, and a painful pang of sadness shot through me. I had forgotten how it felt to have him close to me at all times.
It was never being alone. It was being blessed with an extra lung or another lobe to your heart.
Being with Lucas, with my soul tie, made breathing, eating, walking, easier.
I had been struggling since our breakup, and now, even the smallest contact between us lit my body up like a Christmas tree.
The room around us brightened, and I saw that we were in Lucas’s study. The large room looked exactly as it did, the last time I had been there.
I was pretty sure that the exact same files were scattered over the floor, as we crossed the room.
The study doors swung open as we neared them, and soon we were heading for the kitchen.
The only room of Lucas’s mansion that we both enjoyed being in.
“So,” I started, hurrying to catch up with him. “Why are you going to die? And why do you need my help?”
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