Pocket Watch Witches Ep. 28


As soon as he woke up, Dimitri asked me about testing my idea of seeing through his invisibility spell. I convinced him to eat breakfast first. He pretended to pout until he smelled the Caerulech toast in the skillet. His adorable smile broke through as he closed his eyes and inhaled deeply. I stepped over to the counter he sat on and kissed him. I only allowed myself a quick peck on his lips. If we repeated our last kiss in this position, our breakfast would definitely burn. 

Dimitri didn’t help assuage my temptation when he pulled a new romance book from his pajama pocket. When had he gotten that from the library? I woke up before him, and he hadn’t left my side since then. I considered asking but didn’t want to interrupt the story. These characters met at a Season’s Turning festival. They reached for the last mulled wine simultaneously and knocked it over. Their argument over who would pay for the wasted beverage became a flirtation. Dimitri’s voice turned sultry as he read that part. I could see this becoming a routine for us. 

It scared me how much I cared about him already, especially with Daniel taking a particular interest in him. I debated telling him not to take Daniel up on his offer for a storefront. As far as I could tell, Daniel only wanted good things for Dimitri. And Dimitri wouldn’t pull something shady like Cam did. They’d even seemed like friends at Club Grey Scale. Maybe it would be best to feel out what Dimitri thought of the offer before worrying him. 

“This is delicious,” Dimitri said, rushing through his food again. 

“Thank you,” I said. 

“Who taught you how to cook?” 

“My aunt. Everyone helped out around the house. I enjoyed cooking more than working the farm,” I told him. 

“Who else lived with you and your aunt?” he asked. 

“My mother until I was five, my uncle, and my three cousins,” I told him. 

“I’m sorry you’ve lost so many people,” he told me. 

“It’s part of life,” I said. 

“That can’t make it any easier,” he responded and put a hand over mine. He spoke like he’d never lost a family member before.

“I try to focus on the love I shared with them while I had them,” I said. He frowned. 

“That’s a nice thought,” Dimitri said, sounding detached. “I wish I had that.” 

“What do you mean?” I asked. 

“My parents gave me up after my birth registration,” he answered. 

“So you never knew your family?” 

“No, I looked them up in public record as a teenager. They had four other children and couldn’t afford another. In a way, I got lucky. If they could have afforded to keep me but not give me an academy education, they might have quelled my magic instead. Transferring guardianship gave me an opportunity they couldn’t have provided otherwise,” he explained. 

“They really take kids that early?” I asked. That could have happened to me if my mother had gone to the hospital. 

“Yeah, that way, they prevent us from ever using wild magic. I used to think they did it to save our lives,’ he said. 

“And they couldn’t even visit you?” I asked. It seemed cruel to sever the bond between family and child like that. 

“They could have,” he corrected my assumption. “I don’t know why they never did.” 

“Oh, Dimitri, I’m sorry,” I said. No wonder he couldn’t understand what losing a loved one is like. He’d never had one to lose. I wouldn’t trade memories of my family to be spared the pain of grieving them. 

“I’m okay,” he told me, forcing a smile. I let the subject go, but I twisted my hand to grip his while I finished eating. 

We went upstairs to Benjamin’s workshop. I’d meant to look him up but hadn’t found the time. At least Dimitri had told me his name, so I could stop thinking of him as Hugo’s son. I didn’t know if Hugo would approve of my interest in what happened to his son or of Dimitri and me using the workshop. Hugo had always believed in sharing what he had. I hoped he’d be happy that a new WatchCaster could use the space, especially one like Dimitri, who’d shown so much reverie for this house. 

“How should we start?” I asked. 

“Since the spell doesn’t remove the caster from people’s other senses, focusing on those might help,” Dimitri suggested. 

“Okay,” I said. 

Dimitri activated the spell and vanished. I swiped my hands out to grab him, but he no longer occupied the space. I heard him chuckle from a couple feet to the left. He’d moved, and my hands clutched at the empty air again. Swinging after him blindly clearly wouldn’t work. I held completely still and listened. I heard soft steps moving slowly past me. The sound stopped to my right, within arm’s reach. I waited a couple of seconds and didn’t hear him move again. When I reached out for him this time, my hands clutched his arms. 

“Good, now that you’ve confirmed where I am with another sense, use your magic and see if you can break through the spell,” he said. 

I called on my magic and thought about Dimitri’s invisibility spell. Nothing happened. Thinking about the spell wasn’t enough to break through it. I needed an association to give my magic purpose. I imagined Dimitri trying to see every detail of him from the moment before he vanished. Still, nothing happened. Maybe I needed to do more than just feel him under my touch. I sniffed the air and smelled a faint trace of his cologne. The spell held firm even as the image of Dimitri grew stronger in my mind. 

“It’s not working,” I told him. 

“What are you focusing on?” he asked. 

“I can feel you and smell your cologne. I have a clear image of you in my mind.” 

“Don’t think about me specifically. You’re trying to see past the spell no matter who is using it,” he advised. “What else can’t the spell hide?” 

I didn’t answer. Instead, I thought about discovering things and uncovering secrets. Those associations didn’t feel specific enough, though. My magic worked best with clear images and sensations rather than abstract concepts. I thought, racking my mind for what else the spell couldn’t hide. I could hear him, smell him, and feel him. We’d had something more between us from the first time we touched. I thought about the way our magic tangled together. He felt the energy when we touched, just like I did. The more I thought about that power, the more it warmed. I imagined it glowing with the heat. Swirls of light appeared on my skin, weaving together like vines. The light bloomed under my hands, revealing circular patterns in the air where Dimitri stood. His didn’t look like curving, interwoven plants. The overlapping circles held complex patterns. As I examined them closer, I realized they looked like the sigils WatchCasters traced as they pressed their magic into enchantments. 

Leave a Reply