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The Feelings In the Valley of Ashes

This morning I said I was going to finish the scene I’d started a few days ago, and when I posted what I’d written in the morning, I said I’d finish it before moving on.  Well, guess what?  I did.  And I said I’d post those results today.  And a lady keeps her promise, so . . .

Here you go:  what happens after Emma tells Kerry she likes him.

 

(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)

She said nothing, only nodded. “I still like you.”

He nodded back. “I know.”

Emma wanted to move closer and touch him, take his hand if nothing else, but she remembered her attempt to woo him last year, and coming on to Kerry then had disastrous results, and she didn’t want a repeat of that event. “Is that all you’re gonna say? ‘I know’?”

Kerry stuffed his hands into his jacket’s pockets. “No, it’s not.”

“Then what?” She finally took a step closer to him. “I know you’re with Annie now, but—what about next year? You really think you’re going to be with her next school year?” She took a deep breath. “It’s not like you’re married to her: we could date once in a while.”

He shook his head. “I’m not going to cheat on Annie—”

“That’s not cheating. I’m just saying . . .” She took another step towards Kerry. “I just think we could go into Salem once in a while. Or even—” She looked around. “We don’t have to be back to the school until this afternoon—”

Kerry shrugged. “We’ll be back this afternoon.”

“That’s not what I mean. We could alway stop somewhere—”

“We are somewhere, Emma.”

Dammit, Kerry.” She clenched her fists as she looked skyward. “You’re so frustrating at times.”

He stood staring at her for about ten seconds, his hand remaining in his pockets and his face impassive. “Didn’t you ever wonder why I don’t say anything about—” He croaked out the words in a low, unemotional tone. “Us?”

Emma considered moving another step closer to Kerry, but the way he just spoke had her quickly reconsidering that move. “No—why?”

“Because I don’t want to hurt you.” He seemed to steel himself against what he was about to say. “I don’t want to hurt your feelings.”

Her breathing slow slightly as she fought to urge to tell him he was being stupid. “Kerry—”

“Annie’s my soul mate, I—”

“Yeah, you say that all the time—”

Listen To Me.”

The last time Emma heard Kerry use that command a tone was when he used the Draught of Submission on Lisa. A shiver ran through her as she swallowed hard. “Okay.”

“Annie is my soul mate: I don’t just love her, I’m committed to her. I’m bonded to her at a level you can’t ever understand.” He slowly dropped his hands to his side. “I don’t want to date anyone else. You wanna stop and get something to eat, or have a soda or something like that, fine: I’ll stop with you. But it’s not a date, Emma. It’s never gonna be a date.” He shook his head as he set his shoulders. “We’re never gonna date, okay?” He turned and began walking towards the Unisphere, his tone becoming lighter and less serious. “Come on, let’s get our pictures.”

Emma stood frozen in place for a few seconds as Kerry walked away. Her emotions were completely in flux at the moment, because she wasn’t certain how she should feel. First he’s passive, then commanding, and then . . . She clenched her jaw. He just dismissed me. “Hey.” Emma hurried after him. “Wait, Kerry.” He didn’t look around as she grew closer. “Okay, I get that you love Annie, ‘cause she’s probably the first girl you ever fell in love with. But you’re acting crazy. You don’t even want to think about dating, about other girls?” Her voice started to rise, and she didn’t care if anyone else heard her. “What is wrong with you? You’re twelve years old, and you talk like you’re married. Is that really it? Annie is the one? You talk like she’s the girl you’re gonna spend the rest of your life with—”

Kerry stopped and spun around. “Yes.”

Emma almost stumbled as she stopped. She blinked as if she didn’t understand what she’d just heard. “What?”

“I said yes.” He slowly folded his hands in front of him. “If I have my way, Annie’s the girl I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.” He didn’t take move his gaze away from Emma, who stared back almost opened-mouthed. “I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to upset you, and I figured that since we were flying together all the time you’d sort of dropped this—” Kerry’s exhale came out like a tire slowly losing air. “I like you Emma, but I don’t love you—there’s only one person I’m going to love, and that’s Annie. So you can love me all you like, but . . .” He barely shook his head. “I’m never gonna love you.”

Emma closed her eyes and held her breath for a moment. Kerry had to make a choice at some point and that time had come. He’d decided, and there wasn’t any doubt where his heart lay. She turned her gaze down and away for a few seconds, afraid she might cry—and she didn’t want him to see that. “I . . . I get it now.”

“I’m sorry, Emma. I really didn’t want to hurt you.” He looked away for a moment as well. “If you want to fly with someone else, I’ll understand.”

She slowly turned towards him. “You told me last year, and I didn’t listen. That’s my fault.” Emma snorted. “No; I don’t want another navigator. If we’re gonna do the Polar Express next year, I want the best one in our class.”

“And I wanna be with the best pilot.” He stepped up to her and held out his hand. “Friends still?”

Emma had two choices: she could remain friends with Kerry, or she could walk away and cut him out of her life. The second choice would be the easiest and least painful; the first would be hard and perhaps even miserable. Then again, I’m going to see him in almost every class, so either way, it doesn’t matter—

She shook his hand. “Friends. Always.”

“Okay, then.” Kerry looked as if he didn’t know what he was gonna do next before giving Emma a light hug. “I’m sorry I hurt you.”

She nodded slowly and held the hug so he couldn’t see her eyes misting. “I know.” She blinked hard and sniffed when she pulled away. “Annie’s lucky.”

“She’s not the lucky one—” He smiled. “I am.” He looked over his shoulder towards the looming Unisphere. “We should get our selfies.”

She nodded. “It’ll be nice. When we’re done, can we . . ?”

“Yeah?”

“Can we fly over Manhattan?” A slight smile finally came to Emma. “I’ve never been here and I’d like to see it from the air. Maybe even land in Central Park and grab something to eat?”

Kerry had expect Emma to say something on this trip, and he wasn’t disappointed. He’d expected her to take his news the wrong way, and so far he was surprised that she hadn’t freaked out or broke down. I hope it stays this way: I hope I haven’t ruined our friendship by dashing her hopes. “Yeah . . . I could stand lunch.”

 

And there you have it:  what finally happened between Emma and Kerry.  Emma seems okay–

Seems.

Seems.

–and from here on out we’ll just have to see what happens.  Won’t we?

Yes, we will.

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40 thoughts on “The Feelings In the Valley of Ashes

  1. Oh-Kay. That’s good enough for me. Dark aura disappears.

    Kerry should tell Annie what had just taken place. he should tell her that bitch wanted Kerry to two time her., or actually break up with her and date her instead. That bitch. Shameless. What would Kerry think of her, propositioning him like that ? Shameless girl. I’m furious. . her conversation is even worse than I imagined. Ack. Kerry should tell Annie. Seriously.

    • Kerry probably will, because he doesn’t keep that from her. But don’t expect Annie to do anything. Kerry was approached and he set her straight. If Emma does it again–then she should look out.

      • I really think he should. he owes it to their relationship, not to keep secrets like that. and to let Annie know the situation regarding Emma. Lisa had insulted Annie, and now Emma tried to talk Kerry into cheating on Annie witth her. Annie is being assaulted on 2 fronts. Annie has to know what’s going on. If Kerry doesn’t, he’s like protecting Emma who is all ready to ruin their relationship and hurt Annie.

        Because seriously Cassie, I don’t know what you’re going to do with Emma, but to me, I don’t think it will stop. Kerry should have taken Emma out as a wingmate.

        • You’ll see in the next scene. 🙂 The thing is, he really doesn’t want to fly with any of the guys, because–well, he’s Kerry. And it’s hard to say if any of the other girls would fly with him. They’re a good team and they will eventually need to learn to work together. And she’ll see him all the time anyway–and that Bulgarian Princess with him.

          By the way, did you like Emma’s picture? 😉

          • You intentionally chose a bad photo. I just saw her in a film clip , and she was so pretty in that pic. I thought as I was looking at her, how could Kerry resist ? And , he actually said, to her, I like you, but I don’t love you….. Like——> Love , given time, especially if the girl is so pretty , and in love with the guy. That’s what happens all the time. aaargh. Okay, okay, Kerry’s in love with Annie. But like Emma, I’m a bit cynical. Kerry’s just 12, she says, how can a 12 year old guy be able to sustain that ? He may want to date other girls (( like her, ofc ) just to ceck out if their relationship is the real thing,…. I mean, not at 12.

          • I chose the only photo of her I could find that had that look–otherwise I’d have gotten others. And the rest of hers from that movie, she’s pretty, but still–she’s not Annie.

  2. I still don’t think she completely understands – not because she can’t, but because she doesn’t want to. We’ll see what happens. Something tells me it won’t be the last time she tries to nettle her way in. I can still see her trying to step in if Kerry and Annie ever have a major fight.

    • That is exactly what I think. It’s because she doesn’t want to. And no, she won’t stop. The way she behaved here, I was like, what the heck was that all about ? She had the nerve to tell Kerry to break up already ? And why diid she ask if he was happy with Annie ? TThat was completely out of line.

      Just like Lisa, Emma does not feel empathy towards Kerry and Annie’s relationship. No delicacy whatsoever. Unbelievable.

      • They’re kids, and kids (while I believe can be more intelligent with decisions than adults) aren’t always the brightest. And in a way, I can see where Emma’s coming from. If a young boy told me the girl he was with was his soul mate, I’d scoff at him too because I’ve seen that too many times only to watch it fall apart.

        That said, this is a magical world and I’ve seen Kerry and Annie’s relationship bloom, and there’s more to it than Emma and Lisa and even the instructors will ever see – more than even Kerry or Annie will ever reveal. I think that’s part of the problem. Yes, Emma doesn’t want to understand, but something tells me even if she knew the whole story, she actually wouldn’t understand. It wouldn’t make sense to her.

        • They’ re kids. Re Emma, I think she knows more of reality than either Kerry or Annie. Annie had been closeted… Kerry had been alone before Salem.

          I always forget they’re just 12 and 13… I didn’t think of this stuff when I was their age, but thinking back, I do remember so many of my classmates were in a relationship of sort… but it was like now you see them , now you don’t… and I think Emma had seen that too. And that’s the reason why she doesn’t understand. It’s odd that she doesn’t… she lives in a magical world, she should know better.

          • She comes from a normal family, probably went to a normal school, like Kerry did. Her lack of understanding, despite being involved with a magical world now, is actually understandable to me for those reasons. Yes, Kerry did as well. I have a feeling he’d be like Emma, a non-believer, if he wasn’t going through it himself.

            Kerry and Annie do seem older than 12 and 13 sometimes. It’s a little surreal at times because they are so mature in a lot of ways, but then they do small things that remind me just how young they are – Annie’s on-going fight with Lisa for example and Kerry’s on-going persistence with Emma that he and Annie are the real deal.

            It’s going to be an interesting rest of the school year.

          • That’s true. Kids do this kind of bullying. It’s childish. But it doesn’t mean we can excuse them for their behavior.Annie did the right thing by nipping it in the bud. Annie happens to be a strong kid, Lisa’s unlucky , otherwise this kind of bullying can scar weaker kids for life. ( I told Cassie a gay classmate commited suicide because of relentless teasing and bullying . His death haunts me to this day . We should have protected him from those bullies. ) I mean , it seems the teachers are not taking any action , at all.

            For some reason, I can see Kerry stomping his foot as he’s trying to make Emma believe he and Annie are soulmates, and they’re going to be together forever. At any rate, I don’t know what else Kerry can do to make her stop pursuing him. Emma ‘s unusually thick-sknned and shameless . . A normal girl would back off and feel a bit embarrassed by a boy’s multiple rejections. I guess Emma’s obsessed with Kerry. That’s the only reason I can think of.

          • Annie and Lisa’s fued with each other is… weird in and of itself. While I realize Lisa is a bully, I don’t see her as bullying Annie more than she’s jabbing at her. We all know that if Lisa hits Annie, Annie will hit back. In my mind, those who are bullied never lash back. Silly, I know, but still.

            I’m sorry to hear about your classmate. I’ve heard similar horror stories, and I don’t know whether I should be sad that I haven’t experienced the same, or glad. In the end, I just feel awkward because I don’t know how I’d handle such situations because I’ve never been in such positions.

            I can see Kerry doing the same. lol And like you, I don’t know what else Kerry can do to make her back off – besides get mean, which is against his nature.

          • That’s bullying, too, and words hurt as much as physical bullying. I had a female schoolmate who was tormented day in and day out. The bullies would make gagging sounds , as if they were vomiting every time they saw the girl. If that happened to me, I ‘m sure I’d want to disappear from earth.

            Kerry’s too kind. Let Annie deal with Emma.

          • Lisa is poking the bear, and the little shit got slapped. You know who’s going to be next–

            Kerry does need to learn to get meaner. He’s very easy going right now, but then, he’s still a bit emotionally passive because that’s how he dealt with things before coming to Salem. And it’s hard to break that mold.

          • I’m hoping the third time’s the charm. Emma’s come at him twice. I know she will again. Maybe he’ll be meaner the third time. Or at least, mean enough she gets it.

          • He really doesn’t want to hurt her feelings, but he knows now if he wants to get his point across, he has to. This was a growing up moment for Kerry as well, because he’s not used to hurting other people. Except when he goes all Dark Witch on someone–that was why even he was a little freaked out at that moment.

          • There’s a reason they seem to act older than their age, and . . . one day I’ll mention why. Really, though, when Annie starts to dancing, you see the teenager in her come out.

          • But they are all still twelve, and full of crazy hormones, and dealing with what would be middle school bullshit, EXCEPT they’re all witches, and a few of them could kill you with a wave of their hand. Like Princess Bulgarian Buttercup.

        • Emma does have problems with Kerry saying, “It’s like I’ve known Annie all my life–” They’ve never talked about how they share dreamspace because, frankly, even Deanna isn’t sure (that’s in an upcoming scene). Like you said, even if Kerry could explain some of this stuff to Emma, she wouldn’t understand. Maybe in a couple of years when the classes going over stuff like this happens, but not now.

          • I think also that part of Emma’s problem lies in the fact that they’re all kids. I can see her thinking, “Surely he doesn’t mean forever.” She even said so. She can’t fathom them wanting to stay together forever because most kids their age aren’t thinking that way. They’re thinking the here-and-now. Not… a lifetime from now.

          • That’s EXACTLY what she’s thinking. “You’re twelve and you want to spend the rest of your life with this girl? *rolls eyes* Like, for real?” Emma doesn’t think in lifetimes, but we know Annie does: she’s already told Kerry she expects him to be with her 100 years from now. That’s some heavy shit to lay on a kid. Can you imagine when you were 12 and if some boy said, “You’ll be with me 100 years from now,” you’d have either swooned or ran like hell. 😉

          • But here, they’re talking about having a home in France and being together 100 years . . . part of it could be Kerry just hopelessly in love, but he buys into it so well. And Annie . . . she is dead ass serious. This is a girl who DEMANDED a house be built for her at nine. She KNOWS what she wants.

          • I envy both of them that actually. Annie’s ability to know EXACTLY what she wants. Kerry’s ability to fall so hopelessly in love that he can’t even see himself with anyone else. *sigh*

          • Yeah, they are a real loving couple. Annie has her eyes on the prize all the time, and Kerry does love her with all his heart. This is going to come up a lot in later stories.

      • That’s because she wants to go out with him! Annie’s all wrong, and she doesn’t even speak right English! Also–twelve. Adults aren’t always the smoothest of operators when it comes to being with someone else, so Emma–who’s never had a boyfriend–is lost when it comes to knowing how to handle this sort of thing.

          • I don’t necessarily want them to break up, but I’d like them to have issues with each other. At the moment, their relationship seems too… I don’t know… perfect? I love them as a couple and they compliment each other extremely well, but I want them to disagree and argue more – like normal couples. Ah, hell, what am I saying? They’re witches. There’s no such thing as normal. 😛

          • There’s actually something Kerry was going to say about his relationship not being normal because their witches and what’s normal, but it didn’t fit in. It may come up later.

            Kerry knows Annie’s right–and she knows it, too. It’s a perfect relationship. 🙂

      • Hey Annie ! That girl wants Kerry to break up with you and date her…. and he also wants Kerry to cheat on youuuuuu ! Catfight ! ! ( Kerry will be the referee. ) LOL

    • Kerry has told her many times that he likes her as a friend. She knows this, and here, it didn’t need to be reiterated. But, I mean–“We’re never going to date–” . . . “I’m never going to love you–” Maybe he should have left her smoldering body in the park and told Vicky there was an “accident”.

      I don’t know how much more definite he could say “We’re not going to be together,” than what he said. Kerry’s not a lawyer, so the words are gonna come as they come.

      • Is there a way Kerry could etch the words Not gonna love you, ever on Emma’s forehead? Like a tattoo ? Emmas obsessed. She had targeted Kerry as The One , and she clearly has never lost focus on the target. Also, it’s because she’s weird. No surprise there.

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