The Wizard Heart
While showing the other kids around Eli's Fish House the office phone rang. Eli went into the office and answered the phone. His dad told him to get the others and bring them up to the house.
Eli locked up the fish building and along with the others headed up to the house. When they all got into the kitchen, the smell hit the kids hard. All you could hear were grumbling tummies.
Grandpa Gerald and Grandpa Max had made fresh brownies and were serving them with vanilla ice cream topped with fresh berries. Grandpa Gerald told the kids to sit at the table and they would get them their treat.
All the parents came into the kitchen enjoying a cup of coffee. David had been elected the spokesman for the parent group.
"I am sure Eli has told you guys why he asked you out here tonight, correct Eli?"
"Yes Sir. I told them when we were in the fish building."
"Good. Now Eli has something else to tell you all, but I need to talk to you before he does. It is very important that you all listen to me very carefully. Can you guys and young lady do that for me?" David asked.
Once everyone had either nodded or said yes in some way. David went on.
"Once Eli tells you what he wants too. You will need to be much more aware of your surroundings than you have been in the past. We, your parents, also want you to always be in pairs and not by yourself. Please keep an open mind to what Eli is telling you. Eli, I believe it is your turn." David said with a smile at his small son.
"Okay, well first off I really want to say that I am not trying to brag or anything like that. Like I said before I truly don't want to start any friendship on a lie." Eli took a really deep breath and let it out slowly. "Earlier today both Noah and Ryan told me what Class of Wizard they were. I didn't respond like I should have. My dad and I both let you all think that I was a Class V Wizard, but I am not. I really hope when you find out what my Class is that you will still want to be friends with me. I haven't had a friend for a long time. Okay, I need to quit stalling." At that point Eli decided to show them what Class he was by bringing the pan of brownies over to the table, without getting up. It was Mitch who figured it out, and he got into a little trouble for it.
"HOLY FUCKING SHIT! You're the Dexas!" Mitch yelled as the pan of brownies floated over his head.
"Mitch Allen Mills you are grounded. How dare you use that type of language?" Melonie yelled at her son. Even though she, along with the other adults were trying to hide their grins.
"I am sorry mom, but…"
"It's alright I will forgive you this one time."
"Are you the Dexas, Eli?" Noah asked his new friend.
"Yes I am, but I really hope we can still be friends." Eli told Noah. "Look, I am really not trying to show off. I just needed you guys to know. I don't plan on telling anyone else for hopefully a long time. There is a small chance that someone one the Council wants me dead, or at least wants to prevent the Dexas from coming forward. That is why we are keeping it quiet until I am stronger before I let them know about me."
"That is SO KEWL! My new be… new friend is going to be King!" Noah said before getting up and hugging Eli.
"So, what about the rest of you? Are you alright with what has been said and going to help?" Grandpa Max asked the group.
"Well, I am okay with knowing that Eli is the Dexas. I am worried that if someone comes after him, Squirt or Sissy will get hurt if they are near Eli. How can we protect those around Eli?" Mitch asked with worry in his voice as he looked over at his younger brother.
"We all will be keeping an eye out for any dangers. Both your Uncle Ron, as well as Mr. Hunt will have the school covered. I will make sure everyone stays safe on the outside, but I will need the help of all of you. I will more than likely have Parker shadow or escort them wherever they go. How about you Nora, are you alright?"
"Yeah, I think it is great Eli is the Dexas. I will help protect him." The young lady told the group.
"Me, too! I will keep my eyes open and help in any way possible. You are my friend Eli, this doesn't change that, but you telling us makes us trust you even more than we already did. Can I get some more ice cream?" Ryan said, while all the adults started laughing.
After the kids had their fill of the deserts, the Mills and the Martin's left for the evening as well as the older family members.
Eli didn't have any homework, and David was all caught up for now. That didn't stop either of them from having work to do. David had Eli outside working almost until bedtime on his training. Eli was mastering his Gifts at an alarming rate and David was sure Eli would be ready to take on the Council if the time came before he wanted it to.
After Eli was in bed for the night, David asked Sherry if she would like to sit out on the back patio and visit. They talked about everything from their childhoods to their college years. They both expressed their hopes and dreams for Eli, which were surprisingly similar. While drinking coffee and enjoying the evening, neither had realized just how late it had gotten.
Eli had come down to the kitchen to get a drink of water and saw them setting out there talking. He looked at the clock and saw that it was around 3:30 am. He walked over to where David was sitting and climbed up into his lap surprising both David and Sherry.
"Hey little buddy, what are you doing up? I thought you went to bed a while ago?" David asked the half asleep boy in his lap.
"I woke up thirsty and came down for a drink. I saw you and Mom out here talking and was wondering why you were sitting outside at 3:30 in the morning?" he tiredly told his new dad.
"Oh man, I didn't realize it was that late. We, I mean, I should really try to get some sleep or the kids will run me over tomorrow. Come on little buddy, give your mom a hug and I will take you up to bed." David waited while Eli hugged his mom. "Sherry, thank you for a very pleasant evening. I will see you in the morning." David said as he led Eli into the house.
Eli rode to school with David the next morning. Once they were at school they went their separate ways, David to the staff meeting and Eli to the cafeteria where all the kids stayed until the first bell.
Eli was very surprised when all the kids who were in the cafeteria started clapping as soon as he walked in. At first he was afraid someone had said something about him being the Dexas, but that was soon put to rest.
"Way to go Eli, thanks for helping to get rid of the wicked witch. We are all glad she is gone!" Said one of the football players.
Eli made his way over to where Noah and Nora were sitting with Ryan. As he sat down Nora looked at him a bit weird.
"Eli, you have to eat, what do you want and I will go and get it for you?" She more told him than asked.
"I already ate. Dad said he wouldn't have time to eat today due to the staff meeting so we had breakfast at home. Honestly the more we can do that the better, because that looks horrid!" Eli said pointing to her plate. Everyone at the table started laughing.
The four of them were still joking around when Jeremy, Evan and Stacy came over and joined them. Evan and Stacy were talking to each other and Jeremy just put his head down.
"Hey Bud, what's wrong with you?" Ryan asked his friend. "I thought you would be stoked seeing how Jessie is coming home today."
"I am excited about that, but I got an email back from EFH last night saying there was a problem shipping my order due to the small town I lived in. They said they would have to research different options to see if the order would be able to be filled. As of right now the order is on hold."
Eli was scared one of them would say something about him being the owner of EFH, so he pushed as hard as he could with his thoughts towards Noah and Nora, DON'T TELL HIM I OWN EFH!
"OW Damn!" Noah said while Nora grabbed her head.
"What's wrong with you two?" Stacy asked.
"Just got a headache all of a sudden." Nora said.
"You know twin thing, I felt her pain." Noah said while glaring at Eli.
"I still think it is weird how you two can do that." Stacy said.
"Jeremy did they tell you how long it would take to get an answer?" Ryan asked while giving Eli a side look.
"No, the E-mail just said they were looking into options."
I need to get his cell phone number; can you get that for me? Eli thought to Noah a lot softer this time.
"Hey, Eli, we all should exchange numbers with you now that you're joining our group. Why don't you give us your cell number, and we will all text you our name, that way we all have each other's numbers." Noah said like he had a great idea.
Eli told the group his cell number, while they were all putting it into their own phones. One by one they each texted Eli their name so he would have their numbers. Once they all had the numbers stored in the phone they started talking about plans for the rest of the week and what they wanted to do on the weekends. Someone asked if Eli was going to join them.
"I am not sure I will be able to, we are having visitors, plus I have to work this weekend." Eli told them.
"Wait, you mean you have a job? You can't have a job, you're too young. It's against child labor laws or something for kids our ages to have jobs!" Evan said getting a little loud.
"Well, I do have a job to do, don't know if it is against the law or not, but I have been working for several years now." Eli told him.
"That is not cool! Hey, Dr. Martin, did you know that Eli has a job, and has been working for several years? Isn't that against child labor laws or something?" Evan called out as Dr. Martin was walking by.
"I wasn't aware that Eli was working, however, there are many types of jobs that younger people can have that do not violate the child labor laws, such as, being a performer, working on a farm, working for family, working for yourself, or doing volunteer work. It all depends on what the child is doing and how long they are doing it for on whether or not it violates child labor laws. Eli, do you fall into one of the exemptions I have mentioned?" Dr. Martin explained to the group before asking Eli.
"Yes Sir, I work for family." Eli told him without going into the fact the family he worked for was himself.
"See Evan; that is one type of job he can have at his age. Ryan, can I speak with you a moment?" Dr. Martin replied before walking away.
After the two Martin men walked away, Eli got Noah's attention and they headed to class.
While walking to their lockers, Eli assured Noah that he would take care of Jeremy's order. While Noah was getting his books out of his locker, Eli made a call.
"Eli's Fish House, this is Matt, how may I help you?" Uncle Matt answered the phone.
"Hi Uncle Matt, this is Eli."
"Hi Eli, and I do know your voice. Now, why are you calling me when you should be in class?"
"That local order we got, the one we put on hold?" Eli asked his Uncle.
"Yes, I have been looking into several different options, and I do think I came up with one, but it would be a little pricy. My suggestion would be to contact the buyer and see if they would be willing to cover the extra shipping cost."
"We aren't going to ship the order. I have decided that I am going to ask them to come out to the farm and choose their ray themselves."
"Eli, I am not sure that is a good idea. It could set a president that might not go over very well with the insurance company."
"I know Uncle Matt, but if it was a friend coming over to my house to see my fish they wouldn't have a problem with it, correct?"
"Well, no, I guess they couldn't say anything about that if it wasn't a customer coming to do business with you. Eli, what are you up to?" Uncle Matt asked with concern in his voice.
"I just found out that the person who placed the order is one of my friends. He has been waiting for over a year to place this order, waiting for his sister to get well. She has bone cancer, and she is coming home from the hospital today, in full remission. I was thinking that because getting this ray means so much to both of them, due to a promise, that I would invite the two of them out to the farm, and let them choose the ray they want, and give it to them as a gift."
"Eli I think that is a great idea. But, what is this promise you spoke of? It might make giving them the ray as a gift a problem if it negates the promise."
"I didn't think about that. I will talk with Ryan and ask him what he thinks. He knows Jeremy a lot better than I do. Thanks Uncle Matt. I got to get to class."
Eli had to rush to class to avoid being late. All during class he thought about what his uncle had said to him. Would Jeremy get upset if I offered him a free ray, or should I offer him a 'friend discount'? Noah had noticed his new friend was very distracted and was starting to worry about what was bothering him. As soon as class was over Noah stopped Eli from leaving to ask what was going on.
"Hey, you okay?"
"Yeah, sorry I was just thinking about what Uncle Matt said about Jeremy's order. I told him I was going to offer him one of the rays for free, but Uncle Matt said I should try to find out more about the promise he made to his sister so I didn't hurt his feelings or make him mad. I just don't know what to do." Eli told his friend.
"Let's see if Ryan can ask his dad to pull Evan out of class, then we can ask him without anyone knowing we were asking."
"But, Evan doesn't know I own it! Won't he tell Jeremy the truth about it?"
"Nope. If it would make Jeremy happy, Evan would cut off his own arm. If it would keep him from getting upset Evan will keep quiet about you owning EFH. Let's find Ryan and ask him to talk to his dad." And the two boys ran ahead to their next class where they would find Ryan.
Ryan did agree to talk to his dad and see if he could pull Evan in during lunch so the boys could talk to him. Eli was nervous all morning thinking about what Evan would do or say about the info he was going to be telling.
"Hey, don't fret! All of us are friends with each other, and that includes you. No one is going to get upset you didn't tell them about EFH. If you had come in telling everyone you own your own company everyone would have thought you were bragging and thinking you were better than all of us. But you didn't do that, instead you were worried we would think you were doing that so you're afraid of telling us. That will show them you don't think you are better then all of us, you just know something more than we do and work hard at something." Noah told his friend.
"Wow, thanks Noah. I hadn't thought of it that way. At that moment his Grandpa Max's words came back to him.
"The job o f the Maxus is to advise you, something that both you and that person would need to work out just what advise you need. It could be a simple as just someone to talk to and tell ideas back and forth so you can work out a problem."
Maybe Noah would be his Maxus. He would have to think on that one for a while. He felt that this was something that wasn't like a job, where if you weren't able to do the job you were hired for you would be fired. There was something about the way Grandpa Max had told him about the different positions he would need to fill that let him know these were lifetime jobs. And to decide on one of the positions on the second day of knowing them just didn't seem right.
Eli remembered that his new dad had told him that it would be at least two months maybe up to six months before he would be ready to face the Wizard Council, so he felt he had the time to make sure the positions that Grandpa Max told him about were the right person for the job.
Before Eli even knew, it was time for lunch. The intercom in the room crackled to life with the office asking Evan to come to the office. Eli knew it was almost time. As soon as the bell rang, he and Noah headed to the office. When they got there they saw Evan sitting there with his head down. Eli felt really bad for making his new friend think he was getting into trouble. Finally Dr. Martin came out of his office and asked the three boys to join him.
"Have a seat boys. I asked you here today, Evan, at the request of the boys here with you. So, with that being said, Eli, Noah the floor is yours." Dr. Martin said before leaning back in his chair.
Eli took a deep breath getting ready to start. But, Noah beat him to it.
"First off Evan, I need you to promise that everything said here will stay here until Eli determine that it is alright to talk about it. This is really important to us. We have asked you here to talk about Jeremy, more importantly his promise to his sister about ordering his stingray." Noah started the conversation.
"What Noah isn't saying is that EFH, as Jeremy calls is stands for 'Eli's Fish House, which I own. I really don't want everyone knowing about it though."
"Oh My God! He is going to freak out when he finds out, but wait, you canceled his order! Why would you do that?" Even said starting to get upset.
"I didn't cancel the order, I put it on hold due to shipping issues. Turns out that we can't ship overnight to the same town. The order would have to go to the depot before coming back. That would raise the risk of killing the pup. But, what I need to know is, what is the promise that Jeremy made to his sister regarding the stingray?"
"Well, when he first started talking about getting one, his dad told him that he would have to earn the money himself to get it. Well, Jessie helped him earn some of the money by doing some of his chores so he could do odd jobs in his neighborhood, like mow yards, or shovel snow. So when Jessie got sick, he promised her he wouldn't order the stingray until she was all better because it was to be theirs together."
"So, a big part of this whole promise is the fact they earned the money together through teamwork?" Noah asked.
"Yes! Jeremy told me that if Jessie didn't get better that he would never spend a penny of that money, it wasn't his to spend."
This gave Eli all the info that he needed. He now knew how to handle the whole situation, but he did have one other question.
"Does Jeremy have any other brothers or sisters?" Eli asked.
"No, why?" Evan asked.
"I was just trying to make sure I have all the info I needed to take care of things from my end. Please do not tell Jeremy anything about this. I will tell him in my own time." Eli told him.
The boys all rushed down to the lunch room and joined the others at the normal table. They all got razzed for getting called to the principles' office, even by Ryan.
Eli had no problems getting his lunch today, and quickly ate it. His mind was going one hundred miles an hour thinking about everything that was going on. Eli looked around and saw his dad looking at him. He could just tell his dad was worried about him so he pushed his thoughts out to him that he was alright.
I am alright dad. Just thinking about a few things Eli pushed.
*WAIT WHEN DID YOU START TO BE ABLE TO DO THIS? David thought back.
OW! Not so hard Dad! Just think what you want to send to me!
sorry I have never done this before David send back
but you're a twin
Steven and I have never had this type of connection
Eli thought about this and then asked then why do we?
it must be the Mintanka kicking in David sent
"Eli? Earth to Eli?" Stacy started waving her hand in front of him calling his name.
"Oh sorry, I was talking to my dad. What's up?"
"Eli, how were you talking to your dad, he is all the way across the lunch room?" Stacy asked.
"I meant that I was thinking about what I needed to talk to him about. Sorry." Eli rushed to cover his mistake.
"Well, that makes a whole lot more sense. If we can all get together around your work schedule, do you think you might be able to go with us this weekend? We were talking about maybe going to a movie on Saturday."
"I will have to check with my parents. I know that my Uncle Stephen and his family are coming up to visit, and they are bringing my foster cousin, who I have to spend time with because of the Judge, but other than that I don't know what is going to be going on." Eli told the group.
"Wait, why would you have to spend time with him because of a Judge?" Jeremy asked.
"Well, he was the one who started everyone picking on me and doing all the mean stuff to me when I was about 6. When he was hurt and after he found out that his dad was killed, he was placed into foster care with my new Uncle Stephen and Aunt Karen. He told the hospital psychologist what he had done to me and that we were now going to be cousins. She told the Judge that it wasn't a good idea unless I forgave him for what he did to me, so now the Judge has said that if I don't forgive him and write a letter to the Judge saying that I have, then Cody will be placed with a different foster family or go to some group home." Eli tried to explain.
"WOW that sucks!" Everyone said at the same time which caused the whole table to start laughing.
"Well, not really because I have already forgiven him, but I don't trust him. I will have to see what happens this weekend. Maybe if he feels up to it we can invite him to go with us to the movie?" Eli told his new friends.
"Hey, that would be a great idea. We could all help feel him out to make sure he isn't going to bully you." Ryan said getting excited.
"Wait, weren't you going to Edgerton this weekend with Noah and his dad?" Evan asked.
"Yep, and we thought we would take the whole gang with us. Dad said he wouldn't have a problem with that, and would take one of the big vans so we could all go. Eli has never been there, and I am sure that his cousin hasn't either, so it would be fun." Noah told the group.
"Well, I will have to check with my parents, I am sure they wouldn't have a problem with it, but with Jessie just coming home from the hospital, I am not sure they will allow me to go." Jeremy spoke up.
"Well, I am in for sure, as is Noah, what about you Nora and Stacy?" Ryan asked.
"I am in." Nora told them.
"I am in too, as long as Evan goes. I know if we stay home we will be cleaning the garage. Aunt Erin said that she wanted it done this weekend if we didn't have anything else going on. I really don't want to be the only one there doing it with her." Stacy told the group.
"I will talk to my parents tonight and let you guys know first thing tomorrow." Eli started to say before being interrupted.
"So, you're the little twerp who got my dear old Grandmother thrown into jail?" The larger kid said standing right behind Eli.
Eli knew he could call out for his Dad, but he also knew if he wasn't going to get picked on in this school then he was going to have to stand up for himself.
"I am not a twerp, little yes, and for your information, I did nothing to get anyone arrested. I wasn't the one who made a sign, or refused to give food to a student, or the one who called students nasty names. I also wasn't the one who videoed the whole thing and sent that video to the principle and sheriff. So, if you are here to beat me up, then go right ahead." Eli said while standing up from the table and turning to face the larger 8th grader.
"Well, Twerp, my name is Chad Dawson and Mrs. Johnson is my grandmother. But, just so you know, I am glad about what happened. I am tired of her being all over me because I am not the quarterback or a starter on the basketball team. I just wanted to let you know that I have no hard feelings about what happened. If you ever need help, just let me know!" Chad told Eli then stuck his hand out for Eli to shake.
Eli was shaking the larger boys hand when David and Dr. Martin walked up.
"Boys is there a problem here?" Dr. Martin asked the group.
"No Sir, Chad was just making sure that I knew he wasn't holding any kind of grudge because of what happened yesterday to his grandma." Eli said.
"Well, that was very nice of you Chad. I am glad we won't be having any issues from here on out." Dr. Martin said.
"No Sir, no issues what so ever. I told Eli here that I was kind of glad this all happened. She really isn't a nice person!" Chad told the two adults.
David could tell this was a young Wizard who wasn't getting his training like he should be. This is something he would have to be looking into. Maybe he should just tell the Monco what he is seeing. He pulled Eli off to the side where he could talk to him without any one over hearing them.
"Eli, I came over to tell you about after school. Deputy Parker, whom you met yesterday, is going to pick you, Noah, and Nora and take you over to the Sheriff's Department and then Sheriff Mills will take you back out to the house. I have several meetings I must be at, so I can't take you home tonight. Is that alright with you?" David told Eli.
"Yeah, dad, that is alright. But, does Deputy Parker know about me?"
"No, and I would like it to stay that way for now. I am sure that we will tell him in a few days, but I would really like to get some things done first." David told his son.
"Okay, Dad. Is there anything I need to be working on?"
"Well, you won't be able to use any Gifts while at the station. There are Inhibitors installed to prevent anybody from using their Gifts to get out of jail. So you will just have to do your homework until Sheriff Mills can take you out to the farm." David told him.
"No problem Dad. That will give me more time to be with my fish!" Eli said giving David a quick hug.
The rest of the school day went off without a hitch. Eli, Noah, and Nora were waiting by the front door when Deputy Parker Evans arrived. The three kids ran out to his sheriff's cruiser.
"Hey guys and gal. I am your taxi today, but don't get used to it! When we get to the station, you will be placed into a holding cell until your parents can come collect you. Just because your parents might be big shots, do not for one second think that you will be receiving any special treatment."
For a moment Eli was afraid that Deputy Evans was for real, but that was broken by Nora.
"Yeah Right Parker! You even think about putting us into a holding cell you will regret it! You know the only thing Daddy is scared of in the whole county is Momma, what do you think she would do to you if you put us in a dirty cell?"
"Well, there you go then! For your information I had all the cells cleaned just yesterday, so I won't be putting you into a dirty cell. I really don't think she would have an issue with it, do you Eli?" Parker came back at Nora.
"Um, I don't really know their mom, so I do not know what she would or wouldn't do." Eli spoke in a small voice.
"Well, don't worry Eli, you will not be going into the holding cells. Just the two trouble makers!"
"You are really asking for it Parker! You know damn well we aren't troublemakers, unless you push us too far, and you are getting close to that now! If you don't want us to cause problems for you, then you shouldn't push me!" Nora told the Deputy.
Nora and Deputy Evan were still having a battle of wits when the four of them got to the Sheriff's department. As they were walking in, Noah asked Deputy Evans if there were any prisoners in the building. Parker told him that there were a couple but on the upper floors, the holding tanks were empty. Noah wanted to show Eli around in the holding area.
Parker let Eli and Noah into the holding area, but warned them not to go anywhere else. The whole time Noah showing Eli all around the holding area they were talking about their gifts. Noah was telling his new friend how he was always trying to use some of his gifts at the station even though there was an Inhibitor installed.
"Hey, I wonder if you could use any of your Gifts here. Seeing how there hasn't been a Class I for over a hundred years, they might not have them strong enough, heck I bet even a Class II or your dad might be strong enough to be able to use some of their Gifts even with the Inhibitors turned on. Why don't you try to use one of them, but do it small?"
"Alright, I will see if I can move that trash can over there." Eli responded pointing at an empty can.
Eli cleared his mind like his dad told him and thought really hard about what he wanted the can to do. At first the can did nothing, but after pushing even more the can slowly slid across the floor coming to rest about four feet from where it started. Eli had sweat beading on his forehead from the effort it took to move the can. But, before the boys could get excited, a loud alarm started sounding.
Several Deputies rushed into the holding area with their guns drawn. As soon as they saw the two scared preteens they holstered their side arms. Deputy Parker asked the boys what happened. They were trying to play dumb when they saw Sheriff Mills walk into the room.
"Sorry everyone, I tripped the alarm to mess with Noah. I didn't think to tell you all before, but I guess I will use this as the readiness test I needed for next month." Everyone laughed at what the Sheriff said.
After everyone had left the area except for the Sheriff, Deputy Parker, Noah, Nora and Eli, Sheriff Mills looked at the two boys wanting an answer to what happened.
"Alright, it's just us now, what the hell happened in here?"
"I am sorry dad it's my fault. I was telling Eli all about the Inhibitors, and we both tried to use a Gift. And before you know it, the alarm went off." Noah rushed to tell his dad.
"Well, we will have to have the Inhibitor checked by a tech, it shouldn't have gone off unless a Gift was successfully used. And unless one of you is a Class II, then we should be safe." Evan Parker told the group.
"Mr. Parker, none of us are a Class II, but I am a Class I. I hope you won't tell anyone that I am the Dexas, but if you are going to be escorting us when we are in town, then you have a right to know the reason." Eli told the Deputy with a strong voice. Then decided to prove it by moving the trash can back, setting off the alarm again.
Evan Parker was totally stunned. He had never seen anyone be able to use a Gift around an Inhibitor. It didn't take long for Parker to react to what Eli had told him. He dropped to one knee and lowered his head.
"Your Highness, I will protect you with my life. I pledge my allegiance to you for all time."
"Rise my friend, and please do not call me anything but my name. I am sure that the good Sheriff will fill you in on all the details of why I must not be known to the Wizard World as of yet, but thank you for your allegiance." Eli told Deputy Parker.
Eli had a feeling that Deputy Evan Parker was going to be a very important person in the coming months while Eli prepared to take his rightful place in the Wizard World. He hoped his dad wouldn't be upset with him for letting Deputy Parker know about who he was.