Annabel and Cameron The Bond

The Culling Woodsgate Chronicles 1

The moment when you truly connect with someone is priceless to bad for Annabel Carver that she's just too damaged to see it for herself just how attracted Cameron Vox is to her and just how very lucky she is to have finally found him. 
True Love? 
You'll have to read the epic tale for yourself to find out. 

(Rated = 17+ Cool) okay for teens and above adult language and fantasy violence. 

"Who was she kidding when Cameron smiled at her she'd forget her own name."

{Excerpts from Chapter 3}

Annabel stood at a large sink, arm deep in fish guts as she laughed at another one of Cameron's bad jokes, secretly hoping the time would go by slower even if the smell wasn’t pleasant.  Without her realizing it Cameron was quickly becoming her new favorite thing.

“Okay…I think I’ve hijacked this conversion long enough, it’s your turn Annabel…”

“Oh no, my jokes are terrible, trust me…” She grinned at him while shaking her head.

“No…not jokes necessarily. I want to know about you, tell me about yourself.” He looked her up and down again while smiling.

“Huh…well I don’t know where to begin.” She said as she looked him up and down.

“Where did you used to work before now?” He pressed as he then winked at her. She smiled big.

“Well… my first job, I worked at a small video store starting when I was sixteen. After I graduated from high school, I moved in with Kim, and then I took on another job at a local diner.” And with that, she launched into long story without thinking about it. Normally Annabel was guarded with her words but she continued as though he was her longtime friend or something. He seemed to hang onto every word with his fixed stare and great smile. “… anyway, I would have quit the video store job earlier if I knew it would make me feel so good leaving.”

“How is that?” Cameron cocked his head in interest.

“Seeing the look on my disgusting and lazy mangers face as I told him, --“You need to get off your butt and stop watching videos because I quit!” was priceless.” She chuckled a little. He joined her and nodded.

Annabel continued, “I didn’t mind the diner though, the people were friendly and the tips weren't bad either.”

“Okay…nice so you’ve got moxie then, I like that.” He nodded with an adorable and approving grin. “Where did you grow up?”

“Actually, I grew up in Silver City, with my adoptive parents and my younger sister,” she replied. She noticed he seemed to be quite surprised, but she continued, “my parents were very nice and they had seen to my every need. My parents were unable to conceive naturally and so when they spotted me as a little baby in an orphanage just outside of Silver City, they scooped me up and brought me home immediately…” She stopped as she then noticed his demeanor had changed.

“Sorry. Go on…you’re fascinating.” He nodded his head.

“Ok. Well, I have always felt a deep need to make my parents happy as a way of showing my gratitude. However, after failing to attend college or find a suitable career, I am certain that seemed to be a failure in my parent’s eyes. My sister Darby is the perfect child which put even more pressure on me.” She looked down at the counter as she continued. “They brought Darby home from Paris when I was nine and I fell immediately in love with my baby sis. I thought Darby was such a beautiful baby and I was afraid to hold her in fear I would break her.” She chuckled and he joined her. “Darby and I are so different in many ways.”

“How?” He asked.

“Darby is fair skinned, very tall, slender, and a complete perfectionist. Darby never failed to impress our parents with her countless awards and perfect grades. Then there’s me, exotic looking, very petite, curvy and I had scrapped by in school barely managing to graduate. Darby had a legion of teen boys practically lined up at outside the door every time I go home to visit. I didn’t even date in high school and I could count on one hand the number of men I have dated since…” She stopped as she realized she had said all of that out loud as if she was in a therapy session with him.

“I am having a hard time believing that you weren’t the one boys were lining up for…I certainly would have.” He raised his brow and grinned, and she heard him, but somehow the words didn’t quite sink in. “Go on…please continue. Tell me, how did you and Kim meet?”

“Ever since I first saved Kim from a group of bullies, the two of us have had each other’s backs. Kim had a back-brace when she was five and the kids had found it quite amusing to push her around to watch her fall on the playground. I had just started at the school when I noticed the group of relentless, tormenters circling little Kim. I walked over and without a word I balled up my little fist and sent it blasting into the biggest boys' face.” Cameron’s eyes widened. “Down the boy went and he started to cry. The other kids yelled and ran. I bent down next to Kim and Kim stopped crying and I wiped her eyes. I smiled at her and we hugged. From that moment we had a strong bond. … And that’s why I was so willing to move away with Kim now.” She paused a moment, then said, “Plus, I had wanted a break from the ordinary and cruel world; so hiding in these mountains with my best friend seemed perfect.” She didn’t know what exactly to say, but she felt like she had to continue talking and sure enough, the words fell from her loose mouth. “Kim has a bad habit of falling in love with every guy, it seems to me and that's how Kim ended up taking this job as a ranger to begin with.” She briefly looked at him then back at the counter. “Kim was just trying to impress some hot tree-huger when she answered the email about this job some months ago. Since then Kim had moved on from that guy and so when it was time to start packing Kim convinced me to come with her. To me Kim is me family; at least my chosen family. I don’t know who my biological parents are or why they didn't want me.”

“Stop right there…you don’t know they didn’t want you.” Cameron shook his head. “Maybe they couldn’t take care of you.”

She smiled at his attempt to comfort her but in her head her mind raced through thoughts, like how she had tried for years to pretend that not having answers about her birth or where she came from didn't bother her. But here in middle of nowhere with Cameron, in that kitchen, her thoughts could not be drowned out and she hoped that her face didn’t show her sorrow.

“Okay, no more questions, I promise. And, I think we have enough fish here to feed the hungry guardians for at least a few days.” Cameron explained as he pulled his hands up out of the sink, and then reached for the sink faucet. He quickly recoiled upon the sight of his fish gut-covered hands. “Yuck, I better not touch anything with these hands.”

Suddenly the faucet started to turn by itself and the water shot out into the sink. Annabel looked at Cameron amazed that he seemed to turn the water on without having touched the faucet. Cameron proudly smiled as he quickly washed his hands.
“That was amazing! How did you do that? Are you a warlock too, like Patrick?” Annabel shouted as she washed her hands with him.
“Oh, no I'm not a warlock like Patrick or a wizard.” He said as he winked at her and continued. “I'm something different; the truth is that they really don't know what I am exactly.” Cameron replied as he finished washing his hands. Then he turned to dry his hands while Annabel continued washing her hands. “I'm a human being and I have some sort of telekinesis, I guess.”
“I can make things happen with my mind like turning on the water or knocking out goblins without any physical contact.”
“Wow! Have you always been able to do that, make anything you think about happen?” Annabel urged as she finished washing her hands, and then she grabbed part of the towel that he was using to dry her hands as well.
“No, I haven't always been able to do these things.” Cameron looked agitated as he walked back to the prep counter, and then he started to clean off the fish remains. “I discovered my powers over five years ago, during a battle.” He somberly replied as he continued to clean. “Steve, he is…was my adopted father.” Cameron cleared his throat as he struggled to reply, her eyes widened as she watched him. “Steve was pinned down by an attacker… As I watched him mercilessly cut down; that was the first time it happened. It was like a tingly, wave of warm energy that shot out of my body. I knocked the attacker down just by thinking it… but it was too late!” He shook his head as he continued, “Steve, died later that day from his injuries.” He sighed as he tossed the wash rag he was using into the sink next to her.
“I am so sorry.” Annabel gently replied as she silently empathized with Cameron. “I do not know what I would do if anything happened to my adoptive parents.” Annabel somberly added.
“I can’t believe we were both adopted.” Cameron's eyes lit up as he walked over to Annabel.
“I know this is crazy...” She half smiled while she wondered if that was why she felt so at ease with him so quickly.
Suddenly they heard the door to the bar open and voices. “Looks, like we finished just in time the lunch crowd is starting to pile in it sounds like.”
A tall, thin man entered the kitchen. “Hello, Cameron. Sorry I'm late.” The man announced as he quickly washed his hands.
“Hello, Paul. Annabel this is Paul, he's our cook. Paul this is Annabel she's going to be staying with us in Woodsgate for a while.” Paul turned, nodded and smiled as Cameron made introductions.
“Hi Paul nice to meet you.” Annabel replied.
“We should get out front. Since you have served tables before you will be a natural.” Cameron said as he put his arm around her shoulder, and then he led her behind the bar.
“Yes. I have served tables but I'm afraid I haven’t served werewolves before.” Annabel replied as she scanned the bar which was now full. Loud men and a few women crowded most of the tables and booths. “I take it they aren't really lumberjacks by day right?” She joked with him about his comment he made the day before.
“Nope…most of them are werewolves but some of them used to be Lumberjacks.” Cameron replied as he quickly started pouring drinks for the people sitting at the bar in front of them. “Hurry, take this, go over there, and start taking orders.” Cameron said as he handed Annabel a paper tablet and pencil. Then he pointed over to the tables of hungry customers in the corner. “Table one is over there, good luck!” He smiled. 

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