Title: With Small Persuasion
Summary: Ever wonder what Emma really thinks?
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. I'm not sure what corporate entity now owns them, but whoever bought the rights is indeed their actual owner.
Notes: Set in the same universe as my other stories, but Mason is not mentioned.
So, Adam wants to be a control freak and keep the four of us underfoot in his Zen Hole in the Ground…I’ll let him believe that he’s in charge.
Adam can play in his lab, and make his toys and send us off on ‘missions’ of his choosing, but I’m going to keep things interesting for him.
Kiss me on the top of my head, will you? Ugh! Disgusting! So, I gave Adam the emotional craving for the company of Christina!
Christina makes everybody in the room crazy three minutes after she walks in. Some people broadcast loving kindness, others ill intent. Christina emits such a frantic, confused level of emotional energy that everyone becomes exhausted, like hamsters running in a wheel with no purpose!
She has the same effect on Adam, which is good because as long as Christina is draining his mental energy, he’ll leave us alone.
About a week after Danielle and Catherine were packed off to Goddess-knows-where, it dawned on me that Catherine wasn’t that much younger than me.
“Shalimar, Catherine’s fifteen, isn’t she?”
“Yeah.” Shalimar didn’t look up. We were sitting by the meditation pool and she was studying the passage of a spider across the floor with great care.
“How old is Danielle?”
“Thirty-five,” she replied absently.
Even I could do that math in my head. Danielle had been nineteen or twenty when she had been involved with Adam, who had been in his early thirties. Ew.
That’s when I started feeling queasy about Adam kissing the top of my head. What does a thirty-something highly educated guy see in a girl just out of her teens? And since he knew her professionally, wasn’t Adam betraying a trust, too?
I’d crawled around in Adam’s head long enough to know that he didn’t believe the rules applied to him.
“What are you getting at?” Shalimar asked.
“Trying to figure out how old Adam was when Catherine was conceived,” I replied. Back then Adam hadn’t said anything to make us believe he wasn’t Catherine’s father. “I think he must have been in his early thirties and she must have been about nineteen.”
The first time Christina walked into Sanctuary, I kicked myself for judging Adam too harshly. Christina looked like the quintessential professional adult woman.
Silly empath. Adam doesn’t have to have the company of a dependent kid.
Then Christina’s emotions washed over me. She didn’t look like a kid, but she wasn’t an adult, either.
By the time Adam completed giving Christina the grand tour of the hole in the ground, my head was throbbing and I felt like I was on the edge of an out of body experience. I went to my room and lit about forty patchouli scented candles.
I like patchouli, but Adam hates it. I don’t know why. But with the scent lingering on my skin and hair, Adam would leave me alone all day tomorrow.
I went right to sleep.
In the “morning”, as much as it is ever morning in Sanctuary, Christina was completely flushed from my mind, but not from Adam’s! Time spent in the company of highly-strung Christina left lingering chaos in Adam’s thinking.
I played dumb. A sweet smile and a chirpy voice fooled Adam every time, since he believed everyone else was simple-mind compared to him.
Silly Adam. Manipulating him was so easy.
“Isn’t Christina going to join us for breakfast?”
“I took her home.”
Adam sounded really crabby. This gave me ideas.
Adam, you had such a lovely time with the charming Christina. Why don’t you call her, and spend the day with her at the…um…zoo?
Yes, the zoo seemed perfect for them.
I watched Adam’s eyes go flat, as if all the intelligence went out of them. He pused aside his bowl of cornflakes.
“I have to go do something. I’ll call in later.”
And with that, he left us for the day.
“That’s odd,” Shalimar observed.
“Wonder what’s up?” Jesse mused.
Brennan shuffled up to the table. “Shal, where are my Frosted Flakes?”
“How would I know, Brennan?”
Much later that day, when Adam returned, he was very grumpy. Shalimar and I were burning patchouli candles around the meditation pool.
“Put out those damn candles. The whole place stinks.”
I caught a brief mental flash of Christina squealing about how cute the penguins were and Adam wishing he could throw her to the hammerhead sharks.
This is fun.
Shalimar started putting out the candles. “We had been having a pleasant evening.”
Adam left without another word, and stalked off to his lab.
The zoo was fun. Why not spend tomorrow…antiquing? I had no idea whether Adam or Christina had any interest in antiques, but the thought of Adam wasting a day looking at piles of grubby old junk was amusing. I immediately implanted the idea.
Adam was crabby when he came home the next evening. I was the only one who had any idea where he’d been all day.
“Hey, Adam, what’s all that junk?”
“Christina bought whatever the hell this is supposed to be. She wants me to clean it up and get it working again.”
Shalimar laughed. “Lucky you.”
“Where are you going tomorrow?” Jesse asked playfully.
Adam scowled and carried his junk off to his lab.
Where indeed? More shopping, I think. Chinatown.
Adam was all but audibly growling when he came home the next day with a pair of large cardboard boxes and a shopping bag with rolls of wrapping paper hanging out.
“Whatcha got there, Adam?”
“Uh…stuff for Christina.” He was hiding something. I gave the others a nudge to go take a closer look and not allow Adam to escape without revealing the nature of its contents.
Shalimar read the outside of the boxes. “Hello Kitty?. Hello Kitty floor lamps?”
“Hello Kitty?” Jesse was restraining himself, but just barely.
“Was this her idea or yours, Adam?” Shalimar asked.
“Hers. She wants me to wrap them for her birthday.”
I extracted a roll of wrapping paper. “Oooo…Hello Kitty wrapping paper! How cute! Are there pink bows, too?”
Adam looked so completely, thoroughly miserable that I briefly considered ending his torment. Then, I had a great idea: bring Christina and Danielle together. I went to my room to best concentrate upon imparting to Adam the desire to invite the two women to the same clambake at Sanctuary.
I lit a few patchouli candles and sat cross-legged on the floor, and began sending Adam the wish to have Christina and Danielle present at the same time. Moments later, Adam threw open the door, stomped into my room, and slammed the door behind him.
“What?” I can look completely innocent when I want to.
“You’re making me spend all this time with Christina!”
“She’s your old girlfriend, Adam. I thought it was kinda sweet that you were getting back together.”
I sent waves of calm towards Adam.
“Christina is tolerable only in brief, infrequent sessions.”
“Oh, Adam, I’m sorry. I was happy for you.”
“So, you deny implanting these ideas?”
“I would never intrude into your personal life.” I lied. I could lie convincingly.
“Okay.” Adam did not appear to be convinced, but he was calm.
“When is Christina’s birthday?”
“Is she coming here?”
“I’ll bake a nice cake.”