An ancient evil desires to return to the mortal realm to resurrect The Unnamed. The only force standing between the Master of the Dark and his demonic horde are five teenagers unaware of the power they possess...
“Okay, that’s it,” Tabitha said, still blushing, “this just went too awkward. I’m sure you boys are just great but I don’t do public nudity with strangers.”
Kellan’s smirk dropped to a frown as his shorts hit his knees. He didn’t see any problem with a fun skinny-dip, especially with someone like Lucian and that unmistakable I like you but I’m shy look he kept flashing his way. Maybe it won’t be so bad here after all.
“Oh.” Jasper said, feigning embarrassment. “Well, had I known you’d be by, I’d have worn pants.”
Kellan’s smirk dropped into a deep frown. He didn’t see what Tabitha’s issue was; he was completely comfortable sitting on the dock, enjoying the view. Especially the one of Lucian and his I like you but I’m shy look he kept flashing. Maybe it won’t be so bad here, after all.
“How considerate. Any chance you could cover up now?” She kept her eyes averted, hand over her face to make sure she didn’t see anything that should’ve been covered in mixed company. Kellan always knew his sister was a bit prudish and that was one huge reason he’d kept his secret from almost everyone.
Jasper looked disappointed and, for a brief moment, he had a most terrifying image play out in him mind. He felt nauseous imagining his sister doing something so… unlike her and wished he could bleach the thought away. What was that? He looked from his sister to Jasper to Lucian and suddenly felt overwhelmed as he was hit by a barrage of conflicting emotions. His head swam in every direction as lust, despair, hope and disgust filled him up and threatened to swallow him whole. He didn’t know where the emotions came from; it was as though his innermost feelings weren’t his own.
“Hey, Kel, you okay?” Tabitha’s voice broke thought the noise in his head, but just barely. She sounded a million miles away yet felt as though she were inside his head. He pushed against what didn’t belong until a sharp pain forced it all away, scattered like shattered glass.
“Um, yeah.” He didn’t know what had just happened and definitely didn’t want anyone to know he was losing his mind. “Just a, um, headache is all.”
“Alright…” He could tell by her tone she didn’t believe him. “Maybe we should head back now.”
“Sure.” He smiled weakly at Lucian as he pushed himself to his feet and turned around. As he stepped off the deck, he looked back. “Can’t wait.”
“Huh?” Tabitha asked, brow raised. “Who are you…?”
“Shit.” Kellan felt uneasy again as the foreign emotions slipped back inside. Scared, he took off running and didn’t stop until he was behind the locked door of his new bed room.
- - - -
Once Tabitha was out of earshot, Lucian looked to Jasper, mouth slack with shock. “Did he just…?”
“Don’t tell me you didn’t feel that, Jas. He was… in our heads. Or we were in his. And he knew what I was thinking.” He looked back to see Esmeralda swimming over. “Is it possible? Is he… one of us?”
“He is Ms. Hatty’s grandson, though it’s always been believed that we’d all be the oldest, if we even had siblings. I don’t know.”
“Someone mind telling me what in damnation just happened? I felt like my damn thoughts were being drained out.” Lucian recoiled, always somewhat afraid of Esmeralda’s notorious temper, even thought he knew she’d never hurt him. On purpose.
“The boy’s gifted.”
“Uh huh. So…?”
“So…” Jasper exhaled, obviously not in the mood to play recruiter. “We need to find out if his gift makes him one of us.”
“And exactly how many freakishly gifted individuals are running around this damn town? You know who he is. How can he not be what you think?”
“Would you calm down! Just because he can tap into others emotions and, according to Lucian, actual thoughts, it doesn’t mean he’s a-”
“Aren’t you supposed to just know when one pops up? I thought that was part of your whole… thing.” She slapped his shoulder. “Spirit Guide my ass.”
“It’s not an exact science, Esme. If I make the wrong choice, things go south real quick. You want to end up with a damn anti?”
“No. But if we don’t fill the ranks soon, it won’t really matter, will it?”
Lucian both loved and hated when Jasper and Esmeralda went at it; it was like watching his favorite television show except in real life. It wasn’t so bad if it ended quickly but with two type-a personalities butting heads, it could get real ugly real fast.
“Go away,” Jasper growled. “Let me do my job so you can do yours. For once.”
“What does that mean?”
“It means shut the fuck up and let me think.”
Lucian grimaced. Jasper was normally so free with the strong language. “Um, Esme, maybe we should leave him alone.”
“C’mon, Jas,” Esmeralda ignored Lucian’s plea, “use that big brain of yours and figure this out. We don’t have time for games.”
“Back off,” Lucian said. “Stop before this goes too far. We all know this thing takes time and why we can’t jump to conclusions. Remember Prue?”
“Prue was a demon.”
“Yeah, and you thought she was one of us. That was a bad day.”
“So? One little mistake-”
“Almost killed Lucian.” Jasper stared at her, rage boiling just behind his icy gaze. “We almost lost him because you insisted on bringing a new person in before we knew what she was. I’m trying very hard to not make that same mistake.”
Esmeralda growled but relented. “Fine. We’ll do it your way. But I’m telling you, that kid is the real thing. I could feel that shit clawing at my damn brain. And once we find the fifth bloodline, we can really start to prepare.”
“Don’t be too eager to jump into battle,” Jasper said, his voice sad, “this isn’t like on television; there’s no guarantee we’ll even survive.”
“Why do you think I enjoy it so much?”
- - - -
The boy came to a lake where he saw some kids huddled together at the edge of a dock. He didn’t know if they could – or would – help him but he hoped they’d at least not turn him away. The acolytes wouldn’t attack if there were witnesses, especially ones people would miss.
“Help!” He called, his voice rusty from so little use. “Please, help me!”
One of them, a young boy, looked in his direction before grabbing the other two by their arms and dragging them ashore. They ran over to him as he dropped to his knees.
“Hey,” the youngest one said, “are you okay?”
“They’re… they’re coming…” A numbing chill wrapped itself around his spine and he knew they were close. “I need… out of…” He fell forward onto his hands. “Oh, no… too… late…”
“We should get him help.” The older boy said as he picked the boy up. “C’mon, let’s bring him to my place; bad things are coming and I don’t want to be caught out here when it shows up.”
“What’s coming?” the girl asked.
“Not sure.” He looked at the boy in his arms. “But something tells me it’s not good.”