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  1. The Ducati purred and came to a stop at an angle in front of Jason's car, making it impossible for him to pull away without having to back up first. Classic Devin. Cassie's arms were tight around his waist and her grip loosened considerably as the bike slowed down. As Jason and Autumn kissed he revved the bike loudly, adding no opportunity for a quiet moment. Devin lifted his leg over the bike and offered Cassie a hand to help her off so they could remove their helmets. "Didn't know you could jaunt a whole motorcycle, with us on it," Cassie laughed nervously. Referring to Devin going down an alleyway not but a moment ago and them suddenly appearing not far from Autumn's home. "Me either," Devin said with a mixture of worry and mirth. "Glad it worked, we could have ended up in Idaho or the inside of a mountain or something. Woo." Cassie glared at him, mentally chastising him with her glare. He laughed. "Relax, Blondie, I'm kidding. My motorcycle I can do. Cars cause a nose bleed and massive headache, but I'm getting there." He took a few steps to the new couple and smirked in the devilish Devin manner. "My sister is so pissed at the two of you. This?" He waggled his finger in between the two of them. "Oh, she is livid. I love it, don't ever change you crazy kids. So, we doing this or what? Feed me, I'm famished." He smiled and winked at Autumn. "I'll need my strength if I'm going to be surrounded by depression and chronic alcoholism all day." "Wow," Cassie said in mock surprise. "Culturally insensitive-" "-and racist." Autumn finished for her, rolling her eyes at the ex-bully turned annoying companion against The Dark. She looked at the watch she wasn't wearing. "And it's only eight-thirty. Way to get a jump on the day, Deej." Autumn used his moniker, reminding him that she'd been given a letter name by Marissa was now an official member of their Inner Circle... whatever that meant. "Yeah," he inhaled proudly. "You're welcome."
  2. As Max walked away they continued their conversation. Cade chewed his first bite and noticed Devin smirking at his burger bun. The sesame seeds on it were scrapped off in the shape of a heart. Cade shook his head. "How do you do that?" Devin laughed silently. "One minute you two are insulting each other and she's picking on you for being in high school, and she puts hearts on your burger? he's like twenty-seven, Dev." "Twenty four." Devin smirked, taking a bit of pride that Cade was taking notice in his skill at flirtation. "She live here in Shelly with her mother, in the summer she enjoys taking time with friends to drive down to Nevada and party in the desert at a couple of concerts they throw out there each year. She a hundred and twenty seven pounds, her measurements are thirty-eight double D, twenty-seven, thirty-four, and yes, they're real. She has blue eyes, and she's a Gemini. She doesn't drink or smoke, surprisingly and enjoys reading and, get this, knitting. She can knit. Blew my mind." Cade could only laugh as Devin dropped the knowledge. "Alright, I'll bite. How do you know all that?" "Because, yes, I flirt, but I do something way more important than just flirt, I listen. See, being a douche is... just being a douche. Whether she's sixteen and goes to school with us, or she's twenty-four and works here, when you take the time to throw a smile, flirt a bit, make it humorous and pleasant... and before you know it, you've made her laugh. Then next time to you talk, ask something, tell her something about you, flirt a bit more. Most important thing though, is to listen and remember. A hottie like Maxine, adores the fact that I can honestly remember what color her eyes are. You think most guys come in here to look at her eyes? I know I'm never going to get anywhere with her. I'm not her type, I'm too young, yadda, yadda... that's why she scrapes the hearts for me, to tell me that I never have a chance, but she loves me anyways for being the annoying fucker that I am because I make the work day fun for her. A little witty and verbal sparring." "I say that to say this: yes. If you stood up to lead I would follow you, in my own way." He picked apart his burger as the few months Cade had really gotten to know Devin (sort of) he noticed the kid was the pickiest of eaters. His cheeseburger had to be plain with no condiments or veggies and Ma knew that so she always made sure the burger was fully assembled for him, just to spite him. "You say some epiclly stupid shit like 'let's blow up a bridge', then no. I'll assume your on that dumb shit Jason grows and challenge your call. I'd follow any of you into Hell, because if this keeps up, that looks like our next stop." He took a bite and chewed, mumbling something with a mouthful of burger. He didn't catch a word of it, but Devin was very passionate about the words. He swallowed and took a sip of his drink. "Let me try that again... I'm not saying you have to be the leader, or that we even need one. I'm saying that we are in this together. If were going to fight demons and possibly die, then I want the people I'm with to have something to say about it. Don't keep all the ideas to yourself because those could be the ideas that could have saved a life, and don't tell me you don't have ideas, because that's total B.S.. They'll listen to you, Cade, because you're Superman. You have a black belt in wrestling bears, knowledge of automatic weapons, you're expert marksman and archer, and are more an army of one than most veteran Army guys. You're the kind of guy who people like us, regular teenagers, can look up to. You know shit, bro, we'd trust your tactical input and knowledge of warmongering. In the mean time, until we get our shit together, I suppose I can try to keep this jackhole secret society we have going from falling completely apart. Think about that while a take a bite from this tasty burger."
  3. "Well, if that's true, then the opposite is also true: if you do things with the expectation of forgiveness, then it should be granted. Either way, I have more important things to worry about than being buddy-buddy with you plebs. In the beginning, like at the party, sure man, I was all about trying to set shit right in my life, I mean, I could have really hurt Chet and Marissa and I were and ,still are, on a hell of a downward spiral." "But now?" He lazily shrugged his arms and shook his head. No matter how many times he thought about it or even said it out loud, he couldn't seem to wrap his head around the fact that all of this was real and actually happening. Were they put her to defeat The Dark? Were their abilities a product of them being an opposing force to The Dark and without it to battle them, would they lose their Shine? "We have this Dark thing to deal with so I don't really have a lot of time for hand holding and skipping through the magic gardens of whatever turbo-homo, soccer practice land of rainbows, sunshine and waifu sex pillows that you're pulling all that 'friendship is glitter and love' bullshit you're spewing." "I get that you're trying to help, and I appreciate it," he said after he paused to sigh. "I know how friendship works, my mom has a PhD in Behavioral Science," which until now Cade had absolutely no idea Devin's mother possessed a Doctorates in anything except being smoking hot. "But we get, maybe, one day a week that isn't filled with something or other trying to kill us. We spend that day relaxing, but we don't do it together. We all have lives and others we would rather spend that time with right now and frankly, making and building up friendships isn't in the cards right now. The group needs some form of leadership, but they're not going to follow me and we don't have time to build up that trust. For everything we figure out, now more problem drops into our lap."
  4. "Nothing can prepare you for feeling trapped and helpless." He replied calmly. "I can't prepare you, because you've never been there. You've always had mommy and daddy fawning all over you. Same with the rest of you, except Jason who never feels anything, so talking 'feelings' with him is utterly pointless." Devin raised his hand to pause Cade as the large teen loaded a rebuttal. "Let me finish." "It was the same for me too. Emjay and I are spoiled, we both know it, but in the time I was there all my attitude, money, and expensive toys didn't mean a damn thing. In the spans of time I had to stop and rest, all I could think was 'I'm going to die here, and no one except Marissa is going to care. Our parents are horrible at their job and made us into horrible people. I have no friends... I mean, that was it, dude. No more Devin and it dawned on me that that is how it for all of us... one day, we're just, gone... and no one cares. I deal with problems on my own because Emjay has enough of her own, I'm her brother, I'm supposed to look out for her, always have." Devin shrugged and as Max passed them carrying food for another table in a skillful balancing act in her arms. He offered up a flirtatious wink and a 'how you doin'' nod to her to which she replied with a smirk and a shake of her head. After she delivered the food to the other patrons she walked past the boy's table again on her way back to the kitchen, flicking Devin in the side of the head as she passed him. The young man smirked, flailing a hand at her that would have smacked her leg but she was too quick for him, this time. "I'm at a crossroads, I guess. I'm trying to fix myself, be better than the jerk I was, that I know I was," His straw danced in his soda glass as he speared for ice cubes some more. "But it doesn't exactly come with an instruction manual. I'm lost, confused... I guess? I don't know. I mean, you do something nice for someone and they just shrug and expect you to do it again, they don't care, but, you treat them like crap and never forget it and whine a bitch about it the rest of their lives. I mean, come on, get over it people. I have."
  5. "Reduce the stress? See a doctor? Cade," Devin leaned in, resting his arms on the table. "Something spent four hours in the Thunder, hunting me and trying to kill me and where were you guys? Not forty eight hours before that something else almost tore my leg off. What am I going to tell your mom, huh? 'Oh, hey, the reason I can't sleep is because I was out battling interdimensional demons with your son and almost died. A couple times. So, how's life going for you?' I'm sure that will roll over well." "This is why I don't bring shit up to you guys, besides all of us barely knowing each other, and everyone still not really liking me all that much, you guys listen, but you don't hear anything. You talk, but you don't say anything. I mean, where are you when the team needs a leader? Because I've been stepping up to do my best and I think we can all agree it's only a matter a time before Autumn and Cassie are wearing less, making out more, the world is in ruins and there's fire everywhere. I am not the kind if guy you want running the show. The school looks up to you, bro, so where are you when the team needs you?" He wasn't drinking, just playing with his straw and poking at the ice in his cup with it. Whether it was his sister at home, or Cade here, Devin was never the best at communicating his problems to others. He didn't think anyone could him with them, so he always thrived to handle them himself. "I have problems, I know I do. This shit is affecting me and I'm scared. I jump at shadows, I hate being alone, and I don't think you or the rest of the team can help me. You guys don't relate. You don't actually understand what's wrong with me, but I do and 'go see a doctor' or popping a few Tylenol PMs really aren't gonna cut it. I survived four hours in the Thunder alone, I can handle this alone too. Enjoy all your dating and weekend outings, I'll handle things on me own." "Jason is on a short fuse, so it's only a matter of time before he kills for pleasure or sport. The group training was 'airplanes' in the yard. Sean and I don't talk. You don't seem to really be involved unless there's something to shoot. Cassie is about as effectual as spit balls, so I don't see how she's going to battle this thing. Autumn will be too stoned to even realize what's going on. Charlie... I don't even know and my sister? She's definitely going to drive you all to either kill her, or yourselves, at some point. I vote you kill her, so I can have her room. It has the nicer closet." He shook his head and finally took a drink from his soda. "Dude. We are so screwed. And here I am thinking I can somehow protect you guys. When I say it out loud, I know there's no way I can help a single one of you."
  6. Devin grumbled and looked at Cade like he was about to request his man card from him. "Dude, you drug my ass out here to play high school musical with me?" Were it not for the promise of food, and he was very hungry, chances were good he would have already had some scathing quip as the punctuation to his exit. Food was food, however and no teenage boy could resist free food on an empty stomach. Deflection was Devin's greatest skill, aside from getting rejected by women do to his numerous personality flaws. Still, if he had date for every problem he had swirling around in his mind at the moment, he'd not have any free time from now until the End Days. "Alright, fine, I'll bite. I'm hungry anyway. So where do you wanna start, Dr. Phil? You wanna start how I can barely sleep lately? I'm up working out until three or four in the morning and can barely function at school because I'm afraid that any minute I'll be carried away to that place again and hunted down?" Or how all of this shit we're going through is unfair? I mean, why us? What did we do to deserve sort of responsibility? That's the sort of things that are roiling through my mind while you guys are giggling about homecoming or playing your stupid fantasy games. I feel like you guys don't take this as seriously as I do, despite our lives being on the line. I've almost died, Cade, twice, and it scared the shit out of me. I'm not you. I didn't go to some secret military training camp since birth and was trained to be some die hard soldier that never feels fear and isn't afraid to die in service to Sheriff Dad." "This shit's affecting me, bro," he shook his head. Max slid their drinks onto the table and Devin puckered his lips and gave her an air kiss. Max smirked. He was adorable, sometimes. After promising to return in a moment to collect their orders, she stepped away again. "You guys... I don't know... I feel like you guys realize exactly what is on our shoulders and that lack of awareness is going to cause one of us to get hurt, or worse. I can't let that happen, but I can't be everywhere at once. You know?"
  7. Devin peeled off his shirt and gave it a sniff. He'd just worked out in it, he knew it was damp and probably smelly, but he was a guy and that was the sort dumb things guys did. He dropped his ear buds on the choatic tangle that was his bed, and half his wardrode, and his school bag storage. He was supposed to clean this weekend, but knew he wouldn't. He rolled his shoulders and spared a moment to gaze upon the beauty and wonderment that was his perfection in his door mirror, when his phone rang. He it said Cade and raised an eyebrow. He could have answered it, sure, but he didn't want to appear to desperate. Confused he walked down the hallway to Marissa's room and poked his head in the doorway to her room. Sure enough she was there, sitting on her bed, reclined and comfortable with her back on the headboard and her laptop in her lap, probably working on the next installment her lame fan fiction of romance and lust in a realm of high adventure and sorcery. It was enough to make him hurl. If she was here though, and safe, what would Cade want to talk to Devin about? His phone went to voicemail as he pondered how he was going to deal with his sister's new lust bug. It's not that he cared who she dated, as long as it was her choice and not some douchey guy like Chet getting all handsy with her once in awhile and begging her to just go out with him already. That always irritated him. This was probably one of those side conversations where the boyfriend thinks that by being nice to Devin he'd spill all of his sisters secrets and likes and dislikes. He hopped in the shower and made his way to Bunnie's. He never talked to Cade, so this was one opportunity he just couldn't pass up, plus, free food. His motorcycle found it's home in the usual spot he'd chosen for it far way from where people might scratch it or bump it with their cars and made his way looking stylish as hell, because, Devin. It only took him a moment to locate Cade and with a few nods to the people from school he knew that were here late getting burgers, he made his way to the table. He offered Cade a nod as he sat down. "Whud up?" Max was at the bale in the span of a heartbeat, following up behind Devin as he sat down. "Hey you two," she gave Cade a wink and her face went deadpan as she put her attention on Devin. "Thougt I smelled the pungent musk of 'try hard egomaniac'." "I love you too, Max. I can admit it, why can't you?" He teased her. "Why are we playing these games, Max? We both know your looking for a real man in this town." She nodded through pursed lips, half concealing a grin. "You know, Devin... you're right. It's true. I totally am. So when you two meet one, please, send him my way. Until then, enjoy being high school. I'll get your usual drinks, Cade, watch him." She pointed to Devin with the rpen like he was a rambunctious five year old waiting for mommy to tun around so he run off and get the family kicked out of the place. Devin smirked and leaned back, relaxing. "I'm wearing her down. So, what's up, and... if she dumped your ass already, I haven't heard about it yet, so don't look at me to help smooth things over."
  8. With the power of Instant travel, Devin was still late for everything in a manner that suited his personality to a tee. By the time he'd walked all the way to the other end of the school for his next class he knew it'd be one more lecture about timeliness and punctuality from his class' teacher. Whatever. He collected his books from the locker, closed it and in doing so gave Courtney a side look that told her he was unimpressed with her attempt to scare him. "Hey Court," he offered, completely ignoring her 'rah' and slight pounce towards him. "You're in a good mood." "And you're being lame." The redhead offered, half smirking. "How'd you know?" "I can sense objects, Hotness." He tucked his books in his back and yanked the zipper closed. "At school I tend to 'keep it up' in case some teacher is trying to catch me doing something I'm not supposed to." They both smirked at that. "What's up?" She shrugged and motion drew attention to the sculpted curves of her collar bones, exposed through the wide v-neck of her blouse that teased at cleavage. Devin assumed she and his sister called each other each morning and organized thier outfits, although low-cut cleavage shirts were really not Marissa's style, as she found them tacky. But hey, lots of things were changing around Shelly lately, while not glad about his sister going with the flow, he was all for a more cleavage dress code. Courtney understood what he meant about 'keeping it up', she did a lot of the same at school too with an almost instinctual scanning of the surface thoughts of those around her. She could argue she didn't mean it, but she knew she did. One could not have a power like hers and not want to use it. She'd tried numerous times to just not do it, it was easy enough, but... her will was weak and she was instantly reading again because it was addicting. Everyone's mind had became that last slice of cheesecake she couldn't help but not eat despite knowing that Marissa was going to remind her of how fat she was when they first met, years ago. At least Marissa couldn't calorie shame her on mind reading. Devin's mind was one of two that had intrigued her in Shelly High. Most people were open books to her, while those with Shine seemed to naturally resist her talents or cover up the deeper, more more complex patters of thought, Devin and Jason seemed either completely resistant to her scanning or positively brain dead. Jason was simply a dark wall. A void bastion that no matter how much she tried her attempts were just shattered against the fortress of his mind. Devin was very similar in that she could never truly get anything useful from his mind (insert joke here), where they differed however, was that Devin's mind didn't keep her out... it let her in. The floodgates of Devin's thoughts were like wandering into Oz and it was a paradise world of a yellow brick road and upon were all manner of women in various sensual and erotic clothing. He possessed no shame and it came through as one traveled his thoughts, well traveled as best she could since no matter where she looked she was running into lewd barriers and sexually suggestive avenues that played havoc with the young nympho's own head. Was he doing it on purpose? Various students and celebrity females wandered the open market of his head: Monica, Erica, Cassie, Rita, Tina, Courtney, Sandra, Autumn, Mary, Annette, Jessica... and every time she tried to focus on a thought there was one of them gyrating in a doorway or undulating on a pole, or in one case making very graphic love to one another and while she was curious if Cassie and Autumn swung that way, she had to admit Cassie looked amazing in black with the whole Taylor Momsen look she had going and the cute strawberry patterned thong and bra Autumn was wearing was positively precious. "Looking for something?" He asked and she realized she'd been so distracted by his thoughts that she'd forgotten her own. She blinked and awkwardly smiled as her cheeks reddened. "No," then she realized what people in the know must think about her and trust. Her tone changed to something more reassuring. "No! Uh, I mean... sorry, look, it's not something I really much control over and... well, your head is a fucking mess, dude. Although, I wouldn't mind staying for awhile." She laughed. "Do you really think about sex that much?" "I'm sixteen and a guy. What do you think?" He motioned for her to walk with him with a tilt of his head. "So, besides rummaging through my porn collection, did you want something? We've not talked in months so I didn't know we were at the 'scaring me at my locker' stage of our flirting yet." "I wasn't flirting," she chuckled. "Yeah you were," he smirked with confidence. "Anyway," she laughed again and rolled her eyes. "Yeah, I saw you and did want to say something," she took his arm and they both slowed and then stopped again. "Look, I'm not the best with people, but, you and Marissa have always been... well, decent-ish with me. I wanted to say thank you, for," a shy shrug and the way she was having trouble looking at him, made him aware that this wasn't a confession she was comfortable with. "You stood up for me in there and welcomed me in. I know no one wants me there, let alone on the 'team', I guess is the word... except you. So, thank for, you know... giving me a chance." "We're in this together, Red." He smiled at the lovely woman. "Who we were doesn't define us. We can all change. It's who we are now, and who we are working to become that's important. Some of us just never take that step. The Fellowship will come around, and until they do, I'm always here for you." "Thanks," her cheeks took on a deeper hue of rose. "That was nice, you get that from a book or something?" "Lona, actually." He forced a small smile as the thought of losing her twisted his gut. Courtney could feel the shift in his emotions and his mind was suddenly a conflicting storm of raging seas, lightning threaded the loom of blackened and gray clouds while all manner women-now-mermaids familiar to her wailed and moaned in an orgiastic frenzy beneath the waves and yet, unbroken, Devin steered the ship of his thoughts to an ever distant lighthouse as casually as he might on clear, open waters. Whatever really bothered him was lost somewhere within the metaphor of his mind as Lona was nowhere to be seen. "Look, uh, I gotta go. Gonna be late." He thumbed down the hall and set on his way. "I know you call Laurie Red, Devin. I want my own nick name!" She grinned as he raised a thumbs up while he ran down the halls. Without another word she clasped her books to her chest and spun about to get her next class.
  9. "I'll go with." Devin said with a shrug. "My rates are fair, and you do still owe me a make sesh." He smirked and offered her a flirtatious nod. "I'm the best ride in Shelly, too." "And the fastest." Marissa slipped in without even looking up from her phone although the grin on her lips told everyone in was deliberate. As the Fellowship shared a laugh at Devin's expense Marissa's pone disappeared in a wavering violet distortion. She turned to her brother and shoved him. "Give it back! You are such an asshole!" "It's in your locker," he laughed. "Go get it, Slutcicle."
  10. "Seriously, Deejay?" Marissa scowled at her brother, whom she was still livid at, before leaning forward to see past him and on to Cassie. "Okay, yes, you definitely need to see me because you are not showing up on my brother's arm looking all hobo-licious." She shook her head dismissively. "Wow. Way to rebound." "Stop, okay?" He shook his head, visibly irritated. "Just stop. I asked her because I want to go with her to Homecoming. She's sweet, and nice and... she seems to be the closest thing to stable I can think of right now. My girlfriend leaves Tuesday and I'm never seeing her again. I don't want a rebound, I don't want a replacement or a fling, or quickie or a friend with benefits! I want to take a hot date to the dance. I want to dance with her. I want to laugh and joke, and not be alone in a world that's trying to tear my legs off and kill me every other day. And when it's all said and done I want to take her home, kiss her hand and thank her for a nice evening. I want a few fucking hours of normal. Is that okay with you?" "Wow," Marissa's face contorted into pure snark. "Chill. I was just fucking with you, Jesus." He inhaled and buried his face in his hands before brushing them up and back through his hair. "Well, I'm not in the mood to be fucked with right now, okay?" He shook his head in a manner that hinted to him attempting to just shake off the last few moments. They'd seen Devin irritated, he was an angry teen who'd ruined a few of their social lives on numerous occasions. Even Cassie had never completely dodged his abuse in the past, but now he just seemed to be on a tangent. Something was eating away at him and he didn't seem too keen on sharing what it was. "Look, let's just get back on the whole Cody thing," He looked to Cassie, then Autumn. "If you guys are going to recon Cody, do I need to be there? You said I could help you see better. Can you pierce the world barrier without me?"
  11. "Yeah, we'll see." Devin said with the eerie calm of a serial killer. They didn't understand him, and that was fine. They didn't know what he went through and he wasn't about to force it on them. Those monsters were something else entirely in the Thunder. Relentless, intelligent, and built like tanks. They were going to need more than three magazines of ammunition, a rifle, and honeyed words. "Hey, Cassie," Devin turned to Cassie in the middle of all that was going on. "Would you like to go to Homecoming with me? Like be my date for it? Strictly friends, if that's what you want. I'd just really prefer to go with someone and I can't think of anyone else who's lovely enough to make the cut."
  12. "I don't walk." Devin said cooley, processing Jason's speech. "No barrier can stop me, get me there and I can break it. Distract him, keep him off me, and I can make a play for the skull." He looked at the Fellowship, except Marissa, taking them all in and considering each of them with a scrutinous appraisal of their individual talents and powers. This was suicide, but he'd survived it once, he could do it again. "Maybe the project can help? I mean, they live here too and certainly have a higher bank roll than we do. If we need weapons, let's plead our case to them." "And if any of you die, I'm just saying, right now: I told you so."
  13. Devin supported her as best he could, offering a few comforting words to her to remind her she was still on the bleachers and safe with the rest of the Fellowship. With his currents distractions he was certainly a different person; warm, comforting, almost a decent guy without time for quips or unwanted advances on his peers. He held her hand and gently rubbed her back as she regained her senses allowing her time to compose herself. A small part of her considered maybe peeping into Devin's Shine to see what alien had possessed him so she could properly worn the others that something had taken a hold of their fun loving and annoying pervert. When she covered her mouth her hands and stopped talking enough to begin composing herself on her own, Devin uncharacteristically stopped comforting her. No quip, no squeeze, he didn't even try to cop a feel or keep his are around her. When his phone beeped he checked it and decided that Sean's mental texting was simultaneously both the coolest thing and the most annoying thing at the same time. He inhaled, visibly annoyed by whatever Sean had text him. His eyes were like daggers and for a moment Sean thought Devin might pounce like he did on Chet and break his nose too. "I don't need therapy, Cassidy. Sorry, Doctor, the reason I'm all messed up is because interdemensional demons nearly tore my leg off and I blew myself up to prevent myself from being consumed by one of them... good thing Bobba Fett was there to inject me with nano machines to save my life." He gave Sean that look of sarcasm that questioned if that's what he wanted Devin to say to the therapist. "Dude, I know you've had it rough. Close minded fuckers are everywhere and assholes like me didn't make it easy one you, and I can't say I'm sorry enough for that, but this isn't the same. When you have to decide to blow yourself up to keep one of those things from disemboweling you then you can try and relate to why I don't want to be responsible for being the guy who sent everyone there. What if one of us doesn't make it? Aside from Jason, the rest of us have to live with looking at their parents and sibling grieving a missing child who will never be found and live with that guilt and pain and secret for the rest of our lives. You don't think of those things. None of you seem to be thinking like that. This is life and death shit and... we've been treating it like it's just another video game or some shit. I was too, honestly, it was all shits and giggles... now I see my leg in the mirror every time I take a shower and... I can feel it. I can feel it all over again. I don't want any of you to go through that, I don't want to be responsible for opening the door that got any of or all of you killed." "Fine," Marissa shrugged. She completely dismissed her brother and his issues. "You want to stay here and be a little bitch, that's on you. 'What' can fuck off and 'if' can blow me. Sean makes a fine point: if we can save Cody, we try and save him, but saving all of Shelly takes priority over him. You guys might not want to here it, but I dare someone to argue the point. It sucks that this duty was put on our shoulders, but here we are. We'll need weapons and a game plan. When do we do this?" "No," Devin said flatly. "You're not going." "Excuse me?" Her neck craned in response to the personal insult. The normally composed Marissa slipped straight into a defensive posture. No one had ever seen the twins disagree like this before, they were usually inseparable. "I do not recall asking for your permission, Devin. Nor needing it." Her lack of use of his nick name was certainly obvious. "You're my only sister, your not going there without me," he shook his head. "I'm not arguing this with you, Marissa." "You can't stop me," they were beginning to get loud, people from the field were starting to look into the bleachers to see what the commotion was. You talk all that inspiring shit and then you pull this? Fuck you, Devin. You want to be a little bitch, that's on you. The rest of us have shit to do." "You want to open this can of worms, bitch?" Yep they were going to war. They'd never the twins this intense on each other before. Tensions were obviously high, but for the twins to loose their composure, at school of all places, was a dire portent of what could lie ahead of them. "Fine, let's fucking do it-" "Enough." Jason said, barely raising his voice but the wave of cold chilled them to the bone. "I don't care what problems you two currently have. What ever wild hair is currently up your asses, consider it plucked. Marissa is right. We need a plan and a time. Whether or not either of you will be present is not relevant. You have from now until then to fix yourselves. This, however, is not the forum for the two of you to hash out your problems. Exercise some discretion, for once." "Those things are going to fucking kill you," Devin's eyes panned the collected Fellowship. "You want to run off to die, that's on you."
  14. She took another hit from her medicinal distraction, the cherry ember glowing faintly as the smoke his her lungs and the impact began to pull her problems out of he mind and allow her the relaxation and decompression she so desperately craved. “I have to hand it to Jason, he is a creepy fucker but the guy knows how to grow some weed, fuck.” She shook her head to sort her senses. Marissa looked to her brother, who, like her, was texting his significant other. “When's Lona leaving?” “Tuesday,” Devin said quietly while the light from his screen showed the somber expression he wore. She could tell he was broken up about loosing her and really wasn't in the mood to talk about it, but he needed to. Marissa was always calm and cool, but when she was angry she didn't keep it inside. She exploded like a volcano and burned up everything in her path. Her brother was the opposite, he kept it all inside, trying to deal with his problems all on his own and not showing anyone he was hurting. “Hey, look, I know you really liked her. I'm sorry she's moving away.” He shrugged and set down his phone down. “Not her fault. Clara's family is totally fucked and they don't give a shit about their children, they just want to wreck homes and do as they please and fuck if their kids are happy or not.” “Help me understand,” she exhaled another cloud of smoke. “What did you see in her?” “I dunno,” he gave her the textbook answer every teen on deck. “She was just... ugh, god, I don't know. We were like so different, but so alike, but so... I don't know. I wanted to make a change Emjay, and being with her it just... I never gave it much thought as to how I was going to do that, but she... being with her kind of made shit make sense. I had a blueprint suddenly. Seeing how she actually liked me and wasn't fake it was this whole new mash up of feelings and it was nice to-” “-have something real?” Marissa returned the favor of finishing his thought for him. “Exactly.” He nodded softly as he tapped out another reply to Lona and smiled softly. His lips twisted into his familiar smirk of mischief. “Plus, the girl could fuck. Jesus, God could she fuck.” “Yeah,” she nodded with a pursed smile that told him he didn't need to say more. “I know. I could hear you every day until she got grounded. If I wasn't sexually frustrated before, I sure as hell was afterward. So? Any prospects? How was your corruption of Laurie?” “No, I'm not really looking for anyone to take Lona's place. I don't know why, but I'm just not really interested right now, y'know? We're going out tomorrow night as sort of a 'good bye' date and then... that's it. I'll never see her again.” Devin gazed off over the dark horizon, taking in the view as much as much as trying to use his unique abilities to to halt the clock and give him an eternity to hold of tomorrow when he'd have to say goodbye. His knew his powers didn't work like that. All he could do was bring the horizon to him, not halt the flow of time. Even if he could, would he want to? Was it fair for him to keep her from her future? “Laurie and I had a good time, she's talking to me at least. I hit all the emotional and psychological pressure points. Wasn't hard. She wears her temper on her sleeve. She hates me though, so, I don't see that going anywhere anytime soon. Which is fine, she's a freshman, so no sense in downgrading. I don't know, Em, I just... I feel like I kinda wanna take a break from it all. You bitches are crazy.” Snuffing out what little of her joint remained she nodded in agreement as she exhaled the last of it. “Not arguing with you there. Hey, Autumn kinda thinks you are hot. I will totally hook you two up if you want. She hates you, but at least you will be a pretty pairing.” He repelled her offer with raised hands, laughing a bit. “No thanks. I'm noticing a pattern of my luck with redheads, they all seem to have me, and all have amazing asses. I think I'm fine just hanging back for a bit. I'm chill, it's all good.” “Okay,” she said defeated. “I do not want to hear later that I sat by and let you be miserable. I offered up quality friends upon your sacrificial alter, oh brother of mine.” “And I love you for it, dear sister.” He took her hand and kissed the back of it to which she took it back and feigned blushing while batting her lovely lashes at him. “Besides, Autumn went camping with Jason last night. Pretty sure Granola took the eggplant this weekend.” His sister's eyes narrowed and her lip twitched slightly. “I am sorry... but, what?” “Yeah.” He replied casually. “You didn't know? She had some majestic spot she just had to show him, so, yeah, doesn't take a genius to figure out what she's talking about. Bout time too, he needs it. A few hours grazing in that carrot patch will do him some good.” “Yeah,” she nodded. “Yeah. Well, good for them.” She tapped out a message on her phone which conjured up a grin from Devin, knowing she was playing it off as a reply for Cade but he knew she was launching the initial salvo for what would be an amazing Monday morning for Autumn tomorrow. Sure, they were friends, but what's friendship without a little chaos in the mix? “Speaking of fucking friends,” Marissa tilted her head with a smile, and pressed on. “What about Tawny? She confessed her love, yet again... just fuck her already, it's pathetic watching her squirm.” “Yeeeaaah,” his shoulders tensed at that one. “I'm not sure where that's going. I mean, she kissed me again, and this time it was like, wow, but, I don't know. I just don't know. Emjay I have no clue what the fuck I'm doing in my life right now. He have all this shit going on with The Dark and aliens, and Men In Black and... fuck, I don't know. I know all these girls and I think,” he looked to his sister with an expression that read he barely understood what he was about to say. “I think I'm just trolling them all to keep my mind off the other shit. Eventually I have to make due on all this shit I'm spewing, and a lot of people are going to be hurt.” Marissa's lighter clicked and a flame lit the end of her long, slender cigarette. Devin never really understood why people would chase a joint with a cigarette, claiming it got the taste out of their mouth when they both tasted like ass, but to each their own, the weed and nicotine helped her relax. They dealt with the day in their own way. Devin retreated into adrenaline fueled acts of extreme danger and sex while his sister retreated into sex and recreational and not so recreational drug use. If the Fellowship knew how high Marissa was most of the time, they would probably seriously question her judgment. To her credit, she learned how to hide it well by watching her mother. “Who cares? Deej, they are not the ones battling the Dark, we are. If you need to take a few distractions here and there, do it. They should be thanking you for saving their asses from eternal darkness and corruption.” “Still, doesn't feel right, you know?” He shrugged, sounding unsure. “I mean, I feel like somehow I became some de-facto leader of the Fellowship. Between Jason eating people's spleens and Charlie eviscerating security staff and... fuck Marissa, I have no absolutely no control of my life right now.” “I know how you feel,” she nodded, taking a drag from her cigarette. “And Jason has apparently gone vegetarian now, I don't think him eating spleens will be a problem anymore. Fucker seems to be on a carrot and strawberry cleanse right now, so, yay for you, one less problem.” That made Devin warm inside. A little disarray did wonders for the soul sometimes. “Yeah, I guess, there's that. You uh, you okay? You seem a bit irate over that. You were done with Jason, right?” She tensed and then poised herself. “I never had a use for him. He was cute, obviously hung, and dead on the inside, so he checked a few boxes, but... Jason is violent and no matter how much he tells me he would never hurt me, I am not stupid enough to fall for it. Especially the way I tend to piss people off. For now, I will just let him be. Maybe later I will let him drag his tongue across the sugar cube and hope he gets a taste, if not, his loss.” “Fair enough,” he agreed. He refrained from telling her that Jason was also an alien from a sex addicted clan of cannibals with a vinyl fetish. Not because he was afraid she'd be scared of him afterward, but because she might just go and sign up. Marissa never turned down free, edgy, stylish, black clothing. “Just don't let him get to you. We need to be together to deal with what's ahead.” “Why do you care so much?” She asked him silently. She brought he knees to her chest and tapped out a reply to one of Cade's texts while she talked. “I mean, we could go anywhere Deejay. Why not just jaunt us into a bank vault? We clean the place and disappear to Spain or Italy. Oh, I would love to go to Italy.” “Tomorrow, if you want,” he replied calmly, half listening while half pondering her question. “I care because no one else does, Emjay. That day I slammed Chet in the nose, I don't know... everything changed for me. I could have seriously hurt him, or worse. My anger, our anger it just seemed, I don't know, spent? Like I didn't even understand why we were still pissed at the world and why we were taking it out on a bunch of bumpkins from Nowhere, Montana. I guess-” “-you grew up?” Marissa tilted her head and blew her smoke upward away from him, dropping off the ash with a flick of her black taloned-shaped nail. “I guess, yeah. Then suddenly, the very same people I've spent years tormenting have strange and unique powers and were told we need to save the Shelly from this, Dark, thing? Now, all I can think about is how in the hell-” “-are a handful of people in a leaky boat going to save the world?” She finished his sentence again with a smirk. He laughed and nodded. “Mortal Kombat reference, nice, but yeah, exactly. We're six-fucking-teen, Em! Getting caught with our respective dates in bed by our parents and getting into a good school should be the most stress we should have to be dealing with right now... not 'defeat an ancient evil and remember if you mess up, the world is fucked'. I mean... what do we say to something like that?” “Bring it on.” Her shoulders heaved upwards once with such a casual answer. “We will not fail because failure is not an option. I have never thrown a punch in my life, but if I have to stand in the Thunder beside you and stare down the end, then that's where I'll be. You don't have to carry this all on your own. Talk to the others. We'll stand together, I know they feel the same way.”
  15. Laurie stepped through the threshold to her bedroom and slammed it firmly behind her. Her slender fingers wiped tears from her eyes as her mother and father shouted one last time through the house for her not to slam her door. She dangerously considered Devin's way of thinking for a moment as she pondered why they were telling not to do something she'd already done. Were they expecting her to open it and slam it again? Her brother had listened to the whole thing, but went back to his games and decided some battles were worth sitting out of. It was less about Laurie and more about Devin and why she was out with him so late. The two were having such a great time that she had forgotten about time zones, and ten o'clock Saturday evening in New Zealand was four AM in the morning back home in Shelly Montana. A million and one questions and worries were volleyed at her defenses but she stood firm without revealing where they went or how they had arrived. The hour long assault was essentially the typical parent argument of death and ditches and how worried they were. Like her brother, Sean, she was a good kid who rarely, if ever, did anything to attract the ire of her parents so she managed to escape punishment, this time. Toothbrush still jutting from the corner of her mouth she went about putting things away from her trip or casting dirty clothes where they needed to be for laundry tomorrow now in pair of shorts and long t-shirt, she brushed while she sorted. It felt so weird jumping forward a day then jumping back to Saturday as her own clock read that it was nearly four AM and she chided herself that she needed to get some sleep. She recalled the dinner on the boat as her red swimsuit hit the hamper. She poured out the contents of her backpack, which were mostly just gift bags from the Alexander Farm and a few things they'd picked up around Tauranga before visiting Mount Maunganui. Among the bags were pictures. One Devin got for her was the photo the tour guide took of them outside bag end, separate from the one they each had on their cell phones. Like most places you could buy your memories at the end of the trip in the gift shop and despite arguing with him Devin insisted on getting her a framed version of their trip. She smiled and shook her head, brushing with one hand and holding the frame in the other she looked around her room for someplace to place it. She decided on a clear place on her desk where her school books and homework were still out unfinished from when he'd disturbed her earlier that afternoon. From behind here there was a slight thump and she spun about to check, assuming it was Devin teleporting into her room in a chance to see her half out of her clothes, she noticed there was a slight distortion on her bed where the air wavered like hot asphalt on a summer afternoon. On her bed lay a an envelope with her first name, her actual name, 'Laurelai' written on it. Narrowing her eyes in curiosity she bit down on her toothbrush and scooped it up with a suspicion common to those expecting spring snakes to pop from a box. Inside was a folded letter and from between the crease slipped a picture, printed from home by the looks of a serrated edges of the photo paper. It fell to the floor but she read the letter instead. Laurelai, This is cheesy, I know, but I wanted to say that I was sorry in advance if I got you in any trouble. I forgot about the time zones thing and I know your parents aren't to thrilled about me as it is. For what it's worth, thanks again for giving me a chance. Your friend, 'Jaunt' "Jaunt, huh?" She rolled her eyes and sighed. "Christ, they're picking out superhero names for themselves, now." She picked up the picture from the floor. It was her and Devin leaping from the cliff face, and my looks was taken from the proprietor of their coastal tour and dinner. With a little light left, the shot was pretty amazing, bathing them both in the fiery oranges of the setting sun as they leapt into the waters below hand in hand with looks of pure enjoyment in their eyes. She flipped the picture over out of habit and looked then flipped it again when she realized he had written something on the back for her. “It's a dangerous business, Laurelai, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” -Jaunt/Tolkien Collaborations She smiled faintly, once again humored by his antics that never seemed to stop. They guy was a bag of tricks bound tightly in a box of surprises on an unpredictable timer and one could never tell what he was going to do next. “Smooth, Jaunsten,” she tucked the picture into the frame of them at Bag end on her desk. “Real smooth.” With her brushing done and the day night arguing completed she crawled into her bed. She hated to admit it, but they guy really wasn't that bad. He still had a long way to go to earn the respect of her and her brother, but today? Today was a fine start.
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