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PaigeII

Updated on March 16, 2017

I

The bell had rung at Eastwood High school, signaling the end of second period. Rectangular shaped fluorescent lights hung above and in the classrooms which made the navy blue walls glow. White tiles lined the floors of the entire building. In between the gray lockers were classroom doors. Students gradually filled the halls, some heading to their lockers others meeting up with friends to talk.

Paige and Julie had come out of their English class and walked to the end of the hall to Paige’s locker. It opened as she put away her textbook and a copy of William Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’.

“At least we can stop carrying these thick textbooks around.” Julie commented

“It’ll be a nice break.” Paige replied

Before shutting her locker, she heard something rip. Looking down at her blue jeans, there was a tear in the knee. Must have gotten caught on her locker again. She shook it off until Jake walked up to them and his jaw dropped.

“What?” Paige asked

“We need to get you to the nurse’s office.” Julie replied

She took Paige’s hand, looked around no one had noticed. Then someone pointed at Paige and people started laughing. Jake put his varsity jacket around Paige; Julie walked her to the nurse’s office.

Nurse Stephens was sitting at her desk, wearing navy scrubs. She looked up to see Paige and Julie walk in.

“Paige?” She asked

Paige nodded, Nurse Stephens gave her a pair of purple scrubs and she went into the bathroom. Julie sat down on an extra desk chair as the bell rang to start the new period. Her old clothes flew out and into Julie’s hands. She crumpled them up and tossed them into the garbage can. Nurse Stephens called Jade Jacobs and hung up as Paige came out of the bathroom holding Jake’s jacket.

“When did it happen?” Nurse Stephens asked

“In between the change from second to third period.” Paige replied

“I noticed it and luckily Jake showed up to give her his jacket.” Julie added

“I called your mother. She’s on her way over. You two can hang out until she gets here.” Nurse Stephens continued

Nurse Stephens left her office; Paige sat down on the blue cot.

She noticed her hair now fell further down her shoulders. It looked darker, Julie wheeled up to her.

“So what happens now?” Julie asked

Paige shrugged pulling her knees into her chest.

“My parents had everything planned out. We’ll see what my mom says when she gets here.” Paige replied

By noon Jade walked in and saw her daughter. She had matured and looked to be eighteen.

“Paige…” She whispered

Paige looked up at her mother and stood up. They hugged and Jade stepped back to look at her daughter.

“You look beautiful.” Jade said

Paige offered her mother a half smile, she turned to Julie.

“Thank you Julie for bringing her here.” Jade continued

“It was no problem Mrs. Jacobs.” Julie replied

Nurse Stephens walked in and handed a note to Julie.

“Give that to your teacher, Julie. It’ll excuse you for being late. Mrs. Jacobs everything has been arranged.” She explained

“Thank you Nurse Stephens.” Jade replied

Julie and Paige waved to each other as they went their separate ways. Jade had bought a 2016 Lincoln MKX in gold, treating herself for the lounge being so successful last year. The doors unlocked, she and Paige got in; sliding on the light brown leather seats. Pulling out of the school’s parking lot, Paige hugged Jake’s jacket tightly. It smelled of his ‘Calvin Klein’ cologne she had bought him, last year for the holidays. The rest of the ride, she stared out the window.

Pulling into the long driveway, it felt weird to be home so early. She was used to going to following her schedule and now everything came to a screeching halt. Her stomach clenched thinking this day has been ruined. The thoughts of her fellow classmates still echoed in her head. The comments were harsh and hurtful.

The car doors unlocking broke the long silence between her and her mother. They got out of the car and went into the house. Sasha flashed into the living room and jumped up Paige as she sat down on the couch. She hugged the demon dog.

“How are you feeling?” Jade asked

“Still a little freaked out. Everyone saw my clothes rip and I heard them thinking; and then the laughter started.” Paige replied

Jade bent down on one knee and hugged Paige.

“I’m so sorry baby.” Jade whispered

“Thanks mom…” Paige sighed

A tissue box floated into her lap, she grabbed two, one to blow her nose and the other to dry her tears.

“So what happens now?” Paige asked

“You’ll finish junior year here at home. Your father and I hired a tutor; she’ll be coming next week. And by the start of senior year you’ll go back to school. So enjoy this little vacation this week. Plus if you want your room redone to suit the new you, I left catalogs on your desk. Along with clothing catalogs.”

“Great. What about my old clothes?”

“There are two black garbage bags on your bed. They’re going to be donated to Sanctuary. And you can borrow my clothes for now, until your new clothes arrive.”

She smiled; maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. And the best part was going back at the start of Senior, by then this whole incident would be in the distant past. Jade held out her hand, a pair of jeans, green t-shirt and black flip flops landed in Paige’s lap.

“Go get changed and you can pack up your clothes.” She suggested

Paige nodded, two more items landed on top of the pile. She looked down to see a sports bra and underwear. Sasha followed her into her room; the two garbage bags rose into the air and landed in front of her bed, opened. She put the scrubs under her pillow, figured they could be pajamas for the time being. After changing, her closet opened, some of the clothes still had tags on them. It was sad, but they would be used at Safe Haven. In five minutes both bags were filled, one with everyday clothes the other with pajamas.

She sent the bags out to the front door, and she saw the catalogs on her dresser. Sitting down on her bed, with Sasha next to her, she began flipping through a clothing catalog. Jade appeared in her doorway.

“Hey, I’m going to drop off the clothes and stop to get some sandwiches from the deli. Would you like one?”

“Could you get me my usual sandwich?”

“No problem. I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

She heard the door lock and watched as her mother pulled out of the driveway. Turning back to the catalog on her lap, a black pen flew into her hand. She started circling outfits, tops, dresses, jeans, and skirts. She was browsing the intimates section when Sasha leaped off the bed and started barking.

Sighing she got up and walked towards the patio doors and the barking stopped. She tensed thinking back to her training with her Aunt Jade. The patio doors opened and she leaped out tackling Amber to the ground. Sasha walked out and sat down.

“Amber… you nearly gave me a heart attack. What are you doing here?” Paige asked

She got up and helped Amber to her feet. Adjusting her black dress and pigtails she gasped and took a step back.

“Little Telepath? You grew up…” Amber said

Paige blushed as Sasha went and sat next to her.

“When?” Amber asked

“This morning at school. Julie and Jake were there to help.” Paige replied

“Wolf girl and Fire starter… cool.”

“What are you doing here?”

“Telepath asked me to stop by… home?”

“No she should be back soon.”

“Oh… I wait…”

“Ok, have a seat on the couch.”

Her catalog and pen flew into her hand and they sat down on the couch.

“Shopping?” Amber asked

Paige nodded, Sasha flashed next to her.

“My old clothes are too small. So it’s time for a whole new wardrobe.”

Amber looked down at the catalog on Paige’s lap.

“Pretty…” She whispered

She pointed to a green crystal on a silver chain.

“It is…”

II

The front door unlocked and Jade walked in carrying a brown paper bag.

“Hey. Well it’s a good thing I bought three sandwiches.” Jade said

“Hi Telepath.” Amber continued

“Come sit at the dining room table.” She suggested

Both girls got up and sat down. Jade set the brown bag on the table and went into the kitchen. Plates flew out, landing in front of them. Jade brought out cans of soda and a bowl of potato chips. They unwrapped their sandwiches and began eating.

“What’s up Amber?” Jade asked

“Wanted to ask… use lounge for Trent’s birthday?” Amber replied

“Sure; is it a surprise?”

Amber nodded and her cheeks turned a little pink.

“Doesn’t know and wanted to go over menu, drinks, and decorations.” She continued

“When is his birthday?” Paige asked

“Two weeks; Saturday…” Amber replied

“No problem; what kind of decorations were you thinking about?” Jade continued

“Teal and black balloons… with matching streamers… Happy Birthday sign.” Amber explained

“What about the menu?”

A steno pad and pen landed on the table.

“Would like wolf’s famous wings, burgers, fries, and birthday cake.”

Jade smiled and wrote everything down.

“Who did you want to invite?”

“Wanted to keep small… Ash, Trina, Pixy and Aaron, Kitten and Aiden, Vamp lady and mate, Wolf; Also you, and Wizard.”

“Ok; did you buy invitations?”

Amber nodded, “Will send them out this weekend.”

“Good idea. If you hand deliver them, make sure they end up in the mailbox.” Jade suggested

“I will… Little Telepath can come with Fire Starter?”

“It’s up to you Paige…”

“I’ll go. And I’ll let Jake know.”

An hour later, Amber flashed home. Paige helped clean up, Sasha waited by the front door holding her black leash. She smiled and clipped the metal hook and walked outside. Jade sat down on the couch, her cell phone flew into her hand and she dialed. It rang a few times, until someone picked up.

“Jacobs, Franks, and Brown how may I direct your call?” A woman asked

“Ryan Jacobs please, it’s his wife.” Jade replied

“Hello Jade; how are you?”

“I’m good Karen.”

“Good; hang on I’ll transfer you over.”

Classical music played until he picked up the phone.

“Ryan Jacobs…” He said

“Hey I hope I’m not interrupting your day.” Jade began

“No. I got your text, but I was in court. How is she?” He asked

“She’s adjusting; it’s going to take time. I have a feeling she inherited your powers. I know you’re excited, but I would say prepare a binding potion in case.”

“I’ll prepare one when I get home. Otherwise she’s ok?”

“She’ll be alright. Like I said it’s going to take some time. I’m going to bring her to my sister’s later for training.”

“Alright; I have to get back to work. I love you.”

“I love you too. I’ll see you later.”

She walked with Sasha on the side of the road. It was quiet, though a few cars would drive by. A chill ran up her spine, someone was close by. She continued walking; out of the corner of her eye she saw a tall shadow form.

“Hello Paige.” Ash said

“Hello Uncle Ash.” She paused; “Did my mom send you?”

“No; I sensed what happened.” He replied

“I forgot how powerful you are.” She continued

He laughed as they continued to walk.

“I do hide some of my powers. And that’s only because they’re used in battle. But I know they’re there if I need them. Have you inherited your father’s powers?”

She shrugged and stopped, he put his arm around her.

“I’m afraid. I still remember what Aphrodite said about me being a powerful hybrid. If I am, it freaks me out that I could be that powerful; but how do I control all that power?”

“You don’t have to be afraid. Your parents and all of us will be there to help you. I have a feeling you’ll be fine.”

“Thanks for the vote in confidence.”

He smiled and they turned around to walk back to the house. She waved as she walked up the driveway, he flashed.

Walking inside, she unhooked Sasha’s leash and she walked over to her water bowl. Jade was sitting on the couch reading. She sat down draping her legs on her mother’s lap.

“Did you have a nice talk with Ash?” She asked

“I did. Mom, when did it happen to you?”

“It was the week before I started college. I was out with Mike Esposito; he and I had dated since freshmen year. He got accepted to NYU. And I was staying here. That night we went to Harper’s Lake for one last night before he left to move into his dorm. We went swimming and after jumping, I came up for air and felt my bathing suit was too small. Mike knew about my abilities, he was so sweet to bring a pair of sweatpants and t-shirt. I called your grandparents and they came to pick me up and take me home. Coming home and seeing me in the mirror was a little weird. Thinking I wouldn’t change. It all takes time love and I know you’ll be alright.”

Paige smiled and got up.

“I’m going to lie down for a little while.” She said

“Alright; I’ll wake you up around six. We’re going over to Aunt Jade’s house.” Jade replied

Around four, she felt arms wrapping around her. And then lips kissing her neck. Her eyes opened and she turned over to see Jake. He pulled her closer, she rested her head on his shoulder and her legs wrapped around him.

“What are you doing here?” She asked

“I came to see how you were holding up.” He replied

“Thanks… does my mom know you’re here?”

He chuckled, “She should be sensing my magic. I shielded the room so she can’t hear us.”

“Impressive…”

You two better be behaving in there…” Jade’s voice echoed in Paige’s head

Relax mom… Jake knows better…” Paige replied

That’s my girl…

Paige giggled as she flipped Jake onto his back and stared down at him.

“So are people still talking about this morning?” She asked

He sighed, no use in trying to lie to her. She could read his mind and find out the truth.

“Yeah. It’s mostly the cheerleaders and other popular crowd talking.” He replied

“What about your teammates?”

“They were actually concerned. You know most of them, they’re pretty decent guys.”

She smiled, “I knew I liked them for a reason.”

He laughed, snapping his fingers and then sat up.

“As much as I would love to stay, I have homework. You want to go see a movie on Friday?”

“Alright; and sure. Want to see Zootopia?”

“Sure; and I’ll get us tickets.”

She got up and hugged him tightly. He kissed the top of her head and flashed. Jade walked in, Paige’s cheeks were a light pink.

“Well at least I’m not interrupting anything. That was sweet of him to stop by.” Jade commented

“It was. And I finished browsing through the clothing catalogs. I have to look through the bedding and furniture.”

The catalogs landed in Jade’s hands and she smiled.

“Great, I’ll place the order. And bring me the other ones if you find something. Just remember we have to leave here in an hour and a half.”

“I will. And I know.”

She sat down at her desk and began flipping through the furniture catalog. An off-white set; two night tables and drawers caught her eye. The handles were in the shape of the moon. She circled it along with a shoe rack that would fit in her closet.

By six they pulled up in front of Jade Dean’s house. The sun had sunk below the horizon; Paige noticed the curtains and blinds opening. Walking up the porch steps, the front door opened and they walked inside.

The door shut behind them and locked. Something blurred down the stairs, Jade D. appeared behind Paige.

“You’ve grown… pretty girl.” She whispered

Paige turned to face her Aunt, Mitch blurred down stairs, appearing beside his wife.

“Hello Aunt Jade, Uncle Mitch.” Paige said

She hugged them both; Jade led her outside into her backyard. Mitch and Jade J followed and sat down on two chaise lounge chairs. There were six wooden pillars set up each had a square glass vase filled marbles.

“I want to see if your powers have gotten stronger.” Jade D paused; “Aim for that middle vase and make a pushing motion like this.”

Paige practiced before she turned to face her target. She repeated the motion and the vase shattered; the marbles fell to the ground.

“Not bad; aim for the other targets.”

Paige did different movements to break all the vases. Mitch handed Jade a bottle of water.

“Has she inherited Ryan’s powers? He asked

“I have a feeling she did. Ryan is excited, but Paige is afraid of having all that power.” Jade replied

III

Paige punched and kicked a punching bag, floating in midair. Jade Dean watched and then noticed a tear running down her cheek.

“Mortals can be cruel pretty girl. Especially ones who are jealous of our abilities.” She commented

She stopped, but Jade nodded to continue.

“Don’t let them get to you. Unless they attack you first, then you can defend yourself.” She continued

“I know. It’s tough not to do anything.” Paige sighed

“You’ll learn love.”

Paige let out an aggravated sigh and threw a hard right hand. Once her fist made contact with the back it was sent flying and hit the fence.

“Impressive…” Jade said

She smiled as she tied her hair back into a ponytail.

“That’s all for tonight.” Jade D. said

Jade and Paige left for home, pulling up into the driveway Ryan and Sasha were playing fetch with a tennis ball. His eyes lit up seeing Paige getting out of the car and he walked over to her. They hugged, as Jade went inside.

“You look beautiful.” He said

“Thanks dad.” She replied

“I want you to try something for me.”

“What?”

“Hold out your hand, palm up, and concentrate. I want to see if you can conjure energy balls.”

She did as he asked, taking a deep breath in and letting it out. Gradually small lightning sparks appeared and gradually a green energy ball formed in her hand. Her eyes lit up, Ryan stood next to her stunned. It levitated out of her hand and she threw it into the air. It burst into green petals showering down on them.

“Paige that was amazing…” Ryan commented

“Thanks. I remembered that move from Aphrodite…” Paige replied

“It’s alright honey. I prepared a binding potion if you don’t want to keep these powers.”

“I’ll need to think about it.”

“That’s fine; you let me know. In the meantime, would you want to learn about the craft?”

“Sure.”

“To start, anything you send out into the world; could come back three times. Some witches are gifted with the power to heal, see premonitions, or event control the elements. And by elements, it means Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. Seems you have been blessed with the power of Earth. Which there are growing spells and potions.”

Paige nodded as he handed her Sasha’s tennis ball. It rose into the air and she threw it. Sasha ran after it. By midnight she was in bed reading with Sasha lying at her feet. She put her book on her night table, her lamp turned off and she fell asleep.

The next morning she woke up to Sasha licking her face. She yawned and sat up, seeing her bedroom door slightly open. Looking at her alarm clock it was eleven, then a small white box sitting on her desk, caught her eyes. It floated over to her and landed on her lap. She took the lid off and gasped seeing a ‘Droid Turbo II’ inside.

She turned it on and saw a text message.

Good morning Paige. We bought this phone for you, when you start driving senior year. For the time being, you have unlimited talk, text, and two gigabytes of data. I already connected you to the Wi-Fi in the house. Enjoy and call if you need anything- Mom

She smiled as she checked her contacts. The only numbers she had were dad’s office and cell, along with mom’s cell and Aunt Jade. She got out of bed and walked into her parents’ bedroom. There was a pair of jeans and blue t-shirt along with clean undergarments on the bed. She picked them up and went into the bathroom.

The semi-warm water felt made her gasp as she stepped underneath the shower head. She a bottle of shampoo opened and poured a small amount in her hand. After she walked into her room dressed and put her scrubs underneath her pillow.

“Amber…” She called

Amber appeared sitting on her bed, wearing black jeans and matching t-shirt with a pink skull on the front.

“Hi Little Telepath!” She said

“Are you busy today?” Paige asked

“Nope; everyone at work…”

“Could you take me into town? I need a change.”

“No problem. Take hand… hold on.”

They appeared in town by the fountain. It was quiet; occasionally people would walk by or head into a shop.

“Where to?” Amber asked

“A good hair salon…” Paige replied

“White Tigress’s sister… c’mon…”

She took Paige by the hand and walked down to the salon were Melody worked. Walking inside, music played and Melody was sitting behind the dark wooden receptionist desk. White tiles ran throughout the building with black padded mats around each station. Large square mirrors were double sided and each dark wooden station was covered with supplies.

“Hey Amber what’s up?” Melody asked

“Hi Little White Tigress! You free?” Amber replied

“You’re in luck. My next client had to reschedule, what are you looking to do today?”

Amber shook her head, “Not me; Little Telepath… meet Little White Tigress.”

“Hey Melody.” Paige said

“Paige? Wow it’s been a long time.” Melody paused; “Come on back and we can discuss what you’re looking to do.”

They walked back to her station and Paige sat down Melody stood behind her.

“So what are you looking to do?” Melody asked

“Trimmed and green highlights.” Paige replied

“Alright; your parents are cool with this?”

Paige nodded, “At least I’m not getting a tattoo.”

Melody and Amber laughed.

“Head on back to the shampoo station. Once you’re done there we’ll get started.”

Paige nodded and walked back to a row of four black sinks and matching lounge chairs. A young girl, probably eighteen with blond hair and blue eyes signaled for her to sit down in the center chair. She began running the water and adjusted it. Then began wetting Paige’s hair.

“So who’s doing your hair today?” She asked

“Melody…” Paige replied

“Cool.”

Paige closed her eyes and began listening to the rock music playing from the numerous speakers spread throughout the salon. A few minutes passed and the water shut off. The girl sat Paige up drying her hair with another towel.

“You’re all done.” She said

“Thanks.” Paige replied

She sensed the girl was a fairy and attending college in town. Paige walked back to Melody’s station and sat down. A purple smock went around her and snapped in back. Melody began working.

“So playing hooky from school?” Melody asked

“Something like that.” Paige paused; “It’s a long story…”

“Fair enough.”

An hour later, Paige paid, she and Amber left walking towards the fountain.

“Hair looks good…” Amber commented

“Thanks. I figured highlights would be easier.”

“True… want to go anywhere else?”

She thought for a minute and then heard her stomach growling. They laughed and started walking towards the diner. After being seated and browsing the menu, a server took their order.

“Thanks for coming with me.” Paige said

“Welcome…” Amber paused

Her cell phone rang and she looked at the text message.

IV

She put her phone down as the server brought them their Belgium Waffles with fresh strawberries and cream.

“Come to Sanctuary? White Tigress has new border, wind demon.”

“Okay…”

“Cool.”

Amber paid for breakfast and they flashed to ‘Sanctuary’. As they walked inside, Paige sensed the wind demon was powerful. He’d come from the ‘Otherworld’ after the Goddess was overthrown. Walking into the kitchen, her eyes widened and Amber smiled. He was tall, muscular and lean. His ice blue eyes looked up, as he brushed a strand of black hair out of his squared face and behind his pierced ear.

He wore a pair of ‘Converse’ sneakers, blue jeans, and black t-shirt. Max was sitting across from him, sipping on a cup of tea.

“Amber and Paige? Oh my god! It’s been a long time.” Max said

She stood up and hugged her and Amber. And then she gestured for them to sit, they sat on Max’s left.

“Ladies this is Wes. Wes these are Amber and Paige.” Max explained

“It’s nice to meet you.” Wes said

“You too…” The girls replied together

“I was hoping you could show Wes around town. And also bring him by the high school; he’ll be finishing his senior year. Most of his paperwork was sent via email, but there are some forms he needs to sign. Would you mind?” Max continued

“No problem… go now?” Amber asked

Max nodded, “Head to the school first and then you can show him around town.”

He stood up and both girls looked up at him. They smiled, joined hands and flashed. Appearing outside the school, Paige stopped before walking through the front door.

“You wait outside?” Amber asked

Paige nodded, Amber lead Wes inside. A few minutes later, they came out to see Paige smiling. They started walking down the street. She felt Wes looking at her.

“Everything alright Paige?” He asked

“Yeah; I’m fine.” She replied

“Why didn’t you want to come inside?”

“Wes being nosey….” Amber commented

“It’s okay Amber.” Paige interrupted

Amber growled as they continued to walk.

“You already know Amber is a fire demon. I’m a hybrid; immortal, telekinetic and telepathic powers, and witch. By my first birthday I grew up looking twelve years old, my growth rate was insane. And just this week, I matured in front of my friends. And the comments weren’t pleasant.” Paige explained

“Damn; I’m sorry Paige.” Wes said

“It’s cool. At least we’ll start senior year together, I’m being home schooled for the rest of the semester.”

“Cool.”

They flashed into town.

“This is downtown Eastwood. There are a lot of shops, cafes, restaurants, and a park across the street.” Paige said

“Looks different from the Otherworld.” Wes commented

“Changes?” Amber asked

“There have been. Maybe I could show you sometime…” Wes replied

“No desire…go back…” Amber said

“I’d like to see it sometime.” Paige chimed in

This was weird; she hadn’t been back there since the Goddess kidnapped her. And now someone she just met was offering to take her back. Maybe being spontaneous was a side effect of her maturing. They continued walking and Amber pointed out more places to visit. By three they returned to Sanctuary, Wes and Paige began walking down the street as Amber flew home.

“Thanks for showing me around.” He said

“No problem; it was a chance to get out of the house.” Paige replied

He chuckled and she felt heat rising in her cheeks. Now the side effects must have been in full effect what was going on? She shook it off and smiled.

“Have you started home schooling?” He asked

“Next week; I get to enjoy this mini vacation.” She replied

“Cool. But before you know it it’ll be time to go back.”

“Don’t remind me. I’m just trying to get through the rest of this year and the summer.”

“Does your family go on vacation together?”

“I’m not sure about this year. My dad’s a lawyer and mom is the owner of the Circle Lounge.”

“Your Jade Jacob’s daughter?”

“Guilty…”

“Max and Alex told me about that place. Your mom and her sister did an awesome thing.”

“She’s not really her sister. They’ve been friends for a long time; both have the same powers, but my Aunt is vampire.”

“I thought a vampire’s mind couldn’t be read.”

“It can’t, but they share a strong bond. And can finish each other's sentences. If you ever meet them, you’ll see what I mean. But enough about me was it like living in the Otherworld?”

“It wasn’t terrible. My mom and I lived by a lake, it was peaceful. Though the Goddess sometimes made it hell. After she was defeated, I decided it was time to see what else was out there.”

They stopped at the corner and started walking back. A car horn beeped and a green jeep pulled up to them. Two girls, dressed in blue cheerleading outfits were laughing.

“Hey Paige. It’s a shock you decided to be out in public.” One girl commented

“After the spell fiasco we thought you’d become a leper.” Her friend added

“Kelly, Monica; it’s more of a shock to see you still fit into kids sizes. The anorexia is really paying off.”

Paige snapped back

Wes tried to control himself and burst out laughing. The two girls glared at them.

“At least we’re not a freak who can’t control her powers.” Kelly continued

She brushed her long brown hair out of her face, Monica giggled. Paige growled and then conjured an energy ball. The girls started laughing, but then stopped as the concentrated energy rose out of her hand and shot up into the sky. They drove off as it exploded and green petals floated down around them.

“Some adoring fans?” Wes asked

“Something like that.” Paige paused; “Can’t stand them sometimes. Anyway…”

“Paige!” Jake called

He walked up to them carrying a gray duffle bag. She hugged him tightly.

“Hey how was practice?” She asked

“It was intense. Who’s your friend?” Jake replied

“Oh, this is Wes; he’s going to be living at Sanctuary and starting high school senior year. Wes this is my boyfriend Jake. He lives at Sanctuary too.” Paige replied

They shook hands and Paige sensed Jake was a little concerned with her hanging out with a wind demon.

“Nice to meet you.” Wes said

“Same here man. I hope you like Sanctuary so far.” Jake replied

“It’s not bad; it’s different from the Otherworld.”

“Oh wow. This must be a huge adjustment.”

“It is.”

“Anyway I’d better be heading home. Jake can you walk me?” Paige asked

“Sure. I’ll see you later man.” Jake continued

“Later… bye Paige.” Wes replied

Paige took him by the hand and they started walking.

“I know you’re feeling jealous. You can relax; Amber and I were showing him around town.” Paige said

“It’s not easy. Especially around someone who looks like he came out of a romance novel.” Jake replied

Paige giggled, “He’s really nice and doesn’t know anyone. Could you try to be friendlier and less jealous?”

Jake sighed, “Alright; must be an adjustment from the Otherworld.”

“I think so. So please, for me… try…”

He pulled her close and she started to feel like herself again. She pulled out her cell phone and unlocked it.

“When did you get that?” He asked

“This morning. Put in your number.”

He put in his number and handed her the phone. She slipped it into her back pocket, when he stopped. He took her hand and slowly rose into the air and flew the rest of the way back to her house. They landed on her driveway and she hugged him tightly.

“Thanks for the ride.” She said

“No problem.” He replied

“And please try to be friendlier to Wes.”

He smiled, “I’ll try.”

“Thank you…”

V

She leaned up and kissed his lips gently. He waved as she walked inside; Sasha was sunbathing in the backyard. She stood up and walked over to Paige as she came outside.

“Hey girl…” She whispered

Sasha barked and then licked Paige’s hand. She scratched behind her ears, but stopped when she sensed a car pulling into the driveway. Her hand grasped Sasha’s collar and the demon dog looked up at her.

“Flash us to the front of the house.” Paige commanded

In a blink of an eye she saw a silver ‘Mercedes Benz’ with slightly tinted windows. The motor was turned off and the car doors slowly opened. A young couple in their late twenties stepped out. Both had dark brown hair, he had blue and she had brown eyes. Her hair was clipped back; his was combed and parted in the middle. She wore a pair of black jeans with a dark purple t-shirt. He wore a pair of blue jeans and gray t-shirt.

“Hello Paige.” The woman began

“Grandma? Grandpa?” Paige asked

They nodded and walked up to her. She hugged them both and led them inside. The door shut behind her as her grandparents took a seat on the couch. Sasha walked over and sniffed them and then lied down.

“What are you doing here?” Paige asked

“Your mom invited us for dinner and to celebrate you maturing.” Grandmother replied

“I think Jade meant this to be a surprise Adrian.” Grandfather whispered

“Matt I know; we just arrived earlier than expected.” Adrian laughed

“This is a surprise.” Paige paused; “Can I get you anything to drink or eat?”

“We’re fine honey. Sit down.”

A dining room chair appeared behind her, she sat down. Sasha sat beside her; she began scratching behind her ears.

“Your mom told us when it happened. We are so sorry, mortals can be so cruel.” Adrian said

“Yeah; but I think I’ll live.” Paige replied

“Think Senior year you could go out with a bang.” Matt chimed in

“What do you mean Grandpa?” Paige asked

“Make it a year none of your classmates will forget. You just have to get a little creative.” He continued

“Ok…” Paige said

“Sasha is very protective of you.” Adrian commented

Sasha tilted her head to the side and then walked up to them. They petted her and then sat beside Paige.

“She is. Demon dogs are very loyal.” Paige replied

“Demon dog?” Matt asked

“Sasha show Grandma and Grandpa your wings.” Paige commanded

Sasha barked and then her wings appeared on her back. They gasped as her wings folded and disappeared.

“Supernatural pets? Now I’ve seen everything.” Matt said

Paige laughed, “She’s trained and is a great guard dog.”

“That’s great.” Adrian chimed in

By five Jade walked in seeing her parents and Paige.

“Hey, mom, dad, I thought you guys weren’t getting here until late.” Jade began

“Hello honey.” Adrian said

She and Matt stood up to hug their daughter. Paige and her hugged and another dining room chair floated over and landed next to Paige’s.

“Traffic wasn’t so bad coming down. So we got here earlier than expected.” Matt continued

“That’s good. Anyway let me and Paige freshen up and we’ll head out for dinner. Ryan is going to meet us at the restaurant.” Jade interrupted

Paige followed her into the master bathroom.

“Nice hair…” Jade commented

“Thank you. Why didn’t you tell me Grandma and Grandpa were coming?” Paige asked

Jade picked up her hairbrush and tied her hair back into a ponytail.

“It was supposed to be a surprise. But luck was on their side and they got here before me.” She replied; “Did Melody do your hair?”

Paige nodded as she braided her hair and put a hair tie at the end.

“It looks nice. Are you ready?”

“Let’s go.”

They walked out to see Adrian and Matt standing by the door.

“I’ll drive.” Jade said

Her keys landed in her hand and everyone walked outside. She locked up and Sasha flashed into the backyard. They got into her car and pulled out into the main road.

“How is your sister?” Adrian asked

“She’s great and remarried.” Jade replied

“Remarried the police officer?” Matt asked

“Yeah; I had a feeling he would propose. When he asked me to help pick out a ring, then it was only a matter of time before he asked her.”

“Maybe we could see her, while we’re in town.” Adrian suggested

“Sure. I’ll call her later tonight. She’s still sleeping.”

The car pulled into a small shopping center, Ryan was standing outside ‘Panda House’ Chinese restaurant.

“Hello Adrian, Matt.” Ryan began

He shook hands with Matt and then hugged Adrian. Jade kissed him and Paige hugged him tightly.

“You look beautiful…” He whispered to Paige

“Thanks dad.” Paige replied

They walked inside; laminate wood flooring ran throughout the restaurant until it met the white tile leading into the kitchen. An older Asian American man, dressed in khakis and navy polo shirt was standing at the host’s stand.

“Hello. How many?” He asked

“Five.” Jade replied

“This way please.”

He led them into the restaurant and into a larger room on the left. They sat down at a large round table.

“Enjoy…” The man said

They started browsing the menu. Paige sat thinking about what had happened earlier with Wes. There was something about him, maybe because he was new in town; her curiosity must have been getting the best of her. And plus she was with Jake; he was the first guy she kissed. She began to rub the sides of her head with her index and middle fingers.

“Paige… Paige…” Jade called

“Huh?” She said

“Are you ready to order?” Jade asked

She noticed a young man standing by the table.

“I’m sorry… can I have an order of vegetable lo mein and wonton soup please?”

The man nodded and collected everyone’s menus. She sighed and tried to smile.

Everything alright Paige?” Jade asked

I’m fine mom…” Paige replied

Alright…

The rest of dinner she, put the weird feelings aside and tried to enjoy seeing her grandparents. When they came home, she went into the backyard and sat down on one of the lounge chairs. She stared up at the clear sky, filled with stars and a crescent shaped moon.

“What’s the matter pretty girl?” A voice asked

She suddenly saw her Aunt Jade blocking her view, Mitch was beside her.

“I don’t know…” Paige replied

“Babe head inside and I’ll join you shortly.” Jade D. said

Mitch walked inside, a chair appeared beside her, and Jade D sat down.

“Please don’t tell mom.” Paige said

“This sounds important. But I promise.”

Paige took a deep breath.

“I was hanging out with Amber today. She took me into town, I had Melody highlight my hair and after we had breakfast. She got a text from Max, asking her to come by Sanctuary. There was a new boarder there and Max asked for Amber to show him around town. We flash over and Aunt Jade walking into the kitchen we were stunned.” She explained

“He was that handsome huh?”

Paige nodded, “He looked like he came out of a thrilling romance novel. Anyway his name is Wes. He lived in the Otherworld and decided to come here. Amber and I showed him around town, he knows about the lounge and I’m the daughter of one of the owners. But he offered to take me to the Otherworld to show me around and I immediately said yes. I only met him today. Is there something wrong with me?”

Jade hugged her tightly and then leaned back with a smile.

“There is nothing wrong with you pretty girl. You have to trust your instincts, they’ll never fail. It’s part of your powers, you knew that he wasn’t going to hurt you. If he did, you know how to defend yourself. And would be nice to see you expanding your circle of friends.”

“That’s why I’m afraid of. He’ll be become more than a friend and I don’t want to hurt Jake.”

“Again trust your instincts. If was meant to be then it was meant to be.”

“Thanks Aunt Jade.”

She hugged her tightly and then they got up.

“Your mother is looking for us.” Jade commented

They walked inside, Adrian and Matt walked up to Jade and hugged her tightly.

“Hello adopted daughter number three.” Matt said

“Hi mama, pop. How are you?”

“We’re good darling. We love Mitch already.” Adrian replied

“That’s a relief.” Mitch commented

Everyone laughed as they sat down on dining room chairs and continued to talk. By ten everyone left and Paige went into her room with Sasha behind her. She changed into scrubs and lied down, the television turned on and Sasha jumped on the bed, lying down by her feet.

VI

Friday night, she and Jake walked out of the movie theater after seeing ‘Zootopia’.

“That was a great movie.” He commented

“Yeah it was…” she replied

She fixed her jean skirt and pulled down her purple tank top in the back. Then slipped on her black zip up hoodie.

“Isn’t that Julie?” He asked

Slowly she looked up to see her with another girl. She was Julie’s height, short red hair, blue eyes and fair complexion. They had walked out of the theatre, seeing Paige and Jake.

“It is.” Paige paused; “Julie!”

“Hey you two. What’s up?” Julie asked

“Not much; we saw Zootopia what did you see?”

“10 Cloverfield Lane…” Julie paused; “Oh I’m sorry. Jake, Paige this is my girlfriend Zoey. Zoey these are my best friends Jake and Paige.” She continued

“It’s nice to finally put names to faces. Julie has told me a lot about you.” Zoey said extending her hand

“It’s nice to meet you too.” Paige replied

“Yeah really nice to meet you.” Jake added

“We were going to walk over to Fridays for something to eat. You want to join us?” Julie asked

“Sure.”

She took Jake by the hand. He was confused and was surprised at the same time. Julie and Zoey were ahead of them.

“Did you know?” He asked

“She’s bisexual.” Paige whispered

Jake then nodded as they caught up to Julie and Zoey. Walking into the restaurant, a man sat them in the back near the windows looking out to the parking lot.

“So where did you to meet?” Paige asked

“A month ago at that vintage clothing shop in town. Zoey goes to Westwood High school, but comes to our school for the culinary program.” Julie replied

“I’m surprised you didn’t tell her about us.” Jake continued

“Since I had heard so much about you. I kept asking her to let me finally meet you guys.” Zoey chimed in

They all laughed. Paige sensed Zoey was a werewolf and pretty powerful. Her pack lived in a large development. A female server came over to take their orders.

“Are you two supernatural too?” Zoey asked

“We are.” Jake and Paige replied together

“Cool. Jake I know you’re a fire fairy. I smelled smoke and Paige…” Zoey paused

“Maybe you should explain.” Julie chimed in

Paige smiled, “I have telepathic and telekinetic powers; in addition to my new powers of witchcraft. I’m also the third generation immortal, my family doesn’t feed on blood. We can survive on human food, but our growth rate is pretty fast in the beginning.”

“Wow; I smelled a lot of different powers around you. So how fast?” Zoey asked

“For me it happened in two years after my birth. By the time I turned one, I grew up, looking twelve years old. And I matured this week.” Paige replied

“Interesting…” Zoey said

Their server returned with their drinks and food. While they were eating, Paige felt a chill run up her spine. Without even looking she sensed Wes had come in with Sierra. They were seated near the bar; she sighed in relief and hoped none of them would notice each other.

“What are your plans for the summer?” Zoey asked

“I can’t believe it starts the following week.” Julie commented

“I’ll be around.” Paige replied

“My Aunt invited me up to her cabin in Canada. It’ll be nice to see my cousins again. Paige you’re more than welcome to come.” Jake added

“I can’t. Between tutoring and training with my dad; it’s gonna be a long summer.” Paige continued

He sighed and put his arm around her.

“We’ll figure something out.” He whispered

An hour later they went their separate ways. He flashed her home and she hugged him tightly.

“It’s not goodbye just yet. I’ll come by before I leave.” He said

“I know…” She whispered

“And I’m only a call away. It’s not like I can flash in for a few hours.”

She leaned up and kissed his lips gently. He pulled her closer as the kiss became more passionate. Her arms wrapped around his neck, both leaned back, he waved and flashed. She felt her lips tingling as she walked inside. Her father was sitting on the couch watching television; Sasha was sitting next to him.

“Hey how was the movie?” He asked

“It was cute. We ran into Julie and her new girlfriend. And we ended up at Fridays for food.” Paige replied

“Sounds like fun. Is she nice?”

“Yeah. She’s a werewolf too and goes to Westwood. And comes to my high school for the culinary program.”

“Cool. I hope you enjoyed your last night before finishing with school next week. And we continue training tomorrow.”

“I know.”

She looked at her phone and saw it was midnight.

“Night dad…” She said

“Night Paige…” He replied

Walking into her room, there were two large boxes sitting on her bed. Grabbing a pair of scissors from her desk and cut the seal down the middle. Inside she took out her new clothes wrapped in plastic. She let the scissors cut everything open and she found a pair of black plaid boxer shorts and t-shirt. After changing, everything was neatly hanging in her closet. She broke down the boxes and left them folded near her door.

Falling onto her bed, Sasha appeared and curled up by her feet. She turned off her light and fell asleep. The next morning she woke up to Sasha licking her face, picking up her phone her eye caught a large object sitting on her desk.

She got out of bed and looked down. It was large leather bound book; she used her powers to open it. The pages were once white, but now a light yellow with some burn marks. Flipping through the pages she saw spells, recipes for potions, and all different types of supernatural creatures.

“This is my book of shadows.” Ryan said

She looked up and the book closed, he was standing in her doorway. He picked it up and signaled for her to follow him. She and Sasha walked out into the backyard. Ryan had set up to patio chairs and a table where the book sat upon.

They sat down.

“Now I know you have a good sense of what types of supernatural creatures there are out there. Inside this book, are spells and potions that would vanquish them. Most of the potions could be made with herbs or plants which could be found in the pantry or even in the woods. And I’ll show you how to mix everything.” He explained

“And here I thought those herbs were for cooking.” Paige commented

Ryan smiled, “When used properly they can be powerful.”

He snapped his fingers and four candles appeared next to the book. She noticed there was one blue, red, green, and purple.

“ These candles represent the four elements; Earth , Air, Fire, and Water. Some witches or wizards could be gifted with the ability to control one or all the elements. Other times they could be gifted with the ability to heal others, see into the future; these are just examples and the possibilities are endless. Seems you have been gifted with the affinity for Earth.”

He continued to show her and by noon, he let her relax and get changed. She had come out of her room, wearing a pair of jean shorts and dark green t-shirt. The doorbell rang and Sasha started barking.

“Calm down…” Paige commanded

The door opened and she took a step back seeing Wes. Her flip flops flew into her hand and she stepped outside.

“Hey what’s up?” She asked

“Hey, Amber gave me your address. I hope that it’s ok.” He replied

“Yea it’s cool. What are you doing here?”

“Well, I figured since it’s your last weekend of freedom; would you want to come to the Otherworld and I’d show you around.”

“I’d like that. Dad…”

Ryan came to the door and gave Wes a look up and down. Paige rolled her eyes and let out an exaggerated sigh.

“Dad this is Wes. Wes this is my dad Ryan.” Paige began

They shook hands.

“It’s nice to meet your sir.” Wes said

“Same Wes. Where are you two going?” Ryan asked

“Wes offered to take me into the Otherworld. To show me the shops.” Paige replied

“Be careful. And have fun.” Ryan continued

“Thanks Dad.” Paige whispered

VII

They started walking down the driveway. At the end he conjured a light wooden door, it opened to the market’s square in the Otherworld. Paige walked through and he followed. There were old Victorian buildings restored, which were home to clothing shops, bakeries, and more.

Cobblestones lined the sidewalks as people walked by, she sensed there were were-animals, fairies, and some demons.

“This is beautiful.” Paige commented

“It didn’t take long after the Goddess was defeated that people rebuild.” Wes replied

They started walking and thankfully it was warm outside. Something shiny caught her eye and she saw they were outside a jewelry store. She walked inside, the teal walls glowed in the sunlight pouring in from the large window. The lights above were dimmed slightly, while white tile ran throughout the small store.

An older woman, came out from the back. Her gray hair was braided down her back, while she wore a long white sun dress. A pair of brown eyes met Paige’s as she walked up to the counter.

“Can I help you dear?” The woman asked

“Yes. How much is that crystal necklace you have in your window display?” Paige replied

The woman snapped her fingers conjuring the necklace that caught Paige’s eye. A medium sized green crystal was on a black leather chain.

“It’s twenty dollars.” The woman said

“I’d like to buy it. And wear it out if possible?” Paige replied

“Of course dear.” The woman said sweetly

Paige sensed she was witch, who had owned the shop for years. It was passed onto her before her parents passed away. She paid and put the necklace on.

“I sense you have an affinity for Earth.” The woman commented

Paige nodded as the woman came out from behind the counter and took the crystal into her hand. It glowed green briefly and then returned to normal.

“Welcome to your new powers.” The woman whispered

“Thank you.” Paige replied

She paid and left with Wes. They continued walking down the street.

“It looks beautiful on you.” Wes commented

“Thanks.” Paige paused

They were standing in front of a fountain with a statue of Aphrodite standing in the center. Chills ran up her spine, not remembering what had happened that night. From what her parents told her, the Goddess had cast a spell on her. She used her against her family and friends, just to get revenge on Ash.

“Paige… Paige… are you okay?” Wes asked

She snapped back to reality and turned to face him. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she walked over to a bench and sat down. He sat down beside her, handing her a tissue. She took it and blew her nose and dried her eyes.

“Paige…” Wes whispered

“I’m fine. Just need a few minutes.” Paige replied sniffling

“What happened?”

“Aphrodite kidnapped me and used my powers against my family and friends. I have no memory of it, but my parents told me what happened. She was out for revenge against my Uncle Ash and kidnapped his new girlfriend Trina.”

“Maybe coming here wasn’t the best idea.”

“No it’s really beautiful here. It’s just seeing her, brings up bad memories.”

He stood up and then held out his hand. She looked up and took it. They flashed to the beach, people were sunbathing, swimming, and playing volleyball. The clear blue water rushed to shore and leaving a foamy trail behind.

“Wes this is beautiful.” Paige commented

They walked towards the water, she slipped off her flip flops, letting the waves brush over her feet.

“Is the Otherworld similar to the real world realm?” Paige asked

“In towns and cities, but I would say it’s like an island. It never snows and it’s always warm.” He paused; “So it’ll be an adjustment to the winter and fall.”

“Wow. Have you seen snow?”

He nodded, “Movies and television shows…”

She giggled, “It’s going to be different. I hope you brought warmer clothes.”

They walked up to some rocks that jutted out into the ocean. She sat down on one, he sat down next to her.

“What’s the high school like?” He asked

“It’s not bad; there’s a mix of mortals and supernatural beings; both in the faculty and students. There are rules to not use your powers to fight or cheat on any test or quiz. And you could defend yourself only if someone attacks you.”

“Oh; wow here everyone was so open about their powers. But I could understand, not all mortals are accepting compared to others.”

“That’s true. What I don’t get is why they’re afraid of us? I mean it’s not like we’re going to use our powers to take over the world.”

“I think that’s what they’re afraid of. Wizards and Witches could rig an election, vampires, were-animals, demons could assassinate someone.”

“Wow you really thought that through.”

Both of them laughed, she took her phone out of her pocket. It was almost lunch time.

“Are you hungry?” He asked

“Starving… any suggestions on where to go?”

“C’mon…”

They flashed onto the boardwalk and stopped outside of a pizza parlor. She grabbed a table outside the restaurant, he went inside. Her phone rang and saw it was Jake.

“Hey you.” She said

“Hey beautiful. What are you up to?” He replied

“I’m in the Otherworld with Wes. He was showing me around and now we’re grabbing something eat.”

“That’s cool; you’re coming to the game tonight right?”

“I didn’t forget. And I’ll tell Wes about it. Maybe he’ll want to come to.”

She heard him let out an aggravated sigh.

“Be nice…” She said

“Alright; oh and after the game, Tom invited us over to his house to go swimming. I’ll see you later.” He replied

“Thanks and I’ll see you later.”

She hung up as Wes came out with two bottles of water.

“It’ll be a few minutes they just put a pie into the oven.” He explained

“Cool. Jake called and I don’t know if you’re doing anything tonight, but there’s a football game. You’re more than welcome to join me, Julie and her girlfriend Zoey.” She continued

“Ok. What time should I be at your house?”

“Five; Julie will pick us up.”

A few minutes later, one of the chefs brought out their pizza. After eating he brought her home and she walked inside. Ryan was seated at the dining room table with his laptop.

“Hey honey. Did you have a good time?” He asked

“Yeah it was cool. It’s like Hawaii; always warm, no snow and beautiful beaches.” Paige replied

“I’m glad. It is beautiful over there.”

She smiled, “Anyway I’m going to relax and then get ready for the football game tonight.”

“Is Julie driving?”

She had walked into her room, but poked her head out and nodded. Her door shut behind her, she fell onto her bed and picked up her book. By five she was standing outside at the end of her driveway waiting for Julie. Wes appeared beside her.

“Right on time.” She commented

“Thanks.” He replied

Julie pulled up in her silver Honda SUV, the doors unlocked and they got in sliding across the black leather seats.

“Hey Paige and I’m Julie this is my girlfriend Zoey.” Julie said

“Hey girls. This is Wes; he’s new in town and living at Sanctuary.”

“Hello ladies.” Wes said

“It’s nice to meet you.” They said together

“You too. I’ll be starting at the high school for senior year.” Wes continued

“Cool.”

They pulled out onto the main road and headed towards the school. Pulling into the parking lot, there were four school buses parked on the grass. The rival football team was warming up, along with the marching band.

There was a white ticket booth and Paige recognized her English teacher, Ms. Daniels selling tickets. She stood Paige’s height, shoulder length black hair and brown eyes. It was interesting seeing her dressed in a teal Eastwood High School t-shirt and jeans.

“Hey Ms. Daniels.” Paige said

“Hello Paige. How are you feeling?” Ms. Daniels replied

“I’m doing better. Could we get four tickets please?”

VIII

“Are you paying together or separate?” Ms. Daniels asked

“I know Julie and Zoey are paying together.” Paige replied

“I’ll pay for us Paige.” Wes chimed in

She was reaching for her wallet, when Wes handed Ms. Daniels ten dollars. They got their tickets and walked over to the bleachers.

“Any preference on where to sit?” Zoey asked

“In the center. You get a good view of the entire field.” Paige replied

They walked up and sat in the center. Soon both teams came out and the crowds cheered and yelled. The captains from both teams went to the center of the field and Eastwood won the coin toss.

Julie leaned in close to Paige’s ear .

“Jake isn’t jealous is he?” She asked

“He is a little bit. I told him he nothing to worry about and to be nice to Wes. He’s new in town.” Paige replied

“As long as he knows. But I swear he can be stubborn sometimes.”

She laughed and nodded in agreement. Her eyes spotted him as he took the field and they all cheered. They also saw the cheerleading squad waving their gold pom poms and cheering. By halftime the marching band took the field, Paige and Julie went to get snacks from the snack bar.

“So Wes; what’s his story?” Julie asked

“He’s from the Otherworld; came here to finish high school and is living at Sanctuary. I met him yesterday , Amber got a text from Max to come over; she had a new boarder and asked her to give him a tour of the town. You can imagine the look on both our faces when we walked into the kitchen.” Paige explained

“Yeah; and I’m sure Jake is thrilled to have another guy living in the house.”

“Like I said before, he has nothing to worry about.”

“That’s good.”

They got popcorn, sodas, and a few ‘Hershey’ bars. Walking back towards the bleachers, Kelly and Monica blocked them from the bleacher steps.

“Look who decided to show her face again. It’s shocking…” Monica commented

“Surprised you didn’t show up with torches and pitchforks to run me out of here.” Paige snapped back

“Please Paige; just because you’re dating Jake, doesn’t make you one of us.” Kelly continued

“You’re just a freak who got lucky.” Monica added

“Maybe I did get lucky; at least I don’t use my powers to get others to hang out with me.” Paige paused

She stared down at their shoelaces and used her powers to tie them together.

“Looks like the second half is starting. Better go cheer…” Paige continued

They went to take a step and fell face first onto the grass. She and Julie stepped over them, walking back to their seats.

“Good one.” Julie said

“Thanks.” Paige replied

They sat down and continued to watch the game. Afterwards they stood outside the side entrance to the school waiting for Jake. Eastwood had won and parents, students were walking in and out of the building. Jake walked out carrying his duffel bag another young man came out with him. He stood a little taller than Jake, blond hair spiked up, and blue eyes.

“Congratulations!” Paige said

He took her into his arms, hugging her tightly.

“Hey Paige.” The young man said

“Hey Tom. Great job tonight.” Paige paused; “Anyway you know Julie, that’s her girlfriend Zoey, and this is Wes. Wes is new in town and will be starting school here in the fall.”

“Nice to meet you all.” Tom said

“You too man.” Wes replied

“Same here.” Zoey added

“Anyway, let’s head on back to my house.” Tom continued

“Cool.” Paige said

“Paige do you want to ride with me?” Jake asked

“Sure. Wes can go with Julie and Zoey.” Paige replied

“Sounds good. See you guys there.” Julie said

Jake took Paige by the hand and they walked over to his red ‘Honda Accord’. He put his duffle bag in the back seat. Paige got in and her seatbelt buckled. As he got in, she grabbed him by his t-shirt collar and pulled him in for a kiss.

Leaning back his cheeks had turned a little red as she smiled.

“What was that for?” He asked

“So you can stop worrying about me and Wes.” She replied

He smiled and started the car. They sat and waited for the parking lot to clear, before leaving.

“I’m sorry about me being jealous.” He commented

“It’s okay. You know I wouldn’t do anything to hurt you.” She replied

“I know.”

They left the school and made a left and stopped at a traffic light. It turned green and they continued about a mile before making a right onto a dirt road. Tom lived on a farm, the house was about two stories, with an attic. Tom pulled into the driveway, Jake and Julie pulled up behind him. Paige sighed, seeing Monica and Kelly walking up.

“This night keeps getting better and better.” Paige commented

“Don’t worry about them.” Jake replied

Stepping out of the car, the motion lights came on, shining on the white exterior of the house with black shutters and doors. They walked up a small gray stone path to a picket fence, Paige used her powers to open the gate. Kelly, Monica, Tom, and some of the football team were already in the pool. Tom got out his red swim trunks dripping with water.

“There is a changing room behind me if you guys need to change. And subs should be here soon and there is a cooler filled with drinks.” He said

“Thanks man.” Jake replied

Julie tapped Paige on the shoulder, she followed her and Zoey into the changing room. A few minutes they came out wearing purple, blue, and silver bikinis. Jake walked past as he headed inside. Wes was sitting at the shallow end, pants rolled up to his knees watching. Julie and Zoey dove in and Paige walked over to Wes.

“Forget to bring a bathing suit?” She asked

He shook his head ‘No’; snapping his fingers he changed into a pair of black board shorts. Paige stared at him, semi-muscular and six pack abs. Heat slightly rose in her cheeks as she stood up and walked over to the deep end of the pool. She dove in and rose to the surface to see Jake jumping in. he came up behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist.

Wes jumped in and swam over to them.

“That was a great game Jake.” Wes commented

“Thanks. Stinks it was the last game of the season.” Jake replied

“Just think next year we’re going to rule the school.” Julie chimed in

“True. And then college…” Paige paused; “Have you guys started looking?”

“Coach said scouts will be coming to games. I could get a football scholarship to a school.” Jake added

“Hey guys the food’s here!” Tom shouted

Everyone got out of the pool, grabbed their towels and dried off. Soon they were spread out sitting and eating.

“These subs are great.” Wes commented

“They’re from the best shop in town.” Julie replied

Tom brought out his speaker and placed his IPod on it. Music began playing, Paige got up and grabbed a bag of potato chips. She saw Monica and Kelly talking with Tom and they laughed as she went to sit with her friends.

“Paige do you want to dance?” Jake asked

A slow song came on and they walked over near the speaker. Other couples began dancing. She clung to him, he squeezed her tightly. Monica and Kelly watched, but noticed they were moving closer.

“Everything ok?” Jake asked

“Yeah.” Paige replied

She tensed seeing Monica and Kelly running towards them. Before she could say anything to Jake, both girls pushed Paige into the pool. Monica jumped in after her and held her underwater by her feet.

VIIII

“What the hell Kelly?” Jake shouted

“Oh come on Jake. We’re just having a little fun.” Kelly giggled

She heard her heart pounding in her ears, but then stopped fighting. A bubble formed around Monica and it rose out of the water. Jake pushed Kelly into the bubble, as it rose above the pool. Paige rose out of the water sitting on a bubble and landed at Jake’s feet. He knelt down beside her, Julie and Zoey ran over to her.

“Paige are you okay?” Jake asked

She nodded in between coughing, but then she stood up. Wes held out his hand creating a small tornado and the bubble got caught in it. Slowly it began to spin around and the girls were screaming and clinging to each other for their lives.

“Now I feel better. Let’s go…” Paige said in a hoarse voice

She leaned on Jake as they said goodbye to Tom and everyone else. Wes changed into his clothes and followed Zoey and Julie out to their cars.

“Paige! Let us down!” Kelly screamed

Wes waved his hand making the tornado dissolve, Paige made the bubble drop five feet above the pool. She took her index finger and popped the bubble, causing the girls to fall into the pool. Jake handed her small backpack and she put her t-shirt back on, he handed her a pair of sweatpants from his duffle bag.

“What now?” Julie asked

“Let’s go have our own pool party.” Paige replied

“Now why didn’t we think of that earlier?” Jake added

“What are you guys talking about?” Zoey and Wes asked together

“First let’s return our cars, we won’t need them where we’re going.” Julie suggested

She and Jake snapped their fingers sending their cars back to their houses. They joined hands and flashed to their spot by the lake. Jake conjured small flames and spread them out around the clearing, he made it bright enough for everyone to see.

“What is this place?” Zoey asked

“Our secret spot. Some of the kids from Sanctuary know about it. We’ve only used it every summer.” Jake replied

“Wow.” Wes whispered

Everyone still had their bathing suits on and walked down to the lake. Paige dove in, followed by Julie and Zoey. Jake flashed and appeared above the lake, he dove in and came up next to Paige. Wes sat on the small beach dipping his feet in the water. Paige swam over to him.

“Do you want to come join us?” She asked

He smiled, “In a few minutes. I can’t believe this place.” He replied

“Sierra and Samantha discovered it. They told a few of the kids staying at Sanctuary about it.”

“And where is this place?”

“Still in the real world realm. If you walked from Sanctuary’s backyard about a mile. And then turn right onto a dirt path, follow it to the end you’d find this place. Through two marked trees.”

“Seems easy enough unless you flash here.”

“True. Well when you’re ready come join us.”

She swam back over to her friends, soon he got up and joined them. By the end of the night, Jake brought her home as they walked up the driveway, she stopped half way.

“Someone’s here…” she whispered

“Duck!” He shouted

They hit the ground as a figure flew over them and rolled on the ground. Someone tackled Paige to the ground, she flipped that person over her. Jake conjured a large flame, a fist made contact with his jaw and he staggered backwards. Someone grabbed Paige from behind, she elbowed them in the stomach and went over to Jake who was sitting up.

“This is only the beginning Paige…” A female voice whispered

Paige growled and made a pulling motion to bring the two figures forward.

“I’m guessing this way payback for earlier?” Paige asked

Jake conjured a flame to see who they were talking to. Kelly and Monica stared at the ground.

“Freaks… let us go!” Kelly shouted

Paige shook her head ‘No…’ and whistled. Sasha appeared beside her

“Sasha… protect…” Paige commanded

Sasha grew, her wings appeared on her back. She growled and the two girls turned on their heels and ran. Paige and Jake laughed as Sasha came back, in her normal form. He hugged her tightly and she began walking up to her house with Sasha beside her.

Monday rolled around, she woke up around nine, since her tutor would be arriving at eleven. Julie flashed Paige her books for every class, once she got to school. She sat in the living room, dressed in a dark green dress with Sasha by her feet. Her books were set up on the dining room table. By eleven the doorbell rang, Sasha barked, she opened the patio door and let her out into the backyard.

She walked to the front door and it opened, a woman in her mid-thirties stood on the other side of the door. She wore a pair of heeled sandals, blue jeans, and white short sleeved tunic top. Her blond hair was tied back into a ponytail, while a pair of blue eyes stared at hers.

“Paige?” She asked

“Yes; and you’re DJ.” Paige replied

“I am.”

She opened the door and DJ walked inside. They sat down at the dining room table, Paige noticed she was wearing a black messenger bag. She reached into it and took out a folder from her high school and opened it.

“I see you’re almost done with junior year. Are you excited to be a senior in the fall?” DJ asked

“I guess…”

“I know for some high school can be torturous. Especially for supernatural beings.”

Paige sensed she was a wood elf, who used her magic to conceal her pointed ears.

“Yeah mortals can be so cruel.” Paige added

“They can; I always thought they were jealous because most of us don’t age or age slowly. Besides having some fascinating abilities.” DJ continued

“Maybe…”

“Anyway let’s get down to where you left off. Your teachers were nice enough to give me all the remaining units you were going to cover. Along with the homework assignments, quizzes, tests, and they’ll mail me the final exams.”

“Wow…”

By four Jade came home, seeing Paige closing her science book and stretching. Sasha flashed into the room and walked up to Jade. She patted her head as Paige got up.

“So what did you think of DJ?” Jade asked

“She’s really nice.” Paige replied

“Great. I had a feeling you two would get along. Grandma and Grandpa are coming for dinner before heading home. Did you finish your homework?”

“I did.”

Her books and other supplies rose from the table and into her room.

“Good. Have you thought about replacing your furniture?”

“Yeah. I decided to repaint them and just make them a little bigger. You think Aunt Vicky could come over to help?”

“Great idea. Vicky…”

Vicky appeared, wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans.

“What’s up? Oh my god Paige!” She cheered

She and Paige hugged, they stepped back; she looked Paige over.

“You look like your mother.” She commented

“Thanks. Anyway would you mind helping me with my bedroom furniture? I wanted to repaint it and make it a little larger.” Paige replied

“Sure. Lead the way…”

Jade went into the kitchen, Vicky and Paige went into her bedroom. The door shut behind them as Vicky looked at the furniture.

“So what were you thinking?” She asked

“I was thinking vines carved into the legs and posts. And the wood could be a little lighter.” Paige replied

“How light were you thinking?”

She conjured to boards of wood and held them up to Paige.

“The one in your left hand.”

“Good choice…”

Vicky conjured two white energy balls and threw them at the furniture. Paige watched the wood turn lighter and carved vines rise in the posts and legs of her bed. It also stretched out length wise. The knobs of her desk drawers, turned into vines as more wrapped around the legs.

“Beautiful. Thanks Aunt Vicky.” Paige said

“You’re welcome. Anyway I’d better get going, don’t want to be late for work.” Vicky replied

They hugged and Vicky flashed and Paige lied down on her bed.

Paige… could you help set the table?” Jade asked

She sat up and walked out of her room. Sasha was in the backyard playing tug of war with Ryan. As she came into the dining room, there were plates, bowls, and silverware at the head of the table. Slowly she used her powers to spread the plates around to sit in front of a chair, along with the bowls on top. Five napkins floated in and folded, landing next to each plate. Finally the silverware went on top of each napkin. Sasha walked in with Ryan behind her.

“Hey Paige. How did everything go with DJ?” He asked

X

“It went great dad. I like her.” Paige replied

“I’m glad.”

The doorbell rang, Paige answered to see her grandparents. Jade came out of the kitchen carrying a bowl of salad, followed by Ryan who had a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs. Everyone sat down and began eating.

“Paige do you have any plans for the summer?” Adrian asked

“Not yet…” Paige replied

“Maybe you could stay with us before you go back to school.” Matt suggested

“I’d like that. Could Sasha come too?” Paige asked

“Of course.” Adrian replied; “We’ll figure out a date for you to come up.”

“Cool.”

She thought it’d be great to head up to the Catskills for a long weekend. After dinner, they said goodbye to Adrian and Matt. Paige followed Jade back into the kitchen to help load the dishwasher.

“Everything alright Paige?” Jade asked

Paige didn’t answer handing her another plate.

“Paige?” Jade called

“Huh? Yeah I’m fine mom.” Paige quickly replied

“You sure? You were quiet most of dinner.”

Paige nodded and handed her the last salad bowl. Jade smiled as Paige walked out of the kitchen and into her room. She changed into her pajamas and picked up her book. Sasha flashed lying beside her, a few hours later she felt asleep.

Friday had arrived, school was out for the summer, and Jake appeared walking up the driveway towards the Jacob’s house. Paige was sitting outside with Sasha. Her ears perked up as she stood up and walked up to Jake barking. He petted her, as Paige walked up to him. She took him into her arms and hugged him tightly.

“Hi…” She whispered

“Hey…” He replied

They sat down on the towel Paige had laid out.

“So how’s the home schooling going?” He asked

“I’m taking finals next week. DJ was able to split it on two days, leaving me time to study in between. After next week I’ll be done, but then I have more training with my dad. This summer is going to suck without you.” She replied

“I probably could flash back for an hour or two.”

She leaned back and looked up at him with a smile.

“I wouldn’t want to take you away from your family. At least call or text me.” she continued

“Alright; are you sure?”

She nodded and then hugged him tightly. They leaned back, but then she pressed her lips against his. The kiss became more passionate, he leaned back and kissed the top of her head. She looked down seeing he conjured his duffle bag, he waved and flashed.

Lying down she stared up at the sky, she tried to reassure herself it wasn’t forever. It was just for two months. She sat up sensing someone close by, Julie walked up the driveway in wolf form, her black fur shined in the sunlight. She morphed into human form and sat down next to Paige.

“When did he leave?” She asked

“Five minutes ago.” Paige replied

Julie put her arm around her, Paige leaned her head on Julie’s shoulder.

“He’s only a call away.” She said

“I know; I would feel bad taking him away from his family.” She replied

“I can understand that. Ok, enough moping, we’re going out tonight.”

She helped Paige to her feet. Her towel folded and landed in her hands.

“Where are we going?” Paige asked

“We are going to our spot. To celebrate the start of summer, Sierra and Samantha are putting something together. C’mon, go get your stuff and we’ll head over.” Julie replied

“Let’s see if this works.”

Paige snapped her fingers, her drawstring backpack appeared. She opened it to see her bathing suit and put the folded towel inside.

“Wow…good job Paige.”

“Thanks. Let’s go!”

She took Julie’s hand and they flashed to their spot. Sierra and Samantha were laying out towels, while some other teens from ‘Sanctuary’ were helping to set up. The twins turned seeing Paige and Julie.

“Hey girls.” Samantha said

“Hey Samantha, do you need help with anything?” Paige replied

“No; we’re good to go. Pick a towel and put your stuff down, Wes will be bringing food and drinks soon.” Sierra replied

“Ok.” They replied together

They walked towards a blue towel set up closest to the lake. Both slipped off their flip flops and felt the grass between their toes.

“Hey Julie do you mind?” Paige asked

“No problem; hold still.” Julie replied

She napped her fingers and Paige felt her bathing suit underneath her clothes. They sat down and stared at the lake. A few kids walked by and jumped into the lake.

“C’mon…” Paige suggested

“Ok…” Julie replied

They took their clothes off and adjusted their bathing suits. Both ran down and jumped into the cool water. They swam around, an hour later Paige was floating on her back staring up at the sky. The shades of blue, orange, and purple, complemented the orange sun.

She heard a splash and felt the water ripple around her. Her eyes lit up to see Wes standing over her smiling. She straightened up, feet touched the sandy bottom.

“Hey Wes.” Paige said

“Hey Paige what’s up?” He replied

“Not much; just floating.”

“Cool. Julie sent me to come get you. I brought dinner for everyone.”

“Great. I’m starving.”

He took her hand and they flashed over to the small folding tables with three boxes of pizza. She grabbed two slices and a can of ‘Sprite’, he did the same and followed her over to where Julie was sitting.

“Do you two mind if I sit with you?” Wes asked

“No.” They replied together

“Thanks. This is pretty cool.”

“It is. Oh excuse me, Zoey is calling.” Julie replied

She conjured her phone, got up and walked over to a quiet spot. Wes and Paige smiled at each other, continuing to eat in silence.

“Paige…” He paused

“Hmmm?” She said

“Would you want to go see a movie tomorrow night?”

She had taken a bite of her second slice and managed to swallow it. Heat rose in her cheeks, she began to listen to her instincts. “It would be totally harmless… Nothing’s going to happen…”. Her eyes met his and she smiled.

“Sure. What did you want to see?” She replied

“Cool. Is the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie cool?”

“That’s fine with me.”

“Ok. I’ll take care of the tickets and pick you up tomorrow.”

“Cool.”

Julie came back over and sat down.

“How’s Zoey?” Paige asked

“She’s good; she was on a break from finals.” Julie replied

“Wow. I hope she passes.” Wes commented

“I think she’ll be ok.” Paige said

“How do you know?” Julie asked

“Just a feeling…” Paige replied with a wink

“I’ll believe it. She’s really talented.” Julie commented

By midnight, Julie flashed Paige home. They walked up the driveway laughing.

“That was fun. Thanks for taking me out.” Paige said

“It’s not a problem. I know you’d do the same for me.” Julie replied

“That’s true. So Wes and I are going to the movies tomorrow night.”

Julie’s jaw dropped, “Whoa, whoa, whoa… you’re serious?”

Paige nodded, “It’s not a date. He knows I’m with Jake, we’re just going as friends.”

“Just be careful Paige. Don’t lead him on…”

“Don’t worry; it’ll be fine. Good night Julie.”

“Night…”

Julie flashed as Paige went inside.

XI

The doorbell rang and Ryan answered the door to see Wes. There was silver ‘Honda Civic Coupe’ parked in the driveway behind his.

“Hello Mr. Jacobs.” Wes said

“Hello Wes, come in.” Ryan paused; “Paige… Wes is here.”

Paige came out dressed in a pair of black shorts, dark blue t-shirt and carrying a pair of silver flip flops.

“Hey Wes, ready to go?” Paige asked

“Yeah let’s go.” He replied

“Enjoy the movie.” Ryan called

They left the house, he opened the car door for her. He flashed in and started the engine. Soon they pulled out of the driveway and out onto the main road.

“Is this your car?” Paige asked

“It belongs to Alex; he lent it to me for the night.” He replied

“Cool. How do you like living at Sanctuary?”

“Alex and Max are pretty cool. I met a guy who goes to the high school and plays baseball. Said his name was Dan.”

“Oh, Dan Lowell; he’s in my algebra class.”

They pulled into the theater parking lot; got out and began walking towards the theater. After walking inside, he led her over to the person collecting tickets. He took out his phone and the young man scanned his screen.

“You’ll be in theater five.” He said

They walked halfway and into the theater and up to row ‘D’. After sitting down, she silenced her phone.

“There’s still time before the movie starts. Would you like any popcorn, soda, or candy?” He asked

“A small popcorn and a box of Reese’s pieces please.” She replied

As she reached into her bag for her wallet, he held up his hand saying “No…”. She smiled as he left. She sat back as commercials played on the large screen. He came back, handed her the small bag of popcorn and box of candy. Sitting down next to her he put a cup of soda in his cup holder.

“Thanks Wes.” She said

“No problem.” He replied

The movie started and the theater got dark. Halfway through she felt his hand brush up against her arm.

“Sorry…” He whispered

She brushed it off, seeing him pick up the straw he dropped. He took the plastic lid off his cup and took a sip. By the end of the movie they walked out.

“That was definitely better than the first one.” He commented

“I agree, much better.” She replied

She took her phone out and saw a text from Jake.

Hello from Canada! What’s up?

Went to the movies and saw the new TMNT movie. How’s the great outdoors?”

Peaceful… no noises of the town. Just the howls of werewolves and other night creatures. Who did you go to the movie with?

She paused, to tell him the truth or lie. Wes was talking about the fight scene between Bebop, Rocksteady and the turtles. She decided and typed out that she went with Amber. After hitting send her stomach clenched. It was the first time she ever lied to him. They were always honest with each other. He wrote back, saying he hoped they had a great time. She said it was great.

“Paige everything okay?” Wes asked

“Huh? Yeah. I got a text from Jake. Sorry I wasn’t paying attention.”

Slipping her phone into her bag and they started walking towards his car.

“You want to get something to eat?” He asked

“Sure. The diner in town in open twenty four hours.” She replied

They got into the car and started driving.

“Are you sure you’re okay?” He asked

“Yeah I’m cool.” She replied

She directed him to the diner and they went inside. After being seated, they began to browse the menu. The same server who helped her and Amber took their order. He came back with their drinks, a hot chocolate and ‘Sprite’.

“Have you taken your finals yet?” He asked

“Next week. And then I’ll be done for the rest of the summer.” She replied

“That’s cool. Are you looking forward to going back to school?”

Before she went to answer, she saw Monica, and Kelly, and Tom walk in. She ducked her head, but Tom walked over to their table.

“Hey Paige. What’s up?” He asked

“Hey Tom. Just getting something to eat. Wes and I say the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.” Paige replied

“Cool. A few of us went bowling and decided to come here. Oh hey Wes what’s up?”

Wes held out his hand and shook Tom’s.

“Not much man. ”

Kelly walked over and her jaw dropped seeing Wes and Paige.

“Tom.. c’mon the server is at our table. Wes I can’t believe you’re hanging out with a freak like Paige. You should come and join us.”

“She isn’t a freak. Paige is smart, funny, caring; everything you’re not.” Wes snapped back

She flipped them her middle finger and dragged Tom away by the arm. Paige sat in shock and blushed.

“Wow Wes; that was really sweet of you.” She said

“Don’t mention it.”

Their server brought them their orders and they began to eat. A few minutes later, they watched as Kelly and Monica stormed out. Tom walked over with a smile on his face.

“What happened?” Wes asked

Paige heard the two girls cursing in their heads as their car zoomed out of the parking lot. She quickly turned back to see Wes sitting next to her and Tom sitting across from them.

“I told them off. They wouldn’t stop calling you two freaks. So I said that if you two were freaks then so was I.” Tom replied

“Wow way to go Tom.” Paige said

“Thanks. Be glad that you didn’t have to hear it every day.” Tom replied

He smiled, dipping his French fry into ketchup.

“I can only imagine, thank god for the person who invented headphones.” Paige continued

Both guys laughed and Paige smiled. When they finished, they drove Tom home and soon they pulled up in front of her house.

“This was a fun night.” Paige commented

“Yeah a good movie, plus a blow to the popular empire.” Wes replied

She laughed, “Popular empire… I like it. Will have to remember that one.”

“Definitely…”

Their eyes met, immediately they turned away from each other. She felt the heat rising in her cheeks, hopefully he didn’t see. But then maybe he could, demons like vampires had excellent vision in the dark. They faced each other again, seatbelts unbuckled. Slowly both of them leaned in and their lips touched.

She pulled back, her cheeks were turning red.

“That wasn’t funny.” He whispered

“Definitely not funny…” She replied

Facing each other again, she pulled him to her lips met his again. His tongue parted her lips, hers pushed against his, her arms wrapped around his neck. She felt his lips leave and traveled along her jawline and then to her neck. A soft moan escaped her mouth, feeling his hands slip underneath her t-shirt, gently massaging her breast. Her hands massaged his chest, she used her powers to unbutton his pants, and the zipper slowly went down. She snaked her hand and began rubbing on the outside of his boxer shorts. He growled and she heard him snap her fingers. She felt something soft beneath her and all his weight on top of her. One of her eyes opened and saw he flashed them into her room. She pulled back and he sat up.

“What’s wrong?” He asked; “ I shielded room.”

“It’s late… I’ll see you tomorrow.”

He took her hand and kissed it. And within a blink of an eye he flashed, she heard the car start and pull out of the driveway. She sat there in shock, everything felt so natural, but then her phone rang and she knew it was Jake. Conjuring her phone she got up and went outside into the backyard.

“Hey what’s up?” She asked

“Hey just enjoying the great outdoors. What about you?” He replied

She took a deep breath and knew that she had to tell him. As much as it would crush him, she knew it was the right thing to do.

“I have something to tell you.” They said together

“You go first.” Jake continued

“I lied to you earlier tonight. Wes asked me out to the movies and things happened.” She said

There was a long silence, she felt her stomach clench, shutting her eyes ready for the full force of his anger.

“Wow… well I met someone who is vacationing here with her family. And things happened too.” He added

“So what happens now?” She asked

She didn’t feel angry, but relieved and knew he felt the same.

“Break up… maybe we’ll meet again…” He replied

“We’re still friends right?”

“Yeah… who can’t stand the site of each other.”

“Temporarily…”

“Fair enough… bye Jake…”

“Bye Paige…”

XII

“You and Jake broke up?” Wes paused

Paige shook her head ‘Yes.’ as they sat on the front porch of Sanctuary.

“We both met other people. It was a mutual break up.” She replied

“I would’ve hated to be a homewrecker.”

She giggled, “You would have been one if he caught us.”

“Cute…”

She flashed him a ‘Cheshire Cat” grin, he put his arm around her waist pulling her close.

“What did your parents say?” He asked

Thinking back to that morning, Jade seemed calm and Ryan surprised.

It just wasn’t…” Paige paused

Working out; and it felt forced.” Her mother finished her daughter’s sentence

He met someone else while on vacation? What’s her name?” He asked

I didn’t ask dad. It’s not like I planned for this to happen, I just trusted my instincts.” Paige replied

Paige could tell her father was thinking, how much she was becoming similar to her mother. He managed to smile.

I’m glad you’re learning to trust your powers. Maybe you could bring Wes over for dinner sometime. No rush, but we’d like to get to know him better.” Jade suggested

She looked up at him, he tensed up.

“What’s wrong?” She asked

“I get nervous. Especially when dating someone I really care about.” He replied

“It doesn’t have to be this week or month. My parents are pretty cool; though I’d never tell them to their faces.”

“That is teenage suicide. Then they’d never let you live it down.”

She giggled, “You got that right. Then maybe it’s not a great idea to ask you to come with me to Trent’s surprise birthday.”

“I’ll come.”

“Are you sure? Amber has reserved the lounge for the party. So you’ll be meeting my extended family.”

“It was Teddy Roosevelt who said you have nothing to fear, but fear itself.”

“We don’t have to stay long.”

She leaned up and kissed his lips gently.

“Anyway I’d better go; I’m meeting Julie in town to go shopping.”

She stood up and he came up next to her. They hugged and she kissed his soft lips, her body felt like melting into him. It was a new feeling and she liked it. She snapped her fingers, disappearing and appeared beside Julie who was waiting by the fountain in town.

“Hey you’re getting good at that.” Julie said

Paige took a bow, “Hi and thank you. Where’s Zoey?”

“She’s looking at culinary schools. Plus had a few interviews with admissions panels.” She replied

They began walking and into one of their favorite vintage clothes shops. Circular racks lined both sides of the room, while black carpet ran throughout. They began browsing the dresses and Julie noticed Paige smiling.

“How are you holding up?” She asked

“I’m alright.” Paige paused; “You don’t have to worry. I’m fine.”

Paige tapped her head and Julie smiled.

“So just between you and me. Is Wes a good kisser?” She asked

Heat rose quickly in her cheeks and as she measured up a white bell sleeved dress up against her.

“He is; very good kisser. And pretty smooth too. Last night he flashed us into my bedroom and shielded the room, but I sent him home.”

“I love how we can do that. Just a thought or snap of the fingers.”

“Me too.”

“Has he met your parents yet?”

Paige shook her head ‘No’. “Not yet; he’ll meet them at Trent’s birthday party next weekend.”

“Alright; think he’ll be up for it?”

“I do.”

They left with one bag each, filled with clothes and stopped at the corner. Amber flew down and landed behind them.

“Hi Little telepath, wolf girl.” She said

Both turned to see the demon standing behind them. Amber took Paige into her arms and hugged her tightly.

“Amber… I can breathe….” Paige in a hoarse voice

“Sorry… and sorry you and Firestarter broke up. With Wes now? Was at Sanctuary… Wes told...” Amber replied

“Thanks. And I’m with Wes now; had a feeling it was going to happen.” Paige continued

“Vamp lady give Wes talk?”

Paige giggle, “No; not yet, but if she doesn’t my parents will.”

“Good. Need to go, meeting Trent for lunch.”

She waved and flashed, the two girls continued walking.

“Talk? What was she talking about?” Julie asked

“The one where if Wes does anything to break my heart. Aunt Jade or my parents will go after him.” Paige explained

“Oh…”

They walked into the cafe and ordered iced coffee. Paige sat down at a table in the front corner; Julie brought over their drinks and sat down.

“So how’s training with your dad?” She asked

“Not bad; we cut it down to once a week. He’s been busy at work, a few college students are interning at his office.” Paige replied

“Cool. At least he’s letting you enjoy the summer.”

Paige smiled and took a sip of her drink. Tom walked in and spotted the girls; he brought a chair over and faced it back against the edge of the table.

“Hey Paige, Julie.” He said

“Hey Tom what’s up?” Paige asked

“I saw Kelly and Monica leaving a magic shop. Something tells me they’re looking for revenge.” He replied

“If they are; who knows what they would unleash.” Julie interrupted

“We’ll just have to keep an eye for anything out of the ordinary.” Paige continued

“This is going to be a long summer.” Tom sighed

“Don’t worry, we have your back.” Paige said

“Thanks.”

They left the cafe, drinks in hand and went into the park. Walking down the curved path, kids were playing at the playground. Parents were close by sitting on the benches.

“Anyway I’d better get going. I’m supposed to be picking up my parent’s dry cleaning. See you two later.” Tom said

“Bye Tom.” They said together

He started running across the street as Julie and Paige continued to walk. They exchanged nods and joined hands. Before turning a corner they flashed to their spot. Zoey was spreading out a blue blanket, and a wireless speaker.

“Hey I thought you weren’t going to be here until later.” Julie said

They walked up and kissed, Paige hugged Zoey.

“I managed to get done earlier than expected. In two weeks I have to go back and demonstrate my skills.” Zoey continued

“Cool. How many dishes do you have to prepare?” Paige asked

“One to two; it also depends on how much time they give me.” Zoey replied

“There are so many to choose from. They’re all good.” Julie chimed in

“Thanks babe.” Zoey said

They sat down, sunlight poured in through the opening in the trees above. Zoey conjured a blue cooler and opened it. She took out sodas, along with three containers filled with pasta and tuna fish.

“Here I hope you two like it.” Zoey said

“Thanks.” Both girls said

They took the lids off and Zoey handed them forks. Taking a bite, both nodded in approval. Zoey smiled as Julie put her arm around her.

“Zoey this is delicious.” Paige commented

“Thanks. I’m sorry about you and Jake. Julie told me what happened.” Zoey replied

“Thank you.”

She finished eating; Zoey hooked her phone up to the speaker and started streaming ‘Pandora’ radio. Snapping her fingers, she took off her clothes revealing a strapless green one piece. She walked down to the lake and dipped her feet in. The water was cool; she lied down feeling the warm sun on her skin. She heard to splashes, Zoey and Julie dove in.

“Paige come on…” Julie called

She sat up; a vine fell in front of her. It formed into the shape of a tire, climbing on top of it she began swinging back and forth. She jumped and dove into the water and popped up beside Julie.

“Paige that was awesome.” Zoey commented

“Thanks. There used to be a rope. Someone cut it down, but it needed something.” Paige replied

“I agree. If Sierra or Samantha brings any of the younger kids here to play; they need something to swing on.” Julie added; “So Paige what was the Otherworld like?”

“It’s beautiful and never cold. Maybe I could ask Wes to take us. There are some nice shops over there.” Paige replied

“That sounds cool. But I think we’ll give you and Wes some time alone before we start tagging along.” Zoey continued

“Honeymoon phase…” They said together and laughed

That night she came home, Sasha ran up to her, placing both paws on her thighs. Paige scratched her behind the ears and top of her head, before pushing her off. Ryan was sitting at the dining room table with typing on his laptop.

“Hey dad.” Paige said

“Hey sweetheart. Mom is closing the lounge tonight what did you want to order in?” Ryan replied

She went into the kitchen and took out a menu for ‘Amelia's Pizzeria’.

“I’m going to call Amelia’s. What do you want?” She asked

“A veal parmigiana sub and a small side salad.” He replied

He shut his laptop and stretched, hearing his back crack.

“Alright; I think I’m going to get the same. I’m going to take a shower.”

“Okay.”

She called and placed the order and then flashed into the bathroom. The water began running and she conjured a pair of black sweatpants and dark green t-shirt. Stepping underneath the showerhead, the cool water felt refreshing. Her mind began to wonder; she couldn’t help but think about Wes.

XIII

When she came out of the bathroom, Ryan was paying the delivery guy and he just shut the door. Paper plates and forks landed on the table, Ryan put the food on the table and put the paper bag by his chair. A pitcher of water came out from the refrigerator along with two glasses from the cabinet.

They sat down, poured dressing on their salads and began eating.

“How long before you get your grades back?” He asked

“DJ e-mailed me and said I should be getting something in the mail this week.” Paige replied

“I’m sure you did great.”

“Thanks dad.”

“I’m proud of you Paige. You’ve gone through so much in one year. And I know it hasn’t been easy, but you’re handling everything very well.”

“Thanks daddy…”

They threw out their empty containers and began to eat their sandwiches. After dinner, she put Sasha on her leash and they took her for a walk.

“Dad, could mortals mess with magic?” Paige asked

“They could, but without any knowledge or practice; whatever they release could come back three times as worse. Do you know of mortals messing with magic?” He replied

“It was just a hypothetical question.”

He smiled as they walked to the end of the road and turned back to go home. As they walked up the driveway, a shadow with wings appeared on the driveway. Her eyes lit up to see Wes landing by the front door. His wings folded and disappeared; she walked up and hugged him tightly. Ryan and Sasha walked up; Wes shook hands with Ryan and petted Sasha. She offered him, her paw and he shook it.

“It’s good seeing you sir.” Wes commented

“You too; are you going to hang out here?” Ryan asked

“We’ll be in the backyard.” Paige replied

She snapped her fingers and flashed. A few logs piled into the fire pit and lit as they appeared. Two deck chairs appeared and they sat down. A small black metal table set down in front of them, as a plate of graham crackers, a bag of marshmallows, and two regular size Hershey bars and two skewers landed on top.

“Cool… s’mores…” He commented

“Thanks; help yourself.” Paige said

He took two marshmallows and stuck them on the skewer and held them over the fire. She did the same and watched as the flames surrounded the sweet treat.

“Julie and I ran into Tom. You remember him?” She asked

“Yeah; he had the party at his house and the cheer queens were messing with you.” He replied

“He saw the cheer queens leaving a magic shop. And I have a feeling they're messing with magic and don’t know what they’ll unleash.”

“They seemed pissed off enough to be motivated to do something.”

“True. But what I’m saying is we have to keep an eye out for something more than out of the ordinary.”

He laughed, since most mortals in the town were used to supernatural beings appearing out of nowhere. There would have to be something even more strange going on; to give them a cause to be concerned about. Slowly they lifted their skewers out of the fire and blew the flames out. Soon a piece of chocolate and the marshmallow were sandwiched between two graham crackers.

“Paige…” He paused

“Hmm…” She mumbled

She had taken a bite of her s’more and was chewing. He waited and brushed a piece of hair away from her face.

“What’s up?” She asked

He brushed a piece of hair out of her face. She smiled and continued to eat.

At the lounge Jade D. was blending a margarita, when her sister came behind the bar and was putting an order.

“How is she holding up?” Jade D asked

“She’s beginning to accept…” Jade paused

“Her powers. Who is this new boyfriend…?”

“His name is Wes. And he’s a wind demon. From what Paige told me, he’s from the Otherworld and is finishing school here. She knew something was going to happen with him, this…”

“Was a shock to you and Ryan...”

Jade nodded as a ticket printed out and she hung it on the window looking into the kitchen.

“But this is good; Jake was her first boyfriend. She’s seeing and experiencing new things.” Jade continued

“She needs to find her…” Jade D paused

“Her own path… she will…”

“In time…”

The fire had gone out; she was sitting on his lap, legs hanging over the arm of his chair. She sensed something, but then felt the cool breeze, brushing against her legs and making her hair dance. Leaning back, eyes slowly opening, she saw they were floating amongst the stars and a crescent moon. His silver wings shined in the moonlight, showing hints of blue and white, flapped quietly behind him.

Looking down, the town was lit up. It would be a perfect photo for a post card.

“Beautiful…” She whispered

“Want to fly?” Wes asked

She nodded, he scooped her up into his arms, hers wrapped around his neck tightly. They began soaring through the air and the lights of the town turned into beams. He took her higher, through the clouds and the town couldn’t be seen. After an hour they landed at the town’s water tower, staring up at the sky.

“So what was life in the Otherworld like?” She asked

“Before the Goddess claimed it as hers, it was peaceful. Everyone was open about their powers. There were rules that no one would harm one another, unless someone attacked them. We didn’t use them to steal. After the Goddess went on her power trip, we still followed the same rules, but she had her own set of rules. Elemental demons were looked down upon and she forced a good portion of us to move to the forest. We became this huge community, like a tiger pride, and helped each other rebuild and all.

Once the Goddess was taken down, I knew that I wanted to see what was beyond the Otherworld realm. My mom understood my need to leave, she travels for work. So I packed up and came here.” He explained

“Damn. I’m so sorry.”

He turned on his side towards her and leaned in kissing her lips gently.

“Don’t be; if I hadn’t come here, then I wouldn’t have met you.”

She blushed and leaned in and kissed him. It turned more passionate; he pulled her on top of him. Straddling him, her hands rubbed up and down his chest. Being with him felt different, but in a good way.

“Are your parents going to have you get job this summer?” He asked

“I’m going to be helping my dad at his office. I’ll be delivering mail and filing. At least I won’t be asking them for money all the time. What about Max and Alex?”

“They asked if I could help Amber with some of the demons and fairies learn about their powers; plus flying lessons.”

“That’s cool. Go easy on them; I’ve seen some of them eager to fly.”

He laughed, “Don’t worry.”

Saturday afternoon, Paige, Jade Jacobs, and Amber arrived at the lounge to decorate. Michelle was putting wine glasses away as Amber sat at the bar, putting one roll of black and teal streamers down.

“Hey Michelle how did it go with the lunch crowd?” Jade asked

“It wasn’t too bad. Alyssa went to make the deposit at the bank.” Michelle replied ; “Does Trent have any idea about the party?”

“No clue… will be so surprised….” Amber continued

“He’s going to be so surprised.” Paige chimed in

Amber nodded in agreement. “ Picking him up from work at 5 and bring here…”

She began unrolling both streamers and twisting them together. A roll of tape and pair of scissors landed on the bar. Using her long nail she cut one end and then took a piece of tape, sticking it to the end. Paige took it and hung it on one end of the bar, Amber got up and continued twist the streamers, cut off the other end, she conjured a piece of tape and stuck it to the other end. Alyssa flashed into the bar, holding matching balloons attached to a weight wrapped in silver paper.

She handed Jade the green money bag and the receipts from the deposit she made.

“Hey sorry it took me so long. The bank was really crowded.” She said

“It’s alright. Did Killian come by this morning?” Jade replied

“He did. Both the wine fridge and mini fridge are filled.” Michelle continued

“So what does the menu look like tonight?” Alyssa asked

“Marcus and Victor are preparing wings, burgers, fries, and I asked them to prepare a large house salad. For drinks, per Amber’s request, we’ll have milkshakes, soda, and our usual beers and mixed drinks.” Jade replied

Alyssa handed the balloons to Paige who sent them to sit on each end of the bar. Michelle reached underneath the bar and took out black table clothes and handed some to Alyssa. They walked over and began to cover the tables by the couches.

Paige took the rolls of streamers into her hands. Two pieces of tape came off the roll and attached to the ends. Slowly the rose into the air and twisted, they outlined the ceiling. The scissors rose up and cut the ends, followed by another piece of tape. She rerolled the streamers and sent them into the office. A pile of paper plates came out from the kitchen, followed by large black plastic cylinder containers; separated inside for knives, forks, and spoons. There was a large buffet styled table against the wall covered with a black tablecloth. They sat at one end.

The room was finished and they sat down at the first section of couches. Marcus walked out of the kitchen with large bowl of salad with strips of grilled chicken on top. He conjured salad bowls and the ‘House Dressing’.

“Thank you Marcus.” Jade said

“No problem boss. We thought you might something to hold you until the party.” Marcus replied

Jade brought over the utensils container and the girls helped themselves. Ryan and Aiden arrived carrying a long white rectangular box. Paige used her powers to open the door as they walked in.

“Cake?” Amber asked

“Yeah, please tell us that Marcus and Victor made room in the fridge for this.” Ryan replied

“Don’t worry babe. Would I let you down?” Jade replied

He smiled as he and Aiden made their way into the kitchen. The girls continued to eat, Paige stopped sensing someone or more than one person nearby. She got up and went out the back door. Looking around the parking lot, she saw everyone’s cars and Marcus’s jeep. A small cloud of blue smoke rose up into the air and then turned white. Whatever was there, it was gone, but she knew that a potion was being made. She went back inside, seeing her mother standing by the door.

“You felt it too Paige?” She asked

“ Whatever it was it’s gone now. I saw smoke and knew a potion was being made.” Paige replied

“We’ll just have to keep an eye out if this thing returns.”

Paige nodded and they walked back inside. Kelly and Monica stepped out from hiding behind two trees.

“Are you sure you mixed that right?” Monica asked

“The book said if the smoke turns from blue to white. Then we mixed it right.” Kelly replied

She held up the small vile of a lime green potion.

“Grab everything and stuff it into your backpack. I’ll pull the car around.”

Monica huffed and turned back to where they were mixing the potion. Vicky arrived with her DJ equipment. She set up in her usual corner of the room, Paige had changed into a thick strapped dark green dress and brown sandals.

Amber flashed to get Trent, while other guests arrived. Her eyes lit up to see Wes walking in, he wore black flip flops, blue jeans, and a short sleeved black buttoned shirt. They met halfway and hugged.

“Thank you for coming.” She said

“It’s not a problem. Where’s the guest of honor?” He replied

“Everyone hide!” Jade Dean yelled

Vicky left her music playing, as everyone flashed. Amber and Trent walked in, she covered his eyes with her hand.

“What’s going on babe?” He asked

“Something special…” Amber whispered

Everyone appeared, “Surprise!” they yelled and Trent stumbled backwards. Amber hugged him tightly as they applauded. Vicky returned to her station, Paige led Wes over to the first section of couches.

They sat down, joining Ash and Trina. Wes immediately tensed, sensing ‘Titan’ and demon powers. She took his hand into hers and squeezed it tightly.

“Hello Paige.” Trina said

“Hey Aunt Trina, Uncle Ash; this is my boyfriend Wes. Wes these are Ash and my mom’s best friend Trina.” Paige replied

“It’s nice to meet you Wes.” Ash said

“You too.” Wes replied

“Are you enjoying living at Sanctuary?”

“Yeah it’s pretty cool.”

“Amber told me you’re going to be working with fairies and demons.”

“We’ll be teaching them how to fly. And about their powers.”

“Where did you live before coming here?” Trina asked

“The Otherworld; before and after the Goddess’s rule.” Wes replied

He paused, noticing Jade and Ryan joining them. “It wasn’t terrible, except when the Goddess forced the elemental demons out of town. She thought we were a threat.”

“That was my fault. After ending an affair to not remember. She developed hatred for all demons; especially against my family. Since everyone is open about their powers, we were the most powerful, living there at the time.” Ash chimed in

XIV

“Once she brought us into the current century it took months to adjust. The change of clothing, homes, and the introduction of the internet shocked everyone. We remained in our community. A year later I decided to leave and see what was beyond the realm.” He continued

“Was it hard on your family?” Ryan asked

“My parents got divorced when I was a kid. I lived with my mom. She travels for work and understood why I wanted to leave.”

Paige noticed Jade and Mitch sitting at the bar.

He’s more relaxed.” Jade D commented

I told him he’d be fine.” Paige replied

“Dinner… served!” Amber called

Victor and Marcus had set up the buffet and everyone lined up. Outside Kelly poked her head around the corner staring into the lounge.

“What the hell does he see in her?” Monica asked

“How the fuck should I know? They’re both freaks.” Kelly snapped back

“Why did we come here again?”

“Just observation…”

Amber flashed outside, Kelly ducted behind the corner and held her breath. Both girls kept still, Amber looked around smelling something. She growled and then went back inside.

“Everything alright Amber?” Ash asked

“Thought smelled mortals…” Amber replied

“Must have been so local kids.” Trina commented

An hour later Amber conjured Trent’s birthday cake. Five candles appeared and she lit them. His eyes widened seeing the cake was shaped liked a red Cadillac. After blowing out his candles, Alyssa began cutting pieces.

Kelly and Monica stayed, just as Wes and Paige came outside. Paige looked around the parking lot and then turned toward the building.

“Are you sure you sensed someone out here?” Wes asked

“Positive…” Paige replied

“Shit…” Kelly whispered

“Split up… you go first.” Monica commanded

Kelly ran first and Monica waited ten seconds and then took off. Paige walked toward the side of the lounge and saw footprints.

“Whoever was here, is gone.” She sighed

“C’mon let me take you home.” He suggested

She walked back over to him and took his hand. They flashed.



By Monday she received her grades and made the honor roll. She had finished packing her suitcase when Wes appeared sitting on her bed.

“Hey so did you get your grades?” He asked

“I did…” She replied

The letter flew into his hand and his eyes lit up as he read. He got up and hugged her tightly and then twirled her around. Once her feet touched the floor, she leaned up and kissed him.

“I didn’t know I was dating such a genius.”

She blushed, “Please go on inflate my ego some more.”

He laughed, “Are you sure your grandparents were alright with me coming with you?”

“For the hundredth time, relax; they said it was alright. Besides we’ll be staying in the guest house which is behind their house.”

“It must be a huge farm.”

“You have to see it. It’s beautiful up there. Besides we’ll have a whole weekend to ourselves.”

“Since you put it that way.”

“Hey, can’t spend the entire five days in bed. There’s a lot to see.”

He conjured a red ‘Jansport’ backpack and slipped it over his shoulder. She took his hand into hers and they flashed. They appeared on the porch; white railings were on each side of the three beige stone steps, which met gray wood floors that wrapped around the porch. White trim outlined the numerous windows and there was a white porch swing hanging on the right side.

The door opened and Adrian appeared. She wore a pair of blue jeans, red and black flannel buttoned shirt.

“Hello Paige and you must be Wes. Please come inside.” She said

The foyer was large, wood floor lined the space. A large brass chandelier hung above the long staircase with white painted wooden railing. To the right was the entrance to the living room, there was a large brown leather couch in the center of the room, with a sixty inch television mounted on the wall. There was a dark mocha bookshelf near the entrance filled with books. She led them into the kitchen and gestured for them to sit down at black, brown, and gold granite island in the center of the room.

All the appliances were stainless steel and the black bar stools complimented the white tiled floor. The counter tops matched the island, as Adrian sat down, putting a strand of hair behind her ear.

“I told your mother you were here. She’ll call you later tonight.” She explained

“Where’s Grandpa?” Paige asked

“He’s in town picking up groceries. We have a new recipe to try out for dinner tonight.”

“Thanks for letting me come with Paige Mrs. Smith.” Wes commented

“You’re welcome. And please call me Adrian.” She replied sweetly “Anyway let me show you to the guest house and you two can get situated.”

They followed her through the patio doors and walked along the gray stone path. The guest house looked like a log cabin. Walking through the green door, they stood in the living room. A fifty-five inch television was mounted on the wall; across from it was a light brown leather couch. To the left was a small kitchen, white granite counter tops and white appliances. There was also an island with two light wooden bar stools. The door shut behind them and lights turned on.

“The fridge is stocked and so are the cabinets. Bedroom is straight back along with the bathroom. I’ll let you to get settled. Dinner will be ready by seven.” She explained

“Thanks Grandma.” Paige replied

She walked out and Paige led him into the bedroom. A queen sized bed sat in the center of the room, covered with mocha colored sheets and darker comforter. The white walls were had brown dressers leaning against them and on the right was the door to the bathroom. Wes walked in and his jaw dropped. There was a glass shower with blue and white tiles, white vanity with silver shelves and hooks.

She waited for him to come out and then took him by the hand. They walked outside; he noticed the stone path turned to dirt. She led him to the end and halfway he saw the black roof of a building. The sounds of cows, chickens, pigs, and ducks brushed past his ears as they came to the end of the path.

“Welcome to the farm.” Paige said

“This is awesome.” Wes replied

“C’mon…”

They walked down towards where the horses were grazing. One horse, tan in color and dark brown hair walked up to her.

“Hey BJ.” Paige said

“You have your own horse?” Wes asked

She nodded, “My grandmother bought him for me. And he’s been my responsibility since last summer.”

“Very cool. I’m kind of confused.”

“You’re shocked I’m not flaunting all this around school.”

He felt a little embarrassed, but she smiled and climbed onto the fence and sat down.

“I could care less about the money and slight fame for being Jade Jacob’s daughter. That doesn’t matter to me. What does matter is I’m choosing my own path of just being me.”

“And that’s what I like about you most.”

She felt heat rising in her cheeks; he scooped her up into his arms. Her arms wrapped around his neck, pulling him into a passionate kiss. When her feet touched the ground she showed him around the rest of the farm and barn.

“Do your grandparents hire people to work here?” He asked

“They did. But they’ve all gone home for the day. My grandma likes to feed the animals’ dinner and make sure everything is order for the next day. Now I know where my mom gets it from, being the last to leave the job.”

“I get it.”

They continued walking back towards the guest house, when both stopped. Slowly they turned to see Jake sitting on the fence.

“Hey Paige, Wes. Your mom told me you were here. ” He began

“Jake, what are you doing here?” Paige asked

“Could we talk? And then I’ll leave you two alone.”

Wes kissed Paige on the cheek and flashed. Paige walked up to Jake and there was a long silence.

“I just wanted to make sure we were okay as friends. This summer definitely pulled us in different directions.”

“We’ll be okay. You and Julie are my best friends. And the last thing I would want to do is ruin that friendship. I will agree this summer has been an adventure. How is Emily?”

“She’s good; goes to a private school and had to move into her dorm this week. How’s Wes?”

“He’s a little nervous, but good.”

“I’m glad; anyway I’d better get going. Tom and I are going to the movies.”

“Tell him I said hi.”

“I will. Bye Paige.”

“Bye Jake…”

They hugged and he flashed. She turned to see the sun setting and then turned to walk back to the guest house. Her phone rang and she took it out of her back pocket.

“Hey mom.” She said

“Hey honey. Are you okay?” Jade asked

“Yeah, I’m good. Jake and I are good too.”

“I’m glad. It would have been awkward when school started and you two haven’t talked.”

“Thanks mom.”

“No problem. Have fun.”

She hung up and continued walking. When she reached the stone path, Wes met her halfway. He took her into his arms.

“Are you guys good?” He asked

“We’re good. Better to settle things now than be really awkward at school.”

“Great… want to watch TV?”

“Sure.”

The television turned on and they sat down on the couch. She laid her head in his lap and stretched out her legs. The remote floated into his hand and he turned on an episode of ‘Kindred Spirits’.

By seven they walked into the house, Adrian was standing at the stove Matt walked in; he hugged Paige and shook hands with Wes.

“Welcome. Have you showed Wes around the farm?” He began

“She did. And it’s beautiful sir.” Wes replied

“Head into the living room, dinner will be ready shortly. There’s salad and biscuits.” Adrian chimed in.

They walked out of the kitchen and into the dining room, right across. The oval light wooden table was covered with a white table cloth. Four matching circular back chairs surrounded it, while a brown wicker basket filled with biscuits sat next to a large stainless steel bowl with salad. A bottle of oil mixed with balsamic vinegar landed beside the salad bowl. They sat down and began helping themselves. Adrian walked in, putting a plastic pitcher on the table, and four glasses landed on the table.

“So Wes, you live at Sanctuary?” Matt asked

“Yes sir; I lived in the Otherworld before coming to the real world realm.” Wes replied

“Is it always warm there?” Adrian asked

He nodded taking a fork full of salad and then swallowed. “It’s never cold and I know that it’s going to be an adjustment here with the changing seasons.”

“So Paige when will you start interning at your father’s office?” Matt asked

“Next week and for the rest of the summer until school starts.” Paige replied

“What about you Wes?”

“I’ll be teaching the fairies and demons at Sanctuary how to fly and about their powers with Amber.” Wes continued

“That sounds great. At least these children will be able to control their powers.” Matt said

“Is everyone finished?” Adrian asked

XV

Everyone nodded, all the bowls and bread basket rose into the air. They followed Adrian into the kitchen. The pitcher rose into the air and poured Paige and Wes some water. Adrian came back in with a bowl of linguini and clams. She set it down in the center of the table and two large serving utensils flew into her hand.

“This smells good.” Wes said

“Everyone dig in.” Adrian said

Their plates were filled and everyone began eating.

“Grandma this is delicious.” Paige said

“Thank you.” Adrian replied

After dinner, Paige helped Adrian bring all the dishes into kitchen to get rinsed off and put into the dishwasher.

“Wes seems like a nice young man.” She commented

“Thanks Grandma; he treats me good.” Paige replied

The dishwasher closed and started. Adrian went into the fridge and took out a chocolate cream pie. Paper plates, plastic forks, and pie cutter landed on the island. Matt and Wes came in; Adrian began cutting pieces for everyone.

“You two can bring those back to the guest house. We’ll see you two in the morning.” Matt said

“Thank you for dinner Adrian, Matt. Everything was great.” Wes replied

“You’re welcome. Go and enjoy.” Adrian continued

They walked back to the guest house and sat down on the couch.

“They like you.” Paige commented

“That’s a relief. I really have to stop overthinking things.” He replied letting out a sigh of relief

Paige giggled, “Relax... and go with the flow…”

He leaned in and kissed the top of her head. The television turned on and they watched another episode of ‘Kindred Spirits’. They finished their dessert and Paige got up, the kitchen garbage can opened and she tossed everything out. She snapped her fingers, feeling her bathing suit underneath her shorts and t-shirt.

“Wes…” She paused

“Yeah Paige?” He replied

His head peaked out from the couch.

“You want to go swimming?”

“Sure.”

His shorts changed into black swim trunks, he got up and met her by the front door. She held out her hand, he took it and they flashed. His eyes widened to see large rocks outlining the border and a waterfall. Various green plants made it look like an island oasis, while trees stood behind it.

“This is beautiful.” He commented

Lights in the pool turned on turning the water into a shade of green. She took off her shorts and shirt, revealing a purple bikini. Diving into the cool water, felt refreshing as they rose to the surface. Looking up at the clear black sky, the moon rose higher into the sky filled with stars. Everything looked so clear, compared to back home, where street lights lined the roads.

“This is awesome.” Wes commented

“Yeah.” Paige replied

They treaded water staring up at the sky. By midnight they returned to the guest house, showered and went to sleep. The next morning, he woke up seeing Paige was awake and a note sitting on his pillow. He sat up and opened the small folded piece of paper. “Good morning… breakfast is on the island. When you’re done meet me at the horse stables. -Paige

The scent of pancakes got him out bed. He flashed into the kitchen, seeing a small stack, fresh fruit salad, and glass of orange juice. He sat down at the island and began eating. Snapping his fingers he changed into a pair of sneakers, jeans, and black t-shirt. He flashed and appeared by an open gate; Paige rode up on BJ with another horse behind him.

She climbed off and walked up to Wes. They hugged and kissed.

“Good morning. Are you ready to ride? And do you know how?” She asked

“Good morning. I’m ready. And I do, we did have horses in the Otherworld.” He replied

“Cool. You’ll be riding Kato.”

A tall brown horse stood behind BJ. Wes walked up and petted his head, and then got on. Paige climbed onto BJ and used a little leg pressure, signaling BJ to walk. The gate closed behind Kato as they headed down a trail. Sunlight peeked in through the canopy of leaves and branches as they rounded the first bend.

“Like riding a bike…” He said

“You don’t forget.” She added

Being with Paige felt right; she was so easy going and didn’t care what others thought about her. And she was beautiful. His thoughts were interrupted when Kato started trotting and then went into a cantor. He tightened his grip as they came out from the forest and the farm could be seen in the distance.

“Sorry I didn’t warn you.” Paige said

“No worries, this is beautiful.” He replied

They rode back towards the barn and he saw a group of men and women working. He sensed a lot of them were werebears, werewolves, weretigers, and shifters. As they walked into the stables, they dismounted and Paige led him inside the barn. Using her powers she removed the horse's riding gear and they went out the other door.

“Good morning.” Matt said

Both turned to see him standing in the entrance behind them.

“Morning.” They said together

“Did you enjoy the ride?” He asked

“It was awesome.” Wes replied

“Great. Anyway I’d better get back to work. You two have fun.”

He waved, leaving them alone. She wiped sweat off her forehead with the back of her hand. They walked out; she took him by the hand and flashed into the guest house. He heard the shower and turned to see Paige was gone.

Feeling the lukewarm water on her head, a bottle of shampoo floated up to her. It emptied out a small amount into her hand. She began scrubbing her head, when the shower door opened.

“Too you long enough…” She giggled

He watched as she rinsed her hair off. A bar of soap and washcloth floated up and the bar rubbed against the cloth getting it full of soapsuds. His clothes dissolved. He grabbed them and began gently rubbing around her shoulders and back of her neck. She sighed, feeling his hands explore every curve of her body. Rinsing off he turned as she took another washcloth and lathered it up with soap.

His body tensed, but then relaxed feeling the soft material rubbing against his back. She came around to the front, feeling his flat and muscular stomach and reaching up to his shoulder blades. Her hand took his and led him underneath the shower-head.

He gasped, feeling her take him into her mouth. Slowly his hand reached down pushing her hair behind her ear. His head began spinning in ecstasy, feeling her tongue brush against it. As she stood up, she took it into her hand and began stroking. He leaned in a kissed her, pinning her against the wall. His hand cupped her breast, massaging it gently. Her other hand wrapped around his neck pulling him closer. Their tongues brushed against each other, she moaned in his mouth feeling his fingers enter her.

Her lips left his and she leaned in close to him.

“Wes… I’m ready…” She whispered

His lips left her neck and their eyes met.

“Paige are you sure?” He asked

“I am… I love you Wes…”

Hearing those words float around his ears, washed away the cloud of doubt hanging over his head. “No regrets…” He thought.

“I love you too Paige.”

His lips met hers again, suddenly she felt something soft beneath her. He had flashed them into the bedroom. She conjured a small silver package in her hand, he took it from her. At that moment nothing existed, just him and her. He entered her slowly; she winced, but pulled him down to her, their lips meeting again.

She felt him move, it was painful, but gradually began to feel good. Her legs wrapped around his waist as he moved a little faster. His lips left hers.

“Are you okay?” He whispered

Her eyes opened to see him staring down at her. She nodded as they climaxed together, feeling this burst of energy escape. He turned over onto his back as she curled up next to him.

“So does this mean we get to spend the rest of the day in bed?” He asked


She sighed and leaned up to kiss his lips gently.


“Fine, but tomorrow we’re going into town and I’ll show you around.”



Adrian handed him a mug of hot coffee, they were sitting on the front porch. He took a sip as she sat down.


“She reminds me so much of Jade.” Matt commented


“No argument there. That boy really cares about her.” Adrian added


“You can sense it and see it in his eyes.”


“Their love is strong. Don’t wind demons imprint with their mates?”


“A strand of hair will turn silver. Paige will be pleased.”


Back in the guest house, Page stood over the stove mixing a pot filled with macaroni and cheese. She had put on one of Wes’s t-shirts, which fell right above her knees. He appeared behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist.


“What are you doing out of bed?” She asked


“It smells good in here.” He replied


“Dinner is almost ready…”


He placed kisses on her neck, she leaned back against him.


“Go back and I’ll be right in.”


She felt him leave as the burner turned off. A quart container came out from the cabinet below the sink, and the leftovers went inside and then into the fridge. Two bowls of salad came out of the fridge along with a bottle of salad dressing. She picked up the two bowls, while everything else followed into the bedroom.

He had propped up the pillows and sat on top of the comforter. Two forks landed in their bowls, as she sat down next to him. Taking a bite his eyes lit up and she blushed from his smile of approval. Then his eyes widened and she looked at him concerned, but something shiny went by the corner of her eye.

Putting her fork down, she lifted a strand of silver hair that framed her face.


“What the hell?” She asked


“We’ve imprinted Paige.” Wes paused


“Oh my god…”


A smile formed on her face, tears formed in her eyes. She leaned her head against his shoulder.


“I’m so happy I love you.” She whispered

XVI

Coming home felt like a shock, from the quiet country to a busy town. By Monday she woke up around seven to start working at Ryan’s law firm. She stood in front of her mirror; it was a huge relief that she was able to wear jeans to her father’s office. She couldn’t wear sandals, so she took out her black flats. It did compliment her black duster with dark green tank top underneath.

Walking into the office, the walls were painted, light beige with a white wooden border running throughout the hallways. Karen sat behind the large light wooden half circle shaped desk. Her short brown hair was pushed behind her ears. A pair of blue eyes looked up to see Paige walking up to the desk. She smiled and signaled for her to take a seat next to her.

As she sat down on a black leather chair on wheels, Karen turned to her and smiled. Her face was thin, average height, and fair complexion. She wore a black pencil skirt, matching flats and short sleeved red buttoned shirt.


“Good morning and welcome. I’m glad you’re here, since Janet is on vacation and won’t be back until next week. Anyway we are responsible for answering phone calls, scheduling consultations and also filing closed cases in central files.” She paused


She turned toward the dual screens of her computer. Wiggling the mouse she brought up the office’s calendar program.


“When someone needs to schedule an appointment, just type in the last name in the search bar. The program will bring up their personal calendar. It’s really easy, times are on the left with and description next to it. And the dates, days of the week are above. And when answering the phone you say the names of the partners Jacobs and Bailey; followed by your name and how can I help you. Your father has a separate line and a special ring. It’s rare that it rings, but if a client calls and he’s not here; text him all the information he needs and say he’ll get back to them as soon as possible. Now let me show you around.”


She put her headset back on and picked up the cordless phone from its charging station. They started walking down the hall passing different offices with their names on the doors. Dark wooden laminate floors ran throughout the office. As they came to the end of the hallway, she stopped in front of a door.


“This is the central files room. There are numerous file cabinets inside arranged by year and are alphabetized. There is a light switch on the right hand side. And on some occasions we’re asked to order in lunch and make arrangements for a car service to take lawyers to the airport or anywhere. Any questions so far?”


“No; job seems easy enough.”

“It’s not that bad. And the bathrooms are down the other hallway.”

They started walking back towards the desk. Sitting down Paige turned on her computer and waited for it to start up. Karen handed her a sheet of paper.

“This will be your login information. You can change the password to something you can remember. And below that is the password to get into the calendar program. Also the same password you log onto your computer, you could use for your Outlook email. Are you familiar with Outlook?”


“I am; my mom uses it for work.”

“Great. Go ahead and get set up.”

The phone rang and Karen answered. Paige logged onto the computer and started to open everything she needed. Karen then handed her a headset and she put the earpiece into her ear and adjusted the microphone.


“Do you think you’re ready to take some phone calls? We could alternate.” Karen asked

“That would be great.”

“Great. This one is all you.”

The phone rang and Paige took a deep breath and pressed the button on her earpiece to answer. She had watched Karen and heard it in her thoughts.


“Good morning Jacobs and Bailey; this is Paige, how can I help you?” She asked


“Good morning. I was hoping to make an appointment with Brian Lit.” A man replied


“Give me one second; let me pull up his schedule.”


She typed in his full name and his schedule came up.

“Alright; tomorrow he is available from two o’clock on. Wednesday he’s only available at eleven and it’s the same for Thursday and Friday.”

“I’ll come in Thursday at eleven.”

“Ok. What’s your name?”

“Dave Jones…”

“And the best number to reach you?”

He gave his cell number and Paige typed it in below the description. And she wished him a good day and that she or Karen will call to confirm on Wednesday. She hung up and sat back.


“Very nice Paige. You’re going to fit in well here.” Karen said

At Sanctuary, Wes and Amber brought a group of three boys and girls out into the backyard. They were between the ages of eleven and thirteen. Amber then signaled for everyone to sit down in a circle.

“Morning future generation! Brought you here to train.” Amber said

“We know coming into your powers can be scary and exciting at the same time. So today we’re going to go over the basics.” Wes continued

“Hold out right hand… palm up. Concentrate…”

Each one did as they were asked. Wes looked around seeing a fireball, water energy ball, and regular energy balls. He felt proud to be teaching a new generation about their powers and what they could do. Back at the office Paige was checking a few emails about ordering supplies; Karen had gone to the ladies room. She would have to ask her about that.

She sensed someone or more than one someone coming towards the office. Her stomach clenched, realizing it was Kelly and Monica. ‘Shit; my first day and now I have to remain professional.’ The two girls walked in and Paige looked up with a huge smile.


“Paige…” Kelly said

“Kelly… Monica… can I help you?” Paige replied

“My father is expecting me. We’ll show ourselves in.”


They turned and walked past Karen.

“Let me guess they showed themselves in?” Karen asked

“They did.” Paige replied

“It’s not a big deal. Kelly’s father is a senior associate.”


‘Interesting…’ Paige thought to herself. Then she sensed Karen was a were-bearswan. She knew there was something supernatural about her, but didn’t get a clear read until now. Ryan walked in and up to the desk, she brushed it off. Karen handed him some messages.


“Good morning ladies. How is she doing?” He asked

“She’s a fast learner.” Karen replied

“Great; I’m going to be in court for the rest of the day. If anyone calls send me a text message.”

“No problem.”

He waved and left the office. Paige smiled and turned to Karen.

“I had a question.” She paused

“What’s up?” Karen asked

“How do I order office supplies?”

“Oh; go into internet explorer and the last website on the favorites bar. W.B Mason. Click on that and you should still be logged in under the firm’s account. Most of the items we ordered are shown on our page. So select what’s needed, add them to the cart and hit place order.”


“Thanks.”

An hour later, Kelly and Monica walked out talking to themselves in whispers. Paige breathed a sigh of relief, Karen looked over at her.

“I’m probably going out on a limb. You don’t get along with them do you?” She asked

“Nope. They think they’re all high and mighty at school; plus hate supernatural of any kind, calls me and my friend’s freaks.” Paige replied

“They’re just jealous. Most mortals are because we have special abilities.”

“I know they are. Their thoughts are loud and clear.”

“Telepathic?”

“And telekinetic powers, plus I’m half witch with an affinity for Earth. I know you’re a were-bear.”

“Wow. You’re the first hybrid I’ve ever met.”

Paige smiled as they continued to work. By five she shut down her computer and sensed Wes was waiting outside for her. She flashed and appeared standing next to him; he was leaning up against the wall near the entrance.

“Hey well this is a nice surprise.” She commented

“Hey. I figured we could trade stories of our first day at work.” He replied

He took her into his arms and hugged her tightly. She took his hand into hers and they started walking.

“So how were the kids at Sanctuary?” She asked

“Eager to learn; most of them have come into their powers. Right now we’re teaching them to control and hopefully they won’t destroy anything in the house. Amber wants to have them flying, flashing, and trained to fight over the next few weeks. Before school starts. But what about you?”


“It’s not too bad. Answering the phone, filing, emailing, and making arrangements for travel. Most of the time the office is quiet and the lawyers keep their doors shut. But this morning, Kelly and Monica showed up. I found out Kelly’s dad is a senior associate. But it was tough not to do anything to them.”


“Shit; I know how tough it is not to do something. But you stood your ground.”

“Tell me about it…”

He put his arm around her waist; they stopped and flashed to their spot. No one was there; sunlight peaked through the branches and leaves. They sat down and she sat in between his legs, back leaning against his chest.

“Seems both our days were productive.” She said

“Yeah. It feels cool to teach future generations the basics.”

His arms squeezed her tightly, and then she sensed Jake and Emily had appeared.

“Hi Jake… Emily…” She called

“Eyes in the back of her head.” Jake commented


They walked up and sat down across from them. Emily looked to be her height. Her dirty blond hair was tied into a ponytail. A pair of brown eyes met Paige’s; she was thin, but muscular. Paige sensed she was also a fire fairy with amazing skills. She was teaching Jake and so far he caught on fast.

“It’s nice to finally put a name to the face.” Emily commented

XVII

“Same here…” Paige replied

“This is Wes; Wes this is Emily.” Jake continued

“Nice to meet you.” Wes said

“You too. Were we interrupting anything?” Emily replied

“No. We just came here after a long day at work.” Paige continued

“Summer jobs… I work on my school’s campus in the bookstore. I was lucky to have the day off before the semester starts.”


“When do classes start?” Wes asked

“Next week…” Emily replied

“We have two weeks left.” Paige added

Paige…” Jade called

Yeah mom?

Are you going to be home for dinner?

I will be.

Great. Please be home by six.”

I will…

“What’s up?” Wes asked

“Mom checking to see if I’ll be home for dinner. I have to be back by six.” Paige replied


They continued to talk, by six she appeared walking up the driveway. Sasha flashed outside running up to her. She barked as Paige knelt down, letting the demon dog lick her face. Walking inside, Jade and Ryan were already seated at the table.

“Right on time…” Jade said

“Hey mom, dad.”

She sat down and they began to eat.


Brown, red and green leaves fell off the trees. Sasha followed Paige around as she raked up leaves into a pile.

“Sasha please don’t jump into the pile again.” She commented

The dog barked and sat down; Paige smiled as she used her powers to lift the pile of leaves. A large garbage bag unfolded and opened. The leaves fell into the bag and it tied itself shut. She wiped small beads of sweat off her forehead using the back of her green sweatshirt.


“Working hard?” Jake asked

She looked up to see him floating down to her.

“Yeah I did. Sasha jumped into the piled I racked up four times. Fifth time’s a charm.” Paige replied

They hugged and he scratched Sasha behind her ears.

“Where are your parents?”

“Mom went to close the lounge. Dad is at retreat with his firm.”

“House to yourself… not bad...”

He gave her a ‘Cheshire Cat’ grin, while staring at Paige up and down. She wore a pair of black ‘Nike’ sneakers, blue jeans and sweatshirt. Her hair was braided down her back. She looked eighteen years old. It had been interesting experiencing junior high, freshman and sophomore year of high school.


She was planning on going back to school for the start of senior year. It was exciting and scary knowing she would no longer age, staying young forever. Sasha brushed up against Paige; she reached down and began petting her.


“Wes and Julie are coming over later; you’re more than welcome to join us for Chinese food.” She commented

“I’ll stop by after practice.” He replied

“They’re starting already?”

He nodded; she sent the rake to lean against the side of the house. The garbage bag went to the end of the driveway.

“First game is second week of school.”

“Wow; I’ve been out of the loop for too long. It’s gonna be weird going back there.”

“No worries; it’s like riding a bike you don’t forget.”

“Thank you for the vote in confidence.”


Her phone alarm went off at six and her eyes slowly opened. Sasha had started to lick her face. Slowly she sat up, stretched, hearing her back crack. The curtains opened, letting in sunlight into the room. She got out of bed and headed for the bathroom. Looking into the mirror, she grabbed her hairbrush and twisted her hair and clipped it with a claw clip. She pulled out the strand of hair that had turned silver.

Coming out of the bathroom, she heard her parents in the kitchen talking. She walked into her bedroom, a pair of jeans; her black flats, black tank top and dark purple duster were laid out on her bed. After getting dressed she walked out towards the kitchen, Ryan came out putting a large plate of waffles in the center of the table.

She sat down as Ryan sat at the head of the table with a cup of coffee.

“Good morning Paige.” He said

“Morning dad. Is mom still asleep?” Paige replied

He took a sip of his coffee, Jade walked out of the bedroom. She was still wearing her pink and gray plaid pajama bottoms and gray t-shirt.


“Good morning…” She paused; “Paige I wanted to wish you a great first day back. Also know that you’re not a freak. You have been gifted with amazing powers, that don’t define who you are. You’re a funny, smart, and caring young woman.”

Paige stood up and hugged her mother tightly. Jade stood back and smiled.

“I think that is enough embarrassment for one morning. And on that note I’m going back to sleep until I have to go into work for the lunch rush.”

She kissed Paige on the cheek and slowly walked back to her and Ryan’s bedroom. The door shut behind her, Paige sat back down, as a bowl of strawberries landed on the table. She helped herself and started eating.

“I think your mom spoke for both of us.” Ryan commented; “We’re always here for you.”

“Thanks dad.”

They finished eating and Paige cleared the table, loaded the dishwasher, and let Sasha out into the backyard. Her black backpack appeared by the front door. Ryan cleared the table, she smiled, and Wes pulled up. Picking up her backpack Ryan hugged her tightly. The front door opened, and Wes was standing by his car.

“Morning Mr. Jacobs.” He called

“Morning Wes.” Ryan replied

Paige walked up to him and they hugged. He opened the door for her, she got in and he flashed into the driver’s seat. The car started and they pulled out onto the main road.

“How are you feeling?” He asked

“Terrified; I can’t help but feel something is going to happen.” She replied

“Something good? Bad?”

“I don’t know. What I do know is that it’s going to happen soon.”

“Whatever it is. I’ll be there to help, so will Julie and Jake.”


She smiled as they pulled into the Eastwood High school parking lot. She guided him where to park, until he got a school permit to display in his car. Buses had pulled in lining up in front of the school, letting kids out and they walked inside.


He looked over at her; she turned to him and smiled. The doors opened and they got out.

“Alright let’s get this over with.” Paige said

Walking through the front doors, they held hands as they walked passed classrooms and upstairs. She found her locker, put in the combination and unlocked it. Her backpack floated in and hung on the hook in the center below a shelf. A small green notebook and larger three subject notebook came out as she checked her purse to see a pen and pencil in the inside pocket.


Wes was looking over his schedule as her locker closed.

“At least we have homeroom, science, and lunch together.” She commented

“Where are these classrooms?” He asked

He handed her his schedule and she looked it over.

“I’ll show you. Let’s get into homeroom.” She replied

They started walking down the hall and into room ‘205’. Students were spread out sitting in the middle and back rows. She picked the left back corner and then looked at his schedule.




“Most of your first period classes are up on this floor. And the hallways are giant squares and loop around. You can’t get lost. Room numbers are posted above the doors. English and math classrooms are downstairs, science is up here. The lunchroom is down the stairs and turn left, you’ll pass the courtyard on the left and the auditorium on the right. At the end of the hall turn left and at the end you’ll see the giant doors leading inside.”




“Sounds easy enough.”

The bell rang; Jake and Julie walked in and joined them. It was quiet and then the loudspeaker came on.


“Welcome back Spartans. We hope you enjoyed the summer and are ready for another great year. Tuesday through Thursday during lunch periods the club fair will be set up in the gym. Feel free to stop by, in between classes. Friday at three o’clock will be our annual pep rally followed by the first football game of the season against South River High school. Please come out to support. Thank you and have a great first day.”


“That’s new. It sounded more upbeat. Who is doing the morning announcements this year?” Jake asked


“Lauren Maroney…” Paige replied

“I remember; she was in my Algebra class last year.”

The bell rang again and everyone stood up and walked out into the hall. Paige hugged Wes and leaned in close to his ear.

“Don’t be nervous. You’ll be fine.” She whispered

“Thanks babe…” He replied

She followed Julie downstairs, leaving Jake and Wes standing in the middle of the hallway.

“What class do you have now?” Jake asked

“Biology…” Wes replied

“Cool so do I. Want to be lab partners?”

“Sure.”

They started walking down the hall and into one of the science labs. Downstairs, Paige and Julie walked into their senior English class. They were glad they were with Ms. Daniels again; rumors around the school were a teacher was fired. She stepped up to fill in until a new teacher was hired.


Paige and Julie sat in the middle row across from each other. Kelly and Monica walked in and sat in the right hand corner. The bell rang again and classes started.


“Good morning everyone. I’m looking around the room and know most of you. For those who don’t me, my name is Ms. Daniels; I’m going to be teaching senior English from now on. The school is in the process of hiring a new teacher to teach the sophomore and junior classes. I’m just going to pass out the syllabus. At the top is my email address, in case you have any questions or if you’re absent and need that day’s homework assignment. Since it is the first day, keep the conversations to a dull roar. And we’ll get started tomorrow.”


People got up and walked over to their friends. Paige’s eyes lit up to see Tom walking up to her and Julie.

“Hey Paige, Julie what’s up?” He asked

“Hey Tom not much; how was your summer?” Julie replied

“It was pretty good. How was yours?”

“Good.” They replied together

“Cool. I see the cheer empire is staying on their side.” He continued

“For now…” Paige paused; “I have the feeling something is going to happen. And whatever those two were planning over the summer, they’re going to hatch their plan.”

“Great. Now we really have to be careful.” Julie sighed

“What are you talking about? I thought supernatural beings were allowed to use their powers in school.” Tom asked

“If someone attacks us we can defend ourselves. But we can’t attack anyone, nor can we use our powers to cheat or get ahead.” Paige replied

XVIII

Tom sighed in defeat, and then Julie patted him on the back.

“Don’t worry if they strike first. It’s on…” Julie said

“Alright let’s get this over with.” Paige said


Walking through the front doors, they held hands as they walked passed classrooms and upstairs. She found her locker, put in the combination and unlocked it. Her backpack floated in and hung on the hook in the center below a shelf. A small green notebook and larger three subject notebook came out as she checked her purse to see a pen and pencil in the inside pocket.


Wes was looking over his schedule as her locker closed.


“At least we have homeroom, science, and lunch together.” She commented

“Where are these classrooms?” He asked


He handed her his schedule and she looked it over.

“I’ll show you. Let’s get into homeroom.” She replied


They started walking down the hall and into room ‘205’. Students were spread out sitting in the middle and back rows. She picked the left back corner and then looked at his schedule.


“Most of your first period classes are up on this floor. And the hallways are giant squares and loop around. You can’t get lost. Room numbers are posted above the doors. English and math classrooms are downstairs, science is up here. The lunchroom is down the stairs and turn left, you’ll pass the courtyard on the left and the auditorium on the right. At the end of the hall turn left and at the end you’ll see the giant doors leading inside.”


“Sounds easy enough.”


The bell rang; Jake and Julie walked in and joined them. It was quiet and then the loudspeaker came on.


“Welcome back Spartans. We hope you enjoyed the summer and are ready for another great year. Tuesday through Thursday during lunch periods the club fair will be set up in the gym. Feel free to stop by, in between classes. Friday at three o’clock will be our annual pep rally followed by the first football game of the season against South River High school. Please come out to support. Thank you and have a great first day.”


“That’s new. It sounded more upbeat. Who is doing the morning announcements this year?” Jake asked

“Lauren Maroney…” Paige replied


“I remember; she was in my Algebra class last year.”

The bell rang again and everyone stood up and walked out into the hall. Paige hugged Wes and leaned in close to his ear.


“Don’t be nervous. You’ll be fine.” She whispered

“Thanks babe…” He replied


She followed Julie downstairs, leaving Jake and Wes standing in the middle of the hallway.


“What class do you have now?” Jake asked

“Biology…” Wes replied

“Cool so do I. Want to be lab partners?”

“Sure.”


They started walking down the hall and into one of the science labs. Downstairs, Paige and Julie walked into their senior English class. They were glad they were with Ms. Daniels again; a rumor around the school was a teacher was fired. She stepped up to fill in until a new teacher was hired.

Paige and Julie sat in the middle row across from each other. Kelly and Monica walked in and sat in the right hand corner. The bell rang again and classes started.


“Good morning everyone. I’m looking around the room and know most of you. For those who don’t me, my name is Ms. Daniels; I’m going to be teaching senior English from now on. The school is in the process of hiring a new teacher to teach the sophomore and junior classes. I’m just going to pass out the syllabus. At the top is my email address, in case you have any questions or if you’re absent and need that day’s homework assignment. Since it is the first day, keep the conversations to a dull roar. And we’ll get started tomorrow.”


People got up and walked over to their friends. Paige’s eyes lit up to see Tom walking up to her and Julie.


“Hey Paige, Julie what’s up?” He asked

“Hey Tom not much; how was your summer?” Julie replied

“It was pretty good. How was yours?”

“Good.” They replied together

“Cool. I see the cheer empire is staying on their side.” He continued

“For now…” Paige paused; “I have the feeling something is going to happen. And whatever those two were planning over the summer, they’re going to hatch their plan.”


“Great. Now we really have to be careful.” Julie sighed

“What are you talking about? I thought supernatural were allowed to use their powers in school.” Tom asked

“If someone attacks us we can defend ourselves. But we can’t attack anyone, nor can we use our powers to cheat.” Paige replied


Julie patted him on the back.


“Don’t worry; if they start anything it’s on.”

He smiled, “So are you guys going to the pep rally on Friday?”

“Yeah; we are. Jake told me practice started early this year.” Paige replied

“It did. We have a new coach. He wanted to get to know us better and he worked us hard.” Tom continued


“Wow that must have been an adjustment.” Julie commented

“It was. But coach seems to be impressed with our progress so far. I hope we can continue our winning streak.”


The bell rang, chair got pushed in and desks were put back before everyone left. Paige sensed Kelly and Monica were walking behind them. A chill ran up her spine, “Enjoy Paige…” Kelly whispered.


“You guys go on ahead…” Paige commented

“Paige what’s up?” Tom asked


A vial filled with gold liquid flew towards them, Paige’s eyes widened as it stopped in inch from her face. She noticed the vial was beginning to crack, using her powers she sent it into Ms. Daniel’s classroom and out the window. Ms. Daniel’s walked out into the hall seeing Kelly and Monica walking off in a huff.


“Paige are you okay?” Tom asked

“Yeah I’m fine.” She replied

“It smelled like stun dust.” Julie replied

“Stun dust?” Tom asked

“Sorry Tom; most fairies have the ability to conjure it. But they got that recipe off the internet.” Paige replied

“Damn.” Tom muttered; “Was this the feeling you had earlier?”


Paige shook her head, “No; something else is going to happen.” Elsewhere, Kelly and Monica peaked out from around the corner.


“She’s more powerful than we thought.” Monica whispered

“Just wait until Friday…” Kelly replied

By lunchtime, the new group of friends sat together.


“The cheer queens tried to attack us after second period.” Paige commented[

“Are you okay?” Wes asked

She kissed him on the cheek; he put his arm around her waist pulling her close.

“I’m fine. They found the recipe for stun dust on the internet.”


Jake shook his head, “It’s terrible. But finding recipes like that on the internet usually come with side effects. I’ve read stories about mortals wanting to get revenge and one wrong or unmeasured ingredient; could it turn into a whole different potion or blow up.”


“I wouldn’t be surprised if they tried something else.” Wes continued


“I agree. After Tom saw them leaving a magic shop over the summer.” Julie added

“They’re up to something.” Paige muttered under her breath


Three o’clock couldn’t come sooner as the bell rang, Wes and Paige waited by his car for Julie, Jake, and Tom. Kids were boarding buses or standing outside talking, Paige noticed a girl walking up to her and Wes. Her name was Kristen; she was in Paige’s English class last year. She was water fairy and had blue highlights running through her blond hair. Her green eyes were behind a pair of ‘cat’s eye’ glasses. She wore a pair of black knee high boots, black leggings, with a long gray duster and blue tank top underneath.


“Hey Paige. How are you?” She asked

“Hey Kristen. I’m good how are you?” Paige replied

“I’m good. Welcome back.”

“Thanks. Oh this is my boyfriend Wes. Wes this is Kristen; we were in the same English class last year.”

They shook hands, “It’s nice to meet you.” They said together.

“Anyway I saw what happened after first period. Kelly and Monica think their all high and mighty. It pisses me off that they messed with magic.” Kristen continued

“No argument there.” Wes mumbled


“Jake told us about the side effects if not prepared properly.” Paige said

“You know I hate that we didn’t hang out more Paige. So I was wondering if you wanted to hang out sometime. Maybe this weekend?”

Paige smiled, sensing Kristen’s feelings. She did feel bad not making the effort last year to talk.


“How about this Friday? You can join us for the pep rally.” Paige suggested

“Sounds cool. Let me get your number.”


She conjured her cell phone and handed it to Paige. Paige handed her cell phone to her and they both added their numbers to their contact’s list.

“Cool.”

Julie, Jake, and Tom walked up behind Kristen.

“Hey guys. You all know Kristen Walker; if not Kristen that’s Julie, Jake, and Tom.” Paige said


Kristen turned and shook hands with each of them.

“So how was the first day?” Kristen asked

“Not bad; tomorrow starts getting textbooks and homework assignments.” Julie replied

Paige…” Jade called


XIX

Yeah mom…” Paige replied

Can you come by the lounge please?

Yeah I’ll be right there.


Everyone had struck up a conversation, when she cleared her throat.


“Sorry guys I need to go. My mom needs me for something.” She said

“You want me to go with you?” Wes asked

“No, but I’ll see you later.”


They hugged and she waved before flashing to the lounge. She appeared in her mother and Aunt’s office.


“Hey mom what’s up?” She asked


Her mother’s chair turned toward her daughter.


“Hey Paige; Ms. Daniels called me, she said there was an incident at school today between you and two other girls. I wanted to hear from you, before having to deal with Kelly’s father.” She said


“Mom, Kelly and Monica found a hack recipe for fairy’s stun dust off the internet. Kelly attacked me and I sent the vial out the window. I have a feeling they’re messing with magic and whatever they do next is going to be a disaster.” Paige continued

Jade sighed in relief, “I believe you Paige. I told Ms. Daniels you were only defending yourself and your friends. Just be careful, I know you’ve had issues with those girls since freshman year.”

“Thanks mom.”


Paige leaned down and hugged her mother tightly.


“Aside from this little incident. How was the first day back?”

“It wasn’t bad. Tomorrow we start working.”

“That’s good. And what about Wes?”

“He likes it so far.”

“Good.”


Her cell phone rang and knew it was Ryan. She picked up and put the call on speaker phone.


“Honey you’re on speaker with me and Paige.” Jade explained

“Paige please tell me that you had nothing to do with that stun dust.” Ryan said

“Dad I had nothing to do with it. Kelly and Monica found a hack recipe off the internet. I was protecting Tom, Julie, and myself.” Paige replied


He breathed a loud sigh of relief. “Thank god; it was hard not to conjure a muzzle for Kelly’s father. He walked into my office and was furious. Kelly was definitely trying to play the victim.”


“Damn…” Jade commented

“At least that’s resolved. I’ll see you two later.”

“Bye…” They said together


Jade hung up and then turned to Paige.


“Mom I have a feeling something is going to happen. I can’t tell whether it’s good or bad.” She explained

“I sensed something faint, but whatever it is I know you’ll be alright.”

“Thanks mom. I’m going to head home.”


“Alright; could you preheat the oven to three hundred and fifty? We’re having chicken parmesan tonight and once the oven is ready; there is a tray in the fridge that can go right in. After thirty minutes, take the chicken out and add sauce and mozzarella cheese. Also could you put up a pot of water for pasta?”


“Sure mom. I’ll see you later.”


She flashed home and let Sasha back into the house. Wes appeared sitting on the couch; she sat down next him with a smile.


“What happened?” He asked

“Ms. Daniels saw the attack and called my mom. I explained what happened and my parents believed me. Kelly was trying to play the victim to her dad; who is a senior associate at my dad’s firm.” Paige replied


“Jeeze… well at least they believed you.”

“Yeah.”


It was already the start of year and trouble had started. What bothered her was something was going to happen and she wasn’t sure what it was going to be. Would she be able to handle it? She would have her friends to back her up. And her family. She laid her head in his lap, he unclipped her hair and began running his fingers through it. “It’s going to be a long week” She thought to herself.


The next day, she and Wes arrived at school to see the fire department pulled up in front of the school. Students and any faculty that were there were standing outside watching as the firemen were unplugging their hoses from the fire hydrants and cleaning up.


They found their friends sitting on a picnic table near the entrance to the gym.


“Hey what the hell happened this morning?” Paige asked

“Someone set a fire in one of the science labs.” Kristen replied

“There was some major damage to the room. Thankfully no one was hurt.” Julie added

“Science experiment gone wrong?” Wes asked

“That’s what everyone is saying.” Jake continued

“I picked up the scent of magic. It was faint, and now the police are getting involved.” Julie said


Paige began hearing the thoughts of the faculty and firemen. Someone was definitely using a lot of beakers and the Bunsen burner. The flame got turned up high, causing the liquid in the beaker to boil over and mix with the flames. This led to the explosion. Most of the teachers were making lists in their head of the “usual suspects”. She backed off as everyone was allowed back into the building.


Before walking into homeroom, Julie and Paige walked down the hall stopping right where the ‘Caution’ tape surrounded the classroom.


“Do you smell anything else?” Paige asked


Julie began sniffing the air around and then stopped.


“Jadore by Dior perfume… and cigarette smoke...” She paused; “That really narrows it down.”


Paige sighed, “Let’s get to homeroom before the bell rings.”


They turned and saw their principal, Mr. Stone with two police detectives.


“Ms. Jacobs could we talk with you for a few minutes?” Mr. Stone asked


He stood 6’2; former lieutenant in the navy. His blond hair was short and his blue eyes, reminded Paige of the sky. She walked up to them, Julie went into homeroom.


“Ms. Jacobs, these are Detective Marshall and Banes.” Mr. Stone said


She shook hands with both of them. Both men were in their early thirties, about 5’7 and athletic build.


“Hello Ms. Jacobs. We were hoping you could assist us.” Detective Banes explained


“Hello detectives. I apologize, but I know why you need to talk to me.” Paige replied


Detective Banes smiled, his face was thin, and his brown hair was slicked back with hair gel. His green eyes looked tired from lack of sleep or the caffeine hadn’t taken effect yet.


“Is there a room where we can talk privately?” Detective Marshall asked


“Paige take the detectives to Mrs. Lang’s study hall.” Mr. Stone said


She led them down the hall into a small classroom. It was used for study hall, but Mrs. Lang wasn’t in yet. Paige sat down at the center desk; she watched as Detective Marshall reached into his brown trench coat pocket and took a small pad and pen. His hazel eyes met hers, black hair was parted on the right and his face was round.


“What time did you arrive at school today?” He asked


“My boyfriend Wes Saunders drove me and we got her at a quarter to eight. We saw the fire department and everyone standing outside.” Paige replied


“What did you hear happened?” Detective Banes asked


“The fire department said it looked like a science experiment gone wrong. The flame on the Bunsen burner got turned up to high causing liquid in a beaker to boil over. Teachers were beginning to round up the regular trouble makers. But I don’t think any of them did it. They do like vandalize school property, but this is a jump into the major leagues.”


“Do you have any idea who might be behind this?” Marshall asked


“I’m not sure. I apologize if I disturbed the crime scene. My friend Julie and I stood outside the crime scene and she picked up the scent of an expensive perfume; Jadore by Dior. I’m not sure if it helps, Julie is a werewolf.”


“You didn’t. But thank you for all your help Paige.” Mr. Stone said


“It’s not a problem.”


She shook their hands and went into homeroom. Her friends were seated in the back right corner of the room.


“What happened?” Julie asked


“They knew that I’m a telepath. I just told them what I heard and that it didn’t seem like the usual trouble makers.”


Wes put his arm around her, she leaned her head on his shoulder. At the lounge, Jade was mixing a martini, when Amber appeared with Hades by her side. She signaled them to follow her into the office, while Alyssa manned the bar.


“This is a surprise. What’s going on?” Jade asked


The door shut behind them and she sat down at her desk.


“Hades… tell what you told… to telepath.” Amber said


“Zeus had to open his bloody mouth and had me release Aphrodite into his care. Before you start freaking out, she’s confined to Mount Olympus. She cannot leave or Zeus threatened to make her mortal. Vanessa is still with me, sleeping for eternity. But I think Aphrodite’s influence over Apollo has gotten back to a member of his family.” Hades explained


“Which family member?” Jade asked


“I’m not sure. Too many to keep track of. But whoever it is, revenge is running throughout his or her veins.” Hades replied


“Ash knows?”


Amber nodded, “Ash went to Olympus. Talk to Apollo; get information… ”


XX

“I hope he finds some.” Paige muttered under her breath

“This relative has revenge radiating all over their body. It won’t stop until he or she confronts you Paige.” Hades continued

“Couldn’t you help us at all?” Julie asked

Hades shook his head and sighed, “I cannot. The Fate won’t allow it. This is all I can tell you. I hope Ash has better luck.”

“Be careful Little Telepath.”

“I will.”


They waved and sunk into the floor. Time resumed and they went to lunch. Sitting down in the cafeteria, she looked around the room. All she heard was typical thoughts about homework, boys, and wishing the week was over already.


On Mount Olympus Ash and Apollo were walking through the large courtyard.

“Ash it has been a long time. What brings you here?” Apollo asked

His blond hair was always kept short and slicked back. He hated wearing the traditional clothing of a god. So he wore blue jeans and short sleeved white buttoned shirt and was barefoot.


“I see Hades has released your sister from the Underworld.” Ash replied

“Zeus wasn’t pleased. He made a deal with Hades to have my sister under permanent house arrest. She can’t leave and is banned from the Otherworld Realm.”


“I know the citizens there are pleased.”

Apollo chuckled, “So what brings you here?”

“I’m concerned about Jade and Ryan Jacob’s daughter Paige. She sensed someone or something is after her. Even though she’s relieved your sister cannot capture her again.”


“She is special; a very powerful hybrid. When my sister went with Hades to the Underworld, most of us thought she got was she deserved. I know when our father brought her home; she locked herself away in her room. None of us know if she made any contact with anyone, but after two weeks she came out and began telling her story to whoever wants to listen.”

“Any chance she made contact with your family on Earth?”

“She hasn’t spoken to any of them in years. The only one she was close to was Troy, because he had a daughter. She reminded my sister of herself.”

“Well thank you for all your help.”

Apollo smiled, “I wish I could do more. But the Fates won’t allow it.”

“I know. Thank you Apollo.”


He flashed to Troy Dallas’s office; it surprised Ash how much he looked like his father. Dirty blond hair brushed back away from his face. A pair of blue eyes looked up from his laptop seeing Ash standing in the doorway.

“Hello Ash. It’s been a long time.” Troy asked

“Hello Troy, too long.” Ash replied

Troy stood up, his brown suit jacket hung over his black leather desk chair. He wore matching pants, black shoes and long sleeved white buttoned shirt.

“Take a seat. What can I do for you?”

“Thanks. I’m sure you heard about your Aunt getting released from the Underworld and being confined to Mount Olympus.”

“Aphrodite called, drunk and complaining to me about how badly she had been treated. I know Hades accommodations aren’t up to her standards. She got lucky that Zeus got her released.”

“Has she spoken to Kelly at all?”

“I’m not sure. She’s been very secretive, my wife and I are concerned she’s not telling us the whole truth.”

“The only reason I ask, is that someone is after Paige. Hades seems to think it’s a relative, filled with revenge. And this person won’t stop until Paige is confronted.”


“I doubt Aphrodite would have any influence over any of my family. Now if you’ll excuse me I have an appointment with a client.”

Ash flashed back to Trina who sent her article to her editor.

“Any luck?” Trina asked

He shook his head, “I have a feeling Aphrodite got to Kelly. But I can’t prove it. I know she doesn’t like any supernatural creatures. She might have fed off that hatred.”

“I know you can’t interfere. Paige will be alright; she’s a smart girl.”

“I will speak with her once she gets out of school. Amber and Hades already interrupted her day.”

“Good plan.”

By three, Paige and her friends stood by Wes’s car watching everyone else leave. Everyone, except Tom turned to see Ash standing on the lawn behind Wes’s car. Paige walked up to him, they hugged. Tom’s eyes widened to see, Ash. He wore black combat boots, matching jeans, and ‘Pink Floyd’ t-shirt.

“Paige you know him?” Tom asked

“Hello Uncle Ash.” She said

“Hello Paige.” He replied

“How as the trip to Mount Olympus?” Wes asked

“It went as well as I had suspected. Apollo said that Aphrodite made some phone calls to Kelly’s father. I went and spoke with Troy, but feels Kelly isn’t telling the whole truth. My feeling is Aphrodite is using her hatred for supernatural beings, for revenge.”

“No surprise there…” Tom muttered under his breath

“It is true Tom. Though I don’t think she can complain that her family, are Greek gods and goddesses.”

Tom blushed, feeling shocked that Ash could hear him. Ash laughed, “Most demons have very good hearing. Please be careful, if Kelly is behind all this, I can only imagine the ammunition Aphrodite has given her.”

Paige sighed, “I can only imagine. But we’ll be careful.”

“Wonderful. Anyway I apologize if I disturbed you all. I will see you later.”

He waved and flashed, Paige turned back to her friends.

“He’s your uncle?” Tom asked

“Not really; he’s been a longtime friend of my mom’s and he’s become family.” Paige replied

“And he’s a demon?”

“He’s a very powerful demon.” Wes chimed in

Elsewhere Kelly and Monica stood by her silver Mercedes. Aphrodite appeared in front of them, but she was transparent.

“Hi Aunt D.” Kelly said

“Hello my precious niece. Did you get all the ingredients?” She replied

Kelly smiled, “I did. Will you be ready?”

“I will be. Make sure you follow the instructions I gave you carefully. If anything goes wrong and the potion won’t work. Do you think anyone is onto you?”

“We doubt it. We’re popular and hardly anyone at this school would suspect us.” Monica replied

Kelly nodded in agreement, “She does have a point Aunt D. Being popular does have its advantages.”

“Excellent. Call me if you need anything else.”

She disappeared and both girls exchanged smiles. They got into the car and waited for the buses to pull out. Wes and Paige got into his car and drove out.

“Just wait Paige…” Kelly said

Friday night, all the athletes and teachers wore the school’s colors for the pep rally. Parents, students filled up the bleachers to support their teams. Paige sat in the middle section of bleachers, with Julie and Zoey.

“You think those cheer queens would try something tonight?” Zoey asked

“I have a strong feeling about it.” Paige replied

Out of the corner of her eye, Paige watched a single droplet of water appear next to her. It slowly formed and Kristen appeared.

“Hey Kristen. You already know Julie. That is her girlfriend Zoey.” Paige said

“Hey Paige. And it’s nice to meet you Zoey.” Kristen replied

“You too Kristen.” Zoey chimed in

“Here comes the cheer empire and the marching band.”

The visiting band took the field, while the Eastwood Marching Spartans stood on the track to watch the show. Paige spotted Kelly and Monica walking up behind the band, she set a black duffle bag against the foot of the bleachers.

.... That’s when the fun will begin…” Kelly’s voice echoed

Damn it… someone or something is blocking out her thoughts.” Paige groaned

The band had finished and marched off the field. Both teams took the field and captains met in the center for the coin toss. Eastwood won the toss and decided to receive. Soon the game started, Wes took Paige’s hand into his.

“What’s wrong?” He asked

“Someone is close by.” Paige replied

Aphrodite appeared transparent and invisible to everyone else. By halftime she flashed and appeared behind Kelly. Monica handed Kelly her duffle bag, she bent down and took out a slip of paper and a small glass bottle filled with a pink liquid. She began reciting what was written and a bright light formed around her.

One single beam shot out and up from the center of the field. People screamed and began running for cover. Paige watched as Aphrodite walked into Kelly’s body and let out a loud laugh.

“Oh my god.” Julie gasped

Kelly looked over at Monica and waved her hand over her head. Her body glowed pink as she conjured a sword. They walked towards the light in the center of the field as soldiers emerged dressed in traditional Greek armor.

“Aphrodite’s using Kelly’s body as a vessel. Could a mortal body handle all that power?” Wes asked

“It’s hard to tell.” Paige replied

She sensed Aphrodite was slowly using her powers through Kelly. They watched as a pink dome formed around the field. Jake appeared still wearing his football gear.

“What the hell?” He paused

He saw Kelly and Monica standing in the center of the field with an army behind them. His friends appeared next to him and they all went underneath the bleachers.

“This is just how I wanted to spend my Friday night.” Jake commented

“Kelly!” A man’s voice shouted

They came out from beneath the bleachers to see Troy walking towards his daughter.

“Troy how nice of you to come. I knew you’d come around.” Kelly replied

“Aphrodite? What have you done to my daughter?” He shouted

“Unlike some family she understood my dilemma and decided to help. I refuse to be confined.”

“Get out of Kelly now! I won’t let her be your vessel”

Aphrodite laughed, “It’s too late Troy. Now step aside…”

Monica tackled him to the ground and shackles appeared around his wrists and ankles. Two guards dragged him to the side.

“Aphrodite is Kelly’s Aunt? No wonder she hates supernatural beings so much.” Kristen asked

“It makes sense. So what do we do? We have a possessed cheer queen and an army of shadow soldiers.” Julie asked

Paige conjured her book of shadows. The book opened and pages began to turn, but stopped at a spell that would free a mortal possessed.

“Kristen can you make a vial out of ice?” Paige asked

Kristen nodded, putting her hands together. Slowly she pulled them apart as the vial took form.

“So what’s the plan?” Jake asked

“We have to weaken Kelly, the spell will work faster. The guards have to be taken out, but restrain or stun Monica.” Paige replied

“What about her father?” Wes asked

“Whoever gets to him first, bring him here. Amber!”

Amber appeared, wearing a black flats, blue jeans, and red ‘peasant top’. She sucked on a red lollipop, but it dropped to the ground. Her wings and tail appeared, growling she began looking around.

“Where… is … she?” Amber asked

“Possessing an eighteen year old relative… Can you help?” Paige replied

She nodded and they walked out from beneath the bleachers. Kristen conjured her staff; Wes took Paige’s hand into his and squeezed it. Kelly’s eyes lit up as the group of friends stopped half way.

“Paige… you certainly have matured into a beautiful young woman. And you’re imprinted with a wind demon. You did make this very easy; I was going to send Monica to draw you out. But here you are.” Kelly paused; “Amber… I’m not surprised you’re here.”

Monica stepped up with a few soldiers.

“Kill them!”


















XXI

Paige’s eyes widened sending Monica and some soldiers flying backwards. Kelly tackled Paige forcing her into the portal. Monica, the soldiers and Troy all disappeared.

“Paige!” Wes yelled

Amber came up behind him, she hugged him tightly.

“We’ll get back… calm… need think…” She whispered

Ash appeared with Jade and Ryan.

“What happened?” Jade asked

“Aphrodite’s back…” Wes replied

“How?” Ash asked

“We found out that Kelly is her niece. She agreed to help and Aphrodite is using her as a vessel.” Jake replied

“She’s taken Paige, and Kelly’s father.” Julie continued

“Where could she go? She can’t go back to the Otherworld could she?” Ryan asked

“Maybe that was the potion she made.” Kristen suggested

“Monica or Troy could open the door.” Ash interrupted

“So she found a magical loop hole…” Jade sighed

“Wes, take Julie and see if you can track Paige.” Ash continued

“Remind me why you came with me?” Julie asked

They appeared in the Otherworld in a deserted part of the forest, which resembled a swamp. Sunlight barely peaked through the dark green leaf canopy above. The ground felt soft as their feet sunk into the mud.

“Paige and I imprinted. The wind guides you back to your mate.” Wes replied

“Oh… that’s cool.”

She morphed into her wolf form and began to look for a scent.

They were here recently.” She projected to him

Wes felt the wind pushing him forward and started walking. Julie caught up to him as they went further.

Paige’s eyes twitched, she sensed Troy was with her, as her eyes slowly opened. Everything appeared fuzzy, but adjusted to the dim light shining through the barred window above. The gray brick walls were covered with loose shackles and Troy sat across from her.

“Paige… are you okay?” He asked

“Yeah… are you alright?” She replied

“I’m just in utter shock. I don’t understand why Kelly would do this?”

“She was jealous; being a descendant of a Greek God you weren’t blessed with powers.”

Before he asked her, she lifted her shackled wrists to tap her head. He relaxed and stared down at the floor. A door opened and Monica appeared smiling and staring at them through the barred door.

“You’re both awake. I wouldn’t try to break those shackles, unless you want to get zapped. They leave such nasty burns on your skin.” She commented

“Monica please talk some sense into Kelly. You don’t know what you’re dabbling in.” Troy begged

“We do. Aphrodite taught us well.”

She conjured a clear crystal ball and waved her hand over the top.

“Now Paige, give me your love energy. The love you and Wes share is strong. It would be a waste not to use it.”

Paige’s eyes widened the crystal lifted from Monica’s hands and slammed against the wall of the cell. Slowly she stood up, the shackles falling to the floor, the cell door slid opened. Monica took a step back as Paige walked out to face her. She ran up to throw a punch, but something pulled her backwards back into the cell and the door slid shut.

“A good effort Paige. You didn’t think it would be that easy to escape did you?” Kelly asked.

Her voice echoed all around them. Paige had fallen to her knees, but slowly stood up.

“For a second there… yeah I did.” Paige replied

Her bruises had started to heal as Monica disappeared. She and Kelly’s laughter echoed all around them. Paige sighed and broke Troy’s shackles. He rubbed his wrists and sighed. Monica appeared in a small white room with a golden high backed throne, the legs wrapped with vines. Kelly was standing in the center of the room, as Aphrodite stepped out becoming solid.

“How are you feeling?” Aphrodite asked

“I need to sit down.” Kelly replied

Aphrodite snapped her fingers and conjured another throne identical to hers. Both sat down, Kelly leaned back, Monica stood next to Kelly.

“The dizziness should pass shortly. Thank you, my beautiful niece for giving me a new body. Monica, don’t worry about getting Paige’s love energy. You can collect it from Wes and Julie; they’ve arrived looking for Paige. Wind demons, once mated one can find the other, letting the wind pull them in the general direction. Go and have some fun girls, collect what you can and bring it to me.”

Kelly stood up feeling her new powers running through her veins. It was a completely new feeling, having the ability to do what most supernatural beings could do. She snapped her fingers changing into a pair of black pants, matching tank top and dark pink hoodie over it. Both young girls flashed, leaving the Goddess alone.

Apollo appeared before her, her eyes narrowed and brow lowered.

“What are you doing here?” She asked

“I should be asking you the same question. Father gets you released from the Underworld; and I know being under house arrest isn’t the greatest, but it was better than staying with Hades for eternity.”

“I’m exacting my revenge. And thanks to my niece and her best friend it will be brilliant.”

“If you haven’t noticed, they’re turning pale. You gave them powers that their bodies won’t be able to handle for much longer. Unless you take those powers back, they’ll turn to statues and then dust.”

Aphrodite giggled, “That’s where you’re wrong dear Brother. I had Kelly make a potion that will keep their bodies from changing. The paleness is only temporary and their skin will return to normal in five seconds.”

He threw his hands into the air.

“Amazing; you have thought of everything.”

“I have. Now get out!”

She conjured a love energy ball and tossed it. He flashed just as the ball of energy hit the floor leaving a black mark.

“Bastard... “She mumbled

In the woods, Julie and Wes stopped to see a large lake. A dark wooden dock let out to an ivory dome floating above the green tinted water.

“She’s in there somewhere.” Wes whispered

Kelly and Monica appeared with soldiers behind them.

I don’t sense Aphrodite. But her powers are running through both of them.” Julie whispered

“How did she separate?” Wes added

“Did the winds guide you?” Monica asked

“We’re surprised they didn’t warn you about us.” Kelly giggled

Wes’s hands curled into fists. Julie let out a low growl. Both girls conjured weapons and flashed. Kelly’s laughter echoed around them, their eyes looked all around the forest.

Kelly appeared but was knocked backwards by Kristen’s staff. Wes conjured a silver energy ball and threw it at Monica who was floating down towards them.

“Ash sent me… let’s go…” Kristen said

They flashed and appeared in Ash’s backyard. He, Amber, and Jade were waiting. Ryan appeared behind his wife.

“We found it.” Wes paused

“Aphrodite separated from Kelly.” Julie continued

“She must have enough power to become whole.” Ash explained

“Great...” Wes sighed

“Might… share powers; Mortals can’t handle…” Amber chimed in

“Mortals can’t handle a lot of power. It turns their skin white. If they take in too much their bodies turn to dust.” Ryan continued

“So what do we do?” Julie asked

“Strip them of their powers.” Jade replied

Back in the Otherworld Paige and Troy sat in silence. She felt his sadness and understood why Kelly was so bitter. Being a descendent of a Greek God and they weren’t blessed with powers.

Paige…” Jade called

Mom?” Paige replied

Don’t worry we’ll get you out of there. Is Troy hurt?

No. He’s asleep; this placed is spelled from ceiling to floor.

Stay strong; if you escape call Wes.

XXII

“You looked deep in thought.” Troy commented

“I was talking with my mom. Help is coming.”

“Telepathic?”

“Hybrid; telepathic, telekinetic powers, and witch…”

“Amazing…”

“It would be, but this whole place is spelled. I’m trying to figure out how to break one.”

The sun set they watched the light fade. Paige stood up the bars of their cell glowed a shade of light pink. She conjured a flower. Gradually love energy gathered around the stem turning the white petals pink. Her eyes widened as the flower turned into a rose.

In the throne room Kelly and Monica appeared before Aphrodite.

“They got away.” Kelly sighed

“No matter my child…” Aphrodite replied

“Why?” Monica asked

“They’re coming…”

Kelly smiled faded “You’re…”

Aphrodite smiled relishing in how revenge was going to taste sweet.

“Why? I wanted to trap them here.” Kelly asked

She couldn’t believe her Aunt. This was getting serious and fast.

“Kelly… think of it this way. Your life will return to the way it was.”

“We can rule the school.” Monica added

“You’re right. I’m sorry for doubting you.”

“Let’s prepare for battle.”

In the real world realm Wes sat across from Ash.

“It’s hard to just sit here.” Wes sighed

He ran his hands through his hair.

“Believe me; you don’t know what you’re up against.” Ash replied

Wes went to say something, Ash held up his hand.

“Aphrodite is a powerful Goddess. She has the ability to manipulate love energy; make it do whatever she wants. With Kelly and Monica on her side, she’s made them just as powerful.”

“I thought mortals couldn’t handle so much power.”

“She’s probably found a way to hold off the side effects.”

Amber, Trent, Kristen, and Julie appeared behind him.

“She’ll be waiting and with an army of soldiers. Kelly and Monica need to be stripped of their powers. I have a feeling Paige will know what to do.”

“What about Aphrodite?” Julie asked

“She’s mine…” Amber growled

“No argument there…” Trent whispered

“Heard that…”

Hang on Paige…” Wes thought to himself

The next morning, Wes conjured a door to the Otherworld from Ash’s backyard. It opened to the forest where he and Julie found where Paige was being held. One by one they walked through, it shut behind Amber. The ground felt firm beneath their shoes, sun still peaked through the dense canape of leaves above.

Small gusts of winds blew through his hair, pulling and also stopping him. They walked a little further, but stopped. Kelly and Monica appeared with Aphrodite behind them.

“Welcome… it’s refreshing to see the next generation of supernatural beings. I suppose Ash has faith in you all.” Aphrodite passed “I’ll let you ladies have some fun.”

She flashed Amber followed as Kelly and Monica signaled for the shadow soldiers to attack. Paige stood up holding the pink rose it glowed. A lightning bold shot out, causing their cell door to fall off its hinges.

“Troy can you walk?” She asked

Slowly he stood up and nodded. They walked down the dimly lit corridor of cells. She watched all of the Goddess’s magic gathering, making the rose bigger. At the end of the corridor, there was a large wooden door with a black metal lock.

Her eyes widened and it broke falling onto the dirt floor. The door opened with a spiraling staircase surrounded by water. Her hand reached out to feel glass.

“Leaving so soon Paige?” Aphrodite asked

“As much as Troy and I loved your hospitality; we’re leaving.” Paige replied

They had started climbing the stairs but she met them halfway blocking another door behind her. Troy stepped in front of Paige. Aphrodite raised one eyebrow.

“Troy you should be proud of Kelly. Following in her Aunt’s footsteps; it makes me so proud.”

“You brainwashed her! Filled her head with lies, empty promises; and where is that going to leave her? She’s just a pawn in a crooked scheme.”

Aphrodite laughed “Pawn? You brother-in-law are sadly mistaken. Kelly is family and I’ll take good care of her. But first, step aside, Paige and I have unfinished business.”

She conjured a love energy ball, Troy stood his ground.

“Troy… get down!” Paige shouted

He fell to the ground as Julie broke through the door. She tackled the Goddess, Paige took Troy’s hand and they flashed appeared beside Wes. His eyes lit up, she smiled and pointed to Troy. Amber appeared kneeling down and saw no wounds.

“He ok… weak… will live.” She said

“Good.” Troy sighed

Paige conjured crystals and placed them around Troy. The shield rose up around him.

“Stay here and don’t move.” She commanded

Slowly she turned as her friends joined her. Aphrodite appeared with Monica and Kelly. She nodded, they ran, their shadow soldiers behind them.

Paige held the pink rose out in front of her. It slowly disintegrated, as a sword appeared with a gold hilt and glowed green. She and Kelly clashed swords; Julie tackled Monica to the ground.

“I’ve waited a long time Paige.” Kelly commented

“Kelly you have to stop. Your Aunt is using you and Monica.” Paige explained

“Bullshit! She’s family!”

Paige ducked a wide swing. Her sword glowed; she kicked Kelly to the ground. Using her powers, she held her still as her blade pierced the earth.

“I bind you Kelly, from doing harm; harm against others and harm against yourself.” She whispered

“No!” Kelly screamed

She managed to turn her head, seeing her Aunt taking Monica’s powers. She watched as her body went limp and fall to the ground.

“Monica!”

“She was having doubts child.” Aphrodite sighed

Kelly disappeared and reappeared next to her Aunt.

“Let me help.” Aphrodite whispered

She held out her hand, Kelly went to take it, but jumped back. Her fingers felt static electricity.

“Her spell worked. I can’t give you my powers.”

“What!”

Shadow soldiers appeared armed, Paige gripped her sword.

“Attack!”

Everyone began fighting again.

“You’ll pay for taking my powers bitch!” Kelly growled

“Kelly you’re blinded by jealousy and Apollo’s rage. It’s not easy having powers and it never fixes everything. Aphrodite is using you, can’t you see that?” Wes asked

Kelly kicked her to the ground, her sword slid out of her hand. A smiled formed on her face, aiming the point of the blade at her throat.

“Paige!” Wes yelled

“Aunt…” Kelly paused

Aphrodite formed a shield around her friends and Monica.

“No interference…” Aphrodite smiled

“Corrupted niece!!” Amber shouted

“Jealous Amber?”

“No… just… like… you…”

“Kelly … stop … this… now!” Troy yelled

“It’s too late daddy…” Kelly replied

Paige’s lifted her hand off the ground disarming Kelly. She kneed her in the stomach and knocked her unconscious. Holding out her hand, her sword flew into her hand, a sheath appeared around her waist, she put her sword away.

“Aphrodite!” A male voice shouted

The Goddess froze, her body stiffened as Apollo appeared standing in the middle of the battle field. An older man appeared beside him. His white hair was pushed away from his squared face, a pair of blue eyes stared at the Goddess who turned white as a ghost. He walked towards her and she kneeled before him.

“I’m disappointed. I made a deal with Hades to release you from the Underworld and then you go and corrupt your niece?” He asked

“Father, she had Apollo’s revenge running through her veins. How could I not help her?” Aphrodite replied

“Enough!”

Lightning flashed across the sky and thunder rumbled. Apollo turned to see Kelly lying on the ground. He walked over to her and held out his hand. A white energy began to leave her body, forming an energy ball in his hand.

“We are going back to Mount Olympus. Apollo return home when you’re finished.” The older man commanded

Aphrodite and the older man flashed, Apollo looked at Paige and her friends. Troy was released from the crystal shield.

“She’s just stunned.” Paige commented

“Apollo…” Troy paused

“Aphrodite’s powers have been removed from her body. I erased the memory of everything leading up to today. She’ll think it was a dream. I’m sorry Paige she’ll still have a dislike for you. Same goes for Monica.” Apollo explained

“It’s a start…” Wes muttered under his breath

Ash appeared with Ryan and Jade. Paige ran into their arms hugging them tightly.

“Paige we’re glad you’re alright.” Jade whispered

“I’m alright mom… dad…” Paige replied

“I thought you couldn’t interfere.” Ash commented

XXIII

Apollo chuckled, “I couldn’t but Zeus stepped in. After he saw what his favorite daughter was doing with her niece.”

“I’m sorry that I missed him.” Ash replied

“Thunder god… no mood to talk…” Amber chimed in

“No he wasn’t.” Apollo paused; “Anyway I need to get back.”

He flashed, Troy walked up to Ryan.

“Ryan I’m so sorry for exploding at you the other day. I didn’t realize what was really going on.” He explained

“It’s alright Troy; at least now we can move past this.” Ryan replied

Ash flashed Troy and Kelly home, along with Monica.

A month later the town was decorated for Halloween. Paige was excited to dress up. She walked out of her bedroom, wearing a green knee length dress; with bell sleeves and matching floral lace pattern. A pair of black ‘Mary Jane’ shoes and her backpack floated behind her.

Jade was sitting at the dining room table, Sasha walked up to her. She reached down petting the top of her head.

“You look beautiful.” Jade commented

“Thanks mom. It feels right to embrace my craft.” Paige replied

“Your father and I are proud. Don’t forget to stop by the lounge. It’s a very special night.”

“Yours and Aunt Jade’s anniversary.”

She slipped her on shoes and black sweater, buttoning the middle button. Walking outside Wes pulled up and she got in.

“Good morning.” She said

“Good morning beautiful; nice costume.”

He leaned and kissed her lips gently.

“Thanks where’s yours?”

Smiling he revealed his blue horns with silver swirls.

“Very cool. What about your tail?” She asked

“It’s not easy to drive. It’ll come out at school.”

She giggled “I’m sorry I can’t relate.”

He gave her a half smile as they pulled into the school’s parking lot. Students and teachers were dressed in costume. Some of the supernatural beings let their ears, horns, tails, and wings show, mortals thought they were creative and made them look life like.

They got out of the car, she conjured her hat. Julie appeared with Jake and Kristen. A pair of dark brown with streaks of gray ears sat on top of Julie’s head. Kristen’s wings glowed blue, but looked clear.

“Hey guys, nice costumes. Jake?” Paige paused

He smiled, flames formed on his back, shaping into wings.

“Very cool.” Wes commented

Walking inside Paige spotted Kelly and Monic talking with two members of the football team. They were dressed as police officers; with black pencil skirts and matching heels. Hand cuffs and night sticks hung from a belt wrapped around their waists.

“Freaks…” Kelly said

They kept walking towards Paige’s locker. She sighed in relief that neither of the girls had any memory of what happened. Being called a freak was better than having her rule this realm.

“So are we going to the dance tonight?” Kristen asked

“Yeah. Wes and I promised my mom we’d stop by the lounge later. It’s her and my Aunt Jade’s anniversary and they needed some help setting up.” Paige replied

“Cool. Tom asked me to go with him.”

“Aww…” Julie said

Kristen blushed, “He’s really nice and funny.”

The hallways started to clear and they separated to go to homeroom. Elsewhere, Ash appeared at Harper’s lake Zeus appeared beside him along with Hades.

“This must be a special occasion.” Ash commented

“Don’t flatter yourself Titan.” Zeus snapped back

“Jeeze… I really don’t want to play the voice of bloody reason.” Hades sighed

“Please thank the young woman who defeated my power hungry daughter.” He paused; “She’s a powerful hybrid and shares a deep love with that wind demon.”

“I’ll pass on the message.” Ash replied

“You won’t have to worry about her. She’s been confined to Mount Olympus with no contact with the mortal realm. “

“Feel free to leave her with me any time. In case she gives you a hard time.”

“Noted; I must return to Olympus. Thank her again Ash.”

He flashed leaving him and Hades alone.

“So why did you come with him?” Ash asked

“I came on my own. And before you start thanking me, this was Persephone’s idea, not mine.” Hades replied

A door appeared where the lake met the small beach. It opened and Abigail stepped through, wearing black heeled boot, blue jeans, and a blood red thermal shirt. Ash’s eyes lit up, as a black choker appeared around her neck with a red jewel in the center.

“Happy Halloween Ash…” Hades said

“Hello Ash…” Abigail whispered

She hugged her son tightly and they turned to Hades.

“I don’t understand…” Ash paused

“This jewel will allow your mother to visit this realm whenever she wants. You won’t have to wait for Halloween. She’s still a shade, same rules apply.” Hades explained

“Thank you Hades.” Abigail said

“Don’t thank me. Thank my wife who still has a heart.”

He sunk into the ground and Ash turned to his mother.

“Trina is going to be surprised.” Ash said

Wes and Paige appeared at the Lounge, just at the sun sunk below the horizon. They walked inside, spider webs hung from the corners of the room. Skull shaped candles sat on both ends of the bar and each table. Dannie was behind the bar, her tiger ears exposed along with her tail. She wore black knee high boots, matching jeans with rips in the thighs and knees; with a matching t-shirt.

Alyssa came out from the kitchen dressed similar to her sister. Her ears and tail exposed.

“Glad you two could stop by.” Jade commented

They turned to see her mother, who looked like she came out from the eighties. Purple heels, floral patterned skirt with a corset waist, teal top, and studded jean vest. Her hair was curled and teased.

“Mom you look great.” Paige said

“Thanks. Your father should be here soon.” Jade replied

Ryan walked in dressed as ‘John Bender’ from the ‘Breakfast Club’. He walked up to his wife and daughter.

“Nice costume Mr. Jacobs.” Wes commented

“Thanks.” Ryan paused; “Where is your sister?”

“Behind you…” Jade Dean whispered

They turned to see Mitch and Jade. Both wore black biker boots, blue jeans, white t-shirts, and black leather biker jackets. They turned , showing ‘Cry Baby’ written on the back in white letters.

“And no I never get tired of scaring people.” Jade

Dannie set her tray on the bar and glasses filled with soda went around to everyone. Ash and Trina appeared, followed by Drake, Amber, and Trent.

‘The Jades’ stepped forward.

“Thank you all for coming tonight. We wanted to have a toast before reopening to the public.” Jade Jacobs said

“Eight years ago we met…” Jade Dean continued

“Two opposites with the same name and different views.”

“We had the idea to open this lounge...”

“A neutral zone for supernatural beings and mortals to come together…”

“And thanks you all we have become successful.”

“To our never ending friendship.”

Everyone rose their cups and took a drink. Paige took out her cellphone to see it was almost six, the dance was going to start soon.

Mom we need to get going.” Paige whispered

Go… have fun my love…” Jade replied

They flashed in front of the school, meeting up their friends. Walking into the gymnasium music played, kids were dancing others enjoying the themed refreshments.

“Look who decided to crash the party.” Kelly commented

“Who let the freaks in?” Monica asked

“We invited ourselves.” Paige replied

“Yeah… so piss off.” Julie snapped

The girls walked off in a huff. Wes spun her around and she stopped seeing Ash standing in the far corner of the room. She walked over to him, Wes and others followed.

“Uncle Ash what are you doing here?” Paige asked

“I came to deliver a message from Zeus. He wanted me to thank you and your friends for defeating Aphrodite.” Ash replied

“That is so sweet.” Tom commented

“I’d better get back to the party.”

He flashed as a slow song came on.

The next night, Drake stood next to Ash in the backyard.

“I would say you’re crazy Ash. But she’ll definitely appreciate the effort.” Drake commented

“Thanks for the vote in confidence wolf.” Ash replied

Trina sat in the kitchen typing up an article when Ash came into the room.

“You’re home early.” She commented

“I had something special planned for tonight.” He replied

“That’s right; I’ll be done in twenty minutes. Do I get any hints?”

He shook his head and she sighed. When she finished, he was outside in the backyard and came back inside.

“Are you ready?” He asked

“Do I need to change?”

She looked down seeing she was wearing a long sleeved blue shirt and dark blue jeans.

“No. Are you ready?”

She stood up and nodded. They flashed outside and appeared beneath a white canopy. There was a table covered with a black tablecloth, two candles in silver candle holders and a longer table set up next to it with a food. And a bottle of wine chilling in an ice bucket.

“Ash this is beautiful.” She commented

He pulled out her chair, she sat down. The bottle of wine opened and poured into two glasses. He went over to the table and brought over to bowls of salad along with a gravy boat filled with dressing. She started eating and noticed the fire pit had been lit, giving off a little heat.

“Enjoy…” He said

She began eating, “This is delicious.”

“Thank you.”

“You cooked? Impressive…”

She smiled taking his hand into hers. Once they finished the first course, there was an entree and dessert. After they finished, he got up and got down on one knee, Trina gasped and tears formed in her eyes.

“Trina meeting you was the best thing that ever happened. You showed me what love and relationship is supposed to be. It’s supposed to be equal and it takes work. Trina will you marry me?” He began

“Yes! I will marry you Ash!”

He opened the small gray box revealing a small square cut diamond on a white gold ring. As it slid onto her finger, she leaped into his arms. He spun her around and they kissed, her arms wrapping around his neck. Her feet touched the ground and she conjured her phone. She dialed her parents and put it on speaker.

“Hello honey how are you?” Angela asked

“I’m great mom is dad with you?” Trina replied

“I’ll put you on speaker.”

“Hey Trina.” Tom called

“Mom, dad, Ash and I are engaged!” Trina cheered

“Oh honey congratulations!” Angela replied

“Congratulations to you both!” Tom added

“Thank you. We’ll definitely arrange a weekend for you two to come out.” Trina continued

“That would be wonderful.” Angela replied

“Anyway I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”

“Alright… congratulations again!”

She hung up and he hugged her tightly. Amber and Trent walked out into the backyard and came underneath the canopy.

“What all this?” Amber asked

“A special dinner for Trina and me. And Amber, Trina and I are engaged.” Ash replied

She smiled and hugged Trina tightly.

“Welcome to family…” She whispered

Trent and Ash shook hands, and then he hugged Trina.

“Congratulations.” He said

“Thank you both.” Trina replied

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