Thicker Than Blood by rebellious_one

1. Prologue by rebellious_one

2. Chapter 1 by rebellious_one

3. Chapter 2 by rebellious_one

4. Chapter 3 by rebellious_one

5. Chapter 4 by rebellious_one

6. Chapter 5 by rebellious_one

7. Chapter 6 by rebellious_one

8. Chapter 7 by rebellious_one

9. Chapter 8 by rebellious_one

10. Chapter 9 by rebellious_one

11. Chapter 10 by rebellious_one

12. Chapter 11 by rebellious_one

13. Chapter 12 by rebellious_one

14. Chapter 13 by rebellious_one

15. Chapter 14 by rebellious_one

16. Chapter 15 by rebellious_one

17. Chapter 16 by rebellious_one

18. Chapter 17 by rebellious_one

19. Chapter 18 by rebellious_one

19. Chapter 18 by rebellious_one

21. Chapter 19 by rebellious_one

22. Chapter 20 by rebellious_one

23. Chapter 21 by rebellious_one

24. Chapter 22 by rebellious_one

25. Chapter 23 by rebellious_one

26. Chapter 24 by rebellious_one

27. Chapter 27 by rebellious_one

28. Chapter 28 by rebellious_one

Prologue by rebellious_one
Author's Notes:
Alrighty, here's a new story I started. It's a supernatural story, because those are my favorites to read, and I thought I'd give it a try. If it seems like I posted too much, well I am because I'm leaving for the weekend tomorrow and I just want to post what I've got so far. :) I would like some feedback on it. Welps, enjoy the story!!

Earth… the only planet known to contain life and has the ability to keep living organisms alive and thriving. The Darwin theory helped us to understand this chain, better known as the circle of life, and what it all means. He basically stated each living creature on this planet has a will to survive, how they go about it is a different story. We’re all linked to one another in some way, what is that way might you ask? You have heard the phrase “only the fittest shall survive”, and that phrase derived from Darwin. He started off by studying finches, and from there created a theory of evolution.

Different and various creatures began to increase, and Darwin suggested that somewhere along the way, these creatures had learned to crossbreed, which the results learned to adapt to different habitats and foods. Due to this adaptation, various creatures were able to evolve from one species to another, and each stage of evolution only proved these creatures to be growing bigger, faster, stronger. But no matter how much these species seemed to be evolving, which seemed to often and rapid, there was only one group of species that were dominate, on top of this chain. Humans were the new beasts to roam the earth.

Not only were humans agile, capable and strong, but they were a large group of species, creatures destined to do whatever they needed to do in order to survive. Humans were the complete package, ruling the world with it’s knowledge and power, but for some reason, being a dominant species wasn’t enough. Humans began to turn on each other, fighting and killing each other just to survive… fighting and killing each other just for power. As the world continued to grow, and lands and humans began to divide, that is when war came into affect. Humans would go and attack other humans to claim their land and power. Life on earth somehow turned into a sick game, of who could fight to claim power, of who would dominate in the end.

As time passed, humans became ruthless and hungry; hungry for more, hungry for power. The minds of humans began to evolve, making these species smarter, faster, stronger… increasing their will to do whatever it takes, even if it means ridding the world of your own kind, to survive. Battles no longer consisted of humans fighting humans, but more of man against machines. Planes, bombs, guns, and all sorts of war weaponry were created to use and prove power and domination. It would only be a matter of time for evolution in humans to take one more giant step in order to create something that would seize total and complete power of the world. The first step in that direction was taken by my husband, Dr. William Redford.

He became obsessed with Darwin’s theory, and believed that he could generate humans to become better and more lethal than humans, machines and beasts combined. Instead of going to war with dangerous weapons, send in supernatural humans that would take care of the problem and were agile enough not to be killed in the process. He believed that he could create super humans, and everyone thought he was completely crazy. He wanted to prove these people that doubted him wrong, wanted to show these people that he could create a new set of humans that were supernatural and indestructible, a new form of weapons the government would want and utilize. And like a fool, I stood beside him, every step of the way.

Chapter 1 by rebellious_one

November 25th, 1970

“I now pronounce you Mr. and Mrs. William Redford. You may now kiss the bride.”

Debra smiled as her husband, Dr. William Redford, turned to stare back at her. Hesitantly, he lifted up her embroidered veil and placed it on top of her head. Taking one last glance at his now gorgeous wife, he leaned in and gave her the most sensualist kiss, which seemed to never end. As they continued to kiss, the crowd began to clap and cheer for the two newlyweds.

“I love you so much.” Debra whispered against his lips.

William smiled, “Not as much as I love you.” he said before he captured her lips in yet another kiss.

~*~*~*~

“Keep your eyes closed now honey.” William said with a big smile as he lead his wife up a small set of stairs.

“I am.” Debra replied back, laughing. “You better a keep an eye on my dress now and make sure it’s not getting dirty.”

“Don’t worry baby, I’ll take care of that real soon.” He said as he turned back to a panel that had a keypad and a scan screen on it.

He pressed a series of numbers and had placed his hand on the scan screen, allowing the machine to scan and read his handprint. The door soon retracted, and he turned back to his wife, who was standing there with her eyes still closed. He went behind her and had scooped her up in his arms, carrying her into the room.

“Will!” she exclaimed as she felt herself being lifted up off the ground and carried into wherever they were going.

“I’ve got you baby, just keep your eyes closed.” he walked further into the room and had placed her down in the center of it. “Okay, now open your eyes.”

Smiling all the while, Debra finally fluttered her eyes open, letting her eyes adjust and realize where they were. “We’re spending our honeymoon… in your laboratory?”

“You don’t like it?” He asked with a fake pout.

She could only laugh as she slowly sauntered up to him, “Of course I don’t like it…” she took a long pause to watch the hurt cross his features, which only made her laugh. “I love it. I love being anywhere, as long as I’m with my husband.” she ended with a kiss.

“Then you’ll definitely love what I got to show you. Come with me.” he said as he led her by the hand.

“Is this another one of your inventions?” she laughed as she followed her husband through the laboratory.

He didn’t respond to her. He only brought her over to what looked to be a bed from a hospital, which had a medical tray situated next to it. On the tray were different colored vials and a single syringe.

“What is this?” she asked as she let her fingers touch the tray.

“This…” he said as he grabbed the syringe, “is the answer to all our problems.”

“We just got married and we already have problems that I don’t know about?” she asked with a small laugh.

“Baby,” he said in all seriousness, placing the syringe back down on the tray. “Remember when we first met, I was nothing but geeky science major and you were this beautiful, hot psychologist major?” When she nodded, he continued. “Well, remember when I shared with you my dream… of being able to concoct a chemical that would generate super humans to help end all wars and finally bring this world at peace? Well, I finally found the answer.”

Debra stared at her husband, remembering how everyone thought he was crazy for even having that idea in his head. Everyone knew it was impossible, but she never said anything because she didn’t want to hurt his feelings. “Baby, how do you know that is the answer?”

“I know it because I tried it and it actually works!”

“You’ve tried it huh? May I ask what you’ve tried it on?”

“An animal.”

“Of course… animal trials. But you do know that humans and animals are two completely different species right?”

“Not just any animal Debra… the animal us scientists believe humans derived from.”

“A monkey?”

“A chimpanzee to be exact. I gave the chimp a dose of this chemical and it adapted to it rather quickly. The progress and results were amazing. Would you like to see it?”

Deep inside Debra knew that this couldn’t be true, this was all impossible, but she wanted to see if her husband had really done it. “Okay.”

He brought her over to this cage that was encased by Plexiglas. As she got a closer inspection, she noticed that she saw nothing but green shrubs and banana peels. “Baby, I don’t see anything.”

“You gotta look harder. It’s using it’s power right now.”

As she looked closer, she realized that the monkey, the chimpanzee, was actually camouflaging itself within the trees. She finally saw it move and it had jumped down from the tree, becoming a normal, visible chimp again. She watched in fascination as the chimp made it’s way to a banana that was on the ground. Debra found herself slowly walking up to the cage, placing her hand on the Plexiglas. The chimp immediately looked up at Debra and suddenly disappeared.

She gasped, “Whe… where did he go?”

“It’s all apart of his disappearing act. He’s still there, right in front of you, he just made himself invisible. When I injected this monkey with the chemical, I noticed that he adapted an elemental power as well as a mental power.”

“Ho… how did you manage to do that?” Debra asked as she still stared at the cage, wondering what the chimp was doing now.

“I was able to extract atoms from the different elements and was able to create a chemical where the powers of each element could be transferred into a human and controlled by that human. This chimpanzee has the elemental power of earth.”

“What do you mean this chimpanzee… you have more?”

“Five to be exact… five chimps took on the five different elemental powers; earth, wind, water, fire and metal.”

“So… what about the mental powers?”

“I’m really not sure where it all came from, but I’m convinced that it’s a power that the mind developed due to the human’s adaptation to this chemical. Upon receiving the chemical within your body, the mind has to learn how to be able to control the power it receives. The mental power must’ve developed sometime during that process.”

“And they all have different mental powers… as well?”

“Yup… this first chimpanzee, he has the power to disappear. I discovered though, as the chimp grows, so does it’s powers and abilities. Not only is this chimp able to just disappear, but it’s able to blend in with it’s surroundings as well, but I’m not to sure if it includes shape shifting.”

“Shape shifting?” Debra asked in shock. “Is that even possible? You’re talking about total reconstruction of a figure into something else.”

“I don’t know if it’s possible, it looks likely though.”

“I can’t believe this.” She said in a whisper as she continued to stare at the cage. “What are the other mental powers?”

“As far as I discovered, there’s telekinesis, telepathy, teleportation and the ability to walk through anything and everything. These are just the basics though, I believe that in time, these powers should grow and adapt new things.”

“I can’t believe you did it baby.” Debra said in awe, still having a hard time believing what her husband had done.

“Now all I have to do is present my studies, findings and results to the government, but I need a human subject.”

“Well, where are you gonna find a willing human subject?” Debra asked, not taking her eyes off the chimpanzee, who was now blending back in with it’s surroundings. When she didn’t hear a reply, she turned to find her husband staring straight at her.

“Me?” she asked in shock. “Oh no baby, you can’t possibly think that… you want to have me… are you serious?”

“Baby, I worked day and night trying to find a solution to the world’s problem, finding a way to prove all those who doubted me wrong. This is it. I’ve always tested it on chimpanzees, which happen to be the closest things to humans. The progress and results were positive, everything turning out fine, nothing abnormal about it.”

“But honey, you’ve never tested it on a an actual human being, and you want me, your wife, to be your first test subject?”

“Baby, I swear to you, on my life, that this is completely safe and effective. I would never create something that I knew would jeopardize humans in anyway, nor would I offer it to you first and foremost if I didn’t know what the outcome would be and if I didn’t trust myself a hundred percent, but I do. I’ve researched and know enough about what I’ve done, and I would never ever do anything to put your life at stake.” he said as he caressed her cheek. “Baby, we’re talking about speeding up, starting a new evolution in humans. We’re gonna go down in history and will be forever known and praised for this. You’ve said that you’ve always wanted to help people, make the world a better place, this is the answer to all of that.”

Debra stood there, staring at her husband, not believing the fact that he was trying to convince her to let him inject her with the chemical he created. “Do you love me baby?” she finally asked after a long moment of silence.

“More than life itself.”

Sighing heavily, she slightly nodded her head. “Okay… I’ll do it.” she said in barely a whisper.

William felt like jumping for joy, but he simply grabbed his wife, lifted her into the air and spun her around. “I promise baby, I’ll never let anything bad happen to you.”

Chapter 2 by rebellious_one

February 2nd, 1971

“Debbie?” Will called out as he entered his home, which was unusually quiet. “Baby… I’m home.” he fell silent to see if his wife would reply, but still he heard nothing.

He immediately walked into their room and found no one there. Right when he was about to make his way out and continue searching for her, he heard someone coughing and gagging from behind the closed door of their bathroom.

He walked up to it and began to lightly knock on the door. “Baby?” he called out, only hearing more coughing and gagging. He grabbed the doorknob and jiggled it, finding it to be unlocked. He opened the door and found his wife on the bathroom floor, curled up in a fetal position, hugging the porcelain toilet.

“Baby, what’s the matter?” he asked as he walked further into the bathroom, finding chunks of vomit floating in the toilet.

“All I’ve been doing today is throwing up…” she replied weakly, quickly covering her mouth with her hand.

“Go ahead baby, let it all out.” Will said as he began to rub her back, wondering if it was late affects of the chemical he gave her three months ago. There was no way it could be an affect though, the whole time she showed positive results in adapting not one of the elemental and mental powers, but all ten of them.

“Why is this happening to me?” She asked as she began to cry, not liking the pain she felt from throwing up all the time.

That’s when something went off in Will’s head. “Baby, in all how much times have you thrown up?”

“I don’t know… for the past couple days.”

“Do you remember the last time you had your period?”

Debra remained silent, trying to think through her nauseous state. “I can’t remember…”

“C’mon, I’m gonna take you to the doctors.” he said as he tried to help his wife up and off the ground.

“No,” she groaned, feeling extremely weak. “you’re a doctor. I probably just have the stomach flu is all.”

“No baby, I think it’s more than that.”

~*~*~*~

“Congratulations Debbie, you’re pregnant.”

Debra’s eyes widen as she stared at Dr. Manwell, who was her husband’s good friend. She looked up at her husband, who was simply looking down at her, smiling back. “Oh my god!” she finally screamed as she reached up and grabbed for her husband, pulling him into a hug. “Oh my god, oh my god… we’re having a baby Will!”

“I’m surprised you couldn’t figure that out Will.” Dr. Manwell said with a laugh, causing Will to playfully push him away.

“I had a feeling, just wanted to bring her in to make sure.”

“Well, Debs you are free to go, I just want you to come back in three weeks to check in.” and with that, he left the two alone.

Debra hopped off the bed and just stared at Will, who was smiling back at her. “YOU’RE GONNA BE A DAD!!” she screamed as she jumped into his arms.

Will immediately wrapped his arms around her as she wrapped her legs around his waist. They began to kiss until Debra abruptly pulled away.

“Baby… I just thought of something… will I affect the baby in anyway?”

Will fell silent, as if he was thinking. “To tell you the truth, I really don’t know… but if anything, you won’t affect the baby in a negative way, if anything you’ll only pass along your powers to the baby.”

Debra didn’t like that answer, but she trusted him. She only smiled back as she leaned in to kiss him again. Little did she know that her pregnancy was all apart of Will’s plan.

Chapter 3 by rebellious_one

October 3rd, 1971

“C’mon baby, just push… you’re almost there honey!!”

“I can’t do this anymore… god, I can’t do this anymore! It hurts!”

“I know sweetie, but don’t stop pushing… he’s almost out… I can see his head…”

Will looked to the side of him and saw that everything was levitating in the air. “Debbie, I need you to concentrate on the baby… only the baby, okay? He’s almost out, I promise you.”

“Will, I can’t do this!!”

“Yes you can, and yes you will. Just concentrate on the baby and nothing else.”

As Debra continued to push, she tried her hardest to just think about getting her son out of her womb. Will looked around and noticed that his things were slowly being placed down on the ground. “That’s it baby… just one more push, okay?”

With a blood curling scream, Debra pushed one last time when she finally felt her son leave her body. Exhausted, she collapsed down on the bed, her face and body glistening with sweat. She left her eyes closed for the longest, too tired to do much of anything, but finally opened it when she heard small cry erupt from a baby, her baby. She opened her eyes and looked up to see her husband carrying their son.

“Congratulations baby… it’s a boy.”

Debra could only smile and cry as she held her arms out, wanting nothing more than to hold her newborn son. Will gently placed their child into Debra’s arms and stood near her side. She looked down at their son, who was wrapped in a blue fleece blanket, and noticed that he had a strands of jet black hair on his small head. She smiled, knowing that her son would have her colored hair and big, bright smile while she hoped that he would have eyes just like his father, a striking emerald green color.

Debra sighed and smiled, noticing that he had fallen asleep within her arms. She gently kissed him on his forehead, “Kevin Scott Redford… my baby boy.”

~*~*~*~

The following months, William tried to impregnate his wife yet again, but to his dismay her pregnancy test always turned out negative. He secretly decided to get himself checked up, to see what the problem was.

“So James, can you tell me what’s going on?” Will asked his good friend, Dr. Manwell.

James sighed heavily, “Look Will, I’m not sure you’re gonna like what I found out.”

“Just please tell me.”

“You have testicular cancer Will.”

Will only stared at his good friend in shock, “No… tha-, that can’t be possible…”

“Well, we found traces of cancerous cells, but with that I have good news. We caught it in it’s early stages and we can prevent the cancer from spreading by killing the cancer immediately.”

“Does that mean I can’t…”

“Unfortunately, you no longer can bear children anymore.”

“I can’t not bear… we need more children James.”

“I’m sorry Will, there’s nothing more I can do for you.”

Will sat there, holding his head in disbelief. They have one child so far, which seemed to show signs that he adopted one elemental and mental power from Debra, so all he needed was for Debra to conceive four more children, then he would be set to present his proposition to the government. As he continued to sit there, thinking of what he could do, an idea popped into his head.

“Thanks for everything James…”

“No problem, we’ll have an operation set up for you real soon, so I’ll give you a call.”

Chapter 4 by rebellious_one

November 25th, 1972

“Happy anniversary baby.”

Debra jumped upon hearing a soft, deep voice whisper in her ear. She turned slightly to see her husband standing behind her, a bouquet of roses and a box of chocolate in hand.

“Gosh Will, scare the crap outta me why don’t you.” She said softly as she looked down at her son, whom she was bottle feeding, but he was slowly drifting off to sleep.

“Sorry babe… you didn’t think I forgot, did you?”

“Me? Of course not. Happy anniversary sweetie.” she said as she pecked him on the lips.

Will looked down at his son, who was sporting a fuller crop of black hair and had green eyes behind his falling eyelids. “Good, sport’s going to bed soon, which means that I can have you all to myself…” he whispered as he nibbled on her ear.

Debra laughed as she shied away from him, “What’s gotten into you Will?”

“Nothing much,” he said as he began walking into the kitchen. “Just want to spend some quality time with my lovely wife on our special day.”

Debra smiled as she shook her head. She slowly got up and had placed their now-sleeping son into the bassinet. She leaned down and had gently placed a kiss on his forehead, “Goodnight baby boy… love you.”

When she looked up, she saw her husband standing in front of her, holding two flutes that were filled with champagne. “Shall we take this upstairs?”

Debra smiled as she slowly and seductively made her way over towards her husband. He held out a glass to her, to which she graciously accepted. They gently tapped their glasses together, staring at each other through the dim light. “Lead the way.” she said with a smile, then took a sip of her champagne.

Will only stared and watched as she took a sip, his grin growing bigger as he took a sip of his own champagne. All of a sudden, Debra felt extremely lightheaded, and felt as if everything, all her energy was quickly being sucked out of her.

“Will?” she managed to gasp out before everything turned black.

Both of their flutes fell to the ground, shattering upon impact. Will quickly held his arms out and caught his falling wife, who was now unconscious. “I’m sorry baby.” he whispered as he lifted his wife up into his arms. He started to carry her upstairs, not even stopping to address their son, who was now wailing at the top of his lungs.

~*~*~*~

“Will?” Debra said softly as she slowly walked into her husband’s office. She saw him sitting at his desk, writing something and stopping every once in a while to glance at what she assumed were her notes.

“Will?” she called out louder this time, causing him to stop what he was doing and look up at her.

“Hey baby, what are you doing up and about?” He asked as he placed his pen down. The past couple days Debra wasn’t feeling so well, and she didn’t know why, but Will sure did but played it off like he didn’t know. “Oh, I promised you that I’d be up there with a bowl of chicken soup, didn’t I?”

“I’m not here for that… lets just say, that I think I know why I’ve been feeling yucky and acting moody lately…”

“Well… why?” he asked, trying to look as if he didn’t already know.

She whipped out a pregnancy test stick from behind her back and held it up to him. “I’m pregnant.”

“Again?” he tried to act shock. “Oh my god, I can’t believe it… we’re gonna have another kid!”

Debra smiled excitedly as she began to rub her flat stomach. “Kevin’s gonna have a little baby sibling…”

Chapter 5 by rebellious_one

This cycle went on for the next couple of years. Will would slip a pill into Debra’s drink, causing her to fall unconscious and not remember anything that happened before. He would then take her up to his lab where he injected her embryo with donated sperms, causing her to become pregnant. Over the years, they now had a total of five children, ironically all boys and ironically all different. Debra had confronted her husband about this, to which he insisted that it might be affect from the chemicals her body contains.

On August 22nd, 1973, she gave birth to her second son, Howard Dwyane Redford, who had brown hair and brown eyes just like her. On February 20th, 1975 came their third son, Brian Thomas Redford, who strangely had dirty blond hair and blue eyes. Alexander James Redford was born on January 9th, 1978, and came out just like Howard, with brown hair and brown eyes. Their last and final son, Nickolas Gene Redford, was born on January 28th, 1980, and stood apart from their other sons, just like Brian had. He too had blue eyes but bright blond hair. Debra was confused as to why all her sons looked completely different from one another, and the more Will told her that it was an affect the chemicals in her body, the more Debra didn’t question it, until one night.

~*~*~*~

“Will?” Debra called out as she walked through the house, looking for her husband. As she continued to walk through the house, she stopped every once in a while to pick up dirty clothes that littered the floor. “Kevin, I want you, Howard and Brian to get down here and pick up your clothes. The floor is not where you put your dirty close!” she yelled out.

She tossed the clothes she had picked up into their laundry room and continued to roam the house, looking for Will. She finally walked into his office, hoping to find him there, but to her surprise he wasn’t even there. She walked up to his desk and noticed that he still had to be here, for his computer was still on. She found some documents on his desk, which seemed to be records of her and the children’s progression. As she continued to shuffle through the papers, she came across a folder that had a post-it paper on it. On the post-it paper were four male names and their numbers. Lined up with each male name was the name of her four sons. She opened the folder and found pictures of four older males, along with pictures of Howard, Brian, Alex and Nick. On the inside of the folder was her husband’s handwriting, which said “sperm donor”.

“What are you doing in my office?”

Debra quickly whirled around to find her husband standing behind her. Instead of answering him, she grabbed the folder she had found and was looking at and held it up, “What is this?”

Will glanced over at the folder and sighed, “That’s nothing baby…”

“Don’t tell me this is nothing!” she exclaimed. “What the fuck is this?”

When she realized that he wasn’t going to give her an answer, she ripped the folder open, grabbing the papers inside. “You don’t even have to tell me… because I just realized that these four males are the real fathers of my four sons.”

“Look baby, I can explain…”

“DON’T CALL ME THAT!” she screamed as she tossed the folder at her husband, watching as all the papers floated to the ground. “You fucking lied to me William… why did you do this to me, why?”

Will sighed heavily, “After Kevin was born, I had found out that I had testicular cancer and couldn’t bear anymore children… I didn’t have the heart to tell you that I wanted more children, but couldn’t bear any so I… I took sperm donations from a clinic and inserted them into your embryos.”

“Why the fuck would you…” she stopped in the middle of her sentence, all of it coming together and making sense to her. “you only needed four more kids. All you needed from me was to conceive five children so you could go along with your fucking experiment and prove everyone wrong, right?”

“Debra, you know that’s not true…”

“DON’T FUCKING TELL ME IT’S NOT TRUE!” she screamed yet again, tears now cascading down her face. “And to think… all this time I asked you why all our sons were so different, I actually believed what you told me.”

Without saying another word, Debra brushed past Will, leaving him in his office. “Debra, where are you…” before he could finish his sentence, the door closed and slammed shut in front of his face, locking him in his own office. “Shit.” he muttered as he realized that she had just used her telekinesis to lock him in his own office. “Debra!”

Debra walked right up the steps and into her sons room. “C’mon you guys, pack everything you need. Kevin, once you’re finished, go help Alex pack all his belongings.”

Kevin, scared at the way his mother was crying and simply looked right now, quickly jumped out of his bed. “Why, what’s wrong mommy?”

“Don’t ask questions sweetie, just do what I told you okay?”

Without another word, Kevin, Howard and Brian began to pack their things, Kevin making his way over to help Alex pack all of his stuff once he was done. Debra walked into the nursery room, packing everything she needed for Nick. She walked over to the bassinet, to find Nick peacefully sleeping. She slowly picked him up and held him in her arms as she saw Kevin standing at the door.

“Here baby, I want you to take yours and Nick’s things down to the car and take your brothers with you, okay? You know how to strap Alex into the car seat right?”

Kevin nodded as he grabbed the bag containing Nick’s things and began making his way downstairs. Debra, who was still balancing a sleeping Nick in her arms, made her way into her room and placed Nick down on the bed. She began packing all the things she needed and walked over to her jewelry box, taking out the remaining money that was inside. When she had everything, she lifted Nick back up and held him in one arm, while she grabbed her belongings with the rest. She rushed downstairs to find her four sons, staring at a closed door, which was now shaking.

“DEBRA, OPEN THIS FUCKING DOOR!!” Will shouted as he continued to slam himself into the door, trying to get it open.

“What’s going on?” Kevin asked in a scared voice, while Howard was trying to comfort both Brian and Alex, who were scared and crying.

“Don’t worry sweetie, just ignore it and get into the car okay?”

“But we can’t leave daddy…” Kevin began to cry.

“Sweetie, look at me…” She bent down so she was eye leveled with Kevin. “We gotta leave daddy because he’s a bad man, okay? I promise you, everything will be okay and I won’t let anything happen to you. Just please, take your brothers to the car.”

Kevin nodded as he led his three brothers out of the house and towards the car. Debra turned around and had grabbed the car keys.

“DEBRA, DON’T YOU FUCKING TAKE THOSE KIDS FROM ME!!” She heard Will scream from behind the closed door. “THOSE ARE MY FUCKING KIDS DEBRA!”

Tears immediately pooled within Debra’s eyes, and she stood there for a while, crying and staring at the door that was beginning to break. She finally walked out of the house and had walked over to their SUV, unlocking it and opening the door for her kids to get in. While Kevin and Howard began to put their belongings into the back of the car, Debra was strapping in Nick and had checked Alex over.

“Get in the car.” she said as she made her way over towards the driver’s side and had started the car. While Howard jumped in the back, Kevin jumped into the passenger’s seat.

“What’s going on?” Kevin asked again.

Before Debra could respond, she looked up to see Will standing there, aiming a gun at them. “Get down!” she screamed as she threw the car into reverse and had sped out of the driveway.

Kevin looked up at his father with wide eyes and saw him standing there with a gun. “Why does daddy have a gun?”

“Kevin, I said get down!”

Will began to shoot, but the bullets had fallen without even coming close to the car. Debra had surrounded them in an invisible force field, and was now speeding away from the house. When everything had calmed down, Debra glanced over at her oldest son, who was sitting in the seat with his head between his knees, crying. She began to tear herself as she reached over and had pulled her son towards her, holding him in a protective hug. “Don’t worry baby… mommy’s got you, I’m not gonna let anything happen to you, I promise.”

Chapter 6 by rebellious_one

James woke abruptly to the sound of his doorbell ringing. He rose a bit and had rubbed his eyes, glancing over at the clock which read 3:15 a.m. Sighing heavily, he pushed himself up out of bed and made his way downstairs. He looked through the peephole and saw Debra standing there crying, holding Nickolas in her arms while her four remaining sons stood by her side.

He quickly opened the door and held it open for them to come inside. “Debra, what’s the matter? What happened?”

“I’m really sorry for intruding and waking you up James, it’s just… can we stay the night here please? I have nowhere else to go.”

“Of course you can hon.” He knew there was something Debra wanted to tell him, but she didn’t want to talk in front of the kids. “Kevin, why don’t you bring your brother’s to the guest room, you know where it is right?”

Kevin nodded as he reached out to grab Nick from out of his mother’s arms. Once Debra knew that her five sons were in the guest room, she turned back to James and began to bawl. “I don’t know what to do…”

“Start by telling me what happened.” James replied as he led her into his kitchen. He turned on the light and had sat her down at the table. “Let me get you some water, you’re shaking like a leaf.”

“It’s just…” she paused and took a deep breath in, trying to calm herself down before she told him the story. “Tonight I came across some documents in Will’s office and had found out some things…”

“What kind of things?” he asked as he placed a tall glass of cold water in front of her.

“That he is not the father of my four sons…”

James’ eyes widened, “Then who is?”

“This whole time he was taking sperm donations from a clinic and was injecting them into my embryos, I don’t how the hell…” she suddenly paused, memory flooding back and hitting her like a ton of bricks. “Oh god…”

“What is it?”

“He drugged me… that’s how he was able to do it. The times we made love, he always offered me a drink and I… I couldn’t remember everything after that.”

James closed his eyes in disbelief. “After I diagnosed him with testicular cancer, he lied to me saying that he was miraculously able to bear children for some reason… after I told him that it was impossible, he told me about everything… about his experimentation and giving the chemical to you.”

“He told you that?”

“Yeah… when I questioned him about why his four sons looked… different, he insisted it was affects from the chemicals in your body.”

“That’s what he told me too… and like a fool, I believed him.”

“I should’ve known…”

“After I found that out… I left him, took the children, and he came at us… firing a gun at us. If it wasn’t for…” she paused, the memory resurfacing, causing her to break down in tears. “god, if it wasn’t for him giving me his concoction… we wouldn’t be here.”

“But you are here.” James said as he grabbed her hands, hoping to cease her shaking. “And that’s all that matters. The six of you are here, safe and sound.”

“God, I don’t know what to do James…” she cried out. “He said… I thought he loved me, but I find out that our marriage, our family was nothing but a plan to put his experiment into action. I’ve cursed my children…”

“You did not curse your children Debra, you hear me?”

“They won’t be normal James… they’re nothing but experiments to Will, generated humans that are supernatural. I want them to live normal lives.”

“And I’m sure they will. There’s gotta be a way to create an antidote… I’m sure there’s a way to either counteract their abilities or completely cure them. We’ll find a way Debbie.”

Debra looked up at James with hopeful eyes. “You’ll help us?”

“Of course I will.” he replied as he got up and grabbed her in a hug. “It’ll all be okay, I promise you.”

Debra remained in that hug for a while until something went off in her mind. She had a vision of Will going after her and finding her. In the vision he had killed James for helping her and was now about to kill her. She saw her sons, trying to stop him, but there was no use… he killed her, and was now after her sons.

“No…” she muttered, pulling away from the hug. “It won’t be okay.”

James looked down at her, confused. “What do you mean it won’t be okay? I’m not gonna let anything happen.”

“He’s gonna come looking for me James… he knows I’m with you. We gotta leave tonight and the only way…” she paused, knowing what she had to do, which brought tears to her eyes. “the only way everything will be okay is if I separate my sons.”

“What?!” James asked in complete shock. “Debra, are you listening to yourself? You’re gonna separate and put your sons up for adoption?”

“It’s the only way I can save them James, there’s no other way.” she cried. “He will find them if we’re together… I saw… he came over here and had killed you for helping us. He then killed me and went after my sons. I can’t let that happen… he’s gonna lock my sons up and use them for his experiment, exploit them to the government. We gotta leave and find an antidote quick… and after that, I gotta let them go.”

James stared at her with sad eyes, knowing that she was right. “We also gotta make them forget…” she whispered. “Kevin knows too much, as do Howard and Brian. Alex and Nick are too young, but I’d rather wipe their memory slate clean that to risk anything.”

Chapter 7 by rebellious_one

There I sat in this large room, tapping my fingers impatiently on the table. I glanced over at my lawyer, who was checking his watch for the umpteenth time. We were waiting for five couples to walk through that door, for they would be taking care of my five sons. James and I set out to find families I knew my sons would fit in perfectly with, and everyone would believe that these parents conceived my sons.

The door open, and both my lawyer and I sprang up from where we were seated, watching as the couples filed in. They all looked pleasant and hopeful, and the more I stared at them, the more I thought my sons could pass as their kids.

“Welcome everyone,” my lawyer started. “My name is Kendrick Wilson, but you all can call me Ken, and this is my client Debra Redford.” I smiled as I rose my hand. “You may be seated.”

On cue we all sat down, staring at each other with nothing but smiles plastered on our faces. I don’t know how I was able to sit in front of these adults, people that would soon be taking my sons, and be so calm about it. I felt horrible for just giving my sons away, they were my life, my everything, but I knew it was something that had to be done.

“Now,” Ken voiced, “With getting straight to the point, Debra was looking for five families to take care of her five sons. She was looking for families she knew her sons would fit right in and no questions would be asked. To make a long story short, she’s separating and giving her sons up for adoption to keep them away from their father, her husband William Redford.”

One of the parents rose their hands, “May I ask why these kids are being kept away from their father?”

“Abuse.”

“Will that affect us in anyway?”

“I assure you that no one knows this adoption is taking place, not even the father. You were chosen to take her sons because you all look to be probable parents and no questions will be asked. Here is everything you need to know about the boy you will be receiving.” he handed out a folder to each parent. “Legal documentations and everything. We will pay for the change of each boy’s last name.”

I looked down at the papers that were in front of me and began to tear at seeing my sons’ new names. Kevin Scott Richardson, Howard Dwyane Dorough, Brian Thomas Littrell, Alexander James McLean, and Nickolas Gene Carter… all my sons, but not anymore.

I sat there, feeling emotionless and numb as I watched the families look over all the papers that were all about my sons. I vaguely remember each couple thanking me as they made their way out of the room, probably to go get my… their new son. Once everyone was gone, I simply placed my head in my hands and began to cry. Ken sat down beside me and I felt him begin to rub my back. “It’s gonna be okay Debra…” he assured. “You’ll see your sons again.”

“They’re no longer my sons… they won’t even remember that they’re brothers, let alone who I am to them. I handed them over to another family, as if they’re nothing but pets… what kind of mother am I?”

“A good mother. You’re protecting your children.”

I hope he’s right… I sighed heavily, god I hope he’s right. At that moment, a vision came to me. I saw my five sons, all grown up and reunited somehow. The five of them were on a stage, singing and performing together, not one of them knowing that they were all connected more than they thought. I shook my head of the vision… I set out to separate my sons, to protect them, but as fate would have it, they somehow find each other… that’s when I realized that they were destined to come back together.

Chapter 8 by rebellious_one

October 31st, 1989

Kevin sat at the piano, letting his fingers dance gracefully over the black and white keys. Meanwhile, a young girl from their church choir jumped in right on time to start singing the song they were rehearsing for mass. “My Jesus… my Savior, Lord there is none like You… all of my days, I want to praise, the wonders of your mighty love…”

Brian, his cousin, jumped in next. “My comfort… my shelter, tower of refuge and strength… let every breath, all that I am, never cease to worship You…”

The choir, altogether, belted out the chorus. “Shout to the Lord, all the earth let us sing… the power of Majesty, praise to the King, mountains bow down and the seas will roar, at the sound of Your name… I sing for joy at the works of your hands, forever I’ll love You, forever I’ll stand… nothing compares to the promise I have In You…”

Kevin continued to play the keys of “Shout To The Lord” and had stopped when their music director signaled him to cut. “Great job everyone.” their music director had told them. “I’m very proud of each and every one of you. I want you all to be here when?”

“8:00 sharp.” everyone replied in unison.

He simply smiled as he began to clap. “Very good. You’re all dismissed.”

Kevin rose from where he sat at the piano and began to make his way out of the church. He felt a presence fall in step beside him, but didn’t turn to address the person.

“I’m very proud of each and everyone of you.” the person beside him mocked in a distinguished tone.

Kevin laughed as he shoved Brian away from him, “Shutup cous, we ain’t even out of the church yet and you’re making fun of the man.”

“You just said shutup… in the Lord’s house man.”

“You just said it too.”

“But I… dangit.”

“And you also said that word.”

“What word?”

“The “d” word.”

“What “d” word?”

“I ain’t falling for that… you ain’t getting me to say it.”

“I tried.”

“Are you gonna follow me home or something?” Kevin asked as he finally turned to address his younger cousin.

“Me?” Brian asked as he pointed to himself. Kevin only laughed and shook his head. His cousin had a strong southern accent that was hard to miss. He had an accent too, just not as strong. When he was younger though, he always wondered why he was the only one in the family that didn’t have a southern twang, but quickly picked it up.

“No, the guy behind you.” Kevin finally replied.

Brian began to turn around, which only caused Kevin to roll his eyes and playfully push him away. “You dork.”

“Nah, I’m going to your house because we’re going trick-or-treating.” Brian said with a big smile.

“Trick-or-treating?” Kevin repeated. “Uh, aren’t you a little too old for that?”

“Who said anything about me trick-or-treating? Mom and dad’s over at your house right now as we speak… they gave us the duty of taking our snotty little cousins out to trick-or-treat.”

“Are you serious?”

“Why would I make something like that up?”

“I don’t know… cause you’re a dork.”

“Are not!”

“Am too!”

As they continued to banter back and forth, they crossed a house that looked desolate and rundown. The house looked extremely old and about to fall at any given moment. The lawn was completely dead, and the house was encased by dead flowers, vines and weeds.

Brian shivered a bit, “That house gives me the creeps. Doesn’t it remind of that house that was in ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’… I think it was Boo Radley’s house.”

Kevin completely ignored his cousin as he continued to stare at the dead lawn in front of him. “I don’t think anyone lives there… I keep asking dad if I could take care of the lawn.”

“Why would you want to take care of the lawn?”

Kevin shrugged as they continued walking, “I don’t know… gives me something to do I guess.”

Brian rolled his eyes, “Whatever you say tree-hugger!”

Kevin looked over at his younger cousin and grabbed him in a light headlock, ruffling his hair. “What did you just call me?”

“Nothing!” Brian laughed, struggling to get free from his grasp.

As they neared Kevin’s house, Brian shook his head upon seeing their green grass and abundance of floral life. “I feel like I’ve just entered the secret garden…”

Kevin rolled his eyes, “Shutup.” he said as he began to walk up the path towards his house. “And stay off the grass!” he shouted before he disappeared into his house.

“And stay off the grass.” Brian mimicked as he walked into the Richardson’s home, immediately finding his parents in the living room, conversing with Aunt Anne and Uncle Jerald.

“Hi sweetie.” his mother said from the couch. “How was choir practice?”

“It was good mom.” Brian quickly replied as he bypassed his family and little cousins, making his way towards Kevin’s room, knowing that’s where he automatically went.

He opened the door, to find Kevin watering the potted plants that decorated his room. “Don’t you know how to knock?” Kevin asked as he continued to water his plants.

Brian closed the door behind him and rested against it. “Sorry, had to get out of there… it’s pure chaos man, I don’t see how our parents can sit there talking with those little runts running around.”

“The little runts we’ll soon be taking out to trick-or-treat.” Kevin said with a lack of enthusiasm.

“Aww, c’mon Kevy… where’s your holiday spirit?”

“This isn’t a holiday Brian.”

“Well, I thought of an idea. So, you know that old, rickety house we passed by on the way here?” when Kevin nodded, he continued on. “Well, I think we should take the kids there, tell them a spooky story and scare the poop out of them.”

“Scare the poop out of them?” Kevin repeated, laughing.

“Well, I don’t see you coming up with any better ideas!”

“How’s about this…” Kevin walked up to him, as if he was going to tell him a secret. “You take them trick-or-treating.”

Brian’s eyes widen as he watched his cousin walk away, a grin on his face. “You enjoy torturing me, don’t you?”

“Now, why would you think such a thing?” Kevin replied sarcastically.

“Well gee, I don’t know… maybe because you…” Brian stopped in the middle of his sentence when something on Kevin’s desk caught his eye. “Whoa… what in the world is that?”

Kevin turned to find Brian at his desk, looking down at a bunch of metal parts and tools. “It’s a fighter jet model kit my dad brought me for my birthday… I have yet to figure out how the heck to construct it.”

Brian marveled over the metal pieces and tools, looking everything over. “I think I could figure it out.” he muttered as he continued to look everything over.

“Be my guest.” Kevin replied with a shrug. “The instructions are in my desk.”

Brian rolled his eyes, “Ppft, I don’t need no stinkin’ instructions…”

“Suit yourself.” and with that, he went back to watering his plants. Once he was done, he turned to find Brian sitting there, holding up a completed fighter jet model, a big grin on his face.

“No way.” Kevin said in disbelief as he made his way over towards Brian, grabbing the model jet out of his hand and holding it up. “There’s no way you could’ve… where are my instructions?”

“In your desk, where you said it was.” Brian replied, the smile never leaving his face.

“You mean to tell me… that you were able to construct this friggin’ model… in less than five minutes, with no instructions?”

Brian simply nodded, “Yep.”

“Well, if you’re so good, why don’t you take it apart right now in front of me.”

Without saying another word, Brian went straight to taking the jet model apart, working quickly and diligently. In less than three minutes, he was able to take the whole thing apart, leaving nothing but scattered pieces of metal.

“Now put it back together.”

Again, Brian was able to reconstruct the model in less than five minutes. Kevin stared at Brian with wide eyes. Brian simply gave him a smug look and had held his hand up, breathing on his nails and rubbing them on his shirt, pretending to shine them. “Yep… I’m marvelous, I know… some call it a gift.”

Kevin laughed as he playfully pushed Brian’s shoulder, “You’re a freak.”

Chapter 9 by rebellious_one
Author's Notes:
Back from my convention, and of course my computer would start giving me a hard time, argh!! Well, here's the update. I'm glad people are enjoying this story, and to all the people who have reviewed, thank you!!

August 22nd, 1991

“Happy birthday to you… happy birthday to you… happy birthday dear Howard… happy birthday to you.”

“Close your eyes, make a wish and blow out your candles.” Paula whispered into Howard’s ear from behind.

Howard closed his eyes and sat there for the longest, reciting his wish silently to himself within his mind.

“Oh, c’mon now. You’re gonna have a burnt cake if you don’t blow out them candles.” John joked.

Howard finally opened his eyes and took a deep breath in and blew his candles out, practically blowing the candles right out of the cake. He sat there and pulled out each candle, one by one, stopping every once in a while to lick the frosting of the colored wax stick. “Mmm… this is really good cake mom.”

“I’m glad you like it sweetheart.” Paula said as she placed a stack of plates, a bunch of forks and a container of ice cream down on the table. “I made your favorite.”

“I know.” Howard replied with a smile as he swiped his finger through a glob of frosting on the side of the cake. As soon as he moved to lick it off, he received a light tap to the back of the head. “What was that for?” he asked as he turned to the culprit, which was John.

“For putting your finger in the cake and contaminating it. I also want to show you something, so c’mon kiddo.”

“Can’t it wait?”

“Depends… it’s your birthday present, so I suppose it can.”

“Mom, can I be excused for a moment?”

Paula glanced between her son and the dining table. “Howard, I set this all out only for you to ask me to be excused.” she said with a groan.

“I’m sorry mom. It’ll be real quick.”

Paula stood there, as if contemplating it over. She knew the gift John had for Howard and honestly couldn’t wait for him to see what it was. “Well… I guess it’s okay.” she said with a smile.

Howard jumped up from the table and had followed his brother out of the house. “Where are we going?” he asked when he noticed that John was now making his way to his car.

“Jump in and you’ll see.” John replied as he jumped into the driver’s side of the car.

Howard jumped into the passenger side and sat there quietly as John pulled out and away from the house. “So… how far is this place you’re taking me?”

“Don’t worry about it man… you’ll see when we get there.”

Howard simply stared at his brother and smiled. They rode in silence all the way, and John finally pulled the car into an air field. The smile on Howard’s face began to grow, “Johnny… did you buy me a private jet?”

John rolled his eyes as he shut his car off, “Sure, I also brought you a house and a car while I was at it.”

Howard purposely giggled, “Oh Johnny, you’re the best brother anyone could ask for!”

“Shutup dude.” John laughed as he gently pushed Howard to get out of the car. “For all you know, I could be taking you out here to stare up at the sky for your birthday present.”

“You would not drive me all the way out here just to stare up at the sky.” Howard said as he got out of the car and made his way around to John.

“And how would you know?” John laughed as he began walking towards the hangar, Howard in tow. Once inside, they were greeted by an elder male who was decked out in an Air Force uniform.

“Johnny!” the man exclaimed as he made his way over towards the pair.

John immediately stopped and saluted him, “Sergeant Briggs.”

The man rolled his eyes as he playfully pushed John out of his stance. “Shutup dude, you know you ain’t gotta do that to me.”

John laughed as he moved to the side, no longer standing in front of Howard. “Jesse, I’d like you to meet my younger brother Howard. Howard, this is First Sergeant Jesse Briggs.”

Howard, who wanted to greet the man like his brother had, stood in the same stance he did and saluted him. Jesse smiled, “At ease civilian.” he held out his hand for Howard to shake, “Nice to finally meet you Howard… your brother has told me a lot about you.”

Howard grasped the outstretched hand and began to shake it. “It’s nice to meet you too Sergeant Briggs.”

“Please, call me Jesse.”

Howard smiled, “Yes sir.”

“So…” Jesse started as he turned to walk towards a table that was near an aircraft, which was parked in the hangar. “Your brother has told me that you’re interested in aeronautics.”

Howard slowly trailed behind Jesse, “Well, I’d like to say that I’m more interested in flying than the dynamics of flight.”

“Ever thought about joining the Air Force?”

Howard fell silent, contemplating the question. The truth was, he has been thinking about joining the Air Force service, but hadn’t made his mind up yet. At the current moment, he simply wanted to be like his brother, who was studying to become a pilot. “I have thought about it, but haven’t came to a decision yet.”

Jesse nodded, “I hear you kid, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to the military. Me, I didn’t even think about it at all while I was growing up; I was drafted, but I must say that it was the best thing that’s happened to me. To serve and protect this country is a dangerous yet fulfilling task, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. So, having that said… what are you looking to do?”

“Well… as of now I kind of wanted to learn how to fly, I’m aiming at becoming a pilot, just like John.”

Jesse nodded as he turned to grab something on the table. He turned back toward Howard, and had walked up to him. He grabbed the top part of Howard’s shirt, near the collar, and had clipped a pin to his shirt. Howard looked down and had seen that the pin was a set of wings with his name engraved in it.

Once Howard looked up, Jesse saluted him. “Welcome to flight school Howard.”

John walked up behind Howard and had grasped his shoulders, “Happy birthday bro.”

Still in shock, Howard finally turned around to address his brother and had grabbed him in the tightest hug he could muster. “I can’t believe you did this for me man… how on earth did you get the money to pay for this?”

“Man, I ain’t gonna tell you. It’s a birthday present… from the family. We knew this is something you were looking at doing and we wanted to support you in anyway we could. What better way of supporting you than to enroll you into a program where you’ll be a licensed commercial pilot in less than a year?”

Howard felt tears beginning to prick his eyes, but refused to let it fall. “Thank you.” he whispered before he turned to face Jesse again, who was standing there with a big smile on his face. “Thank you Jesse.”

“Don’t thank me son, it was all your family that made this possible. Briefing is tomorrow, so I’ll see you bright and early tomorrow morning.”

Howard saluted him once again, “Sir yes sir.”

John shook Jesse’s hand, “Alright, thanks for this bro.”

“No problem man. See you tomorrow.”

Both Howard and John began walking out the hangar in silence. Once outside, Howard turned to address John, “I can’t believe you guys did this for me.” he said as he began touching the pin that was still pinned to his shirt.

“Well, you better believe it and you better enjoy it. Most kids at the age of 18 are working on getting their driver’s license… you, on the other hand, are working on getting a license to fly an aircraft.”

“I will enjoy this.” Howard replied with a big smile.

“Speaking of 18... I just realized that you’re an old fart, and uh… if you and I were to race back to the car, I think I could totally beat you.”

“And this is coming from a person who’s older than me?”

“Hey, I’ve learned to deal and how to handle my oldness… I know my limits and what I can and can’t do, you are only beginning to learn how to handle your old age. What do you say?”

“I wouldn’t want you to pull something…”

“Ha-ha… very funny Howard. Just face it, you’re chicken because you know your older brother is gonna beat you, just admit it.”

“You really wanna race me?”

“I wouldn’t have asked if I didn’t.”

Howard laughed as he stopped walking. “Okay… I’ll give you a head start.”

“You’re gonna give me a head start, and still expect to beat me? You’re so on.”

They both got into a running stance. “I’ll give you a five second start. On the count of three, you’re off. One… two… three!”

Once Howard hit three, John began sprinting down the air field back towards the lonely car that was parked in the parking lot. Howard sat there, counting five seconds silently in his head. Once he reached five, he turned to look around, to see if anyone was near to witness what he was about to do.

Once he realized that he was alone, and John’s back was still facing him, he stared long and hard at the car that was at a distance, then closed his eyes. He felt his body thrust forward, and when he opened his eyes, he found himself in front of their car. He simply leaned against the hood and waited for his brother to join him.

John finally reached the car, turning around to find no one behind him. He smirked as he began walking towards the driver side of the car. His eyes widen when he saw Howard standing there, leaning against the front of the car.

“What took you so long?” Howard asked with a sly grin on his face.

“What… but how did you… you didn’t even… I want a rematch!”

Howard laughed as he began walking over towards the passenger side. “Maybe another time… and this time, I’ll be sure to collect money from you.”

Chapter End Notes:
Haha, had to edit the story a bit because I got my military rankings messed up. O.o
Chapter 10 by rebellious_one

May 5th 1992

“Alexander James McLean… you’re up next.”

Alex glanced up from the desk he was seated at and just stared at the teacher. Today was “Show and Tell”, a day where all the students were able to bring something to show to the class and talk about it. Alex had a hard time trying to figure out what he could bring to the class that would be cool enough to show and talk about, but came up with nothing. It wasn’t until one night where he decided that he would share his recently discovered gift with the class.

“Hello, my name is Alex and I will be sharing about a talent I have.”

“Do you have anything to show us Alexander?”

Alex began to fidget, “I do but it goes along with my story.”

“Very well.”

Alex nodded as he shoved his hands in his pockets. “It wasn’t too long ago when I discovered this talent, and I thought it was pretty neat myself. At first I didn’t want to show my mom or even tell her about it, so I kept it a secret from her. As time went on I realized that I could possibly be the only one in the world with this talent, so if I may share it with the class…” when he saw his teacher nod, he pulled out a lighter from his pocket, which caused the whole class to gasp.

“Alex, what are you-” the teacher began, but Alex cut her off.

“I don’t know why, but I realized that I had a knack for fire and that I could do this.” He flipped the lighter open, causing a small flame to burst out. Before anyone could say anything, Alex placed his hand over the small flame, keeping it over the fire. He didn’t wince, nor did he pull his hand away… he simply held it over the flame, as if it wasn’t burning him. He then took the lighter and placed it to his skin, causing the whole class to gasp, watching him do this, but remarkably it didn’t hurt him, nor did it leave a mark.

The teacher finally shook herself out of shock and had rose from her desk, making her way over towards Alex. She quickly grabbed the lighter out of his hand, “Alex, are you crazy? What are you doing bringing a lighter to school? It’s a contraband item, you know that!” she said as she began checking him over, finding no blistering wounds.

“I had nothing to show and tell.” Alex replied. “I thought that it would be okay.”

“You thought bringing a lighter to school and trying to set yourself on fire would be okay Alex? Not only could you have hurt yourself, but you could’ve hurt other students or worse, set this whole school ablaze.”

Alex closed his eyes and turned away, “I can control it.” he whispered.

“What?” the teacher asked him, baffled by the fact that he wasn’t affected at all by the lighter he held to his skin.

“I’m sorry.” he said instead.

“Why don’t you go back to your seat. Not only will you be staying with me after class, but I’m gonna call your mom and we’re gonna have a little meeting.”

“Oooh… busted!” one of the students snickered as Alex made his way over to his seat.

Alex sat down and sulked, feeling ashamed for what he had just done. He had honestly thought that the class would think his talent was cool, would think that he’s cool, but no one did.

“Hey freak.” the one that snickered earlier whispered. “I think you’re getting an “F” for pulling that stunt.”

Alex turned towards the student who was talking to him, then glanced around at the rest of the class. He could hear their whispers, talking about him, staring at him, looking as if they were afraid of just being in his presence. Alex didn’t like this feeling, nor did he like the fact that the kid that called him a freak earlier was now laughing and teasing him. Alex grew very upset at this and could feel his body trembling in anger. His eyes fluttered closed and he felt himself beginning to shake vigorously. It didn’t take long for him to realize that it wasn’t just him shaking, but the whole classroom.

“Earthquake!” the teacher shouted. “Get under your desks.”

As all the students began to huddle underneath their desk, Alex remained sitting in his seat, knowing that it wasn’t an earthquake, knowing that he was the cause of the whole classroom shaking. The teacher stared at Alex from underneath her desk. “Alex, get under your desk!” she demanded, but Alex ignored her. “Alex!” she called out again.

Alex finally snapped out of the trance he was in and had done what the teacher asked of him, he crawled underneath his desk. Soon after he did that, the class stopped shaking. They remained under their desk for another minute or so before they finally crawled out from underneath the desk. The room was a mess, the lights above were busted while all the books were on the ground, the shelves completely broken. They teacher scanned the room to make sure everyone was okay. When her eyes landed on Alex, she couldn’t tear them away. Alex glanced up and saw his teacher staring, the feeling of insecurity were back.

~*~*~*~

“Alex, would you like to tell your mother what happened today?”

Alex glanced up at his teacher who was sitting in front of him, and his mother who was sitting beside him. He didn’t say anything and simply shook his head to his teacher’s question.

The teacher nodded, “Very well. If you aren’t already aware, the students were suppose to bring an item to show and tell about. Alex’s item choice was a lighter and he decided to… show and tell us about how he had discovered that fire has no affect on him.”

Denise looked over at her son in shock, “Alex, what are you doing bringing a lighter to school? Where did you get it from?”

“I’ve always had it.” Alex whispered back. The truth was, it was an old lighter he had found while digging through the closet one day, searching all of his mother’s old belongings. He came across the lighter and wondered if it had belonged to his father, for he knew his mother wasn’t a smoker. He held on to it ever since, and came to realize that he was fascinated with the flame it produced whenever he flicked it open. How he came to realize that fire could never burn him was an accident, but that is when his obsession with fire was born.

“I am so sorry Mrs. Newark.” Denise apologized.

“There’s no need for apologies Miss McLean, just a promise that it’ll never happen again. Because the next time it happens Alex,” she turned towards him when she said this, “you won’t be let off the hook so easily. What you did today was completely unacceptable and highly dangerous. Although the fire…” she paused for a moment, “didn’t burn you, you still posed as a threat to yourself and your classmates.”

Denise glanced her son over, “What do you mean the fire didn’t burn him?”

“Alex used the lighter he brought to school and had held the flame to different parts of his body. Remarkably, for some unexplainable reason, it didn’t burn him nor did it leave any scorching marks.”

Denise turned to stare at her son. “Alex…”

Alex looked up at his mother, sad at the fact that his mother had found out about his gift by being called into a meeting with his teacher. Instead of saying anything, he simply reached over to his teacher’s desk, grabbing the lighter. Both his teacher and his mother sat there in silence, not stopping him from doing what he was about to do.

Alex flicked the lighter open, causing it to produce a flame. He held the flame directly to his skin, causing his mother to gasp and cover her mouth. Just like before, Alex didn’t wince or cry out in pain, he just continued to graze the fire over his flesh. Denise’s eyes widened when she saw no markings on her son’s skin. Alex closed the lighter and had placed it back down on the desk, not saying anything.

Chapter 11 by rebellious_one

September 16, 1991

“So I found out yesterday that Sarah got the lead part of Juliet, go figure right? She is totally stalking me! If I had known that she was going out to audition for Juliet’s part, I wouldn’t have gone out for Romeo! So I was thinking that I should…” he stopped in the middle of his sentence when he realized that his good friend was no longer behind him. “Nick?” he called out.

He found Nick hunched over a water fountain, gulping the liquid down in large amounts. After what seemed like forever, Nick finally broke himself away from the fountain, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.

“Were you listening to one word I was saying?” Eric, Nick’s good friend, had asked him.

“Um…” Nick grinned sheepishly as he scratched the back of his head. “not really, what were you saying?”

Eric rolled his eyes as they continued walking down the corridor of their school. “I was talking about Sarah and how she got the part of Juliet. I don’t want to be Romeo anymore.”

“Well, then don’t be.” Nick replied with a shrug.

“It’s not that simple dude. I worked so hard to get that part, only to find out that Sarah, of all people, get the part of Juliet. When was the last time you saw Sarah work so hard for a part?” Eric turned around to find Nick no longer behind him again. He found Nick at yet another water fountain, drinking excessive amounts. “Dude, what the heck?”

Nick took a brief pause from drinking the water, “Have you ever realized how good water really tastes?” he asked before he resumed drinking.

Eric gave him an awkward look, “Um… yeah, sure. Are you okay?”

When Nick felt he had his fill, he stopped drinking and had looked up at Eric. “Yeah, why?”

“I don’t know… seems like you’re stopping to take a drink at every water fountain we pass by.”

“I’m just thirsty.” Nick replied with a shrug.

“How can a person be that thirsty? You know, you might wanna get your condition checked up…”

“Who said I had a condition?”

“Well… you’re drinking a lot of water, and I learned in health class that excessive drinking of any kinds of liquids, especially water, could be a symptom of diabetes.”

“Are you trying to say I’m fat?” Nick asked with a small pout.

Eric chuckled, “No dude, I’m just saying… you don’t have to be fat to be diabetic man. Being diabetic means the levels of sugar in your blood is either extremely high or extremely low. Do you find yourself peeing a lot?”

“One would think with the way I consume water.”

Eric nodded as they continued walking, “You should really get that checked up.”

“Okay Dr. Eric, I’ll get it checked just for you.”

“Shutup man. So, are you gonna make anymore surprise stops at the water fountain or can I continue on with my dilemma with Sarah.”

“You could, but I have a question for you. Do you really want to go to practice today?” Nick asked him. They had after school practice for the theatrical show they were putting on of “Romeo & Juliet”.

“Well, if you were paying attention to what I was saying earlier, then you would know that I already said that I don’t want to be Romeo anymore, all thanks to Sarah.”

“Then I say we take care of that situation right now.”

“What do you have in mind?”

Nick shrugged, “I don’t know… but I say we skip.”

“Well, well… look what we have here boys.”

Both Nick and Eric looked up to find Mark, Sarah’s brother, along with a group of boys standing before them. “So, where were you two going?” Mark asked.

“To practice.” Nick replied calmly.

Mark chuckled and smiled coldly. “Are you sure you guys were going to practice and not trying to think of a way to skip so Romeo here doesn’t have to deal with my sister? I must’ve mistaken you two for these guys I overheard talking shit about my sister, or you two jackasses must think I was born yesterday!”

When Mark made a lunge towards Eric, Nick grabbed him and had pulled him out of Mark’s path, causing Mark to catch nothing but air and fall to the ground. “Run.” Nick said as he shoved Eric towards the opposite hall.

They both began sprinting down the corridor as fast as they could. Nick glanced over his shoulder to see that Mark had regained his composure and now he and his friends were running after them.

“What do we do?” Eric panted.

Nick looked around, trying to think of a way to get themselves out of this mess. “We gotta split up.” he finally replied as he took a sudden right turn while Eric went left.

To Nick’s dismay, Mark and the guys decided to go down the direction he had taken. Nick tried to lose them by turning left down another corridor, but found himself screeching to a halt; he was at a dead end. He turned around to find that the guys wasn’t behind him, but he could hear them coming. He looked around, desperately searching for a place to hide, but he had nowhere to go. Sighing heavily, he gave up and just stood at the end of the corridor, shutting his eyes tightly as he waited for them to find him and beat the crap out of him.

Mark and the rest of the guys turned the corner they saw Nick go down, baffled at the fact that no one was there. “Where the hell did he go?” Mark exclaimed.

Nick cracked one eye open to find Mark and the guys searching around, searching for him. Confused, Nick looked down and realized for the first time that he was transparent. He gasped, causing one of the guys to look over in his direction, but still he couldn’t be seen.

“He’s gotta be here somewhere.” the guy whispered to Mark.

As they continued to search around, Nick decided to use his invisibility to his advantage and began to slink away from them. Once he knew that he was in the clear, he looked down to find himself slowly but surely becoming visible yet again.

“Whoa…” Nick muttered to himself in shock, not being able to believe the fact that for a moment he was invisible.

Chapter 12 by rebellious_one

February 23rd, 1993

Alex tried hard to keep up with his mother, who was briskly walking through the mall, trying to balance bags and books in her arms with her cell phone attached to her ear. He was unsure of who she was talking to, but was pretty sure that she was talking to his agent. Alex glanced around aimlessly at everything they were passing by so quickly, until a blue piece of paper attached to a pole caught his attention.

From where he was he could clearly see “YOUNG BOYS FROM AGES 12-25 WANTED.” printed on the blue paper in bold, black ink. Immediately he stopped following his mother and had made his way over to the pole to better read what the paper was about. It simply stated that a man by the name of Lou Pearlman was looking for recruitment of young boys who could act, sing and dance to form a boy band.

Denise finally turned to realize that her son was no longer behind her. “Alex?” she called out, pulling the cell phone away from her. “Alex?!”

Alex heard his mother calling for him and had found her in the midst of the mall crowd, searching for him. “Mom!” he replied, raising his hand in the air for her to see.

Denise finally spotted her son, who was standing by a pillar. “What are you doing baby?” she asked as she approached him, “C’mon, we gotta go.”

“Wait mom, I want to show you what I found.” Alex turned to take an extra flyer that was attached to the pole.

“What is this?” Denise asked as she grabbed the paper her son was handing to her.

“Some guy named Lou Pearlman is looking for triple threat boys to create a boy band.” Alex explained. “They‘re holding auditions.”

“Baby, you’ve auditioned for so many things already. In fact, I’m on the phone with Mr. Jackson right now discussing the roles you were selected for.”

Alex was a natural born performer, he lived and thrived to be on stage. He’s been in numerous musicals and performances and auditioned for even more whenever he got the chance. Auditioning to be apart of a boy band was something out of his realm, but deep inside he wanted nothing more than to give this opportunity a shot. He would never tell his mother this, but he was curious as to how it would feel to be in a boy band, how it would feel to have friends… how it would feel to have brothers.

“Please mom, I want to do this more than anything, please.”

Denise stared down helplessly at her son, who was begging and pleading her to allow him to audition to be in a boy band. She took a deep breath in and sighed heavily, “Tony, can you set up an audition for Alex with a Mr. Lou Pearlman?”

~*~*~*~

March 5th, 1993

“Howard!! Hey Howard!!”

Howard turned around to find Alex running behind, trying to catch up with him. “What’s up little man?” he asked as he ruffled Alex’s hair once he caught up.

“Hey, have you heard about this?” Alex asked as he handed over a blue paper to him.

Howard grabbed the paper and read it over. A year ago Howard had met little Alex at a competition that their local Latin Carnival was holding. Not only did Howard have a love for aeronautics, but he also had a passion for music as well. Alex had one first place, but they both have been good friends ever since.

“A boy band huh?” Howard asked.

Alex nodded, “I auditioned and I’m glad to say that I’m the first official member of this upcoming boy band.”

Howard smiled genuinely, “Well, congrats Alex! Don’t you go forgetting me when you make it in the big time.”

“Do you not get what I’m trying to do?”

Howard fell silent, contemplating the question over. “Um… actually, no I don’t get what you’re trying to do.”

“I want you to join man!”

Howard’s eyes widened, “You want me to… no, I don’t think so Alex.”

“Well, why not?” Alex asked, confused as to why Howard was turning him down. “You can sing, dance and act, and that’s exactly what they’re looking for.”

“That’s exactly what the manager of Menudo was looking for, and lets just say that I didn’t make the cut.” Howard laughed as he continued walking, leaving Alex behind.

But Alex quickly caught up with him, “C’mon Howie, what’s one more audition gonna hurt? And I don’t know why, but I got a really good feeling about this… you’ve got the talent to make it all happen for you man.”

Howard stopped walking again and had looked down at Alex, who was begging and pleading him with his eyes. Howard knew deep down inside that he was all Alex really had in his life, besides his mother and his grandparents. Alex had shared with him the fact that everyone viewed him to be different and weird and that he had a hard time making and keeping friends, and his love for theatre didn’t help any of this. With the way Alex was looking at him, he felt that if he said no, he would be letting his new best friend down.

Howard smiled and sighed heavily, “Okay… but what if this doesn’t work out?”

“Are you kidding me man?! It WILL work out, you gotta trust me! How can they resist a little Latin lover like yourself?”

Howard rolled his eyes as he playfully pushed Alex away, “You’re a freak Alex.”

“A one of a kind freak, and don’t you forget it.”

~*~*~*~

April 10th, 1993

Nick stood there in line, shifting from one foot to the next, waiting patiently for his turn. Not too long ago, some kid by the name of Alex (who didn’t look to be much older than him) had taught him along with a few other kids a dance routine while some guy named Howard helped them to exercise and warm their voices up. Now he, along with a line of other young boys and their parents, stood in line waiting to perform in front of Lou Pearlman, the man who was making this all possible.

Nick was brought back to reality when he felt his mother begin to comb his hair with her fingers. He tried to shy away, but that only made her grab him to hold him still while she continued to fix him up.

“Mom, you’re embarrassing me.” Nick grumbled, feeling like a little baby with the way his mother was treating him. The truth was, all the boys that were there were getting pampered and “fixed up” by their mothers.

“Just want to make sure my baby looks good before he goes in front of Mr. Pearlman.” Jane cooed as she continued to mess with Nick’s hair.

After what seemed like forever, Nick finally heard his name being called. “Nickolas Gene Carter?” a woman called out.

Nick stepped forward, his mother not far behind. The woman who had called his name glanced up at Jane. “And you would be?”

“Jane Carter… Nick’s mother.” she replied as she held her hand out.

The woman grasped her hand and began to shake it. “Nice to meet you Mrs. Carter. My name is Donna Wright.” she bent down to be eye leveled with Nick. “How old are you sweetie?”

“I’m 12-years-old.” Nick replied.

Donna smiled and nodded, “Do you have the song you’re gonna sing picked out?”

Nick simply nodded. Donna straightened herself up and turned to walk away, “Okay Nick, follow me.”

Nick began to follow Donna, with his mother not trailing far behind. Donna led him over to a table, which had two older males seated at it. The guy who sat on the left was a large Caucasian man, who wore khakis, a buttoned down t-shirt, and a set of prescribed glasses. The man on the right was an average sized African American, who also wore khakis and a buttoned down t-shirt.

“This here is 12-year-old Nickolas Gene Carter from Tampa Bay, and his mother Jane Carter.” Donna introduced.

Nick glanced up at the two men who were seated at the table. The large Caucasian man rose in his seat and had leaned over the table towards them. “Nice to meet you Nick, my name is Lou Pearlman.” he said as he held his hand out.

Nick shook Lou’s hand and had looked over at the guy that was at his right, who had also rose out of his seat and was leaning over the table. “I’m Johnny Wright, former manager of New Kids on The Block.”

Nick shook his hand as well, not believing that he was shaking hands with the former manager of one of the biggest boy bands to hit America’s airwaves.

“So,” Lou started as he situated back down in his seat, “what song will you be singing for us today son?”

“Open Arms by Journey” Nick replied in a strong voice, trying his best to hide his nervousness.

After belting out his song, reciting a small monologue and dancing the routine Alex had taught him and the other boys earlier, he stood before the two men, waiting anxiously for their responses. Nothing had been said, Lou and Johnny simply continued to write whatever it was that they were writing down on their papers, and would occasionally stop to whisper something to each other.

After what seemed like forever, both Johnny and Lou had stopped writing and had focused their attention back on Nick. Lou was the first to speak. “Nick… I like you kid, a lot. You’ve got an excellent voice, very fervent and full of spunk, and most of all you’ve got the looks kid. You’ve got a great baby face, but a hunky look to back it up. When the girls look at you, they’ll squeal in delight with how cute and adorable you look, but once you start singing, you’ll blow them away with your pipes. There’s no doubt that you would be considered the eye candy for this group.”

“So, does that mean he’s…” Jane slurred off, not wanting to come right out and ask if he was in the band or not.

Lou rose from his seat and had outstretched his hand towards Nick, “Congratulations Nick, you’re the third member of our new boy band.”

~*~*~*~

May 2nd, 1993

“Aladdin, where’s Jasmine?” a little girl had asked.

Kevin looked down and smiled, “Jasmine will be out real soon! But I must go now, my magic carpet awaits me.”

“Bye!” all the kids shouted and began to wave goodbye.

Kevin waved back as he made his way backstage, towards his dressing room. Sighing heavily, he grabbed a towel and began to pat his face dry of the perspiration that was running down his face.

“Kevin, there’s someone important here to see you.” a stagehand informed him.

“Okay.” he replied as he took one last swipe at his face with the towel and had tossed the towel down on his chair.

He began making his way out of his dressing room to meet the supposed “important” person, only to be stopped by a large Caucasian guy, who was standing in his way.

“Kevin Richardson?” the bulky man questioned.

Kevin slightly nodded as he stared at the man before him, “Who wants to know?”

The man smiled as he held his hand out, “My name is Lou Pearlman, mind if I have a word with you?”

Kevin slowly shook his head no as he grasped Lou’s hand. “No, come on in.”

Kevin turned to walk back into his dressing room with Lou in tow. “I’m just gonna get right into it,” Lou started as he placed the suitcase he had with him down on a table. “I’m looking for a group of young males who can sing, dance and act and I was referred to you by a very good friend of mines who happens to be a very good friend of yours. I, along with another gentlemen by the name of Johnny Wright, which I’m sure you know him to be the NKOTB’s former manager, are looking to start a new boy band… are you interested in joining?”

Kevin stared at Lou in disbelief. “You are looking into starting a new boy band… and you came all the way here to ask me if I was interested in joining? Are you serious?”

“Dead serious son.” Lou replied as he opened the suitcase he had placed down on the table. “We originally had five members and were good to go until two of the members decided to drop out on us at the last minute. Since then I’ve been scrambling to search for two more boys to fill the vacant spot in this band, which was when I was referred to you. By what I’ve seen so far, you’ve got the looks, you’ve got the talent, and you definitely got the bass voice we need for the band. As far as I’m concerned, you’re already a member of this band. Now, all I need is your permission to be apart of this group.”

Kevin continued to stare at Lou, but finally broke his stare to glance down at the papers he was grabbing out of his suitcase. As Kevin began to scan through the documents Lou had handed him, he began to wonder what it’d be like to be apart of a boy band, to be apart of something as big as NKOTB or Menudo.

Kevin took a deep breath in and sighed heavily, “Well, what would happen if I was to say yes?”

A slow grin crept up on Lou’s face, “Then I’d welcome you as our fourth new member, which would leave us with one last empty spot to fill.”

“And I know exactly the person to fill it.” Kevin replied with a smile.

~*~*~*~

May 3rd, 1993

Brian watched as his teacher made her way through each isle, placing a piece of paper face down on their desk.

“Do not touch or flip this paper over until I say so.” the teacher instructed as she continued handing out papers. “You guys will have exactly fifteen minutes to complete this history exam, another five minutes will be given pending on how much exams remain incomplete. Once you are finish, place your pencil down and quietly wait for your fellow classmates to complete their exam.”

As soon as the teacher gave the okay to flip their papers, Brian quickly did so, flipping his exam upright. He grabbed his pencil and began to read the questions over, bubbling in what he thought the correct answers to be. Not even five minutes into the test, Brian glanced up to see his teacher approaching him.

“You’re being paged at the front office.” his teacher whispered to him as she grabbed the test away from him. “You can finish this when you come back.”

Brian simply nodded as he rose from his seat and began to make his way out of the classroom. He could feel the other students eyes on him, watching him as he fortunately got to leave the class and be excused from the exam. Brian began making his way to the front office and was greeted by the administration staff.

“May I help you?” one of the clerks addressed him.

“Um, Miss Laurel said I was paged to the office.”

“Name please?”

“Brian Littrell.”

The clerk began to scan through some papers. “Brian, you have a very important phone call.” she replied as she motioned for Brian to follow her.

Brian’s eyes widened upon hearing that, but nonetheless followed the clerk around the front desk to where she was taking him. He was led into a small office which had nothing but a large table, a few chairs and a telephone on the table.

“It’s your cousin, Kevin Richardson. He’s waiting on line 2, so just press the blinking button to connect the call.” and with that, the clerk left him in the small room.

Brian turned back to the phone that was situated on the table, seeing the orange blinking light, indicating that Kevin was still waiting for him to come on the line. Hesitantly, he made his way over to the phone, picked it up and had pressed the button. “Hello?”

“Brian?”

Brian’s heart began to ease a little upon hearing his cousin’s happy voice, rather than dreadful voice. When he was first told that he had an important phone call waiting for him, he was expecting that something bad had happened, and a bunch of worst case scenarios began to fly in his head. The last time he received a phone call during school was to tell him the devastating news that his uncle, Kevin’s father, had passed away.

“Yeah Kevin.”

“Hey man, what are you doing?”

Brian couldn’t help but chuckle, “Well, I was doing my history exam before you decided to make an important phone call to me.”

“Well, this is kind of important. Do you think your mom would let you fly to Orlando?”

“When?”

“Well, I was kinda hoping by tomorrow.”

Brian’s eyes widened as he released a gasp, “Tomorrow? Are you crazy Kevin? There is no way she would let me skip school just to fly to Orlando.”

“Well, seeing that there’s this opportunity I know you won’t refuse, I think your mom and dad will let you.”

“Have you talked to them yet?”

“No.”

“Then how would you know?”

“Because it has something to do with what you’re good at.”

“And that would be…”

“Look man, here’s the story. I was at work yesterday when I was approached by this guy named Lou Pearlman. He and Johnny Wright, you know the New Kid’s former manager, are on the prowl for young males who can sing, dance and act to put together a boy band. They started off with five, but two of the original members had left, leaving the group with it’s three original members, looking for two other guys to fill those vacant places. Well, come to find out, my friend Jeff who happens to be good friends with one of Mr. Pearlman’s friends had referred me and he came out yesterday to Disney World to see what I was about. I was set up for an audition and nailed it without even knowing it man!”

Brian smiled, “That’s great Kev, congratulations. Now, what does that have to do with me?”

“Well… there’s one more spot left and they’re looking for one more guy to fill it. The first person that came to mind was you and I had told them all about you.”

“You… want me to audition for a boy band?”

“Yep. And the coolest thing is he wants you to audition right now, over the phone. You’re on speakerphone Brian.”

“Kevin, if you haven’t noticed, you called me at school… and you want me to sing right now?”

“Why not? C’mon Bri, you’ve got the voice... and we always talked about getting into music, this is our opportunity right here man. Aren’t you gonna take it?”

Brian glanced back at the closed door. No one was in the room with him, it was just him and the phone, and all he had to do was sing. Taking a deep breath in, Brian began to sing a song that came to his mind, not realizing that this very call would change his life and shake up the music world forever.

Chapter 13 by rebellious_one

Years later…

“Brian, come cover me from behind!”

“Dude, where are you?”

“I’m right here!”

“I can’t see you!”

“Man, if you don’t get your ass over here I’m gonna…” before Nick could finish his sentence, he was shot and killed. “die.”

“This game sucks.” Brian grumbled as he tossed the controller down.

“What do you mean it sucks? This is the best action packed game out there Bri.” Nick replied as he opened the console to take the game out. “You just gotta learn how to play.”

“Well excuse me oh great game freak!” Brian laughed. “I find it hard to play when you’re playing the game through the character’s eyes and the joystick goes whacko on you.”

“Stop trying to make up excuses Bri, just face the fact that you suck at games.”

“Oh yeah? Pop in that basketball game and we’ll see how much I suck. I’ll whoop your ass boy.”

“Ooh, is that a challenge?”

“Why don’t we up the stakes and make it a bet… nothing less than $50.”

“You’re so on!”

Nick popped in the game and they both fell silent as they waited for the game to load. AJ groaned when he heard weird noises and cheering coming from the duo who was seated in front of the TV.

“Nick…” AJ mumbled out and waited for a response, to which he didn’t get. “Nick…” he mumbled out a little louder, but Nick still ignored him. “Nick!” he practically shouted this time.

“What?” Nick snapped back, never breaking his concentration away from the game.

“Can you guys please take your games elsewhere, like Brian’s room?”

“This is my room too AJ, why can’t we just stay here?”

“Because I seriously don’t feel good and would like to get a little rest before we leave, but it’s nearly impossible with you two in here making so much damn noise.”

“Well, why don’t you go in Brian’s room and sleep there?”

AJ had no desire or energy to fight with him, so instead of retaliating, he angrily pushed himself up off his bed and stormed out of the room, making sure to slam the door closed behind him. He had forgotten to ask Brian for his room key, but he didn’t want to go back and ask for it, so instead he continued his journey to the room and just hoped that Howie was inside to open the door for him. Before he was able to reach the room, he was stopped by Kevin who had just stepped out of his room.

“Jay!” Kevin called out.

AJ sighed heavily as he turned to face Kevin, “Yeah?”

“Where you going man? I was just going to your room to see if you and Nick were ready to leave.”

“Ready to leave?” AJ repeated in exasperation. “Why the hell are we leaving so early?”

“Just got off the phone with Eric, he said that they’re running ahead of schedule and are actually ready for us.”

“You have got to be kidding me.” AJ groaned as he let himself fall against the wall.

Kevin stared at AJ in concern, “Hey man, are you alright?”

“Just peachy!” AJ replied in sarcasm as he pushed himself up from the wall and began to make his way back to his room. “Why do you ask?”

“You look flushed.” Kevin said as he made his way over to AJ. Before AJ could protest, Kevin reached his hand out and had placed it on his forehead. “You’re burning up man.”

“I’m fine.” AJ sighed as he moved away from Kevin’s hand. “Just wanted to get some sleep is all. Maybe I’ll get some sleep on the way there and I’ll feel better.”

“Jay, if you want we can just go and you can stay here to rest yourself up. We’ll tell them that you’re not feeling well.”

“No, it’s fine Kevin, really… I’ll just try to get some sleep on the way there. I’ll go and tell Nick and Brian to get ready.” and with that AJ trekked back to his own room, pulling out his card key and opening his door.

Upon entering the room, AJ sighed as he realized that both Brian and Nick would refuse to tear their concentration away from the game. They both were too wrapped up in trying to beat each other. “Shut the game off and go get ready.” AJ said as he flopped down on his bed.

“I thought we agreed that you’d go and stay in Brian’s room.” was Nick’s response.

“This isn’t about me staying in Brian’s room, it’s about you two shutting the damn game off and getting ready to leave.”

To Nick’s dismay, Brian paused the game. “Get ready to leave? I thought we had another hour or so?”

“Change of plans. Eric called Kevin and said that they were ready and waiting for us.”

Both Brian and Nick moaned in protest as they shut the game off and began to wrap the controllers up to put it away. “So, I believe you owe me $50.” Brian said with a smile.

“Bullshit!” Nick exclaimed, “We didn’t even get to finish the game, so that doesn’t count.”

“I was in the lead for the longest dude.”

“We’ll continue this when we get back.”

“Please, for the love of god, shutup and go get ready!” AJ snapped.

Both Nick and Brian fell silent and just stared at AJ, who was laying listless on the bed. Without saying another word, Brian walked out of the room, leaving Nick alone with AJ. Nick didn’t even move, he just remained standing there, staring down at AJ. “Are you on your period or something?” Nick scorned.

AJ sighed heavily, he knew he was being an ass, but he really didn’t feel good. “Look Nick, I’m sorry it’s just… I really don’t feel good and I’m agitated because we’re leaving earlier than scheduled.”

Nick’s glare slowly began to soften as he realized for the first time that AJ did look like shit. “Why don’t you just stay back then?”

“You know Eric’s rules… I have to be in my deathbed in order for him to let me stay back.”

“Fuck Eric’s rules, you do look like you’re in your deathbed.”

“I’m glad you finally noticed.”

“I’m sorry Jay.”

“Don’t worry about it.” AJ replied as he pushed himself up off the bed. “Just go get ready man, I’ll meet you downstairs.”

~*~*~*~

“Are you okay AJ?” Kevin asked as their car pulled into the radio studio.

AJ cracked his eyes open from behind his sunglasses, seeing that they reached their destination rather quickly. “I’m fine.” he lied. The truth was, he had an abnormal fever of 108.9 and he felt extremely weak, but he didn’t want the other guys to know and worry about him.

Slowly AJ got out the car, trying to hide the fact that he felt sick and languid and he tried his best to hold and keep his composure, but it was getting harder with every minute that passed by. He shied away from the sunlight that seemed to be blaring down on them, burning his eyes and his flesh. He felt his sweat dripping down his face and his whole body, a pleasant cool feeling for only a moment. He could see people approaching them, talking to them, trying to usher them into the studio, but he couldn’t bring his body to obey what his mind was instructing him to do. He finally took a step forward, and before he knew what was happening, his eyes rolled into the back of his eyes and he was engulfed in darkness.

“AJ!” Nick shouted as he ran over to AJ’s crumbling body. He winced when he heard AJ’s body hit the ground, making a sickening crack upon impact.

Everyone began to crowd around Nick, who now had AJ’s head propped up in his lap. “GET THE FUCK OUTTA THE WAY!” Nick shouted as he tried to get people to back away from them.

Kevin, along with an onslaught of bodyguards fought their way through the crowd and made it to Nick and AJ. As the bodyguards began to push the crowd away, Kevin knelt down beside AJ and Nick.

“What happened?” Kevin asked as he began to look AJ’s unconscious form over.

“I… I don’t know.” Nick stuttered. “He was walking behind me and the next thing I knew he just collapsed.”

Kevin lifted AJ’s limp body a bit and noticed that Nick’s jeans were covered in blood. “Nick, what happened?”

Nick looked down and noticed for the first time that his jeans were soaked in blood. “Shit, he must be bleeding from the back of his head.”

Kevin placed his hand in the back of AJ’s head and tried to apply pressure the best he could. He looked up at the crowd that still surrounded them, snapping pictures and trying to get closer. Their bodyguards were trying their best to hold the crowd back and away, but they had to radio for more help. Brian and Howie were busy fighting through the crowd, trying to get everyone out of their way so they could see what had happened to AJ.

Chapter 14 by rebellious_one
Author's Notes:
Ugh, sorry such a short chapter!! Been busy and on top of that writers block was trying to rear its ugly little head!! But, thought I'd post this part to keep people from hanging on, lol. Working on the next chapter, so I'll have that up real soon. For those who have reviewed, thank you sooo much for your kind words of encouragement and support, and for those who haven't reviewed... well, I love feedback!! =) And if you're not a review kinda person... well, I just hope ya'll are enjoying the story!! :D

“Alexander James McLean?”

Kevin, along with the other three, snapped their heads up to see a doctor standing before them. Kevin rose out of his seat to address the doctor first. “We’re here for Alex.”

The doctor observed Kevin, “And you would be?”

“Kevin Richardson.”

“I’m sorry sir, but we can only address his immediate family.”

“And with all due respect sir, we are his family… we’re his brothers.”

The doctor sighed heavily, there was no sense in fighting with him, because by the looks of it, the man was persistent. “I’m Dr. Roswell and I was in charge of Mr. McLean. He’s suffered a minor concussion, other than that he will be fine and will likely be discharged by tonight.”

“Well, we know the concussion most likely came from him collapsing, but what caused that?” Kevin questioned.

“The reason he fell unconscious was due to exhaustion, a slight fever and dehydration. My guess was that he was overexerting his energy and pushing his body past it’s limits. We have him hooked up to an IV right now, and as soon as the bag is empty he is free to go. I’ll be prescribing him with ibuprofen for the slight discomfort and headaches he will be receiving, other than that I advise him to be bedridden for the next couple days and just rest up and take it easy.”

Kevin nodded, “Is it okay to see him?”

“You guys are more than welcomed to see him right now. There’s a nurse in the room with him that is keeping record of his stats, and once the IV bag is up, the nurse will discharge him. I’m assuming he will be going home with you?” when Kevin nodded, Dr. Roswell continued. “Well, if for any reason his condition worsens, please do not hesitate to bring him back in.”

“Thank you Dr. Roswell.” Kevin muttered as he turned to face the room which AJ was in. He grasped the doorknob with one hand while he used the other to lightly tap on the door. Without waiting for a response, he twisted the knob and pushed the door open, seeing AJ propped up in the hospital bed while the nurse checked over the machines he was hooked up to.

“Hey Jay.” Kevin voiced out, catching the rebel’s attention. “How ya feeling?”

“A lot better.” he lied. The truth was, he did feel better than how he felt from before, but he still felt extremely hot. Although the nurse told him that the fever he had before dramatically decreased, he still felt hot. “I’m ready to get out of this place. I hate hospitals.”

~*~*~*~

Dr. Roswell walked into his office and sighed heavily. In his hands was a manila folder, and in the manila folder were AJ’s medical documents. He dropped the folder down on his desk as he walked around over to his seat. He sat down heavily and had reached out to grab his phone. After lifting it off the receiver, he punched in seven digits and waited for the person he was trying to contact to answer the other line.

After a minute or so, he finally heard someone answer. “This better be good news.” the voice on the other line warned.

“This could be very good news sir… news you’ve been waiting to hear.”

After a moment of silence, the voice spoke, “Continue on.”

Dr. Roswell grabbed the manila folder he had dropped down on his desk and had opened it to look over the papers that were in it, “A patient by the name of Alexander James McLean was brought in today after falling unconscious. After taking and reviewing his stats, we’ve come to realize that he was wracked with a staggering fever of 110.2, which it is inhumanly possible to sustain such a high temperature and… live.”

“Are you sure about this?”

“Yes sir, I have his records here before me and all… I believe he could be one of the young men we’ve been searching for.”

“I don’t appreciate how you used the term ‘one of the young men’ Dylan… one is good, but I want all five of them.”

“I understand that sir, but along with Alex were four other gentlemen. After Alex was brought into our care, these four men came for him and told me that they were his family… his brothers. I firmly believe that Alex along with the four other men are the guys we are looking for.”

“Besides Alex, can you prove this?”

Dr. Roswell paused, he actually couldn’t really prove it. “No… I can’t prove this sir.”

“But there is a way to find out… you know what I want you to do.”

Dr. Roswell nodded, “After I contact them, what do I tell them to do?”

The owner of the voice on the other line smirked, “Provoke them.”

Chapter 15 by rebellious_one
Author's Notes:
MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! Another short chapter!! Lol. I'm trying to build up the suspense here... and also just posting what I have so far so it buys me time to figure out what I want to happen next, lol. Pain in the ass, I know... but I promise the next update will be lengthy!! =]

“Jay, you sure you’re fine?” Kevin asked, glancing up in the rearview mirror to look at AJ, who was sitting behind him.

AJ rolled his eyes. This must’ve been the millionth time he asked him that question. “For the last and final time, I’m fine Kev. How many times are you gonna ask me this question, because the answer is gonna remain the same.”

“Just checking man.” Kevin replied as his eyes darted from the rearview mirror to the road. “Head injuries can be tricky.”

“I know.” AJ groaned as he let his head loll back into the headrest for the backseat and began to rub him temples. “God don’t I know this.”

“And because the last time you said you were fine was right before you fell unconscious and ended up in the hospital.”

“Are you gonna give me shit about this right now Kevin?”

“I’m just saying Alex, the last time I asked you if you were okay, you told me you were fine and end up giving us a scare.”

“Well, excuse me for scaring the shit outta all of you guys, you don’t think I was scared myself? Hell, how was I suppose to know that I was gonna fall unconscious? Sorry I can’t just predict things like you can!”

“I can’t predict things Alex…”

“Well hell, you hold yourself up to be that way. You seem to know everything and anything before they happen, and what you say or do is always right, you’re never wrong!”

“Stop trying to turn this around on me, this isn’t about me.”

“Well, if this is so much about me, then why can’t you just take my word when I say I’m fine and stop arguing with me. I really don’t need all this shit right now.”

Howie sighed heavily as he listened to Kevin and AJ argue their point back and forth. He was seated in the passenger seat next to Kevin, and had glanced up in the rearview mirror to look at Nick and Brian. Nick was trying to busy himself by looking out the window, while Brian was squished in between AJ and Nick, his head hung low as he picked at his fingers.

“I’m not trying to argue with you Alex, I just want to make sure that you’re okay.”

“And I gave you my answer, so why are we going back and forth?”

“Because I know you have a tendency to pass everything off like it’s nothing and the rest of us won’t realize the severity of the situation until something drastic happens.”

“Here we go again…”

Howie was going to intervene and bring the quarreling to a cease, but the sight of someone standing in the middle of the road rendered him speechless. His eyes widened when he realized that their car was heading straight for the stranger that was standing in the middle of the road.

“LOOK OUT!!” Howie finally spat out.

Kevin immediately stopped his arguing and seen the stranger in the middle of the road for the first time. He slammed on the breaks and felt the car lose control as it skid across the pavement. The car finally came to a painful stop as it swerved off the road and slammed into a tree. Everything fell silent from there on out.

Chapter 16 by rebellious_one

Kevin’s eyes immediately snapped open, followed by a throbbing pain that coursed through his head. He was greeted by a harsh, bright light that loomed right over him, causing him to squeeze his eyes close and shy away from the light. He glanced around and took in his surroundings, noticing that he was in what appeared to be a hospital room and he was lying on a hospital bed. A beeping sound soon erupted in the small room, causing a young woman to turn around and address him.

“Mr. Richardson.” the young woman said as she slowly approached Kevin, who was staring at her with wide eyes. “I need you to calm down.”

“Where am I?” Kevin asked as he looked around, confused as to what happened and how he got into the hospital. “Who are you?”

“I really need you to calm down Mr. Richardson. The faster you calm down, the faster I can explain what happened to you.”

Kevin tried to calm down, but just couldn’t for some reason. The pain in his head was slowly intensifying, and on top of that, he was hearing different voices in his head.

“You’re in the hospital Mr. Richardson.” the young woman slowly explained, “Do you remember what happened?”

Kevin began to shake his head vigorously, not only as a response to the question, but also as an attempt to get rid of the voices that seemed to be growing louder in his head.

“You were in a car accident… your car crashed into a tree.”

I want you to see how much they know.

They don’t know anything sir… they don’t even remember their past.

You’re telling me that they have no clue as to who they are?

Not only that sir… but they don’t know what they’re capable of doing.

Why are we doing this to them?

I’m getting my sons back… is that such a crime?

Kevin wasn’t sure where and who the voices were coming from, but he tried his best to push it out of his head and ignore it. Through the jumbled voices that were creating a mess in his head, he was somehow able to remember what had happened. He, along with Nick, Brian and Howie had picked AJ up from the hospital and were on their way back to their hotel. He was driving, and along the way began to fight with AJ. Howie had screamed for him to look out, there was someone standing in the middle of the road. He immediately slammed on the brakes in hopes to avoid hitting the stranger and he lost control of the car.

“Where are they?” Kevin asked, reaching out to grab at the nurse. “Are they okay?”

“Mr. Richardson, please calm down.” the young woman pleaded. “We will have to sedate you if you don’t.”

They know what they can do… they are just choosing to forget.

What are you going to do to them?

I will make them remember all that they should know… I will bring to their attention who they really are and the power they possess.

This is a felony! You cannot do this.

These are my sons, and I will do them as I please.

The voices seemed to drown out everything else in his head, bringing him nothing but excruciating pain. He tried to get it to stop, but the harder he tried, the more louder and intense the voices grew. “Stop it.” he gritted out, grasping his head and squeezing it, in hopes to will everything away. “Get out of my head.”

Kevin failed to notice that there were two burly guards who had walked into the room and were now making their way over towards him to strap him down to the bed. Kevin sensed them and immediately shot his eyes open and looked up to see the two guards rushing towards him. He wasn’t quick enough, because the next thing he knew, the two guards had grabbed him and pinned him down to the bed, trying to strap him to the bed.

“LET ME GO!” Kevin screamed as he thrashed around wildly, trying to get loose. “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?!”

The young nurse who was in the room with him earlier was now walking towards him, syringe in hand. Kevin felt like a caged animal, desperate to get away from these people, desperate to get anything everything that was hurting him to stop. All of a sudden, the room began to shake violently, tossing the two guards and the young woman off guard.

He’s one of them.

We can’t let them go.

What is he doing?

Inject him with the sedative!

It was at that moment that Kevin realized that the voices in his head weren’t just voices in his head at all… he was hearing their thoughts. He looked down and seen one of the guards was slowly gaining his composure back, and was now trying to make his way over towards Kevin to inject him with the sedative. Kevin continued to try release himself from the binds that held him down to the bed, he had to get away from them.

His eyes began to glow fiercely and the ground beneath them began to crack and spread apart. He felt a sudden power surge through him, causing him to break through the leather straps that held him down. He rose from out of the bed and watched as the two guards and the young woman slipped and disappear through the cracks that were opening wider in the ground. As soon as the room stopped shaking, Kevin immediately collapsed to his knees, pure exhaustion taking him over. Panting heavily, he watched in fascination as the large cracks in the ground began to draw to a close and mend back to normal.

Kevin continued to stare at the ground in awe, not being able to believe what just happened before him. He pushed that thought out of his mind as he tried to gather himself up off the ground. He wasn’t sure why, for that moment, he became extremely weak, all he knew was that this was his chance to get out of there and find the other four. He opened the door to his room and glanced out, looking up and down the hallway, seeing no one there. Quietly, he snuck out of his room and began to roam the halls, not sure where to even start looking to find his four brothers. He faltered for a moment when he began to hear voices in his head once again.

Where am I?

Kevin perked up a bit, realizing that he could use his new found ability to guide him. He began sprinting down the hall, hoping that the reason the voice was getting louder in his head meant that he was getting closer. He finally came to a stop in front of a room he assumed one of his brothers were kept in. He went for the doorknob and twisted it, finding it to be unlocked. He quickly pushed the door open and walked in, finding Howie lying motionless on the bed.

He briskly made his way over towards the bed, wondering if Howie was still unconscious or in a comatose state. “Howie…” Kevin whispered, getting no reaction from him. “D… c’mon, get up.” when he still got no reaction from him, he began to lightly shake him. “Howie.”

Startled, Howie’s eyes immediately snapped open, and before any of them could register what was happening, Howie disappeared in thin air. Kevin’s eyes widened as he reached out to touch the now empty bed, feeling no one there. What the hell is going on? Kevin wondered to himself, confused at the events that were taking place.

I can’t believe I can still do it.

Kevin could hear Howie’s thoughts loud and clear, and he knew Howie was still in the room with him, somewhere. “Howie?” he called out again, turning around to find Howie standing behind him.

Howie was busy observing himself, not being able to believe that he was still able to transport himself. He looked up to see Kevin giving him a quizzical look. “Don’t freak out… I can explain this.”

“Don’t bother, so much unexplainable things are happening right now.” Kevin replied as walked past Howie and glanced out the door, making sure there was no one coming after them. “We need to get out of here.”

“We can’t just leave the hospital man, don’t you remember anything that happened?”

“Yeah, we got into a car accident and now we’re stuck in some makeshift hospital. Look, I don’t know how I know this, but we’re not in a hospital. We were brought here for a reason, and whoever brought us here intend on keeping us here. We need to find the others and get the hell out of here.”

Both Howie and Kevin turned to make their way out of the room, but were greeted by two armed men. They remained where they stood, both slowly raising their hands in the air. Kevin began to get the same feeling he got when he was in his room, strapped down to his bed. He felt trapped yet again, and he wanted to do whatever he could to protect his friends.

The ground below the men began to crack open, but instead of the ground splitting apart like the last time, liquid hot magma spewed forth from the cracks, encasing and engulfing the two guards. Howie stared in shock at what was happening right before his eyes. He glanced over at Kevin and noticed that he was just glaring the two guards down, his eyes almost appearing dark. Howie grimaced as he heard the two men scream in agony as they were slowly immersed in the lava.

Kevin finally snapped out of his trance and hunched over, feeling exhausted all over again. He looked out at the destruction that was before him, cringing when the smell of burning flesh filtered into his nostrils. This was the second time the ground before him cracked open, killing those he was trying to get away from, those who were trying to hurt him. That was when he realized that he was the cause of all of this.

Before any of them could say anything, a shot was fired from out of nowhere. They both looked down the left side of the hall, seeing an armed man standing at the end. Howie looked down to see a tranquilizer dart protruding from his left arm. His eyes rolled into the back of his head and he crumbled to the ground. Kevin could only stare helplessly at his fallen friend, feeling his anger boil up within him, but before he could act out, another tranquilizer dart was fired, hitting him directly in the chest. He fought to remain conscious, but his eyes were getting heavy and his movements were getting sluggish until he finally succumbed to the darkness all at once.

Chapter 17 by rebellious_one

He struggled against the restraints that held him down, but no matter how much he struggled, he just couldn’t get loose. He, along with Brian and AJ, were all bound to a chair, with a medical tray situated right next to them.

AJ sighed heavily as he watched Nick continue to struggle to get free. “Nick, unless you’re Houdini himself, you aren’t gonna get yourself loose.”

“Why are you being such a pessimist AJ?!” Nick grunted, “I’d rather at least try to get us out of here than to just sit here and wait for them to do… god knows what with us.” he finally stopped struggling and just sat there, panting and feeling exhausted. He looked up at their surroundings, “What kind of fucked up hospital is this? Since when is it required for nurses and doctors to strap their patients to a freaking chair?”

AJ rolled his eyes, “I’m surprised that you haven’t figured this out yet. We… are… not… in… a… hospital.” he said slowly, as if that would help Nick to understand him better. “If we’re strapped to chairs, we’ve obviously been abducted.”

“Do you guys think Kevin and Howie got out?” Brian voiced for the first time.

AJ sighed heavily, “Probably.”

Before any of them could say another thing, the door to the room that they were in opened, revealing a male dressed in a white lab coat, followed by a slew of armed guards. They all filed into the room, surrounding the three boys. The last people that entered the room were two guards, who brought in both Howie and Kevin. They were both restrained and weak looking, following the guards into the room obediently.

“What’s going on?” Nick asked.

“All questions shall be answered in due time.” the man in the white coat replied, “I’m Dr. Wexler, and these,” he gestured towards the armed men that surrounded them. “are my fellow colleagues. Now, I know a whole bunch of questions must be running through your minds, so I’ll try my best to answer them as briefly as possible. You five gentlemen are extraordinary human beings. Both Howard and Kevin know what I am talking about, for we have witnessed the abilities they possess, but the only question that remains is… what can you three do?”

AJ, Brian and Nick all turned to look at each other in puzzlement. They all turned back to look at Dr. Wexler, “What the hell are you talking about?” AJ questioned.

Dr. Wexler simply chuckled, “I knew you three would give me a hard time, which is why I came prepared.” he walked over towards the medical tray that was situated by Nick. He grabbed the syringe that was on the medical tray and ripped off the cap. “If you guys don’t want to show me, I’ll make you show me.” and with that, he immediately shot out for Nick, grabbing him by his hair and wrenching his head to the side, exposing his neck. “You guys have ten seconds to show me what you can do. If you don’t comply, I will not hesitate to jab this needle into his neck, injecting oxygen into his jugular vein, which will kill him instantly.”

They all gasped as Kevin tried to get away from the guard that held him captive. Dr. Wexler saw this and brought the syringe closer to Nick’s neck. “Don’t even try it big man. You and Howard are in no shape to be using your powers right now.”

“Look, I don’t know what the hell you guys think we can do, but we seriously don’t know what the hell you are talking about!” AJ tried to reason.

“Someone better do something. 10... 9... 8... 7... 6...”

Both AJ and Brian started to struggle against their restraints while Howie and Kevin stood there helplessly. Kevin and Howie understood that they both possessed a talent, but were unsure if AJ, Brian and Nick possessed a power as well.

“5...”

With wide eyes, Nick glanced over at his four brothers, not being able to believe the fact that he was about to be killed.

“… 4...”

AJ began shouting profanely at the men, struggling harder against his restraints. Brian, on the other hand looked near tears.

“… 3...”

Kevin attempted to wriggle away from the guard that held him back, which only caused the guard to tighten his grasp. Howie wearily glanced over at Kevin, knowing he was trying so hard to help Nick.

“… 2...”

Nick closed his eyes and sighed heavily. Before Dr. Wexler could count down to the last number, Nick suddenly disappeared. AJ immediately stopped shouting, Brian glanced around the room, wondering what had happened to his friend, Howie simply stared at the now empty chair while Kevin closed his eyes and tried to communicate with Nick… knowing he was still in the room, knowing he had simply became invisible.

Dr. Wexler glanced back at his armed men, who had their weapons up and ready to fire. He placed the syringe back down on the medical table and began to walk around the room, clapping. “Clever Carter… that’s some gift you have.” he turned to one of the guards and gave a small nod.

The guard nodded in response as he pulled out a tazer gun and held it out. Without even aiming, he pulled the trigger and two small, sharp spears connected to a thin, almost non-visible wire shot out from his gun, hitting his target directly. Nick screamed out in pain as the electricity coursing through his body caused him to become visible to everyone again. He collapsed to his knees, gritting his teeth as current after current of electrical waves continued to wrack his body.

“Three down, two more to go.” Dr. Wexler said with a smirk as he watched two guards pick a weak Nick up from the ground and forced him to stand on his two feet. He turned towards AJ and Brian once again, finding AJ’s glare boring into him. He simply pointed at AJ and smiled, “You must be a firecracker.”

AJ didn’t reply, he simply continued to glare at the man before him. Brian was busy checking Nick over, as well as Howie and his cousin.

“So…” Dr. Wexler started as he clasped his hands together and situated himself directly in between AJ and Brian. “Who wants to show me what they can do next?”

Just show him.

Both Brian and AJ looked up and around, wondering where that voice in their heads came from. It sounded exactly like Kevin, and sure enough when they looked over at him, he was staring back at them, a calm look on his face.

Don’t make this harder than it already is… just show them what they want to see.

Dr. Wexler crossed his arms over his chest, “My patience is beginning to wear very thin… one of you better do something, and fast.”

AJ glared up at Dr. Wexler, “You wanna see what I can do?” when Dr. Wexler nodded, he gave a malicious grin. “I’ll show you what I can do.”

AJ’s eyes began to gleam as various guards suddenly burst into flames. They ran around the room, desperately trying to extinguish the flames as their shrieks and cries reverberated throughout the small room.

Dr. Wexler watched in shock and horror at the devastation that was occurring right before his eyes. “Someone get him to stop!”

The rest of the guards aimed their guns at AJ, ready to fire. Brian glanced over at AJ, slightly fearing the look he had in his eyes, the determination that radiated from his body, the feeling that he was not gonna stop, even if there were guns pointed at him, ready to fire. Brian closed his eyes as he trained his concentration solely on all the guns that were aimed at AJ.

“FIRE!” Dr. Wexler exclaimed.

The guards took the permission granted and pulled the trigger, nothing but a dull click sounding out. Puzzled, the guards began to inspect their weapons, wondering why nothing happened when they pulled the trigger.

Dr. Wexler glanced between the guards and AJ, who was continuing to ravage those around him with his power. “What the hell are you guys doing? I said fire!”

“We can’t sir!” one of the guards replied.

All of a sudden, the guards that were inspecting their guns were thrown into the wall, knocking them unconscious, causing their guns to clatter to the floor. AJ finally ceased his attack, feeling extremely drained and disoriented. He glanced up to watch the guards that were standing before them suddenly fly back and hit the wall.

“What’s going on?” Dr. Wexler exclaimed, looking around at how all his guards were falling.

Kevin, Howie, Nick and Brian glanced over at AJ. “I’m not doing this!” AJ cried out his response, wondering what was going on.

The guards that were holding Howie, Kevin and Nick captive were flown back as well, allowing the three to be set free. Brian closed his eyes and concentrated on the handcuffs that were attached to his wrists. After what seemed like forever, he was finally able to unlock the handcuffs using his mind and had worked on getting his shackles off as well. Once he was free, he made his way over towards AJ to help him out of his handcuffs and shackles as well.

Dr. Wexler watched helplessly as his men continued to fall right before his eyes. He shot his attention back to the boys and realized that they were close to escaping. He picked up one of the many guns that were scattered on the ground and had aimed it at his first target, which happened to be Brian.

AJ looked up to see Dr. Wexler aiming a gun at Brian’s back. “Brian, move!”

Brian glanced up at AJ to find him staring at someone behind him. Dr. Wexler fingered the trigger, but before he could pull it, a woman suddenly appeared in front of him, coming from out of nowhere. Dr. Wexler stood there in shock, wondering where this woman had come from and how she possessed her powers. The woman simply stared at Dr. Wexler as she used her telekinesis to take his weapon away. Dr. Wexler gasped as he felt the gun being ripped from his grasp without a physical force. He stared at the gun that was now levitating right before him, and without warning the gun shattered into pieces, surprisingly not setting off any of the rounds.

Get you and your four brothers out of here.

Kevin immediately shot a look over towards the woman who was still standing in front of Dr. Wexler, knowing that she was the one communicating with him telepathically. He had so many questions burdening his mind, wondering who this mysterious lady was and how she obtained the same powers as them. He knew none of these questions could be answered now, but he wanted to get a good look at her, to burn her face within his memory so he could find her again.

All your questions will be answered soon enough baby boy, just get out of here.

Kevin’s eyes widened upon hearing that thought.

“C’mon Kevin, lets go.”

Kevin turned towards the unknown voice, finding an older male standing behind them. Go with him. He heard her tell him.

“Who the hell are you?” AJ questioned defensively, not exactly sure of who they could trust anymore.

“I’ll be able to explain everything to you once we get out of here.” the man replied.

Everything fell silent at the sound of a gun going off. They were all scared to move, scared to find out who the bullet had hit. The woman who was standing in front of Dr. Wexler had collapsed to her knees, a tranquilizer dart protruding from her side. The guard that had regained his composure and shot the woman allowed the gun to slip from his grasp.

Kevin tried to make his way towards the fallen woman, but was pulled back. “C’mon Kev, we gotta get outta here.” AJ said as he tugged on Kevin’s arm.

“We can’t just leave her here.” Kevin cried out as he struggled against AJ’s grasp. He wasn’t sure what had him feeling this way, but he had to help her, he felt as if he knew her somehow, or at least should know who she is.

The man that was trying to help them to escape came up and placed a hand on Kevin’s shoulder. “She wants us to leave Kevin.”

Kevin stared helplessly at the woman who was slowly slipping unconscious. She had told him telepathically that she wanted him to leave, and to get her four brothers out of there and to protect them. Kevin sadly nodded as he turned to follow his brothers and the man out of the room.

Everything will be okay baby boy… I love you all. the woman thought weakly, unsure if Kevin was able to read her last thought before she slipped unconscious.

Chapter 18 by rebellious_one
Author's Notes:
Okay, decided to change it up a bit. This chapter won't be the ellaboration of powers, but instead an emo chapter. Yay. Lol. Thanks to all those who have reviewed and are enjoying the story. =]

Kevin glanced into the rearview mirror, checking over his brothers, who were all crammed in the back seat of the car. He shot a look over towards the stranger that had helped them to escape, wondering where he was taking them, but deciding not to question him.

“I don’t like silence.” AJ suddenly groaned out, causing them to jump a little at the sudden break of silence.

Nick rolled his eyes, “Well, what do you want us to do AJ? Talk like everything is okay?”

AJ looked over at the driver, “Why don’t we start off with some questions like who the hell are you, where the hell are you taking us, and what the hell just happened back there?”

The man looked up into the rearview mirror, staring at AJ for a while. He took a deep breath in and sighed heavily, “My name is Dr. James Manwell. You guys may not remember me, but I’m a family friend. Right now, I’m taking you guys to my lab where I’ll explain anything and everything to you.”

“A family friend huh?” AJ scoffed. “How do we know you’re not just one of those fucked up doctors that’s pretending to help us only to take us back to your fucking lab to perform tests on us?”

“Alex, stop it.” Howie warned.

“He’s right D.” Nick voiced out. “How do we know who to trust?”

“You can trust him.” Kevin spoke for the first time.

“How do you know that for a fact Kevin?” AJ fired back. “He’s probably another one of them, just wanting to know what’s wrong with us and what we can do.”

James sighed, “There’s nothing wrong with you guys. I already know what you guys are capable of doing, and I’m going to explain everything to you once we reach my lab. I know you guys are going through a lot at the moment, but you’re just gonna have to trust me on this, okay? I want to help you guys.” having that said, the car fell silent once again, and remained that way until they reached their destination.

They pulled up to a large estate, a mansion settled right in the middle of it. James shut the car off and had pulled his keys out of the ignition. “Follow me.” he said as he jumped out of his car, closed the door and began to make his way over towards his house.

The rest of them filed out of the car and had followed James up to his doorstep. They continued on in silence as James led them inside his house and through his foyer. They all looked around in awe, fascinated at all the plaques and certificates that decorated his walls. James led them into a room that looked as if it was his office. Tall shelves filled with books lined the walls, and a large cherry oak desk sat in the middle of the room.

James walked over to the wall and had moved the picture that hung on it to the side. Behind the picture was a panel of numbers and a scan pad. James punched in a few numbers, then placed his hand on the scan pad, allowing the high tech security system to read and recognize his handprint. Once that was done, one of the shelves that were filled with books recessed into the wall.

“Come in.” James said as he walked into the secret room that was revealed.

The five of them slowly followed James into the room, looking at everything in astonishment. Beyond the door was a fully equipped laboratory, it almost looked as if it was a hospital.

“You guys may want to take a seat for this.” James suggested as he gestured over towards an area that looked like a small meeting room.

They all made their way over towards the small meeting room and had situated themselves at the table, James standing at the head of it. He took a deep breath in, “The people you guys had a run in with are apart of a huge and steadily growing organization known as the Supernatural Engineered Corporation, or SEC. It was established by a man who believed he could generate supernatural human beings that would become the world’s answer to all it’s problems, everything from warfare to ailments. It was first tested on chimpanzees, who seem to be more genetically related to humans than any other specie on this planet, to which the trial was successful. In 1970, he injected his newly formulated chemical into his first human subject.”

“Were we his first human subjects?” Nick asked in confusion.

“Not exactly. His first human subject happened to be a female. She is the only one on this earth that possesses all the abilities.”

“And what are these abilities that you speak of?”

“The powers you all have. While the five of you have one elemental power and one mental power, she possesses all of them, being the most powerful creature to walk the earth. You five are right below her.”

Nick shook his head, none of it really making sense to him. “You mean to tell us that we’re not… humans?”

“You guys are very much humans, just supernatural. As far as I know, you six are the only of your kind, which is why SEC is after you guys. You five are basically their prized possession right now, and they will do anything in their power to obtain you.”

“So, what does all of this have to do with you?” Brian questioned. “Why are you helping us? Who was that lady and why did you guys come to help us?”

“Like I said, you may not remember, but I’m a family friend. As for that lady, she’s…”

“Our mother.” Kevin finished off, staring straight ahead blankly.

AJ shot a look towards Kevin, “Come again? Who’s mother?”

“We all share the same mother… and that woman that came to save us was her.” Howie answered, everything making sense to him now. “Why couldn’t we remember this?”

“We made you all forget.” James answered sadly. “She felt at that time that was the only way she could protect you from him.”

“Protect us from who?” Nick snapped. “What the hell is going on?”

James took a deep breath in as he began to explain everything to the guys, from the beginning. When he was through, he was met with emotional stares, none of them were able to say anything in response.

“Why is he out to get us now?” Kevin finally croaked out, not being able to believe the fact that the man behind all of this was his own real father.

“You guys have grown and matured, he knows how your powers have developed over the years, whether you guys know it or not. He’s been after you five for quite some time, which is why your mother decided to split you guys up into different families and wipe away any and all memories you all may have had from your earlier years. Both her and I were convinced that Will wouldn’t be able to find you guys. You five are the missing pieces to his puzzle, he needs you all in his possession in order for him to present his discoveries to the government, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to get what he wants.”

“So… we’re nothing but some fucked up experiments?” Nick asked, his eyes welling with tears.

“This is fucking bullshit!” AJ snapped as he flew up from where he sat, flinging his chair back in the process. “I don’t know who the hell you think you are or what the fuck you’re trying to do, but there is no way in hell I’m gonna let you corrupt our lives.”

“Alex, please…” Howie tried to calm him down, but AJ ignored him.

“You’re gonna believe him Howard?” AJ asked him in disbelief. “You’re gonna allow some fucked up man to just walk into our lives and tell us the way we’re living and everything we know is a fucking lie? Fuck that… I’m the son of a mother who divorced her good for nothing husband and was raised solely by my mother and her parents, and I’m not gonna let some fucking stranger tell me otherwise.” and with that, he stormed away.

Howie sprung out of his chair as well, deciding to go after him. He jogged briskly towards AJ, catching him right as he walked out of the lab.

AJ felt a pair of hands grab him by his shoulders. “Get the fuck off of me.” he said as he tried to shrug the hands off, but failing. He didn’t even need to turn around to see who was holding him back, he already knew. “Let me go D., just please let me go.”

Howie spun AJ around to face him, watching helplessly as tears cascaded freely down AJ’s cheeks. Without saying another word, Howie pulled AJ into the strongest embrace he could muster, holding him close and tight so he wouldn’t try to pull away and leave. AJ didn’t even try to fight, he simply fell limp within Howie’s arms and cried on his shoulder, letting everything he was feeling at that moment out.

“Tell me this isn’t true…” he cried out. “God Howie, please tell me this isn’t true.”

Howie closed his eyes as he heard AJ beg him to say that everything wasn’t true. He remained silent, knowing that no words would be a painless way to confirm that everything was true. At that realization, AJ broke down within Howie’s arms. Everyone knew how close AJ was with his mother and grandparents, but only Howie knew how AJ had struggled all these years trying to find himself based on the life he was living. Just when AJ was beginning to find himself, he’s being told that everything was a lie.

“How could she do this to me?” AJ choked out. “She tells me everything, how could she have not told me about this?”

Howie was sure he was talking about his mother. “We all didn’t know Alex… and our parents didn’t tell us because they were trying to protect us. We can’t hold this against them. They took us in, they took a risk trying to protect us, they did everything they could to have us live normal lives.” he pulled away slightly to look AJ in the eyes. “They gave us a life and a reason to live.”

AJ gave a small nod, knowing what Howie was saying made sense, but couldn’t help than to feel hurt and betrayed. Howie slowly began to walk AJ back into the lab to join the rest of the fellas. He looked up to see Kevin staring blankly, seemingly in a phase, Brian holding his head in his hands, and Nick looking dejected, yet fuming. James simply looked depressed and guilty.

“Can you take us all home?” Howie asked James. For the first time in his life, he never felt so awkward saying the word “home”.

Chapter 18 by rebellious_one
Author's Notes:
Okay, decided to change it up a bit. This chapter won't be the ellaboration of powers, but instead an emo chapter. Yay. Lol. Thanks to all those who have reviewed and are enjoying the story. =]

Kevin glanced into the rearview mirror, checking over his brothers, who were all crammed in the back seat of the car. He shot a look over towards the stranger that had helped them to escape, wondering where he was taking them, but deciding not to question him.

“I don’t like silence.” AJ suddenly groaned out, causing them to jump a little at the sudden break of silence.

Nick rolled his eyes, “Well, what do you want us to do AJ? Talk like everything is okay?”

AJ looked over at the driver, “Why don’t we start off with some questions like who the hell are you, where the hell are you taking us, and what the hell just happened back there?”

The man looked up into the rearview mirror, staring at AJ for a while. He took a deep breath in and sighed heavily, “My name is Dr. James Manwell. You guys may not remember me, but I’m a family friend. Right now, I’m taking you guys to my lab where I’ll explain anything and everything to you.”

“A family friend huh?” AJ scoffed. “How do we know you’re not just one of those fucked up doctors that’s pretending to help us only to take us back to your fucking lab to perform tests on us?”

“Alex, stop it.” Howie warned.

“He’s right D.” Nick voiced out. “How do we know who to trust?”

“You can trust him.” Kevin spoke for the first time.

“How do you know that for a fact Kevin?” AJ fired back. “He’s probably another one of them, just wanting to know what’s wrong with us and what we can do.”

James sighed, “There’s nothing wrong with you guys. I already know what you guys are capable of doing, and I’m going to explain everything to you once we reach my lab. I know you guys are going through a lot at the moment, but you’re just gonna have to trust me on this, okay? I want to help you guys.” having that said, the car fell silent once again, and remained that way until they reached their destination.

They pulled up to a large estate, a mansion settled right in the middle of it. James shut the car off and had pulled his keys out of the ignition. “Follow me.” he said as he jumped out of his car, closed the door and began to make his way over towards his house.

The rest of them filed out of the car and had followed James up to his doorstep. They continued on in silence as James led them inside his house and through his foyer. They all looked around in awe, fascinated at all the plaques and certificates that decorated his walls. James led them into a room that looked as if it was his office. Tall shelves filled with books lined the walls, and a large cherry oak desk sat in the middle of the room.

James walked over to the wall and had moved the picture that hung on it to the side. Behind the picture was a panel of numbers and a scan pad. James punched in a few numbers, then placed his hand on the scan pad, allowing the high tech security system to read and recognize his handprint. Once that was done, one of the shelves that were filled with books recessed into the wall.

“Come in.” James said as he walked into the secret room that was revealed.

The five of them slowly followed James into the room, looking at everything in astonishment. Beyond the door was a fully equipped laboratory, it almost looked as if it was a hospital.

“You guys may want to take a seat for this.” James suggested as he gestured over towards an area that looked like a small meeting room.

They all made their way over towards the small meeting room and had situated themselves at the table, James standing at the head of it. He took a deep breath in, “The people you guys had a run in with are apart of a huge and steadily growing organization known as the Supernatural Engineered Corporation, or SEC. It was established by a man who believed he could generate supernatural human beings that would become the world’s answer to all it’s problems, everything from warfare to ailments. It was first tested on chimpanzees, who seem to be more genetically related to humans than any other specie on this planet, to which the trial was successful. In 1970, he injected his newly formulated chemical into his first human subject.”

“Were we his first human subjects?” Nick asked in confusion.

“Not exactly. His first human subject happened to be a female. She is the only one on this earth that possesses all the abilities.”

“And what are these abilities that you speak of?”

“The powers you all have. While the five of you have one elemental power and one mental power, she possesses all of them, being the most powerful creature to walk the earth. You five are right below her.”

Nick shook his head, none of it really making sense to him. “You mean to tell us that we’re not… humans?”

“You guys are very much humans, just supernatural. As far as I know, you six are the only of your kind, which is why SEC is after you guys. You five are basically their prized possession right now, and they will do anything in their power to obtain you.”

“So, what does all of this have to do with you?” Brian questioned. “Why are you helping us? Who was that lady and why did you guys come to help us?”

“Like I said, you may not remember, but I’m a family friend. As for that lady, she’s…”

“Our mother.” Kevin finished off, staring straight ahead blankly.

AJ shot a look towards Kevin, “Come again? Who’s mother?”

“We all share the same mother… and that woman that came to save us was her.” Howie answered, everything making sense to him now. “Why couldn’t we remember this?”

“We made you all forget.” James answered sadly. “She felt at that time that was the only way she could protect you from him.”

“Protect us from who?” Nick snapped. “What the hell is going on?”

James took a deep breath in as he began to explain everything to the guys, from the beginning. When he was through, he was met with emotional stares, none of them were able to say anything in response.

“Why is he out to get us now?” Kevin finally croaked out, not being able to believe the fact that the man behind all of this was his own real father.

“You guys have grown and matured, he knows how your powers have developed over the years, whether you guys know it or not. He’s been after you five for quite some time, which is why your mother decided to split you guys up into different families and wipe away any and all memories you all may have had from your earlier years. Both her and I were convinced that Will wouldn’t be able to find you guys. You five are the missing pieces to his puzzle, he needs you all in his possession in order for him to present his discoveries to the government, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to get what he wants.”

“So… we’re nothing but some fucked up experiments?” Nick asked, his eyes welling with tears.

“This is fucking bullshit!” AJ snapped as he flew up from where he sat, flinging his chair back in the process. “I don’t know who the hell you think you are or what the fuck you’re trying to do, but there is no way in hell I’m gonna let you corrupt our lives.”

“Alex, please…” Howie tried to calm him down, but AJ ignored him.

“You’re gonna believe him Howard?” AJ asked him in disbelief. “You’re gonna allow some fucked up man to just walk into our lives and tell us the way we’re living and everything we know is a fucking lie? Fuck that… I’m the son of a mother who divorced her good for nothing husband and was raised solely by my mother and her parents, and I’m not gonna let some fucking stranger tell me otherwise.” and with that, he stormed away.

Howie sprung out of his chair as well, deciding to go after him. He jogged briskly towards AJ, catching him right as he walked out of the lab.

AJ felt a pair of hands grab him by his shoulders. “Get the fuck off of me.” he said as he tried to shrug the hands off, but failing. He didn’t even need to turn around to see who was holding him back, he already knew. “Let me go D., just please let me go.”

Howie spun AJ around to face him, watching helplessly as tears cascaded freely down AJ’s cheeks. Without saying another word, Howie pulled AJ into the strongest embrace he could muster, holding him close and tight so he wouldn’t try to pull away and leave. AJ didn’t even try to fight, he simply fell limp within Howie’s arms and cried on his shoulder, letting everything he was feeling at that moment out.

“Tell me this isn’t true…” he cried out. “God Howie, please tell me this isn’t true.”

Howie closed his eyes as he heard AJ beg him to say that everything wasn’t true. He remained silent, knowing that no words would be a painless way to confirm that everything was true. At that realization, AJ broke down within Howie’s arms. Everyone knew how close AJ was with his mother and grandparents, but only Howie knew how AJ had struggled all these years trying to find himself based on the life he was living. Just when AJ was beginning to find himself, he’s being told that everything was a lie.

“How could she do this to me?” AJ choked out. “She tells me everything, how could she have not told me about this?”

Howie was sure he was talking about his mother. “We all didn’t know Alex… and our parents didn’t tell us because they were trying to protect us. We can’t hold this against them. They took us in, they took a risk trying to protect us, they did everything they could to have us live normal lives.” he pulled away slightly to look AJ in the eyes. “They gave us a life and a reason to live.”

AJ gave a small nod, knowing what Howie was saying made sense, but couldn’t help than to feel hurt and betrayed. Howie slowly began to walk AJ back into the lab to join the rest of the fellas. He looked up to see Kevin staring blankly, seemingly in a phase, Brian holding his head in his hands, and Nick looking dejected, yet fuming. James simply looked depressed and guilty.

“Can you take us all home?” Howie asked James. For the first time in his life, he never felt so awkward saying the word “home”.

Chapter 19 by rebellious_one

He slowly walked up to his house, sheer exhaustion claiming his mind and his body. He fished his house keys out of his pocket as he glanced around cautiously, wondering and hoping none of those SEC guys were around to attempt to abduct them again. Sighing heavily, he pushed his key into the lock and opened his door, kicking it close as he quickly rushed in to deactivate his house alarm.

Once it was deactivated, he turned around to stare at his empty house through the dark. Blindly, he walked over to his wall, groping it to find the light switch. As soon as he found it, he flipped the switch on, slightly wincing at the sudden burst of light that illuminated throughout his house. He made his way into his living room, suddenly eyeing everything that decorated the space, seething when he noticed that everything was family related; portraits, memorabilia, gifts… his living room was decorated with everything that reminded him of his past, a past he recently found out was nothing but a lie.

He shout out to this first thing he could get his hands on, which happened to be the pictures that were placed on the end tables next to the couches and chairs, and pushed all the frames off the table, watching as it clattered to the ground. Unsatisfied, he slammed his foot down on to each and every photo frame he pushed off the table, feeling a little relieved at the sound of glass shattering and grinding under the weight of his foot.

He looked down at the mess he made and realized that it still wasn’t enough, for there was still a picture of him and his “supposed” family underneath the shards of glass. He made his way over towards his mantelpiece and began to shove everything off of that as well, making sure he either broke the object or completely destroyed it. He was now on a rampage with his own house, determined to get everything that was a lie out of his sight.

After what seemed like forever, he finally forced himself to stop ravaging his living room. Breathing heavily, he looked his destruction over, still not feeling satisfied, still feeling pain, hurt, anger… betrayal. He allowed himself to collapse to his knees, letting everything he had been holding in out through his tears. Unlike AJ, he wasn’t sure how to react upon learning about his real past, who he really was. He didn’t want them to witness how much this was tearing him up on the inside, so he decided to put his guards up, have his tough exterior keep everyone at bay. Now that he was alone, reality was finally able to sink in and he was able to let everything go.

Through blurry eyes, he glanced down at a pile of glistening shards near him, staring down at the picture that laid beneath it. He gingerly began to brush away the tiny pieces of glass, grasping the photo and shaking the remnants off. He bit his bottom lip as he looked the picture of his family over, desperately trying to fight the heavy emotion that was trying to overcome him once again.

He sighed heavily; at the moment he wasn’t getting along with his parents, he went as far as saying that he even hated them for what they had done and how they had managed to tear this family apart, but he couldn’t deny how much these two played a role in his life, despite the animosity he felt towards them at the moment. His eyes wandered over to his siblings, feeling a faint grin tug at the corner of his lips for the first time.

The five of them had been through so much growing up, from constantly fighting with each other to trying to drive each other crazy, but through it all they managed to remain together and withstand anything and everything life had to throw at them. What they had been through, from their sudden money hungry parents to them being a household name, they had grown to realize that they needed each other more than ever, more than anything, and that had made their bond and their love for each other grow with every testing moment. No matter what anyone said, whether the life he lived before was a lie or not, these four were his siblings, his family, his everything, and he loved them with his life.

That last thought broke him out of his trance and brought him back to reality. He let the photo slip from his hand and flutter back down to the ground. Now that he was able to release everything that he had pent up, he was ready to delve deeper and get more answers, but the only problem was he didn’t know who to turn to. His mother and father were out of the question, which only left one person he could turn to, and he could only hope that she could answer at least some of his questions.

He pushed himself up from the ground and made his way over to his house phone, ignoring the fact that he was walking over a trail of shattered glass. He grabbed the phone and simply stared at it, suddenly second guessing what he was about to do. If she did have the answers to his questions, did he really want to hear it or would he be fine going on, continuing to live his life how it was, ignoring what he’s been told that was threatening to change everything. Without thinking twice, he dialed the number, and waited patiently for her to answer.

After the fourth ring, a voice finally answered the phone. “Hello?”

“BJ?”

~*~*~*~

“Hi honey, how are you doing?”

He took a deep breath in and sighed heavily, “Good I guess…”

There was a slight pause on the other end. “A mother knows the sound of her son’s voice, and I know you sound anything but good right now Howard.”

Howie slightly winced at hearing her statement. Knowing what he knew, and having her not know what he knew made him feel extremely uncomfortable, especially after hearing her saying that she, as a mother, knew the sound of his voice.

“I’m okay mom, just… tired is all.” he said with a slight smile. Normally, he would automatically feel at peace whenever he heard the comforting voice of his mother, but now he was contemplating the feelings that were running through him at that moment, which he couldn’t exactly pinpoint how he felt, and that made him sick to his stomach.

“Well, if you’re tired sweetie, why don’t you go to sleep?” she answered with a slight chuckle.

“I don’t know… just wanted to hear your voice.”

“Howard.” he heard her say in a light scolding tone. “Now I know there’s something on your mind. It’s unlike you to call me just to tell me you’re tired and want to hear my voice. Now, what’s the matter sweetheart?”

He took a deep breath in, how was he suppose to get this out? Was he to simply come out and tell her everything he was told tonight? Was he to start off by asking her where he really came from and who his real parents were? Would she tell him the truth if he were to do anything of these things? “Mom, I…” he paused, this wasn’t right. “something happened tonight, and I need have a talk with you and dad.”

She lightly gasped, “What is it Howard? Are you alright? Please tell me what happened…”

Howie closed his eyes, “Everything’s okay, I’m okay, it’s just… I don’t think this is something that should be discussed over the phone.”

“Well, do you want to come up tonight honey? You know you’re more than welcomed to, your father is still awake and I can tell him that you need to talk to us and we can…”

“Mom!” Howie interjected. “Please, calm down. What I want to talk about with you guys isn’t anything life threatening, it’s not even something extremely important, I just had a few questions I wanted to ask you guys and discuss a few things.”

He heard her release a heavy sigh, “Howard, please tell me what this is all about. I know you’re telling me it’s nothing but a few questions and a discussion you want to hold, but as a mother I have a right to be overly concerned.”

Howie took a deep shuddering breath and bit his bottom lip to keep it from quivering. “I know mom, but please believe me when I say it’s nothing to have you concerned about. It’s something that can wait until tomorrow, and I promise you I’ll be at your house first thing tomorrow morning to have this little discussion, okay?”

She remained silent for the longest, as if contemplating whether she should keep pushing him into telling her what he wanted to talk about. “Howard, as long as you promise me that you’re okay and everything will be okay.”

Howie squeezed his eyes shut, furiously blinking away the tears that welled up in his eyes. He wasn’t sure if he was okay, he wasn’t even sure if everything would even be okay, but he had to do the absolute last thing he ever wanted to do to her; lie. “I’m okay mom… and everything will be okay.”

“Okay baby, then I’ll see you tomorrow morning.”

Howie nodded, “Okay.”

“Howard?”

“Yes?”

There was a lengthy pause before she finally spoke. “I love you son.”

Howie could no longer keep it in. Tears cascaded freely down his face as he tried his best to choke back his sobs and keep it from affecting his voice.

“I love you too mom.”

~*~*~*~

He placed his head against the window as he watched everything pass him by. The trees and people they drove by were nothing but a big blur of a distinct color, and he couldn’t slow time down to take in the moment even if he wanted to. He sighed heavily as he felt a steady, throbbing pain pulse in his head. He was weak with fatigue, finding the events of the night before being too much for him to handle all in one night. He spent most of his time last night talking to his mother, letting her know that he was gonna catch the soonest flight out to see her and his dad. After he hung up with his mother, he spent the rest of his time on the phone with his wife, being slightly soothed by the only thing that seemed to be real in his life.

A small grin crept up onto his face as he thought about his wife and his son. As soon as he got on the phone with her, he broke down crying, realizing that she and Baylee were the only things in his life that was anything but a lie. He couldn’t bring himself to tell her what had happened to them last night, all he wanted to do was hear her comforting voice assure him that everything was gonna be alright, even though she had no clue as to what was happening. They both stayed on the phone with each other, not saying one word.

Now, here he was, on his way to his parents house, trying to prepare himself on how he would come out to start the discussion with them. He groaned as he began to rub his temples, trying to ward off the agonizing headache that was preventing him from thinking. He wasn’t able to get any sleep last night, nor did he get any on the flight to Kentucky, which made him weary and the pain in his head to worsen.

Before he knew it, the car was pulling up to a house and was slowly coming to a stop. He rose his head a little and stared out the window at the house they had parked right outside of. He fished into his back pockets for his wallet and pulled it out, paying the driver the fare and getting out. As the car drove away, he stood there, staring up at the house, still not knowing how he was going to start off the conversation with his parents.

“Well, well… if it isn’t my little Backstreet brother.”

He turned around to find his older brother, Harold, standing behind him. He smiled as Harold approached him, and they both grabbed each other in a hug.

“How ya doing man?” Harold asked as he ruffled Brian’s curls.

Brian shrugged him off, chuckling. “I’m doing... okay. And you?”

“Well,” Harold said with a sigh. “I’ve been keeping busy, so I guess it’s all good. But I would love to know why you’re here in our neck of the woods with no…” he trailed off, looking Brian over, “luggage.”

Brian sighed heavily, “I came out here to have a little talk with mom and dad.”

“A little talk?” Harold repeated; Brian nodded. “Brian, that little talk mustn’t be a little talk at all if you fly yourself all the way out here, with no luggage just to talk to them when you could’ve done that over the phone.”

“Well, I came here to have a big talk with them then. It’s something I preferred to do face-to-face, not over the phone.”

Harold stared long and hard at his brother, “Sounds serious. Did you find out something?”

Brian’s eyes widened a little, “What do you mean?”

“Well, the way you’re making it sound, it seems as if you found out some bad news or something… and the first thing that comes to mind is your heart condition, which I really hope that isn’t the case.”

Brian released a breath he didn’t even realize he was holding, “Well, to put you at ease, that isn’t the case.”

Harold released a breath as well, “Well good… because that just eliminated all the possible bad news you could tell, unless there’s something you’re not telling me.”

If only he knew… Brian thought to himself. “Well, there is one thing, but I’m pretty sure you probably know what it’s about already.” When Harold’s breathing hitched, he immediately shot a look over at his older brother. “You know what I’m talking about.” he said slowly. “You know something, don’t you?”

“Look Brian,” Harold said softly, as he placed a hand upon Brian’s shoulder and began to usher him towards the house. “to tell you the truth, I don’t really know what you’re talking about.”

Brian shook his head, knowing that his brother was trying to cover himself up now. “No, you do know something, and you do know what I’m talking about…” before he could get another word out, he found himself standing right in front of the door.

He swallowed hard, wondering if he was truly ready to get the answers he was seeking for. Without thinking twice, he rose his hand and pushed the doorbell. His initial reaction was to back away slightly, but the hand on his shoulder and the presence that stood behind him held him in his place, almost as if blocking him from turning around to run away. He knows. was all Brian thought to himself when the door opened, revealing his mother behind it.

“Babyduck!” she exclaimed as she held her arms open for him to be embraced in.

~*~*~*~

He didn’t walk into her open arms, nor did he acknowledge her greeting; he simply brushed past her, walking into the house. He didn’t mean to act so harshly towards her, he didn’t know how to act period.

“Alex?” she asked warily as she turned to watch her son pace back and forth in the living room. “Alex, what’s the matter?”

He continued to pace back and forth, what was he doing? Here he was, staring at his mother, his real mother, and all he did was brush past her. How he wanted to start all over again and just grab her in the biggest hug he could muster, forget everything that was said last night and forget for even thinking for a moment that this woman that stood before him wasn’t his real mother, but no matter how much he wanted to deny it and try to run away from everything, he knew he needed answers, and he needed answers right now.

He finally stopped his pacing and just stood there, staring at his mother. “Why didn’t you tell me?” he asked in a soft voice. This wasn’t the way he wanted to start off the conversation with her, but he knew if he didn’t say anything, he wouldn’t have even confronted her about everything at all.

“Why didn’t I tell you what?” she asked in confusion.

He sighed heavily, why couldn’t this be easier? Why was this even happening to him? “You would tell me everything, right? You wouldn’t hide anything from me.”

Puzzlement etched across her face, her brows furrowing. She slowly approached her son, frowning when he slightly backed away from her. Steadily, she reached out her hands for his, sighing when he allowed her to grasp his hands. “Baby, you know I wouldn’t hide anything from you. Now, will you please tell me what this is all about?”

“Are you my real mother?” he asked bluntly.

Denise gasped as she stared into Alex’s eyes, noticing for the first time how clouded and dark they appeared. “Alex…”

“Are… you my real mother?” he asked again, his voice a little louder and firmer this time around.

His heart broke at the sight of the woman he’s known to be his actual mother break right before him. How he wanted to enfold her within his arms and tell her that he was just joking, that he knew that she was his mother and that he loved her very much. How he wanted to wipe the tears he caused to fall from her eyes away and whisper to her that everything was going to be okay. But he couldn’t bring himself to do any of that… for those tears that trickled down her face was only a silent confirmation to his question.

“Why are you asking me this?” she cried out. “Why are you doing this to me?”

AJ sighed in exasperation, nothing was making sense to him anymore. The broken woman before him and her statement confused the hell out of him, was she his mother or not? “I’m not… I’m not trying to do anything to you. I just want to know the truth.”

“Was I not enough? What did I do, where did I go wrong?” she exclaimed through her tears. AJ bit his bottom lip when he realized that she wasn’t referring to him, but more like talking to herself. “I thought I did everything I was supposed to, everything that is required of a mother… where did I fail? Why are you doing this to me?”

AJ didn’t know what to do, whether to continue standing his ground or forget everything and comfort the weeping woman before him. He wasn’t sure who she was talking to anymore, but he started to worry for her. “Please, tell me.”

That simple statement snapped her out of her trance, causing her to stop her mumbling and look right up at him. “You’re weren’t suppose to know.” she whispered.

AJ closed his eyes, trying to fight back the tears that were threatening to fall. “I found out… last night.” he slightly chuckled in a maniacal manner. “And to think, I sat there bitching him out, calling him a liar… thinking all he wanted to do was try to ruin my life by telling me lies. I wouldn’t believe him… I refused to believe him. I held onto to that last shred of hope I had left, thinking that when I’d come home I’d find out everything that I heard last night wasn’t true… that you were my real mom to begin with, and I could go on living life.”

“I’m sorry.” she cried out, burying her face within her hands. “God, I’m so sorry Alex… I should’ve told you, but I couldn’t. You were my first and only child Alex, and I didn’t exactly know how to be a mother… but as soon as I laid my eyes on you… god, you taught me how to be a mother.” she took a hefty pause, taking that time to wipe her tears away and sit down on the couch. “I thought I was doing the right thing by keeping you in the dark about all this, because I had to protect you… it was my job to protect you Alex, and it was in that moment that I was beginning to believe that you were my actual son… my blood and my flesh. I can’t even begin to tell you how it felt the moment I received you as my son. You were everything I’ve ever wanted in a child Alex.”

AJ felt his knees begin to tremble, he wasn’t even sure how he was still able to stand on wobbly legs. He finally felt his knees buckled and allowed himself to collapse down on the chair that was situated directly across from Denise. “So… my real mom… just, gave me away?” he asked in a soft voice, sounding much like a child.

“Baby,” Denise choked out as rose from the couch and made her way over towards him. She bent down and grasped his hands within hers. “She did not give you away. She gave you life, and she gave me the best thing I could ever receive in my life. You may not understand it now, but your mother saved your life by doing what she did. This was not a easy decision for your mother to come by, no mother could ever or would ever want to just give their child up, but she knew this was something that had to be done. She loves you very much Alex, she will never stop loving you. I commend her because not only did she put herself through hell by separating and giving up her only five sons… but she also did something no one would ever want to do, but she knew she had to… she was being a mother by protecting her offspring.”

AJ could feel tears welling within his eyes, and he quickly glanced away. Denise’s bottom lip quivered as she reached out and gently grasped his chin, making him look at her. “Alex, for what it’s worth, you are the best thing that has ever happened to me in my life. I know the truth is never easy to accept, especially when it’s been suddenly revealed years later after you’ve been shielded away from it all this time, but I want you to know that you will always and forever be my first and only son. I don’t care what the truth may bring, because I will never stop loving you… you are my child Alex, and I can only hope and pray that through all this… you can at least consider me to be your step mom.”

AJ couldn’t keep it in anymore. He broke down crying, immediately reaching out for the woman that has basically been his life. He wrapped his arms around her and lifted her towards him, embracing her tightly and never wanting to let go. “I love you so much mom.”

Denise gasped at hearing him still call her ‘Mom’. “Alex, you know you don’t have to…”

AJ interrupted her by abruptly pulling out of the hug, his eyes glistening with tears as he stared at her. “I love you mom.” he repeated. “You are the woman that helped me to grow and molded me to be the man that I am today. You did anything and everything a mom should do for their child… and in my life, you were everything I’ve ever wanted in a mother, and then some.”

Chapter 20 by rebellious_one

He sat there for the longest, deep in thought, wracking his brain for answers he was determined to retrieve himself. He wasn’t sure what the four decided to do, whether they decided to confront their parents about the situation or not, but he decided not to. His mother was older, and he just couldn’t even begin to think of how much pain and pressure he’d put her under if he was to confront her about what he discovered last night. Although the truth was shocking, he would not consider Ann to be anything but his mother. She took him in as her son, she rose him to live a normal life and did everything a mother would do for their son. Ann was his mother period, no matter what anyone said.

So, there he sat by himself, trying to piece the incomplete puzzle together, trying to force himself to remember. Kristin tried her best to comfort him last night, although Kevin refused to open up to her about everything that had happened. Being the caring and understanding wife she was, she didn’t push the envelope; she simply tried to comfort him in the best way possible, reminding him that she would be here by his side.

When he awoke this morning, he suggested that she go out with her friends or Leighanne to do some shopping or something. She reluctantly agreed to leave, for she had a meeting with her agent later on in the day anyway. He didn’t want to come across harsh, but he just wanted the day to be alone, to drown himself within his thoughts and try his best to answer his own questions. He hadn’t talked to the other four since last night, and he knew he should call each one of them to see how they were pulling through.

“So, were you planning to lock yourself up in the house and stay here all day?”

Kevin was startled by the sudden voice that broke him out of his trance, and sharply whirled around to face the owner of the voice. He sighed heavily, trying to ease his racing heart when he realized who it was. “How’d you get in here?”

Howie grinned sheepishly, “Well, thought I’d play around a bit with my gift.”

Kevin smiled lightly, “Well, I’d ask you how you knew where to find me, but I’m gonna guess that you used your psychic gift too, am I right?”

Howie chuckled and rolled his eyes, “Dude, it’s called a cell phone. I tried to call your phone numerous times, but finally gave up and decided to call Kristin instead. She told me you were here.”

“Oh.” Kevin sighed. “Did you come by to check up on me or something?”

“Kinda sort of.” Howie replied as he sat down on the chair that was situated across from Kevin. “I was leaving my parents house when I decided to stop by.”

Kevin nodded, “Did you confront them?”

“Confront is such a harsh word. I did have a talk with them though.”

“And how did that go?”

Howie sighed heavily, “It was a tear fest of course… but to tell you the truth, I feel a lot more better since we were able to get everything out in the open.” Kevin glanced away, wishing he could have that same sense of relief. Howie noticed the sudden change in Kevin’s demeanor. “I’m guessing you didn’t talk to your mom about it?”

“I can’t.” Kevin replied, looking up at him. “I wanted to, I even grabbed the phone and punched in her number, but I…” he paused, looking over to where his phone was. Situated next to his phone was a photo of him and his mom. “one look at that picture, at her smile, and I was done for, I couldn’t do it. I saw everything play through my head man… from me telling her what I found out, to her sobbing and struggling with trying to tell me the truth. I can’t make her cry Howie… god, it’s heartbreaking just thinking about it. She’s getting older, and Jerald, Tim and I are really the only people she has left in her life… how could I possibly sit there and tell her or make her say that she’s not my mother after all that she has done for me?”

Howie remained silent, he didn’t even think about that when he approached his parents. “I know what you mean Kev… it was so hard to see my mother break before my eyes, and my father… he couldn’t even look me in the eyes. She was afraid that I would break all ties with them and wouldn’t consider them to be my family anymore. And you know what? After being confronted with the truth and all… I still find that woman to be my mother and that man to be my father, and nothing and no one is gonna change that.”

Kevin sighed and nodded, “I think in time I will let her know that I know and reassure her that everything will be okay because she’ll always be my mom, but I just… I just don’t think I can do that right now.”

“And no one is pushing you to do anything you’re not ready to do Kevin. Just know that if and when the time comes, everything will be okay.”

Kevin looked up at Howie and smiled, “Thanks man.”

“No problem bro.” Howie smiled back, then groaned. “Ugh, speaking of bro… I called the other three dweebs and told them to meet us here at your house, if you don’t mind.”

Kevin laughed, “I like how you ask me after the fact you gone and done it, but it’s fine by me. I would just love to know to what I owe the pleasure of hosting a sudden house party.”

“I just…” the smile fell from Howie’s lips. “I don’t think it’s in our best interest to be separated and alone. I don’t know what these SEC guys are…” before he could get another word out, the doorbell sounded out, interrupting Howie.

Kevin looked over at the door, then back at Howie. “Wonder who that could be.” he sarcastically stated with a smile.

Howie watched as Kevin rose from where he sat and made his way towards the door, opening it and finding AJ, Brian and Nick behind it. “Someone by the name of Howard Dorough ordered three strippers for a Kevin Richardson.” Nick said in a low voice.

Kevin rolled his eyes, “You guys want that house down there.” he said as he pointed to a house that was a couple houses down from his.

The three of them turned to see who Kevin was referring to, seeing a rather large woman, bent over and watering her plants. AJ shook his head as he quickly pushed past Kevin and entered the house, “That ain’t no damn Kevin Richardson.”

Brian shivered as he followed suit while Nick pretended to gag. Kevin laughed as he closed his door, “What happened to the somber and incensed feelings from last night? You three are way too damn chipper for me today.”

“Well, I think it’s safe to say that we all ended on good terms with our parents today.” AJ said as he glanced between Nick and Brian.

Nick rose his hand a bit, as if he was a student raising his hand to ask a question. “Actually, I had a long and good talk with my sister BJ. Kinda relieved at the fact that my parents are actually not my parents at all.”

Kevin chuckled and rolled his eyes, training his focus on AJ and Brian now. “And what about you two? How did everything go?”

AJ was the first to reply. “It went rather well. Of course, tears were shed here and there, but it felt good to have her answer my questions and tell me the truth, and it felt in-fucking-credible to still call her my mother after all of it.”

Brian smiled genuinely, “Same here. If it wasn’t for Harold literally pushing me to the front door, I don’t think I would’ve gone through with it. But after getting everything out and getting answers, I kinda actually feel better about this whole situation.”

Kevin grinned all the while, glad that his four brothers felt better than they had last night. Four brothers… he always referred to these four as his brothers, more like a metaphor, but now he knew that term had so much more meaning behind it. “Well, lets not get too far ahead of ourselves. We still have those guys from SEC to deal with.”

“Oh yeah, we’ll deal with them alright.” AJ said in a sinister voice, his eyes glowing as he snapped his fingers, causing a flame to flicker out from the tips of his fingers.

“Alex.” Kevin warned. “Not in my house dude, I will not hesitate to hose your ass down with a fire extinguisher.”

“So, what do we do?” Nick asked.

“We don’t do nothing for now. We stick together and try to lay low as possible. I’ll call management and have them work something out with our touring schedule. Until then, we train ourselves to be ready for whatever happens.”

Chapter 21 by rebellious_one

“Do I even want to know what happened here?” he asked as he walked the room cautiously, eyeing the fallen guards who were burnt beyond recognition.

Dr. Wexler trailed behind him like a little lost pup. “We lost control sir, they attacked us with their powers. None of this was suppose to happen.”

“Well, seeing that I gave you specific directions Joe, I would’ve expected none of this to happen. Did you do as I instructed?”

Dr. Wexler fell silent. He was instructed to subdue them so they couldn’t control their powers and attack them. He was then supposed to force their powers out, which would’ve weakened them. “No sir.”

He slightly chuckled, “Why doesn’t this surprise me?” he shook his head and began to massage him temples. “Seems like if you want to get the job done right, you sometimes gotta do it yourself. Do we have any clue as to where they might’ve gone?”

“No sir, but we do know they left with a male, which ultimately led us to one of our prized captives.”

“If it’s not the boys, what could possibly be so prized?”

“The origin.”

He stared at Dr. Wexler long and hard, as if not being able to believe what he was hearing. “Where is she?”

“Right this way sir.”

They walked out of the destroyed room and down the hall to an isolated area. Dr. Wexler placed his hand on the scan pad, then punched in a few numbers. The door then clicked, indicating that it was unlocked. He grasped the doorknob and pushed it open, allowing the other man to walk in first.

“She’s being held in containment cell A3.” Dr. Wexler informed.

The man turned to Dr. Wexler for a moment, then turned back to the containment cells that lined the hall. He walked over to cell A3, seeing two guards standing on the outside of it. Once the guards saw him, they quickly stood in a salute stance. He ignored their gesture as he took his card key and swiped it through the slot, pushing the door open once he heard the indication that it was unlocked. The cells were rather large, and inside the cell itself was a plexiglas room, so you could view whatever it was contained in the plexiglas room from the outside, or you could walk inside. There were air vents in the plexiglas room, not only to allow the contained to breathe, but a nontoxic gas was circulating throughout the plexiglas room, which counteracts the chemical within their body and ceases their power as long as they are kept within that room.

He stood there and stared at her, watching her from the outside. She sat in the corner of the plexiglas room, her knees drawn to her chest and her arms and head resting upon her knees. She did not move her head to acknowledge the man that was watching her from the outside, she simply stayed where she was at, staring blankly at the ground.

“Unlock the door.” he said as he slowly approached the glass room, waiting for the door to unlock.

She finally forced herself to look up and acknowledge the man who was about to enter her room. She watched in silence as he walked into the room, closing the door behind him. She was in no form to get up and fight, let alone talk, so she remained where she was, curled up in the corner of the room, head still resting upon her knees.

Once he closed the door, he turned around to look back down at her, feeling her icy glare pierce the very depths of his soul. “If only looks could kill.” he voiced out. “Which, I’m sure if you were out of this room, you could.”

“Where’s my sons?” she asked, refusing to let up her glare.

“Your sons?” he laughed. “Thanks to you, I’ve sent my men out there to kill them because I have my prized possession right before my very eyes. This whole thing was just a… setup to get what the company really needs. Capturing your boys only brought you right to us. But now that you’ve gone and let your boys free, their wandering around with too much knowledge in their head, too much about our company, and we can’t have that. So since they know too much and we have absolutely no more use for them, we will dispose of them. I would’ve had them stick around to at least say goodbye to you, but… I guess that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.”

“You sick son of a bitch!” she roared as she launched herself up from the ground and towards him.

He quickly dodged her attack, grabbing her by the back of her hair, wrenching her head back. He kicked her in the back of her knees, causing her legs to buckle and collapse to her knees. While keep a firm grip on the back of her hair and her head wrenched back, his other hand snaked around her neck, tightly constricting her throat. “Now, now… you know better than to come at me.”

She began coughing and gasping for breath she couldn’t get in nor out. He knelt down to her level, “You know your powers won’t work in here, so what makes you think you can take me on without them. Must I remind you that I’m bigger and better than you, and that I’ll always have the upper hand no matter what?” and with that, he released his grip on her and slapped her with the back of his hand.

Her head snapped back and her body flew backwards at the impact of the back of his hand. She withered on the ground in pain, looking up at him through blurry eyes, trying to get the room to stop moving.

He grinned, satisfied with the fact that she was in pain. “Here’s what I plan to do.” he said as he knelt down towards her again. “All I want is the chemicals that is flowing through your bloodstream, so I will extract it and I promise you, it’ll be a painless process. Then I will rid you of this gift you were granted to took advantage of and if you cooperate, I will let go back to living your life normally. You know, if only you hadn’t interfered with my plans, I could’ve said the same thing about your sons. All I wanted was the chemicals that were in your blood, give you a cure and release you all to live your life normally once again. Hell, you could’ve even gone back to living your life with your five sons, but… well, you were just being a mother, weren’t you? Understandable… but you do know that it’s supposed to be the kids that bury their parents, not the other way around, right?”

She seethed, wishing she wasn’t in so much pain at that moment so she could hit the man that was hovering above her. He smiled, “It’s okay though… if and when I release you, you can just go and fuck James and have more kids, so either way, in the end, it’ll all work out perfectly for you if you just cooperate with me.”

She glared at him through heavy lidded eyes, her boiling anger pushing away the fact that she was in agonizing pain. “I’m going to fucking kill you.” she snarled.

He simply chuckled as he leant down towards her ear. “If I go down, you’ll go down right with me.” His lips lingered by her ear, his hot breath burning the side of her neck, causing the small hairs on her flesh to instantly prickle. She winced when she felt his lips touch the side of her neck in a loving manner. He placed a soft, gentle kiss near her ear and whispered, “Till death do us part… baby.”

Chapter 22 by rebellious_one
Author's Notes:
Sorry for the brief, WTF update, but here's an update. :D Working on another chapter to get up soon, as well as working on updating Satan's Playgound for my wonderful readers!! Thanks for all the reviews ya'll; you guys/gals are the best!! =]

He grunted and gritted his teeth as he hauled a rather large box from his lab into his kitchen. He placed it on the kitchen table and hunched over, trying to catch his breath from working and straining his body. He spent practically the whole day rearranging everything in his lab and gathering important information he knew he would need.

When he finally collected himself, he reached out to open the box he had placed on the table, and began to look through all the things that were stashed away inside the box. He pulled out various paper documents and files, setting them on the table and trying to sort them out. He stopped when he heard his doorbell ring; looking up and just staring at his door, wondering who it could’ve been. Sighing heavily, he placed down a manila folder he had grabbed from out of the box and made his way over to his door. Without even looking through his peephole to see who it was, he unlatched the lock and opened the door.

“Hello Dr. Manwell.”

James leaned against the doorframe, staring at the men who had rung his doorbell. “Gentlemen.”

The men remained silent, not knowing how to come out and say what they wanted to say. James gave a small nod, “Did you, uh… did you guys find out what you needed to?” When they nodded in response, James began to nibble on his bottom lip. “So… can you guys trust me? Are you willing to let me help you?”

Kevin was the first to reply. “We’re really sorry about last night, it was just… I guess you could say it was too much for us all to handle in one night.”

“Understandable.” James nodded. “C’mon in.”

When James held the door open, the five of them filed into his house. “I can’t imagine the position you fellas are in.” James stared. “So of course it’s predictable for you guys to have the reaction you did. To tell you the truth, I thought it would’ve been far more worse, which was why I was pending on whether I should’ve revealed the truth or not.”

“Well, we’re glad you did.” Howie replied with a genuine smile. “I think it’s safe to say that we all got the answers we were looking for and we’re still on good terms with the families that took us in.”

James smiled, “I’m really glad to hear that. And I’m really glad that you five came back, god knows how long it would’ve took me to go out and look for you guys.”

Kevin chuckled, “Yeah, well… you’re the only one who knows and understands us, and by the looks of it, the only one we can turn to and trust. Now that SEC knows who we are and where to find us, we didn’t think it’d be safe to stay separated or anywhere near our families.”

James nodded, “You’re right, it isn’t safe. I don’t mean to put it this way, but you five are vital pieces to SEC’s puzzle, and as long as we can keep them from getting what they want, the better off you guys, as well as mankind, will be.”

“So, what do you suggest we do?” Howie asked.

“You guys are more than welcomed to stay here. As for what we do, I’ll help you five to discover and learn how to control your powers, because losing control of your powers can be harmful to you and those around you as you may have witnessed, but most importantly it can be lethal.”

“Then where do we go from there?” Nick voiced out this time.

“Then we’ll…” James trailed off. He hadn’t thought that far ahead yet. “lets just take this one step at a time.”

~*~*~*~

“How long have you known?”

AJ didn’t turn to address the younger man who had asked him the question, he simply continued packing his belongings. They had gone back to their hotel to gather their things and had told management that they were taking a retreat to write and compose songs. It took some time for Kevin to break through with his persuasiveness, but as long as management knew you were doing something productive that would roll in the money for them, they were happy campers.

“How long have I known what?” AJ asked back, his back still facing Nick.

“How long have you known about your… powers?” Nick trailed off, feeling awkward for using that word.

AJ finally stopped and turned to look at Nick, seeing that all his clothes and belongings were simply stuffed in his suitcases, which were situated in the middle of the tidy hotel bed. “Since I was a kid.” AJ finally replied, turning back to continue folding his clothes. “You?”

Nick shrugged, “Same here. I guess you can kinda say that I stumbled upon it.”

AJ nodded. Nick wanted him to say something, do something more than just give a nod. The room was too quite for his liking, but AJ just didn’t want to hold a conversation, so Nick kept the questions rolling. “How did you discover it?”

AJ took a deep breath in and sighed, “I don’t know… I just remember going through my mom’s closet one day and stumbling across this old lighter. It was this silver lighter that had ‘Harley Davidson’ engraved on it. I assumed it was my father’s so I took it and kept it with me, not telling my mom that I had it. I played with the damn thing every chance I got; I would just sit there and flick it open, fascinated with how it produced a flame just by flicking it open. One day I was cooking something, not even realizing that my arm was positioned right over an open flame on the gas stove. My initial reaction was to quickly pull away and cry in pain, but all I did was pull away. I was convinced that I was in shock, thus being the reason I couldn’t feel my flesh burning, but it was that day that I came to realize that fire had no affect on me whatsoever. After that, I became obsessed with fire.”

“So, you were probably a pyromaniac growing up, huh?”

AJ chuckled, “No dude, although people viewed me to be that way thanks to my obsession. I never had the desire to set things ablaze, I just always wanted to control something that was never meant to be controlled.”

“So, what exactly can you do?”

“Back then… all I knew was that I could never be burned by fire and that I could control it. When I’d play around with my father’s lighter, I’d sit there and practice how to control it. But now… well, it wasn’t until last night that I learned that I could manipulate it. That night all I saw was this… blinding rage, this fury that just wanted to be unleashed. Soon enough, my anger got the best of me, but not once did I think I could actually make people combust into flames. I mean, at that moment I thought about it… I knew I couldn’t do anything without a lighter, but I stared them down, wishing there was something I could have done, hoping that I could control my power in another sense… by using my mind to set them on fire.”

“Pyrokinesis?” Nick asked.

AJ nodded, “Not only pyrokinesis, but telekinesis as well. I guess I came across that power when I was in school. We had this show and tell presentation, and I had decided to show and tell the class about my ability with fire. Of course the teacher was enraged, but the students…” AJ took a long pause, recollecting that memory. “I could hear their mockery, hear them calling me a freak and they all feared me. I didn’t like that feeling, and again I had let my anger get the best of me when I heard one of the kids call me a freak. I can’t remember what happened after that, I just kind of… zoned out, and when I finally snapped back into reality, I saw all the students huddled underneath their desks, and the teacher was screaming at me, telling me to get down under my desk. They all thought it was an earthquake, but it was actually me.”

Nick chuckled as he thought back to when he first discovered his power, “Glad to know that I wasn’t the only one that had this happen to them in school.”

“Well, what happened with you?”

Nick took a deep breath in, “The first time I came across my power was in school of course. Prior to that I had found myself drinking excessive amounts of water any chance I got. I mean, ya’ll know how I love the ocean and whatnot, but the way I drank water when I was younger, my love for the damn thing was on a whole ‘nother level. Anyway… my friend and I were on our way to a class when we were stopped by these guys. They were complete assholes who were looking for nothing but to pick a fight with us. We managed to get away and decided to split up, and those assholes were hot on my tail. It was just my luck that I came to a dead end and when I heard them nearing, I just… closed my eyes and awaited for them to find me and beat the shit outta me. It wasn’t until I heard one of them voice out their puzzlement on where the hell I was that I opened my eyes and realize that I had became invisible somehow. Wasn’t sure how the hell it was possible, but I used it to my advantage any chance I got.”

AJ chuckled and shook his head, “I’m kinda scared to ask you what the advantages were, but knowing you, your power allowed you to access free, live porn huh? You sick bastard.”

“Why does everything have to be about sex with you dude? We were having a serious conversation, and you just had to ruin it.”

“C’mon Carter, stop trying to dance around the facts, will ya?”

“I’m not trying to dance around anythi- shutup AJ.”

“You ever heard that joke about Wonder Woman, Superman and the Invisible Man?”

“Shut it AJ.”

Chapter 23 by rebellious_one
Author's Notes:
Wow you guys!! It's a freaking update!! Lol. Well, thanks to some special individuals, I was given the inspiration to break away from writers block trying to consume me and was able to work on updating this story. As some of ya'll know, I recently joined some other fellow authors and had created a story that's out. It's funny, ya'll should go check it out! As for other news, I have more new and exciting projects on the horizon, which includes collabing with Kelly (AJsKellyMouse) and Ashley (MonkeyAbu), so look out for those stories that'll be out sometime soon, it'll be GREAT!! Lol. But for now, here's an update on this story. This update actually turned out really long, so I decided to divide it up into two chapters, so I'll be giving my lovely readers two chappies to read, yay!! Lol. Hopefully I can stay on top of these stories and not keeping ya'll hanging for so long. I'm gonna try my best, but don't hold me to it!! Lol. Thanks for those who are continuing to read and review this story, and sorry that this chapter note is gonna be a novel in itself, lol. Anywho, I'll shut the hell up now, so read and enjoy!! =] AND PLEASE REVIEW!!

“Okay… I want you all to think back to your origins, to when you first discovered your power. From what Will has told me before, you each possess an elemental power as well as a mental power.”

The five of them were all hooked up to machines that were to record their status through this whole test trial. James continued on with his explanation, “You all must have discovered your powers sometime during your adolescent or pre-adolescent years. I am going to help you guys learn how to control your powers. Some of you may have already experienced first hand what it feels like not to be in control of your powers.” he eyed AJ and Kevin as he said this, “You’ll feel extremely weak and listless, leaving you in a vulnerable state, unable to use your powers and to defend yourselves. Most importantly, if you don’t learn how to gain control over your gift, it can ultimately consume you, automatically killing you and those around you.”

The five of them looked over at each other, not liking the sound of that. “So, shall we get started?” James asked as he turned around to type a few things on his laptop.

Nick rose his hand, not even realizing that James back was now facing them. “Uh… you know that last part you said, what if that happens to any one of us during this… trial?”

“It won’t.” James simply replied as he continued typing on his computer. Once he was complete, he turned around to face them. “I’ll make sure of it.”

Brian sighed, “If anything happens you guys… just know that I love ya’ll and I have you guys on my will.”

“Really?” Nick asked, sounding a little too excited.

Howie rolled his eyes, “It wouldn’t even matter Nick cause we’d all be dead anyway.”

“Is this the moment in people’s lives where they come clean before anything bad happens?” AJ asked no one in particular. “Cause if so, then I have a confession to make.”

Kevin groaned, “Will you guys stop over exaggerating?”

“AJ really doesn’t have the biggest dick in the band!” Nick blurted out.

AJ simply chuckled, “That’s not what your mom said.”

That caused Nick to bust out laughing, “I don’t care… she’s not my real mom anyway!”

That statement caused them all to break out in laughter, slightly easing the tension. James snickered as well, shaking his head at their antics, “Now that you guys got it all out, can we carry on?”

They all fell silent immediately, training their focus back to the matter at hand. James sighed as he set up some final things on his laptop. “Lets take this one by one, shall we? Starting with Mr. Howard Dorough.”

Howie stared down at James, who was now making his way towards him. “What do you want me to do?”

“I want you to think on your power. You each are capable of doing something extraordinary, and while you may have had a taste of what you can do, you all have yet to discover the extent of your powers. I want you to show me what you know, show me what you can do.”

Howie knew he could show James that he could teleport, that was easy; it was his other power that he would have a problem with. Not too long ago, he realized that he had the ability to bend air and create wind forces, but was quick to learn how utilizing that power easily left him fatigued.

“Just what I know, right?” Howie asked to make sure, not really wanting to put himself through that exhausting pain.

James nodded, “Just what you know.”

Howie gave a slight nod as he tried to focus on his power. He glanced around the lab, wondering where he could transport. Once he settled on a spot, he closed his eyes and imagined the area he selected to transport to in his head. He counted down from three mentally, and as soon as he reached “one”, he felt himself propel forward, the feeling as if nothing but a gust of wind had blown past him. When he opened his eyes, he found himself standing in the corner of the lab, the spot he had selected, staring back at his four brothers and James.

“Whoa.” Nick said in shock, his mouth hanging agape. “That was fucking awesome D!”

Howie smiled and shrugged, “It’s nothing really.”

“Is there anything else you know how to do Howard?” James asked as he grabbed his clipboard, jotting some things down.

Howie’s smile fell, “Anything else?” he repeated. When James nodded, he took a deep breath in and sighed heavily, “There is, but… I don’t know if I can do it.”

“I know I told you guys to just show me what you know, but ultimately it’s important that I find out all that you guys are capable of doing. I’m here to help you guys discover all your powers and gain control over it. If you can’t demonstrate it for me, why don’t you tell me what you can do.”

Howie began to nibble on his bottom lip. “You’re not gonna let anything happen, right?”

James simply nodded, “You guys have my word Howard.”

Howie closed his eyes and focused on bringing forth the other power within him. He felt all his energy being drained from the rest of his body to the very core of him, and before he could warn anyone for what he was about to do, he felt a sudden surge leave his body rather forcefully.

James’ eyes widened as he realized the strong force Howie released from himself was heading towards him. He quickly dodged to the side, barely escaping the path of the invisible force. A strong wind from the passing force pushed him to the ground.

Howie tried to remain standing on his two feet, but his weakened state caught the best of him. His legs buckled from underneath him, causing him to collapse to his knees. The other four immediately rushed to Howie’s side while James gathered himself up from the floor.

“I’m sorry… I’m sorry.” Howie muttered out weakly, trying to get his bearings straight.

“Just take it easy D.” Kevin voiced soothingly, his hand on Howie’s shoulder to prevent him from standing up.

Howie rose his head a little to see James approaching, “I didn’t mean to… I couldn’t focus on what I was doing.”

“It’s okay Howard,” James assured, “nothing happened, everyone is okay. You did good pal. I won’t make you do this again, but this is something we’re gonna learn to work on and control, okay?”

Howie faintly nodded. James patted him on the shoulder, “You can rest up now. Kevin, if you could assist Howard to the guest room. Nickolas, you’re up next.”

Nick’s eyes bulged slightly. “Me?” he asked incredulously, pointing to himself. “After what happened to Howie, do you really think we should continue on?”

“Absolutely.” James replied matter-of-factly. “I told you guys using or discovering a power you have yet to control will leave you extremely weak. It becomes lethal to you and those around you when you let the power consume and control you. I guarantee that the latter will not happen to any of you with me around. You guys may experience sheer exhaustion, as what happened with Howard, but it is an effect that’ll only occur if you guys do not learn how to gain control over your powers.”

Nick glanced away to see Kevin walking back into the lab. He knew James had a point, they’d all have to discover all their powers and the extent of it, but he just didn’t want to hurt himself or the others in the process. Taking a deep breath in, he closed his eyes and concentrated on becoming transparent. Unlike the others, he had no feeling whatsoever when he used his power to make himself invisible, which meant that he had to learn how to train his concentration and trust his instincts to let him know if his power worked. If they ever were in a troubling situation and he needed to use his invisibility to help get them out, he couldn’t let his uncertainty get the best of him.

When he opened his eyes, he looked down to find that he was transparent, and all the guys were looking in different directions, wondering where he was. The only person that was staring straight at him was Kevin.

“Any other abnormalities Nickolas?” James asked as he wrote down some stats on his clipboard.

Nick became visible once again, “Uh… I suppose I have this obsession with water?” he replied with uncertainty.

James stared long and hard at him, “I’ve already told you that nothing will happen to you or anyone else in here. If you can’t take my word for it and trust me, how can I help you?”

Nick sighed heavily as he held his hands out before him. He looked around, looking for a target. “If I were you, I’d move outta the way.” Nick warned.

As James moved out of the way, Nick clasped his hands together and something began to form within his two hands. They all witnessed an uncertain force being drawn towards Nick’s hands and water dripping down. Without warning, Nick thrusted his hands out and forward, releasing a strong jet stream of water. Unfortunately, he lost control of his power and instead of the blast of water heading towards his selected target, it headed straight for the guys, straight towards Brian to be exact.

Everything happened so fast, no one being able to get Brian to move out of the path of the stream of water. Brian acted rather quickly though and used his power, the stream of water going right through him and hitting the wall behind him. Nick staggered for a moment, but quickly regained his composure.

“As you can tell… I’m still trying to work… with this power.” Nick breathed out.

James nodded, “I see…” he looked over at Brian, “Well Brian, since you just gave us a little taste of what you can do, care to show me what else you can do?”

Brian shrugged, “You wouldn’t happen to have a spoon, would you?”

They all kind of stared at him for a while, until James finally turned and walked away to retrieve what Brian had asked for. Not even a minute later, James returned with a metal spoon in his hand. Brian grabbed the spoon that James handed to him and he held it up before him. None of the guys’ knew this, but whenever he tried to bend or control large amounts of metal, it drained him not only psychically, but mentally as well, so he decided to start off small by bending a metal spoon.

“Do you need us to stand back for this or something?” Nick asked, wondering if Brian would do anything to get back at him for losing control of his power and almost blasting him with a powerful jet of water.

But Brian didn’t say anything in reply. Instead, he stared long and hard at the metal spoon, focusing his concentration solely on the metal object. All of a sudden, the spoon began bending within his hand, but no physical force was necessary. Brian closed his eyes, releasing a breath he didn’t even realize he was holding and held the bent spoon up for all of them to see.

“What is that, you have like… telekinesis or something?” Nick asked.

“He can control metal.” James answered for Brian. “And from what we witnessed earlier, walk through objects I believe.”

Brian gave a small nod, “I‘m also a technopath. That’s how I was able to disenable those weapons.”

James began to record everything he had witnessed from Brian and all that he was telling him. “Thank you Brian. Alex, you ready to show me what you can do?”

AJ bit his bottom lip, “I don’t know if that’s a good idea. I could very easily lose control of what I can do.”

“And like I’ve said Alex, I won’t let anything happen to you boys.”

Taking James’ word for it, he decided to show him what he knew he was fully capable of at the moment. Closing his eyes, he held his arms out to the side and concentrated on bringing forth his power. He was able to make people combust into flames, something that he just discovered he could do thanks to his anger, but he wanted to refrain from doing that and could only hope that he was concentrating on bringing forth the correct power he wanted to display.

He felt a deep warmth start at the very core of him, which soon began to spread out through the rest of his body. All of a sudden, his whole body burst into flames. The rest of them stood there in complete shock, scared to see their friend on fire and hoping that it was apart of his power and not a mishap. When AJ decided that his display had gone on long enough, he cut his concentration, causing the flames that encased him to immediately dissipate. They all stood there and stared at AJ in disbelief, amazed at how he stood before them, no visible burn marks to his skin. In fact, except for his clothes that were slightly burnt, leaving gaping holes to see his unaffected body, AJ looked perfectly normal and fine.

“Holy shit AJ!” Nick choked out. “What the hell…”

AJ snickered at Nick’s appalled state. “And if you think about coming at me with your hydro ass, I will not hesitate to set your ass on fire.”

Nick held his hands up in defeat, “Why don’t you go on and show him what else you told me you can do.”

AJ shrugged, “Ain’t nothing really.” he simply extended his arm and rose his hand, and with that, Nick levitated off the ground.

“WHAT THE FUCK?!” Nick exclaimed as he was suddenly lifted off the ground and was now hovering.

James laughed and rolled his eyes, “That’ll be enough Alex.”

AJ glanced up at Nick, laughing at how Nick’s eyes were wide, an expression of utter fear written all over his face. “If you don’t stop struggling, you’re gonna make me drop you.”

Nick tried his best to still his erratic movements. “Okay… can you let me down now, please?”

AJ looked back at Kevin and Brian, “I found a way to make him shutup whenever he gets on our nerves.” he told them as he slowly lowered Nick back down on the ground.

Once Nick felt his two feet touch the ground, he slowly inched away from AJ, “If you ever do that again, I will douse your ass.”

James chuckled at their antics, “Last but not least,” he looked dead on into Kevin’s eyes. “Mr. Richardson.”

Chapter 24 by rebellious_one
Author's Notes:
Alright, so here's the other half... ya know, the update that turned out really long and I decided to divide it into two chapters to update this story with. :) So yay for having a cool, long update, lol. Please read and don't forget to review!! I love you all!!

Kevin stared back at James, not bothering to say anything or even move.

You know what I can do.

James cocked an eyebrow. Do I really?

Kevin smirked. Yeah… you seem to a lot about me, more than I know myself.

Why don’t you show me what else you can do?

Kevin’s facial expressions became serious. What exactly do you want to see?

Whatever you’re capable of doing.

Kevin glanced over at his brothers. I’ll hold you to your word.

All of a sudden, the whole room started shaking violently, throwing everyone except for Kevin off guard. Kevin simply wanted to show James his power by causing a slight earthquake, but somehow lost concentration on his power and focused on doing more than just displaying a small quake. His eyes became dark, almost looking black as the ground beneath them began to crack.

“Kevin?” James called out, wondering if he knew what he was doing.

Kevin didn’t reply. His eyes remained black and straight forward and now lava began spewing forth from the cracks in the ground.

“Holy shit!” AJ exclaimed as he jumped away from a crack that was near him, lava coming out and flowing towards him.

“Kevin!” James called out again, starting to make his way towards Kevin but was cut short when the ground beneath him suddenly gave way.

“Kevin!” Brian shouted this time, trying to get him to stop what he was doing.

Nick sprung into action and made his way over towards the crack in the ground James fell through. When he got there, he found James desperately hanging on the edge.

“Jay, we gotta get him to stop!” Brian said, sounding helpless.

AJ looked around at the destruction that was happening. He didn’t know what he could do to get Kevin to stop, but he didn’t like the feeling of being threatened bubbling within him, he knew something bad would come of it. He decided that instead of thinking, he needed to act quickly so he wouldn’t let his emotions get the best of him.

“Kevin.” AJ called out, trying to grab a hold of his attention before he acted out. When he got no response, he used his telekinesis to get Kevin to snap out of his trance.

Kevin was levitated off the ground, but instead of him snapping out of his trance, he only grew angrier at whatever it was that was trying to stop him. Kevin snapped his attention over towards AJ, his eyes gleaming bright. All of a sudden, a path of sharp boulders began jetting up from the ground, heading straight towards AJ.

AJ’s eyes widened at the realization that using his power did not anger Kevin further, but it also caused him to turn on him. Before he could think of something to get him out of this situation, a sharp boulder shot up right at him, causing him to fly back and hit the ground rather harshly.

“Jay!” Brian yelled as he tried to make his way over to AJ to see if he was okay, but it was impossible.

Disoriented, AJ rose his head a little and tried to clear his vision of the blurriness that was clouding his eyes. Just as he tried to gather himself up, the boulders that had rose from the ground and encased him had now shattered, causing a pile of large rocks to crumble and fall on him.

Meanwhile, Howie, who was awoken by the loud sound of things crashing, had weakly gotten out of bed to see what was going on. Making his way to the lab, he was shocked to find the destruction that was before him. Nick was helping James up out of a crack in the ground while Brian was trying to make his way over towards Kevin, who seemed to be the one that was destroying everything; AJ was nowhere to be found.

“Kevin!” Brian screamed as he slowly approached his cousin, hoping that he could stop him.

Kevin, who seemed to not be in right state of mind, looked over at Brian, his dark eyes still in tact. He rose his arms up, at the same time causing boulders from beneath the earth to rise up as well. Howie’s eyes widened, realizing that Kevin was about to hurl that mass of boulders right at his cousin.

Without thinking twice, he released a wind force from his body, hitting Kevin dead on, the wind causing him to stagger back a bit. Kevin tore his attention away from Brian and now focused on Howie, hurling the boulders at him instead. Howie disappeared before the boulders could even touch him, and reappeared next to Brian.

“What the hell is going on?” Howie asked Brian, looking around at the destroyed lab.

“I don’t know, but I gotta find a way to stop him.”

Before any of them could say another word, there was a sudden explosion, causing rocks to fly out everywhere. Both Brian and Howie shied away and looked over to where the explosion came from, seeing AJ levitating, fire dancing within his eyes.

“Shit.” Nick muttered out, taken aback at seeing the state AJ was in. “Bri, AJ’s gonna fight Kevin!”

Brian looked at Nick, then back over at AJ. Howie didn’t like the look in AJ’s eyes, not one bit. He knew that AJ was allowing his emotions to get the best of him, thus his powers being in complete control of him.

“Alex!” Howie called out. “Alex, don’t you dare do this!”

But AJ ignored Howie, his main focus was to get rid of the person that harmed him. He wasn’t sure what he was doing, all he knew was that he was no longer in control of his actions. He rose his hands up before him and clasped it together; within seconds, something began glowing between his two hands and was becoming brighter and bigger. Once he accumulated a fireball within his hand, he launched it out and straight towards Kevin.

Before the fireball could hit Kevin, a strong stream of water blasted from the side and doused the flaming ball. AJ immediately shot a look at Nick.

“AJ, don’t do this.” Nick said in a warning tone.

“Stay out of this Nick.” AJ growled as he focused back on Kevin.

Nick groaned in defeat. “Isn’t there something we can do?” he asked as he turned to face James. “You promised us that you wouldn’t let this shit happen!”

James was truly at a loss of words, “I… I didn’t expect Kevin to lose control of his powers so suddenly.”

“Yeah, well he did and now we gotta think of a way to get him to stop before he and AJ kill each other!”

James turned and tried his best to make his way over towards his medical cabinet. Once there, he ripped open the doors and pulled out a small vial and a syringe. Ripping the cap off the syringe with his teeth, he plunged the needle into the vial and drew up the liquid. Once he had the right dosage and had pushed the remaining oxygen out of the syringe, he made his way back over towards Nick.

“Okay, are you just gonna stand there or are you gonna fucking stop them?” Nick snapped.

“I need AJ to keep Kevin distracted.” James replied, not wanting to deal with Nick freaking out on him right now. “Brian!” he called out.

Brian looked over at James, seeing that he was holding something in his hand. When James rose it up, Brian caught a better look and realized that it was a metal syringe. No words necessary, Brian knew exactly what James wanted him to do. James let go of the syringe and brought his hand back down, seeing the object floating before him. Brian controlled the syringe with his mind and had guided it to Kevin, causing the syringe to plunge into Kevin’s neck, pushing the liquid in.

Immediately, the pitch black darkness drained from Kevin’s eyes, causing his emerald eyes to shine through once again. The sharp boulders recessed back into the ground while the cracks mended back together. The affect of the liquid caused Kevin to collapse to his knees, unconsciousness threatening to take him under. AJ was ready to take Kevin out in his weakened state, but Howie quickly transported himself to where AJ was and had prevented AJ from doing any further damage by wrapping his arms around AJ, holding him in a tight embrace.

“Alex.” Howie whispered, hoping there was a way he could calm AJ’s erratic self down and cause him to gain control of his powers and actions once again. “Alex, I want you to stop. It’s me man, your best friend. I want you to open your eyes and see who you were about to hurt.”

Through his clouded mind, AJ could hear Howie’s soothing voice loud and clear. AJ’s gleaming eyes returned back to it’s normal chocolate color, and his bold stature was beginning to resolve slowly.

When Howie felt AJ slowly beginning to relax, he sighed heavily. “That’s it Alex… you can control it man. It’s all done and over with, no one’s gonna hurt you buddy.”

When AJ finally broke out of the trance that held him captive, he immediately collapsed to his knees, feeling extremely exhausted and weak. Howie caught AJ in his arms, preventing him from crumbling to the ground.

Meanwhile, Brian slowly made his way over towards his cousin, who was still on his knees, looking very weak and disoriented. “Kev?” he called out softly.

Kevin slowly rose his head, seeing his cousin before him. He glanced around at their surroundings, seeing the massive destruction. He couldn’t remember what happened, but with the way they were looking at him, almost scared, he had a feeling. “Oh god…” he choked out, “what have I done?”

Chapter 27 by rebellious_one
Author's Notes:

Here I am, back with a BRAND FREAKING NEW chapter for this story! I ain't updated this story in THREE years!! O__O Wow. Mare, I hope I can get you back on this story!! :) Anywho, I hope this update not only calls back my fellow readers, but new readers as well! :) As always, feedback welcomed, appreciated and LOVED!! :D

“So do you want to fucking explain to us what the hell happened back there?” Nick exclaimed, waving his arms in emphasis as he stood before James, who was seated quiet on his loveseat; they were gathered in his living room. “What the fuck happened to ‘you won’t let anything bad happen to us’?!”

Howie placed a reassuring hand on Nick’s shoulder, trying to get the youngest to calm down. “Relax.” he whispered.

“I can’t fucking relax, you seen what happened back there! AJ and Kevin almost killed us trying to kill each other!”

Brian sat on the couch, head in hands as he tried to piece things together himself. Surely it wasn’t James’ fault that this all had happened, but… what exactly did make Kevin lose control of his power? And he was pretty sure that Kevin using his power against AJ is what helped to set the younger man off.

James sadly shook his head, “I honestly don’t know what happened Nick. I’m not sure if Kevin has ever used the power he brought forth before, or if he even knew the extent of it.”

“What power are you talking about?” Brian asked, breaking himself out of his thoughts.

“His elemental power is earth, and he caused the ground beneath us to crack.”

Though Howie wasn’t there at that time to witness it, he knew exactly what power James was talking about that Kevin had displayed. “Was it like an earthquake?”

James nodded, “It started off like that, and then the ground began to separate.”

Howie shook his head, “No, he has done that before… when were back at the SEC facilities. He seemed to have control of it then, though it left him weakened.”

James began to rub his head, this wasn’t making any sense. “We were communicating telepathically before he did anything, and I simply asked him to show me what he knows. But he lost focus so quickly, in a matter of seconds!”

“And what about AJ?” Nick asked. “Why did he lose control of his power if he’s done it before?”

“AJ doesn’t take threat too well,” Howie spoke out on behalf of his best friend, “I’ve known him to be like that since he was a kid. He was harassed a lot growing up by other kids, casting him to be different, abnormal, a straight up outcast. We all know how he tries so hard to fit in and be accepted, and… I guess you could say his power thrives on that attention as well, it’s what truly sets him apart. But, the fact that we all grew up with these powers, he has come to use his to ward off any threats or dangers that’s posed to him. The way he once explained it to me, his mind tends to go back to the days where people harassed and threatened him… the feeling of him standing before people, hearing their thoughts of disgust, how some feared him, and others just wanted to do harm… it’s that feeling that sets him off. He’ll start to feel enclosed and do whatever he needs to to escape that feeling, escape the threat and danger.”

“His power has become an initial reaction.” James muttered, as if finally figuring things out.

Nick flounced himself down next to Brian on the couch, “Come again?”

“Whenever Alex feels threatened or is in danger, his initial reaction is to automatically use his powers to eliminate the threat or danger. It also goes beyond him though… he’ll have that same reaction to protect those he loves… case in point, you four being his brothers.” James explained.

“So… isn’t that a good thing?” Nick drawled out. “Just like if someone were to come up and try to punch you, you automatically try to fight back, it’s your defense mechanism kicking in or some shit.”

“Not quite.” James replied, rising up from where he sat. “You all understand that the use and benefit of your power is always for good and to thwart bad, so to an extent it’s okay to automatically use that power to help those or yourself from danger and to eliminate any and all threats. In AJ’s case, his power has become a psychological initial reaction, so to speak. Not only will he react to threat and danger, but could very well at times react to anything that conjures these bad memories from his past… say, if someone teases him, or if he hears thoughts of anyone thinking him to be weird or different.”

Nick cocked an eyebrow, “This is AJ we’re talking about! He is definitely not the dullest crayon in the box! As long as we’ve known him, he sets out to be looked and considered different. He’s rocked many crazy and questionable fashions back in the day! He thrives on standing apart from us.”

“Perhaps that’s his way of psychologically coping with what he had gone through as a child.” Brian suggested, “He took something that he once considered a bad thing and turned it around, to help boost his esteem. It’s helped him to accept that being different is what sets him apart, and being in the limelight, that definitely helps to boost your ego a bit because eyes are on you nonetheless. As far as I’m concerned, that was a good move on his part… perhaps he’s come to control that feeling so that he doesn’t react to something as petty as that.”

James nodded, “Good possibility. He definitely reacted to Kevin attacking him. But, this all doesn’t explain what exactly happened with Kevin.”

“And we probably won’t know unless we ask him.” Brian stated.

“Yeah, but there’s a good chance he won’t be able to recall what he even did, let alone what he was feeling before everything happened.” James began to walk away from the group, “I want you guys to get some rest while I try to figure this out… we have long days ahead of us.”

Brian, Howie and Nick sat there, watching as James left them in his living room. “I’m beginning to second guess this whole training shit.” Nick voiced as he rose up from the couch, “I mean, if this is the shit that could happen to us every time we use our powers, then we’re best off not using them at all.”

Brian shook his head, “That isn’t true Nick, we can’t deny or ignore what we’ve possessed all our lives. AJ wasn’t doing anything when his power decided to backfire on him and land him in the hospital… the same could happen to us regardless. Our best bet is to learn the extent of our powers and learn how to control it before it controls us.”

“Brian’s right,” Howie agreed. “and if these SEC guys try to come for us again, we’ll need to be ready.”

Nick remained quiet; he knew they were right, he only hoped that this incident wouldn’t happen again. He wondered if Kevin would remember anything, or if AJ would remain mad at Kevin for something he obviously couldn’t control. The last thing the group needed now was something to divide them, and he hopes AJ can come to forgive Kevin. “I’mma check on AJ.” he said as he made his way towards the extra room where AJ was placed.

Brian looked over at Howie, “Shall we check on Kevin?”

Howie simply nodded.

~*~*~*~

Both Howie and Brian walked into the room Kevin was in, finding him to still be asleep. Brian made his way towards the bed while Howie remained by the door. Quietly, Brian began to inspect the eldest, waiting to see if he would perhaps awake at his obvious presence in the room. Nothing. Sighing, he turned away and began to make his way towards the door, where Howie still stood.

“He’s mad at me, isn’t he?”

The sudden voice caused Brian to stop in his tracks, and he turned to find Kevin now staring back at him. “Hey,” he smiled. “sorry, didn’t mean to wake you.”

Kevin tried to smile back, “Yes you did, which is why you stood there, staring at me for a while.”

Brian chuckled, “I forgot you can get into people’s heads.”

Kevin closed his eyes, “At times I wish I couldn’t, believe me. The one person’s mind I don’t want to get into… he’s mad at me, isn’t he?”

Both Brian and Howie now made their way to either sides of Kevin’s bed. “Well, um… we’re not sure.” Howie responded, “Nicky went to check up on him.”

“He has every right to be upset with me.” Kevin sighed. “I… I don’t even know what I did.”

Howie and Brian exchanged looks, “What do you mean? What do you remember?”

“I remember… I remember James asking me to show him what I could do. I managed to make the earth shake a bit, but that’s it… I blanked out right after that. Next thing I knew, I was on my knees, looking up at you Brian, and then… then I looked around at the mess. I remember looking over at AJ, and he was just staring back at me… anger in his eyes, but seemed to be calming down. It was hearing your guys thoughts and feeling your emotions that made me realize I did something wrong… and not just wrong, that I did something bad.”

Brian remained quiet, trying to think of how he could explain what had happened earlier. “We think you may have lost control of your power. We’re not sure how or why, but you what you tried to display became destructive and harmful. Since the ground had separated us from you, AJ was the only one that could try to stop you. He used his telekinesis to lift you off the ground, which… made you angry.”

Kevin continued to stare at Brian, trying to let everything he was telling him settle in, “What did I do?”

“You, uh… you turned your wrath on AJ. You managed to make these boulders come up from the ground, in a path that was projected towards him. It knocked him off his feet, and from there you made the boulders shatter and crumble around him.”

“Oh god, is he okay? I… I didn’t mean to, I swear!”

“Easy Kev.” Howie tried to calm, “He’s okay, and we know you didn’t mean to. When it happened though, we didn’t know exactly what was going on, all we knew that it wasn’t… you. After you attacked AJ, he reacted as well and you two were close to going all out on each other with your guys’ power.”

“Who stopped us?”

“Before it all got out of hand, we were able to inject you with this sedative-like medication, where it sedated your powers immediately. Howie on the other hand went to calm AJ down.”

Kevin closed his eyes, he couldn’t believe what he was hearing! Him being the eldest, he lost control of his powers and turned his attack on his very brothers. He truly hoped AJ would come to forgive him, but he didn’t think he could forgive himself for what he had done. “I would never want to hurt you guys.” he muttered out in a small voice. “I would never, ever hurt you guys! I didn’t mean to… I need to see him, tell him I’m sorry!”

“Slow it down buddy,” Howie eased him to remain lying on the bed, “you need to take it easy yourself! Whatever happened to you, on top of the sedatives, left you extremely weak, so give your body some time to gain it’s strength back. As for AJ, I’m sure he’s probably still sleeping.”

Kevin was really beating himself up over what he had just been told. Both Howie and Brian looked at each other, quite saddened to see their eldest brother plagued with such guilt, knowing he would never intentionally try to hurt any one of them.

Chapter End Notes:

I'm wrapping up the second chapter, so I may be posting that later on tonight! I think ya'll may enjoy it, it's a little action of powers! ^_^

Chapter 28 by rebellious_one

Nick had gone into the room AJ was staying in only to find him missing. His first reaction was to freak out, run back out of the room to alert the others of their missing brother, but he knew AJ better than that… he wasn’t stupid; he wouldn’t have ran off, knowing that there are guys who are NOT fans looking for them. Knowing AJ, he probably wandered off somewhere to cool down and collect his thoughts… he and AJ had a lot more in common than people recognized.

So, instead of alerting the other guys, he took it upon himself to find the missing member, figuring he was somewhere on this acreage of land. While Howie and Brian busied themselves in checking up on Kevin, he wandered out the back sliding door that led to James massive backyard. He was greeted by endless greenery, small hills and a water trench that ran through the land off to the right hand side. A fort of tall trees seemed to encase his property perfectly… great open space for them to practice.

He wandered up one of the small hills off to the side, that led him closer to the wide and long trench. He looked down to find beautiful and various kois swimming along the gentle stream. Koi was one of his favorite fish, they symbolized tranquility and peace, which was something that was definitely needed during this time. He followed along, coming across a sturdy wooden bridge that would lead him to the other side. Though the trench was wide, he was pretty sure he could jump across to the other side, if he wanted to.

Instead, he crossed the bridge and found himself walking into an area that seemed like a Chinese garden. He now found himself surrounded by bonsai shrubbery, antique looking pottery, and there in the middle stood a Chinese gazebo. He truly felt at peace being here. He slowly walked up to the gazebo, finding AJ to be in it, kneeling on the ground. He had his head down, and he knelt before two statues; one was a Buddha statue, while the other was an ancient Chinese dragon.

Nick stopped a few feet away and watched as AJ remained kneeling in silence, looking as if he were praying. A few moments later, AJ looked up and rose from the ground. Nick watched as the second youngest clasped his hand together, and began to form a glowing energy within his clasped hands. All of a sudden, AJ unleashed what he had formed, and Nick watched in fascination as he saw what appeared to be a long rope on fire shoot out from his hands. AJ cracked the fire rope, like a whip, and quickly spun around, bringing it back to him and extinguishing it within his bare hands.

Guess learning how to do pirouettes while dancing comes in handy. Nick thought, slightly amazed at how agile and gentle he seemed to be on his feet. Then again, AJ was always like that when it came to dancing, he was a great dancer! Deciding not to say a word to distract the determined man, Nick settled on displaying a little of his own power. Holding his hand out, he used his energy to draw forth water straight from the trench.

He turned and watched as a funnel of water rose straight up from the trench, and focused his mind on bringing the stream of water to him. Content when the water came close enough to him, he made the suspended stream spiral up and around his body, before it all eventually collected within his hands, which he held apart to accommodate it.

There he stood, with a ball of water between his hands. “That was some nice Mortal Kombat shit.” Nick finally voiced out.

AJ quickly spun around at the sound of the sudden voice, to find his youngest brother standing a few feet behind him. They both stared at each other, as if exchanging words with only a look; and they both understood one another clearly. Most people always thought it was only Nick and Brian that had that ability to do that with one another; they were Frick and Frack that were always up to no good! But it was actually the two youngest of the group that had come to use and hone their ability to read each other’s looks and know instantly what was to be understood. Could be a young thing, or could be the fact that that’s just how Nick and AJ came to understand one another, with or without words, and that’s what helped to make their bond that much more special.

AJ gave a slight smirk as he stepped out from the gazebo. Nick took a step back. There they stood, staring at each other, waiting to see who would make the first move. AJ decided to go first. Clasping his hands together, he began forming a fireball within his hands. Nick switched his stance a bit, preparing himself for what was going to happen. Without warning, AJ launched the fireball in Nick’s direction.

Nick immediately thrust his hands out, the ball of water he once held now turned into a power jet stream as it sped it’s way to meet with the fireball. Both fire and water met between them, and the stream of water Nick had sent immediately extinguished the fireball AJ had released. All that remained was a billow of smoke between them. Though the smoke had hazed their vision, they could clearly see each other’s smirks. To display their power was one thing, but to be able to practice with another that possessed powers just as you do, that’s a whole different ballgame and to them, it felt fucking awesome.

“So, what the hell was that thing you did?” Nick asked as he walked up to AJ.

AJ smiled, “Nothing much. Instead of creating a basic fireball, I focused on trying to create a fire whip.”

“A fire whip?”

“Sure. Being that we can control and manipulate an element, you can focus your mind on forming your element to be whatever you want, at least I’ve come to learn that. So, if you wanted to, I’m sure you could create a huge fist made entirely of water to smash down on something or someone… though, I assume that would take a lot of energy and concentration.”

“Definitely.” Nick chuckled, “So, if I wanted to, I could create a… water whip?”

AJ shrugged, “If you wanted to, but that would be kinda gay. I mean, a water whip coming at me? Yeah, I wouldn’t really find that threatening.”

Nick laughed, ’Hey, it could hurt! Perhaps it could feel like when you belly flop right onto calm water… that shit stings! You never know.”

“Okay, you try that and let me know how it goes Nick.”

Nick continued to laugh and shook his head, “But on the real, that was some sick Mortal Kombat shit! You looked like fucking Scorpion with making that fire whip come out from your hands!”

“Yeah, well… like I said, I was trying to focus my energy on doing different things with my power. Instead of a classic ball of fire, I decided why not try a whip? I just envisioned it, and there I had it.”

Nick remained silent as he began to wander over towards the gazebo, “Is that why you’re out here?” he asked as he stepped inside, staring at the two Chinese statues, “Did you come out here to practice or… to get away from Kevin?”

AJ sighed as he followed Nick in to the gazebo, “To practice. I stumbled across this Zen of a yard James had back here, and this place is often used to seek enlightenment and meditate. It’s cool, calm, peaceful and quiet out here, how it‘s meant to be… nothing can break you from your focus. I knelt down and had let myself enter a meditative state… to help center myself to the very core of me and help bring forth a power that was meant to be controlled by me and only me… not the other way around. From there, I was easily able to try to push my power to their limits, without losing control or breaking my concentration.”

“Does that shit really work?” Nick asked, his face contorted in puzzlement.

AJ rolled his eyes, “Of course it does, don’t you know anything of Buddhism?”

“Besides the fact that the statue used to represent Buddhism is of a fat man, and you rub it’s stomach for good luck… nope, I can’t say that I do.”

AJ allowed his eyes to fall close as he shook his head at the obvious lack of knowledge his younger brother possessed, “It’s a religion for some, a philosophy for others that helps one to suppress worldly desires and other distracting outside factors so that they may attain their state of enlightenment and peace.”

“So… you just come out here and sit here in silence?” Nick questioned.

“Yes.”

“……….. that’s boring.”

“Only you would think so.”

Nick smirked as he sat himself down on the ground, before the two statues, “So, what about Kevin?”

“What about him?” AJ sat himself down next to Nick.

“Are you still mad at him?”

AJ closed his eyes and turned his head away, “No. I was never mad at him.”

Nick scoffed, “Yeah, cause throwing fireballs at a person is what you do when you’re happy to see them.”

AJ sighed, “I need to learn how to control my temper. When I’m placed in a position I don’t like being in, I do whatever I can to get out of it.”

Nick thought back to the explanation Howie had given them about AJ. “So, what are you exactly trying to say happened back there?”

AJ shook his head and shrugged, “I had let my temper get the best of me… I knew that wasn’t Kevin that had attacked me, yet I tried to fight back.”

Confusion etched across Nick’s face, “What do you mean?”

“It’s weird, but I… that moment that Kevin had locked eyes with me, it was like I couldn’t connect with him, and he was nowhere to be found in his own body. I could hear his voice off in the distance, but the next thing I knew when I had looked back at him before he used his power against me, it… it wasn’t Kevin that I was looking at.”

“Who was it?”

“The man that did this to us and now wants us back.” AJ replied in a scornful tone, his eyes darkening. “The man that we had come to call and believe was our real father.”

Nick continued to stare at AJ; he hadn’t come to know anything about this man their mother believed to be their real father, not what he sounded or looked like. The only thing he knew about this man was what James had told them… that he was only Kevin’s biological father.

AJ glanced over at Nick, knowing the youngest struggled to think of the man he was talking about, “You were too young to know, as was I… yet, old enough to remember his piercing eyes and his deep voice. At least, seeing and hearing it now, I remember.” he released a throaty chuckle of disbelief, “Kevin’s a splitting image of him, but that’s who I was staring back at… not Kevin.”

“Did you just see him because you were angry?”

AJ shook his head, “No… like I said, I knew it wasn’t Kevin, I couldn’t connect to him, couldn’t reach him in his own body. I could hear him though, he sounded far away and as if he was… struggling with… something.”

“Or someone?” Nick tried to correct.

“Or someone.” AJ agreed with a shrug, “It was like he was trying to connect with me telepathically, but couldn’t. I knew when Kevin attacked me that it wasn’t him doing it, but when I found myself staring at not him but his father, that’s when I snapped. I knew better, but like I said, put me in a position I don’t want to be in, I’ll want out. And staring at that man, knowing that he would hurt me and has practically fucked our lives over, I did let my temper get the best of me in that moment. So, if anything, I should be the one apologizing to Kevin.” he finished off sadly.

Nick nibbled on his lower lip, “Well then, if you ask me, perhaps no apology is needed from either of you. Perhaps all that’s needed is an explanation to clear it all up!” he rose up from where he sat and held his hand out for AJ to grab. “You ready to go back in there and face the music?”

AJ looked up at the youngest and smiled. The relationship he and Nick shared has always been a special one… they would go from rivalry to being the best of friends. Brian may have been Nick’s designated best friend, and Howie his, but he and Nick had a friendship on a whole other level. From being able to understand each other with words to just being understood with looks, there was no denying the bond the two youngest had with one another.

Going back to the days where he and Nick were grounded from doing many things the three eldest were able to do, they rode out many long, boring, lonely nights together, which had definitely helped them to grow close to one another. They both understood things they went through that the other three would never understand. When the group first had formed, AJ was Nick’s first official older brother… and, well, Nick was AJ’s first and ONLY youngest brother. AJ chuckled at that thought… that statement means so much more now. Brother was no longer a metaphor between them… it was blood.

“You can’t tell them what I just told you though… at least not now.” AJ said as he grasped Nick’s hand and allowed himself to be hauled up from the ground. “We already have enough shit to deal with, and I don’t want this… news, to be fuel to the fire. Between us for now, okay?”

Nick smiled, “We’ve kept many things just between us for you to know me better than that Jay.”

They say blood is thicker than water… what they have is thicker than blood.



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