The Other World

Going solo with spelling errors

Second Semester Chapter #30: Broken Bonds — January 5, 2018

Second Semester Chapter #30: Broken Bonds

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Previous Chapter:

Chapter #30: Broken Bonds

 

Greeley Colorado

June 30th, 2028-CE

 

Lone Wolfe awakened the next morning feeling like death had warmed in. He didn’t know why and he didn’t feel physically ill but he felt like the energy had been trained out of him. He didn’t know what had happened from before. It took him a moment to sit up. It like it needed twice the effort as usual to do anything including breathing. It didn’t take him long to realize several things had happened.

He couldn’t feel the empathic bond with Robin anymore. It was a horrifying and sickening feeling at the pit of his stomach. The absence of the bond seemed to drag on him like lead weights. His blood felt like it was jelly being pumped through his veins. The light shining in through the window stung like fire. Each breath seemed to take a monstrous effort to achieve.

The second thing he noticed was the lack of her voice. He sought out the telepathic link the two of them shared. It was gone as well. It made the room seem much bigger, much emptier. The world seemed lonelier without her voice interlacing its thoughts with his. Fear ran through him like a shot at that moment. It was the only thing that made him move so fast. No! He thought to himself, what happened to her? There is no link, there is no bond, something bad must have happened. Please tell me she is okay!

He reached to his phone and dialed her number. She answered a moment later, “Lone Wolfe,” She sounded upset, “We have to talk. Can you meet up at the school?”

“Sure, what’s going on?” Lone Wolfe asked in response, “Did you break the bonds between us?”

“Yes,” She replied. She sounded as sad as he felt.

“Why?” He asked as the energy seemed to leave his body as suddenly as it had come.

“I will explain when I see you there.” She said and disconnected the line.

Lone Wolfe gathered all of his things and shoved them into his pockets. He headed out the door. His father wasn’t home so he didn’t bother saying anything on his way out. He raced to the school as fast as his legs could take him. It was funny how he seemed to have no energy a moment ago but the thought of beating her there and maybe fixing whatever happened gave life to his legs.

She was already waiting for him at the school when he arrived there. She rested against the wall. Her hair wasn’t brushed. Her eyes were swollen from crying all night and amber eyes were bloodshot. Her skin was pale and there were circles underneath her eyes. If she had slept at all, she hadn’t done so for hours. Lines ran down her eyes where the tears flowed. They still flowed but they had slowed as her ability to make tears had been taxed, “My love,” He said quietly, “What happened to you? Please tell me so I can fix it?”

Robin broke her gaze with him “There is nothing for you to fix. The problem is with me.” More tears started to flow, “Lone Wolfe! The problem is with me! I have to break up with you!”

Those words slammed against him like a hammer. He would rather have been hit by a truck than hear those words. He tried to tell himself that he didn’t hear those words and that he heard something else. He told himself the broken bonds must have made him crazy for a moment. As soon as he made that thought he knew it was false. The bonds were broken. That meant she was serious about this and had been thinking about this for a while. He glanced up at her as tears started to fill his gold eyes, “May I ask why? What did I do to make you break up with me?”

More tears started to flow out of each of their eyes and Robin shuddered, “Trust me, you have done nothing wrong! It is me!” She whimpered, “It’s me. I’m sorry. I have to go!” She ran past him and sprinted towards her home at full speed.

Lone Wolfe turned around and tried to chase after her, “Wait!” he cried, “Let’s talk about this!” She didn’t reply and pushed herself to run faster.

He didn’t bother trying to catch her at this point. He turned around and sauntered toward the wall. The life had been drained out of him at that point. He punched the wall and collapsed onto his knees at that point. There was nothing more for him to do. Hot and bitter tears flowed out of his eyes. The only thing he could do was cry.

 

*        *        *

 

Jena watched most of the scene unfold at a distance. Robin texted her when he was on his way so she would be waiting in the wings. She approached when Lone Wolfe collapsed against the wall. She walked up beside him, “a birdie told me you would be here. Want to talk about it?” She asked.

He glanced up at her, tears running down his entire face, “Robin just broke up with me. She severed the bonds and everything! I don’t know what I did wrong! What could I have done that made her that upset with me.”

He shifted where he sat against the brick wall. Jena sat down to his right, “Listen. I will show you what’s going on. All of it. You did nothing wrong. If anyone is to blame, it’s me.” She opened her mind and projected her memories of the previous night to Lone Wolfe. Her finding Robin kissing another boy. Jena driving him off, the fight, the ultimatums, all of it. She was sure that he would explode at her when it was all done.

His eyes widened and she was sure that he was about to unleash his fury upon her, “You said I did nothing wrong?” He questioned, “In the beginning she said she did that because I was in class too much and studying too much! It is my fault!

Jena was perplexed. He had somehow stopped listening to all of it after that moment. He was finding something of himself to blame in the event that led up to it. Jena was hoping to shift his sorrow away from the breakup and expecting him to blame her for it. It was her fault, she did force it and she was ready to own up to that fact. Still, that didn’t register with him, “did you see the rest of it? The fight she and I had? Me forcing her to breakup with you? Why aren’t you angry at me?”

He rose to his feet, “Because I could have prevented it. I can still prevent it!”

Jena shot up to her feet. She slammed Lone Wolfe against the wall and pinned him against the wall with her right hand. She slammed her left hand against the wall just beside him, “No Lone Wolfe! Out of everyone here, I know what you are capable of and that you intend to use it! I also know all of your fears about it and what you have to go through to use it! You can’t use it! You can’t risk it!”

“I can jump back and make it so I never signed up for these classes,” Lone Wolfe replied with a shudder from his crying, “She is right. I should have been a normal teenager from the start! She had been saying it all along. I should have listened to her! If I go back I can still fix this!”

“You don’t quite know what you are doing!” Jena hissed in response, “I know what you know about this! I know that if you mess up, you could die! I won’t lose you! I won’t lose someone who should have been my brother! I will not lose someone I love!”

“You think I want to live now that it’s over between Robin and I?” Lone Wolfe questioned in response, “I think death is a risk I should be willing to take!”

Jena shook her head as tears started to well up in her eyes, “You don’t know enough about that ability, no one does! You have used it twice now! The first one was just you playing with your ability to see how fast you can take your precognitive reflexes. The second time was a noble act to prevent something from happening that shouldn’t have happened in the first place. What if the third time is what finally does it? What if you can only use it three times safely and the fourth time is the one that kills you? What if you have to change the outcome that you came back for or ending up in the same place results in your death? There are too many questions for you to risk using this ability so lightly!”

She backed away from him, “You should face it, you can only use that ability if it is worth risking your life for. You will graduate early in this future. Sure, you might have this summer, maybe two more summers with her but what if it ends up the same way only several years later? What will you do then? Get stuck in this cycle of risking your life to fix a mistake before it happens just to try to keep her? Who will be doing all of the work in that relationship then? It should be about partnership instead of one person doing all of the heavy lifting. Each person using their strengths to help the other and protecting the weaknesses of each other.”

Lone Wolfe sighed and took in a shuddered breath, “You might be right but you never warmed up to her. You aren’t afraid of losing her.” He glanced up at Jena, “You don’t see spirits like I do. You don’t see them in the living like I do. You don’t feel the connections to each other like I do. There is a connection between all of us, Robin, Ray, Curtis, you, and I. Can’t you feel that? Isn’t that something worth protecting?”

When she thought about it, she did feel that connection. She could feel it between her and Lone Wolfe. She could feel it between them and Curtis. She could even feel it when she thought about Scarlet who was absent this summer. Her mind refused to attribute those feelings to Ray and Robin. She didn’t know why. When she thought about it, she couldn’t riddle out why she would refuse to acknowledge the connection fully.

When she thought about it, her argument seemed wrong. She would have told him to forget about her if it were anyone else. She would have told him that he would find someone better. She would have offered him a distraction in any way. She would even have offered to go out on dates with him until he felt better just to make him feel better. She didn’t know why she wasn’t doing that in regards to Robin.

One question did pop up in her mind, “Which connection feels stronger? The connection between us or the connection between you and Robin?”

Lone Wolfe cocked his head, “They’re different. However, I know that you and I have lived before and we have found each other before. I know, in my heart, that we have friends in many past lives. I can’t tell you how I know this but I know that you and I have lived before. The connections between us, childhood friends, is old. As old as the ground that’s been carved up to make our cities and roads. It may be different now but it was here before anyone alive was born and it will be around after we are gone.”

She glanced up at him and smiled, “Please don’t meddle with time this go around? If you do, you and I won’t have this conversation and I won’t have any of the things that I have realized. Even if you share these memories with me later, I still won’t have the full epiphany like now. When you meddle in time, anything that the others would have gained would have been for nothing.”

She could tell Lone Wolfe had not thought about that. She could behind his gold eyes as he processed her statement. To prevent tragedy, the sacrifices everyone made including the risk to his life, would be worth it. To jump back just to fix a teenage mistake, that would result in a loss for others around him. Even if he lived, Jena would lose out on what she had learned today. Even sharing the memories through a communion would only share his perspective of the event. Something would be lost in the translation. He nodded, “You win. I won’t go back.”

He pushed himself off the wall and started to walk away from the school, “where are you going?” She asked as she started to follow him.

Lone Wolfe glanced to her and said, “No offense but I want to spend some time alone. I just need a little bit to heal from this.”

Jena nodded, “I understand. Do you think you can convince your father to take you up to the mountains for a little camping trip? Something for you to do by yourself? I heard just meditating in the mountains can be a little cathartic especially when you need to heal from something as devastating as this.”

Lone Wolfe shrugged, “I guess I can try. He probably will only want to leave me there for a night or two.”

Jena nodded, “That should be fine. Just let me know when you go.” She gave him a warm smile, someone will be there should you need to talk. I don’t think I will be the right one for you to talk to in this instance.

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Second Semester Chapter #29: Fractures — January 4, 2018

Second Semester Chapter #29: Fractures

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Previous Chapter:

Chapter #29: Fractures

 

Greeley Colorado

June 29th, 2028-CE

 

Jena didn’t know how but her family had decided to skip this summer vacation. She knew her father had been working on some important items at work and the delays in prototyping might have contributed to the delays in summer vacation. Her mother offered to have a mother-daughter type vacation but Jena wanted a full family vacation or stay in the state. She could hang out with Lone Wolfe and Robin if they weren’t doing anything anyway. Lone Wolfe was in summer school most of the time which meant she had the luxury of living in his shoes for one in her life.

Jena hitched a ride on the bus to head down to the stampede. Angela agreed to close up shop at her usual time and head over there tonight to hang out and have a good time despite the crowds. Angela had been hard to break from her shell since graduation. Jena showed up in the afternoon with some extra funds from her mother. She had a few hours to kill before meeting up with Angela so she decided to wander through the midway, bazaar, and food course.

The smells of food drifted around as different food carts were set up between the various rides, ticket stands, and play games. The carnival workers manning the games yelled at people to get their attention and take their money for their troubles. She was sure a few of them were yelling at her but it was easy enough for her to ignore them as she walked. It didn’t matter what they said, she wouldn’t meet the again for some time or if she did and they were rude, she wouldn’t give them her business again.

She didn’t suffer the problems Lone Wolfe and Angela had about the massive crowds at the stampede or any crowded area. She could understand why they suffered that issue, however. The crush of people around her made the noise she heard in her mind that much louder. Jena had nearly the range that Lone Wolfe had. The voices never seemed to bother her. She understood Lone Wolfe’s problem as he used to have issues with controlling his telepathy. Angela was alone for a lot of times so her problem wasn’t so much with telepathy but with the amount of people crowded in some place.

As she walked around and headed towards the bazar, the smell of various foods being cooked there started to call her name. She headed over to the food area and started to hear familiar voices in her head. One she knew right away, it was Robin. She thought it was interesting that Robin was here even though she couldn’t hear her brother. Usually she was alone when Lone Wolfe was around which meant Lone Wolfe should be here. She sought out Lone Wolfe’s voice in the ocean of voices but couldn’t hear his voice or feel his presence anywhere.

Jena wondered why Robin would be here alone. Normally she wouldn’t have ventured to a place like this without her brother, or Lone Wolfe at all. She couldn’t have been alone. Someone had to be with her. That was when she realized that there were other familiar voices. She did dismiss them, at first, as voices from their high school. It wouldn’t have been that uncommon for high school kids to be at a carnival which is why she didn’t pay them any mind. Now she started to wonder if she was hanging out with anyone else.

She decided to trust Lone Wolfe, at first. Robin had other friends aside from the inner circle of Jena and Lone Wolfe. She decided to get some corn dogs as the food would help her think. She sat down and devoured the first corn dog after waiting in line for a short time. The second one didn’t smell as delicious as the first so she ate it slower as she searched for the voices of those familiar students.

It wasn’t so much them that she sought but people who would be hanging out with Robin. Those people would be thinking about Robin and talking to her. One by one, she narrowed down the people that she could be hanging out with. With each bite of the hotdog, she found another student that was not thinking about, seeing, or talking to Robin. Another tick off the list. When the con dog was gone, she found one person. Only one person, spending time with Robin.

Her blood ran cold and her green eyes narrowed. They weren’t talking and their thoughts were far away from the normal things a teenager would be doing with a friend. She took the empty paper plate and sticks and threw them in the trash as she headed towards them. They had secreted themselves away from prying eyes. It could be just some temptation and she would arrive just in time to save Robin from a mistake. That is what she tried to tell herself but she knew it wasn’t true.

When she found them, they were holding each other in a tight embrace and kissing passionately. She didn’t know the man personally but there was no mistaking Robin. Jena seethed with rage. Had it have been anyone else she would have called them out on this act right away. As it was, she felt bad for Lone Wolfe.

Doing the best thing she could think of at the time, she reached out with her empathic powers and secured the man with vicious attack. The man backed away and doubled over in pain. Robin’s amber eyes widened in shock, are you okay?” She questioned.

The man straightened up and his eyes seemed glazed over. Jena took a step forward and glanced at the man, “Take a walk!” The man nodded and started walking off away from the two women.

Robin’s face was a mix of emotions. Part of her was angry almost to the point of rage that Jena had dismissed her tryst partner in such a manner. The other part of her was horrified at who was standing before her and the display of power she just saw. She now knew how Lone Wolfe felt at that moment and was glad that she showed more restraint with no one else around than Robin would have if Lone Wolfe had not been there a year earlier. She glanced at Jena and saw the rage boiling within the slender teenager. The only thing Robin could think to ask was, “Did you geas him?”

“Really, Robin?” Jena hissed, “I just caught you cheating on my best friend and the only thing you have for me is that question? No guilt? No remorse? No fear?”

Robin glanced down, “I do feel bad.”

“That you got caught,” Jena added.

“So, you don’t know everything that goes on between Lone Wolfe and I!” Robin railed back, “If you did you would know that he hasn’t been up to sleeping with me and it has been really hard to get any time with him since he has been wrapped up in his studies to get ahead!”

Jena crossed her arms, “Is that any excuse to go and find another lover behind his back? What would he think? Do you know if you and that boy did anything that he would feel that over the bond? Lone Wolfe wouldn’t know why he was feeling the flood of emotions and euphoria over that link you two have! Your personal feelings about what is going in the relationship aside, are you actually trying to sabotage his work during the summer? You are aware that if he fails, he has to pay for those classes? You should be ashamed.”

Robin glanced down, “I didn’t know he would feel that over the link. I wouldn’t have done anything if I had known.” She glanced up at Jena, “What are you going to do now?”

“Lone Wolfe needs to know,” Jena replied.

Robin shook her head, “No! Nothing happened beyond what you just saw!”

“What’s to stop you from doing this again?” Jena hissed, “you violated his trust. While you have been jealous since day one, he has been nothing but kind and considerate to you. If you wanted to hang out with other boys, he didn’t have a problem with that! If you wanted space, he gave it to you! For god’s sake! He gave you his virginity! He had this plan to fast forward his future since his mother died. The only thing that changed between last summer and this summer was instead of him wanting to do that for something to do, he was doing that for you! He wanted to have a secure future with you and for you! This is how you repay him? You can tell him any reason you want for why you did it but you have to tell him!”

Robin shook her head, “No!”

“Fine, I will,” Jena replied and turned around to leave. She could feel a wave of empathic energy come over her. Her barriers came up right away and deflected the attack with no effort at all. It was powerful but nothing she couldn’t handle. The attempt by Robin enraged her and she turned around and fixed those rage filled amber eyes with cold green eyes on your own, “You are out of your league if that was your best shot!”

Another wave of empathic energy was shot toward Jena. Jena blocked with no effort at all and shot one attack of her own which doubled Robin over in pain. Even with a block, Robin could not shield herself from the force of the attack. Jena took a step forward and unleashed another attack that made the girl vomit in front of Jena, “You think that just because you are powerful that means you can do whatever you want and you can make people do your bidding? We may be matched as far as raw power but as far as skill goes, you have no talent! Give up!”

Jena unleashed a devastating assault on Robin. It felt like the gravity of the Earth had been tripled in that moment and the woman could not get up from the ground. It was all she could do to pull her legs underneath her body. She shuddered, “Fine!” She squealed, “I will tell him!”

Jena shook her head, “That’s not good enough anymore!” She kept the attack up, “You also have to tell him that you attacked me!”

“What you are doing to me is worse!” Robin groaned in response.

“You asked for it, you started it, this is what you get. What would happen if you attacked a superior telepath? They would do the same thing to you mentally!” Jena replied.

“I can’t tell him…” She stuttered, “Not you…”

“Then break up with him, you don’t have to tell him why, sever the bond and break up with him,” Jena replied and let up the attack.

Robin glanced up as she pushed herself up to her hands and knees, “What? Do you know what that will do to him?” She asked.

Jena nodded, “It’s just about as bad as telling him that you cheated on him and you attacked me. You can break up with him, tell him all, or I will show him everything that you did tonight. It’s your choice.”

Robin slowly rose to her feet and glanced at Jena. Tears started to form in her eyes, “Were we ever friends?”

“Hard to say,” Jena replied, “I wanted to like you. Lone Wolfe was so happy with you that I tried to work things out with you. The problem is you never liked me in return.”

“Do you love him?” She asked in response.

“As a brother,” Jena replied, “The same way he loves me. I’m not sure that will ever change. You never listened to the stories about us, you never glimpsed those memories of us. We have known each other all our lives. Our first memories of anyone other than our parents were each other. That isn’t something that jives very well when you mix in these romantic feelings.”

Her tears started to stream down her face. Jena could feel the bond between Lone Wolfe and Robin breaking at that moment. An action that did take will power and concentration to do. It also took a lot of emotional pain on the part of the other empath, “He’s going to feel it! He’s going to know something’s wrong before I see him again! Be there for him.” With those words, she walked away.

It wasn’t until she was out of Jena’s sight that Jena had second thoughts about this mess. She said those things, threatened those things, out of anger and hostility. Seeing the pain, grief, and depression on Robin’s face and the plea she made before she walked away made her realize that she may have forced something horribly wrong to happen. She still believed that Lone Wolfe needed to trust his partner, that he needed to know what she had done that night, but maybe there was a better way for it to work out.

Tears started to come to her eyes as she realized the mess she made and would have to clean up, “What have I done? Why did I make this happen?” She asked herself.

“Hey,” A familiar voice called out. Jena glanced over and saw Angela approaching. Her jovial expression melted as she saw the horrified look on Jena’s face, “What happened?” Angela questioned.

“I think I have done something horribly wrong,” Jena cried out, “I am not sure what Lone Wolfe is going to do when everything else happens?”

Second Semester Chapter #28: the Prom — December 29, 2017

Second Semester Chapter #28: the Prom

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Previous Chapter:

Chapter #28: The Prom

 

Greeley Colorado

April 28th, 2028-CE

 

Jena never expected to be going to this event so soon. She had her dress pulled on and her hair curled up which framed her face better than she expected. The dress was a dark purple one that she and Angela picked out a few months ago. Unless something had changed, they both would be going in the dresses. She headed down the stairs and fitted her feet into the shoes she would be using for the evening. She preferred to be on time.

So did her date. She answered the knock at the door a moment later. Angela smiled. Most of her long black hair was done up in a long pony tail at the top of her head and the bangs were curled the same way as Jena’s which framed her silver eyes. Jena returned the smile, “You look awesome tonight. Makes me wish I grew my hair longer.”

Angela gave her a hug and shook her head, “you look fine as you are.”

Jena stepped outside and closed the door, “Thank you! Now off to this shindig!”

Angela smiled and led the way to her car. She hit the unlock button on her fob to unlock the door and opened it up for Jena to climb in. She shut the door after Jena situated herself and headed to the place the prom was being held at. It was a hotel that had a small event hall with it. The students were using the event hall and couldn’t check in to any of the rooms for obvious reasons. It was common for them to use hotels and resorts for proms if the school could afford to rent the place for the night.

They pulled up to the hotel awning. Angela climbed out of the car and opened the door for Jena before handing the keys to the valet. They walked inside at that moment and waited in line to take pictures.

Angela curled her nose as she was hit with an assault of different colognes and perfumes as they waited. She glanced to her date and noticed Jena was displaying a similar grimace, “It would be nice if they didn’t have to bathe in their favorite stuff.” Jena commented, “A spritz or two is all you need.”

“Or just a shower,” Angela commented, “People don’t usually smell bad on their own.”

Jena nodded, “true. I put a little perfume on but you won’t be able to tell because some of the people in line smell like they rubbed those car air fresheners all over themselves.”

Angela chuckled, “Their cologne turns the corner before they do.”

The line proceeded about as fast as it would if they were taking school pictures. As they got closer, it was surprising because the photographer was taking several shots of each couple after they signed up and paid for a package of photos. However, since it was couples shots, it did make more sense. Their turn came as soon as the couple in front of them was done taking their pictures.

The photographer took the form that Angela had just completed and read it over. He glanced at the two of them and said, “Okay I will take a picture with the red head seated and the black haired on standing. I will then switch them and then have a final pose of both of them standing and holding hands.”

Jena glanced to Angela and asked, “My hair isn’t red, is it?”

Angela shrugged, “More of an auburn if you ask me. I guess there is some red in it, however.”

Jena shrugged as they walked up to the backdrop. The assistant pulled out a stool for Jena to sit on. They set in the center of the castle background and Angela stepped behind Jena. She placed her hands on Jena’s shoulders as the photographer stepped behind the camera. He glanced up and said, “Get closer, you two! You aren’t sisters, unless you are…”

Angela smiled and placed her chin on Jena’s shoulder next to her cheek. She wrapped her arms around Jena’s upper chest. Jena reached up and squeezed her arms closely and smiled. At that point, the photographer snapped a picture. He glanced at the image he just took and smiled. He glanced up and said, “perfect, now switch!”

Jena rose and walked behind Angela as she sat down on the stool. Unlike Angela, the shorter woman wrapped her arms under Angela’s chest and rested her chin much closer to Angela’s face. Angela hugged her arms and the picture was snapped. They both rose and stood in front of the stool at that point. They wrapped one arm around each other and held their other hands. They put their heads together as the last image was snapped.

The photographer smiled, “You have been wonderful, ladies, I will have that CD and the photos out to you in about a week.”

Angela nodded as she led Jena away and into the dance hall. While the atmosphere felt much like other dances the two had been to so far, the decorations were more elaborate. The pillars had been done up with carefully painted cardboard and Styrofoam to look like castle brick pillars and gossamer like fabric hung between the pillars. There were less tables and less people than at the homecoming dance but that was to be expected. This was just the junior and senior class and their dates, not the entire school and their dates like before.

Jena and Angela found a table soon enough and sat down. She glanced around to see if there was anyone around that she knew despite the fact that she knew there wouldn’t be any underclassmen there. She didn’t know why, she figured it was habit. It didn’t take long for Angela to come back with refreshments for them both. Angela sat down and slid a glass over to Jena, “Just about the same other than the pictures and fancy dresses.” She commented.

Jena nodded, “Everyone around here seems to have mixed impressions about what to expect here.” She glanced to her gray eyed friend, “What do you think they are expecting?”

Angela blushed as she thought about it. She didn’t want to reach into people’s minds for specifics and in truth, she didn’t need to. If Scarlet had been around, she would have been expecting the same conclusion for the night, “Well, there is an after party after this where people can enter drawing and possibly get stuff. It is more like a rowdy school dance, the after party, that is. Then there are the private parties that some people are expecting.”

“Which is?” the emerald eyed girl questioned in response.

“Will you hit me if I use a euphemism to answer that?” Angela questioned in response.

Jena smirked and shook her head, “I promise I won’t. I take it a few people around here also feel the urge to merge tonight? Is that what you are getting at?”

Angela nodded and Jena questioned, “Do you also have that urge?”

Angela shook her head, “Not particularly.”

“Why not?” Jena questioned with an arched eyebrow.

“I’m not looking for a long term commitment except I might,” Angela replied then held up a hand to keep her from commenting, “I know, that sounds like a contradiction. Let’s say that there could be something wrong with me and I could drop dead at any moment. For that reason I don’t want to tie myself down to someone. I don’t want to cause them pain if I should die on them. At the same time, I don’t want to end up being alone. I won’t pass up the opportunity, if it should present itself but I won’t force it to happen either.”

Jena nodded. She was pretty sure she understood what was going on, “You are here just because it is a right of passage then. As far as what makes you think you could die at any moment. I remember that you lived with your grandma until she died. Did your mother die at an earlier age?”

Angela nodded. Jena could tell that it was hard for her to talk about but Jena needed to know what it was, “Do you mind if I ask you what makes you think that you will drop dead at any moment?”

Angela shrugged, “Both my grandmother and mother died of aneurisms,’ She replied and took a deep breath, “My grandmother must have known that his was coming. She left a video for me to watch. She said in that video that her mother and grandmother also died of the same things. With four generations of that, it makes me think that there is something wrong with me and that I will die of that too. It was bugging me before I saw that video and I made sure that I wouldn’t fall in love with anyone after that video.”

Jena nodded. It made sense. With four other generations succumbing to that malady then she could have the same problem. There were a couple of ways that Angela could be sure that wouldn’t happen. She glanced to her friend and said, “Lone Wolfe was troubled by his mother’s death. She was a gifted psychic. Had powerful abilities including clairvoyance. She had seen her own death but it wasn’t from what took her life. Lone Wolfe said that clairvoyants usually see the natural conclusion to their life so other things can take them by surprise such as murder or a car crash. An aneurism is a natural death. Have you seen your own death yet?”

Angela shook her head, “Then you know you aren’t dying anytime soon.”

“You don’t know how fickle the future can be. I don’t know how well Lone Wolfe sees the future but there have been times I was sure something was going to happen and nothing did,” Angela stated in response.

“Well, there are problems with him seeing the future,” Jena commented, “First off; he can’t see past anything he doesn’t understand. If he sees a war in the future but not why it started then he doesn’t know how it is going to end or how to change it to keep from happening. Also; when it comes to seeing the future of someone else, he can’t nail down a time frame. He can either see a time and anyone during that time or focus on an individual and see a random time. He has also said glimpsing into the future can change it. He said there are three different types of futures that he sees; fragile futures where the observer changes it by seeing it, more stable futures that come into play with limited options of it changing and fixed events where things have been in play long enough that knowing it will happen doesn’t change it, you can only change how the outcome will affect you. I have the feeling the first kind is really common.”

“Where are you going with all of this?” Angela questioned in response.

“A natural death is that second type of future; hard to change but it can be changed. You haven’t seen it yet so you won’t suffer an aneurism any time soon. In between now and that time, there is the possibility that you could go rock climbing and slip or die in an earth quake or of a lightning strike. That means you live the with same uncertainty that the rest of us has,” Jena commented.

“You may think that helps but it doesn’t help as much as you think,” Angela replied, “What if my clairvoyance doesn’t show me how I will die? What if I never know how I will die? I could drop dead tomorrow and never get any warning about it.”

“Welcome to being human,” Jena replied, “That is what the rest of us live with everyday. Any of us could die of something tomorrow and we would never know it. Stop living as if you have the sword of Damocles hanging above your head. Enjoy the moments you have and don’t let your worry of the moment threaten what you have. If you think you will die tomorrow then so be it. Live for today. That is what the rest of us do. We may plan for a tomorrow but in the end we always take every moment we get as if it will be our last. If you love someone then let yourself love. Don’t shut yourself down because you are afraid that you will hurt them even more if you die. Did you think of the pain you might cause them if you never gave them the chance in the first place?”

Angela shook her head, “No but if they fell in love with me and woke up next to me after I died then they would be crushed. They wouldn’t have to go through that pain if they fell in love with someone else.”

Jena sighed, “There is another way we can see if you are worried over nothing. It is something that I can help you out with. You know I have empathic abilities. I can check and see if you have a ticking time bomb in your head. If you do, I might be able to fix it. If nothing else, I can tell you how long you might have left. Give you time to feel love and then kick whoever it is out to the curb so they don’t have to go through what you are fearing. How does that sound? There is no harm in looking for that? You can’t argue this with me, can you?”

Angela sighed and shook her head. She glanced flatly to the younger empath and replied, “You’re right. What do you need me to do?”

Jena took her seat and arranged it to face Angela, “Pull your seat as close to me as possible. I need to touch your head in order to get the best use of my power as possible.”

Angela did as she requested. Jena placed her right hand at the nape of Angela’s neck and the other on the temple of her forehead. She gazed just above Angela’s gray eyes. Normally, Jena would have been quick about it but she knew that if she was anything other than slow and methodical that Angela wouldn’t trust what she was doing. She also flowed more energy than she needed into the connection. She figured that if she felt any kind of energy flow as opposed to the normal precision control she normally could do, than Angela would trust her words more.

“Look, those two are about to make out!” Someone called out.

“No PDA here! Save that for after!” Someone else called out.

“This is a jerk-wad free zone, kindly fuck off please!” Jena replied without missing a beat in her search.

“Kindly?” One Person questioned.

“Please?” The other person questioned.

“Politely,” Jena stated. She broke her glance with Angela at that point and glanced to the other two with a look of sheer rage in her green eyes. The two people jumped, suddenly filled with a kind of terror they never knew before. She dipped her head down where she was glaring up at them, “Now can you leave us alone before I have to deal with you?”

The two males nodded and ran off as fast as they could without drawing any more attention to themselves. Jena sighed and glanced back to Jena. Angela glanced up at her as she started to work again, “I can tell that wasn’t normal fear. What did you do to them? Was that something telepathic or empathic?”

Jena glanced down as she answered, “It was mainly empathic. All I did was give them the strong impression that they were going to get their buts kicked by the both of us if the continued to mess with us. They have no business making comments about things they don’t understand anyway.”

Angela nodded, “Makes sense but you shouldn’t put the fear of god into people. Some people would think that’s not nice.” She glanced around then back to Jena and asked, “Did you find something wrong? You seem to be taking a long time at this? I thought you would have been done by now.”

She had forgotten that she was dealing with a clairvoyant. They sometimes know more than just things dealing with time. It seems like she knew how long it would have really would have taken her to do a good job at finding anything wrong. Instead of trying to assure her that she did a good job of looking and finding nothing, she was now starting to worry her friend. Jena shook her head, “I haven’t found anything. Just being thorough. Although, if you keep driving yourself like this then you will kill yourself from exhaustion!”

Jena released her hold on Angela and sat back. She had funneled some energy back into Angela to keep her from feeling the exhaustion the young shaman felt from burning the candle at both ends. She had been taking it easy but it didn’t seem to affect her like it did back a few months ago. Angela nodded, “I can take in the power of the sun now so I can make sure that I am getting what I need from it.” She glanced back towards Jena, “Besides, I only have a couple of months left before I graduate. Once that happens, I can run the store on my own full time without having to worry about it too much.”

“Good luck,” Jena nodded, “I will have to make it a point to visit you there every once in a while.”

Angela rose to her feet and grabbed Jena’s hand. She pulled the younger empath up to her feet and said, “Let’s go dancing!”

“But it’s not s a slow song,” Jena replied as she was pulled onto the dance floor by the senior shaman, “The DJ is better about playing songs than they were at the last dance. How about we just wait for the next slow song?”

“I don’t just want to wait for the slow songs,” Angela replied as she grabbed Jena’s other hand and started to swing her around on the floor, “You don’t have to have a slow song to dance!”

“I gave you a little extra energy and I have created a monster!” Jena chuckled as they danced.

Angela chuckled and twirled her around. They both attempted to dance something like a quick waltz but it turned out nothing like what they were planning. Jena smiled a bit and asked, “Do you know how to dance?”

“No, I’m just making crap up as I go along! As long as we are having fun, does it really matter?” Angela replied as she swung their arms around in a quick sway.

Jena shrugged, “I guess not but we look like two monkeys on steroids.” She commented in response.

“I don’t care!” Angela laughed, “Just let loose and have a good time!”

“You know creepers say that too to the people they are trying to get with,” Jena replied as she went along with the spastic dance moves.

“Then consider me a dancing creeper! I say that to people I want to dance with,” Angela joked.

“That isn’t as funny of a joke as you think,” Jena replied but she did chuckle at the comment just the same.

“It got you to laugh,” Angela smiled as she let Jena spin her around this time, “Now if we did know any dance moves, what do you think we would dance to with a song like this?”

Jena shrugged, “I don’t know. My family never really thought about setting me up with any dance lessons growing up.”

“I am sure my grandmother would have had me doing that if she could afford it,” Angela replied. It was out of habit. Knowing the amount of money her grandmother really had, she was sure that if she expressed as serious interest in dancing, her grandmother would have come up with the money for lessons. It would have been anything that would have kept her from working in a dead end job in some call center or burger joint in the city. Anything that would have given her a future her grandmother would have invested money in.

 

She paused at that moment. Jena caught on right away that something was bugging her. She cocked her head in confusion and asked, “What’s wrong? Why did you stop dancing?”

“It’s just,” She started and glanced away, “My grandmother always led a frugal life and I assumed that was because we were poor. Because of that assumption I never asked her for a lot of things growing up. I never knew that she did have a lot of money socked away for a rainy day or something like that. It never occurred to me that I could have asked for something and she might have made it work somehow. I just got to thinking what the future would have been like had I not made that mistake.”

“There is no use dwelling on the past and all of those what ifs,” Jena replied, “Right now you are dancing and I would like to see you dancing and having fun!” Jena beamed as she started their spastic dance back up again.

As they continued to dance, Jena noticed that time almost seemed to slow. It was a subtle effect. She knew the song that they were dancing to and it seemed slightly slower than it should have been. She had heard of the affect before through communions from telepaths she had dealt with before. She couldn’t help but think is this what they call a perfect moment? She questioned to herself.

As soon as she thought that, they seemed to fall out of the moment and time resumed its normal march toward eternity. She glanced to Angela and asked, “What were you doing at that moment?”

Angela cocked her head at that moment, “Do you want a technical term? I think it is called being a goof ball.”

“No! Not with the dancing, with your clairvoyance,” Jena replied, “I wanted to know what you were doing with making the time around us go slower for a moment.”

Angela shrugged, “I don’t know what you are talking about.”

Jena glanced around, “We were dancing and everything just started slowing down. The moment I thought about it started running normal again.”

Angela looked dumbfounded, “I wasn’t even aware I was doing anything. I was just really enjoying myself at that moment.” She blinked a couple of times. He gray eyes washed over with realization, “I did look over toward you just a moment ago and you looked like you weren’t having fun.”

That must be how we fell out of the moment, Jena thought to herself, I didn’t think just my thought would have ended the moment like that. Jena shrugged, “Like I said, things started to move funny and as I picked it up it moved normally again. You must have picked up on me picking that fact up and confused it for something being wrong. It wasn’t anything wrong. I just didn’t ever see anything like it before. I probably would have ruined it anyway by asking you about it just like I did.”

Angela shrugged, “Let’s not worry about it. Tonight, we aren’t psychic. We aren’t different from everyone around us. We are just two normal girls at the prom dancing with each other. Let go and have fun!”

Jena nodded. She couldn’t argue with that logic any more than Angela could argue with her words earlier. She started to dance with Angela again as the song ended and the DJ transitioned them to a slow song. Her left hand connected with Angela’s right hand and their other hands went to each other’s waist. They attempted to waltz slowly to the rhythm of the song and ended up in a more coordinated sway as a result. Still, both of the seemed to enjoy themselves.

The music started to slow down a little bit, just like last time. With the beat and rhythm being slower, it was easier for them both to notice what was going on. They glanced at each other as the music slowed down a little more. Neither was sure what was going on but it wasn’t normal. They glanced around and saw that no one else seemed to notice. In fact, they all seemed to be moving at the same speed as what the music should be.

Afraid to disrupt this moment, Jena reached out with her abilities and tried to slow her projection down enough for Angela to hear, “We are the only people moving fast. I never did anything like this with my empathic powers before. This has to be something that your clairvoyance is doing.” She projected.

Angela glanced at her with a confused look on her face and the music started to speed up in response. She was about to respond when she focused on Jena and started dancing, the song, and time around them, seemed to slow down again, “Okay. How am I doing all of this?”

Jena shrugged, “I am not sure on the how. Not a lot of psychics have witnessed this. I know some telepaths that have heard about it call it a perfect moment. When a Clairvoyant can slow down the time around them. It’s like how their precognitive abilities work for them when they are in the middle of a crisis but in reverse. Instead of speeding the clairvoyant up, it slows time around them with the exception of one other person.”

Angela nodded as they continued to dance to the slower music, “That person being you in this case. You noticed this happening first. I have never done this before. Have you experienced it with Lone Wolfe?”

Jena shook her head, “He doesn’t have any memories about this and he doesn’t talk about it. If he had a moment like this it either never registered or he keeps it a secret for some reason.”

Angela glanced around and took a breath, they fell out of the moment and the music started up normally again. Jena glanced at her and asked, “Why did you stop it?”

“I don’t know. I wanted to see if I could control it or play with it at will,” Angela replied. Her gray eyes showed her frustration after a moment, “I can’t seem to get us back into that moment.”

“I am not sure if it is something you can do consciously,” Jena replied, “There is so much about clairvoyance that you and Lone Wolfe don’t do with deliberate effort. It is possible that you have to just be in the zone for it to work,” Jena replied.

Angela nodded and as the song ended, they started their walk back to the table. Both of them felt a little more tired than normal. They didn’t know if was the effort they put into dancing for the first couple of songs or if it was the perfect moment they shared that drained them. When they sat down Angela asked, “I wonder. Since I didn’t notice it the first time, do you think that we have these moments more often and just don’t realize it?”

Jena shrugged, “That would be a question for Lone Wolfe. You would have to make sure that you aren’t referring to your precognitive abilities in order for him to understand the full meaning of your question. I don’t know if he would remember having a moment like this. You might also be able to figure out if you had these moments before if you meditate and focus on your memories for a moment.”

Angela nodded, “I can try that. Do you think you can have these moments with more than one psychic? Do they have to be psychic? Can I do this by myself?”

Jena shrugged, “I don’t know enough about this to answer that question. If this moment works like Telepathic Communions and Empathic Bonds, I would say you need to have one other person. Those two acts can’t hold more than one other person and have to be with one other person. However, with Empathic Bonds; the person doesn’t have to be psychic. Just one of the people has to be special in order for it to work. Since I’m not clairvoyant, maybe you don’t need a psychic for this to work too?” She thought of another question as she took a drink of her punch, “Just curious, why did you try to play with the moment?”

Angela shrugged, “Seemed like the thing to do at the time. I felt like I should.”

Interesting, Jena thought to herself, Maybe you don’t need to have another clairvoyant to start a perfect moment but if you want to develop it you do need another clairvoyant. Something like this being stage one and the second state being something different. I wonder what would happen if you could force those two to have a full perfect moment like that? Jena thought to herself.

Jena leaned back in her chair, “What do you plan to do after high school? Especially with your friends?”

Angela shrugged, “I know a lot of them are planning on going off to college. That was my plan until my grandmother died. I intend to stay behind and man the store for the time being. At least until I get to a spot where I can do something local for a business degree. I don’t know if I will be keeping touch with any of my friends.”

Jena looked dejected and forlorn by the words her friend just said, “Please say you will keep in touch with me. I would also like it if you keep in touch with Lone Wolfe. I don’t know why I feel this way. It might have been something with that perfect moment we had but I have the feeling that he will need a friend soon.”

“You do know I don’t like boys more than just being friends, right?” Angela questioned in response.

Jena nodded, “Yes and Lone Wolfe knows that as well. He won’t try to do anything with you and he won’t try to seduce you. I really think he needs you just as a friend. You two have things in common. You both have lost parents and you are only children that have been isolated from your families. That gives you two a lot in common and a lot to bond over. Plus; he is clairvoyant. The only clairvoyant outside of your family. Maybe the two of you can figure out how to use your abilities together?” She explained.

Angela shrugged, “I don’t know. I will have to get to know him better. I do trust you and you have known him all your life so I know you are trying to vouch for him.”

“If you allow it I think you will find that he will become a valuable friend,” Jena replied, “Keep that in mind as you think about it.”

Angela nodded, “I will.”

Second Semester Chapter #27: Spring Break — December 27, 2017

Second Semester Chapter #27: Spring Break

Second Semester 5.png

Previous Chapter:

Chapter #27: Spring Break

 

Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

March 20th, 2028-CE

 

Lone Wolfe was not sure how Curtis managed to talk him into camping up in Red Feather lakes in the middle of March. There was still snow on the ground when they arrived at the swamp lady pool camp ground and they had to spend a couple of hours digging through the snow to find the ground. Once they found the ground they had to set up the tents and hammer at the frozen ground to get the tent spike chiseled into the ground. The wind whipped through them and breezed through his layers of warm clothing like they weren’t there. He was sure he would die of frost bite and fall as an ice log right in front of them.

He remembered how Curtis and his family managed to convince him to come with them for the spring break camping trip when a warm hand patted his shoulder. He glanced to his left and saw Robin in a warm parka smiling at him. Her amber eyes seemed to sparkle and the cold seemed like a distant memory for a moment. That was how Curtis and his father managed to get him to come along, they invited her too. It was easy for them to get away with. Curtis’s little sister had come along too.

Curtis and his father worked on one tent and Lone Wolfe helped the girls out with the other tent. Curtis’s little sister shivered as they worked, “I sure hope the propane heaters will do their job, it is getting close to sunset,” She remarked.

“You say that every year Tiff!” Curtis grumped, “We tested them before we went up. They work!”

“Yeah, they work fine in the garage but what about up here?” Tiffany whined in response. She brushed the red hair out of her blue eyes as she glanced around, “Did anyone set up the outhouse tent yet? I have to go.”

“No! Maybe you shouldn’t have had all of that juice on the way up!” Curtis sighed.

“Curtis, go set up the outhouse tent so the girls can pee if they need to,” His father stated.

“She knows how to do it,” Curtis grumped in response.

“Just do it!” His father stated sternly.

Curtis rolled his blue eyes and marched back towards the car and grabbed the chemical toilet and the tent then marched into the woods next to their camp ground. As Curtis set up the tent, Lone Wolfe and Robin worked, “Why does Curtis have blonde hair and his little sister have red hair? Do they have different parents? Are they stepsiblings?”

Lone Wolfe shook his head and smirked, “You didn’t get the pleasure of meeting Curtis’s mother. His father has blonde hair. His mother is a red head. Like father, like son. Like mother, like daughter. Kind of interesting how that worked out.”

“So, they both have blue eyes?” Robin questioned in response.

Lone Wolfe shook his head, “No. Their mother has green eyes but both of them have blue eyes like their father. I guess you can say it is proof that they came from the same father.”

“Genetics are weird,” Robin nodded.

“Preaching to the choir,” Lone Wolfe nodded, “Explain to me how I have gold eyes when my father has blue eyes and my mother has green eyes? Everyone on my mother’s side of the family has green eyes even when they have parents that have different color eyes. I am the only one with gold eyes. I have never figured out why that is. I never met anyone else that had eyes like mine. You are the closest one that has eyes like mine.”

“What about Angela?” Robin questioned in response, “She has gray eyes. I haven’t really come across a person with those eyes before.”

“There are a few people wandering around with eyes like that,” Lone Wolfe replied, “Usually, they come from people that have blue eyes and they have siblings that have gray eyes too. In a different world where Angela wasn’t an only child, I wonder if she would have any other siblings with gray eyes too.”

Without the help of Tiffany, Robin and Lone Wolfe managed to thread the tent poles through the tent. They also managed to set it up and get the rain shield over the tent before Curtis returned proclaiming that the bathroom he setup was open for business. Lone Wolfe was sure that the only reason why Robin agreed to the camping trip was there would be an actual toilet where they were going. He remembered her commenting how she hated going camping because her brother and father would go to a remote place and force her to dig her own latrine pit. Lone Wolfe couldn’t imagine how uncomfortable it must be to do that let alone do it in the snow.

Tiffany rushed off to where the tent was set up as Curtis resumed work on the tent. Lone Wolfe took one of the propane tanks out of the small trailer that housed all of the supplies the family had brought for camping. He dragged the heavy object over to the setup girls tent and rested it next to the tent. He went back and retrieved the heater a moment later. He set it inside and pulled out the pressure hose from within the unit and slid it through the doorway to the outside and hooked it up to the tank. He turned on the tank and went inside to turn it on. Once it was on, he and Robin sat in there to warm up.

“Too bad they would hear us,” Robin whispered, “This could get cozy and inviting really quick.”

“Too bad a little sister will barge in, in a few moments,” Lone Wolfe replied, “The boys sleep in one tent and the girls sleep in another tent.”

“What is his father doing?” Robin questioned after a moment, “He left Curtis to set up the other tent by himself.”

“Usually the kids set up the tent and he sets up a fire pit then they do typical camp stuff until it gets dark and really cold. They shut off the tank and go to sleep before the heater shuts off. There is a decent amount of propane in the hose so the heater goes for about ten or fifteen minutes before shutting off. That way, they don’t waste the propane.”

“We are going to do this for three days?” Robin questioned in response.

“Makes you appreciate what we had during the Christmas snow storm,” Lone Wolfe smiled.

“Hey Lone Wolfe!” Curtis called out, “You going to stay in that tent schmoozing with your girlfriend all afternoon or are you going to help me with this tent?”

Lone Wolfe groaned, “But it’s so warm in here!”

“Hope you didn’t take off your coat!” Curtis called out, “Still cold out here and it will be cold in the tent if you don’t get off your ass and help me!”

Lone Wolfe shrugged and got up, “I bet you want to stay here in the warm tent.”

Robin shook her head, “Who is going to keep you from freezing while you work out there? Curtis is a poor substitute for me.”

Lone Wolfe chuckled as he held the flap open for her, “I’m sure he won’t mind hearing you say that. I bet he wishes his girlfriend would have agreed to come with too.”

“Why didn’t she?” Robin questioned in response.

“Either your father has given up on keeping you pure,” Lone Wolfe stated and got a stern look from her, “Or her parents are really uptight.”

“You better be thinking option b,” Robin scalded playfully as they walked over.

Tiffany walked back as they were threading the poles. Curtis spotted her right away, “If you don’t want frozen fabric to sleep in, you might want to get the sleeping bags out of the trailer. Don’t just chuck them in there either! Lone Wolfe was kind enough to turn on the heater for you. Also, don’t leave the flap open!”

“But they did!” She complained as she walked over and zipped up the flap to the tent.

“Why zip it up now?” Curtis stammered, “you are going to have to unzip it to put the sleeping bags in, you dimwit!”

“To think a month ago you were giving me crap about calling you that,” Lone Wolfe replied as he helped hoist up a tent pole.

“Well, I’m not your sister,” Curtis stated in response.

“That’s good, you’d make a lousy looking sister,” Lone Wolfe joked.

“I happen to think I would make a good-looking sister,” Curtis faked a pout as they moved on to the other tent pole.

“Fine, we will put you in a dress when we get back from camping,” Robin smiled and peaked around the other side of the tent, “Consider it pay back for dragging me along to the frozen hell!”

“But I’m not a girl!” Curtis shouted.

“But you did walk right into that,” Lone Wolfe replied.

“Man walks into a bar and says, ‘Ow! I should pay attention to where I’m walking,’ because he’s an idiot,” Robin stated in response.

Lone Wolfe laughed and after a moment, all of the children were laughing. They managed to setup the tent and get it loaded just as Curtis’s father started loading up the fire. Curtis and Lone Wolfe quickly loaded up the tent with their sleeping bags and the propane heater. They made sure that they had it on before they headed back to the trailer to grab folding chairs to sit around the camp fire.

Lone Wolfe sat a chair for Robin first and sat his as close as possible to her. Compared to everything else, the campfire seemed warm. Robin glanced to Lone Wolfe and asked, “So, what do we do now? Just sit around the camp fire? No song singing or telling of ghost stories?”

Curtis sat down on the other side of Robin. He wasn’t as close and his hands were also full of other items. There were some metal, extendable skewers, a bag of marshmallows, and a bag of hotdogs. Robin glanced over and asked, “I get the marshmallows, why the hotdogs?”

Curtis tore into the bag of hotdogs and tossed a skewer and a hot dog to Lone Wolfe, “you never roasted hotdogs over a fire Just like grilling them but without the grill!”

Robin grimaced, “I’m not so sure about that.”

Lone Wolfe skewered the hotdog and held it out for Robin to try, “As long as you don’t burn it to a crisp it is usually pretty good. Try it?”

Robin shrugged and accepted the skewer. She held it over the fire as Curtis tossed Lone Wolfe another skewer and a couple more hotdogs. Lone Wolfe skewered both and held his over the fire. He noticed that Curtis was smiling as the three of them warmed up their prizes on the end of sticks. Lone Wolfe cocked his head in confusion, “What’s got you grinning from ear to ear?” He questioned.

“I was just trying to envision Jena doing something like this with us,” Curtis stated in response.

Lone Wolfe pulled his back and said, “The best part is you can just snack off of it while it cools off on the stick.”

Robin got a devilish grin on her face, “Haha, dirty joke in my head!”

“Mom always said share and share alike!” Curtis encouraged.

“Not with you,” She said and stuck out her tongue, “that is something only for Lone Wolfe and I.”

“You’re mean!” Curtis pouted in response then fished his hotdog out of the fire with the skewer and blew on it until it was cool enough to eat.

She took her hotdog out of the fire and blew on it for a couple of moments. In the dying light, she turned her entire body to Lone Wolfe. She made sure that he was glancing in her direction and slid the hotdog almost all the way into her mouth and pulled it off of the skewer with a smile and wink on her face. His jaw dropped and he blushed enough that she could see in in the pink and red hues of the dying light, “oh, you are evil!” He stated in response.

She wanted to say something but her mouth was full of the hotdog she just chomped down. Curtis leaned over to see what was happening as Lone Wolfe started tearing away at his hotdogs with his teeth, “I don’t get it. What did she do.”

“Magic,” Lone Wolfe baited, “She made it disappear.”

Curtis gave them a bewildered stare for a moment then noticed her awkward chewing and his eyes widened. He shook his head, “One gulp, huh? Talent!”

Robin glared at him while she continued to reduce the amount of hotdog meat in her mouth by chewing. Lone Wolfe chuckled, “No offense but you kind of brought this upon yourself. You can’t talk right now. Did you think that far ahead?” She shook her head and Lone Wolfe smirked, “Did you think you could just swallow it in one go?” She shrugged and continued to chew. He could see the mirth growing on her face as he continued to speak, “You are aware it is not healthy to not chew you food before swallowing it. Bad for your digestion.” She gave him the middle finger in response.

Lone Wolfe managed to finish both of his hotdogs before she could speak again, “You can be an asshole, you know that right?” She finally spoke, “That was supposed to be a nice gesture to tease you and it backfired!”

“Turnabout,” Lone Wolfe nodded as he basked in the heat from the fire.

“It is fair play after all,” Curtis commented in response.

“If you want to be able to have your own children, you may not want to stick your neck out for your friend so often,” Robin threatened but the smile on her face told them all she wasn’t serious.

 

*        *        *

 

With the disappearance of the sun, everything that wasn’t heated by the fire or one of the heaters also suffered the disappearance of the heat. Lone Wolfe shrugged into his sleeping bag and wondered how long until he heard the whooshing sound of the propane heater. He had turned off the propane tank when he thought his friend was asleep. He received a wink from Robin as she was also out there turning off the tank for her tent.

Curtis’s father decided to sleep in the SUV. The subtle sound of the SUV running a short distance away gave a white noise that threatened to make him fall asleep. He sniffed his clothes and smiled, “Too bad they don’t have laundry soap that smells like camp fire. That is the best smell ever.”

“You should write to them,” Curtis whispered, “I am sure they would sell well at sporting goods stores.”

“I thought you were asleep?” Lone Wolfe replied, “Were you just pretending and waiting to see if someone would sneak into the tent?”

“You caught me,” Curtis stated in response, “I think if both the girlfriends came along then dad might have stayed out in the tent with us.”

“Really I think he is staying out in the car so I don’t sneak over there.”

“You would take the action away from me and leave me alone in the cold?” Curtis feigned a shock look in response, “What about the bro code?”

“It was your idea for spring break to take us both camping,” Lone Wolfe stated in response, “I’m sorry your girlfriend didn’t come along.”

Lone Wolfe shrugged, “I wouldn’t sneak over there. I was hoping that you had one giant tent that we all could sleep in. I would have Robin on the other side of me and her and I could snuggle in during the night. Ever since Christmas, I have missed having her next to my side at night.”

“More than the sex?” Curtis questioned.

“That part doesn’t really matter to me,” Lone Wolfe replied, “Her smell, the feel of her skin, her hair, her breath. Being next to her is what drives me. I had a taste of what it was like to be next to someone at night and I want it back.”

“You make that feeling sound like a drug,” Curtis replied, “I wonder what it feels like when you are laying next to her for you to long for her like that?”

Lone Wolfe shrugged, “it is hard to put into words. Probably everything every little child imagines their best Christmas ever being like. What’s more the feeling gets better every moment you are laying next to them. You never want it to end. At the right points, time moves slow, other points it races through way too fast.”

Curtis shook his head, the scratching against the slick outer fabric of the sleeping bag was the only noise that Lone Wolfe needed to hear to confirm that. Curtis glanced up at the top of the tent and said, “You are a hopeless romantic. You know that?”

Lone Wolfe shrugged, “Yeah. Better to be hopeless at that than hopeless at other things in life.”

Curtis yawned, “Well, good luck man. I am going to catch some shut eye before the heater shuts off. I don’t know about you, but I have a problem falling asleep once it gets cold. If it’s cold after I fall asleep then I am usually fine.”

Lone Wolfe nodded. He rolled over and closed his eyes. He was thankful that he managed to grab the pads for him and Angela. It made the hard, cold ground softer. It also insulated from the cold. It took only a few moments before he had fallen asleep. He didn’t have time to wonder if Robin was having the same trouble in the next tent. There was a lot for her and Curtis’s little sister to talk about, if they could get past their differences on the surface.

 

*        *        *

 

Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

March 23rd, 2028-CE

 

With everything packed up in the trailer, Curtis’s father drove them back to Greeley. It would take a couple of hours to get everyone back to their homes. Tiffany sat next to the back drivers side door and glanced derisively towards the couple asleep next to her, “Curtis, you should have sat next to our friends.”

“Too bad, I called shot gun,” Curtis stated in response, “Why?”

“They are asleep next to each other,” Tiffany stated in response.

Curtis turned back in his seat and glanced back at them. Lone Wolfe had his arm around Robin and both of them were asleep against each other. Curtis smiled and commented quietly, “Enjoy that, buddy. You have a little piece of heaven right now.” He sat back towards the front of the car.

 

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