CHAPTER THREE

Chloe clenched her fists together; her eyes squinted as far shut as they could go. With every ounce of energy she had, she tried to push farther through her mind, leafing through thought after thought. Mitch watched her hopefully.

"Come on Chloe, just keep trying." Mitch eased her.

Chloe gasped for breath. "No," she demanded. "Mitch, I can't do it."

"Let's just try for a few more—,"

"No!" Chloe let out, aggravated. She slammed her first on the table which startled Mitch. "I already told you; it doesn't work that way."

Mitch sighed. He seemed to be growing more frustrated by the minute. After a few seconds he looked at Chloe intently, leaning forward.

"I need you to listen to me, Chloe," Mitch started. Chloe almost interrupted him but he gave her a look that told her to think again. "You've been given a wonderful gift. Very few people can do what you can do. If you want to grow stronger though, you have to challenge yourself. It will take time but I guarantee one day you'll surprise yourself."

Chloe stared off in the distance. She pushed back her blonde hair that kept getting in the way. To think, only a month ago she had been sitting at home with her little sister Livvy like any normal kid would be. She would give anything to be back in Sydney, Australia and be with her friends again. But that wasn't going to happen. Ever since she had discovered what she and Livvy really were, she knew she'd never return to her normal life as a fifteen year old girl. It was impossible with her power.

A shudder crept down her spine as she recalled when she had first realized her ability. Every time it entered her mind all she wanted to do was push it away and forget. But she couldn't. It was such a vivid memory.

"Chloe," Mitch said to her, snapping her out from her day dream. "Not everyone has your ability. Seeing the future is something must Others can't even do. It's a very rare power and you should push yourself to grow stronger. It will pay off in the end."

"Can I go back to my room now?" Chloe said dismissively.

Mitch rolled his eyes, leaning back in his chair. "Chloe—,"

Chloe got up without him finishing and headed back down the hallway. She was fed up with doing what these people were telling her. The only reason she was still here was because she had no one else to help her with her powers she now acquired. That, and Livvy.

. . .

Tori jolted as her locker slammed shut. She looked to her right as a group of guys all passed, laughing at her. This must had been the third time this week they'd done this. Even though it was only November, sophomore year had already crawled its way up to worst school year ever.

It was no secret that Tori was not popular at North Valley High. There were three cliques at NVH; nerds, normal kids, and populars. And the sad thing was that Tori wasn't in any of the groups. She wasn't even considered normal. Tori was the new girl, and while that wasn't why she was made the target of so many harmless pranks it contributed to the fact that no one knew her. So not only was she being made fun of; she was being made fun of alone, with no one to turn to.

Tori had gone to NVH last year and before that she went to North Valley Middle School. When she moved here in the fourth grade, she went to Albertson Elementary School. She knew almost everyone in the town. If her life depended on a detailed description of each person who she ever went to school, she'd be alive for sure. Yet, no one knew her.

No one knew that when Tori graduated NVH she wanted to attend Yale, which she no doubt had the grades to get into, and major in writing so she could become a bestselling author. No one knew that when Tori was twelve her mother divorced her father and left her with her him. No one knew that last year on Valentine's Day, she was the one who left Todd Harvey the famous love note in his locker, not Chelsea Mannings, head cheerleader. No one knew that the one person Tori had ever called a friend was the same woman who left her and her father for another man.

As Tori walked down the hall to her next class, she saw the same group of guys who had slammed her locker shut. They were now doing the same to the well-known class nerd, David McCreary. Only this time, they knocked David's glasses from his face to the floor, breaking them in one swift motion. Everyone began to laugh as poor David, who only Tori and a select few from her reading group after school knew had a mental disorder, began to cry silently rambling on and on about how without his glasses he would literally drop to the floor and die. She felt her stomach churn as one of the football players came down the hall and kicked his glasses even further from him.

Hatred began to boil in Tori's veins, making her skin feel sticky and hot. And before she knew it, she lost control. She squinted her eyes shut in concentration as she glared upon the three guys who did this to David. Soon enough, she grinned as she saw their faces contort in slight pain. She pushed further. Now, they were all gripping their heads, crying out quietly for help. She held on another five seconds and then exhaled, letting go.

No one knew a lot about Tori. No one knew she had special abilities. Powers.

. . .

Stephen held onto Mia's face as he kissed her. Her hands ran up and down his back. As he lifted his head up slightly, he banged it on the bleacher above him.

"Damn it." He let out, rubbing his head. He could already feel the goose egg growing. Still, he smirked, looking at Mia.

"Are you alright?" she asked, laughing slightly at him. She reached up towards his head to check out the damage. As she started to look at it, Stephen intercepted her vision and began kissing her again.

"Never better." He whispered as he pulled back for a second.

Mia giggled. "Stephen," she said between kisses. "We really should get to class." Stephen ignored her as he continued to kiss her, holding her waist and bringing her closer to him. "Ste-phen!" she exclaimed yet she was still smiling. "Please!"

Stephen drew back grinning at her. "Come on," he said. "Five more minutes? Please?"

"You said that ten minutes ago." Mia retorted, rolling her eyes at him. Stephen went in to kiss her again. Mia smiled knowingly to herself and sweetly to Stephen as she focused on his eyes as she whispered to him, "Let's go back to class."

Stephen stopped just as he was about to reach Mia's lips. He slowly drew back, as if in a trance. Then, he snapped back to reality like nothing had happened.

"Why don't we go back to class?" he suggested to Mia.

Mia smiled at him. "If you insist." She followed him out from under the bleachers as he put his arm around her and she hooked hers around his waist.

"So, how are we going to get in this time?" Mia asked him as they both walked down the track. NVH was one of the most laidback high schools around but the one thing that it did show to be strict was security. Every day after the late bell rang for homeroom, all of the doors were locked, preventing anyone who was late from getting in without being caught.

Stephen considered this. Then he grinned wickedly. "Well," Stephen started. He looked down at Mia. "There's always the basement window…"

Mia smiled back at him mischievously and ran after him as he headed for a thin basement door on the side of the large, brick school. He tugged at the handle until it opened up, squeaking from the years of age that had been given to it. He and Mia peered into it.

"It's too dark," she said discouraged. "I can't see a thing."

"That's too bad," Stephen said sighing, but his tone was completely fake in disappointment. "It's a shame that I have no way to make it any…brighter."

Mia looked at him shaking her head as she smirked. She stepped back as he extended his hands which very slowly began to emanate light from them. Mia watched as he made the light bright enough that she and him could see just enough inside the basement window.

"Ready?" he asked her. She nodded as he slid into the window, landing on the ground with a slight thud. Then, she reached out to him as he took her waist and helped her down as well.

The two of them crept through the basement, slowly at first and then faster, as Stephen extended his hands. The light coming from him was getting brighter by the minute.

Mia and Stephen weren't the average teenagers. As far as they knew, actually, they were the only ones in Willow Valley with their kind of powers. Each one of them could do something that no one else could even dream of ever being able to do.

At first, it was only Stephen who had powers. His two were both extremely handy in certain situations. Aside from being able to produce light from his hands whenever he needed it, he could also breathe under water; aquatic respiration was the technical term. When Stephen had turned thirteen, he had discovered his abilities. His aquatic respiration was the first to develop. However, it didn't develop in time for him. Every time he went back to the two months before he was able to breathe underwater, he couldn't help but fight back tears. But sooner or later, he pushed back the painful memory into that place in his mind where he could hide it for a while until he started to remember again.

Mia hadn't been like Stephen though. In fact, she was completely different from him even now with her power. While Stephen had been born an Other who would develop his powers later in life, Mia had been born your everyday, normal human. It wasn't until she met Stephen that she would gain her power. Unknown to most Others, including Stephen at a time, humans did have a chance of becoming like an Other. All that needed to happen was love; or, in most cases, all that had to be made was love.

About a month after Mia and Stephen had started going out, one thing had to led to another and the next morning, Mia had woken up feeling…different. Nothing hurt and she didn't feel anything physically different with her, but it was like something in her head had snapped and she now knew something she hadn't before. Within the next hour or so, she found out what had happened. She had gained a power from sleeping with Stephen. Mia had never even known about Stephen's secret until she possessed one herself and even then, things hadn't gone so well between them the first week or so of her new life. But soon, she became to accept both him and herself.

Mia's power was one most girls would give anything to have. She was given pheromone manipulation. In basic words, if she wanted a guy to do something, say something—anything—all she had to do was tell him to do it and he would. But it wouldn't just happen like that. She had to trigger the pheromones, scents in her breath, to release from her lips as she said something. Only then would her powers work. With time though, she became a genius at the power. She practiced a lot on Stephen, who was very oblivious and still didn't know was being used half the time.

Stephen and Mia reached the first floor just as the bell for the next class rang. They both looked at each other, thinking how clever they were.

"I'll see you at lunch." Mia said, leaning in to kiss Stephen quickly before she took off.

"See you." Stephen said. He watched her walk off before he turned around to head to his locker. Just as he was about to open it though, he heard a large bang, a shatter of glass, and then enormous laughter. His head snapped to his right towards the sound. He watched as one of the freshmen—David was it? Or Davis?—bent down to try and fix his glasses while a bunch of jocks stood around him, laughing.

Stephen couldn't help but want to help the kid. Stephen was a jock himself—captain of the swim team, for obvious reasons—but unlike the other self-centered, egotistical guys in the school, he didn't find amusement in pushing around other people. It just wasn't him.

He scanned the crowd that was now all laughing and pointing at the boy. Little did they all know he was mentally retarded. Of course, no one really knew. Stephen only knew because he was in the reading group with him and a few other kids. He tried not get angry as he noticed Mia was one of the ones laughing at him. In fact, she was the loudest of them all. He loved her, but he knew she wasn't the nicest girl in the school.

Then, something caught his eye. As the three goons responsible for the attack slowly started yelping in pain, they began clutching their heads. Something wasn't right. Stephen looked around for an answer and his eyes landed on a girl with dark brown hair and red streaks. Her hazel eyes were basically penetrating the three guys, her lips curved in a wicked grin. Then, as they sighed in relief from the pain, she sighed as she broke her glance. Stephen watched as she turned and walked away, leaving the crowd of laughter. He recognized her from his reading group. It was Tori. She usually didn't say much unless she had something to say about a book they were reading, and when she did she was brilliant. But he never suspected…

"She can't be one," he said quietly to himself, watching as she walked all the way down the hall and then out of sight. "Can she?"