Scott opened his eyes to see Tiana sleeping peacefully next to him, her head resting comfortably on his arm. The sun streamed across her hair and lit the highlights with golden flames.
“What a nice thing to say.” Tiana thought to him, opening her eyes and smiling. She realized what had happened, remembering her training, and understood that Scott hadn't spoken aloud. He was broadcasting his thoughts. She screamed as loudly as she could, in her mind, shrieking silently as shrilly as she could. She saw him wince, and felt his mind flex a shield into place. “There.” she thought to herself, satisfied.
His eye widened as he realized that he now had new powers, new abilities, and kept the flex in his mind going, letting it become an unconscious part of him. The alarm clock went off on the bed stand next to his head, and instead of reaching out with his hand, he almost could “see” the snake of though reach out of his mind and push the snooze button.
“Really?” she thought aloud, letting him hear her thoughts with a projection. “How far can you reach?” Her training wasn't really practice per se; she was just introduced to the concepts of what might be possible.
“What do you mean?” he asked her, thinking the words to her. She winced, letting him know that he was a little too loud. “You mean like this?” The volume was much better as he opened the window with another tendril of power.
“Better.” she thought back to him. “But how far can you reach? Hardly anyone gets kinetics. Most just get 'pathed, like me.”
“Pathed?” he thought to her. “What's that mean?”
“Telepathy.” she answered. “But you just showed Telekinetics, which hardly anyone can do. How far does your ability reach? You can move things in the room with you. Can you move anything outside?”
“Let me see.” he smiled, speaking aloud for the first time. He sat up and looked out the window.
This early in the morning, not much was happening outside in the neighborhood. The kid who delivered papers was riding his bike this way, he noted.
A couple houses, and two thrown papers later, and he pulled up in front of Scott's house, stopping to transfer more papers from the saddlebags behind the seat to the basket on the handlebars. He took one and heaved it towards the steps, but Scott caught it with his mind and directed it to the window.
His control still needed a little work, so his aim was off. The paper crashed into the glass of the upper window, instead of coming through the open lower half. The pane didn't break, but the crash made a loud noise.
Scott chuckled as he heard the kid curse loudly, and fired another paper onto the porch, where it belonged.
“Don't just leave it out there; pick it up!” Tiana scolded as the kid rode off. Scott reached out with his mind, and even though he could not see the paper directly, being on the ground; he was still able to pick it up and float it to his hand.
“You did it.” Tiana said breathlessly, aloud. “Scott, you can manipulate things that are out of your sight!”
“I guess that's cool.” he shrugged. “Is that better than just being able to move them?”
“It means you can see with your power.” she said. “Not everyone gets that.”
“If I can do it, you can do it.” he thought to her, then relaxed the flex and sent out a tendril towards her, touching her mind with it, and letting her see through his perspective.
“You... I...”' she whispered, seeing how far she could flow him outward. They went out his window, around the corner, and across the yard. She went in through her own window, (which was closed) and saw her mother and Jerasen laying naked together, asleep on her bed.
“She Filled him herself.” Tiana whispered. “She did it herself, because I wasn't there... In my bed! She Filled him herself. What about...” Tiana slipped the narrow thread of thought deeper into her house, down the hall and into her parents room. There, she found her father and Jerasen's mother entangled in sleep. She wondered why none of them had made themselves known last night in the Grove.
“Are you done driving me around?” Scott asked aloud, dryly. “You know, for someone who was a virgin last night, you sure are quite the pervert. Peeping on your parents, giving yourself as a sex slave...”
Tiana's perspective came rushing back into herself, and she was very much looking out from right behind her eyeballs once more. She almost felt claustrophobic in her own body.
“No, I wasn't...” she protested weakly, but he smirked knowingly at her. “I was just...”
“Yes?” he prodded.
“Never mind.” she said. “Let's talk about the sex slave part.”
“Oh, yes, let's.” he grinned. “Are you still willing to do it?”
“Is that what you want?” she asked, swallowing hard. “If it's what you want, then yes, I will do it. I'll do anything you want.”
“What do you want, Tiana?” he asked quietly. He waited for her to answer.
“I want... I don't dare say.” she whispered finally.
“Why not?” he whispered back. “What are you afraid of?”
“I'm afraid we will get it.” she replied. “I want to be the Queen. I want to be your Queen.”
“I'm not a King.” he said. “Not here.
“You could be.” she answered. “With the powers of your mind, if you wanted a Kingship, you could have it. We could have it.”
“King of what?” he asked her plainly.
“The Council.” she answered. “If we play our cards just right, we could control them, instead of the other way around.”
“I'm not afraid of the Council.” he said flatly, and she shuddered.
“You should be.” she said. “Some of them are on their way here right now. Scott Blaker of Flagstaff. We only have a few hours before the doorbell rings, and they will probably try to kill us.”
“Really.” he said. He thought quietly for a moment, then spoke again.
“There's one who knows both our names in that car coming down the street.” he said. “What should I do with him?”
“What are his orders?” Tiana asked, clutching Scott's arm. She was clearly frightened. Scott was silent another moment, his eyes closed.
“He's just to watch us for the now.” Scott told her. “But, he's armed, and he's killed on orders before. He's are waiting for others to come before making a move.”
“That figures.” Tiana said. “What do you think we should do?”
“Let's get up and get dressed, then go about our day like usual. We'll see what they do first.” Scott decided. “Are you hungry?”
“A little.” she replied. “What's for breakfast?”
“How about Jasper's?” he asked, mentioning the local diner a few blocks away.
“Strawberry waffles and link sausages!” she smiled.
“Strawberry waffles? Seriously?” he teased her.
“What's wrong with strawberry waffles?” she retorted.
“Nothing, if you're in the third grade.” he joked. “I think you need to prove you're a big girl before I go letting you have something like that. Slave.”
“Yes master?” she asked.
“Suck on my link sausage.” he said. “Swallow all the gravy, and you'll have earned that other treat.”
“Yes master.” she smiled, then scooted down lower in the bed.
* * *
Tiana ordered her strawberry waffles, and Scott just stuck with black coffee, preferring to wait until afternoon to break his fast. Both he and Tiana noticed the diminutive brunette walk in at the same time. She was the Mexican girl from last night, and she was looking right back at them.
“Scott?” she asked, shielding her eyes from the morning sun glaring off their table. “Scott Blaker? Are you heem?” Her English was very good, but she couldn't quite shake the accent sometimes.
“I am.” Scott said, standing up. “And you are...”
“I am Emmanuelle.” she told him. “My friends call me Maria.” Again, he noticed that she rolled her Rs.
“And Enrique died for us last night.” Scott said softly. “I am him, and I know who you are. How did you find me so quickly?”
“I live in Sedona.” Maria told him. “It's just a short drive, and Enrique was... so I... I just came here, and I felt you in here. Is that okay?”
“It's fine, Maria. Remember? I told all of you last night that we have a place for you here, with us.” Tiana said, smiling.
“We do?” Scott asked. “Uhh, you might find this hard to believe, but my parents are gonna freak if I try to bring either one of you girls back to my house.”
“I don't think your parents are going to be any problem at all.” Tiana said pointedly. “I'm sure you can think of something to change their minds.”
“Huh?” Scott exclaimed. “I can't do that to my parents! It's just not right!”
“This is a war, Scott.” Maria said grimly. “Not just in Dreamland, either. The Council is going to try to kill us for what you did to Elder Gregoir. Did you see his son's face? I bet they are already here in town, and before the day is out, guns are going to be pointed at you. At your parents, too.”
“Two of them are already here.” Scott confirmed. “The guy in the brown coat at the counter is one of them, and another is waiting out in the car.”
“What? Why haven't you done anything!?” Maria exclaimed. “What are you waiting for?” She knew better than to turn and stare, so she pointed looked out the window. She was tensed for the bullets to start flying at any moment.
“I'm waiting for them to make the first move.” Scott said calmly, taking a noisy sip of his coffee.
“No, no, this is all wrong!” Maria moaned. “Can we please get out of here?”
“Okay, if you insist, but I feel safest in a public place like this.” Scott pointed out. “Lots of witnesses.”
“That doesn't matter to these people, Scott!” Maria whispered frantically. She was just about panicking. “They can mind wipe anyone who gets in their way! They can implant false memories and make them believe anything they want! We're not safe here!”
“Okay, we can go.” Scot said amiably. “Tiana has finished her waffle. Haven't you, honey?”
“I guess so.” Tiana said, scrutinizing Maria's face. “She certainly seems anxious to get out of here...”
Scott threw money on the table, enough, plus a fair tip. He sauntered past the Council's man, saying nothing, and doubling his “flex” just in case of an attack. Nothing happened, and they went into the parking lot.
Maria led them over to her car, a two door Toyota Camry.
“Are you a good driver?” she asked Scott. He nodded, took the keys and got in the driver's seat. Maria was in the back, and Tiana buckled the passenger belt snugly.
“Where should we go?” Scott asked, backing out of the lot and onto the street.
“Go out of town a ways and stop.” Maria told him. “Somewhere secluded, so these guys will talk to us. I don't want them following all day.”
Both men were in the same car, following the trio of youngsters as they did the speed limit through the city limits. Once they were past the mall, Scott opened it up a little, and noticed a second car pull out onto the pavement behind them, speeding to catch up.
Fifteen minutes later, he spotted a small dirt road leading off behind a hill and took it at speed, raising a plume of dust that lingered long after they were out of sight of the road. Both cars followed them onto it, and parked by the Camry beside a small stream. There was a private road over a small bridge gated off, so they were all parked in the turnaround before the gate.
Scott was leaning against the hood of the car as the men pulled up and stopped.
“Howdy, fellas.” Scott said amiably.
“It's him.” said one of the men, a tall red head with very wide shoulders.
“Scott Blaker?” asked one of the others, a short little guy, wiry thin. He was wearing a dark suit and a red tie.
“That's me.” Scott said easily. “And who are you gentlemen?”
“We represent the Council.” said the short guy.
“I gathered that. I was asking for your names.” Scott said.
“Our names are unimportant, young man. You will see that in just a moment...” he started to say, but Scott turned to another man, who had pulled out a pistol and racked the slide, jacking a round into the chamber.
“I'd be careful with that, if I were you.” Scott said. “It's far more dangerous to you than it is to me.”
The man began pointing the gun at Scott, but as he brought it up, Scott just shook his head at him. A moment later, the man put the gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger. His body collapsed straight to the ground, leaking a little into the dirt.
“Anyone else wanna play?” he called out, looking at each man in turn. “Now, I know you have orders to kill me, and that's okay. As long as you choose not to act on those orders, you'll be fine. Agreed?”
The other man, the one from the diner, got back in his car and left, leaving Scott and the short guy to face each other.
“So, what's your name, guy?” Scott asked.
“I'm not telling you my name.” he hissed back. “It would be unprofessional.”
“That's okay, Ricky.” Scott chuckled. “Oh, sorry, only your mom calls you that, neh?” Scott sent two threads of thought at the man.
“Jesus-God!” the man stuttered. “What-” He was rising up into the air, grabbed by unseen forces. It felt like he was wrapped in chains of air.
“The Council will not bother me until I summon them.” Scott said. “Is that understood? I could crush you right here and leave others to carry my message to them, if you want. Your other friend has not gotten away. I am in his mind right now...”
“I'll tell them.” Ricky gasped. “No contact until you call. I got it.”
“Good.” Scott smiled. “Don't bother to stop at your friend's car crash. He's dead.” He let the other man down, and Ricky wasted no time in getting into his car and getting out of there.
Scott and Tiana both got back into Maria's car.
“You can come up now.” Tiana told her. Maria raised her head above the back window and took her first look around since their arrival.
“Is that man dead?” she asked, pointing.
“Suicide.” Scott told her. “He shot himself in the mouth.”
“Ri-ight.” Maria said dryly.
“Ricky's making the call.” Scott said. “Both of you be quiet and let me listen.”
“Okay, he told them I'm TK, and reported the deaths of his colleagues.” Scott said a moment later. “He's being re-directed to Salt Lake City for a full de-briefing.”
“Don't let him get there, Scott.” Maria said. “Can you kill him from here?”
“Why should I do that?” Scott asked. “He hasn't done anything to me.”
“They can scan him and see what powers you used on him, and from that, they'll be able to tell how strong you are.” Maria said. “I don't think you want them knowing that, do you?”
“I guess not.” Scott said, closing his eyes for a moment. The car swerved in it's lane, but he regained control easily. “There, it's done.”
“How did you do it?” Tiana asked, her eyes shining. “You really just killed that man?”
“Well, I was following his thoughts ever since he left.” Scott said. “I just went back along the trail into his mind, and sent a ripple down the wave. That squeezed his mind closed, and the car he was driving crashed. I lost the link a moment later. I'm pretty sure the car was on fire, and that's what did it.”
“So you didn't really kill him with your mind.” Maria said. “Could you? If you had to? Could you kill a man with just your thoughts alone?”
“I hope not.” Scott said. He shivered lightly. “That might become temptingly habit forming. Life isn't that simple.”
“You killed Gregoir.” Tiana pointed out.
“He threatened me and mine.” Scott said grimly. “I'll end any threat that I can see, as soon as I see it.” He paused, thinking a moment. “I can't just kill someone because of what they MIGHT do.”
“Where are we going?” Tiana asked Scott.
“Well, our first stop is your house, Tiana. You need more clothes, and I need to talk to your parents.” he replied.
“That's maybe not such a good idea.” Tiana said uneasily. “I, uh, I'm not ready to face my mother yet.”
“Better now than never at all.” Scott said grimly. “There;s only one reason I can think of for your parents not coming forward to me last night, and that is because they side with the Council. I met everyone who wasn't in the Council's group. I did not meet them.”
“Scott, we need to find Jordan Miller.” Tiana told him. “You gave that young man a Kalastiel mate last night. The Council will be trying to kill him as much as you. Maybe more.”
“How do we do that?” Scott asked.
“Try.” Maria said. “Close your eyes and try to find him. Can you see heem?”
“I'm driving.” Scott replied dryly. “Closing my eyes might not be such a good idea right now.”
“Well then, we need to stop.” Maria said, but before anyone could respond to that, a bullet hole appeared to the middle of the windshield and the headrest behind Scott's head exploded in a puff of foam.
Maria screamed as Scott floored the gas, and another bullet exploded the back window.
“Hang on!” Scott shouted, taking another dirt road at speed. He drifted around a corner, still mashing the pedal to the floor, and then they were behind some hills and away from the sniper. Scott brought the car to a halt, breathing hard.
“Everyone okay?” he asked, looking at both women. They weren't hit, but Maria had little pieces of head rest foam scattered all over her.
“We're okay, but Scott, do you believe me now? The Council wants all of us dead!” Maria said. She started brushing herself off.
Scott didn't reply. He closed his eyes and concentrated.
“There he is... both of them. A sniper, and a spotter.” he mumbled to himself. “The sniper... can't get a reading on him... He's been to Dreamland. The spotter...”
Scott saw in his mind's eye with one of the tendrils of thought. The spotter was on one knee, scanning with binocs while his partner was laying prone beside him. The spotter pulled his sidearm and fired twice, point blank into the back of the sniper's head, then put the gun in his own mouth and fired once more.
“Where is he, Scott? Where's Jordan Miller?” Maria asked again. Scott remembered to look, and spread the tendrils out, calling, listening, questing.
“He's... far.” Scott said. “On the other side of some big rivers. It's hard to go across the water like that, but that's as close as I can tell. He's over that way somewhere.” Scott waved vaguely east.
Tiana looked unhappy. “Well, I guess we have to go to my house next, then. I can't go out East without packing first.”
“They will be looking for us there, if what you say about her parent's is true.” Maria pointed out. “They will try to kill us again.”
“Bring 'em on!” Scott growled. “I prefer a straight fight!”
“They'll probably use her parents as hostages.” Maria said. “If it comes down to it. I know these people. They will do anything.”
“My father used to be ON the Council.” Tiana said. “They won't hurt either one of my parents. They wouldn't dare.”
“I hope you're right.” Maria said, patting Tiana's arm.
Tiana looked at Scott. “You won't let them hurt my daddy, will you? He's a good man. You won't let anything happen to him, right?”'
“Of course not, Tiana.” he said, reassuringly. “Let's get over there and make sure they're okay.” He started the car back up.
“We can't go back out there! We'll get shot!” Maria said.
“I know what to look out for now.” he said. I just have to scan ahead as I drive, that's all. I got lazy and let my guard down for a minute back there. It won't happen again, I promise.”
They got back onto the pavement, and ten uneventful minutes later, they were pulling up in front of Tiana's house.
She led them up the few steps onto the porch, and her father opened the door.
“There you are. Who are these people?” he demanded, grabbing Tiana's arm. “Get in here, young lady. We have MUCH to talk about.” He tossed her into the living room, where she fell on the floor.
“You can't treat her like that!” Scott snarled at the man, stepping forward.
“You!” Tiana's father spat. “How dare you speak to me, after what you did! After what you let HER do!” He pointed at his daughter, sobbing on the floor where she had fallen.
“What did I do, Daddy?” she sobbed. “Can't you be glad that I'm happy?”
“HAPPY!!??” he roared. “You little pervert slut! How could you do this to your Mother? Do you know how much we sacrificed for you? And you throw it all away on this... this wilder.” he said scornfully. “And then, to make matters worse, you go and... with a KALASTIEL! Have you no dignity? Jesus Christ, have you no shame? They're so... big! How could you even...”
“It felt good, Daddy. He was gentle, and he loves me. Nothing we did together hurt me.”
“You slut!” he said. “You... you liked it? Ohh, my God, where did I go wrong?” He turned to his wife, who was sitting unobtrusively in chair. “Where did we go wrong, Tia?”
“It's not our fault, Morgan.” said the woman, getting up. “We did everything we could for this ungrateful little bitch.” She took her husband's arm, standing over Tiana. “But let's not air our business in front of the whole neighborhood.”
She grabbed the door and swung it shut, but Scott put a thread of thought out, and the door swung open so hard the doorknob buried itself in the plaster of the wall.
“What do you think you're doing, young man? Get out of my house this instant!” Morgan said, indignantly, as Scott walked in. “I'm calling the police!” He went over to an end table across the room and opened a drawer.
“Go ahead.” said Scott, wrapping a tendril around the cell phone in the other man's hand. He squeezed and it crumpled to shards.
“You.. you can't just come in here like this!” Tia cried out, going over to her husband and taking his arm again. They both faced Scott and Tiana, as he helped the girl to her feet. “Get out! Both of you! Just go!”
“Go get your things.” Scott said, kissing Tiana's forehead. “I'll handle these two.”
“Handle us?” Morgan spat. “You'll... handle us? How dare you. Wilder!”
Scott sent the tendrils out again, wrapping the two of them tightly.
“Morgan, don't antagonize him!” Tia pleaded. “He's... he could do anything!”
“That's right, Morgan. You wouldn't want me to do anything... personal, would you?”
“What? Oh, no, stop it! Stop it right now!” Morgan shut his eyes and tried to pretend his pants were not coming undone and falling down to his knees. “This is quite enough. I hope you've had your fun humiliating me. Now, let us go.”
“Not yet.” Scott smiled. He changed the flows surrounding the husband and wife so that she was kneeling. He brought them closer together and tied the flows off. “There. I got it out of Tiana's head this morning that this is something you two have never done. In fact, Mrs. Bruce, you have told her repeatedly NOT to do this thing, ever. Haven't you?”
“It's disgusting and wrong.” Tia said. “No real man would ever ask it of his lady.”
“Then it's simple.” Scott laughed. “If your husband doesn't get an erection, you won't have to suck it for him.” He turned to go help Tiana pack.
“No! You can't leave us like this!” Tia said frantically.
“I'll be back in fifteen minutes to let you loose.” Scott told her. “Surely your husband is man enough to withstand the feel of your breath on him down there and not get turned on by it.”
“What if I'm not?” Morgan asked suddenly. “Tia, looking at you like this...” His cock twitched a little.
“Morgan! You better not!” Tia warned. Her voice changed, pleading now. “Morgan, what happened to the man I married? You told me that fellatio is dirty and disgusting act, that's it's against God and procreation! You said you would NEVER ask it of me! You promised!”
“I can't help it! I'm sorry!!” Morgan sobbed, as his cock rose up, pointing straight at his wife's mouth. “It's not my fault!”
“I didn't give you that hard on, Morgan.” Scott chuckled. “Or did I? Are bent queer, old man?” Scott chuckled as he turned to go again. “Remember, you two. If you want to get free of the bonds before I come back to release you, Morgan's come in your mouth will do the trick, Tia.”
“You can't leave us like this!” Morgan cried out to Scott's retreating back. “Please! This isn't fair!”
“You called your daughter a slut to her face.” Scott replied, not looking back.