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The Protectors: Part Two of Chapter Two
I woke up that next morning, my head pounding, feeling absolutely terrible. What had happened last night? I rolled over on the bed I was lying on to find Ace curled up in a blanket next to me. I reached over and tapped her shoulder gently.
"Ace? You awake?" I whispered.
"Mhm." Came her muffled reply. She didn't open her eyes, obviously trying to fall back asleep.
"I had the craziest dream last night," I laughed, propping myself up on my elbow. "You wouldn't believe me if I told you."
Now Ace's eyes shot wide open, as if someone had pinched her. She sat up slowly, still wrapped in her blanket and said, "What?"
"We were like, these 'protector' things, from a Greek heritage," I rolled my eyes. "Isn't that random, or what?" I pushed back my hair and waited for her to answer.
"Uh, Callie," she said, our eyes making contact. "That wasn't a dream."
I snorted in disbelief. "Of course it was!" I scoffed. Was this another one of her stunts she was trying to pull on me?
"There was a man," Ace clarified. "name Cicero, wasn't there?"
This time it was my turn to sit upright. I stiffened at the memory. "How did you know that?" I asked, confused.
"Because I was there," she answered in all seriousness. "It wasn't a dream."
I stared at her for a couple of seconds before actually comprehending her words. So did that mean all this Greek God stuff was real? We were really these... Protectors?
I looked around and realized I was in Ace's room. So much for scary movies, I thought. We were probably all out the minute we walked in the house. I sweeped the room again and saw across the room in the small recliner was Skye, sleeping soundly.
"He's on the couch," a voice said from the doorway. "Demitri."
"Morning, Lexis." I smiled, and she grinned back at me.
"Waffles, anyone, before I leave for work?" she asked, and Skye stirred in her sleep.
"What did I miss?" she mumbled, rubbing her eyes tiredly.
"I'll make some waffles for you guys," she said. As she turned to leave, she paused and asked, "Callie, are you okay? You seem a little shaky there."
"I'm fine," I replied. "Just tired, that's all."
Tired? More like completely exhausted.
"Okay," She smiled, then left Ace's room.
"Well, this has been an interesting weekend so far," I observed.
"Interesting?" Ace raised her eyebrows. "It completely blew my mind!"
"It's Saturday, right?" Skye asked. We nodded. "That means we only have a day until we leave. What do we do until then?"
"We could practice using our powers a little more," Ace's eyes lit up. "Who knows what we could do?!" She beamed, and I knew we were in for a treat.
"Callie, what's your favorite color?" Ace asked me.
I knew she was up to something, because she pretty much knew almost everything about me already. "Purple," I played along, letting her have fun with her powers.
Before any of us had known the true meaning for the reason we were different, we never knew the boundarious or limits to our powers until now. At first, as Ace concentrated on my Taking Back Sunday shirt, I was puzzled by what she was trying to do.
Skye gasped. "Callie, look!"
Quickly, I looked down, half expected something embarrassing written across my shirt, but besides the dog hair, I couldn't see anything wrong with it. Then, slowly, as if someone were spray painting my shirt, the bright orange letters melted into various shades of dark red, to mucky brown, to a violent final shade of purple.
"Took a little longer than I expected," Ace observed. "Hope you don't mind."
"Ace!" I exclaimed. "How on Earth did you do that?"
Her cheeks flushed, and she looked down at the floor. "I was remembered how I could change my clothes' color without thinking about it, and then I wondered if I could do it from a distance."
I was shocked. "That's brilliant, Ace!"
She smiled, and straightened up in her sitting position. "Okay, Callie, let's see you try a little something more."
I could feel my face falling. "I'm not sure," I said. "Wait a second. How am I supposed to know what I can do, if I don't know where I got it from?"
Skye came over to sit on the bed next to Ace, and tried to answer my question. "Well, we know that Ace was gifted by Apollo. The music, artistic expert she is."
"And you were obviously given powers from Zeus," I concluded. "I would say Posideon, but I didn't hear Cicero mention him when he explained Zeus' choices. Cicero said the Gods Zeus picked were his children, and Posideon is his brother, so that wouldn't make sense..."
After a minute or two of pondering, Ace snapped her finger. "I think I got it!" she barely shouted. "You know how you can't read minds? Just emotions? Think about it. Feelings, like happiness, anger, love..."
"Aphrodite," Skye whispered.
"No way," I said, shocked. "Isn't she the Goddess of Love and Beauty? Then why can't I change what I look like, like Ace can?" I tried to ignore Ace's playful snicker.
"Think about it, Callie," Skye advised. "Your appearance was made to not need improvement. You were gifted from Aphrodite, so the reason you can't do that is because your complextion is only natural. Ace can change color schemes because it's only on the surface."
She looked over at Ace. "No offense or anything,"
Ace laughed out loud. "None taken! You keep explaining things to Miss Beauty Queen over there,"
"Hey!" I laughed back, throwing a pillow at her, and she dodged it. "Funny thing is, I'm not that self concious about how I look."
"You don't have to be," Skye said. "Aphrodite's a part of you,"
"Awesome," I said sarcastically, laying back. "My powers include not being able to worry about my makeup smearing. Greaaaat."
"Who knows?" Ace said thoughtfully. "Maybe you'll discover a hidden talent or something!"
"Actually, I think she doesn't realize the powers she has already," Skye smiled. "You're always the one I talk to when I'm not feeling the best. You have a gift of making people feel better about themselves."
Ace nodded. "I've noticed that, too. You're an easy person to talk to".
Our eyes met briefly. "I trust you. A lot."
I smiled to myself. What a coversation this had turned out to be, but this was making me feel a lot better. Not being a really girly person and all, you'd think I'd be gifted with something a little cooler, but then again, Ace had a point. I might maybe gain a new power soon, now that I'm aware of it.
"Oh no," I said, giggling. "We forgot about Demitri."
"That's easy," Ace shrugged. "Artemis."
"He's gonna get a kick out of that," I said. "One of the greatest fighters ever, and she just so happens to be a girl." Ace and I slapped a high five.
"Speaking of which, I'll go wake him up," Skye said. She got up from her spot on the bed, and we followed behind her, the smell of waffles from the kitchen making me sigh.
After a delicious breakfast, a mountain of toaster waffles made by Lexis, we tried washing the dishes, to no success. Skye had thought she would manipulate the water into cleaning the dishes themselves, but Demitri had snuck up on her, poked her sides, and sent a sinkful of water around all areas of the kitchen to drench us.
We spent the entire day laughing and goofing off, exploring all areas of our abilities. Demitri, despite my protest, had me repeatidly try to read his mind, which didn't work at all. Ace challenged Demitri to a bike race down the street, and lost epicly. Demitri was a speed demon, flashing down the road like a one way comet. The wind as he rushed by made my hair fly in all directions, and when the two of them came back to the driveway, we discovered Demitri'd popped one of the tires.
Skye was pretty much a walking garden, protruding delicate flowers surrounded by flourishing green grass from the dead yellow in the front yard. Ace constantly made the buttons of my video game controller switch colors, resulting in my major confusion and her little victory dance as she blasted my character to smitherines.
I did discover another thing, as weird as it sounds. I was playing with Skye's hair as we were watching a movie rerun, and the more I brushed my fingers through her blond hair, the more shiny it became.
Oh boy, I thought. C'mon. Cooler power, anytime now!
I didn't want to seem ungrateful, but the other three were just having a blast with their powers. I am extremely grateful for mine; I wouldn't have ever met Ace, Skye, and Demitri if it weren't for Aphrodite. We all had the same destiny, and I hoped that this trip to Greece would do me some favors.
By the end of the day, we all decided to take it easy. Ace put in the scary movies we were promised. The entire Final Destination series, The Blair Witch Project, Nightmare on Elm Street, and many others made for an exciting night. The only one who wasn't jittery by the end of the night was Ace, having seen all of them countless times. Video games were played, music was blasted, and the four of us were laughing and enjoying ourselves as if this were just another Saturday, but we all knew what lay ahead of us in the near future.
We'd have to wake up tomorrow, meet Cicero at the airport, and face our fate from there. We might as well have the freedom to live in the moment a little, before those moments might be gone.
Demitri was sprawled out across the couch again, and the girls and I had a heaping pile of blankets and pillows on the floor, all of us watching one last movie before we all crashed. I didn't want to check the time, afraid it would go by too quickly.
"Ace?" I asked, her feet in my face. She was facing the other direction, talking to Demitri about how her favorite actress in the movie did her own stunts. Demitri didn't seem impressed.
"Let's see you do it," Ace challenged. "Oh, wait. You probably could."
We all laughed, and Demitri pretended to flex his muscles. "Greece won't know what him them," he teased.
"While we're on the subject of Greece," I interrupted. "What's the game plan for tomorrow?"
Everyone went silent. I heard a few screams from the movie playing, and Ace turned down the volume, with no remote. Another power she'd discovered.
"Um, I was thinking of telling Lexis," Ace suggested, and looked around the living room, checking to see if she was anywhere near. "She might understand."
"That's one option," I considered it. "We can't just drive off the the airport by ourselves and not expect anyone to notice where we went."
"I like that idea," Demitri added. "Lexis is pretty cool with stuff like this."
We all came to a consensus on the subject, and returned to our movie. It didn't take a long time for the three of them to be out like lights. I was exhausted after everything we did today. Laying silently, wrapped in my blankets, I was clouded by a new emotion from my friends: belonging. We all knew where our place in life was, and we were all together.
Before closing my eyes, I prayed silently to my Goddess.
Thank you, Aphrodite. I thought about what Skye had said earlier about how my emotion reading gave me the advantage of helping people. I've found the meaning of our friendship. The four of us, together, are unstoppable.
Oil Springs, Kentucky
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