Lolly: HELLO, CHIKATITAS! This is officially a TAGTEAM, written by Lolly (Lolly Pop Ali…me… - name subject to change, like, daily) and Miss Stephie! (Sunshine418.) This new story is going to contain some strong themes, so if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen. It's for Jesse and Paul fans alike, and will get VERY twisted...

Steph: Lolly wouldn't let me write Jesse and Suze getting to third this chapter. BLAME HER.

Lolly: :rolls eyes…a lot:

Steph: ANYWHOSIT, never fear... the Jesseness is here. AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!

Lolly: Shut up Steph.

Steph: NEVER.

Lolly: STEPH!

Steph: Okay, okay….jeez… Enjoy the story peeps.

Lolly: Or else…

DISCLAIMER: We don't own the Mediator Characters – only the plot of this fan fiction.

SUMMARY: This time, he's gone too far... The stakes are even higher; Jesse's trapped, and to get him back, Suze is forced to agree to a deal that no girl should ever have to accept. Paul's playing with fire and Suze is the one who's going to burn.


Some say the world will end in fire –

Some say in ice

From what I've tasted of desire,

I hold with those who favour fire.

But if it had to perish twice...

I think I know enough of hate

To say that for destruction, ice

Is also great

And would suffice.

By Robert Frost.


'For the last time, Susannah! I refuse to engage in such a tasteless activity with you,' Jesse sighed, looking badgered.

I glared indignantly. 'It's not tasteless!'

'Yes it is!' Jesse insisted. 'All the...positions you were discussing...'

'That's how we're supposed to do it!' I told him.

'It's unseemly!' he cried.

'Oh, for God's sake...' I rolled my eyes, crossing my arms huffily. 'Just take of your shoes already.'

'W-what?' he spluttered.

I narrowed my eyes. 'Your shoes! OFF!'

Jesse scowled, and started pulling off his boots whilst muttering in highly irritated Spanish. There would be the occasional English phrase: 'I can't believe I'm...this is ridiculous...' but then it'd become foreign once more.

Once he was finally barefoot, he stood before me, grumbling. 'I will make a point of not enjoying it...'

'You won't be able to help yourself,' I teased. 'All you know what to do?'

'No! I've never done this before!' he said, exasperated.

I waved my hand airily. 'Don't worry. I've done it thousands of times. With all of my friends.'

Jesse raised his eyebrows, looking a little alarmed. '...Dios.'

'All right,' I grinned, happy that I'd finally gotten my way after all that arguing, all that begging and all that convincing. 'Do you want to do it first?'

'You should, you're more experienced than me,' Jesse said moodily.

I sniffed. 'Fine.'

Then I got onto my knees, and started flicking...


God, I love Twister.

Jesse was really getting the hang of letting me bully him into embracing the wonders of modern society. In this case, the sacred Art of Twister

Good boy.

Jesse had been getting the hang of a lot of things lately. Namely...being the boyfriend of the hottest girl in Carmel.

Well, okay, me. But he didn't know the difference.

Things had been going pretty good ever since that day in the graveyard a year ago. The day he finally admitted his feelings for me. I felt like I was walking on air the whole time. Jesse was just so... sigh inducing. It was amazing how all he has to do is whisper a word in my ear, or slightly touch me and I got all gushy in the heart, and wobbly in the knees. He was surprisingly attentive too. For a guy, I mean. I guess boys from his time were just trained better. For example, for my birthday a few months ago he gave me a single lily.

...Okay, I know that might SOUND cheap, but it was REALLY sweet the way he gave it to me.

It also didn't hurt that that was the day he officially said the L word. You know...

'I love you.'

I know... sigh inducing, that boy is. And well... for those keeping score...we'd been to second and a half base, now.


Which means, basically, even though the third base coach was waving him along, he's decided to hang at second until the first baseman pushes him into moving. The only problem is, I fretted that no one was gonna make it to the base to do that.

But anyway, the tragedies of my bases aside...I was smack bang in the middle of a potentially wonderful game of Twister with my dead boyfriend. I grinned mischievously at Jesse, and put my right foot on one of the red dots. Jesse's expression seemed to relax a great deal. 'Ah! So it's just stepping on these dots, then?'

I shook my head. 'No...' I then invited him to flick the spinner. He did so hesitantly.


With a wary look at me, he placed his fingers gently on the yellow dot, the most far away from my right foot. I smiled, like the innocent thing that I inevitably am.

'My turn...' I whispered sneakily.

I flicked the spinner.


I inspected the Twister board. The rows were in order of green, yellow, blue and red. My right foot was on the corner red dot, opposite side of the narrow-eyed Jesse, who was probably waiting for me to bring in another rule that would make him blush even more than he had been during my gory description of Twister. I opted for the closest green, which was in the corner next to my red-bound foot. I was now standing comfortably with my legs a little apart on two corners of the board. 'Your turn,' I told Jesse.

His brow furrowed a little as he flicked the spinner.


His gaze snapped to the Twister board critically, analysing his options - any spot on the red row, besides the corner where my foot was. He opted to put his foot on the spot right in front of mine, while sitting on the board to still keep his hand on the far yellow spot.

'This isn't so bad,' he remarked mildly, staring up at me.

My face cracked into an evil grin as I flicked the spinner. 'It's only just started, Jesse.'

The spinner twisted crazily, before settling on...


Jesse looked confused. 'You can't do that - you won't be able to reach, from standing up...would you like to flick it again - ?'

I giggled. 'I'm not supposed to be standing up,' I said. Then I sunk to my knees, keeping my toes still on my respective green and red corners.

And I reached right over, leaning right over Jesse.

He swallowed.



His face looked very strange, then. As unreadable as he was, I got the distinct impression that he was suddenly very hesitant. 'Querida...perhaps we shouldn't– '

'What's wrong?' I asked him playfully, leaning my head down a little so my lips were a breath away from brushing against his. 'It's just a game, Jesse...'

His eyes fluttered closed, and he strained his neck a little to meet my mouth with what he'd intended to be a soft kiss, but I pulled away. He opened his eyes again, frowning.

'Your turn,' I said, grinning.

He rolled his eyes, and stretched his free hand over to flick the spinner. It landed on LEFT HAND, RED. I laughed as he twisted his body beneath me, so his right foot was still in place. I ended up getting a faceful of his shoulder, though.

'It's your go, I believe,' Jesse's strained voice said. 'This isn't particularly comfortable...'

I flicked away...


I blinked quickly, trying to find a blue spot that I could REACH, while still maintaining my corners with my feet, and the corner I'd conquered with my left hand. The only place that was physically possible was the spot right in front of Jesse's...


What? He was LYING on the rest of them, all bent and twisted and...

I shoved my hand there insistently, accidentally touching him a little. I shifted my hand away, awkward. Jesse's eyes widened. 'Susannah.'

'Sorry,' I spluttered.

'How does this game end?' Jesse demanded. 'How is the winner even decided?'

I smiled luxuriously. 'The first one who collapses, loses.'

He nodded.

I added, 'That will be you.'

'I beg to differ, Susannah,' he tossed his head arrogantly. 'My arms are stronger than yours - I can hold myself up for longer than you.'

'This is your first time!' I snapped. 'You don't win on your first time, trust me. I've been playing this for years. I'm pro at it.'

'You're not going to win,' Jesse's grin turned stubborn. His eyes flashed with tenacity. 'My turn...'

And so the game continued... it was pretty awkward, but was absolutely priceless whenever I got Jesse to blush if he'd like, have to put his hand between the my legs' dots. My arms were killing me, having to support myself without collapsing on top of him. And it absolutely murder, being that close to him...

He was feeling it too. I could tell. He was totally trying to look away whenever I, panting, caught his eye.

So yeah. We were a twisted human pretzel by this time. What? Twister's original name wasn't 'Pretzel' for nothing, you know. One of his hands was right between my legs on the blue dot, while his other one was on the yellow dot so his arm kept kind of accidentally brushing over my chest, and both of his feet were on red dots. My hands were both behind me as I pushed my torso up.

'You're going down,' I muttered. 'No one's beaten me at Twister since I was eleven years old.'

'I assure you, I am not losing,' Jesse said with fierce determination, laughing at my intense expression. I glared. It was my turn...but I could stall if I wanted to...

'Fine. I guess it's time to play dirty then.'

'What– '

But I pushed myself up further, and started nibbling on his ear, kissing all along his neck.

Jesse groaned at the sudden shock of pleasure, and his hand slipped a little. Unfortunately, not completely off of his dot like I'd been trying to do. 'Susannah!'

I smirked against his throat, before pulling away. 'What?'

'I'm almost certain that's not allowed,' Jesse said firmly, breathing a little harder. 'Stop cheating.'

I giggled, wily 'There's no rule against it...'

Jesse flicked the spinner, and suddenly I found his left hand on the blue dot right beside my face, only three up from the blue dot that his RIGHT hand was at, right between my legs. I blinked in alarm, and he snickered, his body now leaning quite low over me.

'So, what was that...technique you used to win? One that you assured me was not cheating?'

'Um– ' I said, but before I could stop him, his lips pressed against my neck, kissing it slowly. Instantly, my heart imploded with fierce pounding and my blood coursed hotly beneath my skin. I moaned. 'It's...only not cheating when I do it...'

He laughed.

I flicked the spinner, and found my hand move, to my dismay, only two spots down. Not really setting me up for a win.

Jesse's turn came next, declaring his next destination to be RIGHT FOOD, YELLOW. He moved accordingly, now leaning over me completely, his hand still in between my legs. My left knee was bent right up as I strained away for my leg to not touch his right arm, because whenever it did, it felt almost unbearably good. And besides, I had a feeling he'd get a little weird if he found out he was touching me so close know, there.

Jesse's annoying like that, sometimes.

'Still think you're going to win?' he asked me curiously, his face wickedly handsome above mine. I tried not to look at him - it was WAY too distracting, and I needed to think of how I was going to steal back my rightful victory...VERY hard when an extremely good-looking, twenty-something ghost is practically straddling you - under Twister circumstances, of course.

'YES,' I said jerkily. My breathing was a little...heavier than it should really have been. 'And THEN I'm going to do a total VICTORY dance because I would have WHOOPED your ass so bad– '

Jesse's smile became even more devious. 'Do not count your chickens, querida.'

'I'm not. I'm just telling you what's going to happen as of– '

But suddenly...he moved his fingers that were between my legs, grazing them barely against my inner-thigh.

Just barely. But it was catastrophic all the same.

'Shit!' I squealed. The reaction was INSANE. The skin there, already awake and tingling from its previous close-encounters, suddenly electric pleasure shot right up my leg, hitting my spine and sparking dangerously...there.

And in the sudden shock of it all, I gasped as my left leg slid out from its spot on the yellow dot.

...I'd just lost.

Face falling, I flopped back. 'That was SO not fair.'

'I win,' Jesse grinned down at me.

'No,' I shook my head. 'I think there actually was a rule. You know, that cases where the girl REALLY likes the guy, and the guy pulls a move like that, then the girl gets, um, eight free turns – '

But suddenly, Jesse moved both his hands away from his dots to slide them beneath my head, his lips finally capturing mine.

Well... okay... maybe losing isn't SO bad. I mean, if this is the consolation prize...

I'd lose willingly each time. Teehee.

Without much delay, Jesse deftly rolled over so that I was on top of him. I beamed, stroking his face. 'Well, win,' I admitted, feigning grumpiness.

He half-smiled sexily up at me.

'What's my prize?' he wanted to know.

I leaned down and started to nibble on his ear and quietly whispered into him, 'Whatever you want...'

He laughed heartily and held my head to his ear whilst he enjoyed my nibbles. His fingers ran through my hair idly.

'I love you...' he said, dazed.

'I love you too.'

'Do you want to do this on your bed?' he asked after a few more minutes of kissing. He smoothed my hair away from my face.

'You'll be there, right? None of those "It's tasteless!" inhibitions?'

He rolled his eyes, which I thought was majorly rude considering how much those inhibitions had ALREADY inhibited our making-out before. 'I'll restrain myself. But you know I only do it out of respect to you...'

'What if I don't want to be respected?' I asked, irritated.

'Be careful what you wish for,' Jesse warned. He lifted himself up from against the now crumpled Twister board. 'So, you're content on your bed? It will be far more comfortable,' he added, as if trying to hide any dishonourable intentions. Ha. Jesse doesn't HAVE those. Unfortunately.

'Sounds cosy as peas already,' I smirked, standing up.

I lay down on my bed and he crawled on top of me.

'So, can I collect my prize now?' he asked, smirking

'If you must,' I teased.

He pressed his lips against me with smouldering heat. After a few minutes of that, his hands, which had been carefully holding my sides, crept up ever so slowly.

Taking my queue from him, I slipped my ever-adventurous fingers under his shirt and slowly pulled it over his body and off him.

Oh, for shame...

My fingers danced over the expansive planes of his back whilst his lips danced over my neck's delicate skin. I giggled lightly as he nipped a little bit of my skin next to my racing pulse.

'Your skin is so soft..." he said huskily. His fingers slipped under my shirt and played along the ticklish skin of my stomach.

'That tickles,' I said, giggling.

'Hmmm...' his lips quirked. 'Does this?'

With that, his fingers slid upward, dragging my shirt with it.

Soon we were kissing with the delightful absence of both our shirts – the only difference being that Jesse, unlike myself, was not wearing a bra. Words were gone now... only heat, emotions, and our bodies touching was present.

It felt so good- his bare chest pressed up against my own... He than slipped his had between our bodies and gently palmed my left breast. I moaned – an embarrassing yet customary outcome of this situation. Not, you know, that it occurred that often – Jesse's still pretty difficult to get to this stage. But it didn't change the fact that although he may talk a big game about morals and respect, when I got him turned on, he was kind of hard pressed to live by his words.

'You feel so good...'

'You make me feel good...' I replied, grabbing his head and bring it up to my lips.

I gently stroked my tongue against his as he calmed me with a soft and slow kiss that left me aching for more.

It seems that was all I wanted lately: More.

I desperately wanted to sleep with him. However, he still stood high to that.

The closest we'd been was a few times he'd accidentally brushed his hand against know. But the operative word there was "accidentally."


But still, very few complaints slip through my dizzy mind when he's kissing me like he was then. Can you blame me? The boy can kiss. Because, teehee, the boy likes me.

I pressed up against him further, my body needing to be as close as possible to his. I closed my eyes, drifting off into a place that consisted only of us. I mean, not only did he make me feel physically good, but...everything else, as well.

That's love for you, I guess.

I didn't know what it was about him. But his ability to make it all seem okay, and make everything right, and safe - I craved that just as much as the pleasure he provided. I craved everything about him. And I wanted more than anything to give whatever I could back to him.

Jesse was breathing hard against my neck, running his hands firmly and admiringly along my body. I smiled giddily. God, I could do this all day -


My eyes snapped open in horror. Oh my God. I was late for -

Jesse, noticing me tense up, pulled away with a frown. 'Susannah.'

I groaned, and smacked my head. 'Jesse, I...I gotta go. Me and, um, CeeCee have a date out. A girly one, you know? With just us girls. No boys allowed. None to speak of.'

God. If I was going to lie, perhaps I could have done it WITHOUT sounding like a dorkfest?

Jesse's eyes were kind of...half-closed. It took me a moment to realise it was because of arousal. Arousal, guys. For me. Oh God, I was going to kill -

'You can't...postpone it, can you?' he asked, obviously in a moment of weakness.

Man, I wanted to then. WHEN, I ask, was I going to get him to the point where he was begging me to stay with him so he could have his way with me? However, I knew the stakes if I was very, very late. Paul wouldn't be pleased. He didn't like his shifting lessons put off.

I pouted, about to sadly tell him that this wasn't possible, when his hands slid smoothly across the hot and mildly sweaty skin of my back, edging toward the clasp of my bra. My eyes widened. Okay, THIS WASN'T FAIR. HOW COULD I LEAVE WHEN HE WAS JUST ABOUT TO CROSS SECOND BASE AGAIN?

'I - I can cancel,' I spluttered, but then he pulled away.

'No,' he sighed, shaking his head and trying not to look at me. 'You should go, Susannah... I don't believe I trust myself at the moment to...keep control...'


He looked over and smiled ruefully, sitting up. 'Sorry for - '

'Don't you dare apologise,' I said, fierce. I pulled on my shirt, disgruntled at the very THOUGHT of Shifting Lessons. Then, I rolled over, sitting on his lap and kissing him quickly. He was breathing as hard as me.

Oh golly, Suze...don't even THINK about the word "hard"...

I got off of him quickly, and went to my mirror to readjust my messy hair. Jesse came behind me, kissing my neck. Tempted once again to blow Paul off completely, I turned around to -


Gosh darn it, WHY is this guy so damn kissable?

It's that smile. I know it. The sexy one. You know. The one he reserves just for me.

Well, okay, so no one else – save Paul and Father D – can actually SEE him smile... but still. That smile is for ME people.

...And sometimes Spike. But shut up.

With a grumble that tried to convey to him how HARD he was making my departure, I pulled away. 'I really gotta go, you know. Stop...making me want to stay.'

And with that heart-warming smile that liquefied every liquefiable inch of me, he dematerialised in a cascade of blue glory. I sighed, waited impatiently for my pulse to stop racing, before finally grabbing my keys and my jacket, and hightailing it.

Yes, you read that right.


As in, not for the house, or some sad little secret diary that any self-respecting breaker-and-enterer can smash open.


Yes, ladies, Susie is LEGAL!

Um. On the road, I mean.

I begged and begged and BEGGED mom, saying that Dopey already had his license and that DOC was probably going to get his for me and that I was probably the only sixteen year old in Carmel who didn't have one and that Carmel was not exactly the same as New York with its really high level of public transportation and that I couldn't spend my life begging Sleepy to give me a lift everywhere because he had a life too and that I REALLY needed to get my permit and, oh by the way, mom, can you buy me a car...?

And she did.


Well, okay. It wasn't that easy. She totally made me get a job – I'll explain later – to start paying for it, because it did cost over eight thousand dollars. But she said if I paid for a big chunk, the rest would be my birthday present – a few months ago.

And yeah, the car wasn't exactly perfect. It did stall a lot. And it was like, third hand. But it was beautiful. It was aquamarine – no matter how many times Brad calls it 'blue' – and it was all mine.

And Adam McTavish maintains HIS car is sexually attracted to it. We both had Bugs. Mine's just...older.

...Anyway, moving on. After parking my ass in my beautiful car, I revved the engine happily – I still got that buzz whenever I sat in the driver's seat, you know? All...happy and in control – and reversed, before losing a little bit of my glee when I remembered my eventual destination.

Scenic Drive: Paul Slater's house.

It was weird how I didn't just insist that we should conduct our shifter lessons elsewhere. I mean, it's not like there was any specific reason why we had to host them there. He could have brought his stupid ancient books anywhere he wanted.

...Sorry, haven't really been all that fond of books lately. You'll understand. Because, oh, that job that mom made me get? Yeah. It was at a BOOKSTORE.

You know, it's really not like I have a problem with books. I don't. I've read Harry Potter, and the Chronicles of Narnia, and Gone With the Wind and even a few from Jane freakin' AUSTEN in my time.

But this wasn't just any bookstore. It was a second-hand one.

Once again, don't think I have any prejudice against a good old place of...old mustiness. I don't, really. It's just...I mean, why couldn't mom have found me a job at Barnes and Noble? Where all the books were extremely new, and the lights didn't flicker? Where everything didn't look like it came out of a black and white movie?


However, it was in our agreement, mom's and mine. She had a friend whose parents' business was going a little under, and they were having trouble finding new employees. The pay wasn't amazing, the sales weren't exactly soaring, and the darling old owners, Mr and Mrs. Hughes, weren't exactly the most astute business people. But a job was a job, said mom. And being the newest worker at Second Time Around – the name of the second-hand bookstore – was going to guarantee me my beautiful car.

So I relented, as a sixteen year old girl desperate for an aquamarine set of wheels will inevitably do. And in doing so, gave up my Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays – something mom assumed was perfectly fine during the summer break.

Um, anyway, back to the impending shifting lesson. You see, Paul had also increased his time he wanted to spend with me over the summer, since he argued that he wouldn't be seeing my lovely self at school. Which, you know, completely confirmed the fact that he was shamelessly using his lessons to spend time around me. I didn't mind it so much, as long as I learned everything there was to know about who – and what I was, and what I was capable of.

Oh yeah, and he also increased his threats against Jesse, saying my lover boy was crispy toast if I didn't consent.

God, I hated that Slater boy.

That meant that pretty much any time he wanted to schedule a shifting lesson – or a Perv-On-Suze-Session, as I suspected – as long as I wasn't working, I had to show. I told him the maximum per week was three times, due to my uncanny belief that I was trying to have a social life, and he begrudgingly agreed.

Unfortunately for me, today was one of his hastily arranged days: Wednesday.

But seriously, I should have really been scheduling my calendar to work around WORK, SHIFTING, and MAKING-OUT-WITH JESSE, because I'm a girl who doesn't really like to clash, whether it be fashion-wise, or...otherwise.

I pulled up at in his driveway, and pulled pink sunglasses off, storing them in my bag. I evacuated my vehicle and landed on his front doorstep, ring the bell.

After about forty seconds, the door finally opened to reveal a very relaxed looking Paul, who simply smirked at me.

'You're late.'

I flushed a little, and rapidly averted his leering gaze. 'Um, hi to you too,' I mumbled.

He moved out of my way, inviting me in. I slid past him.

Now, not matter how many times Paul proved to me that he really was The Bad Guy, it never changed the fact that I knew – as well as he did – that he was hot. And that he affected me, despite my fierce objection to this being true. From his sublime crop of curly dark hair to his hauntingly pale eyes, as sharp and as cold as they were icy blue, to his big, tanned hands, to his sinister smile that quirked crookedly whenever his gaze fell on me...

Er, yeah. I knew the guy was bad.

But while I knew that, he also knew that I desperately loved Jesse more than life itself, and therefore realised that any more attempts to woo me would be in vain, because my heart wasn't for sale – nor would it ever be bought by Paul's pretty pennies, shiny as they were.

Seriously, though. It's one thing to recognise that some guy is hot. It's completely another to be hopelessly devoted to someone, and just think it's just an extra perk that they're major eye-candy: example, Jesse.

It didn't make it any easier to be around Paul, though... because I knew that his mind was never on the theory of shifting, when I was in vicinity. His mind was never on anything innocent, where I was involved. I knew that only too well, now. At least knowing kept me constantly on guard.

I made my way up his cold stairway, just as I did every other time I had to spend that painful hour at his house. And just like always, he was in hot pursuit, walking directly behind me. He'd never say anything until we got to his room.

He closed the door behind himself upon our entrance. 'So,' he said, as if our very limited conversation hadn't even stopped from at his doorway, 'Why are you half an hour late, Simon?'

I shrugged, sliding my jacket off and throwing it over the back of his swivel chair. 'Um,' I said.

Yeah...Paul usually inspired a LOT of "Um..."s from me. It's not something I'm proud of.

I glanced back nervously to meet his chilling gaze. It was still fixated upon me, as if I were his only interest; his obsession. His smirk was just that bit crooked...just enough to make me irritated that I wasn't in on the joke too.

'Um,' I said again, 'I don't have to explain my absences to you. I was late. Build a bridge, already. There's really not much of a story there.'

Paul's smirk faded a little. 'Oh,' he said, in faint recognition. 'Him.'

'Did I say that?' I demanded.

'Like you even have to,' he said, sounding a little sarcastic. Well excuse me if he was a sour puss.

I rolled my eyes and sat on his swivel chair. 'All right, what are we doing today? Because I can't be bothered trying to learn how to materialise again. We both know that I can't do it, and I had the worst headache after your last lesson, from trying so hard - '

'We'll do theory then,' Paul grinned, sinking to his knees and pulling out the box of ancient texts from beneath his bed. I sighed, and whined a little. Theory was so...dull.

He knew I hated it, too. Because whenever we did theory, he retained the right to read over my shoulder, which meant he was always sitting very close to me. And his hands tended to wander a lot when we were both holding the book... he got a kick out of "accidentally" touching me, and then claiming it was an accident when I yelled at him.

After selecting a book with no words on its cover, he sat on the bed, cracked it open and started flicking to a page that he'd obviously picked out beforehand. From the lack of dust that flew up while he was reading, I could guess that this book had a lot of general use - unlike some of his other ones, who sent me into a coughing sit whenever I opened them.

'All right,' Paul said, 'Come sit over here and read this... this book's very broad, and it's got documented history of shifters - or those equivalent of - from cults worldwide. This books really interesting, if not a bit on the...gory side. It's a bunch of collected diary entries most of the time, translated to English.'

I didn't put up a fuss. Whenever I got all weird about sitting next to him, he'd always go off on a tangent how I was just trying to "deny my desires" or something, which would just get me even madder. It was a lot easier when I just played along, only stopping when I was truly provoked.

I knelt on the bed next to him, pulling the book onto my lap curiously. Paul, however, wasn't looking at the book. I turned, and met his gaze. It had flickered up from the place it'd been.

I swallowed. 'Don't,' I warned him.

'Don't what?' he wanted to know.

'Don't...look at me like that.'

Paul sighed. 'I was just remembering,' he said muttered, his gaze sliding down to my neck. His eyes were glazed with cold fire. 'Last time we...'

His finger brushed my neck gently, and I gasped from the touch but determinedly pushed him away.


My word was harder than ever.

Rolling his eyes, he mumbled, 'Fine. Just read.'

I returned my attention to the open pages of the book. There weren't any pictures on the page, so I didn't know why he'd called it gory before.

However, after reading halfway down the page, I shoved the book away.

'Eww,' I scowled, and he grinned slightly with apparent satisfaction.

'Graphic, right?'

I shot him a glare. 'That's so gross.'

The article had detailed a certain ability of the Seers of the Dead - they could force the dead spirit to relive their own death, getting more and more violent each time the power was used upon a certain spirit. It had then detailed accounts of how some of these ghosts had died. It wasn't the ability that had shocked me - it was just...the obviously enjoyment of the writer. He'd totally got off on pulling this trick on a ghost. You could tell by the way he described it all; his sick fascination with seeing his ghostly victims in pain...his descriptions of their blood...

Just - it was gross.

'Who the hell was this guy?' I demanded, stabbing a finger at the article. 'I mean...what he did was cruel.'

Paul was smirking lazily at me, tracing his fingers over the edge of the page. 'It's pretty cool, I reckon.'

I made a face. 'No, it's not. It's sadistic, that's what it is. I don't need to learn this stuff, Paul. I'd never do that to a ghost, not even one I hated.'

'But Suze,' Paul argued, seeing that I was quite angry at him, 'Ghost torture is a huge part of shifting. Our powers are allow us to do anything, practically. Seriously, if you're in a life or death situation and a ghost's pissed you right off; don't you ever wish that you could do something worse than exorcism? Have a little fun with him before you send him off to the next plane of existence? Get revenge? Because we can.'

I stared at him, horrified. 'You're serious. You actually want to teach me how to hurt ghosts.'

'Why do you look so disgusted by it? They're just ghosts,' Paul rolled his eyes. 'They're the reason we have powers. We're the only ones who can punish them for the things they did when they were alive.'

'Paul,' my voice was now very hard, 'I don't want to learn about that stuff.'

'You told me to teach you about shifting,' he reminded me lightly. 'This is what shifting is. Exacting our power over the dead.'

'Not TORTURING them!' I snapped, furious. I felt sick. Did he really think I was capable of making a ghost go through that pain? Did he really know me that little?

'It's who you are,' he pressed.

I shook my head fiercely. 'No it's NOT. That's just the stuff that ROTTEN shifters probably get up to. I'd NEVER - '

''re hot when you're pissed,' he smirked at me.

I narrowed my eyes, before shoving the book to the floor and storming out of his room.

'Oh, come on!' he yelled after me, 'Get back in here, Suze. You know you have to. We made a deal, remember? Because the minute you back out, so will I.'

Barely outside his door, I stopped and counted to ten. I hated him so much...

I returned, glowering. 'I'm not what you say I am...'

He looked irritated. 'Stop being so self-righteous, Simon. You have to face the facts; you and I were born to do this. We're meant to control the dead. Why else were we given these powers?' he made a sweeping hand motion toward the book, still splayed across the floor. 'Why else are we capable of that? Just think how fun it would be, channelling that kind of power...just knowing that it's your God-given right.'

I swallowed, barely able to hold his chillingly cold gaze. Desperate denial flooded through me.

'You're wrong...' I whispered.

'I'm not,' he assured me, grinning in a sickly amused manner. His cold eyes flashed. 'You've been helping them for too long. I've told you before; I don't believe in letting ghosts walk all over me. This is how we can show them who has the authority, Suze...'

I shivered. My fingers felt numb. 'No - '

'This is why it's just so unnatural that you fell in love with one,' he gritted his teeth. 'They're not our equals, Suze. They're our prey.'

'Shut up...' I hissed at him. 'I swear, I'll leave - '

'And I swear,' he countered angrily, 'That I won't hold back. I'll make him suffer like you can't even imagine.'

I paled as the words spilled from his serpentine tongue. I gaze dropped; my confidence lost. I fell into a heavy silence, staring at my icy cold hands.

'Can I keep teaching now?' he asked, victory slithering through his words.

I nodded wordlessly.

God, I hated this...


Lolly: Please review. First chapter, and all...just so we know our readership and all that jazz.

Steph: Lolly likes cheese.

Lolly: Steph likes taco.

Steph: Lolly likes putting her cheese in my taco.

Lolly: I love you...