"Are you having fun?" Scarlet asked as she took a seat next to Emily on one of the many logs upturned on the open field to be used as seats. The music of the party was so loud that Scarlet was almost yelling at Emily.
"Sure, loads," Emily answered sarcastically, though Scarlet didn't pick up on it. Emily's beautiful, yet a little dim-witted best friend, Scarlet Samuels was busy running her fingers through her red-blonde waves, while she locked eyes with her boyfriend.
"Scarlet, come dance with me," Jake called to her. Scarlet's smile grew and her blue eyes lit up.
"Hang on," she replied, barely managing to pull her eyes away from him to look at Emily, "You need to have some fun tonight. I mean, you're disobeying your brother's orders, you might as well enjoy yourself while doing it."
Jake approached them.
"Emily, you're hopeless." Jake let out a laugh as he shook his head, "Our chronic good girl."
She rolled her eyes.
"I'm here, aren't I?" she argued, "and anyways, I'm not going to risk getting caught by wandering around. I could easily run into one of the guys. I'm perfectly content to stay right here."
"My cousin's here and I don't care. I don't care if the boys are here," Scarlet answered.
"Well, last time I checked, your cousin doesn't care if you're here."
Scarlet knew that Emily was right. Reid was her step-cousin, only by marriage, and he was far more protective, as were the other guys, of Emily.
"I guess you're right about that," she answered, "but it doesn't matter. What's the worst thing that could happen? That you get a little grinding action with a hottie and your brother lectures you when he finds out?"
That scenario was very close to the worst that would happen and Emily was well aware of that fact.
"I'll dance, if someone worthy comes along." Emily smirked; it wasn't a lie. She wasn't going to risk getting in trouble for some random guy.
"Fine, be that way. You're such a little good girl." Scarlet turned away and Jake shook his head as he followed behind her.
Emily watched as the two made their way to the dance floor, their hands moving along each other's bodies, smiles on both of their faces.
"Hey Jesse," she replied with a smile to Jake's best friend, a senior who was in every sense of the description, tall, dark, and very handsome.
"What are you doing here? This isn't your scene, is it?"
"No, not really, Scarlet and Jake made me come. You know how they are." Emily shrugged.
"Does your brother know you're here?"
Emily knew that Jesse knew the answer to the question, "Actually, I didn't really mention it to him."
"Oh, rebelling I see."
"It's not exactly what I would call open rebellion," she answered.
"Why don't you make it one?" He looked at her with his green-grey eyes and a smirk that made it a pure dare.
"What do you suggest?" she asked ready for it. Emily Danvers was a good girl, but she wasn't the type to let a dare pass her up.
"This." Jesse handed her a drink and downed the one left in his hand. She tipped the glass, allowing the cool liquid to slide down her throat. When she finished, Jesse was staring at her.
"What are you looking at?" she asked.
"How did you do that?" He still had a look of awe on his face.
"All I did was drink it, Jesse," she replied raising an eyebrow.
"That's just a lot of alcohol for one little girl," he replied, "What else have you had?"
"I'm not a little girl," she answered, hands on her hips.
"I know you're not, it's just you're small," he answered, "petite, you know?"
Emily nodded. She understood what he was trying to say and really didn't feel like arguing with him. She looked over at the 'dance floor,' but didn't see Scarlet. Not feeling up to another drink with Jesse, she stood up.
"Where are you going?" he asked.
"Just over there," she pointed to the woods.
"By yourself? That drink is going to hit you any second. I didn't make it weak, Emily. Want me to come?" he asked.
Emily shook her head.
"I'll be fine, no one will mess with these." She flexed what little muscles she had.
He laughed at her.
She was a little drunk.
"Why are you going over there anyways?" he asked.
"To find Scarlet and Jake, they're my ride," she replied with a shrug.
"Well, if you don't get out of here, I think they'll be your ride," Jesse pointed to the four boys walking toward the group of dancers. The 'Sons of Ipswich' as they were called had arrived and Emily took on last sip of Jesse's drink before heading away from the people and towards the wooded part of the field, down the path to where Jake had parked his car. Emily glanced back at the guys. It seemed that people gravitated towards them.
She watched as Pogue kissed his girlfriend Kate and wrapped his arms around her, his leather jacket covering her arms. He kept his arm around her, even after their initial hug. He was always like that, protective of the ones he cared for. Pogue pushed his long brown hair out of his face flashing his hazel eyes. He was handsome; all the guys were in their own way.
Reid was standing next to Pogue and some blonde girl, presumably a transfer student. He had a cocky smirk on his face and Emily could safely assume that Reid had plans to get with the blonde like he had with almost every other girl at school. Reid was, at times, an idiot, but he was confident and girls tended to fall for that. It didn't hurt that he was easy on the eyes. He had light blonde hair, light blue eyes and a bad ass attitude to go along. He was a girl's dream hook-up and any girl who would have him was his dream.
Tyler, as usual, could be found next to Reid. Emily smiled at his calm grin. He wore it at every occasion, a calm smile to match his personality. He was the youngest of the 'brothers' and by far the quietest in temperament. He had light blue eyes and brown hair. Emily noticed a pair of keys he was jingling in his hand and laughed to herself. He hadn't even driven there. His new hummer was at school. Caleb had told her that he was picking up the guys. Tyler was damn proud of that hummer.
Emily's eyes drifted to look at her brother, Caleb Danvers, the eldest of the boys. He was smart and hardworking though the side she saw the most of him was his protective side. They looked nothing alike, but everyone knew who's sister she was, especially the boys attending Spenser. Caleb's hair was wavy and dark brown, Emily's was perfectly straight and blonde. Caleb's eyes were a deep brown, Emily's were bright green, but everyone knew. He was introducing himself to the blonde, and by the smile on her face, Emily gathered that Caleb had succeeded in charming her.
His voice made Emily jump and sent an involuntary chill up her spine. Reluctantly, she turned to face Aaron. To her surprise, he was alone. For a moment, that fact made her feel better; until she realized that she too was alone. Emily became conscious of the false sense of security she had while walking into the woods by herself.
"What do you want?" she asked raising an eyebrow, trying to sound calm.
"As if you don't know," he replied as he studied her with his eyes. Aaron pushed his hand through his brown curls and stopped when she didn't reply.
She made to zip up her jacket and he grabbed her arm.
"You do know what I want, don't you?"
Emily stared back at him. Aaron grabbed her other arm.
"Don't touch me, Aaron," Emily replied, trying to remove her arms from his grip. She closed her eyes as he slammed her back against the tree she had been hiding behind to watch her brother from afar.
"Just give it up," he said in almost a whisper, his finger traced her jaw line.
Emily could feel his breath hot and sticky on her skin. The feeling made her nauseous.
"Aaron," she said quietly, almost promisingly.
He leaned in, ready to hear her give in.
"You will never, ever have me." Emily tried to release herself from him but it didn't work.
Aaron's hand swung quickly, hitting her cheek.
"You wanna bet you little bitch?" He kissed her hard, still holding her hands above her head. He bit her lip and she tried to turn her face away from him.
"Fine," he said though she hadn't said anything. Aaron began working on unzipping her jacket, which he pulled off easily.
"Let me go," she protested loudly.
He looked at her with a smirk, "We're not even close to done here."
Emily screamed, but he quickly covered her mouth.
"Let me go!" she screamed, the sound muffled by his hand.
Aaron's hands were cold on her skin, like ice. He had started to kiss her again, and his hands were venturing around her body under her shirt. Her skin was on fire, filled with embarrassment and tears were streaming down her face.
"Let her go."
Aaron turned to look at him. Emily wasn't sure if she was happy or scared to hear the familiar voice.
"Mind your own business, Danvers." Aaron didn't look away from the boys but he kept his hand up Emily's shirt.
"You heard him, Aaron, let her go."
This time it was Pogue's voice. Emily assumed that Tyler and Reid were there as well.
"Why don't the four of you just mind your own business?" Aaron asked, his grip still tight on Emily."
"Considering that she's my little sister, I'm going to go ahead and say this is my business. Get off of her."
Aaron didn't move, but with a few quick strides, Caleb had bridged the distance and pulled him off of Emily, flinging him to the ground. Caleb stared at his younger sister. One look from him was all she needed.
"Go wait with Pogue right now."
Emily didn't move right away. She just stared at her brother's face.
"I said, now," he yelled at her.
She went to Pogue and he hugged her, walking her further away from the action.
"Are you okay?" he asked.
She smoothed out her clothes, shivering and wishing that she had her jacket. Emily's eyes were red when she finally looked up to his face. She wiped them with her hands. She didn't want Caleb to see her crying if she could help it.
"It'll be okay, kiddo."
"Did you really think that we'd let you get away with this?" Caleb asked. He was pissed, at Aaron for being himself and for daring to touch her and at Emily for not listening to him. Tyler and Reid had stayed behind with Caleb for affect. Caleb hadn't really needed the help. He was strong enough on his own.
"Hey, she wanted to come with me," Aaron answered, shrugging.
"No she didn't," Caleb retorted, "My sister hates you."
"She's fifteen; no girls your age will have you?" Reid asked sarcastically, "It's totally understandable, go for the vulnerable ones."
"Well, what can I say, she definitely doesn't look fifteen. She's hot. She's got this perfect little reputation. I couldn't resist."
Caleb punched him hard and then lifted him back up and punched him again. Pogue and Emily were far enough away that they couldn't hear everything that was being said, but they could see it all. Aaron stood up again.
"It's not my fault if she stumbled in here like a drunken little slut. She was asking for it."
Caleb punched him possibly harder than he had ever punched a person before. It was over and they all knew it. There was absolutely no way that Aaron was coming back for more after that.
"If you ever touch her again, I will kill you." Caleb walked away with Tyler and Reid following in his wake.
"You're going to be in big trouble," Pogue said as he noticed Caleb nearing them.
She noticed him too, and moved around the other side of Pogue, using him as a barrier, "You can't hide from him."
"I know," she answered quietly. She wished that she could hide from him though. Caleb had a crazed look in his eyes and she could tell just by the way that he was walking that he was angry. She felt nauseous, but she didn't know if it was from the looming feeling that she might get killed in the near future or the fact that she had drank more than she ever had before. Caleb didn't say a word when he grabbed her arm. He was walking quickly and was dragging her along with him. The guys fell in behind them.
Tyler looked at Emily sympathetically. He knew that Caleb wasn't going to let her hear the end of this for a long time.
Caleb was like a father to her and everyone at school understood it. Their mother was a drunk, their father gone. He had to take care of her and if that meant tough love, he was going to dish it out. He had an obligation to her, and out of admiration and respect, she had an obligation to him as well. Emily respected him enough to let him tell her what to do. She gave him the same type of respect that she'd give her parents if they were to ever act like parents, probably more.
"Party over- Jake says he saw three cop cars down the road, move out."
They heard the voice go over the speakers just as they reached the car.
"Get in the car," Caleb said as he let go of her arm.
She did as she was told, rubbing the place on her arm that he had been gripping. Tyler and Reid filed in beside her.
"Are you alright?" Tyler asked quietly as they all got settled. She shook her head, not willing to say anything until Caleb asked her to, "Are you sure?" he looked at her eyes, green irises and red in all the rest. She shook her head again, though she wasn't convincing anyone. He placed a hand on her knee and squeezed encouragingly. Caleb sped down the road.
"We showed Abbot what's up," Reid said ending the silence and starting a new, even more uncomfortable silence.
Caleb caught Emily's eye in the mirror. He was pissed. She looked away. The nauseous feeling had returned, possibly stronger than the last time.
"Emily, you don't look too good."
She looked at Reid, annoyed.
"I'm fine," she answered quietly.
Caleb turned looked at her. She wasn't fine and he knew it.
"What did you drink?" Caleb asked. He had slowed the car down to a reasonable speed.
"I don't know. Lots of stuff." she answered.
"Do you have any idea what could've happened? How goddamn stupid that is?" he asked, pissed. The alcohol was just the icing on the cake.
Caleb cut her off, "We'll talk later." He pushed the button, rolling down the window the window for her. The cool air blew on her face and she felt a little better. She knew she wasn't that drunk, but she didn't feel well and Emily knew that she had a long lecture awaiting her. The fact that he wasn't yelling at her in front of the guys made it all the worse because that meant real trouble.
"See you later, Caleb," Reid said as he stepped out of the car at the school, "Good luck." he whispered to Emily.
"I want you up here in the front," Caleb said from the front seat.
"I'm fine back here," Emily answered, looking to Pogue and Tyler for help. Caleb didn't have to say another word. He turned and stared at her and Emily quickly moved herself out of the back seat to where Tyler and Pogue were standing.
"Feel better, Em," Tyler said as he hugged her with an arm. He was quiet, and sincere. She could hear Reid talking to Caleb at the driver's side window.
"Emily, let's go, now." His voice was gruff and low when he added it to the end of something he had been saying to Reid.
"Try not to talk back to him." Pogue suggested as he followed her to the car door.
Emily got in silently.
"Call me in the morning, Caleb."
"You got it," Caleb answered in a semi-normal voice. He was trying his best not to sound pissed at his friends, too. He was mad at Emily, not them.
The ride home was silent. Emily had busied herself pretending to read a piece of paper she had found in her purse. She looked up at Caleb, but he was staring straight ahead.
"I'm sorry," she offered into the silence.
"No you're not. You're just sorry that you got caught."
At this point, Emily was sorry that she had done any of it, but his tone was making her angry.
"So what?" she asked, "It's not like you're perfect."
Caleb didn't respond. He had barely stopped the car when she opened the door and started walking toward the house.
She didn't stop at his command. Caleb grabbed her arm and turned her towards him in one fluid motion.
"Please, don't use-."
He cut her off.
"I'm not using on you," he answered, "I really don't think I need to, do I?" Caleb was irritated that Emily would even think he would do that to her. However, his grip was tight; to Emily, it felt like he was using his power.
"Can you let me go?" she asked. He didn't answer and she tried to pry his fingers away, "Caleb, please. You're hurting me." He let go of her arm and they walked silently into the house. Their mother was sitting alone in the front room with a glass in her hand.
"Caleb?" she called.
"Yes mom, it's me."
"Oh, wonderful, now both of my babies are home. Emily has been so quiet tonight; she didn't even want dinner."
Caleb looked to his sister.
"You have exactly five minutes to get upstairs and change into something half way decent."
Emily turned away from him and walked up the stairs to her room. Caleb entered the living room after he watched her head up the stairs.
"You look so much like him," she said glancing at a picture of Mr. Danvers, "like a twin, Caleb."
"I know, Mom, and Emily looks just like his sister, Jane."
"You know that I met him when he was a year younger than you are now."
"Yes, you've told me."
"You and Emily remind me so much of them. He protected her too."
"Not well enough apparently," Caleb mumbled to himself.
Aunt Jane had died in a fire that had killed her husband and the rest of their family including three children James, Anna, and Lily.
"What did you say?" she asked.
"Nothing mother, please continue."
"You're going to ascend soon, I can't lose you like I lost him, I just can't," she offered, sounding distressed.
The five minutes Caleb had allotted had passed and Emily ventured into the hallway, sitting by the stairs and listening intently.
"Mom, I can handle this. I am not him," he retorted, getting irritated.
"That's what he said about his father and look where denial got him, in that old house, like an old man, practically dead."
"I'll be careful."
Emily thought about her father and what he was doing. Nothing, she thought. He couldn't do anything even if he had wanted. The power had been too much for him. He used and used until it took whatever youth he had, leaving him comparable to a turnip, useless. He was practically dead to them.
Emily hadn't even noticed Caleb come up the stairs. He walked into his room and she followed, taking her regular seat on his bed. He paced back and forth for a few seconds before looking at her. She could tell that he was choosing his words wisely.
"What were you thinking?" he asked.
"I wasn't," she replied, "I never should've gone, Caleb."
"Then why did you? Last time that I checked, you're fifteen and you still are supposed to do as I say. I told you to stay here tonight for a reason,"
"Scarlet wanted me to go," she answered.
"I don't care who wanted you to go. You're my sister and I told you that you weren't to leave the house tonight."
"Well, there's nothing that we can do about it now," she answered. Her comment didn't help and that was obvious.
"He could've raped you. You know that, don't you?" Caleb said in a serious tone.
"No he couldn't have," Emily retorted though she knew it was a possibility.
"You were going to stop him?" Caleb asked, "You're method of getting him to stop appeared to be working out really well."
"Well, it's not as if I'm going to be doing it again," she answered, "I didn't exactly have fun tonight."
"Good," he answered, "If you ever do this to-," she cut him off.
"I know, I'll be in big trouble," she answered.
He raised his eyebrows at her.
"Sorry, I know this is serious." Emily stood up.
She had tried to goof around to make things go quicker, but it didn't seem to be working.
"Do you see how mom is?"
"You're not her, and I'm not him. Let's keep it that way." He searched her eyes, "You can't do stupid stuff like this Emily, especially with the things that you know. Do you know what would happen to us if anyone found out about the powers? One stupid mistake could ruin everything."
"I know," she was quiet. Caleb had struck a nerve.
"You don't know."
"Shut up, Caleb," she responded, "I'm not stupid."
"Well, you're being naïve and obviously don't know how important this is."
"Well, what do you expect me to do, Caleb? I mean. It's not like it's even my responsibility to protect your stupid powers. I wish you guys didn't even have them."
He was getting annoyed with her.
"And I don't care if you're mad at me. I didn't do anything wrong. Mom would've let me go out if I'd asked. It's not your responsibility to act like my father."
"You didn't ask her and you are my responsibility. Dad is less than capable of doing anything, never less dealing with your bull shit, and as for Mom, she is just about as incapable as he is. So, yeah, this is my responsibility and don't think that I'm ever going to forget that. As for protecting the powers, you're not just protecting me, but Tyler and Reid and Pogue too. If you're too stubborn to realize how important that is then fine, but remember that the four of us would do anything for you. Anything."
Emily didn't really know what to say in response. He was right, and she had known that. She had known that before he said it. Caleb may have overreacted sometimes, but overall, he was right, almost always, "Go get some sleep, you can run some errands with me tomorrow."
"You're not going to leave me alone, are you?" she asked.
"No, not any time soon," he answered honestly. Emily walked back to her room and slammed the door. She didn't need a babysitter, but her brother was going to act as one. Emily lay down on her bed and within minutes, was asleep. She was drained mentally and it was causing her to be tired, physically.
She awoke in the middle of the night not knowing what woke her. It was like a pulse throughout her entire body that had awakened her from a dead sleep. She headed down the stairs to the kitchen for a bottle of water. The house was pitch black. Someone had forgotten to turn on the light above the stove in the kitchen.
"Damn," she hissed as she stubbed her toe on one of the island chairs. She pulled open the refrigerator door allowing light to draw a line across the kitchen. Emily grabbed her water and closed the door and screamed. The body standing next to her had a blue glow about it, looking as though it was a zombie from one of those scary movies. Its eyes were white, the skin pasty. She jumped back, but it had disappeared. It was a darkling. Her brother had seen one before and told her about it, but Emily didn't understand why she could see it. She wasn't one of the Ipswich sons. She didn't have any powers. She took a sip of her water figuring that she had just been seeing things. There was no way that she had been sent a darkling. If this was what alcohol did to her, she never wanted it again. Emily turned into the foyer and dropped her bottle when she hit into a body. She let out another scream jumping backwards and falling in the process.
"Calm down, it's just me," Caleb answered providing her with a hand. She grabbed it and he pulled her up. She was shivering and pale, "What's wrong with you? Your hands are freezing."
"It's nothing; I just had a weird dream. I couldn't fall back to sleep,"
Caleb looked at her skeptically.
"Then why did you jump?" he asked. She followed him into the kitchen and took a seat at the counter. He did the same after grabbing a bottle of water, "So, why did you jump?" he repeated.
"It's dark and you scared me. I wasn't expecting it is all," she answered.
There was an extended pause in their conversation.
"Why are you up?" she asked.
"Something woke me up," he answered nonchalantly, though he made a weird face when he said it, "I'm going back to sleep, you coming?"
She slid off of her chair and followed closely behind him up the stairs.
"What was your dream about?" he asked.
"Nothing," she replied, "I mean, it was just weird. I'm sorry about earlier by the way, and not the 'because I got caught' kind either."
He stopped and grinned at her.
"I know you are," he answered hugging her, "How's your arm?" he asked. She rubbed it and shrugged. He pushed up her sleeve far enough to see a bruise.
"Caleb, don't worry about it. You didn't do it on purpose."
"No, Em, I didn't know it was that hard, and I shouldn't have been like I was to you. You've been through a lot tonight."
"Don't worry about it. I'm fine and it doesn't even hurt," she lied, "its fine, you were mad."
"No it's not, stand still," Suddenly, his eyes turned black and the bruise, along with the pain, disappeared.
"Caleb, I can't believe you. It was just a bruise. Don't use it for something stupid like that, I said I was fine." She walked away from him, angry, "You're such a moron."
Caleb grabbed her around the waist before she reached her bedroom door, pulling her back to him.
"Caleb, let me go."
He released her and she turned to face him with her hands on her hips.
"Didn't you hear what Mom said earlier?"
"I did, but you shouldn't have," he answered, "you weren't supposed to be eavesdropping."
"That's completely irrelevant," she replied, "she was right though. If you don't learn some self-."
He placed his hand over her mouth.
"Emily, I know. Please don't worry about it. I know that I shouldn't use, okay? I think I actually know more about it than you, but I'll try to control myself, okay, I'm sorry," he said all of this in a very patronizing tone.
"Fine, but you're still a moron," she replied.
Caleb picked her up over his shoulder before she could close the door to her room and set her down on the bed, tickling her.
"Stop, Caleb, Stop!" she said between short intakes of breath, "Stop it!" she screamed and he placed his hand over her mouth again.
"Quiet Emily," he said while laughing.
"It's your fault; you wouldn't stop," she answered when he took his hand away.
Caleb was in a better mood and Emily was glad for that, even if it meant that she had to get tickled.