LbN: This is sort of a prequel to Pogue's Ascension. In that story, each of the boys has a power that's unique to them- their Gift. They're younger in this story, around 15 years old. Happy reading!

Reid fiddled with the buttons on his jacket as the adults talked around them. The Sons of Ipswich were sitting close enough to talk to each other, but they stayed quiet. They hated the summer holidays. Their families would live in the mansion just outside of the town. It was set back in the woods, away from the main road. Though it was good to be close to his "brothers," this meant that they had to put up with family dinners. Inevitably, one of the parents would get up and lecture them on their powers, citing Caleb's dad as an example of what not to do with them. Reid watched as Caleb picked at his cheesecake—the oldest warlock was obviously dreading the same thing. Reid hated the way they picked on Caleb. He couldn't help whose kid he was; none of them could.

"Boys," Tyler's dad called. Next to Caleb's father, Mr. Simms looked the oldest. Right now, he looked between 60 and 65 years old. "Which of you has been Using?"

"I haven't," Caleb said quickly.

"Me either," Pogue shrugged.

"Only a little," Tyler admitted.

"Less than Reid," Caleb said.

"Screw you!" Reid hissed under his breath. Now that the older boy had thrown him under the bus, he didn't feel so bad about the others picking on him. "You make it sound like I'm Using all the time!"

"You shouldn't be Using at all!" his mom snapped. "Tyler, Reid, you have to understand. Every time you Use, that makes it ten times harder not to Use again the next day, and the next. By the time you Ascend, you'll be three steps away from your grave."

"We know you boys know the consequences," Reid's dad said, nodding at Caleb's father. "We're just trying to protect you."

"No more Using," Pogue's dad said. "Unless it's a life-threatening emergency. This isn't just about your Ascensions. The more you Use, the bigger chance someone outside of the family will catch you."

Reid looked around. The parents seemed to have run out of fuel. Caleb's mom was drinking, and his dad was in a wheelchair glaring at everyone. Trying to sound as humble and chastised as he could, he asked, "May we be excused now?"

The parents glanced from him to the others. Finally, Reid's dad nodded. "Good night."

"Good night," Reid said with a smile. He and the others stood and pushed in their chairs before making their way out of the dining room. They walked silently over to their wing of the house. Once they were there and Reid was sure the adults wouldn't hear them, he shoved Caleb into a wall. "Thanks a lot, you jerk."

"What?" Caleb huffed, pushing him back. "You have been Using a lot."

"I could've told them that, thanks. I don't need you to rat me out."

"You would've said the same thing as Ty. You would've gotten off easy."

"Chill out, you two," Pogue said, stepping between them. "Caleb, stop tattling. Reid, stop giving Caleb a reason to tattle. Good? Let's go to sleep." He opened the door to the room on the right and Caleb followed him in.

Reid followed Tyler to their room, still fuming. Just because, he levitated one of the books on Magic to his bed.

"Reid," Tyler said in a low voice. "Come on, don't do it just to get back at them. They're not even here to see it."

Reid sighed. "I know what my Gift is," he said.

"Really?" Tyler asked excitedly. "Why didn't you tell the families?"

"They were already pissed about us Using."

"They would've understood. You're the only one who hadn't found his Gift yet. Can you heal, like me?" Tyler had been dying to find out what Reid's Gift was, almost as much as Reid himself.

"No. I can change things. Turn stuff into other stuff," the fifteen-year-old said. "Want to see?"

Tyler cast a worried look at the door, but nodded.

"You can't tell Caleb I was Using."

"Alright," Tyler said after a moment. "Just do it quick."

Reid took the glass from the nightstand and stared at it. His eyes went black, and after a moment of concentration, the glass turned into a bottle. He looked at Tyler, who smiled approvingly.

"Sweet. You're going to have to tell them sometime soon, you know."

"I know. I'll tell Dad when we're not around everyone else. At least then if I get in trouble, it'll only be with one person."

Tyler chuckled and climbed into bed.

Reid turned his lamp on and picked up the book on his bed. He turned a black stare to the overhead light to turn it off. "Good night, Ty."

"Grrmphsldk…" Tyler mumbled through his pillow.

The blonde chuckled and settled down in bed to read.

LbN: Hope you liked it! Send reviews! The poll on my profile's about to close. None of the Covanent stories have any votes, so if you want to see more of these, go vote! :)