DISC: I DO NOT own any of the chars from TSWOAM. They belong to thief respective creators. I do however own the plot of this story, along with anyone you don't' recognize.
"A Long Road Ahead"
"Again." Annie instructed her sister.
"Annie, come on." Eighteen-year-old Alex Mack protested. "I have less than three hours to get ready for the party. Hunter's gonna be here in two hours!"
"Alex, this will be the last one, I promise."
"That's what you said an hour ago!" She pointed out.
"Okay." Annie surrendered. "This time I mean it. This is the last one. Go on."
Alex sighed and pointed her fore finger at some metal cans in the center of the room.
A zap of electricity came out of her fingers and hit the cans dead on.
Annie wrote the measurements down in a notebook and declared Alex done for the day.
"Finally." Alex said with a sigh. "I'll see ya later, Annie. Love ya." With that, she left the garage and headed for the room she and Annie shared.
Alex shook her head as she made her way upstairs.
Smiling to herself, Alex started getting ready for the party she and her boyfriend Hunter Reeves and best friend, Ray Alverado were attending that night.
It was going to be held at Hunter's grandfather's barn on the outskirts of Paradise Valley.
Hunter's Grandpa Dan had given the young adults permission to use the barn just so long as it didn't' get destroyed.
They were just gonna play some music, eat and talk amongst themselves as well as dance.
Alex was secretly hoping to get some time alone with Hunter.
Ever since Alex's powers had returned even though she took her father's antidote a few months ago, Hunter had been a little more protective of her than usual.
Alex knew Hunter was only acting this way because he loved her and that made her heart melt.
Not that the rest of her couldn't melt along with it if she wanted to, but that was beside the point.
Just thinking about Hunter made her blush. She smiled as the familiar glow came over her. She took a deep breath in an effort to calm down.
She didn't have to worry about her parents finding out about her powers this time because they were away for the weekend.
Alex slipped into the shower and let the water relax her worries away. She was looking forward to this party.
She knew Ray and Hunter were looking forward to it as well.
Rachel Driver, Ray's long time girlfriend was going with them. She and Ray had been going out for a year longer than Hunter and Alex.
Alex was happy for her best friend.
Alex had initially been jealous of Ray and Rachel's relationship, but now the two young adults were friends.
Choosing a Hawaiian print dress that Hunter especially liked, Alex picked a tropical camisole to go over it since it was getting colder outside.
Brushing her hair and leaving it down, Alex put on a pair of comfortable shoes and went to wait for Hunter in the living room.
"Al, you look nice." Annie complimented.
"Mahalo, sis." Alex replied.
"Wow, I'm impressed." Annie teased.
"So what do you have planned for the night?" She asked, sitting down on the couch across from her older sister.
"I'm gonna read for a little bit, make some dinner and then go to bed."
Just then, Annie caught sight of the different colored sparkles reflected in Alex's dirty blond hair.
"Alex, did you read the label before you used them?" She asked worriedly.
"Yes." Alex replied, rolling her eyes.
"I'm just checking." Annie said, her tone slightly hurt. "I don't think I need to remind you about what happened a few Halloweens ago and Louis's UFO scare?"
"No." Alex assured her. "That's one Halloween I'll never forget."
The doorbell ran a minute later.
"That's probably Hunter. I have to go. I Love you, Annie." With that, she was gone.
Alex opened the door to find Hunter standing on the other side.
She grinned and gestured for him to come closer.
"Hey." He greeted warmly. He kissed her on the cheek as he felt her pull him in for a longer kiss.
Hesitating slightly, knowing Annie wasn't faraway, Hunter pulled back.
Seeing the disappointed look on his girlfriend's face, he leaned in and kissed her cheek.
"Annie won't care." Alex assured him. "Now come here."
Hunter obliged, wrapping his arms around Alex's shoulders and pulling her closer to him.
The sound of Ray clearing his throat was what broke the two young lovers apart five minutes later.
"Gees, can't you two wait until we get to the barn?"
"Sorry Ray." Alex said a little breathlessly as she pulled away from Hunter.
Ray grinned to show Alex he wasn't' really irritated.
"So are we ready to make waves?" Ray asked, getting with the Hawaiian theme of the night.
Alex shoved him playfully before turning back to Hunter.
"Let me say good-bye to Annie and we can get going."
"Okay." Hunter said. He followed Alex into the house and gave Annie a friendly smile.
"Hey Annie. " He said.
"Hi." Annie replied. "So I see you two wasted no time in getting down to business."
Alex shot her sister a look.
"I'm just saying." Annie said defensively.
Alex ignored her.
"Have fun you guys. And be careful." She added, directing that last statement at Alex.
"We will." Alex assured her. She let Annie give her a small hug before leaving the house with Hunter and Ray.
Sitting in Hunter's car with Ray and Rachel in the back, Alex smiled over at Hunter.
"This is gonna be so cool!" Ray said excitedly. "This is just what we need after nine months of school torture."
"Tell me about it." Alex agreed. "Although some of us had more torture than others."
Ray nodded, catching onto what his best friend was saying.
"I'm glad everything turned out all right." Hunter said gratefully.
"You're not the only one." Alex said with a smile. "I know I've said it before, but I couldn't have done it if it wasn't for you two."
"You're my best friend, Al." Ray said sincerely. "I couldn't just leave you there."
"Me neither." Hunter interjected as he turned onto the dirt road that lead to Grandpa Dan's barn.
Getting out of the car a few minutes later, Alex stretched her legs and took in the fresh smell of the mountain air.
"I love it out here." She said, surveying the freshly grown pumpkins and wide open skies.
"Me too." Hunter agreed. "Now, remember what Grandpa Dan said. We have to clean up and leave this place exactly how we found it."
"Don't worry." Ray said, patting Hunter on the shoulder. "He won't even know we were here. Besides, we have help." He winked at Alex, who grinned at him.
"Ray's right, Hunter." Alex said assuringly. "We won't let Grandpa Dan down."
Hunter nodded just as Nicole's car pulled up right behind Hunter's.
Louis showed up a few minutes later. He was driving Ray's car, which accounted for Ray and Rachel needing a ride.
Ray was gonna drive Rachel and Louis back home after the party.
"Let's get this party started!" Louis exclaimed the minute he got out of the car.
Alex rolled her eyes.
"Great, Louis. Just yell loud enough for all the wolves to hear you."
"There are wolves out here?" Louis asked.
"Maybe. " Hunter confirmed. He winked at Alex, who tried to suppress a giggle.
Louis looked a little uncertain as he helped carry food into the barn.
Laughing softly to herself, Alex followed close behind with a cooler full of drinks and snacks.
"There aren't really wolves up here." Hunter confided in the love of his life. "A few coyotes maybe, but no wolves."
"Let's pray we don't run into them while we're out here."
"Don't worry." Hunter assured her. "As long as we don't' bother them, they won't bother us."
Alex nodded. She trusted Hunter with her life, so she took him at his word.
Getting inside the barn, Alex shivered as the door closed.
She remembered all too well how she had battled it out with a ghost two Halloweens ago.
Even though the ghost was gone, the memories still haunted her sometimes.
Sensing her apprehension, Hunter put a protective arm around her and squeezed her shoulders reassuringly.
"Don't worry," he said, kissing the top of her head. "Artamus is gone. Thanks to you."
"Seriously," Hunter continued, "Grandpa Dan hasn't' heard from him since last year. I Think we'll be okay."
"Okay." Alex said. "Why don't we get the stereo hooked up and get things started."
With that, the two started setting things up along with their friends.
Before Alex knew it, most of the food was gone and the music was being replayed for the second time around.
"Want to find a quiet place?" Alex asked Hunter as they watched Ray and Rachel dancing in the middle of the barn.
"Sure." Hunter agreed. "Follow me." He was about to take her hand, but Alex shook her head.
"I have a better idea. Come here."
Without having to be told, he wrapped his arms around her neck and waited for the familiar tingling sensation to come over him.
Before Hunter knew it, he and Alex were a silver puddle on the floor.
"Where are we going?" Hunter asked as he got used to the feeling of being morphed.
He had only morphed a few times over the last year and he wasn't fully accustomed to the feeling yet.
"You'll see." Alex answered in her gurgling puddle voice.
Stopping for a second, Alex surveyed their surroundings through her panoramic vision.
When she spotted their destination, Alex took off like a shot.
"Alex!" Hunter pleaded. "Not so fast."
"Sorry!" Alex apologized with a giggle. "Are you okay?"
"yeah." He replied. "Just don't go so fast the next time."
They reformed a few minutes later. Hunter took a few minutes to recover from the speed they had gone.
"Are you sure you're okay?" Alex asked in concern.
"Yeah." Hunter said as he took another deep breath. "I'm fine now."
He smiled when he saw where Alex had taken them.
"This is nice." He commented.
"I thought you would like it." She replied.
Hunter grinned. He wrapped an arm around her and pulled her close.
Alex closed her eyes in contentment as she felt their lips meet in a passionate kiss.
Both of them were out of breath when they finally pulled away twenty-minutes later.
Alex was smiling even though her face was a light with a slight golden glow.
"Are you okay?" Hunter asked.
"I-I'm fine. " Alex replied a little breathlessly. "I guess being away from you for two weeks while you were on vacation with your Mom made me realize how much I missed you."
"I missed you too." Hunter assured her.
Alex leaned in for another kiss, but Hunter shook his head.
"Let's just relax for a little bit." He suggested. "We're gonna be here all night after all."
"Right. " Alex said, beginning to glow from embarrassment this time.
"You did tell Annie we were staying the night to watch the place for Grandpa Dan, didn't you?" Hunter asked her.
"Yes." Alex replied. "She's fine with it. She trusts both of us, so there's no problem."
"Good." He replied. "What about your parents?"
"They're away for the weekend." Alex answered.
Hunter nodded as he put a hand through her hair.
Alex caught sight of Hunter's right hand which now had different colored glitter on it.
Alex looked away for fear she would burst out laughing.
"What's so funny?" Hunter asked as he heard a small giggle escape her lips.
Rather than answering him verbally, Alex took his right hand and held it up to the fire light.
"Oh." He said, blushing now.
"It washes out." Alex assured him with a smirk. "I promise."
"It's cool." Hunter assured her, pulling her close once again.
To show he meant it, they kissed and Alex felt Hunter's hand comb through her hair once again.
The sound of Ray's panicked voice broke the young adult's out of their romantic embrace.
"Alex! Alex! Where are you? Alex!"
"I'll be right back." Alex said softly.
"I'm coming with you." Hunter told her.
"Okay." Without warning, Alex took Hunter's hand and morphed them both once again.
"Will you warn me next time you're gonna do that?" Hunter asked.
"Sorry." Alex apologized in her gurgling voice.
Getting back down to the main part of the barn, Alex reformed them both and went over to Ray.
"Ray, what's wrong?" She asked.
"Where were you two?" Ray asked.
"Does it matter?" Alex retorted. "We're here now. What's going on?"
"We need to get Louis home." He said, gesturing to their friend.
"He seems fine to me." Alex said as she watched Louis dancing to a song on the stereo.
Ray shook his head.
"I think he's drunk."
Alex's jaw nearly hit the ground!
This couldn't be happening. This could NOT be happening. They had specifically promised Annie and Grandpa Dan that no alcohol would be served since none of them were of drinking age yet.
"That's impossible!" Alex blurted out once the shock wore off. "Nobody brought alcohol. All we brought were sodas and juice."
"Unless…" Hunter said, suddenly getting an idea.
"What?" Alex demanded, turning to her boyfriend.
"Grandpa Dan keeps some liquor in a cooler similar to ours, but it's in the back of the barn. Do you think Louis mistakened the cooler for ours and got something to drink out of it?"
"If he did, we're all dead." Alex said with a frown. "Grandpa Dan will never trust us again!"
"Alex, calm down. " Hunter advised. "We weren't the ones drinking. We're fine, Louis is the one who made the mistake. If we get him home, nobody will know."
"He can stay at my place for the night." Ray offered. "My Dad won't be back until tomorrow afternoon."
"Great!" Alex said with a sigh of relief. "Problem solved. You can take him back to your place and let Annie know I'm all right."
As Louis broke into a chorus of Margarita vile, Alex gave Ray a pleading look.
"Maybe now would be a good time." She added pointedly.
"Okay." Ray said. With that, he went over to Rachel and explained what was going on.
She agreed to help and they both managed to get Louis to the car without too much trouble.
As Ray went to pull out of the driveway, he glanced back at Alex and Hunter.
"Are you sure you two don't want a ride?" He asked.
Alex shook her head.
"No. We'll be fine. We have Hunter's car if we need to go back for any reason."
Ray nodded even though he looked unconvinced.
"We'll be fine, Ray. I promise. " Alex insisted.
"Okay." With one final glance at his best friend and her boyfriend, Ray took off for Paradise Valley.
Entering the barn once again, Alex and Hunter cleaned up with Nicole's help.
Once the place was almost back to the way they had found it, Nicole too left for home.
Breathing a sigh of relief, Alex sat down on a bed of straw.
"Well it's just us." She said, smiling at Hunter. "What do you want to do?"
Hunter shrugged as he sat down next to her.
"Maybe we should try and get some sleep." He suggested. "It's almost eleven and we need to be out of here by eight in the morning."
"Okay." Alex said as a yawn escaped her lips.
Getting comfortable on a bail of hay, she threw a blanket over herself that Grandpa Dan had left for them.
"Night, Hunter." Alex whispered as she closed her green eyes.
"Night, Alex. I love you." Hunter replied. He kissed her on the cheek and wrapped an arm around her protectively.
"I love you too." Alex said sleepily.
It took Hunter a while, but he finally fell asleep as well.
Before Alex knew it, Hunter was shaking her awake.
"Alex, come on. We have to go!" His voice sounded urgent, which confused Alex at first.
Alex opened her green eyes and sat up.
The first thing she noticed was that the sun wasn't out yet.
The second thing she noticed was the lightning lighting up the sky.
"What's going on?" She asked, although she had to shout to be heard over the wind.
"We need to get back home." Hunter insisted. "We can't stay here when it's storming like this. It's too dangerous. Come on."
"Is it safe to drive?" Alex asked as she let Hunter lead her towards the exit.
"yeah." Hunter replied. "It should be okay once we get off this road."
Hunter was about to open the door when Alex made a split second decision.
Grabbing Hunter's right hand, Alex morphed them and slid across the floor and out the door.
Sloshing over the wet ground, Alex could see a tree had already fallen down a little ways away from the barn.
Zipping across the muddy path as fast as she could, Alex got them to the car and slid inside through a crack in the right passenger's side window.
Once she had reformed them, Alex slid over to the passenger's side, letting Hunter take the wheel.
"As long as we stay off the main road, we should be okay." Hunter explained as he put the car in gear and backed down the driveway.
Alex prayed her boyfriend was right.
As they pulled off the main road leading to the barn, the storm seemed to let up a little.
Alex sighed with relief. She had taken to using her telekinesis to keep the car steady despite the slippery road ahead.
"Thanks." Hunter said as he gave her an appreciative smile.
Alex nodded as they hit an especially slippery spot.
"No problem." Alex replied. She just prayed they made it home in one piece.
She had a feeling Ray had told Annie what was going on. Her sister was probably worried sick by now.
"She's what!" Annie said in disbelief. "You left them there alone!"
Ray put up his hands in defense.
"I didn't know it was gonna storm, nobody did. Alex is safe with Hunter. And if they need to get back, they have a sure fire way that won't get them into trouble."
"I know, but still. This storm is really getting bad out there."
Ray glanced out the window as did Annie just as another clap of thunder crashed, followed by a streak of lightning lighting up the sky.
"Alex will be fine." Ray assured her. "She knows how to take care of herself. I know you and Hunter were both worried about her ever since she was captured by Danielle and escaped, but you have to give her credit. Al can take care of herself."
"I know." Annie said. "But that doesn't mean I still don't worry about her. She's my little sister, Ray. I love her."
"I'm sure she'll call once they get closer to town." Ray assured her.
"I hope you're right." Annie said just as another thunder clap interrupted the night, making Annie even more worried about Alex.
Meanwhile, fifteen miles from Paradise Valley, Alex and Hunter were trying to make it home in one piece.
Alex was still keeping a grip on the car with telekinesis, but she was getting more tired by the second.
"Why don't you take a break." Hunter suggested. "We've hit a pretty smooth path. I think we'll be okay."
"Are you sure?" Alex asked. "I don't want you doing all the work."
Hunter smiled at her lovingly.
"I'm sure." He replied. "Besides, we'll be home in the next-"
But he never got a chance to finish his sentence as a truck came barreling down the road at twice the speed they were going.
Alex tried her best to move the car out of the way, but she was too tired.
The last thing she heard was Hunter calling her name and the sound of sirens before her world went completely black…