DISC: I DO NOT own any of the chars from TSWOAM. They belong to Ken Lipan. I only own the plot of this story along with anyone else you don't' recognize.
God loves you
"Uncovering the Secret"
"Is that the best you can do, Mack?" Louis Driscoll called as he threw the baseball towards Alex.
You want to see the best I can do?" Alex challenged him. "Watch this." With that she pulled the baseball out of Ray's grasp and threw it with all her might without lifting a finger.
"Hey!" Louis shouted. "That's cheating!"
"You asked for it!" Alex said with a laugh. "Now come on. We need to practice. I promise no more power plays."
"I wasn't complaining." Louis insisted. "Cheating's fine with me. Especially if you can keep the ball from the other team long enough for me to score a few home runs."
"Oh I can." Alex said confidentially. With that, she threw the ball without using her powers. She grinned as it sailed towards home plate.
Her grin turned into a frown when she saw the figure coming towards her from that direction.
"Hunter, look out!"
With a single thought, Alex stopped the ball's path before it hit the love of her life.
"Hey! You said no more using your powers!" Louis accused.
"That didn't count." Alex said just as Hunter reached her side.
"Thanks." Hunter said gratefully. He planted a kiss on her cheek and she grinned.
"No problem." She replied, a little breathlessly. "I couldn't' just let that ball hit you. Believe me; I know what that's like."
"Hey, Mack!" Louis called over just as Hunter pulled her into his arms. "Are we going to practice or what? I want to beat Pittsville before next summer."
"I think practice is over for the day." Ray assured him. "Besides, I have to go home and study for a test in history."
Alex gasped at Ray's words. She hit her forehead with her hand.
"Testing! Oh no! Annie's gonna kill me! I have to get home now." With that, she grabbed Hunter's hand and morphed them on the spot.
As they made their way through Paradise Valley, Alex had to remind herself that she was only dropping Hunter off. They couldn't make up for lost time today. They would have to wait to do that tomorrow.
Getting to Hunter's house, Alex reformed them and pecked him on the cheek.
She was about to morph again when Hunter gently pulled her back.
"I know you have to get home to Annie, but Grandpa Dan wanted me to give you something." With that, he lead tee way into the house and into the kitchen.
Following Hunter, Alex saw a set of keys lying on the table.
"What do I need these for?" She asked.
"You need them if you're gonna ride Fire Storm in the competition next month. I know you have your own special way of getting into places…" He grinned. "But this is for the TAC room at the competition sight."
"Thanks." Alex said. She grabbed the keys and the two lovers kissed one more time.
"Will you hold still, please?" Annie asked as she wrote down Alex's vital signs on a note pad.
"Annie, I really have to practice for the competition." Alex reminded her. "It's in four weeks."
"You have plenty of time. Just concentrate on what you're doing and we'll be done before you know it."
"That's what you said an hour ago." Alex complained.
Annie let a little smile play at the corners of her mouth even though her eyes looked stern.
"You can't say you haven't missed me." She said teasingly.
"I have." Alex said truthfully. "But I haven't missed the testing."
"Okay," Annie said, ignoring her sister's last statement. "Morph. I wanna test your speed."
Smiling to herself, Alex did so. She had a hidden agenda though.
The minute she was morphed, she waited for just the right second.
"I want you to go from one end of the garage to the-" Annie didn't have time to finish her sentence because she slowly found herself changing form as well. "Alex!" She scolded.
"What better way to test my speed than to experience it for yourself?" Alex suggested. "Besides, we haven't been on a ride together in a long time. Let yourself have fun once in a while!"
"I do know how to have fun!" Annie insisted. "But this isn't one of those times. Reform us now and stop playing around!"
Just then, they heard the kitchen door open and Barbara Mack call out.
"Girls, are you home?"
Alex stayed quiet. She knew now wasn't the time to test the waters, no pun intended.
"Be quiet and reform us now." Annie ordered.
"Uh Annie, I don't think that's such a good-"
"Alex…" Annie said warningly.
Alex recognized that tone and decided to play it safe.
Squeezing out of the side of a wall, Alex reformed them.
Annie was about to say thank you, when she noticed the different colored streak across her blouse.
Alex couldn't help but giggle.
"I tried to warn you." She said defensively. "That's where a can of paint spilled two weeks ago." With a teasing smile, she added, "Welcome home."
"You little…" Annie said with a determined look on her face. She lunged for Alex, but her sister morphed to avoid her attack.
"Get back here!" Annie demanded.
"Not a chance!" Alex called back. She was on the rim of the sink now.
"Don't you dare!" But it was too alter. Alex had already entered the drain and was heading upstairs to their room. "Try and catch me now!" She taunted from somewhere in the plumbing.
"Alexandra Louise Mack!" Annie growled in frustration just as her mother opened the door.
"Where's Alex?" She asked, looking around the room.
"Uh, she just went upstairs." Annie said truthfully.
"I didn't' see her in the living room." Mrs. Mack said in confusion. "Maybe she went up when I was putting groceries away."
It was then that she saw the puddle out of the corner of her eye. It was slithering towards her determinately. It missed Annie by inches and went for the far side of the wall instead.
"Mom, why don't I put the rest of the food away?" Annie offered.
"Honey, you just got back yesterday. I don't wanna put you to work." Her mother said.
"Really, it's no problem." Annie insisted. "Go rest."
"Thanks, honey." Mrs. Ma k said. She kissed Annie's cheek and left the garage.
Annie breathed a sigh of relief once she was gone.
"Alex, you can come out now." She said.
Alex did so.
When she reformed, she had something small and furry in her arms.
Annie got one look at the cat and shook her head.
It wasn't the same calico that had stayed with them for a little while back before Annie left for school.
This one was orange and white with a really cute pink nose.
"Where did you find her? And we are NOT keeping her." Annie insisted.
"I know." Alex assured her. "She was asleep on your bed."
"Yeah." Alex replied. "She looked so cute!"
"Look, you have an hour to practice. Go and get it in and I'll take care of the cat."
"Be nice." Alex warned.
Annie looked hurt.
"Alex, when have I ever not been nice?"
"I know how possessive you are of your side of the room sometimes. Especially when furry things are involved. I still remember when we were five and seven and you threw Casper out of the window because he was on your bed after you had cleaned your side of the room."
"He survived." Annie said as she took the cat in her arms.
"You are cute." She conceded.
The cat started to purr.
"That's not going to work." Annie told her. "At least not for a long time."
Alex smiled knowingly as she left the garage and headed for the barn.
Alex smiled as she directed Fire Storm down a trail a few weeks later. The practicing was getting easier and she enjoyed the rides.
She talked to Fire Storm about everything and she knew the horse listened.
As they rounded a bend in a familiar part of Grandpa Dan's farm, Alex suddenly started feeling tired.
She had felt tired earlier and Annie had insisted she take a nap before practicing.
Marmalade, which is what the girls had decided to name the cat, had snuggled with her for the first fifteen minutes before going to cuddle with Annie. She had picked her favorite person and it wasn't Alex.
Despite the nap, Alex had still felt tired when she had left.
Annie was concerned for her, but Alex insisted she wasn't getting sick.
Shaking herself to stay awake a little bit longer, Alex took a firmer hold on the reins and steered Fire storm towards the barn.
She never saw the fallen tree branch in the idle of the road.
All she knew was one minute she was on Fire Storm's back, the next minute she was on the ground and everything had gone black…
She awoke a few minutes later to someone calling her name. The person was male and he sounded worried.
"Alex? What happened?"
She wasn't sure if the young man was talking to her, but she decided to take the plunge. He seemed friendly enough and even though she couldn't remember how she had gotten on the ground, there was just something about the young man that made her feel at ease.
"I-I'm not sure." She answered as she tried to sit up.
"You're gonna be all right." The young man with light brown hair assured her. "I'm gonna get you home and Annie will help you."
She nodded. She didn't know who Annie was, but the sound of her name brought her comfort and a sense of calm.
The young man pulled out his cell phone and dialed a number. He talked to whoever had answered for a few minutes before hanging up.
"I told Annie what happened." The young man explained. "She told me she'll meet us at home. Your parents are coming home from work soon. You're gonna be okay. Come on." With that, he reached out and scooped her into his arms.
Alex didn't know why, but being in the light brown haired man's arms made her feel safe.
"Alex, it's okay." He assured her. "You're safe now. I've got you. Everything's okay now." With that, he gently laid her in the back seat before getting in the driver's side and backing down the road.
He tried to keep her awake during the half an hour drive back to her house, but it was hard.
Alex, as she assumed her name was since that's what the light-brown haired man had called her, was beginning to feel very tired.
Despite her growing exhaustion as well as slight dizziness and nausea, she did her best to listen to him.
Unfortunately, her tiredness was starting to win.
Before giving into the exhaustion, Alex said three words that jarred a memory in her mind.
The memory was hard for her to comprehend in her tired state.
She saw a flash of herself and the same man standing a few feet away from a house that looked semi familiar. The light-brown haired man had a hold of her hands in a loving and protective, but urgent way.
They were discussing something, but Alex couldn't make it out.
As the flash ended, she opened her mouth to speak. She prayed she was right with what she was about to say. She had heard the girl she assumed was Annie say the young man's name loudly into the phone.
Alex had a feeling Annie had yelled out of worry for her, but she couldn't be sure.
For all Alex knew, it could have been anger.
"Hunter," she said breathlessly, "I'm tired." And before she could say anything else, everything went black once again.
Alex awoke sometime later to someone calling her name once again.
She wasn't completely sure if the person was talking to her or not.
The person sounded anxious and worried, so Alex tried her best to answer her.
The voice was female. And even though Alex wasn't sure who it was, her voice brought her a sense of comfort and reassurance, just like Hunter's had.
"Alex? Alex, thank goodness you're awake. What happened?"
Alex gazed into a set of concerned brown eyes as she tried to answer the question. She wasn't' sure of that herself.
Not being able to keep quiet any longer, she opened her mouth to speak.
But what came out of her mouth wasn't an answer, but a question of her own.
"Where's Hunter?" She asked. She gazed around for the young man who had rescued her and brought her home-at least she assumed she was home.
"Hunter went home so you could get some rest." The brown haired girl explained. "You'll see him either later today or tomorrow. He told us what happened and told me to tell you he loves you and hopes you feel better soon."
Alex nodded, which made her head ache. She gazed into the brown haired girl's eyes, trying to figure out who she was.
It was then that she remembered Hunter's assuring words from earlier.
"I'm gonna take you home to Annie and she'll help you."
Taking a deep breath, Alex locked gazes with the brown haired girl before saying three words that ripped at her older sister's heart.
"Annie, it hurts!"
Even though alarm bells were going off in Annie's head, she knew she had to remain calm for Alex's sake.
"What does?" She asked. She tried to keep her voice calm, but she was worried.
"My head!" Alex replied.
Just then, a blond haired woman and brown haired man entered the room.
Alex moved closer to Annie for protection, not knowing who the two strangers were.
"Al, it's okay." Annie assured her. "Mom and Dad won't hurt you. You're safe now."
"How is she?" Mr. Mack asked, He took a seat on the left of Annie and gazed at his youngest with concern in his eyes.
Before Annie could say anything, Alex grabbed her hand as a scared blush crept up her cheeks.
Thinking fast, Annie pulled Alex into her arms and positioned her so she was facing away from their parents.
As the blond haired woman reached out to put a comforting hand on Alex's shoulder, Alex instinctively tried to push herself further into her sister's protective hold.
"Alex, it's okay." Annie assured her. "We're gonna help you. I won't let anyone hurt you." She put a hand through her little sister's dirty blond hair as Mrs. Mack withdrew her hand. It was breaking her heart to see her youngest in so much pain, but she had a feeling it was going to take time.
It was apparent that Alex had chosen who she wanted. And even though it wasn't her, Barbara and George were going to do everything they could to help Alex through this-no matter what.