Here's the next chapter and meh, I don't know if it's all that great. I kind of ran into a writer's block and wasn't really feeling this chapter, but hopefully next chapter will get back to the path I want to take this story in. Anyways, thanks to ASKification, jylers, ValentineZombie, NerdyAlert, KamesGetTogetherAlready, annabellex2, JC Maxwell-Yuy, Theweirdblond, Melanie, FanficOzzy, 4ever with Kames, LoveSparkle, Makkenji, Chey21, ThatKamesLover15, winterschild11, and Bliny05, for the alerts, favs and reviews. Hope you all enjoy.

Characters: Kendall, James, Carlos, Logan, Mrs. Mitchell, Sebastian, Niles, Peter, mentions of Camille and Jennifer and introducing Tad

Warnings: Abusive behavior from Peter and Tad and hopefully questions answered


Sebastian dusted around the telephone set, listening to Mr. Diamond on his cell phone chatting to his secretary. At least, Sebastian thought it was supposed to be his secretary. The rather lewd smile on the man's face as he spoke to her over the phone and how he purred his voice into the speaking end made Sebastian think she was more. James wouldn't be happy to hear about this. Sebastian left the study and walked downstairs, into the living room and dusted around the mantelpiece and the bookshelf near the fireplace. He glanced over his shoulder, checking for anyone else around, before he placed the feather duster down and picked up the phone to dial a number.

He waited for a few moments, before he heard the other person pick up. "Hello?" a woman's voice answered and Sebastian cleared his throat.

"Lady Camille?"

"Ah, Sebastian. It's been such a long time since you've called. Tell me, how's my nephew? Still mortal like that disgusting father of his?" Camille asked with a playful, yet awfully bitter tone. Sebastian swallowed.

"That's why I'm calling you. . .I believe he knows."

"What do you mean?"

"He's been sicker lately. Having seizures and he has went missing before reappearing out of nowhere in the middle of the woods stark naked. He spends long hours in the bathroom harming himself, I could smell the blood from doorway. And he talks to himself as if there is someone there listening. I would have thought that maybe this was just some very very strange behavior for a teenager. Running in the woods naked being a prank and cutting himself because he was still upset about what happened to his mother and won't talk with anyone. . .but I found something when I was preparing dinner last night."

"What was it?"

". . .It was. . .it was blood. Poured in a small little cup with James' name on it," Sebastian said, his mouth grim just from thinking about it. He didn't know how the cup had got into the fridge with the rest of the food, a see through glass that shown bright red. He didn't know who's blood it was or who was the one that took it. All that Sebastian knew was that it made him absolutely sick, to the point of having to leave the kitchen to calm his nerves. When he walked back into the kitchen, James was sitting down at the counter and wiping his mouth, the glass of blood already drank and washed in the sink to destroy any trace of it.

Sebastian waited for Camille to respond, before he heard a little giggle. "So who's the Familiar?"

"I don't know."

"Is it that little blond friend of his? The one that's the son of Peter Knight?"

"I don't know, Madam. But after the cup of blood was gone, James was back to his normal self for at least a few days. I don't know when he'll start to get sick, but he's already too far in the cycle to abruptly stop it. There's been murders happening in the town, sacrifices. Virgins with their sexual organs removed, then people with brains-"

"And now the blood. Healers. Has there been any recent disappearances?"

"Not yet announced, but surely it'll come up soon. They always start happening in quicker succession when the full moon draws closer."

"Full moon? Is there a little bit of wolf business surrounding this? Peter is supposed to be in the area."

"The reports have been coming in that they believe an animal is attacking people and ravaging their bodies, taking the stolen organs. Madam, I have served your family for generations. As Brooke's last wish, I am to watch over your son until his power flourishes and he takes residency with you or with a coven so he is safe. This isn't the work of a Familiar, this is the work of a monster. These sacrifices may be making James' power stronger, but they're tainting his sanity at the same time. His soul is literally rotting away and I don't know how much longer it will be til all of his humanity is gone and there is nothing but raw power and darkness. If he harms someone, the Mitchells will find out. They already have been snooping around the town for anything to hunt, last thing we want them to know is about a young witch without a coven that will be easy pickings."

"I'm sure Brooke has some spellbooks and remedies hidden away from Michael. Fix some of them up and give them to James-"

"And if the sacrifices start to pile up more? What if the Council decides to look into this?"

"There's only three of us and I for one won't mention anything that's happening in that town. I can distract the other two from checking on things here if you just get James straightened up. We can't hide this from him anymore. He doesn't belong there and neither do you. Neither did Brooke. . .I wish she would have just murdered that bastard husband of hers and made it look like an accident when she found out about the affair. At least then there would be nothing to tie James down to that place and I could take him in. . .poor thing, he must be so frightened."

". . .The blond friend of his has been doing a good job of staying by his side at least," Sebastian mentioned and heard Camille laugh softly.

"Take care of him. I'll be over there to spend the week. James' birthday is coming up, so that will be a good excuse for me to just check around with the emissaries of that town for information. The Council won't find out about this, I'm not going to let them."

". . .And if they do?"

Camille was silent for a bit, before she gave a sigh. "I could have done a lot more as a sister to Brooke, as an aunt to James, as a witch to them both. I could have looked out for them a lot better instead of just forgetting about them when Brooke wanted to play 'mortal' for the sake of James' life, holding a grudge against her for trying to shut our kind away until her death. James is going to have a good life, and it's not going to end with him burning at the stake for these sacrifices he doesn't know a thing about. . .tomorrow evening, I'll be there. Have a warm bed for me waiting and don't even tell a word about it to Michael."

"Yes, Madam. As you wish."


"I think I got it!"

"I think you'll shoot your eye out if you hold it like that."

Carlos gave a pout and Logan laughed, walking over and stood behind Carlos, gently resting his hands on Carlos' shoulders to adjust his stance. He then traced his fingertips down Carlos' arms to his hands that held the bow and arrow, fixing his grip before he tucked his chin on Carlos' shoulder. "Okay, now slowly pull your arm back, keep a good grip on the arrow," Logan instructed and Carlos nodded his head, doing exactly what Logan had told him. Logan smiled and rubbed his fingertips over Carlos' knuckles. "Now, aim the arrow at the target," Logan said calmly, guiding Carlos in the direction of the bullseye in front of them. "Let your fingers go a little bit slack right here and. . .release."

Carlos let go of the arrow and it shot straight at the ground, not even close to the target. Carlos gave a sad sigh while Logan gave a little laugh. "Well, you're not going to be an archer anytime soon. Just stick to hockey."

He went to grab the arrow while Carlos sat down on the ground, watching Logan from behind. "How come archery?" Carlos asked, Logan glancing over his shoulder at him. "I mean. . .most parents get their kids into ballet or fingerpainting. Why did they decide to put you in archery?" he asked and Logan bit his lower lip, looking down at the simple arrow he held between his fingers. Usually, it wasn't the kind he was used to practicing with. He was used to the ones that exploded a burning bright light that would blind any werewolf nearby, or the ones that would explode on contact. He was used to the black arrows laced with wolfsbane or the ones that had tracking devices stuck at the tip just incase they ever got away. The simple arrow he held in his hand was like the ones he shot when he was a child, when everything seemed a whole lot simpler and him shooting arrows really was just archery.

Logan shrugged, moving back to sit next to Carlos in the grass. "My family hunts. It was either this or shooting. I liked the bow and arrow when I was little. It felt like there had to be a lot more skill and more of a challenge to it than shooting. It was swifter and more graceful, it made the art of hunting more. . .glamorous, I guess. A gun is more lethal, but an arrow can do its job of killing or just slowing the target down."

"So you could get away?"

"So we could kill it."

Carlos looked away, Logan sensing slight discomfort from the boy and wished he hadn't said that. He turned away, biting his lip and trying to decide what else to do. Carlos had visited for the day and it was the first time Logan actually had a friend to entertain, not knowing just what to do to keep the boy interested in things for long. "I don't think. . .that's right."

"What?"

"To kill something when it's weak and unable to protect itself," Carlos said, more strongly and Logan raised an eyebrow.

"But what we hunt has caused a lot of destruction in the past."

"But it feels like you're throwing away a little bit of your humanity by killing something when it's weak. You know, giving mercy? I know that's the best time to do it, and you'll have the win if you do it, but I wouldn't want to kill it. Capture it, maybe. Find a better home for it so it can't harm other people. Everything has a place, there's always a compromise."

Logan gave a little smile and rested his chin on his knees. "I like how you think sometimes, Carlos. It's always refreshing to hear."

Carlos smiled, a blush on his face appearing rosy against his skin. "I'm glad to hear that. . .listen, I better get home. I need to get dinner ready if my dad comes home tonight," Carlos replied and Logan nodded his head understandingly.

"Is he getting closer to finding out who's doing all of this?" Logan asked and Carlos looked down at the scar around Logan's neck, where the garrote used to strangle him was. Logan placed his fingers to it subconsciously, looking down at their feet and the boys were silent.

". . .No. . .not yet. . .but if he doesn't find out, then I'm going to. I'm going to find out who hurt you, Logan. And they're going to receive the punishment for doing so, I promise," Carlos said strongly and Logan looked up at Carlos. There was a warmth in his chest when he heard Carlos say that, hearing that desire to protect and keep safe, a promise to Logan made in a few simple words. But Logan felt a twinge of anger at the thought of being protected. His parents already have been very on edge about where Logan is at all times, looking out and protecting him like he was a little child. He didn't want to depend on someone to protect him, he wanted to protect himself and others. He wasn't helpless, he was tired of everyone thinking he was helpless.

". . .Thanks," Logan said, sounding rather emotionless and not looking Carlos in the eye. Carlos paused, before he gave a small nod and tucked his hands into his pockets.

". . .I'll see you around," Carlos murmured, turning and walking out the garden gate leading to the street. Logan looked up, watching the boy depart, before he sighed and slowly walked back inside the house and into the warmth. His mother was at the front door, looking out the windows on the side when Logan walked into the foyer. She turned, placing hands on her hips and cocked her head to the side.

"He's a very sweet boy, don't you think?" she asked and Logan looked down at the ground, giving another sigh. She walked over to him and wrapped an arm around his shoulders, leading him over to the stairs and both of them sat down. Logan placed his head on her shoulder, Malena softly threading fingers through Logan's hair. "You don't like him?"

"No, that's not it. I like him. He's really sweet and he's kind. . .and I feel different around him than with Kendall. Like, it's not just me in the conversation. He talks and laughs with me and it feels nice. I don't know, I'm confused."

"What are you confused about?"

"Well. . .he's Kendall's friend. What if it just seems like I'm settling for the next best thing? I don't want to rush into this like I rushed with Kendall. . .maybe that was what went wrong-"

"Logan, you're young. Sometimes, it's good to wait. But you also can't let a good thing pass you by. And this boy is a good thing for you. . .he seems to care about you a lot."

"He wants to see that I get justice for whoever attacked me. . .but I don't want someone to rescue me. I want to rescue myself. I'm tired of everyone thinking that I can't take care of myself. If anything, that attack makes me want to learn how to fight and be strong just like grandfather or Aunt Madison or-" Logan's mother took his face into her hands, making him look into her worried eyes.

"Logan, listen to me. Your father and I don't want you to become like them. If you become a Hunter, there's a way to achieve strength and order without losing your humanity in the process. There's an old saying that your father goes by. 'He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster'. Your grandfather and aunt have been fighting with monsters for a long time. . .and sometimes I just worry about what kind of future is in for you and Lucy. A future that I don't want for children your age."

"I'm not a child anymore, Mom. I can become a Hunter and I'll be a just one."

"When the time comes to actually kill a werewolf. . .will you remember what side you're on?"

". . .Of course."

Malena looked Logan's face up and down, before she sighed and pulled Logan in to rest his head on her chest. She kissed his head and breathed in deeply, humming a little lullaby that she used to sing to Logan when he was only a toddler. Logan closed his eyes to the melody, allowing his mother this moment instead of pushing her away. He was sure he wouldn't lose his humanity if he was fighting for humanity. Werewolves weren't human. Werewolves were monsters that needed to be stopped. And he wasn't going to allow that thing to harm him again. Harm him, harm Kendall, harm no one.

Especially someone as sweet as Carlos.


A report of a nurse found dead and her body stuffed into a dumpster was made on the morning news as Kendall got dressed for school. He watched the television screen with dread, looking over into the kitchen as his mother got Katie a bowl of cereal. His mother was a nurse, what if that was the next thing to start being sacrificed? But why nurses? Why is this happening? He shook his head and adjusted the strap on his shoulder, walking out the door and getting ready to get into his mother's car to drive, when he heard someone whistle behind him. Kendall turned, spotting Peter standing by his own car, but beside him was a boy.

The boy was about Kendall's height, but was bigger than Kendall in muscle build. He wore a rather sadistic smile on his lips, cockiness shone in his bright blue eyes and made Kendall feel rather uncomfortable.

"Who's he?" Kendall asked and Peter gestured to the boy.

"Kendall, meet your new brother. Tad. Tad, this is Kendall. Why don't you go and shake hands or give him a big hug?" Peter suggested with a smile and Tad nodded his head, grinning a bright white smile as he charged forward with his arms outstretched. Kendall didn't have time to react as Tad wrapped arms around him and began to crush him. Kendall screamed but the sound trapped in his throat as Tad raised him up, squeezing his arms tighter and tighter, feeling his bone breaking and his ribcage crushing under the pressure. He couldn't breathe, a tear rolling down Kendall's face as he held his mouth open and croaked. Peter approached, looking at Kendall with a calculating eye and gestured to Tad again.

"Tad Munroe. He's been sent to juvenile hall for quite a few offenses and is one hell of a boxer. Since we're dealing with a psycho-killer, it wouldn't be bad if I had a psycho that could kill in my pack, would it? Now, this is something that I need you to do, Kendall. And I don't want you to ask any questions, I don't want you do anything stupid cause you got caught up in the heat of passion or whatever thing you teenagers do. Are you listening?"

Kendall gurgled, coughing blood as Tad squeezed tighter. "James is a suspect in this whole sacrifice thing. I don't know what he is, but the fact that I don't know what he is, is starting to bother me and make me feel uncomfortable. You're going to be a good friend and talk to him, find out what he's thinking and see if maybe he could tell you what's going on. Don't take any bullshit either cause I want answers and if you do find something out and try to lie to me, it'll be treason against your Alpha and you will be punished for it. And if you can't manage to find out as a friend, Tad is going to play the part of an understanding boyfriend, won't you Tad?"

Kendall looked down at Tad's face, seeing sparkling gold eyes looking up at him instead of blue and Kendall coughed blood again. "I think that's enough bonding, Tad," Peter said and Tad dropped Kendall to the ground, Kendall thrashing on the ground as he gasped for air and cried in pain. The two loomed over Kendall, Kendall looking up to see a set of gold eyes and a set of blood red looking down at him with apathy. There was slight pity in Peter's eyes, but it was quickly masked away. "Don't be late for school," he said and snapped his fingers, Tad following behind like a puppy followed its master as they both got into Peter's car. The engine roared up and they sped out of the driveway and down the street, leaving Kendall on the ground to catch his breath and keep back any sob of pain he wanted to make.


When he finally managed to get to school, Kendall walked with a limp. He managed to clean all of the blood off of him, but the copper taste was still in his mouth. His lungs felt heavy and his chest ached with each breath he took. It felt like pins and needles were stabbing him all over, bracing himself up against the locker so he could try and rest. Maybe he should go and see the school nurse and lie down. Or maybe he should just call his mom and tell her they needed to just pack up, take Katie, and get the hell out of this town and away from the likes of his father.

Kendall felt a hand on his shoulder and he flinched away, looking to see James standing there dressed up in his normal expensive outfit instead of the dreary colors he had been wearing.

"Turn around."

"W-What?"

"Turn around," James said again and made a turning motion with his finger. Kendall blinked, before he turned around and faced the locker. He felt James place his hands on his shoulders, moving them in a massaging motion around and around. He pressed down on Kendall's back, moving down his spine slowly and kneading out the spots where the most pain was centered. Kendall rested his forehead against the blue metal of the locker and sighed deeply, the pain disappearing out of him like it was nothing. "What the hell are you doing coming to school with a bad back? You're not turning into a grandpa, are you?" James teased and Kendall hummed.

"How did you know I had a bad back?"

"I just knew. Like that twin telepathy thing we said we had when we were kids? Guess it never went away."

"We're not twins, though."

"Like it actually matters," James said and moved his hands away. "I know what you're thinking and you know what I'm thinking. We like the same stuff and we're best friends so we should have some sort of telepathy. . .can you guess what I'm thinking right now?" James asked and Kendall raised an eyebrow.

"You're acting a lot chipper lately."

"Well after running around the woods naked and dumping your boyfriend because he thought you were the town whackjob, there's nowhere to go but up, right? I'm not going to wallow in this. . .thing anymore. I'm going to be prom king senior year, I'm going to go to California and be a star. . .I'm going to be better. A better person, a better friend, a better James."

"I always thought you were perfect the way you are."

James gave an eyeroll, but then smiled and wrapped his arms around Kendall's shoulders. Kendall tensed in his hold as James held him, resting his chin on his shoulder. ". . .Things are going to be better. I promise nothing bad is going to happen again. I don't want you to worry about me anymore."

Kendall pulled away and looked James in his eyes. "I'm your best friend. Worrying about you is my job."

"Well you've been demoted. Worry about yourself for now. . .please?"

". . .If that's what you want. . .okay," Kendall said quietly and James smiled. He moved his arms from around Kendall and began to dig in his bag, pulling out two white envelopes.

"And with that, here are the invitations for my sixteenth birthday party."

"Why are you giving me two?"

"One of them is for Carlos. Give it to him during your practice, will you?" James explained and Kendall gave a comical eyebrow raise.

"You want Carlos to actually come to your party? What about the whole 'I don't want to be known as that kid who was dumb enough to invite the sheriff's son' spiel you gave me?"

"Shut up, it's different now. He's alright. Besides, if he thought your party was fun, mine is going to be the best high school party he'll ever go to in his life," James said with a grin and Kendall nodded his head. "Also, he's doing a good job of distracting Logan from snooping around and bugging the hell out of me. . .I suppose he could come too if he wants. Both of them need to get some at the party."

"Wow, actually being nice about Logan. This is a new you."

"Shut up," James said and lightly punched Kendall's arm. Kendall laughed and so did James, the brunet holding the strap of his bag. "Same goes for you too. If I couldn't get you laid at your birthday party, I'm going to make sure you get laid at my party."

"James, sex is going to be the last thing I'm thinking about at your party."

James smiled and pulled Kendall in close to his body, Kendall's heart jumping in pace as James' smile grew sly. "But you'll still be thinking about it," James whispered and cocked his head to the side. Kendall averted his eyes, his face too hot for its own good as James pulled back and crossed his arms. "I need to get to class, no point in me waiting out in the hallway for Beau like before. I'm going to sit with you guys at lunch again. . .is that alright?"

"Of course it is. I-I'll see you after class, okay?"

"Kendall, you don't need to. You know that, right?"

"I know that, I just want to walk with you after class. . .is that alright?"

". . .It's perfect," James said softly and glanced up at the sound of the bell. He gave Kendall a soft little push. "Get to class."

"Okay, Mother."

"Shut up," James said with his tongue sticking out and punched Kendall in the shoulder. He gave a quick wave, before he hurried down the hall to his class. Kendall watched him go, until he heard a soft little chuckle behind him. He turned, eyes darkening when he saw Tad standing there and leaning up against the locker.

"Peter wasn't lying when he said he was cute. And I bet that mouth of his could do good sucking me off," Tad purred and Kendall growled, turning with his hands raised and claws beginning to bud. Tad glanced down at Kendall's hands, not even phased in the slightest. "I can beat your ass even without shifting, do you realize that? I'm stronger and faster than you."

"What does Peter want with James and why isn't he telling me?"

"It's nothing that you need to concern yourself about."

"James is my best friend and I swear if either of you hurt him-"

"Why are you going to try and go against your Alpha? Your own father? I'm sure he knows what he's doing."

"You don't even know him. Do you even know what mess you've gotten yourself into by accepting the bite? This Apex thing and its Familiar, Hunters out to find us and slaughter us-"

"And having the strength of twenty men to win champion fights is always a plus. No need to take steroids when I have supernatural strength. Plus, the bigger the pack, the stronger the wolf. We feed off of each other's strengths and so far, you're the only weak link. There's the other two that go here, and Peter spoke more highly of them than you before he offered me the bite. It seems to me, we don't really need you. So why beat around the bush and keep you around when I should just kill you and make us a stronger pack?"

Kendall stepped back, heart beating quick as Tad drew closer. "You're a weak link. I'd be doing the rest of us a favor by terminating you. Don't worry about your little boy toy though. Once Peter is done with him, I'll make sure he dies quickly."

"W-What?"

"Hey, you two!" a voice called out and both of them turned, seeing a teacher standing at the far end of the hallway. "Get to class!" he shouted and Kendall turned to look at Tad's smirk. He gestured his hand down the hall and gave a bow.

"After you," he purred and looked at Kendall before chuckling. He stood up straight and stuck his hands into his pockets, bumping Kendall to the side as he walked to his own classroom. Kendall stood and stared, his heart filling with dread and his body beginning to tremble. Did Peter want James dead?. . .Did Peter want Kendall dead? Why? What was going on? Why doesn't Kendall ever know what was going on in his own pack? He turned and began to walk to his class, confused and frustrated and angry. He wasn't going to allow anyone to hurt James, and if that meant he was going to go against his Alpha and suffer the consequences, then so be it.


"Mind if I sit here?"

James glanced up, a blond already moving to sit down and take the seat next to him, smiling a flirty and dirty grin. James eyed him up and down, over his muscled arms and baby face covered in freckles down to those big blue eyes. He hummed, then turned away to get out his textbook so he could promptly ignore the lecture in class.

"I don't care."

"I'm Tad, I just transferred here."

". . .James," James mumbled, taking out his phone to begin looking up more information about his current status. So far, he's not getting really anywhere in understanding who he was or what he was. He also didn't know what the hell Niles was supposed to be or if these little 'offerings' were good for James to have. He bit his lower lip, as if he could taste the blood that was in the glass waiting for him at home. James persuaded the brunet to only leave the glass and not the entire body to drink; as long as James just tasted it, it should have counted. What scared James the most was how much better he was getting because he drank it. His skin went amazingly smooth and baby soft, no imperfections anywhere. The cuts that he made on his arms faded faster, but were still seeable enough that James could make new cuts into his skin that still didn't burn or ache no matter how he tried. His vision cleared up, his athletic ability heightened and he was no longer in the back of the PE class running the course, but far up front.

He was scared when it wore off, will he have to drink again? And would he crave more?

Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Tad was watching him and James slouched a bit in his seat. There was a buzzing pain in the side of his temple, beginning to frown harder the more insistent it became.

He's trying to get inside your head. Don't let him.

James looked over at Tad and Tad smiled, the pain in James' head stopping immediately. "What do you think you're doing?"

"Nothing, just. . .you're really gorgeous," Tad replied and James looked away again.

"Take a picture then. I'm not the subject you're supposed to be paying attention to in this class," James muttered and Tad gave a little chuckle.

"Are you dating anyone?"

"No. I'm not looking for someone to rebound with either."

"Touchy. Who's to say I want to be your rebound? A little quickie in the bathroom between friends is good enough," Tad said with a smile, James beginning to feel the buzzing pain again.

"I'm not your friend and I don't know what backwards town you came from, but I don't sleep with someone before I date them. . .and also, will you please stop looking at me?"

"I'm just trying to be friendly-" Tad paused as James raised his hand slowly, his eyes dark.

"You're going to leave me alone right now. Don't look at me and don't think about me," James whispered, eyes glaring hard at Tad. The blond's expression was blank, almost like he was in a trance as James gently turned his finger. Tad turned towards the front of the class and James placed his worksheet on Tad's desk. "Page 534, numbers 10-24 all even. Show your work," James said and Tad nodded his head, taking his pencil and began to work on James' worksheet.

Controlling will. . .I'm so proud of you. You're going to be such a good Apex.

"Shut up," James murmured and heard a chuckle, looking to his left to see Niles crouched down beside his desk and smiling up at him like a little puppy.

"Come on, James. You know you're going to be a great Apex, don't you? You can just feel yourself growing more powerful, can't you?"

". . .I do. . .and I do like it. But the fact is, I don't trust you. I want to know what I am. . .I want to know if I'm in danger."

". . .You're not in danger of anything."

"I feel like I am. I may feel better now cause of the blood, but when the time comes again-"

"You'll drink again. I already have someone in mind for you, I'll bet she'll taste sweet," Niles purred and James looked down at his phone. He didn't want someone to die again, he wanted all of this to stop. Why him? What did any of this mean? A cold hand touched his own and James looked, seeing Niles was holding his hand and rubbing his thumb over the back of it. "Do you know why you're called the Apex?"

". . .Why?"

"Because, you're the Supreme being. You're the Alpha of witches, the one sitting on top of the food chain. No one can touch you, no one can hurt you because you are the predator. The Apex predator. You shouldn't feel guilty because a few, insignificant people had to die in order for you to thrive. You wouldn't feel guilty if you killed a cow in order to have a hamburger, right? Or if you squashed an ant cause it just so happened to get in your way. You are the Apex, you are the Supreme. Don't hold back your potential because you could do anything. You're invincible. A god in human form."

". . .Really?"

Niles smiled and leaned up to kiss James softly on the mouth, to which James pulled away and heard Niles chuckle again. "Soon, you'll understand why I do the things I do for you. I want your heart, James. You mean everything to me."

"How could someone you don't even know mean everything to you?"

"I know more about you than even you know about yourself. You, your mother. . .your kind."

". . .My mother?"

Niles smiled more and James turned to him. "What do you know about my mother?"

"It's a shame she had to die so violently in that crash. But I'm forever grateful for what she did for me. That's how I found out about you and knew that we were supposed to be together. That you are everything I could want," Niles said and reached up to touch James' face. James looked him in the eyes, glowing a burning red as he smiled. "You and me could be the strongest beings in the universe. Don't try to deny what is meant to be destiny. You are the Apex."

"Mr. Diamond!"

James jumped and looked forward, the teacher standing behind his desk and glaring at the brunet with a tired frown. "Please try not to dose off during class. Unless you want to fail your exam tomorrow," he said bitterly and James turned to see where Niles was, only to find that he disappeared into thin air like usual. James slumped in his seat looking forward, Tad sitting next to him and still meticulously working on James' classwork til James decided to take him out of the trance. The teacher went back to lecture while James thought about what Niles had said. He knew himself he was getting stronger. He felt it in his bones and with every breath he took, power coursing through his veins. He was a god in human form. . .a supreme being.

His hands balled tight and he sucked in a breath. It's just been people that he doesn't know that's been sacrificed, right? The first three guys were all jerks and creeps to begin with. That whorish girl that tried to weasel money out of his father and that man that killed Kendall and tried to escape. . .it isn't bad if people like them are sacrificed, right? He spared the little boy and Logan somehow got spared too. . .maybe even the person that Niles got the blood from did a bad thing and they deserved it. They were serving James by making him stronger with their sacrifice, and as long as it isn't someone James really knows or cares about, he shouldn't feel so guilty. Lions don't feel guilty when they kill a random gazelle to survive, right? He shouldn't feel guilty for needing to survive and grow as an Apex if some random people should just happen to die. . .that was what it meant for an Apex. That is who James really is. A predator.

And nothing could hurt him. Not anymore.