Among the stars, p.10
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       Among the Stars, p.10

           Tiffany Allen
 
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  Chapter 9

  I’m sitting in the backseat of Orion’s car. Canis sits in the front and I regret making this deal with him yesterday. There really isn’t much room back here with all the bags. I’m reading my book as we speed along the highway towards Los Angeles. Senior year didn’t give me much down time for reading and I’ve missed it. I’m almost finished with this one and will need the next one in the series. I look up to ask Orion if we can stop at a bookstore. Before he can reply, a car cuts in front of us and he slams on the brakes but he’s going too fast. He swerves to avoid the car in front of us and we skid out of control. The car flips over and over before slamming into the divider. It happens so fast I don’t even have time to yell. Miraculously I’m unhurt and I look around for Orion and Canis. The front seat is empty. I call their names but no one answers. I manage to unbuckle my seatbelt and crawl out through a broken window. Glass is everywhere and it cuts my palms as I scramble to escape the car. I call for Orion but again he doesn’t answer. I look around and that’s when I see him, lying in the middle of the road.

  “Orion!” I run to him and notice he’s not breathing. “No no no no no.” I reach for my phone but it’s not in my pocket. I must have lost it in the crash somehow. I look for some kind of injury but I can’t find any. I don’t even see any blood.

  “Help! Somebody please help!” I desperately start CPR but he still isn’t breathing. I look around for Canis but I don’t see him anywhere.

  “Come on! Use your power and heal yourself,” I shout as I continue to perform CPR.

  “He can’t,” a haunting voice says behind me. I whip around and standing there is Alex. Did he do this? Did he cause the wreck? Alex moves and crouches on the other side of Orion. He picks up Orion’s arm before letting it drop lifelessly to the ground. “Yep. He’s dead alright.”

  “No. He can’t be dead. He can heal. He will heal!” I yell at Alex. Alex shakes his head sympathetically.

  “How can he heal if he has no power?” Alex stalks towards me. I try and get away but he grabs me by the shoulders, his cold black eyes staring into mine.

  “What do you mean? Where did his power go?” I manage to ask. I’m scared of Alex but I’m even more scared for Orion.

  “You should know, Ailey. After all, you are the one who took it.” He holds up a mirror in front of my face. “You took it all.”

  I start to ask what he means but then I see my reflection. I look just like myself except for one thing. My eyes are black and silver.

  I wake up in my hotel room. Someone is shaking me by the shoulders and it takes me a minute to realize who it is. My eyes finally focus and Orion’s worried face looks down on me. I’m so happy he’s okay that I sit up and hug him tightly. It was all just a dream.

  “Ailey?” I hear the surprise in his voice. Embarrassed, I quickly let go of him.

  “Sorry,” I stammer, not looking at his face.

  “Are you okay? I sensed your fear and came in worried you were in danger but no one else was here. It seemed you were having a bad dream.”

  That’s right, he can sense emotions. That must have been how he knew I was in trouble when Alex attacked me. It also explains all the times he seemed to be in tuned with how I felt.

  “I’m sorry. It was just a nightmare.” It was all over a stupid dream and I worried him for nothing.

  “Do you want to talk about it?”

  I turn on the light and turn back to look at him to tell him I’m okay but I stop when I see him in the light. Orion is standing there shirtless. He looks like a walking gym membership ad. He’s the perfect example of lean muscle. His muscles are defined but not excessively large like a lot of guys nowadays. His naked upper half wasn’t what first caught my attention though. It was his lower half, where a pair of pajama pants hang off his hips. Pajama pants with cartoon moose on them.

  “You’re wearing moose pajama pants.” I look from the pants to his face. Each moose has a different facial expression and outfit. There’s even a doctor moose dressed in a lab coat carrying a clipboard. Orion tilts his head at me.

  “Yeah, why?”

  “I did not expect that.”

  “What did you expect?”

  “To be honest? Plaid.”

  He smiles. “I have those too.”

  That makes me laugh. He’s surprised me again. Orion, the Hunter, wears moose pajama pants and looks cute in them.

  “Do you want to talk about your dream?” Orion asks again.

  The dream had actually completely slipped my mind. Orion is good at making me forget unpleasant things.

  “No, I’m okay. Thank you though.”

  Assured that I’m okay, he turns to leave. As he does, I catch a glimpse of his back.

  “Wait, you have a tattoo?”

  He smiles and turns so I can fully see his back. On it is a tattoo that spans the length and width of his back. I recognize it as the Orion constellation. I lean forward to look closer and it starts to light up and twinkle. It looks like someone put the stars right on his back.

  “It’s beautiful,” I say out loud before I can stop myself. He looks at me over his shoulder, his eyes black and silver. As his eyes turn back to green the tattoo stops glowing and it looks just like a plain tattoo. He turns back to fully face me.

  “The Elite all have them. It’s special and is linked to my powers.”

  I shake my head. “You never cease to amaze me.”

  “Neither do you.”

  “What do you mean?”

  “You’re handling everything so well. The attack, the Stars, coming with us, most people would have run for the hills. I honestly thought you would have by now.”

  “I told you, I’m dedicated to this. I’m not going anywhere.”

  He stares at me for a long time. I don’t really mind. I’ve gotten used to his long stares. He does it when he’s thinking. He’s one of those people who thinks everything through before acting. I don’t think he likes making mistakes.

  “How’s your arm?” I look at the veins and they’ve spread again. They reach half way up his arm now.

  “They’ve started to ache a bit. Not really painful but I can feel them move under my skin.”

  “I think you should tell Canis.”

  “I will. I just don’t want him to worry. He worries enough as it is.”

  “It isn’t fair to keep it from him. He’d want to know.”

  “I know. You’re right.”

  This time is isn’t me he stares at but at his arm. At the black veins twisting up his arm, spreading who knows what, through his body. I look at his eyes and there’s that hint of fear again. The fear of someone who’s seen everything, come face to face with the unknown.

  “Orion?” I speak, breaking him out of his thought process.

  “Yeah?”

  “You should get some sleep.”

  He stares at me but only for a moment.

  “I suppose you’re right.”

  His eyes start to turn black and silver.

  “Goodnight, Ailey.”

  “Goodnight, Orion.”

  As soon as I say his name, he vanishes.

 
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