Season 4

S04 E03 Madacorp Again?

Kyle XY S04 E03

Madacorp Again?

Orientation Day

Scene opens at the Trager house, it’s early Tuesday evening. Nicole is alone in the living room on the computer. Jessi walks in.

JESSI: Nicole?

NICOLE: Yes?

JESSI: Can we talk?

NICOLE: Of course, [she stands up and waves a hand towards the couch]. Let’s get comfortable. [They sit]. What’s on your mind?

JESSI: I was wondering, if it was all right with you and Steven, if I live here rather than stay on campus.

NICOLE: Of course it’s all right but I don’t want you to miss out on college life.

JESSI: I won’t miss that much, I’ll be there all day, studying and working.

NICOLE: Well, true, but in the dorms you become involved with groups, meet new people, make new friends.

JESSI: I’d rather stay here.

NICOLE [can’t help feel hopeful]: You would? [Jessi can sense Nicole is very pleased and grateful]. I really don’t want you to feel you have to stay. [Selfishly she is glad Jessi wants to stay with them].

JESSI [is a little confused that though Nicole seems to feel one thing her words say another and she feels doubt creep in]: Unless you don’t want me to stay?

NICOLE: No, I do! I just don’t want to hold you back from experiencing life. Campus life.

JESSI: Oh. [She feels her doubts ease]. Then I’ll stay. [She gets up to leave].

NICOLE [stands up with her and gives her a hug]: Thanks, Jessi. You staying will mean a lot to me.

Jessi hugs back, smiling and feeling loved. This family really did care about her. She knew they were kind in giving her a home and cared for her on some level, but this is the first time she felt they really loved her as a family member.

Shortly after Jessi talks with Nicole she passes by Lori’s room and enters when Lori calls her name.

LORI: Hey, Jessi.

Jessi enters her room.

LORI: Wow, is it really true, you’re staying here?

JESSI: Yes.

LORI: That’s actually very sweet of you, and unselfish. [Jessi smiles, pleased her decision is making everyone feel better]. My mom will love it.

JESSI: I know she’ll miss Kyle a lot but I hope less so if I’m around.

LORI: Hey, quit knocking yourself down. She’d miss you a lot as well. But, now she doesn’t have to. And, with you here, she probably won’t notice Kyle not being around as much.

JESSI: You really think so?

LORI: I know so.

JESSI: You know?

LORI: Yep. Now, tell me what you think of my next song…[she starts playing on her guitar and Jessi perches on her bed to listen].

Scene cuts to Kyle and Amanda. He pulls up in his van beside a used car lot.

KYLE: So, you’re mom left this morning all right?

AMANDA: She did. Oh, there’s something I forgot to mention, something my mom insisted we do, [Kyle looks at her quizzically], take a marriage course. It begins this Friday evening. Would you mind?

KYLE: No. It’s a great idea. [He decides this is the best time to tell her about what her mom wanted of him]. Did she mention we met for lunch yesterday?

AMANDA: No. [Great, her mother blames her for not telling her anything and here she goes and does the same thing]. Why did she want to see you? [She jumps to the wrong conclusion]. Was it to get you to annul our marriage?

KYLE: No, actually she wants me to start supporting you financially, which I assured her would be no problem.

AMANDA [feels anger build]: I can’t believe she would ask that. No, I do believe it, it sounds like something she would do. [She shakes her head]. She shouldn’t have asked that of you. I’ll find a job.

KYLE: No, you don’t need to. I’ll be working an extra day a week, starting this Saturday.

AMANDA: Kyle, I can’t let you work an extra day on my behalf.

KYLE: You said you wanted to be free this year to pursue your music. You won’t be free to join NU’s band if your time is taken with a part time job.

AMANDA: Things change. I’m not letting you shoulder all the responsibility.

KYLE: I want to. [She shakes her head again]. Let me help. At least for now.

AMANDA: You have a full load of courses this year.

KYLE: I can handle it.

AMANDA: I’ve no doubt you can. But I’m your wife now let me share the burden.

KYLE: You can, by letting me do this for you.

AMANDA: Kyle—

KYLE: Let me.

AMANDA [beneath her breath]: She should never have asked you.

KYLE [hears her]: I agree with her.

AMANDA [looks incredulous]: You agree with her?

KYLE: Yes.

AMANDA [sighs and thinks for a minute]: We’ll try it your way, but I’m not getting a car, I’ll save the money just in case.

KYLE: You don’t need to do that.

AMANDA: If you’re supporting me, you’ll be paying for the insurance, gas, repairs and…well, everything.

KYLE: I can afford it.

AMANDA: It’ll be few less expenses for you. I’ll take the bus. [When he looks like he wants to protest, she continues]. I’m accepting your way, so this time it’s your turn to accept my way.

KYLE [smiles at her]: Okay, [he gives a quick glance out at the car lot], but if you change your mind…

AMANDA [glances out at the car lot too and Kyle can tell she had been looking forward to getting a car]: I won’t. [She says this firmly even though he knows she feels differently].

KYLE [studies his van’s gears]: If you want, I’ll teach you how to drive a standard.

AMANDA [glances from him to the gear shift]: You know something? That’s a great idea.

They smile at each other, pleased to have their first marital disagreement solved. That is until she finds out he’s working at Latnok on Saturdays.

AMANDA: Latnok? You’re joining them? After what they did?

KYLE: It’s a new group.

AMANDA: It’s my mom, she made you, forced your hand so you had to find another job.

KYLE: No one forced me. Jessi asked and I accepted.

AMANDA: Because you need the extra money to support me.

KYLE [seems to look inward, seeing something only he could see]: Partly, and partly because now is the time to join.

AMANDA [looks confused]: What do you mean?

KYLE [still seeming to look inward and frowns, unsure exactly what the future holds but feeling better Latnok is being restored to what Adam once believed in]: The young people now involved are good people, not like the previous members that wanted to exploit me.

AMANDA [studies him]: How do you know?

KYLE [his gaze clears and he looks directly at her]: I just do.

AMANDA: And if their agenda changes?

KYLE: Jessi and I will stop those changes if they mean to harm anyone.

AMANDA: Just be careful.

KYLE: I’ll be more than careful. [He assures her]. So, I guess if we’re not going to look at cars we have a while before I take you to NU. What do you want to do?

AMANDA: How about a spur of the moment date?

KYLE [smiles]: Okay, I know just the place.

He takes her to the garden where they had their first kiss. They spend a couple of hours talking about their future.

KYLE: Are you really sure you’re okay with me rooming with Declan? Your mom’s comment on us not knowing what marriage will really be like unless we actually lived together had a point.

AMANDA: Your mom made a point too. You’ve barely had a chance to live from being held prisoner all your life. And now you have the added responsibility of me.

KYLE: I like being responsible for you. [She gives him a small smile, pleased at his dedication but her slight twist of her hands shows she’s troubled by something]. You’re scared.

AMANDA [blinks at his accuracy then bites her lip]: You and Declan, living on your own, it will be like bacheloring it.

KYLE: So, you don’t want me to stay with Declan.

AMANDA: No, I do. I mean, I know you want to. I don’t want to take that opportunity away from you.

KYLE: But you’re worried, [hones in on her wayward feelings], about us not being together as much.

AMANDA: I know I shouldn’t—[he takes her hand].

KYLE: Whatever you need, I’ll be there for you.

AMANDA: I know you will. [She wonders why she’s feeling more possessive of him now that they were married, she didn’t feel this intense about him when they were dating. She takes a deep breath, trying to still her fears]. I was thinking if it’s okay with Declan, to spend the last weekend of Dawg Daze in the dorm with you.

KYLE: Declan won’t mind.

He can still pick up her feelings of anxiety so he suddenly closes his eyes.

AMANDA [watches him]: What are you doing?

KYLE: I’m imagining life without you. [A slight frown of puzzlement crosses her brow but before she can say anything he opens his, voice sounding bleak]. Empty.

AMANDA [leans over and kisses him]: You say the sweetest things.

KYLE [remembers the time she first stayed the night with him in his tub, the day she skipped out on to going back to New York]: I’ll be home on the weekends. I can ask Steven and Nicole’s permission if you can stay over but this time we’ll keep the door unlocked, and open.

He knows he said the right thing again by the way she smiles and kisses him again.

Since NU’s orientation day is tomorrow Kyle then takes her over to NU where she’ll spend the night. He drives over the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge. The view across the lake is very scenic and beautiful. Soon he pulls into NU’s parking lot and parks the van. He hops out and opens her door to help her out before reaching in and getting her overnight bag. Only then does he pause to look around at the campus.

KYLE: It’s nice here, a lot smaller than UW.

AMANDA: I like that it’s smaller, it feels like home away from home. [They each see Mount Rainer in the distance, only an hour and a half away]. More than nice, beautiful.

KYLE [looks from the mountain and back to her where his gaze lingers]: Very.

She sees his gaze on her and smiles, giving him a long kiss goodbye. He waits until she enters admissions before driving off.

As Amanda settles in one of the guest rooms, she meets another overnight guest.

AMADNA: Hi, I’m Amanda.

GUEST: Serena.

AMANDA: Pleased to meet you. What’s your major?

SERENA: Music, mostly vocals. You?

AMANDA: Music too, but mostly piano.

They start unpacking and Amanda notices a silk outfit Serena pulls out from her bag.

AMANDA: That’s pretty.

SERENA: Thank you. [She looks hesitant at first then continues on]. It’s a belly dance outfit, I love to dance, and it helps me relax.

AMANDA: It does? You’re lucky then. Me, I have two left feet.

SERENA: There isn’t much to it. The motions are easy and fluid. Actually, I teach belly dance. It’s how I’m earning my way to be here.

AMANDA: That’s interesting. [They continue to unpack]. I’d be curious to see you dance.

SERENA: You may have to.

AMANDA: Oh?

SERENA: I have vocal tryouts tomorrow and like I said, dancing helps me to relax.

Serena takes her outfit, heads to the washroom to change and when she comes out she begins dancing without music. After she is done Amanda claps.

AMANDA: You are good! It was fluid and graceful like you said. I don’t know if I could ever do that.

SERENA: Sure you could. Want to try? [She waves her over and shows Amanda a couple of simple moves]. There, was that so bad?

AMANDA: That was easy.

SERENA: Now combine the two moves together.

AMANDA [not as coordinated this time]: Maybe not so easy.

SERENA: It just takes practice.

AMANDA: Mmm, and lots of lessons.

SERENA [smiles]: The only way to learn.

AMANDA: I don’t know, I’m already taking a class, non-college related.

SERENA: Really? What kind?

AMANDA: A self-defense course. I go a once a week.

SERENA: Self-defense, now that’s interesting. May I ask why you’re taking it?

AMANDA: I had something stolen from me and it was enough of a scare to make me want to gain a sense of security back.

SERENA: I’m sorry to hear that.

Serena shows her some more moves and, by the time they turn in for the night, they have become fast friends.

SERENA: I can’t believe you’re married. After one beer?

AMANDA: My first, except it was laced with a drug.

SERENA: What a shocker.

AMANDA: Yeah, it’s turned me off completely from drinking the stuff or ever trying it again.

SERENA: I had a whole bottle of wine once and the headache I got after turned me right off wine. During communion I take the grape juice they offer as an alternative now.

AMANDA [laughs]: So we each had a bad turn with liquor. I have to say I’m becoming more interested in the thought of taking a belly dance course. Except, I need to think about it more.

SERENA: Well, when you do decide, there’s a spot open Wednesday night. [She reaches for her purse and pulls out a card]. Here’s the address, [Amanda gets up from her bed and takes the card].

AMANDA: Thanks.

She’s thinking she can use some of the money she’s saved from working overtime to pay for a couple of months worth of classes – a fun form of exercise and coordination, plus as a way to surprise Kyle.

Later that Tuesday night, Kyle calls Declan.

KYLE: I need your help.

DECLAN’s voice: Name it.

KYLE: Ask your dad about intellectual property.

DECLAN [cut to him, lying in bed holding his cell to his ear]: I can do that, why?

KYLE: Madacorp is putting together the glass shards where Jessi wrote some of the information from my head. They must be nearing completion. We need to stop them if they try to use the information, but I want to stop them legally.

DECLAN: What’s the plan?

KYLE: Come with me to Madacorp. Think of it as your first law assignment.

DECLAN: I’m in.

KYLE: Great. See you at orientation.

DECLAN: See you then.

Come morning, Amanda and Serena take a tour of the campus along with other first year freshman students. Amanda is excited to learn she’s more than passed basic piano and is bumped to the more advanced levels. She registers for her classes and some of her electives include: Theology of Ministry Essentials; Restoration Theology; Principals of Biblical Interpretation; Survey of Contemporary Theologies; Ecclesiology & Eschatology; Christian Doctrine; Missions Internship including Music Theory and Composition; Music Ministry Internship; First, Second, Third and Fourth Level Piano.

For the final event of the day, NU has a candlelight march and prayer service to mark the beginning of the academic year.

After Amanda comes back from her orientation, she heads over to the Trager house. Nicole answers the door.

NICOLE: Hi, Amanda.

AMANDA: Hi, Mrs. Trager. Is Kyle home?

NICOLE: Yes, come on in.

AMANDA: Thanks.

NICOLE: How was orientation?

AMANDA: Great. I was able to get the classes I wanted this semester.

NICOLE: Good.

AMANDA: And I passed, not just the beginner piano but the intermediate course as well. I’m ahead already.

NICOLE: That’s wonderful.

AMANDA: The short time I was in New York helped, despite how hard I found it to keep up with all the other students there.

NICOLE: Just think though that if you had stayed how much more you would have learned.

AMANDA: True, but I wasn’t ready then, it was too overwhelming.

NICOLE: How do you find NU?

AMANDA: Very homey. I love it. The people there are warm and friendly. I made the right choice.

NICOLE: I’m happy for you.

Amanda smiles and heads to Kyle’s room. She finds him engrossed on the computer sitting alongside Jessi.

KYLE: All it needs is one more algorithm and we’re done.

JESSI [points to the screen]: Right here.

KYLE: Do you want to finish?

JESSI: Sure. [She takes the keyboard from him and starts typing].

Kyle turns to Amanda and gets up from his chair to greet her.

KYLE: Hi.

AMANDA: Hi. How’s it going?

KYLE: We’re done the program. When we loaded it at Latnok there were just a couple of more things to tweak. It’s virtually impenetrable.

AMANDA: It wasn’t before?

KYLE: Not to our satisfaction.

AMANDA: Ah.

JESSI: Done. Take a look.

Kyle gives Amanda a brief smile then heads back to see the screen.

KYLE: Good.

Jessi saves and loads the program on to her laptop then shuts it off and unhooks her computer from Kyle’s and then leaves to give them privacy.

AMANDA: So, how was work?

KYLE: I started laying the foundation using the cement truck. It was fun. I would ask how orientation went but I overheard you tell Nicole.

AMANDA: Yeah, I love it there. You should come one day, we could book a room. [She steps closer to him].

KYLE: I’d like that. [He smiles as she caresses his cheek].

AMANDA [drops her hand and suddenly appears nervous]: So, are you looking forward to your orientation?

KYLE: Yes. [He pauses, studying her]. What’s wrong?

AMANDA: Oh, I, uh… [she pulls out a sheet of paper from her purse], it’s an outline of our marriage course we’ll be taking.

Kyle takes it from her and speed-reads through it.

AMANDA: It’s number three on the list. [She starts speaking very quickly]. You know, I mean, I know it’s early and that we planned to wait, but I think I’ll look into birth control methods. [And then she really rushes speaking]. Are you looking forward to your orientation? Oh, right, I already asked that. [She starts playing with the strap on her purse].

KYLE [struggles to keep his expression neutral while inside his emotions churn, he has yet to tell her the truth]: Uh, you won’t need to, I mean, if we wait, you don’t have to look into that now. [She looks relieved and he swallows hard before he too changes the subject]. There are a few things I need to discuss with the advisors about my course curriculum. Admissions can’t believe I want to do all those majors in such a short time.

AMANDA [glad the awkward topic is over]: I hope you’ll be able to get them.

KYLE: I think so, [he glances at the window as it shakes, realizing his emotions, particularly anger, are projecting outward and tries to regain control all without her noticing], most of the courses that won’t be offered this term will be available as a lecture. [The window stops shaking but leaves him wondering why he’s feeling so angry at this moment]. Jessi’s running into the same problem so hopefully we’ll be able to work on our own. We may have to take a few tests. Steven has talked with a couple of advisors already and explained we were child prodigies.

AMANDA [remains unaware of his struggle]: Good. By the way, I’ll be working as many hours as I can until Sunday night. It’ll help us and it will help Josh. The new girl is working out great, Josh says she’s an even harder worker than I am but unfortunately she won’t be able to work this weekend, a relative passed away so she’ll be attending a funeral.

KYLE: I remember he mentioned it but not that you were working overtime.

AMANDA: Come Monday, I’ll be in full swing with my studies.

Kyle leans down and awkwardly kisses her.

AMANDA: Nice. What was that for?

KYLE: For passing into intermediate piano and possibly into advanced.

AMANDA: Thanks. [She kisses him back].

KYLE: What was that for?

AMANDA: For just being you.

He smiles and this time when they kiss their kiss lingers on but as he hugs her to him, his expression changes to one of sadness. Soon, he promises himself, soon he’ll tell her.

Just as he packs a bag for his orientation day tomorrow Nicole knocks on his door. He looks up to see her standing in his open doorway.

NICOLE: Excited?

KYLE: Yes. [But he’s not smiling; he’s too deep in thought]. Nicole, can we talk?

NICOLE: Of course. Is it about Amanda? [Considering she recently left he can tell Nicole thinks and hopes he’s reconsidering their marriage].

KYLE: Partly. It’s about the dream I had of Cassidy on my camping trip. There was one disturbing recurrence happening throughout the dream.

NICOLE: What is it?

KYLE: Anger, rising anger. Each time Amanda was there in the dream too, it became more intense.

NICOLE: This anger, who was it directed at?

KYLE: Cassidy, what he all did to me and especially to Amanda.

NICOLE: That’s only natural.

KYLE: But why now? Why do I feel it even stronger now than I did before?

NICOLE: What else is happening in these dreams that cause your anger to escalate?

KYLE: The time Amanda was kidnapped, the time Latnok put a chip in her head, the time Cassidy was stalking Amanda, and the last where he used his and her DNA.

NICOLE: And now that you’re married you feel even stronger about it now.

KYLE: Yes.

NICOLE: That too is perfectly natural. She’s your wife now and you feel more protective of her.

KYLE [nods]: But the danger’s passed.

NICOLE: Mmm, it sounds though that you still fear it hasn’t passed.

Her words hit a nerve and strong emotions begin to churn inside him. The window starts to shake. Nicole looks from the window and back to him and sees him struggle for control. He succeeds but the troubled glance he throws her way makes her move forward and rubs his shoulder affectionately.

NICOLE: We’ll work on it.

It isn’t just fear but anxiety too, to be a good husband. Mrs. Bloom’s words still echoing inside his head that he can’t and won’t always be able to protect Amanda lingers on.

Cut to morning when Kyle parks his van in the student parking lot. Jessi and Lori hop out as he heads over to a booth to pay for a permit for overnight parking. They all have overnight bags and they head over to their respective dorms to sign in before heading to their first orientation event.

Kyle meets up with Declan at Poplar Hall, Site 33, the new residence hall they’ll be staying in located between NE Campus Parkway and Brooklyn Avenue NE.

KYLE: Hey.

DECLAN: Hey.

They sign in and head up to their room.

As soon as they enter, they see on the right two storage units side by side and next to that is a sink. On the left hand side is the door to the bathroom. Further in, they see alongside the left hand wall a wardrobe, a single bed, a dresser, another single bed, and another wardrobe. On the wall opposite, is an open space for a fridge and microwave, a desk, another dresser, and a desk.

DECLAN: So, this is where we’ll be staying for the rest of the year. Which bed do you want?

KYLE: I’ll take the one by the window, unless you want it.

DECLAN: No, this bed works for me. [He dumps his bag down on the bare mattress; sheets and a blanket are folded and laid on the bottom end].

Kyle puts his bag down on his desk and starts making his bed right away.

DECLAN: You’re keen.

Declan watches Kyle for a second, shrugs then dumps his bag on the floor and starts making up his bed. Why not? By tonight he’d likely be too tired to bother with making anything. He plans to meet up with Jackie and hang out at the pub before coming back here.

They leave to go to their first workshop and pick up their Husky cards and U-pass. Kyle then works things out with his advisor. By doing an independent study, he’ll design his own program and turn in assignments. The construction and architectural advisors are impressed with his boss’ referral and assessment at what he’s already accomplished at work. They have him do a few tests and are again amazed at his high intelligence.

Kyle designs his own course curriculum and schedule and some of his electives include: Architecture, Construction Management, Strategic Planning for Critical Infrastructures, Computer Science & Engineering, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Law.

Declan registers for his courses in law, specifically criminal law, defensive tactics, natural hazards & disasters, search & rescue operations, human physiology & adaptation to emotional stress to physics of everyday technology.

Jessi meets with her advisors and takes the needed tests so she can design her own schedule and they too are amazed with her high intelligence. Jessi then designs her own course curriculum. Her majors mostly consists of all the courses Kyle plans to do except in a different order.

Jessi designs her course curriculum and schedule and some of his electives include: Accounting, Business Administration, Management, Economics, Computer Science & Engineering, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, Law, Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics.

It’s only when some of the advisors meet, Steven included that the advisors find out Kyle and Jessi are child prodigy’s and that Kyle is Steven’s son and Jessi is Steven’s foster daughter.

#1 ADVISOR: Where did you find these two, Steven?

STEVEN [skirts around the truth]: Nicole found Kyle and Jessi had some father issues after her mother died so we insisted she stay with us.

Cut to Hillary and Lori where they meet up in their shared dorm room at McMahon, a 13-story high-rise.

LORI [looks around the room which wasn’t much to see]: Small.

HILLARY: But adequate. I love the living area, it’ll give us more room to hang out in.

LORI: True, let’s meet the rest of our roommates.

HILLARY: Nice they gave us sheets and blankets for the night.

LORI: Yeah, I never gave it much thought.

HILLARY: They would have mentioned what all to bring.

They head out and see a few other girls out in the living area. There were two couches, a coffee table and a chair, all which had seen better days.

1st GIRL: Hey. I’m Diane.

2nd GIRL: I’m Marjorie.

3rd GIRL: Crystal.

4th GIRL: Tabitha. [They all look at her]. Go ahead, get the jokes over, yes, my mom loved Bewitched.

They laugh and soon they start talking and gabbing away.

TABITHA: So, what are your majors?

HILLARY: Journalism.

LORI: Music, specifically guitar, with a minor in Psych.

TABITHA: I’m in Drama. Hey, what can I say; the show bewitched me and knew I had to get into the whole drama thing. [More laughter].

CRYSTAL: I’m taking Art.

DIANE: So am I.

MARJORIE: I’m majoring in English, creative writing.

HILLARY: Creative as in script writing? You and Tabby could have it made. [A few chuckle].

Lori and Hillary head to Admissions next and register for their courses.

Hillary’s courses include: Broadcasting, Journalism, Digital Arts & Experimental Media, Drama and English. Lori’s courses include: Music – guitar and vocal, Psychology, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and English.

Lori, Hillary, Declan, Kyle and Jessi all meet up at Red Square where a guide takes them on a tour of the campus. The points out Meany Hall, Odegaard Library, Kane Hall, The Suzzallo Library, and Gerberding Hall around the Red Square area then leads them to a bus where they head up Steven’s Way. The guide points out several buildings and halls of key interest including the Drumheller Water Fountain.

After the tour, Jessi has her first taste of what dorm life is like at McCarty where she is in a room by herself just like she wanted and finds it strangely alone. She is even gladder she made the decision to stay home. She sets up her laptop even though she is planning on meeting the group at the pub where Mark is Deejaying. She is looking forward to challenging Kyle to another pool game, this time without cheating. He may beat her but it will be fair and square.

Jessi meets up with Kyle inside the bar.

JESSI: Hey, Kyle. Do you want to try a game? I promise, I won’t cheat this time.

KYLE: All right. How about in five minutes? I want to say hello to Mark.

Jessi glances over and sees Lori in Mark’s arms, giving him a long kiss hello.

MARK [once they break apart]: Nice to see you, too.

LORI: I missed you.

MARK: There’s been a lot of work I had to do. Number one was to help your dad prepare for the orientation.

LORI: Forget orientation. I want to hear you.

MARK: Ha, you want to hear your song being played.

LORI: True. I made another one.

MARK: Just one?

LORI: Okay, several, but since you just said you had so much work to do I didn’t want to overwhelm you.

MARK: And I’m grateful. What a thoughtful girlfriend I have.

LORI: Mmm, very. [She leans in for another kiss but Kyle catches Mark’s eye].

KYLE: Sorry to interrupt. Hey, Mark.

MARK: Hey, Kyle. [They shake hands, but he keeps one hand around Lori’s waist]. I’m glad to hear you’re joining Latnok, even if it’s part time.

KYLE: Thanks, I look forward to hearing about the project you’re working on.

MARK [glances at Lori knowing she doesn’t like him talking shop]: I’ll tell you all about it later.

KYLE [nods]: Later.

Kyle joins Jessi at the pool table, watching as two guys finish their game.

JESSI [to the guy playing]: Mind if we play now?

GUY [glances at her, barely looking Kyle’s way]: Why not make it a foursome?

JESSI: You won’t be able to beat us.

GUY: Oh, yeah? You’re that good?

JESSI: The best.

Kyle gives her a nudge.

JESSI [throws Kyle an annoyed look]: Okay, okay. No showing off, I get it.

The guy finishes playing and walks off. Kyle and Jessi take a couple of sticks and load up the rack.

JESSI: You go first. I owe you one.

KYLE: You do. [He gives her an impish grin and shoots his first shot].

The ball rolls in the pocket and one by one he calls them out and eventually beats the record Sarah once made and still continues to set an even higher record. Jessi is starting to get impatient for her turn. Kyle stops after sinking all the balls.

KYLE: Do you want a turn?

JESSI: You haven’t lost yet.

KYLE: No, and I probably won’t until I get too tired.

Jessi knew he was right, they could play for days until they exhaust themselves but that would be drawing too much attention, even now a crowd was gathering and watching them, just like last time.

JESSI: Okay, my turn then.

She begins to play and keeps on until she beats his record and goes a little beyond. Cheers from the crowd applaud her win and she smiles in triumph before stopping.

KYLE: My turn.

JESSI: No, I’m tired now. I just wanted to beat you.

She gives him an impish smile and heads over to the bar for some water. He follows and the crowd groans in disappointment.

Kyle takes his water and heads over to Declan sitting at a table close by.

KYLE: Want to play a game while you wait for Jackie?

DECLAN [feels bummed]: Nah, she just texted me, she has a lot of work to catch up on, [Jessi comes over not wanting to interrupt Lori who’s very into Mark each time he takes a break from his work to join her], some science experiment she can’t leave unattended right now.

By this time a couple of other people have started playing pool now that it was free.

JESSI: I know. She thought she might have to work late. Nate said he’d cover.

DECLAN: Great, she’s with Nate.

KYLE: I’m sure she’ll be thinking of you.

DECLAN: Yeah.

JESSI: I miss camping.

Both Declan and Kyle glances at her surprised.

KYLE: You’re bored already? [She nods].

Mark plays a set of music, which does include Lori’s song.

DECLAN [hears it]: Is that a new one?

KYLE: Yes.

DECLAN: She’s really good.

JESSI: She’s improved a lot. She had me listen to another song she’s working on. It’s even better.

DECLAN: Good for her.

MARK [from his booth]: Okay all, here’s the last song for the night. [A few students moan in disappointment]. Don’t despair this next song has flair. [Some students groan at his lame attempt at rhyming].

HILLARY [weaves her way through dancing couples over to their table]: Hey, guys.

KYLE: Hey.

DECLAN: What’s up?

HILLARY: Since this place is wrapping up early, a few of us are heading up The Ave to check out if either the Brooklyn Burger and Pub is still open or the Irish Pub. Want to come with?

KYLE: No thanks.

DECLAN: Me either.

HILLARY [appears surprised Declan isn’t keen on checking out pubs]: Really?

DECLAN: Yeah, really. Jackie might still be able to get off work so I’ll hang out just in case.

HILLARY: A kept man already.

DECLAN: Yeah, right. More like desperate.

HILLARY: Ahh, interesting. So, it’s been a while? [She can’t help grin at him].

DECLAN: More like after this week she’ll be visiting her parents for the next few weeks until the next term begins.

HILLARY: Poor baby. [She sympathizes].

But at the “baby” nickname she gave him in fun just brought home to Kyle how he can’t have children and feels a wave of depression hit and glances at the pool table where a couple of guys are wrapping up their game. Jessi glances at him in concern, picking up his mood change. In the background Lori weaves through the crowd towards them, holding Mark’s hand and dragging him along with her.

HILLARY: How about you, Jessi?

JESSI: Um, [just then Lori and Mark joins them].

LORI: Coming?

HILLARY: I’m ready.

KYLE [telepaths]: Go ahead. [He felt her concern]. I’ll hang with Declan.

JESSI: Okay. [She joins Lori and Hillary and waves goodbye to Kyle and Declan].

Kyle waves back.

DECLAN: You could have gone.

KYLE: No, I didn’t feel like it.

DECLAN: Oh?

KYLE [finishes his water as Declan finishes his drink then prepares to leave with everyone else]: You want to go back to the dorm?

DECLAN: Might as well. [He checks his cell but Jackie hasn’t texted back to say she’s done yet].

Once they enter their hall the resident assistant greets them.

RA: Hey, we’re having a get together in the main lounge, want to join us? We have a variety of students here with different majors.

DECLAN: Sure, why not.

He and Kyle join the other residents. It’s late when they get back to their room. Declan showers first while Kyle sits looking out the window, watching little rivers of raindrops drizzle down the pane. Declan comes out wearing only pajama bottoms.

DECLAN: Jackie warned me she might have to work so I shouldn’t be so bummed.

KYLE [glances his way]: I saw you checked your phone, did she text?

DECLAN: Yeah, we’ll see each other tomorrow night.

KYLE: At least you’ll get to see her.

DECLAN [smiles broadly]: Yeah, can’t wait.

KYLE [goes back to staring out the window, not smiling back, which makes Declan frown in puzzlement]: I have something to tell you.

DECLAN [that doesn’t sound good to him]: What?

KYLE [glances back]: When Cassidy took both mine and Amanda’s DNA, there’s a reason our DNA didn’t take. I’m sterile. I can never have children.

DECLAN [looks stunned]: No way.

KYLE [looks back out the window]: I never thought of children in particular before, they were somewhere in the future. Now, it’s all I think about.

DECLAN: No freakin’ way. I knew something was bothering you, more than the dreams you’ve had. Man, that sucks. That really sucks.

KYLE: I have to tell Amanda.

DECLAN: Wow, that’s…I don’t know what more to say.

KYLE: Want to go over the contract I made to present to Emily tomorrow?

DECLAN [blinks]: Now? [Kyle shrugs]. I guess.

His tone sounds hesitant as if unsure he’ll be able to concentrate after what Kyle told him. Truth is, he never thought about kids either, much less having any. That was way, way in the future. He had enough trouble planning tomorrow much less a year or two from now.

Scene cuts to Madacorp. Emily is in her office on her computer when her secretary, Janet, buzzes her.

EMILY: Yes?

JANET: Your one o’clock appointment is here.

EMILY: Send them in.

Her door opens and her secretary brings in Declan and Kyle.

EMILY: So, gentlemen, what brings you here?

The secretary closes the door as Emily waves them to a couple of chairs in front of her desk.

DECLAN [pulls out a form from inside his jacket pocket and hands it to her before he sits down]. A certain piece of property.

EMILY [reads it]: That windowpane belongs to Madacorp, even if it’s in pieces.

KYLE: But not the information written on it.

DECLAN: The information you and Ballantine coerced and manipulated an innocent girl to steal it for you.

EMILY: Those are serious accusations.

DECLAN: Yes, they are.

EMILY [glances suspiciously at both of them]: Are you threatening me?

DECLAN: Let’s just say we can come to some kind of arrangement without dragging this into a big scale lawsuit.

EMILY: And I’m sure you both know that with intellectual property you can’t legalize an idea. Two people can have the same idea but implement it differently or very much the same.

DECLAN: True, but considering the information was stolen from someone’s head, any idea you or your staff piecing together that window makes it doubtful you or they would have had the same original idea on their own. Therefore, those formulas belong to Kyle.

EMILY: Really? One could argue that he stole it from Zzyzx.

DECLAN: Zzyzx was Adam’s creation. It’s his legacy that was passed down to Kyle.

EMILY: Funded by Madacorp.

DECLAN: With it’s own agenda of keeping a human being prisoner with no life of his own? As a mother, you wouldn’t want your child locked up and experimented on, would you?

EMILY [narrows her eyes, this kid knew how to fight back where a person was most vulnerable]: What do you guys want?

DECLAN: Take us to where you’re piecing together the window. Give us access to any file and record pertaining to the information that’s on that window for the sole purpose of deleting those files and records.

EMILY: You came well-rehearsed and well-prepared.

DECLAN: Yeah, we did.

EMILY: I can’t let you have access.

DECLAN: You’ll be right beside us watching and monitoring us as we delete only those files. No worries.

EMILY: I can delete them. There’s no way I’m trusting you to not plant a virus or delete anything else or even commit to memory other projects we have.

DECLAN: Yeah, well, here’s the thing, we don’t trust you or believe that you will delete those files. [He nods towards Kyle]. You show Kyle where those files are on your computer and delete them. He’ll know if you’re being trustworthy.

She looks over at Kyle and sees his unwavering gaze, telling her without words he means business as well.

EMILY: Do you know how hard my people worked on piecing the window together?

DECLAN: Tough.

EMILY [sighs]: Fine.

DECLAN: Oh, we also want any hard copy you have as backup.

EMILY [brings up a file on her computer as Kyle comes around to watch her, to make sure she is complying with their wishes]: Here it is.

She opens the file and he sees it contains pictures of what they have pieced together. Kyle notices they have one small corner left to complete. She deletes it, even from the delete file but he’s also monitoring her heart rate and body temperature and anything else she projects on a subconscious level in case she isn’t telling the truth.

Declan suggested that he may have to use his telepathic ability as well if she proves she can’t be trusted, which is why when he detects a rise in heart rate, and a rise in body temperature that puts a fine shine of sweat beneath her lower lip, he knew there was more than one file she had stored the information. That’s when he opened up a mental passageway to read her mind.

EMILY [thinks]: Keep cool, they’re just kids. Except Kyle, he may be the one but he’s the one to convince I’m cooperating, [her thoughts become disjointed], as for the Declan kid, amateur. Playing at being a lawyer? Nice try. As long as Kyle doesn’t detect the encrypted file, I’m home free.

EMILY: There, it’s done.

Kyle shakes his head at Declan and Declan hands him a large briefcase. Kyle takes out his laptop and quickly hooks it up to her computer.

EMILY: Hey! [She rises up from her chair to stop him but he’s put up a shield to block her and she bumps into it and sinks back down into her chair staring at him openmouthed].

DECLAN: Yeah, we knew you couldn’t be trusted. Very disappointing. And here we had, [he pulls out a file from his briefcase], a contract in hopes of actually doing business with you. [He waves it in the air, making a tsking sound with his tongue].

She glares at him, torn between anger and concern. How did Kyle know she deceived them? And how did he block her? In only confirms her suspicions that he and Jessi were the masked crusaders.

EMILY: You have a lot of nerve. I’m calling security,

Kyle was already hacking into her computer, searching for the encrypted file. She reaches for the phone. Declan slaps his hand down hard on the phone, stopping her.

DECLAN: You shouldn’t have deceived us.

KYLE: Let her see the contract. She’s a smart intelligent woman. She’ll see it’s in her best interest.

DECLAN: What? No way.

Kyle just looks at him with a do as I say expression and Declan hands her the file, not looking pleased.

Emily takes the file from him, opens it but doesn’t start reading, she’s too concerned about Kyle searching through her computer. He finds and decrypts the file then deletes it.

KYLE: Done.

He gives one final click until he sees her computer has access to the security cameras. He enters the security footage, finds the lab where her staff is placing the last few pieces together. He deletes all the footage taken over the past few months. She kept the footage as backup too.

KYLE: You have hard copies, pictures stored in a file?

EMILY [thinks]: Locked tight, [and he sees an image of a long row of file cabinets in her mind].

EMILY: Right here. [She stands up, heads to her filing cabinet and pulls out a file then hands it to Kyle].

Kyle frowns as he looks through it. There are several pictures of the pieced window taken over several months. But her filing cabinet wasn’t the same set of cabinets she’d been thinking of.

KYLE: This isn’t all of it, is it Emily? [Before she can object he gives her a final warning]. I’ll know if you’re lying.

Emily swallows, feeling suddenly nervous. Kyle’s manner isn’t threatening but if he was pushed too far and with his ability and powers, did she really want to make him an enemy?

EMILY: The rest is in the basement.

KYLE [suddenly glances at the computer, reaches over and clicks to view what’s happening down in the lab, cheers are heard through the computer speakers]: They’ve finished. Our first stop is there. [He glances at Emily, picks up the phone and holds the receiver out to her]. Tell them not to take any more pictures.

EMILY [sighs, defeated and calls down to the lab]: Derek?

DEREK’s voice: We did it!

EMILY: That’s great. Hold off on taking pictures. I’m coming down.

DEREK’s voice: Will do. [He pauses]. Hey, how did you know?

EMILY: Oh, I knew you were almost done, I just kept checking every now and then.

DEREK’s voice [chuckling]: Yeah, I’m relieved it’s all done, too. Bring the champagne.

Emily gives a forced chuckle before she hangs up.

EMILY: You know what this is going to do for their morale?

DECLAN [shrugs]: Not our problem. [She glares at him].

KYLE [tries to maintain her morale]: On our way down to the lab have a look at the contract I’m proposing. I think you’ll find it will more than compensate for everyone’s morale.

She glances his way, wary of why he’s being so nice compared to his friend. Was this a game they had planned out, good cop, bad cop? She picks up the file and begins glancing through it. Her eyes widen as she sees the potential Kyle is giving her. He may not be giving her the formulas that were on the glass but with his knowledge and innovational ideas he’s proposing, they can raise Madacorp’s stock like never before. He does make it clear in the contract that his inventions will be environmentally friendly and will not be used to exploit or harm humans or nature. To work with nature not against it.

EMILY: You’ve joined Latnok?

KYLE: Part-time, and only as long as they remain true to the vision Latnok originally had, and as long as no one becomes like the old board, with their own agenda. [He looks pointedly at her]. That includes their backers.

EMILY [thinks]: Point taken.

They reach the lab before she can finish looking through the file.

EMILY: Hello, everyone.

DEREK [smiles broadly]: Emily! We did it! Now that you’re here how about standing by the rest and I’ll start taking your picture?

EMILY: Ah, not just yet. [She moves closer]. Derek, everyone, I’m sorry to be the bearer of sad news but believe me, you all will be well compensated for all your hard work.

DEREK [frowns and glances with suspicion at the two young men behind her]: What do you mean?

Kyle is taking stock of the staff surrounding the glass, an employee sitting behind a computer, a guard by the door, everyone and everything in the room, including each location of the security cameras.

EMILY: I’m sorry, Derek. But this young man has prior claim to the information. It was his fathers. [She turns to Kyle]. So, what now? Remember, the glass stays here.

Kyle opens his case, takes out a pair of gloves, wipes and a spray bottle with a special cleaning fluid he prepared and starts spraying the glass.

DECLAN [whispers to Emily]: The glass is no problem.

She looks as upset as her staff.

DEREK: Emily! Stop them! They can’t—you can’t let them do this.

EMILY: Yes, I can.

Kyle starts wiping off the formula that had been so carefully preserved. Other than seeing the fine broken-up glass lines, the glass is as clear before Jessi had written on it.

KYLE [sees how upset and angry Derek is and guesses he worked on piecing the glass the longest]: Are you a scientist, Derek?

DEREK [glares at Kyle, unwilling to answer]: Yes. [Barely a grunt].

KYLE [turns to Emily]: At the end of the contract is a sample of one idea I have. I think Derek will find it interesting.

EMILY [takes a look first but she can’t understand the formulas]: Derek, [she motions him over], take a look. Tell me what you think.

Derek looks at the sheet of paper and starts getting excited.

DEREK: This is brilliant, but it’s not complete.

EMILY: What is it?

DEREK: A revolutionary power source to fuel a whole city. [He looks at Kyle with a new type of respect]. Was this part of that, [he waves a hand at the glass, or what used to be written on it].

KYLE: No, it’s my own calculations.

DEREK [to Emily while looking back at the sheet of paper]: Is he going to work for us?

EMILY [glances once again at the contract]: I need to formalize it with the lawyer first.

DECLAN [leans closer to Kyle]: Dangle a carrot and they fold like a deck of cards.

EMILY [overhears him]: Well, if we’re done here, I’ll escort you out.

KYLE: Not quite. Can I use your computer one more time?

EMILY: Do I have a choice?

DECLAN: No.

Emily nods for the computer guy to let Kyle access the computer. He doesn’t look happy to give up his station. Kyle hooks up his computer, finds the security footage of this lab and deletes the rest of the recordings on piecing together the glass fragments then resets the time to start a few seconds from when he logs off. Derek wanders over and watches and marvels.

DEREK: You said that was your father’s work, I mean, all those formulas you just wiped away.

KYLE: He worked hard to obtain it.

DEREK: And you’re just as smart if not more?

KYLE: I know a few things.

DEREK: I hope you reconsider working here you’re brilliant.

KYLE: Thank you. [He glances over at Emily]. But, we’ll see, just one more file to obtain.

Emily looks as if she’d been hoping he had forgotten, but she should have known better. Kyle has the memory better than ten elephants.

EMILY: I’ll show you.

Emily has a guard follow them to the basement and has him stand by the door as they enter a file room. Kyle now sees the row of files she had visualized in her mind. She pulls out a thick file. There were lots of pictures and tapes of the security footage in the lab keeping a record of how the staff spent hours piecing the glass shards together. Kyle puts it in his briefcase. He can sense that is the end of all Emily had stored away.

KYLE: Thank you.

EMILY: You strike a hard bargain.

DECLAN: Does he? More than fair to me.

EMILY: You’ve made your point.

DECLAN: Then we’ll be in touch.

EMILY: The guard will show you out.

She heads back to her office to study the contract in more detail and has her secretary call the company’s lawyer. Back in Declan’s car they both look at each other and do a high five.

DECLAN: We did it.

KYLE: You were great.

DECLAN: My dad gave me a few pointers, how to take charge and never let them see you sweat.

KYLE: It worked.

DECLAN: I am so stoked right now. Let’s celebrate.

KYLE [looks at his watch]: I’d love to but I have to get back to work.

DECLAN: Tonight’s taken. How’s tomorrow night?

KYLE: You got it.

DECLAN: All right. [He starts the car and drives off, both of them pleased with a job well done].

That night Kyle drives Amanda to their marriage course held in the hall area of the church. There were three other couples all in their early or mid-twenties.

MINISTER [walks in]: Welcome, everyone. We’ll take a few minutes to get acquainted then start. I’m Father Johnson.

One couple has been married for two years and their names are Jack and Donna. The second couple is names Charlie and Rose and their wedding is in four weeks. The third couple is not yet married either but they are younger, twenty years old and their names are Ron and Tara Cutler.

DONNA: So, Amanda, are you like the other two, about to be married?

AMANDA: Actually, Kyle and I have been married just over a week.

ROSE: That’s all? That’s not very long. And you’re having troubles already? But then who am I to talk? Charlie and I aren’t married yet and already we’re fighting, have been for months now.

DONNA: Jack and I, after only two years are ready for a divorce.

TARA: Oh, that’s so sad. Ron and I can hardly wait to be married. We’re so excited.

ROSE [voice sarcastic]: And so in love. [Tara looks crestfallen].

AMANDA: I think it’s great, getting married is exciting.

ROSE [cuts in before Tara can]: So, what’s the deal with you two? Why are you here?

AMANDA [doesn’t care for Rose but tries to be polite]: Since we’re only 18 our parent’s thought it best if we take a marriage course. We’re sincere about making our marriage a success.

TARA: Oh, how romantic.

DONNA: Wait a couple of years.

ROSE: Wait a couple of months. [She and Donna laugh].

Tara and Amanda edge away. They sound too bitter about marriage for their liking.

TARA: My parents only agreed to my getting married if I wait until I’m 21, which will happen next month, so naturally I planned our wedding to be exactly a month later.

AMANDA: Now that’s romantic.

TARA: They insisted on this course beforehand though, they said we were too much in love. We need to face reality.

AMANDA: That sounds exactly what my mother told me, and why she wants us to take this course, too.

TARA: We have something in common. [They giggle].

Donna and Rose talk to each other in the background and on hearing Tara and Amanda giggle shake their heads. The guys hang back not saying much.

FATHER JOHNSON: Okay, let’s get started.

Ron and Tara take one side of the couch, Amanda and Kyle take the other side of the couch while the other two couples take chairs, a foot apart.

FATHER JOHNSON: No matter the situation you find yourselves in, all couples seem to enter a relationship with certain expectations. What I want you to do for your first assignment is to write down what you want and expect from your partner. Then what needs you have that you feel your partner isn’t meeting.

He hands each a clipboard with a writing pad and pen attached.

FATHER JOHNSON: It’s funny how in our society we send our kids to school to prepare and teach them so that one day they can get a job and learn to fend for themselves. That all takes training. But yet, when it comes to marriage, there is no real training. With divorce rates on the rise, training how to be the right partner and be the partner your husband or wife longs for is what this course is all about.

Kyle and Amanda smile at each other while Ron and Tare give each other a quick kiss. Donna and Rose roll their eyes.

FATHER JOHNSON: Everyone has expectations. However, unrealistic expectations will end up being direct paths to disappointment and unhappiness in your marriage.

DONNA: I’ll say.

JACK: Hey, you’re no ray of sunshine, nothing I do is good enough.

FATHER JOHNSON: Okay, one rule I stipulate in this course is no blame, no criticizing.

JACK: That’ll be a welcome relief.

FATHER JOHNSON: Uh, huh. No complaining either. We’re going to use words like feeling, hopes, wants and needs instead. [He looks sternly at each couple].

Besides Ron and Tara, Amanda and Kyle are more than willing, the other two couples grumble, not looking hopeful of the outcome either way.

FATHER JOHNSON [continues to teach]: Many myths that surround marriage give couple unrealistic expectations…

Meanwhile, Declan heads over to Jackie’s place. She opens her door and he sees her wearing a low-cut shiny top, he whistles.

DECLAN: Beautiful.

JACKIE: Thank you. Want to come in for a few minutes?

DECLAN: Love to, but I made reservations. After though, I’d be more than open to that invitation.

She smiles a slow seductive smile.

JACKIE: Count on it.

Declan takes her to a very ritzy high-class restaurant.

DECLAN: How’d you make out at work?

JACKIE: Successful. [She reaches out and caresses his arm]. Thanks for being so understanding. I was looking forward to seeing you last night just as much as you were.

DECLAN: You’re worth the wait. [He puts his hand over hers but their eyes say they can’t wait to be alone together].

JACKIE: So, how’d you like orientation?

DECLAN: It had its moments. Some ups, some downs.

JACKIE: Downs?

DECLAN: You weren’t there. [He grins at her].

JACKIE [smiles back]: Well, I’m here now.

DECLAN [suggestive tone]: I’m definitely up.

Next day is Kyle’s first day working at Latnok. Mark is the first to greet him.

MARK: Hey, Kyle.

KYLE: Hi, Mark.

MARK: I know it’s been a while since you were last here but I could introduce you around again before I set you up at your own station.

KYLE: Yeah, I’d like to say hello to everyone.

Mark makes the rounds. Starting with Thing1 and Thing2 who were really Dave and Russell, then Tim, Daphne and several others; last was Nate.

NATE: So, I hear you gave Madacorp an ultimatum. I’d love to know what you offered them.

KYLE: An alternate energy source. If they agree they’ll be in touch.

NATE: Good job. So what are you going to work on today? Or do you plan to give all your ideas over to Madacorp?

KYLE: No, I only agreed to work in conjunction with them through Latnok.

NATE: So, if your idea flies, we’d have an even stronger backer sponsoring us.

KYLE: That’s the plan. As for what to work on, I’m still deciding.

NATE: I heard you converted your van to a new fuel system. I’d like to take a look.

KYLE: It’s out in the parking lot, I’ll show you later.

NATE: Congratulations with the help on the security system. It has quite the firewall. You two are hard to beat.

KYLE: Thanks.

As he heads over to his station, Nate goes back to work. Before Kyle can start on anything, Jessi calls him into her office.

JESSI: Well, do you like it here? [But what she really means is how well she’s running Latnok].

KYLE: So far, I like it. You’re doing a great job, Jessi.

JESSI [smiles, very pleased with her accomplishment here]: Have you decided on a project?

KYLE: I’m torn between several.

JESSI: Do them all. Some are already working on two projects at a time. For you or me, we can handle a lot more.

KYLE: Okay, you’re the boss.

JESSI: Yes, I am.

He smiles; picking up easily once again how much she loves being the boss.

That night he and Declan go out to celebrate successfully retrieving all the data Madacorp had on the information.

DECLAN: To a better future. [He holds up his smoothie cup].

KYLE: To the future. [He holds up his smoothie cup and taps it against Declan’s cup].

They are at the Rack in the back room.

DECLAN: Not quite the place I had in mind.

KYLE: I’m turned off on the other type of drinks.

DECLAN: Yeah, I would be too.

KYLE: There’s an open court we can head to later in the park.

DECLAN: That I’d go for.

They drink a while in silence, comfortable watching people come and go. Josh and Amanda are hard at work out front dealing with a steady stream of customers.

DECLAN: So, you haven’t told her yet.

KYLE: No. I’ll wait till the weekend after.

DECLAN: Another two weeks? Why so long?

KYLE: Well, this weekend she’s busy working overtime here and next weekend is the Labor Day weekend where we’re going to have a family outing, Amanda included. I don’t want to spoil everyone’s good time with sad news. So, the weekend after I figure would be best.

DECLAN: Yeah. I guess no time is really the best time to tell bad news.

KYLE: No.

After their smoothie drinks, they play a game of basketball next to a playground. Kyle pauses, stopping to watch the children play and felt his eyes water. Just as he told Declan, he never thought about children much before.

In his mind, children were the future. A future he’ll never have, as he sees one of the children run over the their mother to show her the mud-pie they made. The mud slides through their fingers and drips down their jacket. The mother starts to scold at the mess they made when the child starts to cry. Their mud-pie has disappeared.

DECLAN [looks over and sees the children too and Kyle’s reaction]: Kyle, come on, man.

KYLE: Yeah, right. [He turns away just as the mother gives him an odd look and slides her arm protectively around her child].

Kyle can hear her try to explain why the mud-pie disappeared. Declan and Kyle are silent as they resume their game. Declan notices Kyle plays harder than usual, beating him easily. He lets him work it out.

Sunday, Amanda works all day along with Josh. So Kyle, Jessi and Lori hang around the house. Lori is excited because Mark is coming over to help her dad. Even just seeing him for a short time is worth it. Mark and her dad are sitting at the dining room table with a bunch of files and papers spread across.

STEVEN [shows Mark what he wants done next]: Rather than just hardware and software and programming, the department wants me to incorporate a class geared for a wider range of computer users. One for beginners, intermediate and advanced.

Lori comes in and sets a glass of lemonade in front of Mark. She smiles at him and he smiles back.

LORI: Would you like one, dad?

STEVEN: Sure. [He continues]. A lot of freshman this term wants to hone their computer skills as their minor. [Lori leaves to get her dad a drink].

MARK: So, which area would you like my help?

STEVEN: Actually, [Lori comes back in with a drink for her dad but brushes against Mark as she leans across to give her dad the drink], ah, thanks. [He takes it from her, and as she leans back her hand drifts to Mark’s neck and starts to gently rub]. I need you for all of them.

MARK: Ah, yeah, that’s quite a load.

STEVEN: Bruce seemed interested in training to become a T.A. as well, wasn’t he? Would you like to recruit him? We could use the extra help.

MARK [shifts a little in his chair, trying hard not for her dad to see how Lori’s gentle rub is affecting him]: Yeah, he’s still interested. Since this is my final year, it’s a good time as any to train a new T.A.

STEVEN: Great. [He gives a slight frown at Lori]. Thanks, Lori, that’ll be all for now.

LORI: Oh, sure, dad.

She gives Mark a quick affectionate tweak and strolls out of the room.

STEVEN [sighs]: I think my office would have had fewer interruptions.

Mark smiles a little nervously. At least Steven wasn’t blaming him for Lori’s constant hovering. Secretly he’s a little thrilled and looks forward to each and every time she “drops” by to play hostess.

Monday, Amanda starts NU and Josh goes back to high school. He meets up with Andy.

The moment Josh sees Andy at school he calls out to her.

JOSH: Andy!

ANDY [comes over to him and give him a big hug]: Hello, boyfriend, whom I haven’t seen in like forever.

JOSH: It does feel like forever. [He gives her a big hug back].

They hold hands as they walk inside the school.

JOSH: Just think, we’re seniors now.

ANDY: Yep. Just think of the junior who’ll be looking up to us as examples.

JOSH: Forget them. I’m just glad this will be my last year I’ll have to slave away studying.

ANDY: Right, just in time to slave away at college right after. Which by the way, I’m not going to UW.

JOSH: You’re not? Since when?

ANDY: Since I read some of those books Kyle had won. I’m looking into a private school in holistic health. There’s also this farm down south I’d like to check out. It’s like a holistic retreat.

JOSH: My brother created a monster.

ANDY: You know what I did these past two weeks, other than pining over you?

JOSH: I shudder to think.

ANDY: Detoxing, going 100% raw.

JOSH: One hundred percent? Isn’t that a little drastic?

ANDY: I don’t plan on ever, ever getting cancer again. Ever. I won’t ever submit to high radiation x-rays that cause cancer either. I found the truth.

JOSH: The truth? You’re not going all religious on me, are you?

ANDY: Just wait till I treat you to your first raw meal.

JOSH: Been there, done that with Kyle. No thanks.

ANDY: And what makes you think I’m giving you a choice?

JOSH: Ah, free country?

ANDY: Darn, you’re right. I just remembered one of those books said not to push. But Josh, I hate to see you unhealthy.

JOSH: I’ll come to it on my own. Later, way later.

ANDY [heaves a big sigh]: I just want you around for a long time, healthy, strong…

JOSH: Yeah, yeah. Nag on.

She gives him a loud smack of a kiss on his cheek.

ANDY: A loving nag.

JOSH: Oh, boy. I’m in trouble.

ANDY: Only if you don’t eat right.

JOSH: Here we go again.

Andy just smiles.

Monday night, Amanda comes over to hear Kyle and Josh, not so much arguing as talking loud. Or rather, Josh was talking in a loud voice.

KYLE: She asked to read them Josh. You’re free to read them, too.

JOSH: Yeah, I don’t want to read them. Well, some of them, maybe. But you turned my girl into a freakin’ purist.

KYLE: She decided that on her own.

JOSH: After she read those books.

KYLE: Then why are you blaming me?

JOSH: They’re your books!

AMANDA [aside to Lori as she enters the kitchen, giving Kyle a brief nod hello]: What’s going on?

LORI [whispers]: Andy’s become a raw foodist, one hundred percent raw. At least she has for the past two weeks.

AMANDA: That’s amazing. I may be eating more vegetables and fruits in their raw state but I still like some cooked.

LORI: I don’t think I could go 100% either.

KYLE: Besides, I thought you decided to study alternative medicine as well as modern medicine.

JOSH: Yeah, well I am, but…

KYLE: But what?

JOSH: It kind of came as a shock, that’s all.

KYLE [turns to Amanda]: Hi. Ready?

AMANDA: Ready.

LORI: For what?

AMANDA: Kyle is going to teach me how to drive a standard.

LORI: Good luck.

Cut to an empty school lot where Kyle begins teaching her.

KYLE: First, its all about the feel and getting used to using the clutch. When you step on the clutch—

AMANDA: Where is it?

KYLE: The far left. See the three pedals?

AMANDA: I see them. [She taps her foot on the far left one]. This one?

KYLE: That’s the one. When you step on the clutch it disconnects the engine from the wheels.

AMANDA: Oh, oh. Did I do that by touching it?

KYLE: No, you have to press down harder in order to disconnect.

AMANDA: That’s a relief.

KYLE: Just relax. We’re not going to drive it right now. I just want you to get a feel for it. So, after you step on the clutch and it disconnects the engine, it allows the engine to continue running while you change gears, or while the car is stopped. [She’s listening intently]. The gears allow the engine to run efficiently at different speeds. When you used to drive an automatic you could feel the car automatically change gears as it accelerated, couldn’t you?

AMANDA: Yes, I could.

KYLE: Well, in a manual, changing gears is your responsibility. The speeds of when to change gears vary. When the car’s RPM’s gets up to around three thousand or when it just feels like it’s time to change gears, [at this her eyes widen and a look of not knowing what in the world he is talking about crosses her face], the RPM’s is that gage over there [he points to it].

AMANDA: Change gears every three ‘thou’, got it.

KYLE: Start by applying your right foot to the brake pedal and practice getting a feel of the clutch pedal by pushing it in and out with your left foot.

AMANDA: Without starting it first?

KYLE: Definitely without starting it first.

AMANDA: Okay, that sounds easy enough.

She begins pushing the clutch in with her left foot.

KYLE [begins to explain the shift pattern as his van is old and the gear pattern has worn off]: See the shift pattern shown on top of the shift knob?

AMANDA [squints]: Barely.

KYLE: Sorry, I didn’t get a chance to repaint the knob, but I did make a drawing. [He pulls out a slip of paper showing where the gears were]. It’s like the letter H. Neutral is located in the middle where the crossbar of the H is. When the transmission is in neutral, you should be able to move the gearshift lever to the left and to the right. First gear is usually located by pushing the gearshift lever forward.

Over the next three nights, Kyle teaches her and by Thursday, Amanda can finally shift more easily without grinding the gears or stalling out. It’s also on Thursday during the day where Kyle and Declan meet with Emily in her office to sign the contract.

EMILY [stands up and shakes Kyle’s hand]: Welcome to Madacorp, Kyle.

KYLE [shakes her hand]: In conjunction with Latnok.

EMILY: Of course. I look forward to any all projects you and Latnok will have to offer.

She buzzes her secretary, Janet.

EMILY: Janet, you can send in Derek now. [She releases the intercom button]. Derek’s been looking forward to seeing the rest of your formula.

KYLE: I’d be glad to show him. I have a few minutes.

The office door opens and Janet escorts Derek in. He comes over, hand outstretched.

DEREK: Good to see you, Kyle.

KYLE [shakes his hand]: Good to see you. Here, [he hands him a paper where the full equations of his formula is typed on, plus a read only disk]. I’d love to see your progress from time to time.

DEREK: You will, you will. [He eagerly takes another look at the formula and whistles]. This is outstanding. Thank you.

EMILY: There will be a lot of red tape to go through before we can implement this new fuel source.

DEREK [barely listening]: Yes, yes, of course. [He waves a hand]. Are you coming down to the lab now?

KYLE: Yes, I’d like that. [He nods to Emily and follows Derek out the door].

DECLAN [left behind, suddenly feels out of place]: Well, I’ll leave you to your red tape.

EMILY [smiles ruefully]: It’s Kyle I look forward to doing business with.

DECLAN: No doubt. [He heads out the door, rushing to catch up with Kyle and Derek].

After Kyle explains the formula to Derek and the rest of the science team, he and Declan leave them to begin the project and exit Madacorp. They hop inside Declan’s car.

Kyle glances through the terms of the contract even though he knows it by heart. Emily agreed with everything, he only hopes their partnership, along with Latnok, proves fruitful and free of exploitation.

KYLE: I have a contract with Madacorp.

DECLAN [grins]: Poetic justice, man. They tried to kill you, now it’s payback.

KYLE: I don’t look at it that way.

DECLAN: Maybe not, but I sure do. I like it. Payback in the best possible way, of course.

KYLE [only now does he grin]: Of course.

It’s Friday night, Sep 3rd and Kyle and Amanda head to their second week of their marriage course. Its on finances and keeping to a budget.

FATHER JOHNSON: Since money often is not discussed during courtship, many partners do not find out until after marriage how different their family financial rules are from one another. The most important skills in dealing with financial issues are clear communication and non-judgmental listening. There is less argument in marriages where both spouses share in the financial decision making and where they openly communicate about their financial situation. It will take time, practice, and patience to be comfortable with new ways of handling money. You may want to plan a time to meet together each month and decide as a team how you are going to handle your money.

KYLE [aside to Amanda]: Sometime near the end of this month we should open a joint account so I can deposit a monthly living expense for you. [She still doesn’t look happy her mom is making him responsible for her so he says something of what he learnt so far in this course]. It makes me feel like a husband already, in a good way.

She smiles at him. He then lists and shows Amanda his earnings and expenses. Her eyes widen as she sees how much he really earns and how much more he’ll be giving her a month. She also doesn’t feel as guilty about wanting to take the belly dance course.

AMANDA [whispers]: Kyle that’s a couple hundred more than what my mom gives me.

KYLE: That’s all I can manage.

AMANDA: No, I think it’s great, wonderful. Thank you.

KYLE: I’ll be getting an advance from Madacorp in another month for the formula I gave them.

AMANDA: That’s pretty good.

KYLE: Depending how it sells I may get more. For the rest, I told her to set up a science fund in Adam’s name towards scholarships for smart but less fortunate young students needing to enter university. Then arranged for another portion to go to Latnok, as long as they adhere to their original mission statement.

AMANDA: To Latnok?

KYLE: I wanted to honor Adam, what he stood for and believed in.

She is about to say how wonderfully forgiving he is when something about it didn’t feel right.

AMANDA: How many in sales is that formula worth? [Kyle writes down a number and shows it to her, her eyes widen in shock and the words of her mother suddenly come to mind, of earnings being fifty fifty]. Kyle, this is over twice the amount we won. You and Declan planned this?

KYLE: Jessi knew, too. In fact, it was one of my first administration assignments for Latnok.

AMANDA: Oh. It seemed as though you earned this for yourself.

KYLE: Partly. That’s why I’m getting so much twice a year. Madacorp is one of Latnok’s backers but they took an economic down turn. This will bring them back up.

AMANDA: That’s pretty high numbers.

KYLE: Yeah, no wonder the old Latnok members could do what they’ve done. Jessi and I closed off contact with the more unfavorable backers, the ones that wanted to exploit us; they were arrested along with the others that time.

She feels a little better but is still uncertain about him working for Latnok, besides feeling somewhat left out of the loop. Trust him though; he picks up on her feelings of unease.

KYLE: Things have changed. I wouldn’t deal with them if they hadn’t.

AMANDA: I know, it’s just…you and Declan, off on one of your forays.

KYLE: Yeah, it did feel like old times—[he breaks off, realizing that’s what concerns her most, he and Declan putting themselves in danger]. We weren’t in danger.

AMANDA: You could have been.

KYLE: Foss wasn’t even there. If it had been dangerous I would have had him standing by—[by the look on her face she isn’t reassured, far from it].

AMANDA: You tell him things you don’t tell me about, do you? Oh, I’ll know about it, eventually. Right?

By the look on his face she can tell there is something more he hasn’t told her that he’s already told Declan.

AMANDA: Oh, my God. [Her voice starts to rise]. There is more you haven’t told me!

KYLE: I was, I am going to tell you.

AMANDA: When? [Her raised voice drew the attention of the other couples].

KYLE: The weekend after Labor Day.

AMANDA [lowers her voice]: No, you can tell me when we get home, tonight.

She turns aside, the subject closed for now. She didn’t want to create a scene. Kyle bites his lip. It looked like this was the best time to tell her the sad news about him after all.

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.