Restored

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Chapter 10

Regina.” I heard a familiar feminine voice call out. My vision drifted towards the voice to see that woman ghost once again. She just stood in front of me with her eyes still lit up with that yellow energy. “I want to restore your memories, I want you to finally remember. Even though some may be a little scary, but it cannot stay like this.

Her image then faded and the scene changed. The scenery was grainy, but I could tell that I was outside sitting beside a soccer field. Everything around me was moving at a stop and go pace like someone was slowly flipping through pages of a picture book. I could hear the sounds of people cheering and calling out to the players on the field while young children laughed and played.

I was sitting beside my mother, Aunt Miranda, a young Cole and some of my other relatives on my mother’s side. We were watching and cheering Roxanne on as she raced after the soccer ball with her teammates running beside her.

I then heard cheers that weren’t from my family. Looking over to the right of me, two boys sat beside me. They both looked to be around my age, which was twelve years old. Their hair and eyes were black where I couldn’t see what color they actually were. The second boy had his attention on the game looking to be excited as he cheered, while the boy right next to me smiled brightly as he turned his interest on me.

“I think they’ve got this in the bag! Wouldn’t you say so, Regina?”

When I saw his smile I returned it. “You bet!”

However, just as I returned the gesture the scene flashed and it changed to where I stood in front of the blonde haired boy. I shrieked when he grabbed my arms and pulled me towards him. Grimacing in pain, I squinted my eyes shut but couldn’t bear to keep them closed long, I dared to look up to find the piercing green glare of the blonde boy.

“Lu-Lu-” I began fearfully.

“You traitor!” The boy interrupted with fury. “You will join us!” He raised his hand and formed a fist and then in another flash the scene changed again. This time the person in front of me was a grown man with blonde hair.

The man smirked as he held up the needle.

“No matter what it takes!” The boy’s voice echoed just as the man’s hand came closer to me, getting ready to stick that needle into my neck.

“Slave.” The man eerily said just as the needle pricked my neck.


“Ah!” I shot up with my heart and head pounding. Hastily, I placed my hand on my neck where the needle pricked. However, I sighed in relief when I realized that I was in my bedroom. All of that...was just a dream.

“Oh thank goodness!” I praised softly. Then laying my hand on my chest where my fast beating heart was, I told myself. “Okay, calm down.”

What was with that dream though? Was it a mere dream? I want to shrug it off as one, but...I can’t. I seriously cannot shake this dream off. Could it be because of that ending? I’ve been seeing that ending a lot recently since I got attacked by that blonde guy. Or...could it be because of that ghost woman and what she said. Could dad be right? That she’s trying to bring back my memories? Are these images memories...or at least part of them? I mean, when those images ran through my head I couldn’t shake how familiar they felt...eerily familiar, especially the one with those blonde dudes. Heck, I think I was even about to say a name when I saw that blonde boy, at least...that’s what it sounded like.

Also...those boys at the beginning. I swear, if I didn’t know any better...I would say that those boys seemed similar to the ones I saw in those images this past week. Were they?

I suddenly grimaced when the pounding in my head turned into a piercing headache. “Ugh!” With slight agony, I rubbed my head. “Not this again. Why is that every time something like this happens my head always hurts?”

Slowly, I shoved my covers off. Then carefully I stood up and walked out of my bedroom and towards the bathroom. “Let’s get some medicine, shall we.”

Opening the bathroom cabinet, I took out the headache medicine.

“Oh! Good morning, Reggie.”

“Huh?” Averted my eyes, I spotted dad. He looked like he was just coming out of their bedroom and appeared ready to work outside. He had a grubby pair of jeans and long sleeved shirt that had some paint stains on them. “Oh...morning, dad.”

His eyes flickered to the headache medicine. “Have a headache?”

“Yeah.” I exhaled with slight exhaustion. “I just woke up from a dream that caused this headache.”

That’s also another reason why I’m having a hard time shaking these images off. Every time they appear...my head always hurts afterward. It may be a coincidence, but...I’m kind of doubting it.

“A dream caused that?” Dad questioned oddly, “How so?”

“Honestly, I’m not sure. But it has been a trend lately.” A thought came to me as I arched a brow. “Hey, dad, if my memories are indeed coming back how will I know?

Dad’s eyebrows rose for a split second before he wrinkled them with perplexity. “Why do you ask?”

“Well...I’ve been having a lot of weird dreams recently and random images keep popping into my head even when I’m awake. Dreams and images that I can’t shake off because of how familiar they feel.”

Dad was silent for a few seconds, but then instructed. “Let me hear one of them. Although, I don’t know everything that happened during that time. But I may have enough general idea to at least confirm if they are or not.”

“Okay...well....” Rummaging through my mind, I tried to pick one that he may know something about. “Oh, I know I may have told you about this before the day that cafeteria incident happened, but that guy that came at me with a needle reappeared.”

Dad’s eyes went wide. “You saw that again?”

“Yes and when you mentioned that I was kidnapped that image of that guy holding a needle immediately popped into my head.” Fiddling with the medicine bottle, I quizzed. “So...is that a memory?”

Dad’s groan and grim expression caused my heart to drop. “Unfortunately, yes. When those creeps kidnapped you, one of them struck you with a needle.”

My eyebrows rose, gulping I anxiously asked. “What...what was in that needle?”

“I’m not sure, but ya know....” Peering up at the ceiling in thought, dad waved his finger at me. “Now that I’m thinking about it, maybe whatever was in that needle may have something to do with your memories.”

“Really? You think so?”

“Again this is just a speculation, but when we managed to find them and you, you looked lifeless. It was like they somehow managed to take your soul out of your body and became a puppet that they were easily able to manipulate.”

“Puppet?”

“You’re mine now...slave.”

“It’s no use! She will not hear you! She is my slave now and all ours! So attack! Attack with all your might!”

Letting out a shaky breath, I lowered my gaze to stare down at the ground. Allowing that thought to settle into my mind.

“But then when we managed to break their hold on you, you somehow lost half of your memories?” Dad went on, finishing his thought as he grasped my attention. “So I have a feeling there may be a connection there.”

“Y-Yeah.” I softly agreed, “Kind of hard to not think there is after something like that.”

“But.” Dad’s face became firm with determination. “If you are starting to get dreams and random images that feel strongly familiar like that...then I think it’s safe to say that your memories are indeed coming back. So keep an eye on that and keep us in the loop, since no doubt you’ll have questions about every single one of them.”

“Y-Yeah, okay.” Even though I saw that coming, it was still shocking to hear.

“Well, anyway, mom and I are going to run some errands this morning.” Dad informed me. “We have a lot of yard work to get to today before winter comes roaring in. So we need to pick up a few things to help us with that, but we’ll be back before Tyler comes over.” Arching a brow, he quickly asked, “He’s coming over around one, correct?”

I nodded, “Yes, he is.”

“Alright, so we better get a move on, considering it’s already 9am.” Swiftly, dad turned, but kept his glance on me. Giving me a small smile, he waved. “See you later.”

“Uh, yeah, sure thing.” I simply answered as I watched him retreat down the stairs.

Once he was out of sight I exhaled and rubbed my forehead. What a shocking morning this has been and I’m both kind of happy, but also anxious. Happy that I’m gradually getting my memories back. But also scared, mainly because of what dad just told me about the kidnappers, since it reminded me that not all of these memories are going to be cheery ones.

“Ah!” I shook my head. “I gotta get myself out of this mood. Can’t let Tyler see me like this.” Lightly, I slapped my cheeks, “Okay, onto happy thoughts! So first,” I popped open the headache medicine bottle, “get rid of this headache, take a shower, eat some breakfast and clean up the rec room.”

Instantly, my joy resurfaced at the thought of Tyler coming over. “Oh gosh! I can’t believe how excited I am about this.”

I’m also a tad nervous, this will be the first time I’ve invited a boy over to hang out. It’ll also be my first time hanging out completely alone with a boy. No Roxanne, no Taylor, not Samantha or Chester, sure my parents will be home, but for the most part it’ll just be me and Tyler.

“Hopefully I can find enough for us to do so I won’t bore him to death.”


It was one o’clock and once I had finished my morning activities and preparations I had settled myself down on our living room couch. I was laying my legs up on the couch while I rested my back against the arm engrossed in a new library book that I checked out just this week. I had my hair up in a ponytail, I wore a blue and white striped thermal hooded top with a light blue tank top underneath, dark blue jeans and socks.

DING-DONG!

I jumped, startled by the ring of the doorbell. “What?” Swiftly, I whirled my attention towards the DVR box to finally realize what the time was. “Whoa! That hour certainly went by fast.”

Quickly, I placed my bookmark where I had left off and I set my book down on the coffee table. I then rushed towards the front door and opened it to find Tyler standing there with his hands tucked into his dark blue jean pockets. He also wore a dark blue t-shirt with a Captain America shield on the front and a dark blue zip up sweater with a hood.

His eyebrows rose for a split second but smiled with a hint of relief. “Oh good, for a second there I thought I got the wrong house.”

“Oh! Sorry about that.” Feeling guilty, I rubbed the back of my neck. “I didn’t mean to make you worry.” Meekly, I grinned, “I was reading and completely lost track of the time.”

“Haha, ah I see.” Tyler commented humorously as I allowed him to step into the house. He smirked at me, “Is it still that new book you checked out the library on Thursday?”

“Yup, you guessed right.” I gladly returned as I shut the front door.

“So, I take it that mystery novel is a must read?”

“Oh, right!” My eyes lit up as a memory struck me. “You had mentioned on Friday when you saw me reading that book that you loved mystery novels.”

“That I did. So?” He crossed his arms. “Is it good?”

I merely shrugged, “I personally think it is. But you would have to read it for yourself.”

“Well, I trust you. If you say it’s good I’ll believe you.”

“Hehe, not really sure I deserve that type of praise.” I felt a little embarrassed. “But thanks.”

Tyler just smiled and took our moment of silence to look around the house. His expression suddenly narrowed.

I eyed him strangely when I saw the slight concern in his face. “What’s wrong?”

“You’re...” He glanced at me, “not home alone are you?”

“Huh?” I was surprised by his strict question. But hastily, I shook my head, “N-No.” I pointed towards the kitchen, “My parents are in the backyard doing some yard work.”

“Oh.” Tyler released a breath and sounded relieved. “Good.”

“What?” I found his response odd. “Why would that-”

“After that incident in the Pick n’ Save parking lot, I don’t particularly like the idea of you being alone.” He clarified.

For some reason his words and the strict, yet tender tone caused my cheeks to flush. “O-Oh, well,” With my heart fluttering, I spread my hands, “no worries then. Although, I don’t normally go to a lot of places on my own anyway, since it’s more fun to go with friends.” I smiled, “So don’t worry about it, okay?”

Tyler merely grunted, “Can’t guarantee that.” His response surprised me once again, but I stayed silent as he asked. “So, where will we be hanging out? The living room? Family room?”

“Oh!” I pointed towards the kitchen. “We’ll be hanging out in the rec room downstairs. So kick off your shoes and let’s head down there.”

“Okay.” He went over by the side of the front door, slid off his shoes and followed me towards the kitchen.

Just as we entered the dining area, we heard the patio door slide open. We spotted my parents coming inside.

“Well, that should take care of the leaves and the bushes.” Dad said to mom.

“For the most part, I don’t think we’ll be completely done with the leaves until they have all fallen off of the trees.”

“True. But we at least have a little relief until then.”

“Oh, mom, dad.” I greeted, grasping their attention.

The two smiled and became delighted when they saw Tyler standing next to me.

“Ah.” Dad nodded lightheartedly. “I knew I heard a car driving into our driveway.”

Tyler held up his hand and smiled. “Nice to see you two again, Mr. and Mrs. Williams.”

Mom and dad acknowledged his greeting.

“Likewise.”

“Oh.” Looking over at me, mom curiously asked. “So were you able to figure out what you wanted to do, Reggie?”

“Um....” Why is she asking me this now?

Suddenly giggling, Mom had her eyes on Tyler as she mentioned. “I tell ya, Tyler, this young lady was all over the house when John and I got home from our errands this morning. She was just so worried and frantically trying to figure out what to do so she wouldn’t bore you to death.”

I stiffened. “Uh, mom?”

“But it was just so cute watching her scramble around here. She just had this non-stop smile and was so excited all the while that it was hard not to be giddy myself.”

“Mom!” My face was now warm with embarrassment.

“Oops.” Hastily, mom covered her mouth slightly. She merely smiled with amusement, “Sorry, dear, was I not supposed to say that?”

Oh, don’t give me that look, mom. I can see right through that expression, you did that on purpose! Also, what’s with her being so casual like this towards Tyler? This is something I would expect to hear her say to Roxanne, Taylor or Samantha, but not to someone she’s only seen twice.

“Aw, Regina, don’t be like that.” Tyler reassured me with a wide smile. “I was in the same boat, so there’s no need to be so embarrassed about it.”

Shying my gaze away, I motioned towards the basement door. “C-Come on.” I opened the door, “Let’s head down.”

“Have fun you two.” Mom told us in a teasing manner.

Glancing over, I gave a pout look to mom and dad who just stood their smiling at me. I merely grumbled as I went down the stairs with Tyler following close behind me. Once we made it to the last step I turned and walked into the finished part of the basement.

The finished area had beige carpeting, white painted walls with wooden panels and florescent lights set in the ceiling. Leaning up against the stairwell wall was an entertainment center with a tube TV set in the middle and shelves of movies, cartoons, games and gaming systems surrounding it. Set a few feet away from the TV cabinet was a brown plaid recliner and a brown plaid loveseat with a wooden coffee table between the TV and the couch. Behind the couch on the other side of the room was a round table with chairs and closet with bi-fold doors. One half of it had a shelving unit filled with board and card games and the other half was basically for storage purposes to hold tubs of old toys and such. Also a few feet in front from where Tyler and I stood was a Foosball table and in the corner was a refrigerator.

“Wow.” Tyler was stunned. “This is actually pretty cool.”

“I thought that too when my parents finished this area.”

“When they finished? I guess that means this was nothing like this before?”

“Nope.” I shook my head. “My parents began working on this when I finished eighth grade and it wasn’t finished until...the end of my freshman year.”

“Wow, that’s quite impressive.”

“Haha, yeah.” I spread my hands. “It helps that my dad has had experience with that sort of thing.”

“Hm? Really?”

“Yeah, my grandfather has been a house builder since before my father was born. He even had his own business so my dad and his siblings have had experience with building and remodeling houses.”

“Ah.” Nodding with understanding, Tyler crossed his arms. “I also imagine he had help from your grandpa?”

“That he did. So they were able to get this rec room done in no time at all.”

Dad and his family also used their powers to assist them, but I obviously won’t say that.

“So?” Tyler walked further into the room until he was right in the middle of it. He turned to face me with an arched brow. “You mentioned this past week that you were originally from the Green Bay area? So where exactly in Green Bay were you guys from?”

I moved towards him. “Well, I was more in the De Pere area and like I said this past week, Roxy lived on the eastern part of Green Bay. We moved here when Roxy and I were in the seventh grade, so we’ve lived here for almost five years.”

“Ah, so you know my pain then?” He grinned and joked. “With being a newbie?”

“Haha, yeah, it’s not easy moving to a new place. But,” I shrugged, “it’ll get better as time goes by.”

“I don’t doubt that, especially when you meet the right type of people.”

I nodded in complete agreement, “You got that right.” But immediately, I jerked myself back to the task at hand. “So!” I clapped my hands together and gestured around the rec room. “What would you like to do? Even though, like mom revealed, I have some ideas, but I figured to get your input first.”

“Hm.” Tapping his chin, Tyler glanced around the rec room as he thought about it.
Observing him, I saw his eyes land on the foosball table. He smiled, shifted his interest back on me and aimed his thumb at the table. “How good are you at foosball?”

“Um, well.” I propped my hands on my hips. “I’d say I’m pretty decent. Why?” The thought suddenly registered in my mind, which caused me to smirk. “Oh, are you looking for a match?”

Tyler returned my challenge grin. “I might, it’s been a while since I’ve played and I’m itching to do a match. So? Do you accept my challenge?”

I snorted with self-assurance. “You bet!” We made our way towards the table and I then mentioned. “But I must warn you,” We eyed each other down, “I’ve been taught by one of the best foosball players that I know.”

“Oh, really? Who?”

“My dad.” I answered with pride. “No one in my father’s family has been able to defeat him, not his four siblings, none of my cousins not even my brother and I have been able to beat him.”

“Oh, is that so?” Tyler playfully mocked with his hands already set on the handles. “Well, I’ll have you know that I’ve also been taught by an excellent foosball play who happens to be my own father as well. So don’t go thinking that this will be an easy match.”

“Oh?” Eagerly, I grabbed onto the handles. “Then show me what you’ve got!”


A half an hour went by and Tyler and I were on our sixth game of foosball, the two of us each winning three games. At the beginning I thought it would be a knock out for me, considering how easy it was to defeat Tyler. However, once he kicked off his rusty skills he was actually putting up a very strong fight. It truly felt like I was challenging Luke instead of Tyler as far as skills go, but I made sure to keep up with the fight as well.

“I’ll get you this time, Tyler!” I playfully retorted, not taking my eyes off of the ball.

“Oh? What makes you so sure about that?”

“Because....” With one swift move, I managed to snatch the ball, spin my figurine and hit the small ball fast and hard right into Tyler’s goal. I gasped with excitement while Tyler gaped in shock. An instant ear to ear smile appeared as I bounced up and down. “Yes! I did it! I beat you!” Smirking with pride, I snapped my finger at him, “See?! I was one quick step ahead of you.”

Tyler’s stunned face immediately faded when I jumped up and down. He laughed imitating my smile. “Alright, alright, you beat me fair and square. I completely surrender.”

“What?” I teased. “You don’t want to go another around?”

“Nah, I’m good.” He raised his hands, surrendering. But he soon rubbed them, “I need to rest my hands after that game. That one was just brutal, you really kept me on my toes the whole time.”

“Hey, you were pretty tough yourself.” I complemented as he strolled up beside me. “For someone who was rusty at first you surely got back into the swing of it very quickly. Honestly, I felt like I was up against my older brother or some of my cousins on my father’s side.”

“Well, I’m glad to hear I impressed you. I take it that your brother, your cousins and you are pretty evenly matched?”

“Yeah, although Luke and my older cousins tend to beat me a lot more. But I always manage to win at least a game or two.”

“Aw, jeez.” Tyler ruffled his hair. “Guess I have some work to do before I can reach that level.”

“Well,” I patted the foosball table, “now you have a place to come and practice. I’m always up for a new sparring partner.”

“Pfft, you’re making this sound more like a karate match than foosball.”

“Haha, yeah, I suppose I am.” I spread my hands, “But it’s fun and even more so when you find someone new to play with.”

“Can’t argue with that. So?” Tucking his hands into his hoodie pockets, he strolled over towards the couch. “What do you want to do now?”

“Well.” I followed him. But instead of the couch, I headed towards the TV cabinet. “Are you up to playing a video game on one of the systems?”

“Sure.”

I bent down in front of the gaming systems which consisted of the original Nintendo, the Super Nintendo, the Nintendo N64, the Gamecube, the Wii and the Nintendo Switch. I subconsciously flinched when I felt Tyler come down beside me.

“Wow, you guys are really into Nintendo.” Tyler commented as he scanned the shelves.

“Well, hey it’s a fun system. Also my dad and mom collected these systems, since the majority of them were ones that they grew up with or have bought together before my brother and I came along. The Switch, however, is mine, since I’m the one that bought it. We also had the old PlayStation and PlayStation two, but Luke took them when he went off to college.”

“Ah, I see.” He smirked. “So then.” His hand traveled towards the video game shelf and pulled out a cartridge. “How about we play some Diddy Kong Racing for the N64?”

Merrily, I nodded, “Okay!” Looking down at the drawer that was underneath the game system shelves, I pulled out the drawer and took out two controllers.

“But I’m impressed.” Tyler caught my interest as he patted the tube TV. “That you guys actually have one of these. In this day and age it’s hard to find a tube TV that actually works and from what I understand these types of TVs are the best when you’re playing older systems.”

“That’s right and actually my dad found this one a couple years ago. I think I was around ten when he found this TV. Someone was going to throw it out, but dad noticed that the outside was still in good condition. So with permission from the actual owners dad took the TV, brought it home and fixed up for us to use.”

“Wow.” Tyler commented in astonishment. “Your dad’s pretty talented to be able to fix something like this.”

“Yup, that he is.” Another thing that my dad used his powers for, fixing electronics is a snap when you have something like that at your fingertips.

“Regina!” I heard mom call from up the stairs.

Setting the controllers down, I got up and walked towards the stairs. I looked up to spot mom coming down with some mail in her arms.

“Yes, mom?”

She pulled out an envelope and handed it to me. “You have some mail, dear.”

“Oh?” Slightly stunned, I took the letter from her. I don’t normally get mail unless it’s junk or information about colleges or unless it’s my birthday. So it always surprises me when I get something that isn’t junk mail.

I inspected the envelope and smiled when I recognized the writing. “Ah, it’s from Sam.”

“Sam?” Tyler came up beside me with his eyebrow raised. “Why would she sent you a letter?”

“Oh!” Mom’s face lit up. “Her birthday’s coming up isn’t it? October 29th, right?”

“Yup, so I have a pretty good idea of what this is.” Carefully, I opened the envelope and pulled out a folded piece of paper. I smirked after reading the paper, “Ha, I was right.” I held it up so mom and Tyler could see it. “It’s an invitation to her birthday party next Saturday.”

“Oh!” Tyler gently smacked his forehead as it dawned on him. “That’s right! I can’t believe I forgot about that. She was talking about it practically all week.” He eyed me questionably, “But why is she sending out invitations? Isn’t it just going to be our main circle?”

“Nope.” I shook my head. “In the past it was just our main circle. But recently she’s been inviting classmates from her drama club and such.”

“Oh, so I might end up meeting more people?”

“Um, yeah.” I suddenly became concerned and asked, “Is that an issue?”

“Oh, no, no.” Tyler quickly shook his head. “I really don’t mind, since I’m not like my brother and sister. I actually want to socialize with others, even other classmates.”

I opened my mouth to respond.

“Is this going to be another costume party, Reggie?” Mom abruptly asked with curiosity.

“Huh?” I snapped my attention back on her and hastily answered. “Oh, yes! Yes, it will be another costume party.” I shrugged, “Her birthday is close to Halloween so why not?”

“Just wanted to clarify. Also,” She grimaced, “you may want to get a new costume, since I have a high hunch that your previous one will definitely not fit you.”

“Oh I wouldn’t doubt it. It hardly fit last year, actually I don’t think I was able to even wear it.”

“No, you were not. So we had to grab an old bed sheet and you went as a ghost.”

“Haha, really?” Tyler humorously grinned at me. “You went as something you hate the most?”

“W-Well, what choice did I have?”

“What was the costume anyway?”

“It was Belle from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.” I aimed my thumb at my mom. “My mom handmade her blue outfit from the movie. She made it when I was thirteen.”

“Oh, wow.” His eyebrows rose in amazement. “That costume has fit you up until now?”

“Well,” My face wrinkled and confessed, “up until I was sixteen.”

“But even at sixteen,” Mom crossed her arms, “that costume had gotten tight in certain areas.” She then smirked and without thinking blurted out, “But becoming a woman will do that.”

“Mom!” My could feel that my face was beat red. I became even more mortified when I caught a glimpse of Tyler’s expression. I don’t know if it was the lighting but his cheeks also looked a little red as he shied his gaze away.

“Whoops, sorry, darling.” Mom apologized with a smile, her hand hovering over her mouth. “Looks like I said too much yet again.”

That’s an understatement!

“A-Anyway.” I managed to say, desperately wanting to change the subject. “So I guess I’ll just have to go shopping for a new one.” Tapping my chin, I thought out loud. “Should probably go sometime this weekend, since I won’t have time during the week. Not to mention the best costume stores are in the Brookfield area.”

“Why don’t we go today?” Tyler suggested. “You and I can go together.”

“What?!” I was confounded. “A-Are you sure? You don’t have to if you don’t want to.”

He eyed me like I was crazy. “Duh, of course I’m sure. Why would I even suggest something like that if I wasn’t? Besides, I’m in the same boat. I haven’t worn a costume since I was thirteen so I have none at home that would fit me either.” He shrugged, “So we’ll both be killing two birds with one stone. So, what do you say? Shall we go together?”

I thought about it for a moment. A smile soon appeared as I nodded. “Sounds good to me.” I looked at mom, “Would that be alright?”

Mom hummed as her face wrinkled with uncertainty. “Well,” She placed her hand over her chest, “I personally don’t mind. However, you’re probably going to need to ask your father.”

“Ah, right.” He is the one that has told me multiple times this week that I’m not allowed to go anywhere by myself even with my friends without either him or Luke. “Well,” I glanced up at Tyler, “I’ll go ask him.” With my eyes back on mom, I asked her, “Where is dad?”

Mom pointed over towards the left side of the house. “I believe he’s still in the garage working on his car.”

“Okay.” I moved past mom and went up the stairs. When I was halfway up, I peeked down to spot Tyler still standing next to her. “I’ll be right back.”


Once I had slipped on my shoes, I stepped out into the garage and scanned the area. It didn’t take long for my eyes to fall upon my dad who was sitting on a lawn chair fiddling with a car part with his car hood propped open.

“Dad?”

“Hm?” Dad shifted his gaze up at me and smiled. “Oh, hey there, Apple Tikes.” He lowered his hands and gave me his full attention when I strolled up in front of him. “How’s it going with Tyler?”

Smiling brightly, I exclaimed with more enthusiasm than I thought I would. “It’s going great! I honestly can’t believe I was so nervous about how today would go.”

“Haha, well, it’s a natural thing to be nervous. But I’m glad it’s working out. So,” Tilting his head, he raised a brow, “I take it that there’s a reason why you’re out here?”

“Ah, yes, um...well...I just got the invitation for Sam’s birthday party next Saturday. It’s another costume party, however,” Rubbing the back of my neck, I weakly chuckled out, “I don’t have a costume that will fit anymore and neither does Tyler. So,” I then fiddled with my fingers, “I was wondering if Tyler and I could go into Brookfield and find our costumes?”

Dad suddenly groaned as his face narrowed, “Well-”
“I’ll be with her, sir.”

We both flinched at the abrupt voice. Dad and I glanced behind me to spot Tyler coming out of the house and came over towards us.

“So, she won’t be alone.” Tyler stood next to me with a determined gaze on my father. “I know that’s one of your major concerns, considering what happened at Pick n’ Save.”

Sorry, Tyler, but I don’t think just having you with me will put my dad’s mind at ease. Not when we have some crazy guy with powers on the loose, someone who’s leaning in the foe direction.

Dad grunted as he kept his strict, yet uncertain eyes on Tyler. He then asked cautiously, “You promise you’ll keep her safe?”

What! Is dad actually going to agree?

“Yes.” Tyler gave an assertive nod. “I swear I won’t let her out of my sight.”

I was amazed, but kept my weary stare on dad.

He sat there for a moment as he deeply thought about it. Dad then exhaled roughly, “Alright.” He waved a finger between Tyler and me. “As long as you two swear to stick together then I’ll let you go.”

Whoa, what! Did that...did that seriously just happen? He’s actually allowing us to go without him?

“So, Regina.” Dad’s tone snapped me out of my astonishment. “Please, stay close to Tyler.” He snapped his finger at me with a glare, “If I hear that you strayed away you can consider yourself under house arrest for a whole week. Are we clear on that?”

I flinched and quickly nodded, “Yes, sir.”

“Alright, I’ll be holding you to that.” Dad then gently shooed us. “Now go get going before it gets late.”

“Right.” I nodded before I turned and met Tyler’s gaze. “Then I’ll just go grab my purse, inform my mom where we’re going and then I’ll drive us into Brookfield.” I began to walk away.

“Actually, Regina.” Tyler spoke in a tone that caused me to stop and look at him. He turned to face me. “How about I drive?”

“What?” I gaped out, surprised by his suggestion. “But wouldn’t it be better if I drove? I know where the costume stores are, unless you ventured that far out into that area?”

“I have gone into the Brookfield area with my family a couple times since we’ve moved here.” Tyler informed me. “Plus we did end up going to one of those Halloween stores to get some decorations for the house. So I think I have a general idea of where those stores are.”

“But still-”

“Maybe it would be a good idea to have Tyler drive, Reggie.” Dad intervened as he stood up. “This would give me a chance to check up on your car.”

“Check up?” I eyed him mysteriously, “On what exactly?”

Dad merely shrugged, “Oh you know, check the oil, washer fluid, tires and etc. You know to make sure it’s in tip top shape before winter comes around.”

“I...guess?”

Dad must have noticed my weary, suspicious expression because he abruptly exhaled. “I also just don’t feel comfortable with you driving your car out that far.”

Oh jeez! Are you kidding me? Is this because of that blonde dude as well? Okay, now I think he’s getting too overprotective.

“Dad, I’m sure I’ll be fine. It’s not like I’ll be driving there by myself.”

“I know, but just for today I don’t want you to take your car.” He patted Tyler’s shoulder. “So, please, just drive with him, alright?”

My slight irritation gradually disappeared when I heard the desperate plead in my dad’s voice. I opened my mouth to respond.

“What, Regina.” Tyler spread his hands and gave me a soft look. “Don’t you trust me?”

Instant guilt came over me when I saw the hurt in Tyler’s face. Hastily, I waved my hands and shook my head. “No, no, it’s not that. I just...” Fiddling with my fingers, I confessed, “didn’t want you to do something that may not have been necessary.”

Not to mention it’s a little weird, having dad trust Tyler this quickly. But I guess I shouldn’t really criticize, even I’m having a hard time doubting him. Although, I’m not entirely sure why. It’s just a feeling I’m getting.

“Well, I wouldn’t have suggested it if I didn’t think it was necessary.”

I was silent for a brief moment before I exhaled. “Okay, as long as you are sure.”

“Yes, I am.” Tyler nodded. He then ushered me to go, “Now go do what you need to do so we can head out. Okay?”

I nodded, “Sure thing.”


A half an hour later we finally reached Brookfield and as one would expect on a Saturday the area was very busy. We drove down the road in Tyler’s grayish, black Subaru Legacy and I’ll admit it really was a good idea to have Tyler drive. With how packed the roads have been throughout the trip I would have been a nervous wreck while Tyler has just been completely calm, at least from what I could tell.

As I sat in the passenger seat I gently bobbed my body around as I sang along with the song that was playing on the radio.

“Life is a highway and I’m wanna ride it all night long, if you’re going my way, I wanna drive it all night long.”

When I first got into Tyler’s car, I’ll be honest, I was a tad nervous. It was my first time driving with a guy that wasn’t family or Chester, so to me it felt like a huge leap, considering this was the only time we’ve hung out outside of school. Tyler noticed my nervousness, because he popped in a CD that he said that I may like and he was so right. It was a mixed CD with rock, classic rock, oldies and country. Once the music began to play I immediately became engrossed as I recognized the songs and bands. Then as the music played Tyler and I began to converse about the bands that he had on the CD and my anxiety gradually vanished.

When the song ended and another country song began to play, I couldn’t help but chuckle as I shook my head. “You know, Tyler,” I met his glance, “it still amazes me that you’re into country. You don’t exactly look like someone who would be into it.”

Tyler smirked, “Guess it goes to show not to judge a book by its cover. That people can surprise you.”

“That’s for sure.”

“Take my sister Kailey for example,” He raised is finger, “she may not sound or seem like it, but my sister is a complete sap for romances.”

“Wha!? Really?”

He nodded, “Yup, her favorite movie right now is A Walk to Remember.”

“Ah, I love that movie!” I exclaimed, causing him to flinch in surprise. “I even read the book and the story is just so cute! Loved every second of the movie and the book.” I paused for a second as a thought came to mind. Then without a second thought I mentioned. “Actually, I think once I’m done with this current book I might go a reread that story, because now I’m in the mood for it.” Still smiling, I raised a brow at him, “But that is very surprising. I never would have thought that Kailey would be into that sort of thing.”

Although, I suppose I shouldn’t really assume something like that. I have only seen his sister once and that was at Pick n’ Save and it wasn’t for very long either.

“Exactly, so consider this a lesson well taught.”

I rolled my eyes lightheartedly, “Well, it was a lesson taught back in elementary school. It was just one that was reiterated. So then,” I then asked curiously, “does anyone else in your family like country?”

“Nope, I’m the only one.”

“What? Seriously?”

“Yup, my parents, Zane and Kailey are more into the rock, oldies and pop music. However, the only one who really can’t stand it is Zane. As you can guess with all his band t-shirts that he’s a big fan of heavy metal and the old rock like The Motley Crew and such. But he learned a while ago to keep his harsh opinions of the country genre to himself, especially around me.”

“Ah, I take it you gave him a hard lesson in that?”

“Oh, yeah. So now when he’s in my presence and I’m listening to country he keeps his mouth shut. But he’ll still give me that ′I can’t believe you’re my twin′ look.”

Lightly chuckling, I spread my hands. “Well, I guess you can’t help that. But at least he’s being a little respectful about it.” A thought came to me, causing me to raise a brow. “So, if no one in your family listens to country then how did you get into it?”

“A friend of mine introduced me to it.”

“Oh, I see, must have been a good friend to influence your music tastes.”

“Yup, you can definitely say that.”

He gave me a small, tender smile that honestly caused my stomach to flutter. But I disregarded it when I noticed there was a bit of...sadness in his gaze. Why is he giving me such a face? Was it a friend he had to leave behind back in West Virginia?

In a flash an image invaded my vision as I found myself staring at preteen boy who’s face was no longer blacked out, but was still blurry enough where I couldn’t see his face. But I could make out that he had black hair and that he had the red “Strikers” soccer shirt on. He had my MP3 player in his hand scanning through my music.

“Wow, there’s a lot of country music on here.”

“Well, yeah, I grew up with it because of practically everyone on my mom’s side listens to country. But I personally really like this genre, it’s good.”

“Really? Hardly anyone I know listens to this and have all hated this genre. So you’re the first person I’ve met that’s said that. Is it really that good?”

“Here.” Handing him an earphone, I suggested, “Why don’t you hear for yourself? You can’t knock it until you’ve heard it, right?”

In an instant the image vanished, causing me to gasp softly as I shook my head. Immediately, I groaned and rubbed my head with light agony as I felt my head pound causing it to ache.

“Regina?” I heard Tyler say to me with concern. Peeking over at him, I saw him reach his hand out towards me slightly and I could see the worry and slight perplexity in his expression. “Hey, are you okay?”

“Uh, yeah.” I murmured loud enough for him to hear. “My head just started to pound, but...it’ll pass. So no worries.” I caught a glimpse of Tyler arching a brow at me, but I ignored it as I trailed off into my thoughts. Then without thinking, I blurted out. “I introduced someone to country music once.”

“What?” Tyler gaped out softly in a tone that caused me to snap out of my trance.

“Ah, wait!” Hastily, I waved my hands towards him with my cheeks burning. “For-Forget what I said! I was just talking to myself!”

I can’t believe I just did that! Why did I blurt something like that out like it was an absolute fact? Was it? It certainly felt like it...but still that didn’t mean I had to say it in front of Tyler!

“Huh? But, Regina-”

“Oh!” I swiftly cut off while my face lit up when I spotted the store. With immediate relief, I pointed in that direction. “There’s the store that I told you about.” I hurled a meek smile up at him, “So, let’s go find our costumes!”

Tyler merely stared at me with an expression that was both shocked and slightly confused. He was silent for a short while before he released a loud, sigh. “Y-Yeah...sure thing.”

He turned into the parking lot and once he had parked the two of us got out of the car. We then walked side by side towards the entrance of the store.

“Do you have an idea of what you’re going to be?” Tyler asked me as we entered the store.

“Hm, I’m not exactly sure.” I made my way towards the wall racks. “I guess whatever looks decent.” Nudging my head towards him, I asked, “What about you?”

“Ah, well, I think I’m in the same boat as you. Although,” His eyes drifted towards the racks, “I think you’ll have a harder time finding something decent than me, unless you’re okay with looking like a hooker in some of these.”

“Nope, I’m definitely not okay with that.” Just by scanning the racks, my eyes instinctively rolled. Half of the costumes I went past for women were very...revealing, something way outside of my comfort zone. “Argh, this may turn out to be a nightmare.”
“Well, let’s hope that it won’t.” Tyler gestured his hand towards the racks. “Surely, there is something that would suit your tastes. Oh, hey, look over there.” He pointed over towards one of the wall racks. “Some of those costumes look promising.”

Curious, I walked up to that wall rack with Tyler right next to me. I scanned the costumes and he was right, these outfits did look decent and some were even cool looking.

“Look, you could be a crayon.” Tyler suggested, pointing at the costume bag.

I snickered. “Possibly, I do have an undershirt, leggings and boots that would be good with that. Oh!” My eyes lit up and I pointed at one of the bags. “I could also be Jessie from Disney’s Toy Story. Oo, I could even be the pink Power Ranger!”

Catching Tyler off guard with my exclamation, he asked oddly. “Were you into the Power Rangers?”

Tossing him a smile, I answered. “It was something that my brother and I were into, along with some of our cousins. But even though I don’t watch it much anymore I can still be nostalgic.”

“Can’t argue with that.” Crossing his arms, Tyler averted his interest back on the costumes. “Oh!” He pointed at a few other outfits. “You could be one of the Disney Princesses?”
“Mm.” My face wrinkled when I took a closer look. “Nah, some of the dresses are kind of too puffy for my tastes. Besides, I was Belle since I was thirteen, so I’m in the mood to be something different this year. Also, Sam said that she was going to be Aurora from Sleeping Beauty so I don’t really want to copy her.”

“Okay, it’s your choice.” Suddenly raising a brow, he asked, “What are the others going to be anyway?”

“Well, Taylor said she was going to be a smurf you know those little blue guys and Roxy mentioned that she may go as a minion from Despicable Me. Then Chester said he was going to be a pirate.”

“Pfft! Really?” Tyler snickered. “Only Taylor and Roxy would think about dressing up as those characters. But I guess with Chester going as a pirate you probably won’t be that, or a smurf, or a minion?” Tyler gestured towards a few more costumes, “Those outfits are over here too.”

I shook my head, “No, although I’m sure they won’t object to it. But like I said I want to do my own thing.”

“Well, that narrows down the choices.”

“Yeah.” I scanned the outfits my eyes fell upon a Minnie Mouse costume. “Oh this looks cute!”

“Hm? What does?”

I was silent as I pulled the bag down to get a closer look at the costume. This Minnie Mouse costume had a pink dress with white polka dots and slight ruffles, it came with a detachable tail, a headpiece with the mouse ears, gloves and also some knee high socks.

Examining the outfit, I murmured more to myself than Tyler. “I have black leggings and undershirt that would go with this. I also have some pink flats that would match this.”

“Oh, Minnie Mouse, eh?” Tyler cast me a wide smile. “I can definitely see you wearing this, it matches you perfectly.”

My cheeks flushed. Was...was he actually implying that I’m cute? The thought of him thinking that has my stomach fluttering. It also has me wanting the costume even more.

“So, then?” Pointing at the bag, Tyler asked. “Are you going to with that?”

I looked down at the costume bag, but I remained silent as I thought about it. But in no time at all, a small smile appeared across my face. “You know,” Looking up at Tyler, I answered, “I’ll take it, since I’m all about being the cutesy characters.”

“Really? Are you sure?”

Without saying another word, I nodded.

“Alright, so we got your costume.” Tyler pointed at himself. “Now let’s go look for mine.”

“Okay.” I nodded before I followed him down the aisles.

As we made our way towards the mens’ department we went past some of the Halloween decorations. Some of them were cute but the majority of them were just so eerie looking that they actually caused my body to shiver.

Brr, some of these are just so darn creepy.”

“Isn’t that kind of the whole thrill of Halloween?” Tyler strolled slightly ahead of me.

“I know, but still I’d rather deal with the cutesy side of Halloween.”

“Had a feeling you would say something like that.”

I gave him a small smile before I shifted my interest back on the store’s merchandize. Suddenly I bumped shoulders with someone, which had enough force to push me back slightly. “Oh, gosh! I’m so sorry!” I darted my gaze up towards the person.

The person was a guy who looked to be the same height as Tyler. He wore a bulky, black hoodie and he actually had the hood up to slightly hide his face. He shot a furious glare at me, “Watch where you’re going, you twit.”

I gasped when I caught a glimpse of his face. That face...those strong facial features, that blonde hair and those piercing green eyes...it couldn’t be. It just couldn’t be!?

“Lu-Lu-”

The image of the guy that attacked me and the boy I saw in my dream resurfaced, causing me to tremble. Slowly, I backed away from him as his eyes followed me, which caused my skin to crawl. His eyes then suddenly went wide and I took that as my cue to turn and run towards Tyler.

“Whoa! Wait a minute!” I heard the guy hastily say as he grabbed my wrist.

Letting out a surprised yelp, I felt myself get pulled back. With the guy’s firm grip still on my wrist and used his other hand to grab my chin and forced me to meet the blonde guy’s green eyes. Immediate fear erupted when I saw his intense eyes, my powers began to react and once I felt those intense prickly wind sensations I knew I had to get away.

“H-Hey!” I managed to say as I tried to get myself out of his hold. “L-Let go!”

“Heh, well I’ll be.” The guy spoke in an amused tone, ignoring my pleas. He gave me a smirk that caused cold chills to go down my spine. “Looks like we meet once again, Regina Williams.”

My body literally stilled as my heart felt like it had stopped. Utter terror vibrated throughout my body as this revelation hit me like a ton of bricks. Did...did he just say my name? H-How? How did this creep know my name?!

That fear gave me the strength to jerk my chin out of his grasp, ripped my wrist out of his other grasp and shove him. “Get away from me!” I practically screeched out.

The action startled the blonde guy for a brief moment before his expression narrowed with sudden fury. “Hey!” He motioned to grab me, “I won’t-”

I let out a distressed yelp and backed away enough to have Tyler zip in front of me. He snatched the guy’s arm and twisted it enough to get the blonde guy to grimace in slight pain.

“Don’t touch her!” Tyler warned the blonde in a low, threatening growl. His threat received a piercing glare from the blonde and once Tyler saw that stare he shoved the guy. “Now just go about your business and leave us alone or I’ll have the store clerks call the police on your ass!”

“Oo the human police I’m so scared!” The blonde mocked, pretending to sound terrified. He then merely scoffed, “Pfft, like I’m scared of those pathetic weaklings.”

Light chatter began to gather as the few customers that were in the store observed us. But I ignored them as I eyed the blonde strangely. I found his retorted very puzzling as I crept further behind Tyler, still shaken up by this blonde guy’s appearance. What was with that? Why would he even say that?

“All regular humans are nothing but pathetic weaklings!”

Hastily, I shook my head. Attempting to rid myself of the angry voice and the sharp pain that came along with it.

“But, my, my what a sight this is.” The blonde guy continued to mock. Crossing his arms, he eyed Tyler with irritation and bitter amusement. “The goody-two-shoes protecting the precious damsel. A scene I never wanted to see, especially with the likes of you!” He pulled off his hood, revealing to Tyler all of his features. “You’re the last person I wanted to see here.”

I gasped and became even more terrified when I saw all of the blonde’s features. It was! It was the exact same guy that attacked me at Pick n Save! But more importantly...the one who may have unsealed my powers, someone that we don’t know if they are friend or foe.

Tyler’s own sharp gasp, immediately snapped me out of my daze. Whirling my eyes up at him, my heart literally dropped to my feet when I saw his expression. His face had become as pale as a ghost, his eyes were so wide that it looked like they would pop out and his eyes and face were filled with utter shock and terror.

“You!” He gaped out.

You?! Wha...what did he mean by...you?

His expression hastily narrowed as he copied the blonde’s piercing glare. “What the hell are you-”

“Is there an issue here men?” A man hollered out in a scolding manner.

Tyler and I fidgeted at the sound and spotted an older man – maybe in his late twenties – coming up to us. He looked aggravated as he stood next to the blonde and Tyler with his arms crossed and I could see on his name tag that he was the manager.

“If not,” The manager continued crossly, “please stop and walk away from each other or I’ll call the cops? Or would you please take this issue elsewhere? You’re disturbing the other customers.”

That’s when Tyler and I took notice of the small crowd that had gathered. Tyler immediately grunted with remorse and motioned to respond.

“Pfft! Like I give a crap!” The blonde scoffed, giving the manager his piercing glare. But he then shifted it back on Tyler. “But lucky for you, I will leave it at this. I got what I needed so I’ll willingly take my leave. Even though I would love to pummel this creep to kingdom come! However,” Closing his eyes, he gave a loud sigh as he shook his head, “I would get in huge trouble if I started something, especially right now.”

Right now? Why didn’t I like the sound of that?

My body then tensed up when I watched him move beside Tyler.

“But, I will warn you right now a-hole!” He leaned directly towards Tyler’s ear and whispered something to him that I surprisingly couldn’t hear.

Suddenly, Tyler let out a sharp gasp and in a split second shoved his shoulder right into the blonde’s side. His shove had enough force to knock the blonde sideways, causing him to stumble slightly and would have hit the ground if the manager hadn’t caught him.

“Tyler!” I gaped out in utter shock. Dropping my costume bag, I instinctively wrapped my arms around his abdomen, signaling him to stop.

“Whoa, whoa!” The manager called out. He hurled a glare at Tyler, “Would you two please settle down!”

“Let go of me!” The blonde abruptly hollered, shoving himself away from the manager. His face wrinkled with disgust as he wiped his hands and arms on his clothes. “You vile thing!”

The manager scowled, not very pleased with the blonde’s retort.

“Don’t you dare!” We heard Tyler snarl out. I could see the rage on his face as Tyler roared. “I swear, you rotten bastard, if you lay one hand on her I will pummel you until you can’t even move!”

“Pfft!” The blonde snorted. “We’ll see about that! So consider this war and this time you will be the loser. I will get what I want, no matter what I have to resort to doing.”

I could hear Tyler growl as I watched him clench his teeth and tighten his fists. He was completely infuriated. But, why? What did that guy say to get Tyler so riled up like this? Who is this her that they are talking about?

My heart abruptly stilled when I met the blonde’s gaze. He was staring at me with such intense determination that it made me extremely uncomfortable. But why though? Why was he staring at me like that?

Subconsciously, I hunched myself completely behind Tyler again. Burying my face into his back, I tightened my arms around Tyler’s abdomen as I felt myself shaking slightly. I don’t like this. This guy is just giving a horrible feeling where I seriously just want him to go away right now!

I don’t know if Tyler could sense that I was scared, because out of the blue he gently placed his hand over one of mine and held it tightly but affectionately. I could also hear and feel him growl, which gave me a gut feeling that Tyler was giving the blonde a warning glare.

“Okay, okay!” The manager called out and I could tell by his voice he was really getting irritated. I peeked over towards the store clerk to find him positioning himself between Tyler and the blonde guy. “I’m warning you two! Knock this shit off or I will literally call the cops right now!”

“Yeah, yeah I’m going!” The blonde rudely snorted. He then gave Tyler and me one last glare before he turned and ventured his way out of the store.

The manager, Tyler and I all released a relieved sigh.

“Thank goodness!” I praised very softly.

“I am really sorry about that, sir.” Tyler quickly commented to the store clerk. Guilt filled his gaze when the manager looked at him. “I didn’t mean for that to escalate like that.” Nudging his head towards me, he explained. “He got rough with my friend here and I was merely trying to protect her.”

The manager grunted, still displeased by the events. “Yeah, well, just make sure this doesn’t happen again!” He then turned and stormed off.

Tyler merely groaned, looking to be a little disgruntled by the guy’s response.

I, on the other hand, let go of Tyler’s abdomen and slide my hands onto his back. Leaning my face against his back, I attempted to process everything that had just occurred. Just what the heck happened? Who the blazes was that guy? But above all...how...just how did he know my name? Did he overhear it somewhere or...does he somehow know me? I really want to rule that out and think it would be impossible, because of how ice chilling the thought was. However...I couldn’t, his actions and those dreams...possibly memories...are saying otherwise.

“Regina?” I heard Tyler speak up questionably in a soft, tender tone. Turning to face me, I met his hardened face, but his eyes were glistering with concern and alarm. “Are you alright?” Gently, he grabbed my shoulders, “That jack didn’t hurt your or anything did he?”

“Uh-Uh...n-no....” I managed to say as I played with the bottom hem of my shirt. “He...he just surprised me...that’s all.”

“Are you sure?” He quizzed with an arched brow. Holding my chin, Tyler turned my head slightly, making sure I truly had no injuries. “You looked petrified of him and not to mention he appeared to have a pretty tight grip on you.”

“W-Well, y-yeah, I was scared of him.” I grabbed his hand. “But I’m serious I’m really okay.”

But, ya know, Tyler also acted pretty strangely towards the guy. Why did he react so strongly to that blonde guy when he took off his hood? It almost sounded like...actually...it sounded like the both of them knew each other. Did they? Or am I reading too much into it? Part of me wants to ask, but I was afraid, because what should I do if it turns out to be true? How should I treat him? Should I be afraid and cautious of him? Or should I take his reaction towards the blonde that maybe...they may not like each other?

Tyler’s soft, distressful grunt snapped me out of my daze. However, before I had the chance to even do or say anything, Tyler wrapped his arms completely around me and pulled me into an embrace.

I gasped in shock. “Tyler?!”

Once I said his name, Tyler’s hold around me became tighter, but not too tight, just enough to make me feel protected. When he did that the butterflies appeared in the pit of my stomach.

“I’m sorry.” He whispered into my ear with such a low, caring tone that I got goosebumps. “I’m so sorry you got so freaked out because of him. Honestly!” He almost shouted in dismay. “That was not supposed to happen!”

My heart was pummeling against my rib cage, flabbergasted by his actions, but I was also concerned. “H-Hey.” Sliding my hands onto his chest, I motioned to pull back slightly. “Y-You didn’t-”

Another soft, surprised gasp escaped me when Tyler pulled me back into his arms. He then kept one arm firmly around my waist while he moved his other hand to hold the back of my head. Once again, he tightened his protective hold around me that caused my heart to literally skip a beat.

“I am so sorry!” He continued to say in a regretful tone. “But I swear!” I could hear the anger in his tone as he said with determination. “I won’t let that creep touch you! Not ever!”

Okay, now I am getting really worried. Of course, I’m flattered as well, very flattered, honestly I don’t think I’ve ever felt my body flutter this much. Not to mention it was...very comfortable...being in Tyler’s arms like this. But why is he acting this way? Really, he feels like he’s freaking out more than I was. Is...is it truly possible that he...?

I didn’t get the chance to finish my thought as Tyler abruptly pulled away, almost like he just realized what he did. With his hands back on my shoulders, I could see the immediate alarm as he said to me. “S-Sorry. I didn’t...I must be freaking you out with this reaction of mine.”

He took note of my costume bag and bent down to pick it up. “I guess I’m worrying about that guy more than I should.”

I just stared at him, unsure of what to say.

“Here.” He stood back up and handed me the costume bag. Once I had the bag back in my arms, Tyler then lightly announced, attempting to change the mood. “Now then! With that creep now gone, let’s get back to our original program, which is....” He waved his finger at me, “to find my costume. Then once we get mine we can head out, since I don’t know about you....” Tyler’s face fell slightly, but continued to give me a small smile, “But I’ve had enough fun out here and would like to relax and have fun at your place before I head home.”

“Uh, yeah, sure.” I merely answered.

“Okay, then.” He grabbed my hand and gently pulled me along. “Let’s continue our mission.”

I remained silent as he lead me towards the men section of the store. But concluded in my mind that once we get back into Tyler’s car, that I would ask him about that blonde guy. Although, I’m still a little nervous about what his answer will be, however, his reaction is giving me me hope that it may be the answer I want.


“Okay!” Tyler announced as we walked out of the store. He held his costume bag in one hand while had placed his change into his wallet. “That was actually easier than I thought.”

“Yeah, surprisingly enough.” I agreed with a smile. “I thought you would have a tough time because of all the options you had.”

“Ha, yeah, same here. There were some really good ones, but...” He held up his costume back, “I wanted to go with a classic look.”

The costume Tyler chose was a Gothic vampire. The outfit resembled one you would see in those theatrical shows and old movies. It included a burgundy velvet vest with attached white satin shirt sleeves and dickie with scarf collar. Full length black satin cape lined in red with stand up collar and button closure. A pair of white gloves and medallion on red satin ribbon completes the look.

“Well, you’re definitely going to get it with that costume. That’s as classic as you’re going to get.”

Tyler just gave me a smile. He then shifted his interest towards the parking lot and abruptly came to an immediate halt.

“Tyler?” Turning slightly, I spotted him with his eyes wide. Concern quickly surfaced when I saw his face go pale. “Tyler?” Grabbing his arm, I got him to look down at me. “What’s wrong?”

Swallowing hard, Tyler pointed at a certain direction. “Just making sure that’s no illusion.”
“Hm?” Following his finger, I spotted a black Corvette parked a few spots down from Tyler’s Subaru. “You mean that black Corvette?”

Tyler whirled his eyes down at me. “You see it too!?”

I saw a sliver of fear in Tyler’s expression. Now extremely worried, I asked. “Tyler, what’s going on?” I peeked over at the Corvette, “Why are you so concerned about that Corvette?”
“I...I don’t know.” Tyler’s face hardened. “I’m just getting a bad vibe from it that’s all.”

Okay, does he really expect me to believe that? His face contradicts that.

Glancing over at the Corvette, I spotted two people sitting in it. However, I couldn’t make out who they were, all I could gather that they were male and they were gazing right at us. I must admit that when I realized that even I started to feel a little uneasy.

“C-Come on.” Tyler grabbed my hand and with haste guided me towards his car. “Let’s get out of here. It might just all be in my head.”

“Huh?” I eyed him strangely.

However, Tyler didn’t reply back. Once we got to his car he escorted me to the passenger side and opened the door ushering me to get inside.

“Ah, Tyler!” I gaped out in shock. With haste I waved my hands in defense, “You didn’t have to open the door for me.”

“I know, but I wanted to.” He returned with a soft grin. Attempting to lighten the mood, he humorously says, “Your chariot awaits my lady.”

My cheeks heated up, but nodded and obeyed his instructions. “T-Thank you.”

Once I was settled inside of the car, Tyler gave me one last smile before he shut the door. My eyes followed him as he carefully went around his Subaru with his eyes constantly glancing over towards the Corvette. When he finally got into the car I could see that he was still anxious.

“Tyler?” Meeting his shaken eyes, I asked. “Are you sure you’re okay?”

“U-Uh, um, yeah.” He attempted to assure me with his warm smile. “I’m just being overly cautious that’s all.”

The way he said that...he sounded like he was telling himself that more than me. “Tyler-”

“Anyway.” Tyler cut me off as he started up the car. Adjusting the rear view mirror, he told me, “Let’s get out of here.”

“Uh-um...s-sure.” But I took note that he was focused on the mirror and glared at it before he put the car into reverse.

Instinctively, I peeked in the Corvette’s direction to still see it parked in its spot. The two people in the Corvette still appeared to be looking in our direction.

Just what is going on? Why was Tyler so worked up about that Corvette? Yes, it did give me an uneasy feeling as well, but...to react like that? Could...could it be possible that who’s ever in that Corvette...may really be dangerous?

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