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Chapter Thirteen: Diana

I made it home after another boring day at school. It'd been three days since the lady Telepath came for Natalia. She never returned to school after being dismissed by the nurse. I could only assume the TWA captured her. She was either dead or one of them now.

I now moved through school bored out of my mind. Todd din't chat up any other human, depriving me of the soap opera I'd grown to love. No one else was brave enough to start anything worth the gossip either. We were just a boring school now.

I entered my house to find two people sitting in my living room comfortably. "What are you doing in my house?" It was a stupid question. I should've blitz attacked them while they weren't paying attention but there was something familiar about these people's silhouettes.

The people stood up from the torn couch. I instantly knew these people with every fiber of my being. "Mom? Dad?"

My parents slowly turned around. Their eyes were completely glazed over and unseeing. It was unsettling. "Hi, honey. We see you're doing well on your own," said my mom.

I backed up toward the door, sliding my hand into my pocket slowly. Cool metal touched my fingertips. If my parents were here, the wealthy Telepath they served wasn't far behind. "What are you guys doing here?" I asked.

"They were worried sick about you and, being the good pet owner I am, I decided to come get you. I want your family to be whole again." A man walked out of the shadows.

The man wore a long purple cape with a white fur trim running down the sides. A large gold crown sat on his graying black hair. His face was weathered from the wind whipping at it throughout the years. His eyes were a greenish blue like the murky Atlantic Ocean I'd seen pictures of in school. He wore a black jumpsuit, unflattering for anyone, with a gold crown embroidered on the chest right over his head.

"Do you know who I am?" he asked with his nose turned up and his lips pursed.

I slowly pulled the knife from my pocket without making any sudden movements. I didn't want the man noticing it until it was too late. "The Telepath my parents work for."

The man chuckled from deep within his gut. "I am, but do you know anything about me?"

I shook my head before my back hit a wall. I overestimated the distance to the front door. "No, but you hold power in the Telepath world."

The man grinned. "Precisely. You're smart for having a human education."

I held the knife down by my side. Its largest blade was out and ready to attack. "What do you want?"

The man beckoned my parents from the living room. "I want my collection to be complete."

I looked over at my parents. "Sorry, but I'm not for sale." They never wanted that life for me and I was going to honor their wishes.

The man nodded. "What a shame." My parents' faces began to turn cherry red.

I threw the knife into the left side of the man's chest where his heart would be. He screamed out in pain. The knife floated out of his chest as the wound closed up until there was no trace of a scar. The only evidence proving what happened was the tear in his jumpsuit.

"You shouldn't have done that, Diana."

My parents collapsed to the ground. "Mom! Dad!"

I ran to my fallen parents. "They would've lived if you'd come with me." I heard the front door open and close behind me.

I lay down next to my parents' warm corpses, curling up against them like a small child. "I'm sorry."

I woke up, not realizing I'd fallen asleep, as it was getting dark. Leaving my now cold parents on the floor, I walked over the the loose floor board and snatched up the money I kept hidden there. I grabbed my slumped over backpack from by the door and threw it over my shoulder. I filled it with any item containing sentimental value, which wasn't much. Coming back here wasn't an option. Ever.

Stella's house wasn't far from my own. It was about a thirty minute walk if I didn't have to take any detours to avoid Telepaths. I took off at a jog hoping I would arrive there before sunset.

Stella's house was brightly lit when I arrived. Her parents could afford to keep all their lights on during the night, a luxury many didn't have. Stella said her mom worked at some prison far away and her dad was a teacher at one of the few all human, private schools. I don't know how their jobs actually provided them with all this money they could blow on electricity, but I wasn't curious enough to ask her.

I knock on the front door, panting. Stella opened the door with a giant smile, showing off her pearly white teeth. "Hello." The smile quickly faded when she got a good look at my face. "What happened?"

I pointed to my head, unable to speak. Stella pushed her way into my mind. It didn't take long for her to gasp. "Come in." She dragged me over the threshold.

"Stella, who's that?" Stella's mom entered the foyer.

Stella's mom had red hair like Stella except it was perfectly neat and straight unlike her daughter's. Her eyes were the color of green grass in the spring after an April rain shower. She was a tall, skinny woman. Her features reminded me of a nymph from Greek mythology.

Stella's mom smiled. "Diana, it's so nice to see you. Will you be staying for dinner?" Stella made eye contact with her mom, freezing her in place. "I'm so sorry, sweetie. Make yourself at home." Stella must have showed her mom my memory.

Stella half led, half dragged me up the stairs to her pale rose room. It looked like a twelve year old took up residence due to all of the vintage boy band posters plastered on the walls. Her furniture was white, including the wooden frame of her bed. I imagined this was what every girl's room looked like before the Telepath's took over.

Stella pulled a mattress out from under her bed. "You can sleep here."

I collapsed to the floor, unable to make it to a single piece of furniture. "They're gone, Stella."

Stella made my bed with lavender colored sheets as she spoke to me. "There's nothing you could've done."

I put my head in my hands. "I could've gone with the guy. My parents would still be alive if I had."

Stella rubbed my back in soft, circular motions. "You wouldn't be here if you had."

I cried into my hands. It was like a dam had burst behind my eyes. "They would still be alive!"

A knock came to Stella's door. "Dinner's done."

I wiped my eyes with the sides of my hands. "He's going to pay for what he did to them."

Stella looked at her mom, biting her lower lip as she did. "I need to tell you something." My stomach sank. I didn't like the look on Stella's face. "Don't freak out." Adrenaline was already circulating through my bloodstream. "My mom's a Telepath."

I was at the other side of the room in seconds. My heart was racing. My fingers slid into my pocket searching for the knife lying somewhere in my house. "What?!"

Stella walked toward me like I was a wild animal. "Diana, my mom won't hurt you. She fights for the good guys."

I shook my head. "There are no good Telepaths, Stella." I ran for my backpack, which was sitting in the middle of the room. "I have to go."

Stella's mom walked into the doorway, blocking my only exit. I had nowhere else to go. "I would never hurt you, Diana," she said. "You are perfectly safe here. I'll protect you. I promise."

I snatched up my backpack and ran back to the wall, placing my back against it. "Why would you help me?" There was a window next to me. If I jumped out, I could run as long as my legs didn't snap from the impact.

Stella reached for my hand. "I want to show you something." I shook my head. "Please. I promise it's a safe place where you can train to get revenge on the man who took your parents away from you."

I let Stella wrap her dainty fingers around my trembling hands. She led me down the stairs slowly, looking back at me after a few steps to see if I changed my mind Stella's mom followed us at a distance.

"Where are you taking me?"

Stella put me in her mother's car. "We're going to Raleigh."

I buckled myself up. "Why?" Last I heard, Raleigh was a ghost town. It'd been a major city which was attacked during the war. After the dust settled, no one bothered to repopulate it like Charlotte.

"It happens to have the largest Rebel base on the East Coast."

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