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Power Struggle

By conandoyled All Rights Reserved ©

Scifi

Chapter 1

He woke up to the unstable feeling of being levitated in midair. The invisible force had him two feet in the air with no way to brace himself for a fall. He didn't bother panic though as he looked over at the door. He knew who would be there.

"Kallen, just because no one is around doesn't mean you should be using your powers." Jaime floated above the bleachers in the gym. He had skipped his last block, which he did daily that semester, for a nap. It was his senior year and the end was less than two months away now. He’d given up on using free study to actually study, sleep was much more effective use of his time.

She giggled and set him back down before bounding up the steps and sitting beside him. “I brought you your backpack.” She levitated it above his face.

He snatched it out of the air. "You're going to get caught." He sat up and slung the backpack over his shoulder.

She shrugged. He made comments like that but one, she had never been caught, and two, it wasn't like something dire would happen if she was. Chances were, if someone saw her they'd just be taken for crazy. In her opinion, Jaime was always too secretive about their powers. So, they weren't normal, but that didn't mean they were bad.

"C'mon, the bell rings in five minutes. If you don't want to get trampled in the halls we should hurry."

"I'm not the one who gets trampled, you are. I just don't like the invasion of personal space." He stood to his full height, more than a foot taller than Kallen who stood somewhere around 5'3". Though if you asked her, she was 5'4".

Kallen made a face at him. "You're a meanie. Oh, and Mom says you’re coming over for dinner tonight.” She said before hopping down the bleacher stairs to the gym floor. Jaime shook his head but followed her. Mrs. Pierce must’ve been making brownies, that was the only time she demanded that he come over. 

They walked out of the school and a few blocks down the street before Jaime took Kallen’s hand. A moment later they were on Kallen’s doorstep.

It only took one glance and Jaime knew exactly what she was going to say. “Ha, and you tell me I’m going to get caught.” They said it at the exact same time. His voice was much duller than her cherry one though.

She giggled and walked inside. It was only seconds before she had to duck due to a paper airplane in route.

Jaime rolled his eyes. “I made sure no one was around.” He dodged the flying sheet of paper as well and shut the door behind them.

“Reggie!” Kallen turned towards her little brother. He gave her a toothy smile before running off.

The house was full of chaos, per the norm. Kallen had five younger siblings. Technically, she only had three, two of them were foster kids. However, the other three were adopted and so was Kallen. Technicalities were ignored.

“Why is it we get out fifteen minutes after the younger kids? That’s just not fair.”

“We always leave five minutes before school gets out anyways.” Kallen looked up at him with amusement, he was always whining. “They only get home before us because their school is right down the street. Let’s go help Mom. I’m guessing she’s in the kitchen.”

Jaime grimaced and grabbed Kallen’s shoulder to redirect her. “Why don’t we watch the kids for her instead?” The previous week she had managed to set off the smoke alarms in his house twice. Once she wasn’t even the one cooking. It was best to not allow her in the kitchen.

“Alright, alright.” She said and decided to make her mission finding Reggie instead. It was time for payback, whether it be a wet willy or a noogie.

Jaime’s eyes followed her as she headed out the back door. It was getting warm enough that the kids wanted to play outside, which certainly made babysitting easier. There were far fewer objects of value on the playground that in the house.

He took a different path and went through the kitchen. He swiped a brownie off the plate that sat on the counter. “Thanks, Mrs. Pierce.”

“Take one for Kallen, too.” She didn’t even have to look at him to know what he was thanking her for. She didn’t have time anyways. She was too busy starting dinner for nine.

He grabbed another one and then walked outside. He spotted Kallen, or more like her currently pastel green hair, and then tossed the brownie in her general direction. She stopped it mid-air and then brought it to her hand. “You know my mom doesn’t like me using my powers here.” She was the only person Jaime knew who could give you a scolding and still sound happy.

He put his hands up in surrender before sitting on a swing. “Sorry.”

It was only moments before he had one of the young girls in his lap. He froze and looked down at her. "Uh..."

"Hi, Jaime!" She smiled up at him. It was one of Kallen’s little sisters. Though she had a twin and Jaime had no clue which one was currently in his lap. Even if he did know he would’ve given the same reaction he did now. A blink and then a blank stare.

Alicia giggled. “You know, Kallen says your annoying but I don’t know how that’s possible when you never speak.”

He blinked again. “Uhm… which one are you again?”

“I’m Alicia!!” She still giggled.

He nodded. Right, of course. He should’ve known that. He shook his head. People, why were they so difficult?

They played with the kids until Kallen’s dad got home and Mrs. Pierce called for dinner. All she had to do was say the word dinner and they all rushed inside. Kallen got them all to wash their hands and Jaime stood by, acting like he was helping. Or not really acting at all, he just stood there. He just liked to think he was helping.

Everyone was seated around a big oval table with no more than three chairs matching each other. Desk chairs, folding chairs, kitchen stools, a piano bench, they all surrounded the table. As soon as the last person sat down it was a free for all. 

Jaime had learned quick that you can’t just sit back and wait for it to die down. He had then learned that’s there’s always more food when he got home to his own house. Since then he always went for one thing and one thing only. The brownies. He grabbed two and then sat back, letting everyone else dish dinner onto their plates and start eating. 

Dinner went as peacefully as it possibly could with five kids under the age of eleven. Only one glass of milk was spilled and no food was thrown. An accomplishment.

“Nose goes on dishes!” The oldest of the elementary school kids yelled almost the moment the last person finished eating. Instantly everyone had a finger on the tip of their nose.

“Kallen lost!”

“Nuh uh, Reggie did!”

“I think it was Jaime.” One of the little girls giggled.

Mrs. Pierce stood up, laughing. “Alright, alright. Tonight everyone helps with the dishes. A few on clearing the table, some rinsing, and some loading the dishwater. Get going.”

The kids groaned but everyone got to their feet and organized themselves in groups. They put Jaime and Kallen on table cleanup. The less Kallen was in the kitchen, the better.

“Hey, so Logan is home from school this week, right?” Kallen asked as she started piling dirty plates on top of each other.

“Yeah.” He sighed. His older brother was home from the university on spring break. To put it lightly, they didn’t have a great relationship.

Kallen knew how hard it was for him with his brother around. Watching them interact was almost painful for her. “Wanna crash here?”

He shook his head, causing his dark shaggy hair to fall over his purple eyes. He did a classic bang flip to get it out of the way. “Thanks though…” He knew they were bursting at the seams in that house as it was.  They didn’t have enough space for him as well.

She nodded. “Alright.” She carried a stack of plates from the dining room to the kitchen. She set them in the sink for the younger kids to take care of.

Jaime followed her in with plates in one hand and a pile of condiments in the other. Kallen took the plates from him and put them in the sink with the other while he took the condiments to the fridge.

“Kallen, wash off the table.” One of the younger ones tossed her a washcloth.

Jaime hid a smile. Her siblings had learned how to get her out of the kitchen quite well.

They finished cleaning up the table before going to hang out. The longer Jaime stayed at Kallen’s the less time he had to spend avoiding Logan in his own house.

Kallen put in The Lion King for them all to watch and then plopped on the couch next to Jaime.

“Disney movies.” Jaime shook his head but was instantly shushed by all of the kids, including Kallen. They were serious about their disney. He chose to go silent in hopes he didn’t get nailed in the forehead with a lego or something.

He woke up to giggles.

“Girls, leave him alone.” Kallen said, shooing her younger sisters away. She looked at Jaime with a frown. “Movie’s over. Are you feeling alright? Maybe you should head home.” It wasn’t normal for him to let his guard down enough around her siblings that he fell asleep.

Jaime winced as he sat up, his head was pounding. “Who hit me and how come I didn’t wake up?”

“No one hit you, Come on, you need to get home and to bed.” Kallen stood up and tried tugging him to his feet. It wasn’t really effective though. Her small frame couldn’t move him. She let go of his hand and let him get to his feet by himself. After only a few seconds of watching him sway she spoke again. “Why don’t you just port home tonight?”

“I-uh-yeah.” He nodded. “I’ll see you tomorrow.” Then he was gone.

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