Author's Note: So, I did a rewrite. I decided I didn't like the beginning. It appeared to be something I didn't want it to be. I like twists and turns and the story gave off the wrong vibe. I like things to be expected, but not that unexpected. This is going in the same direction and has the same concept as the original did. It's just going in a different direction. I think you will like this version better. I know I do. If you have any questions about the changes feel free to ask. I was going to type up this long author's note about the changes, but I'm not remembering what all I wanted to say.
Big thank yous go out to the people who reviewed the original. Thank you to reviewers of chapter 8 of the original who were Hoodwynk, SirScott, Iccle Fairy, Innervoice, and GrannyP.
A double thanks to GrannyP for being the editor and beta for this story.
Chapter One: Pretzels
I love pretzels. Okay, that was an awkward opener. I couldn't think of anything exciting about me to tell you, which I find very funny considering the things I have done and the places I have been. Heaven wasn't much fun. Somehow Hell landed me in even more trouble. Don't ask me. I couldn't explain even if I wanted to.
In the span of my sixteen-and-a-half years, I have died over ten times. Most of them it was only for a few seconds and I came back to life, but those dead brain cells add up if you know what I mean.
I'm a Protector. We have these cool powers that you'll probably learn more about later. The only problem is that Protectors aren't very good creatures and we have very little self-control. They are incredibly violent and killers by nature. I happen to not like to kill things even though I'm good at it.
Another important thing is that I'm a revolutionary. I'm one of the few people trying to take down our magickal government that wants to commit genocide against anyone that is not full blood magick. I happen to be full blood, but I happen to be fond of werewolves, vampires, etc. that aren't. What's the big deal with that? Ah, that would be the fact that Protectors are the biggest supporters of the magickal government.
Why am I bothering you with my life story? The historians of magick asked me to write it down. Supposedly I'm all-important. I get these lame names like the "Destined One", "The Chosen One", etc. You get my drift. I disagree. There are more important people than me. I just exist and procrastinate on doing my homework. I can't say my life is simple. It's complicated and messy, as is my mind.
History, Magick's main historian, asked me to keep a diary of sorts for future generations. One would hope no one would end up as screwed up as me. It seems like every time I go off on a mission to vanquish some evil creature, risk getting killed. I guess sometimes I feel like life isn't worth living out. I don't belong in the magickal world and I certainly don't belong in the human world.
I'm lost. It's that simple. I think everyone is lost at some point in his or her life. I've just been misplaced my whole life. Boy, that sounds depressing. Being a stray can't be as bad as being abused severely by my father. I can handle it. I'm supposed to be all strong and tough, right?
Well, not everything can be a fairytale even if one has a prince for a boyfriend.
"Celeste, what are you doing?" one of my best friends, Abdul Welch, asked as he leaned over my shoulder. Abdul was one of those incredibly scrawny guys with the thick-framed glasses and intelligence. I have always found the smart guys that are decent-looking more attractive than the good-looking guys. I think it's because I hang out with handsome guys all day and fight beautiful vampires all night. Well, not quite all day or all night, but you get my point. I average four hours of sleep per day, but don't take my word for it. I'm not good at math.
"Typing up the assignment History gave me," I remarked as I shut off my laptop and looked around the small dorm that I shared with three guys, including Abdul. Abdul's side was very neat and tidy. Mine was disorganized, but it was a few measurements away from chaos.
"Hey, guys. Are we going to check out campus?" Dezi asked. He was gorgeous with a perfect Italian tan and pretty green eyes. He had major muscles. His side of the room was utter madness and we had been at this new school less than twenty minutes. That was Dezi for you.
"Where's Kazuki?" I asked about our last roommate. The four of us had been together since what seemed like the beginning of the time. His small bed had been covered completely by technological gear. Right now I was sure he was digging around for the best Internet connection.
"Eureka!" Kazuki exclaimed as he came running through the door with his iPhone in hand. Yes, he actually said words like "eureka". He tripped over my bed, did a flip, and ended up seated on the floor, holding his iPhone like a precious possession. Well, the iPhone was important, considering how expensive his was. He'd had added multiple extra features on it by applying them himself.
"Man, I can't believe our parents transferred us to another military school. There are no girls here at all," Dezi commented. I gave him that little glare. "Well, except you, Lesty." Our parents worked together in the military. They were moved as a unit and we came along for the ride. Sometimes it was fun, but it was often disappointing to leave behind our friends.
"We are military after all," Kazuki repeated the statement that was our parents' mantra. We looked at each other and laughed. I didn't know how Kazuki managed to say that with a straight face.
"What did you find out, Kaz?"
"This place has a stable Internet connection."
"I know." I patted my laptop and popped some of the M&Ms into my mouth I had been eating when I was typing. I ate a lot. It had to do with my extremely fast Protector metabolism. I used to be overweight, but my natural abilities kicked in and I couldn't gain it back. Whenever there was food, I was eating and I was constantly starving.
Why would I want to gain my weight back? It's easier for men not to be attracted to me if I'm very overweight. Protectors happen to have naturally irresistible pheromones that make it very easy to attract people of any gender. I don't like getting attention all the time or being hit on. A little attention was fine, but guys going gooey-eyed on me made me uncomfortable. I preferred to be just "one of the guys".
"I want to go for a run." I stood up suddenly. The males were used to this. I always had constant energy and wanted to be active frequently. It wasn't ADHD. It was part of being a Protector. We lost control easily. I was a rarity, first of my kind, because I could exert self-control. It hadn't come naturally. It had taken a heck of a lot of practice. The violent tendencies managed to entrap me though. Generally I ended up punching bullies and getting assigned to anger management. One would think after the fifteenth time they would get that the program wasn't helping me.
"There's a mile long track and a road into the forest to jog on," Kazuki reported. He had researched Andres Military Academy before our arrival. His second cell phone rang. He checked the text message from his dad. "Our 'rents say we should behave ourselves at this new school. That's the abridged version. The real one is too long to scroll down. It's starting to hurt my thumb."
"They're still mad about us blowing up the cafeteria of the last school. When are they going to get over that? I mean, the food was a crime against humanity," Dezi remarked dryly.
"Well, they made sure this school had Pizza Hut, McDonald's, etc. cater in," Kazuki said helpfully.
I started to do a little dance. I was so jittery. Sometimes the powers were so much I felt like I was on some high-powered drug. Drugs are bad for you, children. Really it was a power high. They aren't as much fun as they sound. They are only useful when one is in a fight, and I definitely wasn't in a fight. Ah, maybe I need to get into one.
No, bad idea, Celeste. You're trying to be good. My conscience objected. I was determined to listen to it.
"Just go for a run, Cele," Dezi stated as he gestured towards the door. "We'll cover for you if anyone checks in."
"Thanks!" I called over my shoulder. I was up to speed when I started daydreaming. Then I ended up crashing into the huge fountain in the middle of the school's courtyard. Ungracefully, I landed in the water.
Quickly I stood up, hoping no one saw me. I looked around and tried to look inconspicuous as I stepped out of the crystal clear water. I felt eyes on me. I wasn't sure if it was my normal paranoia or something real. I don't like to let my guard down—especially since I am the one betraying everything I was taught, to save innocent lives.
I ran fast at vampire speed up the stairs. By vampire speed, I mean so fast I was just a blur and your mind would tell you I wasn't there. Sometimes I love my powers. Other times I hate them because with my power comes responsibility and choices—life and death choices. I'm not even seventeen yet, and it seems like everyday I run into a situation where I have to make a choice to let someone die or save them from peril.
I slowed down when I entered the room. Abdul was the only one that knew about my powers. Mainly because one time I lost control and he happened to be around. I should have performed an Eraser—removing his recent memories—on him, but I didn't have the heart. He begged me and gave me the puppy dog eyes. He had to cover for me every time the Head Council of the Protectors sent me out on a mission.
As a Protector, my duty was to obey the Head Council of the Protectors, the head male of my household, or any Protector male. Protectors are male ruled. Sucks for me. I pretty much protested over everything they asked me to do. If they told me to wash my hair, I wouldn't. I had matured a bit and started choosing my battles, but old habits die hard.
"What happened to you?" Dezi exclaimed as his eyes widen and he looked over my soaked clothing.
"Fountain," I muttered while blushing.
"You wouldn't win a wet t-shirt contest with those," Dezi informed me.
I laughed it off. I wasn't well-endowed in the chest region.
"Dezi! That isn't something you should say to a female even if you are joking," Kazuki remarked. He wasn't that upset. He was just defending my honor.
"If it wasn't Cele you could have been in big trouble." Abdul backed him up.
"I'm sorry, Lesty," Dezi apologized.
"Cele, you're going to be late for helping with the after school program," Abdul reminded. He was basically the person who played parent to us all. The after school program was for little kids. I generally volunteered for the same after school program that the military ran every place we went. My name was just automatically inserted on the list, thanks to computers.
"Oh, crap," I muttered as I grabbed up my duffel and jogged into the bathroom. Rapidly I dressed and then sprinted out the door. One annoying trait of mine was I had an awful time with punctuality. I was at least thirty seconds late to every appointment. Luckily I was generally on time for magickal missions. Ah, luck—the story of my life whether it was bad or good.
So, here we go again. Another entry, aren't you excited?
I've decided I'll explain my wonderful powers. I have the ability to heal, which is very unusual for a Protector since we are born killers. I'm not that great, but my curative powers seem to get stronger as I get older. Telekinesis and time control are another two important ones for me. Protectors tend to have some form or level of telekinesis, as do vampires. I can freeze things. Sometimes speed things up, but I'm still working on that one. The most important thing is I'm an empath. Protectors never have the ability of empathy—excluding me. I feel what people are feeling, and it's incredibly hard to block their feelings out.
We were invited to a party that was being thrown by Millmyer Private Academy, a nearby private school. Dezi was insistent on attending. The rest of us reluctantly gave in after his pleadings. The club they had rented out was completely black except for its neon lights. The place was booming because of the loud pop music blaring from the speakers.
I winced. I didn't really like parties even though my species is famous for them. I couldn't really dance either. I didn't have any musical ability, unless I was counting out the steps to a defense move.
I found I was being pushed into the dance floor. Dezi was already partying it up and attracting attention from females. Kazuki moved to the dance floor and was dancing. He was a good dancer. Abdul was stiffly standing off to the side where I generally would be.
After attempting to fight my way out, I gave up and surrendered to the music. I started moving my hips and started actually dancing—a major accomplishment for me. A small smile fluttered around my face until I tripped over my own two feet.
I put my hands out to brace for the fall. My hands ended up colliding with some guy's tight butt. Oops. "I'm—" I started to apologize. The guy turned around and found me on the floor. He looked very angry. I realized he was someone I knew. Of course, he had to be someone I never wanted to see again. "Crap." I whispered, as I looked into those all too familiar eyes. We had a history—too long of history.
Worse, a very thin blonde flew over from the other side of the 'molest' victim, along with her two girlfriends, as I stood up. She looked like a porcelain doll with blue eyes, blonde hair, and very thin figure. "What are you doing touching my boyfriend's butt?" she screeched.
I could see in her eyes it was all a show. It was a façade to keep whatever popularity she had. It happened to most girls that got into the spotlight at their school and became queen bee. They had just become swept up in the matter of things. They weren't evil. They were just pretenders.
How did I recognize that she was a queen bee? People surrounded her and everyone seemed to be cheering her on. "Go, Giselle! Go, Giselle!" the drunken onlookers exclaimed. I looked around in shock as they surrounded Giselle and me in a circle. The boyfriend had disappeared.
The girl swung at me. Of course, I ducked. She tried to hit me again and again. I still ducked and dodged every time. I was a Protector for a reason, mind you.
"Look. I'm sorry! This is all a misunderstanding. I fell and accidentally touched him," I tried to explain.
She tried to punch me again. This girl had anger management issues that matched mine! That was kind of hard to do.
Finally she stopped. I was relieved and decided to make my escape. When I turned around, the boyfriend was right behind me. He grabbed me and turned me to face her. My anger was building, but I couldn't exactly whip his butt right then. That would be too obvious about my powers.
"Here, honey," he called to her.
Her fist landed square on my eye. It was hard enough to send me reeling to the ground after the boyfriend let me go. I landed hard on the cement floor.
The people roared in happiness. Millmyer Private Academy must be a place for fights. I scrambled up and pushed my way out the door. There was no way I could fight the girl. I could kill her easily by accident, considering my Protector strength. Kazuki was dragging Dezi, followed by Abdul. I was thrilled to get out of there.
"What happened, Cele? Normally you would punch back." Dezi remarked as he took a swig of his beer.
"Beer, Dezi! You're underage," I said as I snatched away the drink and threw it in a potted plant. He looked at me in awe.
"You took my beer!" he accused.
"You shouldn't be drinking," Kazuki backed me up.
Dezi tried to get into the driver's seat of his car. Abdul grabbed the keys and pushed him out of the way. "You're not driving drunk."
"It's my car," Dezi protested loudly. "I'm driving."
"No way. That's how people die, idiot!" I exclaimed, as I dragged him over and shoved him into the passenger seat. Abdul slid into the driver's seat after we were all in.
I thought it was going to be a peaceful ride home, so I leaned back in the backseat and rested my head on Kazuki's shoulder. I fell asleep, only to later have a rude awakening.
Author's Note: Magick is the Wiccan way of spelling magic.
Thank you to Silver Dragon's Kin, Katherine A. Rossetti, Velvety Cheerio, Wren Silver, Michael's Divinity, Nnaliseaai, Liberate Barbarian, bitter.ch0c0late, Kalera Ivy, Xara Nahara O'Connor, whatmakesyouthinkthat, Lurid Black, Hoodwynk, SirScott, GrannyP, YJanZ-Providence, Sleeping Chaos, Leinnansidhe, Amelia-Rose of Music, SympleSymon, AuraBorealis, Iccle Fairy, Lovely Marshmallow Queen, Levana, twilightwolf666, and Cerulean K. Harmony for reviewing the first chapter.