I know, the last chapter was short and stuff so here's a fast update and a 1,500 word long chapter.

Fun fact: My longest chapter was Chapter 5 with 1,577 words. XD

Fressia: Get on with it! This should be a long chapter that is long because of WORDS, not because of your stupid A/Ns that nobody reads.

Me: D: My OCs are so degrading...

Alex: Hell yeah we are. *high-fives Ryder*

Me: ._. Okay...

Reese's POV (I'm getting tired of this POV...)

I'm dimly aware that I'm awake, but I'm afraid to open my eyes.


I don't know what I'll see.

I muse over the possibilities. I could be strapped to an operating table with evil scientists leaning over me...

Or maybe I'm still in the truck.

I find both not very plausible. If I strain my ears, I can almost hear the clanging of plates and two people arguing.

A rough, wool blanket is covering me and I think I'm lying on a leather couch.

It could all be an illusion. I could still be sleeping and dreaming.

But I decide to open my eyes anyways.

I stare up at a dusty wooden ceiling, with beams running across to support it. It has the feeling of an old, unused workshop - something a few hobos might take refuge in for a few days before moving out.

The blanket is scratchy and the leather couch old, but at least someone cared enough to move me here.

Speaking of 'here'... where am I, anyways?

Still feeling weak, but stronger than usual, it takes me a few minutes to sit up so I can gaze at my surroundings.

I was right - it does look like a dusty old wooden workshops. The floorboards are rotting and the nails that keep them in place are rusty and bent. A wool carpet, much like my blanket, has been thrown over the floor.

Two cardboard boxes lie on each end of my leather couch, respectively. The one I'm farthest from has an old lamp sitting on it. I can tell that it's old because the lamp shade is torn apart, looking fragile and easy to break. The lamp glows slightly, but every now and then it flickers as if it might suddenly turn off and plunge the room into darkness.

I gaze around the room some more. Another couch lies against the opposite wall, and unlike mine, it's made of several different materials. It looks like they patched up several holes in the couch with random materials, giving it the appearance of a quilt.

Who is they?

I notice a door on the wall that I'm facing. That's where I'm hearing the sounds of people - no, kids.

I jump as the sound of a dish crashing to the floor and breaking apart hits my ears.

"Not another one!" Someone cries. "Tutac!"

"I'm sorry! I tripped on the loose floorboard!"

"It's not her fault! The floor is super close to breaking apart, anyways..."

Things quiet down quickly enough. The smell of pizza wafts through the room and I inhale it, my hunger returning quickly.

"-wonder if she's awake?"

"-few days. Wouldn't get your hopes up."

Somebody grumbles something. A girl snaps back: "Well, would you have left her on the streets to die? I just hope she's worth our while."

My fists tighten. They're talking about me.

"...check on her?"

"Nah, she's probably dead."

Last time I checked, I'm not dead.

"-check anyways."

The door is pushed open before I have a chance to react.

A blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl about a year younger than me is staring at me.

She gapes at me, and I stare right back, unable to think of something to say.

The room is silent for what feels like eternity.

"She's dead, isn't she?" A voice calls impatiently from behind the girl.

"N- no," the girl says breathlessly. "She's awake."

A boy about my age with floppy brown hair and green eyes pokes his head around the girl in the doorway.

Our eyes meet. His eyes widen.

"Wow. She is awake. The dead lives, everybody!"

That sets them off. A bunch of kids - all of different ages, looking like college students to kindergarteners - file into the tiny wooden room.

We stare at each other.

"So, we saved your skinny little butt," one girl says stonily. She also has blonde hair, is about my age, and her eyes are blue but bordering on a purple hue. "Are you going to speak or did we end up rescuing a useless little mute freak?"

"Chill, Elise. I'm sure she's just in shock or something," the boy from before says, relaxing on the couch opposite mine.

"Shut up, Zach," she snaps, grounding her teeth.

I find my voice. "I- Yes. I can speak," I try not to glare at the girl named Elise.

"What's your name?" A girl a little bit younger than I pipes up. She has short red hair, green eyes, and about a million freckles.

"...Reese," I say, and almost immediately curse myself for it.

"You have a story, Reese?" A boy a few years older than me studies me cautiously.

"Yeah. It's pretty long, though," I admit. "And you'd never believe me."

"Try us," Elise challenges me. "We're experts at abnormal."

For some reason, I decide to trust them.

"I guess I'll start from the beginning," I begin. "When I was four, my twin brother was kidnapped."

I'm almost immediately interrupted. A small child peers up at me. "By who?"

"The government," I say patiently. "I hated my parents for letting it happen. When I was 11, I- I had an outburst. And they left me."

The room is dead silent. My voice seems to echo.

"I knew that the police would come after me, put me in a foster home. There was only one choice left - I ran. I've been running for three years, escaping the child protection agencies and trying to keep a low profile."

A few older kids nod, like they understand this part.

"I was in a small town outside of Las Vegas when I met a boy about my age. He said his name was Nate and asked where I was headed. I told him Washington, D.C."

There were a few sharp intakes of breath, and a few shook their heads as if they couldn't believe my stupidity.

"He offered to take me there. I accepted, not knowing what else to do."

"That wasn't wise," someone muttered, and people around them nodded in agreement.

"We were in the middle of some desert, stranded with nothing but a broke golf cart, when we got in a fight and I stormed away. I couldn't find him once I got lost, but I found a girl about 12 years old, passed out in the sand. Her name was Destiny. When she woke up, we formed an alliance of sorts and she told me that I was Gifted or some junk."

"So she is like us!" The boy, Zach, crows. Elise shushes him as soon as he opens his mouth. They exchange glares before turning back to me.

I blink. "Anyways. In the morning, she led me to a black truck with promises of it being Nate's golf cart. There were two men waiting for us. They shoved me into the back and by then I was too weak from hunger to resist. I drifted out in and out of sleep, and I think I was hallucinating for a while, and then I woke up here."

They wait for a moment, but I stay silent, making it clear that this is the end of my story.

The silence continues awkwardly.

After a while, Zach speaks up. "Well, the end does match our side of things."

I look at him, curious.

He opens his mouth to answer my unspoken question, but Elise takes his chance. "Zach and I were on duty, guarding the alley, when we saw a black truck drove by. This button-headed idiot thought nothing of it, but I suspected that it was a government truck. We alerted the others and managed to stop it, but a 12-year-old girl - maybe the Destiny you spoke of - and two men managed to escape. When we searched the truck, we found you and carried you inside. You kept on muttering and crying out, too."

"Button-headed?" Zach mutters, sounding insulted.

"Shut up," Elise glares at him.

I nod, a bit confused on a couple things. "Alley?"

Zach rushes in before Elise can answer. "Our hideout is behind a large company building and only accessibly via a dark, narrow alleyway."

"Hideout," I repeat.

An older boy grins at me. "Welcome to the Denver Refuge for the Gifted, Reese."


Fressia: ...Wow, and it's actually decent, too!


Alex: *is still in tuxedo* You're pretty mean to us, too!

Ryder: *snickering* Cake, anyone?

Me: For anyone wondering, well... it's a long story...

Venus: *pops in* Ryder, go make out with Alendra. *death stare*

Me: VERY long story. Anyways, Allie has to update The Peril now. *evil laugh*



P.S.: This chapter is my new longest chapter, with 1,593 words! :D