Author's Note: As we get ready to publish, this bad boy is being reuploaded in final form for free for a little bit. Do I really need to put a disclaimer that this story features violence, drugs, and other shenanigans? Nah, we're all adults. T's a safe rating. HIT IT!

The Privileged
Act I: Origins
Chapter I

Darkness. Even after he opened his eyes, he couldn't see a single star or light anywhere in sight. He could feel the hard asphalt beneath his back and the harsh city air taint his lungs. A few blinks brushed away any fatigue as confusion set in. Quick glances left and right helped him piece together his surroundings, but it didn't make much sense. The last thing he remembered was sharing a few drinks with friends at his place; so how did he end up in the middle of an alleyway?

He tested his memory; his name is Alec, he's twenty-two… He knew exactly which alleyway he'd ended up in. There's graffiti that's illegible to any normal human scribbled on the wall to the right, and to the left rests two overflowing garbage bins with "dot city bitch" painted on both. He craned his neck upward and strained his eyes to focus on the fire escape three stories up; he could barely make out the faint glow of his living room light still burning brightly inside his apartment.

A sharp pain just above his eye registered in his brain and he reached up to touch the spot. Warm blood stained his fingertips. He had to touch it several times to make sure he's actually hurt. Again he looked up to his apartment and wondered if he might have stumbled out the window in a drunken stupor. A quick shake of his head helped clear his mind – but only a little.

His eyes are better adjusted to the dark now. His cousin lied only a few feet away; just beyond him was their friend James. Both were unconscious, so he tried to get up and help them. Merely getting to his knees proved to be an effort. His head was swaying; he was dizzy and the alleyway started to whirl around him.

"No! Stop!"

He knew that voice. Instantly his mind was clear again. His eyes shot toward the noise. At the end of the alley where the city lights touched the edge of the buildings he could see the silhouettes of three people. A girl was doing her best to fend off two attackers, and he knew without a doubt that the girl was a good friend. Despite his body begging him not to move, he stood, opened his mouth to shout at the scumbags, and…

Two strong arms snatched him from behind. While one tight arm cut off his air supply, another hand grabbed his chin. He wasn't sure if the person was trying to choke him or break his neck. He didn't particularly want to find out. Using all of the fighting knowledge he had – which was sorely limited to action films – he grabbed the attacker's arm and with the strength of his entire body, tried to fling the guy off.

Before he could even blink, the assailant was gone. Like flicking a fly off his shoulder, he managed to send the foe hurtling forward. Astonished, he watched as the limp body crashed into the first 'dot city bitch' garbage bin – and then through it.

The sound of their ally being tossed like a fastball through a garbage bin and into a brick wall caught the attention of the others. They left the girl alone and decide to focus their attention on the lone conscious male. Alec didn't notice them approach; he was too busy staring dumbfounded at his hands, unable to believe how light that man's body felt.

His peripheral vision caught the glimpse of a fist. Instinct had him attempt to duck and dodge, but the strike never got near him. James, barely conscious, seized the man's foot and yanked him down to the ground. Alec opened him mouth to say thanks, but no words came out.

A kick smashed into his gut hard. He stumbled a single step back and felt his feet leave the ground. He closed his eyes, anticipating another bump on the head whenever he finally crashed down. When several seconds passed and he had yet to suffer an impact, he curiously opened one eye.

"I am tripping balls," he spoke for the first time since awakening. The ground was at least six feet below him; the surprised and horrified eyes of the attackers gawked at him. He wasn't moving at all. He just floated there, like a hummingbird just above a sunflower.

It lasted five seconds before gravity took hold of him and jerked him to the blacktop. He belly-flopped harshly, enough to knock the wind out of him. The scum that tried to rough them up scattered out of the alley; the echoes of their frightened voices were all that remained of their existence.

Slowly, Alec managed to lift his body back off the ground. He felt eyes on him, so he tilted his head. James, still on the ground, stared wide-eyed at him.

"Bro, what the hell, did you just levitate?"