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Fancy Meeting You Here ((Bryan Loski & Alia Lornell))

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Nephele Vaughn stared up at the sky. It was Saturday, and she was glad that the week of school was over. It had been a few days since she had met Bryan and told him about his father and her's, and she hoped that he wasn't going to totally avoid her because of that. She'd lost plenty of friends to the fact that her father was a super-villain, and so she'd stopped revealing it. Part of her hoped that he might actually want to be her friend, but the other part was scared that he would hate her for telling him about his father. She sighed, a slight puff of air coming from her lips.

Since it was nearing December, the weather had taken a turn for the cold. It was chilly in the early afternoon, and there was the slightest hint of your breath when you breathed out. However, the sun was out and shining, which gave the illusion of warmth. She wore a dark jacket, which was in great contrast to her hair and skin. Her foster parents had insisted on her wearing the new one that they had gotten her, though she hated taking the things they'd bought for her. Sure, they were really nice people, but every time they gave her something more, she felt they were just deepening a hole of debt. She hated owing people, and therefore hated receiving things without a special reason. Birthdays and holidays were fine, but any time else was uncalled for.

Though, she had to admit she was grateful for the coat as a cold wind picked up, biting her nose as it flew around her face. She smiled a bit. Winter was her favorite season of the year, and she couldn't wait for it to start. Sometimes she wished she lived in places like Canada or Alaska, as they always seemed to be cold year round. She would rather be cold than hot. The cold always seemed to rejuvenate her, and make her feel more alive. It'd been that way since she was a child. It was also the one season her father had actually seemed to care about her. If he went on a robbery around Christmas, he would always bring her back some kind of present. Most likely it had been stolen or bought with stolen money, but as a child she hadn't cared. She suspected that the reason he was so nice was that it had been her mother's favorite holiday and season as well, and he felt obligated to honor her mother by being nice. Still, for whatever his reason, she had loved it.

Won't be any presents from him this year. Nephele thought. There hadn't been any since he'd been arrested by some big shot super hero. Now, Nephele wasn't a villain, and she sometimes hated her father for being one, envying those who had loving people for parents, but for some reason she had a bit of a prejudice when it came to heroes. Sure, she was happy when horrible men and women were put in jail, but part of her hated the heroes, and she supposed it came from being raised by a super-villain. There were parts of her that scared her sometimes, parts that only came out at her darkest moments. Shaking her head, Nephele cleared her thoughts.

She sighed, and glanced around the park. Because of the cold not many people were out. Those who were there were mostly joggers or people out for a mid-day stroll. It was nice and quiet, a beautiful day to be at the park in Nephele's opinion. Nephele surveyed the scene once more, and noticed a few new comers into the area. She squinted her eyes, as it seemed that one of them looked familiar. She decided to stay on the bench and wait for the people to get nearer, as it seemed they were heading in her direction anyways.

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It was almost Christmas, and Bryan Loski was run out of ideas for gifts. Especially to his crush, Alia Lornell. She was so breezy, so easy to talk to, but yet the illusionist was confused on what to give her for this particular holiday, where people would give their loved ones presents and such. But since his family not good with money, Bryan didn’t know what to wrap for the girl she liked, and probably even loved. Well, he got money now, but he didn’t have any idea on how to spend it. Bring her a ring? No, that would be too serious. A stuffed bear? Too cute for her style. Alia was always the one who kept her cool and being a mature student, so that kind of cute toy won’t match her sense of style. At least, not to Bryan. Frustrated, he kicked some pebble around, almost hitting a passer by, then sighed heavily. He almost decided to give Alia one of his drawings, but the he realized… Bryan always left one at her locker everyday. It’s something impulsive, because he always missed her too much. Because one reason or another, both parties (Bryan and Alia) were either too busy or too scattered to find each other, then they ended up alone for the entire day. The fate was never on their side since that day in the coffee shop. That’s what Bryan so desperate and decided to draw even a glance of Alia when he got the chance to see him. A part of her face, her dazzling eyes, her back when she got to a class room… If Bryan was sure it was Alia, he would draw it in a heart beat. He wrote messages in the back of his drawings though, such as: ‘have a nice day’, ‘miss you’, ‘hope you’ll have a free time soon’ but all of it was ended with one letter: B. The illusionist could only hope that the girl understood who wrote that message.

So, back to the task at hand, the boy still didn’t know what to give to Alia for Christmas. This caused him to walk aimlessly in the city while scanning his surroundings, trying to find more ideas and such. But the only thing he could see was some people that tightened their coats, and wind that howled because of the cold. Wind… Bryan scoffed bitterly. This reminded him of Alia yet again. Determined to ease his mind, the illusionist shifted his feet towards the park, which he knew would be quite empty in this time of day. Rubbing his hand together, his pace became a little bit slower. However, he spotted someone that he met before. The small composure and the glistening hair… what was she doing here? “Nephele? What are you doing here?” Well, this was the weekends, but Bryan didn’t expect the sophomore to got out when the weather was this cold. Bryan got out because he needed to buy something. But why was Nephele here too?

The last time he met her, the circumstances were a bit awkward. Bryan got in to detention room, and so did Nephele. Because of annoying bullies, the boy used too much of his power, causing a massive illusion that scared the entire cafeteria. Just to make things worse, Nephele broke the news that Bryan’s father was a super villain, who worked alongside her father… stealing, terrorizing, even killing people. Shuddered upon remembering that day, Bryan walked even closer to Nephele. No, he didn’t tell Alia yet. Maybe that’s why he hadn’t seen her until now; because Bryan was afraid on how Alia would think of him if he told her that Ferdinand Loski was evil. Nudging her hand, he smirked. “What’s going on? Why aren’t you at home? The weather is super cold, you know.”


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Sky High was an amazing place. It’s just that a lot more happened in a superhero high school than a normal one, and the drama really escalated. Alia hadn’t seen Bryan for such a long time, finding herself too busy to see the illusionist as much as she wanted to. Since she couldn’t see him, she resorted to listening about what other people had been saying. Not her favorite way of communication, but until she could actually see him and talk to him, she’d make do. Unfortunately, she’d heard some things she couldn’t believe had actually happened. An incident in the cafeteria, detention, illusions…Alia herself hadn’t been there, but she didn’t believe Bryan could hurt people like that. At least…not until she heard him say it himself.

Alia could credit her busy schedule to her lovely mother, who decided Alia had been slacking off more than usual. I don’t know what you’ve been up to, but you’re not spending enough time studying. That in itself was responsible for Alia being out of the apartment on a Saturday, ignoring her homework, and deciding to visit the park. Alia could pretend a bit too well that some problems didn’t exist, such as the fact that she really wasn’t studying as hard as she used to, the fact that Christmas was coming up and Alia hadn’t done anything about it, and the nagging suspicion she didn’t know enough about her family as she should.

Talking to her mom was becoming a bit more difficult. Alia remembered, freshman year, having to interview a superhero for a project. Alia had chosen her mom, naturally. Worst idea ever. Valerie Lornell hadn’t wanted to talk anything about the villains she had caught, which made Alia wonder why. Imagine her mom’s face when she found out Alia had been searching up on that. Alia didn’t know anything about the people that had come up, just their name, picture and how Alia’s mom had caught them. Fun.

It was amazing what boredom made you think of. Alia bowed her head, walking down the street, not dressed too heavily. Wind didn’t bother her, considering she just blew it away, so she was dressed lighter than most, earning some weird looks. Wishing she could turn invisible, Alia pushed the thought away. Maybe Bryan could hit her up on that, but that just made her grimace. To be honest, she missed him, and the small things he left her made her feel worse, for not knowing how to respond. Her usual thoughts about that, easy. He was too good for her, she didn’t deserve him.
Those thoughts had taken her all the way to the park’s entrance. Walking in, Alia stopped and examined the scene. Little kids running around, some old people on benches. Christmas shoppers, dogs chasing sticks. This place had only half gotten the message that it was cold, a bit like Alia. Scouring the area for an empty bench, Alia noticed one occupied that caught her attention. Not an old couple looking for a place to sit, although there was a boy and a girl. And the boy looked very familiar. A smile crawled its way onto her face, and Alia breathed out slowly, watching her breath condense in the air. Well, maybe she could finally put some thoughts to rest.

Walking a bit slower than she wanted, Alia made her way over to Bryan Loski and what was probably one of his friends. Alia didn’t recognize the girl, so she must be younger. Although, something seemed slightly…familiar about this girl. Alia brushed the feeling off for now, but would definitely investigate earlier. Finally reaching the designated bench, Alia slowed till she was right next to Bryan, and in front of the girl. “Hey,” she said simply, wanting to slap herself the second the word came out of her mouth. Yeah, wasn’t she so smooth? “Glad I found you, it’s been a while.” Awkwardness was soaked into the whole sentence. Alia knew what she wanted to say, she just didn’t know how to say it. “Well, what are you doing this fine afternoon?” Getting worse…Alia shifted from foot to foot, hoping something would save her before she did anything else remotely embarrassing. Yup, this was off to a great start.

((Soooo late and short, I’m sorry!))


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She realized as the person got closer, that it was none other than Bryan Loski. What on earth it he doing out here? She wondered. Did he often run around in cold weather? In fact, the moment that he saw her, he seemed just as surprised as she did. He walked up to her.

“Nephele? What are you doing here?” he asked. I could as you the same question, she thought. However, she didn't say it out loud. She didn't want to answer his question with a question.

"I um, was, um," she stopped. How do you say 'I was avoiding my foster parents' nicely? She looked down, a little embarrassed. She didn't want Bryan to know how bad things were at home. Well, not bad really, but, just, ugh, she didn't know. She felt ashamed of her plethora of gifts that her foster parents gave her, but didn't know how to put it into words. She felt undeserving, and hated it when they brought up the whole 'since you didn't get to do fill-in-blank before you came here, we thought it would be fun to go do fill-in-blank' conversation. It was like they wanted her to know how deprived her childhood had been.

“What’s going on? Why aren’t you at home? The weather is super cold, you know.” Bryan's voice broke her out of her thoughts.

"Nothing's going on. I just...needed to get...some fresh air. And I don't mind the cold,"
she said, mentally slapping herself with every word. You're a wonderful conversationalist, she thought sarcastically to herself. She decided to change the subject.

"I could ask you the same things. Why aren't you at home? The weather is super cold, you know," she said, teasing in a friendly way. She cracked a small smile. However, she spotted someone approaching from behind. It was a girl who looked vaguely familiar. Nephele dismissed the thought, thinking she must have seen her at school. The girl was focused completely on Bryan, and waltzed right up to them. She planted herself between Nephele and Bryan. The girl addressed Bryan.

“Glad I found you, it’s been a while.” she said. The whole thing was awkward, and it got even more awkward with her next sentence. “Well, what are you doing this fine afternoon?” Nephele raised her eyebrows at being completely ignored. It was like the girl thought that if she ignored Nephele, she might go away. What, is she his over-protective girlfriend or something? Nephele thought.

Nephele was used to being ignore by everyone, but the girl had barged in in the middle of Bryan and Nephele's conversation. That bugged her. Nephele took a long look at the girl. Even though she'd only been at Sky High for this year, she'd developed a knack for spotting super-hero kids, and this girl was definitely one of them. The mist that came out with each breath collected behind Nephele, swirling angrily. It looked like a mini tornado, and Nephele's eyes flashed. However, she didn't want to do anything to scare Bryan away from her. Quietly, she slipped out from behind the rude girl. She had hoped upon seeing Bryan that she could be able to talk to him and get to know him more, but it seemed that their meeting would have to be cut short.

She looked down, and took a few steps away from the two. However, she'd been needing a vent for her powers lately, as her foster parents didn't truly know the extent, and the opportunity was right there. The mist that had been gathering behind her snuck up behind the girl, and solidified into an almost transparent wall that stood about knee high. The wall made itself into a circle around the girl. If the girl were to take a step in any direction, she would trip and fall.

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When Nephele said she needed some fresh air, Bryan Loski smirked then nodded. “Aren’t we all?” He scoffed softly while rubbing his hands together. Man, the weather was freezing. Well, not literally, but still… the illusionist was struggling to keep things warm, especially his hands. Heat tends to escape from the tip of your fingers, after all. After the girl asked about what he was doing here, he gazed at the empty park just to find suitable words to say. Bryan’s relationship with Alia was an undefined one: more than a friend, but less then a boyfriend. And most of it was Bryan’s fault, since he was too shy and too awkward for telling what he really felt. However, for the time being, he was glad with it. “Well, I’m just… trying to search for something suitable as a Christmas gift. There’s this girl… Um… Well, let’s just say I have feelings for her. I mean, good feelings.” He then clicked his tongue in frustration. See? Awkward to the max. “And I feel really clueless on what to give. Maybe you have any ideas…?” He bit his lips while being hopeful towards Nephele. Well, she’s a girl, no? Maybe she would have some ideas.

But before she could answer, another voice suddenly chimed in, making Bryan widened his eyes. Oh no. Speak of the devil… He quickly turned around to face her, the one he was talking about. The one he cannot stop thinking, on and on for days: Alia Lornell. Hence that’s why Bryan’s response was somewhat weird and flustered. “Alia!” He was about to hug her, but stopped. Bryan might ruined his chances if he did that. However, he wanted to touch her somehow… so he just squeezed her left arm instead. Here thee: Bryan Loski, Master of Awkwardness. Though his wide smile would explain how glad he was to finally met Alia after all these days searching for her. “I’m just… doing… nothing.” Blood started to crept up on his cheek as he tried not to give out what he was doing. A little bit too hard, if one might add. “What about you? What are you doing? It’s not exactly a brilliant weather for anyone to stroll around.” The illusionist let out a subtle laugh. Gosh, he hoped Alia was getting his messages and drawings. But she hadn’t bring anything up about it, so all Bryan could do was wait.

However, he sensed that Nephele took a few steps back and started to muster a mist. Bryan frowned while turning back to that quite girl, still looking a bit ticked off. “Nephele? What’s going on?” But he realized something. Of course. He never introduced both of them to each other. To tell the truth, Bryan never understood the unspoken rivalries between girls, but he could feel that Nephele got a subtle (or maybe a big) grudge against Alia. So just to clear things up, Bryan gulped, scooted Alia a little bit closer so she could face Nephele, and nodded shortly. “I haven’t introduce you guys. Nephele, this is Alia Lornell. She’s with me in my class. I mean, she’s my classmate.” Why do I even get awkward at introductions, again? He shook his head in disbelief, and continue. “Alia, this is Nephele Vaughn. Perhaps you have heard about the cafeteria incident?” Bryan smiled apologetically. “Well, Nephele was with me. She had given me some… insights on my past as well. So, yeah.” After a few seconds of pure silence (and pure tension), Bryan tapped his feet nervously. “Well, come on. Shake hand.” He added while biting his lips. He was hoping they would do it, otherwise… there would be another cold war coming up: figuratively or literally.


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Alia had been in a myriad of awkward situations, but here she felt like she had done something wrong. She probably had, considering she had just walked up to a situation and inserted herself without looking first. But she hadn’t meant it like that. Alia was a lot of things, but she tried not to be mean or rude. Unfortunately, the girl’s first impression had turned out something like that. The question was what next? Keeping the question in mind, Alia mentally sighed, and tuned back into the conversation she had practically ruined, in time to hear Bryan speak. “Well, continue doing nothing then…” Alia started off awkward, and finished much the same way.

Shifting slightly, Alia vaguely noticed the other girl stepping back. Great. There went her chances of damage control, in which Alia had no experience with either. God, she really was helpless, wasn’t she? “Oh, me? Well, it’s either this, or studying. I’ve been neglecting my history, and it’s coming back to bite me.” At that point, she just decided to stop talking. Might help preserve whatever shred of dignity she had left, although it was mostly gone by this point. Alia looked down at her feet, and vaguely noted that mist was gathering. Bryan must have noticed too, voicing his thoughts. Since she had established that her presence here was mostly unwanted, Alia focused a bit more on the mist, since it was the second most interesting thing here. It was getting thicker, much to her dislike, and it took Alia a few seconds to put some puzzle pieces together. Girl…hatred…superhero…superpower. Yeah, Alia made a great impression on her, if this girl was planning to strangle her with mist or something. Alia considered giving her own demonstration of her powers, before deciding against it. She shouldn’t use her powers too freely, even if she was being provoked. Especially if she was being provoked. Her mom’s first rule? Never use your power unless you need to. Regardless, Alia was getting a bit annoyed.

Hearing her name in the conversation, Alia looked up, and gave a small wave. Not really a person of words and besides, talking might make things worse. When Bryan introduced the girl as Nephele, something stirred in the back of Alia’s brain. Vaughn…she had definitely heard that before. Thinking the word also sent a small chill down her spine. She shouldn’t like that name. Not at all. “Ah, I see. Bryan’s partner in crime?” Another tug at the back of her mind, and Alia was sure that was not the best choice of words right there.

She seriously needed to get some facts straight. When Bryan told them to shake hands, Alia looked down at the mist, pretty sure it wasn’t going to let her move. So instead, she crossed her arms. “Have we met before? Your name seems…oddly familiar,” she instead volunteered to Nephele. Her eyes scanned the girl, looking for any recognizable factors, but nothing big came to mind. But something about her face…At that point, Alia would have moved somewhere, either towards the bench or otherwise, but that wasn’t possible. But you can’t contain the wind, and Alia was like her power in more ways than one.

Feeling a bit disappointed that her first meeting with Bryan in a while wasn’t going as well as she hoped, Alia focused back down at the ground, as she had for a while. She’d been working on her own thing for him, just a small way to try and connect better with him. Bryan was very obviously into drawing, so Alia had taken a stab at it herself. Along the way, she had discovered a few things. One, she couldn’t draw to save her life. Two, never mix colors that shouldn’t be mixed. And three, keep those mess ups private. Still, moving past the stickman art, Alia had tried her best to return at least one of the many things Bryan had sent her. The piece of paper that had been the result of a few weeks of effort seemed to weigh heavier in her pocket.

But she’d worry about it after she was freed from this mist. Now, could it be blown away? Depended, she supposed. She’d just try one more time. “Um…Nephele,” she began, the name feeling a bit foreign on her tongue. “I don’t suppose…you could…get rid of this mist?” Alia could practically hear the ‘no’ coming already, if she spoke at all. Alia decided to just get started on it anyway, and have Nephele finish the job if she wanted. Alia had had many years to practice her power, and one thing she had focused was controlling winds without her hands. Something her mom brought up, what happened if your hands were tied? Were you helpless? Alia ignored her own rhetorical question, and tapped her foot a bit. Hopefully, it’d look like a sign of impatience. Of course, it’d never be as powerful as if she used her hands, but Alia could feel the wind picking up slightly, increasing in intensity. Alia herself was unaffected, a small bonus, but she could see some bushes nearby rustling, as well as other people’s hats and hair.

There must have been quite some mist surrounding, as it was siphoning off very slowly. Alia could be here for a while before anything really happened. Giving a small sigh, barely audible, Alia kept up the foot tapping, to keep the wind going, before looking up. “So…what type of insights?” Really, anything to be worried about? Alia cared, more than it might appear, and she really just wanted Bryan to be okay. Even if it meant getting along with this ice-cold girl.


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Nephele stared at the two teenagers, watching as the conversation went
no where. She almost wanted to snort, but that would draw attention to
herself, and that was one thing she didn't necessarily like. The
conversation went on for a few moments, and then dwindled into nothing.
The girl seemed to notice the billowing cloud of mist building behind
Nephele, but didn't do anything. Bryan however, noticed, and seemed
concerned. Then he got what was going on.

“I haven’t introduce you guys. Nephele, this is Alia Lornell. She’s with me in my class. I mean, she’s my classmate.”
Bryan said, as if expecting them to shake hands with each other. Something about the name 'Lornell' struck Nephele. The name instantly inspired a spark of anger. He
introduced Nephele to Alia, and explained how he knew Nephele.

“Ah, I see. Bryan’s partner in crime?” Alia asked. Nephele grimaced at her choice of words. Partner in crime.

“Well, come on. Shake hand.” And apparently,
he did want them to shake hands. Nephele almost, almost, rolled her
eyes. Alia looked down at the wall of mist surrounding her legs, and the back up at Nephele. However, it seemed that Alia didn't want to shake hands either,
or didn't know if the wall of mist would go down, as she just nodded. Nephele returned the nod.

“Have we met before? Your name seems…oddly familiar,” Alia asked. In fact, Nephele had been thinking the exact same thing. The name sounded familiar, and Alia looked a little familiar too, and not just because she went to Nephele's school.

"I was thinking the same thing as well," Nephele said coolly.

“Um…Nephele,” Alia began, the name sounding awkward on her tongue. “I don’t suppose…you could…get rid of this mist?” Alia apparently didn't seem to have any patience at all, and began to tap her foot. A slight wind started to pressurize around them, picking up Nephele's hair and swirling it around her head in a mass of silver and blonde. Nephele felt a slight pressure on her wall, and watched as the wind slowly began to chip away at the wall. Nephele looked at the wall of mist, and then with a wave of her hand, dissipated it. The mist floated up, swirling around Nephele for a moment before disappearing into the sky. She glanced down at Alia, and in the light she looked exactly like....The Tank. Valerie. Valerie Lornell. Alia Lornell.

A gasp tore itself from her throat. Of course! She could see the similarities now. Alia's mother was the woman who threw Nephele's dad into jail. Nephele's feelings were a colorful array. She didn't know whether to be angry for having had her father taken away, or happy because a horrible person had been put in jail. However, she kept her face pretty impassive, except for the occasional flash of the eyes.

"You're um, you're Valerie Lornell's daughter, correct?"
Nephele said. Her father had known most of the identities of the supers in the general area, but had some kind of 'honor code' that stopped him from attacking their homes. She guessed he liked the publicity of being chased by a superhero instead of blowing up the house of a mundane. She absentmindedly wondered if Bryan knew that The Tank had been the one to capture and imprison The Phantom, Nephele's dad. She walked back towards the group, knowing that if she were going to be friends with Brian, she would have to get along with her father's greatest enemy's daughter.

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Sensing the tension that obviously won’t go down, all Bryan Loski could do was gulping his fear. In front of him were two of the most important people he knew at Sky High. One was his crush, Alia Lornell, whom he hasn’t met for a while but he always missed her nonetheless. And second was, quoting Alia’s word, Nephele Vaughn… his partner in crime. True, the illusionist just scared an entire cafeteria as his crime, but still… he got help. Without Nephele’s persistence, Bryan would never found out about his father. However, when his crush mumbled those words about him and Nephele, Bryan produced a gurgling sound: nervous laugh because of Alia’s words. Partner in crime. Seemed so… negative, even though it was the truth.

Unfortunately, even after a few moments passed them by, Nephele and Alia both were still churning up their powers. Bryan could feel the mist getting thicker and the wind building up, almost ready for a storm to swing by. The look on his face was pure fear now. As they talked to each other, Bryan stare at both Nephele and Alia with awe. Another thing he would never understood about girls: how could they talk so subtle when they obviously have a grudge against each other? But after a while, Nephele dissipated her mist, thankfully. And Alia asked Bryan about the insights he was speaking about earlier. A warning tugged on his mind. O-ow.

Though it had been a while since both Bryan and Nephele talked about their parents, the illusionist hadn’t share that information with anyone else. One, because he was afraid that his rep would be ruined even more. Scaring people was bad enough, but knowing the person has a super-villain father? It could get worse. Two, Bryan didn’t know how Alia would react towards that news. Hey, her mother was The Tank, a famous superhero. His worst fear was Alia would ask Bryan about his father and pestered him to spill out where he lived or something, an information that Bryan himself would never know. But when he was about to answer, Nephele suddenly gasped and question Alia about her mother. Another warning jolted on his head. Well, this could get even more awkward… Oh dear…

Before Alia got the chance to answer, Bryan decided to swoop in first, in case things would get… messier somehow. “Yes, The Tank- I mean, Valerie Lornell is Alia’s mother, Nephele.” Why did I slip up, again? Bryan wiped his face in frustration. He then turned to Alia, for answering her previous question. “And the insight I was talking about… well, I was going to talk about it privately…” He glanced at Nephele with mixed look on his face. “But since Nephele already know the truth… I will tell you too. If we can just find a seat…Ah.” Bryan walked closer to an empty chair, clean the surface, and sit there. His hands patted on both sides beside him, signaling the girls to sit down there. He would let them sit on one side alone, but judging from their previous actions, it might not be so wise. After they took their place, the illusionist pour everything from the very beginning: the accident at the cafeteria, how he lose control, and finally… when Nephele broke the news about his father who was actually a super-villain. And that they ended up in detention, with more time for talking about both dads. Bryan tried to suppress his tears, he really did. But a trickle fall down without any warning, and the rest just dripping naturally. The result? His cheeks felt very cold now. “So… that is the whole story.” He ended it in bitter tone, and then looked at Alia with hopeful eyes. “So… what do you think?” Please no peculiar questions like where my father is right now. He practically had to clenched up so he would not shout that sentence.


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The mist was distracting in general, so Alia didn’t react too much when Nephele responded to her question. Still wondering where she knew Nephele from, Alia only ceased her foot tapping when the mist went flying up into the air. Thank goodness. At the rate the wind had been going, Alia would have been there all afternoon. During the short period of time that the mist had been removing itself, Nephele must have had one of those moments of realization, as a gasp procured itself. Alia raised an eyebrow at Nephele, waiting for an explanation of sorts. The question, however, was more on target. The fact itself that Nephele knew who Alia’s mom was a bit odd, considering she’d used her real name, and not her superhero name. Alia would be less uneasy if she’d asked about The Tank, but no, she’d said Valerie. Maybe Alia knew Nephele through her mom, and some gears in her brain started turning.

Before Alia could speak, Bryan cut in first, answering for her. Well, that was done. Alia examined Nephele again. If Nephele knew who she was through her mother, could it possibly have been the other way for Alia as well? Let’s see. The mist, the familiar face…reminded Alia of a little research she had done on villains busted by her mom. That must have been it, and that really sucked. If this was the daughter of a villain Alia’s mom had caught and stuck in jail…yikes. Damage control might really be necessary, before something bad happened.

“Your dad…” Alia would have said more, but Bryan must have been anxious about World War Three starting, as he mentioned Alia’s last question. The way he was talking…those insights must not have been the most brilliant thing in the world. Wordlessly following Bryan to the bench, Alia didn’t know what to expect.

As he talked, Alia’s eyes got even wider with every insight mentioned. This has gotta be a joke. Alia’s mom puts Nephele’s dad in jail, and the boy she really likes’ father was the first man’s buddy. Shoot. Alia swore slightly under her breath, hopefully not audible enough for the other two to hear. She ran a hand through her hair, and then stopped when she saw Bryan’s face. Trying to be a comfort of any sort, she grabbed his hand and held it tightly. “I’m sorry,” she whispered. That was really all she could say, apparently. She bit her lip as she decided how best to slowly defuse this bomb. “Um…Nephele, your dad…The Phantom…you know who he was caught by?” Yes, she did, but Alia had to double check. “And his friend…still out there…probably not the happiest with my mom right now…Fudge.” Alia slumped against the bench, trying to figure this out. What was going to happen next? What could she possibly do next?

She had to be careful how she proceeded from here. The two people with her were probably the two people who had the most cause to hate her guts. A hero’s life really did get messy. “But…I’m not my mother, and you two aren’t your fathers…we don’t need to get caught up in this business,” Alia said, almost desperate now, trying to ease the obvious tension. She could practically hear that argument crashing down already. Clutching Bryan’s hand tighter now, as if it were her lifeline, Alia straightened, to try and think better. She didn’t know what to do next. Talk to her mom later, for sure, Alia needed the whole story, at least from her point of view. But…what to do here? Alia could only wait and watch, keep her powers on hold, and really hope that Nephele wasn’t her father.


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Don't even go there, Nephele thought as Alia started off with 'Your dad...' By now Alia must have put two and two together, and realized where she knew Nephele from. However, before WW3 could break out, Bryan intervened, seemingly able to sense that things could get really messy, really fast.

“Yes, The Tank- I mean, Valerie Lornell is Alia’s mother, Nephele.” Bryan said, sounding a bit flustered. He turned to Alia, answering her previous question. “And the insight I was talking about… well, I was going to talk about it privately…” Byran glanced over at Nephele, but she couldn't decipher the look on his face. “But since Nephele already know the truth… I will tell you too. If we can just find a seat…Ah.”

He gestured for the two girls to sit on either side of him. Nephele sat down stiffly, trying not to imagine the billion of outcomes that could emerge from Alia. She watched her carefully, noting that her eyes seemed to enlarge with each sentence. Nephele almost wanted to get mad at Bryan for just revealing her whole connection to the deal, but she realized that Alia would want to know how Nephele knew everything, and so it would end up being said anyways. Besides, now there was no doubt that Alia knew Nephele from somewhere, or rather, her mother knew Nephele's father.

When Bryan was finished, Nephele heard Alia swear softly. She wondered if Bryan heard it. Alia looked flustered and a bit panicked at first, but stopped to pull herself together when she saw Bryan.

“I’m sorry,” Alia whispered. Nephele looked away, knowing that her eyes would betray how ticked off she was at that answer. 'I'm sorry' never did anything. Then Alia seemed to want to clear things up a bit. “Um…Nephele, your dad…The Phantom…you know who he was caught by?”

"Gee, no, who? It wouldn't be your mother The Tank, would it?"
Nephele said sarcastically.

“And his friend…still out there…probably not the happiest with my mom right now…Fudge.” Alia slumped against the bench.

"You can say it, you know. 'Bryan's father'. It's not that hard. And yes, I would bet that 'Bryan's father' is not very happy with your mother," Nephele said. She had no idea where the words were coming from and they spilled out before she could stop them. And she knew that she was probably hurting Alia and Bryan right then. Alia appeared desperate.

“But…I’m not my mother, and you two aren’t your fathers…we don’t need to get caught up in this business,” Alia pleaded. She really was coming off as desperate now.

"You're right; you're not your mother. If you were, you would have carted Bryan and I off to jail by now, just for the crime of being related to a villain," Nephele said harshly.

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((Bryan’s last comment was meant for… whatever that might come. Plotting is awesome. Haha. Razz And Bryan is clueless about girls, just saying. Very Happy ))

When Alia squeezed Bryan’s hand, the boy felt like he was in the heaven for just a several seconds. He wanted that to happen so bad. And now it did happened, however… it was not the way he wanted. Even though he’s a quite person, Bryan Loski was some sort of hopeless romantic. That was why he spent so much time searching for the perfect gift to give Alia at Christmas. Something pretty but not too serious, for they didn’t really have… a term for their relationship. However, when the girl she liked asked Nephele a series of questions, the illusionist was not too fond of that cold girl’s answer. Did she really had a grudge on The Tank? Or was it towards Alia herself? Bryan furrowed her eyebrows in a mild anger look to Nephele, as she shot more sarcastic sentences more and more. Well, now he could see another side of the mist girl. And he must admit, it was not a side he totally love.

At the end of both girl’s conversation, Bryan’s anger had fill up the space in his head. In fact, the boy quickly stood up, one arm still holding Alia’s hand, and the other hand pointing at Nephele. “Stop it, or I will lose it. And…” Breathing heavily, Bryan sat back again, his free hand rubbing his knee to calm his nerve. “You know what I did when I lose it, didn’t you?” He smiled apologetically to his partner in crime, felt a bit guilty he almost snapped at her. The illusionist shuddered when he remembered the last time in the cafeteria; when he caused a massive illusion to everyone and scared the silliness out of them. Bryan cursed inside, and determined he would never do such a thing ever again. Most importantly, not in front of the girl he liked.

He nodded as his reply to Alia’s last sentence. “I’m glad you feel that way. Just… in case,” He grip her hand tightly, obviously didn’t want to let go. “I don’t even know where he is right now, so you’re mom won’t be able to track him. Or… Nephele’s father. At least I think so.” He turned back at Nephele with raised eyebrows. “Your father should be in jail, right- Wait.” He licked his lips, didn’t even realize what he just said. Gosh, being with Alia let Bryan loose himself sometimes. “Don’t even listen to what I just said. I’m sorry.” He punched himself in the head softly, then clicked his tongue. However, he smiled afterwards. “But now we know each other’s secret. It’s good, right? That means we could trust each other more.” He grinned innocently, obviously didn’t realize what his sentence might just do to both girls. Either they would take it calmly, or… he just ignited the beginning of another gruesome war.


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((It's so short... -sues self for badness-))

Well, this was going excellently, note the sarcasm. Alia was starting to wish she’d never come, and chosen to do homework instead. Whatever disagreements Alia had with studying, did not compare to this at all. She hadn’t really expected Nephele to be chill about discussion on her father, but seeing it happen in reality was a bit of a wake-up call. Alia shouldn’t get mad, but she could feel her temper rising as well. No matter where Nephele’s dad was right now, it was more than just Valerie’s fault. It wasn’t like Nephele’s dad was totally innocent, right? So why was Alia being a pushover?

“It’s not like your dad’s totally innocent,” Alia replied hotly to Nephele, replying to an earlier comment. “He was hurting innocent people, and he needed to be stopped.” Statement, but with touches of Alia’s opinion. That’s what a hero does, they save people. If a villain hurts someone, especially more than once, then it was a hero’s responsibility to help. And Nephele was treating it like her dad had just been walking down the street and was thrown into jail for no reason. “And yeah, I was right. You’re not your father. If you were, you’d have tried to kill me already just for being related to a superhero.” And then, of course, while Nephele and Alia were arguing back and forth, without powers (for now), Bryan wasn’t saying anything. When he did, it felt a bit out of context, considering what was going down.

Mulling over what Bryan said in her head, Alia saw a few responses to that comment. She could take it calmly, wait for Nephele to calm down, and then act like it never happened. But there was the fact that Alia was getting mad, and she wasn’t in the mood for calming down. Alia wanted to defend her mother, although, she didn’t really need to. In her mind, there wasn’t much to defend. Villain did a lot of bad things, hero stopped villain. End of story. “Well, I don’t know. Seems Nephele doesn’t trust superheroes…or their kids,” Alia replied, trying to keep her anger in check. No powers. Don’t use powers. “I mean, I might trust her…then she’ll do something she’ll regret later,” Alia continued flatly. That was just asking to be attacked, but Alia honestly didn’t care. Nephele had provoked her earlier; Alia was just returning the favor. Still, better safe than sorry. Mist was pretty powerful at times, but the thing was…it traveled through air. And so did wind. Alia was older, and better at controlling her power. She could make a wind shield, right? Alia resumed her foot tapping. If it wasn’t noticed already, that’s her second favorite way of summoning the wind. She could feel the wind building up again, but this time, forming a barrier of sorts around Alia.

Like she had thought earlier, Alia considered leaving. It was obvious she was only going to get tension back from Nephele, and Alia wanted to talk to her mom. Get one side of the story, at the very least. Besides, this wasn’t going the way Alia had wanted originally, so scrapping the project was one idea. Or she could stay, and continue fighting for what she thought about heroes and villains. Maybe she’d stay for now. She had the power to leave anytime, so why not just wait? It was just starting to get spicy, and Alia would hate to leave in the middle of the action.


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((So sorry that this is so late, but, kid you not, every time I try to reply to this, something goes wrong with the computer I'm on. Anyways, here it is!!))

Leave. It was the only thought on Nephele's mind. She should have left before it had come to this point. Before she had made enemies with Bryan's girlfriend. Before she had most likely ruined her friendship with Bryan.

“It’s not like your dad’s totally innocent,” Alia replied to an earlier comment. “He was hurting innocent people, and he needed to be stopped.” The truth was, Alia had a point. Nephele didn't know why she was defending her father. Nephele's dad had hurt innocent people, and he had needed to be stopped. She might have admitted that she was wrong, and Alia was right. The whole thing might have ended right there---had it not been for Alia's next comment.

“And yeah, I was right. You’re not your father. If
you were, you’d have tried to kill me already just for being related to a
Alia said. Nephele whirled around, eyes flashing.

"Do you know how I knew that your mother was Valerie Lornell? My father. He knew the secret identity of almost every local super. Do you know how many times he could have planted a bomb in your house? Or tampered with your mom's car? Or blew up her work? Or kidnapped you from school? He could have done all of those things, but he never did! He could have ridded this town of supers a long time ago, but he didn't!"
Nephele practically yelled.

In the silence that followed Nephele's outburst, Bryan spoke. Nephele stared at the hand that pointed at her accusingly. She was shocked. Bryan was...threatening her?

“Well, I don’t know. Seems Nephele doesn’t trust superheroes…or their kids,” Alia said.

"Hold up, I never said I didn't like supers,"
Nephele said, trying to calm down a little, "I just said that I don't necessarily want to sit around the campfire singing 'Kumbaya' with them."

“I mean, I might trust her…then she’ll do something she’ll regret later,” Alia said flatly. Nephele turned to Alia, eyes blazing white.

"That's all you'll ever think of me! I will always, always, be the villain. It doesn't matter what I do! I could save your life, and you would think it was for some ulterior motive in a villainous plan. You will always be admired and trusted because your mom is a super. I will always be feared and hated because my father is a villain, and nothing will ever change that," Nephele said, mist gathering around her.

“I’m glad you feel that way. Just… in case,” Bryan said to Alia, agreeing with her comment. Nephele blinked, and her eyes returned to their normal color. The mist dissipated into the air. Even Bryan agreed with Alia. She barely heard Bryan's other comments, but one stood out.

“Your father should be in jail, right- Wait.” He said, then seemed to realize his mistake. Nephele just nodded miserably.

“Don’t even listen to what I just said. I’m sorry.” Bryan said. “But now we know each other’s secret. It’s good, right? That means we could trust each other more.”

"If you knew all my secrets, you wouldn't want to trust me,"
Nephele said darkly. "Besides, your girlfriend already stated that she wouldn't trust me, no matter what I did." Nephele noticed Alia tapping her foot, and felt the gathering wind. Again, she faced Alia. "I'm sorry you hate me. I'm sorry your mom hates my dad," Nephele turned to Bryan "and I'm sorry that I caused you to flip out in the cafeteria, and that I told you about your father. It's okay if you hate me now...I'm used to everyone hating me anyways." Nephele looked at the ground. "You guys probably want to be alone now." She started to turn away.

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O-ow. What did I do? Did I say something wrong? Bryan thought as he saw both girls threw snappy comments at each other. He could say that Alia was insensitive, but Nephele’s response was not brilliant either. The illusionist gulped when the usual quiet girl practically blew up when she said his father could kidnap Alia if he wanted to, but he didn’t. Sure, what he did was not the best option either, almost getting angry at both girls since he counted that as an immature act. Maybe it’s because of Alia, but Bryan didn’t see the mist gathering around them, swirling dangerously. After realizing that, the boy cursed at himself for not being sensitive enough. What was he thinking? It’s like adding jet fuel to a bonfire!

Now he could sense that Alia was itching to leave, but still hold her grounds somewhat. However, Nephele bursted her calm bubble and rambled on. Bryan moistened his lips, he abruptly yanked the girl’s arm back while holding himself with gripping Alia’s hand. Boy, now he’s in trouble. “Now, just… hold it right there!” Bryan didn’t mean to make them mad at each other. But somehow, he did it anyway. “Nephele, stop with the sulking and feeling worse than anyone else. Please. As you know, I have issues myself. You don’t have to be sorry of what you did, I actually feel glad you did it anyway!” The illusionist was desperate, so he threw sentences he thought he could never say before. A hopeful look was shot from his eyes, practically begging for Nephele to understand. “If you didn’t say what you did say, I won’t know a thing about my father and figure out his past. So don’t blame yourself anymore, okay? And no, I don’t hate you. I would never hate you, ever.”

Despite the exhaustion he felt from talking too much, Bryan turned back to Alia. “And Alia…” Now he forgot what he wanted to say. Great. Wiping his face, the illusionist chose to sat instead, fingers pressed on his eyes. Being with two bickering girls could really turn his head around. “Look, I… don’t know what else to say. I never good with detecting bitterness around girls, so I apologize if I said anything wrong…” He paused while staring at Alia and Nephele one at a time. “Seriously. I really do feel I’m the guilty party here, but… I don’t know how… to… fix this.” The boy made an abstract gesture in the air, representing his mood and mind right now. “So please, can’t you just… kiss and make up?” This was Bryan’s last attempt, for he didn’t know what to do anymore. So, with pleading eyes-well, desperate was more like it-, he glared tiredly at both girls, hands intertwined while waiting for their answer.


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((Okay, so this is my last post. I can’t handle many threads right now, and besides, I’m a stickler for leaving early <_< But this was fun, and we should definitely RP again sometime))

This was not turning out the way Alia wanted. She hadn’t wanted to get into a fight, but it had happened anyway. So now, Alia was defending her mom, when she really didn’t need to. In her views, The Tank hadn’t done anything wrong; she’d simply been protecting innocent people. And unlike what she’d said before, Alia had allowed herself to be dragged into this conflict. It started with their parents, and she was practically accepting it to start among their kids. No, not happening. Alia was not going to get into a fight about who did what wrong, and what happened because of it. Of course, Nephele wasn’t helping at first.

Starting off by saying she knew Alia’s mother through her father, Alia closed her mouth to avoid replying to it. Oh, so that made The Phantom honorable now? Her mistake. “And that makes it all better,” Alia simply replied, crossing her arms now. She was not enjoying herself, to say the least. And then Nephele went on to continue to correct Alia, saying she was neutral with them.

“Well, guess what, Nephele? You’re a hero now. So unless you want to retire from the hero business early, you gotta learn to get along with supers. Or unless you want to be a villain, too.” And when Nephele continued, Alia tried her best not to explode. “No! Of course not! I never thought of you as a villain until you thought of me as an enemy!” Alia hotly said. “I was trying to be nice, but it didn’t matter. You will always hate me, just because I’m the daughter of a superhero. And that’s not all cake and pie either. High expectations, pressure, and what happens when I can’t match that? Disappointment. Maybe they’re hero problems, but they’re real too! So don’t you dare assume anything about me,” Alia said, voice like steel. If you hadn’t noticed, that was her soft spot. Expectations, to be as amazing as her mother because she’d been a great hero and Alia was her kid. And she was done getting heat for that.

“Oh, yes. The superhero is big and cocky, and can never understand the common folk. Well, try me,” Alia said squarely, standing up now. She wasn’t going to be here much longer, not when things turned out this way. “And I’m sorry too, Nephele. Maybe it’ll be better next time.” Nephele had already started to leave, but Alia pulled her back as gently as she could. Nephele and Bryan needed to work things out with their dads, and they couldn’t with Alia present. “I’m sorry it has to be this way.”

But Alia couldn’t leave just yet. She had to sort something out with Bryan. “You didn’t do anything wrong…and there’s no need to fix anything.” Alia turned back to face Bryan again. Well, there was, but nothing he could fix. “This whole father issue of yours…needs to get worked out. And as Nephele pointed out, I’m not the person to work it out with. She can help.” Alia was almost ready to leave, except for one last thing. A little present she’d been working on. She slowly took out the crumpled piece of paper in her pocket. “I spent a while…drawing this.” Never as good as Bryan’s, but she’d tried. It was a sketch of him, the way Alia had remembered him at the coffee shop. It was probably horrible, but Alia had wanted to give something back to him.At the bottom, she’d scrawled something in her messy script. ‘Thanks for everything – A’. She lightly pushed it into his hand, then turned away. She was done here. “See you later,” she vaguely said, not talking to anyone in particular. She braced herself for the long walk home. She needed to be a good person now, and leave them to work out their issues. And Alia needed to have a chat with her mom. A serious one. Alia needed the full story; she couldn’t be in the dark here. But she wouldn’t be any longer.


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((Sorry this took so long, but I had a total muse fail. >.< ))

Ha. Her idea of a relaxing walk at the park had turned into an almost battle of the powers, and definitely one of words. She hated that the battle of their parents had turned into a battle between them, but part of her felt like it would have happened anyways, and almost seemed to take joy in the fact that she made the two of them nervous and had caused so much contention. Then again, that was the part that she always ignored and tried to bury. She continued to do that, and faced the problem at hand.

She knew that she had been rash and hot-headed in her explosion of words, but that didn't keep her from getting agitated at Alia's response. Instead of shouting back however, lesson being learned, she simply glared daggers at the ground, mist swirling around angrily. She almost broke her silence to yell at Alia for saying that Nephele might want to be a villain, but she held herself in check.

Then Alia replied to Nephele's second rant. Fingers clenched tightly to her sides, Nephele unsuccessfully tried to see Alia's point of view on the whole discussion. Still, her ingrown hatred for supers overpowered her desire to walk in Alia's shoes. Oh, that's horrible, Nephele wanted to say, you have to deal with disappointment. Worst case scenario, I'd have to deal with imprisonment or death. She held her tongue though, keeping her thoughts to herself. There was no need to dig an even deeper hole for herself. It was clear to her though that she'd hit a soft spot for Alia. The part of her that she tried to bury filed that away. She ignored it.

She turned to Bryan as he spoke, half annoyed, half hanging on to every word. She could hear the truth in his words, and see it on his face. She knew that he wasn't just saying it to keep her from blowing up. For some reason, hearing that he could never hate her made her feel lighter. Bryan, in the short amount of time that she had known him, had somehow become somewhat of an older brother, someone she strived to please.

She listened attentively to what Bryan said to Alia, and then what he said to the both of them. She instantly felt ashamed of her behavior, and knew there was no good excuse. She hadn't even thought about what Bryan might have been thinking during the whole ordeal.

Nephele ignored Alia's comment about the supers being cocky. That was a fight she did not want to get into. However, Alia's next comment confused Nephele. Next time? Next time? Would there really be a next time? Nephele almost hoped there wouldn't be, but something told her there would, and that it would come much sooner than she hoped it would be.

“So please, can’t you just… kiss and make up?” Bryan said. Nephele snorted.

"If anyone's gonna kiss her around here," Nephele said, jerking her thumb in Alia's direction, "I'm pretty sure you wouldn't want it to be me." And the tense mood that had been there was gone. Bryan had said the perfect thing, resulting in the iciness melting away, at least for Nephele. She knew that Alia was right; she and Bryan needed to get the father issue worked out, and Alia wasn't the best person for the job right then. She might be, later on, but not then.

Nephele turned away as Alia gave Bryan the drawing, feeling as though she were witnessing a private moment. She heard Alia's goodbyes, and then watched her walk off. For a few minutes, she couldn't bring herself to face Bryan. Instead, she continued to stare at the spot where Alia had disappeared.

"Well, that was...interesting, to say the least," Nephele said, trying to lighten the mood. Something had happened there that day; she didn't know what, but she knew that big things were to come out of it. There would be consequences, both good and bad, from this day, but Nephele knew that it had been meant to happen. She just hoped that Bryan didn't hold anything against her.

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((Sorry this took forever! But this is the end of this thread. Very Happy))

Somehow, the fierce bickering didn’t end up quite well after all. When Nephele was about to leave, Bryan Loski realized that he rant out some silly words and slumped down afterwards. Sadly, it didn’t change a thing. Instead, Alia was the one leaving, grabbing Nephele’s arm back as gently as she could. “But, but-“ His sentence was cut short when the girl shoved a paper to his hand. After he saw it, Bryan’s heart sunk. It was a picture of him. Not the best he would draw, and certainly he wasn’t in the best state, but when he thought of how much time Alia spent just to try and create that picture… the illusionist felt like the worst person in the world. He wished he knew what to say, or what to do properly. Maybe Bryan should not tell about his past to Alia. Maybe if he didn’t met Nephele, things would turn out to be different.

Alas, what was done is done. Past cannot be erased, and future was yet to be written. So when he finally snapped back to reality, all Bryan could do was suppress the tears and whispered, “Thank you,” while watching his crush walk away and faded since the mist from cold weather shrouded the surroundings. When Nephele spoke again, the boy was still absent-mindedly play with that sketch, glancing on the picture once in a while. He scoffed when he heard what the girl just said. “Yeah. Interesting indeed.” However, a thought suddenly popped in his mind, followed by a sudden movement. He quickly leaned towards Nephele, eyes squinting. “You know, I wish you tell me sooner about… whatever you say to Alia before. So we can avoid unnecessary damage.” However, he regretted what he just said afterwards. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t say such things. Maybe it’s my fault that you fight with Alia, anyway… Curse this mouth for telling faulty things.” He murmured the last sentence, sort of a guilt that formed in his chest.

Hoping that everything would get better, Bryan smirked at Nephele, a sign for a new start. “I know I said some wrong, maybe even ridiculous things. For that, I’m sorry.” He patted her on the back, then turned his sight back to the sketch his crush just gave her. “As for Alia… I’ll talk to her later. Hope I could patch things up, but if I don’t…” The illusionist shrugged. There was no telling what could happen in the future, after all. “Now, come on. Let me walk you home. I am curious about your house anyway.”

He was about to reach Nephele’s shoulder to help her out, when out of nowhere… a phone rang. Bryan frowned. No, it was not his. The boy never own a cellphone before, and it was not only because his mother couldn’t afford one. Bryan had issues with cellphones, arguing that it had more negative stuff than positive one. Hillary got one because of her job, but she never bought one for her brother either. So where did the sound came from? And as he walked closer to the source, his jaw got wide open. It was a tiny phone in a bush. Unsure if what he did next was the wisest, Bryan picked up the phone and pressed the green button. “Hello?”

Unfortunately, the person that answered was his nightmare. It was his father: Ferdinand Loski. “Hello, son. It’s time.” Bryan’s eye shot fear. He tried to turn back and warn Nephele to run away, but his Ferdinand clicked his tongue. “Nah ah. Don’t you dare take Nephele out of the equation. I need you both. And thanks to you, I got the location of your precious girlfriend. Wouldn’t want anything to happen to her, do you?” He let out a sickening cackle afterwards.

“Don’t you dare touch her.” Bryan gritted his teeth. He instinctively turned around, searching for any minds that may lingered inside that park. But other than Nephele’s, he didn’t sense anything else. Curse him for being blood-related. Sure, they didn’t say in the books, but what Ferdinand said before in the coffee shop might be true. Bryan tried his trick with his sister: it didn’t work out as well. Gulping and started to sweat bullets, they boy was breathing heavily. “Fine.” He whispered in desperation. “Where do you want us?”

As he talked, Bryan gave a weary look to Nephele and motioned her to come closer. When they huddle together, he put the phone to speaker.

Ferdinand giggled. “Good. Now Nephele can hear me as well.” It was quiet for a while, then he spoke again. “Come to the coffee shop from the other day. Then we will discuss what to do.”


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