Disclaimer: If it's illegal for you to be doing so, you shouldn't be reading this, but really.... who's gonna stop you? I want to thank everyone who emailed me about this story. It was one that I started long ago and didn't really know where it was going, but you're emails (all 46 of them in 3 and a half days!) have really encouraged me to keep going. I tried my best to respond to everyone from whom I got an email, and (I believe) those 15 of you that didn't receive one, you shall shortly. Thanks again. I hope you like this next part. Feel free to continue to send messages to me at getitright10@yahoo.com. Enjoy!

Loner: Staking Claim

Helena looked at her son when he came in the house, and immediately she knew something was different. He wasn't so withdrawn. His eyes weren't unfocused and despondent, and was that . . . a smile? She wanted to know what caused this. She wasn't suspecting anything bad. She just wanted to know, but for the past year, it seemed that she couldn't communicate with her son anymore. Granted, it was her idea to move here; yet she had never told Hunter that. Though, she knew that somehow he knew it was her idea, and she had yet to be forgiven - well by Hunter. Salene, the older of her two children, had no problem with it whatsoever. That girl could make friends anywhere she went, and she had. Helena just wished Hunter could pick up on that too.

"Hunt, how was school?" she asked.

Hunter shifted nervously. He didn't want to talk to his mom. He didn't want to deal with her especially since Jas and Nokomis hadn't come in yet. Nokomis's coming over after school was no special thing. She lived next door, but Jas? A new person? A new "friend"? He did not want her to get too excited. He didn't even know himself how Jas got him to agree to come to his house.

"Um. . . School's fine," he paused as Nokomis and Jas came in, "This is Jas."

Helena behaved just as Hunter thought she would. She failed at being subtly thrilled that Hunter had brought home another friend and greeted Jas with a strong hug. "Nice to meet you, Jas. I'm Helena." Jas was at first taken aback by the hug, but he handled it smoothly, almost as if hugging was his normal greeting. Helena took a step back, saying hi to Nokomis, and surveyed Jas. She saw Hunter roll his eyes at her hug and thought nothing of it, but then she saw how Hunter looked at Jas. Immediately she pulled her son aside, telling Nokomis to take Jas downstairs to Hunter's room.

"What do you want?" Hunter scowled at her.

"Not that tone from you," she quipped while Hunter sighed. "Jas, he's new?"


"And you met him at school today?"

"Where else?"

She took a deep breath before asking what she did next, "You like him?"

Hunter leered at her. "That's my business," he answered icily.

"Just be careful," she warned, just as icily. She lightened her tone, "We don't want a repeat of-"

"I'll be careful," Hunter interrupted her and went downstairs.

Helena sighed. "I hope so," she said to herself.

Hunter started down the basement stairs, softly closing the door behind him. He heard Nokomis and Jas talking to each other.

"Wow," Jas began, "his bedroom's back there, bathroom straight across, TV and sitting area over there and this free space in the middle. It's like having your own little apartment."

"You haven't seen the coolest part," Nokomis commented.

"There's more?" Jas asked, wondering what more there could be.

Nokomis walked over to the light switches and jumped with a start upon seeing Hunter standing there. "I didn't know you'd come down," she said lightly.

Hunter came up next to her, "You were gonna show him?"

Nokomis nodded and asked, "Is that okay?" Hunter simply shrugged and went over to Jas.

Jas turned around and saw Hunter standing there. He wrapped an arm around Hunter's shoulder, leaned his head down a bit and commented, "You didn't tell me your room would be this sweet as."

Hunter took a sharp intake of breath once Jas touched him. He swallowed deeply and closed his eyes, relishing in how good Jas touch felt and how sexy he smelled. After regaining himself, his body immediately tensed up. He didn't want to give Jas the wrong idea. Not so politely, he removed Jas's arm from around his shoulder and asked him, "Sweet as what?"

Jas noticed how Hunter relaxed and was pleased until he felt Hunter tense up. He frowned as Hunter practically swatted his arm away. He liked the feel of Hunter's body against his, and he had totally felt Hunter momentarily give in to the contact. He finally decided to answer Hunter's question. "You know... sweet as." Hunter gave him a blank look. "Um . . . really cool would be the more American term," Jas explained more.

From behind the TV stand bound a lithe, tall, white cat. Its fur was very short making it look very well groomed. It surveyed the room and ran to Jas first, sniffing his sneaker-covered foot and then rubbed against him and it went between his legs. Hunter bent over to pet it, and Jas found himself transfixed on Hunter's ass again. Hunter picked up the cat, facing Jas, and was struck by the lustful look he came to. He didn't know how to react to that look. Luckily he was saved when the lights went out.

Nokomis flicked the last switch turning on the black lights in the room. Jas's mouth hung agape at what he saw all over the walls and ceiling. Words and symbols glowed in the black light, spilling down and across the walls, running along the ceiling. It looked like calligraphy. Each symbol flowed into the next. Nokomis walked joined Hunter and Jas in the middle of the free space.

"What . . . what is...?" Jas asked, walking slowly around the room. He turned back, looking at Hunter whose blond hair glowed along with the white cat. That was the first time Jas really noticed Hunter's hair, which was in between being long or short. Some of that hair had fallen in front of Hunter's eyes, and Jas had to stop himself from going to him and brush it out of the way. He shook his head, Damn, I can't like him this much this fast.

Nokomis interrupted his thoughts, "Hunter wrote this."

"You did all this?" Jas asked Hunter amazed.

Hunter hoped his blushing didn't show in the odd light, "Yeah. I do it when I-when I need to recoup."

"Where do you get the idea?" Jas asked examining some words that had been written so that they looked almost like a large flower.

"Dreams. . . And sometimes when I forget to take my meds. I s-see things," Hunter answered, not wanting to say anymore for he felt that he had already said too much.

"See things?" Jas asked and frowned yet again when Hunter fell silent. He looked to Nokomis, who just shook her head. "Well, this is majorly sweet as. It's incredible."

Hunter just grunted and continued to pet the cat. "Vista," he said in his quiet tones.

"Hmm?" Jas asked.

"The cat. His name is Vista," Hunter explained, going over to Jas and offering the cat to him. Jas cautiously scooped it up. It immediately licked his fingers, its rough tongue scraping against the tips. He liked Vista, and it seemed Vista liked him. Hunter smiled, "He likes you. You get points."

Jas was just about to ask him what he meant when the sound of footsteps with and an annoyed voice came running down the stairs. "Hunter, where is my fan? It's not like you need it down here, and the air's acting up again. So it's really hot upstairs. This damn heat. I mean sure, I'm used to it now, but no air conditioning? Who can function-" Salene stopped her complaining once she entered the room. She saw some guy holding Vista, and even in the odd light she knew he was hot. She went over to the light switch and turned all the lights off. After that she walked to the large pane glass doors and pulled the curtains back. "There now that's better. Really, all that wasted sun outside," she complained further. She turned sharply, whipping her long fire-red dyed hair around her. She walked as sultrily towards Jas and Hunter. She smiled her eyes flowing up and down Jas. Long dark hair, tanned skin, brilliant dark blue eyes. That smile, and as far as she could tell there was a nicely muscled body underneath the t-shirt and long shorts. She smiled to herself, noticing that Jas's t-shirt was just tight enough to make it seem as if he was showing his chest off.

Acting as if she was only standing close to him to pet Vista, she beamed at Jas and batted her eyes, "And you would be...?"

Jas noticed her flirting and flashed her what Hunter saw as an equally flirtatious smiled, "Jas." Hunter's eyes shot darts through his sister. This went unnoticed by Jas and Salene. Jas continued, "And you must be Hunter's sister. Salene, right?"

Salene moved closer, "Mmhmm. Where're you from Jas. That accent of yours is nice."

"New Zealand originally."

"Originally?" Salene pried for more information while continuing to inch closer and closer to Jas.

Hunter found himself acting totally out of character. He ran into his bedroom, retrieved the fan, and very purposefully moved in between Jas and his sister. He handed her the fan, "Yeah, so here. Now you won't be so hot." He glared at her. A look that quite simply said Get out.

Salene rolled her eyes but smiled at Jas one last time. "Well, I got what I came for. Nice meeting you, Jas."

"You, too," Jas returned.

Salene made sure to sashay as much as possible as she crossed the room and went up the stairs. "Oh yeah, Nokomis. Didn't notice you there. I have the facial cream you wanted."

"Oh good!" Nokomis exclaimed and looked back to Hunter and Jas, "I'll be right back, guys." She followed Salene up the stairs, leaving Jas and Hunter alone in the basement.

That felt like a good moment to end this part with. I'm writing the next which should be up soon. I can't thank you enough for reading and all the wonderful messages.