It felt like Cyrus was purposely hitting every bump and pothole on the road as we sped along. Everyone was silent, hardly the cocky and brazen boys that I had come to know and love. Instead, they all kept to themselves, occassionally glancing over at if I had just ruined the 'camping trip'. Were they mad at me? Was Cyrus mad at me? I really didn't mean to 'show him up' or anything. Hell, I didn't even know what the fuck I was doing at the time. I just....I had this vision of Dexter smashing the rabbit on the ground or ripping it to pieces right in front of me, and....I dunno...I panicked. That's all. I figured Cyrus would be all for it. Me 'letting go' and following my instincts and all. I guess I was wrong.

As the sun began to set, and the truck barreled along the almost barren roads and heading back out to the highway...I found myself scratching even more than before. I don't know what it was, but it felt like having a horde of army ants crawling underneath my skin. Back and forth, back and forth, endlessly marching without any known purpose or destination. I was scratching my skin raw on my arms and legs, and tried to physically stop myself from doing it before I broke the skin. Was it mosquitoes? I have been running around in the woods all damn day. Or maybe I was alergic to something I ate or drank. Who knows? But whatever it was, it was driving me crazy.

Sometimes...every so often, I would see a flash of sparkles before my eyes, nd my head would feel light as a feather, almost weightless. Sometimes, for just a moment, my ears would pop, and ring with a high pitched whine that would deafen me for a second, and then magnify every sound around me so loud that it would practically inspire an instant migrane headache. And then...the fever would return. It would heat me up to the point of squirming in discomfort, and then settle, only to heat up again a few moments later. My body just felt so awkward the way it was. My clothes felt like such a burden. The fibers of the material was like sandpaper against my naked flesh, synthetic rags tying me up, keeping me from being free. If I thought that I could get away with stripping down naked in the back of that truck and not looking 'weird', I would have. It was a strange sensation, having my clothes feel so wrong on my body like that.

Cyrus nearly spun us all out into a nearby ditch as he screeched his way out onto the highway's paved surface, which almost made Kriegar drop his bottle of liquor. A rare event, I'm sure. Everyone held on for dear life, and I felt my stomach drop as the truck swiveled back to a forward motion. The music blasted even louder than before, and I peered back over my shoulder to see if Cyrus was as pissed off as his driving would lead the rest of us to believe that he would. Dexter was clenched tightly to my waist, his legs flailing limply in the back of the truck, and the twins had their hair blowing backwards in an almost straight line. The only one who held on with little to no effort, hardly affected by our speed at all, was John Boy...who remained calmly perched on the side. He leaned to and fro every now and then, but he didn't seem even remotely concerned with the idea of him being thrown overboard and tasting gravel as he rolled to a stop.

I craned my neck back and looked back through the window behind the front seat, trying to see what was going on up there. And Cyrus' eyes met mine for a quick moment in the rearview mirror. It was like he knew. He ALWAYS knew. And with just a few seconds of contact, I felt the last remaining scratches on my back flare up with a vengence! I literally felt as though actual sparks and flames were shooting out of my back, causing my old wound to bleed slightly. I could feel the wetness on my shirt. That's when he smiled wickedly to himself, and gnashed his teeth as he stomped on the gas pedal HARD and swerved violently to the side!

I was instantly thrown off of the tire, carrying Dexter's devoted embrace with me! I could feel the truck reaching it's maximum speed, the wheels shaking and the body of it shaking from the strain as the motor fought to keep up with Cyrus' demands on it. Were we going 80 miles an hour? Maybe 100? Maybe even faster! The landscape whipped by us so fast that I could hardly focus on anything before it passed us by and disappeared over the last dip in the road. I struggled to get up on my hands and knees, and Dexter let me go long enough to curl his frail body up into a tight ball. I saw Kriegar and the twins actually slide down from sitting on the side, to stretching out on the floor of the truck...and I have to admit, I nearly broke out into a full blown panic when I saw John Boy do the same! They weren't 'scared' so much, but they knew a dangerous situation when they saw one. I raised my head up a little bit, the wind slamming into us so hard that I could hardly breathe, and saw the road rushing up at us at lightning speed! If we hit anything at this speed, it's gonna fucking kill us all!!! I ducked back down, and scooted into a somewhat safe corner, my hands trembling in fear as I prayed that Cyrus didn't roll over and send us flying into the trees! I prayed for him to slow down, prayed for him to calm down, prayed for a fucking highway patrol officer to catch us and FORCE us to stop so I could get out! But as we raced further and further down that empty highway, all I could do was cross my arms over my chest, and prepare for the moment when I might actually have to survive the inevitable deadly wreck that we were heading for.

The truck screeched, and fishtailed, and kicked up dirt and gravel for what seemed like forever, but once we neared town, Cyrus' little game came to a grinding halt, and we coasted into the giant parking lot of the megamart. I was still quaking when the truck actually came to a stop and the engine shut off. I guess he was through terrorizing me now, and he got out of the truck without saying a word. He just left the rest of us there and started walking towards the store, the rest of us following shortly after like the loyal lap dogs that we were. All except for Kristen, who for some reason felt the need to wait out by the truck. I couldn't explain it, but it was like she sensed something around us that caused her to think that we needed our ride to be 'protected'. Odd. Scout quickly caught up to Cyrus with a few hurried steps and took a hold of his hand, but everyone else kinda kept their own natural pace a few steps behind him. As though there were such a thing as a 'safe distance' when it came to Cyrus' anger. I don't know...maybe this was his spoiled way of showing us who's boss. Or maybe...they already knew it, and he just needed to remind me who was in control here.

Sebastian walked beside me and, in a very calm voice, said, "You really ought not to challenge him, Wesley."

"I wasn't challenging him, I just...wanted to help."

"Your first mistake was thinking that Cyrus needed your help. He doesn't."

I pouted a bit, wishing I could take it back. "Sorry. Didn't know I was being such a pain in the ass."

Sebastian smiled at my depressing comment. "Don't worry. You've still got time left to learn your place. But I should warn that you've been fully embraced, taking shots at Father's authority will come with serious consequences. Follow your instincts, and let him guide you. Don't fight it. You have to put total faith in him, and he will lead you in the right direction, every time." He turned his head to see Dexter randomly turning a cartwheel in the middle of the parking lot for no reason whatsoever. Then he added, "Do yourself a favor...distance yourself from Dex. We can't have his loyalties in question. Do you understand?" I didn't, not fully, but I got the idea. I nodded my head, and looked back to see that John Boy was walking a straight line that divided me and Dex entirely. As though it had become his job to subtley keep us apart. There was so much to learn all of the sudden, so much to absorb. Friendships formed with rules and regulations, why am I even a part of this? It's not like me at all. But the more I tried to think about it, the foggier my thoughts seemed to get. It was so much easier to just fall in line. So much more comfortable to drift along with the energies they were feeding me, and play my part. It got to the point where doing otherwise seemed ridiculous.

We followed Cyrus in through the automatic doors and were greeted with the blast of the megamart's air conditioning. A bit chilly at first, but you got used to it quick. We all gathered at the front of the store, and John Boy and Cyrus took one direction while the rest of us were able to relax our position. Dexter started to take a few steps in my direction when Cyrus beckoned him from further away. "Dex...come." And Dex didn't hesitate to follow. Not for a second. I guess those chains were for him, might as well keep him nearby. Once our leader was out of sight, the others began to wander off on their own. I guess this was our version of 'recess'. Not one to be left standing there alone like a dork, I figured that I'd go off and kill some time too. Might as well get out of this mental haze and try to think clearly for a few minutes.

I wandered around the store for a bit by myself, just like last time. Except....the vibe was different than it was before. Where, during the first time we visited this place together, I felt a loosening on the leash, a bit of liberation from Cyrus' rule...this time I felt 'deficient' somehow. As though my energy was lacking the potency that it had when we were all together. I tried not to let it bother me though. It's all in my head, I'm sure. Besides, I've always been a loner. I don't need their company to feel safe. I'm safe on my own.

I took some time to look at some of the magazines and flipped through a few of the video game booklets, when I caught the familiar scent of booze on someone's breath from across the room. At first I thought it was a delayed reaction from what I had been drinking myself in the back of the truck, but that wasn't it. This was coming from elsewhere. And when I turned and peeked around the corner, I caught a glimpse of Father Mackenzie in the liquor department, buying himself another bottle or two to last him the weekend.

My first instinct was to hide. I couldn't let him see me! I'm sure that my father would have gone past angrily waiting for me to come home and would have sent out a search party by now. If Father Mackenzie sees me, he'll do his best to drag me back to camp, and to a punishment worse than death. I'll be lucky if my father doesn't actually skin me alive for running out on the family the way I did! So I ducked back behind the shelves and tried to avoid making myself visible. Father Mackenzie paid for his liquor, picked up a few cigars at he checkout counter, and then carried his black-bagged items towards the front door to go home and have himself a little private party for the evening.

I'm glad that I avoided geting caught, but I have to admit...something about the whole situation made me think about home. It returned me to thoughts of consequences and punishments and all of the things that Cyrus was trying so hard to make me forget. It made me think about how much harder it's gonna be to go back home the longer I stay out here having 'fun'. I felt a sensation of shame crawl up over my shoulders, and wondered if maybe....just maybe...I was making a bigger mistake than I had originally intended to.

I sulked my way back to the magazine rack, thinking that I might be able to get Cyrus to take me home if I just stopped fooling around and put my foot down about it. What was he gonna say? No? Was he gonna beat me up? Kill me and bury me in the backyard? I doubt it. I hated to even let the thought cross my mind, but I missed my family. I missed Nick's annoying little habits, I missed my mom's home cooked breakfast, and I even missed my dad's frustrating little comments and criticisms. Something about it had become a part of my life. And I needed that. I was just....'less' without it.

I stepped back from the shelf and wasn't really looking where I was going when I accidently bumped into someone. "Oh....shit, I'm sorry." I said.

"It's no problem." It was a guy that looked like he was maybe in his mid to late 20's, with short brown hair, and dark brown eyes. He was wearing a backwards cap, jeans and a white t-shirt...kinda cute, if I do say so myself. The thing is, I started to walk away from him when I...suddenly was intrigued by his scent. It wasn't a 'cologne' or an 'aftershave' or was much more organic than that. It was sweet, like flowers in bloom, and it tingled inside of my nostrils as I inhaled it. I stopped walking, and turned around. He lifted his head bashfully and our eyes connected briefly, and then he turned away, reaching for a magazine on the shelf. The scent got stronger right after the eye contact, and something about it excited me. My curiousity kept me from leaving. The intoxicating fragrance was so alluring to me. I was almost 'hungry' for it. So I stepped closer to him, and saw him look up again, this time, a gentle smile crossing his lips before trying to void my eyes with his magazine of choice.

He was hiding from me. I could tell. I tilted my head slightly to the side, and took a few steps closer, eventually picking up a magazine of my own as I stood right next to him. The aroma seemed to increase, and I could detect a little thumping in his chest, as his heartbeat jumped in my presence. I really couldn't explain it, but...I just knew that this older guy was attracted to me. I never would have pegged him for a homosexual, there was nothing 'gay' about him...not in appearance, anyway. that smell enchanted me more and more with each passing second, I could just tell that I not only aroused him, but I made him nervous by being so close.

I opened my magazine and pretended to look through it, all the while studying the feelings of the fit young man standing beside me. Just a whiff was enough to make me horny. It wasn't so much that I wanted him that badly, but something about teasing more of that scent out of him was a mindblowing experience. I was almost drunk off of the sensation, and I wanted more. My attitudes seemed to suddenly settle into this seductive other state of mind, and I turned to give him a slightly flirtatious smile.

He smiled back, and I saw a blush come to his cheeks. There it was! The aroma increased greatly, and I knew that my grin had directly affected him. That only made the game that much more exciting. I looked back at my magazine, attempting to appear as though I didn't notice what I was doing to him. instincts were forcing me to ask myself one simple question.....WHY? Why am I pretending? Why am I playing games? I know he likes me. I know he wants a taste. And just being able to tempt his senses like that was seriously causing me to smile. Maybe it was an evolutionary jump in my confidence, or maybe it was just some of Cyrus' lessons about letting go that did it to me, but my sense of smell let me know immediately that I could actually have this man if I wanted to. Right now. I could walk right up to him and grab a handful of his crotch, and he wouldn't turn me down. He'd be trembling with lust by the time we got out to the parking lot. He would cum quick at the thought of having my smooth young body stretched over him, his hands caressing the globes of my ass, his mouth full of my tongue. I could be the fantasy he would be re-living over and over again for the rest of his life. The secret story of that 'one time' when he had the best sex of his life with the hottest underage boy that he had ever seen. I could be that boy for him. I could be that story. Imagine the power that I weild right now. Over his emotions, over his common sense, over his sexuality. My very presence was stronger than his restraints. Stronger than the laws that bind him. Stronger than society's eye who judges him. I could get him to abandon everything that he knew, everything that he pretended to be for the sake of the people around him...and I could have complete and total control over him. And all it would take from me....would be a smile.

I closed the magazine I was looking at, and put it back on the shelf, reaching for one that almost made me come into contact with him. He looked up and smiled again, his blush getting deeper as I sensed his arousal reaching an even higher level. "Excuse me...." I whispered. You know, I was always so shy in any situation that involved me actually making a 'move' on somebody else. But this time, I had nothing to lose. And the fog that hovered over my usual thoughts of doubt and fear of rejection seemed to push me forward. Just to see what my end result would be. Teasing that honey sweetened fragrance was such a rush. It enticed me to go futher. To cross that line between knowledge and action. I wanted him to want me. I wanted him to give in. Just feeling him hold back was like being sexually frustrated beyond belief. I wanted him to talk to me. To touch me. The feeling swept over me so fast, that I was almost driven to touch myself just to keep fom going mad.

I looked over the older guy's shoulder to the end of the aisle, and I saw Razor standing there, a tilted grin on his pretty face. I then looked to the other end of the aisle, to see Shank predictably standing at the other end...same smile, same wicked look in his eye. They both knew what I was up to. They could probably sense it even better than I could. But something in their sinister gaze encouraged me to go through with it. And, for some odd reason that I can't explain, I felt a mischevious little smirk cross my lips as well. It felt....NAUGHTY! But something about that got my adrenaline pumping. It was a game. A predatory hunt for this man's affections and chasing his emotions until I had them cornered in a place where no more lies could be told. No more masks could exist. I could 'claim' him for my own. And he was powerless to stop me.

My eyes zeroed in on him from the side, knowing full well that he saw me staring. He pretended not to notice, but that only encouraged me to smile. I could almost feel his temperature rising, one degree at a time, and it gave me a thrill. I stepped a bit closer, and it made him slightly nervous, leaning away from me at first, but soon teetering back to be close to me. I heard him faintly take in a deep breath, as though he were taking in my boyish scent as well, and he peeked at me from his peripheral. I gave him a grin, and he smiled back politely, quickly diverting his eyes from mine...his hands almost shaking. I looked back to my right, to give Razor a secret signal that I liked teasing this guy, but I noticed that he was gone. Vanished completely. Which caused me to look back to my left, only to find an empty space where Shank was standing only seconds before. I believe that they had already given me their dark approval, and left me to my little flirtatious game. Too bd, I kinda wanted them to see this. I put my magazine down, and then just leaned against the shelf to face him. Having fun is all about letting go, afterall, right? So...let me try out this philosophy first hand for a change. As long as I'm feeling lucky.

"It sure is nice outside, isn't it?" I said softly, and his eyes peered over the edge of the magazine to look at me.

"Yeah. Nice...nice summer day..." He trailed off, but I didn't want to stop there. I wanted more. I wanted him to feel his inner conflict and push past everything that was keeping him from jumping on me right there in the aisle. I can't explain the feeling, but it was soooo amazing. The more he fought his urges, his instincts, the more power I had over him. And that pleased me.

"So...what's your name?" I asked. This time, the scent I got from him was so strong that it nearly made me lightheaded. Wow...he REALLY liked me, didn't he?

"It''s Clark." He stuttered.

"Hi, Clark. I'm Wesley." I kept an intimate contact with him the whole time, enjoying the vibrations I was getting from the moment, and I flirtatiously used my fingers to brush back some of the locks of my blond bangs...causing him to turn bright red. "I'm kinda staying here for the summer. Me and some friends. I'm sorta looking for something to do, you know?" Hehehe, the temptation was forcing the blood to leave his brain and travel downward, gently inflating a small lump in his pants as he tried to deny its will to grow to full size. "Do you know where I an find some 'fun'...Clark?"

His once candied aroma seemed to change somehow, now being flooded with something that I could only describe as the taste of fear. He looked around to both ends of the aisle, watching out for anyone who might be listening, and a thin sheen of sweat glossed his cheeks and forehead. "Uhhhh, what did you have in mind?" He asked, sooo ready to kiss me full on the mouth the second I said the words.

"Oh, I dunno...what did YOU have in mind?" I grinned. All of my 14 years, I never felt so...'sexy' before. So wanted and desired. I never thought of myself as a guy who was cute enough to manipulate heartstrings this way. But something about sensing this man's undeniable attraction to me gave me a burst of arrogance that I couldn't resist. He was available to me. Mind, body, and soul. If I allowed him the opportunity, he'd be thanking the stars for the rest of his life. His mouth watered for just a taste of what I had to offer, and I was almost willing to give it to him on a silver platter. If he asked me nice.

Then...out of nowhere...I felt a savage 'yank' at my senses that seemed to come from some place else entirely. An urgent pull in another direction that signaled my immediate attention. It was almost blinding, and I was instantly removed from my boyish seduction as my instincts were set ablaze. My presence was not only being 'requested', it was being demanded. And I had no choice but to answer...I didn't have a chance for my rational thoughts to take over before I was already in motion.

"I....I have to go..." I said, feeling my mind give itself over to some feeling that I couldn't even recognize at that moment.

I think he panicked a little bit, thinking that he did or said something wrong to tip me off as to his intentions. "I didn't mean....I don't want you to think...."

"No! No, it's cool. Really." I said, giving him a brief smile as I backed away from him and started walkingdown the aisle. "Maybe I'll see you around sometime soon....Clark." He looked like he could barely breathe, and I hated to leave him so unsatisfied...but something was wrong, and I had to be there.

I felt a certain determination in my steps, guiding me without question to the front of the store. It was almost as if I could feel a tension tighten up in my shoulders, a mellow sense of anger creeping into my demeanor. I didn't even have any idea where I was going or why, I just knew that I had better not let anything stand in my way. So, like Sebastian told me...I didn't fight it. I merely followed my silent instructions.

As I reached the end of one aisle, I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. It was Sebastian...walking with just as much focus as I was, and at almost the same pace. Then I noticed Kriegar join us in our motion, the twins soon closing in from both sides. Not too far off, Cyrus, Scout, John Boy, and Dexter were headed our way as well, and the pack mentality consumed us as we all headed out into the parking lot, one by one. A unified mass of hostility, ready for anything and anyone. By the time I realized that we were all in perfect sync with one another, it was too late to wonder why.

The automatic doors opened up for us in front of the megamart, and anyone walking in front of us spread out of our way just as quickly. Cyrus swiftly took the lead, and the rest of our measured steps caused us to fall into position. It was so natural, so unbelievably unrehearsed. What was I even doing right now? Where are we even going?

No one said a word, but I could tell that they were all just as agitated as I was at that moment. And that's when I saw something not far in front of us. It was a small group of boys, a few years older than I was, maybe 18 or 19 years old, wearing some kind of high school sports team jackets. They were standing over by the truck, almost surrounding it, and Kristen was standing there vigilantly, leaning against the driver's side door. The boys were a bit intoxicated, laughing and talking louder than normal, one of them jumped on the back of the truck, and took a swig out of one of the many half empty bottles of alcohol we had stashed back there. Kristen seemed to have the most demonic smile on her face, her eyes burning holes right through them as she used her femininity to both tease and intimidate simultaneously. We approched from afar, and were still some distance away, but for some odd reason, I could clearly hear every word spoken. I could almost smell them as if they were standing right in front of me. And everything else disappeared. Only my father's order remained. Rational thought be damned.

"C'mon baby...don't you wanna go for a ride or somethin'? We don't bite." One of the boy's said, his slightly slurred speech accented by his grin.

"No? Because I do." Kristen responded.

"Hey...I'll take you to my car. We can get away for a little bit. Just a few minutes. You and me. That's it. I'll have you back before your daddy even comes out of the store."

She moved away from him to walk a protective circle to the other side of the truck as the other boys giggled and continued to 'flatter' her as best as they could. "Sorry, baby boy. You're not my type of meat." She told him.

"Awwww, baby...but you haven't even given it a lick yet." He told her. "Maybe you don't know what you're missing."

"Not a whole lot, I'm sure." That's it, Kristen. Just keep them distracted for a few moments more. We're almost there, and they don't even see us coming.

"I'm trying to holla at you! Geez, what are you, a fucking DYKE or something?" The main guy asked, now seeming a bit more frustrted with her playful rejections.

"I can be, if the need presents itself." She answered, still walking around the other side of the vehicle and keeping their eyes focused on her seductive movements.

Finally, the boy walked over to meet her at the back of the truck. "Hottie, or no hottie...I'm not gonna let you just keep breaking my heart like this, sweetie pie." He took a hold of her arm, but she pulled away from his grip.

"Ah ah ah...don't touch."

"Why not?"

"My brothers wouldn't like it."

"Your brothers? Hehehe! What brothers?" He said with a slightly drunken sway.

"Those brothers." It was then, after nodding in our direction, that he turned around to see every last one of us standing in a cluster right in front of him and his three friends. Cyrus out front, with a calm but menacing glare in his eyes.....waiting. The other boys froze as Kristen slowly walked between them to take her place at our side, her fingers resting on the back of my neck as she moved into position. The emotional sensation crawling up my backside was overwhelming at that moment. It was a burning hatred for anyone who would dare to inconvenience a member of my 'family' here, and it kept bubbling up until I could almost taste it in the back of my throat. It was an even stronger need than my protective habits concerning my brother, Nick. It was cold and precise, and I couldn't take my eyes off of them as we stood our ground. Our minds were linked with this high level of sudden aggression, silently affecting us all simultaneously, and the only thing that kept me from jumping forward and taking a swing at the first jawbone in reach...was the fact that Cyrus hadn't given me the nod yet.

Attempting to save a little face, the main boy tried to laugh it all off. But we knew better. He wasn't fooling any of us. "Hey you guys, check it out! It's the whole Little Rascals crew!" They all chuckled together, but we didn't say a word. "Yeah, look...we've got Spanky, and Darla, and Alfafa, and Froggy...the whole gang's here! Ain't it cute?" Cyrus didn't speak, he didn't smile, he barely blinked. He just stood there, motionless...and so did the rest of us. The energies that I had experienced before were whipping through my system at the speed of light. A high powered burst of limitless adrenaline that escalated my anger and caused me to grind my teeth until they almost hurt. I don't know why, but I was seriously bothered by all of this! I was hardly one to get into a fight. Hell, except for the incident at Rainbow's End, I would have probably run away from anyone who even LOOKED at me too hard. But at that moment, as the other boy slowly began to approach us, I was almost BEGGING for Cyrus to give the signal! To let me go! My skin began to itch, my lungs filling up with much more air than usual, my limbs feeling as though the muscles attached were 'stretching' to the point of being sore. Even my fingernails itched. But I did not move. Not until Cyrus was ready.

The boy walked close to Cyrus, a full head taller than him, looking down on us all...and he spit a long wet loogie down at Cyrus' feet. An insult. An unforgivable offense. I heard Scout growl angrily, and all of our eyes focused on him with such intensity that we saw his friends actually take a step back from us. They knew this was unnatural. They understood right away that we were not you're normal everyday group of teenagers. The boy said, "So, are you here to protect your baby sis from big bad Jesse? Is that it?" Cyrus slightly cocked his head to one side, and I saw a gentle smirk cross his lips as the boy dug himself even deeper. He should have taken his cue and walked away. Instead...he decided to play the big man in front of his friends. And I think Cyrus liked it. "Funny, you two don't look alike. None of you little bastards look alike."

One of his friends in the back said, "Hey Jesse, c'mon. Leave the kids alone, man. This don't feel right."

"What are you talking about? You afraid of the fucking Brady Bunch over here? Gimmee a break!" He looked back into Cyrus' eyes, and said, "You know...honestly, I wouldn't have fucked that ugly bitch with your dick. I just wanted some head."

"You should have another girl, in another place, at another time." Cyrus said just above a whisper, his smile never shrinking.

"Oh yeah? Well, maybe you'd like to give it a little lick, faggot!"

I felt it. It wasn't spoken, it wasn't tipped off with a gesture, or a moment of eye contact. It was a wordless nudge of my impulses. A message that was clearly given...and clearly received. Cyrus....gave me the 'go'.

I didn't even have any real reason to want to hit this boy so bad, but I couldn't stop myself. The surge of anger in me forced me to protect what was ours. I was honored that Cyrus blessed me with the opportunity to take the first swing.

I jumped forward, and my arm shot out from my side so fast that I didn't even have a chance to stop it from connecting! The punch was instantaneous, completely blindsiding the boy from the side! I could feel my knuckles cracking as the blow landed right on the side of his cheekbone. The bruise turned pink, then red, then purple, then black, in a matter of seconds...the bruise almost swelling to the point of bursting open! It was the kind of punch that you give to the high school was the kind of punch delivered with the intention of literally taking his head clean off of his shoulders! But I didn't stop there! The anger kept fueling my instincts, and I just kept swinging, gritting my teeth, putting all of my weight behind every punch! It was a complete loss of control...and I did it all for Father. All for Father.

His friends were wide eyed with shock, but before they could even make a move, both twins moved in from either side and stood in front of them. It created an invisible barricade between them and their friend, and Shank and Razor dared them to cross it. They waited with arms folded, blocking the view of what was going on...smirks on their faces as they basically tried to instigate the others into making a sudden movement so they could catch a beatdown too! Everyone else just stood back and let me wail on this kid with all I had! He was bigger than me, older than me, stronger than me in every possible way...but you'd be surprised how much damage you can do when you have the guts to swing first! He was still reeling from the initial contact of my fist against his flesh, his body agonizing in a delayed reaction, always two punches behind. I felt bruises raise up, blood trickle, teeth loosen...and when he fell back on the ground to cover up, I began kicking him in the back as hard as I could! Stomping my foot down on him again, and again, and again, and AGAIN!!!

It actually took Cyrus' hand on my shoulder to pull me off of him! My blood felt like it was on fire! My senses were spinning, my adrenaline causing my limbs to tremble with rage! And as I stood back, panting, trying to regain my control, I felt my fever burn with a vengence, my chest heaving, and a long trail of saliva dripped from the side of my mouth. The saliva trailed off of my chin, and stretched down to my navel before dripping to the ground below. My hands curled up, and my eyes were burning. It took almost a full minute before my conscience kicked in enough to see the world through my own eyes again. a heap in the parking lot, was the boy who had just been talking to Kristen. He was coughing up blood, his eye swollen shut, his body bruised and battered, tears running down the lumps in his face. And although I was staring in disbelief over what I had done...I felt no pity. None at all.

Cyrus walked over to my 'mess' of a victim, and squatted down to lift his head up by the chin. "Now, you see? You could have just as easily gone home, and none of this would have happened." He smiled, and the boy tried to scoot away from him in terror.

"No, no, no, no, no....please! Please! I'm leaving! I'm leaving!" He sobbed, but Cyrus just moved right along with him, still in a squatting position, one step at a time so as to maintain eye contact.

"You wanna know something...Jesse?" Cyrus asked him, "You just made my personal shitlist." Cyrus stood up, and the Twins turned to grabb Jesse by the shirt collar, and drag him over to Kristen's feet. "Apologize." He said.

"I'm...I'm sorry! I'm sorry!"

Scout stepped forward, and brutally kicked him in the side, almost causing him to vomit from the impact! And then he stepped down on the boy's face, using his shoe to smash it against the concrete. "AGAIN!!! LOUDER!!!" He shouted.

"I'M SORRY!!!! OH, GOD! I'M SORRY!!!" He bawled for a moment until Scout lifted his shoe, and Kristen flashed him a smile.

"Apology accepted, sugar." She grinned.

His friends kept their distance as Cyrus lifted the boy's face again to speak. "From now on, you stay indoors. You got me? Because if I catch you outside again, anywhere, at any time, for ANY reason at'll get more of the same." Then he whispered. "You're lucky my boy, Wesley, here has a bit of conscience left. Because if it had been ME? I would've killed you."

With that, he used his hand to gently 'shoo' the other boys away from our truck as we all got back in. "Have a safe evening, gentlemen." John Boy teased.

And just before climbing on the back with the rest of us...I saw Dexter walk up to the other three. He stared for a minute, and quickly jerked in their direction, causing all three of them to jump. "Haaaaaa Haaaa! You flinched! Dummies!" He giggled happily, and hopped over the side to snuggle up next to me.

The truck started up, and Cyrus swerved a bit coming out of the parking space, forcing Jesse to roll to safety before getting run over. His friends finally got the courage to come join him and help him try to stand as we tore out of the parking lot. Everyone in the back was eyeing me, and John Boy had the biggest most sensational grin on his young lips that I had ever seen. I was still tinling, still pumped up. It felt almost like being terrified, scared out of your wits, but....stronger. So full of dread and danger that the emotion had somehow done a complete 180 and made me feel....GOOD! I was breathing hard, my eyes burning like a set of hot embers in the center of a fireplace, and I don't think I've ever felt more free.

Dexter cuddled up at my side, and took one of my bruised hands and gave it a kiss. My knuckles....was that my blood or his blood? I couldn't tell. They were sore, but half numb at the same time. I could only feel the soothing sensation of Dexter licking them clean.

This time, I didn't need any prompting from Kriegar to drink. I picked up the bottle closest to me, and threw the top over the side of the truck as we made it to the highway. I gulped the burning liquid down until I was forced to come up for air. And smiled to myself. That tingling sensation was crawling back and forth under my skin, and the moon seemed to shine down with all the heat of the midday summer sun. I looked down at Dexter, and saw a few pink smears of blood on his lips. It made me smile wickedly to see it. And with my hand tangled in the softness of his blond curls, I pulled him up to kiss him deeply on the mouth. Our tongues mingled, and I heard a gentle whimper come from him as it caught him by surprise. He melted in my arms, and I 'took' him. I made him my sexual property, using his affections to satisfy myself. It was a strength and a confidence that had been such a mystery to me before. By the time our tongues dettached from one another, I was thirsty for more alcohol. Dexter smiled happily to himself, and rested his head on my chest, snaking his arms around me like I was his favorite teddy bear. I drank more, feeling the fog of intoxication take over. Ohhhhh, the indulgence of it. The liquor, the sex, the aggression, the power....they were a very enchanting mix. And I was beginning to wonder if Cyrus was right. If maybe there really WERE no consequences to consider when your mind is wide open like this. I felt like I could see the stars. Like I could hear the forrest speaking to me. Like the night was calling my name, whispering it on every gust of wind. I home here.

At home...with a brand new family...and a brand new purpose. The wickedness welcomed me with open arms, and I've never felt an embrace so real. So understanding.

Nothing ever felt so satisfying. And all it took was sex, violence, and a denial of guilt to bring me here. How strange.