The Auranades

Episode 14



  In frustration, Vitani asks, “Are you so into this thing that you want to pretend it’s still two years ago?”

  Josh replies, “I’m living like it’s still two years ago! These last two years are nothing but a blur to me!”

  Vitani frowns and replies, “It was in these last two years that our lives just about changed forever!”

  Josh retorts, “Well my life will change tonight when I go out there and I win that race!”

  With that, Josh storms away, leaving them in the red tent. Chad and Vitani soon follow him in disbelief. They run after him, over to the race car tent. Josh gets into the red race car with decorations of flames melting steel painted on the sides. Just as Josh sits down in the driver’s seat, Vitani gets in beside him and Chad sits in the backseat. They had to convince him not to do this no matter what. The three take off their red masks. Chad sighs deeply.

  Vitani and Josh argue about what he’s doing. Josh meanwhile puts the key in the ignition.

  “Don’t do this, Josh!” Vitani insists.

  “If you don’t get you and your friend out of my car, we’re all going for the ride of our lives!” Josh snaps.

  Chad looks on worriedly and then looks through the rolled up glass of his window to see Sage Yang getting everyone else to clear the tent. Sage Yang looks back at him and smiles evilly before the eyes of the dragon on his cane glow red. Chad’s eyes bulge in shock.

  He taps his friends on the shoulder, “Omigosh guys, I think that Sage Yang must be an oscinade!”

  Josh states, “He’s the one who convinced me this is who I am. And what the heck is an oscinade?”

  Chad and Vitani exchange looks. They realize at that moment that Josh has lost his memory. Josh daringly starts the engine as an indication for them to leave. However, that’s when they all hear a 20 second automated countdown begin. It’s a bomb! Chad tries the door but it’s locked. It’s the same for Vitani and Josh. Josh tries to turn off the ignition, but to no avail. He looks at it in confusion.

  “What the hell is going on here?”  Josh yells.

20 seconds …

  Vitani gulps worriedly and says, “An oscinade will be the end of us if we all don’t get out of this car!”

  Josh finally looks a little worried at the sound of the countdown. Chad and Vitani look at him in a panic.

15 seconds …

  Vitani turns to him and says, “Josh, your super strength is the only thing that can get us out of here!”

  Josh grabs his hair, “M-My what? I don’t know what’s happening to me, but this is all too crazy!”

  Vitani takes a deep breath before she grabs Josh by the sides of his head for him to look her in the eye, “Listen to me, Josh! You, me and Chad are all auranades and this is all your reality right now. You have to live in it. Or else we’re gonna die in it!”

10 seconds …

  Josh stares at her in confusion before his eyes open widely. Chad and Vitani look at him expectantly.




  Two days earlier, it’s the Friday of the first week back to school at SyndAcad. Students are heading from here to there for their various classes. Chad, Vitani and Josh head down the halls and are talking about how things are already looking good for the year in the relationship department.

  Chad however says, “Well things got a little awkward between me and Aaron on New Year's so we have to talk about some things first before I can say things are as good as they should be.”

  Vitani says, “Well Evan, Eliza and I are taking a little away trip to a resort this weekend so we can talk to each other, you know, about everything that has happened to us. We’ve all been through a lot.”

  Josh nods and tells him, “It's just always good to make sure you are on the same page in a relationship.”

  Chad ponders on that thought. At that moment, Josh gets a little light headed, but shakes it off. Just after he does, the three all notice the posters for the editor-in-chief campaign on the lockers. They walk around to see the new editor-in-chief hopeful, the slender pretty Felicity Blake, putting her poster over one of Rita Allen's on the wall. Some of the other students also stop and watch her.

  After looking over at her again, Chad squints in thought. He feels like he has seen Felicity somewhere before, yet he can’t say where exactly – as he is not aware that that it was actually Felicity and Dustin he saw having sex at Ray’s dorm during the blackout. He wonders why something feels familiar about her.

  Vitani and Josh then tap him on the shoulder and point across the hall. Chad looks up.

  “Perfect,” says none other than the football captain, Cameron Levine, “Just the way it should be.”

  They see Cameron Levine walk up to Felicity and grab her by the waist before he kisses her right on the lips. Felicity and Cameron Levine then smile at each other. Some of the students standing around begin to murmur. Chad, Vitani and Josh raise their eyebrows in surprise.

  It’s about then that school reporter Rita Allen shows up. She looks at the two of them in disbelief.

  “Wow, I’m so surprised and yet not surprised at all by this,” Rita Allen states, folding her arms, “Could it all be any more obvious that Felicity is dating our football captain, Cameron Levine, for no other reason than to use his popularity for votes?”

  “This is coming from someone who was quick to snag star player, Ray Torres, when he scored a touchdown or two for the team,” Felicity replies coyly from her boyfriend’s side, “You’re hardly one to talk, Rita.”

  “And you are? You know nothing about my relationship,” Rita Allen tells her with a scowl.

  “Oh. Is that so?”  Felicity asks with a sly grin, “I know a lot more about you Allens than you might think.”

  Rita Allen raises an eyebrow and asks, “And what is that even supposed to mean?”

  Felicity bobs her head to the side to let some strands of her long black hair swing out of her face before she retorts, “I know you don’t stand a chance against me in this campaign, Rita Allen. So while you’re digging up another lame story for the paper, how about you dig yourself a hole to jump in?”

  “Hey! That’s enough!” Ray states as he arrives at Rita Allen’s side before he asks her, “Hey, you okay?”

  “I’m just letting everyone see that is their other option,” Rita Allen quips, “But I’m fine, thanks, Ray.”

  “Aw, such a gentleman you are, Ray,” Felicity smiles and says, “But if you only knew what your little girlfriend here does whenever you turn your back, then you would know that things are far from okay.”

  “Don’t listen to her,” Rita Allen snaps, “She’s just showing what she has to offer the paper. Lies.”

  Rita Allen, meanwhile, glares at Felicity and Cameron Levine. However, when Cameron Levine winks at her, Rita Allen pauses nervously and gulps. With that, Felicity and her devious football captain boyfriend simply snicker to themselves before they walk away arm in arm.

  The school reporter looks troubled before she looks around at the crowd of on-looking students. She turns and quickly walks away. Some of the other students murmur before they continue about their way. Amber and Christy gossip between each other before they pass by Vitani and Josh.

  “Wow, that Felicity girl is so gutsy about what she wants. Unlike some wallowing waitress we know,”

  “Maybe you’re right. I hardly have half the stomach to stand you two most of the time,” Vitani quips.

  “Whatever,” Amber and Christy say before they walk off. Vitani and Josh shake their heads.

  As the students clear away, Chad and Ray catch each other’s eye from across the hall.

  Ray goes over to Chad, “Hey C.K., um I kinda wanna talk to you about something. But now I guess I also gotta find out what’s going on here. So I’ll catch you later, okay?”

  With that, Ray takes off around the corner, behind his reporter girlfriend. Chad looks on curiously.

  Chad, Vitani and Josh then continue to walk down the hall. Chad thinks about the scene everyone just saw between the two girls competing for editor-in-chief of the school newspaper. He feels as though there was something more to that conversation, especially when it came to that girl Felicity.

  Vitani shakes her head and muses, “Um all I can say about that scene just now is wow.”

  Josh shrugs and comments, “I dunno about you guys, but I think the new girl is badass.”

  Chad pulls on his backpack strap and remarks, “She’s either badass or just bad news.”

= = =

  During lunch period, Josh exits a jewelry store. He has just bought a promise ring that he wants to give to Eliza. He, however, wonders if it is too soon in their relationship for something like that. Although they had only known each other for a few months, Josh felt that their connection was like no other.

  “Eliza and I do have this deep connection,” Josh muses, “I just need a sign that we can hold on to it.”

  While he is in the middle of thought, someone runs by and snatches the ring and hurriedly runs off.

  Josh is alarmed that someone tried to steal from him in broad daylight like that before he yells and takes after the the perp. The thief ducks away and goes into a nearby alley, overturning trash cans in the way. Josh jumps over a few, but is slowed down. He decides to take another alley.

  As the thief is fleeing, Josh turns his arms to steel and uses his super strength and pushes a dumpster in the perp’s way. Just as the thief climbs over, Josh grabs him and shoves him forcefully into the wall. When Josh gets a look at his face, however, he pauses as he sees it is someone familiar.

  Josh says in disbelief, “Omigod. It’s you. Jed Steel!”

  Jed Steel grins at him, “Like a blast from the past!”

= = =

  Over at the school newspaper office, Dustin is working on a report when Rita Allen storms in.

  She slams her handbag on the table and fumes angrily, “That Felicity Blake is going down!”

  “Uh oh,” Dustin gulps and closes down the report before he asks, “What happened?”

  “I caught Felicity posting her own flyers over all of mine in the halls,” Rita Allen explains, “But if that wasn’t enough, she’s apparently hooked up with that snake of a football captain, Cameron Levine. I bet that’s not only to get popularity here, but it’s because she has to know how much he hates my boyfriend Ray. It’s like she’s doing everything she can to taunt me!”

  “I had no idea Felicity was this vindictive,” Dustin muses and folds his arms in thought.

  “Vindictive? Try desperate maybe,” Rita Allen states, “Because from what I heard, guess how she’s been keeping Cameron Levine wrapped around her little finger and who knows what other body parts.”

  Dustin gasps as he realizes, “Omigod. You mean Felicity is sleeping with Cameron Levine?”

  He thinks to himself that during the blackout, Felicity had insisted on coming over to see him that night and pulled a sob story so he'd pity her enough to comfort her. Although he only gave in because of his sexuality issues, Dustin figures she pulled the whole thing in hopes she could throw sleeping with his roommate back in Aaron's face when the two had broken up. It’s only when Ray had caught them in the act and she had gotten kicked out that she was too embarrassed to use it against Aaron. Now she was sleeping with someone else to get whatever it is she wants …

  “So what do you know about her?” Rita Allen then asks him.

  “What?” Dustin asks, worried that maybe Ray had told her.

  “Well one of my sources sent me a copy of her application and it says here that Felicity was a teacher’s aide at your military school,” Rita Allen explains, while looking at the paper, “So as, I’ll guess, one of the few girls at your school, you must know Felicity or something about her that could make her plans for the campaign blow up in her face.”

  Dustin pauses as he wonders to himself if telling his sister that he slept with Felicity during the blackout would only make things worse for her campaign.

= = =

  In the alleyway, Josh stares at Jed Steel as he pins him against the wall before letting him go.

  “Joshie, my man,” Jed says as he returns the ring, “Guess this belongs to you. If it wasn't yours –”

  “That would make me a thief,” Josh retorts as he shakes his head disappointedly, “Like you!”

  “Hey, it’s just as ‘honest’ a living as your father makes with that big company,” Jed claims.

  “And if my father is that bad and you still compare yourself to him, that’s your business,” Josh replies as he grabs Jed by the arm again, “But stealing from me is my business and it’s soon to be the cops’.”

  “Aw c’mon, don’t be like that,” Jed pleads, “I gave it back to you. Gimme a break for old times’ sake.”

  Josh shoves him along as they walk and replies, “Those old times weren’t my most honorable.”

  Jed shrugs and replies, “But those old times were when you had the most fun; you and those two cheerleader chicks from your school. And you could have that again!”

  “Trust me, I’ve had more than my fair share of Amber and Christy already,” Josh rolls his eyes.

  “Then there’s more where they came from. Just visit the spot tonight,” Jed tells him.

  With that, Jed hands Josh a card from in his awkward grip. Josh looks at it to humor him and reads it to see ‘Clubs, Chicks and Cars: Just beyond Devil’s Rock’. Josh suddenly starts to feel a little lightheaded again. Jed seizes the opportunity to escape and run away.

  After Jed has left, Josh leans against the wall to catch himself. His mind essentially goes blank.

  He then looks around confused, “W-What’s going on? Where the hell am I?”

= = =

  At the Libretta, Chad stops by the bookshop café for something to eat when he sees Aaron Scott sitting at a table by himself. He sighs as he heads to the counter, when Aaron grabs him by the arm.

  “Hey, I have some lunch for you,” Aaron tells him, “And I think we really need to talk.”

  “Fine Aaron,” Chad slips off his backpack and takes a seat, “Let’s talk then, shall we?”

  “First I wanna apologize for what I said when I was drunk,” Aaron begins with a sigh.

  “But why would you even say something like that?” Chad asks him, “You don’t know anything about my friendship with Ray. And Ray has a girlfriend, Dustin’s sister, the school reporter Rita Allen.”

  “I know that,” Aaron says, “But I also know I saw something between you and Ray before.”

  “What are you talking about?” Chad asks.

  “I was here when you convinced that Ray guy not to quit football, remember? I was also there when you ran into him at the pre-game lunch for the semi-finals match a few weeks ago,” Aaron reminds him as he twiddles his fingers. “And I know that I sensed something between you guys.”

  “Okay look,” Chad admits, “Ray and I … I guess we kinda have this ‘connection’. But that’s been it.”

  “And I guess I understand that,” Aaron nods and says, “But as your boyfriend now, how could I not be a little jealous of that? So with a little alcohol in the system, it was easy to blow things out of proportion.”

  Chad asks, “So why were you even drinking like that in the first place?”

  Aaron shakes his head and sighs, “I was angry … about something else.”

  Chad leans forward, “And what’s that? If you tell me then maybe we can both try to get over this.”

  Just as Aaron is about to tell him about Dustin sleeping with his vindictive ex-girlfriend, Felicity, none other than Felicity Blake herself suddenly shows up at their table. Chad and Aaron look up and pause their conversation.

  “And what the hell are you doing here?” Aaron snaps.

  “Now is that any way to treat an old friend?” Felicity asks.

  Aaron rolls his eyes and tells her, “With friends like you, who the hell would need enemies?”

  Felicity folds her arms and retorts, “How about we start with the name of your little friend here?”

  With that, she looks at her ex-boyfriend daringly. Aaron glares at her without giving her an answer. Chad meanwhile wonders why he still feels like he has seen her somewhere before, still unaware it was actually at Ray’s dorm with Dustin during the blackout.

Oh, that’s Chad Blackman,” comes an all too familiar voice.

  They all look back to see football captain, Cameron Levine, walking over to them. He slides an arm around his girlfriend’s waist before kissing her on the cheek. Chad sighs in frustration.

  Felicity smirks in intrigue and asks, “So I take it you two know each other?”

  Cameron Levine quips, “I know Chad here has a talent for sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong!”

  Chad raises his eyebrow as he can tell that Cameron Levine was referring to when he had exposed the football captain’s scheme to get Ray to quit football just before the semi-finals match not long ago.

  “Oh is that so?” Felicity hums with a devious grin, while eyeing Chad.

  “Hmm. Then I should tell you your new girlfriend here has a talent for getting around,” Aaron snaps.

  With that comment, Cameron Levine forcefully grabs Aaron by the collar, startling everyone in the bookshop café. Chad stands up worriedly just as Aaron shoves Cameron Levine off of him. Chad tries to hold Aaron and keep him from doing anything else. Felicity, meanwhile, holds Cameron Levine’s arm.

  Felicity tells her boyfriend, “Now we don’t want to cause a scene that could affect my campaign ...”

  Cameron Levine sneers, “You’re right babe. Your punk ex is lucky. As is his little friend Chad here, who I can never seem to teach a lesson because something is always in the way. But just you wait!”

  Aaron steps forward, “Well I’ve run out of the patience to deal with either of you right now!”

  Chad grabs their things and pushes on Aaron’s side, “So Aaron and I will be leaving now.”

  Aaron huffs in frustration before he heads for the door with Chad following. Chad and Aaron leave. Felicity looks on at the two curiously and wonders something. However, Cameron takes her by the hand and turns her around to face him.

  He then tells his girlfriend, “Look, just forget about your loser ex-boyfriend, you’ve got me now.”

  Felicity smiles as she tells herself that she has got him, and she’ll soon everybody else where she wants them too.

= = =

  Back at the school newspaper, Rita Allen takes some papers from a folder and turns to her brother.

  Rita Allen asks, “Now are you sure you can’t think of anything that could help deal with Felicity?”

  Dustin shakes his head and sighs before he replies, “No. Nothing that could help this situation.”

  With a giggle, Rita Allen smiles to herself, “Well maybe you’re about to find something out.”

  Dustin looks up and asks, “What do you mean, sis?”

  “Now I’d do this myself but I have to attend a meeting with the school board,” Rita Allen explains as she hands him the papers from her folder before she continues, “Felicity’s gonna be there as well. So while she’s distracted, you can follow up on this as your first assignment.”

  “And what is this?” Dustin asks, curiously looking through the papers.

  “This is a story I want you to cover,” Rita Allen smirks, “And if you uncover what I think you will, this is going to show Felicity that Cameron Levine is going to be more of a loss than a win for her campaign!”

  Dustin muses that if this will get rid of Felicity before she causes any more trouble, then he will do it.

= = =

  After the last class of the day at school, Vitani and Josh are hanging by their lockers in the hall. Josh is still wondering to himself why he was in that alley during lunch period. He can’t seem to remember. In fact for some mysterious reason, he actually could not remember anything that happened in his life once he had found out he was an auranade …

  When Vitani spots Chad coming out his Chem class down the hall, she taps Josh, “Hey, there’s Chad.”

  It’s only when she taps Josh that his memory suddenly returns. But with that, everything seems normal and he doesn’t realize his bout of amnesia before. Josh blinks oddly to get himself together just as Chad walks over to greet his friends.

  “Hey guys,” Chad greets them, “I think I’m gonna stop by Aaron's later to finish talk about things. So I just wanted to stop by now and wish you a safe and happy trip with Evan and Eliza at the resort this weekend, Vitani.”

  Vitani smiles and hugs him, “Thanks Chad. See you later. Hope everything works out!”

  Josh nods to him, “Vitani and I are going over to the condo then. See ya later, squirt!”

  So with that, Chad walks off down the hall and turns the corner. Vitani and Josh head the other way.

  Around the corner, Chad is heading down the hallway where he bumps into none other than Rita Allen as she exits the school newspaper office. Chad sighs in exasperation and Rita Allen folds her arms.

  “Don’t think I don’t know about you stalking my boyfriend on New Year’s,” Rita Allen warns.

  “You know what? I’m not even gonna get into it with you right now,” Chad tells her.

  “Oh, we would get into it right now. But I have to prepare for a meeting with the school board for my campaign. I’ve got a new problem by the name of Felicity Blake on my hands,” Rita Allen tells him, “But just like I’m gonna deal with her, I’m gonna find a way to deal with you, Chad!”

  With that, Rita Allen storms off down the hallway. Chad simply rolls his eyes and walks along. However, he then happens to find her boyfriend, Ray Torres, waiting over by his locker.

  “Hey, Ray, what’s up?” Chad asks, as Ray steps aside to allow him to put away his things.

  “Hey, C.K.,” Ray replies with a shrug, “Not sure. But I think something’s up with that girl, Felicity Blake.”

  “I kinda got that feeling when I’d seen she’s suddenly hooked up with the likes of our old friend, Cameron Levine,” Chad muses, recalling their run-in during lunch, “Do you really think she’s just dating him for popularity at the school for her campaign?”

  “My girlfriend thinks so,” Ray says before he adds, “And if that’s so then maybe they’re even, because from what I heard from the guys on the team, Cameron Levine is just in it for easy sex.”

  “She’d sleep with him just to get what she wants?” Chad frowns.

  “I dunno. And I don’t want to go on gossip or anything,” Ray muses as he recalls, “But it wasn’t that long ago that I saw that Felicity girl in bed with –”

  Ray has a flashback of the night he caught Dustin and Felicity sleeping together during the blackout:

  Ray then shines the flashlight towards his dorm room and opens the door. Ray hears the noises in his dorm and turns the light towards the lovemaking couple. “Omigod! What the hell is going on in here? Dustin?”

  Dustin and the girl turn around in utter surprise at the sudden interruption and pull the sheets over themselves on the couch. Ray slams the door shut and glares at them both in disbelief. He demands they get out. The girl grabs her clothes off the floor and scampers out of the room. Dustin slips his pants back on under the sheet before he stands up and blows out the candle.

  Ray comes over and asks him, “Dustin, are you completely out of your mind?”

  Ray shakes his head at the memory and sighs deeply. Chad meanwhile looks at him in confusion.

  Chad raises an eyebrow and asks him, “You were telling me that -”

  “I guess it’s not really my business to tell,” Ray snaps out of it and replies. “But that Felicity girl better know what she’s getting herself into this time with that sleaze ball I have for a captain.”

  Chad raises an eyebrow, “Well what I want to know what you wanted to talk to me about before.”

  Ray smiles to himself before he says, “Oh. I guess I just wanted to talk … about us.”

  Chad looks up in surprise and swallows on his tongue, “W-What about us?”

  “After the whole ‘Destiny’ stuff on New Year’s, I realized that something always seems to bring us to each other like that, you know?” Ray says, “But yet at the same time it feels like … I dunno … like we’re growing away from each other until those moments come along.”

  “I know what you mean. But you’ve had your football and other stuff… ” Chad trails off.

  He thinks to himself when he found out Ray and Rita Allen were dating last October up to that night when he caught Dustin and Felicity sleeping together during the blackout – which he had unknowingly mistaken for Ray and Rita Allen. He has a flashback:

  He peers inside hoping to surprise Ray when he sees there is a small candle burning on the center table in the living room. However, it shines light on something that stuns Chad. He swallows on his tongue in utter dismay when he sees the figure of a female in a bra under a pair of sheets with someone else on the couch kissing as the boy’s arm gropes her body in the heat of passion. Chad sees the figures having sex by candlelight.

  “I guess I’m more than too late,” Chad whispers to himself before he backs away from the door.

  Chad recalls that night as when he saw Ray sleeping with Rita Allen to let go of whatever they had.

  He shrugs and states, “I guess there are just other things in your life now Ray ... maybe even in mine.”

  “Well this year I really wanna work on what’s most important in my life,” Ray tells him, “So maybe now that the football season is on break, I can focus on some of those other things and make sure I don’t end up losing the things that really matter.”

  “What if it feels like you’ve lost something like that already?” Chad asks him.

  “Then you fight to save it,” Ray replies, “And no one knows about saving the day better than you, C.K.”

  Chad ponders to himself if that meant he should still fight for what he and Ray had to be something more, despite everything that stands in the way. He was never exactly sure that Ray ever even had those kinds of feelings for him. Ray had been dating Rita Allen for the last three months and now he is dating someone else himself. So it was clear that he should let things go, wasn’t it?

  “We’ll just see how it goes,” Chad muses, scratching his head awkwardly, “Guess I’ll see ya around.”

  It’s just before Chad walks off, that Ray notices Chad’s friendship bracelet on his wrist. Ray thinks back on it and guesses that this was another sign that Chad and that girl, Cassie, he’s supposedly been dating, were getting closer and closer after all. He gets a weird feeling in his chest.

  “Yeah, we’ll see,” Ray says before he turns, grabs his backpack and walks away down the hall.

= = =

  Over at the condo, Evan is parked outside in his car and honks his horn impatiently waiting for the girls.

  Inside, Josh calls out for the two best friends to hurry. Vitani and Eliza come out of her room with suitcases giggling with each other. Josh helps them with some of their stuff as they head to the door and then he hugs Vitani and Eliza both, one in each arm. While in embrace, Eliza notices the receipt for the promise ring in Josh's jacket top pocket and gasps to herself in surprise before blushing. It’s about then that Evan beeps again from the car. They all break the hug and laugh.

  Eliza grabs one of Vitani’s bags, “Well we better get on the road to old times.”

  Vitani grabs the other and says, “And drive on to making new better ones.”

  Josh and Eliza lean in and kiss. Eliza kisses him back with a little more enthusiasm after secretly seeing the promise ring receipt before she winks at him and leaves. Vitani then tells him to take care of himself and if something with an oscinade pops up they know where to find her. She then leaves for the car.

  Josh watches the car drive away with Evan beeping and Vitani and Eliza waving goodbye. Josh turns and props against a chair as he pulls out the promise ring again. He suddenly gets light headed again and his mind goes blank just like before. He looks around wonders where he is.

  He checks his jacket and finds Jed's card about Devil’s Rock, “Hmm. I wonder if I can get answers here.”

= = =

  At the military school dorm, Chad and Aaron are hanging out on the couch still talking things out.

  “So Felicity’s your ex-girlfriend,” Chad muses before he adds, “So this must be where I’d seen her before! From the time I saw Felicity, I felt like I’d seen her somewhere before and I guess it must have been here at the military school, right?”

  Aaron shrugs saying, “Well yeah. And I guess she might have been walking around somewhere, back when you and I went undercover at the nurse's office to find out who had framed Dustin. It’s funny how you manage to remember her somehow just as I wanna forget her.”

  “Well from our little run-in with her or her run-in with us rather, I see Felicity can be a whole lot to deal with. But what exactly happened between you guys?” Chad remarks, to which Aaron sighs deeply, so Chad adds, “Well I don't mean to really pry or anything but –”

  Aaron looks up and says, “No no. You have a right to ask - that is - if we still are what I hope we are.”

  Chad sighs before smiling, “Look Aaron, I accept your apology about what happened on New Year’s … so as long as you trust in me with your problems next time before you go drowning them out in a beer.”

  Aaron grins happily and nods as he says, “Good thing I know now I have someone to keep me afloat.”

  With that, Aaron reaches over and touches Chad’s face. They lean in and kiss briefly before they smile.

  “Yet there are some people who can sink your ship in the blink of an eye,” comes a voice.

  Chad and Aaron turn to see Dustin walk into the dorm. They stand up from the couch. Chad runs over to him to greet him with a hug. Over his shoulder, Dustin looks at Aaron. Aaron gives him a telltale look as a plea not to bring up anything about the reasons he first went after Chad. Dustin shakes his head.

  After they break the hug, Dustin asks, “Hey Chad! How’s it been man?”

  Chad grins as he replies, “Hey Dustin. I’m good. Aaron and I were just hanging out.”

  Dustin eyes them both and comments, “It looks like you guys also worked things out after …”

  “We have,” Aaron cuts in with a look, “Chad here has helped me see that even if you don’t forget when someone close to you hurts you, sometimes you just have to forgive in order to let everything move on. I think I can extend that to anyone who extends it me. Don’t you agree, Dustin?”

  Dustin folds his arm as he knows Aaron is only in some kind of forgiving mood about him sleeping with Felicity now that telling Chad about the real reason Aaron first went after him could cause trouble in their relationship after just making up. He wonders if he should bother to tell Chad about everything with his mistake with Felicity and Aaron’s scheme to get back at him or he should just let it go now to get rid of his guilt. Besides he might have a chance to get Felicity out of the campaign by tonight …

Dustin,” Chad smirks, “You wanna get it out with what’s on your mind so you can ‘move on’, hehe?”

  Aaron looks at his roommate warily. Dustin shakes his head a little bit before he takes a deep breath.

  Dustin says, “Um I have to figure out what I’m gonna do for this story my sister wants me to cover. So I just need to take a drive out and clear my head, if you don’t mind me borrowing the car Aaron. That way I can give you guys some time alone or whatever.”

  Aaron smirks and hands him the car keys. With that, Dustin grabs the keys and quickly heads back out of the room. Chad wonders what this story could be about that has Dustin so wound up. Before he can ask about say anything, Aaron twirls him back around in his own relief and pulls him close.

  With a cute grin, Aaron smirks, “Now we can just focus on right here and right now.”

  Chad smiles back at Aaron before he glances back at the door and ponders.

= = =

  At Devil’s Rock, there is a crowd of masked people around a lone race track. On one side of the track, there are blue tents where everyone is wearing blue masks. On the other side of the track, everyone is wearing red masks by the red tents. It’s a drag street racing competition.

  Over in the red crowd, Jed and Josh, both in red masks, make their way through the dense crowd.

  Jed explains, “So I want you to join Team Steel in red and help me defeat Team Shark in blue.”

  “I don't know about this Jed,” Josh frowns a little, “I mean my mind’s been somewhere else recently but I think I remember when we all used to chill here when we were kids til it got bought out. That means Devil’s Rock is private property. Doesn’t that make this all kinda illegal?”

  “And doesn’t that make you a party pooper, Joshie?” Jed says, “Ugh. Look, the investors that bought this old race track don’t even live in the state anymore and this, my friend, is the fun you’ve been missing out on. Clubs, cars and chicks everywhere! Look around you! And you want to have fun again, don’t you?”

  “I’m not sure of anything anymore, okay?” Josh fumes, “I feel like I can’t remember who I really am!”

  “You sure can’t seem to remember the Joshie I know,” Jed retorts, “But luckily, I know just the person who can jog your memory. He made all of my friends see why this is the life we were made to live.”

  With that, Jed takes Josh to an expensive red race car. He tell him the man inside is the street racing sponsor, an old businessman with moved to the US from the Orient. Josh looks inside the car. There is an Asian man in a white suit sitting in the backseat. He has a metal cane with an eerie dragon design coiled around it with its fanged mouth at the grip.

  “This is the guy I told you about,” Jed tells him, “His name is Yang but we call him the Sage.”

  “Why do they call you the Sage?” Josh asks.

  “Because I see what has brought you here,” Sage Yang replies, “And where you will go next.”

  Thinking this was just a weird test to join Team Steele, Josh puts out his hand for the humour. Sage Yang touches Josh's palm. As the mysterious man closes his eyes, the eyes on the dragon cane begin to glow unbeknownst to Josh and Jed. Sage Yang then gasps. Josh becomes a little unnerved.

  Jed looks on and asks excitedly, “Yo sage, what do you see man?”

  Sage Yang smiles deviously, “Everything is perfect. I see Josh's past is the key to my success!”

= = =

  Meanwhile, Dustin also arrives in Aaron’s car at the drag racing spot where all the cars are parked. Just as he gets out, he looks around cautiously as he believes he heard something close by. He pretends to walk away casually before suddenly turning around and slamming the person following behind against the car. The person turns around startled.

  With their faces close to one another, Dustin frowns when he recognizes the person.

  Dustin asks incredulously, “Chad? What the hell are you going here?”

  Chad looks down at how Dustin is pressed up against him. Dustin realizes and steps back awkwardly.

  “I’m here to make sure you’re okay,” Chad says, fixing his jacket before he adds, “I could tell something was wrong back at your place. So I followed to make sure you were okay. Even if that meant hiding out in your backseat and sneaking out while you got out of the car. So why is it that you’re sneaking out to what looks to me over there like drag racing?”

  “What about Aaron?” Dustin asks him.

  “I told him there's something I needed to take care of,” Chad explains, looking at him in concern, “And that's you for sure if this is in any way a new hobby of yours. Isn’t this kind of drag racing illegal?”

  “Chad, this is just …” Dustin sighs, “Look, I’m here because I’m doing a story for my sister.”

  “Oh. I see,” Chad folds his arms, “And she thinks there’s something on me at a drag racing event?”

  “I guess she’s not as worried about you right now as she is about Felicity,” Dustin replies, “She actually sent me here to prove that Felicity’s boyfriend Cameron Levine is involved with illegal drag racing. Not only that but he’s also been coercing other kids into this thing.”

  “From what I know about Cameron Levine already, he does a lot of questionable things,” Chad quips.

  “Well there are two race teams and he heads one of ’em. But I don’t know which he’s on because of these masks they use to keep their identities a secret,” Dustin says as she holds up both a red and a blue mask, “It makes a great cover that if one of them gets busted by the cops, so they can claim they can’t identify the others here.”

  “It also covers up the other kind of games our football captain practices in his spare time,” Chad muses, “But okay, I guess we better split up and check this out then. With the kind of crowd I see over there, he’s gotta be here and if we follow the biggest posse, I’m sure we’ll find him.”

  “Wait a minute … we?” Dustin raises an eyebrow, “You mean you’d really try to help my sister?”

  “This is about helping some of these kids out of this drag racing ring,” Chad explains, “If we prove that Cameron Levine is running one of the teams, then getting that team shut down shuts down the means for other kids to get involved.”

  “Always the hero, huh Chad?” Dustin says and smiles to himself before he warns, “But we gotta be really careful as some of these people might be dangerous. Especially the alleged leader of the whole event – a guy they call Sage Yang. Omigod I think that’s him over there.”

  Dustin pushes Chad to duck behind the car before they spy out at the red race car a few rows of vehicles away. A red-masked Sage Yang steps out of the car and makes his way towards the tents by the race track, walking with the aid of his dragon cane. Chad and Dustin step out afterwards.

  “How are you sure that’s him?” Chad asks.

  “That dragon cane is his signature,” Dustin explains as he reads Rita Allen’s intel papers, “Apparently other than these rumors, he's been to court a few times over coercion and blackmail of businessmen for money. But nothing ever held up.”

  “And it wouldn’t be the first criminal Cameron Levine's been involved with,” Chad says, “He plotted with a crazy nutritionist to use depressants to get a friend of mine off the football team before. And whatever plot this is now we have to try to stop it. I’ll take a red mask and you can take the blue one.”

  “You’ve got your cell phone with you?” Dustin asks before he puts on the blue mask.

  “And I’ve got your back,” Chad nods and shakes the friendship bracelet on his wrist.

  Dustin smiles fondly at him and adds, “I just have to admire your courage in situations like this.”

  Chad smiles flattered before he admits, “I guess it’s become a part of who I am.”

  Dustin tells himself that it’s become one of the many reasons he feels the way he does about him. With that, the two nod at each other before they split up.

  Chad heads over to the area with the red tents. He passes a banner saying ‘Team Steel’ as he passes some other red-masked spectators standing around. He is looking out for the biggest group of red-masked people where he is sure Cameron Levine will be nearby if he is Team Steel’s race captain.

  As Chad turns the corner around a red tent, he bumps into someone, knocking their mask off their face. Chad looks up and is shocked to see none other than Josh. Josh reaches down and puts back on his mask. Jed looms forward.

  Jed grabs Chad and sneers, “Hey kid, if you don’t watch who you run into, you could run into trouble!”

  Josh pulls him off and says, “Leave him alone. Right now we have more important things to focus on like how we will win the big race tomorrow night.”

  With that, Josh and Jed walk away, leaving Chad looks in back in disbelief. He figures that Josh just couldn’t recognize him with the mask. But why was Josh interested in the drag racing going on here?

= = =

  Up at the resort getaway, Vitani, Evan and Eliza are at a dinner when Vitani’s cell phone rings.

  Vitani looks down at it to see it’s Chad  so she excuses herself from the table before she goes out into the hallway and answers, “Hey Chad, what’s up?”. Chad then fills her in on seeing Josh at an illegal drag racing stint at Devil’s Rock, “Devil’s Rock? Omigod … I can’t believe this. I mean Josh has come such a long way since that phase in his life … it’s a long story. But I’m gonna come back to town as soon as I can to find out what’s going on before Eliza finds out.”

  Just after she hangs up, she turns around and is surprised to see Eliza standing behind her.

  “Was that Josh?” Eliza asks, “Is everything alright? Because he hasn’t answered my calls since we left.”

  Vitani frowns on hearing this as well and wonders to herself what has gotten into Josh recently.

= = =

  Back at Devil’s Rock, Chad hangs up his call with Vitani when he hears a scuffle nearby. He spies from behind a red tent to see a group of blue-masked Team Steel members shoving a masked Dustin along out to the car park. Chad follows worriedly and hides behind a parked car. They stop in the middle of the car park and a blue-masked Cameron Levine steps in front of them.

  Chad recognizes him by the football jersey with ‘captain’ emblazoned across it even before he speaks.

  “So what do we have here?” Cameron Levine smiles deviously, “A spy maybe?”

  “Check his phone, we saw taking some kind of photos!” one of the goons holding Dustin suggests.

  Dustin tries to wriggle out of the goon’s grips to stop them from discovering that he had taken several photos of Cameron Levine around the race cars by the tents. Cameron Levine reaches for his cell phone from his pocket. However, just as he opens the phone – it receives a text from a blocked number.

You gotta get out of there! The cops are on their way!”

  Cameron Levine relays the message to everyone and all of the boys start to run off. While they are distracted by the news, Dustin wriggles free from their grip and makes a run for it. However, one of the goons grabs his leg and he falls over. Before they can grab him properly, Chad flings his hand to make a gust of wind toss them off further away. Dustin takes to his feet and runs off.

  The Team Shark goons wonder what just happened to them before they decide to save themselves first if the police are coming and worry about the spy later. They flee in the other direction.

  Dustin runs by when he is grabbed by Chad and pulled behind the car. Dustin sighs in relief.

  “It’s okay. I blocked my number and sent that text to your cell phone to open up a distraction,” Chad explains to him, “So did you get what you needed on Cameron Levine?”

  “It won’t be long until Felicity and Cameron Levine both get what they deserve!” Dustin smiles.

= = =

  At the condo the next day, Chad and Vitani stop to see that Josh hasn't been home in a while. As they step inside and look around, a red-masked Jed meanwhile sneaks out from behind the couch and runs for the door while they aren’t looking. However, Chad hears him and uses wind to blow the door shut.

  With that, Jed throws a bag of stuff at them and tries to unlock the door quickly. Chad swipes his hand across to let a gust of wind blow the bag aside. A bunch of household items fall out on the floor.

  “That’s our stuff!” Vitani realizes and yells, “You’re not going anywhere, you thief!”

  Just as Jed gets the door open, Vitani tosses a blue sphere of ice which hits him in the back and knocks him out cold. He collapses on the floor. Vitani calls the police. Chad steps closer when he realizes Jed was the guy with Josh last night, “Hey Vitani, this is the guy Josh was with at the drag racing event.”

  Vitani kneels beside him, “Omigod. It’s Jed. He’s a no-good kid Josh used to hang out with two years ago. Jed here has been in and out of juvie for his special talent of stealing. And just like he’s decided to pay Josh a secret visit, he’s gonna pay another visit to juvie when the cops get here.”

  Chad frowns, “I had no idea Josh hung with a bad crowd. When was this and when did he wise up?”

  Vitani sighs, “This was when Josh dated Amber and Christy. Jed was his friend back then and all they would do is party and a bunch of other crazy things all the time. They all encouraged Josh and he eventually flunked school and had to repeat the year in my class. Jed here dropped out of school and got himself a criminal record. With things so shaken up, I eventually got through to Josh and he dropped this kind of crowd. At least I thought he did.”

  “But I guess that explains why the Milano sisters hate you so much,” Chad remarks.

  Vitani rolls her eyes, “I don’t care about those sisters of the sordid sun-tan. I care about Josh and I can’t understand why he would take such a turn for the worse with everything he has going for him now at school and with Eliza. Maybe this has something to do with an oscinade.”

  Chad wonders, “Or maybe it’s because of the mysterious Sage Yang, the organizer of the drag racing.”

= = =

  At the newspaper office, Dustin has printed the pictures of Cameron Levine at the drag racing stint.

  Dustin muses, “Despite the mask Cameron Levine is wearing, his hair, his build and that football jersey should be a dead giveaway to cause scandal for Felicity's campaign. Maybe this will get rid of Felicity.”

  “I won’t be gotten rid of that easily,” Felicity declares as she enters the office, “When Cameron Levine said he and his boys caught a nosey guy at the track, I knew it had to be you reporting for your sister! Now shred those photos and delete the copies on your phone!”

  “And why would I wanna do that?” Dustin turns around and asks.

  “Why would you wanna have sex with me if you’re gay?” Felicity asks coyly.

  “W-What?” Dustin looks up.

  “While I was trying to convince Aaron to give me a second chance despite everything, he blurted it all out in anger,” Felicity explains, “He said that I had no more of a chance with him again than I ever did with his gay roommate!”

  “What he’s talking about?” Dustin insists, “He’s hardly one to talk when he has a boyfriend right now.”

  Felicity looks up in surprise, “Omigosh, Aaron's seeing another guy?”

  Dustin shakes his head, “That’s not the point here, Felicity. The point is that –”

  Felicity cuts in, “The point is that Aaron was upfront about being bi and he was never in denial like you when it came to what we had. I wasn’t just his sexuality test. And just as much as I’m getting what I deserve for trying to get back at Aaron, you’re gonna get what you deserve for trying to use me the same way!”

  “Omigod. Is that why you’re running against me and my sister’s campaign?” Dustin asks in disbelief.

  “All’s fair in love and war,” Felicity replies, “And this is war that I’m gonna win. Now shred those photos or I’ll tell your sister and this whole school that you slept with me just to hide the fact that you’re gay!”

  “Why would they ever believe you?” Dustin quips, “You were messing around with my roommate Aaron, then he dumped you, then you jumped into bed with me and now you’re sleeping with Cameron Levine. If you walk around telling people that, you’ll just look bitter. Especially when everyone at this school already thinks you’re a slut!”

  Felicity quickly slaps him across the face for that comment. Dustin turns to face her angrily.

  The troublemaker sneers, “And what will your sister and your family think about you? Not only are you gay but you’re willing to bed ‘innocent’ girls to cover it up.”

  “You’re hardly ‘innocent’ Felicity!” Dustin replies, photo in hand, “And neither is Cameron Levine here.”

  He then sighs in utter frustration before he turns and shreds the printed photos before he also deletes them from his phone for her to see. He just couldn’t let Felicity exposing his sexuality and his mistakes be the scandal that ruins his sister’s campaign and his relationship with his family. He’d just have to find some other way to get rid of her …

  Felicity meanwhile takes the bag from in the shredder out before she warns, “I suggest you and your sister play fair from now on or I’ll really have to play dirty too, Dustin.”

  “What the hell are you doing in my office?” Rita Allen then enters, “Get out before I throw you out!”

  “I was just staying one step ahead of the game,” Felicity grins before she leaves with the bag.

  Dustin throws something at the door and calls her a bitch. Rita Allen looks on worriedly.

  Rita Allen asks, “What's going on here? And where're the photos of Cameron Levine from drag racing?”

  Dustin looks back at the shredder and sighs.

= = =

  At the drag racing spot, the crowd is out for the big race. Josh is pacing around in Sage Yang’s tent.

And the love of your life had me arrested!” Jed says over the phone, “That means it up to you!”

  “The love of my life?” Josh asks, “And what you mean it’s up to me? I can’t pull this race off alone!”

  Just then, a masked Chad and Vitani enter the tent cautiously. Josh hangs up the cell phone.

  Josh rants, “It was you Jed meant, wasn’t it? I can’t believe you had Jed arrested!”

  Vitani replies, “I happily called the police when we caught him –“

  “You can never trust me to do something for myself, can you?” Josh sneers, before he points over at a masked Chad, “So you sent your little squirt friend here to spy on me!”

  “Josh, what the hell has gotten into you?” Vitani asks.

  “And what’s gotten into you?” Josh retorts, “I mean don’t think for a second I’m your little Trent Jr.!”

  Vitani scoffs in disbelief before she replies, “You – are my friend, Josh. And I’m telling you that you lost your first job and you repeated a year at school because of things like this! Why would you go back to -”

  Josh tells her, “Look, if you’re my friend, stop wishing the worst for me that hasn’t even happened!”

  In frustration, Vitani asks, “Are you so into this thing that you want to pretend it’s still two years ago?”

  Josh replies, “I’m living like it’s still two years ago! These last two years are nothing but a blur to me!”

  Vitani frowns and replies, “It was in these last two years that our lives just about changed forever!”

  Josh retorts, “Well my life will change tonight when I go out there and I win that race!”

  With that, Josh storms away from them in the red tent, with Chad and Vitani soon following him in disbelief. They run after him over to the race car tent. Josh gets into the red race car with decorations of flames melting steel painted at the sides. Just as Josh sits down in the driver’s seat, Vitani gets in beside him and Chad sits in the backseat. They had to convince him not to do this no matter what. The three take off their red masks. Chad sighs deeply.

  Vitani and Josh argue about what he’s doing. Josh meanwhile puts the key in the ignition.

  “Don’t do this, Josh!”  Vitani insists.

  “If you don’t get you and your friend out of my car, we’re all going for the ride of our lives!” Josh snaps.

  Chad looks on worriedly and then looks through the rolled up glass of his window to see Sage Yang getting everyone else to clear the tent. Sage Yang looks back at him and smiles evilly before the eyes of the dragon on his cane glow red. Chad’s eyes bulge in shock.

  He taps his friends on the shoulder, “Omigosh guys, I think that Sage Yang must be an oscinade!”

  Josh states, “He’s the one who convinced me this is who I am. What the heck is an oscinade?”

  Chad and Vitani exchange looks. They realize at that moment that Josh has lost his memory. Josh daringly starts the engine as an indication for them to leave. However, that’s when they all hear a 20 second automated countdown begin. It’s a bomb. Chad tries the door but it’s locked. It’s the same for Vitani and Josh. Josh tries to turn off the ignition but to no avail. He looks at it in confusion.

  “What the hell is going on here?”  Josh yells.

20 seconds …

  Vitani gulps worriedly and says, “An oscinade will be the end of us if we all don’t get out of this car!”

  Josh finally looks a little worried at the sound of the countdown. Chad and Vitani look at him in a panic.

15 seconds …

  Vitani turns to him and says, “Josh, your super strength is the only thing that can get us out of here!”

  Josh grabs his hair, “M-My what? I don’t know what’s happening to me tonight but it’s all crazy!”

  Vitani takes a deep breath before she grabs Josh by the sides of his head for him to look her in the eye, “Listen to me, Josh! You, me and Chad are all auranades and this is all your reality right now. You have to live in it. Or else we’re gonna die in it!”

10 seconds …

  Josh stares at her in confusion before his eyes open widely. Chad and Vitani look at him expectantly.

  From the distance, the crowd is standing in anticipation for the race to begin until they hear a loud boom as the red tent goes up in flames. The race car had exploded as the countdown reached zero.

  The crowds gasp at the sight of the explosion. Cameron Levine tells Team Shark to all get out of there before there is an accusation that they are somehow behind the mysterious explosion. It isn’t long for the crowds are running in all directions.

  “The race to destroy the auranades has come to a close finish!” Sage Yang laughs evilly.

  With that, he takes to his car to drive away. However, he soon notices headlights following behind him. He is startled when they suddenly ram into the back of his own car. It’s Josh jeep.

  Sang Yang is in disbelief that the three auranades are still alive, “But how? You three couldn’t have escaped that car without Josh’s powers! And I saw into his past! I saw that your altercation with the oscinade of abduction wiped out all of his memories of being an oscinade!”

  Chad and Vitani gasp in realization of the cause of Josh’s bouts of memory loss from the fight with K15:

Realizing that he hasn’t tried anything yet, Josh turns his hand to steel. He begins to sink towards the floor due to the density of the steel. He manages to grab one of Vitani’s blue spheres, which had been floating below them. Just as K15 is almost there, Josh turns one of his hands back to normal, causing him to rise back up between K15 and Chad and Vitani.

  When K15 reaches out to zap him, he holds the blue sphere in his steel enhanced hand and puts it between the oscinade’s grip as quickly as possible. A bright light is created as Josh’s metallic arm conducts the electricity and the ice of the blue sphere weakens K15 during the contact. After a shock wave occurs, K15 hisses and is blasted away.

  “But I thought all effects of an oscinade’s power go away when they are banished,” Vitani points out.

  “Must have something to do with when Josh’s metallic arms absorbed K15’s electricity,” Chad muses.

  Josh tells Sang Yang, “I got out with auranade power - which is something we three will always have.”

  Sage Yang replies, “Well, have you three seen the power of the oscinade of past hauntings?”

  With that, his dragon staff glows, and Chad, Vitani and Josh step back warily. The oscinade tells them that none of them escaped all the hauntings of their pasts yet - especially Chad. Chad frowns worriedly.

  “W-What are you talking about?” Chad asks nervously.

  “I’m talking about this!” Sage Yang states and points his dragon staff at them.

  With that, Chad’s eyes turn white as he is hit with various memories from his past:

  … A pair of female hands hand a baby to Chad’s aunt and tells her the baby’s fate lies in the hands of destiny … “So tell me, Chad,” Rick says as he leans forward on the table, “do you believe in this ‘fate’?” … Ray tells him, "If you're not ready to tell me I understand. But I just hope you don't wait until it's too late to tell that person how you feel. Sometimes fear can cost us more than what you could've gotten with a few brave words of truth." … Dustin frowns and asks, “But is it all really over, Chad? I mean, where is this Rick guy now?”… “No, you have to believe me when I say that I will not stop until I find out exactly how you’re really connected to Rick and all the other weird things that happen around SyndAcad,” she replies, “And when I do, I won’t hesitate to tell the whole school who you really are, Chad.” And with that, Rita Allen storms off … “The same evil you fell in love with, Chad!” Rick yells.

  “Ugh!” Chad holds the sides of his head as he is overwhelmed by the hauntings of his past

  He falls to his knees. Vitani and Josh gasp in shock before they too are subject to Sage Yang’s power.

  “Not to forget about you two. You could never forget a pain so recent,” Sage Yang states as Vitani and Josh’s eyes go white and they fall to their knees. He then tells Josh, “How does it feel knowing that pain is all related to you?”

  While Chad, Vitani and Josh are being overwhelmed and seemingly crippled by their various past hauntings, Sage Yang gets into his car and prepares to run them over. He laughs as he starts the car. The auranades groan in emotional distress. After revving up the car, Sage Yang speeds up towards them. However, just as he reaches them to run them over, the car suddenly stops in place.

  Sage Yang presses on the gas in confusion until he sees none other than Josh – stopping the car with the super strength of his metallic hands. Josh smiles at him before he punches into the engine.

  “I’ve accepted the pain and hurt of the past a long time ago! I see nothing but a bright future ahead!”

  Josh then goes around the side of the car and rips of the side door before he grabs Sage Yang’s dragon staff and snaps it in half. Chad and Vitani recover from his spell. Josh then angrily pushes the car away where it spirals away along the road. Chad, Vitani and Josh repeat the banishment verse together:

Evil spawned from darkness core,

Walk this land you shall no more,

Wickedness be rectified,

Let your face be now denied!”

  An intense light emerges from Sage Yang’s car, where it consumes the vehicle in blasts of energy as it is sucked into an opening vortex. The three auranades watch as the spiraling car is sucked inside and disappears from off the road.

  “We have get over demons like him that haunt us in order to have that future,” Chad muses.

  When they turn to thank Josh, Chad and Vitani are shocked when Josh collapses in front of them.

= = =

  At the condo, Chad and Vitani bring Josh home with his arms over their shoulders. As he has lost his memory of being an auranade again, they try to explain why he collapsed at Devil’s Rock. They then put him to sit on the couch. Chad goes off to get him a glass of water. Meanwhile, Vitani sits next to him worriedly and tries to explain more of what happened.

  “Apparently Jed tried to get you into illegal drag racing,” Vitani tells him, rubbing his hand.

  “Jed? But he … ” Josh muses, when he briefly recalls Jed telling him that Josh’s ‘love of his life’ had him arrested. When he realizes he is wearing a leather jacket, he checks the pockets and finds the promise ring receipt in his pocket. He tries to remember why he would have bought a promise ring. He thinks about Jed calling her the love of his life again. Josh reaches into his pocket and pulls out the box with the promise ring. He wonders if what he couldn’t remember was that he and Vitani were actually …

  Vitani sees it and gasps in awe and surprise, “Omigosh, is that for –”

  Josh cuts in, “I guess I must have realized how special you are to me, Vitani.”

  He hugs Vitani warmly before he looks into her eyes. Vitani looks at him strangely before he leans in and kisses her on the lips, to her surprise. Eliza, who is standing in the hallway behind them, is shocked.

  Unbeknownst to them, Eliza had been asleep in Josh's room as she had snuck away from the resort after Vitani left to make sure Josh was okay. When she found he wasn’t home although the door was unlocked, she decides to wait in his room and surprise him and makes sure he is okay. As she just heard them talking, she was coming to greet them when she sees Josh show Vitani the promise ring she thought was meant for her and tell Vitani how special she is to him. Now her boyfriend and her best friend were sharing a kiss …

  “Omigod …” Eliza whimpers in tears before she runs out and leaves through the back way.

  Over on the couch, after Vitani breaks the kiss, she looks at Josh in confusion. But it’s also then that Josh finally gets back his memory in full. He realizes that he got his memory back temporarily each time Vitani had touched him and now after this time, it seemed to be back for good.

  Vitani is confused by the kiss and asks him, “Are you sure you’re okay?”

  “I think so …” Josh nods as he looks around the condo, “I think I really remember everything now.”

  “I guess you’ve finally reconnected with everything that truly makes you who you are,” Chad says as he then returns to the room with a glass of water and hands it to Josh.

  Josh thanks him and sips from the glass. Vitani is still stuck on what happen, “But Josh, you just –”

  “Oh, t-that was meant for –“” Josh tells her as he realizes what she means, “Hey! So where is - ”

  “Eliza and Evan are still up the resort getaway where I’m supposed to be,” Vitani explains.

  “And you left to save me,” Josh muses, “I’ll make up for it by taking you back first thing tomorrow.”

  “We’re all just glad to have you back,” Vitani tells him before goes over to the window and sighs.

  “I’m glad I got back my memory long enough for me to break us out of that race car before the explosion,” Josh adds, “Since Sage Yang was able to see into my past to know I was an auranade but that I’d forgotten about it, he must’ve seen into other people like Jed’s past and used it to haunt them and coerce them into doing what he wanted. Like joining that drag racing ring to make him money.”

  “And that explains why newspaper reports said Sage Yang had been to court over coercion and blackmail of businessmen,” Chad muses, “That’s probably how he also got out of being thrown in jail.”

  “To think it was our fight with K15 that caused all of this,” Vitani muses and folds her arms, “At least we learnt then that the appearance of oscinades has something do with natural disasters like the September storm from last year. Maybe we’re one step closer to finding out how we’re gonna beat these oscinades once and for all. Yet now we learn that we also have internal demons to conquer. But just like you did with K15, you saved us from the emotional pasts Sage Yang held against us, Josh.”

  Josh smiles and replies as he looks over at Vitani at the window before he says, “I guess I realized that despite everything, we all have people in our lives now that we’re also hoping will be part of our future.”


  The next day at the Libretta, Ray, Rita Allen and Dustin are at a table talking to each other.

  Ray shakes his head, “Why am I not surprised Cameron Levine was tied to illegal drag racing rings?”

  Rita Allen looks down at her cell phone and then adds, “Now I hear from my sources that the drag racing competition has disbanded since there was a mysterious explosion before the big race last night. So I guess we’ve lost our chance to connect Cameron Levine to the ring.”

  Dustin sighs deeply before he tells her, “Sorry I couldn’t get any proof to show you, sis. But I’m sure that characters like Felicity and Cameron Levine will get what’s coming to them all on their own.”

  The three look up to see the said devious couple, Felicity and Cameron Levine, walk into the bookshop café before they talk a seat at another table. The two smirk evilly at the three. Ray glares at his football captain before he getting back to his drink. Rita Allen scowls at both Felicity and Cameron Levine before she focuses on her phone. Dustin sneers at Felicity as she had made him get rid of the photos.

  Felicity thinks about what Dustin said about Aaron dating someone else and ponders, “Hmm.”

= = =

  Vitani and Josh arrive at the resort getaway when Evan says Eliza hasn’t left her room since last night. Josh wants to go see what's wrong and smiles to himself that the promise ring he bought for her while hopefully cheer her up. When he calls for Eliza at her door however, she yells for him to go away.

  Vitani and Evan walk up to him. Vitani frowns and asks, “What’s going on with Eliza?”

  Evan replies, “I’m not sure. I found out that she wasn’t her spa appointment you two were supposed to have last night. I also found these books on the floor but that’s it. She won’t tell what’s going on.”

  Vitani wonders if the books while tell her what’s going on and looks through the books he shows her. She gasps when she finds a letter. Josh and Evan looks over at her as she lifts it out the book.

  “What’s the matter, Vitani?” Josh asks, “What’s that?”

  “An acceptance letter,” Vitani tells them, “To a college in France. It seems she’s had this for weeks.”

  “I remember her applying but I never knew she got in. Why would she hide this from us,” Evan frowns before he goes and knocks on his cousin’s door, “Hey Liza, if you don’t want to explain anything else, can you explain this acceptance letter to a French college that we found?”

  Eliza opens the door, “Great. I was looking all over for where I had put that last night. Since I no longer have reasons to consider staying in town, I can get on the first flight out of Westpoint City and off to somewhere where people really want me for me!”

  “Ellie, what are you talking about?” Josh asks incredulously, “We all want you here. I want you here.”

  Eliza simply glares at Josh and shakes her head and Vitani before she slams the door in their faces. Josh steps back dejected and then slides the promise ring box back into his pocket. Vitani rubs his back sympathetically although she is just as confused by why Eliza is so angry. Evan can only frown in confusion before he looks over at Vitani and Josh.

  Evan wonders if something happened between Vitani and Josh after she left the getaway last night.

= = =

  Meanwhile, Chad shows up at Aaron’s, who pulls him inside and kicks the door in. But it’s slightly ajar …

  Aaron hugs him before he tells him, “I’m pretty sure you left on Friday night because of Dustin.”

  Chad sighs and confesses, “I had to, Aaron. I just wanted to make sure my friend was okay.”

  Aaron raises an eyebrow, “Well … is he?”

  Chad nods and replies, “I think so.”

  Aaron guesses Dustin hadn’t told him that he had only went after Chad in the beginning to get back at Dustin for messing around with Felicity, maybe out of his guilt of hurting him anymore than he had already. He is thankful as he thinks he and Chad were on the way to something special. Aaron sighs.

  Chad pokes his cheek playfully and says, “Sorry, if it seems like I ditched you or something.”

  Aaron smiles at him, “It’s okay. Your hero complex is what makes you who you are and it just one of the reasons I like you so much.”

  Chad leans his head to a side and grins, “Oh yeah? What are the other reasons?”

  Aaron replies, “You’re cute. You’re smart. And you might be a great kisser.”

  Chad raises an eyebrow, “Might be?”

  Aaron grins, “You’ll have to remind me.”

  Chad laughs before he and Aaron lean in and share an affectionate kiss. They giggle afterwards.

  Chad smiles and says, “How’s that?”

  Aaron replies, “Oh yeah, it keeps on getting better,” and then kisses him again, “And better.”

  With that, Chad and Aaron fall back onto the couch as they make out with each other.

  Meanwhile, Felicity stops by to find out if Aaron had really moved on with some guy like Dustin had said during their argument. She stops outside of the door when she hears noises, wondering if Aaron was in there with his boyfriend right now. Felicity takes a deep breath before she slowly pushes open the door.

  Felicity spies on Chad and Aaron making out on Aaron’s couch! Her jaw drops in disbelief.


= = =

Copyright © 2014 Chad Blackman

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