Julia wandered around the house while Terry stuck behind to talk to me. He sat on the counter top and watched me.
“Graham said you were just recently thrown into this whole mess. So, how did you get your powers?”
I looked at him incredulously and he shook his head.
“How long were you dead for?” he asked.
“Only a few minutes,” I told him. “At least that's what Graham said. It seemed like forever.”
“What happened?” Terry asked. “I mean, that caused you to die. I was in a car accident. It was pretty awful. Graham found me.”
I looked at him, my eyes wide. “Graham found you too? He said the same thing to me. Did he also find Julia?”
Terry nodded. “He didn't tell you that?”
“No,” I muttered. “I wonder why.”
Julia returned, looking bright-eyed and happy. “Terry, have you seen this place? It's awesome. Oh, I'm sorry. Were you guys in the middle of something?”
“So, Vivian, how are you enjoying your newly discovered talent?” She grinned at me. “It's amazing to me. I feel so much stronger because of it.”
“What can you do?” I asked.
She turned her violet eyes on Terry. His wallet slipped out of his pocket and levitated toward us. Julia caught it and smiled at me. “It comes in handy,” she said as she riffled through his credit cards and money.
Terry glanced at Graham, who had come from one of the other rooms, and he stopped walking. His eyes glazed over and Terry smirked.
“I told him to stop moving.”
“But you didn't-” I started.
“Oh, I did,” Terry mused. “He just didn't know it.”
Julia leaned close to me and whispered, “He's a Controller. We all have little names for each other. One day you'll have a name too. It'll probably be something really cool.”
I smiled. “What's yours?”
“I'm a Shifter,” she said.
“And Graham?” I wondered. I glanced at him. “What about you?”
“I don't have one,” he said to me. “The two of them have been fighting about that for a long time. I guess they're trying to find the perfect one for me.”
Terry shook his head. “You should give your girlfriend one.”
For some reason, my eyes went to Julia when he said that. She was looking at the floor, her hands in the pockets of her jeans. Was she jealous of me, even though I wasn't Graham's girlfriend?
“She's not,” Graham said. He sounded annoyed, like the thought of it was completely irrational. “Why would you think that?”
“You seem awfully protective of her,” Terry said. “I'm just noticing that and I've only been here for half an hour.
“This seems like something you boys should talk about in private,” I said. “Not that there's anything up for discussion, apparently.”
Graham stared at me. “Why are you so mad?”
“I'm not,” I replied. “Do you want to go somewhere and talk?” I asked Julia.
She looked relieved. “That sounds nice.”
We ended up in Graham's room. As I looked around at all the plaques and awards on his shelf, Julia sat on his bed. For some reason, I couldn't stop looking at her. Her eyes lingered on mine before I shook my head.
“He's a bookworm,” she said to me. “Did he tell you he spends his spare time writing?”
I didn't know that, but I just kept quiet.
“He wanted to be a published author, and he was working toward that until his mother died last year,” Julia said softly. “He was really devastated over it. He shut everyone out for a long time. Terry and I came along after he kicked the bucket temporarily.”
“It's like he's recruiting,” I mumbled.
“What?” Julia asked.
“Nothing,” I said, walking around the room. “God, look at all these books. He was really into Stephen King.”
“Hey,” Julia mumbled. “Are you afraid? Of what you can do, of what's coming?”
I sighed. “I wish I knew what was coming, then I could tell you how I felt.” I sat down on the bed and she joined me. “Can I ask you something?”
“Did you and Graham ever go out?”
Julia let out a barking laugh. “No, never! I don't like him like that. He's like a brother to me. Why? You don't like him or anything, do you?”
“No,” I said quickly. “It's just you seemed kinda of, I dunno, like it bothered you when Terry mentioned the whole Graham and I together thing.”
Julia blushed. “I probably shouldn't mention it. It's too weird.”
“It's okay, you can tell me.”
Instead of telling me, she asked me to shut my eyes, and I did it without hesitation. Once that happened, Julia's lips brushed against mine, then they were gone. The only thing that remained was another surge of energy that went through me like lightning.