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Chapter Twelve

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"Stop! You're breaking and entering!" shouted a familiar voice. My hand froze over the doorknob as the footsteps came closer. I peered over my shoulder to see who it was. It was the last person that I wanted to see. The voice belonged to Marcus. I started to panic, my breathing picking up. I turned around and faced him, smoothing down my hair. "Keep your voice down." I hissed, jumping at my own voice. "Why are you entering this house?" he asked. I knew that I would eventually have to tell him. I turned around and took the key out of the lock, then I dangled the key in front of him. "Let's go inside and I'll explain everything." I replied. He nodded his head and walked closer to the door. I unlocked the door and walked inside, leaving the door open for Marcus.

He walked in slowly, not sure of what he was getting himself into. “Why do you have a key to the house?” he asked angrily. I slowly turned around to face him, choosing my next words wisely. Before I even had the chance to speak, he looked behind me. Then, his eyes went wide. “You’re Breanna’s mother!” he shouted. Then, he started pacing back and forth. “She lied to me! How could she?” he asked himself. “Marcus, calm down.” I said. He stopped pacing and looked at me. “How do you know my name?” he asked. I slowly took in a breath. “What I’m about to tell and show you is strictly confidential. No one can know about this and I trust you.” I explained. “Well, what is it then?” he asked. I looked at him, as I transformed into my fourteen year old self.

I didn’t have a chance to look at his reaction, because I fell straight to the floor from back pain. The pain was so intense that I couldn’t even stand up. Marcus was right by my side, helping me to the couch. “You’re an Age-Shifter!” he exclaimed happily. I nodded, not trusting my voice to speak. “That day, when the wolf crossed our path, he had an effect on you.” he said, fitting the pieces of the puzzle together. I nodded again. “Breanna, this is amazing!” he exclaimed. I looked at him, a scared look in my eyes. “Why are you so happy about this?” I asked.

If he was the son of one of the scientists, I would be screwed. I would lose all trust in this boy and I would never forgive him if he ever turned me in. I would become just like my aunt. An experiment that would never make it out of a lab alive. “Breanna, I’m ecstatic.” he said, smiling. “Tell me why. I’m actually getting scared here.” I replied. “Do you honestly think that I would turn you into one of those laboratories?” he asked. I looked away, nervous to answer that question. “I would never do that, especially if it included risking my own life.” he replied. I looked at him cautiously. “How would you risk your life?” I asked, concerned. Out of anything, he would probably get paid for bringing someone like me into the laboratory. “Breanna, I’m also an Age-Shifter.” he said. I never heard another word he said, because I blacked out.

“Breanna, are you okay?” he asked, pressing a wet facecloth to my forehead. My vision started to come back. “Yeah, I’m okay. What happened?” I asked. He set the facecloth in the bowl of water and looked at me. “I think you fainted because I told you that I was an Age-Shifter.” he explained. That’s right! That was the last thing he had said before it happened. I sat up slowly, just in case I was a bit dizzy. “How can I believe that you’re an Age-Shifter?” I asked cautiously. I had to ask because a male Age-Shifter was nearly impossible to happen. Most male shifters were shape-shifters, like a wolf. He stood up, wiping his hands on his jeans. “Do you have any of your father’s old clothes?” he asked. I got up from the couch and went into the basement for his clothes. When I was still cleaning out the house, all of his clothes went into boxes downstairs. He wasn’t important to me anymore, so it seemed fit. I took out a pair of jeans and an old T-shirt and went upstairs.

I wasn’t expecting Marcus to be completely naked in my living room, when I came back upstairs. I shielded my eyes with my hand and tossed the clothes on the couch next to him. “Thanks for the warning.” I said. He started to laugh. I heard pieces of fabric going onto his body, but didn’t look until he said anything. “Breana, it’s safe to look.” he said. I un-shielded my eyes and saw him in my father’s clothes. They didn’t fit his body properly. The jeans were too long and the T-shirt was too big. If he was really an Age-Shifter, this would change when he did. “Are you ready?” he asked. I nodded. I wanted to see for myself that he was telling the truth. He had a pained look on his face, but he was starting to transform.

His face was the first to start. He had begun to grow stubble on his face, a mature look on his face. His black hair was cut short, but slicked back with gel. He started to grow taller, like an adult. To estimate his height, he had to be six feet tall. It was the same height as my father. His arms and legs were stretching. It was like watching rubber stretch. I was actually nauseated watching it happen. His fingers looked like they were melting, but taking form as adult hands. After what seemed like a long time, his transformation had ended.

“Do you believe me now?” he asked, gesturing down his body. “Yeah, I believe you.” I said. After all of that pain he went through, it was going to make a really bad blowback. “What blowbacks do you usually get?” I asked concerned. I wanted to make sure I was ready for it. “I mostly can’t see after I change back for a few minutes, but I also get excruciating back pain like you.” he replied. After he said that, he started to transform back into his teenage self. I went into the kitchen and prepared for the back pain.

When I entered the living room, he had his clothes on, but was on the ground, screaming. I helped him onto the couch and laid him down. I didn’t know what else to do, so I decided to lay there next to him. He seemed to like that idea, because his arms were around me in an instant. “Don’t leave me by myself right now.” he said, his breathing uneven. “I’m not going anywhere. I promise.” I replied, holding him closer. It turned out I wasn’t the only Age-Shifter after all. I really wasn’t alone all this time. I looked at Marcus, his eyes closed to sleep.

There was something I wanted to figure out before the end of the school year. “Marcus, could you help me with something?” I asked, looking at him. “What is it?” he asked, looking at me. “I want to figure out who that wolf is.” I said. He looked at me concerned. It may be dangerous, but I would want him there if I needed him. “Are you sure?” he asked. I nodded. I was absolutely sure that I wanted to know who this wolf is. If he or she is a family member, I would at least know who it was. He smiled and kissed my nose. “We’ll start tomorrow.” he said, closing his eyes again. I kissed his cheek and snuggled closer to him. I let sleep take over. It was going to be a busy few months.

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