Chapter 2

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I jumped a mile, every nerve ending in my body tingling with adrenaline. Reflexively, I held out my hands, shielding myself from his sudden appearance and I felt the rush of energy flow from every follicle of my body, down my arms and out through my fingertips in a scorching wave of power.

There was flash, no blinding light - flashes and bangs were all just tricks and illusions, the real power was never showy - but I felt it raging through my flesh. It jumped through the empty space between us and hit him square in the chest. The force of it lifted him from his feet, pushing him away and sent him sprawling on his back on the dusty stone floor.

"Jesse!" I gasped, breathing hard as I reigned in my nerves, along with my erratic new ability - I would have to take stock later of just how useful some form of telekinesis might prove to be, in that moment I was too absorbed in swallowing my anxiety and not sending anything else flying down the hallway.

"You scared the crap out of me! Where the hell did you just appear from?"

I advanced on him, the fear slowly melting away to be replaced with a fiery irritation. It wasn't quite anger as such, but it didn't feel like it would take much to send me tumbling over the edge into a full blown rage. The extreme emotional swings I was feeling were a little unsettling.

Sure, in my human body I had been pretty well in touch with the full range of emotions on offer, particularly in the light of recent events I'd been feeling them more and more than I should have allowed, but this was an altogether new extreme. I didn't doubt it came with my new body and new power, but as I felt the heat of anger rise in me, and the tingle of that energy in my fingertips itching to burst free again, I knew it was something I would need to get a handle on, and quickly.

"Nice to see you again too." Jesse coughed as he sat up and dusted down the sleeves of his button-down shirt.

There was something strange in his tone, something new, a sarcastic edge that hadn't been present before in all of our many conversations. Gracefully he rose to his feet continued to dust down the rest of his neat black outfit - even in my strange new shimmering vision I could see just how smart and dapper he appeared, never before had I seen Jesse so well put together. He even seemed to carry himself differently, back straight, shoulders back, none of the sloping casualness I was so used to seeing. It appeared I was not the only one who was changed by our ritual. The magic and my blood had mutated him, and beyond what was on the surface. He had ascended to be something beyond human, and I wasn't so sure that was a good thing.

"Sorry, I just...I wasn't expecting to find you down here," I said with a shrug.

"Why not? This is where you left me after all, where I was being held prisoner. Where else would I be?"

He didn't sound like Jesse any more. The voice was the same, but the tone, they way he framed his words, something was different, almost as if someone else had jumped inside of his skin.

My thoughts immediately jumped to Frank, but something with that assumption was off too, and besides he hadn't called me 'love' once yet. Could be another Whisperer I supposed, but in truth I knew there was no way Jesse could have come through that ritual and still remain the same. We'd had no choice but to invoke him as one aspect of the Triangle of Power, we'd needed a human, but it seemed that nice-guy, mild mannered Jesse was well and truly gone, and I wasn't sure how I felt about that.

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