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I could feel the energy seeping from my body as the adrenaline stopped pumping through my blood. The sun had been down for hours and I became aware of my eyelids that seemed to get heavier with each sleepy blink.

Leaning the side of my head against the window, I let my eyes fall half-closed as I looked out the window. The land was covered in the darkness of night and I could only see glimpses of overhanging trees and farmland now that we were back in a rural area.

I dozed for a while, not quite sleeping and not quite awake. I remembered looking up at the stars, uncovered from layers of pollution. Growing up in Southern California, I was never able to see many of them. Now, the vast beauty of the cosmos was laid out for me to see. Glowing stars were peppered across the luminous sky, many more than I'd ever seen before. It made me realize that in all my years, I'd always been looking down, not up.

It was completely quiet in the car for a long time. I had no idea how long I'd been looking up at the night sky, but it seemed like hours. I tried to memorize the view that was before me then so that I could remember it when I had to go back into the hellfire of my life and couldn't see the stars anymore.

Still staring upward, I inquired Jake softly, "Do you miss the person that you used to be?"

Out of the corner of my eye, I could see him staring at me. "No."

I turned so that my face was to him. "Why is that?"

"All the things I've done have made me better, more astute and more resilient. What I've become has made me stronger."

"And what exactly have you become? A gang leader? A killer?"

"A monster," he corrected bluntly.

"A monster," I repeated, knowing that I'd become something similar. "How is that better?"

"I'd rather be a monster than naïeve and innocent. Now, instead of being the prey, I'm the predator." There was no shame in his words, unlike mine. There was only the usual coldness.

I looked back out the window at the sky. "I miss the person I once was."

Now it was his turn to ask. "Why?"

"Because I wish I did have my innocence back. I wish that I didn't have to do the things I've done just to stay alive."

"That's the way the world works," Jake stated, a rasp of bitterness in his voice. "It beats you down and tries to kill you at every corner. Only the strong survive."

"I know," I said. "Sometimes, I just-" I trailed off when I realized who I was talking to and how much I was revealing.

"You just what?" He looked over, his eyes narrowed suspiciously.

I watched him for a moment before answering, "Sometimes I just wish I was normal. Instead, I'm-" I absentmindedly levitated a pencil that was on the center console, "this." As soon as I'd said it, I half-wanted to take what I'd said back. Who knew how he could hold that fact against me? But deep down, I was hoping that he'd get it, that he'd understand me.

"Your telekinetic abilities?" he asked with slight incredulously. "They're a gift. You should start treating them as such."

I raised an eyebrow at his response. I hadn't been sure of what he was going to say, but it certainly wasn't that.

"No," I replied absentmindedly, still toying with the pencil in midair. "Not just my abilities."

Jake was quiet for a while. Then, in that cold manner of his, he told me, "I burned out the person I once was. You should do the same."

I shook my head. "But-"

"You're still holding onto the past. Kill it. What's done is done. You can't go back now."

I absorbed his statement, sifting the words through my mind. I wondered if he had even taken his own advice. I had no idea what horrors his past held, what traumatizing events had made him this way.

      Neither of us spoke. I returned to absentmindedly looking out of the window while Jake drove steadily onward. It seemed as if something had changed between us and I wasn't sure what it was.

      I wasn't even aware that I fell asleep until I woke up slowly hours later. After blinking my eyes a few times, I glanced down at the glowing numbers of the clock. It was 5:56 in the morning.

     I took a shaky breath in as I straightened up in my seat and looked over at Jake. He was in the exact same position that he'd been in before I fell asleep. Dark hair hung into eyes staring straight forward, though I did see the slight dark circles under them.

     "Do you want me to drive?" I asked suddenly.

      He apparently already knew that I was awake because he didn't jump when I spoke out of nowhere. "No."

      "You've been driving for almost eight straight hours. You should sleep if we're going to singlehandedly take down Hundsen at that airport in a day."

"I don't need sleep," he informed me briefly. Of this, I was well aware. For the days we'd been together, he spent the nights planning and scheming. I'd offered to help a few times, but he'd rejected it. He apparently only wanted help if his plan depended on it. And he obviously didn't trust me enough to include me much in the planning process.

"We should be there in about seven hours," he informed me. It would have been less, but in the car chase, we'd gotten off route and lost time. I knew that we couldn't afford to lose any more.

"And what happens when we do get there?" I queried, glancing at the boy next to me.

"We have to be smart and move quickly. We're ridiculously outnumbered and outgunned. One wrong move and the plan will all go to shit."

"That's not entirely true," I stated, smirking marginally. "You have a backup plan, don't you?"

"Of course. I always do."

"Of course," I repeated, a smile still playing at my lips.

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