Chapter Five: Sympathetic Words and Comforting Embraces

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Content Warning:  mentions of physical child abuse, graphic descriptions of the appearance of burns


"Dakota?"

Kota's eyes burned into mine and I had my answer.

He and Nathan were Possessors. They, too, were immortal.

The discovery was too much to handle in the moment and I suddenly felt dizzy. How was that possible? I'd been going to school with them for two months! A feeling of deception crept over me. They'd been portraying themselves as normal teens, normal teens who stuck up for other teens like me. I should have noticed somehow, that they were not like the other students... that they were immortal.

Deep down, I knew I couldn't have ever noticed, because I'd never have been able to see the infinity signs above their heads that marked them as Possessors, but... it was unsettling. They were already set apart because of their private school—now I found out they were immortal, too?

Unless...

"D-Did you get it this morning, too?"

Both of them moved closer to me, hands slightly outstretched like they were prepared to catch me at any minute should I lose my balance.

"Hey, hey, it's okay," Nathan said, his voice low, barely above a whisper. His eyes were wide and his hands were hovering dangerously close to the side of my stomach. "Maybe we should sit down? You look like you're about to faint."

I blinked, trying to get a hold of myself. I'd fainted with the Headmaster, I couldn't faint here, too. Not when I had just become a Possessor. I had to learn to deal with stuff like this, or I'd be fainting for the rest of my eternal life!

"It's a lot to take in," Kota said. "You probably don't know much about what's going on, do you?"

"I-I mean, the Headmaster explained some things, but..."

My words died in my throat as the two of them shared another glance. I'd been in their presence for less than five minutes, and they'd already done it twice. It made me realize how close they must've been, to be able to converse wordlessly with just the look in their eyes. I wondered if I would ever be that close to someone...

I shook the thoughts out of my head and realized they were both walking away, further into the house. Kota glanced at me over his shoulder, likely expecting me to follow him, so I did.

Upon arriving in a big living room, Kota motioned toward the couch with his hand and sent me a curious look as he left the room to go into part of the house I hadn't been to yet.

I watched the empty space he'd left for just a moment before turning around to look at my surroundings. The cream-colored paint from the entryway stretched to the living room, complementing the dark hardwood floors. There was a dark green rug in the middle of the room with some kind of design on it, but parts of it were concealed by a large, caramel suede sofa. A flat screen television was mounted on the wall and a table below it held some gaming systems as well as a cable box. A few plants that looked well-cared-for sat on the middle of the coffee table with a couple books next to them and a half-full glass of water.

Nathan had sat down on the couch, and when I turned back around, I saw that his eyes had been focused somewhere low on my person. He quickly brought them up to meet my face, furrowing his eyebrows. "Are you hurt?"

"W-What?"

He jumped from the couch and moved close, crowding me. There was smoldering anger in his eyes, and I couldn't help but gulp at the implications.

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