Read on and enjoy! :)
The door shut. They were all alone. The teenagers looked at each other mutely.
The oldest finally broke the silence. “Well, since we’re all stuck here together, we might as well introduce ourselves. I’m Kyrin Lewis.”
The sullen looking boy shoved his hands into the pockets of his jeans. “I’m Destin,” he said. Then, jerking his thumb towards the other boy continued. “He’s my brother, Fovil.”
“I’m Laeli,” the girl with short, brown hair said with a smile.
“And I’m Ovril,” the younger girl added.
There was another silence.
“Are any of you excited about this?” The youngest boy, Fovil, asked suddenly, speaking for the first time.
“Is anyone ever excited to leave the only home they’ve ever known to go somewhere else and possibly never see it again?” Laeli asked in a gently reproving voice.
Ovril plopped herself down onto one of the seats along the sides of the launch pod’s interior. “I think I’ll get more excited about it once I’m more used to the idea,” she remarked.
“I know I won’t,” Destin grumbled. He was frowning at the floor darkly.
“Why not?” Ovril wanted to know.
“He misses our family,” Fovil explained.
“Your family!” Kyrin exclaimed in astonishment. “You two have family? How come you were allowed to leave them? I thought that teens that passed the test couldn’t have family!”
“Well, our situation is a little different than everyone else; see we’re sons of…” Fovil began.
His brother interrupted him. “Be quiet!” he hissed.
Fovil’s mouth snapped shut for the moment, but he glowered at his older brother. “Did you want to tell them?”
Destin narrowed his eyes. “I’m not telling them anything and neither are you.”
“Who made you my boss?” Fovil demanded hotly.
“Dad did when he chose to send us!” Destin answered just as hotly.
“Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t,” Fovil replied. “He’s not here to back you up.”
“I don’t need him to back me up!” Destin leaped to his feet and faced his younger brother, eyes flashing and fists clenched at his sides.
Laeli felt it was time to intervene. “Destin! Fovil! Stop it now!”
The brothers paid her no heed and continued their heated argument.
Kyrin took things into his hands. He shoved Destin into a seat and placed Fovil in another, though not too gently. “Just look at the two of you,” he said in disgust. “We’re not aboard this launch pod for five minutes before you two are arguing. Just to remind you, we’re stuck here together for almost a month. You’re going to have to learn how to get along.”
Destin frowned up at Kyrin fiercely, and all three boys were breathing heavily. The girls watched the silent power struggle in wide-eyed silence.
Finally, Kyrin let out a breath and looked at the brothers. “If this happens again,” he warned, “I’ll tie you both up and not let you loose until you both apologize civilly to everyone. Understand?”
Destin threw back his head defiantly. “I don’t think you could tie me up. I may be younger than you, but I bet I’m stronger.”
Kyrin raised an eyebrow. “Do you really want to find out now?”
Destin licked his lips which had suddenly turned dry. He didn’t like how the situation seemed to have turned against him. But everyone was watching him to see what he would do. It was all or nothing now.
“I dare you to try,” he challenged.
Before the astonished eyes of everyone, including Destin’s own, Kyrin had him on the floor in a position where he couldn’t move a muscle in the blink of an eye. A rope appeared out of thin air and Kyrin used it so quickly that it seemed to tie itself tightly around his hands and feet.
Kyrin’s knee was firmly planted on his chest. The older boy’s eyes were flashing dangerously. “Now…apologize for doubting my word,” he demanded sternly.
Destin swallowed his pride. He even began to grudgingly admire and even respect the older boy who still held him firmly in his power. “All right,” he yielded. “You win. I’m sorry.”
Immediately, Kyrin got off of Destin, untied the rope, and helped him get up on his own feet again after putting the length of rope back on the wall he had taken it from during Destin and Fovil’s argument.
Destin gave the rest of the room’s occupant’s a half apologetic, half sullen look. “And that goes for all of you, even Fovil.”
“Why don’t you want to tell us about your family?” Ovril got back to the point, wanting to satisfy her curiosity. “You’re lucky. I don’t have any family to keep a secret.”
Destin’s dark glower returned to his face. “I didn’t want to be different from the other teens selected as The Chosen. Having a family is different.”
Laeli met Destin’s smoldering eyes with her own gentle ones. “We don’t mind you and Fovil being different. We’re all different in our own ways. You and your brother have family, we have none. But what does it matter when we’re all friends?”
“I guess Fovil can tell you about our family.” Destin gave in at last, softened by Laeli’s gentle words. “But you all have to promise not to treat us any different after you learn who we are.”
The three other teens gave their promise and Fovil, released of his order to not tell, eagerly gave them the story of their background.
“You’re the sons of President Lake?” Kyrin asked in genuine astonishment. “The President of the United World?”
“Yes,” Fovil answered.
“Remember, you all promised,” Destin added severely.
Ovril laughed. “We won’t treat you differently, but I do wonder why you were so concerned about it.”
“I don’t know you, at least, I didn’t before ten minutes ago when we were all left in this launch pod together,” Destin protested in his defense. “So I didn’t know what to expect from you.”
“Well, I hope you do now,” Laeli said with a smile.
Destin’s face cracked a smile. “More than I did before,” he answered truthfully.