Hi there everyone! It's been awhile I know, I kinda fell off the earth, been having a lot of awesome stuff happening in my life. But with my crazy imagination have another story here and I hope you all will like it. Btw razzle thank you for email, I want to apologize for not being able to work on Milk and Chocolate. I would like to be able to rewrite it and add more to it, but there's not enough time in the day. But who knows maybe you might see a longer revised version of it!

One more thing! I'm sure you all are reading the hot new series "could I be?..." it's by the same person who wrote "am I?...", and also the person is my editor for this story and the brighter side. The one and only Richard Adams! He has taught me many things and help with my writing, and with this story. So if you haven't checked out "could I be?..." then get to reading it because it is awesome! I am once again ever so grateful and thanks to all my fans and most importantly that you Richard Adams! Now enough of my rambling here's chapter one.


Chapter 1

Name's Tyler Loan, and I'm a messed up kid. I don't mean with my appearance. In fact, I find myself quite attractive. 6 foot 1, 185 pounds of muscle, lightly tanned skin, short-cropped brown hair, equally brown eyes, and I play basketball. My outside appearance is perfectly normal. My brain is what's messed up about me.

My mind is constantly racked with thoughts, thoughts of other people getting hurt, thoughts of me hurting them. I'm a special kind of kid with powers that I don't even understand, and it scares me. I sometimes lose control and people get hurt as a result. I hate myself for it.

Even when I try to control myself, I lose it and people hated me for who I was: a monster. The hate I received made me hate these people in return and it only increased the damage I did, hurting a lot of people in the process. That's why Mom, Dad, and I moved across the country four months ago, to a place where no one knew about me.

Dad said there was a place that could help me learn to control these powers. Mom wasn't happy that we had to move, in fact, she was furious. She forced Dad to leave after the move and I was alone after that, forced to put up with Mom's fury. The thing is, Mom is like me, except she can control her powers, but she never uses them.

She takes her anger out on me and constantly yells at me, saying it's my fault that she can't live a normal life. She never says a word to me except when she's yelling at me. And whenever I get home, I go straight for my room and she locks me in there, leaving me in my solitude.

All I want is a normal life. I want someone to talk to, someone to be there for me, someone who doesn't see as a freak or a monster, someone who I can love, someone who loves me for who I really am, someone to cheer me on whenever I have a game, someone to be close to. I just want...someone...anyone...


God, I'm exhausted. A few hours of skateboarding really takes a toll on the body. With my rainbow skateboard under my arm, I walk into the front door of my house. I set my board down next to the stairs and toss my Skullcandy beanie on top of it and walk into the living room. 'I'm home!" I call out.

"In the kitchen, sweetie!" I hear Mom call back.

Walking into the kitchen, I see Mom standing at the stove, stirring a large pot. "Hey, Mom," I say.

"Hi, sweetie." I walk up behind her and give her a quick hug. "Have fun on your skateboard?"

"Fell a few times, but I'm okay."

"Did you wear your helmet?" My silence gives her my answer. "Lucas, I thought we agreed that if you were going to skateboard, you would wear your helmet when you went out."

"Sorry, Mom. I just forgot this time. I'll wear it next time. I promise."

Mom sighs to herself and shakes her head. "Oh well. As long as you're okay. We're having chicken soup for dinner. It should be ready in about forty-five minutes. Go upstairs and wash up."

Rolling my eyes, I grab my board and head upstairs. By the way, my name's Lucas Copper. Standing at a decent 5 foot 8.5 (yes, I count every centimeter. I wish I were a couple inches taller), I'm a fair looking guy. Shaggy, sandy blonde hair covers my head, very light blue eyes that some people see as grey, a tan body that's somewhat toned from gymnastics (no one knows about it besides my friends and family, so keep your mouth shut), and a few scars from skateboarding injuries I've received over the years.

I seem a year younger than 16 because of my boyish face that has yet to get a single hair on it, but I don't mind. I like the way my face looks: evenly proportioned without anything being too big. The thing I take pride in is my mouth though, filled with perfect white teeth that are protected by thin, pink lips. People always like it when I smile, and I love smiling.

I set my board down on my bedroom floor, toss my phone onto my bed and close my door behind me. I strip down to nothing and walk into my bathroom, turning on the shower when I walk in. The water soon heats up and I step in, letting the warm water relax my muscles after a long day of nothing but me and my skateboard.

As I wash my hair, I think back to earlier in the afternoon when I was skating. I had just grinded down a rail when I looked over and saw a guy that grabbed my attention. He was...beautiful. He looked to be about 6 foot 2 with muscles on every inch of his body. His hair, in its short, wavy style, was such a dark brown that it looked almost black in the afternoon sun.

He was staring at me with eyes that looked as green as freshly mowed grass on a bright summer's day. And he was...smiling at me with a thin smile that didn't show any teeth, but it made my heart skip a beat. And also made me run straight into a telephone pole. When I recovered from my embarrassing fall, I looked back to where he was standing and saw that he had disappeared. He was just so...handsome, sexy, manly, and every synonym of those three words.

I finish up with my shower and walk back into my room with my towel. Wiping the last drips of water off me, I go to my dresser and grab a pair of rainbow-colored boxer-briefs and slip them on along with a plain t-shirt. Jumping into my soft bed, I see my phone has two texts on it, both of them from my best friends: James and Nick.

They both tell me to call them, so I debate who to call first. James' text has more exclamation points in it, so I choose to call him first. He picks up after to rings. "Hey, Mr. Copper!" James says (his usual greeting).

"Hey, James, " I reply.

"I've been trying to get a hold of you all weekend! Where have you been?"

"Home. I was sick on Friday and I just got over my cold today. I've been out on my skateboard for most of the afternoon. Why? What's up?"

"You missed out on Friday! There's this new kid at school who is to die for! Seriously! He is drop dead gorgeous!"

My interest suddenly peaks. "Really?" I say. "What did he look like?"

"Oh, God! Where do I even begin? First off, his face is absolutely perfect! Sharp jawline, high cheekbones, perfectly sized nose and mouth, dark, wavy hair, and eyes that look like my lawn after a mid-summer rain shower! And his body? Holy shit! He had on this tight white t-shirt that was so tight, you could see every muscle on his chest and stomach. I think you could chip a tooth on his abs and his pecs looked like you stuffed two fucking rocks in them! And he's a junior too! But he looks like he graduated college years ago!"

I sit up, thinking back to earlier in the afternoon. "Did his smile never show any teeth?"

"Yeah! It's so adorable!"

"I think I may have seen him this afternoon when I was out with my board. He was...staring at me."

I hear James squeal on the other side of the phone. "Oh my God, Lucas! He's fucking hot for you! And you're hot for him!"

"W-What?! N-No I'm not!"

"Don't lie to me, Mr. Copper! I can tell by the tone of your voice that you're so fucking head over heels for him that you may as well wear your shoes on your hands!"

"In case you haven't noticed, James, my feet are often over my head because of my training."

"You know what I mean, Lucas! Admit it! You like this guy!"

After a few seconds of silence, I feel myself starting to giggle like a schoolgirl. "Fine! He's got to be the hottest guy I've seen in my life!" I scream. "Happy now?"

"Yes!" James takes a few seconds to laugh like a maniac. "So what're you going to do now that you know you like him?"

"I don't know, James. Sure, he's hot. But I don't know if he even likes me or not."

"Lucas! You said he was staring at you this afternoon! If that doesn't spell 'I want to shove my tongue down your throat,' I don't know what does!"

I pull the phone away from my ear, stifling a laugh. If I could describe James in one word, it would be 'blunt.' I put the phone back to my ear. "I'll figure it out, James. I'll see you tomorrow at school."

"Okay! Night, Mr. Copper!"

I hang up the phone and stare at the ceiling, remembering the guy from earlier, feeling my dick starting to get hard at the thought of him. "Lucas! Dinner's ready!"

Damn. I wanted to rub one out before I had to eat, but hunger beats out teenage sexual desires. I send a quick text to Nick, saying I'll see him tomorrow and that I need to eat dinner. He replies a minute later, saying he understands. I take a minute to calm down, slip on a pair of shorts from my dresser and head downstairs for dinner, with the boy still in my mind.


Adam's Academy for the Gifted is a very private high school with only about five hundred students total, a little over a hundred kids in every grade level. When I first started here two years ago, I was really confused as to why my parents chose to enroll me here, but they just told me that this school was one of the best in the country and that I was lucky to have been accepted. I didn't push the topic any further after that.

The school really is amazing, though. The teachers are incredibly nice and helpful and they really know their stuff. The campus is beautiful, the ground perfectly maintained year-round, even in the occasional snowstorm. The students are all friendly, but we're all connected in a way: none of us know why we're at this school.

I woke up a little late today, so I rush through my morning process in an attempt to get to school on time. I secure my skateboard under my arm, slip my Skullcandy cap on my head, grab an apple and head off. Adam's Academy is only about a mile and a half from my house, so I can skateboard to school every day.

The bell is just about to ring as I roll up to school. Kicking my skateboard up, I grab it and rush inside, darting through the halls trying to get to my first class. The bell rings and I silently swear to myself. Okay, I'm late, but maybe I'll get lucky today...

I rush around a corner and run into a solid mass and I fall back to the tiled floor, losing my skateboard in the process. Looking up, I see the face of someone I don't recognize. He's freaking gigantic and looks to covered in muscle with a pretty handsome face covered by short dark brown hair.

He looks down at me and I hear a low growl come from his throat. "What. The. Fuck?" he says, enunciating every word.

"U-Um...sorry. I'm late and I didn't see..."

He just starts looking angrier and he clenches his fists together. Suddenly, I can feel the ground underneath me starting to shake and all the lights in the hallway start to flicker. Earthquake?

Just as the shaking starts to get worse, a hand suddenly lands on the kid's shoulder. And that hand belongs to Dean Kendall. Dean Kendall is the equivalent of a public school principal, but he's much scarier than a normal principal. "Mr. Loan," he says very firmly. "Please calm down."

The kid takes a few deep breaths and the shaking suddenly stops. "Thank you," Dean Kendall says. "Now, head off to class."

The kid turns and walks in the opposite direction. When I think I'm in the clear, Dean Kendall looks down at me. Despite being almost 50, he has the body of a 30 year old. His head is covered in perfectly styled salt and pepper hair with a face that's almost always in a dark scowl that screams 'no funny business.' He's never mean, but he is incredibly assertive without even trying. "Mr. Copper," Dean Kendall says. "I believe you're late. Again..."

I grab my skateboard and rise back to my feet. "Sorry, Dean Kendall. I slept through my alarm clock."

"Either way, you've already been late eleven times since the start of the school year, and we've only had twenty days of school so far. I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to reprimand you for being tardy so many times."

Sighing to myself, I nod understandingly. "What's my poison?" I ask.

"The school garden will be reopening soon and it needs some maintenance. Nothing much, just pulling some weeds and sweeping up some rocks and debris. For one hour after every school day for the rest of this week, you will help to clean up the garden to get ready for remodeling."

I give Dean Kendall a quizzical look. "I thought we closed down the garden after that gopher infestation."

"We did, and we've removed all the gophers over the summer. Now that they're gone, some of the students requested we open it back up. We granted the request, but due to lack of proper maintenance, the garden needs some work. So your punishment is to help bring the garden back to its former glory. We're reopening it in the spring, but we like to be early on our projects."

"Okay, Dean Kendall. I'll be there after school."

"But you won't be alone. You're lucky enough to have another student willing to help you with this."


"A boy who just started here last week. Goes by the name of Zack Lycan, a good-looking young man. I get the feeling you two will get along...very well."

Why did I hear a slight bit of enjoyment in there? Dean Kendall gives me a polite nod and passes me, continuing his hallway rounds. I dismiss the thought and continue my way to class, dreading working after school. But the shaking from a few minutes earlier slips back into my mind. What the hell was that?


Ah, I love school. Never thought you'd hear a teenager say that, did you? But I've always come to love the smell of a freshly cracked textbook, the feel of a pencil point scrawling over a fresh sheet of paper, the sight of equations, definitions, timelines, and word after word on a whiteboard. It's great.

Oh, I'm James Core and I'm the school genius in a school full of gifted students (although none of us really know why we're gifted, but we like the way it sounds). I'm a bit on the short side, 5 foot 7, but a lot of people see me as cute. My black hair is a bit long, but not insanely long. I keep it on a ponytail sometimes (one of the cool ones. Not the gross ones you see old hippies having).

My skin is pretty pale due to me not leaving the house very much, but I'm not pasty, and the mole at the base of my neck is the only discoloration in my skin (it's not cancer. I've already had it checked out). I like to keep my style of dress to preppy, and I like the way nice clothes feel and I want to look my best at all times.

After a very relaxing first period, the bell rings and I make my way to the hallway. Through the hordes of students, I see one who is identifiable by his rainbow-colored skateboard. "Hey, Mr. Copper!" I call out to Lucas.

He stops and looks back and waits for me to catch up with him. "Hey, James," he says.

I notice he has an odd look in his eyes. "You okay?" I ask. "You seem a bit down."

"Yeah, I'm fine. I just got into a bit of trouble with Dean Kendall this morning. I was late again and now I have to help clean up the school garden. Did you know we're opening it back up?"

My heart jumps for joy at the knowledge of the school garden reopening. "We are?" I squeal. "I love the garden! It's a great place to study in the springtime."

"You never stop studying, do you?"

I respond with a grin. Lucas and I make our way down the hall together, but don't make it very far before we're kept from moving by a body wrapping it's arms around both of our shoulders. "What's up, guys?"

Lucas and I look back and see Nick Rawson leaning against both of us. Nick is the third guy in our trio and probably the most attractive. His skin is the color of caramel and his head is covered with straight black hair that he highlights with streaks of light brown and he likes to keep it between long and short and often spikes it up in the front.

His body is pretty much nothing but muscle from his hours of martial arts training, which he's been doing since he was 3 years old. Now, he can kill anyone with little to no effort. He often wears nothing but workout clothes, since they're easy to change out of, and is about four inches taller than me. "Hey Mr. Rawson," I say to Nick.

"We're getting crushed here, Nick," Lucas says.

Nick smiles and eases off both of us. We all start to walk down the hallway together. "Nick!" I say. "Didn't you think that new guy from yesterday was incredibly hot?"

Nick shrugs a bit. "I guess," he quietly says. (Nick doesn't really like to talk too much. He's kind of shy).

"The one you and I talked about last night?" Lucas asks me.

"Yeah! I haven't seen him yet today, but he made me drool a puddle last week! Lucas, you'll fall in love with him the second you're within ten feet of him!"

Lucas blushes a little, which makes me grin. The three of us walk and talk a little more before we arrive at my next class. "See you later, James," Nick says.

"Bye, guys!" I say. "I'll see you at lunch!"

I turn and walk into my physics class and take a deep breath. Just walking in here makes me feel smarter. I look at the whiteboard and see the lesson plan for today. As soon as I see the equations, the numbers and letters float off the whiteboard and circle my head. I've been solving problems this way since I was a kid. I don't know how it happens, but I've become used to it. Within two minutes, I know every possible answer to whatever numerals will be put into the equations.

I sit back into my seat and relax for a minute, closing my eyes. As I stare into the blackness behind my eyelids, I feel something...strange. My head starts to hurt all of a sudden. I open my eyes and see someone walk into the room with Dean Kendall. And the first thing I do is make my heart skip a beat.

This guy is...beautiful. He looks a little over six feet tall with short-cropped dark brown hair, slightly tanned skin that covers hard muscle and brown eyes that look like melted chocolate. His face is incredibly handsome with a rugged look to it and a five o'clock shadow over his cheeks and chin.

Dean Kendall walks over to Mr. Yen (our physics teacher), and talks to him, but I can't make out what they're saying. Mr. Yen nods and Dean Kendall walks back over to the boy. "Settle down, everyone," Dean Kendall calls.

The students in the room calm down and sit in their seats. "You have a new student joining your class today," Dean Kendall continues. "This is Tyler Loan. He just started here at our fine school today and is a very gifted student. I hope you all make him feel welcome."

He leaves the room and the kid, Tyler, stands at the front of the room with a dark glare on his face. He looks to Mr. Yen for guidance. "Um...welcome to my class, Tyler," he says nervously. "I hope you enjoy your time here at this school."

"Whatever..." Tyler quietly says.

Mr. Yen looks around the room. "Why don't you go ahead and take a seat next to..." His gaze stops on me. "James." He looks back to Tyler. "James is the brightest student at this school. I'm sure you two will be able to get along well."

Oh...thank you, Mr. Yen...

Tyler sighs to himself and walks down the aisle between the desks and takes a seat next to me. The first thing that hits me is a very subtle smell of what appears to be cologne coming off of Tyler. The smell is intoxicating without being too overwhelming and it's a musky kind of smell, the kind that a guy like Tyler would be wearing.

I glance over at Tyler and I feel the same stabbing pain in my head I was feeling a few minutes ago. It's hurting ten times as much and I actually grip the sides of my head to try and make it stop hurting, to no avail. I feel sweat breaking out on my forehead and my heart rate is through the roof. Why is this happening to me...?

All of a sudden, the pain starts to subside and I'm not in the classroom anymore. I'm standing in the middle of the hallway and facing me is Tyler, standing just three feet away from me. But I'm getting the feeling...that this isn't Tyler. His chocolate eyes from when I first saw him are gone, replaced by dark swirling irises of blood red, and the air around him seems heavy.

Tyler looks over at the lockers on the side of the hallway and without warning, the metal lockers crumble like wet paper, bending and warping at unnatural angles. Tyler looks back at me and I see the red in his eyes is gone and they're back to their brown color. The anger I saw on his face is gone and he looks...afraid. Did...did he do that...?

The pain suddenly disappears and I slowly reopen my eyes, worried that it will come back again. "Are you okay?"

I look to my left and see Tyler looking at me, confusion in his face. I feel my face flush a bit and nod my head. "Y-Yeah, I'm okay," I say. "Um...I'm James, by the way. James Core."

"Tyler," he replies.

I hold my hand out to him and he takes it and gives me a firm shake. But just before Tyler takes his hand away, there's an ear splitting crack in the room. I duck my head away in time as the wooden desk to the right of me almost silently explodes into a million splinters. Everyone in the room screams as the shards of wood fly across the room, landing on every surface.

The room is completely silent for a few seconds and I carefully reopen my eyes, feeling small pieces of wood fall out of my hair. Sitting back up, I see that the desk to my right is completely gone. I gaze around the room and see tiny fragments of wood everywhere, except in one place: Tyler.

There isn't even a splinter on him, but he looks incredibly scared. He jumps out of his seat and runs out of the room without Mr. Yen noticing him. Pure instinct leading me on, I rise out of my seat and rush out to the hallway, shaking the wood pieces off as I exit the room. I look to my left as I exit the room and see Tyler hunched over in the middle of the hallway, hands to the side of his head.

He slowly turns back around and I see his face is in what appears to be great pain. He lets out a very fast and loud scream and crunching metal fills my ears. The lockers to the right of Tyler twist and grind in a sudden fast snap, the sound echoing down the hallway. Tyler sudden freezes and keeps his head down.

I carefully walk over to him and stop a few feet in front of him. "T-Tyler?" I say.

Tyler's head slowly lifts up and while I expect to see eyes of brown, what I see shakes me to my core. Tyler's irises are as red as fresh blood and his face is contorted into a maniacal, evil grin. "So, you're the one he thinks is cute," Tyler says in a voice that sounds...demonic.

The voice makes my body unconsciously shiver. "'H-He?'" I ask. "He who?"

Tyler chuckles to himself. "Why that weak-minded idiot, Tyler. He really needs to star learning some self-control when I start poking around that head of his."

"W-Wait. You're...not Tyler?"

"Call me Ty." Ty steps a little closer to me. And while I try to back away, my body won't move. "I'm the guy Tyler constantly tries to keep under wraps, but he's too weak. But you? You're a very strong individual. I can see why Tyler was attracted to you the second he walked into that classroom. His mind was weakened because he was sitting next to you and that lapse of judgment let me wreak some havoc. It felt so good..."

Wait. T-This is the same picture I saw when I was sitting in the classroom! But...why did I see it? "G-Give Tyler back," I tell Ty.

He smirks down at me and takes another step toward me. "Why do you think I'll let that fucker come back? I'm free right now and in the mindset he was in before I came out here, I'll be able to stay out here for a while."

I glare up at Ty and try to make myself seem intimidating. "I-I mean it. Bring Tyler back...or else."

Ty raises his hand and takes my chin between his thumb and index finger and grins down at me. "Or else what?"

The same feeling from the classroom, the stinging pain in my head, comes back. But I notice it hurts a lot less than earlier. There's a very faint feeling around Ty that reminds me of Tyler. I focus my mind on that and all of a sudden, Ty's face scrunches up in pain. "W-What're you doing?" he grunts.

Even I don't know what I'm doing, or even if I'm doing anything. Ty's chuckles to himself, but I still see some pain in his face. "I see," he says. "You're similar to us. And you're forcibly bringing Tyler back here. Well, no matter. I think I'm taking a liking to you. What's your name?"


"James, I'll see you again soon. Count on it. Say hi to Tyler for me."

Without warning, Ty presses his lips to mine and I feel the energy drain out of me. Ty's actually kissing me. But as our lips touch, the heavy air I felt around Ty starts to lift. Ty's eyes slowly open back up and the red from just a minute ago is replaced by the chocolate brown of Tyler. He looks...exhausted.

His eyes come back into focus and he sees me and smiles a bit. "T-Thank you..."

Tyler's body suddenly collapses into my arms and I can barely hold him up under his crushing weight. I manage to set him down carefully on the tile floor and sit down next to Tyler's unconscious body. What the hell is going on...?


Finally after a long and tiring day, I grab my bag and board and head to the school garden. Today has been a bit weird. For one, I haven't seen James since after first period. He didn't even show up at lunch like he promised Nick and me. I texted him, asking where he was, but all he replied was that something came up.

Walking out the back entrance into the comfortable October air, I spy the school garden. Time has really taken a toll here. Weeds are sprouting up all over the grass, garbage and trash is littered everywhere and I think there may be a half-eaten sandwich sitting in some old water in the bird feeder.

As I wait for the guy that's supposed to help me, I take a seat on an old bench and stare up at the sky. There's a sudden fluttering to my right and I glance over and see a small bird sitting on my shoulder, looking at me. I smile and give the bird a few pets with my index finger and watch as it accepts the pets.

This really isn't all that unusual for me. Ever since I was a kid, I've had an odd attraction to animals, and it seems they have an attraction to me as well. No matter the animal, they really like me. And the second animal that's here to greet me comes out of nowhere: a small red fox with a very adorable face.

Colorado has a lot of animals like this, and they come in all shapes and sizes. The fox jumps up onto the bench I'm sitting on and sits next to me and rests its head on my lap, breathing easily. I give the fox a few pets behind the ears, just where they like them, and listen to it breathe.

Cue the third and fourth animals of the day: a small brown squirrel and...wow, that's new. A large, white-tailed deer with great antlers stands next to the squirrel. The squirrel scurries up my pant leg, up my chest and comes to rest on the top of my cap, perched on its back legs.

The buck walks over slowly and stops in front of me. I hold out my hand for him and he stares at it for a second before rubbing his wet nose against my fingers. He suddenly seems a lot more relaxed and slowly sits down at my feet, staring up at me with obsidian dark eyes. "You're a new animal I haven't interacted with," I say to the deer.

A voice pops into my head out of nowhere.

"I felt your presence a long distance away and come to investigate. You seem like a very kind human."

Shock courses through me and I look around to see if the voice came from someone behind me, but I don't see anyone there. I look back at the buck and see he's still staring up at me. "D-Did you...?' I start.

"You must be Lucas."

I look to my left and feel my mouth drop open. It's the guy from yesterday! He's walking over to me and the animals watch him approach. The animals suddenly get up and slowly walk away and back into the wooded area behind the school. The guy stops just in front of me and smiles his toothless smile at me. "Y-You must be Zack," I say, rising off the bench.

"That's me. Thanks for helping me with this project."

"Well...to be honest? I'm actually being forced to do this. I'm late to school a lot and Dean Kendall finally decided to do something about it."

"Well, I still appreciate you being here. So...what was with the animals? They seemed to really like being around you."

"Oh, it's been a thing ever since I was a kid. Animals just seemed to be attracted to me. No matter the animal, the just like me. A lot."

Zack smiles again. "Well, c'mon. Let's get to work. I think we should start with the weeding. We get that done, it'll help to make everything seem easier."

I nod and look toward the tall weeds in the garden and grab a few by the top and yank them out of the ground. I hear a small giggle to my left and see Zack laughing to himself. "What?" I ask. "Am I doing something wrong?"

"Kind of," he replies. "When pulling a weed out, you need to grab it by the base so you pull the roots out too. It helps to keep other weeds from growing here in the future."

I blush a little and grab a few more weeds by the base and rip them out of the ground, little roots banging under them. "Where should I put these?" I ask.

"Just toss them behind you. I'll get a garbage bag after we're done and we can stuff them in it when we're done."

We get back to pulling the roots out of the ground and as we pull, I keep glancing over at Zack. Every time he pulls a weed out of the ground, I see the muscles in his arm bulge. Sweat glistens on his forehead and trickles down the side of his head to his muscular neck. James was right about his pecs. They really do look like small rocks are stuffed in them. They push out from the soft fabric of Zack's blank white t-shirt and my eyes keep falling back to them.

Zack pulls out another weed, stares at it for a second, and takes a bite of the yellow flower on top. "Did you just eat that?" I ask.

"It's a dandelion," he replies. "They're edible and they actually taste pretty good to me. Want to try some?"

"I...think I'll pass. You know your plants and stuff, don't you?"

"I love the outdoors. I have my whole life. No matter where I am, I can survive with nothing but the clothes on my back."

"I'm not the outdoorsy type. I spend most of my time skateboarding. So what brings you to Adam's Academy?"

"My Dad found this school and said it would be a perfect fit for me, seeing as I'm a gifted kid. Or so he says. This gift is more like a curse to me..."

He mumbled that last part. "What was that?" I ask.

"Oh, nothing. Just me talking to myself."

We go back to pulling the weeds out and after about an hour, we've managed to pull out all of the weeds and now they're in two large piles behind Zack and me. I'm so fucking tired that I may just fall asleep right here. Zack and I rise back to our feet and he looks down at me. "Nice work today, Lucas," he says.

"T-Thanks. You too."

Zack suddenly reaches for the base of his shirt and slips it over his head, exposing a very muscular chest and stomach, complete with a very solid eight-pack. His skin is covered with a very light dusting of hair and I see what appears to be a tattoo over his heart. It's a black crescent moon.

I gain as much of much of my composure as I can and look back up at Zack. "N-Nice tattoo," I manage to say.

He stops wiping the sweat off his forehead with his shirt and smiles down at me. "Thanks, but it isn't a tattoo. It's a birthmark. It's just been there ever since I was born. I thought it would eventually fade away, but it's been as dark as the day I came into the world."

Zack stretches his arms over his head, all his muscles flexing from the strain. I gulp at the sight of this gorgeous man in front of me. "U-Um...I'll go get a few trash bags," I say.

I turn and hurriedly walk back toward the school, my face turning redder with every passing step. I gaze up at the sky. Big Guy, you really like testing me, don't you?

But despite me being incredibly awkward the entire time, I really enjoyed spending time around Zack. There's just something about him that...draws me to him. I can't explain it, but just the thought of being around him makes me smile. And the best part is that I'm going to be helping him tomorrow. Maybe I should be late more often...



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