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Set It Off

Nigel sat in his room, thoughts of his beloved weighing heavily on his mind. He'd noticed that she'd been quiet all evening. Instead of her happy chatting during dinner time, she kept deathly quiet, looking at him all but a few times before looking at her dinner.

This was not his Nora. Normally, she'd complain about the food, or lack of, and would choose to cuddle up to him instead, seeing his how his love for her nourished her better than meatloaf by-product. Her eyes didn't sparkle in her liveliness. She was quiet and withdrawn from the world around her...

And more importantly...she was withdrawn from him.

Nigel didn't understand it. She was never like this. Even after all the terrible things that happened in the past, she still managed to be happy. So full of life...from her giggles down to her rambuncious laughter at his jokes, to a gently whispered 'I love you'...she was the happiest (and loveliest, if he said so himself) lady in the world...even if she had her own troubles.

He just couldn't understand why she was so distant right now...

*KNOCK KNOCK* The sudden knocking upon his door interrupted his thoughts. Why are times of incovenience always the best times for other people? he thought. Oh well...

"Who is it?!" He said dryly. His breath caught as Audi walked into the room, dressed in her pink bunny pajamas (her favorite). Her head hung low, and faint streaks of tears cried hours ago surrouded her somber brown eyes. Nigel felt his concern skyrocket. "Nora...are you all-"

"I'm sorry that I've been so distant with you, love," she said softly. She read my mind...of course, I expected as much... "'s just that..." Audi's voice grew softer and hesitant. Whatever it was, she couldn't bring herself to say it.

" there something it anything I've done?" He asked, terrible concerned.

"No! No, no, my dearest, it's not you. It can never be -you-." She slowly walked over to his bed, sitting closely beside him, as if she depended on being in his presence. "I...I'm just..." She took a deep breath. "Can I stay here with tonight? I don't think I can sleep alone..."

Her love smiled softly, wrapping his arms around her. "Of course you can. You always have a place for with me, here."

Audi smiled as he drew her into his embrace, his presence warmed her. "I'll tell you what's getting to me soon...I..."

"Shh...I know you will, Nora." Some of his concern faded away, but he couldn't help but feel for Audi right now. "But for now, let me make you feel better."

Audi sighed. Though she always felt safe in Nigel's arms, until Page was out of picture, she would never feel -really- safe again.

Page found himself gagging. He wasn't used to this romantic hugging, no snuggling, and none of that sentimental stuff that made him sick.

And that boy she was with -that Nigel freak- wasn't helping the situation either. He was sooo weak! He sworn that boy was a push over, even if he could feel that aura of his. Ah yes...he was like Audi, a boy with another being...or even persona, which sleep inside of him. But unlike Audi, he was cocky enough to think that it meant nothing. Audi's little toy, in his eyes, was nothing but a roach...and he bet he could crush easily, without trouble.

And he had to. He wanted her back. He couldn't figure out why, really. After all, along with Crispien, she'd put him away, having him kicked out of Madison when she was the only person who'd given him a reason to stay. He should have made plans to kill her...but she was too good for that. He needed her. Audi was the only woman who was who was just as passionate, if not sexually charged, as he was. That's why he couldn't get enough of her...not only was she a bad little girl, she was a good little girl. She did whatever he wanted at the drop of a hate, no questions ask. She sated his hungers, and satisfied his every need. Of course, he had another girl who could that, but she was nothing compared to Audi. Audi was his "soulmate"...he didn't know what meaning lied in that word, but since it sounded right, he really didn't care.

And she was a damn powerful child of Gaia, too. He could feel her aura from miles away...ah, he trained it well.

So of course, he had to get her back. Especially if he was going to get anywhere with Crispien. He had to cripple that bastard somehow. First things first...I have to get rid of that Nigel fellow...because I'm going to have Audi back on my side, no matter what I have to do.

He chuckled gruffly as the lights went out in the room. Damn...they aren't going to give me a show tonight? he thought. Aww...not's not what I came for anyway. Either way, I'm going to have to figure out how to get rid of that distraction of a boy. But for now...I need to prepare...after's time to set things in motion...

"I'm glad you took time away from your friends to talk to me, Ethan," Maria whispered to her brother the next day, during lunchtime. "I know how you like to spend time with them...and how much you don't wish to be seen with your baby sister."

"Oh hush, Lune," Ethan hissed, chuckling right after. "Like I told mom and dad, -and- you, I'm always going to be there for my little sis. Don't you forget that."

"Oh, I won't. I just fear that you will!" Maria giggled softly.

"Ha, ha, very funny, Lune," Ethan said sarcastically. "Anyway, what did you need to talk to me about?"

Maria smiled slightly, lowering her head. "Ethan, you heard what happened to me yesterday, right?"

"Who hasn't? Even the regular students here know about it, of course, they think that it was just a case of male jealousy and egotism-two things Crispien in synonimous with."

"Then you must have some idea of how this has affected me." She sighed, looking up into the sky. "Ethan...that man...he said some things that struck me fiercely. I don't know if he meant to do that or not...but I'm confused." She turned to him, her eyes intense. "And in life, I've found that I'm hardly ever been confused about anything."

"Maria..." Ethan gently wrapped his arm around her, pulling her slightly closer to him. His eyes were soft, speaking of his concern for her. "Maria, you shouldn't be confused. Daniel...I mean, the guy you saw last night, is bad news. He's nothing but trouble...even before his reappearance on-campus, he was no saint."

"Oh?" Maria asked inquisitively.

"Yes. Even if Crispien was hard on him, he was still a trouble maker. Always getting in trouble with school officials. Crispien was accused to adding flames to an already raging fire."

"Oh, I see." Maria sighed. "Still...some of the things he said...would only be known to me...and even you."

"I bet. Daniel always had a knack for that. That's how Nora...I mean Audi, got involved with him. And she suffered greatly because she believed in him. So trust me when I say don't even think about believing in him. And if you can get that through your head, I'll get it in there for you."

Maria chuckled, smiling gently at her brother. He was the only person who made it a point to talk to at times, because she loved being in his company. She was actually close to her brother...unlike all those other brother-sister teams in the past that weren't close at all (as relationships like that can involved jealousy, carelessness, and hatred). It could have been the "secret" and even the mental bond that they shared, but it didn't matter. Maria loved her brother Ethan, and Ethan loved her the same.

"Now, enough about Daniel Page," Ethan continued, interrupting her thoughts. "He's not the one I'm worried about is how much our dear Crispien is affecting you."

Maria jumped, taken aback by the sudden statement. "E-Excuse me?"

"Don't think I haven't been noticing what's going on between you two, Lune. I've been watching you and him interact. You actually fidget around him. You aren't blank in the face."

"And what's that suppose to mean?" Maria asked inquisitively.

"It means that for the first time in my life, my sister is showing that she's got feelings, and it's about damn time. I always had in my mind that my sister would eventually show some gentlemen the side of her I always see, but I didn't think that it would be that screwball Crispien."

Maria's eyes widened, and loud gasp escaping her lips. "Ethan Chase! You had better not be implying what I -think- you're implying!"

"That there is something going on between you and the advisor?" Ethan chuckled heartily. "That's -exactly- what I'm implying! He's never cruel to you, and when you talk to him, there's something dreamy about the way you say 'Mr. Sill'."

Maria laughed nervously, as thought of her brother's words filled into her head. Was she really letting Crispien affect her? She did notice how she was showing more of herself when he was cruel to her than she ever let anyone see in the past. Do I really say "Mr. Sill" so dreamily? I don't think I do...then again, nowadays, I don't know anything anymore...

"You're hallucinating, Ethan," Maria said assuredly. "There is nothing going on. Crispien is my advisor and I follow his rules. And I don't think Crispien is the type of person who allows himself to be moved by anyone."

"Except you." Ethan looked tenderly into his sister's face. "You may not notice, and Crispien may deny it, but both of you are sweating each other big time...and trust me, I know what it's like to sweat."

Maria looked at her brother, shaking her head. Indeed, he did know how to sweat. After all, he does play a lot of basketball.

-Commericial Break-

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-End Commericial Break

"Ugh, this advanced placement chemistry class is killing me!" Kara grunted, toying with the thick book that stood before her. "Chemistry: Concepts and Theories" jumped out at her, with huge letter and bold print. "The teacher speaks in another I don't understand. I wish there was a Chemist-English dictionary out there somewhere." She looked up to see Nigel passing by. "Hey, Sa! You're the science god here, help me out."

He chuckled. "Lemme guess, you have King as your Chemistry teacher?"

Kara's eyes lit up. "Yes, how did you know that?"

"As a tutor, I always know such things. And the only students I seem to tutor nowadays are students from Mr. King's class. Nobody seems to understand him."

"I'm guessing that's because he doesn't want to be understood. He sets it up so that it's easier for him to fail people and kick them out of school. He isn't exactly thrilled about teenagers."

"Well, I'm not to thrilled about old farts either," Kara said non-chalantly, opening up her book. "Now, are you good with explaining how to balance equations using oxidation numbers?"

"Oxi...dation numbers?" Nigel have her a mock look terror. Kara could have smacked him. "Yeah yeah, I know how to explain them. But first of all, you should know the oxidation numbers of elements first..."

Audi softly entered Lund House, waves of fright washing her body as her heart drummed fiercly. Be still, be still... She decided that now would be the time to tell Nigel about how Page is back in town. He isn't going to take this lightly, I know. But...I'm sure I have a calm spell or two up my sleeve. Then again, Nigel is a soft-spoken, wonderful person...I'm sure nothing will come about...

She sighed, slightly leaning against the wall. When did things become so complicated? I thought that Page would have moved on to other things. I suppose I underestimated him. But it seems that he's only here for Crispien. Even so, I can't help but wonder if there are any other thoughts in his head. He said he hated me. He said hoped that our paths would never cross again because he'd kill me. But he should have known that in coming back here, I'd be here. And with my new-found love, my soulmate no doubt. Ummm...maybe I'm making too much of this situation...but even so, I should tell we can both be alert.

"For both of our sakes," Audi whispered to herself, "we have to be prepared for what might be ahead."

Page took a drag of his cigarette, looking up at his former (and terribly hated home). He nodded his head slowly...tonight, things were really going to heat up. Tonight...the destiny of Madison Joint College Prepatory...especially Lund House, would finally be set in motion.

"Let's set this off," he whispered to himself. "First...I'll make my presence felt."

"Eew..." Kara sat up in her chair, shaking slightly. "Ick...this doesn't feel right..."

"What doesn't feel right?" Nigel asked, concerned.

"Oh...just feeling a bit quesy...a bit eerie in my stomach," she said softly. "Oooh...I always get it when...well, whenever...and on those rare occasions when I eat cafeteria food."

"Is there something wrong? Is there any way I can help you?"

"Oh's just something that happens...nothing to be worried about."

"Well...all right..." Nigel stated hesitantly. He let out a breath and took a quick glance at the living room...only to see Audi standing in the entranceway. His eyes brightened. "Nora...hey. I didn't see you there."

She smiled softly, but one could see that there were other things on her mind. "Nigel, baby...can I see you a moment...there's something I have to talk to you about..."

Page removed his glasses, electric blue eyes blazing in the night. "Not tonight you won't, my dear...I think I have a better idea..."

Energies flicker, waved, and pulsed from him. A chuckled escaped his would be a fun night.

Audi's vision blurred and flickered wildly, all sense of reality fading at the speed of light. Something -hard- had hit her...nothing like a baseball bat or a crowbar, but more along the lines of energy...psychic energy...

Oh's here!

"Audi?" Nigel's voice seemed so far away, distant with reality, fading with her senses. Page! What are you doing to me?! Why are you doing this to me! "Audi...Audi, what's..."

"Nigel..." Pain ruthlessly tore into her body, as the lights of the living room faded, plunging into a mindless abyss, along with her soul. ""

THUMP! Audi fell to the floor, unconscious, the last syllabel of her beloved's name lost in a whirl of fierce psychic energies. Nigel hopped out of his seat, alarmed, his second-nature to run to her side.

"Nora!" He cried, bewildered and afraid all at once. "Nora, what's wrong?!"

Kara watched this, alarmed. Indeed, the feeling in her stomach was the same she had felt a few nights ago. The feeling...the premonition of something she thought was never to be expected. Her heart jumpstarted, fear sweeping over her body...

Something of great power is on this campus...and that power is full of evil...

"Kara!" Nigel's pained cries interrupted her thinking. "Kara, go get help! See if anyone is upstairs!"

"Nobody is upstairs!" Kara replied. "When I went to go get my chemistry book, it was pretty barren up there. Not even Crispien is home. They're probably out doing something!"

"Oh, that's just great!" Nigel brought Audi into his lap, frantic. "God, she's out cold...she looks so lifeless. And from what she's told me, these are signs of...oh hell." He looked up. Someone was on the grounds, and it definitely wasn't a welcomed visitor. "Kara, watch Nora...get someone to help you if they come in. I've got...something to do."

"Now?" Kara asked, bewildered.


Kara stood there, still bewildered by his sudden need to go outside, but said nothing as he went out the door.

He walked away from the house a bit before standing still. He kept his guard up-both telepathically and physically. "I know you are here..." He warned softly. "So allow me to make this beating quick."

It wasn't even a second before something hard smacked him upside his head, the force so strong, Nigel thought he'd be hit by a bus. He fell to the ground, curling into the fetal position, pain that was born at the back of his head making itself known all over his body.

"That was for thinking you could threaten me, boy," The grating, ugly voice hissed. Something began to bulldoze his shoulder and chest.

"That was for thinking that you had a chance to keep -MY- bitch forever!" Over and over, he was hit, every spot on his body prone to pain and suffering. Nigel winced...even though he was one to know of battle and it's consequences...he had never felt -this- much pain.

Nigel managed to speak a little, but only gibberish escaped his trembling lips. His eyes were blurry- he was kicked in the head more times than he could count- but he could still see.

Far into the distance, a young boy was coming home, a yellow streak shining in his hair. "Jack..."

"And that is to make sure you don't ruin what I have in store for him," Page said huskily, then slapping him hard in the face. It was then that everything went dark.

Jack sighed as he walked closer to Lund House, tired. It had been a hard day at Choir practice with the winter concert coming up very soon. His lungs were tired, his throat scratched. "If I sing Vivaldi's Gloria all the way through one more time, I'm not going to live to see tomorrow."

"Oh, really now?" Jack stopped dead in his tracks. Was it him, or was a wind a lot more sentient at that moment. "Wind isn't sentient...well...not now anyway?"

"Who...who's there?" Jack asked shakily.

"Nothing to worry your pretty little head with...not -now- anyway. However, there is some business we need to take care of...more shaking you to the point where hell seems so much better."

That did it. Who ever that was, he or she succeeded in making him scared. "What the he-"

Without warning, Jack fell to the ground, still yet conscious, but no longer in control. What's happening to me?! He watched as a pair of electric blue eyes moved down to him, a cruel smile curling upon his lips.

"Don't worry...a human tindle is a temporary thing, not meant to last. However, you and I have business to take care of, Mr. Ebner, and we need to take care of it now.

Jack, simply looked at the smile upon the man's face, unable to show movement of emotion. But deep down inside, he didn't like that smile. Not at all.

Chapter 5