The Ninth: Invasion

Free The Ninth: Invasion by Benjamin Schramm

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Authors: Benjamin Schramm
did.”
    “Good luck convincing her of that.  Anyway, I have something I need to talk to you about.  Dante said you were using your Weaver abilities the first day he met you.”
    He stared at her for a while as he thought about it.  He recalled a cool foggy sensation the first time he had met Dante, but he hadn’t sensed anything remotely like an emotion.
    “That’s impossible.  I didn’t even know I had any abilities until I saw the aurora around you.  And that faded a long while ago.”
    She shifted uncomfortably, but continued.
    “He was insistent that he felt it then and has ever since.  I thought you said you couldn’t sense emotions anymore – not even from me.”
    “I’m not lying to you; don’t jump to conclusions.  I do remember feeling a cold fog from Dante that first day, but that was it.”
    “A cold fog?”
    “That’s the best I can describe it.  I can tell when other people are trying to block Weaver abilities.”
    “Well, if you can tell when people are blocking your abilities. . .”
    “Then I must have those abilities in the first place.  I figured that.  But I still have no idea why I can’t sense emotions.”
    “So, you can’t feel anything from me at all?” Cassandra asked with a worried expression.
    “Well, that’s not entirely true.  Don’t get mad at me, but there is this kind of . . . warmth I get from you every now and then.”
    “Every now and then?”
    “Let’s just say times that would make you blush if I recounted them.”
    “If I didn’t know better I’d say you were making all this stuff up,” Cassandra said as she flushed red.
    “Sometimes I wish I were.  The Weavers probably would have left me alone if I wasn’t branded as one of them.  Wait a minute; Dante’s story can’t be true.  Master Weaver Davis himself confirmed I couldn’t sense anyone.”
    “Dante said you didn’t alter people.  It was more like you were snooping around or something.  Maybe Weavers can only see the effects other Weavers cause.  If a Weaver doesn’t do anything, maybe the other Weavers can’t tell.”
    “Snooping?” he asked with a raised eyebrow.  “He said I snooped around?”
    “Not exactly.  I forget the phrase he used.  But he didn’t make it sound like a bad thing.  He actually seemed to praise you for it.”
    “Odd.  Well, as interesting as that is, I doubt it will help me any.  Knowing that I’m snooping around doesn’t mean much if I’m not even aware I’m doing it.  I can’t alter emotions when I can’t actively sense them.”  Brent sighed.
    As he took a step toward the girls’ barracks, she pulled him back.
    “Something else?” he asked as he readjusted his collar.
    Cassandra looked at the ground; her skin was deep red.
    “Yes?” Brent asked again as she stood silently.
    “What should I do about Liz?”
    “What’s wrong with Liz?”
    “She keeps pressing about . . . us.”
    “Oh?”
    “When we were getting settled in the barracks she started asking questions.  She had just asked if we had ever kissed when we heard Cain shout.”
    “So, what have you told her?”
    “Nothing!  I’ve managed to avoid saying anything so far, but I’m going to have to spend the whole night with them.  If she doesn’t ask, one of the other girls will!”
    “Doug was right; you really are all matchmakers.”
    “Brent!”
    “Sorry.  Well why not tell her the truth?”
    “ What ?”
    “Don’t tell me you regret it or something.”
    “It’s not like that.”  Cassandra reddened.
    “Well then, I leave it up to you.”
    “What?”
    “I’m not embarrassed by what we’ve done.  We haven’t done anything to be ashamed of .  Unless this world forbids kissing.  Something I find highly unlikely.  But if it embarrasses you, tell them whatever story you like.”
    “You’re mad at me aren’t you?”  Cassandra looked down at the ground.
    Brent lifted her chin and kissed her on the cheek.
    “Don’t be silly.  If it makes you

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