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It takes her all of a few days to be genuinely annoyed with the entire student body. All of them pestering and groping for attention, something Isobel wasn’t overly inclined to give any of them. Her attention and opinion were reserved for those few people who mattered.

Which is why it was such a genuine annoyance that the Ap Bio teacher decided she would be partnered with Liz Ortecho. Not that the bubbly Latina was one of those annoying griping people, just that she wanted to be friends.

Apparently the girl was the top of the class and could therefore guide Isobel through any questions. Since the Evans had transferred half way through the school year.

Which, just made her blood boil. Because Isobel damn well didn’t need anyone’s help. Unless she asked for it. She didn’t beg, she knew how to pry and coax things from people. Even with out her powers.

So if she specifically arrives late to Biology on dissection day, a sway in her hips as she walks in. White leather skirt drawing all eyes in the room, and stops at Kyle and Wyatt’s table to praise their work. Well… Liz Ortecho could only seethe from where she did most of their work.

“So,” Isobel licks her pink lips, “which one of you is captain?” She lets a long finger trail down Kyle’s front, a blush spreading across his face.

Wyatt’s mouth falls open, “captain?”

“Football team,” Isobel rolls her eyes. They are obviously wearing their lettermen’s, and the two most popular males she has seen stroll through the halls.

“I am?” Kyle says brows furrowed.

A smirk spreads across her face, because that’s what she was counting on. Because her social status needed a boost and Wyatt was not attractive. Not to mention if Max’s theory was right, well she had a couple thank you’s for Kyle anyways.

“Evans,” Mrs. Turner says darkly. “Get off the table and go help your lab partner.”

Isobel rolls her eyes, letting her finger glide up Kyle’s chest her nail skidding under his jaw, before slipping off the table. “See me after class?” She says in a sultry tone, pleased with how nervous Kyle looks eyes darting to the ceiling.

Liz Ortecho gives her a sharp glare as she leans her hip against their table, a smirk on her lips. She has been baiting the girl for the last couple of days, only a slight jealousy built up from how easily Max had become friends with her.

This was some sort of payback for Max not spending lunch with her and Michael yesterday.

“You’re late,” Liz says sharply. “So I’m on notes, you get to cut open the brain.”

Isobel wrinkles her nose, “what?”

“The sheep’s brain,” Liz nods the metal slab with the grey gunk on it. “You missed the part of class where we selected who would take notes. So,” Liz holds up the sheet of paper where her name is under notes. Isobel’s scrawled darkly under scalpel, as if she had traced it over while waiting.

Isobel narrows her eyes, “I can’t do that. Phobia of scalpels.”

“Yeah,” Liz rolls her eyes, “from when the government tied you up and attempted to dissect you.”

Something cold catches in Isobel’s chest, her breath catching, mind racing for a moment. She takes a deep breath eyes drifting closed, her anxiety kicking in without reason again. Her mind reaching out to find the soft comforting presence only a few doors down the hall. Max’s energy washing over her, making her feel safe.

“No,” she smirks eyes opening to glare Liz down. “From the kidnapping.”

The girls dark eyes widen in fear for a moment, realization that she might have crossed a line washing over her.

Isobel rolls her eyes, “I just don’t like sharp edges.” She reaches out with her mind, caressing Liz’s consciousness. Just slightly, only enough for them to feel connected. For the other girl to feel like she and Isobel were more familiar.

She bites her lip, “fine.” Her voice is hostile as she passes Isobel the sheet, and the obnoxious pink pen. “But we are keeping the same ink.”

Isobel rolls her eyes, but nods. Better then having her hands all up in som sheep’s grey matter and frontal lobe. She liked the less hands on approach to minds.

“And,” Liz picks up the scalpel positioning it before staring straight into Isobel’s eyes. “Don’t hurt my hermano,” she keeps eye contact as she slices the brain in half, one quick flick of her wrist.

“Kyle?” Isobel arches her eyebrow, “I didn’t know he was an Ortecho.”

“Valenti,” Liz corrects inspecting the brain. “We aren’t fully related.”

Something warm expands in Isobel’s chest, while ice runs through her veins. Because it was the same little boy, the one who had given them his bed. That Michelle had told them all about, while reading his favorite books. Given up his home and parents for a night. All so Isobel and her brothers could have a warm meal and a bed to sleep in.

But fear gripped her heart. Max would drift further away. She could already see the glimmer in his eyes whenever he mentioned his name.

“I can do as I please,” Isobel smirks. “Boys were made to be toyed with.”



He hurries up to her side as soon as the bell rings, the smile on her face widening as Liz glares their way.

“You wanted to see me?” Kyle asks, obviously confused. Like he had never been propositioned in his life, which was bizarre considering his social status.

“You’re at the top of the food chain,” Isobel says with a quirk to her mouth.

Kyle’s brows furrow, “I guess? But not really.”

Isobel raises an eyebrow, “eat lunch with me and my siblings.”

He adjusts his backpack on his shoulder, “I guess. But Liz and Alex will have to come.”

She huffs rolling her eyes, “to a business deal?”

“What?” Kyle actually freezes. “Where are we going?”

She blinks, having forgotten. Everyone else went to the cafeteria, her and her siblings swinging by the nurses office first. So she could document them downing their pills. Ever since Max had been caught watching his fall down the drain, his eyes haunted. Well… their parents had arranged them to be essentially baby sat.

“Nurses office,” Isobel shrugs. “I have a headache.”

Kyle’s eyebrows knit together, “so… you can meet me at my table?”

She nods, giving him a flirtatious smile. “I look forward to our talk.” Her mind reaching out to caress his, a soft smile pulling at his lips.

“I’ll see you Isobel,” he says voice thick as honey.

She watches him leave, before releasing a heavy sigh. Her social climb would be stilted if anyone found out about the drugs, no one wanted the queen bee to need medication. Especially not for her winning smile.

“You shouldn’t do that,” Michael says dryly.

She turns to meet his gaze, “and?”

“Max likes him you know,” Michael tries again. “And ethically… there’s complications.”

“I barely made him do anything,” Isobel rolls her eyes. “More like made him forget I was coming to the nurses. And Max will be better off. You know his heart can’t take falling for a straight jock.”

Michael shakes his head, “you know this has nothing to do with his heart.”

“Don’t try and diagnose me,” Isobel rolls her eyes. Walking past her brother with a huff, she can all but feel him roll his eyes.

Max is leaned against the wall by the office, nose stuck in some book for his Russian literature class. Something he had been monumentally excited about.

“Hey nerd,” Michael greets, pulling Max out of whatever haze he had been in. Eyes blinking blearily for a moment, before he rejoins their reality.

“Michael,” he smiles, “Iz.”

He reaches out, their energies mixing. Throughout the years he’d learned how to project towards her if she wanted, their connection running weirdly deeper than hers and Michael’s. Their dna results hinted Max and her were more closely linked genetically. Isobel shivers, remembering the files their parents had let them see. They shared a father, three different mothers. Hers and Max’s were most likely sisters.

“You good?” Max asks her, jarring her back to the here and now.

“Yeah,” she rolls her eyes. Giving them both a bright smile, “let’s get this over with.”

The thick red pill was her least favorite. The one that numbed the physical pain. For their genetic disorder, whatever inconsistency laid in their dna being diagnosed by doctors. Some rare form of anemia, she thinks. Michael thinks the doctors are confused, that they have side effects like anemia because of their powers.

The pill is bitter going down, her throat feels like it’s ten times smaller than it actually is. Max’s hand shakes as he takes his, eyes glossing over. His anxiety medication had gone untouched in his messenger bag all week. Because Isobel had been coddling his mind Michael claimed. Maybe he thought he could handle it. Fight the anxiety enough to survive off her small coaxing. Let her powers dull the pain.



Her blood is still boiling as they exit the school building. All her flirting and hip swaying got her no where. Kyle had chuckled at her. Chuckled. Said they could get to know each other, but he wouldn’t date someone to elevate both their status’s.

Liz Ortecho had smiled ruefully, while the other guy nearly choked on his laughter. Alex, she thinks his name was. Some nerd Valenti had picked up along with Ortecho.

Her brothers are both following behind her, giving each other those anxious looks they share when they think she’s being childish. Trying to avoid setting her off more, knowing her powers could flare, her projecting her emotions on the surrounding environment.

“Hey, kids,” a deep voice snaps her out of her stomping and huffing.

She looks up to see a familiar face, the man who had visited them once a month for years. Until the visits became more and more sparse. Isobel looking forward to each nevertheless. The man who still followed leads on their mothers.

A smile breaks across her face, he was the closest thing to an uncle they had.

“Jim,” she says closing the couple feet until her arms are wrapped around his waist.

“Izzy,” he says running a hand across her head. “How is New Roswell High treatin’ ya?”

He smells like spicy and bourbon, oddly comforting.

“Ugghh,” she breathes out.

“Sheriff,” Michael says, “what brings you?”

Jim chuckles releasing Isobel, “picking my son up. His mom revoked his driving privileges.”

Isobel smirks, “what did he do?”

“That,” Jim shakes his head, “she hasn’t told me. Do you boys not do hugs anymore?”

Isobel turns to give them both a sharp glare, making them both roll their eyes.

“I’m joking,” he says reaching out to tousle both of their hair. “You are adults now.”

Michael groans, while Max ducks away a grin on his face.

“Dad?” Kyle’s eyes are bouncing between him and the triplets. Obvious confusion, fully cementing that he doesn’t remember. Or at least hasn’t connected the dots yet.

Isobel smirks at him, “thanks Jim.” She says getting on her tip toes to place a kiss on his cheek, “see you around?”

The older man gives her a small shake of his head, like he knows what she’s doing. Before she turns on her heels giving Kyle one last quirk of her eyebrows before heading to the jeep.

Max mumbles some sort of apology, before he and Michael follow after her.

“What’d you do that for?” Max grumbles as he climbs into the back seat.

Michael turning the key in the ignition, “she’s mad he wouldn’t date her.”

“No one lives to regret telling me no,” Isobel says pulling her phone from her purse. Already having gleaned a few numbers after her rejection at lunch.

Max sinks further into the back, a frown etched on his face. And Isobel’s heart aches.