I heard a noise inside and went back through the kitchen door to find my tiny sister-in-law trying to reach coffee mugs from the cabinet above her. She was getting on a small step I’d given her years ago as a present.
“Why do you insist on keeping things so high up when your head is hardly past the counter?” I asked as I reached around her to get the mug and set it down. I should have known better. As soon as I did that, her elbow connected with my rib and had me wincing.
“Stop making fun of me or I’ll break a bone next time,” Annie said.
“But you are perfect for it, Anniewee. You’re already fun-sized,” I said, grabbing a cup for her.
“Whatever. It's up there because it’s Nick’s job. Obviously.”
“Go sit down, I’ll mix your cup. Where is he?”
“Sleeping. It was his turn for night duty.”
“Technically you can fix that by hitting him with some energy.” I personally loved when she transferred her energy to me. It was perfect for those all-nighters I was so fond of.
Annie had this ongoing Kinetic energy that could give the rest of us an extra boost to our own powers. It could also give me a certain oomph that kept me energized enough to last me a week or so. Sadly, I no longer got the chance to enjoy the benefits of her powers. I enjoyed Ryan’s instead.
I met Ryan in my last year in training. She’s a sensor and an amplifier. As a sensor, she could tell Luminaries apart from ordinary people, and because she was in tune with other people’s emotions she could tell if they were lying. As an amplifier, she couldn’t do much for herself, but she helped expand everyone else’s powers, times five.
With Annie, it was different: our energies would last a while and we’d keep going. But with Ryan, it was in the moment. She was a drug to us all. The strange thing was that she and Annie couldn’t do anything for each other. They were too evenly powerful in an unbalanced way. It didn’t matter, though; they never went on assignments together.
Annie and Nick were now partners with Derek, and they helped run the Org. But their idea of managing was turning Derek down whenever he brought up something they didn’t agree with. Before they had the baby, they went on assignments frequently and left Derek to run his own show. Adrenaline junkies was what they were.
I looked at her. “I’m telling you, Annie. You two should stop trying to deal with a baby like normal people.”
“No,” she said, taking a sip while the cup was still in my hand.
“Well that’s stupid; you are Luminaries. Take advantage.” I put my empty cup in the sink and smiled. “Speaking of, would you be a doll and charge up my new babe for me?”
She crinkled her nose. “That doesn’t sound like something I want to do.”
“Relax. As a birthday present to myself, I turned in my Prius for a Tesla S . . . S for sexy hybrid car. I can’t believe I forgot to show you guys. She’s like my bride, beautiful in white.”
“You and your hybrids. You could have just plugged in your car the whole time you were here. There’s a reason you installed a charge port in my garage.”
“Come on! Please?”
“If you want to be so environmental you should just teleport everywhere. You know, take advantage of being a Luminary yourself, instead of using me for your shenanigans.”
“First, Ryan is the environmental one. I would never hear the end of her yapping away if I didn’t get hybrids. Second, I have to keep up appearances that I’m normal for those who don’t know our secrets. How would you explain to your nosy neighbors why I was sitting outside if I didn’t walk or drive here?”
“Stop going outside where they can see you.”
I shook my head. “But I needed fresh air.”
“Uh huh, in February?” She raised her eyebrow. “Like I don’t know you were checking out their daughter?”
“Look at me. I run on heat. February air does nothing to me. And she just happened to be out there wiping snow off her car, that’s all. I even helped.”
“How, exactly?” Annie asked, putting both hands on her hips.
“When she wasn’t looking, a big chunk suddenly slid off. It was discreet, I promise.”
She sighed. “Fine, but this is the last time I charge it. And only because I’m curious to see your new car. Stop smiling.” “You know your special touch will make it last for double the time, right? Your touch, Annie, is the key.” I ducked right on time to avoid her punch.
Footsteps behind me alerted me that Nick was up. “My wife’s touch is the key to what now? Keep flirting with her and I’ll make sure you’re unable to wake up next to girls for at least a month.”
“Whoa, hey, hey. No harm done,” I said, then teleported next to Annie to give her a kiss on the cheek.
“Dunno what’s the use of being a teleporter if you’re going to be driving around,” Nick said.
“I love to drive.”
“You love to speed.”
“What’s the difference?” I asked him.
“Stop it, you two. Let’s go charge your car up,” Annie said, pulling me toward the front door.