• The world was moving too fast before her eyes. The shifting of the trees and across the road and the tears that blurred her vision were making her dizzy. Slowly, she closed her eyes to close out all sights around her, feeling the car's tires run over the uneven, jumpy road as Goliath drove them away from her home that housed danger.

    Charlotte felt triumphant that she had overcome her will to die, and in doing so may have saved their lives. But it wasn't enough to lift the shroud of heavy sadness that lingered on her shoulders. Her entire family was dead and it seemed that somehow, she was to blame. The man that was called Kennedy appeared to know her well, and that disturbed her. He and the group he brought with him had come for her, and apparently, her alone. Had they wanted anyone else, surely someone would have been taken.

    A sob escaped her lips and immediately she lifted her hands to cover it, but it was too late. She was already going to get the unwanted attention from the odd, kind hearted Goliath.

    "Charlotte," Goliath groaned mournfully. He didn't continue for what seemed like forever, and for a second, Charlotte thought that he might leave her be. "I am so sorry."

    She didn't want to hear all this. She just wanted to sleep. Sleep was escape. Only her dreams could hurt her there.

    "I didn't mean for... them to come so soon. Charlotte, they died because of me. I'll carry that on my shoulders for the rest of my life."

    Sleep. But when she would wake, they would still be gone.

    "They didn't deserve what came to them. Your father. Little Aiden... I..."

    She covered her ears with her hands, but it only muffled his voice. Why was he saying sorry? Wasn't Charlotte herself the one they had wanted?

    "Who the hell are you, anyway?" she said abruptly, cutting him off in mid-sentence. Charlotte didn't meet his eyes, but she imagined that he was awe struck for a second. They had been driving for an hour and he hadn't heard a peep out of her.

    "I... I can't tell you," he replied, apology thick in his voice.

    "I deserve to know!"

    And he was silent. The silence was cold. Deadly. Frigid. She felt the chill of it creep on her skin, and shivered. "Please," she whispered.

    Hearing a pent up sigh, she opened her eyes to stare again out the passenger's side window, holding her own breath in anticipation of what Goliath would tell her. Her mind had been running rampantly with a thousand possibilities of who he could be and why those men had followed him here, straight to her. Charlotte was nothing special. She was just a girl.

    "I still want you to call me Goliath." Charlotte exhaled. "I used to work with the nasty bastards that killed your family, Charlotte. It... sickens me to say so."

    He had only just begun, yet involuntarily her body went rigid and her slouching spine shot up straight. Charlotte was completely, utterly shocked.

    "I used to have the same position that the man Kennedy did," he continued. When Charlotte glanced over at him, it looked as if every sinewy muscle in his body was tensed. "I lead teams of us to people's homes. We took men and woman like you back to the organization building."

    "People like me?"

    He nodded. "You told me that you think you are special, remember?"

    Her jaw dropped, and she raised her hands, staring at them both in horror. She could freeze things.

    "There are others special like you. Your mother was one of them... She was beautiful, Charlotte. She really was."

    Charlotte glanced over at the big man in awe, and noticed that a single tear slid down his cheek. How ironic was it that such a big man could cry?

    "You knew her?" she asked breathlessly.

    He replied, "Yes. I did. Not well. Not personally. But I knew her. When I left the organization, I left with a lot of knowledge. They were obsessed with Lillian, Charlotte." She winced at the use of her mother's first name. "She could hear the dead. Well, not the dead, but those in heaven. She made a believer out of a lot of people. Me included. I mean, she told people things that they never thought they could hear. There are so many there, Charlotte. So many. Often, Lillian couldn't pick one from the other, but she felt it her duty to listen, and so she did. She was so graceful, too. I remember she would sit for hours at that lake you lived at. Remember?"

    She nodded. Again she turned her attention to the trees that passed her at the side of the road. Charlotte stared past them, lost in thought.

    "She would sit for hours," Goliath continued, "listening to them. You all were special. Frankly, I'm surprised Aiden lived with no powers. It's hereditary."

    And then he used her brother's name. A stab at the heart. Charlotte felt the tears welling up behind her eyes again, and fought herself for control.

    "What did Daddy do?" Her voice cracked. She sounded like a child.

    "He was a guardian. Your mother is what we at the organization called an adept. Your father had no particular power himself. He could hear what was in her mind though. God," he whispered, rubbing his fingers over the top of his head. "How can I explain it? Your father was very literally made for Lillian. You'll get a history lesson over that later. I want you to meet someone first."

    A small crease formed on her brow as she glanced over her shoulder at him. "Who?"

    "His name is Flynn."

    Flynn. The name meant nothing to her, yet Goliath spoke of it as if it should. Apparently, he saw the confusion on her face too.

    "He's more significant to your life than you'll realize, Charlotte. Just wait. We're going to see him now. You two should have been introduced years ago. Even before Lillian died. But I got to you too late. I am so... so sorry." All at once, his tensed muscles became lax and it seemed as if he had aged ten years. The creases on his face looked deepened and darker. His chest heaved up and down heavily, almost as if labored.

    "That was why you came?" Charlotte asked, her brow furrowing at the appearance of her apparent friend. "To take me away?"

    "Yes," the big man said.

    "To this man named Flynn."


    "Was my mother taken at some point also?"


    "To another man like Flynn?"

    He nodded. "Your father."

    She was silent. Then she wasn't. "And I am an adept." She said it as not a question, but a fact. Goliath remained silent. "Yes," she said to herself softly. "Yes."

    "I know it doesn't make much sense now, Charlotte. I know that... it hurts. They're dead, and you don't have what your mother did. You can't hear them. But you have to be strong. You have so much to do now. I am so sorry, but you do. Much responsibility is being put on your shoulders now, and it is your duty to take it up. Your mother did the same, and she was great at it." He smiled. "Would you believe me if I told you that Lillian saved millions of lives?"

    She nodded, and finally began to weep. "She saved mine," she whispered brokenly.

    His large hand reached over across to her, and set lightly on her shoulder. "Almost there, Charlotte. It'll be okay. It's okay." She wept.