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“Come on, Ty; don’t make me do it alone,” the blond begged him.

Tyler arched an eyebrow, looking from Reid to the edge of the cliff. He wasn’t scared of heights, that wasn’t what was stopping him. What was stopping him was the fact that he was thirteen and he wasn’t sure if he trusted his new powers to prevent him from falling to his death. He wasn’t entirely sure if he trusted Reid’s power either. Which wasn’t to say that he didn’t trust Reid, but. He’d had a whole year to mess around with his power.

“Come oooon, Ty,” Reid whined.

Tyler sighed, trying to burrow deeper into his winter coat. “If I do, will you let me go back inside where it’s warm?”

Reid perked up instantly. With the way Tyler was acting, you’d think he was trying to get the kid to do something awful instead of jumping off of a cliff. They were warlocks; they had unimaginable power. What was the fun of having it if they didn’t use it? Though he had to agree that it was freezing out. In the middle of January, right by the ocean, probably wasn’t the best time or place for this. But Tyler had finally gotten his powers the previous month and Reid had been waiting a whole year to be able to do shit like this with him.

“You’re going to love it, really,” Reid said. He kissed Tyler on the cheek, lips icy cold against his skin.

Then he took the boy by the hand, his eyes burning from blue to black. Tyler took a deep breath, following suit, and Reid gave his hand a reassuring squeeze. The younger boy smiled a little. Reid wasn’t worried about this; he must’ve done it a hundred times by now. Which was why he didn’t wait any longer; he stepped over the edge of the cliff, pulling Tyler with him. Tyler let out a startled squeak, but Reid just grinned.

Yeah, this was awesome.

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It wasn’t because Caleb was the oldest of the four of them that he was their unofficial leader, or the fact that they weren’t receiving any real guidance from their fathers. It also wasn’t because he was the most talented with his power. It was because he was the most passionate about it. He was willing to dedicate himself to leading and protecting them. How could he not want to keep them safe? They were the only ones that they would ever be able to freely share their secret with, they had been the closest of friends for as long as he could remember. He would never let anyone or anything destroy that.

Of course, that probably wasn’t the sort of thing he should be thinking about when they were supposed to be studying. Thoughts about his duties to his coven didn’t exactly go well with trying to study biology. Then again, it wasn’t like they were going to accomplish much more tonight anyway. Not when a quick glance around the room showed that Reid and Tyler had nodded off, Reid somehow sprawled on top of the younger boy on his bed. Pogue was sitting in one of the desk chairs, biology book propped open on his lap, but his eyes were closed and he just might’ve been snoring.

Reid shifted slightly, mumbling in his sleep, and rested his head on Tyler’s chest. The younger boy stirred only briefly to settle an arm around Reid’s shoulders and then was still again.

Smiling to himself, Caleb put his book aside and got up. It was late anyway and there was no sense waking up the younger two, so he just gathered up the pens and notebooks and books and set them on the desk. Leaning down, he brushed his lips across Tyler’s forehead, the barest of kisses. When he straightened up and turned, he saw that Pogue had woken up and was watching him with a quiet smile.

Come on, Caleb mouthed the words as he nodded towards the door.

Quietly, Pogue gathered up his things and then followed Caleb out of the room.

There was no way that Caleb would ever let anything happen to his boys.

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At seven years old, he would still rather have his nose buried in a book most of the time than participate in some of the things that the other boys were doing. He’d known them for two years now, but it was still a little weird to just…-they were older than him, why did they even want to hang around him? None of the other older kids really seemed to want to have anything to do with him. But these three boys, they didn’t seem to want to leave him out of things. Tyler was just content to sit off to the side with a book, occasionally looking up to see what the others were doing.

Secretly, he was glad that they wanted to spend time with him, but he was worried that if he opened up more they would think he was boring and not want to be friends with him anymore. There wasn’t much of interest about him, anyway. He spent most of his time reading rather than joining in with the fooling around and rough-housing. How much more boring could you get?

A shadow fell over him and Tyler peeked up from his book. Reid was standing in front of him, blond hair tousled, cheeks pink from the cold hair, and blue eyes bright with a mischievous twinkle. As far as eight year olds went, Tyler thought that he was the coolest, even though he was too shy to admit it.

“Uhm, hi?” Tyler said.

“Are you really going to spend all of your time sitting there and reading?” Reid demanded, hands on his hips.

“Well…” Tyler started, not sure how to answer.

“Come on,” Reid tugged the book out of his hands, closed it, and then set it aside. “You have plenty of time to read that’s not now.”

“But-” Tyler started to protest, but it was useless.

Reid took him by the hands and pulled him to his feet. Then he took him over to where the other two were. Obviously there were no buts when it came to dealing with him.

“Tyler’s going to be joining us,” he declared.

Caleb and Pogue exchanged a look while Tyler blushed. He instead looked down at his shoes.

“Cool,” Pogue said.

“It’s about time you managed to drag him away from his book,” Caleb said with a grin.

“I tell you, it wasn’t easy,” Reid said, slinging an arm around Tyler’s shoulders.

Tyler didn’t look up, but he did smile a little. Was he really wanted around here? Did they really want to do things with him?

“Come on,” Pogue said, “We’re building a tree house.”

“I’ve never had a tree house before,” Tyler said, finally looking up, though he avoided making eye contact.

“Now’s your chance.” Caleb smiled.

Tyler smiled back, shyly. Maybe…maybe he could do this, yeah.