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  Excerpt: Just Wait

  Rowan McBride

  This story is out of print for now.

Just Wait © 2007 by Rowan McBride. All rights reserved. This story may not be reproduced in whole or in part without author's permission.

Walking forward, I let my shoulder brush against another jock, lingered the full second. This time my whole body tingled, and I tried not to sigh out loud as a fraction of the boy's size seeped into my body. I always forgot how good this felt. It was always a pleasure to rediscover it.

Chancing a glance at my brother, I saw him clapping people on the shoulder, grinning broadly as he shook hands with everyone he passed. Each contact altered how the folds of his shirt draped over his chest and arms, how his jeans hugged his legs.

No one minded his presence. Mark was one of the most popular guys in school—handsome, smart, talented in music and art and sports. Even I didn't know for sure how much of that was him and how much of it was magic.

Me, I was more or less stuck with what I'd been born with. I was cute and everything, but I was shy and preferred to watch Mark do his thing. So I traveled the room more slowly, trying to make my own touches as inconspicuous as possible: skimming the back of my hand against a baseball player, touching my fingers to the back of a guy totally engrossed with bicep curls. Every touch made my muscles swell, inched me closer to popping a seam in my shirt or slacks. A good strategy.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?"

A big hand grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and dragged me to my toes. Shocked, I looked up, right into Ryan Gibson's face.

Aw, crap. The biggest guy on campus had a hold of me! "H-Hey Ryan."

His grip tightened—if I hadn't Drained half a dozen guys already he would have crushed the cords in my neck. "Did you think we wouldn't notice, you sick perv?"

Noticed? One second per person... no one should have noticed! "I—"

"Tryin' to sneak touches of every guy in the room! We don't play like that here, fag."

Oh, that. Looked like Mark's strategy was better than mine, after all.

Ryan gave me a rough shake. "Got any last words?"

I stared at his body. Hard to believe he was a Freshman, just like us. He was huge. Well over six feet, easily three hundred pounds. All of it was hard, cut muscle. Whatever I said next would definitely be my last words. My only defense was my magic, and I'd need to use a lot to take this one down. Couldn't do that out in the open. "I'm sorry," I said, knowing no way a simple apology would get me out of this.

Ryan cocked back his arm, making his biceps hit a frighteningly high peak.


Mark hurtled over a weight bench and sprinted across the room. "Get the hell off my brother!" He grabbed Ryan by the wrist, yanked his arm away from me.

Ryan smirked down at him. "Well well, and here comes the other Drayner brother."

"I mean it, Ryan," he said, his jaw tight. "Let him go."

"I'm just gonna teach him a lesson, something you should have done a long time ago." He gave me another shake—I felt like a ragdoll in his hold. "It must kill you to be related to such a freak. I can fix that right here, right now."

Mark's emerald eyes flashed with rage. "Never call my brother a freak again, you hear me?"

Ryan just laughed at him. "Truth hurts, doesn't it?"

As Mark stood there, I could feel him charging up, gathering his power. With the kind of magic he was amassing, I knew he intended to kill Ryan Gibson in front of everyone. "Mark! No!"

Mark's gaze didn't leave Ryan. Even though he was a full six inches shorter than the jock, his face showed no sign of fear. "Put...him...down."

"Make me."

The power inside of my brother's body spiked high enough to make my teeth ache.

Cory Greene, another football player and a friend of Mark's, clapped his hand on Ryan's shoulder. "No harm done, man. Let it go."

Other people started to join in, and Ryan snorted, dropped me. "This isn't over, Mark."

Mark looped his arm around my shoulders and drew me close. "Not by a long shot."

This story is out of print for now.

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