Chosen One, 122

When the door opened again later in the day, it wasn’t Bernie or Blair, but another boy who was around the same age. He was a southerner, though. “Come on,” he said, standing in the doorway. “Out here.”

Isaac spent a second trying to decide whether it was worth being a pain in the ass, and stood up. “Sure. Where are we going?”

“Don’t waste your time, please. I’m not a horny idiot like my brothers.”

Considering he was looking at Isaac’s dick, Isaac doubted at least half of that. “Sure.” He held his hands behind his head and followed him out of the room, trying not to fully let out the breath he was holding. He’d managed to restrain himself enough that he could touch it without it totally filling him, but he wasn’t totally sure yet what that would mean if he had to try and use it.

Chosen One, 121

They were taken underground, through a series of tunnels Isaac couldn’t have kept track of if he’d tried, mostly in the dark. Then their kidnapped blindfolded them and had them walk through more tunnels—how many fucking tunnels were under Three Hills—and then put in a room with a metal door and a small stove overnight.

Yancy had suggested they all sleep, but Isaac had been nervous about all of them being defenseless, so they’d taken turns staying awake, sitting huddled near the stove. “They could have given us blankets,” Isaac muttered.

“Indeed,” Yancy agreed. “This has been a most uncouth kidnapping. These Rock Boys require a series of lessons in proper illegal confinement etiquette.”

Chosen One, 120

“I appreciate you both attending with me, lads. No doubt the events were dreadfully dull for both of you.”

“Not at all,” Isaac said to Yancy, as they walked back to the academy in the dark. It hadn’t been the most exciting thing Isaac had ever done to go with Yancy to the king’s funeral and the new queen’s coronation, but it had meant a lot to him and so of course Isaac had gone with him.

The funeral had been depressing, but the coronation had been kind of cool. Isaac hadn’t really been able to help but feel bad for the queen, though. Her dad’s funeral had just happened and then she’d had to get saddled with the most important job in the world. There’d also been a party after to celebrate the king’s life and the queen’s coronation, but they’d only stayed for an hour and were going back now.

Chosen One, 111

“Fuck, this thing is powerful,” Peter muttered, rolling the yellow stone in his hand.

“Yeah,” said Isaac. “It’s like, anchoring the Pillars into reality, so…yeah.”

Peter nodded. “Where has Seth been lately? I’d like to talk to him about it. And just to be clear, I do mean that entirely in an exploitative way where I take everything he knows and write a treatise that I get the credit for. I’ll put his name in the acknowledgements.”

Chosen One, 101

It had always struck Isaac as a bit unfortunate that the apprentices only had one dormitory, which meant that they didn’t get to have a whole boys-only building like the students did, but now that Isaac sometimes had sex with girls too, it didn’t seem like as much of a trial.

He hadn’t actually had sex with any girls since the party. But that was just because there’d been no reason to. He could. If he wanted to.

Anyway, the girl he was passing in the hallway wasn’t actually a girl. “Hi, Ariel.”

Chosen One, 98

“This seems super suspicious,” Peter said, holding Isaac’s hand as they left the dormitory.

“What?” Isaac asked, looking around quickly. “We’re just going to see a teacher before class. It’s not that big a deal.”

“It is when neither of us ever does anything before class, including wake up,” Peter said. He sounded so nervous. “Spencer and Skip thought it was weird. Even Jacob thought it was weird.”

“And none of them said anything about it, calm down.”


Isaac kissed Peter’s cheek. “Peter. The most suspicious thing we can do is walk around looking nervous all the time. If you act like you’re hiding something, everyone is going to think you’re hiding something.” He was also really tired, but this way they could talk to Yancy before class.

“I know, but…” Peter sighed. “How did you do this by yourself for weeks?”