MoboReader> Adventure > Damsel[ed] No Rescue Required

   Chapter 13

Damsel[ed] No Rescue Required By m i c h e l l e p a k Characters: 13074

Updated: 2017-12-12 12:04


Neighbors pour into our apartment, muttering at the bullet hole in the wall. "What happened?" they ask, over and over, the doorbell ringing incessantly. They heard gunfire. They want to know why. I rest my chin in my hands.

Juniper can“t keep them out, no matter how hard she tries. I sit on the arm of the couch, folding my wings against my back and praying no one notices. I“m still pretty shaken up, my hands trembling and my feathers bristling. No one bothers to look at me. They just chat and whisper like they were invited into my home, which they weren“t. Heaven“s curled up on the couch, her face in her hands.

The guard grumbles on about how his gun misfired. "It“s nothing. Nothing happened. It just went off. I would never shoot at anyone. I swear."

I sigh softly and count to ten. I can“t get too mad at anything anymore. I“m responsible for my stupid aura now and I can“t let it out no matter what happens. I put my hand on Heaven“s shoulder. Her shirt“s shredded, and her cold seeps into my skin. "You okay?"

Toby left to talk to "guests" and Storm“s making coffee in the kitchen. We“re all sleepy, but none of us are calling it quits until we get answers. Something. Anything at all. Heaven makes a sound between a whimper and a sob. My heart plunges in my chest, like someone ripped it out and shook it. "You“ll be okay," I say, so quietly I don“t know if she can hear me. I clear my throat and force my weak little voice to sound smooth and deep, like Heaven“s does when she“s Galaxy. "Whatever happened, Gats will be fine. We“ll make sure of that. Okay?"

Heaven grabs my wrist. My shoulders jolt. I expect her to dig her nails in and yank me down, but she doesn“t. She just touches me, so lightly it“s like the brush of snow. "Angelos." My name is a rasp, like she has to fight to get it out. I swallow. I imagine her bleeding on the inside. My stomach clenches up and I want to do anything to take away her pain. "Th-they took him," she says.

My wings twitch. What? She tosses over and shoots me a miserable look. They took him. I“ve never seen so much pain in her eyes. Not when she her arm was all twisted up, not when she was bleeding to death, not when Poison hit her so hard she broke. My breath catches in my throat. "Heaven..."

For a minute every thought leaves me. People are muttering now, cramming the apartment with noise. A few of them look long at me, absorbing my scars and eyepatch. I try not to squirm, dread growing in me like ice. “They“ took Gats. Someone always takes him. "Who?"

"I-I could“ve saved him!" She kicks the couch“s arm, but it“s weak, especially for her. People are really looking now, and she tightens her grip on my wrist. I feel her cold pulse. I pin my wings as tight as I can against my back. We can“t talk here, not with all the eyes.

"He“ll be fine," I say, "I-I“m going to take you into my room to talk. Is that okay? Are you hurt too bad?"

She shakes her head, her mouth parted but the words silent. My muscles tense up. She“s hurt, and God, Gatsby. Someone took Gatsby. I exhale. I shouldn“t move an injured Heaven, but I don“t want to speak about supervillains in front of these people. "I“m okay," she assures after a second. "I“m okay." I wrap my arms around her and scoop her up, the sheets twisting around her and dragging on the floor. My wings shudder, exposed. I press them even tighter against my back and bolt. Hopefully, the neighbors will only see a flash of movement or a flutter of black feathers and think they imagined it.

I slip into my room. Heaven hates it, always has. She says it“s the place colors go to die, that the walls and the curtains and the furniture and the sheets are too white. I don“t disagree. Juniper and Storm once said I should paint the walls and put up posters to "express me," but my room“s job isn“t to "express me." Its job is to be clean. Besides, it“s the only par

tate rounds supers up every year or so and harvests their powers. Then, people with sitting powers have their super-potential genomes cut and then they“re stuck with injections that make them mutate “back to normal.“ And then the government uses those powers to--"

I tap my pen against the pad. "City-states don“t have that much power, Jay."

"They do when people are paranoid of supervillains." She shrugs.

I bite the inside of my cheek. I don“t have time for this! I don“t have time for any of this! "Syndicate," I say. "Syndicate has Gats. I need to know about them. Jay! Now!"

"Angelos..." Heaven warns again. Aura, right. I count the number of knobs on my dresser. Eight. Eight knobs. One of them is a little crooked.

"Don“t rush me!" Jaylin snaps. "And don“t tell me what to do."

I grip the pen so hard the plastic shell cracks. "Sorry," I say through gritted teeth. Every minute she speaks Gats is suffering and it“s driving me insane.

She nods, smiling a cute little polite smile. "Owl has bases across the globe. Ukraine, Southeast Asia, quite a few in the United Kingdom, you know. Have you ever been to the UK--"

"Get on with it," I say, filling the page with angry scribbles that tears the paper.

She glares. "You shouldn“t cut people off, Angel--"

"Shut up!" My breathing comes heavy, my head bursting in pain. The air feels hot. Doesn“t she know Gats is in trouble? He“s my best friend. If she keeps stalling I“ll throttle her.

Her eyes light up. She jabs her finger into my chest. "Well, aren“t you feisty." She smirks. "Just the way I like you, huh."


The pen crushes in my fingers, spewing black ink all over my hands. Plastic pieces fly out like shrapnel, and my voice drops to a growl. "Please." I“m begging her to stop before my aura flares. Eight knobs. Ten fingers. Three notebooks on the nightstand. I“m counting and counting, but I can already feel prickles of scorching heat on my skin. I should get out of here before I kill something, but I can“t until I piece together a plan for getting Gats back.

Jay eyes my exposed waist and her smirk widens. I shut my eye and mentally crawl into a hole. I hate the way she looks at me. I just want to get away from her. My body trembles. One, two, three...

I hear her shift closer. "Don“t. Touch. Me." I grip my hands together so tightly they“re shaking. Ink trickles down my skin like blood.

"Jaylin," Heaven says, her raspy voice thick with reined-in rage. "I-I“m begging you. If you know something about where Gats is, tell us."

Jaylin puts her hand on my shoulder and my aura explodes.

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