MoboReader> Adventure > Damsel[ed] No Rescue Required

   Chapter 17

Damsel[ed] No Rescue Required By m i c h e l l e p a k Characters: 11055

Updated: 2017-12-12 12:04


Angelos.

Did you know? The fastest way to draw attention to yourself (other than being the anti-chosen-one, of course) is to walk into a mall shirtless with your, you know, wings exposed. I try to move fast, hoping people will only see flashes of a flesh-colored beast and chalk it up to their imaginations. Though have a feeling I’m jostling my innards with all these sharp stops, but I ignore it and slink through the upper and lower decks.

I notice everything. The flicker of lights, the white gleaming tiles, the temperature a few degrees too cold.

I hate this mall. I hate the smell of bleach and perfume that permeates every inch. I hate the hip people and their stylish clothes and no cares in the world. I hate myself for being so angst-y. I creep around and eventually find the marker of doom—the Super Supply store sign—hissing above me.

I still have no plan, and I don’t think waltzing in there and asking, “Hey, do you know where Syndicate holds its prisoners and how to infiltrate that place?" is a particularly grand idea.

I sigh ad push open the cracked glass doors, lace brushing past my face that smells like rats and cigarettes. The whole place smells like rats and cigarettes, and honestly, nothing’s changed since last time I was here. The place is still crammed with stuff, still blanketed in dust, still a fire waiting to happen. It“s almost eerie.

The bell-chimes ring. I brush my hair out of my face, moving my head side to side to make up for my blind eye. I feel like I’ve entered the set for a film noir. “Um, hello?”

It occurs to me that maybe I shouldn’t call attention to myself, but that occurrence comes too late.

“You should get out of here, kid,” booms a voice from behind a counter. I jump, a fresh wave of pain tearing up and down my leg. A man smirks at me as I whirl around, his chin propped up on his hands. His hair is up in a ponytail, tied back with a big, blue bow. Looking at him, I almost miss my mid-back-lengthed mess.

“I need help.”

“I see that.” The man just swings his legs on the counter. “Do you need to wash up or something? Or buy a shirt?”

I blush and hug my chest. “Um.” I walk up and lean my hands on the filthy counter. To my right sits a little box of pepper spray key chains. I wonder if they have much effect on supervillains. Even if they don’t, one would be awfully comforting have.

“Yes?”

I look down. The teller“s glasses gleam under the cold fluorescent lights, sending a jolt up my spine. “Uh." Intimidation. That“s a thing. "I know about this place and I know what you do here.” Lies. Both lies. But they sound okay, so I continue. “I have a friend, see? He’s in a little bit of trouble with Syndicate.” I unfold my wings, stretching them to their full length so their shadow falls over the man. He visibly stiffens, so I continue. “You do know something about them, don’t you?”

He sets his glasses down and rubs his face. “God, kid, you’re putting me in a really bad position.”

I fold my wings back in. “Look, he’s being held by Syndicate. I know you can’t disclose any—”

“Kid, you really ought to get out of here.” His mouth presses into a hard line, his green eyes big. My heart flutters. And then I hear them.

Heartbeats.

My body tenses up, every muscle recoiling. Slow and even breaths sou

man inflicted on him had been mercilessly slow to kill. With his healing factor as strong as his was, he died again and again, moaning and crying, begging for mercy, until Owl could take no more and stabbed her sword through her son’s heart.

Looking down where her child died, she feels nothing, just an empty, nameless ache. When one lives forever, that’s all they can feel. She sets the Gats boy on that very same gurney, his breathing shallow and his cat ears twitching.

“Hold still.” He shakes his head, the blood still bubbling. She straps him down and leaves him for a few moments to fishe for equipment. Not that she has much. The boy will be fine, anyway. The bullet grazed him, it might’ve taken out a chunk of flesh, but that’s all.

She decides not to give him pain killer. She just lifts his head and patches up the wound with rubbing alcohol and gauze. He tries not to scream, his teeth ground and his body tensed up, but he does squeak out a few moans.

“Look,” she says, “you’re going to live.” She tapes down the bandage and he yelps.

“Ma’am,” he says again, his head jerked to the side. His eyes are so big, bluer than the sky on a crisp summer’s day. She can read him quite easily, the fake calm he tries on, the horrible panic alive underneath. “I know I’m saying this again, and I know you’re probably annoyed, but lady, I’m just a cat. I can’t serve you in any way, my powers aren’t worth it. Please, I beg you, let me go.”

Owl shrugs at him and jerks the velcro straps tighter. He winces. She kicks one of knobs below, jolting the bed so it’s flung vertical. He squeaks, and she finds it, if anything, rather amusing. “Begging is unbefitting of a super.” He glares. She runs her fingers over his cat ears and he writhes, struggling against his restraints. “You have behaved very poorly and I“m going to leave you here. I want you to think about what you’ve done and reflect on how today could“ve gone much differently were I unmerciful. Do you understand?"

“Go to hell,” he says flatly.

A smirk sweeps her lips. She kisses him on the forehead and spins on her heel, leaving him yowling and cursing her name.

She decides he’ll be eating out of her hand in two days.

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