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   Chapter 19

Damsel[ed] No Rescue Required By m i c h e l l e p a k Characters: 11043

Updated: 2017-12-12 12:04

How do you know you’ve hit rock bottom? Is it when you’re so beaten up that you’re big brother has to carry you?Or is it when your best friends are in danger and you can’t do anything about it? Or heck, is it when you look out the window and you know your city is a hell, but you’re trapped as all get-out and can’t fight the people doing the damage?

I don’t know. You tell me.

Toby plops me down on my bed, and as I contemplate my eternal uselessness, I feel like a whole lot of yuck and a whole lot of existential crisis.

Toby sighs, and I stare a little. I don’t see him a lot. He’s usually working extra shifts at the hospital, downing coffee after coffee so he can function during those eighteen hour days. When he comes home, he usually looks worse than I feel, shaky and baggy-eyed.

He glances over me, and I see the way he recoils, see the flash of fear in his dark brown

eyes, the same ones I have. “You know,” he says, “Mom used to come home looking just like that, bruised up and hardly able to move. Dad too. I don’t understand why you do what you do what you do. You could’ve died, Hev.” My heart slams up against my ribs. Of course, he talks to me about this type stuff when my voice is shot, when I can hardly squeak out a line about my own best friend’s kidnap. If my voice were back, I would be arguing, probably. But at this point, I can’t care. Gatsby. They have Gatsby. Who cares about my jacked-up ribs and dead parents. I have to save him, and I have to find Angelos. “Need another aspirin?”

I’ve already had seventeen. If I weren’t a super, my liver would bleed. “N-No.” My head’s all stuffed up, and my motor functions are almost gone at this point.

I try to stand, but a sharp pain tears through my torso, like something inside me is cracking with every breath.

I sigh. The faded pink sheets scratch my skin, rough and unraveling. I’ve had these since I was a little kid. I never needed new sheets or blankets; I never slept. “What are we going to do about Snare?”


I have to repeat myself, shouting every syllable until my raw throat feels like it’ll fall apart. I barely sound. He rubs his hair back and sighs, his face in his hands.

“I don’t know. I shouldn’t have done it, but you were dying.” He slides his fingers down his skin and groans. “God, it was awful. I was like, like when Mom died.”

I shiver. I remember that out of body experience thing I had. How could I forget? I remember what my mother said, about her dying in the coma thing. The hairs on the back of my neck stand on edge, and Toby gives me a sad, wry smile. “At least we cheated fate, even if we did it pretty dumbly.”

“Oh, my God!” someone shrieks. Toby whips to his feet, his hand on the hip where he carries his concealed sidearm.

Yep. He’s a super that sometimes carries a gun. I always thought it excessive, but he says he’s being “prepared.”

I grab his arm, my jaw clenched up even though the pain there is excruciating. I know the voice. Of course, I do.

“You guys are so cool! And, like, old.” Toby shoots me a glance, sighs, and drops his arm. The mattress coils squeak as he stands. I bite back a groan and ease after him, stab after stab of pain ripping inside as I try to get off the bed.

“Get out of my house,” Toby growls when he leaves. I glanc

slamming her fist onto the phone. Sparks fly and the vinyl bursts, wires ripped and exposed and plastic flying.

Toby stares incredulously. “You broke my phone.”

I hit the floor. Larry the Persian purrs and jumps off the couch, rubbing his fluffy white fur against my cheek. I yank him against my chest and pet him. Furiously. My chest heaves. My Gatsby. My Angel. Oh, God. My friends. My boys.

Jaylin grabs her face. “Okay, okay.” She paces furiously. “You’re a superhero, Heaven. What do you do when you have to save two guys from feuding gangs of supervillains? Heaven?”

Larry meows, glaring up at me. I squeeze him so hard he springs out of my arms and takes off. I’m shaking now, and I stare at the dusty floor, where my tears make tracks in the film. Oh, no. Oh, God, no. Not this. Not now. I try to remind myself that I am in control, that I can handle this, that I can handle anything

“Heaven?” Jaylin stomps over. I don’t look up. So much confusion and rage and pain. I can feel the disguise slipping, and the lies I tell myself won“t hold up.

My throat tightens. This wasn’t supposed to happen. They tell you you have to sacrifice to make a difference. Well, I did. I did and it accomplished nothing. And if I were dead, it still wouldn’t mean a damn thing. My boys are gone.

And I cry, okay? That thing I thought I could never do, well, I do it.

I sob and sob into my empty hands, the sounds muffled and nearly silent. I’m supposed to be strong. Invincible. For Angel, for Gats, for my city. But not now. As the tears stream down my face, and as Jaylin fixes me a disgusted look, it comes to me. Sharp like a stab in the chest, or, more appropriately, the neck.

The bastards finally broke me.

I fish a pen out of my pocket and stab the words into the floor. I don’t give a damn about the condition of of the estate anymore.

"Tell Poison I“ll be there."


Hey, guys!

So sorry about the late update. I haven“t been able to respond to comments in the past week since I haven“t been able to get on a computer, but now that I have a phone, hopefully I“ll be able to respond and update quicker.

Anyways, thank you for reading as always. Stay super, Starlighters!

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