MoboReader> Adventure > Damsel[ed] No Rescue Required

   Chapter 24

Damsel[ed] No Rescue Required By m i c h e l l e p a k Characters: 12452

Updated: 2017-12-12 12:04


Angelos.

When Poison hangs up with Jaylin, I“m exhausted and unprepared for a fight. Sweat slicks strands of black hair to my face, my muscles bunched-up and heavy with fatigue. I bite back a groan. I feel, if I have to use a metaphor here, like goop. Like a glob of beat-up goop being dragged around by and oversized once-hero and a grumpy supposed brother who can barely contain his sadistic urges to tear me to flesh-flavored sugar cubes.

I suck in a sharp, bitter breath and stick my heels into the gravel to give myself some friction. Doesn“t help, but I have to put up some sort of fight and show I“m not just a resistance-less sack of flour who will do as he“s told without throwing a fuss. No matter what they think, I“m not just a pawn Ceres and Poison can push around on their game board. If all my struggling accomplishes is making life a little harder for them, then at least it did that.

"Jeez, kid," Ceres says. He loops his arms tighter around my middle and pushes me up to the mini-mall. "Calm down."

And yeah, okay, maybe I have to. I don“t know what will happen if my aura comes out, but if it does, Poison and Ceres probably have obsidian on them. Since that would basically turn me into pudding strength-wise, it would be wiser to limp-en and play a long, just for a little while.

And maybe I should do nothing and scout my surroundings. Maybe I should wait for an opening. A boxer doesn“t swing wildly and pray he hits; he searches for the right moment to strike, and I just, well, I don“t know. Gats is the one who Wikied this stuff, not me.

Thinking of him, my throat tightens and my eyes sting, but I shove back how I feel for the moment. I definitely don“t know what to do in this type of situation, and it“s almost funny. It“s funny because the main thing on my mind beside Gats and Heaven and escape, is that I“ve probably been fired from my job and boy, that“s going to leave a big hole in my needed volunteer hours. Maybe I can volunteer with the local animal shelter. I like puppies.

Poison kicks the door open, and voices sound around me. Ceres carries me in, and I can“t gauge much, though I“m getting better acquainted with the one eye. I jerk my head this way and that, the cool slap of AC bring on shivers. This was once a mall, and it shows. The food-court smells of rot and chemicals. Yellow and green fungi live in the tile crevices, the ceiling boards smashed and broken in at places. Oily squares of plywood are the only things that keep the ceiling from caving in on itself. Little, tree-shaped air fresheners spin above my head, hung from crooked nails in the plywood. They don“t help much, I decide, crinkling my nose. The whole place smells of urine and vomit. And all the perfumes the patrons wear, sweet as the scents may be, can“t mask the reek.

People fill every inch of free space; they“re everywhere, unlike what the deserted parking lot would have you believe. They sit at tables and talk to each other over harsh coffee, big gaudy booths set up with shiny red veils and flashy discount signs. People shout at each other to buy their wares. It“s like a twisted underworld I“ve never seen before, and it“s kind of amazing.

But as for people aiding me when I“m, you know, handcuffed with my wings tied and a cloth jammed over the lower half of my face, not a cinch. Instead, people come up and warmly greet Ceres and Poison. They don“t mistake the white-winged guy for me here. Instead, they slap him on the back and talk about the greatness of him and his father. "Attaboy," they say, all a buzz. I“m still trying to work the gag free when people start to ask about me. Poison lifts his head and smiles. Ceres smiles back, too, and I remember his “this-is-f

them and yanks people into their orbit.

"Okay, well, sir, I“m flat broke at the moment, penny-less without even the shirt on my back, but..." I pause and give him an easy smirk. I would wait longer to sink in the moment, but people are stampeding now, footsteps rattling the place, and I“m pretty sure Poison will have my ribs on a platter if he catches me.

The man raises an eyebrow, digging his nails into the black pill bottle. I can“t help but stare at the golden label. Super-enhanced drugs. Starlight outlaws them, but they“re what supposedly saved Heaven. Even with my life on the line, I can“t help but wonder about them. Can they really be so bad if they brought a sixteen-year-old back from the brink of death? "Uh..." My smoozy charm is gone. I clear my throat and speak really, really, really fast because I can hear shouting. And cussing, lots of cussing. The man straightens and guards his store like a knight. "Juniper and Storm Fibbs are my guardians—"

"Luce!"Poison growls. His voice echoes through my ears. My hands tremble, feathers fluffed. The man humphs at me, at least somewhat intrigued by the glow in his black eyes.

"-andthey“resuperrichsopleasepleasehelpmethey“llpayyoucrazyalotIswear." I gasp when it all rolls out. The man stares blankly back at me, the wrinkles in his white dress shirt and clean jeans jostling when he leans his weight on his hip. Puppy eyes, I remind myself, and give him the best puppy eyes I can. I even clasp my hands together, not that he can see them. The man blinks, greased, shiny hair falling over his forehead, and after another second, he shrugs and opens the shiny, polished handle of his store door.

I bolt In, taking in everything quickly. The stripped gray walls, the tiny space about the size of a two Ping-Pong tables, the sharp smell of wilted herbs and chemical burns. Pill bottles sit on black shelves and on a dirty gray table of sheet metal.

I sigh. I don“t know where I am or what to do next. "You wouldn“t have a spare shirt by any chance?" I ask the man. He nods, giving me a look that says, “You“re the weirdest kid I“ve ever met.“

I close my eyes for a second and let myself relax. Pain from the early beating begins to set into my adrenaline-wired conscience and tired body, and I let myself stand there and feel it.

I“m alive and I“m almost free. It“s a small victory, but it“s something. Something I can work with. If all good things come to an end, then so should all bad things, too.

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