MoboReader> Adventure > Damsel[ed] Some Rescue Required

   Chapter 7

Damsel[ed] Some Rescue Required By m i c h e l l e p a k Characters: 10622

Updated: 2017-12-05 12:05


Angelos.

Jaylin wraps her arms around my neck, her brown eyes wide and her quiet smile growing. I feel like prey, but I ignore it and set her on the counter. Her face is swelling, bruised black in places.

Heaven took this one too far. Doesn“t she know Jaylin saved her? I“m not the only one who owes this girl my life. "How bad does it hurt?" I ask. She shrugs and places her hands in her lap, freeing me to rummage through the cabinets for a Ziploc bag.

"Could be worse."

"Hmm." I find the Ziplocs in easy reach of the first-aid kit. The hairs of my neck stand on end, a crawly feeling on my skin. I turn around, and there Jaylin is, staring at me with her head on her hands. Heaven was right about feeling when someone“s watching. I give Jaylin my best smile. She gives me hers. I hit the freezer, scoop the ice, turn back and hand her the bag. "For your face," I say, ripping open an alcohol pad.

"I know how ice works, Fibbs," she says with a huff.

"Right." I roll up her sleeve. My jaw tightens. Her skin“s splotched purple and she laughs at my reaction. "Um..."

"She went berserk. It“s not hard to provoke a superhero."

I shrug. "She, uh, just forgot how strong she is. I bet she feels really feels bad about it now."

Jaylin just gives me an are-you-serious look. "I really doubt that. A few too many strategically poignant lines, and she goes crazy." I find an open gash on her arm and clean it with the pad. I“ve never heard anyone say anything like "strategically poignant," let alone Jaylin, and I draw blank.

"Uh...what?"

"I was just trying to see what I could say to set her off. You know, in case we“re ever in a combat situation or whatever. A lot of us villains do it."

"Psychological warfare, huh?"

"You bet. Superheroes are all the same."

I shake my head and almost pull back. "No. They“re pretty different, I think. I mean, supervillains are all different and stuff. Right?"

She places a hand on my shoulder. " Oh, come on, Angel, you can“t deny it. Superheroes are all fundamentally the same."

"Yeah?"

"They“re stupid," she says. I glare, ready to launch into a speech about all the sacrifice and hard work and bravery I“m sure it takes Heaven to step into danger to save strangers, but Jaylin continues. "They“re brutes.They rely on strength instead of intelligence and flaming ideals instead of hard facts. They think they can fix the world in one fell swoop. But they can“t, and if ever they did, they would create a world where they aren“t needed."

I blink, at a loss for what to say. The words don“t sound like they belong to Jaylin, they sound like they came off a script. "Okay?"

"Us villains, we look at the big picture. We steal from the rich, Angel. So what?"

"Whatever you steal isn“t yours. That“s what," I say. She waves me off, leaning both her elbows on my shoulders.

"I“ve been thinking," she says.

"Yeah?"

"Why do you want to be a good guy, Angelos?"

I blink again. I should have an answer prepared for a question like, “Yo, Angel,why are you rebelling against your heritage and dark side and destiny and stuff?“ But no. I don“t. "Uh. I don“t want to--"

"Hurt people?" Jaylin

rns makes me feel kind of weird inside. Like after everything“s she“s done, I shouldn“t want her to touch me. Like I should be disgusted with her and even more disgusted at myself for wanting to make her happy.

So this is what common sense feels like? Huh.

I thought I liked Jaylin, but I just...I don“t know. I still don“t know, and it“s maddening.

The Jaylin from school made me feel safe and loved, she made me smile when my life was in ruins and let me tune out the world for a few hours.

This girl though, every moment I“m around her I“m inadequate and stupid and weak; I can never make her happy, and when I do, it usually comes out of my own misery.

She clamps her hand around my arm, digging her nails in. I wince. She yanks me down, her face just inches from mine. "I could kiss you, Angelos."

My heart thuds. Am I willing to get into something like this? As good as Jaylin could be on the inside, I know she“s going to hurt me. It“s just what she does. Am I willing to let her do that?

She“s touching me, her hands under my shirt again, her lips trailing my cheek. I hardly feel it.

No.

This isn“t what I want. I want a loving relationship with the girl from the dance, and that girl may not even exist.

I pull away. If Jay does like me, well, she“ll have to change to make this work. She looks up at me, big brown eyes wide and confused. "I“m sorry," I say.

"Huh? Angel?"

I turn and leave the kitchen. Granted, it isn“t a dramatic gesture or a tearfully given, "I can“t take this anymore!" but my head“s pounding and I just want to get out. I“m confused, I guess. I don“t know who I want to be or who I“m loyal to.

The adults are talking, clearly distressed. "What if they make a direct attack?"

"They wouldn“t try something so gutsy."

"But that boy..."

I turn away. "Angelos?" June calls. I slip out on the balcony, take off my shirt, and let my wings unfurl. I don“t particularly like them, but they do give me one advantage. I can, you know, fly. They ache from being held against my back so long.

The sky glimmers with stars. I climb over the rail and jump.

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