MoboReader > Adeventure > Damsel[ed] Some Rescue Required

   Chapter 10

Damsel[ed] Some Rescue Required By m i c h e l l e p a k Characters: 11540

Updated: 2017-12-05 12:06


My head spins as I slip my phone back into my pocket. Gats? Again? I try to focus, but the encounter with the woman replays in my head. So many questions. I press my fingers into my temples and try to think.

Starlight“s in trouble. Syndicate will only leave destruction in its path, but I can“t quite focus on that either. The idea that someone could mistake me for Poison--a criminal who couldn“t look anymore different from me--haunts my every thought. I know it“s selfish to reflect on that when the world around me stands on the brink of catastrophe, but I can“t help it. Are winged-supers really that rare that the only one the woman could think of was Poison?

I draw in a long breath. Too much. Too fast. I angle my head to the sky and turn to find where I came from. Maybe Gats slipped or something. Once, when he was doing the dishes, he fell and cracked his femur. Surely, that“s it. He did something stupid and he sprained something.

Of course not, moron, Dark Side chimes in. Bah. Hate that guy. I crouch and spring into the sky, wings spread as I navigate Starlight“s spiral of skyscrapers. When I find our balcony, I snap my wings shut and tumble over the rail, landing hard in an ungraceful heap. I "oof" and wipe the dust off my pants. I don“t want to go in. I want to pretend everything“s fine for at least one second, but I pound the door and Juniper swings it open, almost knocking me off my feet.

She swipes her hand over her short hair, her eyes red and puffy. I frown. She“s holding a shot glass. "You drink?" I ask, tipping my good eye to her. She“s always lecturing me on the dangers of alcohol. Probably because I snuck a cup or two of some of crappy, God awful cheap beer at a Halloween party last year. I loosened up, my relative sense of judgment peaced out, and I spilt a few too many stories about "the good old days" when Gats and I were freshmen. For his sake and mine, I won“t touch another drop of the stuff. "And what“s up with Gats--"

"Argh!" someone shrieks from the living room. My breath catches. It“s Heaven. "He“s...they..." Her voice falters and she breaks into a series of yelps. Chills creep up my spine. There“s so much pain in her voice my wings stiffen.

"Shish." It“s Toby. "You shouldn“t have gone out."

"Well--Ah! Sorry, sir. Syndicate...they..." She whimpers, and he offers her Aspirin.

I dig my fingers into the seams of my jeans. "Is she okay?" Juniper shakes her head and motions for me to come in. I turn a little and try not to bump into anything. Our usually empty apartment swells with people, like we“re throwing some bizzaro party. Toby, June, Storm, Hev, Jaylin. The frou-frou hanging lights swing from all the movement. Jaylin“s flopped in front of the TV, playing with VHS tapes like Heaven isn“t screaming out in agony. My heart thuds and I look away. I don“t want to think about her and me and all that stuff. Another guy stands over the couch by Toby, the stranger“s head bowed and his black shirt neatly pressed with creases. "Who--"

"Security guard. He found Heaven collapsed by the lobby in a..." She winces, the words coming slow and clipped. "...trail of blood."

Oh. I cringe. "Is she going to be okay?" I ask, flexing my wings. A trail of blood, huh? Storm told me something happened to Gats, not Heaven. I guess Hev“s condition doesn“t matter to Storm since she“ll recover, but I feel sick. Her healing factor sucks--my fault--and she“s so fr

rm?" Maybe he knows something else I don“t.

"Emotional trauma," Storm says, barely above a whisper. As always.

"So you“re a crime lord“s son," the security guard says flatly.

My throat“s stuffed up and I nod though it feels wrong. "Where did you hear about the wing thing being" I ask. Family. The word doesn“t fit.

"The handbook."

"What!" My heart leaps. "There“s a handbook on this stuff?"

"Of course." He sounds confused. "Lore is passed down for generations. Everyone in Starlight knows about Snare and what the wings mean."

"Yeah?" I risk a glance at him. He lowers his gun a trifle and I give myself a breather. "Could you tell me about it? Like all these powers have been phasing in and I don“t quite understand them, you know? I--"

"Can...we shut up about A-Angel and talk about Gats, please!" Heaven shouts, her voice raspy and hoarse. My heart hammers.

"What about Gats?" I whip around, momentarily forgetting the man with the loaded gun at my back. A quick pull of the trigger is all he needs. BAM! The sound explodes around me. I“m stunned frozen. Couldn“t move if I tried. Storm grabs the guard and yanks him back. The smoky tang of an empty casing traces back to me, and every muscle in my body tightens. I shriek. "Hey, hey, hey! Don“t do that!" My ears ring, deafening me to the room“s buzz. Holy crap, he just shot at me! I gasp and curl against the wall.

Beside me, I see a little hole where the bullet buried itself in the blue wallpaper. My breathing comes heavy, my wings shot out like a shield and my feathers all fluffed up. A silent squeak rips from my throat. I“m okay. I draw in a long breath and try to stop shaking. I“m okay. No damage. Just a painful ringing in my ears. I“m okay, I“m okay, I“m okay.

"You idiot! I“d kill to call the police!" Juniper shouts, so muffled from the ringing I can barely make it out. A few of my feathers hang loose and I grip them with shaky hands. Okay. I“m okay.

"Well, he moved too fast! I didn“t know! He was lucky it was just a warning shot, I could“ve blown his head off if I wanted!"

I try not to reflect on that imagery. My hearing phases in and out, and I lean against the wall in dumb, terrified stupor.

I shiver. Tonight“s been one long night, and it“s only going to get worse.

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