MoboReader> Adventure > Damsel[ed] Some Rescue Required

   Chapter 56

Damsel[ed] Some Rescue Required By m i c h e l l e p a k Characters: 15948

Updated: 2017-12-12 12:04


Poison.

Heaven crouches in the open for a moment, one hand punched into the floor, another twisting her hair around her fingers. "I-I“m sorry."

Cat crosses her arms and blows a strand of hair out of her eyes. "Yeah, cool. Sob story time." She leans back against a wall, shimmying her shoulders so that her hair falls the right way against her neck. Her whole presence feels like a distraction, her and the little girl, crouched over that wolf.

All that matters is Heaven. Heaven and Dad and maybe Ceres, whose shuddering and blinking blankly, his shadow sinuous on the floor as he rocks on his knees. My heart twists in my chest, but my feet move forward, as if on their own accord. I“m working on autopilot now, my thoughts so scattered, a dull signal flashing in the back of my head reminding me of the pain, pain, pain ricocheted in my shoulders and back. Like an animal on the hunt, I let those thoughts fall away, all my senses attuned on her. The way she curls a strand of hair around her finger, the way she looks at the floor so blankly, tremors creeping into her forearms and shoulders. She draws in a shuddering, gasp of a breath, rising with a low moan.

"Owl?" Heaven poses the name like a question. She bounces like a fighter trying to conceal her moves from an opponent. Everything about her is wired, ready to pounce. Dad“s hands are shoved into his pockets, and her surveys his reflection in one of the steel horizontal bars of a hanger. Then, with a practiced quiet, he slinks behind Ceres and hoists him to his feet. The brown-haired girl with the slurpee takes the moment to slip out the door, tin-can chimes battering the glass behind her. "Owl," Heaven says the name again, sharper. She stands on her tiptoes and brushes a strand of hair out of Ceres“ eyes with a flick of her finger. "She“s the threat now, and when we kick her butt—" she wheels toward Dad, who shrugs under her gaze "—I“m kicking his."

Ceres looks her up and down, his mouth drawing into a hard line. Even she doesn“t seem so sure, scratching the back of her neck with a free hand, her head cocked to the side. His eyes are empty. He looks away while Dad looks up, wistful.

Then Ceres grumbles. "Owl, at least Angel, anyway, is headed north of here, sir." His head wilts down again, his posture slumping. I move down the floor, weaving into the empty center while Heaven huffs and turns on her toe like a dancer. She puffs up her chest, clutches a fistful of crumpled shirt and flings herself out of the store. She gives no one time to catch up, and Cat mutters "rude" under her breath, along with a grab-bag of colorful curses that makes Dad raise an eyebrow. Cat catches his eye and shrinks under his gaze. Good little henchman.

The wolf snuffs my wing. The touch of its cold nose sends a shock of pain through my wing and I bite back a scream. It looks up at me, the gold eyes making me tingly. I turn away and run after Heaven, and the others do, too. The urgency is back. If Owl“s really making a move, then we“re all screwed.

I“m the first to catch up to her, probably because I“m the most attuned. I failed to get Angelos first, but maybe I can still capture her. She ducks the opposite direction of the crowds, her curls bouncing and flowing out behind her like streamers. Her shoes slide on the oily ground, not quite going superspeed, and she glides toward a wall.

"Heaven!" I call after her, but I“m not fast enough. The ceiling“s splintered, the gilded white material bashed in from old super fights. She whips around, crouching on her knees. I skid up to her, my shoes spinning out from under me in the sticky residue on the floor. She grabs me by my good wing, an arm wrapped around my waist for support. Her touch makes my legs jello, and I want to melt into her. I“m achy all over, and she combs her fingers through my broken wing, absently pushing bones back into place and tearing out feathers that have melted into something like wax. Her touch is urgent and insisting, her hands pushing through the holes in my wings. She cusses to herself. "If only I had a needle and thread, super glue, something..."

"Oh, I see. So you do care about me, princess?" I whip around, my wing swinging up at an odd angle. She narrows her eyes, her fingers covered in ash, but when I cock my ear and listen for it, I can hear her heart pound against her ribs. Then she clutches her face, pinching the bridge of her nose as if warding off a headache. Her groan is soft, barely there, and I dare a step toward her.

The wing, slid on the floor, makes a “thud.“ Electricity hums in my veins, thoughts of the burnt wing pushed away by the shiny new distraction. I draw in a breath, and the air tastes sweet. Her hands slide up through her hair, pushing curls out of

ng.

"Owl." She frowns, mulling over the name like she just remembered it from somewhere. Heavy footsteps clip the air, shadows moving in my peripherals. "I—we—we have to get her." Her eyes trail up to my mouth. She shakes her head, another soft sigh leaving her. "Let me carry you." She squeezes my hand, and she leans into me, her forearm brushed against my shoulder.

"H-Heaven?" The voice behind me is small, barely audible. Hev jerks down her gaze and I turn, my arm yanked taut. She has the grip of a steel trap, super and all. The hero girl“s eyes are wide, and she looks at Hev like she“s a wild animal. "Are you okay?"

Cat“s glaring at me, her fists balled at her hips. Dad looks murderous. The wolf whimpers and hides behind the little hero“s leg.

"I“m fine." Hev laughs. Her voice sounds too tight, too squeaky for her, but I ignore it. She loves me now. It“s really true. "Fine. I chose this. Don“t be mad at him."

I shoot Dad a look. A half of a smirk. "Yeah, she did. She just loves me. Isn“t that right, Galaxy?"

Heaven lowers my hand and takes up my burnt wing instead, stroking the waxy feathers. She slings it over her shoulder, tucking the tips under her arm. "Yeah," she says. "I do." Cat squeaks, her mouth dropped open wide, and it“s awful satisfying to shut her up for once.

"Maybe if you“re lucky I“ll invite you to the wedding," I tell her, flicking a streak of ash off Heaven“s face. I“m flying, even without wings. I can“t help a little smirk.

Dad lifts a fist, his mouth suddenly screwing into a snarl. "I told you to leave that girl alone!" I flinch. He“s going to hit me, even after he took my wing. My freedom. I wince, but Hev shoots up, and he arms slide around my waist.

"Forget about it," she says to them, and I let out a breath. "It“s my decision. Not that you all didn“t help with it." She glances down at the hero and softens her voice, Cat still wide-eyed and silent."Except for you, sweetie. I“m sorry I dragged you into this, and I“m sorry I can“t bring you back home just yet. Owl and all."

She nods dumbly. "Uh huh." Rubbing her cheek, she shoots a glance at Cat, who finally shuts her mouth.

If only the little henchman would stay this quiet all the time.

"To the capital, then?" asks Hev. My feet dangle and my good wing twitches for flight.

The rage melts in Dad“s expression. Sighing low, he tucks a strand of hair behind his ear and looks down, shoulders sagging. He shuffles up to us, clutching his hands together at his chest. "We“ll talk about this later." His tone is begging. I shake my head and the others rise, Cat wobbly, her eyes squeezed shut. Maybe her flight powers are still weak from Angel taking them from her before. She pops them back open, crosses her arms, and rockets up.

"You“re crazy! We haven“t even figured out a plan yet!" She spits, narrowly missing Dad“s shoe. He looks at her and she flushes, fumbling for an apology as she bows.

"We“ll figure it out," Hev says. She rockets into the air with a kiss on my cheek. I have her, and Dad“s expression is soft and sad.

***

^^Eep! @EndTheCliche made the epic fanart above. Stil can“t get over how adorable Angel looks :).

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