MoboReader> Adventure > Damsel[ed] Rescue Required

   Chapter 2

Damsel[ed] Rescue Required By m i c h e l l e p a k Characters: 8489

Updated: 2017-12-12 12:03


Heaven.

Falling in love with my best friend“s psychotic supervillain brother seemed like a good idea at the time. And it was planned, thought through. Was it a sort of surrender? Yes, but it was a calculated surrender.

Tonight, as I "clean up the streets" with a bucket of soapy water and a push broom, Poison“s on my mind. Gats, Angel, the wringer we“ve been through, but mostly the boy with the white wings. His snowy hair, his beautiful wings, his handsome face.

I don“t love him. I“m drawn to him, like a bee to a deadly flower. I should want Gats. Should want to cradle him, coo at him, tell him everything is okay.

But I don“t even want to do that.

It“s raining. Raining hard. I“m soaked to the bone, shivering through my hoodie. I“ve been doing this all day, combing through subdivisions and city streets, scraping away the “Syndicate“ graffiti and sweeping up broken glass. No one is out. The capitol building burned yesterday, Fallout“s doing. And people left their homes, bought food, and bunkered up, preparing for a new super war. It“s one I“m sure is coming.

I scrub “Syn“ off a frosted window, the neon sign hissing and snapping over my head. A shadow passes over me. I glance up at the glass, and see his face.

"Hey, Hev." He flexes his good wing through the back of his leather jacket.

I whip around, blinking hard against the cold, pouring rain. My heart is in my throat, and for one tremor of a moment, I laugh, because he has to be a hallucination. The past few days have warped my broken brain so much that I“m seeing mirages of him. He rakes a hand through his feathery white hair and steps to me.

"I heard about a hoodie-wearing hero “cleaning up the streets“ and thought I“d ought to check it out." He touches my chin and tilts up my head. I lift my hand to smack him away, and it quivers there in the open air.

I asked him to put me under his spell, and now, a little more than a day later, I“m melting. Without Owl to fight, the thoughts of him consume me. I just want to latch onto him to make the craving for his presence go away. So I can think. So I can breathe.

"What do you want?" I snap. "And how“d you even get here? I thought your dad grounded you."

He flinches. Sticks and stones may break your bones, but my puns with all the real crushing-power. His smirk wavers, and it“s as thin and papery as a mask. "Oh," he says, with a shrug. "He“s busy plotting. Figuring out how to capture Angel, you know? So I slipped out. I have legs too, Hev."

"And Ceres?" I lean the push broom against the window. Cross my arms over my chest and scowl down at his hand. Not that I have a reason to avoid his eyes anymore. Other than that they“re pretty and I“m a sucker for them.

He drops his grip. "He“s fine. How are you?"

Been better, I want to say. Owl tried to have me gruesomely tortured. I failed. My parents are superheroes, and not just any superheroes, either. Nebula and Taurus. The Romeo and Juliet of the golden-agers. The leaders of my heroes.

I am the daughter of a tragedy.

"Look," I say, "I don“t know what you want. I don“t know how you keep finding me, unless you“ve got a tracker on me, which I guess you might, grade-a stalker. I“m kind of tired. So did you come here to kidnap me?"

He rolls his eyes. "Yeah, yeah. Sure. Something like that." His smirk looks a little more genuine this time, but he steps back, giving me enough room to throw up my hands.

"In case you have amnesia, I“m the strong one here. If you want me to break that other wing, try me. I“m never too tired to tangle, Poison." I pinch the bridge of my nose with one hand and grab the push broom with the other.

"You love me." His eyes flash. They are pretty. So blue against the foggy night sky that they cut against the darkness. He leans over my head, drumming his fingers on the glass. Bored. He“s even taller than Angel, and I, the superhero, shrink back. And no. It“s not the broken-winged dreamboat I“m intimidated by.

It“s me. It“s my pounding heart, the bubbly little awkward laugh caught in my throat, the way the heat has rushed up into my face. I want to throw my arms around him. I want to melt into him. "And if you just keep running, it“s going to get worse."

I sink down to the sidewalk. And the truth is, he“s right. The pressure in my chest is tightening. I“m sitting in front of Cupid, with the wings and the love-powers and everything. I cup my face in my hands. "I don“t want to think about it."

He stoops down. I shiver as the rainwater drips down my face. "So what are you going to do?"

"You came here to “collect“ me, didn“t you? That“s what you meant when you said you were going to do “something like“ kidnapping me." I slide my hands back down to my lap. They“re shaking. Poison takes them up in his, and I jolt upright. The pressure behind my eyes makes me want to cry. I don“t know how to handle this. I“ve never known how to handle my own feelings. Let alone this, whatever it is.

"Look, you said you“d come with me. If you don“t, this spell stuff will drive you crazy." He squeezes my hands, and I freeze, deer in headlights. I don“t even read romance, except for the ones with the shirtless guys on the covers. Sometimes. Is it supposed to work like this? The lead is just doing her thing, tending to her friends, doing her schoolwork, saving the world, when love hits her like a sheath of barbed arrows to the heart. "Snare needs your help, with the aftermath and all," he adds with a shrug. His soaked shirt clings to his chest. And it“s such a painfully dumb thing to notice, I laugh. Just a harsh chuckle that makes Poison arch an eyebrow.

"Yeah, sure." I steady my voice, looking him dead in the face though my hands are sweaty and my pulse is thumping and all I can think about is how beautiful he is, “cause it turns out I“m shallow as sin. I“m leaning forward before I even realize I“m doing it. "But you see, I have friends that need me, too. And school. That“s a thing that I keep forgetting exists. Spring break ends like, Monday." Our spring break lasts until the first week of April. "We go to school on my birthday." I offer him an awkward chuckle. He“s looking at my mouth and my knees are too tingly. I love Gatsby. Even if he betrayed me. Love my friends, even if I couldn“t protect them. Can“t do this, even if I want to. I can“t.

"Just come with me." He leans forward, eying me with that desperado passion that you only expect from soap opera stars, holding both of my hands to his chest. I“ve gone stiff. Couldn“t move if I tried. So this is how it feels when a train is barreling at you and you“re tied to the tracks. The train in this metaphor being my feelings “cause they“re off the rails and about to make me human mush.

"Look, I want to," I say. "I really do." Now that he“s in my space, I might as well be honest. I love him because of his powers, but it feels genuine. And craving him is like craving, well, poison, pardon my pun, my cheese, and my cliche. He closes the last of the space between us, tugging down my hood. And I don“t shrink back this time, I lean in.

Then his mouth is on mine.

My enemy. The bad guy. He calls himself “Poison.“ Red flags, Hev!

But when he kisses me, I kiss him back.

I“m all pins and needles. Shivering, sweating, melting essentially. And when I“m back on my feet, still pressed against the cold glass window, still kissing, I let him pick me up. My arms are wrapped around his shoulders, fingers combing the feathers of his good wing.

And I“ve never felt so scared and so excited and just so very much before, like my heart will explode in my chest and I can“t breathe and the world is spinning. I don“t want to think about last night. I don“t want to think about Gats. I don“t want to think about what he“s done, don“t want to think about Owl, don“t want to remember how it feels to watch someone you love being dragged away from you or the sound of the tendons snapping in your neck. So I“m making out with my enemy. So I“m tired of being strong. Guess what? I“m worn out.

"So do you want to stay with me?" he asks into my neck. I“m still shivering. My pulse slamming in my wrists, the rain still pouring and cold, the wind still brisk. I squeeze my arms around his chest and close my eyes, mind racing with all my responsibilities, with thoughts about how this boy hurt my friends. How this is wrong.

But I don“t care. I just want the pain to stop.

"As long as no one knows."

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