Fire and Ice: Part 4

Everything hurt. My back, my head, all ribs and muscles were as much on fire as he was. My own blood dripped slowly to the ground, a small gory puddle below me. From where, take your pick. The cut on my eyebrow, the slash at my arm, the multitude of other wounds on my body. All from him.

This is my fault, this is all my fault. I let my guard down, a wall I had built up to almost two decades crumbled from his touch, from his smile, those damn soul crushing eyes. I convinced myself we were friends. That he would actually come to like me, maybe fall for me as much as I did that first battle. I was an idiot. I still am an idiot. And now here I was about to die.

“Get up!” He yelled, fire flickering up his arms and legs. The anger in his eyes was like brimstone. Every step he took forward singed footprints that trailed behind him, black and smoldering.

“I said get up and fight me!” My brain was telling my whole being to just lay down, accept my fate. I’m a stubborn son of bitch though, and with shaking legs I faced him, nails digging into my palms. Liam was just as banged up as I am. Covered in blood and bruises already turning purple, he snarled.

“Come on, fight me! Fight me you bastard, take the first shot!” He pelted fire balls at my feet. I just stepped back at each one, soon hitting the wall. I bit back a groan, eyes shut tight. Finding my voice with a raw throat, it just came out.

“Just kill me…” I whispered. I opened my eyes again. Some of the flames covering him were gone, his eyes softening.

“What?” He asked almost as quiet as me. All the rage in me finally surfaced.

“Don’t give me that. Don’t try to act sympathetic all of damn sudden. I know what you are! We both do! You’re a ticking time bomb finding excuses to kill me, well here you go! I’m all yours! Just kill me and get it over with!” I spread my arms staring him dead in the eyes. They were still a warm brown, and I hated I still melted under them. I wanted him gone. I wanted him out of my life. He was never going to see me as nothing but a bad guy. He was the hero. I was the villain. And I was going to let him vanquish his villain.

Liam didn’t move, snuffing everything out on his body. I stepped forward and shoved him hard in the center of the chest where I know it would hurt.

“Stop being so noble for one fucking second! Kill me! Just fucking kill me! You wanted a fight so just bash my head in, roast me alive, do something! Just-!” I pushed him again and again, weaker than the last, not even bothering to bite back the soft sob I let out. He grabbed my arms, keeping me in place. I stopped fidgeting, seeing spots from how much pain I was in through blurry eyes.

“Justin…” He stared at me, one hand sliding over my cheek, wiping a tear away. I furrowed my brows at him.

And then I felt warm. I felt heat radiate my skin, ricocheting inside my bones, soothe my muscles. Because he was kissing me. Liam the fucking Scorch Mark was kissing me.

The cut on my lip stung from the pressure, but I didn’t care. I could barely feel it. There were only a few things I was focusing on. His lips on mine, hand on my cheek, the curvature of his body against my own, his busted nose running blood across my jaw and down my neck. I raked my hands through his hair, tugging at it. It was smooth against my fingertips, covered in ash and cinders.

This wasn’t a kiss anymore. This was support. We clung to each other because both of us understood, admitting it or not, that the other was the only one that kept us grounded. He was my anchor, so I didn’t soar off. I was his life raft, so he didn’t sink to the bottom.

I had to breath, but I didn’t want to pull away. The moment we do, then the kiss is over. We are back to being enemies. We are back to fighting and putting up appearances. Just a second longer. That’s all I needed, a second longer.

Liam had different plans. He pulled away for air. The only sounds I could hear was our panting. I felt his racing heartbeat against my chest. I wondered if he could feel my own, just as fast as his. We looked at each other, a mix of confusion, want, anger, sadness, affection was dancing across his irises, and probably in mine too. He realized the same conclusion I did. This can only be one kiss. One moment that had to be forgotten.

And then we heard sirens. Neon red and blue flashed onto our clothes from the windows. Liam turned his gaze to the cop cars. No, no, please, not yet. He looked back at me.

“I…” He didn’t even get a chance. Policemen busted in, weapons raised. Their screamed orders came deaf over my ears. I just raised my hands, no attempt at using my powers. Soon, I sat in the back of an armored car. The chains chaffed against my wrist, but I was numb to it. All I noticed was the muffled praise Liam was getting from the commissioner a few yards away. He caught my eyes, face still and hard despite the damage. I looked away as hot tears threatened to fall.

And then the doors slammed me into darkness.

Love and Magic

Dating a witch is much harder than I expected. Being with Amelia is normal enough. Replace living in an apartment together with a shack at the edge of town, and it’s pretty much the same. We eat together, sleep together, kiss and hug and all that fun stuff dating such an amazing girl comes with.

But there are some…intriguing quirks that I didn’t realize would be in a relationship with magic.

I never expected having to clean up salt sprinkled on the living room floor. I never thought I would wake up to a spirit from a psychedelic dream realm hovering over my face. I never thought I would have an argument about not filling the tub with some sparkling purple concoction when I need to shower.

And then there are her customers. I don’t like the human populace as it is but watching her deal with the cliental of a witch is not helping sway my opinion. Most are normal enough. A good luck charm for a job interview, an enchanted barrette to make their hair shiny for a date, a potion to help with alertness to help cram for a final (because let’s be honest magic is way safer than overdosing on Adderall), reasonable stuff.

Then there are the…special people. Like the pack of wannabe Kardashians demanding for charmed skinny jeans to make their butts bigger as they tortured their purse sized chihuahuas. The dude so plastered on tequila shots he somehow confused a small shack near the woods as a McDonalds, only to realize where he was and slurred out for a what he called “An Infinity Egg McMuffin”. To this day I don’t know what he meant by that. The countless, COUNTLESS number of people asking for love potions, or as I call it date rape with more steps. And my personal favorite, the woman who came at three a.m. with a screaming son devastated about his dead goldfish. She pleaded to revive the croaked little bugger, to which the kid proceeded to barf right onto my pajama bottoms. That was a fun night.

Amelia was always patient though, mixed with a pinch of beautiful sadism. When it was clear the buyer was at her home for selfish or even dangerous purposes, she gave them what they asked for. But as my darling always warned, “magic can be unpredictable, the results may vary”, and that variance came from her. Amelia would never want to kill anyone, just hand over a swift bitch slap of karma. She can’t change them but hopefully they come out a little more humble or wiser after the experience.

They still paid her, anyway. She made good money helping the people in town, and despite the few bad customers she loved doing it. It made her feel rewarded in many ways. About a year ago a family from a county over came for her help. Their daughter was sick, and the desperation was evident on their face. I watched her pour over that brew for a whole week, barely sleeping. She could never get it full proof and suggested to the parents a spoonful a day with whatever medication she had. About a month later she got a letter. The daughter was finally given a clean bill of health, and by the afternoon Amelia had it hung in the living room.

Working with her isn’t that bad either. I don’t have any magic of my own, but I’m the best little partner a witch could ask for. I helped her draw protective runes on the walls, picked herbs and ingredients she needed, keep her potion brews and mythical zoology books in place. I cleaned the dishes while she cleaned up the cauldrons. I dusted the shelves as she dusted her bottles of frog legs and goat tongues. It was nice being domestic with her. And living with magic doesn’t make it less fun seeing it again! I get to watch fire appear out of nowhere and small chimeras that wander nearby, as well get to have sex with her? Who wouldn’t want that!?

There are ups and downs with dating a witch. But magic with benefits is something I wouldn’t trade for the world.

 

Fire and Ice: Part 1

Many villains will do wickedly bad things for a purpose. A tragic backstory, monetary gain, a warped righteous sense of morals, the standard motivations. But I never had any of that, nor have I ever wanted any of that. Villains have no code, no boundaries. They get to do whatever they please and go along their merry way without any hang ups or binding connections. And it’s a damn good time doing it. I could never be a hero. Ever since I gained my powers when I was little I’ve loved running that cold fear down a person’s back. Just the thought of their frozen state as they gazed at me in pure horror sent me all giggly. Cold and frozen things weren’t new to me. I had ice powers. Destructive, deadly, and gorgeous.

I was sending a wide spread panic into my new city, or a more fitting name, my new target practice. I’ve turned four already into giant ice cubes and now I was going to bring it up to number five. To think, twenty years old and already about to break a supervillain record!

I was finishing up the mindless doodles I had blasted with sleet into the front of a bank, ready to ice skate my way downtown, when I heard it.

“I would stop that if I were you…” I rolled my eyes. I should have known. It was my fault for not expecting a “protector of the city” in at least one place I blanketed cold. Almost every town has one of these spandex doofs. Another goody two shoes superhero to try and lock up the insidious bad guy. He even had a cliché phrase to start this whole charade.

“Wow, that certainly changed my ways. I WILL stop because I soooo want to be like…” I turned around to face my competitor and did something I never in a billion eons thought of doing.

I paused, and I ogled. He wasn’t like anything I had seen. He had this mature swagger about him, a stiff and straight stance, the natural aura of power. He was confident, a presence that could send hope into hearts of millions and fear up the spines of any threat or terror. It was every superhero shoved into one poster child for the extraordinary, for the brave, for the protectors of mankind.

And holy shit he was hot! Honey brown eyes that almost melted a heart that was frozen over years ago, framed with shiny dark hair swept back to reveal a soft complexion under a sharp and sculpted jaw. All was set off with red lips that even from this distance I could see were plump and so bitable.

“…you,” I finished, finding my voice again. For a split second he seemed to stumble, confused by my reaction. He gained his bravado again, hands on his hips, chest puffed.

“You are not welcomed in Haven City!” He bellowed at me. I gave him a once over. If it wasn’t for that ridiculous getup he was wearing I would be drooling over that firm and tight body. But seriously, matching red pants and jacket with obnoxious, orange stripes? Why can’t superheroes choose the subtly of villain’s costume? While he was a walking fire hydrant I stuck with something classier. Blue leather trench coat, monochromatic under shirt, hair slicked back with a slight spike. Simple, elegant, but still makes clear my powers.

I regained myself as well, noticing in his fumble he placed his hands a bit too high on his sides, coming closer to the top of his ribs. To mask the livewire that was my nerves I resorted to sarcasm and chuckled darkly.

“No shit, Sherlock. Unless you’re the city of Stockholm Syndromed citizens I doubt a villain who’s freezing their asses would be welcomed. Oh, and uh…nice chicken wings.” I copied his pose mockingly and laughed again when he readjusted himself, obviously embarrassed. He hid the slip up as best he could from the cowering hostages I trapped in ice.

“I do not take kindly to your attitude. I’m giving you a chance to leave, I don’t want to fight.” He stepped closer to me, the face a scolding parent would give a misbehaving child sat on his own.

“Yes, you do,” I smirked stepping closer as well, “Heroes need to fight for the fame poor hapless fans cities like these give you.” I gestured to the scared onlookers. Something in his eyes flickered that I had never seen before on a hero, especially a young one. Shame. Doubt. Fear. Like I had confirmed something that held him awake at night and maybe even believed. I didn’t want to admit myself the mixture of vulnerability and confidence was making him more infuriatingly attractive, however I couldn’t lie to my body the way he was trying to. The hero cleared his throat.

“One more chance. Leave. Now,” He jerked his arms down, sparking two large fireballs into his palms. I looked down at them and snickered, at myself this time. The chance of not only finding but falling for my literal opposite could only happen to me. He, though, took my little jovial moment as another taunt against him. A flash of anger seeped into his eyes, the orbs becoming hotter. I went a few paces back, charging my powers, feeling the stark chill come to my fingertips once more.

“Be gentle, this is my first time,” I said coyly. I watched as red flushed up to his cheeks, briefly stopping. But he gained his composure and the fight began.

He fired one attack after the other. I swung my own right back at him. They collided in the air and diffused themselves as fire met ice. A splash of water followed suit. I sent a wave of icicles sharp to the point at him. He ducked away from them with ease. All shattered into a few disregarded cars.

As he got up I ducked behind an overturned bus. I conjured a large ball of ice in my hands, ready for the right moment. I got up to a crouch when a sphere of what I can only describe as lava rocketed into the bus. I jumped, falling back onto the street, and observing the damage the young super had made. All that was left was a burnt side of a building and a singed gaping hole right through the center of the vehicle.

I was stunned for a moment, quickly realize the intensity of his powers. This wasn’t just fire he had control of. This was every force of nature that could destroy miles of land, all in his fingertips. I knew I couldn’t defeat him one on one.

So, I had to play dirty. I emerged from behind the bus. My ice ball careened towards him. He countered with ease behind a small circle of fire. While he was distracted I created more icicles, hovering in the air. They were not over him, though. The super watched in horror as I let them fall over one of the citizens I had trapped. She screamed, trying to pull her frozen legs free. The hero being the hero, never one to let a bystander die, reacted quickly.

When he rushed to her, I made my move. Pounding attack after attack against his back, I sent waves of icy metric tons where he couldn’t fight back. He stumbled and grunted at each impact. The icicles continued to fall. Her screams becoming louder and louder. The hero seemed about to crash to his knees. I smirked, ready to land my finally blow. I let an enormous ball of sleet form above him, ready to send my distraction away. But before I could even make a move to drop it, he slammed his fists into the asphalt with a loud roar.

I didn’t know what happened at first. All I saw was a flash of orange. Then I was sent hurtling and onto my back several feet away from him. All the frosty damage I had done to the area was now melted. The icicles were gone. The sleet was gone. Every bit of ice I had created was gone. In the entire city. The. Entire. Fucking. City.

The hostages and other citizens were all unharmed. Wet and covered in ash, but in one piece. The only sounds were soft footsteps and the drips of water into puddles.

I groaned and sat up as much as could with being thrown to the street like ragdoll. While everything inside me ached, I watched as the hero stood, gazing at his hands. He panted heavily and walked over to me tall and in a quick pace. My attacks left no damage. I looked up at him, his warm eyes piercing into my cold stare. There was something behind them. Something…darker. A sense of uncontrolled and unbridled fury he could almost bury with the fear that flickered inside him too. Almost.

I had underestimated him. He was stronger than me, more powerful than me, protected this whole city because he could, and he did it every day. He wasn’t invincible, but that didn’t make him weak. It just proved that he could do the implausible, because, for him, nothing was impossible.

I raised my arms without hesitation. I had lost fair and square. I’ll let him haul me off to jail where I would escape. My original plan was to get out and head to the next town without looking back. Now, I was going to stick around. He wasn’t a common pretty boy superhero. He was a threat, a rival, an equal. I knew this wasn’t some school yard crush anymore.

I was going to make him mine, himself and that darkness. And if that meant committing a thousand crimes for him to notice me than so be it.

Macchiato Heartstrings

Darius was never fan of coffee. It served its purpose well enough, but he didn’t enjoy the flavor or feel of coffee. He just liked that it kept him caffeinated until noon. A shot of energy was much nicer than a shot of espresso.

Still, he could just brew his coffee at home. Heat up a Pop Tart or some store-bought treat. Why did he go to Joe’s Cup every morning?

Brandon. Brandon was the reason he came every day. He was Darius’ fellow classmate. They only shared two or three classes, but in those fleeting hours during school Darius fell, and he fell hard. And now he’s here, sipping on dark energy he doesn’t like just so he can gawk and drool at a boy who doesn’t even know he exists.

Darius sat down two tables behind Brandon, their seats facing each other. Brandon was sipping on some fancy French breakfast drink, a warm croissant next to him, reading a book. A croissant, that was so much cooler than Darius’ faky scone. He can’t strike up a conversation about pastries when Brandon’s is surely superior. It wouldn’t matter anyway. If he got the courage to go and talk to him it would all fizzle away once the two made eye contact. A hazel brown swirl that Darius just melted for. He could almost see them right now.

Because he can…

Wait, did Brandon just catch him staring? Crap he did, look away man! Look away!

He ducked his head down quickly, a tomato red dancing across his face. Great, he’s too nervous for his own good AND he looks like a stalker! Darius waited a solid thirty seconds before peeking back at Brandon just to make sure he didn’t leave or was thoroughly creeped out. He wasn’t at his chair. But he didn’t leave. He was coming towards him. Oh God oh God oh God oh God oh Goooood…

“Hey,” Brandon said, smiling at him. Damn those eyes. Jesus, that smile!

“Hey,” Darius replied, less confident. Brandon gestured to Darius’ drink.

“What’d you get?” He asked. Darius looked down at it.

“Oh. Um…I…don’t…know. I just asked for something strong.” He already looked like a loser and a stalker to Brandon, what could a poser title add?

To his surprise though, Brandon laughed. It was a soft, airy chuckle that danced across Darius’ racing heartbeat.

“I don’t know what I got either. I just asked for something sweet.” He chuckled again. Darius laughed softly with him.

“Mind if I sit?” He asked, gesturing to the empty seat across the table.

“Not at all.” Darius smiled sheepishly. He sat down.

“Darius, right?” Brandon asked. He smiled wider.

“Yeah.”

Ok. He takes it back.

Coffee is the greatest thing the universe has ever made.