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Building Bridges (Chapter2, Prequel Story)
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KitKaramak
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Sparks (Chapter3: Prequel Story)

Chapter 5: The French Job (Prequel Story)
c3_sparks.doc
Keywords male 640221, female 520208, human 46942, fantasy 11611, kiss 7269, succubus 2327, hero 1683, flirting 719, combat 690, shyness 380, supernatural 375, telekinesis 208, superpowers 133, heroic 104, feels 83, telepathy 62, teleportation 40, mild romance 12, fortitude 3, supernaturals 2, hero emergence 1
Sparks


Wednesday, June 16th, 1999, 2pm PDT
San Leandro, California…


“Rise and shine, sleepyhead.” Karla’s silky voice caused Chance to stir.  He opened his eyes and rolled over on the guest bed, coming face to face with the beautiful blond girl.  

He swallowed and offered a weak smile. “H… Hey, Karla.  Good morning.  What time is it?”

“Oh, I don’t know. Midday.  How’d you sleep?”

“I… good.  I had fun last night.  Never watched two movies back to back before. Then again, I might have and just wouldn’t know, right?”

“What did you like more?  StarWars or Austin Powers?”

Chance smiled.  “Well, they were two totally different movies.  It was neat to have the whole theater to ourselves in StarWars, though.”

“Well, it’s been out almost a month.  You just liked having a candy and popcorn battle in an empty theater.” She offered a sly grin then abruptly asked, “So, do you have morning wood?”

“I…what?” He bit his lower lip.  

“C’mon, be fair, Chance.  I can’t lie to you.  So you’ve gotta be honest back.  You got a kickstand right now?  It’s a built in safety feature for men, y’know.  It keeps you guys from accidentally rolling off the side of bed first thing in the morning.”

“Awkward question gets an awkward answer, I guess… Uh, god this isn’t easy for me to say, so give me a second.”

“Oh, c’mon.  Every guy dreams of having a hot no-strings-attached babe as his roommate.  So… you at full mast?”

Chance shook his head rapidly.  He swallowed back a lump in his throat and replied with a nervous smile. “I’m told it’s natural to happen sometimes, but, I uh…”

Karla’s eyes widened, sparkling with allure in the afternoon light that filtered in from the bedroom window.  “Nocturnal emission?”

He pursed his lips together then ducked down below the top of the blankets.  “Uh… maybe.”

“I’m so torn,” she said in a delighted tone.  “On one hand, your unconscious thoughts were steamy enough to have a wet dream.  On the other hand… I’m a succubus, so… what a waste.  After all, you could’a saved it for me.”

“K-Karla!”

“Something tells me you’re not old enough to have graduated high school yet, heh.  Kind of makes me a cougar, huh?  So, are you hot for teacher?” She waggled her brows.  

Chance felt his tight constrict.  His lower lip trembled and he took a deep breath then sighed.  “I don’t know, I just…”

Karla reached over and patted his forehead.  “Being a virgin is fine, babe, but you don’t always have to act like one.  If you walk around like you’ve got a three-foot trouser snake, people are going to perceive it and treat you accordingly.  Anyway, I’m supposed to keep a close eye on you.  Methos’ orders, hon. And, since I still need money to pay the bills, we should get up and get ready.”

“Uhm, okay.  What are we doing today?” he asked, peeking out from beneath the blanket. His plain brown eyes met her green gaze, mirthful mint confections that held a secret hint of promise.  Chance drew his lip between his teeth and smiled somewhat. “You’re pretty this morning.”

She replied with a bright smile.  “Well thank you, sweetheart.  And to answer your question,” she trailed off and thought the word, ‘oddjob.’  

He eyed her for a moment.  “Yes?” He suddenly deadpanned.  “Okay, okay… think it again.  I have no idea what you said.  I’m still having trouble believing in telepathy.  So, anyway, what do you do for a living?  Some sort of …oddjobs or something?  I can’t see you as an office manager, or an assassin.  And you don’t seem like the kind of person to do the whole ‘call girl’ thing.  So what is it that you do?”

“You’re more telepathic than you give yourself credit for, kiddo.” Karla grinned. “You’re right.  I’m not a call girl.  That’s not my scene.  I scrump whoever I want to scrump.  Not whoever waves money my way.  I’m a connoisseur of masculine delicacies.  Not to be confused with delicate men, as that is not my preference.  Although, I’d make an exception for you.” She grinned again.

Chance blinked then gawked at her. “Hey!” He sat up and socked her with his pillow.  The pillow hit the mattress and she was nowhere to be found.  He looked around then saw her standing at the foot of the bed.  “Oh…dammit.”

She replied with a sardonic Cheshire smile.  Three other pillows levitated above him, ominously.  “You should know better than to try and pillow fight with me, loverboy.”

“Is it too late to surrender?” he swallowed then returned a weak, cheesy smile.  “Peace offering?”

“Unless you’re offering to run around naked for my amusement, I don’t accept.”  She wiggled her fingers.  Pillows came down at him from above.  

Chance dove from the bed, the first pillow narrowly missed him.  He scrambled towards the bathroom door then stepped to the left as another one hit the floor.  He moved for the bathroom and shut the door quickly.  The last pillow struck the closed door. “Ha!” he shouted back, through the door.

Karla approached the other side of the door.  He could hear her muffled voice.  “Good job, hon!  I’ve never seen anyone dodge like that.  Considering you’ve not used your body in six months, I’m willing to wager you’re gunna ache after that, babe.  Y’know… that was actually pretty impressive.”

“How so?” he called back.  

“Because, Chance.  You dodged pillows without even looking back at them.  I think I get it… You tap into the whole telepathy thing when you don’t think about it.  If you just put it on autopilot and don’t over-focus on it, you really have a handle on the whole thing.  The night you woke from your coma, you supposedly started humming or possibly singing a song that was stuck in a nearby nurse’s head.  Then you recited thoughts of nearby staff members.  That’s how this whole thing started.”

The teenaged boy cleared his throat and said, “Yes, I’m getting a shower.  No, you shouldn’t sneak in here and dump a cup of cold water over the top of the shower curtain.  Please.”  

Karla opened the door with silvery peels of delighted laughter.  “You are a mind reader!”

“No, I just know you after only two weeks.”

“Touché.  But I only just thought of the ice cube thing a second before you brought it up.  I think your ability is real.”

“You’re going to be awfully surprised, as is everyone back east who was trying to kill me, when everybody finds out that I’m just a really perceptive person or something.  I don’t know how you threw those pillows at me but…” He glanced over his shoulder at her and said, “I was getting into the shower and I really gotta pee.  Can I have some privacy?”

“Aw, you’re no fun.  I’ve already seen it, remember?  Hospital room when I helped you get dressed the day we met.”  She stepped back out of the bathroom with a shake of her head.  “I’ll heat up the leftover Chinese food from last night.  I hope you don’t mind coming with me today.  I’m running an errand for Methos.  I’m helping to relocate a young lady who accidentally manifested her ability publically.  It got her noticed by the EC and they sent people to strong arm her.” She shut the door.

“God, those people really sound like assholes.  What is their problem, anyway?” Chance asked while using the toilet.  He flushed then turned on the shower head, waiting for the water to warm up.

The succubus’ voice was muffled through the door. “They think they’re doing the right thing by having a zero tolerance policy about public power usage.  But sometimes people manifest out of the blue, and it causes a situation.  Well, she caused three fires before she realized she was the reason.  By then it was too late – they noticed, and assumed she was doing it on purpose because of the severity of the blazes.  I met her in Baltimore the morning before I came up and met you in New York.  That was a busy day for me.”  

“So I get to meet her?” He undressed from a t-shirt and sweatpants and draped them over an empty towel rack.

“Yup.  Now go hit the shower.  I’ll lay some clothes out on the guest bed that will make you look nice.  Methos gave me an allowance to make you look like a proper young man.  When you get out, we’ll take the Chinese leftovers to go.”  Karla laughed in spite of herself.  “Speaking of Chinese, I think that’s the nationality of the woman we’re going to meet.  Her name is Jing Yuen-Li.”  Her voice faded as she moved away from the bathroom door.  

Chance stepped into the shower and reached for the soap but his mind began to race in a different direction.  He pondered what Karla said earlier about him probably still being in high school.  He began to wonder if he had parents out there, worried about him… Then he started thinking about how he’d spent six months in a coma in a New York hospital with nobody to claim him.  

His thoughts turned to the car accident that started it all… was he driving?  If so, why didn’t he have a license or some form of identification?  If not, then who did drive and what happened to them?  He began to consider the fact his parents might have been killed in the accident, but logic kicked in, leaving him to consider the fact that if his parents were killed in the car accident… why didn’t emergency services use their ID to give him a surname and inform him of his past place of residence?  Nobody knew who he was, nor did anyone have answers.  Nothing added up.  

After the shower, he dried off and dressed in the clothes left on the guest bed.  New denim jeans with faded thighs and precut holes in the knees, which was paired with a white t-shirt and socks.  He dressed, headed out to the kitchen and saw Karla with a laptop and looked her over.  “What’re you doing?”

“There’s this brand new beta program that just came out called Napster.  I’ve been downloading songs.  That’s one of the biggest things I love about the modern age – there’s a wonderful variety of music styles for every mood.”

“But… you’re not connected to the internet.”

“Oh, sweetpea,” she smiled back at him and said, “There’s this new-fangled stuff you slept through, called ‘802.11b’ and Windows 98SE.  Just because Methos is still on dialup, it doesn’t mean I am.  I have a wireless card in this Vaio.  Now you know why I take oddjobs.  I spend money on fancy fun things.  I figure I’m saving money on all this free music, heh.”

“Seriously?  Wireless internet?  That’s pretty awesome.”

“Yeah, it’s just starting to get popular.  I’m trying to stay up to date on this whole technology thing.  Gives me an edge over some of the people from our community who age slowly, or don’t age at all.  A lot of them can’t adapt, but I love it.  I can’t imagine going back to the way life was before this stuff.”  

“They mentioned something on the news yesterday about a big email virus, so… watch out.”

“Yeah, I heard that, too.  It has a girl’s name…” she snapped her fingers a few times then said, “Melissa, I think.  I’m told by a friend that Apple is going to release a laptop next month that comes natively with wireless built in.  I might check it out.  That virus won’t do anything to an Apple.  If I spring for it, you can have this Sony as an indefinite loaner.”

“Wow, seriously?”

“Yup, now let’s get rolling.”  She pointed to the Chinese food on the table.  “Grab a fork and bring it with you.”

X
X


Two hours later
San Francisco…


“Where is she?” asked Karla with furrowed brows.  

Reinhardt St. Leonard buttoned the blazer of his dark gray three-piece suit.  The red tie gave him a political look.  He folded his arms across his chest then said, “Karla, are you the one responsible for her escaping Baltimore?” He stared at her for a moment then said, “Second of June, remember?”

“Was I?  I thought you had a bromance with my boytoy, Darius?  Didn’t he tell you we broke up in New York that day?  Listen, Reinhardt, you tell that guy I haven’t thought about him until you brought up June second.  Now where is the girl?  I’m here to speak with her.”

The Grand Justicar narrowed his eyes.  “My people are looking for her.  Speaking of New York…” He tilted his head towards Chance by the door.  “Is that the boy from the hospital?  Aris Falcon said he might have telepathy.  We need to confirm that and handle the situation appropriately.”

“I know you think you’re a big deal because you’re a judge for the council, but the boy is with me.  You want him?  You go through me.”

“Young man,” said Reinhardt, “Can you read the thoughts of others?”

“Telepathy isn’t real.  It’s a scam perpetrated by perceptive people.  I’m with her because she felt bad that we haven’t found my folks or information about who I am.  Who the heck are you, anyway?”

“I am the Grand Justicar for the North American region, Reinhardt St. Leonard.  You’ve been with Karla Chintzy for a month, have you noticed anything strange about her?”

“I noticed she’s attractive, and fun at the movie theater.  I don’t know what any of that stuff means.  What the heck is a justicar?”

Karla glanced back at chance and said, “He’s a judge.  And a douchebag and he thinks he’s better than everyone else in the world.  But he’s not our enemy.”

“Karla, you’ve broken several laws.  You’ve kidnapped a teenaged boy from a hospital.  You’re wanted by the authorities in New York City.  You’ve brought attention and we can’t have that.  So, yes, I am your enemy.”

Chance scrunched his nose.  “What?  That guy, Darius, attacked us with a gun in a public hospital!  Then he had people attack us in the car, in public.  We went to the cops to get away from your pals.  You’re lying, she’s not wanted by police.  You had to spend money to cover up that Darius-guy’s blunder and you’re mad about it.”

Both Karla and the justicar looked back at Chance.  The succubus quirked her brows at the boy.  “If you’re going to fib about being mundane, you can’t go reading the guy’s mind like that.”

Chance frowned thoughtfully.  “If I did, it wasn’t intentional.  Like I said, I’m just really perceptive about…”

Without warning, Reinhardt surrounded the couple with various copies of himself.  Karla sighed and said, “Astral Projection is one of his things.  So, Chance, if you really think you’re mundane, this should make you a believer.”

“I’m…” The boy looked around at the multiple copies of the man that surrounded them.  Each version withdrew a silenced pistol and pointed it at the two.  Chance licked his lips and said, “David Copperfield could probably do the same trick with minimal planning.  So, now what?”

Karla looked around the condo then brought her attention back on the version of Reinhardt directly across from her.  “Let’s go with the first one.”  She lifted her left hand.  Her palm incandesced and a recliner lurched up, flew across the living room and landed where the first Reinhardt stood.  It went right through him.  

“Uh…”

The succubus rolled her eyes.  “They’re all fakes.  But you called him out on his lie, so he’s close enough that you could read him.”

Over a dozen versions of the man pointed their weapon towards Karla.  They pulled the trigger together.  The staccato clap of a silenced gunshot rang out, causing Chance to wince.  The round veered away from Karla then struck a nearby wall.

She looked around until she located the hole then glanced back in the other direction.  “Telekinetic repulsing field,” she called out.  “Nathan’s clever idea.  Works pretty good, doesn’t it?  Now where are you, ya’ dickhead?”

She thrust her hands out.  Her palms and forearms incandesced in a vibrant carnation hue.  The telekinetic blast struck the back wall.  The wallpaper-coated drywall burst apart and crumbled.  She stepped over it and walked into the adjacent room.  “Dammit, you attacked me and by law I have the right to protect myself.  Now where are you? Stop hiding like a coward!”

“Karla, we’re not alone!” Chance looked around, nervously, then said, “Or… Maybe we…”

“Don’t second guess yourself.  What was your first thought?”

“Aggression all around us.”

“Now we just got to find…” Karla stopped.  “Shit.”

“What?” Chance looked around then blinked, seeing two men standing in front of Karla.  “Where in the world did they come from?”

Karla took two steps back.  “Ethan.”  She feigned a smile.  “Who’s your muscular friend?”

The two men approached Karla.  One of them was about six feet tall, dressed in khaki shorts and a brand name t-shirt, the other stood only a few inches taller than Karla, but he was burley with broad shoulders and large arms.  The second man wore dress slacks and a polo shirt, looking like a country club bouncer.  

Ethan, the taller of the two, said, “He has thick skin.  You won’t hurt him, Karla.”  

“Who’s your friend?” asked Chance.  He cleared his throat, trying not to seem nervous.

“Sweetheart, this is Ethan.  As good as I am with telekinesis, he’s ten times better with teleportation.  I once asked him to teach me how to control my limited teleportation ability but the council refers to me as ‘The Pariah,’ so…”

Ethan spoke up.  “So I refused.  Karla Goldsmith?  Or have you changed your surname again?”

“Chintzy.”

“Cheap, hmm?  It fits you, demon-whore.  Where’s your precious old man?” Ethan looked around then smiled.  “Looks like you don’t have him to save you this time.  In fact, nobody has heard from Nathanial Carrington for five years.  Maybe he crawled into a hole and died, finally.  Sorry, your sugar daddy isn’t going to help you this time.”

“What are they talking about?” asked Chance.

“I used to be a genuine bitch,” Karla said.  “Back in 1907, I met a young man with the ability to control lightning.  He convinced me to be a better person.  We’ve been best friends ever since.  And he’s really old now, but nobody messes with him because, let’s face it, you don’t mess with lightning.”

Ethan and the quiet man approached again.  The shorter, muscular man reached for Karla.  She waved her hand and telekinetically threw him clear across the condo and into the kitchen.  He blasted through the refrigerator with a thunderous noise, causing it to fold in half, wrapping around his body.  Cabinets above the counter fell from the wall and part of the counter collapsed, half burying the muscular man.  

“Ethan, I don’t want to fight you.  I have a lot of respect for you.  You were one of the people at Tunguska and we were on the same side that day.”

“A single common cause doesn’t make us friends.  I have no respect for you.  You fuck everything you can, you cause trouble, you break the laws and you endanger people like us.”  

“Then you leave me no choice,” she said.  “I’m sorry to do this.”  She lifted her hand towards him.  Ethan disappeared.  Karla’s telekinetic blast blew a bathroom door off its hinges, fifteen feet away.  She looked around then grimaced.  “Dammit.  Chance, he can teleport so quickly, that he can blip into a room, determine our location, then blip back out before we see him.  Then he’ll show up right behind you and attack you before you ever see it coming.”

“What did you do to the other guy?” asked the boy.  “Is he dead?”

“Probably not.” As if to punctuate Karla’s statement, the man in the kitchen tensed up and caused the collapsed fridge to creak.  “See?  He’s fine.  And still a threat.”

Ethan appeared directly behind her and brought both of his hands, folded together, over the back of her head.  Karla dropped to the floor with a groan.  

Chance gasped and ran towards her.  

The man lifted his foot again.  “I’m going to stomp your guts out,” he growled.

Chance suddenly found himself flying backwards.  He landed on a sofa.  At the same time, Ethan flew backwards but disappeared before he hit anything.  Karla looked up, seeing that her telekinetic kneejerk reaction also caught Chance.  Her eyes widened with concern for him.  The boy sat up on the sofa, looking to be unharmed.  She felt palpable relief in her chest and shoulders.

Without warning, Ethan reappeared in front of Karla, took her hair in his fist and brought his knee up into her forehead.  She flopped over onto her back, reaching up to favor the new welt above her left brow.  The succubus swore under her breath and looked around but Ethan had disappeared again.  

“Stay back,” she panted.  “Ethan will wear you down with several hard strikes then finish you off when it suits him.  Don’t get involved, Chance.  He won’t swing at you unless you provoke him.”  

“No, I’m not going to let him hurt you like that!”

“Chance, stay back!” She rolled onto her side and sat up with a grunt. “I’m starting to get riled up.  I fight dirty when I get emotional so just stay back.”

The boy looked around for something to protect himself.  “God, I feel helpless.”

“Yeah, you and me both.” Before she could say another word, Ethan reappeared directly above her.  He dropped down, landing on her with his full weight, which knocked Karla back to the floor.  He teleported three feet away, on the other side of her, and buried his foot into her side.  She rolled away, into a fetal position, covering her face.  

“You can take a beating, I’ll give you that,” Ethan said.  “It’s obvious you’ve not fed in several nights.  You’re far weaker than you should be.  What’s wrong?  Has the demon-whore been taking cold showers lately?”

Karla ground her teeth together then threw her arms outwards from where she lay on the floor.  Ethan flew back and slammed into the coffee table, shattering it.  He disappeared.  

She sat up again then winced.  “That’s it.  This is personal, now.  I’m going to…” She was interrupted by Ethan, who reappeared behind her.  He struck her in the head with a wood plank that came from debris on the far wall.  Karla covered her face again, panting furiously in an attempt not to whimper from pain.

“Karla!” Chance shouted.  “Stop, please stop hitting her!”

“Shut up, kid.  Know your place.”  

The man in the kitchen began to wiggle out of the rubble.  He stood up, appearing bruised but otherwise fine.  “Don’t take all the fun, Ethan.  She hit me.  That’s just not going to fly.”

He dashed back into the living room and drew his foot back.  “You had this coming, bitch!”  He launched his foot at her but his shoe struck Karla’s glowing palm with such intensity that his shoe came apart at the sole.  

She closed her fingers around the second man’s foot.  Her right arm incandesced with a brilliant pink shade, from her hand to her shoulder.  She grunted and shifted her body.  The man went flying across the room, glanced off the ceiling, and disappeared through another wall.  He plowed through a bed, flipping it over, and continued into the wall leading outside the condo.

Karla struggled up to her feet then balled her hands into fists.  “Come on… COME ON!” she shouted.  “Come on, Ethan!”  She backed slowly up to the nearest wall, hands outstretched and ready.  “I won’t let you get behind me again.”

“Karla, above you!”

She lifted her hands overtop her head in defense just as Ethan appeared above her.  He dropped down from near the ceiling.  His feet met her forearms.  She punched upwards, but he disappeared before her fist could connect.  The empty swing into midair caused her to stumble with a grunt.

Chance hurried over to the broken coffee table and picked up one of the wood legs.  He looked around himself then hurried over towards the bedroom to check on the other man.  “Holy crap.”  He pulled the mattress away from the wall, where there was a shapeless hole leading outside of the building.  

The boy got down on his knees and peered through the hole.  The man was down in the alley.  He got to his feet and brushed himself off then made a dash towards the street, headed for the main entrance.  Chance turned around only to see Karla being struck again out in the living room.  He rushed towards her.  

“Chance, stay back,” she said wearily.  Both her eyes were black, she had a bruise on her forehead and her bottom lip glistened with a shade darker than her normal pink lipstick.  “I told you, this is personal, now.”

“Karla, please.  Let’s just get out of here.”

“He’ll just follow us.  I don’t want him knowing where I live.”  She got to her feet again and subconsciously brushed the left side of her skirt down over her hip.  “When I find him…”

“You’ll do what?” asked Ethan, who appeared to her right.  He took her by the head and forced her to double over. “You know why I’m upset with you!  You deserve this!”  He brought his knee up to meet her face. Ethan disappeared again before she collapsed to the ground.  

She lay on her back, panting softly.  “I’m sorry I had sex with your husband, Ethan.  I didn’t respect your boundaries.  But that was a long time ago.”

Ethan appeared again, standing over her.  He lifted his foot up, above her head.  “It was April fifteenth, 1973.  He was in a car accident coming home from your den of iniquity.  Every goddamn day for twenty-six years, I’ve thought about the day I would be allowed to fight you.  His brain damage was so severe, he couldn’t control his ability and the council told me I had to be the one to put him out of his misery.  Do you know what it’s like to look into the eyes of the man you love enough to forgive his betrayal?  Now imagine looking into those eyes, full of shame, when you have to take his life.  I’ll never forget the confusion on his face.  He asked me if it’s because he cheated on me.  He thought I killed him because of you.  On his dying breath he apologized for coming to meet you that night, Karla!  And now this is personal for me.”

“Okay,” Karla said, hand above her face.  “Please… Ethan.  I’m sorry.  The fight is over.  You won.”  

“It’s over when I say it’s over!”  He brought his foot down but it met her hand, amplified by telekinetic force.  He continued to push his foot against her hand, bringing it closer to her face.  “You deserve this, demon-whore.”

Chance lifted the table leg like a short baseball bat.  “Get away from her.”

Ethan glanced up at the boy. “You need to know your place, boy.” He tensed his right fist.  The sofa appeared between Chance, separating him from Karla and her attacker.  “Wait your turn, child.  You cannot possibly understand how long I was with that man only for this whore to take him from me.”  

Karla sneered, curling her top lip to show the light smear of blood on her teeth.  “You leave that boy alone.”

Ethan tilted his head with a smirk.  “Is he important to you, slut?  Maybe I’ll spare you and drop him instead.”

“No!” she shouted.  Her emotional state amplified her telekinesis, shoving him back.  He stumbled then disappeared again.  Ethan reappeared on the other side of her body.  He kicked her in the face, causing her to curl up again, knees to her chest and hands over her face.  

“Nobody asked you, you home wrecking whore.”  

Chance leapt over the sofa with the table leg but Ethan disappeared by the time he could swing it.  He stood over Karla, protectively, and held the piece of wood at the ready.  

The front door swung open and the large man stepped back into the condo.  He saw Karla on the floor and the boy standing over her.  “Ha! Serves the broad right.”

Ethan reappeared again, struck Chance in the stomach and disappeared.  The boy hunched forward but kept his ground, hands aloft with the table leg, fueled by adrenaline.  

“Kid, you have no chance,” said the shorter, muscular man.  

The boy smirked. “Chance is all I have,” he said then suddenly swung the table leg blindly just as Ethan appeared in its path.  The wooden leg struck Ethan in the face.  His head turned sharply to the left with a bone crunching sound.  

The tall, thin man dropped to the floor like a sack of potatoes.  His left eye faced forward but his right one faced inward towards the bridge of his crooked nose.  

Blood dribbled down from Ethan’s ear and his left leg twitched.  He remained otherwise still, gurgling at the back of his throat.  

Chance’s eyes went wide and he stared down at what he’d done.  “Oh my God,” he whispered.  

All at once, the boy felt powerful arms around his body, squeezing him in a bear hug that pushed air out of his chest.  He struggled.  And, just as fast as the pain began… it ended.  Chance stumbled forward then turned around, but the muscular man was nowhere to be found.

His gaze dropped to Karla.  She eased up and rested, slumped against the side of the nearby sofa.  She was a mess, but offered a wan smile at the boy.  “I might not be good at it yet,” she wheezed, “But I can teleport stuff, too.”

Chance looked around again then back at her.  “Where’d he go?” A groan of pain came from behind the sofa.  The boy went towards it but Karla reached out and snagged his belt loop.  “Don’t look.  You don’t need to see that.”

“Karla, I think I might have seriously injured that other man.  We’ve got to call a hospital.”

She shook her head.  “It’s too late for that.”  

Chance climbed up on the sofa, in the middle of the floor, and peered over the backrest.  Strewn across the floor over by the hallway leading back to the bathroom, he saw Ethan and the other man merged, their bodies grotesquely fused together.  The conjoined being offered one last groan of pain then grew silent, dead.

“Jesus Christ,” he brought his hands to his mouth but couldn’t hold his stomach down.  He threw up over the side of the armrest until he was dry-heaving.  

“Are you okay, Chance?”

After a moment of panting and spitting on the floor, he said, “What the hell kind of nightmare is this? Maybe I just woke up from my coma but I’m not conscious yet, and this is all a really fucked up dream.”

Karla tried to sit up further but winced and dropped back against the base of the sofa.  “People don’t rationalize like that in their sleep.”

“It’s the only possible explanation,” he muttered.  “Jesus.  I’m never going to eat Chinese food again,” he said, staring down at his breakfast on the floor.  “But even that looks better than what you did to those two men.”

“Chance…” She eased down onto her side, staring at the floor.  “I’m sorry you heard all that.  Ethan’s husband was my occasional fling throughout the late 1800’s.  We never told him.  Gerald was bi.  We stopped in the early 1900’s, because I was trying to change my ways.  But he came to my home one night and said it was the hundredth anniversary of the night we first met.” She lifted her left hand, gesturing that she needed a moment.    

Karla drew in a slow breath, using her fingers to feel beneath her blouse to inspect a painful injury.  “Anyways, Gerald was romantic, we drank wine... and it happened.  And he drove home, drunk.  Then… the accident.  Afterwards, he couldn’t control his abilities because of the brain damage.  To be honest, I don’t even know what he could do, but it was…” She trailed off to catch her breath again.  “It apparently drew attention to him.  The council told Ethan that his husband had to go.  Gerald was reduced to a socially inept man, but he still had all his memories, and he apparently told Ethan everything on his deathbed.” Again, she took a moment to breathe then frowned and, in a defeated tone, added, “God.  You must really have a low opinion of me.”

“Can you move?”

“I have a broken rib.  I’ve hard worse.”

“Thanks again for saving me from that ape-looking guy.”

“No problem, sweetheart.” She feigned a weak smile.  “I’m spent.  That didn’t go as planned.  I didn’t expect Magilla-fucking-Gorilla to come back in here at the end.  God.  That guy really did take a beating.”

“Who…?”

“Magilla Gorilla… ugh.  Before your time, kiddo.”

“Karla, you need a hospital.”

The succubus shook her head slowly.  “Sex demons are quick to heal.”

“Wh- …how is that possible?”

She put an elbow on the sofa, climbed up onto it then laid down flat on her back with a sigh of relief.  “That’s a little better.”  Karla propped her head on the armrest and smiled at the boy. “You look pale.  Stop worrying.  I’ve had periods worse than this.”  

“You can’t lie to me, remember?  How can someone heal a broken rib without a hospital?”

“Mmm, well, I’m told that back about two thousand years ago, people used to scar the faces of women who were thought to be a succubus, because disfigurement made them less desirable.  Without sex a succubus would die.”  

“Oh my God.  What if the woman who gets attacked wasn’t a succubus?”

Karla’s hair fanned out around her head, draped over the armrest.  Even injured, she was beautiful.  “A marred women would simply go about her business, maybe become a cat-lady or something.  So anyways… Succubae and Incubi evolved.  We heal faster than humans, and get our beauty back, which helps us survive.  I’ll be fine in a few days.  To bad I don’t… ah, nevermind.”

Chance sat down on the floor next to her.  “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know what you were going to say.  Karla, please, you don’t have to hide anything from me.” He took her hand, concern shining in his eyes.  

“No, I wasn’t hiding anything,” she mused.  “I just didn’t say it because I didn’t want it to sound tacky.  But yes, Marvin Gaye was probably talking about me when he sang, ‘sexual healing.’  But whatever.  Even without sex, I’ll heal in a few days, okay?  It’s fine; we’re good.” Karla gently ran her thumb over the backside of his hand, glad for the companionship.  

“I heard that man, earlier,” said Chance.  “He said you were weak against him.  You haven’t been doing anything with anyone for the last few nights.” He gave her hand a gentle squeeze.  “Why would you do that to yourself?”

“I’ve not had time,” she said with a weak grin.  “Don’t give me that look, silly boy.  We’ve been going on dates.  The movies.  Dinner.  I’m not going to leave you at the dinner table while I go chase tail in the bathroom, Chance.”

His lips twinged at the corners, liking the pet name.  “I like when you call me silly.”  He pursed his lips together then said, “And I don’t want you to die.”

“I won’t.  Just get me home.”

The boy reached for her handbag and opened it.  “I’m going to need help.”  He pulled out her StarTAC and thumbed the first speed-dial option.  After a moment, a gruff voice answered the line.

“Uhm… Is this Mister Carrington?”

“Who the hell wants to know?”

Chance bit his lower lip.  “Do you have a friend named Karla?”

“…Who is this?”

“She’s hurt.  Broken rib, and probably more.  She might have a concussion, so I’m trying to keep her awake.  Can you help us?”

“What kind of bullshit did she get herself into?  Where is she?”

“We’re at some condo where a Chinese woman is supposed to live.  Jing something.  I can run downstairs and get the address off the front of the building if you want.  Please hurry.  There are two people here.  She was attacked by some guy named Ethan.”

“Ethan Sandusky?! She’s no match for that guy, and why the hell did he attack her anyway?”

“It’s not really my place to explain,” Chance murmured in a nervous tone. “But we were attacked by some guy calling himself a justice car, or something.  And then Ethan and some other henchman jumped us.”

“I’m okay,” Karla said just loud enough to be heard over the line, but then she winced and drew in a labored breath. “Ow, shit, that’s definitely worse than a bad period.”

“Let me talk to her; now kid.”

Chance handed the phone to her and frowned.  Karla took it from him and put it up against the side of her head, gingerly, due to bruises on the side of her face.  “Hey old man.  The kid saved me.” She paused then smiled weakly. “No, I’m being serious.  I told you he’s telepathic.  Ethan was doing his teleporting thing and the boy picked up a broken piece of furniture, guessed where Ethan would appear next, and swung as hard as he could.  Ethan appeared just in time to have his skull bashed in.  We came to find Jing but she’s not here.”

Over the line, Nathan said, “I don’t understand.  Ethan was the one who brought Jing to ME.  He told me to protect her from Justicar St. Leonard in advance.  Look, I’m sorry I didn’t get ahold of you – I didn’t know he was going back to Jing’s house to put on a show for the justicar.  I just figured you’d call when you arrived, to let me know nobody was home.  And, anyway, why would Ethan swing at you?”

“Why would Ethan have brought Jing to you ahead of time?”

“You didn’t know, Karla?  Ethan’s husband was in a car accident in the early 70’s.  His ability was to create fire by manipulating oxygen in the air.  He couldn’t stop causing fires after the accident.  So Ethan had to kill his husband – zero tolerance policy, remember? That’s why Ethan felt a kinship with Jing.  He was very cordial to her and brought her to me and told me to keep it a secret while Reinhardt was in town.”

“Jesus,” she murmured with a frown.  “So, what about Reinhardt?  He got away from me and sent his goons to keep me occupied while he escaped.”

“Yeah, well, that dumbass flies back to Chicago tonight, so… we won’t have to worry about him anymore for a little while.  Why the hell would Ethan swing at you, Karla?  It doesn’t make sense.  We’ve always had an unspoken camaraderie, ever since Tunguska.”

Karla sighed.  “The night Gerald was in that car accident, he was coming home from my place.”

There was a long silence over the line.  After a moment, Nathan said, “You didn’t tie him down and force him.  Sex is in your nature; Gerald was the one who cheated – he did it because he wanted to.  Then he got drunk and drove home.  None of that is your fault.”

“Yeah… I don’t want to talk about it anymore.  Ethan and some other guy are dead, here.  And it’s messy.  I’m going to try and teleport them down to the alley, albeit a few feet beneath the asphalt.  But breathing is a bitch.  Can you pick me up and drop me off at my place?  I just want to lie in bed for the next few days.  A bottle of wine, carryout from a Japanese Steakhouse, and maybe some chocolate.  I have Chance here to take care of me.  But I’m not sure that he can drive, and I’d rather not teach him in San Fran.  Is Jing okay?”

“Yeah, Karla.  I’ve arranged for Jing to disappear for a while.  She speaks perfect English; she could easily get a job in linguistics making good money.  She said to say thank you for saving her life a few weeks ago.  Look, I’m on my way.  Just hang tight.  Give the kid some money and have him take a bus or trolley back to San Leandro.  I’ll show up after he’s gone.”

“What?!  No, he has to stay with me.”

“Karla… This isn’t debatable.  I can’t be around telepaths.”

“Why not?  You hiding something, old man?”

Nathan snorted in disdain over the line. “Yeah, I don’t want him to telepathically find out just how big my hundred ‘n twenty year-old pecker is.  It’s the secret source of my powers.” His words caused her to hold back a muffled laugh-snort.  “Karla, I’m being serious, though.  I don’t know if I can trust him yet, and I can’t have some random kid finding out something important.  If he learns what I know… then… that would make him a target to people who want information I have.  And he can’t protect himself.  So the only option we have is to keep him away from me, especially in public where people might see us together.”

“You going to tell me what’s going on?”

“Can’t.  It’s a long story, anyway.  Send the kid back to your place on public transportation.  I’ll come over, help you clean up and get you back to… whatever it is that you call your place.”

A weak grin tugged at the corner of her lips, causing cracks in the dried blood.  “I call my house ‘The Maxi Pad.’  You know it’s clever, don’t hate on what I call my pad.”

“This is the west coast,” said the old man over the line.  “We don’t call our house a ‘pad.’  And besides, you’re British.  So… call it a flat, or something.  See you soon.”  He hung up, leaving Karla with dead air.  She flipped the phone shut then sighed.  

“I thought your joke was funny.  A little gauche, but funny.”

“Yeah.  That’s how I am. Gauche but funny.” She held the phone up on her hand.  It levitated off of her palm, floated over to her handbag, and dropped into the purse.  “I should’a played women’s basketball for a living.  I’d have more three-pointers than Larry Bird.” She shifted her weight slightly. “Hon, he wants you to go on ahead using public transportation.  Just get a taxi.  It’s for your own safety, apparently.”  

“I’m not leaving you here by yourself.”

“Chance, hon… please.”

“You’re vulnerable right now.  I can’t leave you here, alone.  That’s not very manly.”

She started to smile, then abruptly winced from a split lip.  After a moment, a slight grin tugged at the far corner of her lips.  Her eyes flitted over him.  “You’re right… and you’ve been rather manly today.  You know I can still protect myself, though.  I teleported that idiot who attacked you – it was a lot easier once he wasn’t moving.  And I appreciate that you stood up for me.  And I really appreciate you being so protective of me.  That was sweet, and I liked seeing all that backbone you’ve been hiding.  But Nathan just isn’t ready to meet you yet.  Please.  Money is in the purse.  I’ll meet you back at the house.”  

Looking to kill time, in order to stay at her side, Chance asked, “So, wait, who is Magilla Gorilla, anyhow?  I didn’t get your joke, earlier.”

“It wasn’t a very good one.  It’s just the first ape-name that came to mind.  Dude looked like an ape.”  

Chance frowned, not wanting to be asked to leave, and he knew that would come next.  He cleared his throat and said, “But I don’t know who Magilla Gorilla is.  Who was the character?”  

She grinned, coming to realize he was purposefully trying to waste time in order to stay by her side.  Deep down, she appreciated his intent.  “Uh… long story short, he was a pet store ape with a Hebrew name who, for three years, was a metaphor for the perpetuation of segregation.  White customers always bought the ape and brought him back, because… I dunno, maybe Hanna-Barbera didn’t think non-whites could fit into society at the time. Similar undertones for Yogi Bear, but not many people ever noticed.”

“Wait, what?  I’ve heard of Yogi.  Yogi was racist?”

She tried to sit up then winced in pain.  Chance put his hands gently on her shoulders and guided her back down.  “Don’t try getting up.  Let’s just wait until your friend arrives before you move.  You need to rest your body… now, how in the heck is Yogi a racist?”

“Oh, sweetie, Yogi isn’t racist.  Yogi is the hero.  The show was trying to show why social integration would fail, through episodic examples.  White ranger has to keep a park of white people safe from a sneaky brown bear trying to steal their food.  Yes, I watch cartoons.  Don’t judge.  Yogi transcended the undertones of his origin.”  She took a slow breath and looked up.  Karla noted his arched brow.  “What I mean is, lovey, that Yogi Bear was intended to show young people that having a brown outcast hero was always going to hinder white folks from their daily family lives, portrayed as a picnic at the park.  Know what I mean?  The message didn’t take, obviously.  And Yogi is still around, and still cool.  Meanwhile, segregation is nearly dead in this country.”

Chance tilted his head, brows still furrowed.  He stared at her for a minute then scratched his head.  “Uh, people really looked that deeply into a kid’s show?” He gave her hand a squeeze again then settled on his knees adjacent to the sofa, wanting to stay at her side.  

“Yup.  I have no idea if the original meaning was even noticed; it certainly went ignored by children viewers.  When I lived in DC, no body seemed to catch it there.  And, here in San Fran… well… heh.”  She smiled at him, took a slow, shallow breath, then said, “Chance, this is San Francisco.  This is the cultural hub for equality in all its forms.  I’m pretty sure Hannah-Barbara’s message was either overlooked, or it’s possible that I’m the only one who saw those shows that way.  I have a different view on that stuff.”  She winced then put her hand back on her chest, beneath the swell of her bust.  “I can’t believe you dropped that guy in one hit.”

“I… I just saw red.  I barely remember doing it.  Next thing I knew, I was looking down at his body.  That…” He trailed off, breathed in and out a few times, then frowned.  “It still makes me sick to think about it.  But I did what I had to do.”  

“I’m impressed.  But, Chance, you really do have to go.”

“Wait, why did you say you have different views on stuff like racism?”  

“Because I’m a sex demon that doesn’t fit in with others of my kind.  I look like a kid.  I don’t adhere to the rules.” She trailed off to catch her breath.  “Chance, I’ve been hated by one group or another for as long as I’ve been alive.  I’m Yogi.  I’m Magilla.  I’m the one who gets into trouble, needs to be rescued by my keeper before I hurt or upset the mundane people, and, let’s face it… I’m the one who never seems to fit in with society.”

“…Oh.”  He bit his lower lip again.  

“Now get the money out of my purse and get your butt back to the pad, will you?”

Chance felt worry well up in his chest, not wanting to leave her side.  “Like you just said a minute ago, you liked that I took care of you.  It was my pleasure, honest.  So let me stay with you until your friend arrives.”

“You can fluff my pillow and tuck me in if you want, when we’re both home, okay?  But please.  It’s for the best that you go before he gets here.”

“Okay.  Once I get there, I’m going to check the time on the TV guide channel.  And I’ll give you an hour.  If I don’t see you, I’m coming right back here with another table leg, ready to rumble.”

Karla smiled again and warily lifted her hand.  She crooked her right finger in gesture for him to come closer.  “C’mere, you.”

Chance chewed his lower lip and scooted closer.  He knelt adjacent to the sofa on one knee.  His nervousness made it difficult to read her intentions.  He leaned forward.  “Yeah?”

Karla reached up and put her palm on his cheek then eased up a bit more, despite the pain in her chest.  She touched her lips to his in a soft but pleasant kiss of appreciation.  

He found it within himself to kiss her back, but felt nervous of how to do it properly.  After a moment of his heart racing, he began to relax into the kiss.  

She gave him a moment to enjoy their first kiss.  Then, finally, Karla eased back and whispered, “Thank you, again.  I’m glad you were looking out for me.  I’ll see you back at our place.”

Chance, red in the face, smiled over a bit lip.  “Y…Yeah, no problem.  I’ll see you back at thee, uh, Maxi… Pad.  Heh.”  

She slid her hand down from his cheek and tenderly drew her fingertips across his skin, beneath his chin.  “Good boy.”  

X


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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This is the most violent of scenes.  If asked to change, I will change the label to 'adult,' however, it's no worse than what is already on public TV.  I don't depict extreme gore (worst part is a broken rib from a kick for one character, and swinging a piece of wood and striking down the bad guy for the other character.  Then the poor main character kid is so upset by it that he freaks out.  Poor guy).  Thanks for reading!

Keywords
male 640,221, female 520,208, human 46,942, fantasy 11,611, kiss 7,269, succubus 2,327, hero 1,683, flirting 719, combat 690, shyness 380, supernatural 375, telekinesis 208, superpowers 133, heroic 104, feels 83, telepathy 62, teleportation 40, mild romance 12, fortitude 3, supernaturals 2, hero emergence 1
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Type: Writing - Document
Published: 5 years, 4 months ago
Rating: Mature

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