"Freak. Look at her go, thinks she can just get away."
"I know. Why is she even bothering to show up? She knows what we'll do. Oh, look she's running away."
"Eh, come on Marne, tomorrow's another day. Let's go, Daddy's got the Jag. We'll deal with the freak of nature later."
"I can't stand that girl. Jen, why is she even bothering? She'll never be normal. She'll never be one of us."
"Girl, let's get outta here before her crazy father sees us. Man, that guy is terrifying."
"You're right; tomorrow we'll really make her pay for showing her face."
The girls retreated back the opposite direction clinking their stiletto heals as the sound dissipated in the distance. There was rustling from tree bushes and heavy breathing coming from the corner of the block.
Amelia Samuels ducked behind the burgundy fence in complete and utter terror. Her rather enlarged eyes squeezed shut and she breathed in fresh oxygen. Things were slightly less tense; for now that is. No matter what she did they just wouldn't stop. Jennifer Willis and Marne Sandstorm were the culprits that were used to tormenting people that didn't belong to their elk. Simple mean girl tactics they learned in high school that apparently hadn't left. If you were not with them, you definitely were against them. Not that they had any other side. Amelia feared for her life every time she went outside. It was like vicious cycle that just would not see an end.
Amelia wiped the tears that numbly fell from her eyes. Nothing was good enough anymore. Self-mutilation was how she dealt with it. She slid up her sleeve tracing with her fingertips the scars that illuminated her wrist trailing down to the crease of her elbow. The other wrist held roughly the same amount of lashes. Seeing the image just increased the flow of her tears. She didn't know any other way. If only she wasn't like this. Her life would be so… she'd give anything to be mundane. Boring and just plain. But she was different. There was no denying it anymore. She hated her eyes; the golden, pale yellow eyes that would glow every time she became agitated; overwhelmed. In pain. She couldn't control when they would change. They just had a mind of their own that was unbridled. There wasn't any way she could hone or bundle this. It drove her mad and sick when she tried.
She had tired everything to be rid of it. Everything. But nothing had sufficed and she was left with the most dangerous option. She had wanted another life. She was born wrong. So many times she wished for another chance. But nobody ever gave her one. Maybe the alternative will make it better. At least bring some peace of mind; maybe just peace in general.
Amelia's head jerked abruptly. Her senses kicking into overdrive. She overheard her father screaming again in slandered slurs before the busted, flimsy screen door swung open. His voice bellowed out another rank order and all she could think about was not being in his path. She hunched her shoulders and changed her hiding position immediately. The house was rusty and creaked all over. There was no mistaking the poverty covering the impression. The world would judge it as a shack, more like a barn you stored old shed tools in. You could hear footsteps trotting around the premises from miles away.
The dank and dirt-covered streets of the suburbs didn't help the situation. You couldn't walk anywhere without shards of glass bottles of Jim Beam smashed on every side walk. You can't help what you were born into, or where. Amelia had known this and believed it every second of her existence. It was just unbelievable how long of it she endured. It wasn't everybody else. Nothing about her day-to-day encounters compared with the normal college student who still lived at home. She tried to drift away as much as she could, but no matter what, people reminded her where she belonged. And it wasn't in New York of all places.
She always thought she was alone. But in the back of her mind, she questioned the reason behind it all. It was somewhere else. She didn't know where nor had she a clue. Nothing remotely good ever happened to her in recent years and she was beginning to accept herself for what she is. Who she is. She truly believed this was how she was going to suffer, but it would be a matter of time until she really did something about it. The deep cuts made her feel something strained. Something other than the pain and the outcast that was so embolden from the day she was born. Her mother couldn't handle it; she ran from her when she found out and her father, well, the only reason he stuck around was the money. Amelia and her father had been living off of the government since her father had been fired from his job at the lumberyard. He was strictly blue collar but it didn't last long; especially with his being a staunch and religious alcoholic. He started to drink even more after he had lost his war pension not long after they dropped him from lumber payroll.
Amelia was his only source of surviving. He put up with her being different so authorities won't take her away and do all sorts of vile experiments on her. You could chalk that up to his caring about her well-being, but it wasn't the case one bit. He needed her to foot the bill, pay for his liquor, and provide whatever they needed to live on. He used her, whatever she was to benefit his needs. He knew what she was but he didn't care. He treated her just like anyone else who knew and saw her. Like an alien. Someone foreign, who wasn't from around here. He abused her mentally as well as physically until her eyes had stopped changing. When she screamed for him to stop, he'd backhand her cheek without blinking and retreat back to his favorite chair. She'd always remember to close them since then to avoid reminding him. So she always hide behind her sunglasses. She always sat in the back of classroom so the teacher won't request she remove them. She had to hide. She thought of the home consequences if she didn't keep it a secret.
Amelia shuddered from all the memories she couldn't let go of. Was it time to finally end it? She licked her chapped lips and closed her eyes. Her fists balled up in fury. She took a deep breath and snuck out through the small hole in the fence. It was loosened since they moved and it practically fell off every time she escaped. But she always came back. Why did she?
"It's time to finally end this. I have to." She whispered into the sky.
Her words deceived her true emotions. She didn't want any of this, but it was the only way sadly.
Hoping maybe, for a small prayer. The sound of inevitability was too strong. Who would care? She had no angels on her side.
Amelia rushed through the confines of the neighborhood in search of a tall, old building. It was New York after all. Most of the buildings in the area were built in the early 1920s, but there needed to be a sense of abandonment; loneliness radiating from it. The spur of the moment feeling kicked up her thought process rapidly. She was looking for a plan and fast. She needed a roof. It had to be secluded; empty. No witnesses and no turning back. Something quick, the perfect timing. She shook her head of the conscious that wouldn't leave her thoughts. It was already too late. She couldn't put up with anything. The freak power in her was too strong. This was the only answer. Being different had led her here. And this was where it was going to end.
She ran around the block until she was completely out of the suburbs. A hell she was waiting to permanently leave since she was captive... What drove her to come back and suffer wasn't in her blood anymore. There was nothing else she wanted more than stopping the madness. It was only going to get worse before anything else.
She rounded the corner until she saw a mostly blackened narrow building. No lights or clear signs of life. It was perfect. She needed to get to the roof. She looked up to see the top of the building. A good 40 feet. She prayed nobody fell in line with her. It wouldn't be a good thing to clash with anyone trying to get in her way.
As she rushed to the front fire escape she paused and saw someone coming out on the top floor. No dice. This was going to be harder than she thought. Amelia's hands felt as if they were on fire and were going to com-bust. Her eyes were lighting up like fireflies and she knew she was running out of time. Not this. Not here. She pushed her body forward to the front entrance.
Maybe if she went in when somebody gone out there was a chance. It was risky, but the only way. Her sunglasses were concealing the piercing golden glow of her eyes. She adjusted them and tried to calm down. She took a deep breath and waited. Surely there had to be somebody coming out. New Yorkers, even during the purely pitched-blackness still had visitors that never rested. It was a scary thought but it was all she could rely on. She needed to get to that roof somehow.
Just then, a young lady, wearing a tight blue dress went through the first door before entering the outside gate. She looked like she dropped something. Perfect, Amelia maneuvered away from the sides of the building and jogged to the front entrance. Running would be too suspicious. She doubted the woman would care but it was safer this way. The more inconspicuous, the better.
When Amelia opened the first gate, she paused. The woman, who was preoccupied with what she lost briefly picked up her head, then went back down to the floor. It seemed like she barely noticed anything else.
"Hey, oh wow, sorry to do this, I just dropped my phone, have you seen it anywhere?" the woman asked Amelia with a huff in her tone.
Amelia just saw the door open and that was all she could look at. If she could only get passed this woman. She was so close.
She gave up for a moment. Maybe if she offered to help she wouldn't be derailed.
Amelia tried to get up to the roof by helping the woman find her phone. She spotted it in the corner of the foyer and stepped inside. "There it is."
The girl looked and picked up the mobile with a sigh of relief. "Thanks, you going to the party?
Amelia asked back, "What party?
The woman looked at her with a raised eyebrow checking something on her phone. "Oh that idiot Jeremy's party. It's boring, I had to leave early because I had exams. But it's still going on. Uh, hate to be nosy but isn't it a little dark outside for shades?"
The woman gestured and Amelia's eyes immediately started glowing gold out of embarrassment. She covered her eyes, adjusting her shades quickly, "Oh, sorry, I gotta go."
Amelia moved as far away from her as she could until she felt the glow come to a stop. Whew, now focus.
Once she was fully inside she debated whither to take the elevator or the stairs. The stairs would be more noisy and reverberate so she opted for the elevator. When she came to the elevator her shaky hands touched on the button as she waited anxiously. The ding made her jump out of her skin. She scurried as fast as she could inside, sinking to the back corner of the elevator. She almost fell to the ground when she closed her eyes. Her mind was reeling. Pieces of her thoughts becoming less and less important. All arguing thoughts subsided. Her plan remained in motion.
It was now and never as the elevator came to the top. Once the doors opened she ran up to the roof top and pushed in slow motion the crease of the door, breathing in the wind tunnel from the top. The strong breeze had smothered her but it wasn't going to derail anything.
She was here, it hit her finally. She was going to live. Did she want to do this? Tears began stinging her eyes suddenly. She came to her knees and crashed onto the dirty rubble of the ground. The scraps on her knees did nothing to her nerves. The warm, salty trails of emotion would not stop streaming from her eyes as everything hit her all at once. Was she going to go through with it? Could she? She balled her emotion until she felt her fingers come in contact with something sharp. A triangular glass shard so sharp it already cut deep across the inside of her palm. She looked at the crimson color, more glared hard at the blood as it dripped down. The goo hitting the rubble mixing in with it.
Her eyes were now glowing a deep red, almost matching her blood. She picked up the shard to examine it as more blood smeared through the transparency of the glass.
She began to hear strong noises from downstairs. Her eyes were glowing a deep maroon, even darker than they were before. Almost as if they were mixed with blackness. She could see it. Her life. A brand new one. Everything would change. As she dragged the sharpest edge of the glass in her side, she prayed for life. The illuminated neon red of her eyes flickered. She could feel her life power begin to falter.
Downstairs, on the 5th floor of the building, Jeremy Singler's party was starting to get loud and boisterous. When everyone started to leave, Jeremy flopped down on his couch with a heavy sigh.
From the corner of his eye, his friend and colleague, Warren Worthington, came into view. His wavy blond hair falling in his eyes as he started to tidy things around the room. He picked up a lighter and jammed it inside his jean pocket. Jeremy watched him and laughed.
"Dude, quit that. Why you get one of your maids to help us out? Everybody's abandoning me anyway." Jeremy said the last part out loudly on purpose.
Warren rolled his eyes and didn't have the heart to tell him the truth: he throws lame parties. It always ends the same. He drinks all the booze, gets the drunkest, tries to get his friends to out drink him, people lose interest. Warren took slight pity on his friend's little attempts at trying to impress people.
"Baby, give it a rest. Least Warren knows you're being a dick because you can again." Lydia, Jeremy's girlfriend said as she took a trash liner and began cleaning up.
Warren laughed. Jeremy looked between his friend and his girl as if saying "dude, come on."
"Hey she said it not me. But in all fairness..." Jeremy smacked the back of his neck against the head of the couch.
"Can it Worthington. You guys are so fucking ungrateful. You never like to have fun."
Warren smirked, "Sure, we all do, some of us just aren't a fan of the hangovers that follow. You know what to do with that. Hey, I'm gonna get some air."
"Sure, just leave too, along with everyone else. We all know you want to." Jeremy huffed as his girlfriend picked up more trash around him. She moved his legs up and he stared her oddly.
Warren looked at Lydia and she just waved him off silently telling him she'll handle him. Warren nodded and waved back after turning on his heel to head out the door.
That was enough excitement for now. He fixed the collar up on his extra large overcoat he wore to conceal his wings. It was the only way to hide his secrets. The ones only his father and a few people close to him found out by accident. In fact, he hadn't taken off the coat since he came to Jeremy's. He looked back at the door and something troubled him. It was something that has always plagued his thoughts and made him wonder who to trust.
Sometimes he really thought these guys were only his friends because of his money. They were, after all, poor college students living off of student loans and grants. Warren inherited the money from his father and barely had to work. He never needed to. He nevertheless was loyal with his time and volunteered at the hospital. It was one of the few things in his life that made him feel normal. And he enjoyed it as well. He hated when people assumed he was this rich kid who did nothing but sit around all day spending money left and right. But then again, there were the womanizing rumors starting at the hospital when a couple of the young interns started flirting with him. That was so far from the truth he just wanted to set everyone straight; but he didn't peoples' perceptions of him would change.
He came to get some air true, but really, he just wanted to go up to the roof to fly. His wings were killing him and he needed to stretch them out. Being bundled in a tough, wool overcoat wasn't feeling good after a few hours. It felt like if someone tied your arms behind your back stolidly in a straight line for a few hours. He just wanted to be free. Feel the cool rush of the wind through his feathers as he always did every night he flew. Flying back to his home sounded perfect right now. He suddenly got so revved up and ran up the stairs to the door that lead to the roof.
"Huh, that's odd." The door was opened slightly ajar. Usually people in the building closed it shut. Some roofs in New York were locked but Jeremy's super was so low key hardly anyone knew his name so it mostly stayed locked.
He shrugged and pushed open the door, turning around to close it shut. He had to be completely discreet if he was going to do this. He didn't want to take any stray chances.
When he turned, he couldn't believe his eyes.
A girl was crouched over in the corner near the edge of the roof laying in a pool of blood. The terror went to his eyes and he reacted almost instantly.
He panicked as he rushed to her side attempting to revive her. She had no pulse. He tried again and nothing. He then noticed that pressing on her stomach was making it worse. More blood spurt from her side and he quickly shed his overcoat tying the wound up, trying to close it. He had to stop the bleeding first. His wings were beginning to peak out from their confines of the straps. His coat sopped most of her blood. He began to shake and continued CPR, breathing some oxygen into her lungs. All the while speaking to her as if she were in a deep sleep.
"Come on now. Answer me. Come on, please." He cursed almost in a yelling manner. He thought for a second. He still had time.
He spread his wings, scooping her body in his arms, holding her securely. She was slipping, he had to be swift now.
"Stay with me. Stay... please." He whispered.
He looked down on her but she was still silent. No motion, no moaning, no life. But he could feel her.
The room was quiet, that was until Amelia gasped slightly as her eyes fluttered open. At first, she blinked hard, her eyelids relaxing as she squinted at the harsh light in the room. She surveyed her surroundings. None of which she recognized. She tried to sit up. It was the hardest thing she could ever remember doing, like pushing herself through a million pounds of dirt. Her body felt like someone held it there with an anvil. Her head started to pound and she sunk back again. Her eyes were starring at the skylight of the penthouse. Penthouse? She rose strongly, barely halfway off the bed. She was...where was she? This wasn't her home. This didn't feel like heaven or hell either. What the hell happened last night? None of this felt familiar to her and it isn't enough the headache pounded even louder, piercing her skull through her brain leaving everything muddled; clouding her once semi-together thoughts.
And then it came to her, had she been kidnapped? The thought buzzed through her fuzzy mind as she tried once more to sit up but the pounding of her forehead wouldn't cease. She heard noises, coming from outside of the room. Off in the distance. She tried again with all she had to push her body but nothing. It was hopeless. It felt like 90% of her body was covered in dried cement and she knew if she pushed, the razor sharp dagger-like feeling would come screaming back. She banged her head on the pillow. She was completely stuck. There was no way out.
Her fingers brushed up against her body, feeling around. Her moaning grew as she began to feel other parts of her body start to mobilize. Her senses regaining back to originality. She stopped as she felt something out of place. A bandage. There was a gauze-like cloth wrapped around her abdomen like it was done by a professional gift wrapper. It was tight and patched. None of this felt normal. She could feel the golden streak return back to her iris and she knew it wasn't over. She was alive. Brought back. But how? More importantly, who or what brought her here? When her fingertips touched the edges of the cloth, she gulped. None of this was a good idea.
She barely felt the tears as they dripped down her face like a warm leaky faucet. She suddenly felt cold. Her shoulders shivered as she hugged her body, still lying down. She tried all she could once again to lift herself up, but no. She dropped back onto the soft cushion of the pillow in a deep groan.
"Please don't try to get up." Her worst nightmare had come true. When she leaned on her elbows she craned her head at the doorway.
A blond man she didn't recognize was looking at her. Gazing at her in case she made any sudden abrupt ones. He was staring at her with strong eyes that made everything inside her stop moving all together. Who was he? Why did he say that? He was wearing a blazer jacket over his naked top half. She scaled his body up tracing his form as if he were a sketch pad and her eyes the pencil. She gulped again, her breathing increasing by the seconds. It was beginning to feel like small heaves. Why was she here? What was she doing alive? Her glassy eyes lifted to finally match his penetrating blue eyes. He looked way too… clean to be a kidnapper. Almost distracting enough. Then again, Ted Bundy was born. She didn't second guess overriding the notion based on appearances.
She leaned back in agony. The headaches came back, but in full force. The combination an infinity of questions, pain in her side and the strained glow in her eyes were taking its toll. And she was paying for it. She couldn't help but scream and grimace as the contractions in her mind swirled around like stirring her brain in a bowl. It felt like someone was in her head. All up inside her main brain cavity. Messing with the ability to become coherent.
She yelped extra loud this time over the groans. "Nah! Ugh, naho!"
"Shhh, its OK, relax. You're thinking about it. Relax please." She felt strong arms toughen her down, but she was flailing for her life.
Like a disorderly patient, her arms were flapping every which way. The pain in her mid-section cranked up in sheer volatile catastrophe. She couldn't help it. She can speak but only in small spurts. It wasn't getting any better. He held her arms down more prominently.
"Why did you, ugh, bring me, uh back? Why? I almost had ah, chance. Why?" She exclaimed; her voice rough and throaty.
"Calm down. Please, reacting like this is not helping you. Please. I'll, ugh, explain, ah, I'll explain it. Everything." She could hear the sound of his teeth grit down as she felt his strong harsh breath brush her face.
"Don't hur-" He covered her mouth, trying to suppress her sounds. "Mmmm."
"Please, now I'm asking nicely, calm down because all this moving around and thrashing, you're not helping yourself any." His voice was level and straight as he had an iron grip on her shoulders, holding her down as if he was glued to her. A ton of bricks kept her in place and she slowly slipped under the minimum of strength she had.
Amelia looked at him. Straight into his eyes. He could be a really pertinent actor. The screaming was unintentional. That's what people do when they're in pain. When she looked at him, somehow it seemed right. He made sense and she slowly but surely gave in. She needed answers and would try her damnedest not to call out her pain. She nodded slowly, her eyes stinging with tears again.
When he was sure, he took down his hand hovering over her a few seconds before backing away, giving her some space. He didn't want to make things worse by involving himself into this further. But she has no idea what happened the other night. She had no clue what was trotting inside his mind and how scared he was for her; and he didn't even know her. He owed her that much. There was so much she just didn't know. All this and he didn't know her name. Still...
She cleared her throat of the itchiness that smothered the inside of her vocals. She closed her eyes; more tears fell, sliding off the side onto the pillow. She was so scared she couldn't see straight. She didn't want to see anymore. She knew he probably saw and that explained why he backed away. Her eyes started to light up, a pale cerise shading around her iris. Her hand came over them instantly. She could feel them getting more heated. She knew he saw but she still wanted to hide herself. Her hand was shaking over her eyes covering the color.
"Give me my glasses. I need my glasses." She said in a hushed, shaky tone. She hoped closing them tightly was enough to shield the glow. But when she did that the heat radiated from them more.
Warren looked at her carefully. Who is this girl? Why was she going to great lengths to hide herself? What he really wanted to know was why she tried to do what she did.
"Let's take things slow. Please," Warren cleared his throat, now looking at her with a much softer expression. He needed to make sure of something.
Amelia licked her lips nervously. "Why was I brought back? Who are you?" Still not removing her hand shielding her eyes.
"My name is Warren. I brought you here because I found you on the roof of my friend's house last night. I rushed you to the hospital. You were so close to—" He paused, composing his voice. "If I hadn't brought you right away, you would have been gone before I got there." He looked down as he said this. A soft undertone to his voice.
Amelia's face cracked just as the glowing had stopped. The way he said it, just—she hated it. Oh no, not again. She could feel the glow in her eyes again and brought her hand up before he saw.
"I don't un-understand. Why-how did you get there—" She felt his hand start to bring hers down slowly. It wasn't right. He shouldn't be doing that. He shouldn't want to see her like this. Nobody has. He can't. Not now. Not ever.
"Don't hide yourself. Look at me." He said so gently she had to strain her ear to hear him. He tipped his finger under chin, calmly lifting her face to match his. Her eyes still closed tightly as if the light in the room was too bright.
He suddenly made a move to pick up her body so she was sitting up straight and leaning onto him for support. Her body was weighty while leaning on him but he didn't care. She seemed to still have that glow in her eyes and he was wondering why in the world would she ever want to cover that up? "I can't I'm sorry."
"Try. Go on now. Open your eyes." He leaned close to her ear and whispered. "I'm not afraid of you. Please don't be afraid with me."
Amelia's breathing languished. His voice almost sounded like a lullaby. It was almost too calming, too relaxing to be real. It reminded her of a still river in the quiet south. But she just was too protective. He wouldn't understand.
"It's not you, it's me. I just can't."
"Please, don't be scared. I won't run away from you. I'm here, I promise you." More soft whispers escaped his lips and she was sinking.
But this was a new kind of feeling. Something she wasn't too familiar with. It felt good. Like warm summer in a peaceful scene. The pain in her head was disappearing expeditiously. Her mind was starting to daze. She pulled her face away, her eyes slowly opening to slits. All those years of feeling crestfallen and cast out from society and it took a few words from a stranger to lift the doubt. She was skeptical still.
"You won't run?"
"No, I won't."
She slowly removed her hand as it dropped into her lap. Her face lifting up as she held her breath. When she revealed herself she could feel the glow turn an ever paler pink shade; a carnation flicker mixed with whites.
Warren couldn't believe his own eyes as he gazed on her. The corners of his mouth were rising; he smiled slightly. "Cool."
Amelia's eyes expended, more glow came out this time. Of all things he could say, she never expected he'd say that. "You don't…think it's weird?"
Warren looked down at her hands; they were clasped together pretty tightly. He had this urge to pull her closer and closer, until there was nothing left. He reached out covering one of those hands, no more pretenses. Just organic rawness that permeated from his heart. He could feel so much of her through her hand. Even her heart speeding up by the seconds. As he held her hand her eyes were shifting. Magenta pooled through and shined on his face like a flashlight. If he didn't know anything else, he'd say that was a hell of a magic trick. But it was no trick. His thumb gently brushed the center of her palm in slow, fluid circles. He couldn't tear his eyes away from her.
"That is amazing. The coolest thing I've ever seen." He said genuinely with a small smile forming. "Do they always change like that?"
Amelia was having a hard time processing this as it played out. Her mouth gaping open as her eyes got even bigger, more prodigious. He wasn't scared. He didn't run. He just said her freak power cool. Amazing? Was she dreaming? Maybe this was some kind of heaven after all.
"Thank you." Amelia said softly, taking the cup of tea her savior brought to the bed.
Warren looked between her and the tea. He couldn't get over it. He'd never seen anything more amazing. His eyes were transfixed on every inch of her as she brought the cup to her lips, sipping slowly. Her body was propped up halfway against the enormous headboard with spills of pillows lining up to support her back. Her eyes stopped that luminescent glow suddenly. Her real eye color, a golden blue now stared back at him. He missed the glow already. It was interesting how they could randomly turn off and she didn't notice.
When she set the tea on the nightstand she stared at it for a moment. She was quietly thinking about this whole thing; trying to piece together what she could remember from last night. She still has so many questions but she had no clue which ones to ask first. She took a deep breath, letting out some exhaustion. She swallowed hard, trying hard to start from somewhere, anywhere.
"What's your name?" His velvet voice woke her out of herself.
She lifted her head, finally looking at him. Her eyes began shimmering as she licked her lips. "Amelia."
Warren's eyes trailed down to her bare arms. The cuts and scars was more than enough to make him curious. Damn it he was so curious about this girl. It wasn't just him saving her, it was something else. He felt pulled to question further, even though his head was telling him otherwise. He ignored it and pushed on. He reached out again to take her hand. She was allowing him to, this was a good start. She was suddenly staring at the gesture. In her mind, a pool of emotions formed racing like plankton on the heels of a shark.
Amelia's eyes watered again but at this point, the feeling was gone. The light in her eyes began to flicker. The way he held her hand was so…she didn't have words for it. She let her eyes cry for a second more before she cleared her throat. "I need to…" She paused, his hand squeezed hers, and silently telling her it was OK to continue. But was it? She hadn't known OK for so long she had gotten so used to being afraid of everything.
Warren waited. He'd wait as long as it takes for her response. Nothing mattered. She was at the center and had his full attention. He started drawing circles on the inside of her palm, trying anything he could think of to get her to release her guard, maybe alleviate further tension.
Amelia was distracted; in all ways. She couldn't look at him, his hands were beginning to warm her body in ways the tea she drank couldn't, and she was having more difficulty getting out the words. How long would he wait for her to say something? She was probably scaring him. She was scaring herself too.
Warren leaned close to her ear when she closed her eyes. "Stay with me."
Amelia's eyes popped open, she felt his warm, silky breath illicit a strange urge inside of her. "I-I, you w-want me to, mhm, stay?"
When Warren pulled back, her eyes, the smile returned to his face as he saw a pale yellow shining out from them. He brought her hand to his lips, kissing her knuckles, lulling her to a dream-like state. It was working all too well. Was she dreaming? She could feel her eyes change to a soft blue. She could feel the ocean; see the serenity of the moment dance like it could go forever. The placidity latching onto her memory like it belonged there. An eternity just upon her reaches. She could grab it, could she?
"Yes, I want you to stay." He said, with a certainty that awoke something new, a much different sensation within her.
She was so distracted by the new sensations she didn't realize just how close his face was. She blinked slowly to the fair scent of him. She moved away only slightly, clearing her throat regaining her nerves. She couldn't lose sanity now.
"W-Why?" She breathed out. That was all she could get out before her breathing sped up to an alarming rate. Her cerulean eyes opened a little wider as he moved to close the gap between them.
"Because…" his fingers rose to trace the sharp turns and curves of her scars, "I know how it feels…to wanna be somewhere else. Fighting your own battles because you were born different. I know it. I've known it all my life."
Amelia took a deep heave, her eyes were confused. The glow in them died slowly. She let go of the intense feelings finally. She looked at him now with different eyes. Human starting at another human. Her eyes glowing in a brown-gold-like blaze. She heard a faint sound from his corner that almost creaked out.
And then it made sense, she had her curiosity still, "I don't understand. How do you know about this?"
"What I meant to say was—" The piercing sound of the phone rang, killing whatever anticipation she had.
Warren collapsed on the end of the bed leafing his fingers through his hair in frustration. He knew who it was and didn't care to answer.
"I'm sorry, uh; I should let you get that." She said quickly which made him look up at her.
Warren ran his hands over his face as the phone continued ringing. If it kept ringing it would go directing to voice mail. Not what he needed now. He excused himself and leaped over the bed and dodged for the phone clicking it on.
As he put the receiver against his ear, there was a dial tone. He looked at it and turned around. Amelia was trying to get up again. He could see she was struggling with it heavily. He came over and knelt down beside her. She stopped and froze.
"I think you should lie down for now. You're in a lot of pain. Please don't try to sit up."
Amelia covered her eyes, she'd forgotten he already saw what she can do but she didn't want him to see it. She retracted to feeling scared again. She didn't want to be here. But there was one thing that bothered her about last night. She needed to know something.
"Can you ask you something?"
Warren didn't make a sound. He just moved to take her hand away from her eyes.
"The nearest hospital was 40 miles from where I was. How did you get me there so quickly?"
Warren sighed, his fingers lacing together with hers trying to find the right answer for that. There was only one: the truth. He took a deep breath, collecting himself. It was now.
"I wasn't lying when I said I've known those battles all my life. I need to show you something." He stood up and backed away slowly.
As he stepped back it was then when Amelia noticed just how massive the room was. The place looked more like a middle class sized house than a loft. She turned her attention back to Warren as he began stripping himself of the burly jacket and put it on the dresser. It was then she noticed his feet, the tips of something poking out.
She watched as gigantic feathers began sprouting its head from Warren's back until the tips reached against the wall. Amelia's hand instantly went to her mouth, covering a gasp as his wings pulled into his back, closing together like a swan. He was...a mutant?
Warren came to kneel down again, his face sheepishly bowed down. He was really worried what her reaction was going to be. He worried with anyone finding out. But she said nothing. It was quiet for a few moments until she suddenly, calmly reached for his hand, squeezing it gently as she attempted to look him in the eye.
"I don't think I've seen anything more beautiful before." With her free hand she made him face her. Her eyes glowing a carnation shade. "I thought I was alone."
Warren grinned as he rose up, curling her body from the bed in his arms. "Now you don't have to be."
She smiled for the first time, gliding her fingers through his wings, feeling the suppleness of its texture. They felt so malleable. Amazing, she was stunned with how it felt between her fingers.
"So that's how you saved me." She leaned toward his ear, closing off everything else. "I think I did have an angel after all."
Amelia moved to get up on her own, holding her side as she slightly dragged her body toward the bathroom. Her kinetic energy was starting to come back little by little; but only in small increments. She was between healed and healing. Though with some good news at hand, her side didn't pain her too much.
Warren noticed something in her hair, more the back part of it and walked beside her. "Would you like to take a shower? I mean, wash your hair? Here, I'll get you a towel."
When he moved to the cabinet to fetch a towel, he heard a loud crash followed by moaning. He grabbed the towels quickly and went back into the bathroom. He found Amelia curled up on the floor leaning against the tub, slumped over. His eyes flashed back to how he found her, almost eerily similar to when he first saw her last night. He could feel his nerves shivering. Just as quick as it happened he came out of the flash then instantly placed the towels on the counter. He knelt down in front of her observing her face already stained with tears.
"Do you want me to help you?" He touched her elbow, trying to get her to look at him.
Amelia groaned slightly. She felt so useless, like she couldn't do anything right. She looked at him through downcast eyes. She couldn't ignore that look in his eyes, it was bothering her. The way he was looking at her, she felt her free will bend at the sight. She accepted his hand as he helped her to her feet. "I feel so stupid."
"Don't be. I just don't want you hurting yourself." He cleared his throat, "Here, come on, sit up. I can help you do this."
Amelia's eyes, wide and meek were looking at him with confusion. "Help me shower?"
Warren grinned and blushed as he shook his head biting his lip. "W-wash your hair… Is that OK? I just—noticed there was, uh, something."
He was about to gesture at the dried color but caught himself before anything happened. She looked at him suspiciously and noticed his eyes glued to her hair. Her hands suddenly launched themselves into her hair and felt in the direction of his eyes. She touched dry, brittleness in the middle. Her eyes inflated and turned a powerful ruby shade. Dried blood. It was her own and it made her sick to her stomach.
She took a deep breath. What was she so nervous about? It wasn't like he was going to hurt her. What was he going to do? Yank her hair off until she was bald? She felt herself go cotton-mouthed, her words were twisted again and her heart began to race.
When he gazed into her eyes again, there was silence. The trance was there and she found her voice.
"O-ok. I'm sorry that—"
"It's OK, you don't have to apologize." He laughed, smirking while looking down. He peered at her through closed slit eyes. Her glow came back. A pumpkin-colored shade appearing brighter than all the rest of the colors he'd seen so far. They almost glittered; sparkling in the light as if it was almost too much to look at.
When she stood up with some assistance from him, she noticed his wings come near her, like they were beckoning outward for her hands to touch. She instinctively grasped the plushness. Almost closing her eyes until she felt the feathers come in contact with her hips. She blushed, looking to the side. He was making her flutter again. In a way, she felt like maybe she was flying inside.
She blushed, pulling away as she held onto his hands. "I'm sor-
"Don't." He breathed so only she could hear.
Her shoulders dropped, she was beginning to relax a little. Things grew quiet as she picked herself up and sat on the chair he brought.
"Have you done this before?"
He sighed, blowing out a big chunk of air. "No, this is the first time. I'm sorry if I'm doing it wrong. Just lay back." He said gently.
Amelia sat straight up so she was level with the sink, her long brown hair halfway falling inside it. She clasped her hands together as she watched him go into the shower. She had to smile a little as he fumbled with the bottles. She bit her lip and squirmed in place. The scrubs she wore became itchy on her naked skin. She poked her head to the side.
"I'll use whatever you're using. It doesn't matter." She called out, her voice raspy and strained.
Warren finally came out with a random bottle. He held it up, smiling shyly. "Just want you to be clean."
"I will be." She looked in his eyes, a soft small appearing on her lips. "I have faith in you."
Warren blushed, unscrewed the top of the bottle and set it down. He went over to the tub, turning on the water, making sure it was nice and warm. Once he was sure it was decent, he grabbed the shower head pulling it over to Amelia.
"Lean back OK? I'm sorry if I get your clothes wet, I did warn you." He smirked, looking down on her before flipping the lever on the top part of the head.
"Warren, it's alright really." She told him sincerely. It was the first time she said his name. She almost sounded like a fairy, soft and feminine. He looked at her quickly then back at rinsing her hair. He squirted some shampoo into his hand and lathered up her hair, trying hard not to get any on her clothes.
When Amelia leaned even further backward he flipped back on the shower head and began rinsing her scalp. Her eyes kept close on his face. She couldn't resist saying it.
"Your face?" She asked as he rinsed away the last remaining soap from her hair.
"Nothing, you're just so serious."
Warren bowed his head down and softened his expression, no doubt scaring her in the process. He was giving himself away and it was getting obvious. He looked down again as he grabbed the towel, attempting to dry her hair.
In the back of her mind something plagued her. Her lips where tight and her mind was struggling to stay focused. She stopped him.
"Warren? What happened last night? Really? How was I brought back? The feeling I had after I—" she paused a moment, collecting, "stabbed myself was so strong. Like I could feel heaven or something. I was sure I died in seconds. I need to know this. Please." She begged. She didn't know what else to do. She needed to know all the details since there was no way the hospital would let someone fatally stabbed check out so bluntly.
Warren took the towel gently from her hands and covered his palms over her trembling ones. He wasn't sure if now was the right time to tell her anything. Not even what happened. That was why he wanted her to stay, so he could think of finding some way of telling her in time. Was now the time? He didn't want to hold it in anymore. He didn't know this girl at all but they were connected. There was this furious pull he felt to want to keep her safe. She would keep asking him until he finally couldn't take it. She needed to know, no more lies.
But something stopped him. It was her eyes. They were peering back at him and he found hard to look away. He smiled, took both of his hands and laced them with hers. He really was more worried about her reaction. He was so worried to scare her and make things even worse. He just wanted her to feel better. He couldn't bring himself to form the words. The flashlight in her eyes started blinking. Her glow started to die down as she looked at him with human eyes. The X-gene was nowhere near in sight. His voice croaked as he gestured.
"Do they-they always change color like that?" He asked, her eyes shining brighter, more prominent now.
Amelia looked down, her eyes tracing the tiles on the floor as she took a deep breath. "Every time."
"They seem to change a lot around me." He said, with a twinkle in his eye.
Amelia sniffed, looking to the side. "They never used to change this much. The colors are linked to my emotions. Whatever I'm feeling, somebody sees it. It's embarrassing. That's why I need my glasses. It's the only way to hide them without tear my eyes ou-" He began to cut her off by whispering close to her ear. His lips nearly touching her lobe.
"Don't ever wish that. I want you to know how beautiful you are. You're perfect, don't forget that."
Amelia began to blush as his breath began to tickle her cheeks. "No one has ever said that to me. I feel like I'm dreaming."
He moved her damp locks behind her ear and groaned softly. "It's not a dream. You're really here. And you're safe. You can trust me."
Amelia knew her eyes were doing the blushing for her and she proudly let the reflection shine on his cheeks. "I don't think that's an option for me."
The corners of Warren's mouth rose as he brought the towel around her hair again to dry off the loose droplets that dribbled onto her clothes. She was going to catch a cold soon if she didn't get dry quickly. He ran the towel over her head gently one last time before wrapping all of her hair inside it.
Amelia was watching his every move like a lioness tracking nature upon everyday life. Her eyes came to his wings as she saw them absentmindedly curl outward until they were inches from her thigh. Her fingers felt the tips of his wings and she smirked, almost to the point of laughing.
Warren mirrored her expression, looking at her through perplexed eyes. "What?"
Amelia swallowed her words for a moment. How was she going to say this without getting laughed at? "Your, um, hands, they were touching me."
Amelia felt through the feathers and laughed as they tickled her hand. "These are so wonderful. It must be incredible to be able to fly."
She took the towel off her head and scratched her scalp letting her hair loosely dry and hang out. She glanced back at him and the blush crept up her cheeks.
"When you're better, I'll show you how it feels one day." Warren said, with honey to his tone.
As she looked down he used this moment to bring his wings closer, so they were almost cocooning around her. The heat permeating off her body was almost burning his wings, even without contact. He singed backward as he took a breath.
Her eyes sparked a golden star and shifted to a strong yellow. "I only wish it was now. But I kind of don't wanna leave this. I already feel so much better. Thank you, Warren. I'll never know what I did to deserve this. I think you dropped out of the sky and into my life for a reason."
"You are my reason." Warren brought his hand to caress her cheek. He could feel his pulse speed away and he knew he had to ease everything. Giving himself away again.
Before she asked any further questions he thought it best to change the subject and offer her help stand up. His wings retracted back to his shoulder blades and she instantly cold as the dampness of her hair awoke her from the sudden cave of warmth she'd gotten used to. Warren immediately went to scoop her back but she held her hand on his chest gingerly.
"Oh thanks, but I think I can try to do it." She did however hold his hands as he helped her up only a little.
She stood finally with success but he was steadying her so she couldn't easily tumble. She sure was fragile enough. If he left for a second she would crumble. He was certain of that much. But he knew what she needed because he was feeling it too. First things first.
"Are you hungry?" Warren asked when she limped slightly to the door.
Amelia turned around and she felt her stomach grumble. That was supposedly the trigger. She bowed her head down, nodding.
Amelia curled up onto the couch while Warren started clearing the empty dishes from the coffee table and went to bring some desert. He insisted she have some because he said he wasn't going to finish it all himself, so she reluctantly gave in. They finished an early light dinner and things were beginning to calm down. She finally began to fully relax. It felt easy, knowing her nerves were at peace around him. The way he made her feel, she couldn't come to terms with it. This was not the way her world was. She still felt like she was dreaming. She couldn't help it. Warren gave off this Earth-like aura that shined through everything. He reminded her of nature. How sometimes people observe quietly from a distance, almost like the moment was peaceful, his approach was just as warming. She can breathe again. Calming breaths that flowed rhythmically. She'd never known that feeling before. He had no idea who she was, and he didn't question it for a second. She didn't know if this was luck or her subconscious speaking out, but she'd like to believe this was really happening to her. She wiped her eyes, smiling while she gazed at him walking around the kitchen.
She just stared at his beautiful back as he went to the freezer. His wings twitching as his arm went to the pantry to reach for some bowls. She really couldn't help herself anymore. As she looked at him she was reminded of what she is. Accepting it will take time and she didn't want to put all the responsibility on his shoulders. She'd overstayed her welcome and it was soon time to tell him. She would have to go home. But then she would go back to her old life. The one she'd finally left for the first time last night. Could she bring herself to go back? Abandon her dad? Did he even miss her? He surely missed having her as his personal scratching post. Someone to blame for everything wrong in their lives. Being the used rag in her father's life was furthest thought from her mind. Thinking about it made her feel sick.
But despite it all, she liked being here. In a weird sense, it felt naturally comfortable. Very much like the homes she'd read about in stories where families were close and lived together. Maybe Warren came from money, judging from the décor of the rooms. But it felt very simple, the place didn't feel compact with materials strewn about the rooms like he had someone to impress. It just looked as if somebody who'd lived here for many years and wasn't littered with contrived images. Everything about the living room stuck out as welcoming to anybody who entered. But she was an outsider. She almost forgot that as she continued staring at his back.
She didn't know a lot about him or his life but she can guess from the obvious surroundings that Warren lived alone. The place held a sly loneliness to it that she could relate to. She could feel it in the walls, and hear it in the sounds of the kitchen. The big balcony, possibly built just for his needs. Her heart was pulling to him fast. She understood why he was alone. Amelia was trying to come to grips with her own bout. There was something that puzzled her all the while...Why would this beautiful man who can have presumably everything and anyone go out of his way like this? It baffled her. It was the mystery of all mysteries. She was no one special. Certainly that's what people would say otherwise about her. She buried her face in her hands and rubbed her eyes. She was staring blankly trying to release the worry she felt in her gut.
She was so torn she didn't notice Warren coming out of the kitchen and appearing in front of her.
She tried to shake the thoughts and put them away, for now. Warren smiled softly and came next to her, placing one of the bowls of vanilla ice cream under her gently. She looked at it then looked at him as he sat down. She slowly picked up the bowl looking into white substance, possibly for a reason. She didn't know what for.
She took a small spoonful and calmly put it up to her mouth. Things were deathly silent. She clamped her mouth around the spoon and closed her eyes as the icy sweetness sat on her tongue for a moment before she swallowed. When she went to repeat the process it got challenging. She couldn't focus, not even to take another bite. She placed the bowl onto the table and tried to get as comfortable as she could. She swung her legs around and lay down on the head of the couch. She folded her arms across her chest and gulped.
She felt scared suddenly, like maybe she shouldn't be so curious of everything. Maybe there was a reason why he didn't say what happened the first time she asked. He wanted to protect her. She could feel that. But how long could he?
"I have so many questions. But I don't know if I want the answers." She whispered to the ceiling.
Warren placed his bowl down and sat further back, moving his body closer. "I owe you that."
Amelia turned on her side, the pain she felt in the position was slowly becoming tolerable. Rapidly and suddenly. She can twist her body to sit up alone now. "I feel like I want to know, but maybe, I don't know, I think knowing what happened will just make it worse." She covered her face. "I'm sorry, that was so stupid to say."
Warren took a deep breath and moved closer to her as he was sat on the carpet. He removed her hands, observing the pale blue of her eyes. "If you don't want to know what happened it's OK. But if you do, I'll tell you everything. And if you don't give me an answer, please don't feel bad. You've been through enough and maybe it's not best to say those things about yourself."
Amelia bit her lip so hard she thought she drew blood. She looked directly in his eyes. They were pulling at her again. She could feel her heart pound out of chest. She was sure he must have heard it too. He should not be looking at her like that. It was getting more difficult for her to focus again. Her eyes were foggy with baby blue dripping out. She couldn't look into his eyes.
"Warren…I—" She was interrupted by the phone ringing.
Warren leaned his forehead on her arm. He sighed with a soft groan. "I'm never answering that."
Amelia felt so out of place. Every time his phone rang it reminded her she had nothing to do with his life. And how was she? There was nothing keeping her here. She could sneak out when he left and he probably wouldn't notice. She could already feel her body rejuvenating by the seconds. A lot more quickly than she predicted. Her eyes went to her arms. By now the call had gone to voice mail and she looked back at Warren. He was still and unmoving. His forehead warm on her arm and she began to feel even more heat the longer he stayed there.
But then she remembered her past.
He was lying on her scars. Not a good sign. This wasn't right. She peeked around and tried to move her arm. She gave up and lifted her left arm up in the air. No way.
What she saw shocked her to the core.
She yelped. "Oh my god."
Warren jumped and lifted his head up as she sat straight up looking at her left arm in a stunned panic. "What? What's wrong?"
"They're gone. Oh my god. Warren, look? They're completely gone." She exclaimed, checking her right arm as if confirming what she already knew. She was equally flabbergasted when she looked at both arms.
Warren looked down and carefully looked over her arms. He backed away a little. He knew it would work, but not to this extent. His eyes went wide and his body stood erect. He couldn't move. Both his feet felt glued to the ground.
"Warren, what's going on?" Amelia asked carefully.
Warren was in shock. He didn't believe what he was seeing. Suddenly he was at a loss for words. He paced turned around finally covering his face with his hands. He didn't realize he was shaking until he saw Amelia stand up easily and walk to him. Her eyes went as wide as his. The pumpkin shading in her iris flashed over his face, growing brighter by the second. He grabbed both of her shoulders gently.
"How are you doing that?"
Amelia licked her lips, her words shaking as they spilled out of her mouth. "I-I d-don't know." She felt a sudden heat rise to her stomach and she backed away to raise her shirt up. She could feel more heat like an inferno coming out of her mid-section and she began frantically unfastening the bandages. The dried crimson blood clung to the material as she peeled back the layers.
When she unraveled the last piece of gauze she noticed something was missing. There was a burning red mark right where her stitches had been, then a shimmering golden light appeared and the stitches disappeared. Amelia's mouth gaped so wide she thought her jaw would detach itself. Amelia's breath hitched up into her throat and she bolted in a speed she didn't know she had passed him toward the balcony.
What the hell was happening to her? She had this sudden energy, out of nowhere, a strange heat had taken over. She closed her eyes, wishing it would just all go away. This was an ominous feeling she had. She'd never felt a sensation like this. So exhilarating. So lightheaded, almost like she was floating up into the air. That's crazy though, what could make her feel that way?
She felt a strong force, her body jolted elevation into the dark sky and she felt herself being lifted higher.
"Warren!" As her voice screamed for him the higher up she flew into the onyx sky.
Amelia yelped, she was falling, fast and hard. Her body was speeding out of control so quickly she could feel the white surge of energy pass through her veins, boiling her blood. She grabbed what she thought was Warren and dug her nails into his arm. The pain he felt non-existent. Her nails pierced his skin again, still nothing.
"Amelia, calm down. You're thinking about it. Please." Warren tried to soothe her, holding her in place on his bed. Bringing her down from being airborne was hard enough. Now she was fighting, and he was the target.
"I can't…I can't control it. No…I can't control. Too hard…I could feel power, ugh, getting stronger. I can fly. I am flying. I'm feeling it everywhere." The more she struggled to contain herself the tighter Warren's hold came over her. The heat was growing intensely by the second. She was burning up.
"Shh, please, control it. You can fight it Amelia. I know you can. Please." Warren's pleading voice called out when he grabbed the cuffs from his pocket.
He worked to unfasten the cuffs and clipped one of her wrists inside one. The other one posed a challenge. She bucked her hips high and that sent a chink in his direct hold on her. With one hand he pushed her chest down with all his strength and sped to hook her free hand around the top of the bed post, locking it in position. She writhed underneath him. The vibration from her legs gradually growing in power. Once he heard the click of the cuffs he pulled away from her, holding her legs that were kicking up in the air. One foot colliding with his cheek but it was brushed away as if it didn't happen. All of the rest of the power working through her legs but Warren promptly held them in place. Her legs burned under his hands.
There was a hard knock at the door. Warren nodded in the direction, turning his body halfway. He turned back to Amelia as he answered. "It's open Doc."
The door opened and in walked Dr. Moira MacTaggert. Warren didn't know who else to turn to. He phoned the closest person who could make some sense out of genetic mutation. Moira was the only person who understood genetics and could figure out what was going on. He heard the doctor walk in from behind and watched as she rushed to the bedroom looking disheveled and amiss. Almost as if she just saw him for the first time. She knew of Warren through his father, when she was a part of the research team to develop the antibody cure for mutants. It had been a long time but Moira abandoned the research when she learned of the dangers behind the message of the cure. She left the practice and took to private cases now. Warren being one of her patients, she never lost contact.
Moira hurriedly set near the bed a case she had been holding and unlocked the box pulling from it a syringe filled with light green liquid. She looked at Warren sternly while she tapped the hypodermic needle of the syringe erasing any air bubbles. She looked between Warren and the abrasive young girl pulling at cuffs from the bed post. The girl's hands growing more blotchy and red the harder she pulled. Her head bouncing up and down like a fish out of water.
When Moira approached her, Amelia's right leg came up almost hitting Moira's face. "Bullocks." Her Scottish brogue huffed.
She pulled back, looking at Warren, her voice commanding, "Hold her down." Warren obeyed and moved back on top of her, holding her legs that were still kicking crazily in the air as if she was a upside down turtle. When Warren held her together, Moira started to administer the injection.
Warren watched the process and felt her struggles started slowing. He wasn't sure what just happened or why Amelia reacted so quickly to the injection. His eyes turned to the doctor giving Amelia the last of the liquid.
"What are you giving her?"
"Sedative. Muscle relaxer. She won't feel anything completely in 5 minutes. I gave her enough dosage to make sure her heart won't slow completely. Any more and it might stop all together. Warren, continue to keep her still. She may seizure as a side effect. I can't have that while the needle is in." Warren followed orders and held down her stronger even though he could feel her entire body slipping under with little shakes here and there.
After a long moment, Warren had to ask the doctor, "Will she be OK?"
When Moira pulled the syringe out she placed it back inside the case. She took a deep breath and reached back inside taking out a fresh tube, hooking it behind a clean syringe. "I need a sample. It's the only way to examine her mutation results completely." She brought up the new syringe, bringing it up to her arm, a vein she didn't touch yet. She swabbed her arm with rubbing alcohol and moved the hypodermic into the vein. She pulled back the nuzzle when the tube was a quarter of the way full of her blood sample and placed a cotton ball over the prick.
She pulled masking tape over the cotton ball and placed the sample back into the case. She breathed out and stood from her knees. Her own blood rushing to her knees as she began to regroup her professionalism.
Warren was scared. All this medical stuff he'd seen before but never like this. Never with somebody he knew. He eased up a little and climbed off her body as he felt her motions go completely limp. Her cuffed hands were faded to the sides, resembling banana peels. He looked at Amelia once more before he turning to the doctor who collected more information.
"What's going on?" Warren gulped. His skin shivering before he got an answer.
Moira looked up from her case then back down going straight to pack up the materials. "Testing first. I'll know more once it has been looked at more thoroughly. Right now, she is stable. Barely. I haven't seen any mutant like this before. Was her iris stagnant before last night?"
Warren didn't realize his eyes were beginning to water as she questioned him. He quickly shook from it and cleared his throat trying to remember. "Yes, this is her... mutation. The colors she said are connected with her emotions. The ray of light also casts a warm shadow when she shifts colors."
Moira quickly took more notes releasing more tension from her chest. "When she wakes up, let me know right away. She's prone to, be a little… different. Maybe slightly calmer, depending on the reaction."
Warren brow furrowed. "Isn't that a good thing though? I mean before she almost matched my strength. What's going to happen when she wakes up?"
Moira looked at Amelia then back to Warren, her eyes clouding with shadows he wasn't familiar with. "I don't know. But maybe hopefully she'll know the difference between reality and dreams. Hallucinations might occur. Most mutants react quite differently than humans to medicinal injections. Never leave her side, she could be a little...self-destructive."
"What?" Warren almost shouted, startling Moira mid-writing.
Moira stopped her writing and pulled Warren to the kitchen, whispering. "You can never be too sure. Watch her."
Warren looked at the doctor for a moment and glanced behind to stare at Amelia. Her body was resting like a princess in a deep sleep. Her chest rising with each silent breath. He just wished he knew more. Why had she reacted so calmly to the treatment like this? Everything was one big question and he just wanted it all answered and put to rest. Warren sighed after looking at her another second. His eyes fearful of any second now with her. He gulped but nodded as he turned back to the doctor.
"I will. Thank you." He said gently, meaning every word.
Moira slowly nodded giving a small smile. She shared his look and couldn't help but ask. "Do you know the gull?"
Warren instantly looked to the ground, his face flushed, his mind flustered. "I—"
Moira cut him off. "It's OK. I understand. Please contact me once you see anything. It is vital."
When Warren gave a crooked smile as the doctor began to walk to the front door to leave. Warren turned around to gaze at the bed as he heard the door close in the background. Now what? Seeing her like this was a terrifying image. His eyes were calling out to her as if she could hear him telepathically. It wasn't the case here. His eyes danced up her body to her wrists, dangling from the top of the bed post just as he left it.
Instinctively he reached inside his pockets and fished out a small key. At this point maybe it was safe to remove the restraints. Possibly it would make things easier for her, and him. He calmly walked to the left corner of the bed, kneeing down so he was close to her. Her elongated lashes resting atop her checks like soft pillows. She looked completely relaxed. The sedative was doing its job so far. Was it safe to unlock the cuffs? He wrestled with the idea it for a second.
He shook his head quickly and reached to fit the key into the lock, gently unhooking both her wrists and began to lay both hands at her sides. He placed the cuffs inside his pocket in case something dire arose. The words "self destruction" circled his mind repeatedly as he brought both her hands to rest near her hips. He held one limp hand and let the other one go. His eyes came to her face, perspiration droplets sliding down the sides of her face as her skin tone still held a reddening shade. He looked to the bathroom for a moment as he thought of something.
He slowly unlaced his fingers from her hand and got halfway up the floor only to be pulled back in place.
She was awake. Her fingers took back their place and her eyes started to open, a soft pink dripping from them.
"Don't leave my Prince."
"Stay with me." Amelia leaned closer to Warren. She looked at him curiously, her fingers reached to trace his face, corners of his jaw until she touched his lips.
He cleared his throat but the words still came out raspy. He stumbled a little. "Wait here. I'll be right back." He tried to slip away from her hold and only managed to pull away slightly.
"You said you wouldn't leave. Why are you leaving?" She looked up at him, her eyes wide and young.
He sat on the edge of the bed looking from the ground to her eyes. "I'm not leaving." His eyes shot to the clock on the nightstand. "It's late. Stay here, I'm just going to get you a rag."
Amelia raised her eyebrow. She pulled his body closer to her and licked her lips. "I don't need it. I need you."
Warren moved to her ear. "I'm not leaving you. I promise. Please stay here."
When he slowly pulled away he noticed her eyes closing. He used this as his moment to slip his hand from hers and back away from the bed.
"Come back to me my Prince." There was that word again. Maybe she really was imagining things, he thought.
Warren quickly dodged out of the room and went to the linens to grab a small cloth. When he soaked it under the cold water he began thinking about what Moira said. He started to worry about all the ramifications attached to Amelia now. Who was she? What was she turning into? He couldn't help but feel this was his fault.
He closed the tepid water and squeezed out the rag until it was semi damp. He was so worried now he could barely stand without quivering. Who knows what he really did to her? He thought of the consequences before, but she was dying. He just had to. His heart gave out when he saw her. She was so close to leaving, he could feel it. He didn't have much time to think about it he just did it. But now, she's…it was almost like she absorbed his abilities nearly making them a part of her. He could feel her strength nearly overpowering his when she struggled. This wasn't possible.
Of course it may have been possible but then that would mean she would also have the gift of absorption; a rare genetic mutation not even known to the mutant community. You hear stories here and there of people, but it was always rumor. There was a girl in Mississippi on the news that still raises eyebrows and now she is a runaway; the police were still looking for her after they found her boyfriend contracting seizures.
Warren shook his head hard. If Amelia had this special kind of ability then it needs to be protected. She needs to be protected. Hopefully Dr. MacTaggert will know more through the DNA testing. It's the only way to dissect the real issue and bring about some answers in a sea of multifaceted confusion.
Amelia began to moan suddenly and turned her face slightly over. Warren stared at her once again, the cloth making his hands a prune-like texture as he took a deep breath. He had never been so scared of anything in his life. Approaching her again would have to be subtle. He didn't know what to expect from her, he may possibly have a fight on his hands. He had to be careful.
He approached her still frame as quietly as he could. Her face titled, she opened her eyes, a sparkling pink streamed out. He hoped the color wasn't tied to worry.
"Hmm, I don't want you to leave. Come…sit here." She said gently, trying to move down to make room for him.
Warren watched her. He kept his head down and prayed softly until he felt it OK to look up. The rag in his right hand made it feel numb. He almost dropped it when he noticed he was hanging on by the edge. "Amelia I—"
He looked up and stared into her eyes, now a soft, flickering blue. Oh no, she could change again quickly. He shut off the lamp suddenly, cleared his throat, threw the rag on the side and crawled next to her tranquil body. His wings were tucked out of the way; he didn't want to take any chances. The clock read 2:33am. Warren's mind felt burned out. All he really wanted to do was rest. It was a good thing she was calm enough to commit. He hoped he didn't have to worry about any more episodes for the remainder of the night.
When he situated himself finally in a comfortable position, she crawled right into the empty space. She could be feeling the drowsiness from the injection. Either way, he felt just as drained. She clung to his chest as if she might break if she let go. He held her closer when he felt her even breathing. His body finally begun to repose with the rhythm of her melodic senses.
He knew there was so much to explain, so much to worry about. Come morning that is...He knew the barrage of questions that will spill from her mouth when she would open her eyes. He could sense her worry. They are connected now. Blood to blood. Mind to thoughts. Warren had felt empathy for others before but never like this. Amelia awoken something inside him that he can't get passed.
He wanted to be her protector, and if anyone knows Warren, he always protected his friends.
The chirps of the crisp morning crackling brought in a new sensation. New York wasn't meant for such serenity. It was so out of place even the room didn't agree with the atmosphere.
Warren and Amelia lay in each others arms the entire night. Amelia was sound asleep almost to the point of comatose. Her breathing was calm and steady. Warren managed what little sleep he could. Cradling Amelia gently as she clung to his body, he was first to remain mostly awake. He was on watch, the instinct he had to protect her growing stronger by the moments. He knew it was only a matter of time until she woke and the myriad of inquisitions would start. He was dreading the inevitable.
Amelia moaned slightly, her body moving in position. She groaned a little and took a soft breath, her body rising in his arms. Her eyes squeezed tight, signs of life coming to her slowly. She opened her eyes calmly. She moved a little, her head wrestled with a soft shooting pain suddenly, she couldn't hear, now she could. Her senses returning in bundles. She groaned as she turned over, her eyes closing and opening again. They began to focus. Her breathing steady, smooth. Her palm coming in contact with something warm and solid. She must be dreaming still.
She closed her eyes then opened them again. She yelped and shoved Warren's body with an invisible force against the wall, indenting the corner with deep cracks. Her hands in front of her, straying. Her eyes nearly bulging out of their sockets. She stared hard at her hands and barely noticed Warren standing up, his wings tucking back on his way up.
"What just happened?" Amelia exclaimed. She felt much crazier than she sounded.
Warren cleared his throat. He shook his head. It was clear she had his strength matched. He rubbed his face as he slowly approached the bed. Amelia appeared to be still in a hard trance. She wasn't sure what was going on; her body started to shiver. She'd never felt so powerful before. There was a surge of crazy strength seeping through her veins. Her blood was pumping extra harder now that all her senses have returned.
She was thinking so hard she didn't notice Warren slipping closer to her. She felt his heat, his blood. She could feel his feelings, nearly hear his thoughts. Strange voices coming out of nowhere.
"Why do I feel you?" Amelia asked, finally looking at him.
Warren's heart was racing and he knew she could not only feel it but he could feel hers racing even more. The blood rushing throughout her body, it was scared him.
"I don't know. I think, maybe you should calm down though. Until you learn how to control it better." He said gently.
Warren knelt down, looking at her. Her face was unreadable. "What if I can't control it? Oh my gosh, Warren, what if I hurt someone? I never felt this energy before. It's too powerful. Oh my god, what did I just do to you?"
He took both her hands, stiff and rigid in the attempt. She eventually eased, "I can help you, and I've dealt with this all my life. Trust me, I will help you."
"Where did I get it?" She narrowed her eyes on him. He looked nervous suddenly.
Warren swallowed hard. He knew this was going to surface. He placed hands over hers. "I should tell you something…"
Amelia began to cry, the worst thoughts formed in her mind. She grew afraid. Who is she? What is she? Why isn't he talking? "Warren, just tell me. I have to know. What happened that night?"
Warren suddenly couldn't see, he was blinking but his vision was blurry. He looked down; he knew he had to tell her. The look she gave him was breaking his heart, roughly. He hated it. He couldn't keep it in anymore. She had to know…
"You're a part of me now. Least, least I think so."
Amelia's mouth went dry as a cotton ball. She stilled. "What?" She wasn't sure if any sound actually came out.
Warren licked his lips, shut his eyes; his hold over her hands grew tighter. He never wanted to let her go. "Your blood was…you were basically dead before I could bring you to the hospital." He took a deep breath, "My blood has a healing ability, an antibody serum when mixed with the right blood type will heal the sick and injured, even deceased. When I mixed my blood with yours I felt your pulse, I mixed in more and I felt a heartbeat. But something happened. I think you temporarily absorbed my abilities. The doc is…trying to fix this."
Amelia hung her head to the side and squeezed his hand.
"Ahh." He said, slightly pulling away.
She looked down and panicked. She barely put much effort into it.
Her skin shivered, "What's happening to me? What am I?"
Amelia was shaking now, her strength fading by the seconds. She felt it pick up again. A look of worry spread across her features. Warren moved to the bed, sitting next to her. Amelia fell, leaning against his chest. She felt power, so much power she was about to implode internally. Being near him relaxed her. She calmed down slowly. She closed her eyes so tight she was sure her eye balls were fighting to protrude from their sockets.
"I can feel it. This amazing power flowing through me… Feels like I was just reborn. What does it mean? What am I in your head? Why are you in mine?" She whispered against his body. She could feel his heart beat sing a strangled melody.
"We need to find out more about your blood. I promise you, I won't let you go through this alone." She nestled more comfortably against his chest; he felt her get more relaxed then the tight, needy hold she had on him before. Which in turn, made him feel ease.
They were silent for a few moments as they held each other. Amelia was wondering "why" for a lot of things. Why did he save her if she was already dead? She could still feel the glass piercing her skin like a hot knife cutting through cold butter.
"Because I had to, try." Warren said, clearing his throat, it shook her, making her turn to look at him.
He gazed gently into her eyes, "I just had to. I didn't know you but I needed you with me. I felt like I needed to protect you. I saw your scars and it was too much, I had to take a gamble. I held your body; you were already growing cold when I found you. I prayed your blood would be the right one."
"You should have left me there. I was already dead." She said bleakly.
"Please don't talk like that. I only wish I would have gotten there before you did anything."
"Warren, I still feel dead. There's life in me but it's not mine. It's yours." Her eyes looked deeply into his, boring a bright blue shade.
"It's ours. It's shared, but it's still your soul. I gave you a heartbeat but it was your blood that brought you back to life."
Amelia shook her head. None of this was making sense to her. She hated it. She hated not knowing why she didn't just die in peace.
"So what do we do now? I can't go outside like this. I may hurt someone or worse, kill them." She whispered the last words with remorse.
Warren pondered this for a moment. She was right; she couldn't exactly live a normal life anymore. Not that it was easier before with her main abilities. Now that she acquired his abilities and couldn't control them, she needed to stay put until Moira comes up with some answers. He had to watch her closely.
"Like I said, I will help you in whatever you need. Having to live with my abilities isn't the easiest thing to do, but it's all I know. It's unfortunate it happened this way but I promise you, we'll find a way to deal with it. I don't know the extent of your DNA coding. I think there may be a gift of absorption through plasma binding. Either way, I won't leave your side."
Amelia took in a shaky deep breath; it hurt because she was holding in all of her air when he talked. Her mutant abilities ran deeper than she thought. "Well, now you don't have to show me what it feels to fly."
Warren smiled gently, his arms coming around her frame, holding her firmly, like she belonged there. "I don't want you to feel alone in this. I mean it. I've had to deal with hiding who I was with everyone I knew. It's a scary world. It's not the end. It's just—"
"What if things get too hard? What if I start to lose myself in all this? My iris prism was hard enough to live with. I had to wear sunglasses everyday, and that wasn't the worst of it. I would have nightmares about what the world would do if they found out. Don't you worry about that Warren?"
Warren moaned, kissing the top of her head. He pulled away and laid his body on his side of the bed, his wings tucked to the sides. He motioned for her to come next to him; he was beginning to feel slightly cold without her near. She crawled next to him, leaning on his answer.
He sighed, the fatigue he was suddenly feeling strained his thoughts as he spoke. It was now creeping up with him but he forced himself to stay awake.
"I worry about a lot of things. A few people close to me know my secret and I trust them. I have to. They take care of me, and I need it. My father could care less what I do with my life, as long as I don't walk around freely like this. For the most part he'd protect me if they wanted to try anything. I do get scared. All the time."
"But this doesn't scare you, why? I'm just a stranger. How do you know I won't hurt you?" She locked eyes with him.
"You won't will you?" The corners of his mouth curving.
"Warren, come on. This is dangerous, keeping someone you don't know in your home. We don't even know what I'm capable of. How much of your strength I actually…absorbed." It was foreign to say the word out loud.
"I have to say it is pretty damaging to my ego that someone else may be stronger than me. Other than that, I don't think there is anything you can throw at me that I can't handle."
Amelia laughed softly. "I'm not proud of this you know? I could give it back if I could. I don't know where it's coming from but, I have a lot of self-control. I can't believe I can really fly. My heart feels like it wants to soar 20,000ft in the air. My body feels light. I feel stronger by the minute."
Warren looked at her for a long moment. He'd never seen a mutant to this degree. He didn't know what he was getting himself into, truth be told. He couldn't let her know that. He had to reassure her things will be fine. Inside he was a scared man. The look she gave him was not making him feeling this way any easier. Warren held her hand, lacing his fingers with hers.
"I can handle it." He whispered, he meant it but there was a twinge of fear that attached itself to those words.
"You're a trusting person. I don't trust anyone. How do you do it so easily?"
"Because—I don't know, it's hard for me too. It's not the easiest thing but, my life is crazy hectic anyway."
"And I just added to all the crazy." Amelia blushed, looking down. She was serious, if he was serious about helping her, it would be a burden for him to deal with.
Warren smirked, his eyes sparkled, "Won't be boring. Like I said, don't worry about me so much."
"But, what about your life? I mean, what about your plans? I mean—I don't have anything to give you, no money…"
Warren's brow furrowed. She didn't know who he was. She didn't know of the last name. This was a first. He wasn't used to people not assuming he came from money.
He leaned over and kissed her forehead gently. His hands came to her face, caressing her cheeks. "I will take care of you. Money isn't a problem. You need help and I am here for you. Everyday. For as long as you need me."
Amelia shook her head, closing her eyes, tears falling down instantly. "It can't be that easy. How do you do that? Warren, I can't do this to you. I have nothing to give back to you."
She tried to get up but he caught her. "It's not about me getting something from you. I know that you need me. I will help you. You can't do this alone Amelia. I won't let you."
Amelia pulled back even stronger; she sure was a match for his strength. She may just as well shove him against the wall again. But she couldn't hurt him. She restrained herself.
"But it's not an obligation. I just can't. I can't put you through this. It's too much to bare." She tugged her body from his hold but it was no use, he had her cornered. Locked. Trapped.
"Amelia stop this. You're a part of me. I can't ignore that. I can feel your heart." He leaned his head against her chest. "Your good heart. I can't—can't live without this. Please don't push me away. I will only pull you harder, even if your strength overpowers me."
Amelia took back her grip; she wasn't going to slip so easily. "You don't know what you're actually pulling. I could hurt you, you don't want this. You deserve happiness. I can't let you put yourself through my mess."
"I know what I'm doing." He whispered. His hold on her tightened as he felt her get an even stronger grip. He could felt her breathing, it was weakening. He didn't want to do this but it needed to be done.
Amelia pushed back. She knew she might hurt him even a little but he was making it so difficult for her to break free. Why won't he see what this could do this him? "I can't struggle against you anymore. Please let me go."
"Don't fight me. I'm all you got. You have to believe me. I am not scared of you." He said, leaning his entire body weight on her in-case she slipped away again.
"Warren…" Amelia panted. She looked in his eyes. Beautiful azure and sky sparkles shining back at her. Nothing but heaven. "You should be, I am."
Warren collapsed against her body. He gave out and hugged her body close. So close she was sure her circulation was beginning to dissipate. "I can protect you. Don't be afraid. I could never hurt you. Never…never. I'll kill myself first."
Amelia broke down, her arms eased. They were connected, much more than she thought. In every way now. "Don't talk like that. I'm no one. I was no one when I was born. I am still no one."
His hands on her body loosened only slightly. His body encasing hers, he was so scared she would leave. A piece of him would be gone. He didn't know why but he felt that way. "You're everything." He pulled away, his blond hair falling on her forehead. "You're too important."
She closed her eyes, the way he was looking at her made her dizzy. "I should…" She shook her head; it suddenly hurt to finish the sentence.
"Amelia, open your eyes. Please?" His voice broke, just a shade above a whisper. "Amelia?"
"I don't want to fight you anymore. I could hurt you but it's taking everything inside me to hold back that urge. I am dangerous Warren. I could hurt you and I don't want to." She kept her eyes down and closed. She couldn't stare into those eyes of his.
"Don't then…I told you, whatever you do to me will not stop how I feel. I am pulled to you. You matter to me."
Amelia finally opened her eyes, filled with salty water ready to fall down her cheeks. She dreaded spilling them. Crying was all she knew. All she felt most of her days. "I feel it too. God I feel it so badly. I can't bare hurting you. I can't…your soul, it's keeping me alive. Your heart, it's soft and beautiful."
Warren's body was shaking. No way was she feeling the same way too. It was almost as if she was the other half of him. She was in his head. His soul. His body. His heart. It was real. She may be stronger than he but nothing can be stronger than this. Than what they were both feeling, he was certain.
He fell against her body, his own growing weaker by the second. He didn't know why he was feeling this way but he was. It didn't scare him. Nothing scared him. Amelia sure couldn't. She finally opened her eyes. They were glassy, red, swollen but strong. "Don't hide it. I feel it too."
He took hold of her hands as he climbed off of her, "You need to have complete faith in me Amelia. This won't work otherwise. Even if you leave I would seek you out. We're linked."
Amelia sighed strangely. She felt him squeeze her hand. She knew it. She knew the truth. But gosh, he was being awfully blunt about it.
"I see so much honesty when I look at you. I've never known that before. You have to understand, no one has ever shown this to me. I've never had to trust anyone in my life. I scrapped through everything, everyday. I'm used to hiding. But I look at you, I see truth." She spoke softly. She inhaled a long breath. It was calmer than the others.
Warren observed her and her words. She was making heaps of sense now. It had nothing to do with him. "Look at me…"
Amelia slowly turned her body, her hand hanging onto his, she felt chills. She prepared for the worst as her eyes scaled up his body locking once again on his eyes.
"I have a strong need to take care of the people I care about. You are no different. You are my friend and you have my trust, you have all of me when you need me. Don't let pride and bad experiences stop you. I can truly help you through this. Trust me; just put your trust in me. I know it's scary, I know you have been terribly hurt, but not by me. I don't hurt the ones I promise to protect." He brought her hand to his lips and pressed his mouth against it gently.
Amelia looked down before a soft pink blush covered her entire face, eyes included. Her eyes were giving it away. "Sorry, old habit."
Warren grinned and brushed his hand along her flushed face. "I told you that was cool, didn't I?"
She bit her lip, her eyes glanced sideways. "I guess so. I'd say it's pretty neat to fly. I'd agree but I'm a little rusty."
He waved his hand in the air. "Takes a little practice to master. Soon, you'll be flying circles around me."
Amelia leaned more comfortably on her side. She glanced at the man before her. Not the mutant, but the man. The beautiful Adonis before her. Guys that looked half as good as he wouldn't give her the time of day. Her eyes scaled up his body, starting with his toes to his eyes. The man was physically perfect. She looked down at her own figure. They didn't come close to matching up. He could never desire her in that way.
"I guess time will tell. I'm sure you're a good teacher." She said, catching herself before she said more. Was she flirting? Another blush crept up.
Warren got a little taken aback by the statement but he didn't mind it one bit. It might mean she was a lot more comfortable around him than he thought. "I have all these years of experience. I'd say it's a lifelong career."
"If you ever write a book, let me know." She sunk into herself again. She had to stop doing that.
He laughed. He raised his eyebrows a bit smugly. "Good to know I have a fan base already."
Amelia rolled her eyes. She looked around his room in a few silent moments. "I've never had anyone take care of me. It's all so new."
"Come here." He motioned for her once again. Distance wasn't a good thing; she needed to be much closer.
She swallowed and moved a little closer to him. She was near his shoulder until he hugged her securely against his body. "Get used to it. This is New York. Life is tough for everyone. It's much more different for people like us. We have to unite in some way. I knew there were others with their own secrets too, I didn't think I would find them so soon. Or care for them this deeply."
She placed her hand on his naked chest. His heartbeat was staunch and melodic. "You make me feel so safe. Tell me this isn't too good to be true? If it is just wake me up right now."
He laughed softly, squeezed her firmly as he kissing the top of her head. "Have faith in me. I won't lose faith in you."
She almost relaxed against his body when a thought popped up. Would he mind? "Maybe I should, um, change out of these clothes."
Amelia sat up, looking at him. It seemed like his eyes were fixed on her. She tilted her head to the side.
"Warren? Are you alright?"
He grabbed his forehead, rubbing it. "Sorry, oh um, what was that?"
"Maybe I should let you sleep, I mean, well, I would want you to sleep. I was just saying perhaps I should change clothes but, I don't have any to spare." She played with the end of the scrubs top. She was thinking of her home and winced. Should she go back?
Warren immediately stood up and went to the dresser. He was sure there was something she could wear for now. He was thinking of something as he came out with a long T-shirt and sweat pants. "These are decent for now. I wish I had some ladies clothes here so…hey, why don't I go out and get you something?"
Amelia's eyes went wide as she stood up, nearly tripping off the bed. "Warren, wait. You're buying me new clothes?"
He shrugged as he pulled on his jeans and went to get his harness. "Why not? I mean, you don't have any, so, it helps. I mean, you are staying here, yes?"
Amelia opened her mouth to speak, but hesitated. Was she? This just got official. "Well, I mean, I wasn't going to run away."
"Good," he smiled as he pulled the straps across his stomach and over his wings. He tightened the straps in-case the winged-bones burst out randomly. "You're staying."
She was trying to make sense of what was going on now. She's staying in his home and now he's buying her new clothes.
"How are you doing that?" She stood, scratching her head.
He fastened the last harness strap and side glanced her way. "These things have Velcro and strong mental connectors."
Amelia laughed softly, "No, I mean, not that. How can you do so much for me just like that and expect nothing in return?"
Warren stopped and walked over to where she stood. "So I can see that pink shade again."
That triggered her eyes to glow that very shade. She flashed her eyes at him but narrowed them slightly. "That's the real reason?"
Warren sighed. "You should stay here. I want you here. I want to take care of you. It's all a part of you trusting me Amelia."
She swung his hand in hers. She laughed at how frivolous he was being with all this. It's so big and he's acting as if it was so simple.
She caught his eyes. "I'm getting there."
Amelia stepped out of the shower and into a soft, warm towel. She wrapped it snugly around her body and closed her eyes. She couldn't believe what her life has been like the last couple days. The fact that she was still here, breathing, coherent and complete with gifts that didn't belong to her was mind boggling enough. There was nothing she could do. He had to, he said. He saved her. The ramifications are all that follows now. The connection she felt with him was growing so strong she couldn't stop thinking of it.
She rubbed the back of her neck as she sat down on the end of the tub. Her body was warm, calm and soft. She felt vulnerable in just a towel. Warren insisted he make dinner for the two of them since she hadn't eaten much of anything in the last few days. She could manage something, if only to be genial in return for his hospitality. They were, after all, now living together. It was scary to admit that. But strangely, she didn't feel weird. This place felt like home to her more than her last one.
Warren appeared next to the bathroom door and knocked softly. He watched her for a moment through the crack of the door. He pushed it a bit more open for a clearer look. Her body was slanted to the side, head turned in deep thought. He noticed her appearance; he couldn't ignore the lack of clothing. If she was staying here, he was going to have to get used to seeing her like this. He looked down and blushed. "Hey, are you OK?"
Amelia took a few seconds to lift her head up. She pulled the towel a bit tighter; her body must look like a mess. "Hm? Oh, yes."
He looked at her again; it was almost like he was piercing her with his eyes. She pulled the towel even tighter.
"You know, you don't have to check up on me so much. I am pretty strong now." She blushed and smiled.
He liked this side of her. He knew there was a happy girl in there somewhere. He was fascinated to find out more.
"Dinner is nearly finished." He stated with comforting smile.
She smiled in the same manner, her eyes shined as she watched him, just the sight of him made her mind turn to mush. She liked looking at him, even if he wasn't particularly hers to look at. Warren would never see her in that light anyway. He was too immaculate to conceive it.
He cleared his throat. "I laid out your clothes on the bed. When you're ready…"
He hesitated a moment before leaving. She was being awfully quiet. He nodded, assumed she heard him and turned back on his heel.
"Warren?" She said his name. He froze and walked back to the door.
She stood up, her eyes slowly working their way to his. When they locked she smiled. She walked to him, her hair damp, towel clung to her body. She wrapped her arms around his neck in an embrace. She can't imagine living without doing this every day. It was hitting her. She needed him, badly. She really did. She needed somebody. Maybe this is how it was supposed to be. She felt his arms envelope her close. It made her relax; she didn't notice she was just in a towel.
"Thank you, so much." She whispered in his ear but she was sure she whispered the words against his neck. Her lips grazed the delicate skin when she closed her eyes.
When they pulled away, Warren drew in a deep breath. "I'll meet you in the kitchen."
Amelia smiled as she let go of his hand. She really liked holding his hand. It was something so simple, so pure. She watched him leave and finally let the breath she was holding out. Warren made her feel nervous. Not in that fearful way, but a more curious type of way. She had to be careful though. She was fairly sure this was a temporary situation. Her staying here. Once they figure out what's wrong and the doctor extracts the multiplied X-gene from her system, it's all over. She'll go back to her life. She goes back to the life of crazy fear, hiding and abusive fights with her father.
Amelia took her time getting ready. She knew Warren was waiting for her steadily. She wanted to take these moments in as if it were her last. It was slightly rude to delay but this life didn't happen to her often. She always felt as if she was meant to be alone. That her life already had a path and anything that affected it was a distraction. She grew up knowing that life in a solitary confinement was her curse. Warren was too good a man to take on her secrets. She doesn't even know how powerful she was. There was a sting of doubt that tugged at her. She knew he may not handle all the craziness.
She took off the towel, placing it to the side. After putting on her undergarments she grabbed the pair of jeans laid out on the bed. When she slipped into them, she noticed how well they fit. How did he know? She never wore anything fancy designer brand names. She wasn't even sure of her size half the time. How did he figure it out like that?
It was so silly she would be worried about this. It's just clothes. He didn't have to do this but he did. She told herself to get over it as she put on the blouse laid out. Another snug fit. She shook her head and sat down on the edge of the bed. This wasn't her home. She had to stop acting like she was a part of his world. She didn't fit in the fine corners of his days. He had a life. She had nothing.
She closed her eyes and lay down on his bed. The top covers were so soft she almost closed her eyes in the feeling. Who was she kidding? This doesn't belong to you. Stop it. She shouldn't get so comfortable too fast. Something good always has a limit in her world. Warren just doesn't understand how it works. There was a reason she was alone. Tears she became familiar with fell off the corners of her eyes. She pinched her eyes shut. Her time may be running out right now. She better bottle the emotions more, so he doesn't suspect anything.
She sat up and went to clean around her. She hung up the towel to dry and washed her eyes. She blew her nose just to make sure no hints of sorrow showed. It was important to contain herself as much as she could. It may very well be over today. She could do it. She could put on a show. No more crying. It needs to stop here.
When she dried her face she turned off the lights and walked to the kitchen. Sweet, spicy and salty flavors hovered around the dinner table. She didn't expect this to be so extravagant. But it was lovely. Her face softened when she saw Warren with his back turned busy preparing two plates. She came forward gently; she didn't want to startle him.
"Hey." She caught his eyes for a brief moment before he turned his attention back to the plates. "Do you need some help?"
She noticed he was wearing his overcoat on his wings. He took off his straps to cook. They were straining him and he thought it was inappropriate to sit at the dinner table with his wings spread.
"You can sit down. I am nearly done here. Go ahead." He motioned for her to the open chair at the head of the table.
Amelia nodded and quietly sat down. Thoughts from before were peeking into her mind but she barricaded them for now. She needed to control her urge to breakdown at the drop of a hat more eruditely. No one wants to see someone weak. They run, they don't look back. She told herself to keep it inside even stronger. Now with her new strength she can hopefully apply it to other places. Warren won't suspect anything.
She watched him turn around and bring the plates of pasta dishes to the table. The aroma was overwhelming. She was distracted by him. She kept looking at his body under the coat. It wasn't awkward until he caught her staring. She hid the pink shade again. It was becoming increasingly difficult to be stealth when her eyes glow what she's feeling. How was she going to do this? When she felt neutral they didn't glow. Around Warren, so many things were swimming throughout her nerves.
"You alright? I see that pink shade again. You don't need to be bashful around me."
She gave a stiff smile and bowed her head. "Everything is OK. I am just shaken by all this hospitality." She looked at him. "You've done so much for me."
Warren stifled a giggle. "You make it seem like I need a motive behind my actions. Do I really give you that impression?"
Amelia shrugged but shook her head.
"OK, so, we just have to teach you to trust me. I want to prove it to you, not just with words. I want to be there for you. I don't want you running away feeling lost. I don't know what happened in your past to make you so scared. But I know I want to change that." Warren reached to touch her hand across the table.
The pink glow was more prominent now. He still couldn't see as her head was still down. She licked her dry lips. "I know you do. Maybe we should just take things slow. I mean, I'm not going anywhere; you won't have to worry about me running away. Besides, I'm only a guest here."
"You're more than that Amelia." He said it faster than he could think.
Stop reading into it. He's only being friendly. Her over-analyzing mind just won't shut up.
She had to change the subject and fast. "What did you make?"
Warren realized she was burying the lead, some other time it would come up again. "Ah, it's just something I saw my mother make a few times. I watched her cook when I was younger. Her recipe was spicier. This one is mild. Spicy pesto shrimp pasta."
"I smelled it from the bedroom. Powerful smell. I kind of like spicy food."
He gestured to the fork she didn't touch yet. "Go ahead. I know it's cooled off now and that's the way I like it, when the temperature isn't too hot but warm and spicy. My mom made it that way always."
Amelia took the fork and rolled some pasta onto the utensil. She took a bite and closed her eyes. Warren waited for a reaction.
She opened her eyes and savored the taste. Her eyes glowing a neon orange. "Wow, this is, this is amazing. Have you tried it?"
"I was waiting for you. I'm glad you like it. Your eyes sure agree. I assume orange is a positive emotion?" He smirked.
"It's supposed mean excitement, fun and vigor. I read it once. But yeah it's pretty accurate. And thanks for reminding me." She took another forkful and dove another heaping portion.
"No problem. Your eyes not only changed but they grew bigger when you tried it. I thought it was linked to something like that."
"Wow, you notice all the little things." She said as she chewed a big portion of pasta.
Warren smiled as she did this. She looked incredibly cute talking with her mouth full. He had done it too but he'd never seen a woman do this before. For the most part when he went out on dates, the women always felt a need to impress, manners to the hilt, napkin on the lap, taking small sips and small bites. Sometimes even barely eating any of their meal; but more playing with their food as they were a lot more interested in him, or rather, his name than just being themselves and getting to know each other. He was more a prize than a person. Warren was aware of the fact that his physical appearance attracts a certain type of woman: the "tries too hard." No one ever sat down and enjoyed a nice meal anymore.
But this one was different. This was a nice meal, he would say a thousand times nicer than any fancy date he'd been on. All that intense line of questioning. For a lot of his life since he was a teenager, Warren always believed people really never cared to know the guy behind the Worthington bravado. There was a sly stigma attached to that name he couldn't quite shake. He tried terribly hard to. There wasn't much he could do but just deal with it.
With Amelia, he didn't need to worry so much. She didn't know who he was. He never did tell her anyway and he'd like to keep it that way. Warren was so tired of being judged by that name. He was more than just a future Fortune 500 cover boy.
"It's the little things I pay attention to. They eventually turn into big things." He took a big bite out of his garlic bread.
Amelia was too distracted. She was too busy trying to finish her meal she didn't hear what he said. "Hmm? I'm sorry, what was that?"
He shrugged, sighing within feeling amused. "I'm glad you're enjoying it. I made plenty if you want more."
Amelia sucked the last of the pasta in her mouth. She caught herself. She didn't realize she was in her own little world. She hadn't eaten and it showed. Hopefully he'd understand her lack of etiquette.
"Oh? Thank you. I think I'm good. Sorry about that."
Warren laughed. "Don't apologize for being hungry. Seriously, there's a lot left over. Don't feel you need to be polite all the time. I want you to feel satisfied."
"No it's just, the way I ate just now. I'm sorry. I feel like you're going to turn me fat, I mean, look at me." She looked at her body and frowned. How true that statement was in her mind.
"I am, what am I looking at?"
Amelia clucked her tongue, what did he just say? "Oh come on, I know no one is perfect, especially not me."
She totally didn't see what he saw. "I wouldn't be so certain."
Amelia let that sink in as if it were real. She was drowning deep into those words. Pretending again that it was meant for her. Those comments. That he wasn't just telling her what she wanted to hear. How does Warren say those complex phrases so matter-of-factly?
"What's perfection anyway? Not being a mutant? All I know about perfection is people still chase it. Just like life. We chase the things we want. Dreams, people, keep friends around. I don't feel so safe in that world. If life is there to be lived, I'd rather live it alone."
She hesitated before she stood up, and ran to the large balcony. She struggled with opening the doors. They weren't locked but she felt they were.
"So what are you going to do? Out there I mean, on your own?" She could feel him soundlessly walking close behind her.
Amelia shook her head, pulling the doors open. A gentle breeze whisking inside the room. She just wanted to be free. But where? Going back to her old life? The world she so desperately tried to escape?
"I can handle it. These powers are just temporary. Like feeling safe, invading someone's life. You deny this now but, you don't see the big picture."
Warren's fingers came on top of hers covering the handle. "I know you can't handle it."
Her over-thinking mind plunged into overdrive now. How did he know this? What if she could? What if things were to change just like that? What if she could step off this bridge and fly away? And keep flying? The destination awaits her. Calls to her. Wants her to reach for it. Binds her to the last, if any, will she had left.
"You don't know any of this. You don't know me. You think you do…but, you'll never know." She said while closing her eyes.
"Don't do this to yourself Amelia. This is a choice. You shouldn't have to live this way. Be in so much pain. I could feel your heart, it's squeezing. I know you truly don't wish for this. None of us do. We should stay togeth—"
"Don't say it. Don't begin to try and understand. I tried it once I can do it again."
Warren forced her to turn around, grabbing her elbow. "No, you don't mean that."
Amelia swallowed hard. "I have to kill these thoughts. I need to make them go away. I tried to that night…you should have left me—"
"No. You don't know what you're saying. Life doesn't have to be this way."
Amelia pushed him back, she didn't want to push hard but he stumbled back. "I can't be what you want. I'm not going to give in. I had a plan and you ruined it. It's not right to keep me alive when all I want to do is make it stop."
Warren gripped her with an iron hold. "Life is ugly. It's not perfect. I've learned this every day. It's shitty. Sometimes I want to kill myself. You have no idea what I did to myself when I first found out who I am. How many times I wanted to end it. I've been where you are."
She narrowed her eyes, they were glowing a bright red. She said nothing, she couldn't disagree with him. He continued.
"When I didn't trust anyone I felt so alone. I wanted everything to go away. All the hurt, nothing would change. But I made it. I had to. I believed there was more to life than being afraid. I cried all the time. I never told anyone this but I did. I didn't love myself. I hated what I was. Who I was... I didn't know what I was doing. How fast it could be over like that. I needed to trust. I have to, without it I was dead. There's no guarantee we're coming back."
Amelia shoved Warren hard against the wall. Her eyes appeared to have an optic red beam surging out. She was raging now. "Stay away from me."
Warren stumbled, his body leaning up against the wall. That time it was rough. His thoughts were cloudy, body nearly shutting down. He slumped over. She really pushed him with a force he wasn't familiar with. His brain was grew heavy, eyelids followed.
Amelia charged forward. Her mind was on a one-track road. She held the door handles onto the balcony wide open. She looked behind her where Warren laid against the wall with his head cocked to the side. She pulled the handles off the balcony doors. She was torn, distracted, lost and ferociously angry.
She dropped the handles and ran over to him. He still lay motionless. His body looked spent and tiresome.
"Oh my god. What did I do? Warren, are you there? Come on, wake up. Please. Don't leave me, stay, please stay." She held his limp hand and brought her hand to his cheek; his wings were just as hobbled.
"Warren? Please, wake up. Stay with me." She whispered, hugging his body close. She pulled his body up.
She carried him over to the couch. Her heart raced. Palms sweated. She dreaded what she did. She looked at him; he lay motionless against the corner of the couch. If she could take it all back she would. She was afraid to touch him. Afraid to look at him. She didn't belong here. Look at the mess she made.
She fell against the coffee table, hitting her back barely phased her. Her lips quivered as she gazed at his face. He was so beautiful. How could she hurt someone so gentle? All he did was try to help. She looked at her hands and wished she was dead. Again. All over again. After all the progress made…did she want to die?
"I don't know what to do anymore. I can't leave you. It feels like I'm trying to but I just can't. I can't leave you alone." Her vision started getting sugary when more tears surfaced.
She took his hand and leaned against it. She heard groans, not hers; it was coming from above her hand. She lifted her head up and saw Warren coming to. She started shivering. More groans came as his hand held his forehead, pinching it. He took a deep breath and opened his eyes slowly.
Warren took a long moment to process where he was. It felt as if his head was tenderized by a large object, repeatedly. He grabbed the top of his head and blinked his several times, trying to focus. "Shit…what, what happened? Ugh, what's going on?"
Amelia smiled inside. He was OK; she was so worried of the worst happening. She backed away from him. She watched him watch her. He recognized her and moved his body to sit up. Steady and slowly he motorized.
"Warren, I don't know if I should be near you." Her voice shook as she watched him reanimate.
He ran his fingers through his hair. He bent down, his head facing the floor. "Wow…I feel like I've been hit by an oncoming truck." He took his time calming his thoughts and looked up as he squinted. "Are you alright?"
He was more vulnerable than she and he was asking her if she was OK? That didn't make sense. She couldn't leave but she was afraid to stay. She could have killed him just now and she didn't want to take the risk. She moved further away even though he was sitting down still rubbing his temples.
"I-I don't think you are. I was worried about this." She backed away to the corner of the room and sunk her body down.
Warren thought for a moment. When the ringing in his ears subsided he tried to stand up. His body slowly warbling as he walked closer to her.
He knelt down as she turned her face into the corner of the room. "Look at me, please; I need you to look at me."
Amelia felt him try to take her hand in his. She was shaking. How is it that he wasn't scared of her after all this? She didn't understand why she wasn't shunned out instantly. "I can't."
Warren became brave and moved closer. He knew she wouldn't budge so he tried to move her stiff body gently to face him. "I forgive you. I'm OK. Please look at me now."
"Warren…I—" She paused and looked around. The room seemed to get darker suddenly. Her eyes moved until they landed on Warren. She briefly glanced into his eyes. "How can you still want me here? Why am I here? I already hurt you—"
"You didn't. I told you, I am fine. Look…" He sighed deeply and moved even closer. "You're here because you need to be. Because I want you here."
"It could get worse." Amelia wiped her eyes before anything fell. "I never felt a rage inside me like this." She moved her eyes to his. Those ice blues shining like icicles dangling off a window pane. "I could have killed you—"
"You didn't. Amelia, you didn't do anything wrong. It's this urge in you, it gets you to do these things. You have no control over it. It's not you, it's my blood. I know because I suppress those feelings too. They are powerful. We have to figure what is going on. I promise I will help you find the answers."
She breathed in deep. "But what are the questions? Do I want to know these answers? I feel so much power in me it's about to burst. Warren I don't know what I am capable of. Why aren't you like the others? You could have let me go. You could have…"
Warren brought her hand to his lips, pressing them firmly on her fingers. "Because I know what's like to feel like this. Confused. Out of place. Every second, and you don't scare me. My injuries heal quickly. I can't let you go. I can't let a piece of myself go just like that."
"Do you mean that?" She ask as he blushed. Through a sullen expression Amelia smiled sadly. "For some reason I don't fully believe that."
He felt her loosen her body finally and moved a bit closer to wrap his arm around her shoulders. "It feels that way anyway. We are connected through my DNA. I can sense your emotions and you mine."
"That could be a huge burden." She bit her lip, looking at him.
Warren thought for a moment. All this waiting and more waiting. What if the doctor doesn't have an answer? Still, he remained an optimist.
"What if it's not permanent? The doc knows more about this stuff than I do. I'm still not letting you out of my sight."
Amelia smiled; she settled herself in his arms. "So we just wait? I still think, oh god. I don't know what to think. We have so many questions; I only wish it would be easy to push back this rage. I feel like even the slightest anger pushes my limits. Warren what if—"
"I don't believe you have the complete power to take me down." He paused, laughing slightly. "My body can withstand enormous amounts of pain. I really wouldn't worry if I were you so much."
She cleared her throat. "The fact that I could inflict pain is horrific. I don't want to hurt you. I want to hurt everyone else. All those people who made life so difficult for me, in school, my friends and people I tried to trust. I want to hurt them. Not you. I want them to feel 10 times what I've felt since I was born."
"Revenge is never a good thing to hold onto. Trust me when I say it's like drinking poison and you have a hard time seeing out of the fog."
Amelia hugged him tighter as he said this. He was right, everything he said made perfect sense. How did he know so much about this? Maybe because they both in some way have to hide who they really are behind covers. Why would he ever want to hide who he is? She relaxed against the heat off his chest. She could feel his heartbeat pound against her temple placidly, so rhythmically. She felt so safe lying like this. So much warmth coming from his body, it was lulling her thoughts. She felt herself dosing off.
The intense quietness of the room did wonders to calm them completely. Amelia thought during this solitude about something so simple. Something she's always wanted to do but never could.
"I want to see clearly for once." She whispered, burying her head further inside his coat.
Warren chuckled softly. "Well you're not gonna see it from there."
Amelia licked her lips, slowly looking up at him. She felt goose bumps covering her arms.
"It will be clear."
Amelia brushed her fingers along Warren's cheek. She smiled as she traced his jaw line. She scanned his face, he was hiding it but he was scared too. He couldn't admit this because he was protecting her. She couldn't look too long in his eyes. There was so much truth staring back at her she couldn't take it. He caught her hand suddenly. She looked at his hand holding hers.
"If I run you'll find me. I'm not going to run." Her eyes cast aside, she couldn't show him her eyes; they were to raw.
He turned her face toward his. He hated seeing her like this. He wanted to erase all her pain.
"I'll always find you. You don't need to—"
She moved closer to his face, brushing her lips against his. He brushed back, making sure. Her breathing sped up. She opened her eyes, moving closer.
The phone rang. They pulled apart in silence. Warren looked to the receiver. He glanced at her and slowly stood up. The phone rang a 5th time before he went to answer it.
"Warren, it's Moira. I have some news about your mutant."
Amelia froze. The only thing she could move was her eyes. Warren had his back turned. His loose feathers twitching at the hem of his coat. She didn't have time to think about what they almost did. The urgency in Warren's voice was enough to make her body straighten, her throat tighten to the point of being alert. She'd heard half of the conversation. She didn't want to eavesdrop so she forced her attention to look around his place. She noticed there were still plates on the dinner table. They were used and empty.
She walked over silently to the table, taking the empty plates up. She could busy herself with cleaning the table. Anything to calm down her unsteady emotions that were brewing at the surface. Warren shouldn't have to deal with every second of her antics. She carried the plates to the sink and began rinsing them. She had to distract herself for what's to come. Was she ready? Was she ever ready? She managed to wash the dishes with shaky hands.
She shut off the faucet and stared at the sink. Things were never going to get better were they? Maybe they were. That was really quick of the doctor to get back so soon. She seemed to know everything. Amelia's mind went wondering again. She held the edges of the sink to keep from falling. Her hands were wet and slippery, Warren's voice drowning out in the background. Her throat went dry, her heart started racing again. Was it a human heart? Was she completely human? She didn't know. What if Moira didn't know? Was it wrong to listen in on the conversation? It had everything to do with her after all. Her thoughts drifted on Warren suddenly.
Warren was involved, even more than she wanted. She really didn't know him. She almost…she was glad it didn't happen. Glad? Maybe glad wasn't the right word. Relieved? Maybe not. But one thing remained certain. She was so close to it. She could taste it. Him…when her lips brushed his it felt like fire. All her emotions were on overdrive. She could feel her heart pumping so hard it was beating against her skin. She willed it hard to quiet down. She could feel his breath brush upon her skin. Felt like a dream. Warren seemed too good to be true. Like an illusion, he was magic. Like one person could make all the difference. This whole situation, it's not going to be fixed with one phone call.
But nothing in life lasts forever. Disaster was what she knew. Anger, hurt, emotional drainage, this was what feels normal to her. Her mentality right now at this moment was beyond confused.
She could remember far back an incident, one of many, when her father chastised her harshly for coming late from school. She told him a true story of her tormentors but she still felt the brunt of his fist. He would chase her, hold her down and smack her with an open fist for hours straight. She could remember the look his face during the abuse. It was surreal. A possessed demon conjured up from a pure essence of evil. She shook her head. No more. She wasn't going to do this to herself. Bring up these memories. They weren't her memories. She had no control over the things being done to her. She never knew control. All she lived in was fear and self-mutilation behind closed doors.
With Warren, the mutant, the man, the angel, her angel, can she finally let go of years of psychological damage? She's never sat still. Never felt her heart beat at a normal pace. Was it OK? There was hardly a placid moment of calming inhalation. Being around Warren made her feel light. Her shoulders didn't feel so heavy. Her body relaxed, her muscles calm. There were no aches and pains present. She just was, she was there.
She heard him whisper behind her. She gulped and closed her eyes. When she opened them she looked at her hands holding the edge of the counter. The whites of her knuckles returning to a flesh-colored tone once again the more she eased on the pressure. She was back in her body. She was alive. She wasn't alone. She slowly turned around; Warren was inches away from her.
He held out his hands, she looked over them. They were pretty, soft and familiar. He made sense. She put her hands on top of his. She dropped them suddenly and pulled him into a tight embrace. "I don't care what happens. I don't want to know anything. Don't tell me."
He groaned softly, his arms firmly finding themselves around her frame. "Don't worry about it. I'm here. I'm not going anywhere."
When they pulled away gently she wiped her eyes, she knew they were red but burning a cobalt color simultaneously. "I'm such a mess."
She laughed as more tears came out. She dared to look at him. He watched her closely. "Maybe you needed to do this. Get it all out. All the emotions just let it out."
"How much time do you have?"
He looked behind her and pretended to check the clock. "Indefinite amounts."
She rolled her eyes as they changed back to the pink he affirmed was his favorite. "Translation: 2 hours."
"Come on." He brought her to the living room and sat on the couch, she sat next to him but at a small distance.
The glow stopped in the dark room, they were nearly looking at each other in a pitch black setting. Amelia moved to get comfortable. Her body attempted to calm down.
Several moments had passed where nothing was said. Amelia was just getting used to the silence when—
"Why were you crying just now?" He asked. She felt him hold onto to her a little tighter.
"Oh…" She stammered. She didn't know how to begin.
"It's OK. You don't have to talk about it if you aren't ready."
Amelia grew stiff slightly; she leaned back onto the couch and started to sink herself. "Well...when I remembered where I was I felt better."
Warren laced her fingers to his, smiling and looking down. She may not be ready to talk. He won't push her. It has to come naturally. "I'm here to listen if you want to talk. I heard you before. You sounded so hurt. I was wondering who hurt you."
Amelia bit her lip. Her eyes were adjusting to the darkness in the room. Crawling out of her personal darkness was the bigger challenge.
"It's not just one person. It's everyone. For a long time it was my life—it became worse everyday. I felt like I just didn't belong…in life. I had no worth. Everybody around me let me know that."
"It's only true if you believe it. You know that right?" He rubbed the back of her hand with his thumb. "It's not true," Every syllable clear and only for her ears. He moved close to whisper in her ear, "You matter…to me."
Amelia shivered. His words were cutting her deep; almost to the core. "Warren we barely know each other. It's not possible."
He watched as a sky blue tint seeped from her eyes, she was afraid. Inside and outside too. Warren was no psychologist but he knew what being there meant. He ached for her. He wanted to drain all her pain and maybe then she might trust again. If she's open and willing. But he could tell at the same time, she was vulnerable yet concrete strong. She knew how to protect herself, she knew it well. He sensed her body might pull away any second. He wanted to break her in the best way. Slowly begin to shatter those walls she held as a shield over her mind.
"Sure it is. This is what it means to care for a friend; unconditional loyalty. Let me inside, please. Believe in what you think is impossible. Believe in me."
Amelia felt blinded. All she knew about people, all people gets erased by a few words? She didn't know how to believe. What does it mean to bare your heart? Did she have a real heart in this body? Why does it stand so still now?
She grabbed her forehead. The impossible? A lot was impossible to her, had been that way since she was born. Running, hiding, scrapping by on what little semblance of self she had left. Those were the impossibilities she grew used to. She sunk into her very own oblivion. She was meant to fight and keep fighting. Why was he looking at her like that?
"Amelia, look at me."
"Because I asked you to."
"My scars are healed, the physical ones. You can't handle the rest of me."
"Let me be the judge of that."
"Takes a lot more than courage to bare what I've been through. You can't begin to accept that."
"What if I can? You can't throw away any chances."
"Warren, I have no more emotional strength left."
He breathed deeply. She sure was a stubborn one. He thought he wore the crown in that department.
"Your emotions are overflowing. It's purer than anything I've ever felt. You still have a purpose."
"It's temporary. When it goes away so will I."
"I don't think I'll ever forget this. I can't let it go."
Amelia swallowed harshly. He was digging deeper. She could feel the walls she built so hard around her heart start to crack. He really didn't know what he was getting himself into. "Warren, you can't know this. I won't let you get hurt."
"You don't have to face everything alone every time. I said I wasn't going anywhere and I mean that. Please trust me. Loyalty is eternal. It's a promise I keep. My friends mean everything."
He was obviously trying to make her feel at ease and smile. It was working, only slightly.
"You know, you say these things to me. You say them with so much conviction. Again, I don't know how you can trust that I won't be a complete danger to you. It's not that easy."
Warren looked at her briefly then looked away. He still couldn't give a direct response to that honestly. Reassuring her was the best he's got for now. He doesn't know a damn thing about her state. Mentally, physically, he can handle her emotions. Her blood mixing in with his made them both feel empathy toward the other.
"I wish…" He looked at her as he said this. He wanted her full attention. "I wish you aren't, very strongly. I'm not going to lie here and say everything is fine. But I'm willing to find out what's causing it."
"I'm a freak that's what's causing it."
Warren sighed deeply, "No, if that was true I would be one too."
She blushed and caught her breath before speaking. "I didn't mean it that way. I guess we both know what it's like to hide from the world behind covers."
Warren smirked looking down. "Sometimes I like to unstrap myself and fly up the Brooklyn Bridge, sit on top and enjoy the view. That's my favorite part of being who I am. No one bothers me. It's nice."
Amelia was quiet for a few moments. "How high can you fly?"
Warren twitched his features. "What?"
She looked down, some pinkness returning to her cheeks reaching up to her eyes. "How high you can actually fly?"
"Um, I don't know how high…I don't think I kept track."
Amelia shifted her body into a more relaxed position. "I have this power and I don't know how to control it."
"In time I did. I didn't always know how to handle it."
"When you first saw your wings, how did you feel?"
A flash appeared in Warren's memories. It was a bright light that blinked to a scene when he was a young boy. A full-length mirror showing his true nature. His eyes even at that age knew he wasn't like everyone else. He knew it. His world started changing.
He came back to himself. He looked at her once again, clearing his throat.
He looked down as he answered as if she could make out the anguished expression on his face. "I was scared. I didn't know what the world would think of me. Would they ever accept me? What about my dad? What will that do to him? It's crazy I'm still asking these questions. My role in life is different from everyone else. We have these secrets, who we are, the true nature, and yet, we feel so inferior to everyone else. People who aren't like us, they have no idea what it's like. I was so concerned about everyone else I put my emotions, my opinions; my life away like it meant nothing. I realize looking back on everything, I had it wrong. We are who we are for a reason. I don't know what it is but I feel like I was meant to fly. I was made for flying."
Amelia soaked in every last word he spoke. Was she doomed to always be afraid of who she is? It seemed like now she wasn't alone.
"Why do you feel you were meant to be this way? Do you think we're meant for something more?"
Warren's eyebrow bundled together. "I know I can't walk out completely like this but I feel like one day I will. I know I will. People are open-minded to anything when they aren't afraid of change."
Amelia moved closer to him with the last few words. How did he so accurately define something so general? Should people be afraid of them? Growing up, everyone was afraid of her, even she was. School wasn't much help. She had to wear sunglasses all the time because of the daily torment that would take place.
She couldn't catch the tears that fell off her cheeks dropping on her jeans.
"I want to believe that so badly. People can't see passed their fear. My faith isn't so strong, I wish it was. I want it to be."
Warren could feel her tears; he didn't touch her face but gripped his hold on her hands more firmly. She surprisingly pulled herself closer to his body, resting her head on his chest. The feeling was like no other. She nearly closed her eyes to his warmth.
"Tell me what she said."
"Moira?" He raised an eyebrow.
"Well…" he trailed off on purpose. He had to be delicate about his next words. "There's good and bad news."
"Bad first." She cleared her throat, lifting her body off his and sinking deeper into the cushions of the couch.
"The Doc isn't quite sure what's encoded into your DNA. She was in the middle of a test and called to say the experiments weren't clear. It's going to take more time. I'm sorry."
Amelia swallowed slowly with some difficulty. What if they never find out? It's possible, to be stuck not knowing. The world gives you clues but no sound answers.
"And the good news?" She looked up, eyes beaming in baby soft blue. She couldn't hide her worry, only wear it.
Warren took both her hands, kissing them. "It's only temporary. The binding. Your secondary mutation, the absorption; your blood reveals strangely so little. The doc thinks it's deeper than this. But we know it's not forever."
If it's temporary then the connection between them will be lost too. He would forget her, about all of this. She would go back to living in fear of the next moment and the ones that follow. It wasn't safe and she knew this. But he wouldn't want her around…her messy situation. Why would anyone want to try to help someone who remains eternally doomed? Deep down. She knew it would happen and it was just a matter of time.
Hearing that word…temporary. Just like her life. Exactly how long do the good things seem to last? Everything has an expiration date. No shortage of times, good ones straying in long term.
She stood up, her glassy eyes hidden from view, but the bits of her neon colors were oddly prominent in the dark.
Warren went to turn on the night lamp. He could see she was having trouble with this. He would be too if he just heard they don't know what you are exactly. The bad news out weighted the good. It's not fair. She deserved to know. He wished he could give her more. She felt lost, confused and helpless. That wasn't the answer she expected.
"I'm sorry, Amelia. I thought it might help. I guess it-there's more that needs to be done. I feel awful."
She started to feel dizzy; a beginning headache was tugging at her mind, her body unwilling to comply. It was too strong, she couldn't take it. A jolt flushed her nerves. Her body suddenly flung itself outside passed the balcony. She was flying higher, faster than before, speeds nearing past 70 mph. Her body flew out of control; she hardly had time to think. Her eyes bursting streams of red from her iris.
"Warren?!" She felt her shoulders being pulled and she clutched his bare chest.
The dark overcast of the night sky made it difficult for him to see clearly, she was flying much higher than last time. It was a good thing his powers had a limit on her. She can't control her spurts. Though the unpredictability still terrifying him.
"Hold onto me, you're pulling away. I can feel you slipping."
Amelia swerved and grasped, her hands attempting to cling onto him in any way she could. Her heart sped to an enforcing rate. Her blood pumping harder, so hard it was making her skin freeze over.
"Warren!" She exclaimed trying so hard to will this power in control some way.
It felt as if someone broke apart a puzzle and scattered the pieces into the sky. Where was she? Her body gave out; she began to slip through his fingers, falling deeper down into the darkness. Gravity pulling at her like a magnet toward an abyss.
Warren dove downward as fast as his wings can fall. He reached her just before she hit the ground between an alleyway, landing on the damp concrete; his feet wet and coarse, his toes scraping against the rough terrain. She convulsed briskly in his arms. Her body felt on fire, her mind drifting around in pieces. She burst out of his hold, flying into the sky once again. Twirling and twisting, reaching the ebony sky with an unbridled emotion. It was like some invisible force catapulted her as high as they could as if she was a helium-filled balloon losing air.
She was losing steam finally, she could feel it. Her back no longer keeping up with this new found energy. Her frame twisted again, she took a deep breath almost biting her tongue.
"Warren, go away. I'll hurt you. Please…don't…" It was supposed to be her last plea but her words held no truth. She couldn't hurt him but the power she borrowed from him could change that.
"No, I won't, uh," he flew faster, nearly screaming his words; he didn't care about his own safety anymore. He also knew the altitude of his aerial limit was dangerously approaching. "You won't hurt me."
He grabbed her hand with all his strength, pulling her to him. Their faces so close she felt his exhaustion brush her flushed cheeks. Her legs tried to pull her body higher but Warren wasn't having it. "Don't let go." He whispered.
Amelia's body was finally catching up to her will, she felt her heart decrease. She held onto his body with her other hand; it was free at her disposal now.
Her eyes began to pierce again. A soft red shined over Warren's light azure stare. "I could feel it leaving me. We have to hurry."
"Your place, take me back." She gripped him hard, her heart finally mellowing out. She stared back at him.
Warren panted and gulped, "Hold on tight then."
"I'm not letting go this time." She whispered into his ear, drawing an obvious shiver. She chose to ignore it. There are more important things to worry about now.
Warren gently flew passed various buildings, searching for his balcony. It took a few seconds for his memory to return as he flew in the opposite direction. Amelia held on for dear life, smothering her face into the crook of his neck. The smell of his skin was doing something to her. She was intrigued by it. She couldn't define his scent but she liked it. She liked it a lot. Had she thought of this before? Maybe so, her mind was in a daze now. Bits and pieces of her behavior were surfacing from the previous night.
"Last night, I—did I do something wrong?" She pulled back slightly, looking at him through a side glance.
Warren flew a bit faster, he was having trouble maneuvering and thinking about how to answer. The clapping from his wings startled her a bit. Reminded her of tiny cracks of thunder and high winds on a blustery day. He was avoiding the question but who could blame him? She could have embarrassed herself and made him feel like shit in the process. She had zero control over her motor actions. She could have been anyone; his worst nightmare even.
Warren breathed a sigh of relief mentally as he approached his balcony. Flying ever so slowly, he sunk down and landed inside. She clung to him with an iron grip as if she was glued to his body, hugging it against hers. A few moments passing them. It was quiet between them finally.
"Are you alright?" He spoke softly, hushing his tone on purpose.
"I'm-I'm sorry. I should let go." Reluctantly she pulled away. The strength she felt so prominent before it vanished gradually.
"I could get used to you doing that." Warren smirked. Trying to get her eyes back on him. Those eyes that saw him only. Or at least he hoped they did.
She turned pink all over when she realized she was still holding onto him by his hips. She took her hands down and awkwardly hugged her shoulders. "Sorry…"
Warren pulled her back in his arms. His chin resting on top of her head. "Let's go inside, OK? It's freezing out here. New York winds are coming back."
He kissed her forehead and pulled the doors shut. The room was pitch dark until a golden shimmer came around the corner. It was flickering, when the color came close, he felt at peace. He reached for the side light, switching it on. She was staring at him; looking as if she wanted to say something but didn't know how. Her eyes tore from his as she noticed something.
"You're hurt." She gestured, looking at his hand. She closed her eyes. She couldn't look at him directly and say it while taking his hand. "I did this…"
Scratches meant nothing to him. He barely knew anything was there until she mentioned it. She looked hard at the scratches still avoiding his eyes.
"It's OK, I'm fine. I heal fast remember? It's not something to worry about."
"I knew this would happen. Let me see it." She examined the cut closer as well as observing his body for any further injuries.
"It's OK, really. Amelia, look at me." He said more directly but still in a gentle way.
Her fingers brushed around his abdomen. She was really concerned it was worse than he was letting on. "I just have to check."
Warren smiled, amused and blushing slightly at her hands skimming his body. "Oh wait…I think it's my eye."
Amelia stopped and immediately looked up; checking over his face and one of his hands covered his eye. "What's wrong? What is it?"
He smirked and peeled the hand off his eye, wiggling his fingers playfully. "Nothing, see? I am just fine."
She sighed deeply. "Don't do that. You really scared me."
"Sorry…I just didn't want you to worry over a tiny scratch. This power is so new to you. It could have been worse but it wasn't. You have some control over it now."
"I can't help it. I had so much strength building up inside me. I thought it might have been worse when I saw it. How do you fight the urge with this enormous power? If any other person had all this strength, they'd use it everyday."
Warren stepped forward, taking her in a soft hug, pulling away to glance in her inquisitive eyes. "I don't need to. Unless it's for someone I care about. I protect them. By any means."
"But…who knows? Who else knows this? Your secret?"
"Very few people know of my abilities. And those are the people I care about."
She looked to the ground, "Oh…" her eyes found his hand again. "I need to fix this. I am so sorry. I don't remember being so aggressive."
"You were flying faster and a lot stronger than me. High altitudes that were out of control, even for a skilled flyer. Anything could have happened in that state. It's really no need. I'll just go wash it off. It will heal so fast you'll forget about it."
Warren nodded to her as he moved to wash his hands. He winced slightly at the warm water covering the dried blood of the cut. It wasn't too deep and indeed he would heal like he always does from minor injuries. When he finished washing he dried off and took out a Band-AID. He was opening the small adhesive package when he felt her come close.
"Can I?" She held out her hand.
He relented silently, giving her the Band-AID. She opened it with shaky hands. It could have been worse. Those words reverberated in her ear as she focused on covering his abrasive wound. The one she caused. Who knows what else was on his body? He wouldn't allow her to look. She pasted both sides of the tape on the inside of his hand, pressing gently. She just stared at it. Deep breath, she told her body to relax. Her blood heated at the notion that she could hurt anyone, especially him. All he did was protect her. How could he possibly trust her?
"All better." Warren laughed softly.
She finally looked up at him from her small daze. "Good." She said, firmly.
It could have been worse, the words dripped around her mind. Warren touched her hand, attempting to get her attention.
"You alright? Do you want to lie down?"
She looked around his place as if for the first time. He had a life here. He built it for himself. His own private space. Was this her place too?
She followed him leading the way to his bedroom. He sat on the edge of the bed first motioning for her to be closer.
Tentatively she moved to sit. Even something as simple as sitting suddenly became a challenge. She managed to do it despite her hesitance.
"I know this isn't going to be easy. I said I would help you. Nothing in life is smooth. We can't plan for everything to go right, most of the time it goes so wrong. My life is far from perfect. Yours isn't either. But I am willing to understand it through your eyes. I want to know you."
Amelia turned her face slowly. "Why?"
Warren brushed aside his platinum blonde wavy hair from his eyes. "Because I am running of reasons why I shouldn't. It's over. You, all of you, your thoughts, your heart…I care about you so much and I don't care if it sounds crazy anymore."
"But you could, I mean, you're an amazing person. Surely there is someone more better than—"
"No one is more beautiful than you, right now, in this moment. No one." His eyes staring hard on her with an intense fire she brought out of him.
Amelia sucked in her lip, using her long brown hair to cover her emotions; the intensity was too much, even for her.
"What? What could I possibly do to stop feeling this way?" He took both her hands, grasping them, molding all that's left of him with her.
She smiled, scoffing softly. "I kinda wish I had that super strength now."
"I told you, nothing that you do could keep me away." His own eyes brimming, he didn't reach to conceal them.
With a free hand he caressed her cheek; feeling the warm radiating off his skin. It was getting harder for her to resist the urge to—the fight inside her decreasing, she felt so small, so young and vulnerable. The slightest break can destroy her or save her.
Her heart began to speed suddenly. She felt weightless, like a feather floating in a placid breeze. But it was the beginning. She felt shivers inside her body reaching the chamber of her heart.
"My heart! Oh my gosh, Warren, it's my heart!" She exclaimed.
"What? I don't get it."
"My heart is the trigger. It's what is causing me to lose control when I fly. Tell me," She faced him directly now. "What happens when you fly? Inside I mean?"
Warren was taken aback; blinking rapidly as he thought of his answer quickly. "I don't know. I do it so naturally that I don't pay attention."
"But your heart, does it beat fast? It has to be true. The power is brand new; it uses something I've never used before; my heart. You are the only person to make my heart feel this alive. I fly so high because of you. Oh my gosh! It's so simple now!" She got up off the bed but he stopped her suddenly.
"You're heart is key to controlling this?"
Amelia smiled warmly. "Yes, when I was flying out of control, I felt my heart was going to burst out from beating so hard. It's happened twice. When my heart races I start to feel light, like I can't harness it. I don't have wings like you." Her eyes looked up as her hands suddenly felt the softness of his feathers. "It's not going to be easy but I may know how to control it. Will you help?"
Warren started to process this new discovery, her fingers, a slight distraction in his thoughts. When he flew it was second nature to him he rarely noticed any change. His wings and back muscles do all the work. Maybe it wasn't going to be so difficult after all.
His fingers found the soft waves of her hair. "Of course," the corners of his mouth lifted as her face drew closer, closing the space between.
She was looking at him anew. A familiar scene before them. She moved two steps ahead, he tried to keep up. Was it his turn to feel a bit scared now?
She closed her eyes, the inevitable approaching, the anticipation making her lips burn. She moved closer…until she felt…
His lips grazing the skin near her ear. "Lay with me."
Amelia lay awake for most of the night. She couldn't help but think about how crazy her life had been today. She couldn't believe how Warren still wasn't scared of her despite what she did to him. It made her sick to her stomach to think she could hurt someone else, especially Warren. Her feelings for him were growing stronger by the moment and she knew they were going to consume her if she didn't have it under control. At least her heart she could contain, for now.
But these new powers, her spastic abilities, that needed more of her concentration. Soon Warren will eventually get rid of her because, well, she knew deep down that she didn't belong in his life, even if he was just like her, even though he could protect and be the supportive friend she needed to go on living. She could survive it all if she stayed with him. And god did she want it all, she wanted this more than anything in the world. Just like most things in life, this wasn't a fairytale.
She worried for Warren most of all. What if her father came looking for? What if he told the police where she was? Did he even know? What if he told everyone who she really was and what she can do? The very thought made her shudder to think he could be so evil. Her father was capable of it. He could do it though; it was something he would do to once again make her wish she didn't have these powers to begin with. To make her wish she was dead. She strongly believed it all these years.
How could she be born a mutant? How could she go on living when other peoples' lives where at stake because of her own selfish reasons to exist? She wasn't meant to, in her eyes. And Warren, as understanding as he seemed, couldn't comprehend that. He would be like the others, shunning her further deep into this, he'd sooner forget than take genuine sympathy. He'd abandon her.
She turned to look at him, watching him sleep. He looked so peaceful and at the same time so worn out, all because of her. She hated that she was the reason for complicating his life. He'd have to watch her constantly, how could she ask him to do that? Looking at him made her sadder for hoping he'd be hers. Who was she thinking? His blond, wavy hair was covering his eyes which were closed so gently. He really did look like an angel even when he slept. She wanted to touch him badly but she stayed on her corner of the bed pushing that notion aside. To think he'd even allow her to touch him the way she wanted to was ludicrous. Warren was completely the man for someone else; it hurt her to admit that, but it was the truth. He no doubt wanted someone just as beautiful as he is, who won't cause him worry or pain. Maybe a model or someone malleable. Someone who won't complicate his life just by being in it. Amelia looked at him with strong eyes, she couldn't ignore the obvious.
Looking at Warren made her so weak; on the contrary, it made her feel very much alive. She didn't feel like a freak around him. Knowing this gave her some golden hope but it was wrong. It was so selfish of her to think she would go on being this happy forever. She'd have to leave his life one day and she was dead set on leaving him before he suspected anything. She didn't know how he really felt about that but she is doing this for him. Because she feels so strongly about him, she needed to go and deal with herself. She didn't want to be a problem for Warren. Of course he wouldn't admit that, being so gentle and kind to her from the start. But deep down, he probably felt like she was using him. In a way maybe that is true. Maybe she was a burden to him more than she thought.
Amelia shivered; the moans escaped her lips before she could stop them. She covered her mouth hoping he didn't hear the noises she made. No movement. He was sound asleep like he should be. Now that she thought about it, this moment was a good a time as any to leave this entire situation. The question being: was she brave enough? Could she actually leave him knowing what she knows about him? Knowing that he knows about her and what she can do? Her feelings were completely tied into this. She had the opportunity to leave but she couldn't, right now, she just couldn't. Her feelings for him were much stronger than her will to be alone and abandon his life. She felt stuck and trapped in her mind that warped her inner thoughts. Will it ever end? Her constant battle for why she should stay alive for any reason?
She moved around in bed, staring at him sleeping for a few long moments. If she could have moments like this for the rest of her life, then she wouldn't feel so worthless all the time. But as always, something had to ruin it. Bits and pieces of her father's face came like a dark cloud as she covered her eyes. It seemed so real. It was real. It actually happened. It was like she can't be rid of the bad memories that haunted her every time she wanted to feel happy. She was reliving all of the bad times her father left behind. All the times he used her for money, beat her senseless for something she couldn't help but be.
She didn't realize she was already in tears until she heard Warren moan next to her. Was he dreaming? She watched him through her fingers covering her eyes. When she took them off, more soft moans, sleepy ones came from the man lying next to her. She wanted to touch him, just to make sure he was still here. But she didn't dare. Staring at him was all she could really do. Warren wasn't hers; she needed to stop pretending that he is. The fantasy should end already. Just look at him and look at her. Who would honestly have more people wanting them?
It certainly wasn't her. She never even had a boyfriend or anyone to really look at her without asking her to remove her sunglasses. The most popular girls in school always had the good looking guys with the nice cars and would take them out to fancy restaurants. Amelia was the girl always shoved to the corner that no one would miss even if she was the only one killed in a massive natural disaster. It was just the way things were; she hadn't a choice but to accept it.
"Hey, what is it?" She heard next to her. She turned over, staring directly into Warren's half-awake blue eyes.
The colors in her iris got the better of her and glowed before she could control it. She sat up in bed, feeling Warren's hand coming over hers. He whispered again asking her what was wrong; she wiped her eyes, trying to compose herself. She didn't realize her gulp was louder than her breathing.
"Amelia, talk to me." He started shaking her gently when she didn't respond. She was too far spaced out to function. "Hey, come on, come back."
She gave a tiny yelp when he began to feel her heart which was nearly beating against her chest. His arms immediately came around her tightly, firmly, he held her against his body, feeling the sweat beads drip from her neck, smothering his cheeks. He felt her respond and now he relaxed. Slowly she was coming back to him. He wondered why she was so scared all of a sudden. Did she have a nightmare? What was she thinking of?
When they pulled away their foreheads were leaning against each other. Amelia was so confused. Warren was such a temptation, he was offering so much. He was giving his life, his home, his time, his everything just for her. Why was it so hard for her to accept this?
She couldn't. That was the problem. Maybe she'd leave in the morning. She pulled her face from his and tried to hide everything else.
"I'm sorry, go back to sleep."
Warren cupped her cheeks resiliently. "No, tell me what's wrong. Let me listen."
She pulled back to look into his eyes. Now they were glowing, shining brightly, she pretended it was for her. There's no harm in that.
She shook her head, pulling her long hair back behind her ears. "I don't know what to say anymore…"
Warren kissed her forehead, his lips pressed against her skin for a moment. If only she could let him inside her world. He had a sneaky feeling that it was just like his. He moved his mouth to her ear.
"I wish you would trust me. I want you to feel comfortable telling me things, anything you want. I wish you would let me in."
Amelia's eyes glowed sky blue, brighter than any color she showed him. "I wish it was easy."
Warren felt his wings twitch when he saw her start to cry. Every part of him was aching now. He wanted to make things better, he thought about his feelings for her. They were running deep, much deeper than he could keep up with.
Warren held her tightly against his bare chest, trying emphatically to calm her down because her heart rate had begun to race. He whispered more words to her gently, stroking her shoulder with the tips of his fingers. Her skin was very warm and he was feeling goose bumps spread across his arms. He can't be turned on now. Amelia would never trust him if he acted on this impulse. He was thinking so badly of pressing his mouth all over her neck, her jaw, her face, cheekbones, kissing spots underneath her eyes where tears had fallen. It took everything he had to control this unwavering impulse. But showing her what it feels like to be loved? Why would that scare her? Maybe he was moving too fast. She was struggling with him holding her before; moving further will do more damage.
He couldn't scare her anymore than she already is. To feel her slip away from him will be devastating. He didn't want to think of her not being so close to him. His feelings were taking over, before he could control it with logic. This girl was dangerous but she was his. And he'll be damned if he could let her slip away without a fight. He found her and he isn't going to let her go.
"Look at me," He whispered, her eyes were shifting various colors. It was like she appeared confused on how to feel.
The rainbow trail seeping through her iris, glowing ever more prominent; it made him want to surrender completely. He wanted colors of love, bright, beautiful colors to come through her emotions. No more somber pigments.
She shook as she picked up her face, daring to look at him with something she can't help. She was feeling weak again. Too many reasons to feel this way. Anger, trepidation, weakness, helplessness, stuck; her life on pause. She almost burst out crying until he used some force. Finally alerting her full attention for once.
"I'm not going anywhere. You're safe. Whatever you've been through, you aren't going back there anymore."
Amelia's eye color changed to a soft pink upon hearing those words. They sounded so comforting and exactly what she needed to hear. She gulped down the remainder of her fears. Words, just words, that's what they are, sweet words of comfort. The scene was set, if he was an actor than this was the best performance of pity of his life. But god…his face, he looks so beautiful, so perfect. Was this just a dream or could he really be hers?
She touched his face; it felt so natural to her, almost like her heart was encouraging her to touch more of him. She so badly wanted to.
"Promise me you won't run away?"
Warren smiled, leaning to her ear, "I'll never run away from you. Never. You hear me?"
Amelia swallowed upon hearing these words. She shivered but Warren caught her shoulders before her entire body shook. She felt so warm, her body was beginning to react in a way she wasn't used to. She was trying to trust him. And it was working, whatever he was doing. She hoped he would keep doing that because she didn't want to feel so scared anymore.
"I have to tell you something." Amelia paused before collecting herself. Warren had allowed her room to breath by pulling away only slightly, god knows she needed it for what she was about to say.
"I'm here. Take your time." His words began to soothe her; whatever he was doing is working wonders.
Amelia's glowing eyes couldn't ignore the time, it was half passed dawn and soon it'll be morning. Her uneasiness had been going on for a few hours now before she could notice. But this, what she was about to confess needed some time to really tell out, she needed more of his time than he might have been willing to give.
Warren sat back against the headboard of the bed, staring at her. This may be the moment he was waiting for. She's finally going to be open. He watched her bite her lip and look around the room in the darkness. The glow of her neon colors acting like a flashlight in the bedroom, illuminating whatever object they touched. Then, suddenly the colors had gone out, he checked if her eyes were shut and they weren't.
"I get scared, sometimes of everything. I don't know what it's like to just relax anymore. I—" She paused slightly, looking at his face watching her, hanging onto her words. She gulped, picking up where she left off. "I am a mess. I don't feel safe; I'm not used to feeling safe. All I know is being afraid of practically everything."
Warren took hold of her hand, giving it a light squeeze; silently urging her to continue.
"I just feel like every day is one battle after another. No one has really listened to me. No one asked me how I feel about any of this…I find it hard to breathe knowing this is who I am, and now, discovering something else about myself, I don't know how to feel about that either. I'm confused. I don't know if it gets easier…does it?"
Warren was so sucked into her words and story that he slightly jumped when she asked him a question.
He couldn't lie to her, what she was saying made sense, as crazy as it sounded to someone who was a mutant.
"Not if you're around people who can help. Do you know what I mean? Amelia, please look at me. Don't be embarrassed."
Amelia's face scrunched together. Flickering shy blue came from her eyes as she blinked rapidly. She pulled her hair away and tried to breathe in; unaware she was holding her breath until now.
"Do you know what I mean?" Warren asked again, touching her arm applying little force to try and pull her away from her daze.
Her body shook, she shivered, not from the cold but something inside her. Too much was going on inside her body for anyone to comprehend. How can anyone make sense it? Her eyes bugged out for a second and she caught her breath.
Warren came forward.
"You alright? Do you need something?"
Some answers, she thought. That was the only thing making sense now. Why wasn't she getting answers? Warren can't coddle her forever. No matter what he says, her time is limited. She looked around the room, suddenly barely able to focus. Her eye-lids were growing heavy. She was beginning to fade. Her body naturally sunk down on the pillow next to Warren's. She couldn't keep her attention alert for long. As important as it was to stay awake, to question Warren while she can, in this moment, her body wasn't allowing her.
She lay down properly, situating her body so it was more comfortable but she didn't face him. Biting her lip she pushed away the tears that wanted to flow down her cheeks. She could feel her eyes burning with anticipation but she used every ounce of control she had left to will what was practically numb to her.
Warren sighed deeply behind her. He frowned when she turned her back to him. He figured he should relax too knowing she was probably really tired after the last few days of what she's been through. He folded his arms up, his wings swung to the side. But in the moment, he wished he would hide them. It just wasn't fair. He struggled with this mutation since he was very young, still to this day it bothered him that he can't be like everyone else. Normal, just human, plain and boring. There isn't a day that went by where Warren wouldn't wish to feel normal again.
Was he crazy? He didn't know. Maybe he scared her, maybe this is the end for him, this has all been one big dream and he's bound to wake up with empty sheets, his fist clutching the sides of the bed, back to whatever mundane existence he held before knowing her. Amelia wasn't real. Was she? Was any of this really real? Were his feelings?
"I…" Amelia started but cleared her throat. Warren was about to say something until he saw movement from her. Her face was crinkled in confusion, eyebrows construed together in a question mark; her eyes were flickering colors again, bringing in a mixture of feelings he couldn't decipher.
Her eyes were stolid on the ceiling. She didn't look at him but she licked her lips breathing in deeply.
"I need you…" Warren drew a sharp intake of breath, pausing to hear more. Amelia wouldn't hurt him but a small piece of him is dreading the other thought that wouldn't bugger away. Someone always needed him for something, whither it was money, his father's connections, his reputation, his name, his arbitrarily good looks. "Warren, I need you. I'm sorry I just do. I need you so badly and I'm scared to ask for help but I don't know, you make me feel like I'm worth something, like I'm worth staying alive. Nobody has ever made me feel this way. I just need you."
Amelia sat up, leaning her chin upon on her knee. The tears came falling down her eyes and before she could hide her face Warren grabbed her and forced her to finally look at him. Her eyes finally focusing on a bright red, she felt scared as he looked at her. His features focused around her face. It was almost like he was holding himself back from something. He pulled his face away when he felt it too close.
"Don't cry. If you need me then I'm yours. You don't have to be scared. And you don't owe me anything in return OK? I'm here for you. I won't let you down. You have my word. Please have faith in me Amelia. Please trust me…because this, right here, right now, is all we have. We're in this together. I told you I am not letting you go now, please, don't cry. I can't handle it."
Warren only paused to gather himself, he wasn't done. "If you need me, then trust me."
Amelia blinked slowly, her eyes were milky with tears, the last of them spilling from her eyes as she looked at him, hard and serious. As if she was looking at him for the last time.
She saw his eyes. Blue pools of mist ready and willing to save her, be with and protect her through anything, he would be there. He wasn't lying. Warren was telling her the truth. Believing words just like that had to have been the hardest thing she could do, but Warren made her believe in him just by looking at her. She didn't feel so lonely in his eyes.
She sucked in her lips and most of her breath came with it, she didn't want to feel so alone. Going back to that life, wanting to die, the thought was still present in her mind and even though Warren knew this he still wanted to try with her.
Amelia didn't waste anymore time, she leaned in, a familiar moment before them when her lips brushed his again. Only this time, there were no distractions, nothing around them mattered. Amelia was completely entranced by him, his smooth, sensuous breathing, catching her off guard a little, making her feel dizzy and dazed. Her eyes weren't wet with tears but anticipation. She further leaned in, checking where his boundaries were.
"I'm yours, always." Warren closed the space between them; his lips gently touched hers, his face following her rhythm.
He could feel everything, he didn't know about her, but she hid her secrets not only in her eyes but in her passion. When he pulled away to look in her eyes, he waited for her to open them. He whispered her name and her eyes fluttered open. A mixture of shock, surprise and misty passion were facing him now.
The kiss was so innocent, so brief; it was all over so fast that Amelia didn't have time to think. Warren was the first guy to do that with her. The first man to be affectionate with her like that.
They looked at each other for a few long moments. Neither could say anything. They had come close many times before but Amelia didn't believe Warren would ever kiss her so slow, not in her wildest dreams.
Her eyelids were blinking faster than she intended. Warren sparked a passion inside her that she wasn't even aware she had. She wanted to kiss him again, discover him like he really was hers. Will he let her? She can sure try…
"Wow…" She breathed; it was all she could manage to say.
Warren laughed softly, his short breathing making his nerves apparent. He couldn't believe he did that. He hadn't kissed anyone since…it was a long time since he felt this way about anyone. He felt like he was dreaming, like all of this was a fantasy. Being so insecure about his chances with girls anyway he didn't think it would happen in a long time. Being a human and having wings that spanned 16 feet isn't something he was just willing to share with the world let alone the opposite sex.
Nobody got too close to Warren because of who he was. Nobody knew who he really was unless they were his dad or his butler. It was terrifying secret he had to keep to himself. Growing up he was invited to parties, but not parties where he had to be at beach or around a pool. His friends now call him weird because he always wears his long coat. Warren told them it's because he felt cold, being in New York, during the fall and winter time, he could get away with that excuse. Summer and Spring were times he would make up a barrage of excuses: he was tired; his father needed him at work, sick, overslept, drunk, online classes he was behind on. The hospital didn't question anything since he was a volunteer and his famous name and funding had brought in assistance to the corporate business. He had managed to keep it a secret from everyone around him.
As broken and traumatized as she was, Amelia didn't make him feel scared to be who he really is: Angel, it was a nickname his mother, Kathryn had given him before she passed away from cancer years ago. They had such a bond that went beyond anything. His mother accepted him and loved him no matter who or what he is. She was his constant. The reason he stayed alive and didn't jam a razor into his chest, puncturing his heart ending it all. He had to live for her. She was his only purpose to breathe.
When his mother died Warren fled home, began to abandon everything, his father didn't care about him as a person or a mutant. All his father cared about was the Worthington name and uphold the fortune 500 reputation that gnawed at him growing up that was chomping on his character hard as a young adult. Knowing this, he'd compromised with his father. Agreeing to put up with him and work, his name, everything his family built by staying near him, his mother would have wanted him to help his father out, his father once said. Warren disagreed. His father, Warren Jr., all he cared about was money and keeping the name going in their legacy. He wanted Warren to be normal so he made his son wear straps under a long overcoat every day of his life to hide the embarrassing truth.
Amelia didn't make him feel like the world was coming down on him. Warren struggled every day with being a mutant, being born a little different than the rest of humanity felt like a sickness. His father made him feel like it was an illness; like he was a freak and therefore he made it a habit to shame his son every time he saw him trying to reveal his wings to the world. Forcing him to see that if he did reveal his identity, the world will judge him and they would lose everything they ever built in their name.
He saw comfort in Amelia, something he always found in his mother, Kathryn, who loved him every day of his existence until her candle had gone out too soon. Amelia had so much love inside of her. For all she's been through she is still a survivor. Warren could remember taking care of his mother when she was feeling ill in the beginning stages of her cancer. She had been a survivor as well. She had to be, Warren knew his mother was all he had and he made sure to give her everything she needed to stay alive. He wanted to take care of her. He couldn't lose her, she was everything to him, and she was the only thing that mattered in his life. She accepted him, mutant or not. She was his Angel even if he was the one with wings.
Amelia's fingers moved Warren's blond hair falling in his face. He was looking off to the side in deep thought. She glanced at his lips; they were quivering. She frowned. Her heart squeezed looking at him; she didn't want him to feel confused. The kiss they shared made her feel so warm; she needed to make him know that. Her fingers touched around his cheeks, tracing near his lips until she stopped when he looked at her.
His face broke out into a warm smile as he leaned in closer, taking the lead, closing the gap between them. He nuzzled his nose with hers like a lion would a lioness. Warren needed to stop worrying so much. Amelia won't leave him. She can't because she knew wherever she'd go she'll always take a piece of him with her. They'd been through so much already in the few short days they've known each other. Amelia couldn't leave him, not like his mother did; she wouldn't do that to him.
"I have something I need to say…"
Amelia gulped. The tone Warren used just now made her shiver. She looked at him, waiting for him to speak.
He suddenly kissed both her hands, growing confident by the second.
"Please don't give up on me. Even if you feel like you're going to hurt me, you could never. Don't give up on this. Don't let anything scare you anymore. I'm going to help you. I promise. I mean it, Amelia. Hey, look at me…" He turned her face to glance in her eyes, trying to hold that glow seriously. "Don't give up on me, please trust me."
Amelia felt brave for a moment and placed her palms on his face, bringing him closer to her lips. She brushed her bottom lip against his, feeling the natural instinct kick in her emotions, igniting something new, something pure, a positive feeling, something foreign, she grasped onto it for dear life ignoring everything else that could take it away.
"I trust you. You're the only person I trust right now. You give me so much reason even if I don't deserve it—"
Warren placed his large hands over hers on his cheeks. "But you do. Please know this. You do Amelia. We can do this. We can both survive everything. I won't let you go. Believe in me."
If Amelia had any doubts left Warren shoved them hard into the gutter without warning. She did believe him. It wasn't the idea of believing anymore. She can trust him with her life. He's saved her numerous times and put up with her paranoid antics more than once. More importantly, his kiss demonstrated where his loyalty lies.
Amelia looked in his eyes a final time before leaning completely forward to touch her lips onto his. Now it was her turn to lead. She wanted to do this again since he first had done it. She wanted to do this all night. Even though she wasn't experienced or knew at all what she was doing she followed her heart.
Warren was there, he was more than there, and he was her friend. He was the only person who didn't make her feel completely scared to breathe. Amelia slowed down the kiss when she felt it growing more profusely. Things might lead to something she wasn't ready for.
Warren smiled and kissed her nose, then her forehead and both her cheeks before pulling back to stare at her with open and free eyes.
Her pink shade was returning and he couldn't be happier. He felt proud knowing he was possibly the only one to make her feel that way since it turned him on more than he could say. Everything about Amelia made him want to fall harder, deeper than he ever did for someone. Not since Candy had he felt so strongly about a woman.
All he wanted to do was take care of Amelia and she owed him nothing in return. That's all he wanted. To be hers, to be the one she came to in time of need.
"We should, go to bed, I mean, hmm, sleep." Amelia's eyes flickered to the clock again; she'd contained her shock when she realized it was passed 5am.
Warren leaned back, pushing his wings above him so they were stretched up high as if he were to take flight. This is the typical position he took when he slept. Now that someone else was sharing his bed he caught himself and pushed them more to the side so he could turn his body so he was facing her.
"Come here…" He whispered, motioning for her to move closer so she was sleeping in his arms.
She smiled slightly before taking his hand gently, moving her body. The envelope in his arms was instant when she was hit with his body heat. Warren sure had a lot of body heat, it felt like curling up to a fireplace after a cold, rainy day.
She realized one thing in that moment while she hugged his body and opened her eyes: she was completely his.
Closing her eyes, she finally drifted to sleep after god only knows how long she was without it. The room was suddenly harmonious, she had felt safe. She wanted this to be just the beginning.
Warren was the first to wake up when he heard his cell phone buzzing around the condo. He had to be careful not to wake up Amelia. She needed this time to sleep, she needed more time for what she lost the last couple of days. It must have been overwhelming for her to deal with the thoughts in her head. She must feel so alone; Warren wanted to change all that. He would be there for her through everything. She didn't have to worry anymore. It was going to take some more time but he was willing to keep trying.
His arms were loosely around her body, holding her as they slept against each other. Her face was over his chest, suddenly he had a problem. If he moved he would risk waking her. If the ringtone kept sounding, she might stir and jump up in bed, scared out of her mind. Amelia didn't deserve that. Warren was going to do everything possible to make her feel like she deserved to be here. He didn't want her to feel like a guest as she lives here now; this is her home, with him, as long as she needs. Maybe forever if he had any say in her decision.
Warren carefully unloosened his body from Amelia's. He didn't want to admit the frustration but his ringtone was like a pestering, screaming bee hounding him to swat it. He eased himself away from the bed very carefully and slowly, put a large pillow in the place of his body so Amelia's face can rest on it. He looked at her briefly before making his way to his phone and immediately silencing it. He opened the slide key and nearly turned off the screen when a familiar icon caught his eye. He looked over at Amelia breathing as she slept peacefully. She clutched the pillow to her body as if he were there. He felt a tug at his heart watching her, she did need him, it was clear, he looked down and smiled slightly.
An alert came from his phone averting his attention was back on the cellular device. A new voice mail had appeared and he could only dread who it was from. But wishful thinking made him believe otherwise. Maybe Moira had called and he missed it. Either way, he had to get to the bottom of it, delete it if need be and slip back into the covers of his bed with the girl who wouldn't leave his mind and heart alone. He walked to the balcony as the strong heat of the crisp morning sun hit the bare top half of his body, making him shield his eyes for shade.
He sat on the reclining chair and pressed a few buttons on the screen, finding out who the culprit calling him is now. He waited to hear the new message and prayed it wasn't bad news.
"Warren, I have been trying to reach you for the last few days. I don't appreciate you ignoring me like this as I am solely responsible for your financial well being. You're a Worthington, act like it. Treat this name with respect as we agreed upon and there will be no trouble for you. Answer your phone or if you don't I'll cut everything off. But I don't want to do that so obey me son. This name is important to the both of us. Don't embarrass me by ignoring my orders. I don't deserve it. Your mother would be utterly disgusted if she were still alive. I am not happy right now. Call me today or you will face some serious consequences son. Goodbye."
Warren clenched his teeth so hard he heard the sound of them grit together. The phone nearly broke in his right hand but he caught himself before anything snapped in half. Getting messages from his father was never a good sign. His father rarely sent them and whenever he had, they were hardly pleasant. He felt like a slave forced to obey a master when he heard his father's brash tone interrupt his life.
His father, Warren Sr. wasn't an easy man to handle. With all that had been going on lately, Warren almost forgot about the times he fought with his father over being a mutant, wishing so badly to be free from the anguish. His father made him hide who he was to protect the entire legacy of the Worthington name. Last thing the multimillion dollar firm needed was a mutant to cover up. His father's irate attitude toward the "mutant problem" before he became a mutant was the basis for all of the arguments they ever had. Everything had led back to the mutation. His father could never understand him nor does he care how his own son really feels about being born different than the average human.
The look on his father's face the day Warren began changing was a moment in time he won't ever forget. One of the worst moments of his life, his own blood, looking upon Warren as if he were an alien, a freak, someone not of this world...an outsider. That look of utter disgust stung in his memory and there was nothing he could do to erase it. He simply had to live with it. Hating every minute of being in the same room with his father, Warren had to be away from Centerport, he could crush his father if he wanted to for all the hurt and pain he caused him the moment he saw wings grow on his back. But Warren knew being at a distance was the only way not to inflict homicide, or at times, self-inflict. He could never bring himself to hurt or put his father in an enormous amount of pain, but that doesn't mean Warren was never tempted. Hearing those words slip from his father's mouth felt like erratic hot water drops dripping over his common sense. It was enough to push him over the edge, with the person staring back at him in the mirror. He wasn't going to end his own existence, though he came close many times.
But why didn't he just hide? Warren wondered why he didn't just leave town completely after his mother passed away. He could, it was a possibility. He would take as much money as he could, grab his essential belongings and live somewhere his father couldn't control. His complete freedom would be a reality if he'd only left Centerport. He'd have virtually no money to his name though, the privileged existence he had gotten used to when his mother was alive would be no more. Warren didn't find any of the former life worthwhile. He never considered himself privileged or better than anyone because he was wealthy even though his father thought different. His father believed they were entitled and Warren despised thinking of himself as superior to someone else based on status.
Ever since his mother died it felt like a part of him died along with her. All the moments he believed he was special, loved, unique, his mother gave those to him whenever he had a doubt. He would sit next to her hospital bed, drowning in sorrow. Warren ruffled the blond waves of hair that fell in his eyes, pushing the emotions back as far as he could. Because he was a mutant, Warren had enormous strength built into his DNA. If angered, all hell could break loose; but it was rare for him to really reek havoc. His father was always the fastest trigger. There were times when only the slightest thought of his father had set off a chain reaction of rage within him and even one instance that he nearly got himself exposed at his father's workplace. It was a bad memory. What's worse is that it could happen again, without warning. His father is the only person with an ability to ignite the true aggression inside Warren and he hated that. His mother didn't raise him to hate. His father was another story because he truly brought out the worst in Warren, and he never listened to him at all when he had something to say. It's as if Warren was invisible, despite his ever-enamoring buxom build. He felt even more ostracized being in the same room as his father.
The sun began to burn Warren's face, awaking him back to the present and in turn, making him walk away from the balcony. He stood up and closed the two large door windows, bolting them behind, a deep sigh following him as he forced his body to move on from these unfortunate past thoughts.
When he turned around he noticed Amelia's sleeping face, she was still grasping his pillow, gripping the cushion so tight he could see white around her knuckles. To anyone else she appeared asleep, but to Warren, she seemed in despair. He didn't want to let her down. He promised he would see through whatever she was going through and he wasn't going to back down on his words.
He swallowed so slowly he could actually hear his throat muscles contracting. A nervous pang hit the pit of his stomach as he walked toward the bed, debating whether to climb inside the covers or watch her sleep. Her body looked calm but something was worrying her. He couldn't blame her; he wanted to have the answers too. If there was something mysterious about his mutation he'd want to know everything right away. Being patient about this sort of thing wasn't easy for her, Warren was sure of it because he would have the same reaction. Amelia had so many reasons to lose faith, but he hoped she wouldn't. He just wanted to keep her calm, keep her heart beating at a normal pace. He wanted to show her there are nice people in this world she could trust. He didn't know how long the absorption of his powers inside her would last. A part of him, truthfully, was scared of her strength. Of course he can handle enormous amounts of pain, but he still worried just how much she absorbed. So in order to keep everything under control he had to find some way to help her relax.
The only way to really do that is to let her sleep. Maybe slipping into the covers shouldn't happen for now. He really wanted to touch her though, he craved it in this moment. He couldn't stop himself from replaying that brief kiss from last night. She wanted him. A girl actually wanted him. The man, not the name. She saw him and didn't run away. Her reaction to his mutation still burned in his mind. Pure acceptance. Everything was OK, least it seemed OK with them for now, but one tiny piece of truth he hasn't quite mentioned still peaked around.
Amelia still didn't know about his family status and he wasn't sure how long he was going to keep from telling her. The further he fell for her, the more he ached in keeping the secret to himself. He can't withhold this important part of him life for much longer. She deserved to know, especially for her protection. The Worthington name came with essentials and more. His father never wanted him to date anyone whose family didn't come from money. That's where Candy Southern came in. Warren hadn't seen her in his thoughts for a long time. Thinking about her began to heat his blood and before he knew it, his hands started to shake. The memory used to be forgotten but now it was coming back in broken pieces. Regret shivered up his spine as the fragmented images returned. It was the last time he felt so strongly for a person so much he wanted to love, marry and protect them forever.
But the sad reality was: Candy didn't love Warren back. He hated that she couldn't handle him being a mutant because he was sure she worried about how their family may be treated and that angered Warren's father. But Warren didn't care what people thought about him, he wasn't his father, who wanted Candy to be part of the family being that her father's business could come together with the Worthington brand name and form one co-existing firm. It was practically an arranged marriage, but Warren's real feelings really messed everything up. The memory was so long ago and having these thoughts resurface again wasn't doing him any good. Warren shouldn't be thinking about this right now. He has someone; he finally has a girl who treats him the way he missed being treated.
Amelia very much reminded him of his mother, Kathryn. Like his mom she didn't question his being a mutant for a second. She actually…welcomed him just like his mother did the moment he told her, more showed her who he was. Amelia accepted him and he accepted her. They could save each other. He could show her what it felt like to be loved for once. And she could teach him how to accept himself more since his mother died. Amelia, as breathtaking as she looked, her deep, natural blue eyes looking back at him was all he needed from her. She didn't need to prove anything to him; he was the one who would give her everything. Something he failed to do with Candy, even though it was she who did the heartbreaking. He blamed himself when they parted ways that day. It was a day that almost destroyed him completely. He didn't believe his heart could be so open.
He was never going to make that mistake again. If he ever found someone who deserved to be loved, he would never let that person out of his sight, not without a fight. When he and Candy were together, he was very young and didn't understand what love really was, he just knew he had to fall in love because it made him feel good, wanted. After his mother died he became alone again. Even in the most private schools where some close friendships were formed, it didn't cure his need to connect with another person. He hated that being a mutant may have been what scared people away. Most people at school didn't know the truth they just assumed he liked to wear big overcoats all the time seeing as it was New York. His "close friends" didn't know. But only one person besides his father and driver knew; it was Candy. Ever since Warren saved her life he fell fast in love with her and never looked back. He was so deep in love with her it almost blinded him. Candy wasn't a coward until much later. In the beginning she was completely what he needed. But that didn't last long. Even the good memories weren't enough for Warren to stomach the betrayal of someone he trusted with his life.
The more sadder of admissions was that Warren and Candy were good friends before their courtship; which made every part of their foundation a lie. Amelia was the polar opposite of Candy. He didn't know much about Amelia but he could tell she belonged here, he needed her. She belonged with him. He prayed she wouldn't just leave because of Moira; what if it becomes a while before they actually find out what is causing her mutation to react? He didn't know the answer to that. He hoped Amelia would trust him and stay because he wanted to take care of her, for life. He had to tell her the truth about his name if he wanted to gain her trust; he prayed it wouldn't scare her away because a lot of people judged him because of that. Amelia wasn't the person to do that, he hoped because he felt it. He withheld this part of him.
This was it and he wasn't turning back anymore. Love, real love was so uncertain for him. He was too emotional to fall for anyone again. Candy had sucked the life out of him. Draining his ability to open his heart and be truly vulnerable. Amelia wouldn't leave him, she wouldn't. Warren was attempting to convince himself of that. He needed to tell her the truth, she meant something to him now. Telling her exactly who he is would change everything for the better or the worst. He prayed her decision wasn't leading to the worst.
He sat down on the chair; his wings were stretched above his head. Since his ceilings were built fairly high, he wasn't worried about his hollow boned wings knocking anything over. He covered his mouth with his hand to suppress a yawn he couldn't hold back any longer. He looked to the girl in his bed and sighed deeply. Amelia needed more time. And Warren needed to buy time so he could spend his life with her. He swore he would protect her and he would kill to keep that promise.
He watched her stir and moved to get up, kneeling next to her so he could study her face. Her beautiful, painful, emotional features. He watched her forehead crinkle suddenly then smooth the lines slowly. She was dreaming. Warren wondered what of as he took in all of her, watching the way her breathing fall even with her chest as it rose slowly then back up again, her shoulders following in a rhythm. He heard moans escaping her mouth and bit his lip in anguish.
"Warren…" She breathed out, making Warren move closer to her.
He whispered back, "Yes?" He moved some hair that fell across her cheeks.
"Hold me." Another breathy whisper came out that he had to strain to hear because it was so inaudible.
Warren smiled softly, taking this as his command to climb inside the covers and envelope her body against his. He moved the covers, Amelia immediately turned over to his side, her eyes were closed but she held a hurt look, her lips trembled slightly as Warren touched his pillow, grabbing it and putting it back where it was. He slid slowly inside as Amelia lunged her body onto his without him doing anything. She clutched onto him as if her life depended on it. Warren became concerned. He hugged her back and noticed his bare chest felt damp.
He pulled back, looking at her. Immediately his face softened. "What's wrong?"
Amelia was between awake and dreaming, she wasn't sure what felt real and what was imaginary. When she opened her eyes slowly her relief had swallowed her up and she leaned forward to Warren's face, touching his cheeks, making sure everything was real and all there. Her eyes were open in slits, not completely but not fully closed either.
"Is this real? Am I dreaming?"
"This is real." Warren said gently.
Amelia's eyes fluttered a few times before focusing on the figure in front of her. She was touching skin, Warren's skin and gasped back. Her eyes blinking back, she bit her lip, swallowing down a fear she was so used to feeling.
"I-I'm sorry," Amelia moved around, removing her hands, sinking into herself. She hid her face inside the covers, ashamed of what she did. Touching him like that, she probably scared him away.
"Hey," Warren laughed, it was like a song, hearing him laugh was so beautiful but she couldn't take it in now and felt bad for touching him like that. "Are you alright?"
Amelia nodded, hiding her head in the covers only to have Warren slowly move everything off so he could see her face. She looked like a deer caught in oncoming traffic. She was scared of Warren but she was a little scared of getting close to him more. Parts of last night came flooding back slowly. If he only knew what she just dreamed about he would think she was crazy.
"Am I going to hear you say that or are you going to just nod your head?"
She nodded again, not knowing how else to be. That dream really made her feel unhinged. The images she saw were too real. And now all of a sudden it wasn't? She wasn't sure of anything anymore.
"What's wrong?" Warren's voice whispered; trying to get closer to her, she backed away slightly. His face focused, what was going on?
"Amelia, what happened?"
Her brain began clenching together as if someone was inside her cavity squeezing it like a sponge. She held her head like it was a helmet shielding it from a blow. But the hits were coming from inside. She could hear Warren's voice but it was too quiet. He was being gentle with her and it wasn't working. This new power was too much to bare.
"Warren, you need to step away." She warned.
"Not a chance. I told you I'm not giving up on you."
"You have to, ugh, my brain is…" Amelia trailed off, her voice muffled under the covers.
Warren threw off the covers and looked at her covering her head in pain, flinching before picking her face up to see through her fingers.
"Focus Amelia, focus on my voice. Let me take it away, let me help you." His gentle but powerful tone hit in between her eyes.
She groaned and then the sounds grew louder. Warren held her hands above her head, pulling them away. Her entire body was shaking now and Warren's soft whispering words were hard to hear. She was focusing on the pain more than his voice. This wasn't right, she knew it wasn't. She started something new, she tried. She wasn't going give up because it seemed hard, she was going to try with what she has left, she began to immediately block all the pain, pushing with the last of her mind far from everything.
And then it happened. She stopped, opened her eyes, she saw Warren looking at her, trying to touch her and she burst into tears on the spot. Pushing most of the pain away, now she was strained and too emotional to move. She wanted to die. Why did he have to bring her back? Living this way was never what she wanted. Living period was never the plan. A part of her will always feel dead, Warren can't understand that.
"I can't deal with this. I'm too weak to push through it." She said through sobs, covering her face while he tried to touch her hands.
He was using gentle gestures to coax her, attempting to revive her alive again, she seemed to slip further away him by the second. It wasn't going to happen on his watch. He made a promise and he will stick by his word.
"You have to Amelia, for me. I wouldn't want you to give up. You've come so far. We're more a like than you think."
Amelia shot up, looking at him through tears that were blinding her sight. She swallowed slowly, catching her breath, she was pushing through it. What she could. It still hurts, to live and keep living. One of the hardest things she would do is find a reason to live. But his voice, something in his tone triggered her to fight it. Was any of this possible?
Warren kissed her forehead, letting his lips linger until he slowly felt her relax with him. The lines on her forehead began to disappear, her body following his, resting against him as he held her close, his heart was beating at a pace that was trying to keep up with hers. Amelia's searing pain started draining away. She moved her body upward, it jerked on it's own trying to make her go erratic at any moment. Warren was there to catch her, he would always be there.
"You're staying alive for me. Because you have me, I'm your reason. Just let go, let all of your pain go and see you are so much more than what you believe you are. You are more than your struggles, you can get through this. Believe in yourself, believe in me...just believe..." Warren whispered against her eyes, his lips staying still until he moved them down her face.
She suddenly grabbed his face, staring in his eyes wondering what's real or imaginary. Someone actually does understand her, this was too big for her to accept. Or maybe she can. She wanted so badly to calm down. She couldn't believe all of the craziness behind her antics wasn't drawing him away. He was only coming closer the more she resisted. He pulled tighter and she felt the urgency drip from his resting needs. She did need this. She needed someone. He wasn't giving up and this was what a friend truly is in the end. One who doesn't back away when imperfections reveal themselves. A person who sees truth and realizes love is stronger than anything else, that it always was stronger.
This notion was calming her, it was working. These thoughts, his soothing voice, her wails were becoming a distant cousin, they were not real, but he was. He was everything and Amelia knew he was hers even if she didn't one hundred percent believe she deserved someone so beautiful.
"Yes..." his voice was dream-like, trailing off in the distance of somewhere only she could find.
In a place where no one besides him knows how vulnerable he can be. Warren is strong, he is a warrior but for Amelia, he felt powerless. Not even a week of knowing her and already this pull she had over him was the strongest one he's ever felt. He wanted to hold on for as long as she could let him. Lose himself in someone again. Sink into an abyss where it's everything all at once, and so much more.
Amelia opened her eyes when her senses finally returned to normal. By the shadow cast over Warren's eyes she is showing a soft pink. Only he could bring her to make this color appear. Only he was the only one who could understand just how deep these powers run, she was beginning to make a new discovery.
She didn't want to let him go, ever. She wanted to stay like this until her last moments, until death takes her from everything.
She didn't wish to die anymore, for once she started to embrace being happy again. Being alone in understanding who she is was no longer an option. She could really trust Warren. The way he held her made her feel so safe, as if she belonged, to someone, that she had a purpose.
She swallowed, this was it, she had to ask this question. His answer would say all she needed to know, what would make her stay with him and never leave his side.
"What about being normal?"
"I don't want to be normal, I want this." He whispered dipping his face over hers, opening his eyes briefly as he kissed her gently, then melted over her lips.
Amelia immediately responded, everything was beginning to get blurry around them but she knew it was because Warren's kiss was weakening her senses. All of the pain began to fade away, almost right away. Her heart was beating at a gentle pace. She didn't know this feeling but she welcomed it. Warren knew exactly how to take care of her.
She was being fearless yet so fragile. So scared she may break if she decided to take this further, but he was taking his time. Warren's own pain washed over her and she was taking it in when she responded back just as passionate.
Amelia pulled away shaking, blinking rapidly until Warren opened his eyes slightly, the potent blue peeking out glowing brighter than her own, they shined more than anything she'd ever seen on a man. Men have never looked at her this way, she was feeling even more vulnerable, scared she was falling faster and she didn't know how to stop herself.
She leaned in kissing him softly before opening her eyes, trying to calm herself. She didn't know what she was feeling, it was a new emotion. Strange. Foreign. Surprising. Lingering.
Warren brought his hand into her hair, pulling the back of her neck closer to until their lips almost touched.
"I want more but I know we should stop."
Amelia took a shaky breath, nodding along with his gesture. "Maybe...I'm sorry, I'm not very good at this..."
Warren moved off her body and lay next to her, his eyes never leaving her face as she stared forward. She was scared and so was he. This was the furthest he'd ever gone with someone since Candy. All of these feelings were inside of his heart faster than it was with Candy. He needed to slow down, for both of them. Before he could he had to reassure her of something.
"You were amazing, don't ever doubt you aren't. I just, I think we should stop before...anything beyond this happens."
Amelia turned to Warren, her heart slowing down again and she could feel her body began to come to peace with it.
"I didn't think I was worth this. I always thought that beautiful people kissed each other. I didn't think I'd ever have it happen for me..."
"Was I your first?" He asked the obvious question.
She looked down for a moment but she couldn't look away, he was staring at her tenderly she couldn't disrespect the emotion he held, just for her.
Warren blushed, he thought he might hide his face for a moment and he didn't know how to say anything back. He felt honored. He was so sure that one person had her first kiss, he hadn't realized she trusted him this much to make him her first.
His hand came to her face and he took a calming breath before speaking.
"I kissed you because I couldn't take it anymore. I couldn't hold myself back from wanting it so badly and I knew if I waited that, I don't know, it would have been unbearable. I would be thinking about it every second. And you're right, beautiful people do kiss each other, that is why I kissed you." He admitted.
Amelia took a deep breath upon hearing this. "Oh, wow..." She took a few moments with this, trying to understand what he saw in her to make him go this deep. Or say that she is beautiful, even with her mutant powers, was she really? Maybe deep down she wanted to believe him.
"Was it too fast?"
"Hmm?" She looked at him quickly. Her eyes went from his and dropped to his lips. "No, I-I wanted it too."
Amelia moved closer to her angel, she felt like he was her angel and secured her body against his. The apprehension she'd felt before was barely there. She was growing more confident, more assured in what she wanted. What she wanted was to stay like this forever.
"We can take everything slow, I don't want to be forceful with you. We can become closer."
Amelia stirred almost half asleep but still awake as the vibration of his voice made her feel alert. His words were sending a tingle down her spine. She sighed deeply.
"I do too. I'm sorry I just have a lot of trust issues. I'm not used to trusting anyone, growing up I didn't know how to be around people. I didn't think they'd see me and, hear me."
Warren squeezed her tightly then let go but still had his grip on her. "I know, I know this feeling too well. You just think nothing will make it better because everyone else just doesn't understand what you go through. You feel alone. You feel like nothing is going to change."
Amelia picked her head up to look at him, really look at him. What he is talking about had to be the hardest thing to admit. Feeling destitute and solitary even for a short time damages you in so many ways. You feel like you have no purpose. Warren was stating it without emotion, as if he'd grown used to feeling this way for a long time. Ever since his mutation started. Amelia knew it was when her dad first abused her, her pain had gotten too much and she knew she was changing. Her father took out his disgust through his fist.
She cried softly, letting her tears drop on Warren's chest, remembering her father's face, the look of utter hatred still burns in her memory. Felt like it was most of her memories. So many bad moments replaced anything else.
"I wish I had a family. I wish I had someone. I wish there was a way to not feel this...broken. So much hurt. I feel it too hard. I wish I could stop it, I want it to stop but it's coming in too fast." Amelia picked up her head, looking at Warren with stained tears running down her cheeks.
Warren stared back at her, his face breaking, he was beginning to unravel himself but he forced his eyes to stay strong, he forced it with everything he had. Everything he is. "You do have someone. It's me." He whispered as he kissed her forehead.
Amelia took his hand, sitting up straighter, "You're the first person who said that to me. Life is so harsh, it doesn't stop. I can't go through it alone."
"You don't have to, come here." He said calmly as she placed her head down on his chest. "I'll protect you, I know it may seem like it's hard to believe but things eventually get better. You can't think about the pain of living. Life isn't meant to be stuck on the pain. We were made for a reason, we aren't like everyone else. It's unique, it's beautiful but it's also life. We only have one life and we shouldn't have to constantly worry so much. I don't want that for you. And I don't think you want it either."
Warren's words burned across her mind like a wildfire spreading around, swirling, making her think and view things differently. He was right, she did do this. Maybe she was meant for more. Maybe feeling this way is only temporary. Deep down she didn't want to die, neither did her mind; she only wanted her suffering to go away. She wanted to live but it wasn't going to be easy.
"I have to get rid of these thoughts, they are hurting me so badly."
Warren moved for a second to reach for the remote, surely something on the television will be more lighthearted. "There's gotta be something on in the morning that's positive."
He brought the covers over them in bed while he flipped through the TV circuit, finding something enjoyable. Warren is partly doing this because his mood is being affected by all of this depression. He could only take in so much that he can deal with. He still has the power to be triggered in his own wallow of sorrow.
A few long moments of silence before Warren settled on a random jazz concert. Felt relaxing enough and so both of them lay against each other in complete and comfortable silence. Warren's eyes were getting tired from being active. The past days he was on guard, he wanted to stay awake in case anything happened but it became suddenly very difficult. Sleep was threatening his senses as Amelia hugged his body gently, letting him know she was there. He smiled, loving this feeling. Whatever this is, he wanted to keep it and never let go.
And with this finally making sense, he felt safe, knowing she was safe with him. As long as he never left her side, nobody could hurt them.
Knowing this feeling, he was sure, won't ever go away.
Warren and Amelia slept well into the afternoon. The room was soundless, nothing can penetrate the peace; then suddenly, moaning and movement came from the bed. A pair of elongated blinking eyelashes arose naturally some minutes later. It was nearly one in the afternoon when Amelia started to stir slowly awake from the huge bed she shared with the man who saved her life four days ago.
She looked at him sleeping, wanting to leave him alone because she knew she was robbing him of a life. The lines around his eyes were standing out, the bags were showing the ugly truth, it was all because of her. She didn't like what she was doing to him, he made so many sacrifices for her and she had nothing to repay him with. Nothing tangible, only her feelings. That was all she ever had, her emotions, the ones that got the better of her whenever she thought life might change in a good way. They were around to bring her doubts, scare her during the night until the brink of morning; but even during the day, the demons were there.
Her father, the man who made her feel non-existent, as if her life belonged to him only to control, was always under his control. Crying herself to sleep was becoming a strangled habit she lived with. That sharp intake of breath came every time she cried everything she gave haunted her; a still prominent memory that stung her in mind.
Who would love someone like that?
Did she really deserve Warren? Knowing what she knew about herself...unstable. Unpredictable. Lonely. Alone. Callous. Forever afraid. Lying to herself. Warren didn't see any of this? These were her vices and yet he still had no clue?
This feels like a strange dream for her. Someone is actually making her feel like it's worth it. Something is worth going on to something more, something oddly...livable. Possibly beyond.
What made it feel more like a dream was how they were together. How much he understood her just with a look, one glance; he knew.
They feel so deeply with each other, blindly, but Warren was too hospitable to admit the truth of her being here.
She was complicating his life and the longer she stayed the more she made things harder for him to deal with. She could hurt him, maybe he didn't want to accept that now but it will happen. She remembered the expression on his face when she said she could hurt him, he tried to be brave and say he could take it but she knew better. Maybe she didn't want to believe he would fully sacrifice his life for her, he only just met her, he didn't see it now but he will understand it later.
Warren was good man, and she just wasn't good. She wanted to be so badly. She wanted redemption but she knew deep down she won't get it. Whatever is keeping her alive is beyond her control. Even if she had a reason to live it didn't mean she was going do it.
No matter how she felt, she couldn't do this to him any longer. She felt her eyes begin to water as she slipped away from his loose hold without waking him, strangely. When they slept his arms began to allow her some freedom to breathe, she wasn't so attached to his body some several hours ago. Now that she had some sleep her brain returned her rational thoughts, she needed them now more than ever. She can't think with her heart, that is always how she got hurt. That is how she will hurt him.
She didn't want to use him. She had nothing to give him but...just herself. That wasn't enough. To someone as well off as Warren, he deserved someone who is at his level. Complete opposites are a danger and they never work. Being poor had her at a disadvantage, this wasn't her livelihood, she can't stay here for free. Longevity came with a price.
She had to think of something she can give back but she really had nothing. The last bit of her insecurity clinging onto her hopes, wanting to destroy the confidence Warren had instilled in her several hours ago. They were pulling their ugly devilish arms again, she knew them well. She lived in this mentality. Back to familiar hell.
She took a deep breath, swinging her arms above her head, stretching slightly while trying to ring out the tension sewn in her back. She needed to go to the bathroom before she started crying again. Too much emotion to handle and she needed to control her urges. Before he found out, before she could fall into a puddle of sorrow again.
She moved slightly while looking at the sleeping angel next to her. Leaving him, even a short distance, affected her; being away from him made her feel less safe. But she had to control herself, it was enough already. She despised crying and it stopped here, it had to. If she left emotion away for once and became a stoic, when she would leave, one day it'll be easier. She would just get used to it. Warren had such a full life. He couldn't take care of her forever, no matter what he said.
She managed to stand up without creating a disturbance to Warren.
She almost walked to the bathroom when a small groan stopped her.
"Amelia, hey." Warren's voice moaned, she could hear him stretch out. "Where are you going?"
Amelia's lips parted, she hesitated to move forward. Something about his tone made her stop completely. His voice was almost a soft command to her. Willing her body to turn around and look at him.
She didn't have a choice, she could feel his powers leaving her and she knew Warren, once he was awake would try and reason with her, it always worked. Now was no different.
Amelia stammered before clearing her throat, pushing her hair from her eyes. "B-bathroom, umm, is it OK?"
Warren sat up with an alert look on his face, he observed her standing there. She seemed to want to go, there didn't seem anything wrong with it. He continued...
"Yes, go ahead, uh, would you want to shower too? You can if you want to. There are clean towels hanging on the rack in the corner. I can, uh, wait here if you want to." Warren said with a bit of nervousness but managed to get through the words.
He wanted to help her out like the first time, before she healed her wounds, but if he was going to gain her trust then he had to let her do things herself. The thought of him washing her hair, looking into her eyes shot off in his mind but he had to put that away and give her space.
Amelia seemed to stumble a bit, she didn't look where she was going when she backed up into the dresser with a thug. Her face went red and she covered it. This man was really making her feel uneasy, not in a negative way.
His round blue eyes, clear as crystal stared back at her, she couldn't move much but forced herself to. She was going to get lost again, lost in that haze he drew her in many times before, as if they've known each other all of their lives. Just one look can pierce her.
"Okay, thank you..." She almost said more but caught herself and turned back around.
She heard him move behind her and whipped back around, gasping.
"It's OK. I just wanted to tell you, if you need anything, just ask. Okay?"
She nodded slowly, her eyes wide and uncertain but she heard him speak and understood what he said. She was growing weak, she could feel his powers stripping off her bones and muscles.
Warren caressed her cheek, bravely. He didn't know what he was doing but he had to do it. He needed to touch her, just for a second. He wanted to know he could still do it and she wouldn't cower when he did. He never wanted her to be scared of him. He could see in her eyes she was scared of every person she's ever met. It was too obvious now.
Amelia closed her eyes and leaned her face into his palm. Placing her hand over his for a moment, then moving her hand to his face; he came closer as she closed the space between them.
"Don't be afraid of me, please..." He said, going with the words, hoping it made some sense as it flew out of his mouth.
Amelia moved closer, slowly, nearing, reaching, feeling his breath over her face, "I don't want to be."
They were inches away until Amelia moved the rest of the way and kissed him with such a strong emotion that he was sure he felt it too. He responded, pushing his body against hers, claiming her, possessing her as if he didn't she would fade away. Almost thinking it was unreal they were doing this again. It felt like a dream he never wanted to wake up from.
She was inexperienced but it didn't matter, she was leading with her heart, as much as she's risking it now, it felt liberating.
Warren was the first to pull away, he regrettably forced himself to. Amelia pulled him back, her arms around his neck for a sure grip she didn't want to lose. When she kissed him again everything made sense, the world around her felt easier. She could live. She could...breathe. She could feel her heart bursting but in a warm way that she didn't want to give up so soon. Almost like trying to keep that good dream without waking up.
Warren had to be her dream and she was going to keep him. She had to force herself to be the person she needed to be, for him. No matter how strong those voices in her head were, telling her she was nothing, that she would always mean nothing; she had to believe in Warren. He brought her back for a reason, she was already gone but it happened. Something inside her blood reacted to Warren's action and wanted her alive.
Her mutation had the answers. She was going to stay with Warren until she found out the truth about this new ability.
Amelia slowed down their kiss to catch her breath, his breathing was just as ragged; she found that Warren held her in his arms as he kissed her. The way a prince would hold a princess only it was real. This was really happening and she had to pull back and slowly open her eyes to make sure he was still there, that he wasn't just a dream.
"Okay, I'm stopping. I'm sorry, I just, I wanted to-" she was interrupted when his lips silenced her softly. "do that."
Warren pulled her body closer in a gentle hug. His cheek was against hers as he took a deep breath.
"Want me to take you somewhere?"
Amelia's eyes opened from the embrace, she rose her head and stared at him. "Where?"
He smiled, his fingers tangled in her hair. "Quiet...somewhere we can talk."
Amelia squinted slightly. "Is everything OK?"
Warren hesitated before speaking. He didn't want to be obvious with his nerves. "Yeah, go get ready, um, just ask if you need anything. It's all there."
He gestured when they pulled out of each others arms. Amelia was going to wash alone. She was still alive, she had to remind herself she was not dead like she should have been. She would have to get used to the fact that Warren needed her here, even if she didn't deserve to be.
Amelia sunk back and turned around going where she planned. She shivered and hugged her shoulders, feeling chilly in the room suddenly.
She entered the bathroom and checked where all the towels were hanging before removing her clothes and walking tentatively into the massive shower. Warren's bathroom was larger than most bedrooms. It's not her place to pry or assume anything about his life. She was only a temporary guest, nothing more. Maybe in the deepest depths of her dreams, beyond the dark and eerie scenery, she wanted to be more. Even after that kiss just now. He may take some pity on her. She wasn't beautiful, she didn't have the best looking body and she had supreme mental issues that are a burden in anyone's life to fix. The slight doubts were creeping up before she could stop them.
Warren lingered on a few moments longer, staring at the door when she closed it behind. He shook himself out of it and decided to clean up around the room as he forgot to do so occasionally. He rarely had anyone over, no one showed up either so he breathed a sigh of relief to that.
Having this girl living here was getting interesting so far. He wasn't sure what's going to happen next or how he was going to tell her he is the son of the wealthiest firm in the entire state. She's gotten to know Warren, not Warren Worthington III. But he wasn't sure if she hadn't picked up on it already, the lofty condominium, space galore, can go shopping at the drop of the hat, money is no object, his rooms; but he could understand why she wasn't thinking about it, because of what happened to her. She was still shaken up with all of the drama. He was going to tell her. Sooner then later the better, she had to know the truth if she was going to continue to being a part of his life.
His land line rang. Warren's eyes immediately found the receiver. Amelia was in the shower and she would be in there for a while probably. He didn't think twice about it as he sat on the bed, picking up the call on its fourth ring.
"Warren, it's Moira. Are you there? Are you alone?"
Warren checked behind him and the shower was still going. "I'm here, Amelia is in the bathroom. Any news yet Doc?"
"Yes, I discovered something new and configuring with her DNA...are you certain you are completely alone?"
"I am. Go ahead, please." Warren almost begged on his end.
He heard shuffling on Moira's line, sounded like documents and papers being pulled apart then clasped together with a bind.
"Amelia's cells were modified and manifested the moment she was dead."
Warren's eyes nearly crossed in confusion.
"What does this mean? Wait, sorry, go on, didn't mean to interrupt you."
"The second your DNA mixed in with hers it caused a chain reaction in her bloodstream, it not only saved her life but awakened her powers, made them stronger, as a side effect she absorbed your genetic traits, but...and this is the strange part, the results were inconclusive if they were just temporary or long term effects. I ran all of the tests I could. I can email you what I see, the experiments I did with her sample."
Warren was feeling a familiar tightening in his chest. He raced to his computer, logging on quickly, through his email he found what Moira was just describing. A few attached files and a message in the letter area describing in detail what she observed. He pressed print and waited.
He picked up the phone while everything was printed. "So we don't know if she has my powers forever or if it goes away?"
"That's accurate. It doesn't make sense too. I know fully well how to run these types of tests before, very peculiar. It's almost like she is regenerating when she expires..."
Warren wasn't sure he heard her correctly. "Wait, hold on here Doc, are you saying whenever she dies she becomes more powerful? Her mutant abilities grow stronger? How is that possible? I know there is talk of class five mutants out there but I didn't think it was possible with us, that someone could even be close to this powerful. You sure about all this?"
Moira cleared her throat. Hearing this for the first time wasn't going to be easy for him but she knew that Warren was always after the truth, and his friend deserved to know also, it directly concerned her.
"Yes, it's true. When she died she rebuilt herself. Rising like a phoenix. It's so rare with your kind, but it is indeed possible. Her powers evolved when she died."
But that would mean...
"She's immortal? But how? I thought only I was the one with the healing ability. I know there are others out there but no one wakes up from death. They die, they stay dead. How does this even work?"
"Warren, it's OK, calm down. This was why I had to make sure only you were alone. Your friend is prone to, rage when hearing any form of big, life-altering news. I think you should know how violent and hostile she can be and she doesn't even know how powerful she is. How much power she already has. She could still be evolving."
Warren sighed, he was going to need some time to process this. More time than usual. But Moira was wrong, Amelia should know right away who she is, what she can do, just how powerful she can get.
"I know how you feel about this gull, I think of Charles the same way, I know Warren." Moira paused, leaving Warren hanging onto her words. "Great power can used for good or evil, I'm not saying this gull is prone to evil but I am concerned knowing what I know and now you knowing it too. Be careful, she is strong and capable now. She can fight her battles without your help. She could be a danger to you or anyone around her."
Warren bit his lip roughly. He wasn't going to accept this. What Moira is saying is so far beyond anything he would have thought of Amelia. She isn't meant for destruction, she wouldn't hurt anyone he refused to believe it. And most of all, she did need him because he needed her.
"This can't be possible. I am supposed to protect her. I gave her my word. This is madness. I just...found her Moira."
Warren's voice was soft and breakable. He was already hurt and showing it in his tone.
"Charles will always be more powerful than me. I can't be with him like I always wanted. I know how you feel."
Warren's jaw clenched. Hearing her try to understand him was making it worse. He wasn't ready to say goodbye, he will never be ready.
"I've got to go. Thanks, Doc, for doing this. I won't forget it." He hung up, slowly without letting the doctor answer back.
There wasn't any need to say more. It can't be over.
The shower turned off, Warren stopped moving for a second before turning around then back rapidly. He made a move to hide the documents, bind them together and store them in a new folder shoving it all in his desk drawer. He was keeping everything in case Amelia doesn't believe him. If she will get angry when he would tell her the truth, he had to handle it himself. He can do it.
He is strong, he is Warren. His mother raised him to be strong and withstand anything. Even a girl who might potentially match his strength. Or worse, leave him for good.
"Warren? I-I oh I'm sorry, I..." Warren firmly turned around from his daze, staring back.
Amelia was wrapped tightly in an over-sized towel, clutching it close as her damp hair dripped water droplets from her shoulders.
Warren stood up straight forcing his eyes to look only on hers and not on her body.
"Sorry, are you alright?" He almost stumbled but caught himself as Amelia nodded meekly. "Do you need something?"
Amelia hugged her shoulders together, unsure of how to ask, but found her voice nevertheless. "Clothes, I forgot where they were."
Warren breathed out. He should stop worrying, that phone call just happened with Moira. He had to push all the anxiety and not let Amelia know what's going on.
He walked toward Amelia, more passed her to the room they shared and searched for the bag that held the newly bought clothes. He held the bag for a moment before clearing his throat.
"I'm gonna go take a shower also, here." He placed the bag on the bed, leaving it wide open for her to dress.
So much was going on in his mind and he needed a shower to calm down. He could lose her. That can't happen. She could be much more powerful than he is. Handle herself. Deal with life without him in it.
Warren had his back turned and shut his eyes hard then opened them again.
"Thank you. I forgot you bought these." Amelia said, almost above a whisper but still loud enough for him to hear. "Warren?"
He wanted to hop inside the shower and shut off his vocal chords, his hearing, the world.
Warren waited and that was Amelia's beat to continue.
She moved to sit on the bed, he still wasn't looking in her direction but she bit her tongue about telling him that.
Hesitating she almost forgot her sentence. There was a weird tension in the air that she didn't understand. She really wanted to ask him about it but dropped the thoughts quickly.
Amelia stared at Warren's back, his muscles were contracting slightly and his wings were moving, almost shaking but held still for a moment. She didn't know if she should really say anything. She opted for ignoring any issue and obliged to dress instead.
"Never mind." She said, moving her wet hair from her eyes and looked at the clothes in front of her putting them on while his back was turned.
When she was finished she remained silent while the room grew thick with more unsettling tension. Biting her lip and pulling her damp hair away from her face she sat in the corner of the room, looking out from the view. New York was so busy, too preoccupied to stare up to see anyone else.
Her eyes glowed a bright blue as she watched the glamorous girls walk down the cross streets carrying a coffee in one hand. Just humans, living their lives. Her glow flickered for a few moments until it turned back to her original color. A solid green strung out from her iris and she rubbed at her eyes like she had so many times prior. It didn't do anything to help, she knew. She was stuck like this forever.
Warren started forward but stopped. From the corner of Amelia's eye she looked at him, wondering what his next move was.
"I need to know something..." Warren tentatively said, unsure himself but at the same time wanting to know her answer.
Warren properly turned around, his wings ruffling from the back as he walked carefully to the corner of the room. Kneeling down on the floor he looked down for a moment, then picked his head up, his features twitching but he found his footing and composure together again, holding them tightly like a strong rope. Amelia was looking down timidly. If he didn't know any better she was growing scared of him again. This is not working. He had to keep it together if she was going to stand a chance.
Warren took her hand in both of his, bringing it up to his lips and pressed strongly but gently because it's her.
"It's not over, none of this is. Not if we want it to be but I don't believe you want that. You and I, we could do this. I've been alone for so long and it's taught me a few things. I want to share my life with someone. I'm not asking anything from you, Amelia, you don't ever have to give it to me," he paused to smile. "do you want this?"
Amelia hesitated before speaking. She took a deep breath to calm herself. She looked away for a moment before biting her lip, choosing her words carefully.
She smiled slowly, looking back into his eyes, the thoughts were clear suddenly. She felt it. Touching his face, that familiar sanctuary. She can't be without this man, his life. As selfish as it sounded she felt like she belonged here.
"Being here with you makes sense. I'm ready to trust you. I want to be. I'm ready Warren." She brought his face close to hers and touched her lips to his, kissing him to remind him she meant every word.
He kissed her back, returning the emotions, favors, her future dreams back into her soul. He pulled away from what she did, both of their eyes were closed. Leaning his forehead against hers he caught his breath. Even as mutants they still feel the weakness of less than evolved humans before them. It made them both feel normal for a moment.
"I'm so happy to hear this, you have no idea." They brought each other into a hug, holding on until they were ready to move on.
It's time to just move on, forward. Have a life. Amelia began imaging suddenly what that was like. Actually living life. Despite everything, her greatest fears, tempting her to turn back, with Warren by her side, she felt strong, able and willing to imagine it all a reality. This notion brought a smile to her face. A first real smile followed by pink colors that dripped from her iris.
Warren picked her up and brought her over to his bed, placing her on top of the covers. His eyes couldn't leave hers but he knew he had to control his urges. Amelia finally said she would trust him. So he excused himself and turned to the bathroom to finish getting ready.
When his turned around to shut the door of bathroom he felt a rush of sensation course through his veins. It finally happened, and most importantly he let himself feel like he deserved to feel this way, for her, he wouldn't trade it for the world.
Warren and Amelia began finishing getting ready for the day. It was time to leave the condo, both agreed while it was safe and sound inside, they wanted to enjoy being outside together. Amelia was ready for it again, slightly unsure at the same time but she needed to feel alive in the world as well. Warren didn't push her, she felt it was right.
Warren had specially built straps made for the Fall and Winter seasons so it wouldn't look too obvious when his wings showed. Internally, for him, it felt like an extra part of arms were twisted and held together firmly, even in the slightest of panics it would take a few hard tries from his strength to spread his wingspan. Warren didn't have much freedom being a mutant outside in the city, even with New York and all of its eccentric characters, he would be judged. Forever he would be judged for who he is. His father made sure Warren hid himself, by any means.
Warren knew his father was right about being potentially ridiculed. The only person who mattered right now is Amelia. The day belonged to her and he was going to make it completely about her.
Amelia slipped her feet into the new shoes Warren bought her. She watched as he put on the rest of his clothes, thinking he was too surreal. So gentle, a miracle in her life. He saved her in more ways than just giving her a second chance, her heart changed. She watched him move and her heart moved with him.
She could feel it, every beat thumping against her ribcage. She placed both hands on her chest, listening, feeling, knowing it's really...alive. She was allowing herself to feel her emotions again, a calm pink flying from her eyes as a smile came naturally to her lips.
She took her hands off and put on the new dark blue jacket that made her shoulders look very broad. She pulled her long hair out of the jacket and revved in the softness of the fabric. She felt so unused to this new style. To any style. The corners of her lips turned up as she laughed at how silly she was being. This was not her world, of course she was feeling this way. But still, the thought of someone in this world could just do all this for her was unheard of, but Warren was a unique, rare man with a special place in her heart.
But he was only being nice. Even after everything she still believed Warren was too good a man for her. For a long time she was careless into thinking someone could want or even like her, someone could see her and not be afraid. Warren wasn't running, even though he should be.
"I know it's scary..." Warren said, causing her attention on his words as he continued. "Going out there, I mean. I know people. I sort of, know the area. I'll make sure you're safe when you step outside. I have to live with hiding who I am and it really sucks...oh yeah, here." Warren went to pick up her sunglasses. The new ones he bought her. "I wouldn't judge you... but I'm not too sure the world is ready for us to reveal ourselves."
Amelia took the glasses gently. They looked so new she almost didn't want to touch them, much less wear them. She sighed heavily, before placing them on, like it was routine for her, and it was. "I know...I don't think the world will ever want to give us a chance. We have to hide. It's tragic. I know very few people who don't see us and run away."
"Because they are cowards. There are several just like us, I know this. All over the world, trying to adjust, looking in the mirror, trying to accept themselves is most of the battle. The world doesn't know that. For them to judge something they don't understand is the real terror of being who we are and I wish we could change it. Change them."
Amelia sat down on the bed she and Warren shared, huddling her shoulders. "They won't change, no matter how much we do."
"I know..." Warren grabbed his phone before he forgot and quickly sent a text message to his driver. He got a reply instantly stating his driver was on his way. Warren took a deep breath and exhaled with a slight noise. "My driver will be here shortly. Um, would you like something to drink before we leave? I could get you something if you want?"
Amelia blushed and looked down. "No I'm alright..." she cleared her throat, thinking a second time. Her throat had a roughness to it. She removed her shades, looking at him, her thoughts between uncertain and need.
"Maybe, oh I don't know, my throat feels, not right." She covered her mouth coughing.
Warren leaned down to her level so he was eye to eye. "I can turn on the kettle. Would you like that?"
She nodded slightly, "Thank you."
"I should have some tea also. Coffee would be ideal if we are tired but it has been known to keep people wired. It won't be good for your heart. Plus, I never personally drink it."
"I understand. Do you need help?"
He smiled, bringing the back of his hand to touch her cheek. "You can join me."
They walked to the kitchen as Warren turned on the kettle to boil. Amelia watched as he prepared the tea bags in the two mugs on the spotless counter. She watched him move, she could watch him move all day and feel at peace. The way he moved was effortless yet direct and compliant. He knew what he was doing but there was a certain earthy quality he had when he moved. A spiritual uplifting in his demeanor. He was someone you could trust.
Not only was he physically beautiful, he was extremely beautiful on the inside. Of course he didn't know that, it was obvious enough. Maybe there was something she could do about that. Warren means so much to her and he had to know that. She was going to make sure he knew it.
"I'm not, I mean, I don't feel scared of going outside." Amelia said, taking a seat at the table.
The kettle whistled and Warren poured the hot water in the two mugs. He walked over and set them down, one in front of her and one in front of his seat. He sat down and spaced out his attention for a moment before he felt her eyes on him. He shook his head in a silly way. Forgetting what he was being weird about and went back to respond to what Amelia told him.
"That's really good." He said, reaching for his mug, bringing the steaming liquid to his lips for a small sip.
"Are you OK?"
Warren took a few seconds to answer. "Yeah? Yes, I am. Just, um, I want this day to be special. I invested a few days off to calm things down hopefully. I just want you to see the world is not such a scary place."
Amelia's lips curved up to mirror his positive and encouraging expression, "Perhaps it's not so scary as I thought."
They sipped their tea in silence. Warren would pass looks at her and she returned them. They turned their attention to the people out the window. It seemed like New York, in Warren's perspective it appeared a lot more calmer than what she was used to. It was still New York but she could look outside and not fear the worst. People seemed normally stressed, possibly because of every day work, but near street corners, they would kiss and hug each other like it was their last time showing affection to one another. It brought a smile to her face and Warren sincerely caught it, causing him to smile with her.
"My mother used to do that..."
Amelia turned her head, looking at him. "Oh...do what?"
Warren blushed and suppressed a laugh because it was too uncanny. "Look down and slowly smile. She did that a lot when she would hear my stories. When I would tell her what I did that day, she would take everything I said in. I really miss those moments."
Amelia didn't know how to respond. Warren seemed to think that she had certain mannerisms that were attributed to his family. It was probably the strongest compliment she ever received. But Warren was also missing his mother, he probably saw her everywhere and maybe it was just a coincidence she did that and it triggered that thought to reveal itself just before.
Amelia breathed in deeply. It was still very kind of him to say that to her.
"I'm sure you loved her very much. Your time together must have been wonderful."
"It was," he paused, clearing his throat, feeling the emotional strain wanting to pull at him again. But he told himself he was going to keep it together for Amelia. She deserved someone stable and that is exactly who he is going to be. "It's true, you reminded me of her when you did that."
Amelia made the gesture again and that time she noticed, turning that ever noticeable shade of pink, her eyes glowing respectively. No one ever looked at her like Warren had. It was like he watched her to the point of being aware of everything she did. She wasn't used to being looked at this much. If anyone looked at her it was usually in fear or disgust. Not fawning. Strangely, she didn't feel scared of taking this in. Maybe he really meant it. Maybe it was okay to feel needed by someone.
Amelia sipped her tea, still warm around her hands, calming her mind, yet suddenly, lost in deep thought. She was tentative before she asked him a question.
"What was she like? Your mother?" What was it like to have a mother? She wanted to ask, but held back and waited for his answer.
Warren shifted a bit in his chair, he slowly moved to stand up and walked to the couch with his tea in hand, placing the mug down. Amelia stared on, unsure of how to react. Did she strike a nerve? Was it too invasive? Did she offend him? A million questions like this appeared in her mind until she heard Warren clear his throat gently.
He suddenly looked at her from where he was sitting, felt like he was looking through her. He realized where he was and gestured for her to come sit next to him on the couch.
Amelia breathed a sigh of relief, stood up and slowly walked to the couch, setting her tea down. She sat down as soundlessly as she could, slight nervousness followed her. She hugged her shoulders while watching Warren move toward her, closer, she could hear his breathing.
"She was...I don't know if words can describe how I felt about her. How she made me feel when she was here. It was...she was the only person who understood all this..." Warren trailed off, collecting his thoughts. He wasn't going to lose control, even if the memory of her was so clear, so many images fled his mind and he wanted to recount them all. But he couldn't do that if he was going to be emotionally unbridled.
He had to tread carefully. Bubbles of angst wanted to take over but his mind focused on her, who she was to him.
"I mean me, she loved me more than anything in this wretched, hateful and judgmental world. I should have been more attentive to her when she was gravely ill. I couldn't handle my dad blaming me for the cause of my being a mutant. He said I was the reason for all her stress in the end. But that wasn't it. My mother was stressed, but not because of me, she told me this, the doctor told me this, she was sick and there was nothing we could do to help her. The cancer had already spread through her body. At one point she didn't recognize her family. She was gradually getting worse and worse. No amount of money or treatment we gave could cure her. What was she like?"
Warren smiled warmly, his mind easily flickering back to the moments he cherished.
"She was...life, she was a woman I admired. Someone I would die for. She taught me how to breathe and appreciate every second of my life. And she told me not to harm myself if she passed, I gave her my word and I stopped from then on hating myself for any reason. Even if the world thought I was a freak and I could never be accepted, she told me it didn't matter. What mattered was what I thought. Because she told me I would live with whatever person I choose to be, whatever feeling I felt, whatever thoughts were in my mind, that would be for the rest of my life. And I wasn't going to let her down. Even after she passed away, I still keep her advice close to me. I love her so much and I miss her every day. It's weird, I see a lot of her in you. In the way you are."
Amelia blushed, trying to take in everything he was saying. She closed her eyes for a moment then opened them again. This was real. It wasn't some fiction story someone wrote about her life, this was really happening to her.
She lifted her face up as tears fell down the slope of her cheeks. She leaned foreword while her arms held his body, reaching to grip his back. Gentler. She realized how lucky she was and how grateful she was to be alive.
Warren's arms came securely around her shoulders, enveloping her against his chest, feeling his warm heart comfortably beat and the rhythm.
"I keep thinking this a dream and any minute I'll wake up from all this."
Warren pulled away to look in her eyes, holding them as if he had a magnet to steel. "This is better than my dreams. This is us. We are here, right now. Just us."
Amelia cupped his face, placing a small kiss on his lips. Her forehead lingering on. "It's feeling that way, honestly. I'm trusting you Warren."
Warren pulled her into a hug that was tighter than neither of them could fathom. He didn't realize how much the weight of her words affected him just now. They could make each other better, lean on one another as friends, grow from experiences, learning about each others heartaches, weaknesses, secrets, fears, emotions, internal insecurities and maybe an extended discovery of whatever else they didn't know they had.
For Amelia, this was a breakthrough above all. She never had someone truly accept her the way she is. Warren wasn't family but he acted like he belonged in her life more than immediate blood.
They pulled out of the hug and Amelia rested her head under his chin, listening to his heartbeat. She loved hearing him live. It was inspiring her to see that possibility for herself.
Warren reached behind him and took a picture frame in his hand and held it in front of his face. He pulled it away as Amelia looked at the picture with him.
Silence took over them for a few seconds. Amelia sat up straighter to focus her eyes better.
More silence, then Amelia wondered something.
"What was her name?"
"Katheryn, her name was Katheryn."
Amelia had several questions forming at the center of her brain. This women, Warren's mother, his everything, his life, the most beautiful person she had ever seen, she just wanted to know... She ached to know what it was like to have a mother like her. To have someone who loved you just as Warren described.
She wasn't going to pester Warren with all her questions at once, she was just going to observe. She felt his breathing speed up and his heart following suit.
She sat up from his body and looked at the picture more closely. Warren's hands were shaking slightly. She brought her hand over his, touching his fingers, feeling them relax.
"You have a way of calming me down..." Warren trailed off in a breathy voice.
Amelia moved her free hand through his hair, touching it gently. His hair felt soft through her fingers, she brushed part of it to the side so she could see his eyes. His blinking was slow and deliberate. He was thinking about his mother. He had dreams that she was still here, still in his life. Talking with him, really listening to everything about his day. His thumb brushed his mother's cheek, it was just the glass of the frame, underneath was only a photograph he felt. It wasn't real.
"I know she's gone, I'm sorry, I just, I made peace with this when I was young. I still have memories of her that are so clear. Like they just happened. I'm sorry..." Warren embarrassingly put back the frame.
He had almost lost it there. His mother was gone and there nothing that could bring her back. Not even all those research experiments his father paid for. He couldn't forget his father's face staring him down all those times. Blaming his own son for his mother's detrimental illness.
"Warren, I'm sorry, it was my fault, I asked. I started this."
Warren pulled his hands off his eyes, facing her. "It's really not. I should have been over this by now. It happened so long ago..."
He looked off for a moment. Lost in this, unable to fully pull out, but he had to.
Amelia kept quiet for a moment. "That doesn't mean the feelings she gave you are gone forever. You're a strong man, I can tell. But it's OK to feel what you're feeling. You aren't any less of a person for feeling this way."
But I am barely human as is. I can't walk outside the way I am without ridicule sprayed over me. He thought. "I just thought I had better control over myself. I apologize if it made you feel uncomfortable."
Warren wasn't looking at her but starring off into space. His eyes were shifting and she was slightly apprehensive in speaking or moving. She took a risk and touched his arm softly.
He came back to himself, trying to calm his nerves down. He was unsure of how he felt, the emotions were just bubbling up. Wanting to come bursting in volcanic cries. Before he could stop them, tears had fallen down his face sliding off smoothly.
"Sorry...oh god." Warren shrunk back. "I know I know, I should stop."
Amelia said nothing and put her arms around him silently. Letting him cry out everything he had. He was still holding onto his mom's death being his fault. Amelia believed he thought it was his fault, but it wasn't.
"One thing I know that can't be explained is death. It's never going to make sense. It's not your fault Warren. You were her everything, you still are. That won't ever go away. She's watching over you right now. Proud of her son. She knows how strong you are."
Warren stiffly let go. He really ought to keep himself more carefully constrained. This wasn't meant to happen, not with her. The last time he came unglued he felt like it wasn't going to end. He took a deep breath, exhaling calmly and took Amelia's hand to kiss softly.
"I know..." He said, the shaking breathing slowly leaving him. "She told me that all the time when she was alive."
Amelia leaned her head on his shoulder, saying nothing. She opened this subject and now it needs to be closed. Sore subjects often dig up old feelings or sometimes feelings that won't go away. She didn't at all want to provoke him so she changed the subject.
"Is your driver is coming?"
Warren cleared his throat and checked the time.
"Yeah...we could wait downstairs. You ready?"
Amelia nodded and they stood up as Warren went to dry his eyes in the bathroom. He came out and picked up the house keys and his wallet. Amelia watched as he checked the small leather for his credit cards. She wasn't comfortable completely letting him pay for everything. It just didn't feel right for her. But it seemed like Warren didn't mind at all. He actually wanted to spend money on the day, especially on her.
He turned his attention to her.
I don't deserve your money. I don't deserve any of this. I should be gone. Why do you think I deserve a second chance? Maybe I don't, maybe I do. Maybe it's time to stop feeling so alone. Maybe trusting him could change my life. Maybe I can breathe without the terror of my life being taken away from me. Your eyes are making me think I can. I'm putting my life in your hands. I owe you everything.
"T-thank you." Was all she can say.
And she meant it. With everything, she meant it because no one could do this for her...no one.
Warren blushed slightly, looking down as he locked eyes with her.
I don't deserve someone this beautiful. Someone with such a beautiful heart and soul. Someone who doesn't always assume I would pay for everything but is finally looking at me the way I wish to be treated. I am just a normal person and she sees it. She sees me as more than what I am. She believes in me. Money is a means to survive and not a gift bought with affection. She gave me her heart, her trust and I can't let her down. I feel like I didn't earn this. So I have to prove it to her, everyday that she belongs in my life. I owe you myself.
"You're welcome, Amelia. Walk down with me, let's go face the world together."
Amelia smiled and took his hand in hers.
On the way to their destination Amelia's mind was stuck on tiresome thoughts. Ones that couldn't keep away even if things were seemingly alright. Warren touched her hand to make sure she was okay but she knew she wasn't. Maybe letting him do so much for her is getting to her head. Perhaps she needed to figure out life on her own.
But she was a part of him now, so much more. He opened up to her and the emotional part of him was so touching. She wanted to protect him from pain. Losing someone he loved dearly, he hadn't had an easy time living with the reality of his mother being gone. Amelia understood that, she never met her mother, and she didn't have a choice in the matter. Her mother didn't exist in her life. Was she alive? Breathing somewhere quiet? Living her life away from responsibilities? Amelia didn't know the answers. She had more questions than anything.
She felt movement and looked at Warren as he rolled down the window separating the front to the back of the car.
He whispered something to the driver who nodded while and sat back with a content smile.
Amelia stopped staring but couldn't help herself. Warren had a smile full of sunshine. When he smiled she wanted to be closer to him, just to ask him how he does it so easily. She wanted to be near his happiness. Whatever was making him smile, the curiosity got the better of her. But she didn't bring it up, just observed the scenery out the window.
"It's starting to get cold. I didn't realize it was already fall."
"Yeah, this year just flew by. And I would know."
Amelia laughed slightly. "The place where I lived, it was extremely hot or just bitterly cold. Guess I never noticed how beautiful the fall is."
"What part of the city did you live in?"
"Crown Heights." she mumbled.
Warren shook his head.
"I'm sorry. Well, I'm glad you're finally away from there. I've heard terrible things about that place. Long Island, even in its worse times, was hardly close to living there."
Amelia fidgeted. Even saying where she lived was making feel her uneasy. She changed the subject.
"Where are we going?"
Warren understood why she wanted to shift topics. Plus he never told her where they were going.
"A place where we can relax…I hope you'll like it."
Amelia's nose twitched. "I can't keep letting you spend money on me. I just think you should save it." She said, bravely.
She wanted to say this for a while after he went and bought her a closet full of clothes; more than she's ever owned.
Amelia was used to saving and pinching when it came to money. She didn't expect Warren to be throwing his money at her and she didn't want him to go too far just for her well-being.
Warren sighed, he wasn't annoyed that she was insisting he stop spending his money, it's just at this moment and for her, he finally wanted to. He didn't want to smother her with it either. Money is a necessity, it was obvious to her. She didn't live in privilege like he had. To him, he viewed it in the same manner since recently. And yet he grew up the complete opposite way, now that he's an adult, he became well aware of how privileged he actually was. And he'd grown more responsible than he was in past experiences.
"This is something I want to do for you. I know you didn't ask me. I already told you that you don't need to pay me back because these are things you need. And I always help my friends who are in need, always. In fact, I know I probably do it too much. But with you, I sincerely don't mind paying. You're actually the only person who doesn't expect me to do it. But you don't need to worry about me. Honestly..." Warren said, his voice getting quieter by the end as his wings twitched in their straps.
It felt like he wanted to cover her in his wings but it was a good thing they were extra tightened.
Amelia kept quiet. She didn't want to fight or make him angry. She sighed quietly and bit her tongue before any more words came out. He was angry and it was her fault. She shouldn't have said anything.
Warren noticed she was sitting close to the window, looking outside and not near him. Was he too harsh? He didn't think so. Amelia thought that she owed him something back for all the expenses. He'd hardly been around a person who acted this way when it came to money. People were confident with their money in his world. It was practically a commodity, a common source of how you were "in" with society. It was second nature far as he was concerned. If he didn't have it, he didn't have a notion he really existed. But he knew he was more than that. Amelia probably saw that and perhaps he stepped a little outside his charity. Or maybe his delivery was the problem. Maybe he was a little too direct. He smiled sullenly, attempting to turn her attention back on him.
"I'm sorry...really. I don't want to dispute this."
Amelia faced forward, turning her body still, almost rigid. "I don't want that either."
"Do you trust me?"
She slowly looked at him, behind her glasses, her eyes glowed a sky blue. But it was wrong. She knew it was all wrong.
"Yes, I do." She licked her lips, biting her bottom lip as she continued. "I guess accepting this is harder than I thought. I'm sorry. I just-it's hard."
"Why is it hard?"
"To...it's not easy...my life has been. I'm sorry..." Amelia stammered, feeling the words lost to her emotions, her iris following through.
Warren watched her struggle to express herself. This has got to be hard for her to take. Knowing from the beginning she couldn't trust anyone, let alone allow anyone to help her financially. This was a first for both of them. Money was no conciliation to him. It doesn't matter, possibly because he has it. She doesn't. But regardless of the truth, what he has is now hers. If he could make her understand then maybe some of the worry wouldn't be there.
"Amelia, my purpose right now is you. And it's going to be you because I want you to be able to feel safe."
She sighed, he was right. She nodded without saying a word.
She kept quiet for the rest of the ride. Warren checked his planner and marked something down before the driver had pulled into an underground parking garage. Warren rolled up the windows as his driver pulled into one of the first parking spots on the turn.
When the car came to a stop Warren opened the slide door to tell his driver something. Amelia kept to herself until she was spoken to. She didn't want to make Warren mad again, maybe if she kept silent he would forget about her little outburst over money. It was embarrassing to say the least. Warren knew how poor she was and how she could probably never pay him back for everything he's doing for her. She still didn't feel it was right, she didn't feel like she earned it.
Maybe she didn't feel like she earned him. They still don't know a whole lot about each other and yet they are living together. Amelia can't seem to wrap her head around that.
"Are you OK?"
Amelia broke the daze and turned to Warren, staring at her with worry lines. "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't hear you..."
"I asked if you were ready to go now. My driver was just going to follow us up to the lobby, you don't mind if he does, right?"
Amelia didn't feel like it was her choice to make. It seemed like this was protocol for Warren to do every time he left the house.
"No, I don't mind. Umm..." She moved to fix her jacket and clicked open the door.
She wanted to ask if his driver was also his bodyguard but she bit her tongue back unless he told her this information. Even though it might be a little obvious it still wasn't her place to ask him.
Amelia leaned against the trunk of the shiny, black car staring off into space. She felt Warren's eye on her but wasn't sure if she should look. He may still be perturbed at her and she didn't want to spoil everything by talking; she chose to believe he'd get over it fast.
Amelia pulled out again, she wasn't sure if she was still stuck in the haze or not. "Hmm?"
Warren offered his hand for her and she almost hesitated before taking it. She needed to pull herself out of this weirdness before he started asking questions. His eyes were already scanning her face as if she were hiding a secret. It was a good thing he couldn't see her naked eyes because then he'd know how she was really feeling. Maybe he wouldn't see anything.
But she didn't have any secrets. She was sure she didn't. She just wanted to accept this life Warren had given her. Accept it and be done with all this anguish.
"You know, I can remember when I was just like you, I mean, your thoughts. Remember when I told you about how I used to struggle to accept who I am?"
"Well it's real, it's still with me, and it really never left. But I am more welcoming of it. Yes, I live in secret, I can't openly do the things I want to do because of who I am; but I had to look past that. I'm still here. I'm going to make the most of what I have right now. I know you probably want to do this too. It doesn't take much to notice somebody going through the same things I did. I think it could be a little easier when we're not alone, and we aren't, right?"
Amelia slightly smiled, looking down and back at him with agreeing eyes.
I hope not, she thought. I hope you don't find something you don't like about me and force me to leave. Maybe I deserve it. Thinking this could be anything more than what it is. She couldn't help from thinking this. Luck wasn't her friend when it came to anything good happening to her.
Warren and Amelia walked hand in hand out of the parking garage, his driver tagging along behind them. Amelia ignored him and focused on her behavior, holding in her worries, trying not to bombard Warren with any outward suspicions. She had nothing to worry about, she could just let go of the thoughts that manifested and feelings that aren't there.
When they walked outside, Amelia noticed they were walking down the streets in the upper parts of New York, near the ritzy, posh restaurants, condominiums, business buildings all coincided and commencing all at once. She's heard about this town but could never set foot in the area. These people weren't too welcoming of outsiders. Most of them held a reputation for looking down on people who weren't born into wealth so it was ironic she'd find herself here of all places. Not even in a million years did she ever see such a...clean life. There were no broken bottles, mounds of dirt, mud tracks, filthy sex shops, urban liquor stores around. It was all very commercial looking. You could lay down on the street and not worry about catching any diseases.
Warren led Amelia to a corner cafe right across from a French Italian restaurant that looked the most crowded of all the businesses. She watched people outside and in waiting to be seated, while a shiny, silver Bentley pulled up and turned the other direction, through an alley back way.
Amelia averted her eyes and kept them back on Warren as they walked to front entrance of the cafe. This was extremely immaculate to be a casual cafe. Amelia was afraid to sit down but Warren insisted she did while he went to go order them something warm to drink. He said he was going to bring her the drinks so she remained quiet and didn't refute his doing another favor for her.
Her eyes wondered around the cafe, randomly looking at the customers that came and went, a few people settling in their tables as if it were routine for them to come inside such an expensive place. She didn't look at anyone in particular but at one point they landed on a man with auburn hair that was in his eyes and red, almost ruby colored ray ban sunglasses, wearing a tight and worried expression on his face. Amelia stared at him off and on; he couldn't be no older than she, sipping something warm in a medium sized coffee mug. He seemed to be in deep thought until someone sat across from him; he looked surprised when he turned his head up. She had a perfect body, the kind of body society accepted; her long, strong red hair flowed like soft rain down her back. She began to sit down and he looked even more concerned. He started to take off his glasses but stopped instantly.
"Hey, what are you looking at?" Warren asked, oblivious, almost staring in the direction Amelia was but stopped when she turned to him.
"Nothing, just, I've never been here before..." she said, avoiding bringing up what she was really looking at. "I mean, it's so, warm, it feels nice."
Warren smiled. Finally, things were becoming more positive. He was going to keep it that way. She looked genuinely better since they came outside.
But the day wasn't over yet. He had more surprises for her to come. He wanted this to be at her pace. He didn't want to bombard her with lavishness right away.
"Well I'm glad. I like it here. I come here because it's pretty casual. I know it looks crowded but this is their calm hour. Plus, the manager knows me well."
Apparently a lot of people know Warren. She was beginning to think he was some kind of celebrity; it's not hard to believe. She couldn't ignore the looks he was getting from females around the cafe. She wondered if she felt out of place with all the attention he was getting, even if it was subtle. Thank god nobody bothered them. Amelia wouldn't know how to handle it. She felt like a part of Warren belonged to her, even though it wasn't realistically true. She wanted it to be.
"Are you friends with her?" Amelia asked, nodding to the middle-aged woman standing in front of the cashier's till.
Warren looked behind and as if by magic, the manager picked up her eyes and waved to Warren. He just gave a small smile in return and turned around to Amelia who had an amused look on her face.
She looked down before Warren caught her look, raising his eyebrow. "What? Oh, yeah, they know me. I grew up around this way. This place is so old they remember my parents before I was born."
"It must be nice knowing some people remember you at all. I mean, it feels wonderful." Amelia sipped her drink, taken by how rich the flavor was and looked back at the blonde in front of her.
Warren had a far off look in his eye. "It is, if I ever have a family of my own I want the same people who know my face to remember theirs too. Whoever is in my life will get the same treatment that I do. I guess..." he paused, collecting himself, maybe now is a good time to start telling her, "you probably noticed my life may be a little more...affluent than what you're used to."
Amelia nodded and put down the mug, giving him her full attention. His tone sounded like he wanted to say more.
"What I mean is..." He trailed off the words.
Warren thought it best to just show her since his words weren't quite forming right, and in case she'd heard and didn't believe him. He was an only child but people have pretended to be the long lost cousin of the main family. Warren was better proving it than anything, he felt secure in telling her, she after all, knew the real Warren.
He went inside his wallet and pulled out his personal credit card, looking at it for moment before placing it on Amelia's side of the table.
Amelia followed the gesture and took a moment to register what he did. She looked at the card then at him. He placed his driver's license right next to the card, showing a picture, a slightly different pose of his look. Maybe a little somber, but it was still him.
She licked her lips for a second, unsure of what to respond with. She looked at both cards, they said Warren on them, revealed his picture, that meant he is who said he is. He didn't lie about that. She didn't know what else to say about this...she scratched her temple and opened her mouth, finding her voice.
"I don't understand, they both say you're Warren, right? What am I supposed to be looking for?" She said, searching Warren's eyes but all she found was shock.
Was she supposed to know something? Warren looked at her speechless but cleared his throat, he was going to have to be more organic now.
Just do it. She's important to you. You want her to trust you, she won't care, she has no clue and the truth is right in front of her face.
Warren rubbed his face and the back of his neck before taking a deep breath. He made direct eye contact with her, but softened his features.
"Have you heard of Worthington Industries? The firm corporation, I mean." Warren said, waiting for a reaction, all he got was another perplexed expression.
"I was sure the name would get some kind of reaction. Um, well, basically..." Amelia's hand rested gently over his, channeling him to relax slightly. "I'm sorry, I just don't know how to come right out and say it."
Amelia sat back quietly in her seat, waiting for Warren to continue. When he didn't, she thought she might say something brief to come his obvious nerves.
"Warren, what you are doesn't compare to who you are. Honestly, you could tell me you came from royal blood and it wouldn't change how I feel. Because, to me, that's only a piece of you. I still see you the same. I know, saying all of this might sound too soon or even normal, but I don't think we were made to be normal. Whatever you need to say, it won't change anything." Amelia spoke earnestly.
"You think so?" He asked, playing with the napkin nervously.
"You're an amazing person, knowing anything else about you is a privilege."
His mother used to tell him people who never bring up the value of money around him are worthy of everything. Warren's body was starting to settle down followed by his thoughts.
"It really won't change anything?"
Amelia almost laughed but grinned instead. "No, it won't."
Warren bit his lip, amused and relishing in the fact that for the first time he can tell someone who knew his real secrets something that appears almost trivial.
He took a deep breath and started, "My father's business, rather practical heirloom family business, spanning generations, deals in stocks and trades. I am the sole heir to my family's monetary accumulations." He paused, watched her face for a moment, then continued. "And the total sum of the heir is worth...billions."
Amelia slowly leaned her chin on her hand, waiting until there was more he had to say. Warren's face went still, he looked at her in shock with his mouth open agape. No response was never a good sign.
She raised her eyebrow.
"That's what you were afraid of telling me?"
Warren forced himself to relax, "Yes, I was."
Amelia stood from her seat and walked to the seat right next to Warren. She touched his knee and blushed. She suddenly grew nervous around him but she mustered courage to bring the back of her hand across his cheek.
For a moment she was lost in his eyes. Unaware they were in public, she ignored the world and moved closer to Warren as he brought her hands to kiss them softly, taking his time while staring at her. Warren leaned close and touched his lips to Amelia's. She responded to his gesture by cupping his face and moved slightly away when he slowed down the kiss to press his lips to her forehead. He put his arms around her body and brought her close to his chest.
"I'm so lucky to have you in my life. It doesn't matter what you own, who your father is, what happened in your past, I don't care. If it went away tomorrow, I would still be here with you." Amelia picked up her head to look at him. "Would you still want me to?"
The corners of his mouth curved. "Yes, I would."
Amelia touched her lips to his in a sweet manner briefly, pulling away to look in his eyes. It was hard to seem them through her shades.
Warren hesitated before he reached to touch her sunglasses. "Let me see your eyes. I have to."
Amelia slightly panicked out of old habits. She forgot they were in public.
"Warren, no. What if they see?"
He reluctantly gave in; almost forgetting they were near people who would judge who they are. What if Amelia wanted to free Warren's wings from the straps suddenly? It made sense. He considered another way.
"Well, OK, what if I peek? Just a small one. I want to see your eyes. I want to see you looking at me. I have to." He said, unable to control the shakiness in his voice.
Amelia slightly blushed, "OK, just a peek."
She allowed Warren to slip down her glasses so he can view her eyes at an angle he was sure no one can see.
He did a double take. They weren't pink; or any color, they were her real iris color. Warren looked in complete surprise. He was sure she would show a color. He was expecting it as it was a part of her.
"What's wrong?" Amelia asked as her heart almost raced.
Warren settled his expression to one where she wouldn't look at him in the way she was. "No, it's just. I don't see it."
She waited but shook her head.
Warren leaned close to whisper near her cheeks. "I don't see your eyes glowing any color."
Amelia reacted seconds after he said this as he moved away from her. "How is that possible?"
In that moment, Warren wanted to tell her what Moira said about she being able to handle herself but he just couldn't. She had said Amelia would be improving with time, growing stronger, more efficient. She wouldn't need protection. And that wasn't what he needed to hear.
He wanted more time. He wanted more time with her. He couldn't let her go. He wasn't ready. He didn't think he'll ever be ready.
It's already starting. Even someone just like him, a mutant, would leave him if they knew the truth. Even though he trusted her, he had a feeling her reaction would cause her to become a recluse. Good-bye wasn't an option for him. As selfish as it sounds, deep down he still doubted himself.
Would telling her the truth help or hurt her? Warren wasn't a dishonest person. His mother instilled her ethereal words to him when it came to lying to people that he cared about. This wasn't going to last long. It was a risk to tell her everything and he owed her that for all she's been through.
She deserved to know and the longer he waited to reveal the truth, the riskier it's going to get.
Just tell her. Even if it means good-bye. Look at how she's looking at you. She trusts you. Don't abandon this because you're so selfish you don't want to live alone with your secrets. Maybe she could still stay.
Amelia sunk back into her seat, glasses completely off her face. She knew Warren was telling the truth because she picked up the steel spoon and looked at her reflection just to make sure. She put the spoon down, she should be happy, why was she confused?
"Does that mean it's gone? Where did the..." she lowered her voice upon saying the next word, "my mutation go?"
Warren couldn't believe her eyes weren't flickering a color. She looked and felt very much distressed right now. He believed her emotions were linked to her mutation.
It was strange seeing her normal color. Amelia was far beyond normal and this is what made her special. Since her mutation is passive, it almost felt like it was gone completely when she'd removed her sunglasses. She felt relieved coming to a strong, potential realization.
"I honestly don't know. Maybe..." Warren said, looking at her sincerely, "maybe you have more control over your abilities than you think."
Amelia hesitated before staring at Warren almost pointedly. She came out of the daze and covered her face with her hands. She didn't expect this to happen, never in a million years. Warren had many years to come to terms with his gift. But that was the thing. His was a gift. Was hers a gift too?
"You really think so? I mean..." she placed a hand over her chest, feeling for her heart. "I've never felt my heart beat so calmly. Normally it's erratic."
Warren covered her hand on the table with his. "You're beginning to see your value. You're finally believing in yourself."
Amelia's eyes nearly watered, she wasn't used to looking at the world through her natural eyes. She wouldn't have been able to come this far if it hadn't been...
"Because of you...I needed someone to help me." Amelia replied softly. "I don't know what to say."
"Amelia, I..." Warren began but she continued. He let her, reluctantly.
"Maybe all of this means something. Perhaps I can control it." She shared a look with him.
He stared at her silently and she returned it back as he felt something in his trench pocket.
Warren's phone vibrated and he looked at it.
"It's my aunt. Wow, haven't heard from her in a long time."
"Is everything OK?"
Warren sent a reply and put his mobile away. "Yeah, she, well, she's my mom's sister. She's not a Worthington. I do miss her."
"Oh..." Amelia couldn't relate, but she guessed being a Worthington wasn't a completely positive thing. "What's she like?"
Warren smiled slightly, when he thought of his family in a calm light, he always came back to his mother's side. There was no way he could hide who he really was around the two most important people in his life.
"She is, well she's the best Aunt ever. I don't think there's anyone else in my family that cared about me other than my mom."
"Has she come to see you?"
Warren cleared his throat, he felt embarrassed admitting this. "She insists I come over to her place. She likes it when I'm there so she can spoil me." Amelia smiled and looked down. "But, you know, not to the degree that I'm a kid in a toy store, because I'm not, you know, a kid anymore."
"We're both not kids. When I look at you I don't see a kid."
Warren leaned over close to her face to cover his blush. "You don't have to flatter me."
He kissed her cheek and moved back to his seat.
"You know what I mean, right? You look like someone I could trust. Something about your face, your eyes. There isn't anything unkind about your features. It's more than just aesthetic. It's deeper." Amelia said, softly.
There was a gentle beat between them, a comfortable silence that took over. Amelia had to look down from his strong gaze.
"I can't believe I can really see you. Finally, it felt like the whole time I was looking through a neon flashlight and a tinted shade."
"I didn't know it was really like that. I'm sorry."
Amelia nodded knowingly leaning back in her seat. "And I didn't know I could control it." She shook her head. "It's weird, my emotions are even. I don't feel like they're going to get the better of me."
Warren stared at Amelia for a moment. Suddenly, his father's voice came into his mind. This wasn't right. He shouldn't be in here. Amelia should occupy his thoughts. Warren might be worried about facing his father after that long winded, intimidating message he left. This wasn't the time or place to worry about all that. Warren has handled his father before and he will do it again.
"I'm really happy for you. I feel like it's only going to get better from here." He said, smiling at her.
It seemed to change her mood instantly as the sadness melted away from her features. She looked at him wondering how he always seems to look on the bright side of things. Even with being a mutant, it almost seemed like it didn't matter. Life can still be better. Her life can be better. Maybe being in his life could change everything. Maybe she could add some meaning in his life. She felt comforted in knowing that. Him being rich was only a piece of him, not the sum of his parts.
"So is this it? This is who you are? There's not anything else I should know about you?" Amelia asked, more in a teasing manner.
Warren rolled his eyes, staring directly in her eyes. "Unfortunately that is the worst of it. I find it so amusing how you didn't know. My dad's entire life revolves around that firm. He promotes the firm every chance he gets. He'll personally feel insulted if no one knew about the company or at least heard the name."
"Well, I didn't know about it, sorry."
"That's alright, sometimes I think none of the colleagues know much these days."
Amelia finished her drink and stood to throw it away but Warren caught her before she could. She smiled as he went to the back of the cafe to throw away their cups. When he came back he asked if she was ready to go and if she wanted anything. She shook her head and they stood up and walked out of the cafe.
Amelia was behind Warren but she was fixing her jacket before she walked to the door. It was one of those jackets that had two zippers going in opposite directions. Warren watched her struggle for a for seconds before he asked her if she'd like his help.
Again she shook her head but Warren's hand came over hers.
"Let me, it's OK." He said softly, connecting her zipper and moving it up close to her chin.
"Thank you." She said, pulling her hair out to cover her cheeks.
She was staring at him again and he caught it this time. He took a few moments before he came out of his gaze and held out his hand.
She held onto it as if she needed to, and she did, so badly in that moment. Warren was like out of a dream; some kind of crazy dream that only happened to beautiful people. She almost believed she was one of them when she looked at him. She could no longer hide her emotions, even if her mutant powers risked revealing themselves. Amelia couldn't explain how she looked at Warren.
And he knew that look. It was the same look she gave him when she said she needed him.
"We're outside; we can't keep doing that...or at least, maybe wait until we get back to my place."
Amelia blushed, looking down to smile, moving hair from her eyes. "Oh, sorry..." She looked at him. "To be fair, I'm glad you said you do it too, so I don't need to feel embarrassed."
Warren smiled and led Amelia to the nearby park while his driver stood close behind them. He signaled for his driver to move a bit back to not freak her out. The driver backed away a little but still kept his eye on the couple walking down the cobblestone park path.
"What park is this?" Amelia asked, looking around, trying to piece together where she was. "I don't remember seeing this before."
Warren looked around for a sign; he knew what the park was he just forgot what it was called.
"No idea. There should be something here that describes it. Everything here looks way too old to not have a sign. Oh there it is." He said, as he found a brass slab with letters and images engraved on the front.
Amelia followed him to what looked like the entrance of the park. It seemed like the old scenery had more than one pathway to go inside. It was a wonder why they had missed it.
She stared in bewilderment, not sure if she was dreaming or reading something that held precious history to the memory of the park. It made sense why everyone around them was in their own element.
Amelia traced the top of the engraving as she read the title aloud.
"Pure Imagination…a place where ideas and dreams live on forever." She read, pausing to give attention to the picture below the inscription.
She shared a glance with Warren, he held his focus on something that made his brows concentrate and suddenly relax.
"What makes the sky so beautiful is our inability to perceive it all at once." His read aloud as his fingers followed the letters that made up the sentence.
Warren took her hand in his but not before making eye contact. He looked back and saw something on the left corner of the slab that piqued his interest; his brows rose slightly.
"It's a symbol, they put an angel there, but it's a human angel. "
Amelia gazed at the image and smiled before looking at Warren who was still taking in the picture. She knew who it really was and it made her feel safe that she had someone in her life that wasn't just an image. She made sure it was real when she touched his hand.
"I remember barely paying attention in school, but, I did like Greek Mythology stories. When I was in high school I would read those stories and keep reading. It was like there was a never ending path that I kept searching for, but all I got were more stories and the lessons behind them. Do you know about Icarus?"
Warren turned his attention when she asked him a question. "Hmm? Oh, I think so. I went to a private school and I remember learning about Greek myths but I don't remember taking it seriously."
"He had his own story and morality lesson…there's the Icarus complex from what I read, some people apply it to life." She said, biting her lip. "I'm sorry, am I boring you?"
He shook his head, "No, not at all."
"Well, the way the story goes is Icarus was the son of Daedalus, he was skilled inventor and innovator. He created the Labyrinth actually. Daedalus and his son, Icarus were held prisoner by King Minos of the island of Crete in Greece because he defied his orders. Basically Daedalus creates wings that are made of wax to escape from the prison. He made them for both himself and his son, Icarus. Daedalus warned his son not to fly too high because of the sun or too close to the sea because the dampness would destroy the wings. But Icarus didn't listen to his father. He soared through the sky and because he was so happy he didn't notice that his wings were disappearing. Because of this, he fell into the sea and drowned. Most historians believed Icarus represented personal over ambition. They were comparing the story to people who have a fascination with danger, like fire or something ominous."
Warren almost hesitated before clearing his throat, "That sounds sad. What happened to him, I mean. It's a far cry from actually being attached to wings. Though, I could remember a time where I really didn't want them there anymore."
"There's usually a big lesson in all the Greek Myth stories."
Amelia felt something on her face and brought her hand to her cheek, "Uh oh."
Little by little drizzles of rain fell on their faces, hair and clothes and soon it was raining properly on the patrons of the park.
Warren took Amelia's hand and they ran back to the other side of the exit leading toward another posh cafe. They didn't get wet but they looked at each other, embarrassed if any of the rain wet their clothes.
"I was not expecting that." she said, feeling herself grow redder by the second.
Warren looked up from where he stood then backed up under the roof of the cafe door.
"I knew it was cloudy, I'm sorry, these parts of the city get pretty wet, sometimes out of nowhere. Even on hotter days it just starts to rain like we're in the tropics."
Amelia smoothed her hair but it was slightly damp so there wasn't much she could do to fix it. "It's alright. I've been rained on before. It doesn't bother me much."
"It looks good on you."
Amelia looked at him, blushing when she moved some hair from her eyes. She still couldn't believe her eyes weren't glowing.
Warren's cell phone rang again making him wince at the sound. They pulled apart as he took it out, looking at the front screen.
"Oh, it's my aunt." He said as the ringtone loudly rang again and he debated whether to pick it up. "Um, is it OK?"
Amelia nodded as Warren took the call, smiling a thank you at her. She backed away, giving him privacy as he began talking.
She tried not to listen in but Warren's voice had slightly risen in volume when on the phone.
The conversation was short as Warren said his goodbyes and hung up the line. He looked at his phone for a minute and closed the screen.
He placed it in his pocket and turned his attention back to Amelia's curious face. "Yeah, she, well, she called. It's been a long time since we've seen each other like I mentioned. She invited me over tomorrow for brunch. I mentioned you."
"You did?" Amelia asked with wide eyes.
"I did, you want to come with me?" He asked her, hopeful. This wasn't her business but he wanted to involve her in his life in any way he can.
"Oh," she paused. "Are you sure it's alright?"
"She knows about you now. She said it was up to me. I say yes, I want you there with me." Warren's eyes twinkled upon saying this.
She smiled. She felt like she really belonged when she heard someone else say they still wanted her here.
"Does that smile mean yes?"
"I'd go anywhere with you." Amelia said, meaning every word.
Warren leaned down to give her gentle hug. "I'd let you, forever."
Amelia and Warren sat down to eat dinner in silence while thinking about the day.
Warren was thinking, more dreading how his father would react to him ignoring requests. But he didn't want to say anything to worry Amelia. His family problems would have to be personally locked away until it was the right time.
Amelia was wondering why Warren was being quiet as they began to eat. Even the way he ate was meticulous, he barely chewed and if he swallowed it looked like he was in a library eating so nobody found out he was. She glanced at him between bites of her food and tilted her face while examining his slightly scattered expression.
She hesitated before placing her hand on his. It seemed like the natural thing to do but she was apprehensive about trying it. Warren's strong blue eyes stared forward, barely making any contact on his plate. His eyes were striking, they always were, but now they were slightly less bright. Something was wrong.
She wanted to talk to him but she was unsure of it now.
It felt more peaceful now that they came back to his home for dinner. It would have been harder to be near him around so many people. Warren offered to take her somewhere else but she kindly asked if it was OK to stay home, even after the rain subsided, the outcast was prominent, Warren relented but agreed. More because the rain could and would come back whenever it wanted and he didn't want to have to deal with having to take cover for hours on end. It felt unfortunate that nature's reaction would ruin what he had in mind for the day. He wanted to spend time outside but it just wasn't those days. It was too cold, the sky had too many clouds, too dreary; there were too many reasons.
Warren felt glum; he wanted today to be perfect and it was anything but. For once he wanted things to go right. If everything worked out the way he planned, then he wouldn't lose faith in life so much.
He heard Amelia clear her throat at one point and forced himself out of the funk to look at her. He saw a worried expression on her face regardless of him thinking about it. It seemed like he wasn't hiding it well.
She slightly hesitated before forcing her voice out, slightly struggling on the words.
"Are you...?" She began to ask him, pausing for a moment before clearing her throat a second time. "Warren, is everything alright?"
Warren thought for a moment, and then nodded slowly as he stood up with his plate in hand walking towards the sink. "Excuse me."
This wasn't right for him to be feeling this way. So what if today was an off one? Couldn't he make up for it another time? He could, surely. He had her. She was with him. They could do whatever they want together and nothing can stop them...
But...it wasn't the truth and he knew it. There are things he needed to tell her. There were things he had to tell her. His dad, for one, he didn't know where to begin - the man was a thorn in his side since Warren became a mutant in college. His father wouldn't let his own son outside for several years upon finding out. Warren's insecurity had risen whenever he heard his father's voice. The voice of judgment. The only blood relative who held his livelihood in his grasp. Being cut off from everything was the price he had to pay for personal freedom. It would all be over. He would be free of the secret, ostracized, even more so and cast out by society. Since the name Worthington had notoriety to it, the entire state of New York would know he was a mutant. And this was his detriment, he couldn't live with that. Defy his father, be free, become a recluse; or: obey a tyrant, live in secrecy, look into the mirror upon his true features and doubt his real identity to the world.
And then there's Amelia...
Losing the only woman that mattered to him since losing his mother. He couldn't do it. He couldn't bring himself to risk her knowing anything. Lying to her was protecting her, right? Not lying, withholding the truth was protecting. It was, he chose to believe he really was showing her a better life by not explaining to her she could and would be capable of fending for herself. Amelia wasn't ready yet. It wasn't fair. Warren was afraid he needed her more than she did him. With all her attributes suddenly improving, soon she was going to become independent, make her own decisions, possibly...talk to another man. He shuddered at all these personal life transformations. Was he keeping her stagnant by not telling her the truth? Yes, and it hurt him so much to admit that, even in the barrier of his own thoughts. To risk losing her was a huge gamble. She could run, she could just disappear, like his mother. Be here one day and become a ghost the next. She could find happiness somewhere else, with someone else.
Because of that he couldn't and wouldn't tell her a damn thing. Amelia would leave him the moment she found out who she really is. What she can do...
That she really didn't need him to take care of her.
Warren put his plate in the sink and turned on the hot water, washing all the remains off. He looked behind his back and Amelia left the table with her plate still full of food. He slightly panicked until he saw her sitting down comfortably on the couch corner, staring off into space.
He walked toward the living room and put her plate inside the sink, ran the water on top and dried his hands on the dish towel beside him. He started to take off his coat and firm restraints, and stretched his wings up from their compact confines. He shut his eyes as he took a deep breath, relaxing before he did anything else.
When he started looking at her his mind tried to settle itself. He wanted to believe the positive words now whispering to him.
Please don't let those thoughts ruin you. It's already affecting the people you care about. You shut down, you always do. Mom always said talking about how you feel is better than a passive aggressive reaction. Don't let it get to you. Talk to her. You don't really know if she will leave you. You saw her eyes, you felt her heart. Trust her. Don't be afraid.
Warren walked to the living room and stood in front of the couch, chest bare, wings in full presence. He couldn't hide himself in front of her, he didn't want to. He was going to have to fight his fear and tell her everything. Spare nothing else, and risk losing her in probability.
She bit her lip, no reaction to his statement. She didn't know what to say. She looked down in the darkness, ashamed she tried to pry any answers before. She kept messing up and now he's going to do something to her. She dreaded what's coming next.
Warren sat near her, his body turned, in an attempt on getting her to look at him. He gulped his last timid emotions away and felt his face lament.
Her mouth twitched. She picked her words carefully, "I-I shouldn't try to make you talk to me. I was just..." she said pausing and she turned to him, "worried."
She's back to being afraid of him. No he wasn't going to have this, not when they've come so far with each other.
"It's not your fault, none of this is. I was lost for a moment and now I'm back. I swear it won't happen again. I know you need me. I'm right here."
Amelia's face nearly blushed at the words. It was true. She couldn't deny this much.
He caught her reaction and they both smiled, the awkward tension easing away as they leaned back on the couch in a more comfortable silence than before. After a few moments, he put his arm around her body, the gesture relaxing them.
Warren felt a need to explain himself. He sighed heavily before speaking.
"I don't know what I'm doing, sometimes I do that. Shut out, I get it from my dad. I get my worst qualities from him." Warren admitted. "I won't do it anymore, especially to you." Warren had only scratched the surface when it came to his father. He'd expected Amelia to feel petrified from now on, but she wasn't oddly.
Amelia nodded and rested her face on his chest. She began to really feel calm after a few more deep breaths. She gently smiled.
"I really want to thank you for today. I loved every minute, even the rain..." She said shyly as Warren responded with a lopsided grin.
"Really? Why is that?"
"Because it didn't matter what I did today, I wasn't alone. I had you with me."
Warren smiled and almost chuckled when he remembered the rain again, feeling crestfallen. "Would have been nice to do more things though. I wanted today to be perfect for you. I had some things that you and I could do together."
"It was perfect. Like I said, I don't care what my days are about. I've don't want to spend them with anyone else besides you."
Warren blushed profusely, "I feel the same. Maybe there's tomorrow, right? Hopefully it wouldn't be this dreary outside on a new day."
"Hmm, what did you want to do that you couldn't?"
"Are you sure you wanna know? It might ruin the surprise." One of many, he thought.
She smiled. "What if we could do it? Would you still tell me?"
"Maybe...why, do you think you might want to?"
"I don't know what it is. If you tell me, maybe we could make it happen."
Warren exhaled loudly, "I wanted to take you flying. I wanted there to be a perfect night sky, like the ones I fly on; no clouds, just bright stars. I wanted to take you on top of some of my favorite views in New York. The city isn't supposed to rain like this. It was random. So, yeah...that's what I wanted to do. Surprise."
Amelia reached to turn on the lamp so she could see his amused face. "Why don't we?"
"Seriously? You really want to?" He asked.
"Yeah, we could," she said as she thought about getting up but waited for his answer.
He gave her a sheepish look. Why not? She wants to go. Do it!
He was about to say yes when thunder rumbled outside and cracks of lighting briefly illuminated the room.
Both of them moderately stood up to look through the screen door as more rain came pouring onto the city. Amelia felt guilty and embarrassed. Warren was right; she inadvertently brought up his hopes at the wrong time, again. But she honestly didn't know this would happen.
"And that happens...it does rain before the winter season, but normally we know about it, this is one of those unpredictable nights." Warren replied, taking her hand.
She loved the warmth radiating from his simple gesture. "Well it's alright. It happens. I hope everyone is home where it's nice and warm. It started to get cold when it first rained."
"I didn't know you were cold. I'm sorry."
"It's alright, I'm glad we came back here. I know we were trying to spend time away but I don't know how many things you can do when it's pouring outside. That's why I told you it was fine to come back home." Amelia said, walking back to couch as he followed her.
Warren liked that she used the word "home" when referring to his place. For a long time it was just his home where barely anyone had visited; now it had meaning. A shared meaning.
"Well, what would you like to do now?" Warren casually asked.
"Hmm," she began, thinking for a few seconds. "We could sit here and talk. I don't know, get to know each other." She slightly blushed, "Maybe we could have a home date."
"OK," Warren said, he liked that she called this "a date," he relaxed as he leaned back staring at the ceiling. Amelia followed his trajectory and leaned back with him. "You can stop me or tell me you don't want to answer if I'm being intrusive."
"OK, go on..." She said, urging him to continue.
"What's your favorite movie?"
"Goodness, I really like Forrest Gump. It was such a beautiful story. Someone triumphing over an obstacle he can't help. He was born with it, just like we are." She said, looking at him through the corner of her eyes.
"Yes, that's true. Emotional stories like that one really make me fall apart. I agree."
"So I know what you're talking about."
"Is it my turn?" She said.
"Yeah, go on."
"What was the happiest time in your life?" She asked him.
Warren went back in his memories to pull out something that made him smile beyond any other time in his life. He took a few moments to remember before he answered.
"I really enjoyed all the times my mother used to take me to the park. She wanted me to be free, keep my childhood alive, play with things, discover and learn how everything works. She believed in me no matter what. Every time I made a mistake she would point out what I did wrong and tell me the lesson behind it. I was happier because every time she did that we would grow closer. I was a better person because of how she was with me."
"That was really beautiful." She said, her eyes almost brimming with tears.
Warren came back from the memory, smiling slightly from all the emotions from the times he had with her. He was blessed to know what real love is.
"She took care of me," he added, "she never asked me for anything, even though I wanted to give her the world in return. She once told me that 'being her son was the greatest gift anyone could give her.' Knowing I was happy, all of it made her proud." He said softly.
Amelia looked at his eyes nearly glazing over and she sat up. "Warren?"
"Oh yeah, it's just - those memories are so strong."
She smiled, understanding him better.
"You would have liked her; she was so kind and generous. Never once did she make feel afraid of life or of her. I came to her when I needed compassion. I was grateful every time."
Amelia thought for a few moments, enjoying the silence. She knew Warren had more moments that were worth telling so she kept quiet and listened to his voice. She didn't believe she'd ever admit this, but she felt happy to be alive, well and near someone who wanted her to be. It can't be said enough. Someone truly wanted her to be here. This was monumental. Life had been difficult; she wanted everything of the past to be a far distant memory, more a long ago nightmare. Her mind held onto peace above all things, with Warren's voice lulling her to a special kind of tranquility.
Warren realized the room was extremely quiet before he paused again. He was in the middle of a sentence as he felt her body rise and fall with even breathing. He peeked slightly to see her eye lashes resting on top of her cheeks. He wasn't entirely sure if she was merely resting or fallen asleep.
He cleared his throat quietly. The rumble of his chest might have woken her up; he didn't want to disturb her if she really was asleep. Instead of finding out through words, he soundlessly moved to pick her body up in his arms, hesitating before he glanced at her calm face; her body lay motionless while he stared on.
I should tell her everything another time. The more I stall in telling her the truth, I have a feeling her trust in me will be forever gone. Right now, she believes in me. Hold onto this for all long as you can. Even if you tell her she can live without you.
He walked gently to the room they shared and carried her to their bed. Their bed. It was his bed, wasn't it? But it was hers too. It was realistically shared. For how long? Warren couldn't help but feel like it wasn't long until he told her the truth, for her to make her own decision about staying with him. He's only known her for a handful of days but it was enough for him to find peace for the first time in a long time. Not since his mother passed had he never really felt like he could belong to anyone; especially if they couldn't know who he is. Warren's friends would never understand.
He turned around and closed the curtains, switched off the living room lights and went inside the bathroom to get ready for bed. He didn't want to stay up with his thoughts, there wasn't any point when he knew the time would come that he would have to say good bye to her. He stared at her from where he stood in the bathroom. Her body was evenly still, if she was moving, he barely noticed it.
Warren made sure he quickly closed and locked off his phone in case his father called. He wanted to have a calm night's rest without any negative interfering. His father never knew any other way to be. If it was at all possible, he wished he could shut everything and everyone else from his life.
Alas, even still, his aunt would understand. Since she wasn't a Worthington she knew his father would be the main reason behind his Warren's depression. Even if Warren didn't see her, which he sometimes regretted, he appreciated her because she was the only living family member that truly wanted the best for him. Since his Aunt Mimi knew of his mutation, he didn't have to feel uncomfortable being around her. But since he was bringing someone important in his life, he was extremely nervous. Mimi was a tremendous caretaker and welcoming at heart but he was a little worried in the back of his mind. Perhaps it was just his paranoia acting up. He only wanted his aunt to like her, accept her, show her that she is appreciated. Then maybe, Amelia would feel completely safe enough to stay; even after he would tell her what Moira told him. The truth about what she can do.
But it wasn't always in his favor. Knowing the steady stream of things not panning out the way they were meant to be, he wasn't going to gamble a hundred percent on everything coming together. He knew life, with all its complications, didn't work out that way. Still, despite all of his, he hoped for something better.
Warren finished his routine and came to the other side of the bed with more space, slipping ever so slightly into the covers. It was a miracle she hadn't moved let alone make a sound when his weight came come on top of the mattress, his body heat radiating like the sun when he came close to her. He couldn't blame her, she didn't have a good night's sleep and he was willing to grant her everything she needed because she deserved to be happy. He wanted to make sure she never had a moment where she relapsed and became suicidal again. He had the same tendencies so he understood where she was coming from.
His phone rang and immediately he moved to get up to shut off the tone. He thought he'd locked it. When he came to the front screen, it was his Aunt Mimi calling him.
He looked at Amelia who was still asleep and decided to take it out on the balcony.
When he stepped outside and closed the door he slid the lock, answering the call.
"Hello my sweet Warren. I'm sorry to phone so late. I didn't expect to call until the morning." She whispered; her voice sounding hushed.
"Oh, it's alright. Are you OK?"
He heard coughing on the other end, which meant that his aunt was smoking again. "I'm alright dear. I can't tell you how wonderful it makes me feel to hear your voice."
The corners of his mouth rose. His aunt said this often in the past, ever since he was in grade school she would find ways to make him smile. But she was right about hearing his voice, it'd been a long time since he kept in touch.
"I missed you too Auntie. So, she said yes. Amelia." Warren said, blushing and liking the way her name rolled off his tongue so naturally.
"I'm so happy sweetheart. I know you mentioned this young lady earlier. I can't wait to meet her for brunch tomorrow." Mimi said softly.
"I know." Something bothered him in that moment, "Auntie?" Warren asked her in a small voice.
"I'm really scared."
"What of? Are you alright dear?"
Warren sighed heavily, unsure of where to begin. He could start from the beginning but it would take hours before he finished.
"I'm scared of feeling too much, so much that it will happen again. I don't want to lose her. I only just found her. I just want my life to be...this...every day." He said, on the verse of breaking into tears.
Warren caught himself before paying attention to his aunt.
"Have you been telling her the truth?"
If I tell her I lose her. "I wasn't made to lie to people I care about. I'm just afraid. Mom taught me to never be afraid. But I can't help it; I really am so scared of what's going to happen."
"Would you feel the same if she was your mother?"
"No, I wouldn't keep anything from her. Because I know mom wouldn't judge me. She never did." He said, conflicted.
"I really believe you know the answer deep down. I am here if you want to tell me how you feel, but Warren - remember you have every ounce of your mother's compassion inside you. I've seen it; I've always believed in you. If this young lady is something special to you, if you care about her that deeply, and she does for you, then you know she will be by your side no matter what."
How do you know that? Warren took a few long seconds to think about what she said.
"I always believed mom would always be here. She made everything possible for me, even though I knew the world wouldn't welcome who I am. Amelia makes me feel this, just like mom had. It's almost like mom's spirit is living on through her." Warren paused to smile. "They have the same smile."
"You will tell her the truth when you are ready to." She said, pausing to clear her throat. "Does she know?"
Warren immediately knew what she was referring to.
"It's been hard to keep that part of me hidden for long." He said, matter-of-factly.
"How does she feel?"
"She-" Warren's voice began to break up slightly, "she didn't leave me. This was the one thing I dreaded to share with anyone, until now."
Mimi sighed before she explained to Warren there was nothing to worry about. After some moments of convincing words, he realized what she was saying. He didn't want to deny anymore so he thought it was best to personally not worry so much. He brought the conversation to a close after he realized he was repeating himself with all the anxiety he carried. If he had more faith in himself, he wouldn't feel this way. He had to keep in mind that Amelia may not want what he wanted. The tragic reality could hit him between the eyes one day.
No Warren, leave it alone. Stop doing this to yourself. You deserve to be happy. Stop trying to control the situation. You can't make people do something they don't want to do. That is the one thing you avoided growing up. Because once that happens you begin turning into...
"My dad..." He cursed to himself silently and dreaded this notion even for a second. It couldn't be - no part of him came from his father.
He turned around without another word and made his way back inside closing the door. When he placed his phone down, making sure it was closed and locked for good this time, he walked toward the kitchen to get a glass of water. His face was burning up and all he wanted to do was pour the full glass over his face to cool off.
His aunt was right, all of the anxiety was going to show, if it already hasn't already at dinner. Amelia could sense it and soon she was going to get suspicious. This was all about her and he was forgetting that.
History wouldn't repeat itself, it couldn't. Not while he was still breathing. He couldn't help his own heart, reaching to keep her here for as long as time would allow it. This wasn't right, for all the seconds he spent in this mood he could be near her, embracing the final - if it is so - moments he has with this girl. His father's unfortunate genes were creeping up and he didn't like it. Candy and his father wouldn't spoil the gifts in his life. Amelia needed someone strong, someone she could count on. There was so much more to life than worrying about the past suddenly sabotaging something wonderful. Warren knew all too well if he continued believing the worst is about to happen, then maybe he just needed to be alone.
Even after the handful of days, after all the feelings he manifested, he wouldn't abandon the possibility that he will be alone.
During these moments, he felt they were the best times to spread his wings and fly. He thought about it, seriously. Fly and keep soaring, never come back. Pure freedom. Like a mermaid to the call of the sea, he couldn't ignore it. Now were the moments he would do it. Be anonymous. Be himself and never surrender to anyone's judgments.
But he couldn't...this wasn't about him. And it wasn't going to be easy either. He had to stay. He wanted to stay. He wanted Amelia. He needed her next to him, beside him, no matter what happens in life. If they never met, if she never knew who he was, if he hadn't found her that night and saved her within minutes of her heart stopping, he didn't have an answer to that; because he didn't want to know the answer.
The answer, all the answers, just like they've always been, were inside his heart. Love isn't selfish. It's giving, selfless, sacrifice, nurturing, boundless, acceptance and understanding. Warren believed in everything love stood for. He was falling harder than he could keep up with.
It was right here, everything he wanted, and everything he needed in life. And he was just going to run away from it...no he wasn't.
Not anymore, fear wasn't going to control his fate, and it wasn't too late to be with her.
Warren walked to their bedroom and gently made his way to their bed. Amelia was sound sleep; nothing could make her eyelids flutter open. She was dreaming, he was sure of it. No matter what she saw, it had to be peaceful. Was he responsible for this? All of this? Did he really make a difference to her? Was she his?
He never asked her to be. But he made a promise to himself that he was going to never give her doubts about anything. She told him she never slept in solace before; he remembered that as he slid his body into the covers taking his place close to her form to give her more peace.
Her body moved, slowly, rising and falling with each calm breath. Warren watched as all of his former nerves and insecurities faded to where they belong. He wasn't going to allow them to control his emotions.
Amelia's eyes moved until her lashes slowly rose like curtains to the darkness in the room. She almost panicked inside until she felt warmth behind her back; his slow breathing gave her reassurance she needed as she turned around gently to face him.
It wasn't a dream, none of this was anymore.
"I dreamed something really special." Her emotions were appearing, she could feel her eyes begin to attach themselves.
"What was it about?"
"That no matter what happened you were there."
"I don't believe that's much of a dream."
Amelia smiled softly, her eyes glowed their trademark carnation color as she watched the color illuminate his angelic face.
"Why do you say that?"
Warren leaned near her mouth, kissing her tenderly. "Because every day I'm making them come true for you."
Amelia couldn't stop thinking about what Warren said last night, every day I'm making them come true for you. She felt there was a sense of calmness in the air. The expression on her face was delicately placid.
Does that mean things will be different between them? The notion that he himself wanted to make her dreams come true - why did she get the feeling that maybe it wasn't his purpose? That the happiness wasn't meant to be his doing. She didn't want to live her life co-dependent on someone else. She also didn't like that Warren was putting his life and everything he wanted to do on hold just to make her happy. She understood why he was doing it, but it still didn't sit right with her.
If she was going to continue on living then she needed to learn that depending on someone else to fix everything won't make life entirely better. Not that she didn't trust him, she did. He was the only person left she trusted. They can be in each others lives, but - Amelia felt that being there for each other was only a part of living.
She remembered how her father depended on her to support the payments. To be labeled as disabled, a freak, someone who couldn't function in the world, made her shudder. She was forced to collect income each month because her father lacked the motivation and sheer will to support himself let alone both of them. The burden was put on Amelia for the most part, the housing situation was part of benefits of living under the system.
But she didn't know any other life. She didn't work, she barely had a skill, but she wanted to learn. Even though her abilities more than denied her many opportunities, she still wanted to build a life for herself, and away from her father.
She began thinking seriously about what else life has to offer during getting ready to see Warren's aunt for brunch. What did she want to be? Who did she want to be? What kind of mark did she want to leave on the world? Does a second chance at life mean more than just a strong friendship? Isn't life supposed to be an individual journey?
Maybe...does living exist beyond relationships? She was certain it was scary but still contemplated it as it was relevant with everything else.
Amelia laid down for a minute more in the bed she shared with Warren. At least she believed it was indeed shared. Maybe a part of her felt like it was hers. Last night it felt like she was really living here. A small smile crept up and she didn't shy away from the feeling.
Part of her couldn't concentrate because Warren was in the shower next to her. Her mind piqued with interest and before she knew it perverse as well as curious thoughts got the better of her. He never told her to stay here but he also didn't ask her to join him. She sat up and hesitated before moving off the bed. The enormous balcony windows were slightly open. Warren wouldn't like it if the room was cold when he stepped out of the shower. She moved to close them but was distracted by the scenery in the far distance.
Warren had an amazing view on the highest penthouse of New York City. The ocean was producing calming waves and her eyes traced the patterns they were drawing. She was lost in state of nature for a long moment.
Is she capable of building her own world now that she could control her powers? She could; maybe, she never considered it until she realized it was possible. But Warren, she wasn't sure if she could leave him, knowing he'd done everything in his power to save her. Being independent is a far off dream, how would he react if she mentioned it? If she told him maybe her life needed to be lived and not just survived.
She wouldn't mention it today. She would keep it in until the moment is right and Warren was free to talk.
But some part of her was eager to tell him now. She could feel herself getting stronger, much more in control than she was before they met.
She was completely lost in thought she almost didn't feel warm arms drape around her shoulders and connect softly around her neck. The even breathing made it clear who it was; reminding her this wasn't a dream.
"Good morning," Warren said softly.
"Why didn't you join me?"
Amelia moaned gently along with a sly smile. "I didn't know I could."
"You didn't need to ask." He kissed her shoulder and slightly buried his lips on her neck. "I didn't want to wake you."
"I was already awake, but I didn't want disturb you. I thought you wanted to be private."
"I didn't." He said, slightly laughing. "I understand though. I know we're going to see my Aunt today so, maybe today is different."
Amelia leaned back and noticed he was fully clothed, it seemed like he'd dressed up while she was out here. She didn't realize it was long, maybe he was a fast dresser. Or maybe she was in deep thought a lot longer than she realized.
Warren dipped down and kissed her lips then forehead. After another moment they went back inside as he shut the balcony windows and dead locked the doors.
"I can go get ready, is that OK?" she asked timidly.
Warren smirked as he looked at her while he began making the bed. "You're asking me to take a shower? Don't worry about asking, you can do whatever you want to. You live here too."
Amelia blushed before backing up, slightly embarrassed. "I'm sorry, I wanted to ask first. I still feel like I have to."
When she reached to help him he gently told her it was alright.
"I'll take care of it. You can go shower and get dressed. We're not in any hurry. I'll ring my aunt, she doesn't mind us coming at our own time. She just wanted to see me. Remember when I told you it's been a while since we've seen each other?" Amelia nodded as he sat on the made bed pulling on his socks. "She's not my dad. As long as I let her know I'm ok, she doesn't worry."
"I'm sorry...about your father." She said, speaking from experience, finding it hard to hide the pain in her voice.
Warren looked up as he finished putting on his dress shoes. It was a sore subject, a touchy one at that. If anyone else had brought his father up, he'd be furious. But Amelia's compassion made him feel less riled.
"I know, anybody who's not a Worthington is." He said, his eyes opening as he remembered to change the subject fast. "Go ahead. I'll be right here if you need anything."
She nodded, went to the bathroom and shut the door. She wanted Warren inside with her, but that wasn't going to happen. Warren cared about her but she wasn't going to take advantage of his kindness. He could only do so much. Plus, he had issues with his own father, like her, they have that in common. It was wrong to think of this at this time. Especially the way he looked just a moment ago. He seemed almost distant when his father was brought up; she made sure to give him space when it came to talking about him. It was an overly sensitive subject for her also.
She changed out of her sleep attire and stepped into the shower and began thinking about the possibility of a separate life from this second chance. Leaving Warren wasn't an option. There was no possible way she could pay him pay for everything he's done to help her. She wanted to stay but, with this other opportunity tugging at her from another end, she couldn't for the life of her ignore it as if it was nothing.
She sighed heavily and reached for a bottle of shampoo in the shower caddy.
He would understand, wouldn't he? It wasn't as if she would run away. He needed to know that. Even through the somewhat loud sprinkle of the shower head she could hear rustling in the room.
Warren tidied around the room when his cell phone rang; he snatched up the mobile and cringed when he read the name on the front screen.
Not now, not when he was starting to feel better about himself and his life. Nothing was going to spoil it, not the wretched name and not his father. Amelia didn't deserve that. She needed someone focused and strong. Warren's insecurities needed to be buried.
His phone beeped a few times, he knew they were text messages or a voice mail. Knowing his father, it would be both. The man was relentless when he was being ignored. Warren didn't bother looking; he finished cleaning around the room and laid down on his bed.
Would his father go as far as to come to his place and demand compliance? He's known to show up sometimes without warning. His face had ticked on that possibility.
He made a split decision and called someone he knew would understand his anxiety. It was sooner than he planned but he almost didn't care. It was practically an emergency.
He waited a few seconds for an answer and heard a familiar cough on the other end.
"Hi, um, Auntie, sorry to bother you so much..."
"Is everything alright?"
"Yes, we are still coming to see you. We were just getting ready to leave."
"Oh, alright. Are you alright? You don't sound calm."
Oh if you knew the half of it Mimi. "Right, yeah...I'm sorry it's just-"
"It is - your father?"
Warren groaned as he felt internal pain. He thought it was silent but she heard it.
"I'm sorry dear. What happened?"
"Pressure. Too much. Almost so much that I feel like running away."
Mimi sighed. "Heavens. Why does your father still treat you this way? I have no words for all this abuse. I can't imagine how you must be feeling my sweet boy."
Warren stayed quiet as his aunt began to calm him down from possible eruption. "I wish I knew. But knowing him, he doesn't need a reason. He knows what he does and he doesn't care if I suffer for it."
"It is hard to imagine at one point he did care, when you were baby practically. I remember he wasn't always like this. Kathryn would tell me he was devoted and compassionate man. I know he didn't take her passing well."
"Mom would always have all the answers when it came to father and his controlling ways. I feel like he was like this before she died. Her dying only made him more vitriolic. He hated me, he still hates me and he doesn't hide it anymore like before."
Warren collapsed on the bed harshly, trying not to let the tension in his shoulder spread over his entire body. Mimi did her best to soothe him but at the end of the day, they both knew Warren Jr. wasn't going to change his behavior. Warren seethed with anger, it wasn't fair. Not when he was trying to have a personal life.
His father will not get involved in his personal matters, no matter what he says. Warren made a promise to his aunt that if for a second his father involved Amelia, he would leave Centerport. Nothing was keeping him here anyway. He would close his bank account before his father froze his assets. It didn't matter what he lived on, just as long as he lived. Survived. Been away from his tormented taunts.
"Does Amelia know all this?"
"It's been getting harder to hide it, but I'm shielding her from all of it."
"Do you think it's wise to keep it from her?"
Warren's face scrunched in confusion. "It's not something that concerns her. She doesn't need this on top of everything. When you meet her today, maybe this will be clearer, I just want some peace for her. She's been through so much and so have I. I don't want to be the cause of more burdens. My father isn't going to take my personal life away from me."
"Warren," she sighed heavily. "Be careful please. Your father is an unpredictable man. I want you both to be safe."
"And I am making things safe by keeping her away from all that. Trust me Auntie; I intend to protect her above myself. He could do whatever he wants with me, he hasn't stopped and he's not going to. But if he tries to hurt her in any way, there will be consequences, mark those words."
"Alright, I will see you later on. So sorry your father is being like this. Be careful as I say."
Part of Warren wasn't entirely finished venting yet but he knew he had to, venting all of his built up frustrations wasn't going to help.
"I will let you know when we have left. I'm sorry if I sound harsh, I'm upset. I'm glad you could listen to me. I apologize for not coming to see you more." Warren lamented.
"I'm glad you are, that's all that matters sweet boy." Mimi said, making Warren feel less intensive, his shoulders relaxed and he took a deep breath.
Warren checked the time and realized he needed to finish cleaning around before Amelia came out of the bathroom.
Mimi understood and said her good-bye as they hung up the line. Warren forced himself to get off this angst-filled internal issue. If he was going to protect her then he was going to do it without his emotions getting the worst of him.
He was so wrapped up in this he didn't notice Amelia walk out of the bathroom, wearing just a towel going to pick up some clothes. He turned around to give her privacy. His body wanted to turn around and look at how beautiful she is but he was going to respect her. He kept his back to her as she began to change into the clothes she chose.
"I'm sorry if I'm making you uncomfortable."
"I'm giving you some privacy. I didn't want to make you feel uneasy."
Amelia finished putting on the rest of her clothes and went to slip on a new pair of boots. Warren's back was solid, like a statue, the surreal thing is he looked like a statue with or without clothes. She wondered what he looked like underneath everything he was wearing. She almost blushed when she touched his shoulder, feeling him swallow as she leaned close to his ear.
She smiled, "Maybe I didn't want privacy."
Warren laughed, unable to control his blush or next words.
"I could tell her we might be a little late," he said, turning his head to look at her with a gentle look.
She blushed slightly pulling away but he turned his body moving close to her. "I can't handle how you look at me."
"When you stare at me, like that. I've seen that look with other people. I never thought anyone would look at me that way." She said, looking down, slightly smiling. "You look at me like you mean it."
"I do. Remember what I was saying to you? I want you to trust me, I want nothing more than to gain your trust and..." he trailed off, feeling his throat quivering slightly.
She looked at him, her powers triggering again, the pink dripping from her iris as she pulled in her emotions so they were steady again. "Me?"
"Yes." He said simply.
"And you." She said, simply as she took his hand placing it over her heart. "I can't control it. I don't think I want to. I don't want to ignore it. Oh god..." she caught her breath, "sorry I just, I'm scared of what this means."
"Maybe you trust me." Warren said softly. "Maybe I'm just as scared as you are."
She looked at him sharply, she wasn't sure she heard him. "What?"
"Maybe, maybe I'm the one who's more scared. I feel your heart and I know it's beating like crazy but - you haven't felt mine yet."
He took her hand and placed it over his chest her hand warming as the drums behind pounded harder than hers were.
She gasped. He wasn't lying. This wasn't a dream. This was really happening.
"I didn't think..."
"I feel it too. I understand how you feel Amelia." He blinked slowly. "Maybe this doesn't have to be so scary. Maybe this can get better."
He was right, words never sounded so right than those words had in that moment. She almost surrendered, but held back, for him. For herself. For both of them. The way he was looking at her made it even harder to control herself. Now he knew she didn't want to, at least he wasn't scared to hear her say that.
Amelia didn't want to cry but seeing him like this brought back those emotions, "We shouldn't be late," she paused to lick her lips, "I - I don't know why I can't control myself better. I'm sorry."
"Don't be." He kissed her hands. "Just know that you don't have to be scared by yourself. We can help each other."
I'm worried that I'm going to need you more than you need me, I'm afraid I will scare you away. She thought but bit her tongue back in admitting it to him.
There was a knock on the door and they looked at it before sharing a look with each other. They nodded silently and stood up walking together to the front door. It was Warren's driver, asking him if he was ready. When Warren gave a nod they made their way into the elevator, taking it down to the parking garage toward his car.
Amelia stayed silent while she held onto Warren's hand and watched as he told his driver a few details before they stepped inside the car. She watched him do this as if it was second nature to him and realistic it was. This was his world. He had a driver. He had money. He had a place to live. But most importantly, he was a mutant living alone in that place.
But he wasn't a mutant living alone anymore. They had each other. It was clear, he wouldn't let go of her hand even as the driver pulled away from the garage. It was almost like he wouldn't let her release her hand. That maybe, despite what she believes deep down, Warren actually did feel exactly the same as she does.
She relaxed against his chest, leaning back on all the possibilities of a new beginning; a future that she could create, perhaps all on her own. A thought so scary and yet so fulfilling just imagining it. She sighed as her eye lids fluttered while the snowy feeling of solitude replaced her personal woes.
Chapter 19: Amelia's Origin
A/N: Hello! I was in the middle of writing the next chapter but then I realized that I had an idea for some extra parts from Amelia and Warren's origin story that were important to the story as a whole. So that's where this idea came from. I would really love to have some reviews on this chapter. I wanted to include it inside this story instead of starting a new story because I didn't want it to be confusing. I will share what it is in the title of this chapter. It's more like an extra scene than a deleted one.
Amelia tentatively walked into the room she slept in, unsure of what she was doing. She could hear the screaming near her back but kept it turned so she couldn't look at his face.
The monster. The very satanic reason that made her wishes she was adopted from another bloodline; that the idea of being related to someone so evil was possible.
The ever putrid, soulless human that made her life a living hell since her mother left. She couldn't handle the truth of who she was; now it was her father's hand that met her whenever she came back. And she did every time.
She didn't want to come back. The bullies at her school were making it harder for her to concentrate. Today they followed her inside the ladies bathroom and proceeded to punch the life out of her if she didn't beg them to stop.
If she could admit coming home was a sanctuary she would, but she wasn't dealt that kind of luck. She came back because she had nowhere else to go. She still lived at home and her father was responsible for her.
"There you are, you worthless piece of shit. You're hiding from me again?" Her father barked, slurring most of the words as he clung the nearly empty bottle of tequila against his body. "Answer me you little slut!"
Her father forced his way into the room and made her turn around. The terror was hitting her between the eyes instantly. She braced herself for what came next. A hard slap, so brash she recoiled backward, away from his grasp, feeling the redness forming on the spot.
"Why do you hide from me? Don't you know what I will do to you? You make me into your worst nightmare. It's your fault. It's your fault she left!" He grabbed her shoulders and dropped the alcohol bottle down, hearing it crash into pieces.
He gave a furious look, unbridled, unpredictable.
"You make me this way! See what you made me do!" He screamed.
He threw her down pummeling a swift kick square to her stomach. She groaned in agony, unsure if she was still breathing, thinking or existing.
"You say anything to those collectors I will end you and make you look like an accident. Don't think I won't!" He spat at her down on the ground, telling her not to get up.
He kicked her again, this time watching as blood came from her mouth as she coughed, her mutant power triggering the near crimson color.
He almost looked afraid of her but then knew she really was to him."You freak bitch."
Intentionally he spit a second time on her before stumbling backward away from the room and into another to open a new bottle. He wanted to go back and finish the job but he thought against it at the last minute. Scaring her worked in his favor. She was afraid and now she was going to obey him. She needed to learn her lesson if she would going to try and hide from him again. Nobody hides from him. Her mother used to do that all the time. No way in hell he was going to let his daughter get away with it.
She can't look like his wife and get away with everything. He would kill her before she had a chance to think about it.
The phone rang and he picked it up.
Amelia waited for hours while she played unconscious until her father had fallen into a drunken sleep to begin her escape. He only abused her when he drank, otherwise, she didn't know the person he was without alcohol in his system. He was a lot more menacing when he drank. It brought out the true devil inside him.
When she regained her breathing back, she thought quickly about a plan to leave. If she left this time, she needed to come back in the morning, when he wasn't there or when he'd still be sleeping. There was no way out but the window. She'd have to figure out a plan to hide her face without people noticing the red marks. She could feel the bruise around her eye begin to swell; she barely touched it and winced when she carefully stood from the ground. The aches and pains were following her limbs on the way upright.
Hobbling up she moved her weak body to the bathroom, grabbing a cloth that was dampened and patted her face with it gently. She had to be not only meticulous but quiet; she made the mistake of coming home too late. Although, coming back home in the morning didn't make her feel completely safe either, it was still better because her father wasn't a roaring drunk.
"You piece of filth Amelia...why do you do this to me?" She heard from the living room.
He must be talking in his sleep. Which might mean he could wake up and repeat the behavior again, and then go into self-pity talk with himself as if it was her fault he acted like that. Amelia grabbed the sharp, familiar sting of pain she discovered for years.
She pulled the razor out and closed her eyes before going to the spots she knew she visited before and reopened old wounds. She drug the blade over the near closed areas and felt the strong dark red blood drip off her arm trailing to her wrist. She gathered the strength to do the same to the other arm putting a new cut above the older ones, digging harder than last time she cut.
When she felt her father moving to get up she took the towel to dry off the blood quickly and left the bathroom at lightning speed. She packed an overnight bag knowing she wasn't going to stay here for the night but also realizing she had nowhere else to go besides where the homeless tread. She closed her eyes, the marks on her arms were doing little to affect her much, and she'd done it several times. She had cut much deeper this time and fought through the agony of it affecting her internal survival. The pains in her arms were necessary in her mind, she deserved them.
Amelia looked to the open window. She'd squeezed through it before and knew how to close it so it didn't look as if she left through it to escape. She grabbed what she had stashed in change, money; whatever she obtained for sustenance and pried open the window the rest of the way.
When she made it outside, she knew she had to act fast; the closest subway was on the street over. The sun was down; New York around this time was an eerie place for anybody without a partner walking beside them. Since Amelia felt alone most of her life, she fought through those feelings and pushed herself to bravely once again to face it. Being alone was the least of her problems.
She made sure to take bandages to cover herself so the fresh wounds don't show the truth to others around her. She also made sure to take her sunglasses to hide the most important part of her. She can't help but constantly hide; she knew if she didn't, then everyone would know. The world will make sure she was never born. Her father prolonged that inevitability and she knew if she didn't try with everything she had to escape his torture she was going to be dead sooner than she thought. She just needed to bring herself to leave him completely. Knowing he would ever change wasn't in her future. She had to fully accept that before the day she would finally leave him. Part of her was worried that day wouldn't come sooner.
She rode the rancid subway to the upper parts of the city. She knew she was treading on slightly elite territory but she didn't care. She didn't wish to take her chances anywhere near her father. There was no crime where she was going and being around a clean atmosphere made her feel safe. Even if she didn't have enough money to stay anywhere, she still wanted to be near that world even though she wasn't a part of it.
When she hurried off the train and ran up the staircase, leading to the corner of one a busy street sighting, she pulled her hood over her eyes, adjusting her sunglasses as she held onto her bag, frantically checking for the closest hotel to figure things out.
The nearest one was a gamble. It looked as if a billionaire had owned it and polished its furnishings up. Amelia was afraid of it but she was running low on options and it looked extremely safe to her. In fact it looked utopian. The doorman had a kind smile and helped the bellmen carry a guest's loose luggage; his demeanor didn't appear too standoffish. Amelia bit her tongue before walking in a calm manner toward the front entrance, attempting to mask the rest of her feelings.
This was another moment where she had to control herself, keep her emotions steady. Speak with a confident and level voice; and try to present any suspicious behavior. The elite can smell it on you if you're insecure. Amelia fought back her misgivings and walked through the revolving door waiting to walk inside to enter the lobby. She forced her shoulders straight and picked her head up slightly, not overdoing it but not slouching to give anything away. She knew what kind of people stayed here so she tried to assimilate in being one of them. Blending in with normal people was always a challenge.
"Ma'am, can I help you?" the front desk employee asked when Amelia walked closer to the counter.
With her clean, crisp look of a blue blood, the front desk gave a quick glance at Amelia's clothing, material and face. She turned her demeanor from friendly and helpful, to judgmental and skeptical but held a sophisticated poise to remain professionalism. Amelia followed her eyes and stood up straighter.
"Yes, can I ask, how much are your rooms?"
"For you?" She smiled smugly, raising a perfectly plucked eyebrow. "Standard rooms at this hotel facility range from $600 to $5000 with a reservation." She paused to tilt her head to the side; the combination of sly composition and snooty in her expression. "I don't suppose you made a reservation, have you?"
Amelia picked up her subtle haughty attitude but bit through the unabashed critique. There was no way she was going to get a room and she well knew it. At the very least, she asked the employee with the terse smile where the ladies' lounge was.
"The restroom is beside the elevators. But it is usable to guests of our residence only. I apologize for the inconvenience Ma'am." Amelia cringed inside when she called her that name. She wasn't going to help her in any way unless she was one of them.
Amelia thought quickly and spoke on the first idea she had. "I am waiting for someone here. Can I wait for them to arrive in the lobby?"
The employee almost laughed before giving Amelia the benefit of the doubt. She assumed she was lying and made sure to catch her in the lie as soon as she saw proof. Guests and visitors are allowed to wait in the lobby lounge; there was no staunch policy against it. Amelia used that to her advantage. She knew the front desk would eventually go on break, while waiting she could sneak where she wanted to go without being caught. The employees had no right to refuse entrance to their restroom. Amelia wasn't of the homeless elk, but she had been worried she came off that way if one of the employees saw her resting in the lounge. As soon as the employee would leave, Amelia had to time it perfectly.
When 30 minutes had gone by, that same woman left the front desk to enter another room in the hotel that said "employees only."
Amelia stood up and immediately walked to the ladies lounge and restroom. She closed her eyes and collapsed on the couch, closing her eyes gently. She didn't know what she was going to do now, that alone made her emotions react. She touched her cheek before tears fell down. She reached for the tissue box on the night stand and dabbed her eyes before anyone saw.
She moved her position when the door opened and in walked a middle-age woman, blonde hair, kind face and gentle eyes. She did a double take before staring in Amelia's direction. She was caught and stood still.
"Are you alright?" The woman had asked, coming closer to Amelia's shaking body.
"Y-yes. I am. I'm sorry." She confessed, moving away from the woman and straight into the bathroom stall.
Everything was so clean and beautiful but Amelia was feeling the opposite. No more crying, she told herself. Stop drawing attention to yourself. This is how it is going to be forever. He will never let you go. You will always come back. He will beat and beat you until you are dead.
She shook when the door was softly knocked on. "Dear? Are you OK? Do you need me to call someone?"
Amelia wiped her eyes, feeling like utter trash. This woman was trying to help and all Amelia wanted to do was cry. They fell down her face as she reached for more tissues.
"I am thank you." She said through the door.
"You don't sound so sweetie. Are you sure you don't want me to contact someone to help you?" Her voice was angelic, like fairy dust brushing over her words.
Amelia's surprised expression replaced her lamented one. The sincerity in this woman's voice is painfully genuine. She didn't know if she should come out and show her face or continue to hide.
"Would you like to talk? I could listen to you if you have something bothering you."
Amelia clutched the sides of the stall wanting to fall apart and end her suffering. She'd wanted to end it all for a long time.
She pulled another tissue out and wiped her eyes until they were clean enough. She blew her nose and discarded of it. Debating whether to open the door or not. She could still see the woman's silhouette shadow below her feet.
Amelia winced before opening the door slowly; standing in front of her was a woman with concern, soft blue eyes, and light rain coat with professional business attire underneath. She looked like a person who didn't worry about money. When the woman gave a compassionate smile Amelia smiled sadly and walked with this woman to the lounge area, sitting on the couches.
After a long moment passed the woman looked at Amelia like an equal, someone she could personally talk to no matter what her status is.
"Do you feel comfortable talking to me?"
Amelia tried to sit still but her body and nerves weren't letting her. She took a few seconds to answer her, some part of her wanted to.
"I don't know."
"Well is there anything I could do?"
Get me away from my life, but I can't ask you that.
"No, I don't think you can." She said honestly without giving too much away.
She could put her father into jail; she could end everything right now by telling this woman the complete story. She just wanted to have peace. It was the main reason why she left.
"Did someone hurt you?" That question felt like she got hit by a boulder.
Amelia looked down at the floor and closed her eyes, shaking her head in disbelief.
She touched her face in panic, it was then she realized her eyes were not covered by her sunglasses. This woman had seen everything.
Amelia frantically reached inside her bag and brought out her sunglasses placing them on, acting as if nothing happened.
"You remind me of someone I know very well." The blonde woman said as she smiled knowingly.
Amelia slowly looked at her incredulously, "Who?"
"My son; he is very sensitive, extremely protective over me, gentle, easily broken; completely human in everything he does. He also has a secret that makes him feel ashamed. I tell him every day that who you are is beautiful. You should always embrace it. You are your own world. No one can take the essence of who you are inside away, no matter how hard they try."
Amelia stared on in bewilderment. She swallowed, her throat feeling tense on how well this woman in front of her knows what it's like to be her.
"I'm sorry I didn't have my sunglasses on. I'm sorry you had to see that."
The woman shook her head. "I wasn't bothered at all sweetheart. I wish you could understand your worth. Believe in yourself. Know in your heart that you can make it second by second if that is what it takes. I believe in you."
"I'm still sorry because you didn't know."
"My son would tell you he has it worse than anyone. We all have our secrets. They make us unique, special and they mean something to us. Society will judge you but it isn't their opinion that holds value. It's yours."
Amelia suddenly covered her eyes with her hands. This was too much. What she was saying was holding weight, heavy on her brain. Amelia sunk deeply into these words for a long moment. Hearing it coming from a person who barely knows her is astounding. Was her son a mutant too? It was then she realized maybe she wasn't alone after all these years.
"Do you have a place to stay?"
Amelia removed her hands from her face and bit her lip with a vehement shake of her head, "I can't go back there."
The blonde woman glanced at her, thinking for a moment before reaching for something inside her purse. Maybe this is will help her. She pulled out what looked like a key card for hotel rooms.
"I want you to have this." She said, moving the card in front of Amelia's face so she could see it. "Please take it. I don't want you to sleep on the streets tonight."
Amelia looked worried, backing away from her gesture. "I can't accept this. Please."
"I insist. I don't want you sleeping outside. Please take it, for me. For a brighter tomorrow maybe. You shouldn't have to suffer like this. I want you to be safe." The woman stood up and walked to Amelia, crouching down to meet her eyes.
She firmly placed the card on her open hand. Amelia just looked at it. Scared. Overwhelmed at for once feeling cared for.
Amelia stared at it before looking at the woman with the saving grace expression, "Thank you, I-I don't know how I'm going to pay you back. I don't have any money."
The woman sat next to Amelia so she could look in her eyes. It took some tries but she found them.
"Knowing your safe and no one will hurt you is better than repaying me money. It was supposed to be my son's room. He is not here but you can stay in it for one night. It's getting late; I don't want you going back in this state. Please, you need it more than anyone right now."
"T-thank you so much. I'm still in shock. I didn't know if anyone was good anymore. I will try to look on the brighter side of life. I promise." Amelia said, she couldn't believe she said that. Being around this woman was bringing out the light in her. "You're amazing."
The woman smiled and realized how late it was. She suggested they walk together to the room so Amelia can get inside fine. As they stepped inside the elevator all seemed to be OK for now.
When they reached the floor and walked toward the door, Amelia stopped.
"I don't even know your name. Can you tell me?"
"My name is Kathryn." She said, smiling warmly, holding the door open for her. "What is yours?"
"Amelia. I can't thank you enough for…everything." Her voice broke as she covered her mouth before a sob slipped out.
Kathryn came forward and placed her arms around Amelia in a gentle embrace. She saw herself in this girl, it was main reason why she is giving Amelia her son's room. "Don't worry about anything. You deserve a good night's sleep."
Amelia cried freely and didn't bother wiping her eyes; the tears fell onto the carpet, making a pool of her emotions on the ground. This time she wasn't crying because she was sad. She cried because Kathryn believed in her, something people never did; and something even she never allowed herself to do.
Chapter 20: Warren's Origin
Warren walked to the full length mirror inside his parents' closet and looked at himself. He didn't like what he saw. Underneath his long overcoat were small feathered wings, enough to be hidden but that didn't mean they were erased. They were apart of Warren since college.
During his first few years in college Warren noticed changes within himself. He thought he was sick which led him to seeing his personal physician. Warren was personally distraught to learn the moment he was a mutant. One of society's outcasts; he wasn't prepared for this life or what the world was going to do to him if they found out. His doctor told him for his safety that he had to keep it a secret, even from his family. Warren had even gone as far as to consider amputation upon his hollow bones. His physician said it would require a complex procedure, as a side effect Warren's spinal cord would be affected in the process. The risk was too great.
Warren clenched his teeth while immersing in the memory. It was a strange time to be what he was given his status position in his family. How could anyone accept him now that he has become what society feared the most? The unknown. Over time his wings grew until he reached adulthood. Warren grabbed his forehead for not going through with the procedure when he had the chance. His doctor told him once his mutation was in full form, it would near impossible to try surgery on the wings. Though hollow and narrow, shaped like a bird's, they would be strong, like a set of teeth. Removing them will be an eternal choice. They would do permanent damage to his back skeletal area and he knew he didn't want that.
When they first grew they hurt, the pain spread throughout his entire body. He felt sweat forming as hot and cold tremors erupted, like he was passing a fever. He shivered nonstop until they finally ceased growing. Warren felt his back inside his dress shirt and suit jacket. The memory of those moments still haunted him as he tore himself away from the mirror. His body felt almost numb to the amount of tears he shed during that time. He told himself he wasn't going to relive that pain anymore.
The longer he stared the more he hated what he saw, it was hopeless. His father wasn't going to ever accept him and neither was anyone else for that matter. His mother explained to him that feeling this way was not going to be the end; he would see the light of day the more he grew into who he is. Warren didn't believe that logic, so much has happened in such a short amount of time. Not having to go outside and reveal who he really was had never felt harder for him.
"Warren, are you here sweetheart?" Warren turned to the angelic voice, smiling sadly at his mother dressed to elegance looking at him in a sympathetic manner.
"Yes, I'm sorry. Is he mad?" Warren asked, assuming his mother knew what he meant by referring to "he."
She shook her head, walking inside the room and closing the door behind her gently. "He was asking for you."
Warren took a deep breath and paced around the room, trying to see if there was anything he could preoccupy himself with. He knew stalling would anger his father but part of him didn't care. Having to pretend to be normal for the sake of the Worthington name, Warren had no desire to uphold its legacy. Having it already rest on his shoulders was weighted enough. Warren bared that burden more than he ever wanted; his father never let him forget the name. Image, reputation and status were the only valid pillars to his father. And Warren would see none of it if people knew who he really was.
"Tell him I will be there, I just need a moment to collect myself." He said as his mother came to his side, touching his back gently.
Warren looked at her, watching her face grow somber then turn to worry. He hated seeing his mother this way and most of all, hated that he was the reason behind her distress. She didn't deserve to feel this way.
He pulled her in his arms, embracing any concern and anxiety she felt for him. If he knew the secret to make all of her pain go away he wouldn't hesitate to use it. His mom was thrust into all of his problems, his father wasn't helping anyone, but the least Warren could do was make his mother feel safe. She was the only person who truly loved him, mutant and all. Everything Warren hated about himself, his mother made him feel loved and cared for.
"I understand how you feel. I know he won't change his ways. Maybe deep down your father still loves you; I wish things were different Angel."
Warren smiled as he moved his tears away but they refuse to listen as they fell from the corners of his eyes. He blinked several times before wiping the spots where they fell and masked the emotion building on his voice. He prayed his emotions wouldn't get the better of him, he needed to stay strong; he had to for his mother.
"We both can't change him mother. He will do whatever he wants to do. I'm trying to accept that. Sometimes it's too hard for me. But I don't want you to worry for me. I am OK, I can't put you through any more of this, and you're the only one who cares about me; that means everything."
Kathryn pulled away to look her son in the eye as she spoke. "I said nothing will change, nothing has changed. You are still my son; you're still a beautiful man in everything you do. I believe you can do anything you put your heart into. Soon, I know it, soon you will find someone who will see everything you are and love you unconditionally. I mean that my son, my Angel."
Warren's face flushed slightly as she repeated the term of endearment. "I don't know what the future holds for me. I just don't want you to suffer for anything that happens to me. Father and I will never see eye to eye. I'll be nuisance to the name, I know it. If you're feeling pain in any way I know I can't bear it, it doesn't matter if I find someone just like you, knowing you're hurt for any reason will ruin me inside. I can't have that happen because I need you here with me."
Kathryn kissed his forehead, leaning hers onto his. "You worry too much about me my sweet boy. Someone needs to care for you more than me. I am fine, your father is probably going to remain uneasy but I can't have my only child feeling the way he does. It breaks me to see you in pain, I feel like I'm dying with you and I honestly need you to take care of yourself, you do too much for me. Life is more than just being selfless Warren. You deserve your happiness and I believe you will receive it one day."
Warren took both his mother's hands, kissing them as she smiled at him sincerely. "You're my happiness. Nothing will change that."
Kathryn kissed his cheek, giving him a strong hug before slowly letting go. "Do you need a minute longer? Take your time."
Warren smiled, pulling the tie on his freshly pressed designer suit. He almost hesitated to ask her but his heart gave out when she gave him a lingering tender look.
"Can I ask for 20 minutes?"
"Is something the matter?" She asked with worry to her tone.
He shook his head, began taking off his jacket and loosened his tie as he stared outside his window for a moment.
"I want to fly."
Kathryn leaned close to his ear, whispering inside, "Go on my son, your father will just have to understand."
Warren moved outside to the balcony window looking outside, closing his eyes at the sunset that was disappearing by the seconds from view.
He removed his tie, letting it dangle over his neck; he could feel his wings begin to twist in anticipation for the open air. It was so beautiful, it was begging him to take flight and all he wanted to do was listen to the calling.
"He has to; this is what I was meant to do. What if I could use this? Whatever this is that I have—what if I was given this for a reason? Do you think the world would be scared if I tried to help them? If I showed them who I really am?" Warren asked, leaning over the railing as he felt his mother come near his side.
Kathryn observed him for a few moments, taking in the man she had grown to love from the moment he came into her life. The bond between was too strong a hold, she couldn't imagine her world without him, seeing him so strong, so powerful with ideas, it made her proud to trust him in whatever he chose to do with his life.
"In time they will accept you like I have; they will see you aren't a threat to them the more you show them a better world. Most of us could benefit from doing more. You were made for doing this Warren; I believe it with all my heart." She said, taking his hand, holding it like she has many times before.
Warren swallowed his fear of the outside world. He shook every notion his father ever gave him that he wasn't worth more in life, living this way, being a mutant, can it really change from here on? His mother seemed adamant on proving him worthy but his insecurity had been strong since he first discovered his abilities.
A gust of wind blew over his face and he felt as if he had his answer. He looked at his mother with pride before stripping off his shirt and tie, unloosening the harness allowing his wings access to finally breathe. He stretched them out to made sure they still were alive. Being pinned down constantly he worried they were too bent for flight but he knew they were as strong as his will to use them.
He faced his mother as she waited to see what he would do. She nodded, moving to give him space as he took a deep breath before walking to the balcony. He observed the the height above, he knew it well while he turned to his mother, smiling.
"Tell father not to worry about me. I'm learning to live with everything life gives me. I owe everything that's good in me to you, for making me this way. I don't feel so alone anymore." He admitted, taking more deep breaths.
Kathryn smiled as she thought of the girl she met the other day in the hotel. The one that reminded her so much of Warren, it was a shame she said their goodbyes, she would have wanted the girl to meet her son.
"Soon you will realize you won't feel so alone, even if I'm not around. I can promise you there is somebody out there going through exactly what you are, and they will understand you. I feel it."
Warren took in what his mother said, slightly smiling upon the idea that there is someone somewhere just like him, a mutant. Someone struggling with life and whether to keep living it. Wishful thinking was his best conclusion, his mother was his only comfort now. It was just her and the open skies.
He looked out, noticing the entire sky covered in navy blue night time. "It's always so beautiful, the sky at this time, if I could do this every night of my life then I would feel more confident in myself and what I can really offer the world. I know it's almost silly, but I feel like my purpose is worth more than I think it is."
"It's not silly my Angel. It's real and honest, you are always more than what you think."
"Perhaps you're right. You should stand back, I'll return soon." He said, preparing himself like he did the last time he took flight. He stared back at his mother before standing straight on the railing keeping his balance. "I carry you with me everywhere I go and I will never stop. You are my angel, I'm doing this for you, every time."
Kathryn beamed a bright smile as Warren expertly jumped off the railing, stopping mid-air as his wings supported his body in stagnant flight. He faced the sky, letting his wings raise his higher and higher until he felt complete aerial wonder.