"Here, want one?" Aiden offered Tinka. This was going to be revenge for the 'missed calls' incident. Or so, thought Aiden to himself, as he extended his hand with the cream biscuits towards Tinka. He knew these were her favorite and she would not be able to resist them.
"Ooh Melbies!" she squealed in delight as she promptly took two of them and stuffed them into her mouth chomping ravenously. Aiden carefully watched her face holding his breath. A few moments later Tinka slowed down her munching and got a funny look over her face. And then she clasped both of her hands over her mouth and screeched. "Yuk, what's wrong with them??"
"Wrong? Nothing wrong. Except maybe for the fact that I scraped off all the cream from the biscuits and put toothpaste inside them!" Aiden had the smirk of the century on his face.
"You Basta..." The rest of the sentence was left incomplete as Tinka lunged forward to try and smack Aiden on the head who easily dodged her. Moments later she could be seen gargling over the sink in the ladies room of the coffee shop. Cursing under her breath as white foam spewed out from her mouth. She was going to have to come up with some really evil plan to exact revenge from Aiden this time. Boy, was he in trouble now.
"That was totally evil!" she declared as she came back and sat next
to Aiden in the café.
" I mean, you are so going to get it from me now." She stated to a seemingly unaffected Aiden busy guffawing away.
"Stop guffawing like an ape! It wasn't that funny."
"Yes it was!"
"No, it was not!"
"You should have seen your expression with your mouth plastered with all that minty goo! Damn, I should have got my camera!"
"Aiden Writer, you are in deep shit now!"
"Yeah Right! That's exact same thing I said to you when you could not stop giving Chas all those missed calls from my phone, if you can recall any of your past evil deeds," replied Aiden haughtily, referring to the previous week when Aiden made the mistake of telling Tinka he had a crush on their class branch Co-ordinator. Tinka went all out after that, using Aiden's cell phone whenever she could get a hold of it, to just give a single ring every time on Chas' phone. A few embarrassing return calls later, vengeance was all that was on Aiden's mind.
"Well that was cute and kinda funny."
"So was this!" replied Aiden with an air of triumph. Then he cheekily extended the packet containing the maligned biscuits towards the enraged female. "Want some more?"
Tinka replied by slinging her bag and smacking him over the head.
"Oww!" cried Aiden. "That hurt!"
"Well it should."
Aiden and Tinka had first become friends in the 8th grade when A friend of Adien's had commented that Tinka possessed 'very large boobs'. That was still in the 8th grade when Aiden's new found homosexuality made it hard for him to hear guys labeling girls as sluts and bitches. His friend had challenged him to go and say it to her if he had the guts. That very night Aiden called Tinka up and told her what his friend thought of her assets. "What?" she had reacted. "Is that all he likes about me?" Chumminess came easily to them after that and they became as thick as thieves. Always together, and always referred to as a couple. Few of their close friends knew the truth though.
"Well gotta head back and finish my presentation." Tinka nodded her head. "Miss Marple's gonna kill us with those submissions and presentations you know."
"Yeah, excuses. Nowadays you never have time for me," Aiden stated with a mock frown on his face.
"Yeah dolt!" I spend more time with you than any of the boyfriends I date! I mean, we are practically married!"
"Well eww from my side too, but it's true."
"Eww all you want, I am gonna be heading back, and you, my 'husband' Aiden, are gonna be dropping me back to my room."
"As your Excellency desires!"
"Her Excellency desires that you pick her and Aditi up at 11:00. We are going to 'Earthquake' tonight!"
"Cool! Aditi's coming to Earthquake too?"
"Yes, you better believe it. The gorgeous Indian Chick is coming along. She's finally mixing with the other girls now. So if you wanna bring along some guys who wanna discreetly drool over her, feel free."
"Umm, we'll see."
"I am sure Chas would love to come!" Tinka knew she was asking for it.
"Yeah, I bet he would," replied Aiden appearing to be nonchalant but knowing that Tinka would surely see the seething person inside him.
"Or maybe Dominic would!" This time Tinka hit a sore spot. She was already getting back at him for the Melbies prank. Aiden flashed her an angry glare. Dominic was the guy that Aiden had been in love with for a long time though he would never admit it to anyone. Tinka wondered how he managed to keep it all bottled inside himself. She had never seen someone so madly besotted with anyone before. And even more fierce about keeping it all to oneself. Aiden Writer sure had endurance.
"I'll just get Jason along." He muttered finally. Jason Bradley was one of Aiden's roommates.
Aiden dropped her off at her dorm and then sped towards his. Maybe if he hurried he could finish all of his assignment work and squeeze in a little bit of tennis playing time with Steve and Jason, if any of them would agree to come along with him. Steve Johnson was his second roommate.
"Hey guys!" Aiden boomed as he swung open the door of his room.
A very lukewarm hey came back from Steve who seemed busy reading a Mathew Reilly novel and a very enthusiastic 'wazzzzuuuup' came from Jason who stretched out his hand to high five him.
"Anyone for Tennis?" he enquired.
"Yeah sure." Steve said pertly as he slammed down his book. As bookish as he might seem, Steve was never one to pass up on a game of tennis.
"You guys go ahead." Jason chimed in. "I'll play a little baski and join you later. Jason was the most athletic of the trio and at the same time the most affable, friendly and naive. His innocence caused him to be the butt of jokes at most times but everyone loved the five foot five inch dude and Aiden always considered himself lucky to have such a great roommate. Aiden was academically the most brilliant of the three, by far that is. With the highest CGPA in his class, he always had his friends pestering him as to how he achieved such great grades when he studied so little. "Sheer genius" he would tell them.
"Well I'll just be playing for a half hour or so, but you can join Steve later if he is still at the courts," replied Aiden while carefully taking out his tennis togs from a neatly folded bundle in his cupboard. Steve just picked up something from the heap lying on the bed and slipped it on.
"Ok then see you later."
"And yeah, don't forget, tonight we are going to 'Earthquake' with Tinka and that new Indian babe Aditi." Aiden knew Steve would not be interested and never bothered informing him.
"You gotta be kidding me! Aditi Agrawal. Fucking-A!"
"Yup, Aditi Agrawal"
"Shit, how the hell do you properly pronounce her name? gotta ask someone that!"
Steve and Aiden left a beaming Jason in the room who was now happily rummaging amongst his side of the room searching for his basketball. How the hell could someone not find a basketball? Aiden would never understand, His friends would badger him to no end about being such a stickler and a neatness freak, but that's the way that he liked things.
40 minutes of tennis later, Aiden was exhausted and grumbling. His serve was as bad, if not as worse than when he had started playing tennis a year back, his backhand sucked and his reaction time also seemed screwed up. Steve mercilessly routed him for a 6-1 victory.
"Sheesh! I suck! I really do," Aiden grumbled to himself, slamming his racket on the bench as he slumped down and guzzled on a bottle of water.
"Yup, you sure do!" added Steve.
Aiden glanced at Steve. Steve sure was a mystery to him. The guy was lazy as hell most of the time just lying around, sleeping 10-12 hours a day, watching movies or playing on the comp but he could sure be active when he wanted to. Aiden was enervated to the core after a furious tennis session but Steve appeared to be hardly breaking a sweat. Steve was unarguably the best-looking amongst the 3 roommates and also the most moody. But he was also the only other person other than Tinka who knew about Aiden's sexuality.
"So. You're going to the Earthquake with Tinka and Jason?"
"Yeah, her too."
Aiden knew Steve had something on his mind but knew he would just have to be patient if he wanted him to say it.
"So nowadays you not sleeping around with any guy?"
Aiden was taken aback. This was pretty straight-forward for Steve. Steve had accepted Aiden's sexuality when he had come out to him, but was never very comfortable with the details regarding it. On the other hand there was Tinka who always demanded things right down to the most graphic and sordid detail from Aiden.
"Nope! No one."
Steve then took a deep breath. "Why don't you do something about Dominic and ask "
"Hey, howzzit going?"
The two were interrupted by Jason as he strutted onto the courts with a basketball in his hands. The petite guy clad with an arm band and head band was smiling as his usual self. Jason looked at an annoyed Steve and a red faced Aiden.
"People, are we playing?" Jason was never good at picking up hints and had no clue that he had interrupted something, much to the relief of Aiden.
"Yeah, sure err " stuttered Aiden. "I'll just go and um you continue with Steve." Aiden looked about frantically and caught side of Steve with a blank expression on his face. 'Always difficult to read' he thought.
"So 11 PM at night right?"
"Yup, be ready!" stated Aiden as he scurried about collecting his items in a rush to get away from there. He left the court hastily as Steve's eyes followed him till he exited and Jason continued rambling to Steve telling him about how he had obtained details about Aditi and how he had found out that she really loved cats.
"It's been eons since an Alchemist has appeared on the material plane," the dulcet voice of the Empress of Vand stated.
She cast her blue eyes upon the bowing masculine figure before her. Black. That was the name he was famously known as. The guardian of the empress of Vand, the dark silver 'seraph', the keeper of the Dark, all were names and titles bestowed upon him. Arangyunus was his real name, but very few Perpetuals knew that. His Silver grey wings stretched across more than 30 feet from one tip to the other and a dark crystalline glint sparkled across his sinewy torso. The tips of the wings had black streaks highlighting the edges. The scene looked peculiar, for an entity of such seeming power to be bowing in respect in front of an ostensibly four year old child.
The Empress shook her head and her long golden tresses swayed. "The alchemist has to be won over."
Her pet chimera, Pi flitted noisily. "Black will take on the required form and descend upon the material plane?" This message was telepathic and was directed only towards the Empress of Vand?
"Yes Black will do the required." And she gazed upon the eyes of her guardian as he lifted his silver eyes to meet hers. Brilliant sparkles of white and blue light scintillated across his form as the wings slowly disappeared and the Perpetual's body slowly changed color to a pale flesh tone. At the end of the transformation, present in front of the Empress and her pet was a naked man, bowing waiting for his mistress to give the next command.
"Go, Arangyunus. Perpetrate the necessary."
And with that order from his mistress, Black stood up, a powerful male of the human species. His form slowly shimmered and disappeared. A few seconds later he appeared on the material plane. This would be the most difficult errand his mistress would ever send him on. Only, he did not realize that yet.
"Mistress, are you certain that Black should be employed for this task." Pi, the telepathic chimera had doubts. "The Alchemist is an event occurring in a millennium. Should you not descend upon the material plane yourself and handle this yourself?"
"The Alchemist possesses powers beyond the Perpetuals. And that power has never been correctly harnessed. Force will under no circumstances lend us his powers, because they are his to use."
"So overwhelming by lust will bend him towards our side?"
"Perchance. Or maybe it will require more than that."
The door of the bar swung open as the 4 of them walked in. Aditi being led by an over courteous Jason followed by a pair of haggling 21 year olds; Aiden and Tinka.
"What do you mean by 'the debate club is not good enough'? The debate club of our uni is fab and I Aiden, am absolutely the best speaker."
"You would not be the best speaker if there were no other speaker's left darling. I think Mr. Rodrigues would oust you in a debate." Mr. Rodrigues was the head janitor in the university campus. He was dumb and speech was not a virtue bestowed upon him.
"What? You saying that he can raise arguments better than me?" Aiden was flaring as he took the seat opposite Jason and Aditi.
"You would not recognize a cogent argument if it hit you on the head and ran all over you." Tinka knew exactly how to push Aiden's sore spots to get a rise out of him. She gracefully sat on the seat beside Aiden.
"And what about your "
"Guys Please." Jason interrupted Aiden with a pained expression on his face. Aiden immediately felt guilty when he thought about how badly Jason wanted to meet this Aditi girl. He turned and saw Tinka was in too with a guilty expression on her face. Then he saw Jason pleading him with his eyes. Jason really had the hots for this Tinka girl and he wanted things to start of on the right foot today.
"Well Aditi, the two of us are always at opposite warheads releasing all kinds of ammunition on each other. It is not as bad as it looks or sounds." Tinka was smiling as she said that. Aiden also had a big grin over his face once again remembering that other people might not find their 'friendly' bantering as friendly as it was supposed to be.
"Yeah, tell me about it, motormouth marathon" Jason whistled under his breath. Then before Aiden could figure out what he had said he quickly turned towards Aditi, "Hey Aditi, you like cats? My grandma lives close to the campus and her cat just gave birth to 5 kittens last week!"
Aiden clunked his head against the table in his mind as Tinka nudged his foot under the table. This had to be the cheesiest way to start a conversation with someone.
"Um, yeah " Aditi replied looking at Jason with a weird look on her face.
"Great, you can come over with me sometime to my grandma's place and we can err cuddle and pet." Tinka, Aiden and Aditi all glared at Jason.
"Pet the kittens the, the little fur balls all soft and cuddly." Jason' face was as red as a beet root. He could not believe what a big ass he was making of himself.
"Uh huh . maybe sometime." Aditi had a 'what-a-bozo' look on her face.
Just then a black girl with golden curls and an apron appeared and introduced herself as the waitress. "What will you guys have?"
While Tinka glared at Jason, who looked sheepishly at Aiden who was busy looking at Aditi wondering whether the 'why do I have to be unwittingly paired up with this bozo' look on her face was indeed what he was deciphering it to be. Jason really wanted this girl very badly and he and Tinka would have to take matters into their hands for now. Tinka apparently had the same thoughts on her mind for as soon as the drinks were ordered she asked Jason.
"So, how is basketball coming along these days?"
Jason got a smile on his face just at the mention of the game. "Yeah that's' right" Aiden thought, keep the conversation to sports and Jason would not have any trouble then.
Over the next 15 minutes Jason' sports abilities were discussed in detail. His being in the uni's Basketball team or 'Baski' as he referred to it, even though he was by far the shortest player on the team. His being on the uni's tennis team, a feat Aiden had spent grueling hours of practice to achieve, and Jason seemed to play tennis effortlessly. His being on the swim team and even an ace track athlete. Aditi seemed to be taken in by his athletic achievements and looked at Jason with a new admiration. Jason just seemed to bask in the glow of his abilities and was back to his effervescent affable self - the one that does not blunder like a drunk on 36 shots of vodka when he was with girls.
As the two started to get engrossed into the conversation themselves Aiden motioned over to Tinka to let the two be. They excused themselves and headed over to the bar.
"Well that starts of something between Jason and Aditi." Stated Tinka as she flopped down onto one of the bar stools and motioned the bartender to come over. The guy sitting on the adjacent glanced at her and then fixed his gaze on her breasts. Aiden noticed and scowled a bit. He slowly settled onto the stool next to Tinka still frowning at the guy which seemed to have no effect on him.
"Well you've got an admirer." Aiden said pointing with his chin to the lecher on Tinka's right. "Or rather should I say your body parts have another admirer?"
The guy coughed and looked away as Tinka whirled around to see what Aiden was talking about then shook her head and looked at the ceiling in a helpless gesture.
"I was saying that Tinka looks to be totally into our chummy buddy." They booth looked at a Jason and Aditi animatedly laughing over what appeared to be a very good joke. "She could probably pick him and toss him out if he causes any trouble." She said laughing to herself. Aiden joined in the laughter. It was true; Jason was not exactly shorter than her, but was pretty short indeed and Aditi had apparently wore heels cause she now stood just a couple of inches over him if they both stood up.
"So Aiden, when are you going to get hooked?" she said with a solemn expression on her face.
"Don't know." Aiden took a deep breath and continued, "When the mood is right I guess?"
"Mooood? What the hell do you mean by that? How about now?"
"And you are supplying prince charming I suppose?"
"Yeah, he's behind me!"
"What?" Aiden glanced behind her. " 'Mister-I-can't-keep-my-eyes-of-women's-boobies' ?"
"No not him you moron!" Tinka said haughtily. "The guy behind the lecher, the one in the black shirt."
Aiden leaned forward to look behind her. The guy who he had first scorned at him now scorned at him. This time Aiden ignored his look and looked at the guy next to him. Blond hair, nice face and good looking. He had a prominent dimple on his cheek.
"And what makes you think he may be interested in me?"
"Well " Tinka stated with an air of omniscience, "I noticed him glancing over at you before when we were with Jason and Aditi ." She paused to gulp at her drink. "And besides he never once glanced at my breasts when I settled down here" she stated as if it was the most non- hetero thing to do on the planet.
"Yeah right! And that gives me the authority to go and make a pass at him ."
"Of course it does!" Tinka stated triumphantly cutting Aiden off.
Aiden swallowed before his next words. "Mrs. big Doosies does not get stared at her curves and then expects the guy to be a crooked one eh someone sure is conceited!"
"Oh stop with your smart ass replies for once. Why don't you just give it a chance?"
"He's probably straight you nut! You just want me to get a black eye. I have never met a single gay guy in this place even once! The probability that he caters to my kind is absolutely minimal!"
"Stop thinking with your logical head for once. Why the hell won't you go and make a pass at him! It's not like he'll think you are from outer space or something. Even if he is straight, I am sure he has heard of gay guys to figure out where you are coming from."
Tinka took a deep breath. She still had more to say, "Stop saving yourself for that Dominic Paige."
2 more minutes of exasperated arguing later Aiden got up, straightened his shirt and advanced slowly towards the subject of their argument muttering and cursing Tinka under his breath. But he knew better than to argue with her when she was in those headstrong moods. "Just do as she says." He murmured to himself and cautiously approached the blond guy.
"Hi, can I buy you a drink?" Aiden looked questioningly towards the blond dude sitting seemingly alone on a barstool who returned his inquiring look with a puzzled one.
Aiden extended his hand. "My name's Aiden." The guy shook the offered hand hesitatingly, his puzzled countenance morphing into a slight scowl.
"So what's your name?" Aiden was wondering if he would have to do all the talking.
"Josh." He said and then shut his mouth. Aiden noticed how beautiful his lips were. The guy had a dimple only on his left cheek, the one Aiden had seen before and none on the other. It made him look real cute to Aiden. The music in the club boomed really loud by now and Aiden found it difficult to listen to what Josh was saying, if he was saying anything that was.
"Listen, are you waiting for someone or can I take this seat here?"
"Whatever, take it." he replied nonchalantly, not seeming too pleased that this over-friendly guy was piling onto him.
Aiden looked at Josh's face and thought for a moment, but decided to sit down cause he had already come this far.
"No." he stated flatly, before Aiden could initiate further conversation. "You don't need to buy me a drink."
"Oh, Alrighty then," Aiden said a little taken aback, "So anyway Josh, what do you do?"
"Why, is it any business of yours?" he replied churlishly.
Aiden wanted to leave the table just then but his mouth was not listening to his mind and decided to talk on.
"No, just asking if you study in some university around this place."
"Yeah, am an architecture student at Misoha." He replied not so ever glancing at Aiden but looking straight ahead.
"Architecture eh? Used to sleepless nights, A3 sheets and T-squares?"
"Why, are you an architect too?" he asked with an annoyed expression on his face.
"No, it's just that some of my very good friends are. I'm an engineering student."
The guy looked away once again. Aiden was not sure how to proceed any more. Should he try to talk to this guy once more or should he just politely leave while he still wore his dignity. Was Tinka's guess right that this Josh was interested in him? Hardly seemed so. He would try to talk just once more and if things did not get any warmer, he would just have to leave this chap.
"So your submissions and viva's must be coming up right?"
Josh firmly placed his mug on the table and rotated to face Aiden. "Listen buddy, go play your homo games with someone else. I AM NOT INTERESTED. If you feel I was looking at you earlier, it's because you look a lot like my cousin, so please would you just get lost?"
Aiden looked him squarely in the face, "thanks for clearing that up." Not at all showing the hurt he felt inside on his face he got up to leave. Tinka Appeared behind the two suddenly.
"Hey you guys, what's going on?"
"Your ugly homo friend out here was hitting on me."
"And what makes you think he was hitting on you? Did he ask you for a blowjob or something?" Tinka sure knew how to put someone in a spot.
"No but he just fuck off you two!"
"Not everyone comes from a respectful household I guess," Tinka stated as she grabbed Aiden by the arm and pulled him back over to where they were initially seated. Aiden felt like a pile of shit and Tinka felt even worse.
"Shit, Sorry Ade, never meant to get you humiliated like that."
Aiden looked over at Tinka's apologetic expression. He tried to put a smile on his face but could barely muster the courage for one.
"It's fine," he squeaked and cleared his throat to get his voice out, "it's just that I looked like his cousin so he was giving me the look over earlier."
"It's all my fault, please let me buy you a drink."
Aiden looked at Tinka, thankful that even though he had no one to share his life with consummately, he at least had Tinka.
Not too far away from the booming music of the disco, in a dark alley, the
view got nebulous as a naked human form gradually 'shimmered' onto the material
plane. The deserted alley felt the presence of one the most powerful dark Perpetuals.
The form was crouched, the body wrapped into itself as if in a cocoon. Black
had arrived into the human world. He slowly un-entangled himself and stood up
to his full height. A towering figure with a forbidding presence. The thew of
his torso apparent at just a glance with ridges along the abdomen descending
into powerful pubes. The strapping arms appeared mighty but actually showed
no signs of the superhuman feats they were capable of.
Sturdy legs lofted him to an impressive verticality. His back was sinewy and rippled with each muscular form palpating under the slightest movement.
The human encased dark Seraph extended one arm outwards with the palms facing upwards and slowly closed his palm in the shape of a claw as each muscle in the arm tensed.
"Stealth Ability 37; Shadowy Specter," Black voiced out. And as soon as those words left his mouth his form was morphed to a black velvet which burgeoned in all directions and then rapidly fell to the ground. The Stealth spell would allow Black to move about undetected as he searched for methods to blend into the surroundings and found his target. A dark blackness now moved about on the earth as it left the deserted alley and moved along streets in which people strayed.
The shadow soon glided along to the entrance of an edifice which possessed a miscellany of clothes displayed on a myriad of mannequins. The structure appeared to be isolated as was common for a facility of its kind for this time of the night. The shadowy form sailed under the locked glass doors. Black was now inside a clothing and accessories shop.
Once inside, the shadow resumed the form of a naked man; one in search of garbs. Black came over to a mannequin set adorned in the latest styles and looked over them. The mannequins were skinny and not up to his height. Finding an attire would be difficult. Just then he noticed a male species mannequin in the centre enclosed in a glass casing which appeared to be larger than the others. Adorned in dark denim with a cross gartering white string extending from head to toe on either side. Black shoes of leather of the most upmarket kind and a white gossamer shirt diaphanous to some extent.
Black proceeded to disrobe the lifeless model as he put on each garment on his own body. He would have to do this manually as his powers were of no use in such circumstances. In fact, the extent of his powers would be greatly suppressed when he would be in this form. Just then black's noticed he was not alone in the huge room. A security guard stood gaping at him as soon as he finished attiring himself. Black cursed himself in his mind. His abilities were restrained and would take some time to recover and even then would not return to their full efficiency till he assumed his original form. That explained how a security guard had gotten so close without him sensing it.
"Hey you!" the man in uniform bellowed. "What the fuck are you doing in here?"
Black knew he would have to take matters into his own hands now. He extended his left arm forward, bending it into a V shape and placed his right hand across it creating a cross structure. Black opened his mouth to cant.
"Internecine Ability 60; BlackFang Slash." Black rapidly moved his right arm across as if slashing the left with two fingers. Simultaneously A black streak appeared just above the nape of the security guard and slashed diagonally across the neck. A grimace remained painted across the victim's face as his head was severed off and a chunk of his body slowly slipped off from the bottom half. Both parts fell to the floor. Blood sputtered in all directions. The security guard would never understand how this entity had managed to cut him in two from a distance of more than 40 feet.
Black reeled under the recoil effect of the mutually destructive 'internecine' spell. The recoil was immense for a spell of such low caliber, but the dark seraph was itself devoid of his powers. A few seconds later, Black, Shaking off the effects of the recoil headed towards the main entrance. Fully attired in clothes he could now proceed on his quest to find the Alchemist.
9 hours later detectives and forensic experts would examine the macabre homicide of a clothesline store security guard. The body, in 2 parts, one consisting of the head, neck, a shoulder blade and part of an arm and the other part consisting of whatever else a human body comprises of, would leave them dumbfounded. What force could slice the human body like this, as if it were a mere vegetable?
Aiden stared into the mirror ahead of him. He was still at the disc, in the toilet that is. He had excused himself for a moment from Tinka to come to the men's restroom. The music thumped in muffled tones as Aiden sadly looked at his own reflection.
Was he that ugly? He sure had had his share of one-nighters, all thanks to the internet. He could meet guys who were not so blessed with looks and carry out his release with them. In fact the last 2 years had seen him indulge in many one night stands, thanks to easy get away procedures from the frat rooms. But relationships were another world apart.
He looked at his scruffy black hair. Tousled. It was always like that. He never combed it. Did he need a hair-cut? Usually it was cut short and hardly required much combing but right now it was long and disheveled. It just looked un-maintained. His hair-cut was at least a couple of months overdue. Then he looked at his glasses. Did glasses make him look over-nerdy? Some of his one one-night 'Johns' enjoyed his nerdy look. They loved it when the nerdy guy turned into an animal in bed. And he had worn glasses all his life. Switching over to contacts or something would be a harrowing experience. He looked at his face. Ordinary; Painfully so. And right now there was a zit above his left brow which made him grimace even more. Aiden contemplated his own looks. He remembered Josh's words calling him, well, ugly. He felt lower than a pug's testicles.
Then he scanned his eyes over his own body in the mirror. At least that was in good shape. He loved keeping fit. All the daily push-ups and tennis made his body streamlined and well proportioned, though he felt he was a little too skinny. 5'11" was not a bad height either. His teeth looked okay as well. Thank God he had had braces for a year when he was 17.Aiden thought back to the days when his looks never mattered.
A toilet stall door swung open behind him with a clang as someone strolled out. Aiden quickly left the mirror to get back into the noisy bacchanal ambience. He was now in no mood to stay and would leave immediately, after informing Tinka and the others. He would have to come up with some excuse for Chas and Aditi, but he was sure Tinka would accompany him out of this wretched place.
"Hey Tinka." He called out to her in a soft voice as he neared her, "I don't much feel like staying here. I think I'll leave."
Tinka looked at him sorrowfully. She knew most of this was her fault. She should not have coaxed Aiden to go and talk to that blonde asshole. Seeing the saturnine look on Aiden's face, she decided she would have to accompany him. She no longer felt like staying on in this dump either.
"You know what, I'm gonna come too. Let's just get away from here."
Tinka raised herself from the barstool as Aiden told her to wait a moment as he went over and informed Jason and Aditi who were now busy dancing away to the cadence, gyrating on the dance floor. Aiden felt a little better to see that at least Jason was having a good time. As Aiden approached the couple, he noticed that Aditi's movements suddenly got slower and she almost stopped dancing, her eyes fixated towards the entrance of the disc. Aiden followed her gaze, looking across the sea of people drinking, swinging and laughing till his eyes rested on Him.
He stood there, as if searching for someone, his face expressionless. A tall man with the looks of a comic book superhero. With a diaphanous white top that accentuated his perfect muscular torso and denim clad legs with lacings on the sides the man looked drop dead gorgeous. Aiden stood transfixed for 5 seconds. He had never in his life laid eyes on someone so strikingly handsome. Then he remembered the incident with that Josh character and sighed inwards. Aiden progressed towards Aditi who was apparently still gazing at 'Mr. Knock you dead with one look', as Aiden now referred to him in his mind. Aiden looked around to notice that by now, many people had their eyes riveted towards the new entry.
"Hey Aditi," Aiden screamed above the deafening music, shaking the girl out her staring stupor. "Tinka and me are leaving. You guys have a nice time."
"Uh yeah. Ok." Was all she replied. Then she blushed and smiled and diverted her attention back to Jason who was still dancing unaware of what was going on around. That was just like Jason's character, Aiden thought to himself.
Aiden made his way back to Tinka who had noticed the new arrival too. "Super hot guy eh?" she questioned, motioning towards the centre of more than half the club's attention.
"Yeah." Aiden muttered softly under his breath, not raising his eyes to look in the pointed direction. Tinka decided to not pursue this line any further. She felt a sudden rise of desire to stay back and try to approach the guy but then decided against it remembering the state Aiden was in. She quietly followed Aiden as he headed towards the door.
"Hey!" a voice called out to Aiden just as he was about to exit the club. Aiden whirled around to see if it was him being called out to. It was the white shirt hunky guy. And he signaled Aiden to stop as he made his way across the sea of people towards him. People turned their heads as he passed them, envious, fascinated and some openly drooling at the sight of such beauty. Aiden looked at Tinka's face with a questioning look on his face. She shrugged her shoulders and returned him a puzzled look.
"Hi! I'm Will. Can I buy you a drink?"
Aiden stood a little befuddled. Why was this Adonis type character approaching him, who had all but left the bar, asking to buy him a drink. His thoughts were running even hazier as he realized that this guy had severe green eyes whose hues were even noticeable in the lights of the disc. He just looked at the guy's mouth moving till he realized the man had stopped talking a few moments ago.
"Yeah sure! I'd love to buy you a drink, if you have the time that is!"
Aiden was flustered. Why was this guy so adamant to buy him a drink? Why would such an awesomely handsome chap be interested in him? Was someone playing a trick on him or something?
Unknown to Aiden, his thoughts were being read. His mind was rummaged along as Black, who had assumed the name of Will had found his target. Powerful Perpetuals often possessed the ability to read the minds of lesser humans. Black was presently scouring the Alchemist's mind perusing each and every thought that came up.
Aiden composed himself. "Hey man, I really appreciate the offer, but I was just about to leave. I have to drop my friend back too." He gestured towards Tinka
"Cool, can I tag along?" Will asked with an innocent expression.
"You? Err " Aiden was dumbfounded.
"Of course you can!" Tinka interpolated forcefully. "We'd love to have your company err, Will. I'm Tinka and this here is Aiden."
Aiden shrugged his shoulders in a 'sure-join-us' gesture and then headed outside with his best friend and the hottest dude on the planet in tow. A couple of girls entering the club in the opposite directions ogled at the new collection to the pair.
"Hey Handsome," one of them cooed at Will, "Wanna buy me a drink."
"No, I'll buy you one!" interjected the other. And then both of them giggled as the trio walked by, Will ignoring the tittering pair.
The three walked out into the relatively warmer temperature of the night; Aiden was finding it hard to keep his eyes of the man walking beside him but at the same time did not understand what to say to him. Tinka was trying to figure out this new person and Black aka Will was busy skimming along Aiden's thoughts. Yes. This was the alchemist. There was a subtle difference in the way his mind and thoughts felt when compared to other humans. His task was now to win over the usage of the Alchemist's powers. Seduction was the easiest way, but as he combed Aiden's mind he realized that his prey was in an emotionally unstable state right now. It was too bad that his psychic abilities would only allow him to probe at surfacing thoughts and not allow him to delve into the mind as his Empress could. If he had her abilities, he would effortlessly have been able to plant the thought of sex directly into the boy's brain.
"Really nice Weather today." Will started sensing the awkwardness going through Aiden's head. "A good thing it rained in the afternoon; really cooled the atmosphere."
"Yeah A much needed respite from the relentless heat." Tinka added smiling.
"Easy for the two of you to say. I was outside and got caught in the rain in the morning. Got totally drenched." Aiden stated with a mock frown on his face.
"Sorry to hear that." Will replied.
"No, actually I love getting soaked in the rain. Just that I had my bag and all. My books got steeped."
"Then good riddance eh? Get rid of all the college books and all?" Will's smile widened and Aiden could not help noting his perfectly straight immaculate teeth. "Some people sure have it all", he thought to himself, and to Black as well.
"Yup, sure did, but I had one of my frat mate's books too. Boy was he furious!" Aiden was laughing hard as he pictured Jason seething with rage at him in the morning.
"Frat mate? You guys are students in one of the universities nearby?" Will knew that asking such a question would immediately give rise to thoughts in Aiden's mind which would give him a little more information to help his aims.
"Yeah," Aiden replied, I am an engineering student and Tinka here is struggling to become an architect."
"What do you mean struggling?" asked an irked Tinka. "Will, take note that Aiden here is the phoniest of engineers you'll ever get to meet. These engineers are all no good con artistes that dupe people out of their money in exchange for nothing."
"Don't even get me started on the bitchy work you architects do " and the two were once again lost I their arguments, forgetting all about their surroundings.
Black pretended to be enjoying their banter and put a smile on his face. Inside he felt absolutely revolted. These humans were so lowly and pathetic. Their pass times and habits were contemptible. Why do the alchemy powers only surface in a human soul? Black had a slight urge to use one of the Internecine Ability spells to wipe out both these pathetic creatures right there on the spot. Even this Alchemist boy seemed over vulnerable. He wondered if seducing him would work.
Nearing a coffee shop Black sensed that Aiden would like to enjoy some coffee.
"Hey you two, care for some coffee. I sure would like some."
The pair stopped arguing and looked at Will. Aiden was contemplating having some coffee himself. "Yeah sure." Was his reply, "If you also want some," he asked Tinka.
Tinka saw this as a perfect opportunity to clear her name for the mess she had caused earlier in the bar with the Josh dude. She also felt that Will was a nice enough guy from the conversations they had had. Aiden
"You boys go ahead. I have to get back to my sorority. Have some sheets to cover up on." Black immediately saw through the lie. So she was leaving so Aiden could spend some time alone with him. These pitiable humans sure did things in strange ways. But it suited him just fine.
"Are you sure?" Aiden inquired. He badly wanted to chat up this hunky Will but due to the events that happened earlier he still could not think straight.
"Yes positive. It's not like I have to have a chaperone till the hostel or something."
"We could just go till your dorm, drop you off and "
"Just go dammit," she growled, and then leaned in and whispered into Aiden's ear, "Have fun darling, you deserve it. And don't forget, I wan't ALL the details later."
Black smiled at her as she waved at him and trudged off.
A small golden bell above the door chimed as the door swung open and Aiden entered along with Will in tow. The café was sparsely filled, as it was expected to be. All eyes turned to see who entered and then remained fixed on the taller of the two men. Aiden noticed the stares and felt a tinge of jealousy within him. What was there to be jealous of he wondered. He knew next to nothing about this guy; other than the fact that he should be shooting for some major Hollywood movie rather than sipping coffee with a person as boring as himself. Aiden wondered if movie stars and models looked this hot from close but then thinking about the ones he had actually met face to face, he came to the conclusion that they did not.
Aiden settled onto one of the cushioned sofas glad that they were available and Black settled down next to him. Black sensed a hue of confidence arising in the Alchemist that was not there earlier. He left it to the boy to initiate the conversation now.
Aiden paused a few moments enraptured by the beauty seated next to him. In the lights of the café, his features were clearly visible. The chiseled cheek bones, the strong muscular jaw, the soft pink lips, the dense black hair, the perfect complexion and his severe green eyes. This guy was the complete looks package and Aiden wondered if he could ever be in a relationship with a person of such beauty. "He maybe a complete idiot inside" Aiden reminded himself but still wondered why Will was interested in him.
"So Will, What do you do? I mean you know that I am an engineering student and all. How old are you first of all?"
"Why, how old do I look?"
"I don't know, 24, 25 years old?"
Black chuckled at this reply thinking his actual age was the number supplied by Aiden multiplied by at least 40. "I'm 27," he decided and stated the same to Aiden.
A young boy who looked to be about 16 interrupted them. "What will you both have?" the young boy smiled a little too much at Will who immediately interpreted from his mind that this young waiter had just quarreled with his friend, a brunette looking scornfully at him, as to who would serve the hot man candy. Apparently the curly haired brunette had lost.
"I'll have an Iced Eskimo," quoted Aiden.
"Make that two." Will smiled at Aiden.
"Anything else?" the young waiter asked, eager to stay on and talk a bit more. His eyes were still focused on Will. Aiden lifted his eyebrows thinking that the young waiter could not possibly be any more vulgar in ogling at his companion.
"No that will be all, thank you." Will read Aiden thoughts and quickly dismissed the waiter who went back with a disappointed look.
"So Will, is your name short for William or is it just Will?"
"No it's just Will. Will Black that is."
"Will Black? So you don't mind me calling you Black?"
"Not at all. In fact many do call me Black."
"No just kidding. I'll call you Will itself."
"And Mr. Will, what do you do? You already know I am an engineering student."
Scient Abilities and referring to Aiden's thought patterns allowed Black to come up with a reply to this one. "I am a social worker."
Aiden raised his eye brows at his reply. Black had just chosen a profession from the alchemist's mind which the alchemist really looked up to.
"No kidding. Social worker?"
"Well sort of. My grandfather left me in charge of this really huge retirement home and I take care of that."
"I thought you would probably be a model or something," and for some strange reason, Aiden himself was blushing after saying that. "So what kind of work does it require?"
"Taking care of the premises, the facilities, medical care, sometimes seeking sponsors and donations and in general, to just keep the place running."
"Really cool. You'll have to take me there sometime."
Black replied without flinching, "Definitely. Any time you want." He also recognized the fact that Aiden was genuinely interested and he would have to make arrangements for the necessary. Aiden now looked at Will in a totally different light.
"So Aiden, how old are you and what's you full name."
"Yeah, sorry about that. Aiden Writer. That's my full name. Just turned 21 this March."
The discussion soon shifted to various topics ranging from studies, weather, eating interests and sports. Black conveniently quoted that he played the sports Aiden did changing a few to not make it sound totally rigged. "No kidding!" Aiden had burst out when he heard Will loved tennis and swimming. "I love tennis and swimming myself!" Throughout Black searched for an opportunity to somehow seduce the Alchemist and break him. The cat and mouse games were tiring him out more than any of the strongest Internecine Ability spells but he was aware of the fact, that anything happening would have to be totally consensual and even the slightest of resistances from the Alchemist would spoil everything. If things went a little too awry and the Alchemist got unbridled control of his powers, even he could be annihilated.
Aiden on his part was really enjoying himself, really liking this new find. Not only was he 10 times a regulation hottie, he really cared about people and was great to converse with too. Somewhere along the way Aiden once more got entranced by his looks. Shifting a little to adjust his nether regions which would put him in a really messy situation in this café, he suddenly realized that the two had been chattering away since almost 40 minutes. He would have to get back soon. Unless he found other ways to spend the night with
Black understood the line of thought and at once picked up that the frat rooms were no place for him and Aiden to have a mating session. Maybe he could do the boy on the beach itself. These was no moon and it was totally dark. No one would notice. But then the boy's thoughts shifted once more. The boy wanted this to be more than a one night stand. Black felt dark rage rising inside him as he perused the thought of a relationship cruising in the boy's mind. He had no time for childish games. But Aiden's next few words caught him completely off guard.
"Tell me Will, why are you interested in me?"
Black searched Aiden's mind but could not find a reply.
"Why do you ask that?"
"I mean, hot like you, does not hang out with plain like me, unless for a very good reason."
Black would have to resolve this question on his own. He took a deep breath.
"You know, back at the bar, I just got a glimpse of you and was suddenly deeply attracted. I saw the melancholy on your face and immediately knew that I wanted to see that face smiling. And when you were leaving from the bar, I knew that I wanted to go along with you and get out of that stuffy place. And in fact, I made an excellent choice."
Aiden just looked at him blankly, a slight smile on his face. Black could confirm his mind was blank too. In fact it was serene and calm.
"You're beautiful Aiden. And you attract me in more ways than billions of people can. And I just had to be with you."
Aiden stared at Will not knowing what to say. Then he smiled and let his breath out. He had been holding it in and was not even aware of it.
"Ok, I have to get back to my frat now, it's getting pretty late." Aiden arose from his seat. Black was confused. What the fuck had he just said? Was he going to bang the Alchemist tonight? Was the Alchemist angry or upset with him? Did he never want to see him again or something? Or worse, had his mission failed? Why was he not being able to read the boy's thoughts anymore?
"Can I see you again tomorrow?" asked Aiden in a timid voice.
Black took Aiden's phone number when Aiden asked for his stating he would call him tomorrow. Aiden insisted on paying for the coffee that he had had. Black would not get to treat the boy with the money he had pilfered from the long haired fat man before he entered the disco.
Outside the café the Black shook hands with Aiden awkwardly. Then he took a step closing the distance between them and firmly planted his lips on the boy's. He pulled away 15 seconds later.
Aiden had just experienced the most mind-blowing kiss of his life.
The dark seraph walked away, promising to give him a call tomorrow.
The troglodyte sorcerer advanced cautiously. It had taken him many days to complete his journey to reach Immaculata, the capital city of the Kingdom of light. But he was certain that the news he carried would certainly grab the interest of the ruler. He was even certain that he would be handsomely rewarded.
The elephantine golden gates swung open slowly as he was allowed entrance into the Emperor's chamber. The troglodyte gazed all around, his one eye open with wonder at the grandeur of the Emperor's court. Sturdy edifices of spotless white marble with gold linings held up a ceiling which was too high to fathom. Azure fabrics swooped down as if from the sky and touched almost all the way to the ground. Courtiers in the most opulent fabrics absorbed the lowly troglodyte with interest. And towards the end, in the centre of this magnificent hall, elevated 20 feet from the marbled floor stood a throne rising high into the air. On it was seated the Emperor Witenhoem, who once used to be the guardian of the city of Immaculata. He was still more fondly known as the Keeper of the Light, White.
The troglodyte approached the throne his head bowed till he neared the steps leading to the throne and genuflected, bowing in reverence.
"Lift your head and speak please," a deep velvety male voice called out. The troglodyte raised it's head and drank in the sight of the Emperor with his one eye. Seated on the throne was a handsome man, his face radiating in the power he possessed, his prevailing body rested upon a robe of white tuft, and he wore robes of the same pure white himself.
"My ruler, this humble servant of yours has stumbled upon a discovery that will pique your interest. It is with the news of this discovery that I arrive here."
"Pray, inform us. What is this discovery you speak of?"
The troglodyte paused, knowing this was going to have a dramatic effect. "The discovery of the presence of the Alchemist my Lord."
Immediately hundreds of voices started talking all at once. Every courtier started talking at the same time. The ruler raised his hand to thwart the hubbub. Instantly silence filled the hall.
"And what of the Alchemist?"
"He thrives on the material plane my lord, his powers concealed in a human body. As of now he is 21 years if age and possesses no knowledge of his capabilities."
At once the Keeper of the light rose and unfurled his great pear wings stretching to more than 15 meters across. The troglodyte realized that these were the legendary white wings that the Emperor was seated on which had seemed like soft white tuft which he had assumed to be a robe at first glance.
The stentorian voice White boomed throughout the gathering, "If what you say is true, them I myself will descend to the material plane and find the alchemist. I will entreat him to lend us the use of his powers to defeat the Kingdom of the void."
Two days of affluent comfort later, the troglodyte would return to his runnels, with riches enough for his 5 future generations to fritter.