|dark mage: chapter 2|
I woke up a few hours after Kevin and I had drifted off to sleep. I was restless and couldn't really make myself stay still long enough to fall asleep again, so I got up and went downstairs. It was better than waking him up with all of my tossing and turning--he needed his sleep.
The living room was dark, almost pitch-black. The curtains were drawn and there weren't any lights on anywhere in the house. I made my way to my favorite chair and sat down, resting my head against the back and stretching out. When I was younger, I used to fall asleep in this old, overstuffed chair all the time. I think it was my grandfather's favorite before he died, too. I'm not sure, though. I don't really know that much about my grandfather.
He died when I was six or seven. I remember how Mom cried at the funeral and Dad didn't. I thought it was weird, since he was Dad's father. It just seemed to me that he should be more upset than Mom, but he wasn't. That was my first experience with the whole be-macho-and-hide-your-emotions thing. Crying just isn't manly.
My thoughts drifted like that for a while. I thought that I knew my family, who I was, and what I was doing. Then everything changed. I learned things that made everything I thought I knew seem like badly told lies. Hell, I didn't even belong down on Earth. Everyone like me had separated themselves from what built up my entire life. I was an outcast down here, but I'd be one up there, too. I really didn't have a place where I could fit in.
Eventually I think I just exhausted myself thinking, because the next thing I knew, Grams was shaking me and telling me to get up. I turned away from her and tried to close my eyes again.
"You really should dress more decently if you're going to be sleeping downstairs," she said. I could hear her almost laughing.
I looked down at myself. I had put on a pair of boxers before I came downstairs, but during the night, I had slipped out the opening in the front. I was embarrassed for a second, but I was more tired.
"Nobody in the house hasn't seen it before," I said, reaching down to adjust myself. "Now let me go back to sleep."
"It's 8:30 and we have things to do today. There are people you need to meet, and you still need to learn a few things." She turned and started to walk out. "Breakfast is in five minutes. If you're not there, I'll bring the coffee in here and introduce it to your little friend."
I grudgingly got up and went upstairs. Kevin was finishing getting dressed in what he had on the previous day. I mumbled a good morning to him and went over to my dresser to grab some clean clothes.
"Wow, Ethan is awake at 8:30 on a Saturday." Kevin grinned at me. "What miracle brought this about?"
"Grams threatened to pour coffee on my naughty bits," I said without much humor in my voice. I'm not a morning person.
Kevin walked behind me and put his arms around my chest. "I might have had to kiss it better. That wouldn't have been very much fun."
"Good job, you've made me consider pouring hot coffee on my own dick." I laughed and turned my head to kiss him. "Shame you've already showered. Now I'll have to take care of myself."
"I could be convinced to take another one." Kevin kissed me back. "Any particular reason you slept in the living room last night? I woke up and you weren't there, so I got all worried and went downstairs. Elena told me to just leave you alone, you were being all broody."
"Oh, that," I said as I pulled myself away from him. "I just had some things to think about. My life is a lot more confusing now."
"Join the club," he said, tossing me a pair of socks. "Wanna talk about it?"
I shook my head. "No, thanks. Had enough internal debate last night to last me for quite a while. Maybe later on, though."
Kevin smiled, but I couldn't help but think that I had offended or hurt him a little. I reached over and wrapped my arm around his shoulder. "Look, I'm sorry. You know how bad I am with those open dialogues about my feelings and whatever. Blame it on my dad."
"I know." He turned and leaned his head against me. "I'm just... I dunno. After all the secrets, I'm trying to be sure that you're not keeping anything from me anymore. I know it's stupid, but..." Kevin trailed off.
I took a step back and looked at him. "I'm sorry. I just didn't know how to tell you. That's the only thing I've ever kept from you, though." I smirked. "Well, okay. In fourth grade, I'm the one who told Stefanie Clifton that you liked her."
That got me an immediate slap on the back of my head. "Bastard! I knew that was you!"
I laughed and ran across the room. "You know you thought she was a hottie!"
"She weighed more than the fucking school," he yelled as he lunged for me. We were both almost falling down, we were laughing so hard.
He had me trapped behind the bed. My only escape was to jump up over it and run out the door, but I doubted he would let me get very far with that plan. "She wasn't that big."
"She's the one who collapsed the slide!" he said, grabbing at my waistband. "Damn thing was down for like 3 months."
"She didn't collapse it, it was knocked off its base by a hurricane. It was rusted through, anyway." I shook my head. "So now that you have me trapped, what're you going to do to me?"
Kevin jumped forward and pushed me down onto my back. Then he moved down and pinned my arms against the floor with his own, positioning his face right above mine. "I was thinking something like this."
He leaned down and kissed me. It was so gentle that it was just barely his lips brushing against mine, but it was enough to give me a chill. It felt... right. There was nothing else that could even compare to the feelings he was giving me just by being so close and touching me. We both seemed to feel it, since we stopped for a few seconds. When he leaned down again, he brushed his cheek against the side of my face. He was still rough because he hadn't shaved, but I enjoyed it quite a bit.
We stayed like that for a few minutes, gently kissing every now and then. It was an opportunity for me to study his face and learn every little line and curve. I liked the 5-o'clock shadow he had going on--damn if it wasn't sexy. I closed my eyes and just let myself get lost in the warmth of his body.
"Alright, you two. I think that's quite enough of that." Grams knocked on the door and peeked her head in. She saw Kevin's head, but I was hidden behind the bed. She shook her head and started talking to herself. "I remember when I was that young. Me and... Reis, I think his name was. Of course, then I met Wil, and he only wanted it two or three times a week."
I groaned and sat up, disgusted. "Grams, must you? I don't need the icky details of your personal life. Yuck! Ugh." I turned to Kevin. "Well, you can thank her, she's successfully killed it. I'll never get it up again."
"I think I can fix that, maybe," Kevin said, grinning at me. He reached down and grabbed my crotch.
"Boys, enough. Ethan, go take a shower. Kevin, get downstairs and eat. We have things to do today, I swear." Grams walked out of my bedroom, leaving me and Kevin laughing.
"Where're we going?" I asked, not really wanting an answer. I had a pretty good idea.
"First, we're going to go see a friend of mine. His name is Charles Grimore. He's going to give us the necessary information to get to Legerd. Those people yesterday, they weren't from the surface. I've still got some contacts on the satellite, but we have to go up there to talk to them."
Kevin looked a little shocked. "You mean there's no communication system between the satellite and the planet?"
Grams shook her head. "No, at least not one that we can use. All communication on Legerd is strictly monitored, plus all communication down to the planet has to be done through certain channels. Trust me, it's easier to sneak on than to try to call up there. There's no way we'd be able to find the right equipment, either."
"Okay then, I guess we'll be playing spy. But last night you said that there aren't any transports going to or from the satellite. Something like you and Marcus got one of the last ones off." Kevin looked over at Grams. "If there aren't any transports, how are we going to get there?"
"There are ways. Legerd was designed to be self-sufficient, but it still needs supplies from the surface. We'll most likely have to stow away on a food shipment, I think." She shook her head and laughed to herself. "Of all the ways I thought I'd be spending my weekend..."
"Yeah, well, sneaking into the highly protected orbital fortress of a secret, telekinetic race of people who ordered a hit on me and the guy who I recently found out was interested in me in a more-than-friends type of way while simultaneously having to come to terms with the fact that said guy is one of said people, but has extraordinary powers even for them wasn't exactly on my to-do list, either." Kevin looked over at me and smiled. "It was pretty much just laundry."
Grams walked over behind Kevin and patted his shoulder. "It's okay. We'll get things sorted out and life will be far less weird soon."
He shook his head. "I highly doubt that. Life is always weird around Ethan."
I finished up my breakfast and went with Kevin back to his place. His parents agreed to him staying the weekend with us, but it seemed like it was more of a convenience for them than anything else. Over the past few months, I had been noticing a bit of tension between his parents. Since he never said anything about it to me, I never mentioned it, but I could tell that he saw it, too.
"So what am I going to need in the way of clothes on this massive satellite of yours, hmm?" He looked over and grinned at me, opening his closet doors.
I grabbed a backpack and tossed it to him. "Nothing more than can fit in here. Grams said we'll be on the move a lot. Actually, I doubt that we'll be able to change our clothes all that often."
He opened up the backpack, but didn't stop looking at me. "Okay, do you not find it weird that your GRANDMOTHER is organizing a reconnaissance mission to find your would-be attackers? I mean, hell, my grandmother thinks bingo is a contact sport."
"She told you about how I'm different from the rest of my people, right?" I sat down on the bed and motioned for him to join me. "The thing about being able to manipulate living tissue?"
He sat down next to me, resting his hand on my leg. "I think she may have mentioned something like that, yes. She wasn't exactly clear on the details, though."
"Well, okay, here's a short summary." I paused, looking for the right words to describe what I did. "I can, well, change things all the way down to the atomic level. I can do that to living tissue, too. Really, I think that Grams is healthier than she was when she was 45. I've been giving her, umm, 'treatments,' if you wanna call them that."
Kevin gave me a strange look. "So what you're saying is that Ponce de Leon was looking for you?"
"Not quite, no." I shook my head. "I'm not holding back her aging process. She's still a normal 59 year old woman. She's just, well, healthier." It still looked like Kevin had no idea what I meant. "Here, let me show you. Take off your shirt and lie back on the bed."
Kevin did what I asked. "Why did I have to take off my shirt?"
"'Cause I like seeing you shirtless. Now, close your eyes." I moved up on the bed and placed my hand on top of his chest. As I concentrated on relaxing him and making him feel more energetic, I felt his breathing and his heartbeat slow down. It's hard to describe what I was doing, I can only say that my entire being was fixated on him and making him feel better than he was.
A few seconds after I stopped, his eyes opened again. "Oh, wow. Fucking shit. That was... oh fuck." He sat up, smiling at me. "Wow. How did you... fuck, that felt awesome. I feel... I dunno. You know that exhilarated feeling you get when you've been running, and you can just feel your lungs fill up with air? Fuck, this is like that times a billion. Damn. Oh fuck that's good."
"Careful now, don't get too excited. You'll have to change your underwear." I smiled over at him. "I've done a bit of research into what happens to people when I do that. A lot of cultures talk about toxins and stuff getting into your system from the food you eat and the way we live, and what I do basically just flushes them out so they can't hurt you. I like to equate what I do with flushing out those toxins."
He just looked at me and shook his head. "Whatever the fuck that was, you can feel free to do it to me again any time. I feel... damn. Rejuvenated would work there, I think."
I smiled at him. "Yeah, well, you'll need it. Come on, grab whatever you need, but don't grab too much. Keep it light."
"I shouldn't need that much, really. I'll just toss a couple extra shirts in this bag." He leaned down and sniffed himself. "I could do with a shower, though. Wanna join me?"
I shook my head. "We do want to get back to the house sometime today. Grams would have a fit if we took too long."
Kevin pouted a little. "Alright, I'll go by myself, but I won't like it." He grabbed a towel off the top of his dresser. "Oh, shove a couple of shirts in there for me. Maybe an extra pair of jeans, too."
"What, no clean underwear?" I asked, smiling.
He laughed. "Whatever. Like I want you going through my underwear drawer. I'd come back and find you lying on my bed, jerking off with a pair of 'em on your face."
"Someone thinks a little too highly of himself." I grabbed another towel, rolled it up, and snapped it at his ass. "Now go take a shower."
Kevin left, and I was alone in his room. I went over to the stand in the corner where he kept his TV, VCR, video games, tapes, and stuff. It didn't take me long to find his moderately-large porn collection. He had a couple of bi ones in there, per my request. We did get together to watch porn on a somewhat regular basis, and he did it for me. Apparently for him, too, judging by how often he had us watch them.
I was eventually decided on one and put it on, then lay back in the bed to watch it. It started off as a guy and a girl, but eventually the girl left and the guy was joined by two other guys. I fast-forwarded to that part. When Kevin came back from his shower, he found me on the bed, watching them get it on with one another.
"I leave you alone for three minutes and you're already jerking off on my bed." He grinned at me, dropping his towel, and jumping next to me.
"I am not jerking off," I said, laughing. "You're the one who's got his naughty bits to the wind."
I turned over and kissed him, running my fingers through his chest hair. It was a very nice feeling, having him all to myself and being able to express how I felt about him like that. He, of course, returned the kiss and started to unbutton my pants. I'm not sure why, but I was feeling playful, so I turned until I was on top of him and pressed my waist into his, effectively blocking his hand from my fly.
"I thought you said no sex today," he said, breaking off the kiss. I just smiled down and kissed him again. Instead of trying for my pants again, he tugged at the bottom of my shirt. I lifted up my arms and let him pull it off of me, then settled back in, pressing my chest against his. It was a very nice feeling, being skin-to-skin with him.
Kevin's stubble was scratching against my face, but I enjoyed it. I was glad he decided not to shave. He was just so damn hot with a 5 o'clock shadow. I finally raised up my ass and let him get to my jeans, and he wasted no time ripping them off of me. When they were lying in a heap on his floor, he grabbed my ass and literally ground my cock into his.
"Ethan, roll over, I wanna try something. I wanna, you know, do what you did to me last night." Kevin pushed me off of him so I was lying on my back, then got on top of me. We resumed kissing before he was even situated. Now this was something I could get used to. It felt incredibly right to have his weight on top of me, not pinning me down, but a really nice heavy feeling. I was too wrapped up in thinking how good it felt to have him on top of me to notice him moving down until he was almost past my chest.
"That feels good, yeah," I said, just barely able to talk. Kevin kept going lower, gently tonguing my navel. It felt so amazing to have him running his hands all along my body, sometimes twisting my nipples, sometimes gently stroking my neck, sometimes making their way down my stomach and just gently touching my inner-thighs. When he finally reached my cock, I thought I would explode from the pleasure.
He just barely kissed the base, working his way up, licking as he went. Before he could do anything else, though, there was a scream from the front room. I jumped up and ran out to see what had happened, completely forgetting I was buck-naked.
There were three men standing around Kevin's mother, who was sprawled on the sofa. His father had been knocked to the floor, unconscious. I could still feel that he was alive, so I focused my attention on what was happening on the other side of the room.
"Where is he?" the man who was obviously the leader asked. Kevin's mother was terrified. Sometimes I can sense the way people feel, and I got waves of terror and confusion from her. She didn't answer, so the man punched her in the back and asked the question again.
"Stop it," I said. They all turned to look at me.
"That's him." The other two started to advance on me. Before they had a chance to get very far, Kevin ran in and knocked one of them down. He made sure he stayed down, too. I closed my eyes and the coffee table slammed into the other one's legs. I cringed when I heard the sound of bone snapping, but he went flying. Just to be sure, I crashed the corner of the table into his head, knocking him out.
Kevin moved toward the leader, but he pulled out a knife and held it against his mother's throat. Kevin stopped, alternately looking at me, then at the man.
"One step closer and she gets this shoved through her neck." He grabbed her around the middle and pulled her up, holding her in a classic human-shield position. He started backing toward the door. "Nobody moves until I get out."
"You're not one of the ones from last night," I said, looking directly at him. "Who sent you?"
When he didn't stop backing away, I slammed the front door shut. He stopped, looking at me with a disbelieving look. "They told me you could do fucked up stuff, but I didn't think--" his voice was cut off by a scream of pain. He dropped the knife and fell over backwards, almost into the fetal position. His entire body was wracked with the feeling of being stabbed everywhere at once. Normally, that much pain would have knocked a person unconscious, but I kept him awake.
"Tell me who sent you," I said, lessening the pain. "Even if you don't talk, I won't kill you. I'll keep you in this gut-wrenching agony until I feel like being meaner. Now tell me."
"N--Nelle..." he managed to gasp.
"Nelle who?" I lightened up on him a little more.
"I don't--I don't know. She--never told us." His breath was coming in ragged, shallow gasps. "She told us to stake out your house and follow you. To--to catch you, if we could."
I let his natural defenses take effect and he fell over, limp. "Kevin, call the police. Tell them that there are three men here who assaulted us. I'll take care of your parents."
I managed to get Kevin's father to a position where I could drag him in a standing-up position, much the same way you would for a drunk person. I set him down on his bed and after thinking for a second about how I was going to explain all this, started working on healing him. There was nothing too serious, maybe just a concussion. When I was finished, I left him there to sleep it off.
Kevin's mother was a different story, though. She had been awake the entire time and was still curled up in a ball on the floor when I came back. I knelt down beside her and put my hand on her shoulder. She jerked away and screamed again, then burst into loud sobs and frightened shrieks. Kevin was still on the phone, but went into the kitchen to finish up his over-the-phone report.
"Shh. Don't worry. It's over now," I said in the softest, most comforting voice I could muster. "Kevin and I knocked those guys out. The police are on their way right now. Marian, it's me, Ethan. John's in the bedroom. He's going to be alright."
Marian cautiously looked up at me, not seeming to notice my state of undress. When she saw that it was me and that her attackers were strewn about on the floor, she reached up and threw her arms around me, sobbing into my neck. I just rubbed her back and tried to be as comforting as possible.
"Damn, look at that. Did you guys do this?" Morrison surveyed the room, not bothering giving either of us a chance to answer. "Fuck. I've never seen anything like this."
When the officers got over their initial disbelief, we told them what had happened, editing out some parts. I somehow managed to convince them that in an adrenaline-fueled rage, I picked up the coffee table and beat one of the guys over the head with it. We were creative, to say the least.
"Where are the other two victims?" the first cop (Sgt. Kendall) asked. I led them into the bedroom, where John was sleeping and Marian was watching over him. I left them alone to talk.
Morrison was getting some crime scene photos, after having lugged the three men into the back of the squad car. The whole thing took far too long and I wound up having to call Grams and tell her the abridged version of what had happened. She understood and put our plans for the day on hold for the time being.
When they finally did leave, Kevin and I went into his parents bedroom. His mother was looking at me strangely, but didn't say anything for a while. Nobody mentioned the fact that I was naked when I rescued them (Kevin at least had the presence of mind to pull on some sweatpants).
"Why did those men want you?" John finally asked.
"I really don't think I could adequately explain it right now. It's not safe for you here right now, we all need to go to my house." I looked around the room at everybody. "Please."
Everyone nodded. "I know it seems weird right now, but trust me, things will start making sense again," Kevin said. "Or at least that's what Elena told me. I don't think I believe her."
John got up, obviously expecting pain, but didn't feel any. "Something's wrong here," he said. "I haven't been able to sit up in bed without having pain in my back for years. What--?"
"Grams will explain everything when we get back to my house, trust me," I interrupted. I made sure that everybody had a small bag with a few changes of clothes, and then we all headed for my house. We took John's car, since it presented the illusion of safety.
"John, Marian, I'm so glad to see you weren't hurt. Come on into the kitchen, I've got iced tea. We all need to have a long talk, I think." Grams ushered us all into the kitchen and sat us down around the table. John and Marian were a little unnerved, but then again, they had just gone from being assaulted to having my grandmother serve them iced tea.
"Elena, what's going on?" Marian finally asked. "Why were those men after the boys?"
"Well," Grams started, trying to draw out the inevitable, "to answer that, there's something you have to know about Ethan and me." She set a crystal paperweight down on the table--a bit more elegant than my napkin-holder demonstration from the previous night. "Watch the crystal." Grams held her hand out in front of her (more a dramatic gesture than anything else) and slowly started to lift the paperweight off the table. John and Marian had stunned looks on their faces, but managed to suppress anything they would have said.
"There's more," Grams said, setting the crystal down again. "Among our people, Ethan is... well... gifted. While most of us can only handle basic matter, he can alter living tissue. That's most likely the reason neither of you are seriously hurt. He's turning out to be a very gifted healer."
"I suppose that would explain my back, but... this is all just a little hard to believe." John looked at me. "You're saying that you can both... well... use magic, I guess."
Grams immediately started shaking her head. "No. We don't call it that. Really, it's more of a biological adaptation. It's like opposable thumbs or a prehensile tail--it's just, well, a bit of an extreme."
"I'll say," John mumbled, shaking his head.
"You said 'among our people.'" Marian finally broke into the conversation. "There are more like you?"
I nodded. "An entire civilization, apparently. Grams and Gramps defected and came to live here with my father."
Grams once again told the story of our people, of Legerd, and all of the things she had told us the night before. Both John and Marian looked astonished and a bit disbelieving, but they took it better than I would have thought. They sat and listened and asked questions when they didn't understand something. It was pretty far into the evening when we finished talking.
"I know that it's been a long day for all of us," Grams said. "We should all get to bed early. Tomorrow, we're going to find you a safe place to stay until this is all fixed, and Ethan and I are going to go to Legerd. John, Marian, you can stay in my bedroom. I'll stay downstairs. I'm going to need to be down here anyway."
"Two nights in a row, Grams?" I asked. "I think you should let me hold up the barrier tonight."
"I can handle it, I've done it before." She stood up and started moving toward the front hall. "I'm going to get it set up, how about you boys get to work on dinner?"
"Oh, nonsense," Marian said. "They've done enough for me for one day. I'll cook them a big hero's dinner." She got up and started to look around for things to fix. "And I don't want to hear a no from anybody."
John just sat at the table, still letting things soak in.
"If Ethan and I aren't needed down here, then, we'll be up in his bedroom," Kevin said, almost pulling me along with him. "Call us when dinner's ready."
"That did not go well," he said after we had pulled the door shut behind us. "Did you see the way my dad was just sitting there? This can't be good."
"Honestly, I'm more worried about the people trying to kill us and our families." I jumped onto my bed, landing on my back and staring at the ceiling. "If something ever happened to Grams... or to you..."
Kevin sat down next to me, placing his hand on my chest and softly rubbing. "Don't worry about Elena, I'm pretty sure she could kick anyone's ass who tried to mess with her or her favorite grandson. As for me, well," he lay back and turned his head toward me, almost touching my cheek with his nose, "I've got you."
I turned so I was facing him. "That's just it. What if I can't protect you? What if something happens to you and I can't do anything about it?"
Kevin just shook his head. "You didn't see the way you handled those guys today. That was fucking amazing. You didn't even need my help, you could have taken out the entire room by yourself. I know that when someone tries to fuck with your family or your friends, they're going to get the shit knocked out of them. Whoever is doing this to you is going to get more than they bargained for."
"I guess," I said, stifling a yawn. "But all that fighting took a lot out of me. You don't mind if I just take a nap right now, do you?"
"Nope," he said, yawning back at me. "I'm kinda tired, too. Damn you, yawns are contagious, ya know."
I smiled. "Yeah, I know." I closed my eyes and I was asleep before I realized it.
I realize that it's been far too long since I last gave the word a DM story, but I've been busy with other projects. Thankfully now, though, I've got chapter 3 down and already have story ideas for chapters 4-7. Maybe we'll see a more frequent release schedule. Hopefully. ;)
Everybody is welcome to visit my website at http://www.billybunny.com/. I need some interesting posts on my message board, dammit! Also, all of you send feedback ("this is the best story ever!" "you suck donkey balls!" "how come everyone gots such weird names?!") to firstname.lastname@example.org. Feedback makes me write faster.
PS. The winner of the cookie from DM2 was Dan (who was actually the only taker... they were good cookies, too... except for when I dropped them on that sewer grate...).