"Are you OK?"
"I didn't know where else to go," I state.
I arrive at a red house. I've taken everything that I could carry that night. That's not much. I have a book bag stuffed with clothes, about 50 bucks and the Chimera costume. I'm sure the red house is it even without looking down at the address that Power Up gave me when I called. When I arrive it's none other then Sunbeam that opens up. I'm not used to seeing Sunbeam like this. Right now he is Aaron Kanzari Sr. He a 5 o'clock shadow and a cup of coffee in his hand that seems like it is piping hot. When he answers the door he has a robe on. The robe is so big it engulfs his muscular toned body and you can barely tell who he is.
"Come in," he states.
He looks past me when he lets me in. I'm sure it isn't personal. The thing is he was a superhero with a secret identity. I'm sure not a lot of people knew where he lived. I was included on that list until today when I reached out to Power Up for that information.
I walk into the house and it's just weird how normal the house looks. The living room has a real bachelor pad thing going on. It's hardly decorated but has a really nice minimalistic feel to it. A huge dog runs up to me. I'm shocked when I see it. It's sweet but really hyper jumping up and almost knocking me down.
"Flamer, get down," Sunbeam states, "He's a bit of a wild one."
I smile, "My dad never let us have pets. It's nice to see one around."
"Well have a seat, get comfortable. Jr. is at the gym right now. I'm sure he'll be home sometime. Have a seat."
I sit in the living room. I should of text Aaron before I got here. It's kind of awkward sitting here with his dad, to say the least. I don't know why. His dad is nice enough. Sunbeam was the leader of the Host of Heroes after all. He has that real hero look to him. An aged, regal king sort of look. He reminded me of the actor, the Rock. One of those tanned beautiful guys who look great no matter how old he was.
Even in his normal clothes right now Sunbeam just looks like a lion at rest.
Sunbeam smiles elegantly at that moment, "What brings you here?"
"Like I said Mr. Kanzari. Don't have anywhere else to go."
He smiles, "You can call me Aaron."
"Then what will I call your son?" I asked raising an eyebrow.
He laughs, "You got a point. Mr. Kanzari makes me feel old. Call me what you like. I'm glad you found your way here and thought of us. Why didn't you have anywhere to go."
"Just having trouble at home..."
I nod at that moment, "I don't think I can stay there anymore."
My voice gets caught up in my throat. That was an understatement. I had just found out that the Chimera was Motions. I had no idea if Motions ever really existed or if she killed Motions and replaced him. The idea that the Chimera's hold on my father was slipping all made sense now. She knew my father was losing interest so she presented a younger, fresher scheme in Motions to seduce my father. She had my father wrapped up around her finger. And I couldn't be around it. Not anymore.
All I keep thinking about is my little brother though. If he really was coming back then I'd need to go back to that house. I'd need to rescue him.
"Well, you're welcome here. You can stay here as long as you like," Sunbeam states.
"Thank you so much. You don't know what this means to me."
"You look cold. Coffee?"
He disappears into the kitchen. From the kitchen, I can hear his voice reaching out, "You know my son is really lucky to have you. You're talented. Handsome. You have everything a young superhero would be looking for."
I smile at the idea that he finds me handsome. It's nice to know Aaron's dad approves of me. I am looking around at the house. It's so normal. It's always a surprise to know that some of these people were gods among men and they still didn't have these mass amounts of money. When they are done saving the world, they take off their spandex, take off their capes and become themselves once again It's nice to know there's another side to it all. And not everyone brings their drama home like my parents.
"I'm the lucky one," I assure Mr. Kanzari.
Sunbeam is standing in the kitchen before I know it. He has coffee in his hands. I realize something else though. Something odd. His robe is open. Not only is his robe open though, but it's clear that he doesn't have much of anything underneath on except some underwear that is barely there. His muscles are popping out of his robe. His underwear is so thin that I can see his pubic hair and the starts of a dick that I swear isn't completely soft.
I turn to the side almost immediately feeling awkward about the entire situation. This has to be some sort of mistake or something. Maybe he doesn't realize it.
"You're um...robe is open," I state.
"Does that make you uncomfortable?" he asks.
"This is your house," I mutter.
I avoid looking his way and turn away. He takes a few steps towards me. That's when I realize just how close he is. He is standing over me and his dick is on my shoulder within seconds. I look over and he's staring down at me. There is no way this is a mistake. He has to know that he's resting his dick on my shoulder.
"You should drink up now," he states, "While it's hot..."
He has the coffee in his hands but I don't think that is what he is talking about. It's so awkward at that moment. So fucking awkward when Sunbeam starts getting hard. I'm not imagining the fact that his dick is getting swollen on my shoulder. I'm not imagining that he's getting turned on.
"Um...actually maybe I should just come back when Aaron is here," I state.
I get up. I withdraw away from Sunbeam. Sure enough, his dick is hard. I can see the tent forming in his underwear as he looks over at me. He puts the coffee down and gives me a hard look. I don't care how attractive this guy is. I don't care about the fact that his dick is about 8 inches right now and creeping through his underwear. All I care about was the fact that this was Aaron's dad and Aaron's dad was clearly hitting on me.
That's when there is the sound of someone walking in at that moment.
I watch as his father closes his robe at that moment. He puts his dick away. You would think everything was fine. You would think nothing was about to go down by how he acts when Aaron walks in. Aaron walks in sweaty from the gym. He doesn't even notice me at first and goes straight to playing with the dog. It isn't until I clear my throat that he lifts his head and notices me.
"Baby, what are you doing here?" Aaron asks.
I am so shaken up by what just happened that I don't know how to respond. My mouth just hangs open sort in this weird way.
"Your boyfriend was just having some issues at home. He asked if he can stay here for a little bit while those issues worked themselves out," Mr. Kanzari answers for me.
Aaron looks a little worried. Maybe he can see the look of confusion on my face. He walks over and immediately puts his hand on my shoulder like a good boyfriend. I have to admit it makes me feel comfortable. Still, I don't know how to feel about all of this. I just feel odd, to say the least. I just feel like I'm out of it.
"Come on. Let's get you taken care of," Aaron states.
Aaron doesn't notice it but I do. I notice his father's eyes watching me as Aaron leads me to his bedroom.
I sit in the bedroom and think about whether or not I should say something to Aaron. I had nowhere to go and I had no money to get there. I could go back home but that wasn't home anymore. Knowing what the Chimera was and what she was capable of had an impact on me. Sure Sunbeam had freaked me out but at least Aaron was here. Aaron made me feel comfortable.
"You OK?" Aaron asks, "Talk to me."
He doesn't hesitate to grab my hand. We are sitting on his bed and he just keeps looking at me. He is squeezing my hand and for that moment it's almost like Aaron is giving me his strength. I can't believe I'm so lucky to have gotten someone who cares as much as Aaron does. There is this love in his eyes. It's pure. It's simple. I don't have to worry about him changing. I don't have to worry about some fucked up secret with Aaron. What you see is what you get. That's what I liked about him.
"My family is having issues," I state.
"Is it the divorce?"
If only it was that simple. I wished it was that simple.
I shrug, "Something like that."
"If there is something more to it, you know you can tell me right?" Aaron states, "You know you can trust me with whatever."
I want to tell him so bad. I really am believing him when he says that. I really want to believe him at least. I smile at him. I want to spill who my father is. I want to let him know who my mother is. I want to let him know who Motions really is. I want to tell him all of those things but I'm so scared that look that he's sharing with me now is going to disappear.
"Why are you so perfect?" I ask him.
I mean it too. This guy was handsome, he had the body of a god. His personality was beyond anything I could ever wish for. He was the perfect man and I was so fucking lucky to have someone like him in my life.
"Don't change the subject," he states, "You can't flatter your way out of telling me what's going on with you. I know you enough by now to know there's something really bothering you. Something you're hiding."
"There's one thing."
"There you go," he states, squeezing my hand, "Share it with me."
"I'm in love with you."
The words just spill out before I know it. Maybe it's the fact that he's the only positive thing in my life. He looks over at me and I just feel like he's giving me his all. So I mean it. I was in love with Aaron. There was no one else that I wanted in this world. No one else could make me as happy as him.
I notice Aaron smiling. I don't think he expected me to say that.
I hold my breath wondering what Aaron is going to do. He shows me with a kiss. He leans over. His mouth presses up against my mouth. Our lips connect. His tongue slides into my mouth slowly as I lean over onto his bed. He climbs on top of me.
And everything is perfect. Everything is so perfect.
I wish this moment could last forever as he slowly pushes his fingers through my hair and states without hesitation or uncertainty, "I love you too."
I wake up the next morning realizing that I was in love with Aaron Kanzari Jr. and he was in love with me. A part of me wished this was all this was. That I could just live with Aaron normally. And I feel it. I wake up to him after making love to him all night. He's smiling at me.
"How'd you sleep?"
"Great now that I'm next to you."
"Do you see what time it was?" I ask, "Didn't we have to head to the Hall of Heroes?"
"I know. I kind of played hooky," he admits with a laugh, "I couldn't bear the thought of waking you up. You looked so peaceful."
He had a point. This was the best sleep that I've had in a while. Feeling cuddled up next to the man I love was perfect. It was that feeling where you felt complete.
"Have you ever thought that maybe this is how it could be moving forward?"
"You thinking about moving in together?" he asks.
"Sort of. I'm talking about...running away together."
He raises an eyebrow, "What about the Host?"
"What about them?" I ask, "There are enough heroes out here. They won't miss two. Why don't we just leave? Just me, you and my little brother."
That's when he gives me this weird look. I shouldn't have mentioned bringing Tristan along so quick but I knew that was the only way to make sure Tristan was away from the Chimera and whatever plot she had with my father. Sure I was abandoning my father with this monster but Vicious Vigor wasn't the type who needed saving. I had to worry about Tristan.
"Is your brother not OK where he's at?" Aaron asks.
"Cam what's going on with your family. What aren't you telling me?"
"Your phone is ringing."
It's on silent but I can see the light from the phone ringing. I know that he doesn't want to pick it up but when he looks over something must get his attention because Aaron reaches over and grabs the phone. I can see the look on his face change all of a sudden. It gets real serious looking. That's when he immediately gets off the bed and starts towards the living room with his phone in his ear. I don't like the look on his face.
I follow behind him trying to understand what he is hearing that is causing the panicked look in his eyes. As I walk into the living room I notice something. I notice a picture of Sunbeam. Sunbeam is out of his clothes. He's standing next to someone in the picture. I recognize the person must be Materias out of his costume. Materias is standing there smiling in the picture.
They look so happy. They look almost like they are in love.
There is something in the eyes of Materias. A distant glare.
I've seen that glare before. I've seen that glare in my father. I saw that glare last night when Motions was on top of my father. This distant glare almost as though his mind wasn't all the way with him.
Was it my imagination?
Or was Materias under the same spell as my father?
"Get dressed," Aaron states running over to me.
He sounds frantic.
"Vicious Vigor has returned. He's fighting my father's entire team and...he's winning."
Fuck. This wasn't happening. Not now.
"We should let them deal with it."
"What?" Aaron asks, "They need back up. We need to be out there.
We need to help out now."
I have no choice. Even as I'm getting dressed I'm thinking about ways to get out of this. Nothing comes to mind. The time has come. My team was finally going to face off against my father.
The weather is rainy. We've arrived in the parking lot of a building in downtown Metropolis. Police officers have formed a barrier around the building in question. They are keeping citizens away. Smoke is in the air. I'm sure somethings burning because it clenches my lungs and almost immobilizes me when I touch down. I don't see where the smoke is coming from. It's pouring down by the time we arrive. I land in the mud. My boots are soaked with the shit. White Frost floats overhead, much higher than me getting a view of the battle. The rain makes it unclear to see much about what's going on but I do see Power Up running over to me. We are all suited up. We're all ready.
But something is wrong. I can feel it in the air.
There is a tension between us. A feeling of doom.
"This way," Power Up states.
Power Up leads me over a hill. Just at that moment, a missile comes flying my way! My heart sinks as I see it. I've never seen something like that. Before it gets to me it's frozen.
White Frost has frozen the missile overhead. Power Up uses his closed fists to slap the missile away.
Power Up grabs me up and pulls me behind a car. Within seconds White Frost lands next to us sweating bullets with a puff of ice.
"Are you OK?" Frost asks me.
"I'm fine. You guys saved me just now," I state.
"You have to be more careful," Frost responds, "You can't be this reckless Chimera."
I know he's being more like a leader right now than a boyfriend but it's still embarrassing to hear him scold me in front of Power Up. I just nod, trying my best to not be offended by any of this.
"It's a bloodbath up there," Power Up states, "From the looks of it Vicious Vigor is in a hotel room. He has a rocket launcher and bunch of guns. He's just going nuts from the window. Supposedly your father and his team are in the lobby of the building. Sunbeam and his team went to go save some local Swat team. They ended up being the ones needing saving. They are all wounded and desperately need help."
"This is bad," I state, "Real bad."
I'm breathing heavy. I feel faint. The fact is I'm horrified that my father has literally attacked the city. I look at the car and see a trail of bodies. Dead bodies. Was this him? Had he actually killed people?
This was real. This was way too fucking real!
"Calm down," Frost states, grabbing me and shaking me hard, "I need you with me."
"I'm here, I'm here," I state.
I try to sound confident but it sounds more like I'm about to throw up and I have something stuck in my throat. I can tell Frost doesn't believe me but he is distracted at that moment when Ultrasound comes running up from the police barricade.
"Sorry, I'm late guys," Ultrasound states.
"I told you to bring Motions with you," Frost tells him.
"He's not picking up his phone. I tried going over to that studio apartment he has downtown. It was empty. Cleared out. Almost like he moved."
"Or ran," Frost adds, "Regardless we don't have the time. We need to get going. My father and his team are in that lobby. We don't know what condition they are in."
"What's the plan?"
It's not much of a plan. I can tell the others don't really have a lot of confidence in it. I think Frost is emotionally invested. His father must have been the one who called him on the phone earlier. It's the only thing that makes sense. He needed help.
So here we are running through the parking lot, leaping over cars and maneuvering through the thick smoke. My legs are like glue underneath me. I'm right behind Ultrasound. All around us are explosions.
I use my hawk eyes. I can see my father. He's not even aiming.
We are close to the building now.
"He's on the 4th floor," I announce to the team.
"I got him!" Frost states, "Get my father's team out of there."
It's too late. Before I can scream out to stop him, Frost lifts off into the air. With a quick whoosh, he skims through the air, gliding along his ice particles until he disappears into the heavy smoke.
I can't help but start taking flight after him. I barely circumnavigate off the ground when I feel a hand grasp onto my ankles and pull me back to the ground.
"We have our orders," Power Up tells me.
I'm pissed when he says it. I'm so pissed that I'm shaking. Power Up uses his might and brute force to tow me behind him almost as if I'm a doll trailing him. Gunshots are breaking out from overhead. The bullets shatter all around us and Power Up keeps running drilling so hard into the ground that I swear I see his footsteps on the pavement. Ultrasound rallies ahead of us delivering a piercing scream hoping to distract long enough for us to get to the building.
Power Up pummels through the glass of the lobby, pitching me to safety before running in himself. When we get in there all we see is blood at first. The first person I notice is Peter Palsy. He's lying in a puddle of his own blood. He isn't moving. I'm sure he's dead.
Then we hear another voice, "It's a trap!"
I recognize the voice almost immediately as Brynhildr. She runs forward attempting to warn us of something but her entire figure is eclipsed by a shadow. I notice that there are shards of glass that have appeared all over her. I don't have the opportunity to stop them when all of a sudden these shards of glass that have appeared out of nowhere fall with the weight of gravity.
They are about to skewer her when a huge fireblast eviscerates the glasses over her head. I turn and see that it's coming from Sunbeam. He's bleeding on the side of his stomach. It looks like he's about to lose consciousness but he still managed to save Brynhildr.
I run over to Sunbeam attempting to gather him up, "Whose doing this? Whose attacking you?"
"Him..." Sunbeam states weakly.
My team surrounds me at that moment. They are defending me. Power Up and Ultrasound stay close. We can all feel the threat.
And our enemy is revealed. The person who is working with my father.
And honestly it's not a shock to me, but it's a shock that he finally revealed himself to the rest of them. He stands there, with a cocky smile on his face.
It's Ultrasound who spits realizing that we've been betrayed, "It's Motions."
To read the next chapter go to www.crushedcrown.com