Raven

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•Seventeen•

I fall asleep on the couch that night. I had been watching Timothy on the phone I stole from Sara. Tim is back in cosplay, but he's obviously still sore. He hardly ever uses his hurt arm. I don't dream. No nightmares, either. I get woken up by a warm being picking me up.

"Sorry. I didn't mean to wake you," Hybrid whispers, carrying me upstairs bridal style.

I try to say "It's okay," but it comes out as a mumble. He chuckles. Instead of taking me to my bedroom, he takes me to his.

I start to question him. "Why-"

"Don't worry about it. I just need a hug tonight," he sits me down. He sits on the floor in front of me, his head on my lap. "Distract me."

I take out his man bun. He glares at me for a second, then closes his eyes. I grab his brush and play with his hair. He purs, so I stop.

"Why did you stop?" He looks up at me sweetly.

"Did you just pur?" I ask him. He blushes redder than the blood on Karma's kidney. He starts to get up. "Where do you think you're going?"

"To hide in your room until you forget that ever happened," he grabs the door handle. I teleport in front of him. He jumps so high his makeup disappears. "Really?" he laughs.

"You don't get to walk away from me. I wasn't done. Go sit on that bed," I demand. He reluctantly obeys.

"What are you going to do to me?"

"I want to play with your hair. You never let me." I force him to sit back on the floor by the bed. I sit behind him. His hair is so soft.

"Incoming call from-" I hang up.

"Incoming call from-" I do it again.

"Incoming call from Ghost."

"Cheese and crackers. Stay here. Don't move." I get up and teleport right outside his door.

"Why wouldn't you answer?" Ghost asks harshly.

"I was busy," I answer.

"With what?"

"I was doing Hybrid's hair. You interrupted me."

"Does it sound like I care? Tomorrow, I want you back in Jess' district. She's going to train you again. It's obvious you've gotten rusty," he hangs up.

Rusty? Really?

I walk back into the room to find Hybrid shirtless on the bed. I feel my face get hot, so I turn away from him.

"You alright?" he grabs my shoulder and spins me back towards him. He grabs my right hand and puts his other hand on my waist.

"Why are you dancing with me?" I look away, trying to hide my face. He puts a finger under my chin, forcing me to look at him.

"Because I want to propose a deal," he begins. "Valentine's day is next week. On that day, if you blush as dark as a cherry, you have to do something for me. If you don't, I do something for you."

"Too dangerous," I deny.

"Why? Too afraid you'll lose to a guy like me?"

I growl in defeat. "Fine. You have a deal."


"And you agreed to it?!" Jess laughs. As long as Ghost thinks I'm training, I won't get in trouble.

"I never back down. I refuse to lose to a guy like him."

"Like who?" Hybrid calls.

"You! There's no way I'm losing to a grown man playing dress up!"

"Ouch. And it's not dress up. It's cosplay," he glares. "Aren't you supposed to be training anyways? I will tell Ghost."

"You suck up. Fine." As soon as I turn back towards Jess, I get punched. I spit blood, then look back at her.

"Never let your guard down," Jess rolls her eyes.

"Sometimes I'm glad you're blind," I tease. She growls at me, going in for another punch. She misses.

Another swing.

Another miss.

Another swing.

Another miss.

"You're letting anger fuel you!" I yell at her.

"I'm not angry," she shoots. Her voice is deeper than usual, but nowhere near her super.

"You're kidding, right? You have black eyes!"

"And I'm going to use them," she jumps at me, pinning me to the ground. She puts her metal arm on my throat, choking me. I begin to gag and Hybrid tries to pry Jess off of me.

"Jess! Enough!" Hybrid fights.

I watch from Jess' eyes as she pins me to the ground. My lips are blue, my eyes bloodshot. I try to force Jess to let me go. My chip is half red, half purple. Hybrid claws at Jess' body, desperate to pull her off. Jess' wings pop out along with fangs, spikes on the arms, and long nails. What's different about Jess is that her spine grows into spikes as well.

I watch as my eyes begin to close, feel as I lose the little control I have over Jess. Hybrid curses and grabs a needle from behind his tie. Jess jumps back in fear. I gasp for any air I can find.

"Don't you dare," Jess growls.

"I will if I have to," Hybrid threatens. Jess seems to be fighting with herself.

"Stop it!" she yells, her voice normal.

"No," she growls, demonic.

"Don't hurt them!" Normal.

"I'll hurt them as much as I want. Now shut up." Demonic.

I snap back to my own vision. Hybrid is at my side, calling Zoe. Jess continues to fight with her demon side.

"We made a deal, Jessica," the demon side growls.

"I want to back out!"

"This soon? Not gonna happen. I want to have some fun first," the demon forces Jess to fly away.

"Hold on, Raven. Zoe's almost here. Hold on," Hybrid grips my hand. In a few minutes, Zoe has a brace on my neck. She came with a few other doctors, so they transport me to the hospital. While Zoe is flying me over there, I fall asleep in her arms.

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