Two of a Kind
“Sorry for this,” the young woman apologized stepping inside Calin’s apartment. She had all the markings of a rocker/punk chick, which made it all the more cute seeing her dragging around the ten year old kid.
“My little brother has been bugging me about learning an instrument ever since I started playing the guitar,” the girl sighed. “So my father said that if he was going to learn anything it would be a classical instrument.”
“I understand.” Calin tried to hide her laugh behind the back of her hand. “And really I don’t mind. That’s why I put the flier up at the grade school in the first place.”
Calin crouched down so she was at eye level with the little boy. The child gripped his sister’s hand tighter hiding behind her leg a little.
“It’s okay,” Calin smiled. “My name is Calin. What’s yours?”
“Go on, tell her,” the girl encouraged her little brother looking down at him.
“Allen,” the boy said shyly.
Calin’s heart melted a little at the sound of him. “It’s nice to meet you Allen. Let’s have lots of fun together okay.” Calin gave the warmest smile she could muster.
The punk girl pulled a folded check from her pocket and handed it to Calin. “Here you go.”
“Thank you.” Calin stood up taking the check. “Will you be staying?”
“Psh no.” The girl brushed the comment off. “No offence but I would die if I had to stay around this snooze fest.” She stuck her hands in her leather coat pockets. “I’ll be back in two hours to pick him up.”
“Alright then,” Calin smiled as the woman waved goodbye as she walked out of Calin’s apartment.
Once the door was shut Calin looked down at the ten year old boy. “Would you like some snacks?”
The boy nodded hesitantly, his nervousness not completely gone yet.
Calin held out her hand. “Then let’s go get some nice snacks.” The boy took her hand and she led him into the kitchen area. “Would you like some juice to go with it?”
“You have any Coke?” The boy looked up at her with pleading eyes.
“Alright,” she sighed. “But only a little bit.”
The boy grinned.
“But in return you have to promise me to work hard at playing the Piano.”
The boy nodded holding out his hand ready to receive his snacks.
“Caaalinn.” Briana poked Calin in the check.
Calin stirred a little, the movement of her face crinkling her textbook page.
“Wakey wakey, eggs and bacey.”
“Don’t you dare lie about bacon,” Calin moaned sitting up in her chair.
Briana spun her pen around in her hand staring at Calin. “You got a new student didn’t you?”
“How’d you guess?” Calin rubbed the sleep out of her face.
“Because you are always worn out after giving a lesson.” Her expression was a mixture of amusement and concern.
“It’s only for two hours and it’s not like I am running laps or anything.” Calin leaned back in her chair. They were both in the study section of the college library. It was early afternoon so they had the place almost all to themselves.
“Kids are draining,” Briana said. “Just being around them takes a lot of work.” She let out a sigh. “And I find the older they get the more draining they become. Sam and I have started taking shifts in taking care of Matt.”
“If anything is draining it’s having to do this math homework.” Calin closed the math textbook in front of her that she had been napping on. “I am a music major. Why do I even have to take a math class?” Calin let her arms fall to her side as she tilted her head back and stared at the library ceiling.
Briana’s phone started to beep. “Well I need to get going.” Turning off the alarm she started to pack up her stuff. “Sam has classes in an hour so I need to be home to look after Matt.”
“How is Samuel? I haven’t seen him in a while.” Calin sat back up watching her friend put her books in her bag.
“He’s fine. He has just been working a lot so he doesn’t have time to hang out or anything. What about you and James? I don’t think I have seen him in forever.”
“We are good,” Calin smiled. Just thinking of James made her heart start to race. She wanted nothing more than to be with him right then. “He works all day and this is the busy time for him so he doesn’t get home until after dark.”
“And the whole moving in thing is working out okay?”
Calin gave a single nod. “Sure is. I get to see him all the time now.”
“Well just be sure to use protection.” Briana slung her shoulder bag on. “When I moved in with Sam we were not so careful.”
“Go,” Calin ordered trying to hide the fact that she was blushing a little. “Get home before you make Sam late.”
“Try and get some rest,” Briana said as she was walked around the table toward the library exit. “You have been acting a little out of it recently.”
“I will,” Calin promised.
“Was Allen a good student today?” The girl asked taking her little brother’s hand.
“Yes he was.” Calin flashed a warm smile giving a friendly wave to Allen. “He is picking it up quick. Soon I think he will be able to use both hands.”
“Yeah, yeah whatever.” The girl brushed her off. “Come on Allen. Dad promised he was going to make supper tonight.”
“No he didn’t,” the boy said as they walked out of the apartment.
Once the door was closed Calin let out a sigh, her outgoing expression fell from her face. She rubbed her temples trying to fight off the growing headache. She did not understand why her head always hurt when Allen left. For the most part he was a great kid, quiet, paid attention, and seemed to have a real interest in learning the piano.
Maybe Briana was right about kids just being draining.
She closed the baby grand piano, cleaning up the cups and paper plates that they had used for snacks that day.
She sat down on the couch turning on the TV letting her body relax closing her eyes hoping it would help with her headache.
There was sound of a key in the lock as the front door opened. Calin took a deep breath rubbing her eyes. She must have fallen asleep, it was already dark outside.
“Honey I’m home!” James said proudly announcing himself.
Calin jumped off the couch running to the front door. She threw her arms around the tall man giving him a long kiss on the lips. “Welcome home,” she smiled breaking away from the kiss.
“How was your day?” He gently broke her hold so he could take off his coat.
“It was good.” She took a step back giving him some room to move. “Fell asleep in music theory, ate supper with Briana, taught a piano student.”
“Oh that’s right.” They both sat down on the couch. “Allen right? How is that going?”
“It’s going good,” she nodded. “He is a really good kid. And the extra money doesn’t hurt.” She actually doubted she would be able to make rent this month if she hadn’t gotten this work. The life of a full time student was not one made for getting a job. The only free time she had was at night but that was out of the question as that was the only time she got to see James.
“Well don’t push yourself to hard.” He rubbed her shoulder. “If you get sick then who will take care of me?”
Calin laughed slapping him on the shoulder. “You are so bad.” He put his arm around her and she leaned into his embrace resting her head on his chest breathing in his scent. Closing her eyes she wished that she could just stay like that forever.
“Then I got home and Mat was all alone,” Briana railed. “No note or anything. When Sam finally did get home all he said was that he just needed to get some air.”
Calin sat and listened to her friend but for some reason she could not seem to bring herself to care. It might have had something to do with the fact that this was the third time this week that something like this had happened but in truth she had not cared the first two times either.
Briana’s coffee cup started to crumple under the pressure of her grip. “I just don’t know what has gotten into him recently.”
“Maybe he is cheating on you,” Calin shrugged.
“How can you say that?” Briana was close to jumping the table.
How could she say something like that? Even if it was true, Calin knew that was not something she should have said out loud. But it just felt like a logical explanation and she had not even thought about how Briana would feel about that.
“How would you like it if I said James was cheating on you?”
“Now that is going too far.” Anger built inside of Calin. To even accuse James of cheating was unforgivable. “He would never do anything like that.” Calin took a deep breath calming herself down. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to snap at you.”
Briana sighed calming down as well. “I know. It’s just normally you are so much quicker to say something encouraging and make me feel better.”
“I know. I’m sorry.” Calin hung her head. She was right. Normally Calin was quick to comfort her friend, but over the past year she just could not bring herself to care as much as she used too.
“Why can’t I have a guy like James?” Briana pouted staring off into space her chin resting in her palm. “I don’t think you have ever said a bad word about him.”
Calin smiled, her heart racing as she thought about him. “That’s because he’s perfect.”
“I don’t know what is scarier,” Briana snorted. “The fact that you actually believe that or that it might actually be true.”
“So what are you going to do about Sam?” Calin asked figuring that was the appropriate question to ask.
Briana leaned back in her chair thinking it over for a moment. “I don’t know. In the past when we would have these little spats it would be over after a day and things would go back to normal but whatever this is,” she sighed. “It hasn’t been so easy.”
“Very good.” She hugged Allen making him giggle as he took his hands off the piano keys. “You are picking this up so fast,” she praised.
“Thank you Calin.” He had opened up a lot to her over the past few months. While only coming twice a week he was learning very fast for someone his age. If she did not know better she would say that he was learning from someone else and he just came to her for practice.
There was a knock on the door.
“Oh, I bet that’s your sister,” Calin said. “Get your shoes on and get ready to go.”
Allen jumped off the piano bench and ran to put on his shoes. Calin stood up answering the door.
“Hiya.” The punk girl gave a single wave.
“Hi,” Calin greeted. “Your brother is getting his shoes on.”
“Alright.” The girl tilted her head to the side then leaned forward putting her face close to Calin’s.
“What?” Calin leaned back feeling uncomfortable.
“Are you alright?” she asked seeming more curious than worried.
“It’s nothing, just a headache. It should be gone in a few hours.” Calin waved her off.
“Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t know.” The girl looked like she was about to say something more but stopped herself, setting her jaw as she straightened her back.
Allen brushed past Calin grabbing his sister’s hand. “Bye Calin,” he waved.
“Bye Allen,” Calin waved back.
“Come on.” The girl pulled on Allen’s hand. “Dad said that he was going to start paying me for taking you here every week.”
“No he didn’t.”
Calin shut the door letting out a sigh. She looked at her watch. Their session had run a little late today. She went into the bathroom and opened the medicine cabinet grabbing a bottle of Tylenol.
She still did not understand why she was getting these headaches. It was only on days that she had Allen for lessons but she had taught kids before and they never gave her this kind of problems. Allen was a good boy, so there was no reason that he should be causing this kind of stress on her.
Maybe it was the smell. Both he and his sister always seemed to smell like Lilacs.
She popped the pills in her mouth and turned on the faucet cupping her hands and taking a drink.
The pain was worse today, so she laid down on the couch putting her arm over her face to block out the light. She always felt better after a quick nap.
The door opening woke her up.
“Honey I’m home,” James declared.
“Hey.” Calin waved from the couch not having the energy to get up.
“Are you alright?” He kneeled down in front of the couch rubbing her arm.
“Yeah, just a headache,” she smiled. She sat up feeling a little better now. “I’m fine really.” She leaned in giving him a kiss.
“You want me to make you something? I hear chicken soup is good for headaches.”
“That’s for colds,” Calin said.
“Ah, then what’s good for headaches?”
“You,” she said kissing him again.
“I see. And is this a home remedy?” He kissed her back.
“Yup. See I feel better already.” Calin smiled warmly at him genuinely feeling better after every kiss.
He smiled as he stood up. “Good. Now lay there and I will make you something.” He walked around the couch making his way towards the kitchen.
“I’m fine really. You don’t need to fuss over me,” She called after him not actually that opposed to having something to eat.
“I know I don’t have to,” he said. “But I want to.”
Calin turned around on the couch resting her chin on the back so she could watch him. “What do you say we do something this Saturday?”
“Sure. There a movie you want to go to or something?” He started looking through the cabinets for something to cook.
“I was actually thinking we should go to the water park before it gets to cold.”
“I didn’t know the water park was open at night.” He put something in the microwave and hit a few buttons.
“They’re not,” she said. “I thought maybe we could go during the day.”
He sighed. “I would love too but I work all day. You know that.”
“I know, but I thought maybe you could get the day off or something. You work every day before dawn and you don’t come home until after sunset. Do you ever get a day off?”
He looked at her with a worried look. He gave a sigh and shook his head. “I will talk to my boss and see if I can get a day off.”
Calin turned around sitting back down on the couch crossing her arms as she pouted. “You always say that but it never happens.”
“If you want to do something during the day you could always hang out with my sister.” The microwave beeped. “I don’t think you two have ever really hung out.”
Calin crossed her arms. “There is a reason for that.”
“Yeah? And what would that be?” Calin could hear the sound of plates clanking together.
“Because I don’t like her,” Calin said with no shame in her voice. “She gives me a bad vibe.”
“Oh come on,” James said not sounding convinced. “She can’t be that bad, people tell me that we act a lot alike.”
“I would hang out with her if you were there,” Calin said hoping that might be the push that he needs.
He laughed. “I don’t see that happening anytime soon. She works all night and I work all day. I don’t think I have seen my sister face to face in forever.”
“Awe did you have your first fight?” Briana asked an unusually warm smile on her face.
“It wasn’t really a fight,” Calin sighed. “It’s just he is working all the time so we never get to hang out during the day.”
“At least he is still willing to hang out with you,” Briana grinded her teeth.
“You and Sam still having problems?”
She shook her head in frustration. “I don’t get it. He is gone all day and when he gets home he refuses to tell me where he has been.”
Calin nodded in understanding putting on the expected look of concern. In truth she really did not care anymore. Either the two would work things out or they would not. She just wished they would hurry up and pick one. But she knew that was not how she should feel so she feigned interest, trying to give the right advice when she needed.
“Maybe he is cheating on me.” Briana leaned forward pressing her head down on the library table. “I would have thought that having Matt would stop this from happening. But it seems like he just doesn’t care anymore. Kind of like how you’ve been acting. Maybe there’s something in the water.”
“Hey I care.” Calin tried to sound offended.
“I know,” she sighed. “It’s just that recently you seem to be acting more distant.”
“I’m sure it’s just midterms,” Calin said. “Why don’t we go do something once they are over?”
“I would love too,” she sighed. “But with how Sam has been acting I doubt I can trust him to look after Matt for an entire day.”
“Ah.” She tried to sound disappointed but in all honesty she did not care. She just knew it was something that she should offer. If it was James though she knew that she would care.
“Is something wrong?” Allen asked, looking up from the piano at Calin sitting next to him.
Calin shook her head. She had been spacing out. “Everything’s fine,” she smiled. “Now why don’t you try and play this.” She turned the page of the practice book.
Allen leaned forward staring intensely at the page as he moved his hands playing the notes.
“Sit up straight.” She put her hand on his back forcing him to straighten his back. “Relax your shoulders, you’re too stiff. There you go, much better.”
He missed many of the notes and he was having a hard time staying on the beat but Allen never got frustrated, he would just keep on playing.
“Are you married?” Allen asked suddenly as he finished putting his hands on his legs.
Calin laughed at the abruptness of the question. “Why do you ask that?”
“Because it looks like someone else lives here.”
She smiled at the young boy. “Someone does live here but he’s not my husband.”
“Is he your brother then?”
“No,” she laughed poking him playfully. “He’s my boyfriend.”
“You live with your boyfriend? I thought you weren’t supposed to live with someone unless you were married.”
“Yes that is often the case.” She rubbed his short black hair. “But not always. Enough about me, focus on playing.”
“Okay.” The conversation forgotten he started playing again.
Being married to James. The thought did not bother her. In fact she would not mind that at all. Not sure if that was something he would want though. It almost scared her to even bring it up. If she did it might scare him off or something. She had heard of many times that the guy became scared when the girl started talking about marriage or children.
The knock on the door brought her out of thoughts. “Oh I’m sorry Allen, I must have lost track of time.” She smiled at the boy. “Go get ready to go.”
“Okay.” Allen spun on the bench and leapt off running to his shoes.
Calin went and answered the door. Allen’s sister was standing there in her usual black leather coat, her blond hair tied back in a ponytail.
“Hello. Allen will be right out,” Calin greeted.
“It’s okay,” she smiled. “How’s your head?”
“My what?” She instinctively put her hand to side of her head. “Oh that. Actually it’s fine. I haven’t had a headache for a few weeks now.”
“Glad to hear it.” She smiled as Allen ran out grabbing her hand.
“See you next week.” Calin waved at them.
“See you then.” She looked down at her little brother. “Come on, Dad said he would take us Twilight tonight.”
“No, he said he would rather slit his throat with a rusty spoon.”
Calin smiled as she shut the door.
Marriage huh? She smiled blushing a little at the thought. She was too scared to try and ask James but maybe she could ask someone else about it.
“You want to what?” James looked away from the TV. They were snuggling on the couch together, James’ arm around Calin’s shoulder. She loved being close to him like this. He always smelled so great, almost like the rainforest smell of scented candles.
“I want to go and do something with your sister,” Calin repeated. “You said she would like to hang out, so I thought maybe we could do something this weekend.”
“Um sure.” He seemed to be fumbling over his words. “I’ll give her a call and see if she is free. I’ll let you know when I get home tomorrow.”
“You could give me her number and I will call her,” Calin offered.
“She won’t answer a number she doesn’t recognize,” he said. “But I’ll give her your number tomorrow. But I thought you said you didn’t like my sister.”
Calin paused. That was still true and if she had a better idea she would do that instead. But James’ sister was the only person she could think of to talk to about trying to try and get a feel on how he would react if she brought up marriage. She did not know any of his other friends.
“I thought it would be a good idea to try and get to know her better,” Calin said with a dismissive shrug. “After all she is your sister.”
James seemed to buy her words and nodded. “Alright. I am sure she will be free. She is always complaining that she doesn’t have anyone to hang out with.”
Calin drummed her hands on the Coffee shop table while looking around. She had gotten there a little early and James’ sister was not late yet but she still felt anxious sitting alone at the table.
The door opened and a tall blond woman walked in. Her resemblance to James was unquestionable. They had the same eyes, the same color hair, they were even the same height though the woman wore healed boats making her a little taller at the moment.
Calin waved at her and she smiled sitting down across from her.
“Hey Calin. I was so surprised when James told me you wanted to hang out.”
“Hey Sara. Been a while hasn’t it,” Calin nodded. She wanted to just get straight to the point but this was something that needed to be brought up with delicacy.
“Yeah, would have been when you and James first started dating.” Sara did the math in her head. “Over three years ago now.”
“Sounds about right,” Calin nodded. “How have you been? Haven’t heard much from James.”
“Oh,” she waved the comment off. “That because I don’t tell him that much of what I’ve been up to. I know he would like me too.” Sara gave a devious smile as she leaned across the table. “He tells me all about you though.”
Calin did her best not to twitch in contempt. There was just something about Sara’s smile that felt all kinds of wrong. Calin had no idea why she hated the woman so much. Sara had never done anything to give Calin any reason to dislike her. She looked, acted, and even smelled like her brother, but ever since they first met there was just something that bugged Calin about her.
“Sara.” The front door opened and a man came running in. “Sara please. I need to talk to you.”
Sara rolled her eyes in disgust. “What did I tell you?” She turned to face the man. “I am busy today. You will just have to wait until tomorrow.”
“But I want to be with you.” The man looked jumpy almost like he was in withdrawals. His face was unshaven and his hair unkempt but there was something about him that Calin recognized.
“Samuel?” Calin said. She hadn’t recognized him at first because of his appearance but there was no doubt about it. This was Briana’s boyfriend.
Samuel looked at Calin noticing her for the first time. “Calin? What are you doing here?”
“Sara is my boyfriend’s sister,” Calian answered. “What are you doing here?”
“Exactly what I would like to know.” Sara stood up pushing her chair back as she did so. “I told you not to talk to me today. I will see you tomorrow. If you can’t handle that then I will just have to find someone who can.”
“No! Please don’t do that,” Sam begged. He looked like he was on the verge of breaking down.
“Then get out.” Sara held up her hand pointing at the exit like she was scolding a dog.
“I’m sorry.” Sam ran out of the café tripping over himself.
“Sorry about that,” Sara said pulling her chair forward as she sat back down. “How do you know him?”
“He’s my best friend’s boyfriend,” Calin said.
“You mean he has a girlfriend?” Sara had a frustrated look on her face as she clinched her fist. “I told him I didn’t want anything to do with him if he was already in a relationship. Girlfriends can be so jealous and cause nothing but problems.”
Calin knew that she should be angry about all of this or at the very least upset. She knew she should want to call Briana right now and tell her what she had just learned but for whatever reason she could not bring herself to care. After all her relationship with James was far more important.
“Look Sara, about James.” Calin decided that now was as good of time as any. “Do you know what his thoughts are about marriage?”
“Wait. Is that what this is about?” Sara burst out laughing sliding down in her chair. “You want to marry James?”
Calin hung her head. She had hoped for a different kind of reaction.
Sara wiped a tear from her eye as she calmed down. “I’m sorry.” She gave a few more chuckles. “It’s just I never thought I would see the day that my brother ever got this far in a relationship.”
Calin’s heart skipped a beat. “So you mean that he would be willing?” She leaned forward trying her best to control her excitement.
Sara shrugged. “Sure, why not?”
Calin gave a sigh of relief. “Thank you.”
Sara gave an amused smile. “You really shouldn’t thank me.”
“But I mean it,” Calin said. “This has really put my mind at ease.” She was so happy she could die.
“How was that, Calin?” Allen asked.
Calin shook her head bringing her thoughts back to the lessons. “Yeah, that was fine.” She said the words but she had not really been paying attention to know for sure. Not that she needed to. The boy had already learned just about everything she could really teach him over the past months. “Let’s try the next one.” She flipped the page of the sheet music.
“What’s that?” Allen pointed at the ring on her finger.
Calin blushed, her heart racing at the mention of it. “That’s an engagement ring,” she smiled.
“Are you getting married?” His eyes looked full of wonder and amazement.
“That’s right,” she smiled. “We’re getting married next week.”
“That is really soon,” Allen stated. “Are your friends all going to be able to make it?”
She sighed. “Actually me and my friends aren’t really talking anymore.”
“That’s not good. You should always talk to your friends.”
Calin knew that she would have agreed with the boy a few months ago but now it really did not bother her. “Well my friends are a little mad at me.”
“Is it your fault that they are mad?”
“Yeah I guess it kinda is,” Calin said chewing on her lip.
“Then you should apologize.” Allen was staring up at her with his big brown eyes. “When you do something wrong you just apologize and make it all better.”
Calin patted Allen on the head. “I really wish it was that easy. But the truth is,” she looked at the ring on her finger. “As long as I have James that’s all that I need.”
“That sounds really lonely.” The boy turned back resting his fingers on the keys.
There was the sound of the front door being unlocked. Calin looked at her watch. She still had fifteen minutes before the lesson was over. James had never been home before the lesson ended. But it had gotten late enough into fall now that James got home earlier every night.
Calin spun on the bench ready to get up and meet him as soon as he came in. There was a sudden tug on her sweater that yanked her back. She looked down and saw that Allen was holding on to her. He was looking straight ahead a stern look on his face.
“Please don’t move,” he said in very serious voice. Something was wrong with him. His voice seemed too grown up for his body all of the sudden. Allen reached into his pocket and pulled out a pair of reflective sunglasses and put them on.
“Allen what’s wrong?” Calin asked starting to get a little scared.
“Honey I’m home.” James said opening the door.
Calin forgot about Allen and went to go greet James. But Allen’s grip was strong and he held her down with unnatural strength for someone his age.
“Oh is this one of your students?” James asked walking over to the piano. “We haven’t met you can call me-”
“James, I know.” Allen slowly started to turn around to face the man. “And we have met before.”
James froze when he saw the kids face. “Who are you? I know you are no child. I can see the illusion humming around you.”
Allen held up his hand pulling off a ring on his thumb.
When had he gotten that? Calin had never noticed it before.
Calin had a hard time focusing for a moment as everything seemed to go blurry, then her vision suddenly cleared. It felt like she was seeing Allen for the first time. That before now she would never actually pay attention to his features yet she was not surprised at what she saw now.
Allen was a tall adult in his early twenties with a five o’clock shadow. He was tall and tell toned. James froze at the sight of him, all the color draining from his face.
“Are you?” His voice was soft and full of fear.
“Sorry, I guess you are right. We personally haven’t met.” Allen stood up, his posture straight and firm. “You met Ryan, one of the previous Hyperion’s. Let me introduce myself then.” He gave a slight formal bow bringing his hand across his stomach. “I am Allen Friedman, my predecessor Riley Newman told me all about you.”
“James, what’s going on?” Calin started to stand but she was suddenly hit with a splitting headache that put her on her knees holding her head as she tried not to scream in pain.
“Sorry about that,” Allen said not moving to help her. “Salina told me that her illusion spell was giving you headaches. It would seem that James’ magic and hers didn’t mesh to well with each other.”
“You have no right to be here, Hyperion.” James spat, not even seeming concerned for Calin. “I have done nothing wrong.”
Allen gave out a chuckle. “You seem to be mistaken Morality with Legality.” He put his hands in his jean pockets. “Feeding on humans may not be against the law but it is still wrong.”
“James!” Calin reached out to him. She knew that if she could just touch him that she would feel better. Everything would be clear if she could just touch him.
“I feed off of emotions.” James ignored her focusing only on Allen in front of him. The room seemed to be filled with the smell of rainforest candles. James’ eyes almost looked yellow now. But that was impossible, it must have just been a trick of the light. “I give humans love and in return they love me and I feed.”
“Until you hollow them out of all emotions leaving nothing but an empty husk that no longer cares about anything.” Allen nodded as if he had heard all of this before. “And while you only take what little you need to survive your alter ego on the other hand is a bit of a gluten. I only found you because of all the people she left in her wake.”
“My sister has done nothing illegal as well.” James seemed to look different. There was something about him that did not look human anymore as if there was something under his skin that was trying to get out. “You can’t touch me.”
Allen sighed. “You forget.” He glared at the man. “I am not here about your eating habits.” Allen cracked his knuckles as he started to rotate his shoulders. “I am here about what your sister did 65 years ago. She told you about that didn’t she? It took me a while but I finally tracked you down.”
“You think a pathetic human like you has a chance against me? I am a Full Blooded Fey. I might as well be a god compared to you.” James ran forward his arm stretched out the smell of rainforest intensifying.
Allen did not move as James slammed his palm into Allen’s chest. James had a smile on his face confidant that he had won. After a moment the smile vanished replaced with an utter look of confusion.
“See that’s what you get for blasphemy.” Allen took a step forward. James stepped back with him not taking his hand off of Allen’s chest. “Try to feed all you want, but the only emotions you will find in there are fake. And you can’t feed off of something that’s not real.”
“What are you?” James sounded scared, his eyes wide with terror.
“I am the prickling at the back of your neck. I am the shiver running down your spine. I am the figure in the corner of your eye.” Allen reached up grabbing James’ wrist twisting it putting him in a wrist lock. “I am the killer of millions. I have brought down civilizations and empires alike. I am the Hyperion.” With his free hand Allen reached behind his back pulling out a small knife that had two finger slots and a small curved blade. “And you have incurred my wrath.”
“Please,” James begged. “Have mercy! I’ll do whatever you want.”
Allen leaned forward so he could whisper in his ear. “I want you to die,” he said in a normal voice. Straightening his back he brought the blade down slashing James’ throat.
There was a look of surprise in James’ eyes as he gurgled the blood that filled his mouth. After a few seconds James collapsed to his knees then fell forward. Allen stepped out of the way letting him fall face first into the floor. He reached into his pocket pulling out a small cloth.
The pain in Calin’s head suddenly stopped. Free of the crippling pain Calin got to her knees unsure of what was going on. “You…” she stared in disbelief. “You killed him.”
Allen wiped the blade off with his cloth and put the blade back in its spot behind his back. “I know.”
“Why? Why did you have to kill him?”
Allen turned to face Calin. “He was killing you,” he said. “He was feeding off of you.”
“But I loved him. We were going to get married.”
“I know.” His voice was soft. There was no remorse or guilt but there was no anger either. It was like he was completely devoid of emotion. Was his personality before now all an act? “But what he was doing to you was not love. During the day he was a beautiful woman who would feed off of the emotions of men. At night he was a man who would feed off of you.”
Allen kneeled down in front of her. She could not see his eyes with his sunglasses in the way but she had the feeling she did not want to see into the soul that they would show.
“And I fear that the damage that he has done to you has long since been irreversible.” Allen put a hand on her shoulder but there was not warmth or compassion behind it. “Even before we met for the first time it was too late for you.” His grip was strong and firm. “I fear that with him gone you will soon lose all reason to live and will slowly fade from this world.”
He was right. With James dead she did not care about anything. She lived only to be with him. She was only happy when she was with him and if he was not there then she would never be happy again.
“Knowing that, I used you to give me a shot at him. His sister was too careful, I would never be able to sneak up on her. James was good at putting wards up while he was here so I couldn’t get in unless I was invited. So I bided my time until my lessons with you and the sun going down lined up.”
“You’re a monster!” Her anger boiling over but she could not move.
He put both his hands on her cheeks still looking her directly in the eyes. “I know.”
There was a twist of his hands and her neck then nothing.
I also wish it was that easy…