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Hidden Heroics

By ardstars All Rights Reserved ©

Romance / Fantasy

Chapter 1

Footsteps are quiet on marbled floors as a figure, shrouded by shadows, creeps along. He crouches in the corner behind a teetering stack of old boxes, fingers massaging his temples.

Lips press together in a thin line as visions of the next few minutes flash like a movie across his closed eyes.

Suspended and tied together with ropes are Winteria, the Ethereal Titan, and Obsidian Beast. The three will be lowered to a foot above the water when Winteria, using her ice ray, will freeze the boiling water over, Obsidian beast will use his razor claws to tear the ropes that bind them, and all three will land almost soundlessly upon the ice. The Ethereal Titan and Winteria, pausing only for a brief second to converse with Obsidian beast, will both go after The Boss as he stands across the room at his platform.

The world comes back to him like a punch to the gut, pushing him harder against the metal wall, the air gone from his lungs.

He starts the countdown.

There’s two minutes before they break free, that means two minutes to run the plan over again in his head in search of flaws or holes in the plan. And like the dozen’s of times previously, there’s not a problem in sight.

Brushing his thumb over the ring on his finger he admires the smooth finish of black steel as he turns it, sliding the ring so the indented circle on the otherwise flawless band faces up.

The seconds tick away until half minute remains and he presses his thumb sharply against the circle, once, twice, three times, and then waits. The ring comes to life only a moment later, giving three abrupt vibrations as a response.

His boss heard him.

Nathaniel’s job was nearly done, all he had to do now, was wait.

Two more times the ring vibrates, signaling his boss has finished and is already on his way out of the room.

Thirty more seconds pass and the already chilled room grows frigid, the sound of rope ripping bouncing off the metal walls.

“You get the shadow, we’ll go after his boss.” The Ethereal Titan’s voice is as deep as one would expect from a man of his size.

The three of them have landed on the ice and Wisteria’s battle cry is shrill as her and The Ethereal Titan run after Nathaniel’s boss who, if all is going as planned, should be almost out of the building and into their previously planned escape route.

“I know you’re here, Shadow.”

It’s just him and Obsidian Beast left now.

Nathaniel can’t help the small upwards twitch of his lips at the nickname. He hadn’t planned on having a ‘villain name’ but he supposed that Shadow was better than the names that other’s have taken on.

Besides, he thought as he dimmed the lights and focused on blending into the darkness he created, it really was rather fitting.

Footsteps grow louder and Nathaniel feels himself tensing, panic rising in the back of his mind.

He found him.

“Come now, you know I hate hide’n’seek.” Obsidian speaks and at the same time a leather boot kicks the boxes, sending them all tumbling down. He smirks down at Nathaniel, golden eyes crinkling at the edges beneath the mask that covers his upper face.

“Especially since I always win.”

And now, as his ring vibrates one last time, Nathaniel’s job was officially over. He had kept Obsidian beast distracted long enough that his boss was too far away to be tracked by hero’s abnormal sense of smell.

“Oh come now, don’t give me that silent treatment. Where’s that quick wit I’ve come to love?”

Nathaniel straightens his body, sliding his right hand behind his back and out of sight.

“Does doggy not like when the attention isn’t on him?”

“There it is!” Obsidian barks out with a laugh before he squares his shoulders, eyes glinting in the low light. “You ready to get your ass kicked?”

“Oooh puppy’s got a bark, but does he have a bite?” Nathaniel retorts.

“Why don’t you come over here and find out?” Obsidian Beast steps forward, pushing his way through the boxes surrounding their feet.

“You know, as much as I’d love to stay and kick the ass of the Wolf Man himself, I’m afraid I really should get going.”

“And what makes you think that I’m going to just let you go?” Obsidian’s hands curl inwards, light reflecting off his claws that grow sharper by the second.

“Well, I think, just maybe,” Nathaniel pauses for only a moment, pulling his hand out from behind his back, “you’re going to be distracted by something else.”

“Oh? And what would that-..” Obsidian beast’s words trail off, eyes landing on the item in The Shadow’s grip.

Nathaniel couldn’t held the chuckle that escaped him as he tossed the ball in the air, catching it with his other hand.

“Something catch your eye?”

A low growl came from deep within Obsidian Beast’s chest. “That’s cheating.”

Nathaniel only hummed softly, continuing to toss the ball from one hand to the other, following the way that Obsidian’s eyes were glued to the ball.

“Don’t. You. Dare.” His posture lowered, body growing tenser, unable to tear his eyes away.

Nathaniel had been right in assuming that the Beast’s animal instincts would be too strong to fight.

“You know, I was thinking we could play a new game. How about...”

“You little..”

“Fetch.”

And like that Obsidian Beast was off, following after the ball as it traveled across the room.

Nathaniel had little time to act as he turned and ran across the room to where his boss had previously been working. He pulled the flash drive from his pocket and plugged it into the bottom of the system.

He may not have been as smart as his boss but it was simple work to access the previously transferred data and move it from the computer to his drive. Well, easy enough to do when he had set up a hidden program earlier in the day while he had gotten the trap ready.

In less than a minute the transfer was completed and the drive was back in his pocket.

Another device was in his hand as he slid under the computer, making quick work of stabbing the box into the socket besides the computer’s plug. His pressed his thumb over the sensor on the square top for two-seconds, waiting for the beep before pulling back. In five minutes the device would send out an electrical charge that would not only fry the computer’s hard drive but also blow out the power in the building.

He turned around under the table and flipped onto his back, positioning so that his feet were against the wall now and he was able to slide out from under the computer.

His head hit Obsidian Beast’s boots.

Obsidian glared down at him, pointed nails digging into the tennis ball in his grip. His chest was heaving from what Nathaniel hoped was him catching his breath and not out of anger, though that was probably unlikely considering the snarl on his lips.

“Awe, you brought my ball back, good boy.” Nathaniel said with a grin, attempting to bring back their previous banter.

The hero remained silent as he lifted his foot up and positioned it above Nathaniel’s head.

Yup, definitely anger.

“I think it’s time someone taught you the importance of sit.” Nathaniel grunted, wrapping his arm around Obsidian’s other leg and pulling as he rolled onto his stomach, forcing his leg out from under him and sending the hero crashing to the ground.

He scurried out from under the computer before the other could get up and assessed his exit strategy.

If he left out the door like his boss he could easily find a way to escape the Beast’s grasp. But the door was across the room and who knows if he would be fast enough to escape the hero’s range of smell.

The only other option, that he didn’t quite want to consider, was probably the more dangerous of the options.

By the time Obsidian Beast was back up and running at him Nathaniel was already against the window, thrusting his foot through the glass.

Six stories was higher than he usually jumped and although he wouldn’t die, there was a good chance he would be hurt, bruised at the very least.

But, he supposed as he kicked the last shard out, he’d rather had a few broken ribs and fall into a pile of glass, than have his ass handed to him by Lassie.

And speaking of Lassie, Nathaniel turns back and looks over at the rapidly approaching man.

Obsidian Beast’s teeth are bared and his claws look both longer and sharper than before.

A familiar pool of dread built up in the bottom of his stomach.

It was now or never.

Nathaniel lowered himself down, sitting with his legs still inside the building as he leaned backwards into the night.

Brining his fingers to his lips he blew Obsidian a kiss. “Well, you know how I hate to up and leave, especially right as you’re falling for me, but I’m afraid I have some falling of my own to do.”

Obsidian beast is an arms length away when Nathaniel releases his grip on the window sill, submitting himself to let gravity do its job. Sharp nails barely brush over the cowl covering his face before he’s just out of reach and is free falling in the night.

He twists his body, kicking against the building to push himself away and further into the air, trying to aim his landing for the bushes besides the sidewalk bordering the building.

Golden eyes blend in to the stars in the sky above him, watching him intently.

Nathaniel stares back into those eyes, ignoring the fire that they seem to ignite within his chest and focuses instead on thinking light thoughts, light, airy, fluffy, smokey thoughts, slowing the speed of his descent.

A lime green tennis ball falls onto his stomach and breaks his concentration, sending him plummeting down towards the ground.

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