Binding Moonlight

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 15 (v.1) - Chapter 15

Submitted: January 11, 2019

Reads: 15

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Submitted: January 11, 2019

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“Max!” both Ekie and Gabe shouted. Ekie released the kid, running to where Max had fallen. Dropping to his knees and scooping her up, he cradled her against his chest. His hands became sticky with her blood.

Theo watched as the scary brunet desperately patted the girl's cheek, trying to wake her. He was near tears as he quietly whispered to her, pleading with her. Theo couldn't just let her die. He couldn't let anyone die. Approaching the scarred man, a prickle on the back of his neck told him all eyes were on him as he moved. Kneeling, Theo gained the other man's attention, and something panged in his chest at the panic in the man's odd eyes.

“I can help her,” Theo whispered.

Ekie just stared at Theo, clutching Max tighter.

“Please. She'll die if I don't do something. I'm a Panacea Hand and I can fix this if you'll let me. She isn't going to last much longer.”

A range of emotions flashed through Ekie's eyes before he nodded. He pulled Max against his chest, shifting her prone form to expose her back. Theo gently placed his hands on her back, closing his eyes. A blue light glowed beneath his palms, radiating outward, pulsating like an echoing heartbeat. The light lasted only a few seconds before diminishing. When he took his hands away, he pulled back the cloth of her shirt to show Ekie the wound had disappeared.

“She should be okay,” Theo said, offering what he hoped was a friendly smile.

With a nod, Ekie's sharp gaze snapped up to focus on Robyn where he stood on the balcony. A cold glint hardened his green eyes, and a cruel smirk twisted his lips. Standing there, Robyn watched them, glowering at them like they were lab rats. Gritting his teeth, Ekie relinquished Max into Theo's care and rose to his feet.

Mouth agape, Theo's eyes flicked from the brunet to the girl in his arms. Her eyes fluttered open and it took a moment for them to focus.

“Where's Ekie?” she demanded weakly.

“He's okay. He's just over there,” Theo told her, pointing to where the scarred teenager had gone. “You need to rest, though. You were just shot,” he told her, surprised she came to so soon.

Her brow creased. “I hurt...but it's just an ache like I pulled a bunch of muscles,” she told him, confusion and suspicion clear on her face and in her voice.

“I healed you. You'll be okay. Just stay with me and rest. Please.” Theo tried to sound friendly, but he wasn't sure the girl was even paying attention to him. She was more worried about her friend than her own health. “He left you in my care, and I'd rather not get beaten to a pulp because you were stubborn.”

The girl's brow creased, but she gave him a reluctant nod and kept her expressive eyes locked on her friend. Swallowing hard, Theo's own attention traveled to where Adonis was busy at the computer. He felt useless sitting here while the man worked.

Adonis worked quickly, but things weren't going as smoothly as planned. He was expending too much energy on his pyrokinetic shield, and not enough doing his job. He spared a glance over his shoulder to check on the others and saw they were all still standing, so he kept working.

The encryption levels on the data he needed were intense, but nothing he couldn't handle given time. He was getting annoyed fighting with the system just to keep the files from slipping back into the layers upon layers of protection surrounding the database. Transferring everything was taking much longer than it should have, and he still needed to clear the drives when he was done.

While Adonis worked, Robyn sneered down at them from the balcony. Gabe held onto Nrekeeka, but he was the only one of his employees still doing their job. Useless brats.

“Ekie, get him away from the computer. If he doesn't stop what he's doing, I will kill blondie,” Robyn said, turning his weapon on Nrekeeka.

Tobi had been racking his brain, trying to figure out a way out of this when Robyn spoke. He somehow managed to keep calm on the surface, but his blood boiled. He steadied his arm, aiming between Robyn's eyes.

“You so much as look at her wrong and I'll blow your fucking head off.”

Robyn snorted, grinning at Tobi. “Are you seriously threatening me? Ekie, do your damn job and get rid of him.”

The scar covered man stood his ground, glaring darkly up at Robyn. Tobi wasn't sure what to think about this. A small part of him hoped the man was joining their side. But when he saw the teleporter still had his hand twisted in Nrekeeka's hair, his hope dwindled.

“Maxwell, why are you just standing around? Do what I tell you!”

“No.”

“No? What do you mean no?”

“You're a smart man, figure it out. I quit.”

Robyn clenched his teeth. “I took you in off the streets, you ungrateful rat. You can't quit.”

“Watch me.”

“We aren't your prisoners, or your slaves, Robyn,” Max groaned from the back of the room, rising unsteadily to her feet. Theo tried to help her, but she waved him off. Chin up, she moved toward Ekie, keeping eye contact with Robyn the entire time.

Rolling his eyes, Robyn dropped his arms to his sides. “It's really unfortunate things had to turn out this way. Too bad I don't have a sample of the virus on me,” he said, shrugging. Lifting his weapon again, he pulled the trigger.

The teleporter saw where Robyn was aiming too late. He tried to pull Nrekeeka out of the way, but he wasn't quick enough.

“You bastard!” Tobi shrieked, his voice cracking. He brought his own weapon up and fired. Tears blurred his vision, destroying his aim. The shots went wide.

Theo scrambled over to Nrekeeka, his hands shaking as he clamped them over the wound in her chest. His bottom lip quivered as his healing light spread over the girl. Blood bubbled up between Theo's fingers while the wound closed beneath his hands.

“Robyn! Enough!” Max yelled up at him, her voice hoarse.

“Max, Sweetheart, I'm just getting started. Why are you so concerned about the half-breed anyway? Did you forget what our goal is?” replied Robyn, frowning at the woman. He pushed his glasses up his nose, lips pursed, eyes narrow.

“I was out of my mind, and so are you! I'm done with you and your stupid virus!” Max shouted at Robyn.

“Y'know what? Me too,” said Gabe, stepping back from the trio on the floor. He shrugged, palms up. “I don't need the rest of the money this badly.”

Robyn slammed his hands onto the rail, his face taking on a red hue. “You can't breach your contracts!”

“I don't have a contract. Oh, and I'm keeping the retainer ya paid me,” Gabe said.

On his knees next to Nrekeeka, Tobi's attention was elsewhere, and he didn't listen to the argument.

The bullet pierced Nrekeeka's heart, but Theo had been quick. If he waited another thirty seconds, she would have died. Tobi propped the unconscious woman's head in his lap, brushing her hair from her face, trying desperately to ignore the blood drenching her shirt.

“She'll...she'll be okay,” panted Theo, falling back onto the floor beside Tobi. Blood coated his hands and clothes.

“Are you alright?” Adonis inquired, sinking into a squat next to them.

Sitting slouched over, arms hanging limply in his lap, Theo managed a sluggish nod.

“Did you get it?” Tobi whispered, a hitch in his voice.

“They are so busy arguing, I got what I needed and managed to clear the databanks without issue,” replied Adonis, putting his hand on Theo's back to keep him upright.

“Thank you, Adonis. We should get out of here while—wait. Isn't that...?” Tobi's eyes locked on the balcony as he spoke, jaw dropping when he spotted the white cat.

“What the hell?” Robyn snarled. “How the hell did this stray get in here?” He scowled down at the two-tailed cat as she rubbed her body along his leg. She seemed content as she wrapped her tails around his ankle. Her attitude change was abrupt as she sank her fangs into his leg.

“Stupid beast!” Robyn tried to kick the cat, but she leaped effortlessly out of the way and up onto the rail.

Everyone watched, slack-jawed, as the cat transformed before their eyes. Her body stretched and changed until a thin, scantily clad woman sat where the cat used to be. Her short, fluffy hair shared the color and texture of the cat's fur, and her feline eyes were sharp. Like most others with her genetic mutation, she shared traits with her animal form. There were cat ears perched atop her head, and the twin tails remained, but they had grown to suit her new size.

Robyn picked his jaw up off the floor. “An animorph?” he questioned, eyes wide behind his glasses.

“You betcha, Love,” she purred, hopping off the rail to approach Robyn.

Theo gaped at the balcony, his head heavy on his neck. “Nissy?” he squeaked, blinking to clear his eyes just in case his weariness was making him hallucinate.

“Yes Theo, dear?” she replied sweetly, smiling down at him as she wrapped a clawed hand around Robyn's throat.

“Uh...what're you doing?” He struggled to form his words. Curing two near-fatal injuries in a row drained his energy reserves.

Nissy winked at Theo. “It's a long story, Sweetie. I'll be more than happy to fill y'all in later. I figure you should take this time and get home while I have some fun with this little mouse,” she said, squeezing Robyn's throat. He gagged, clawing at her hand, but she simply smiled at him.

The group stared up at her, eyes wide.

“Go on now. Y'all got whatcha came for, right?” She gave them a bright grin, exposing elongated eye teeth.

Tobi scooped Nrekeeka up to his chest while Adonis hefted Theo to his feet. The others were on their heels as they ran for the door. This had been too close. A bunch of teenagers acting like a damn SWAT team had stupid written all over it, but since it had been Nrekeeka's suggestion, Tobi hadn't been able to say no.

“So, whadda we do now?” the teleporter asked once they were out of the building and across the property.

Tobi didn't answer as he carried Nrekeeka to his car.

“They could help us, Tobi,” Theo suggested, his voice weak.

“Do whatever you want,” Tobi told him, setting Nrekeeka down in the front seat. “If you want to follow us, fine, but I'm not waiting,” he added as he got behind the wheel. He barely waited long enough for Theo and Adonis to get in before taking off.

“Tobi, relax. Your knuckles are white,” Theo said, putting his hand on Tobi's shoulder. “I know you're upset, but we accomplished what we set out to do tonight, and Nrekeeka will wake up in a few hours, okay?”

“She could have died, Theo! If you hadn't been there, I wouldn't have been able to do anything. I would have lost them both,” he answered, his voice constricted. This conversation was not helping him stay calm.

“But I was there, so there is no reason to dwell on what may have happened. This is what happened,” Theo replied, squeezing Tobi's tense shoulder.

Letting out a long, slow breath, Tobi nodded. “I know. Just...just give me some time and I'll be okay,” he answered quietly. He would be okay once his nerves calmed, but thinking straight right now was next to impossible.

 

***

 

Theo didn't even get a chance to wash his hands before the others showed up at their door. The blood crusting his hands itched, but he pushed the sensation aside momentarily to let the others into the building.

“I'm really sorry we're meeting like this,” the girl said, fiddling with the hem of her blood-stained sleep shirt.

Theo nodded. “Me too. I'm still feeling a bit loopy from earlier, but I don't recall your names.”

“Don't expect ya ta,” the blue-haired teleporter replied. “We weren't exactly introduced after all. Name's Gabe”

“I'm Max,” said the girl. “And this is Ekie,” she pointed to the scarred man.

“I'm Theo, and this is Adonis,” he said. “Here, let's go into the kitchen.” He led them into the room and went to wash his hands as everyone else sat at the table.

“I know you don't have to be so kind to us, but I am grateful. If I hadn't been so stupid and selfish, I wouldn't even be in this mess. I probably could have done something about Robyn if I wasn't so hung up on my own anger. I went along with him because I was so mad...” Tears bubbled up in Max's eyes and she shook her head. “I was so stupid!”

“You aren't the only one, darlin',” Gabe grumbled. “I should never have accepted the job, either. Who offers a job to someone they find trespassing anyway? He told me I'd be security, keeping out protesters and shit, even though I never saw a single one. When I found out this wasn't the case, I shoulda quit then 'n' there.” Stretching, Gabe ran a hand through his shaggy hair. He sagged heavily in his seat, planting his forehead on the table with a thump.

“You will have to forgive me for not believing or trusting you. I do, however, believe Robyn Stamos is a manipulative man,” Adonis said, leaning on the table.

“If I were in your shoes, I wouldn't trust us either,” grumbled Max, staring down at her hands.

Theo let out a heavy sigh. Like Adonis said, he didn't trust them at all. This could easily be an act of some sort, yet he was compelled to let them stay. They could prove helpful. “We'll figure out what to do long-term tomorrow, but you can stay here tonight,” he told them, getting to his feet.

“I can't say enough how much we appreciate this,” Max said, giving Theo a small smile.

Theo just nodded and took the group upstairs.

“There are only two extra rooms,” Adonis said.

Max glanced over at Ekie. The pair had some sort of silent conversation and her cheeks flushed. “It's fine. We can share.”

“Okay. Your room is here, and yours is here,” said Theo, opening both doors.

Taking Theo's hands in hers, Max squeezed them. “I promise we'll do whatever we can to help.”

“Normally I'd lock you in, but I don't figure it would do any good with a teleporter. So you understand I'm putting a lot of faith in you to stay in your rooms, yes?” Theo asked in reply.

Nodding, they said their goodnights. Theo and Adonis waited as the doors closed behind the others before they went to their own rooms. It had been a long night and they all needed some sleep.

 

***

 

Ekie looked over his shoulder at Max, who was curled up on her side on the big bed. Ekie gave her one of his two shirts to replace her ruined one and now she was sleeping soundly, arms tangled in the oversized sleeves. He wanted to sleep as well, but he couldn't. He was physically tired, but his mind was racing. A few hours ago he had a job, a place to live, and some sort of life. He had no idea what he had now.

Hanging his head in his hands, he hissed a shaky breath through his teeth. At least this time he wasn't alone.


© Copyright 2019 Kristin Kuffner. All rights reserved.

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