“GOOD MORNING, ORLANDO!” The plucky radio host shouted at exactly six in the morning. “Thanks for tuning in to Stich and Tory’s drive in the morning on your always reliable one-oh-one-point-one.”
“It’s a b-e-a-utiful end of summer Saturday morning here in central Florida, we’re looking at temperatures in the high eighties throughout most of the day, and it will peak into the low nineties mid-afternoon. Thunderstorms are on the horizon for tonight, but they should be gone by tomorrow so the entire Labor Day weekend won’t be ruined. That’s it for weather on the one’s, now let’s check in with traffic.”
Daisy groaned from inside her cocoon of blankets. <It’s Saturday, why is the alarm set?>
“Now on to the question of the day, folks. We want to get your opinions so make sure to call in on four-oh-seven- two-six-two-one-oh-one-one. We’ll take caller number ten and hear their opinion. But the question revolves around Supers in our fair healing city. They’ve saved us, they’ve harmed us, but are they accountable to us? Caller number ten you’re on the line. What do you think?
“Fuck, Supers! Humanity First!”
The radio ceased broadcasting when Daisy brought her arm down on the snooze button with enough kinetic force to shatter it.
“Babe.” A male voice groaned from next to her. “That’s the third one this month. You’re buying the new one.”
“Fine,” she sighed as she rolled over and came face-to-face with Topher.
Sergeant Christopher Phillips, newly promoted officer in the Orlando Police Department, her boyfriend, and housemate to be exact.
His sleepy brown eyes looked into her red ones and they both smiled. His light brown hair was a little longer than normal, but she liked it. She dragged her finger nails through it as they lay there facing each other. It was a perfect moment to sum up a perfect summer in what had been a raging shit storm only a few months ago.
“You wanna tell me why the alarm is set?” She ruined the moment with the question.
Topher winced like she’d punched him in the shoulder. “Would you be pissed if I told you I volunteered to take Cooper’s shift today.”
“Topher!” Daisy sat up quickly, and didn’t even try to hide her pout.
“I’m sorry, babe, but Cooper’s got two kids and he wanted to take them to the lake on last time before school started. Everyone has been taking more leave to spend time with their families after everything.”
Daisy wiped the pout from her face and sighed. “I guess I can’t fault you for being a decent human being, but I wanted to spend time with you.” She couldn’t help if she sounded a bit whiny.
“We’ll still have plenty of time. I’m working until six, then my family is coming over for the barbeque, and you can feel uncomfortable and judged all night with me by your side.”
“That’s fantastic.” Se bubbled with fake joy. “I’ll make sure to try and dig my brain out with a fork via the ears.”
“There’s that optimism I know and love.” Topher grinned as he got out of bed and walked into the master bath to shower before work.
<Mmmmmm…that is a fine-looking man.> She couldn’t help but watch.
Topher was six-three with an athletic build that said he’d played sports all his life. Being a cop kept him in shape since then. He’d been with the NYPD for years, ironically at the same time Daisy was a Hero with the New York Patriots, before transferring down to Orlando. But it wasn’t the six-pack abs or sculpted ass that held Daisy’s attention. It was the scars.
Topher had taken a shotgun blast to the vest in a raid on a local Super gang’s club house in the early spring, and had been injured again in what the media had called the Orlando Calamity. Calamity was the politically correct phrasing, most people just called it a clusterfuck.
<I can’t blame them.> Daisy had front row seats to the clusterfuck.
Terrorists, led by the infamous Seif al-Din, cut communications, transportation, and utilities to the city with incredible ease. They isolated the city from the rest of the state by blowing up roads and bridges with IEDs, blowing up the airport with RPGs, and having the pyrokinetic douchebag, Damascus, start a raging wildfire that was nearly as big as the guy’s ego.
<And it had all been to kidnap a girl.> It was al-Din’s daughter, Anika Kemps, who Daisy had helped train for the last year that was the target.
<And they had inside help.> Rage still welled up inside her when she thought about how Liz Aretino, aka Lilly, last name believed to be Noel, aka the nefarious teenage supervillain Wraith had managed to infiltrate the freshman class. She’d not only learned the identities of some HCP members but also got close enough to kidnap Anika out of her own townhouse. <And now she’s paying for it.> Daisy put the other woman out of her head and concentrated on peeping on Topher through the still slightly open bathroom door.
She was thinking about joining him, but then her cell phone started to ring. It was the annoying theme song to Speed Racer that a certain someone had programmed into her phone when she got it a few months ago. Her old phone had been literally flattened into a pancake of circuits and plastic.
“It’s six in the morning, so somebody better be dying.” She deadpanned into the phone.
“Good morning to you to, partner.” Craig McMillian, the HCP Professor for close combat, the freshman class advisor, and Daisy’s academic partner in crime shot back. She could imagine the smirk on his face. “No one’s dying, but the girls are up and Topher’s on duty today so I wanted to see if you were free to go in and do some quick paperwork before the semester starts?”
“And you had to ask at six in the morning?”
“I’ve been up since four, so I don’t want to hear it.”
At least one good bit of news had come out of the Calamity. When the cleanup started, everyone learned that Craig’s wife, Chrissy, a food-manipulating super, and renowned chef was pregnant. Everyone was ecstatic, but Craig quickly tapered their excitement. Apparently, a food manipulator with Super-level cravings and the ability to make anything was a headache. Craig knew he was in for restless nights, and now it looked like he was trying to bring company to his misery party.
“Fine. If you need an excuse to get out of the house I’ll come in for a few hours.”
“Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
“CRAIG! What are you doing?”
Daisy could hear Chrissy on the other end.
“Whoops, I’ve gotta go.”
“How many times have I told you. Don’t call people while you’re sitting on the toilet…” The line went dead and Daisy needed to bleach her brain to get rid of that imagery.
<Kids.> She shook her head as mixed emotions warred within her.
She was about to turn eighty-four years old, and she didn’t have any kids. The thought had crossed her mind once or twice before, but her power and very very long life made the reality a little hard to swallow.
Daisy might not have her certification back yet, but she was and would always be a Hero in her own mind. She was the legendary, feared, and respected Hero Reaper, a Super with various absorption abilities. She could take in an obscene amount of kinetic and electrical energy, but that wasn’t even the most impressive part of her. She had the ability to target and drain a person’s life force into herself. The reaping, as she liked to call it, kept her young and healthy, which was why at eighty-four she looked like a six foot three inch, blonde, stacked Barbie who could kick ass and take names.
So if she ever had kids, she would likely outlive them, their father, and everyone she cared about.
<Then there’s the part where Seif al-Din said he wanted to rape me and father a race of god-like Supers who couldn’t be killed and could kill with a thought.> It was the worst pickup line she’d ever heard from anyone.
He’d then proceeded to kick her ass, which hadn’t help.
“You heading in to?” Topher heard the call and guessed.
Her man might be a cop, which made him busier than most people, but she was still busier. Daisy was the alternative instructor for the West Private University HCP. One of the five colleges in the US that trained and certified young Supers to be Heroes. If she only worked sixty hours that was a good week, and she was still working full-time in the summer when the students were gone.
“Yeah, I’ll probably put in a half day before going to pick up your parents.”
Topher winced involuntarily.
“That’s right, you totally forgot that taking your shift was bailing on us picking them up together.” Daisy frowned.
“Shit.” He groaned, and she could see his mind racing to come up with a solution.
“Don’t worry, I’ll pick up Captain and Mrs. Phillips. Even if they don’t like what I am, and think less of you because you’re with me.”
“At least Debora is coming.” Topher added the last bit.
Despite Daisy and Debora butting heads like two lionesses fighting over the same scraps, Daisy had to admit she liked the senior DVA agent. She loved the “kick you in the balls” attitude.
“Fine. But you still owe me.”
“I do.” He leaned over, his body still damp from the shower and kissed her.
Her whole body got hot when their lips touched, and she suddenly wanted to do a lot more than just kiss, but they both had jobs to do. Hanky-panky could wait.
The track out behind the high school was old and in serious need of repairs, but it was familiar, and it was home even if a few of the people watching hated everything about her.
Rebecca “Becca” Whitfield was training, because that was what Supers going into their sophomore year of the HCP needed to do. Training for her meant running. She was a speedster, and being the fastest was what made her special.
She took several deep breaths as she got into a textbook starting position. She’d been running track since she got her powers, even if she couldn’t actually compete in school. Proper form was still important no matter if you were running thirteen or thirteen hundred miles per hour. Becca wasn’t close to that fast, but maybe one day.
<But right now I’m gonna run the fastest I’ve ever ran.> She motivated herself while taking deep breaths and filling her lungs with oxygen.
Becca had the lithe frame of a runner. At one point, she would have been self-conscious about the flatness of her chest, but it had been almost a year since she’d stopped thinking about what boys thought of her.
<My girlfriend loves my booty, and that’s all that matters.>
Coming from a small town in the middle of Iowa, with a population measured in the three digits, made her sexual orientation a bit of a scandal, but she’d stopped thinking about what other people thought of her life about the time boys took a back seat to girls.
<Focus, Becca. For Pete’s sake concentrate.> She shook her head and focused on the track.
“You ready?” Her father, the conservative dairy farmer Eugene Whitfield stood ready with a stop watch.
“Yep.” She took a final deep breath and filled her lungs with oxygen.
Becca’s foot dug a shallow trench in the ground as she pushed off with all her might. In a sprint, the start was paramount, and she was trying to do something that required every ounce of her concentration. She could feel the lactic acid building in her muscles as she pushed herself hard and fast. The whole world started to blur around her so she slowed it down with a little concentration. Her perception sped up to match her speed, and altered her view of reality.
But she didn’t let that stop her. <Come on!> She could feel the resistance the harder she pumped her legs. <Just a little more. Almost there.> She leaned into it and pushed herself just a little bit harder.
And it happened.
A sonic boom rolled across the highs school grounds as Becca hit seven hundred and sixty-seven miles per hour. It was leaps and bounds ahead of where she’d been just this time last year, and what she had been working towards all summer.
“YES!” Her elation was lost in the howl of air surrounding her.
She slowed down gradually, because coming to a sudden stop was against the laws of physics and just plain bad for your body. She did another half dozen laps dropping about a hundred miles an hour each lap until she jogged to a stop at the starting line where her father was picking his glasses up off the ground.
“You did it.” He came forward and wrapped her in a big hug for the slight man that he was.
Becca didn’t know if she was happier that she’d achieved her goal, her father had been there supporting her, or that her sheltered, conservative parents had grown to accept her new lifestyle. Whatever it was, she couldn’t help but tear up a little.
“Let’s head home.” He wrapped one arm around her shoulder and led her back toward the old truck parked in the school parking lot. “I heard Anika is making pie.”
That made Becca smile. “Just one second.” She sprinted away in a cloud of dust and skidded to a stop in front of three kids.
Like a viper, she snatched their phones out of their outstretched hands.
“Hey!” They all yelled angrily, but didn’t move to do anything about it.
Part of being a speedster meant that her body was physically tougher. She had to withstand everything that came with running at Mach One. If she accidentally bounced off something she had to be able to survive the impact. She wasn’t strong, and she couldn’t lift anything more than a regular human, but she was a lot more durable, and that durability increased as she got faster. All of that meant that unless one of the boys stabbed her they would be hard pressed to hurt her.
“Y’all know recordin’ someone without their permission is really rude.” She chided the boys as her fingers opened the camera function of the phones and deleted the videos. She also made sure to go on the cloud and remove any of those recordings.
None of them caught her face when she turned into a human blur, but it was better safe than sorry.
“I’m callin’ the Sheriff.” One of the boys stated flatly, despite the fact that she had his phone.
“Be my guest. I’m sure he’ll think you three just hangin’ around here to violate a person’s privacy is a solid case for charges, especially when you smell like weed.” She sniffed and made a pinched face. “But it’s your call. I’m sure the Sheriff will call your parents and the pastor to help settle all of this.”
She blurred back to her dad leaving the three boys scratching their heads and reconsidering their options.
“Ok, now I’m ready to go.” She took her father’s arm and they walked back to the car.
Anika had faced a lot of adversaries in her life. Her mother abandoned her idyllic suburban home to become a jihadist bride, then offed herself. Her father was a certifiable madman who’d murdered hundreds. She’d battled against the system and prejudice to get into the HCP and live a normal life. Even after she got in, she faced other powerful Supers who were trying to make it to the coveted ten spots senior year.
The competition in the HCP was healthy though. Almost fifty people who were pushing each other to be the best with only slightly sadistic coaches and professors who were helping them get there. She’d become friends with a lot of her fellow students, and more than friends with one.
Then one of those friends, who was more of an acquaintance really, kidnapped her and dropped her in a cage. All her power and all her training hadn’t been able to get her out, and for the first time since she was a child she honestly felt helpless.
Then Hunter came to the rescue. He was the father of one of her other friends that everyone thought had been blown into tiny pieces by the very person who kidnapped her. Anika’s head swam a bit just thinking about it. Her life was anything but ordinary.
<At least the summer was awesome!> She thought cheerfully as she pulled on some mits to face her newest adversary.
At first, she thought it was going to suck. Her and her family had to move from their home in Montana. Witness protection reassigned them to a whole different part of the country. The universe must have been feeling generous that day, because Anika and her foster family were moved into a nice little farmhouse in a small Iowa town just a county over from where her girlfriend lived.
All it took was a short forty-fie minute drive and Anika got to spend as much time as she wanted with the person who’d come to mean the most to her in the world. Getting kidnapped by a teleporting sociopath and facing the real possibility that you were going to be handed over to your misogynistic father, who thought of you more as property than a person, tended to clarify your priorities in life.
Right now, Anika had three priorities: become a Hero and help people, build a strong and lasting relationship with Becca, and not fuck up this cherry pie.
Popping open the oven, and the resulting cloud of black, arid smoke that wafted out, told her she’d failed that third priority.
“Ah shi…oot.” Anika changed gears mid word as Maurine Whitfield walked into the kitchen.
“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.” The older woman coughed and started waving away the smoke with a second oven mit. “Just keep it away from the smoke detectors. If it goes off we’ll get the volunteer fire boys all riled up, and then we’ll have to bake them a pie too.”
Maurine was the mother that Anika never had. She was kind, generous, hardworking, and had raised one hell of a daughter. She was a bit too religious for Anika’s taste, but to each their own.
“Don’t worry.” Becca’s mother grabbed the burned pie with one hand and dropped it unceremoniously into the trash.
She turned to the fridge, opened it up, and fished around in the back to retrieve a prepackaged cherry pie.
“A little tip.” She grinned at Anika. “Always have a backup plan. Eugene loves my cooking, but I swear that man couldn’t tell the difference between homemade and store bought after a whole day out with the cows. So,” she handed Anika the trash bag, “you just take this out and we’ll say you successfully made your first cherry pie.”
They shared a conspiratorial grin but were interrupted by the sound of the mud room door opening.
Anika’s heart skipped a beat at the over-enthusiastic voice of her girlfriend.
“Hurry.” Maurine shooed her away and went to intercept the two new arrivals.
Anika quickly dumped the pie disaster in the garbage on the outside of the house before joining the rest of the Whitfield family. Even from the back door she could hear that Becca was excited about something.
“Ani, I did it! I finally broke it.” Becca was literally vibrating from head to toe as she threw her arms around her taller girlfriend.
“Yes!” The joy was contagious. “I knew you’d crack it before we headed back to school.”
“No you didn’t.”
“Oh, yes I did.”
They grinned at each other and exchanged a quick kiss. Becca’s parents might be adapting to her daughter’s new lifestyle, but neither young woman wanted to be rude and push the PDA.
Anika pulled away and continued smiling at her girlfriend. Becca had changed in the last few months. She still had the thin, athletic runner’s build, and Anika was mildly jealous that the speedster could eat so much and not gain an ounce of fat. Becca’s brown eyes were still the kind, compassionate ones anyone would want to see on a Hero coming to the rescue, but she’d changed her hair. The blue pigtails that Anika loved were gone. They’d been replaced by a short pixie cut.
Becca’s reasoning was because it would be too easy for the long braids to get snagged on something while running or grabbed in a fight. But Anika suspected something different. She suspected that Becca got rid of the braids because they looked too childish, and the blue-haired speedster wanted to be seen as an adult capable of being certified a Hero.
“You must have worked up quite the appetite.” Maurine stated just as Becca’s stomach rumbled. “Go up and shower then come down for dinner. We want you to get all the home-cooked meals we can stuff into you before you head back to school.”
Becca raised her chin and extended her nose into the air where she gave three short sniffs.
“And,” Maurine gave a sideways glance at Anika. “Anika made pie.”
That was all the motivation Becca needed, she disappeared in a blur to get ready.
“Don’t forget to wash your hands!” Her father called after her.
After all that had happened to her, Anika never expected that she’d find herself living in the Midwest, with an honest working family, making pie, and sitting down for a Saturday night family dinner.
<Weirder things could happen.> She knew they would, and she’d start preparing for them soon enough.
“Push…you have got it…just a little more.”
Mason felt like a vein was going to burst in his head. He was pretty sure he was fifty shades of red right now as he pushed with every ounce of his strength to get the bar back up.
<You’ve got this. I know you can do it.>
It was the voice in his head that gave him the last push to lock out his arms and complete the rep. A pair of massive hands, attached to arms bigger than some tree trunks reached out and grabbed the bar to help him guide it back into its rack.
“Very good job, Mason. You are not so schwach anymore.”
Mason had picked up a limited German vocabulary out of necessity since he and Kyoshi arrived at her home mid-summer. I had been nice for them to get home to Brooklyn, see his grandmother, and do some sparing with his old boxing coach, but the real training started when they got to San Francisco.
Being told he wasn’t weak anymore by Wilhelm Schultz, a former German Hero, and top tier strongman was as much of an acceptance as Mason was going to get.
And he’d take what he could get.
His chest burned as he sat up and shook off the slight wobbling sensation the room seemed to be taking on.
“No time for rest.” Wilhelm started dialing down the weight to half the load of the previous set.
But half of forty tons was still twenty tons, and by six reps Mason felt like his chest was going to tear in half. Despite the muscular agony he was currently going through, spending the last two months training with Wilhelm had been worth it. Before the summer, Mason had been hovering between the low and mid-level strongman criteria. Now, he was solidly considered a mid-level strongman, and had even broken the fifty-ton benchmark on several key exercises. That put him well on his way to hitting the sixty-five-ton benchmark for high-level strongmen. If he could hit that then he’d probably be able to make it as a Hero.
Mason did the press until failure, which was only ten total, but overall it was still a strong showing for the day. Every part of his body ached, but that was good.
“Good, now you two practice.” Wilhelm took a step back and motioned for Kyoshi to step into the hallowed gym space. So far, she’d been off to the side doing various contortionist stretching and working out with much lighter weights.
If anyone else had stepped into the basement gym of the successful San Francisco contractor, they would have thought they’d just entered a den of giants. Wilhelm was seven-two, Mason was six-nine, and even Kyoshi was six-seven. Two of them could probably be as destructive as the giants of legends, but it was their smallest members who was probably the most dangerous.
Kyoshi Schultz was a mix of two worlds. A seven-plus foot German strongman father and a tiny Japanese mother who should have been crushed in the child making process. Their daughter retained traits of both heritages, and it made her exotically beautiful. On top of that, her pale-white hair and golden eyes pegged her as a Super. Life hadn’t been simple for Kyoshi, like for most advanced minds who read the thoughts of people around them.
But Mason’s girlfriend’s abilities were much more than that. She’d been able to turn her limited telekinesis into an offensive strategy capable of taking on people several times stronger than her. She was a black belt in multiple martial arts disciplines, and she was just plain smart. A lot smarter than Mason. But that didn’t even scratch the surface.
She’d figured out during Freshman year that she was also an infiltrator. An extremely rare class of advanced minds who could dig deep into a person’s mind and physically take control of them. There were pros and cons to the ability that she had been thinking about since she first manifested it, and that had been one of her key focuses over the summer.
Together, the two HCP soon-to-be sophomores thought they’d come up with a solution.
“Whenever you are ready.”
Wilhelm stood in a fighting stance on the open mat opposite Mason.
“Ok.” Kyoshi took a deep breath, sat in lotus position on the ground and concentrated.
Mason felt her presence a moment before it happened, but he didn’t resist. It was their complete trust and willingness to share everything with each other that made this possible. There was no resistance as she found the seams in her boyfriend’s mind and burrowed in. It only took seconds, and when she opened her eyes she was standing across from her father, two inches taller, and sporting a penis.
That had thrown her off a little when they’d first tried this, but it was almost second nature now. She knew Mason’s body now almost as well as her own.
<Let’s keep our mind out of the gutter please.> Mason sounded like he was standing right beside her, but she knew there was nothing physically there.
He was her copilot while she possessed his body, and she didn’t even think about shutting him out.
“Good.” Wilhelm’s eyes narrowed as he took in the sudden change in Mason’s posture. “You know what to do.”
“Of course I do, Dad.” Kyoshi’s words came out of Mason’s mouth. “I need to protect myself from you, using Mason.”
“Yes. If HCP training is anything like it was in Germany, they will focus on teamwork at some point. When that time comes you two will be ready.” He smiled.
“Now, stop me.” He strode forward purposefully.
Even with Mason’s body, Kyoshi knew she wasn’t strong enough to physically stop him with brute force, and that was the whole point. Kyoshi needed to use her hand-to-hand fighting skills and meld them with Mason’s strength and durability to do what neither of them could do alone.
<Let’s do this.> She dropped into a stance that Mason didn’t know anything about.
The resulting struggle didn’t break anything, but the vibrations knocked a glass off the counter two floors up, so all three of them had to face the quiet, controlled wrath of Sakura Schultz when it was all over.
“Mr. Abney, are you in there, Sir?” The maid knocked on the door for the second time that morning.
At least Seth thought it was the second time, he was still too wasted to hear her the first time. The curtains were drawn to block out the sunlight from the massive floor to ceiling windows of the Abney family’s Raleigh mansion. Empty pizza and take out boxes littered the various surfaces of the room, along with enough empty beer cans for a homeless man to live large for a week.
Seth didn’t give two shits about the state of the room. He felt just as empty as the cans strewn around the room. He felt like someone had taken a chunk out of him like the half eaten, cold pizza he’d had for dinner last night and was going to have for breakfast this morning.
This had been his summer vacation; trying to drink himself to death and fuck what anyone thought about it.
<Because that’s what happened when someone takes a steaming dump on your heart and everything you ever were to eachother is a big fat lie.> Seth lashed out in anger, and swiped a few empties off the nightstand and they went flying across the room.
As the rage surged through them he reached out with his mind and caught one of the metal containers mid-air. It hung there, suspended by his power, and then he crushed it into a tiny cube of metal. He shot that cube across the room and imbedded it in the wall.
<Irony is a cold-hearted bitch.> Seth had been trying to extend his broad spectrum elemental manipulating powers to include something other than air, water, fire, and earth for as long as he could remember. Even the HCP training had only strengthened his original four abilities. <Who knew it would take someone ripping out my heart to get metalokinesis.>
Saying he had it was a bit of a stretch. He could only use it when he was royally pissed off, which at the moment wasn’t a problem. Still, it wasn’t anything like his father’s control.
“For the love of God, move!”
<Speak of the devil.>
The door only resisted a moment before it burst open off its hinges and Albus Abney stormed into the room. What the man found made his face pucker in disgust and anger.
Seth lounged on the bed like a sloth. He’d gained twenty to twenty-five pounds over the summer, and it had wiped away the chiseled athleticism that he’d worked hard over the past few years to achieve. Then there was the mess, food and beer everywhere, some of it old and spoiled. Then there were the prostitutes. Both bare asses and still passed out around Seth.
Seth could see his father shaking with rage.
“ENOUGH!” The curtains flung themselves open.
Seth hissed as the light hit his unadjusted pupils. The two whores gave a yelp and quickly covered up, and the mess just sat there uncaring who was raging at the moment.
“That’s enough, Seth!” Albus stomped fully into the room.
With a sweep of his hands all the empties collected themselves and stacked up against the far wall. Even the little cubes Seth had created and chucked at the wall dug themselves out and made a game of Tetris finding a place they fit.
“You two, OUT!” Albus’ eyes slashed into the two women like daggers.
“Go.” Seth slurred while tossing a stack of twenties at them.
He knew he’d overpaid, and the women would probably use it to buy dope, but he didn’t care. He didn’t care about much these days.
“I want you up, showered, packed and on the road by tonight.”
“In your fucking dreams.” Seth laughed as he rolled over away from his father.
“NO!” The whole bed picked itself up and bucked Seth onto the floor. “Do you have any idea was a colossal embarrassment you are? Do you have any idea the damage you’ve done to yourself and this family? That criminal was in our home! That woman was talking to our family guests. That bitch was learning our secrets!”
“She wasn’t a BITCH!” The bed rocketed toward Albus at Seth’s gesture.
There was a loud cracking sound when the wood split as the metal undercarriage wrenched itself in half. The now two-piece bed missed a few feet on either side of Albus.
“Do not toy with me, boy.” Albus stopped screaming and his voice reached a dangerously low octave. “You will be out of here tonight. You will be back at West Private tomorrow, and you will be ready to resume your studies and training on Tuesday. I have put too much effort and resources into keeping you out of the press and in the program to have you fuck it all up with your little hissy fit.”
The fight had drained out of Seth after tossing the bed at his father. So he just sat down on the expensively tiled floor and rested his head against the cool substance.
“Tonight, Seth, I am not joking. If you aren’t gone I’ll have the local Heroes throw you out and then I’ll cut you off. Then you can live like the street urchin you already are, but in a more a natural habitat.” Having said his piece, Albus stormed back out through the destroyed door and frightened looking maid.
“Whatever.” The still inebriated nineteen-year-old muttered under his breath as he tried to find a comfortable positon on the ground.
The cocky, green-eyed, black-haired, blue blooded southern gentleman was gone. Liz had killed him just like she had everyone else she was charged with murdering during her career as a villain. Even if Hunter was officially dropped from the list, that was still dozens of people. Then there were the millions of dollars in property damage, theft, one confirmed assassination, and a whole bunch of lesser things all the way down to bullying some kid out of his lunch money.
Right now, Seth didn’t give a flying fuck what his father wanted. All Seth wanted was to be left alone.