The story so far:
The cool air kissed my skin lightly as I made my way into my house from work. Smells of flowers and dew greeted my nose teasingly. I inhaled deeply. My key put up a fight as I forced it into the lock, finally managing to earn that click for entry.
Being eighteen meant that I could work later. I took advantage of that opportunity on weekends and holidays. Grandma had long since gone to bed. As I dumped my bag into the chair, my eyes landed on the illuminated red digits.
I rubbed my eyes as I made my way up the stairs slowly.
A shower sounded nice about now.
I had been single for sixth months now. A few guys had tried to ask me out, but for the first half, I wasn’t emotionally stable. Lately, I had been focusing all my attention on grades. I didn’t need a boy’s distraction.
Jake and I had managed to remain on good terms. We would never be friends again, but every now and then we’d pass, and he’d always manage a hello. It was comforting to know that there were no negative feelings, but I longed for the affection he’d once shown me.
I hadn’t seen Tyler since the fateful night seven months ago. His disappearance was more significant that Jake’s. There was no contact between the two of us. I kept the note he left me everywhere I went, just as a reminder.
My mind had assumed that the reasoning behind his absence was because of the villain behind everything.
Bentley continued to attention school as if nothing had happened.
I had started to go out of my way to avoid his presence. I wasn’t able to see if face without remembering the late November night.
He kept the contact between us to a nil, much to my pleasure.
I had found myself forming a cyclical weekly pattern. School on the weekdays, work in the evenings every week.
I pulled myself out of the shower, goose bumps rising on my arms. This Friday evening was a chilly one for May.
The towel was tucked tightly around my waist as I made my way down the hallway bare-footed. I shivered furiously against the cold. How I wished for a fire to be in place to keep me warm. It shouldn’t have been this cold this close to summer.
I slipped on a pair of panties, followed by pajama pants.
Wearing just a bra, I dried my hair out as much as I could before I’d slip on my night shirt. The water leaked out of my hair, absorbing into the towel. I patted it as much as I could before standing up and flipping it back.
The girl staring back at me looked unfamiliar. Scars tattooed her body from the incident months ago. Most were healed over with just the ugly reminder. Her body was a little heavier than it used to be. Eating at McDonald’s every other meal had taken its toll.
I frowned, poking at my belly with disgust. I had never been that fortunate with weight management. Once I put on the extra pounds, it took a while before I got them off again. This would be a pain.
I grabbed a pink tank top, slipping of over my shoulders. As I pulled it on, I flipped my wet hair out, spraying water over the mirror.
“Damn.” I mumbled, wiping it away with my hand. The water smeared over the glass but would dry clear.
“Damn, indeed.” A deep voice chuckled from behind me.
I froze in my place, eyes widening. My eyes moved around the mirror for the owner, but the darkness concealed him well.
Silence filled the room.
But I could almostfeelhim breathing in the room. My eyes moved to the darkest corner of my room in the mirror.
Nothing was clear, but I knew he was standing there.
I licked my dry lips slowly, my breathing coming in short and fast.
“Scared?” His teasing words sent chills down my spine. I felt as if we were making eye contact through the mirror.
My hands gripped the edge of the dresser holding the mirror to stop the shaking.
I could see movement, but I couldn’t register what happened. It was a sense that told me so. I sucked in my breath, holding it.
A dark silhouette stepped into view.
I could feel the heat radiating off of his body onto my back.
Two arms slipped around my body.
“What’re you doing?” My voice was just barely above a whisper. My heartbeat palpitated through-out the room. It took all my strength to keep my breathing as steady as possible.
“I missed you.”
I watched in the mirror as he curled his head to press his lips against my neck. His fingers teased the bottom of my tank top playfully.
“Why are you…?” But my words were useless.
He wasn’t going to answer my questions.
I closed my eyes as he slowly guided us away from the mirror.
He pushed me back on the bed roughly. I landed with a small whimper as I bounced on the mattress.
He groaned, sliding on next to me, “I really missed you.”
His fingers latched onto my hips, pulling me over him. He had me straddle him, my thighs pressing against his body. My own fingers were curled tightly over the fabric on his chest, while his held my hips in place.
“What are you…?”
He moved a hand from my hip to curl around my hair, pulling my head down to his. I brushed my lips against his, holding back.
“Avery,” He growled, “I’ve been waiting too damn long for you not to kiss me.”
I pulled back, sitting upright on top of him.
“What do you mean ‘no’?” He snapped.
“I mean no.”
He cussed, loosening his grip on me. I felt his hands slide down to rest atop my thighs gently, casually.
I smacked his chest.
He jumped, giving me a startled look. “What the hell?”
“You’re such a jerk, Tyler.” I hissed, pulling off of his body. My mind seemed to catch up to me once again.
Having disappeared for more than half a year and he needs to scare me before he’ll say hello to me?
He pouted. His mask continued to cover most of his face, save for his lips. My eyes had adjusted to the darkness now so I could make out his figure more clearly. He reached an arm out, wrapping it around my waist as I sat on the edge of my bed.
Tyler pulled me back against him, snuggling next to me. “I’m the jerk?” His lips teased the bare area of skin between my shirt and pants.
“You leave me for seven months with nothing but a note that says ‘I’m OK’. And I no longer see you in school. So when you suddenly decide to grace me with your presence once again, it’s only so you can get action out of me?”
“Yeah, pretty much.”
“In my defense, you gave me no notice of your safety.”
“You know where I live!”
“I told you to go to my apartment!”
I leaned back into his body, crossing my arms, “You’re so frustrating. I couldn’t remember where to go in my panic.”
I chose not to respond to him. In the time that had elapsed since I had last seen him, Tyler’s personality hadn’t changed once. We continued to clash on every topic.
“I did miss you.” He said after a few minutes of silence.
“Where did you go?”
He chuckled, angling my head towards him. Tyler kissed me once, twice, before answering, “Princess, you don’t want to know.”
“I’m not going to answer.”
Now it was my turn to pout.
My hero rearranged our position on the bed so that we were sitting upright. He had his arm around me, curling my body in toward him.
“Let’s play twenty questions.” I suggested, fiddling with the edges of his mask.
He grunted, which was enough of an answer for me.
“Why aren’t you in school?” I leaned my head on his shoulder gently.
Tyler shrugged, “Dropped out.”
“I don’t need it. I have my own source of income, and I’ve already attained all the knowledge required for my field of work.”
I scowled, “That’s no spirit. What if something happens and you can’t continue saving the town from evil, Superman?”
“Then I move in with you and let you nurse me back to health.”
“What if it’s permanent?”
“It won’t be.”
“But if it is…?”
“Then you’re stuck with me.” He smirked playfully, “And I do believe that’s five questions you’ve used up.”
“What?! It’s been one!”
He clamped a hand over my mouth, putting a finger to his, “Princess, I’d love to hear you scream, but do you really want another repeat of the first time you got too loud?”
My face flushed with embarrassment as I realized I was being too loud. I was unfazed by his innuendo.
Tyler pulled his hand away after a few seconds, once I had calmed down, “Do I get to ask my five now that you blew through yours?”
“I guess.” I mumbled scornfully.
“Why didn’t you go where I told you to?”
“I forgot.” I muttered bashfully, “I was in a panic. I just… I kind of ran to the closest place I could think of.”
“Where did you go?”
I could tell he was giving me a questioning look. I furthered my response.
“It was the only place where I knew how to get to from the surroundings. Plus… Donavan would have been there.”
His question was surprisingly rough when it came out.
“He’s one of my best friends.” I said defensively, “Unlike you, he was there for me when Jake dumped me.”
“I know, I’m sorry.”
I was surprised that he knew about that. I had thought that he not being in school would mean he was disconnected with social events there. He hadn’t talked to me in months either. His knowledge of my relationship status tickled me.
It meant that he had cared enough to retain it.
He, thankfully, chose to get back into our game, “Did you miss me?”
“Yeah,” I bit my lip bashfully, “One more question.”
He thought for a moment, “How often did you fantasize about me in the seven months I was gone?”
I rolled away from him, burying my head into the pillow. Tyler fell into a fit of silent laughter, managing to shake the bed we shared.
My face heated up like a bonfire.
I felt his hand gently rubbing my back as he settled back down.
“So I take it a lot?”
“I’m going to kick you out of my bedroom.”
“You’re adorable, Aves.” He teased, “I’d love to see you try.”
I scowled and gave him a rough shove.
“Oh good one.” He teased. Tyler pulled me to his side, yawning, “But I think it’s time you and I catch some Z’s.”
“Tired already?” I smiled flirtatiously, “How will you be able to last?”
“Don’t start talking about stuff you don’t want.” He snaked a hand down my side, pinching my **** cheek.
I gave a small squeak.
“Yeah, I thought so.”
“You’re so immature.”
He kissed me once before leaning back in the pillows. “Goodnight, Princess.”
I awoke the next morning to an empty room. My body jerked around in my bed, searching for the masked hero that had fallen asleep next to me.
Falling back into my bed, I sighed with disgruntlement.
Just another dream.