#SaturdayScenes is a weekly event where writers post scenes from their stories online for others to read and comment on. These scenes are usually no more than 1,000 words and can be from published works or works-in-progress. The event is especially popular on Google Plus. I have been participating in #SaturdayScenes on and off for several months now, and now I am going to post them on the website as well.
In celebration of Valentine’s Day, here’s a scene from the next East End Irregulars book (get the first book here), featuring Sebastian (aka Torrent) and Evangeline (aka Corona), two of Pittsburgh’s newest superheroes. For those new to the characters, Sebastian is a talent with the ability to psychically control liquid, as well as a low level psychometrist capable of picking up the residual psychic background in the environment. Evangeline is a thermokinetic, able to dramatically increase temperature. This scene comes a few days after Evangeline, having recently joined Sebastian in his vigilante activities, has a successful encounter with some petty criminals.
“People live down here?” she asked as she skidded down the other side of the berm.
“Used to.” Sebastian finally flipped on a flashlight. It had a red lens, and the ruddy light accentuated the creepiness of the scene. He put his arm around Eva’s shoulder as she sidled close to him.
“There was a big flood last spring after the winter thaw, and then the creek overflowed again in the summer when we got hit by Hurricane Amy. A lot of the houses were still being repaired, and then they just gave up and moved to higher ground. I guess two floods in one year was too much for the insurance companies.”
Sebastian shined the red beam of the flashlight on the wall of a house. The siding must have been blue, because it looked purple in the light, and it was crawling with vines. It looked like a scene from another world.
Evangeline halted. “You mean you’re going to break in?”
Sebastian shrugged. “They’re abandoned. It’s been a year; the owners aren’t coming back. I’m sure they don’t mind.”
She crossed her arms and stuck out her lip. That answer didn’t comfort her, but she couldn’t think of any response to it, so she scanned the scene for more reasons to object. It wasn’t hard to find them. “Look at that yard! There’s rusting metal everywhere! I’ll get lockjaw.”
Sebastian snorted, shaking his head. “You don’t get tetanus from rust. It’s fine, trust me.”
“Look at that place! It’s moldy! It’s crawling with disease! Girls my age don’t get an immunological symbiote, you know. It makes you infertile,” she continued to protest.
“I don’t have an ImSym either. Look, hold the umbrella and I’ll carry you.” Before she could reply, he bent over and slung her over his shoulder.
Evangeline gave a small cry of surprise as he adjusted her body across his back, but then she bit her lip and held on tightly as he strode across the yard. Once they reached the front door, he shifted her off his shoulders and pushed the door open with one hand.
“It’s not even locked,” he said.
“That’s probably because there are homeless drifters camped out in there,” she replied. “With machetes.”
Sebastian stepped halfway through the door, then turned and smirked at her. “What are you worried about? We’re superheroes.”
She shook off the umbrella and walked in behind him. The interior room they entered into was, so far as she could see, entirely empty. The furniture and decorations were all gone. The old wooden floor was warped in places and there was a strong smell of mildew, but it lacked the dirty, eyeless dolls and creepy shattered picture frames she had conjured up in her imagination. There were no signs of violent drifters, no pentagrams burned into the floor, not even a swarm of angry cockroaches. She allowed herself to exhale a little.
“It’s pretty clean,” Sebastian said. “And upstairs it’s nice and cozy. The water never made it up that far, so there’s no stink of rot and mold.” He threaded his fingers through hers and led her up the stairs, down a hallway, and then up a second flight of stairs to the attic. Midway up, he stopped and shined the light on their surroundings.
“Is…is that carpet? On the walls?” she asked.
He smiled, running his hands through the plush fibers. “See? Nice and cozy.” He took a seat on the top step and fished something out of his pocket. It was a handful of glowsticks, and he snapped them all at once and scattered them around.
Evangeline still stood, marveling at the wall to wall and ceiling to floor carpeting. “They must have locked a crazy relative in here.”
“My guess is they did it for sex,” Sebastian said with a snicker. “Keeps your body warm and reduces bruising. Harder to clean, though.”
Eva jerked her hand back from the carpeted wall, grimacing at the thought of what manner of bodily fluids might be dried into the padding. She scowled at Sebastian. “So that’s why you brought me here?”
“Oh, don’t start that again,” he said, pulling her down gently onto his lap. “I was only joking. Besides, you started it.”
“The sex talk.”
She wiggled off his lap and onto the step, hugging her knees. “How on earth?”
“You just said you don’t have an ImSym because you’re worried about fertility. It was a little unsubtle, Eva. I happen to think you’re a little young yet to get knocked up, but then again, I’m old-fashioned.”
She leaned her head on her hand and laughed, then unfolded her legs across his lap. The stairs were too narrow to really stretch out, but she enjoyed the closeness. “You’re impossible. I don’t know why I’m laughing, either. I should be smacking you in the face and running away.”
“I guess because you don’t have to pretend around me,” he reminded her.
“Maybe it’s because I don’t know where you’ve taken me to, and it’s dark and raining outside.”
His hands glided up her leg, following the curve of her hip as he leaned over her. “Yes, there’s that, too,” he said.
Their lips brushed. Evangeline closed her eyes and hooked an arm around his neck, drawing him in. They kissed long and slow, until she lifted her head, gasping for air. Sebastian pressed on, blazing a trail down her cheek to the soft skin between her earlobe and the hinge of her jaw. There his lips parted and the tip of his tongue traced ever-widening circles in her flesh. It tickled at first; a frail laugh rose into her throat, then died as the palm of his hand pressed against her breast and the heat of his breath set her wet skin tingling. In dying, the laugh became a moan from deep within her chest. Her grip tightened unconsciously, her fingernails sinking into his shoulder muscles. She heard him hiss in pain, felt his teeth close against her neck.
Somewhere inside her head was a tiny, drowning voice calling out for her to stop before it was too late.
‘Go away’, she thought, but even as she did, her other arm had shot up against his chest and strained to push him back. He relented. Gradually. Reluctantly.
Evangeline caught her breath and shook her head clear. She laid her index finger across his lips and pressed her forehead against his. His skin was hot to the touch and covered with sweat. She wondered if she’d burned him, but he offered no complaint.
“Take it easy,” she said breathlessly and flashed a delirious, open-mouthed smile. “I’ll combust.”