Chapter EightMature

            Half of Alex’s job was completed for him (thanks to Cora), so he gathered a few more articles of clothing from Cora’s closet and various dressers. As he was making his rounds, he noticed a couple framed photographs of the girl and her two parents in several different locations around the world. The only place he was really familiar with was the one frame that had Disneyland written in colorful, fancy letters across the top. The order of people in the picture went from Tina to Mickey Mouse, then Cora, Minnie Mouse, and Victor. Alex smiled at the very youthful Coralie, who had an obvious fake smile stretched across her face that didn’t touch her eyes. It was disappointing to see that even in a situation that would make any child go bonkers with excitement; Cora still looked and felt out of place anywhere. It was as if there was a grumpy old man sharing her body with her teenage soul.

            Alex zipped up the duffle bag and threw it over his shoulder. He debated going through her father’s things but quickly decided against it, as he felt it would honor Cora’s family loss if everything was left the way it was. Even if it was the brutal warning left in that bedroom, they should touch as little as possible. It was pretty clear that the severed head was meant as a warning to Cora, but why, Alex had no idea. It was a mystery to Alex why Luther would even think of obliterating the lives of Victor and Tina Reed, when all they did was coexist on the property that the parahumans had inhabited for quite some time. It got the bat boy thinking; was Luther just jealous that Alex had found a human girl to love while he was stuck with the rest of the parahuman females? It was plausible.

            Cora stirred on the bed, and in seconds, Alex was by her side.

            “Are you okay?” He whispered, trying to be quiet and give the girl her space.

            She smiled, barely. “I’m okay.” She glanced briefly at the duffle bag in his hands with glassy eyes. “What’s that?”

            Alex knew exactly what he wanted to say, but for some reason the words were stuck in his throat like dry shells. He just stared at her blankly.

            “Are we going somewhere?” There, Cora supplied the conversation for him sometimes.

            “I think we aren’t wanted here, Cora,” Alex bit his lip with uncertainty.

            “Yeah, I got the message. Loud and clear,” the girl replied with a twinge of hostility.

            “So, I feel you’d be safer if we left. Here.”

            She narrowed her eyes at him. “And from that duffle bag of mine, you’re packing my things into it.”


            “So essentially what you’re not saying is that we should run away?”

            “Yes, essentially… I packed some clothes for you already and whatever else you already had in the bag –,” Cora cut him off with the brush of her lips against his mouth. It completely took both of them by surprise; Alex, because he didn’t think she’d make the first move, and Cora, because she didn’t think she had it in her to make the first move. It was exciting, eradicating a flurry of butterflies to erupt in both their stomachs, but unfortunately, to Alex, the kiss was much too short. The disappointment was short-lived when Cora spoke to him with an unhindered excitement about their rather scary and depressing situation.

            “This is what I’ve always dreamed of!” Cora nearly squealed with delirium as she wrapped her arms around Alex’s neck. “Whew, maybe we should find some cologne or something for you until we find a shower.”

The End

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