Edwin had always been more alluring to the ladies. Marc had been jealous of that while they were both teenagers; his little brother was the first to get a real girlfriend, the first to get to each of the four bases, and the first to lose his virginity. He assumed that Edwin had some fundamental quality which couldn't be taught or even explained. Or that he, himself, had some fundamental flaw that everyone but himself could see. He felt that way for as many years as it took him to find Sasha, not that he had been looking.
Sasha was the perfect woman, and then the perfect girlfriend. Now, a year and a half later and they were moving in together soon. The apartment was already theirs for the following month and he had already ordered some trendy furniture items from a giant reseller to put inside it. She had joked that he would never be able to put it together himself, and she was probably right about that. The damn things always came in a tiny box filled with dozens of pieces, and he was useless with tools. To him every instruction booklet seemed to be the same; step one: put it together. But Sasha loved him for that, too. She said it was cute.
Every flaw he had was no problem for her. It seemed like no matter what was wrong with him she would always love him and remain his. It still seemed that way-in some way-as he watched his brother grope her, kiss her, and then follow her into her apartment. Her heart belongs to me, he thought, even though her body does not.
It could be forgiven. If it happened only once it could be forgiven. He'd have to follow her again to make sure, of course, but he remained hopeful even now. He was finding more and more uses for this gift of his.
When he was six and first discovered his ability he had used it for winning hide and seek. Every time. When he was a couple of years older, he used it for small pranks and other pointless things. When he was a teenager he discovered that when in shadow he could also lift a lot more than he could otherwise. He could also run faster.
That was when he started using it to attack people. People who had wronged him in some way. That was also when he started showing up in the newspapers. Years later, he began using it to punish people who had not only wronged himself, but anyone who had wronged anyone else at all. A hero, one newspaper had called him once, though most other publications argued that a broken arm and three broken ribs and a lifetime of being nervous in the dark was not a suitable punishment for shoplifting a pair of shoes.
Some loved him, some hated him. He figured Sasha probably still loved him as he listened from outside the apartment door. She was saying something about loving a certain part of Edwin, in between moans, but he figured she still loved him. Her heart, at least, was still his. He put his hand to his left pocket where the ring would be if he was not shrouded in darkness at this moment; he couldn't even feel the tiny box there. It was like it had ceased to exist, but he knew that, like Sasha, it would be there once he was only Marc again.
He left the apartment and began looking for someone. No one in particular, but hopefully it would be someone who did something very bad; he had a lot of energy to rid himself of.