"Goddamn mother, whoa!" Michael LeBonte, known throughout the Isles and Paragon City as Grimaulkin, almost got whiplash at watching a shirtless, pants-less man streak by. He watched him duck around the corner into an alley.
Arachnos soldiers came barreling down the street, obviously intent on this streaker. Grim thought streakers went out with tie dye t-shirts and bell-bottom pants, but, hey, this was the Isles. Weirder stuff happens.
They ran past him. Grim waved his hand and muttered a few words in archaic French, and put up an illusion of a storefront in front of the alleyway. The soldiers ran right past the illusion. He counted a few beats, then walked over to the illusion. He touched the side, and the illusion dissipated like a rock hitting still water.
Grim peered in the alley. "You're safe, sexy. Now come out where I can see you."
Nothing moved. Grim muttered a defensive spell and readied a fireball in one hand as he went into the alley. He glanced at the dumpster, the trash in the alley, and noted there was no easy way out. He looked up - the roof of the nearest building was a good twelve feet up. Grim tossed the fireball up and it never came back down. He frowned, figuring that whoever it was jumped up to the roof and disappeared into the twilight.
He left the alleyway and walked toward his home. He smiled to himself. His home that he shared with Bennett, a man he at first considered just like all the other boyfriends he'd had over the years - wouldn't throw him out of bed for eating crackers and a good lay otherwise. But it grew to more. Much, much more. Something Grim hadn't had since his first boyfriend - the boyfriend who burned him all those years ago and hardened his heart to love, romance, and all that kind of prissy stuff that you hear queer men go ga-ga over. Nope, not him.
Bennett said that he wanted no one but Grim, but knew Grim was a flirt. Grim was a flirt because all the men around him were precursory. They came home to him after having someone else. They had "open" relationships. As soon as Bennett said he would be only for Grim, the fortress around his heart opened and the battlements came down - and all the love, romance, and prissy stuff came rushing out.
Grim tingled when he thought of him. Grim thought of him constantly. Although he would keep his mind on his work as needed, Ben was always in the back of his mind. Always.
He turned the corner and started up the walk-up to the apartment's front door. He saw only dim lights on in the windows so he assumed no one was home. He reached forward to use his magic to unlock the door, but the doorknob flew back as the door was thrown open.
Ben stood there, in a blazer and button-up shirt, nice pants and looking for all the world like someone made him get into this monkey suit for some sort of formal picture.
"Okay," Grim said with a small grin, "Who died?"