“Make it quick. My girl’s waiting. And I don’t like to make her wait.”
His voice rang with authority. He demanded results and he demanded them now. In his eyes raged the inferno of madness, of hatred. His dark-brown, slightly curled locks didn’t make him less of a menace than he was. Women loved his hair because they thought it made him cute. How wrong they were.
He was about as cute as a pack of starving lions at an all-you-can-eat buffet.
“Yes, sir... right away, sir.”
The stick-like figure in front of the imposing man was known as ‘Spider’, an informant. He’d called, claiming to have had some crucial information he needed to share.
Spider rubbed his hands together, the lack of fat or muscle in his body making him feel cold, even when it wasn’t. His eyes darted around the forest. Being an informant, he was always anxious of being caught. He was in his element when it wasn’t needed for him to be himself. When he had to act like someone else in order to get a piece of valuable information, he would play his part so well you’d never suspect him to be a shriveling, coniving, little worm who did nothing for anyone else and only for himself. Calling him a worm would be an insult to worms.
“Well, Spider... out with it! You’re wasting time!”
Spider’s twig-like figure shrank back in fear, his hands starting to come up to try to ward off any attacks.
The informant barely managed to restrain himself from screaming in fear.
“Tomorrow is when it will happen. The Sage will have the package. He’ll deliver it to the rendezvous point at 0100.”
The dark-brown haired man put a hand to his chin, stroking his index and thumb along the edges of his jaw as he thought about what he’d just heard. He couldn’t remember who the Sage was.
Among the members of the organization, he was one of the few to disapprove the use of code names. He believed that using code names was a sign of weakness. Weakness and cowardice by not having the strength to stand before whoever defies you and stating, with pride, who you are and that you’ll crush any who stand against you.
Some called him old-fashioned, some called him wise. He simply was the way he was and he refused to be any different.
“You’re sure of it? You’re absolutely positive that he has the package and it’ll be at the old man’s house by 1AM?”
Spider frantically waved his arms up and down, making shushing noises and stressfully looking around to see if anyone had heard them.
“Please, sir, you never know who might be listening. Please speak in code.”
The sentence had barely left Spider’s lips before one of the man’s big hands wrapped itself around the informant’s throat, squeezing hard enough to make his eyes bulge out and reduce his voice to no more than a high-pitched squeaking, similar to that of a rat.
“Don’t you dare speak to me of this wretched ‘code’ of yours. I won’t hide behind all that nonsense. There’s nobody here and even if there were anybody here, their life would be forfeit before those words became conscious thought.”
The big, tanned fingers uncurled from the stick-man’s throat, enabling him to gasp for much needed air.
“I’m sorry, sir. It’ll never happen again, sir.”
Spider cautiously scurried away from the man.
“It better not. Now answer my question so I can leave, worm!”
With his thin, fragile-looking arms, Spider made some awkward, square movements as he nodded.
“Oh, yes, sir. I’m positive of it. If there’s one thing I can do properly, it’s gather information. Accurate information.”
The man nodded, his scowl making Spider shrink even more than he already was. At times, the look in his eyes was enough to bring even the strongest of heart to their knees. His eyes showed what was inside of his soul. His character, his charisma, his spirit.
And his hatred...
She lifted a hand in front of her eyes to shield them from the blinding sunlight that was piercing through the shallow blanket of evergreen leaves on the trees. Dew drops glistened as they slid along the veins of the leaves before tumbling off their pointy ends, hurdling themselves at the cold, damp earth.
It was surprisingly chilly for a summer morning. Even though the sun was shining, she’d had to wear a reasonably thick jacket to keep herself comfortable.
Growing tired of keeping her arm up, she squinted against the light and folded her arms across her chest, hugging herself to try and keep herself warm. The fact that she was in a forest didn’t help much against the cool breeze that ruffled her dress. But she knew she had to be here. She had to be here now, or she’d miss it. She nodded to herself, anxiously looking around to see if there was any sign of him yet.
It was Thursday, so she knew he would be here. They always met in the forest, at this exact spot, on Thursday.
A smile decorated her face, brightening the look in her baby-blue eyes. She looked like a stereotype blond. Blond hair, blue eyes, porcelain white skin. He said he’d fallen in love with her eyes. That her eyes were what had invited him into her life, even before she had done so herself. She smiled again at the memory of his words, letting them drift through her mind as she waited for her lover to appear.
He’d never been late before. He was as punctual as he was handsome. He must’ve been held up somehow, perhaps helping some old lady carry her groceries back to her house. She giggled at the thought. That would be typically like him.
She turned at the sound of someone calling her name. It was him. The sight of his bright, auburn eyes made her heart beat like a rampaging horse’s hooves hitting the ground. She gasped in excitement before running at him, her heart yearning for his embrace. She broke into a grin when his powerful arms wrapped around her waist and lifted her up.
“Hello there, handsome stranger.”
Her mischievous smile and playful tone made him smile that special smile of his. The smile he only showed to her. It showed her more than his happiness. It showed her what he was inside, his character, his charisma and his spirit. She saw the fire of passion and love in his eyes, as clearly as she felt it in her own heart. She leaned in, putting her arms around his neck as she gently pressed her lips against his. A slight moan escaped her as she closed her eyes, enjoying the moment. The moment she had waited for all day. He was finally here.
He put her down after they were done kissing, cupping her face with both hands as he smiled at her. She loved the way his eyes shone. She could feel it again, now more than ever before. She could feel how much he loved her. That one, single feeling was what she lived for.
There had been times when she doubted she had the strength to keep going on with her life, times when she wanted it to end.
One of those times had been the death of her parents. A car accident, is what they told her. But she knew better. She couldn’t explain how she knew, but she knew that it was no accident. Someone... or something, had killed her parents and that loss had devastated her. It had crippled her for so long that she thought she’d gone numb to human emotion. Even when she was put in a foster home. She was numb until he had pulled her out of that never-ending pit of self-pitying sorrow and melancholy. For days he had held her in his arms as she wept, reassuring her that he would be there for her and would never abandon her.
She loved him for it. She loved him from giving her the opportunity to show emotion.
He lifted up a finger and put the tip of it against her nose, bringing his face close to hers again. Instead of kissing her, he whispered in her ear.
“I missed you.”
His soft, passionate voice made her knees tremble with longing.
“I missed you too”, was all she could bring past her lips. There was so much more to say, so much more she felt but couldn’t find the words to express. He deserved more than mere words, but she had little more to offer... except her love. He seemed to find that sufficient.
With a big grin on his face he placed her hand in his, gently closing his around hers as they started to walk along the path.
Even though they’d been going out for well over a year now, she’d known him for much longer than that. Her foster parents didn’t suspect a thing. If they did, they didn’t show it. She doubted her father knew about it. He was a strict man, from catholic upbringing, and he believed that boys should meet the parents first before asking a girl out.
She didn’t see how that was at all possible. Meeting someone’s parents was like saying ‘I want to be with you forever’. Even though she didn’t want him to meet her parents just yet, she knew that he wanted to say those words. She could see it in him, in the way he looked at her.
She turned her head, staring at the wondrous creature that had saved her from everything. He looked like a king. The way he carried himself made it seem as if he was cloaked in raw power. It made him charismatic beyond comparison.
She knew for a fact that many other girls envied her for having him. She didn’t understand how someone so perfect as he could love a flawed girl like herself.
As if he had read her mind, he stopped and turned to her, looking into her blue eyes with those sparkling brown dots of his.
“You know that I love you, right? More than anything. And that nothing could ever replace you?”
It wasn’t so much a question, she knew, than a statement of an obvious fact. He knew what her answer would be and she knew beyond all doubt that what they felt for each other would withstand anything.
He winked at her, extending his open palm towards her, offering the simple comfort of holding hands. The easiest and most basic way to display affection towards anyone.
She gently took hold of his hand and nuzzled her head against his shoulder. This was as it should be. This was as it should always be. He put his arm around her shoulders, kissing the top of her head as they started to walk farther down the forest path.
She glanced up at him again.
“Where were you? You were late!”
She playfully pinched his bottom as she grinned up at him, waiting for an answer.
He returned the favor, tickling her until tears flowed down her cheeks and she was struggling to stand straight.
“I got caught up talking to some homeless guy. For someone with so little, he sure had a lot to say.”
She grinned. She’d known that he would never be late without an excuse. It was so like him to stop along the way to make conversation with a homeless person.
“Aww, how sweet. It’s very comforting to know that you’d choose a random homeless guy over your own girlfriend.”
She playfully winked at him and grinned again when she saw his smile.
“You’re much more beautiful than some homeless guy.”
They both burst into laughter at his completely random comment, leaning on to each other as they enjoyed their moments together.
She looked at him. This was what she wanted. To live her life with him. She wanted to always be with him, she wanted to keep smiling everyday and laugh at everything he said to her. She wanted to kiss him whenever she felt like it and wrap her arms around him, just for the fun of it.
She longed to be with him forever and nothing would ever change that feeling.
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