I swerved into the driveway of to the Grayson Manor with every bit of gas I had left. It was like time had slowed down at the gate, which chose the perfect moment to press the slow-motion button.
Andrew, who was leaning on the passenger door, still hadn’t woken up. The bleeding hadn’t stopped and it didn’t look like it was going to. Seeing him so weak and defeated horrified me. I had to save him. I had to get him to his mom.
I reached the house in due time, but I wasn’t eased by that fact. The last time I saw the Grayson’s “parking lot”, it was jam-packed with cars. Now there were none.
Nevertheless, I didn’t give up hope. I unbuckled my seatbelt, grabbed Andrew’s keys, and shot out of the car. Working whatever muscle I possessed, I propped Andrew against my body and hauled him to the front door, which I hammered with force. When no one answered, I continued to bang and scream for help. Each time I received the same unresponsive answer. Feeling scared out of my mind, I fumbled with Andrew’s many keys until I found the right fit. With my shoulder, I shoved the door open and lugged Andrew inside the dark house.
“HELP!” I screamed. “MRS. GRAYSON?! RAIN?! SOMEONE HELP!”
The dark house gave no reply.
Now completely in panic, I felt my way around until my hand brushed the living room couch. I couldn’t see anything, but I attempted to lay Andrew down and find a light switch. After lighting up the room, I continued to scream for help.
I searched everywhere: the basement room where I met Mrs. Grayson, the rooms on the second level, the rooms on the third level, and even back outside. But no matter how hard I screamed or searched, no one would reply. The Grayson Manor was empty.
I ran back to Andrew, who still lay unconsciously upon the leather couch. His button down was completely drenched in blood and getting worse by the minute. If I didn’t do something soon, he wouldn’t last.
I acted fast and pulled off my sweater, now leaving my tank top to cover my upper-body. I pulled apart Andrew’s shirt and pressed my own against his chest and his shoulder. The most I could do was stop the bleeding.
While applying pressure to his wounds, I used my free hand to search my pockets for my phone. I found it and screamed. Of course, it was dead.
Ticked off, I chucked my good-for-nothing phone across the room and thought hard. I wasn’t educated in proper first-aid training, but I had seen a lot of movies. That had to amount to something, right?
Moving swiftly, I ran to their kitchen and shoved into my hands a pile of rags, a bowl full of soapy water, and a “thank-God-hallelujah” first aid kit I found underneath the sink. Then, I ran back to Andrew, dropped to my knees, and went to work. After tossing my bloodstained sweater away, I pressed a clean rag against Andrew’s chest. When the bleeding finally stopped, I gathered another clean rag and dipped it into the bowl of soapy water. I trailed the rag over his chest, down each of the slash marks, and across the cut on his shoulder.
I heaved a sigh and put the stained rag back into the water. His chest was almost clear now, with only just the occasional gash marks. So no big deal.
I studied Andrews face for a long time, wondering when he was going to wake up and heal himself. So far I thought I did a pretty good job, but I was still scared that it wasn’t enough. If something happened to Andrew, I’d be lost.
I snapped to my senses and focused on what was next. I placed the first aid kit in my lap and opened it up, hoping for something useful. Two items, of the many in the box, grasped my attention instantly: a roll of gauze and a bottle of alcohol. I took the alcohol first.
It was a good thing Andrew wasn’t awake.
With the bottle in my hand, I pushed the kit out of my lap and scooted closer to him. Before I began to pour, I waved a hand over his face to double-check his state of mind.
To both my pleasure and displeasure, Wonder Boy’s hand snapped up and caught mine. Slowly, his violet eyes came back alive and settled on me. I was so happy to see them that I could’ve cried.
“Hey!” I smiled. “Are you okay now?”
Andrew blinked at me. “What are you doing?” His voice was still a bit weak.
“Healing you, since you can’t do it yourself.” I moved my hand from his grasp and grabbed a clean rag. “Though I wish you would’ve woken up later.”
“What?” His tone was groggy.
Without warning him, I shoved the rag into his mouth and gathered both his wrists into my hand. Next, I swung myself on top of him, held his wrists back with my left hand, and uncapped the bottle of alcohol with my right. The confused and angry look Wonder Boy gave me could’ve had me laughing throughout the night.
“Don’t fight me,” I ordered. Thenceforth, the pouring and the training began.
Andrew cursed with his eyes and bit down so hard on the rag that his face turned pink. Because he was still weak, it was easier to hold him down, but that didn’t stop him from an attempted escape.
When I finally finished pouring, I swung off him and released his arms. He spat the rag out of his mouth and groaned in pain, his chest sizzling with white bubbles. “You’re insane!”
“Alcohol kills bacteria.”
“It also kills cells and slows down the healing process.” He glared at me. “Honestly. Do you know anything?”
“Well, I tried!” I threw the bottle back into the kit, frustrated. “I was just trying to help you!”
Andrew leaned back against the couch. “What happened?”
“You fainted.” I brought my knees to my chest. “I saved your life.”
Andrew stayed quiet for a moment, his mind desperate to remember. His eyes scanned his body and then mine, using them as evidence for the situation. Once he remembered, his face took an aware expression. He sliced his eyes to mine. “You drove me here?”
A smile spread across my face. “I did, Wonder Boy. I was planning on having your mother help you, but nobody was here. I had to do the dirty work myself.”
Andrew gazed around the room like he was noticing it for the first time. Exhaling, he gathered all his strength and pushed himself into sitting position, his back leaning against the arm of the couch. He looked at me for a long time. “Are you alright?
I rolled my eyes. “I’m fine. You’re the one who passed out. Why didn’t you heal?”
Andrew looked down at his chest. “I used too much of my power. It’s going to take a while before I gather it back.”
I nodded. “I thought so.”
“Thena.” Andrew’s voice sunk deep into my skin.
I lifted my eyes. “What?”
For a long moment, Andrew just watched at me. Then he spoke, “I told you to leave and you didn’t. Do not ever refuse my orders like that again.” His eyes were cold. “Understand?”
I scoffed. “No, I don’t understand.”
Andrew glowered at me. “You –”
“Look here, Wonder Boy,” I began, snatching the gauze from the kit. “Don’t give me that ‘I-told-you-to-leave-me’ crap. First of all, if I had left you, you’d probably be dead. Second of all, I don’t take your stupid orders. Third,” I went on. “You said it yourself. It’s you and me who are in this mess, and it’s you and me who are going to get out of it. So, you understand this, Wonder Boy. I am never going to leave you. At least, never in a situation like that.”
Andrew inspected me like I was a new species. His eyes twinkled under the light and stayed steady and unblinking. They were still bright and violet and beautiful. However, these favored eyes that exposed Wonder Boy’s every emotion were no longer easy to read. Some new expression crossed over his face, and it was not recognizable.
I ignored it and popped up on my knees. “Alright, sit up and take off your shirt.”
Without making a commotion, Andrew kept his firm eyes on me when he shrugged off his button-down and leaned off the couch. I bent forward and commenced wrapping the gauze around his stomach and shoulder.
“You know,” I snickered. “Of all the things, I never imagined that a few of overgrown nails would be your kryptonite, Wonder Boy.”
I laughed, expecting him to join in. But Andrew remained silent, his eyes contemplating mine and his mind comprehending something I couldn’t.
“They’re not,” he said. His voice was deep, hard, and soothing at the same time. He shifted his body forward, allowing me to easily wrap the gauze around him. The distance between us was next to none.
Heartbeat quickening, I flashed my look up to his. “Then what is?”
Andrew looked determined and confident. “You.”
“I’m your weakness?” My eyes flickered to his lips before they lifted to his eyes. “I don’t –”
“I like you, Thena.” Andrew dipped his head down and brushed his lips against my ear. “Whether that be a confirmation, a declaration or a contradiction is entirely up to you. All I know is that I genuinely like you. So, I apologize for taking so long to tell you, but I have a habit of denying myself the truth. And the truth is this,” he went on. “Superheroes don’t hate trouble, they need it. They don’t exist without it.”
His words wholly swallowed me into a dimension that didn’t provide freedom. Heat crept from my toes to my face and left a permanent mark of blush. Andrew didn’t have to laugh for me to hear the music radiating off him. I felt every note, every crescendo, and every forte. Like a siren, he captivated me, lugged me out of reality, and drowned me to the sea of harmony. I would’ve spent forever holding my breath.
But in that moment, I just stared at him.
Andrew frowned. “What?”
“Now you’re supposed to kiss me.” I sighed. “After a proclamation like that, the guy kisses the girl. Then again, if you weren’t planning on kissing me, that’s fine too. It’s not like I just spent the last few minutes saving your –”
All at once, his hands came to life and buried themselves in my hair. They dragged me towards a sort of happiness I ached to obtain.
Andrew finally kissed me. Though not one of those horny TV kisses, which usually involve a tongue and a bedroom, but a deep kiss that held more than lust. He kissed me as if the yearning I felt wasn’t one-sided. He kissed me as if he’d never have the chance again. He kissed me as if his lips were sin and mine were redemption.
His mouth folded into mine fatedly. He kissed deeply, moving my lips with his and preventing any take of breath. His fingers lingered in my hair and guided me closer to him. He never pulled away, and I didn’t want him to. Bursting with bliss, dancing with radiance, running with delectation, I discovered myself in the world where the lucky reside. When I felt his smile on my lips, I couldn’t ignore the whirling in the pit of my stomach. The moment was picture-perfect.
I reluctantly pulled away and rested my forehead on his. A smile expanded upon my face. Soon, the smile turned into a laugh that was combined with the chorus of Andrew’s laughs. I loved his laugh. I loved the sound it made.
Andrew pulled away from me, his fingers slipping out of my hair and his eyes slipped away from my gaze. I sat up comfortably and watched him, noticing that his attention had switched to his stomach. He sent out a look of confusion and then began to unwrap the gauze from his torso. Once he removed it all, I realized what had been so distracting. The gashes over his stomach had healed.
Andrew moved up straight, flexed his arms, and twisted his torso to confirm the recovery. But it was obvious that he had regained his strength.
I laughed again. “You should have kissed me beforeI put the gauze on.”
“Well, you must excuse me. I was unaware of your magic healing powers.”
“All you needed was a good distraction.”
Andrew’s lips curled into an easy smile. He bent towards to me and whispered against my lips, “Don’t get cocky, now.”
His lips returned to mine for a kiss that directed chaotic butterflies into my system. I lifted my arms and wrapped them around his neck, breathing in the familiar scent of delight. His hands found my waist, lifted me onto his lap, and wrapped around.
I could’ve stayed in that siren’s arms forever.