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Speech500

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About Speech500

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  1. This one took me a little while to get through, but it's longer than average. Chapter 23 Three little words: ‘41 Haversham Road’. I put down the phone, take a deep breath, and check myself over in the mirror. What I see is a marked improvement over the way I looked in that Starbucks bathroom, but that’s not saying much. The blood is gone, and my hair has been washed, my teeth brushed, my face rinsed. But there’s no hiding the pallid complexion or the bags beneath my eyes. It seems like only moments have passed before I hear a knock on the door. Through the translucent glass, a large shadow is visible. I’m sure he’s watching me right now. Part of me wants to let him stew, maybe text him that I changed my mind. But I can’t do that. He’s here and if I know Dean Lawson, he’s not leaving without me. I open the door and look up into that beautiful face. He really is flawless, so unlike me. His shirt stretches over obscenely thick muscles which seem ready to tear through the fabric with ease. I can tell he pushed a hasty comb through his soft hair, which is the most he ever needs to do. My stomach flutters at the sight of him. No matter what he does to upset me, I will never be able to look at him without awakening the butterflies in my belly. Each breath pushes his slab-like pecs up against the fabric of his shirt, threatening to tear the seams. It's not even particularly tight, and yet I can trace the powerful mounds of muscle under the fabric. His neck, traps, delts, and triceps cause it to rise and sink as it struggles to wrap around shoulders broader than any human should be. And yet it falls loose around his core. His wandering eyes linger on my foot before returning to my face. Dean has never been a hard man to read and his thoughts are usually clear on his face. But for once, I’m stumped. He looks at me with an expression I don’t understand. A strange combination of anxiety, concern, despair, fear, desperation, anger, pride, hope, and joy – I never knew someone could appear to feel so many things at once. “Hi.” I say, barely louder than a whisper. Without a word, Dean steps closer and wraps his arms around me, firm but gentle, plucking me from the ground so that my head rests in the crook of his neck and his nose is in my hair, where I can feel the warmth of his body seeping through me, hear his racing heart. Where I feel safe. I run my hands over his body, registering the raised veins that criss-cross every inch of him with the tips of my fingers. I feel the striations ripple under my touch. “I’m sorry, Jake.” He mutters. “I never should have lost control, I never should have freaked out and flown away, I never should have left you to deal with the mess I made all by yourself in the middle of the night, while you were hurt, and I know you probably hate me and just want me to leave you alone, but…” He takes a breath. There’s a slight quaver to his voice. “I’m really glad you’re okay.” “I don’t hate you, Dean.” I reply as a tear rolls down my cheek. His hold tightens in response. He doesn’t say anything else. There will be plenty to talk about later, but right now, I just want my muscle-bound boyfriend to cradle me protectively against his chest. And that’s what he wants too. Dean stands in the hallway of Kat’s house, swaying lightly from foot to foot, his large fingers exploring my hair as I breathe in the scent of his skin. It might last five minutes or five hours, but it’s not long enough. For the first time since all this began, I feel warm. Really warm, right to my core. And when Dean eventually moves to put me down, it’s with a long, sad sigh. Afterward he seems determined to keep in physical contact, either by holding my hand, or touching my shoulder, kissing my neck – whenever he has a chance to touch me, he does. And I revel in every second of it. “I understand why you lost control, and I know you were angry. So was I. And if our positions had been switched, I’d probably go berserk too. But what happened to those men… It can’t happen again.” Dean’s eyes grow sad. He stares at his feet as he nods. “It won’t. I swear.” “I’m sure you mean that. But do you really think you can make guarantees?” I think back to the man I saw tearing through my kidnappers like butter. “It was like you became someone else.” “What do you mean?” “I know you, Dean. That wasn’t you. There’s something dark hidden in here.” I poke his granite pecs. “It comes out when you’re scared of losing me. I don’t know if it’s just a fight or flight thing, or if it’s a multiple personality disorder, or maybe we’re dealing with some real Jekyll and Hyde shit, but when you came back to yourself, I don’t think you had any idea what had happened.” Dean remains silent for a long time, seemingly deep in thought. He opens his mouth to speak more than once, before shutting it again. Then finally, he whispers. “I’ll try to stop it. It’s not a guarantee, but I’ll try. I never want you to look at me the way you did in that factory. Never again.” “I’ll be with you every step of the way, okay? We’ll figure it out together.” And God help the world if we don’t. I lean forward, fully intending to meet Dean’s lips in a kiss that has my fingers curling and my stomach doing flips. But as usual, Kat interrupts. “Is that him? Oh shit, he’s a big one.” As she speaks, my frown grows deeper, and Dean can’t help cracking up. I'd slap him if he wasn't so hard. “I mean, he looked big in the video, but… wow. Good taste, Jake! Very good taste.” The laughter suddenly stops. Dean narrows his eyes at me. “Video?” I try to hand-wave the subject away. “We can talk about it after lasagne. Don’t worry, it’s nothing big.” “Jake, I know you’re lying. I can spot every micro-expression you make.” My chin is raised between his thumb and forefinger until I’m forced to meet his steely gaze. “So we can talk about it now.” I try to back away, but find myself trapped by muscular arms. The pressure on my back is light but firm and totally unyielding. Dean wants to keep me here until I spill the beans, which means I’m not going anywhere. “You’re on the news.” I say with a grimace. “Some people saw a car crash into you and put the whole thing online. It spread all over, and then the police started talking.” He smacks his forehead hard enough to shatter stone. “The school kids…” “Look, it’s not that bad. Sure, a few politicians are calling for a manhunt to bring you in, but-“ “A manhunt?” He visibly pales at the word. “We knew this would happen, Dean. We have options. You have options. I’ve already gone over the whole thing. But I don’t want to spend tonight thinking about the rest of the world. I just got you back.” Dean eventually relents. “Fine. But we’re sorting this whole thing out first thing tomorrow.” I open my mouth to speak, but am once again cut off by Kat. She sweeps into the hallway to tell us the lasagne is done, and we should eat it now while it’s hot. Yes, there is enough for everyone. I start stuffing my face just to give myself a reason not to speak. Across the table, Dean eyes me with a curious smile pulling at his lips. “What is it?” “Nothing.” “You’re not the only one who can spot a liar, Lawson.” I accidentally spit out a piece of mince on the word ‘spot’, causing Kat to burst into laughter. “There’s…” Dean shifts awkwardly, now nervous all of a sudden. “There’s something I need to get.” “Right now?” What could be so important that he needs leave in the middle of dinner? Dean is usually so open with me, the fact that he left out what he’s getting is suspicious in itself. “Yeah. Right now. I’ll be back as quick as I can.” There’s a blast of wind, and he’s gone. “I thought it would be a blur, like on Smallville.” Kat says, shaking her head in astonishment. “But it’s not even that. It’s too fast to be a blur. He’s there, then he’s not.” “I keep telling him it’s rude to spontaneously disappear in the middle of a conversation.” “Do you ever get used to that?” Kat asks. “No. It’s crazy, isn’t it? He’s shown me what he can do – or at least, a fraction of it. I don’t think I could really imagine the full extent of his power. But after what I saw, it boggles my mind that anyone would choose to mess with him. I guess they just didn’t know. His power is terrifying. The things he’s done with it, even more so. But at the same time, he’s so damn irresistible. I never thought it was possible to love someone in such a profound way. It sounds contradictory, I know. But it’s true.” Kat nods along as if she’s heard it all before. “You know, the ancient Greeks had a word for something which is in equal parts terrifying and irresistible.” They called it τέρας – or teras.” “I wish we had a word like that.” “We do. The English translation of teras…” She fixes me with a shrewd stare, “is ‘monster’.” “Dean isn’t a-“ “There’s no shame in it, Jake. We all have monsters of one kind or another. It just so happens that your monster comes with abs. But Dean is a monster all the same.” She lowers her voice, as if that could stop Dean from overhearing her. Most likely, he isn’t listening, but if he was, he’d hear the blood pulsing in her capillaries, her breath, the slide of her eyes as they move inside their sockets. He hears everything he wants to hear. “The question is how you deal with a monster. You can embrace it, the good and the bad, but monsters are uncontrollable. They’re volatile. That’s a dangerous choice. You can defeat it – not really an option in your case. Or you can control it.” “I can’t control him. Only he can do that.” “He can only do it when you make him. For whatever reason – maybe having you near is calming or something. But you told me that when he comes back from the brink, it’s never by his own volition. It’s by yours.” “You’re giving me too much credit.” “Or maybe I’m totally right.” “Let’s say you were. What if it isn’t enough?” We hear the front door open and close. At first I think it’s Dean, but then I hear a voice I don’t recognise. It’s deeper, rougher, harsher. “Baby, I’m back!” Kat springs into action, racing through the house. “Brad!” She screams, leaping into his arms, kissing him so hard I’m surprised he doesn’t lose any teeth. “You said you wouldn’t be back until tomorrow!” “Disappointed?” “Of course not!” She leans in to whisper-shout in his ear. “Just means I don’t have time to clean out Ann Summers.” This makes him grin devilishly, squeezing her ass in his large hands. “We’ll make time for that, don’t worry.” I’d heard about Brad through friends of friends. At 6’6” and 250lbs, Bradley Hastings is an ex-Royal Marine, and a force to be reckoned with. I don’t know what he does now, but he clearly hasn’t let himself go. If anything, leaving the forces must have given him a chance to take up some serious steroids, which give him the veined, hulking look that I love so much about Dean. But Bradley has a very different face that speaks of a different life. Where Dean’s skin is smooth, Brad’s is weathered. Dean’s eyes shine with innocence and excitement and Brad’s are dark and analytical. Brad has scars, many scars, and a nose which has clearly been broken in a few places. Dean doesn’t have so much as a freckle. So it’s with a certain shyness that I poke my head around the corner and wave hello. His eyes immediately flicker to me. “Who’s your little friend?” “Oh, that’s Jake. Gay friend from uni. He’s been going through a rough patch, so I let him stay over until he gets sorted. Is that okay?” She sets to work on wooing Brad over while he effortlessly holds her weight cradled in his arms. “Come on, baby. He’ll probably be gone tomorrow.” I stand awkwardly as Brad eyes me up and down. I feel like I’m being interrogated even though he hasn’t said a word to me. But I can guess what he’s thinking. These limp arms, the weak frame, plain face, short stature. I’m no threat. “And you’re sure he’s gay? One hundred percent?” “Of course.” “So he hasn’t tried to do anything with you?” I feel those dark eyes boring into me. “Nothing at all?” “Nothing.” After a few tense seconds, Brad sighs and kisses Kat on the cheek. “Fine. Just tonight.” Then his eyes seem to catch on the shoes by the door. A pair of knock off Jimmy Choos, my one remaining black work shoe, and two colossal brown boots, so big that all three of the others could fit inside them. The boots make Brad’s own shoes look childish by comparison. He glares at them, then me, then Kat. She tries to calm him, to explain that Dean isn’t some lover, but it’s too late. He’s already put her down, drawn the handgun tucked into his jeans, and has stormed halfway through the house before Kat has a chance to call after him. “Where is the bastard? I’ll fucking kill him.” Brad roars. “Baby, it’s not-“ “Be quiet, Kat. I’ll deal with you later.” He looks at her with such heartbroken betrayal. Against my better judgement, I speak up. “It’s not what you think.” “If you don’t want me to blow your fucking head off, you’ll shut the fuck up.” Brad snarls at me. Just then, the door opens and Dean steps inside. “What’s going on? I heard shouting?” He steps into the kitchen to find the three of us stood silent, as Brad points his gun at my face. The moment Dean appears, the gun pivots to him. Judging by Brad’s expression, even he’s shocked at quite how imposing Dean’s sheer size can be. I doubt he’s used to feeling small. Dean’s eyes begin to glow, his muscles start to flex, fists clenched, jaw tight. I place a hand on his arm and shake my head. In response, he starts taking deep breaths in an attempt to settle down. Gradually, mercifully, the signs of fiight-or-flight begin to settle. The beast is in his cage. “Look, I don’t know what your problem is, but you need to put that down.” Dean says, subtly stepping in front of me to act as a shield. This only enrages Brad more. “You come into my fucking house, fuck my girl, and tell me to put down my motherfucking gun? Fuck you!” Now his voice is shaking with fury. I try to shift around Dean to get a look at the action, but a thick arm pushes me back into his shadow. The thick muscles of Dean's back push through his shirt. Bang. My breath freezes in my throat. I see the bullet land on the kitchen floor between Dean’s feet, crumped up like it had been squeezed in a hydraulic press. Bang, bang, bang, bang. Four more shots, four more bullets. Two of them fall the ground, but two ricochet off Dean’s impenetrable skin. One buries itself in the wall on my right, while the other smashes through a window. “Baby, please!” Kat blubbers through her tears. This needs to stop now. Brad could seriously hurt someone. I give Dean’s back a light push, whispering “Go.” He takes the hint. In a blur of motion, he’s no longer stood in front of me. He’s behind Brad. In one hand, he holds Brad’s gun, while the other arm is curled around his neck. Dean flexes his bicep, cutting off Brad’s air. Any attempts to shift the rock-hard muscles in his forearms are futile. Dean contains him easily. You’d think he was holding a 10 year old boy, not an ex-special forces bodybuilder. His forearms writhe and flex like columns of snakes. “Listen closely little guy, because I’m only saying this once.” I can hear the growing anger underlying Dean’s voice, but he still keeps his cool. “I didn’t fuck your girl. I’m Jake’s boyfriend, and I came here to bring him home. Stop acting like such a bitch, and we’ll be fine. But if you do anything else to risk Jake’s safety, I will take you out. Got it?” When Brad refuses to answer, Dean flexes tighter. “Are we clear?” “Clear.” Brad rasps. Dean looks to me, and when I nod, he releases Brad. The man falls to the floor as he desperately tries to pull air into his lungs. As I watch him struggle, it occurs to me that even though Dean subdued him, it was at my direction. He calmed at my touch, grabbed Brad when I told him to act, and let go only when I let him know that he should. I might have been able to reach Dean during a moment of anger before, but I’ve never been in control. Is this what he meant when he said he would try to change? We both know I’m the rational one, sure, and leaning on me to make decisions will prevent things from getting out of hand. But Dean never goes nuclear when I’m around. He goes nuclear when I’m taken out of the picture – either kidnapped, or hurt. That’s when he needs to be in control. When he won’t have anyone else to rely on but himself. I suppose what matters is that he’s trying. We can work out the method later. Without warning, Brad’s fist flies toward Dean’s face. Dean turns in a split second, gently catching the hand mid-air and pushing back, sending Brad sprawling on the floor. “I could’ve let you break your hand, you know. You’re welcome.” Dean scoops me up in one arm, running the fingers of his free hand down my face. “You okay?” “You handled that really well, Dean. I’m proud of you.” I pull him into a deep, slow kiss. Watching that encounter gave me hope. Just a little. Even though I could have been injured, Dean managed to hold back his anger long enough to eliminate the danger without anyone getting hurt. There’s still a long way to go, but it’s a start. “Ready to go home?” He says, securing his hold on me. Without thinking, I cuddle into his chest. “I kinda’ destroyed your flat, so we’ll have to make do with my place.” “You what?” Oh god. I make a silent prayer that my cookbooks survived. “So we’re going to the crazy house in Canada?” “Yeah. Sorry.” “Is… that the one with the double bed?” I smirk as we emerge into the dark, wet streets and rise through the sky. “King sized, baby.” Now Dean is smiling too. “Then I’m sure we’ll manage.”
  2. Speech500

    Elongro - Added Part 4 on 17-Jan-2019

    Maybe it's just catering to a humiliation fetish that I don't have, but if this is going to be the direction the rest of the story takes, I'm not sure it's for me. It was hot when we were seeing an arrogant Trevor get taken down a peg by Seth's growth, but now it's just a constant series of scenarios where we see Trevor mocked for his size and weakness, getting more and more bitter each time. And since Trevor is our protagonist, not Seth, it's just... really sad. Seth's arrogance is gradually turning him into the villain of this story. It was easy to support him at the beginning but now he's just a bit of an asshole. I've been saying this for a while, but I would love for Trevor to take the last two Elongro himself and grow colossal, far bigger than Seth - but since he's now experienced what it's like to be small, he isn't cocky any more.
  3. If you're just in this for the sexy stuff, you might not like this chapter. It's from Jake's point of view and doesn't include Dean, so there are no turn-ons. There will be plenty more of those later, but this chapter is important for the story so I couldn't skip it. Chapter 22 JAKE Dean is gone. I stare at the hole in the ceiling in desperation, but desperate for what, I can’t say. I want Dean to come back for me, to take me far away from this place... But do I really? After what I just saw? Maybe what I want is to go back in time. For the blood-soaked monster to disappear never to have existed, and for my sweet goofball to come back, flashing that one-sided grin, like nothing had ever happened. Like this was all a nightmare. It takes me a few tries to stand. First my knees collapse under me, and I fall to the cold floor. The weakness, fatigue, and hunger have all taken a toll. But soon I’m walking on shaky feet, wobbly legs. All I want to do is leave. But I can’t. Not yet. I search the factory floor, checking over the laptop for anything useful. No good – it’s a burner. I check the corpses, one by one, for anything important. I barely make it past two before hunching over and throwing up. Their bodies have been twisted and crushed and warped like fleshy rag dolls. It’s like I’m not looking at humans any more, just meat. Warm, soggy meat, already on the turn. One of the men has a satchel wrapped around what used to be his shoulder. I try to shift him so that I can retrieve the bag, but his body just falls apart in my hands. I back away, gasping. The only reason I don’t vomit again is that there’s nothing left in my stomach to bring up. God, the smell is repulsive. Even if I was coherent, it’s too dark for me to check the contents of the bag. I’ll just have to hope it contains something useful. There might be more here, but I can’t bring myself to stay a moment longer. These kidnappers clearly had no idea what they were up against, which tells me they were working for someone else, and that someone will soon come checking. I need to be long gone before they do. With the bag hoisted over my shoulder, I head for the fire exit and out into the twilight. It’s going to be a windy night. I overheard my kidnappers mention we were heading for Bristol. I overheard a lot of things – that’s what told me I would never be released. I’ve never been to Bristol before, but an old friend from university settled down here. Once I get to a coffee shop, I ask to borrow someone’s phone and tell them it’s an emergency. The blood splatters on my arms and clothes are all I need to persuade them. My head hurts and it’s hard to remember her number. I get it wrong three times before she picks up. “Hello?” “Kat? It’s Jake.” Her voice takes on a pleasant tone. “Hi Jake! It’s been so long! How are you doing? I heard about the Shard thing and recognised you on the news. I’m glad you’re okay.” “Yeah, it’s been crazy.” I take a breath. “Look, Kat. I’m in Bristol with nowhere to stay and-“ “Forgot to book an AirBnB?” She laughs. I can’t help sighing at that. If only that was the worst of my problems. “It’s a long story. A really long, really fucked up story. Right now, I don’t even have any money, or my credit card, or my car, or my phone. I’m in a Starbucks right now, borrowing someone else’s. Would it be possible to-“ “Stay at mine? Sure thing, Jake. Where are you?” Kat has always had good intuition, and she shows it by finishing my sentences before I can. “I don’t actually know…” I turn to the man who lent me his phone and ask, then repeat the address to Kat. “I know the place. That’s too far to walk; you’re right on the edge of town. Stay there, Jake. I’ll be there in ten, okay?” Without waiting for an answer, she hangs up. I return the phone, expressing my thanks, before taking a trip to the men’s toilets. When I stare into the mirror, a stranger stares back. A twisted mockery of me. His hair is a mess. His baggy eyes are red at the edges, and flicker about like a wary animal. The skin of his face is clammy and pale. The clothes, splattered with red, hang loosely from his body. I turn on the tap, relaxing at the hiss of hot water pooling in the sink. I try to control my hair as well as I can, and manage to bring it into some semblance of order. I wash my face with soap, and scrub the blood from my arms with a little water and the palm of my hand. I have to jump to sit on the counter so that I can wash my shoe-less foot, taking care with the aching stump of my little toe. It isn’t bleeding any more, but the wound hasn’t sealed yet, and it got dirty on the walk over here. Once that’s done, I start feeling a little better. I return to the shop to find Kat stood near the door, checking her phone. She looks older. More mature, but no less beautiful. Her smile drops when she sees me, replaced by shock. If she thinks this is bad, she should have seen me before. She guides me to the car with an arm around my shoulder so that I don’t need to touch the ground with my injured foot. All the while, I am bombarded with questions. What happened to me? How did I get here? Was I mugged? Robbed? Where did all of my stuff go? Am I homeless? I promise to tell her everything, and I mean it, but not now. I can’t even keep my eyes open right now. Lulled by the vibrations of the engine, the orange glow of street lights, and the heating, I’m asleep in moments. Once we arrive at Kat’s place, I allow myself to be pulled inside before collapsing on her sofa, the satchel still fixed around my neck. - "Sleeping beauty's awake." Kat smiles as she dusts mud from her knees. "You've been out a long time. But you look a lot better now. Still like you've been through hell... but better." "Thanks" I say. My voice is hoarse and standing too long is making me feel dizzy. "I feel like shit." "Your toe isn't infected, so you could be feeling a lot worse." "I guess you're right." I rub the sleep from my eyes, peering around that the garden. The afternoon sun is harsh and makes my eyes hurt. Kat's garden is a piece of art. Hundreds of flowers in a thousand different colours, berries and fruits and root vegetables, little trees carefully carved by hand and meticulously groomed, cute cat figurines, a water fountain, a bench - everything you could possibly want in a botanical garden crammed into a space smaller than most bathrooms. Somehow it manages to be wild, elegant, and precise at the same time. Compact and yet spacious. It's incredible. “You did all this?” She stands back with her hands on her hips to survey her work. “Yep. It’s kind of a passion project. I spend every moment of free time out here now.” “Why would you put so much work into a garden? It’s just going to die next winter.” Kat kneels down to check a tomato patch for weeds. “Just because something is temporary, that doesn’t make it any less beautiful. When it all dies, sure it’s sad, but it’s cathartic too. I don’t know quite how to explain it.” She bites her lip, deep in thought. “Winter is nature’s way of wiping the slate clean and giving you a chance to start again. You can try something different, or you can improve on what you did before, or you can call it quits. But no matter what you do, the garden will grow and change. You can never stop it, only steer it a certain way. It’s not like a painting you hang on the wall, occasionally dusting off the cobwebs. It’s alive.” I nod along, pretending to understand what she means. Honestly, her description reminds me of someone I know. Beautiful, uncontrollable, and temporary. Well… maybe not beautiful. I suppose Dean would prefer I used the word handsome. But unlike Kat’s petunias, there’s no way to wipe this slate clean. “What are you thinking?” Kat rests a hand on my shoulder before slipping a tulip through my hair. At this point, what do I have to lose? Dean’s identity has already been discovered, and I doubt Kat is going to tell anyone else. And holding in all these secrets is starting to get to me. So I perch on the edge of her compost bin and recount everything, from the experiments my dad performed on Dean as a child, to the day he rescued me at the Shard, to our project to clear up crime, to my kidnapping, and everything in between. Once I start talking, it’s impossible to stop. The words come tumbling out. Kat looks shocked at first, but nods along and doesn’t interrupt. As the story progresses and she starts to understand it a little better, she asks a few questions, or makes little comments. By the time I’ve finished, the sun is starting to go down. “And that’s how I ended up here.” I say, finally falling silent. My mouth hurts from speaking, but it felt good to get all that out. “I believe you.” She says. “What were they going to do? Just order him around forever?” “No, they had a plan. I checked through the satchel. Most of the papers were reports on when Dean had been spotted, timetables for surveillance, speculation on his powers, that kind of thing. All the evidence confirms it was a government operation, signed off by the Minister of Defence himself. But the most interesting thing I found was this.” I reach into my pocket and pull out a small glass bottle, full to the brim with little red pills. “What are they?” Kat asks, stepping closer to examine them. “If the documents are telling the truth, they’re Dean’s weakness.” I feel myself shiver as I say those words. “One pill temporarily knocks out his powers. Two gets rid of them for good.” “And three?” She runs a finger across her neck. I nod, shaking the pills like a rattle. “Three have the power to kill a god.” “What were they going to do? Force feed him? Based on what you’ve told me, I don’t think anyone could get him to do that.” “You’re right. No one could make him. He would have to do it willingly. But they had the perfect tool to use against him – me.” As I talk, I gently massage my foot, careful to avoid applying pressure near the bandage. “Once Dean became more trouble than he was worth, they were going to leave a pill somewhere and blackmail him into taking it. Dean doesn’t believe anything can hurt him, so I doubt he would have needed much convincing. After that, they were going to flood the scene with agents and subdue him. He might still be a superhuman – less Superman and more Captain America - but with enough people, they could do it. These were all pretty big guys. They all knew how to fight. Dean doesn’t. He’s never needed techniques or training because he’s so powerful that he can shatter every window from here to Poland by snapping his fingers. One pill would be enough to let them penetrate his skin with a needle, but not enough to kill off the power in his blood. Once they had what they wanted, they’d force another pill down his throat to permanently nullify him, and after that… I don’t know what they planned to do. I probably don’t want to know.” “Why did they want his blood?” “The experiments that gave Dean his powers are lost, and so are the scientists. He tore the lab to pieces and destroyed any evidence. There’s no way to restore that research. Rebuilding the project from the ground up would be difficult, costly, and might not even work. And that’s if Dean didn’t catch wind of what they were up to. But with just a little bit of his blood, they could-“ “Isolate whatever gave him his power and reproduce it.” Kat finishes for me. “Yeah.” “You can do the same thing with plants.” She says, motioning to her garden. “Take a gene from one plant and transplant it into another – or thousands. All you need is a template plant. And I guess that’s what Dean was.” “And what would the government do with thousands of infinitely powerful, unstoppable super soldiers?” When I say that, Kat doesn’t answer. She doesn’t need to. The answer is clear. They could do anything they wanted. Take over the world? They’d get it done before dinner. Genocide a country of over a billion people who refused to follow? It would be a graveyard before any of them knew what was happening. “Still… maybe it would be a good idea to keep those pills around. Dean would be a lot less dangerous without his powers. You might be able to live a normal relationship – or something approaching that. And if two pills is enough to purge his blood of power, it eliminates any chance of other supermen being made.” It’s something I’ve considered, but I didn’t get far into the scenario before dismissing it. “We can’t. The cat’s out of the bag now. He’s on these peoples’ radar and I doubt this is the last time they’ll try to interfere. We don’t know for sure if his blood becomes totally useless after two pills. If they came for him or me again, and he was just a normal man, we’d be helpless.” I wiggle my toes without thinking, then wince as pain shoots up my foot. Kat begrudgingly concedes that the idea would never work. “You know,” I say, “I’m surprised you believed all of this so easily. It’s kind of a crazy story.” Now her expression becomes nervous. “Yeah… About that…” “What?” “Well… Dean is…” She struggles for the words. “Let me show you.” After tapping on her phone for a few seconds with her brow furrowed in concentration, she passes it to me. And my heart freezes in my chest. BBC News are reporting on a series of viral videos, captured by school children, of a large man with the physique of a pro bodybuilder stopping a speeding van with his body, and coming away completely unharmed. The anchor states that while it was originally presumed to be a hoax, the sheer number of videos of the event from different angles would have been difficult to produce. “Earlier today, the Metropolian Police released a statement corroborating claims that the man, who has not been publicly identified, has been involved in a large number of crimes across Britain, but focused primarily in London, as part of a campaign of vigilante justice. While Scotland Yard has confirmed that the man in question consistently obeyed the law in these encounters, and would send footage to local law enforcement afterward, they have condemned his actions and insist that tackling crime be left to the police. However, speculation has been raised regarding the seemingly superhuman feats in both police evidence, and the viral videos. The BBC has spoken to a number of witnesses who claim to have seen these powers in action, and describe the man as benevolent and charming. Comparisons have been drawn to the fictional character ‘Superman’, due to his appearance, abilities, and passion for fighting crime. Despite overwhelmingly positive testimony, several opposition MPs have pointed to the man as a threat to national security, and insist that he be brought into police custody. The government has yet to respond.” I don’t know what to say. This changes everything. Of course, the day I suggested Dean take up the role of a superhero, I knew he would become a public figure. We both did. Honestly, I expected it to happen sooner, but aside from what we sent to the police, there was never good evidence. Now the whole world knows. Things will become more complicated. For Dean. For me. Life will have to change. Hard decisions will have to be made. It’s all too much to take right now. I wonder if Dean knows. If he does, how is he handling it? “Come on.” Kat says, stirring me from my thoughts. “It’s getting dark. Let’s go inside.” - Curled up in the bay window of Kat’s little home, I let the soft thrum of rain soothe my aching head. Cars rumble by, their headlights cutting through the gloom. I try to forget. Just for a moment, I try to put everything behind me and enjoy the calm, the smell of Kat’s lasagne, the warm glow of her fireplace. But I always find myself drawn back to the stump of my little toe. And from there, I think about the kidnappers and their plans. And then I think about Dean. I think about Dean a lot. The more I do, the more certain I become that I will cave to desire despite knowing better. There’s no way our relationship can end with anything more than heartbreak. But when I’m with him, I’m happy. I miss the feeling of his rock-hard arms around me, his nose buried in my hair, it makes me feel safe. I miss the way he smiles, that goofy one-sided grin, the way he waits at the café for me to finish my shift so that he can walk me home, the way he holds onto my hips and lifts me a foot off the ground so that he doesn’t have to bend over to kiss me. I miss everything. I would trade a hundred years of solitude for another day with him, and I could have a whole lot more than one. All I need to do is call and I know he will come. But I can’t forgive him for what he did. It’s not as simple as forgiving. You forgive people for their mistakes, not their faults. The man who killed those kidnappers was just another side of Dean, as real and complicated as the side I came to love. He can’t apologise for who he is, just as I can’t forgive him for it. Perhaps pressuring him to lock part of himself away was what led it to overwhelm him with such brutality. Maybe I’ve been doing this all wrong, and I need to accept Dean; all of him, the good and the bad. Because I can’t contain him. No one can. But even so, Dean needs me and I need him. Dean is emotion. I am reason. The two cannot exist without each other. Emotion without reason is chaos. Reason without emotion is inhumanity. He is the blazing fire, the passion and heat that gives meaning to life and protection and love. I am the cool head, the thoughtful one, the ice, the staying hand that keeps his fire from burning out, or burning out of control. No matter what obstacles we face together, they will never compare to the ones we face alone. That much is clear to me now. So I pick up Kat’s phone and send a text.
  4. I'm really happy to hear that you like it! I'll try and make sure the rest of the story lives up to your expectations
  5. This was meant to be a 2 parter, with perspective scenes relating to both Dean and Jake, but the whole thing got quite long, and each half ended up longer than my usual word target (2000), so I'm posting them individually. Chapter 21 MISS ADAMS I circle the house, closing each window and locking them in turn. It’s going to be a windy night. I hate drafts. The cold never used to bother me, but either the world has gotten colder or I've gotten older. No prizes for guessing which. The children are all asleep now. Except for one, of course. Jimmy might think he can trick me into thinking he’s sleeping like the dead, but I’ve been working at this orphanage since long before he was born. It’s almost hilarious watching him honk with each breath in a terrible attempt to mimic the sound of snoring. And I noticed that Nintendo DS sitting conveniently within arm’s reach on the table next to his bed. My memory might be on the fritz, but I’m still as sharp as ever. I’ll be back in ten minutes to catch him in the act. I sit at the large dining table with a cup of tea in hand, revelling in the silence. This place is so rarely quiet. I love the noise – the sound of laughter, games, curious questions from growing minds, singing, the pitter-patter footsteps down the hall. The noise is what make this place home. But the silence is what makes it tolerable. Just then, I hear a strange sound that I can’t place. I stand up, groaning at the pain in my joints, and silently pass from room to room, listening at the doors. Nothing. And yet that sound is very clearly audible. It might be one of the boys talking, but I can’t make out any words, and it’s unusually deep. Finally I end up in the laundry room – the noise is louder here. Then I realise it’s coming from the back garden. Did I leave one of the kids outside after playtime? Panic rises in my chest at the thought. As quickly as I can, I fumble in the pocket of my knitted cardigan for my set of keys. My fingers are gnarled and I find myself struggling, but soon I have the right one. Once the door is unlocked, I step out into the night, immediately pulling my cardigan close around my chest to fight off the chill. The first thing I spot is a huge hulking shape on the steps. My eyes take a moment to adjust to the sight, which I gradually start to see as the body of a colossal man, more muscular than any I’ve seen before. He’s hunched over, head in his hands, covered in blood, wearing only a pair of black shorts. And he’s crying. Not ‘a tear slipping down your cheek’ crying, and these aren’t crocodile tears either. The poor man is sobbing his heart out. “H-hello?” My voice shakes a little – from the cold, or from the sight of such an intimidating man, I don’t know. Probably a bit of both. There have been all sorts of unsavoury characters around here lately, and the last thing I want is to be near one. He turns to me, and I see a face which might be handsome if not for all the gore. His eyes are puffy from the tears. “Oh. Sorry, Miss Adams. I didn’t know where else to go.” At his apologetic tone, I feel myself calming. This man clearly doesn’t meant to hurt me. “I’m sorry. Do I know you?” His expression becomes sad. Oh dear, he's disappointed I don't recognise him. The man pauses for a moment, before saying “Dean Lawson?” It’s been a long time since I heard that name. “You’re little Dee Lawson?” He nods, forcing a smile that I know he doesn’t mean. It doesn’t reach his eyes. “My goodness, look how big you’ve grown! I did always tell you that the biggest trees grow from the smallest acorns, didn’t I?” Now that I know what I’m dealing with, I slip into Nanny mode almost without thinking. It’s just become natural to me now. “Why don’t you come inside? You must be freezing. We’ll get you clean and warm, and you can tell me what’s wrong.” He nods. I put a hand on his shoulder to guide him in, but as he stands, his shoulders rise far too high for me to reach. The wooden beams of the porch creak under his weight. I’ve honestly never seen a bigger, more powerful looking lad in my life. How on earth did such a giant come from Dee Lawson? I hold back on the questions for now – it’s clearly not the time. “I’ve got some of that leek and potato soup you used to love. Would you like some?” He wipes his eyes with a massive paw. “Yes please.” “Good boy. Come on in, then.” After warning him to be quiet to avoid waking anyone up, I let him use my shower, which is away from the kids’ rooms. And it might be the only bathroom big enough to fit him. He takes a little longer than I might have expected – I have to reheat the soup twice – but the poor boy looks like he’s been through a lot. I leave him to himself. Eventually, he comes downstairs with a towel wrapped around his waist. It barely covers him. Now that he’s clean, and I can see him properly in the light, it becomes clear just how incredible he is. He might be the most beautiful man on earth. His face is sharp, handsome, and youthful, with piercing blue eyes. Perfectly smooth skin which almost seems to glow with health. Every inch of his body is padded with vast muscles which ripple when he moves, and are covered in a web of veins. I can’t help wondering what he did to get that kind of body. He can’t be a bodybuilder or model, because he’d be world famous. I’d have heard of him. Too muscly for football, too lean for rugby, too heavy to be a runner, too proportional to be a labourer who repeats the same few actions all day. He almost doesn’t seem real. No one could possibly be so perfect. “Sorry.” He mumbles sheepishly, sitting down in front of the steaming bowl. “I don’t have any clean clothes. All of mine were…” “Don’t you worry about that. It must have been twenty-something years ago now, but I remember changing your nappies. There’s nothing you can show me that I haven’t seen.” Dean almost chokes on his soup. I smile sweetly, the way I used to. It’s not too unusual for kids to turn up after they become adults. Some do it out of nostalgia, some do it as part of outreach programmes. Some have simply fallen on hard times, and this is the only home they’ve ever known. I don’t judge. I never judge. But so far, none of them have appeared covered in blood in the middle of the night. And Dean was always a special case. Because he wasn’t adopted, and he didn’t grow up. He disappeared. We thought he was dead. And yet here he is. “So why don’t you tell me how you got here?” Dean remains silent for a long time. I wait patiently as he sips his soup and thinks through his story, then begins. “I have a dangerous job that sometimes puts me in violent situations. Sometimes I have to hurt people, or kill them. But now and then, my anger gets the better of me, and I hurt people when I don’t need to.” Special forces, I’m guessing. That would explain the body, plus the government tends to seek out orphans as they have no prior attachments. It makes sense. But Dean? Really? He was always such a sweet child. Wouldn't hurt a fly. I find it hard to believe he could ever become a killer... but then again, I would never have believed he could turn into a giant either. Dean continues, refusing to make eye contact with me. “The problem started when I met… a guy. He’s called Jake.” The smallest smile curls Dean’s lips, and his eyes start to shine, the lines of his face softening, as if the mere thought of this man is enough to turn him gentle. So Dean Lawson is gay? I never would have guessed. I don’t care, of course. I don’t judge. Plenty of my kids have grown up to be with people of their own sex. I only care about seeing them happy. “I can tell you love him” I whisper. He nods. “Jake he hates violence and told me that if I ever killed anyone to protect him, we were through. He wouldn’t stand for it. But during my job, I made some… enemies. And they came after him to get to me.” Now he locks eyes with me. “I killed them. It wasn’t quick, and it wasn’t painless, but I was just… I was so angry that they had hurt Jake that I couldn’t control myself.” I feel a shiver race down my spine. The thought of getting on the wrong side of this man terrifies me. I can’t imagine who would ever do such a thing. “And what did Jake say?” “I don’t know. He looked at me like I was a monster, Miss Adams. He was scared of me. I would never hurt him, all I want is to protect him and make him happy. He freaked out as soon as I touched him. I didn’t know what to do. So I left.” I nod, sipping my tea. I’m not sure how much advice I can offer here, or how much my thoughts are even wanted. Often people need someone to listen, not someone to talk. And the best tool during conversations like these is silence. There are things in Dean’s head that I don’t know about, that he doesn’t plan on saying, but silence is powerful. And people will say anything to fill it. So I sit forward, and wait for him to speak. “He probably hates me now. I can’t believe the moment I finally started to be happy, everything fell apart around me. What do I do, Miss Adams? I have nowhere to go, and no one left. I just…” He breaks down again, hiding behind his hands. I grab his wrist and pull it away. My fingers look so tiny and frail compared to his, I doubt I could force him to do anything, but he lets me. I meet his gaze with my head tilted slightly to the side. “Look, sweetie. I’ve been around a long time. I’ve seen all kinds of relationships, all kinds of problems. Sometimes they’re fleeting, and the only thing holding them together is passion, excitement, and fire. All it takes is a gust of wind to blow it out. But it’s clear to me that what you feel for this boy is more than that. A strong enough love can overcome any obstacle.” Dean shakes his head. “You didn’t see him, Miss Adams. You didn’t see his face.” “And you didn’t talk to him.” I point out. “Give him time, Dean. Let the dust settle. Give him a chance to think about the future he wants with you – and I want you to think about that too. And when you’re ready, go and talk to him.” I shrug. “That’s all you can do.” “What if he says he never wants to see me again.” His face fills with despair. He grips the table so hard that the wood cracks. “If you lose him, you lose him. In my experience, that generally involves eating a lot of ice cream and chocolate, crying, and watching soap operas, then eventually getting up to face the world again. Your experience might vary.” I manage to get a smile out of him. “But if you can talk this through, if you both love each other and want to move on together, then you’ll find a way to do it.” “Are you sure?” “With all my heart.” I think of Joey. The way he kissed me back when I was just a girl. The way he would hold me when I was sad, and pick me up and spin me when we were happy. The way clung to my hand as he took his final breaths. I remember love. I remember how strong it can be. No matter how weak my mind becomes, no matter how feeble my body, I will hold onto those memories forever, because I am nothing without them. That’s how I know Dean will get through this. He nods to himself. Now he seems more certain in himself. A little more confident, hopeful. “Thanks, Miss A.” “It was my pleasure. You really should come visit more often, dear. And don’t you think about leaving.” I say as he moves to stand. “I’m not letting you go out into that weather, in the dark. You’ll freeze, and there are all kinds of dangerous criminals about.” He grins. “I can look after myself.” “That’s what they all say. There’s a spare room here and I’m not taking no for an answer.” Dean soon relents, and sits back down across from me. The table is huge – it’s meant to fit every boy and girl in this house – but Dean takes up half of it with sheer size. “We have a visitor.” He whispers, a smirk playing across his lips. I don’t know what he’s talking about, until a full minute later little Jimmy comes padding into the dining room. How on earth did Dean hear him all the way upstairs? “What’s wrong, Jimmy?” “I can’t sleep.” He yawns. “Can I have some milk?” “Of course, dear. But you wouldn’t have trouble sleeping if you weren’t staying up playing on that Nintendo. You know staring at the screen is bad for you." The boy gasps. "Oh yes, I know about that.” I give him a wink. “Gotta’ be more stealthy, man.” Dean hunches over to get closer to Jimmy’s level, which is a challenge when Jimmy comes up to his knees. “Nothing gets past Miss A.” Jimmy cranes his neck back to take in the behemoth in front of him. “Wow…” His mouth drops open, eyes wide. “You’re really big, mister.” “That’s what happens when you eat your vegetables.” Dean smiles, flexing a basketball-sized bicep. He plucks Jimmy off the ground like he weighs nothing at all, resting him on his ridiculously broad shoulders. Jimmy giggles, squeezing Dean’s neck as hard as he can, but the man doesn’t seem to care. “Are you gonna’ beat up those guys who threw a brick through the kitchen window? They’re scary. They keep telling Miss A to give them money.” Dean crosses his thick arms with a slight frown. “You bet I am.” “That’s so cool. I bet you could make them pee themselves.” “Language!” I hiss. “Sorry.” “Yeah, I can make them do that.” Dean says matter-of-factly, before turning to me. “I’ll leave a number. Give me a call when these guys show up and I’ll make sure they don’t bother you again.” I assure him that it’s not necessary, but he insists until I have no choice but to accept. I suppose it would be useful to have someone like Dean around to put the fear of god into those men. Goodness knows he was probably telling the truth when he said he could look after himself. I try to steer Jimmy back to his room, but he refuses to part from his new idol. Luckily, Dean offers to take him to bed before heading up himself. I thank him, clean the dishes, and make my way to my own room. What an interesting night.
  6. Thank you The positive responses are a huge motivator for me so I really appreciate that you took the time to comment!
  7. Once again, a serious gore warning. Chapter 20 JAKE I can never tell whether I'm conscious any more. In my waking moments, I feel pain. In my dreams, all I think about is pain. The pain of loss, of loneliness, of hopelessness. And also the pain of good old fashioned wounds. “Rob, look at this.” One of the guys – I think his name is Mike – approaches the group’s leader and holds out his phone. I distantly hear the BBC News intro, and then a voice too faint to detect. Robbie frowns. “Damn. The Saudi is dead. So the guy actually did it? “I never thought he would. Have you seen the police footage from his little crime-fighting thing? He’s so careful not to break the law, I didn’t expect him to actually murder a guy.” Mike responds. “Dean… he’s not a murderer.” I mumble, still bound to my chair. Every muscle in my body aches. There’s a constant throbbing pain coming from my toe. I’m hungry, tired, cold, I have a headache. I feel sick. It’s hard to see anything here. There are a few LED lanterns on the ground, but outside their circle of light, the factory is silent and totally black. “Baby’s awake.” Robbie grins, turning to me. “Sorry to break it to you, mate, but Dean killed a guy. Not much of a hero after all, huh? “He had no choice.” My voice is getting stronger now. I know Dean. I know how much he’s tried to avoid hurting people, how far he’s come. He wouldn’t have taken any pleasure in killing that Prince. “You blackmailed him. Fucking monster.” Robbie stomps toward me, getting in my face. “You should really be more polite. I’m the one who decides which parts of you get chopped off. And right now, I’m leaning towards your nose. Show some respect, and you might get away with losing another toe.” “Boss, it’s been three hours. Deadline’s up.” “Great. Someone get me my balaclava.” With a skip in his step, Robbie begins setting up the webcam. They’ve hacked into my home computer so that they can start video calls whenever they want. I don’t get to see the screen because it’s turned away from me. It’s an effort to keep my head up. I just want one peek at Dean’s handsome face. I want to hear his deep, calming voice. That will get me through all the hell I know is coming. “Hello?” Robbie sings into the microphone. “Hellooooo?” Time seems to slow as they wait for Dean to appear. If he isn’t present to accept his next task, I take the consequences. I refuse to believe he would let that happen to me, and yet as the minutes stretch on, Dean is nowhere to be found. Robbie’s face gradually lights up at the thought of mutilating me. They really found the right guy for the job. “Well…” He eventually says, turning to face me with a chilling gleam in his eye. “Looks like Superfreak wimped out. You know what that means.” As he says this, he pulls out a wicked sharp knife. I flinch against my bindings. But before Robbie gets a chance to do anything, a high pitched tune starts reverberating around the factory, echoing off the walls. He sighs, taking out his phone. “What is it? I’m in the middle of something?” Then his face pales, his eyes grow wide. “What? How? When was this? Do we have time to- shit. Okay.” The call ends. “That was one of the drivers. Change of plan, boys. The freak took Gavin. If he gets any info, he’ll find us soon enough.” He begins barking out orders as the other men in black start whispering fearfully. “Get your guns – I want every single one armed and ready. You, you and you: load up the trucks. We need to get the fuck out of here.” The men rush to follow his commands. I hold my breath, waiting for whatever comes next. Two dozen guys take up position around the factory in preparation for the arrival of their target. They’re all pretty big, clearly strong and skilled. I suspect they’re special-forces – or possibly a mercenary group, judging by the crude way they communicate. Either way, they know what they’re doing. Dean’s arrival isn’t slow. He doesn’t knock on the door like an old lady asking for sugar. He slams through the vaulted brick ceiling to land with a resounding crack which shakes the foundations of the factory. It happens so quickly, and the room is so huge and badly lit that the men take a moment to realise what just happened. Then across the room, two red lights flicker to life against the darkness. The air is ruptured by the drill of gunfire. Every shot starts with a boom and ends with a high pitched ping as the bullet bounces, ricochets, or compacts against Dean’s dense muscle. Every shot echoes back on itself over and over, until it’s impossible to figure out where one sound ends and another begins. I feel like I’m tied to the chair in the middle of a war I can’t see. All the while, those red eyes flicker from person to person as they scope out the room. Robbie must have called for a ceasefire because the shooting stops all at once. A torch is raised and pointed at Dean, illuminating his monstrously tall, thick body. His shirt has been shredded, revealing a flawless chest without a single bruise or cut in sight. I watch unblinking as Robbie steps closer to Dean, his gun raised, finger on the trigger. When he gets close enough to poke Dean’s shoulder with the barrel, Dean turns to meet his gaze. At the same time, I feel the cold bite of a knife on my neck. “Let’s not be hasty, big guy.” Robbie croons. “You wouldn’t want anything to happen to dear sweet Jake, would you?” Dean looks over at the man behind me, his face contorting in anger. Then he looks at Robbie again. I recognise that expression. It never leads to anything good. What happens next is burned into my mind for the rest of my life. It happens too quickly to see. It’s not even a blur. One moment Dean and Robbie are stood next to one another. The next moment Dean’s fist is where Robbie’s head should be. He punches with such speed and strength that the impact literally dissolves Robbie’s skull, brain, and flesh into fine red mist. His corpse remains standing for a moment, wobbling on dead feet, before toppling to the ground. The knife around my throat begins to shake. The men in black are stunned into silence. I don’t think they realised quite what they were dealing with. No one has seen Dean’s true power, except for me. And even with me, he held back. I don’t know what makes the man behind me hesitate. Perhaps he’s worried about throwing away his bargaining chip. Perhaps he’s just scared of what would happen to him if he hurt me the way Robbie did. Or maybe he’s just too shocked to act. Whatever the reason, it gives Dean a split second to save me and that’s all he needs. I feel a rush of air over my shoulder, and the man is gone. He doesn’t even have time to scream. One by one, Dean dispatches the men violently and without mercy. He grabs one by the skull and squeezes, causing his head to crack like an egg. He picks up another and tosses him with such power that his body smashes against the brick ceiling. The next guy finds himself bathed in heat vision, so powerful that he is reduced to ash before he knows what’s happening. Dean puts his hard hands on a man’s shoulders and shoves downward, causing his body to crumple in on itself, first the legs, then knees, then spine, then ribs, all breaking and compacting like an accordion. The next soldier, Dean simply rips in half, spraying blood in every direction. He approaches another, clapping his hands together with incredible force. The shockwave liquidates the man's insides. He starts to bleed profusely from his eyes, nose, ears, mouth. And then after a few moments of gagging on his own fluids, he falls over dead. I’ve never witnessed such unbridled carnage before. I’ve never seen so much blood, heard such terrified screams coming from grown men. Where they once oozed confidence and swagger, now they beg for their lives. Dean ignores their pleas as he executes them. He takes grim satisfaction in his revenge. No one escapes. No one survives. And as I watch him take out the last of them, as the room falls quiet and I’m left staring at his blood-soaked body, I realise I don't know him at all. Because the man I know, the man I fell in love with, isn’t capable of this. As he slowly trudges toward me, I shrink back into the chair as far as I can, closing my eyes, holding my breath. I’m scared. I flinch as the bindings around my wrists and ankles are easily torn. The smell of blood is so thick that I struggle not to vomit. I push feebly against his slick, wet arms as he tries to pick me up. “Don’t touch me!” I look up to find him staring down at me in confusion and hurt. The animalistic side of him is gone for now, but I know it’s just below the surface. I know how little it takes to surface. The deep blue of his eyes stands out against the redness coating his skin. He looks down at his hands, at the thick fluid coating them, at the smears he left on my arms when he took hold of me. It’s as if he never realised anything was wrong until now. His face fills with panic as he surveys the destruction he caused, the dozens of corpses. He doesn't know what to do. What to say. How could anyone explain this? Then, without warning, he blasts through the roof and into the sky. And just like that, I’m alone.
  8. Speech500

    AJ & Noah

    This is definitely the most emotionally powerful story I've read on this site. 10/10. I used to read a LOT of soppy romance novels (before I discovered gay muscle forums) and honestly this was better than 95% of them.
  9. So... who wants to take bets on who wins? Dean or the kidnappers?
  10. A minor gore warning here and for the next chapter - there are some quite violent scenes and I know not everyone is into that. Chapter 19 Natasha Vane. That’s the name Lucy had heard. It takes me a while to place, but I eventually do. The journalist. The one we met the day at the ruins of the Shard. When I met her, she had been working at the Spectator. Google tells me that she recently got an offer from a much larger publication. Their office in Central London spans many floors, so it’s easy to find. I land outside, making sure no one notices me, and walk confidently through the foyer. I don’t look around curiously or hesitate or give any sign that I’m unfamiliar with the building. I learned long ago that if you look like you know what you’re doing, most people will leave you to it. Hell, considering my height and physique, they probably think I’m some famous athlete here to be interviewed. Navigating an unfamiliar place is a lot less difficult when you can see through walls. After briefly scoping the place out, I find Natasha’s office, and head straight for it. I knock on the door three times, careful not to leave a mark. Until I find out exactly how much Natasha knows, I need to keep my powers secret. A journalist will always feel the draw to publish, especially if they know about someone as interesting as me. And while I could threaten to hurt her if she does, I’m not sure it would work. She’d find a way to get the information out there. The door opens. “Hello? How can I-“ Natasha registers my face, and moves to slam the door. It’s pathetically easy to hold it steady even as she pushes with all her strength. “Can I come in?” Her gaze flickers to the busy foyer behind me in search of help, then to my hand on the door, then to my powerful body, rippling with muscle. I can see the cogs turning in her head as she realises there’s no other option. “Sure.” Wise choice. I step inside and close the door behind me. It’s a tiny office. I could cross it in two steps. But an office is an office, and that’s more than most journalists get. “I think you know why I’m here.” She leans back against the desk, tapping her fingers on the wood. “I have a vague idea.” When I don’t reply, she continues. “A couple of days ago, some guys came in asking for information about you and Jake. Said they were from the government. I didn't think twice about it. When you work at one of these big papers, you get used to official types wandering in and out, taking evidence, throwing around injunctions. It’s how they work. I told them about my article and that we hadn’t had any further contact after. They started rooting through my computer until they found that picture I took of Jake’s burned back – the original, before I’d cropped you out. I guess that’s what they wanted, because they left straight away and I haven't seen them since.” “That’s all?” I can feel my heart sink. This isn’t enough. “Yes. Why?” She seems to sense my trepidation, and waves a hand. “Never mind.” “Have you noticed anything else unusual? Anything at all?” Natasha’s brow furrows. She frowns, and turns to peer out of the window. “There was… No, forget it. Probably nothing.” “What is it?” “I’ve been seeing a lot of white vans. Sometimes the same ones, sometimes with different license plates. Wherever I go, they’re parked outside. It’s as if they’re waiting for me. Watching me. At home, my boyfriend’s house, even here. I’ve tried searching the registration numbers but they don’t show up on any websites.” I nod, making a mental note. This could be useful. Maybe if I find one of these trucks, they'll have information on Jake. “Thanks.” “So…?” I shrug. “If I learn anything interesting, I’ll let you know.” Her shoulders droop in disappointment. “Sure. Well if that’s all you wanted…” “Thanks.” I say, giving a strained smile. “Oh, and Natasha?” She looks up at me. “The recorder you’ve got taped under your desk. Give it to me.” I hold out a hand. She clearly wants to refuse, or at least ask how I knew about it. I narrow my eyes to show I’m serious, but without scaring her. After a moment, she reaches under for the recorder and hands it to me. My fingers effortlessly close over it. There’s a distinct crunching sound which makes Natasha’s eyes widen. I let the broken remains – a few pieces of plastic and some disintegrated electronics – fall into the waste basket. Leaving her open mouthed at my display of strength, I make my way outside. At first I’m expecting a difficult search, but as soon as I step into the open air, I see a nondescript white van parked along the side of the road, no doubt waiting for Natasha to finish her shift. There are two men in the front, dressed all in black. “Shit, it’s the big guy! What the fuck is he doing here?” I hear one of them say to the other. Their eyes meet mine and the truck roars to life. As it thunders down the street, I spring into the air to follow. “Drive, asshole! Drive!” The guy in the passenger seat howls, dropping all pretence at stealth as he stares out of the passenger window. The white truck swerves in and out of traffic at top speed, its tires squealing, engine roaring. Even if I didn’t have senses a thousand times stronger than a normal human, it would be hard to miss the honking horns of other drivers, the screams of pedestrians as they dodge out of the way, the smell of burning rubber. They think they’re getting away. That’s cute. I’ve been watching them the whole way from a spot so high that I’m almost invisible from the ground. If they were heading to the place where Jake is being kept, I might leave them to it. But I doubt they are. No one could be that stupid. Based on the way they're driving, they’re trying to put as much distance between the van and me as possible. I guess I’ll just let them go until they decide to stop, or run out of fuel. It doesn’t matter to me. They’re not escaping either way. You can’t run from a god. “Where is he?” The driver’s voice is shaking. “I don’t know, just keep driving!” Replies the other. The truck turns onto an empty street in a Council Estate in Barnet, then puts pedal to the metal. It surges on, faster and faster, gaining speed it can’t control as it approaches a junction. A nearby school is emptying out for the day. Students flood across the road, chatting about movies and texting on their phones, oblivious to the three tonne battering ram heading straight towards them. I wanted to let these guys tire themselves out, but this has forced my hand. I descend from the sky at twice the speed of sound, splitting the clouds like a pebble breaking the surface of a pond. I land without decelerating, slamming into the road just ahead of the truck with so much force that half of the street is torn up by the shockwave. Tarmac smokes and hisses around my feet. I look up in time to see expressions of complete terror cross the faces of the driver and his companion. The breaks shriek to life, but it’s too little, too late. The grill strikes my legs at forty miles an hour, and the rest of the truck comes with it. Piece by piece, it crumples against a wall muscle harder than diamond. Tires pop, metal grinds and warps, glass shatters, and I haven’t budged an inch. My height allows me to stare over the wreckage at my targets, through the remains of the windscreen. I disentangle myself from the wreckage with ease, jostling the van in the process. It’s so effortless, the sound of grinding steel is the only giveaway that I’m doing anything supernatural. With my legs free, I slowly make my way to the driver-side door. Normally I would have to school my features and body language to intimidate. But I’m so furious at the idea of these men taking Jake away from me that I don’t need to do anything at all. My powerful fingers tear the door off its hinges like it’s made of tissue paper. The driver tries to scramble away, but it’s useless. Once my hand closes around his throat, nothing on earth can force me to let go. His legs were crushed in the collision and he has a superficial cut on his forehead. That must hurt. I don’t care. “Where is he?” My voice comes out deep and harsh. The driver’s face is bathed in a red glow and it takes me a moment to realise the light is coming from my eyes. “Who?” He struggles to get the words out as my fingers clamp tighter. “I’m just-“ A gasping breath. “I’m just the driver. They don’t-“ His face is starting to go purple. “They don't tell me anything.” He’s telling the truth. I can spot micro-expressions that no eye or camera could detect. If I’m looking for lies, if I focus, it’s impossible to fool me. And this man isn’t lying. I let his body fall to the ground in a heap. He moans in pain as he lands awkwardly on his broken legs. Some part of me knows that crippling a guy who was just following orders is wrong. I know I should feel guilt, remorse, regret. But all I feel is anger. Jake had a calming presence. He could bring me back from the brink with just a word and a tender touch, in a way no one else could. I thought I’d developed my self-control, but now I realise it was all him. He made me a gentle giant. And now he’s gone. My gaze turns to the passenger seat, only to find it empty, the door wide open. How did the bastard get away without me noticing? I must have been concentrating too hard on the driver. It’s not a problem, though. I listen for the sound of a racing heart, and find it in an instant. I follow the sound with my eyes to see him crouched behind a skip on the next street over, fumbling desperately at a nasty gash in his side. This time there isn’t a chase. I’m done playing around with. I grab him by the back of his coat and hoist him several thousand feet into the sky before he even has time to gasp. London sprawls out beneath us. Now that I get a good look at his face, he strikes me as familiar. "You were at the café.” “I don’t know anything!” Lie. “I thought I made myself clear the last time we met. Never touch my boyfriend.” His heart is hammering in his chest and his skin is clammy. He looks down at the city below and flinches. This man is terrified out of his mind, but it’s not enough for me. I want him to hurt. “Please! I didn’t realise they were going to abduct him!” Lie. “They cut off his toe with fucking wire cutters! The love of my life! They did that to him, just to manipulate me.” “Really, I had nothing to do with it! Please man, just put me down!” Lie. I bring him closer until our eyes are inches apart, mine red and brimming with fury, his grey and wet with tears. “They’re going to cut off a piece of his body every time I don’t do what they want.” I grab his tiny hand in my huge, strong one. “That’s what I’m going to do to you. But I don’t have any wire cutters, so this is going to hurt.” With one swift movement, my fingers clench down on his soft flesh and tear the hand from his body. Bones crunch and snap, and the man’s high pitched screams fill the sky. “Where is Jake being held?” He shakes his head, delirious with pain. “I don’t know man, please, oh god, please.” Lie. Now my hand closes around his arm just below the elbow. Grip, crush, twist, tear. He screams again, this time weaker and more shrill. Blood pours from his wound like a fountain. I need to get an answer before he goes unconscious. “Where is he?" “Oh god, oh god, oh god.” He mutters as he stares unblinking at the stump of his arm with crazed eyes. “I can’t tell you, man! They’ll kill me! They’ll kill me if I say.” Truth. But that doesn’t matter. I have no plans on letting this piece of shit survive. My hand closes around the top of his upper arm, where it meets his shoulder. I begin to squeeze. “Stop! Please! Don’t do it!” He hangs his head, dejected. “They’re… They’re keeping him in an abandoned processing plant on the outskirts of Bristol. It has three brick chimneys. That’s… that’s where he is.” Truth. I let go of his arm. “Can you put me down now? Please, man. I need to go to the hospital. ” He struggles to keep his chin up and the skin of his face is pale. Blood loss. Severe. “Fine.” I say, releasing my grip on the back of his coat. He doesn’t even scream as he falls, becoming a tiny dot below me. I could watch him hit the ground if I wanted, watch him die with a loud crack on the pavement. But he’s not worth my attention. Not anymore. I fly west in search for the processing plant, focusing my sight on the distant grey sprawl at the mouth of the River Severn. The factory stands out so clearly that it almost seems to be mocking me. Now that I know what to look for, I notice an unusual number of white trucks parked nearby. That’s where they’re keeping him. That’s where I’m going. These bastards took the world from me. It’s time to take it back.
  11. Speech500

    Elongro - Added Part 4 on 17-Jan-2019

    I agree that Trevor isn't growing and might even be shrinking, but this story has made me far too sympathetic towards Trevor to enjoy him continuously being outgrown by Seth.
  12. Speech500

    Elongro - Added Part 4 on 17-Jan-2019

    Honestly at this point I'd like it if Trevor got a HUGE and very sudden growth spurt and left Seth in the dust. Because I feel myself sympathising with him far more than Seth at this point. Maybe Trevor could take all the remaining Elongro, thinking it won't work, when he actually hasn't hit his first growth spurt yet, and then he gets 3x the growth all at once.
  13. Gotta keep you coming back somehow
  14. Chapter 18 DEAN I bend the iron lamp post around his torso with ease, smiling as he winces from the pressure. Even if he gets away without punishment, extracting him from the tangle of metal will be long and unpleasant - he won’t try mugging anyone again while I’m around. Sure, Jake might not like me damaging public property, but I’ve found that when there’s enough evidence lying around, securing criminals and then allowing the victims to call the police often saves a lot of trouble. Ever since I found Jake asleep at the computer trying to process all of the videos of criminals I dealt with, I’ve been looking for ways to lessen the burden, and this is the easiest one. I advise the victims as well as I can. They’re clearly scared of me, which isn’t surprising considering my size and power, so I squat in front of them, bringing us to eye level, and talk gently. Eventually they decide to trust me. When that’s done, I return to where I hid my phone, house keys, and change of clothes on the roof of a factory in Bromley. The journey takes me miles across London, but it passes in just a second. I’m sure it just looks like a blur when I carry Jake at this speed. To me, every detail and sound stands out with perfect clarity. I have a voicemail from Jake. I play it, a smile creeping across my face as I think of the way he moans when I fuck him. God, I can't get it out of my head. I'm not sure I want to. “Dean, there’s someone h-“ as Jake’s voice cuts off, I hear the sound of scuffling, a pained grunt, then the line goes dead. He’s in danger. My heart starts racing in my chest as I blitz across the sky to land in front of the café where Jake works - ‘Last on the Left’. I almost forget to pull off my mask and arm bands before bursting inside, poised and ready for a fight. Every eye turns to look at me. At this point, I realise I’m only wearing shorts. They must be pretty shocked by the almost seven foot tall, shirtless bodybuilder who just appeared out of nowhere. Not that I care. My thick chest pumps up and down with every panicked breath. I move to the kitchen faster than should be possible, but Jake isn’t in here, only Jolene. She stops rolling out pastry and turns to me, eyes wide. “What happened? Where is he?” I growl, making her flinch. “You mean Jake? He wasn't feeling well so I sent him home. Didn't he-“ I’m halfway across town before she finishes her sentence. I know I’m giving myself away right now, but it’s hard to think about anything other than Jake’s safety. I can worry about explanations later. I soon find myself in front of our flat and try to unlock the door. My hands are shaking. This never happens – my hands never shake. I’m Dean fucking Lawson. Yet I can’t stay still long enough to get a key in a hole. After a few seconds of trying, I grunt to myself and punch the door, causing it to blast off its hinges in a hail of shrapnel. I race upstairs, barely touching the ground, stopping only when I’m standing in the hallway of our flat. My mouth falls open. No. Fuck no. It looks like a hurricane has been through this place. Everything is a mess, and no effort has been made to clean up, as if the invaders left in a hurry. With a rising sense of dread, I realise that no one is here. The nearest heartbeat is Lucy – the tenant upstairs. Whoever did this, they’re long gone. And they took my Jake with them. Suddenly I hear a quiet voice say “Afternoon.” My head snaps around. It’s coming from the computer. In three long strides I’m stood in front of the monitor. “Jake?” I whisper. “Sorry mate.” Comes the reply. The screen flickers, and I realise I'm on a video call with someone. The camera turns to reveal a face I recognise. The guy I threatened at the café the other day – the teenager. He’s now dressed in all black, head to toe, now looking much older than I thought. “Christ, you really are a big fucker. Missing something, Deany boy?” The camera turns to face the silhouette of a small man strapped into a chair. His hands and feet are bound and there’s a gag in his mouth. When the lighting shifts, I realise who I’m looking at. “Jake.” “Yep.” Barks the man. “And if you want this pretty little lad to remain in one piece, you’ll do exactly what we say. Sound fair?” Now I understand what’s going on. They've taken Jake to use against me. I can feel heat rising in my face, burning in my eyes, and I close them to avoid melting this entire street with heat vision. “You have no idea who you're fucking with.” I say through gritted teeth. I easily spot the hidden camera across the room and stare into the lens. The veins in my face glow a fiery red as they feed heat into my eyes. “When I find you, I’m going to tear your fragile little body apart.” "Wrong answer!” The man grins, pulling out a pair of wire cutters. “Clearly we need to show we mean business, right boys?” A few deep voices jeer along in the background. The man steps up to Jake, who moans into his gag, scratching his nails into the wood of the chair in an effort to escape. “No. No!” I roar as Jake’s left shoe is slipped off and the clippers are tightened around his little toe. “Don’t you fucking hurt him! He’s mine!” Crunch. Jake screams. One of the men starts wiggling the toe in front of the camera, making it dance between his thumb and forefinger, and I feel my control slipping. My hands are clenched so tightly that they start to radiate energy in waves. Papers and pencils and dust motes rise from the floor and tremble around my body. My sheer power causes the air to ripple. Before I know it, a thick jet of light is shooting from my eyes, tearing through the windows and walls of our flat, causing part of the ceiling to cave in. “I’M GONNA FUCKING KILL YOU.” I roar, so loud that the computer screen cracks and the half-empty glass of orange juice on the table explodes. “Temper, temper.” The man chides, wagging his finger like he’s scolding a child, and not the most dangerous person on earth. His face is split into several parts that glitch and distort around the breaks in the screen. “Or do I need to take another toe? He’s only got nine left, Dean, and then we’ll need to move onto more important parts.” It takes me a solid minute, but I manage to contain my fury. Deep breaths. In and out. In and out. I imagine slowly squeezing his skull between my hands until it pops, watching him cry and scream for mercy. That helps. “Tell me what you want.” “There’s a good boy.” The man grins, proud with himself. “Your first task is to kill this man.” He holds up a picture of an Arab in a white robe with a strange hoop resting on his head. “You will find him in a villa in Monaco. He must be killed with blunt force to the back of the head. No one can see you do it. You have three hours – I know you could have it done in thirty seconds, but I want you to wait until you have a good opportunity. Plus I need to go pick up my dry cleaning and that's gonna' take a while." “I’m not going to be your hitman!” I say. “If you refuse to comply, or fail to meet the specifications of the task, we will chop off one of little Jake’s body parts and mail it to you in the post.” He says with a grim smirk. "How about that?" For the first time in my life, I feel powerless. I have no choice. This fucker has me entirely under his control. “Fine. I’ll do it. Anything else?” “You’ll get your next task when the current one is complete.” I nod, slamming the laptop shut. If the life of some Saudi prince is the price I need to pay to get my Jake back, I'll do it. I spent so long trying to avoid this. I never wanted to become the kind of man who used his power for evil. To kill. But I have no choice. I won’t let them hurt Jake again. I take off through the hole I created in the wall. But I’m not going to Monaco. Not yet. First I need to calm down, and there's only one place on this planet where I can do that. I’ve never felt such anger, such blind, overwhelming rage. If I don't vent it, I'll go crazy. Less than a minute later, I’m hovering over the Transantarctic Mountains, which freeze away at the bottom of the world. The range stretches on for thousands of miles. With my indestructible fists held out in front of me, I slam into one of them. Several thousand feet of rock and soil explode around me on impact, loud enough to be heard around the world. The ground shakes. I fly out into open air, before demolishing another peak, then another, and another. I pick up mountains in my hands like toys and crush them, throw them into space, boil them with heat vision. I punch the ground hard enough to make craters, sending thousands of tons of ice into the sky. It’s not enough. It needs to hurt. To bring me to the point of exhaustion – but nothing can do that. I’m too powerful. So I keep pummelling, throwing, smashing until there's nothing left to break. I make sure to avoid any human research bases, but there is only a handful so that's not hard. But I leave the continent around them unrecognisable and I’m not even out of breath. The anger is still there, seething in my gut. Now it's starting to turn to desperation. I need to get to Monaco. I don’t know how much time I have left - probably hours - but I don’t want to give the kidnappers any reason to hurt Jake. Once I arrive, it’s not hard to find the prince using my x-ray vision. Monaco is a small place, and there aren’t many villas. It’s a beautiful country – I might have brought Jake here if he was safe in my arms, where he’s meant to be. I wait until the Saudi Prince is alone in his bedroom, then fly in through his balcony, faster than the eye can see. With hands harder than stone, all it takes it a firm tap on the back of the head, and he topples forward, motionless. I can see the blood haemorrhaging in his skull. Just like that, he’s dead, and a piece of me dies with him. With my task complete, I return home. The flat is a mess. I should really clean up. At the very least, I should shut the door. But all I can do is sit in one of the kitchen chairs with my head in my hands, and cry. This is not something I’ve done before. I’m not an assassin. I don’t take orders and I don't lose control. I was finally happy, finally building a real life for myself and the man I had always loved, but in just one day, everything has come crashing down around me. When will the kidnappers return Jake? I realise they probably never will. There will always uses for a guy like me. I'm a living WMD. And the moment they handed Jake over, they lose their leverage. That means Jake is gone forever. I’m all on my own. “Um… Mr Langley?” I raise my head, eyes puffy, to see a girl stood in the doorway. It's Lucy from upstairs. She’s nervous. As she shuffles from foot to foot, stretching out a piece of blue tack between sweaty fingers, she takes in the ruins of our flat. If she bites her lip any harder, it's going to bleed. “I’m…” I sniff, clearing my throat. “I’m not Mr Langley. I’m Dean. Dean Lawson.” “Oh.” She goes quiet for a moment. “I just thought… you’re here all the time, and I hear you two… well… I thought you were married or something.” “No.” I try to force a smile. “We never got that far.” She looks around the flat, nodding to herself. “They really took him? The men in black?” I nod. Lucy sighs. “I liked Jake. Even gave him a copy of my house key once, but he never took the hint. He didn’t look at me the way I looked at him, and I never figured out why… until he chose you.” I open my mouth to speak, but she raises a hand. “I’m not blaming him. Or you. I’d have made the same choice, I mean just look at you.” Lucy's cheeks go red as she realises she just admitted being attracted to me. Tentatively at first, then with more confidence, she steps inside and takes the chair opposite me. “Look, I wasn’t here when they took him, but I overheard… things.” “What kind of things?” I ask, narrowing my eyes. “Not much. Bits and pieces. But enough." A pause. "If you’re looking for Jake, I think I know where to start.”
  15. That’s... a very good question. I mainly included it becauses callouses are hot and manly, but you’re right it doesn’t really make sense. Edit: It was grating on me so I removed the callouses.
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