“Michael,” the voice repeated in a sing-song voice. Michael Larson remained motionless on his prison bunk and tried to focus on the blackness and silence.
“Michael, wake up, sleepy-head. It’s a new day for you.”
“Go away, Vengeance,” Michael murmured. “I don’t want to listen to your bullshit today.”
The voice giggled in a high-pitched laugh before a slender hand touched Michael’s shoulder.
“That psycho running around in your brain? I’m not him, my sweet Michael. In fact, he and that other one are tucked away for now and won’t bother you again.”
“What?” Michael asked as he rolled over.
Everything around him was different and bright light spotlighted down on him. The prison cell transformed from the dull grey to bright white with the scent of fresh flowers flowing through the billowing white curtains. The hard, steel bunk suddenly turned into a soft queen-sized canopy bed with white sheets and large billowy pillows.
“Then who are you?” Michael grumbled. This was the first good night of sleep he had since the battle of Indianapolis thanks to several injections from Preacher and Michael did not want to waste it. After the injection, Vengeance ranted and screamed for a solid hour but Michael found it easier to ignore him. Thomas just remained silent.
“A friend,” the female voice said.
From out of the light, Michael saw a smiling familiar face, her fire-red hair perfectly brushed and bound over her right shoulder. She wore a matching red chemise that barely covered her body and exposed her flawless pale skin.
“Oh my God. Alaina!” Michael said reaching up. His body ached to touch her again and feel her next to him. He pulled her close and held her tight as he wound his fingers in her hair. “I’ve missed you so much.”
Alaina pulled back and smiled. “I’ve missed you too, Michael. I want to help you. That’s why I came.”
“How did you get in my mind?” Michael asked. He knew that his body physically remained in the Butler facility jail cell so she must have used mental powers to reach in his mind. “You’re not rated as a mentalist.”
“Because I didn’t tell anyone when I joined,” Alaina said as if she was talking to a child. “The first thing you need to learn is to trust no one, especially the JTF. They are not your friend and they certainly have not love for our people. They fear us, Michael. But we will not let them win.”
Since her time away from the JTF, Alaina had changed Michael realized. She no longer held the ideals of the Enhanced hero working side by side with the mundane police, but rather a cynical and tired realization that things could only get worse.
“I’ve missed you, amore mio,” Alaina said as she straddled him, her chemise slipping down and revealing more of her cleavage.
“I’ve miss you too, Alaina,” he responded grinning at the suddenly more aggressive woman. He remembered every soft touch, ever sweet note from her lips when they danced in the club. Before Vengeance ruined his life.
“We are better than them, Michael. We deserve to be together.”
Michael could feel the passion, the lust, the desire coming from her. Her mind touched his with many nights of lovemaking, nights that he actually remembered. When did they sleep together before he was arrested and she left?
The question did not stay long before Alaina kissed him again, her soft lips pressing on his as her hair fell across his cheek.
“I can’t stay, Michael. They’ll find me.”
“Wait! Don’t go. I’ll come with you.” But Alaina was already standing on the far side of the room walking away.
“I always loved you. Even after you left, I still loved you,” Alaina said looking over her shoulder as she slipped back into the light. “Come find me.”
Michael jumped out of the bed and followed. He expected the bedroom wall to stop him, but nothing would prevent him from reaching Alaina. He would not lose her again. The white light dimmed into blackness but Michael did not stop.
“Alaina,” he yelled. “Where are you?”
As he continued to search, he could feel it again, the power deep inside him that usually Vengeance held back. But now, it was different. The voices were silent and the power flowed to him. He momentarily stopped his search to embrace the warmth as it covered his body, every inch and in every moment of existence. Michael could feel the world again like he did in Crawfordsville. Even at her fastest flight speed, Alaina could not outrun him.
“What do you think of that” Michael asked thinking of Vengeance, “Get ready for some payback, bitch. I’m in control now.”
Michael willed the space ahead of him to bend as he stepped into it. He knew he just jumped a great distance but only thought about finding her.
“Alaina!” he yelled as the world around him started to crack.
The black mist all around shattered, first small lines running a few feet before large gashes encircled him. He jumped back as the first plate of blackness fell away revealing the night sky and the trees that surrounded him. The mosquitoes did not care about the blackness as it disappeared and buzzed around Michael’s ear. Several owls hooted as they hunted nearby.
He was no longer in the prison.
* * *
The woman many magazines named the most beautiful in the world slowly opened her eyes to the cold and empty Chicago penthouse. Her husband was still out saving the world one life at a time while she tried to save an entire race, starting with her one true love.
As expected, her cellphone buzzed with an incoming call.
“Yes,” she said picking it up, “it’s done. He’s out of that cell and in Michigan. You better get out to that forest and pick him up before the JTF finds him.”