Paradox – Chapter 4

The tapping on the door was at a speed that only a speedster could accomplish. Amira still looked through the peephole to see a familiar face staring back at her.

“Hurry up and let me in,” he said softly so only she would hear it.

Amira opened the door to the man in the black JTF uniform, clean-shaven with a high and tight buzz cut to his famous golden hair. No cars had arrived so he must have run the five miles from the Butler campus to her apartment.

“Scott, I thought you weren’t coming over until tonight,” Amira said backing up. They had a regular schedule of pickups and deliveries since the night her father and Jason were murdered and Scott never deviated from it until today.

“I’m sorry, Amira,” Scott Jurgens said stepping in the apartment, “I would have called but the JTF has really stepped up the electronic surveillance in the city, you know, with Michael’s trial starting. They are worried the Enhanced rebels might try to free him or one of those assassins that escaped might return. Everyone is really freaked out right now.”

Amira smiled before walking in the kitchen still talking. “I’m glad you are here actually. I was planning on serving them tonight but I need someone to test them first. I think we can an early dessert.” She emerged holding a plate covered in several layers of wax paper.

“What is it?” Scott asked.

Amira looked up at the large man and grinned. “Something you should have tried when you visited my restaurant, but were too busy being a jerk,” she said joking as she punched his arm lightly. It was like hitting a solid concrete wall. “Ouch,” she whispered.

Scott bit his lip as he looked away. “Yeah, sorry about that. I was still in my complete dick phase during that time. Your family treated me a lot better than I deserved.”

“Even I get a little bitchy from time to time, not like your tantrums, but we all have our bad days. And I forgive you.”

Scott smiled at the much shorter young woman. “Thanks. I’m glad we can start over. I just wish it was under better circumstances.”

Amira held back the tears. She had cried enough for her losses since the murders. She had to focus on her future now. That is what papa and Jason would want.

“Me too. Open wide and try this,” Amira said holding out a plate with wax paper covering it in layers. “I made the baklawa for the restaurant every morning but these are my own recipe. I only make them for family on special occasions so you better be grateful.”

Scott reached under the wax paper and pull out a small square of the layered flaky pastry and popped it in his mouth. As he chewed, his eyes closed and his mouth slurped every amazing flavor.

“Wow,” he said swallowing and reaching out, “just wow. Thank you.”

Amira could feel his large, warm hand covering hers as he smiled and thanked her.

“So what brought you here?” Amira asked.

“About that…” Scott responded reaching down to the ground and handing over several plastic bags. “Last time I was here, you mentioned you missed all your girly stuff. So, I stopped by the store and grabbed a bunch of things that chicks like, nail polish, lipstick, makeup, that kind of thing.”

“Chicks?” Amira asked as she stood with her hands on her hips. “Whoever taught you how to talk to women did a horrible job, Mr. Jurgens.”

As the embarrassment hit Scott again, his eyes could only look down. “There’s a lot of things I was taught that was wrong and a lot of wrongs I need to make up for. It’s not an excuse, but the things forced on me during training were not exactly kid-friendly or appropriate.” Scott resisted the urge to think of the images again Jury forced in his mind to toughen him up.

“I was just giving you a hard time,” Amira said as she reached out and touched his shoulder, “but I’m glad you can admit you make mistakes…and you want to fix them. I can only imagine how hard your life has been under such a microscope. I would have gone crazy. But you survived and now are ready to keep it from happening again to someone else. That makes a good hero. And thank you for the girly things.”

Scott smiled as she called him a hero. It was the first time the word actually meant something to him. “I don’t know what the Guild wants with you, but if they are working for Herr Metall, they are not going to stop at only one attempt. They will try again Amira and we have to be ready.”

“I’ve been doing the excercises like you showed me. I even got your jogging machine over fifty.”

Scott smiled at her progress. He had moved one of his old jogging machines, special-made for him and could handle a class three speedster.

“That’s fantastic, but I still need to teach you more than just power strengthening. Your Enhanced abilities will only help you so much with these guys, especially if they hit you with one of those blades.” Scott touched the scar where one of the assassins stabbed him in Amira’s apartment. He still had nightmares of the weapon sucking his abilities away. “But we’ll start that this weekend. I have to get back before Thorton figures out I’m not at my noon interview. He’s at the courthouse watching the trial, but that little buttkisser is definitely keeping tabs on me for Jury.”

Amira nodded. From her research on the internet about Special Agen Thorton on pro-Enhanced forums, he was known as extremely ruthless and would have undoubtedly sent her to Leavenworth.

“See you tonight?” Amira asked as Scott opened the door.

Scott winked back. “I wouldn’t miss it for anything.”