“Jesus!” Abel cried out, gasping for air and looking over to make sure he didn't wake up Mae.
“Come on,” Tori barked at him. What was happening? He didn't think he'd done anything wrong.
Abel took off down the hall, all but running to keep up with Tori as she stomped up the stairs and out the back door. She marched up to a pile of swords laying in the grass and stopped, spinning to face him. Her hands landed on her hips and she nodded toward the pile.
“Choose one,” she said sharply.
Good God, she intended to kill him.
“I can't fight you,” he said, staring at the pile warily. “Did I offend you somehow?”
“What?” She looked confused, then snorted. “We're not going to duel. I can slap you with a glove if you'd like, though.” She grinned, looking so much like Mae in that moment. “I've always wanted to do that.”
“Possibly some other time.”
“Then choose,” she waved at the pile. “We're just going to test your skills a bit, see what you got.”
“See if I have magick...” he said quietly.
“Yes,” she said, smiling as she appraised him again, “that's right. Although, we know you have something. It's fucking amazing, by the way. Congratulations on that shit.”
“Thanks,” he chuckled, relaxing enough to study the swords.
“And the whole rescue-by-mural thing? Bravo. That was brilliant. Really...” The purest of emotions flashed through her eyes for just a second. “Thank you, Abel. You saved my sister.”
He wasn't used to Tori showing any kind of vulnerability, and it choked him up.
“Abel?” she said, cocking her head.
“I dig you, I really do, but if you cry, this sparring match will become a real fight. Got it?”
“Got it,” he said, his eyes wide. He might have actually gulped. He hoped not.
Then she smiled- yes, it was a bit sinister, but still a smile- and whispered, “Choose.”
Faetal Illusion - Late 2013