Things get difficult for Taylor Janssen when her home is bombed by those who control it. She is forced to become a strange mix of superhero and assassin. Her best friend is Alex, but she makes friends with a fellow hero, Alice, and the techie, Matt. But not all is as it seems...


6. Alex

Alex catapulted himself from the opposite side of the room to hug me when I came in. I winced as he hugged me, my stomach still being tender. I wanted to tell him everything, but I was threatened that if I told him before he was tampered with, I'd be killed. 

"I thought they had killed you." He whispered into my ear. I hugged him back, wanting to tell him everything. "What time is it?" I asked. "About three." He let me go and looked at the clock. "I missed lunch?" I was horrified. "Um, yeah. I didn't eat either, so we can eat now if you want." I nodded. Alex refused to let me cook, so I just had to sit on the sofa and wait for him to finish cooking. He brought in a bowl of something that smelt delicious. It tasted like chicken soup, and I devoured it within seconds. Alex ate his slightly slower. And then I waited for the inevitable question. He didn't take long. "So, what exactly did they do to you?"

"I'm so sorry, Alex. I can't tell you. If I do, we'll both be killed." I stared at my hands. Luckily Alex wasn't the questioning type. I think he sensed that he was going to find out soon enough. 

By the time I woke up the next morning, Alex was gone. I was terrified they were going to go too far, and they were going to kill him. So to take my mind off it, I made cookies. When I was chopping the chocolate, I was so distracted I managed to slice my finger. I moved it quickly away from the cookie mix and began rinsing it under the tap. It healed very slowly, and my finger was almost numb by the time it was healed. I finished making the cookies and put them in the oven to bake. And then I had nothing else to do but wait.

Around three, Alex arrived back at the apartment, severely battered and bruised. I didn't throw myself at him, but I gave him a hug. I gave him some cookies, and he told me about his experience.

"They brought me out of the apartment. They blindfolded me and took me to their car. And I was brought to this lab, where they knocked me out. And then they done loads of tests on me. In one they fired daggers at me to see my healing speed. I didn't want to be killed, so I acted instinctively. This, like, force field came out of my hands and stopped them in mid air. So they started testing that. And then they began testing me for other things. One guy got really annoyed when I didn't respond to anything, so he decided to beat me up. The other guys were yelling at him and eventually they managed to pull him off me. They checked to see that I could continue. They discovered I can reduce the pain people feel. You see, one of the scientists got a punch in the gut. I felt really sorry for him. Then, suddenly, he said it didn't hurt anymore."

I sat in silence, thinking. Alex looked at me. "So, what have you got?" I looked up at him. "Faster healing and camouflage." He nodded. "I think the powers we have correspond to how we performed on the course. For instance, I should have lost a lot more blood than I did, so I got healing. You put your arm out to protect me, so you got force fields." 

"I don't want to be a superhero, Tay. I want to have a normal life. I want to finish school, maybe go to college. I want to marry the girl I love and have a few kids." Alex sighed. "I'm sorry, Alex. But they don't want to let you have that life. We're going to have to fight for them."

I was lying in bed, thinking, when the realisation came to me. I was thinking about what Alex said. Then I realised that he had said the girl I love. Present tense, meaning she was still alive. It was perfectly innocent, and I wasn't even sure he meant what I thought he meant. he could have meant the girl he was going to love in the future. But I remembered the way he grabbed me to get me away from the square. The way he wrapped his arm around me to stop me from being hurled against the wall. The look of concern on his face when I was hurt. Him telling me to keep running, to get up. The look on his face when I came home from being tampered with. And most recently, the look on his face when I said goodnight. It meant only one thing. Alex was in love with me.
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