My eyes widened as I searched for Karter.
I found him inside the restaurant, behind the counter, grabbing two ham and cheese sandwiches and then appearing back outside with a goofy grin on his face.
“Did you steal those?” I asked, my voice an octave higher than usual.
Karter rolled his eyes, grabbing my arms and leading my down the street to a bench where he unceremoniously pulled me onto the seat beside him handing me one of the sandwiches and taking a bite of his own.
“Look, do you have money?” He asked with his mouth full and I shook my head, I wasn’t exactly rich like he was.
“I didn’t bring my wallet or any cash, so unless you want to starve…” He raised his eyebrows and I conceded that he was probably right, but that didn’t make what he did any better.
I grumbled aloud but ate the sandwich fairly quickly, stuffing the packaging into the nearest bin.
“So where to?” Karter asked and I rolled my eyes, talking towards the town centre.
“We need to get some clothes and then I guess I could create a car?” My voice tilted an octave higher, as though I posing a question.
I had never before created something so real, and if I didn’t do it correctly we could be pulled over by the police, and would have to explain why we had someone else’s car.
“I’ll get the clothes” Karter stated.
I was about to open my mouth and disagree when I realised Karter was already gone. My cheeks heated remembering how his eyes had surveyed my body as though he was guessing my measurements in his head. I sat down in front of some cars and dug around in my bag until I brought out my sketchpad – it was one of the only personal items I had thought to bring, it was one of the only personal items I had.
In the whole year I had spent at Miss Hilary’s, this was the only present my mother had thought to send me after the countless number of letters I had sent her. There wasn’t even a note attached. If my mother was sending me a message, I got it loud and clear; she wasn’t interested in knowing anything about my life.
I started drawing a cream coloured ford, I didn’t know the make or model, but that didn’t really matter. With an hour the exact replica of the car sat in the space next to it. I put the sketchpad into my bag, looking up to find Karter sitting beside me, bags at his feet as he watched me draw. I blushed like a stupid person, unsure suddenly on what to say.
Karter turned to me and smiled, indication my bag and the car and I nodded relieved that I didn’t have to explain why he was suddenly seeing double.
“How long will it last?” He asked, amber eyes boring into mine, and suddenly I wasn’t sure if he meant the car…or something more.
I shrugged, standing and letting my muscles stretch for a moment before I willed a set of car keys into my bag. I dangled them in front of his face and started opening the car, watching as he just shoved the bags into the backseat.
“So how far do we have to go?” He asked tone suddenly irritable and I raised an eyebrow, sliding into the driver’s side and waiting until he had gotten in beside me to answer.
I thought about having a GPS machine, smiling when one speared on the dashboard in front of me. I entered in my mum’s address and whistled as the timer clocked up the hours.
“Three hours.” I answered slowly, avoiding glancing in Karter’s direction because I knew he would be mad.
A chuckle sounded beside me, and when I finally turned to look I saw he was smiling. I swear this guy is practically bipolar, and it was starting to really freak me out.
“Let’s go then.” He demanded suddenly, and I pulled out of the parking lot.
We spent most of the trip playing I-Spy, which in retrospect seemed stupid even to me, but we literally had nothing else to talk about.
I tried talking to Karter about what he liked to do outside school – which involved sports that I didn’t know half the rules to, or girls that I didn’t really want to know about, or parties where the only drink supplied was alcohol.
To be fair, he also asked me about my art, and I tried to explain about Van Gogh and Da Vinci, but after about a minute he totally spaced out.
We talked about our powers a little bit, he already knew about mine, but he explained he was immune to most superpowers and could also appear and disappear on will, which I thought was a much cooler power than my own.
As we got closer to the town of Gellebry, my childhood home town the car got quieter. Instead of driving straight to my mother’s house I stopped in the town centre, only vaguely aware that I was gripping the steering wheel so hard my knuckles were turning white.
Karter glanced at me apprehensively, before placing his hand over my mine, smoothing it out until I could let go.
“Why aren’t we going there now?” Karter asked quietly, and I glared at him, trying to calm my breathing.
I was nervous – extremely so. I hadn’t seen this woman for over a year and now I was going home to demand answers I knew I probably wouldn’t get.
“What are these?” Karter asked quietly and I realised he had been playing with my hand and had turned it over, only to find some old scars.
I shrugged, figuring he didn’t really need to ask to know what they were. I wasn’t in the mood to lie to him and try to pass them off as scratches of some sort. After a moment of silence Karter laid his hand next to mine, showing an exact replica of my scars.
“I have them too.” He whispered and I looked up at him, reading his eyes.
Karter wasn’t the type of guy to ever hurt himself, so that only left one possible option – his soul-mate had hurt herself somehow. The process hadn’t really been explained to us properly yet, but from what I understood, soul-mates with the proper bonding generally received the same wounds as their fated half. It was rare that unbonded pairs received similar wounds – but sometimes superpowers could speed up the boding process even if the two people didn’t yet know one another.
My breath came rushing out of me all at once, and I couldn’t meet Karter’s eyes for some time. I wasn’t prepared to talk about this new development. I mean, I had known for a long time that Karter was it for me, but to have it shown to me so clearly was something completely different all together.
And now I had to ask myself if he had known I was his all along.
I put the car in drive and closed the few short miles up the road to what was my house. The driveway still hadn’t been fixed, and the stones were becoming loose and jolted the car, it was still a good minute drive up the driveway, watching Karter for his reaction.
The house was in rambles, as always. It needed a good paint job – it was peeling significantly more than the last time I had seen it. Children’s toys littered the yard from where I had left them once upon a time, some of them were real and some of them had been brought to life by my mind and forgotten.
I parked the car to the side of the house and left the keys in the ignition in case I needed a quick escape route. Karter grabbed my hand and I felt that he was sweating as much as I was.
“Nervous about meeting the parent?” I asked with a slight smile and he nodded seriously causing me to laugh lightly.
I practically had to pull Karter up the stairs to the door with me. He stood there fidgeting and looking like he was ready to bolt any second. We waited a few moments but nothing happened. I scowled at the door, wondering if my mother knew I was here and was simply choosing not to answer because of it.
“Wait here.” I instructed and Karter paled but nodded.
I moved around the side of the house like I used to do when I was younger, climbing over the waist high wire fence to the back door, which was always kept open in case I came home and mum wasn’t there.
The door opened with a creek, confirming the fact that no-one had used the back entrance for a long time. I made my way through the back room into the kitchen before the lounge room and towards the front door. I opened it to Karter standing there biting his nails, he looked up and smiled sheepishly and I rolled my eyes, stepping out of the way so he could come in.
“Where’s your mum?” He asked and I shrugged, it was the weekend so she was probably still in bed.
I motioned for Karter to stay where he was and crept down the hallway towards the last room on the left, if she was asleep I needed to wake her and make sure we had enough coffee to ensure she was really awake. I pushed opened the door and smiled as I recognized the sleeping figure on the bed.
I crept up the side of the queen sized back and touched her shoulder, expecting her to flinch slightly at the contact, but she didn’t – she was probably in a deep sleep. I shook her lightly, but even that did nothing.
After a few moments of shaking her lightly, I started really shaking her, my nerves skyrocketing as my brain considered all the possibilities. Finally I rolled her towards me, my hand automatically going to my mouth to stifle a sob as I saw the blood. There was also a bloodied piece of paper firmly clasped in her hands with my name scrawled on the front.
I steadied my breathing and reached forward, carefully excavating it with shaking hands and unfolding it.
I'll be back for you little hero.