A strange love story with a unique science fantasy twist.
|Lavender eyes and the complexion of a piece of dirt-speckled paper, this apt description was for one girl, Amber Cross. Amber's sunburned knees and rosy cheeks made her look like a paper doll who's creator got tired in the middle and just scribbled the coils of red locks on her head. Yet, behind the coke bottle spectacles and the irate frown was the spirit of a motherly deviant, evenly mixed between a kind and gentle soul and a demented and severe one. She was settled behind a stack of books ranging from thick to Harry Potter one through three. The air was humid, what with the air conditioner on the fritz in Amber's sanctum, the High School Library.
"Uh um A-A-Amber Cross, r-r-right?" A squirmy, nasally voice called her name, eliciting a low growl from her.
"Yes. What is it?" She harrumphed, snapping her book shut with a subtle yet echoing crack
"Umm... see I heard that you-you um... d-d-do things... for guys."
Amber sighed, now turning to face the weedy individual. He was dressed halfway up in the team colors, gold and blue and held his bookbag like a shield. He was leanly built, broken out in a spot of acne on his forehead and shuffling around some disheveled blonde hair.
"If you've heard about me then you know the code, right?" Amber whispered sternly.
The teenage boy nodded, kneeling down beside her.
"I need help studying a certain subject."
"Specialty or service?"
Amber gave him another scanning glance before rising from her chair. She gathered her books and stuffed each one carefully into the quilt patch bag on the table. As she collected her things, she could feel the boy eyeing her, his gaze like caressing fingers edging her curves, under her baggy jean shorts.
"This isn't a one-time thing, I'm not going to be responsible for you if you get your heart broken," She warned him.
"N-no way. I-I'm fine with whatever, I mean," He stammered, the pure anxiety shaking his voice.
Amber checked out her books, dropped a ten into the donation box and sauntered out of the library with her client in tow.
The two arrived in front of the thirty-third dorm room, Amber's place. She opened the door and invited him in, her eyes the only mention of it. The boy, Leo, sat down and began to fidget.
"Alright Leo, listen up, cause I'm only going to explain this in detail, once. Got it?" She advised him, arching her brows.
He nodded as she continued.
"What I'm doing is completely consensual, your free to walk away at any time and I'll say nothing of it. However, if you do leave, you can't come back to this and if I tell you enough's enough or you start getting overwhelming, I will cut it off, got it?" She said scathingly, her tone as stern as an iron maiden.
"I g-got it. Free to leave, no funny business." He chirped, clapping his hands together.
"Funny business is fine, but when I say cut it out, I mean it. Now, you need to sign this."
Leo took the tinged yellow page handed to him. Amber watched him carefully as she ran her hands through her messy faux-afro for a pen she put there.
"So this is like, f-friends with benefits?" He asked hesitantly.
"Yeah, except on paper and if you cross me, I'll kill you. So are you in?" She answered his question with her own as she retrieved the pen, a black ballpoint with small claw marks on the cap.
Slowly, Leo began penning his signature on the dotted line and when he reached the end he handed the paper back. Amber checked the signature carefully before folding the contract up and stepping up to the front door.
"Wait, aren't we-" he called out.
"Stay right there, I'll be back. I'm not gonna flake on you." She tapered off into a murmur as she left.
Moments later she returned and sat down beside him, crossing one leg over the other and leaning into her hand on the black leather couch.
"So, do you want to skip to the action or do you want to get to know me a bit?" She asked.
Leo blinked widely.
"You signed the contract, your free to do whatever you want with me, as long as I give the okay first, I'm pretty open-minded."
"C-can I see your b-br-br your boobs?" Leo turned bright red as he pointed coyly.
Without hesitation, Amber took the bottom of her purple sweater and pulled it up to her neck.
That night, Amber gave him an experience that took the wind out of him. He ended up needing a shower, so the two showered and he stayed there to rest for the night.(This scene was changed to keep the material relatively clean.)
"So, was it anything like you imagined?" Amber asked, flopping down on her side of the queen mattress.
He sat speechless for a good couple of minutes while Amber yawned and chuckled.
"Good, I'm glad you enjoyed it. My schedule on the board in the kitchen so you know when and where I am. Remember, you might have to share me if I get busy, either that or find some other way to get off. Night."
The boy sat up for half an hour with a euphoric grin on his face before he finally turned over and fell asleep. In the morning, a touch before the sun, Amber's eyes popped open, she gave a silent yawn and rolled off the bed, landing like a cat as she quietly made her way out. Even with her half-awake and groggy mind, she autopiloted to the bathroom to truly clean herself up. With a mixture of her own creation that smelled like burnt wood, she scrubbed her genitals furiously and rinsed, scanning anything she missed. After that, she cleared up the sweat and oil from her face and groomed her hair into a loose knot. She changed into a long puke green skirt and another purple velvet sweater and cracked her neck left and then right. Hoping a little to jog her sleep-riddled brain she came out of the bathroom stealthily and went to the kitchen, where she put on some eggs and toast while she slipped on her high tops.
"This one's good at following his gut. If it weren’t for my blood, he might have had me walking sideways," she chuckled.
Quickly snatching a pen from a cup with a smiling cartoon dog on it, she wrote out a short note and tossed it on the counter behind her as she flipped the eggs out of the frying pan and onto a cleverly positioned paper plate. The toast popped up and she snatched them out applying a healthy amount of vegetable spread and setting them with the eggs. She grabbed her keys, her book bag and a piece of toast and headed out, locking the door behind her.
When Leo woke up, he smelled a familiar scent. As he got up, noticing the distinct lack of body heat he began looking for his missing friend. She wasn't in the bathroom, though, he had to admit, it was immaculately taken care of.
When he saw the food on the bar-like counter overlooking the kitchen he picked up a fork place beside it and saw a folded piece of paper. Taking the toast and biting in he read the note scrawled on the paper.
Hope you like eggs and toast, milk and OJ's in the fridge and for heaven's sake don't drink it all, that *@#$'s expensive! Anyway, I got your clothes cleaned and set out on the couch (Long story) so feel free to leave at any time. You've got a spare key in your pant's pocket, lock the door and don't let anyone know about that key or our business, and we might just have a relationship that works, not a full blown one but, you know.
Leo, held the note thoughtfully as he began carving into the eggs with the corner of the fork. They tasted great, almost indescribably so. He wondered how such a wonderful yet mysterious girl didn't just have a serious relationship already. He also wondered about the other guys she was doing this with. Did they react the same way? He was okay with the idea, to him the fact that a girl would let him in her dorm as well as have sex with her was better than anything he'd had in years. The thoughts weighed on him as his shoulders sagged. Should he really be okay with this, he asked himself. In any case, the first period was upon him and he had to be on time so he finished his meal, got dressed and headed out, noting how fresh his clothes felt and locked the door with the gold and green key he plucked from his pocket amidst his phone and locker key.
2. The other... girl?
As Amber made her way out of the third period, carefully checking off homework from her To Do list, she glanced up to see a short chubby girl waddling towards her with a look of fear on her round sand-colored face.
"What's wrong, Khalu?" Amber asked, clamping the second clip on her clipboard and securing it to her hip.
"Chloe and Mira keep picking on me, saying I don't belong in the Rainbow club because I'm not 'gay' enough. Amber, I don't know what to do..." She sobbed as Amber wrapped her arms around the girl, as far as she could.
"Want me to scare them?" She asked, smirking a little.
"I don't want you to get in trouble... b-b-but I just... there just... so mean! I know I'm a young adult and I should be handling these things but I-" She rambled, her voice raising as she grew more frantic, flailing her arms and hyperventilating.
"Shh-ch-ch-ch. Calm down, girl. It's going to be okay. I can deal with them, but you can't let them get the better of you, alright? Remember our chant?" Amber cooed, talking her down with grace and a silky tone.
"Never give in, never give up. O-okay. Breathe. Calm. T-thank you Ami. I don't know what I'd do without you."
"Don't start that trope, you know it never ends well. I'll head up there after I take care of a few other clients, alright? Just hold down the fort for me. You can do it," Amber assured her as she headed across campus, turning to wave to her as she left.
The chubby girl waved back, wiping her leaky eyes and clenching her fists as she turned to leave. Amber sighed to herself.
"Khalu's stronger than she thinks, I wish she knew that though. Can't say it isn't fun being her hero though." She thought.
After meeting with two guys a mile apart, Amber began the walk back around to the building far behind the two classroom buildings, A and F. As she came to the rainbow-painted door, two girls in the classrooms, a short blonde and a tall black girl, scowled at her.
She knew them well, Chloe Miller and Mira Carmichael. In a group about acceptance and learning to understand each other, these two were now where near tolerant enough to belong, but they provided most of the funding that the group needed and so the rules occasionally bent to their rule.
"You two've got a lot of nerve kicking Khalu out of your little group. What happened to 'Acceptance and Tolerance'?" Amber shouted at them, pointing at the large banner decorating the far wall across from the door.
"What do you know, Cross, you're not even on the LGBT Spectrum, you slut." Mira came back, closing the distance between them.
"As I seem to recall, Bisexuality is the B on LGBT. Also, weren't there more letters?"
"She admits that she's a stupid #*%$-hungry slut! Ha!" Chloe snorted, her fat round nose wrinkling.
"^**%ing fight me! I'll take both of you on outside, you bony prudes!" Amber fired back with more anger than she initially intended.
The two girls stepped closer, coming within breathing distance as she faced them, not one of them flinching.
"Leave Khalu out of your petty $#!+ or I'll incinerate your houses from space. Got it?" She hissed, her voice going from snappy and witty to malicious and hostile in seconds.
Chloe backed off first, swallowing hard and clenching her teeth.
"Do it and I freeze that little boy toy of yours and break off his limbs while he bleeds to death. Leo was it?" Mira replied, hissing as well.
Within a fraction of a second, Amber snatched her up off her feet and threw her to the ground. She pounded the girl's face in, leaving her bloodied and broken on the ground.
"How dare you!" Chloe reprimanded, going to help Mira up.
When Amber tilted her head back, her purple eyes gone and replaced by bright, glowing yellow pupils with cat-like irises she scowled and replied with a bone chilling tone.
"I won't tolerate your foolish remark a second time. You may be an empress but I am a god and you will obey my rules... or die."
As Amber cleaned herself up and left the bathroom, a deep, accented voice caught her ear.
"Hey Quin," breathed, tilting her head as she tried to guess what he was holding behind his back.
"Happy birthday, Amber!" The short, young man said, presenting her with a long white box.
She looked it over and opened it without a word and pulled out the ruby studded necklace. Smiling she put it on and showed it off a little.
"It's beautiful, Quin," she replied, running a finger over the edges of the sharply cut stone.
"Hey Amber, I..." another voice called her name.
"Leo. You done with your class this period?" She asked.
"Yeah. Is this one of your other clients?" He asked, stepping in.
She nodded and introduced the two.
"So, you're new to this whole thing, eh? Sorry if it seems... competitive," Quin said, smiling calmly.
"Yeah... also, I-I didn't know it was your birthday," Leo said, wearing his confusion like a mask.
"How was the experience, if you don't mind me asking, Amber," Quin asked, looking to Amber for approval.
"It's fine as long as you aren't talking about me like a sex toy, guys. I thought he was a pretty good lay for a virgin, very instinctive." Amber quipped, unabashedly.
"Really?" Quin and Leo echoed each other, looking to one another.
"Well, how was he?" Leo asked, his curiosity as apparent as a patch of grass in the desert.
"Rough and acrobatic, Leo. That's all you want to know," She chuckled.
Leo mentally took note of the stocky young man, his shoulders like mountains upon closer inspection.
"Everyone has a specific lean, Leo, you just need to find yours. Quin's got his in spades but he's had experience, unlike you, before meeting me."
Leo stood silently for a moment, chewing on the information he'd learned.
"Well Quin, did you want to head to my place after class?" She asked.
After a moment staring into the air, he answered with a gentlemanly no, amending it by saying that he was planning to go to an interview at a local factory. Leo and Amber wished him luck and the group split off.
"So, you know of one of my clients," Amber confirmed, crossing her arms as she tilted her head.
"He seemed cool. It's admittedly weird as hell to be talking sex with another guy, I mean... it's like I stepped into some secret society who's social laws are backward and inside out. I gotta say, I'm kinda loving it." Leo commented, crossing his arms similarly.
"Yeah well, you'll be able to meet Conner, Khalu and Nicki tomorrow night. We're having a little slumber party while my schedule's clear. I need the relaxation and with the way I've been skimping on my 'extracurricular' activities I'm going to need more than one of you to scratch this itch." Amber replied, smirking.
"You seem happy with yourself, Leo."
"Why not, I just became friends with a hot girl who's crazy, exciting and turned me on to something I never thought I'd actually get to try. How could I not be happy?" Leo laughed.
"Just don't get too cocky or something bad'll happen. That’s how the universe works, just like any movie or cartoon, the moment things are looking great, suddenly the $#!+ hit's the fan and everything's ruined."
As they returned to Amber's dorm room, a pair of green eyes scanned them from far behind and high above.
4. True Identity
The dorm was filled with warm chatter and friendly banter as the five of them introduced themselves to each other.
"Let me get a few cold ones for you guys. Sit tight," Amber spoke above them as they began.
"So, Leo I see you’re a pretty attractive guy, what's someone like you doing in our band of misfits?" Conner, the scrawny, knock-kneed red-head, asked.
Believe it or not, I haven't had a relationship till now. I just heard about her and I wanted to know more," Leo admitted.
"C-curiosity? Well I f-f-for one think your quite welcome here, Leo. You seem really nice," Khalu replied, extending her hand to shake his.
"Your not jealous or anything? This isn't a monogamous relationship, dude," this time the raven-haired girl, Nicki spoke up, curling her lips into a not-so-subtle snarl.
"I've never been in this kind of relationship, or any for that matter but-"Leo cut himself off, Nicki's brown eyes piercing through his soul, it was like she could see his weak will.
"If I were you I'd keep it strictly sex. You don't seem the type to go the distance." She casually waved him off like a dying pest.
"Nicki, what'd I tell you about harassing the new ones. Don't act like Mira and her ilk." Amber said as she came through with an armful of bottles of water.
As she passed them around, Leo stared down into his hands.
"Don't worry about her, she's like a cat, you just gotta put up with her claws for a bit before you can really settle in. Plus I'm helping her through anger management."
Leo snapped open the water and to a big swig, digesting the introductions.
Suddenly he heard a deep groaning coming from the walls as the ground began to shake. Amber narrowed her eyes as the shaking and groaning continued.
"You guys wait here. I'll be back." Amber commanded.
She stepped out quickly and shut the door behind her.
Leo sat on edge, wondering what was going on.
"S-shouldn't we go out to see if she's-" He started.
"She said stay here! Didn't you listen?" Nicki snapped.
He stood shaking and looking at the door. As minutes passed like hours, his palms began to sweat and he paced.
"She's fine Leo, she strong and smart and-" Khalu rambled.
"If she told us to stay in that means that the situation is her's to handle, right? She knows wat she's doing," Conner added, his questioning tone subtle but mostly unacknowledged.
Leo felt his heart kick it's pace to a fever pitch as lights flickered and the ceiling began to crack. Finally, he gritted his teeth and sprinted to the door.
"Hey, get back here!" Nicki shouted.
Leo swung the door open and ran outside. When he stopped just outside the dorm front doors, an explosion of colors and light blasted across the field in what looked to be a massive battle. He scanned the area for Amber and what he found was a glowing person, partially transparent throwing fireballs across the field and blasting a hidden form in the distance. He came closer, dodging the blasts by mere feet. When the ghostly figure turned to see him, she gasped, though he couldn't hear her as an unknown voice boomed across the area, shouting shrill insults such as slut, *&%#@# and whore.
<Leo? I told you to wait in my room! Your going to get yourself killed!>
Leo felt the voice bouncing off the insides of his skull.
"Amber? What's going on! Your body-" Leo tried to ask when they were both cut off by a stream of blue that froze the area nearly instantly.
Leo felt his feet and legs go numb in seconds, thousands of nerves tingling and burning until they stopped functioning.
"Amber.. I can't feel my legs..." Leo tried to move his arms as they too, began to freeze.
<Leo! Why did you come out here?>
"I just wanted to.. To know if you... were... alright..." His voice puffed out tiny ice shards as his lungs began to cool.
5. Sleight of Heart
"%$#@ you, you stupid #@($@. You whore! I told you I'd freeze your little boy toy and tear him to shreds. Your nothing! Nothing but a bull%&^ myth and a bedtime story. Now, I'm going to kill both of you!" Chloe ranted, her ghostly demonic form hovering over Amber's freezing form as she shifted back to her human body form.
"You... pathetic, wretched Ka'nth. Uomi motag ba beilog nyn." Her voice shifted, as her eyes went from purple to yellow and finally rested on the pupils disappearing altogether behind an eerie white glow.
Amber now spoke with a distorted, monotone voice in her native tongue. Her body became tangible once more but mutated into a spiny draconic form, still humanoid but; sharper, taller and more muscular. Bony thorns tore through skin and became red spikes on her hardening skin. Soon all but traces of her human form were gone, leaving a dark monstrous creature in her place.
Chloe looked on in horror but spoke brashly none the less.
"So... this is the god of chaos, good. When I kill you, I'll spit on your stupid pathetic corpse!" She shouted as she rushed in, throwing ice blasts in a barrage of bluish white.
As the cloud cleared up the ice formed in a circle around Amber but refused to touch her. She rose off the ground weightlessly and with a two finger gesture, pulled the vaporous girl to her, catching her by the throat. The girl was shaking furiously her eyes wide and her pupils jittering about.
"No, no, no! Don't kill me," Chloe pleaded desperately.
The grip of the monstrous Amber clenched tightly rendering the intangible creature tangible for the sake of choking her rigorously. Amber crushed the ghostly girl, letting a physical body fall to the ground, undamaged but unconscious. The spectral form writhed in her hand as she inhaled the spirit like smoke in a cigar. Suddenly a voice called her name. She turned, shedding the demonic skin and bones and returning to her human form as she fell to the ground and ran to Leo's side. He thawed slowly, his heart returning to normal speed rather quickly by comparison.
"Why? Why did you say that?" Amber asked, her normal composure having given rise to a whimpering, fearful girl.
"I didn't want to lose a good friend again. That's all." Leo whispered, coughing his newly-thawed lungs up.
Amber stood back, processing this sentence slowly.
The two came back, Leo soaked and Amber carrying him on her shoulder. When they came through the door, Nicki was the first to greet her, the clear concern in her eyes masked by a shrewd look his way.
"What happened? It sounded like bombs went off!" Khalu exclaimed.
"You guys might want to sit down. This will take some time to explain."
When the group had settled down again, Amber began to tell everyone what happened, with Leo's first-hand experience to call in as evidence.
"This is crazy, but somehow, I always knew," Khalu began.
"An alien incarnate of the god of chaos? It sounds so fantastical but you bear the proof. I guess our polygamous relationship has just gotten interspecies added to the mix," Conner chuckled nervously.
Nicki remained silent, seeming to process the information carefully.
"So, listen, all of you. You're not here because I forced you. You can leave at any time, I hope knowing this you'll make the choice that works best for you but let it be know that staying will be dangerous," She said, her tone wavering and vulnerable.
"I'm staying," Leo stated, pressing his hand on her shoulder.
"Friends don't let friends deal with their situations alone, even if they are extraterrestrials," Khalu added, putting her had in slowly but surely.
"Between this and the norm, I'd like to think I'm on the adventurous side so, I'm in too," Conner smirked, adding his hand to the ones on Amber's slumped shoulders.
"I don't care if you’re an alien or not, all I care about is if you care about me, about us. Is everything you told us in confidence true?" Nicki sternly asked, making sharpened eye contact.
"Yes. I started doing this because; I'm Polyamorous, I wanted to help you and because I found people who understand me better than I understand myself sometimes. Even Leo, who I've met only yesterday said stuff that I thought I'd only hear after years of friendship or being married. All of my feelings are real, I swear to you."
Nicki kept her eyes on Amber, reading her face like a book. At last, she closed her eyes and tilted her head down.
"I'm in too. And Leo?" She aimed her query at Leo now.
"I'm glad I was wrong about you."
Leo smiled a little. As the group sat back in silence a weight seemed to lift from all of them, even with impending hardship knocking on their door. In the morning they would face the world again, renewed and with a new purpose on top of their own.
After a restful night, the group awoke to the smell of breakfast in the air. Leo first noticed Amber's absence, a note sitting on the counter again, like before. He got up and picked it up.
Thank you for accepting my true nature but now comes the hard part. With each of you having come into contact with me and with the bond we have now you will experience a new growth. Nothing gross like the clap, something good, something awesome, if I could be so bold. You'll each start to gain super powers much like my own. You'll need them as now, your part of my pack, my mates, in animal kingdom terminology. This planet's going to be under attack unless we do something about it and I'm not about to let my home be overrun by big shots who think they know everything. Anyways, I'll let you guys get back to your lives. Don't worry to much for now, I'll be looking out for my lovers, take care.
~ Orizal (Amber)