This world is crying. The planet’s tears tell millions of unspoken stories. They reveal tales that humanity has found too troublesome to spew. Sagas unknowingly owned by masses of lives plummet to solid ground. Mixing with dirt, it quickly becomes mud. Filth that no man finds suitable for admiration. So many beautifully intricate compositions are walked over. Trampled on. Destroyed. Never to be approved. Only to be washed away until the next breakdown that Earth has to offer. But, will anyone listen next time?
The gorgeous brunette marches her way through the downpour. Without an umbrella, the young woman’s curls stick to her face and shoulders. Bright and expressing blue-green eyes pierce through bleak surroundings with pure energy. A sharply featured face, her beauty is beyond belief. A tight purple tank top shows off a small stomach and slightly larger chest; she slowly slides the raincoat on. Black skinny jeans also adhere to her skin but bag at the ankles to cover a small portion of her fading-colored high-tops; they must have once been a navy blue and now seemed grey. Maybe she truly is a work of art that had escaped some fictional piece. A human being who is too much for reality, her confidence is a thick aura around her.
“Aleta Trace! What in the world are you doing out in this weather?” The hyper female voice sounds off from above. The brunette, Aleta, tilts her head up to gaze at the source that peers out of a window from the third floor of a building.
“I’m fine, Charlotte. I just need to get a couple of things from the bakery.” Aleta responds, her harmonic voice a wonderful melody in the depressing atmosphere. Yet, it was drawl and evidently revealed some type of hidden boredom. Though she is a year younger than Charlotte – who is 18, Aleta doesn’t talk to her in any other way than as an equal. Charlotte seemed to be thinking at the moment, trying to come up with a witty reply. Beautiful and model-worthy, Charlotte Anders wasn’t known for her brains. Most girls were jealous of Charlotte’s looks. But not Aleta. One of the few females in Pine Grove who pays more attention to her own life over worrying about everyone else’s, Aleta generally kept to herself.
Minutes seemed to pass before Charlotte’s hazel eyes burned with deep thought. Leaving the girl to think, Aleta continues her way down the wearing sidewalk. Avoiding gashes and multiple sudden rises, the last thing Aleta wanted to do is stumble onto her face. The streets weren’t busy. They never were. Pine Grove was a small town that had a little over 1,000 people. While in-town, most structures were apartments that blended in with the rest of the stores – which were lined up right beside the sidewalk in a seemingly never-ending row.
This wasn’t where Aleta lived, though. She wouldn’t handle it, as this was the area that over half of the population inhabited. Aleta lived two miles away, with her parents in a lovely villa that sits at the edge of Pine Lake. The walk to get in-town took time, but Aleta had a shortcut – through the forest that separates the two sections, the “country folk” and the “town folk”. Aleta could drive to town as she does own a car, but she always enjoyed fresh air and nature’s music. That was another thing that separated Aleta from a majority of the other girls in Pine Grove.
Aleta walks into one of the shops, and a short smile forms on her face as the bell rings overhead. The smell of freshly baked goods attacks her sense of smell, and overrides all others. For a moment, Aleta felt lost. She carefully closes the glass door behind her, and then takes an extra step inside. Her shoes against the polished wood creates a loud squeaking as she strides to the marble-topped counter. No one was around. Aleta slides her fingertips against the cool surface, and then reaches for the silver service bell.
“Ah ah ah.” Someone scolds, pressing their hand down on Aleta’s. Her eyes wander from the large fingers, up the lean and apron-covered torso, to the attractive face. Someone like Severin Dane didn’t belong in a bakery. Or even Pine Grove for that matter. The 19-year-old should be off on the beach, with all other tan “hunks” – as Aleta’s classmates referred to him as. If that was the correct word, Aleta wasn’t sure. Severin was never someone Aleta could see herself actually talking to. Meaning, more than her weekly appointment for picking up two loafs of fresh bread and two chocolate cupcakes.
“You know what I said about hitting it. Come on Aleta, you should know by now that I’ll always be around at this time.” Severin’s hazy gray orbs rested on her. Removing his hand, he slides the service bell out of Aleta’s reach and then disappears into a back room. Seconds later, he returns with a paper bag in hand. Playfully smirking, Severin slides the sack over to Aleta, and she gently snatches it off the counter.
“See you later Aleta.” Severin waves just as she exits the bakery. Aleta goes the opposite direction, avoiding bumping into anyone on the sidewalk. The rain was starting to clear, making way for a momentarily dull sun. Aleta loved the smell of the air after a downpour. It made her feel more alive. Her eyes catch a glimpse of something hanging off the bag’s handle, and Aleta comes to a stop. She looks at the slip of paper, and a sigh unwillingly slips out of her glossy lips. Written on the small note is Severin’s cell phone number. First thing on Aleta’s list when she gets home: Throw away paper. Second thing: Devour both delectably irresistible cupcakes before sweet-toothed mom could get to them.
Aleta returns home and slips her shoes off on the entry way rug. She walks into the nearby kitchen, and sets the bag down on the island. Her attention averts to the sliding glass door that leads to the back yard – which is first grass, and then Pine Lake’s sandy beach. The tides are low, and the water is practically clear. Aleta’s house is the only one that has such a magnificent view. Every sunset was a hundred times better. But, Aleta glances up to see threatening clouds in the distance. A thunderstorm for sure. If anyone ever dared to ask Aleta her fears, storms would be at the top. She could handle rain perfectly. But when high-speed winds and lightning were involved, Aleta could be found curled up in her closet or hiding under the bed. She felt more like a dog than human when it came to those days and/or nights. Just the thoughts made Aleta frown.
With a subtle sigh, Aleta slips her hand into the bakery bag and then pulls out a small rectangular box. She looks at the contents inside of the white container, her mouth already watering. There was one thing that Aleta absolutely loved about Severin – his baking skills.
“Definitely the best.” Aleta smiles to herself as she flips open the box and removes one of the chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Holding the treat up in a cheering way, Aleta says, “To the good life.”
When Aleta’s mother returned home, she had told her daughter that they’re in need of more napkins and paper plates. Aleta wasn’t upset that she’d have to go for another stroll into town, but she was disturbed by the nearing clouds. She couldn’t be angry with her mother. Aleta had never said anything about her fear. Even when she was five years old, she refused to tell anyone. Fear is just another word for weak. That was a feeling that Aleta would always try to deny. She wanted to be fearless. She wanted to be like her late father – a lionheart.
As she enters the forest, it begins to rain. The path that Aleta takes stretches for at least a half a mile before curving multiple times, and then stretching out for another mile. The only thing visible from either side of the path are trees. Even ahead it looked like the path was cut off by foliage. When Aleta glances over her shoulder, it’s as though trees had suddenly formed behind her. Surrounded by towering vegetation, it actually brought a grin to Aleta’s face. With the shower, each emerald leaf seemed to glisten brighter.
Terror struck as thunder rumbled. Aleta couldn’t see the sky, as the trees were a canopy of green. But she knew very well that the storm had arrived sooner than anticipated. Her legs suddenly boneless, she nearly collapsed. Aleta wouldn’t allow herself to. She keeps her head held high and continues to journey down the gravel pathway. Saliva gets stuck in her throat as there’s a familiar pressure behind her eyes.
“Don’t do this Aleta. You’ve got to remain strong. Conquer your fears.” She tells herself, closing her eyes to force the tears away. When she opens her eyes a flash of light breaks through and brings forth a scream. Aleta staggers back, and then whirls around. It was getting unbelievably dark, and Aleta found herself incapable of the simplest actions. Her brain stopped functioning, and breathing became impossible. Suddenly powerless, Aleta’s knees give in and she drops. Another bolt of lightning brightens the area, and Aleta snaps her eyes shut. Several droplets get through her natural shelter, and strike her face.
Aleta hears footsteps against the pebbles, and she slightly opens her eyes to see a shadowed figure. Her eyes widened at its size. Even without seeing any detail, it was clear that the mass was composed of muscle. She hadn’t seen anyone like this. If Aleta didn’t know better, she would assume that they’re almost as tall as the trees. The distance between them was quickly shortening, and Aleta started to get to her feet. This person, whoever they were, weren’t going to offer help. Aleta’s muscles tensed with the warning of a threat. She straightened herself out, but started to tremble again as more thunder shook the surroundings. Her hands form into quivering fists as the bulky form is no more than ten feet away.
Before the massive figure could take another step, a smaller one falls out from the trees in front of it. Confusion grew in Aleta’s mind as the two silhouettes stood still. She could sense their tension. Without seeing it, Aleta knew that their unwavering eyes are locked. A sharp breath escapes her as the larger one throws a wrecking ball of a fist. Nimbly, the smaller one flips over and onto the other side of the colossal arm. With long and wiry arms, the smaller takes hold of the sides of larger’s outstretched arm and effortlessly slams the big form on its side. The ground jumps, and Aleta does the same. As Aleta watched the fight commence, it started to look more like a violent dance routine as the human-sized figure danced around the titanic-sized figure. The smaller’s movements were lithe and graceful, completely silent – unlike the larger’s. But, Aleta couldn’t make out anything else besides their proportions. Then, lightning flashes and Aleta catches a glimpse of silver hair. Silver hair? That couldn’t be correct. Aleta's eyes were most likely playing tricks on her.
“Get out of here already!” A mellow male voice shouts. She knew that it had been directed towards her. The sound almost put Aleta into a trance, but as the small figure’s palm connects with the large one’s stomach, Aleta shakes her head and catches her breath. She bursts into a full sprint and away from them, needing to reach the town; downpour causes branches to wilt and water to enter the forest. Aleta glanced over her shoulder for a second time. But the two combating beings had vanished. For a moment…Aleta had forgotten about the storm.
As soon as Aleta reaches the end of the path, she quietly exhales, “Silver hair…no way.”
Aleta woke up early the next morning so she could get to the library. That’s how Aleta usually started off her Saturdays. The sun hangs in the sky, a brilliant orb of radiance. Pine Grove was probably one of the most bipolar places on Earth. One day it could be snowing, the next there could be a horrible heat wave. Aleta wondered if that was the reasoning behind such a small population. That didn’t bother her one bit, though.
With light steps, Aleta enters the library. The structure is one of the oldest in Pine Grove, at least fifty years old. Mainly bricks, it was a wonderful piece of architecture. Inside, the building is naturally lit by the greatest source – the sun. Large windows welcome the intruder, enabling an extravagant amount of warmth to flow throughout the library. Bookshelves lined the walls on the left side, and several created short aisles. While on the right side, there were four tables, a leather couch and two chairs to match. Three computers were placed in a row on an elongated table, only one is for internet purposes. This place was definitely one for peace. Tranquility is the atmosphere, and silence settles perfectly. Being six in the morning, there are only five others in the library. But everyone kept to themselves, as if unaware of anyone else’s presence.
She pulls out a list from her jean shorts and skims through it. Most of the words are crossed out, as those are the books Aleta had already read. She traces one of the ink writings with her finger, and then folds the paper once more before placing it back in her pocket. Aleta strides through the library and to the farthest shelf on the wall. She slides a hand over the fourth row of books, which she is face-to-face with. Aleta comes to stop on the tenth book, and then gently pulls it out. In her hands is Big Machine by Victor LaVelle. She had been wanting to read the book for a while now, but it was always checked out. Aleta makes her way to the other side of the library, deciding to stay and read it instead of going home – where her mother was busy painting and complaining to herself. A troubled artist, that’s what Aleta tends to call her mother.
Aleta makes herself comfortable on one of the leather chairs, her smaller frame sinking into the dark brown cushions. She tucks her feet in so her knees are to her chest, and then opens the book. This should also help get her mind off last night. What she had seen couldn’t have been real. Aleta’s ear twitches slightly as she hears the door open, but doesn’t peel her eyes away from the page. But, when another closer sound comes, Aleta couldn’t help but glance up to see the newcomer that had placed themselves at one of the nearest tables.
His body is firmly built like a knight awaiting to rescue a princess in his strong arms. Just by sight, he is undeniably a true gentleman with a pleasant and respectable persona. As Aleta was staring he suddenly jerked his head to move his hair; it caught the light and the golden gleam nearly blinded her. His hair itself was like gold spun thread, each thread falling perfectly, weaving together into curls that framed his lightly tanned face. He paused for a moment, tapping his pencil unobtrusively on the wooden tabletop before he continued writing. Aleta watched his hand as he wrote. His fingers were long but strong looking, his fingernails pink and smooth, with half-moons near the cuticles. Her eyes wandered up his arm, to his strong forearm disappearing into the sleeve of his athletic jacket, pushed up to below his elbow to free his hands. She watched his hand as it moved up to rub some unknown irritant from his eye. His nose was straight and aquiline, his lips perfectly formed, parted slightly, his breath, she imagined, moving in and out in steady streams of air. Suddenly, he looked up and she caught a flash of is eyes framed by tangled dark lashes. His eyes are sensuous and radiant like pure iridescent diamonds which capture every nerve in Aleta’s mind. She quickly ducked her head back into the book and pretended to read. In reality, Aleta was just trying to hide her blush.
There was a barely audible clanking, and Aleta glances from the side of her book to see a pencil near her chair. The boy at the table had started looking around, his writing utensil missing. Put two and two together, Aleta comes to a sudden realization. She sets her hardcover book on the arm rest, and then bends over to pick up the pencil. Slowly to keep quiet, Aleta lifts herself off the chair and to the floor. She walks over to the boy and holds the pencil out to him.
“Oh, thank you.” He whispers, his voice smooth and soothing. He goes to grab the pencil, his fingers sliding against Aleta’s. Her eyes widen slightly as she felt like she had been electrocuted. Aleta swiftly pulls her hand away, and he looks at her in slight confusion. But behind his eyes were concern. Aleta knew that he was aware of what had occurred. But, she still apologizes under her breath before grabbing her book, checking it out, and then exiting the library.
Aleta wasn’t sure who that boy was. She had never seen him before, and everyone knows anyone in Pine Grove. Even if he had just moved in, the news would have already spread like the bubonic plague. As Aleta thinks, she rubs the hand he had touched. It still tingled, and was starting to discolor. There was definitely something not normal about him, that much Aleta knew. Another thing Aleta knew: Once word gets around and he is seen, the entire female population will be swarming him. Aleta actually pitied the kid, especially since he appeared to be around her age.
She is sitting in her large bedroom. The wall parallel to the door is one massive window, revealing the lake to her. Aleta had gotten the master bedroom, as her mother was never one for sleeping in big spaces. That’s because Aleta’s mother, Ilene, had been raised in a large family who all lived in a tiny home. Aleta wondered what it would be like to have eight siblings, more or less one. An only child, Aleta knew that she would never get the feeling of sharing her life with a brother or sister.
Sitting on her king-sized bed that is placed three feet away from the window, Aleta stares directly outside. She had just finished her book. Her plan hadn’t worked, though. Aleta wanted to read to get her mind off last night’s mystical fight. There hadn’t been any news about a dead or wounded body found in Pine Forest. There hadn’t been any information whatsoever on the event. Maybe it had all just been a hallucination caused by Aleta’s fears.
She throws herself back on the bed and spreads her arms out wide. As much as Aleta tried, she couldn’t touch the sides of the large bed while resting in the center. Sighing, Aleta keeps her eyes on the glistening waters. Small waves lap over each other in a calm attempt to reach the shore. As Aleta begins to space out, she looks up at her white ceiling. It seemed to be made out of painted white glass, while the walls three walls that aren’t windows are clearly a light blue wallpaper. Then, there are the brown wood floors that manage to get dangerously slippery whenever Aleta walks in from swimming. She absolutely loves her room. This place is her safe haven. It’s where Aleta goes when she’s angry. Sad. Bored…Scared.
(I just got home from shopping and eating some frozen yogurt! and reading a bit...later I am going swimming...so I'll be thinking about the story at the moment. And I have a soccer tournament from tomorrow until Sunday XD)
It has been four days since Aleta saw the fight. She had gone back and forth through Pine Forest at least ten times within the past 96 hours, and hadn’t seen anything. Truly, it all must have been her mind playing games.
Aleta is on her way back home, carrying two bags from the art shop. Her mom needed more canvases and supplies. Ilene had said that she was going through an “artist’s streak”. Something that dealt with a burst of ideas. So, Aleta was shoved out of the house and given a wad of cash to head into town. Aleta had no clue what an artist uses to paint, as Aleta had never even touched a brush. She ended up buying anything that seemed worth the money. With a sigh, Aleta closes her eyes for a moment. But a wad of heat clumps in her throat and dries it out, making her cough. The humidity caused her camisole to cling as her skin felt sticky.
Opening her eyes, Aleta spots two figures in the distance. Neither of them seemed familiar. What was it with all of these new people? She squints to get a better look. Both are abnormally large, packed with muscle that nearly tears their skin apart. Peach skinned, bulging blue veins form paths that go from the back of massive hands to their rippling forearms. Each one wears a dressy navy blue vest with the pants to match. Their button-up white undershirts have sleeves that are rolled up to their boney elbows. Their glossy black shoes almost are almost blinding against the splices of sun that trespass inside of the forest grounds. The men simultaneously stroke great fingers through slicked back, black, hair. Their irises could easily be mistaken for stunning silver coins that had been indented with black dots. At first glance, they could be clones. But the one on the right has a tiny mole on his broad chin. Aleta had to admit, they’re handsome, yet wreak of danger…and inhumanity.
Aleta gasps as their attention is suddenly in her direction. Their eyes seem to narrow as dark brows furrow. Fine lips curl in the corners, forming a wicked smile that makes Aleta shudder. She remains still, as though paralyzed. Before Aleta could even blink, both men are standing on either side of her. Aleta returns to her senses and starts running away. But Aleta didn’t get far as each one took hold of her arms and yanked her back. Aleta releases a sharp breath as it felt like her shoulders had been popped out of socket. Then, the wind is knocked out of her as they throw her back against the gravel path. Aleta’s head rasps against the ground, and she groans as black specks dance before her vision.
Aleta is gazing up at the two towering man as they look down at her. Finding her voice, she asks, “What do you want? Who are you?”
“That information is classified, Aleta Wisconsin Trace. But we must take you in now.” The one with the mole says. His voice is powerful. Intimidating. It rumbles the earth with its might and rests in Aleta’s chest, bringing forth pain. Breathing correctly suddenly became a task. But what bothered Aleta most was how he said her name, her entire name.
“What did I do?” She continues to interrogate. “Are you…are you with the police?” That was the first thought that came to mind when he said ‘we must take you in now’. But when the men laugh in unison, Aleta took note of how idiotic she sounded to them. Was there something she was missing?
It happened in an instant. Aleta didn’t even have time to blink. One second the men were hovering at her sides, the next they are both gone. She sits up and looks around while brushing pebbles and rocks off her arms. When Aleta gets to her feet and turns around, she realizes that there is a feather on the ground. She bends over to pick it up. It wasn’t anything she had seen before. A silver feather that consisted of shimmering strands and golden speckles. Most definitely too exotic and beautiful to belong to any bird of Pine Forest.
Aleta takes a quick inspection of the perimeter, making sure that the men wouldn’t suddenly appear again. What was all of that about? What had Aleta done to deserve such harassment? More than anything, Aleta wanted to know who they were. With a subtle sigh, Aleta gently places the feather into her sweatshirt’s pocket and then finds the bags she had dropped. Aleta quickly looks inside of each sack, making sure that her mother’s painting equipment hadn’t dealt massive damage. Seeing the all clear, Aleta continues her way home.
“Hey. Are you okay? Any injuries?” That voice from the night of the storm questions. Aleta would recognize that voice out of a million. And there’s only one person it could possibly belong to. She whirls around on the heel of her tennis shoe, facing a young man. He looked at least two years older than Aleta, but attractive. There’s something familiar about his facial features, but every time Aleta almost catches the thought it slips away. It’s as though an outer force is playing with her mind, causing the thought to escape.
She blinks multiple times, making sure that she wasn’t seeing things. Aleta even presses a hand against his broad chest, and feels the steady heartbeat against her palm. He looks at her with an arched brow, and then takes a dragged step back. He slouches slightly, otherwise he should be slightly over six foot. But what stands out the most, for the second time, is his silver hair. Each swaying curl is sterling and breathtaking, and Aleta realizes that her mouth had started to form into an “o”. She wants to see his eyes. But whenever Aleta attempts, her own optics move away and to another part of his face. It’s as though there are barriers around his eyes, causing a repelling effect that makes eye-to-eye contact impossible.
“Um. Hello?” He wonders aloud in a lazy way. Aleta’s eyes rest on his feet, which are bare and encased in dirt.
With her confidence returning, Aleta wonders aloud, “Do you know who those men were?” She was expecting him to laugh just like the guys had. But there’s only a settled silence, something that actually worried Aleta.
“Yeah.” Finally he answers. Took him long enough, Aleta thinks to herself.
“Well, could you tell me who they were? And why the hell – sorry. . . why they attacked me?” Aleta questions, tilting her head to the right just the slightest. Her eyes rest on his lips, which are pulled into a partial frown. There didn’t seem to be any effort, as though his mouth is always in such an upsetting form. She’s just overthinking everything. Quietly, Aleta sighs to herself and closes her eyes. What she needed was some ibuprofen and a long bath.
“They’re no one that you need to worry about. I’ve taken care of them.” He wryly responds, as though the words put a bad taste in his mouth. But those two sentences brought forth thousands of questions into Aleta’s head. What does he mean, he had taken care of them? And how could she not worry? They had attacked her! The look in their striking eyes clearly revealed how much they wanted to see Aleta dead! Another sigh escapes her paling lips.
Suddenly, Aleta’s eyes meet his. Clearly taken by surprise, the boy jumps and inaudibly gasps. Aleta finds her own eyes widening at the magnificent sight. They couldn’t be real? Someone must have definitely photo shopped those irises. Or he’s wearing a pair of wicked contact lenses. Aleta places one of her hands against his cheek, and he tenses under her touch as she slides her thumb against the underside of his eye. His exquisitely breathtaking multicolored eye. Such a divine part of his body it is. In the center is the blackest of pupils, and swirling around that is a glorious yellow. Blending in with the yellow and reaching out towards the edge of the iris is a magenta. Behind those two colors is a splendid turquoise. So unique. So unreal. So captivating. So divine.
“Wow.” Aleta exhales as she slides her hand away. He seemed to back away another step, as if alarmed. Not by her. But by her ability to see his eyes – something that no other being can do. And yet, she didn’t cringe. She wasn’t disgusted. She was amazed. So was he.
“How did you. . . ?” He asks Aleta.
“What?” It’s Aleta’s turn to be startled.
“Nothing.” He shakes his head once, and then a second time. “Nothing.”
Aleta then decides to ask that question. The one that had been lingering for several minutes: “So who are you?”
“Um. You can call me.” It wasn’t the most difficult question in the world. Aleta was quickly wondering why he couldn’t have just simply answered it. He continued to ramble for what seemed like forever, his head tilting back to gaze at the shifting leaves of the forest. She had to get going, before her mother started to worry.
“Let’s leave it as a mystery then. But I should get going.” Aleta sighs, a bit disappointed that she hadn’t gotten his name. More or less, he didn’t want to tell her. Explaining the stalling. With a subtle smile, the boy smiles and nods then sharply turns on the heel of his right foot. As soon as this motion was made, he was gone. Aleta blinks and mentally slaps herself. She holds her hand out to catch another unique feather. Twirling it between two fingers, Aleta glances back up at where he had been standing. . . seconds ago.
“What the hell is going on?” Aleta wonders aloud. But the only answer is a calming breeze that freely flows through the woods. After standing and thinking for a moment, Aleta turns around and then heads back to her house. There was no way she could tell her mother about the strange event. That is, unless Aleta wanted to end up ridiculed for having too big of an imagination.
Aleta walks into the house and sets the bag down. She looks on the wall next to the door to find a note. Pulling the piece of paper off and taking the clear tape with it, Aleta reads the letter:
Going out with Sylvia and the girls. I’ll be back around midnight. There’s a surprise in your bedroom!
“A surprise?” Aleta mutters to herself as she kicks her shoes off and then makes her way through the house. Her eyes widen when she walks into her room. The leather chair of her computer desk twirls around, the wheels slightly moving to slide against the wooden floor. This movement revealed the surprise. Surprise? No. . . Nightmare. The young man sitting in the chair chuckles.
“Axiom.” Aleta dryly says his name.
He is your not-so-typical 18-year old. Axiom Kade is the guy that Aleta’s mother would warn her about in a wistful tone, if not for them being so close. At a young age, he has already cheated death and gotten his name known, and made a difference among the people he has come to love. Axiom lives every day like it's the last, because he knows what it feels like to think it’s over. But despite his “bad boy” atmosphere, Axiom is patient, more than anyone would expect in a person. He has always been mechanically inclined in a way that many are not. Aleta has always known Axiom to be a problem solver, not a creator of problems. He believes firmly in the concept of "live and let live". He’s kind and respectful and always very compassionate, though that side is only shown to a select few. More than anything, Axiom could be considered humble. He doesn't look down on others. Axiom is everyone's equal.
Aleta couldn’t help but stare at Axiom. If she were able to, she would do so for hours. His expression was always one of boredom and thought. That’s the way it has been since he was a kid. Since the first day their mothers made that “play date” when Aleta and Axiom were both four years old. Aleta remembered when he came to their house, attention resting fully in the open space of the living room as Aleta tried talking to him. But, over the years, Aleta had gotten used to his ability to zone everyone and everything out.
Though, Axiom had definitely grown to be handsome. Aleta still pictured him as the awkward kid, no matter what. She couldn’t look at him in any other way. Yet, here she was, her face bright red as she gazes wide eyed at him. Her best friend. But why? Aleta didn’t understand. She didn’t want to understand. Her heart skips a beat as he rises from the wheeled chair, standing around six-foot-three, making him one of the tallest inhabitants of Pine Grove. Axiom is lankier with spine arched back a bit. But the muscle is definitely there, especially shown by legs, which are shown off by tighter blue jeans. His eyes are a bright luminescent green, each one shaped like almonds. The thin lips pull into a tight smile, something that causes Aleta’s heart to flutter. Black hair curls just the slightest at the perfectly sized ears, shaggy bangs barely falling past each darker eyebrow. She can’t see the bone structure of his face, but otherwise his chin isn’t too narrow or square. His face is a little curved at the cheeks, but not too much. He’s just too great. He always has been. Axiom’s right hand is inside of the blue jacket pocket, the other holding a one liter carton of chocolate milk. Her eyes follow his movements, watching as he sets the carton on the desk.
Aleta didn't remember him being like this before. There's something different about him. Something that Aleta couldn't put her finger on.
Then Axiom says in an amazing voice that causes Aleta’s heart to beat faster, “Hey, what’s up with that look?”
Aleta is suddenly snapped out of her trance, and she slams a fist against Axiom’s shoulder. With a heavy sigh, she tells him, “Shut up. I just thought of something is all.”
“Whatever you say Al. I know you were looking at me.” Axiom laughs at her, and then ruffles her hair with his free hand. “Don’t worry. I won’t tell anyone that you’re crushing on me.”
Aleta slaps his hand away and nearly screams, “What the hell! I don’t have a crush on you!”
“Whatever Al.” Axiom smirks, holding his hands up in a surrendering way. This makes Aleta suck on her teeth, and then she starts to stomp away, enraged.
“Come on Aleta, where are you going?” Axiom’s playful chiming rings in her ears. She suddenly felt powerful hands take hold of her waist and then entire arms wrap around and lift her up. Laughter erupts from Aleta as she kicks at the air, struggling to break free.
So, the game begins.
Aleta turns her head slightly to look back at Axiom, whose intense eyes rest on her. Aleta squirms in his grasp, making him tighten his hold. But it wasn’t enough. Aleta breaks his grip and then instantly bolts for it. She could hear Axiom quickly catching up to her. Both Aleta and Axiom are top track stars at Pine Grove High School. But, Aleta had always been a second quicker. She bolts out of her bedroom and into the living room, coming to a halt on one side of the couch. Axiom skids, nearly slipping on the wood. He stands on the opposite side of the sofa, his eyes watching her steady movements like a predator about to strike its prey.
“There’s nowhere you can run now little mousey.” Axiom teases, a snicker following his sentence. Aleta rolls her eyes. “What do I get if I can pin you down for more than six seconds this time?”
“There won’t be a this time. I’m better at track, and I’ll always be better at wrestling. That was proven when we were both six.” She responds. “We still have the videos of us in that wrestling competition. And how I beat you to get first place.”
“Sure sure. Things change. Just like how you have a crush on me now.” Axiom gives a hearty laugh and then a wink. "So I guess pinning you down may get you excited. So maybe we shouldn't do that, huh?"
Her face bursts red again, and she takes several steps back. Axiom starts to crawl over the couch and towards her. But, before he could get past the cushions, Aleta had sprinted straight at him. Startled, Axiom flails back and then presses himself against the couch, avoiding get rammed into. Instead of smashing into Axiom, Aleta instead soars over him and the loveseat. She lands, and then bolts out of the sliding glass doors and in the direction of the lake.
“That little.” Axiom scoffs, but a smile remains on his face. He clambers off the sofa and follows Aleta.