Chapter 30:


Pyro's Grand Demise

“What the fuck happened to my leg?” I say. It’s probably not the best choice, seeing as it’s the first thing to pop out of my mouth after somehow surviving all that happened.

Joe, the smarty-pants that he is, ignores my question and goes in for a hug. He’s gentle, but all of the bones in my body must be broken because it hurts like a son of a bitch.

I flinch and he immediately draws back. “Sorry,” he exclaims, hands on my shoulders and looking all over me. I abruptly realize I’m wearing a hospital gown and have the urge to throw up and self-destruct both at once. Instead, I yank the covers up to my chin.

“What am I wearing and where are we?”

“We’re in a small medical facility in Montana. It was the quickest and most logical place to take you after what happened.”

What about Montana is logical? “So they took my leg? Did the ceiling collapse on me?”

“The entire mountain collapsed on you,” he corrects me and pulls up the chair to sit beside me. I pat the bedside instead and he hesitates before settling next to me. He’s careful not to jostle the mattress.

I lean into him and he wraps his arm around me. It feels nice.

“Wow, this is one of the first couple-like things we’ve done,” I say.

“I was planning on doing a lot more, but then you broke about four ribs.”

“Ah, so that explains the pain worse than death.” He tenses next to me, but I pat his chest. “Joking. Now tell me, what were these things categorized as ‘a lot more?’”

“Well, right now I kind of want to yell at you for being so stupid. How could you take action like that? And deliberately lie to me! I knew something was off.”

I roll my eyes. “You’re changing the topic, but I’ll let it slide. Yes, I brought down the mountain. Yes, it was stupid, but also kind of ingenious if you think about it.” I hesitate. “Has the news covered it yet? Have they mentioned the casualties?”

“A lot of people survived because the infrastructure was so strong,” Joe says. Then he goes on to relay the rest of the news, which is equally promising.

“So it all worked out,” I say slowly, not totally believing it.

“Well, you’re kind of worse for wear.” He tucks a strand of hair behind my ear. “But yeah, I guess so. I mean, even though there were regrettably some casualties, you annihilated a company who would have harmed thousands, if not millions more. I would say this is a win.”

I smile and press my face against his chest. “It’s gonna take me weeks to get used to this new leg. Did they at least use the newest model?”

“They used what they had. Besides, if you got a model better than your other one, you’d just run in circles all day.”

I snort and lift my head. “Well, I would obviously only use its advanced speed for its kicking purposes. Running, no. Hopping? Most definitely.”

Joe shakes his head and without warning leans in to kiss me. It’s short and sweet, but it only makes me want more. His pupils are dilated and they send a thrill down my spine.

“You better be prepared, Joseph. Because once I’m back to my old self, you’re going to be in extreme danger.”

He presses our foreheads together. “Looking forward to it. So long as it’s somewhere far from here.”

I smile and close my eyes. “I’ve never been to Italy.”

“Italy it is. I hope you don’t mind if I wear a disguise for a while.”

“Maybe we can get you some nice face tats.”

A laugh escapes him and we settle together, side by side. We stay that way all night, until a nurse yells at us the next morning, saying it’s time for my examination.

So long as there’s no testing on my part, I have no reason to refuse.

Steward McOy