Read Part 1
“Next thing I remember was waking up in the hospital.”
Gideon nodded and continued taking notes. They sat in silence for a moment. I quickly took the chance to review my own notes of what had happened. As soon as the accident had been reported, I was put in charge of investigating the source. I had to interview the head scientist, Harold Reitam, about his project. Let me tell you, that was not easy. The guy was very protective of his work (no kidding, right?). I wasn’t able to get much out of him, so I had to turn to other methods of finding out what I needed.
I snuck into the lab at night. A lot of Reitam’s files had been destroyed. Adder Industries wanted this story out of the newspapers as soon as possible. I don’t blame them. The public already weren’t huge fans of some of the, let’s say, more risky experiments of theirs; an accident like this was sure to cause outrage all over. A lot of people blamed Colten, but I don’t think that’s fair. He was just doing what he was told; you have to admire that. I don’t believe any of what’s being said about him now, because I know the real him. He let me into his world, and it was incredible.
I did manage to find enough odds and ends about the serum to piece together what would happen to Colten now that he was injected with it. Project Sionis was meant to save the world. No more energy crisis, no more food crisis. But Sionis was never meant to take human form. When I first learned about all this, I felt it was my duty to warn people about what was to come. Now I wish only to protect Colten.
“And this is when you began to turn?” Gideon’s voice interrupted my thoughts. I eagerly looked back to Colten, gripping my clipboard with trembling hands.
“Not quite. I felt changes within me, yes, but nothing was complete yet. It hadn’t taken hold of my mind yet.”
“So you blame Project Sionis then? It did these things, not you?” Gideon sneered, and I clenched my fists.
Colten glared. “Yes, of course. I’m not some criminal mastermind; I would never have done something like this. I mean no harm to anyone. The serum made me lose control; it turned me, I didn’t turn myself!”
“We’ll leave that to your peers to decide.”
Colten’s hair bristled, and I noticed some of the papers in the room fluttering. “I’m here, aren’t I? I’m cooperating. The room is still intact – you’re still intact – I’m not doing anything wrong, because I don’t want to. I never wanted to.”
I could tell Gideon was raising his eyebrow. If I were Colten I would have smacked that smug look right off his face.
“Continue then, please, Mr. Adder. What happened next?”
“I woke up in the hospital. Bridget was there.” Colten smiled.
♣ ♣ ♣
Bridget’s worried face loomed over him. He blinked several times, and his vision began to clear. There she was. She broke out into one of her beaming smiles, and Colten felt his stomach flutter. He managed to get out a raspy hi, that sounded more like a grunt. She threw her arms around him, burrowing her face next to his.
“Hi,” she whispered back. “You had me so scared.”
“I thought I’d lost you.” When she leaned back, he noticed tears in her eyes. He reached out, struggling to keep his arm steady, and stroked her cheek.
“You didn’t. I’m here. And I’m fine.” She smiled again, and leaned into his hand, squeezing it with her own. “I love you,” he added.
She kissed him. “I love you too.”
When he finally got out of the hospital, she was there to take him home. She led him into his living room and made sure that he was comfortable. She stayed with him. She took care of him. He felt stronger and stronger every day, and he showed her that whenever he could. She grew less worried, and began to laugh again as much as she used to. He loved her laugh. Things were going great. He still had the ring from before, and more and more he felt it was finally time to ask her. He began to plan it out.
The buzzing had been there since the accident, deep within, but he ignored it, thought nothing of it. They went out on the balcony. It was a still night. He was nervous. He felt for the box in his pocket just to make sure it was still there. She smiled and glowed in the moonlight. He looked at her in wonder. How did he ever manage to get someone like her? He tried to open his mouth to speak a thousand times, but could make no words come out. He took her hand nervously and she looked at him, bright eyes.
“Bridget, there’s something I’ve been meaning to ask you for a while now.” He scanned the horizon, fidgeting, looking out at the skyscrapers and bustling streets down below. He bit his lip. A slight breeze picked up.
He felt again for the little box in his pocket. “You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me. You’ve helped me through so much.”
“We’ve helped each other.” She looked at him shyly and he smiled. “I don’t ever feel lonely anymore.”
“Me neither.” He wrapped his fingers around the box, his stomach twisting around inside him. Out of nowhere a gust of wind rushed out, swirling around the two of them, pulling Bridget’s hair loose so that it flew right up in a cascading wave.
“Woah!” she gasped, steadying herself. Colten quickly grabbed her and pulled her away from the balcony’s edge, dreading a nasty fall from a great height. “Where did that come from?” The wind still danced around them, whistling softly. Colten felt the buzzing grow stronger. His skin began to tingle. The wind picked up again, blowing them roughly together. It whizzed past their ears and bit into their eyes, its force gushing around the balcony alone. With one arm protectively thrown around Bridget, Colten raised his other arm to his face, squinting against the wind. He tossed his arm out, as if trying to hit away the air. Suddenly the wind stopped, and Colten could no longer feel the buzzing. Bridget looked at him inquisitively, and he frowned, staring at his hands, where the last of the shocks were wearing out. He led Bridget back inside, and began to pace back and forth.
“I think I did that,” he said eventually, still staring at his hands.
Bridget leaned against the couch. “What do you mean?”
“I don’t know. I feel something. Ever since the accident, I’ve felt different. Like I was capable of things I shouldn’t be.” Bridget furrowed her brow. He started to get excited, and his pacing increased. He turned and swiftly made his way to her, taking up her hands and looking at her breathlessly. “Do you trust me?”
“Of course. But I don’t know what you mean.” She gave him a worried look. “Are you hurt? Do we need to go back to the hospital?”
Colten shook her hands, bouncing up and down. “No, watch!” He stepped back and looked around him. Slowly, he brought his hand up, eyeing it carefully, until he held it out in front of him. Bridget watched him closely. Her skin prickled; it was as if the air around her was vibrating. Colten looked at her and she nodded. He swung his arm down, and just like that a blast of air came whirling down with it, fanning out across the room. Bridget’s hair once again flew up, along with the papers from the desk. They stared at one another, wide eyed.
“Oh my God,” Bridget whispered. Her mouth was slightly open, and Colten was sure his was too. “How is this possible?” Colten could only shrug. They looked at each other some more then Bridget broke out into a smile and burst out laughing. “This is incredible!”
She ran to Colten and he picked her up and twirled her around. He was grinning too, laughing along with her. “Do it again,” she cried, and so Colten did it again. They danced around the room together, Colten spinning wind, and Bridget spun around and around with it, throwing her hands up and shrieking with laughter.