“Luke! Damnit, Luke, open up!” a deep angry voice called out, before pounding again on the door.
Luke groaned and dropped onto his back next to me. “It’s Marco. He wouldn’t be here if it weren’t important.” He scrubbed his hands over his face and gave me a heated look before pulling on a pair of worn jeans and leaving to answer the door.
I stared at the ceiling for a moment—what the hell had just happened? We had both been running hot and cold lately. I knew my reasons, but I wondered what had Luke acting out of character. We spent most of our free time together, but this…this was something new, different. Our friendship was important to me. Luke knew I didn’t want to get serious with anyone and had been great about avoiding the relationship talk. I didn’t see a reason to tie myself to just one person. I thought he understood. Something had definitely changed, though. I could feel it.
Sighing, I got up to find out what was taking him so long. I wasn’t sure if I was mad about being interrupted or grateful. I made my way through the house to the front room.
“…I thought you’d want to know.” Marco finished explaining as I walked in.
“The Russo building? Shit! Ok, I’ll go check it out. Tell the men to keep their distance,” Luke replied.
Marco nodded. “Luke, he tore those people apart. I just…I’ve never seen anything like it before.” He shuddered. “Be careful.”
“Always am,” Luke replied, walking Marco back to the front door.
“Isn’t that where I brought the first group back?” I queried.
“Yeah, I want to check it out before we get anyone else involved.” Marco left, and Luke turned to me to explain. “Someone is causing problems. Reports say he’s acting unnaturally. It sounded weird enough that I thought I should check it out before we call in outside help. Especially since there’s a chance it’s one of the men you brought back.” Running his hands through his hair, he grabbed his keys off the side table and gave me a questioning look.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m coming,” I grumbled. I still wasn’t sure about how I felt about being interrupted. Looking at Luke, I felt heat run through my body, and I decided I wasn’t happy about not finishing what we started.
We pulled up to the building, parked, and made our way to the lobby. Luke nodded to his security team at the perimeter. He stepped in front of me, going through the door first. Silly man, when was he going to realize he didn’t need to protect me?
I pushed past him and stopped, recognizing the man in front of me. His eyes were wild, and he had saliva running down his chin. He had blood smeared across his face, dripping into his eyes. He looked horrifying, and I recoiled. Jumping back, I grabbed onto Luke’s arm. It was the first man I’d brought back to life.
“Oh, goddess, Luke, what did I do?” I asked, reeling. I did this to him. He looked feral. He looked wrong. Even with the blood coating his eyes, I could see he was empty inside. “Close your eyes!” I yelled as I lost control over my Gorgon form. My snakes hissed and snapped at the air as I stepped forward.
The monster stared me in the eye, then charged. Luke had his eyes squeezed shut, clearly trusting me to handle the situation. I pushed him to the side to avoid the charging man, taking us both down in the process.
The man stumbled and ran out of the building into the night. I closed my eyes, hoping Luke’s men let him go without trying to stop him. I laid there, stunned.
“What the hell, Medusa? Is it safe for me to open my eyes?” Then, wiggling his eyebrows, he asked, “Or do you want to finish what we started earlier?”
His question, even though ridiculous, still shot desire straight to my core. I groaned, dropping my forehead to his chest. My snakes hissed excitedly, clearly happy where they were. Concentrating, I pushed the Gorgon down. I made sure I was firmly locked in my human form before answering Luke’s first question. “Yes, you can open your eyes.”
“Um, are we going to stay down here, or…” he asked, taking advantage of my position on top of him and kissing his way up my neck.
I quickly scrambled off of him and stood. Although tempting, this definitely wasn’t the time or the place.
Luke stood, brushing himself off. He looked around. “Where’s the statue?”
I groaned. “So, about that… Remember how you said we’d hear about it if any of the people I brought back caused trouble? Well, we’ve heard.” I took a deep breath. “I couldn’t turn him to stone.”
He looked stunned. “That’s not good. What happened?”
“I’m not sure. I tried, but he ignored me, charged us, and ran out. I’m pretty sure your guys just let him go because it’s still quiet outside. Luke, he looked empty.”
“What do you mean?”
“His eyes. I’ve never seen anything like it. His eyes looked completely empty. I might have brought him back to life, but I don’t think all of him came back.” I felt sick. I couldn’t believe I had done this. What if all the humans I brought back to life came back as monsters? “He didn’t turn to stone. My gaze didn’t affect him.” Then I whispered to myself, “Oh my goddess, what did I do?”
“We’re going to have to go after him.” He glanced around the room and grimaced. It was a mess, but there was no sign of any bodies. “I’m going to check out the rest of the building.”
I knew I should go with him, but I was stunned, my feet locked in place. Why hadn’t he turned to stone? What could I possibly do if we found him? I couldn’t hide and let Luke take care of everything, though. “I’m coming with you. This is my mess.”
Luke clenched his jaw and looked towards the door. He was trying to hide it, but I knew he was just as horrified as I was.
I put my hand on his arm and asked the question we were both thinking, “Did I make zombies?”
- Confessions and Stone - April 11, 2022
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- Side Quest - November 24, 2021