“Who would you kill if you could kill anyone, anywhere, with a single thought?” asked Tatianna. She never broke stride as we walked between dorms on the way to the science center. It was cold outside. The spring semester had just started and the cold winds had also just come back from vacation.
Still it was that question that stopped me in my tracks. “Why did you say that?” I asked.
Tatianna stopped and laughed in her typical tee-hee fashion. “Darling, it was just a fun thought tease,” she said. “All these reports of people having superpowers freaks me out. Still, if I had the power to kill someone with just a thought, I would use it.”
Man I loved that accent. It was one of the reasons I was so madly in lust for her, not that she knew that. It was one of the many secrets I held from her, not that I wanted to. It was just easier this way, or at least that’s how I slept better at night, when I could sleep.
“Well, I don’t know. Who would you kill?” I said as we started walking again.
Tatianna hooked her arm around my elbow as we picked up the pace. Man it was bitter with that wind. “I would start by taking out all those terrorist assholes. Then I would move on to the drug cartels,” she said. “After that, we would see where the crap floated to the top. There would be plenty of crap once I got back home to St. Petersburg.”
I shook my head. This is where being a philosophy major had its perks. Okay, this might be its only perk, but it is still a perk. “I don’t think it would be that easy. Where do you begin drawing the line?” I said. “I think it would be easier to just let things play out on their own and not get involved. Things get complicated way too quickly.”
Tatianna leaned in close as the wind rose in fury. “This is worse than the time I visited Siberia. Let’s cut through Proctor. It’ll be shorter,” she said.
Proctor was a small park that sat on the edge of campus that was one of the only wooded places that might cut this accursed wind. It was also after dark and all sorts of people used the place to hide, from drunk under aged colligates to the occasional rapist. I made it a policy to avoid the place at all costs.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea. I would rather play it safe,” I said.
Tatianna turned us towards the trees. Did I mention she is a six foot two inch blond amazon goddess? Oh and I’m only five ten and maybe one sixty wet? She wins, not that I tried too hard. I did mention I was in lust. Maybe under the trees we could find a romantic spot where we wouldn’t get frostbite while we make out. Oh, and maybe I would win Miss America as soon as they open it up to young scrawny males who have good hair. I do have good hair.
“So why couldn’t you find a line?” Tatianna asked.
The wind blew her hair into my face and I inhaled the perfume she wore, or maybe that was her shampoo. Either way I was not complaining. Choking on paradise, maybe, but not complaining. “What about the kids of those you kill?” I asked. “They don’t deserve to lose their parent.”
Tatianna leaned in close as we entered the trees. The roaring wind died down to a moaning and the sound of tree branches dancing to a tune they didn’t enjoy. “This place always freaks me out,” she said.
“Then why, pray tell, did you come here?” I ask softly. I’m sort of freaked out as well, but I don’t want her to know that. Hopefully she didn’t notice my shaking a bit.
Once again the tee-hees pour forth. “If you could see your face right now,” Tatianna said. I knew I blushed, but in the dark and bitter cold I hope she mistook it for frostbite. Yes, I know frostbite is white, but I was still hoping. It is darker amongst the trees. She continued to pull me along. “But what about the kids of the people those dictators killed and maimed? You don’t get off that easy,” she said.
I kept my head on a swivel. Okay, I kept my eyes more on a swivel. I was enjoying leaning in and breathing Tatianna. Still, all was quiet on the eastern front, or was this west? Doesn’t matter, all was quiet, minus the tree and wind thing.
“Relax,” Tatianna said. “It’s too cold for anyone to be out in this. You would need to be crazy, or desperate.”
“So what does that make us?” I ask, then immediately regret it. I have a wonderful case of athlete’s tongue from all the running of my mouth.
“Hopeless fools?” Tatianna responds, giving me a small peck on my cheek. Okay, I almost fall over with the brute force of that small kiss.
I stop and look into those pale green eyes. I can’t really see them well in the dim light, but I have them on speed dial in my memory. I leaned in close and pressed my lips to her. I could feel a tingle pass through my entire being as we kissed. I didn’t want that moment to ever end.
I didn’t want that moment to end, especially as I was flattened by a truck the size of a linebacker. I rolled to my side and saw Tatioanna sitting on the ground with a large guy standing over her, holding that beautiful blonde mane in one ridiculously large fist. Two other guys materialized out of the dark trees as well.
“Look at what the wind dragged in for us guys?” said the thug holding Tatianna. “Looks like we get to have a bit of fun.” The two other thugs looked at Tatianna in such a way that left little doubt what they considered fun.
“Leave her alone,” I said as I began to stand up. The two other thugs took that as their clue to practice river dancing on my spine. My attempt at rising ended in a lot of groans and me getting into the fetal position to protect myself as much as I could.
“That’s enough boys,” the first thug said. “Don’t kill him yet.” Tatianna moaned. The thug looked at her. “You behave, and we’ll let you and your boyfriend live. Understand?”
Tatianna looked at me, pleading me to do something. I wanted to. I wanted to be that hero, but I couldn’t be. I watched the thug grab her breast hard and Tatianna just went limp. She was giving up everything, just so we could live.
I looked at the two thugs who had been dancing on my spine, then I turned back to the thug holding Tatianna. His hands groped her back into a standing position. I could feel my anger overwhelming my helplessness. “Leave her alone,” I growled. This earned me a few more kicks and I almost blacked out, but I kept my eyes on the thug holding Tatianna. He tried to kiss those lips that had just graced mine with their presence. Now they were the site of a hostile takeover.
“Leave her alone,” I said again, the red haze in my vision coming from the hatred or the brain damage I was receiving. I didn’t know, and I didn’t care. I felt something snap inside of me, but it wasn’t a bone or an organ. It was that moral place that always knew where the line really was, and I had never crossed it. Now though, the line had snapped.
I looked at the two closest thugs to me and I pulled my mental trigger. The two of them fell like someone had cut their strings. The thug holding Tatianna broke off his assault on Tatianna’s mouth and looked at me like his world had just been blown apart, which it had, since he fell to the ground dead as well.
The bad news was Tatianna fell to the ground too. Her eyes were open wide and her breathing was fast and shallow. I tried to comfort her. “Tatianna, it’s going to be okay. Everything is going to be okay,” I said, as I tried to get to a sitting position. Okay, maybe a bone broke in there as well since my ribs ground against each other.
Tatianna then put on a bright smile. “I know it will be. I promise. Everything will be okay,” she said. She took out her cell phone. “I have the subject in custody. Send in the sweeper team.” Then she blinked.