"I can't believe him!" Tamra hissed quietly the following day in class. "Why does he always have to make my life miserable?"
"What's the matter?" Tamra's close friend, Ashley, asked.
"It's my dad! He's thinking about offering a $50,000 reward for Lux's capture," Tamra answered her privately. She clenched her fingers into a fist so firmly her knuckles strained white. "He doesn't want me to be together with him!"
Leon's face blanched when he overheard her protests.
After school, the twins returned straight home. Ellie surfed the internet on her laptop while lying on the living room sofa.
Leon noticed the bright red hue in his sister's face as she gazed into the screen. She typed on the keyboard with such vigor Leon was certain she would break her laptop.
He approached the sofa and asked, "Is something wrong?"
"Nothing!" Ellie attempted to minimize the browser before her twin could see.
"Is that the governor's Twitter page?" Leon cocked a sole brow, causing Ellie to cease her efforts of hiding her online activities.
"I was checking out Governor Paul Mason's Twitter because he wants to sign a conversion therapy bill into law," Ellie admitted, restoring the browser window. "He's hell-bent on repealing LGBT discrimination laws and criminalizing homosexuality."
"Why were you trying to hide that from me?"
Ellie shriveled nervously as she muttered, "Well…maybe 'cause I've been impersonating Lux online to try to intimidate the governor into not signing the bill."
"Ellie!" Leon shouted.
"All of our petitioning, boycotting, and protests have done nothing. I didn't know what else to do about this!" Ellie retorted vehemently. "Besides, he doesn't seem to be taking my threats seriously at all."
Leon scrutinized the governor's Twitter page and noticed the avatar of a familiar face. He pointed to the screen and asked, "Is that Mark Spencer? Open up that tweet."
Ellie clicked the tweet as he requested, expanding on a conversation between the governor, Mr. Spencer and a few other men they did not recognize.
A trouble look came over Leon's face. "Mr. Spencer is planning to offer a $50,000 cash reward for Lux's capture. If he does this, people will be incentivized to hunt Lux down, and I know he will kill anyone who tries to confront him."
"Are you kidding me?" Ellie groaned, grasping her short auburn locks in frustration. "I already struggle enough trying to keep him from going out and causing trouble. We don't need people coming to us."
"Maybe we can somehow try to convince Mr. Spencer not to offer the reward. I doubt he'll listen to kids like us though."
"But, he might listen to Lux." Ellie grimaced hesitantly. "We have to find a way to have him meet with Mr. Spencer without things turning disastrous."
"Ellie, no," Leon objected, albeit weakly.
"The governor and Mr. Spencer are planning to meet at the Alleron Country Club for a round of golf. Maybe we can just scare them both into meeting our demands if we go undercover."
"No," Leon repeated himself. He suddenly clutched his head and screamed as he felt himself losing control over his body.
Lux seized control and folded his arms across his chest. The longhaired blonde wore a disgruntled scowl on his face. "So, I hear you've been impersonating me. I'm deeply disappointed in you."
Ellie dangled her head repentantly. "I didn't think the governor would bother to read anything from Kitty…"
"No, I'm disappointed that you didn't let me in on this sooner." Lux turned away from her, still noticeably displeased with her.
"Hey, Lux," Ellie asked in a sly, alluring voice. "Do you want to infiltrate the Alleron Country Club?"
Lux glanced over his shoulder, wearing a cunning grin on his face. "Hell yeah!"
"We'll only do it if you agree to merely scare them. That means no murdering anyone or blowing anything up!"
"Yeah, yeah. I heard you already," he answered drearily.
After the following school day ended, Ellie and Lux ventured over to the Alleron Country Club and prowled behind the large brick entrance gate. Ellie wore a wig with long, layered blonde hair and covered her face in heavy makeup. Lux kept his wings hidden and stuffed his hair inside a short, black wig.
"How do we get past the gate without blowing our cover?" Lux whispered to Ellie as they crouched behind the brick pillar and closely monitored the guard operating the gate.
"I know a way." Ellie smirked, raising her index finger.
She transformed into a ginger cat and snaked through the iron railings of the gate. She brushed up against the leg of the young guard operating the gate, seizing his attention. Unable to resist the purring cat's demands for attention, he bent over to pet her. She leapt onto the young man's back and onto the counter of the guard booth. She noticed a large, conspicuous button on the counter. When the guard attempted to wrest her off the counter, she slammed her paw down on the button, causing the gate to slowly open. The young guard yelped as he was suddenly assaulted by a frenzy of teeth and claws. Lux nonchalantly sauntered though the opened gate while the guard was distracted by the unruly cat.
The guard spat loudly as the cat sprang out of the booth and scampered into the bushes. Lux joined up with the cat before they headed towards the lavish country club manor together. He waited outside as the cat slithered through a closing door leading inside the manor. Ellie spotted Mark Spencer socializing with two of his closest associates near an exquisite indoor fountain. A young, busty woman wearing a country club visor handed him a can of beer in exchange for cash.
"Have you met the new caddy yet?" Mark asked an associate as he took a sip of the beer.
A rather portly man responded with an uncertain tilt of the head, "I think his name was Trent or something like that. George said he received good recommendations."
Ellie followed the drink girl into the back room where they kept the stock of alcoholic beverages. She reassumed her normal human form and clocked the woman in the back of the head, knocking her out cold. Reluctantly, she stripped the woman of her country club uniform until she was left in nothing but her bra and underwear.
"Oh god, I've been around Lux too long," Ellie grumbled to herself as she lugged the unconscious woman behind a supply shelf.
Sporting the country club drink girl outfit, she casually ambled back out into the open. Her sharp green eyes scanned the manor in search of any young men who could serve as an apt cover for Lux. She noticed a teenage boy with a large tote bag in hand and a nametag on his shirt heading towards the men's locker room. With breakneck speed, she walloped the boy in the head until he collapsed to the ground with a noisy thud. Moving as stealthily as she could, she dragged him into the men's locker room where she stashed his unconscious body in a vacant shower and pulled the curtain closed.
"What took you?" Lux asked her when she finally met up with him outside the manor.
"Your name is Trent now and you're their new caddy." Ellie shoved the tote bag at him. "Now hurry up and change."
Lux swiftly changed into Trent's golf caddy uniform. They entered the manor in their new outfits and approached Mr. Mark and his associates.
"Ah, Trent. You made it." One of the men beckoned him over.
"Hello, everyone," Lux said in Leon's meek voice. "I'm glad to meet you all."
"Are you old enough to be serving drinks?" a man outside Mark's group asked Ellie suspiciously.
Feigning a flirty tone, she tittered, "Are you old enough to be drinking?"
Ellie flashed Lux a perturbed grimace when the man gave her an unwelcome pat on the small of her back. She kept a vigilant eye on Lux and Mark's group as they met up with the governor and boarded a golf cart.
"So what grade are you in, Trent?" The overweight older man, who had previously introduced himself as Bob, turned his attention to the quiet boy sitting in the back of the cart.
"I'm in the tenth grade, sir," Lux answered timidly.
"I have a daughter who is in the same grade as you," Mark said before heaving a sigh. "She's been quite defiant lately. Then again, she is at the age where she is obsessed with boys."
"Do you have a girlfriend?" Bob continued his line of questions.
"I had one. She really wanted to be with me." Lux lowered his head, expertly emulating Leon's mannerisms. "But, her parents broke us up."
"Why was that?" Mark asked, astonished with the boy's claim.
"Well, I don't think her parents like me very much…"
Governor Mason inserted himself into the conversation. "Why wouldn't they like you?"
"They probably think I'm a bad influence." Lux plastered a rueful expression on his face. "I've gotten into a couple of fights with people and caused some property damage."
"Bad influence? You don't even look like you could scare a bunny," a man named David chortled in disbelief.
Mark placed a comforting hand on Lux's shoulder. "I'm terribly sorry that happened to you. As a father, I can understand the fear of your daughter getting involved in the wrong crowd. What if she runs off with a boy who smokes, does drugs, and rides a motorcycle? It's a worry that hangs over me all of the time."
"Kids these days are much different now, Mark," Governor Mason said with a disapproving shake of the head. "They're always on their phone doing sneaky things like sexting and sending nude photos."
Mark forced yet another sigh, "Tamra's been very sneaky lately. Just the other day, she invited a very troublesome boy to our dinner party. I mean, we even had to involve security."
"What happened?!" David exclaimed.
Mark began detailing his account of the dinner party, "Igor's children came running to us, saying there's a gunman in Tamra's room. My heart dropped at that moment. But, it wasn't a gunman—it was even worse."
The other three men gaped at him in anticipation as he paused briefly.
"It was that angel!" He threw his arms up in the air. "I couldn't believe it!"
"How did the angel get into the mansion?" Governor Mason asked, sitting up straighter in his seat.
"He was disguised as a normal human boy. Tamra told me he was a friend from school so I didn't suspect anything."
"Your daughter must've been very scared," Lux said in a deceptively delicate manner.
"Are you kidding me?" Mark blurted loudly. "She's been yelling and crying at me because she thinks I ruined everything for her. I don't understand why she is so smitten with that angel. I'm going to offer a $50,000 reward for anyone who can capture him."
"Wow, that's a lot of money," Lux gasped as he clasped an astonished hand over his cheek. "Do you think anyone can catch him?"
"I pray to God someone does." Mark shook his head wearily before adding, "I'll do whatever it takes to keep my daughter to be safe."
Lux beamed Mark a pleasant smile. "You must really love your daughter."
Mark felt a sense of déjà vu come over him as he studied the dark haired boy's eerily familiar smile. He shrugged off his absurd thoughts and answered, "You'll understand when you become a parent."
"Tell me about it!" Bob let out a coarse, deep-belly laugh. "Do you know how many people I've had to pay off to make my son's DUI vanish? He's driving me up the walls with his incessant partying."
The men finally parked the golf cart at the first hole. Lux trailed behind Mark and dutifully carried his golf clubs. He watched the four men take shots for the hole on a gentle slope in the distance.
"Have you ever played before?" Mark asked Lux.
Lux shook his head.
Mark handed him a club and assisted him in correctly holding it. "You have to hold it this way and spread your feet like this."
He backed off, allowing Lux to take a swing. When the ball became airborne, Lux focused on the ball and discreetly guided its trajectory with his telekinesis. The four men gaped in shock as the ball landed directly into the hole.
"Wow, good job, Trent!" Bob praised the boy enthusiastically.
Lux dropped his gaze humbly to the ground as the other men lauded his lucky swing. The men were flabbergasted as Lux notched a hole-in-one at the next two holes.
How is this boy so accurate with such poor driving form and technique? Governor Mason pondered to himself as he watched his close associates continue praising the boy.
"That's some gift you have there, boy. You should compete in the tournament," David suggested.
Lux smiled meekly, returning a golf club to the bag. "Thanks, but I don't have the money to enter a tournament."
"I'll be your sponsor," Mark suddenly declared .
"Do you really mean it?" Lux widened his eyes incredulously.
"Absolutely." He nodded with a grin. "It would be a shame for such natural talent to go to waste."
Lux clasped his hands together and bowed his head graciously. "T-thank you, sir!"
Ellie approached the group with a tray of drinks in hand. "Can I offer you gentlemen a drink?"
"Give this boy a soda." Mark handed Ellie a dollar bill.
"Sir, you don't have to—" Lux stammered.
"Drinks are on me," Mr. Spencer answered jubilantly as he wrapped an arm around Lux's shoulder.
He's already won their trust? Ellie poorly smothered the dumbfounded look on her countenance. Damn, he's good…
"Veronica, get over here!" a group of men called out to Ellie.
She attempted to ignore the hollering men, until one of them walked over toward her and tore her away from Mark and the governor's group. Lux boarded the golf cart along with the other men as they headed toward the next hole. He closely shadowed Mark with the golf bag in hand when he deviated from the group to track down a ball he had hit too closely to the forest.
"I'm quite impressed with you," Mark admitted as they approached the stray golf ball. "I wish Tamra would go out with a boy like you instead."
"You mean…?" Lux began.
Mark interrupted him, "You're polite, talented, and good looking. I think if Tamra met someone like you, it would take her mind off that angel. How would you like to come by my place sometime?"
"I'd be honored to visit your home again, sir."
"Again?" Mark raised a skeptical brow.
"I'm sure Tamra would be more than thrilled to see me." Lux smirked devilishly.
Unsettled by the drastic shift in the boy's demeanor, Mark took a wary step backward. "T-Trent?"
"No, just a very troublesome boy." Lux raised the black wig slightly, allowing Mark a peek of the blonde hair underneath.
"You!" Mark gasped, utterly aghast.
He noticed Mark reach for the cellphone in his pocket. "What are you going to do? Call security again? I'll simply kill anyone who comes here."
"What do you want with me?"
"Let's talk," the blonde boy answered casually.
David noticed the governor's brow knit in concern as he read something on his phone. "Is something wrong?"
Governor Mason displayed his phone to the other two men. "I just got a text message alert from security saying that Trent and Veronica's bodies were found unconscious and stripped of their clothing."
"What? Trent is down there with Mark though." Bob peered at the two males in the distance standing near the forest. "Are you saying that's not really Trent?"
"I don't know, but we should be careful," Governor Mason suggested. "Security is coming our way."
Ellie balked in alarm when a staff member accompanied by a group of security officers pointed at her. Knowing she had been caught red-handed, she dropped the tray of drinks and bolted in the opposite direction. She nearly collided with a round of police officers pursuing her, forcing her to dive into the obscurity of the thick shrubbery. Once she changed into cat form, she stealthily skulked through the overgrowth. Now that her cover was blown, she had no other option than to flee the country club and hope that Lux would do the same.
Lux chuckled scornfully to Mark, "So, you want to offer a reward for my capture. I didn't think you were the type of man to send people to their deaths just for some cash."
"I told you, I'll do whatever I can to keep my daughter safe!" Mark snarled at the chuckling angel.
"Why don't you spare the greedy idiots and give me that money instead?"
"I'll only give you the money if you agree to stay away from Tamra," Mark countered firmly.
"Mark! Mark!" David's voice hollered as the three men ran up to him and Lux. "That's not Trent!"
"I'm aware of that," Mr. Spencer stated, attempting to remain calm.
The four men quailed in fear as a pair of feathery wings emerged from the boy's back and spread wide.
"I'll admit, I had a lot of fun today," Lux laughed darkly, shedding the dark wig and tossing it to the ground.
He retrieved the cellphone in his pocket as it hummed loudly, alerting him to a text message. It was a text message from Ellie informing him that her cover had been blown and she escaped the country club. David reeled back his golf club and lunged at the angel while he was distracted by his phone.
Without peeling his eyes off the phone, Lux raised his hand nonchalantly, flinging the man's body in the air before he could strike him with the club. David let out an agonized yelp as he came crashing down shoulder-first several meters behind Lux. Sweat trickled down the men's brows when the angel returned his phone to his pocket and turned his sights back to them.
"We should do this again sometime." Lux lifted off the ground and waved before preparing to fly off.
He outstretched his hand, halting a sudden barrage of bullets in midair. Spotting a team of police officers situated behind the group of golfers, he returned their bullets. The men gawked in sheer horror as the police were inundated by their own bullets.
Lux jolted in surprise as his phone began to hum once again. A grimace formed on his face when he realized Ellie was calling him and he had accidentally accepted the call when drawing the phone from his pocket.
"What do you want now?" he said apathetically into the phone.
"There's a bunch of police officers crowded around the entrance of the country club. You'd better not be causing any trouble!" Ellie chided him over the phone.
"Well, too late for that," Lux answered dismissively. "These idiots keep trying to shoot me, so I sent their bullets right back at them."
"Lux!" Ellie yelled into the phone.
"Hey, don't bitch at me about it! I was just minding my own business infiltrating a country club in disguise to intimidate some people. Next thing I know, I'm being shot at by the police."
Lux snapped his head to the left when he detected an oncoming missile from the corner of his eye. The angel was instantly engulfed in a massive ball of smoke and flames. A man wearing military camo arrived on the scene armed with a rocket launcher on his shoulder. Governor Mason sighed in relief while the officers lauded the operator of the rocket launcher.
"Oh, shit!" one of the officers shouted when the smoke began to clear.
The angel emerged from the veil of smoke completely unscathed. A golden barrier surrounded his body, shielding him from the assault.
"Really now…?" Lux said with a dull look on his face.
"What the hell was that?" Ellie pressed him over the phone.
"Some dumbass just tried to attack me with a rocket launcher. Seriously, who happens to have a spare rocket launcher handy?" Lux answered as his barrier dissipated.
"No way!" the rocket launcher wielder spluttered and set his weapon down defeatedly. "That was an anti-tank missile!"
"Their missiles are nothing compared to Pony Boy's flames. That guy's flames are so fucking hot, it's just easier to dodge them than to put up a barrier." Lux batted away the lingering smoke around him.
"Pony Boy? You're talking about Pyrros, right?" Ellie asked.
Lux smirked as he fixed his gaze on Mark and deliberately spoke in a loud voice, "Yeah, that's my new nickname for him. He does some kind of fancy-prancy dance competition on a white horse. I saw some pictures of him on his phone."
Mark's complexion paled a few shades lighter when the realization struck him like a sledgehammer to the head. Was he talking about Igor Malinov's son, Rolan?
"Are you going to send the military after me?" Lux taunted Governor Mason with a sarcastic yawn. "I doubt a tank would do any damage if anti-tank missiles couldn't do anything. Maybe you'll get desperate enough to try bombing me and destroy the city in the process. A silver lining, I suppose, is that you wouldn't have to worry about running for reelection then."
"Are you just shit talking the governor now?" Ellie sighed, though the amusement in her voice was perceptible.
"Yeah, pretty much," he admitted, laughing softly. "I mean, what is he gonna do about it? Have security shoot at me again?"
"Oh, crap!" Ellie suddenly shouted. "I think the officers just noticed me sneaking back into the country club."
Lux glanced down at the team of officers listening intently to his conversation. He raised his hand and asked, "Do you need a hand?"
The angel fixed his sights on the squad of police officers gathered around the entrance gate visible in the distance. He amassed yellow, glowing energy in the palm of his hand and prepared to attack the police.
Ellie yelled into the phone again, "I don't need your help!"
"But, I can't allow my partner-in-crime to be captured and arrested."
Ellie gave an exaggerated groan, "Don't call me that..."
"Looks like the police have swarmed the entire country club." Lux shrugged with one palm face up. "Well, time to blow up the entire place."
He chuckled to himself when he heard a chorus of distressed cries erupt from the group of people beneath him.
"You just can't help yourself, can you?" Ellie stated drearily.
The glowing sphere of energy dissolved in his hand as he gazed down at the crowd of distraught people. "Yeah, I'm just screwing with them."
"I figured," she exhaled noisily into the phone. "I'm going to try to catch up with you and confront the governor. You keep the police busy in the meantime."
Lux overheard two police officers whispering to each other. One of the men asked, "Is there any way we can trace that phone and find out who he's talking to?"
"Now they're planning to track our phones," Lux blurted out loud, startling the two whispering officers.
"What? They can do that?" Ellie asked, panic leaching into her tone.
Lux hummed to himself for a moment before answering her. "My captor is telling me that they can track this phone through the Wi-Fi network here at the country club and locate your number." He slipped in a lie to mislead the police, "Luckily, we stole these phones from those two schoolkids we mugged so it doesn't matter if they do."
"Who is this 'captor' he just mentioned? Is he taking orders from a higher up?" one of the officers asked his commander.
"Shit! They figured out that we're working for Giovanni," Lux said to Ellie, playing off the words he overheard from the two officers.
"Huh?" Ellie uttered blankly.
Lux's voice sobered as he explained himself to the men below, "Yes, you're correct. My accomplice and I work for a man who goes by the name of Giovanni. He is a mob boss and an avid collector of rare creatures. He captured me and my accomplice in a magical ball, forcing us to serve as his slaves for life."
"Is there any way we could possibly help you out?" Bob stepped forward, boldly questioning the angel hovering above them.
"If he finds out, he'll trap me in that dark ball again. But, then again…" Lux's voice trailed off as a thoughtful look overcame his visage. "Maybe there is a way you can help us? Giovanni has a secret underground lair beneath the Celadon Casino. There is a switch behind the poster on the wall to the right of the main counter that will open up a hidden staircase. This lair is riddled with traps and is like a giant maze. Giovanni also runs a gym when he is not in his underground hideouts."
"Are you taking notes?" the police chief murmured to a comrade diligently scribbling on a notepad.
"Did you just give them instructions on how to get into the Team Rocket Headquarters?" Ellie asked skeptically.
"Yeah," he confessed.
"Ok, I'll admit that's kinda sorta funny," Ellie snickered audibly into the phone.
"What else can you tell us about Giovanni?" the chief demanded urgently. "Where is he now?"
"Um, sir…" A young officer approached the chief from behind and tapped him on the shoulder. "He is deceiving us. He's referring to a boss in a video game and not an actual person."
"Damn, there's an officer here who's young enough to have gotten the reference," Lux grumbled in disappointment.
"By the way, Lux, there's a bunch of snipers here on the roof with automatic weapons targeting you," Ellie informed him. She peered up at the team of snipers positioned on the roof from her hiding place inside the bushes near the country club mansion.
"Thanks for the heads-up." Lux honed in on the mansion in the distance.
The four men and group of police officers gathered in front of him gaped at him in confusion as he erected a golden barrier of light around himself. A ferocious burst of bullets suddenly pelted the angel's barrier. Lux impatiently waited for the relentless gunfire to cease.
"Stop!" the police chief shouted at the snipers, even though he was too far away to be heard by them.
Once the bombardment of bullets subsided, the golden barrier vanished. Lux glowered bitterly at the snipers on the roof. "That's it! I'm going over there."
"Don't retaliate, Lux," Ellie warned him.
"There's no way I'm letting that slide." The angel began gathering energy in the palm of his hand and took aim at the snipers.
Ellie unleashed a startled scream over the phone when he fired the orb of energy at the mansion roof. The explosion demolished a section of the roof, engulfing the snipers. A loud deafening noise assaulted Ellie's eardrums as she watched a segment of the roof give way.
"For God's sake! Why do you have to be so vindictive?" Ellie snapped at him. "I told you no lethal attacks!"
"It was a weak attack." Lux gave a childish pout and pulled the phone away, anticipating a lengthy admonishment over the phone. "Besides, they were just fodder anyway so it doesn't count."
"T-that was weak…?" Mr. Spencer muttered to himself as he gaped upon the partially demolished mansion in the distance.
He shuddered at the thought of people confronting the angel to receive a cash reward. Just what the hell was this monstrous being his daughter had become obsessed with?
"You agreed not to—" Ellie yelped in midsentence, "Ow! Damn it!"
Lux raised the phone back to his ear. "Everything ok over there?"
"I just got shot in the shoulder," she hissed sharply in pain.
"Don't be such a wuss," he said as he rolled his eyes. "A bullet isn't going to damage you."
"Yeah, but it still stings like hell!" she complained, miffed.
"No, don't retaliate!" he implored her sarcastically.
"Shut up or I'm putting you on mute!"
Lux pulled the phone away from his cheek again and spoke to the men below him, "I don't know how it's going to fare for those officers shooting at Kitty. She might take her menstrual rage out on them."
"I fucking heard that, you asshole!" he heard Ellie roar over the phone.
Lux glimpsed to the police chief, who cleared his throat loudly in order to capture his attention.
"What is your objective?" the chief demanded from him.
"My objective? I'm just a bored kid who's been corrupted by rock music and violent video games," Lux stated flippantly, inspecting his nails in boredom.
"Holy crap!" he heard Ellie say through her loud panting. "Now I'm being pursued by a ton of officers."
"Just take them out," Lux urged her in a dull voice. "How many people have you already knocked unconscious today?"
"I'm not taking them out. I'll just try to make it onto the golf course."
He spotted a squad of police officers chasing Ellie onto the golf course and hung up the phone. It appeared the police were having difficulty keeping up with her superhuman speed. They abandoned their pursuit once Ellie gained a considerable distance on them. Lux heard the whirring sound of something flying overhead and turned his gaze skyward. Ellie screamed as a drone equipped with a missile sailed straight for her.
"No, Sis!" Lux howled in dismay as he watched the missile collide with the girl standing in the middle of the golf course.
The gathering of men and police officers watched the ball of flames consume the young girl. Lux suddenly began laughing to himself, rousing the governor's suspicions. The unscathed girl emerged from the smoke, straightened out her blonde wig, and casually ambled towards Lux as if nothing had happened. The onlookers stared at the girl with their mouths agape, utterly astounded by what should've been an unsurvivable assault.
"Yeah, I agree. Pyrros' flames are way hotter," Ellie said as she approached the group of people gathered before the angel.
"What in God's name are you people?" Governor Mason hissed belligerently.
"You really want to know?" Lux asked with an upward inflection in his voice, clearly mocking him. "Fine I'll tell you—"
"He's just gonna bullshit you," Ellie interjected, cutting him off.
She ignored the indignant scowl Lux threw her and directed her undivided attention to the grey haired man standing among his group of golfing friends.
"The reason why we're here is to urge you not to sign the conversion therapy bill into law," Ellie's tone descended icily as she confronted the governor and brushed a strand of the blonde wig out of her face.
"Your threats aren't going to make me compromise my beliefs and submit to yours," Governor Mason said defiantly, allowing no room for dissent.
"So you don't care at all about the people you were elected to serve!" she spat venomously.
"You misunderstand. I care deeply about my constituents," the governor answered calmly. "Homosexuality is a disease spreading throughout our community that needs to be cured with reorientation therapy. It is a mortal sin that should not be encouraged or celebrated."
The governor could see the broiling anger seeping from every pore in Ellie's body, yet he stood his ground. She bit her bottom lip and clenched her fingers into fists, which began to glow a fierce red. Ellie drew her fist behind her hip and prepared to vault towards the man she despised with every fiber of her being. "You goddamn—!"
Ellie gasped in surprise as something seized her by the wrist.
"No, Sis," Lux warned her, gripping her tiny wrist. "Don't do something you'll regret."
"Lux…?" Ellie uttered faintly, meeting his hardened green eyes.
"Because…" A sinister smirk played on his lips. "I'm going to be the one who kills him."
The group of men hollered in alarm as Lux raised his opposite hand and aimed at the governor.
"Just kidding." Lux tilted his head and grinned mischievously. "Or maybe I'm not? Who knows? Killing you now wouldn't be as fun as keeping you in suspense. Maybe I'll kill you today? Maybe tomorrow? Maybe I'll sneak into one of your campaign rallies and kill you as you speak at the podium?"
"I am a war veteran and no stranger to threats on my life. I will never cave to terrorist threats," the governor said with a dignified air. "We live in a democracy. If I am killed, there will be others to fulfill my duties."
"You might not be scared of death, but what about your loved ones?" Lux stroked the ridge of his jaw in thought. "Maybe I'll spare you and kill your wife and children instead? I could give you spoilers of what's to come."
Lux set his sights on the manor and fired an immense beam of energy at it. Absolutely devastated by the horrifying sight, country club owner cried out and collapsed to his knees as the attack completely obliterated his prized mansion. Mark trembled uncontrollably as he envisioned his own estate meeting the same hapless fate as the Alleron Country Club. Governor Mason's aged face remained stoic, refusing to show any nuance of intimidation.
"What the hell did you do that for?!" Ellie shouted at him, absolutely livid.
He scratched the back of his head and chuckled, "To be honest, I've been itching to blow up that mansion since the moment I first saw it. I couldn't resist! Blowing up stuff is fun."
"Are you fucking kidding me?!" Ellie decked him in the face with all her might, sending him flying backwards.
Lux skid as he crashed to the ground. He yelped as she stood above him and grasped a handful of his long blonde hair, yanking his head up brutishly. "Shit, that hurts!"
Utterly dumbfounded, the men watched Lux cower beneath the young girl seizing him by the hair. How was this petite girl capable of harming him when an anti-tank missile could not?
Lux rose back to his feet and dusted his clothing off once she released him.
"Can't you go one day without causing devastation?" Ellie folded her arms.
"I already did last Saturday," Lux refuted, frowning. "And that was asking too much."
The police chief wiped the layer of sweat lining his brow. "T-they're both just kids?"
"Yup, you just got your ass kicked by some kids," Lux cackled contemptuously as he extended a hand to Ellie to grab onto.
The men helplessly watched the angel ascend into the air with his accomplice.
"I'll let you in on a fun fact—humans have zero value to me. Go ahead and send your military planes and tanks after me. I'll enjoy the target practice. You'll probably want to expand your national cemetery ahead of time though," Lux laughed without restraint. He then fixed his gaze on Mark and Governor Mason and said ominously, "I'll be seeing you all very soon."
Mark shuddered internally at the angel's parting words as he watched him fly off with the girl. Governor Mason whispered to police officers huddled in a circle once the angel was out of sight.
When Lux finally landed on the doorsteps of the townhouse with Ellie, she stopped him before he could open the door.
"Umm…" Ellie began, removing the blonde wig from her head. Her gaze was angled downward as she fiddled with the wig in her hands. "…Thank you, Lux."
"I'm always looking out for you, Sis," he stated, offering her a mild smile in return.
Her cheeks flushed a rosy pink while her gaze remained averted. Without any further words, a soft smile graced her face for all of a second before she quickly shoved the door open and entered the townhouse. Lux followed her inside and headed into the bathroom to rinse his face.
He splashed his face with water over the sink basin and dried himself off with a hand towel. Reflecting on Ellie's words of gratitude, he beamed a sunny smile to his reflection in the mirror.
"She doesn't like you," Leon's voice said within him, instantly dampening his elevated spirits.
"Well aren't you ballsy today," Lux answered him scathingly. "Of course Sis likes me."
Leon's voice resonated harshly in his head, "You're trying to replace me as her brother. You're trying to steal my life!"
Lux seized his head as if suffering an unbearable headache and let out a pained grunt. "You don't know jack shit!"
"Ellie deeply despises you. No matter how badly you want her to be, she will never be your sister!"
"Shut up!" Lux roared at the top of his lungs, flaring his energy.
The bathroom mirror and the lightbulbs overhead suddenly shattered and rained glass shards onto the floor. He picked up a large fragment of the mirror off the ground and held it in front of his face.
"Don't think you can overpower me just 'cause you've been feeling more confident recently," Lux uttered a deep throated growl to Leon's reflection gazing back at him in the fragment of the shattered mirror. "I will destroy you and claim this body for myself."