Oriana thinks cops "are abusive and morally bankrupt " so for her to call Ingrid a wannabe woke is a pot calling a kettle black.((TW: marijuana use. Also, remember Martika?))
He had to know, too, that she could never harm him. He'd been nothing but gentle to her, and in her fantasies, she pictured herself gingerly opening his shirt, rubbing the ache out of his belly...washing him in the bath...quieting his darkest memories with feather-light touches and offering her own body to him, vulnerable and naked, for him to cradle in his thick arms, like a comfort object he could use to cuddle all his pain away...
While they were at the restaurant it had started to rain. He covered her with his jacket to walk her back to her dorm. They exchanged numbers on the walk, but parted ways at the threshold. "Apologies," he said, "for leaving you at the doorway."
"It's okay," she said, handing his coat back to him. "I understand. You gotta talk to your primary." Yes, she knew the lingo that pertained to polyamory. You picked up quite the vocabulary when you were mildly addicted to fetish porn. But he would already know that about her, wouldn't he?
"Til we meet again, baby doll."
What she wouldn't have given to lead him to her bed and meticulously peel his clothes off.
"Let's see...you've already met our school requirements for classes involving practical power use," said Paula, Oriana's new academic advisor, who sat sideways at her desk with her legs crossed, leaning back to examine her transcript from Rivington. Perhaps in her middle age, the farsightedness was beginning to set in. "Combat theory, martial arts...marksmanship?"
"It was a requirement," said Oriana. "I really don't even like guns at all."
"Stunt driving? They're offering that as a class?"
"Now that one I kind of liked."
"Let's see," Paula went on. "You had top marks in programming, but you still need three more hard science credits before you graduate, and you're missing all of your social sciences and humanities credits. You'll need to declare a major as well, and start thinking about your career path."
"What if I wanted to register a persona and be a superhero?"
"That would be your prerogative," said Paula. "But it wouldn't exempt you from studying mathematics and literature. We want our graduates to be well-adjusted, well-learned, normal people first, and superheroes second--but to tell you the truth, most of them just get jobs."
Oriana's roommate moved in the Saturday before classes started. It was this perky, chubby blonde girl named Ingrid Zales with the power of hydrokinesis whose belongings consisted mostly of brightly colored outfits, waterproof electronics, and houseplants. She was a bit of a motormouth, and Oriana found herself tuning her out as she made small talk. She was still thinking about the boy she'd met.
"Hel-lo! Earth to Oriana!" said Ingrid, snapping her out of her daydream.
"Sorry. Repeat the question?"
"I asked you what your power is."
"I'm an offensive biomanipulator."
"Whoa," said Ingrid, "don't go advertising that."
"O-bios have such a bad rap. And I get it. It's scary, being in a room with someone who can hijack your bodily autonomy. But you seem cool so far. Hell, I don't even really see you as an o-bio. I don't see powers; I see people first."
Oof. So it was one of these wannabe woke bitches.
"It was never like this at Rivington."
"Well, duh. That's military school," said Ingrid as she arranged her plants. "They probably valued you for being dangerous. I mean...not that I think you're a danger to me. Just don't bring it up."
"I met a telepath," Oriana said. "He had to know what I could do, and he wasn't scared."
"Because you're cool. I'm just saying...maybe don't lead with that."
Despite her distaste for sitting at desks, Oriana filled her schedule with computer science courses, along with an English course, a history course, and a course on costume design. She had a knack for computers, so it would be the easiest way to get her hard science credits out of the way. Her first week was a breeze. Then, on Friday night, she got a text from Dante:
>Martika says you're welcome to come over. We're in #466
Her cheeks flushed with heat. She wanted to rush over there straightaway...but her mother had taught her better manners than that. So, she swung by the Taco Shack and picked everyone up a large fountain soda, plus twenty tacos for them all to split, before heading to the room.
She assumed it was Martika's, what with the lace-trimmed 'welcome' mat, and knocked. "It's open," called a woman's voice from within, so Oriana let herself in.
Martika was even more radiant than in pictures, her smiling face seeming to emanate a certain glow. The photo Dante had shown Oriana failed to do justice to the inviting swell of her chest and completely left out the ass-to-die-for. Not to be outdone, her belly strained the buttons of her top, soft and pliable underneath the constricting fabric. What's more, she and Dante had already gotten started. She was straddling his lap on the sofa and hand-feeding him a slice of pizza while a soap opera rerun played on the TV. The pizza boxes were stacked three high on the coffee table, which also supported several bottles of liquor and three shot glasses.
"Good thinking, bringing chasers," said Dante before Martika crammed his mouth full of pizza.
She gave Oriana a slow look up and down. "So you're the biomanipulator?"
"Oh shit...how much he told you?"
"He said you're a Class O," said Martika. "You already know about the hate you're gonna get. But you should never be ashamed of your powers. They're beautiful. They make you who you are."
How refreshing it was, to be called beautiful instead of dangerous.
"He also tell you about…y'know…"
"The feeder stuff? Girl. When I learned this shit had a name, I felt so seen. So known. I think we're gonna get along just fine. And it's totally okay that sometimes you need to think about murder to get off. Honestly, fuck Steve. Fuck Dr. Hastings. Fuck Jared Flemming. If they're anything near as awful as Dante says, they all deserve to burst, or choke, or sink to the bottom of the river, and it's no crime to get off on the thought. Trust me, I'm majoring in criminal justice."
Oriana shifted her weight from one foot to the other.
"Sit down if you want, pretty girl," said Martika, beckoning her forward with a head gesture, never moving from Dante's lap. "You're welcome to anything on the table."
"Likewise." Oriana walked over, added her haul from Taco Shack to the table's burden, and took a seat.
"You need a drink, honey?" Martika asked Dante. When he nodded in response, she took one of the sodas and held the straw to his lips. When he was done drinking, he squirmed for a moment, trying to get comfortable, before letting out a deep burp.
"Sorry," he excused himself.
"Better?" asked Martika, gingerly rubbing the upper swell of his belly.
"Hot," muttered Oriana, excitement building in her core.
"Round of shots?" Martika offered, pouring them each a hearty measure of vodka and handing them out.
After they'd chucked them back, Oriana said, "You know alcohol's a smooth muscle relaxant?"
"A what now?" asked Martika.
"It relaxes the muscles in your digestive tract. Meaning you can eat more." The things you learned on feedfrenzy.com.
"In that case…" Martika poured Dante another shot, tipped it into his mouth, and had him chase it with another mouthful of pizza. "Good, baby?"
The blissed-out expression on his face said it all. He nodded, moaned, and swallowed. "More?"
"Coming right up…" She held the pizza to his lips, but at the last minute, pulled back and took a bite herself, laughing.
"Damn, girl! Saw that one coming, but still! The betrayal!"
"Here, I got you," said Oriana, unwrapping a taco to offer it to him. He took a big, greedy bite, wrapped an arm around her waist, and pulled her close. Biting her lip, she snuggled against him--so soft!--and let her free hand rest on his squishy side.
He swallowed, took a sip of soda, and said, "At least someone round here wants to take care of me."
"Oh, shut up," Martika teased, filling his mouth with pizza once more. As he chewed, she turned to Oriana and said, "Take over for me for a minute?"
Oriana was all too happy to oblige, feeding him the remainder of the taco as Martika retrieved a glass pipe from her dresser, and loaded it full of weed. Lighting the bowl, she took a big hit and passed the pipe to Dante. He took a big hit and held the pipe in Oriana's direction. "You want some?"
"Do you already know what I'm gonna say?"
"Not until you do, baby doll. I can't divine the future. Well, I had a grandma that could, but the whole family thought she was nuts, too."
She considered the decision at hand. She'd never smoked pot before. D'von said it just made him paranoid. Then again...maybe if she experienced the high, she'd be able to replicate its effects on anyone she might have to fight in the future. How cool would it be to be the superhero who incapacited bad guys by getting them stoned?
So she took the pipe and sucked down a big hit.
"You have to hold it in," said Dante. She did, for a solid five seconds, until he told her to breathe. didn't feel anything. She joined the other two in a few more rounds of hits while feeding Dante, and then…
Then it knocked her over like a freight truck.
I know! That's what's made her such a fun character for me to writeOriana thinks cops "are abusive and morally bankrupt " so for her to call Ingrid a wannabe woke is a pot calling a kettle black.
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