Any of you, my lovely readers, who hoped to see more of Rykel's and my story owe this new Saturday series to the clamoring of my mom and best friend who convinced me to finish. Huge thanks to S.J. Aisling, actual author/creator of Rykel and his real story, Conductives. S.J. and I are friends and she's not only agreed that this series is a good idea - she's willing to read the pieces before they're live and possibly throw in an installment or two of her own! So, without further ado...
Episode three of My Imaginary Boyfriend, a Conductives fanfiction series by Emily Rachelle with help from the author, S.J. Aisling.
Previous episode: http://emilyrachellewrites.blogspot.com/2013/07/my-imaginary-boyfriend-episode-two-five.html
I laugh. Considering how little I know about this tattoo-sporting, motorcycle-driving, secret-identity guy, I ought to be a little wary. But something in Rykel's electric blue eyes grinning at me makes joy bubble through my heart.
He leans forward and sets his left elbow on the table, cocking one eyebrow. I notice a few faded scars scattered along his hand. Wonder what's up with those. "Okay, hon, so. Basically, I was born with this... problem."
I nod and take another bite of my noodles. "Okay." What does he mean? Wherever he's going with this, I can definitely say it sounds interesting.
He ruffles his hair with his hand, flipping it off towards his ear. I hold back a smile at the gesture. He is incredibly good-looking. "You've closed a car door and had that static shock before, right?"
"Sure." Who hasn't? I can't stand the feeling.
"Some people are born with this genetic... thing that actually causes them to store up that energy inside."
I nod. "Okay." Obviously he must mean he's one of these people.
He pauses and rests both hands on the tablecloth, seeming to wait for a further reaction. I shrug. "So? I follow you."
"You believe me?"
A slow smile stretches across his rough face. "Alright. The people eventually have to get rid of all that energy, so they do this thing called a Release. Since they're releasing the energy and all."
"Cool. Isn't that kind of dangerous?" I glance at his hands. The scars line both hands.
He laughs, and the scratchy sound touches that odd spot in my chest. I look up at him. "Yeah, babe, that it is. There's explosions and power problems and a whole lot of problems like that, especially when they don't know what they're doing. It's something you have to practice and learn control for. You know?"
I smile. "Makes sense." I pause to eat another bite before prodding him on. "So where is all this going?" Just say it already.
He swallows and chuckles. "See, actually, there's a whole group of these people. They're called Conductives, and they study at this special school. Honestly, it's more like a high-tech military base. All the security and rules are insane." He rolls his eyes. "It is a pretty sweet place, just run by control freaks. Anyway... well, I'm kind of... one of them."
I raise my eyebrows and laugh. "Cool." I look out the window to my right before looking back at Rykel. "That's just... huh."
He nods, grinning wildly. "It's pretty awesome."
"I'd say! So, you're like a superhero?"
I didn't realize his grin could get bigger. If he didn't have the physique of a hardcore Marine, I'd call it adorable. "Yeah, pretty much."
"Do you guys have specific powers? Or you just all do the same things with the energy?"
"Hey, I'm unique, sweetheart." He glances around the restaurant and then leans in closer to me. I giggle. "Want to see?"
I nod and try not to squeal my answer. "Yes!" I grab my purse off the back of my chair.
He reaches into his back pocket to pull out his wallet. "You can wait by the Indian while I pay."
He gestures towards the front of the restaurant. "My motorcycle. It's an Indian."
It only takes a few minutes for him to join me in the parking lot. He hands me the helmet and I strap it on and situate myself on the motorcycle seat behind him, wrapping my arms around his waist. I lay the side of my head against his neck while he drives to shield myself from the cold night air. He's so strong and warm.
He passes through a few intersections before reaching a gym that's been closed for almost a year and pulls into the parking lot. I slide off the motorcycle seat and hang the helmet on the handlebar. I bite my lip as I slide my purse back over my shoulder. Is this safe? I'm nervous and excited in the same breath. He slides his fingers through mine and pulls me away from the motorcycle and the empty building. I shiver and smile at him.
"You sure you ready for this, babe?"
I love his pet names. "Yes. I won't freak out."
He grins. "Okay. Oh, and one more thing," he adds, his smile suddenly gone. "You have to promise you won't tell."
I nod, equally serious. "Of course. I promise."
The fun, grinning Rykel returns as quickly as it vanished. "Here goes nothing!"
He lets go of my hand and snaps his fingers with his other hand. In between his index finger and thumb, a little blue glowing orb floats in the air. Like you might throw a pebble or a marble, he tosses the floating light away from us and it hits the parking lot. A tiny explosion like fireworks goes off with a staticky noise when the orb hits the asphalt, then it fades with a sizzle. Little black scorch marks streak the parking lot where the collision happened.
I'm sure my eyes are as wide as saucers. Rykel is looking at me.
"Hey babe. You okay?"
I shake my head to snap myself out of it and meet his worried gaze. "That-" I clear my throat and try again, knowing that my voice is barely above a whisper. "That was freaking awesome."
"You don't look too great."
"I'm fine." I give a small smile and glance back at the scorch marks. "I just... it's a lot to take in." I look back at Rykel and notice something on his hand. "Hey, you're bleeding."
He covers the cut with his other hand and shrugs. "It's no biggie."
I pull my gaze away from his hands and look back up at him. "Is that how you got all your scars?"
Rykel shrugs again and wipes his hands on his jeans before taking mine and leading me back to the motorcycle. "Why don't I get you back? It's getting late."
I hold back my disappointment and sigh in assent. "You're right."
The ride back to the coffee shop feels like an eternity but ends too soon. Rykel helps me off the seat and squeezes my hand before releasing me. I smile. "I had fun tonight."
He smiles a little and slides his hands in his pockets. "Yeah, it was cool. So I'll see you around?"
"So I'll see you again?" I try not to let myself show just how excited just being around him makes me. I'm not sure if I'm successful.
"Sure." He pauses before adding, with his smile fading, "Well, if nobody finds out about me. I'm serious, you can't tell anyone - about me being a Conductive or the party tonight or that thing back in the parking lot - especially that."
I nod. "Rykel, I promised. You can trust me." He doesn't grin or laugh, and it makes me uneasy. "Really. Rykel, whether or not we see each other again, I won't tell."
He smiles and my uneasiness flees. "Okay then. Night, sweetheart!"
I wave while he climbs onto his motorcycle and revs up the engine. "Good night, Rykel!" With a puff of exhaust and the squeal of his tires, he flies away, and I turn to walk back to school campus.