Em’s terror at the sound of May’s scream was instant and visceral.
With her heart threatening to tear from her chest, she didn’t pause to consider her cover; she launched into the air and onto the deck with a speed that would have winded her if not for the pulse of adrenaline urging her on. Through the locked – why the fuck did they lock it? – sliding door she could see May struggling and flailing against Kane, his hands grabbing at her waist from behind.
“Get back here!” he yelled, tugging and pulling at her. “I was fucking talking to you, bitch!”
“MAY!” Em cried, wrenching on the door handle again and again.
Electricity shot down her arms, arcing over her flesh in cracks of blue lightening. With every ounce of strength she could summon she pulled again, struggling against the latching until the entire frame gave way.
At the exact same moment, May managed to compartmentalize her fear and focus. With unapologetic force she brought her foot down on the inside of Kane’s ankle. He howled, buckling under the pain. Without skipping a beat, May took advantage of his distraction and forced her elbow back, catching him sharply in the gut. It was just enough damage for her to pull free from his clinging grasp. May rounded on Kane with a fury she had never known. She pulled back her fist and drove it forward into his jaw, using her shoulder for force just like Em had taught her.
“I said leave me ALONE,” May shouted as Kane fell to his knees, dizzy from the unexpected assault.
She looked ready to go back for more when the sound of the sliding door being torn from its latch distracted her.
“Em,” she gasped, cradling her throbbing hand.
The moment seemed to hang between them. There was a part of Em’s mind that screamed at her to go to May, to hold her and make sure she was okay. She was so proud of her and she wanted her to know that.
But her eyes fell on Kane who was trying to get to his feet.
Every little impulse she had fought to keep in check since the first moment she laid eyes on him surged. Never had she hated someone as much as she did right now, and it had been a very long time since she had wanted to hurt someone this badly.
Em’s usual dream-like glow grew eerie and nightmarish. May staggered back, a gasp caught in her throat as she watched the whites of Em’s eyes darkened, amplifying the intensity of that sharp blue May had come to love and seek out for comfort. The air swirled around them like a storm, sending Em’s hair flying and twisting in every direction.
She screamed; a furious animal noise that did not seem as though it could have possibly come from her. She pulled her arm back like she was tugging sharply on an invisible rope and, as if Kane’s ankle was tied to the end of it, he slid across the floor to her feet. His face was wild with terror, eyes wide and afraid.
Em clenched a fist, thrusting it into the air. Kane followed, dangling before her like a puppet with tangled strings.
“If you ever, ever lay another hand on her – if you so much as look at her the wrong way – I will kill you. Do you understand, you miserable piece of shit?”
“Yes,” Kane sobbed. “Yes, I swear.”
It may have been the answer she was looking for, but Em wasn’t satisfied. She hated everything about him – the look on his terrified face, the catch in his voice as he cried. His answer rang in Em’s ears but all she could see was the memory of his hands on May, playing like a video on repeat in her mind. There wasn’t a place inside of her that rage did not touch.
Em twisted and swung her arm back with a furious cry. Kane’s body was ripped through the air, out the still-open sliding door and over the railings, plummeting to the sand below.
There were screams – from May, from Kane, and from other voices down on the beach below. Em flew out after her victim, hovering over where his crumpled body lay in a twisted heap. His legs stuck out at sickening angles; telling signs of the damage done.
“Get me out of here!” he howled to his bumbling friend who scrambled across the sand without tearing his gaping face away from Em. Kane reached out and let him drag his mangled body back to the car, so desperate to escape that he didn’t care about the pain it caused. The car raced away, spraying sand as it swung around in the direction of town.
Em collapsed to her knees just as May reached the ground. Her angry glow faded, the air settling until all seemed almost normal. In stunned silence, May inched toward Em, lowering to her knees just out of arm’s reach.
“Em?” she whispered.
When Em looked up, the darkness in her eyes had cleared. She panted, tears streaming down her anguished face.
“I’m so sorry,” she wept. “I never wanted you to see me like that. I was just so angry. Did he hurt you?”
She reached a tentative hand out to May, her eyes pleading.
May hesitated, searching Em’s face as though she was seeing her for the first time. What she had just witnessed was… horrifying. But all trace of the nightmare born of Em’s anger had vanished and she was left with the woman she knew.
“Is it still you?” she asked.
Em nodded frantically. “I promise.”
May raised a hand and reached slowly to take the one Em offered her.
“May!” a voice cried out, startling them both. “No!”
Banner art by @flowerveil