Masks We Wear: Chapter 9 9

The Masks We Wear

Chapter 9: Casino Night

“Are you sure this is a good idea?” Sam asked for the fifth time.

“Not only is it a good idea,” Ray replied exactly as he had every other time, “it’s a damn necessity. If we don’t get you out there relaxing, mingling, and into persona from the very beginning it’s just going to harder later on Sam.”

“Who?” Sam replied with a fairly good befuddled look on his face. “You must be mixing me up with someone else, my name is Matt. Did we meet at orientation maybe?”

“Not bad Matt, you are getting better at expressing confusion without it looking exaggerated. But we need to get moving, we want to get there and find other members of our group.”

“Shouldn’t we be avoiding them above ground, I mean if one of them gets exposed won’t that bring suspicion on everyone around them?”

“Well it’s really not that easy to have an SI infringement, you are much more likely than anyone else because of your public persona. But that doesn’t mean you get to be a hermit.”

“What about everyone in our class who have physical changes? That green haired girl, Victoria, I saw a guy with dead black eyes, there are probably others.”

“Yeah but super hero chic is in, people do everything they can to mimic the appearance of supers. Plus you underestimate the number of supers and powereds out there. It’s actually kind of scary how many there are and how few heroes there are to help control it.”

“Yeah sometimes you have to wonder why things haven’t spiraled out of control,” Sam mused aloud as the two of them walked across the quad to the student union where Casino Night was being held. “I mean there have been incidents, Meredith Falls is only the biggest.”

“Yeah and some of the thing that happen outside the country are ridiculous, some places out there are no man’s land. Might make right is the rule in those places. Here the HCP trains the protectors and that’s the difference.”

“I suppose so,” Sam replied, “and ultimately it’s why we are here too.”

“Yup, now put all of that out of your head,” Ray added with finality as they approached the doors to the building. “Deep thoughts about being a normal college kid and let’s party.”

They opened the door and walked into the student union and were assaulted by the most garish décor imaginable. Fake statues and gold banners lined the hallway leading to the big open common room where the gambling had been set up.

“Well it’s sort of like Vegas,” said Sam, “but it’s just not really getting it.”

“Have you been to Vegas Matt?” asked Ray stressing the name just a bit and reminding Sam that he shouldn’t be putting out too many details he could trip himself up on. Sam had been to Vegas for a couple of title bouts and pay per view specials but he couldn’t really discuss those nor would ‘Matt’ have seen the high roller and VIP only areas of any of the casinos or gone back stage to meet the headliners. Every time Sam was in Vegas he was toured in the highest style, something he couldn’t let on if he wasn’t to mess up the whole thing.

“My parents took me when I turned 18, couldn’t do much of course, we stayed at the Hall of Heroes,” he added naming the popular Super themed casino fronted by a former team of Heroes which most people had heard of and seen pictures of, “maybe it’s just the lack of a theme that most of the casinos seemed to have.”

“Don’t read too much into it,” came a woman’s voice from a table next to them. They looked over and saw a girl with an ID saying ‘Lander University Welcoming Committee’ and her name, Janet Fletcher. “Tonight is about having fun before burying yourselves in academia. It’s half gambling and half mixer.” She continued on without giving them a chance to reply or even taking a breath, “so guys can I get your names?”

“I’m Ray Rios and this is my roommate, Matt Norton,” replied Ray for both of them in his typical patter, smiling down at the girl obviously sizing her up.”

She giggled at him. “You wish Ray, freshman have been hitting on me all night, your subtle come hither looks aren’t gonna do any better. If you want to keep trying though you can meet me later with my boyfriend, Jake Rhodes,” she said emphasizing the name of her boyfriend just a bit much.

“You’re dating Lander’s head quarterback?” Sam asked with surprise, she didn’t seem the type.

“Why yes, yes I am,” she answered back with a smile, “you recognized the name right away, do you follow college football.”

“I’m a sports guy,” he said a bit hesitantly, “I follow a lot of teams.”

“Well you should think about joining the Barflies.”

“The what?”

“The Barflies, oh the official name is the Sport’s Enthusiasts Club, but everyone just calls them the Barflies, because for any given big sporting event most of them are hanging out at Garner’s, the local sports bar that will let in large groups of students even if they aren’t drinking.”

“Oh, thanks, I’ll think about it.”

“You should definitely do it Matt,” chimed in Ray, “sounds like part of the whole college experience to me.”

Sam sighed inside, Ray was trying to force Sam into some crazy cover image he had cooked up in his head. Well, it might be fun at that but he was at Lander for more important things. “Yeah maybe, it does sound like fun,” Sam answered in an uncommitted manner.

“Well you can see a listing of all the clubs, where and when they meet, and other associated trivia on the student’s access website.”

“Thanks,” replied Sam politely, “I’ll check it out.”

“Now then,” she resumed, “are you two strapping young men here to gamble?”

“Of course beautiful,” replied Ray, not intimidated by the mention of her boyfriend at all. “Is there another reason to come to Casino Night?”

She giggled at him again, obviously not taking him seriously. “Sure, lots of reasons. A lot of freshmen just come to hang out and mingle, meet others of their class. There’s dancing upstairs in the ballroom, and karaoke downstairs in the After Hours. Normally that’s a bar and lounge for the upper classmen but for tonight no alcohol is being served, just music of questionable taste.”

“Well those all sound fun but I think we’ll start with some gambling.”

“Ok then,” she replied pulling two boxes out from under the table and handing one to each of them. “Here are the rules. This box contains your stake, the only chips you get without winning more or begging some more off other students. Only freshmen can play and the chips are, of course, worthless. However at the end of the night you can use the chips to buy raffle tickets and the more chips you have, the more tickets you can buy. There are a couple dozen prizes, some are small and nothing, but the grand prize is a two hundred dollar gift card. That could come in handy for books and such.” After finishing the speech she pulled out a tablet and mumbling to herself, clicked off each of their names on a list of freshmen who received chips.

Sam and Ray turned and headed into the ‘Casino’, there were about forty or fifty tables set up in the large room which was normally the common room which served as the dining area for the main cafeteria in the union. Glancing around they saw blackjack, poker, craps, roulette, and at least forty slot machines up against one wall. There were tables along the sides set with snacks and drinks.

“So what’s your game Matt?” asked Ray

“I know how to play blackjack, some types of poker, I don’t really understand craps, roulette is simple, and slots well that’s just feeding the house.”

“Yeah I know how to play them all, I had a liberal education and a bit of a wild childhood. But why don’t we stick to blackjack.”

The two of them moved off to one of the tables and grabbed a couple of open seats. The room was crowded but there did seem to be enough places for everyone so far.

They played a few hands but neither was really all that into it. In the end, they started betting wildly and blew all there chips over half an hour.

“Well what do you want to do now?” asked Sam.

“How about we go watch some karaoke, maybe even take a turn on stage, I have a pretty OK voice?”

“Sure,” Ray answered shaking his head to indicate it was not his first choice.

“Bad voice?”

“No, sensitive ears.” Looking around and making sure no one was close enough to overhear them Ray leaned in and whispered to Sam. “Actually it’s a function of what I do, my hearing and voice are pretty variable, so I can sing in any voice I choose to and my hearing can adapt but that means bad becomes worse.” Ray paused for a second, as if considering what to say next before whispering, “and Matt, maybe your voice was ‘pretty OK’ before your recent changes but remember that was modified too.”

“Are you saying you don’t like it when I sing in the shower?”

“Your voice was never meant to duplicate the chart toppers, especially those sung by women… you do an interesting Lady Gaga but your Katy Perry is only so so.”

“Ahhh, and here I thought I was appreciated as a roommate.”

“You are, just not for your singing Matt.”

They made their way down to the After Hours where the karaoke was set up. A couple was standing on stage finishing their performance of ‘Don’t go breaking my heart’… badly. Ray just looked at Sam and shook his head sadly.

“There’s always one.” Ray said leaning in so Sam could hear him.

“Always one what?”

“Always one couple who thinks it’s cute to sing that together. They probably have a whole routine worked out. At least we missed that.”

“I’m gonna have to live with the constant sarcasm, aren’t I?” Sam asked.

“Not bad just a couple of days into knowing each other and you already figured that out. This is highly predictive of your future academic success Matt.”

“Yeah…” Sam added with a sigh, “four years of that huh, assuming we both make it through and neither of us decides to change roommates to avoid going to jail for murder. Is there a special name for killing your roommate? You know like patricide is killing your father.”

“Well, amicicide is killing of a friend… that might cover it.”

“Hmm, that’s assuming we are still friends by the time one of us decides to off the other. However in this case if I killed you I think they would call it justifiable homicide.”

“See Matt, my sense of humor is already rubbing off on you. That was a good one.”

“Sure,” he said shaking his head. “Let’s find somewhere to sit and check out the song list.”

The next performer came to the stage, a girl wearing entirely too many sparkles but who started a fair rendition of ‘Starships’, even Ray seemed happy with her voice.

They looked around for a table, the After Hours was crowded and they found none free, But Ray pointed off toward the far side of the room where a familiar green head of hair was bouncing in time to the music along with three other heads.

“Well there’s someone we kind of know, and it looks like there are no guys with them.” He started making his way through the crowded room toward their table.

“Ray, we talked about this, it’s a bad idea.”

“Nah, it will be fine. It’s either join them or stand, and that just makes it easier for me to rush the stage and deck the singer when someone hits a note to make my ear ring in pain.” Ray continued toward the table and so did Sam by default.

“Ladies, do you mind if we join you?” Ray asked as they approached the table. “We haven’t been formally introduced but I met a couple of you at orientation, your name is Victoria isn’t it?” he said to the green haired girl. “And you’re Jacqueline?” he said to the girl next to her. “I’m Ray, if you don’t recall, and this is my roommate Matt,” he added putting just a slight emphasis on his name. “I hope you don’t mind, there weren’t any other seats and well we at least know each other a bit.”

The two girls looked at each other and then over at their two other friends at the table who shrugged and nodded toward the two remaining seats.

“Hi Ray and, Matt was it? I’m Victoria, Vicki to my friends and this is my roommate Jacqui, she added pointing at the other girl Ray had recognized. Pointing at the last two in turn she introduced them, “this is Dixie and Bethany, they share the other room in our suite.”

“It’s nice to meet you, Ray and Matt,” Bethany added. “We haven’t really gotten to meet many others yet, I guess that’s the idea behind Casino Night. So far we mostly met other girls, our dorm floor being women only.”

“Yeah,” added Dixie, “it’s nice to meet someone with a Y chromosome,” she smiled at Matt and Ray in turn, looking a bit predatory.

Jacqui didn’t say a thing. She simply looked at Ray and Sam as if weighing them, particularly Sam.

“So where is the song list?” Sam asked feeling a bit uncomfortable under Jacqui’s stare.

“On your phone,” answered Vicki, and when Sam looked confused, she continued. “Pull out your phone, there’s an app called ‘Empty Orchestra’ which you can download and pick your song. It will just display a bar code which you scan in when you go up. Pretty much they have everything online.”

Sam pulled out his phone and downloaded the app, it had a surprisingly large amount of music on it and would make suggestions by artist, genre, or just give a random selection. Sam looked through it, throwing out the idea of doing something on the pop charts since it seemed to offend Ray, and found one of his all-time favorite songs. Selecting it he waited for a chance to hit the stage.

While waiting he engaged in small talk with the others, discussing anything but the HCP. Vicki it turned out was a native Californian but the others were from all across the country, Jacqui was from New York, and Bethany and Dixie were from Detroit and had known each other for years, requesting to be roomed together in their acceptance paperwork.

After a few minutes, Ray seemed to have claimed Vicki for himself and the two of them were chatting, leaning in toward each other and not speaking much to the others. That left Sam with the other three women, Bethany and Dixie were definitely talkative and very flirty, Sam was used to women flirting with him, and his celebrity brought him a fair amount of women who were after him just for that. He was no bashful virgin but he wasn’t really sure how much he wanted to hook up with women he might have to throw through a wall in training.

Ray had given him a run down on the powers of everyone else in their class while they were getting ready to go out. If he remembered right, Bethany could petrify people and Dixie absorbed the properties of different materials. Both sounded powerful though Bethany didn’t do so well in rankings being somewhere in the middle of the class, Dixie was in the top ten. He had to figure everyone in the class was powerful in their own way or they wouldn’t have made it in. Especially considering the record application rate this year with the attack on Meredith Falls. Now Jacqui he remembered was the girl with the incredibly long match in the first round but who was beaten in seconds in the second round by Kerry. Kerry had told them she could turn intangible though it hadn’t stopped Kerry’s power from inflicting injuries upon her.

It was Jacqui who interested Sam the most, maybe because she wasn’t flirting with him the way the other two were. She was very pretty, with dark, smoky eyes and a dark complexion. She had a slight accent, a combination of Spanish and Bronx, Sam thought, but she didn’t talk much no matter how much Sam tried to draw her out.

After a young woman had finished a rather off-key rendition of ‘Born This Way’, Sam got up and made his way to the stage. Before the music started he walked up to the mike and introduced himself to the crowd. “Evening everyone, my name is Matt Norton, happy to be here at Lander, and well this song always had a lot of meaning to me and even more now that I’m here and like most of you on my own.

Deep tones started on a piano and then Sam started in “Sometimes in our lives. We all have pain, we all have sorrow. But if we are wise. We know that there’s always tomorrow.” Sam had a deep and resonating voice and despite Ray’s complaints thought he did justice to the song. When, at the appropriate time, the audience began to clap along, he knew he was doing well. At the end he let his voice go soft and just above a whisper gave the final “call me.”

People cheered, and clapped, it had been a while since Sam heard people cheering for him. In some ways he missed it; in others… well it was a part of his life he put behind him. He didn’t think for a minute that the cheers were for his singing talent, he wasn’t that good. No, he knew that there were a lot of kids here today, away from home for the first time and scared, looking for someone or something to grab onto and anchor them. It was the sentiment of the song that moved people, not his voice.

He made his way back to the table. Other freshmen were patting him on the back as he went. The next singer was another girl and started in with ‘Firework’. As Sam sat down the others at the table gave him their own compliments. Even Ray added “see now why can’t you sing more like that in the shower,” as everyone laughed.

They continued talking and barely even noticed what was playing until Sam caught a familiar heavy electronic beat and heard a man’s voice sing the words “You clap your hands, you’re turning heads. Jumping ship, jumping on my bed.”

Sam turned back toward the stage and saw a man standing holding the mike. He was wearing a t-shirt which said ‘Samson Smash, property of Lander HCP’ with a picture of Sam’s energy form in a cape standing over what looked like Muscle Malone lying on the ground.

Suddenly Jacqui grabbed him and said “let’s head upstairs to the ballroom, I feel like dancing.” She turned to the others and added, “come on guys this beat has me wanting to dance, let’s head out.”

Ray looked at Sam and then at Vicki, Vicki was nodding her agreement and Bethany and Dixie both stood up and started making their way to the door. The whole thing was a surprise to Sam, Jacqui had barely said two words to him and now she was asking him to go dancing. He wasn’t really in the mood but at this point he didn’t have much of a choice, he was almost dragged by Jacqui who still had his hand in a firm grip.

When they got outside of the After Hours, it was really too crowded to talk but Sam could tell Ray really wanted to. The walked up the stairs Jacqui holding his hand tight, though he found he kind of enjoyed it. She leaned in and whispered into his ear, “Sorry, I saw your face there; figured getting you out was probably a good idea. Don’t let things like that trigger you. It’s just a song, no matter what deeper meaning it may have for you.”

Sam didn’t have a chance to respond before the got to the ballroom. It was already close to midnight when they arrived at the dance floor, pretty late in the evening but the crowd was still going strong. The four girls quickly dragged Sam and Ray out onto the dance floor and they began to try to prove they had rhythm, whether they actually did or not.

After twenty or thirty minutes, Sam, Ray, Vicki, and Jacqui begged off to find some water. Bethany and Dixie stayed on the dance floor and quickly found another partner. Sam and Ray left the girls at a table and went to grab the drinks.

“Hey Sam, umm,” started Ray, “I know it’s the first night and all but I’m gonna need the room. Things are going really well with Vicki and she made it pretty clear she plans to continue this in private.”

Sam cringed inside, he was used to hookups when out with friends, usually all of them hooked up, his friends being generally equally well known ULCL fighters. They always had a crowd of groupies and none of them, Sam included, were adverse to a bit of casual sex. What he wasn’t used to is getting kicked out of his room for it.

“Listen,” Ray continued. “We’ll go back to the room and I’ll put a tie as if it’s caught in the door. When we go to sleep, or she decides to go back to her room, I’ll take it out. If I leave it in the door no one can take it off the doorknob and prank us, you won’t walk in to an eyeful. Just hang out for another couple of hours, talk to Jacqui, she seemed to drag you off to dance, maybe you’ll get lucky too.”

“I don’t think so Ray,” Sam replied sadly. “She just noticed I was getting upset and wanted to get me out of there before I blew up or something.”

“That’s too bad, she’s kind of cute.”

“So is Vicki, you’re pretty lucky, especially on the first night.”

“Yeah,” Ray answered back, then he leaned in conspiratorially. “Ever since I saw her I’ve been wondering if the groundcover matches the leaves if you know what I mean.”

Sam shook his head at the crudeness before adding, “Maybe all you’ll find is bare wood.”

Ray looked at him and burst out laughing, “See…” he gasped for breath, “I told you my sense of humor is rubbing off on you.”

Heading back to the table with four bottles of water they notice Dixie and Bethany leaving the dance floor with Leo Mack between them, he had one arm wrapped around each one’s shoulders.

Sam shook his head, “Looks like you aren’t the only one going home in company tonight Ray.”

“What did you expect Matt, this is the first time most of these guys are on their own. Sex, drugs, and rock and roll is pretty much the college way. Well add booze in there too. More people are going to hook up tonight simply because they can rather than out of any real attraction or connection.”

“Yeah, well I’ve been through it before, I don’t feel quite the ‘oh my god, my parents aren’t looking over my shoulder’ that the rest of you do.”

“More’s the pity,” Ray laughed.

They sat down with the girls but after just a few minutes Ray and Vicki made their excuses and left Sam and Jacqui sitting alone, staring at each other.

“Well, I guess I’m going to need to find somewhere to spend a few hours, if not the night. Ray made it quite clear the room was going to be in use.”

“Sorry. Why don’t you come back to my suite?” She looked at the surprise on his face, “That’s not an offer! You can crash on the couch in the common area. You might be disturbed by carnal noises coming from Bethany and Dixie’s room though, I’m not sure if they went back to our suite or to that guy’s room. Though even if they came back to our suite, one guy, two girls, I doubt the noise will last that long.”

“I don’t know. I… I umm… I recognized that guy. I heard a rumor about him, that he’s a real ladies man, that he’s got… umm… staying power.” Sam wasn’t sure how much he should say, he didn’t want to suggest to anyone listening that Leo might be in the HCP, he was nervous about even saying the word power.

“Oh, well maybe they’re all in for a night then.” She smiled, “anyhow, the offer remains open, couch space in a room sharing a wall with their room which might be like sleeping in a room with a porno playing on the radio.”

“Yeah, well better that then the alternative which is wandering around and not sleeping until morning right before my first day of class.”

“You want to head out?” Jacqui asked.

“Sure,” answered Sam, and the two of them stood to leave.

Before they could exit the room, the DJ’s voice came on the sound system and said, “Well freshmen, this is the end of the night, last song, last dance, let’s make it a slow one for all you couples out there.”

The music change from fast, electronic beats, to a slower more sonorous music as the opening notes to Chris de Burgh’s ‘Lady In Red’ began to play and couple held each other tightly and began to sway in each other’s arms.

Sam looked over at Jacqui, “One last dance?” he asked though he expected her to turn him down.

She looked him in the eyes and shrugged, “Sure, I prefer slow dances anyway.”

Sam had actually learned to dance since he went to many charity events where dancing was a bit more sophisticated than what he had participated in tonight, and he preferred slow ones as well.

They walked onto the dance floor, there were only ten or fifteen couples left at this point and he was able to glide Jacqui to a fairly private spot on the dance floor.

She leaned into him, they were close in height and in the heels she was wearing she was able to put her head on his shoulder. She turned her head and whispered to him.

“You really shouldn’t let things like that guy bother you, I know you have a connection to the song and that shirt implied people think you are here but they have no idea you are really here. I’m sure you can find shirts just like it at all five colleges with HCP programs.”

“No Jacqui,” he replied glancing around to be sure no one was close enough to overhear them, “that’s not why I was upset. And I wouldn’t have done anything stupid even if it was.”

“Then why, I saw your face, you were upset, maybe even angry.”

“It was an unlicensed t-shirt; I never approved the design, which means someone is using my image again without permission. Ever since I went underground that has been happening more and more despite no longer actually being in competition which should have made them all but disappear. I mean there were always guys outside the arenas selling boot leg t-shirts but it’s getting ridiculous.”

“Is the money so important to you?” she asked, sounding disappointed.

“No Jacqui,” he whispered back quietly. “If money was important I would never have left the circuit until I went into acting or something else to give me even more. I have plenty in the bank and I have three homes and my parents are set for life. It’s not about greed.”

“What then?”

“Umm… well, listen is this just between you and me? Not even Ray knows this.”

She looked him in the eyes again, trying to read what was there. “Yes… Sam… just between you and me,” she answered finally.

“When I left to come to school, I set things up so that anything earned using my name or image would go to a foundation to help the victims of Meredith Falls. Things like that t-shirt bypass my cut and therefore bypass the donation. That’s what made me angry.”

“You mean that whole speech you gave at your last bout… that was for real? It wasn’t just a publicity stunt to boost your career somehow?”

“I left my career, I don’t see how it could boost it. I came here for exactly the reason I said I was. I saw pure evil for the first time and decided I couldn’t use my abilities to just make money, that I needed to stand up for what’s right and become a hero.”

“All this time, I thought…” she looked deep into his eyes again, “Are you telling me you’re the real deal?”

“I don’t know what you mean by that Jacqui, all I’m telling you is I came here for the same reason everyone else did, to graduate and be a hero. And if either of us is going to do that, maybe we should save the rest of this conversation for your room. We’ve probably taken too many chances as it is.”

“Yeah,” she replied, her eyes glistened as if there were unshed tears there. “Let’s go.”

The music ended and the two of them walked out together, Jacqui again taking him by the hand. She led their way across the campus to Hughes Hall where she and the others had their room. The building apparently alternated girls’ floors and boys’ floors and all the rooms were two or three bedroom suites. Jacqui said a fair number of their class stayed here.

Entering her suite, there was indeed the noise of carnal activity coming from Dixie and Bethany’s room and a lace bra was tied to the door knob. Jacqui turned on an iPod set into a speaker bar and soft music at least lessened the sounds from the other room.

“Sam,” Jacqui said quietly. “I owe you an apology. I’ve been thinking terrible things about you ever since I heard you were going HCP. I really thought it was a publicity stunt. And the idea of someone profiting, even indirectly from… well I’m sorry.”

“Hey, Jacqui, I didn’t know you, you didn’t know me, and I was just some wrestler.”

“And now you are going to be a hero. You’re a good guy Sam Fink, I know that now.”

“Thanks, I hope I am. But I have four hard years ahead before I can become a hero. There is tough competition. Not the least of which is you, ‘Miss I can turn intangible’. That’s an awesome power. I knew a ref in the ULCL who had that power. Nothing could hurt him; he just stayed in the ring and watched everything, untouchable. One time one of the fighters got a bit out of control. The ref simply grabbed his opponent and left him in the cage with nothing to hit. That power is awesome.”

“It’s a useful power but I’m never going to be the anchor of a team. I’m never going to be the one on the front line facing off against the villain.”

“You don’t have to be. Ray has been teaching me that it’s not about throwing a punch or taking a hit or blasting with lasers. It’s about doing what needs doing in the best way you can. So you won’t be on the front line, you will be the one sneaking in to free hostages, grabbing info or tech, generally doing what needs to be done when a punch can’t solve the problem.”

“Heh,” she laughed, “Ray sounds like a smart cookie, almost like he should be a teacher not a student.”

“He’s a smart guy, I’m lucky to have him as a roommate.”

“I can see that.”

They chatted for the better part of an hour, the carnal noises never quite stopping though waxing and waning as the evening went on. Finally Jacqui let out a yawn. “It’s time for bed,” she said while covering her mouth for a second yawn. She looked over at Sam and added, “That time it was an offer Sam.”

She took him by the hand and led him to her room. There were two beds with a window set between them, the room was dark but there was moonlight coming in through the window. She reached over to a hook next to the door and handed him a lace bra. “It’s the signal we all agreed on. If Vicki comes back she can either spend the night on the couch or turn right back around and go back to Ray.”

He turned and put the bra around the outside doorknob and then closed and locked the door. When he turned back he saw her framed in the moonlight and watched as her clothes slowly slid down her body, pooling at her feet as if nothing was there to hold them up. He approached her nude form lit from behind but mostly in shadow, “I told you,” he whispered, “Intangibility, is an awesome power,” as he pulled her into their first kiss.

He felt an unusual sensation and almost triggered his energy form before he realized that his clothes were now sliding through his body and pooling at his feet. She kept kissing him deeply as suddenly there were no clothes separating them. “It definitely has its uses,” she whispered as she broke the kiss and pulled Sam down to the bed.

Masks We Wear: Chapter 8
Masks We Wear: Chapter 10

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9 thoughts on “Masks We Wear: Chapter 9

  • MDS Post author

    Welcome to Chapter 9 of The Masks We Wear

    Given how busy I’ve become at work, in general I’m no longer going to specifically attach Masks to bonus chapters on Drew’s site, I will try to use that as a trigger but already owe such a backlog from my time off I’m not sure I will ever catch up.

    As always feedback and comments are welcome, its how I know if you like the story or find major problems in it. So please let me know what you think.

    Next I’m working on the next chapter of Darkest Days, though I might get another chapter of Masks out before that’s done since Darkest Days chapters run at about half the length of a novella.

    Lastly I know I’ve added a bunch of information about characters in Masks and their powers but there is more coming in the next 2 or 3 chapters so I don’t want to post a new version of the class roster yet since it will change again soon.