Complete Consumption

- A Serialized Novel -

A child of the vortex, subject to an insatiable hunger, he fights against his own nature to consume.

Author’s Note: So I have to credit being able to do more on this story to a search for prompts that lead me to Carry On Tuesday. Without finding it, I’d still be cursing my writer’s block and my teeth (don’t ask.)

The prompt was All You Need is Love, and me being the sucker of a Beatles fan that I am, I found a way to use it.

Not Ready

So much for all you need is love, Luna thought as she looked around the courtroom. She didn’t think any of them were going to let Tynan go, not even when she’d proved that he didn’t have to hurt anyone, that he didn’t want to, and that he was so much more than they thought. She should be dead right now if he was just the monster they claimed he was, but none of them seemed to care about that at all. They didn’t see what she did. She didn’t know that they ever would.

She took Tynan’s hand and stood, drawing him up with her. He gave the room a glance, knowing the same thing she did. They were not likely to survive this, not if the looks they were getting were any sign of the intentions of everyone here. She sighed.

“Don’t be sad, Luna. I have expected this day, and I made what preparations I could for it—a species like mine, so despised and feared, I have always known what would be the end of all things. I am most grateful that I was able to see you again and say what I must before I died. That is all I could hope for, and it was something I did not think I could have. Yet I did. You are here. More than that, though, I can do this,” he said, placing his hand on her cheek. She closed her eyes, letting that feeling wash over her. For so long, they’d both been afraid of what his touch would do to her—she’d said she wasn’t, but a part of her still was—it was impossible not to be. He was a black hole, after all. She’d been convinced that he could find a way to control his hunger, though, and she was willing to risk it, even if a part of her was terrified.

This was worth it. Having his touch, his love, that was all worth it. She could forget the last few months and their various upsets, all the pain of his sudden departure and her emotional roller coaster, the things she’d done trying to get over him only to find she hadn’t managed to make any progress at all. She would love him until she died.

Unfortunately, that was coming all too fast for her liking.

“Tynan, humans don’t make peace with death,” she said, and then she had to correct herself. “Okay, some of them do, like when they have a terminal disease or are very old, but I’m not one of them. My mother wasn’t even one of them. She didn’t want to die. She didn’t want to leave us. I know it wasn’t her choice, and that’s what gets me through the day sometimes. I mean, with the places my head goes… with everything that happened after she died—just about the only good thing after that was you—you and Alvin—I want to hate her for going. She didn’t choose it, but it messed me up good and my father…”

“Your father is not a nice man.”

“Oh, he is. He was. He’s just overprotective and thinks I’m crazy. I think that most of the universe would agree with him at this point.”

Tynan smiled. “I suppose they would, since you did tell everyone here and everyone watching that broadcast that you were in love with a black hole.”

She shrugged. “You can’t pick who you fall in love with. Some people fall in love with people that are very wrong for them. That doesn’t stop them. It doesn’t work that way. Dennis loved me, or so he said, and I never felt a thing for him, so it’s not so simple. Just because one person loves another doesn’t mean that it’s always perfect.”

“I would say that we’re far from perfect,” Tynan told her. “There is the species thing to consider and the timing as well.”

“Yeah,” she said, giving the room another glance. “I need a soapbox.”

“A what?”

“A soapbox. I figure before they come close enough to kill us, I have to make a speech. I kind of did before, but this would be a real one. One with an introduction, a middle, and a conclusion, just like they teach you in school. I’ll be persuasive. I’ll convince them that they can’t go through with this sentence.”

“They will not change their minds. I have been trying to talk to them, but even the one who listened to me the most did not hear what I was saying.”

Luna winced. “There has to be something. They can’t kill you. You’re not a monster. You’re so much more than they think, and you have shown me things I never thought I’d get to see, and you know what the worst thing you ever did to me is? You want to know what I’d call a crime—the only one I think you’re guilty of?”

“No, I don’t think—”

“You left. That’s the only part that bothers me. I know I should be more upset about the times your hunger got out of control, but you’re better at that now. Look at me. I’m still alive. No, the only thing you ever did that hurt was leave.”

“Oh, Luna. I would gladly stay with you forever, but that is not possible. Not for us.”

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