Author’s Note: Tynan is more noble than he thinks, he really is.
“They won’t be able to stop in time,” Luna said, grabbing Alvin and pushing him against her stomach to make him calm down. His wings thrashed against her, but this time she didn’t seem to notice. “I… I can’t watch, and yet I can’t look away.”
He shook his head. He didn’t have time to reassure her, but it was not as bad as she believed. He knew that she could not understand that now, but she would, soon enough. He moved forward, ignoring the limits of his facsimile and reaching the cylinder as it rolled into the other lane. He heard more tires squealing and a bunch of screams—those were younger, they sounded as though they were children, but he did not have time to look at them.
He touched the cylinder, and the hunger took over, the initial wave of pleasure, of being sated, washed over him, and he would have held onto it only he now thought it did not compare to how he felt when he was with Luna, so who needed to fill hunger anyway?
The cylinder vanished. He withdrew, curling into himself, the pain tearing at him, the sensation overwhelming, worse than the last time he’d done this. He had to wonder if he couldn’t keep doing it, if the cost was too much for him to manage—but how else did he stop the hunger once it started?
He did not know.
Luna. He heard her. That meant everything would be fine. He had to move before someone got close to him, but at least he knew that she was there, that she would keep the others back and help him get away from here.
“Wow! You’re a hero! How the hell did you do that?”
He did not know where that voice was coming from, and he did not want to answer it. He was too tired, too pained. His body did not want to respond to him, and he didn’t know if the facsimile was working right now. He needed to get up, but he hadn’t let himself eat anything that large in a long time.
He forced his eyes open. “They’re okay, right, Luna? No one got hurt?”
She nodded, blinking back tears. “You were a very impressive black hole there, but please don’t scare me like that again. You didn’t move or respond and…”
“The more I eat, the more I want to eat, the longer it takes to stop the hunger, the longer I have to focus on myself…”
“Are you… going to be okay?”
He tried to nod. She closed her eyes, letting out a breath. He needed to move, but he did not seem to be able to rise. “Where’s Alvin?”
“Made him stay at the car. Come on, we need to get you out of here.”
“You can’t touch me, and I can’t move.”
She shook her head. “If you’re right about the whole thing where you’re less dangerous after focused on yourself, then this won’t matter.”
He was aware of her dragging him up, and he heard clapping around him. He frowned, steadying himself outside of her hold. He didn’t understand. Why clapping? What was with the applause? He wanted to ask Luna, but he needed to get away from all of these people. Too many, too much temptation. Too many to see what he was, a monster. He’d destroyed again.
“You’re a real hero, Mister. I don’t know how you did that, but thank you.”
“I am not. I am a mon—”
“Shh,” Luna said. “No arguing. It’s not worth it. Let’s just go. We need to get you out of here.”