A cold breeze shook Sapphire out of sleep, blue eyes blinking in confusion. She could see a hint of the sun peeking out from behind the clouds on the horizon, the light illuminating the buildings in front of them.
Cassidy hadn't moved from her spot on the cushion beside Sapphire. She smiled. "Morning, sunshine."
Sapphire yawned, pulling the tattered old blanket closer. "Why didn't you wake me up? Did you sleep at all?"
"You looked way too cute and peaceful. I couldn't bring myself to wake you up."
"You didn't answer my second question."
Cassidy shrugged, standing up. "I want to show you something, Sapph." She bent over, stretching out her hand to Sapphire. Nodding, Sapphire took Cassidy's hand, standing up and following her to the backside of the building they had slept against. Cassidy released Sapphire's hand and grabbed hold of the metal bars of the fire escape. "Follow me."
Without hesitation, Cassidy swiftly climbed the fire escape, Sapphire following her. Sapphire shivered again as the morning's cool breeze soaked its way through her sweater and her skirt. 'Maybe I should've chosen warmer clothes.' She thought, looking up at Cassidy's torn jeans and worn sweater. 'She doesn't seem fazed by the cold.'
Cassidy easily pulled herself up to the flat roof of the building, turning around to help Sapphire up. When Sapphire stood beside Cassidy she felt her heart stop.
From their spot, they could see the sun, just peeking over the horizon, the golden-orange colour illuminating everything within its reach, challenged only by the dark-violet of the night sky, clashing with it to make dark, bold streaks of red just above their heads.
Cassidy grinned. "Look behind you."
Sapphire turned, only to be met with a dark, looming sky lit up with tiny stars. The dark clouds that normally surrounded the city's sky seemed to have melted away.
"It's pretty cool, isn't it?" Cassidy said, sitting cross-legged on the gravel that covered the flat roof. "It's too bad this only happens at sunrise. No one knows why. The rest of the day it's all cloudy and dark."
"I've seen this before." Sapphire whispered. "But I've never seen it... like this."
Cassidy shrugged. "This is the second best place to see it from, in my opinion. This is the second-tallest building in Acmetropolis after all. The first is HQ, but that's a rather new discovery for me. This place is my favourite, though."
Sapphire sat down beside her. "How come?"
"We used to come here all the time." Cassidy replied, her voice softening. "Jack, Zachary.... Benjamin..."
Sapphire could feel the man's stare like a weight on her shoulders, holding her still. He walked beside her, and Sapphire jumped when she felt his hand grab her waist, long fingers stretching out over the curve of her ass. That feeling didn't last long, as Cassidy lunged at him, grabbing his arm and shoving her entire body weight into his, making him crash against the brick wall beside them, his arm twisted in a way that it physically shouldn't. Before the man could even blink, Cassidy pulled out her knife, pressing the blade against his throat. "You dare touch her again and I will not hesitate to slit your throat."
The man managed a broken laugh. "What happened to the Cassidy who never wanted to hurt others? Who never touched a gun?"
"She grew up." She answered coldly.
Cassidy turned to face Sapphire, who was walking toward her. "Yeah?"
Sapphire moved in, closing the gap between them and sealing her lips against Cassidy's. Her hand slid up Cassidy's chest to her neck, cradling her cheek as Sapphire's kiss became needier. Cassidy was stunned for a moment; Sapphire had never been this forward before, but she found it really hot. Cassidy returned the kiss, but it only lasted another few moments before Sapphire pulled away.
"I'm sorry, I just had to tell you..." Sapphire seemed out of breath already. "When you pinned that guy against the wall earlier, I... I found it kinda sexy..." Her face was lit up in a blush that rivaled the colour of Cassidy's hair.
Cassidy laughed softly, nuzzling Sapphire's hand that was still cradling her cheek as they stood together, bodies pressed against each other. "Did you now?"
Sapphire's red face only grew redder. "I couldn't help think... think about us."
"About us doing what?" Cassidy asked, pressing a little kiss in the palm of Sapphire's hand.
"Kinda like we are now?"
Cassidy giggled. "Are you going to tell me what you want or do I have to try and read your mind?" She asked teasingly, reaching up on tiptoe to kiss the tip of Sapphire's nose.
“I want to do it.”
“Well, that is a –really- vague sentence, Sapphire Star. What exactly is it that you want to do?”
“This.” Sapphire answered quietly, cupping Cassidy’s cheeks as she pulled her in for another kiss; not even hesitating before she pressed Cassidy’s body against the wall. Cassidy reacted instantly, fingers burying themselves in Sapphire’s dark, tangled hair. Sapphire swore she could feel Cassidy grinning against her lips, which only fueled her own frustration, her want to wipe that smug little smile off her lips and replace it with her own name in broken gasps and moans.
Cassidy pulled away from the kiss, looking up at Sapphire through half-closed eyes. "Sapph, I need you to promise me something."
"What is it?"
"No matter what, I want you to promise me that the moment you start to change your mind about this, you'll tell me. I don't... I don't want you to feel pressured or scared or unsafe."
Sapphire smiled, pressing a soft kiss to Cassidy's forehead. "I promise."
Cassidy's hands moved from Sapphire's shoulders, slipping slowly down her sides to rest on her hips. She pulled Sapphire closer, their hips touching; Sapphire's forehead resting against her own. "Perfect. Cause I am going to do everything I can to make you feel good tonight." There was a low hum in her voice, almost like a soft growl; and it made Sapphire's heart leap into her throat.
Cassidy moved them away from the wall, towards their small, shared bed. Sapphire's legs were shaking; she easily and gratefully agreed to sitting down on the soft mattress. Cassidy climbed on after her, her knees on either side of Sapphire's waist, softly settling in her lap. Now the redhead was just a bit taller than Sapphire, her bangs half hiding her soft brown eyes that gazed down at Sapphire as if the stars themselves were floating in her bright blue ones.
"What if it wasn't pretend?"
"What if I said I had feelings for you? What would you think?"
Cassidy pursed her lips in thought. "I'd think you're crazy. But, I think that every time Tech tells me he loves me. I'm not exactly a safe person to love."
Eyebrows pinched together in confusion. "What do you mean by a “safe person”?"
"I mean.... someone like you." Cassidy shrugged. "I mean, you don't exactly have this instinct that completely takes over your brain and makes you nearly slit a guy's throat, do you?"
“No, I don’t.” Sapphire’s answer was quiet.
“Exactly. I'm not a safe person. Not by a long shot.”
A heavy silence hung in the air. One that held the anxiety of more questions to come. Sapphire fidgeted.
"Do you feel the same way about me?"
"I'm not asking you to choose between Tech and I. I could never do that to you. I just want to know."
"To be honest, Sapph, I think… I think maybe I do.” Cassidy smiled softly. “I don't know for sure. But what I do know is that there is no one on any planet in this universe who could take your place in my heart, Sapphire Star."
Jack ran down the hallway, taking the corners with learned precision, skidding to a halt in front of the door of Cassidy and Sapphire’s room. He knocked on the door three times, a moment’s pause in between the second and third knock.
The knock set off a signal in Cassidy’s mind. She remembered that knock. She answered that knock in a certain way. “Safe!” She called out, turning to watch Jack walk in, a bit winded from his run. He shut the door quickly.
“He knows about you. About the both of you.”
Sapphire nearly tripped over herself as she rushed to Cassidy’s side. “What? How?!”
“Someone’s hired him to kill you.”
“Who?” Cassidy asked, voice calm and collected, brown eyes wide in rising panic.
Jack shook his head. “Female. I recognize the voice, but I can’t place it. Never mentioned her name; but she has a LOT of money, and she’s willing to part with it if Arvo gets rid of you two.”
Cassidy nodded. “Sapph, grab your things. We’re getting the hell out of here.” She turned to grab her own small bag. “And I’d highly suggest you join us, Jack. He might try to get answers out of you if we disappear.”
Jack huffed. “And go where, exactly?”
“With us, to the tower. I told you before, Ace and the others wouldn’t mind if you stay. Even if it’s just for a little while.”
“I don’t know, Cass…”
Cassidy turned to him. “You’re coming with us. End of discussion. I know you know your way around the streets but you’re still-“
“Still what?” Even with his permanently blind eyes, he knew exactly where to cast his gaze, exactly where Cassidy stood in front of him.
“… You’re disabled. And I need to keep you safe. I promised myself I wouldn’t let you get hurt like I let Ben and Zac. And I keep my goddamned promises.”