Tag: Blake Masters

Constance’s Day: 17-18th of March, 2024

Constance’s Day: 17-18th of March, 2024

March 17th, 2024 – Sunday 7 PM

Constance did not like feeling nervous and the house cleaning had just left with a big tip. Her Amazon Music playlist had been cycling through Call of the Deep songs. From when Glen Lee Danzeg and later his son Andy Lee took over the band. She had begun mixing in German Folk Metal bands in and classical pieces. Two years back the security had been upgraded by Brandon to record sound. Sam Strom had not realized Constance did not know when she asked him how he knew what ‘Gary’s’ music preferences were. She told Sam she’d never bring it up if he could feed her little tidbits of his music preferences. That was 6 months ago.

Constance found out something very quickly about Garrick and how he listened to music. When he had a task he would pick a song he felt inspired his work and then looped it for hours on end! She was certain this was how he pulled off 16-18 hour days in California. She’d also been making sure to Skype Ameera and Katherine so they heard about this. Katherine thought it was a weird quirk, but Ameera mentioned it was a modernized form of mantra meditation. Garrick likely did not know he’d found a way to meditate while working.

Katherine thanked Constance and Ameera for explaining what she had seen as odd or weird. That however reinforced Ameera’s thought that Garrick relaxes while he does activities. As long as he finds a song to meditate with. Constance instantly understood why he loved Call of the Deep! There were underlying beats that must resonate with him on an unconscious level. When she told Ameera she could kiss her for that insight. Ameera mentioned that they could do way more because they had all agreed to be in a relationship, approval was only required when adding someone new. Katherine nodded and said she surprised Garrick with a wild orgy night after the Papa Zombie take down. Constance had not really considered dating Ameera or Katherine, but thanked them for the clarification. Katherine mentioned she would obviously be welcomed when the next one happened. Currently, though, they were impromptu affairs and not scheduled. Constance made a crack about him not fatiguing anymore, and got a wink from the other two.

It was at this point Constance asked how old Katherine was because her friends for that kind of party were likely barely legal. Kat said, “Yeah, okay there were experiments that gave me powers and made me younger physically. The reality is that I could be all of your mothers. I am not telling you my exact age though, even Garrick doesn’t know. Well, if he does know he’s never brought it up. The single time it got brought up in mix company by someone else he said it was impolite to ask a lady her age.”

“The friends she brought over were all in their 20’s. I should know, I drove the car we all took. Good old Cuthbert Faulkner though – ‘My Dad always said it is impolite to ask a woman’s age’ am I right,” Ameera said. Everyone laughed at the dad reference and her imitation of Garrick’s voice.

All the ladies started to realize Garrick ALMOST NEVER discussed them to each other. The only other thing they all realized is Cuthbert Faulkner was a charmer whom knew what he was doing but Garrick always quoted, “This is how a gentleman should comport themselves. All you’re bringing to my attention is that my parents raised me right.” They all laughed because it was last shred of the Victoria Beach kid they could see in him. Ameera mentioned seeing a girl in the sword class getting smitten at the mere sight of him. Constance then told about them about a smattering of women and men that tried to date Garrick in California before he had super powers. It was that call they had last Friday morning (15th of March) that made her realize how much more about him she knew. She began pouring through old photos of the movie teams to see what he was wearing. Sam kept his word up about feeding her what he listened to and how long at a stretch.

During the company’s inter-departmental meeting on that same Friday. Garrick mentioned he had switched the focus of the A.I. composition from application building blocks to distributive hive mind. Hana Akaikawa’s self-assembling bot project began to soar in applications. One of the members on Constance’s team mentioned finally getting an elbow joint to direct the servo assembly arm holding it to the forearm piece on its own! Some sort of feedback in the connections caused it to fall apart shortly thereafter but it was quite a breakthrough! If it had mini thrusters that could be done in the field for real plug an play! Pedro Escobar and his sensor suite began to make use of miniature Raspberry Pi to perform distributed computing tasks in conjunction with the distributed A.I. H.P.U. (Hive Processing Units). Mia Schmidt asked him openly at the meeting in front of everyone, “Boss, why are doing super hero stuff? What you did here with networking and multi-processing theory is so far beyond what we know and are used to, it would take the industry decades to replicate and understand!”

Constance leaned forward along with many others, “Look, it’s no secret I did some really dumb stuff years ago when Daedalus went belly up. I don’t feel anyone would trust me to re-write the book on how A.I.’s think, or how to leverage CPU’s of differing physical and manufacturing architectures to perform the same way a RAID hard drive setup might function. However, Mia, once you have a firm grasp on Hive A.I. computing revisit your application building blocks as Hive enhancements. You see, everyone, I don’t just plan any of my projects with my goals in mind. I also plan them based on how my father would do it. He always said you can achieve every dream if you help everyone around you achieve their dreams. So I tried to find a way for you to study compositional networking not as blocks but as facets of a hived personality. Then add the applications as personality enhancements. When the baseline personality algorithms are gathered you will even be able to detect software flaws because the algorithms will detect enhancements that make an aberrant personality.”

Stunned along with everyone else, Constance had the epiphany that unless Garrick was following some hidden ‘play book’ he seemed to genuinely feel he didn’t deserve accolades. It wasn’t pity, he appears to have never forgiven himself. The room was silent in shock for several seconds by his explanation. Had he really been helping everyone achieve their goals because he had some kind of master plan that helped him achieve something he wanted? Brandon and Constance shared a look of ‘Yup’ when they realized everything he had agreed to help and work on, regardless of department, had been helping to further his back burning fusion project. All the while he tried to lift his co-workers up so they grew and felt appreciated!

Garrick pointed at Pavek, the young Romanian guy in marketing, “Pavek has caught on to what I am saying because he’s helped Blake with two projects that gave him the practice to skills to complete his own recent ad campaign pitch for Hana’s self-assembling bot. I for one love his teamwork ethic and see both Blake and Pavek as valuable resources for marketing. Bright futures ahead for both of them!” Pavek and Blake looked at each other in shock for different reasons! Pavek had thought Gary didn’t like him, but here he just praised him on multiple levels with examples. Blake had updated his resume this morning and here Gary, whom did superhero work as a ‘effing side job, was mentioning in a company meeting his worth and looking forward to seeing what he’d do next! How would he live up to this sort of pressure? Constance made sure she made eye contact with Blake as though to say without words, ‘Don’t waste the second chance.’

Garrick pulled out a tablet and proceeded to run down a short list of people who had been with the company since its earliest days. Then he turned it around and looked at Brandon, “However, if you had not seen something in each of these people and given them the chance to change and become part of something bigger none of us would be here.” Garrick’s name was on that list. He silently put it away and the meeting ended. After the meeting he asked Constance if she’d reach out to Horace and let him know he was sorry still, he’d stopped responding to his emails and nothing had come through saying he’d left the company.

Back in house she snapped out of her memories and saw the time was 8:05PM and he had said he could be early at 9PM today. Constance had gone shopping during the week after getting ingredients for dinner he’d asked her to get. She had new lingerie in his favorite shade of dark blue and gold lace. With a bonus set of dark purple with silver and black lace. She told him to dress casual as he might around his house because she’d not planned on dressing up tonight. She had wanted to see what he called comfortable. She’d found a black shirt with a silver fire stenciled design around the bottom with ripped, faded black jeans. She had a lot of questions she needed answered tonight for her own edification if she was going to see this going somewhere. When he texted her about how casual this night was to be she sent him a pic of her from the waist up, though only showing half of her.

She smiled at his reply, “OMG! My fingers are on fire from how hot you made my phone! But, where did you find a shirt with similar flame patterns as Optimus Prime’s paint job? Just wow! #NerdGoalsAchieved” Going through those old pictures was worth every minute she spent on them. It was the one thing she had on both Katherine and Ameera. Time. She was the one person that could prove Gryphon was as noble as he appeared because of Garrick and how he lived his life now. She spent the next 10 minutes debating the color of lipstick before laughing that Garrick would’ve commented about her working to hard at relaxing. She decided no makeup and sat and waited for the clock to tick down.

The last three times she had him over he went to work the following day each time as expected. She decided to fix that this time and had him listed as Paid Time Off. She also left word for her secretary to reschedule the two phone calls if Brandon couldn’t fit them in his day. When she had responded to her last email it was 8:45 PM. She checked herself over at least two more times to make sure the dark blue undergarments were hidden just enough to tease when she’d stretch. 8:53 PM her door bell rang and she felt her heart skip a beat!

She looked at the security monitor and wondered how he’d gotten more cut physically? He had a new messenger bag designed for maybe two 17″ screen laptops given its thick, metal plated nature. It was clearly custom made to remind someone that Optimus Prime might transform into a messenger bag. His sleeveless, racing, tank top had the words “Sleeves Are Bullshit” printed across the chest. He was holding a small wooden box though with Wax seals stamped on decorative red ribbons adorning it. That was curious and out of place. When she opened the door his jaw dropped and he almost looked like someone with nerve damage in his hands as they shook slightly holding the box. She could see some Japanese Kanji characters (先 居酒屋) on it but this was not a language she spoke or read without an app on her phone translating pictures of text via Google Translate. “Garrick are you okay? Dear why are you shaking?”

“Umm, I’ve never seen you dressed like that before, umm you look, wow! You’re hot! I almost dropped this and I was trying to catch it without crushing it.”

She motioned for him to come in and asked what was in the box? His reply made her jaw drop! Because it was 4 weeks or roughly a month he wanted to celebrate their month anniversary. It was also March and he reminded her they’d passed the ‘Ides of March’ which was the day they met for the first time in 2020. So he had called the Saki Bar where they shared their first dance together. The bottle of saki in the box was the last bottle of the private reserve Brandon had paid for from that night. He had them pack it in a special material and ship it here.

None of them, not a single boyfriend she ever had was this thoughtful with such a gift! She took the box out of his hands and set it on the counter only to turn back and kiss him and they embraced for some time. When she let go there were a few small tears. Garrick apologized he made her cry and she playfully smacked his chest calling him a big dummy. When she open the lid she saw the special packing material was a multi-colored assortment of Chrysanthemum petals! Her favorite flower! Then it clicked why he had her get the ingredients! He was about to recreate the dinner they had at the Saki Bar!

It took him a bit of time to get that done but by the time he was done it was roughly the same number of hours before they began dancing! Everything had been done to try and honor and remember their first dance! His phone began to play the same music that played that night over her bluetooth speakers. She would never let go of Garrick before, but now she almost didn’t care about the answers to her questions. Till the end of time she would be his no matter how that had to happen! As much as anyone could claim another person’s heart.

“Garrick, I think I love you and in the morning I will have to ask you some questions about us.”

Garrick nodded back, “Constance, now that I understand it better, I’ve only ever felt being “in love” or “heavy infatuation” for three people in my whole life. You would be the first chronologically of those three.”

“The other two aren’t hard to guess.”

Garrick tilted his head, “Until your statement I only had confirmation of one of them loving me back, the other one left and asked me not to pry. So I haven’t. I send a text once each holiday but never any replies. It is what it is.”

When they were alone he almost never uses another lady’s name. Constance was indeed surprised that Ameera didn’t appear on that list because she seemed very happy with Garrick. Sam mentioned an Arabic girl awhile back and has not brought her up again. Perhaps this is the mystery woman? She decided to focus on something else he said, “So you’re either “in love” or “heavily infatuated” with me but you can only legally marry one of us. Which one is it?”

“The one willing to sign the prenuptial agreement allowing both parties to pursue extra marital relationships as long as they are discussed and agreed upon by all involved parties. However, while I have my hopes, I am keeping an open mind and will wait at least until March of 2025 before entertaining any offers of marriage.”

“So no matter what you’ve no plans to cast any of us away should you find a partner for legal status?”

“Correct, my love for each of you is different but special to me, and I will forgo marriage to anyone if it jeopardizes any of you still with me at that time.”

“Garrick, I love you, my questions are actually answered.”

“I love you to Constance, thank you for accepting me as I am.”

The night ended in the perfect blend of metal, rock n’ roll, and love. Nerds basking in the soft red LED lights she’d programmed to come on with a remote to help set the mood that night. Call of the Deep playing in the background covering the sounds of bliss as the rest of the night fades to black.

March 18th, 2024 – Monday 6:30 AM

“Sweetheart, am I going to have to get you a leash? Just once I’d like to wake up with you.”

“Sorry,” Garrick replied in the middle of handstand pushups. There were two broken exercise bands next to his Optimus Prime messenger bag. He went back to counting repetitions, Constance grabbed his phone noticing it was unlocked at the moment. He looked up when the music stopped and Constance hit her remote starting the playlist she’d been working on.


“Nope, you finish your workout before you get your phone back. By the way I had you listed as a vacation day at work. You can thank me later, for the paid time off. You still have nine and a half weeks banked up after today!”

She bounded out of the room as Garrick went down the checklist of bodyweight exercises in cardio and isometric conditioning. It was 7:55 AM as Constance came back and set his phone down. With a sense of complete accomplishment she mentioned, “I have just completed my one month anniversary gift to you. Feel free to look at it when you have time, I also made sure it was uploaded to one of your secure storage locations.” She crawled up over the couch side to him in the purple lingerie with black and silver lace. “How do you feel about your vacation day? What do you want to do?” She sat in his lap and caress the side of his face.

It was 10:10 AM when the Garrick finish his second “cardio endurance” routine with Constance. “So, you wanna workout some more? ::cough:: Whew, that was fun,” she asked panting and giggling.

“If you want a trophy you’re the only woman that consistently out thinks me and I did not realize how much of a turn on that is for me. However, if I have the day off. I would hazard you took the day off as well?”

“I have, you ARE planning something in there, I’m excited.”

“Well, its been nearly 20 years for me but I’d love to see Disney World again. Their Animal Kingdom theme park in Kissimmee is only 130-140 miles away, so either a 2 hour car trip or 30 minutes on the Gryphon Express!”

“I LOVE IT! But car, definitely! I might want souvenirs that would get wrecked at over 150 mph and me trying to hold on to them. Let’s shower and go!”

March 18th, 2024 – Monday 8:30 PM

Garrick marveled at how wonderful the day had been with Constance. It was the only time she let him take selfie pictures with her. She surprised him when they got there with a multi-park VIP tour! He thought she was checking things or work on her phone, but she had been chatting with their sales team and paid for them to see the Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT, Blizzard Beach, and the Animal Kingdom. He chuckled to himself that he never made it to the Animal Kingdom once again. Garrick had a small victory at Blizzard Beach when he was able to get them bathing suits before it had hit Constance that they would need them. They were Micky and Minnie faces embroidered on them and they were both yellow, but hey totally worth it. Constance was so warm and affectionate as the day wore on and he stunned her twice that day.

First, when they made it to EPCOT and park worlds of tomorrow he was able to communicate with EVERYONE in their native language! He took so many pictures for families. Even their tour guide was astounded with him commenting to Constance more than once how incredible his language skills were. Second, was the reason they never made it to the Animal Kingdom. Garrick had actually noticed two security personnel speaking with a Puerto Rican family outside the water park. Constance and the tour guide noticed he had stopped and was listening. When he began to walk over he started speaking in Spanish with the correct accent and subtle dialect changes to almost appear native.

Garrick in Spanish: “I’m sorry to hear about someone stealing your purse I am sure security will catch him.”

Crying mother: “My kids and I lost our tickets and we were headed to the Animal Kingdom. Their parking was full and the attendant said EPCOT had parking. So I thought we could take a shuttle back then this happened. All of my stuff, phone, wallet, its all gone!”

Garrick in Spanish: “I can help if you’d like?”

Crying mother: “How? Are you some kind of superhero? You going to fly and catch the guy?”

Constance, whom knows Spanish like her brother, looked worried he may reveal his hero identity at this point and their guide had walked over to speak with the security.

Garrick in Spanish: “Well, you don’t have to be super powered to be kind.” Walking over taking off his lanyard with the gold access pass badge on it. He kissed Constance and removed hers and said, “this is why you love me.” Going back over he got the two security and his tour guide’s attention.

Garrick in English: “We still have up to 90 minutes on our tour correct?”

Tour Guide: “Yes. Indeed you do.”

Garrick in English: “If I give these passes to those two kids, do you think the park would be willing to let their mom come along for the ride and they can have the last leg of our tour as VIPs?”

Tour Guide: “One sec.,” he taps an earbud in his ear and then waits about 15 seconds, “Yes, absolutely, we would love to see the magic of your generosity and I’ve been granted extra permission to be their guide for the remainder of the day. The park would like to offer you…”

Garrick in English: “No, whatever you’re going to offer to me just give to them.” He gestures to the family, “My girlfriend and I did it to be nice to folks in need, not for a reward. If someone can just take us to our truck? We can leave knowing how magical Mickey’s Kingdom really is.”

The tour guide and security were taken back as he knelt down and put the gold badged lanyards around the kids necks. Constance walked up to Garrick and was blindsided by a huge hug from their mother thanking them both. The kids began jumping up and down thanking Garrick. The tour guide had them group together and took a picture of everyone with all the phones provided. He got them to sign releases for it to go up on the a community article for Disney World’s public relations page. One of the security got them to their truck and as they were getting he stopped them to say they caught the purse snatcher. Garrick smiled and told him good job to everyone involved. Everyone waved as he drove off and Constance got to be a part of the making someone’s day special she’d never met before and likely would never meet again.

As they were driving back she hit the dash button to lower the center console making the front seats into a bench seat. She laid down and put her head on his leg and stroked his knee. Her bag of souvenirs resting on the passenger floor. ‘Oh,’ she thought enjoying this blissful car ride. When they got back it would be about 9:40 PM. Knowing the day was almost over was the worst feeling! All of the girls had talked about how they felt knowing their time with him had finite endings. At least she knew she’d see Garrick in passing and during lunch at work tomorrow. Brandon had asked her to try and keep their romance on the down low.

“Well,” she said said softly, “you were right about why I love you, honey. Check your phone out before you leave and let me know if my gift works for you?”

“Sure thing Constance, umm, is honey okay to use for you as well?”

“Sure, why not, honey can be our word. Oh when you have about three seconds to spare look down,” she’d moved to be completely on her back so she was looking up at his chin.

When Garrick finally looked all around on road he said he was going to look down. What he heard made him blush as heavily as when he realized the gift of her recreated Playboy shoot on his phone. That barely started to fade when he met Miss Amazing for patrol. Laying in her bed, Constance, would not forget the starstruck look in his eyes when she told him, “I’d sign the pre-nup right now.”

Come watch the next game at: HippoTV!
Art by: AZ_Artisan


Trembling Hearts

Trembling Hearts

Sunday – 11th of February, 2024

Nicholas, wait a second,”

Professor Nicholas turns back to the blue haired woman approaching him in Everette College sweats to hide her outfit underneath, “Yes, Katherine?” He’d just taken off his long coat and put it in his trunk and was buttoning his blazer over the vest he wore as Zeau.

“Please don’t hold it against Garrick. He was with Jake, and we both know he’s crazy enough to steal a starfighter.”

“Well, there’s two positives I can deduce from this. A) You should be happy to know that when he thought “you” might be in danger he came for you, just done smarter. B) We can both take solace that he referred to “us” when he mentioned Jake and Granny2Good. Therefore he likely came with the rest of the team, and learned from running off on his own, he can be taught.”

They both chuckle at the last part and mention they’ll catch up again soon enough. Katherine heads to her Smart Fortwo car while Nicholas heads back to the get some work before heading home. He came for me!” She kept saying all the way back to home. She realized as she was pulling into the fenced yard that she just called Garrick’s place home! It had only been two days but it had felt like an eternity since she left him on Friday.

Swiping her badge, the familiar click of the unlocked door, and she pulls the door open to head inside. Her eyes adjust quickly as she bounds across the ground floor avoiding the numerous workout machines surrounding the training mat. There he is, her boyfrien…
…why is that half-dressed bitch kissing her man? They make eye contact and her anger is mounting visibly on her face. “Garrick, thanks it was a wonderful time…,” the half dressed woman walks away seemingly unconcerned about her potential nudity! Katherine’s eyes dart back and forth between Garrick and the slut whom is about to die.

Pointing at the woman walking away Garrick exclaims, “That’s a man!”

Black Phantom in the process of taking off some of his gear begins to laugh, “Yeah, that’s so much better!”

Just then the woman in the torn clothing is nearing the bathroom as her hair changes color, she bulks up to 6′ 7″ and grows and extra set of arms! A second or two later Katherine is staring at the Beast. Her angry expression melts away to confusion as Garrick points again, “See! I told you its a dude!” Black Phantom smirks as he heads over to Jake and they talk about some of the items picked off the deceased. Garrick can’t stop starring at Katherine’s new blue hair. In his mind he is wondering how hair color makes her look even more amazing.

Garrick remembers the usb stick and he inserts it into the table and grabs one of the tablets plus four of the eight monitors on the data pole at the table’s center. Aside from the documents dictating a disturbingly clear plan to mind control students through these psychology experiments. Katherine hugs Garrick when she sees that! Covenant and he explain the cops have all of it because these the are copies of the laptop files Garrick made from his house. What they found next was shared with everyone! It would appear there’s a figure of apparently unknown repute to our heroes. This individual is selling powers to people that can pay his price! Apparently, Dr. Crosby acquired his power of mind control from the individual only known as “The Dealer” to their clients. Katherine then leaned over his shoulder to read along as her blue ponytail fell down into his peripheral view. Everyone got the hint when the next sentence Garrick blurted out was…

“…I REALLY like blue!”

Garrick’s face turned eight shades of crimson, a fact Katherine did not miss and she whispered, “Boy, you sure are hot mister G.” Ad-libbing a line from a cartoon character she had seen once, many years ago. Bounding off upstairs leaving an even redder face Garrick to awkwardly bid everyone a wonderful day but he had some “research” to work on. The Shorties had already disappeared into the basement and the online world of Gizergleam and Worlds Online. After Garrick saw the last guest off he walked into exercise mat and floated up towards the second floor catwalk balcony. He found Katherine sitting on his bed and he asked if she was okay?

“I’m sorry I worried you, your thoughts though weren’t hard to read. I was worried my actions brought me back to the attention of the organization I’ve been on the run from, so I left to find out what happened to me and make sure nothing bad happened to my Garr-Bear.” Katherine shakes her head for a second, looking into Garrick’s mind she’s caught off guard by some of his more lewd thoughts as to why he thinks he likes the blue hair so much. She waits for a few seconds he apologizes being distracted by the fact somehow she got even prettier!

Katherine told him she got Zeau involved because as a teacher he’d be able to help her on campus. “Garr-Bear, please don’t be jealous though! There’s no room in my life for another man, so please don’t think that I would be cheating on you!”

Katherine saw the amorous look drain off his face and one of concern replaced it. When he called her ‘Baby’ though, there was a quiet confidence he’d not displayed before. “Look, you’re my first girlfriend at 27 years of age. However, as a scientist, I tried to study any relationship I could identify in hopes of making me a better husband one day.”

When Garrick said ‘husband’ looking her in the eye she saw a silhouette of her in a gown in his mind. His face grew older in her perception of its features. The vision of her was gone replaced by what she could only describe as a modern scene of Sodom from the bible! Naked men surrounding Garrick and taunting him from the shadows with gestures ranging from wholesome to extremely lewd. He continued, “All my previous experience in relationships comes from watching inmates in relationships. I don’t feel the being gay is a factor actually. I saw monogamous couples, harem styles (though slavery might be a better term), poly pairings (3-way groups or “V’s”, quads or four people), straight up internal prison prostitution. What I took away from that was sex was not just for love.”

Katherine saw that act as the highest form of love between a couple. She felt so sad understanding how shattered Garrick’s heart must have become from his every loss he’s suffered. Maybe he’s forgotten how to love so he’s grabbed a bit from wherever he could find a morsel.

“It could be just a stress reliever for a bad day, it could be a commodity, and it could be done between friends and never lead to anything else.”

Couples used it to deepen their own commitment to each other, and he thought of it as a handshake option!? Only pimps and whores used it as currency! Oh my did she have her work cut out for her! Then there was the erotically charged poetry and harlequin romance novels he read in prison. Oh dear god what did he consider a “hall pass” to be? Katherine had envisioned him getting drunk for certain and sleeping in, but she was starting to see how different his frame of reference was.

He continued, “The simple trick was being completely honest about each of your expectations and checking in with your respective partner or partners to make sure everyone’s needs were being met.”

Did he just reduce an intimate relationship down to a therapy session with result updates? The concepts he’s proposing are good but can be applied to any relationship. He’s obviously never had a caring monogamous relationship since she was his first. If he’s an honest scientist then time with her should make him reassess his views! A plan began to form in her mind.

Onward he went with shocking revelation after the next, “Hypothetically, if you had wanted to have sex with Nick / Zeau I would have a few requirements:

  1. We all meet and know each other a bit better.
  2. Make sure he’s okay with the fact I would not be involved due to my hang-ups.
  3. You’d let me know when you’re going and coming home, especially if it was overnight.
  4. We spend some time afterwards just so we make sure our feelings as a couple don’t suffer and don’t get brushed under a rug.
  5. That we both would study and work on “ethical non-monogamy” to make sure honesty, trust, compassion, and love are the cornerstones of our relationship. Which I feel is good advice for any type of couple or pairing.
  6. If you chose to pursue that I would likely find another person in my spare time for a friends with benefits relationship, because no one could replace the feelings I have for you or ever take your place in my heart. You can bank on that.

She pulled him close and hugged him realizing that her anger was really placed on those that had violated him. It was becoming clear to her that since the torture and rape was in regards to his sword. He may not even know to be on the run from the people in Black Phantom’s vision regarding the Wayfarer. Garrick had said many times to her that he was broken and why would anyone want him. She can tell what he is thinking and therefore should be able to mend him better than anyone else. Certainly better than Patsy, the horrible-house maid, Palmer. She envisioned him as a Kintsukuroi project that had just begun!

They lay down just slept, wrapped up in each other.

9:00 PM

They woke up about 90 minutes prior and began to get dinner together and trying to talk about non-superhero related things. Garrick has one of the eight or so white boards (a couple were transparent) normally in the basement up in the kitchen and would jot down notes about a micro reactor while he was cooking up food for them both. She felt things were starting to get back to normal, so she felt if she read his mind while asking him a question she’d see his thought process at work as he answered. She expressed the hope that Garrick’s hall pass the other night to have a fun night out with the group without her went better than her night did.

Garrick was honest about about how much he had fallen for her even farther than before. That she trusted him with no restrictions for an evening and then come back to her! Katherine now understood what he considered a “hall pass” for certain. When he talked about getting drugged she was watching most of his thoughts were on a man named Thad, but when he added the parts about the group telling him their experiences her thoughts went to the bar staff. It was the only common factor in all the drinks.

Then she learned about his conversation with Stefania as she watched and he charmed her even though he mentioned he had a girlfriend! Apparently when Garrick mentioned he had not had the exclusivity of their relationship stated she pressed on getting to know him. This girl reminded Katherine of a younger, hotter version of Patsy! Then she hears the gunshots as Garrick remembers it. She sees Garrick launch into armored Gryphon and begins saving Stefania and her friends. She can see everything skewed and knows he is in fact high based on the memory images that come as he goes through each detail he is straining to get right.

Then she finds herself trying to not show the body movements as Garrick describes the feeling of being touched. As Katherine sees the colors and trembling reminders in his mind he’s got to be a hero and not screw anyone! He didn’t want to violate his prior promise of insulting Katherine regardless of the “hall pass” gift. Oh my god! He considers the hall pass and ability to fornicate outside the relationship an item that can be a gift? She had never intended for him to get a coupon to a whorehouse! Once at Stefania’s house she gets the full run down as Garrick struggles to remember the details. However, to Katherine it was like reliving a nightmare because it was becoming painfully clear he did not associate sex with love in the slightest! He wasn’t even jealous of Zeau because she could still pick up thoughts he never felt he was good enough for anyone! That’s why he just assumed anyone interested in him would always seek a second partner or more to become satisfied!

What did she have to do to show him he was enough for her? After dinner she said she needed to sleep and she went into the other room on the second floor and shut the door. She just didn’t know how to tell him how painful everything he had said was. Katherine was worried because she couldn’t sense or see any falsehood about what he discussed. His tact though and his delivery was almost to factual. She was worried he might hold back in the future if he knew how hurt she was. That her efforts to please him physically were not associated with how she loved him.

Love. It was the first time she had really said it regarding him. Did those college girls think it was fun to take advantage of him? Did they even think of it as consent or not consent? Given his time in prison did Garrick think this was the way it worked or did he even feel taken advantage of? His father was gone most of the time and if he didn’t follow Cuthbert around by founding Dalus Dome. He’d have to endure countless attempts by his sister, Adeline, trying to kill him. Reading his mind he had tried to set boundaries to make sure he didn’t do anything wrong, however, his boundary was the moment something went inside another person regardless of location. Anything else up to that point was considered fair game! She began to loop her thoughts in a raging cyclone, crying and eventually just screaming until hoarse. It was midnight when she fell asleep.

Monday – 12th of February, 2024


Morning, she open her door and walked into a streamer of 3M clear tape. Thinking about which Shorty was about to die! She untangle herself and walked into a folding chair and square matching table. There was a number of plates with covers on them and a folded card. Hand written on the card was: 8:53 AM – Eat or refrigerate by 12 AM. Your Boyfriend <3. She saw that everything was food she told him she like during breakfast. She saw the bedazzled cased Pearphone X she’d given Jake to fix was on the table! Looking back at the tape a folded paper was on its end with a double sided note.

“Kitty Kat,

It’s hard for me not to be self deprecating if I feel I screwed up. I cook, however, the burrito place says hi and that’s where the flan came from. They told me you get it on your cheat day. I went out on patrol last night. I also wanted some time to think, and I feel I owe you an apology.

At first I thought the “hall pass” was your faith in me to do whatever and then come home to you! I was elated beyond words! It is the reason I let things go as far with the girls because not long after being there. My sword had purged me of the drug in my system. I (this was my mistake) assumed you read my mind all the time because of your ex-husband. I’ve been wondering for some time how heroes that lie about their identity maintain a relationship? Maybe being polyamorous was a path to making that work.

Full disclosure, I often don’t think I’m enough to make such an amazing woman happy. After all if you take the sword away I’m just a nerd. My father and Jake are the real geniuses. As my sister would say I’m just a poser. A perfect example of this was not having any clue you were in to me. I was fine just being friends with you. You were as amazing to me as you are beautiful so I was not surprised when I screwed up sharing to much. Not including Patsy my only social experience after prison was work. The two owners of Mallic are brother and sister, with the Sister seemingly interested in me. I have not gone after that for three reasons A) we work together B) my superhero side job has made her brother ask me to pick her or it C) the most recent reason is I have strong feelings for you.

Before my mistakes that landed me in prison I designed and built structures to end homelessness and work on other worlds! Now I suffer from impostor syndrome. I push myself at work and hero stuff because I feel like a fake. I’m no knight, there’s no damsel to save that won’t see me as a broken failure in the light of dawn. Look, you scare me because without your instruction I wouldn’t really understand “practical knowledge reference” for how to please any woman. Watching porn is like reading books, it only goes so far. Every day I am waiting for the other shoe to fall. You’ll read my mind see something about me so broken fixing it would be a waste of your time and you’ll move on. Three times now I have been trying to work up the courage to say something to you and failed. Failed myself and failed the affections you’ve placed on me.

When I saw the black outfit, I thought you had given me the “hall pass” to distract me, for a second time. The first time you lied to me when you and Patsy had your confrontation. I was mad at being lied to for what I thought, at the time, was the second instance. Ethel pulled me out of my prison defense thought process. She made me think, why was being lied to hurtful? If Jake’s bomb, big enough to be larger than WINSLOW, and Ethel nearly setting it off because she had forgotten patience and innocent lives matter more than ours. I would’ve found a dark corner and probably given Adeline what she’s been wanting since my mother died.

I still don’t understand why you like me but Ethel’s lesson has got me trying out the real side of my appearance more. I fear that trying to make use of the “Hall Pass” was what I feared, a test. I should have never gone that night but again my social cues are so fucked I let you down.

I know I don’t deserve forgiveness, but for what little it’s worth I am truly sorry if I hurt you in any way.

…sorry I was dreaming again.

With a heavy, trembling heart, apologies,


Her first class wasn’t until noon today as a senior in high school. She ate the amazing meal and noticed a text appear on her phone. Apparently, Garrick had to work late on a special project his boss was flying out to California for. There were a bunch of pre-made meals he always did for the Shorties and now her in the refrigerator. Between that and his Tuesday visit to the Giving Tree, Garrick didn’t think he was going to see her much until Wednesday morning.

When she went into Garrick’s bedroom to take a shower half of Garrick’s stuff was placed or folded neatly on his bed. A note on the empty side read: Making room for the most important woman in my life. -Garr Bear. Katherine was still out on how she felt so she got ready and headed off for her classes. She stopped at the burrito shop and picked up a Horchata rice drink. While she was in there she saw an incredibly handsome man sitting there talking with another person and both were wearing Mallic Robotics embroidered polos.

Sam, I know you must have seen that fucking fraud in his superhero outfit.”

Blake, you may not like Gary but language, please,” gestures at Katherine, “I have daughters myself, please.”

“I’m sorry, Sam, but come on you’ve had to seen what Maverick he is, tell me and a single call to the cops and he is gone! No way he’s a legal hero.”

“Blake, is that why you took me to lunch?”

“Look he’s ugly and to smart for his own good, he’s an ex-felon! Once a felon always a felon.”

“Blake you could say once a butt, always a butt,” Katherine giggled at Sam’s rebuttal.

“Ha ha, so really whom is he?”

“Blake are you daft? Gary is the reason I have my job and your director says he fought for you in the lead marketing job. You hated him then and he put his ego aside knowing your talents at your job were better than Pavek the Romanian kid.”

“Sam, I’m just looking out for the company! I saw the interview his sister gave replay on YouTube..”

“..Blake, it was ten years ago and his father died, he was not the only one to loose everything when Daedalus went offline! His project could have replaced it one day!”

Katherine was not fond of Blake at this point.

“Sam, have you seen him in his stolen hero gear or not?”

“Only what you have seen, Blake.”

“No way, I can’t prove it but I don’t believe you, Sam!”

“Blake what the heck is the bug up your butt about Gary? He’d give you the shirt off his back! I’ve known him for two years and no one works harder, cares more, or gives more of himself than Gary.”

Novia, dumped me the day he showed up at work all changed!”

“Blake, Novia, told me she caught you banging a stripper!”

“Who cares, I’m hot and it was just a stripper!” Katherine just got up to grab her drink when she heard Blake expound that. “Sam, you can only love a troll like Gary the way you love a smart puppy.”

“First, that stripper was someone’s daughter. Second, you’re pissed because Novia, whom couldn’t walk without help. Had been given that ability because the ‘troll’ whom has a bigger heart than Shrek, built her a new leg she has proof of you complimenting on style and beauty. That was done by Gary, so yes she is inclined to have fond caring for him, she dumped you for cheating. Third, Gary’s into some other girl not Novia.” Blake looks perplexed and Katherine begins to take her time picking out a straw and a napkin. “I’ve seen the Arabic girl move out and a blond girl, a hot blond girl I might add, move in. There’s no reason to hate him. You’re being ridiculous because you won’t accept Novia left you for being a butt!”

“You’re drinking the Gary Kool-Aid, Sam, wake up he’s a fraud.”

“You’re an idiot Blake, he gives charity once a week! He works harder than everyone at that office.”

“Charitable people are to stupid to make the world work for them. Nobody cares about their neighbor anymore, they care about how to make themselves better off than everyone else around them. It’s how humans judge their self worth – oh my life doesn’t suck as bad as that guy!”

Sam looks at his phone, “ahh crap, that’s Constance, Brandon gave Gary another monster assignment he’s trying to get done in a day!”

“Aww, who cares how wrecked that mule gets! I’m the one that makes that hack look good. Marketing is everything, spin is king! Coders are a dime a dozen.”

Sam shook his head and walked out Katherine followed behind him among other patrons leaving. He makes a call as he gets out to his car, and Katherine starts to head out but maintains line of sight. A few seconds later she skims his thoughts to find out the call is to Brandon about the lunch meeting with Blake. The large project is actually just getting his week assignments in early so he can take Valentines Day off. Brandon just made it seem like he needs everything by close of business on Tuesday for a trip to California. Brandon hopes Constance finding out he’s in a real relationship will make her stop fawning over him. Sam mentions the hate and Blake being dumped by Novia. Brandon sees it as simple jealousy but the legal concerns of employing a super and having that super retaliate against a normal person is a legal nightmare. Sam asked how can Gary put up with it and is told Gary said it really wasn’t anything new for him. If they let Blake go it will have to be completely devoid of any connection to Gary. The call ends and Sam gets in his car and heads back. Blake walks out and Katherine snaps a photo of him and leaves.

Garrick has never told her what he goes through at work, and she realizes he’s never talked about his job at all. He is trying to plan something for Valentines Day and not lie to her, hmmm. She made it to school when she realized how much about his day he never shared with anyone! Her anger was starting to ease up because he appeared to be trying to get his life situated around her and not other women now. School went as most days do, Shorty nodded at her in the hallway, she’d flip him off but wink, and then she’d avoid everyone as much as possible. When she got home all of her laundry was ironed, folded, and put away in the various spots of his room he had made space for. There was a new Optimus Prime figurine in the bathroom holding her tooth brush on the sink. Notes were taped to the fridge about food for Shorties and food for Kat. She broke down and sent him a text asking if he needed anything because it looked like a late night for him. His reply made he choke back some tears.

Nope. Well, if you can some how teleport in here so the door access can’t tell, then become invisible so the cameras don’t see you, and snuggle the crap out of me while code compiles. Well, now my heart feels warm so thanks for being so quick! #Kissyface.

Tuesday – 13th of February, 2024: 4:30 AM

Garrick’s room was dark broken only by the neon blue glow of various electronic buttons. A preprogrammed text has left a message on Garrick’s phone that it was sent and delivered at 12:02 AM. Kat didn’t know why she woke up, but her eyes had adjusted well to the very dim conditions. When she tried to move her head something was snagging her hair prohibiting her. Turning to find out what, she realized Garrick had taken a handful of her hair and pulled it to his nose, then fell asleep. Nothing of the rest of him was close enough to touch her. Slowly freeing her hair she sat up and looked at him. He was in boxer briefs and his normal form. Now when she saw the scars on his back she knew exactly how they got there. On his back was the disfigured skin from the glowing hot threaded rod drug across his back. There wasn’t an arm or leg free from scars and when she touched one there was a flash of mental images of her grabbing Garrick and pulling him out of a nightmare on to a beach for dinner!

She could see his chest heaving as he rolled on his back and his arms went to his sides fingers pressing in so hard in clenched fists they were white and noticeable in the dark room. She reached out and read his thoughts and got and image of a shadowy ten year old girl speaking to a handcuff Garrick:

Don’t wake Katherine, you already hurt her.
Don’t wake Katherine, you don’t deserve her.
Don’t wake Katherine, you don’t deserve anyone.
Don’t wake Katherine, no one loves you.
Failure, Murderer, Fraud, Brother.

She snapped out of his mind as he sat up lightning quick cold sweat bleeding out of him. She found cover behind the bed canopy supports against the wall. He touched where she had been laying, “Oh thank god that was part of the dream. She must be in her room, it was so vivid though. I could smell her.” He sighed and walked over to his large table tapping the screen and letting it log him with a face scan, “I have not dreamed of Adeline in a long time, I am scared of her finding out about me but I know becoming sponsored is the right thing to do.” He stripped naked and walked to the shower turning it on and getting in. “How do you ask her if she wants to be exclusive and not sound dumb? It is bad enough you got the “Hall Pass” test wrong. Your boss knows your in a relationship and he knows whom to slip that to in hopes that anyone at work will cool their jets. Tonight, let Ramona know that he can be friends but that’s it. Already let the only fans I have from the bar know it’s exclusive. Now I just need to hear her say it to confirm my adjusted hypothesis is correct.”

Katherine left the room and got dressed in yoga pants and a shirt. As the automated coffee finished, so did the shower. Garrick came out dress in tan slacks and one of his company polos, “Good morning, your up early and a wonderful sight. Oh I can wait if you haven’t had coffee yet?” Katherine realized at that moment how often he put on a happy face for everyone. She left a stern face on but smiled briefly trying to not act like she had gained a bunch of insight into him, “To be fair, I did not completely communicate what I thought a “Hall Pass” should be.” She holds up her hand as she pours him a cup of coffee, “I need to make sure I am clearer with you, we promised each other that. Don’t answer yet, take 24 hours as I hear you tell people on occasion. If you want to be with me I want you exclusively to myself. I’m not interested in other guys or girls, and I don’t want you having dates and wild nights with other women. Okay I’ve said my piece.”

Garrick nods, “For the next 24 hrs I am asking that you not read my mind so I can plan a surprise for you. I don’t want to lie about it, even for a surprise. I’m just asking that Tuesday night you also sleep in your room. I should be home by 11:30 PM from the Giving Tree and I will begin then. Thanks for the cup I have to go in now, large project.” Katherine walked over and tenderly brushed her fingers on his cheek before she walked away with her cup. Anything longer and she’d have lost the composure she was trying to put forth. She waited for him to head downstairs before coming out once more.

He stopped in the basement and found one Shorty getting ready to login to Gizergleam, Worlds Online. He made sure to get the other two up and told them he had a surprise tomorrow for Katherine. Good or bad on the outcome he needed some privacy. He gave each Shorty $25 to cover whatever they needed but they couldn’t go upstairs. Not until after 12 Noon Wednesday from 11 PM Tuesday night. They all agreed and one of them got ready for school.

11:30 PM

Garrick came home after the Giving Tree and letting Ramona know they were just friends. After this week he’d work on going to visit this church and likely bring Kat along. What he didn’t mention was that he wanted to be certain it wasn’t a cult after the psychology department fiasco. When he checked on the Shorties they have soda, water, and three pizzas with two ice chests! He nodded his approval at their prep and got thumbs up and they’re busy! Smiling he went up to the second floor he could hear music coming from the second bedroom. He set up his easel and the board and got his water color paints out to try and make a picture with her blue hair.

He used the card he made her as a guide and repainted her portrait. This time it had her changed hair color to blue. Now he had to replicate it by the morning, so he got to work. Optimus would warn him if she tried to open the door so he could cover the gift. The trick he ran into was waiting in drying from adjacent sections and moving on to others. He combined heavier white ink to get soft colors but thicker paint when needed on the face. Soon he was in a simple t-shirt that it, his hands, and his arms were covered in paint from using his fingers to force semi-dry paint to behave how he wanted it to work.

He listened to German Folk Metal from “Call Of The Deep” (his favorite band) all night on a Pearpod-Mini he kept for just this purpose. He’d found three tracks that when played on loop he could work for hours making art. His bluetooth, bone-induction headphones wrapped around his head but kept his ears free in case someone needed to talk with him. With sounds traveling through his bones and every shade of blue he owned his brush continued to glide across the taped down, heavy, watercolor paper. Soon the a sea of azure became the backdrop to his first attempt at speed painting!

He had recorded his efforts and mentioned on the video this was the last time he’d be painting this model. He mentioned to his teacher he had found two other students willing to be his models for further work. He was unsure of whether they could be compensated with credits toward electives if he chose to pay them for their time. He covered everything that he thought might give away something about him or Katherine in drop cloths. He uploaded all his work on the watercolor and heavy ink mix medium to the class online folders assigned to him. He replied that he would be happy to make a public showing once he had a few more pieces of his new models.

Wednesday – 14th of February, 2024: 5:46 AM

Katherine wakes and checks her phone and there’s a text from Garrick only an hour ago: “I’m done, hope you like it – G.” She gets dressed in workout clothing because Nathaniel should be there at 6 AM and may already be there downstairs. When she opens the door of the second bedroom she sees the huge blue painting taped to the very dense plastic slab. A clipped note talks about how hot she looks (which he did not believe could be more amazing) with blue hair even if its just a blue streak. As she looked down at the bottom left corner there was a folded red card with wax paper to drape over it. She realized it was to prevent the card from being damaged while the larger picture dried.

She picked it up and removed the wax paper and read it.

The door to his/their room is open and Garrick is passed out in his normal form and dried paint stains cover his hands and arms. She can see he stayed up all night to get the painting right. He’s still wearing pants and shoes and his legs are draped off the bed as though he had intended to untie them. Shutting their door behind her she crawls on the bed and tries to wake him. When he finally opens his eyes he smiles, “I’m sorry ma’am but I’m in a relationship now and my love has made it clear sharing is not permitted you’ll have to leave.”

Kat arches an eyebrow, “Is that so? Well I don’t see her around it could be our little secret!”

“Nope, I love her and this was her request of me if I wanted to be with her,” he yawned and Kat realized he may not be fully awake.

“What’s her name then?”

“Katherine Davis and if god let’s me win the lottery then one day several years from now it’ll be Katherine Faulkner. Shhh don’t tell her that dream I have yet. She hates it when I over share,” he giggled slightly as he finished his statement and his eyes rolled back in his head.

Lightly patting him on his cheek she asked, “Did you have a request of her to be with you?”

Yawning again, “No, she’s still terrified I might leave her for some pretty girl. I’m not sure she has realized how amazing she is. Besides I still don’t think I am worthy of her trust yet so I would ask nothing.”

“What would your request have been if you had one?”

“I love painting the human body and painting it in various locations. Just let me paint and I promise never to share anymore paintings of her so the bad people don’t find her.”

“How many have you shared?”

“Four, three head shots and one of her falling off a building as a perspective piece. She sent me a photo, it was so hot!”

“Where did you share it?”

“School, art class with only my teacher. I want her safe so I found other models that I can afford. My teacher thinks I am getting good enough for a showing. If I’m over sharing I am sorry.”

Katherine looked at his work and had to agree he was indeed getting good, “So you’d be painting nudes then?”

“Only with a clear demarcation line between the male or female model and I. Then an assistant that would be the one to help the model or get stuff for me as well. This way I can assure her of no contact! Otherwise the models would be dressed because head shots don’t require nudity. Sometimes I’m smart unless Jake is around then I’m just the less dumb kid in the room.”

“I’ll think about it but your plan is good.”

Garrick falls asleep and Katherine can read his thoughts realzing he had been speaking in a form of waking dream. She kisses him strong and hard, within a few seconds he wraps his arms around her, “Good morning Kitty Kat I have been waiting on this for days, I love you!”

“I love you too.”

“There’s a lovely beach front Italian restaurant in Garden Valley I’d love to take you to. Now don’t worry I have reservations, its called “Giardino dei Sogni” or Dream Garden. We have a table on the beach because I wanted our first official date to be special.”

Whatever she felt about the conversation with his sub-conscious or waking dream state. Everything he was saying now was music to her ears. Her trembling heart eased a bit as she kissed him over and over again.

Art by: AZ_Artisan
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