A few feet away from Amy, Alexander Loft was eating his banana with extreme indifference. Between each bite he gave the yellow fruit a casual glance before nibbling at it again. The moonlight on his blond hair was stunning, enhanced even further by the slight breeze playing with the strands that framed his face. In any situation, most girls would love to be sitting on a balcony at a party with Alexander's Loft. First of all there was his family's money; basically in infinite supply. Beyond that he was conventionally attractive. Undeniably so. Beneath his looks, however, there was a level of chill--of just not caring--that screamed competence. He had earned his status as a celebrity, even if his name had given him a million mile head start.
Tonight though, Alexander wasn't humoring the dozens of girls willing to throw themselves at him (the chair propped against the patio door said that much) and was instead locking them out of his evening. Or, in the house. Whatever.
The solitute was unusual for such a popular person, but the intentionality behind the social distance was the baffling part. It made sense that he would want to get away sometimes, but the fact that he was letting anyone else see--especially Amy--was even more confusing.
EspecIally the Amy part.
The Blessed just didn't interact with the Empty if they didn't need to. But here he was. And here Amy was. And a banana. It was almost gone now.
"So, Amy," Alexander said between bites, "what do you want to hear about me?"
This wasn't the first attempt of his to make conversation with her, but Amy didn't seem to be getting any better at responding in a non awkward way.
"Ummm.....? I don't know. I mean--I already know about you."
Ugh, creepy. Even if it was a little true, it was blech.
"I mean, it's hard not to hear about your family. All the...." her brain chise that moment to quit the game called life and leave her on her own.
"Powers?" Alexander filled in. "All the media and fame?"
Swallowing the final bite of his banana, Alexander tossed the peel off the balcony, into the back yard of the mansion.
"Well, all of that does exist. But I'm not my family, I'm me. What do you know about me?"
"I don't know how to answer that."
He seemed to ponder that.
"Fair enough," he said with a chuckle. "I wouldn't know how to answer that either. But we are alone, so now's your chance to ask me anything. He looked expectantly at Amy. "Come on. Anything."
Amy fumbled through her head for a suitable question, coming up empty as a result of her brain being absent. Instead something unsuitable came out.
"Can we talk about your grandfather's history? And, like.... The Blessed?"
His eyebrows shot up in surprise. Amy scrambled for her explanation. "l've never discussed it with.... One of you."
Alexander thought for a brief moment, standing and looking up at the stars. After three seconds he looked back at Amy, head cocked. "Yeah, we can." he said. "It's the last thing I expected to talk about, but yeah. What do you want to hear?"
"Anything. I don't care."
"Hm. Alright." Another pause. "Well, you know what they are, right? Mine is obviously changing liquids," he gestured to the drink in Amy's hand, "But there are other kinds too. Like the Sands, who could change solids, or the Silenthavens who can freeze time. They aren't scientifically logical, but that's what makes them superpowers. Blessings." Earlier that night, Alexander had asked Amy what her favorite drink was, and when she had said orange juice, he had taken her cup of soda and changed it to exactly that. Extra pulp.
"So..." Amy hesitated. Alexander just waited. "If you can change liquids, how did you make pulp? It's a solid."
"Ah." He nodded. "There's not a real answer. The Loft family shouldn't be able to, really. My only guess is that there's some wiggle room. We can change a little bit of solids when we change the liquids, like how the Sands could turn a man to stone, blood and water and all. Well, mostly. They called them bleeding statues for a reason."
"So.... You're saying they don't make sense?"
Alexander leaned toward Amy. "I am. Anything else?"
She met his steady gaze.
"What does it feel like?"
"What, being turned to stone?" He teased. All at once his smile disappeared and his voice darkened. "Or to have the knowledge that everyone either fears or admires you? To have the power to end a life with nothing but a thought and the briefest of touches?"
He leaned closer still, one hand tracing itself along the railing next to Amy. Somehow she held eye contact, despite the writhing emotions inside.
"It feels like being me." He straightened, glancing around. "What I want to know is how it feels to be Empty. To be invincible to the power I have."
Amy didn't hesitate this time.
"It feels like being me."
His mouth turned upwards in a small grin.
"Anyway," Amy blurted, "I asked about your grandfather and the Sands. Is the official story true?"
He sobered. "Yeah, basically. The Sands were competition, so he convinced a few other families to fight alongside him. They basically said 'screw you and only you' to the Sands and killed them all. Since then it's happened several times, to different families. Now it's basically just us and the Silenthavens. They're not so dangerous, seeing as they freeze time for themselves as well as the other Blessed. They only benefit the Empty, and no offence, but you aren't a threat either. So yeah, my grandfather's greed for power has basically caused genocide." Alexander's foot tapped evenly against the floor.
"What's your opinion on the whole thing, Amy?"
"I think it's interesting. I'm not quite ready to pass complete judgement on his actions, because I don't know all the facts. But at the same time, I probably never will." The words were just falling out now, faster than Amy would have liked, and trembling just enough to betray the nervousness behind the facade of knowledge. It was exhilarating. And terrifying.
"You seem to care more than most people," Alexander said nonchalantly. "Not many people even think about these things."
"Well, I wouldn't say..."
"You care enough to ask. That means something."
"It's not every day a person gets to ask someone like you. I'm just using what I've got."
Suddenly the strangeness of the whole conversation occurred to Amy. Brushing the odd feeling aside, she forged ahead.
"Speaking of this," She gestured to the empty patio around them, "why did you choose me to come out here? Like, out of any of the girls in there, why me?" Or guys, too... Whatever.
"Most of them are Silenthavens. Blessed. That means I might have to interact with them in the future. You might not believe me, but all I wanted for tonigh was a genuine conversation with someone who I'll never see again. No stress about first impressions when you know you can move on and forget about everything. No offence, of course."
"No, I get it. It's easier to be who you want to be when nobody around you has expectations for you."
Alexander smiled. "It's liberating."
Suddenly a figure rounded the corner of the house, calling up at the two of them.
"Mr. Loft, your father sent me to get you. He's waiting at the front."
Alexander stiffened, listening intently. Amy took the moment to examine him one more time.
"Yes, I'll be right there." He said. Amy thought she heard a disappointment in his voice. He turned back to Amy as the man left them alone again.
"Look, I don't know how to say this... But thanks for talking. For caring. And not caring."
Amy glanced at the floor. "No problem. But I didn't do that much."
"Eh," he waved a hand absently. "That's not what I meant."
The crickets were suddenly louder.
"Well, I'd better go. Thanks for talking."
With that, Alexander walked across the patio, slid the chair away from the door, and disappeared inside.
Author Notes: Welll..... Thanks for reading. Please leave a review if you liked it, and be sure to message me if you want feedback on anything, or just a review or whatever.