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Aberrant: Children of Heaven - Adonis

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Xavier woke in lap of luxury. He had money to burn right now, and his favorite thing about money was spending it. He stretched and after a moment's search found the edge of the massive four-poster bed. He wondered briefly where he'd put the two bubbly co-eds from the night before, but a quick glance at the clock informed him of just how long he'd slept in. From the look of things they actually did more than just get laid in college, there was a note left on his bedside stand.

We've got classes until 5 pm. We'll be back at the Black Swan tonight.

The note was signed with two sets of lipstick lips. Apparently they hadn't quite gotten to the classes on one-night stands yet. He crumpled the note and tossed it in the wastebin. Women.

He grabbed a long, hot shower in the marbled bathroom that was larger than most houses in third world countries. Not that Xavier had any experiences for comparison of such things. He picked up the razor on the sink, debating which club and which kind of woman would be his tonight when he glanced in the mirror. His mind flashed to that scene in Spiderman just after Peter Parker has gotten his powers from some freakish arachnid.

This was sort of like that, only much much more. The man staring back at him in shock was definitely Xavier Lancaster, but he was also the most beautiful person Xavier had ever seen. He was cocky, but he'd never been that narcissistic before. He wiped the last bits of steam from the mirror and inspected himself. He was buffer than before, and perfectly toned. All the little blemishes on his skin that he'd long since learned to just deal with had disappeared. He looked more perfect than the airbrushed actors and models in magazines. And he felt great. If this what a night with Cathy and Carol...or Krista and Lisa, well, whatever their names were, then maybe he would be back at the Black Swan tonight.

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He couldn't break the senstaion of feeling better. It wasn't feeling better after a brilliant session of sex either. It was nothing like anything he had eve experienced it. Still naked, he stepped in the shower. He let the water cascade over his body, stopping - just - his hands from making love to his gorgeous body. Hell, if this had been his place ...

"Get a grip, Man!" he chided himself. "I'm going to the club tonight and see if this is some kind of ... of ... crazy. Then I'm going to fuck some pychiatist and get her opinion."

He scratched that idea in the same way he scratched the idea of talking to himself out loud.

Let's test drive this new me out in the world, someplace important, someplace crucial. I'm going shopping!

A new suit would put all this in perspective. New silk upon his skin would work it's magic, and if his own magic faded, he would still have ... no, he'd burn the suit if he went back to being less than what he was now.

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Everywhere he went people stopped and stared. A lot of them even went so far as to pull out cellphones and try to catch snapshots of the beautiful man strolling down the street. He caught snatches of whispers, people trying to figure out who he was and if they should know him. One girl even got up the courage to ask him for his autograph.

It took him nearly an hour to make it to the clothing shop he favored in Portland, even though it was less than three blocks from the hotel. He ducked inside, grateful for the reprieve from the public scrutiny. The counter girl had her commercial smile on as she glanced up at the newest customer; she forgot her smooth but canned greeting the moment her eyes settled on him. She stood there, staring and drinking in the sight of him from behind her counter, unable to summon any words she'd be allowed to speak at work and keep her job with.

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He walked up to her that perfect hand reaching out in its perfect way and touching her under her chin.

"Can you help me," he said, his face so close she could smell the minty freshness of his breath. "I need a new suite for clubbing tonight. Show me what you got."

As he came stumbling around the counter, he kept himself close to her. He was heady in his power over her and he drank up her naked need and desire. As she picked out things that might look good on him (he had his own fashion sense, but where is the fun in dressing yourself?), Xavier would brush up against her innocently of course.

By the time she was ready for a meltdown, he came out and showed her what she had picked out. He liked it. He liked it so much that he considered spending a little share-time with her back in the dressing room. The Adonis came to the conclusion that while she was helpful, she wasn't all that good looking. He had more 'talented' women to share his time with.

Still, no reason to burn bridges,

"I'll be at the Black Swan tonight," Xavier whispered to her seductively. "If you are interested in some ... adventure ..."

Then a thought occurred to him. Why not take a shot and push his newfound awesomeness farther.

"Now, if I use a credit card here, someone will use it to stalk me," he said louder. "I don't have the cash on me, but I could pay you back this evening. What do you say?"

Click to reveal..

Activating Trickster 22/21q

Part of him realized he was being an asshole, but part of him was so full of himself and his power he didn't care that he could be causing this girl to lose her job and bring her untold grief.

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The woman smiled seductively at him, or at least she tried to, "I'll put it on my employee account. You can pay me back tonight."

With him firmly hers for the evening, if only in her mind, she rang up the clothes and punched in her account number. Everything was bagged up in those bags such places have so that others know you have been there. She handed it over to, her face full of hope and lust for the evening to come. "I get off at five, so I should be there by seven," she purred.

Everyone in the store was staring at them, most of them still drooling over the godling that was Xavier but a few others, mostly the other clerks in the store, were frowning at the way Chelsy was mooning over the guy. It could be jealousy or concern, but either way the place was taking on a darker and darker tone the longer he lingered.

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Jealousy was for the weak minded, the insecure, and the plain. Xavier felt like a God. The more they preened around him, begging his attention, even if it was just a look, the more his eqo swelled and swelled. The phone rang and he anwsered it with one perfect move of his hand to his pocket. He put it to his ear and said,


He came crashing down to earth ... hard. It was Anthony.

"Want to meet?" the man on the other side of the converstation said.

"Ummm ... sure."

"Good, we'll have a late lunch at the Hilton."

"Hitlon, yeah, sure."

"I have some business I want to discuss."

"I understand," he said, very respectfully.

There wouldn't be time to go back to his lair and change. He would have to go as he was, in last night's clothes. Damn. Working his way through the onlookers, Xavier made his way to his car. You didn't keep men like Anthony waiting ... or did you?

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Anthony had already ordered himself lunch by the time Xavier showed up. Everyone stared again. As much as being a sexy god was an incredible rush, Xavier was getting the sneaking suspicion that he was never going to be able to sneak anywhere again.

"Jesus, man," his boss breathed out in shock as Xavier sat down. "You certainly haven't made enough off of me for surgery like that. What gives?"

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It had an effet on his ... 'mentor.'

He sat down with sligthest hint of his perfect teeth.

"I don't know, but it was no surgery I can remember. As far as I know it was the perfect sex - which I'm going back for round two tonight."

Anthony chuckled.

"Save some for the rest of us, Xavier, damn. Well, I don't have to ask you how you are doing. Everyone noticed you walk in."

The criminal mastermind mulled that over for a few seconds. Suddenly the young conman was less useful to him ... or was he. Were couldn't Xavier talk his way into? With those looks and that personality, all kinds of closed and locked doors were open.

"What are you thinking about?" Xavier asked.

Anthony smiled and told him. He would have to look at some more 'people' friendly operations - that meant operations when people were still awake and security was normally tight.

They were suddenly joking again like old times, but Anthony noticed the differences that Xavier missed. The kid was smarter now and quicker on the uptake. His confidece had been pumped up a notch, or two. He seemed more ... capable, both physically and mentally. That must have been some sex ... or not.

Something had happened to Xavier last night and Anthony was determined to find out just what it was, before Xavier started looking for himself.

Anthony told Xavier he would be in touch in a few days and to have fun tonight. He left, paying as usual and made his way out. Xavier finished up his meal and began plotting what to do tonight. A smaller part of him realized something else. Anthony had looked more ... common today for some reason. Did it have to do with how he now felt, or was it the change? He made distant nebulous plans to find out.

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The Black Swan was already overflowing with the rich and beautiful at six o'clock. They opened at five and anyone actually wanting to get a booth or seat at the bar for the evening had better have stats better than Barbie or be there twenty minutes before the bouncers showed up and have cash in hand. Xavier strode to the front of the line; stares, murmurs, and the occasional catcall from club goers that got started on their buzz an hour before party time followed behind him.

The bouncers glanced at each other, unsure what to do with a man like him; the rope-bouncer unhooking the velvet and waving him in without a cover charge.

Xavier could hear them whisper as he moved passed them, "You know that guy?"

"Nah, but if he ain't a movie star yet, he will be by tomorrow. Yeesh, I haven't seen someone like than since Val Kilmer snuck in a few years back."

"Yeah, whatever happened to him?"

"Eh. Y'know. Stuff."

The inside of the club was dark and close and humid and loud enough that no one could hear their own pettiness over the primal thrum of the dance beat. Xavier slid through the throngs with a practice ease, searching faces and bodies for his two Muses from the night before. If he'd known coed sex could turn you into a modern day Adonis, he'd have been banging undergrads in ever city across the nation. So far, no luck.

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Dancing generated lots of heat, but Xavier managed to generate a great deal of heat, and buzz all by himself. A perverse sense of noblesse oblige, the Adonis greeted aquaintances as if they were old and valued friends. Women he didn't even know, he smiled, kissed and flirted with. The one thing he didn't share was his name. He kept that air of mystery.

He was loved, even though it was an artificial kind of love, and it was enough. Real love was a distant and painful memory. It was not something he wanted to dredge up. Only a fool picked at those scars unless he was a tool, a fool, or a moron. Xavier knew better. Love was for suckers.

He could live with the adoration. He could even live with the thought of a three-way later tonight. He decided that he wouldn't burn the salesgirl after all. He wondered why he was feeling so good. Did all this Awesome have some sort of addictive high geared into it.

Look fantastic - be good - and feel incredible. Of course, what would the rush be for being ... evil? Evil always had the best highs. They lived the real lives, absent of regrets. Maybe he needed a little of being his real self.

Maybe he would burn the girl after all. She would lose her job, maybe her place ... that was a rush, to break someone so completely. That is what it meant to be beautiful.

Maybe. Good - Evil - Love - Hate - Beauty - Ugly - Angel - Demon. Demon, Incubus, he liked that.


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In the end it was man that brought Xavier crashing down from his heights. He wasn't beautiful like the would-be Children of the Nightlife in the Black Swan, and the crisp brown suit, while obviously tailored and expensive, certainly didn't belong in the morass of designer jeans, button-down shirts, and scraps of guazy cloth charitably described as dresses that adorned most of the denizens in the darkness with them. For all this he should of stood out; he should be standing outside as one of the terminally hopeful spending their night in the cold on the chance of rubbing elbows with people they didn't know and wouldn't remember in the morning.

Instead, his quiet look and contained aura of restraint made him remarkable unremarkable until he stepped up beside Xavier. "Mr. Lancaster? My name is Edmund Donell and we have a business matter to discuss."

He motioned to a booth, oddly empty in the packed club, and slid gracefully into one side. Unlike every other person he had come into contact with since his change, this Donell man seemed entirely unconcerned with Xavier's charm or beauty. Once both men were seat, Edmund slid a manila envelope across the table to Xavier.

"I am well aware of your particular talents with women, Mr. Lancaster, and your recent changes require a new direction for such talents." His voice sounded clearly over the din of the Swan, though he didn't seem to be talking any louder than he would had they been speaking over lattes at Starbucks. "Consider this an interview. In the envelope you will find a picture of a woman and short dossier on her. You will also find the first installment of your stipend for your assistance with her. Understand, Mr. Lancaster, this is not a simple matter of an indiscreet tumble and roll of incriminating film. This woman is in the possession of something quite rare and valuable to my firm. We are willing to pay you each month the same amount as that if you, in return, keep her company and report to us her actions and knowledge. You are to keep her safe and to encourage her to rely upon her instincts and her inheritance in spite of any logical or emotional impetus to do otherwise. Equally important is to gain her trust and status as her confidante. She will attract companions and defenders to her side, and you must be seen as one of these. We wish to know not only her movements and plans, but her thoughts and dreams as well."

Xavier fished out the rubber-banded stack of bills, counting them in darkness and peering wide-eyed at the denomination they were of. With money like this, he'd never have to work for Anthony again. Not for a while at least. Then again, money like this never came without strings. He fished out the picture and the short write-up on the woman, a Moira Fitzgerald.

"What's the catch? Is she mob? Witness protection? Why is she worth all this?" Xavier held up the money between them.

The man smiled and it wasn't unpleasant. "Mr. Lancaster, let me be blunt. Do you really care? I am offering you a job, one you are uniquely suited to do, and for that you are being compensated both for your talents and their rarity. She has no connections to the mob, the United States government, or any other organization you would care not to draw the attention of. My firm's reasons are our own, though I am certain after you meet the lady, you will begin to understand. I will make this offer only once, choose your reply wisely." Then he sat back into the leather of the booth, nearly fading into it, and waited.

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He leaned back in his seat, acting with more confidence than he felt. It was a challenge with an unspoken threat to back it up. People didn't throw around this kind of money unless it was concerning something valuable ... something valuable.

"I'm in." for myself, but I'm in.

"How do I contact you?"

It was the only question really to ask. The how and means of him to contact her were in the dossier, or they should be. If not, he could easily assume this guy, for all his supernatural creepiness (how could he not love Xavier?), was not as good as the game he played. Or, maybe this was a test within a test.

Xavier took out the dossier and began thumbing through it. She was attractive enough -A- so his attention wouldn't be totally from out of left field. He's have restain himself around here.

She owned a Curio shop/Supernatual bookstore ... which fit in nicely with his life and its current direction. He could use that. He could also use what the Stranger said. Dreams and a gathering of followers. Some hidden purpose and a need to follow one's instincts. Yeah, that mumbo-jumbo could work.

Other things began filtering in past his usual instincts. Things like 'what about the long term relationships?' and 'what is my exit strategy?' With a sense akin to horror Xavier realized that being so close to ANYONE for so long had the chance to bring up tragic memories of his own betrayals, his own loss of control. This was why he always kept things short and sweet (for him). Why was he just thinking of this now?

It was too late to back down now. He would have to create other survival mechanisms to get through this. He was being a bastard and he knew it. In a way, he relished the new challenge. Moira would come around and he would user her for this guy's ends. He could live with that ... couldn't he?

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A sleek black PDA was placed next to him as he flipped through the dossier. He hadn't even heard the man get up from the booth, but given the din of the club, that wasn't all that surprising. Edmund watched him for a moment with unreadable eyes.

"Keep this with you at all times. You can take pictures with it, record voice messages, and import files from a computer as needed. It will keep the firm updated regularly." His eyes flicked over to the entrance of the club and he leaned in towards Xavier impart his last bit of wisdom to his new empolyee. "Ms. Connly, your mark from earlier this morning, has just arrived. The debt on her account has already been handled, though it is up to you if you wish to engage her needs further this evening. I would surmise it a waste of time, given your new priorities."

With that he straitened back up, smoothed out the lines of his suit, and glided out of the club without attracting the attention of another living soul in the place. 'Ms. Connly' was only a few feet in the door, standing ridiculously on tip-toe in her heals, trying to track the enigmatic god she had spoken with only a few hours ago.

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I'm selling my soul to evil, Xavier joked with himself, why not do a little sinning?

He eyed 'Ms. Connly' and he felt a twinge of a long denied emotion, sympathy. He ground down on it. He had to do something more. He had to make her suffer - suffer for trying to make him weak. Xavier stalked toward her now, eyeing her with deep dark eyes.

"Hello," he purred in her ear. She started and turned rapidly to face him. When she did, her eyes grew wide and she stammered unable to say anything coherent, so caught up was she in his face so close. Xavier leaned in and kissed her. His hand came up around he neck, brushing it, and gently places itself behind her head. It was a feather-light kiss that tantalized and left the reciever wanting more, which was his plan.

"I've been wanting to do that since I first laid eyes on you," he lied, faking breathlessness. It was a wonderful sentiment, thus an excellent weapon.

"Oh, I ... yes."

She leaned in for another kiss. He denied her while looking eager for more.

"Let's get out of this place."

She nodded eagerly and the bait was taken. They kissed and groped outside the club, certainly something she would have never done normally. When they trekked the three blocks to her car, he said those magic words,

"Tell me about yourself ... yes, I'm interested. I'm very interested."

Sure (blah, blah) she was a sales clerk, but she wanted more. She was studying part time to be a paralegal at the community college (earns her a 'Really?'), she had a crazy punk rock roomate who kept he up at nights (a sympathetic hug that led to more deep, longing-filled kisses), and she never normally did things like this (never specifying what 'this' was).

Her boyfriend had left her (read: dumped) and moved in with her old roomate, which is why her current arrangements had been so ... rushed. This earned her more sympathy, some male posturing protectively by Xavier, and a 'what a fool' before more kissing and a hand cupping her ass and driving his need into her. It had been several months and she was a young woman.

About Xavier ... well, he lied. He had a few empty hook ups at clubs, but nothing special. No girlfriends, because on one touched the depths of his loneliness like she did. See, he felt women only wanted him for his body, which she certainly didn't, and when that became evident, he called it off, heart broken once again.

They got to her place and Xavier proceeded to stun Ms. Conly's roommate (and friends). The Boy Wonder talked them right out of the place (and down to a Denny's) because he roomate was such a great and understanding ... and they were going to be so loud. She blushed at that, but clung onto his hand even tighter. Then came the long, torturous sex session.

Regret comes in two forms. It come from things not done, and things you no longer have. Xavier was a past master of mapping out a woman's sensual zones. Ms. Conly was treated to the first (and maybe the last) multiple orgasm in her short and abbreviated sexual life. Xavier kept pushing her to the edge so that pleasure became pain and the line blurred. She did things she never thought she would. He took three hours and left her a shattered wreck physcially and emotionally.

Purposely, yet secretively, Xavier woke her up as he was getting ready to leave.

"Stay the night," she cooed wearily.

The look on his face was meant to shock and it did not fail. Xavier looked ... hurt, and empty.

"You got what you wanted. I should be going. You are just like all the others."

Xavier turned away, shoulders slumped with loss and betrayal. Ms. Conly had done to someone what had been done to her. Tears welled up on her eyes.

"No, wait," but deep down she was afraid it was true. She had felt soooo good. Had she wanted him for that reason and not for the man himself? Xavier fed that doubt. The art of deception make him happy, but he wouldn't let that show.

Instead, he turned, a single tear rolling down his cheek.

"Good bye," he whispered.

"Wait!" she called out, but Xavier was out the bedroom door. First she tried to drag the bedspread with her, but when it wouldn't come loose fast enough, she pursued him naked. Half way off the bed she heard the front door slam shut. She fell down on the floor in tears.

Outside, a panther's grin crossed Xavier's face. He sobs were delicious. If only his next assignment would be as tasty. Certainly the woman had potential. The Incubus walked off into the night, confident he would soon find a ride and then another party.

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