Friday, June 25, 2010

Chapter 18 The Green Eyed Tiger

"Alex, what are you doing?"

It takes him a second before he turns around to face me, the sound of my voice in the doorway apparently surprising him. His green eyes catch mine for a second before I look away to stare at the large puddle of water left after the morning rain. The sun's come out, but the water hangs in the air as it slowly begins to evaporate.

He looks at me in confusion, apparently able to read me enough to know I'm not happy, but not quite sure what the problem is. "What?"

"You're soaked." I peek through the front door of the apartment building. When I looked down from the flight above, he was very much alone, so I'm still sure that he's by himself.

He stands there almost sheepishly as if he's done something wrong. But I'm the one who feels guilty. He was standing out there because he's supposed to watch me. So instead of finding cover elsewhere, or even coming inside out of the rain, he just stayed there.

His hair hangs in his face, droplets of water dripping from the ends of his hair, his shirt already soaked enough to press against his skin. My heart pounds as my brain tells me that I'm being very stupid. I know nothing about Alex except that Brandon seems to think he's okay. I trust Brandon, so if Brandon thinks he's okay, I do too. Still, I realize that it's ridiculous to use such a method here to pick friends and confidantes.

"Why were you standing out there in the rain? Why didn't you just come inside?" I ask him. It's my second full day at Henri's, and yesterday when it was sunny, Alex hadn't been the only one standing out here. But today he was the only one.

"I didn't know if it would be appropriate," he says softly, and I can't help looking up, surprised at the look of concern.

I remember what Brandon said, and I can't help rolling my eyes at him even as I look away towards the graffiti on the walls. "You know I'm not actually going to think of smacking you with anything, right?"

That makes him chuckle. His smile is so gentle and friendly, it's surprisingly easy to be drawn in. Something about him is very different from the others I've met, and I'm not sure what it is exactly, but he manages to put me at ease even as I'm very aware of him and that puts me on edge.

"Why didn't you at least go across the street or something?" I dare to ask, still almost managing to sound a little angry in an attempt to keep my one edge.

"Because speed is not my power."

I hardly glance up at him, my eyes don't make it past his wet shirt that clings to him, the dark tiger tattoo on his chest clear through his white shirt. "What is your power?"

He seems to hesitate, but without looking up into his face, it's hard to guess at what he's thinking. "I can control bodies with the eyes."

I do glance up then in stupid surprise. I've caught his eyes plenty of times, and he hasn't taken advantage of me so far that I know. But that doesn't mean he won't. It makes him even more dangerous because he won't have to over power me to get his way.

Quickly, I look away, shoving my hair back with a hand. "I should go get you something to dry off. I'll be right back."

"The sun is out now," he says quickly with another friendly and almost innocent smile. "You don't have to."

Before I can take a step back towards the door, Alex turns around and takes off his shirt. In both hands, he starts wringing it, squeezing out the extra water and then patting himself with the shirt. He's taller than Brandon, maybe close to Henri's height, but lithe so that each swipe with his shirt makes his limbs appear very long.

I'm caught silently standing behind him like a wild animal that's been startled. It's not like we didn't have sunny days lazing around together in someone's backyard back home where the guys could take off their shirts, but this is different. Very different.

Down his back he has another tattoo along his spine, one that's more detailed than the large one that Brandon and Jimmy have on their back. It trails down his spine, almost to the small of his back, and I can't help wondering if there is some significance. I'm beginning to understand that here the tattoos are tied into rank. As they become higher, get more reputation, it becomes larger. So what would a tattoo that large mean?

Alex turns around, still holding his wet shirt in one hand, but it's his tiger tattoo across his chest that catches my eye. It's also large and detailed, though not nearly as intricate as the one across his back. I haven't seen any chest tattoos so far, not that I've seen that many people really. So it stands out in that way.

But there's something else about it that makes it stand out. "The tiger has green eyes," I say without looking up.

Alex looks down at his own tattoo. "It didn't work."

The green eyes of the tiger are faded, so that they aren't obvious from a distance. For the green to be apparent at all, one has to stand very near him.

Something tells me that Alex is the tiger. It's in the way he moves even when he's trying not to startle me.

Alex stands in front of me patiently, but I still feel uncomfortable. He seems like a nice person, but this could still easily turn into a bad situation with nothing more than an accidental glance. How do I even know I came down here on my own accord and not because he subtly told me to one of those times I accidentally caught his eye?

But then he softly speaks in a way that reminds me of how he moves. "I won't use it on you," he says. "You can look at my eyes."

Next Chapter -->


  1. OMG! I am literally breathless!

    So many things I want to know. Why does Alex say "I can control bodies with THE eyes", not MY eyes? Why does he seem to think that coloring in a tat on his chest would 'work' or not 'work' the same way the eyes in his own head work?

    Talk about sexual tension! oh my god....

    And what other reference does she have to use other than Brandon's recommendation?

    Wonderful sensual intriguing PERFECT update!!

  2. D'oh! I just realized I made a mistake and left out a slightly important detail!

    I added this to explain the tiger's eyes:

    "The green eyes of the tiger are faded, so that they aren't obvious from a distance. For the green to be apparent at all, one has to stand very near him."

    Basically, I imagine a friend of his, who ever did that tattoo, tried to color it, and it didn't take. (Really, when I fixed up the CC for Alex, the green eyes didn't take, but I liked that detail and added it to the character.)

    Alex uses interesting language. When he speaks, he doesn't always take what I consider to be the most obvious route. There's a reason for that, and I think it's something else I accidentally left out. D'oh again. I'm on my game this morning. I'm blaming the recent development of allergies.

    That's okay, I can see how I'll fix it next week. XD

    But, wow, thanks SB! I'm glad you liked this update. I sort of struggled with it before it came clear. Now it's like, "OOOOH!"

  3. Ah, I found the explanation for Alex. In the last chapter Paula notices that Alex has a strange accent.

    Ugh, my brain is so slow today. I think it's going to be nap time for at least part of this weekend!

  4. Wow, he really is one of those sims where you need a fan to cool you down from being around him, isn't he?

    I find it interesting how much of Paula's story is defined by men, how there are so many men wanting to teach her things, wanting to protect her, maybe also wanting to do her no good...

  5. LOL! Yeah, he sort of surprised me in that way.

    And yes, that's true. It's all subconscious, so perhaps this is my own subconscious take on society. I just noticed that there are suddenly WAY too many men in her life too, all with their own motives, but she hasn't noticed it herself yet.

    It's also interesting that her life before was guided completely by her mother, though I realize we haven't gone into that very much at all.

  6. Okay, you just made me a huge Alex fan. <3 He seems to be really genuine. Surprisingly, I have an easy time trusting him.

    He does seem to have an air of mystery surrounding him, though. (More than the others) I want to learn all I can about him.

    Amazing update! (As usual.) You never let me down.

  7. Hmmm, like Nicole, I find myself trusting Alex as well. Although even as I'm feeling that way, I'm thinking I maybe shouldn't!

    Quite a bit of sexual tension in this chapter. It must have been quite a while since Paula has felt anything like that.

    So Alex is...foreign, maybe? Or perhaps he's moved around so much in his life that his accent is a hodge podge and his language is a little strange? Interesting. His whole character is interesting. The tattoo, the voice, the power...he's so intriguing. I can't wait to learn more about him. I don't know what I was expecting him to be like but he's surprised me.

    "Really, when I fixed up the CC for Alex, the green eyes didn't take, but I liked that detail and added it to the character."

    LOL! You know, while I was reading that part, I wondered if that's what happened! Nice way to write it in.

    Loved this chapter!

  8. Nicole, awesome! Alex has really surprised the heck outta me, to be honest. He wasn't even supposed to be here, lol.

    There is definitely a lot of mystery around him. I had the same reaction you did. I was all, "So tell me more."

    Aw, thank you!

    Carla, lol, Paula had the exact same reaction. She finds him friendly, but has to keep reminding herself she has absolutely nothing to base it on!

    lol, it might have been a while. Paula has more living/life experience than Mary or Edy, but I think anything she could feel for or with Alex would be completely different than anything she's felt before.

    Foreign in a way. There aren't really any countries, it's just a big landmass that's in separate sections. So you could be right about the hodge podge. He seriously surprised me too.

    Thank you.

  9. I love it whenever you reveal special powers. "Moving bodies" sounds like a mix of telekinesis and suggestion and I find it very exciting.

    It would be nice to know which part of the world Alex comes from and whether he gained his tattoos there or here.

    Does Paula feel attracted to him or is she merely overwhelmed by his sensuality?

    She is surrounded by men but I think she is privileged to live in Henri's headquarters. And a male bodyguard is so much more exciting than a female one... :)

  10. The first question that popped in my head was...once Alex gets control over the body, do they need to maintain eye contact in order for him to keep it? Once his will has taken you over, are you pretty much his? I can definitely see that type of power being used for more than one thing...

    Alex does make me want to ruffle his hair though. Every move he made was sensual from wiping his body with the rain to the way he stands in front of Paula. Definitely catlike. I am very intrigued by him.

  11. A patented Moondaisy comment!

    Actually, he says he can control bodies through the eyes. It's a little bit more like mind control, but he can only control the bodies, not the thoughts.

    We will definitely get to where Alex is from. Paula is definitely going to have to ask him that.

    That's a good question. I'd imagine it's a little of both, though mostly, at this stage, she's just overwhelmed by his sensuality. He's not like her friends back home-- that's for sure!

    lol, true. Having Alex as a bodyguard is promising to be more interesting.

    Gayl, that's a good question, and one of the first ones I contemplated too. His power is very strong and dangerous, but it has a lot of limits. I believe that he can catch someone's eye and give them a command, but once that command is completed, they would probably be free, so he'd have to get very creative I think to hold someone for a long time, but I think it could be done.

    Alex is one of those people I think who's power would grow as he gets older, not in the sense that he'd get more powerful, just that he'd probably learn some tricks as he gets older.

    lol @ that image. Perfect, that's exactly how I imagine him too, so I'm glad that the words caught that. There is a lot to find out about him still, but he's one of the few characters that right off the bat is exactly who he appears to be.

  12. Oh, he DOES move cat-like! How amazing the way you've captured his motion in pictures! Just the way his head is turned in the first picture, I can see him moving that way in my head!

    But a seemingly very docile character for as tiger-like as he is. I suppose big cats can be that way, and I wonder if he could easily turn ferocious.

    How exhausting for Paula this must be, never being able to fully trust anyone but probably Brandon. Always having to be on her toes. I wonder if that exhaustion might get her into trouble one day, she's so tired of being distrusting that she ends up trusting the wrong person?

    Oh my, the end! *fans self* lol! What's she supposed to do with that!?! I'm also very curious about how his power would work and what it would do.

    This also has me wondering if Paula had any boyfriends back home before she came here.

  13. Laura, wow thanks. I had so much trouble trying to get it to rain for this that I almost wanted another break. But if it had rained, we probably wouldn't have gotten a shirtless Alex, and that wouldn't have been fun, lol.

    That's an interesting point which made me look up how docile tigers really are. I came up with nothing, but the suggestion that tigers are docile after having been fed (and are not docile when hungry, lol). Random. So he's possibly full/sated but I doubt it would have to do with food.

    I would think it's very exhausting. She's even questioning how much she can really trust Brandon sometimes.

    lol! We'll see if we every get to that.

    That's a good question. I'm sure she's had boyfriends, but nothing serious. This'll come back up again I'm sure.

  14. What's Paula doing with her hand in that first picture?...

    "I won't use it on you," he says. "You can look at my eyes."

    It's almost like he's trying to gain her trust, and possibly not for a good reason either. Suspicious, me? No way.

    Great chapter mate.

  15. Oh man. Whew. I was harboring a very small wish for her to develop some sort of romantic relationship with Jimmy, but I'm starting to lose hope that it will happen. I have some sick thing for Jimmy, I think, because as yummy and sexy as Alex is, I keep thinking, "Where's Jimmy?"

    But Alex is fascinating, and I hope we learn more about him. I don't know how much I could trust that he wouldn't use his power on me, either (besides, does he even really *need* a power? Look at him!). Paula is becoming more and more suspicious as time goes on and that's probably a very good thing. I can't wait to see what happens next!

  16. Poida, LMAO! Her hands are just out like in a shrug. The perspective is hilarious though. Is there a such thing as a pocket sized butt? Trust you to notice that.

    Also, I will not dissuade you from your suspicious nature.

    Thank you!

    Rachel! *hugs* It's so good to hear from you.

    Haha, really? Even though she's only 16 and Jimmy's like 30? But I love that you're interested in Jimmy because then I have a surprise for you coming up that was a surprise for me.

    We will definitely learn more about him in surprising ways, I think. And LOL! Paula had that as a passing thought in another draft the damage he could do with his eyes alone.

  17. Well, now I am suspicious. I trust Alex, which makes me leery. He is gentle and friendly and hot and sexy and I an sooooo suspicious. What does that say about me?
    And Paula, you go girl, admiring how that wet T-shirt clings to every muscled plane!
    Well done, nothing like a lithe, green-eyed hunk with powers to stir things up! Shape-shifter maybe? Nah.
    I have been reading too many paranormal romances lately...

  18. I can't help but like Alex. He has an open face and seems more honest than some of the others of his kind we've seen to date.

    Although I am wary because last time one of the normals became attracted to one of them, things ended badly. I am leaning towards thinking that this is something that happens on purpose; almost like the normals are used as a weakness against them, a lesson that the normals are so fragile, their lives can be snuffed out with a click of the finger. And perhaps this is why they rarely form any sort of meaningful attachments, for fear that the attachment would be used against them.

    Imagine one of them having a family, a child and how much danger that family would always be in. It makes me wonder whether someone would get it into their hands to use Paula against Henri, maybe as a mutiny, to get back at him, to push him in doing something stupid or to get the measure of him.

    Alex's power is an interesting one. I'm looking forward to finding out more about it.

  19. Drew, lol! I don't know what it says about you. Maybe that you're smart to be suspicious and not fall for the sexiness?

    Another LOL! Haha, I tried not to say it, because she's trying not to think it, but she was totally ogling him in that wet shirt and without it. Sure, she was just looking at the tattoo, uhm, yeah...

    Carnaxa, I love to hear that! Really, I'm not playing games with this character. He is what he appears to be. There will be things that may change how we see him, but he'll pretty much always be like this.

    Also, can I just say I love your use of the word "normals?" Because I hate the use of the word "human" for a person without powers. The ones with powers are just as human as the ones without. But I think it's important to note that in this world, those with powers seem to think themselves other than human. (Whether good or bad-- better or monster-- depends on the character of course.)

    "...perhaps this is why they rarely form any sort of meaningful attachments..." You're onto something. I know that there's one character that this applies to considering what happened to him when he made friends with a normal.

    "Imagine one of them having a family, a child and how much danger that family would always be in." *taps nose* Exactly, which is why there's at least one relationship that goes unspoken despite it being very obvious to anyone who knows them.

  20. Aaah, Alex is hot! In that exotic way, hahaha! (I'm going crazy. :P) And the way his tattoo is so different from everyone elses' makes him even more special! I love the picture where he's looking down at his own tattoo, by the way. ;)

    And he's so sweet I'm getting a sugar rush now! XD Oh man, I wouldn't have imagined any guy to be so considerate here, maybe other than Brandon, haha. It makes them all the more cherished and welcomed. :) I hope Paula finds a true friend (or maybe more than friendship *winkwink*) in Alex.

    I don't know if I'm thinking too much, but his last sentence seemed just a tad creepy though. Especially when he spoke "in a way that reminds [Paula] of how he moves", which is a tiger. Which makes me think maybe he's waiting for a chance to pounce. :X I mean, Brandon warned her against looking at him in the eyes, so.... I think she should listen to Brandon above anything else. :\

    Also, I was reading your reply to Beth and went, "HMM, that is a detail?" Is it that people are drawn by the green tiger's eyes and come close to Alex so that he can control them with his eyes? 8| Haha, overactive brain at work, oops!

  21. First things first: sorry it's taken so long to respond to your comment!

    I love the picture where he's looking down too, lol. Soon as I took it, it was one of those I knew I had to use.

    lol! Considerate is not a word I'd use for Alex, but it does fit here. He's worried about being inappropriate, so he's trying to err on the side of caution. Sort of funny in my head to imagine that could be taken for considerateness.

    Oh, I love that. "Waiting for a chance to pounce" is a good image for a tiger. Alex is so disarming I think. He's not what you expect, but one should still be aware that he's not a toothless cat.

    Haha! In a way you know, you're right. I imagine though that people just get drawn in by his own green eyes. It probably does happen in miniature with the eyes of the tiger tattoo.

    Thank you for commenting! ^___^