The sun was at its peak and beating down hard on the citizens of Hyperion. Blazing, when applied to normal standards, but perfectly comfortable for Nick. He was awake, but lying with his eyes closed under the shade of a tree at Paradise Pond with his head nestled in Alyssa’s lap. She was reading a book in one hand, while playing with his hair with the other.
The gentle breeze carried her familiar fragrance and he took a deep breath. He loved the way she smelled. It was the same perfume she wore ever since they first met; a lightly scented combination of irises and jasmine. Like a trusty bloodhound, he had memorized this perfect scent and associated it to the comfort it gave him, the way a parent’s heartbeat gave ease to a frightened child.
It was funny, with her presence around him he felt so much more human, so much more capable in every way.
Nick versus Paul
However, Paul was already in range and delivered an uppercut aimed straight for his chin. Nick leaned to the side, narrowly avoiding the punch. He countered with a quick to sweep from below.
Paul easily jumped over the kick and grabbed Nick’s arm, pulling him in for a clean shot to the face. The shot was much more powerful than anything Daniel had thrown. Nick jumped back, allowing his arms to burst into flames as he threw a fireball at Paul.