Joan screams as she is ripped away from Leo. The large brute of the man doesn’t make any efforts to be gentle with Joan as he walks away with her.
Despite wearing a mere dress with high heels, Joan starts kicking and screaming.
I’m being attacked!
I’m on my way!
Joan kicks her feet into the man’s leg and her stiletto digs into the flesh. The man lets out a cry of pain and releases his grip on Joan. She scrambles away, but the man grabs Joan by her hair, causing her to cry out in surprise.
He yanks her around and slams his fist into her face. Stunned by the blow, Joan staggers backwards before collapsing, landing face up on her back.
She coughs and blinks as she hears fighting. Not being in pain despite the punch to the face, Joan hears a clatter and turns her head to side. A knife with a bloody blade lies on the ground next to her.
A man cries out in pain and Joan feels herself being picked up again. A flash of light and Joan finds herself in familiar surroundings.
Are you okay? I brought you home. I’m already telling Mum and Dad what happened.
Yeah, I use them a lot these days.
Is Leo okay?
He is fine, you’re not.
I got punched once. It doesn’t hurt.
I have removed the pain for you.
Thank you Ceta.
You have slight bruising across your lower face and your nose is bleeding. You also have a bleeding cut on your upper lip. Other than those superficial injuries, you are fine due to my reinforcements to your body.
Good to know. Abby, can we talk out loud please?
“Sure,” replies Abby as she leans Joan upright on the couch, “Do you need help?”
“Ceta is taking care of it with the nanobots,” answers Joan with a shake of her head, “She is very skilled and experienced.”
“Hmm,” mutters Abby.
“I’m not feeling any pain,” points out Joan, “So what happened?”
“From what I can tell,” replies Abby, “And I have another duplicate there, some True Humanity thugs wanted to hurt our family and they figured the best way to do that was through hurting you. Not killing you. Just roughing up you and Leo.”
“Leo kicked their arses,” says Joan, having faith in her boyfriend’s skills.
“That he did,” confirms Abby, “From Leo’s memories and those of the thugs, the plan was for two to grab you and beat you up while the other three dealt with Leo. Between them, three had handguns while the other two had knives. As they grabbed you, Leo took down one of the gun-wielders before the thugs could begin to threaten him. He completely kicked their butts and only got nicked a couple of times.”
Joan briefly remembers the bloody knife that landed next to her.
Leo is an experienced fighter and can more than hold his own even without any of his equipment.
“He isn’t in trouble,” continues Abby, “Any force he used was perfectly justified and Alex and Martin are on the scene now and the police will soon be joining them.”
“Hey Abby,” says Joan as she looks down at dirty dress, “Could I get a change into something more comfortable?”
“Sure,” replies Abby as she reaches down to touch Joan’s clothing, “Mum is on her way just so you know.”
A moment after Abby touches it, Joan’s aqua dress morphs into a grey hoodie and a pair of jogging bottoms.
Nice, warm and loose clothing.
Joan kicks her shoes off her feet as her mother enters the room. As she looks up at her mother, Joan feels an instant pang of jealousy.
Her mother Noelle Fowler is absolutely beautiful as she is an A+ Class Aphrodite. Her features are refined and sharp while her skin is only slightly wrinkled, just enough to tell that fact she is no longer a young woman. Her beauty is enough that Noelle looks like she is in her mid-thirties rather than her late forties.
And like every other Aphrodite out there, Noelle has a ridiculously good figure, something shown off by the red gown she is wearing. Something Joan knows she’ll never have outside of getting her own powers. The worst part is that Joan has inherited most of her physical features from her mother, making all the more obvious to her that she will never have this level of beauty naturally.
Noelle’s red hair is longer, sleeker and brighter than Joan’s and is currently tied backed in a fancy hairdo while her caring green eyes are the exact same shade as Joan’s.
“Are okay Joan darling?” asks Mother as she swoops in and sits down next to Joan, embracing her youngest daughter in hug.
“Yes,” replies Joan as her mother’s arms wrap around her and pull hr closer, “I don’t feel a thing.”
“Don’t worry about a thing dear,” says Mother in Joan’s ear, “I’ll take care of it all.”
Why does it feel so nice to be held against her?
She is your mother.
Is that truly what she has done to upset you?
So what actions are upsetting you?
She abandoned me! I lost my mother and a year and a half ago!
Being silent are you?
What would Leo say?
What would Leo-oh, I remember what he said. “You are upset and angry with your family for abandoning you and now they are genuinely trying to be there for you yet you keep trying to push them away?”
And do you trust Leo?
Yes, yes I do. Thanks Ceta.
“Mum,” whispers Joan as she looks up at her mother.
“Yes Joan?” replies Mum in surprise.
“Always be there for me,” says Joan as she hugs her mum back.