Shades of gray

I can’t write Superman. I can only write Batman. And Catwoman. From Before I Sleep:

“Och, of course you know how you can be hurt. You’ve been hurt. And you have baited men, haven’t you. You won’t tell me, so you have.” His lips pressed into a thin line. The gray eyes were starry and afraid. “I knew you were pushing me into taking action with you, at the lake all those years ago. Did you bait Arthur into beating you?”

I let my eyes sweep up to his, still and without denial. His face cracked with disbelief.

“God in Heaven, why? Why on earth…” he left off, with his mouth hanging open. Shadows gathered around his eyes. “You wanted to have marks on you when you were found. Is that what it was? Did you want me to see them, to make me do something about them? As if kidnapping and rape might not be enough?”

Cora was asleep. I went to the bed to tuck her in. His gaze followed me across the room.

“You told me that you bring out in people what they really are,” he whispered.

I snapped around. “And you told me it would come down to you or him. And you told me that the voice deep inside you told you to do brave things—and sometimes pure mad and violent things. Murder was on your mind from the very beginning.”

I crossed the room so that I stood very close to him, but not touching. I was surprised to observe my arms cross themselves in subconscious defense. “You had already decided that you would kill him, if it came to it. You decided even before we were transported.”

I could see the cords in his neck flex as he opened and closed his hands. His eyes wandered from mine, and finally fell to the floor. “I must speak with Matthew.” He pushed past me.


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