sun’s first light [3/?]

part one, part two 

Krypto’s breaths are heavy against her hand. Warm and slow, she thinks he’s probably fallen asleep again. The street is quiet below. Too late- or early?- for people to be out and about.

The lights are faded out when she looks outside. The city as close to silent as it can get to her.

(She knows loud.

Knows it’s Eliza’s hands that tugged down a blanket over her head, pressed headphones over her ears every day those first few weeks, and then at least once a week after. Jeremiah’s chest warm and solid under her cheek, heart thumping too fast, too fast, but they were trying to help.

Always trying to help.)

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life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all. | helen keller

one month ago i decided to take a leap of faith, one i wasn’t quite sure how [or if] i could. but i did, and here i am – living the life, in sunny florida!

it all started when a job opportunity came up in atlanta last fall. at that point, rhyan + i had a heart to heart about his thoughts on me taking a position out of state. he assured me if it was something i wanted to do, to go for it, because the opportunity may not be there if i waited until he graduated high school. he talked about how he’s almost seventeen, doing his own thing, and he didn’t want me just waiting around for the little time we actually spent together. he knows the only reason i stayed in the same area i grew up in was because i had him young + couldn’t move him away from his dad – but that i was oh, so ready to get out of north carolina. he reassured me he would be okay, we’d have facetime + the times we did have together would be more quality time anyway. plus, he would just move in with his dad + grandparents full-time, so it wouldn’t be much of a change. 

so with that, i went forward with pursuing the atlanta opportunity – which fell through in january. i was really disappointed + felt like i was back at square one. nowhere to go, stuck again. i kept going around in circles, trying to figure out what else i could do to get out of my rut; until march 30th, when bobbi said something that shook me awake. she said ‘grace, we love you + we will always support you, but if you want change, you can’t keep waiting around for something to fall into your lap – you’re going to have to take that step + make it happen.’ it was exactly what i needed to hear. 

she suggested booking a flight down to st. pete to visit them for a few days + maybe look at some areas i might think about moving to. so i booked the flight, started perusing the internet for areas i might like + ended up finding the perfect little cottage on treasure island. it was the only one like it: newly renovated, fully furnished, in my price range, front yard overlooking the bay, one block from the beach, with a roommate. it was available the first week of april, which was not even feasible for me, but i called anyway. talked to the landlady, explained my situation, and she agreed to give me first right of refusal – if i wanted it + could get things in order to move down. from there, i talked to the realty company i was renting my house from + they agreed to let me give my 30 day notice, which i did. i then talked to my manager at work, explained my situation + he said there was a guy in charleston who could take over my territory as soon as necessary. i talked to rhyan + his dad/grandparents, who all encouraged me to go. 

since my flight wasn’t until the middle of april, my parents went over to look at the cottage + signed off on it for me. little did i know, it’s only 6 miles from their house! i was finally able to visit: fell in love with the area, met my landlords/roommate, took some time to relax + let the fact that within a span of 5 days i had flipped my life upside down sink in. packing ensued when i got back home: got all my keepsake stuff into storage, sold the big furniture, moved all rhyan’s stuff to his dad’s, packed the car with as much as i could + hit the road to florida. 

i’ve taken the past week to get settled in, which has been wonderful. i absolutely love it here. i’ve been taking daily bike rides on the adorable beach cruiser i found on craigslist, spending copious amounts of time on the beach, getting up early for my burn bootcamp classes, checking out the local spots around town + just taking it all in. i went yesterday to start putting in applications + was hired on the spot by the general manager of my first pick of places to work. i’ll be serving drinks in the pool/beach bar area at an adorable surfer-esque throwback hotel two miles from my house, which means lots of fun in the sun during daytime hours this summer. 

it’s just amazing to me, that every day i wake up in paradise + know without a doubt that taking the first step of faith led me here. i truly feel god was just waiting for me to make the move, because he had everything under control from there. it’s been so seamless, everything has fallen into place + i just feel so grateful – for bobbi, for giving me that push + for god, leading my path. 

life really is good, my friends.

but soccer luke would see you in the stands at one of his games and he would literally stop and stare because you were the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen and when you caught him staring you’d blush and give him a small wave at which his face would light up at as he grinned back at you until the soccer ball soared out of nowhere, almost hitting him square in the face and his coach would yell, “Get your head in the game, Hemmings!” You would giggle, a hand covering your mouth as Luke would blush furiously, jogging back to his place on the field but his embarrassment wouldnt stop him from finding you after the game, all sweaty and out of breath

Don't Need To Protect Me. (A Wrestler!Mike AU).

Requested: by the gorgeous @dreamingoutloudwithyou. ❤

He had been a fan of wrestling since he was little, enjoying the adrenaline rush and the way it felt to slam another body into the hard mat. And he was good. Not just good, flawless. He could take down men that were twice his size with ease. He was the best of the best. And he was ruthless.

He was a bit harsher than he should have been, borderline inhumane. People feared him, with good reason, and they shied away when he showed up. But then he met you.

His eyes were drawn to you the very moment you walked into Mikey’s, the gym he owned. You looked nervous, the way your bag was held to your side with a tight grip and you kept your eyes downcast as you seemed unsure where to go. He watched you, punching the bag as he tried to decipher what someone like you was doing somewhere like here.

And it became clear that you were about to bolt when you glanced more than a few times at the door. He watched as you turned, your hand already poised on the knob when he called out for you.

“Hey.” He shouted, jogging over and you started. Your back hit the door slightly as you caught a glimpse of him or more importantly his arm muscles. He paused in front of you, holding out his wrapped hand for you to shake.

“Oh, uh, hello.” You stuttered, shaking his hand as you kept from making eye contact.

“Can I help you?” He didn’t do subtleties but you were the most out of place thing here and there was a picture of cats playing checkers on the wall.

And he wasn’t smiling. He had this intense demeanor that made you uncomfortable because everyone you knew were friendly people who had grins permanently plastered on their lips.

“Uh, I don’t think I should be here.” You stated, flinching slightly as he moved his hand up to run it through sweaty hair. He raised an eyebrow knowingly. He recognized the signs of someone that needed to feel powerful again. “I should go.”

“Why?” He questioned, hand coming up to the door to hold it closed slightly. He didn’t put enough pressure that you couldn’t leave if you did want to but enough that you would understand he did want to know. When you didn’t turn, he could tell you had been frightened by his sudden motion so he moved away from you.

“Alright. Maybe we got off on the wrong foot. My name’s Michael. I own the place.” He started over, watching the tension slightly leave your shoulders and they slouched.

“Y/N.” You introduced, glancing over your shoulder to make sure he had backed up before slowly turning back to him. “Sorry, I just, I don’t really think I should have come.” You reiterated, fingers gripping the ends of your shirt.

And he was intrigued. You were shy but you had this ferocity behind your eyes like a lioness that had been scorned by the lion.

“Then why did you come in the first place?” He questioned, and you faltered.

And he knew it had something to do with his appearance. Maybe his rainbow of hair or muscular arms. It could even be how he towered over you. But you were uncomfortable in your own skin and he recognized the nervous look behind those doe like eyes.

“I need to learn how to defend myself.” You finally spoke up, watching the multiple groups of people around as they practiced their chosen sport. While he was primarily a wrestler, he had taken plenty of boxing lessons and worked out regularly. His gym offered choices.

“I can do that.” And you tilted your head as you finally made eye contact with him for more than a millisecond. And he knew he was absolutely screwed because behind the fear and the uncertainty, he could see gratefulness and even the slightest bit of trust already.

“You?” You questioned and he had nodded before he could overthink it. He wouldn’t let someone else teach you when he could do it himself. Not when the most beautiful person he had ever seen walked into his gym with that kind of fear swimming in their eyes.

And you agreed to lessons, or more specifically one lesson. The first punch you had thrown into his hand had been weak and timid, almost like you were afraid of hurting him. But he hit a nerve when he said what is it darling? Scared that you might not be strong enough to take me on? And he hadn’t meant to make you so angry, so livid. He had meant to rile you up, maybe make you a little irritated but when you punched his hand the next time, he thought you might have broken yours. You shook it out and continued and he knew he’d made the right choice when he cleared out his schedule for you.

You kept coming back, getting better and stronger. He had this weird sense of pride every time you learned a new move or perfected another. You were so willing to learn, so ready to be taught. You were open and kind, having broken through the wall he kept up and making him laugh on multiple occasions.

And you didn’t treat him the way other people did. You took the time to get to know him, to see past the way he looked and you barely flinched when he made sure you were aware that he was a wrestler. But then you caught him off guard.

You asked if you could come to one of his fights. And it was all he could do to not scream no at you. He normally would have invited any and everyone. He was prideful about what he did but he absolutely never wanted you to see him like that. He was vicious and somehow he had just gotten you to start opening up to him. You had always walked the line of professional and friends-in-the-making perfectly. You never crossed but he so desperately wanted you to. And you were just opening up to him about what had gotten you so scared that you came into his gym looking like a scared child.

But he invited you nonetheless, the time and date being put in your phone so you would definitely be there.

And you shouldn’t have gone. Not because seeing him in the ring scared you, but because moments before entering the ring he was talking to you. And his opponent picked up on it.

You couldn’t hear what was going on in the ring, but it was abundantly clear that the guy had said something that didn’t sit well with Michael. So he was brutal. Michael was pinning the guy with a force you’d never seen, almost crossing the line but his eyes would just barely catch a glimpse of your worried face, your fingers tangled as they pressed to your lips and he played by the rules.

After the fight was when it all actually came crashing down. Michael won, of course, but not long after you were making your way back to where he was and you found yourself cornered by his still slightly bloodied opponent.

“Well hello sexy.” He tried to be seductive but the stench of sweat and the red blood stains on his skin did little to help. “You belong to Michael, I must presume.” And you were shy. You wanted to punch the guy in the face because you did not belong to a person, especially not Michael.

“You know, he may be able to fight but I’m sure that’s all he can do.”


“So whatdya say? Wanna come back to mine for the night?” He smiled and maybe it could have been a little attractive once upon a time but he was missing far too many teeth and the ones that were left were bloodied. You thought you were going to vomit.

“No.” You responded, that being the only word you could get out.

“No?” The guy replied, shocked by the blatant disinterest. He grasped your arm when you tried to get around him. “Who do you think you are talking to?”

A fist come out of nowhere, landing squarely on his jaw.

“Apparently a jackoff who doesn’t have an understanding of what no means.”

Michael was glaring down at the guy as you scurried behind him, holding onto his arm with a grip that tightened by the second. He put a hand back, his arm curling around your waist protectively as you peeked over his shoulder.

“You good?” He questioned as he felt you shaking against him.

“Yeah.” You muttered, “We’re good. Let’s go.” You pleaded but it didn’t do anything to calm him. The other guy stood up, his name Jack or Jason, you couldn’t remember, he lunged for the two of you. Michael sidestepped, pushing you against the wall protectively as he landed a second punch that put the guy on the ground, blood flowing from his lip as he laid unconscious.

“Mike.” You gasped, sliding from his grip with a shocked look. He could have killed the guy and while you appreciated it, it was terrifying.

“Babe.” He stated, not censoring the nickname he’d tried so hard not to call you.

“Is he?” He was refuting the statement before you even finished.

“No, no.” You flinched when he put his hands on your waist, shrugging them off much to his dismay as he admitted, “He’s alive. I just punched a little too hard.”

You nodded, bile rising in your throat as you looked over the passed out boy in front of you.

“I need to go.” You were turning the opposite way to where you knew the exit was and he wanted you to stay, to not be afraid of him or look at him like he was seconds away from punching you in the face as well.

“Don’t, just, please stay.” He had his hand held in such a way that he was moments from grabbing your arm but he thought better of it, not wanting to scare you.

And though you paused, tripping over your feet slightly in contemplation, you were scurrying through the hallways away from him as fast as your legs could carry you.

You pushed the exit door with more force than probably necessary, practically falling through it as you were running to your car. It took a few tries before you unlocked and got the key into the car ignition, your breathing heavy as you went peeling out of the parking lot and heading towards your house.

He expected you to show up at the gym for your next lesson. You had only missed one when you had to work late and you had left an adorably long apology message on his machine to let him know. So when two pm rolled around, he expected to see you clad in comfy exercise clothes but by 4 pm, he made the correct assumption that you were not showing up.

And maybe it wasn’t protocol at the gym, to visit your client when they didn’t show, but you were so much more. He was more than surprised when he pulled into your driveway to see you curled up on the porch swing with a mug of hot chocolate. Another steaming cup sat in front of you. You didn’t look at him but he knew it was for him.

The two of you sat in silence for a few moments, you sipping your drink and he was watching you.

“He never hit me.” You were the first one to break the silence.


“The way you act around me. My ex never hit me. He tried but I broke his nose.” You sipped your drink, finally you made eye contact with him to give a small smile. “I felt hopeless. I knew I defended myself but I realized I got lucky. Had he been able to recover before I got out or if he had caught my wrist or I had missed, it could have gone a different way. I wanted to be able to take care of it myself but when he grabbed me, I felt that way again. I knew how to punch and kick, you taught me, but I froze.” You gave a fake laugh, your head leaning over onto his shoulder, sighing. He went tense for a just a moment before relaxing.

“You’re not scared of me?” You laughed again, this one more real than the last.

“Absolutely not. I just wish you didn’t have to do that for me. You don’t need to protect me but I appreciate the fact that you did.” You turned your head, chin resting on his shoulder as you looked up at him. He glanced down at you, his empty mug hanging from fingers that were almost too big for the cup.

“I’ll always protect you.”

You couldn’t look away even if you wanted to as he slowly leaned in. You sat up, lips pressing to his in a long awaited kiss. One of his hands came up, the back of your head being cupped in his hand as he ran long fingers through your hair. Soft pads of gentle fingers were gliding along the skin exposed where your shirt had pulled up when tugging you into his lap.

And the kiss was everything you had wanted and thought it would be. Until the porch swing started to tip. You screeched as Michael kicked his legs, one arm staying wrapped around your waist as the other pushed him up to keep you both from falling.

Once the swing stayed steady, you were still sitting in his lap and both of your eyes were very wide before the two of you were laughing. And not like a small I am uncomfortable kind of way but in a this is hilarious because we were making out on a porch swing and we almost died kind of way. You put your head in his chest, laughing into pronounced collarbones as he giggled- yes, actually giggled- as he wrapped both of his arms around you. He put his head against yours, his body shaking and you putting your arms around his neck. The both of you letting out different emotions that were buried within you.

“I like you.” He admitted, the two of you relaxing as you stopped laughing and felt the slight tension that had encompassed the porch since he had arrived. You had stood, the both of you moved to the front door, you debating if you should go ahead and invite him in or not.

“I like you too.” You put your hand on his cheek, the slight bruising from where he had hit the mat a little too hard visible.

“I never want you to be afraid of me, you know that right?” He wanted to be sure you knew he would never even begin to hurt you or try to.

“I know. But if you ever do, a pretty great wrestler taught me how to throw a right hook.” You grinned as he gave you a cheeky smile, leaning down for a second more sweeter kiss.

“So what do you say we do this right,” He started, “I’m Michael Clifford, wrestler extraordinaire. I would like to take you on a date.” He gave you what could be described as a Grinch grin.

“Well Michael. I think I would like that very much.” You nodded as you pushed your front door open, cocking an eyebrow at him as you invited him inside. “Can I invite you in for some badly cooked pizza and movies? A few beers?” He was already inside, hanging his jacket up and his hand holding onto the wall as he kicked off his shoes.

You laughed as he sprawled on the couch, his arms spreading as he got comfortable. He threw a smile at you over his shoulder and you shook your head, grabbing the mugs before you went to the kitchen to microwave the pizza slices. As he talked to you from the couch, his body turned talking to you about random things and periodically asking if you want help to which you would reply with an exasperated no but secretly appreciating it. But as you watched him on your couch, sitting there like it’s where he belonged, you didn’t regret walking into that gym.

And it hadn’t been a very easy road, and it would have bumps along the way, but with him smiling at you the next day under fluorescent and flickering lights in the gym, you could see something bright for you two.


-TheHuntersHuntress xx

Request here. Masterlist.


What? Final Fantasy Explorers out in NA/EU this January ⊟

I had pretty much written this one off, but out of nowhere Square Enix announced plans to localize the multiplayer 3DS game Final Fantasy Explorers. It’s out January 26 in North America and January 29 in Europe. Preorder it here!

It’s Final Fantasy and not Dragon Quest, but I’m still taking a sense of hope away from this. Look, Square Enix is bringing over an unexpected 3DS RPG! Not to mention… aside from DQ implications, I want to play this game too.

BUY Final Fantasy Explorers, Theatrhythm: Curtain Call, Theatrhythm