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One For The Memory, Two For The Pain




Request from qslucid: I just saw your amazing Samifer fic, wonder if I can request for another? Maybe Demon Blood Addicted Sam, I imagine the scene of Sam drinks Lucifers’ blood and very enjoying it, whether salvation or corruption in the end would be good. <3

I hope you enjoy it!

Requested: 19.04. 25

Written: 19.05.02

Words: 1,897

Samifer, DemonBloodAddict!Sam, Hallucifer


“I told you he’d start to suspect something.” The blonde stretched his legs out in front of him, eyes on the giants’ kneeling form as he dug through the closet.

“Oh, well, good for you,” Sam continued flinging clothes behind him, getting increasingly desperate the deeper he dug, “C’mon, it’s gotta be in here somewhere.”

Lucifer peered over the edge of the bed, “What are you even looking for?”

“My contacts,” he reached the back wall of the closet, face falling, “They’re not here.”

“Contacts?” Lucifer sat up, tilting his head slightly in curiosity, “Since when do you wear contacts?”

Sam huffed, spinning away from the closet on his knees, scanning the room, “I don’t. I bought them after the last time they’d….” he let his voice trail off as his eyes landed on the dresser, maybe I moved them? He got up and made his way over to it, pulling out one of the drawers, beginning to dig through it.

“You’re worried your eyes will change?” Lucifer moved to sit on the edge of the bed frame, eyes wide, “How much have you been drinking?”

Sam shot a look over his shoulder, “What? No. Not that much. Shut up,” he turned back to the dresser, beginning his assault on the next drawer.

“Then why do you need them?”

“Hey, Sam,” Deans’ voice made the giant jump, and his head whipped up to face the open door. The blonde surveyed the clothes strewn about the floor, and the open closet doors before his eyes landed on his brother, hunched over the dresser, fistfuls of clothing in both hands, “… You lose something?”

“Uh, yeah,” Sam placed the clothes in his hand down, and straightened up slowly, “Y’know that pocket knife you gave me last year at Christmas? I was trying to find it.”

His brother didn’t look convinced but he nodded anyway, “Steaks are almost done.”

“Okay, great,” the brunette forced himself to smile, “Thanks.”

“They’ll be done in fifteen. Think you’ll be done before then?”

Sam forced a laugh and nodded, “Yeah, I’ll be down in a few.”

His brother did one more take of the room before leaving, closing the door behind him.

Sam let out a heavy breath before turning back to the dresser, beginning to dig through it again, that was close.

“Sam,” Lucifers’ hand on his shoulder made him turn. The devil searched his eyes, “You should get yourself sorted. I’ll clean this up.”

“Don’t be stupid,” the giant waved a dismissive hand at the devil before turning back to the dresser, “I’ll find them and then I’ll-”

“Sam,” he kept his voice hard, “Go shower. Now.”

“But I-”

“Do you want them to interrogate you over dinner?”

The giant open and closed his mouth silently before shaking his head.

“Good, then go. I’ll deal with this.”

Sam raised his eyebrow at the blonde, why are you suddenly being so nice? “You sure?”

“If you get caught you won’t be any fun to hang around,” Lucifer began picking clothes up from the floor, “And try to work on not looking so strung out.”

“I’m not-”

The devil pointed to the door, “Go.”

Sam rolled his eyes but obeyed, padding down the hallway to the bathroom. He shut the door, before turning to look at himself in the mirror, okay… maybe I do look a little dishevelled. He leaned to his right, turning the tap on the tub, nothing a shower can’t fix.

“Hey, Winchester!”

The call made the giant turn, smoothing his shirt back down as he saw a person standing in the open doorway, who the hell is that? The guy came toward him, evil smile twisting his features.

“Christo.” The mans’ eyes flicked black, damn it.

Sam instinctively took a step backward, feeling his leg hit the edge of the tub, scanning the counter for anything he could use to kill the demon.

“Aw, what’s the matter, Sam? Forgot to bring your special knife with you?” The thing laughed as he almost fell backward into the tub, “At least it’ll be an easy clean up.”

“How’d you get in here?”

“Pfft, please,” the demon gave him a pointed look, “This ain’t exactly Fort Knox.”

Sam flicked his eyes to his left, noting his razor sitting in the shower caddy. He turned back to the demon, I should have enough time to-

“What’re you smirking at?” The demon was no more then a few inches from his face, “You want to die or something?”

Sam lunged for the razor, slashing it across the demons’ throat. The demon stumbled back a few steps in surprise, giving Sam enough time to break the blade out of the plastic, before slashing his throat again, deeper this time. The smell of blood filled the room, and Sam couldn’t help the relaxation he felt at the familiar stench. He swung the body around, holding it up above the bathtub, subconsciously licking his lips as he was mere inches away from the wound.

He starred at the blood, free flowing from the demons’ neck, eyes transfixed as it traced it’s way down toward its’ chest. It wouldn’t be that bad if I had some… would it? No, he half-turned away from the body, I can’t. I need to- he caught a glimpse of himself in mirror, noting his bloodshot eyes and too white face, before turning back to the body in his arms, he did say to not look so strung out…

Just enough for me to not look so haggard, Sam licked his way up to the wound, mouth closing around the middle of the cut, sucking that wonderful red liquid down his throat. His body practically exploded the moment the liquid hit his tongue, he saw fireworks behind his eyelids and felt his body simultaneously get its’ second wind and relax.

He closed his eyes as he sucked the blood down, revelling in the way it warmed his throat as he gulped it down.

“Sam?”

The brunette jumped at the knock on the door, dropping the body into the tub, watching as if in slow motion as the water began washing the blood down the drain, shit.

“Sam?”

He tore his eyes away from the body, doing his best to let go of the disappointment he felt as the blood mixed with the water before swirling down the drain, “Y-yeah?”

“Steaks are ready.”

“O-okay,” he turned the water off, “I’ll be down in a minute.”

He held his breath as he watched the shadow of feet under the door. They stayed a moment, and he could practically see his brothers’ raised hand through the door. He heard his brother sigh before watching as the shadows’ turned and disappeared, hopefully back downstairs.

He turned in a slow circle around the bathroom, noting the lack of blood spray on the wall, what the hell? He turned his attention back to the tub, eyebrows raising at the lack of body. How the hell…? He turned his eyes to the too-small window against the back wall of the shower, not too surprised to see it still shut. He sat on the edge of the tub, maybe I didn’t slit his throat deep enough… maybe he was still conscious and vanished.

But why didn’t he just kill me? Sam got up, shaking his head, going over to the sink to wash the blood from his face. He splashed some cool water on his face, noting the way it felt colder then normal. He patted his face dry before running his hands through his hair, smoothing it back against his head, heading for the door, I guess I’m on salt-line duty tonight.

 

 

Sam let out a heavy sigh as his body hit the mattress, that was the longest dinner ever.

“Well what did you expect?” Lucifers’ voice made the giant look up, following the devil with his eyes from the doorway to the dresser, “You know everything seems slower when you’re juiced.” At the look the brunette gave him, he waved a dismissive hand at him, “Don’t bother. As if I didn’t hear that scuffle in the bathroom.”

“Speaking of,” Sam got up, despite the screaming of his body not to, “How did he even get in here?”

Lucifer kept his expression careful, “What do you mean?”

“It’s not like Bobby to leave a salt-line unchecked. If there was a break in one of the lines, he would’ve fixed it, right?” Sam brought one hand up to the side of his head at it began throbbing, “He’s not exactly lax about that kind of thing,” he grit his teeth as the pounding began to get worse, involuntarily squinting his eyes against the now-too-bright light, “What the hells’ wrong with me?”

Lucifer pushed off the dresser, walking over to the light switch, flicking it off, “You’d think you’d know by now.”

The pounding slightly lessened and he gave the devil his best confused look, “What?”

“Sam,” Lucifer made his way to the bed, sitting on the edge of it, “You were my vessel. Did you really think any bottom of the barrel demons’ blood would do?” He crossed his legs, shaking his head, “Didn’t Ruby explain this to you?”

Sam shook his head, instantly regretting it as it took the pounding in his head up to a violent stabbing.

The blonde placed an uncharacteristically kind hand on his knee, “If you keep drinking bottom-feeders’ blood, it’s going to affect your body. Hell, it is affecting your body already. That headache you’ve been pretending not to have for the past two hours? That’s because of the blood. That demon that came to visit you, Damon? I know, ironic name, but he’s about as bottom barrel as one can get. You, my vessel,” Lucifer slid his hand up from his knee to his face, “You need nothing less then the highest quality blood. Knights of Hell, Lilith, or even,” his eyes sparkled dangerously, taking a deep breath, “Mine.”

Sam clenched his jaw against the pain in his head, doing his best to turn this new information over, to make it make sense. He watched through his eyelashes as Lucifer dragged a razor blade across his wrist, before holding it up to the brunette, giving him a small smile. Sam wasn’t sure if it was because of the pain in his head that was impairing his judgement, or something else, but he latched onto the devils’ arm and began sucking down that wondrous bright red liquid.

As soon as the first drops hit his tongue, he felt his body relax, and the pain in his head begin to subside. He brought both hands up, keeping the arm pressed against his face with so much force, his knuckles turned white.

Lucifer chuckled, bringing his free arm up to pet his head, “That’s it, Sam. Drink as much as you need. You’ve tapped a never-ending keg.”

Sam kept sucking that crimson liquid down, Lucifer oddly content to sit there and wait until he drank his fill, the sun disappearing from view being the only indicator of how long they sat there. The brunette finally retracted the devils’ arm, an audible pop ringing throughout the room as he let go.

Sam flopped backward on the bed, eyes closing in satisfaction. Lucifer kept petting his hair, watching as the giants’ breath began to even out, “Very good, Sam.”


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Flipped




Written for the SPN Amino apps’ What If? Weekend Challenge. (What if Jess went with Sam when Dean picked him up at school?) Coda to Pilot.

Written: 18.01.20

Words: 325

SamxJess


“Jess, this isn’t a discussion, you’re not coming.”

“C’mon, Sammy,” Dean ran his eyes over her body, “I think it’d be fun being in a car with her.”

Now I really regret not wearing long sleeves, she crossed her arms over her chest, suppressing an eye roll when Deans’ face fell. Sam starred at his brother, how can you be thinking like that right now?

He shook his head, turning back to his girl, “It’s too dangerous, if something were to happen to you-”

“Too dangerous?” She strode over to the closet, beginning to stuff clothes in a bag, “So what? I get to stay here worrying about you? Not happening.”

“Yeah, Sammy, how is that fair?”

Jess scoffed, no way in hell am I leaving him alone with that.

“Dean can you please just-”

“Okay, okay, geez. I was just trying to help,” she heard Dean grumble as he made his way to the door, “I’ll be in the car.”

The door slammed shut, and now it was just her and Sam. She didn’t bother turning or stopping packing, “Do you really think I’m going to let you do anything dangerous alone with him?”

“Jess,” he padded over to her, laying a hand on her shoulder, how can I make you understand? “I-I can’t lose you.”

She closed her eyes, why do you have to use that voice? She took a breath before spinning around, “Sam-” she cut herself off as she saw his puppy dog eyes starring back at her, you’re not making this easy, “You think I could lose you?”

He blinked, puppy eyes disappearing, as if he didn’t think of that, she placed a kiss on his cheek, “I need to know you’re safe.”

He sighed, looking defeated, “I won’t let anything happen to, I promise.”

She smiled before turning around him, making her way to the door, he’s so over-dramatic. We’re just finding his dad, how dangerous could it be?


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(Red String of) Fate




Written: 19.02.01

Words: 730

Teen!Chesters, Abusive!Alcoholic!John,

TW: SH


He starred down at the red string tied around his wrist in annoyance, seriously? You had to pick this week? As if the blonde didn’t have enough to deal with, now his stupid ‘red string of fate’ chose to become brighter.

According to the lore, that meant he and his ‘true love’ were getting closer – the brighter it gets, the better chance you have of running into your fated other half. It could happen any time, any age, and was supposed to be a celebratory thing – you finally finding your other half out there in the big wide world.

Dean thought it was closer to a crock of shit then some fairytale. People were way too obsessed with finding their ‘love’, some would travel to every corner of the world they could in desperation, and the girls at school? They hooked up with pretty much any guy they could get their hands on – some of them thinking the fated love needed to be ‘activated’ – only to end up running around the room gathering their clothes, never to speak to the guy again when the strings didn’t glow intensely.

No, it was much better in Deans’ opinion to leave well enough alone and go about your own life – if the stories were true and you were fated to be together, you’d run into each other at some point, regardless of if you went searching for them, right?

“Dean!”

The shout from downstairs startled the blonde, and he quickly buttoned the sleeves on his shirt, no need making a big deal out of this.

He trooped downstairs to see John standing at the base, holding Sam by the collar.

“How many times do I have to tell you to keep an eye on your brother?”

“Sorry, Sir,” Dean grabbed his brother by the wrist – not missing the cut over his eye that was most definitely not there this morning – all but pulling him into the banister.

“I was in the middle of a fucking important job! Y’know, the kind that puts food on the table for your sorry asses!”

“It won’t happen again,” Dean roughly shoved his brother up the stairs, behind him.

“It better not,” the brunette turned on his heel, picking the half-drunk bottle of Jameson up from the coffee table, “He better have that homework done by the time I finish.”

“Yes, Sir,” Dean watched as his father collapsed on the couch before he turned back up the stairs, following his brother. Once they were in the privacy of their bedroom, he turned to his brother, “What happened?”

Sam sighed, deflating as he sat on his bed, “I was just trying to go out for a run,” he ran a hand through his hair, sleeve pulling down revealing his own red string, it was glowing too, “I didn’t turn the light on because I didn’t want to wake him. I got all the way to the door when I accidentally kicked over an empty bottle.”

The blonde let out a breath, running a hand through his hair as he swallowed down the lump in his throat, “They weren’t at the curb?”

“He said he needed to save them for a ‘project’,” he gave his brother a pointed look before flopping backward onto the bed, shirt lifting slightly revealing angry, red lines across his too-thin hips, those look fresh, “How much longer?”

“Not long,” Dean crossed the room, kneeling beside the bed to pull out the box of cash he’d been saving, “Just a few more weeks.”

“You’ve been saying that since I was 6, Dean.”

“Why do you think I never say a number?” He cocked an eyebrow at the upside-down smile his brother was giving him, “Just hang on a few more months. Once I’m 18 I can become your guardian and we can finally get outta here.” He replaced the lid and put the box in the closet, he made sure to keep it’s location rotating, just in case. He made his way over to the bed sitting beside his brother, tilting his head trying to get a better look at the cuts, “How much longer until you stop this, huh?”

Sam quickly pulled his shirt down and sat up in one fluid motion, sly smile on his face, “Not long. Just a few more weeks.”

Dean let out a dry chuckle and shook his head, “Deal.”


Wish it was longer? Let me know in the comments! (Longer version would turn into Destiel/Sabriel)

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Drop Shadows (PHSH Effect #2)




Now that I’ve shown you how to scale an image without distorting it, I’m going to delve a bit into specifics with this effect: adding a Drop Shadow to text.

It’s not the fanciest or coolest (or hardest) effect you can make in PHSH, but you gotta walk before you can run, right?

Let’s get started.

Step 1 – Open PHSH and make a new document. For simplicity, I made my document 6in x 6in.

Step 2 – Going down to your Type tool, you’ll want to click and drag somewhere on your canvas to create a text box. Type whatever you want in the box. You’ll notice that when you create a Text box, it automatically makes the text a New Layer.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Drop Shadow - Text Box - PHSH Tutorial, book design, cover design

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Drop Shadow - Text Box w Words

Step 3 – To resize your Text box, click and drag one end of the box toward the words typed. Do this until the box is more or less the same size as the words.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Drop Shadow - Text Box Resized

Step 4 – You could also change the colour of your text, or the font and size you’re using in the top menu while you’re in the text box.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Drop Shadow - Font, Size and Colour Options

For this tutorial, I’m just going to keep things simple and leave the text black against a white background.

Step 5 – In the Layers panel (to the right) right-click on the Text Layer and select Blending Options from the menu.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Drop Shadow - Blending Options Right-Clicked

Step 6 – From the left-side menu in the Blending Options dialogue box, click on Drop Shadow.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Drop Shadow - Blending Options Dialogue Box

Step 7 – This is where it can get complicated, depending on what you need the Drop Shadow for. Since this is just a tutorial, I’ll try to keep this part as simple as possible.

Looking at the Drop Shadow options, these values are all the defaults for my computer. If yours is different that’s okay, because you often won’t be keeping the default values anyway.

It’s hard, but you can see the Drop Shadow effect applied between this picture and the last one.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Drop Shadow - Drop Shadow Default




Let’s go through the options:

Blend Mode – This will change how the effect looks. This I feel like has bigger impact on some of the other Blending Mode options, such as Colour Overlay. For Drop Shadows, I usually just leave the default Multiply setting.

Beside Blend Mode, you’ll notice there’s a colour swatch. Clicking on it will bring you to the Colour Picker, where you can change the colour of your shadow. This is helpful if you want to match the shadow to the background colour of your document.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Drop Shadow - Colour Change

Opacity – This changes how dark the shadow appears. If you want the shadow to be more transparent, lower this setting.

Angle – This changes how the shadow looks. For instance, the default angle 120 makes the shadow appear from the top left corner down. Playing around with the angle will change where the shadow appears. (I drastically changed the distance to better demonstrate the changing angles)

Also, I always uncheck the Use Global Light box that’s by the angle. If you’re adding a shadow to more then one piece of text, Use Global Light will change the angle, distance, etc. for all the text, not just the one you’re working on. This can be annoying if needing to add multiple text boxes. I would recommend getting in the habit of always un-checking this box.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Drop Shadow - Angle 120

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Drop Shadow - Angle -90

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Drop Shadow - Angle 90

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Drop Shadow - Angle 0

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Drop Shadow - Angle 180

There’s a little grey square to the right side of the options, this is a preview of where the shadow is. In case it’s hard to see on the document, you can use this preview to help you determine what works the best for your project.

Distance – This changes how far away from the text the shadow is. For better showing of the angle, I jacked the distance to 150. I usually don’t have the distance too far away from the words. Usually when I work with Drop Shadow, I leave it around 5-10. One thing I’ve noticed is depending on the size of the font, you may need to make the shadow distance greater, without it looking too far away from the words.

Spread – This changes how ‘thick’ the shadow looks. The higher the number, the thicker it gets.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Drop Shadow - Spread

Size – This changes how big the shadow actually is. Changing the size is great if you want to ‘soften’ the shadow, or make a shadow appear more like a fuzzy glow.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Drop Shadow - Size 5

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Drop Shadow - Size 16

AterImber.com - Writing - Books - The Haunted Corpse - Off the Books Poster

I changed the size of the Drop Shadow here to a higher number to give it that blurry/neon lighting effect. I also changed the colour from the black to red.

Contour – I’m not entirely sure what this does, to be honest. I believe it’s something similar to the angle the shadow is? I don’t really use this, unless a specific effect I’m Googling tells me to.

Noise – This will change how ‘smooth’ the edges of the shadow look. Remember white noise channels on old school T.V.s? This is essentially that. I usually leave this to the default 0. I’ve yet to have a need to add noise to a shadow.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Drop Shadow - Noise

Feel free to play around with these settings to get the desired shadow effect you want. When you’re done playing around with the settings, click the ‘Okay’ button on the side to apply the effect. If you need to change the effect after, just right-click on the layer again and head back into Blending Options. You’ll be able to edit the effects for as long as you keep the Layers separate. Once you flatten the image/save it as a PNG or JPEG file, you won’t be able to edit the effect, due to the fact the work was collapsed into one single layer. This is why I always save a PSD version (I usually label it ‘UnFlattned’) along with a flattened picture, just in case I need to go back and change something.


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Gruff




Written as a sort-of request from Daughter of a Witch (SPN Amino app)

Written: 19.02.21

Words: 398

Crobby (My first!)


“Balls!” Bobby took his hat off his head, wiping back his sweaty hair before replacing it, reaching for his gun as he heard a crash from downstairs.

He crept down the steps slowly, running through his last salt-line check. He didn’t think he had missed any, but then again, last he remembered he was also in the living room.

He stepped as quietly as he could across his floor, praying his aging house didn’t give away his location.

Just as he was nearing the kitchen, the doors swung open, startling him.

The sound of the gun going off momentarily stunned him before his eyes were met with black, fuck.

“Well hello to you too, Darling.” Crowley placed the whiskey glass down before raising an eyebrow as he saw the bullet hole in his chest, “This is Italian!” He huffed once before digging his hand into the wound, “Y’know, if you had used the Colt,” he grit his teeth before yanking his hand out of the wound, emerging with the bullet between his fingers, “I’d be dead.”

“What’re you doing here?” Bobby clicked the safety on before putting the gun down, walking over to steal the mans’ drink, “Besides drinking my whiskey?”

The demon smiled, “Not one for small talk, are you?”

The hunter narrowed his eyes as he took a swig from the glass, taking a few steps back.

Crowley caught his wrist, smile widening, “I was hoping to make this a…” he brought his lips close to his ear, “personal visit.”

“I take it you know the boys’ ain’t here?”

“One of the perks of being me.”

The brunette eyed him for a moment before wrenching his wrist out of the demons’ grasp, crossing the room to his desk, “What makes you think I got time for that?”

“Bobby,” Crowley followed him, jumping up to sit on his desk, “You know what they say about all work and no play.”

The hunter eyed the demon for a moment before sighing, “Fine.” He flipped the giant book closed in a puff of dust, “But make it quick. The boys’ll be back any minute.”

Crowley smirked, “I could always send them a little…” he crept closer, sitting in the hunters’ lap, “distraction.”

“You do,” Bobbys’ breath caught in his throat as the demon went to work on his neck, “and next time I’ll make sure I use the Colt.”


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On The Pyre

Request from ianneart (Tumblr): Hi! I got a samifer fic idea in mind (lel). Im currently watching season 6 in supernatural and i  saw this interesting thing sam said about hallucinating lucifer to bobby : “seeing Lucifer is…okay. I sorta think it’s the best scenario situation of them all.”

And my samiferness got jump started like nobody’s business. I imagine it like a one-shot, sam-centric pondering of sorts, where sam takes us through his mind and manages to convince us Lucifer’s company is…okay.

I’m so sorry this is so late! I hope you enjoy the fic regardless.

Started: 16.04.29

Finished: 19.03.15

Words: 2,146

Samifer, Hallucifer


“You’re sure you’ll be okay here by yourself?” Dean threw his duffle over his shoulder and paused in the doorway, not wanting to leave his mentally ill brother.

“Dean, I’m fine.”

“Yeah Dean, we’re gonna have a great time,” Lucifer jumped up from his spot on the couch to stand beside the hunter and winked.

What the hell are you doing?

The blonde frowned, “What Sammy? Oh right… you don’t like when I talk in front of Big Bro.”

The younger man tried to hide his confusion and focused on his brother.

Dean scrubbed a hand down his face, “I left my number on the fridge. Call if anything… happens.”

“Will do,” Sam nodded, “Now go give those sons-of-bitches what’s coming to them.”

While he was grateful for his brother’s protectiveness, he didn’t understand his lack of confidence in him, he’d been alone plenty of times before without issue.

“But you aren’t truly alone now,” Lucifer wrapped a possessive hand around the giant’s arm, “Besides, it’s not like having me here is the real problem,” he stroked it tenderly, “right Sammy?”

Focus… Sam ran a hand through his hair in an attempt to block out the words.

With a regretful look back to his brother, Dean nodded and headed out.

“Finally… I thought he’d never leave,” Lucifer clapped the hunter on the shoulder as he closed the door.

He does like to worry. Wait, what are you doing? Don’t let him in, Sam heard the Impala take off as he made his way to the couch.

“Well, now that we’re alone…” Lucifer waggled his eyebrows and straddled the hunter.

“What the fuck,” the giant jumped up and took a couple steps backward.

“Sam,” the blonde gave him a curious look as he picked himself up off the floor, “we’ve done this before you know.”

“No we haven’t,” the hunter had the nerve to look appalled, much to the devil’s amusement.

As if he doesn’t remember it was his idea… He brushed himself off and analysed the hunter, “Sam, do you… ,” he struggled to find the words, not wanting to give something away that he wasn’t ready to hear, “You remember what happened in the cage, don’t you?”

“Of course I remember,” he crossed his arms and cocked his head, “why do you ask?” And why do you sound so… hurt?

Lucifer shifted his gaze down to the floor as he worked out how to continue, “So then you… remember? W-what we did?”

“Damn right I remember what you did to me you son-of-a-bitch,” he couldn’t help but notice the flinch the blonde gave at his tone, Pfftt, please Sam… as if the devil is scared of you, get real.

“No,” Lucifer closed his eyes and sighed before he locked gazes with the hunter, “Do you remember what we did?”

“What do you-”

“In the cage, yes you were tortured, but never by my own hand,” the explanation rushed out of him, almost as if he couldn’t stop it, “it was all Michael. I told you I’d never hurt you Sam, and I meant it. I did everything I could to get between you and Michael, I couldn’t just stand there and watch him break you over and over again. So I… I made you a hide out.”

“A hideout?”

“A place where Michael wouldn’t be able to get to you. I set up a decoy version of you for him to take his frustrations out on, so he wouldn’t notice you were gone-”

“A decoy? Where do you get a decoy Sam Winchester from, Hunters R Us?” Sam chuckled and crossed his arms, remaining skeptical of the explanation.

“Not exactly…” Lucifer winced, clearly not wanting to divulge the information.

“Lucifer,” Sam’s voice was hard and he took a step toward the shorter man, “what did you use as a decoy?”

“Your body.”

“My body?!”

“Yes. I pulled your body apart from your soul,” Lucifer began again, following as the hunter collapsed back onto the couch, “completely detached so your soul wouldn’t sustain any more damage. A soul can only take so much before it becomes so corrupted that it can no longer be restored,” he was sitting on the coffee table now, cross legged in front of Sam.

“Wait, what do you mean restored?”

Lucifer sighed, “As you know, if a soul gets twisted and corrupted long enough it becomes a demon which means that person is then forever damned to Hell.”

“So…” he could see the hunter was having trouble piecing it together, “you prevented my soul from becoming irreversibly corrupted so I could what? Get into Heaven?” Sam threw his head back and laughed as he saw the blonde’s cheeks flare up, “Well I’m sorry to disappoint you Satan, but I’m pretty sure I’m the poster boy for what to do to get yourself into the fiery gates.”

Lucifer shook his head, “You don’t understand.”

“I don’t understand?” he stood up and started pacing, mind racing, I can’t believe I’m discussing the fate of my soul with the devil, “well please, by all means, explain it to me.”

The blonde ran a hand through his hair, this isn’t going to sound good, “If your soul was irreversibly corrupted and you became a demon, you could never be used as a vessel again,” at the look Sam gave him he continued, “I know you think that is a good thing, but your soul shines so bright…,” he dropped his gaze down to the floor, “seeing it corrupted would have devastating effects.”

Sam remained silent, unsure of what to make of this news. Is he telling the truth? If he is lying, what is he hoping to achieve? What’s the point of him telling me this?

“I will wage a war against the angels on the day when Sam Winchester isn’t allowed into the garden.”

It was spoken barely above a whisper, but Sam definitely heard the words. He wasn’t sure whether or not to believe them, but the soft spoken tone made him start to question his earlier judgement. There was no denying the undertone of care that sentence carried, as though he was speaking about someone he didn’t just need to keep safe, but wanted to.

“Lucifer,” Sam kept his tone soft, and found himself placing a hand on the man’s knee, “what don’t I remember?”

The blonde drew in a shaky breath in a failed attempt to keep his voice calm, “After I detached your soul, I gave your body specific instructions. It was to taunt Michael and lead him over to one side of the cage, so I could get your soul to the hideout on the other side. It did a remarkable job,” he noted with a small smile.

“Michael couldn’t understand how you’d got so cocky but was more than happy to rip the confidence back out of you. Once I made sure he was…” he swallowed thickly and closed his eyes, “occupied, I brought you over to the hideout, and did what I could to heal the damage,” it sounded as though he was fighting back tears and he hid his face in his hands, “but there wasn’t much I could do. I thought I could heal you, as I was once an angel but I-”

He cut himself off and hung his head lower, drawing in a shaky breath. Sam blinked and was surprised to see he had encompassed the ex-angel in his arms while he’d listened. What the… ?

“It’s okay, Sam,” Lucifer broke in, scooting out of the hunter’s embrace and hastily wiping at his eyes, “it’s my voice,” he gave a weak smile, “there’s a reason they called me ‘silver-tongued’.”

Sam got up and sat back down on the couch, unsuccessfully avoiding thinking about how… familiar it was to hold him, and about how unbelievably captivating it was to hear him speak. There was no way that was normal.

“What, ugh,” the hunter cleared his throat, “what happened when you touched my soul?”

“I ended up branding it, similar to when a soul gets bought by a demon, anyone else who touched your soul would know that I claimed it. That meant that it couldn’t be traded in any deal, or sold without my permission.”

The way Lucifer explained what he’d done made it sound like he felt guilty, and the way he kept avoiding Sam’s eyes didn’t help. Well what do you expect? He condemned your soul to Hell when that was the last thing he’d wanted, Sam found himself reaching forward again, but didn’t stop himself this time. Didn’t feel the need to stop himself. What would be the harm, anyway? No one’s around.

“The good news,” the blonde’s voice broke threw the hunter’s thoughts, “was that since I had branded it, it had become protected against further damage. No one, not even Michael could continue to harm it,” he ran a hand through his hair and rested his head against Sam’s shoulder, “the bad news, is that it couldn’t be healed past what I’d started. My branding had… preserved it, formed a protective barrier around its current state. Nothing could get in, good or bad… just in time too.”

Lucifer had stopped talking then, letting his voice taper off at the end of the sentence like the last few notes of a song, and allowed a silence to fall while he was held close to the hunter’s chest.

Sam breathed him in and kissed the top of his head, no longer caring about knowing all the answers. He just wanted to savour this moment, the peacefulness of holding him close. Wanted to savour the dream-like state that had taken over before Dean got back. He prayed for his brother not to come back so soon. After all, how often did he get to enjoy moments like this?

He wasn’t sure whether it was because his voice carried some sort of magic, or because of the branding on his soul, but having Lucifer in his arms, feeling his heartbeat had softened the moment—he didn’t want his brother stomping in and shattering that.

“Not too long after that,” the blonde began again with a long sigh, “Michael had began to look for me. I was stupid to think he wouldn’t have noticed I disappeared,” he shook his head at his own misjudgment, “I sensed he was getting close to the hideout so I had to leave you to meet him.”

“He caught up to me in the middle and was dragging your body behind him. Seeing what he did to you…” Lucifer snuggled his head against Sam’s chest and tightened his grip, “he was obviously curious as to where I’d been and why I wasn’t helping torture you since I am the devil,” he sneered the word like it was too vial to pass through his lips.

Like he doesn’t want the title.

“I couldn’t let on to what I was doing,” he dropped his voice low, as if saying it quieter would make it hurt less, “so I-” his voice broke and he buried his head into the hunter’s chest, “Sammy, I’m sorry.”

Sam turned him around so he was no longer sideways across his lap and pulled him close, rubbing a soothing hand over his back when he felt tears start to drip down his shirt.

“Ssshhh… It’s okay… Luce you’re okay,” Sam kept his voice soft as he continued rubbing circles into his back.

Sam’s words only succeeded in making him cry harder and the hunter would be lying if he said seeing him cry wasn’t hurting his heart. Whatever you did, it doesn’t matter.

“Sam-”

“It doesn’t matter.”

“I was so worried, I never wanted to tell you.”

“Luce,” Sam pushed him backward slightly, gently swiping at his eyes, “I don’t care what happened. You-”

The door slamming open made the giant jump, and he stood, confused as his brother burst through the door, eyes frantic.

“Uh, Dean?”

“They’re coming,” he all but ran to the back of the cabin, “We need to leave, now.”

Sam rushed to the back as well, gathering his stuff, “What happened?”

“No time,” Dean brush passed him, glancing quickly at the giants’ face before pausing, keeping his eyes on him, “… Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine,” he shifted his weight nervously and glanced back at the now-empty couch, “why?”

“Looks like – never mind. We don’t have time. Meet me outside in five if you don’t want to be monster chow.”

Sam continued packing his stuff, doing his best to sift-through all the information he’d been given.

“Better hurry, Sam. I can feel them,” Lucifer was spread out on the bed, eyes on the floor.

“Luce-”

“Dean’s waiting.”

Sam sighed as he shouldered his duffle, making his way back out to the living room, pausing in the front entrance, “Come with me.”


Like the story? Check out more here!

Got an idea for a fic you want me to write? Shoot me an e-mail: fanfic@aterimber.com (I promise it won’t take me 4 years to write!)

Content Aware Scaling (PHSH Effect #1)




This week, I’ll be showing you how to Content Awareness Scale and image. Which is a really fancy way of saying we’re going to learn how to resize an image, while protecting a part of the foreground that we don’t want to distort.

If you didn’t, please check out my PHSH Intro post, as this one builds on what was learned there. (Also, if you need a refresh of how to add an image to the PHSH document)

Okay, so, for this tutorial, we’ll be using the cabin picture I used on my Holiday Treats book.

Please right click on the image, save it, then open it in PHSH, so you’re starting here:

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Content Awareness Scaling - Starting Pic

Alright, now that you’ve got that, we’re going to change the document size to 6inx9in. Resize the image to fit into the newly sized canvas.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Content Awareness Scaling - Resized Pic

Okay, now the first step is to use the Selection tool to draw a box around the cabin. (Feel free to use the Guidelines to help you if needed)

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Content Awareness Scaling - Selected Cabin

In the right hand side panel, see how you’re currently in the Layers panel? Click over to the Channels panel, then go down to the bottom and click the New Channel button. This will create a new Channel with just the cabin. It’s fine to leave it named Alpha 1, the name doesn’t really matter.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Content Awareness Scaling - Layers Panel

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Content Awareness Scaling - Channels Panel

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Content Awareness Scaling - Alpha 1 Created

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Content Awareness Scaling - Alpha 1 Red

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Content Awareness Scaling - Alpha 1 Hidden

Now that your document is the right colour, and we’ve created Alpha 1, switch back over to the Layers tab. You’ll notice now that you’ve switched back, the Layer you had previously selected is now greyed out, instead of blue. That means it’s no longer selected. To re-select the layer (so we can keep working) you’ll want to click on the Background layer, then click back to the picture layer. It should now be selected/highlighted blue.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Content Awareness Scaling - Layer Grey

Using the Selection tool again, right click in the box you made and click on Deselect. This will get rid of the box around the cabin – now that we’ve created the Channel, we don’t need the cabin to be selected.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Content Awareness Scaling - Deselecting Cabin

Now we’re basically back to how we started, except we’ve got an extra channel. This is the part where we do the actual Content-Awareness Scaling. (CA Scaling)




Going to the top Menu, click on Edit, then scroll down to Content Awareness Scale and click it.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Content Awareness Scaling - Edit, CA Scaling Option

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Content Awareness Scaling - CA Scaling Open

See the box on the end there that says ‘Protect’? Click the drop-down menu and select Alpha 1. This will… well it’s gonna protect the cabin from stretching while we resize the picture.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Content Awareness Scaling - Protect Drop Down Menu

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Content Awareness Scaling - Protect Alpha 1

This is the fun part, now we’re gonna stretch the picture, and the cabin won’t be affected.

To do this, click on the box on the bottom in the middle, and hold down ALT as you slowly drag the sizing box down.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Content Awareness Scaling - Bottom Square

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Content Awareness Scaling - Drag Down Arrow

You’ll notice that the top of the picture is moving too, that’s what holding down the ALT key does – allows you to move both sides at the same time.

Keep dragging the image until the top of the box disappears off the canvas.

Once that happens, go over to your Select tool, click it. A dialogue box will come up and ask to apply the changes, click Apply. Then, drag the image down from the top of the canvas, lining it up with the bottom.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Content Awareness Scaling - Top of Box Gone

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Content Awareness Scaling - Apply Dialogue Box

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Content Awareness Scaling - Aligined w/ Bottom

Notice how much bigger the background is? But the cabin stayed the same size! We didn’t get the picture to the exact dimensions of the canvas, but that’s okay.

To get the picture to the right size, we can just go back up to Edit – Content Aware Scale, and do it again until it matches the canvas size. Don’t forget to Protect Alpha 1!

(For this sizing, we don’t need to hold down ALT, because we just need to stretch the top to the top of the canvas, we don’t need to resize the bottom.)

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Content Awareness Scaling - Done

Ta-da! Now, is the most important part – save.

This is a pretty handy PHSH skill I wish I had learned before doing the cover for my book.

For a side-by side comparison, here’s the cover when I first did it (before I knew how to CA Scale) and after I learned.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Content Awareness Scaling - Holiday Treats Stretched Cover

AterImber.com - Writing - Books - Holiday Treats Book Cover - Wincest, Short Story, SPN, Supernatural, Sam Winchester, Dean Winchester, Castiel, Jess, John Winchester, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years

See the difference? The first one you can definitely tell that I stretched the image.

That’s why this is one hell of a PHSH skill to know how to do, and, it’s not that hard, either. Once you practice and do it a few times, you’ll be able to do it no problem.

Next tutorial, I’ll show you how to add a Drop Shadow to text:

Look out for that May 6th.


Like this tutorial? Check out more here!

The Moment I Knew (Version 2)

Started: 17.11.14

Finished: 18.01.12

Words: 3,147

I actually completely forgot that I had written two versions and didn’t upload the second one. Sorry this is so late, but I hope you enjoy.

Based on the Taylor Swift song of the same name. (Listen to it here)

SF, Destiel, TW: Suicide (Mentioned)


“Cas?”

The mentioned turned away from the window, smiling as his eyes met emerald green.

“What’re you doing street watching?” the blonde flopped down on the couch and peeked through the blinds, “it’s just snowing.”

“I just needed a bit of quiet,” he couldn’t help the blush that crept up his neck.

“A bit of quiet?” Dean turned from the window to face him, “y’know it’s your party, right? You can tell them to shut up if you want.”

Cas chuckled and shook his head, “As long as they’re having fun and not breaking things, it doesn’t really matter.”

“Well then you definitely don’t want to miss this,” the taller man stood up with a smile, “Gabriel’s table surfing.”

“Table surfing? Where?”

“On the kitchen island,” Dean tucked his hands into his pockets as he leaned back to check it out, “aaand yep, just what I thought. He’s got your cake precariously placed between his legs.”

Cas shook his head and laughed again, “Remind me next year not to serve alcohol.”

The taller man chuckled, offering him a hand, “C’mon. Let’s get you back to your party.”

“Cas!”

The voice startled the black-haired man out of his thoughts. He blinked and looked around, boulder beginning to grow in his stomach at the lack-of-Dean. His eyes flicked up to see Gabriel sauntering over before turning back to the window. Where is he?

“Are you deaf? I’ve been calling your name for like an hour!”

Maybe he’s just late… his eyes scanned the empty street, hoping against all odds to see the blonde materialize on the sidewalk, he said he’d be here.

“Hello?” Cas blinked as Gabriel waved a hand at his face, “anybody home?”

He sighed and turned away from the window again, “What?”

The brunette waved a dismissive hand, “Man, stop wasting your time waiting for that dickhead. What did I tell you? He’s not showing.”

“You’re drunk,” the raven-haired man felt the hot sting of tears in his eyes at his brother’s words.

No-no-no-no, he’s wrong. He’ll be here. He has to. He failed to swallow the lump in his throat and willed the tears away.

“C’mon, you’ve got candles to blow out,” he slung an arm around his brothers’ shoulders before dragging him off in the direction of the kitchen.

“You mean my cake didn’t fall during your surfing stunt?”

Gabriel’s brow furrowed in confusion, “Surfing?”

“Yeah, on the-” he cut himself off and turned his gaze to the floor, oh.

The brunette’s eyes lit up with mischief, “Were you gonna say on the island? In the kitchen?”

“No…” wait, did he say I had to blow out candles?

Gabriel gave his brother a sideways glance, noting his saddening expression, “you okay?”

“Yeah, fine.” I can’t believe it’s already that late. He better get here soon.

“Don’t worry little bro, I’ve never defiled your kitchen counter by surfing on it. Fooling around on the other hand…”

Cas shook his head and tried to push the sinking feeling aside, “You’re definitely drunk.”

“Pfft, naw,” Gabriel tripped on the lip separating the living room from the kitchen, before turning a lopsided grin to his brother, “okay, maybe a little. But it’s a party!”

The shorter man gave a tight smile as he helped him up, before going through the swinging kitchen door.

“Okay, sit here,” the raven-haired man was pushed into the only chair at the end of the island, before Gabriel scurried back out.

Everyone else began gathering around the table, continuing their conversations in hushed voices. Cas felt sweat break out across his neck, he knew it was his birthday, but the way no one was talking to him, and the way they all kept eyeing him while whispering, well… he wasn’t that stupid. C’mon, Dean, where are you? His eyes swept over all their faces absently while he waited, subconsciously searching for those emerald green’s.

Gabriel came back through the door, pushing it open with his back while he held the lit cake, face splitting with a grin as he made his way to the island, “Happy birthday…”

The room exploded with off-key singing as the cake was placed down in front of him. Cas couldn’t help feeling like the wind had been punched out of him when the cake was put down – it was like it cemented the fact the one person he wanted to be there the most, wasn’t.

He said he’d be here, he felt tears prick back at the corner’s of his eyes, this time failing to blink them away. He closed them in the hopes of keeping them at bay and tried to swallow the lump in his throat, I can’t believe he didn’t-

“Don’t wish for too much, Cas.”

He opened his eyes to see Gabriel starring at him, nodding toward the still-lit cake. Taking a quick look around the room again, maybe I just missed his face, he realized everyone was starring at him. Some confused, others leaning over to whisper to their neighbour.

“I-I don’t-” I can’t do this, he got up, avoiding his brother’s questioning gaze and all but ran to the bathroom, locking the door behind him.

He sunk to the floor as he felt the tears begin to fall, he promised…

 

 

Winchester!”

 Dean slid out from under the car he was working on to see his boss, chest heaving, face red, stomping toward him.

“Where the hell is my daughter?”

“Probably still sore from last night,” he smirked before sliding back under.

He felt his boss’ boot catch the end of his creeper, yanking him back out. The blonde glared up at the other man, I don’t have time for this.

The vein in his head began throbbing as he narrowed his eyes, “You want to try that again?”

The blonde ran a hand through his hair, shrugging.

His boss stomped his foot, face almost purple, “You will show me some respect, Diana!”

Diana? You really want to go there? He sighed before standing up, towering over his boss, “Sir, if I knew where your daughter was, I wouldn’t be here.”

“Yeah, keep making those jokes. We’ll see how funny you find them tonight,” his lips curled into an evil smile.

“Tonight? I think you’re losing it man, I get off at six.”

His boss’ smile grew, face returning to a somewhat normal colour, “Is that so? Interesting,” he took a few steps away, mindlessly looking over his tools, “I could’ve sworn the schedule said you were covering for her tonight.”

“Covering for her? You mean taking the graveyard shift?” Deans’ hands balled at his sides, no chance in hell, pal.

“That’s the one,” he picked up a screwdriver, smiling at it, “such a gentleman, you are.”

The blonde grit his teeth and had to use all his willpower not to punch him, “How so?”

He put the tool down, out of place, before meeting his eyes, smiling sweetly, “Offering to cover her shift without pay, of course.”

“Listen, if you think-”

“No, you listen,” he was back in his face again, eyes sparkling dangerously, “The only reason I don’t fire you,” he dropped his voice, “is because I promised your father. But if you ever talk about her like that again you will be sleeping under the bridge off 33rd Street and fighting over a barrel fire. Do I make myself clear?”

Deans glared in response, knuckles turning white at his sides.

“Don’t forget who owns who.”

He backed off again, clapping his hands, “Okay, good talk,” he looked around the shop and spotted the other two mechanics watching, “What’re you looking at? Get back to work!”

They both jumped at being caught and rushed back over to their cars, keeping their eyes on their work. His boss pulled the lapels of this suit, straightening it before walking back across the shop to his office.

Dean waited until he saw the office door close before knocking his toolbox to the ground, “Fuck!”

Tony and Mike looked up from their cars again, both men only coming marginally closer. Dean tugged at his hair, grinding his teeth together, if he thinks I’m staying for the graveyard shift, he’s got another thing coming.

 

 

Shit, Dean glanced at his watch before checking the positioning of the creeper, this’ll have to do.

He locked his tool box before grabbing his jacket, sneaking over to his boss’ office. He peered into the window and saw he was sitting, facing his computer. The blonde quietly came around the other side of the office, pressing his ear to the door. He held his breath as he listened.

Just as I thought, he smiled, shrugging on his jacket as he heard soft snores. He strolled over to the door before taking one last look around the shop. Nodding to himself that everything was in order, he walked out the door.

“Damn!” he pulled his jacket tighter around his chest as the cold hit him.

Jogging to his car, he fumbled with his keys, fingers already freezing. Oh c’mon!

After what felt like forever he finally wretched the door open and climbed inside. He spent a minute rubbing his hands up and down his bare legs, making a mental note to start leaving an extra set of clothes in the car. Thank God I did laundry last night, he rubbed his thighs through his boxers.

He took his phone off the seat next to him, punching the speed dial before bringing it to his ear, please pick up… please pick up…

“Hello?”

“Cas, hey, buddy, I’m so sorry, my boss was being a dick and gave me the graveyard shift, but I’m leaving now. I should get there-”

“I-it’s fine, Dean. You don’t have to come.”

Dean blinked, next sentence of his explanation dying on his lips as he took in his shaky voice, something’s wrong, “Are you okay?”

He heard a sniff, “Y-yeah, I’m fine. You don’t have to come over.”

You don’t sound fine, “Don’t be stupid, it’s your birthday, of course I’m gonna be there. I might’ve missed your brother making a fool of himself, but you and I both know the party doesn’t really start until I get there.”

“Dean,” his voice was hard, but the taller man didn’t miss the shaky inhale on the other line, “you missed the party. Everybody left.”

The blonde failed to swallow the guilt he felt building in his throat, “Oh.”

“Yeah, so just… it’s fine, don’t come over.”

Dean nodded, starring at himself in the rear view mirror, I should’ve been there, I should’ve left earlier then I could’ve- he cut himself off as he listened, heart breaking a bit as he heard the soft gasps of the man on the other line. He could picture him sitting there, hand over his mouth trying to keep the blonde from hearing him cry.

He closed his eyes, licking his lips, keeping his voice soft, “Cas,” what can I say? How can I make it up to you? “I’d still like to see you.”

“No, I-” another shaky breath, “you can’t.”

Dean felt his heart quicken, “What do you mean I can’t?” he was already jamming the key in the ignition, “Are you sure you’re okay?”

Damn it, he threw the broken end of the key to the ground, eyes glancing skyward, you’re not gonna make this easy, are you? He looked around the lot, racking his brain for another idea, walk? No, it’s too cold for that. C’mon there has to be something I can-

He paused as he saw the old, broken down car in the corner of the parking lot, will it run in the cold? Time to find out, he climbed out of the car and all but ran to the other side of the lot, phone pressed tightly against his ear.

“Cas? You still there?”

“Yeah…”

“I’m on my way,” he tugged on the handle, not surprised to see it was unlocked.

“Dean-”

“I’ll be there soon, okay?” he dug through the glove box for the keys, “Don’t do anything… rash.”

A dry laugh filled the air, making his blood run cold.

His hand closed around the key, yanking it from the glove box, “Hey. Promise me you won’t do anything. Don’t even move-”

“Dean, I-”

“Promise me, Cas,” he jammed the key in the ignition, smiling as it roared to life.

“O-okay. I won’t move.”

“Good. Alright, I’ll be there in twenty,” he threw the phone down on the seat next to him before speeding out of the parking lot.

Hang on, Cas.

 

 

“No, no, no, no, c’mon baby!” he hit the steering wheel as the car began to slow down.

He was about halfway to Cas’ house, car running better then he’d hoped it would in the rain. Naturally, that was where his good luck ran out – now the car was dying as it tried to make it over the bridge. And it had started pouring. C’mon, I don’t have time for this, he turned the key again, swearing to himself as it didn’t start. He leaned his head back, eyes closed, scrubbing a hand down his face with a sigh, what the hell am I supposed to do now? He failed to ignore the feeling of dread that was settling into his stomach, he wouldn’t actually do anything stupid… would he? He spent all night with his brother drinking… something was definitely wrong when I called him earlier. Dean fumbled, hand searching the seat beside him for his phone, maybe I really am over-reacting, he hit speed-dial and brought the phone up to his ear, he’s probably fine, there’s no way he’d actually-

This is Cas. Leave me a message.

Shit. Dean ended the call before trying again, c’mon, Cas, don’t-

This is Cas. Leave me a message.

Shit, shit, shit, Dean was in the back seat, searching the car before his brain had registered he’d even moved, feeling of dread deepening. He double-checked the time on the dash, he shouldn’t be asleep yet, before he brought the phone to his ear, one more time.

He leaned his head against the window, struggling to see, “Why did it have to start raining?”

This is Cas,” He growled in frustration before snapping the phone shut and throwing it to the ground, I’ve got to get over there now.

How am I gonna get there? Stupid car, if only I could- he bit his lip, cutting himself off as his hands balled into fists at the realization, I’m gonna have to run it.

Fuck, the blonde ran his hands through his hair, eyes raising skyward, you’re really not making this easy, y’know that? I thought you were supposed to be the helpful one. He took a deep breath, picking the cell up off the floor, okay, alright, I got this. I can run it, sure it’s only ten blocks… in my boxers… in the rain… shit. No, okay, on the count of three.

One, he climbed back over into the driver seat, hand on the handle, two, he took in a deep breath and failed to banish the fact that the rain was coming down in sheets, three.

 

 

Fuck, fuck, shit, fuck! He wiped water out of his eyes, squinting to see the house numbers, 459… 459…c’mon, I know it’s- ah-ha! He ran up the driveway and pounded on the door, right hand tightening his grip on the cell.

“Cas!” He pounded on the door again, thankful for once that Cas had insisted on having a roofed porch.

“Cas! C’mon, man! Open the door!”

God damn it, he pounded once more on the door, before hoping off the porch, making his way around the side of the house to the window, you better be- he stopped when he saw the bathroom light was on, door ajar.

“Cas?” He tapped on the glass, wiping more water out of his eyes.

He failed to wipe the water from the screen, punching the raven-haired mans’ number, before bringing it to his ear, working his way to the other side of the house. He grit his teeth as he stepped through a bush, branches scraping against his bare legs. He peered into this window, thankful he had a better vantage point of the bathroom. He could see Cas’ legs stretched out in front of the door, not liking the boulder that was settling into his stomach. C’mon, Cas, pick up!

This is Cas. Leave me a message.

He pounded his free hand against the window, “Cas! Cas!”

Punching redial, he tried to calm his racing heart, he’s fine, I’m sure he’s just passed out from drinking. He always was a lightweight. And if he was alone with Gabriel-

“H-hello?”

His heart almost leapt out of his chest at the non-robotic voice, “Cas!”

“D’n?”

The boulder in his stomach grew, something’s not right, “Yeah, buddy. I told you I’d make it. Come open the door.”

Dean swallowed thickly, noting how laboured his breathing sounded, not liking how small his voice sounded, like he’s fading, “I-I’m outside, come let me in.”

He squinted into the house, willing his legs to move, twitch, anything. He waited a few beats, boulder growing with each shaky breath he heard come through the line.

“Cas? You okay? Come let me in, let’s-”

He heard a crash before seeing the phone fall to the bathroom floor. That’s it, he took a step back, checking out the window before kicking it. Glass shattered around him, mixing with the falling rain. It had barely exploded before Dean was already scrambling into the house, hands and knees getting cut on some of the pieces. He got himself back on his feet and all but ran to the bathroom, falling to his knees as he spotted Cas leaned against the bathtub, blood flowing from both arms.

“Cas,” his eyes welled up with tears, as he reached out to his neck, hoping to whoever was up there that he still had a pulse.

“God, Cas, what did you do?” He pressed his fingers into his neck harder, not liking the stillness he felt.

Dean peeled his shirt off in an instant, ripping it in half, “You’re gonna be okay,” he swiped at his eyes as he wrapped the shirt around his arms, “y-you have to be okay. Don’t worry, buddy. I’ll fix this,” his eyes scanned the room for something he could use to make him okay, I need you to be okay, “I’ll fix you. I can-”

He cut himself off and reached for the piece of paper that was on the sink, sliding it out from under the razor. He swiped at his eyes as he brought it down to his face,

Dean,

I’m sorry.

C

A strangled cry made it’s way past Dean’s lips as he pulled the limp body toward him, crushing it against his chest, “No, no, no, baby. Y-you? Y-you don’t-”

He buried his head into the shorter-mans’ hair, tears dampening the strands.

“I-I’m sorry, too.”


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So You Wanna Design Your Own Book Cover, Eh? (PHSH Tutorial Intro)




You’ve just finished writing this amazing novel, and are so pumped to get it out and into the world. All your dedication, time and energy has been poured into this baby of yours, and you want nothing more then to see it flourish.

Now there’s only one problem: It needs a cover.

But, you’re a writer, you don’t know how to design a book cover! You can barely crop an image in Photoshop – maybe you don’t even have Photoshop. And you definitely can’t shell out a bunch of money to hire somebody design it for you. (There’s a reason ‘starving artist’ is the phrase and not ‘stuffed artist’)

Well, today’s your lucky day – you’ve found the beginnings of an article-series I’m just starting to help people exactly in your shoes learn how to make a cover.

No, I didn’t take any marketing courses, nor do I have any formal training. I took a Media Arts class in gr. 10 and learned how to use Photoshop. However, I was requested by JD Stanley to help with their book covers. Before I helped, JD could barely erase a background. Oh, and I made all my own covers, too. (Not to mention the collages on this website)

Bottom line, I’m not professionally trained – but I know my way around enough to do things myself. It was actually JD who told me I could start this series! (Seriously, some of JD’s questions boggled my mind – what do you mean you don’t know how to zoom in?)

Fear not, I’ll be giving you the low-down throughout the next few months on how you too can not suck at using Photoshop.

Let’s start at the very beginning: Making a New Document.

Step 1: Do you have Photoshop? If not, you should go download it. (I use CS6, so if you have a newer/older version some details may differ) If you already have it, you’re part-way there!

Step 2: Open it.

Step 3: Go to File listed in the top menu and select New from the drop-down menu.

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Step 4: In the box that popped up, give your file a name. I just chose to keep it simple.

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Tip: PHSH = short form for Photoshop. From here on out, I’ll be referring to the program by the short form, because it’s faster to type.

You’ll also want to set the dimensions. My dimensions are set to 1920×1080 (pixels) by default because I was taking screen-shots of myself opening PHSH for this tutorial. You can make the dimensions however big/small you want. You also don’t have to use ‘pixels’ as the unit of measure. I typically use inches. I would suggest you make your dimensions 10x10in for simplicity.

Also, if your Resolution is set to 72px by default, you’ll most likely want to change it to 300px – this will make the image clearer.

Once you do this, click the Okay button.

Step 5: Now that this is done, you should see a white page that’s to your specified dimensions. This is your document size.

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If you can’t see the edges of your document, you might be zoomed in. Hold down CTRL and press the minus button (beside the 0 on the keyboard) to Zoom Out. Zoom Out until you can see the edges of the document. This will make working easier.

Congratulations, you just made your first PHSH file! That wasn’t so hard, was it?

Alright, now I’ll be going through the Tools on the Toolbar that are listed down the left-side of the program.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial Intro - PHSH Tool Bar - Photoshop

This first one is the Pointer/Mouse function. It does exactly what you’d think – let’s you use your mouse as normal within the document. Allows you to click on different things, etc. You’ll be switching back to this a lot while you work, so it’s important you know what it does.

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Next you have the Selection Tool. This allows you to make a selection around a certain part of an image, cut/crop/copy and/or protect a section of a picture from being Erased.

Actually, wait, I’m not gonna go through all the tools right now – I forgot a step. To show you what some of these tools do, you’re gonna need a picture!

Okay, so to Insert a Picture into a document:

Step 1: First, I want you to right click on the image below, and select Save Image As… from the menu. Give it a name, and save it to your Desktop, for simplicity.

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Step 2: Now you have the image, go back up to File, and this time, instead of clicking ‘New’, click on Open.

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This should bring you to your Desktop. Click on the image I just had you save, and then hit ‘Open’. This will open the image in a new PHSH document.

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See those tabs? Anytime you have more then 1 PHSH file open, you’ll be able to switch between them by clicking on the tabs.

Step 3: Okay, now we have the image, and our blank document. You’re gonna want to move the picture to the new document.

To do this, you’ll want to click on the tab that’s the picture, and drag it off the line, a little to the left. Then let go – this makes the file open in a new PHSH window. (If you’ve ever accidentally opened a link in a new Window instead of Tab on your browser, it’s exactly the same as that, but in PHSH. If you haven’t done that, don’t worry.)

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Now, click on the image itself, not the tab, and drag the image into the blank document. Let go once it’s there, and you should see a New Layer with the image was created in your blank document (which should now have the picture)

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Now that we have the image in our document, you can Exit the image that’s still open in the window – we don’t need it anymore.

To center the image, click on Layer 1 (if it’s highlighted in Blue that layer is already selected) then, go back to your image, and drag it down into the document until it’s centered.

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And that’s how you move a picture into your PHSH file!

Okay, now that we’ve covered that, I’ll be going back to some of the Tools.

I’ll go back to showing you the Select Tool.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial Intro - Select Tool - Photoshop

Now that we have an image, I’m going to show you how to erase part of the image. (Especially because the PHSH pictures inside a PHSH picture is starting to confuse me, so we’re gonna fix that)

Okay, first: See the Rulers that are around the edges of the file? Click and drag down from the top Ruler – a turquoise/green line should now be on the document – this is called a Guideline. If you don’t have Rulers showing, go up to View and click on the Ruler option listed. (There should now be a check mark next to the option – this means it’s turned on)

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You’ll want to drag this Guideline to the edge of the image we centered. Then, go back up to the top, and drag another one to the bottom. Drag two more Guidelines out from the left-side Ruler, so now the image should be completely boxed in by the Guidelines.

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Now that you have your Guidelines in place, go over to the Toolbar, and click on the Select Tool.

Click and drag the outline box to the dimensions of the Guidelines. (It might ‘snap’ once you get close to the lines, that’s okay) Let go, and now you should see a dotted box along the Guidelines.

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Right-click in the Selected box/Guideline area, and select the Select Inverse option. You should notice that now there’s a bigger perforated box outlining the whole picture.

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Now comes the less confusing part. Go back to your Toolbar, and select the Eraser tool.

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Now that you’ve got the Eraser selected, click and drag your mouse (exactly how you used to do it in Paint) around the image, and you’ll begin erasing the outer-part, without touching the part we selected before. Because we inverted the selection, the part we want to keep is safe, and you’ll only erase the outside of the image, regardless of if your mouse touches the part we want to keep.

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(Your background colour is hopefully white instead of red, don’t mind that. It’s typically white)

Continue erasing until just the middle part remains.

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Now, go back up to the Select tool, right-click again on the image, and this time click on Deselect. Now the selected box is gone, you’re left with only the image. To get rid of the Guidelines, you can just drag them back up into the Rulers and they’ll disappear. (Make sure you switch from the Select tool back to the Mouse tool)

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AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial Intro - Erasing a Picture with Guidelines 10 - Photoshop

Now that we’ve erased the background, we need to change the dimensions of the document, to get rid of all the white space.

To do this, (the easiest way) is to drag the picture to the top left corner, and then place two Guidelines at the bottom and to the right of the image, taking note of the dimensions.

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Once you’ve made a note of the Guideline dimensions, go to the menu at the top and click on Image, then go down to Canvas Size.

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AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial Intro - Erasing a Picture with Guidelines 13 (Canvas Size Dialogue Box) - Photoshop

In the Canvas Size box, you’ll be able to change the dimensions of your canvas. Type in the dimensions you got from the Guidelines (mine were 3.89cm x 7.21cm) and click Okay.

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Don’t freak out – your picture is still here! The canvas size shrunk, so now it’s outside of the canvas size. Using your Mouse tool, drag the image to be centered on the canvas again, and this time, it should be a perfect fit, with no white background showing.

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The last step always: SAVE.

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We’ll be saving two versions of the file. The first being a .psd or Photoshop file. Saving your work this way allows you to keep all the layers separate. This is especially handy should you need to return to the image later to edit it further. I usually label these saved files as ‘Whatever Project I’m Working On UNFlattened’ so at a glance, it’s faster to know which file is which.

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The second version you’ll be saving as, is either a .png or a .jpeg. These are picture files that condense all the layers to be 1 image. These are usually the images that end up on websites, as profile pictures, and, most importantly, the ones allowed to be uploaded for your book cover. Amazon may also require a PDF version, you do it in exactly the same way, except instead of selecting PNG or JPEG from the list, you select PDF.

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And there you have it! You now know how to make a new file, crop images, and save in a few different formats. That’s the most basic aspect of PHSH skills you’ll need.

Lastly, I’ll go through a few of the tools you’ll probably use the most.

I’ve already shown you the Mouse, Select and Eraser tool.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial Intro - Mouse, Select and Eraser Tools - Photoshop

Because I don’t want this tutorial to go on too much longer, I’ll just go through the rest of Tools in point form.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial Intro - Eye Dropper Tool - Photoshop

Eye-Dropper – This allows you to ‘pick up’ a sample of colour from one part of the file, and use it elsewhere. You’ll notice when you use the Eye dropper, the colour you picked up is now in the Colour Swatches, allowing you to easily use the colour elsewhere in the document.

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AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial Intro - Paint Bucket Tool - Photoshop

Paint-Bucket – Exactly what it used to do in Paint. It fills the entire area with whatever colour you select. (If you have it within a closed shape, it will only fill in the closed shape, not the whole canvas)

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial Intro - Blur, Sharpen, Smudge Tool - Photoshop

Blur/Sharpen/Smudge – Again, these do exactly as the name implies. They Blur, Sharpen and/or Smudge the picture. You can change the size of them similar to the Eraser tool. This is especially handy if say, you’re erasing a hair line, and need to not make the edges of hair so defined. (You would blur them slightly to make it look un-erased)

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial Intro - Dodge, Burn, Sponge Tool - Photoshop

Dodge/Burn/Sponge – I’m not entirely sure what the Dodge or Sponge part of the this tool does (when I used the Dodge tool last, it made the picture turn a grey-er colour), but the Burn tool burns the picture like a lighter. Handy if you want to make the edges of an image appear burned, or if you want to blacken/darken the image as a whole.

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Type – Allows you to add text to the picture. This is what I used to add the text on the images used in this tutorial.

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Shape – Allows you to add different shapes to the canvas: Square, Rectangle, Line, etc.

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Colour Squares – This is where it tells you what colours you’re currently using. The small arrow above the bigger boxes, will switch whatever colours you’re using currently to black and white.

Alight, I know that was a lot of info to take in, so take a breath – you made it all the way to end! Also, I’m sure that wasn’t nearly as daunting a task as you first thought it’d be. PHSH is funny like that, it’s such a big program, and there are a lot of different elements to it – at first glance it’s definitely intimidating. But it doesn’t need to be. All those different elements just mean you can make some kick-ass pictures with it!

I hope you enjoyed this intro to the world of PHSH, and feel free to practice and play around with the program a bit, that’s how I learned some of the stuff I know.

Next time, I’ll show you a very handy way to scale images without distorting them. You can look for that April 8th.


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Countdown




Happy New Year!

This is the last fic of the year! Next fic will be posted Jan. 11th

NFF

Words: 826


Okay, tonight’s the night, we’ve been dancing around each other all year, he felt his palms get sweaty as he tried to psyche himself up, starring at the girl from across the room. It’s New Years Eve for Christs’ sake, people always kiss on New Years… don’t they? He took a deep breath, wiping his hands on his pants, okay, here we go.

He took a step forward, before being stopped by his – extremely drunk – friend, Pete.

“Hey, Dave!” even over the blaring music he could tell his friend was yelling, “You kiss ‘er yet?”

The brunette promptly smacked his hand across Petes’ mouth and dragged him a few feet away, shaking his head, “Can you keep your voice down?”

Pete nodded, eyes wide with surprise. He removed his hand, before immediately looking back at the girl. Pete turned to look before letting out a huff, “You ain’t just gonna stare at ‘er all night, are ya?”

“No,” Dave shifted his weight, “I’m gonna kiss her. At midnight.”

“At midnight?” Pete let out a bark of a laugh, “That’s some rom-com shit, ya know that?”

“No it’s not,” He crossed his arms over his chest, feeling his cheeks heat up, “People kiss at midnight all the time.”

“Yeah,” Pete swayed slightly on his feet, wrapping an arm over his shoulders’, “If they’re goin’ out, maybe. Not out of the blue. That’s just weird,” he took another swig from his cup, looking at the girl with a sigh, “Kissin’ a stranger at midnight… pfft…”

Dave chewed his lip, maybe he’s right, maybe… wait, why am I taking his advice? He flicked his eyes back to his friend, “How would you know?”

Pete blinked in confusion, “Huh?”

“How would you know what’s weird? You’ve never kissed a girl before.”

“Dave, my man,” Pete turned so he was standing directly in front of him, “Ya don’t gotta kiss ‘em to do other stuff,” he wiggled his eyebrows, shit-eating grin splitting his face, “know what I’m saying?”

“Ugh,” Dave pushed his arm off him, “You’re disgusting.”

Pete shrugged, stumbling away, “But I’m right!”

“Here we go everybody!” The whole place went silent and everyone turned their gazes’ to the clock, “10!”

Dave shook his head, it’s almost midnight already? Shit. He took a deep breath before starting toward her, here goes nothing.




 

She spotted him halfway across the room, starring at her. She quickly looked away, unable to help but smile, please come over, please come over, please come over…

“Hello? Emily?”

She turned back to her friend, hiding the blush by taking a drink, “Sorry, what?”

Lola rolled her eyes, “Of course you weren’t listening,” she flicked her eyes over to the boy before sighing, “This is getting ridiculous. Just go talk to him!”

“I can’t!” She crossed her arms over her chest defensively, “We haven’t really talked all year and then suddenly I want to kiss him at midnight? It’d be too weird.”

“You what?” Lolas’ face lit up, “You want him to kiss you at midnight?”

“What? No, I didn’t-”

“Shay! Katy, get over here!” Lola all but pulled their two friends to the ground with her force, “She wants him to kiss her at midnight!”

“Aaawww!”

Emily sighed, oh great… all three girls starred at her expectantly, “… Must we?”

“Yes.”

Emily shifted her weight from one foot to another, “It’s not a big deal.”

“Of course it’s a big deal!” Katy shrieked, “Your first kiss ever is on New Year’s Eve at midnight?” she touched her heart, “It’d be so cute!”

Emily pretended to vomit, before giving her a pointed look.

“Oh, come on, Em,” Shay gave her a pointed look, “You can’t act like you aren’t excited.”

“Yes, I can.”

“Here we go everybody! 10!”

“You’re allowed to get butterflies when you like a boy, y’know,” Lola placed her hands on her shoulders, dropping her voice, “You are a girl.”

“9!”

“Get off of me,” she slipped out from under her hands before shrugging, “I don’t know why you guys are making such a big deal about this-”

“8!”

“We haven’t even talked the whole party, and it’s practically midnight. It’s not gonna happen, so just forget it.”

“7!”

The girls’ faces fell but they all nodded. They all wrapped her up in a hug, and she fought the sudden wave of sadness that washed over her.

“6!”

Emily shook her head, trying to shake the sadness away as she turned her attention to the clock, “5!”

Guess there’s always next year.

“4!”

She felt a tap on her shoulder, heart stopping as she saw Dave, oh my God, oh my God, oh my God. “Uhm… hi.”

“3!”

“A-are you okay? Do you need something?” She swore she could hear her heart hammering against her chest.

“2!”

He took a deep breath, before nodding to himself. He grabbed the sides of her face, sending a shiver down her spine, oh my God…

“1!”


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