Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Chapter 1 continued...

            Before Ian could tell Drake to keep his voice down, the asshole sped down the hallway the previous two guys had come from.  He raced to keep up.  What was freak trying to do?
            Just as the two guards at the door noticed intruders approached, Drake punched his fists through the air, sending a shock wave tearing through the drywall, ripping up the flooring, and knocking the guards so hard, Ian heard bones snap.  Then Drake reached his right hand for the door and grasped back at emptiness.  The door tore from the hinges and slammed against the opposite wall.
            Jesus Christ…what kind of monster had he teamed up with?
            Ian never had a chance to ask.  Drake had run inside to answer the cries of surprise and chaos.  And amid the din, Ian heard someone call his name.
            Ian drove his dagger into a guard’s gut before pulling it out in a satisfying slick of blood.  He slashed his way into the room, surprised that Drake hadn’t taken care of the sentries.  But the moment he stepped inside, he saw that Drake was surrounded.
            Against his will, Ian’s attention was drawn to the five people encircling Drake.  Three men, two women.  The Council.  It had to be.
            “Go!” Drake called.
            With so much attention on Drake, no one had a chance to worry about the lone teenage girl chained in the farthest corner of the room and the reason why he was in this god-forsaken hole in the first place.
            Ian ducked and ran as Drake sent an enemy flying his way.  Skidding to a stop in front of the girl, Ian tried desperately to cut open the chains, but to no avail.
            “Get me out of here!” Lainey cried.
            “I’m trying!” Ian yelled right back, still sawing away at the iron with his dagger.
            “Move!” screamed Drake.
            Ian dove to the side and from the corner of his eyes, saw a white light shoot from Drake’s fingertips.  It ripped across the room, piercing through two guys, and headed straight for Lainey.  He didn’t have a chance to scream.  Had he just been betrayed, partnering with a man who had come to kill Lainey?
            The light passed through Lainey’s chain, cutting her from bondage.  She struggled to stand, but her knees gave way and she stumbled.  Ian caught her and glanced down.  Where were her shoes?
            Much worse than that, she wasn’t wearing any enhancers.  She’d never be able to outrun these guys.  Just as he considered hauling her over his back, a loud crash and screams of pain came behind him.
            “Let’s go!” Drake commanded, running to their side.
            He scooped Lainey up with one arm and with a wave of the other, sent a table flying at the Council on the opposite end.
            They ran out the door, dashing down the hall, back out to the sewers, through darkened expanses.  The monster ahead of him kept running, so he did too.  Despite all the charms he wore, his muscles began to ache.  To support such extraordinary abilities, the human body still had to pay a price.  If they continued at this breakneck pace, he would wear out.  He could already see it, his legs buckling under him while this asshole took Lainey from him.
            Where the hell were they going anyway?  This wasn’t the way he came in.  And why wasn’t Lainey bitching and screaming like she usually did with him?
            Fuck!  He had to keep up with this maniac.  Otherwise Carm would give him an earful—partnering with the enemy just to rescue Lainey only to lose her again.  If the old geezer hassled him anymore over this, he would rather just quit the Knighthood.
            Oh wait.  He couldn’t.  He was next in line after Carm.
            Drake stopped and Ian halted also, thankful for the moment to catch his breath.   Drake set Lainey back on her feet and climbed up the ladder to move aside the manhole.  Moonlight severed the darkness, throwing an unearthly glow across Drake’s face.  With light streaming down to match Drake’s white shirt while the lower body stayed shrouded in the sewer, it appeared as if he were cut in half.  Disembodied.
            Drake reached his hand down to Lainey, who stood there motionless and hesitant.  Then Drake said the most unexpected thing.
            “Trust me.”
            Trust him?  How could anyone trust these people?
            But Lainey must have because she caught his hand and climbed up, which left Ian no choice but to follow.
            He emerged in an alleyway, trash littering the dewy, shadow-streaked tar paving.  They were in the city…somewhere.
            “Let’s do something about those chains,” Drake murmured.
            Ian barely saw Drake move, only that the moment his fingers touched Lainey’s cuffs, they broke in half and clanged to the ground.
            “My car’s down the way.  Want a ride?”
            Was this dude crazy?  He was talking like they just finished eating dinner at a restaurant!  Ian glanced around quickly, calculating his chances of contacting another Knighthood agent before the Council’s dogs spotted him.  He thought about telling the asshole to shove it but then he noticed Lainey pleading at him with her eyes.  God, she looked pathetic.
            Rips across her jeans came at strange angles and smudges of grime stained her white polo.  Her hair hung in clumped cords and even in the night’s light, he could see her bloodshot eyes.
            “Fine,” he whispered.
            Their odds on foot weren’t good anyway.  Not with Lainey looking like a homeless person and in the end, Paris was still Council headquarters.
            They piled into the black sedan, Drake behind the wheel, and he and Lainey sitting awkwardly in the back.  She sat behind the passenger seat, eyes staring ahead with an occasional glance out of the tinted windows, brows slightly furrowed, but otherwise calm.  Beside her, his mind riddled with questions while one hand lay ready to pull out his dagger, ready to kill the driver and plunge them all to death if he had to.  He would never let anyone touch Lainey.
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