CHRONICLES OF MICHAEL: DENIABLE ASSET

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CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE

*MICHAEL VARRO*

I avert my eyes slightly, catching the smirk on Sonja’s face. Only she isn’t looking at me, she’s looking beyond me. I don’t feel bad for anything that transpired, until now. It isn’t what I did to Brianna. She deserves every bit of what she gets. It’s because Shy saw me at my coldest. I know she’s been watching, as have the rest of the Collective. What else would give Sonja such pleasure? I’m in no hurry to turn around. I’m pissed at the prospect that I have to. As I turn, I see her. The look on her face would be confusing, if I didn’t know her so well. It’s disgust and anger rolled into one. It isn’t because I slept with Brianna. It’s because I didn’t try to help her, even after she begged me to. Shy’s greatest weakness is her compassion, but it’s also her greatest strength. I envy her for it. I no longer have that ability. That part of me died long ago. I see my reflection in her eyes. In the way she looks at me. I’m a monster. I know it, and I’ve made peace with it years ago. Now she knows it, too. Shy doesn’t stop her forward progression until we are face to face. We are so close we’re almost touching. She struggles to control her trembling, but a blind man could see she’s too angry.

“You slept with her and then had her killed. What kind of despicable human being are you?” She asks with complete contempt.

“The kind who follows orders,” Sonja answers frankly as she walks up, standing next to me.

Shy doesn’t flinch at Sonja’s harsh answer. She keeps her cold eyes locked with mine. She won’t let anyone deter her rage for me.

“Is this what we are to become? What I’m required to do, now?” Her question is mine alone. In this moment Sonja doesn’t exist.

“Because I refuse,” she finishes.

“Then you’ll die,” I acknowledge.

“I’m not having sex with terrorists!” she shouts, still unwilling to accept the inevitable.

“You will if you’re ordered to,” Sonja intercedes. “Make no mistake, Miss Chandler, you will do what we ask. Do you know how I know?” she asks, not really wanting a response. “Because you already have. You’ve killed for us without question, Shyira. If you can do that then you can certainly lie down and spread your legs for whomever we tell you to.”

Sonja is cold and methodical with her words. My eyes close briefly in sorrow at the mention of them. I can’t imagine the toll it will take on her to have a mass murderer touching her, caressing her. Be inside her. Shy stands motionless and speechless as Sonja makes her point. Sonja then walks away without as much as a second thought. Shy doesn’t move. She stands there, staring at nobody and nothing. Godfrey walks up putting his hands on her shoulders.

“Come on, angel food cake. Let’s go. You have a mission to prepare for.”

Godfrey ushers her towards the Ready Room. She affords herself a quick glance over her shoulder as Godfrey leads her away. I’m still in the same spot, staring at her. I guess the look on my face gives permission for a single tear to escape down her cheek. Fuck me.

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