The door slams loudly behind me and I see Zack, who happens to be waiting by the door for me, flinch.
“You’re going to break everything in my house aren’t you?” He asks, crossing his arms over chest. I throw his car keys and credit card at him and walk by without answering him.
He calls after me as I make my way to my room and throw my dress on the bed, grabbing a duffle bag from the closet and making my way outside.
I drop the bag on the floor next to me and pull out several target sheets from within. I make my way over to the trees in the backyard garden and nail them on.
I walk back to my bag and pull out several knives, all attached to a long belt, and strap it to my waist. I grab the first knife and let it soar through the air, lodging itself in the center of the target sheet. I pull my arm back ready to throw another one as I hear the back door open. I let the knife fly into the second sheet.
“Who pissed you off?”
I throw another knife.
“Seriously, whose face are you imagining those knives sticking out of.”
I throw another.
“Wow, those throws are really acc-”
I throw three knives all the exact same time at Devin. One lands in the wall above his head, and other two land on either side.
He snickers slightly. “You should really consider going to a therapist for that anger problem you have.” I shoot him a deadly glare. “Or not, you know...it’s your choice.” He laughs nervously.
“I’m really not in the mood right now Devin,” I mutter through clenched teeth.
I throw several more knives before reaching back to my belt only to find none left. I look at the knives sticking out the target sheets on the trees...I’ll get them later.
“Ok so later then?” He follows me back into the house as I head toads the gym, wrapping my hands as I go. I walk up to the punching bag.
“Zack’s looking for you, you know.”
“Great,” I reply shortly, barely paying attention.
“I’m thinking of killing him and burying him in the backyard.”
“I’ll plant a rose garden over his remains.”
“Then I’ll kill Cody, cut his body up into little pieces and sell them on the black market.”
“You do that.”
“And then I’ll find Garrett and hand you over to him willingly after I kick your ass.”
“And for the grand finale, I’ll roast Chase and Jason alive and eat them.”
“Have fun.” I’m grabbed by the shoulders and spun around to face him.
“Who pissed you off enough that you’re not even listening to anything I’m saying?”
I open my mouth to retort only to close it soon after, I really can’t recall anything he said. I narrow my eyes at him.
“What did you say?”
“Oh you know,” He waves his hand at me dismissively, “Minor details.”
“Devin.” I take a step towards him. “What did you say?”
He smiles smugly. “Nothing of importance...but I did get full permission from you, even if you don’t recall giving it to me!” He shouts the last part of his sentence as he bolts out the door and down the hallway.
Against my better judgment, I take off after him.
“Devin!” I yell out and hear his evil laughter echo across the house.
“You can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man!”
I stop in the main hall and look around. Where the hell did he go? I hear a cry of pain and quickly run into the games room.
Devin’s on top of Zack, pinning him to the floor with his arm pressed against his back, and Devin’s knee pressed firmly into the back of his neck.
“Devin!” I run up and grab him, pulling him off of Zack.
He just smiles innocently. “What?”
“What’s this crap he was saying about getting permission to kill me from you?” Zack grumbles, rubbing the back f his neck and looking pointedly at me.
“I didn’t give him permission to do anything.”
“Well, apparently he also had permission to bury me and plant a rose garden over my remains.” I open my mouth and close it again. I really don’t have a response for that.
I turn to Devin. “Where did you come up with that stuff?”
He gives me another ‘innocent’ smile “Oh that’s nothing, you should’ve heard what else I said.” He tucks his hands in his pockets. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to find a saw, a large pot, firewood, roses, Garrett’s phone number or home address, and a snack for later.”
He turns and bolts out of the room and me and Zack share a glance, where my eyes are questioning, his eyes look fearful.
“Do I want to know?” He asks.
“I know I don’t,” I mutter and make my way towards the kitchen. I see Devin run by with saw...crap.
“Oh, Cody!” He calls out, “Where are you?”
“Why?” I hear Cody call back and Devin smirks.
I rip the saw out of his hands. “Let me guess, I gave you permission to cut up Cody with a saw.”
“And sell his parts on the black market.” I rub my free hand over my face in exasperation. It’s only then that I realize all my anger has been depleted. I turn back towards him.
“Was this your plan the entire time? To calm me down?”
He smiles smugly again. “Well it worked didn’t it?” He takes the saw back from me. “Now I’ve got to go and put this back.” He leans towards me. “But I really wasn’t kidding when I said I was going to kill Zack and plant a rose garden over his remains...in fact, I actually bought the rose bushes while you were dress shopping.”
I raise an eyebrow at him. “And how long have you had this idea?”
“Since I shot him.”
“Gee thanks.” I turn towards Zack who’s leaning against the wall behind me.
“You’re very welcome.” Devin retorts back sarcastically. He picks up a shovel I hadn’t even noticed and heads out towards the backyard.
“He doesn’t like you very much,” I say.
“No really,” Zack asks sarcastically. “I thought we were great pals.” He gives me dirty look. I keep my face blank and hide my smile. He lets out a sigh and gestures for me to follow. “Walk with me.”
I follow him outside and into the garden area, walking along the pebbled path.
“Garrett’s not going to be there.”
“At the party.” He clarifies. “Garrett isn’t going to be showing up.”
“How did you manage that?” I question. “I was so sure we were going to have another run in with him.”
“Well let’s just say that he was needed elsewhere.”
I raise an eyebrow at him. “Elsewhere as in...?”
“Germany.” He shrugs nonchalantly. “One of his bases there mysteriously blew up and another one happens to be under attack at this very minute.” He gives me a confused look as if he has no idea why any of that is happening. “And if I’m not mistaken, the third base will be...well it’ll be having difficulties in about three days from now.”
He smiles at me and I stop in my tracks, he stops soon after me. I put my arms around his neck and rest my head on his chest, pulling him in for a hug.
“Thank-you,” I whisper. He wraps his arms around me after a moment.
“What are you talking about? I had nothing to do with any of that.” He states, but I hear the smile in his voice. “But if I somehow did have something to do with it...I think I’d have earned a kiss.”
I kick him in the shins. “I said kiss not kick.” He grumbles, pulling away to rub his leg.
“Oops, sorry I heard kick.” I reply ‘innocently’. “But seriously thank-you. I don’t really want to see him again...at least not until I have to kill him.”
“Have to kill him? You make it sound like you don’t want to.” He says, looking into my eyes.
“Believe me, I want to kill him, I really do. But I don’t think that I can.” I lean against a tree, shaking my head. “I can’t beat him.”
“And why not? I thought you were better than him.”
“Yeah, I was...up till four years ago, when I could no longer fire a gun. Garrett and I were always evenly matched, in everything we did. But when it came to shooting...he always fired three shots, to ensure his target would die. He could never kill someone with just one shot, he’d need three, I however....I never missed. I never missed a shot, ever. Until one day, I just couldn’t pull the trigger anymore.”
“Just because you can’t pull a trigger anymore, doesn’t mean you can’t still beat him.”
“He has one up on me, he fires guns and he has a certain degree of ruthlessness that I’ll never have. If I ever want to beat him, I need something he’ll never see coming.”
“Something tells me you already have that something.”
I smile slightly. “Possibly...but I’m still waiting on finding out if it’s ever actually going work out...there’s a certain person involved, but I’m still waiting on that person.”
It’s silent between us for a while before he finally speaks again.
“Garrett called you.” It’s not a question it’s a statement. “That’s why you’re avoiding Cody.”
“What makes you think you have any idea what’s going on in my life?” I snap back harshly.
He holds his hands up in surrender. “I’m not pretending to know anything. But you need to remember that Garrett is my brother, and I do know how he thinks.”
“You know nothing.”
“Oh really? Cause I was in the room with him when he made a lot of those calls in the past threatening you to drop cases or people would die.” I glare at him, a silent warning to him to keep his mouth shut.
“But you never did then, so why are you even considering it now?” He presses.
I look away and glare at the floor in front of me. “I don’t know.”
“Ah.” He walks up right next to me. “Well, I do. You actually care about this Cody guy...in a more than friends sort of way.” I say nothing. “But, you don’t want to get close to him because you don’t want a target on his back.”
“The target’s already on his back, I’m just thinking about removing it, instead of letting someone else die.”
“You care about him and Garrett’s MO is to use the people you care about against you.”
“Spoken like someone’s been there before.”
“Yeah, I have.” I look at him curiously. He sighs. “Garrett didn’t like that I wasn’t 100% into his whole, bigger picture plan. So he threatened me with the only person I ever cared about. I figured he would kill her because I was always there...and I was right. Unfortunately, he just turned her against me.”
“Why didn’t you just give him what he wanted?”
“Why didn’t you?” He asks softly.
“For the same reason I’m going to have to let Cody die eventually...a secret I’ll take with me to my grave.”