When Marcus walked out of the Nelson Trading building that evening, he felt incredibly good. Byron was onboard and between Byron and Dorian, Ser Nathan would be taken care of in no time. The feeling of accomplishment from the impending completion of a mission made Marcus feel as though he would fly into the air but something walking past him caught his eye and redirected his whole evening.
A gorgeous blonde woman in a red dress strolled in front of him, a mischievous smile on her lips as she stared at him. Her dress was so tight he could see her nipples as she strolled past Marcus, her open toed high heels taking steps to make her hips sway like a dancer. The red nail polish on her hands and feet matched her red lipstick and Marcus found himself making eye contact with her deep green eyes and unable to pull away. When their eyes met, the gorgeous woman paused as she stared at Marcus before she slowly walked up to him.
Marcus knew she was staring directly at him but he could not stop himself from sending his eyes down past her heavy chest and over her thin waist and hips. His eyes settled on her feet and he felt his manhood jump when he saw the cast of her toes. Marcus shivered and his eyes shot back up to her face when the feet belonging to those perfect toes stopped right in front of him.
They held a conversation but Marcus did not remember the name she gave him nor did he remember saying yes to her invitation to a bar nearby. All he could think about were those lovely toes and how he could get them on him. The woman led him down the street and made a few turns before Marcus felt rough hands seize him and drag him into a dark abandoned building.
There was a dim light coming in from a nearby window. There was not nearly enough light to penetrate the darkness deeper in the building but enough to light the room where Marcus was taken. He saw hostile faces surrounding him and his eyes fell on the woman. He began to shout for her to run but she sidled up to one of the hostile-faced men and kissed him deeply.
Only a fraction of Marcus was hurt about the trap. He was mostly disappointed that he would likely not cradle those perfect toes.
Seeing that everyone in the room was against him, Marcus reacted and spun violently. This surprised the men and he lashed out with a few well-placed punches to throats. Two men fell to the ground and Marcus was on the verge of delivering a kick to incapacitate a third when the man who held the perfect-toed woman stuck a gun under Marcus’ nose. With this development, Marcus froze and raised his hands into the air.
The man pressed on Marcus’ face until Marcus was up against a wall, grimacing menacingly. Marcus stared at the man, surprised at the even beating of his heart. He was definitely scared but his anger vastly overshadowed his fear.
“Strip naked.” The gun-toting man commanded.
Marcus spat at his feet and continued to stare at the man. The man cocked the hammer.
“Strip naked or I blow your brains all over that wall behind you and then we strip you naked.” He said in the same commanding tone. “Your choice.”
Marcus stared at the man, his expression unchanging. At the show of defiance, the man walked forward and Marcus saw a man wearing a leather vest with various patches come forward into the light. He jammed the gun against Marcus’ nose with more force and leaned in, repeating his order a third time.
“Strip.” He said.
Marcus snorted awkwardly.
“If you were going to use that thing, it would have been used by now.” He said with a sneer to his lips.
The man raised the gun and fired into the ceiling before replacing the gun under Marcus’ nose.
“This is my favorite gun.” He said through clenched teeth. “I don’t want to collect more bodies on it that I have to. Now, strip!”
The anger in Marcus’ chest slowly began waning in favor of the fear and Marcus was on the cusp of beginning to remove his clothes when a warm metallic smell filled his nose. He sniffed once and then sniffed again before he felt heat radiating from the gun. The heat quickly became uncomfortable for Marcus and he saw a struggle on the man’s face as he continued to hold the weapon. After another second, the man shouted in pain and dropped the gun, flapping his hand in the air desperate for some relief. The woman shouted in terror and everyone turned to see the door opening.
A man wearing an all-white body suit with a red cape, red boots and red gloves stood there pushing the entrance open. He wore an ornate silver mask over the top half of his face but for some reason, when Marcus looked at this man, he thought of his uncle. They both had that same air of ease in their stance that only time can give. However, this was most definitely not his uncle.
This was the man who was supposed to just be a myth. A rumor. He was the toast of the town. The headline on every evening news channel. The scourge of the underworld. The Bane of the Eight. The master of fire. The masked vigilante. The superhero from comic books somehow brought to life.
After a long minute of motionlessness, the Crusader strolled into the room and closed the door behind him. By the time the superhero turned back around, the gun was back in its devoted owner’s hand once more and he was blasting away.
The Crusader raised a hand and the bullets melted into copper that arched uselessly to the dust covered floor as he continued his easy stroll. The man continued firing until the gun clicked and the Crusader smiled as he came to a stop a few feet away from them
“This is the time when you choose to fight me or run.” He said in an unnaturally deep voice.
The five men looked at one another before the man with the gun threw the now useless metal at the superhero as he charged. The other four were not far behind him but even if their attacks were coordinated, these men clearly stood no chance.
There was not a single spark of flame near the Crusader as he parried the punches and kicks of the five men with shaming ease. As Marcus watched, his astonishment grew because he realized he recognized these moves and he found himself swirling in a whirlpool of confusion.
Before he had any time to dwell on what he was witnessing, the Crusader was sending the fifth man crashing through a wall and dusting his hands within literal seconds from the initial charge. Marcus and the perfect-toed woman stared at the Crusader, the ruins of three groaning men on the ground at her feet and two more hanging from the same wall. The Crusader took a single step in her direction and the woman snapped, fleeing from the building in half a split second. The Crusader and Marcus looked at one another before the Crusader shrugged nonchalantly.
“Are you alright?” The Crusader asked looking at Marcus.
Marcus managed to nod and the Crusader smiled before he walked out of the building and produced intense streams of fire from his hands and boots to launch himself into the sky. Marcus ran over to watch the superhero fly away and watched the dwindling figure in wonder.