Chapter 20: Scorn
I bundle up the clothes and make to stand.
Just as I do, a thick hand clasps itself over my mouth.
My first thought, strange as it is, is that it's Bane, snuck through the bars between the two cells and doing this to surprise me. I raise my hand to his and try swiping it away playfully.
Except it doesn't move- the grip tightens.
A little less teasingly this time, I try to move the hand again, but the tension in it increases to the point where it becomes painful- I twist my head to pull away and try to pry the fingers from over my mouth with no success I feel pressure on my neck and find myself suddenly on my feet- under the cloak of almost-night there is barely a flicker from outside- I see the shadows of a group of men the other side of the circle, drenched in the glow of fire and alcohol. I recognize the silhouette of Bobby. Twisting my head again, I let out a muffled plea for release as I try to get away. Looking to my right, I see Bane, still asleep, curled over on his back like some sleeping beast whose mere form demands attention. I buck against the hold and find I can't shake it, exhuming another low murmur. A finger hushes me atop the hand already over my mouth, and I swing my fist back and punch at my assailant.
How can he be awake, let alone have the strength to attack me?
Since his arrival he can barely stand, let alone have the strength or the willpower to do this- has he been faking it, the strength and rapidness of the infection? All just part of some revenge scheme against Bane, another twisted move in their personal war against one another? Surely Andri would have realized- surely-
Then there's a shiver of something in the cell and fire spreads through my bones. It's not Dandachi.
I shut my eyes tight as realization seeps in through my pores. With all the force I can muster, I force my body around, snapping them open so that I'm face to face with-
"Nas?!" I say, the spin having broken his hold. The whole thing seems so ludicrous that I-
He smacks his palm back over my mouth and pulls a blade to my neck. I gasp beneath his grip and pull away from it, reeling as he silently lugs me into the bathroom and out of sight. He shimmy's over to the back wall and holds me there with his body weight.
"Shhh," he faintly whispers, giving it a second before taking his palm from my face. I go to scream and he slams it back there. The sharpness of it jolts my head back against the wall and makes more of a noise than probably my screaming could have. He winces, unnerved but determined.
For some reason, even with the blade at my neck, it's not fear that swims through my veins, or even anger- both are overruled by simple astonishment. He feels my lips move under his hand in question and slowly removes it, ready to bounce back into action should I make anything above a whisper.
"How did you get in here?" I stark in astoundment, and he leans in closer, that familiar smirk brushing his features and says, "do you not remember our night together those many months ago? I got into Bane's then, did I not? And you remember this, I should think?" He draws the long pin he used to pick Bane's lock all those months ago from thin air and winks. "You'd be surprised how much practice it took, sneaking in and out of cells and taking necessities, to get to the skilled picker of locks I am now. Saw my opportunity as I passed while you all slept. Hid in this room until you awoke-"
"What do you want?" I half-spit, my inner self remorsefully knowing what the answer will be but refusing to acknowledge it. I think of screaming Bane's name at the top of my lungs but then look down at the knife teetering beside my neck and, although for the moment I'm quite sure Nas wouldn't go so far as to actually use it, I'm not quite ready to take the risk.
I make to smack him and he elbows my arm out of the way.
"Where are my clothes?" He says.
I stare at him, so stunned struggle doesn't even cross my mind.
"You ought have washed them. That's your job."
"You break in here over the fucking laundry!?" I spit angrily at him.
"Well, when will it be done?" He says, pinning back one of my hands.
"Get out," I say as I boil with rage, leaning away from his body.
"Well if you're not going to do give me back my clothes I suppose you'll have to pay me back in some other way," he says, his weight shifting. "Perhaps I'll take yours instead-"
He goes to finger the collar of my dress and I slap his hand away with an animalistic hiss. He backs off a second like a vulture unsure as to whether or not it's prey has died yet or is still clinging on to life's tepered threads.
"Take it off," he says.
I stare at him a moment, more through disbelief than shock or anything else.
"Take off your dress."
This time triggers a reaction, and I spit at him. He raises his hand and before I can deflect I feel a sharp sting across my cheek. He lunges closer, pressing the knife deeper against my flesh. I go to shout Bane's name but he puts even more pressure on it, so much so that I feel the skin give a little and wince at the sting.
He glances down at the spot, where supposedly a bead of blood now rests upon. I sense the bead swell until it can no longer hold it's own weight, and the warm liquid leaks down into the hollow of my neck. Nas smears it away with the tip of the blade and leaves the sharp point in the cleave. He taps it along my collar bone, then whispers close to my face, "I've waited long enough."
I raise my hand to deflect the knife and catch it's handle in my fingers- with a sharp movement Nas slices it away and it sears a thick horizontal cleft across my palm. I hiss at him again, and his hand swipes at my neck so that he is holding the back of my head tightly, his fingers pulling at my loose hair. The other hand, still clasping the jagged knife, fumbles with the collar of my dress- with magnificent adrenaline-fueled speed I grab the knife again, it's edge once again slashing my palm, and manage to wrench it from his hand; I smack the hilt of it against his face and he reels a moment, in which I call out Bane's name, then manage to elbow him in the face before Nas slams the blade out of my clutches and it clatters with a loud metallic clanging in the corner of the room. He wrestles with my wrists, clearly disorientated from the blow to the face, and I begin laughing, sadistically pleased to see that I've drawn blood. The whole scene would be comical were it not so obscure.
"You've had it now," I smirk, a ring of laughter echoing my voice, "He'll of heard that. Bane. You'd best get the hell out of here while you still can, Nas, cuz if he finds you he's gonna kick your-"
Nas has released my one wrist and between his fingers is now pinched a metal ring, from which dangles two rusted, copper-green keys. I freeze, dumbstruck.
"You must tell the old man to stop leaving the keys on the stool between the two cells. It would be only too easy for an- uh- intruder to reach through the bars and hide them, say. So that anyone in said adjoining cell would be of no use if needed."
I look at the keys a minute, the meaning of them catching me out. Bane can't leave his side of the cell- not without that key.
I make a grab for them but Nas quickly flings them away in the direction of the fallen knife. I jump forwards to go after them but he grabs me by the back of my dress, slamming me into the back wall. I thrash out, clawing at him with my hands, before managing a sharp dig at his crotch. He grunts a little and I scream out for help again, body moving towards the keys again- Nas' hand locks into the back of my hair and pulls me back, slamming me head-first into the wall with the shard of mirror and the shelf nailed onto it- he smacks my forehead off the reflective glass twice, my neck catching on the shelf and I cry out from the pain, gagging to breathe, neck screaming and head spinning- I hear tearing at the hem of my dress, and I struggle in vain against his weight.
I wriggle one arm free from underneath me, vision hooded by my lack of oxygen, and feel around for something- anything- to bludgeon this bastard with. I'm too winded to scream, and by Nas' declaration of the keys, it would hardly be of any use anyway-
I hardly notice as his hands run up the backs of my legs; my head hurts, it hurts so much-
"Help!" I manage, but it's barely more than a squeak, choked and desperate, as I watch a shattered version of my reflection quivering at me from the now-broken mirror. My head lolls from the heaviness of it all, the weariness fogging my brain and I suddenly want to sleep-
You can't sleep-
Just close my eyes-
I hear Nas fondling the buckle of his belt-
For a second-
I let my head fall onto my chest, the last strains of consciousness drifting away, when a strange glint of light squeezes through my lids from below me. I awaken my eyes a little more and, like a dark twist of blessed gift from the heavens lies my salvation, fallen from the shelf into the make-shift sink after my head and neck were brutalized- a satisfyingly blunt cut-throat razor.
I reach for it, clinging to the last threads of my consciousness, and find it's cold aura in my bleeding palm.
This time I won't be aiming for the back of the knee, I think, allowing the blade to unfold in my hand. I jar forwards an inch then squeeze the handle of the razor and force my body to turn. Nas shoots me a look and tries to force me back around, to which I squeeze the thumb of my free hand into his eye socket with a repulsive squish- he growls and releases me for a split second, in which I fully turn myself around and flick out the razor, heavy weights tugging at my half-conscious state, as I push him away and raise the blade up to chest level, ready to drive it into his stomach, and perhaps somewhere even more fatal on my second lunge.
As I move to strike, adrenaline sliding through my veins and agitating my synapses, a hand looms out of the darkness and takes Nas by the neck. I freeze, glance at the blade in my hand and then back to Nas, who is fumbling to break the hands away from him, as they snake up to either side of his neck. Nas struggles to turn to face his attacker, screaming in staunched Arabic as the hands clasp his head. With a short, sharp movement and a crackling of bones and a ripple of popping noises, Nas' head breaks loose of his spine and nests on his chest a moment, before the bringer of his judgement drops his useless carcass to the floor, where it lands with an undemanding thud.
I stare at his body, crumpled and broken. The blade in my hand glitters as it falls to the floor, and I watch it lie beside the mass of dead body. I look up slowly, unable to confront Nas' executioner.
"Bane..." I whisper, finally ready to raise my hooded eyes.
I look up and Dandachi watches me for a split second before walking out of the room.
I'm officially a murderer.
I wasn't originally gonna kill Nas off, cuz i kinda like(d) him, smarmy git that he was. But alas, 'to love is to destroy' and all that jazz.
it was originally going to pan out differently- if you wanna know how it would have gone down, let me know and i'll message you or pop it in the next chapters AN.
Guys, tell me who you thought it was. Go on, you know you want to. :)
TELL ME WHO YOU THOUGHT IT WAS GONNA BE... i'm curious :3
R&R, delicious readers
and in the wise words of PPP's A. Dumbledore:
'au revoir, little biscuit!' :3