Drake (Book 1)

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[46]-Speak of the devil

London

8:34 p.m.

Inside the lavish dining halls of Cutler manor, a glass of champagne flew, striking a wall and shattering. The housemaid yelped before scattering to clean up the mess. Adrian Cutler’s face was dark with anger and he glared at his assistant. Norton stood behind him, his arms crossed behind his back. Norton gulped as Sir Cutler rose from his seat.

Cutler glared and pointed a finger. “Why in the hell is Drake still alive? Sullivan and I had a deal!”

“I don’t know sir…” Norton replied, his voice stiff.

Sir Cutler was a businessman hailing from a long line of arms dealers dating back to Colonial times. Age weathered his burnished face and his hair was now more salt than pepper, tied into a small bun. He walked with a cane and seldom left the sanctuary of his manor. Norton was tall with long limbs, dirty blonde hair and a face so pale it looked as if he wore a mask.

The maid swept up the broken glass and cowered as Cutler limped past her. He crossed the threshold of a door into his lounging room where a fireplace lit the room; the red tongues of flames reaching from their prison of iron and logs. Sir Cutler came to a sudden stop, winded from his walk, and propped himself against a chair.

Norton stepped forward to offer his help, but was dismissed. He stared at the fire and didn’t dare speak until spoken to.

“I paid Sullivan a small fortune, and he has my crews digging constantly for treasure… as he calls it. It’s been over a year and they’ve found nothing! And Ulysses is dead and I still haven’t absorbed his company yet-!”

The old man squeezed a hand, and a violent cough erupted.

“I’m sure the rumors about Drake aren’t true,” Norton said. “No one could have survived the four horsemen…”

Sir Cutler sneered and shrugged. “So, where in the blazes is Drake-?”

“Speak of the devil and he shall appear,” a voice replied.

Norton froze, and terror wormed its way into his gut. He and Sir Cutler turned around simultaneously and the color from their faces drained. Cutler’s cane fell and clattered against his tiger wood floors. His feline companion, a black Maine coon named Teddy, rose from his cat tower and hissed. The feline scratched empty air, arching its back and scurrying away into another room.

Drake stood at the entrance with Lyn at his side. His blue eyes were fierce with diabolic determination. He wore tight black trousers embroidered with red and gold patterns that sat high on his stomach with a matching robe. He left the robe unbuttoned, exposing his chiseled body, sculptured by centuries of training. His gold necklace shimmered as he approached.

Lyn leaned against the entrance, her arms crossed and eyes watching like a curious cat.

Norton stepped aside and sighed as Drake passed him. He stood before a petrified Cutler and said to Norton: “Leave us.”

The assistant nodded and darted towards the dining room. A simper formed on Lyn’s lips as he flew past her, but she grabbed his arm and pulled him back. “It’s okay,” she said, “you should see this too.”

He nodded and stood beside her at the threshold. Her grip was like iron and she wrapped her arms around him and rested her head on his shoulder. Then she turned his head towards Drake and sniffed. Her shark-like teeth grazed his neck, drawing beads of blood.

Cutler’s limbs shook like branches in a typhoon as Drake paced around him. But the stubborn old man summoned a pint of courage and blasted: “GET OUT OF MY HOUSE! YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE DEAD!”

Drake chuckled and raised his arms. “Am I though?”

Lyn pressed her teeth into Norton, slowly draining his essence and toughening her grip. Her fangs felt like hot irons embedded in his neck. But his body relaxed and he could even feel an erection in his pants. She stroked his head and hymned a gentle tune. But it couldn’t keep his gaze away from Drake and Cutler.

Drake gingerly laid a hand on Cutler’s shoulders and a wolf-like smile formed on his face. His other hand rested on the top of Cutler’s skull.

“Tell me Cutler. Did you know that fear tenderizes the meat in humans? It makes your blood much more- appetizing.”

Cutler gasped, and he formed no discernible words. Drake tilted his head and the old billionaire said: “Please, it was all just business. None of it was personal…”

Drake shook his head and sighed; both of his hands now cupped Cutler’s skull.

“What are Sullivan’s true plans?” Drake asked.

“He wants to find her tomb and revive- her…”

“Who?”

Cutler shuddered, and his eyes were red from tears. “A- Aspásia…”

Drake’s monstrous roar flooded the halls of the entire manor. Cutler’s skull made a terrible crack as Drake crushed it with ease; however, it was not without a haunting shrill as his body fell. He turned and shared a glance with Norton’s mortified expression. Lyn continued to devour him and the life faded from his eyes. She released his body and wiped the streak of blood from her lips.

“Done eating?” Drake quipped.

She grinned. “I take it you had a score to settle with him?”

“He was just a pawn. If what he says is true, Sullivan is trying to revive Aspasia. If he does-” Drake paused and looked away. “I don’t know if I’ll be able to stop her…”


9:38 p.m.

Blades clashed in Lyn’s ballet studio as Drake and Kalen sparred across the wooden floors. Their reflections traveled across the paneled mirrors as they danced, parrying away attacks and swinging steel. Kalen stood firm as Drake pressed; if his body were a building, he surely would be a citadel. But could it withstand the siege of Acheron’s molten blade?

Drake brought his blade down in a heavy swing, knocking Kalen off balance. He stumbled and the grip on his sword loosened. Kalen groaned distastefully and attempted to counter, but telegraphed his movements; size was not his friend in this encounter. Drake spun and swept his legs with Acheron’s blade, knocking Kalen to the floor.

He held the scythe to his throat and Kalen conceded. Sweat glistened from their bodies, and Kalen labored his breaths. He rose to a knee. Drake regarded him coldly and peered at the sword lying on the floor.

“Again,” he said.

Lyn watched from the stairs as a bell rang. She looked over to see a man sauntering through the entrance, inspecting the ballet studio with blank, white eyes. She rose to greet him and exaggerated a smile.

“Sorry, we’re closed right now. We open tomorrow at eight,” she said.

The man continued to inspect the studio. Then he scorned Drake. ”I finally mustered enough hatred. Just like you said all those years ago…”

Drake narrowed his eyes and shouldered Acheron. “Aaren, it’s been a long time…”

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