Drake (Book 1)

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[47]-Agent of chaos

London

9:39 p.m.

Drake waved a hand and Lyn stepped aside. She shot Aaren a threatening leer as he walked past her and faced Drake amid the studio. His eyes grew wide at the sight of the infernal scythe, Acheron. Never had he seen such a diabolical device, but it seemed like a perfect match for Drake. In Aaren’s eyes, its appearance complemented the cruelness of its wielder. A silver pole that mimicked a human spine with a golden skull connecting the Damascus patterned blade.

It dissipated into black sand and reformed into a golden scarab that crawled down Drake’s shoulder and back into his pocket. Drake’s blue eyes blazed; the same eyes he had seen decades ago in his flat. Aaren couldn’t help but grin and, although he was blind he could still see the broad color spectrums with ease.

He reached inside his coat and removed a revolver, pointing it at Drake’s head. He pulled back the hammer with his thumb, chambering a round. A tiny crucifix hung from the barrel of his silver revolver. Engraved at the top of it, said Sally.

Drake tilted his head.

Aaren grunted. He found it difficult to steady his aim, even though he used firearms regularly. He felt an ominous presence bearing down on him. Drake stood before him, staring sullenly.

“You told me to gather my hatred…” Sweat fell from his forehead and landed on his revolver. His humanity diminished by the second as the monster inside consumed him. Rage diluted all rationality.

Aaren’s hand became too large to hold the revolver. Thin membranes formed into wings under his arms with talons. His eyes swelled until his blood vessels popped, dousing his eyeballs red. The muscles of his arms and legs expanded, and he grew pointed ears.

He slammed the floor with his fists and charged, winding a fist and throwing his all into one punch. Tonight, his family could finally rest in peace. Drake stood idly, and wiped the sweat from his brow with a rag. Just as his fist was about to make contact, he stopped suddenly, only inches away from Drake’s face.

Aaren planted his feet and drove his fist forward. But no matter how much he persisted, the result was the same. At first, he thought Drake had conjured a shield. But he felt only air at the end of his fist. Vibrations caught his attention and his ears flicked. A curvy figure formed in his mind as his brain processed the vibrations.

“Do you want me to kill him?” Lyn asked.

Drake shook his head. “No.”

With his other arm, Aaren threw a punch only to meet the same result. Then Drake grabbed his wrist and squeezed. Aaren screeched from pain and fell to his knees, his bones compressing and cracking. Drake released his wrist and knelt before him. Aaren waited for the vibrations in the room to process in his mind again. He saw the faint outline of the revolver lying next to him.

If Drake could block fists, could he also block bullets? He didn’t know for sure, but had to try. So he tucked his body and rolled, grabbing the revolver and centering it on Drake. He squeezed the trigger, but the gun failed to fire.

Terror incapacitated him, and a sickness ran through his gut. He squeezed the trigger again, but the hammer refused to fall forward and strike the bullet’s primer. Drake’s footsteps echoed across the floor as he approached.

“I’m going to let you in on a little secret,” Drake said, his voice thin.

He crumbled the revolver as if it were paper and tossed it aside. Then Drake dug an elongated claw into his forehead, pumping fresh blood into him. Aaren’s body convulsed, and veins popped from his forehead. He covered his face with his palms unable to withstand the strain. It was as if thousands of tiny daggers pierced his skull and boiled his nerves.

But it subsided just as fast. He opened his eyes to see Drake standing over him clear as day.

Aaren gasped. “I- I can see…” He studied his pink palms.

The turmoil within him quelled, like throwing sand over a fire. His body relaxed, and he fell forward, barely catching himself. His gaze shifted towards Drake.

“Killing your master is forbidden,” Drake said, “you can’t harm me anymore than I can harm you.” He pointed a ghoulish claw towards the sky. “He forbids it. Cruel don’t you think?”

“What- what are you saying?”

“That’s why you can never kill me, nor I to you. It’s a little curse that God puts on all Shaytan Aaren.” He looked over his shoulder at Lyn. “Not even her…”

“You’re lying!”

Drake chuckled. “Really? Then try to kill me, Aaren. I won’t stop you.”

Aaren looked away, his face bitter and boiling with anger. His life had been a lie. For so long he had lived only to be an avenger, revolving his life around a single purpose, now vanquished by a few words. He felt like a corpse wandering around the world without a head, searching endlessly. Perhaps if he kept walking he would fall off the edge.

A scream escaped him, and Aaren pounded the wooden floors. Lyn strode forward with her bow ready to decapitate him, but Drake stepped between them. Aaren beat the floor until his knuckles bled, bellowing and wailing.

“Drake, let me put him out of his misery,” she insisted.

“Your mother…” Drake prompted. “She had brown hair, and green eyes-?”

“Black,” Aaren replied, shuddering. “Her eyes were black…”

Drake formed a simper and cupped his hands around Aaren’s ear. Then he whispered as soft as a kiss: “She’s alive…”

He winked and nodded at Kalen. The brute stomped towards Aaren and lifted from the ground with one hand, carrying him towards the entrance. He hurled Aaren and his body rolled down the steps and into the side of a dumpster, denting its face. Kalen scoffed and returned inside. However, Lyn stood at the doorway, glaring.

“If I ever see you again…” She smashed a hole in the wall and pieces of brick crumbled. “...I’ll kill you.”

She slammed the door shut.

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