A horn blared from a steam boat tugging freight across the river Thames. Drake sat along the banks over a garden of bedrock, staring at the horizon, his arms folded over his knees. He tossed a rock across the river and watched it bounce over the surface before sinking. He would repeat this process while crushing others in his palm at random. His trousers and shirt were frayed and smoldered in dust from his earlier strife.
The steamboat's horn faded as he watched the boat sail underneath a bridge, becoming a mere speck. Birds circled above him, some landing and perpetually pecking the ground in search of food. One landed an arm’s length away and gawked. He looked to the side to meet the pair of beady eyes. The bird tilted its head and flapped its wings.
Drake extended an arm, and the tiny red robin landed on it. It tilted its head and secured its talons to him. He forced a smile and exhaled sharply. Then he lifted his arm, giving the bird a courteous boost as it returned to the sky.
“You are free…” he whispered.
A putrid stench of metal and blood flooded his nostrils. A great blade hovered over his shoulder and reached past him. He recognized the blade by the curved semi-circle on its edge; the Executioner’s blade.
“Looks like I found you,” a voice teased.
He looked over his shoulder and scorned.
She sneered and rested her sword on his shoulder, making him bear the full weight of her blade. Drake’s gaze returned to the river as another boat sailed by; this one, a smaller fishing boat. Rain’s face grew dark with anger and she too gazed at the boat. Her teeth gritted, and she pressed on the sword, drawing blood from his shoulder.
Drake never faltered and kept his eyes forward. He took a finger and lifted the blade from his shoulder.
Her nostrils flared, and she shouldered her sword. He stood and faced her. Instinctively, Rain prepared herself for combat. He could see the blood lust in her eyes, but beneath that, a plea for help. He saw a frightened little girl running through the snow.
“Why are you staring at me like that!” Rain blasted. “Grab your scythe and fight me!”
She swung her blade and sliced a strand of his fine hair. He sauntered towards her, his body relaxed and arms at his side. The act infuriated her, and she lifted her weapon, its tip directed at his neck.
“Go on, cut my head off,” Drake raised his arms in submission.
She gripped her handle, and the metal clinked. Rain shook her head. Her crocodile-like teeth peeked and her indigo eyes glowed.
With accusing eyes she said: “You’re mocking me. You don’t think I could do it?” She guffawed. “Well, you are a fool!”
Her blade moved towards his head for decapitation. She came to a sudden stop; the sword raised overhead. Overlapping waves clashed against the river bank. Two men fishing further down the bank laughed and jeered in drunken foolishness.
“Is killing the only thing you can do? Is it your sole purpose of living?”
Rain’s gaze strayed towards the bedrock.
“I was like you one time; blind and lost in the mist. I’m going to tell you something interesting. I killed my first man when I was six years old.”
Rain lowered her sword, and it plunged into the ground upright. She raised her head. Drake’s face was only inches from hers. He ensnared her with his fierce blue eyes. She staggered back, but Drake pursued as she lost her balance and tripped, falling on a slab of stone as white as snow.
He spread her legs and used his body to trap her against the slab, his palms planted firm.
“The man tried to murder my sister,” Drake breathed, and he mused at the thought. “I felt guilty for taking a life, but proud. Proud that I had defended my sister. But in the end, I still couldn’t protect her…”
Rain scoffed, and her gaze returned to the river. She formed a sardonic smile. “Is this where you rape and kill me?”
He squeezed her thigh and his hand traveled further up her leg. Rain released a hushed yelp and her face turned red.
“There’s nothing like killing…” His lips skimmed her neck and she moaned.
She tried to withdraw from his advances, but another hand lightly pressed against her lower belly. Rain gasped, and she gripped his great arms.
“Killing without purpose makes you a murderer,” he said, as his lips linked to hers.
Her body weakened, and she closed her eyes as he caressed her breast and thighs. Drake’s lips pulled away, and she frowned, yearning for his affection.
“Rain, you’re a kite floating in a storm…”
Drake stood and strolled up the hill towards the street. Rain sat there perplexed, and she chased after him, leaving her sword behind. Dark wings emerged through the holes in his shirt and he faced her. His eyes regarded her coldly as his feet lifted from the ground.
“I remember meeting you at that bakery all those years ago,” Rain tersed, her arms crossed over her chest. “I never forgot about that day… when you smiled at me. Do you think, in another life… We could have been together?”
He smiled miserably. “Perhaps… In another life, but not this one…”
His wings formed fierce gales that scattered rocks and debris in every direction. Rain blanched and as the gusts dissipated, she opened her eyes. Drake was gone. She fell to her knees, defeated without ever crossing blades.