Drake (Book 1)

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[59]-Godfrey's fantasy


8:55 p.m.

Godfrey hardly recognized his former master’s appearance: haggard, and pale with dark stubble growing along his face. Untamed hair ran amok his head and the usual glow in his eyes diminished to a dim light. Godfrey knew he was running on fumes, though Drake would never admit it. He wanted to chide him for such a delinquent appearance.

Drake stood before him not as his master or friend, but something else — something far more sinister. Godfrey broke out in a cold sweat and a chill touched his heart. Terror strangled him and his mouth went dry. He smacked his lips to moisten them so he could speak, but found such a simple task extremely difficult. Drake continued staring, scrutinizing his very existence.

“Weakness disgusts me…” Drake said, his blue eyes as cold as winter’s kiss.

Godfrey gulped and clenched his fists. He had known Drake for well over two-thousand years. Why was he petrified now?

And for the first time, he spoke to Drake not as a butler, but as his friend.

“Drake…” Godfrey replied. “Lyn’s pregnancy was false. She knows she made a mistake and wants you back. We want you to come home, please…”

Drake released an exasperated sigh. “You knew didn’t you — about her and Sullivan and didn’t tell me. You had no right…”

Godfrey sensed the hushed anger in his voice and the hatred brewing in his eyes. He accepted the possibility of his death, even if by Drake’s hand. It made no difference. There wasn’t anyone else he would rather be slain by. He made his peace long before stepping foot in those sewers.

But despite only being a butler, facing Drake under these circumstances would be the most courageous act of his lifetime. For most of his life, he sat on the sides, observing. He served tea and catered to Drake’s every whim. The passage of time changed like the seasons, and he too was a slave to eternity. It didn’t matter, though. They had each other and if revealing this irrefutable and ultimate truth resulted in death, then so be it…

Godfrey’s voice broke into tears. “If it meant sparing you the pain — I would have done it again. I see the way you look at that girl and we both know the truth. You love her more than anything in this world and she loves you, too. This isn’t like Anna and Irene, it’s different. I’ve seen you lose so much — so much for one person to bear alone-”


“Sometimes I have this imagination about you and Lyn…” Godfrey snuffled, wiping his tears away. “There are a couple of kids running around the halls giving Lady Lyn hell…”

He chuckled at the thought, finally receiving retribution for the calamity Lyn stirred when she first moved in.

“... It’s a crisp Sunday afternoon and the leaves are changing colors for fall. My debt to you would be paid and we would never see each other again. But I would leave knowing that you were okay — that you were happy. I never wanted you to wake up from hibernation again. If I could bear all your pain and suffering, I would.”

Drake’s face softened, and his anger extinguished, like throwing sand over a fire. He looked away as a single tear drop fell. Anna’s words echoed in his head. “Can you just be human?”

He faced his former friend and butler. “Goodbye, Godfrey.”

Drake’s words hit him like a revelation, but he simply nodded and turned away. Drake never looked back as he walked through the entrance, unhindered by any mercenaries, as he made his ascent to the surface. In fact, each man that guarded the tight tunnels and corridors only glared as he passed them, their weapons still shouldered.

He lost track of time, but as he emerged from a pothole only a block away from Lyn’s studio, the break of dawn greeted him. Godfrey would live another day.

9:58 a.m.

A massive vessel floated across the Atlantic, a few miles off shore from the London harbor. Aaren killed the engine to his boat as he drifted to its port side. He secured his own vessel to the much larger destroyer and scaled the netting lining the freighter’s side. Aaren hopped over the side where two armed guards greeted him.

He raised his arms above his head as they cocked their weapons, one man guarding him as the other approached. They wore black body armor and fatigues with darker steel masks that concealed their identities with a tinted cycloptic visor. Aaren had never seen such intimidating foes in all his travels. He understood these people valued discrepancy and meant business.

The first man patted him down and after determining him to be a minor threat, nudged the small of his back with a gun barrel. Aaren took a few steps forward but came to a sudden halt. The guard behind grunted and nudged him again.

“Wait,” Aaren said, “My mother, Serina Ackner, sent me here. “I have something for you-”

“We know…” the guard replied, his voice muffled by the mask.

He held up the USB to Aaren and tilted his head towards the ship’s bridge. As they escorted him, he passed other masked members gawking at him from behind their masks. Machine gun stations lined the port and starboard sides, with heavy cannons affixed to the front and back of the vessel. Closed pods contained missiles on the ship’s bow, and its myriad of radars and antennas made the vessel nothing less than state-of-the art.

The ship picked up speed, cutting across gray ocean waters as it sailed across the Atlantic; the harbor and docked vessels still in view. Aaren realized the frigate to be a refitted destroyer, most likely from the Royal Navy. He lived on many ships like this on his deployments abroad.

Most of the men guarding its deck to include the crew all seemed to be ex-military picked from the Royal Marines or the Queen’s army. They made their way up a set of stairs leading to the bridge where two men guarded the entrance. One was bald, wearing the same cycloptic mask but with a tight t-shirt beneath his body armor.

Tattooed on his bulging bicep was a winged dagger that said: Who Dares Wins

Aaren grinned and rolled up a sleeve, revealing a similar tattoo. “22 SAS…” he quipped.

The man nodded perhaps in the mutual respect of their service to the crown. He turned and rotated a wheel on the bulkhead, unlocking it. Aaren took it as an incentive to enter to avoid another gun barrel being burrowed into his back. He entered the bridge, which housed a variety of monitors, radars, and other equipment a modern navy required.

The bulkhead slammed shut, and he found himself alone as the lights dimmed, shrouding the bridge in darkness. Active equipment and monitors outsourced the only light, but was enough to guide him to the captain’s quarters.

“Come in here, boy…” a voice terse from behind the door.

Aaren gasped, his hand hovering over the latch. He recognized that voice from behind the bulkhead. On the other side were the captain’s quarters. All he had to do was pull down the latch, open the door, and all his questions would be answered. His journey and sacrifices lead him to this moment. His hand brushed his jean pocket where he felt a small object.

He reached in the pocket, pulling out the USB drive.

What the hell?

He thought of the guard that ushered him earlier. The man must have been one hell of a pickpocket with an even slighter hand.

Didn’t even notice him put it back in my pocket…

“Boy!” the voice barked. “We don’t have all day, get in here!”

A grin spread across his face, and he pulled the latch and pushed in the bulkhead. Aaren had seen many things in his lifetime most men could never comprehend. But now, as he stared at the figure before him, he too was lost for words…

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