THE CRIMSON FLOW

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Chapter 8.2 - WILD STALLION

"NO!!" Cain roared, his voice reverberating around the entire room. Crying out, he pushed up, the jagged mesh tearing into his body, stripping fabric, hair and skin. Gritting his teeth against the pain, he tried to bring his hands up over the bolt shafts but the trap seemed to adhere to his body, preventing sufficient space to manoeuvre. Frustration soared.

Luke stood behind Becky, his hands gripping her shoulders, fingers digging in, brutal.

Cain’s eyes flooded black with crimson specks, and he set sights on Luke, his stare feral, unforgiving, vengeful. The young vampire’s lips moved, he was shouting, but Cain did not hear him; such was his rage - broiling, thundering through his ears, all normal sound omitted. He writhed beneath the mesh, his body being punished with every move, but he wasn’t for giving up. The links shifted a little.

From the corner of his eye, Cain saw two individuals rushing him from the left. The metal stakes and mallets they carried suggested they were going to add extra security to the mesh. He faced them, thread veins spreading from his eyes, coursing across cheeks and bleeding down his neck. Pressing against the barbed links, his jaw dislocated, mouth opening wide to reveal a deadly maw of razored teeth.

With faces contorted, fangs bared, Cain soon realised this was the extent of his attackers’ transformation. They were mere larvae. Babies!

Suddenly another figure slammed into the two antagonists. Broad built, with black curly hair, the individual had run in from behind Cain and barrelled into the oncoming vampires, pushing one back towards the PA system. Their forms became silhouettes in the swirling laser show.

Another newcomer leapt at the second, stockier foe, ploughing into tables and stools. Pandemonium ensued.

Cain had no idea who these individuals were although he surmised they were the vampires from the room upstairs - as such they were no fans of Luke or the rest of his brood. This meant there would be a third somewhere. Sound returned to Cain’s ears as the ruckus escalated. He focused once more on the primary target.

Luke watched, fury in his eyes, as the battle continued between his ranks. “Traitors!” he roared at the scrapping vampires. The newcomers ripped and tore at their opponents, giving no leeway, no pardon.

The third vampire ally appeared, engaging in a violent struggle with the female who had guarded Becky. They went flying into the decks, growling, screaming.

Luke glared at Cain, defiant. “Too late!” he hissed, then sunk his fangs into Becky’s neck. She tried pulling away, kicking and pushing, but his grip was too strong. She buckled beneath him.

Enraged, wild, Cain fought against the unforgiving barbs of the chained-mesh. Their recalcitrant grip made them burrow into his flesh as he struggled to be free. Skin tore beneath his ruined garments; savage lacerations split open as he continued to wrestle beneath the barbaric trap. Striving to push aside the agony, he started to buck and rear - like a wild stallion trying to escape the confines of a stable. The bolts in his hands and ankles would not give an inch; his bones preventing him from completely tearing free.

From the periphery of his rage, Cain heard a familiar voice. “Hold on!” His head snapped to his right. Nick and Craig appeared, resplendent in their celestial forms. “This is going to fucking hurt!” Nick warned. Cain nodded, abrupt, resigned.

Together, the Fallen grabbed the edge of the lethal mesh and started to pull it back. Even with efforts combined, the chains were still heavy; the cruel barbs digging into their friend’s body adding to the difficulty of the task.

Again Cain roared. Caught in the serrated chains, broad strips of clothing tore from his upper body, chunks of skin amongst the fabric. Once he was almost free of the links, his hands shot up, clearing the bolt shafts. The gaping holes looked eerily like stigmata. Some of the fletchings caught in the wounds; Cain plucked them free.

His neck corded, veins and muscles bulging. Grimacing, he threw his head back as another shear of pain coursed up through his legs. The Fallen had ripped the links from his calves and snapped the shafts protruding from his ankles.

Bearing the pain, Cain focused, and his head snapped forward, eyes locked on Becky. She stared, a measure of fear, regret and resignation etched on her face as Luke pulled away from her, his mouth and chin coated, dripping in her blood. He dared to smile, smug.

Cain pushed himself upright, stumbling, trembling from his ordeal. As he reached his full height, the remaining tattered remnants of his clothing fell away. His back, arms and shoulders bore the appearance of a rigorous flogging. Blood trailed down his body; open wounds glistened, pulsing in the light show. His cheeks carried deep gashes, and chunks of hair fell from his scalp.

Within seconds, his breathing became deep, controlled once more, and injuries began to knit together, rapid; even patches of the scalp replenished with both skin and hair. He growled at Luke.

The young vampire was grinning no more as he watched Cain become whole again. But a hard set to his chin told Cain the sadistic little blood-sucker had not given up.

Luke roughly released Becky - she fell to the floor, limp, but still alive, still fighting. “Have you suddenly decided to appease me to stop me from killing your little lady?” Luke asked, laughing, dragging his sleeve across his mouth.

“Cain! You must help Becky!” Nick said, urgent, to his left.

Cain’s eyes looked at the woman on the floor. Apart from hearing a slightly panicked beat to Becky’s heart, he knew her pulse was steady. Luke, it appeared, had not been too greedy at least. But there-in lay a question. Why?

Becky, strangely calm, collected, smiled at Cain; a message conveyed in her eyes -“Do it!”

A sharp snap followed, and Cain transformed; his Nephilim persona revealed in its terrifying entirety. Luke stumbled backwards, his mouth, agape, as magnificent raven-black wings unfurled, and Cain’s bulk increased. For the first time, the Dubois brat showed fear.

It was short-lived, though. Luke’s mouth curved into an evil smile as shouts and screams from the far side of the room drew everyone’s attention. At the bottom of the bar, a door slammed open, loud, brutal - and out poured a pack of deranged, blood-thirsty monsters.

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