Unravel Him

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Chapter 38: Poison

A/N

Unravel Him Playlist on Spotify.

Song; (Kings and Creatures- Control) & (Kings and Creatures- Black Room)



8 Years ago

Things are different.

I mean, they’ve always, been, different since that day.

But today I had a reason.

Albeit a good reason.

It wasn’t that late at night but the streets were uncharacteristically empty.

In the distance, crickets chirped against the cool night sky.

It’s loud and noisy.

Annoying maybe.

But I paid no attention.

Curling my arms around myself, I pulled my knees together and stared up into the star filled sky.

The full moon glared faintly in the background, hidden behind two buildings across the alleyway.

How cliche was this?

Sitting here, by the sidewalk, alone, unguarded.

What was I doing out here?

I guess I just needed a space to think, a space to collect my wayward thoughts after all the shit it’s been through.

Already, I feel myself wishing for a cigarette, eager to let the nicotine run through my veins.

But I promised.

I made a promise.

Sighing out loud, I palmed my head and run my hands through the red strands.

It’s so easy forgetting.

It’s so hard recovering.

One part of me desperately wished to re-join Jonas, to not give a fuck about what Ethan said and just do things my way.

It was easier that way, I didn’t have to care.

I didn’t have to think.

I didn’t have to wake up expecting things to get better because it never will.

But I promised.

Shaking my head, I exhaled slowly to try and even out my breathing.

“You want to waste your life? Go ahead! Is that what you’re Dad would’ve wanted?!”

“Don’t you dare bring my Dad into this!”

I didn’t want him to tell me what to do.

I didn’t want him to help me.

God, I just wanted to let it all go.

It was supposed to be easy.

“You want to know what he would say?; ’Vanessa Vail, what have you become?”

But it wasn’t.

It wasn’t easy.

All those people I hurt, all those lives I’ve destroyed and for what?

Just so they can feel my pain?

I had become a monster, Ethan saw that, everyone else saw it, I, saw it.

In the end, I made the choice to turn my back on Jonas.

I made the choice to leave.

Who was I kidding, the journey to get back up on my feet again was going to be harder then when I was first knocked down.

Could I do this?

Could I even try?

Would I fail?

A bright light of red and blue flashed in my direction causing me to flinch, one arm covering my face.

What the-

There was a short siren before the car rolls to a stop meters away, headlights flashing.

The engine cuts off moments later and the door opened, signalling a person getting out.

I waited a couple seconds to clear the temporary blindness before realizing who it was.

He holds up a flashlight, the beam pointing down to my shoes and face.

“Vanessa?” He speaks warily, voice muffled against the coat.

I rolled my eyes and put my hand down, choosing to rest it against my knee. “Jackson,”

Great, the cops were here.

Particularly him.

“What are you doing out here?” Jackson shifts the beam so it points down the street and back to me.

He’s looking for trouble.

“You can put the torch down, Indiana Jones.” I remark, annoyed by the constant flashing back and forth. “I’m alone.”

He’s still not convinced.

I don’t blame him.

After all, I wrecked havoc in NorthVille.

None of the authorities could stop me nor could they find me.

Yet here I was, out in the open, why?

Well there’s only one explanation.

A perfect logical explanation that didn’t sound so true but was.

I was no longer part of the Ring.

Jackson is quiet for a while, his breathing silenced almost. Very slowly, he switches the torch off and tucks it back to his side.

“Haven’t seen you in almost 5 months... how you’ve been?”

I glance up at him, surprised to find the all too familiar tone in his voice that indicated whatever I’ve done over the past few months didn’t matter.

“Don’t do that,” Looking away, I clenched my fists so my nails dug in. “Stop being so... nice.”

“Nice?” He releases a scoff.

“This isn’t nice, this is me checking up on a friend. Call it a courtesy.”

I don’t answer him. My gaze is to the ground where my boots settled down the road.

Jackson sighs at my lack of response and with a move that both confused and frustrated me, sat down on the sidewalk so we were side by side.

Then it was just silence.

Comfortable, quiet, silence.

It was funny how things looked.

Jackson was a cop, with all due respect he should be arresting me for all the horrible things I’ve done.

Instead here he was, sitting beside me, head tipped up so he could view the skies.

For the first time in months, I felt like laughing.

“What is it?” Jackson asks and I realized I’ve been looking at him.

I shake my head, struggling to collect my wayward thoughts. “Nothing... it’s just, I want to laugh. Like really, laugh.”

He frowns, confused by what I’ve said. “So why don’t you?”

“Because it’s stupid.” Biting my lip, I unfurled my hands so they could rest on the ground.

“My whole world has just been chopped into a dozen pieces and I’m still trying to pick up what’s left, why in the hell should I be laughing?”

“I don’t know,” Jackson shrugs, his dark features lighting up the street. “Maybe to celebrate that you’re still alive?”

“Alive?” I stared at him indecorously.

He raises a mocking brow.

“Don’t think I don’t know that Black Round you joined two nights ago. The winner kicked the bucket this morning.”

Then I burst out laughing, unable to stop myself.

It was too silly.

Too stupid.

Too real.

Jackson was right, I should be grateful. When I joined that Bike Race, I fully expected that I would not make it out alive.

I was lucky to have escape with minor scratches.

The winner had won but was sent to the hospital immediately where he unfortunately died this morning.

So yes, I should be laughing.

Laugh because what if the day before yesterday was my last moment on earth?

Laugh because what if I never had the chance ever again?

Laugh because... because I’m alive.

Ultimately, the laughing turned into chuckles, then a choke, a sob, a raspy exhale.

Tears pooled out of my eyes in cascading motions, drowning me and everything I’ve ever felt.

I survived.

I survived through all the horrible, terrible, things I’ve done.

I survived.

But the others I hurt didn’t.

Burying my head into my hands, I cried and cried, my heart open, my soul exposed, my everything, left out for people to take and take.

Hiccuping through the gasps, I stared down at my hands, hands that have hurt others.

“Jackson, I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to try, I’m tired of trying... I’m tired.” Swiping the droplets away I sucked in a breath.

“I don’t want to try anymore.”

He stares at me, dark eyes swirling with unfathomable emotion.

I’m bombarded with memories as I stared into his eyes.

All those times he would come over for lunch every Sunday.

All those times he would share a beer with my Dad.

All those times when Ethan joined in.

And I’m so selfish, so, so selfish, to have I thought I was going through this alone.

I see the pain in his eyes, the heartbreak he has, the grief that has since taken hold of his duty.

He was best friends with my Dad and couldn’t even help me when I was too far gone.

I imagine him blaming himself.

I imagine him unable to sleep at night knowing his best friend’s daughter was out there, somewhere, in danger.

The more I imagined, the more I cried.

Jackson wraps one arm around me and pulls me into his chest, muffling my sobs all at once.

“I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry I couldn’t stop him.” He mutters above my hair line, voice thick.

I cried harder, pouring every ounce of my being into every sob, every tear, every gut wrenching plead.

“But you know what, that doesn’t matter.” He pulls me back so he could view my features.

“I’m not going to lie to you and say it’ll be easy. It’s going to be hard, harder then anything.”

Jackson wipes the tears off my cheeks. “And one day, when you know who you are, you’ll never worry about losing control in the Ring ever again.”

Something about that, made me sob a little harder.

He knows. Just like Ethan.

They know that I belong in the Ring, that I want this, that I need this.

“Today’s not that day, Vanessa.” He smiles at me, gently stroking my hair. “One day... just not today.”

I nod, squeezing my eyes shut.






“Just not today.”





“Where are you?!”

The volume of his voice sends me standing, posture rigid and hands clenched.

What the fuck, was he doing?

Jonas mirrors my action, one hand holding me back so I stayed in the shadows and out of people’s eye.

I watch Jackson release two more gunshots into the ceiling, signaling he wasn’t leaving until he got his point across.

“What the fuck is he doing here?” I ripped my arm away from Jonas, forcing him to look at me.

I’m angry, beyond livid.

We’ve hidden for days, I made sure to keep my tracks clear so no one suspected I was behind it.

So what went wrong, dammit?

Jonas lips curl back into a snarl, his temper matching my own. “Don’t you know the answer yourself?”

“Red Devil, come out and face me!”

Squeezing my eyes shut at the call of war, I took a deep breath to steady my trembling self.

He’s not supposed to be here. He’s not supposed to be here.

Then I feel the panic, the panic of being found out. The panic of an altercation.

The panic of having to faced down someone that once cared about me.

“He won’t leave,” Jonas maneuvers himself so he was half out of the shadows and half in. “Not until he sees you.”

“That’s not his choice.”

“No it’s yours.” He hisses, low and clear.

“If you let him run havoc in the Ring, then it’s over. Everything we’ve worked for? Gone. They won’t be afraid of you anymore.”

Shit.

I run my hands through my hair and took off the mask, feeling it constrict my face.

Jackson why are you here?

Why did you have to do this?

“Make a decision, right now.” Jonas pulled his gun from his side and cocked back the chamber. “Or I’ll do it for you.”

I turn around, eyes wide, confused, frightened. “What you gonna do? Kill him?”

“Every second he’s out there is a risk to my group and my title.” Jonas has a hard glint in his eyes.

“I need to set a point.”

“By killing him?!”

The urge to throw him off the balcony is constricting.

We both agreed this spree I was on, will not involve people I know.

But Jackson was here.

He was here either way.

It was not part of the plan.

“Get out of my way, Vanessa.” He brushes past me and in my panic, I held onto his collar, drawing him close so our faces are mere inches away.

“You’re not going to kill him.”

He raises an eyebrow, unaffected, bored even. “You may be unafraid of you’re title, but I need to defend mine. That’s, what it takes to be here.”

Jonas rips my grip off, of him and stalks further towards the stairs.

“Now will you let me do it? Or are you just stopping me because you know Jackson?”

Bastard.

Gritting my teeth, I cursed to the high heavens, scorning my weakness for showing itself at the worst possible time.

If I don’t go down there, Jonas will kill him.

It’s point blank, no questions asked.

He’s allowed to do it.

He runs this Ring, he holds the power.

The only way I can stop him is if I go down there and face Jackson, face the fear of being rejected once he sees what I’ve become.

What do I do?

“For a person who says they’ve given up everything...” Jonas brings me out of my trance.

“You sure keep tabs to yourself.”

He’s baiting you.

He’s going to kill Jackson.

I need to save Jackson.

Readjusting my mask, I carefully flicked my hood back up my head so my hair is no longer exposed.

“Leave Jackson to me,”

The men surrounding the balcony looked back at me, each of them sporting firearms.

I then turn to Jonas.

“If you or any of your guys fire a bullet... I’ll make sure to put one, right between you’re eyes.”

He nods, chuckling lightly at the Glock gun in his hand.

“You can run Vanessa, you can hide, sooner or later this will always catch up to you,”

Striding forward, I bumped shoulders against his and began the trek downstairs, ignoring his poisonous words.

But didn’t I just said he was a beautiful flower?

A Venus flytrap?

I’m already too deep into his clutches, too embedded within to ever escape.

“Vanessa,”

I froze in my tracks, turning slightly to view his cold expression.

He throws me the gun and I caught it, feeling the metal cool beneath my warm fingers.

“The gun’s untraceable, handmade from our own arms dealer.”

I look up at him, seeing his shadow cast over me. “I’m not going to shoot him Jonas.”

“Scare him,” Jonas explains, his tongue rolling off the roof of his mouth.

“You know he won’t leave. Not unless you prove it.”

Prove it.

Prove it. Prove it. Prove it.

Looking down at the Glock, my fingers found the grip, gently curling around it to test the weight.

I’ve handled guns before, they weren’t anything new to me.

Yet... why did this feel different?

Holding my breath, I cock back the slide and check for bullets before pushing the cartridge back in place.

Prove it.

I need to save Jackson.

Prove it.

With that, I turned and walked down the stairs, keeping the Glock close to my side and locked in before eventually, the floor even’s up.

I take my first steps on ground floor, hearing the chatter from panicked fighters and people all around.

They’re not sure if they should escape.

If Jackson had brought the rest of the cavalry to arrest them nobody wanted to get caught in the cross hairs.

It’s why they’re waiting, anticipating.

The problem was, this wasn’t an ordinary Sting, the police would have already broken in long before Jackson announced his arrival, if it was.

This? This was a cop gone rouge.

A cop that left his honor at home in order to save someone he wished he could have saved earlier.

The crowd is gathered around the platform, all of them pushing against one another at the sight of Jackson rotating back and forth, his finger on the trigger.

I see the wild look in his eyes, the determination.

I see the harness he wore, holstering his ammo and a secondary gun.

No badge.

“Red Devil?!” He’s shouting, the vein at the side of neck is throbbing.

The crowd is anxiously looking around, unsure and confused.

I made my way from the sidelines to the center, keeping my head low as the crowd eventually parts, allowing more room to walk.

Whispers are thrown around, sharp words can be heard.

“Move, move get out of her way.”

“She’s here.”

“Red Devil, it’s Red Devil.”

Then everyone is backing away, everyone is shoving people to see the action.

Everyone wanted to get close but not too close.

I see people run back and forth in front of me, unsure if they should watch from the left or right.

It’s chaos, the noise is growing stronger, too much movement.

My hood fell down from the action, allowing the red strands to shine.

“Draw the lights!” Someone yells.

The spot lights above the platform flared brightly causing Jackson to wince, one arm held up to his eyes.

I see the dust and sand in the air, eliciting a glow not so tranquil.

Jackson squints at the parting crowd, at the figure dressed in black walking up the platform, mask on with no emotion to bear witness.

I held up the ropes and slid low, one boot after the other.

Then, very carefully, I raised my head up, eyes immediately connecting to his.

He drop his arm, the gun no longer armed. I think he’s shaking but I can’t tell.

Not with the heat that begun to bore down the both of us caused by the lights.

He opens his mouth, sure but not sure. Jackson swipes the seat off his brow and clear his throat.

It’s pin drop silence as we stare at each other.

“V-Vanessa?”

I tilt my head, barely able to catch his whisper if I wasn’t directly on the platform with him.

“Is it... is it you?”

Cracking my neck, I held my fists to my sides. “What are you doing here Jackson?”

It must have been my voice.

It must have been too familiar.

I hear him mumble something beneath his breath, too low for anyone or myself to hear.

He turns his head, away from me, blocking the emotion I could have easily deduced if he didn’t.

Still, he is quiet.

“I said,” Taking a step forward, my voice rang out. “What, are you doing here?”

He inhales shakily, still struggling to get over the shock. “I didn’t believe it.”

I raised an eyebrow, unsure where he’s going with this.

Jackson faces me, allowing his relief, his joy, his care to shine through.

“They told me you were back... but I didn’t believe it... I-I couldn’t.”

He makes a move to hold me, maybe even hug me.

No.

I take Jonas’s gun, holding it eye level and stopping Jackson in his tracks.

He can’t come any closer.

Not here.

Not too me.

My tone is cold, quiet, dead. “I’m not going to repeat myself.”

He raises both hands slowly, dark eyes filling in utter confusion. “What are you-”

“I’m going to count to 3, if you don’t answer my question, I’ll shoot you in the leg.” Dropping the gun lower to his right foot, I aimed.

“1, 2-”

“I had to see you with my own eyes!” He shouts, breaking off the countdown.

I raised the gun so it remained eye level once more. “Why?”

“Because I thought they were lying. You shouldn’t be back here.” He sighs, desperately waving his hands back and forth.

“I know you’re hurting. I know you think you’re alone, but you’re not. You have me, you have-”

“She’s not alone,”

Subtle footsteps can be heard climbing up the platform.

I don’t take my eyes off Jackson as Jonas appears at my side, smirking.

“She has me.”

The rouge cop furrowed his brows, dark eyes lighting up in rage once he recognized who stood by me. “You.”

A gun is raised, two hands, Jackson’s, it’s aiming at Jonas.

“We’re well acquainted Jackson,” Jonas puts his arm around me, laughing lightly like we weren’t in the middle of a gunfight that could go terribly wrong.

“Red Devil here came back all on her own.”

This makes Jackson falter. His features soften, turned into something else. Something more.

Hurt.

Disbelief.

Why?

Then along the edges of my heart, I feel it.

The fear of being rejected.

The fear of being a person people turn their backs on.

“Yeah well, people do crazy things when they’re mourning.” He brushes it off casually, unwilling to believe the other male.

“Haven’t you heard, Jonas? We just put down the old man and you’re taking advantage of her?” Jackson nodded at me with the gun.

“Have a bit of respect.”

“Respect?” Jonas takes his arm away and circles the Ring, one finger up.

“She came to me, I welcomed her with open arms. Maybe if you and the rest had been more forth coming, she would’ve gone to you.”

This affects Jackson, the hold on his gun falters as the severity of the situation dawns on him.

“You don’t know what you’re doing,” His words are directed to me. “Ethan wouldn’t have wanted this for you.”

“Ethan is dead.” I stated, dropping my raised arm as the pain in my chest escalated.

“I paid for his funeral, buried him. He’s not here, Jackson. He won’t ever be.”

Stay away.

Leave, now.

Jackson grits his teeth and tightens his hold on the gun as he mirrors my actions, torn in doing so.

“This isn’t the way. I can still help you. We, can help you.”

How difficult was it to understand?

I needed him gone.

He can’t be here.

Every second I waste talking with him, I can feel the eyes of the onlookers, judging me for letting him off so easy.

“You may be unafraid of you’re title, but I need to defend mine. That’s, what it takes to be here.”

Jonas’s words were mocking me, making my head pound uncontrollably.

The ringing in my ears makes me wince and I subtly pressed a finger over it, wanting the ache to go away.

“You really are blind Jackson,” Jonas sighs, both hands spread out in a wide angle.

“If she wanted you’re help, she would’ve gotten it already.”

“Don’t give me that bullshit, she’s here because of you!” Jackson snarls, no longer calm.

“You’re a poison. You’ve poisoned her. I don’t know what the hell words you’ve been spinning, but it’s no better then a snake’s,”

The fire in Jonas re-lit itself.

He’s been disrespected.

He won’t take that.

He won’t let it go.

But I’m holding his gun, the only thing he can use to do harm.

I watch as he stares at me, eyes unflinching, fingers clenching.

No, no, no.

Jackson needed to go.

He needed to go right now.

“Jackson, you need to leave.” I kept my hand coiled around the gun, afraid that if I loosen my grip, Jonas might just do something stupid.

“I’m not leaving without you.”

“Can’t you see, I don’t want to leave?!”

My temper flared, too caught up to care.

After everything I’ve done to get away from the people I know will come after me, there he was, standing there, waiting, wanting to help.

“You want, him to find you. Deep down inside, you want him to save you. You want him... to help, you.”

I had to prove it.

So I’ll make him go away.

“Leave, Jackson. I won’t ask you again.”

He shakes his head, deter mid. “No.”

I released a bullet, aiming for the ground next to his foot.

The shock wave that resounded after that decision was so quiet that I was unsure if I even pulled it or not.

Jackson slowly looks at the gaping hole on the platform and takes a step back, well aware how his right foot barely grazed it.

“Leave,” I’m growling.

“He’s playing you, Vanessa!” He cries out, needing for me to realize it, to see it.

I don’t.

“No, she’s playing you, Jackson.”

I recognized that tone in Jonas.

It’s a warning.

Someone’s going to get hurt.

“Everything you think I did? I didn’t do it. The plans, the attacks... it wasn’t me.”

Jackson frowns, confused by what Jonas is saying.

This causes the younger male to roll his eyes. “I was merely following orders. Orders, given by you’re precious, Vanessa.”

Not many people knew Red Devil was behind the massacres.

They all assumed it was a rival gang.

But could a rival gang, take down an empire?

Could a rival gang make it bleed from the inside out?

Could a rival gang destroy lives?

Jonas knew this was the only way for Jackson to see what he couldn’t.

That I wasn’t innocent.

That it was all me.

I did it.

I caused all of it.

I guess when he walked in here he thought he’d be wrong. He thought maybe there was a chance none of it was true.

Too bad it was.

“Tell me that wasn’t you.”

We stare at each other, silent, un-moving, not once looking away in fear of missing what the other would say.

The look in his eyes dimmed, like a dying fire light.

No more recognition. No more care.

Just hostility.

Hostility for me.

“Tell me... that wasn’t you...” Jackson’s grip on the gun shakes as he wills me not to answer.

“The attacks, the killings, tell me that wasn’t you!”

The crowd had returned to silence, waiting for an answer to be given.

Fear slams itself back in my chest, igniting a pain so raw, I feel it burn through my fingertips.

Say it.

He won’t look at me the same way ever again.

You don’t need him too.

I cared. I still cared for him.

He doesn’t care about you.

I kept my head high and tried to block out the voices only they were winning. They were winning against my will.

“Red Devil,” Jackson mutters, my Ring name a hollow echo. “Did you do it?”

The ground is threatening to swallow me up. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

I don’t know whether to fall or fly.

Someone grasps my shoulder. It’s Jonas.

His body heat encompasses mine like an oven. It’s all around me, like a safety net.

He lowers his mouth to my ear, gently flicking the strands aside.

“You know what to do.”

And I’m caught, suspended, unsure of time and present.

“You know what to do.”

I end it.

Right here, right now.

Jackson can't help me. He’ll back away once he hears the answer.

Already, I see the doubt in his eyes. The readiness to shoot if provoked.

No longer am I Vanessa in his eyes.

I’m a threat that needs to be taken out.

A threat... and nothing more.

“NVPD, put you’re hands up where I can see them,” He instructs, gun raised, voice ringing in finality.

He’s made his decision.

I’ve made mine.

I raised my gun, and he tightens his.

It’s a showdown now.

“Put you’re weapon down or I will open fire!” Jackson is coming closer, he threatening to shoot, he’s going to shoot.

He’s going to shoot me.

"You know what to do."

“Stand down, I repeat, stand down-”

The bullet goes off, its loud and surprising.

Jackson yelps, falling to his knees, the gun knocked away and towards Jonas’s direction.

Blood is seeping through his right shoulder, gushing out of his covered hand.

I’ve grazed him.

Not enough to kill but enough to scare.

Betrayal filled my veins, warming the back of my neck and shoulders. I’m consumed with something.

Something... sick.

Taking multiple steps forward, I towered over him, allowing my shadow to block the light.

“I’ve warned you,”

He leans back on his heels, panting and in pain, bewildered and dazed.

“Over and over, I did not want you here. I told you to leave, why didn’t you leave?!”

Jackson applies pressure on the wound and winces, feeling it sting.

He shakes his head, desperate and in denial.

“I... need you to put you're hands up... everything you do and say, can be used against you in the court of law-"

"Dammit Jackson!"

I'm screaming, my body trembling from heartbreak or rage I will never know.

"Red Devil you are under arrest," He pants, shakily rising to his feet only to stumble as he tries.

"Do not resist."

"Jackson, don't." My voice is silent, angry tears built up in my eyes. "Please, please don't get up, STAY DOWN!"

He doesn't listen. He never listens.

I kick his knee, making him groan as he collapses, to weak to stand.

And his pain, his determination, it begins to eat at me, slowly, surely, it hurts.

I heard a click, the sound of a bullet locked in the chamber, I turned to Jonas who’s holding Jackson’s gun, his finger on the trigger.

But unlike me, he’s ready to shoot, ready to fire.

Ready to end it.

“No badge, no backup. I’m willing to bet you didn’t bring you’re ID either... How long do you think it’ll take for the others to find you?”

When the rouge cop doesn’t respond, Jonas proceeds to dig his taunts a little deeper.

“What, did you think you were just going to waltz out of here with her?”

Jackson shakes his head at the mention and releases a knowing chuckle.

“I can’t wait till someone knocks you off you’re high horse.”

That did it.

Jonas’s patience ran out.

He opens fire but I’m quicker, shoving his hand aside so the bullet lands behind Jackson and out of harms way.

The ricocheting sound is loud and piercing, causing the crowd to gasp.

"You naive, little girl!"

Shocked by what was done, Jonas digs his nails into my forearm and retches me to his chest.

His bruising grip makes me cringe as I’m released, forced to look into Jackson’s watering eyes.

“He won’t help you! He’s seen what you are, he’s proven that by trying to arrest you!”

The walls vibrated from how loud he shouted, an anger so terrifying even Jackson flinched.

"You can't go back, do you hear me?! YOU CAN'T!"

I keep my lips sealed, the gun in my hand practically slipping.

The crowd is anticipating, waiting, guessing, wishing.

They want blood.

“He’s not going to take you back, you’re never going to be able to go back to him.”

Because I’m terrible.

I’m horrible.

I’m a monster.

Everything I said I am, everything I felt, the fear... everything had come true.

Jackson tried to arrest me. He turned his back on me. He rejected me.

The tidal wave of anger and resentment was now clawing up my lungs, replacing oxygen with fire.

He rejected me.

I let out a gasp, feeling it hurt more then it should.

He... rejected me.

I knew it would happen didn’t I?

Jonas warned me, over and over again.

One part of me didn’t believe him.

I guess I should have.

Jackson must have seen something.

He must have because I didn’t say anything.

Very slowly, he unclasps his harness, disposing his second firearm to the side within reach.

Then he raises both hands, holding them high.

A gesture of surrender.

A gesture of defeat.

A gesture of plead.

My once friend closes his eyes, guilt and regret eating him alive as his wound runs free, trickling to the platform below.

“This is you're last chance Red Devil. Surrender now or I will be forced to open fire."

The gun beside him is well within range.

A beacon of danger and death.

My lungs began to rattle, my throat clogged and my head turned to fog.

Why did he have to come here?

Why did he have to do this?

“I’m begging you,” He whispers, agonizingly. “Don’t do it.”

It’s too much.

The pressing need to obey.

The pressing need to do it.

The pressing need not too.

He doesn’t care about you.

He won’t help you.

So get rid of him.

“You know what to do.”

Then what?

I shoot him, I shoot him and what?

Walk away?

From this?

From him?

No, no, I needed a way out. I needed a way out.

But I’m raising my hand, I’m raising the gun, my finger on the trigger, poised, ready to kill.

“You know what to do.”

Why can’t I control myself? Why can’t I see things for what they are? Why isn’t anything making sense?

What’s wrong with me?

He’s going to shoot you.

He wants to arrest you.

He threatened you.

My vision is blurry, a mix of black and white. I hear the ringing in my ears, it’s faint but there.

What do I want?

What do I have to do?

“You know what to do.”

I can’t hold it up high enough without risking a slip. I dropped the gun low and aimed for his chest.

I’m shaking, trembling, unsure, scared.

Make it stop.

“You shouldn’t have come here,”

Gravity has pulsed all it’s weight on my shoulders.

His dark eyes are sunken, his dark skin turning paler with each drop of blood that spilled out.

“You shouldn’t have come here.”

“Don’t do it.” He begs, tears spilling from his eyes. “Vanessa, please.”

I shake my head, desperately in strain. “You shouldn’t have come here.”

“Va-”



Bang!



The gun falls to my side and I turn, keeping my eyes closed.

I was afraid if I opened them I’d have to see Jackson’s dead body.

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