Light of the Shadow – Chapter 2 – Part 6

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Light of the Shadow – Chapter 2 – Part 6

 

Chapter 2

 

 

“A Wheel that turns according to a Law.
The Cause-Effect and the Compensation.
The Beginning of a New Tide.
The Awakening of a New Storm.”

- The Prophet of Truth

 

Part 6

With the wall separating that room from the next one completely torn down, Alexis didn’t hesitate in taking advantage of the recently acquired space to get some distance between him and his attackers.

“This isn’t going well at all,” he grumbled between clenched teeth, pressing the recently opened gashes that dyed his torn shirt red.

He was too slow!

Any other time he’d been able to solve a situation like that in no time at all. And the problem was that the longer they fought the bigger were the probabilities of one of his attackers really losing his mind, and then it would be the end, and no one would be safe. That’s why he always tried to solve this kind of situation in places like that, with few neighbors loitering around and with enough easy excuses at hand to help explain any stranger episodes that might occur. Even so nothing would be able to justify the destruction of an entire block, no matter how many drug dealers and prostitutes inhabited it.

He quickly analyzed the situation. It was obvious that Cedrius was avoiding attacking him directly, which meant he was aware of his own instability. The others were much younger, and for that matter more daring and less conscious of their own limits.

“If Farran wants me to pay him a visit this much, why not invite me personally? Attracting attention like this is hardly the best solution,” he stated, making sure he had a firm wall on his back, so he wouldn’t be attacked from that side at least.

The expression of despise that took over Cedrius skeletal face told him more than words.

“Farran has nothing to do with this!” he spat and Alexis couldn’t help smiling sarcastically.

“Does that mean you left home without a leash and without Farran’s authorization? Oh, I don’t think he’ll be all too happy about that.” Cedrius furious expression told him he’d been successful in provoking him. If he could make him furious enough to attack him he was sure none of the others would interfere, since Cedrius' madness ran deeper than anyone else’s in that room, and no one would want to get between him and his target. Which would leave him facing only one enemy. “Oh, wait! On second thought you may just be right. Because when he finds out you allowed his favorite toy to escape, then he really won’t be happy,” he went on, guessing that news of his escape still hadn’t reached Farran’s ears, and Cedrius angry roar was all the warning he got, before he threw himself at him. Although they all despised and hated Farran, they feared him all the more, which made his word absolute and blinded obeyed.

Claws torn his shirt and skin and he had to grab his opponent by his neck in order to manage enough room to kick him hard in the stomach, sending him flying backwards. Cedrius landed as nimbly as a cat, and as soon as his feet touch the ground he flung himself forward once again, foaming from his mouth like a ravenous dog, his eyes gleaming bright red. Alexis braced himself for the impact, ready to hit him even harder than before, flexing his legs for better stability, raising his arms as if ready to embrace an old friend.

And then everything was silent.

Cedrius froze in place, almost going against the bed when he broke his momentum. Alexis saw him tilt his head, as if he were listening for a faraway voice, and all it took was a glance to know that the others were listening as well. The sarcastic smile that touched Cedrius lips left him irrationally annoyed and he knew the fight was over when he saw him recover his usual self-control.

Unable to understand what was going on, he watched as the others started to step outside, disappearing in the night, until Cedrius was the only one left, with that deeply annoying smile on his face.

“What? Over just like that?” Alexis asked, following the shadows outside with a suspicious look. That sudden interruption, when the excitement of the battle was making his blood run searing hot, was deeply unpleasant. The fight hadn’t been the slightest bit satisfying and he still had a lot of anger inside him screaming to be released. “Someone pulled your leash?”

“You’re the one on a leash, Sheqer. You just haven’t noticed yet,” Cedrius replied, too proud of himself for Alexis’ taste, and then the night was suddenly silent again, as Cedrius and the presence of those who had followed him simply disappeared.

The emptiness that took over him made him scratch the cheek that kept burning.

Although he didn’t like it, he had to recognize that, no matter how strange it had been, the fact that his enemies had chosen to retreat had work to his advantage. He was far from being in his best condition and the new wounds he’d endured that night were only making him weaker. He felt irritated and overall unhappy, and the fact that his body was still on full alert, even though he was clearly safe, wasn’t helping at all.

And then, out of nowhere, his restlessness suddenly gained meaning. His heart exploded anxiously against his chest and he practically ran to the bathroom door.

“Sarah?!” he called, knocking, refusing to believe what he already knew to be true.

The door gave in with one kick, sending old, cracked wood flying everywhere. It took him only one look to guess what had happened. There were broken shards of glass everywhere and the plastic curtain still hang from the small window.

The anger that took over him surpassed all rational limits and the roar that escaped his throat made the walls shake. The world around him was dyed red and all form and color became black. Darkness enveloped him like a cloak and his body fused with it. His senses were immediately sharper, reaching beyond the limits of the material world. Space contracted and became immensely vast, and then he found her.

Listening to the frightened beating of her heart was like a gust of cool wind on his burning mind. She was alive and breathing. And although she was terrified as long as she was alive he could still get her back.

Holding on to that tenuous safety line, and again in control of his mental capacities, Alexis pushed the shadows away. He couldn’t help feeling sorry as he noticed that his lack of control had resulted in the complete annihilation of walls, ceilings, and all furniture of five of the motel’s rooms. He was sure that Havoc would make good use of that incident to dig deep into his bank account. And yet that didn’t matter at all! Nothing mattered except getting her back. On the other hand he was only one, after all, and if they’d taken Sarah to try and recapture him he could expect a heavy guard. His plan to follow her was probably too risky and with a timing too tight for comfort. But he just couldn’t accept the alternative, that would imply leaving her in their hands until the next night, when he’d be able to gather some help.

No way in hell! And what scared him the most wasn’t even the high probability that he wouldn’t be able to get out of that crazy endeavor alive. But the reasons that led him to act in such an uncharacteristic, impulsive way.

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