A screech broke him out of the fractured fog and when Tristan’s eyes focused, he saw flashing red and blue reflecting against charging black and white. Tires spewed sand and grass as the side of a police car quickly barreled towards him.
“FUCK!” He jumped back and to the side, narrowing, avoiding the grill of the vehicle before stabbing into rubber. The front edge of the car sank towards the ground and Tristan turned his head to the side.
His eyes narrowed and his lips curled twitching snarl as more cars, this time black and nondescript, blocked his path, “For fuck’s sake!” Taking a few steps back, he lunged forward jumping onto the roof of a car and then landing on the other side. Again, time stopped and to the eyes of the Dante bodyguards, he was a blur, getting further and further out of reach.
The ground shook with the sound of thunder. Tristan halted, staring at the smoking hole just inches from his toes. A 20 caliber bullet spun on its head, drilling further into the ground. He ground his teeth, looking in the bullet’s direction, towards one watchtower in the distance.
The sniper, Envy.
He jumped to the side as another lightning cracked towards him, drilling into the ground with smoke in the air. Seconds passed before he jumped backwards as another miniature missile launched towards him. He had the tempo pegged, and his eyes stayed in the distance.
Even a sniper rifle seemed slow to him. A wave crested against the beach, the smell of salt and kelp filling his nostrils as he felt electricity crackle through his fingertips and toes.
His eyes narrowed and the corner of his lip twitched upwards before he spun around. The tip of the butterfly knife slammed the 9 mm bullet away from his path, slamming into the ground as neon blue eyes glared towards fierce violet ones, “Officer dickhead.”
Darrion spat on the ground, holding his gun steady as he moved away from the red and blue flashing car. His face remained stoic, his glare on the escaping stray, “Freeze, boy.”
Tristan’s smirk widened. His nerves were alive, and the officer’s lips moved at the speed of molasses. “Am I under arrest, Officer?” He pivoted to the other side, lunging forward as he avoided another sniper shot, grinning as the long, sharp bullet penetrated one of the nondescript cars instead. The guards scattered as the car slide back into another from the force. The upheaval of his escape made everyone jumpy, panic settling in their eyes.
All except for the ‘Officer.’ He remained resolute, though his eyes narrowed, golden brows arched sharply towards the bridge of his nose, “I will fill you with lead, you piece of shit. Don’t move.”
Time stopped as Tristan stepped forward. He vanished just before Darrion pulled the trigger, appearing a step ahead of the bullet and out of its path. “Killing me is ‘forbidden’, remember?”
“I don’t give a fuck. You don’t deserve her mercy.”
Tristan stared at that perfect chiseled face. Slicked back blonde hair with only a few strands loose underneath a dark midnight fedora. This corrupt cop looked like he stepped out of a film noir, clean cut and rugged.
Meanwhile, Tristan was a jigsaw of scars painted with bruises.
There was NO mercy here.
Tristan puckered his lips, steam hissing from between his teeth as he lowered his head and lunged.
Maybe once this asshole’s perfect head hit the ground, his soul eviscerated from his body, would he understand what true mercy was.
He tilted his head to the side as another bullet whizzed past him. Turning his body to avoid another, he used speed and agility to avoid each straight shot. He counted each one as he got closer. If Officer Dickhead had a full magazine before speeding over here, then he had twelve bullets left.
He stepped to the right.
Eleven bullets remained,.
He lunged forward towards the left.
He jerked the switchblade upwards; the bullet bouncing off the razor edge and hitting a mook in the knee.
Darrion pulled the trigger again, and then again, his calm facade betrayed by a bead of sweat down his cheek. Even with the doctor forced off the Island, Tristan’s speed remained, honed and sharpened by a combination of adrenaline, desperation, and spite.
Bullet number six barely grazed Tristan’s leg, leaving only a sizzling hole in the ground.
Bullet number five bounced back into a car.
Tristan could sweet another bead of sweat drip down that dimpled chin.
He was so close now, close to slicing through another Dante’s neck.
The barrel was right between his eyes and he saw the ‘officer’s’ thumb press down on the trigger.
All it took was one duck, and he was right there, smirking upwards with a piercing glare into wide violet eyes, “You’re out, dickhead.”
Darrion grimaced, his left eye twitching. “Go to hell.”
If there was a perfect time for a one liner, it would be now. At this moment, a snarky comeback should have left Tristan’s lips, swiftly paired with a shank through that perfect 1950s stud jaw.
Yet time stopped.
He couldn’t move.
No one could.
The sea was silent. Burning heat replaced the breeze. The air was heavy, weighing down on everyone’s shoulders.
Tristan’s smirk faded, his eyes widening as Darrion’s lip curled up into a triumphant sneer.
His neck burned, his scars stretched like snakes, tightening around his throat. As the officer backed up, Tristan was left smothered by scalding damp air clamping down on his shoulders and arms.
His eyes watered as a growl rumbled through the air, vibrating down his spine as salt sweat dug into scars and smeared against his bruises, “I-Ira…”
Everything was still except for the slow, prodding steps of the Beast, coming into her domain. The ground cracked under her boots and the rubble was dragged underneath the sharp teeth of her heavy club. Only when she stopped just behind Tristan did time move.
Yet the weight, the shackling pressure remained.
Tristan’s eyes were on the ground, his useless weapons trembling in his grip. His shoulders shook and his stinging eyelids clamped closed.
Her voice rumbled and shook the earth; the switchblade and knife hit the ground at the tremor. Tension gripped his heart, squeezing it as he gasped. He couldn’t breathe; the air was as thick and smoldering as lava. All he could do was turn his shaking, traitorous legs, his knees crumbling under the pressure, hitting the ground. His palms slammed onto the ground; rocks and gravel digging into his skin, under his nails, as he stared at the cracks writhing underneath her boots.
“Look at me.”
He curled his fingers into his palm, tears dripping down his cheek and onto the dirt. His shoulders hunched as her shadow loomed over him and her fingers swept through his hair.
Before curling into the locks, nails scrapping against his scalp as she jerked his head upwards. “Look. At. Me.”
His chin tilted upward, hazy, glistening cobalt eyes staring upwards and into a scarlet abyss. Her stare was endless, a void that sucked him into paralysis. There was no readable expression on her bronze face, yet when their eyes met, the weight on his shoulders increased tenfold, his heart pounding against his chest, ribs cracking from the force.
She didn’t say a word.
The ‘officer’, the sniper in the distance, the guards surrounding them, the sea, the entire world stood frozen, awaiting her next breath, her command.
Yet her lips remained closed, her expression blank.
There was a quiet screeching in her ear, but Ira ignored it. She released Tristan’s hair, only to grip his jaw. Steel fingers clamped down on his face, digging into his cheek. Her nostrils flared, and she lifted the club over her head.
Tristan could hear Officer dickhead. He could hear chanting, calling for his death. However, all she focused on was him. They were the only two that mattered.
The club blocked out the sun, leaving only two burning red gems in the darkness.
Wrath stood still, expressionless, her steel hand trembling, making his jaw throb.
“Ira…please…” A whisper wrangled itself from his lips. His hand, straining against the pressure of her enveloping rage, reached up, past the monstrous metal prosthetic and towards her lips. “Mercy…please.”
Those abyssal eyes sharpened into a point. Her nostrils flared and her lips curled into a demonic snarl, baring teeth.
There was no mercy here.
Not for him.
Thunder erupted in his ears.
Then nothing at all.