Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Greywind

Snippets

Recommended Posts

A cool breeze blew gently across the balcony attempting to flip the pages of the travel magazine Marlene was reading. Smiling at Jason, Marlene runs her hand gently down his back. “Hmm?” he mumbles around the paintbrush held in his mouth.

 

“Nothing,” she says. “Just making sure this is really happening and we're both here.” Marlene glances at the painting he is working on, a sailboat out on the water done in watercolors that he had found in a gift shop.

 

With only one hand on her magazine the passing breeze managed to tug a few pages from between her fingers. There before her was something that bothered her. Something that she had never brought up to Jason. A simple picture of a cabin in the woods. It wasn't a big cabin. And there was a lake. It wasn't in the mountains. At least not the sharp, rough mountains of the west. Maybe the softer hills of the Appalachians or the Catskills. She didn't look for a location or a caption.

 

“Do you know what I regret?” she asked.

 

“Hmm?” He pulled the brush from his mouth. “What's that?”

 

“I never got time in the cabin.”

 

Brow furled, Jason turned his head to look at her. “You spent time in the cabin.”

 

Marlene closed the magazine and set it on the table so that the wind wouldn't flip it open. “Not like Sandy and Leah did.”

 

“Oh.”

 

“And while waking up beside you with your hand on my butt,” she said, standing up, “it would have been better if my butt had been bare, you had been naked, and my best friend your girlfriend hadn't been laying on the other side of you.”

 

Smiling at the memory, Jason set his brushes down and turned his chair to face Marlene. “At least I was warm between the two of you.”

 

“I may be being playful, but I'm serious, too. There were a lot of good memories made in that cabin, Jason,” she said quietly. “And they weren't all yours. Spring Break in our senior year; you, me and Sandy. You disappearing up there after she died.”

 

“I wouldn't call that a good memory,” he said just as quietly. “And I didn't tell that guy to burn it down.”

 

“Maybe not, but that cabin was your hideaway. It was the first place you took Kris and Ash after meeting them. If you asked them I'm pretty sure they would say that they miss it. I know Leah did. She wanted you to take her back up there after that trip she took to Europe.” Marlene set her forearms on Jason's shoulders and ran her fingers through his short hair. “But you, you seemed to think it only affected you, so you never bothered to rebuild it.

 

“In the time that I have been the account manager for the Guardians I have seen bills and receipts for cars to replace those lost in battle. Not yours, but other peoples. Medical bill assistance for injuries incurred by bystanders and police. Salvage operations. Construction, new or repair. All these different things that you paid for, for others, but because you feel that you are the only one that impacted you never bothered to rebuild it.” Her forehead was pressed against his now. He was frowning.

 

Trying to smile, he said, “I love you.”

 

“Hmm, tell me that again,” her voice husky.

 

Jason's hands moved up her back. “I love you,” he said quietly. His fingers moved through her hair and it spilled forward. “You've been letting your hair grow out.” Marlene brushed hair from her face and stroked its length down her sweater.

 

Nodding her head, she smiled at him. “Yeah. Not sure why, but yeah, letting it grow back out some.” She pulled his head up so that their lips touched in a gentle kiss. “Think about what I said,” she said breaking away.

 

“Where are you off to?” he asked.

 

“The show is in four hours,” she said. “While it isn't Broadway, I'm sure those actor types are the same everywhere and they wouldn't want us walking in in the middle of the first act. And there's dinner, whether or not it is before or after, maybe before and after depending on how hungry I get. So I figured I would take a little time and get my hair styled. You finish up your painting. I want to see it when it's done.”

 

Stepping through the glass door, Marlene smiled to herself. This is going to be a rather interesting relationship, Mr. Scott.

 

* * * * *

Still frowning, Jason watched Marlene walk into their room. There was a sway to her hips that he was used to seeing when Marlene was in heels. Thinking about it, he realized that she wasn't trying to be sexy. Not now wearing low-heeled boots and jeans, or other times in heels and more formal wear. Or less. He got the impression that it came when Marlene was feeling self-satisfied about something. The more he followed that train of thought, he got the idea that he was at the center of it.

 

This is going to be a very interesting relationship. With a crimson flash, he tossed Marlene's hair tie on top of her magazine and turned his attention back to his painting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

“That was Ghost of a Rose by Blackmore's Night.”

 

Dabbing the bristles of his brush into paint on his palette, Jason nodded. “Queue up another.” His attention on the painting, Jason cocked his head to the side before applying the brush to a pane of glass.

 

This one is The English Ladye and the Knight.

 

Sir Walter Scott?”

 

Yes, sir. The artist is Loreena McKennitt. It is from her An Ancient Muse collection.”

 

Jason closed his eyes and lost himself in the music for a moment. He smiled and put his attention back on the painting. The brush moved on the canvas, giving definition to Marlene's reflection. It was rare when Jason pulled an unfinished piece out of storage. His heart ached and he missed her, but he was better off doing something than hoping that she would call. Listening to her music almost made it feel as if she were there with him.

 

He dabbed his brush once more and applied it to the glass pane. Marlene's head was turned towards the window. The bristles moved across her lips in the reflection. She had a wistful look on her face that Jason was trying to change.

 

Eyes growing distant, Jason's head tilted and his mouth went slack. The tip of the brush slipped down from Marlene's lip and across her chin.

 

Damn,” Jason said quietly. His palette was set on a table along with the brush. His eyes snapped back to the painting and the line running down Marlene's chin. “Damn.”

 

Window, sir?”

 

Flight shaft. Roof access.” With a flash of crimson, Pulsar stood ready for battle. “Last time you opened a window in my room I lost drawings.” The door to the room opened and he flew out.

 

Yes, sir, but Leah was rather insistent.”

 

Lost drawings, Mentor. You scanned all the business papers. My drawings? Lost.”

 

Yes, sir.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

“Warren!” Kate said in a harsh whisper while shaking her husband awake.

 

“Hmm?”

 

“There's someone in the house!”

 

Warren's eyes snapped open and he tossed the covers back. He moved out into the hall. The first thing he noticed was a red light emanating from Aaron's room. Moving to the doorway he saw someone standing over Aaron's bed. Someone he knew.

 

Won't hap-pen, Aaron,” Jason said. “I prom-ise.” He moved his hand closer to the sleeping babe and the flare around his hand grew brighter. Jason pulled his hand back and made a fist. The flare died down.

 

Flipping on the lights in the hall, Warren said, “Saying you could drop by any time, I didn't think you'd pick the middle of the night.”

 

Sor-ry, War-ren. Needed to.”

 

Are you okay?”

 

Jason straightened his back. He brought his left hand up. “No.”

 

Warren saw a ring dangling from a chain hanging from Jason's fist. He moved next to Jason and lifted the ring on its chain. He didn't look at it. He knew it. Intimately. “This is Kate's ring. Where did you get it?”

 

Long stor-ry.”

 

Kate, where's your wedding band?”

 

On my finger. Why?”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

“No, Boyd!” they heard Beth exclaim. They both looked in her direction. “Because I have to work!”

 

“Oh, crap on a stick,” Warren said quietly.

 

“Hey! Why don't you leave her alone?” Warren, Beth, Boyd, and most of the rest of the customers looked at Jason. Jason's eyes were on Boyd.

 

“Why don't you make me?” Boyd spat back. He smiled as Jason sat there. He turned his attention back to Beth.

 

He wasn't smiling when he realized Jason was standing beside him. Jason said quietly, in a threatening tone, “Leave her alone. She is working. Talk to her after work if you have to.”

 

Boyd turned leading with a left hook, staggering Jason with the impact. Warren winced. “That has to be the most expensive punch you've ever thrown, Boyd.”

 

Jason righted himself, a trickle of blood escaped from the corner of his mouth. “Wrong move.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reeling from a blow to the temple from the spinning staff, Jason stumbled backward. Regaining his bearings, Jason saw Kris moving in with her staff in a two-handed grip which would lead to a killing blow. He flew backwards out of her reach as the staff came down and slammed into the ground.

 

“Kris, we're just sparring,” he said calmly.

 

Kris moved in with the staff spinning. Her wings, as Jason had pointed out, shifted and moved, leaving the spinning of the staff unimpeded. Anger blemished her looks.

 

Watching, Jason went on the defensive. There were no feints. Each blow Kris made connected solidly with Jason's staff. The angrier she became the faster the blows came. And it seemed, the faster her discipline and training fell away.

 

An opening sensed, Jason shifted his own staff to one hand and caught Kris's, yanking it free from her hands. Only a sudden and impulsive spreading of her wings kept her from sprawling. She glared at Jason for a moment and he wondered if she was going to come at him unarmed.

 

Kris turned, and hands in claws by her sides, screamed at the sky.

 

Keeping an eye on her, Jason set the staffs by the stump. He retrieved two water bottles from the cooler. Kris was breathing hard. He cracked the top on one bottle while walking slowly toward the woman. He held the bottle out to her.

 

Turning to him, he saw the anger still burning in her eyes. She snatched the offered bottle, spilling some water. Drinking some, Kris then poured what was left over her upturned face. He watched the water run from her face, down her neck to soak into fabric of her shirt.

 

When she finally brought her head down, her breathing was more controlled. There was a look of guilt in her eyes. “I'm sorry.” Jason smiled and shrugged. “Can I see what you were working on?” she asked.

 

“Sure.” Returning to the stump, Jason picked up his sketch book and handed it to her. Starting with the page he had been working on, Kris turned the pages back slowly. There were different sketches of a female form, her, as she gone through her exercises. She noticed that Jason had paid more attention to the movements and positions of her wings than to her body.

 

Until she came to a full-color portrait. Kris blushed and closed the book. In what looked like paint to her, Jason had put her name on the cover. “A whole book just for me?”

 

“I've got one started with Ash,” he said. “And one with Warren. It makes it easier for me if I have an idea I want to work with and who I think would be a good model for it.”

 

“Ideas?”

 

“I paint, Kris. People, landscapes, still life. If I don't have a pencil in hand, I usually have a paintbrush instead.”

 

“Oh,” she said quietly. She held the book to her chest with her arms crossed over it.

 

“Do you want to explain?”

 

Her eyes darted to Jason's and then she looked down. “Explain?”

 

“About why you're angry,” he said gently.

 

Kris sighed and held his book out to him. “My sister.”

 

Jason returned to his chair, slipping the water bottle into the cup holder in the armrest. He didn't say anything. He just looked at Kris. She hung her head for a moment. Looking up, she moved to the stump. Her empty bottle went back into the cooler and she pulled out another. Kris pushed the cooler back and sat on the stump, her feet against it and her knees up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

“I have a sister. A twin. Her name is Kari. Growing up we were inseparable. You wouldn't know what that was like.”

 

“I'm an only child. There are people that I consider family, but I don't have siblings,” he said.

 

Her mouth in a tight line, Kris folded her arms across her knees and rested her chin on them. There was a long moment before she spoke. “Do you know what sympathetic twins are?”

 

“Only in the realm of science fiction.” Kris was silent, but looked at him out of the corner of her eye and raised her eyebrow. Jason realized she wanted more of an answer. “Sympathetic twins are the belief that if something happens to one twin the other is aware of it. Some form of telepathic or empathic connection.”

 

Kris nodded her head. “Only it isn't within the realm of science fiction. It does happen.”

 

“I'm sure there would be scientific studies done to support that.”

 

“Why? Unless the children, and for the most part it would be children that they studied, tormented and tortured for the studies, realized that they would be separated. So they don't let others know. Parents and other family just think it is some quirk that the children have.”

 

“If it helps any, I can empathize,” Jason said.

 

“You can? How?”

 

Standing up, Jason walked out towards the overlook. He felt Kris's eyes follow him. “One of my...gifts,” he said turning back to face her, “is the ability to make a connection...a link with another person. You'll meet one of them soon. These people, through those links, I know what direction they are in. I have a rough idea of how far away from me they are. If I concentrate on them I can get a feel for their mood. If they get injured, I know.”

 

“Can you read their minds?” she asked, a smile playing around her mouth.

 

Jason shook his head, “No.”

 

Dismounting from the stump, Kris walked to Jason. “But you do have some idea what it's like. Unlike you, I don't know if Kari is alive or dead! I mean I know she isn't dead! I'd know if she were! But it's been years and I don't know where she is or what has happened to her!”

 

Smiling, Jason said, “You're the responsible one.” Kris sucked her bottom lip in and nodded. “Which of you is older?”

 

“I am,” she answered, hanging her head. “By fifteen minutes.”

 

“What if,” Jason slipped a finger under Kris's chin and lifted it gently, “what if I can find her? Have her brought here? Would you give us a chance then?”

 

“Why?” she asked quietly. “Why would you do that?”

 

“I'm a rich kid.” Shrugging, he said, “I've got money and other resources. What kind of friend would I be if I didn't offer to help?”

 

Kris lifted her chin higher. Tears glittered in her eyes, threatening to fall. “Are we? Are we friends?”

 

“I'd like us to be,” he said quietly. “I mean, you slicing me open with that spear notwithstanding and all.” He was smiling as he said it.

 

Fighting a smile of her own, Kris dropped her head down, tears falling free into the dirt. “Okay,” she said after a few moments. “Yes, if you can find her and bring her here, I'll give this crazy scheme a chance. Where else do I have to go?”

 

“Kris?”

 

Eyes opened wide in surprise. “Kari?” came out as a whisper. She turned slowly, peeking around her wing.

 

Smiling, fighting tears, Kari said, “You've got wings.”

 

“You've got a tattoo,” Kris said facing her sister.

 

Kari's hand went to her arm, covering the tattoo. “It's temporary,” she said stepping closer.

 

“The wings aren't,” said barely above a whisper.

 

“It's okay,” Kari said with a shrug. “I've got wings too. Want to see?” She turned and lifted her shirt revealing the small of her back and the tattoo there. “I had this done last year. For you.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Loosing her last arrow, Silverthorn hit Pulsar high in the chest. He missed a step but still continued forward. Shifting her bow and swinging it like a club, Pulsar ducked back to let it pass unimpeded.

 

Spinning, Silverthorn's foot came up in a back kick, catching Pulsar in the hip. Shifting his weight, he rolled with the kick. His hand caught her ankle. With a push from his other hand and lifting her leg, he sent her sprawling. Her bow fell to the side.

 

Silverthorn rolled and skittered backwards until she was backed up to a wall.

 

“I've been looking for you,” Pulsar said, kneeling down to face her. “We need to talk.” His hand went to the arrow and with a crimson flash disappeared it. Blood flowed freely for the moments that it took the wound to close.

 

What do you want?” There was a touch of fear in her voice.

 

I want you to deliver a message for me.”

 

To Bauer?”

 

Pulsar gave a small shake of his head. “No. I want you to deliver a message to all those that are working for him and to those that might think about working for him. You hurt someone.”

 

It was a job!”

 

She was a noncombatant. A bystander.”

 

Collateral damage!”

 

Pulsar leaned in close. “Exactly my point. From here on out, there is no more collateral damage. From this point forward,” with another crimson flash the arrow was held in his fingers, a drop of blood formed on the tip, “every drop of blood spilled will be mine.” The drop fell to the dirty floor of the warehouse. “They come at me, it will be business as usual. They go after anyone else, every injury will be paid in kind. There will be no rules of engagement. It will be all-out war.

 

No heroism. No arrests. The lucky ones might get a pine box.” He dropped the arrow between her splayed legs.

 

With her eyes on his, Silverthorn slowly reached for the arrow. Her fingers touched the shaft and his hand shot out, catching her wrist.

 

One more thing.”

 

What?” Silverthorn asked.

 

Pulsar's power flared.

 

Silverthorn screamed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

January 1, New Year's Day. A time for new beginnings and all that crap. A day for more false smiles than he cared to think about. Firework explosions lit the sky over the river. With the way his luck had been going lately the river would catch on fire.

 

The two women center-most out on the balcony drew his attention. There was an empty buffer around them, space no one seemed willing to violate. Jason smiled. One of the few real smiles he had that day. Many of those here just thought it was a party. Maybe a New Year's Eve after-party. The truth of it was, it was a birthday party. A party for one of the two women.

 

They were models that Jason had met during a weekend photography workshop. Leah had talked him into it. Her idea was for him to get some idea of what her work was like. Leah was one of the models scheduled for the workshop.

 

Leah was the only model not to show.

 

With a mental sigh, Jason resolved himself to another pass through the guests. His intention was to end up out on the balcony near Aurora, the young woman he hosted the party for, and perhaps manage to derive some pleasure from the day's events.

 

Tossing back the last of his drink, ginger ale, he placed his empty glass on the tray of a passing waitress. Small talk and handshakes, platitudes and gratitudes were the waves and obstacles of his journey. Shannon Welles, a model of exotic beauty with dark hair, dark skin, piercing green eyes, and a good friend of Leah's, called his name. Shannon was another model at the workshop, and a regular caller wanting to know if Jason knew anything about Leah's disappearance.

 

Jason nodded his head at her with another forced smile. When he looked past her the smile fell from his face. Shannon looked confused and turned around trying to see what Jason was looking at.

 

Sitting in a quiet corner was a lovely blonde. Her hair was loose in soft curls. Her green eyes were cast down staring into a nearly empty wineglass held with both hands. The frown on Angelique's face was something Jason had never seen before.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Girlfriends

 

The cab ride from the airport had been long. After the first half hour the driver had given up trying to engage Leah in conversation. Her mind kept getting pulled back into her memories and her gaze was out the rear door window. She did allow herself a small smile when the taxi turned down the fenced lane of Warren and Kate's farm.

 

She looked forward to seeing Kate again. She had been a fool, played by Maxwell Spears. She missed her best friend. Worse, in her mind, she had missed her best friend's wedding. Hopefully Kate would forgive her. She should have at least told Kate where she was running off to.

 

The taxi rolled to a stop. Leah cast a glance at the meter and counted out the fare with a generous tip included. Further depleting her meager remaining funds. She stepped out of the car, pulling a large sports bag behind her. She slung that over her shoulder and closed the cab door. It pulled around, leaving her standing alone staring at the farmhouse door. Leah sighed and headed for the house.

 

...And momma sent me over with a lasagna for you and Warren,” she heard through the screen door.

 

Knock, knock,” she called out and let herself in. Her bag slipped from her shoulder just inside the door.

 

Kate lay on the couch and her attention shifted from Jennie to Leah. “Hey, Sparky!” Tears slipped from Kate's eyes and she smiled. Leah felt tears falling from her own eyes. She kicked off the heels she was wearing and dashed to Kate's side. Kate forced herself up and Leah's arms embraced her. She squeezed Leah hard. “Look at you!” Kate managed through the laughter the two women shared at being reunited.

 

Look at me?” Leah pulled away from Kate. “I haven't changed a bit. You, on the other hand,” Leah poked Kate in her very round belly.

 

Yeah,” Kate said, “I know. I got hungry and ate the Goodyear blimp. The doctor told me that it would take about nine months for it to pass.”

 

Leah pulled Kate back into her embrace. “I've missed you.”

 

Hi, Leah,” Jennie said.

 

Releasing Kate, Leah looked into the kitchen. “Jennie?”

“Yeah,” the girl said. “I'm still me.”

 

Leah eased Kate back to the cushions and stood up. “Let me look at you.” Jennie came out of the kitchen. “You've grown,” she said with a smile.

 

Well, yeah. It's been two years.” That brought Leah up short. Jennie smiled. She stepped to Leah and caught her in a hug.

 

You got your ears pierced,” Leah noted.

 

Yeah. Kate did it for me.” She turned her head from side to side. “I wanted to have more, but dad put his foot down. He said I could only have one in each for now.”

 

Leah smiled. “Well, I guess I should keep my promise then. I realize that it's a little late.” She worked herself gently free from Jennie and fetched her bag. From a zippered pocket she pulled out a jewelry gift box and handed it to Jennie.

 

Jennie lifted the lid from the box. Inside she found a set of emerald earrings. “Oh, wow! They're beautiful.” She hugged Leah tightly. “Thank you!”

 

So, Sparky, I suppose you want to do your 'end of travels' ritual?” Kate asked.

 

Leah laughed. “What ritual?”

 

Shower. Change.”

 

Pfft. That's not a ritual.”

 

Kate cocked her thumb at herself. “Best friend and roommate. Every time you traveled to a shoot, when you got back to the apartment, the first thing you did was got out of whatever you wore and took a shower. Don't tell me it wasn't a ritual.”

 

I just needed to make sure all the makeup, paint, or whatever else they wanted to use on me got washed off completely,” Leah said with a laugh.

 

Uh huh. You get dressed up to go flying.”

 

I just want to make sure I look good,” Leah said with a pout.

 

Oh, please,” Kate teased. “You always look good. Your room is where you left it. Clothes, too. Though you know, when the baby comes, that room will be the nursery.”

 

Then what? I sleep in the barn when I visit?”

 

I can arrange that, Sparky!” They all laughed. “Go on, Leah. Go start to unwind,” Kate told her. With a grateful smile, Leah gathered her bag and shoes, and headed up the stairs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

“Hey, Kris, I brought pizza!”


 


“Sorry, Kari,” Kris called out from her room. “I'm not going to be here. I'm going out for dinner.”


 


Coming through the open door, a slice of pizza in hand, Kari asked, “Oh, who's the lucky guy? Hey! Are those my shoes?”


 


Giving her twin a look of annoyance, Kris said, “No. These are my shoes you borrowed three months ago that I haven't seen since. I had to go digging through your closet to find them.”


 


“That's what I said. My shoes.”


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What did you get me into, Frank?” Lauren Bressler looked at Frank Stone trying to get a reading from his face.

 

Coffee?” the waitress asked. Both Bressler and Stone nodded their assent. When her cup was filled, Bressler wrapped her hands around it. “Would you like to place your order?”

 

We're waiting on someone,” Stone told her.

 

Then I will check back with you in a bit,” the waitress said with a smile and turned to other customers.

 

When she was out of earshot, Stone answered Bressler. “What did I get you into? I got you into Special Crimes. Like you wanted.”

 

With a demotion. Thanks.”

 

Only on paper.”

 

What?”

 

Your demotion, it's only on paper. It will not be reflected in your jacket. And it shouldn't impact your paycheck.”

 

I don't understand,” she responded with a confused look.

 

Can't have two captains in the unit. One captain to a precinct. Special Crimes is my precinct.” Stone took a drink of his coffee and silence reigned for a few moments at the table. “I tired, Bress. I'm getting old. SCU was set up as a proof of concept. I've been in on it from the beginning. It works. It's necessary. Why do you think we get nice toys from Scott, Kendall, Templar and the others? New York has about the worst infestation of capes. Both good and bad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sarah went through the files in her arms, pulling papers out of some or setting the file intact on Jason's desk. “This is the document that Legal wants to go over with you tomorrow. Their assistant also wrote up a memo brief. That's the top sheet.

 

“This is the approval for the funds for the survivors and families of the explosion. It just needs your initials here,” she pointed to a blank line, “here,” pointing to a different blank line, “and needs your signature at the bottom.” Jason scanned the page and initialed each space before signing the bottom. He pushed it back across his desk toward Sarah.

 

“Anything else?” he asked.

 

“Just that Captain Stone is more than happy to put off your meeting until tomorrow and that he hopes your consultation with your doctor isn't anything serious.”

 

“What consultation?”

 

Popping her head around the open door, Kris said, “Hi. Hope you don't mind. You haven't been in town for a while, and I thought that it might be a good idea for me to check up on you.” Smiling, Jason looked her up and down as she walked across his office. “Yeah, there's that appraising look. Now I'm wondering what painting or drawing I'm going to end up in next.”

 

“So you got all dressed up for me?” he teased.

 

With a slight shake of her head, Kris said, “No. I got all dressed up for me. You're just the person I was coming to see.”

 

Quirking up a half-smile, Jason's eyes dropped to the paper in front of him. “So, what's on your mind?”

 

“Dinner.”

 

Jason chuckled at that. “Am I making or buying?”

 

Kris smiled warmly. “You're feeding me. Beyond that, I don't care.”

 

Pulling a notepad closer, Jason took up his pen. Nib scribbling across the pad, Jason looked to Kris. “Any preferences? Shrimp? Chicken? Fish? Beef?”

 

“Shrimp,” she answered without hesitation. “And chicken,” she added.

 

Jason jotted a few more notes and tore the page off and handed it to Sarah. Her eyes went down the list. “Hmm. About two hours. I will have this in your apartment.”

 

“That's fine,”Jason said. Sarah collected her papers and files, leaving the ones for Jason. She made her way out, closing the door quietly. “How did you know I was here? Have a seat.” Kris ignored the offered chair and moved to a sofa off to the side. She sat, crossed her legs, and adjusted her skirt. Jason got the feeling that Kris did not want his desk being a barrier between them. “Can I get you a drink?” he asked, rising.

 

“Please. I knew you were here because, as your doctor and in light of current circumstances, I've had Mentor keeping me informed. Aside from your hastily arranged meeting with Captain Stone want to tell me why you're in town?” Opening a cabinet, Jason took out a glass and a bottle. He paused for a moment and then brought the bottle closer to his face. “Is something wrong?”

 

“Traces,” Jason answered. “My senses aren't at the same level as Huntress' is, but sometimes, usually when I least expect it, I find traces of Marlene. Her perfume on a shirt or blouse like she had just worn it yesterday.” Jason chuckled. “I found a new lingerie set in my travel bag still in the box.”

 

“Sounds like she had something planned,” Kris responded quietly. “So, what brings you back to New York?”

 

“Artemus Croystetter.”

 

“Ugh. What now?”

 

Pouring, Jason said, “Well, since that secretary is no longer around, why don't I consider a more suitable partner.”

 

“You're kidding.” Shaking her head, Kris asked, “Who does he have in mind? His daughter?”

 

“Granddaughter, actually. She came with me on the flight. Ostensibly to do something for her grandfather.”

 

Taking the glass Jason offered, Kris smiled her thanks. “Like find a way to get him more control of the company.” Jason nodded once in agreement and took a seat opposite Kris. “I don't understand why he is still with the company.”

 

“He's good at what he does.”

 

“He's a manipulator.”

 

“And a shrewd negotiator. Was why my grandfather brought him in. I just wish he would get past the point where Scott Enterprises isn't Croystetter Industries.” With both hands, Jason rubbed his face.

 

“Fire him or retire him?” Kris half-joked.

 

Pulling his hands down below his eyes, Jason looked at Kris and then shook his head. “I would if I could, but there's the contract he signed with Grampa and the 'shrewd negotiator'. I neither need nor want more legal problems.”

 

“Okay, what about his granddaughter?”

 

“Spoiled bitch.”

 

“Ouch.”

 

Jason smiled. “Don't get me wrong, spoiled is all well and good so long as I'm the one doing the spoiling. Having to deal with the spoiling that someone else has done? I don't think I have the patience to overcome or correct that.” Kris smiled into her glass. “So, what brings you here?”

 

“Well, after your late-night visit to Warren's we were all rather concerned.”

 

“Warren told you about that?”

 

“No. You did.” Holding up her hand to stop Jason from speaking, Kris said, “When you disappeared, Leah let us know. When you reappeared, we already had Mentor monitoring. Mentor let us know that you and Leah had returned to the house. And then something happened. Leah was knocked out. When she came to you were gone again. There was that flare out over the ocean. Then you turned up at Warren's.

 

“Warren had his phone on, so Mentor let us all listen in. You haven't said anything really about what occurred.”

 

Looking down, Jason quietly said, “I will.” Jason slowly made a fist and then opened his hand. “In time.”

 

Kris watched, looking for any clues, she pursed her lips and narrowed her eyes. Nodding, she said, “All right.”

 

“Anything else?”

 

“Actually, yes. I heard a rumor. I was wondering if you could clear it up for me.”

 

Cocking his head slightly to the side, Jason said, “A rumor? I would think you wouldn't listen to much to the rumor mill.” Setting her glass on the table, Kris interlocked her fingers around her knee and stared at Jason. “What's the rumor?”

 

“The room is secure, Doctor.”

 

“Thank you, Mentor. I heard a rumor that Pulsar managed to track down Silverthorn. Any truth to it?”

 

Jason's eyes narrowed. “I don't have to try too hard to connect the dots. I would remind you that birds eat bugs.” Kris raised her eyebrows, more in question than surprise, and continued to stare at Jason.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jason's eyes narrowed. “I don't have to try too hard to connect the dots. I would remind you that birds eat bugs.” Kris raised her eyebrows, more in question than surprise, and continued to stare at Jason. He let the silence reign long moments. It wasn't that he was intimidated or nervous. Kris never had that effect on him. She wouldn't be satisfied with anything less than the truth. Jason wasn't sure he was ready to give it.

 

“You know I've been looking for her since the incident with Jessica.” Kris nodded. “It took a while to finally arrange the meeting. It was a cat and mouse game through the warehouse district. She was good, hard to hit, kept moving. All while shooting arrows at me. Several hit, too. It took an hour, hour and a half maybe, before I cornered her.

 

“We were in an old warehouse. Dirty. Dusty. Not much in it. At the end it wasn't much of a fight. She was out of arrows. I let the last one hit and then dumped her on her ass. I told her that I wanted her to deliver a message for me. I told her to tell the others, the Guard and whatever mercs and other yahoos Bauer has working what they can expect if they go after anyone other than me.

 

“And then I took her hand off.”

 

“How...how did...?”

 

With a crimson flash, Jason brought forth a pencil. He reached across the table and set it in front of Kris. “Pick it up,” he told her. She did. Jason caught her wrist. “And then I released a bit of power and sliced it off.”

 

“Which hand?”

 

Jason lifted Kris' hand before releasing it. “Why did you pick it up with your right hand?”

 

“I'm right-handed.”

 

“So was she.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×