There was an unimaginable silence that covered us all.
I don't think Dylan had fully accepted the shocking truth of his actions yet. His big bright eyes were stretched wide open, his body quickly going numb...and when he looked down at the long, sharp, pipe sticking out of his chest, covered in his own blood...he began to cry involuntarily. Heated tears, sad sniffles, as the realization began to slowly sink into his mind. It was almost as if he didn't understand. As if his innocence refused to accept such a tragic turn of events. But....as reality set in, and the pain began to overwhelm him...he looked up at Dion and let his bottom lip quiver with the knowledge that everything they held so dear as a couple....was now gone forever.
With a sickening grin, Alec said, "Nice trick, kiddo!" And he brutally kicked Dylan off of the end of his weapon...forcing him forward to fall into Dion's arms as he coughed up a splash of blood on his shirt. Dion scrambled to hold Dylan in a somewhat 'comfortable' position, cradling his boyfriend's head and neck with all the love and affection that he could muster. But the horrible truth remained...he was holding onto a living ghost. Their life together was over. It would only be a matter of time now.
"Dylan....why??? WHY, baby, WHY???" Dion wept. With all of his practice with his own extra, shutting off every emotion and blocking out ALL of the world's pain for his peace of mind...I had never *ONCE* seen Dion so.....so broken before. So helpless. I had never been witness to such an instant emptiness in another person's eyes, as I did when I watch Dion slowly rocking back and forth, sobbing openly with Dylan's limp body in his arms. "You were supposed to stay HOME, Dylan!!! You were supposed to stay HOME!"
"I thought.....I wanted to make sure you were..." Dylan's face frowned up as sharp stabbing pains coursed through his slender frame. "...Dion...?"
"Shhh..shhhhh....don't talk. Please don't..." Dion's wailing came in the form of long, drawn out moans of life ending depression. A loss that took over his very being before Dylan's first drops of blood had hit the floor before him. It seems that jagged edge of metal had stolen TWO lives with the same strike.
The feeling I was experiencing began with a burning sensation in my chest. A physical fire of inexcusable rage. And as I eased Taryn's head back to the ground...his throat still bleeding heavily...looking at Dylan mortally wounded through his heart, and Dion driven passed his ability to even STAND from the horror in his arms...my hands began to shake. My mind turned itself 'off'...like a switch. I felt my fangs drop down another inch...and my vision went from red...to nearly black. I felt the muscles in my face begin to twitch...collapsing into a tightened visage of utter disgust. I attempted to breathe...slowly...in...out...in...out. But nothing would work. Every muscle in my body began to tense and swell on its own. And heated billows of steam began to escape from my lips like wisps of smoke from a chimney. My fingers dug deeply into the tiles of the floor...my nails breaking through the material to gather handfuls of concrete in my clenched fists. Every barrier that I had put up to defend myself from going too far with the powers I possessed, was being systematically ERASED! And I no longer had any say in the matter of me maintaining my control. Comicality warned me about letting my instincts get carried away and take control of my sense of logic and humanity. But this was no longer a game. No longer a mere 'challenge' or a training exercise. I had to bring this situation to an end. If this is the beginning of a new circle...then so be it.
The multitude of untapped extras within me ACHED to be let loose upon the world in a tantrum of unprecedented FURY! They turbulently swirled around inside of me like an entire legion of angry demons. And my mind, every last part of my free will, got lost in its wake. There would be no more 'humanity' to restrain me. I've pulled my last punch tonight.
"You know..." Alec said, as I watched him with hateful eyes, and a deep sense of loathing for everything that he represents. "...The last time, you and I went at it...I was really surprised by the competition. Never felt anything like it before. You're a 'special' vampire, aren't you? I've been looking forward to fighting you again. And I was hoping that when I did, you'd bring your 'A' game with you...and you DIDN'T disappoint me! Soooo many vampires are SUCH a let down!" My gaze focused itself on him without moving. Without wavering. I felt as though I wanted to rip the whole WORLD in half, murdering BILLIONS...JUST so long as Alec died in the aftermath as well. But I was too angry to move. Too angry to speak. I wanted to make sure that I had the most agonizing, most PAINFUL, level of torture and suffering in mind first before I claimed his heart for my own. I want him to feel every last moment of it! I wanted it to HURT! "Ahhh...that look. I recognize that look." Alec smirked, looking over at Dion as the love of his life drained away in his arms. "He was a friend of yours, I take it?" Dion lifted his head, but Dylan suddenly began to go into a series of convulsions that caused him to spit up more blood...the dark liquid spattering across his soft lips. And Dion could only hold him closer as his body reacted to the damage. "So what happens now, Blondie? You gonna get up and give me a fight worth writing home about?" I didn't say anything at all. I just stared at him in silence...breathing as my body reenergized itself from within. "There it is...YES! That PAIN! I can FEEL it! It's intoxicating, isn't it? Liberating!" Alec said, smiling as he raised his eyes to the ceiling and stretched his arms out to either side of him. "I know what it's like. To have the darkness swallow you up and dig it's claws in DEEP! To hate someone sooooo badly that you can't figure out just how to rip them apart yet! I've waited TEN YEARS for my revenge! Did you honestly think I was going to let you stop me now? Nooooo...not after coming this far. I'd kill everyone in this room and a thousand more outside if it meant tearing the flesh from Taryn's bones and cracking them open to feast on the tasty marrow inside. Trust me, your friend over there got lucky. I'm on the prowl tonight for a looooooong and painful end to my big brother's life of giggles and joy. You're more than welcome to join us, if you'd like!"
"You won't leave here alive...." I snarled through gritted teeth.
But Alec only gave me a wink, "That's the spirit! C'mon...'feed' me, baby!"
I felt the Earth hold its natural breath as I rose to my feet...laying Taryn's head softly down on the floor.
As I stepped forward, I saw Rain and Jeremy scamper over to grab Taryn to pull him to safety while Jenna did her best to hold Richie up with one arm.
Alec smiled at me, still twirling the pipe in his fingers. The end still stained from his murderous actions.
Dion didn't want to move at first. He held Dylan with such grace. He loved that boy sooooo much...more than his own life. He NEVER would have sacrificed him. Not for ANYTHING! Not even for me. But while he was still blinded with tears of loss...a suffering that had only just begun to take its true effect in his emotions...he knew that he simply had no more fight left in him. Jenna came back for him. She was the ONLY one who knew Dion well enough to snap him out of his state of shock.
"Dion! C'mon! I'm gonna help you carry him to the elevator!" Jenna said. But Dion lowered his head again, and Dylan began to cry hopelessly as he held his lover's head close to his shoulder. "Dion...please. Maybe we can find a way to help him later. But first, we've gotta get out of here!" She said. I could feel Dion's extra trying to SWIFTLY shut his emotions down...using all of the knowledge and experience he had to create emotional blockages and barricades that would shield him from the INTENSE agony and allow him to think straight. But he had gotten 'stuck' this time. His mind simply refused to shut down on Dylan. Their hearts were too much in sync. His love for him too deep. Too pure. That attachment alone kept Dion uncontrollably open to the growing level of heart bursting ANGUISH he felt for his fallen partner.
In an attempt to help him, Jenna used her empathic abilities to somehow absorb some of Dion's pain, thinking that maybe she could help him carry the burden of it all by taking a piece of it into her heart instead. just long enough to get to the elevator.
But just a fraction of the suffering from Dion's current state of mind...proved to be much more than she had expected.
"Oh GOD!" She screamed, her eyes exploding into tears as she took on enough misery to almost knock her off of her feet. She covered her mouth with both hands, and could hardly breathe as the most soul crushing wave of unfathomable sadness swept through her like an angry thunderstorm.
Whether it was Jenna's extra at work, or just seeing his friend in pain, Dion began to lift his head again. And holding Dylan lovingly against him, he began to get back on his feet. Jenna was now leaning back against the wall, trying hard to keep the emotions under control. But they were practically ripping her open on the inside. "Jenna?" Dion asked.
"Let's GO!!! Let's get him to the elevator....while I can still hold it!" She sobbed, and they both took Dylan under each of his arms, and moved his feather light body down the hall, towards the others.
Alec looked at me and tilted his smirk in an evil way. "You know I can't just let them leave. You know that, don't you? They're only delaying the inevitable." He said. "YOU'RE only delaying the inevitable." I didn't speak. I could feel the demon in me gathering strength. Purpose. But the madness came with a calm that I hadn't quite expected. Sooooo much power. Soooo much. "Let me tell you how this is going to play out..." He snarled. "...First...I'm going to beat you to the FUCKING ground! And then I'm gonna take all of the new little vampire 'tricks' you taught me...and I'm gonna use them to rip my brother, Taryn, limb from limb like the little fucking rag doll FAGGOT that he is! And THEN...when I'm done there...I'm going to take your little friends...and I'm gonna break them all down, one by one, in the most painful ways imaginable."
"Somehow...I doubt that." I said.
"Tsk tsk tsk...it's too bad, you know? I was just starting to like you, sweetheart. You should have kept your nose out of 'family business'. NOW you've gotta suffer the consequences." He said, but I felt NO fear whatsoever. None at all. I was more than ready for anything that he had to give me. ANYTHING! Dylan's sacrifice will NOT be in vain! I SWEAR it!
'Rage' and I connected our angry gazes on one another...just me and him...circling one another like angry wolves...just SEARCHING for the right opportunity to strike. Hard and fast. Both of us hoping to make an 'endgame' of this confrontation. To bring the other one down to his knees once and for all. I was hardly even a spectator at this point. I was reminded of the first time I sank my fangs into the neck of my first donor. The power. The beauty. The overpowering THRILL of it all! To make someone else soooo 'small' in front of you. To make them tremble and beg for their very lives at your feet. I looked forward to seeing Alec in that position. Crying, and bleeding, and broken....feeling pain Like *I* feel pain! And when he lifts his tearful eyes to ask me for forgiveness...I will deny him...and I'll choose that, the LOWEST of his moments....to fucking SLAUGHTER him RIGHT where he stands!
Everyone else had huddled up in the elevator, with Jeremy doing his best to hold up both Taryn AND Richie by himself, until Jenna and Dion came around the corner with Dylan hanging limply from their embrace...a long string of blood stretching down from his lips to his shirt. "What? ANOTHER one???" Jeremy said. "I KNOW you guys think that I'm good with corpses...but this is just too much!"
He reached out for Dylan, but Dion was quick to angrily snatch his dying boyfriend out of his grip. "DON'T YOU FUCKING TOUCH HIM!!!!!" Dion cried, doing all he could to protect him...even though it was far too late.
Jenna took a hold of Taryn, who was getting weaker from the heavy loss of blood...but at least his heart hadn't been damaged. And Richie was rapidly running out of time...his body fighting to maintain an acceptable level of oxygen flow to his brain and organs, as his unconscious...frail body...tried valiantly to survive.
Alec and I squared off....waiting. Forever waiting.
And just as the elevator began to close...there was a light 'ding' to signal their escape. Had I not been watching Alec's insulting eyes and inflammatory smirk....I wouldn't have noticed his sudden change in focus. His eyes looked past me for ONLY a brief moment, before he smiled, and I saw him move so fast that he practically vanished into thin air before my very eyes! As fast as Chad would have. FASTER even. It was only the streak of blurred colors that let me follow his trail....towards the elevator!
Without even thinking this time, my speed kicked in as well, and I was able to streak my way down that hallway just as fast, BLOCKING him from his target and standing my ground!
The littered debris of paper from our speedy departure hadn't even hit the ground yet when Alec saw me standing between him and my friends. But he didn't hesitate, and I saw his eyes flare as he took in a deep breath and a fury of bright blue FLAMES shot out of his mouth, threatening to roast us all in a matter of seconds!
I don't know how I did it, or where the extra came from...but an invisible sheild built itself up out of the air around me...and it blocked the flames from entering the open elevator doors..where my family cringed from the fear of being cooked alive!
The flames, instead, were directed upwards towards the ceiling....and the second the fire began to lick at the sensors there...the sprinkler system was triggered, and we were showered with ice cold water as the alarm began to sound, the lights blinked, and flashing lights went off in every corner of the hospital!
Alec grinned, his hair turned dark as the water matted down his reddish brown locks to the sides of his head. "Way to go, genius..." He sneered. "The alarm automatically shuts down the elevators. They're not going ANYWHERE!"
But I hardly had to think twice about what I needed to do. "That's what you think." My friends were in danger, and they would NOT make it back to an alternate staircase! Alec wouldn't let them. There was no other way. I hope they're ready. Without looking back over my shoulder, I told them all in a deep voice...."Hold on to something!"
Jeremy's eyes were wide as saucers as he asked, "Huh??? Hold on to...wait....WHAT???"
But before he could finish his sentence, I extended my hand, and with a 'scissor like' gesture of my fingers, I simultaneously cut ALL of the elevator's cables and sent them plummeting down towards the ground floor! I heard Jeremy and the others scream as the heavy box suddenly went barelling down the shaft at top speed...the elevator brakes purposely held in place by another extra that caused them to malfunction.
The MOMENT Alec saw them drop out of sight, he charged at me full speed, and I lost my concentration as I tried to defend myself from his psychotic attacks, the water from the sprinklers soaking me through to the skin!
But I would NOT let him pass me! Even though his nails and teeth drew blood with nearly every strike, I held him BACK!
My friends were falling at a rate that would cause them ALL a horrendous amount of pain and sufering if they were to crash land at the bottom. I tried to keep my focus on the falling elevator, but needed more attention to keep Alec from ripping me to SHREDS!!! His kicks were a blur of unavoidable pain. It was hard to keep a dependable foothold...both of us splashing around in the puddles made by the sprinkler system. I felt him slash my face, and I ducked underneath one of hi kicks to sweep his leg, and kick him hard enough as to where he went sliding back on the wet surface of the tile!
He jumped up, our arms both trying to get the advantage, fist over fist, and the whole time I tried to keep my brain focused on Dion, Jenna, Taryn, and the others, rapidly falling to the ground floor at a fatally accelerating pace!
I felt a harsh kick connect to my chest, and I was sent reeling backwards, sliding on the slickened floor until I almost fell back into the open elevator shaft myself! I spread both of my legs out, in a wide split, just to stop myself from gliding over the edge from the wet surface by hooking my ankles on each side of the open doors! My entire upper half hanging down, staring at the box as it dropped to its final destination.
Alec attempted to come at me again, but with only a few SECONDS left to spare, I reached out and put one of my palms down in the water, instinctively sending an arctic cold 'pulse' into it...and directing a river of ice RIGHT at Alec's feet! I watched the water turn solid and freeze HARD in an instant, stopping him in his tracks so fast that he nearly fell forward! The extra reached out for my intended target without fail....bolting BOTH of his feet to the floor in a block of frigid concrete! It was a temporary fix...but it bought me the time I needed! I looked back, and reached my other hand down the elevator shaft...concentrating as hard as I possibly COULD on making it stop! And just before it smashed itself to pieces in the hospital basement, I found a way to mentally bring it to a BRUTAL stop! Throwing everyone inside to the floor! But, Goddammit....I held it STEADY!!!
They were 'dazed'....hurt...but I didn't know how much longer I could hold it. The elevator itself, filled with all SIX passengers, was too heavy for me to hold! Not to mention that Alec was using some kind of extra that was vibrating his feet at a rapid speed...breaking the ice apart and freeing up his ankles as he fought to get free. He almost had one foot free already!
I used Taryn's messaging extra to ask them all simultaneously, "Are you all ok?????"
I heard Jeremy curse to himself as he rose up on shaky legs, and then he breathlessly shouted up at the ceiling, "Don't you *EVER*...fucking do ANYTHING like that.....EVER again!!!"
Taryn couldn't speak, his throat still ripped open...but he was able to send me a message back. "We're ok, Justin! Come with us!"
"I can't!" I said back to him! "Alec will just break free and follow us back to the lot! I've got to hold him here! YOU guys go!"
"Justin..." Tayn said...his mental 'voice' almost spoken with a tender sob..."Dylan's hurt. He's hurt REALLY bad!"
"I know." I said, but tried to avoid that piece of the puzzle until I knew they were safe. "Just...please...get to safety. K? Get RICHIE to safety!" Adding later, "Taryn, PLEASE! You're all I have in this world! PLEASE...go with the others! Get the others out of here! I'll be right behind you! You have my WORD...." I told him. "You have my WORD!"
I could already feel the despair in Taryn's heart, crawling up that elevator shaft and wrapping itself around my heart like a collection of thick tentacles...refusing to let me go.
I could visualize their situation, even from 7 floors up, and 'saw' Rain climb up and out of the elevator first in my mind. Jeremy handed her Richie, and they struggled a bit to pull him up.
Alec had now pulled one of his feet free, snarling at me as he worked on the other. He was using fire to help the ice melt even faster...and I didn't know how to trigger it again to hold him still. The extras just activated all on their own...duplicating it was proving to be harder than I thought.
"Get out of the elevator! I can't keep it suspended for much longer!!!" I told them. Jeremy pushed passed Jenna and got out next, both him and Rain reaching for Taryn. And then Dylan. Jenna need help with her srm so savagely broken, but Dion did what he could to give her a boost. The energies I was using to hold them up was rapidly beginning to fade...exhausting itself from such a strain.
I felt the metal box slip a little, with Dion still trapped inside. He fell backwards from the sudden jolt as the elevator left him only a small space to crawl out of the top. My mind began to ACHE...but I held on as best as I could! I couldn't pull it back up though. And if he didn't crawl through all the way before I dropped it, it would cut him half for sure.
Meanwhile, Alec was screeching in anger, his razor sharp nails turning into a blur as he scratched and clawed at the ice around his foot. Small shavings were flying in all directions. He wanted to reach me soooo bad. He wanted them to SUFFER!
And just as Dion got back on his feet, and reached a hand up to climb out....the box dropped another few inches down the shaft. Dion only had a few seconds left. I just couldn't hold it any longer.
At that moment, the last few strong bindings of ice that were holding Alec in place gave way! And with a shriek of rage that caused his boyish voice to crack with fury...he charged right AT me!!!
Dion took a hero's chance, and quickly scurried through the open hole in the elevator JUST in time. I closed my hand into a fist, and dropped the elevator down into the basement where the crash sent up billowing clouds of dust and debris! And now that the others were SAFE....
I sat up straight just moments before Alec dug his claws into me...and I sent a geyser blast directly to the center of his chest that knocked him clear down the hall and slamming into the wall. The plaster cracked in all directions, and he fell to the floor. But the hatred kept him strong. Sooooooo very strong. I was able to get to my feet...and without hesitation, I began to run towards him again at top speed, splashing through the sprinklers towards my enemy. I have to beat him down before he gets up again! Beat him into the DIRT! Feel his bones crack! Feel his spine dislocate! Tear into the soft flesh, and drink the blood of this warrior who DARED to threaten what was mine!
My passionate rage burned like the fires and brimstone of Hell itself...and actual SPARKS began to shoot from my eyes as I heard a loud battlecry escape from the pit of my stomach and bursting out of my throat...my nails becoming as sharp as Alec's!
Alec lunged forward, and the two of us slashed and hacked at one another with ferocity that neither one of us were prepared for. My clothes were becoming soaked with blood, as his nails and teeth lashed out in all directions. It was like being inside of a high speed blender. But I made SURE that he took his cuts as well...and Alec's once 'pretty' face was now covered with marks that made him look like he had been attacked by a pack of wild animals. It felt sooooo good. Even while bleeding myself...the THRILL of feeling my nails RIP through his flesh like warm butter...up close and personal...my heartbeat sped up its pace, the joy of spilling this blood becoming a nearly orgasmic act of unrestrained wrath!
The puddles around our feet turned burgundy red from the offerings of two warriors, neither willing to back down, not even for a chance to breathe. If Alec landed a punch, I landed two more. If I cut him across the chest, he cut two slashes on my back. Our muscles began to go numb from the overexertion...but we were both blind with anger. Thoughts of Taryn's blood beinf spilled before my very eyes...thoughts of Dylan being lost...a life so precious...thoughts of what he did to Jenna, to Rain, to Jeremy...what he had PLANNED to Richie...they spun around in my mind and created a STORM of emotion that hungered for revenge! I fought HARDER...gnashing my teeth, bruising both of my arms as I attempted to make EVERY fucking punch a killing blow!!!
But Alec was getting better the longer he fought me. Absorbing techniques...movements...extras...
He was learning!
But it was getting so hard to think. So hard to control myself. I just kept slamming my fists and feet into him as hard as I possibly could! And once Max's extra kicked, those blows became almost too strong for me to keep my own balance!
And it was then....that I heard a thunderous growl in the center of my chest...and felt the shadows tighten their grip on me until my very breath turned ice cold. It was more an 'awareness' than anything else...but as Alec's vortex continued to spin...taking in everything that I could give him...getting stronger by the minute...I noticed some of the shadows going to his side. Now being pulled in to his energy vacuum. A first...it was like he didn't understand. But as the darkness lathed on to him...feeling his anger, his pain, and multiplying it one hundred times over...I think Alec began to LIKE it!
We both took a step back from each other. And for a brief moment...
I could have sworn that I saw the dark image of the 'Beast' reflected in his eyes.