Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Assassin's Retirement: Scion of Beowulf Chapter 7, Part 1 #blogstory

Welcome back to Assassin's Retirement! For your convenience, I have added a Table of Contents at the bottom of this page that has links to the other chapters in the story.


Copyright Lexi Ander

Chapter Seven – Stolen Answers

The trek back to where he'd left Prince didn't take long. Prince wasn't there, but the three dead creatures still lay where they had fallen in the middle of the road. If anything, they smelled worse than before. He wasn't sure if the neighbors would call the sheriff and report the shots fired. Even if no one came to investigate, a neighbor coming down the road would stumble upon the three bodies. Zane could only imagine the chaos and fear that would ensue. So he pulled the carcasses to the ditch for the time being and did he best to cover the huge blood stain where Prince obviously lopped the head off one. Fucking swords.

Did Prince return to the house or was he stumbling around in the woods? Conceding he wouldn't know until he went back himself, Zane made his way through the trees. The back-patio light was still on, making it easy for him to find his way. As he stepped out of the trees, he could see all the members of Crimson Comet in the dining room. Prince stood among them reading from a slip of paper. Had the shooter left something behind?

When he opened the door a wall of heat washed over him, making him shiver. All six men startled. "Zane!" Several exclaimed at once and while he greeted them, he was aware Prince pocketed the note.

"Are you injured?" Cord took one of his chilled hands between his, Midnight the other. They rubbed vigorously, amusing Zane with their care and worry.

He couldn't remember the last time when someone met him at the door, concerned for his welfare. Xander brought over a cup of coffee and reluctantly he pulled his hands from Cord and Midnight to take the mug.

"No injuries," he finally answered. "Just cold, as you can tell."

He glanced at the guys over the rim as he took a couple of long swallows. He waited from someone to broach the subject of what had just happened. This wasn't as innocuous as an elk charging through the yard to battle lawn furniture.

Everyone but Prince avoided his gaze. So, it was Prince who he spoke to. "Why am I here? Really?"

"You're here because Cord thinks you can help us and—" Prince glanced at Cord who hadn't moved away from Zane. "He has a crush on you."

Zane disregarded the comment about a crush. It was unimportant. "What kind of help would you need from a song writer?"

Prince smirked. "Come now, we all know that you are more than what you appear to be."

Zane involuntarily stiffened before forcing himself to relax. He frowned, not liking the implications these men knew of his past one bit. Plus, he had the niggling feeling that Prince's disturbing answer was meant to shake Zane up. Why wouldn't he answer the question? What were they hiding? He'd been drawn here for a purpose. Was the shooter just a test? His instincts told him no. These men were in trouble of some kind.

He glanced at Cord to see both hope and guilt in his eyes. Midnight's expression was wary though Midnight still had a hand on Zane's waist. Xander smiled as if Prince hadn't said they knew Zane was an assas—retire assassin. Anson was tucked against Raine's side, looking expectant but Raine's expression said it all. He disagreed with everyone else and didn't trust Zane. His goading sneer demanded Zane either proved him wrong or to leave. Zane couldn't come up with a reason why he should prove Raine wrong. He didn't know these men or their true intentions. He'd been invited here under false pretenses. Someone attempted to kill Midnight. He'd shot creatures he'd never seen before. And when asked outright what they wanted from him, the answer was basically an assassin. The only people who searched out guns for hire were criminals who had something to hide from the authorities.

"I'm afraid you came all this way for nothing." He set the cup of coffee on the table. "I'm not who you think. I appreciate the food and hospitality. Have a good evening." Without another word, he headed to the front room, barely remembering to grab his jacket from the coat rack.

The door shut loudly behind him. In moments, he was in the Wagon and driving down the short drive to the dirt road. Instead of heading to the interstate though, he turned toward the lake. Not too far down the road, he approached the blood-stained snow he hadn't been able to hide. Stopping next to where the corpses lay in the shallow ditch, Zane turned off his vehicle and rounded the side to let down the tailgate.

A heavy tarp was folded and stashed under the toolbox. Just like the old days, Zane heaved the now stiff corpses into the truck bed and covered them with the tarp, making sure it was weighed down. The last thing he needed was for the heavy fabric to fly off as he passed a police officer while he drove home. He didn't need anyone looking in his truck bed. The creatures weren't human, so he wouldn't have to explain that sort of problem, but they were weird enough to garner a lot of unwanted attention. Circus, it would become a goddamn circus.

Before he left, he traipsed back through the forest to the back of the house. He examined the ground and trees until he discovered what he was looking for. A tree trunk where the bark had been torn up, and about eight feet off the ground, a tree stand.

Reaching up, he grabbed the back edge and carefully pulled himself up to the stand. There wasn't much room to maneuver but once he sat, he was looking through a scant few boughs at the back of the rental home. All the lights were blazing and even with the patio lights on, anyone on the outside could see everything that went on in the kitchen, dining room, and part of the living room that led to the front door. There were no drapes or blinds pulled shut.

"Fucking idiots deserved to be shot at," Zane murmured to himself.

Table of Contents

Chapter One - Retirement
Chapter Two - Normal is not supposed to be this hard
Chapter Three - Caught
Chapter Four - Crimson Comet
Chapter Five - Mountain Magic
Chapter Six, Part 1 - Harbinger of a Nightmare
Chapter Six, Part 2 - 
Chapter Seven, Part 1 - Stolen Answers

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

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