Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Assassin's Retirement: Scion of Beowulf Chapter 8, Part 1 #blogstory #amwriting #gentleman

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 Eight – No such thing as heroes

Zane drove through McCall, hyperaware of every vehicle he passed. The hour wasn't late, and Thanksgiving was less than a week away, evidence by the traffic near the grocery story being heavy. Once he reached the interstate, he relaxed minutely.

He wished he had someone to discuss the evening with. For the first time in a long while, he thought about his mentor, a Scandinavian called Scyld. Zane doubted that was his real name. Assassins didn't divulge their identity to anyone lightly, if ever.

Zane had been ten years old when he first laid eyes on Scyld. He still remembered his grief over his father's sudden death. No one would tell him how his father died, and the casket had been closed at the funeral. Back then, his mother called him Aldrich, which he hated. He loved the name his father had given him, Wulf, but his mother always chided his father for using it, claiming their child wasn't an animal.

Not a week after his father's passing, his Uncle Paul loaded him, along with one hastily packed suitcase, onto a private jet. His mother stood by the plane's exit, watching as Paul knelt next to him. "While you are away you represent me and my name."

"What is going to happen to me?" he asked, never taking his gaze from Paul, doing his best not to cry.

"You will be taught how to kill," Paul said plainly. "More specifically, you will learn how to be my assassin. Everything you do, I will control."

Wulf didn't like the sound of that and his uncle read him easily. "If I hear that you refuse to do what is asked of you, I will hurt your mother. You run away, and I will kill her before I have you tracked dawn. You will watch how long it took your mother to die before you are tortured to death," Uncle Paul narrowed his eyes. "I'm waiting for your answer."

He glanced at his mother, her gaze never rising from the floor. The apple of her cheek was darker where she had applied more makeup to hide the bruise. That morning, a doctor friend of Uncle Pauls' had set the bone in her pinky, taping her last two fingers together.

He turned back to his uncle to see how closely Paul watched him. "If she is ever hurt again…" He tried to put steel in his voice like his father did.

"Do not make threats you cannot backup. Besides, she'll remain right as rain unless you screw up," Paul snarled. "Don't disappoint me."

After his uncle rose to his feet and passed his mother, she hurried to him and hugged him tight. He didn't want to let her go. "I will free us from him," he whispered.

She stiffened, saying just as quietly. "I should have never allowed your father to fill you head with all that mythical champion nonsense. There are no such things as heroes."

Before he could argue, she was gone.

Wulf cried the first leg of the flight to Copenhagen, imagining the worst. Until that trip, he'd been proud that he was as creative as his father. But his uncle had other plans for him and he didn't know if he could live up to them. But if he didn't, then his mother would pay the price for his failure. How was that fair?

By the time the plane landed in Denmark, he'd calmed. He could not plan until he knew what would be expected of him. Neither the flight attendant not the pilots had spoken to him for the flight, so he didn't expect any help from them after they landed. He grabbed his suitcase and pulled it behind him to the plane's exit. He glared at the pilot on his way by and the man dropped his eyes.

At the top of the stairs, he looked over the blacktop, his first look at Denmark was nothing special. He'd heard the pilots talking about landing at this private airstrip outside the city. A car was parked near the hanger, a large man leaning against the bumper. Upon seeing Wulf, he pushed off the vehicle and crossed the tarmac.

Teeth clenched with determination, he descended the stairs, awkwardly dragging the suitcase behind. By the time he reached the bottom step, the man stood waiting. Without saying a word, the man took the case from Wulf and turned, striding back to the car. Wulf hurried to follow, suddenly terrified of being left behind so far from home or anything he knew.

Wulf watched in amazement when the man opened the hood and threw his suitcase inside. Then opened one of the doors waiting for Wulf to get in. The steering wheel was on the wrong side of the car, and when they left the airstrip, they drove on the wrong side of the road. His amazement pushed aside his worry until the man parked at a cottage at the end of a long gravel drive.

When the vehicle was shut off, he didn't get out so neither did Wulf. Warily, he watched the person who was supposed to be his guardian. Dirty blond hair, thick browns, high cheekbones and a square jaw. He looked as if he hadn't shaved for a week. Blue eyes stared back at him as if he too was taking Wulf's measure.

"What has your kin told you about me?" he asked in a thick accent.

Wulf frowned. Paul was no longer his 'kin' but he would keep that to himself. No telling what this man would report back to Paul. "That you will teach me to kill." The man's lips pressed flat. "That if I don't obey you or screw up he'll hurt my mom. If I run away, he will kill my mom and then send someone after me." Wulf paused, considering. "He'd send you after me." Paul hadn't said that, but the man didn't deny it either.

Table of Contents
Chapter Six, Part 1 - Harbinger of a Nightmare
Chapter Seven, Part 1 - Stolen Answers
Chapter Eight, Part 1 - No such thing as heroes 
Chapter Eight, Part 2 -
Chapter Nine, Part 1 - 
Chapter Nine, Part 2 - 

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

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