The Fallowing – The Fourth, Part IX

by Steppen Sawicki

You all might have noticed I’m posting a lot.  This is because this entire book is typed up and edited and sent out to beta readers.  All I’m having to do is just copy and paste onto this site.  Which is pretty awesome.

Novel: Occult Adventure

When I woke it was dim blue morning.  Snow was falling lightly outside.  A passing drizzle I supposed.  I had tossed in my sleep but Sam hadn’t moved a muscle.  He was still facing me, his lips slightly parted, his chest rising and falling rhythmically with his breaths.  I found myself hypnotized by his morning stubble and how dark his eyelashes were against his cheeks.  Then I thought of the darkness under the ice, the pull of the water, the chill.  I slid silently out of bed and wandered over to the window.

I think I expected to look out it and see him standing across the street, inspecting out hotel.  Waiting outside for us like Cain had, announcing his presence.  But there was only a woman shuffling quickly down the sidewalk as if late for work, and I marveled that maybe she was.

I pulled on my coat and boots and left the apartment, checking to make sure the door was tightly shut and locked as if that was what kept him out.  The teenager at the front desk – son of the maltempered owner I assumed – yawned at me and gave my coat a look-over as if my curves showed through it.  I would have flipped him off but my mind was elsewhere.  I stepped into the bitter morning air and took up a position directly in the center of the street.

“Atsel!” I shouted, though not loud enough that the noise might wake Sam.  I could see our window only four stories above.  “Come out!”

There was no response at first.  I turned in the street and no one stepped out of the shadows in the alleys.  I was about to shout again when he spoke from behind me.

“What possesses you to come out here and call me?”

I spun around and there he was, not even ten feet away.  Fucker was showing off.

That or he was just too damned dependent on that watch.

I finally got a good look at him then.  His face was finely angled, his mouth finely curved without that angry sneer he must reserve for Sam.  His eyes were large, almost boyish save for the fearsome intelligence in them.  His hair was brown, but shone even on an overcast morning such as this.  His coat was white, probably new it was so white, and covered a slender frame that nevertheless hinted power in its tension, as if he were ready to snap into movement at any moment.  He probably was.

He was so beautiful, but there was something wrong in that tension in his shoulders, in the glint in his eyes, in the frown on his lips.  He was like a rose hiding its thorns under its petals.

“Or did you call me just to stare at me?” he said.

I gulped.  I had been staring.  “I want to talk.”

“We are not called to talk.  You want something.”

“You want to see Sam suffer.  I want to know why.”

His frown deepened.  “I want to see Sam dead.”

“If that was all, he’d be dead already.  The others wanted Sam dead.  They went straight for it.  You lined him up so those bullets wouldn’t kill, and you pulled him from the river.”

He looked up at the window to the room where Sam slept.  “Then I suppose Sam has told you nothing.  Why not ask him?  He’s quite taken with you.  He’s sure to tell you at least some part of it.  Why call me when I would just as rather kill you than weave you a story?”

Because I want to know my enemy, I thought, and, because I stormed out here without thinking.  “Because it would only be a part from Sam,” I said aloud.

He grinned.  It should have brightened his face, but instead it was unsettling.  “Then I will also tell you a part.  Because I relish the idea of Sam knowing I spoke with you and contemplated what I could do with you.  I’ll decide at the end.”

I suddenly noticed that the snow had stopped falling and was hanging still in the air.  There was a knot in my stomach.  I hadn’t planned any of this; I had just wanted to confront him in some way, make him explain himself for harming Sam.  Maybe I hadn’t really expected him to come when I yelled his name.  All I could do now was stand in the street and listen.