August, 1981, Tampa
“There’s going to be a time..”
The meaty sound of a fist striking flesh.
“…when you’ll thank me for this..”
“…and on that day…”
Thud-Thud. Two strikes in quick succession, and the rattle of chains.
“…you’re gonna look back on this one…”
The sound of ragged gasps, broken things, almost pants really - like a terrified animal that’s been beaten so often a kick is a hug.
“What?” Ray’s voice was incredulous, hand raised high to strike another blow. “What did you just say to me?”
Felicia sobbed, a broken noise from a broken girl. The flesh around her right eye was already swelling, and would be a royal shiner in an hour or so.
“Did I stutter?” I asked, reasonably.
I stood in the open doorway to the dressing room and met Ray’s stare, arms folded across my chest. A thin man in a gray suit. Nobody.
“No.” Ray replied, straightening and turning to face me. Behind him, Brandy and Alotta sat frozen, mouths hanging open as they watched the crazy person in the door signing a ticket to a world-class beating. “No man, you didn’t stutter. But now I’m gonna have to hurt you.”
"I checked him out after getting your message. Daniel Lee's file is owned by the Pentagon. My clearance level doesn't come close. All I can tell you is the few brass that would talk to me about him tell me the same thing I hear from my defense industry friends: be careful dealing with Lee. They say he's good to his word but not above arranging the pieces on the board as it suits him, and he's always ten moves ahead of where you think he is."
"One thing that I was able to find out ought to peak your interest, though. Daniel Lee is the sole trustee of the New York Knights Perpetual Trust. He's in charge of all their property and assets. Everything, including the Pier, is his to administer."
Here's hoping the day brings you good times with good friends. Hugs to you, bruv...
So this is what it is, Mr. Vail reflected as he sipped his coffee and watched a light stream of tourists and locals pass by on the sidewalk, to see without knowing. He set his the oversized white cup down upon the table and leaned back in his wooden chair, feet crossed at the ankles beneath the table, his handsome if somewhat narrow features arranged in pleasant contentment. He wore Italian leather shoes, dark socks, black slacks and a silk shirt so purple it was almost black, open at the throat, sleeves turned back just once at the cuffs.
So, his cousin was getting married to the poet. Dan wasn't surprised, they'd been seeing one another for nearly five years now, and had been living together for three. Elizabeth was a smart girl, and was on track to receive her MBA this year. Corwin balanced her out nicely in Dan's opinion, and was so obviously besotted with her it was hard not to want them to succeed. Just another lunatic in the asylum that was his family, really. And it would be nice not being the only one named after a fictional character for a change.
There was a light rain falling as Brainstorm concealed himself behind some undergrowth. He was early, the house still dark, and he didn't want to give away his presence. It was difficult enough to build cases against those he hunted without them seeing him ahead of time and this vision had been particularly brutal.
Damien looked at his watch. There was still 15 minutes or so before the events in his vision started. This particular vision had plagued him for nearly a week before he'd narrowed down the house. He was still shivering from the most recent replay, a scant 30 minutes ago. the vision had changed a couple of times, but it still ended the same way, bloody. The most current iteration involved garbage bags, a butcher knife and a circular saw.
That today is K.L's Birthday!!! Happy Birthday, Phil. This place would NOT be the same without you lovely lady.
Tina hesitated outside the training area where Danny was practicing his martial arts wondering if she should just turn back. She missed her classes with Danny and their Thursday night tour of the city's restaurants and was hoping she could mend any hard feelings he might have over her abrupt departure but was afraid she may have burned more than one bridge with the team. Finally deciding to take a chance Heatwave quietly slipped into the room so as not to disturb him and watched from the sidelines until there was a break in his routine.
"...And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent,
called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole
world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels
were cast out with him."
Mr. Hendricks, a jovial man of some fifty years, with a walrus mustache and a shape like a bowling pin, leaned back in his leather executive chair and squinted across his desk at the much younger man seated across from him. Where Mr. Hendricks favored tweeds and houndstooth and leather patches at the elbows, the younger man preferred reds and blacks and gray the color of smoke. Both wore suits: well cut, tailored (obviously), and made of materials to match their aforementioned predilections and color palettes.