Written by Carter Pierce
Ivan whirled about.
Sure enough, someone was standing behind him. The man was large: tall and thickly built, with scars covering his face. There was an unpleasant glint in his black eyes; something murderous. Something gleeful.
He was wearing a black trench-coat that reached his feet. The collar was flipped up, but the front was open, exposing a dark grey turtleneck shirt and blue jeans.
“I’ve been looking for you, Mr. Molchalin,” he said quietly. But he wasn’t looking at Ivan. He was looking at Jack. “But it seems like someone else has beaten me to you.”
He stepped forward, coming slowly, like an animal of prey closing in, freezing its quarry’s mind with sheer terror.
Except there wasn’t much terror going on. Jack was smirking, trying not to laugh. Ivan was just confused.
“You really know your stuff, big guy,” Jack said. “I’m sure I look exactly like the boy Dmitri you killed so long ago.”
Guy Harmon paused, curtailing his penultimate step, and halting a few feet from the pair of them. “Explain yourself.”
“I’d rather not.”
Ivan stood up with a sigh. “Who are you, bud? What do you want with Molchalin?”
“He owes me a debt. A rather large one.”
Ivan crossed his arms, tilting his head to one side in annoyance. “You didn’t answer my first question.”
“People like me often do not answer that sort of question.”
Guy smirked haughtily. “And who are you, if I may ask?”
“People like me don’t normally answer questions posed by people like you.”
“Very well. Perhaps a touch of steel will loosen your tongue.” He pulled a long, wicked-looking knife from his belt.
Ivan’s eye’s widened almost imperceptibly. “You work at Razerr Industries, don’t you?”
Again, Guy Harmon paused, unsure of himself. “How’d you know that?”
Ivan gestured toward the knife. “That’s Henry Farris’s design, a prototype. It hasn’t been put into production yet. They’ve been trying to get a permit for the length of the blade for six years.”
“You really know your stuff, old man.” A look of vague curiosity crossed the villain’s features.
“I’m not as old as I look, friend. Trust me.” Ivan fingered the lump on his nose that he wasn’t quite used to. It had bothered him when he’d been wearing his thick-lensed glasses . . . but he’d lost his glasses during the fall from the plane. Now it was hardly noticeable. “In fact, you should never judge a man by his face, because you never know for sure if it’s his real one.”
Guy lunged forward, grabbing Ivan’s wrist and yanking him around so that his arm was pinned painfully behind his back. “Answer my question,” he hissed in Ivan’s ear. “Or you will feel this blade in your side.”
“I could easily answer your question. Very easily.” Ivan was slowly fingering a string hanging down the middle of his back. “But I don’t know if you would have time to listen.”
“I’ve got nowhere to be.”
Ivan feigned a sigh. “Well, let me go. We’ll sit down and I’ll tell you everything I know.”
Guy’s grip lessened just a little.
It was all Ivan needed. He gripped the string firmly and yanked. Plastic shrapnel exploded through the back of his suitcoat, hurling him forward and plunging into Guy’s chest at the same time. Blood went everywhere.
Ivan slowly got up off the ground, wincing. He’d never used that particular weapon before. It was more painful than he’d thought it would be. He turned to Guy, who was lying on his back in the leaves. The front of his grey turtleneck shirt was shredded and soaked in blood. His face was pale.
But his eyes were open.
“Never mess with the owner of a weapons manufacturer,” Ivan told him. “It doesn’t work out well. Especially when you’re they guy who killed his brother.” He knelt beside Jack. “We’re getting out of here,” he whispered. “Sorry about the ribs. Try to bear it.”
“Did you kill him?”
“No. But we’re going to strand him. He can find his way out when he wraps himself up. We need to get you medical attention.”
Copyright by Carter Pierce 2022 All Rights Reserved