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The Devil's Rose
Author's note: I've always loved fantasy. It's my favorite genre and I wrote this in 45 mins. I hope everyone enjoys it!
A cool gust of wind shot past Jeri as she walked herself home from a place most teenagers her age would call prison. A place called school. Jeri didn’t mind school though. She loved her teachers and to her, school was her safe haven. It was her home away from home. Although she didn’t have many friends, Jeri’s life was pretty normal. Roland, Jeri’s only friend, usually walked home with her but today he had band practice. “It’s not just band practice, Jeri; it’s a way of life. My future and going to be super successful, career.” Roland often would proclaim whenever Jerico questioned his “way of life.”
As Jeri shoved her white and gray ear buds into her ears, she had a daunting feeling that someone was watching her. I’m in New York City in the middle of the day of course there’s going to be at least one person looking at me. She assured herself as she pulled up the hood of her bright red jacket. Jeri disregarded the feeling and blasted Asking Alexandria on her MP3 player.
Walking through New York alleys never bothered Jerico before. She was always safe and carried two bottles of pepper spray and a stun gun when she walked alone. As she passed one of the sinister grimy alleys, she noticed there was a man standing in the dark gazing at her from afar. Jerico froze in her tracks and held her breath. He was about twenty years old and had hair that was as black as the night but the way it was cut made him look younger. The man's face was admit ably handsome. And his golden eyes were gorgeous. Like dazzling rays from the sun, Jeri blushed embarrassed by her own thoughts. She noticed he was wearing a pasty white suit and a crimson red tie that hung from his neck. Almost growing bored of the fair skinned man that had been staring at her for over five minutes, Jeri took a step forward. “Jerico.” The strange man’s voice was hushed but frightening. Jeri froze once again as a prickly feeling inched its way up her spine. She yanked her headphones out of her ears letting them dangling by the cord leading to her jacket pocket. She had heard his voice over her booming MP3 player. An uneven grin appeared on the man’s face as his golden eyes gleamed at her. He lifted his arm from his side and extended it before him reaching out for the petrified girl. Jeri watched him twirl his fingers into a fist. “Jerico. Jerico my sweet,” the stranger whispered through gritted teeth. Jeri was horrified. This man knew her name and was beckoning her to go to him. Before she could turn and run down the street, she felt a hand on her shoulder.
Jeri let out a frightened yelp and jumped forward, pepper spray in hand. She sighed in relief. It was Roland. “Reno, what the heck you scared me half to death. I thought you had band practice today.” Jeri glared at her friend and did air quotes when she said “band practice” knowing it would bug him.
He kept his gray eyes on his shoes as he kicked a rock forward. “Practice ended early.” Reno mumbled.
Jeri raised an eyebrow and grabbed her friend’s arm forcing him to stop and look at her. “Did you get into another fight with Emir Ferguson?”
“Maybe.” Reno shrugged as he shoved his hands into his sweater pockets.
“Reno you can’t-”
“This time it wasn’t my fault!” Reno protested, “All I did was suggest we make a few minor adjustments to the band.”
Jeri sighed. Her voice was full with irritation after she remembered the last time Reno got in a fight. “Alright. At least this time I don’t have to put cover up on a black eye or hide another bloody shirt.”
“There wasn’t a lot of blood and it wasn’t even mine,” Reno announced triumphantly, “Emir only got one shot in at me.” Reno then gave his friend a confused and worried look with a hint of suspicion in his eyes. “What are you doing in front of Ravenor’s alley? You know gangs hang out here. Are you hurt?”
“I’m fine. Just a little…. spooked that’s all.” Jeri muttered remembering the odd man in the white suit.
Reno looked slightly shocked. “Since when does the great Jeri, who isn’t even afraid of Walking Torture part 1 or 2, get ‘a little spooked?’ ”
“Those movies are lame Reno. And since I started getting stalked by strange men in white suits.” Jeri snapped pointing down the alley. Reno raised an eye brow and gazed down the dim alleyway. “Jeri, there’s no one there,” Reno half mockingly stated. He placed his hands on his friend’s shoulders and turned her facing the alley. Empty, Jeri thought, completely empty. She breathed a sigh of relief and bewilderment. “Jeri? Are you feeling ok?” Reno seemed concerned. “Peachy,” Jeri quickly muttered, “just peachy.”
The walk home was entertaining for Jeri but not very pleasant. Reno always made her laugh, but Jeri hated the cold weather. The harsh wind bit Jeri’s nose and froze her fingers. Jeri shoved her hands deep into her pockets trying to shield herself from the ruthless fall breeze. “What’s up with this weather?” Reno muttered, “It’s never been this cold here.” Jeri was half paying attention to her friend as he rambled on about the weather. As she pulled her jacket closer to her, out of the corner of her eye she spotted a man in a white suit watching her from across the street. She froze and met his gaze. Jeri tried to speak but her mouth wouldn’t move. It was as if the icy wind had frozen her mouth shut. She watched the man pull something from his pocket. A toothy grin crept across his face as he reached out his hand as if trying to give her something. Jeri squinted at the object in his hand. A rose? Jeri opened her mouth then closed it. She was at a loss for words. The strange man held the crimson rose by the stem waiting for Jeri to take it from him. Jeri watched the grin slowly creep away from him and she could tell he was getting angry. She could see he tightened his jaw and gritted his teeth. “Jerico!” The man almost yelled to her. Before she could try to reply, the man tossed the rose in the air. Jeri watched the rose fly through the air and gently drop at her feet. When she looked up the man was gone. Confused, Jeri reached down and grabbed the rose. A sharp pain went through her hand and blood dripped from her finger. Jeri stared at her finger as blood covered her entire hand. “Jeri what happened to you?” Reno demanded. Jeri opened her mouth to speak but nothing but air escaped her mouth. Her friend made an impatient sound in his throat and grabbed her by the wrist dragging her down the street.
Jeri’s house wasn’t far from where she saw the man in the white suit. It actually wasn’t a house, it was an immaculate condominium. She stumbled as Reno dragged her up the steps to her home. Reno had been garbling to himself the whole time. Jeri could barely understand what he was saying but he sound a little upset. Still unable to speak, Jeri stepped inside her parents luxurious two story home. She always thought her parents spent their money carelessly. Jeri and her parents lived on the up side of the city. Her mother used to act when she was a child but now spent her days as a manager for aspiring artists and musicians. Jeri’s father was a pilot so he wasn’t home that often. Jeri hoped that neither of her parents were home today. They wouldn’t be concerned about her or her injured hand; they would be concerned about her getting blood on the carpet. “Jeri are you listening to me?” Reno had finally let go of Jeri’s wrist.
“Yeah I’m listening.” She slowly said.
“Doesn’t seem like it. I didn’t know a small puncture wound could bleed this much.”
He had the whole stem of the rose in his hand and it didn’t hurt him, Jeri thought.
“Huh?” Reno perked up and gazed at his friend as he wiped her hand clean with a dish towel. “What are you talking about Jeri?”
She tried to think of an excuse to say. “I didn’t think I said that out loud.” Lame! Jeri thought. He won’t buy that.
“You don’t need to be embarrassed. I’ve known you for years. Now who are you talking about?” Reno sounded concerned again. A worried Reno, Jeri thought, is an annoying Reno. She took a deep breath, sat at the kitchen table and reluctantly told her friend about the man in the white suit. She told him about the rose and about the strange man repeating her name over and over again.
Reno seemed unsure he should say to his friend. He knew Jeri never lied, and he can’t just say she’s crazy. And it all happened before her hand started oozing blood so I can’t blame it on blood loss. All Reno could do was listen and try to think of something to say to her. When Jeri had finished she waited for Reno to say something. She entangled her fingers together anxiously. Reno opened his mouth to speak then shut his mouth.
“So have you seen this guy in the suit before?” Reno finally said.
“Not before today. He knew my name though. It was strange I felt like he knew exactly who I was.”
“Well obviously he knows who you are Jeri. Maybe he’s a psycho stalker.” Reno thought allowed, “That would explain the rose and how he knows your name. Let’s just hope he doesn’t know where you live.”
“No one calls me Jerico.” Jeri disregarded her friends comment, “Even my teachers and parents call me Jeri. Well unless I’m in trouble.” Jeri gazed at her hand. It was wrapped in unevenly cut white bandages. Although it was only her finger that was hurt, Reno wrapped her entire hand.
There was a long silence between them until Jeri heard the front door open. “Jeri? I’m home! Did you eat anything for dinner?” It was her mother. Jeri rolled her eyes as she heard her mother’s high heels clomping towards the kitchen.
“I hope you didn’t eat anything for dinner,” her mother said as she entered the kitchen, “because I brought home pizza. I figured it would be easier than making dinner. Oh hey Rol- I mean Reno”
“Whatever mom I quit making dinner for you guys. You’re always ‘too busy’ anyways.” Jeri muttered under her breath. Reno lightly kicked her shin.
He very quietly whispered, “Look I know you aren’t close with your parents, but at least you still have your real parents.” His gaze shifted from Jeri to the floor. It had been almost a year since his parents were murdered. Exactly a year this Wednesday. The sixth. Jeri grimly thought. She sighed and nodded. They both had been ignoring Jeri’s mom while she was talking.
“-then I told her ‘No, hun, those shoes don’t match with your top.’ But she bought them anyways and she went to the VIP Award’s tonight wearing the shoes with that ugly top. Anyways what did you kids do today?” Her mother went on as she handed them both a slice of cheese pizza.
“Thanks Mrs. Silverstone. The pizza smells great. It’s from Andre’s Take Out right? Oh! Did you get the stuffed crust?” Reno hastily changed the subject while admiring the pizza. He and Jeri always went to Andre’s. They were regular costumers there. Jeri’s mother smirked and set down the pizza boxes in front of them.
“Of course Reno. Andre’s has the best pizza in all over New York,” Mrs. Silverstone said, “And the one you’re eating isn’t stuffed crust. That one is actually the new one with the bacon bits under the cheese. It’s pretty good. Jeri you’ve been awfully quiet. How was your day?”
“Fine mom.” Jeri mumbled avoiding her mother’s icy gaze.
“It was a great day today Mrs. Silverstone.” Reno chimed in, “In fact it was a fantastic day. Actually it was-”
“Reno, shush for one moment please.” Mrs. Silverstone interrupted, “Jerico, sweetie are you hiding something from me?”
“Don’t call me sweetie! You wouldn’t care if I got hit by a car today as long as I didn’t scratch my two hundred dollar watch. Just do me a favor and stay out of my life. That should be easy for you since you hardly pay attention to me.” she shouted at her mother then bolted out of the kitchen straight to her room. She slammed her door shut and fell to her bed. Not only did she shock her mother and best friend, but she shocked herself to. Jeri never yelled at her parents like that. No matter how many times they left her alone or completely ignored her, she never yelled at them. Jeri felt the anger boiling inside of her. She grasped her pillow tightly in her arms. Her nails dug deep into the pillow causing five little rips on each side. Jeri’s breath quickened as she began to think of all the times her parents fought in front of her or disappointed her in some way.
Jeri thought about the time when she was twelve years old. It was November 6th, the day of her birthday, and all she wanted was for her parents to spend the day with her. Jeri asked for a big chocolate and red velvet ice cream cake with pink whipped cream frosting, blue gardenias, red sprinkles and purple ribbons all around it. The best part was the entire thing was edible. Belle and Tiff’s Catering had delivered the cake. It was exactly what Jeri asked for and more. Little Jeri knew it was going to be the best birthday ever. Inside the cake box was an envelope that had her name on it. She recognized her mother’s handwriting. She took a note out of the envelope. Jeri didn’t have to read the whole note to know what was going on.
“Dearest Jeri, happy birthday! Sweetie pie, I’m sorry but daddy and I aren’t going to make it to you’re birthday. I would allow you to have you’re friends over but dad and I forgot to send out the invitations. I left them in the glove compartment of my car. DO NOT eat the cake! We’ll eat it when dad and I get home. Its pretty though isn’t it? I am truly excited however. I got invited to a party….”
A tear slowly fell from Jeri’s eye. She couldn’t believe her parent’s had ditched her on her birthday. Jeri ripped the note into small pieces and threw them in the air. She stopped to the kitchen and yanked open one of the drawers. The drawer flew from the wall and fell to the floor with a loud thud. All the silverware in the draw clanged together loudly. Jeri grabbed the drawer and dumped all of the forks and spoons on the floor. She searched the metal mess for her favorite fork. It had a flower design on the handle and it made Jeri feel fancy whenever she ate with it. After a couple long minutes, Jeri gave up the search and grabbed the first fork she saw. She rushed to the cake and began eating. The chocolate cake tasted better than any cake she’s ever had. Jeri almost forgot that the cake was supposed to be chocolate and red velvet. That just added to her anger. Throughout the rest of the day, all Jeri ate was cake. And whatever she didn’t eat, she threw at the walls and furniture. When the sun finally fell low in the sky, Jeri, with little effort, climbed the stairs to her room. She was covered in cake but she didn’t care. Jeri lay on her bed grasping her pillow tightly. It wasn’t long before her soft cherry shaped pillow was soaked with tears. Never go to bed angry. Her mother’s words kept ringing in her ears. Hearing her mother in her head only made her more upset with her parents. Jeri snatched the cherry pillow her father had given her and threw it across the room knocking over a two hundred dollar ballerina figurine her mother bought her years ago. Seventeen year old Jeri watched her younger self cry herself to sleep as if the memory had played in front of her like a movie. She watched her mother and father walk in the house together at midnight laughing as if everything was alright. They laughed until they saw the mess that started in the kitchen then moved throughout the house and trailed up the stairs. Younger Jeri woke up to the sound of her mother screeching and naming off all her priceless valuables that were now ruined. Older Jeri turned away as the part when her father stomped into her room and yelled at her came up. She placed her hand on her cheek and forced the memory to end. Watching the emotional pain is bad enough. She didn’t want to watch the physical pain too. Jeri lay back on her bed as tears rolled from her eyes and landed in her dark brown hair. Never go to bed angry. The words echoed inside her head as she slowly fell asleep.
After witnessing the incident with Jeri and her mother, Reno felt like he over staid his welcome. “Thanks for the pizza Mrs. S,” said Reno. He had been friends with Jeri for years and knew her parents well. Reno was polite and insisted on calling them Mr. or Mrs., ma’am or sir. Reno snatched a box of pizza and grabbed his camouflage messenger bag he had left by the front door. All Reno could think about was the man Jeri told him about and everything that was going on tomorrow. November 6th the anniversary of my parent’s death and Jeri’s birthday. He thought grimly. Thinking about his parents and the man made Reno lose his appetite. So he offered the pizza box to an elderly homeless man. “Save some for later alright?” Reno knew how New Yorker’s were with their food. And their money for that matter.
“Oh thank you young man!” the man shouted as Reno walk down the frosty streets. “May God bless you!” The elderly man could barely contain himself. Reno turned to the man and gravely grinned.
“God bless me? Yeah right. Someone else is going to help me out though.” He pulled up his hood and stalked away.
Reno walked to his foster home that was half way across the city with only one thought in mind. The mission. The neighbor hood he lived in wasn’t as ‘prosperous’ as Jeri’s, be he liked it there. The crime rate was low and all the neighbors were kind. Reno tried his best not to get too attached to the children or even his foster parents. It’s only temporary, he reminded himself, and it’ll all be over soon. Nobody will notice a thing. Reno’s foster parent’s believed he wasn’t ready for a real job yet and since Reno knew many of the families very well already, he figured he might as well make a living out of it. He waved to his neighbors hard not to be conspicuous then jumped over the fairly short chain link fence and sprinted up the concrete steps to the door. Reno reached for the chipped and dented doorknob but before her could touch it, the pale blue door flew opened. Slightly startled, Reno took a step back as two kids bolted past him. “See ya later Ro!” a little girl with coiled brunette pigtails hanging next to her ears shouted as she struggled to open the gate. Reno watched them slam the gate shut and dart down the street quickly. He couldn’t help but smile. Reno remembered why he was here then quickly whipped the smirk from his face. He stepped into the house and was overcome by the smell of something burning. Reno dropped his messenger bag and dashed to the kitchen. He sighed with relief when he discovered the kitchen was not in flames. His foster mother was standing over the stove aggressively stirring something that looked like hamburger meat. “Jodie?” Reno called out his foster mother’s name.
“Oh, Roland you’re here.” Jodie sounded fretful and wavering. Reno’s foster mother grabbed the pan of meat and dropped in angrily in the sink. “We’re ordering out tonight.” Reno grinned offering to help clean up. The kitchen was very smoky due to Jodie burning four different foods. A turn out the ‘hamburger meat’ was actually spaghetti noodles.
“How do you burn spaghetti?” Reno mockingly question Jodie’s cooking skills. Reno had lived with the Hanson’s for eight months. Mr. Hanson worked most of the day and sometimes the night. The Hanson’s had two little girls named Lilly and Ivy. Although the girls were twins, they couldn’t be more different. Ivy had chocolate brown curls and. Lilly looked exactly like her sister, except for the difference in hair color. Lilly’s hair was a bright crimson and very wavy. Both of the girls had sweet indigo eyes. Teachers or babysitters always got them confused so the mother developed a color coded way of telling them apart. “The calm and sweet one is the brunette. The wild and hyper one is the red head.” The girl’s mother would always say. Reno grew fond of the little girls the minute he met them. He loved their diverse personalities and told the girls that they were very unique. Lilly never listened to anyone except for Reno. “Typical big brother thing,” Jodie would mumble with a huff whenever she wasn’t able to get Lilly to go to bed. “They make me feel more…” Reno would reply calmly, “normal.”
Jodie quickly wandered out of the kitchen leaving Reno to finish cleaning. Reno had almost finished cleaning when he heard a loud thud. He dropped a plate on the kitchen floor and darted out of the room. He heard a smaller crash and darted to where ever the sound was coming from. Reno hoped Jodie wasn’t in his room. He braced himself for Jodie’s expression and anger if she was in his room as he propped himself against the wall and he stumbled on a couple of Lilly and Ivy’s toys on the stairs. Little girls and their Barbie dolls, Reno sighed as he reached the top of the stairs. “Jodie where are you?” shouted a breathless and worried Reno. He reached Jodie’s room and found her standing in the middle a huge mess of clothes, a couple empty boxes and various papers. Jodie’s pale green eyes were flicking back and forth all over the room and her light brown hair was pulled into a messy bun that was held together with two chopsticks. She had on hand place firmly on her hip and the other on the back of her neck. “Jodie?” Reno felt a huge relief as he stepped into her room. Jodie snapped back to reality realizing her adopted son was in the room. She gave him fragile smile and rubbed her shoulder roughly.
“Hey Roland. Is the kitchen cleaned?”
“Yeah.” Reno replied silently remembering the plate he dropped. “Wow,” he said gazing around the room. “What happened in here?” He was surprised with Jodie. She was adamant about having a clean and tidy room.
Jodie began rummaging through her nightstand drawers. “I was looking for you birthday present.” A hint of curiosity flashed in Reno’s dark brown eyes. He had told her that she or Mr. Hanson really didn’t have to buy him any sort of gift. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to see what the gift was. After all it has to be significant if Jodie would willingly trash her room looking for it. It’s only temporary. Remember why you’re here. Remember what needs to be done. He pushed the small voice to the back of his head.
The voice came back. “Jodie, you really don’t have to give me anything. You already let me stay in your home and be apart of your family. What more could I ask for? And besides, my birthday was two months ago.” Reno really did feel this way. Not many people in the world would adopt a sixteen going on seventeen year old boy. Jodie gasped and jumped up with excitement as she hid the present behind her back. She walked over to her son with toothy grin covering her face.
“Roland, I know you’re birthday was a couple months ago and I’m sorry all we got you was a journal, but there was a reason that was all we got you. You’re a good kid. Very responsible with your sister’s and your grades are all up so Craig and I both agreed that since you’re seventeen now it’s time you had you own way of transportation.” Jodie held out her hand to Reno and in her hand was a brass key on a little silver ring. “Welcome to the family.”
Fresh pallid powder fell from the sky and covered the Earth for as far as Jeri could see. Many large green pine trees towered over her and small blue jays nested within them. The woods were silent. Not even the birds or the wind made a sound. Although the wind was blowing and she was standing in the middle of the snowy woodlands, Jeri wasn’t cold. She was actually pretty warm. Jeri moved to remove her bright red jacket that had four large black buttons on it, but her arms were bare. She glanced down at herself and saw she was wearing a cherry red dress. The dress was strapless and sequined white at the hem on her chest. A large wan colored ribbon was wrapped around the stomach and tied in the back with a large colorless bow. Along with the gorgeous red gown, Jeri was also wearing black wedge knee-high boots. It’s all my taste, my color. Even my hair is done just the way I like it. Jeri smiled enjoying the tingle of the melting snowflakes on her skin. Jeri bunched up her dress in her hands, fearing she might ruin it, and walked through the woods. All the blue jays in the snow covered pine trees didn’t make a sound but seemed to watch her. She didn’t walk for long until she found a clearing up ahead. Jeri was a little puzzled when she got to the clearing. There was a perfect circle of green grass. As Jeri walked to the middle of the circle, she looked to the sky and noticed it was still snowing. She turned around to leave only to find the man in the white suit standing before her. Her heart was beating fast as the man opened his mouth to speak to her.
“Jerico it’s so nice to see you again.” Said the man as he slowly walked in circles around her.
“W-we’ve never met,” Jeri’s voice sounded unsteady in her ears.
“Oh Jeric. Sweet, sweet Jerico. Do you not remember me? I suppose I can understand. You were just a little girl the last time we were together. Now look at you,” The man grinned at her revealing his pearly white teeth, “all grown up.”
Jeri was afraid to speak. Maybe Reno was right. This guy has to be a stalker. “I’ve never met you before in my life.” Jeri blinked and when she opened her eyes the man was just inches away from her. She jumped as his hand met her arm. His soft hand moved gently up to her shoulder then to her chin. He lifted her head high enough so her gaze met his. Jeri stared deep into his precious golden eyes.
“Your eyes are more beautiful than emeralds,” his soothing voice whispered. A chill shot up Jeri’s spine.
“What do you want from me?” Jeri could feel her heart slow down. The man grabbed Jeri’s hand in his and placed it over his heart. “I want a reason for my heart to keep beating.” He smoothly stated. “Will you, Jerico Bree Silverstone, be that reason?” Jeri gasped and closed her eyes.
When Jeri opened her eyes, she was in her room lying in her bed. It was only a dream. But it felt so real though, she thought. No. It was just a dream. Nothing but a dr- Jeri felt something long but small in width and rigid object in her hand. She sat up and looked down at her hand. In it was a beautiful red rose in full bloom. Jeri gasped trying to shake the feeling that what she thought was a dream actually happened. Jeri gripped the stem tightly and winced as a thorn pricked her flesh. She noticed she was holding the rose in her formerly wounded hand. She stared at her hand and wondering if the bandages fell off while she was sleeping. Jeri held the rose close to her heart and fell on her back thinking about the handsome man in the white suit. Jeri made a sound of frustration in the back of her throat when she heard a soft knock on her door. Before Jeri could ask who it was, the door cracked open. Out of the corner of her eye Jeri saw her mom poke her head past the door. “Hey sleepy head. Mind if I come in? I brought pancakes, scrambled eggs and bacon.” Her mother gently said attempting to entice Jeri out of bed. Jeri groaned and sat up as her mother allowed herself in.
“What do you want Joanna?” Jeri growled. Her mother froze for a moment before setting the tray of food on Jeri’s lap. Joanna Silverstone wondered if her daughter was just acting out or going through a phase. “So we’re on a first name basis now huh?” her mother joked. Jeri didn’t even blink.
“Dad make excellent two different kinds of bacon,” Joanna went on, “you really should try-”
“I’m a vegetarian mom,” Jeri lied through clenched teeth. “And I’m allergic to chocolate.” Jeri angrily pushed the tray of food away. She enjoyed watching her mother’s joyful expression turn to grief and disappointment. Jeri held the red rose tighter against herself and laid back on her bed. Her head felt cloudy and she was breathing quickly.
“Jeri I’m sorry. I thought you-“
“No mom. You never think about me.” Jeri snapped. She could hear the anger in her own voice. “You think you know me so well don’t you? Stop trying to play good mom and stay out of my life.” Jeri stared at the ceiling waiting for her mom to leave. Once the door clicked shut Jeri jumped out of bed and slipped on her black and red converse sneakers. She snatched her olive and baby blue checkered fox head messenger back and shoved handfuls of clothes into every pocket. Jeri slid the bag under her bed and grabbed her cell phone from her pocket.
“Meet me in the alley on Drenton Avenue in front of Ravenor’s Alley in ten minutes.” Her text read. She hoped her best friend wasn’t asleep as she dashed downstairs. “I’m going out with Reno!” her voice ricochet throughout the house. She ignored her parents questioning her as she slipped on her bright red jacket and left.
Jeri paced back and forth impatiently in the entrance of the alley. Reno had been twenty minutes late and Jeri was already in a bad mood. “You idiot where are you,” Jeri muttered under her breath. “Anyone I know?” A cool steady voice echoed in Jeri’s head. She recognized the voice instantly and spun around to prove her suspicion was right. The man in the white suit. He was grinning at her from across the alley. Jeri ran her fingers through her dark wavy hair nervously. Even though she had a hunch it was him, it still took her by surprise. Jeri blinked her eyes then within a split second she was consumed by the dark and was standing right in front of the man. Although her breath quickened, her heart beat was steady. She stared deep into his gold tinted eyes.
“Your eyes are more beautiful-” the man began.
“Than emeralds.” Jeri finished. She gasped and her eyes widened. “You were there,” she whispered. “You were in my dream.”
“And what a fascinating dream it was.” He reminisced. Jeri caught traces of sarcasm in his voice. He rested his wrist on Jeri’s shoulder and his hand wrapped around the back of her neck. His hands are warm and soft, Jeri thought. The man made a noise that sounded like a muffled laugh. It was as if he read her thoughts.
“Ever since you started appearing in my life I’ve been acting different. I’ve been cruel and vindictive to my family which isn’t me at all. What do you want from me?” Jeri demanded. She couldn’t tell if her voice was strong or confident like she hoped it was.
“Ah yes your family that barely knows you exist,” he slid his hand from her neck and took a few steps backwards. “You already know what I want Jerico. You turn eighteen tonight and, as was promised to me, I intend to have my prize no later than then.”
“Promise? What promise? And you are avoiding my question. ” Jeri took a step to him as he turned his back on her. The man chuckled.
“On the contrary, Jerico, I’ve told you everything you need to know.” When he turned around, Jerico half expected him to be grinning at her. She was shocked to see his expression was just the opposite of that. His eyes were bitter and dark and his fists were clenched tightly. Jeri bit her lower lip as she watched the color in his knuckles deplete into white. “You must decide.” he said with a scowl, “Quickly.” He extended his arm and offered Jeri his hand. Jeri ignored his gesture and turned to see what the man saw that made him so angry. “Dad?”
Everything seemed to move ever so rapidly after that. Her fathering dashed towards her but all she saw was a blur. Jeri felt a searing sting on her cheek as she fell to the filthy ground below her. Stunned at the reality of what just happened, Jeri held her breath and pushed herself up to a sitting position. Her cheek ached and her jacket was ripped and muddy. Jeri glanced up at her father, whose fists were clasped tightly together and his jaw was firm. She could see a faint blue vein on her father’s forearm appearing under his skin. Before she could speak to him, his fist flew through the air and collided with Jeri’s face. Jeri fell hitting her head brutally on the cement ground. Unable to speak, Jeri choked on her own breath as blood dripped from a small gash under her upset eye. Jeri crumpled into a small heap for a moment. Her fist’s scrunched tight in the mud as pain pulsed in her head. Jeri heard the two men talking, but the voices were muffled.
“This is not what we agreed to Samuel!” objected the man in the white. “You were not to interfere with my plans.”
“Plan’s change Cain.” Samuel, Jeri’s father, barked. Jeri’s hearing slowly restored itself. She only heard bits and pieces of the discussion at first but now she heard everything.
Cain, the man in the white suit, was furious. “Jerico belongs to me.” Surprisingly to Jeri, when he spoke this, his voice was level and unyielding. Jeri slowly pushed herself up once again. Her body ached from slamming into the cement. Cain’s expression went from aggression to compassion when he saw Jeri’s battered face. Jeri felt like this man saw past the mud and the hurt. Cain’s mouth curled into a soft smile as he gazed into Jeri’s deep green eyes.
“You can not take her from me,” Cain went on. “Her eye’s… She is devoted to me as am I to her.”
My eyes? Jeri mused over Cain’s words. She is devoted to me. As I am to her.
Jeri was wrenched away from her thoughts. Samuel Silverstone firmly grasped her hair and yanked her up to his level. Cain winced as Jeri cried out in pain. Jeri’s breath was fast as her father saw deep into her eyes. “Dad please let me go you’re hurting me,” pleaded Jeri. Samuel grunted and spat towards Cain.
“You poisoned her. She will not live your life. I would rather die than see her become one of you.” Jeri felt warm tears fall from her eyes and she tried to understand what her father was saying. She struggled to get free but her fathers grip was strong. He finally released his grip on her hair but before she could move away from him, he snatched her up by her neck. The tips of Jeri’s toes barely scraped the ground. Jeri scratched at her father’s arm as she felt her lungs close tightly. “That is enough Samuel!” Cain barked. Jeri’s eyes rolled to the backs of her skull as she felt herself getting light headed. Samuel glared at Cain as he tightened his grip on his daughter. “You will serve me again and she will die. I don’t care if she is my daughter. You poisoned her and now I’ll kill her.” Samuel’s harsh word’s cut deep into Jeri. Cain’s temper finally snapped. He made a deep growling sound in the back of his throat and his eyes were consumed by darkness. Samuel made a gut wrenching sound and released his grip on Jeri. Her limp body fell to the ground like a stone in the water. Her lungs tensed and every muscle in her body ached. Jeri felt a warm kindness completely surround her. She slit open her eyes and realized Cain was holding her in his arms. “Your eyes are a beautiful blaze in a dark sea of green. The more you care for me, the more the green will diminish.” He sympathetically explained to her as he held her body close to his. His eyes weren’t dark anymore. They shone like striking golden rays from the sun. Jeri’s head felt cloudy and heavy. Once she rose to her feet, Jeri could see her father writhing in the mud, his pallid eye’s rolled deep into his skull and every muscle in his body was tense.
Jeri fell to her father’s side. She gently grabbed his arms attempted to calm him then winced and jerked her hands away. Her father’s flesh was red and burning. “You have to stop!” Jeri pleaded. “Please.” Jeri looked back at Cain but his attention was at the mouth of the alley. She followed his gaze then gasped. “Reno! Help me please!” she beseeched Reno for help. Her friend looked like he was about to go to war. He had a row of knives with crosses engraved in the blade strapped into his belt. He had a large duffel bag in his hand that Jeri assumed had more weapons in it. Reno stood at the entrance not moving. Not uttering a word, Reno reached in behind himself and held up a crossbow. Jeri heard an angry rumble come from behind her. She rose to her feet feeling the tension between the two.
“Jeri,” Reno began, “get away from him.” Jeri could see the fury in his eyes. She felt her lungs close up. She opened her mouth to speak, but nothing came out. After what seemed like an eternity, she finally found the will to speak.
“Jeri!” shouted Reno before Jeri could finish. “Get away from him!” Jeri took a step back startled by her friend’s might and rage.
“I’m not leaving.” She declared surprised by her own voice. “And,” she went on, “I want to know what’s going on.” Reno lowered the crossbow. His eyes looked depressing.
“Ask him why this is happening.” Reno’s voice was trembling and full of regret.
Jeri was taken aback by his answer. She turned to Cain and stared into his eyes which had recaptured the shadows in them. “Who are you?” Jeri demanded. Cain carelessly straightened his crimson red tie before replying.
“I have many names. But you,” he said, “may call me Cain. Not the biblical Cain. His malevolence was far greater than I ever was.” A cold chill shot up Jeri’s spine and she shuttered.
“Jeri don’t be stupid. This guy is pure evil you can see it in his eyes.” Reno said almost raising his voice to a shout.
“Cain?” she echoed disregarding her friend’s statement. “I still don't understanding what you want with me. You said something about a promise earlier. What promise?” A flicker of delight shone in Cain’s eyes. Jeri could tell this subject interested him.
“Years ago Joanna Silverstone was in an accident and at the time she was seven months pregnant. When she was in the hospital, the doctor told Samuel Silverstone that both the mother and the child wouldn’t survive.” Cain sauntered in circles around Jeri. “That is when your father and a Nathaniel Patterson summoned me. Samuel begged me to save Joanna and her unborn child. He said he would be forever in my debt and he would give me anything I asked for. Samuel’s friend didn’t agree with that offer. He claimed that ‘demons’ should serve humans because they are nothing but trivial parasites,” Cain’s dark eyes were fixed on Reno. “But I assure you Nathaniel Patterson that out of the two, my species are not the weaker kind.” Cain hissed.
Jeri slowly turned and gaped at her friend. Her eyes were full of sorrow. “Reno?” she quietly muttered. She felt tears well up in her eyes.
Reno kept his eyes on the ground avoiding Jeri’s look. “My real name is Nathaniel Roland Patterson. Reno is a nickname I got for my problem with gambling. I was born in 1973. When your father and I summoned Cain, I did convince your dad that he shouldn’t have to repay Cain for what his kind should already do. I bound Cain to us so he could serve us whenever we needed him. He gave Samuel and me fame and fortune. He even healed Joanna and her baby. But after a couple years, Cain figured out a way to get free from us. He cursed me. Once I hit the age of thirty I alter my appearance into a child and have to live my life once again.”
Jeri’s eyes were wide and her heart was beating fast. “You lied to me.” Her voice was overflowing with anger. “You only pretended to be my friend so you and my dad could get Cain to be your… your slave.” Before Reno could explain himself, Jeri turned to Cain. “Tell me more.” She said quickly. “I want to know everything.”
“Well,” Cain said grinning that toothy grin that use to give Jeri the chills, “I found your father and demanded for some sort of fee. He fell to his knees like a coward begging me to show him mercy and give him some time. I am not known for showing mercy. I was about to slaughter him where he knelt and take his pathetic soul. But,” He paused seeing Jeri’s horrified expression, “but I saw the child, I let survive, playing outside in the fallen leaves. There was something about this child that wasn’t… human. I sensed it. The child has the abilities of a demon that are more enhanced. The abilities are stronger than any Greater Demon I’ve ever met. Even strong than my own abilities. Jerico,” Cain stepped towards Jeri so he was inches away from her, “you possess a magnificent power. I demanded you as my payment. Your father agreed.” Jeri felt like she should be surprise and angry with him, but she wasn’t. His eyes were soft and his voice was strong but comforting. “There is something special about you.” He went on as he took her hands in his, “I asked you to be mine. Not just because of your special abilities, but as I watched you grow I felt like you belong with me. Do you feel the same way about me?”
Jeri was speechless. She could feel an icy sensation deep inside of her. It was almost as if every molecule in her body was changing into what Cain had said. Jeri’s mouth curled into a smile as she felt herself changing. There was a loud click that echoed throughout the alley. Jeri switched her attention to Reno, who had the crossbow lifted and aimed for her. Reno, without hesitating, pulled the trigger.
Jeri gasped and was pushed against the brick wall. She closed her eyes as her head hit the brick hard. Jeri cradled her head with her arms and fell to her knees. A bone chilling animalistic scream reverberated inside her head. Jeri was pulled to her feet and was hoisted up into the air. She heard two men conversing as she looked back and saw Cain doubled over in pain. His white suit was now stained red with blood. Cain cried out in pain as he jerked the arrow from his chest. He looked up and met Jeri’s gaze. For a moment the two just stared into each others eyes as they were forced apart from each other. Jeri could see the rage rising within Cain. He released another shriek and rose to his feet. Jeri beat her fists against the back she was hanging over. She kicked her legs and screamed for someone to help her. She was brought to the streets of New York, but the hundreds of people didn’t seem to notice a man with a screaming girl hanging over his shoulder. Jeri screamed until her throat grew sore. She became aware of the neighborhood she was and how familiar it looked. Each fancy condo lined up perfectly and each house had a brand new model of camaro, mustang or the occasional Ferrari in the driveway. It didn’t take her long to understand that the person holding her was taking her to her home. “Dad?” she grasped the person’s shirt steadying herself as the person took her up a short flight of stairs. She was suddenly thrown the floor. She landed on her elbow and cried out as she felt a slight snap in her arm. Jeri carefully rolled to her side and cradled her injured arm. She clenched her jaw shut stifling a scream.
“Did you do as I asked?” demanded Samuel Silverstone as Reno shut the door with his camouflage duffle bag in hand."We have to finish this." Samuel growled. Samuel was the hefty brute or the muscle out of the two. His thin face and dark sunken eyes intimidated anyone who got in his way. Reno sighed and dropped his duffle bag inches away from Jeri.
“Y-yes.” Reno muttered. “I did it.” His gray eyes staring at his shoes. He knelt next to the bag and pulled out seven large jars filled to the top with a dark ruby like liquid. Samuel grinned and picked up one of the jars. He instructed Reno to draw certain shapes in an exact order on the walls. Reno nodded and opened the first jar. Jeri was instantly conquered by a strong nauseating smell. She gagged and coughed as she watched Reno draw a large circle on the wall. Samuel, almost forgetting that his daughter was there, glanced over his shoulder at Jeri. The floor shook as stomped over to her side. He crouched to her level and stared into her eyes. She tried to escape his gaze but he aggressively grabbed her injured arm and pulled her closer to him. Tears rolled from Jeri’s eyes as she tried her best not to scream out in pain. Reno looked over his shoulder at Jeri. He instantly wished he hadn’t. Jeri was covered in bruises, scrapes and blood. The left side of her hair was sticky and matted from the blood and she had three large bruises and a small gash on her face. Jeri’s clothes’ were also torn and covered with mud. Her favorite black denim jeans were tore at the knee revealing a large bloodied scrape and her favorite red jacket was ripped in many areas. Jeri held her breath as her father threw her back down on the floor. Every in of her body ached and throbbed terribly. “What are you staring at?” Samuel barked. He lost interest in his daughter and went to go inspect Reno’s paint job. Samuel then began shouting and arguing with Reno. Suddenly the room got quiet. The door knob jiggled then the door swung open. Jeri’s mother casually walked through the door with dozens of black paper bags in her hands. She kicked the door shut behind her and dropped her bags near the door. Samuel scowled and rushed behind her locking the door. Joanna glared at Samuel and Reno.
“What on Earth are you doing to my house?” Joanna shrieked. Samuel wrapped his arms around her waist then whispered in her ear, “I almost got the fleshed burned right off of my body but we found the demon.” The expression on her face went from anger to nervous. She tenderly pushed her husband away and went straight to Reno’s side.
“What is this?” she demanded.
“We need blood if we want to bind Cain to us.” Reno casually said as he dipped his hand in a jar and painted shapes on the wall with it. “We do it properly this time you two get whatever you want, fame and fortune whatever I don’t care, and I get free of my curse. He’ll be ours to control.”
Joanna brush her light brunette hair out of her face and held back a gag. “And who’s blood are we using?” Reno looked slightly remorseful as he continued painting the walls.
“Right now I think we’re using Jodie and a little Ivy.” He muttered thoughtfully. Joanna’s eyes widened. She seemed to be having regrets too.
Jeri felt her stomach tie up in knots. Everything I’ve ever known is all a lie. She tried her best to fight back tears as Joanna told Samuel about her shopping spree. “Spend all you want because at the end of the day, we’re going to be rich,” said Samuel. After awhile Joanna finally noticed her daughter lying on the floor. Joanna rushed to her side and softly pet Jeri’s head. “Don’t worry,” she whispered, “I’ll talk to dad to letting everything go back to the way it use to be.” Jeri didn’t say a word. She didn’t even look at her mother. She knew her father wanted her dead. Before Reno could open another jar of blood and finish his binding runes, Jeri heard a low rumbling noise that traveled throughout the house. She struggled to sit up but when she finally got up, the rumbling stopped. Close your eyes, my love, and cover your ears. A voice whispered in her head. Jeri obeyed and painfully laid back on the ground and covered her ears. As soon as she did, a high pitch ringing darted through out the condo. Reno, Joanna and Samuel all fell to their knees crying out as red dripped from their ears. Glass shattered everywhere and windows had burst. It wasn’t long before the ringing stopped. Samuel was the first on his feet. “You’re going to have to try a lot harder than that Cain!” he angrilly shouted.
“If you were wise, Samuel, you wouldn’t challenge me.” Cain hissed. Joanna screamed and rushed to her husband’s side. Reno was frozen where he stood.
Jeri winced as she pushed herself up to her feet. She held her injured arm gently and weakly smiled at Cain. His blood stained suit was gone and replaced by a black suit. The white looks better on him, Jeri thought. Cain’s scowl was traded by a crooked smile. “I’ll take that into consideration next time Jerico, darling.” Jeri blushed and was suddenly aware that he had heard her thoughts. His eyes were a beautiful dark gold again Jeri noticed but was afraid to think it.
“You humans have killed your own kind.” Cain stated. “Innocent blood was spilt and I do not approve of it. I don’t approve of killing innocent children even if I am a demon. Jerico will come with me and I will show you some lenience.”
“No,” Joanna whispered as Jeri took a step towards Cain. “Jeri please no!” Jeri’s mother shrieked. Jeri ignored her and took another step close. “Samuel don’t let him take my baby! Stop him! Somebody stop him! Jerico stop!” Joanna was frantic. Jeri winced and stopped. Jeri glanced down at her injured arm that was now black and blue. When she looked up. Cain was inches away from her face. His eyes were full of kindness and concern. His soft hands gently lifted her arm to his lips. He closed his eyes and recited “Sana malum et da quod maxime debetur.” Cain opened his eyes and smiled at Jeri.
“What did you do?” Jeri gazed into his beautiful gold eyes and felt like her legs were going to give out.
“I healed you.” He whispered. “Will you come with me?” Jeri smiled and nodded ignoring her mother’s screeches.
“The only place she’s going is hell!” Samuel angrily shouted. He picked up a broken piece of glass and ran towards Jeri. Jeri turned around to face her father then an intense light engulfed her. Samuel stopped in his tracks and shielded his eyes from the bright illumination. Joanna, still screaming, fell to her knees with tear filled eyes. When the light faded, Jeri felt different. Better in a way. She stood in front of her family confused at what just happened as they all stared at her. “Jeri?” Reno whispered. Jeri could see in some of the broken glass her appearance was different. Her long brown locks were now a glowing red.
“Her eyes...” Joanna whispered disgusted with her daughter.
“Yes mommy,” Jeri taunted, “I’m not your docile daughter anymore and I will no longer let you treat me like I am trash. In fact…” Jeri dashed over to her father with lightning speed and fiercely grabbed him by the throat and lifted him far above the ground. “I’ll start with you daddy.” Cain chuckled.
“Now, now darling I know your excited but now is not time to play.” Cain grinned at Jerico’s new found strength. Jeri growled and threw her father at Reno. Samuel collided ruthlessly into Reno and the two fell to the floor. Joanna’s face was slightly tinted red as she screamed for her daughter to stop. Jeri turned to her mother and within a second was right in front of her. Joanna whimpered as she looked up at her daughter. Everything about her was different. Her once emerald eyes were now burning flames. Her once beautiful brunette hair was now tainted a radiant ruby red. Even her sweet innocent smile was now full of mockery and spite. Jeri’s scarlet lips curled into a grin that made Joanna’s skin crawl. She composed herself and faced the creature that stood before her. Joanna wiped the tears from her face and stared into Jeri’s blazing eyes.
“Everything I’ve done was for you Jerico.” Her mother’s voice was wavering. “It was all for your own good.” Jeri’s eyes were icy and full of hatred and the grin that resided on her face vanished.
“You’ve never done anything for me,” Jeri snapped. “The only thing I’ve ever learned from you is how to be a terrible mother.” The palm of Joanna’s hand hastily cracked across Jeri’s face with great force. Jeri fell on one knee as Cain growled at Joanna.
“I don’t care what you are. I gave birth to you and I am your mother. I’m sick of raising a spoiled little brat who’s always throwing temper tantrums all because daddy and I missed her birthday a couple of times. I knew from the moment the doctor handed you to me, there was something wrong with you. But I raised you and loved you like you were my own. Now that I see what you’ve become, I’m disgusted.” Joanna stood over her daughter as if she had just won a battle. She held her head high with confidence. “And you,” she hissed at Cain but before she could finish Jeri rose to her feet. She swiftly backhanded her mother sending her soaring across the room and before Joanna landed on the floor, Jeri quickly darted over to her mother and grabbed her by the throat smashing her into the floor. Joanna cried out in pain as shattered glass cut into her back. Jeri’s grip on her mother was firm and unyielding. Her mother kicked and choked on a scream as Jeri tightened her grip on her. Joanna was horrified at what her daughter had become. Samuel finally rose to his feet and saw Jeri choking the life out of his wife. He snatched up a knife from Reno’s limp body and stalked towards Jeri. He raised the e blade and before he could strike his daughter, Cain dashed towards Samuel and pushed him back against the wall harshly as he glared at Samuel.
“Don’t move or the last thing you feel before you die is your insides burning you alive.” Cain growled. His beautiful golden eyes were now dark and sinister. Samuel dropped the blade and silently pleaded with Cain to spare his life. Jeri smiled as she watched her mother’s eyes slowly roll back into her skull and her kicking began to cease. Jeri released her tight grip and noticed Joanna’s neck was bleeding. Jeri let loose a wicked, ominous little chuckle.
“The thing about us girls,” Jeri said examining her nails as air entered her mother’s lungs, “is that we’re always scratching and clawing. Not me though.” Jeri slashed a huge gash in her mother’s stomach and watched as she choked on her own blood. “I prefer to cut instead of scratch.” Jeri wiped her mother’s blood from her fingers and overlooked her mother as she turned her attention to her father. Joanna’s eyes amplified as blood gushed from her deep wound. Samuel watched helplessly as his wife’s life weakened. Tears rolled down his face and fell to the floor. Jeri grinned at the sight of her father acting weak.
“Oh so he does have a heart.” Said Jeri as she stepped over Reno’s still unconscious body. Cain released Samuel but his eyes were fixed on him. “Don’t do anything stupid.” Cain growled through clenched teeth. “Hi daddy.” Jeri leered at her father. Samuel knew begging for them to spare his life would be pointless. Cain wants my soul and Jeri wants me to suffer as much as I can take. Samuel thought grimly. He took a deep breath and clenched his fists. Reno finally awoke from his sleep and was shocked to find Joanna lying in a pool of her own blood. Suddenly there was a small animal like scream. Reno, still lying on the floor, out of the corner of his eye saw Samuel hit Cain once in the jaw then in the stomach. Cain fell back on the floor taking a moment to catch his breath while Samuel grabbed the knife and charged towards Jeri. Their eyes were fixated on each other as they waited for the other to make a move.
“What are you going to do daddy? Kill your little girl?” Jeri inquired as her father slowly inched forward. “Go ahead. Your wife is already dead because of you.” Samuel stopped and glanced over at Joanna’s lifeless body. “You had the power to stop this but you didn’t.” Jeri hissed continuing with her low blows at her father. “Why didn’t you save me daddy?” a little girl’s voice softly demanded. When Samuel looked back at his daughter, all he saw was a young girl no older than six. She was wearing a yellow summer dress with black slip on shoes. Her dark brown hair was pulled into a half up small ponytail and the rest of her hair dangled past her ears. Samuel hastily stepped back in horror as the little girls dress started oozing red at her stomach. “Daddy help me.” The little girl pleaded. “Don’t let me end up like mommy.” Samuel tripped over his deceased wife’s carcass and fell to the ground. His eyes were wide and frightened as the little girl slowly pursued towards her father. The little six year old slowly began to morph back into the eighteen year old girl with blazing eyes as she got closer to her father. Samuel’s heart pounded loudly against his chest as Jeri crouched beside him. Cain stood silently watching Samuel with his dark, hungry eyes. Samuel released the knife as Cain let out a low growl. Jeri grinned as she leaned closer to her father. Suddenly, Cain emitted a deafening screech. Jeri jumped to her feet and saw blood dripping down his body and the tip of a blade sticking out of his shoulder. Behind him, Reno was standing in awe as he stepped away from Cain. Jeri gasped as Samuel kicked her leg making her fall to the floor covered with shattered glass. Jeri opened her eyes as her father stood over her with his hand wrapped tightly around the handle of the blade.
Cain whirled around and scowled at Reno. Reno’s heart was beating fast as he gazed into Cain’s blood thirsty eyes. Cain reached behind his back and jerked the dagger from his flesh. He bared his teeth at Reno revealing sharp wolf like teeth.
“J-just kill me.” Reno said trying to sound confident. “I know you have the power to kill me without even looking at me. Do it! Kill me like you did my family.” Cain’s expression went from furious, to pleased.
“Where’s the fun in having a mortal body if I don’t use it?” Cain roared. He bared his animal like teeth and lunged at Reno. Reno cried out in pain as Cain fiercely tore the flesh from Reno’s body. Reno plunged the knife at Cain then howled in pain as Cain, with little effort, grabbed him and snapped his arm in half. Cain grinned as Reno’s howls and screams were silenced to small choking noises then nothing. He stood up and straightened out his blood stained suit. While adjusting his tie, Cain steadily turned around and was taken aback to see Samuel looking down at Jeri’s lifeless body. Before Cain could feel grief, Samuel quickly yanked the knife from his daughter’s motionless corpse. Within one swift movement, he spun around in a sudden circle and hurled the blade at Cain striking him in his leg. All the muscles in Cain’s body tensed and throbbed as he stifled a screech. “I’ve had enough of your kind.” Cain snarled through clenched teeth. His menacing and dim eyes were fixated on Samuel. All of a sudden, Samuel fell to his knees with his hands clasped around his neck. He steadied himself with on hand as he began coughing and choking up blood. Cain’s lip curled into a frown as he walked behind Samuel kicking him down as he passed him. He gently scooped up Jeri’s unresponsive body then leaned down and kissed her cold, delicate cheek. Cain slowly sauntered to the front door then kicked it down as he listened to Samuel choking on his own blood. Without feeling regret or even turning to look at him, Cain whispered to Samuel, “I’ll see you in hell.” He gradually sulked down the steps holding Jeri securely but gently in his arms. “Fire! There’s a fire!” Cain grinned as Jeri’s neighbors began shouting and screaming for help as her parent’s condo was rapidly eaten by flames. Cain floated through the crowd then found himself at the mouth of Ravenor’s Alley. He grinned to himself. “I’ll do everything in my power to bring you back.” He whispered as he ran his fingers through Jeri’s glowing, ruby red hair.
The fire engulfed the entire condominium leaving nothing but a massive pile of ash. When the blaze finally died down, firefighters investigated the house in an attempt to find fire starting culprit. One firefighter left the house with something long and thin in his hand. “We couldn’t find what started the fire, but this was the only thing that wasn’t burned.” He told another firefighter. He held out his hand revealing a cherry red rose in full bloom.