Chapter 13 - ‘Car Troubles’
what?" Jason shouted. "I can't believe you would do something like that!" he
leapt up from the couch. "I can't believe you Sara, that's sad even for you!" He
stalked off to his own bedroom and slammed the door. Sara heard the lock slide
shut from across the suite.
"Jason please, you don't know how I was feeling!"
Silence reigned in the suite and Sara strained her ears for any noise. Eventually, when she held her breath she heard a few soft sobs from Jason's room before he fell silent. A few minutes later and the shower started up.
"Why can't you just stay away from this family Matt?" she asked the air plaintively.
* * *
Jason managed to finally control his emotions and stripped off his clothes before jumping in the shower. He relaxed into the sensation of the warm water coursing down his skin, before leaning back against the wall and closing his eyes. He breathed in the steam, enjoying the tightness it produced in his chest. A distraction from the dull ache left from crying. A soft giggle drifted through the foggy air.
Jason opened his eyes and looked about him. 'Must have been the drain.' He told himself and then laughed, 'I'm getting paranoid.' He closed his eyes again.
After a few minutes he grabbed one of the small bottles of shampoo and washed his hair. He lathered his body up, admiring his own physique. He'd been blessed with a gorgeous, but low-maintenance body, he had a lot to show considering how little time he was able to spend working out. He rinsed off and opened the foggy glass door a crack to reach for a towel. He cursed the cold air when he realized the towels were across the room by the door. He opened the door wider and then grabbed at the towel he found being suddenly thrust at him.
He took it from a soft, delicate hand and then did a double take, almost dropping the towel before he managed to cover himself up instead.
"Who's there?" he asked. "Sara, that's not funny! Get out." There was only a faint giggle. 'Shit!' he thought. 'I knew I heard someone before. Oh Christ, they've been here a while... Watching me!'
He began to grow angry, then afraid. He was in a completely defenseless position. He was naked, unprepared and didn't know who was there with him. The mystery someone on the other hand, had been waiting for him and was probably prepared to deal with him in any number of ways.
"Wh-Who's there?" he asked again.
There was no answer and he poked his head around the foggy glass door and wrapped the towel around his waist.
A young woman, she couldn't be more than seventeen, was perched, cross-legged on the marble counter by the sink. She had soft pale skin, rich, full lips and luxurious, long blond curls. She was wearing a white silk slip and Jason even found himself admiring her slight figure. He was having trouble not to stare.
"Who are you?" he asked anxiously. She seemed unarmed, and hardly dangerous, but he was sure she hadn't been in the room when he first entered. He glanced at the door. It was still locked, but that meant nothing. She could have locked it again after gaining entrance.
The girl, for her part, raked her eyes slowly over his body and smiled slightly.
"Um, can I help you?" Jason insisted again. The girl slipped off the counter lightly and approached him. She extended her hand as if to touch his bare chest. He drew a sharp breath and her hand stopped, barely an inch from his skin.
She dropped her hand and turned away from him, heading towards the door. Rather than open it, she simply slipped through it into the next room. Jason dashed to the door and flung it open, but the girl was gone.
He sighed heavily and leaned back against the wall. "What I wouldn't give for a normal life again!"
* * *
Matt had been attempting to meditate again. Since he'd left Jason, it hadn't worked once. Every time he closed his eyes, his memories of them together flickered before his eyes and then were replaced by images of Jason, dead or dying. He felt like he was running on empty and his exhaustion was beginning to show.
The wall split open across the room and a girl dashed inside. She caught sight of Matt and ran to him.
"Ash?" he asked as he caught sight of her face through bleary eyes.
"Hurry!" She said breathlessly. "Miriam is on her way. If she sees you here, she'll have you banished."
She helped him to his feet and he staggered around one of the marble columns onto an open balcony. He paused for a moment and light swelled and flowed down his back followed by plumes of white feathers. She heard him mutter something wistfully. It sounded like, "He said I was beautiful... no matter what form..." before he flung himself over the balcony and spread his wings, catching an updraft. He spiraled away and then darted into one of the pristine white clouds.
And not a moment too soon. She heard the wall behind her open up and white light flooded the room. She turned in time to see Miriam stride through the newly formed door. Her ceremonial robes had been replaced by cold, steel armor.
"What do you think you were doing?" She snapped as she entered the room. Ashley stared, incomprehensively at her. "Don't play dumb with me. Ophiel saw you. What were you doing there? He's not your ward."
"So you have Ophiel, the all seeing, kowtowing to you now?" Ashley asked coldly. "So what if I was there. I'm allowed to go where I please on earth."
"The point is, the boy is not your concern."
"He's hardly a boy! And I think he is my concern. With Matt forced into hiding because of your lies, someone has to watch Jason. Or else They would get him. Or is that what you want Miriam?"
Miriam clenched her fist threateningly around the hilt of her curved blade. "Be very careful what you say, child. Blasphemy is a high crime."
"Good thing I wasn't blaspheming then, or is that what you think of yourself? Do you suppose you're better than the ancients?"
With a flash of movement Ashley found the tip of Miriam's sword pricking the delicate skin of her neck. Miriam looked about to say something, when her nostrils quivered. She sniffed the air hesitantly. "I can smell him, child. Where is he? Where is Matt?"
Ashley narrowed her eyes and looked daggers at the elder angel. "I don't know."
Miriam pressed the blade deeper and drew it slowly along her neck and across her collarbone. Ashley gasped slightly as she felt the blade bite and slice her pale skin. "I'm telling the truth. I don't know where he is."
"Bah!" Miriam spat. "Your weakness disgusts me." She sheathed her sword with a snap, turned briskly and walked out.
Once the wall had closed behind her, Ashley sank to the soft, fur rug. Matt landed swiftly on the balcony and was at her side in a matter of seconds. He laid his hand on her neck and a soft glow spread out from it, healing her wound. She shuddered and wept softly, her tears mingling with the few drops of her blood that had reached the carpet.
"Why does she do this to us Matt? Why can't she just leave us alone?"
Matt held her close to his chest. "I guess it's just part of the family curse."
* * *
Jason had gone to bed exhausted, but resolved to confront his sister in the morning. However, when he woke up and made his way into the central part of the suite, he found a note for him sitting on the kitchen table.
"Emergency at the agency, had to go immediately. Be in the
lobby at 10:30. Scott will meet you. Sorry."
It was signed by Sara. He glanced at his watch. It was just nearing 9:30. He settled himself down on the couch for a wait, and some Saturday morning cartoons.
* * *
Scott's day was going well, he'd woken up on time, been for his routine morning jog without incident and there was no line at the coffee bar to boot. And so it was that he entered the lobby a few minutes early in good spirits.
He picked Jason out immediately. He was dozing in one of the large, leather armchairs. Dressed in pin-stripe jeans, a tight black T-shirt with a large Playboy bunny printed across the chest and red sports wristbands with skulls on them. Scott almost groaned. Jason stuck out like a ten foot pole amongst the other guests. Either Jason hadn't noticed him yet, or he just wasn't paying any attention to him, so Scott took the opportunity to carefully check him out. He took in Jason's light but defined build. 'Definitely workable material,' he decided.
After a few more minutes of studying Jason he made his way across the lobby towards him. Jason only looked up to see him when Scott's shadow fell across him.
"You really are new to this aren't you?" Scott asked him with a raised eyebrow.
Jason gave him a cold, hard stare. "I assume you're Scott then. New to what?"
Scott took a seat in the chair next to Jason. "I've been watching you for several minutes now. I could have taken a shot at you at any minute. You didn't even notice me ‘till the last moment."
Jason smiled slightly, "Actually, I did notice you. But you seemed to pose little threat to me. I thought I'd keep my eye on the fellow at the bar." Jason flicked his eyes at a man in a black coat with the collar turned up, dark spectacles and a hat.
Scott shifted his eyes without moving his head so that they were both focusing on the same person. "What's so special about him?"
Jason continued to watch the man from under heavy eyes. "I blinded him a few weeks ago when he attacked me. I was wondering when he'd start tracking me again." He smiled wickedly. "Good to know that his eyes still haven't regenerated though."
Scott looked at him wearily. "You're not kidding are you?"
"No. His name is Damien. He's been trying to kill me for a few weeks now... don't ask what for. I'm as clueless as you on that."
Scott stood and beckoned for Jason to follow. "Your sister warned me about him. If he's already found you then we need to be going. Now."
Jason shrugged and cast a last glance at Damien before grabbing his bag off the ground and following after Scott.
Jason caught up with Scott as he was handing a set of keys to a valet. "Um, where's my car?" he asked.
"Sara took it. Don't worry, you can pick it up later."
The valet pulled up in a silver Nissan Z. "Nice wheels." Jason commented.
Scott was watching something behind Jason. "That Damien fellow is still watching you."
"As long as watching is all he does. I don't want to cause a scene here." Jason said as he tossed his bag in the back and then clambered into the front seat.
Scott started up the engine and looked into the rear-view mirror before pulling out of the hotel driveway. He glanced again in the mirror and sped up slightly. Rather than get back onto the highway, as Jason had expected him to do, Scott pulled onto a smaller, but empty side road. He glanced in the mirror once more and pressed harder on the gas.
Jason noticed his frequent looks into the mirror and turned in his seat to look out the back. A Dodge Viper GTS with tinted windows was dogging their heels.
"It's that Damien fellow," Scott explained. "His car pulled up just as we were leaving."
Jason turned back to face him. "Are these windows bulletproof?"
"Yeah, should be. Why?" Scott looked at him anxiously, but Jason had already turned back to watch the pursuing car.
"Speed up a bit." He said flatly.
Scott pressed harder on the gas pedal and the speedometer jumped forwards a bit. Several rapid gunshots rang out, quickly followed by a series of dull metal thuds from the rear of the car.
"You're shitting me!" Scot snarled. "You did NOT just mess my paint job!"
"Can't you drive any faster?"
"I have a better idea." Scott replied as he slid back a small panel in the side of the steering wheel with his fingers. Jason could make out a series of buttons within. Scott pressed the uppermost of the buttons and a whirring sound emerged from the back of the car. Jason turned back to see what was happening. A panel in the boot of the car split open and a mounted machine gun slowly rose out.
"Who the hell do you work for, MI6?!" Jason asked.
Scott looked at him briefly with a gently arched eyebrow. "They're British," was all he said. He slid his fingers down to the bottom button and pressed, holding it down for a few seconds. Jason cringed in his seat from the rapid firing of such a nearby gun.
"Jesus Christ!" he gasped.
"You're telling me." Scott said. "That didn't even dent his hood!" he pressed a combination of other buttons and the shaft of the gun slid back, leaving a much larger barrel. He pressed on the bottom button again and the discharge was even louder this time. The car lurched forwards as a much larger shell shot out and slammed into the pursuing car. The shell connected with the center of the windshield and the car spun out sideways.
"Way to go!" Jason cheered.
Scott was still frowning however.
"What?" Jason queried.
"That thing's practically a Howitzer. It can demolish an armored tank from one hundred meters." Scott looked back into the mirror. "It didn't even stop them."
Jason turned and looked back too. The driver and regained control of the car and was back in pursuit. In fact, he was steadily gaining.
"Screw this." Jason shouted. "Floor it!"
Scott complied and Jason felt the force of their acceleration as he was pressed back into the seat. Scott looked again in the mirror.
"Open the glove compartment," he ordered.
Jason did so and found a number of pistols cached inside. He looked dubiously at them.
"Lean out the window and empty a few clips. Aim for their tires." Scott instructed.
Jason fidgeted. "Um, I don't know how. I've never fired a gun before."
Scott rolled his eyes. "Just point and pull the trigger."
Jason picked up one of them and rolled down the window. He felt the rush of wind as they tore down the road. He held onto the door handle with one hand and leant out. He raised the gun gingerly and then closed his eyes as he pulled the trigger.
He gasped as the shock traveled up his arm. He braced himself and aimed again, this time keeping his eyes open. He pulled the trigger once, twice, three times, and was rewarded when one of the cars lights shattered.
He pulled himself back inside the car. "I have a better idea."
* * *
Damien leaned forwards eagerly in the front seat. "Come on you sorry bastard. I owe you for my eyes." He muttered, then turned to the driver. "Drive faster you worthless piece of shit!" he snarled. He looked at his hands, now spiked with barbs of back metal that protruded form his skin. He flexed his fingers and his dagger-like nails gleamed in the light.
Their car was just beginning to gain on Jason when suddenly his prey pulled to the side and pressed on the brakes. The car slid past, as if moving backwards and then the two cars leveled off side by side. The passenger window of the other car was even with the driver's window of his own. He peered around the man to look into the other car. Jason sat sideways, aiming a pistol out the window.
"Put your window up you fool!" he screeched at the driver.
The man reached for the button and then Jason fired. Their car suddenly braked hard, leaving Damien to carry on forwards, as the head of his driver seemed to explode sideways onto him. The mans body lurched sideways into him, knocking the steering wheel as he fell and the car spun sharply.
* * *
Scott and Jason watched from where they had screeched to a halt as Damien's car spun sideways, still moving forwards at the same time. The rear of the car brushed the un-paved ground on the side of the road. The extra friction was all it took to launch the car into the air. It flipped sideways several times before coming to rest, upside-down on the road with a screech of metal.
Jason sat, still trembling from the effect of shooting someone for the first time. He took several deep breaths. The air was heavy with the smell if burning rubber. Petrol was leaking onto the ground form the upturned car. He looked across at Scott, he seemed almost as shaken up as Jason.
"Lets not do that again." Jason whispered.
"I think that's a good idea." Scott agreed.
Movement near the car simultaneously caught both of their attention. Someone was crawling clumsily out of the window on the passenger side. Damien clawed his way out and crawled to the center of the road. He stood stiffly and looked back at his ruined car.
Scott slammed his foot down on the gas and the car screeched forwards towards Damien. He turned in the road to face them and Jason caught the look of surprise that flashed across his face moments before the car impacted on his body and he was thrown up into the air. Scott didn't even wait to see where he fell; he continued driving at a breakneck speed.
"Your sister owes me for this. Big time." He said after a few seconds.
Jason couldn't have agreed more.