The Center: Best Served Cold Part-15

The Center: Best Served Cold -
Part Fifteen


Becca has been having nightmares, all of them involving a certain Mr. Green and how he ruined her life. Now Green's whereabouts might be known and Becca will do whatever it takes to make sure that he doesn't get away from her this time, no matter what the cost.


Author's Note: Here's 15...things are starting to wind down in Declan's crazy funland. There's a nice cliffhanger at the end. I'd like to thank djkauf for the wonderful editing.


Chapter Fifteen:

Everything was quiet now. I’m not sure if that was a bad thing or a good thing. Diana was leading the way and being awfully cautious about it, too. A few minutes ago, there was a burst of gunfire from another part of the facility and she refused to move for a minute or two. She was convinced that our odds of escaping had lessened after that little burst. But I knew better. It helped that I could hear a lot of what was going on. The gunfire was definitely my team, which meant someone from Declan’s little group probably was no longer with us. I was hoping it was the fucking Dominator but I wasn’t that lucky. Especially not today.

We reached the end of another hallway, Diana stopped at the corner. She poked her head around it and sighed. “We should be almost there,” she said softly.

After we left the room, she wanted to take me straight to the exit. It took everything I had to convince her that there was no way I was leaving here without my team, and that included Emma. She tried to talk me out of it, claiming my people seemed pretty well equipped to take care of themselves and that this was our only chance. I understood she was afraid but there was no way I was leaving anyone behind. They came for me, risked their lives to save me and there was no way I was going to run off while they needed me. I’m not sure Diana grasped that concept fully but I was able to convince her that it was imperative that this little operation be shut down immediately. She reluctantly accepted that to be the truth. So instead of the exit, she was now leading me to Declan’s office.

Luckily, the two of us had encountered little opposition along the way. Which could be luck or a big trap. I’m not saying that Diana would willingly lead me into one---even though there was a small part of me that didn’t really trust her---but things like that happened. The biggest thing that bothered me at the moment was the lack of noise. Only a few minutes ago I heard a lot of running, some shouting, even the sporadic pop of gunfire. Now everything was too quiet. I reached out with my ears, trying to pick up even the smallest bit of sound. I heard Diana’s heartbeat, my own and those of a few others nearby. I sighed when I heard those, glad that there was someone else alive and kicking.

Diana fidgeted. “We can still go, there’s still time.”

I put a reassuring hand on her shoulder, giving it a gentle squeeze. “What’s wrong?”

She bit her lip. “Miles is there. I can sense his power. He’s in there with Declan and your friend, the computer expert.”

I nodded. So that’s why she was so scared. “What about the others?”

Diana sighed and closed her eyes. When she first explained her power to me, I wasn’t really sure I understood what she could do. She said that Declan called her a Sensor, it’s a form of telepathy wherein she could reach out with her mind and sense what kind of Emergent you are or were going to be. So far, he’d used her to find Reggie, Kat and Brock. There were others too, other people he had on a list in his office. She wasn’t sure how many but there were a lot. She wasn’t sure where Declan got his list but he was protective of it. The only time she ever saw it herself was when he wanted her to go out into the field with him and scan for a new potential. The last one they picked up was Kat, that was about two weeks ago. They found her in Ontario, visiting Niagara Falls with her family. Declan and Miles didn’t really give her much of a choice.

That pissed me off. It was one thing that Declan was willingly recruiting these kids to his cause but to force them to join him was madness. This needed to stop. My people were killing these kids and some of them didn’t deserve to die like this.

I took a deep breath. Diana sighed, opening her eyes. “I can’t sense any of the others nearby. There was something a few seconds ago, I thought it was Brock but he disappeared after the gun fire.”

I nodded. Did that mean what I thought it did?

I groaned. Before we continued any further I needed some answers. I looked around the hall and spotted a room a few feet away. I grabbed Diana’s shoulder and pulled her over, pushing open the door and dragging her inside. She looked scared, like I was going to hit her. But I shook my head and gently closed the door behind me. Diana eased up a little, sitting in the room’s only chair. Me, I went over to the window and closed the blinds. The morning sun was pouring in and I wasn’t ready to get a face full of it.

“You’re not angry with me are you?”

I shook my head. “I need to know how many of you have been forced here against your will.”

She sighed and nodded. She took a deep breath. “Before I changed, Declan came to me. He said I was special, said I could help me make a difference in the world. He was pretty persuasive. He told me how special I was and how the world was full of special people just like me. He showed me his powers, what he could do. I can honestly say that I was pretty dam impressed.” I smiled and nodded. “He convinced me to run away from home and come with him. I’m not sure how he knew I was like him but it didn’t take long for the change to happen. About a week or so. He took me to his little hideout; it was an abandoned house in a part of town where no one went. I was the first one there. There was another girl too but she was never there, she was off doing something. I think her name was Scarlet.”

I interrupted. “Scarlet?” That was that psycho who pretended to be my friend, the one that Declan used to fuck with everyone at Section Four. “How long ago was all this?”

Diana stopped and thought. “About five or six months ago.”

Holy shit. Declan’s been running this little rogue group of his that long. How in the hell did he do it under the Syndicate’s nose. “You were the first?”

She nodded. “The first of our little group. After recruiting me, Declan disappeared for a while. He told me he was off to find more soldiers. He was gone a long time. I was on my own forever but that was cool. A couple of weeks later, Jasmine came. The two of us became really good friends. She said Declan sent her. We did a lot together during those first weeks. We were as thick as thieves and then something changed. Declan came back up night, battered and beaten. His clothes were charred, his hair singed. He was angry about something, cursing and spitting mad. He was alone, too. Usually when he came back after long periods of being away, he had Scarlet with him. But apparently, something happened, something bad. He changed after that, he became angrier and different.”

She stopped to take a breath. “Jasmine changed too. I’m not sure, if he was doing it to her or if it was the change in the tactics. He started making me look for people for him. He had this list and he kept pointing to names on the list. That’s how we found Miles. He was living on the streets, post-Emergence. I’m not sure who he was before but now he was a wreck. Declan helped him, fed him and clothed him. When Declan found out what Miles could do, everything was different. The two of them started going off together. It’d been a month since he came back all charred and now he was a different person. He went off alone one night with a rifle, said he had something to do. We were in Maine then and when he came back later he was even grumpier.”

Maine. That must have been the night he killed Phillips at Section One. “That was the first time I saw him since we escaped Section Four,” I said, filling in the blanks. “It was about a month after the escape, my second mission in so many days for the Center.”

Diana nodded. “That’s the first time I heard your name. He became obsessed with you after that. He kept talking about you and a plan. He wanted you so much. We started gathering others; Reggie, Brock and Kat, but you were always on his mind. About a week or so after the Maine incident, we moved again and Tobias came. After that we really ran. We ran far and fast. We went to New York, slipped onto a cargo vessel and fled to England. That’s the first time I heard about the plan. It’s also the first time I refused to play by his rules. He was forcing me to use my powers to find people. Before he was cool about it, he’d come and ask me gently. But after miles, things changed. When I refused, he made Miles do it.”

She stopped and started crying. I walked over and wrapped my arms around her. She cried onto my shoulder for several minutes. I held her, telling her everything was going to be all right. After a while, she pulled away, wiped her eyes and sighing, nodding that she was ready to continue.

“I tried to talk Jasmine and Miles into helping me escape. At first, I thought the two of them were going to help me. You see, there’s this thing about Dominators. They can control other people but they can’t control other Dominators, their powers cancel each other out. I thought maybe Miles could control some of the others, get them to turn on Declan.” She started to tear up again. “That’s the first time I realized I was on my own. They beat me pretty good.” She shuddered, rubbing her arms. “That was a week ago. Ever since then they haven’t let me out of their sight. When you and your team arrived a few days ago, they made me follow you around. I was the only one who could sense you, tell them where you were going. I was with Jasmine the night you and that other guy met her in the alley outside the club. I wanted to scream out to you and tell you it was a trap but Brock was nearby as well and he would have…”

I nodded, squeezing her hand. “I think I know the rest,” I said and she nodded.

She finally got back to my original question. “I’m not sure how many of us are being forced by Miles. The only one I know of for sure is Katrina. She was a lot like me when she got here. I wasn’t even sure why Declan wanted her; most of the others had powers useful to him. I figured it out when I met you though. It’s her power, her ability to control the light. He wanted her as insurance in case you didn’t cooperate. When those two---Brock and Tobias---came to get you they were taking you to Kat. She was going to use her powers to force you into submission. If that didn’t work Declan was going to order Miles to do his thing on you.”

“Why hasn’t he already?”

She smiled. “In order for Miles to control you, he has to look you in the eyes the first time you meet. Seeing as you were unconscious the first time they brought you here he wasn’t able to look into your eyes.” I nodded. “So as long as you keep your eyes closed when he’s around, you should be fine.”

I nodded. Good to know.

Diana opened her mouth to say something more but I stopped her when I heard a noise in the hallway. I held up my hand, she closed her mouth. I walked over to the door and listened. There was someone coming and they weren’t alone. I took a chance and opened the door a crack. What I saw caused the color to drain from my face. It was my team or rather most of them. I saw Connor, Kit and Samson being led down the hallway, Emma on one side and someone else on the other. It was a guy but he didn’t look all that foreboding. He was tall with a mop of brown hair and glasses. Who wore dark clothes and had a bit of a swagger. Diana slipped up behind me and I heard her intake of breath. I watched as they went passed, wondering where Brad could be? I felt a pang at the thought of him being dead.

I closed the door. Diana looked restless. “That was Miles,” she said softly.

It took a moment for her words to sink in. When they did, I cursed. Miles had my team. This was going to make things a whole helluva lot harder. I sighed, turning my back on the door and sliding to the floor. Diana walked over to the chair, dropping into it. She looked like someone who just lost their puppy. I couldn’t blame her; I was feeling pretty down myself. I was counting on my team to cause a bit more of a distraction while I went in there and put Declan down for good. But with them captured and possibly brainwashed, that was going to complicate things a great deal. Ideas started popping into my head but no matter how hard I tried there was no way I could get around harming my friends. I had five darts in the P Gun and more targets than I wanted. My best shot would be to get Miles but I’m sure he’d have some kind of protection. What could would that do because as soon as I looked at him I’d be a zombie like the others.

The only way I could nail him was to sneak up on him and that was impossible.

“We’re screwed aren’t we?”

I opened my mouth to say “totally” when I heard something. Diana perked up a split second later and then Brad stepped through the wall. He looked around the room, squinting in the dark. He seemed confused and tired and something else. He stumbled and I rushed over to catch him as he fell. Diana was up and at his side a second later. The two of us carried him over to her chair. Diana checked him over but I could already see there were no wounds thank God. He was clearly exhausted though.

“Brad, you ok?”

When he heard my voice, his eyes opened and he sighed. It took him a few seconds to respond. “Oh sure, we do all this crap and you’ve already freed yourself”

I laughed I couldn’t help it. It definitely wasn’t the time for it but it was so good to see he was ok. My emotions took over after that. Before I knew what was happening, I grabbed his head and planted the longest kiss imaginable on his lips. When I was finally done and pulled away, he had this sheepish smile on his face. Then he winched, clutching his side. I lifted his shirt, saw what appeared to be a large purplish bruise and wanted to hold him until we passed out. Instead Diana touched the bruise with her fingers and he winced some more.

“Broken rib, possibly more than one’ she said, sighing.

“That sister of mine has a mean right hook,” he said, wincing as I lowered his shirt.

“Emma did this?” He nodded. “What happened?”

He sighed. “We breached a door to get into this place and then an alarm went off. We left her behind and went off to look for you. I’m not sure what happened to her but we ran into a little problem. There was some freak throwing cards. Kit dropped him with a shot to the head. It happened so quick that none of us knew what was happening. It was like a reflex. After that two more of them came. A girl who was shooting what can only be described as light balls at us and that jackass Tobias. We took them out---non-lethally---then moved on. We moved on after that, securing our prisoners until we ran into a really nasty pyro. He got the drop on us, burned Connor pretty good. He put up a damn good fight, almost got all us until I pulled him into the floor by his ankles. After that, Samson put him out. That’s when Emma and the Dominator came. I tried to talk reason into her but he did something to her. She wasn’t my sis anymore. She punched me in the side before I could react, sent me flying into the wall. Luckily, I kicked in before impact or it would have hurt like hell. I went through the wall, a couple of them in fact, before I stopped.” He took a deep breath, wincing as he did so. When I finally stopped flying through walls, I doubled back but it was already too late. The Dominator had the others. He tried to get me too…”

Brad was unique. I’m not sure how or why but Dominators didn’t seem to have any effect on him. That was another reason why I wanted him on the team. He was a valued second offense in case my team was compromised. My original idea was to include Marcus as well but after our last mission together, he was still recovering. Fighting Dominators was a taxing ordeal and that bitch Anastasia took a lot out of him. He was currently in the clinic, trying to recover from the mental lashing she gave him. It’s a shame really, because with Marcus’ mental shielding there would have been no way that Miles could have gotten the others.

Brad took another breath and continued. “After that I went from room to room, trying to see if I could put some distance between them and me. I think I got lost though. That’s when I stumbled in here and you know the rest.”

Diana gasped. “Miles’ power doesn’t work on you?” Brad nodded; she smiled real big. “He’s it; he’s the chance we have. With him, we can take out the son of a bitch for sure.”

I was happy that Diana was so happy but there was no way I was going to let Brad anywhere near that room. He looked like hell and his ribs seriously fucked up. Brad had other plans though. He pushed himself up out of the chair, wincing as he did so. He wobbled a bit but righted himself. He couldn’t see us in the dark of the room but he nodded in her general direction.

“Not happening,” I said, “it’s too dangerous. You could get yourself seriously hurt doing something this reckless.”

“Not your choice” he said, there was an edge to his voice. “That bastard has my sister. He’s not going to live through this.”

I couldn’t argue with that even though I wanted to. Instead, I sighed and nodded.


Diana and I moved quietly down the hall, she led the way. Brad went on ahead; it was a part of the plan. Not that we had much of one but seeing as how he was the only one that Miles couldn’t affect I needed him to disappear and become the last line of defense. He wasn’t too happy about it but he understood the situation. As much as I wanted to see him rip out Miles heart, he was too emotional right now. We were all a bit emotional but I needed someone with a straight head, someone who wouldn’t charge stupidly into the room and start making demands. Someone who wasn’t about to do what I was about to do. Ok, yeah so I’m about to do the opposite of what I should be doing but I needed to let them think they had me.

We stopped at the end of the hall, Diana sighed. “Are you sure about this?”

I turned to her; I could see the fear written all over her face. She knew the plan as well as I did. She was afraid she was putting me at risk but it was the only way the two of us could get safely into the room. “We have to do it this way,” I said, giving her hand a squeeze.

She nodded. “I hope you’re sure about this.”

She pulled my hands behind my back and slipped a plastic tie around my wrists. Then she took a deep breath and gave me a little shove forward. She needed to sell it. I stumbled, making it look like I was in pain. I needed to sell it too, and the only way either of us could do that was to be as realistic as possible. It was a good bet that Declan had the hallway monitored. Even though Barry took out the security from before I was pretty certain that a guy like Declan wouldn’t keep the security around his office on the same network as the rest. He was unhinged after all and probably paranoid. I’m sure he had the whole hallway monitored.

When we rounded the corner, my suspicions were justified. Not only did he have cameras in the hall, I could see them, he also had security. Of course, they were my teammates. Kit was standing on one side of the door, Samson on the other. Both of them looked all right though you could see they were struggling for control. Like Emma and Barry, I saw it in their eyes. Even though the two of them stood as stone cold sentinels on either side of the door, their eyes followed me. I could see the disappointment in them and the sorrow. I think they thought I escaped. I wish I could tell them that everything was going to be all right. But their minds were the only things that seemed to be intact, well at least partially. They were puppets now, being controlled by a very dangerous puppeteer.

I felt Diana tense behind me as we approached the door. I could hear her heart beating like a drum and I could her sweat. Hang in there, Diana; you’re doing good.

“What is this?” asked Samson, giving me a once over.

“Becca Howe” stammered Diana. “I caught her trying to escape.”

Kit scoffed. “You caught her?”

“You have a problem with that?”

Both soldiers gave each other the eye but neither of them said anything else.

Diana took that as confirmation that she was allowed to proceed. She walked up to the door; it opened before she got there. So they were clearly watching the hallway. When the door was fully open, I saw Connor on the other side of it. He looked a little more roughed up then the others. Brad had said he’d been burned and I could see it on his arms. It wasn’t overly noticeable but his left hand was wrapped in bandages and when he moved, he winced. So clearly, he was in pain. But there was something else about him, something different than the wooden puppets outside. When I looked in his eyes, there was no sorrow or pain there. I stared at him for a whole minute and then he winked. Son of a bitch. It was quick but it was there. Connor wasn’t a zombie.

“Bring her here,” said Declan.

I looked past Connor to the man in charge. This room was bigger than the rest in the facility. It reminded me a lot of Phillip’s office at Section One. There were glass windows behind the desk, a sofa to one side, filing cabinets to the other. The cabinets were toppled on their side though, made into a makeshift stand for a large LCD TV set. There was a Playstation 3 hooked up to it. The game on the screen was paused. Next to it was a stack of video games and BluRays. So clearly, Declan was as male as he appeared to be. But there was something else about him, something I didn’t really pay much attention to before. He was sitting with his feet up on the desk, his ankles crossed. He looked thinner and his hair was at his shoulders now. When I saw him before I thought the stress was making him eat less but it was more than that. On the desk in front of him was a compact and I could swear he was wearing makeup.
What the hell was that about?

“Becky” he said, smiling. “So nice of you to finally join us.”

I groaned. Becky made me sound like a ten-year-old. He smirked. He only called me that because he knew it pissed me off.

"Cut her ties please" said Declan, waving off the matter like it was nothing.

Clearly he trusted me that much. Connor walked about behind me like a robot and slit the plastic ties from my wrists. Before walking away, he whispered in my ear. "I'll move whenever you give the go ahead."

"Too risky" I whispered back as he stepped away.

I looked over at the sofa, sitting there was Barry and the nerdy kid from before; the one Diana said was Miles. I stared at the little bastard, trying to show I wasn’t afraid. I knew the implications of staring at him, I knew what that meant. He stared right back, the corners of his mouth curling up in a wicked smile. Smile all you want you bastard. I looked at the other person in the room. Emma was sitting on the corner of Declan’s desk, wearing the tightest denim skirt known to man. Her legs were crossed in a seductive manner and she was filing her nails. She looked even more like a tramp than before. I looked in her eyes and saw the same pain that the others had.

“Diana” said Declan, addressing my supposed Captor. “I’m impressed. I underestimated you and I’m sorry. Why don’t you walk over to the couch and join the others.”

I felt her tense up behind me. She took a deep breath and slowly walked away from me. She sat on the couch, slipping in-between Barry and Miles. Miles smiled at her as she sat down.

Declan picked a glass of wine off the desktop and sipped slowly.

“You and your friends have caused quite the problem. You…” he trailed off, as if realizing something. “Where’s the other one? Your friend, Brad?” I shrugged.

He groaned. “Hey Blondie, go find your brother and bring him here.”

Emma stopped filing her nails. “I have a brother?”

Declan groaned, casting Miles an angry look. The bespectacled Dominator shrugged. Declan turned back to Emma. “He’s tall and blonde; he’s not that hard to miss.”

Emma giggled, slipping off the desk. She pecked Declan on the cheek and sashayed out of the room, mincing off on four-inch heels. Declan rolled his eyes and took another sip of his wine. He cast Miles another nasty look then turned his attention back to me. “Good help is so hard to find.”

I scoffed. “Or brainwash.”

Declan gave me a sour expression. “Yes, well sometimes a little persuasion is needed in order to achieve your goal.”

“What’s the matter, Frankie, can’t make friends of your own so you control them instead.”

I saw the anger flare. I wanted to piss him off. I wanted to push him as far as I could. Angry people made mistakes and that’s what I needed. Ok, so I can honestly admit that my plan pretty much ended here. I wanted to get into this room and I achieved that goal. Anything from this moment on was me winging it. But maybe I wasn’t as outnumbered as I thought I was. I cast a sideway glance at Connor. He was still standing near the door. He was pretending to be the good little soldier but we both knew better. He seemed to talk with his eyes, looking at Miles and then over to Declan. I responded with mine too. I think I knew what he wanted but there was no way I could pull the two of them into a fight together. Pissing Declan off was easy but I knew next to nothing about Miles.

No, the best chance any of us had was Brad.

I looked over to the couch, searching each of the faces there. Diana was nervous, fidgeting. When my gaze fell on Barry, he averted his eyes. So clearly, he was no longer a zombie. There was a bruise on his cheek and the beginnings of a black eye forming. So, my beating was starting to show. Looking at Miles only produced a shiver up my spine. He turned and looked at me. I was already in his control or at least now, I could be. I’m not sure how I felt about that. Obviously, this guy took a lot of pride in making people his bitches. Before, I thought, Connor was a smug jackass but looking at Miles, he took jackass to a whole new level. He was powerful, quite possibly the most powerful one in the room and he knew it. That was definitely unsettling.

“So what’s it going to be?” said Declan, forcing me to turn my attention back to him. “Are you going to join me willingly or are you going to join your friends in ignorant bliss?”

I looked over at Connor again. He had a lot of knowledge bouncing around in his head, he boasted about it all the time. But even now, I could see that he was just as stuck as I was. I turned back to Declan.

“Release my friends first and I’ll consider the offer.”

He laughed. “What so they can go crawling back to your precious Center and bring the shit storm down on me.”

“It’s the only way you’re going to get me to join you willingly.”

He picked up his glass and drained it in one gulp. He set it down on the desktop and sighed. He looked from me to Miles and back to me again. “As much as I’d love to have you as a willing participant in my little grand scheme, I’m afraid that I can’t risk disobedience.”

Miles smirked and slowly got to his feet. “I’m going to take great pride in this one.”

I took a step back and he took a step forward. Son of a bitch. A wave of dizziness swept over me and I felt drowsy. My lips got real heavy and my eyelids started to flutter. I stumbled, falling into the far wall. Miles advanced slowly and his face seemed to fill my head. I heard his voice as it bounced about in my mind, whispering to me, telling me everything was going to be ok. I tried to fight it but it was strong, too strong for me. It was nice, gentle, and happy. My eyelids fluttered some more and got really heavy. I couldn’t fight it anymore and closed my eyes.

As soon as I did, darkness surrounded me.

Something clicked inside of me and my eyes snapped open. The room was cast in darkness, the bodies taking on the telltale glow that I was so familiar with. Miles’ voice was still there but it was like a dull echo now. I heard it trying to force its way into my head but it didn’t matter anymore. I looked around the room, seeing everyone standing where they were. Everything was in slow motion; Miles had stopped moving and looked confused. I was in the Dark World again, the place that I knew very little bout. For the longest time I thought the ability was gone. It was strongest back when I was at Section Four, the only other person whoever knew about it was Trish. She said it wasn’t unheard of for Emergents to have secondary powers but she wanted me to keep this one to myself. So I hid it from everyone, including Declan.

But after I left Section Four, it seemed to disappear. I thought maybe it was gone for good until it returned again while I was at Section One. Melanie Crane tried to force one of her illusions onto me and I fought it off by going into this realm. I’m not sure how it works but somehow when I’m in serious trouble it snaps in. I guess now constituted as one of those troublesome times.

Miles voice finally reached me but it sounded slow and dumb: “What did you do, bitch?”

I didn’t respond. Instead, I took the opportunity and charged him. The pressure points on his body seemed to glow like beacons. That was one of the advantages of this little ability of mine. I got up pretty close and slammed my fist into the one in his arm. I saw a look of shock on the bastard’s face. He stumbled back, clasping his limp arm. Around the room, everyone had a look of shock on their face. Everyone except Declan. He seemed to be smiling. He looked right at me and smiled even bigger. Did he know what was going on? As if to answer, he reached into his desk drawer and pulled something out of it. It was a gun; he pointed it directly at me.

His voice shattered the darkness: “Enough games. Back off or I put a bullet in that pretty little head of yours.”

“NO!” Another voice blasted through the darkness, one coming from my left.

I snapped around and saw Diana. She was standing now, the P Gun in her hand. She took it earlier to make it look like she really caught me. Now she had it pointed directly at Declan. Her body was shaking and tears were flowing down her cheeks. Clearly, she was damn serious about this. I closed my eyes and when I opened them again, the room came rushing back to me, the darkness vanished. It was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Miles was resting against the desk, cradling his arm. Barry and Connor were standing there, trying to figure out what was going on and Diana and Declan were both pointing guns. One was at me and the other was at him.

“Drop your gun, little girl or I’ll drop her,” said Declan as calm and cool as ever.

“Not on your life, you son of a bitch” snapped Diana, tears streaming down her face. “I’m going to make you pay for everything you’ve done.”

I bit my lip. As much as I wanted to see her pull that trigger, I knew I couldn’t let her do it. Diana was a frail and fragile creature. If she pulled that trigger, she’d regret it for the rest of her life. I knew she was hurting and I knew how much revenge seemed to be the answer. But I also knew that it would consume her and no matter how much killing Declan might quell it, she’d just find something else to fuel her anger. Killing him would only sate it for the time being.

“Diana” I said softly, moving slowly toward her. “Lower the gun, killing him isn’t the answer.”

“Listen to her” snapped Declan

I glared at him.

“He has to die” she sobbed, “He’s a monster.”

I nodded. “He is but he can be a monster rotting in a cell for the rest of his life.”

I saw Diana’s resolve waver. I knew she wanted to hurt him but she wasn’t a killer. She knew that, too. Her hand wavered for a slight second. She sighed and lowered the gun. As soon as she did, Miles jumped to his feet. I saw the look on Diana’s face, the glassy, doll like expression take over. Her hand snapped back up and the gun went to her chest, the barrel hovering over her heart. Declan laughed, I screamed. Miles smirked, Diana’s tears continued to roll down her cheeks. The situation went from resolution to nightmare in a matter of seconds.

“Let her go” I screamed.

Miles smirked. “I’ll let her go.”

What happened next was in a split second. I heard the shot but I didn’t even have time to react to it. No one did. One minute Miles was standing there, smirking, looking like the smug jackass he was. The next minute a bullet burst through the window behind him and slammed into the back of his head. It happened so fast. He was caught in a laugh, his entire face went blank and his head snapped forward. The bullet exploded the back of his head and his lifeless body dropped to the floor. Everything after that seemed to take place in slow motion. I looked out the shattered glass fro a split second before I hit the floor. I saw a man clad in black, crouched in a tree. I expected another muzzle flash but none came. When I hit the floor, Diana hit it right at the same time.

I panicked and crawled over to her, thinking she’d been hit.

I checked her pulse but she was unconscious. Connor crawled over to me. “I got her, you stop them.”

Them? I looked up. In the chaos, Barry and Declan made a mad dash for the door. I jumped to my feet and ran after them. Out in the hall, Kit and Samson were slumped unconscious too. So clearly killing a Dominator meant his puppets were freed from his power. That was good to know. I looked at my unconscious teammates for a split second before I ran after the two fleeing guys. Declan had a big head start but Barry was only a few feet ahead. I shouted his name and he stopped, turning toward me. The look of desperation in his eyes told me there was no way he was ever going to come back with me.

“I can’t” he said, “They’ll lock me up and throw away the key.”

My heart sank. I knew it was true. “I can’t let you go.”

He nodded. “I’m sorry for everything. I really did love you.”

I smiled, a tear rolling down my cheek. “I love you too.”

He smiled and turned to go and that’s when I heard them.

Two shots sounded in the quiet hall.

Photo Credit: Model AJ Stewart

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