Fight back

A shudder ran through Jamie as he stood dumbly outside of his gym. The heat from the fire had dissipated quickly, leaving him stood in the cold. He was numb with shock. And anger.

Watching as what was left of the building smouldered in the rain, Jamie put a hand over his mouth, his fingers running through the three day's worth of stubble growth. He didn't know what to do. It felt as though a pack of hungry dogs had gotten hold of his life and were slowly ripping it to shreds in hopes they might find something worth eating.

They weren't going to find anything else.

Suddenly, he felt bad about torturing ants with a magnifying glass when he was a kid. He was beginning to feel like one of those ants.

Except...

Except he could make it stop, if he tried hard enough. When Sam had entered the Bloodbox, a whole new set of contacts had been made, and if he tried hard enough, he could get to Zelos. There wasn't any doubt about who had caused this, after all.

"Jamie," a faint voice behind him spoke, but he was too wrapped up in his thoughts of how he might get back at Zelos to hear it. His hand dropped from his face and went to his pocket, coming to a rest there as he stared at his gym, thinking. He quelled the emotions that tore around inside his head, clearing his mind to think. He had let his heart rule his head too much recently.

There was no time to hesitate, and as his mother had always told him, "no time like the present". So Jamie turned in the direction of the Bloodbox.

And stopped.

Lilly was stood so close that for a moment he was amazed he hadn't noticed her, or heard her footfall behind him. His jaw slackened a little in surprise as he took in her dishevelled appearance. She was still wearing the clothes she had worn when he closed his eyes on her in his own home. But now they were bloodied and torn.

Even in the low light of the darkened street, Jamie could see she wasn't going to be standing up on her own much longer.

But through his vague concern for the woman - girl - that had killed his brother, bitterness pierced his tone as he spoke.

"What are you doing here?" Why come back after you killed my brother, abandoned me, and didn't even leave a note explaining it? Why come back to torture me some more?

"Dunno, first place I thought of," she muttered, staggering a little over her words through the clouding, throbbing hurt. He looked at her again, noticing the painful shine of the blood on her in the dim streetlight.

"You should be in a hospital, not standing here gawking at a half burnt gym," he said, nodding at the blood running down the side of her face.

"Mmm, I hate hospitals. I'll be fine," she said weakly and Jamie shook his head.

"You can barely stand up, Lilly." He wondered why he cared at all. His eyes narrowed a little. She should have died. Not Sam. It never should have been Sam.

"I'll be fine." She insisted, wiping the blood from her cheek. "I guess I just need to lie down, grab some bandages. No need to go to hospital."

"Suit yourself. Have fun finding bandages at this time of night. I gotta go and start sorting out the insurance on this place. See you around," if you survive the night, that is, he thought as he began to walk away. He knew he was being harsh - she needed some kind of medical attention, but he wasn't about to give it to her. He had to repair his own life and get on with things, not run around after murderers.

Lilly took a stumbling step after him and cursed as she realised she wasn't going to be able to catch up with him, "damn it," she looked up and watched Jamie walk away. "Yeah, see you," she said to his back, wondering if he would hear her.

Her words were swept up by a breeze and tossed aside as Jamie turned the corner heading for the Bloodbox. His stomach felt cold as he realised he was about to go and piss off the guy parading around as the boss of the whole city. He couldn't let this go, though. He would fight back, even if no one else was willing to stick up for themselves. He had to.

The End

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