Chapter 18; ChristianMature

Chapter 18.
Word count: 1,006

Christian hung back against the wall for most of the interrogation.  Torture made him queasy.  Instead of watching Jon with sickened, haunted eyes, he watched the two girls.  Their rubber gloves were tugged up to their elbows, they were gripping each other's hand tightly as their stunned, morbidly captivated expressions shifted from anxious to nervous to nauseated.  He wondered what was going through their heads, at first, until he realized that probably wasn't a territory he really wanted to explore.

Jon worked quickly, pushing their captive harder and harder.  Breaking a grown man in front of everyone.  The damage was incalculable, and Christian fought back flashbacks.  Here and there, his vision flickered and blurred at the edges.  He swam in his own thoughts, fighting the current of memories.  He shook it off like so much rain on his skin.

It was all fair, Christian told himself; the man had to have known the risks.  It was the nature of the business.  No one wanted to share information.

But everyone needed information.

Allison was talking to Jon, her voice shaking but her shoulders pulled back as if she were ready for more.  Christian realized why Jon was still hung up on her.  Women like that didn't come around very often.  Women willing to fight to survive, to deal with the dirty work.  "Are you going to chase down this Masterson guy, or...?"

Sarah fidgeted uneasily beside Allison, her knuckles white as she gripped the other woman's hand.  She knew something, Christian realized, and made a mental note.  An interrogation was in order, but it had been for her since her outburst in public.

Jon glanced to Christian once, practically having an entire conversation with him in silence, before he returned his attention back to Allison.  "At this point, consider his boat already destroyed.  Then, we're going to have to call in some backup and blow up all of Jiyu's labs.  This has now gone beyond a covert operation.  This is war."

"In New York City?"  Her eyes were wide, eyebrows up.  Christian had to stifle a chuckle at her expression.

"Yes," Jon answered, seemingly oblivious to the humor to be found on her face.

Christian kept a careful eye on the bleeding, wounded man attempting to wipe himself clean of his most recent interaction.  Christian said, speaking for the first time since the attack, "Jon, why don't you take the girls into the other room and call for backup?  I'll do a quick perimeter search and make sure Gabby, here," he gestured at the beaten up stranger, "gets on his way."

Jon glanced over and nodded, extending an arm to the women and ushering them down the hallway.  At his bedroom doorway, Jon looked back at Christian and held his gaze for a long moment.

Christian didn't blink.

Left alone with their company, Christian offered him an unsettling grin.  Crouching down in front of him, levelling empty, scarred eyes at the man, he asked,  "All finished?"

The eyes that met his were unabashedly horrified.  He had blue eyes; almost turquoise, so deep they seemed to go on forever.  A well of fear.  Christian could see his reflection in the pupils. 

He couldn't stretch this out, Christian thought, standing up again.  His palm itched for his Glock, his trigger finger twitching.  No, he decided, it would be too loud.  The girls would hear the gunshot.

Knives it is, he thought sadly, a resigned frown dragging down the corners of his mouth.  He almost opened his mouth to speak, but decided against it at the last second.  Bending at the knees, Christian lifted Gabby off the floor with one hand and rested the weight on the ball of his shoulder.  The man grunted in discomfort but Christian ignored him.

He dropped the man against the closed door, locking the slidebolt into place.  In the closet, he pulled out his emergency case - which was actually a large box.  Over two feet tall, three feet wide,  and four feet long, and made entirely of copper; it reached his kneecap when he stood beside it.

Copper was one of the few metals hydrochloric acid, which could eat through plastic, bone, and iron, could not eat it's way through.

From above it, he pulled out a large shower liner to put at the bottom of the tub.  Still wearing rubber gloves, he grabbed his hatchet and discretely set it against the wall by the tub, out of Gabby's sight.  He stretched the plastic sheet out and returned to his captive.

Gabby was looking pale, he thought, keeping his expression stoic.  Blue eyes scanned his face desperately, nothing but panic and agony.  Those eyes left a bad taste in Christian's mouth.  He lifted the man up and set him in the tub, counting his steps to avoid the copper box.

Gabby sat in the tub, legs tucked uncomfortably between the narrow walls of porcelain, his back against the cold tile.  Christian opened his mouth again, but no words came out.  He closed it, paused, and tried again.

"I'm sorry," he said.  Lightning fast, he pulled a blade from his boot and slashed at the man's throat.  The wound was deep, and clean; there was no gurgling last breath, no blood leaking from his mouth.

Gabby hadn't felt a thing.  The knowledge didn't ease the sickly roll of guilt in Christian's gut.

He left the bathroom to cruise the perimeter, checking into Jon's room to say, rather dismissively, "I wouldn't go into the bathroom for a little while."

He flashed the girls a grin, keeping his blood-covered hand against the wall - far out of sight, and shrugged.  His expression said, what?  I had to shit.

He did four laps around the condo, searching in all the places he would have hidden if the house were his target and any others that came to mind, but found nothing.  Now that he was out of excuses, he returned to the bathroom and slammed the bolt into place once more.

He lifted the hatchet and got to work.

The End

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