Hyperion has been feared in battle. The creature he turns into in his fights is fierce, draining, and impossible to tame when provoked. In this scene Hyperion returns to his target’s house to save the man’s young wife, Ligia, whom he might’ve put in danger. The situation he encounters surpasses his expectations and he is no longer capable or willing to control the wraith inside.
The Weasel has Ligia pinned against the wall, one hand ripping her shirt open and grabbing her breast. I can see it all through the window – it’s the only one lit. My senses spike free, my hearing now sharp enough to pick up every sound in and around the house – only some old furniture creaking in the main room, and two guards outside the front door. Not wraiths. The Swine took the heavy weight with him when he left. The Weasel must’ve stayed behind as indoor guard, and does the hell of a job attacking the boss’ wife. Ligia struggles and screams, her blond ringlets whipping the air around her.
“You’re doing this, you little bitch,” the guy spittles through his rodent front teeth, “unless you want your husband to hear more of you and your lover-boy the priest.”
“Nothing happened with the priest.” The despair in Ligia’s voice makes my blood surge. But it doesn’t seem to touch the Weasel at all. On the contrary, it makes him want more. He looks her in the face and grins.
“And who’s the Swine going to believe? He’s sort of lost interest in you anyway, he’s at the brothel as we speak.”
Ligia scratches him with a cry, and he slaps her hard in return. She covers her cheek with her palm, and I zoom in on her teary eyes in an impulse.
“I’ll fight all the way,” she tries to defend herself. “How will you explain the bruises to your boss?”
“I doubt he’ll tell the difference between mine and his own.”
That second I spring forward from the shrubbery toward the window, but a new element stops me in my tracks. I see the old widow launch into the room and push the Weasel with all her strength. He’s short, skinny and a bit hunch-backed, but the women are still no match for him. He sweeps the widow with one arm, sending her sprawled on the floor, and returns his attention to Ligia.
I can’t take any more of this. All pain and discomfort from the last hour is forgotten, my blood now hot with adrenaline. All I need is minimal input from my wraith to unhinge the window frame soundlessly and slither inside without the Weasel noticing. The moment he faces me I’m already close enough to squeeze his balls, the other hand covering his mouth and pushing him against the wall.
“Hello there,” I hiss, relishing the wide fear in his eyes. He stinks badly of alcohol and excrement, and his clothes are dirty. My nose creases as I look him up and down. “You and water are mortal enemies or what?”
He mumbles something behind my fingers, and I can’t resist the temptation to hear his fear too. I want to take it in through all my senses before I kill him, letting it recharge me.
“If you scream I’ll kill you slowly and painfully,” I say as I free his mouth. He’s surprised at the sudden freedom and stares dumbly at me before he gathers himself.
“What are you doing here? How come –,” his voice cracks. He clears his throat and tries again. “What are you doing here?”
“You presumed to know already.” I give him my evil grin. “I’m lover-boy.”
The Weasel’s jaw drops. “But you’re a priest. You said Catholic priests –”
“What does it matter what I said? You accused this woman of having an affair with me. So why are you surprised to see me here on a night her husband is away?”
I don’t give him a chance to find his words, and punch him hard in the face. I hear his jaw split, so I grab his nape and press my hand on his mouth again before he can howl. The pain and inability to let it out makes powerless dread expand his pupils like a drug addict’s. Now I have a grip on the back of his head and the front of it, as well as on his full attention. I bring my face real close to his, so that he can get a good look at the creature under the priestly hood.
“This is what this woman felt as you prepared to rape her.” I give him a few seconds to feel it. Then I pull the arm behind his neck to the right, and the one on his mouth to the left. His head fires to the side, his spinal cord snaps, and he falls dead on the floor.
To be continued.
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