Read Blue Flames pt 1 and Assasins League before this:)
“Presley where are you taking me?”
I’m taking you to an illegal place you’re not allowed to be, and they want to kill you.
“Nowhere. It doesn’t matter.”
I could hear Evan’s footsteps behind me come to a stop and I turned around.
Your lucky your still alive. I could’ve killed you the first time I saw you.
“What are you doing?”
Evan stared at me, his wavy, dark brown hair covering one of his eyes.
“Waiting for you to explain what’s going on.” He shot back at me.
I can’t tell you. I vowed never to tell anyone. You already know too much.
“You’ll find out soon enough.”
Evan raised an eyebrow, “not from you I’m guessing?”
I bit my lip and shook my head, turning back and continuing up the path. I knotted my fingers together as I let my thoughts take over.
Did his league not have similar rules to ours? Could he go around telling other agents about his plan? His mission? No, they must have someone like Hertian Cain to keep them in line.
I stopped at the edge of the cliff and waited for Evan to catch up, who was dawdling about 20 feet behind me.
I tapped my foot impatiently as Evan finally decided to pick up his pace and run the rest of the way up the mountain.
“Be patient. You’ll find out.”
And you better trust me, cause no way you’re gonna follow me if you don’t.
I took in a shaky breath glancing over the edge and snapping my eyes back to the ground. Never look over the edge I repeated to myself, echoing the words of my trainer the first time we did this.
I looked over at Evan and held his gaze.
“Listen to me very carefully. Don’t question anything I say, don’t cut in, do exactly as I tell you. Your free will is not preventing this transport.”
Evan stared back at me, worry building up in his gray eyes.
“That sounds like not the best deal to make when I’m basically being held captive.”
I stifled a laugh at the confidence in Evan’s voice. Impressive. What a brave soul.
“I’ll tell you this again, your free will is not preventing this transport. If you want to keep your memories and sights with you, I suggest you close your mouth and follow my directions.” I said firmly.
Evan sighed before looking down at his shoes and nodding.
“You’re going and hold your breath when I tell you to. Keep your eyes shut after I tell you to hold your breath, and hold out your arms when you start to hear crashing.”
“That seems very vag-”
“Don’t question it.”
Evan rolled his eyes, and kept quiet, allowing me to inch closer to the edge and prepare myself. I took a deep breath and swallowed hard, throwing away what my trainer had said. I looked over the edge of the cliff, the black waves below crashing against it, looking like they would swallow and drown me in less than a second.
You do this every time Presley. Nothing new. Nothing different.
“There’s no way you actually think I’m going to jump?”
I jumped a little and then took a second to yell at myself in my head for being so nervous, and raised an eyebrow at Evan.
Well, I could drug you, and throw you off the cliff so you don’t remember any of this like I’m supposed to. But whoopee you get to watch with your own eyes instead.
“What did I say?”
Evan pursed his lips, stepping closer to the edge.
“I better not die from this.”
There’s a good chance you’ll die in the end.
“Suck it up and get ready. Focus on my voice, not your thoughts. When I tell you to hold your breath, you hold your breath.”
Evan nodded and started rambling quietly to himself. I shook my head and moved just far enough forwards so that the toes of my boots dangling off the edge. I fastened my cloak and planted my feet into the ground.
“Jump straight into the waters, don’t flip, don’t turn, don’t twist. Stay straight. Ready?”
“I didn’t really care for an answer, I was just trying to indicate that we were about to jump.”
Evan murmured something under his breath and I stifled a laugh.
I pulled back my hair and tied it extra tight, trying to get the nerves out of my throat.
I bent my legs and pushed off, throwing all of the worries out of my head.
I counted to 3 in my head and shouted, “hold your breath!”
The rest was up to Naya.
I closed my eyes, the wind pressing against my face, and reached out my arms.
Come on Naya.
My shoes dipped into the water sending a shiver up my spine as cold icy water flooded my boots. As if in slow motion as my legs started to go into the water, Naya shot up catching both me and Evan on her back.
“Yes! Good girl Naya!” I cried.
Evan yelped behind me as he crazily felt around and started mumbling things about life flashing before his eyes, and how he couldn’t believe he was alive.
I rubbed Naya’s back as she glided across the waves, smooth sailing. I reassured myself. “What is this?” Evan asked.
A water elemental horse, who’s owned by the league, but I take care of her, and technically your not supposed to know about her, and we were supposed to take a different way to the League headquarters, but I’m impatient.
I bit my lip to hold my tongue and patted Naya’s back again.
“Long story short she’s a water horse.”
“Whats the longer version?”
“I can’t tell you. We’d run out of time.”
I could feel Evan’s eyes glaring at me as he loudly sighed.
“And you cant tell me where the water horse is taking us?”
I shook my head, and Evan grumbled a complaint.
It took longer than expected to get to headquarters, between Evan obnoxiously fantasizing about everything we passed, and Naya going much slower than usual.
As Naya reached the muddy grounds I stroked her mane and hopped off, Evan close behind me, and watched as she dove back into the black waves. I could feel the questions from Evan lingering in the air, the answers rising in my throat but I shoved them down, I wasn’t going to let the League down. I waited for the waves to settle, securing that Naya was safe.
Once the waves had calmed down I let out a breath and smiled.
I turned back around and started my way up to the mountain-sized doors. They opened them before I could get close enough to push them open myself, and nine guards stepped out.
Evan tensed next to me, and whispered, “What’s going on?”
I can’t answer that.
I stepped forward and nodded to the guards, pulling the hood of my cloak up, and walked past them.
As I stepped through the doors and entered the courtyard, the all too familiar smell of rotting wood filled my nose. I kept my head down as I walked the halls inside the stone building. Counting my steps it took exactly 437 steps to get to my room. Knowing the count made it a lot easier to avoid injuries in the halls. At step 437 I glanced up and there was my room number, engraved into the wooden door. I thought headquarters was a sketchy hotel when I first came.
As I stepped inside, I quickly switched on the lights, not wanting to test what looms in the darkness.
I put my hood down and looked around, my brain telling me something wasn’t right.
Something was off about my room.
I tried to act normal as I walked towards my office, letting my eyes search the room.
Everything was where I left it, nothing was missing or misplaced. Yet it felt like my brain was yelling at me as I tried to ignore it. There was an unsettling restlessness about the room.
I pushed open the door to my office slowly and flicked on those lights, holding my breath.
My heart skipped and I held in a scream as my eyes fell on a girl standing in the corner of my office.
I played with the sleeve of my cloak as we stood there, on opposite ends of the room having a stare-off.
The girl had bronze skin that matched her brown eyes and frizzy brown hair. She looked about the same age as me, and I felt like I’d seen her before.
I racked my brain for images of the girl, somewhere on a file.
I picked through the hundreds of files I had seen and right as I matched the file to the girl, the name slipped off my tongue.
Desiree grinned I cursed myself for letting it slip. I had been trained to keep my mouth shut. To keep it quick and quiet. What was different? What was so hard about Evan’s case?
“So I’ve been mentioned?” Desiree asked.
No, I just can’t seem to shut up lately and I’ve let on that I somehow know who you are instead of never revealing anything like I was taught to.
Desiree didn’t wait long for an answer. She stepped forward, farther into the light revealing the shimmering glass knife gripped in her hand. I glanced down at it and started wishing I had my bow.
Desiree’s grin grew as she followed my eyes to the knife and nodded again.
“Yes, I’m quite serious about this. Now, allow me to explain.”
Desiree stepped closer as I stood frozen in the doorway having nothing to do but listen.
“When I heard that Evan had gone missing, I had a sneaking suspicion about his whereabouts. However what lead me to this-”
Desiree stopped to look around and crinkle her nose, “-place was the moment Evan mentioned your street name. I know who you are Presley Aliser. I knew to go and hunt you down while Evan was in that meeting. You were one step ahead of me. But now I, am one step ahead of you. You’re not going to wriggle out of this Presley. I have agents lining the perimeter of this disgusting building. My boss is talking with Hertian Cain right now.”
I jumped at the name and Desiree nodded.
“Oh yes. I’m well aware of who leads the Assassins League. And I have full power to set every suing;e one of those agents into battle outside. Do not underestimate our powers, Presley. Give me Evan back, and I will tell them to stand down. Choose your words wisely, your standing on thin ice.”
Anger boiled inside me. Desiree stood back, so confident in her words.
“I’m afraid I can't do that.”
I tensed at the quiver in my voice and hated Desiree for being able to get to me.
“What’s that? Did you say you can't?” Desiree asked, her voice filled with fake pity. “Sure you can. Who's to say what Hertian Cain will do to you if you disobey his orders, but that’s out of my hands.”
I clenched my fists, refusing to respond to Desiree’s taunts.
Desiree caught on to my hesitation and reached up to an earpiece looped around her ear, and said in a hushed voice, “she’s not cooperating. Bring in the sister, blow the place down, and kill everyone in it. Leave nothing alive.”
I dug my foot into the carpet and jumped at my door slamming open.
I whipped around to see Keiran held tightly by the neck, her face was red and her hands shaking.
I turned back to Desiree, swallowing down tears, as a gunshot rang from outside.
I looked back and forth between Desiree and Keiran.
“Presley please don’t do this. Assassins don’t have soft spots or give mercy! We don’t fail missions!”
Keiran’s shouts got louder as I met Desiree’s eyes. More gunshots and yelling coming from the courtyard and I cracked.
Desiree smiled and reached up to her earpiece.
She met my eyes and walked towards the door.
“Just as I thought this would go.”
I glared at her and dug my fingernails into my palms.
The person holding Keiran let go and she wobbled onto her feet.
I held out my arm to support her and could see the fear in her eyes. Keiran shook her head and stepped back leaning on the wall and gesturing for me to follow Desiree.
“I’m sorry sis, but an assassin stays true to their word.”
I bit my lip and hated those words. I hated them because they were true.
I tugged on one of my red curls as we walked towards the stairs, the guilt building up inside of me.
I would lose my mission, and the entire League would be vulnerable because I couldn’t hold my ground against some other agency. My heart started to thump against my chest as the gunshots picked up outside. I wanted to punch myself in the face as I cowered inside when I should’ve been outside, fighting like everyone else.
What is wrong with me? I’m an assassin for goodness sakes! I kill for a living!
The sound of the horn caused the realization to come crumbling down.
We’re standing our ground.
I swallowed hard as I led the way to the cells, Desiree at my heels.
We started up the hundreds of stairs, Desiree complaining behind me about people usually keeping their prisoners underground.
We arrived at the top of the stairs to an eerily familiar door that I had hated since I was little.
“My best guess would be that Evan is in here,” I mumbled pointing at the door.
What’s the point in keeping him up here anyway? I wasn’t able to finish my job before, and chances are Hertian Cain would make me finish it in the end.
And I would cave. I didn’t know what was telling me that, but I knew it was the truth. I would cave and fail.
I sucked in a breath and pushed those thoughts away, punching in the code and carefully pushing open the door. I motioned to Desiree to move out of sight the moment I saw the guards. They stood there, looking me up and down and I could feel their stares burning through me. I walked down the hall, trying to buy myself extra time to get a confident voice, and managed, “there’s some chaos going on outside. They need reinforcements.”
The guards looked taken aback, as if they hadn't heard the horn, and looked at each other. They mumbled sloppily spoken Nissagi to each other before three of them rushed past me and out the door.
I pursed my lips as the last guard stood there, not letting me through.
“Did you need something?” She asked bitterly.
“I’m here to speak to one of the prisoners.”
The guard combed through her long, blonde hair and rolled her eyes.
“I know who you’re talking about, and he’s not yours to handle any more”
“Nevertheless, I’d like to speak with him.”
The guard’s lips formed a thin line as she glared at me.
“And you’re bringing an unauthorized guest in with you?” The guard asked, pointing to Desiree behind me. I held in a scream as I turned around and met Desiree’s eyes. They lit up and she shrugged as if to say, well this was gonna happen anyway.
I was completely out of ideas, but before I could come up with anything else, Desiree pushed past me.
Desiree started talking to the guard, but I was too distracted to pay attention to the words. Too focused on her arm, sneaking behind her back, closer and closer to the knife in her pocket. Her fingers gripped around it and she didn't miss a beat as she pulled it out and stabbed the guard in the leg.
The guard crippled to the floor and tried to trip Desiree with her other leg, who easily stepped over the guard.
Desiree stood over the guard who had locked eyes with me. Apologies and explanations rose in my throat, but I shoved them down and kept quiet.
“Traitor.” The guard spat.
“I hate you, you hate me, apologies! Apologies! Ok, great chat.” Desiree mocked before punching the guard in the nose and knocking her out.
I stepped over her, my stomach churning with guilt.
Why was I doing this? You’re doing this to save your family Presley. Is it really worth it?
I had no answer for that and tried to shake it off, jogging to catch up with Desiree.
I pointed to the shadowed cell in the very back of the hall, and Desiree picked up her pace to a run.
“Evan!” Desiree yelled.
I waited ten feet behind as Desiree gripped harder on her sword and cut through the bars of the cell. Of course. A steel cutting sword.
“Evan!” She shouted again. “P-Presley! Come here.” Desiree stuttered.
I hesitated, afraid to move, the confidence in Desiree’s voice had vanished.
I gave in and inched closer so I was next to Desiree.
Her hand violently shook as she pointed to Evan’s motionless body on the ground of the cell. Next to it was a bloodstained, emerald dagger.
Desiree threw her sword at the ground and shouted Evan’s name.
He didn’t move. She turned to me, her brown eyes filled with fear and hatred. She gripped on to my shoulders and looked like she was ready to kill someone.
“Presley do something!” She screamed.
I swallowed hard, glancing back down at Evan’s body.
“There’s nothing left to do. They did what had to be done.”
Desiree dropped her arms and tears streamed down her cheeks.
“They finished what I started.”