“The Encounter”

As Aiden dodged another sideswipe of the polished blade, he once again savagely cursed himself. This simply wasn’t possible. He never made mistakes. Never. Where had he gone wrong? He had shadowed Tanim for months, painstakingly mapping every aspect of the man’s life until he knew his every habit, every pattern, every minute quirk and detail. As far as Aiden could tell, Tanim was a rich recluse with a penthouse suite and too much time on his hands. In fact, he had been particularly difficult to track down in the first place; he had no contact with family or friends and no one in the city seemed to even be aware of his existence. He worked alone, dined alone, lived alone. And if all had gone according to plan, he would die alone as well.

So then who the fuck was the psycho with the katana?

“Tell me who sent you and I might feel generous enough to let you leave with your limbs intact,” his adversary offered as he drew back, lowering the weapon to his side. Aiden settled onto the balls of his feet, prepared to dance away again if necessary but glad for the brief respite in which to analyze the stranger. Thin as the blade in his hand, pale and gaunt in a way that suggested prolonged illness, with flat black eyes which betrayed nothing of his thoughts or next attack. Aiden knew without a doubt he could snap those fragile bones in physical combat, but the man wielded his katana with surprising speed and he couldn’t yet get close enough.

“You’re not supposed to be here,” Aiden replied with a half scowl, half smirk. “You a ghost?”

The stranger returned his smirk with a brief twitch of his own pale lips, an expression which did nothing to stir the detachment in his face. “Something like that.” He shot forward without warning, the katana whipping through the air like a bright crescent moon. Aiden managed to twist away just in time, bringing his right fist up with an aim for the man’s kidneys. The lithe body shifted enough to avoid the crippling blow but it still struck him in the side with enough force to drive the air from his lungs. Sucking in a gasping breath, he slid back before Aiden could land a second hit.

“You won’t take him,” the man swore as he searched for another opening in Aiden’s defenses, his voice still cool and empty of emotion despite the pain he must be experiencing. Coming from someone who looked like he was already on Death’s door, the threat only amused his assailant. “I’ve never failed,” Aiden quipped back with an arrogant sneer. “I certainly don’t plan to now. It’s nothing personal, really. Just business. If you’d like to throw your life away for him anyway, though, that’s fine. I’m in no hurry.”

“You aren’t the first to say that, nor will you be the last,” The katana glinted as elegant fingers adjusted their grip. “And you’ll bleed just like all the others.”

“So will you.”

Aiden leaped forward just as the stranger went for the kill. He had expected the attack this time but his speed still could not match the blade’s long reach. Even as his hand closed around the other’s thin neck in a vice-like grip, the sleek katana plunged into his stomach…

– – –

[ This totally bad ass picture came about after an amusing discussion with my friend Hail about how epic a fight between Daren and his character Aiden would be. When he drew the picture, I just HAD to write up  a little something to go with it! Daren should definitely carry a katana more often. And also go shirtless?

P.S My new journal layout messes with pictures a bit, so click on the picture itself to see the whole thing in the right size. ]

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