Prologue: "The Francis Drake Exhibit"
As always, the air was humid and hot in Cartagena, Colombia, proven by the sweat that trickled down olive-toned skin. Dark brown tresses are pulled up into a pony-tail, clamped down by a black hair clip, and grey-blue hues focus on where she would land. Kylie Drake lunged across rooftops, exhaustion slowly creeping up on her body as her calves ached and her arms felt like string.
Her older twin brother, Nathan, had ditched her for the Francis Drake Exhibit after rambling about finding a key to get the ring and cipher disk even though she SPECIFICALLY told him not to go until he ate first. Stupid older brother didn't listen and left anyway. What was she expecting, him to stay? She wondered bitterly. She finally saw the museum, but what she saw inside did not please her at all.
A tall, proper blonde woman stood before her brother who was giving her an anxious yet defiant expression. They were surrounded by men in suits, and Kylie gasped sharply when she saw they were armed with guns. The woman raised her hand and slapped her brother across the face. Kylie saw red. She charged through the window, shattering glass everywhere, and rammed into the woman.
She was sent toppling into the man standing next to her who Kylie recognized as the man Nate nick-picked from. A hand just a bit bigger than hers and callous grasped hers, and together they charged through the doors and upstairs to the roof.
Adrenaline pulsed through her veins as she and her brother flew across the rooftops, barely scrambling by near deaths. The man had saved them a couple times, Nate helping her make it through before he did.
Blood rushed in her ears, her heart thumped loudly in her chest, and every part of her body ached painfully. Only when did she land wrong on a rooftop with a sickening snap of a bone did she realize just how tired she was. Nights constantly plagued of nightmares of her parents that would keep her up at night. She refused to tell Nate about them at all because then he would sleep, too, just trying to comfort her.
She hated being treated like a baby. Nate would constantly do so which would lead them to bickering. She knew he loved her because they were each other's only family, and he had to protect her. She knew this, yet she took everything for granted as she could and was stubborn and defiant. It pained her to act this way, but after a few close calls and Nate nearly dying and being sent to person once, she had to be strong and be able to fend for herself.
Her eyes fluttered shut, listening to Nate scream out her name painfully. It echoed across the quiet city, and she nearly gave up living until a much larger hand than Nate's and hers combined grasped her bony wrist. Her eyes snapped open, shocked, and she gasped when she saw the man from earlier. He gave her a worried look as he hoisted her up into his arms.
"You okay, kid?" He asked.
"Do I look okay?" She snapped before reconsidering her tone," Sorry. I mean, why did you save me?"
"Because you and your brother are just kids who got mixed up in the wrong kind of people. I'm only doing you two a favor by helping you. Plus, the two of you have potential."
Kylie scowled, folding her arms stubbornly. The man rolled his eyes with a cheeky smile, and he chuckled, patting her shoulder; however, it was the wrong side, and Kylie was sent toppling to the ground with a cry of agony. The man cursed when he saw the discoloring of her ankle.
"The hell happened to you, kid?" He inquired, gingerly lifting it to his lap.
"I fell," she grumbled," then you caught me."
He frowned at her, sighing. "Look. I don't want to hurt you and your brother, okay? So, tell me, what's your name? Victor Sullivan's the name. Friends call me Sully."
Kylie shot him a suspicious look before she considered his offer. The man, dubbed Sully now, continued his observation of her ankle, pressing lightly on it, and she winced, swatting at his hand. She sighed, giving in. This man was hers and Nate's only exit out of this mess. They needed him. And even though Nate's babying got on her nerves, his safety always came first.
"Fine." She sniffed, holding out her hand expectantly. "Name's Kylie Drake, female descendant to Sir Francis Drake and younger twin sister to Nathan Drake, the boy whom you've encounter several times now." Sully smiled under his thick mustache, his hand engulfing hers in a brief shake.
"Nice to be formally introduced to one of the siblings," Sully chortled. Kylie smiled a small smile, and she used to window silt to help her stand. "Whoa! Watch it, kid. I know you don't want to make that worse."
"It's fine. I'll be fine. Just sprained." Kylie gently put it down on the floor to not exert pressure on it. Sully eyed her skeptically, no words needed.
"Obviously you can't seem to tell the difference between broken and sprained. Your ankle is most definitely broken. Hate to break it to ya, Kylie, but I'll have to carry you," Sully gave her a stern look when she shot him a disgusted look.
"Heck no! I don't need to be carried like a princess, I can walk just fine!" As if to prove her point, Kylie stepped forward but staggered, her hand halting her fall by palming the wall. Sully snorted.
"I get you're the type who hates being treated like you're a baby and has to be independent, but this isn't up for debate," the older man stepped to her without hesitation, lifting her into his arms. Kylie fought as hard as she could.
"Let me GO! You're not my father-!" Kylie stopped short, the impact of Sully's actions and her words crashing upon her like a tidal wave. No wonder she didn't argue much with what he said or did until now, he was acting like some sort of father, and it got to her.
"I know I'm not your father..." Sully trailed off, feeling his mind come over in shock when Kylie snuggled close to her, closing her eyes. And he was even more shocked at what she said next.
"But it still feels good to think I have one."
When Kylie saw Nate, he looked like he had lost everything, and her heart broke when she saw that hopeless face. She hated to see that look on his face, and she slowly drew herself out Sully's embrace. Sully pushed her behind him protectively, as he drew his gun and focused it on the clueless man. In a loud, resounding bang, the bullet entered the man.
His last breath left him in a strangled gasp, and he fell onto his side, lifeless. Kylie's breath hitched her breath as her brain informed her that she just witnessed the death of a man who probably had a family, a wife, children, or maybe even a girlfriend who was waiting for him to come home. She shuddered, shaking the thought off and she hopped to Nate who lunged to her, wrapping his thin arms around her.
Kylie relished in her brother's embrace, inhaling his familiar scent. She nearly forgot this scent, Sully's cologne taking over, and she was glad she was able to remember it. Her brother's smell wasn't the best, but it would always be the one thing that kept her glued to reality. Meanwhile, Nate's heart was drumming against his rib cage at a hundred miles per hour.
An overwhelming sense of relief boiled in his chest, tightening and coiling, as his eyes burned with hot tears.
His sister was alive. She was alive. Kylie is here, in his arms, and he'll never let her go again. Nate nuzzled his face in the nape of Kylie's neck before he noticed the man witnessing their sibling act. He glared daggers at Sully, tugging Kylie behind him and clutching at her hand.
"Wait, Nate," Kylie hissed into his ear," he's good. He saved me."
Nate faltered before the words sunk in, and he huffed, releasing a breath he didn't realize he had been holding. Nate nodded, and Kylie smiled at Sully. Sully nodded to her in gratefulness. Now they were even. Nate had to carry Kylie as the trio walked down to a hotel where Sully ordered her and Nate a breakfast plate and a beer for himself, including a first aid kit for Kylie's ankle.
Sully sighed in disappointment, ruffling his dark hair.
"Wish I could do more, Kylie, but this all I can do," Sully sadly stated, frowning. Kylie observed his work. Her lips curled slightly as she nodded.
"Thank you," she murmured. Sully smiled at her, the corner of his eyes crinkling slightly. He ruffled her hair.
"No problem, kiddo."
Next to her, Nate cleared his throat, eyeing Sully cautiously.
"What do you want from us?" Nate demanded as Kylie frowned. Sully sighed.
"Relax. We're safe here," Sully reassured the young boy, sliding forth their plates. The older man returned Nate's reluctant look with a challenging smirk.
Nate scowled, averting his eyes as he forked up some eggs. Kylie giggled, shoving it down, and she realized just how delicious it was. The emptiness of her stomach's contents burned and gurgled, and her plate was cleared within seconds, leaving Nate sniggering and Sully gaping in awe. Kylie raised a fist to her mouth, silencing a belch.
"Geez! You got quite the stomach, kid!" Sully remarked, astounded. "I bet you could eat a horse!"
Kylie laughed, and Nate grinned to himself. When all laughter and joking quieted down and Nate and Sully returned to their serious conversation, Kylie glanced between them, smiling secretively. Giggling when Nate fired an annoyed question at her, Kylie brushed it off, thinking to herself that they were already a family whether Nate liked it or not.
And personally, Kylie wouldn't mind if Sully was her father. She liked the older man already.