Been a while. I was going to mark it complete cause I had no desire or drive to write anymore. But out of nowhere comes reviews & 2 PMs. So thank them for me posting another chapter.
Let me know if you like it and how you think Vincent is going to react, cause we all know what is about to go down. Right?
Happy Cinco de Mayo, B
For a moment, as she asks, I feel as if I am once again having a blackout. My body and mind are no longer mine and under my control. Images and memories rush back. I see him, my old friend as he used to be; smiling and joking. I see him as he was before they injected us with their poison and turned us into Beasts… Ray.
'Beast… another one… I'm not alone...'
"Vincent." Catherine is trying to reach me. She wants me to share my thoughts and feelings. "Can he have survived?"
I shake my head, not able to believe it. "It's not possible… and he would have searched me out. If Ray was alive, he would have tried to find other survivors."
"You survived and you have not tried to find anyone else because you were not aware that anyone had survived. He has probably been in hiding, just like you."
Her words work their way inside my head where they are processed and considered. Catherine is right. I have been in hiding. And, I have done my best to stay under the radar, under Muirfield's radar. So, it could be possible. Ray could have survived. There could be another one like me. My friend could be…
Catherine reaches me again with more to process. "Vincent, I know that he was your friend and what this would mean for you, but…" I search her face and find her eyes; big, brown, and concerned. She is always placing me first. "… if he is alive, he is killing young girls. He is not able to control his anger and his strength. He is not able to control the Beast. He's a killer."
"So am I," I remind her and instantly cause a deep crevice between her eyebrows.
"Vincent, you don't kill innocent girls out of jealousy and rage… do you?" There is no need to answer. Catherine knows me better than anyone, even better than TJ. "Vincent, who ever this is, he is dangerous. He can't be left roaming. What do you want me to do?"
Catherine risks so much for me. She will sacrifice her job and her own safety to keep me safe. It is not right. She shouldn't do it. Yet, I love her for it because her actions speak louder than any word she has ever told me. Her actions are all solid proofs that she loves me; as deeply and profoundly as I love her.
"I'll take care of it. I'll track the killer and if it's Ray, then I'll…"
I stop there, unable to finish. If Ray is alive and has killed innocents, then I am expected to kill him. Catherine expects me to. And, whatever Catherine needs and wants is hers… usually… but this is different.
"There may be another one like me… someone who can truly understand… someone who knows what it is like… someone to share this curse with."
"Vincent," she whispers, up on her tiptoes so that her lips are close to mine. "I love you."
A kiss and then she walks off. I turn to watch her leave, heavy hearted. The thought of disappointing her twists my insides till I am panting in pain. Feeling my heartrate pick up from the out of control emotions, I escape into the shadows and make it for the warehouse. TJ is gone which is just as well. I can hear his lecturing voice in my head, telling me that any interaction with would be suicide because if Catherine is on to Ray, then Muirfield is too.
When I come up on the warehouse, I sense it immediately. To anyone else, the air is normal: traces of fumes, dust, dirt, sea… but to me, to the Beast, there is a distinct scent lingering under all of it. I pick up my pace, nearly taking off running, for I must see. Could it be? Could it be possible? I hope that it is and not at the same time. If it is possible and true, then I am no longer the only one. For 10 years, I have silently prayed for this moment. But this would also mean that my old friend could be a merciless killer and that I would be expected to end him.
I swing open the front door with such power that I fear that I might have damaged the hinges. There is another. I can smell it. I can… I freeze as a figure materializes like out of dream and a well known face lights up into a big smile. Four massive steps towards me and equally strong arms wraps around me hard. Knowing that I shouldn't, hearing Catherine's warnings and plead ring throughout, I lift my arms and crush him with matched force.
"Vincent… Good damn, it's good to see you. I thought I was the only one who made it out of there alive."
'Afghanistan… hell on earth… at least for us it had proven to be. It's where we were made into Beast. The objective had been to make us into welltrained and obedient Super Soldiers. It didn't quite work out that way. The drugs the injected us with turned us more into raging Hell Hounds; uncontrollable and deadly.
"Where have you been, Ray?" I ask and declasp my arms around him.
Yet 'What have you been doing?' is what I truly want to ask.
He pulls away and we are finally face to face so that I can see him clearly. He looks the same, but is he the same? What challenges has he gone through, being on the run, always looking over his shoulders, and never feeling safe? I lucked out because I had JT. JT has cared for me financially, given me shelter, and kept me hidden. Who has Ray had to look after him? If I had not had JT would I not be different right now? What would I have been forced to do? How can I judge Ray for whatever he has been forced to do while living under such impossible circumstances? Who am I to judge him for just trying to survive? I am not…
'… if he is alive, he is killing young girls. He is not able to control his anger and his strength. He is not able to control the Beast. He's a killer.'
Catherine's words shatter all guilt and hesitation. I must know. Not just for me and for Catherine, but for those girls and their loved ones. If Ray killed them, he has to be contained… before he loses control again and kills another.
"Ray, I've got to ask you something," I start and scan the room for he seems to have moved.
My eyes find him over by my bed. He is standing with his bowed down looking at something in his hands. It's a photo frame. In it, a picture of the one person that makes my heart beat faster than anyone else have ever managed.
Ray looks up at me and points a finger at the picture and asks the unallowable. "Cute girl…. does she have a sister?"