I will start with an explanation. A "10 Shot" is a 10 minute writing session. I must use the prompt given as the first sentence (which I have in bold), and I have 10 minutes to write a story based on that line. After the time is up, I cannot edit the story. I intend to post the 10 shots every five stories. (If you would like to participate, PM me for the monthly prompt list.) Enjoy.
Disclaimer: Noblesse isn't mine.
Her hands felt cold, exposed to the frigid air, and the shackles around her wrists strapped them to the wall above her head so that the concrete constantly rubbed against her flesh. There was, she was certain of it, a trail of water dripping from somewhere above that splattered on the metal cuffs and froze into ice before it ever reached her hands. Suyi looked up, searching the darkness for the source of the water, but quickly lowered her head with a sigh. It made no difference. She could see nothing in the blackness of this room, but what she could hear frightened her from the shadows.
The glass shattered, casting a wave of shards across the floor. Every eye watched until the last sliver of glass stilled to a stop, and then in unison, they turned anxiously toward the assailant. Frankenstein stood with his back to them. His head bowed until his chin rested against his chest, and his fingers covered the grimace on his face. He lowered his hand again, placing it flat on the countertop alongside his other hand and spread his fingers out to keep them from clenching. Slowly, intentionally drawing out the length of time, he exhaled and inhaled. His shoulders relaxed, and his head rose again. Suddenly, his hand clasped another cup, and he threw it to the floor.
The words were filled with force, more anguish than they were accustomed to, and it was unlike him or anyone else to give him a command. Rai's gaze rose from the teacup that was absentmindedly suspended in midair and met the eyes of the speaker.
Tao bit his lip, already regretting what he had said but too afraid to back down now. He eased into the chair perpendicular to Rai and turned toward him so that their knees nearly touched. He didn't look up as he spoke, and a new vulnerability seeped into his words as he softened his voice, adding to it the utmost respect. "Please, you have to let go. We talked about it, and we don't want you to protect us anymore. That is our will."
Rai looked away from him and back to Frankenstein. The man glanced down, neither admitting nor denying that he had been aware of this decision, but regardless of his silence, it was clear that he, too, supported the request. "I want…" He hesitated but finally looked up. "I want you to live."
It wasn't that it was hard to say. They had already played their games, dancing along the edge of the truth while neither disclosing answers nor asking direct questions. He had considered himself a master of these banters, dropping in just enough of a hint to imply the idea while the real meaning went unsaid, and his opponent, too, matched him in this skill. More than matched. The man excelled at it. To him, this seemed nothing more than child's play, and he met every word with that ever present smile.
Crombel frowned, concealing the look behind folded hands, and glared at the man over his fingers. He had been toyed with enough. "I think it is time to get to the point."
The man met his gaze with careless blue eyes. "Are you finally ready to tell me why you asked to meet with me?"
His glare deepened, but he smoothed it back, once again hiding his thoughts. He had revealed too much with that expression. "Just who are you?"
"Who am I?" The man's smile deepened as if this were a joke to him. "I am the chairman of Ye Ran."
The phone rang at 2am. It was late, he knew, and with each unanswered ring, his hesitation bludgeoned until he could taste the anxiety. He nervously paced the floor next to his bed and flipped on the lights as if destroying the darkness would somehow lesson his uneasiness. Shinwoo took a deep breath, trying to still his heart, but each beat pounded against his chest as if trying to explode. He was too nervous to do this, not at this hour, but if there was a chance that she would answer his call…
No. He pulled the phone away from his ear. It was too late to do this. He couldn't wake her up. His fingers moved begrudgingly to end the call and froze when he saw the seconds ticking away on the screen. He brought the phone to his ear again and listened for a moment before he realized that she must have already said hello.
Shinwoo cleared his voice. "Seira, I couldn't sleep. I thought you may be up, too."
"Who is this?" A male voice hissed angrily.