Continued from Chapter Two - The Deal.
To start at the beginning see Chapter One - The Last Target.
Poseidon 28th, 2021
Uriel gazed up at the huge stained glass window, depicting the Holy Mother’s ascendance after saving the seventh Archangel. He stood alone in the massive sanctuary, save for the sickly friar that often cleaned up after the congregation. Uriel’s eyes were choked with tears, and the only presence he truly felt was his gun, nestled in a shoulder harness against his chest. It was cold and alive, his one loyal confidant.
He couldn’t believe what his mother had told him. How could his father betray him so?
No, it can’t be. He must see it for himself. His father had always been hard on him, but Uriel assumed that it was to make him a better Governor when Alexander passed the scepter on to him. He had to preerve the good name of House Dumitru.
House Dumitru – Uriel had spent his whole life putting that name before his own needs and desires. He had been groomed since birth to take a place next to his father at the head of the Council of Gideon. The name had its own needs and desires, and they ruled Uriel.
Uriel walked down the aisle with calm determination. His bodyguard Guenter waited for him outside the cathedral, next to his sleek black town car. He could sense his master’s distress.
“I’ve got the boys mobilized. Where do you want to meet them?”
Uriel rubbed his face and sighed. “Nowhere. Tell them they have the night off. I’m going for a walk.”
“Ok, I’ll take us to the ‘synthe bar then.”
“No, you take the night off too. You’ve had to baby-sit me long enough.”
This last one visibly struck Guenter. Uriel had been his charge since he was 8. This was the first night off he would have in over 13 years. “As you wish.”
Uriel watched the black car pull away into the soggy night. Guenter was a good man, and probably knew him better than anyone else. But this was something he had to do on his own.
Uriel walked into his family crypt. The silence here was absolute, since only a Dumitru was allowed past the portcullis and into the crypt proper. Thirty-seven generations of Dumitru rest here, in caskets both ornate and simple. Some still bore the scars of the last crusade, when Borovian troops attacked his ancestral home over a century ago.
At the end of the hall was his family shrine, adorned with battle standards and honours. A statue of great Bucoda, his bloodline’s progenitor, stood at the top of the dais. He kissed his hand and touched it to the General’s foot. He slipped off his armor and left it at the foot of the great ancestor. Tonight he could not look like a Dumitru.
After a prayer and a short walk through the garden, Uriel jumped on his motorcycle and sped off into the night.
It was a rainy night, and not many people braved the dark streets of Gideon. He started with her standard hangouts – her apartment, the nightclub nearby, the park. She was nowhere to be found. Always slipping through his fingers, he thought to himself. He was about to give up when he finally saw her – stepping out of a car near an underground bar called The Defamatorium.
It was the object of his desire – his obsession. Mirela Dragos. Holy Mother help him, she was breathtaking. She stood 2 meters, with lovely straight dark hair and a captivating smile. He didn’t know much else about her, but he didn’t care.
His mind suddenly reeled as he saw the man get out of the driver’s side. Alexander Dumitru – the governor of Gideon and Uriel’s father. As he embraced young Mirela, Uriel felt his world shifting beneath him, out of control. His mother had been telling the truth – his father was having an affair, with the woman he loved. A boiling cauldron of rage welled up inside him.
They went upstairs as two bodyguards posted outside the door. He knew them well, so it was no problem convincing them that he was supposed to be there. Walking up the stairs, he could hear her angelic laughter. There was a time – say about 20 minutes ago – that her laughter would have lifted his spirits. But now, knowing whom she was with, who was causing her merriment, it only salted his wound.
He drew his gun, and slipped into the foyer. “Father,” he said in an uncharacteristically low tone, “I’m home.”
He was in mid-kiss when he looked up to see his only son pointing a large gun at him.
“Is anything ever enough for you?” Uriel was trying not to let his voice crack. “You could have anything – anyone – in Gideon, yet you choose her?” His gun was shaking, but he didn’t notice.
Mirela was oddly silent, staring at Uriel with her dark eyes, like twilight. She stepped out from in between father and son, if only in the literal sense. “It was never going to happen between you and I, Uriel. I thought I had made my feelings for you clear. Now put that down before you do something horrible.”
Uriel stared at her for a second, and marveled at the sway she held over him – he had almost put the gun down without even thinking about it. Instead, he simply squeezed the trigger.
BOOM. He missed his father, who was scrambling for cover in the small flat. Mirela went for the fire escape, but the window was locked.
Uriel jumped across the room and was on top of his father in seconds. Alexander looked up at his boy, his pride, then kicked him in the knee. This gave him just enough time to draw his own gun, but by then Uriel had recovered.
They stood there, father and son, each holding a gun to the other’s head. Uriel’s gun was so close to Alexander’s face that he could read the inscription on the slide:
“Si vis pacem, para bellum”
Continued in Chapter Four - Poor Teodor
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