Chapter Twenty-Six



“The longer you hold out,” Rumi threatened with a low voice, “the more likely I am to fry your fucking brain. Tell me the name of your gang and I might make sure you’ll walk out of here firing with all cylinders.” &ldqu...

“The longer you hold out,” Rumi threatened with a low voice, “the more likely I am to fry your fucking brain. Tell me the name of your gang and I might make sure you’ll walk out of here firing with all cylinders.”

“You want an answer, szuka? Hm? Here.” The gunman instantly spewed thick saliva at Rumi.

Rumi closed her eyes as the smell of iron and cigarettes immediately sprayed through the fabric. She felt heat rise to her face as she felt a drop of spit creep over her lips from the outside of her scarf, the warmth of brewing rage circulating from within her. Even after all these years, the act of anyone—especially Whites—tainting her face or her body with that level of disgust, with such false entitlement, was something she never overcame in this line of work. In her younger years, she put people in the hospital over shit as insulting as what just happened to her, snapping ribs and dislocating jaws in a blind rage. Even at this moment, as his laugher washed over her, she envisioned herself choking the life out of this arsehole.

Rumi lifted her eyelids slightly, glaring at the gunmen through slits as she pressed her thumb against the red button that controlled her gun’s level of voltage, holding it down until it bordered on maximum. “Wrong fucking answer,” she said, her tone thick with anger, before pulling the trigger, unleashing a flood of electricity onto her opponent that caused the shithead’s entire frame to convulse, finally forcing his cries of anguish to gush from his throat.


Martin shot a look towards the bedroom door, alarmed by the sudden cries of agony that immediately followed a long succession of electrical shocks, as if exposed wire hung from the ceiling, alive and snapping. He hurried towards the threshold, stopping to take in the scene before him. He watched Áron’s legs stiffening, his toes pointing towards the walls as his screams flooded the living room. Rumi was still sitting on his chest, her knees pressed against the crease of his elbows as she leaned towards him. Martin grimaced when he noticed the tint of blue coloring the gunman’s fists.

He felt Benjámin’s nicotine-laden breath touch his cheek, his body tensing at the sensation. The verdict was still out as to whether to trust the guy entirely and, now knowing that he was dangerous without weapons, having guns pretty much shattered any guarantee of safety Martin once had.

“Áron,” Martin heard Benjámin say with a tone of hushed distress. He turned around and shifted his attention to the young man, whose his face was devoid of color. “I’ve answered your questions to the best of my ability,” he reminded Martin with anguished desperation. “Now please allow me to help my brother. She’s killing him.”

Martin reluctantly moved aside as the henchman quickly bowed his head and edged past him to go into the living room. He followed Benjámin closely, guns in hand. Granted, he never owned a firearm and didn’t even know how to shoot. But, as pissed as he was, Martin had no issue burying a bullet into the hitman’s back in case he decided to drop the zen act and go completely ape shit.

As if she heard them come into the room, Rumi stopped and glanced over her shoulder. “Whatever weapon you have, you need to drop it,” she demanded, “or he’ll get another dose.”

“I carry none,” Benjámin assured her, standing a few steps behind her. “But please release my brother. He’s badly injured and needs medical care.”

“He’s right,” Martin heard himself say. “You’ve shocked him so much his hands are turning blue. Let him up so they can leave.”

“You’re not serious.”

“I wish I wasn’t and I’ll explain later. But you have to let them go.” He pointed the silencers at Benjámin as he moved near him, eying the henchman suspiciously. “Do. Not. Touch her,” he warned, “or I’ll shoot you and your brother. No question.”

Benjámin glanced at Martin and nodded. “Understood.” He then backed further away from the woman without protest.

Meanwhile, Martin observed as Rumi glanced at her opponent once again, drawing in a deep breath before she got off of him with understandable reluctance. She then walked backwards to stand silently next to Martin and watched the other man kneel next to his brother. Both closely watched Benjámin’s movements as he used his strength to lift Áron to his feet. The electrical shocks had left him disoriented, forcing him to stumble and widen his eyes while he struggled to stand without assistance.

Áron pushed Benjámin away and glared at Rumi, panting while he wiped the back of his hand against his broken nose. “She—she almost killed me with that gun,” he growled, his voice hoarse.

“So I’ve noticed,” Benjámin replied sympathically while examining his hands. “Come. We must get you medical attention.”

“Fuck m…medical atten…tion,” Áron protested, whipping his head as if attempting to snap words together to form complete thoughts. “Where’s your gun? Blow that cunt’s head off.”

Yet Benjámin only shook his head before shifting his attention onto his accomplice. “No, Brother.”

Áron locked eyes with his sibling, the lines on his face deepened with disbelief. “No?” he asked, edging towards Benjámin while struggling to maintain his balance. “What the fu-“

“Calm down, Áron,” Benjamin advised while he reached over and held his brother’s arm to prevent him from tumbling to the floor. "Ha te csak magad további kárt okoz. Gyere. El kell menni. Akkor Ive 'elveszett túl sok vér."

“Nem! Van egy munka elvégzéséhez,” Áron protested, trying to pull his arm out of Benjámin’s grasp.

“Not like this,” Benjámin responded sympathetically. “This man and the One Taken from the Sea of Stars don’t deserve our hostility. We will earn our credits another way.”


The younger man then stared straight at Áron’s face, his expression somber, yet thoughtful. “Hagyjuk ezek az emberek békében. Fogom magyarázni, én magam nem tovább.” Benjámin then lifted his brother’s arm and placed it around his neck.

The two man then started towards the door, Benjámin now switching his attention from the floor to the front entrance to avoid the small puddle of blood that stained the floor.

When they reached the door, Benjámin halted and looked straight at Martin and then at Rumi. “Again, you have my sincerest apologies,” he said, his voice weighed down by penitence before he pulled open the door and walked out with his brother, disappearing down the hallway, leaving Martin and Rumi to wrestle with their own confusion.

Rumi pulled the scarf to the bottom of her chin, her sight concentrating on the entrance. “What the hell just happened?” she asked, not even looking at Martin.

Martin lowered his arms and stuffed the weapons into the pockets of his robes. “I’ve been trying to figure that out,” Martin replied, mystified. Suddenly, he felt someone watching him and spun around.

Standing by the recliner was Lianna, her military-style backpack hunching her forward slightly. She scrutinized both of them, her teal colored eyes locked on the demonstrator the majority of the time.

From the corner of his eye, Martin silently observed Rumi shoot a confused look, then followed his glance until it fell on the tiny woman. She suddenly froze and her eyes widened as she stared at her, her face colored with awe and unreserved disbelief.

“Holy shit,” Rumi said softly.

Martin peered at the activist, satisfied with her reaction. “Now do you believe me?” he asked before turning his attention towards the perceptive, but slightly annoyed Shuluan.


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