The dragon looked up at me with a sneer on his face but he couldn’t breathe so the gasp sort of ruined the look that was supposed to instill fear in me. And he couldn’t answer because the pressure was so great.
“I’ll let up the pressure, but if try to kill me I’m going to snap your neck like a twig.”
The dragon tried to laugh at me as I wrapped a single cord of air around his throat. “Or maybe I’ll decapitate you.” The cord was made sharp a tiny rivlet of blood started to trickle down his throat as I let the pressure go. He felt the sting even as he tried to shift.
The blood ran darker as the size of his leash remained the same as his neck grew larger. “It’s not like clothes. You have no power over my control.”
He didn’t get far before he let go of the transformation and growled at me. He started to take a breath and I pulled the noose a little tighter which closed his mouth. “You can speak to me, that’s the only breath I’m going to allow you to take.”
He sneered at me and I sighed. “Alright, I’ll just let Bernstein and his guys have you. And I don’t think they’ve ever had dragon blood. They might keep you around for a good long while.” I could feel Ant’s gaze on my back. I knew he wanted to say I enjoyed torturing and tormenting my marks with threats i would carry out. He knew me well enough to know I would. But he also knew I wouldn’t say anything I wouldn’t carry out. I could use a gun to threaten, but I instead used my voice and the potential for violence.
I was not a nice person. I wasn’t lawful no matter how much anyone looked at it and said I was a good guy. I am a killer just like them. And my moral compass doesn’t always point in the direction of good. But I follow the cause, the right and wrong of the world I’ve been dealt.
I stood up and looked to Ant. “Can you call Bernstein and get him and a few of his men here? I think they’ll enjoy their new toy.”
The man on the ground yelled, “I’ll talk.”
“You will?” I asked as I used a weave of air to right him so he was kneeling on the ground his hands were tied behind his back now and the razor sharp coil of air was still tight around his neck. The healed skin of before was still red and puffy.
It was a stall tactic I was sure. I didn’t think he’d talk but I’d ask anyway, “What are you doing down here?”
He sneered a little more. “What does it look like.”
I sighed. “Why then?”
He laughed. “Because I was told to.”
I grinned, “So you are a blind follower? Or are you just a little dragon with no control or free will”.” I stepped closer and ran my finger down the side of his stubbled jaw. He was attractive. He was the size of the guy I’d used to get behind me. The thought triggered memories of Alex. Memories that didn’t need to surface now. He’d called me weak. I growled at the memory and pushed it away. I let a little magic flow through my fingertips and heat and ice trailed across his cheek as I ran my finger across. “Oh the things I could make you do.” It was a threat, a thing I would never do. So maybe I lied to myself. Or had I changed that much.
I sighed and stepped away. “You can talk to me or you can talk to Bernstein as he drains your blood from your body to feed his little kiss of vampires. I don’t care either way.”
As if the threat had called him Bernstein and group of maybe 5 vampires whisked into the room. “He’s all yours.” I said to Bernstein. “He won’t talk though if he says anything about what he was doing down here of any importance let me know.” I said and turned away and started walking away.
I felt more than anything things happening behind me. A low vampire was on the dragon, in front and I felt the sharp intake of breath from the dragon. The warmth of the fire from his chest made it glow orange and the vampires around me were scrambling. Ant was in front of me, Ryan was behind me guarding from any other attacks, and likely protecting himself from the fire. He was Chevalier – if he died, Il Cane died, and that would be such a bad thing to happen.
But there was no fire as I yanked on the cord and the razor sharp thread of air sliced cleanly through his neck. His head toppled over and blood spurt from the jugular. He wasn’t going to talk now. I sighed as I headed for the exit. I didn’t know where it was, but I was sure Ant would figure it out soon enough.
Ant called after me. “Nox, can we…”
He didn’t have to finish as I wrapped the corpse in air and fire and it burned. It would take a while for a dragon corpse to burn, but it would burn and my magic would be contained until it was done.
Ant and Ryan were walking next to me. “You could have done that.” I told Ant.
“I wanted you to do it. Bernstein needed to see.” Ant said.
Ryan added, “They all needed to see.”
I sighed as we walked into the darkened tunnels.