Home Chapter 27
Trigger warning for mentions of violence against children and a whole mess of swearing
“Each thing creeps back into its own nature within the shelter of the dark… The darkness absolves everything.”
– John O’Donohue in Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
The wires under Snow’s fingers were haphazard chaos. He’d seen better work from high-off-their-ass teens pretending to be “freedom fighters”.
And he paid top dollar for this shit. New York prices were a joke.
“Better fucking go off,” he said to himself so far under his breath, he only mouthed the words.
It would be just like Gray to sell him crap.
Snow wanted to make the explosives himself—safer to—but, with no space or supplies and impatient to wrap up, he could get sloppy. Although, producing a sloppier detonator than the abomination in front of him would be an achievement.
Oh fucking well. Nothing to be done now.
Things were hitting critical.
People were converging.
He glanced at the two cars down the street he identified before they’d parked—the Fed’s stalker van and an unmarked police sedan sent to guard her by the D.A., no doubt. But no one had moved on her or dispersed the reporters milling outside the house.
They were waiting for Chandler to make her move.
And she would, soon. She had plans.
We all have plans, ones that rarely survive first contact.
His tap worked, at least. Keeping Hardy on the payroll and breathing had gotten him Chandler’s address and phone number. Intercepting the calls—the one confirming she’d stopped cooperating with the Federales, and the other, the upcoming delivery of a passport and cash—that was his doing. Some guy named Jamie had them.
Jamie not Vincent.
Chandler had yelled it right before that thing came within inches of wearing Snow’s guts for garters.[i]
The killer, the father, the weapon—Vincent.
The thought of him brought a stupid smile to Snow’s face.
Pope—like a fucking oracle—prophesied their clash prior to being sent to his just reward.[ii]
“Either that thing’s going to kill you, or you’re going to kill him.”
But not just another name to add to the list. Not only a hit. A hunt … to destroy that missing link. That’s what Gabriel set up. Who was Snow to not accept the gift … not to dive into the temptation?
Yet his only connection to his big game was decamping, and with her, the string holding his trophy above ground. Pope had said the thing lived under the city, but Snow’s forays into the sewer tunnels had yielded shit, literally. He might search forever down there and only end up diseased, rat bitten and/or dead.
He hated it, but he needed the woman alive, as bait and collateral, until her demon lover joined their little party.
She forced his hand. Hell, the whole situation pushed him out of his comfort zone, but his brother did that on the regular.
“You’re going to take care of her too … and the child.”
His psycho of a sibling was cold in the grave, yet Snow still heard him—the composed, slow delivery, the grotesque slurp Gabriel couldn’t help when he found something he craved. The bastard’s black eyes that seized you, sized you, judged you a threat or a tool, worthy or worthless still haunted Snow’s nightmares.
He twisted his ring, the gift meant to placate, to enslave, while watching the reporters mill around the outside of the woman and baby’s safe house.
He didn’t kill kids. Not anymore. Gabriel knew that. But he’d put him on this path anyway.
“Because only I understand you. You think you are being compassionate. You think you have standards, lines. But there are no lines. Rules are for the weak.
Those ones you’re hunting… They don’t follow the rules. Not even the laws of nature. They aren’t even human.
They are something different. Something that has never been.
They are the monster. Father and mother together—a beast.”
And what do you do when a beast threatens. You capture. You kill.
And after …
Maybe he’d take the baby, like his brother had planned. A life—and two more deaths, once he offed the parents—for a life.
He’d certainly be better at raising a kid than their dead mom and should-be-dead dad had been.
He could take the little tyke out of the city, out of the country, live a different life.
Or he could shoot its little head off its body.
Wouldn’t be the first.
He’d just have to see how this all played out.
Snow grabbed the backpack and the soft black cap, checked the tactical vest emblazoned with NYPD.
Five minutes until the show.
Time to grab the woman and her demon spawn and wait for all the players to take the stage.
Once he had the kid, he’d have the parents by the nose. They’d lead him wherever he wanted to go. As long as the charges went off, he’d control the board.
Chandler wasn’t the last of the pieces left, but she was close. Close to his real prey, his prize.
After that, just mop up—Hardy, and the few other stragglers.
It was all coming to an end.
The only thing between him and his objective was a weak-assed woman and her brat.
Nothing he couldn’t handle.