“Everything is Perfectly Fine” – Part 5

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Blueblood paced up and down the study, his steps clipped and jerky. Outside, the wind pushed against the house, flinging heavy raindrops against the windows. Val settled herself on the leather couch and followed Blueblood with her eyes. His hands were folded behind his back, his head bowed, and every so often his mouth would twitch. He reminded her of a pot of water that was just on the verge of boiling, the surface trembling and about to erupt at any second. His men had been smart to rush out of the room.

“You should have sensed White Knight escaping,” he spat, stopping suddenly in his tracks.

“And you should have had better security,” she replied coolly. Was this it? She had expected a much bigger explosion.

“This isn’t about me,” he snarled.

“No. It’s about—”

“It’s about you. You know, I almost think you had something to do with him getting away.”

Val’s stomach flipped completely over, but she hid it, curling her lip in disdain. “And what would I possibly gain from that?”

“I don’t know.” He shook his head. “That’s the thing. I don’t know.”

He started pacing again, faster than before.

“It doesn’t matter,” Val said. “You can blame me, and I can blame you, but in the end, it doesn’t matter. What matters is how we move forward from here. We can still salvage this.”

“You never struck me as an optimist.”

“I’m not, but you must have a plan.”

He didn’t stop pacing. It was dizzying. “I had a plan. Join the Tsubaki Syndicate, the Belmonte Family, and my own forces, and create a criminal empire like nothing this continent has ever seen. It’s over now.”

“Not that plan. Your other plan.”

He stopped and looked at her. “What other plan?”

Val leaned back her head and let out a dramatic sigh of impatience. “Your secret plan to backstab us all. You wouldn’t have approached me about killing my father if you didn’t have one. Did you need Evelyn to hang around longer before you could enact it? Is this a timing problem?”

His icy eyes raked her up and down. “You’re not as clever as you think you are.”

“Sure I am.”

Blueblood scowled and stared out the window at the rain for a few seconds. He straightened his tie even though it wasn’t crooked, and then—ominously—his dark expression turned to a smile.

“Did you know I never wanted to be a supervillain?”

Val raised her eyebrows but didn’t respond.

“It’s true,” he went on cheerily. “Why would I have? My father was a very rich man. He owned a company that exported coffee beans. It was all very lucrative. I was the oldest son, poised to take over the family business someday.”

He strolled around her father’s desk, gazing at the scribbled bird painting behind it. “Then I had my breakthrough and turned blue. I’d like to say my family was open-minded about people with special abilities, and maybe if I had a power like yours they wouldn’t have cared so much, but that’s not what happened. I was an embarrassment, shunted off to the side while my dumbass little brother became the new favorite son.”

“So they’re dead now, I assume?” Val asked. “Your father and your brother?”

Blueblood smiled coldly. “Oh, extremely.”

“That’s nice. This story have a point?”

“My point, dear Val, is that I wanted to get power by being a savvy, shrewd businessman with an innovative edge. But that’s not the hand fate dealt me, so I had to seize power in a messier, much more violent fashion.”

He stopped directly in front of her and leaned casually against the desk. “And now, I wanted to work together with you and Evelyn, to let my plan unfold slowly and carefully. But that’s not the hand fate dealt me, so—”

He lunged at her, and Val stopped breathing. His blue had was reaching for her, and if it touched her skin—

Stop!

She put all the strength and desperation she had behind the telepathic command. She’d never explored his mind before, never tested his shields. Her command was a wild punch rather than a precision strike. But he stopped. He froze, the tips of his blue fingers inches from her face, and Val scrambled sideways across the couch to get away from him.

Blueblood’s jaw clenched, and she felt his mind straining. Don’t move, she ordered, but it didn’t stick. His mind was an incredible force. He gave a massive mental and physical heave and shattered her control like a baseball through a window. Val didn’t fight him. She turned and ran.

He dove at her, reaching, and his hand wrapped around her wrist.

Ice shot through her veins. It felt like the prickly tingles of losing circulation in her hand, but a hundred times stronger and more painful. Val cried out and wrenched her hand back, but Blueblood held tight. The blue veins of her hand darkened, and her skin began to turn dry. The cold pain traveled up her arm towards her elbow, and Val nearly screamed. She gripped Blueblood’s wrist with her dying hand, yanked him forward, and kicked him in the stomach.

Blueblood let go as he bent over and wheezed.

Val stumbled back, staring at her right hand. Her veins were blue and bulging, and her skin had a black tinge to it like frostbite. Her fingers felt cold and numb, and when she moved them experimentally, her dry skin felt like it cracked.

She looked at Blueblood, who had straightened up and now wore his familiar smug grin.

“It’ll travel slowly up your arm to the rest of your body unless I stop it,” he said. “And if you want me to stop it, you’ll do exactly as I say.”

Previous


Kristen’s Corner

Sound off in the comments if you knew something like this was going to happen. How is Val going to get out of this one?

That’s the end of episode 6. The series will take a break next week before starting episode 7, “Parade of Fools,” on July 31st. We’re getting closer and closer to the end!

In writing news, I’ve (finally) finished the first draft of Almost Invincible! I’m going to let it sit for a week before starting revisions, and it’ll hit Amazon on September 30th. Can’t wait to share it with all of you.

Also, after running this web serial for almost a year, I’ve finally made a table of contents/archives for the story. Links to the start of every episode are up if you want to go back and reread your favorite. I’ll eventually link to the individual parts of each episode, but that’s too much work right now, haha. You can always find the table of contents in the web fiction tab at the top of the site.

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