“Do you know who Abel Nightroad and Ion Fortuna are after?” Isaak asks me as he presses a few buttons, turning on the lights in this dim control room. “Hm? Did they ever tell you?”
I can’t exactly answer Isaak because he has me bound and gagged, thrown into the corner of the room. Isaak smirks at me before turning on all the screens in the room. “Abel is going to come to find you. It’s exactly what I need.” There must be four hundred security cameras in whatever building this is because the entire wall is lined up from the floor to the ceiling with live feed from different cameras. “So tell me,” he murmurs as he removes the tape from my mouth. “Do you think Abel is a monster?”
“I already told you,” I growl frustratedly. “Abel is not a monster. He might not be human, but he was just trying to protect me.”
“You’re so quick to say that,” he replies softly. Isaak stares at me like a child stares at the last piece of cake. “Do you hate him?”
“Why are you asking me that? I could never hate him! Why did you take me here?” I ask him quietly.
Isaak smirks again and walks back to the control panel. “I suppose Nightroad would never tell you. Do you know what a Crusnik is?”
“Do you have to ask that question?” I ask in reply.
“A Crusnik is a type of vampire that feeds on the blood of other vampires. Abel is a Crusnik. And so is his brother, Cain. Cain and I have joined forces to purge this world of the unsightly insects that infest it. But...unfortunately Cain’s body is not complete. He needs the body of his brother to complete it. Abel is also after Cain, to destroy him. Are you keeping up, Mr. Vargas?”
“I’m doing just fine,” I mumble. “Don’t call me Mr. Vargas.”
“Alright, (y/n). Abel is hopelessly infatuated with you and the idea of protecting you. I am going to use that infatuation against him. I need to incapacitate Abel in order to allow Cain to absorb his body into his own. But Abel is much too powerful for me to do that on my own. I need you to distract him, to break him, by declaring how much you hate him. With that in his mind, Abel will have no reason to resist me. It will be easy to defeat him.”
“You want to use me to mess with his head?” I ask him angrily. “You’re an idiot! I would never do that to Abel. I think your little plan has failed.”
“How dimwitted are you?” Isaak asks me with a smirk. “Listen to what you’ve said about the man so far.”
He presses a button and my voice begins to ring out throughout the entire room--the entire basement. “Abel is a monster,” it says. That’s my voice but--
“That’s not what I said,” I tell Isaak angrily.
“I know that. But Abel doesn’t. I can twist anything and everything you’ve said in here,” Isaak replies. “Let me show you again.”
“I hate him!” my voice screams.
“Stop it!” I yell.
“That’s only a first look at what I can use to break Father Nightroad,” he tells me. “I intend to use this as soon as Abel steps foot through that door.” Isaak glares at me for a moment in silence. Then he steps toward me slowly, reaching for me. “I’ve been wondering for a while, what is this? Why did it twitch when you yelled at me?” He grips my curl tightly between his fingers, sending hot sensations throughout my body. I squeeze my legs together and try to stifle my moan. “Is that what it does?” Isaak asks, taking notice of my reaction. He tugs on my (h/c) curl roughly, eliciting a moan from me. “I see, I can use that against Abel perfectly.”
“Leave him alone,” I beg him softly. “I’ll do anything if you just leave him alone.”
Isaak sighs. “You do realize that, the more you say, the more I can use to destroy Abel, right? It’s not that I don’t appreciate it. You’re just making it a bit too easy for my taste.”
I almost spit something else out at the bastard, but I manage to heed his warning and bite my tongue. Hopefully Abel will know that Isaak is just messing with him. I pray to God that he understands that I could never hate him.
“Look at the screen, (y/n),” Isaak tells me. He points to the front gates of the building. “I’m glad they found us so quickly. I would have been rather upset if it took them more than one day to find us. I made it rather conspicuous, don’t you think?” He turns to me, blocking my view of the screen that shows whoever has come inside. “I have one last thing to ask of you.” He steps toward me, kneeling down and gripping my face. “Say my name.”
“W-why?” I ask him softly.
“I need not give you a reason,” he replies. “I’ll give you three seconds to do so before I punish you for not obeying me.”
“What could be more punishment than hurting Abel?” I ask him softly.
Isaak backs away from me and pulls out a small knife. “Allow me to show you.”
Pain soon shoots up my spine, starting at the side of my thigh. I look down and see the bloody knife sticking out of my leg. Hot tears spill from my eyes at the sharp pain. “W-why did you--?”
“Say my name or I’ll make it worse,” Isaak commands as he rips the knife out of my thigh.
“I-Isaak,” I manage to get out. I sound so desperate.
“Perfect,” he purrs in my ear. “Let’s get a look at who’s arrived. Nightroad, Fortuna, that android...and who is this?” He moves away from the screen and points at a fourth person. “Do you know this man?”
“Grandpa Rome…” I mumble. Abel...you’re an idiot. You went back to the Vatican to ask for help? Why did Grandpa Rome even waste his time chasing after me. With the way I had left him...
“So he’s a personal friend of yours, hm? You’ve managed to make this more entertaining.” He pats me on the head and places more tape over my mouth before turning back to the screens. He pulls up a microphone and turns it on. I stiffen a bit when he comes back to me. He places his lips on my cheek, eliciting stifled screams from me that nearly sound like moans. “(y/n),” he says softly--but his voice rings out throughout this entire, cavernous building, just like the sounds of his kisses and my stifled screams.
I watch in horror as he presses a button and my voice floods the room. “I-Isaak,” my desperate-sounding voice sounds. Over Isaak’s shoulder, I can see the four stop to listen to what’s happening--what they think is happening--between Isaak and me. He tugs on my curl, causing my moans to sound through the tape over my mouth.
“What about that Crusnik friend of yours?” Isaak pretends to ask me. He shoves a finger into the wound he gave me just to make me let out a gasp that sounds much more sexual than it should because of the tape over my mouth.
“I already told you,” my voice calls. “Abel is a monster.”
“I don’t believe you’re telling the truth,” Isaak says with a smirk. I can barely see it through my hot tears. He’s so cruel. Abel will believe every word that he says.
“I hate him!”
“Prove it,” Isaak murmurs. “How do I know you won’t leave me for him? He’s the hero in all of this, isn’t he?”
“I would never leave you. He is not human. Protect me. Take me. I’ll do anything…”
Isaak wipes my tears away with his thumb before tasting them. He turns to the screen and turns off the microphone as well. “That should do it, don’t you think? Anyway...let’s hear what they’re saying.”
“My little bambino would-a never say-a such a thing!” Grandpa Rome’s voice is the first to sound. He still has so much faith in me.
"No..." Abel's voice comes out weaker than I would have imagined. "He's right. I am a monster. (y/n) deserves to hate me as much as he pleases."
"Father Nightroad," a deep voice calls out. It must be that android that Isaak had mentioned before. He does sound like one.
"I'm not a priest anymore," Abel grumbles.
"We still need to find (y/n)," Ion says as leads the four through the first corridor. "Von Kampfer could just be messing with you. He's evil."
"Analyzing speech patterns of previous conversation between Isaak Fernando von Kampfer and (y/n) Vargas," the android says as he draws two guns.
"Tres," Abel commands, anger potent in his voice. "You go with Ion and Mr. Vargas to find (y/n). There's bound to be something guarding him."
"Affirmative," Tres replies.
"What are you going to do, Abel?" Ion asks him softly.
"I am going to find von Kampfer, and then I am going to destroy him."
Isaak turns back to me, smirking at his apparent victory in breaking Abel's spirit. "Well, I suppose the damage has been done. Now, I'm going to be the cause of Mr. Nightroad's second death. You just stay here and watch. And once I've killed Abel for his brother, I will have you meet the most powerful being ever to walk the Earth."
Isaak walks out of the room, shutting the door quietly so that no one could follow the echo to find me. I begin my struggle to release my hands from the binding he has me in, my eyes flickering to the screens in front of me. Abel is separated from everyone else. He's heading toward a large, spacious chamber that Isaak is also making his way towards.
Grandpa Rome, Ion, and Tres remain where Abel left them. "Analysis complete," Tres suddenly says. "Unnatural voice patterns found."
"What does that mean?" Ion asks him.
"It-a means-a that mio bambino didn't say-a such-a cruel things about Mr. Nightroad," Grandpa Rome says happily.
"We need to tell Abel," Ion says. He’s about to head after Abel, but Grandpa Rome grabs his arm.
"Negative," Tres tells him. "Not highest priority. Primary objective: find (y/n) and assure his safety."
"Please-a," Grandpa Rome begs. "We-a need to-a find-a my little (y/n)."
I rest my head in a pool of my own blood. My leg doesn't sting so much anymore, but there is a constant throbbing pain pulsating through my entire body. I look up at the screen with Abel and Isaak. They've finally come across each other. Now I have to watch Isaak drill the idea that I hate Abel because of what he is into his head.
"Where is he?" Abel calls out as soon as he sees Isaak. I've never seen him like this before.
"Who?" Isaak asks calmly. He's already messing with Abel. "Your brother? Or the lover you drove away with your very being."
"If you hurt him, I swear I'll--"
"First of all," Isaak says sharply, cutting Abel off. "I would never hurt the boy. He ran into me in the streets, running from you. He was mumbling about some demon that he had seen. He asked me to protect him, so I have brought him here. To protect him from the monster he believes you to be. And secondly, what do you intend to do? You can't kill me. You promised never to kill another human being, did you not? And you've proven before that you can't break that promise."
"I might not be able to kill you," Abel growls. "But I will most certainly ensure that you never harm anyone again. I'm beginning to wonder if you are even human."
"I'm sure (y/n) is wondering the same thing about you. As soon as I've killed you for him, I'm going to make him my own."
"Don't touch him!"
"How are you going to stop me?" Isaak asks him softly.
"Nanomachine, Crusnik 02," Abel says loudly. I watch in awe as he begins to transform. “Power output level, forty percent. Activate.”
"Do I not even deserve to see you at your full potential?" Isaak asks with a slight frown.
"You deserve nothing," Abel growls.
“Well, I am most certainly not going to hold back, Abel Nightroad,” Isaak hisses. “My instructions were to kill you, but not destroy you.” He slowly begins to raise his hands, and I can see that Abel is already frightened. “I summon thee, of thine own free will. Arise, oh Lord of Darkness. Lend me thine power of the flame. Come forth, Arrow of Belial!” Flame begins to form above his outstretched arms. “And now it’s time for you to die, Abel Nightroad.”
From the flame shoot hundreds of arrow-like bolts of energy. Abel can dodge some, but I have to watch as so many hit him. “Is there really any point in fighting it?” Isaak asks Abel when he begins to use his scythe to fight off most of the arrows. “What happens if you live? (y/n) will still see you as nothing but a monster. If you defeat me, you’ll have to face him again. And what will you say? You’ll only have proven him right!”
Abel drops his scythe, letting the rest of the arrows soar into his chest. I watch as his body is slightly consumed by a purple flame. He falls to the ground, collapsing completely. Isaak steps toward him, a frown set in his face. “That didn’t kill you? I thought for sure that, if your defenses were down, you would be dead by now.”
“Hurry up and do it,” Abel growls.
“You really aren’t going to fight back?”
“There’s no point…”
“You’ve fallen for the human that hard, hm?”
“If someone as loving as (y/n) hates me that much, then it’s true,” he murmurs.
“Is that really all it is?” Isaak asks him. What is he doing? Is he trying to get Abel to confess? The only person that will hurt more is me. “(y/n) isn’t really all that special. Of course...he does have a certain, adorable tick.”
“Don’t talk about him like that!” Abel growls. “Even if he hates me, I can’t let you have your hands on him.”
“And why is that? Don’t tell me you’re trying to protect him. No. What is your real motive? Is it that...you don’t want to think of him in anyone else’s arms?”
“You don’t know anything!”
“Oh! You do! Just like how you loved that bishop I killed. How romantic. At least (y/n) won’t be grieving your death. He’ll be rejoicing at the end of such a monster.”
Abel says something back to him, but I can’t make out what it is. All I hear are loud gunshots and heavy footsteps making their way towards me. A door down the hall slams open. And then another, this one closer than the last. What are they shooting at? Suddenly, the door to this room slams open. The android, Tres, walks in, prepared to fire at anything that moves. I’m something that moves. He aims at me for a moment before lowering his guns. “Engaging facial recognition scan. Scan complete,” he says gruffly. “Mission complete: (y/n) Varas found.”
“Mio bambino!” Grandpa rome screams as he rushes into the room. He heads straight for me, taking me in his arms and rubbing his face against mine. “Don’t-a you-a ever go and-a scare-a me like-a that again! Do-a you-a even know-a how-a sad-a your fratelli have-a been?” He brings his face away from mine and looks into my eyes. Grandpa Rome is pretty quick to grow serious and rip the tape off my mouth. “We need-a to-a get-a you-a out of-a here.”
“I need to find Abel,” I tell him as he unties my hands.
“(y/n),” Ion tells me. “You’re bleeding badly. We can handle Abel by ourselves. You need to get to a hospital soon.”
“You don’t get it,” I growl as I untie my own legs. “Isaak is feeding him lies. And Abel is believing every single one of them.” I try to stand up, but pain shoots up my spine from where Isaak stabbed me. I can ignore it. “What were you shooting at.”
“Von Kampfer has an army of zombie Methuselah on his side,” Ion tells me. “They’re blocking off entrance to the center room.”
“I need to get into that room,” I tell him.
“Negative,” Tres says after analyzing me. “Unarmed and injured. Probability of success in any fight: less than three percent.”
“I’m not going to fight anyone,” I tell him. “I need to talk to Abel before he lets himself get killed.”
“Affirmative,” Tres responds. “New objective: get (y/n) Vargas into center room at all costs.”
“Are-a you serious?” Grandpa Rome asks me. “We could-a go home-a right-a now.”
“Abel is letting himself be killed by Isaak because he thinks I hate him. The man is an idiot, but I couldn’t live with myself if he died like that.”
“Ok,” he says softly. “Here, I want-a you to-a be able to-a protect yourself.” He places a gun in my hands and helps me stand up.
“Tres and I will clear a path,” Ion tells me. “I don’t know what you think you can do, but I hope you can do it quickly.”
I had tried to walk on my own, but that didn’t end too well. Grandpa Rome has to carry me--something that he’s a bit too happy about. He holds me close and nuzzles my face too much as we follow Ion and Tres quickly. Tres shoots at anything that approaches us, quickly clearing a path. How does Isaak even have this many Methuselah corpses in the first place?
“I’m-a going to-a stay-a out here and-a help keep-a these guys-a out, ok?” Grandpa Rome tells me as we approach two large brown doors. He sets me down and leads me to the door. “(y/n)...” he sighs.
“What is it?” I ask him.
“What did the bastardo do to you?” he asks me quietly. “Other than stabbing you in the thigh, did he touch you?”
Grandpa Rome is serious, his goofy accent is gone. If he’s this worried about me, I can only imagine what Abel felt. “He didn’t do anything,” I tell him quietly. “He...he kissed my cheek and pulled my curl to make it sound like we were...we were being intimate.”
“Thank goodness. I don’t want someone like that getting their hands on any of my bambini.”
“I’m not your kid,” I tell him. I turn to get inside the center room, but he catches my arm.
“You don’t know what’s going to happen on the other side of that door, Bambino,” Grandpa Rome tells me. “Hopefully, Abel will be able to protect you. But what if he can’t? Is that the last thing you want me hear from you?”
I let out a heavy sigh. “You never change,” I mumble. “Don’t worry about me, Grandpa Rome.”
He sends me a soft smile as I turn back to the doors. “You sure you don’t want to come in to protect me?” I call back to him after a few painful moments of limping. Grandpa Rome remains silents as I reach the doors. I take in a deep breath and struggle to open the heavy doors. I manage to get them open (with no help from Grandpa Rome) and head inside.
Neither of the two notice me as I limp softly toward Abel. He’s still on the floor, his breathing loud and laborious. Isaak isn’t standing over him anymore. He must be lecturing to Abel some more, preaching lies about how much I hate him.
I stand behind a pillar, taking a quick look at my gun, and watch Isaak carefully. I need to wait for his back to be turned before I can get to Abel. I know I can’t shoot him. He’s obviously more powerful than I could ever imagine. But so is Abel. And I think Abel still has enough fight left in him to defeat Isaak. He just needs the will to.
He’s facing me, but his eyes are shut tight. I crouch down to the ground in order to make myself even a little more inconspicuous. My eyes keep flickering from Isaak to Abel. My poor Abel. His eyes open slightly, as though he knew of my presence. He looks up me and starts quietly. His mouth opens slightly in either fear or surprise. Now that he’s seen me, I can’t let him believe that I hate him any more than he already does.
“Abel!” I shout, completely disregarding my own plan to not draw attention to myself. I race over to him as fast as I can with my wounded leg. He doesn’t dare move as I approach him at my hobbled pace. I collapse as gently as I can by his side. “You idiot,” I mumble. It’s only now that I can see how much he’s bled. His blood is on his face and in a pool around his body. “Why didn’t you fight back?”
“M-monster,” he groans out, moving his red gaze away from mine.
“No you are not,” I reply. I reach to take his face in my hands, but Isaak stops me.
“I wouldn’t touch him if I were you,” Isaak’s silky voice calls out. “I’m actually quite surprised he’s held on this long. His body might fall apart if he doesn’t do something soon. And he won’t take on his true form with you so close. He doesn’t want you to think of him as even more of a monster than you already do.”
“Don’t listen to him, Abel,” I whisper. “I don’t think you are a monster. He was twisting my words, I swear. Please...do what you can to survive now. Do what you can to protect me.”
“I don’t hate you. I couldn’t hate you. You should know that, you idiot.”
He smiles slightly as he looks up at me. “Go stand at the edge of the room,” he murmurs gruffly. “I don’t want to hurt you.”
“I trust you,” I tell him. I get up slowly and limp back over to the pillar I was hiding behind before. My blood is dripping down the side of its base. Hopefully Abel will be Abel to end this before the two of us bleed out.
“Nanomachine,” Abel calls out gruffly. “Crusnik 02. Power output level: eighty percent. Activate.”