Epilogue I (Part I)
Planet Helion Five. Six years later.
It took him six years and all of his credits. Not to mention the after effects. Six fucking years, all of his fucking credits and fucking painful after effects, but …. he found her.
Almost eight months trapped in a bed, unable to move a single muscle, healing his many injures plus one year of painfully intense therapy just to be able to walk again. One more year to find a way to get off that fucking rock and two years and four months traveling around the galaxy.
He had lost the vision in one eye and countless scars marred his skin. His body was full of implants to make his bones support his weight and he was now addicted to shit named ‘heaven’, a powerful drug he injected to suppress the pain. He walked with a slight limp in one leg and he had to learn how to shoot and fight with a shiv in his left hand because his right hand wasn’t useful anymore. But, every time his bones and muscles screamed in pain, he shut his eyes tightly, gritting his teeth and conjured a vision. A vision of himself, raping her savagely, torturing her body slowly and painfully. Marring every single centimeter of her skin until she begged for him to kill her, and finally stabbing her to death.
He didn’t know where to begin his search though but he always had been a lucky motherfucker, and in spite of his current state, that fact hadn’t changed a bit. He was still alive, wasn’t he?
He had gone in search of all thoes old partners who owned him favors; he had spent his little fortune, paying for false leads and dead ends, until one night, he run into a merc in a whorehouse.
A fucker who had been in the special forces for a couple of years with really high, strong and useful connections, better than himself or anyone else he would had met before in his damn life. That merc wasn’t interested in the ‘Big Evil’ because there wasn’t a bounty on his shaved head any longer. That merc even laughed his ass off, out loud, when he gave him his little speech about his motivations. “Revenge? What kind of fucking loser are you, man?” That merc had mocked him right to his face.
But he didn’t care what anyone thought about him. Who cared about a fucking bounty? He was following another impulse and it wasn’t credits. The only reason he had to survive his own endless living hell. Revenge. Sweet, cold bloody revenge.
The merc had looked at him as if he had grown a second head and after he had bought him all the drinks he could stand, the fucker finally said one single thing that made sense to him, pointing him finally in the right direction. “Wild animals go home to die.” That merc had said before he stood and disappeared with two sluts in the direction of one of the rooms, stumbling over his own feet. He wondered how an asshole like that one could have such interesting connections?
He had been hunting the ‘Big Evil’ for years, always just two steps behind. He had almost caught him on a couple of occasions on his way to Xela, but the killer never left his guard down. Never trusted anybody, never left enough evidence to follow a trace, never slept twice in the same spot or nearby, until he came back home with his little bitch. And here he was, landing on the planet Helion Five, in a space port of a little town named Airun.
It took him six years and all of his credits. Not to mention the after effects. Six fucking years, all his fucking credits and fucking painful after effects, but …. he found her. He had finally found her.
Audrey Jacqueline Travis, alias Jack B. Badd, alias Jacqueline Fry, alias Kyra Mathews. No matter the name, she had been, was and would always be Riddick’s little bitch and she wouldn’t see another daylight. Yeah, he always had been a lucky motherfucker and that fact wasn’t going to change, was it?
“Ready or not, here I come, little bitch.” Damien sneered with a dirty grin on his lips as he shot himself with a double dose of ‘heaven’.
They decided to move to Helion Five because it was the further planet inside of the Helion system. Accordingly, the sun wasn’t so bright and it wasn’t heavily populated, but still a rich planet. Alain and Mariel moved there too.
New Mecca was a one day travel from Airun, one of the cities where they all lived together in a big complex located on the outskirts of town. Next to the complex there were two houses joined by a hallway. The Mathews’, Kyra and Richard, lived in one of them; the Davis’s, Mariel Elaine and Alain in the other.
‘Little Jack’ might look like a fragile piece of porcelain, but concerning sex, she was like an animal unrestrained. Riddick had loved every second of it, and so it wasn’t long after they had settled on Helion Five, a couple of months after they had reunited with Imam, that Jack discovered she was pregnant.
Jack always dreamed of having a family, but through her veins still ran, mixed with her blood, all kind of viruses and their antidotes, and that fact was making her feel concerned. She wasn’t sure if it would be a wise decision to have that baby. Actually, it wasn’t that she didn’t already love the idea of carrying in her womb Riddick’s kid, but she was more than just terrified concerning the baby’s health. However, Riddick and Jack made the final decision after the first tests were done, showing a baby that would be as healthy as it’s parents and that those viruses would live inside of it’s bloodstream the same as Jack’s.
After Dr. Maurice Morris committed suicide, according to the authorities’ final conclusions after the investigation, The Firm disposed of all his credits, properties and goods in a public auction. But, somehow, those goods ended in the hands of one nonprofit organization whose main administrator and manager was a corporation called ‘Strays’.
‘Strays’ was dedicated to collecting kids from the streets, giving them a new kind of life inside of a family environment, showing those kids that they were worthy of love and respect. Of course, The Firm was oblivious to the fact that Riddick, Jack, Alain and Mariel were the ones behind that organization. Who would be better than Riddick and Jack, if somebody could understand those kids, it was them. The kids were going to live in a safe place surrounded by people seriously involved in the project, who were never going to abuse them in any way. Quite the opposite, all of them were there to help those kids in every possible way.
The process of selection for the staff was carried out by Jack and Mariel personally. They both were in charge of finding the perfect ones amongst those who applied for a permanent job with the organization. After a thorough investigation of their profiles made by Alain in which he searched if any of them had been related in any way with abusing children in the past, and only after they had a ‘meeting’ with Riddick in which he explained to them the rules of the game, the selected ones were ready to start with their obligations.
Concerning the kids, they not only received respect and love, at the same time, through the organization they could develop their capacities in different areas. The kids learned different subjects like Math, Literature or Physics and the like, but apart from these they received training in other really worthy disciplines which Strays’ instructors and teachers considered valuable such as hacking computers, flying ships and self-defense. At the end, Riddick had found the perfect way to invest all the credits he had made while using his skills for The Firm’s interest.
Alain created new identities for the four of them, with clean files and Mr. and Mrs. Mathews, as well as Mr. and Mrs. Davis appeared now as upstanding citizens. They even, from time to time, made their little contributions to those companies that belonged to The Firm but were developing their activities in fields that could be worthy for their organization. At the same time, Alain kept ‘Strays’ disconnected from themselves using an extremely complex net of corporations and their subsidiary companies spread all over the galaxy, just like he had done for years with the ex-soldiers at Xela city. So that way, nobody could figure out their exact location and in case The Firm was able to find them, they had their own security protocols to avoid the big corporation.
Alain as well as Riddick were more than sure that Alexander Koemborn was only waiting the perfect occasion to make his own move against them even if so far they had been living six years in relatively peace. Certainly, The Firm’s president wasn’t going to let them get with their own way. They both had learnt from their mistakes in the past, and even though there was no reason to suspect that The Board was scheming a secret plan to catch them, they weren’t oblivious to the hazard of a sure retaliation on the part of its president.
Riddick knew Jack was still more than just worth the trouble to The Firm, taking into consideration the value of her bloodstream. Not to mention himself or Alain because their skills, or even Mariel because she knew more than just one top secret. They all suspected that The Firm was still on guard concerning them. So, none of them were taking for granted their peaceful existence. Nevertheless, they were enjoying their new lives more than air to breath.
However and in spite of all the precautions they took, nothing stopped a single man thirsty for revenge who avoided all their security measures following his bloody goal, guided by a blind rage against a twenty six year old woman who had stabbed him eleven years ago in a dark alley at a city named New Mecca.
It was an unusually warm night, the streets were deserted at that time. Heavy clouds were covered the starry night, threatening to throw the more than expected summer rain upon the silent city. The alley was in shadows, just the outline of the buildings could be distinguished against the dancing moonlight as the clouds were sliding on the sky pushed by the warm soft breeze.
Riddick grabbed his shiv from his waistband and lifted his goggles, making them rest on his forehead. Slowly, he cracked his neck bones, tilting his head to both sides, easing the tension on his muscles as he narrowed his eyes in suspicion. Riddick came to a stop, surveying his surroundings, just his eyes were moving franticly. He took a deep breath and exhaled slowly and deliberately through his nose.
He had been following her faint scent through the streets until he spotted her at the end of the alley.
“Jack!” Riddick growled as he gripped the handle of his shiv. Hurried steps echoed in the dark, at the opposite side from where she was lying motionless. NO! In two seconds, he rushed to her side and knelt on the wet ground.
“Riddick?” Jack hissed weakly through clenched teeth as she grabbed her stomach, applying pressure, shaking uncontrollably.
“I’m here, beautiful.” He said, stroking her cheek so gently that his touch was just a soft caress upon her skin. His voice sounded strangled and thick. Tightening his jaw, he glanced down and saw how her top was drenched with blood; her blood! Oh, fuck, NO! his mind screamed as Riddick breathed through his nostrils, feeling his inner beast roaring with wild rage at the smell of Jack’s blood mixed with fear. Jack shut her eyes tightly, whimpering in pain.
“I’m cold, Riddick…. so cold…” her voice almost a weak whisper sent shivers up his spine. Riddick shut his eyes, cursing himself silently as he gritted his teeth. He lifted her torso with extreme gentleness and held her body against him, wrapping his arms around her. It was all his fault. All his fucking fault. “You promised me….Riddick….” Jack whispered hoarsely as a thin line of blood was visible from the corner of her mouth.
A gentle rain was pouring down upon them and Riddick lifted his head, looking at the clouded sky as a hopeless roar resounded along the street. It was an inhuman sound, a desperate cry full of unleashed rage and unbearable pain. The roar of a wild wounded animal, who’s heart and soul had been stabbed to death. “NOOOO!”
Riddick awoke startled, snapping his eyes open as he looked around himself franticly, tightening his grip around a shiv that appeared from nowhere, its blade reflecting the moonlight. His heart was pounding inside his chest and his breath was ragged. He blinked furiously as he focused his vision, his body was covered in a thin veil of cold sweat. Fuck! He cursed as he held his breath, feeling adrenaline running through his veins and his inner beast roaring, caged and extremely agitated. Fucking nightmare… he growled, leaving the shiv at one side.
It was the same recurring dream that haunted him since he left Jack in New Mecca. It had been more than ten years since Riddick had last had that dream; the one in which Jack was bleeding to death in his arms, fighting for her life, and he was unable to save her. The one in which he was a powerless witness to Jack’s slow and painful death. Back then, Riddick was sure that she was dying as a direct consequence of his inner beast’s thirst for blood, but now, his animal side loved her as much as he himself did.
Riddick frowned, reliving the images playing inside his mind. The only difference from now and then was that eleven years ago, Jack was a fifteen year old tomboy with a shaved head and a skinny body, but now… she had turned into the woman she actually was. He growled, narrowing his eyes as Alain’s words echoed faintly inside his brain. “…I met a kid once, who had dreams about his future. Dreams that always ended turning into reality…. dreams about death and blood.” Riddick felt his inner beast grumbling, still pacing inside of its cage. Fuck, fuck, fuck… he cursed.
Jack stirred in her dream and pressed her naked warm body even more closely against his, pulling Riddick out of his thoughts, making him focus his attention on his wife. She was sleeping peacefully clasped at his body and Riddick let out the air he had been holding for quite long time with a heavy sigh and shut his eyes, rubbing his forehead. He tightened his embrace around Jack as he kissed her lips softly, just a brush.
Almost immediately, Jack’s eyes fluttered open as she blinked in her sleep, smiling broadly, but her smile died on her lips as soon as she saw how his silver eyes were sparkling with the moonlight, showing an emotion she only had seen once before at Xela. Fear. Jack shivered and lifted herself slightly.
“Hey, what’s wrong?” She asked, stroking his bare chest, her voice tinted with concern. Riddick held her gaze and sighed hard, feeling his inner beast being soothed by Jack’s caresses.
“Nothing.” He whispered as the beast snarled at that. In response Jack narrowed her eyes in suspicion. She could feel his heart still beating fast against her own skin as his eyes flickered to hers.
“You can’t lie, Riddick, not worth shit.” She replied softly as she made herself comfortable on him, straddling his hips. “Tell me what’s bothering you, Riddick.” Jack added, kissing his chest gently, lingering on her caress.
Riddick took a ragged breath, fighting with himself a silent battle. “It’s nothing, princess. Just a bad dream…” he trailed off, frowning deeply, struggling with himself. Should he tell her about his nightmare and the implications of it? Riddick had never lied to Jack and he didn’t want to start now, but still…Fuck, why now damn it! He cursed silently.
Jack swallowed hard and rested her head on his chest, listening as his heart skipped a beat, matching hers, as Riddick lifted a hand to stroke her hair, tugging a stray tuft behind her ear. Jack closed her eyes, breathing in his essence. She could recognize it amongst thousands, a mix of spices, sandalwood and sweat. It was powerful, strong and male, just like the man she loved with all her heart and soul.
She suspected he didn’t want to talk about it and she wasn’t going to push him, at least right now. Jack knew Riddick had been having nightmares over the last days, becoming more and more intense and consecutive. He tried to hide that fact from her, but Jack could read him like an open book and, whatever or whoever he was dreaming about was making him suffer in silence, to the point she could sense his internal turmoil and pain. Jack remembered how Alain had been talking about Riddick’s nightmares when they were at Xela city. Death and blood, Jack said to herself.
There were only three persons in the universe who could cause such an effect on him in any way and they were connected with these premises. Lydia, their five year old daughter, Tay, their nine months adopted son, and herself. A huge shiver of fear ran across her spine and all of sudden, Jack wasn’t sure if she wanted to know about his nightmare anymore. Riddick noticed it, as well as the subtle change in her scent and cursed himself silently because he suspected that his silence was scaring her and his inner beast growled in anger. He tightened his hold around her body and his hands moved from her hair to her back, stroking up and down, soothing her.
They had learned together how to be parents, lovers, partners, and it hadn’t been an easy task because Riddick and Jack hadn’t had experience, but they managed to get through every day, never taking for granted the time they were sharing. If any of them died, the other would be lost forever. Something would die inside and never would come to life again. Neither of them forgot about Xela and the following days, but, now they had two kids to raise, protect and love, and Lydia and Tay deserved a normal childhood, a normal life, the kind of life their parents never had while they were growing.
Jack raised her head and locked eyes with him, his warm fingertips drawing invisible circles on her skin, along and over her back and hips. A soft purr escaped Jack’s lips as she pressed herself even more against his body, unconsciously rubbing her body against his, feeling his member coming to life. In response, Riddick grinned, applying a little more pressure as his hands slid down her back, grabbing her bottom, squeezing it. Jack moaned, feeling herself getting wet with the soft friction she was creating.
“Make love to me, Riddick.” Jack whispered as she pressed down hard.
The unmistakable mix of desire, lust and love was sparkling in her eyes. The need in her voice and gaze was as clear as the reflection of the moonlight on his silver eyes. Riddick groaned, smelling her arousal and in one fast move, he rolled to one side, trapping Jack underneath him as she spread her legs, making room for him, grinning.
Riddick lifted his torso, supporting his weight on his arms as be bent his head, kissing her. As he slid his tongue between her lips, a tiny mewl of pleasure left hers and her own tongue slid past his and into his mouth, making him groan. They both were lost in that kiss, not wanting to end it, but finally breaking apart, gasping for air.
Slowly, he positioned himself as his silver eyes met hers. Jack shivered in anticipation and cupped his face with her hands, losing herself in his intense mercurial gaze. When she felt him pressing forward, sliding into her, she held her breath, staring at his eyes as Riddick buried himself to the hilt, growling.
“Riddick.” Jack whispered as he went still, his body as deep as possible inside of her, closing his eyes, letting out the air he had been holding without being aware of it. Jack tightened her inner muscles, and a low groan escaped Riddick’s lips as he slid out and then back in as slowly as he had entered her.
Jack moaned softly as her hands came to his broad shoulders, stroking all the way down to his bottom, squeezing it. Riddick growled deeply and pressed himself forward just in time with Jack’s wet muscles clenching around his member and her hips thrusting upward.
“Fuck.” Riddick hissed. “Hold onto me, Jack.” He whispered, his lips capturing hers as he felt her arms pulling him closer. “You take my breath away, beautiful.” Riddick whispered, feeling Jack arching her back underneath him, pressing her hips up, moaning his name as her legs spread further apart and Riddick pressed himself down. One hand buried on her hair and the other stroking all the way up to her hip from her knee. Jack arched her back again and when she clutched his member tightly with her inner muscles a deep growl resounded around them.
“Riddick…” Jack breathed as Riddick leaned down, kissing her neck, nibbling her shoulders, making Jack’s soft hair stand at once. He then pressed his full lips to her ear.
“Are you with me, baby?” He asked as he slid in slowly and then out as slowly as he had slid forward, setting a painfully slow rhythm.
“Always.” Jack gasped softly, stroking his back, her nails digging into his skin. Riddick grinned as he slid a hand under her bottom, putting the other against the center of her back and rising straight up, settling Jack against him as he knelt on the bed.
“Get closer, Jack…..Tonight I need you closer, baby.” He whispered, making Jack shiver, hearing his husky voice.
He desperately needed to feel Jack’s soft skin against his, so Riddick crushed her to him, burying his face in her neck, rocking slowly as Jack nipped gently along his shoulder. Riddick had to have her so close so that she was a part of his skin as much as she was a part of his heart and soul.
“I’m all yours, Riddick.” She moaned, tilting her head back, nuzzling his cheek, whispering. “I love you, baby.” Riddick shuddered at the sound of her words.
No matter how many times he heard her saying those words to him, they always had the same effect. No one would have been able to say them the way she did. It was the passion and the fire she put in each syllable and word.
They loved each other so much and with such intensity that sometimes it was almost painful. It was much more than just love that they felt for each other. It was an unique devotion beyond explanation. A need, so deeply stuck inside their souls that mere words couldn’t make sense of it. It was a powerful addiction they developed, feeling the necessity of being touched by the other. A strong connection made of loyalty, respect and blind trust. Someone might be able to describe it almost as insanity, but it was exactly quite the opposite. What they felt was what gave them the sanity to go on living, bringing to their life the balance, keeping them on the right path.
Riddick grinned and slid his hands up her back, curling his arms around her shoulders. Jack pressed herself to him even more and wrapped her legs around his hips. A groan escaped Riddick’s lips as he pressed up, then pulled back just to press up again, rocking up and down. Jack moaned, gasping soundly as her eyes half closed.
“Oh, God, Riddick…” Jack whispered breathlessly as he continued rocking up and down, knowing in advance that the movement was causing her clitoris to press against him.
Tonight it was completely different. Riddick had lost count of how many times they had made love over the last six years, and each and every time was unique, one of a kind, but tonight….tonight he had seen her dying in his arms, and the vision was still so painfully clear in his mind that Riddick felt the animal roaring inside his chest. His most horrifying nightmare came back to hunt him again, and the sensation of loss and powerless was so strong that Riddick found himself fighting back tears of anger and pain. He needed to feel that she was alive and in his arms, and that he never was going to lose her.
“Jack, look at me, princess.” He whispered as he tilted his head back a bit, pulling away from her body. “Let me see your eyes, beautiful.” Riddick need to watch her face, to lose himself in her beautiful eyes, to recognize in her gaze his own feelings, finding reflected in them the pleasure he was giving her. Jack moaned loudly as she locked eyes with him and Riddick found himself unable to let his gaze off those beautiful green eyes sparkling with their unique brightness.
Each move seemed choreographed, but at the same time so unexpected that Riddick shuddered thinking about his beautiful wife. He couldn’t have enough of her. Another moan escaped Jack’s parted lips and Riddick kissed her as if he never had kissed her before, as if he was sure that kiss would be the last one. His tongue traced her lower lip, wrapping around her own tongue as he rocked pulling back just a little, then pressing home again, increasing the rhythm slowly.
“I love you so much, Jack,” he pressed her body against him, trying to get closer, almost knocking the air out of her lungs, as though he could get his body to somehow meld into hers. “I can’t live without you, baby. I can’t…” Riddick whispered, his lips full pressed against her ear. Jack shivered at his words. “I can’t lose you, Jacqueline.” His tone of voice sounded different all of sudden, his words held a desperation so intense and unexpected that Jack felt overwhelmed, and went motionless, feeling her heart stopping dead at the sound of her full name coming out from his lips. Riddick never had touched her or spoken to her the way he was doing now.
“You’re not going to lose me. I’m not going anywhere, Riddick,” Jack cupped his face in her hands, pressing their foreheads together. “I love you more than my life and I’ll die before leave you.” She whispered, fighting back tears. Riddick tensed, feeling his heart jumping inside his chest. “You’re mine and I’m yours, got it?” she found herself saying fiercely, holding his gaze. “We’re one.” She said, stroking his cheek, putting as much reassurance as she could in her words. Riddick shivered and tilted his head back a bit, locking eyes with her.
“Show me how much you love me, baby.” His words made her arch, pressing herself down onto him, driving him deeper inside her. Riddick hissed in pleasure and his hands supported her body. “That’s it, beautiful, show me, Jack. Do that again, baby. Show it to me.” In response, Jack pressed down hard as she clenched her inner muscles, gasping, moaning in pleasure louder as she did again and again. “That’s it, Jack, fuck me.” He hissed as his hips rocked harder, meeting her thrusts. “Fuck your man.”
Jack cried out with every move he made, Riddick had been thrusting gentle at first but now he was going faster and harder. Then he grabbed her waist, guiding her onto him, thrusting deeper and deeper. Jack leaned her head back, biting her lip in a vain attempt to keep herself from screaming. But, Riddick wanted her screaming in pleasure, he always loved the fact that she was a screamer and that was the reason why their bedroom was sound proof. They could hear every single noise at the other side of those four walls, but no one could hear them.
Riddick changed the angle and her back arched hard of its own accord as her hips slammed down onto him, taking him even deeper. Jack then leaned back completely and the next stroke sent her out of control, making her scream his name as an overwhelming orgasm crashed over her body.
Riddick’s head went back, thrusting his hips harder and faster as he held her hips. Jack was screaming, panting, writhing, thrashing, her fingernails scratched his forearms as Riddick roared in pleasure, coming so hard he thought he would die. Just then he thrust one final time, slamming into her as their gazes met.
They both were panting, their hearts beating in unison, pounding inside of their chests, their breaths ragged. Riddick lifted her and Jack wrapped around him, her arms holding his body tightly as he encircled her waist, burying his face in her neck. They were shaking, her inner muscles still spasming without control around him. Riddick took a ragged breath and blinked furiously, clearing his blurry vision as he felt Jack crying silently, her cheek on his shoulder.
Slowly, Riddick sat back on his heels and pressed his cheek against hers. He couldn’t move, not that he wanted to. He could stay like this forever, buried inside of his woman, his wife. Jack sighed softly and felt his cheek wet. She shivered again and tilted her head back, locking eyes with him. Then, Jack lifted a hand and gently she cleaned a stray tear that was rolling down his cheek unnoticed.
End Part I
Epilogue I (Part II)
The following day
Mariel and Alain had offered to take care of the kids the night before to leave Riddick and Jack a long night for themselves, and Lydia had been jumping up and down. Her eyes sparkled like a Christmas tree just thinking about going to sleep at their house. She already knew that Mariel was going to cook her favorite meal, not exactly healthy for a five year old kid. Alain was going to play millions of games with her before she went to bed, surely later than she should. In the end, grandparents were supposed to spoil their grandchildren, weren’t they?
Mariel froze at the doorframe at the vision in front of her. Alain was sitting in one of the rocking chairs, feeding bottle of milk to Tay who seemed mesmerized, his gaze fixed on Alain’s silver eyes that were sparkling in the dim light. Mariel found herself thinking about how Tay became Jack’s and Riddick’s son.
She had been with Jack in the market, looking for the perfect gift for Riddick’s birthday when they run to a girl who was pregnant. The girl approached them, asking for a few credits to buy something to eat. Two minutes later, Jack and Mariel were sitting with the girl in a cafe, talking with her, actually almost pulling the words out of her.
At first, the girl was frightened and she didn’t want to talk, thinking that maybe these two women wanted to take her baby from her. It wasn’t the first time that someone made that offer before, but after a moment, she finally relaxed and told them her story while devouring the meal Mariel and Jack bought for her.
It was always the same kind of sad story, repeated no end through the centuries. Her name was Cleo and her punk of a boyfriend had knocked her up, leaving her as soon as he knew about it. When her parents discovered that Cleo was awaiting a baby, they threw her out of their house, saying that they weren’t going to take care of a little slut like herself and her bastard.
She had saved some credits, doing this and that. Cleo didn’t want to go into specifics and neither Mariel or Jack wanted to know about them. They suspected what kind of things she had probably been forced to do in order to survive.
She moved to Helion Five from a nearby system as soon as she could buy a ticket and she had been living on the streets for the last month. So far the authorities hadn’t noticed her, but it would be a question of days now because she was about to give birth at any time. Cleo was only sixteen years old and surely the local authorities were going to take the baby, giving him up to adoption.
Before the day ended, Cleo was registered at the clinic inside of the complex that belonged to Strays, giving birth to a little boy who weight just 5 pounds (2,26 kg). But Cleo had been severely dehydrated and even though the staff at the clinic did all they could to save her life, she died two hours after the labor, leaving the baby alone. Before Cleo died she made them promise her that they would take care of her baby boy whose name she had already chosen, Tay.
Tay had been crying non stop since he was born and nobody seemed to know how to calm him down. He had been fed and a complete set of tests had been run. His health was fragile but he was a strong baby.
Riddick entered the clinic, looking for Jack and she told him Cleo’s story. Without a second thought, Riddick took the tiny baby in his arms, murmuring soothing words against his ear in his deep rumble as he rocked him back and forth, cuddled in his strong arms. As soon as Tay fixed his still newborn blurry vision on two silver pools that were staring back at him, and felt that deep voice resounding against his little body, he stopped his cries. Mariel and Jack crossed their gazes in silent dialogue and they both knew that Tay had met who would be without doubt his father from that night on.
Mariel blinked and her mind returned to the present. She never believed in blood laces and the evidence was in front of her face and in her life. Alain and herself had adopted Seth, a boy who was fifteen year old when Riddick brought him home one night, five years ago, and her relation with Jack was like mother-daughter.
Lydia was sitting at the table, having her breakfast while paying attention to every single word her ‘grandpa’ was saying. She was going today on an excursion to the city with other kids her age to visit a museum and Lydia was very excited because it was the first time she was going out of the complex.
Mariel’s lips spread in a huge grin, thinking about the little girl who was physically a little version of her mother. Same green eyes sparkling like stars, same hazel hair, but that was all. The rest was purely one hundred per cent Riddick’s. Lydia was only five years old but she had a strong character and she even wanted to shine her eyes, just like her dad and her grandpa.
Tay was now sleeping peacefully in Alain’s arms. Lydia loved her little brother as much as she loved her parents and themselves, and Mariel had no doubt that Lydia would protect Tay with her own life if it was necessary.
Alain was telling her the story of how Mariel and himself were reunited after more than 35 years of being apart from each other. Lydia was listening to him with her big green eyes wide open as she played absently with Mariel’s necklace that was now hung from her neck, while continuing to chew her cereal. Lydia was taking in each and every single detail about the story, and Mariel was lost in thought, hearing her husband describing the scene.
Mariel was sitting, her hands trembling slightly while holding a cup of steamy tea. She was as nervous as a teenager on her first date and, in some bizarre way, for Mariel it was her first date again even if she was in her mid fifties.
She had arrived two weeks ago in New Mecca, just a couple of days after Jack and Riddick, and she had stayed at one of the houses belonging to a close friend of Imam’s. Mariel had been enjoying endlessly the company of other people; at the end she had been living confined at the military facility located in Onix since the day The Firm simulated her own death. Funny, she had been living in a golden prison, surrounded by all kinds of indecently expensive shit, but at the end she had been as much a prisoner as Alain, and she was now realizing that fact.
She had chosen, with the help of Jack and Danielle, a dress that matched the colour of her eyes and Lajjun had made her hair in a simple bow. The dress was an elegant classic model that revealed subtly her curves. She might be in her mid fifties, but she was still in shape and Mariel even flushed slightly when Riddick gave her the once over, letting out a soft growl just like he did the first time he laid eyes on her.
Jack and Riddick had driven her to the space port and now she was sitting with Jack at her side, waiting for Alain while Riddick had gone to look for him. The ship was about to land in the next minutes and Mariel found herself getting more and more nervous with every second that passed.
She took her cup of tea and sipped from it, making her best to not drop it. Jack smiled as she took her hand in hers, squeezing it gently and Mariel couldn’t help but jump a little, causing Jack to grin like a loony.
“Don’t you make fun of me, Jack.” She whined. Jack smiled broadly, tapping her hand.
“You have to relax, Mariel.” Jack teased as Mariel narrowed her eyes, groaning.
“That’s ease to say, but difficult to do,” she whispered, feeling her heart starting to race. Slowly, as if she was afraid to know the time, Mariel glanced at the clock that was hanging from the wall in front of her. It was almost 8pm in New Mecca. He will be at any time crossing that door. “Oh, my God! I think I’m going to have a heart attack.” Mariel gasped, pressing a hand against her chest, feeling her heartbeat speed. Jack laughed softly and bent her head, kissing her cheek.
“Leave that line for tonight, sweety.” Jack mocked, receiving on the part of Mariel a love tap on her hand.
“Aw, shut up, Jack.” She hissed, rolling her eyes, but she couldn’t stop the huge grin that graced her trembling lips. Jack shook her head and took a sip of her tea.
All the passengers had left already the ship and no trace of Alain was detected. Riddick frowned deeply as he headed directly to the ramp, greeting a couple of employees who were working that shift. It had started to get dark in New Mecca, so he pulled up his goggles, fixing his gaze on the ramp when finally he caught a glance of Alain.
He was at the top of the ramp, looking to a spot only he could see and it seemed he was lost in thought. Riddick narrowed his eyes and walked the last steps, stopping at the end of the ramp.
“Ain’t got the whole fucking night, old man, so you better move that skinny ass of yours.” He growled, smirking. At the sound of his voice, Alain blinked furiously and focused his gaze on Riddick, a small grin tugging his lips.
“Give an old man a break.” Alain scolded him as his grin grew wide. Riddick rolled his eyes, shaking his head.
“Save that line for your woman tonight, Hacker.” He replied, chuckling. In response, Alain tensed slightly, his brain racing.
What was he going to tell her? How was she going to react? What if she didn’t love him anymore? What if she didn’t like his eyes? Alain was shaking like a teenager, his mind a complete chaos. More than thirty five years had passed. He was just a skinny old man with almost no hair, so full of doubts and so scared that he thought he was going to puke. His heart was beating fast inside of his chest and at any time he was going to have a heart attack. What was he thinking at his age?
Riddick watched his pale face, playing all the emotions that were overwhelming Alain and he couldn’t help but felt pity for him. Alain was scared to death and Riddick started to suspect that the old man was going to faint at any time.
“Hacker?” Riddick called him. Alain stared at him. “Time to face your own fears, old man. You’re not alone anymore and that woman has been waiting long enough.” He added, his voice cold yet tinted with something else he even couldn’t place. In response, Alain took a ragged breath and nodded ‘yes’, walking down the ramp.
Looking around her, Mariel started to play with the necklace, rolling the black lace between her fingers, biting her lower lip when from the corner of her eye, she saw Riddick, and behind him…. Oh my God! Her voice exclaimed silently as she saw Alain.
He was there, a few meters from her. As tall as she remembered him, dressed elegantly but not in excess, goggles covering his eyes. Her heart stopped dead just to match his, that was pounding like a drum. Slowly, Mariel stood and smiled shyly.
Alain’s heart jumped inside of his chest at the vision in front of him. Mariel was there, looking at him, her eyes sparkling like he never had seen them before. His shined eyes took in every detail, fixing them in his brain.
Jack stood and went to Riddick’s side, knowing that suddenly they weren’t there for the couple.
The world had vanished completely a few seconds before and only both of them were standing, looking at each other, frozen in place not knowing what to do or say at that very moment.
How could mere words explain what they were feeling? There weren’t words to describe the emotions that were overwhelming them, wrapping their hearts and souls like an invisible veil. Time stopped around them and it seemed as if all those years they were apart never existed. All doubts and fears vanished at once. They were again together and nothing else mattered.
Hesitantly, Alain moved forward, stopping a few feet from her and pulled up his goggles, blinking a couple of times, his eyes sparkling with unshed tears. Mariel held his gaze and felt her heart being ripped apart at the vision of those silver eyes flickering to hers. At that exact moment, she understood how much he had loved her if he had mutilated himself to make worth the sacrifice she made, and suddenly that sacrifice didn’t mean anything compared to what he had done.
Alain lifted a trembling hand, and hesitantly, as if he was sure that she was going to vanish at any time, he lifted it to her cheek and stroked it softly, just to test if she was really there in front of him. Alain wasn’t sure that he would wake up at any time, crying because she was dead.
All those years full of pain, desperation and anger were forgotten as soon as they were able to touch the other again. They went silent for a long moment, just feeling each other. Both of them were shaking and neither of them were sure if their legs were going to be able to support their weight. Finally, Alain took a ragged breath and swallowing hard the invisible knot in his throat, he found his voice that sounded hoarse and thick.
“No matter what they said. You were always my beautiful woman.” He whispered, nose to nose with her, his eyes still closed. “I love you, Mariel.” He said as he tilted his head back a bit, kissing her lips softly. Mariel felt her legs go weak as soon as she heard his voice and felt his lips on hers. She opened her eyes and lifted a hand, stroking his cheek.
“I always loved you, Alain.” She whispered, silent tears rolling down her cheeks as she pressed her trembling body against his, kissing him.
End Flash Back
“So, you already told him,” Mariel said as she made herself comfortable at Jack’s side, taking her hand in hers. Jack nodded ‘no’ absently as she stroked softly her son’s head who was peacefully sleep in his cradle.
“Not yet,” she breathed.
“Why not?” She asked. Jack frowned deeply.
“I don’t know….I was going to tell him last night, but…” She trailed off as a huge shiver crossed her spine, remembering how they had made love and Riddick’s eyes sparkling with an emotion she only had seen once before. Fear. Mariel noticed and squeezed Jack’s hand gently.
“Do you want us to go pick Lydia from that excursion to the city?” She asked, not letting go her gaze off her. Jack nodded ‘no’.
“No. It’s ok. You stay here with Tay. Riddick sent me a message, Seth is going to take care of that.” She answered absently as she stood. “I’m going to the clinic.” Jack added as she kissed Mariel’s cheek, then went outside without another word, still unable to get Riddick’s gaze off her mind.
Riddick walked with long strides directly to the gym. As he walked he couldn’t push aside the strange sensation that was overwhelming him with every minute that was passing by. His instinct was telling him that something was wrong, but Riddick couldn’t place what exactly. His mind went back to his dream, the one from the night before, and in seconds, his animal side rose, rumbling agitated as his blood boiled inside his veins.
Jack sent him a message telling him that she would meet him at the gym because Seth was going to go pick up Lydia, leaving her at Alain’s and Mariel’s place. It seemed that Jack was going to leave Lydia and Tay with their grandparents for another night.
A soft growl escaped his lips when Riddick remembered how everything started six years ago with Seth becoming the first kid who gave sense and form to what would turn out to be their most precious project; ‘Strays’.
If anyone would have been able to say in advance how Richard B. Riddick was going to use his knowledge; he would have burst out laughing, hard, shaking his head in disbelief. A convicted murderer training kids in self-defense? Memories came floating as he closed his eyes, sighing hard.
Riddick had been fighting with Jack about some shit that right now he couldn’t remember at all. Not that it mattered. It seemed as if lately everything he was doing, thinking or talking about always pissed her off. Surely the fact that her hormones were out of control wasn’t helping either. Jack was pregnant with his baby. A girl according to the last ultrasound test.
As soon as Riddick knew about the sex of the baby, he braced himself for what was coming. He didn’t know the reason why, but Riddick suspected that two women around him 24/7 wasn’t going to be a joy ride at all. He frowned deeply, thinking in advance about how to deal with both of them when they were in that time of the month, and he couldn’t help but laugh out loud because he was anticipating events that would take place a lot of years from the present moment. It felt really good to be able to make plans and think that far into his future. Yeah, Rick, it feels fucking good, he said to himself, still laughing.
However, tonight Riddick wasn’t in the mood for another round of Jack’s screams and tears, yelling at the top of her lungs that he was going to take care of himself from now on until his dick seemed a joystick, adding that it was all his fucking fault. As if she wasn’t there when it happened. He chuckled silently.
So, Riddick decided that it would be better if he kept himself out of her sight, at least for a couple of hours. He knew full well what was going to happen as soon as he was back from his walk. A small grin graced his lips as he continued walking. At least when Jack wasn’t bitching, she was fucking the shit out of him. Riddick’s grin widened as he glanced at the open sky, giving silently thanks to Imam’s God for pregnant hormones.
All of sudden, voices echoed in the almost completely dark alley, pulling Riddick out of his pleasant thoughts, making him come to a stop, hiding his presence in the shadows as his inner beast lifted its head in silent alert.
“Now, now, look what we got here, Mike.” One man said, licking his lips. A short laughter was the answer from the man called Mike as he pulled out a shiv, the light reflecting on the blade when he brandished it in the air. “Come here, bitch. I’ve gotta have a piece of that ass.” He added with a dirty grin on his lips, making the others burst out laughing.
It was then that Riddick saw him. A kid no older than fourteen, maybe sixteen years old. He was surrounded by four guys armed with blades. A deep low growl left Riddick’s lips when he noticed the dirty glances those fuckers had flashing in their eyes and all of sudden he saw himself facing that same situation.
Riddick narrowed his silver eyes as his inner beast stood to pace the paths of its cage, rumbling. The kid was trapped with no way out, but Riddick didn’t smell fear coming from him, quite the opposite, the boy pulled out a shiv and tighten his grip around the handle, facing them. Kid has balls, Riddick chuckled silently.
The kid’s shiv was a fucking joke and his hand was trembling slightly and Riddick found himself shaking his head. You won’t see another daylight, kid. With his eyes still narrowed behind his goggles, Riddick tightened the grip on his shivs and watched the kid’s moves.
He was fast and graceful, avoiding the guys attack, but they were just playing him if the kid hadn’t realized that by now. He was all heart concerning fighting, no technique at all, and definitively not enough coldness to get out of there alive. In minutes the kid was going to seal his own fate and everything would be done.
Riddick wasn’t expecting this sudden change in the events and he sure as hell wanted to leave his past there, in the past. But Jack completed the circle, she made possible the miracle and now there was no turning back. He had changed forever. So, Riddick cursed himself silently and stepped out of his dark spot, reveling his presence.
The four guys were playing with the kid, letting him think that he was going to get out of there, but they were just exhausting him, making him rush to one after another. Suddenly, from nowhere they saw a man standing a few meters from them and they went motionless. The kid glanced at Riddick from the corner of his eye and, without a second thought, he used the distraction his presence caused to rush one of the men from behind, growling. It was just a stroke of luck, but he managed to slash the man’s throat and the man fell to his knees, grabbing his neck just to collapse onto the ground already dead.
The kid moved backward, shocked, he couldn’t believe that he had actually killed one of them. He went motionless, holding his now blood stained shiv in trembling hands, panting and sweating. He could feel his heart pounding inside his chest and swallowed hard, forcing his nausea back, as he fixed his gaze on his hand and saw it covered with blood. His eyes were wide open and he collapsed to the floor on his knees.
Riddick narrowed his eyes when he saw the kid’s reaction and after a second, returned his attention to the three men who were still trapped in the shocking image displayed in front of them. Too fast for them to know what happened next. One second they were watching his partner dead and the kid on his knees, next second the man became a shadow in motion, slashing and cutting. The next thing the kid saw was the three men lying on the floor as dead as their partner, and the man was cleaning two curved shivs on one of the fuckers’ shirt.
The kid swallowed hard, blinking furiously. He hadn’t seen or had heard the man at all. His hands were still trembling and his heart was beating so fast he thought he would have a heart attack. He looked at the four corpses for a couple of seconds and then back at the man. He was tall, bald, dressed in black clothes and his body was radiating danger all over himself.
The kid felt his heart skip a beat and moved backward as soon as the man lifted his head, looking at him. It was then that he noticed the man was wearing goggles. Riddick couldn’t help but smirk, now he could smell the kid’s fear. He hadn’t been scared of four men who wanted to rape and kill him, but it scared the shit out of him just looking at himself after what he had done. But, in spite of that fact, Riddick saw how the kid was staring at him straight in the face and Riddick noticed a slight trace of defiance in his eyes.
“Who the fuck are you, old man?” The kid asked, raising his chin defiantly, his voice didn’t match his bravado, holding his fear. Riddick chuckled at his words and in one fast move he rushed to the kid, making him stumble and fall on his bottom, one curved shiv now pressed against his neck.
“Watch your mouth, kid,” Riddick growled as he slowly lifted his goggles, resting them on his forehead. The kid’s breath caught as he gasped in shock, but in spite of his fear, the kid found himself unable to take his gaze off Riddick’s eyes. Swallowing hard, he cleared his throat.
“How can I get eyes like those?” The kid asked. Riddick knit a brow as he stood, releasing the boy.
“Gotta kill a few people.” Riddick replied, a slight grin tugging his lips. The kid chuckled at his answer as he got to his feet, looking down at his hand. He then shivered and lifted his head, holding Riddick’s gaze.
“I just did.” He retorted as he mimicked Riddick’s grin. In response, Riddick chuckled and turned around, looking at the four men dead, thinking if his acts were going to have other consequences apart from the fact that there was four fuckers less to worry about from now on.
Riddick didn’t know exactly what pushed him, maybe it was the fact that he knew what was coming, or maybe because that kid and his current situation reminded him of himself too much, the result was that Riddick found himself not wanting to let that kid face his own damned fate and before his brain registered his words, Riddick was speaking.
“Have you got a place to go, kid?” He asked as he crouched at the side of one of the men, searching his pockets. “Family? Friends?” He continued looking for their ID cards, getting ready to make the corpses disappear. The kid narrowed his eyes in suspicion and after a moment of hesitation he got to his feet.
“I’m not a fucking kid and I didn’t need your help.” He said fiercely. “Been taking care of myself for a long time, old man.” Riddick went motionless, and turned around, jumping to his feet so fast that the kid almost lost his balance again.
“Listen, kid. You don’t know shit about me, so if I were you, I’d cut the old man shit. Got it?” His voice was cold and hard and the kid felt a shiver running down his spine. “I’ve saved your sorry ass, tonight, and I’m not gonna kill you, but don’t push your luck, boy. I might change my mind at any time.” With that, Riddick turned again and continued with his task.
The kid was lost in thought, struggling with himself, while watching how the man was still pulling out from their pockets any thing that could be used to identify those guys, recalling what he had said.
Certainly, if that guy with silver eyes wanted to kill him he would have done it already, and he sure as hell had saved him from a painful end to his short life, no matter if he wanted to make him believe that he didn’t need his help. He had been living on the street for quite a long time now, since the day their parents died and so far he had survived. However, it was the first time that somebody else had helped him without asking for some kind of ‘payment’ in return.
He wasn’t stupid, he knew full well that what had happened tonight could happen again. It wasn’t that Airun was that dangerous a city, but still from time to time there were ships that landed with all kind of scum. At the end, Helion system was located on one of the main routes of the pilgrims on their way to the new territories at the frontiers.
He didn’t want to face that uncertain future without being ready and sure as hell, he was more than tired of being alone, wandering and loafing around. The kid knew full well that he had been taking his luck for granted, but how much longer he was going to be able to survive on the streets? At the end he was just fifteen years old. Why didn’t he deserve to have an opportunity like other kids his same age? Maybe that dangerously lethal man had crossed paths with him for some reason. Maybe it was a bizarre sign of how wrong he had been until know, thinking that he didn’t need anyone else apart from himself.
Riddick glanced at him from the corner of his eye and noticed how the kid was deeply lost in thoughts. It seemed like he was a good kid with bad luck. Surely he had been living on the streets for a while, surviving on his own and so far he was still alive. Riddick frowned thinking about what Jack, Mariel and Alain would say about this, and for a second, Riddick couldn’t help but curse himself silently. Fuck, Rick! You’re just a damn hopeless case, a pussy, he scolded silently, shaking his head.
The kid was still lost in thoughts when Riddick spoke again. “What’s your name?” In response, he shook his head and looked at him.
“Seth. Yours?” Riddick chuckled as he hoisted one of the bodies over his shoulder .
“You sure want to know, Seth?” Was Riddick’s answer as an evil grin graced his lips. Seth narrowed his eyes in suspicion but found himself nodding ‘yes’. Riddick tilted his head to one side, thinking if he should tell this kid his real name, pondering the after effects of saying it aloud.
He didn’t use it anymore. Just Jack called him ‘Riddick’ and always in the privacy of their bedroom or when there was no one around, using ‘Richard’ if she was pissed off with him. Mariel and Alain stuck with ‘Rick’ and for the rest of the people he was Richard Mathews, self defense and pilot instructor. After what had seemed an eternity, finally Riddick broke the silence.
Seth’s eyes were wide open, his mouth hanging open almost touching the floor as soon as he put two and two together. Silver eyes, shivs, dangerous…. Shit! Seth exclaimed silently. He had heard about Richard B. Riddick, escaped convict and murderer. He was more than a legend amongst the strays from other planets that Seth ran with over the last year. Holy shit! His mind screamed.
Riddick was almost a myth. The stories about how he had escaped slams, where he had landed, including those that were triple max prisons such as ‘Butcher Bay’, ‘Ursa Luna’ and the old ‘Xela’, and how he had survived a dead planet that was full of carnivorous winged hammerheads were constantly on their mouths.
Of course, those stories had been exaggerated to the point that there were more than just one who really thought Riddick was immortal. Others used to say that God was scared of Riddick and that the Devil didn’t want him around. And even some people believed that he had made a pact with the Devil itself to which they both stayed out of the others business. Nevertheless, no one had had news about Riddick over the last year. He had disappeared from the galaxy after the bounty upon his head was revoked. So, naturally, the absence of fresh news only increased the speculations about Richard B. Riddick’s myth.
Riddick had laughed out loud about those stories. There was nothing exciting or exceptional in the kind of life he had been forced to live since he was a little child until he found Jack on Thalion. If only they had known that there wasn’t anything more amazing for him than spending endless hours making love to his wife or sitting talking with Alain…. Richard B. Riddick wasn’t any longer that outlaw who those kids venerated, he was now husband, soon father, partner and even son. However, he was still as dangerous as always and no one who crossed paths with him dared to fuck around with Riddick.
“Are you fucking kidding me!” Seth asked, his brows arched completely. Riddick rolled his eyes, shaking his head.
“No. Now move your ass and help me with these fuckers.” He replied as he turned around, walking in the opposite direction from where he came. Noticing that Seth didn’t follow him, Riddick spoke over his shoulder. “Ain’t got the whole night, kid, so keep that ass moving.” His tone of voice didn’t leave any room to disobey, so Seth frowned deeply and after a moment, he went to one of the guys and grabbing his ankles, he started to drag the lifeless body along the alley, following Riddick.
End flash back
When he was about to open the gym door, he heard Seth inside, working out. Riddick glanced at his chrono, it was now 4 pm and he used to train with Seth and Jack after the training sessions when the kids were finished. Riddick pushed the gym door open and his eyes wandered around. Seth was lifting a set of dumbbells and he was alone. No trace of Jack. He then tilted his head to both sides, cracking his neck bones as he went to the boy’s side.
“Hey, Seth, you already picked up my little girl?” Riddick asked as he helped Seth to leave the set of heavy dumbbells aside.
“Huh?” Seth replied completely puzzled as he grabbed a towel. Riddick glanced at his chrono, narrowing his eyes.
“I received Jack’s message.”
“What are you talking about? What message?” Seth asked. Riddick tensed all at once, feeling his inner beast, rising to its path, pacing its cage. In response, Seth looked at him completely lost. In two seconds, Riddick grabbed Seth’s t-shirt, pulling the boy to him as his mind started to race. “I haven’t seen Jack or Lydia since early this morning, man.” He added quickly, sensing Riddick’s beast, flashing in his eyes.
All of sudden, a vision of his most terrible nightmare popped into his mind. Fuck! Riddick cursed silently and released Seth, storming out of the gym, running as fast as he could. Seth blinked confused and after a second, he ran after him.
Damien gasped when all the lights went out, leaving the basement in complete darkness. Grunting, annoyed, he searched inside of his cargo pockets and pulled out his night vision goggles. Yeah, Big Evil, come whenever you want, motherfucker, he said silently, adjusting them onto his eyes. He then glanced at Jack, who had passed out from the lost of blood, grinning.
“I’m not done with you yet, whore,” Damien muttered as he moved backward, hiding his presence.
Alain narrowed his silver eyes as he fixed his gaze on the big screen, watching Damien who was now crouched at one corner with his paralyzer gun pointed in the direction of the door of the service lift.
“Riddick, that fucker has a paralyzer gun and he’s pointing it at the elevator, waiting for you.” Alain said through the com to Riddick. In response, he grunted tightening his jaw. Alain then looked at the other screen that showed a 3D plan of the building, searching for the shortest way to reach the basement. “There’s an emergency exit at the end of the hallway on your left side. The north entrance to the basement, it’s located at the end of the alley.”
Riddick ran along the hallway following Alain’s instructions and reached the big double door. Kicking it open, he jumped outside and headed directly to the north side of the building. When he was in front of it, Riddick heard a soft click and the door was unlocked. Slowly, he slid inside, tightening his grip on his shivs.
Alain blinked furiously and focusing his gaze on Damien’s face he noticed that the merc had night vision goggles. Grinning devilishly, Alain inserted a new code, accessing to the main generator of the building and connecting the energy while he spoke again.
“Riddick, pull down your goggles.” Riddick obliged with no hesitation and came to a stop, looking around himself. “I’m going to blind that fucker.” Alain added, linking all the energy to the lights.
From where he was, Riddick could see Jack. She was tied up onto a big table, seriously injured. The beast roared, lifting its claws at smelling her blood. He could see Jack’s chest rising and falling slightly in time with her weak breath, she was bleeding through several cuts along her legs and arms, but so far, she was still alive.
“These fuckers will never learn the fucking lesson, Hacker,” Riddick hissed as he slid like a shadow directly to where Damien was crouched. He was going to take his time with this one and he was going to tear the fucker apart.
As if Alain was able to read Riddick’s thoughts, he zoomed in the camera, holding his breath. Time was running out and they didn’t know how much blood she had already lost.
Riddick growled, narrowing his eyes when he heard Alain’s voice. “Jack’s alive, Rick, but we don’t know for how much longer. Kill that fucker fast and get out of there.” Alain hissed. He, more than anyone else aside from Riddick wanted to enjoy torturing the fucker slowly, but that required time they didn’t have at that moment.
A deep growl thundered throughout the basement and Riddick unleashed the beast from its cage as he slid silently in search of his prey.
Damien jumped to his feet when he saw Riddick and rushed at him, completely sure that they were on the same level because now both of them could see in the pitch black. Alain tensed in his chair and pressed the enter key. At once all of the lights inside the basement came up full with such power than it seemed as if ten suns were shinning. Riddick narrowed his eyes behind his goggles, groaning as Damien screamed in pain, shutting his eyes tightly. The powerful lights stabbed his optic nerves, burning his retina, blinding him.
Damien fell to his knees, covering his face with his hands, his eyes bleeding behind his goggles. Riddick blinked furiously, tears rolling down his cheeks and cursed silently. As soon as Alain checked the effects he caused with his crazy but brilliant idea, he switch off the lights, leaving the place in darkness. Riddick will be ok in a few more seconds and Damien, well, he will be blind forever, not that it mattered at this point, he wasn’t going to survive much longer anyway.
Fucking crazy old man, Riddick cursed Alain silently as he snatched his goggles. Blinking one more time, he went to Damien’s side.
“I’m the best fucking killer, asshole.” Riddick whispered in his most menacing tone of voice as he crossed his hands, stabbing Damien’s chest just to uncross them, the blades tearing apart the skin, slashing it with one powerful move.
Blood splattered everywhere around them and Riddick roared. Damien cried out when he looked down at his chest. He couldn’t see nothing, but when he touched himself, he noticed the slick of his blood. NO! he screamed silently. Riddick stood back up and circled the merc.
Riddick growled as he stabbed Jack’s shiv at the fourth lumbar, the abdominal aorta; directly at the sweet spot. Immediately, Damiens’ muscles tensed all at once, his eyes were wide open. Riddick kicked him roughly forward and Damien fell on his stomach. Then, he crouched at his side and grabbed his hair viciously, pulling up his face.
“Give my regards to the Devil, Damien.” Riddick whispered as he snapped Damien’s neck. Then, jumping to his feet, he rushed to Jack’s side. In seconds, he removed the restraints and held her body against his.
“Jack….” He whispered, gently stroking her hair.
“Riddick?” Jack hissed weakly through clenched teeth, whimpering in pain as tears spilled down her temples. Riddick breathed through his nostrils, feeling his inner beast roaring with wild rage at the smell of Jack’s blood mixed with fear, reliving his nightmare.
“I’m here, beautiful.” He said, kissing her lips gently. His voice sounded strangled and thick. Tightening his jaw, he glanced down and saw the cuts on her body. Some of them were deep, but he had the perfect tool to make them disappear. It will hurt like a bitch, but it wouldn’t leave any scar marring her body.
“I’m pregnant, Riddick…” her voice almost a weak whisper sent shivers up his spine. Riddick wrapped his arms around her with extreme gentleness, praying silently to Imam’s god for that child, begging to let it survive this.
“Holy shit, Jack,” he whispered, blinking back fresh tears. “You sure know how to shock me, beautiful.” Riddick teased her, a small grin tugging his lips. Jack chuckled weakly.
“I knew you would come for me, baby…” Jack whispered as her eyes fluttered open. “You promised…Riddick…” She said, holding his gaze. Riddick grinned slightly.
“Yeah, beautiful, I promised you.” Riddick replied gently as he cuddled her body, lifting her effortlessly. He then headed toward the alley.
A gentle rain was pouring down upon them and Riddick lifted his head, looking at the clouded sky. His nightmare became true but not exactly like it was supposed to. Jack was bleeding, fighting for her life but he wasn’t going to be a powerless witness to her death. She wasn’t going to die in his arms, at least not anytime soon, and sure as hell not tonight.
“I love you, Jack,” Riddick whispered, kissing her lips. Jack pressed herself to him as a soft whimper escaped her trembling lips.
“I love you, Riddick,” Jack breathed weakly.