He wants to expand Global Industries and, with it, his tyrannical reign over the city. First, though, he must overthrow Wigco, his grandfathers company. Hell stop at nothing to spread his empire, even at the expense of his family, namely his sisters. True, Cumulus is in the business of war, but what happens when the city goes to war with itself due to Felixs meddling?
Seven years after an intense trauma, enough is enough. Determined to put things right, one of his sisters sets in motion a chain of events that might put Felixs reign of terror to an end. Felix must struggle for dominance, watchful of ever-lurking spies and adversaries. Can he succeed, or will an unexpected threat overtake him and throw him into a world of darkness where even shadows are afraid?
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.58(d)|
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A single snowflake. Solidified water that crystallizes into unique patterns and thus dances to the warm ground below, destined to be crushed with others like it. A single snowflake as unique as a single person yet just as insignificant. A single snowflake to touch someone's life and in an instant melt in the fiery passion of life. A single snowflake to chill someone's soul and make their hair stand on end. A single snowflake to —
Felix crushes the snow between his fingers and purses his lips thoughtfully looking back at his wife. "I was starting to wonder if it was ever going to snow." He plasters a goofy grin on his face and dances over to her excitedly. "Look how thick it is."
"I know. I see it. Does that mean we're going out then?" She asks, squeezing her four-year old's hand as he shivers beside her.
"It's too white." He whispers to himself looking at the soft blanket beneath their feet. Someone screams and he rushes to the ledge, about to leap down to the street below.
"STOP!" He looks back to his wife seeing her long straight coffee-brown hair blow in the wind. His eyes widen. "What do you think you're doing? You're not a super hero. You can't fly. If you want to go downstairs, take the elevator." He blinks looking behind her before beaming and skipping up to her, kissing her.
"Thank you!" He giggles happily staring straight into her teal eyes, his hands wrapping around her head as he presses their foreheads together, an easy task since he was slightly more than an inch taller than her. "What would I do without you?"
"Plunge to your death because you're too dumb to remember you can't fly. I guess it's not your fault, though." She pulls her head back and strokes his fluffy fudge-colored hair saying, "Your hair looks like a mushroom cloud again. You need a haircut."
"Daddy? Can we play in the snow?" The four-year old asks. Felix smiles sadly.
"Daddy has to go to work right now but when he comes back, we'll have hot chocolate and make snow angels, ok?" He glances to his wife asking if she'll do the snow-angels. She nods understandingly.
"And snowball fights?" Alistair asks.
"All day long." Al grins and Meliora sighs happily, picking her son up.
"Shall we go?" She asks and Felix grins and nods, his forest green eyes flashing. He passes by one of his subordinates in the hall.
"Look after Al while we're gone. Make sure he doesn't look out the window."
"Yeah, yeah." Keichi states sighing boredly as he takes Alistair from his 23-year old mother. Felix's grin widens as he takes Melee's hand, skipping out the door.
"Yay! I'm so excited! We finally get to play in the snow!!!" "Too bad no one else is as excited as you."
"I know! Those party poopers! That's why there will barely be a demon alive once we're done tonight." He grabs his favorite sword and lets go of his wife's hand as they reach the front doors of Global Industries. He throws the doors open, running outside into the frigid air, ready for the screams to start up. Melee smirks and follows after him. They run past a diner, deciding to work their way back to the building, knowing all too well how exhausting the snow-play would be.
In the diner a tall black-haired man sighs sitting across from a stylish blonde whose tan was slowly fading. "Looks like it's that time of the year again when the city gets her period." The blonde jokes and the black haired man looks at him unamused, the corners of his mouth slide down a bit further than they normally were. His long fingers caress a mug of coffee, the black nail polish chipped off his fingernails from the grinding work of collecting monsters. The blonde considers suggesting his friend repaint them. The blood was starting to show again.
"A bit crude, Yuji." Yuji Yamamoto shrugs, his emerald eyes glancing away. Best to shrug it off and change the subject.
"Why can't it be summer again? I miss the beach. I need the beach. I'm getting too pasty. Soon I'll look like you." He sticks his tongue out playfully and his companion's pale orange eyes flash slightly.
"Beach bum," Basilius says, his eyes sweeping back out the window. Yuu pouts.
"I can't help it. The sun loves me. I'm too cute to be pale."
"If you say so." They sit in silence for a while. After a while Bas says with a sigh, "I hate it when it snows."
"Do you think we'll catch them?" Yuu asks, pulling his hoodie on tighter.
"It's a long shot now that it's snowing. Mermaids prefer warmer waters." They sit in silence again and Yuu watches Bas drink his coffee, watching the snow. He always seemed extra lonely when it snowed and Yuu never understood why. He glances down at the empty plate and fork in front of him where a strawberry cheesecake once sat, deciding he really didn't like the aura of isolation Bas was putting out right now.
"It's too cold to sleep alone." His green eyes stare once again at the steam rising from his companion's mug. "I think I'll go stay with my girlfriend tonight."
"Just be careful," Bas says boredly.
"Will do!" Yuu beams.
"You're more of a danger to yourself than Felix is and he's killing a third of the population out there every time it snows." Yuu's grin disappears instantly and he puffs his lower lip out.
"That's so mean. I'm not that clumsy!!" He gestures and blinks, accidentally knocking the mug off the table, wincing as he hears the ceramic break. "My bad." He looks around suspiciously before pointing to Bas. "He did it!!!"
"Just go get fucked! You're worse than living with a woman when you've gone more than a week without a good humping." Yuu's pout deepens trying to look even cuter.
"Bas?" He asks suddenly turning serious.
"How many women have you lived with?"
"Not that many."
"No more questions. Just go to Aria's. I'm rather sick of seeing your face." Bas smiles teasingly and Yuu pouts again.
"So mean! Mr. Grumpy Pants needs some sugar. Waitress!! A slice of chocolate pie for my friend who needs desperately to get laid and hyped up on sugar, pwetty pwease?" He states batting his lashes at her as she giggles. Bas sighs, rubbing his eyes, desperately wishing he didn't know his room-mate.
"Just go, Yuu, and be careful." Yuu grins.
"You too." The blonde exits the diner and pulls his hoodie even tighter. He hears the screams and looks off in the direction it came from. They usually stayed together. Safest to head in the opposite direction. He runs down the block and down an alley before looking at the dirtied brick buildings around him. Global territory. He glances both ways and tries to decide which way to go. Aria's apartment was close to where the screams were coming from, so he needed to be careful. He bites his lip, crossing the street, a couple demons running past trying to find shelter. The back way was probably the safest. He stops. It was quiet. The screams then head in a different direction like a police siren coming after him. His eyes widen. Shit. He darts into an alley and presses himself behind a crate as a bunch of people scurry past, the maniacal murderers chasing after them. Yuu swallows, his heart pounding as he backs up. He needed to be careful not to — "Shit!" He trips over a trash can hearing it clatter and echo off the walls. He leaps up, running off as fast as he could. He makes it to the other side of Cumulus where most of the buildings were gleaming and the debris scrubbed off as much as could be. It was interesting the duality of the city depending on which company was closer. One side was stained by Felix Reed's tyrannical insanity and the buildings were left to age and wither in Cumulus's underhanded politics. The other side glistened under his germaphobe grandfather's order. Yuji pants lightly, slowing down. He glances back listening to the distant screams. He comes to a stop and tugs on his hoodie, allowing himself to catch his breath. They weren't following him. He exhales a sigh of relief feeling his heart pounding in his chest. Yuu shudders to think what the city would be like if Felix ever seized control of the whole thing. At least the laws forbade Felix from using his demonic abilities. Some demons were more advantaged than others. That's why the laws were enforced no matter who you were, no matter who controlled the police. He looks down at the snow seeing bloodied trail marks. They had already been here. It should be safe now. He glances back one more time and runs to his girlfriend's apartment. It should be safe. For now.CHAPTER 2
Evelyn Isabelle Masons stares out the window listening to the screams around the city. Why didn't people just get inside as soon as the first snowflake fell? She strokes the left side of her face, scratching it lightly underneath her swooped fudgy bangs. Her golden eyes flick to her reflection when she hears a voice behind her. "Your face is fine," Damien says softly laying his cards down on the table as Evie's twin nods looking over at her. "You should come away from the window."
"But he's out there." Evie says looking back at the other two, her left hand falling to her side, the left side of her face still heavily draped by her bangs.
"It's best to leave him alone when it's snowing." Rose says softly as she eyes her twin. They used to look the same with the exception of her hazel eyes compared to Evie's gold. They both had long wavy brown hair with square cut bangs. They both had slender waists and a bust line that was large enough to cause back problems. They both had the same facial features and they both were the same height. If not for their eyes, people weren't able to tell them apart. Then a few years ago, her sister was in the hospital beside her with her face ripped half off. Since then Evie wore her bangs long and side-swept to hide the scars that, by now, had long since faded. At that point, Felix disowned them and they hadn't seen him since. Rosemary Emmeline Masons glances back to the snow outside wondering exactly what happened that night to make Felix keep his distance and to propel him on his vicious rampage. No matter the cause, it was obvious her sister needed to keep from being seen by him.
"She's right," Damien agrees. "Your brother is dangerous. Not even Basil White was able to save you from him." Evie looks down, scratching her face once more, distant nightmares bubbling forth. What did he know about that night?
"Come on. Why don't you just take a seat and play with us?" Rose asks smiling at her sister, getting up to hug her, and pull her towards the table. Evie's eyes flick to the reflection of her bangs, a jagged scar flashing through her mind.
"No. This has gone on long enough. I'm going to go stop him!" Evie says, pushing against her busty sister as she heads for the coat closet. Rose looks back to her red-headed fiancé.
"You're not seriously thinking of confronting him on a night like this, are you? He hasn't seen either of us since that night!" No. Evie going out there was way too dangerous. Everyone knew he would slash at everyone but Melee. Evie's idea to confront him was downright suicidal. What if she made it even worse?
"And it's about time he faced his past, don't you think?" She asks looking at her sister before looking back to Damien sitting in front of the fire.
"No. I don't think it's a good idea," he disagrees. She sighs and shakes her head, grabbing her coat. She needed closure. That was something they didn't understand. This wasn't about stopping him and appealing to him to make him a better man. No. This was about giving her the closure she never got. Did she blame him for what happened? Absolutely not, but she did need him to at least accept what happened and let them both move on. Felix was her big brother. She loved him. What he was doing in isolating himself wasn't fair to her or him or anyone else.
"It's worth a try." She walks downstairs, swallowing, starting to lose her nerve as she hears the screams off in the distance. She shivers in the snowy air following the footprints, her hands shoved deep into her pockets, tucking her face into her coat. She exhales as Melee tosses a woman towards her husband. Felix spins around decapitating the woman and Melee's grin widens. The blood splashes in her face and she wipes it off with a bloodied hand. She pulls her knife out and digs it into the back of a man trying desperately to get away, his legs severed from his body, his arms painfully pulling him across the snow. He cries out as she digs away, cutting the flesh and muscle from him, pulling out his intestines. Evie feels her stomach churn as Melee jumps on her husband, wrapping the intestines around his neck, pulling him into a kiss. He grins and grabs her ass playfully before turning his attention back to his sword. Seeing the carnage in person was worse than Evie could have imagined, but at least they weren't using their full abilities. At least Felix wasn't that dumb. The laws prohibiting that would surely put an end to his rampage. "Felix!" He stops dead and looks back at her, his grin instantly fading. He releases his wife and swallows, starting to dart in the opposite direction. "FELIX!!!" Melee watches him and walks towards her sister-in-law.
"What are you doing out here?"
"I came to see him."
"He doesn't want to see you. I thought that was made obvious. You should go home," Melee says calmly.
"No. Not until I talk to him."
"He doesn't want to talk to you."
"He needs to take responsibility!"
"It was an accident. Look, just go home before you get sick." Melee tries to push her back in the direction she came from and Evie's eyes narrow, slapping her. Melee blinks, stunned, her cheek stinging.
"Get out of my way, bitch. I'm talking to him. This needs to be resolved. I don't blame him, but he needs to fucking accept what happened that night. He owes me that much at least!"
"No he doesn't. It was an accident. Now go home before something regrettable happens."
"Regrettable like what?" Melee grips her sword tighter.
"It might be better for my dear husband if you weren't around to plague his dreams. Not having to see your face would be a godsend." She steps forward and Evie frowns, backing off. Melee was serious.
"This isn't over, Melee."
"Go home." Melee says, more softly and Evie's eyes water as her sister-in-law turns around and walks off, finding her husband breathing raggedly behind a building.
"Is she gone?" Melee peers around the corner and nods, wrapping her arms around Felix.
"She's gone. I got rid of her."
"What was she doing out here? What if we had killed her?"
"She just wanted to reopen old wounds. Don't worry, Darling. I got rid of her." Felix looks down, his sword slipping from his fingers.
"Suddenly I just want to go home. I think I've had enough fun for the night." He looks up at her, his eyes watering. She looks at him sadly before sighing.
"Are you sure?" He nods and she picks his sword up. "Then we'll go home." She kicks the snow with her boot and he sniffles, covering his eyes, snuggling into her shoulder, feeling her free hand instantly reach up to stroke his hair. He could hear Evie's screams echoing in his head.
"She just had to come outside, didn't she?"
"I'm sorry, Darling." His breath rattles as lets her lead him home, back to Global Industries.
Evie slowly walks through the streets, lost in painful thoughts. She scratches the left side of her face in slow hesitating strides as she fights the oncoming tears back. Why was everyone so set on keeping her in this place? Felix wouldn't face her. Bas wouldn't acknowledge her. Her father and her grandfather do their best to keep away from anything that could be associated with that night. But then she couldn't really blame them. She herself refused to think about it half the time. She wouldn't speak of it, she wouldn't acknowledge it. She tried actively to forget about it but every time it snowed, it was like being slapped in the face with that nightmare all over again. She pauses in a familiar neighborhood, sniffling as she holds her tears at bay. She looks up, squinting through the white flakes seeing Bas peering out his window. The curtains close and she breaks down into tears. It just wasn't fair.CHAPTER 3
Yuu grins snuggling into Aria. "The screams have stopped." She notes and Yuu looks up into her green eyes, stroking her warm tanned skin. "Do you think they're done already?" Her thick accent questions and he sighs and gets up. He pads his way over to the window, tripping halfway, slamming his face into the glass. Yuu winces, rubbing his face as he peers out upon the street.
"The snow's still white. They're probably just taking a break before pulling people outside." She nods and he shivers, pouncing on the bed, squirming to get under the covers. "It's so cold. Why can't it be summer?"(Continues…)
Excerpted from "SPLATTER"
Copyright © 2018 Pan D. MacCauley.
Excerpted by permission of iUniverse.
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