So I'll get to the bodice ripper and the winter challenge and spy_fest and my Scorpia Rising: Chapter 1(TM) challenge in my own good time! Y/Y
Characters: Alex, Yassen
Word Count: 900
Summary: A triple cross
Warning(s): Character death
Author's Notes: A SUPER-LATE entry for the flash_rider challenge prompt, "Betrayal".
Disclaimer: All Alex Rider characters herein are the property of Anthony Horowitz and the Penguin Group. No copyright infringement is intended.
The boy got in as easily as Yassen had known he would. Alex Rider might try to deny that the desire for adventure ran in his blood, but the evidence was there in plain sight: who else smiled with anticipation when an internationally renowned assassin asked them to get into his car?
Alex settled back into the leather seat and snapped on his seatbelt. "Where we going?"
Deliver the boy alive.
"There is something I need to show you, little Alex."
The boy gazed out of the window, showing no anxiety or concern about where the car was taking him. His fingers fiddled with a white ipod and the insane thought that this could be the cleverest double cross of all time crossed Yassen's mind, that Alex might have been bait to lure Yassen into a false sense of security. But it was impossible. Alex was too relaxed and a lifetime of experience told Yassen that the boy had nothing to hide. The ipod was probably just an ipod.
What if he doesn't come quietly?
Subdue him, but don't kill him. His death must not be easy. He has cost me too much and I will have him pay for it.
"So where you been hiding out?"
Yassen's felt a tug as his lips at Alex's casual words, like it was something he asked assassins every day. "Here and there. Mostly in France."
"Never short of work, huh?"
"Never." Yassen glanced at the messy nest of blond hair. The boy had grown in some ways – his face was sterner, his eyes more thoughtful. They looked disapproving now. "Does it bother you? That I am never short of work?"
Alex cocked his head. "A little," he conceded, returning his gaze to the passing London landscape. It was still quite dark outside, the winter morning grey and unforgiving. "So. You not going to tell me where we're going?"
I'll show him what happens to those who cross me. I'll make him wish he'd never been born and when he begs me for death, I'll rip the little bastard's heart out.
"Not far. Trust me."
You want me to kidnap him?
"I do trust you."
For a split second the breath caught in Yassen's throat.
Snatch him on his way to school, break into his house and kill that stupid housekeeper of his, poison him, beat him into submission. I don’t really care so long as he gets here alive!
Alex's lips twitched at that response. It looked almost like he was smiling at himself for being so stupid and not quite knowing why. Yassen considered stopping the car and letting the boy get out. Instead he asked: "Do you never get scared, little Alex?"
"All the time."
His people at MI6 are delirious if they think they can protect him. There's no place on this earth he can hide from me. Remember that stupid bitch I sent back to them in small pieces? Maybe I'll do the same again. Maybe, they'll learn their fucking lesson and stop messing with things that don't concern them!
"Then you hide it well."
Alex seemed amused by Yassen's words. "Not always," he said, sounding a little disappointed by his own admission "Not if there are crocodiles involved."
Yassen's curiosity jumped and he glanced at Alex. The boy's expression was deadly serious and he seemed lost in memories. Then he turned his attention back to the road. He knew he needed to act quickly before he changed his mind and complicated his own life beyond repair. There was a turning ahead that would take them into a maze of dark streets.
"I'm sorry, little Alex," Yassen muttered as he made the turning.
"Sorry for what?"
"Many things, but mostly: Ian."
Yassen pulled the car to a halt on the side of the deserted street. His eyes were fixed on Alex while his right hand left the steering wheel and crept down the side of his seat, moving with practised ease. There, his fingers found cool metal. It sent goosepimples up his arm. They did not reach his expression.
Alex had turned to stare right at him, their eyes meeting in the semi dark. "You took away my only family..." he said. It seemed like there should have been a second part of the sentence, but he left it at that. There was surprisingly little anger in his voice. "Now you say sorry," he mused, his eyes still searching Yassen's face as though he might be able to gain a clue as to Yassen's inner thoughts.
"I wouldn't have," Yassen said. It wasn't an explanation. No, Yassen had nothing to explain. Just a simple apology "... if I'd known it would bring you into this world."
Alex's eyes stayed hard and, not for the first time, Yassen wondered whether the boy's almost strange lack of emotional reaction to fear and pain stemmed from his father or from his own brutal adventures. Then Alex turned away to stare out of the side window at an unopened shop front. It was too easy, really, almost perfect. The silenced Grach made barely a crack.
I did what I could, but he didn't leave me a choice.