The Devil's Due, Part VII

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Scene Title The Devil's Due, Part VII
Synopsis At the end of the day, the only person you have left to face is yourself.
Date December 24, 2008

Dorchester Towers: Kain's Penthouse

Right from the doorway the sheer size of this penthouse seems designed to impress. The walls and ceiling are painted in a soft eggshell white that seems to only enlarge the perception of the living space, with lightly-stained hardwood floors reflecting the daylight spilling through the partly closed blinds. Immediately across from the entrance is a raised living room with three shallow steps leading up to the carpeted landing it sits on. A plush white sofa covers one wall, with a long glass-topped table between it and a matching chaise lounge. The entire opposite wall to the side of the sofa is a gigantic window that affords a view of the nighttime skyline of New York. Sliding vertical blinds are drawn drawn closed, but twisted so they remain partly open, giving a slatted view of the New York skyline. Up against the window is a jet black leather sofa with a tall lamp with a ball-shaped shade.

Further into the penthouse, there is a large open kitchen that is in plain view of the sitting room, a black marble-topped island divides the kitchen from the main floor, and beyond the island more counterspace and brushed-metal faced kitchen appliances fill the walls. From here, a hallway can be seen that is lined with four doors; one leading to an office, two more to bedrooms, and another to a bathroom.


The dim light single lamp is the only illimunation in the spacious penthouse apartment. Out great and wide glass windows, snow falls down on a silent city, a city of dark concrete and steel sparkling with lights. Windows of skyscrapers lit up, turning cold stone towers patchworked with glass into glittering Christmas decorations.

Families are coming together for the holidays, stockings hung by the chimeney with care and all those other fine Holiday sentiments. But here in the lightless apartment, there aren't any Christmas decorations, just the silence of winter's cold grasp, and the dim reminder that there is no one to spend the holidays with.

Not for Kain Zarek.

Seated on the black leather sofa with his back to one of the picture windows, Kain's shoulders are slouched forward, hands cradling a lowball glass drained of whiskey, with the bottle of Wild Turkey almost empty on the glass-topped table in front of himself. An almost haphazardly laid out stack of money lays nearby, along with a briefcase and a snub-nosed revolver. All the fineries of Kain's life; alcohol, money and guns.

And it's times like these that reminds him that it's all he has in this life. Alcohol, money, and guns. His blue eyes close, head hanging forward as blonde locks fall down to frame either side of his face, and he can't help but be trapped in the memories of the people that aren't alive anymore, the people he's ruined for Daniel Linderman, so that he can perpetuate his life. For what? For this?

He's a sad, worthless, and hopeless man.

Kain's hands move, settling the empty glass down on the table top with a hollow thunk. His eyes remain closed, but his hands begin moving again, fingers raking up through his hair, curling and then tugging, as if he were trying to rip his head open. Kain lurches forward, eyes forced shut as he thinks back to that day.

The day all of this went so wrong, the day he took someone from their family — Christmas Eve.

"Gotta…" Kain mumbles the words, opening his eyes to narrowed slits as he peers across at the bottle of Wild Turkey, and then focuses beyond it, "Gotta give th' Devil his due." His hand shakily reaches out, knocking the bottle aside with a loud clank as it hits the tabletop. Kain reaches past the money, for the revolved, holding it uneasily in one hand.

"Damaris." A shake of his hand, and he flicks the cylinder out to one side, holding his thumb over one bullet as he tips the gun back, shaking out the five other rounds to the table, each with a loud pinging and clattering noise. Kain laughs, dryly, "Ain't you s'posed t'show up in chains…" His laughter turns dry, sardonic, "Show me mah life, mah choices…" He shakes the gun back, slapping the cylinder into place with a soft click. "…give me time to make amends? Ain't that how it works? Ain't that how it works on Christmas Eve?"

It's Christmas Eve, but Kain Zarek isn't Ebenezer Scrooge, and there's no second chances in life. You make the most of what you're given.

He rolls the cylinder over his other palm, slowly, and then with a swift motion gives it a wild spin. When it stops, his thumb pulls back on the hammer, clicking it into place with shaking fingers, "An' at th' end… Ah'd be standin' there over an empty grave, with a big ole' scary man in a black robe starin' down at me…" The barrel of the gun is pressed under Kain's chin, as far back as he can with that rueful smile still on his lips. "Then Ah'd see mah name on the gravestone, an' realize Ah' die a lonely ol' man."

His index finger hesitates as it lightly pulls down on the trigger, eyes forcing shut. Kain leans back, pressing his back up against the leather of the sofa, hand shaking for a moment, "An' Ah'd have a change of heart." He squeezes the trigger with a sudden certainty, an urgency.

Click.

Kain snorts out a laugh, ragged and broken, but his hand doesn't move the gun away. His lips curl up into an overwrought and twisted smile, "An then Ah'd wake up, an ask some kid out mah window what day it is… an' he'd tell me that it was Christmas Day…"

Click.

"An' Ah'd say…"

Click.

"There's still time."

Click.

"Time t'change…"

Click.

His next words don't come, jaw tensed and eyes closed, pressing the barrel painfully under his chin, fingers curling tightly around the grip, knuckles whitening and his head spinning through the haze of alcohol and emotion. Kain keeps his mouth forcibly shut, thinking about all of the things he's had to do to keep on living, all of the things he's needed to do to keep himself going. At everyone else's expense.

Catherine Chesterfield's expense.

Danielle Hamilton's expense.

Kaydence Damaris' expense.

Click.

Kain's eyes snap open, his breathing halts, and his hand slowly pulls the gun away from beneath his chin. Kain's tongue slowly tracks over his dry lips, and he moves the gun away, eyes wide and hand trembling as he looks down at the revolver. His hand tilts to the side, and he pushes the cylinder out, looking down into the five empty chambers where bullets should be, and the one occupied chamber where a bullet is.

His breathing comes back all at ones, a ragged and choking gasp of disbelief. Eyes blink back a misted blurriness, and he stares slack-jawed at the gun, reaching in to fumble the bullet out with two fingers, looking at it with wide eyes. He swallows, dryly, and curls the bullet into his palm.

And he has half a mind to go downstairs, and ask the doorman,

What day is today?


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December 24th: The Devil's Due, Part VI
Previously in this storyline…
The Devil's Due, Part VI

This is the end of a storyline.

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December 24th: In Thy Dark Streets Shineth
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