Read the Prologue here: http://bit.ly/retaliationsserial
The man they wheel out to meet me is nothing like the one I imagined.
The one I saw in the newspaper photos and old press conference videos.
The monster responsible for the man I’m becoming obsessed with.
Another monster himself.
But nothing like this one. Nothing like him.
Despite the fact that, even with the passage of time leaving a myriad of wrinkles on Mr. Blaine’s face, the resemblance between him and his son is still there.
The son he forced to bear witness to his mother’s murder.
John Blaine is a shell of who he once was, ravaged by the comeuppance his son delivered to him.
I have no confirmation of this, yet, but the fact that Chase is running John’s company, and John is here, in this miserable, run down facility, can’t be a coincidence.
The nurse finishes wheeling Mr. Blaine to the rickety table.
We’re outside, in what this sad place calls a “patio”, surrounded by dirty, plastic tables and chairs.
“Just let us know when you’re done visiting.” The nurse leaves without another word.
Hm. So much for professionalism. Then again, I doubt many of the people that work in a place like this will care about how they come across.
John Blaine wastes no time with pleasantries. “Who are you?”
I swallow heavily. Aside from that, I show no other reaction to being in his presence, although there’s this violent, pulsing sense of protectiveness demanding that I inflict more damage on this man.
I don’t have to.
His son has done enough.
“It doesn’t matter who I am, only what I came to tell you,” I say.
John has a face carved out of bitterness and rage, and that roadmap of sagging skin and lines only makes the effect scarier. He glares at me from under his brow, brown eyes brimming with hostility. Eyes that are nothing like his son’s. “I won’t ask again. Who the hell are you?”
“I only came here to tell you that you failed. You didn’t succeed.”
His bushy brows jerk upward, then drop back down into a scowl with a speed that leaves me wondering if that expression is permanent. Maybe that’s why he can’t seem to sustain any other type of expression for too long. “Excuse me?”
“You didn’t break him when you took his mother from him. You might’ve changed him, and stolen many things from him, but he won in the end. And he’s not alone anymore. You are.”