So this will be the final chapter of DarkLight Redemption that I’ll be posting here on my blog. The full novel will be available very soon, and you can count on me posting here when that happens.
I will continue to post chapter on my Wattpad page until the novel is complete.
As much as it pains me to admit it, Elizabeth Stokes was right: The Elemental Executioners had done a job for Weston, and when they came to collect their fees and found out that he was gone, they turned on each other quicker than starving hyenas.
The way I see it, if a tight unit like that can turn on each other so quickly without Weston holding their leashes, then this is a much bigger problem than I’d anticipated.
Which means that I find myself reluctantly flying back to Weston Tower to admit that Elizabeth was right. I’m looking forward to that about as much as getting teeth pulled. As an added concern, I seem to have picked up a stalker.
I thanked Dominatrix, as is proper etiquette when one saves your life, and then took off on my way. I’d expected her to take that as a signal to be on her way, but once again, I was wrong.
I’ve flown around the city twice already, hoping to politely shake her, but she’s kept pace. She keeps asking questions, which I naturally ignore. But not getting a response to one question doesn’t seem to deter her from asking another. And another.
“So where does your power come from? Inner willpower? Radiation from the yellow sun?” She runs down a number of other possible origins before moving on. “I was born with mine. Which was pretty weird. But also pretty cool,” she continues, making me wonder why she didn’t name herself Chatterbox instead of Dominatrix.
“Look, Dominatrix,” I turn toward her, and float backwards for a bit, “I really do appreciate your help, but…”
“Olive!” she calls back excitedly.
“My name is Olive,” she replies with a polite smile that looks wholly out of place when surrounded by black leather.
“Okay, Olive, first: You shouldn’t go around telling people your real name,” I say matter-of-factly, “Defeats the purpose of the mask. Secondly: I’m on my way to handle some important business. So I have to say goodbye,” I finish.
“What important business?” she asks, her excitement ramping up again.
“It doesn’t concern you.” I’m irritated, but her vibe is somewhat endearing.
“But I can help!” she offers. “Like I helped back there with the Element Guys!”
“Elemental Executioners,” I correct her. “How long have you been doing this again?”
“I’m still learning the business, and I know you’ve been in it for a while,” she states. “So I was hoping to…y’know…hang with you for a bit.”
I’m getting the sense that shaking her is a lost cause. So I try a different route.
“Trust me, when you’re wearing the mask, you’ll want to stick with codenames,” I explain. “I’m going to see Elizabeth Stokes. She’s got a job that I need to handle.”
“That’s funny. When I asked her about you yesterday, she told me your contract expired.”
“This is a different kind of job,” I clarify. “So if you want to tag along, be my guest.”
She zooms closer to me and stops right at my side. I can make out her emerald green eyes through the mask now. I search the rest of her rounded, pale-ish face, and long straight black hair, but I’m still unable to put my finger on where I know her from.
We coast the rest of the way side by side and land a block away from Weston Tower. The heat’s on after the mess the Elemental Executioners made, so we use one of the secret underground entrances. It’s a converted length of sewer that leads directly to the basement of Weston Tower.
As the elevator arrives at Weston’s office, the doors open to reveal a smug Elizabeth with an I-told- you-so look on her face.
I’d love nothing better than to flip her off and step right back into the elevator, but there’s too much at stake. So I lead Dominatrix to Elizabeth in a whipped-dog posture.
“Ah, dear Thomas, how lovely to see you again so soon,” Elizabeth purrs.
“Thomas?” Dominatrix jumps in. “Your name’s Thomas?”
“Do you mind?” I ask Elizabeth, ignoring Dominatrix. “I’m trying to maintain a secret identity here.”
“Or do you prefer to go by Tommy?” Dominatrix asks from behind me.
“Apologies,” Elizabeth says without the least bit of an apologetic tone. “After seeing you two on the news, I assumed that you were partnering up now.”
“We’re not,” I correct her and look at Dominatrix over my shoulder.
“Tom-Tom!” she exclaims with a smile.
“Just Tom. Aw hell,” I say, finally turning to face her while I pull off my mask. “Not like this is doing any good here.”
“Thank God!” Dominatrix gasps. “This thing gets soooo uncomfortable sometimes.”
She slides off her mask and pulls off what turns out to be a black wig. She shakes out her short, red hair, and I finally realize who she is.
“Hey, you’re the cute girl from yesterday!” I blurt out.
“You think I’m cute?” she smiles and bats her eyelashes at me.
“No!” I say with a little too much emphasis. “Well, yes, but that’s not…” I take a breath and turn back to Elizabeth. “You were right,” I tell her. The words leave a bad taste in my mouth. “We need to find Weston.”
“Of course I was right,” Elizabeth replies without missing a beat. “But you may have had a point as well. Perhaps it would be best if I do not send you out there. At least not alone.”
“Who’d you have in mind?” I ask. “And don’t say Blynk or Mimic because even I don’t trust them, so there’s no way my old buddies on the right side of the law are going to.”
She doesn’t say a word; she just looks past my shoulder at Dominatrix.
“Who? Me?” she asks, just before a tomboyish chuckle escapes from her. “Niiice!”
“No way,” I immediately argue. “She doesn’t have the experience.”
“She saved your life not fifteen minutes ago,” Elizabeth reminds me.
“The hero types aren’t gonna want to have anything to do with her,” I continue to argue my case.
“As you said, she is new,” Elizabeth reminds me. “It should be quite easy for you to convince them that she’s unsure of her place in the world. You know how those do-gooders adore having the chance to redeem one of us.”
“Oh, I could totally play that up!” Dominatrix interjects, furrowing her eyebrows, “Yeah, I’ve done some bad stuff, but sometimes I have trouble looking at myself in the mirror,” she says with an overdone frown.
Elizabeth and I look at her with a shared curiosity for a few seconds before she breaks into a smile.
“Pretty good, right?”
I tilt my head at her, and then turn back at Elizabeth.
“You will be doing most of the talking anyway,” Elizabeth tells me.
“Fine,” I surrender. “I just need to change first.”
“I get it,” Dominatrix says with a wink. “You’ve gotta stop by your secret lair, right?”
“Yeah,” I answer as the image of my unmade bed and stack of dirty dishes in the sink flash into my mind. “I suppose you could call it that. Meet me at the top of the Empire State Building in twenty minutes.”
“I like it,” Dominatrix nods and puts her wig and mask back on. “Dramatic! Sexy!”
“Convenient,” I add. “It’s the most recognizable building in the city, and I figure you’re new in town.”
“How’d you guess that?” Dominatrix asks as she straightens her wig.
“I know that you have no wish to team up with Blynk and Mimic,” Elizabeth says, before I can brag about my above-average powers of deduction. “But they would be a good place to start. They handled a few other recent jobs for Mr. Weston, so they may have a greater understanding of what he was working on.”
“You mean you don’t?” I ask with genuine surprise.
“Mr. Weston, like all powerful men, does keep his share of secrets,” she says with a bit of hurt in her voice. “Even from his most trusted confidants.”
“Sure,” I say as I pull my own mask back on, “We’ll let you know when we find something.”