Tick Tock - 7 | i

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"You need to take it slow."

"Don't tell me to take it slow!" Sven roared. He had woken to find out that days—weeks had passed since Penny dispatched him at the portal. Sven could not remember how long it took him the first time to come back, but it had not felt like an eternity had passed. Then again, the first time had been unexpected, and he was not in the middle of his plot for Lansguard. Upon realizing that his most trusted lieutenant—Barabbas—was dead, Sven went over the edge.

"It makes no sense pushing yourself like this when you are not at your full strength."

Sven, in anger, lifted the bed he woke up on, flipping it over onto its side. It was the only thing between him and Passerini who was trying to pacify him. Sven grabbed the vampire by the neck slamming him into the nearest wall and pinning him there.

His faces inches from Passerini's Sven said, "I'm strong enough to kill you."

"And what will that achieve?" Passerini asked. He did not try to fight his way loose.

"A brilliant question."

Sven looked over his shoulder to see Salvay biting into an apple. Sven released Passerini facing Salvay. "Why should I not kill you both?"

"We had nothing to do with the attack at the portal," Salvay regarded the apple in his hand before taking a bite. Between chewing he continued, "I am sure you suspected that it might have been a setup, but it was not. We tried to help you. We want the portal opened."

Raging, Sven kicked the overturned bed causing it to bend where his foot connected.

"When you are finished throwing your tantrum you may join us upstairs." Salvay bit into his apple again before nodding towards Passerini. Both men left Sven in the room alone, closing the door behind them.

Sven did not stop breaking things until his body gave out. Shards of glass and shredded bits of metal and wood littered the floor of the room. Claw marks were raked deep into the walls. When his body gave out, he could do nothing else but lie in the debris staring up at the ceiling. His feeble attempt at striking a blow at his enemies was futile. He failed, and Barabbas was dead again, his soul beyond Sven's reach. Sven could tell he had lost a significant number of men from his pack. How many he—was yet to check.

Being out of the game for so long meant he needed an update of all that happened. He looked towards the closed door of the room. And that meant he needed the two vampires. Nothing stuck in his craw more than that. They were to have died with the others once the portal was open. This alliance was never in his plans. Now Sven had to face the fact that their usefulness to him had not expired.

The Butler led Sven to the dining area. Passerini and Salvay were in the middle of their meals. They looked up when he walked into the room.

"We were wondering if you were going to join us," Salvay said.

A third place was set and waiting for Sven. He sat. On his plate was a medium rare steak.

Salvay cut into his steak as he spoke, "Much has happened since the portal," he started. "The prison you commandeered is now back in the control of the humans after a mass cover-up led by the ever talented Anabella Ungaro. The woman can spin a lie like a silk web. Your pack would have unquestionably taken a hit in your—absence."

"I can make more," Sven said. His food still sat untouched in front of him. Sven was not in the mood to be social. He needed to take action but he could not until he knew where the game now stood. Because it was a game. One in which lives and power hung in the balance.

"How? Are there any pure hearts left?"

Sven looked at Salvay, one of his gracious hosts. The man was fishing for an answer. Confirmation of something he might have heard.

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