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The court was silent, and Skye was worried. If she had been sitting in the audience, she wasn't sure what she would be thinking. While Calvin was busy posturing for the crowd, she looked up at Judge Munson. He gave her a slight nod.

Calvin was going on about how scared he and his friends were of her and Jesse. While she found him ridiculous, she had to admit he was a smooth talker. Man, he must have sold a lot of cars back in the day.

Another look at the judge told her he was waiting for her move. She better make this good. Wait for it, Dylan always said, when your moment comes, you'll know it. This was her moment.

"You tried to murder me," she said, sitting straighter in her seat, changing from a frightened, cowering woman to a sure one.

"You tried to attack me, you tried to murder me," Calvin said, mocking her. Pete and Tony snickered in the background. He continued to face the crowd and had not seen Skye's change of demeanor. "Believe me, if I wanted you assaulted or murdered than that is what you would've been."

"Really? I don't remember a whole lot of follow through." A little glow started in Skye as she watched him spin around and his eyebrows raised. "You tried a lot of things, but none of them seemed to work out, a girl and a little boy beat you every time."

Skye kept her eyes drilled on his, as he turned a new shade of red. She wanted to hold his attention, for him to forget about the courtroom and brag and bluster as he did in the forest when there was only them. The haughtier she got, the more infuriated he became.

"You talk a good game, Calvin. Man, can you talk! But I've seen nothing of what you say you can do. If you want to be a big threat in the apocalypse, want me to be afraid, then you need to show me what I'm supposed to be afraid of." Skye gestured and pulled a face at him making it plan she thought little of the man before her. 'You want me on my knees? Tell me what I'm begging for! Cause all I see is someone who's now retracting the only thing I was afraid of."

Calvin's face and neck flushed a deeper shade of red, and his eyes seemed to protrude out of his sockets. He rushed at Skye, furious. She stiffened, grateful for the protection of the people around her.

When he reached her, his speech was quick and angry but quiet. "You're going to lose, just face it and be done."

Skye tossed her head as if she hadn't a care in the world and crossed her arms. With a little grin, she leaned forward and said, "Oh, I don't think so. Why was I ever afraid of you? What have you ever done really? You can't even shoot straight!" She giggled as she sat back in her seat.

The veins on the side of his neck stood out as he stuttered, "You- You go back to that road you almost died on! Stop at any house you come to, and all you will find is the dead. Because death is all that is left when we go!"

"Pfft!" Skye rolled her eyes. "Here we go again!"

Calvin clamped on to her upper arms and squeezed them hard. There was no doubt she would be bruised with his handprints when this was over. Dylan's chair rasped across the floor as he instantly rose, Wade and Jesse close behind, but Skye couldn't spare them a glance. Judge Munson held his hand up for them to stop. This wasn't the time for an interruption. Skye had just gotten him where they needed him.

Calvin angrily shook Skye, a gleam of enjoyment started in his eyes when she winced at his harsh treatment. "You think this is bad, little girl? Snobby little doctor?" He scorned her. "Be glad you aren't in Barbarton. The name kinda reminded me of barbaric, so I figured, why not."

He shrugged and threw her back in her chair. Then settled into a conversational manner as he had done on the other occasions. It was his way, and as soon as he started, Skye knew she had him.

She lowered her gaze slightly so he couldn't see the triumph in her eyes, but he took it as submission. A smug smile came to his face as he continued. Say it, say it.

"So Barbartown. The lucky ones there are the dead. We left a few alive cause it might be a nice spot to return to. After all, there'll be no fight after what they've seen. We are kings there, more than kings. Do you know why we are kings?"

"No," Skye said breathlessly. "Why?" Her hands may have looked casual as they lay in her lap, but it was all she could do not to clamp them onto the seat of the chair. She was almost dizzy, her body stretched to its limits, as she waited, waited, waited for him to say the words.

"We murdered. We butchered. In every way we could think of. Though I suppose there are a few ways left we could try." Pete chuckled as if taking pleasure in the memories, but Tony groaned. It was all over now.

It's over, Skye thought, relieved that her job was done, but then the horror of what he said sunk in. She recoiled at the words that continued to spew from his mouth. Calvin's face lit as he started to detail every inhumanity committed during their shocking stop at that poor town until the judge stopped him with a whack of his gavel.

Calvin had been enjoying his story so much he came to with a start. His head whipped toward Judge Munson. Seeing his face, Calvin knew he had made a fatal flaw.

He froze for a moment before his hands curled into fists and his jaw clenched. A chill ran through Skye as she saw the fury wash over him. His eyes came back to her. If it hadn't been personal before, it certainly was now.

Her heart slowed as she tried to scramble away but it was too late. Calvin drew his fist back and slammed her in the face. The power of it threw her head against the desk causing a second explosion in her skull. She slid to the floor limp, barely conscious.

Calvin leapt on her, finding the soft area on her stomach where a punch left her fighting for breath. Skye managed to curl into a ball only to have him go for her kidneys. Finally, he was pulled off her.

Calvin had only had a few seconds with her and she lay there broken, in pain, and still gasping for air. Skye became aware of how fortunate she and Jesse had been to get the upper hand that day on the road. Any small change of events and they would've become victims of these men's monstrous imaginations.

Calvin kicked and screamed obscenities at Skye as he was dragged away from her. No part of her felt troubled when she heard his yells as along with the solid blows landing on his body.

A/N: I'm excited to say that Sanctuary's Aggression and my short story, Disappeared, were honored to be the Winner of the Science Fiction and Short Story, respectively, in The Flower Awards of 2018!

Thanks so much for reading! If you enjoyed the chapter, please click the little star below. :)

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