Chapter 21

On my way out the door, I contemplated walking back in to get my car keys, but decided against it. Cars were clunky, and if they were planning to ambush me, like I expected they would, it would be much easier to run than it would be to stand there, fumbling with the keys on my car. So I ran all the way to Schenley Park, the way marked out in my head, being as I'd come here several times in the night, sitting on a high limb of a tree, embracing the sweet solitude.

Upon reaching the park, I slowed myself down to appear more normal to the few people who also enjoyed spending their night here. I pulled my phone out of my pocket and looked at the time, 12:00. I've got some time to kill, I thought, walking up to the nearest tree, and reaching up to climb to the top limb.

For a while I just sat there, gazing at the lights of the city, but soon I heard police sirens. Then, about a minute later, I saw four police cars skid to a stop outside the park. I leaned forward on my tree branch, watching as policemen started to pour from the cars like bee's from their hive. I squinted, looking to see if Rogers would file out for a car as well, and speak of the devil, a car door opened from the last car in the line and Rogers got out, a pistol in hand.

I felt my blood start to boil as I watched him walk out further into the park, inching ever so close to my tree. I started to think of a plan, not very good ones, but still, plans. The first that popped into my head, was to drop down and talk to him head on. I dismissed that for obvious reasons. The second was to pull him up into my tree and talk to him here, I dismissed that one as well, the tree would provide no cover, there were no leaves. I finally decided on a fairly simple plan. The idea was that I was to jump down, run at him head on, and drag him as far as I could manage.

I breathed in deeply, then snapped a branch from the tree and threw it hard as I could manage in the direction of the police officers. I saw them all running off, all but Rogers, who was standing under my tree, and apparently didn't notice it. I quietly and carefully made my way down the tree, resting on a branch back behind him. I dropped down, called out my jaguar DNA, grabbed the back of his collar and pulled my hand up to cover his mouth.

"Guess who?" I said as I ran backwards

After a while, I had pulled him up so I was holding him over my shoulders, and we eventually got so far from the police men I didn't think they would be able to hear Rogers at all. I stopped running, and threw him on the ground in front of me. He coughed and sputtered, after so long of being dragged by the collar of his military jacket, it was to be expected. His hat had flown off early on despite his desperate need to keep it on all the time.

"Why… why did you… why did you do that?" He asked, still gasping for air relatively hard.

I shoved my hands into my jeans pockets, "So no one can hear you screaming." His silhouette looked up at me, and I imagined a confused look on his face, so I continued, "By telling Krane that I'm still playing this game of his, you've put in danger around 200 people who are just like me."

"Like you? Do you mean to tell me that 200 people have escaped from that facility?" He asked, obviously taken aback quite a bit.

I nodded, "Of course, none of us escaped without help. Even I didn't escape by myself. Did you think I was the one who stole the security tapes? Do you think I just waltzed out the front door? Of course not. I had people help me, they were there all along, even if I didn't know it."

Rogers stood up and dusted himself off, "Why are you telling me this?"

I shrugged, honestly not knowing the answer, "It's not like you're going to leave this park alive, so what does it matter why I'm telling you?"

"If you don't have a reason, how do you know if what your telling me is the right thing to do?" He asked me.

"I… have a gut feeling." That was my response. And it sucked.

He walked closer to me, "A gut feeling isn't a reason, it's a feeling. And feelings lead to wrong decisions."

I took a step back, "I don't need a life lesson from you."

"Oh, but I think you do. After all, I'm the one with the conscience here." He said as I backed up further.

"Quit it." I said quietly. He was starting to ring some truth in my head, and it was that same voice in my head that tells me to avoid rash actions that piped up, telling me to leave and stay under radar for a couple months. I decided against it, I was this far into what I was doing, may as well finish this.

"I don't think I wi-" I cut him off, as I ran toward him at lightning speed, grabbing him by the throat and pushing him against a tree trunk. His hands came up and tried to pry my fingers off, but it was like I was a statue, holding him in place no matter what.

"No, I don't think that's necessary. I don't need you to go on. I know that I'm doing the right thing, and I know what you're doing is wrong. I am protecting my friends from having to live in that horrible facility." I turned my fingers on the hand that was holding him into tentacles, worming them around his neck and stretching my arm to hold him up in the air. I reached my free hand in my pocket and pulled out my phone, shining the light on my arm, "How would you like it, if someone made you into a monster, like me?"

I thrashed him around, hearing bones crack, and him scream. A couple times I heard him yell, "Mercy, mercy!" But at the moment, it didn't matter. Adrenaline was pumping in my veins and my blood was pounding away in my ears.

Eventually I found the strength to stop, and I put him down. I unwound my tentacle from his neck and turned it back to an arm, the cold air hitting my bare arm, realizing that transforming had ripped my entire sleeve off. I was breathing heavily, and I was glad that I couldn't see what had become of Rogers body. I felt a form of guilt form in the pit of my stomach, and tried pushing it away, but it wouldn't leave.

Soon I felt tears pouring down the sides of my face, and I dropped to my knees in front of Rogers. I put my hand on his side, and felt that he was still breathing, I felt relieved, "Rogers… can you hear me? I'm… sorry." I managed to gasp out between sobs.

"No…" He said quietly, sounding as if I'd crushed a lung, "Your right… I'm the one who should be sorry. I'm the one with no conscience here… I let Krane put a wire on me… He… He knew that you'd tell me everything…" Rogers chuckled, "I… I supposed I'm just a pawn in the grand scheme of things. I shouldn't have let him do that, I see now. You've got people you're protecting, and you need to kill me to protect them, I understand that now. But… the real enemy here… Is Krane." Rogers said, dying.

/

I walked back into my room, shedding my clothes and slipping back into bed with Marissa.

As I wrapped my arms back around her, she stirred a bit, "Hey, where'd you go?"

I nuzzled her neck, "Bathroom."

Her legs intertwined with mine, "I don't know if I'll be able to fall back asleep, think you can help me?" She said seductively, and I grinned, kissing her passionately, the image of Rogers broken body disappearing like snow in the summer.

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A/N: Ok, whoa, you guys don't need to know the rest. I'm not about to raise the rating, I'm hoping to keep this rated teen. BTW I hope you like this pairing, because it's being forced on you.

Anyways, you know the drill, Favorite/Review/Follow if you haven't already. And if you do all three of those things you'll get a cookie! (A picture of one at least.)