It didn't seem real. For a moment, he thought he was seeing a ghost or having a terrible nightmare, but there he was. Jakob Falk. The years had brought grey creeping into his hair and more wrinkles to his face, but it was him. Still impeccably tailored and well put together. That same calm, unassuming voice that belied the rot and evil within. Every fight, every perverted rich **** who'd treated him like an object for their own sick desires came rushing back to the forefront of his memory. Suddenly, deep down, something terrible began to claw its way out.
"Tessa." Simon said, barely keeping the seething rage out of his voice. "You need to leave. Now."
Falk politely passed off the glass of champagne to the suited, short haired woman beside him. She eyed SImon as if just waiting for him to make a move., The older man took a step forward, that smile fading into disappointment.. "What? Have you no words for an old friend." he asked with that put-on charm. Like he hadn't been responsible for every horrible, nightmarish thing that happened in Simon's youth.
Tessa looked confused, but the look in Simon's eyes told her that they were anything but "friends". This was a man about to explode, and knowing Simon, she had an idea of how, exactly that might go down.
"...Simon..." she said, a hint of fear in her voice.
"Now!" He growled through clenched teeth, the girl recoiling from him. He started slowly, walking toward him, every fantasy he'd ever had of tearing Falk limb from limb playing out in his head. That warm, sadistic smile drove the blood up into SImon's ears. He'd swore to himself that one day, Jakob Falk would pay. Today would be that day.
"You look good." Falk nodded to him. "Age has been kind to you, eh? Unlike..." The older man gestured to his aged face, the scar Simon had given him decades ago still visible. "Time, though. It gets the best of all of us, does it not?"
Simon suddenly and quickly grabbed him by the jacket, Tessa and Falk's companions gasping with a start. The glaring woman moved just slightly, but Falk just waved two fingers, halting her. She would not be needed, apparently. Simon's eyes were aflame, burning with a rage most of the world could never fathom. "You stole my ****ing life. I'm gonna rip your ****ing heart out of your chest, you sick ****." Simon snarled,
Falk looked almost disappointed in him, his voice taking on a tone of reproach. "Come now, Simon. We needn't resort to such uncivilized behavior."
"I'm not feeling very ****ing civilized right now." Simon said, his voice hoarse and trembling.
Falk's voice lowered, an edge that was not there. "Look around you, boy. Do you see the men upon the balcony with weapons? Do you see the fellows near the doors, reaching into their jackets right now? Who do you think these men work for, Simon?"
Simon spared them only a flick of his eyes. He'd only really noticed Falk's companion, who looked like she was a hair's breadth from attacking.
"Who do you think is throwing this little soiree?" Falk grinned.
"You know what I'm capable of. You think they can draw on me, land a bead before I snap your ****ing neck?" Simon challenged. He didn't care about them. He'd happily die in a hail of gunfire if it meant he could send Falk screaming to Hell.
The older man laughed. "No. No, I suppose not. But...your friend...Ms. Bradley...I'd hate for her to be caught in the crossfire. Wouldn't you?"
Tessa stood behind him, frozen in fear. She'd only seen him like this once and it wasn't nearly this bad. He's almost forgotten she was there. Falk was enough of a bastard to see to it that she was taken out to punish him. They probably wouldn't even shoot for him before they took the girl down.
"That's it." Falk said, soothingly, easing Simon's hands from his jackets. "Now. Let us talk as gentlemen, yes?
Those mangled fists clenched white knuckle tight, his body shaking with restraint. "You took everything from me." He rumbled.
"I made you strong, boy." Falk said, as if the man was being unreasonable. "I made you a fighter. A warrior. I made you tough."
"You made me a *thing*! To be used and discarded by your perverted ****ing friends! You made me a killer!" Simon insisted.
"*I* made you a killer." Falk said, in disbelief. "I made you kill those boys in the ring? I made you kill Cameron Cotter? I made you kill all of his men? I assume you blame me for you killing the Viscellis as well. I suppose your foster father being beaten damn near to death was also my fault. *You* did all that. You chose to. I merely made you strong enough to do it. I made you a survivor, Simon."
He couldn't believe it. Falk had completely squared everything that had happened with himself. He even saw it as a good thing.
"You want to play the big hero, Simon? The good guy. But you aren't. You're a killer because you choose to be. Because that's what's always been inside of you. I didn't make you a killer. You've always been one. Don't pretend that you're some bastion of honor and decency. You are a blood thirsty beast." Falk set his jaw, firm in his assessment of the younger man.
"You're a sick **** who deserves to be put down like a ****ing rabid dog.." SImon spat back. "You prey on people. Turn them into your slaves. Sell them to your friends to beat and **** whenever they want."
"I merely provided a service." Falk said, "No questions asked, because that is what was required of me. Did I ever lay a hand upon you? Did I ever hurt you or touch you in any way? I think not."
"I was passed around like a ****ing party favor!" Simon fired back.
"I was grooming you for greatness. To stand at my side. To remove the frivolous, romantic ideas from your head. I taught you the value of sacrifice and how to manipulate those around you. And how did you repay me? You...and Anna?"
"Don't you EVER say her name!" Simon was on the razor's edge.
"She spoke about you." Falk said. Immediately, he saw the look on the bodyguard's face, a grin spreading across his own. "When she came back to me."
That was it. Simon grabbed him by the throat with one hand, the other cocking back to stove his face in. Now, he didn't care who else suffered for it. He was going to kill this man. He was going to have his revenge.
Before he could throw the punch, he felt a hand grab his wrist. Simon's head snapped in the stranger's direction to find another fist rocketing at his face. It wasn't the girl. No, this was a man. The world flashed before his eyes, pain blooming across his face. Whoever it was had a DAMN good punch.
"MILES!" Tessa shrieked.
Simon's vision was slow to unblur, but he could just make out Tessa's new friend before her hit him three times, fast as lightning, the entire party grinding to sudden, decisive halt. He stumbled back, trying to regain his composure. Falk's companion immediately pulled the older man aside to safety, a wall of armed guards filling in around them. Finally, he managed to block the next attack and threw a haymaker, but the younger boy leaned out of the way, jabbed him in the throat and then threw and uppercut that had him seeing stars. Simon was vaguely aware of Tessa begging his attacker to stop, but Miles was not listening. Simon squared off on the kid, moving in and threw some easily blocked punches. Miles was quick, blocking, ducking and hitting him in the ribs with quick shots. The kid was measured, precise and calm. Simon was just sloppy, running on pure, unadulterated rage.
The kid came at him, and Simon ducked a punch, landing a solid hit to his face that would have dropped any other opponent. But the kid shook it off almost immediately and followed up with a rock hard crack to Simon's mouth, his teeth biting into his lips hard enough to draw blood. He stumbled backwards, hand to his bleeding mouth, but keeping his eyes on Miles. With his free hand he threw another punch, too slow, too sloppy. The boy dodged, hit him under the arm and quickly threw a few punches to his abdomen. Breathing became difficult, but the kid didn't let up. His fist slammed into SImon's face again and again, but he didn't fall. Finally, Simon landed another hit, connecting with Miles' face and putting him on the defensive. The older fighter drove him back, keeping his aim on the head until the boy fell against a table, knocking glasses and plates shattering to the ground.
Simon was on him in a second, but the kid grabbed a plate and bashed it across Simon's temple in an explosion of porcelain. While he was dazed, Mile's kicked him in the chest, knocking him back before getting on his feet. He grabbed Simon by the lapels of his suit jacket, wheeled him around, and threw him into a table. As Miles approached, Simon grabbed a glass and quickly winged it at his attacker. Miles protected his face with a forearm, the glass shattering on his suit jacket. His older opponent smashed a wine glass on the table, and came for him. Slashing with his makeshift knife. God damn the kid was quick. He dodged, ducked and weaved away until finally getting a hold of Simon's wrist with one hand, keeping the older man's arm extended as he popped him once in the throat, the glass dropping to the ground.
Simon gasped for air just before being thrown to the ground, glass and shattered porcelain cutting into the skin of his hands as he tried brace his fall. Pushing through the pain he tried to rise. Blood obscured his vision, but he could see Miles coming toward him. The kid grabbed him by the hair and readied to drive his knee into the man's face. Simon's arms crossed in front of him, blocking the attack. His arms spread quick and hard, knocking Miles' hands away. With his wounded palms, he hit the boy hard in the solar plexus, shoving him back, and rose to his feet.
Miles looked pissed. He stormed toward Simon, but the older fighter was quick, slipping around the younger fighter's attack and putting him in a chokehold. Miles drove his elbow back into Simon's ribs again and again and again until that grip loosened. He threw his head back, connecting with SImon's face, dazing him for a moment before flipping him over his shoulder and onto the tile below. The kid threw himself on top of his opponent and wailed on his face like he was tenderizing meat, every punch landing like a goddamn mack truck.
"ENOUGH." Falk said firmly, his voice echoing throughout the room. Miles froze, his arm cocked back to deliver a crushing blow. SImon lay there, wheezing, his face a bloody mess. He'd been completely taken off-guard and been quickly put down. His vision was blurred red from the blood, the coppery taste of it leaking down his throat. The room around them just watched. Tessa just stood by, horrified.
Falk broke through the guards and hovered over him, hands stuffed casually in his pockets. "As I said. I wanted you and Anna to stand by my side. To serve as my right and left hand." Falk said forlornly. "Well...as you can see...I found others."
Miles stared down at him just waiting for the order to kill him, the woman directly behind him. It became clear that they were exactly like Simon. Only, they hadn't escaped. Even now, there was a slight swell of pity for them both.
"I didn't want this. I truly did not. My friends here were supposed to have an easy, fun night. They deserved it. Damn you for forcing them into this position."
Simon tried to move, to grab at the man, but Miles forced a taught, muscular forearm to his throat, pinning him down. Falk shook his head and nodded to the woman. "Get him out of here."
She moved on him quickly, he was too weak and too dazed to even fight back. He muttered "I'm gonna kill you" over and over and over again. Falk turned to the partygoers and rose his hands. "It's alright, everyone. Show's over! Let's not allow this unpleasantness to upset our festivities! Please! Enjoy your drinks, the night is young!"
Tessa stood stock still, watching in terror as he was dragged off by Miles and the woman. The music started again and the people began conversing as if nothing had happened. Her bodyguard approached her, placing a hand upon her shoulder, startling her in the process.
"Ms. Bradley." he said. "It's time to go."