I hunched from the intense overflow of power that surged throughout my body. My sudden change in posture grabbed the guard’s attention. He stood up and approached my cell with caution. His stare had more intrigue than concern, and he kept a safe distance away from the bars.
I peered over at Jealousy and Hatred, who stared at each other intently. It seemed as though they were feeding off one another. They grinned with satisfaction as they focused, channeling their energies. That was something new and an act I had never seen before. I didn’t know they had the ability to channel their own power, and I didn’t think that would have any effect on me.
“Cut it out,” the guard instructed. “This isn’t going to work, and it’s not funny.”
I ignored him. The power was too much. It felt like my skin bubbled from the pressure building within my body. I rolled my sleeves up to look at my flesh. There weren’t any bubbles or visible changes. I fought their surge for as long as I could, knowing they were trying to get me to lose control. Jealousy and Hatred wanted me to break out, leave this place for good, and head back on the road. I wanted that, but I didn’t want to leave her.
The detective had sparked something inside of me I had never felt before. I owed it to myself to see what that was and see things through with her. There was a strength in her I admired, and I couldn’t deny her beauty any longer.
“Hey, I’m warning you!” the guard shouted.
I lunged forward, gripping the bars with my fists. The metal buckled under the pressure of my surging power. When I pushed on them, they bent toward the guard like soft clay. His eyes widened with fear as he backed away.
“We have a situation up here,” a voice called from the guard’s radio.
“I’m kind of dealing with a situation of my own down here,” he replied.
“We need all officers upstairs, now!” the voice ordered.
“The prisoner, he’s—”
“Now, sergeant!” the voice interrupted.
The guard fled from his post, running toward the elevator. He didn’t look back or peer over his shoulder to see what I was doing. He focused on getting himself to freedom, pressing the elevator button repeatedly until the doors opened. He jumped into the elevator, hitting the buttons with the same frantic persistence.
“Now’s our chance,” Hatred hissed, pushing to her feet.
“You’re already halfway there, Din,” Jealousy added.
“I’m not going anywhere,” I said, releasing the bars and turning to face them. “You need to tell me what you’re doing. What is this?”
“You didn’t think you were the only one with power and control of that power, did you?” Hatred asked, tilting her head to one side. “We power you as much as you power us.”
“We’re a package deal, Din,” Jealousy added.
“No, I command you, and you obey,” I said, furrowing my brow.
“That is part of the deal,” Hatred agreed. “But we can use the power inside us to fuel or influence you when necessary.”
“How long have you known this?” I asked.
“For a while,” she answered. “Long enough to know I needed to hold onto this information until I could use it in my favor.”
“Our favor,” Jealousy interjected. “I’ve known for a long time, Din. I just didn’t know she knew about it.”
“You knew and didn’t tell me?” she barked.
“You didn’t tell me either,” Jealousy snapped. “You’re always hiding things and keeping secrets.”
“But you’re the model for transparency?” she groaned.
“This is just like you, to hide things from us—”
“It’s just like you to complain about it,” she interrupted.
“I hate you, and I hate that you’re here!” Jealousy shouted.
“Good because I hate you too, you sniveling little brat!” she yelled.
I allowed them to argue because it gave me time to think. A familiar feeling crept into my mind, something that reminded me of home, and it was close. There was an altercation occurring upstairs. I could tell by the officer’s tone as he screamed at the guard through his radio. It couldn’t be her, could it? She wouldn’t come back to confront me, would she?
Gunshots rang out from above. Screams echoed, punctuated by the sound of bullets continuing to be fired. Their shouting was a mixture of adrenaline, terror, and fear, but nothing interfered with my minion’s argument. They were fixated on throwing insults at each other and coming clean about how they really felt about their presence.
Anxiety crawled into my chest, forcing my heart to sink into my stomach. The detective was likely upstairs, facing whatever carnage was unfolding. That was when I felt a surge of a different kind rise up within my body. It was unlike anything I felt before and much stronger than the infatuation I found myself having regarding the detective. I needed to get to her.
I gripped the bars and pulled them apart, dismantling the cell until I could pass through. I slipped through the opening and stalked toward the elevator. Jealousy and Hatred stopped bickering and followed me. They wore grins of satisfaction on their faces, as if they were the reason behind my escape. I would let them believe whatever they wanted as long as they remained quiet.
When I arrived at the elevator, the doors opened to reveal the guard covered in blood, slumped on the elevator floor with his hands on his stomach wound. He managed to focus up at me with fading eyes.
“They’re here for him,” he croaked.
“Who?” I asked.
“The man in the cell at the end of the hall,” he said, struggling to force words through the blood that poured from his mouth.
It hadn’t occurred to me that there was somebody else in the cells with me. I didn’t hear anything coming from the end of the hall, but maybe it was because they knew this rescue mission was already in place.
“Where’s the detective?” I asked, feeling a bit frantic from his appearance and the sounds above.
“She’s upstairs,” he replied. “I don’t know where, but she was up there before it happened. You have to help me.”
“Don’t you dare help him,” Hatred growled.
“Remember how he disregarded your request,” Jealousy added.
“Let him die,” she said.
I didn’t want to necessarily let him die, but he wasn’t my priority. The detective was, and I needed to get to her. I wouldn’t let anything happen to her. I couldn’t let her die. If he was still breathing by the time I found her and made sure she was uninjured, I would heal his wounds, but I wasn’t going to let my minions know that. I stepped over the sergeant and pressed the button. Jealousy and Hatred climbed in, smiling at him. I hoped she was alright, but I thought about what I would do if she wasn’t.