Home > The Serial Box > Day One Hundred and Thirty-five: Special Agent Khrys Ferro, part 3

Day One Hundred and Thirty-five: Special Agent Khrys Ferro, part 3

Dion Prospero lit a cigar and took a long, slow draw. He exhaled through his nose and chuckled. “You thought you could just walk in here, Ferro, and I would what? Break down and make a full confession? Beg your forgiveness?” He pulled the slide back on his pistol. “You thought I’d give up on my dreams to make the United States a pure and perfect place just because you said so?”

Tanner Quan forced himself to watch as Prospero jammed the barrel of his gun against Khrys Ferro’s forehead. They had found Prospero’s lair, nestled in a rich suburb of Sylvania City. The Corvette had seemed too conspicuous, so Tanner suggested approaching on foot.

Khrys shook his head. “Won’t matter if we do or not. By now, Prospero knows we’re onto him and he’ll be expecting us.” He slid his sunglasses down from his forehead. “If we don’t hit him now, we’ll lose him forever.” He grinned and unfastened his seatbelt. “Besides, I have a little present in the trunk that ought to help.” He reached across Tanner’s lap and removed a small remote control from the glove compartment. He looked up at Tanner and winked. “When I give the word, jump out.”

He floored the Corvette and started to fly down the shady, tree-lined street until Prospero’s vast mansion came into view. There was a gate in front, and as soon as the gate guards saw them coming they stared shooting. Somehow, however, the car was able to get past them and slam through the gates, blowing them off the hinges. They flew into the air behind them, throwing off sparks.

“Not yet!” Khrys yelled, yanking the steering wheel and pointing the Corvette at the house. The car leapt onto the immaculate lawn, throwing up great divots of sod. The car fought for traction, but was making its way at speed towards the house, bullets jumping off the car’s body.

“NOW!” Khrys yelled, and Tanner launched himself out of the car, rolling as he hit. He glanced around for cover and was thrown forward as the Corvette jumped into the side of the house and exploded in a massive fireball behind him. The pressure wave shoved him into the air and he landed hard on the driveway. For a moment, he couldn’t move. He could barely breathe, and he couldn’t hear anything other than a high ringing in his ears.

Which is why he didn’t hear the black-suited bodyguard come up behind him and hit him in the head, plunging Tanner Quan into darkness.

When he came to, he was handcuffed to a chair in a basement. The room smelled of must and metal and was dimly lit. His vision was blurry, but he could see Khrys in a chair nearby, his chin resting on his chest. He seemed to be breathing, and Tanner let out a sigh of relief. He looked to his other side, however, and let out a low moan of despair. The other agents, the ones they had been sent to rescue, were slumped against a wall. Blood fanned out on the wall behind where their heads had been.

That low moan had been enough. Tanner heard a door behind him open, and twisted around to see Dion Prospero enter the room.

He was a powerful man, an athlete gone to seed. If they met on the street, Tanner would have thought he was a football coach, or just another suburban dad. But the look of cruelty in his eyes, the malice on his face, marked him as a very dangerous man indeed.

And now he had Khrys Ferro at gunpoint. The other agent was awake, but still looked groggy. Tanner saw some movement and glanced at Khrys’ hands. He tried not to smile as he saw what his partner was doing. Instead, he did what he could to buy some time.

“Herro, Dion,” he said. He called to mind his grandfather, who had come to America from China and had an accent that made him sound like he had come straight out of a bad movie. “Oh, you so scary! But we gonna mess you up, Dion!”

Prospero glanced over at him and sneered. “Shut up, rice,” he said.

“Oh, I shut up,” he said. Tanner’s cracked lips stung as he smiled. “I shut up you wife,” He winked. “You know how?” He forced out a laugh. “Oh, she loved it long time!”

Dion Prospero sighed. “All right, rice. You want to die first? Fine.” He swung the gun around. “Maybe this way, Ferro can see just how bad he failed.”

Tanner’s stomach clenched, and he couldn’t take his eyes off the gun. Somehow, he heard himself saying, “Oh, Mistah Fello no like that,” he said. “You kill me, there no one to warm up your daughters for him.”

Prosperous face darkened, and Tanner could see his finger squeeze the trigger.

At that moment, Khrys jumped out of his chair and slammed into Prospero’s side. The gun fired, and Tanner felt the bullet slam into his shoulder. He fell to the floor and rolled onto his good arm. He looked up and saw Khrys pick Prospero up from behind, the chain of the picked handcuffs digging into the soft flesh of the Nazi crime lord’s throat.

Khrys’ face was calm and grim as he strangled the man. Prospero gurgled and tried to reach around to beat his attacker’s arms away, but he just wasn’t strong enough. His face went red and then purple as Khrys’ arms started to shake. A few moments later, Prospero’s body went limp. Khrys held on a minute longer and then let him slump to the floor.

He stood up, staring at the body. Then he looked over at Tanner and rushed over in a flash. “Oh, God, Tanner,” he said gently pulling apart Tanner’s shirt to find the wound. He was whispering, and Tanner couldn’t quite make out what he was saying. When he found the bullet wound in his shoulder, Tanner moaned in pain and Khrys’ face brightened.

“You’re okay?” he asked.

Tanner tried to say that he was fine, but that was when Khrys lifted him up, wrapped an arm around him and kissed him passionately on the lips.

All thoughts fled from Tanner’s mind. It seemed like all his awareness was concentrated on one spot, in one moment that seemed to go on forever. He felt his heart stir in his chest and beat faster, and he didn’t want the moment to end, wrapped in Khrys’ strong arms.

But the moment did end. Khrys pulled away with a smile that seemed to come from his bright green eyes. “You’re going to be fine,” he whispered. “I promise.”

The last thing at Tanner heard before darkness took him was shouting and more gunshots. Then… Nothing.

*************

He awoke in a hospital bed. The room was dim and quiet and smelled of the flowers that were set on the bedside table. He struggled to sit up, and felt a dull ache in his shoulder. He took a moment and searched his memories – there was fire, an explosion, pain. And…?

The door opened and Khrys Ferro turned on the light. It was bright and harsh and made Tanner squint. “You’re awake,” Khrys said. “Good.” He pulled a chair over and sat next to Tanner. “How do you feel?” he asked. His hand reached out and took Tanner’s

“I feel…” The memory of Khrys’ lips on his sprung to mind, and it was like he could still feel their pressure. He pulled his hand away. “A little uncomfortable,” he finished.

Khrys nodded. “Yeah,” he said. “Sorry about that. It just seemed like…” He shrugged. “It seemed like the thing to do.”

They sat there like that for a while, not looking at each other. “Thank you,” Tanner said finally. “For saving my life.” He reached over and patted Khrys’ hand, but did not take it. “Really.”

“Couldn’t let you die on your first field mission,” Khrys said. He stood up. “Just wanted to make sure you were okay.” This time, his smile was small, and flickered across his face. “I’ll… I’ll be seeing you at the office,” he said. He turned to leave.

“Khrys, wait,” Tanner said.

He turned around slowly.

Tanner tried to sit up straighter and winced. “I don’t even remember how we got out,” he said. “I’d really love to hear that.”

Khrys stood there for a moment and then shrugged and slowly returned to his chair. “Well,” he said, “It really was something.” He sat back and leaned the chair on two legs. “After you passed out, about a dozen thugs came in. So I grabbed Prospero’s gun and just started shooting…”

As he told the story, Tanner relaxed. Whatever had passed between him and Khrys, it would be a while to work itself out. He knew, though, that as long as they were in the Department together, he would never have to sit behind a desk again.

And maybe that was just the beginning…

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