Writing

Contract Inheritance: Blood Hunt Revision #3

By Jane West

Fiction-Suspense & Thrillers

Revised: 23-Jan-2011
Added: 10-Jan-2011
Canada

Average rating: 9
1 comments
Mystery Time Travel Suspense Thriller Crime Lord Family Murder Assassin Heir Contract Killer Future

Aiden Rarefeld and Brian Dalton, two teenagers from completely different sides of the tracks, are thrown together under a bizarre set of circumstances. Those circumstances? The bounty that's out on both of their heads. As Aiden and Brian run for their very lives, a stranger comes across their path. Jason Velmont finds himself pulled into the two boys' lives and their search for the truth. The first in the Contract Inheritance series, Blood Hunt takes the readers on a fast-paced and violent thrill ride through the folds of time and the roots of the Rarefeld family tree.

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Intro
Far into the future, the human race will survive. This I know. As threatened and out of control people have felt throughout the times, the human race is resilient. There are many changes and more bad times than good, but we live on. And on. Eventually, we come to understand nature. Understand how it works and to predict its unpredictable tendencies. We learn to nurture it and manipulate it for our survival. New things will be discovered eternally but as we progress through the ages we will flaunt our control, much like I have.

Hundreds of years will pass, and I will see them all. Glimpses of each, passing me by. Do I live forever? No. Do I travel through time? No. But as the connection between space and time begin to be understood clearly, some control of it is the reward. There are points in the folds of space-time that when given the correct catalysts will create a personal bubble outside of the ever continuing and changing world around it.

My name is Ariana; I own one such bubble. It was handed down to me from my parents after they had died. I did the best thing I could think to do with it. I built a bar. The Between Times Bar. Many can’t enter, will never see it, will never know; but when greed claws at the powerful, knowledge is abused and what already exists is threatened to change, I will step in and help the timeline stay as it is…

Ariana’s exotic violet blue eyes scanned over the crowd in her bar, so many different people from so many different times. It often entranced her to hear the troubles of people that live hundreds of years ago, hundreds of years before her time. People from different points on the planet and throughout time all coming together, to socialize.
Of course they had no idea they were from different times, very rarely did anyone get remotely suspicious. It was funny. The few that had… well, Ariana believed that fate would take its course; if they were meant to know, then she wouldn’t stand in the way. And lucky for her, her society had placed few rules on it yet, or perhaps she’d be in trouble. A smile crossed her face.
There were always new people and she would welcome them all. And then there were the regulars—which almost made her laugh. She had very few of those because the bar’s placement through time was not constant. It was ever shifting and changing and yet… there were always a few people that—no matter where they were, no matter what time it was—could find the bar. The reasons weren’t always a mystery to her, but secrets were something a bartender was good at.
Her hand stroked lovingly along the smooth mahogany wood of the bar top. Sometimes she wondered if her bar knew more about fate than her people—even her scientists—could even guess at. It was very picky on whom it let in and whom it did not.
Her eyes lifted to the door as a family of three entered: a man and two teenage boys. All three of them were very familiar to her. She gave them a smile as the man lifted his hand for three beers and then found their way to a booth. They were living proof that fate, good or bad, will have its way and have its favourites. They were living proof of her theory on the little bubble outside of space-time that she owned. This place had changed their lives.

Prologue

Jason had a bad week. Finding out the hard way about a contract on his life made Monday a crappy day.
Someone wanted him dead, and for that, there was only one man that could protect him. A man he hadn’t talked to for over a year and one of the most powerful illegal businessmen in the city—a man who was also his adopted father.
From there he went to meet with his sister. To protect her.
After telling her about this newfound situation, they had left the small café in broad daylight at lunchtime. Melina was shot by a sniper in front of her car.
He managed to end the week just as badly as it had begun by betraying the one person that was helping him, letting secrets out to a rival in trade for information on his hunters. The beating he'd received was well deserved. Sometimes he wondered if his stupidity was genetic or if he was brain damaged from the events of his childhood. But there was really no point in wondering because that was something he could never find out; he had no living genetic family other than his half-sister.
About the only good thing he could think of that he’d done this week was beat on some snarky kid for his attitude. Aiden. He hated that kid, and decided to give him a hard lesson that snapped the kid back into reality. He didn’t really care if that was the result, but it was a good release for his frustration. The teenager might have been taller than he was, but Jason was meaner and stronger.
That was about the time he discovered that particular bar wasn’t normal. In fact, Aiden was from almost 300 years in the past. Much to his shock when he’d knocked Aiden through the door and ended up in a place louder and more disgusting than what he was used to.
The year for Jason was 2302. They shouldn’t have ever met. But they had, partly due to Ariana, the bartender, with her helpful hints. And apparently Brian—another teenager he had run in to while there—was the same, almost 300 years behind him.
By the end of the week, Jason had been hunted, shot at and beat up. He was ready for all this shit to be over with.
~

Brian had stumbled upon the Between Times Bar one late night after a gig with his band. They would have eventually split off to different parties afterwards, and Brian grinned as no one checked his ID in this bar. He sat down a few stools down the bar from another man.
The young man tried ordering a beer, but the bartender was clearly too smart for him. She did, however, imply that if he convinced that man down the bar to order him one, she’d turn a blind eye. This man, it turned out, was Jason. His mind noticed only enough to tuck away into the archives of his memory that Jason had paid his tab with a small card that barely looked related to a credit card – nothing that he recognized as in use where he lived.
And the beer bottle? The label read ‘Since 2235.’
Brian’s life until then had been ordinary. He was in a band with his best friends, was doing decent in school, and he had a bright future ahead of him. It hardly made him unusual at all, which could have been what was making it so difficult to grasp the fact that his girlfriend Hannah had been shot and killed that one particular night in that one particular club they had been in. He’d been right there with her, but that hadn’t made a difference.
~

Aiden wasn’t exactly strangers with Jason. He had met him before, both times smashed beyond what was healthy and not completely beyond what was normal for him, and both times coincidentally in the Between Times Bar.
The reasons behind Aiden’s unhealthy binge drinking almost justified it.
He was eighteen, which wasn’t a reason. He had just been forced to move in with his aunt, getting pulled from Vancouver to Calgary in a matter of days. That might have been a reason. He had been sucked into a relationship that was deeper than he wanted, scarier than he had thought it should be. That was a reason. And he had spent only eight months free after a year in Juvy, and two years clean from the shit of Vancouver’s East Side. Those were definitely reasons.
Everything that had gone on before he turned eighteen was behind him. That was what he told himself, what he forced himself to believe. He was not going to revisit any of that. Then why was he back in Vancouver at all?
He was back with Claryce, who wanted to meet his mother and his sister. They were there for a mere week. So short it should have been harmless. Right?
Wrong.
Aiden felt suffocated back here, in this city. He had to get away. And he did, he went back to the BTB, meeting Jason for the third time and Brian for the first; and all of them discovered that the bar was a time portal. Out of the ordinary and almost unbelievable, but it was and Aiden saw it with his own eyes before moving on to another bar and drinking half the night away. When Aiden crawled back to the apartment that night, his green eyes swimming with alcohol and his short brown hair mussed, Claryce wasn’t impressed.
Claire just couldn’t understand why he hated it here. Why he wanted to go back to Calgary. So, to distract him, she dragged him to a club, the Waterfront. Where the lights were low and the music was loud. Where Aiden could relax and smile as he danced with her.
Where gun shots cracked from above the heads of the dancers, and blood splattered beneath their feet.
~

Chapter One

Aiden paced around the waiting room of St. Paul’s Hospital tirelessly. He needed to do something to calm himself down. He felt like the bland walls were closing in on him. He could barely control the emotions that shook his entire body as he bit his lip, clenching his hands into tight fists. His knuckles bleached white as he dug his short nails into his palm. He couldn't believe what had just happened. He couldn't. And yet here he was, so livid he didn't know how he was going to be able to speak to the police when they showed up.
Claryce was somewhere in the hospital, they hadn't told him where. And a good thing they hadn't or he would already be there, probably with security guards lying bloodied and broken in his wake.
He glanced viciously around, catching sight of Brian. He had been there, too. Hannah had also been shot. In that fucking club. Aiden had spotted the shooter immediately, climbing along a balcony, aiming the handgun right at Aiden's chest. But the crowd had panicked and shoved Aiden about. The next shot had hit Claire. Then more shots had been fired. But Aiden hadn't paid attention; he had found her, lying unconscious on the floor. He had dragged her out into the crazed street, hailing a taxi that had driven faster than any ambulance to the hospital. There had been no time to call the police. Claire's life was on the line.
And as two constables entered the waiting room, their faces told Aiden exactly if that line had been cut short or not. A growing roar began in the back of his mind, building gradually to a violent volume. He didn't even notice as Brian came over to talk with the constables. He could barely stand still, let alone listen as a one of them spoke.
"Aiden Rarefeld and Brian Dalton?"
They both nodded. "Is Hannah alright? Can I see her?" Brian asked.
The constable gave him a sympathetic look before he said, "I'm sorry. Hannah Cambrey and Claryce Morris didn't make it. They are now victims of a homicide we are investigating-"
Aiden didn't wait to hear the rest. He left the room deftly, smashing through the double glass doors. He heard one of the panes crack as he walked out into the street, ignoring the taxis and cars that blared their horns. He started walking down a sidewalk, quivering, exploding with misery or anger; or both. He gritted his teeth so hard his jaw ached. He felt his hands itch to kill something. Or someone.
Brian couldn't accept the fact that his girlfriend—his Hannah—was dead. "No." He couldn't comprehend. "No, no, no! No..." Brian didn’t know what to do. This couldn't be happening. Not now. Not tonight. He started pacing the room, grabbing hold of his brown hair. His face contorted with emotions—whether they were rage, stress, fear, or overwhelming sadness—to the point that they all melded into a single unidentifiable expression.
Brian couldn’t hear what the cop said but he turned to look at him anyway. His eyes landed on the small plastic strips known as keycards that the man had pulled from his pocket; he recognized them immediately, and in one swift movement Brian grabbed the thin plastic strips out of the man’s hand and bolted for the door. The policemen took after him.
"That's police property; evidence in an investigation! You could go to jail for taking those...!"
The policemen soon lost him as he took off into the depths of downtown Vancouver in the same direction as Aiden had gone.
Even though Brian had only met that kid once before, it wasn’t hard to tell that he could get dangerous; very dangerous. He couldn't leave him in that state in a public place. Brian picked up his pace. The only thing stopping the seventeen-year-old teenager from sliding down the side of the building next to him and dying, was the strange need to keep Aiden from hurting someone. He ran into the crowded street and saw who he was looking for, but he hesitated in getting too close just yet.
He kept a safe distance for some time, getting just a little bit closer each time that Aiden seemed to approach a passerby. The longer he followed, the more surreal the situation started to feel and a strange mood settled over him that he couldn’t seem to shake. After a while he finally felt he might be able to approach the other teenager without getting the daylights knocked out of him. Hopefully.
"Hey," Brian said in a low, strained voice. He kept back, not wanting to push anything.
"What do you want?" Aiden snapped, his long, angry stride not even faltering as he growled at Brian. He didn't know him. He didn't want to be near anyone. He wanted Claire. "Fuck off!" he roared at a man who had shoved by him. The guy scowled at him before flipping him off and ducking into an apartment building.
Aiden's entire body was tense and shaking as he stormed across a street, blind to his surroundings. All he knew was that he was heading towards the seawall and that if he walked long enough, he'd get there eventually. He shuddered. He hadn't had a chance to take Claire to the beach yet. Or to Granville Island.
A group of drunks burst out of a bar just in front of Aiden. They staggered about, singing songs. Aiden shoved through them, knocking a couple to the ground. One guy shouted at him. Aiden delivered a swift punch to the guy's face before he whipped around and continued on his warpath to the ocean, blood dripping from his knuckles.
Brian followed Aiden with more conviction now—he was getting pissed off. "Fuck, it wasn't just your girlfriend that got killed!" he yelled after him, picking up a jog to keep up.
Aiden rounded on him; this time he could physically feel his muscles quiver and strain against him. It took him all he had not to punch Brian out too. "I am really beyond caring right now. Handle it your way and let me do it my way. She was the only thing I had. Don't tell me to calm down. She just died instead of me. It was me he was aiming for. I’m worth shit!" Aiden snarled, his eyes the deadliest shade of green. He stared Brian down for another moment before he spun and continued storming toward the ocean.
"You don't think I’m about the same right now?!" Brian said through clenched teeth, his hands balling into fists as what Aiden said made the reality of Hannah's death come back to hit him a second time. For a long moment Brian felt like he couldn't breathe. He didn't actually breathe until it all came out in a rush of air. He felt dizzy but he clenched his jaw and reached into his pocket.
"The police wanted to show us these." He stopped, hoping Aiden would too.
Aiden just stood there, reeling, for a good minute. When Brian didn't say anything else, he finally turned around, just barely controlling his anger. "What?"
Brian showed him the keycards, turning them over in his hands.
"Aren't those..." Aiden trailed off, his eyes narrowing on the keycards. "Those are from Jason's time." Without another word he spun around and headed off in a new direction, this time at a sprint. The bar was just a few blocks away.
He ground his teeth as he continued to run. He could feel the initial anger dying away, leaving him edged and wounded. He tried to ignore the tears that pricked at the back of his eyes, the dead weight that seemed to pull down his feet, and the sickening feeling that was enveloping his heart. It all made him angrier. He didn't wait for Brian as he slammed through the bar door.
"Where's Jason?" he growled, locking eyes with the bartender.
Ariana looked back at him with a suddenly hard edge. She could tell trouble when she saw it. "He isn't here, puppy." She paused as her eyes flickered to Brian when he burst in the door as well, and then back to Aiden. "If you boys are here to cause trouble, I suggest you leave," she said in a low warning voice, glaring at them with her odd violet-blue eyes. She could feel their anger; it was like a tidal wave that crashed out from them.
"Do you know how I could get a hold of him?" Aiden forced out between his teeth. He had to stop himself from snarling at her. It wouldn't help. "I won't cause trouble for you. I want to talk to Jason. Give me a way to find him and I'll leave. Otherwise you'll have to call the cops."
Ariana's eyes darkened and she frowned deeply. "Sit down," she ordered. "He'll be here soon. And next time, don't threaten me." She slammed her hand down on the bar, making a crack that seemed to echo out of the walls and dark corners. Then she turned on her heel and walked into the back.
Not two minutes after she disappeared, Jason walked into the bar. He had his head down, staring at the floor. It wasn't his usual gait, his usual presence when he entered a room. He didn't notice anyone else; he slunk to a booth on the far side of the wall and collapsed down into it with a heavy sigh. He was hoping for a quiet drink and home. That was it, nothing exciting.
Aiden was across the bar before he could stop himself. He grabbed Jason's shirt collar and pulled him to his feet. "You wanted me to fight back? You wanted to see what it was like when I went over the edge? Well, Jason! I'm over the edge!" he snarled, shoving Jason back into the booth. "What the hell was someone from your time doing shooting at me for? I need some answers. Now."
Jason let out a string of curse words as he was grabbed unexpectedly and yelled at. He didn't bother trying to interrupt; Aiden was pissed and Jason didn't want to deal with that right now. He didn't care about the kid's problems and so when he was shoved, he caught himself on the table and shoved Aiden right back. "Fuck you, kid! I don't need to deal with your problems right now." He backed off from the teenager, running a hand through his hair, which took the shadow off of his face and exposed the black eye he had received earlier that night. "I don't give a shit about you, or whatever the hell you’re talking about!" He saw the look in his eyes and he could already tell there might be a fight. He didn't want to have one but he was not about to get involved in some teenage emotional crisis.
Aiden shook his head, an ugly scowl on his face. "No. You don't understand. Someone from your fucking time killed Claire-" He paused for the briefest moment, his own words hitting him with as much force as he wanted them to hit Jason with. "And you're going to help me find out who. Even if it's just taking me through that screwed up door, you're going to help me find out who." Aiden couldn’t get into Jason’s time without touching him when he walked through the bar door, which was something they had discovered the last time they had met.
Brian watched the conflict between Jason and Aiden unfold numbly. He had somehow—he didn't remember how—made his way to and seated himself on a barstool, and just sat there, watching. His strength was draining away quickly and he turned to face the bar, collapsing his face on his arms.
"People die," Jason said with a hard edge and a dismissive attitude. He backed off more. "I don't know who's killing anyone. People are trying to kill me," his voice was calmer. "So I've got other things to think about. I'm here to get shit-faced, that’s it." He backed off a little more and he was at the bar. He sat down in a stool and called for a beer, hoping that was the end of it, but knowing better.
"Someone's trying to kill you? Did they kill your sister when she got in the way?" Aiden snapped. "Take me through." He grabbed the keycards out of Brian's hand that lay limp on the counter and then grabbed Jason's arm and tried to drag him over to the door.
Jason jerked his arm out of Aiden's grasp, glaring at him, his temper starting to rise. "Yeah, they fucking almost did! Another few millimeters over and she would be in the ground right now! Piss off, kid." His anger was getting the better of him now and his whole body felt like it had seized up, his fists clenching. "People die all the time! Deal with it and move on!" He was now ready to hit the kid; bust his face open, make him bleed.
This was the way Aiden was going to deal with it. By finding who the hell did it and killing them. "What would you do if your sister did die? You can't tell me you'd just lie down and take it! Fuck! Claire was more than a sister!" Aiden threw a punch right at the man’s chin, putting all his body into it.
Jason saw the punch coming, but he took it anyway and then he grabbed Aiden by the shirt. "That is not the way to get me to help you," his voice had lowered as he met Aiden's green eyes with his own for a moment. He knew he'd do the same in the kid's position, but he couldn't deal with that right now. He didn’t need to and he didn’t want to.
He released the kid and grabbed the beer that had been brought for him, downing half of it in one swallow. He released a short sigh, feeling better already. He sat down on a stool and looked back at Aiden, the anger still lingering but his attitude dismissive. “Do I sleep with you? ‘Cause the last time I checked, I don't, which makes it not my problem.”
Aiden glared at Jason. He knew that Jason wouldn't help him like this. But he really didn't care. He roared a string of curses before he slammed back through the bar door, out into the open streets of Vancouver.
He headed towards the back alleys down by the water. He knew that was where most of his old dealers were. He growled something as he took off into another hell bent sprint. The police wouldn't mind too much if he helped them out. A few less drug dealers were always a good thing. And he had come to learn it was a great way to blow off some steam. But he needed to do more than that; he needed to smother the forest fire with a square cloth of cotton the size of his hand. Impossible.

Jason watched Aiden with dark green eyes as he left the bar. The reaction to his words was far from surprising. In fact, if Jason thought back not more than a few hours ago, he was doing the same thing: yelling, cursing, throwing things; wanting to kill someone with the grief and anger bubbling up. But Kalim had been there. And the man that he considered his father knew how to handle Jason.
But Jason didn't know how to handle Jason. How could he even think that he could do anything for this kid? Not that he was thinking about it. It really wasn't his problem.
But it did catch his attention that Aiden had said something about his time... And coming from a kid who lived two hundred and ninety years ago, it caught his attention enough to think about it. Did people from his time even have time machines? Not as far as he knew but as Kalim always said: the Bulwark Organization and the government were always at least fifty years ahead of the general public.
It briefly crossed his mind to go back and try to check into it, but he immediately put that aside. He wasn't about to put himself at risk because of some teenager saying something that hardly made sense. Aiden had asked him for help because he thought somehow that the killers were from Jason's time. And if that was actually true—of which he was doubtful—then it kind of did make it his problem, if only because he was Aiden's only link to the future.
That thought bothered him. He didn't want to be caught up in this. He did have his own problems. And what, now he was inviting more? He downed the rest of his beer in a few gulps.
Slowly, he slid off the stool he was on and sat down beside Brian who still had his head down on the bar. "Hey," Jason said, tapping Brian on the shoulder. "Aiden's gonna kill someone. Mind telling me what happened?" his voice was low and irritated, and he kept his hand on Brian's shoulder, making sure the kid at least noticed him. He was sure Brian had a story too.
Brian slowly lifted himself into a sitting position, looking more drained of colour and energy than he had ever looked in his entire life. "...Hannah..." his voice cracked. He couldn't say it. “They’re dead…” he mumbled into his arms on the bar. He couldn't take this. Not his Hannah.
Jason frowned. "Yeah, I know that already kid." He raised his hand for another beer. "Okay, simple questions it is." He leaned closer and in a clear, low voice he enunciated, "Why does Aiden think the killers are from the future?" He knew he was asking a lot of this kid to pay attention and give an answer that would make sense, but that was the one question he really needed to know. The rest of it didn't matter; he didn't really want to hear about it anyway.
Brian fished around in his pockets halfheartedly for a moment, then pulled out the one keycard he had held on to. He didn't want to show that one to Aiden; he had recognized it. He flicked it onto the bar and fixed Jason with a gaze that required all of his energy and attention to muster, waiting for his reaction.
Jason picked up the keycard and flipped it over in his hand. Most keycards had the same shape and different colours for different things. IDs were orange and house cards were usually yellow or brown. This one was blue. A car card, but when he flipped it over the small white numbers on the back caught his attention. Pulling out the keycards from his pocket he looked at his almost identical blue card. The first batch of numbers were the same and the last batch were. That wouldn't matter if it weren't for the numbers in between. He ran his thumb over the numbers and then let out a long string of curse words. Every card that was given to a person had personal information on it. And those were hacker's numbers. He flicked the card back. "Keep that," he ordered before putting his own keycards away and grabbing Brian by the arm. He yanked him to his feet in almost an angry way.
"Who the hell would hack my numbers?! I'll kill them," he said to himself as he dragged Brian with him to the door of the bar. "Guess I'm going to your time, kid," he said through clenched teeth before shoving Brian through the door first.
Jason followed and looked up and down the dingy wet street, taking in the odd cars and the noise. This was his first time going back—whether he had believed it or not originally, this solidified that neither of the teenagers nor Ariana was lying. "Where the hell did he go?" he asked Brian after not seeing Aiden immediately.
This sudden jerking from Jason woke Brian up. He had something to take care of; he had to push emotions from his mind for now. "How am I supposed to know where he went?" the teenager almost snapped back at the man. He then remembered what it was like in this not-so-pristine part of Vancouver. He went over to the nearest bum. "Seen an angry kid in the last few minutes? Tell me where he went."
The hobo looked at him blankly. "I might've."
Brian grumbled something and threw a ten-dollar bill into his hat as Jason glared impatiently.
"Went towards the West Coast Plant, you know where all the dealers are? Looked like he was ready to kill someone..." The bum shrugged, looking over the bill intently.
Brian took off at a run in the direction of the plant. He wanted to get there before the hobo's comment became fact.

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Idler on the Roof

January 21, 2011 at 11:22 PM PST

You got two posts-different and awesome writing. Imageries with your words-excellent. Love your writing. You're good. Got me hooked and kept reading.