Meeting Zack Coutinho (18+)

vayaz

“Which one?”

“I’ll show you.”

He walks up to the door, pats Staz on the shoulder, and sweeps past her. Staz gives Khats a nod goodbye before closing the door shut. The man beckons Khats to follow him, and leads her away from Staz’ home.

“Your friend over there… She planned on leaving this place tonight with her family. You just didn’t come at a good time.” He walks with large but careful strides, ensuring that he doesn’t make any heavy footsteps on the gravel. They eventually arrive at the armory.

It was more well maintained than Khats expected. It looked more like a church from the exterior. It was built with dusty brown bricks, and there were several windows parallel to each other that lined the walls. He leads her towards the door…

“What’s your name sir? If you don’t mind my asking…”

“Zack. I’m part of the military corps that was supposed to keep an eye on Vayaz and Torenz. We weren’t entirely prepared for… that.” He tilts his head towards a dead winged virago on the ground, completely annihilated with fire bullets.

Khats bites her lip… She conceals that it was a bionic virago that she created herself.

“I’m Khats…”

“I know who you are. You know, this will be an unpopular opinion, but something tells me Seth had it coming for him anyway. You just executed him earlier than intended. I always had a feeling that Arga von Schatz were already done with him. They kept taking his power away, until he had no choice but to work for Reyna. It’s not exactly a highly sought out gig.”

“I’m not sure about the last part…”

“Oh yeah? Why’s that?” Zack opens the door for her, and lets her come in first.

“They were fucking each other, A LOT. And liked it.” Khats smirks as she walks past Zack. They walk towards a dining area. She seeks out a sink, turns on the faucet, and proceeds to wash her face, neck and arms.

“Heh. Well, dealing with that bitch should come with some perks at least. I’m guessing it’s the same with Fuckboy Williams, huh?” He grins at the thought.

“Yeah… I actually almost walked in on the three of them on my sixth day at the job. It was… pretty hot. What’s your issue with Rufus?”

Zack cracks a teasing smile. An arousing expression that completely deviates from his cold first impression.

“Ha… Well, I’d rather not elaborate, since you seem a bit defensive. Did you guys get cozy too?” He leans against the counter with arms crossed, maintaining his questioning gaze at Khats, who is slightly flustered by the question.

“Well, it got me the job I wanted… Er, I’m not exactly making a good first impression here, am I?”

Zack seems excited by the question. “Don’t worry, I’m actually more glad with this turnout. At least now I know we can be adults here.”

“Don’t get any ideas. I ripped Seth’s head off with these hands.” She presents her hands to Zack, opening her palms, then closing them into fists.

“Good thing I enjoy a scuffle before getting to business.” He banters, challenging her composure.

“From my understanding, I thought this was an altruistic move on your end, not business.”

“Everything is business with me. I always expect something back for my time.”

 Khats gets mildly irritated and suspicious. “Look, if you didn’t want to help me, then you shouldn’t have wasted your time then.”

A pause. Then a dismissive scoff.

Zack opens his cupboards to search for what’s left of his inventory. A half-finished bottle of whiskey.

“It doesn’t have to be today. Here, why don’t you drown out your sorrows? Assuming this is the last night you’re staying alive. Relish today while you still have it.”

She stares at the bottle as he lays it on the counter, then back at him. After several close encounters with death for the last 2 years, she’s beginning to think that her luck might be running out.

The way Rufus menaced at her as he gripped the ropes around her neck… It felt like a decisive moment. She was meant to die for killing Seth… for betraying them both. Her heart sinks. Everything feels bleak… heavy…

(I took away his only hope… Why did I do that?? So stupid… So selfish… He’ll never forgive me. I deserved to die then. I should be dead…)

*Clang!*

The whiskey swirls then settles as Zack puts a glass down right beside her. She snaps out of it – she blanked out. In her solemn state she actually considers Zack’s intentions.

Silently, she takes the glass and takes a slow sip.

“I actually… cared for them both. Deeply. I wish I can explain why I did it. I’ve convinced myself that it was because I was expecting them and Reyna to eventually turn on me anyway. But I… it doesn’t make sense. I don’t really know what came over me.”