Ninety…

Ninety: Karma

Contains violence.

Kat and Percy’s plan came together nicely. Soon Vaclav was involved as well. Even Hunter got involved, for he was needed to patch up Percy’s broken wing; which seemed to annoy Hunter. Poor Percy grimaced whenever Hunter stabbed him with the needle. Hunter stitched up the chasm near the area close to Percy’s ribs.

On the third night, their plan went into effect.

Kat knew Jakub spent certain nights with Ashton. That night was one of them.

Kat tapped in the number to Ash’s phone.

“Hey Ash. Is my brother Jakub there?”

“Yeah,” Ash replied. “Hold on a second.”

“Kat? What do you want?” Jakub asked a moment later.

“Dad wanted me to call you. He wants you to come to the manor to talk… something about changing leadership of the Haas Clan.” She cleared her throat. “And don’t forget to bring Xander with you. Daddy misses him.”

Kat clicked off her cellular.

And worried about whether the plan would work… or turn out to be disastrous.

Regardless, she headed out to her new car.

Hunter. How he confused her by buying that new cherry-red BMW. Why were men so weird? Of course there were much more imperative things to worry about than those creatures with twigs and berries.

Kat drove to her father’s mansion. Tristan and Justin were already there, spending a few nights with their grandparents. Arrangements had already been made for them to spend time deeply in the basement, in case things got messy once Jakub arrived.

Percy swore not to kill Jakub. He said he’d only take away Xander. Though Kat made Percy promise not to follow her, those plans had obviously changed. It made things a lot simpler that way. Percy could be there to fetch Xander, and that would be the end of it.

But as things usually go, it likely would not be that easy.

Like a feline to catnip, Jakub showed up to claim possible leadership of the clan.

“Hi Jakub. Th—thanks for showing up.”

“Whatever. Where’s Father?”

“Come in, and I’ll show you.”

“Dad’s in here,” Kat said as she strolled into the den.

Reznik tarried next to the family patriarch. Unlike Jakub, Reznik has respected and worshiped his father since day one.

“Hello, son. Why don’t you have a seat?”

“I’d rather stand,” he said. “What’s this all about, Father? My sister told me you were wondering about a possible change in leadership of the clan. What exactly does this mean?”

“As if you didn’t know.”

Oh. This is about to get ugly. Kat turned Xander around and held him, partially covering his ears.

I really need to get him out of this room. But her feet and legs refused to move.

“Let me ask you this: did you conspire with Gavin to stage an abduction of my daughter? Then pretend to save her to play the so-called hero, in order to manipulate me into taking leadership away from Reznik and give it to you?

“You fucking bitch,” Jakub snarled at Kat. “I don’t know how you found out, but you’re a bitch.”

She shuddered, held Xander closer.

“There is nothing you could ever do to redeem yourself that would make you worthy of leadership, Jakub. Nothing. You’re nothing but evil. You belong in hell. That’s the only land you could ever rule.”

“What are you going to do, kill me?” He chuckled. “You’d never risk going back to prison. I know you’re not that stupid.”

“You’re right. I’m not that stupid.” Vaclav glanced at Kat. “Get Xander out of the room,” he demanded.

She ushered him from the den.

“Let’s go to the basement. There’s some books and toys down there I can show you. There’s even a cat named Whiskers.”

Xander didn’t seem too thrilled about it, but he went anyhow.

Meanwhile…

“As I was saying, son, I’m not stupid. And no, I do not plan to spend any more time in prison. Having you in my immortal life is enough of a prison in itself.”

“Leadership of the Haas Clan belongs to me!” Jakub ranted. “It’s my birthright! Reznik has no business being leader!”

Percy swooped toward Jakub.

“Wait, it’s—”

Percy thrust the blade into Jakub’s chin. Then he yanked it out and sawed off Jakub’s head.

This time the job was complete. No doubt about it.

Jakub would not be coming back this time.

Kat just finished hugging Xander when she heard disturbing sounds coming from upstairs.

Like… someone getting killed.

Hmm. That wasn’t in the plan.

Kat left Xander with Aubrey, the twins, Cody and Lauren; then she mounted the stairs to the upper level.

Trepidation accelerated her pulse and turned her blood to ice.

She found the guys mingling in the den.

Though mingling wasn’t quite the right word for it.

Like so many before him, there lay another headless body on the floor. This time that body belonged to her brother.

“So should we bury him now or what?” Reznik asked.

“Percy! You said you wouldn’t kill him! You promised!”

“Katerina, do you honestly believe Jakub would’ve stopped in his attempts at gaining leadership of the clan? Even if he had gained leadership, he would not have stopped there.”

“Jakub would never have been satisfied. He could be leader of Shadowvale, leader of the world. It’d never be enough.” Vaclav hesitated a moment. “Also, Jakub would’ve killed you and Reznik in order to get what he wanted. He was even using his own son for his magic.”

“Okay, but… you and Percy decided this without telling me? Why?”

“I’m sorry, Kat. I knew how you felt about it. I knew you didn’t want him killed.”

“So you did it anyway? And didn’t bother to tell me you were going to do it?”

“That’s enough. I told you this is for the best. I don’t want to hear any more about it.”

“Fine. But from now on, can you keep me in the loop whenever something important is going to happen?”

Vaclav curtly nodded and stormed to the other side of the room.

Kat was so angry she thought her blood would boil. Then she glanced at Jakub’s head.

And stifled the urge to vomit.

An hour or so later, Jakub’s final resting place ended up in the backyard. His only grave marker was a small stone.

Three days came and went.

Kat hadn’t seen Percy since Jakub’s death. Not until now.

“Are you still angry with me?” Percy asked.

“No. Of course not.”

“I’m leaving tonight with Xander,” he declared. “I’m going to miss you, Kat.”

“Yeah. I’m going to miss you too.”

Xander’s eyes moved between the two. “I want to go home and see Mommy,” he whined.

“We will in a minute,” Percy said.

Percy shyly looked down. Kat fidgeted, unsure of what to do.

Percy grabbed Kat and kissed her.

“Yuck,” Xander said.

Kat knew she’d never see Percy again.

Her lips trembled beneath his. Lips that reminded her of someone else’s…

Mournful howls resonated outside.

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