The bulb swung slowly on its cord, animating he shadows that fell on the walls. The prisoner was bound to the ceiling, his eyes closed. Blood trickled from his mouth, a ghostly smile playing on his lips. He was a powerfully built man, hanging from the cords that bound him. Although tied, he still seemed to emanate an aura of power that the officer holding the leather belt, ready to swing at him didn’t.
The inspector swung. The crack echoed along with the prisoner's grunt as it made contact with his sweaty, naked torso, leaving yet another stripe of red.
"You hit like a girl, Richard." The prisoner spoke, his eyes still closed. The smile still visible on his features.
Richard swung again and again. The prisoner grunted with each crack, but the smile never vanished. Finally, sweaty and out of breath, the officer collapsed against the cell wall.
"Why are you here?" Richard asked once he'd gained his breath.
"Why do you ask me that Richard? I'm the one who's bound." The touch of irony in the reply was quite prominent.
The inspector got up and lunged at the bound man, punching him straight in the face.
"Don’t you dare play with me Hound, why are you here? If you wanted, you could walk out right now, and I wouldn’t be able to give one shit about it." Richard snarled, his face close to Hound's as he held him from his hair.
"You’re a brave, brave man Richard. Not many men have been able to do that." Hound smiled.
"Do what?" Richard asked.
"Beat me up, and snarl in my face."
"To be really honest, you let me do this to yourself, I'd like to know why."
"You've called the headquarters I presume," Hound asked, straightening up.
"Y-yes. Why?" Richard was suddenly afraid, very afraid. Hound wasn’t a normal man, certainly not one you wanted to be alone with in a cell. He was the best mercenary known, and he was operating in Sesmont City. Richard had been on his tail for the past three years now.
"Good. They'll be able to find your body." Hound suddenly flexed, braking the cords that bound him. "Somebody wants you dead Richard."
Richard started to back away from the advancing man, bound and tortured by him only seconds ago.
"We've known each other for so long Richard, I wanted to make you happy. You like beating me, don’t you?" Richard hit the wall. Hound was almost on him.
"Why do you tremble Richard?" Hound brought his face level to the terrorized officer, just inches away from him. "Come, I'll make it easy for you."
Hound straightened up and opened his arms, he had a long dagger in one hand, which was ironic. Richard had thoroughly checked him for weapons before he had placed him here.
Richard knew what was about to happen. There was no escape, certainly not from this man. He'd killed hundreds. Women, even children. There was no remorse, no pleading. Once he received a name, it was death. He never missed.
He shuffled forward, right into the arms of his death. His gaze dead, along with his mind.
Hound hugged him with his free hand, pinning him in his powerful grip.
"In the end, we all are cowards, in the face of our death." Hound whispered in Richard's ear, right before he plunged the dagger in his ribcage, pulling it out instantly. Richard struggled like a pig in his grip, but Hound did not let go. "And I don’t like cowards."
Hound stabbed again and pulled it out. Richard screamed. "Pain is good Richard." Hound stabbed again, but did not pull out this time.
"Specially for cowards." He whispered, twisting the dagger that was still deep inside Richard's ribcage. "It gives them strength." Hound pulled it out. Richard's struggles were fading, along with his screams.
Hound stabbed him again and twisted for the final time. "Oh, and about the no pain part."
He took the dagger out and let the inspector's body fall like a sack. It hit the floor with a thud.
The news spread like a disease throughout the room. Silence ensued as the words registered.
"Inspector Richard Collins has been murdered."
Every officer in the room was focused on the commissioner, waiting for further information. No one could quite place why the meeting had been called, even the sudden revelation of the Inspector's murder didn’t explain the purpose of this gathering. Nobody called an emergency meeting because of a murder, even if the murdered was one of the police force.
"What happened?" One asked, when the commissioner remained silent.
"John Hound." The reply made it all fit. Every officer in the room knew that name, and the hate, anger and dread it brought with it.
"The gun-for-hire who has eluded us since the past five years, reigning terror on this city." The commissioner continued. "Richard's body was found in the College Road Police Station after he had made a call to the HQ about a recent arrest of John Hound. When the officers on duty reached the scene, they found Richard murdered. Stabbed brutally."
"What will we do Commissioner? What are the orders?"
Before he could answer, the door swung open. Every head turned towards the man standing in the door frame as his blue eyes in turn swept through the whole room. His gaze held extreme authority in it, his lithe gait resembling that of a predator. This strange, powerful and handsome man was quite new to every officer. From his black suite to the cigarette between his lips, he accentuated extreme power.
"I'll be answering that." He spoke, his voice carrying throughout the room.
"Ladies and gentlemen, this is ACD Hector Creed, who has recently come back to Sesmont City after a shining carrier in the capital, specially for the case of John Hound." The Commissioner introduced the man. "Welcome back, Hector."
"Thank you Commissioner."
"What are we gonna do about John Hound, Sir?" One female officer asked.
"Ladies and gentlemen, its time we act." Creed answered, taking a long hit from his cigarette.
"And what does that imply?"
Creed smiled, as humorless as death itself.
"Its been a long, long time since I took on a kill."