Principles

Ezra stumbled away from Severin, stopping when he felt something pressing against his back: the wall. He took a shuddering breath. There was nowhere to run, no way to hide. “H-how are you… alive?” he whispered. He’d been certain that Severin had drowned when he’d gone overboard.

“I’m just not that easy to kill, little fox,” Severin said, smirking. He stepped in close, setting one hand on either side of Ezra’s head. “You’ve been very difficult to track down. Did you know that?”

Ezra swallowed thickly and nodded. “I didn’t want to be found,” he whispered. His hand tightened around the umbrella Morgan had given him. There was a blade hidden in the handle. He bit his lip, stifling the thought before Severin could read it. “Just back off,” he said, his voice taking on a warning tone.

Severin laughed. “We both know you won’t kill me, little fox,” he said. “You’re too kind hearted – too caught up in that illusion you call faith.”

Flushing, Ezra ducked his head. Severin was right. Ezra couldn’t kill him, even if it meant his own death. He bit his lip and thought. Just because he wouldn’t kill, didn’t mean he couldn’t fight back. He stabbed the umbrella down onto Severin’s instep, bringing his knee up at the same time.

Severin cried out in pain and anger; then crumpled to the ground, groaning in pain. Ezra jumped over his prone form and careened down the alley. He nearly collided with Devin, but the agent was quicker than him, dodging to one side and then catching him around the shoulders.

“Easy,” he said, when Ezra tried to pull away. “You’re safe now. I won’t let him hurt you.” He turned and looked at Severin. “Hey, Paul. Guess you’re not so dead as we thought.”

“Paul?”

“Severin’s real name is Paul Anderson,” Devin murmured. “We went to school together.” He patted Ezra on the shoulder and stepped over to the fallen operative. Hauling him upright, he pushed him against the wall and began handcuffing him. “You’ve got Morgan’s umbrella, so why didn’t you use the knife hidden in the handle?”

“I… can’t take someone’s life,” Ezra said, hugging the umbrella to his chest. “I don’t believe in killing.”

“Got to be careful of that, Ezra,” Devin said, his voice soft. “Whether you believe in it or not, it exists.”

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