Queen Cobra leaped out the window on the 39th floor of the Derossett Building. It wasn’t the tallest high-rise in Ark City but the fall would still kill her just the same. She snagged the line she had rappelled down earlier and moved deftly up it towards the roof. She moved preternaturally quick aided by the radioactive venom coursing through her bloodstream. She would need every drop of speed. He followed behind her.
At the lip of the roof, she flipped herself up over the edge almost dropping her shoulder bag with the Botha Diamond inside. The world’s most perfect pink diamond. She swung the bag back snugly in place and exhaled. Stay loose but quick. She was fast. Her pursuer faster.
Dashing across the roof, she smiled at her equalizer hidden in a corner of the roof. Her Cobra glider. He may have the edge in speed but he couldn’t sprout wings and fly after her. Just stand there and glare as she escaped. It was a damn sexy glare. She reached her glider and slid the harness on securing herself. From her peripheral vision, she caught a shadow pounce over the edge of the roof by her rappelling rope. She cursed herself for not cutting the line.
She stood wobbling the glider into launch position. Forward momentum achieved. Escape was just feet away when five claws ripped through the glider’s canvas wing. Another sharp-clawed hand reached through the tear in the wing for her. She danced out of the harness rigging and gave the damaged glider a flip entangling her nemesis inside. She took a defensive posture as she checked for a backup exit.
The frame of the glider snapped apart revealing the Mongoose in his brindle patterned costume. The subtle stripes were dark and irregular. By contrast, her sleek form-fitting suit was iridescent green when she turned in the midnight moon. She pulled back the hood which helped resemble her cobra namesake.
“I’m not giving it back, Perry.”
He growled and his eyes darted side to side.
“Relax. There are no eyes or ears on this roof. Just this lovely diamond between us.” She patted her bag.
“Put it back, Miranda. Put it back and we can go back to being…”
“Being what exactly?” A coy smile revealing her two sharp fangs.
“Whatever you want to call it.”
“Oh, Mister Control is allowing me to name what our relationship was.” She pulled her right foot back a little.
He reached out his clawed hand. “You can… We can change. Just hand over the diamond.”
She pirouetted away from his hand. “Who said I wanted to change?”
He dropped his hand. His shoulders too. “Queen Cobra is impulsive and dangerous. That’s not your true nature. Miranda is kind, charitable, and uncompromisingly smart.”
She spun closer to him then away and laughed. “I am all that and more. All our time together and the great Mongoose never learned anything about my true nature.”
He didn’t like to be mocked. He certainly didn’t like to be laughed at. “Give me the diamond.”
“Or?” She grinned across the roof to her ex-lover.
He rolled his broad shoulders. “I take it.”
“A last dance then.”
She pulled up her hood and he was already behind her slashing at her shoulder bag strap. She slithered away just in time to evade his grasp. A sharp shin kick to his thick thigh. Muscle like armor. He tried to encircle her with his arms. A drop with a roll created some space between them. She flung three Cobra-rangs from her utility belt at Mongoose. He dodged two but one stuck in his chest.
He looked down at the sharp metal snake embedded in his flesh. A pluck with his fingers and it was out. He rubbed the blood between his fingertips and squinted his hunter eyes. “Why do you fight me?”
“Why do you chase me?”
She hadn’t noticed him setting his feet and the ungodly fast lunge caught her off guard. His tackle bowled her over. She tucked them both into a roll leading them back to their feet but now in his unbreakable embrace. They were at the edge of the high rise. Wind whipping across their bodies. Eye to eye. Their breath on each other’s cheek.
“I chase because you steal.” His lips brushed hers as he spoke and they kissed.
The kiss was tenderly backlit with passion. Their lips parted. The kiss lingered then Queen Cobra bit his lip hard injecting venom from her fangs. He swung his head away from her attack and pushed her to the ground. His face was like a wounded child.
“I fight because you want to cage me.”
He dabbed at his already swollen lip. A bit of a stagger as the radioactive venom coursed through his veins. He leaned his ass back onto the edge of the roof. “This only delays our dance. My immunity will shrug this off soon. It won’t stop me.”
She stood up and weaved her way to him placing her hands on his knees. She leaned in with a frown. “No, it won’t darling but this fall will.”
She grabbed ahold of his brindle fur costume behind the knees and flipped him over the edge. At the lip the city lights reflected on her iridescent scaled body-suit, she stared down at the plummeting protector of Ark City. He didn’t scream on the way down. His nature wouldn’t let him. She didn’t cry for the same reason.
Rob D. Smith is a common man attempting to write uncommon fiction in Louisville, KY. His work has appeared in Apex Magazine, Shotgun Honey, The Arcanist, Thriller Magazine, Bristol Noir, Rock and a Hard Place Magazine, Tough, and several other crime, horror, and speculative anthologies and online magazines. He co-hosts The Abysmal Brutes podcast that explores pop culture storytelling at theabysmalbrutes.podbean.com. Follow him on Twitter @RobSmith3