“Daddy! Daddy!” I have faced every terror known to man. Every blood-curdling scream for mercy only sent me deeper into my dark state of being. Their agonized screams never moved me to feel pity, nor have they ever struck fear in my heart. This, though… this was different. The cry of a child, terrified and begging for a father who could no longer help him, raised my hackles for the first time in my fucked-up life
Somehow, I know that breaking through the barriers of fire and smoke and saving this boy will avenge me, and I will finally find the redemption I so desperately need.
As if they have been summoned from the very portals of hell, flames are licking at us from every angle, but I will never forgive myself if I leave this boy to be swallowed up by the inferno.
A wooden beam crashes down beside me and pulls me back into the moment. Quickly, I bend over and lift the child from a pile of soot-blackened debris to heave him over my shoulder.
Once the boy is secure in my arms, I turn and immediately run toward the door. With every step, my lungs scream for the life giving fresh air that looks so close, yet it feels so far away. The boy’s tiny fingers grip me tightly; one hand is hanging onto my leather gun holster, and the other is wrapped in the fabric of my shirt. When I dressed this morning, I certainly never anticipated this could be the day I die.
The fire has burned through the walls in places, and sunlight beckons me through the cracks. The entire building threatens to cave in on us before we have the opportunity to crash through the door separating life from death.
I will not fucking die today. I plow through the wooden door, instinctively knowing the handle is far too hot to be touched.
Yafon waits just outside the door, and I toss the child into his outstretched arms right before I fall to my knees, struggling to gulp down the fresh air that now surrounds me.
I gained a son today, and though he was not born of my loins, he will be raised Bratva with my last name. I now have three children, two sons and a daughter, to carry on the legacy of their father, Glazov.
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