Orpheus had been distracted during his reunion with Josée. It wasn't good. It wasn't right. Nevertheless, he had a lingering feeling that something was very, very wrong. He couldn't isolate it, but something unpleasant was lurking, just waiting for the right time to pounce.
When the others started moving, Orpheus lagged behind a little bit. Time to play a hunch. He was probably just being paranoid. Probably wasn't a thing to worry about. Still, he said to them, "I'll catch up in just a sec. Got a little, uh, business to attend to." A gesture at his zipper made the meaning clear.
But he was just being overly cautious.
Sure enough, after a half minute, nothing happened. The others were still within sight, though only barely, and rapidly fading. He took a couple steps, building up to a jog, ready to catch up to them. After all, he'd be a big help to them. Josée needed him.
He'd made it five steps when the voice called, "Hold it right there."
((Rob Jenkins continued from You Don't Have to Do This
Orpheus held it right there, glancing briefly over his shoulder to see just who he was waiting on. Rob Jenkins. Basketball player. Had always seemed an okay enough guy, only he'd killed a couple people over the past two days, including Lily Hayes. Lily Hayes had never hurt anyone, and Orpheus had a hard time believing she'd suddenly changed her personality completely, especially without getting on the announcements. She'd have been able to take at least one person out. Surprise and all that.
"Hey," Rob said. "You seen a guy called Aaron?"
"Nope," Orpheus replied. "Wouldn't tell you even if I had. Your reputation's a bit bad these days."
Rob was holding a gun. Antagonizing him was probably not a good idea. Orpheus was having a hard time biting back his words, though.
"Now," he said, "if that's all you need, I think I've got to catch up with my friend, Josée."
"She that girl who was with you?" Rob asked.
There was something off in his tone.
"Yeah. Great girl."
"Is she your girlfriend?"
Something was wrong here. Something was very, very wrong. Orpheus tried to remember what he could. Rob was looking at him with unrestrained hostility. What had been said about Rob on the announcements? Hadn't Danya called him a Nazi? That could have meant any number of things, but... well, Lily was black, and both Rob's kills had been girls. Maybe Rob was carrying out some sort of male Aryan holy war. That'd be just what Orpheus needed at the moment.
"I don't really think that's your business," Orpheus said. "I think we're done. I don't have any argument with you. You wanna start something, it's all on you."
"Call her back," Rob said. "We can ask her if she's seen Aaron."
"I don't think so," Orpheus replied. "I think I'm happier with her far away. I found her once. I'll find her again."
Rob's face flashed a look of pure loathing that made Orpheus flinch for a moment. He wondered if, perhaps, he'd pushed things too far.
The look on Rob's face told him he had. It was only a matter of time before this went south. Violence was imminent. Orpheus had pretty much one chance, given Rob's superior armament, and that was surprise.
"I thi" Rob began, and Orpheus charged him, keeping low, a football tackle.
He heard the three gunshots, but figured they missed, as he slammed into Rob, throwing the boy to the ground. He gave Rob a good smack to the side of the head, rendering him unconscious. Situation handled.
Only, there was blood everywhere.
That was funny. Rob wasn't bleeding.
Looked like Rob hadn't missed at all.
Orpheus suddenly found himself feeling very weak and sore. There were three bullet holes in his chest. He wasn't going to walk away from this.
He didn't even know what to think. He wanted to scream. He wanted to kick Rob in the ribs, break his arm or something, then die on top of him. Give him something to think about when he woke up. He wouldn't kill him, though. That would be vindictive, wrong.
Only, all of a sudden, Orpheus realized it was necessary.
Rob knew Orpheus was allied with Josée. He knew it, and he'd shown his willingness to kill. He was a double murderer, soon to be a triple murderer, and Josée would be his new target.
Orpheus found himself holding a large rock. It was slippery, with all the blood on his hands. His chest ached. He'd have to hurry.
Three quick strikes did the trick.
B075, Robert Jenkins: DECEASED
Only then did Orpheus remember Rob had had a gun. He picked it up, considered it. Had Josée been here, he'd have passed it to her. He'd never be able to catch up in time, though, so he threw it into the ocean.
He looked at Rob's body.
Even killers deserved a little respect.
He dragged the corpse, his own strength waning, down the key, until he found a place where the ledge to the ocean was somewhat steep. Then, he rolled Rob down it. The boy, seemingly weighted down by something, sunk surprisingly quickly.
Orpheus considered turning around, walking somewhere more dignified, but all his remaining strength had gone out of him. He teetered a little, then tumbled down the slope after Rob, landing in the water. It was cool, calm. Salty. It stung something fierce in his wounds. He couldn't do anything about that, though, and, bit by bit, the sensation faded away.
B090, Orpheus Campbell: DECEASED