"The Maze"

By: Miracle Shining


AUTHOR'S NOTE: All the Slayers characters are property of their respective companies and distributions. I'm just a fan, please don't sue me. This is an alternity fic with heavy angst, dark themes, and YAOI, so if you are under 18 or the legal age in your state or country, offended by m/m relationships, or can not handle really dark literature, than leave now!! I won't be responsible for you if you do not! Domo arigato, and enjoy the fic!! =^.^=


CHAPTER FOURTEEN: The Heart of The Maze

Lina groaned and opened one of her ruby eyes slowly. She was sitting in a dim lit room that had little light to provide any real bearings. She closed her eyes again and reopened them, trying to mentally remove the dull thud that kept taunting at her brain.

"Oh damn..." she moaned softly.

"S-sergeant Inverse?" came a soft reply.

Lina turned her head slowly, the movement sending short spikes through her skull. She tried to move her arms and realized that they were immobile.

"Saillune, is that you?" she asked quietly.

"Yes, Sergeant. Papa is here too." Ameria responded.

"Your father? Mayor Saillune?"

"Yes, Sergeant?" came a deep, husky voice.

"What the hell are you doing here, sir?"

"I've been asking Papa the same thing since we woke up." Ameria's bitter reply came.

Lina pulled on her arms and frowned. Something was pressing into her wrists. Bending one of her fingers up slightly, she felt around until her fingers ran across something grainy.

"Rope...hmm, somebody has not intention of us leaving." she thought silently to herself. Moving her legs slowly, she found that they too were bound and the rub on her ankles indicated that it was rope also.

"Saillune, are you tied up too?"

"Yah, and so is Papa."

Lina frowned as her vision became a little clearer and the headache eased. They seemed to be in a virtually empty room with the exception of a small wooden stool in the corner. The room itself was spacious and the ceiling was high, a small crack revealing a dimming sun.

"How long have we been here?" Lina asked.

"I don't know, but it's been a while." Phil responded.

"Why are you here, Mayor?" Lina questioned.

The Mayor of Worthing sighed quietly, resting his back against the wall. He pulled on his binds in another fruitless attempt to get them loose.

"I was working with the Kopii and they grew displeased with me."

"What?! You mean what those two goons said was true?!" Ameria shouted.

"Saillune, shut up, we don't want to garner any more attention!" Lina reprimanded quickly.

Ameria shut her mouth quickly, but tears were in her eyes. Her own father, the representation of everything that was just in the city was working for the Mafia. It was almost too much for her to take.

"Why, Mayor?"

"I had my reasons." Phil said simply.

"Well, I'd like to hear those reasons since apparently all of us are tied together in this room and since we have nothing else to talk about." Lina stated flatly, thoroughly annoyed.

The Mayor sighed and glanced over to the vicinity of his daughter.

"A few months ago, I made a proclamation to the city that we were going to clean up the streets of Worthing. All the police precincts would make their rounds patrolling The Maze, the central hot spot for any major crimes."

"Yes, I remember signing the proclamation, Mayor." Lina stated.

"Well, it started out quite well. Everything was running smoothly until the officers started to pick up major drug dealers and prostitute ring heads. Now, in the eyes of the public, this was a good thing. The streets would soon be safe for every Joe and Jane family that lived in Worthing. But, for the Kopii, it was a different story.

I started getting phone calls late at night from a miscellaneous source who began to threaten me if any more actions against the inhabitants of The Maze occurred. I ignored them at first, thinking it was some second rate Claire Bible dealer who had been caught. But the frequency of the calls continued and the viciousness of them slowly increased."

"So, why didn't you just call the cops?" Lina questioned.

"Well, Sergeant Inverse, I considered doing that, but the state of the Worthing police force was not exactly in tip top condition."

Lina felt a slow burn come across her face. She would be the first one to admit that most Worthing precincts were hardly capable of handling in large crimes or have officers that were qualified for such assignments.

"Then one night, I received a call from the head of the Kopii himself. I was told to come to his warehouse apartment alone. I got there, traveled up a large creaky elevator and walked down the hall. I had never been so scared in my life. When I arrived, the head of all the police precincts, the head of the Kopii, his secretary, two gentlemen with guns, and a few minutes later, a gentlemen arrived with purplish hair, his lady friend and three others, one wearing a dog collar of some sort."

"Gourry's confession was true..." Lina realized to herself.

"The Kopii laid two cases on the table. In them contained around five hundred thousand dollars. Half a million for the head of the precinct's and my silence. At first, I refused to take the money. I work for the people of Worthing, not the Kopii."

"But seeing all that money changed your mind, didn't it, Mayor?" Lina questioned, her voice tense.

"Quite the opposite, Sergeant Inverse. I'm already a wealthy man and half a million was not that much to me. But, he said if I didn't take it that his two associates, one who was balding with a jewel in his forehead and a long blue black haired guy would take away my most precious treasure."

"Which was?"

"My daughter."

Ameria stared at the area her father's voice was coming from. The tears welled up in her eyes, a mixture of guilt for doubting her father and joy that he loved her that much to give up the safety of Worthing just for her.

Lina sat slightly dumbfounded by the mayor's honest answer. He had been pulled into the whole Kopii Mafia thing not by choice, but by necessity.

"Then, when Ameria decided to work for the 14th precinct as a detective under your Detective Greywars, it just made things worse. The moment both of them began to look around The Maze, the phone calls started again and before I know it, I'm here with you and my daughter, having been assaulted by those two Kopii henchmen."

Lina frowned, pulling at her wrists and trying to shift her ankles again.

"So, just looking for a witness in The Maze triggered this whole thing. I realize Mayor that the 14th precinct along with the other precincts agreed that The Maze would be left alone a long time ago."

"What?!" Ameria said out loud.

"That's right, Ameria, under a secret bargain with the mayor, the police forces agreed to stay out of The Maze. Now I know why you wanted us to do that, you wanted to keep your daughter safe. But, then we had those two double murders and I just couldn't let it go. In a way, I guess I was the one responsible for the chain reaction that has occurred. By sending you into The Maze, Ameria, I made you a target."

"But...but what about Gourry and Detective Greywars?"

Lina bit her lip, rolling over the question in her head.

"I...I don't know, Ameria. The Kopii really seems to be interested in getting rid of Greywars and I'm sure they're going to work on taking Gourry out too."

A soft moan interrupted the trio's conversation. Lina shifted her ruby eyes to the source of the sound and squinted her eyes. The last rays of sunset splashed over a section of the room near her. She caught sight of a few golden strands lying on the ground.

"Gourry?" Lina questioned.

"My head..." came the response.

"Gourry, you're alive!" Ameria gasped.

"You're the blonde haired young man I saw when I met with the Kopii." Phil said.

Gourry moved slightly, dragging his body across the room to the source of the noise. His wrists ached from being bound with something sharp and his ankles hurt too. His fingers were slick with something and he could smell an iron scent around his body.

Lina could make out Gourry's form as he slinked forward slightly. She felt her stomach twist when she saw that his wrists were bound with taut wire, not rope like theirs were.

"Gourry, what did they do to you?" Lina could barely whisper.

Gourry slid up beside Lina, resting his head on the floor. He was still dizzy and felt as though he was going to lose everything in his stomach. Swallowing back the bile, he raised his head slightly again.

"I...I was lying on Zel's bed...and...and then the two men who worked for the Kopii attacked me and put a cloth over my face...and...and then I woke up here...and my wrists and ankles really hurt..." he said softly, his words broken from disorientation.

"Zangulus and Vrummugen...those bastards..."

"Do you know the two men, Sergeant?" the Mayor asked sharply.

Lina kept looking at Gourry resting on the floor. She could smell salty iron and realized that his wrists must be bleeding slightly.

"They used to be officers for the 14th precinct until they decided to work for the other side. They were in prison and as I recall Mayor, according to the records girl at the state penitentiary, you were the one to sign their parole release." Lina responded quickly.

"Papa..." Ameria whispered.

"I did it for you, Ameria. I didn't know that letting those two men free would result in this."

Ameria said nothing back to her father, only stared down at the floor. She was torn between wanting to see her father put to trial for all the things that had happened in Worthing and wanting to embrace him, telling him how lucky she was to have such a protective father.

A door from the left of the group flew open and a blinding barrage of light came streaming into the dim room. Lina let out a groan and slammed her eyes such, opening them again to see three figures standing silouheted against the light.

"Well, well, Sergeant Inverse, it's good to see you awake!" an overly cheerful voice said.

Lina gritted her teeth.

"Zangulus, what the hell are you doing?"

"Just my job, Inverse, since you felt it appropriate to get rid of Vrummugen and my's original one. You know, we've come to the conclusion that working for the bad side of the road is a lot more profitable...and fun."

Zangulus let out an icy laugh that chilled Lina to the bones.

"You're insane."

"Far from it, I just like making money."

Zangulus kneeled down in front of Phil and Ameria. His face was twisted into a dark smile and he laughed again.

"Don't worry, you two, the Kopii wants to talk to you and Sergeant Inverse when our guest of honor gets here."

"Guest of honor?" Ameria barely squeaked.

"That's right, no party of this size could be complete without our dear old friend, Detective Greywars." Zangulus responded and stood, looking at the blonde haired young man still lying on the floor.

"Of course, I'm sure our little blondie here will be more than happy to see him."

Vrummugen approached Gourry and suddenly pulled the young man to his feet. Gourry groaned, his head falling forward and he gasped for breath.

"Now gentlemen, Mr. Kopii said that I was to deal with Mr. Gabriev."

The voice made Gourry's head snap into absolute clearness. He began to tremble and suddenly thrashed in Vrummugen's arms, tearing the wire into his wrists and ankles deeper.

"Oh, come now, Gourry. Let's not act like that."

"Please...please, no..." Gourry cried, trying to tear himself away from the arms that held him.

"Let him go!!" Lina shouted, trying to get to her feet.

"Sit down." Zangulus growled and kicked Lina in the stomach, throwing her back against the wall.

"What do you want me to do with him, Erin?" Vrummugen asked quietly, keeping his arms firm around Gourry's waist. The young man continued to struggle, crying and trying to kick at Vrummugen.

"Why don't you take him to my interrogation quarters. Mr. Kopii said that I can do as I please with him, just make sure he's still breathing before Detective Greywars gets here."

"No, please, NO!!!" Gourry screamed again as Vrummugen drug him out of the room. Erin turned and followed quietly, her black high heels clicking quietly on the tiled floor. Zangulus smiled slightly, heading to the door.

"Where are you taking him?" Lina said through a gasp, her stomach feeling as though there was a rock in it.

"Erin likes to play and Gourry was her favorite toy last time he joined us. The boss just likes to let her have a little fun." Zangulus responded before slamming the door behind him.

"Likes to have a little fun...'it was the most abuse I had ever received'..." Gourry's words from his first confession went through Lina's mind. "No, oh please, don't let them do that to him again."


Gourry continued to squirm and scream as Vrummugen threw him into a small room close to the Kopii's main office. Erin smiled politely at the jeweled man.

"Thank you, Vrummugen. Mr. Kopii needs to speak to both you and Zangulus now."

Vrummugen nodded and quietly walked away, leaving Gourry huddled in the corner of the room. Erin closed the door quietly, and then turned to Gourry, her smile still on her face, but her eyes had darkened a notch.

"Well, well, Gourry. I didn't think I'd ever get the opportunity to play with you again. Mr. Kopii had promised me, but I never thought it would ever happen. What a lucky young woman I am. Let's see, last time, as I recall, you couldn't hardly walk. But, then again, I like to think I was going easy on you." Erin laughed.

Gourry tried to push himself up the wall for leverage, his face streaked with tears. Erin walked over and pinned Gourry to the wall, applying pressure to his wire bound wrists. He let out a squeak of pain and Erin smiled wider.

"That's right, Gourry. You remember the pain, don't you? You remember begging me for mercy. You remember the smell of your own blood, don't you? I think it's time to take another pleasant little trip down memory lane, don't you?"

"Please, please, don't do this...please..." Gourry whispered.

"Don't do what,... mistress." Erin responded, slapping Gourry across his face.

The young man sobbed brokenly as Erin unraveled the wire from his wrists and ankles. She proceeded to undo his shirt, lying the white material on the ground.

"This smells like your detective. I bet you enjoyed it with him. He was probably as gentle as a feather. But, then again, I've always liked things rough."

Erin grabbed one of Gourry's bleeding wrists and pulled him to the center of the room. There were two shackles hanging off the ceiling.

"No, no please!!!" Gourry cried, as Erin forced his wrists up, binding each one in a cuff.

"No, mistress!" Erin retorted, pulling on Gourry's wrists, shooting pain through his wounds.

Erin walked behind the bound young blonde and picked up a small bull whip resting on a nearby chair. She smiled to herself, tapping the leather on her palm.

"Well, then, let's just see how much you can handle now that you've had time to heal."

Gourry could hear the whip come undone in Erin's hand. His ears made out the distinctive sound of the tip brushing over the tile. He closed his eyes and waited. His thoughts ran over the image of Zelgadiss, quiet and stern. He swallowed back the tears and gritted his teeth. No more crying. No more screaming. He would take it without making a sound. He focused all his thoughts on Zel's image and then he heard the crack, felt the breeze, and then the tearing of his own skin, warmth coming to the surface and dripping down his back. He wanted to cry, sob, make any noise, but he held his tongue and remained silent.

"There's one..." Erin whispered behind him.


Zelgadiss drove his car faster than he thought he ever could. He made another sharp turn and hopped the car over the gutter and onto the sidewalk. Growling angrily, he corrected his error and continued to speed toward the warehouse district. The closer he got, the stronger the smell of the bay air, the scent of dead fish, and smell of the water came into his nose. It only seemed to add to his already infuriated nature. A kind of calming sense taunting at his anger.

Zel made another turn and stopped in front of a large warehouse. He stared at the card in his hand and then at the huge number painted on the side of the building.

"The Kopii lives in a warehouse. Talk about class." Zel spat out bitterly.

Zelgadiss pulled out his gun, clicking off the safety and then holding it carefully in his hand. He spun the barrel once for security and then something caught his attention. A soft noise, something that sounded as if it was nearby. He narrowed his eyes and perked up his ears, listening even harder.

"Something is clicking...or ticking...ticking!"

Zelgadiss threw open the door to his car and rolled away from the vehicle, pulling himself up and running. He had barely got a hundred feet before the explosion sent him rolling into a pile of fishing nets nearby. Zel shook his head, and looked over to where his car once was. A smoldering pile of metal and glass with flames leaping every where remained. He bit his lip and moaned to himself.

"My...my car..."

Zel growled, standing up from the fishing nets and staring at the building.

"Is this how you want to play, Kopii?!" Zel shouted at the warehouse.

The chimera took off in a run, passing by his ashen car and into the building itself. He threw open the large doors and stared at an old run down elevator.

"This must be my invitation." he ruefully thought to himself.

Keeping his gun close to him, he scanned the elevator, finding it empty. Slowly, he stepped inside. Pasted to the elevator controls was another white card written with red ink addressed to him. Pulling it free, he turned the card over.

"Detective Greywars, if you're reading this, then you must have gotten out of your car safely. Congratulations, you are truly a detective of great stature. Please, press the top button and you and I shall finally be able to meet face to face."

Zelgadiss swallowed and pressed the large red button on the top of the controls. The elevator slowly creaked and made it's descent upwards. The sounds of the old gears turning made the chimera even more uneasy. He was preparing himself for the elevator to come free from it's cables or a small alarm with a trap to go off after his incident with his car.

But, the elevator came to a slow, uneasy stop. The doors came open, squeaking, and Zelgadiss stepped out into a huge corridor adorned with paintings. He made his way down the rich carpet, the sound of his footsteps being drowned out by soft material underneath him. His eyes scanned the paintings, all of them portraying a man in a red suit with a face with eyes that were always shut.

"This must be the head of the Kopii." Zel thought to himself.

He reached the doors at the end of the corridor and pushed on them. He wasn't very surprised to find that they were already unlocked. Steadying his gun near his head, he entered, swinging it in full circular motion.

"Really, Detective Greywars, that isn't necessary."

Zelgadiss spun around to see the source of the sound. He held his gun level to a large chair that rested behind a huge desk in the room. The chair rocked back and forth slowly and an arm came out, setting a wine glass down on the desk.

"Turn around and put your hands where I can see them!" Zel growled, his gun still level with the chair.

The chair slowly turned around and a man with purplish, spiky hair, closed eyes, a small smile and a three piece red suit sat comfortably. His chin rested on his folded hands.

"Detective Greywars, my hands are where you can see them."

Zelgadiss approached slowly, his gun still level with the man's head.

"You're the head of the Kopii?"

"To be precise, I am the Kopii. My name is Rezo Kopii, head creator of the mob and of The Maze," he said with a smile.

"Where the hell is Lina, the mayor, Ameria and Gourry?"

"My, straight to the point, aren't you, Detective?" Rezo said simply, standing up slowly.

"Keep your hands where I can see them!" Zel shouted.

Rezo held up his hands and walked to the nearby bar, holding up a glass.

"Care for a drink, detective."

"Thanks, but I think I've already had my fill of shock today." the chimera spat.

Rezo turned and held out his hands again, pouring a small glass of whiskey. He sat the bottle down and swirled the tawny liquid in the shot glass.

"You wanted to know where your associates were, didn't you?"

"Yah, that was the original question."

"Well, I would tell you, but you see, you still have your weapon aimed at me, and I'm afraid I don't work well under pressure."

Zelgadiss frowned and slowly lowered his gun.

"Okay, there. Tell me where they are."

Rezo turned and sat down in his large chair again. He relaxed back slowly and rocked comfortably.

"I have a small addiction, detective, and I wondered if you'd like to indulge it for me. You see, I'm a gambling man, and I love playing games of chance. There are two doors behind me. Each one leads to a separate room. Whichever one you choose will lead you to part of your group. But, the one you don't choose will be the loser."

"You bastard!" Zel shouted.

"Of course, if you don't choose at all, all of them will die. So, choose wisely"

Zelgadiss stared disbelieving at Rezo. The man took his shot of whiskey and smiled quietly at the chimera.

"I'm not a very patient man, Detective. I suggest you make your choice."

Zelgadiss felt his heart pounding in his chest. He glanced between the two doors and took a deep breath. Finally, he raised his hand and pointed at the left door.

"That one."

"Oh, well that is a good choice. Zangulus, Vrummugen, let's show our good detective what he's won!"

"Zangulus and Vrummugen..." Zel hissed.

The left door came open and Zangulus threw the mayor out and was followed by Vrummugen pulling Lina and Ameria out by their hair. The young women screamed and Lina tried biting at Vrummugen's fingers. Zel let out a relieved sigh and then realized that there was someone not with them.

"Where's Gourry?!" the chimera demanded.

"Oh, well you see, you didn't pick the right door. You must admit though, Mr. Greywars, three out of four really isn't bad." Rezo replied with a smile.

"You bastard..." Zel raised his gun and approached Rezo, holding it's aim right at the man's forehead. Rezo continued to smile calmly.

"I would watch yourself, Detective. There are moving targets."

Zel raised his eyebrow to the comment and then he felt a fist in the side of his ribs. The sound of the already injured bones cracking sent the gun dropping from the chimera's hands. He coughed hard, trying to drag in any air that he could. A swift kick to his chin sent him flying on the floor. He groaned and then let out a scream as a boot heel dug into his left shoulder, his old bullet wound reawakening and sending a thousand spikes of pain into his nervous system.

"Well, well, old pal. Bet you never thought you'd see us again."

Zelgadiss looked up at his assailant. Zangulus smiled coldly at him, Vrummugen coming up to join him.

"If it hadn't been for you squealing and us ending up in jail, we might not have ever gotten the job that we have today." Vrummugen hissed.

Zel growled and then let out a cry as Zangulus dug his boot farther into Zel's left shoulder.

"You see, Mr. Greywars." Rezo said quietly. "I had a lot of money tied up with Mr. S in the Oldon complex. But, once you said something, the whole thing came crashing down and my little empire of The Maze suffered greatly. I thought I'd let it go. I thought I'd let you live, thinking that maybe you wouldn't cause any more trouble for me. Then, you just had to investigate a couple murders and interfere with my business once again. You've become quite a pest for me, Detective Greywars. One that I intend on permanently exterminating this time." Rezo said, his voice much colder and darker.

"Where...where is Gourry..." Zel gasped through the pain.

"Oh, that's right, you're wondering about our favorite little blonde. Well, you see, my secretary Erin took a liking to him. She enjoys the way that he screamed when they were first together and I thought it only fitting that she should get to play with him again, now that he's back with us."

"What the hell have you done to him?!" Zel screamed and was kicked again by Zangulus.

"Well, tell you what, Detective Greywars. Since you've been such a sporting fellow, I'll show you what's behind the door you didn't choose. Oh, Erin, why don't you bring your toy out here for everyone to see."

The right door came open and Erin pushed a rather limp body down onto the ground. Zel turned his head and saw Gourry lying still on the ground. The white shirt had been reapplied to Gourry's body, but it was sticking to him, maroon smattering over the clean material. The whole back of the shirt was splattered dark red. Zel felt tears stream from his eyes as Gourry shifted slightly, barely pulling his head up. His face was bruised and he looked directly at Zelgadiss.

"...zel..." he only mouthed before he lowered his head again, curling up slightly.

"Gourry...no!!!" Zel growled, pushing up with sudden force and throwing Zangulus back. He stood and was ready to go over to his fallen lover when Vrummugen locked Zel's arms and Zangulus punched his fist into Zel's ribs again. The chimera let out a cough, blood coming this time. He moaned in pain, but his eyes couldn't leave Gourry's form on the ground.

"Erin, did you have fun?" Rezo asked quietly.

The secretary frowned and shook her head, dropping the bloodied whip on the ground.

"It wasn't like last time, Mr. Kopii. He didn't scream or cry or anything. I only whipped him a few times before I got bored and stopped. I want a new toy." she whined.

"All right, Erin, I'll find you a new toy tomorrow."

The secretary's face lit up and she walked over to Gourry, kicking him a little with her high heel.

"Well, it was fun while it lasted."

"You're sick!" Lina shouted at Erin.

Erin only ran her fingers through her dark hair and shrugged, going back into the room she had come from. Lina narrowed her eyes and then something shiny caught her attention. She turned her head and saw Zel's gun lying a few feet from them. If she could just get her hands undone, she could get a hold of it.

"Saillune..." Lina whispered.

Ameria turned her attention to Lina, her eyes full of fear.

"They're going to kill us, Lina..." she whispered.

"No, they're not, Saillune. Do you see the gun over there? No one has noticed it missing. Can you get my wrists undone without anyone noticing?"

"But, Lina, my wrists are tied too." Ameria whispered.

"Just work the ropes with your finger tips. Mayor, make sure that it doesn't look like anything suspicious is going on. The moment we draw any attention, tap Ameria with your knee."

"Right." Phil responded.

Ameria began to slowly use her fingertips, working on the ropes that bound Lina's wrists. She felt a tap on her side and ceased. Vrummugen came walking over, looking at the trio sitting quietly together.

"All of you have been awfully quiet."

"Why would we want to talk to scum like you?" Lina replied.

"Why you ungrateful..."

"Vrummugen, please come over here. You're dealings are with Detective Greywars."

The balding man frowned and turned away, returning to taking the semi struggling Zelgadiss from Zangulus's grasp. The chimera groaned as Rezo pressed his hand to his side.

"Does it hurt bad, Zelgadiss?" the man asked quietly.

Zelgadiss looked up at the man through pain hazed eyes. He frowned and swallowed back a little bit more blood.

"I...I..." he could hardly speak, let alone create a full sentence.

"I can make it stop, Zelgadiss. I can make it all stop." Rezo reached into his pocket and pulled out a small handgun. He clicked the safety off the gun and rested it against Zel's forehead. "All you have to do is ask..."

Zel swallowed, his mind reeling. He didn't know if Gourry was dead, but if he was, he would gladly join him. He closed his eyes, breathing slowly. If the Kopii wanted his life in return for others, than that would be his choice.


The sound of Gourry's voice shocked the Kopii and he turned, his gun moving off Zel's forehead. Suddenly a gun shot went through the air and Rezo turned to see Vrummugen crumpling beside him. The man held his shoulder and screamed.

"What the hell?!" Rezo shouted.

Zangulus spun around to see Lina holding Zel's gun right at him. Her wrists were free and he could see that Ameria and the Mayor were getting their bindings undone also.

"You never could tie very good knots, Zangulus." Lina stated, her finger pressing on the trigger.

Zelagadiss was in almost as much shock as the Kopii. Zangulus approached Lina and without a second thought, Lina shot him through the leg. The blue black haired man dropped in pain and let out a groan of pain. The commotion brought Erin out of her room. She was holding a large hand gun and she aimed it for Lina's head.

"No one threatens Mr. Kopii!" she shouted.

Lina had no where to go and Erin began to pull the trigger.

"Lina!" Zel shouted.

Erin laughed and then the gun fired, the bullet flying over Lina's head and puncturing the wall.

"What the..." Lina barely could pant.

Erin was lying on the ground, the gun still smoking. Slowly, she tried to get up, but something was preventing her from moving.

"Erin, what are you doing?" Rezo demanded, his gun once again aimed at Zelgadiss.

Erin turned her head and let out a squeak of shock. The hand that held her ankle belonged to Gourry. The young man turned his head slowly, the pain obvious in his face. He pulled himself up slightly, pressing his boot down on Erin's shin. The woman shrieked and unconsciously released the gun. Gourry continued to force himself up, applying all of his pressure directly on Erin's leg. He stood completely up, resting some of his weight against the desk. Rezo stared in shock and Zelgadiss felt a strange kind of relief float over him.

"Gourry, you're alive!" Zel shouted.

"Not for long..." Rezo growled.

Zelgadiss instinctively threw himself against Rezo, the gun going off and missing Gourry. The bullet went into the door behind the young blonde. Gourry gasped and could barely keep himself standing.

The chimera struggled with the mob boss and Rezo threw him off him, turning and running down out of the room. Zelgadiss growled, ready to follow.

"Zel, wait!!" Lina voice came.

Zel turned to see Lina getting out of her ankle bindings. She squirmed about and stood quickly, holding her stomach. Zel's gun was still in her hand.

"Let me help."

"Not this time, Lina. You saved my butt once and it's my turn to return the favor," the chimera responded quickly. He snatched his gun back from Lina and clicked it open.

"Four bullets left. Better make them good ones. Call for reinforcements." Zel stated, heading for the door.


Gourry's voice stopped the chimera and he turned to see his lover staring at him. Those blue sapphire eyes said everything and Zel swallowed slowly.

"I'll be back, Gourry. I swear to you." he said softly.

Gourry watched as Zelgadiss ran out of the room, following Rezo's path. Erin moved underneath him and he pressed down on her shin again. Her gun was just out of her reach. Gourry slowly walked over her body, pressing down with his heels on her back. She let out a growl and a scream of pain. He leaned down and picked up the gun, the heavy metal resting in his hand. Lina and Ameria were busy tying up Zangulus and Vrummugen. He leaned down slightly, his head still dizzy from the pain.

"You know what, Mistress..." Gourry spat. "I think you need a time out."

Gourry used the back of the gun and hit Erin hard on the head. The young woman went unconscious and Gourry walked back over her body, standing with the gun resting beside him, hidden by the desk he stood behind.

"Mayor, call for 911 and Ameria, help me with Zangulus!"

"Right!" Ameria responded.

Phil walked over to the phone and dialed 911, turning from Gourry. He watched Lina and Ameria involved with Zangulus and Vrummugen. Quietly, he walked slowly from the room, no one noticing him. His back was in searing pain and he felt as though his legs were nothing more than thin, breakable sticks. He walked down the maroon carpet, the gun resting near his thigh.

"This ends now..." the blonde thought to himself. "Zel, I'm not going to let him take you from me. Even if it means my life."

Gourry pressed the button and the elevator hummed, coming from the roof of the building.

"They must already be up there..."

Zelgadiss had just exited the elevator when the doors closed, heading down again. There was a metal door between the small room and the roof. It was partially ajar and Zel already deduced where Rezo had ran too.

The chimera pushed open the door and a blast of wind and rain struck his face. He stepped out into the torrents of the Worthing rain and blinked some of the water out of his eyes. The cold rain shot through his clothes, numbing his skin. He could hardly see anything on the roof through the sheets of water.

"Let the games begin!" he heard a shout from some where on the roof.

Zelgadiss swallowed and closed his eyes, saying a silent prayer.

On to Chapter Fifteen or Back to The Maze or Back to Worthing or Back to the Roses?