Christmas eve, a time meant for family. Curled up in front of the fire with a sweet cup of Egg Nog or a hot cup of coco. The air charged the happiness and forgiveness mixed with icy air of winter warranting lazy nights and strained days. All the strain and stress are easily forgotten on this night and the following morning. At the look of the happy faces that one can't put a price on.
Reggy and Kriss had planned to spend their first Christmas in bed, sipping sweet drinks and sharing whispers of love. Unfortunately, that perfect setting only lasting till early afternoon when the air suddenly changed. Mokka came running into the room and leapt on the bed, fir standing on edge and bright brown eyes looking at Kriss.
Kriss didn't have to ask what was wrong, as he felt it himself. Instinctively pressed his naked back against Reggy's chest. Reggy was also rigid with the sudden and unexpected change to the air.
“What the hell?” Kriss whispered.
“I don't know, it is very electrified.” Reggy concluded thoughtfully, as he stared toward the wall that blocked the cold air of winter from entering the apartment. Though, it did not block the electrified air, “that is not warranted.”
That was when phones rang, Reggy and Kriss exchanged nervous glanced. Reaching to there respectfully night stands for their phones. Folding back into each other, before answering, for Reggy it was Greg and for Kriss it was Brad.
They both experienced high pitched interference. Mokka's ear peaked and trying to become a small dog, to curl close to Kriss's chest.
Reggy with his left arm under Kriss's shoulders and Mokka's snout resting in his hand. His right hand was holding his phone tight against his ear, the interference made his eyes water. Not matter he held it to his ear, not because he thought he heard something but because he did hear something. Greg's voice was drowned by white noise, “Reg... needed... station...hurry.” Then silence.
His fingers of his left hand was hot with Mokka's breathing. Then felt Kriss grow rigid against him and his breathing was sharp.
“What did Brad say?” Reggy asked, Mokka looked up at his voice. She was look at them over the shoulder.
“Not much, but it looked like that this my first call. It seems like it won't be an easy one.” Kriss said, with a hint of nervousness. Reggy worked his right hand, now free the phone, between Mokka's body to rests his hand on Kriss's chest. Soothing his heart, as he were and his hand ran across the scare that he gave his love with a jagged piece of metal.
“You going to be okay?” Reggy asked. He wondered if he should have talked to him about going to a mental doctor. Piper had talked to him about it a few days after Kriss was home, Reggy remember looking at him talking and laughing with the lot of them. He had said, “Nah,” at that time no one knew that he was going to purpose to Kriss at the next grand meal, to which they were all going to be there. “Nah, I think he is going to be okay.”
“I hope he is. I would hate to hear that he locked up.” Piper said.
Reggy had watched her join the others. He thought a moment before he join the rest, could Kriss be hiding fear?
“Reggy?” Kriss asked, his voice strong and steady just like before the accident.
“Yes?” Hand still on Kriss's chest, feeling the strong heart under the hand.
“What do you think that was?”
With the question unanswered, they got up and got dressed. Reggy watched Kriss as he got into his uniform. He expected to see Kriss trying to hide his nervousness, but doesn't.
“Reg?” Kriss asked concerned, seeing the wide amber eyes staring.
Reggy blinked and focused on Kriss's face, “Not to worry. Just unhappy that are lazy Christmas eve was disturbed.” Reggy said honestly.
Kriss took his face in his hands, “Then let us go get this taking care of, then come back.” Kriss kissed him thoroughly.
On that Reggy disregarded his worry of Kriss's mental state and replacing it was the interference on the phone. He wondered if it had an connection with the sudden change of the air.
A strong gust to wind hit the curtained window in the bedroom, casting small particles against it. This caused Mokka to bark and run into the bathroom. Kriss was at he sink brushing his teeth and Reggy was sitting on the toilet slipping his boots on. Kriss rolled his eyes in the mirror after she had barked, when she come into the bathroom she wormed her way between his legs and the cabinets under the sink. Craning around Kriss leg looking out the door, growling under breath.
Reggy laughed, “Some guard dog you are.”
The look that Mokka had seemed to say, “Hey, I resent that.” And with the slow turn of the head. Sent chills over Reggy, he concluded that he would never get over the humanly features. He pet her head and looked at Kriss through the mirror. Kriss spit into the sink and never left Reggy's eyes.
“What?” Kriss asked the mirror Reggy.
“Nothing.” He stood up and joined Kriss at the sink, “A quick kiss, then let's go.”
Kriss was happy to oblige.
Stepping outside, the door of the complex was ripped out of Reggy's hand and cracking the tinted window when the door hit a brick wall. The air took Reggy's and Kriss's breath away and the hair on their arms and neck stood on edge. Christmas eve in Harris, New York, normally snow covered the ground in heavy blanket and still falling thickly. The snow had not hit Harris, it blanketed the rest of the state. Somehow missed or forgotten Harris completely.
A mother and her young child were hunkered in the narrow and shallow alcove of a bakery across the way. The child was clenching to his mother's waist, the boy shoulder length hair whipping to the left side of his head. His mother was trying to holding her boy, her bag of goodies and trying to hold down her dress. At the look of them Reggy observed that when they started out to the bakery it was just raw cold.
Kriss was thankful that he was not on a crutch, however he still had to grasp Reggy's arm the farther they got from the building.
“Get back inside!” Reggy yelled over the wind.
Only Kriss heard the shout, “Reggy! Let go over to them.” Kriss shouted.
Reggy grasped his hand and together started to the road, when they were completely clear of the buildings and on the sidewalk. Reggy took the full blast of the wind and stumbled into Kriss, who nearly fell over. Hands tightening which helped reassured balance, share a glance. Reggy had a slight smile and Kriss had a sly look with a hint of caution.
Reggy exhaled and pointed with his head, Kriss nodded and they started across the road. Half-way mark on the road, the sky thundered and the wind gusted up again. Going from 30 mph to 50 mph for a few minutes. A load of dust pelleted Reggy's right side, transforming the soft dust to sharp particles. He had to turn his head away.
Kriss was watching the mother and child, when the gust came it blew with the plastic bag of goodies. The bag was hanging by the handles looped over the right arm of the mother. Starting at the elbow and now was at the wrist. It looked as if it could a complete 360, it was nearly hitting the child in the face. The mother's dress of thick cloth for winter but the pattern was flowered, flew up. Kriss saw the black cotton underwear, why have they not stepped back inside?
Reggy and Kriss moved across the north bound lane.
The child, whose eyes were shut tight, opened and looked at the two strangers coming toward them. One that was wearing a police officer uniform.
Reggy's eyes were shielded from the onslaught of dust. He was waiting for the rain to start or hail or snow. Something other the dust because his eyes were now red and scratchy. Understanding that this was not good just because he was need at the station, yet with the interference of the phone calls and the crazy storm. He and Kriss find it prudent to help a mother and a young child caught in the storm.
“Mama! Mama!” The dark child screamed not looking away from the advancing police officer and medic.
The mother lifted the child into her arms, the plastic bag comes loose from the mother's arm and rolled down the street. The mother looked into the street, at Reggy and Kriss. The need to stay respectable was forgotten when her frightened eyes met Kriss's and Reggy was now looking that way.
“Ma’am! You should get yourself and your son back inside!” Reggy said.
“No! Please, I went and got food. My boss dicked my payment two week late!” The mother cried in a thick Brooklyn accent.
Reggy and Kriss stopped at the curb, the mother was holding her son to her chest as her dress flapped freely in the wind.
“Ma'am, please, we are not here to take your son. Get inside where it is safe!” Reggy called, trying to make it sound kind.
The sky roared again, this time a loud boom came. The mother slid to the ground, Reggy staggered in to wide stance looking wide eye and Kriss fell to the pavement. The boom seemed to come four streets over, in the moments to silence following the boom. Reggy immediately grabbed Kriss, who was just sitting on the ground mouth ajar. Reggy pulled Kriss into his arms, the wind also died. Suddenly, like how the air changed with the electrified charged.
“Reggy?” Kriss's shaky voice rose loudly in the silence.
From the left a horn blared in the vast stillness, Reggy and Kriss standing at the curb arms wrapped around each other. Looking down the street littered with dust, loose garbage and branches, coming up the street was a black undercover police stockade. Leaning out the driver window was Greg.
“Get the fuck in!” Greg shouted.
They didn't need to be told twice, Kriss lead and opened the back door of passenger side. And Reggy got in his respectfully place, shotgun.
Kriss had to squeeze in with Kenney, Kip, Piper and Holly.
“Kip, heard from Brad?” Kriss asked as soon as he shut the door.
Kip looked at him from around Kenney eye wide with fear, “Yes, he on his way the ambulance house. Didn't he call you?”
“Yes, but there was interference. I only got ambulance house.” Kriss said.
“Greg, what is going on?” Reggy asked, swinging to the seat and glancing over his shoulder taking in the full back seat.
“Dude, do I look like I have clue. Anyway there is large accident on the Skyway. Kriss, Brad and other paramedics with meet us there.” Greg said casting a look over his shoulder.
Reggy was concerned when he registered that Piper was here. The fact of the matter was that they had a newborn. He was sure they had there reasons for Piper to be here on an emergency call. With Holly being here, made Reggy wonder. What did they know or feel? Yes, the air changed and it was Christmas eve, a Christmas present for the girls? No, he thought against it. Reggy knew that Greg and Kenney would not be reckless just for the extra risk and adrenal rush.
“Kriss, are you okay?” Piper asked concerned.
Kriss looked at her wide eyed, allowed himself to breath before exploding. Relaxed understanding that they all new that this was his first call after the accident, “I'm okay.”
“He is a though guy, this one is.” Kip said throwing a playful elbow into Kriss side.
Kriss smiled, and looked out the window. The cold raw midday of Christmas eve was now clouded over with dark clouds, making Harris look more or less a gray slab. Even drowning the bright neon and Christmas lights to a dull glow. Kriss wondered about the mother and child, did they get inside? Or blown down the street like the bag of goodies.
The tire screeched and Kriss slammed into the passenger seat, Piper into the driver seat, Kip and Kenney braced themselves on the center console. Reggy rapped his forehead on the dashboard. Greg spewed out swears as he cranked the wheel to the right. The spot where they would have been seconds, a lighting strike. Thick and bright struck inches from the nose of the stockade.
It tail whipped around so they were staring down the street that they had just came down. In the moments after the car stilled.
“Dear fuck!” Kenney yelled, the only one in the book that Greg missed.
Greg looked at Reggy to ask if he was okay, but Reggy's head was hanging lazy on his breastbone.
“Reg?” Greg said and reached over and place his on Reggy shoulder, “Reggy?” He gently shook his shoulder.
That alert Kriss, his stomach was still swinging but grabbed the seat and loomed over the top of the seat, “Reggy?”
The voice of his lover roused him and Reggy let out groan, “Shit.” Reggy winced and blinked several time to clear the doubling of his vision, that caused the wincing. His brow hurt. Reggy felt a hand going to gently caress his forehead, he grabbed the hand and immediately squeezed. Feeling Kriss's strong and fast heart beat in his hand, “It is okay, Love.”
Greg swore again he turn the key and the engine didn't turn over, fact nothing turned.
“Dammit.” Greg sat back hard in his seat, “Dead, the strike deep-fried it.”
The wind whipped around the dead stockade, “Now what?” Holly asked.
“We are nine blocks from the on ramp?” Kenney said.
“Are you insane?” Holly screeched.
“Brad is there.” Kip said, all ready to go.
As the pain in his head dulled, “If we are met to go there. No matter the weather, we go.” Reggy said and grasped the door handle.
Out of the car and stupidly strolling on the sidewalk. A head wind that had them practically leaning forward dangerously, if there was a pause in the wind. They all would fall forward and kiss the pavement.
“This was a brilliant idea.” Greg said sarcastically.
Reggy rolled his eyes, walking onward with his arm shielding his eyes. Kriss's hand was interlaced with his, “Babe?” He had to shout over the wind, with his hand in front of his mouth. Not to keep the word from reaching the wrong ears, but to keep the particles blowing in the wind from entering his mouth.
“Yes?” Reggy asked.
“Does the wind seem too warm, to you?”
Yes, it did. He could not remember if the wind had been cold when there were out in it early. He just it could have been, but with the strangeness of the air and storm he guessed he could just taking the fact of it being Christmas eve. It was supposed to be cold.
Reggy gave Kriss a glance. Kriss seemed to had read his unasked wonder, he shook his head. Hands tightened as the wind gusted and nearly stopped them in their tracks for a moment. Pushing on, only two blocks from the on ramp.
“You guys okay?” Reggy shouted over his shoulder.
“Grand.” Greg said.
“Fine.” Kenney said, Holly was in his arms.
“You think Brad's okay?” Kip asked.
“I am sure he is.” Kriss answered.
On out nowhere the world was bright with brilliant rays of sun. They stop and shield their eyes, Piper let out a screech and hid her face in the chest of her husband. The rays were warm, like summer time. Reggy and Kriss's hands become iron clamps and there breaths stopped in there throats, not just at the sudden brightness. At the warmth of August withing confines of late December. The wind had dulled to a whisper, the air was not longer electrified now it was still.
“Kip!” Brad screamed running toward them.
Kip, behind Reggy and Kriss, saw Brad running toward him. Looking panicked. Kip easily melted through the clamped hands. Reggy and Kriss recovered there balance as Kip leapt into Brad's arms.
“Brad, what it going on the Skyway?” Reggy asked, relinking hands with Kriss.
“It is a mess of abandoned cars and a turf war on the upper intersection.”
“Turf war?” Kenney exchanged nervous glances with Holly.
“Pip, you and Holly need to go.” Greg said.
“Why are they hear anyway?” Kip asked abruptly, joining the others hand in hand.
“Whoa!” Reggy said, in an attempt to stop the word exchanged that would most likely ensue.
Nothing like that did, what did was more troubling, “It is there job.” This came out of both Greg and Kenney. The tone in which it was spoken was annoyance.
Kriss squeezed Reggy's hand.
Kriss's reason for squeezing Reggy's hand was not because of the odd behavior of Greg and Kenney. No, he was looking toward the road. It and everything was being swallowed by darkness, an abyss rolling toward them.
“Guy's lets move!” Kriss said.
“Why-” Greg followed his glance, “what the fuck?”
With one glance from the rest, Kriss, Reggy, Greg and Piper were alright half way up the on ramp to the skyway.
“What the hell is that?” Brad yelled, looking over his shoulder.
Kenney, hand in hand with Holly, had a hand in the middle of his back, “I don't fucking know, but I don't plan on finding out. So move your ass!”
“Reggy, the entire city's dark.” Kriss said, quickly glancing around the higher they got.
Reggy's ears were strained for gunfire, when Kriss's comment hit his ears. He immediately swept him in to his arms.
Kriss didn't struggle not wanting to throw him of balance. But his did look.
“Don't be upset, babe.” Reggy said, sadly as he topped the ramp.
The pile up was one of the worst that had ever encountered on the force. There were five lines of traffic going in both directions. There was no concentrate lane barrier anymore.
Kriss let out a tiny whimper, he thought that the destruction in the wake of the bombings. However, this was eerie. The air was still, no one crying out for help. Actually they were the only sign of life. No sign of the shooters even the gun holes that riddled a lot of the cars. Somehow looked as if they hit tin cans, harmless hit the can. No smell or sight of leaking gas.
“Kriss, does this look strange to you?” Reggy whispered. As if a loud voice would be the trigger to set off the chain reaction.
“Too quiet.” Kriss whispered back.
The others joined them and they stood with there mouth ajar.
They were watching the wreckage in wonder and fear. No one noticed the darkness crawling down the Skyway, both sides toward them.
“What the fuck!” The voice was either Greg or Bard. The tone was high pitched, then lost by the sky began to swirl. Charging the air again, there was a bright flash of lighting. Followed a loud crash and the cars seemed to leave the ground.
Reggy had enough time to wrap his arms Kriss. Having a flash back to the police station, he just concentrated on keeping Kriss against him.
“I will not lose y-” Reggy screamed, his teeth popping with the electrified air outside his mouth.
He and Kriss were thrown over the Skyway and in the abyss...