Sorry I couldn't resist introducing this character XD
(Also I realize while writing that the chapter might be from Frank's pov, instead of Karen's... Well,it sounds good, so I decided to roll with it - especially because I really enjoyed writing the end, you'll see -, hope you don't mind)
« I'm almost done ! »
Frank grunted in response, before glancing through the door. Karen was half bent over a laptop that had caught her attention when they had walked past that room. She was hoping that it belonged to the gang – it did – and that it contained interesting data – apparently, it did too, because she had been searching through the files for several minutes now. Her fingers were nervously tapping against the table as she waited for them to get copied on the USB stick she had found laying not far away. She had decided to leave the computer there, so she would not have to explain how the hell she had found it – she suspected that « I killed all the men guarding a warehouse to get to my boyfriend, who also happens to be the Punisher » would not please the NYPD.
Quiet footsteps reached his ears and his head snapped in the direction of... a man dressed in red and black leather.
« Frank. Why am I not surprised to find you there ? »
He just sighed. Of course the Devil of Hell's Kitchen had to come check on those assholes tonight – recently their paths had crossed far too often according to his tastes, and he had probably heard about Karen's new target. If at least Red had been there sooner, it would have prevent her to come on her own and get her pretty hands dirty for him again... but no, the horned vigilante was just up to lecture him again about second chances and justice and all that bullshit.
« Didn't came on my own will. » He grunted, hoping rather unrealistically it would deter Matt to go on with this conversation.
The other man titlted his head a bit – he looked confused, even though only the lower part of his face was visible with his mask.
« That's not gunshot wounds. » He stated, gesturing to Frank's body.
« No shit. »
« What happened ? » He shook his head.
Well, it looked like he won't get any peace until he explained the situation, so...
« Karen's investigatin' on those assholes, they found out about it, got pissed. They tried to come after her first, but she's been careful, ya know. So they decided it was a good idea to kidnap her... her boyfriend, beat him up and sent her the tape with a threat. »
The devil took a few secs to process the information then, after he had finally understood that Karen's « boyfriend » was just in front of him, he let out a dry laugh.
« Well, I guess they lay their hands on the wrong person. »
Frank hold back a grin. Man, he really wanted to see Matt's face when he would realize he isn't the only one who killed those men.
« But Karen ? » The devil said, like an answer to his own thoughts. « She must be dead worried. Does she know you're okay... or free, at least ? »
« Yeah, of course she knows. She is- »
He was interrupted before he got the chance to finish his sentence :
« She is the one who make sure he is. »
Frank turned his head to discover Karen, leaning casually against the door frame, a smile playing at the corners of her lips – Karen, with her golden hair, her pale skin, her pencil skirt – Karen, with her .380 tucked in the waistband of said-skirt, blood on her hands and face, white spray-painted skull bright on her chest.
Matt's mouth dropped open in shock and Frank had to suppress a scoff. « Weren't expectin' that, were ya ? » The blind man turned to face Karen.
« But you... you're the one who... or... ? » He stammered, looking so lost Frank almost felt pity for him – almost.
« But those... damages... they were done by an assault riffle, not a handgun. »
His tone was relieved, but Karen didn't hesitate a single second to disabuse him.
« Yes, I came in with this one. » She explained, pointing to the gun Frank was currently holding.
Matt was speechless for a while – again.
« Where... where did you learn ? » He finally managed.
She rolled his eyes and gestured towards Frank.
« Take a guess, Matt, take a guess. Whose vest am I wearing ? »
The owner of said-vest wondered if Red could really know about the skull there, but maybe he could at least sensed that it was slightly oversized and, anyway, Karen didn't own anything of that kind.
Matt turned to Frank, ready to blame him.
« What have you done ? This... this isn't her. »
Karen stepped in, pointing her forefinger at the devil's chest.
« Don't assume you know who I am, Matt, don't ever. All you see in me is the pretty assistant you had to rescue several times – and I might have been her in the past, but I'm done. I'm done with being targeted all the time and relying on others to defend me. So now, I'm taking matter into my own hands, you see ? I'm going to care of myself and of those who matter to me, nevermind the cost. »
Frank smiled, and there was no amusement or irony in that smile, just admiration. That, that was his lady – or rather, the lady that came into his life like a storm, with blazing blue eyes and an inner light that nothing could tame, and got him right from the beginning, when she overstepped that line in the hospital, and all the other ones afterward, staying at his sides when the whole world was against him. She wasn't his, but he definitly was hers. She was his anchor, a lighthouse in his darkness – she was the one that kept him alive, alive and human, she was the one that push him back from the edge of losing himself with her burning determination.
Karen did was beautiful, gentle, sensible, but she was also so much more than that – and it was what Matt failed to notice – she was strong, fierce, righteous. She was a warrior angel – and for god's sake, did he love her – it burnt, it scared him, but he would do anything to be with her and to protect her smile, even if that meant anything else would light up in ashes.
.Thanks for reading ! There is just one more chapter now...
Remember, kudos and reviews are always a good motivation ! ;)