Jason lives for squabbles. He’s grown up on streets where it’s necessary to watch your mouth, bite your tongue and talk through your fists. He’s reckless and he’s brash, watching his skin change from red hues to purple hues like it’s a piece of art. And sometimes it is. He doesn’t want to stop fighting and he doesn’t think he ever really will. He is fortunate enough to be taken in, given an education, shown love; but the urge to fight continues to persist. He must. He’ll tell you that it’s in his blood. It’s an addiction that comes like a ticking time bomb, ready to go off any minute. He’s rarely a man of self-control these days. It’s why he’s put people in stretchers. It’s why he feels so indifferent to killing.

When Jamison retreats for a solid week, Jason is given free reign to do as he pleases. More by force than choice, but he’s content – a feeling that is constantly fleeting. It’s taken some time (okay, more like lots of time) but Jamison has finally learned to back off and let Jason do as he wants. It’s only for a week and it’s seemingly easier this way. It should always have been this easy. What can really happen in a week? It’s a two-way compromise. Jason isn’t allowed to kill anymore, but he’s allowed to punch and kick and maim and mortally wound; something that Jamison is still very visibly against. The two can learn to coexist. It’s been more than a year … maybe close to two, and they have both grown tired of the constant back and forth. The two need to learn how to coexist. It’s the only way they can survive in this together … whatever this is. And If it’s one thing Jason knows he needs to do – it’s to survive.

Even as the glint hits his eyes and blinds him for only a few seconds, even as he lowers his head and readies his fists, Jason knows he needs to survive. Not only for himself anymore, but for Jamison. Their deal did not include killing, but it also didn’t include dying either – regardless of how Jamison’s depression toys with his emotions and makes him consider taking his own life every now and again; he wants to live. He has to live. Jason won’t let either of them die. He doesn’t have much to live for, but Jamison is enough. He has to be. There’s swigging and the soft flow of breeze as the knife cuts through the air, merely inches from his face. It nearly scrapes the bridge of his nose but he hurdles himself back on a knee, looking up with a sly, all-knowing grin. “Is that all you’ve got?” He scoffs, though there is a hint of laughter in his voice as he watches the man, preparing for him to lunge forward again. And right on cue, he does; arms flailing as he dives the knife into the night sky. Jason hears he sound of shuffling as he palms the man’s collar and shoves him back … Feeling absolutely nothing when he notices the pooling of blood beneath their feet.