There's no time to waste!
Nathan didn't wait for them to finish arguing. He was out the door before either of the angels noticed, rushing through the halls and out of the building. The police station wasn't far from the motel, and for once the writer was glad for all the walking he'd had to do, knowing exactly where he needed to go. Half running, he pulled out his cellphone and tried to call Scott back. When, after two attempts, it still went to voicemail, Nathan gave up and broke into a full run. He had to get there immediately!
When the Cavalier Motel came into sight, nothing appeared amiss, and the writer relaxed some: he'd been expecting something obviously supernatural running rampant, given the panic in Scott's voice. That moment of relief didn't stop him from hurrying forward, however, looking out for anything out of place. Since he didn't know what room Scott was in, it would be his only clue.
There was nothing of note on the first floor, and nothing he could see on the balcony of the second from the front, so Nathan hiked it up the stairs and around to the back. If he didn't find anything then, he'd have to brace himself and go into the office and hope reception would tell him what room Scott Dasari was staying in. No matter the case, he had to find...
He started when he reached the top, fearing he would find something, but not expecting what he did. About halfway down the balcony, closer to the stairs on the opposite side, was a dark-skinned woman with wild red hair pulled back in a high ponytail. She braced herself on the balcony railing, breathing heavily as if catching her breath, and didn't seem to notice Nathan at all. A million warning bells went off in the writer's head, but he swallowed back his fear to approach her. There was a dreadful sense of familiarity, and he regretted going alone more and more with each step he took. But he couldn't stop. Not now, not when he knew Scott had to be in one of the nearby rooms. His coworker had said he didn't like what he had seen...
Recognition, realization and horror suddenly struck Nathan when he was only a few feet away and the woman looked up at him, her eyes -- her red, glowing eyes -- narrowing instantly. A low growl rose from the back of her throat as she bared her teeth at him and snarled. "You..."
"I thought you were sealed away," Nathan breathed in shock, staggering back. He wanted to run, to get the hell out of there, but fear paralyzed him. "Ira..."
"Karol," she sneered in return. She released the railing and took a step towards him, but stumbled and had to grab onto it again. The Sin took several deep breaths before she steadied and shot him another glare. "I was, you moron! You think I want to be here, after you butchered my host? My poor, poor Xiao-Xong..."
"What?! I didn't... I would never..." Nathan's face turned as red as his hair, his heart hammering in his chest. Wren. His arm. He knew her accusation was true, but he couldn't bear to admit it. "You had him chained to a pipe!"
"And you hacked through him to free him from it!"
"From it and you!" Nathan shouted back. His hands balled into fists. "For God's sake, you were possessing him! He was terrified of you!"
"At least I can say I never harmed him." Ira snarled again and attempted to leave the railing one more time. She managed to close the gap between them before collapsing in an awkward heap at Nathan's feet. Still, she glared, never taking her furious gaze away from him. "I even made him invulnerable!"
With all of her uneasy stumbling, it occurred to the writer that Ira was not at her strongest. For one, she looked much less bear-like than the first time he'd seen her, and for all her shouting, she hadn't been able to attack him outright. She didn't even have that massive axe she'd swung at him before. She looked exhausted. It reminded him of when he'd first seen Gula, how much she'd been staggering and stumbling...
And then it hit him: like her sister, Ira was weak without her host.
"Never harmed him my ass," Nathan said through his teeth, returning his focus to the situation at hand. "You killed people because of his crush! Do you know what you did to that poor kid's psyche?"
It disturbed him that his question made the Sin smile.
"Less than what you did by taking his arm. Free of me or not, knowing of death on your behalf is one thing; losing a piece of yourself is an entirely different matter. Your actions will kill Wren long before mine will." Ira growled and spat at his feet. "I knew who I was killing when I swung my axe. Did you? Or did you just blindly drive onward, as you've done so before?"
I knew what I was doing. I didn't go blindly... no! My actions aren't ANYTHING like hers! Not in the LEAST...!
But... oh God, he was so depressed when he woke in the hospital. His arm... God, I took his arm... What have I done to Wren?
And what does she mean I've done so before? I... no. No, she doesn't mean Marni. No, that was an accident. An accident! I looked before I pulled out! I did! I just... didn't see the light. I didn't see...
Damn you, Ira!