Seven-year-old Harry Darkov lashed out in a flurry of kicks and punches, trying to defend his young body from injury during the furious attack. He had just twisted out of the way of a flying kick when a fist came out of nowhere to land firmly in his side. Harry briefly went down and tried to catch his breath as he leapt back up to continue pressing his own attack against a man that was twice his height and weight.
"Enough" the voice came suddenly and the two opponents broke apart.
Reverently Harry bowed to the tall man he had been fighting "Sensei" and received a bow and dismissal in return.
Quickly Harry made his way to the man who had called a halt to the sparring match and skidded to a stop and made another bow "father" before leaping into the man's arms.
Manuel's mouth turned up slightly as he found himself with an armful of the boy that was his son in all but blood.
"What are you doing here father" Harry asked "I thought you had to work today."
Another smile found its way free from Manuel's stern countenance as he walked from the training room with Harry "I seem to remember someone having a birthday today."
Harry basked in the warmth and security of his fathers arms. His father rarely showed emotion and Harry was glad when he could elicit a smile or laugh from him. He knew what his father did for a living and knew that he was a powerful man; there weren't many secrets they kept from each other. Harry even knew the truth surrounding his acceptance into the Darkov family but it didn't bother him a bit, Manuel was a father to him and nothing would ever change that.
Harry pretended to scowl "you're going to drag me from training just for my birthday."
Manuel stopped just inside Harry's room, his face would have been a bland mask to everyone but his son "I could take you back if you wish and forget about the amusement park."
Harry shot his father an impish look and hit him lightly on the arm "you do and I won't let you sleep for a week."
Manuel groaned, he remembered the one time he had broken a promise to Harry without a good reason, he had found himself floating above the freezing cold pool the next morning and the moment he woke up he had fallen in.
"Oh yeah" Manuel growled before tossing Harry to the bed and tickling him senseless.
"Stop! Stop!" Harry shrieked with laughter as he brought a leg up to flip his father off of him before returning the favor and tickling the stern Manuel until he began laughing and cursing at the same time, it made an amusing combination.
Finally the two fell apart and lay side by side, panting as they tried to catch their breath.
Harry pried himself up from the bed "that was fun, but I thought you mentioned something about an amusement park."
Manuel jumped up and ruffled Harry's silky, shoulder length black hair fondly "brat" before he turned dead serious "time to get ready."
Flashing green eyes met dark eyes gravely and Harry nodded before moving fluidly across the room to flip open a panel in the wall. Carefully the boy chose three child sized yet well honed daggers, two for up his sleeves and one for in his boot. The other boot housed a five shot snub handgun with a specially designed 9mm handgun at his hip under his shirt. Once armed Harry reached up and checked that his necklace was firmly in place and that the electronic tracer on it worked. With a nod to his father Harry was ready, normally it didn't take even that long for Harry to get ready but he didn't arm himself before training with his Sensei, only after as their lessons were to be purely hand to hand combat. Manuel was already armed.
For a moment Harry and Manuel paused at the top of the stairs, the very picture of danger. Both were tall, Harry taller than most his age, and tanned with slimly toned bodies trained for combat and their light weight but form-fitting black clothes allowed them to nearly blend with the shadows. Their silky tresses of midnight hair were pulled back in identical ponytails while a set of green eyes and a set of eyes so dark as to be nearly black scanned the surrounding area alertly; a taunt air of readiness surrounded them both. Looking at them no one would suspect that Harry had been adopted. Together the two males descended the staircase to the foyer where a guard awaited them to lead them into the bright light of day to the waiting cars.
With the ease of long practice Manuel slipped into the driver's seat of his specially enhanced black SRT-10 Viper as Harry was sliding into the passenger seat, minimizing the chances of either of them becoming targets while their men shielded them. With a deadly grin Manuel gunned the cars engine, listening as it purred to life while the guard took up position in their cars behind them.
"Ready" he asked Harry as the mansions security gates swung smoothly open.
Harry smirked "they'll never keep up."
Slowly and with mischievous grins Manuel and Harry rolled the dark tinted windows down. With a loud shout Manuel gunned the engine and took off, tearing down the road at a speed the guards could not dream of matching.
"Damn it Manuel" the car radio crackled to life as the lead guard tried to contact them "slow the fuck down, we can't protect you if you take off like that."
Manuel threw his head back and laughed openly, reveling in his freedom as they heard the guards cursing him to the nine pits of hell in the radio's background. Harry smirked and popped a disk into the cd-player and opened the connection on the radio so the guards could hear the lyrics of Linkin Park, Metallica, Trapt, Disturbed, and Nickelback.
"This one's for you Trevor" he shouted through the open connection.
That day Mafia leader Manuel Darkov was not present, that day he was simply Manuel Darkov, father to Harry. They easily beat their guards to the amusement park and slipped in the side entrance as they always did. The lines for the rides weren't a problem either; Manuel did own the park after all. Harry and Manuel spent the day riding roller coaster, soaking themselves on the water rides, eating, playing games, and dodging their guards at every turn. There were plenty of close calls with the guards too as they were cheating and using the security cameras to find them, but Manuel and Harry were slippery; right now this was a game, but it was also training for the real thing. Often time Manuel and Harry would be forced to jump a fence or skip off a ride early to avoid the persistent guards. Harry also used his gifts.
"Damn" Manuel swore "I think this time they have us cornered." Harry quickly surveyed the situation to see that his father was right.
"Hold still" Harry commanded as he let power surge through him and bent it to his will.
In the scant time it took for a man to blink Harry and Manuel were gone, or at least so it seemed. Harry knew he was a wizard and at a young age had shown it by making all sorts of strange things occur to him. It wasn't until he began the martial arts at the age of four that he thought of controlling the power just as he controlled his emotions. He knew no formal spells but with the force of his will he could do many things with his magic. One of the more recent being able to blend himself and others into their surroundings, though they had to be very still, and levitation. Harry gave a strained smirk as the guards passed right beneath his feet, no one but him and his father knew he was a wizard, they hadn't even told Trevor. Harry heard his father restrain a snicker as the guards that had boxed them in met together without having trapped them in the middle. The guards would never find them there.
After about five minutes Manuel used his free hand to tap Harry's shoulder, straining the spell to near breaking, the men had moved on. Slowly the two came down to the ground and Manuel felt Harry let go of his hand before they both flickered back into view.
"Harry?" Manuel asked knowing how the magic sometimes exhausted the boy but Harry waved him off with a wane smile.
"I'm alright for now, but let's get some food later."
Manuel nodded and they both made their way back to the main park for a few more rides before they would even contemplate turning themselves in.
As it turned out they should have turned themselves in. Manuel and Harry had just gotten off the fastest rollercoaster in the park and were on the look out for their guards but didn't see them. Daringly they walked out into the open and still weren't pounced upon. Deciding not to look a gift horse in the mouth they quickly made their way to the nearest food stand and got in line, blending in easily with the crowd. It was when they were walking away from the food stand munching away on hot pizza and sipping ice cold cokes when both felt like they were being watched, and it wasn't their guards. In fact the guards were going frantic; they had spotted Harry and Manuel's stalker and were trying to make their way through the thick throng of people.
Neither Manuel nor Harry tensed; they had been through situations like this before even if during those times they had known exactly where their guards were. They made their way towards one of the less traveled paths of the park that led to the maintenance areas. Surreptitiously they drew their guns as they continued away from the crowds, it wasn't safe but they weren't about to open fire into a group of innocent people even if their stalkers dared to do so. The ping of a bullet being fired through a silencer sounded behind them and father and son dropped to the ground with a roll, coming up with their own guns blazing and taking out two of their targets leaving three left.
One more of their attackers went down to one of Manuel's bullets giving the other two a chance to get close and attack physically along with another group that had appeared behind the Mafia King and Prince. Manuel shot another at point blank range straight through the eye while Harry whipped out a pair of blades. When attackers got this close Harry took things personally. A swift kick in the groin and then a blow to the back of his head had one man down; leaving two more opponents to circle Harry who saw his father was dealing with the other two. In the distance the guards were approaching but they wouldn't be able to fire on the assailants without running the risk of hitting Manuel or Harry.
Harry took a blow to the side from one of his attacker's fist but it wasn't nearly as hard as the blow he had received from Sensei just that morning and he continued to follow through with his attack, slicing one man's throat open. As his momentum carried him around Harry aimed his second dagger at another man's stomach but the fool tried to dodge and Harry's plunge ended up a bit lower than he had intended. Harry winced, if the man survived this there was no way he was ever going to have children, the wide blade had gone in all the way to the hilt, it would be a miracle if.../it/...was even still attached. Manuel had finished off his last opponent right before Harry had and had turned to face Trevor and the rest of the guard who had surrounded the man Harry had merely knocked out. The unlucky bastard was starting to stir.