A stranger in a new land

Everyone knows where to drown your sorrow. And along the main docks of Robani proper lies Bull’s Run, and historically, the most raunchy strip of bars, brothels and casinos ever to mar the surface of Kaia. Hustlers and drug dealers line the streets as tourists, citizens, sailors and scavengers come to carve their pound of flesh.

A stranger in a new land

deathstrikeda
Established Resident
deathstrikeda
Established Resident
Joined: 27 Jun 2008, 02:44

11 Sep 2013, 09:25 #1

((This (well the first posting of it anyways) was intended to be Striker's first thread on the site. His character's introduction, via tandem role play with Maurice over yahoo, but we never found the time to get it posted up or even finish it properly. It's not 'canon' by any means anymore, it's totally separate from what my char has already done on the site. You can call it an AU, if you will, or a retro writing version of him if you like. It's not my best writing, at least I don't think it is, and it's mostly just here for me to relieve my own boredom when no one is around to rp. Or when I just really need to write and escape from reality so I can deal with whatever emotions I need to work out through writing instead of a tequila or whiskey bottle. But if someone has an idea for this thread and wants to jump in, let me know. I can play him retro with you and merge you into the story I'm writing. Wouldn't be the first time I had 'guest' writers help me out.))
Reply
Like

deathstrikeda
Established Resident
deathstrikeda
Established Resident
Joined: 27 Jun 2008, 02:44

27 Mar 2017, 22:47 #2

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
*Prologue*

...Words were said. Actions were taken. The past couldn't be changed once it was written. A tragic mistake was made and it was now time for him to leave the place he had called home for the past 5 years and start over. Starting over for him meant that he would have to take up residence in a new town or perhaps even a new land this time. He would have to leave friends and loved ones behind without giving them a reason why or even a chance to say goodbye.

Acquiring new friends. Avoiding new enemies. Having new adventures and enduring new heartaches. These were the types of things he would have to look forward to with every restart and unfortunately he was no stranger to any of them by now. Whether the numerous restarts were his choice or not, that was entirely left to a much higher power, Fate. She was a cruel mistress at times but he knew that his past mistakes would be just that now, mistakes in his past. With every restart he had to go through he was given another opportunity to make his future even better. He was given the chance to have a clean slate in a new land, and this time, it was a much needed one. But the past three weeks in this particular land had been kicking his ass.

Everything was different here and he was having a rather difficult time adjusting to the new surroundings. While he was fluent in 3 languages and able to get by in 3 more, only one of them was spoken in this land; the trade language that was originally known only by travelers and traders but was now common knowledge to all. Although it was still one he didn't speak very well at times, it was the only one here that he knew with any degree of certainty. He was still trying to learn the other languages spoken by the populace so any chance to further his knowledge was greatly appreciated, no matter the means by which he acquired it. With his voyage postponed while the Lady Luck was undergoing repairs, most of his crew had already successfully integrated their selves into the society of the land. Now it was his turn, at least till his ship was seaworthy again.

To have a sense of familiarity in a land that was all too foreign for his tastes, he fell back on old habits. He spent his nights watching others enjoying their lives while he hide in the shadows drowning his sorrows in a bottomless glass. Their happiness made him even more miserable and their joyous laughter made him sick to his stomach. How could everyone around him be enjoying their lives when his was so horrible. To mask his pain and misery he had went back to living the only way that he knew how. A life that was surrounded in lies of necessity, friendships of opportunity, and a series of meaningless one night stands...

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reply
Like

deathstrikeda
Established Resident
deathstrikeda
Established Resident
Joined: 27 Jun 2008, 02:44

29 Mar 2017, 03:32 #3

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Chapter One*
-A chance encounter-


As usual Kolin sat alone at a dimly lit table in the back of the tavern. His back was facing the wall with his body leaned forward slightly, his arms resting on the table. The dim light from the overhead lantern reflected off his signet ring as his finger traced the rim of the glass in front of him. He had spent the better part of the night drinking, having already finished off two whole bottles and well on his way to finishing the third. Drinking himself drunk was what he had planned to continue doing, but as usual and much to his frustration, his body had other plans. He glared at the near empty bottle of Scotch in front of him bringing his glass slowly to his lips. He wasn't sober anymore but he also wasn't as drunk as he wanted to be either. He was stuck somewhere in between the two, his body unable to go past his present state. Consuming more alcohol would only sustain the feelings now, not increase them like he wanted. A soft sigh escaped his lips as he lowered the empty glass back to the table.

Rick had had a long night that ended in him getting kicked out of another girl’s place. He had been looking for some action, but lost his opportunity when her boy got home.

“Dude,” the man in the blankets had said as Rick passed by, “you almost look worse off than me.”

Rick had stopped in front of him and chuckled down at the bum. “Yeah, I don’t doubt it at this point. I had a fun night.” He said the last part with an over-exaggerated roll of the eyes.

The bum took a few seconds to stand up from his bed. “Take me to the tavern down the road, and buy me a few drinks, and I’ll let you tell me about it.”

Rick never could refuse an offer to drink. The two walked along the darkened road to the tavern as they introduced themselves. “You’d think they’d get some damned lights on these streets,” Rick said as he threw an arm over the bum’s shoulders. “The name’s Rick, you got one?” He threw his other hand in front of the bum for him to shake. The bum introduced himself and shook Rick’s hand just in time for them to enter the building.

Cupping his hands around the glass Kolin surveyed his surroundings once more. His gaze moved from man to man throughout the tavern, their faces all foreign, their fragmented thoughts invading his own with each passing glance. The glass slowly began rotating itself in place following the outline of his hands. As the amount of thoughts he heard increased so did the speed at which the glass turned. Keeping the glass spinning, upright, and bound to the same spot on the table was an exercise he performed ever so often to test his concentration and mental capabilities. Before long the glass was spinning rapidly in place on the table, the collective thoughts of the tavern occupants becoming deafening in his intoxicated state. He lifted up his hands letting his elbows rest on the table, his fingers pressing against his temples as he lowered his head down. Groaning softly he closed his eyes forcing the thoughts away, his mind quiet again. The creak of a door suddenly drew his attention to the entrance of the tavern. The glass immediately stopped spinning tipping over onto its side as his concentration broke, his sights now set on the two men that entered.

Rick made his way to the bar and ordered the drinks. But while they drank and he told the bum of how his night had gone, he couldn't help but feel he was being watched.

The bum nodded. “Man, that sucks, used to happen to me every once in awhile, until I lost all my money and all that shit.”

It didn't take Rick long to get nice and drunk, more drunk than the bum. “Yeeh, says, how dids yous looset all your monies and stuffst?”

The bum laughed, “It’s too long of a story to retell.”

Having had enough mental pain for the night, Kolin let his ears tune into the men's conversation at the bar. He set the glass back up and poured himself another drink. His gaze remaining fixated on the two men across the room as he listened and tried to understand their language, the common tongue spoken by the general populace, while continuing to drink the bottle dry.

A woman soon approached Kolin's table placing another bottle down in front of him. She smiled softly seeing the man's familiar face, motioning toward the new bottle she spoke. "Vous aiment une autre bouteille, Capitaine?" (Care for another bottle, Captain?) Her language choice was foreign to the land but it would be familiar to him, after all it was his ship that brought her there. She picked up the empty bottle placing it under her arm as she awaited his response.

Kolin glanced up at the woman as she started speaking to him. Smiling he turned his attention back to the men as he replied to her in her language of choice, "Oui s'il vous plaît." (Yes please.) He kept his focus on the men trying to follow their conversation as well as his own with the woman.

The bum seemed to take a look at the clock before he stood up, thanked Rick, and told him that he had to leave.

Rick stood, almost fell over, steadied himself, then hugged the bum. “Thanks, man. I had a good few drinks with yous. I’ll f-find yous agains sometime, yeeh?”

The bum laughed and left, leaving Rick standing by himself, then he saw the eyes that he had felt earlier. He stood leaning against the bar watching the interactions between the woman and the man but it was hard for him to hear what they were saying, so he decided to move closer using occupied chairs for support. Even though their conversation eluded his grasp he still stood a few tables away and listened to them with much interest.

The woman nodded. "J'ai peur je dois demander que vous payiez pour vos boissons dans cet établissement." (I am afraid I must ask that you pay for your drinks in this establishment.) She replied extending her hand out palm side up, waiting patiently for her payment. "Je suis désolé Capitaine." (I'm sorry Captian.) "Mais je ne veux pas perdre mon emploi ici." (But I do not want to lose my job here.)

"Moi non plus, l'amour," (Me either love) Kolin replied smiling up at the woman, "Je comprends." (I understand) He pulled out a handful of coins from a black pouch at his hip stopping momentairly feeling eyes upon him. His gaze moved to the man watching him as he continued to speak to the woman, "Ce sera tous. (It will be all) Merci, Péné." (Thank you Péné) He turned his attention back to the woman placing the coins into her palm with a smile, "Gardez la monnaie mon cher." (Keep the change dear)

A smile appeared across Péné's lips as she closed her hand over the coins. "Merci beaucoup, Capitaine," (Thank you very much, Captain,) she replied with a slight nod placing the coins in her apron. "À santé," (To health) she stated opening the bottle and pouring him another glass.

Kolin nodded watching her pour the glass, "À la santé et à la vie." (To health and to life)

"Ayez un bonne nuit Capitaine." (Have a good night Captain.) She said with a smile before walking back toward the bar.

"Bonsoir," (Good night) he replied taking a drink from the glass, his attention now directed back toward the man.

Rick smiled and started making his way to the man shrouded in darkness in the corner. Along the way he stumbled into the woman who had just given the man his drink, making her drop the empty bottle on the floor with a loud crash.

"Ivre fils d'une chienne!" (Drunk son of a bitch!) Péné yelled glaring at the man. "Faites l'attention à où vous allez!" (Pay attention to where you are going!) She angrily pointed down at the broken glass. "Regardez le désordre que je dois ramasser maintenant à cause de vous!" (Look at the mess that I must pick up because of you now!)

Rick stood blinking at her for a moment not knowing what he should do as she yelled at him. Although he didn't know exactly what the woman was saying to him, he knew it probably wasn't anything nice. When she motioned toward the glass he immediately started apologizing and fell to the floor to help clean up the mess, hoping his actions would speak for him if she didn't understand his words. He gathered up the larger pieces placing them into a small pile at his feet. Using his hands he scooped up the smaller pieces placing them on top of the bigger pieces.

"Que faites-vous?" (What are you doing?) Péné placed her hands on her hips watching him. "Vous ne ramassez pas de verre avec vos mains, idiot!" (You don't pick up glass with your hands, idiot!)

Kolin laughed softly shaking his head at the two, speaking in the man's language this time. "His speech Pénélope, his speech." He took another drink from his glass watching the two.

Péné rolled her eyes and left to return with a broom and dustpan. "Go!" She yelled in the man's language brushing him away with the business end of the broom. "I will clean."

Letting the broken glass fall into the dustpan Rick stood again, using an occupied chair to help him and began his way to the man again. He started talking to the man well before reaching the table, only to finish as he plopped into the chair. “You zere, man in black, wiz the red vest and the...the eyes. You’er wathin meze, why’er yous wathin meze?” He pointed a drunken finger after he sat and propped himself up with his elbow. “A’er yous planning’s to poison meze er summin’s?” His head fell heavily to the table after he finished, but he managed to pick it up again, to look around, seeming confused.

Kolin raised a brow listening to the man as he sat down at his table. Most of the man's words were too slurred for him to comprehend but he tried to make out what he could. When the man pointed his finger at him, he couldn't help but laugh setting his glass back down on the table. One word in particular stood out in the man's speech, poison. He looked at his glass then at the man confused, there was no poison in his glass, not any that he could taste anyways. He was still trying to overcome the language barrier so perhaps he just heard the man wrong. "Poison?" He asked in the man's language, "Not poison. Poison no me have." He sighed becoming frustrated at his attempt. He knew what he wanted to say to the man just not how to say it correctly. He shook his head leaning back in the chair, his arms crossing over his chest. He didn't really feel like embarrassing himself any more than he probably already had with his broken speech, but he knew he still had to communicate with the man somehow. It looked like the trade language would have to do. "Dere no poison 'ere. Best be sleepin' it off."

Rick looked at the man with narrow eyes, trying to figure out what exactly was going on and why the man was now trying to use the trade language to speak to him. Whatever the man's reason, Rick went ahead and replied in the man's choice now. “Sleep? Why would I sleep? That’s for people who are tired!” He tilted his head to the side and started laughing. When he stopped, after catching his breath, he picked up the man’s bottle and studied it, then put it back down where it was. He looked at the wall behind the man, then turned slightly in his chair before turning back to the man. “Hey, wheres that funny speaking girl go, Pennylope? No, that's not it um...Penalopey, yeah Penilopey. I need my glasss." He tilted his head to the side. "Hey how do yous know her funny talk?"

Kolin narrowed his eyes as the man laughed, keeping a close eye on him as he grabbed a hold of the bottle. His eyes only lifting from the man's hand when the bottle was set back down. "Pénélope be her name mate and 'twasn't funny talk, 'twas Eastern tongue."

Rick placed both elbows on the table, propping his chin on his palms listening to the man speak. "Oh. Right. Pénélope. I knew that. Wait an eastern tongue? Are yous guys from the east? Is that why yous sound weird when yous talk?"

" 'Tis merely a game she likes ta play while I drink. I have gift fer...how you say...know...knowin'..." Kolin searched for the correct word for a moment before sighing softly. Shaking his head he decided to substitute the equivalent of the word from his second language in it's place before continuing in the trade language, "connaissance (knowledge), leave it at dat."

"A gift for knowing. I bet that comes in handy." Rick tilted his head to the side. "Say uh, since yous did understand her and all, what um, what was she saying to me?"

"She say you be drunk and de son o' bitch. You not pay attention ta where you go. De fault be yers but she clean it." Kolin smiled staring at the man as he spoke, his voice low and soft, "But I dink dat you caused her enough trouble fer de night already, dere no need fer more so be best if you leave my table now and just forget 'bout it."

"Right. Yeah, that sounds like a good idea." Rick stood up slowly and took a few steps away from the man's table. He stopped in mid-step and glanced around the room seeming confused as to why he was suddenly leaving. "Whoa." He shook his head quickly, to clear his sudden confusion and turned around noticing the man. He smiled sitting back down at the man's table. "Hi." He held out his hand for the man to shake. "My name’s Sigmund Fitzpatrick Reyner. But yous can just calls me Rick, everyone does. And you are?"

Kolin stared at the man's extended hand. Apparently this man was not going to be so easy to get rid of as he thought. Simple subtle suggestions would not do. He sighed softly leaning forward placing his arms on the table, one hand holding onto his glass as the other extended to shake the man's hand, "No one."

Rick tilted his head staring at the thumb ring on the man's hand as he shook it. "Ahh. I see." He chuckled some at the man's response. "Well nice to meet yous...no one." He smiled supporting his chin with his palms as he rested his elbows back on the table. "Hmm now why did I come over heres again?” He asked more to himself than to the man. He exhaled quickly. “Oh, right, you were watching me. Why were you watching me?” It seemed that the alcohol he had consumed was already starting to wear off; much quicker than most people.

Kolin cupped his hands back around his glass with a smirk. " 'Twasn't you I was watchin', well not entirely anyways. You arrived wit' someone else. De same fella dat I was dinkin' o'...acquirin' fer dis evenin'. He not be 'membered at all, no one notice his...absence. But now you brought him 'ere, gave him drinks. People took notice, seen him take his leave. So...Rick," he lifted up the glass finishing off the contents before he continued to speak, "...what I do now?"

Rick perked up suddenly listening to the man speak, his eyes going wide as he stared at the thumb ring again as the man finished the glass. “Oh! Oh! I knew it! I knew I recognized that ring! That's a ring of...ring of regeneration...no degeneration! Yeah that's it." He probably spoke faster and louder than the man would have wanted, but he was excited and still drunk. "Whoa. Cold hands...ring of degeneration...you're undead?!" He suddenly realized he had spoken loud and hunched down in his seat, as if trying to hide, his hands moving to cover his mouth to silence himself.

Kolin raised a brow at the man's sudden loudness, his other hand moving to cover his ring as his eyes scanned the area to see if anyone had heard him. The occupants of the bar seemed to carry on as usual, the man's outburst going unnoticed. He sighed softly letting his eyes fall back onto the man, noticing the man's posture he smirked, "Drunk or not...do dat again mate..and it be yer life I take. Savvy?"

Rick leaned in towards the man, his voice quieter now as he lowered his hands down from his mouth with a nod. “Yes, I'm sorry. I meant no offense by it, I was just surprised. Ghouls, vampires, liches, and even zombies aren't very popular in this part of town. I hardly get a chance to meet one up close so when I saw the ring I just naturally got excited. Most of those creatures don't walk around above ground so close to the morning hours or even look very human anymore. You look just as human as me, so what are you?"

"Good ta know my...presence be unwanted even 'ere," Kolin replied pulling the hood of his cloak down over his head more to hide his face. "And I not like most. Do not judge one on all. Dere be many...different kinds, not all be de same or even...sauvage."

"Oh, ok. Well sure, I guess and I think you mean 'savage'," Rick corrected.

"Aye," Kolin nodded turning his attention down to his glass, "I not know all de words and some words be harder ta say in dis tongue den most."

"That's alright. We all have to learn sometimes and I didn't mean that your kind was unwanted here either, just that it wasn't very common to see them here. I heard most stay in the underground tunnels. Well except for the Emperor of course, but he mostly stays in the Palace so-"

"Ah so de rumors be true den," Kolin interrupted raising a brow as he leaned in closer, his curiosity piqued and his volume matching the man's from before. "De ruler o' dis land be indeed a vampire."

"Yep, has been for as long as I can remember. I've only seen him a couple of times but he looks like you, well he looks human like you. Are you a vampire like him?"

Kolin smiled cupping his hands around his glass. "Tell me more 'bout dis...Emperor o' yers."

Rick nodded. "Sure. What do you want to know?"

Kolin glanced around the tavern then back at the man, "Ever'din'. What powers does he possess? How old he be? What does he look like, aside from lookin' human o' course? Where does he like ta frequent? What does he care 'bout? Who be his friends, his enemies, dings o' dat sort."

Rick shrugged. "I think he has mind control or maybe he can read minds? I'm not too sure on that. I don't know how old he really is but he looks young though, teenage years. I don't think he really goes anywhere. He mostly stays in the Palace surrounded by his Golden Boys. I know he cares about them but other than that I don't know."

Kolin tilted his head to the side slightly, "He has...golden boys? He can turn boys inta gold? Like...statues?"

Rick laughed. "No, no the boys aren't -made- of gold. They are -painted- gold. They are still alive just wearing gold paint instead of clothes."

Kolin laughed softly looking down at his glass, "Well now dat makes a bit more sense." He sighed softly, "So de only way ta see dis Emperor be ta go ta de Palace, yes?"

Rick nodded. "That is the best way yeah. But you might be able to catch him when he is meeting with the Queen of Rynth."

Kolin looked back up at him, "De Queen o' Rynth? Who dat?"

Rick nodded. "Seyatte Ireyia. Rynth is the town to the north of here. Robani and Rynth have been at war for as long as I can remember but I guess that will happen when both rulers are immortals."

Kolin raised a brow, "She be immortal? Well now, dat be interestin'."

"Yeah." Rick nodded then quickly shook his head. "Oh but she isn't like him. She is a holy warrior. I heard people say that she can kill her enemies by freezing the blood in their veins. I also heard someone once called her the Immortal Ice Bitch and she killed them. She got so angry at them that she encased them in ice and then shattered them to pieces while they were still alive."

"Hmm ice torture...sounds...lovely. I'll have ta 'member dat." Kolin grinned, "But I hope you don't believe ever'din' you hear from people. Deir sources might be misinformed and den you be lookin' like a fool. But tell me, how often do dese two meet?"

Rick started to become nervous with all the questions the man was asking. "Um I don't know really. If you don't mind me asking, why are you so interested in them?"

Kolin rotated the glass in his hands, "Ahh sorry mate, my reasons are my own. Let's say I have an interest in dem both and leave it at dat, shall we?"

"Oh, ok. Well sure. I guess." Rick looked at the man, another question forming on his lips before being quickly dissolved as he became confused at the man's words as he continued on.

"'Twas pleasure speakin' wit' you but I must take my leave. De night be over soon and I be more dirsty den I dought."

"'Dirsty?'" Rick repeated, more to himself than to the man. "You're dirsty?" He tilted his head to the side slightly. "Oh..you mean you're -thirsty-. Well that's an easy fix." He smiled picking up the bottle pouring the man another glass.

Kolin laughed softly. "I dank you but 'twasn't dat kind o' dirst I was 'ferrin' ta," he replied with a grin downing the entire contents of the glass before setting it back down on the table.

"Ohhhh. You're a..." Rick laughed watching the man finish the glass. "Drinker...of course you are." He was speaking in a whisper again. "Oh wait, you can still have the bum if you want. I know where he sleeps. That’s where I picked him up. I could show you.”

Kolin shook his head rotating the empty glass in his hands, "No. No dere be no point. Only raise more...soupçon (suspicion). I have no need fer dat." He sighed softly standing from the table, "I have ta find someone else now, one dat you have not...interfered wit'."

Rick stood with the man and turned his chair around, so the back of it was against the table. "Then don't kill him? You can drink and still let him live, can't you? Come with me, I'll show you, it's not far." He motioned for the man to follow taking a step away from him. "Come, follow me."

Kolin sighed, "I prefer not, 'tis painful." He looked around the tavern for a moment before looking back at the man. "But if you insist I will keep de beast at bay...show me where he rests."

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Chapter Two*
-Don't worry, the refreshments are on me-


Rick smiled leading the vampire out of the tavern and into the street making his way toward the place where he had found the bum. As they walked he looked over the vampire. He scratched his head for a second or two, then tilted his head to the right, narrowing his eyes slightly. “How long are you guys normally around? Just a couple hundred years, right?” He straightened up after asking.

"Aye," Kolin replied with a nod as he walked beside the man, "fer most o' us dat be de case, but some o' dem have lived fer longer den dat. Our survivance (survival) depends on how good we be at it, some be good, some be bad."

Rick nodded. "And you said you're not like most so,...how good are you? Some of the words you use when you speak, they make me think that you are older than a couple hundred years. Maybe three or four hundred years old?"

Kolin shrugged, "Eh closer ta 874, if you be keepin' de count."

"Eight hundred and seventy four?" Rick repeated. "Wow, I wish I could live that long, except I don't think I could do the whole blood thing like you." He chuckled softly.

"Aux grands maux les grands remèdes mon ami,"(Desperate times call for desperate measures my friend) Kolin replied with a smirk. "You be amazed what you be willin' ta do ta survivre (survive) when de time comes."

Rick nodded. "I guess so." He looked at the vampire as they walked. "I know you said you were no one but I want to call you something at least. So which name do you like better; Peter, James or David?"

Kolin sighed looking around the area for a minute before letting his eyes fall back on the man, "If you must have name it be Kolin Rossel." He glanced toward the sky as he spoke, "How much longer must we walk?"

"Oh. Ok. It's just up ahead. We're almost there." By the time that they reached the bed that the bum had, Rick was almost completely sober. He looked around, noticing that the bum wasn't there. “Ah, shit.” He said quietly to himself. Without thinking too much about it, he turned around and looked at the vampire. “Give me a minute Rossel. It won’t take longer than a minute, I promise. He couldn't of went far. He probably just went to piss. Just wait here. Wait here and I'll go find him.”

Kolin crossed his arms over his chest as he spoke, his gaze on the empty bed, "Promises do not satisfaire (satiate) my hunger." Upon being told to wait his eyes rose to look at the man, "Fine. Go fetch him den." His voice had a hint of annoyance to it for he wasn't too fond of being ordered around or having to track down his meals on a starving stomach.

Rick narrowed his eyes at the vampire. “Kolin Rossel you say?” He had something on his mind, but before he could express his thoughts, he heard footsteps; the bum had returned on his own.

Kolin looked at Rick hearing the slight question in his voice when he spoke his name, he opened his mouth to speak but remained silent hearing the bum approach.

Rick smiled at the bum and threw his arm around the bum's shoulder pulling him closer. "Hey man, I want you to meet my friend here."

The bum appeared weary of the man in black, trying to pull away from Rick's grip as he held tightly to him. "Uh hello."

Rick shoved the bum to the vampire. “Here ya go. Drink up.”

"What?" The bum asked looking at Rick as if he had just betrayed him as he was shoved into the vampire.

Kolin gave the bum a smile quickly taking a hold of his arms as Rick handed him over. He pulled the man's back to his chest, his arm wrapping around the man's chest pinning his arms down at his sides. He placed his other hand around the bum's throat as he smiled at Rick, "I dank you."

The bum looked at Rick in confusion trying to pull out of the vampire's grip. "Why are you doing this to me?"

Rick seemed to just shrug at the bum as he was held helplessly. He turned to the bum’s bed, then turned back as the vampire thanked him. “Ah, it was no problem.” He turned back to the blankets and leaned down to them, sifting through them, as if he knew there was something there.

The bum started yelling for help struggling against the vampire.

Kolin pulled the bum's neck to the side, his eyes glowing a soft orange-ish red color as he whispered, "be silent", into the man's ear, his fangs brushing against his skin briefly before they found their mark alongside his neck. The bite was painful at first but then started to give off an eerie numbing feeling as he drank.

As soon as he was bit the bum started to scream but no sound left his mouth. He began to panic even more as his neck started to numb and tried to grab onto the vampire's arm around his chest.

Kolin growled biting down harder gripping tighter onto the bum as he struggled against him.

Under the sheets, Rick found what he was looking for. He picked up the item and held it in his hand as he stood and placed the blankets back the way they were.

Feeling the fight quickly starting to leave the bum's body, Kolin supported the man's weight against him, moving the man towards the bed.

Rick turned around and faced the vampire, he didn't seem to be surprised by the vampire’s actions, but he did watch nervously remembering the vampire's comment in the tavern.

Kolin forced himself to withdraw his fangs from the bum's neck as he lowered down to the bed with him. After positioning the man on his back on the bed, Kolin pulled a flask from his vest pocket placing it against the wounds on the man's neck. As the blood filled the flask his eyes focused on the man's, glowing a soft orange-ish red color once more as he began to speak, "You will not 'member my face, my voice, or my actions towards you after you wake. Now sleep till dawn."

The bum nodded slowly in response before passing out.

Rick kept his palm closed, holding onto the object that he had acquired as he watched the vampire fix his to-go bottle. He had always wondered what vampires did if they got hungry during the day and couldn't go out, his question was finally answered. When the vampire's eyes changed color he tilted his head to the side watching intently. He was intrigued by the vampire's ability to change the minds of others through a few simple words.

With the flask filled once more Kolin returned it to his vest pocket. Biting down into his thumb he placed it across the wounds on the man's neck letting his vampiric blood seal the wounds before wiping it away. "He will not 'member any o' dis, but you still will." Licking the blood off his thumb he glanced up at Rick as he spoke, "Need I be worryin' 'bout dat or should I make you forget too?"

Seeing the healing effects of the vampire's blood up close was especially interesting to Rick. “Oh, no worries, your secret is safe with me. I promise. I have what I want, there’s no reason for me to spill the milk.” He opened his palm, reveling the necklace that he had picked up. The chain was made of silver pebbles and the pendant, holding broken pieces of blue gem, was made of melted silver, forming hearts and other odd shapes to hold the broken gems.

"My grandfather asked me to find this," Rick stated holding the necklace out for the vampire to see, before pulling it closer to himself. “I just didn't think I ever would,” he added closing his palm and slipping the necklace into a pocket in his jacket.

Kolin nodded looking up at the necklace. "Well you have now," he replied reaching into the pouch at his hip, pulling out a few gold coins. "Why you question my name?" he asked as he placed the coins into the bum's hand and pulled the covers over his body.

Rick took a few seconds to do some calculations in his head. He briefly spoke his calculations aloud. "Twenty-five is seven. Inventive. Twenty-five is...Inventive again? Hmm. Twenty-five and twenty-five is fifty is five. Creative - Free spirited, artistic, inquiring, innovative and influential." He made a sour face and shook his head. “That can't be right.” He scratched his head again. “It doesn't fit.”

"What not fit?" Kolin asked with a raised brow as he turned his attention back up to the man.

“Your name," Rick replied as he looked down at the vampire. "It doesn't fit you.”

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Chapter Three*
-What's in a name anyways?-


Kolin stood slowly crossing his arms over his chest at the man's ramblings. He laughed at him. "My name not fit?" He shook his head taking a few steps back from him. "How you say dat, you just met me, you not know me at all. You be de one talkin' funny now."

“I did the calculations, looked at the outcome, that name doesn't seem to fit you.” Rick slipped his hand in his pocket, feeling the pendant of the necklace. “But you are right though, I don't really know you, but from our little talk I think I do know some things about you."

Kolin raised a brow slowly lowering his hands down to rest on the hilts of his swords, "Oh, den by all means, do tell."

Rick nodded watching the vampire's actions. "Well since you didn't know your kind wasn't common here when I first saw you, my first impressions stand. I noticed right away that you isolated yourself in the bar. So that told me that you either didn't feel comfortable in crowds or you preferred to be alone. I also noticed you kept your back to the wall and your front facing the exit. That told me that you were cautious and untrusting of others. You also kept yourself in the shadows for the most part and wouldn't give out your name in public. Which told me that you didn't want people to notice or even know you. Are you hiding from someone or do you just like your privacy when you drink?"

Kolin smirked slightly, "Times like dese, we need hide lest our meal be scared away and we go hungry."

Rick studied the vampire for a moment. "That could be true I guess, but I wasn't talking about the bum. I actually meant the one hundred year old bottle of Scotch you were drinking in the bar like it was water. I haven't seen anyone with that high of a tolerance level before. But then again I never met a vampire as old as you before either."

"Centuries o' boredom will do dat. I like what I like," Kolin grinned, "and if I be drinkin' ta drink, I be doin' it right de first time."

"I hear you there but most people, myself included, couldn't even afford a whole bottle of Scotch to their selves, let alone one that's been aged for that long." Rick stared at the vampire for a moment then motioned toward the ring on the vampire's index finger. "Is that a signet ring? Are you nobility? Is that how you can afford your drinks?" He laughed a bit and added, "Or are you just a thief with really expensive taste and a bad drinking problem?"

In the blink of an eye the space between the two was closed with Kolin's swords drawn and placed on either side of the man's neck. "Best be careful who you provoke mate," he growled softly. "Remarks like dat cost men lives where I be from. You lucky dis not my land, or it be yer head."

"Ohh..." Rick said softly feeling really uneasy at the vampire's sudden offensive stance. "My apologizes, I didn't mean to insult you. I only meant it as a joke, I didn't think you would be so..." he glanced down at the blades pressing against his neck before continuing "...sensitive about it." He smiled nervously at the vampire. "Umm...I uh rather like my head where it is. Should I be bowing to you? Calling you my Lord? Would that help me keep it?"

Kolin lowered his weapons down to his sides, his grip remaining firm. "Dere be no need ta bow, I hold no règne (reign) over dis land," he replied turning away from the man, "I not yer Prince so call me what you will." He began to walk away from the man, his weapons returning to their rightful place at his hips, "But as fer savin' yer head, you best be watchin' yer tongue."

Rick nodded. "Ohh..of course. Again I apologize, but please, just a few more questions before you go."

Kolin stopped in place keeping his back to the man as he spoke, "One more, and only one," he replied his hands remaining resting on the hilts of his swords.

Rick rubbed his chin. "Hmm. Only one." He tilted his head at the vampire and thought for a moment. "Where are you from exactly? I can't seem to quite place your accent, so you must have traveled far from your homeland to get here. By the thickness of it, you haven't been here for very long." He tilted his head back up looking over the vampire again. "Did you come here by sea? You call me 'mate' a lot. Are you a pirate by trade? Those swords and clothes you're wearing look like they could belong to a pirate."

"Dat be more den one." Kolin replied with a sigh turning around to face the man as he answered his questions. " 'Tis far enough away dat I not be walkin' back. As fer mate, 'tis word like any. De swords and clothes do not make de man pirate, his actions do. But rest assured, dat pirate was undeservin' o' dem both."

"So you took it upon yourself to liberate him of his belongings? You take his ship from him too?" Rick asked watching the vampire's actions.

Kolin grinned, "I believe dat de man dat do not fight fer what he want, deserve what he get. After our row, dat pirate get what he deserved. I keep what I kill and de Capitaine (Captain) have no more need fer his ship or possessions at de bottom o' de ocean. Would be pity ta let dem go ta waste, someone had ta make use o' dem."

"Hmm so you took everything from the pirate, including his life." Rick thought for a minute before he continued to speak. "I believe that you have just given yourself away." He rubbed his chin and continued to voice his thoughts. "I think that the reason why your name doesn't seem to fit you is because that's not really your name. It is the pirate's name, isn't it? It makes sense, you took everything else from him so why not his name too."

Kolin sighed crossing his arms over his chest turning his attention to the bum sleeping soundly near his feet, "Merde (Shit)." So far he had been quite honest with the man, due in part to the alcohol and his own cockiness getting the better of him. But now the alcohol was quickly wearing off and the man was making his foolish mistakes clear to him. "Well you be more observant den most, I give you dat. But just 'cause yer right 'bout somedin' 'bout me, do not mean you know ever'din'. Dere still much you not know 'bout me."

"Of course, but I would like to know more about you though, like what is your real name?"

Kolin bit his lower lip as he weighed his decision. Giving away his name would let his true identity be revealed, a decision that might not be too wise given his current standing in the land. On the other hand the man did say he would keep his secret. Although trusting a human for him, more times than not, was like trusting a double edged sword. But the man didn't seem to pose a real threat and he could always just make the man forget or kill him later if he did. He sighed softly looking around for a moment before letting his eyes settle back on the man. "Adrian LaRue." As soon as the words had left his lips the illusion he cast upon himself dropped, almost as if it was reacting to a spoken command, to reveal his own voice, and face. "But Striker Ramuel be de name most call me now."

"Oh wow!" Rick exclaimed watching the vampire's features changing before his eyes. "A vampire that can hide himself behind a human using mind control and illusions? That's some pretty powerful magic you got there and a very interesting tactic for survival. Quite effective it seems too. You had me fooled." He laughed softly as he took everything in.

"At least against some, eh," Striker laughed. "But if yer goin' ta dress like de pirate den you might as well become de pirate, no? But it not always de pirate, I have many more at my disposal. Dis one just mon préféré (my favorite)...fer now."

"But why pretend to be someone you're not?" Rick asked. "Why not just be yourself instead? I mean aside from being a little paler now and seeing the tips of your fangs sometimes when you laugh or say certain words, you still look and act human to me. I'm sure you could avoid showing your fangs if you really wanted to. So why hide yourself behind so many masks?"

Striker sighed, " 'Cause I have ta. Most not like you. Most humans fear what dey not comprendre (understand). Easier ta avoid detection and live longer if you hide yer cold pale skin wit' one dat be warm and tanned. Do not matter dat vampires were once human like dem. Yer kind still kill mine just fer bein' what dey be now. We not human ta dem anymore, we monstres (monsters), and dey believe dat monstres (monsters) need be killed. If we not hide from dem we die."

Rick shook his head. "Killing someone just cause their different from you? That's horrible. I would never do that."

"Never?" Striker growled softly, "Dat word not mean de same ta me as ta you. Not anymore. Trust in de words o' humans and get hurt fer it, dat be what never means ta me now. My neck been broken half as many times as my body been shot wit' arrows and impaled wit' swords. I been drowned in holy water, set on fire, and almost quartered. All o' dese dings were done by ones dat say dat dey never mean me no harm. You say never and I hear de word pain instead."

"Oh. Wow. That's a lot of...pain." Rick cleared his throat and started thinking aloud quickly changing the subject back to the vampire's name, in an attempt to avoid any more hostility that might surface. "Thirty-seven is ten which is one. Competitive. Twenty-five is seven. Inventive. Thirty-seven and twenty-five is sixty-two which is eight. Organizer. Leadership skills, planner, strong, high achiever and sound judgment." He rubbed his chin. "There is something missing, it still isn't coming out right."

"Not right? How you say it not right?" Striker shook his head his hand moving to cover his shoulder. "You be indeed de strangest human I ever met."

"You were born as a human and then you were made a vampire so it should be right but it's not. Oh wait..." Rick trailed off into his thoughts. "You did say that you're not like most vampires. So...what if you really are different from them. What if...What if when you died and became a vampire, you didn't lose it. Ohhh...or given your abilities...maybe...maybe you're even something more than just that. Hmm...and if that is the case...then maybe it's not separate like I thought. Maybe it's just one. That has to be it. Let's see. Twenty-nine is eleven is two. Diplomatic. Twenty-one is three. Optimistic. There is that part and then if we added thirty-seven is ten is one. Competitive. Twenty-five is seven. Inventive. Ok then twenty-nine plus thirty-seven is sixty-six." He smiled. "Sixty-six plus twenty-five is ninety-one." He looked at the vampire with a new look in his eyes. "Ninety-one plus twenty-one is one hundred and eleven which is three! Humanitarian!"

Striker raised a brow becoming even more confused at the man's ramblings. "Que? (What) Je ne comprends pas (I do not understand)," he shook his head lowering his hand back down to his side, "Diplomatic, optimistic, competitive, inventive, humanitarian? What...what means all dat?"

"It means your name finally fits you! I thought that your vampire life was separate from your human life, but it really isn't. When you became a vampire you altered your destiny but you somehow managed to keep most of your humanity intact. So even though you aren't human parse, you still have what made you human. Most vampires normally lose it completely but since you nev..uh didn't..have not stopped being who you originally were, who you were born as, it wasn't coming out right. But if you add them together it does. From your name or well in your case names, I can tell with a fair amount of certainty, what kind of person you really are. Diplomatic means you're friendly, careful, peaceful, gentle and sensitive. Optimistic means you're easygoing, sociable, spontaneous and humorous. Now those would just be the human side of you. The vampire is competitive which means you're a leader, independent, strong, creative and original. Inventive means you're imaginative, resourceful, eccentric, quiet and thoughtful. But you put them both together and you get humanitarian which means you're compassionate, caring, charitable and civilized. All traits fitting for a Prince, I might add."

Striker smirked, "You dink all dat be me?"

"Well yeah. Some traits are perhaps stronger than others, but overall they suit you. And if I had to take a guess given everything I have seen and heard from you, I would say your human side was once and apparently still is a spell-caster of some kind. More than likely inherited since your powers didn't disappear after you became a vampire. I'm curious, was it your father's side or your mother's that had them?"

Striker narrowed his eyes at the man, "You really be too observant fer yer own good."

"Well you said so yourself, you're not like most of your kind and a spell-casting vampire is different than your average run of the mill blood drinker, uh no offense." Rick ran his fingers through his hair watching a group of people leaving the tavern. “But uh speaking of different, we should probably be leaving before someone notices you aren't wearing the same face from before.” He took a look around, trying to decide which way to go.

"We?" Striker asked looking around for a moment before passing his hand in front of his face, the illusion taking hold as his hand passed, his face and voice the pirate's once more. "I deceive you and you find my company appealin' still?"

Rick chuckled some turning his attention back to the vampire watching him change back. “My dear Ramuel, you must understand how I live. I am a very lonely man. I waste my life with alcohol and drugs. When I get the chance to meet a new face, I won’t turn it down.” He felt the necklace again. “That, and you helped me find the pendant.”

Kolin nodded, "Drownin' yer sorrows in de alcohol. I mostly drink ta stave off my dirst. Whiskey seems ta work best fer keepin' de cravin' at bay."

“I don’t necessarily drown my sorrows in the alcohol, it just keeps me busy. Then again, it also helps me find new friends. You can come with me to my grandfather's if you want. He doesn't mind when I bring my friends along, he likes the extra company. I think he will really like to meet you. I don't think he has ever met a half-breed like you before.”

"Hybrid be less insultin'." Kolin shook his head, "But, I do not dink so mate. Dere some dings dat be more pressin' fer me ta be worryin' 'bout right now. Dat meetin' be best left fer later. Dere still much I have ta do before light."

"Oh right sorry. Well I don't have to go to my grandfather's right away. Maybe I can help you? What do you have to do?"

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Chapter Four*
-An unlikely assistant-


"Perhaps." Thinking of the item he wanted Kolin turned the black pouch at his hip upside down. A blood stained arrowhead with markings carved into the wood immediately fell out of the pouch to hover a few inches above his palm. "I been trackin' de owner o' dis arrowhead fer two days now. You know o' anyone dat uses dese here?" He extended his palm out to the man, the arrowhead floating higher into the air, "Forgive me, de marks burn when dey touch skin."

"I see. Well I'm not telekinetic like you are, so uh just hold it there and I'll take a look." Rick squinted in the dim light moving closer to the arrowhead. "There is too much blood on it for me to see very well in this light." He pulled a handkerchief from his pocket and timidly reached out with his thumb and index finger to pluck the arrowhead out of the air. "Hmph. Interesting." He remarked, his skin surprisingly unaffected by the so-called burning object. "Well it doesn't burn me so it might be only your kind that are affected by it." He slowly turned it around in the handkerchief wiping some of the blood off it so he could take a better look at the marks. "And as far as I can tell it appears to be some sort of language, at least from the placement of the symbols. It must be a very old language though. I don't know what they mean, sorry. But I can make it safer for you to carry at least." He wrapped the arrowhead up in the handkerchief tying it shut. "I will also keep an eye out for someone that doesn't like vampires or possibly even witches." He held the handkerchief out to the vampire. "Just out of curiosity though, where did you find this?"

"In my shoulder," Kolin replied reaching for the tied handkerchief but suddenly stopping a few inches from it, "What 'bout yer grand-père (grandfather)? Would he know what dey mean?"

"Ahh so this is your blood then." Rick shrugged looking at the handkerchief in his hand still. "My grandfather? I don't know maybe. We could go ask him if you want."

"Aye." Kolin replied then shook his head pulling back his hand. "No. No you show him dat den let me know what he say." He pushed back his cloak reaching into his vest pocket. "When you need ta seek me," he pulled out a coin tossing it to the man, "show dis coin ta de tavern wench Pénélope, den I find you."

"Wow." Rick shook his head catching the coin with his other hand. "You really are untrusting of others, aren't you?" He put the coin and the bundle into his jacket pocket.

Kolin grinned, "Yer still alive, no? Fer now you be de only one 'ere dat know what and who I really be. Hope it stay dat way."

"Wait, so you're saying that if you didn't trust me I would be dead? You have a weird and scary sense of humor my friend. But it's at least comforting to know I'm not on your bad side. I promise I won't tell anyone about you. I swear. Well except for my grandfather of course. I have to tell him but you know that, right?"

"Good." Kolin nodded, "Just you and yer grand-père (grandfather), no one else." He glanced up at the sky, "But dere not alot o' time left mon ami (my freind), so hurry."

"Oh right the light -er the sun. Yeah I'll hurry. I'll go right now." He looked to the right, then took a step to the left. His grandfather’s place wasn't actually too far from where they were. He put his hand back into his jacket pocket and felt the necklace again as he started walking toward his grandfather's, his pace quickening.

Kolin nodded watching the man till he was out of sight before he turned and continued walking himself. As he walked his hand slipped between the lacings of his shirt to re- position the rag over the wound in his shoulder. He continued to keep his hand in place over his shoulder as he walked down the street. The sun would be rising soon and with it people. Shops would open and the streets would fill. His eyes turned upward to the sky again. The sun would weaken him, hinder his healing and make him tired the longer he stayed out in it, along with hungrier. But he had to find some answers. He was already going two days without sleep so what was another one. Another day of searching. Perhaps this day would be the day he found what he was searching for. He already had a lead on where the Vampire Emperor was, now all he needed was to find his arrow happy friend.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Chapter Five*
-The girl named, Lily-


Lily couldn't sleep. It wasn't that the bed wasn't comfortable, or even that she wasn't tired. She was exhausted but the stress that the day would bring was enough to keep her eyes wide open. Sighing she sat up and swung her feet out of the bed. Perhaps it was time for her to move on, or at least change jobs. The owner of the establishment was starting to get a little handsy anyways. Pretty soon he would probably start trying to call in favors even though she was already offering her services in the kitchen in exchange for a small space to sleep. Tiptoeing around the room she got dressed and gathered the few possessions that she brought with her and packed them neatly in a canvas bag.

It hadn't been easy for her to leave home, but it was certainly a lot harder for her to stay. For years Lily had been living on her own, her parents murdered at a young age and then rejected by the people who had adopted her. For a while she was okay with her life. She found a good job working in a bakery for a nice couple, she hadn't needed anything else. But eventually she started to crave something more. It had taken a while but with some help she finally located her mother's family. She had always known that there had been issues between her mother and her grandparents but she did not realize that those feelings would be mirrored on to her as well.

Lily's mother had married far beneath her status, a fact that the family couldn't overlook and refused to accept. A child of such union would never be accepted either, that fact was made quite clear to her and no matter what she did or how many times she tried to prove herself and her worth it was never enough. The negative emotions and memories associated with her home, the whole town eventually was too much for her. Those feeling, those stupid emotions are what lead her to be sneaking out of the inn in a strange town where she had been spending the past several weeks working and trying to figure out where she was heading and what she was going to do next.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reply
Like

deathstrikeda
Established Resident
deathstrikeda
Established Resident
Joined: 27 Jun 2008, 02:44

31 Mar 2017, 05:00 #4

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Chapter Six*
-The stranger in need-


Lily breathed a sigh of relief as she exited the building. The head cook had already been working in the kitchen getting ready for breakfast but had paid no attention to her as she snuck some food from the pantry. Rolling her aching shoulders, she pulled her cloak closer to her body. It most likely would warm up as the day progressed but in these hours before sunrise it was still rather chilly.

Kolin continued to walk down the street at a brisk pace his eyes returning to the street in front of him. He had a few stops planned for this morning. One, he would need to find fresh bandages for his wound. Two, he would need to check in with the shipwright. And three, he would need to visit a bookstore. Although not necessarily in that order.

Lily was so busy trying to arrange her cloak that she wasn't looking where she was going. "Watch it!" She yelped out in the trade language as she fell backwards. She had run into someone as she rounded the corner a little too quickly apparently.

Kolin staggered back some with a groan as a woman suddenly rounded the corner bumping into his shoulder. He gritted his teeth as the wound started to ache again. He had tried sewing the wound shut as best as he could but his recent actions had tore the stitching and it was beginning to bleed again.

Lily rubbed her nose from her new seat on the ground. She wasn't hurt or anything, unless you counted her pride. "Sorry, that was my fault." She muttered as she attempted to stand up again, trying to avoid looking at the man she had run into so he wouldn't see her embarrassment.

Kolin's first reaction was anger towards her. But hearing her quick words of apology, that feeling faded. His brow raised looking at her wondering why she had chosen the trade language over the common tongue of the land. Was she new to the land as well? He quickly pushed the thought away moving closer to her. Keeping his left hand over his wound, he extended his right down to her to help her to her feet as he spoke. "Best be careful, lass. You could hurt someone dat way. Where you goin' in such hurry and at dis hour?"

Lily's eyebrows raised first at his thick accent - one that she had never heard before - which meant that he was obviously not from around here and then again when she looked at him noticing his choice in attire. He wore a long black and silver cloak on his shoulders, the hood raised up covering his hair and part of his face. A dark red double-breasted vest with black roses etched into the fabric rested over his black long sleeve shirt. His pants were form fitting, black leather with black satin in steams. His boots were also black leather and calf high. She eyed his offered hand with slight suspicion staring at the heavy rings that adorned it before hesitantly accepting it. Rising to her feet she tried to brush some of the dirt off her person while she answered the strangers question. "I uh I couldn't sleep and I was in...a less then desirable situation you might say," she said as she waved her hand behind her in the direction of the inn. She was hesitant to share too much information with a stranger from another land, especially one that was armed with not one but two swords at his hips, and daggers in his boots. Although so far he did not appear to be trying to mug her or anything of the like.

Kolin felt a tiny surge of energy - the presence of magic deep within her reaching out to his own - course through his hand and move up to the wound in his shoulder as their hands met. Too subtle for her to feel, he played it off as nothing, releasing her hand and following her gesture with a smile and a nod, "Ah yes, I have been in some o' dose myself."

Peering up at him Lily observed how he clutched his shoulder. "Are you alright?" She asked. She was sure that she hadn't run into him hard enough to do any damage so whatever was wrong with him was from a previous encounter. "Is there something I can do to help you." She asked reaching her hand towards his shoulder before pulling it back. Some people didn't like being touched, especially if they were in any sort of pain.

Kolin laughed softly looking down at his shoulder, his hand finally lowering back down, "Oh worry not lass. 'Tis nothin' good night sleep not fix." Taking a step back from her advance he continued, "I be fine."

Lily had relaxed a bit when she realized that he was hurt in some way and his gentle laughter had a mysterious calming effect on her. But she did her best to remain cautious nevertheless. "Alright then." She replied leaning down to pick up her bag again slinging it back over her shoulder.

Kolin glanced up at the sky, the sun would soon be rising. He would need to stop the bleeding again and if she could fix it better for him then perhaps he wouldn't have a need to go through so many bandages during the day. He sighed turning his attention back to the woman. "Perhaps dere be somedin' you can do fer me. Can you...mend skin well? I not very good at it."

"You need stitches?" Lily stated more then asked. She opened her mouth to ask why he didn't go to a doctor but realized that if he was a traveler he wouldn't know where to find one, especially at this time of day, any better then she did. "I know how to sew fairly well but I have never sewn...skin before."

Kolin shrugged with a frown. "You be better den me lass. I never had de need ta sew before."

Lily swallowed nervously, looking over her shoulder towards the direction she had come from as she thought for a moment. There was no way she was going to follow some stranger back to his place but she honestly couldn't ignore someone who needed help either. She could handle one more day at that place and leave that night, or the next day if she must. "If you trust me enough to fix what you need fixing, I have a room at an inn around the corner."

Kolin followed her gaze with a smile. If she was staying at an inn then that meant she wasn't a resident here and her presence or lack of would go unnoticed. "Dat would be good. Lead de way den."

Sighing at herself Lily turned around and beckoned him to follow her.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Chapter Seven*
-Lending a helping hand-


It wasn't too long before they had found their way back to the quiet inn. A few guests were starting to trickle down the stairs and into the small bar and dining room for a warm breakfast to start the day. Lily wished her room was closer to the stairs but unfortunately it was near the back of the two story building. Ushering her new guest in to the room she was just about to breathe a sigh of relief when she heard her name.

"Lily!" Gustav barked.

Lily groaned inwardly as she turned around. "Yes?"

"I don't recall giving you permission to house more then just yourself in that room." Gustav tried to peer around her to see who had entered her room, a mixture of suspicion and perhaps jealousy in his voice, "And our staff is not allowed 'gentlemen' callers."

"Don't worry." Lily said in what she hoped was a soothing voice. "He is a friend who I ran into on my morning stroll, he will be gone before you know it. Now I think Cook was looking for you, something about some food missing from the pantry?" With that she closed the door. She had no worries that the innkeeper would start knocking on the door. The man was a cheapskate and that little bit of news would keep him busy for at least an hour as he panicked and grilled people. Smiling apologetically at her guest she removed her cloak hanging it up on the hook behind the door. "Why don't you sit on the bed and take your shirt off?" she suggested as she placed her bag beside the wash stand and started rummaging through it for her sewing kit and the small flask of alcohol she had also swiped from the kitchen that morning.

Kolin turned to look at her when she spoke to him now; straightforward and to the point. He laughed softly removing his own cloak hanging it up beside hers. "Very well," he replied his fingers moving to unfasten his vest as he walked over to the bed to sit down. He watched her gather her things as he unbuttoned his cuffs and pulled his vest and shirt off. A groan stifled through gritted teeth. Letting the vest and shirt lay on the bed beside him, he turned his attention to the rag that was now soaked and sticking to his skin.

Lily walked towards the opposite side of the bed, keeping her head down and focused on her breathing. Sure she had sounded calm and collected a few moments ago, but that was easy when she was confronting certain people. But now she was alone with a half naked man and that was not a sight she was accustom to.

Kolin slowly pulled off the rag, a sharp constant pain coursing through his shoulder with every movement. A small wooden shard left wedged inside, the culprit. The wound looked inflamed with small etchings burned into the flesh inside of the wound. The stitching or what was left of it was very poorly done, almost as if a non-dominate hand was used, and spaced too far apart to serve any real purpose. He tugged slightly on a loose end of the stitching watching it unravel from his skin.

Throwing the stuff on the bed beside him, Lily climbed up onto the bed and prepared to take a look at the cut. Once again she reached out as if to touch him but hesitated and pulled back as she noticed the various scars littering his skin. Sewing cloth was easy but skin? And blood? What if she hurt him more than he already was? Although, he would probably hurt a lot longer if something wasn't dealt with sooner then later. Sighing she leaned back and sat on her legs as she looked through her needles. After a few moments she choose one and squinted her eyes to thread it. It took her a few tries but she finally threaded the needle sticking it in her dress while she opened her flask. "This might hurt a bit," she said as she poured half of the contents over his wound, wincing herself at the thought of how it might burn.

Kolin gripped onto the covers and took in a sharp breath as the alcohol went over the tender flesh of his wound. His eyes flashed red and his fangs extended down on reflex at the sudden pain. "Bloody hell woman." He immediately closed his eyes and turned his head away from her, his grip tightening on the covers as his fangs cut into his bottom lip.

"Sorry about that, but we have to make sure it is somewhat clean." Or at least that is what she had been told before. For added measure Lily dipped the needle into the flask as well, holding it by the thread as she inspected the cut. Her eyebrows furrowed as she bit her lip. "I...I think you have something in there still." She stuttered. He had asked her to sew him up, not go digging into his flesh for bits of stuff. Looking up at the back of his head she wondered if perhaps he would leave now and go find an actual doctor to help him, mentally she hoped that he would.

"I had feared dat." Kolin frowned a bit sucking on his lip before he spoke. "Can you...get it out..please?"

Lily cringed at his request. She had noticed how tightly he was gripping the blankets and feared that it would get much worse before it got better. "Alright then, you wait here while I go find something to....uh, dig that out with." Crawling of the bed she practically ran out the room.

As she left the room Kolin began to relax a bit. His grip loosened on the covers and his eyes opened. Their color having shifted back. He exhaled slowly as his fangs retracted. The slight sting and presence of blood on his lower lip the only indicators that they were there. Alone in the room he looked around noticing the window facing the rising sun. Another hour and it would be coming over the tree line. It wasn't so much the sun he feared as it was the feeling it gave him. The feeling of being weakened. He inspected his wound again, his fingers moving to grasp onto what remained of the broken shaft. His fingers sizzling upon its touch he released it staring down at the steam rising from his fingertips. Closing his hand tightly he watched it slowly dissipate.

It didn't take Lily long to find the supply closet and find a large tweezer like tool. Closing the door behind her once again she finally ventured to look up. A concerned look appeared on her face when she noticed a bit of blood on his lower lip. Looking in her bag again she pulled out a small leather belt and handed it to him, "Here, bite this. I know it may not seem like the best, but it will keep you from biting your lip and making it bleed more. And perhaps it will help distract you from the pain, this isn't going to be fun." For either of us, she added in her mind as she crawled back on the bed and prepared to pull whatever was in him, out.

Upon the girl's return Kolin glanced up laughing softly taking the belt from her. She had noticed the blood on his lip but thankfully not the cause. He stared at the belt wondering how she would react to seeing more holes in the belt than need be. His fangs would no doubt make new ones for her, which may or may not be a good thing. He sighed softly shaking the thought from his head. "I be fine." He replied laying the belt down beside him. "Just see what you can do." He turned to the side more so he would be able to watch the window as she worked and avoid any more pain induced instances.

Lily shrugged as he refused the proffered belt. It was his choice if he wanted to shred those lovely lips of his. She blushed a bit at the thought and focused on the task at hand. She had avoided looking at him from the front before but now that she was facing him she could see that whatever had caused the wound in his back actually had gone all the way through. Stepping closer she inspected the bit of what appeared to be wood protruding from the front of his shoulder. "I am guessing you were struck by an arrow or something similar." She stated more then asked before looking up at him. "I don't know if I want to know why." She had an imagination though and quickly thought up several scenarios where it was very reasonable to assume that she had -not- brought some sort of criminal up to her own living quarters.

Kolin sighed softly looking back out the window again as she spoke. If he had said it was simply a case of being the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time that rewarded him with his injury, would she of believed him? But perhaps it really didn't matter what excuse or reason he gave. She had decided to help him without knowing so he decided to remain silent and let her think what she will.

"On a closer inspection, you probably should just lay down on your back and I shall pull it out from the front. If I am right and it was an arrow, it could be barbed or damaged in some way that could leave slivers behind in which case I doubt I could do much more." Lily mused. "Oh but lay on a towel!" She added quickly going to her sink and grabbing a clean navy towel to lay under him. "I would rather not have to worry about cleaning blood out of my bedding."

After a few moments Kolin closed his eyes laying his back down onto the towel. He breathed in deeply exhaling slowly as he prepared himself for what was to come. "Just...be careful." He opened his eyes to look at her. "...ta not hit my heart." With having him facing her it was going to prove to be difficult to keep his secret intact so he turned his head to the side and stared at the wall awaiting her touch.

Lily shifted from foot to foot as she tried to picture in her mind what the best and least awkward position would be for her to carry out this procedure in. With a small sigh she just decided to wing it and ignore him. Sure there was a man laying on her bed half naked but obviously they were both too distracted by the hole in his shoulder to think about anything else. After a minute or two of moving around she finally found a satisfactory position kneeling alongside his head with her knees practically touching his shoulder. Tossing her braid over her shoulder she tucked her long bangs behind her ear and grabbed the pliers. "I will be as careful as I can be." She promised as she wiped her now sweating palms on her lap. "But I can't makes any promises, you did choose me instead of a doctor after all. Although originally it was just supposed to be sewing." She muttered the last sentence as she got a good grip on the wood. Placing her hand on his shoulder to steady herself she noticed that his skin felt a bit cold to the touch. Rather then focusing on that she turned to him, "You ready?"

Kolin closed his eyes slowly flinching at her warm touch upon his shoulder, his hands gripping onto the covers to keep himself still as he nodded at her. "Aye."

"Ok now just relax for a moment, hopefully this will be over soon." As she said 'soon' Lily pulled on the wood, pulling it straight up and out as fast as she could. Her other hand pushing down on his shoulder to keep him from rising up with the arrow anymore than he already was. Tossing it to the side she dropped the pliers and quickly grabbed a clean cloth to apply some pressure to the gushing wound.

Kolin's grip tightened on the covers as burning pain shot through his shoulder, his fangs cutting down into his bottom lip as he stifled a scream. Feeling the pressure being applied his grip loosened on the covers and he slowly opened his eyes to stare up at the ceiling of the room. His fangs barely showing as he breathed in slowly. While relieved to have the shard out he now faced a bigger concern. He was growing weak and more so tired at the sudden loss of blood. His eyes fluttered open and close for a moment before he forced himself to sit up on the bed.

Keeping her hand over the cloth on his shoulder Lily reached her other hand out to rest on his back to steady him as he sat up. "Feeling better?" She asked weakly.

Kolin groaned softly placing his hand over hers that held the cloth to him. "A little." He replied as he felt his body trying to heal itself. His eyes started to flutter close as his body fell back into her, a lightheaded feeling washing over him. The healing process painful and very draining in his current condition.

Lily leaned back a bit as his weight fell against her, "I think...I think you really should see a doctor now. Why don't you lay down for a while and I'll go see if I can find you one."

"No! No doctor." Kolin hissed forcing his eyes open again. "I just...need some rest and I be fine," he replied softly letting his body rest against hers. "Dank you...fer yer..." his voice trailed off, his body falling limp against hers now as his eyes finally fluttered shut. His body needed to heal itself fully so sleep was needed. He had been putting off sleeping for the past 3 days, he could not put it off anymore.

The fact that he didn't want a doctor to look at him scared her, reaffirming Lily's theory of him possibly being a wanted man even more. She opened her mouth to say something but snapped it shut again when she couldn't think of something to say to his objection. As he collapsed, falling on her, she stiffened and tried her best to support his unconscious weight. He had appeared to have been up all night, and with his injury and the pain that went along with it, it made sense that he had passed out. He had most likely lost a fair amount of blood as well.

With Kolin's body at rest and no longer having the mental capability to keep it going, the illusion he cast upon himself dropped. His skin became even colder to the touch and his body had changed. His clothes remained the same but his body and face was now different.

Lily started running her fingers through his hair unconsciously curling the ends around her fingers as she tried to think of some other reason for why he possibly didn't want a doctor. Her hand froze suddenly feeling his hair growing longer under her touch. Looking down she saw red bangs now wrapped around her fingers, with shoulder length black hair taking the place of what was once short and brown. She gasped softly as the man before her continued to melt away and turn into someone else completely. His body grew even colder against hers making her think for a second that perhaps he had died instead of merely passing out, he was after all paler now. Blinking a couple times she rubbed her eyes and stared at him again. Wracking her brain for some sort of explanation she remembered an old story she once heard about a magical creature who could possess great power and whose body was as cold as the dead. But that was as much as she knew. Fear for the unknown lingered but stronger were the feelings of curiosity...and exhaustion. Not having gotten much sleep either followed by the stress and shock of everything suddenly left her feeling quite drained as well.

Lily tried wiggling out from under him but she wasn't able to squeeze out and she wasn't in the mood to try to wake and move him, what if the pain and shock of all that had happened made him forget about everything that had just transpired? No, it would be best to let him wake on his own, if he did ever wake. And if he didn't that was a problem for a little later. She leaned back and rested against the headboard of the bed. She promised herself that she would just close her eyes for a few moments, just to rest them for a while until she figured out what to do next. But before she could stop herself she had sunk into sleep as well.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Chapter Eight*
-Who, or rather what, are you?-


The sun continued to rise as they slept silently. Within a matter of hours its light had finally managed to flow through the window. The room now had patches of sunlight scattered across it. Shadows still remained although few and far between. The wound in Striker's shoulder had healed considerably, save for the impressions left behind by the markings on the arrowhead. It no longer bled and had seemed to leave no scar behind aside from the impressions that were still burned into his flesh. The sunlight began creeping its way across the bed to where he laid. Upon its gentle touch his bare skin began to warm, first his chest then his face. The warmth began to intensify slowly till it had become enough to wake him.

Striker awoke with a pain filled gasp, his body lunging forward off of her, his arms crossing over his smoking chest as it started to burn. Within seconds he was off the bed, his body backed into a corner, safe from the sunlight. He took in gasping breaths as the flesh on his chest tried to mend itself. He had foolishly let his body become too weak. He should of never went that long without sleep. His immunity to the sun was apparently weakened to the point of destructive as a result. Blood loss was also a deciding factor in the matter. He glanced toward the bed noticing the girl now. She was leaning against the headboard, a blood stain running from her shoulder all the way down the left side of her shirt.

"Oh no," Striker said softly suddenly pausing hearing his own voice instead of the pirates. Had he killed her and just not remembered or was the blood his own? He closed his eyes and listened, a heart beat, steady and slow. Sleeping. He sighed in relief opening his eyes. But had she fallen asleep on her own or was it shock that rendered her unconscious, or both. He shook his head slowly cursing to himself. He knew the answer already. She was still awake when he passed out, so more than likely she saw him change and it made her faint. Normally he would just kill the person when his identity was compromised, but considering he was seen coming up to her room with her- or rather Kolin was -that option was out of the question. The only solution now was to leave before she woke and deal with her later, once any suspicions over her death wouldn't be so easily traced back to his pirate's image that is.

Striker's gaze moved to the door, the door that was now bathed in light. He groaned softly sliding down the wall to rest on the floor. His only exit was blocked for the time being, he wasn't going anywhere anytime soon. He turned his attention back to her as he pulled his knees up to his chest, his arms wrapping around them ensuring his body was completely bathed in the shadows. There was no where else for him to hid but a corner. He sighed softly and laid his forehead down on his knees. There was nothing he could do now but sleep and hope she wouldn't notice him when she woke.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Groaning softly Lily woke up. Rolling her shoulders back while she rotated her head she stretched and tried to relieve herself of the crick she felt at the base of her neck. Suddenly her eyes flashed open and she sat up. She had forgotten momentarily what had happened early that morning and by the looks of the sun coming through her windows it was still early in the afternoon. She glanced around the room curiously looking around for the man, or whatever he was, from before. She nearly missed him curled up in the corner but he was still there, which meant he wasn't dead like she originally feared.

As Striker sat there sleeping, the nightmare he had been having for the past century began. It was always the same, never changing no matter how many times he relived it. Perhaps it was merely a past life coming to haunt him during his time of rest with questions that only the mind could answer.

Lily wondered why he was still here as she swung her legs of the bed to stand up. He appeared to have gone back to sleep after relocating from the bed so she wasn't too concerned about him yet. If something bad was going to happen he probably would have done something when he first woke up and found her asleep and vulnerable. Her bare feet padded softly on the floor as she walked to her wash stand. She gasped as she saw her clothes reflected in the mirror. Looking down to confirm what the mirror shoulder showed she gasped again at the blood. It took a minute for her to realize that the blood wasn't hers, her breath slowing down and evening out. Pulling a clean shirt out of her bag she glanced back over her shoulder at the stranger in the corner. She waited a moment to make sure he was still asleep before she pulled her dirty shirt off and slid into the fresh one. After hanging the dirty shirt on the side of the wash stand she tucked in her clean shirt and started washing her face.

Striker awoke suddenly his head slamming against the wall as the nightmare came to a violent close. With a groan his hand went to the back of his head. He had forgotten he had been sitting on the floor and more so where he was. He slowly glanced up now to see only his shirt and vest laying on the bed.

Lily jumped when she heard a sudden noise from the corner. Drying her face with her towel she looked up at him, pushing her now wet bangs back.

Striker's eyes quickly searched the room finally coming to rest on the girl staring at him. Without much hesitation he looked away turning his attention to the window. He had slept too long but yet not long enough. The sun was still overhead and there was still plenty of daylight left to do him harm. He sighed softly leaning his back against the wall, his elbows resting on his knees. His gaze now fixed upon the strip of sunlight inches from his feet. His red bangs fell down in front of his face. No use for the illusion anymore he let them cover his two-toned eyes.

"Why the corner?" Lily asked before blushing a bit at her bluntness. "I don't bite you know." 'Although I don't know if you do.' She added in her mind. "Are you feeling okay? Do you still need me to sew up that wound?" She asked since she wasn't able to see the state of his shoulder due to his position.

Her words were almost teasing, mocking his current situation. Striker turned his attention to her at the mention of 'bite' before looking down at the dried blood on his chest upon her mention of the wound. If he spoke his voice would not be the same, but neither was his appearance right now so it didn't make that much of a difference either way. He sighed turning his head back to the window. "Better and dere no need. It fine now."

"Ok." Lily replied softly making sure to maintain her distance from him but she was curious. Until several weeks ago she had lived a fairly sheltered way of life in a city where magic had been practically banned and those who possessed it or were not human were considered second class citizens. Now, right in front of her was someone who seemed to be able to magically change his appearance and even his voice. His accent was still there but it was slightly lighter now and the tone and pitch of his voice had changed. She wondered if what she was seeing and hearing was really him or if it was some sort of safety default disguise.

Striker winced slightly as the sun fell across his feet. It's warmth feeling like pins and needles upon his clothed skin. He stood quickly pressing his body against the wall. The shadows were growing smaller in the room and he was running out of room himself. He glanced from her to the bed then to his cloak hanging on the back of the door.

Lily looked at him in confusion, what was with his strange behavior? The whole situation was more then she could understand and comprehend. She followed his gaze to the cloak that he had hung on her door. Walking over to it she grabbed it and inspected it briefly before walking towards him. She maintained a bit of distance between them and held the cloak out. "I am assuming you want this?" She didn't know why he seemed so frantic, why he seemed cold but stuck to the shadows. She wanted to ask him questions but didn't want to intrude on anything too personal. "Can I get you anything else?" She choose to ask instead. "Something to eat, drink, or a new shirt perhaps?"

Striker stared at the cloak in her hand as she held it out to him. "Aye. Dank you." He replied with a small smile. He reached out for the cloak hesitating as his fingers came close to the sunlight. Something to eat didn't sound to bad to him right about now and this situation would probably not end well anyways. He could already feel himself changing, becoming less like himself. He reached through the sunlight and grabbed the cloak, smoke rising from his hand. With his other hand he grabbed onto her pulling her toward his chest. "If you want ta help me den you must block de light first."

Shock and surprise registered on her face as Lily saw the smoke rising from where the sun had touched his skin before he pulled her close to him. She started to struggle against him until she heard his request. Standing still she looked into his eyes, "You could have just asked." She said quietly, a little bit of ice creeping into her voice. She didn't like being pushed, or pulled around, especially when her knife still hung with her own cloak. "Who, or rather what, are you?" She asked as she waited for her cue to be able to leave. Sure she was now being blunt but after that display she felt as though he owed her some kind of explanation. She did pull a rod of wood out of him after all. "I have met shifters, gnomes, dwarves, and have run in with the occasional elf but I have never met anyone like you before. Granted, where I come from anyone possessing any kind of magical ability tends to be frowned upon."

Upon her compliance Striker relaxed his grip returning her coldness as he spoke. "Who or what I am is o' no concern o' yers." He replied releasing her roughly. He placed the cloak around his shoulders pulling the hood up over his head.

Lily stumbled back a step as he released her. Didn't he know how to treat a lady? Especially one who was still helping him. "Well I think I have the right to be a bit curious considering the fact that I just pulled an arrow out of you, after which you fell unconscious, on top of me."

"I shall not be stayin' long enough fer my presence ta matter 'ere." He was starting to grow more irritable. Being backed into a corner with only the girl for assistance was not sitting to well with him anymore. He had been exposed to too much sunlight as it was already and he was beginning to feel its effects more and more. "Now de light." Striker added through gritted teeth feeling the hunger set in, his hands moving to his stomach as pain coursed through it. He closed his eyes turning his head away from her, his fangs pricking his lip. Her heartbeat echoing loudly in his ears. The sound of her heart almost as deafening as the sound of the blood running through her veins. "Please..." he said softly, "take care o' de light."

Lily heard his voice change, as if he was experiencing some sort of pain still, or rather in more pain then moments before. Sighing at his much softer tone now she walked over to the window raising it up. She gave him a glance before reaching out for one of the shutters, tugging on it. When it didn't move she grabbed the other one giving it a tug. She sighed softly, "I can't close the shutters. They won't budge." Closing the window and turning her attention back to him she did her best to shield him from the light using her body.

"Are you sure you are alright?" Lily asked reaching out to place a hand on his shoulder. "Should I get some medicine for you? Would that help you feel better?"

Striker kept his eyes closed as he fought back the feeling. The desire to rip into her flesh and satisfy a hunger that was eating him from the inside. He flinched slightly turning his head to look at her feeling her touch him, his eyes opening, now tinted a mixture of green, blue and red. He opened his mouth to speak, his fangs brushing freely against his lips as he talked. "Dis is what I truly am." With each word he spoke her heart echoed louder. He groaned softly, "No medicine will help me. Blood...blood is what I need." He closed his eyes slowly becoming overwhelmed by her presence. "I can't...leave...you should go. I don't want ta hurt you."

Lily's hand remained on his shoulder, not out of choice but because it felt frozen there. Her breath seemed to all but stop. She still didn't know what he was but something told her that she should be afraid, very afraid. She blinked a couple times and managed to gain movement in her limbs again, taking her hand off his shoulder and a few steps back. Searching his face, his changed eye color and protruding fangs she tried to think of what to do. Her instincts told her to run but....she couldn't stand to see someone in pain.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Chapter Nine*
-How much do you need?-


"How much do you need?" Lily asked, her voice a whisper. Already her eyes were roaming the room for a cup of some sort. There was no way she was going to let him use those fangs on her, who knew if he would be able to stop and as much as her life sucked, she wasn't in the mood to die today. Maybe she didn't have to do this and maybe it was a bad idea but she realized if she didn't then he most likely would go somewhere else to find the blood he needed and she was not willing to be the reason someone else died.

"What?" Her question took him by surprise. He had told her to leave for her own safety but yet she was staying to help him. What was wrong with this girl? Striker looked at her and shook his head watching her look around the room. "What are you doin'?! Didn't you 'ear me," he yelled. "Go! Get out o' 'ere. I don't want you near me!"

Lily cringed taking a step back as he yelled at her. She didn't know whether to be angry, scared or simply pity the man. It only took a few moments for her to decide what to do next. "This is my room, I will leave when I want to leave." She said as calmly as she could even though her hands were shaking as she emptied the water cup she kept by her bed and dried it out.

Sleep and hunger were clouding his judgement. Asking her to leave her own room? He wasn't thinking correctly anymore. Striker groaned clenching his teeth shut, his hands clutching his stomach as he dropped down to his knees on the floor. Why was he even bothering to stop himself? His instinct was to lunge for the girl but instead he held himself back. He endured the pain giving her a chance to get away and she was refusing to take it nonetheless. If she wouldn't leave on her own and save herself then he would have to. He just hoped his cloak would protect him long enough. His eyes fell on the door as he started to get to his feet again.

Her gaze followed his with a sigh and before he could move Lily was already going over to the door. She checked to make sure it was locked, even though she knew it probably wouldn't stop him for long. She grabbed her knife from her cloak and a scrap of cloth left over from when she was playing doctor and started walking back over to him.

Glancing over at the sun filled side of the room Striker rushed to it. His body landing beside the dresser on the other side of the bed. With his remaining strength he kicked the dresser sending it sliding across the floor towards the window. The dresser managing to block off only half of the window. The door, bed, and the half of the room he was now on was bathed in darkness. He breathed in slowly watching his skin trying to mend back. The pain was worth it, he had freed the door and made more shadows. His eyes moved to the door, but his body remained still. He leaned against the wall trying to regain more strength to move.

Lily gasped at him as he dashed away from her. Fear coming back again watching the skin on his chest healing. Perhaps this wasn't a good idea after all she thought. Shaking the thought from her head she trotted over to where a patch of sunlight still bathed the room and sat in it. The warmth felt good on her skin and she closed her eyes as she tossed her knife from hand to hand. Opening her eyes she watched him as he slowly slid down the wall to sit on the floor on the other side of the room, his back resting against it. "You said you need blood and if I don't give it to you willingly you are going to take it from someone, am I right?" She stated more then asked unsheathing her knife. "And by your apparent state I think it's safe to assume you are losing control, or are just becoming paranoid." She made a fist with her left hand, opening and closing it a few times. "Which means that you would probably kill someone, whether you wanted to or not. Which would mean that it would be my fault when I could have done something."

Closing his eyes Striker listened to her speak, her words ringing true. He would be forced to feed sooner or later and there wasn't going to be anything he could do to stop it. He needed blood and his body was going to get it one way or the other.

"You put yourself in my care so until you leave, I am responsible." With that statement Lily held her wrist over the cup, closed her eyes and bite her lip as she made a cut across her wrist. She gasped at the initial pain but she had felt worse although never self inflicted. She kept her eyes on him and hoped that his fear of the sun and how weak he seemed to its affects would keep him away until she was done.

The smell of blood on the air forced his eyes open his attention brought to the cup. Striker lunged at her, fangs bared. His body passing through the sunlight and slamming hers into the wall. His fangs sinking into her throat, her life fading as the cup fell to the floor. He gasped softly blinking a few times seeing her still sitting there within the patch of sunlight, the blood still dripping into the container. He was beginning to hallucinate now. She was the one that was more stable after all, which only meant that he had to leave before he did something he was going to regret later. He looked away from her to the bed, his clothes laid out on it. He crawled across the bed grabbing onto his clothes trying to ignore the constant splatter in the cup. Letting his cloak fall to the floor behind him, he put on his shirt keeping his eyes focused on the bed in front of him. Another wave of pain hit him forcing him to drop his vest on the floor, one hand going to his stomach the other gripping onto the covers as he leaned over the bed.

Lily watched him as he started to get dressed, why was he leaving? Although apparently he couldn't leave even though he wanted to for some reason. She watched in concern as he collapsed onto the bed. She was too afraid to step out of the light and check on him while she was still bleeding so she watched from her spot and continued to let her blood flow out. When she started to feel a little dizzy and noticed the cup was starting to look at least somewhat full she grabbed the cloth and wrapped her wrist up, using her teeth to pull it into a tight knot. Once she was satisfied with that she slide the cup across the floor. It didn't make it too far, mainly because she hadn't wanted to push too hard and spill the blood. It still managed to make it into the shadow though. She slid back and leaned against the wall, once again focusing on the warmth of the sun through her window as she waited to see what he would do next.

Laying on his side on the bed, Striker stared at the cup for a moment. It was too far away to reach unless he moved and moving meant he would get closer to the girl. What if he didn't stop when he came to the cup? What if he went after her too? He couldn't risk it. Turning over onto his back he waited for the pain to pass. He held one hand against his stomach, the other off the side of the bed. His eyes began to close slowly. With a gasp he opened them, his fingers moved in a beckoning motion, the cup moving slowly at his command, inching its way toward his feet.

Lily had stood up when it looked like he was about to pass out again. She didn't think it was a wise idea to leave her position in the sun but she didn't think having to deal with a dead body of whatever he was, would be any better. She took a step towards him, and then another step back when she saw the cup move on it's own...or by his command. His skills just seemed to pile on top of each other. He looked young but he couldn't be, even with her little knowledge she knew it could take years to master even one magical ability.

Hitting the edge of his boot the cup began to tip, his fingers immediately extended out, the cup left standing on its edge. Only a few drops of blood falling to the floor. Striker leaned up and grabbed onto the cup giving her a glance before drinking. He closed his eyes as he drank turning his back to her slightly. Warm and sweet.

Lily stayed standing, watching him drink her blood, wanting to say something to break the silence but not knowing what to say.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Chapter Ten*
-It's just a cut-


The cup was emptied rather quickly and set back down on the floor. Striker laid back down on his back his gaze on the ceiling. As the blood ran through his system his senses began to calm down, the pain subsiding. The wound in his shoulder began to heal even more although still not completely. His eyes returned to normal, the blood tint leaving them. He breathed in slowly, his fangs still left extended although not as much as before. He was feeling better now, much more like himself. He could feel the girl's presence in the room still so she had not been scared off when the cup moved or he started drinking. He sighed softly turning his head to look at her now. She had seen him at his worse and stayed, something no one ever did. Noticing the blood soaking the cloth around her wrist he leaned up a bit propping himself up with one elbow. He extended his other hand out to her, his head and fingers waving her over, "Come 'ere lass."

Lily looked from his proffered hand to his face. He certainly looked much better, but could he be trusted? Had it been a bad idea to let him taste her blood, would he want more now? And why was she second guessing everything she did and said now? She shook her head. "No. I think I will wait here for a bit longer." She said, her back against the wall, both to maintain her distance but also for support. She hadn't given that much blood up but in addition to all the events of the past day, she felt a little unsteady.

Striker laughed softly lowering his hand down to the bed at her refusal. He stared at her for a moment then down at the sunlight at her feet. He smiled sitting up fully. "Well if de lady insists." He slid off the bed walking over to the wardrobe. With a shove he slid the wardrobe all the way in front of the window blocking out the rest of the sun. His attention turned back to her as he made his way over to her.

Her blood had certainly made him feel better, but whatever else he was feeling Lily had no clue. She kept her back against the wall as he started to approach her and she knew that she couldn't escape even if she wanted to. She all but stopped breathing, shallow breathes of air coming and going slowly from her parted lips. She held his gaze in an almost defiant way, although she didn't know why.

"Fear not." Striker replied stepping up to her with a smile, his hands reaching out to grab onto her forearm. "You helped me, now I shall help you."

"But you don't have to." Lily replied eyeing him suspiciously as he invaded her personal space to grab onto her arm. "Really, it's fine. It's just a cut."

"No...'tis not." Striker replied as he started to slowly and carefully untie the cloth from around her wrist. "Because o' me you hurt yerself. At least allow me ta make it right."

"Oh so now you're going to be a gentleman?" Lily asked raising a brow at him as the cloth fell to the floor at their feet.

"I'm always a gentleman." Striker replied with a grin bringing her wrist up in front of him as he inspected the cut. It would need stitches and if left untreated would lead to infection. "Especially in de presence o' a beautiful lady."

Lily tried not to blush, offering an eye roll instead. "Well aren't you quite the charmer now."

"Just showin' my appreciation lass." Striker smiled giving her a glance before he brought her wrist up to his lips. He bit down into his tongue, his fangs gently scraping against her flesh as he ran his tongue across the cut, his blood mixing with hers, a tingling sensation now felt as his blood started sealing the cut. He gave the cut a gentle kiss pulling his lips back from her wrist. "Dere we go," he replied watching the cut heal without leaving a scar upon her wrist. "All better now, love." He released her hand with a smile and stepped back from her.

Feeling his fangs against her skin Lily had braced herself for a bite. But pain had not followed, only his tongue. He was licking her? She didn't know what she had been expecting really, but she hadn't suspected that. As a weird sensation enveloped her wrist she couldn't hide it anymore, she blushed and then blushed again as he kissed her wrist and called her 'love'. Looking down she caught the final stage of healing leaving no evidence that she had ever harmed herself. Rubbing her wrist she tried to comprehend what had just happened. She managed to squeak out a "Thank-you" but that was all she could say.

Striker nodded walking back over to the other side of the room. Leaning down he picked up his vest and cloak tossing them onto the bed. He laughed slightly looking over his shoulder at her as he slid his vest on. "Why de wall?" he asked with a grin as he buttoned the vest. "I promise I won't bite." He shrugged slightly with a smirk, "well much anyway."

Lily resisted the urge to laugh at him throwing her own words back at her. She also resisted the desire to throw something at him for smirking like he was, he was obviously feeling much better. She didn't know why his attitude towards her had suddenly changed but she was glad he wasn't in pain anymore, he was more pleasant to be around now. Perhaps her blood did more for him than just taking away his pain.

Striker grabbed his cloak putting it back around his shoulders. "Perhaps you should sleep and regain some o' yer strength." Collecting the towel from the bed he set it down on the nightstand. The belt placed down on top of the towel.

Lily considered for a moment showing him a sample of her own strength but quickly decided against it. She was not very good at reversing her energy exchange and she doubted that he would appreciated being used as a guinea pig. "I could say the same for you. You may be feeling better but you don't look 100% yet. Or perhaps you just need a bath." She retorted having finally found her voice again. She pushed herself away from the wall and focused on keeping steady, she wasn't going to be seen as weak.

"Oh really now? Well if you are offerin' ta give me one darlin', den I -gladly- accept." Striker replied with a wink.

"Yeah keep on dreaming mister." Lily replied with a laugh trying to hold her ground. She had to be more careful with what she said apparently and she was glad the room was darker, it was able to somewhat hide the blood that seemed to be constantly running to her cheeks at his words now.

"Eh suit yerself." Striker replied shrugging her response off leaning down to pull the covers back. "Once I know you will be fine I will rest myself. Dere is still much light left. I dare not leave de safety o' de tavern just yet." He held his hand out to her, two fingers beckoning her as he spoke. "Now, what say we get you into bed, love. A few hours o' rest will do you wonders."

His flirting words and charming attitude was throwing Lily off balance. For a moment she almost forgot about the situation she had been in moments ago but his words quickly reminded her of it. His insistence on wanting her to go to sleep starting to make her even more suspicious. "So you can do whatever you please to me while I am asleep now that the sun is blocked? Uh no. I am fine. Thank you." She replied with a glare shaking her head keeping her distance from him. "I don't need to rest."

"Oh come now, love," Striker tilted his head to the side at her defensive tone and stance, his hand still extended towards her as he spoke. "Do you honestly dink I would do such a ding?" Tilting his head back up he lowered his hand back down to the bed. "Haven't I already proven by now dat you can trust me?" He sighed softly. "You 'member what I did ta de cup, yes? You really dink I couldn't o' done de same ding ta you as well? Trust me, I would much rather have you come ta me willingly den by any force o' mine."

Lily narrowed her eyes at him pressing her back up against the wall again. She wasn't sure what he could or couldn't do to her but she wasn't wanting to find out either. "How can I trust you when you talk about trust in one breath and then threaten me in another?"

Striker sighed again shaking his head at her. "It wasn't meant as a dreat, love. It was merely meant ta prove my point, dat I could make you move if I had ta, but I have refrained from doin' so lettin' you come on yer own accord. Please don't be difficult darlin'. Yer body needs rest ta recover from de blood loss. I assure you sweetheart, you can trust me. I only have yer best interests at heart. You have nothin' ta fear from me while you sleep. I have no desire fer yer body and even if I did I would not, nor have I ever, forced myself onto an unwilling or unconscious woman. You will be perfectly safe I promise you, I am quite de gentleman."

Lily was pretty good at telling when someone was lying to her, and normally a confession like that would of set off flags, but his words didn't for some reason. Which meant he was either a magnificent liar or he was actually telling the truth. But she couldn't tell for sure which one. She grumbled, but finally complied, shooting him a suspicious glance as she crawled into her bed. Grabbing the covers she pulled them tightly around herself as she turned onto her side to look at him. "Just so you know, if you break your promise or leave before I wake, I will be very, -very- disappointed." She said trying to sound as firm as she could, her eyes closing slowly as she spoke. "You owe me after all, I did just save your life."

Striker smirked watching her tuck herself in. "Aye dat you did, and I am very, -very- grateful darlin'." He replied back teasing her attempt at firmness. "I would hate ta disappoint you love so I will do as you wish." He replied with a grin. "I shall stay." He removed his cloak walking back over to the door. She seemed to want him around still, which was quite rare for him. He paused briefly before hanging it back up on the hook. Turning around he stared at her for a moment before walking back over to the bed, the belt containing his swords removed as he walked. Laying his weapons on the floor by the bed he laid down on top of the covers.

Lily eyes flashed open for a moment, she was surprised that he had been so easy to convince to stay. She had even thought up an argument in case he had brought up his healing of her wrist. She watched him in silence holding her breath as she heard his footsteps approaching the bed, breathing a sigh of relief when he simply laid on the blankets instead of under them. Quite a gentleman indeed. Yawning she curled up in a ball and settled in to sleep. He had been right, a sleepless night and all the excitement of the day thus far had left her exhausted.

Striker placed one arm across his stomach and the other behind his head, his gaze up at the ceiling. He would lay there for a while till he knew she was asleep and then he would get up and slip out quietly. His ears listened to the rhythm of her heart for a while but his eyes started to grow heavy. Apparently more tired than he thought he was, he decided to sleep for a while. He yawned softly rolling over onto his side facing away from her, the climbing daggers in his vest cutting into his ribs. Sitting up he removed his vest again letting it rest on the floor by his other weapons. Settling back down on the bed he closed his eyes going back to listening to her heart. Her heartbeat soon faded from his ears as sleep settled over him.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reply
Like

deathstrikeda
Established Resident
deathstrikeda
Established Resident
Joined: 27 Jun 2008, 02:44

03 Apr 2017, 04:35 #5

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Chapter Eleven*
-Services rendered and payment due-


Lily woke up slowly, twitching her nose trying to get rid of an itch. Opening her eyes she sat up suddenly. Sometime during her sleep she had rolled over and moved closer to him, his hair had been tickling her nose and she had practically been breathing in his ear. She was grateful that she had woken up first, and that there where blankets separating them, who knows what he would have thought if he had woken up first or how much worse it could have looked if the covers had not been there. She was also grateful that he stayed true to his word, he had stayed with her and left her body untouched.

The nightmare was gone this time so Striker could sleep peacefully. It had been a while since he actually let himself sleep, really sleep that is and it was needed. While asleep he was no longer pretending to be human so his chest no longer rose and fell with each breath he forced himself to take. There was no need for warmth so the covers posed no concern for him, his body taking on the temperature of the room. He stirred for a few moments rolling over onto his side to face her, his bangs falling down in front of his face as he continued to sleep beside her.

Lily didn't know how long she had been sleeping for but by the light, or lack of it, coming through her window it was sometime in the evening. Propping herself up on her arms she looked over at her bed companion feeling him shift, he had obviously been much more tired then she had been. She resisted the urge to push his hair back off of his face as she looked at him now. He really was a pretty boy, in his early 20s if she had to guess, just a few years older than herself. She didn't know why he had disguised his appearance before. Most men with his sort of looks liked to flaunt them. Although he did like to flirt a lot so maybe he was in his own way. While she waited for him to wake up she tried to think about what kind of favor she could ask him for in exchange for what she had done. She had already implied that she was expecting something, might as well actually come up with something.

Swinging her feet out from under the covers Lily winced as her feet touched the cold floor. Her stomach groaned in frustration, she was hungry and thirsty. With all that had happened today she had forgotten to eat. Quietly she walked across the room and slipped on a pair of shoes and snuck out of the room. Shutting the door shut behind her she crept down the hall, pausing at the innkeeper's room. From the giggling coming from it he had already had found his prize for the night and was settling in. She made a face in disgust but was thankful all the same. If he didn't find anyone he usually would try and convince one of the staff to join him and she didn't feel like having to fend him off tonight, or have to answer any questions on what she had been up too.

Now that she wasn't concerned with him anymore Lily took less precaution as she walked the rest of the hall and down the stairs. The dining area still sounded a bit busy so she entered the room and placed an order for a plate of food. She considered bringing it up to her room for a moment but thought better of it. Either he would come down after he had finished sleeping or she could join him after enjoying a hot meal. Perhaps she would bring up some food too just in case he ate actual food. And if not it could just go into her bag for when she decided to leave this place.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

After his body regained its strength Striker woke. He sat up glancing around the room finding it empty, the girl was gone. Looking over at the window, a small amount of light coming from around it, he noticed it had to be after sunset. With a flick of his wrist the wardrobe moved back to its original position letting the moonlight flow into the room. His powers were back at full strength again but he had slept longer than he had intended and the girl had left already. "Shit," he muttered to himself climbing off the bed. He didn't know where she went or what he was supposed to owe her in return. He hoped she wasn't going to betray him. He removed his shirt walking over to the washstand and preceded to remove the dried blood from his chest.

Feeling better with a full stomach Lily trotted up to her room, some bread and cheese wrapped up in a napkin, either for the man in her room or for later. Opening her door she froze for a moment before half shutting the door on instinct. Before it closed though she remembered that it was her room, and she had in fact, seen him shirtless before. She sidestepped into the room closing the door behind her, as if that was the plan all along, to shield his half naked body from anyone who may be roaming the halls. "I wasn't sure if you actually ate real food or if it was just blood, so I brought up some food just in case you did. It's here if you want it." She held up the napkin before placing it on the dresser beside him.

Striker didn't bother to look up at her as she entered the room. He was relieved though when she entered alone. At least she hadn't brought company back with her. He stared at the washbasin scratching behind his ear slightly embarrassed at the tender humanly gesture. "Uh no, I..I don't..I don't eat," he replied softly giving a glance at the food as she set it down, "it makes me sick, but dank you fer de dought." He continued to avoid looking at her as he continued to wash himself.

Noticing his sudden uneasiness Lily decided to keep herself busy and her eyes off his half-naked body. Which she did by straightening the blankets on the bed before walking over to her bag to pull out her brush. Walking past the wardrobe, which she noticed was back in it's original position, she settled back down in the middle of the bed to un-braid her hip length hair. Running the brush through her hair to straighten out any loose bits she promptly started to re-braid it again, occasionally shooting sidelong glances at him as he finished with his front and tried cleaning his back. "I see you decided to take my advice and take a bath, or a version of one." She couldn't help but smirk, he was rubbing off on her in some areas.

Striker smiled a bit at her comment, "Well de blood itches. I'm tryin' ta clean but 'tis difficult ta get de back wit'out help."

"So you were being serious earlier...about me helping you with a bath?" Lily commented as she finished her braid and tied it off.

Striker shrugged slightly. " 'Tis just easier wit' eyes dat can see it."

"Fine, although how you get by on your own I will never know." Lily said with a smirk thinking of all she had done for him today. Walking over she grabbed the cloth and dampening it a big more proceeding to gently clean where the wound in his back was. It had once been fully open, but was now halfway closed. It was amazing how fast it had healed. Although she found it strange that there was a bit of scaring around the opening while there had been none on her.

As she washed the blood off the back of his shoulder Striker closed his eyes painfully. Wincing and biting his lip every time the cloth slid over the wound. It would take time for the wound to heal completely and while not fully healed it was still very sore to the touch.

Realizing that she had gotten absorbed in her thoughts that she had forgotten what she was doing, Lily quickly tossed the cloth in the wash basin and twirled about. Eyeing the food she had left out she grabbed it and packed it away.

Hearing the cloth fall into the basin Striker opened his eyes, his tongue now licking the blood off his lip. He put on his shirt and turned around to look at her. "Why did you not want me ta leave?" He asked walking over to the bed leaning down to picking up his vest. "And what do I owe you fer yer services?" He added watching her as he sat down putting his vest back on.

Lily had thought long and hard about how she would answer the question when he finally posed it. Turning to face him she considered him thoughtfully before answering him. "Because I am curious about you and as for what you owe me...take me with you. As far as I gather I saved your life by pulling that wooden bit out of you and I don't know what was going on after but my blood apparently helped you out a fair bit. So take me with you, just until you save my life. And putting me in danger just to save me doesn't count." She made sure to add the last bit just in case he got the idea to toss her over some cliff or ship just to save her and get rid of her.

Striker sighed softly at her request and shook his head as he finished buttoning his vest. "I already saved you by healin' you."

Lily laughed at his comment. "Healing a cut on my wrist does not count as saving me. Sure it would have taken longer and I may have had a scar, but I could have survived." She actually wasn't totally sure she was being honest there, she was pretty sure though.

"I can't do what you wish o' me dis time. I take you wit' me and you will get killed. Humans...people don't live long 'round me. I'm hunted ever'where I go. I don't want ta be de cause fer yer life bein' taken from you." Striker shook his head standing up from the bed. "I'm sorry but I can't give you what you want. Ask fer somedin' else."

"Well maybe having me around would actually help you instead." Lily was being stubborn, she knew but she also knew what she wanted and he was her ticket away from here and to something new and exciting. "I mean, who would think that someone like you would ever travel with a human companion, much less a woman."

Striker growled softly at her persistence in the matter. "Havin' you 'round me would be a distraction. It would only end up gettin' us both killed. Dey would consider you my pet, my source o' food. You know nothin' o' what I am or what I am truly capable o'. You put yer life in my hands and dere won't be a life. You will die."

"Don't act like you know me because you don't." Lily replied with a glare. "I may be only human but I am hardier then I look. I can handle myself pretty well."

Her words pushed Striker over the edge and he suddenly reached out grabbing onto her arms shoving her back roughly down to the bed. His hands moving to grip onto her wrists as he held her arms out at her sides, his body now straddling hers, his thighs on either side of her hips. He bared his fangs at her as he yelled down at her, "I don't even have ta try and I overpower you! You think a man couldn't easily do de same?!"

Lily gasped as he shoved her down on the bed, pinning her there. While her heartbeat quickened at his anger and even more so at the closeness and weight of his body upon her, she remained as calm as she could. She knew that if he was really going to hurt her he would have done so already. Instead she simply stared into his eyes, which were in fact rather mesmerizing and very beautiful. She had never seen eyes like his before, an emerald center surrounded by a bright sapphire shade. Shaking her head she finally spoke. "Well I wasn't aware I had to defend myself against you." She stated with a glare twisting her wrists around in his grip till she could grab onto his wrists, a coldness having crept into her voice without her noticing. "Don't underestimate me. I have fended off my fair share of men and the same goes for you." She replied closing her eyes focusing her attention on her hands on him.

Lily began to transfer her energy, her life force, up to her arms to her hands and then to him. His heart beat quickened and in that moment she reversed the process, her grip tightening on his wrists. Her eyes bolted open as she felt his essence mix with hers, he was even stronger then she thought he was. She already knew that the energy from different species and people with extreme personalities could feel different but this...this was too much of everything. She quickly snatched her hands away, her eyes remaining wide open as she tried to comprehend what she just felt.

Striker opened his mouth to speak but instead groaned softly as she began transferring her energy to him, his hands let go of her wrists, but hers still held onto his. He gasped and groaned louder as he felt his lungs burning as they filled up with air on their own, his heart beating painfully against his chest - One, two, three sets of rapid beats before it started to slow back down, his energy flowing into her now. He closed his eyes gasping painfully as she drew his energy from him. As she finally released him he fell backwards to the floor, his hands moving to his heart as it continued to beat slowly growing fainter with each beat, the air now fading from his lungs as they slowed down.

Striker didn't know exactly what had happened to him but that was the first time since becoming a vampire that he felt his lungs working on their own and his heart beating rapidly again. He began to scream painfully pulling apart the snaps on his vest, his hands clawing at his shirt ripping it open as the wound in his shoulder started to rapidly heal from the inside out. Smoke rose from it as the etchings began to fade away. He closed his eyes, his fangs cutting down into his lip as he forced his mouth shut to keep himself quiet.

Lily sat up almost as quickly as he had fallen to the floor. A worried look crossed her face, followed by pain as he screamed. She covered her ears and closed her eyes, pulling her knees up to her chin. Her body was shaking, she couldn't stop. She didn't see him open his shirt or the scars of his wound disappear. His scream had triggered a memory that she was always trying to repress. She hadn't known about her magical ability until a few years ago and even then she only thought she had been able to transfer her own energy into other people and things.

But one day Lily had been cornered on a dark street and as she had gone to push the man away, her hands were frozen to his chest and she felt his life being drained and filling her. She hadn't known how to stop, she hadn't wanted to stop it had felt so good. She could still hear his screams until he had no power left too. It was his screams she heard echoing in her ears, it was his eyes, staring shocked into her own that was etched into her mind before seeing his body slump to the ground.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Chapter Twelve*
-Good as new-


As the wound finished healing completely Striker's lungs no longer moved on their own. His heart had finally slowed back down to beat three times slower than a normal human's, it's rhythm unable to be felt again. Everything had returned to normal once more. He opened his eyes staring up at the ceiling feeling like someone had just kicked him in the chest. His mind racing trying to comprehend what the hell just happened to him. For a moment there he actually felt human again, really human, but how was that even possible? Who or rather what the hell was this woman and how could she do that to him with a mere touch? And his wound, it had now healed because of what she did. A wound that even blood and three weeks couldn't heal. He had to know how it was possible. He stood up steadying himself, feeling a bit dizzy for some reason. Noticing her position on the bed he sat down in front of her, his hands reaching out to pull her hands down from her ears. "Oi, hey 'tis alright darlin'." He said softly feeling out of breath.

Lily opened her eyes to look at him, her body still shaking as she leaned forward wrapping her arms around his neck hugging him tightly, her chin resting against his shoulder. She knew he didn't like for others to touch him, his constant flinching proved that, but she couldn't help it this time. She was just so relieved that he was okay, that she hadn't hurt him too much, if she had he wouldn't be so tender with her. Tears had pooled in her eyes and threatened to spill over but she blinked them back. Crying would not prove her previous point, she hadn't cried in front of other people before and she wasn't going to start now.

Striker gasped softly leaning back slightly as she hugged him unexpectedly, his hands going up to grab onto her arms around his neck. " 'Tis alright," he said again his hands reluctantly moving down to her back feeling her shaking against him. His hands moved to slowly rub up and down her back as he spoke, "Calm down love. Ever'din' alright now. Just calm down."

Lily closed her eyes taking several deep breathes as she focused on slowing down her heart beat, on locking those memories away while the motion of his hands on her back soothed her. Calm now she pulled back from him grabbing on and squeezed his hands tightly looking down at the bed avoiding his eyes. "I am sorry," she whispered, "I shouldn't of done that to you. I didn't mean to hurt you, it isn't supposed to hurt unless....unless I go too far."

"But you didn't." Striker smiled at her squeezing onto one of her hands as he let go of the other. His fingers moving to rest gently under her chin lifting her eyes up to meet his before letting his hand drop down into his lap. "You helped me. Whatever dat was...whatever you did ta me love, it healed me. So dere is nothin' fer you ta be sorry 'bout."

Lily searched his eyes as he lifted her chin, trying to tell if he was telling the truth or just lying to make her feel better. Her eyes lowered to his chest, with his shirt now ripped open enough to expose his heart, she timidly reached her free hand out and touched the spot where his wound was. There was no evidence of it having been there anymore, it had healed like he had healed her. She kept her hand on his chest, his skin felt cold and she couldn't feel his heart beating under her hand. Slowly her fear dissipated and turned back into curiosity and she allowed herself to smile just a bit as she looked back up at him.

Striker barely flinched as she touched his chest, his free hand moving to cover hers as it rested over his heart. "See, all better love," he replied with a smile, "good as new. Dank You." His other hand moved from hers to rest along the side of her neck as he leaned forward bringing his lips to hers for a chaste kiss as he thanked her.

Lily closed her eyes and let him kiss her, tentatively tasting his lips with her own. Feeling him suddenly letting go of her neck and pulling back she looked at him, her hand dropping from his chest and into her lap. "What was that for?" She gasped, his kiss leaving her short of breath for some reason and giving her skin goosebumps. "Just a few moments ago, all day in fact, you have been trying to stay away, to get away from me. What changed?"

Raising a brow Striker exhaled slowly, two fingertips brushing against his lips, his lips tingling from the lingering sensation left behind from the kiss. "Dat kiss was..." he lowered his hand back down to his lap to join his other one as he tried to force the feeling away. His eyes now on the bed he continued, "...it was merely an apology o' sorts...fer my anger and rudeness from before." He kept his eyes on his rings now as he spoke, "Sometimes our...hunger will make us say and do dings dat we do not mean or want ta do. We become...different when it takes over." He bit his lip a bit, his thumb rotating the signet ring around on his finger as he spoke, his voice softer, "I wish you didn't have ta see me like dat, dat was not my best."

Lily smiled noticing his reaction to the kiss, by the look on his face he hadn't expected the kiss to effect him any. But apparently it had just as much of an effect on him as it had on her. She cupped the sides of his face with her hands, smiling as he flinched, and brought it up so that she could look him in the eyes now. "Your apology is accepted and I think I have proven myself then. And if I can handle you in a bad place, then why can't I see you at your best?" This time she leaned forward and kissed him, her lips moving slow and tenderly against his. In an effort to keep him close to her during the kiss, her fingers slide back to gently grip onto the hair at the nape of his neck as the goosebumps returned.

Striker smiled slightly as she talked. She had a point and he was about to respond to her when she kissed him. He blinked a few times leaning back slightly from her as her lips met his, his hands automatically moving to gently push back against her hips to gain some distance from her, but with her hands in his hair he didn't move very far. He hadn't expected her to kiss him, and with only intending the kiss to be a one time kinda thing anyway, he wasn't really looking to try it again. But feeling her lips back on his made the feeling he felt before return and it took him a few seconds to give in to it. With his hands no longer trying to push her away from him anymore, he returned her kiss, his fingers now pressing lightly into her hips.

Lily smiled as he finally kissed her back, happy that he hadn't pulled away completely leaving her embarrassed. It was a rare occasion that she was this forward having only kissed a handful of guys. Until relatively recently her work kept her from having much of a life. She decided to ignore her burning question of whether or not she could come with him and just enjoy the moment they were sharing. Relishing the feeling of his soft but cold lips pressing against hers, she gave him another kiss of equal weight. Using her hands in his hair, she deepened her next kiss by tilting his head to the side slightly and pulling his lips even closer to hers.

As she pulled him closer deepening their kiss, his fingers started to grip tighter onto her hips as he let himself fall deeper into the moment, his fangs extending down more and more with each slow gentle brush of their lips. He wasn't paying enough attention to the presence of his fangs till they made their selves known. He hadn't been careful enough during their kiss and now they had cut into her. Tasting the blood on her lips Striker released her hips and started to pull back from her. Vampire and human relationships were already complicated at best. There was no telling what he would end up doing to her if he didn't retain his control over his emotions. He didn't want to shred her lips just for wanting to be kissed by him, and she probably wouldn't want to kiss him if it brought her pain anyway, so it was probably better for both of them this way.

She tasted blood before she had realized what had happened, felt him pulling away from her before she really knew why. Frowning at him Lily rested her forehead against his as she whispered to him. "Why are you pulling away? Haven't you realized yet? You can't scare me away." She laughed at the memory of her stubbornness, that somehow had overcome the fear that she had felt so many times today.

Striker opened his eyes staring down at the streak of blood left on her lips. Feeling the gentle warmth of her forehead against his he closed his eyes sighing softly as he spoke, "I'm sorry...I shouldn't do dis...I can't keep dem back...I..I don't want my fangs ta hurt you. I should just go now."

"No, it's ok. I can handle a little pain for this." Lily replied nuzzling her nose against his in reassurance and encouragement. "Please...don't stop."

Striker opened his eyes with a small smile and lifted up his head placing his hands on either side of her neck, his thumbs rubbing along the space just below her ears. The blood pulsing under his thumbs serving as a reminder of how precious and fragile her life really was, how deliciously human she was. "But if dey hurt you too much...stop me," he ordered as he tried harder to stay focused and keep his ever present fangs from doing further harm and spurring on his lust for blood as he resumed their moment.

"I will," Lily managed to say before his lips were on hers again. She sighed happily deepening her kiss as she inched closer, her fingers slipping from his hair to move down to rest on his open vest. Her kiss started to become more passionate as her hands slide to the side pushing his vest off his shoulders letting it catch at his elbows, her hands continuing to move down toward the hem of his shirt. Her fingers slid under his shirt now to run up and over the muscles on his chest. The coldness of his bare skin was almost as cold as the metal of the medallion he wore around his neck. It was weird not feeling any warmth emanating from his body but she felt as though her's was enough for the both of them.

Striker removed his vest the rest of the way letting it fall to the floor with a thud, the climbing daggers clanking together. He didn't flinch this time as he felt the warmth of her hands sliding under his shirt and up his chest, instead one of his hands went to the small of her back, while his other went to the back of her neck as he deepened his kiss. Using his hand on her back to pull her body closer to him, his kiss started to became more passionate and in turn his fangs slightly more aggressive as they moved along her lips.

Happy that he was no longer shunning her touch, Lily climbed on and straddled his lap as he pulled her closer. She didn't know why but she wanted -needed- to be as close as she possibly could to him now. She needed to be touching him. She broke the kiss to pull his shirt up and over his head, tossing it behind her as his fingers moved to tangle into her hair and his other hand moved to her back again as they went back to kissing one another.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Chapter Thirteen*
-Dangerous territory-


As his fangs continued to brush and scrape against her lips Lily flicked her tongue out against them, trying to let him know that she was ok with all of this, before pressing her tongue against his lips seeking admittance, to which he immediately permitted.

Here and there Striker's fangs would prick the soft skin of her lips and tongue, drawing blood, and in return Lily would nip at his lips.

"I guess I do bite after all," Lily said with a gasping breath as his grip in her hair tightened and his hand on her back started to press her body tighter against his.

A mischievous look quickly appeared in Lily's eyes as she leaned her body forward pressing her weight into him more and more with each kiss trying to get his body to fall back to the bed.

Striker acted on her gesture, slowly leaning backwards as she pressed her weight against him. When her weight finally started to make his back fall down to the bed, his lips pressed against hers harder, his hand on the small of her back gripping tighter onto her shirt, almost threatening to rip the fabric as she fell down with him.

Feeling his reaction to his body falling Lily relaxed her body completely, letting it meld into him, her legs falling on the outside of his as she let her weight lay on him.

Feeling the softness of the bed beneath his bare back and her weight pressing down on him, Striker felt like he should stop her before she took it any further. She was beginning to stir feelings in him that he wouldn't normally let himself feel anymore, especially with a human again. But the feel of her lips moving against his, the feeling it caused in him, her warmth against his cold chest, it was enough to give him pause.

As Lily kissed him deeper, her inner voices wouldn't stop telling her that it was foolish to continue; that she was merely lonely and wanting attention, that he was just feeling grateful for all she had done for him, that he would leave her like all the rest. Why would he want to stay with her anyway? A man with his sort of looks could have any woman he wanted, so why would he want her? Her body tensed for a moment as another thought entered her mind. He didn't really want her, he had already said as much...she was seducing him into it. She didn't do this type of thing, she didn't seduce strange men into her bed, this wasn't who she was. For half a second she started to pull away, opened her mouth to tell him that they should stop, that this was wrong. But equally as fast she silenced the voices keeping her from fulfilling her desires like they had always had. She had been cautious, careful in choosing her relationships and to date it had not helped her through much. Perhaps it was time to take a new approach to things, to men, or at least with this one.

Lily's lips moved from his, brushing across his cheek. She let her breathe tickle his ear before sucking the lobe and then nuzzling his neck. She breathed in his scent- a mixture of leather, sea, and whiskey- as she gently nipped at the tender flesh of his neck. Her lips lingering to kiss away any pain the gesture might have caused him. She was unsure where to move her hands so she simply left them gripping the bedding on either side of him as she started to nip and suck at his neck, each time soothing the redness away with a kiss.

Striker gasped softly feeling her lips on his ear. She was entering dangerous territory being so close. For a moment he thought again about stopping her, but that thought was quickly pushed aside feeling her lips move to his neck to nip, kiss and suck on it, the feeling very pleasing. She seemed to want him as much as he wanted her, although for a different reason.

Striker's eyes moved to her neck watching the vein pulsing beneath it. He closed his eyes and fought back the urge to bite down as he kissed her neck, his fangs scrapping along her flesh. The feeling grew the longer his lips remained on her neck till finally his fangs nicked her. A single drop of blood was all it took for his fangs to sink in. Pain at the bite but replaced almost immediately with an arousing feeling that would flow through her as he drank from her.

Lily's hands gripped tighter onto the covers wincing as he finally bite her, but she couldn't help the moan that passed through her lips, a perfect mixture of pain and pleasure. For some strange reason the bite, his drinking of her blood directly from her fresh, it was seductive and sensual. A thought danced across her mind, she wondered if all his victims felt this way as he drained them. Pushing the thought aside she tilted her head, allowing him more room to continue while slowly shifting to the side feeling him starting to grow hard under her. She wanted to feel his weight on top of her again and enjoy the feeling of him taking what he wanted, what he needed from her. She wanted to feel it now more than ever.

Her blood was intoxicating, so full of life, energy, and power. Feeling her shift her weight Striker followed her lead rolling her over onto her back, his body now kneeling over hers, his knees resting between her legs as he drank from her neck.

His stance over her was leaving too much space between their bodies for her liking. Lily lifted her legs up, her skirt falling back baring her legs. Her bare feet moved to press down on the back of his leather clad calf's, pushing them back till his hips finally crashed down into hers. A soft moan left her lips feeling the hardness between his legs meet her core as his weight landed on her at last. Her legs moving to lock his hips tightly in place against hers.

Striker pulled his fangs from her neck at her pushing, the blood now running down to soak into her shirt. A soft groan leaving his lips as their hips connected. Instead of licking the blood that was already covering his lips away, he bit down into his bottom lip letting his blood mix with hers. His lips went back to her neck kissing it gently before pulling back. Leaning up to watch the wound heal, his tongue circled his lips licking some of the blood away as his hands went to her legs. Slowly he pushed down on them till they slipped off his hips enough for him to pull away from her before things got too heated between them.

Lily smiled when he stopped drinking from her, glad that he could restrain himself around her. Her neck tingling as she felt him finish with her and heal her cut. The simple motion of his tongue moving over his lips was arousing to her and sent her lusting for more. "No," she gasped feeling him pulling away from her, "don't stop." She quickly locked her ankles behind his knees, one hand reaching out to grab onto the side of his waistband while the other hand reached out to grab onto the medallion hanging from his neck.

Wrapping the chain firmly around her hand Lily used it and the waistband of his pants to pull him back up to her till their hips connected again. Her fingernails dug down harder into the leather at his side pulling his hips down harder against hers as her head raised up to meet his blood covered lips. Curious as to what his fascination and need for it was she ran her tongue along his lips licking some of the blood away. Just that little bit of blood from him sent her tongue tingling. She took his bottom lip into her mouth to bite and then suck some more blood off of it, finding the sensation his blood caused within her to be very enjoyable.

Lily's hands moved to his back, her nails occasionally raking against his skin as her desire to be closer to him intensified now as she kissed him, her tongue pressing against his lips wanting admittance again.

She wanted him to continue but there was only one direction this course of action could take them, and Striker wasn't too sure he should follow it. But feeling her stopping his honorable retreat, using his necklace to pull him closer, pressing his hips harder against hers, licking the blood off his lips, sucking on them, and then raking her nails down his back...it was just too much for him to ignore. She wanted him and now his reason was quickly becoming the same as hers.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Chapter Fourteen*
-Do you want me...-


Striker accepted her tongue as he pressed his lips harder against hers becoming more aggressive in his actions now. Leaning up from her slightly, maintaining the kiss, he gripped onto the front of her blood soaked shirt ripping it apart. As the shirt fell open his hand moved to roughly massage her breasts through the fabric of her corset.

As his hand reached to stroke her breasts Lily moaned again, biting his lip again, harder then the last time. Now her hands had something to do as she arched her back, frantically peeling off her ripped shirt and tossing it across the room. Her fingers struggled to undo the lacings of her corset for a moment before she decided it was probably easier and quicker to just push down the top of it till the hard nipples of her breasts were exposed to him.

Striker pulled his lips from hers moving them down to her now exposed breasts. His tongue flicked out over one nipple then the other before his lips closed over it, his fangs scrapping against her skin leaving faint red marks down it, his teeth gently grazing her nipple as he sucked on her breast. His hand moved to massage her other breast, his thumb rubbing over her hardened nipple for a moment before moving down to her knee. His nails scrapped up her skin as his fingers slowly pushed her skirt up to her hip. Moving his hand to the side of her hip he gripped onto the waistband of her skirt, his fingers curling around the fabric as he started to pull, the fabric slowly ripping away at his touch.

Lily moaned again closing her eyes as his tongue slide over her nipples. The feeling of his fangs scrapping against her tender flesh sent tiny shivers throughout her body. The things he could do with his mouth and hands sent her whole head spinning. Her heartbeat quickened hearing the fabric of her skirt tearing away under his hand. She could tell that his intention wasn't one of rape parse but something else. Why was he wanting her so badly now when he wasn't before? What changed? What did she do? Her hand moved to cover his, helping him tear her skirt while her other one stroked his head as he sucked on her breast.

For a moment Striker thought he had gone too far and she was trying to stop him. Maybe he had read her wrong and this wasn't what she wanted after all. For a split second he started to move from her but then he realized she was actually helping him de-clothes herself instead and he smiled as he continued.

As the final tear was made, Lily felt her skirt fall away and she became slightly self conscious of being so bare. "Why don't we get your boots and pants off." She managed to gasp out, she wanted to level the field, but even more, she wanted more from him. She had been waiting for a long time to experience this again, she didn't want to wait too much longer.

Breaking his lock on her breast Striker leaned back from her, "As you wish darlin'," he replied rolling over beside her to lay on his back. His hands worked at removing his boots, first one then the other. The first boot removed easily and fell to the floor. The other not so much. The blades in the toes sliced across his hand, blood pooling in his palm as the boot fell to the bed.

Grabbing a corner of her torn skirt Lily kicked the boot out of the way, being careful to avoid where he had just sliced himself open. Kneeling in front of him she used the skirt to soaked up the blood, dabbing at his wound and then kissing it as he had done for her. "Is there anything I can do to ease your pain?" She asked, looking at him.

It happened so fast he hardly even noticed he got cut until she began playing doctor again. "What pain?" Striker asked with a smirk, the cut across his hand already closing on its own. He held up his hand to her showing there wasn't anymore need to worry. "All better love." He smiled going back to undressing. His hands unbuttoning his pants.

"Here, let me." Lily said shoving his hands away and finishing unbuttoning his pants herself. A few quick tugs and they slid off. He wore nothing underneath, which didn't really surprise her but her eyes still lingered on him for a moment before she threw his pants behind her. His body was fully exposed to her while she still wore her corset and underwear. She crawled back on top of him pining his shoulders down to the bed with her hands, his manhood teasing her through her underwear as she leaned in to kiss him again, her breasts pressing against his chest. She was happily surprised when she felt his skin warm against hers now, she had been worried that he would be cold, like her experience proved to her earlier in the day.

Striker couldn't help but smile when she took control of the situation. Apparently she knew what she wanted from him and wasn't afraid to go after it. Or perhaps he was rubbing off onto her as much as she was to him. His hands moved to her hips as she climbed on top of him, his lips kissing her back. He left one hand in place on her hip, his nails scrapping her flesh while the other slipped down into her underwear. He slowly slide first one finger then another into her, his thumb rubbing against her clit as he continued to kiss her, his tongue exploring her mouth as his fingers varied between alternating and simultaneous movements to explore her.

Lily gasped and moaned softly kissing him deeper, her tongue flicking in and out of his mouth, dancing along his fangs as his fingers slide into her. Her body shivering slightly feeling the coldness of his heavy rings pressing against her folds as his hand worked on her. She had never experienced the sensation of two fingers inside her before nor the trembling sensation his thumb was causing her but she was quickly starting to like it. As she continued kissing him she felt herself start to gently rock her hips up against his moving hand, his fingers going deeper into her with each rock. Her hands moved to explore his body caressing him and returning his favor of scratching him with her own nails.

Before long her rocking motion coupled with the motion of his fingers and thumb started to cause more wetness to flow from her, her moans getting louder as she felt heat starting to raise. Lily whimpered softly pulling back enough to make his fingers slip from her before he could make her cum against his hand. "Do you want me?" She taunted whispering in his ear before kissing his neck, his shoulders, his chest, slowly moving downwards, her tongue trailing down his body after every kiss that was applied.

Striker stuck his thumb into his mouth to suck her juices off of it before repeating the action with his fingers. "Yes," he replied softly his hands moving up to grip onto the pillow, his back arching as she traveled down him. His body shivering slightly as her mouth tortured him slowly, almost as if her lips held their own powers within them to make his whole body shiver under their touch.

"Good." Lily replied as she continued kissing his body, smiling through her kisses as she felt him shivering and arching beneath her as she slid down lower and lower. She felt his erection against her soft skin, teasing her with the thoughts of pleasure and satisfaction. She let it linger between her breasts as one hand went down to grasp at his muscled leg, the other drawing invisible circles on his hip.

She had never done this before but her coworkers had often liked to tease her, sharing tales of their experiences and telling her what she would need to do to truly please a man and she wanted to please him, she didn't want him to forget her. She looked up at him and moistened her lips, her eyes glazed over with the passion that consumed her. She leaned down and flicked her tongue experimentally against the tip before lowering herself upon him. Her tongue swirled around his cock as she bobbed up and down slowly. She didn't know if what she was doing was right but she could only hope she wasn't embarrassing herself.

Striker closed his eyes slowly, a faint moan escaping past his slightly parted lips, his breathing coming in time with her movements. His grip tightening on the pillow the farther down her mouth went on him.

The fact that she could cause him to make such a sound, faint or otherwise, was arousing and spurred her on. Lily continued her work, her hand stroking his skin as she brought it down from his hip and tentatively grabbed a hold of what she couldn't fit into her mouth. Her grip was soft at first but as she continued, it tightened and moved in the same rhythm as her thrusting.

Striker gasped opening his eyes, his back arching slightly as she grabbed a hold of him, moaning louder now as her hand assisted her mouth, his fangs starting to extend again at the waves of pleasure she was causing. Before long his nails started to dig down into the pillow, his fangs extending fully cutting down into his bottom lip forcing him to open his mouth more to avoid them, his soft moans coming in between breathes as she worked him over. Feeling the fabric start to shred at his increased grip he left one hand gripping onto the corner of the pillow while the other moved down to gently cover the top of her head. His fingers tangled in her hair as his eyes closed again, his breathing growing heavy as his moans got louder.

Lily let a moan escape her and mingle with his own. She couldn't keep this up, no matter how much she was enjoying hearing his voice this way. She wanted him too much, he had gotten pleasure and now she wanted some more too. She looked up at him again feeling his fingers tangle in her hair, her hand still holding onto him stroking softly, she was breathing heavily now as well. She ripped her wet underwear away and crawled back up the bed. Straddling his stomach she leaned down to kiss him deeply, her hips slowly rocking back and forth, his tip slowly teasing to enter her with each brush it made against her slippery folds.

Striker placed one hand on her rocking hip, the other behind her neck pressing her lips harder against his as he felt her wet folds brushing against his manhood. He returned her kiss but with his fangs fully extended and unable to retract due to his current state of arousal, they cut into her lips as well as his own with each movement, a tingling sensation forming each time his fangs cut into her and his blood mixed with hers. The pleasure she was giving him had made him forget all about her being only human. But tasting the increased amount of blood on their lips brought that realization flooding back. This was suddenly a very bad idea. His nails dug down into her hip as he broke their lip lock gasping out a soft "No" as his hand forced her body back from him.

Lily moaned again, loving how he pulled her into his kisses. She no longer winced when his fangs cut into her lips, she was surprised that she had grown so accustom to it in such a short time. The tingling sensation was arousing her more and more. She heard his soft 'No', felt him push her away, and for a moment she wondered what she had done wrong. But then she felt him suddenly enter her and she threw back her head, a mix between a scream and a moan leaving her lips. Unlike when his fingers had entered her, this time it hurt. Her body had to quickly adjust to let him in, his fullness stretching and filling every inch of her, but the pleasure she felt by having him inside her far exceeded the pain. Leaning down she kissed him, demanding his kisses now as she slowly ground against him, not caring that he had said no, not caring that his fangs were in the way, not caring that they were causing her to bleed more. She wanted this, all of this, and she didn't want to stop now.

Striker moaned loudly feeling her slide back onto him, his hands moving to grip onto her hips at how incredibly tight she felt around him. He moaned softly into her mouth as she continued to kiss him, one hand going to her neck again while his other hand remained gripping onto her hip, his nails cutting into her skin but not restricting her movements in the least, letting her set her own pace as she moved above him. Her willingness to endure the pain his fangs caused her in order to achieve pleasure amazed him. Most humans would of refrained from kissing him about this time. The blood running down his throat kept his body warm and his hunger satisfied.

A smile danced across her lips as he continued to kiss her, soft moans escaping them. Her hand reached to cover his on her hip, squeezing it tightly before sliding it up her corset to her breast. She finally broke their lip-lock sitting back upright on him, her other hand grabbing onto his moving it to massage her other breast. She closed her eyes taking in gasping breathes as he massaged her breasts with both hands now, her hands covering his as she ground faster and harder on him. Occasionally her body would shiver, every inch of her skin felt so sensitive under his grasp, every touch, kiss, even stretch sent her spinning. Her hands squeezed tightly onto his as she moved them back down to her hips, grinding even faster and harder feeling heat starting to raise again, her breath coming out in pants now.

Striker let her move his hands back down to her hips again, his nails scratching into her skin as she moved. As her rhythm increased even more so did his rate of breathing. He was no longer breathing for the sake of being human, it was now pleasure that made him start to gasp unnecessarily for air. He gently started increasing her movements using her body language as a judge of how fast to go. His strength and endurance was much higher than hers so he could really hurt her without meaning to if he wasn't careful.

Her hands grasped onto his chest trying to keep herself upright as he now used her hips to move her faster. Lily bit her own lip to try to keep from crying out too loudly, there were other people in this inn no matter how much she wished there weren't. "Don't stop!" She managed to gasp out between her moans, her hands slipping down to rest over his as she tried to move her hips even faster and harder against his as the heat rose higher. "Don't stop."

As the waves of pleasure washed over him, Striker closed his eyes, moans coming in time with each push. The feel of her hands on him sending shivers throughout his body, her very touch making him feel alive again. He increased her movements slightly but remained at a steady pace at her request.

Lily reached up raking her nails hard against his chest before moving them up to grip onto his shoulders feeling his pace increase. If it was possible for something to feel too good then this was it for her. With each shiver of his body against hers she desired to never stop and keep feeling this good, this carefree, for as long as she could. Which wouldn't be too much longer if her body had it's way. She focused on the grip that she had on his shoulders, her nails biting into him drawing blood, marking him as hers in her own small way. Even if they did fade in a few moments, she would still remember they had been there. She bit her lip as the pleasure started to make her head swim, a couple drops of blood squeezing out from his previous scrapes, and landing on his chest.

Finally she couldn't take it anymore as she pushed his shoulders down hard to the mattress, her hips pressing down hard enough against his to stop his movements as she shuddered against him reaching her peak, the pleasure cresting and overflowing at last. She would have screamed out if she had voice or breathe to do so. Collapsing limply she rested her head on his shoulder, breathing heavily against his skin and still holding tightly onto him. How was it possible for him to make her feel this way?

Striker moaned louder arching his back slightly as her nails dug down into his chest. He moaned softly biting down into his lip as her nails dug down into his shoulders bringing blood. Feeling her stopping him he opened his eyes. A moan slipped past his lips, his nails digging down into her hips, his whole body tightening as he felt her shudder and release against him. As she collapsed down onto him his arms wrapped around her back.

He was glad he had decided to play it safe. It had paid off. She was unhurt for the most part and quite satisfied, but most importantly still alive. Most human partners of vampires were not so lucky. But she wasn't like most humans he had met though. His chest continued to rise and fall as he breathed in deeply trying to calm his emotions back down, his tongue running across his lips licking the blood away. He grabbed onto the covers pulling them over their bodies, mostly to help keep her warm. His body would lose its warmth in a few hours when her blood ran out of his system.

Lily sighed and snuggled into him as he pulled the blankets over them. She had slept all day but she now felt tired again. She closed her eyes slowly trying to regain her breath.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reply
Like

deathstrikeda
Established Resident
deathstrikeda
Established Resident
Joined: 27 Jun 2008, 02:44

07 Apr 2017, 03:34 #6

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Chapter Fifth-teen*
-Excuses-


Placing his hand on top of her head, his fingers tangling in her hair as he combed through it, Striker thought about the plans he originally had. Only one of them involved her, but not like this. He only meant for her to tend to his physical wounds, not his emotional ones. Her purpose was to fix his wound enough so that it wouldn't bleed as badly, so that he could leave and carry on with his business. But now his mind was coming up with excuses for him to stay.

Since she had removed the arrow for him and healed his wound he really had no need to go out and find bandages. He didn't even feel the need to research it anymore, so there was no point in going to the bookstore. His ship wasn't going anywhere without him so he could always just check on it tomorrow. His crew was used to him suddenly disappearing for at least a day or two in port, so no one would really think anything of it if he didn't show up tonight. And the emperor of this land wasn't going anywhere anytime soon, neither did he even know that he was there to kill him, so there was no need to rush anything.

All of his plans could technically be put on hold, so if he wanted to just stay with her tonight, just fall asleep with her in his arms, he could. As soon as the thought came to him Striker sighed softly quickly pushing it aside glancing toward the window. Stay with her? What the hell was he thinking? He couldn't stay with her. He already stayed too long around her as it was, she was making him feel again. His walls were cracking and it was a frightening feeling for him, the feeling of becoming vulnerable again, a feeling he had to stop before it was too late.

Lily smiled as he played with her hair, her eyes opening again hearing his sigh. Having finally regained her breath she spoke. "I...I am sorry I couldn't last longer." She felt shy discussing this but she knew that he could have gone a lot longer but was instead letting her rest. He really was sweeter then he gave himself credit for.

Striker smirked a bit at her response, "Yes, humans generally don't. But don't worry 'bout it love, I've learned ta get used ta it by now."

"Used to it? Used to what?" Lily asked softly biting onto her lip. "Did I...did I not...please you enough? I..I don't do this very often. Maybe if I..." She let her words trail off. She held back her questions about going with him or not. She didn't want him thinking that the only reason she had done all this was only because she had wanted him to take her with him.

"You pleased me well enough, I just held back. 'Twasn't me I was wantin' ta please t'night," Striker replied with a laugh wrapping his arms around her rolling her over onto her back, his body covering hers. "Besides I don't dink you would really be able ta handle it...if I did." He said with a wink, playfully thrusting up into her as the last part of his sentence left his lips. He slid off her tucking the blankets around her and preceded to collect his clothes. "Be best if you rest now love. I have some business ta attend ta 'fore de night's end anyways."

Her eyes flashed as he thrusted up into her. "Oh I can handle it." Lily snapped back sitting up watching him collecting his clothes. So he was leaving her like all the rest after all. She wasn't a whore or a one night stand kinda girl. She didn't want to be used by him and then left afterwards. She also didn't want him to have sex with her just because he was feeling grateful either. She wanted him to want her. She wanted him to want to stay with her. She shook her head forcing the thoughts away. "I'm coming," she stated swinging her legs out of the bed standing up holding a sheet to her chest, "and there is nothing you can do or say that will stop me."

"Really now?" Striker smirked tossing his clothes onto the bed. "Twice in one go and from dat lil' push?" He laughed softly. "Darlin', I wouldn't dream o' stoppin' dat."

Lily glared at him not amused by his comments, "I have rested enough already. Whatever business you have to do...I'm going with you." She replied marching over to her clothes on the floor, the sheet trailing behind her.

Striker sighed softly his teeth playing with his lip as he looked at her. Her response wasn't the one he had expected, not completely. "You don't have ta. I just need ta check on some stuff." He replied sliding on his pants. "I'm not goin' far. I'll be back soon."

"Doesn't matter. I'm still going with you." Lily replied reaching down to pick her clothes up, her eyes falling on the rips almost having forgotten about that part of their moment. She tossed them back onto the floor and grabbed her bag rifling through it for something fresh.

Striker put on his shirt and vest giving her a side glance watching her drop the clothes back on the floor and dig through her bag. She seemed angry at him and he hoped it was only for his choice in words and wasn't for his roughness with her. Why the hell was he caring if she was mad or not? This was not a good sign. "I'm sorry 'bout ruinin' yer clothes love...and de fangs." He replied buttoning up his vest. Why was he even bothering to apologize to her? "I have a tendency ta get rough and bite down when I get..." He sighed softly shaking his head as he sat down on the bed to put his boots on. Why the hell was he trying to explain himself to her? "It has just been...a while." What the hell was wrong with him? Why was he doing this to himself? This woman was nothing but trouble for him.

Lily turned around, sitting down on the floor from her crouched position. Rolling her eyes she almost laughed. "If I was worried about my clothes or your fangs I would have told you. I don't know if you have noticed yet, but I am a little stubborn. As for the roughness..." She turned back to her bag and pulled out a simple maroon colored dress, trying to hide her shyness at discussing the topic. "I didn't mind it at all...I kinda liked it and its been a long while for me as well...I don't do this type of thing much. I don't know what came over me." The last line she had whispered to herself. She really did wonder what had just happened there. Was she really so desperate to leave this place that she was doing whatever she could to make sure he brought her along? Or did she just succumb to his 'charm' and her own feelings and desires.

Striker listened to her in silence as he secured the daggers back in his boots, fastening his swords back around his waist before standing up. Her stubbornness matched his own, she was clearly not going to let him walk away from her that easily, and part of him didn't really want her to. Instead of continuing to fight a losing battle between himself and her, he sighed softly putting his cloak back around his shoulders giving in to her as he walked over to the washstand. "As soon as you are ready we can go," he replied pouring fresh water into the basin immediately hating his decision. Why couldn't he just tell her no and just walk away? Why couldn't he do what he did best...be alone?

Lily looked up in surprise when he finally admitted defeat and told her that she could go with him. "It will only take a moment." She said as she pulled the top of her corset back up over her breasts and slipped the dress over her head. Turning back to her bag she pulled out another pair of underwear. Slipping them on she adjusting her dress better and gave herself the once over.

After washing what remained of the blood off his face Striker ran his fingers through his hair, the red streaks disappearing and his hair shortening again. His face soon followed and then his body. His appearance the pirates once more.

Her braid was a mess it had all but come apart. Rather then spend several minutes fixing it Lily decided to simply shake it out and let it fall behind her in soft waves. Catching a glance in the mirror she grabbed a cloth and dabbed at her lips and neck until they were free of the dried blood from before. Slipping into her shoes she donned her cloak and the belt that held her small dagger and purse. She twirled to face him, inspecting him for a moment before grinning. "I liked the other look better, but I suppose this one holds it's charms as well."

"Oh I know. Apparently I'm ever'one's type love." Kolin replied with a grin pulling the hood of the cloak down over his head, his voice the pirates as well. "But I will keep dat in mind and be myself when alone wit' you if you like." As soon as the words were out of his mouth he regretted it, he had just implied he would be alone with her again. Why was it so hard for him to shut out his emotions around her now? How badly had she damaged his walls?

Lily laughed softly and pulled her own cloak over her head to match him, "I would like that. And I do have a name, it's Lily in case you didn't know." She said trying to hide the fact that she secretly liked him calling her love.

Kolin nodded laughing slightly. "Yes, I gathered dat right away when I met you. De face...appearance I wear now be Kolin. But you may call me Adrian if you wish darlin'." He bit his lip realizing he just gave out his real name. He was speaking without really thinking now, he had to be more careful around her. Walking to the door he continued to speak, "Well...'tis time fer me ta check in wit' my mate at de tavern." Opening the door he peered out waiting for the couple in the hall to pass by.

"And is there anything I should do or not do around this fellow?" Lily asked standing beside him.

"My mates know only Kolin, dey don't need ta know de real me. Let's keep it dat way, no?"

"Kolin for others, Adrian for me." Lily let the names roll off her tongue, they both were nice. She nodded her head to his suggestion. "Of course, whatever you ask."

"Alright. Let's go den." Kolin replied leading her out of the inn and into the crisp night, the moon rising to light their way.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Chapter Sixteen*
-Old Habits-


Kolin stopped briefly at the corner they had first met, his eyes glancing around the area for a moment before stepping out into the street. As he made his way past where the bum had been he smirked pulling his cloak tighter around himself. The bum had decided to take his coins and invest in another sleeping area allowing a new resident to move in.

Lily continued to follow him, taking care and stepping around the homeless man on the streets more out of habit from her time travelling alone then for any other reason.

Pushing the doors of the tavern open Kolin walked inside and looked around for a moment. Not seeing his intended he made his way to the bar. Motioning for the bartender he waited.

Lily contemplated ordering a drink as she grabbed a seat at the bar beside him, but quickly decided against it. She liked drinking but she got drunk easily, not something that would be a good idea for this meeting she assumed.

After a few moments the bartender came over to them.

"What will it be?"

"Can I have a water please," Lily asked politely folding her hands in her lap.

"Alright lass," the bartender replied placing a glass on the bar top, "and what can I get for you, lad?" he asked filling the glass with water.

"Information. Where Péné at t'night?" Kolin asked leaning against the bar.

The bartender shrugged, "Dunno, her night off. Check with the guy she left with."

Kolin raised a brow, "And who would dat be?"

The bartender laughed, "I ain't her keeper, son. I just run the place."

Lily had stared into the water that she had requested, although her ears picked up at the exchange between Kolin and the bartender. She wondered what this woman was to him and if perhaps he was lying when he told her it had been a while. Or maybe she was just jumping to conclusions. Pushing back the nagging feeling of jealousy she choose indifference to the whole thing.

Kolin sighed turning around to lean his back against the bar. He looked at Lily and opened his mouth to speak when a sharp point came in contact with his side. Lily's hand had flown to her side where her dagger had lain, but Kolin had already taken care of himself. He had turned around quickly knocking the dagger out of the man's hand, his hand going to the man's throat as he leaned him back over the bar.

The man laughed gripping onto Kolin's hand, "Lil' on edge there aren't we Captain?"

Kolin laughed releasing the man, "Sorry mate, old habits."

The man nodded, "Apparently so."

Even though Kolin knew the man who had just attacked him Lily still kept her hand on her dagger by her side. She focused again on her glass but occasionally peered at the two men beside her as they talked.

Looking past Kolin the man smiled eyeing Lily up and down, "My my, who is this -lovely- lass?"

Kolin narrowed his eyes at the man, "Mine. Back off."

The man laughed, "I didn't mean nothin' by it Cap, honest. Just wanted a name to go with the pretty face."

"Celeste...her name Celeste," Kolin replied quickly turning the conversation back, "I am lookin' fer Péné, have you seen her t'night?"

Lily had been a bit confuse by Kolin's actions but kept her mouth shut through the whole exchange, it would not look good on Kolin if she questioned his judgement even though she had been tempted to jump in a few times.

The man smiled ignoring Kolin's question as he held out his hand across the bar for hers, "Well the pleasure be mine Celeste, name's Finn."

Lily had smiled at Finn and was about to shake his hand when Kolin suddenly knocked Finn's hand away before he had a chance to touch her.

"Have you seen Péné or not?!" Kolin asked with a glare.

Finn stared at Kolin a bit hurt by his actions, "No Sir. Not tonight." He looked at Lily angrily, "You must really be something to win the Captain's fancy so. He's generally not so...selfish with his whores."

As soon as 'whores' left Finn's mouth, a right hook was landed on his jaw with enough force to send him falling backwards to the floor. "I told you one o' dese times yer mouth would cost you," Kolin replied standing over him, "Yer services be no longer required on my ship. I don't need yer filth 'round me or de rest o' my crew, not anymore."

Finn rubbed his jaw standing up, his eyes on Lily as he spoke, "My. Something special indeed."

The bartender stepped over slamming his fist down on the bar top, "Hey! None of that in here! You boys want to fight over the lass, you take it outside. I'm tired of you pirates thinking you own this place."

Kolin glanced at the bartender then back at Finn, "No need ta worry mate. I dink we understand each other now. Don't we...Finn?"

Finn laughed softly collecting his dagger, "Oh I understand perfectly now Sir."

"Den get out o' my sight," Kolin replied pointing toward the door.

"Whatever you say...as always...whatever you say."

Kolin watched Finn walk towards Lily, his hands moving down to his swords.

Finn eyed Kolin for a moment and then smirked turning to give a slight bow to Lily, "Goodbye Celeste," he replied as he walked to the door. He paused in the doorway, "Oh but do give my best to Péné when you find her." He replied with a laugh as he left.

Lily was standing up when Finn left, having done so when fists started to be thrown. After being sure he was gone she turned to Kolin, reaching up and slapping him across the face. "That is for calling me yours." She said heatedly. "I belong to no one but myself. And whether you like it or not I CAN handle myself around men, I think I have shown you that in one way or another."

Her slap took him by surprise. Kolin gritted his teeth as she spoke to him, his hand raising to his cheek, his skin stinging where she had slapped him. He was becoming possessive, jealous even now? He never should of kissed her, it had made things too emotional between them. Having sex without kissing could be just that for him, sex. But when kissing was added to it, it changed things. This woman was definitely starting to change him, he could feel it.

Lily calmed down and sighed turned back to the bar and sat down. "And you did me no favors by being so protective, if anything you just made me an enemy. Although, I do thank you for the name you chose...Celeste, I like it. So who is the Péné girl?" She continued on as if nothing had just happened between them.

When she sat down Kolin turned his attention toward the door listening to her speak then back at her when she finished, "You really couldn't tell could you?" He laughed softly leaning down behind her, his hands resting on the bar top on either side of her, whispering into her ear as he spoke. "Kind o' scary dat looks can be so deceivin' ta you mortals. You have 'lot ta learn 'bout us, love. But trust me, claimin' you fer my own, whether you liked it or not, has ensured yer life remains safe from my kind. Axel..." He sighed softly correcting himself, "Finn as you know him...wouldn't dare break our creed. So you should be dankin' me instead o' slappin' me, love."

His arms on either side of her, his closeness caused her to grow warm again. Lily tried to hide her embarrassment at having assumed that the other man had been human.

Kolin stepped back from her looking to the door again, "He's more savage den me when it comes ta women." He glanced around the room as he spoke now, "and he doesn't care 'bout leavin' his 'playmates' alive when he done wit' dem." He glanced back at her for a moment considering answering her last question but decided against it. Instead he started walking to the door, stopping at it to hold it open. He had to end whatever this was he was feeling before she started changing him too much. He sighed softly, "I can walk in both realms but you can't so just stay in yer own and leave me ta mine." He exited the tavern and continued walking down the street.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Chapter Seventeen*
-The return of the coin-


Lily watched him leave, her mind racing. She had no idea what his realm was really like but she was starting to want to know more about it. The land she was in now was so much different then her home she had grown up in. Being alone in it did not seem like a good idea but was trying to be in it with him any better? Being around him seemed to make her a different person, but she also seemed to lose her sense of self control. If he could walk in both realms then why couldn't he just stay in this one with her? Was he planning on going back to his own realm now? She wasn't sure if she would ever see him again if he did.

Tapping her fingers rapidly on the bar Lily tried to decide. She swore under her breath as she jumped up and ran after him. Maybe she was making a bad decision but she had spent too long making 'right' ones instead of doing something simply because she wanted too. "You aren't getting rid of me that easily." She said with a grin catching up to him.

Kolin sighed stopping in place hearing her approach, "So I've gathered." She frustrated him more than he liked but he couldn't bring himself to just compel her away. Even though he knew he probably should. "You don't want ta be mine, but yet you don't want ta leave my side either?" He shook his head slowly staring down the street. "I will never understand you humans," he replied as he continued walking, "not even if I live ta be 1000," he muttered under his breath.

The night air was invigorating and Lily had laughed at his comment about understanding humans as she walked behind him.

Kolin stopped again after a few steps remembering her request. He closed his eyes for a moment with a sigh. "I should o' known. 'Twasn't me you really wanted, was it?" he asked softly opening his eyes, " 'twas my ship." He turned around to face her, his arms crossing over his chest, "Ever'din' you have done has been ta change my mind, hasn't it? If I take you wit' me away from dis land den you will finally leave, won't you?" He sighed softly turning away from her. "Humans can't be trusted after all." His hands gripped onto his arms tighter, "If dat all you want from me den you are wastin' yer time." He focused his eyes on the street as he walked away from her.

Lily had frozen, a look of shock crossing her face at his accusations and then finally confusion. She didn't know if she should be hurt or angry at what he was implying. Her mouth opened and shut a few times but nothing came out until he had started to walk away. "That's not true!" Her hand reached out to grab his arm to stop him. "I am not that kind of woman." A pained look crossed her face as she stepped around in front of him now, her hand still holding his arm keeping him still. "I would NEVER stoop to that level to get what I want." She let go of him and took a step back, trying to show that she wasn't trying to use her 'charms' to convince him. She tried to think of something to say to convince him that she wasn't lying. Finally she looked up at him and tried to smile. "It's true that I want to leave this place, but I want to go -with- you. If I simply wanted to leave, I would have choose a much less demanding, and potentially less dangerous companion."

For a moment Kolin thought he might of been wrong about her. But doubt crept into his mind as she continued to speak. Was she just trying to set his mind at ease or was she actually telling the truth. He wasn't sure anymore. "Why? Why choose me den? Why take de risk? It not worth yer life. You should just find another companion."

Lily looked up at the sky thoughtfully. "Well I didn't choose you. I like to think that fate or something like that threw us together. It's not everyday I run into a handsome stranger who needs me to pull arrows out of them, have to feed them my blood to keep them from killing someone, and then randomly decide to....to have sex with them." She blushed a little at the last comment, scanning the street to make sure there was no one around who had heard her say such a thing. Her voice softened and she looked up at him resisting the urge to step close to him and hold him. "Perhaps I just got attached to caring for you. If anything you do hold the promise of excitement and adventure and someone needs to keep you from falling to pieces." She tried joking to ease the tension that she felt hanging in the air. "As for what my life is worth? I have nothing and no one. I don't care what happens to me." She tried to keep the bitterness out of her voice, he wasn't the only one who had been hurt and betrayed.

Kolin let her have her say before he even considered talking himself. "Well did you ever dink dat I cared 'bout what happened ta you? I never wanted you ta feed me because I didn't want ta hurt you, and I didn't want you ta have sex wit' me because I didn't want ta risk killin' you. But you showed me dat I could do it, dat I could be happy again. I want ta be happy, really I do, but I just...can't anymore."

Lily had turned more pink with each word he spoke. She didn't know if she would have gone as far as to admit that she loved him, but there was no denying that there were some sort of powerful feelings that made her want to take care of him, why else would she have hurt herself to help him when she didn't know that he could heal her. And why was she so determined to follow him every time he tried to leave her behind? She had started to walk toward him as he spoke, wanting to touch him again, tell him that she wanted him to be happy and that she wanted to be the one to help make him so, but they were interrupted.

"Kol...Kolin?" A soft female voice asked from a short distance away. Clutching a heavily blood-stained sheet around her body, Péné stepped out from around a corner to face the pair, what could be seen of her naked flesh covered in deep cuts and bruises.

Kolin immediately turned around at the voice, "Péné? What happened?" he asked rushing over to her.

Péné collapsed into his arms. "I'm sorry. He said to keep walking till I found you. He said I couldn't stop...I wanted to stop but I couldn't stop till I found you."

"He who? Who said dat ta you? Who did dis?" Kolin asked inspecting her wounds.

Lily couldn't stop the jealousy this time. The way he held and cradled her, his concern, he obviously cared about her, but in what way? Who was this woman to him?

"A monster." Péné replied. "He was waiting for you in your house. I was coming to return your coin." She pressed it into his hand. "And tell you that your friend...found out more about the arrowhead. He said the markings...weaken...unholy...magic..." She closed her eyes slowly passing out in his arms.

Kolin closed his hand around the coin listening to her heart beat slowly. Placing it back into his vest he lifted her up into his arms, his eyes following the bloody footprints leading away from their position. Footprints that were more than likely being used to track him.

Lily sighed quietly as she walked up to the both of them. "Let me help." She spoke in a resigned tone. If this girl meant something to him then she would do what she could. "We can take her to my room. I assume this monster she speaks of doesn't know me or that you have been with me so it should be safe there for the time being. I can take care of her while you decide how to deal with all this."

Kolin looked around for a moment then down at the blood dripping down onto the ground from Péné's feet. "You sure you want ta do dat?" he asked laying Péné back down on the ground. He ripped a section of the sheet off and started wrapping her feet with it. "She is Kolin's lover, or well she was, at one time or another."

Lily winced inwardly when he mentioned that fact. But she had already assumed as much, the way he had been worried for her whereabouts earlier and the way he had just acted made it obvious enough. But she nodded in response to his question. "Yes. If she means so much to you, I will do whatever I can."

"Dank you."

Lily nodded and gritted her teeth as she turned towards her inn. It didn't surprise her that he had lovers, a man like him was bound to. But she hadn't expected to run into one so soon. She did find it a bit strange though that he referred to Péné as 'Kolin's' lover instead of simply 'my' lover. Did he have multiple lovers, a different lover for each face he used? Shaking the thought from her head, not really wanting to know, she spoke, "Shall we run or will it be okay to simply walk?"

After Kolin finished with Péné's feet he wrapped the sheet around her tighter and lifted her back up into his arms. "Best we run, just avoid steppin' on her footprints. We don't need company." He replied starting to run back to the inn.

Lily ran beside him, she had always been good at it which had been useful on more then one occasion.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Chapter Eighteen*
-The trouble with doubles-


Kolin slowed to a walk when he got to the inn, a familiar scent lingering. He leaned down laying Péné against the wall. Seeing a man exit the inn Kolin spoke, "Hey mister. You mind helpin' us fer a minute wit' dis one?"

The man walked over to them, "What seems to be the problem, son?"

Kolin smiled reaching out to place his hand on the man's shoulder, his eyes taking on a reddish-orange color as he spoke to him, "I want you ta pick up de woman in de sheet and do what de woman in de dark red dress tells you ta do."

The man nodded a glazed look in his eyes, "Sure. I can do that." The man leaned down picking up Péné and turned to look at Lily.

Kolin waved his hand over the man switching their appearances. The man's appearance changing into Kolin's and Kolin's changing into the man's. The sheet covering Péné's body turned into a long white dress, her skin looking perfect again. "He will obey your commands without question. Use him while I am gone but hurry to your room, the illusion over them will not last once I am out of range."

Lily blinked a few times slightly flustered by the sudden changes in appearances. It would take a while to understand and get used to this rather unique skill of his. Listening to him speak, his voice disguised as the man's, his accent that she had come to find very comforting now gone, she frowned slightly but nodded to everything he said. "Take her to room 2-10." She said to the fake Kolin, watching him leave before turning back to the real one.

He smiled slightly when she commanded his imposter. He half expected her to argue with him about it but was glad when she didn't.

Lily bit her lip in indecision before approaching him. Standing on her toes she held his face between her hands as she searched his face for some remnant of his original self, only to find none. "When can I expect you back?" She asked as she kissed him tenderly, her hands lowering down to his shoulders.

He returned her kiss, his fingers stroking her cheeks gently as he spoke. "When I know it is safe I shall return. Don't worry darling. I'll make sure to be back before sunrise. Now get inside so I can leave without worrying about you."

"Take care of yourself, I won't be around to do it for you." Lily said with a small smile before she waved and headed inside, happy that at least his kiss was the same even if the rest of him wasn't.

He smiled at her as she left and leaned against the building for a bit watching a few people walk past.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Running up the stairs Lily got to her room, the double was standing in the room holding Péné still. "Put her on the bed, gently now, and then go grab me warm water, cloths, and fresh bandages." Once he had left Lily tied her hair back to keep it out of her work and washed her hands in the remaining water from her basin. It was going to take some time to get this girl cleaned up but she would be at her best by the time Adrian came back.

...

When the area was empty he pushed off the wall and began walking in the direction of the house he claimed as his. It wasn't the nicest place to live but it offered better protection from the sun than her room did. After a few moments he rounded the corner to his street. His hand went to his forehead feeling dizzy as his power weakened, the illusion having faded on its own leaving him to feel the backlash of it. Steadying himself as the man's identity finally left him and Kolin's returned, he continued walking his steps gradually getting slower as he approached the house. The door was still slightly open.

...

It didn't take the copy long to come back but already the illusion was all but gone now telling Lily that Adrian had left. She waited until he had fully become his original self before sending him out to find the girl some clothes, instructing him to do his best to not be seen. Kneeling beside the bed she carefully washed each cut, applying a healing salve she liked to keep for minor injuries. She didn't have much since it was a rare occasion she had to used it but she did her best to make it stretch.

...

Approaching the door Kolin pushed it open. The smell of blood flooding his senses. Stepping inside he looked around. The table was overturned as well as the chairs. The bed pushed away from the wall, the blankets covered in blood. The lantern that hung on the hook over the table was shattered against the floor. The window remained boarded up, but a tuff of long blonde hair hung from one of the nails. The door to the washroom was open, nail marks dug down into the doorway.

...

Every once in a while Péné would whimper. In those instances Lily would rush to offer the woman water, generally getting no more then a few teaspoons in at a time before she sunk back into unconsciousness. As far as she could tell there were no outer injuries that could be causing enough pain to keep forcing her back into unconsciousness. Which either meant that something was wrong internally or the poor thing had suffered something terrible that caused her to not want to wake up. Lily paced the floor wondering what to do.

...

Kolin closed his eyes breathing in the blood, the events of the night unfolding in his mind. -The man had broken the lantern and sat in the dark at the table waiting. Péné had entered and he had rushed her. The man threw her against the window, her head hitting a nail. She screamed and ran for the washroom to go out the other window. The man had tripped her sending her face into the floor, her nails digging into the wood as he grabbed onto her ankle pulling her back. Throwing her against the bed the man shoved the table in front of the door and moved to her. He asked her where her old lover was and she replied with she didn't know. The man started hitting her asking her again. Again she replied the same way. The man clawed at her ripping her clothes from her, his nails cutting into her skin. She tried to escape but the man delivered a blow to her stomach forcing her back onto the bed. She screamed out in pain her hands holding her stomach as blood started soaking the blankets from between her legs.- Kolin gasped painfully dropping down to his knees opening his eyes, the vision fading abruptly as he couldn't bare to see anymore.

...

The man had come back with clothes, a pretty pale pink skirt and white blouse. Lily regretted not telling him not to pick out something too fancy, but dressed her in the outfit anyway. Brushing Péné's hair she braided a few strands, washing her face. If anything she looked a lot better but Lily was still concerned with what do to next. Would it be safe to hold out until Adrian came back and maybe he could heal her? Or should she call a doctor although it would be hard to explain everything.

...

Glancing over to the bed, his eyes falling on the blood stain, Kolin stood up. He growled softly tossing the chair beside him across the room letting it shatter into pieces. Striker had already killed the real Kolin, the man Péné had once loved, years ago assuming his identity for his own. After finding out that she wouldn't be able to have a family with him they parted ways. She had found a new love, but Kolin was always still in her heart. But now Striker had inadvertently taken something from her that meant more to her than anything, the life of her unborn child.

...

Lily looked down at her hands, an idea coming to her. She hovered around the girl, wringing her hands nervously. "I don't know. Maybe I should just call the doctor instead." She muttered to no one in particular, both people in the room were unable to give her an real advice. "Screw it." She said throwing her hands up in the air. It would take too long to find a doctor who was open and that would be willing to make a house call. Even with the other man's help it may not be possible this late at night.

...

Kolin walked over to the pile of debris grabbing onto one of the broken chair legs, his hand gripping tightly onto it, blood dripping down the sharp point and falling onto the floor. He turned around shoving the table aside as he walked toward the door, Kolin's appearance leaving him to be replaced with his own as he stepped outside. Looking around he walked down the street yelling out Axel's name, the stake being twirled in his fingers as his eyes searched.

...

Lily walked across the room and grabbed a chair, dragging it over to the bed she arranged her self to sit comfortably on in. Her hands hovered above the girl as she tried to decide where to place them and as if on cue Péné's hand reached up and rested on her stomach in almost a defensive manner. Moving the hand out of the way Lily placed both hands on Péné's abdomen and focused. She couldn't heal the girl but she could give her enough energy to either heal herself or at least last long enough to survive until Adrian came back.

...

Striker continued walking the streets, his eyes and ears searching for any movement, any sound. He didn't know exactly where Axel had spent his nights, other than the tavern, but he would have to seek shelter somewhere from the sun. With Axel's habits it would be somewhere no one would notice if a person went missing. Rounding the corner he stopped noticing a trail of blood on the ground. He smirked slightly following it.

The trail eventually stopped outside a large crypt, a bloody hand print pressed into the slab door.

He froze in place as an uneasy feeling washed over him at the sight. Shaking it away he pushed on the slab stepping into the opening. After a few steps the opening closed behind him. He gripped the stake tighter and made his way down the stairs eventually coming to the opening of a long tunnel. He breathed in slowly his eyes taking on a reddish hue as he lighted the tunnel walls around him as he continued walking.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Chapter Nineteen*
-The bait and switch-


Lily took a deep breath and started to focus her energy. She felt it flow from her heart up through her arms. It never made it to her hands though as a rapid pounding on her door caused her to tear away suddenly.

"WHAT?!" She snapped rubbing her arms. She had never stopped in the middle of the starting progress and it had hurt, leaving a tingling feeling along the path the energy had taken.

"Lily? I know you are in there!"

Lily groaned, it was the innkeeper.

"You haven't worked in two days, these rooms cost money and you have to earn your keep one way or another."

Lily could hear the implication in his voice and was seriously debating opening the door and draining him of his own life force. After all she was going to be giving a decent amount to Péné, if she didn't want to pass out then perhaps...She shook the idea from her mind, grabbing a couple tell tale belongings as he continued to bang on the door demanding entrance.

"You, answer the door. Pretend this is your wife and that you are renting the place since this morning. I don't exist until you close the door and he leaves." Lily whispered as she sank to the floor and inched under the bed with her possessions. She heard his footsteps take him to the door and prayed that she had given him enough instructions to pull this off.

The innkeeper barged in the room calling her name, causing the man known as 'Anton' to get angry. Their voices were muffled as he explained what was 'really' going on.

Lily heard the distrust in the innkeepers voice but he headed to the door anyways. She waited a few moments after the door was shut and looked before pulling herself out from under the bed. "That was close. Thank-you. Now please make sure no one interrupts me until I finish." She said smiling at Anton before setting herself up again.

Once again she placed her hands on Péné and focused her energy up and through her arms. It pooled in her hands before transferring into the girl.

Several minutes passed, Lily's breathing becoming labored as she struggled to control the flow of energy. Eventually she tore her hands away, the room spinning. Péné's breathing had evened out and when Lily checked her pulse it had grown stronger. She started to stir and Lily smiled softly as she rested her head against the bed. She just need to rest for a minute, regain some on her energy and breathe.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Coming to a chamber Striker saw a stone coffin laying in the middle of the room. Slowly he walked to it and pushed on the lid. The lid slid back and fell to the floor breaking in two. But the coffin was empty. He sighed softly shaking his head.

The sound of the breaking stone had cloaked the movements of Axel who was now stepping up behind Striker, his arms wrapping around Striker's chest, pinning his arms down at his sides.

Striker growled kicking against the coffin sending Axel staggering backwards, but his grip remained firm.

"Really, little brother?" Axel laughed softly. "You think that is going to free you?"

"No, but dis will," Striker replied as he let go of the stake, using his telekinesis to quickly move it around behind Axel.

Already anticipating Striker's move, Axel sunk his fangs down into the side of Striker's neck, causing Striker to scream out in pain and drop his hold on the stake before it reached his flesh.

Manipulating Striker's powers as he drank, Axel moved the stake back around in front of them, the stake moving quickly toward Striker's chest.

Striker gasped softly staring at it, keeping the stake hovering in midair as Axel continued to make it spin towards him.

Axel drank faster pushing the stake closer and closer despite Striker's attempt to kept it back.

Striker kept his eyes on the stake not letting his telekinesis falter as he tried to fight through the pain and get free. Using his strength both mentally and physically was starting to take its toll on him. He started to weaken at the blood loss, his eyes growing heavy, his control on the stake slipping letting it get closer to him before he was able to stop it again.

Axel held onto Striker tighter, his strength increased due to the other vampire's blood. Feeling Striker's power slipping he waited till it slipped again and sent the stake soaring into Striker's chest.

Striker gasped painfully feeling the stake entering his heart. With each turn of the stake numbness crept over his body till eventually his arms fell limp at his sides and his knees gave out under him.

Axel continued drinking taking in Striker's memories of the past hour. As Striker got weaker Axel dropped down to his knees with him, shoving the stake even deeper into his body.

Striker closed his eyes slowly, his head falling back against Axel's shoulder.

Axel withdrew his fangs letting Striker fall back to the ground with a smile as he wiped the blood off his lips. Grabbing onto the stake he pulled it up slightly, just enough to allow Striker to open his eyes, then a bit more to allow him to talk and hear him.

Striker stared at Axel with half-closed, blood-filled eyes. "If you goin' ta kill me, den do it."

Axel shook his head standing up. "Nah I think I'm gonna let you starve to death down here while I kill your woman."

"Good luck in dat," Striker groaned softly. "She can take care o' herself, even 'round you."

"Oh Adie, she won't be around -me-." Axel laughed. "She will be around -you-." He added with a grin and a wave of his hand, changing his clothes and appearance into Striker's. "And how she goin' ta know it not you, eh? I play you pretty well, no? Humans be easy ta fool Adrian, deir eyes can't see past our illusions like ours can."

Striker glared at Axel as he assumed his identity for his own now. "She won't need her eyes ta know yer not me! You can't fool her Axel!"

"Ohhh so confident. We will just have ta see 'bout dat, now won't we?" Shoving the stake back down into Striker's chest rendering him semi unconscious, Axel under the cloak of Striker's identity, left the crypt making his way back to the surface leaving Striker immobilized on the crypt's floor.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reply
Like

deathstrikeda
Established Resident
deathstrikeda
Established Resident
Joined: 27 Jun 2008, 02:44

13 Apr 2017, 06:10 #7

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Chapter Twenty*
-The monster you (don't) know-


He made it back to the inn he had seen through Striker's blood rather quickly. Taking the steps two at a time he ran up them. He stopped outside Lily's door sensing the presence of Péné and the man. Sighing softly he shook his head.

"O' course," he muttered changing his appearance again, from Adrian's into Kolin's this time. He grinned opening the door stepping inside. He smiled at his audience and spoke, "Ever'one can relax now. De monster be dead."

Lily woke up as Kolin entered the room, lifting her head off the bed she turned to smile at him. She was surprised at how chipper he sounded, but perhaps the whole fight wasn't as bad as he had thought it would be.

"You can go now mate." Kolin patted the man on the shoulder as he walked past. "I don't need your services anymore." When the man didn't move at his words, Kolin stopped in place with a raised brow. "I said you can go. I...oh right...o' course," he added with a slight nervous laugh. "Well den." He stepped up to the man grabbing onto his shoulders turning him to face him, his eyes focusing on the man's as they glowed a bright purple as he spoke softly. "Leave de inn and forget dis night ever happened." The man nodded and started to walk to the door.

Lily looked at Péné before looking back to Kolin as he was talking to the man who had helped them out, his voice sounding a bit muffled to her ears. Why hadn't he asked about her yet? She shook her head swearing that she had seen his eyes glow purple this time. It must be a figment of her mind, she was exhausted after all. "Wait!" She called after the man as he turned to leave.

The man immediately stopped and turned back.

Kolin glared a bit when the man stopped at her command, but quickly forced a smile instead as she started to speak to the man.

"I guess you probably won't remember any of this, and I know it's probably better if you don't, but I wish that you could. You have been very helpful to us, so here." Lily grabbed a couple coins from the purse that was on her belt and pressed them into his hands. "In exchange for your help. Thank you, and good bye."

After the man had received the coins and she had finished talking to him, he turned and left.

Lily turned back to Kolin before walking back to Péné. "I did my best," She said, fluffing another pillow up and propping it under the girl. "She looks better and her vitals appear good. I worked my magic on her but I think there is something wrong and I can't tell if it's just emotional trauma or if there is some sort of internal damage." She looked down at herself and groaned inwardly. She looked like a mess and of course Péné -looked- perfect. She was simply setting herself up for disaster if there was any competition.

Kolin smiled turning to Lily as she spoke to him now. "You did good. I don't dink it anydin' too serious. She be alright 'tis probably just de stress o' what happened. Why don't we let her rest and we go fer a walk?"

Lily looked at him a bit confused at his behavior. At the start of the night he had acted as if Péné was the world to him even while caring about her, and now he didn't even want to check on her himself? Or see if they could wake her? Kolin's words from earlier that night rang in her head suddenly-"Kind o' scary dat looks can be so deceivin' ta you mortals. You have 'lot ta learn 'bout us, love."-

"But...I...umm." Lily tried to talk a few times before shaking her head and sighing. "Sure why not," she finally managed to get out. She was still unsure about him, but if he wasn't her Kolin then perhaps it would be safer getting him away from Péné, she wouldn't be blamed if any further damage happened to her. And if it was him...well then a nice walk in the night air might be just what she needed to refresh herself. Shaking the wrinkles out of her skirt with one hand and running her fingers through her hair with the other, Lily tried to bring some sense of order to her appearance. "Shall we go?" She asked, slipping her arm through his.

"O' course," Kolin smiled leading her out of the door, shutting it behind him as Lily rested her head on his arm.

As they made their way through the Inn he couldn't help but smile at his thoughts. Péné was detained in the room and Lily was leaving with him. It was perfect. He could kill Lily when they were alone and then come back later to finish off Péné.

Once outside he pulled Lily tighter to him as he walked down the street.

The crisp night air was clearing her mind and thoughts even though she was still weak. Something had been off with him back in the room, that much was clear. Even now he didn't feel totally right to her. But then who was he? Was she just being paranoid?

As soon as they rounded the corner and were out of sight of the inn Kolin spoke again. "You don't mind if we stop by my house do you? I have ta get a few dings. It not take long."

"Of course Kolin. But first....you haven't kissed me yet," Lily said stopping in the middle of the street, putting on a pouting face with her hands on each hip. Perhaps this could confirm or deny her suspicions and she could either relax or figure out how she was going to be able to hold onto him long enough to drain him of his own energy and escape.

Kolin laughed softly at her pout placing his arms in between the crook in hers, his hands grabbing onto her ass pulling her into him. "Missed me dat much, eh darlin'? Well I not one ta keep a beautiful lady wantin', so if it a kiss you want, den a kiss you shall get." He leaned down kissing her using his grip on her ass to lift her up onto her tiptoes, his hands gripping tighter onto her ass as he kissed her deeper.

Lily's eyes had opened wide in surprise as he grabbed her. She knew how Adrian kissed, even using someone else's identity, and -that- was not it. If anything that proved this was not him. But she kissed him back as she threw her arms around his neck. Slipping her hands underneath the neck of his shirt, she placed them as close to his heart as she could reach as she pushed him up against the wall.

"I know what you want," she whispered into his ear. "You want a little bit of what makes me so special," Lily added with a grin, even though she felt like throwing up at all this. But if this wasn't Adrian then there was no way she was going to get away with what she had planned next unless he thought it was something 'they' did.

Kolin smiled gripping onto her tighter. Unsure what exactly made her special but wanting to know, he tested the waters. "You want ta do dat 'ere? Where anyone can see us?" He asked glancing around for a moment then back at her. "Perhaps we should go somewhere more...private fer dat sort o' ding, yes? My place just a few blocks away."

"Where's the fun in that?" Lily said giggling digging her nails into him as she focused her energy. It was getting easier to do this 'procedure', but she had to be careful she didn't let him absorb too much of her own energy before she was able to reverse it, after all she already had given up so much. Biting his lip playfully she started kissing him again as her life force started to slowly flow into him.

Kolin grinned at her response, his hands squeezing her ass again as he returned her kiss. Feeling her life force entering his body he closed his eyes slowly. He felt his body growing stronger, his heart beating again. He opened his eyes suddenly realizing what Striker saw in her. A way to become mortal again. He let his eyes close again, the feeling intoxicating. He kissed her deeper letting her energy consume every inch of his body.

This time reversing the flow of energy was easier. Easier then Lily ever thought it could be. It was like flipping a switch where all at once she was absorbing his own life force. She realized in that moment it was because she hated him. This man, this monster dared to impersonate someone she cared about...she didn't even know if the real Adrian was still alive.

A few seconds after the reversal her eyes brightened. She could feel his power, his strength, and it felt good to her deprived body. She kept kissing him, hoping to keep him unaware and non-resisting for as long as she could. But with each drop of energy she absorbed she felt her hatred growing, her playful nips getting harder as she dug her nails in deeper.

Kolin moaned softly at her nips and her nails digging into him. She was aggressive in her pursuit and he liked it. But soon his moans of pleasure turned into groans of pain. His eyes opened feeling his energy flowing into her now. As he began to weaken he pulled back from her kiss, gasping loudly as she continued to absorb from him. Realizing now that her powers were touch based, his hands let go of her ass to grab onto her hands against his chest, trying to pull them away as his illusion started to falter between Kolin, Adrian, Finn, and his own as his energy was drained.

"You," Lily said accusingly as she caught glimpses of Finn through the illusion. "Where is the real Kolin?" She hissed through her teeth, doing her best to keep her grip on him as she used her body to try and keep him against the wall. "If he is still alive perhaps I won't kill you." She was surprised that she had been able to hold onto him for this long. If she could hold on a little longer then perhaps she wouldn't have to worry about him overpowering her.

Axel let his illusion drop and his own appearance show through in an effort to conserve his fleeting energy. With her touch weakening him by the second he only had one choice left. He glared at her as he spoke. "I drove a stake through your boy's heart and left him to starve to death in a crypt. But I'm going to do far worse to you, sweetheart." And with that he pulled her against him, sinking his fangs down into her neck.

Tears pooled in her eyes as Lily heard what he had done to Adrian. She blinked them back and then groaned as he bite her. Unlike when Adrian had done it, this time it was only pain she felt, her neck feeling like it was burning from his bite.

As her blood flowed into him Axel pulled one of her hands off of his chest, gripping tightly onto her wrist, his nails digging into her skin as he began to manipulate her powers sending his energy back into his own body.

"No!" She said through gritted teeth as she felt the energy that she had been so eagerly absorbing slipping back through her fingers. She looked down the street as she struggled to regain control of both her powers and the situation, but didn't see anyone.

With the rate at which he was drinking he could possibly silence her before someone could show up to help her. She had to stop him herself. But how? Suddenly she remembered her dagger hidden underneath her cloak.

Closing his eyes Axel sent out a mental image of him feeding from her to Striker as the final nail in the coffin, showing him what her death was going to be.

...

Back in the crypt blood pooled underneath Striker's body. The wound in his chest and the bite marks on his shoulder continuing to bleed slowly, his shirt soaked in his own blood. Upon receiving the mental image, Striker's eyes opened slowly. Groaning painfully he had no choice but to watch the image play out.

...

As Axel closed his eyes, Lily let go of him with the one hand that had still been holding onto him. She didn't have to try too hard to fake a moan, pretending that she was giving up. Rather her hand darted to her side and grabbed the small dagger out of it's sheath. With a brisk upward thrust she drove it into where she thought his throat was.

The mental image broke as the dagger went through Axel's throat. His eyes opening as he pulled back from her starting to choke on his own blood.

She quickly took advantage of his surprise to twist her hand free and grip his chest again, this time, she was able to straight out pull his energy without having to surrender her own first. She -had- to shake this guy off, she only had to weaken him enough for her to be able to run off. She had given up on being able to fully subdue him, but with his strength coursing through her she was sure she could find Striker and they could help each other.

Blood and energy leaving him forced Axel to let go of her, one hand going to pull the dagger out while the other covered his bleeding throat.

"You can't take me down that easily." Lily smirked at him. She had the upper hand for the moment and with both his hands off her she was tempted to keep draining him. The power felt so good.

Before when she had absorbed a human's life, it had felt like drinking coffee, bitter but it still had a kick, this was so much better. But she remembered watching Adrian heal and it was too dangerous to stay around much longer. After all even with energy she still needed her blood and if he drained her of that, it wouldn't matter how much she drained him.

With a final burst she let go and started running.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Chapter Twenty-one*
-And the hunt begins-


Lily ran aimlessly, not sure where she was headed. Turning a corner she ran into someone and fell back. Opening her mouth to snap Lily froze when she saw who it was.

"Anton!"

The man that Adrian had compelled to follow her instructions stood in front of her. She hoped that even after Axel had made him leave he would still listen and obey her as Adrian had instructed him to.

"Quick, as fast and as quietly as you can take a round about way to the Last Chance inn. Grab Péné, the girl, from my room and take her someplace safe. Leave a note underneath the mattress so I know where you are going. Keep her safe!" The last line was shouted back as she ran off again.

Her senses seemed sharper with Axel's energy soaring through her. She didn't know how long it would last, but she was grateful for it.

"Please." She whispered into the wind as she ran taking as many turns as she could, "Please let me find Adrian."

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Axel dropped down to his knees watching her run off. Anger consuming him at her actions. He closed his eyes waiting on his throat to heal, once healed he stood again staring off into the direction she left in. He glanced back in the direction of the Inn as he considered finishing off Péné first before giving chase. The blood trail would possibly go cold if he waited and the girl had proved to be difficult. His mind was made up and he began his pursuit of his prey walking off in the direction Lily had gone.

Realizing she was still bleeding from her neck Lily stopped and ripped off a long strip from her cloak. It was old and tattered and she was due for a new one anyways. Tying it around her neck like a tight scarf she hoped that would be enough. She recalled that Axel had said Adrian was in a crypt. There were only a few in town and perhaps Axel wouldn't think her stupid enough to go to him. She took off in the direction of the first one, keeping her senses alert and trying to catch a whiff of blood or something that would tell her if Adrian was nearby.

Axel continued walking down the street following the scent of her blood. Letting her slip from his grasp was a mistake but he loved a good chase. His victims normally ran from him anyways but they didn't make it far. Following her trail he laughed, she had been darting all over the place. A scared little girl seeking shelter where there was none. At his thought he glanced up at the sky. The night was starting to fade and it was starting to get light out. He would need to find shelter himself in a few hours. He continued walking searching for her, her dagger gripped tightly in his hand.

The first area of crypts had been a bust, Lily had made sure not to go in it or get too close to them, just in case Axel was close behind her and realized what she was doing. There were two other spots he could be. One was on the other side of town. She knew that she could only rely on Axel's energy for so much longer so she decided to head for that one while she still had the extra boost. It would keep her moving more and hopefully allow her to increase the distance between her and her hunter.

Axel stopped suddenly, sniffing the air, her scent fading. He growled softly and began running to catch up to it.

By the time Lily neared the second locations of the crypts her legs were hurting and her breathing was labored. Her senses were dulling as well, but thankfully she had already arrived at her destination, the blood radiating from a nearby row of crypts telling her that she was close.

Axel groaned in frustration, the trail having went cold. He growled softly looking around the area then started laughing. "Clever lil' minx. You went back for him didn't you," he muttered to himself. He shook his head and turned around making his way toward the direction of the crypts.

As Lily approached the row she sensed Adrian long before her eyes caught sight of a hand print on one of them. Instantly she knew she had found the right one.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Chapter Twenty-two*
-A delicate maneuver-


"Adrian?" Lily whispered as she slowly entered the dark depths.

Her voice was faint on his ears, his eyes partly open as Striker remained on his back on the ground near the back of the crypt. He opened his mouth to speak watching the light from the candles dim. Sleep was coming for him again.

"Lily.." Striker managed to reply, his voice soft, barely a whisper as his eyes started to close again.

Lily heard him call, running to him she slid to her knees, worry covering her face as she looked at him, trying to comprehend what had happened to him. Her fingertips timidly touched the top of the stake in his chest. It was so deep in his heart that she wondered how he was even still alive to begin with. "What can I do Adrian?" She begged, tears welling in her eyes. "Should I take the wood out again, or perhaps you want some blood, or energy! I can try my magic again and see if that helps." She started shaking his arm and patting his cheek trying to keep him awake long enough to tell her what she needed to do to help him. "Please don't fall asleep yet, we need to get you out of here before Finn...Axel catches up to us. Tell me how I can help you."

Striker's eyes fluttered open at her attempts to rouse him, his blood filled eyes falling on her. "Yer not 'ere...you can't be 'ere. I saw him...kill you. Yer dead."

"How did you...never mind that, whatever you saw it was a lie...I managed to wound him long enough to get away. But he can't be too far behind me. Please Adrian, we don't have much time. You certainly aren't able to handle him in this condition and I can only do so much until he does kill me. And before you say anything, I am not leaving you alone so if you want me safe then you are going to have to tell me what to do."

"I can't move...wit' de stake in," Striker whispered trying to keep his eyes open. Blood loss was starting to take an even heavier toll on his body and even down in the crypt he could feel the coming of the sun which meant he was running out of time. "Pull up as steady...as you can...you'll kill me...if you don't...pull up straight."

He was literally putting his life in her hands by asking her to remove it? Lily knew he had a lot of trust in her already, but that was putting a lot of pressure on her too. She had already taken one wooden bit out of him, although this was a lot bigger. She wrapped her hands around the stake and took a few calming breathes. With a quick fluid motion she pulled it out and prayed that she had done it right.

Striker groaned in pain suddenly as the feeling rushed back to his body as the stake was removed a bit quicker than he expected. He closed his eyes for a moment. "Ow, damn dat hurts," he replied with a forced laugh leaning over onto his side, his arms and legs tingling as the feeling was worked back into them.

"Oh Adrian, what happened?" Lily whispered tossing the stake to the side and rolling up her sleeve.

"Axel bested me. Apparently his method o' death is a rather brutal one. He jumps his enemy from behind, drains dem till he can stake dem, den leaves dem ta starve ta death. Not de funnest way ta go dat is fer certain."

"See what happens when you try and leave me behind?" Lily tried to joke to keep the tears back as she noticed the amount of blood she was actually kneeling in. "Now you have to take me along with you." She held out her wrist to him. "Here, drink some of this. Just not too much though, your old buddy decided to start without you so I can't spare a lot. But you need something to get you back up on your feet, so drink."

"No, I'm fine," Striker retorted with a shake of his head.

"You don't look fine to me," Lily replied turning her eyes down to the blood soaked skirt of her dress. "And I'm not going to take no for an answer, so you either drink or we'll both die down here."

Striker sighed softly and bit down into her wrist, only pain being felt through the bite where before she had experienced both pain and pleasure.

Lily winced as she was bitten into once again that night, gritting her teeth at the pain that followed it. She kept her breathing calm and collected as he drank. "What happened that you let him get to you like that? I don't see you as the type to run head first into a fight without being more cautious. You could have been killed and then what good could you be to me or Péné?" She tried to keep the accusation out of her voice, but she couldn't help but feel hurt that he had allowed himself to get hurt like this.

As she spoke about Péné his vision came back to him forcing him to close his eyes. Striker was thankful that they were both still alive but couldn't help feeling responsible for everything they had went through. If it wasn't for him then they would of been safe in the first place. Letting them enter his life was a mistake that could of cost them theirs.

Pushing his thoughts away Striker opened his eyes to look at her. He drank enough to allow his wounds to start to close before he pulled back. He leaned back down onto his back, his hand moving to cover the stake wound as it started to heal. "I just let my emotions get de better o' me, dat's all." He replied softly his hand lowering from his wound as it finished healing. "It won't happen again."

Lily shot him a suspicious look as she rolled her sleeve back down. Emotions are what kept people like him from turning into monsters, or at least that's how she felt, but she didn't have time right now to discuss what he meant by all that. "Come on, the sun will be up in a few moments and from your habits I don't think you want to be around for that. Péné should be safe, your little man servant is hiding her for the time being. And we should hide before Axel finds us." She said standing up and shifting her feet nervously back and forth.

Striker groaned softly sitting back up, his hand going to his head at the sudden lightheaded feeling. Ignoring it he stood up and tried to steady himself. "Hide where?" He asked as he took a step and immediately dropped down to one knee as he got dizzy.

Slipping under his arm Lily helped him stand up again, allowing him to lean on her for support as she helped him walk through the crypt. "I am not sure....I was hoping you had a safe haven or two in town. Where do you stay during the day?"

Striker groaned softly as she helped him to his feet again, his whole body aching, his muscles sore from losing the feeling in them for so long. Knowing he wouldn't make it far without her help he leaned some of his weight against her. "Dat house is not safe anymore."

"Ok. What about your ship? Is it safe there?" Lily looked hopefully up at him as she started leading him outside, looking up at the sky noticing that the stars were starting to disappear as the sky lightened with the promise of the new day upon them.

When she spoke of his ship Striker looked at her remembering the little spat they had earlier in the night. Deciding it probably wasn't a good idea for him to open up old wounds in his current condition, he let it go and let her lead him. " 'Tis bein' repaired but my quarters should be safe from de sun still."

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Chapter Twenty-three*
-Meeting Lady Luck-


Lily guided him towards the docks as fast as she could, every once in a while stealing a glance behind them to see if there were being followed. There were only a few ships in port but she still didn't know which one was his and she didn't have time to chose the wrong one.

"Um which one is yours?"

"Dere. De Lady Luck," Striker replied pointing to the ship at the end of the row.

"Is there anything I have to know or be worried about when we board?" Lily asked. "Are they all like you and Axel?" She wanted to be prepared and know what she was walking into this time.

Striker glanced up at the sky as they walked toward it, the sun was starting to rise. "No, we are de only ones. De rest o' my crew are...are like you." Looking back down at the ship he noticed it was finished already. Thankfully the deck of the ship was also empty. He wouldn't have to try and cast the pirate's illusion in his current state. Looking around he spoke as he walked up to it, "But dey don't know me. Dey don't know my real face like you do. So let's get inside before someone sees I'm not de pirate."

Lily nodded as they snuck aboard the ship. Once on board she breathed a sigh of relief. Now she felt safe. She was a little disappointed to hear that all the other shipmates were humans to, it would be rather easy for Axel to board then, although if he was anything like Adrian then perhaps he would have to hide until dark. That gave them until sunset to figure out a plan.

As they entered his quarters Striker looked toward the port side window sighing in relief when he noticed the curtain was still pulled across it. His eyes quickly glanced over his room as she helped him to his bed.

The Captain's quarter was spacious enough to allow for comfort and darkened enough to keep the sun from hurting him. Red lanterns hung from the ceiling giving more light to see by if the large stained glass window in front of the Captain's desk and the porthole window over the dinning table wasn't enough.

The Captain's desk, resting against the back wall, was littered with folded up drawings, maps, charts, and letters. A changing station was placed in front of a large painted tile tub in the back right corner. The Captain's bed, placed against the right hand wall, was covered in red satin sheets with a nightstand beside it and a long wooden chest placed at the foot of the bed. Resting against the left hand wall, under the port side window, was a dinning/sitting area with a table, two chairs, and a couch.

With a soft groan Striker sat down on his bed and started unbuttoning his vest, the blood making his clothes start to stick to him.

Lily smiled at him and went back to close and lock the door behind them. "I suppose we should do our best to recover before the day's end." She tried to cover her yawning as she wandered over to his desk as Adrian peeled his clothes off, she couldn't watch him do it without wincing. The adrenaline from before had worn off and she suddenly realized how much blood he had lost, not only from what stuck to him and his clothes but from what she remembered him leaving behind. Looking down at her dress she remembered that she had been kneeling in the blood as well. Thankfully it didn't look too shocking, blood drying on a red dress was not very obvious. She would have to go back to the inn eventually to both get her last set of clothes and the note describing the location of Péné.

The boat rocked slowly and she found the motion soothing although she did occasionally stumble as she tried to get used to the motion. "If you give me a few hours to rest I can go find Péné for you and either bring her back here or whatever you decide you want me to do." Lily said as she casually moved some papers around on his desk, stopping to look at a few different maps that caught her eye. She had never really paid attention to how big the world really was, especially in comparison to her little corner of it.

"I can't promise dat I will wake while de sun is up," Striker replied letting his cloak fall to the floor as he started to remove his vest. "So if you leave before I wake, make sure ta give yerself plenty o' time ta get back 'fore de sun sets." The vest fell on top of the cloak. "Feel free ta use my quarters fer yer own if you like. But I ask dat you keep Péné in de crew's quarters. At least till I have enough strength ta be Kolin again."

Lily nodded as he gave her his instructions, feeling a little bit of pride over the fact that she knew who he really was while Péné did not. True he didn't show that side of himself to her of his own free will, even though he said he would, but she still had some sort of advantage. Her fingers slide over a carefully folded up piece of parchment laying under one of the maps, aged with time and falling apart at the heavy creases. She raised a brow curious as to why he had such an old thing around when everything else on the desk looked clean and crisp. She pushed the thought aside covering the parchment back over with the map as she turned around to face him. "Will I need a story to tell everyone as to why I am on the ship?" she asked.

"If anyone questions yer presence 'ere tell dem dat I requested yer services. It shouldn't be a concern but dey can speak wit' me if dey have a problem wit' dat." Striker looked down at the holes in his shirt shaking his head, " 'Tis a shame. I really liked dis shirt." He sighed softly removing his shirt letting it fall on his vest and cloak.

"Do you want help washing up before you sleep?" Lily asked motioning toward the bath as he removed his shirt allowing her to see how much blood was actually caked to him now.

Striker laughed softly. "Ah, so you are wantin' ta give me a bath after all." Grabbing onto his vest pulling the climbing daggers from it he continued to speak, "well it looks like I'm not dreamin' anymore, am I sweetheart?" Placing the daggers in a pile beside his swords he winked at her, "Or maybe you just can't wait ta get my pants off me again, yes?" He removed his weapons setting them beside the bed.

Lily laughed at his comments rolling her eyes even though her cheeks flushed a bit. She hadn't meant to imply such a thing but it didn't bother her as much as it would have a couple days ago if he had said that to her. She was actually starting to get used to and even like his pet names and flirting nature he seemed to adapt after consuming her blood.

Striker grinned looking over at her. "But perhaps I should. You dink you can mend my clothes fer me too? Or are dey a lost cause?" He pulled the flask from his vest then let it fall back on top of the pile. Turning the flask over in his hands he stared at it deciding whether to drink the blood in it now or save it for another time.

Walking over to him Lily lifted his shirt up, turning it over a few times before speaking. "Well I can give it a shot but I can tell you now that it won't look very pretty. I am surprised you haven't given up dressing well yet, in the little while I have known you, you have already gotten hurt twice. Your poor wardrobe." She made a face at him before setting the clothes back down walking over to the couch. "I won't be doing anything right now though. I did manage to get some rest during the night but not nearly enough to be able to thread a needle without going cross eyed. Plus..." She yawned, "All my supplies are back in my room." She sat on the couch and pulled her feet up under her, her eyes starting to feel heavy as she strained to keep them open.

Striker sighed softly popping the top off, his eyes closing taking in the scent as he listened to her speak. Turning the flask up to his mouth he let the blood run down his throat, his lips barely touching the opening. Once the flask was empty he opened his eyes flipping the lid back shut. He pulled open the nightstand drawer beside his bed, tossing the flask inside. His daggers collected and placed beside the flask. Closing the drawer he turned his attention back to her as she laid down on the couch. He watched her battle sleep as he remained sitting on the bed letting the blood work its way through him allowing more of his strength to return.

Thinking back to her comment about his wardrobe Striker smiled reaching down for them. Clutching the pile of clothes to his chest he stood up slowly steadying himself as the ship rocked again. It took him only a few moments to get his sea legs back enough to walk over to the changing station. Laying his cloak, shirt, and vest over the partition he glanced over at her noticing she was already starting to fall asleep. Walking to the chest at the foot of his bed, he opened it pulling out a blanket tossing it onto the bed. The ship rocked again, his sword belt sliding across the floor a bit. Walking over to it he picked it up hanging the belt on the hook above the nightstand. Grabbing onto the blanket he carried it over to her and covered her over before making his way to the bath to get himself clean.

Lily's eyes had lazily followed him as he moved around the room. He was covered in dried blood but even so no one could argue that he still was rather good looking. She smiled gratefully as he laid a blanket on her and then left her to go bathe. Under the assumption that he no longer needed her for anything, for the time being, she pulled the blanket up to her chin. She laid her head on the arm of the couch, her eyes slowly blinking until they could no longer stay open.

Striker sat down on the edge of the tub and pulled out the cork in the barrel beside him, water rushing out of it and into the tub. He ran his hands under the water washing them clean and went to remove his boots and pants as the tub continued to fill. Tossing his pants over the partition he sat down in the water and started washing the blood from his body and hair. Once the blood was off of him he placed the cork back in the barrel and stepped out of the tub. Grabbing his clothes off the partition he started washing the blood out of them making sure they were as clean as he could get them before pulling the cork out of the tub to let the water drain out into the pipe that led out of the ship and into the ocean. After ringing out his clothes he hung them back over the partition to dry.

Striker turned his attention to Lily now as he stood dripping dry. His teeth played with his lip as he debated whether to move her to his bed and take the couch for himself or just leave her be. While the couch was comfortable, his bed was no doubt more comfortable and a much more suitable place for a lady to sleep. But if he moved her there was a possibility that he could wake her and she did look quite peaceful on the couch. With a soft sigh and a shake of his head he walked over to his bed deciding to leave her be. Pulling back the sheets he laid down covering himself over. His eyes watched her sleep for a bit till they eventually closed as sleep took him. The sun rising to cast amber and ruby shadows on the floor as it went through the stain glass window.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Chapter Twenty-four*
-An entertaining delay to the day-


"Adrian!" Lily gasped jolting awake, a light sheen of sweat across her face. Her breathing evened out as she looked around the room and recalled the events that had transpired that day, or rather night. Seeing Adrian calmly sleeping she smiled and stretched before standing. She lost her footing right away and ended up sprawled on the couch again, happy that he was sleeping and couldn't make fun of her gracelessness. Going to the window she pulled the curtain aside just enough for her to see the time of day. It was early to mid-afternoon by the looks of things, which meant that it was very likely for her to make it to the inn, find, and bring Péné back before night fell again. It didn't take her too long to wash her face and fix her appearances to a some what satisfactory place, although little could be done about her attire at this point.

Patting her sides Lily realized that she didn't have her dagger with her anymore. Her eyebrows furrowed as she tried to figure out what to do. She doubted that she would need it, but then again people tended to ask a lot less questions when you were armed. Glancing again at Adrian she snuck over to where she had seen him store his daggers. They looked a little different then the ones she was used to but one of them should fit into the small sheath on her belt. Grabbing the one on top she slipped it onto her belt and silently closed the drawer. Heading to the door she paused as she passed the dressing partition, his clothes hanging from it. She bite her lip as her fingers grazed his cloak before jerking it off the partition. Taking hers off she slipped into his. It was certainly large on her but it would be perfect for what she needed to do. After all it would be rather easy for anyone to notice her at the inn, and according to what the innkeeper knew she had been gone for a couple days now.

Straightening the cloak Lily unlocked the door and went to open it, but paused coming up with an idea. She pulled at her dress a bit until it exposed the top of her breasts. Pinching her cheeks to bring a redness to them, she tried to remember the attitudes of some of the barmaids that liked to spend their nights with the customers. Opening the door she slipped out, closing it firmly behind her, a satisfied smirk dancing on her lips as she turned to make her way up and off the ship.

She managed to make her way on deck without being seen. It figured that on a nice day such as this, it had been foolish to hope that the deck -wouldn't- be crawling with people. Nevertheless she did her best to make her way towards the dock with her head high and her smile still plastered on. Thankfully the deck of the ship only had a handful of crew members on it at the current moment. Many of the others were no doubt out gathering more supplies or enjoying their time on land.

Two men were unloading a large crate from a carriage, another unloading the barrels from it.

A man leaned over the railing from the bow of the ship shouting down to the others. "What's takin' so long, 'urry it up. We don't 'ave all day."

The man unloading the barrels slung one over his shoulder, replying back to the man that shouted to him as he started up the ramp. "This would go quicker if you just came down here and helped us, you know."

About that time the crate slipped out of the men's hands and crashed to the ground, its contents spilling out onto the ground.

The man from the bow shook his head and started making his way to them.

Lily frowned as she heard the crash, quickening her steps towards where she remembered the ramp being. Groaning inwardly as she saw the mess, she debated running down and helping them pick up the scattered supplies so that she could get out faster. Deciding against that she leaned against the railing and watched curiously as she waited for the ramp and dock to be cleared enough for her to be able to walk without worrying about stepping on anything and causing some sort of ruckus.

The man came down from the bow shouting to some more crew members as he walked toward the ramp. "Thomas, Sam, get over 'ere. Show these idiots how ta do a simple task."

"Aye Sir," the men replied halting their cleaning at the man's orders.

The two men with the crate continued trying to clean up the mess as the other two joined them.

Lily grinned as she watched the man, who she could only assume was the ship's first mate, order the men around.

The man with the barrel shook his head walking past the first mate who remained standing at the top of the ramp. "I told you those two were useless," he replied with a laugh stopping beside him to watch the others.

The first mate smirked a bit. "Yeah well we need all the 'elp we can get."

"Even if it's bad help?"

"Even if it's bad 'elp," the first mate answered with a smirk.

"Mind if Devin helps me out with the barrels then?" The man asked with a soft laugh.

"Yeah, that's fine."

"Thank you sir," the man replied as he continued to carry the barrel below deck.

The first mate turned around yelling to the man carrying the barrel, "Bash, 'ave Iven 'elp ya too. Two goods might even out the bad."

"Will do," was all that was laughed back before the man disappeared from sight.

The first mate turned back around and paused, raising a brow as he noticed the woman. "'ey, who are you? What are you doin' aboard this ship?" he asked, his eyes not leaving her.

With all the commotion Lily had started to think that she was going to be able to remain practically invisible to the men, but then the one who appeared to be in charge finally noticed her. She looked up and over at him, a bored look on her face as she remained leaning on the railing as he made his way over towards her.

"Celeste is my name," Lily said, using the name that Adrian had given her before. "As for what I am doing...I was told to leave for the day. But don't you worry, I'll be back tonight." She glanced at the mess again, with the extra hands it wouldn't be too much longer before she could make her escape. "Oh and the Captain says he doesn't want to be disturbed, long night and all." She whispered the last little bit with a grin and a wink. She hoped that that would be enough to keep them from going down and finding Adrian instead of their captain.

The first mate laughed. "I see, well I'm glad ta see the boy 'as finally got his appetite back. I take it you are his new favorite dish?"

"Well I don't know about favorite, but we certainly have our fun." Lily replied to the first mate with a grin, now wondering just how long it had been since his last...'favorite dish'. She quickly pushed those kind of thoughts to the back of her mind deciding she really didn't want to know.

The men on the dock started arguing with each other till a little push turned into a heated shoving match.

The first mate turned his attention to them quickly. "Oi! Knock it off! Get this mess cleaned up now!"

The men grumbled to each other but fell silent putting the last of the mess into the bags. Slinging them over their shoulders they carried them up the ramp.

The first mate glared at them as they walked past and below deck.

Lily smiled as she watched the first mate order the other men around again. It was quite impressive how he kept the crew together and in line even though some of them seemed more brawn then brains. And with his accent closely resembling Adrian's at times, she was also finding it quite comforting to listen to his voice as he did so.

Bash returned with Devin and Iven as the other men went below.

"Geez Felix, what was with all the yelling?" Bash asked walking toward the first mate, stopping once he noticed the girl near him.

Felix shook his head. "Idiots bein' idiots."

"Ah," Bash replied as his companions walked down the ramp to collect the barrels. "Who is this lovely lady?" he asked smiling at her.

"Celeste." Felix replied. "The Captain's new dalliance it would seem."

"Ah, a brunette? That's a first. Well good for him, it's about time he moved on. Bed him well milady, bed him well." Bash bowed slightly to her and turned walking down the ramp to join the others.

Lily offered Bash a mock curtsy in return as she chuckled at his statement, feeling a little sick at how personal this all felt to her. She shook it off and nodded to Felix before heading down the ramp and past the others.

"See you later boys!" she said in a sing-song voice. She felt weird being back on stable ground again but it was certainly pleasant to be on solid land and not trying to catch herself every time she went to take a step.

As soon as Lily was out of sight she took off running down the street. She had slept longer then she had planned and then waiting for those oafs to clean up was just another annoyance. She would really have to pick up the pace if she wished to be back before Adrian woke up and night fell.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Chapter Twenty-five*
-Divided tasks and neglected duties-


With the extra men's help the remaining barrels were carried up the ramp and deposited into the hold in no time at all.

"What is it? What's wrong?" Felix asked as Bash approached him, a confused look upon his face and his eyes fixed on the bill of lading in his hand.

"Finn said that he would order the meat for me when he went back into town, but it's not here, it's not even on the list," Bash stated as he handed the paper over to the first mate.

"Did he add it ta another one?" Felix asked as his eyes skimmed down the list of goods.

"I don't know," Bash replied with a shrug.

"Where is he now?" Felix asked handing the bill of lading back to Bash.

"I don't know, I asked the others but no one has seen him since last night. Did you want me to go order it?" Bash asked as Felix turned from him and started to make his way toward the lower levels. "Sir? Felix?" When Felix didn't answer him and instead disappeared below deck, Bash let out a sigh and went back to taking inventory again.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lily finally came to a stop a block from the inn and pulled up the hood of the cloak. While it was large on her the size also did a marvelous job of keeping her face in the shadows. Not that being recognized -here- would be the end of the world, it would just be undesirable. Entering the building she approached the front desk.

"I would like to inquire the status of room 2-10," Lily asked attempting to mask her voice as she spoke.

The woman at the desk looked through her book before responding. "Sorry ma'am, the room has been rented until the end of the week, can I offer you another one?"

"Anton and his wife I assume?" Lily asked hopefully, smiling when the woman confirmed it. "Old friends on a surprise visit, I shall just go up and meet them." She explained before heading towards the stairs. 'Clever man' she thought with a grin, 'even in his state he thought to rent the room so I could get back in.' Unlocking the door she snuck in and quickly looked around. Nothing seemed to have changed and she went about gathering her things. Looking at herself in the mirror she made a sour face, perhaps she should ask for a bath when she got back to the ship.

First things first, Lily lifted the blankets off the side of the bed and laid on the floor. Scooting under she looked until she found a small loose piece of paper tucked into one of the slates. Inching out she sat up and groaned. He had taken Péné closer to the docks but on the other side of them from where she was. Quickly she grabbed a few things from around the room and tossed them into her bag. Pulling out her last dress from the bag she quickly slipped out of her old one and into the fresh cream colored one. Normally she like to save this one for special occasions, but it wasn't like she had a choice. Fastening the cloak back on, she grabbed the bag and raised the hood again. She kept her pace to a walk until she was out the door and then took off running again, occasionally looking at the map that Anton had drawn to make sure she was on track.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Back in his quarters Striker began to stir slightly, turning over onto his side, the sheet falling to his waist.

A knock sounded on his door followed by Felix's voice. "Captain?"

Striker opened his eyes slowly looking around the room noticing Lily had left already.

"Captain, I'm sorry ta disturb you, but I must talk ta you."

Striker turned onto his back leaning up on his elbows. "What is it?"

Felix tilted his head to the side as he stood outside the door. "Are you feelin' alright, Kolin?"

Striker sighed softly shaking his head, he had spoke without thinking about his appearance first.

"Kolin?" Felix asked as he started to open the door.

As soon as the door started opening Striker raised his illusion and glared at Felix. "Aye. I am fine. What?"

Felix glanced down at the floor noticing Kolin's state of undress, and laughed slightly. "My apologies, but Finn-"

"What about him," Kolin interrupted standing up, the sheet held around his waist.

"He neglected his duties, again, and did not order the last shipment for Bash."

Kolin sat back down on the bed with a sigh of relief. "Aye, I know."

"That's the 10th time this month, Kol. How many more chances are you goin' ta give him? Friend or not, you can't keep allowin' him ta-"

"I know, I have already dealt wit' him," Kolin interrupted with a nod.

"A stern talkin' ta is not enough anymore Kolin and you know it. If you can't captain this ship and it's crew the way it needs ta be, then I'll take my position back and-"

"I said I have dealt with him," Kolin interrupted again with a frustrated sigh. "Finn's services be no longer required on my ship. I have let him go. I do not want him 'ere anymore so just turn him away if he shows."

Felix nodded. "Very well, and the shipment?"

"Have Devin tend ta dat fer me, I need you on deck still. Now is dere anydin' else you be troublin' me wit' or can I go back ta sleep?" Kolin asked with an annoyed huff.

"You better watch your tone with me," Felix shot back with a glare.

"I'm sorry, I'm just really...tired."

Felix smirked. "Quite a workout that one, eh brother?"

"What?" Kolin asked raising a brow. "Who?"

Felix laughed. "Why Celeste of course. You bed 'er and then forget 'er name when you wake up? That's bad form, baby brother."

"Younger brother," Kolin corrected forcing a laugh. "And no, no o' course not. It's just...been a long and tirin' night."

"Apparently," Felix answered with a smile. "Well then my young Captain, I'll leave you ta rest up. Sleep well...little brother," he added with another smirk.

Kolin rolled his eyes and returned the smirk as he watched Felix close the door, his footsteps retreating. With a sigh he fell back to the bed, the illusion dissolving again as he closed his eyes trying to go back to sleep.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lily was out of breath, her lungs and legs burning by the time she reached the location the map had lead her too. It was obvious that whatever energy she had absorbed from Axel had dissipated and she was stuck relying on her own human strength. Pausing outside a flower shop she looked around. The neighborhood was fairly nice, she had never been to this part of town before. Once her breathing had settled she walked into the shop, a blast of floral scents hitting her and making her smile. Looking around for a moment she found who she assumed to be the shop owner watering some potted plants.

"Excuse me? Sir? Is Anton here?" She asked pulling down her hood as she approached him.

"Who are you?" The old man turned, eyeing her suspiciously.

"Just a friend, he is keeping someone safe for me, a young woman. She was passed out last night and he has been helping us, or me rather since then. Look, I have a map that he wrote for me to get here, can I please see him?" Lily offered the man the map which he took and inspected before waving her after him.

Taking Lily out the back door he ushered her into a greenhouse before turning around and heading back into the shop.

It didn't take her long to find Péné and Anton. "How is she?" Lily asked running up to them.

"I'm not sure. She woke up terrified. I calmed her down a bit and fed her and gave her something to drink before she fell asleep again," Anton stated.

"Well it could be worse," Lily mumbled to herself before turning to Anton again. "Last request. I need you to bring Péné to the docks and board the Lady Luck. Tell them that Kolin told you to bring her and directed you to bring her to the crew's quarters. If they ask you any questions beyond that just tell them that you didn't bother to question the Captain about his demands. After that you can leave the ship and the docks and you will be released from all this." She hoped that her promise was true otherwise she would have to send Adrian after him to undo the hold over him. It wouldn't be nice to leave the poor boy wandering around practically mindless after all.

Lily let Anton go ahead. She would have to take a slower pace back to the ship, after last night and today she wasn't sure she could run another step. The sky was turning orange as the sun started setting, the streets full of people heading home from work or doing last minute shopping before the shops closed. Lily peered into the windows as she walked by eventually pausing before entering one. Coming out she tucked her small purchase into her bag and continued toward the docks.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reply
Like

deathstrikeda
Established Resident
deathstrikeda
Established Resident
Joined: 27 Jun 2008, 02:44

23 Apr 2017, 08:55 #8

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Chapter Twenty-six*
-More important matters-


Lily made her way aboard the ship, nodding at the few who recognized her from before, and made her way to the Captain's quarters. Opening the door softly she slipped in and shut it quietly behind her. Adrian was still asleep, the blankets swirled around his naked body. She realized that she was staring and set about putting her bag on the couch and replacing the belongings she had borrow. Once she had closed the drawer of daggers she sat down on the bed beside him. His lips were parted slightly as he slumbered and she couldn't help her self as she leaned in to kiss him, her hands creeping up to softly stroke his cheek and play in his hair.

As Striker felt her lips on his, his eyes started to open. He jumped slightly then relaxed realizing who it was. He laughed softly leaning up on his elbows. "What was dat fer?" he asked glancing around the room noticing the increased darkness around him. Turning back to her he now noticed she had changed her dress. "Well looks like one o' us got some new clothes. Dat dress is quite fetchin' darlin'. But I don't dink yer goin' ta be able ta keep it clean fer long."

Lily grinned but choose not to answer his first question. Looking down at her dress she sighed. "I know, around you I have ruined more clothes then I do in a year. Although," She perked up, "That just means I get to shop or make more."

"I can help wit' dat." Striker nodded toward the black pouch on his belt hanging on the wall. "You can take some coins from my bag if you like and buy you some more. Least I can do ta help since I ruined yers."

Lily smiled at him, "Maybe I will...but it can wait for a while." She leaned forward to kiss him again, her arms sliding over his shoulders as she climbed onto his lap, the thin sheet separating his naked body from her fully clothed one.

Striker closed his eyes as she kissed him, but instead of returning her kiss he turned his head away from her, opening his eyes with a sigh. "Perhaps now is not de best time fer dat, love. Dere more important matters I should be attendin' ta now."

Lily blinked a few times at his refusal to kiss her and nodded slowly trying to keep the hurt from showing at his words and rejection. "More important matters," she repeated softly leaning back from him, "right like...Péné." She lowered her arms back down to her sides as she moved back off of him to sit on the edge of the bed again. "You probably should go see her now. She seemed to be alright but I think there is something wrong with her either internally or emotionally that is keeping her from waking up all the way. Although she woke up at one point and apparently eaten a bit before passing back out."

Striker sighed again sitting up all the way on the bed as she moved off of him. "I meant Axel, but yes, her too. I will see what I can do ta help her." He leaned over pulling out one of the drawers from under the bed, various shirts and pants lining the bottom of the drawer. Pulling out a white shirt and black pants he slide the drawer back shut. He gave her a glance as he started to get dressed. "She is in de crew's quarters now, yes?" he asked buttoning his pants and standing up. He slide on the shirt as he walked over to collect his boots.

Lily watched him casually as he started to change. "I don't know for sure but that's where I instructed Anton, the servant fellow, to take her." She looked around the room again before looking up at him from her perch on the bed. "Shall I wait here or come with you?" She wasn't sure she wanted to be alone at night after what happened last night, but she really didn't want to go and see him fawning over some other girl either.

Striker finished putting on his boots and walked back over to her grabbing his belt off the wall, putting it back around his waist. "Dat is up ta you," he replied passing his hand in front of his face, his appearance changing back to Kolin's as he walked toward the door. "I do not mind if you stay 'ere or come wit' me. But de sun has set so if you do stay 'ere, lock de door behind me. If not, den stay by my side."

Lily looked at him thoughtfully before responding. "Then perhaps I will stay here and maybe take a bath myself? Besides after this morning it may look weird if I am seen with you visiting another woman...I may have let your crew believe somethings that weren't total lies." She grinned mischievously. "And I wasn't sure but I thought that I would take on the name you gave me earlier. If you have a disguise I suppose I might as well too, although I guess your secret is a bit bigger then mine."

Kolin grinned his hand scratching behind his ear for a moment. "Oh dey wouldn't consider it weird. 'Tis happened a few times before." He laughed a bit reaching for the door handle. "But if you would rather take a bath wit'out me, den go ahead." He glanced back over his shoulder at her. "And if you keep my secret, I will keep yers."

Lily raised a brow at him, for some reason that little tidbit didn't surprise her, but she hoped that he wouldn't expect her to engage in any such activities. She may have done some new things and gone outside her personal comfort zone, but that was a little much in her opinion. "Rest assured, your secret is safe with me. See you when you return," she said as he left closing the door behind him.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kolin quickly made his way up to the deck. The sky was already starting to darken. He didn't know if Axel had found them or not but time was running out. Not seeing Felix up top he went back below heading towards the crew's quarter.

"You seen Ax...Finn?" Kolin asked running into Devin along the way.

"No Sir," Devin replied as he shifted the large box held within his arms.

"De crew on board?"

"Most of them."

"How many?"

"15 or so."

"Summon de rest, we leave within' de hour. Dey not 'ere we leave wit'out dem," Kolin replied walking away from him.

Devin looked at Kolin confused. "But Captain-"

Kolin stopped turning around with a glare interrupting him, "You refusin' my order sailor?"

Devin shook his head. "No, no of course not Sir. I'll send the word. Those that don't make it in time, stay behind."

"Good."

"Permission to speak freely Sir?"

"Permission denied."

Devin sighed watching Kolin continue on his way before leaving himself to complete his task.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lily kicked off her shoes and allowed her poor feet to stretch and breathe. Checking out the tub she managed to figure out how to fill it before going to her bag and pulling out her own rose-scented soap. It wasn't that she didn't want to bathe with Adrian, it was more that she didn't want him to see her covered in scratches, blood, and dirt from the night before. Pulling her dress over her head, she shimmied out of her undergarments, tossing everything on the dressing partition beside his clothes. Before climbing into the tub she remembered what he said about the door and ran to lock it. With the door locked Lily walked back over and climbed into the tub letting the cool water wash away the stress of the past 24 hours.

After soaking for a bit Lily grabbed her soap and started to scrub her skin until it was pink, but clean again. Happy with the results she washed hair before standing up in the tub, wringing what water she could out of her hair. Slipping into her clothes again she sighed in satisfaction. She grabbed Adrian's clothes and brought them with her to the couch. If she was going to be stuck in the room until he returned then she might as well see if she couldn't make some sense out of those rags.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It didn't take Kolin long to enter the crew's quarters and find Péné asleep in one of the hammocks. He approached her slowly his fingers gently stroking her cheek as he stood beside her bed. "Wake up," he said softly, "wake up Péné. Come on sweetheart. Wake up." He repeating this method till her eyes finally opened. He smiled at her as he spoke, "I need you ta listen ta me carefully." He looked around making sure none of the other crew members were watching then turned back to her. His eyes began to glow a reddish-orange as he continued to speak to her, his voice a whisper. "Do not make a sound. Do not be alarmed." He pushed up his sleeve biting down into his wrist and holding it out to her. "Drink from my wrist."

Péné took his wrist in her hands obeying his command.

Kolin kept his eyes on hers as she drank, after enough blood was taken he spoke again, "Stop now."

Péné pulled his wrist down from her lips.

Kolin pushed his sleeve back down and smiled watching the cuts and bruises starting to fade from her face. He continued to stare into her eyes as he spoke. "On de night you had off from de tavern," he breathed in deeply gripping onto her hands, "A man wit' a coin did not find you. You did not come ta my house dat night. You were not attacked by anyone in my house and you never got hurt by anyone in my house. You never saw me dat night or de man and woman I was wit'." He let go of one of her hands placing it over her stomach and sighed softly as he continued, "You were never...wit' child. You and Bash tried but you never conceived."

Kolin groaned softly placing his hand under his nose as it started to bleed but continued to speak. "On de night you had off from de tavern you decided ta go out fer some last minute shoppin'. After de shops closed you went fer a walk and went back ta yer quarters. You read yer book and fell asleep. You slept till noon den went out fer lunch and came back ta de ship later in de day ta take a nap. When you wake again you will feel much better and all yer pain and worries will be gone. Now close yer eyes and sleep fer another hour."

Péné obeyed shutting her eyes and drifting back to sleep.

Kolin closed his own eyes, his hand kept tightly under his nose as it continued to bleed even more. After a few moments he opened them, their color returning to normal. Sliding his hand off her stomach he brushed his fingers against her cheek. "I'm sorry, love. Forgive me." He turned and left making his way back toward his quarters.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lily sighed holding up the shirt to inspect her work. The vest had been relatively easy to patch up as she has been able to steal a little bit of fabric from the inside to cover the one gash in it. The shirt on the other hand was simply causing problems. The minor holes in it had been easy to sew up but she couldn't seem to find a way around fixing the hole caused by the stake. Throwing it aside she drummed her fingers on the side of the couch before standing up and walking, or rather stumbling, towards the bed where she started pulling the sheets and blankets into some semblance of order again.

After Lily had finished making the bed she was a bit at a loss at what to do. She sat down on the bed and glanced around the room, her eyes falling on his desk remembering the tattered and folded up piece of parchment she had found earlier. She was curious about it still but she didn't feel as though it would be right for her to snoop through Adrian's things while he was gone. She had already borrowed some things without him knowing and that was bad enough.

Going back to the couch Lily sat down, pulling out the bread and cheese from the day before out of her bag. It wasn't until she had taken a couple nibbles from each one that she realized just how hungry she was. Adrian never ate and she felt like she was running on his time currently. Munching on the bread she gazed at the shirt she had given up on. She grinned as she got an idea. Perhaps it was a lost cause for him but the fabric was still good and she was confident she could make herself a nice shirt for herself. Popping the last bit of food in her mouth she brushed the crumbs off her clothes and pulled out her sewing supplies as she set to work on the garment.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Along the way to his quarters Kolin stopped off to see Bash who was busy setting the crew's table for dinner.

"Bash," Kolin said softly using his hand to wipe the blood away from his nose.

"Aye Captain?" Bash replied setting the last plate down turning around to face Kolin. "What can I-" seeing the blood still on Kolin's face Bash immediately reached into his pocket pulling out a handkerchief. "Captain, what happened?" he asked holding it out to him.

Kolin smiled a bit and grabbed onto the handkerchief wiping the blood away. "Danks mate. 'Tis nothin' ta worry 'bout. Please, have a seat."

Bash nodded, concern covering his face as he pulled out a chair sitting down. "Is everything alright?"

Kolin sighed softly pulling out a chair and sitting down beside him, "Aye." He reached out placing his hand down over Bash's shoulder. Taking in a deep breath he started to speak again, his eyes glowing again. "I want you ta forget de night Péné told you she was wit' child. You and Péné tried but she never conceived. I want you and Péné ta have de life you two have always wanted, and I want you ta find de courage ta finally ask me fer yer leave when I take mine." He lowered his hand down from Bash's shoulder, his eyes returning to normal.

Bash blinked a few times and looked at Kolin noticing his nose starting to bleed again, "Are you sure you're alright Sir?"

Kolin nodded standing up. "Aye. I'm fine. 'Tis just a nosebleed." He took a step back from him and started walking to the door.

Bash immediately stood. "Permission to speak freely, Captain?"

Kolin stopped turning around with a small smile. "Permission granted."

Bash walked up to him. "Sir. Me and Péné have talked about this for quite a while now, and while we are grateful for all you have done for us, we think it's time that we finally settled down and started a family. So I would like to request a permanent leave, for myself and Péné, effective immediately."

Kolin smiled. "O' course, I understand, but dis town is hardly a fittin' place ta raise a child. We are 'bout ta set sail anyways so would you mind waitin' till we reached de next port ta start yer new life together?"

Bash nodded. "Aye Sir, that is fine and thank you Sir. I will let her know the good news."

Kolin returned the nod and watched Bash leave the room. He groaned softly placing his hand to his forehead, the handkerchief placed under his nose again as he felt even more lightheaded. Shaking the feeling away he continued up to the deck.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lily held up the shirt, this time happy with the progress she had made. She had shortened the sleeves to fit her own arms as well as taken in several seams so that it would fit her better. She choose not to shorten the hem but keep it as it was merely taking in the fabric around the waist the best she knew how. She liked how it was form fitting yet had poofy sleeves for a bit of flair. True it wasn't perfect and still needed several hours of work before completion, but she liked where it was heading. Laying it back down in her lap she bent over it again, happy to have busy fingers to keep her mind off everything going on the past few days.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Chapter Twenty-seven*
-A hasty departure-


"Ever'one on board?" Kolin asked walking up to Felix.

"As many as could be reached Sir," Felix replied turning his attention to his Captain, "Kol what-"

Kolin raised his hand silencing him, " 'Tis nothin'. Give de order ta shove off fer me. I will be in my quarters, restin'."

Felix nodded and went to carry out his task.

Kolin turned and starting walking towards his quarters but stopped feeling eyes upon him. Turning he saw Axel standing beside the carriage. Kolin walked over to the railing watching Axel.

Axel smirked and began walking toward the ship.

Kolin held out his hand surrounding Axel in telekinect force keeping him still.

Axel laughed as he tried to fight through it and make his way toward him.

Kolin's eyes remained on Axel as he shouted to Felix. "Get us underway. Now!"

Felix nodded, "Aye aye Captain," and started pulling the ship away from the dock.

Kolin gripped onto the railing, the ship swaying and rocking even more as it began to move at Felix's rush.

Lily just about fell off the couch as the ship started to move. Righting herself she stood up and stumbled to the window, watching as they gradually increased the distance between them and the docks. Her heart stopped for a moment as she made out the shape of someone on the dock watching them leave. She tried to pull her eyes away, but she continued to watch hoping that they were getting away fast enough.

Kolin continued to fight against Axel, his head starting to hurt at the prolonged use of his powers without much rest in between. As the ship pulled farther away his telekinesis limit was reached allowing Axel to break free of his cage.

Axel ran towards the ship taking a flying leap, his hands gripping onto one of the ropes hanging overboard.

When Axel had suddenly flown at the ship Lily finally found a way to tear herself away from the window. Backing up until she reached the bed she collapsed upon it, shaking slightly. Looking towards the door she bit her lip. Adrian had told her to stay put, but there was no way that he would be able to fight Axel after all his injuries and with only the little bit of blood the flask had provided him, could he?

Kolin quickly pulled out his sword trying to cut the rope away as Axel started to climb it.

The rope fell away but not before Axel reached up to grab onto Kolin's shirt, pulling him over the railing with him as he started to fall, Kolin's sword falling to the deck.

"Captain overboard," Felix shouted running down to the deck, "all hands ta deck!"

The sound of running footsteps echoed from below as the crew rushed topside.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kolin's hands slid halfway down the ship before finding a groove to rest in, Axel's hand gripping onto Kolin's ankle. In one fluid motion Axel pulled Lily's dagger from his belt and stabbed it down into Kolin's calf. Kolin screamed in pain trying to kick Axel off of him while still keeping his grip on the ship.

By the time the crew made it to the deck Felix was already gathering up more rope and barking out orders as he tied one end of it to the mast.

Lily heard Kolin yell and feet pounding on the decks above her. That was all she needed to pull herself together. She unlocked the door and ran towards the surface, sliding to a stop as she passed the crew's quarters. Looking in she saw Péné still asleep but everything about her seemed better, Lily hoped that she would remain that way as she continued upwards.

Axel removed the dagger and stabbed again, this time pulling it down the length of Kolin's calf before removing it.

Hearing Kolin scream again Felix ran to the side of the ship and tossed over the rope. "Hurry Kolin. Grab the rope," Felix shouted down at him, his hands gripping onto it ready to pull.

As Kolin reached for the rope Axel started to climb up his body, stabbing the dagger down into Kolin's side, using it as a climbing tool as he made his ascent.

Kolin's grip slipped on the ship and the rope at the pain coursing in between his ribs, sending them both falling down into the water.

Lily burst onto deck just in time to see Kolin slip off the ship. She ran, dodging and slipping around the crew to get to the side. The wind whipped through her hair as she leaned over the railing trying to catching a glimpse of either of them beneath the dark waters.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Chapter Twenty-eight*
-A daring rescue-


After a few moments Axel and Kolin surfaced and started coming to blows in the water while trying to stay afloat on the surface. Axel ripping the dagger from Kolin's ribs slicing it across his face as he delivered a punch to Kolin's jaw.

Felix stood up on the railing of the ship ready to jump in when Bash pulled him back down to the deck. "No Sir! Let me. If you and the Captain both drown there will be no one capable to lead the crew. You have to stay."

Felix nodded, knowing he was right. "Save him."

Bash took Felix's spot on the railing and jumped into the water, after a moment he surfaced and swam over to them.

"No!" Lily yelled out when she saw Bash launch himself into the water. Running over to Felix she tried to get his attention. "You have to get him out of there NOW. There is no way that he can help, you have to trust me, he will die if you don't call him back." Lily blinked rapidly to keep tears from her eyes as they darted back and forth from Felix to the fight in the water.

Felix shook his head, his eyes never leaving the fight in the water. "Aside from the Captain, Bash is the strongest swimmer we 'ave. He will 'elp the Captain."

Lily had opened her mouth to explain that being a strong swimmer didn't matter, but the words never left her mouth. She leaned on the railing both for support and to get a better look at the fight below. For a moment she thought to jump in and somehow use her ability, but there were too many people in the water already.

Bash grabbed onto Axel trying to shove him under the water, intent on drowning him. "Go Captain," Bash yelled struggling to keep Axel under the water and himself afloat.

"No," Kolin yelled. "Get out o' 'ere. Get back ta de ship. Dat's an order."

As Bash opened his mouth to protest Axel broke free of Bash's hold pulling him under the water.

"No," Kolin yelled diving under the water searching for them. His sword started to vibrate against the deck before soaring down into the water. After a few moments blood started to fill the water around where they had went under.

Lily watched as his sword flew into the water and prayed that it was Axel's blood she saw and not anyone elses. She was useless and she hated this feeling.

Felix watched the sword plunge into the water in amazement, but when blood began to surface worry filled him. He gave Lily a glance. She had mentioned Bash would die if he didn't do something. Now he was beginning to wonder if she had a hand in it. He opened his mouth to speak but was silenced when Bash suddenly surfaced with a gasp, claw marks down the side of his face and bite marks down his neck. He quickly leaned over the railing calling out to him. "Bash, over 'ere." As Bash swam towards the ship, Felix called out again, his eyes watching where Bash had surfaced, waiting for any sign of more survivors. "Where is Kolin?"

Bash grabbed onto the rope, his eyes going back to the water as Felix and the rest of the crew began pulling him up. "He...he.." is all Bash could manage to say in response before falling silent as he toppled over the side of the railing.

Lily ran over to Bash. "Are you okay? What happened? Where is Ad...Kolin?" As she bombarded him with questions she dabbed his cuts with her sleeve. Here was something she could do if she couldn't help Adrian.

Bash stared at the water, his hand going to his neck as he spoke, "He...he bit me."

"I know, he tends to do that. See? I have one too." Lily spoke in a soothing tone as she pulled his hand away and started wiping away the blood, pausing to show him the puncture wounds Adrian left on her wrist from the night before that were already starting to heal on their own.

"Someone get me bandages and some kind of cleansing salve, and if you don't have any then alcohol will do. Now please?" The crew rushed to carry out her orders, her orders being followed as closely as their Captains. "Now, Bash, was it? Stay still and let me look at those wounds." Whether it was shock or something else he listened to her and she breathed a sigh of relief when she saw that the cuts weren't too deep. They may scar a bit but he would be okay.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kolin soon surfaced with a gasp and began swimming toward the ship.

"Kolin!" Felix shouted kicking the rope back down.

As Kolin got closer to the ship, he screamed out, his sword going through his back and out the front of his chest. He looked at his crew members seeing the look of fear on their faces as he was impaled. Felix frozen in shock, his eyes fixed on him. Kolin closed his eyes slowly as the sword was ripped back out of him as Axel surfaced behind him wrapping his arm around Kolin's throat pulling him back down under the water.

Hearing Kolin scream Lily shuddered but leaped up and to the edge. Her tears were now gone as she watched Axel pull Kolin under again. "I have had enough of this!" She said angrily to no one in particular. "Someone cleanse and patch up his wounds before they get infected and start to heal like that," she snapped as she started to pull her dress up and over her head. She sat on the railing and swung her legs over and pushed off, Felix's fingers just missing her as he attempted to stop her as she jumped in the water.

Under the water Kolin and Axel fought, blood spreading out all around them as they bit, clawed, and stabbed at each other.

The more blood that floated to the surface the more Felix gripped the railing holding himself back. "Come on brother," he said softly, his eyes scanning the surface for either Kolin or her.

Lily knew how to swim but she had never jumped in from this height before. The water swirled around her head and for a moment she was afraid she was going to drown on her own. But her head soon broke the surface causing Felix to sigh in relief. She treaded water for a moment taking deep breathes as she looked around for Axel or Kolin.

When neither of them resurfaced Lily gritted her teeth and dove downwards, all she needed was to be able to get her hands on Axel long enough to weaken him. Adrian would hopefully distract him while she did that. The problem was that it was hard for her too see what was happening in the blood filled water.

Kolin finally managed to get behind Axel, his sword placed against Axel's neck. He pulled back on the sword letting it cut into Axel's throat.

Axel stabbed repeatedly into Kolin's sides trying to get free, but the sword kept moving, slicing till his head was severed from his body, his body beginning to sink.

Letting go of Axel's head Kolin let it float down after the body. He watched it sink till it was out of sight before he put away his sword and started to swim toward the surface. As he swam his body started to get weak, the adrenaline wearing off quickly. He could see a figure approaching him from above as he swam but the closer he got to it the more his eyes closed. His body beginning to sink down as he started to lose consciousness.

As Lily swam closer she caught the tail end of the fight, smiling in relief as Kolin started swimming up towards her. Before too long she noticed that he was starting to sink too. She swam faster, her hands reaching out until they brushed against his. Her lungs started to burn as she started pulling him towards the surface. Just as she was about to give up she breached the surface, gasping for air as she dragged Kolin closer to the ship.

When they surfaced Felix sighed in relief again quickly pulling up the rope making a loop large enough to slid over their bodies in it before tossing it back down to them.

Kolin's eyes opened partly coughing up some of the saltwater he had swallowed. He leaned his head back against her shoulder letting her drag him back to the ship as he focused on staying conscious. Blood trails being left behind in the water as they moved.

Lily slipped the rope over their heads and underneath herself until she was sitting on it like a swing. Pulling Kolin into her lap she wrapped her legs around him to keep him from slipping out of her grasp. Nodding up at Felix she held on tight as they were pulled up. Hands reached out and grabbed Kolin, pulling him on board before reaching out and bringing her too. She collapsed on the deck floor, still gasping for air and shivering as the night air blew against her cold skin. "Someone take him to his cabin." She chattered out attempting to stand. "And then leave us for a while as I check his wounds...I....I am a healer." She lied but she knew that Adrian had lost a lot of blood and that he would need to drink from her to recover quickly, and there was no way that was happening here without -that- secret being blown, in addition to the other ones that would have to be explained once everyone settled down.

"Bash get us away from these cursed water," Felix shouted quickly reaching down to slide Kolin's arm around his shoulder lifting him up, his other arm going around Kolin's waist. Supporting Kolin's weight against him, Felix helped him toward the Captain's quarters.

Lily stumbled after them toward his room, the rocking motion of the ship and the weakness in her legs causing her to not be able to maintain her balance very well.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Chapter Twenty-nine*
-The secret is out-


Pushing open the cabin door Felix lead Kolin inside and towards his bed. Halfway to the bed Kolin collapsed against him. Felix lowered him down to the floor, his arms held around him. "Celeste," Felix called out glancing to her, "'elp him."

As Lily entered the room a few feet behind Felix she realized that she had forgotten her dress on deck. Quickly grabbing the blanket off the couch she wrapped it round her as Kolin collapsed and Felix called to her.

Turning his attention back to Kolin, Felix gasped softly as the man he held in his arms melted away to be replaced with another. Felix stared at Striker's face, his hands still holding him. "Striker?" he asked softly.

Lily ran to them but froze as Kolin turned back into Adrian. She opened her mouth but couldn't think of any explanation to give. "You know him?" She asked finally finding her voice as she closed the door and then knelled beside them.

Felix let go of Striker standing up shaking his head trying to wrap it around the current situation. "He looks like someone we gave passage ta a while back, but he's dead. It can't be him. Kolin said he killed him." Felix knelt back down by Striker, his hands gripping onto his shirt as he brought him up into a sitting position. He started to shake Striker roughly. "Who are you?"

Striker groaned softly regaining consciousness at Felix's shaking.

"Are you Striker? Tell me! Who are you?!" Felix demanded his grip tightening on Striker's shirt.

Striker opened his eyes slowly looking at Felix. "Yes," he replied weakly his eyes closing again.

Felix let go of Striker letting his body fall back to the floor. He quickly drew his sword placing the tip to Striker's throat. "What 'ave ya done with Kolin, vampire?"

Lily looked up at Felix, the word 'vampire' ringing in her ears. It was nice to know -what- he was even though she didn't know much else besides what she had already experienced over the past couple days and nights. Her gaze swung back and forth between the two of them - she was confused as to how they knew each other and the emotions behind it all. But she did know one thing, she hadn't risked her life multiple times for Adrian to let this man kill him now. She shoved the blade away, wincing as she nicked her palm. "You do realize this man just saved you from Finn or Axel or whatever you know him by. He risked his life for you so show a little respect." She said coolly staring up at him as she placed herself between the two.

Felix laughed. "Respect? Vampires don't deserve respect, they deserve death. That is not a man you protect, it's a demon. A demon with a human body and an insatiable thirst for the blood of the livin'."

Striker opened his eyes. "Den just kill me already."

Felix glared down at Striker. "Gladly."

Lily tried to resist but she was shoved aside by Felix. It was clear that Felix didn't really care what she had to say anymore - his attention fully fixed on what he deemed a monster before him. She wanted to jump in and say something, but what would she say? What could she say that would make them listen and stop fighting. She had enough of all the fighting.

The moment Felix lifted his sword back up and Lily was moved out of the way, Striker was on his feet, standing behind Felix with the sword placed firmly along the base of his throat. "I could o' killed you just now if I had wanted ta," Striker growled keeping the sword in place.

Felix turned his head slightly feeling Striker's chest pressed against his back and the blade cutting into his throat. "Then why aren't you? What's stopping you?"

Striker let go of the sword letting it fall to the floor as he took a step back from him. "Because I am not like de rest o' my kind. Not anymore," he groaned, his hands moving to grip onto his knees as he leaned over, that last burst of energy leaving him feeling even weaker than before. "I just want ta be left alone so I can live out de rest o' my life in peace."

Lily had held her breath as Adrian threatened the man, only letting it go with a small smile when he dropped the sword. She shivered under the blanket, trying to keep her teeth from chattering as she listened to them talk.

Felix stared down at the sword then back up at Striker as he turned around to face him. "Peace? You? If I didn't know any better I would believe your words, but you 'ave never told the truth before, so I can't."

"Dat is de truth," Striker replied gripping onto his knees tighter as his head started to spin. "I'm not lyin' ta you mate, I swear. All I want is peace."

Felix nodded as he leaned down and picked up his sword. "Tell me where my brother is and I'll give you your peace."

"He's dead," Striker stated as he dropped down to one knee.

"Dead?" Felix gripped onto his sword tighter. "Did you kill him?"

"Yes," Striker answered with a shallow breath, dropping down to the other knee.

Felix's grip got even tighter, his knuckles turning white. "When?"

"On de night you asked him ta talk ta me," Striker replied sitting back on his haunches, closing his eyes as the affects of blood loss started to become greater.

"Why?" Felix asked as he raised up his sword and placed the tip under Striker's chin. "Why did you kill him?" he growled giving the sword an upward nudge, forcing Striker to open his eyes again and raise up onto his knees with a pained groan.

"He attacked me first," Striker answered as he met Felix's gaze. "I was only protectin' myself," he added softly dropping back down to his heels again with a sharp hiss, the sword slicing a diagonal line up the side of his face.

A knock sounded on the door, Bash's voice speaking. "Felix? The crew is worried about the Captain. Is he alright?"

Felix glanced toward the door at his name then down at Striker watching the blood run down from the cut. When Bash called out his name again Felix sighed softly, sheathing his sword as he stared down at the blood pooling on the floor beneath Striker's knees. "He will be. Go prepare dinner. He will recover faster with a full belly."

"Aye Sir," Bash replied, his footsteps quickly retreating from the door.

Felix reached down grabbing onto Striker's arms, pulling the semi-conscious man up to his full height again. "Did you give him a fighting chance at least?"

"Yes," Striker replied softly, quickly grabbing onto Felix's arms as his legs gave out under him. "He put up quite de fight, did some quality damage ta me before I managed ta take him down."

Felix let out a sigh and lowered Striker down to the floor with him, glancing over his body at his wounds as he did so. "And the man that did this ta you...was Finn? Your friend?"

Striker closed his eyes slowly. "Aye."

"When you told me ta not let him on board, was it ta protect yourself or us?"

"Both," Striker replied softly now leaning against Felix for support. "Finn was a vampire, but I kept him from harmin' de crew." He leaned more of his weight against Felix as he spoke, his eyes remaining shut. "He's dead now. No need ta worry...'bout him...anymore."

Felix glanced at Lily then back to Striker feeling him suddenly fall limp against his chest. "You might want ta feed him...before he dies too."

Lily nodded, relief washing over her that the two at least seemed to have reconciled. She helped Felix drag Adrian to the bed. With him passed out she doubted that he would be able to take her blood on his own until he woke up. Going to his drawer again she pulled out the dagger she had borrowed earlier. Sitting beside him on the bed she turned her back to Felix and widened the cut on her palm previously made by his sword. Holding her hand above Adrian's lips she let a few drops fall onto his lips and in his mouth.

Felix watched them for a moment before speaking. "I will 'ave food sent up ta you shortly." He turned walking to the door. "When he is well enough he will need ta address the rest of the crew." He pulled open the door giving her a glance. "He will need ta...announce his departure...for good."

Lily nodded again in response. "Thank you." She waited until he left before letting her composure drop. She ran her fingers through Adrian's hair with her free hand, the blood continuing to drip out of her fist and run down his throat, his body absorbing it quickly, his wounds beginning to heal. "What's the plan now?" She whispered even though she doubted he could hear her in his current state.

It was clear that they would no longer be welcome on board and be forced to disembark at the next port whether on their own free will or not. An excuse would be easy to come up with though - everyone had seen him wounded and it could be assumed that it would be safer for him to 'recuperate' on land versus on the ship.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*Chapter Thirty-*
-A private chat-


Felix made his way to the dinning hall, the crew standing up from the table at his arrival, everyone trying to talk to him at once. "Please, please be seated," Felix stated lifting up his hands. "Everything will be alright. The girl is healing him. His injuries were not as bad as they seemed."

Bash walked up to Felix as the others sat back down and Felix took his place at the table. "Sir, can I talk to you...in private?"

Felix glanced at the bandages on Bash's neck and nodded standing back up. "Aye, of course." They walked out of the dinning hall leaving the others to eat and back up to the deck.

Bash turned to face Felix once they were alone. "Something has been off with the Captain for a while now and I think I finally know what is it. I think the Captain is a vampire now."

"And why is that?" Felix replied.

Bash placed his hand over his neck. "He bit me."

Felix forced a laugh. "Bit you? I think the lack of oxygen to your brain has made you confused."

Bash shook his head. "I am not confused. He bit me. I felt his teeth on my neck, the Captain's a vampire now."

Felix stared down at the deck. "No, he's not."

Bash stared at Felix. "He stays out all night, sleeps all day, takes his meals in private. I never thought about it before, but it fits, all of it. I'm sorry Sir, but your brother -is- a vampire."

Felix looked back up at Bash with a sigh. "Vampire yes, brother no."

Bash blinked a few times. "What?"

Felix looked around for a moment before speaking. "The man I helped ta the Captain's quarters...he's not Kolin, he's Striker."

Bash took a step back in shock. "Striker? But Striker is dead. We helped the Captain toss his body overboard months ago."

Felix shook his head. "No, we helped Striker toss the Captain's body overboard. He killed our Captain and assumed his identity for his own."

Bash stared down at the deck as he tried to process everything he was being told. "But why? And why just him? Why kill him and not us?"

Felix sighed walking towards the railing. "He said he was only protecting himself, that Kolin attacked him first, if you really believe that. And I think he still needed us to help him get to his destination."

"But after he got there he could of killed us. He didn't have to walk off and leave us alive. Maybe it was only self defense after all."

"Whether it was or not we won't have to deal with him anymore after tonight. He won't be returning to us again. Striker will announce his leave and I will take over command again, permanently this time."

Bash stepped up to Felix's side. "Is this at his request or yours?"

Felix stared out into the water but remained silent.

Bash shook his head slowly. "That doesn't feel right to me."

"Doesn't feel right?!" Felix replied with a glare. "That monster bit you and killed my baby brother and you are wanting him ta stick around?! You may be able ta look past his ways and forgive him, but I can't! I can't let him stay and wear my brother's face as some sort of...some sort of trophy!" He shook his head pushing off the railing to walk back toward the dinning hall.

Bash quickly reached out grabbing onto Felix's arm. "I'm not asking you to forgive him, I'm just asking you to at least give him a chance to atone for it."

"There is -nothing- he could possibly do ta atone for -that-," Felix replied pulling his arm away. "He is a killer and will always be a killer. Now if you excuse me, I would like to go eat and hopefully drink enough to forget this night ever took place."

Bash sighed. "Given enough time people can change Felix and I think he has changed since becoming our Captain. I don't think he's as cold hearted as he once was. The Striker we knew would only risk his life for two things; revenge and himself. He could of let me drown to save himself but he didn't, he pushed me up to the surface. And now that I think about it I don't think he was really trying to bite me either. I think I just got bit in the crossfire."

"Well then you should be grateful I am letting him leave with -his- life," Felix growled back. "And I would appreciate it Bash if you kept your opinions ta yourself and didn't breath a word of this ta the rest of the crew. They don't need ta know," Felix replied as he started walking away again.

Bash shook his head in frustration and turned around to face the railing with a sigh, his hand going back to press against the bandage over his neck as he stared out across the open waters.

"Not yet at least," Felix mumbled under his breath, a grin plastered across his lips as he gave one last glance over his shoulder at Bash and made his descent below.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reply
Like

deathstrikeda
Established Resident
deathstrikeda
Established Resident
Joined: 27 Jun 2008, 02:44

03 May 2017, 05:26 #9

--
Reply
Like