The Slayers Ch. 03bykalamazoo707©
Note: I apologize for the lengthy wait. I was/am going through a major life change and needed to take some time to think things out. Part of the change is trying to fit my writing into my new circumstances. I ask that you be patient as I figure this out. In the meantime, here is chapter 3 of 'The Slayers'. Chapter 4 will immediately follow. Thank you... Kalamazoo707.
Brittney woke up sometime around three am with a sick feeling in her stomach. She knew that it wasn't food poisoning, she had it before. This was more of a nausea resulting from anxiety. Unable to go back to sleep, she got up and went to the kitchen. She put the tea kettle on to make a cup of mint tea to soothe her queasy stomach and turned on the television. At three in the morning there wasn't much on other than infomercials advertising all kinds of kitchen gadgets that promised to make life in the kitchen easier and more fun. She knew that she was experiencing a weak moment when she actually began to pay attention. The featured product was a juicer; something that she had thought about purchasing at some point. One cup of honey sweetened mint tea later, the juicer was ordered. She grinned when she imagined Amanda's face when she told her that she did an 'impulse buy'. At the thought of her older sister, the nervous feeling in her stomach returned stronger than ever. Brittney looked at the clock. It was now four am and much too early call. Amanda would have her drawn and quartered if she called just because she was nervous. She turned off the television and turned on her laptop. She had several games of scrabble going with 'AL' the computer generated player and won all but two of them. After thirty minutes, her nerves settled enough that she could go back to sleep.
Jian couldn't rest. He unlocked the closet that contained all of the weapons that he and Brittney would use. He took out the pieces, examined them and gently laid them on a blanket on the floor. He would polish and hone them again although they didn't need it. Once they were all out of the closet, Jian looked at the matching weapons. Brittney's were smaller and lighter than his but just as deadly. He had no doubt that Brittney would be proficient in their use once she got used to the fact that they were real.
At three am, he froze and looked in the direction where Brittney lived. She was disturbed but not in danger. He relaxed and went back to his task. He wasn't at all surprised at the strength of the connection that he had with her. It had always been there just waiting for that final confirmation. He was sure that she felt it too and wrote it off as something else. No matter- she would see the truth soon enough.
By six am, the last of the weapons was locked away. He stood, stretched and headed for the shower. Before he got there, the phone rang. It was one of two people- Brittney or his father. He knew before he picked up the receiver that it was the latter.
"Father," he said quietly with reverence and respect.
"Jian," his father replied with equal respect. "You are well?"
"I am well-how is mother?"
"She is well and sends her love. I apologize that it took me so long to return your call, but I needed to do some investigating. Before I go any further- is she ready?"
"She will be," Jian replied. "Today we will start practicing with the real weapons. She knows that there is something between us but she does not acknowledge it."
"Has she met all of your criteria?"
"Yes, the last piece of the puzzle fell into place last night. Father, there is a woman who lives three doors down from me. At first I thought that she was an elderly woman, but she isn't- she is or was a slayer. She uses the name of Nolan- do you know of her?"
"No, but I will find out. Nolan will not be her real name. Did she tell you anything?"
"No, she refused to speak about it. She is without a mate- I suspect that he has fallen."
"That is useful information," his father said. "There are but a handful of widowed slayers and widowed or not; she is still a slayer. It is her duty to assist you in any way that she can. When you talk to her again remind her of that fact. If she still refuses; invoke my name."
"Understood," Jian replied. He didn't want to go that route but would if he had to. "What have you found out?"
"Not much," his father replied. "Whatever is happening -it is contained to your section. Maybe it is something minor or it is just beginning. I will keep searching and will call if I have any further news. Jian- I know that you feel that you have something to prove because you are my son. You don't. I am proud to call you my son. I say this because my fear is that you will not call for help if and when the need arises because you are my son. I want you to understand that there is no dishonor in asking for help no matter who you are. I also want you to remember this- you are no longer responsible for just yourself."
"Yes father," Jian said softly, "you are right and thank you for reminding me of those things. Just as you are proud to call me son, I am proud to call you father. Give mother and grandmother my love."
Jian hung up and went to shower. He sincerely hoped that it was as his father said-that whatever was happening, it was a minor thing. Somehow; he just didn't think so. Whatever it was- it was just beginning.
Xavier was out much longer than he had intended. The short walk had turned into several hours. During the walk, he hadn't approached anyone since the girl. Instead he decided to observe. He walked through a neighborhood where there was a block party going on. No one seemed to care that he wasn't from the area. Almost everyone spoke to him with some of them offering him food or something to drink. All was well until a little girl- she couldn't have been more than eight being chased by another child ran into him.
"Exc..." was all she got out before she started to scream. Everyone stopped what they were doing to see what the problem was. Xavier didn't move. He couldn't just vanish so he did the only thing that he could think of- he smiled in what hoped was a reassuring manner. Instead of helping, it made things worse. The girl screamed even louder and now there was a crowd around her.
"Micki?" A woman called as she broke through the crowd, "Why are you screaming like that?" The girl didn't reply, but pointed at Xavier. The woman looked at him, paled, grabbed the girl by her shoulders and moved away.
"Wow," Xavier said jokingly, "I knew that I was ugly..."
That elicited a laugh from the crowd and a few comments from people about the sanity of the little girl and the woman who was her mother. Xavier tucked the information away for later perusal and continued his walk. When he reached the end of the block, he turned around and saw the woman watching him. His gray eyes flashed in acknowledgment of her. He was surprised when she met his gaze with one of her own. He realized that the fear that he saw earlier wasn't for herself, but for the little girl.
He had heard that there were humans that could see them for what they were, but until recently; he hadn't met any. This woman and her child made three. No one knew why certain people could see them and why others couldn't. The general consensus was that it was genetics. Xavier smiled at the woman and moved on. As long as people thought her and others like her insane then all was well.
Not wanting to take the chance of being spotted again, Xavier stayed to the shadows. After a while he realized something. His kind and the humans weren't all that different where their families were concerned. They loved and protected their children at all cost and would even die for them. They played, cried and laughed together as he had done with his own family in the past. He considered the love of one's family a weakness in that one would do almost anything to protect them. It was a weakness that he was counting on when it came time to step up his plan.
He arrived home around three am. The house was quiet- a sound that he loved. He stopped in his office, logged on to his laptop and did a quick check of his assets. Technically, they weren't his; but the ones they had belonged to had no further need of them. Next he checked the various feeds into his warehouses. They never knew when they were being watched so productivity was always high. Content that all was well, he was about to turn away when something caught his eye. One of his foremen was-"What the hell?" Xavier whispered as he watched the screen. He was being stolen from.
The foreman, Thomas Markham looked around as he took an envelope that was full of money. The man that handed him the money was one of Xavier's staunchest competitors. When the money was tucked into his pocket, Thomas led the man- Troy Cross to where the product was being made. Xavier watched as one of Troy's goons lifted four cases of the product onto a wagon and walked away with one-hundred thousand dollars worth of his product.
Enraged, he forgot about the woman waiting in his bed. His first reaction was to go to the warehouse and kill the man. Then he decided that it had been a while since he had made an example of anyone. He waited a few minutes and then called the warehouse. The foreman answered after five rings and then stammered when Xavier identified himself.
Thinking of himself as fair, Xavier gave the foreman a chance to come clean. It wouldn't have changed the outcome except that his death would have been relatively painless.
"Thomas- how are things?" Xavier asked smoothly.
"Fine sir," Thomas replied nervously. "I think that the new additive is working. The shelf life of the wine has been extended by two months."
"That's good news," Xavier replied. "Is there anything else that you need to tell me?"
"All of the kegs are accounted for?"
"Oh... yes sir, I'm watching them myself."
"Good-Thomas I have a few ideas that I need to discuss with you; I'll be there at eleven tonight."
"Yes sir," Thomas replied breathing a sigh of relief. He couldn't believe that he had actually gotten away with it. The timing of the deal and the phone call hadn't occurred to him. All he knew was that the boss had sounded like he always did and he was several thousands of dollars richer. It was all about the money and power. He was guaranteed a place in the new organization once Dubois was gone. There would be no more doing guard work- Cross had promised him that. Unbeknownst to him, he was still being watched.
Xavier took one last look at the other warehouses and went to his room. The woman was awake and afraid.
"Hello darling," Xavier said in his most seductive tone. Until her he had never spoken to any of them. It was time to learn how to act more human. "I apologize for keeping you waiting, but something came up that needed my immediate attention."
The woman didn't speak but tracked him with her eyes as he approached her. Her first thought after her initial fear was that he was as sexy as hell. Her second thought was why he had to pay for someone to fuck. She had only agreed to come because the money had been astronomical. She could retire from the streets and start over somewhere else. The being put to sleep thing hadn't thrilled her, but she thought about the money and where she was going to go with it. The fact that she watched the money being transferred into a special account created in her name helped soothe her anxiety.
"I suppose you understand what is expected of you?" he asked relaxing when he realized that she didn't see him as he was.
"Y...Yes," she replied nervously.
"Good- tell me, what will you do with all of that money?" he asked trying to relax her further.
"Move away to someplace where they don't have winter," she replied.
"That sounds lovely," Xavier replied with a smile. "Just keep thinking of that lovely place as I take what I paid for."
"Wait- don't you want to know my name?" she asked as fear settled in her belly.
"No-I don't," Xavier politely replied. "It isn't a requirement."
Before she could say anymore, Xavier was on her and in her as far as he could go. He inhaled the scent of her fear and admired her attempts to control it. He liked this one- she had spunk. She began to cry as he pounded away at her and screamed when at the point of his climax, he bit into her shoulder.
Xavier licked the fear rich blood from her shoulder and moved to a breast. The woman was now in full panic mode which suited him just fine. It just made the blood even sweeter. He made no moves to calm her, but bit into her nipple as he continued to thrust into her. He nursed from her and moved to the other nipple not bothering to lick the wound on the one breast closed. He didn't move his lips from her skin as he moved to the other breast leaving a trail of blood from one breast to the other. He paused long enough to look at the bright red in contrast with her pale, white skin. "Beautiful" he whispered and went back to nursing on the breast.
The woman had quieted in acceptance of her fate. She now knew that she wasn't leaving this place alive. Once she understood and accepted that, there was no need to continue struggling. She would never move to that place of endless summers nor take back her real name. Suddenly it was important that someone – even if it was the man who was about to murder her, knew her real name.
"My name," she said softly, "is Kelly Ann Wilkins."
Xavier ignored her as he made his way down her body leaving a trail of drying blood on her flat stomach as he went. He was so intent on what he was doing that he hadn't noticed that she was no longer struggling. He didn't realize it until he reached her groin, bit into her femoral artery and took a large gulp of her blood. Something was missing. It now tasted flat. The element of fear was missing. He looked up at her ready to put the fear back into her.
"My name," she said in a soft dreamy voice, "is Kelly Ann Wilkins."
Xavier was so shocked that he forgot about the blood that was pouring from her wounds. None of the others had conquered their fear. They had all cried and begged until they took their last breath. In an attempt to reinstate fear, he showed her what he really was. He was shocked for the second time in a few minutes. She simply looked at him, smiled and then closed her eyes. For the first time, one of the women died before he killed them. He didn't know what to make of it. His curiosity however was piqued. What made her so different than the others? If there was one like her, there had to be others- hopefully not many because if there were..."
He rolled out of bed and headed to the bathroom. Instead of a shower, he opted for a bath so that he could relax and think. He turned on the water, added a liberal dose of the bath oil that he had specially ordered and waited for the tub to fill. As he waited, he made several phone calls. Finally the tub was full enough for him to get in. He leaned back sighing with pleasure as the almost scalding water covered his shoulders.
"So Kelly Ann Wilkins," he mused. "What makes you so special?" Even the issue with his foreman was forgotten as he tried to understand Kelly's acceptance of her fate. The foreman issue was solved and didn't need any further attention, but this new development...
He finished his bath, brushed his teeth and went back to the bedroom. Kelly's body was gone and the bed freshly made complete with new linen. Xavier lay on top of the bed and looked up at the ceiling. He had learned a great deal today. Slowly his gray eyes clouded over and he was in a state of deep rest.
Winona Trump aka Mrs. Nolan sat at her kitchen table trying to calm her nerves. She had known who Jian was the moment she laid eyes on him four years ago. He was a replica of his father. She was going to leave, but decided to stay. He apparently didn't know what she was and had treated her persona of an old woman so nicely that she had grown fond of him. She even knew who the girl was and wondered why he hadn't bedded her as soon as he recognized her for what she was. Her mate, Justin had wasted no time in bedding her and then training her. Perhaps if he hadn't...
Now she was stuck. She should have left the night that she sensed something in the air. She even had the place picked out. If she left now, Jian wouldn't know she was gone until evening. She stood up to go to her bedroom. She was leaving. She was no longer a slayer, had never really considered herself to be one and didn't want anything more to do with them.
She walked into the small room and began to pack. She didn't have much just in case she had to leave quickly. She had just closed the small suit case when her cell phone rang. She stared at it. The last time it had rung was more than six years ago. It had been Jian's father. He had a mission for them. Her heart still ached when she thought about that mission. It had been her fault and her fault alone that Justin was dead. If only she had listened to him.
With a shaking hand, she picked up the phone.
"Winona," the voice at the other end said without as much as a hello. "I understand that you are acquainted with my son."
Winona closed her eyes and said nothing.
"In spite of what you may think," the voice continued, "you are still a slayer. You are still duty bound to help in whatever way that you can. Am I being clear?"
She understood all too well. Why she hadn't asked to be relieved of duty- she didn't know. Yes she did, she realized. Hsin Bo wouldn't have allowed it. All slayers no matter their condition were still slayers. Even if they couldn't fight in the field; they could help in other ways. Hsin had just given her an order and to refuse it by disappearing was tantamount to treason.
"I understand," she replied softly as tears rolled down her face. Hsin had just entrusted her with the safety of his son.
"Winona," Hsin said gently. "I know that you are still in pain over the loss of your mate. I can do nothing to take that pain away, but Winona- you are a slayer. As a slayer you have family- us. You are never alone."
"You knew that I was here didn't you?" Winona asked. "Is that why you sent Jian here?"
"I did not know of your location until I spoke with Jian," Hsin replied. "I could have located you if I needed you and I haven't needed you before now."
"What do you want me to do?" Winona asked sarcastically. "Protect him?"
"He doesn't need protecting," Hsin replied ignoring the sarcasm. "For now I want you to be a source of information to him. If his mate needs help in accepting who and what she is; I expect you to help her adjust to her new role."
"I understand," Winona replied.
"Sometimes," Hsin said, "things are not as bleak as they seem. Sometimes the gods are kind to us and we are given another chance at happiness but we have to be open in order to receive it. If you, Jian or his mate need anything; you only need to ask."
Winona hung up, unpacked her bags and sat down on the bed. She looked at her reflection in the mirror that hung over the dresser. She was once again Mrs. Nolan the elderly neighbor. She sat staring at her reflection for over an hour before she stood up and walked to a small double padlocked chest that sat in the corner of the room. She stood in front of it as tears ran down her face. She hadn't touched the weapons inside since Justine died. They would need to be honed and cleaned. She stepped back. Hsin hadn't said anything about her bearing arms. But- he would expect her to be fully prepared for battle mate or not.
With a shaking hand, she reached inside of her blouse and pulled out a chain that held three items. Two of the items were her and Justin's wedding bands- the ones she insisted that she had to have. The bands that he told her that they didn't need in order to know that they were married. He warned her that it could be a problem if one of them was caught, but she had insisted. Finally, Justin gave in. When he was caught, it was his ring finger still wearing the wedding band that she got back. In fact that was all she got back. A body had never been found. For weeks after she received the ring, she held out hope that he was still alive somewhere. The weeks turned into months and now it was more than five years. When she touched the ring, a feeling of hope resurfaced. Maybe he wasn't dead. Maybe he escaped and couldn't find her. Except that he would have found her just as she would have been able to find him had he been alive.