The Vampire Hunter:
Return of the Prodigal
copyright April 2000
Disclaimers: Don't we all know the rules by know...but if you insist...the visages are familiar, and since God and all the fairies, forces of nature and so on, own the patent on love---I guess I'll give them a big high-five. Other than that these lovely ladies and even the ugly mean people belong solely to me. So there.
Warnings: Okay kids, it may get really bumpy and it may get really nasty from here. I tied to keep it to 2 or 3 buckets or blood, but I might go off the deep end if I am so inclined. Hey, it's Vampires and lots of people with weapons that cause ouchies. So, with that sad, a little language that might make a sailor blush, grrl on grrl action; maybe even grrl on grrl on grrl ;) Just jokes, I think? Maybe an argument, but no need for hankies.
Peace & Blessings: This one goes out to Jennis for being a doll and taking the time to edit this stuff and deal with me and slow and sporadic spurts of writing. A very special dedication to all those who patiently waited for this book to be done. I throw myself at your feet and apologize profusely for taking so stinking long...but at the risk of shamelessly promoting myself I got sidetracked with 'Charlie' and 'Wade' so my bad. Extra thanx to Mikee P and others for putting a fire under my ass.
By the By: No this isn't done yet, but the rest of it should come much faster than the first few chapters.
La Boca de Vertad: 'The Mouth of Truth'; if you tell it a lie the mouth will close down own your hand, so no lies...just truthful, even gushing, comments and critiques. firstname.lastname@example.org
It Has Begun.....
CH I: The Big Easy
December 27, 1999, side of a road, 60 miles from New Orleans
Yoshima Miakoda's sinewy six foot frame was technically in the most uncomfortable position known to man, just short of having a gear shift up her ass. One long bare leg was wedged between the back window of the Mustang and the headrest of the seat. Her expansive back was pressed up against the side door with such pressure that it was only her arms locked around the headrest and braced against the roof of the car that kept her from falling out of the door. As for her other leg and the rest of her body they were somewhere in the void of the backseat. Actually, they were sort of hovering, not quite on the seat itself, she would have known but her eyes were squeezed so tightly shut that they were probably going to pop. However, she had no intention of opening her eyes any time soon, since that would mean she'd have to look down. And if she looked down she would have seen a crown of fiery red hair buried deep between her legs, and then she'd fall over the precipice that she'd been trying hard to hold onto for the last 7 minutes. If she could just hold out for another three minutes without busting out the back windows with her head or howling out a release to shatter the rest, she would prove the salacious demon between her legs how wrong she was.
On the other hand, the salacious demon in question, was not one to be proven wrong. She knew when Yoshi finally broke that her tongue was going to be in need of repair, but sometimes pain was a good thing, and Clarion was definitely in a good place. She nodded her acknowledgement as she changed the direction of her attack from inside to outside. The powerful thighs squeezed tighter around her round head and Clarion smiled against the dark woman's center. Clarion wrapped her arms around Yoshi's thighs and with a gently pull returned them to their open position. She could hear the groan resting in Yoshi's throat. She could feel the tremors making their way up her sweat covered body. So close. So close.
Yoshi bit down hard on her lip as Clarion's tongue lapped up every drop of arousal just as fast as the woman was making it. Yoshi braced her head against the window and bit down on her lip. This was it, she could feel it. It wasn't like this wasn't a win-win situation, but damn she'd never hear the end of it, but if she didn't stop this soon, she might not be able to walk. Full lips parted slowly ready to concede to defeat, her hormones were on their feet, and the flood gates were waiting for the signal. And then....nothing. Apparently, Clarion's head had been nestled between her legs so long it felt extremely foreign when it was removed.
Glazed over blue eyes met with emeralds aglow with desire. Yoshi let her head loll back against the steamy window as she searched for her voice. Clarion rose up on her knees and leaned into Yoshi. She smiled wickedly as the tall woman tried desperately to catch her breath. Clarion placed feathery kisses on Yoshi's damp face and neck. Clarion smiled harder as one blue eye opened. "You think you made it don't you?" Clarion spoke with her lips barely touching Yoshi's heated skin, but the dark woman could feel the promise in her words as the light husk of her voice traveled through her insides. Yoshi at least wanted to nod, but it seemed all her body parts were ready to betray her. Clarion licked her lips and then without hesitation, hungrily latched onto the pulsing vein in Yoshi's neck. Clarion waited until Yoshi's pulse got slowed to where she wanted it, and then without any warning she thrust three fingers deep within the woman beneath her.
Thirty seconds was all it took. Well, thirty-seconds, three fingers, and arm that was pumping like a piston in a V-6 engine. Clarion didn't slow her pace as Yoshi released a guttural keening noise and tensed every muscle in her body. The small woman didn't falter as strong arms wrapped around her and pulled her into a crushing embrace, growling out Japanese phrases. Clarion couldn't help but smile, since it didn't take a lover of languages to know when someone's howling out "fuck me". Clarion obliged the tall woman as she finally slowed her pace and drew her fingers out to the edge only to plunge them back into the deep warmth. Clarion finally stopped as Yoshi rasped out, "Kugiri...juubun." Stop...enough. She removed her fingers slowly and allowed herself to be swallowed up in Yoshi's embrace as the last tremors of climax passed through her body. They lay together for some time, as Yoshi's body relaxed and she made herself more comfortable along the length of the backseat. Clarion just nuzzled her neck as she listened to Yoshi's heart pound in her chest.
After a silent ten minutes of combing through Clarions short hair did Yoshi finally speak. "You can stop smiling now." Yoshi's body shook as the woman on top of her began to laugh. "Don't gloat...or we can't play this game any more." Yoshi didn't have to open her eyes to see pink lips form a pout.
Clarion folded her arms across Yoshi's chest and lifted her head so she could look at the woman. "If I would have known Samurai were such sore losers I wouldn't have suggested it."
Blue eyes opened lazily as Yoshi chuckled. "But you know what, I did lose and I guarantee you I'm going to be sore." Yoshi was all ready to laugh at her own joke until she noticed that Clarion wasn't laughing or smiling. "Clarion?"
"I think I can guarantee one other thing." Clarion affixed her eyes overtop of Yoshi's head and out of the window."
A black eyebrow rose. "And what's that?"
"You're going to be arrested."
Clarion clamped her small hand over Yoshi's mouth and sshed her. "Be quiet now, I need to think."
Blue eyes went wide as she saw a flashlight bounce off of the rearview mirror. She gently removed Clarion's hand from her mouth. "Don't you know some magic or something," she whispered.
Clarion grinned and looked down. "Well now, there ain't too much magic for two naked sweaty women in the backseat of Mustang."
Yoshi rolled her eyes. "Thanks colonel. Ugh, I left my blade in the trunk."
Clarion squeaked. "What the hell are you thinking!" Clarion looked completely shocked.
Yoshi shook her head vigorously. "No, if I had the keys I could probably reach the ignition to turn the keys, and then you know....get the car rolling."
"Oh." Alabaster cheeks filled with red. "Heh, heh, sorry."
"So what's the plan?"
Before Clarion could answer there was a tapping on the window outside. "We're screwed."
Clarion mumbled to herself as she moved off of Yoshi and crawled over the front seat. Yoshi sat up in the back as she watched the small woman smooth down her hair and then begin to roll down the front window. Clarion made a big enough crack that her fingers dangled over the edge and her eyes looked over the edge. Yoshi instinctively scrunched down in the back seat out of view as she waited. The dark woman worried her lip as the deep twang of the officers' voice reached her ears.
"I'm gonna have to ask you to roll down your window, please."
Clarion sighed and ever so slowly, like some twisted strip tease she rolled down the window. Clarion let out a yelp that sent Yoshi reaching for her tanto under the seat. Although Yoshi was poised to whip out her blade and leap over the seat, she was stopped as she heard Clarion burst into laughter. Yoshi's head raised from the back seat to see a topless Clarion hanging out of the window giving a hug to the officer.
The red head rested her elbows on the sill as she sat back down. "Holy shit! Tibby how the hell are you?"
The man outside laughed. "Bien, chér, ça va?"
"Alive, mon ami, alive." They both laughed.
He crooked a finger into the car. "Does your missy speak or have we sunk to new lows."
Clarion sucked in air and then giggled. "Why Tibby, I ought to come out there and beat your fat little ass."
The fair-skinned officer just chuckled. "Somehow I don't think that would be bad."
Clarion stuck out her tongue and turned around to face a thoroughly perplexed yet slightly amused Yoshi. Clarion only smiled and waved the woman forward. "Lean up and meet my friend."
Yoshi hesitantly lean forward until she was flush with the front seat. She cocked her head to the side as she looked out of the window and got a full glimpse of Tibby. He was about 6'1", fair-skinned, with an athletic build all though he had the beginnings of a potbelly. He looked to be in his mid thirties. He leaned down into the window and gave Yoshi a heavenly smile that she clearly understood as his trump card. You couldn't be mad at a handsome man in a uniform that smiled like that.
Clarion beamed with pride. "Tibby, this is Yoshi."
"Yoshi, this Tibby. Short for Thibedeaux Thurston Millieu, the third."
A long olive-colored arm reached out and to meet Tibby's hand. He tipped his cap. "Evenin' belle."
Clarion rolled her eyes. "Don't go hittin' on my lady or I'll tell your maman."
"That excuse don't work no more, " He grinned. "Look, you two should be moving along now, or I will not hesitate to haul your hind parts down to the jail. I know some dirty old men who would love to see you." He wiggled his eyebrows and Clarion laughed.
"Sure thing, Tibby, we're gone. You still at your old place."
"Good." Clarion started the car and Tibby leaned down into the window.
He spoke into Clarion's ear. "Ta fille a intéressants les seins" Your girlfriend has nice breasts.
Before Clarion could speak, Yoshi leaned forward and spoke. "Merci, l'officier. Et eux sont les miens." Thank you officer. And, yes they are mine. She grinned wickedly.
Tibby laughed nervously as he caught the glare in blue eyes and stepped back. "Pardon ma'am and I would never think such a thing."
Clarion held in her laugh as she watched her friend shift nervously from foot to foot. "Go home Tibby, I'll call you in a few days."
With welcome relief Tibby focused on Clarion's words as she revved the engine. He watched her put the car in gear and spoke before she pulled off. "Almost forgot," he gave Clarion a blazing smile, "welcome home, mon dour, welcome home." Clarion blew him a kiss as she pulled back onto the highway and sped away with a large grin on her face. She felt long arms wrap around her from the backseat as she drove into the night wistfully rolling the words around in her head: Welcome Home.
CH 2: "You do know how to whistle don't you.....
"I can't believe I forgot about Christmas." The red head let out a huff as she fell backwards on to the large bed.
Yoshi grinned as she dropped their bags at the door way and plopped down in a chair in the corner. "I think we were all a little busy."
Clarion laughed and sat up on her elbows as she regarded the woman in the corner untying her shoes. "Don't worry we'll make up for it on New Years. Shityah!" They both laughed as Clarion made a face and broke into a large smile.
"Is that why we're in a hotel?"
Clarion looked hurt for a split second. "You no like?"
Dark hair swung freely as Yoshi shook her head. "How could I not love this view." At that she stood up and opened the French doors that led to the balcony. Clarion watched in appreciation as the woman strode to the balcony and leaned down on the railing. Yoshi didn't bother to turn as she heard Clarion get up from the bed. Small arms wrapped around her waist from behind and gave the tall woman a gentle squeeze. Yoshi smiled contently and rubbed the arms about her waist. "This is one fine city you have here my dear."
Clarion chuckled as she released Yoshi and stood at her side. Both women were silent for a moment as they took in Bourbon street as dawn woke its denizens. Clarion placed her hand on Yoshi's and tugged the woman away from the balcony. "C'mon Samurai, we need to rest."
Yoshi allowed herself to be led away as she arched a brow. "And why is that?" The dark woman could tell by the way Clarion tossed her head that she was smiling devilishly.
"It's four days till the start of the millennium, we missed Christmas, and Mardi Gras is three months away...we've got a lot to get done."
Yoshi sat down on the edge of the bed with a laugh as she watched Clarion remove her clothes. "Should I be armed." She asked with innocence.
Clarion's sweet laughter filled the room. The small woman, clad in boxer shorts and a t-shirt straddled the still clothed Yoshi on the bed. She wrapped her arms around the dark woman's neck and ducked her head to give her a kiss on the lips. She pulled away with nip to Yoshi's nose. "You're so cute you know that." The dark woman growled which made Clarion laugh even more. "Even when you growl." Yoshi let her stone face crease into a sly little grin that was rewarded with a kiss. "No, I'm afraid you won't be needing weapons where we're going. Arms up." Yoshi raised her arms and let Clarion remove her shirt. The tall woman blushed as she saw Clarion's eyes glaze over in want as she took in her breasts. Clarion shook her head and focused her attention on crisp blue eyes. "Woo! Anyway, oh yeah, no weapons...but you will need your dancing shoes."
Blue eyes grew bright in delight. "More Salsa?"
Clarion shook her head slowly as she removed her own shirt. "Something even better." Her voice hummed with seduction as she bent her head and began placing wet kisses along Yoshi's collar bone, causing the tall woman to jump and hitch her breathing.
"B-better than salsa?" Yoshi bit back a moan.
Clarion's lips smiled around the flesh of Yoshi's shoulder. She lifted her
head to meet Yoshi's eyes. "We can practice right now." Clarion traced Yoshi's
jaw and then slid her tongue across full lips that were slightly parted in anticipation.
"We can?" Yoshi's voice cracked as a spasm of ecstasy shot through her groin. Clarion smirked as she buried her head in Yoshi's neck and began a slow grind with her hips, keeping time with a rhythm that only she could hear. This time the moan made its presence known as Yoshi's own hips began to match Clarion's rhythm. Yoshi leaned back and braced herself on her arms as the small woman atop her buried small hands in her hair and attacked her ear lobes. As Clarion drew her attention to the other ear lobe Yoshi managed to find her voice. "You do this, unhh...on a dance floor?" Clarion groaned her hips harder into Yoshi's as the tall woman felt herself falling backwards, on account of her arms being too shaky to support her. Clarion stilled her movement for a brief second as she straddled Yoshi's denim clad thigh and brought her own leg up to meet the dark woman's throbbing center. Yoshi could feel herself getting close to the edge all ready as the small woman on top of her continued her grinding rhythm. Yoshi let out a groan of pleasure as fingertips pulled at her nipples. "Oh God," she panted ", I'm gonna...mmm...need lots of p-practice. Clarion laughed deeply as she captured Yoshi's lips and began riding the woman beneath her in earnest. Yoshi did the only thing she could, as she gripped Clarion's firm bottom and held on for dear life.
As Clarion began to stir form her sex-induced coma like state of sleep, she added a third way to her short list of best ways to wake up. Her ears picked up the rush of melodies floating in from the clubs and the lone musicians on the sidewalks. Her nostrils filled with aroma of Cajun spices and seafood from Desire only a quick stride away. But most fulfilling was the warm cocoon she had made of Yoshi's body. Clarion's body hummed with life as she nuzzled her head deep into the strong arms of the woman she was falling in love with.
Yoshi opened her eyes from her silent meditation as she felt Clarion move. Full lips pressed into Clarion's temple before she spoke with a voice still husky from sleep. "Hey you." Clarion smiled as she continued to burrow herself within the woman's embrace, causing Yoshi to giggle from all the wiggling. "Can you breathe in there?" A nod of the head in response. Yoshi grinned. "Are we going to stay in bed all night, because I haven't been here in ages and you've been making lots of promises." Yoshi let her words drawl out as she drew lazy circles on Clarion's bare back.
Finally, with a groan Clarion removed herself from the warmth of Yoshi's arms and raised her head. She let out a huff of air and then stretched her arms above her head, garnering an audible pop when her back aligned. A satisfied smirk crossed her face as she let out a yawn and brought her arms back to her side. She smiled at Yoshi and then pulled the sheet up over her as she turned on her side. Yoshi couldn't help but laugh at the sleepy antics of the red-head. The tall woman shifted in the bed as she spooned the smaller woman and gave her a squeeze. "C'mon lazy bones, I thought we had sights to see."
"They'll be there tomorrow."
Clarion groaned. "Fine, fine...in an hour."
Yoshi shook her head, gave Clarion a kiss on a cheek and left the bed. When Yoshi returned to the bedroom and hour later, Clarion's small frame was spread eagle on the bed and the red-head held the most content of grins on her face. Yoshi just smiled as she propped her sword in the corner and walked to the bed. She called the woman's name several times and even shook the bed in response. Finally, the tall woman clapped her hands together and strolled into the bathroom where she retrieved the ice bucket. "Guess I'll show her some magic of my own." Yoshi chuckled to herself and then shoved her hands deep into the melting ice until her hands were tinted with blue. She stood over the half naked woman and whispered her name once more, and still no movement other than a grunt. Yoshi shrugged an then simultaneously placed one hand on Clarion's toned stomach and another on her chest right between her breast.
Yoshi's ears were still ringing almost a half and hour later when the two emerged from the hotel room and greeted Bourbon street. A still sleepy Clarion was walking a few steps ahead of the dark woman, who uncharacteristically was all smiles as they walked down the street. Yoshi widened her stride and caught up to the small woman as the crossed the street.
"You're not mad...are you?" Soft blue eyes looked down at Clarion.
When they reached the other side of the street, Clarion stood on the curb and gave Yoshi a smoldering kiss as the early evening crowd passed by. She smiled to herself as she left the woozy woman standing in the street and walked jauntily into Desire. It took the dark woman a moment to pull herself together and realize that Clarion had disappeared into the restaurant. She blushed deeply at a woman who winked at her and hurried inside. She found the red head seated in the corner with two drinks all ready on the table. Yoshi was still florid as she took a seat across from the smirking woman.
"I take it you just need to eat, eh?" Clarion laughed out loud and blew the tall woman a kiss. Yoshi just smiled and looked down at the blue colored drink in front of her. "What might this be?" She raised a brow skeptically. "I was taught never to drink or eat things that don't match the colors God created."
Clarion grinned. "I thought you didn't believe in God."
"We may not be on a first name basis, but I've got my beliefs."
"Oh yeah." Clarion was sincerely intrigued as she sipped from her own drink. A warm smile spread across her face as she ingested the drink. "Ahh, it's good to be home."
Yoshi sniffed at her drink and decided it wasn't fatally toxic and took a sip. A wisp of a smile crossed her face. "Not bad, Larieux, not bad at all."
"See what happens when you trust me."
"I'm learning." Yoshi winked at the woman across from her. "So what's on the agenda?"
"Well I'm gonna get you fed, then I'm going to get you crazy drunk, feed you some more, and we're going to go and party the night away till morning comes."
"I think I'm too old for partying all day."
"How the hell old are you anyway."
Yoshi squinted an eye as she looked up to the ceiling. "Um, eight-hundred and forty."
Clarion whistled. "My sweet has been around the block a time or time, no?"
Yoshi shrugged. "Hey with age comes wisdom." She took a drink as they shared knowing looks. "So, is this a stop on a cross country tour or what? You weren't exactly forthcoming and I might need to get in touch with Colin."
"I'd rather not discuss it now."
A black brow raised. "Are you being watched or something?"
Clarion looked down at her drink and played with the straw. "I just don't want you to get mad." She spoke into the table.
Yoshi leaned forward and creased her brow in concern. "Why would I get mad?"
Clarion sighed as she sat back in the seat and ruffled her hair. "You know how we had that whole talk about lying and withholding information." Yoshi nodded. "Well this isn't lying, and it's not really withholding information....it's more like a need to know basis." Clarion didn't need to look at the woman to see the perplexed look on her face. "It's not bad I swear, actually it's phenomenally good, but there were things that I needed to know before...uh I mean look, I just needed to be sure." Clarion shrugged and flopped her hands on the table as she looked up at the silent woman.
Yoshi let out a breath as she contemplated Clarion's words and then took a sip of a drink just to calm her nerves. "You still think I'm trying to kill you?"
Clarion leaned forward with a jolt and grabbed Yoshi's hand. "Oh god no!" She shook her head and blew out a breath. She smiled lovingly at the dark woman and kissed her hand. "Look, when I disappeared Stolova said something to me about being 'special' and I don't mean in that I'm trying to get you in to bed kind of way." She winked and the tall woman cracked a smile. "None of this is bad I promise, but he got me thinking about a lot of stuff. A lot about the things I've felt all my life and the things Mama D told me. Lots of confusing things are starting to make a lot of sense of well, as if I'm not being cryptic enough, let's just say that two millennia of prophecy and wives tales are starting to have some merit."
Yoshi squeezed the hand she was holding and pursed her lips. "So, this is good, right?"
"Yes, yes! In a few days all of this will make sense."
"Is the sky going to open up on January 1st or something?"
"No, chér, I'm afraid we're all still going to be here. But after a few hard days of unadulterated partying I'm taking you home with me and I think you'll be able to help sort out this mess."
Yoshi grinned. "You in fear of never being able to party again."
Clarion released Yoshi's hand with a laugh. "Oh heck no, woman. I got a few decades left in me and I plan to enjoy them all." She smiled wide. "Whenever I come home I party like it's 1999." Clarion hummed the chorus to the song and then took a sip of her drink. "Anyway, can we just enjoy the next few days with no stress and no questions, not even what's in my drink questions." She winked at the woman across from her. She raised her drink. "So let's eat drink and be merry....for tomorrow...we'll wake up and do it all again." Yoshi laughed and touched her glass to Clarion's. The red head beamed. "Now let's eat. Hoo yah!"
"It's called Zydeco!" Clarion had to yell into the tall woman's ear over the music. Yoshi just nodded her head as she sat in her chair and watched the small red head dance. It wasn't that she wasn't willing to dance, in fact she already had, but she was too busy being mesmerized by Clarion dancing. Yoshi reclined back in her chair, lifting the two front legs off the floor as she anchored herself with one long leg. She knew she must have looked like a complete idiot, smiling from ear to ear as she sipped from whatever concoction of alcohol Clarion had brought her.
Eyelids heavy with want drooped low as Yoshi licked her lips and watched as Clarion resumed her dance with a local man. Yoshi didn't know if she knew the guy or not, but it didn't matter and there was no cause for jealousy on her part since it was clear that the redhead was putting on a show just for Yoshi. The music throbbed with the steady bass from the tuba but it sang with life as the trumpet and trombones worked magic. The percussion, which consisted of a snare drum, a washer board, and make shift maracas breathed a quick pace into the music. This was not music to sway to in some back corner, this was meant for movement and for sweat.
Yoshi felt a faint blush reach her cheeks as Clarion raised her arms over her head, lifting her breasts. She and the local continued to dance circles around one another moving in time to the music. Yoshi had to pull her eyes away from Clarion to pull herself together as she watched the other people on the dance floor. They were all sweaty and vibrant and none of them seemed like they were ready to sit down anytime soon. The crowd answered back as the singer shouted out to them in a call and answer. Yoshi couldn't help, but smile at the warm sensation she felt course through her body. It had nothing to do with arousal or even desire for Clarion . . clearly her break was over.
The rest of the week continued in the same hazy rush of heated dancing and welcomed laughter for both women. It culminated in leaning over a balcony howling and screaming along with the throng of people that flooded Bourbon Street for New Years'. Yoshi stood behind Clarion, arms wrapped around the small woman's waist as they ushered in the new millennium. Amidst the wonderful chaos Yoshi took a quiet moment just to close her eyes and take in all that surrounded her. Clarion squeezed the arms around her as if she could read the dark woman's thoughts. If she had, they would have been filled with her own image as Yoshi took time to thank whatever god existed for what she had. She didn't know where the road would end, perhaps in death, or even in failure, but in this one moment where the whole of the world took time to celebrate its past, its present, and its future---there was no other person who could have been more satiated and more at ease than Yoshima Miakoda. She had witnessed a millennium come and go, and as she turned the red head around for a smoldering kiss, she quietly realized that it had all been for this....for her.
CH 3: 'I Never did mind about the little things.'
The satiated smile that Yoshima Miakoda fell to sleep with was the same she wore the next morning, January 1, 2000. The world did not explode and she did not disintegrate nor did Clarion disappear. The woman in question was sprawled across her body wearing the same smirk of satisfaction. Yoshi gave Clarion a gentle squeeze as the urge to wake up became greater than sleeping. Clarion groaned and buried herself in the cover causing Yoshi to giggle as she wiggled down her body.
"Are we going to have go through this today?" The covers rippled. "I don't understand the language of the comforter." She got a slap to her midsection. "I understood that." She mumbled. "Clarion, it's uh..2:00 in the afternoon." Yoshi was about to reach down and pull up the red-head, but it wasn't necessary since the covers flew away from the bed as Clarion sat up straight.
"Holy shit!" She grabbed tufts of red hair and looked down at the woman she was straddling.
Clarion whined and fell forward onto Yoshi's chest, causing the woman to expel a breath of air. "I didn't mean to sleep this late that's all. Damn!"
"We have some place to be?"
Clarion sat up and stretched. "Yes we do and I wanted to make it before it rained." Clarion sighed and removed herself from the bed.
Yoshi propped herself up in the bed on her elbows and admired the red-head's shapely form as she walked to the bathroom. "That's not until at least 5 or 6 I thought."
"Yeah, but we got a drive."
Yoshi clapped her hands together and sat up. "Ooh, where are going?"
Clarion just shook her head as we she started the shower. "You're such a kid, you know that?" Her voice was playful and matched the comical grin that the dark woman was wearing.
"Only because you're spoiling me."
Clarion laughed as she stepped into the shower and then let out a yelp as she felt a hand on her shoulder. Green eyes widened in shock and then returned to normal as Yoshi winked and got in the shower. "Would you stop doing that?"
"Not my fault if you can't hear." Yoshi took a newly wet finger and stuck it in Clarion's ear. "Maybe if you cleaned these out." All Clarion could do was squirm since the shower stall didn't provide her enough space to get away. She pushed back against Yoshi's tall frame until the woman let go.
"If you don't behave you have to get out."
"I thought I was saving time." Yoshi was trying to sound sincere, but she was lathering her hands up and trying to decided which part of Clarion she wanted to wash first.
Sensing the Samurai's lusty thoughts Clarion turned the cold water hard to the right and stepped out of the spray so that it hit Yoshi full in the face. She turned it back to the left when she was satisfied the woman was exorcised of her demons. Clarion turned her back on Yoshi and started to soap up her towel, all the while humming to herself, silently daring the still slack jawed woman to say something.
She could only wear an expression of shock that became a look of dejection complete with pouty lips. A long arm reached over Clarion's head as she grabbed the soap and she mumbled. "I was just trying to help."
Clarion only smiled as she managed to hold in her laugh. "Just be a good girl and we can play later." Clarion's smile grew larger as the woman behind her huffed. Yoshi rolled her eyes and just as a pink tongue began to poke out from behind her lips Clarion spoke. "Stop rolling your eyes and put your tongue back in your mouth."
Yoshi sucked her teeth and looked down at Clarion. "How the hell are you doing that? You got eyes in the back of your head?" Yoshi swirled a finger in Clarion's short hair just to be sure.
"Yeah right...or perhaps I'm just horribly predictable." She sounded a little hurt.
"Don't be so hard on yourself Yoshi, besides, I can see your reflection in the knobs." Blue eyes tracked to the chrome faucet and saw her own eyes grow wide.
"I'll show you reflections." At that she took advantage of her height and lack of space as she cornered Clarion and tickled her senseless. Only when Clarion was sliding to the floor in side aching laughter did Yoshi stop. "Now, I say we play now...and if you're a good girl," she pointed a tapered finger down at he teary-eyed woman. ", we can play later."
Clarion wanted to be mad or at least pouty, but she knew it was pointless so she held up her hand. "You drive a hard bargain lady, but I'll accept."
Yoshi barely let her finish the sentence as she pulled the smaller woman to her and proceeded to show Clarion the finer points of showering together.
Clarion knew they were going to get rained on, but she didn't care. They had been driving for a half an hour and we're a good 20 minutes away from the Parish just outside of Baton Rouge. Yoshi refrained from asking where they were going since she was more occupied with the scenery that blazed by them. Clarion pulled off the main road and pulled onto a gravel filled road. She looked over at Yoshi who was putting her shoes back on.
"So do I get to know where we are?" She drew her hair into a ponytail as she waited for Clarion to answer.
Clarion looked out of the window and smiled wistfully as she pulled the car to a stop under a bank of trees. "Home." She said the word more for herself, but that was what it was. Yoshi felt it unnecessary to respond with words so just rubbed the back of her hand down Clarion's cheek and grinned at her. Clarion kissed her knuckles and squeezed the hand. "Let's go before I get all misty eyed." She adjusted her cowboy hat and got out of the car. She stretched her arms out and let out an elated holler. She drew in a big breath of air and released it. "Damn I love it here." She turned around to get her bag and saw Yoshi watching her with admiration and perhaps a hint of envy. Clarion could only smile as she felt a faint blush reach her cheeks. She just shrugged. "You ready to go Samurai?"
"Whenever you are?"
Yoshi shouldered both duffel bags and in her hand and carried the new canvas carrying case that Clarion insisted on buying her for her sword. "You want me to carry something? You look like you're about to topple over."
"Nah," she grunted and adjusted the bags. "I'm trying to impress you."
Clarion laughed and took the carrying case from Yoshi. "I'll just help you here."
Yohsi rolled her eyes and followed the smaller woman up the path. "Nice of you to take the heavy stuff."
"Not a problem."
Yoshi was searching for some biting comment to make, but as she followed Clarion up the gravel path, she became more and more intrigued by the scenery. The path itself was lined with Weeping Willows and Magnolia's that were no doubt older than Clarion herself. The sweeping leaves of the Willows made for a lush entrance way that promised wonders if not mystery at what lay ahead down the road. Just as they were about to exit the canopy of trees and Yoshi was prepared to make some crack about 'Welcome to Tara' Clarion turned left and left the gravel path.
"Hey, fearless leader what's the deal?"
Clarion slowed her walk and waited for Yoshi to join her, at which she removed one of the duffel bags and strapped it on her shoulder. "I said we were going home, not to The Big House." She wiggled her eyebrows and started walking again. "Besides, that place is a death trap."
Yoshi looked ahead of them and cleared her throat. "If the other place is a death trap, then is this the training ground?" Yoshi dropped the bag to the ground and scratched her head as she looked at the house a hundred yards away. It was one level and raised off the ground, which had probably served as an interesting little fortress for small children.
It had once been a startling white, but now was faded to a worn yellow and decaying with black in some places. The wood was beaten in the places where termites had not eaten through it, but the porch still remained. The steps leading to the porch looked shaky at best, but a well placed foot would surely collapse the entire structure. Yoshi watched Clarion drop the bags to the ground and wander up to the house as if being pulled along on a conveyer belt. Yoshi followed suit and stayed behind Clarion, never taking her eyes off the woman except to glance down at the canvas bag with her sword in it, wondering if she needed it. When Clarion stopped at the foot of the stairs and raised her hat so that it sat back on her head and exposed her brow, Yoshi came and stood beside her. Yoshi closed her eyes, less to mirror Clarion's gesture and more to get her bearings straight. There was life in that house, but it none of it had less than four legs.
Yoshi was slightly hesitant as she reached out to put a hand on Clarion's shoulder, but she became more confident as she saw no tension in Clarion. A warm hand rested on Clarion's shoulder and the red-head turned to look at Yoshi. "You okay in there?" She asked quietly.
"Yep." She pushed her hat back down. "Just looking."
"I was going to ask, if we had to fix it up before we got in it."
Clarion chuckled and turned away from the house. "No crazy. I just like to look at."
"This was her house."
Clarion smiled slyly and picked the bags back up as she gave one last glance to the house. "It still is."
"Ooh, I'm shaking." Yoshi smiled and picked up the bags as she followed Clarion.
The smaller woman smirked at Yoshi. "You can be smart all you want, sugar. But, this ain't the city."
Yoshi scoffed. She didn't mean to sound condescending, but Clarion seemed to be pushing the spooky issue. "You trying to scare me Larieux? I remind you I'm nearly a thousand years old, I think I've seen and fought all the things you can dream up."
Clarion stopped and turned towards the tall woman, hands on her hips, eyebrow arched to it's highest altitude. She got as close to Yoshi as she could without stepping through her and craned her neck up. Yoshi looked down into green eyes and did her best not to let her grin get any larger. Clarion spoke softly, but firmly. "Yoshima, I am not suggesting that you are not privy to what exists down here. I am only saying that perhaps you forget yourself. Perhaps, you've forgotten about the things that go bump in the night."
Clarion stopped Yoshi with a finger pressed to her lips. "Yoshi, you may indeed kill the monsters...but I believe in them." Clarion didn't let the silence hang too long between them before she removed her finger from Yoshi's lips and placed a sweet kiss there. "Come on."
Yoshi watched the small woman turn away and shivered less on account of Clarion's words, but more at the eerie sensation that she was being watched. 'I need a drink.' She shook her head and started walking. "Hey, do I need to sleep with a garlic wreath tonight?"
Clarion laughed as she cut through the trees. "Not if you expect me to sleep with you."
"That stuff works on you?" She asked the question with a smile.
Clarion laughed louder. "Not in the least, but it stinks to high heaven."
"Yeah well, it keeps you healthy." Yoshi grumbled and then laughed. "Hey are we going to get somewhere soon, cause these mosquitoes are eating me alive, and I don't know if it's my hearing or what, but the snakes down here are huge."
Clarion smiled and started digging her foot into the ground. "Those aren't snakes." Yoshi scowled and groaned and then watched as Yoshi pulled up a strip of grass and then lifted a handle. She looked up at Yoshi and grinned. "Those are gators." She winked and then disappeared down the hole she exposed.
With ginger steps Yoshi stepped towards the small hole and peered into it. "Clarion?" A small hand shot up and Yoshi jumped.
"Down here. Wait...let me...just." With a grunt and a squeak, metal grinded against metal and heavy door was raised. "You can see now."
Yoshi just nodded, as she saw the steps that led down. "What is it with you and being underground?"
"Lots more space down here. Be careful, it's kind of damp and wet here. Basically we're pretty much under water at this point, but nature and a little bit of science and technology has provided for a nice little cavern of sorts. Close that hatch behind you."
Yoshi just shrugged as she entered the stairwell and closed the top. "Can I get some light here?"
"You mean your eyes don't glow in the dark?"
"Ha ha. Just because I can't see you doesn't mean I can't find you." To prove her point, Yoshi reached out and pinched Clarion on her butt.
"Hey!" She laughed and then stopped walking as she came to a door. "Just a second, it's kind of rusted."
Yoshi could hear Clarion throwing herself into the door. "Want some help there little lady?"
"Sure thing." She gasped out. Yoshi blindly moved past Clarion and gave the door a hard kick causing it to open. "I just knew you'd come in handy."
Before Yoshi could ask about a light switch torches and lanterns seemed to blaze to life on their own. She dropped her bags as she took in the sight of the large room before her. "This is definitely more like it." The room they were standing in was a large circle in design. When Yoshi took a step forward she could have sworn she was stepping into a tuft of down feathers, so plush was the carpet beneath her feet. The walls were covered in art, and where there was space the walls were filled with tapestries and Curios. For all intense purposes the room itself was a sitting room. A large coffee table was surrounded by a Recamier, a chaise, and two high-backed chairs that looked like they walked out of Louis XIV castle. Yoshi found herself walking up to a few of the paintings and squinting to read the signatures.
Yoshi flinched at the sound of Clarion's voice breaking the quiet. "Never doubted it." She turned towards Clarion. "You've been busy haven't you."
She shrugged. "Come on there's plenty more."
Yoshi nodded and followed. Each room was connected by one tunnel or another, seven all together. A bedroom or two, a kitchen, what appeared to be a sauna, a dining room, a large room that held an alter, and one that she they hadn't entered yet. They found themselves back in the bedroom, where Yoshi collapsed onto the large bed.
"Did we walk a few miles?"
Clarion laughed and sat on the bed. "Not quite."
Yoshi sat up. "So what about the last room?"
Clarion rubbed the back of her neck and focused on the end table by the bed. "How about we eat first."
Her statement was hesitant and Yoshi raised an eyebrow as she looked at the woman who was clearly avoiding her. She decided to make light of the situation. "That's where you keep the dead bodies?"
Clarion chuckled nervously and whispered to herself. "I wish."
Yoshi's expression became serious. "I heard that. Clarion what's wrong?"
She sighed. "Nothing."
Yoshi sighed as well. "Is this the conversation we didn't have in Desire." Clarion nodded and continued to look anywhere but at the woman next to her. "Hey, talk to me." Yoshi gently used her hand to guide Clarion's face in her direction. "What's up?"
Clarion touched the hand and stood. "Well," she clapped her hands and spoke louder. ", it's not that bad. And in my defense, I really didn't know...well not really, but, whatever." She shook her hands and started pacing. "Things happened quickly and I'm not complaining...but I left out some stuff in explanation of my life and so on."
Yoshi was listening to the red-head with intensity, but she was mostly just concentrating on breathing and keeping her face devoid of any emotion. "What did you leave out?" Her voice was even and controlled.
Clarion grimaced and dropped to her knees in front of Yoshi and took her hands. "It's best if you see, um, I could explain, but you need to see."
"You're scaring me?"
"I'm scaring me and you know what," she hopped up and clapped her hands together as her face warmed with a smile. ", It's not that big of a deal. You're going to have some questions and be a little miffed, but it's not that bad, I'm just being crazy, and silly, and paranoid, and worried for no reason." Yoshi could only nod as she tried to grin. "Up with you let's go."
Yoshi stood and looked down at the bag at her feet. "Do I need my sword?"
Clarion just chuckled and started to lead Yoshi from the room. "It's best your unarmed, wouldn't want you lashing out in anger."
"Clarion?" She spoke through clenched teeth.
They walked down a tunnel until they stood before the doubled doored room. Clarion stood in front of the doors and held onto the knobs. She looked up at Yoshi's furrowed brow and gave her a weak smile. "Promise me you'll let me explain?"
Yoshi tousled her hair and blew out a breath in frustration that was bordering on anger. "Good grief Clarion, just open the door, this isn't cute any more. I'm sure you've probably got the Hope Diamond in there or the Jesus scriptures or something, so just let me see."
"Okay." Clarion closed her eyes and opened the doors as she backed into the room.
Like all the other the rooms, this too was round. However, it was much cooler in this room and it was not carpeted nor were its walls filled with art. Instead its walls were covered with bookshelves. Yoshi's immediate attention was drawn to the bookcases at her side and not the center of the room Some books were so old they know longer had spines, but the ones that did had archaic languages embossed on the worn leather. The entire room smelled of age and wisdom if possible. Yoshi did a quick spin and shrugged.
"Okay, you've got a great library. I see you've got some books I was looking for." She winked. "But what's the problem. So, you've probably got the complete set of Aramis books, maybe a dead sea scrolls. That looks like a book I had in school and," she arched her brow as she focused on the large alter of marble in the middle of the room . "And you've got an arsenal. Hmm?" Yoshi stepped closer to the marble, unaware that Clarion stepped back to the door. "Nice swords. 12th century, 18th, even older." She leaned down as she got closer and then drew in a breath. "These are Hunters swords?" It came out as a question and then she repeated the words as a statement. She reached a finger out and dragged it along the handle of one. "I knew this guy."
Black hair whipped around as Yoshi looked for Clarion and found her behind her near the door. Her scowl was so deep her eyebrows almost touched. "Why do you have these? How do you have these?" She didn't let Clarion answer as she stepped towards her. "What do you need to say?" Yoshi clenched and unclenched her fist and took a breath.
Clarion rubbed her hand down her face and walked towards the alter careful to avoid the rigid woman. "There's more." Yoshi could make no comment as she watched Clarion touch the side of the altar and pressed a button. There was the deep rumble of movement inside the marble as the top raised automatically. Yoshi couldn't even speak as the large broad sword was revealed. She wasn't sure if it was out of respect, fear, or plain disbelief that made her step back.
"That's...that's...holy shit!" Yoshi turned to Clarion for confirmation.
The head nodded solemnly as she bit her lip and then sighed. "It's the sword of Magnus."
Yoshi shut her eyes tightly and took three deep breaths. She focused on the weapon and not Clarion, who stood to the right and off to the side. "That's Magnus's sword. That's impossible Clarion, it doesn't exist. It was destroyed in 80 A.D. when Magnus descended back into the sea from which he came. It does not exist." Her tone was full of conviction that was more for herself than Clarion.
"Jesus. Explain. How, why." She sighed and then held up her hand as she took a step back and retreated towards one of the bookcases. "Nevermind, a question." She took Clarion's silence as agreement. Blue eyes opened and she focused the ice chips at Clarion. "Was I looking for or were you looking for me?"
Clarion sighed and ran her hands through her hair. She gave Yoshi the faintest of smiles, but lost it when she was sure it would not be returned. "Technically, I was supposed to be looking for you. I stress technically. Technically, I'm supposed to be plotting and planning to get rid of Stolova or what have you, but I've been avoiding that for some time."
Yoshi groaned and raised her hands like she was about to start yelling, but she blinked slowly and put her hands at her sides. "So, you've let us run around searching for needles in the haystacks for all this time and you've known all along how to kill to Stolova. You know he's been looking for you, you know what the scrolls say. What don't you know, huh? All this time, my god, I can't believe you."
"Yoshi, it's not like that. It's not! Would you stop fuming and look at me." Yoshi folded her arms across her chest and stood still as she focused on Clarion. "Yes, I've known how to kill Stolova. I practically came with an instruction when I was born. When I say that technically I was supposed to be looking for you that's a half truth. I wasn't looking for you specifically, but just a certain hunter. Those scrolls are cryptic and convoluted. So when I say I didn't know, I didn't, but when I started to think about it, I had to be sure. Shit, I couldn't just tell you. You tried separate my head from my body when you found out I was Vamp. You saying if I would have just walked up to you, and said, hey man I'm the Daywalker and I need your help to kill the Master, you would been all like 'oh okay sure let me get my bag." Yoshi made no comment.
Clarion sighed and stepped towards the woman. When she made no gesture to move, Clarion stepped a bit closer. "Point is, I've been trying to avoid all this because I still really don't understand it all. There's so much that I'm unsure about and I just took the path of avoidance than facing it. It's selfish it's stupid, but I figured you guys were smart enough to find a way to kill or stop Stolova without my help."
"Clarion," Yoshi's tone was softer. "Stolova is the most powerful of all Masters. Even if we are able to stop him this time, he will rise again in a hundred years or so. By then, no Hunters may exist. This just isn't about getting rid of Stolova, this about replenishing the council, setting things right. You have no right to take that away from any of us, because you're scared." Clarion hung in head in remorse. Yoshi reached out her hand as if to run it through her hair but then pulled back with a small groan. "Clarion?" She paused and Clarion raised her head. "Uh, I love you."
Green eyes grew big as saucers and Clarion let out a sound that was as much a laugh as it was a gasp. "Wh-what!"
Yoshi nodded, but still wore a small frown. "I love you." She was serious and sincere. But she said it as if she was saying the sky is blue. There was emotion behind it but perhaps it was clouded by the fact that she was trying not to be angry even in the wake of this admission.
Clarion was just mortified with glee. Words she'd been afraid to say herself, spilled from Yoshi's lips like she was cracking her knuckles. "What did you just say?"
"Yea, but I need to take a walk." Yoshi turned to the door.
"Whoa! You tell me you love me and then you need to go take a walk?!" Clarion cleared her throat, fearful she would squeal.
"I, I can't talk to you right now, I mean I can, but, I just want to clear my head you know."
"Okay." Clarion's voice was filled with question, but she was still too dazed to be worried. "Um, should I go?"
Yoshi turned to Clarion looked at her. "I'll find my way. I'll come back, but I just need to work out some kinks, you know."
Clarion smiled loosely. "I know."
"Yoshi, I am so ö
Yoshi covered Clarion's lips with her hand. "I'm trying to be mad right now, so don't say that or I'll just forgive you without thinking." She held her hand on her lips for a moment and then removed her hand. "Where's my blade."
"It's in the room, I'll go, I'll go."
Yoshi couldn't have stopped her even if she wanted to. They met each in the large sitting room. Yoshi standing with her hands in her pockets trying not to laugh as Clarion carefully approached holding the blade away from her body by the handle with two fingers. Clarion stopped in front of Yoshi and then after a moment of contemplation decided to hold the blade horizontally so she could hand the handle to Yoshi.
Yoshi took the blade and nodded, as she ducked her head under the strap so that the blade in its sheath rested on her back. She tightened the leather and let it go with a snap. Yoshi ran a hand through her hair and looked at doe-eyed Clarion. 'You're going to get me killed aren't you?' "When I come back I want an entire history lesson, you got it." Clarion nodded. "I mean complete and unabridged."
"Got it." Yoshi started to move and then Clarion stopped her with a shout. "Wait, wait." Yoshi turned to Clarion as she moved to one of the curios and grabbed something off the shelf. "Here take this with you."
Yoshi looked oddly at the little hemp-woven pouch that fit neatly into the palm of her hand. "What is it?"
"What, what?" She fingered the top like she was going to open it.
"Don't open it whatever you do."
"Clarion, I don't believe in this stuff."
"I know, but humor me." She patted the woman on the shoulder and headed her towards the heavy door. "You get into trouble wave it around you in a circle and repeat the word 'return' until its safe."
Yoshi rolled her eyes at the absurdity of it all. "Clarion, I happy you're concerned but I think I can handle it." She tweaked the red head's nose.
Clarion smirked. "Yeah and I know you don't believe me, but this isn't D.C., you might find that some things don't always stay dead when you kill them. And sometimes it takes more than a well placed strike to the heart to stop something. Yoshi, all jokes and indiscretions aside, I know you don't believe in much, but down here it is that small amount of belief that is often tested."
Yoshi let out a breath and managed a grin. "Okay, Clarion, I'll take the uh, what's this stuff?"
"Yeah, gris-gris and I'll keep my sword real handy. I'll also try to be really quiet okay."
"I know you think I'm nuts."
"Larieux that's the least of what I'm thinking right now." Clarion grimaced. "Hey, if I'm not back in an hour...just wait longer." Yoshi turned and headed down the hallway, smiling to herself as she heard Clarion call after her, "That's not funny!"
Yoshi crawled out into the early evening air and felt a faint cold wind pass by her as she rose from the hole. She gave the perimeter a once over and shook off the butterflies in her stomach. "Buck up, Yoshi. Go beat up a tree for a while and this will all be better." She reach behind her and snapped the clasp on her sheath. "All though I get the feeling I might beating something else tonight." Yoshi sniffed at the warm air and smelled the impending rain as she tied the little pouch to her belt and tapped it. She smiled devilishly as she took off through the thick trees toward the swamp humming to herself and thinking, 'Bring it on.'
* * *
Return to Main Page