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Disclaimers Xena Warrior Princess and all Characters of the Xenaverse are the property of Ren Pic and Universal. My deepest gratitude goes to them for the loan of these folks and I returned them none the worse for wear. Thanks for the Fertile fields.
BY APRIL MCKAIG
For the first time since they left the Battle at Olympus, Xena and Gabrielle felt like they were home.
The Renaissance Faire was like a giant Solstice festival. Although the costumes and surroundings werent exactly like ancient Greece, it was close enough to be comforting. Flags and ribbons of various colors and designs waved in the early morning breeze. The smell of cooking foods and soft lute music floated on the air like an intoxicant.
It was still early so the majority of people milling about were workers, crafters, musicians, and die hard Faire lovers like Melanie. Booths were set up for crafts and food and those were the first places Gabrielle headed for. Xena quickly pulled her back, amazed at the girls never ending appetite, no matter the situation.
Further down the parkway, stages were scattered about for magicians, jugglers and other performers. In the distance they saw a large roped off area and Melanie explained that it would be the scene of several mock battles and weapons competitions at various times during the day. The booth where ancient weapons replicas were forged, displayed and sold was located close to the battlefield, and it was there the four women ventured.
Melanie had met Ram Thomas at her first Renaissance Faire almost twenty years ago. Even then he had a reputation as a master sword and weapons maker. He was intelligent, good looking, charming and mischevious. He was just her type and there had been an instant attraction, resulting in a three year relationship. The break-up however, left lingering animosity between them but still they parted as friends.
Ram was a master manipulator and enjoyed control. In her younger days, Melanie had interpreted that as concern. As she got older and wiser that had changed.
He was bent over the forge, heating a sword blade with his back to them as they approached. Melanie couldnt help but admire him. Coal black, shoulder length curly hair descended in ebony waves down the nape of his neck. He wore tight black leather pants, no shirt, only the blacksmiths apron. His hard, muscular back and arms glistened with sweat.
Melanie took a deep breath to focus. She still found him alluring. "Ram?" She called as they reached his booth.
He stood up straight, "Only one voice in the world can say my name like that." He turned to face them with a wide smile and twinkling eyes.
"Ares." Xena murmured.
Rams eyes widened as he moved from face to face. "There are two of you?" Both of you?"
Xena stared at him. Before her stood Ares or one of his descendants. It made her wonder who else from her world would have a twin in this one. Lysues, Marcus, so many others she had lost might still be a part of this world.
"Ares?" Gabrielle whispered to Xena.
He quickly recovered his surprise and moved toward them, aiming straight for Xena. "Gemini actually." He answered turning on the charm. "Names Ram Thomas, and you are?"
Sighing Xena realized that even in this time, no matter what name the descendant had, it was still Ares.
"This is Xena and Gabrielle." Melanie introduced, "Theyre...relatives from out of town."
Ram looked at Melanie and Xena, rubbing his beard in contemplation, "Double the pleasure." He muttered under his breath.
"Take a cold shower, Ram." Aven snapped impatiently.
Aven was always quiet and easy going and he was caught off guard by her open hostility. "Geez. Did somebody double dose on attitude this morning?"
Melanie grabbed his arm and pulled him close before an argument could erupt, "Ram, we need your help."
Sliding his arm around her, he pulled her closer, hand resting on her backside, "All you have to do is ask."
Removing his hand from her rump, Melanie used a scolding look to convey her message and his attitude vanished, "Okay. Whats up?"
"We need weapons. The good stuff." Melanie informed him.
He stepped back, feigning insult, "All of my weapons are the good stuff ." He finished by sweeping his arms towards the wares in his booth.
Xena stepped forward and plucked a sword from the shelf. Taking a step back, she began swinging the sword, getting the feel of it. The others stood back, giving her plenty of room. Building up momentum, Xena brought the sword down against the anvil and it promptly broke in two. Xena held the sword up and looked at the broken remainder. "Good stuff, huh?" She said sarcastically, tossing it to the ground.
"Well..." He stumbled as she drew her own sword from its hiding place in her coat. Repeating the exercise, this time when the sword hit, sparks flew and small chips of the anvil splattered the booth.
Awed, Ram eased closer, staring at the sword instead of its master.
"Ram." Melanie called, recapturing his attention, "Weapons. Now!"
Looking around to make sure no one was watching, he motioned them to follow. Xena sheathed the sword and brought up the rear as they were led to a large panel truck behind the booth. After another cautious look around, he unlocked the back doors. Swinging them open, the four women peered inside the darkened truck and saw only boxes and drop cloths.
"I dont see any weapons, unless youre going to throw boxes at them." Gabrielle groused, her own frayed nerves beginning to show.
"Looks can be deceiving." Melanie smiled and climbed into the truck. The others hesitated until she motioned to them, then they climbed into the truck. Once everyone was inside, Ram shut the doors as Melanie turned on the light overhead.
Ram smiled at them teasingly and walked to the side of the truck. Positioning his fists, he slammed them against the side panel. Instantly, the white metal disappeared and was replaced with fabric lined compartments. Swords of high polished steel sparkled from their hiding place. Moving across the van, he repeated the action on the other side, revealing daggers and a cross bow.
"Ta da." He grinned and stepped back as the four women went in different directions to do their shopping.
Observing their tense manner, he spoke again, "I cant help but wonder why you need these." Melanie stopped her sword consultation with Xena, and turned toward him. "Youre not the type to cheat in a competition, Mel. And Aven may be a little hostile today but she never would."
"I never cheat." Melanie shot back defensively. Xena rested a steadying hand on her shoulder, calming her. "We need some weapons." She began again, "Weve got some trouble and need to be armed."
"Why not guns? A sword is a wonderful weapon but poor defense against a bullet." He replied.
"We have guns, but we need something extra." Melanie answered.
"For home defense?"
"Personal defense." Aven stepped in. Grabbing the crossbow and quiver of stainless steel arrows, she felt the comfortable weight and smiled.
Sensing a deadly undercurrent he decided to back off a bit, "See anything you cant live without?"
While the others continued their search, Aven approached Ram, whispered something to him and then followed him to the far corner of the truck. Gabrielle looked up in time to see Aven accepting a small black box from Ram and hiding it in the waistband of her jeans. Quickly she averted her eyes, curious.
Melanie finally settled on a sword and was familiarizing herself with the weight and feel. Xena continued to admire the craftsmanship of the swords but seemed satisfied with her own. She did however, choose a boot dagger as added insurance.
"We also need wheels." Aven informed Ram as she took her place by Gabrielle.
Gabrielle was fascinated by one of the daggers and gently removed it from its place. "That suits you little lady." Ram complimented over her shoulder.
"Its beautiful." Gabrielle blushed, "But I prefer my staff." She grasped the staff firmer for emphasis, "Its never failed me yet."
"Wheels?" Aven reminded.
Ram rubbed his chin, "Well, I could let you use my Bronco but between that and youre shopping spree, youre looking at a big ticket."
"How big?" Melanie asked, hand on her hip.
Aven stepped in, dangling two sets of keys, "In the parking lot are two Harleys. A 95 softtail..." Ram rolled his eyes and sighed, "And a Heritage Classic."
Melanie was caught by surprise. Aven loved the Heritage. It was one of her most prized possessions, her baby. For her to offer it so quickly shocked and disturbed her.
"Your Heritage Classic?" Ram quizzed unsure of his hearing and excited by the prospect. He had admired the bike for years and now was almost watering at the mouth to own it.
Aven jangled the keys, "Yes. Do we have a deal?"
"Aven?" Melanie interrupted, "We can find another way. Dont trade the bikes."
Ignoring her, Aven held the keys up in front of Ram, teasing him.
Before he could take them, Xena snatched them away from Aven, leaving Aven glaring at her for the intrusion.
"Bronco keys first." Xena explained.
When he produced the keys, Aven quickly accepted them and nodded to Xena, who handed Ram the motorcycle keys.
Aven promptly tossed the Bronco keys to Melanie, "Youre the best driver on four wheels."
Ram extended his hand, "Pleasure doing business with you."
"You take care of that bike." Melanie warned, "We will be back for it."
Aven shook her head, "I wont be needing it anymore." Then she half heartedly shook his hand, "But we do need a bag for this stuff and where is the Bronco is parked."
Ram was getting tired of the tension he felt in the truck. He wanted this deal done and the four women gone. "Broncos on the other side of the battlefield. Ive got an equipment bag out in the booth."
"Ill get it." Aven volunteered. She handed Gabrielle the crossbow and exited the truck.
Ram had known Aven for nine years and never had he seen her act like this. "What is her problem? Shes doesnt even look like herself much less act like herself. She seems...darker."
"Bad day." Xena answered with an eyebrow raised, hoping to discourage any more questions.
Melanie and Ram had been friends too long and she didnt want to throw it away, "Im sorry, Ram. Weve been under a lot of pressure the last day or so. Were all a little edgy." To further smooth his hurt feelings, she leaned forward and lightly kissed him. She pulled back before things got out of control, which often happened when they were together. "You were the only person I could come to for help."
"Liar." He smiled and kissed her cheek. Pulling her closer he leaned in and became serious, "You know that if you need me or my help, Ill always be here for you."
She met his brown eyes and saw his sincerity. When he let down his macho exterior and showed his softer side like this, she was reminded of the reasons they stayed close.
"Shouldnt Aven be back by now?" Gabrielle asked with worry.
Xena was out the truck door in a flash, Melanie and Gabrielle, close behind. They rounded the corner of the booth and found a small army waiting on them.
A large muscular man stood in front, holding Aven in a firm grip. The pistol he held in her ribs was clearly visible.
Dan Kinsey stepped forward. "Good Morning, Ladies." He smiled, "Its been a merry chase but it is now over. Mr. Hawks patience is only so long and you have exhausted it."
"Let her go." Melanie ordered through clenched teeth, longing for the sword she had left in the panel truck.
"Sorry, no." Kinsey replied shaking his head, "Youll be joining her and coming with us. Now."
Melanie looked desperately at Xena and Gabrielle. She could see Xena sizing up the situation and knew that there was a plan forming, but her impatience was overpowering her. Turning her gaze back to Aven, they locked eyes. Aven radiated anger and confidence. Melanie caught the signal.
With as much force as she could muster, Aven rammed her head backwards, catching the gun mans throat in a smashing blow. Before he could pull the trigger, Ram had appeared and tossed the man aside.
"Catch." He yelled as he tossed the sword in Melanies direction.
Instinctively, Melanie reached up and caught it in mid air by the hilt. Grasping it firmly, she faced Hawks men, ready and able.
Xena let out a war cry that froze the blood in Melanies veins and signaled the start of the battle.
They were outnumbered three to one but that didnt seem to faze Xena or Gabrielle. Retrieving her staff from their gear by the weapons booth, Gabrielle jumped in the fight with both feet. Even Ram grabbed a sword and joined in the ruckus.
Not wanting to draw undo attention from the locals or the police, Hawks men refrained from using their guns and raided Rams booth for weapons.
Xena recognized two of the men as robed followers of Dahok. They had the followed the fanatics through the portal and she moved toward them.
A small group of Faire attendees had begun to encircle them, assuming that a mock battle had begun.
Hawks men were more accustomed to guns than swords, maces and battle axes, but they were holding their own despite the fact that several of their weapons broke in battle.
Melanie felt the warrior spirit of her heritage blooming within her. Meshing her natural skills with Xenas pointers, she charged onto the battle field, almost a mirror image of her ancestor.
Aven and Gabrielle fought in a similar style but where Gabrielle fought only in defense, Aven was using deadly force and relishing in the battle lust.
Melanie again heard Xenas battle yell and looked around in time to see her leap up and somersault in mid air, coming to a landing on top of one of the robed men. Two of Hawks men charged her, one swinging a mace, the other a sword. Laughing, Xena waited until the last second and leaped into the air again. With their quarry gone, the two crashed into one another, falling backward, unconscious.
Before she could observe anymore her own attackers moved in. Emitting a high pitched battle cry of her own, she joined the battle. Her sword meet the approaching battle axe as it arched in the air toward her. Letting her anger add to her strength she pushed the battle axe away, its owner tumbling backward. Twirling her sword, Melanie brought the sword down, dropped to one knee and with a backward thrust, stopped the attacker that was trying to sneak up on her.
Aven and Gabrielle were double teaming on tree sized man. Their staffs moving and striking so fast, they were nothing more than a blur. Beaten to a pulp, the attacker dropped to the ground. Exchanging nods, they parted and began fending off other attackers on their own.
Ram was enjoying the fracas as well. Not only was he a master weapons maker but he was also a skilled fighter. Laughing and tossing out insults, he reveled in the combat.
The gathering crowd applauded as the suit wearing villains were being defeated by Ram and the twin fighting machines.
The other Faire workers, sensing trouble had suited up and moved in to help Ram and his friends, much to the delight of the crowd. With reinforcements moving in, Xena, Melanie and Gabrielle regrouped, hoping to use the opportunity to make a quick getaway.
"Wheres Aven?" Melanie asked, out of breath.
Three sets of eyes quickly searched the fighters still in the battle. Suddenly Xena stiffened and broke into a run, heading toward the employees parking lot. Sensing trouble, Melanie and Gabrielle followed and once clear of the battle saw what had launched Xena into action.
Avens semi-conscious form was being half carried, half dragged by two men, one of them the robe bearer.
Nearing the parking lot, a tall, leather clad figure emerged from behind a tree next to the parking lot, blocking their path. Stunned, the three women skidded to a halt.
"Barbara?" Melanie asked, disbelief unconcealed.
"Callisto." Xena stated flatly.
The blond woman smiled and held her sword in front of her, "Surprise Melanie." She greeted sweetly with an underlying air of menace.
"What are you doing here? This is a dangerous place right now." Melanie asked, still reeling in shock.
"Oh, I know how dangerous it is. Thats why David sent the best." She answered smugly, tightening her grip on the sword.
"You know her?" Gabrielle asked Melanie, never taking her eyes of the new intruder.
"Yea." Melanie nodded. "We took fencing and self defense classes together." Directing her gaze at Barbara, Melanie continued, "Ive known you for three years. You cant be involved with him. Were friends."
Barbara rolled her eyes mockingly, "Acquittances, dear. We were never friends. You were just another assignment."
Again Xena marveled at how the descendants in this time were so much like their ancestors from her time.
Melanie was stunned, trying to accept that she had been completely fooled and betrayed by the woman. Seeing this, Xena stepped in, "You two get Aven, Ill deal with this one."
Gabrielle gripped Melanies arm, "Lets go."
"Yeah, okay." Melanie answered, still dazed.
Barbara moved to stop them but Xena blocked her way, "Youll deal with me first."
Nodding, Barbara took a step back, sizing up her competition. "So. Youre the original, huh? David makes sure that we know our heritage. I know the part you played in my ancestors life. Im Barbara Castille and its going to be my pleasure to take you down and stop your damnable line." She finished and assumed a fighting stance.
"Yeah," Xena agreed taking her own fighting stance. "You rant just like her too."
Snarling, Barbara lunged at her, sword held high. Xena stepped in and met her, their swords releasing an ear splitting clash as they met. They swapped hits and lunges for several minutes. Long enough for Xena to realize that Castille was good. Almost as good as Callisto. Almost.
Melanie and Gabrielle chased down the would be kidnapers. The men dropped Aven to the ground and prepared to fight off the rescuers. Delivering a double spin kick, Melanie dispatched her target. Gabrielle administered a one-two hit with the staff to her opponents face, chest and stomach, dropping him quickly.
Both women rushed over and kneeled beside the now unconscious Aven. Melanie reached out and retrieved the small dart stuck in Avens neck.
"Poison?" Gabrielle asked with worry as Melanie examined the dart.
Melanie quickly checked and sighed with relief, "No, just a tranquilizer."
"Shes just asleep." Melanie assured and started to pick Aven up.
Hearing a yell just behind them, both women turned in time to see Ram tackling a man that had been taking aim on them with a gun. After he had knocked the man unconscious, he looked at Melanie and shouted, "Keys."
Melanie reached into her pocket and withdrew the Bronco keys as Ram took Avens limp body and lifted her over his shoulder. "Help your friend, Ill get the Bronco." He instructed, accepting the keys from her.
Nodding, she turned and saw two men with tranquilizer guns easing up behind the oblivious Xena as she battled Castille. Gabrielle was off like a shot, Melanie bring up the rear.
Xena was tiring of the Castille woman. Kicking out she caught the woman square in the stomach. Gulping air, Castille fell to the ground and Xena moved in over her, sword positioned at the fallen womans throat. "Never mess with me or mine." She warned. "Thats something your ancestor had a problem understanding too."
Suddenly she heard Gabrielle call out a warning. Half a second later she felt the sharp sting on her right shoulder. A wave of dizziness struck her without warning and her sword wavered.
Laughing, Barbara Castille took advantage of the distraction and scrambled away. There would be another chance, she reasoned as several Faire workers began converging on the new fight.
Melanie hit the shooter and swung the sword down on his firing hand, severing it at the wrist. Screaming in pain, Dan Kinsey stumbled backwards, gawking at the bloody stump where his hand had been only a moment before.
Gabrielle kept running past them, headed for Xena. She reached her friend just as the warrior was falling and caught her. She eased Xena to the ground and held her tightly unsure of what kind of injury the Warrior Princess had.
The other gun man accompanying Kinsey, stepped back from Melanie when he saw the damage she was capable of. He reached out, grabbed Kinseys sleeve and began pulling him away from the fight.
Looking up, Melanie saw another of Hawks men moving on the incapacitated Xena. In the blink of an eye she launched herself, flipping and tumbling towards the aggressor. Had her name- sake been awake she would have been proud of the skill Melanie displayed as she came to a halt between the man and her friends. Raising her sword she snarled, "Come on."
He stopped his approach. There was a light in her eyes, that told him she would not fall easily.
Xena tried valiantly to shake off the effects of the dart and continue fighting, but she no longer had control of her limbs and consciousness was quickly fading away. Gabrielle stayed beside her, thankful that Melanie had arrived when she did.
She jumped when the Bronco suddenly appeared and slid to a stop beside them. Ram was out of the truck and helping her get Xena to her feet in a matter of seconds.
Leading them to the back of the Bronco, Ram opened the back door. Aven was laid to one side and he hoisted Xena in beside her.
"Get in the front seat." Ram told Gabrielle as he shut the back door.
Gabrielle obeyed and noticed that Ram had even loaded their knapsacks in the Bronco at some point. She turned and looked out the window and watched as he cautiously approached Melanie.
"Mel?" He called in a calm, soothing voice, "You need to get in the Bronco and get your friends to safety."
She turned on him, eyes glaring with hatred.
"Mel?" He continued, "Well cover your escape but you have to leave NOW."
She dropped her sword, blood lust fading slowly. Glancing around she saw that the Faire workers were handling the rest of Hawks people. Looking over Rams shoulder she saw Gabrielles anxious face in the Broncos window. Taking a deep breath, she lowered her eyes and moved toward the awaiting means of escape.
"Be careful." Ram replied as she walked by him.
Stopping, she took a step back and lightly kissed his cheek. "Thank you. For everything."
He smiled and winked, "Get moving."
Jogging to the drivers side of the jeep, she quickly jumped in and dropped her sword in the back seat with the other weapons. Glancing at their sleeping cargo, she smiled and turned forward. Putting the Bronco in gear she tore out of the battlefield, headed for the desert.
The battle was lost. The two remaining robed figures did not know which way to retreat. They had already lost two of their number fighting the she-devils that opposed their master. This strange new world was confusing and intriguing. All the noise and machines yet all they wanted now was to retreat to the Sanctuary of Hawks. Knowing that Kinsey was their guide they grabbed the injured man from the fight. Stumbling as they went, they led him away from the chaos.
"The war wagon." He instructed. It was a fitting name David had given to the company van. One on each side of him, they guided the way to the van they arrived in. Noting the spurts of blood from Kinseys mangled wrist, one of the men used a piece of his robe as a quick tourniquet.
The one called Joe had been left behind to watch the van. He saw their approach and revved the engine to life. He climbed out to the van and ran to the far side, throwing the double doors open. Dragging the weakened man into the van, Joe gave a final shove from the outside and slammed the doors behind them.
Slumping into the seat Kinsey twisted the bloody bandage until he felt the blood flow trickle to a stop. He began to notice how light he felt and was barely aware of the robed followers on each side of him.
The van tore out of the Faire grounds, leaving deep ruts in the dirt and grass. Nestled between his companions Kinsey felt their body heat wrapping around him and shivered against it. "Get me to Hawks." He ordered. Then he slumped into unconsciousness.
A short time later Kinsey was roused by an older man shoving a needle in his arm. It took him a minute to realize it was the Chief Medical Officer of Hawks industries. "Morphine for the pain Mr. Kinsey."
Allowing himself to relax he felt the drug settle over him like a warm summer breeze. A sudden clear thought of David broke the revelry. Jolted back to awareness, he fought the sweet blackness. Eyes wide he struggled to sit up, grabbing the Doctors coat for help, "I have to see Mr. Hawkes now! I have to explain!"
"You are in no shape to be moving around, Sir." The doctor stammered. His tone and the look on his face reflected that he knew of Mr. Hawkes temper as well.
"Now! Please." With a yank, he hauled himself up almost pulling the Doctor over. Kinsey winced in pain as his arm was jolted. A line of sweat had broken out on his forhead. "I have to give him my report and try to explain."
Sighing, the Doctor nodded to his assistant. The young woman moved in beside him, trying to staunch the bleeding limb again. The Doctor left for a minute and returned pushing a wheelchair. With the nurses help, Kinsey was eased off the table and loaded into the chair. The instant his feet touched the floor, his face fell deathly white. While he fought the spinning in his head, the Doctor walked across the room and picked up the phone.
As he spoke to his employer the Doctor kept his voice low and full of respect. "Yes Sir. Yes Sir. Right away Sir." Finishing his call, he replaced the phone to its cradle. Turning back to face his patient, the Doctor looked pale. "Mr. Hawks wants to see you at once. He asked me to bring you up immediately." Moving behind the chair he grabbed the handles and he pushed it toward the elevators.
The silence of the elevator unnerved the Doctor. "I have bandaged your wrist but it is only temporary. You need surgery to repair the remaining damage. If not you may loose the use of that hand or bleed to death."
Kinsey looked down at the bloody stump where his hand once rested. "Those are the least of my worries."
The bell on the elevator chimed and the doors opened revealing the top floor where Hawks office lay. Pushing the chair out of the elevator, the Doctor eased down the hall to the lions den.
"Leave us." Hawks ordered.
Trembling, the Doctor stepped back from the wheelchair. "S-Sir, he needs medical attention." Hawks did not bother to answer he simply continued to stare. Intimidated, the man backed out of the office, leaving his patient with his employer. With a final glance he shut the office door.
Walking over to the wheelchair, Hawks grabbed both arms and turned the chair to face him. He kneeled down in front of his servant his voice smooth and gentle. "Dan. I see you are hurt. What happened?"
Kinsey swallowed hard. "A minor injury Sir."
"And our quarry? Am I to assume that the mission was successful? The Warrior Princess is dead and my bride is here?"
The injured mans breathing increased. "There was a problem Sir. They defeated us and escaped."
Hawks did not move. He remained silent looking at Kinsey. Disappointment and mock concern lined his face.
Kinsey looked at his employer in desperation. "All the people at the Faire helped them. We were outnumbered. They overwhelmed us."
Slowly Hawks stood up. He impaled Kinsey with one look as he stepped away from the chair. "You have been faithful and loyal to me Dan. You have accomplished things that no one else could. You have been by my side through it all and I am in your debt."
As Hawks began to pace in front of him, Kinsey kept his eyes glued to his master. "There are two kinds of people in my Fathers Kingdom Dan. There are warrior and victims." Hawks stopped suddenly in front of the petrified man. Glancing over his servants head he gave a subtle nod. Barbara Castille silently eased into the office and Hawks again turned his attention back to the man in front of him. "I am sorry to say that this latest failure now places you in the later category."
With no warning Kinsey felt a tearing in his chest. Looking down he saw the sword blossoming out of his chest. A flow of red cascaded down his shirt and he jerked his head back to Hawks. He could only manage a groan as his body began to slide down in the chair. Releasing her hold on the sword Barbara stepped away from the back of the chair and watched with a smile.
Never uttering a word Kinsey slumped to the floor, the shift in weight sending the chair rolling backwards.
With a grin Barbara nimbly side-stepped the moving chair. Taking a few steps forward she stood over her prone victim. She stooped down and reached for the weapons handle. Casually, she eased the blade from the dead mans body. The blade became wedged in his ribs but she did not allow that to stop her. With a firm yank, the weapon was released, the motion causing Kinseys body to jerk.
Never taking her eyes off Hawks she slowly ran her finger up the blade collecting a coating of red. Trailing all the way to the tip, she then inserted her finger into her mouth. Closing her eyes she seductively sucked her finger and slowly pulled it out of her mouth. "Finger licking good." She purred and raised an eyebrow. Done with the ritual she bent over and cleaned her weapon in Kinseys coat. Her movements were rhythmic as she slid the blade between the layers of fabric.
Cocking her head up she met Hawks eyes once again. The smoky desire she saw reflected there made her heart thud in her chest. Arching her back she stood up straight, turned slightly, making sure her shapely rear-end, teaseing him.
Continuing to hold Hawks glassy stare she sheathed the sword. Taking her time she slid the blade into the leather scabbard. Sighing, she finished the act and swayed over to her lover. She stopped directly in front of him, only an inch separating them. Tilting her head back, she smiled and reached out grasping his shirt. With uncommon strength she ripped the shirt open, buttons scattering across the room.
He could feel her breath on his lips and together they met, lightly brushing lips in greeting. No longer able to control his desire David cupped her face in his hands, tangling his fingers in her long blond hair. He firmly pushed her down, letting her nibble his chest and stomach until she was on her knees in front of him. Guiding her hands he allowed her to unbuckle his belt and pants and they fell to the floor.
Leaning forward Barbara rubbed her face and hands against his thighs and groin. The silk of his shorts only added to the friction. He threw back his head and closed his eyes a groan of anticipation escaping his throat. The groan suddenly became a bellow of pain when Barbaras teeth sank into the soft flesh of his thigh.
Outraged, he slapped the woman away from him. The force of the blow sent her reeling backwards across the room. She landed against the wall with a sickening thud. Unfazed, she looked at him and laughed. It was a laugh low and throaty, full of passion and desire. Righting herself she began to crawl back to him. She stopped every few feet, watching her lover closely. Hawks nodded her forward.
Reaching Kinseys body she stared at the puddle of blood surrounding him. Raising her eyebrow in question she slid her hands through the puddle. Once her hands were coated she brought them to her face and painted streaks on her cheeks. David watched, licking his lips in excitement. His eyes widened as her hands vanished beneath her blouse and continued to paint.
Looking at him for encouragement she smiled when he said, "More."
She stretched out until she was lying spread eagle in the crimson puddle. Running her hands across her body she rolled like a cat. The red fluid painted her skin glistening red and her clothes seemed to melt into her. Meeting Davids stare she lifted her hand to him.
"You are such a slut." He replied. He grabbed her hand and pulled her feet. Then he pulled her close so she could feel what her show had done to him.
"Thats why you like me." She responded. She mustered her best innocent look and stood submissively against him.
Hawks grabbed her blouse and ripped the silk off her shoulders. The remaining tatters fell away and hung at her waist. Firmly seizing her arms he pulled her closer and leaned down, devouring her full breast. The taste and smell of blood brought his desire to new heights. He could also smell her arousal and then he lost all control. Throwing her to the floor, he ripped the rest of her clothes away and took her. The glazed eyes of Dan Kinsey were the only witness to the violent and heated union.