Fingers pressed into flesh, mouths sealed to tender, reddening skin. “Oh, oh, Hiroshi-kun… Iiya… Iiya… onegaaiii…” The woman gasped as the coil inside tightened, pleasure written all over her young face. “Hiro… shi… Oh!”
And the door slammed opened, knocking against the wall. Erik, who had hoped to catch his roommate masturbating to hentai (Japanese animated porn) and use it as blackmail… frowned. Kai was snoring amongst the pillows on the bed, a large duvet mostly shoved off to the side, near the wall. Luckily, it covered what was important, since Kai had apparently gone to bed naked.
Erik turned his head to look at the big screen along the far wall. Frowned some more. “Really, man, you’re-”
The blankets shifted. Kai was mostly not under the blankets.
Erik slowly shut the door, hoping Kai never found out.
The hall was filled with music and the sharp tapping of stiletto heels, hanging crystals glittered in the wavering glow of several hundred candles. Societies highest, in fashion designer suits and dresses mingled, spouting political niceties and empty interest. Outside, precious cameras with special flashes waited for a glimpse of a shoulder, a leg or even a smile from these elite citizens of New York.
The food had been delicious, the wine exquisite, the venue well-chosen, and even the fucking band had talent. Though the singer who had the stage an hour ago could have shattered concrete with that sour note.
Stepping out towards a balcony, one of the bodyguards nearby shook his head. A sneer lifted his lip as he glanced at the night air beckoning outside, but followed the silent advice of the professional. Instead, he turned back to the tedious ebb and flow of the crowd inside.
“Darling, do you want to dance?”
He looked down at the smokey-eyed actress on his arm and fought back the disgust that swelled up. “That is a fantastic idea, gorgeous,” he replied instead, “but I’m not interested.”
“Pumpkin?” Wide hazel eyes blinked up at him as plump red lips quivered.
You can act, he thought viciously. Too bad you can’t act interesting.
The game had soured, the night held no interest, and the company was so very lacking. He grasped the black satin of the woman’s hand, showing his amusement at the way her whole being lit with anticipation. These stupid, empty people. You just had to know the right triggers and they would all follow your lead.
He had to give her credit. Esmeralda knew the difference between amusement and irritation. Hesitating, she brought up a hand to touch his cheek. “Chang-darling? What’s wrong?”
A single hand flicked her glove away from his skin, followed by the arm that circled her waist firmly pushing her from his side. Her mouth sagged open in a perfect show of confusion. He wasn’t impressed.
“Go find someone else to play with. I’m done for the night.” He turned from her, a hand rising to bring in his honour guard.
The company was severely lacking. It had been for several months. Despite all his efforts: cajoling, threatening, pleading, bribing. Nothing would sway Christoph’s mind. The Triad heir hadn’t seen Ruby for months. All because he hadn’t found the right trigger yet.
He would though. Eventually, he always did.
The guards at his sides stiffened as he burst through the side door, his strides languid but long. The car was already pulling around the corner.
Chang took a deep breath of cool fall air. He would find those triggers. He would have her. She was worth it.
Kai frowned, staring at the floor as he lifted a dumbbell in one hand for his morning workout. Still no leads on Arana’s location. He had tried scrying. Soul searching. Memory scans. Standing on a street corner and staring around. Nothing. But he could be patient. He would find her eventually, despite the powerful protection spells she’d cast over herself. And that Ruby, he mused absently.
The dumbbell thudded softly as he set it down on the mat and rotated his arm. It was important that he learn all she had to teach him. He had learned all he could from his mother. While he dearly loved Emiko… she was more into purity than the darkness that ceaselessly tempted Kai.
He exhaled, letting his hand drop. Perhaps he should try searching a different way…?
“Who are you?”
Arana’s smile slipped away, eyes growing cold. “That’s not something you really want the answer to, boyo.”
“But I really do,” Kai insisted. “I want to know who you are. Please?”
A smirk. “You want to know my power. Don’t pretend otherwise. I know.”
He didn’t pretend.
The bell over the door dinged. “We’re not open-” he started to say, but paused.
The brown-haired male in the doorway blinked. “Uh… when do you open? Been looking for a new place to work out. Somewhere in the area. Thinking of staying here a while, you know?” He grinned cheekily.
“Gomen,” Kai said, getting up and smiling. “You’re welcome to join me for my workout.”
Brown eyes lit up. “Sweet!”
Kai bowed. “Boku wa Watanari Kaitaro desu.”
The newcomer mimicked the movement. “Ore wa Isoto Shinji desu.”
“–and then that’s it. She gets up, apologizes for scaring everyone, and walks out the door with us.”
There was a cough from the other side of the card table.
“Yeah, okay, and Wolfie hits a button or something as soon as we’re a safe distance away–thank you so much for your consideration–and the whole place ends up flatter than my grandmother’s tits.”
This time, there were groans from three sides of the table and various people downed a gulp of their choice in poisons. “Medic…”
“Wait. Wait.” The younger man waved his hands, trying to understand. “She gets up and no one reacts?”
“Of course we reacted. We got her out of there as soon as we could.”
Scalpel shook his head. “No, I mean. No one went ‘Aaauuugghhh!’ or something when she fucking got back up?” He looked around at the others and noted the very disapproving expressions on several of the older mercenaries. “No offence, but have none of you ever seen zombie flicks?!”
“Hey.” The doctor curled a finger at his second. “C’mere.”
Joe cringed, sighed, but leaned forward. The slap he got over the top of his head didn’t seem to surprise him, but the force behind it did. “Gah!”
“Shut the fuck up about zombies, kid.” Medic settled back into his seat, watching as the idiot rubbed his head. “She’s alive. Heart beats, lungs breathe, eyes see, brain thinks. More than what I can say for some fuckers.”
The reaction around the table and among those at the outer rings was more supportive this time around. A few toasts to Lady’s health.
“Lady is…” Medic took a swig of the whiskey, voice going soft. “She is a walking miracle, that one.”
A/N: And we’re back! Please don’t kill us.