Shit! The little bugger was fast! He had been chasing her for frickin’ four years and each time he caught sight of her, she’d flash him a devilish grin and disappear. Every single time she had out ran him, out jumped him and she had to be part Mankey from the way she climbed on and jumped off buildings. But he was going to get her this time.
His long white hair wrapped around his face as he ran across the roof of a building. Broken Shadows, the ex-Gym leader was one of the fastest he’d ever chased. Her long legs gobbled up the roof as she swiftly pulled ahead of him. Damn! Her long dark brown hair was braided.
She was dressed in a black tank top, stretchy black jeans, knee high black boots with straps and rubber soles and a black assassin’s jacket. It was hooded and exposed her gold skin to the moonlight. It had no sleeves and it was ankle length leather.
He grunted, his body screaming as he leaped from one building to another. She let out a roaring laugh and smiled over her shoulder, large dark brown eyes glittering with laughter.
“Rule number two!” She shouted. “Cardio!” She jumped over a ventalation pipe and tucked herself in a ball. She rolled and came up running. That had cost her precious seconds. Fen poured on speed and took a flying leap. He tackled her and sent them both rolling, each fighting for the top.
She kicked him in the stomach and rolled away.
“Enough!” Fen called. “I’m tired of chasing you! Let’s just battle and get this over with.”
“Fine.” She pushed wayward strands of hair out of her pretty face. her face was rounder than a oval and thinner than a circle. Wide dark brown eyes flashed fire at him. She had a tiny nose and a pretty pink mouth. Her lips were plump and made up her best feature. She pushed her jacket away to show a slim hip. She pulled a Poke ball out of a pouch that hung from her belt.
Now that she was still, he took notes of her clothes and weapons. Thigh holsters attached to the belt and crossed over her thighs and disappeared into her boots. Long, jagged daggers were on either thigh. A shoulder holster strapped across her shoulders and across her chest. That was where she kept her guns. She had a stone hammer on her right hip and assorted shuriken and throwing knives hidden in her jacket, boot and even her hair.
She pressed the button in the middle of the Poke ball and red light shone. When it died down, a Absol stood in front of her. It stood as tall as her shpulder, give or take a coulpe inches, which wasn’t that amazing considering she was barely five feet tall. It had thick snowy fur and three long, wickely curved claws on the front of it’s paws and one on the back. Long white fur was swept to the left of it’s face while a cresent shaped horn jutted from the right. His black tail was down, so the Absol was calm. Creepy.
It’s face and snout were black, save a red dot on it’s forehead. Piering black eyes stared ar him calmly. He had never seen a Absol and didn’t even know Broken Shadows had one.
He drew his own Poke ball from his own pouch and pressed the button on the middle. Once again, red light filled the space. His Swampert stood and started to stare the Absol down. Swampert was almost five feet tall but the Absol wasn’t backing down.
His Swampert was blue with orange eyes, orange skin on each of his arms and legs. Two large fins stood tall on his head. Another large fin acted as his tail. His belly was a bluish-white and he had three fingers on each hand and stood almost five feet tall.
“Swampert use Mud Shot!” Fen called. He had to plan. Broken Shadows was a fantastic Trainer, meaning a fierce opponent.
“Talon dodge and counter with Night Slash!” Swampert opened it’s mouth and thick brown mud shot out. The Absol jumped to the side and rolled when Swampert turned the mud to him again. The Absol faded into the shadows. Confused, Swampert looked around.
“Stay vigilant, Swampert.” Fen cautioned. The blue Pokemon nodded. The Absol shot from the shadows and raked it’s claws down Fen’s Swampert’s side.
“Swampert use Water Gun and round it off with Tackle.”
“Absol use Bite!”
Swampert shot a steady stream of water at the Absol, hitting it in the eyes. Absol swiped a paw over it’s eyes to clear them. Swampert jumped and smacked into the Absol, taking it to the ground. Absol turned and sunk it’s teeth into Swampert’s arm. Fen’s Swampert let out a cry of pain.
“Absol break away and use Razor Wind!” The Absol planted it’s hind paws into Swampert’s belly and pushed. Swampert flew off it and Absol stood. It slashed it’s head to the side, sending a sharp gust of wind caused by his horn at Fen’s Swampert. It blew his Swampert back a few inches.
Okay. His Swampert was getting tired. Fen grabbed his stun gun and fired it at Broken Shadows. She saw it at the last second. It hit her in the arm. She collapsed on the ground. Fen strolled over to her and picked up the Poke ball to the Absol. He pressed the button and returned the Absol to it’s Poke ball.
He put the Poke ball back in the pouch and releaved her of the pouch. She had three Poke balls. He bound her hands and feet and slung her over his shoulder. He found a stairwell and entered the building. He took the steps two at a time, careful not to move her too much, lest she wake.
And that would be bad. One time he had knocked her out, bound her hands and carried her through the woods. He wasn’t careful and she woke up. He still thought she was asleep so he let his grip relax. She had flipped over his shoulder and landed on her back on the ground. She jumped up and proceed to kick the crap out of him. Literally.
She hit him with attack after attack of spinning kicks, drop kicks and jumping kicks until she knocked him out. She found one of his knives, cut herself loose and disappeared. Needless to say, he hated her.
He reached his parked car which was a mile away, thanks to the freakin’ ninja thrown over his shoulder. She opened the back door and slid her in. He pushed her lags up to her chest and buckled her in. Then he slid in the car. It was silver and had four doors. It was plain, with brown leather seats and metalic detailing. He fastened his seat belt and turned the key in the engine.
Fen opened her Poke ball pouch. There was three in there. One Litwick, a Absol. What was the other Pokemon? He found the Poke ball and pressed the button. Red light eveloped his passenger seat. A Pokemon that was two feet tall looked up at him. A Larvitar.
It was green with red eyes and a red diamond-shaped belly. There were two black diamond-shaped spots next to his belly and two on his back. A black fang shaped spot was just under each eye. A four inch horn jutted from his head. A short tail drooped as he saw his master in the backseat. He returned the Larvitar back to it’s Poke ball.
His car was powered by electricity from Electric Pokemon so he didn’t pollute the air. He sighed and tried to relax, even though there was a ninja assassin in his backseat. Sometimes, he hated his job.
I woke up, strapped down. For a second, I didn’t know where I was. Then memories flooded back. The white haired man who had been chasing me since I was ten had been running after me. He challenged me to a duel and cheated and knocked me out. I tried to memorize his face so I could get a rematch on our battle. Thick pure white hair was pulled back into a ponytail at the back of his head.
He had the most interesting eyes. They were a dark gray, like slate, and had flecks of blue. If you stared long enough at the flecks, they seemed to swirl, dance. His skin was pale. Strong lips were pressed into a firm line. He was mad. He was also tall, at least six foot two and he worked out. From what I remembered, he was dressed in a black T-shirt, blue jeans and black boots.
I felt a burning sensation running up my right leg. I looked down, with some difficulty, and saw a foot long gash that stretched from knee cap to a inch from the top of my thigh. It had bloodied my jeans and there was broken glass still in it. This was going to suck.
I moved my bound hands down to the cut and started picking pieces of glass out. I pulled all the little pieces out and started on the big ones. I nearly fainted when I wretched the first piece out of my flesh. There were three more pices that were smaller than the first big one. They came out without much pain.
The next piece was sticking four inches out of my thigh and was in really deep. I grabbed it with both hands and started pulling. I almost screamed and stopped tugging. I breathed deeply, then resumed pulling. Inch by friggin’ inch, it came out. It took about ten minutes. When it finally slid out, I fainted from the pain and from seeing all that blood gush out.
It was four a.m. when Fen pulled up in front of the Gates. He typed in the code to unlock them and drove through. The drive had taken about two hours since she was so far away. He slid out the car and unlocked the back door. When he leaned in, he was suprized to see there was blood all over the seat.
It was trickling out a foot long gash in Broken Shadows’ thigh. He cursed under his breath and picked her up. He cradled her to his chest so he wouldn’t hurt her more.
Then, he ran into the log mansion that was home to the Legionnaire Corps. He pushed open the door and ran into the lobby. It was made of all white marble. The marble was veined with gold. Columns stood tall and supported the vaulted ceiling. Long end tables made of cherrywood had vases of colorful flowers on them. Pictures of the former captains of the Legionnaires were mounted on the walls.
Unpleased faces glared at them as they ran through. He ran up the staircase and banged on Chief’s door.
“Chief!” He yelled. “I got Broken Shadows!”
“Why the hell didn’t you say so?” Chief Breene opened the door. He was five inches taller than Fen with black hair that was gelled up into two inch spikes. His eyes were dark green, his jaw strong, and his mouth pressed into a thin line. He was dressed in a yellow T-shirt, blue jeans and black sneakers.
“What the hell is this?” He pointed to all the blood,
“I don’t know how she got the cut.”
“Why the hell are you still standing here? Get your ass to the infirmary now boy!”
They started running. Out the door to the left in the waiting room in front of Chief office and down the hall to the infirmary. Chief slammed the door open and yelled for the doctor. Fen laid her down on the first white cot in sight.
The doctor opened a curtain and glared at them. “What are you doing in my infirmary?”
“If you don’t get your flamming faggot ass over to that cot and save my niece’s life you won’t have a life. I’ll kill you.”
The doctor nodded and closed the curtain around him and Broken Shadows. He told Fen and Chief to chill in the chiars outside the room. Nodding, they left the and took a seat. Two nurses came barelling pass them and into the room. They sat there for four hours until the doctor came and told them she was awake.
I sat up in bed and realized I was in some sort of hospital. The walls were white, and there looked to be seven cots beside me. Light blue curtains separated the cots for privacy. On the left side of the room was a long counter, cabinets were mounted on the walls, a large sink was next to the counter and there was a examination table.
There was a computer next to the door and a garbage can. The white haired man and another man, with dark hair, came in. It took me a moment to realize who the other man was.
“Uncle Val!” I smiled. “You got bigger!”
“Notice anything different?” He grinned. I didn’t recognize him because when I last saw him, he had a mustache.
“Um . . . “ I pretended to think. “I got it! You shaved your mustache, didn’t you? You look ravishing.”
“Thank you.” The white haired man nudged Val. “Oh, right. What took you so long?”
“Sorry. I didn’t know you were captain. And it was fun out running captain poopy pants over there.”
“Quiet, Fen. Who cut you?”
“It’s not important. What time is it and where are my Pokemon?”
As soon as I spoke, three Poke balls burst open and my Pokemon ran to me.
“Aww! Hi guys!” They jumped on the cot and started smothering me. “Titan, Talon and Mischief!” I stared hard at them. They got off me and sat at the end of the bed.
“Which are which?” Val asked me.
“Talon is the Absol, Titan is the Larvitar and Mischief is the Litwick. Mischief was adorable. He was a foot tall and cream colored. The top of his head was white and his flame bluish green. His eyes were bluish green and he tended to live up to his nick name.
“So, you didn’t answer my question.” Val pinned me with a stare.
“It was a accident.”
“So. I want to know. Now, spill it.”
“Fine. He did it.” I pointed at the white haired man.
“Me?” He scoffed. “I didn’t touch you, let alone cut you.”
“Remember when I was running across the roof and you tackled me? My guess it that I collided with some glass and got cut.” I leaned back against the pillows. “All thanks to you.”
He just glared at me. “We still have to interrogate her.”
“Yeah.” Val sighed and ran a hand through his hair, not a easy feat since to was gelled. “Can you walk?”
“Yeah.” I swung my legs of the bed and peeled away the covers to find I had on no pants. “What happened to my pants?” I covered up.
“I’ll find you some.” Val walked out the door.
“Nice underwear. Green with pink lace. Does your bra match?” The white haired man said with a viscious glint in his eyes. I flipped him the bird and he almost smiled. “Didn’t your mom teach you not to do that?”
“My mom died giving birth to me. But you knew that already. My face has been on the news enough in the fourteen years I’ve lived for everyone to know.” He had struck a nerve and he knew it. A look passed over his face but he quickly hid it.
“Where’s my coat?”
“Here.” He handed it to me. I threaded my arms through the holes and pulled it around my body. “Where did you get that coat anyway? That’s a assassin’s cloak.”
“Yes.” I looked under the bed for my socks and boots.
“Where’d you get it?”
“I found it.”
He nodded and we sat in silence. I rubbed a hand over Talon’s fur, smiling at how thick and soft it was. He barked softly and licked my hand. Not wanting to be left out, Mischief and Titan squeezed into my embrace. The suck-ups.
The door opened and Val threw me a pair of stretchy yoga pants. They looked more like tights and were really long in the legs. My guess was a giant wore them. It turned around and pulled them on. Luckily, they fit and I didn’t have VPL. I pulled the hood on my jacket over my head and faced Val and the white haired man.
“What’s your name?” I asked him.
“So I don’t hav to keep calling you the ‘white haired man’, okay?”
“I’m Shadow Phoenix.” I held out my hand. He eyed it like it was a time bomb. Carefully, he wrapped his giant hand around my tiny one and gently shook it.
“I thought your name was just Broken Shadows.” He said as we walked down the sun light filled hallway.
“Broken Shadows is my first name, Phoenix was my middle name. When I turned fourteen my last name was-”
“Dropped, I know. Everyone’s is.”
He was right. In the four islands of Rhaegar, Zircon, Muracia and Dyklias, as a rule, when your children turned fourteen their middle name became their last name and the other one was dropped. It was supposed to teach the kids that they were on their own and had to take responsibility for their actions and lives.
Since no one was talking, I began to recite the lessons I was given as a child. Rhaegar was the north island and where my ancestors founded Black Water City. Zircon was the west island and where Red Oak was founded. Muracia was the south island was where Pyre was founded and Dyklias was the east island and where Everdeen was founded.
All the islands were connected by bridges that made a diamond. Black Water had Water, Ice, Ghost and Dark Type Pokemon. Red Oak had Flying, Normal, Bug and Poison Types. Pyre had Fire, Fighting, Ground and Rock Types. Dyklias had Steel, Electric, Psychic, Grass and Dragon Types.
Black Water was almost all forest and had lakes and waterfall with hidden caves. Red Oak was all mountains and grasslands. Pyre was all mountains and caves and deserts. Dyklias was a mixture of all. Huge mountains, caves, waterfalls, grasslands, forests and deserts.
I hadn’t even paying attention to where we were going. We stopped in front of a room. The hallway here was all white like in the infirmary. Fen opened the door and wewalked into a large white room. Metal tables flanked up and a metal detector was in front of us.
There was a door to a second room. The whole wall that we could see was thick glass. There was a table and a couple chairs. Fen gestured for me to stand and hold my arms out. It planted my feet with a foot between them, knowing he’d what to check for weapons strapped to my legs.
My Pokemon looked at me, shrugged and began wrestling. It was Mischief against Titan. Titan had two feet on him but Mischief was tricky. Titan was in for a good fight.
Fen removed my shoulder holster that had my pistols. He removed my belt, which I had looped around my hips, and ran his hands along my sides. I was ticklish, but managed to hold still and not laugh. He found the throwing knives sown into my tank and the shuriken that were lining my jacket’s hem.
He began searching my Jacket. “Um . . . You might want to just take the jacket, otherwise . . . We might be here for a while.”
He took the jacket and Val began stripping it of it’s hidden knives and shuriken. He pulled the twin daggers out of my boots and lifted my feet one at a time, checking for hidden compartments. He found a dozen thin three inch slivers of metal in my braid.
“Anything else?” He asked after twenty minutes of searching. “If you don’t tell me now, you can best believe I will find them and I won’t look as gently as I just did.” I smiled and pulled the ring off my thumb. If you straightened it out, it was a lockpick and I told him so. He wasn’t happy with all the weapons I had on me, but he was impressed I had hidden them so well.
“Damn Shade. What the hell are you afraid of?”
“Hell.” I answered.
“Fair enough.” Val answered. “That it?”
“Yup. Never can be too careful.”
Fen wrapped his fingers around my arm adn led me into the room with the glass wall. I took a seat and Fen and Val sat across from me.
“Well, what do you want to know?”
“Just start from the beginning.” Fen said. I shrugged and did just that.
“My mother died giving birth to me, my dad died two years after my mother and my brother ran off four years after my dad died. At six years old, I inherited the Black Water City Gym. It was the only Dark Gym in existance and had been passed down from one Baron to the other. I was the last of my House, House Baron. We decended from the ancient Indians themselves. Hector Malcom had been my second-in command. I had rulled the Gym with a iron hand. Nothing passed without my say-so and for four years, Black Water prospered. On my tenth birthday, Hector marched into my mansion while my party was going on and told me that I didn’t deserve my Gym. He surrounded me with High Command League Assassins and ordered me to surrender. I dispatched all ten of them and escaped them mansion by jumping out a window into the lake that surrounded my mansion."
“I escaped into Shadow’s Edge, the forest, and Hector proclaimed me a fugitive and that I was to be shot on sight. He gave the Legionnaires orders to find me. Then Fen came in the picture. Twelve times in four years, he had found me. Each time I disabled him so he couldn’t follow and escaped.”
I paused and took a deep breath. Fen handed me a glass of water and I drained it. Mischief and Titan scrambled up into my lap and Talon seated himself on my feet. I leaned down and ran my fingers through his thick fur.
“Yesterday, he caught me and here we are now.” I leaned back in my chair.
“I didn’t believe you when you said you found the assassin’s coat.”
“Good for you. Give the boy a prize.” I clapped my hands together, sarcasm dripping from my words.
“You’re very sarcastic. Where’d you get it?”
“You want the truth?” He nodded. “Fine. I met a old man in Shadow’s Edge. My brother had taught me how to fight but he told me he could teach me more. He was a former High Command Assassin, who ran away from the League. He taught me for two years and gave me the coat. I have it in dark blue, red and white too.”
“You can’t go five seconds without being sarcastic, can you?”
“Heck if I know.” I shrugged. “I never tried. Is the interregation over? I haven’t eaten in three days and haven’t showered or sleep in twice that long.”
Val began whispering to Fen about something. From the look on Fen’s face, it was something he wasn’t happy about.
“Fen will take you to shower and sleep.” Val told me.
“Good. I need clothes, too. My stuff is in a small apartment off Nextus street. Number eight. You might as well grab it all. I can tell I’m going to be here a while.”
Chief took her to his room to sleep. He was pissed when Chief had told him that she would be sleeping in his room. On his bed. Chief’s excuse was that he was a man, therefor, she couldn’t possibly bunk in Chief’s room. He grabbed the keys to his car and started it up. At the gates, he typed in his code and drove through.
There was a winding path that wound through Shadow’s Edge. Shadow’s Edge was one of the largest forests. Rhaegar was about three hundred miles long and two hundred wide. Black Water was in the direct middle of the island and was surrounded by the dense, flowering forest. the forest was surrounded by the sand and the sand by the water.
The bridges were southeast and southwest. The forest was tall trees that had stood there for over three centuries. Berry bushes and flowers threatened to over ran the path he was driving on. Pokemon shuffled through the forest, snacking on the ripe berries and hiding in the dense undergrowth.
Sunlight slanted into th eforest through the breaks in the canopy of leaves. It was a perfect day, seventy-seven degrees with a cool breeze. He heard thumps in his backseat and turned around to see Broken Shadows’ Pokemon wrestling. They were a tumlbing ball of fur, fangs and claws. He beeped his horn and Pokemon broke apart.
The Absol, ever so calm, climbed into the front seat, next to him. It stared at him cooly, daring him to object his rule ofver the passenger seat. He just shrugged and pulled the seatbelt over the Pokemon and buckled him in.
The Larvitar and Litwick, seeing how the Absol was buckled in, grabbed their seatbelt and tried to buckle them. The Litwick was having troube so the Larvitar grabbed it’s seatbelt and shoved it into the catch. He tapped on the release to show the Liwick that was how to get out. The tiny Pokemon nodded and settled down happily. The Larvitar rolled it’s red eyes and buckled it’s own seatbelt.
They rode in silence until they reached the city. Then the Liwick started pointing out the window and screeching about what it saw. The Larvitar began singing to itself, a series of high pitched sounds. The Absol looked into the backseat and back at Fen. He could swear he saw pity in it’s calm eyes. It used a claw to roll down the window on it’s side and stuck its head out to drown out the noise.
He followed the directions Broken Shadows gave him and pulled into a parking lot. He unstrapped the Absol’s seatbelt and it leaped to the ground gracefully. The Larvitar and Litwick came crashing to the ground when he opened the door. The tiny Litwick had the Larvitar pinned and was grunting with the strain of holding the larger Pokemon down.
The Larvitar pushed the small Pokemon off and the Litwick went sailing. It slammed into the ground and laid there for a few seconds. It rolled to it’s feet and glared at the Larvitar.
“Litwick!” It growled at the Larvitar. Before the fight could continue, Absol marched up and snatched Larvitar up by the scruff of it’s neck. It sat it next to Litwick and stared hard at them both. They bowed their heads and mumbled something unintelligible. They stood and began chattering as if the whole fall out between them hadn’t just happened.
Fen shook his head and sighed. He walked up a flight of stairs and unlocked the apartment door with the key that Broken Shadows had given him.
The apartment was plain with cream colored walls and brown carpet. There was a faded green couch with a old TV mounted on a small wooden table. The kitchen was small with cheap white tile for the counter top and covering the floor. The cabinets were cheep wood, the refridgerator the same cream color as the walls. She had a tiny table with one chair. He walked down into the hall and opened the first door on the right. It was a small bedroom.
The walls were a soft gray with blue curtains covering the wide window that her bed rested under. There was a large dresser and a cramped closet. She had a desk and chair next to the door. Her carpet was the same brown as the hall and living room. He opened the closet, found a relatively small trunk. It was about three feet long, a foot wide and three feet tall.
So, she was a girly-girl. Her closet was filled with dresses in all colors of the rainbows. He carefully pulled them off their hangers and layered them into the trunk. He picked the trunk up and carried it to the dresser.
There were five drawers, each used for something different. The first was jeans and shorts. He dumped the contents into the trunk. The second was tank tops and other shirts. That was dumped into the trunk too.
The third was skirts. If she had dresses, she had to have had skirts. He dumped them in. The fourth was bras, underwear and socks. His cheeks burning with embaressment, Fen dumped them into the trunk.
The fourth was a bunch of note books hidden under pajamas. Curious, he opened one. It was full of designs for dresses. Formal, casuala dn a everthing in between. The others had shirts, pants, skirts and shoes. Especially shoes.
Shoes! He smacked him self on the forehead. He had forgotten to grab her shoes. Her closet was empty so he let the rooma dn went into the room across from it. He couldn’t tell what color the walls were since they were covered from brown carpet to white ceiling with bookcases. She must have spent thousands on all those books.
He would have to come back for the books. He found a closet and opened it. Well, he had found the shoes. All three hundred of them. That, of course, was a exaggeration. He picked them up and threw them into the trunk. It was full by time he was done.
He carried it out to the car and stashed it in the backseat. Where had her Pokemon gone? He walked back inside and stared at the kitchen in horror. There was flour everywhere. It covered the floor, counters and the bickering Pokemon. It was even on the ceiling.
Absol, ever calm, had found a sponge and was attempting to clean at least some of the mess. Larvitar and Litwick were rolling around on the floor, beating each other into dust. Or, more accurately, into the flour. He picked them up and carted them off to the shower. He set them in the tub and turned the facet on. Not a good idea. It immediately turned into a water fight. He4 shut the water off.
“Larvitar and Liwick! Enough!” He yelled. They played on, not even taking notice of him. What was it that Broken Shadows had said to him before he left? Oh, right. They wouldn't pay attention unless you used their nicknames.
“Mischief and Titan.” He said in a voice that was strained with effort of keeping his temper under control. They looked up at him. Just then, Absol padded in. He stepped into the water and submerged himself, cleansing the flour from his thick, snowy fur.
“That’s enough. If you don’t start behaving while here, I will never take you with me again.”
They nodded and started sponging the flour from themselves. Fen ran a hand through his long hair and went back to the kitchen to try and clean it up. He finished in the kitchen and went to her bathroom. He found a small bag and dumped her shampoo, conditioner, body wash and other crap he though she would need. He was carting the stuff out to his car when he caught sight of her back pack.
With his free hand, he grabbed the back pack. It was black and slightly larger than other packs. It was also heavy. But, he saw she carried that thing around like it weighted two pounds instead of twenty. He slung it over his shoulder and shouted for the Pokemon. As usual, Titan and Mischief came in squabbling at each other. Talon followed, a weary look in his eyes, like he couldn’t take putting up with them anymore.
He shoved both bags next to the trunk in the backseat and help Titan and Mischief into the car. Since the Trunk took up most of the room, Titan and Mischief sat on top of it. This, of course, resulted in a fight. Talon just looked at him, as if he were saying ‘see what I have to put up with everyday?’. Yes. Yes, he did. It was a new form of torture.
He separated the quarrelling Pokemon and started the car. Talon curled himself up on the passenger seat and took a nap.
When Fen came in, loaded down with my trunk and two bags, I almost laughed. Damn, he was strong. Those had to weight at least a easy one hundred pounds. And I told him so.
“It doesn’t bother me.” He replied as he set my stuff down. “I bench press three hundred so that’s not very heavy.”
“Thank you. You brought everything?”
“Yeah. I figured you were going to be here a while since Chief was probably going to put you in WPP.”
Ahh, yes. Witness Protection Program. That probably wouldn’t help.
“Fen.” Val interrupted. “I’ve decided that Shade is a valuable asset and can be of great help to us.”
“I’m now a Legionnaire. A apprentice, to be exact. Your apprentice.” If I could capture lightning in form, it would be the look on Fen’s face. I then excused myself to shower. Val and I had been talking while Fen was getting my clothes. I rummaged through my trunk and grabbed my pajamas.
The bathroom was nice. Heated black tiles covered the floor. The walls were white. The sink was a few feet from the door so when you opened it, it wouldn’t slam into the sink. Across from the sink was the toilet. In the right corner was the shower stall. It was about ten feet long and four feet wide with fogged glass doors. There were nozzles implanted in the walls. There was a indent in the wall for bottles. The tiles inside the shower were gold.
I locked the bathroom door behind me and started the shower. I pulled off my clothes and hopped in. The water immediately had a effect on my knotted muscles. I stayed under the spray for a few minutes and searching for my shampoo.
Damn, I left it in my trunk. I stepped out of the shower and wrapped a towel around my body. I cracked the door open and called Val. He poked his head around the door and smiled.
“Val. I left my shampoo, conditioner and body wash in the trunk. Can you get them?” He nodded and disappeared. He popped up a few minutes later, my stuff in hand. I grabbed it and returned to the shower.
Thirty minutes, I was dressed in my pajamas, black cotton pants with the Xbox logo and a baggy white T-shirt. I found my brush in my trunk and ran it through my damp hair.
“Wow.” Fen said as he walked through the door and saw me brushing my hair. “Your hair is longer than I thought.”
“It’s a little bit pass waist length.” I bent over and started brushing the underside of my hair. When I was done, I flipped my hair and climbed onto the giant bed.
I hadn’t really looked at the room when I had came in but now I realized it was very nice. The walls were black at the top and, as they drew closer to the black carpet, turned white. The bed was on the left side of the spacious room. It had a thick white quilt and white pillows. The bathroom was on the right, next to a large ebony cupboard. Next to the bathroom was the closet. I hadn’t been inside, but I was guessing it was neat like the rest of teh rooms.
The wall in the middle had wide, tall windows on either side of teh double doors that led to a balcony. Sheer black curtains hid the room from sight. There was a small table next to the bed and a desk under one of the windows, the one next to the closet. Under the other window was a entertainment center with a large flat screen TV. A Xbox and other games were inside a cubbyhole. There was a white couch with black swirls in front of it. The couch was maybe four feet long and two feet wide.
All in all, this was a very nice room. “Who’s room is this?” I asked Fen.
“Mine.” Was his simple reply. Oh. Well, that explained the lack of color. I knelt on the side if the bed and began to pray. When I finished, I crawled back into the bed and passed out from exhaustion.
When I woke up, and I’m embarressed to say it was a full twenty hours later, Fen was gone. There was a hamburger, french fries and chocolate shake on his desk. I swung my legs off the bed and padded over to the food. There was a letter propped up against the plate the food was resting on. It said to put on one of my three hundred dresses and come to the garden.
I devoured the food, slurped the shake and started seaching for my Pokemon. I found them under the bed, putting on fashion show with my T-shirts. I pulled them out and retrieved my shirts.
Talon licked my face and Titan pushed Mischief, who started punching him. I solved this fight by sending them to their Poke balls. I found a dress in my trunk and matching shoes. I pulled the dress on and stepped into the shoes. I brushed my hair, rubbed some apple-smelling hair gunk in it to keep it from frizzing and pulled the hair at my temples backa and clipped a small barrette it keep in in place.
I wound a thin strap of leather around the barrette. It had two little bells attached to it and they jingled when I moved. I found my box of lip gloss and picked one up. I applied it and clipped my pendant on. It had white gold and silver strands twining around each other to make a thin chain. A thin disk of black onyx was suspended from the chain.
My ears weren’t pierced, so I didn’t need earrings. I released Mischief and Titan from their Poke balls and pinned them with a stare. When they were sent to their Poke balls, they knew they were in trouble.
“I don’t want to see you two fight again tonight. Understood?” They hung their heads and tried to look ashamed. I gave them both a hug and they happily followed me and Talon out the door.
The garden was alight with small paper lamps. Trees made a circle where they held their parties. Large flowers very heavy with scent and the trees hid most of the stars and the moon from sight. The sun was still jusy setting, casting a pink and orange glow on the fairy circle, as Chief liked to call it.
There was a wooden dance floor and four circular tables held food. There was a least ten feet of room between each table so you could pass. To the west was a foot path that led to the back of the mansion. He saw the Pokemon before he saw her.
She was wearing in a red dress with a orange sheen to it. It had thin straps and a drew down into a V. It was tight on the torso and flowed down over her hips. It was knee length and she had paired it with red flats. They showed her toes, painted a pearly white. A strap wrapped around the back of her foot. There was even a small bow on the part that crossed over her toes. Her dark hair was pulled back and tied tith a strip of leather, it looked like.
She wore the pendent that was passed down from Gym leader to Gym leader in her family. The black onyx had a Absol carved into the surface and the words ‘abandon not your faith, but stand tall and fast’. They wer ethe words of her House.
Every House had words. Even his own House, House Nykian, had words. They were ‘leave no man behind’. He had lived by that saying since he could understand it.
She waved at him. As she drew near, he could hear the faint tinkling of bells. He realized that they were in her hair, attached to the strip of leather. She smelled like apples, a scent that lingered in the air when she moved.
“Hi.” She waved when she caught sight of him.
“Hey. You clean up better than I thought.”
“Thanks. I think.” She turned to check on her Pokemon. Mischief was balancing on Titan’s head to reach the food on the buffet tables. She crossed over to them and plucked Mischief off of Titan.
After a quick lecture, she filled a plate with food and set it in the grass. The Pokemon padded over and sat in a circle around the plate. They each picked one section of food and claimed it as their own.
She returned and sighed. “Sorry. They’re something else, aren’t they?”
“Yeah. They seem to get along when eating, thought.”
“That’s because they know I’ll take away their food and they’ll only get vegatables.”
“I know.” She looked around, searching for Chief, he guessed. Her eyes widened and a grin lit up her face. She ran and threw her arms around one of the Legionnaires, Braiden Calvin.
“Cousin!” She hugged him hard. Cousin? This was new to him. He moved closer to hear better.
“Shadow!” Braiden turned and hugged her back. “I didn’t know you were here. They finally caught you, eh?”
“I was wounded and he-” Broken Shadows pointed at Fen. “-Cheated and knocked me out with a dart.”
“Really? Shadow, you’ve been letting your guard down?” He ran a hand through her thick curls. “Where’s Pinocchio and the others?”
Her face fell and her shoulders slumped. “Hector had them killed. He caught me when I had first gotten away and killed them in front of me as punishment.” Tears made her eyes shine. Braiden pulled her in for a hug.
“I didn’t know.”
Looking at Braiden now, Fen could make out a resemblance. Though his hair was a few shades lighter brown then her’s, it had the same crazy curls. His eyes were gold and had the same almond shape. He was five foot ten and she was barely five feet. His skin was pale. His mouth smaller. His nose was longer and his face thinner.
He was dressed in a blue T-shirt, blue jeans and black sneakers. Fen, on the other hand, was wearing his normal uniform of white button-up shirt with the sleeves rolled up, dark blue jeans and black boots.
“Where are Lilith and Evie?” She asked.
“Somewhere. Lilith has a new boyfriend.” He waggled his eyebrows. “Evie has her face buried in a book still.”
“What’s wrong with that?” She planted her fists on her hips and glared at Braiden.
“Not a damn thing.” He grinned and Broken Shadows hugged him good-bye. She cast a quick glance over to the spot where her Pokemon were eating. Some how, they had reached the table and piled their plate with ice cream.
They saw Broken Shadows and hid the ice cream, innocent expressions in place.
“So what should I call you? Broken Shadows is a mouthfull.”
“Gee, thanks.” She replied in a dead voice, sarcasm dripping from her words. “Call me what ever you like. I really don’t care.”
“Reminds me of your hair. And easy to remember.”
“Fine.” She looked at the dance floor. “Want to dance?”
“No. I don’t dance.”
“Oh, come on! Everyone dances! Even Val.”
“All right. But don’t cry when I step all over your feet.”
Fen was a terrible dancer. I was literally falling all over myself from laughing at him. I was laughing so hard, it took me eight times to tell him he was a bad dancer.
“I never claimed I knew how to dance.” Was his response. Half was through the second dance, my Pokemon butted in. Talon shouldered Fen out of the way and stood on his hind legs. He began to hop on a circle, sending me into peels of laughter.
Mischief and Titan were hopping from foot to foot, dancing with each other. They were so cute. And hyper from the ice cream they took. They thought I didn’t notice.
Fen was staring at my Pokemon in amusement and curiosity. “Did you teach them that?”
“No. They do that when ever music is playing.”
He nodded. He disappeared in the crowd of people. I just shrugged and accepted a dance from a guy who told me he was a new recruit like I was. His name was Torin. He had thick, straight orange hair that was streaked with brown. His eyes were blue and he was about five foot eight. He was slightly muscled and sweet. He told me he had joined with his sister, Tameth.
We made painfull small talk when the dance was over. Fen returned with two cups of punch. He handed one to me. I thanked him and took a sip.
Titan and Mischief were winding around my legs, begging for water.
“Any water?” I asked Fen.
“Buffet table number three. I’ll walk you.” We took off, making our way through the mass of bodies.
“So,” I said, breaking the silence. “What kind of nickname is Fen?”
“The kind people call me?”
“Very funny. What is it short for?”
“My full name.”
“You’re avoiding the question.”
“I know. Maybe one day I’ll tell you.”
That was reassuring. We reached the table, my Pokemon whinning about being thirsty. I filled a salad bowl with water and set it in the grass a few feet away. They immediately dove for it, nearly spilling it.
I sighed and filled two more bowls. Talon was the biggest at almost four feet tall, so it was he who was drinking the water. Mischief and Titan were on either sides of him, pushing and pulling to get him away from the water. He looked up at them, his steady gaze full of pity and amusement.
I set the bowl down and Mischief and Titan both gave happy squeals. They attacked their water with as much enthusiasm as when they wrestled. It ran a hand down Mischief back and he grinned at me. I gave Talon’s tail a swift yank and planted a kiss on Titan’s head before returning to Fen.
“You like your Pokemon.” He stated.
“Yes.” I raised a eyebrow. “Don’t you like your Pokemon?”
“Well, yes. But most Gym leaders see their Pokemon as means to power.”
“Which Gym leaders have you been hanging out with?”
“Never mind. Do you want to dance again?”
“Why not?” I shrugged.
Of course, there just had to be a slow song playing. We stood there for a few awkward seconds, just staring at each other. After a try at assuming a stance, we just gave up. I wrapped my arms loosely around his neck and Fen’s arms circled my waist. He had to bend down a little since I was short.
“What kind of Pokemon do you have?”
“All types. You’ve seen my Swampert. I have a Vulpix, a Snorunt, a Riolu and a Rapidash.”
“Really? I just have Talon, Titan and Mischief.” I smiled sadly. “I used to have a dozen Pokemon but when Hector kicked me out. He had my Pokemoon killed as punishment for me running away.”
“Why? You didn’t even know them.”
“Pokemon are family. I lost my brother when I was fourteen and my first Pokemon with him.”
We danced in silence for the next minute.
“You’re really small.”
“Nah, I’m just short for my height.” I replied with a straight face. I could have sworn I saw his mouth twitch. “I get the feeling you don’t smile much.”
“When was the last time you smiled?”
“Huh. I think it was the last time I ate sugar.”
“No sugar, eh? It’s no wonder you don’t smile.” I grinned. He shifted, leaning down lower, our lips inches away. Panic shot through me body and I pulled away, afraid he would kiss me. “I have to check on my Pokemon.” I pulled out of his embrace and walked over to Titan.
He was asleep on the grass, Talon and Mischief a few feet away. I pulled their Poke balls out of a hidden pocket in my dress and returned them, red light flashing as the Poke balls opened.
“Sleep tight.” I whispered as I put the Poke balls back in the hidden pocket. I started back down the path, in search of the kitchen in the mansion.
What was that? She had tried to kiss him. Then, she deliberately left him waiting. Fen was floored. No girl had ever done that to him. He was hot. And she was . . . Something.
Now that he thought about it, Dark wasn’t that pretty. Her hair was to dark and curly, her skin color puzzling. Her eyes could just stare holes into his soul. It was unnerving. But, there was something that drew the eye. A inner light that shone in her, like she was lit from inside with a lamp.
When she smiled he noticed one of her front teeth were slightly crooked to the side. It made her look younger, more innocent. Not that everything she did already screamed it.
He watched her walk down the path and disappear. He followed her into the back door of the mansion and down a series of hallways. She seemed to know where she was going. Finally, they stopped at the kitchen. It was huge with a twelve burner stove, four large steel refridgerators, and counter everywhere. The kitchen walls were a soft gray, the counters black granite. The cupboards that decorated the walls were white birch, polished until they had a silvery sheen.
There was a double sink made of steel under a window. The tiles underfoot were black like the counters. Dark washed her hands and began searching the cabinets under the counters till she found two sauce pans and a pot. She poured water into the pot and set it to boil. She began grating cheese.
“What are you doing?”
“Cooking.” Was her reply.
“I know that. Why?”
“Because I’m starving and you’re useless.” Why was she so mean?
“There was food at the dance.”
The water was boiling. She poured in some olive oil and added some noodles. When they were done cooking, she dumped out the water and added a egg, salt, pepper and the cheese. She dumped that into a casserole dish after stirring it up and spinkled more cheese on top. She slid it in the oven and set a sauce pan full of refried beans on the stove.
It was so weird to see her cooking in a dress like the one she was wearing. She reached into a fold in her dress and pulled out her Poke balls. She set them on a counter nearby and stirred the beans.
She began humming a tune that he couldn’t quite identify. The Poke balls began to shake and popped open. Talon, Titan and Mischief stood in the middle of the kitchen. Mischief yawned an attached himself to Dark’s leg.
Talon gave Titan a boost on to a stool on the other side of the counter and joined on a stool beside him. The both looked at Dark, expecting food. She crossed the room and opened a cabinent. It was stocked with Poke Chow. She poured some into three bowls. Mischief struggled to get up on a stool. Dark picked him up and settled him on the stool before giving them the bowls.
“How did you know where to find the Poke Chow?”
“Once I found the pans, I knew exactly where to look. You see, Val has a slight memory problem about where he leaves his stuff. So, when ever he moved to a new house, he would set everything up the same that it was in his previous house so he could find everything.” She opened the oven and removed the mac and cheese.
“My mom’s recipe. Deathius taught me how to make it. I don’t like mac and cheese, though.”
“Then why’d you make it?”
“I could hear your belly growling while we were dancing.” She scooped some onto a plate and set it on the table.
“Speaking of dancing,” a few strides and he was standing behind her. She turned and bumped into him. Cautiously, she stepped back. “Why did you try to kiss me?”
The look on her face was confusion and disbelief.
“What are you talking about?” She raised a eyebrow.
“You know exactly what I’m talking about.” He stepped closer, backing her into the counter. “You led me on and then left. I guess I deserve a little compensation.”
His eyes half closed, he bent closer to touch his lips to hers. A stinging slap made his eyes fly open. He drew back, astounded. Her dark eyes were narrowed, fury blazing a fire in them.
“How dare you.” Her voice was quiet, nearly shaking with the barely contained anger. “You were the one who leaned closer to me. You tried to kiss me, not the otehr way around. How dare you try to kiss me against my will. You butthole.”
Did she really just call him a butthole? What was she? Two? For a quick second, he was scared that she would slap him again. She gave him a shot to the chest that force him back a couple steps. She shoved pass him and stormed out the kitchen, her Pokemon trailing behind her. Fen didn’t get it. Was it something he did, he said?
Oh, sweet, sweet prey. He loved the little ones. Their half developed bodies excited him. So did their screams. What was this? Another one. How stupid of her, walking alone in the woods. Didn’t she know there were people who liked girls her age?
She was a interesting one. She was also mad. Her body was stiff with tension, her dark eyes blazing with heat. Using his legs to catch him, he hang upside down and watched her walk by.
There was something about this one. She was different. Usually, this game of playing in the shadows bored him, the joy of stalking his prey dulled by years of the same thrill.
But this one . . . She excited him. Stirred up feelings in him that had lay dormant since his first child. He gouged her age between twelve and fourteen. Oh, those were the best kind.
His blood singing with the thrill of the chase, he swung from branch to branch like the Mankey he had observed during his previous chase. His long, spidery limbs were perfect for stretching to catch the branches.
His body and head were completely hairless. He wore a suit made of stretchy flesh colored cotton. He smiled, showing the teeth he had filed down into points. He would dine on this one. He would bet that she tasted amazing. The hunt was on, he thought with glee. It was on.
Oh, the nerve of some people! How dare he. The boob. I should stick his hand in warm water while he’s sleeping so he’d pee the bed.
I walked out the gates of the Mansion and headed to my left, west. The mansion sat northwest, at least a quarter mile from the shore. My Pokemon were following me, chattering on about something not clear to me. We walked through the woods in peace. I gasped when a man dropped in front of me. He was tall, at least seven feet, with long, spider-like limbs. He was dressed in a dirty peach colored suit that was stained with dirt and . . . I nearly screamed when I realized what the other stains were. Blood. It was dried blood.
His face was gaunt, his skin drawn tight over the bones in his face. He smiled and I could see that his teeth were filed down into points and were rotting out of his head. He had no eyebrows, eye lashes, even the hair on his head was nonexistant. His eyes were red, like the blood all of him.
Talon drew himself up to his full height and stood on my right side. Titan stood on my left, his face frozen in a menacing snarl. Mischief stood in front of me, the light from the flame on his head flaring with his temper.
I was scared out of my mind and the presence of my Pokemon had a calming effect on me. It was a good thing I had taken to carrying a dagger around with me.
In one of the other pockets in my dress was the dagger. I slid my hand into the pocket and wrapped my hand around the handle. I ran my finger along the length of the blade, feeling the letters insribed in the metal. Shadow’s Edge. My brother had made it and I named it.
The . . . Thing . . . stepped closer and Talon gave a menacing bark. Titan flashed him his claws and Mischief, so cute and tiny, glared at him.
He stepped back and crouched. His voice was gutteral and frightening when he spoke. “Fear me, but heed my words. I will come. When I do come, I will take you. I will torure you and I will kill you.”
“What do you want?” I whispered.
That creepy smile crept over his face. “I want to bathe in your blood, to feel it run all over me, drink it and taste that rich ambrosia.” He leapt into the tree tops and I felt all the blood drain out of my face.