The forest fell away as the seaside cove town of Evershore lay before them, the air was filedl with the scent of the sea as Aerian felt a chill run through her, Zia took the lead now as they made their way along the outskirts to a cliff area.
Finally finding an opening to a small cavern entrance “You sure you wanna do this Aery? Last chance to run like hell,” the moment she spoke the rock blocking the entrance vanished, stood was a young woman, dark blue eyes, dark red hair to her ass, her head was cocked to the side as she eyed the new group before, she was decked in dark leather, blades in the outfits many pockets. In many ways, she looked almost identical to Aerian, aside from the drawn face and dark aura.
Aerian felt her blood run cold at the sight, as she instinctively went for her blade the girls eyes followed her “Don’t,” She stated darkly, the moment she did and archers were seen to surround them, Aerian motioned the group to comply, the girl smiled wickedly then waved her hand “Take them,”
The moment one of the men touched Aerian she spun into the grasp drawing her blade and driving it through his jaw and up into his head, the ones about to grab them froze as Aerian pushed him away “Harley we need to talk, now I’ll play your games, I always have, but we are not going to be prisoners, not even for you,”
Harley clapped her hands as she spun and ran at Aerian leaping on her, Aerian felt the way and crumbled to the ground, Harley already had a blade to her throat as she hit the ground “You left me, and now you kill poor Damon for nothing? And then you make demands? No baby it doesn’t work that way. I have missed this fine body though, nights just aren’t the same without you, and these idiots are all so afraid of saving their own hides they won’t touch me? Is that fair?” Harley’s voice was sickly sweet as she spoke.
“I would take that blade off my throat if I were you,” Aerian replied as she spoke Harley increased the pressure feeling the blade bite her flesh, she squeaked in panic before Harley complied moving the blade away and licking the trace of blood, she spun around and stood before helping her up “So where’ve you been baby, and who’s the new cuties, well and Zia who still needs to fulfil her contract and kill that idiot hunter Hades.”
Virra went for her blade, though, Domi caught her hand with a subtle shake of his head, leaving his hands fingers within hers. She glared at him for a moment until returning her gaze forward, silent still showing for Aerian to introduce them. But her expression turned dark the moment Hades was mentioned and a sharp glance was spent too, Zia.
Aerian made her way to Virra sliding beside her “This pretty one here is Virra, she’s the reason I live and breathe, also the reason my head isn’t scrambled every time I get those damned visions, and this fine piece of manliness is Domi and father of my child, both are mine and are my life now,” Aerian was very measured in her words as she stepped behind Zia “Zia tried to take out Hades and it turns out, that anyone with half a brain knows going up against an Elcarus in the heart of Dentarius is a really fucking stupid, she got her ass kicked and locked away, I got her out and here she is,”
Harley watched Aerian as she spoke before she scratched her heads in thought “So you found recruits? Or” It was sudden as she cocked her head “You’re here to kill me?”
“No Harley, I’ve never raised a blade to you, and I won’t start now, but we do need to talk, and I need you to give me your word my family won’t be harmed, and nor will Zia,” Aerian replied gently.
“Family? You mean? Aerian what have you been doing while you’ve been away,” Harley made her way to Virra looking her over slowly before stepping behind her then looking over Domi. “They are pretty, I’ll give you that but I can’t have you all wandering my home, so you will have to stay in the dorms, or there will be trouble,”
“House arrest? That’s your solution? Tell me my room is at least still around we can stay there, put guards on the door for all I care, but I’m not staying in the dorms,” Aerian stated firmly.
Harley smiled and then turned on her heel, and waved her hand. Finally they made their way into the cavern, from wall to ceiling was trinkets and books, fires burned in fireplaces, and couches held other members of the group who would quickly engage in conversation as they passed by. They made their way to a door at the end of a long hall, as Harley opened it the room beyond lavish, a huge four poster carved bed, velvet sheets in dark reds, the shelves of the room were stacked with coin and books, Aerian stepped in and sighed deeply.
“Don’t go sneaking out Aerian, I will know,” Harley stated then taking her men disappeared leaving the four of them.
“Well…that was interesting…” Virra murmured, moving to look at the various shelves. “Wonder if she knows whom I am. I know I heard my Pops mention a Harley before.”
“Your Pops, held a lot of business, Virra. It is possible. Damn, Aerian, nice digs.” Domi mentioned moving to sit on the edge of the bed.
“So it seems, she had a suspicion as to a result of your presence, Firefly. Remember, we go where you go, end of story.” Virra commented though glanced to Zia.
“I know, and trust me she knows that too, we just have to tread carefully she seems to jump from one mind set to the next, but we got through the door and I only had to kill one person to get us in,” Aerian replied with a smile.
“You didn’t have to kill him Aerian, that was pissing contest and you know it,” Zia snapped darkly now looking to Aerian “It was murder how does that make you any different to her? She’s bat shit crazy and now you look just as fucking whacked!”
“Exactly” Aerian replied with a smirk as she crawled upon the bed “I won’t lie I have missed this bed,” she crawled along the bed and then curled up on it, “I had to make her realise I’m just as dangerous as she is, especially after she tried to cut my throat or did we miss that bit? Harley has always responded to strength, why the hell do you think she stayed with me for so long?” Suddenly Aerian sat her eyes flashed coldly “Besides I still owed that prick, you remember the Elcon job, the one I slipped broke my arm? Damon claimed I slipped, had he not, he knew Harley would have slit him from stomach to stern, thing is I didn’t slip Zia, I was pushed by that clown trying to get into Harleys pants, but I backed his story and told him I would square the score one day, now he knows I wasn’t lying, so call it murder if you like, but I call it closing a contract,”
“He was always a prick, got real nasty because Harley stopped putting out after you left, heard she fractured his jaw cause he tried to force her,” Zia almost laughed in her words as Aerian now lay back upon the bed.
Virra chuckled at Zia’s words, turning to look at the bed and Aerian with a smirk. “Sounds like he had that and the dagger coming to him.”
Domi adjusted in the bed to lean against the headrest and pull Aerian to settle between his open legs in a rest of her cheek to his chest. “Finally does. So now what is the plan? She will have time for hers, now we have time to work on our own. I’m not sure talking will be on her mind.”
“We let her lead, Harley has a thing for control, and I was the chaos which is why we worked so well, though it’s a strange contradiction when you consider her affliction for murder without purpose,” Aerian stated softly “We will be OK as long as we don’t directly provoke her,” Aerian ran a hand over the nick on her neck “Though she puts a knife to my throat again and I may just let Virra end her ass,”
“Wouldn’t that defy your, I’m not gonna hurt her,” Zia stated as she stood now by the bookshelf.
“I did say unless I had to, besides I said I wouldn’t, I made no mention of Virra did I?” There was a dark smile on Aerians lips now.
Virra winked to Zia at Aerian’s words, moving to crawl into the bed resting her cheek against Domi’s shoulder. He lifted an arm to wrap around her a grin on his lips. “Not me.”
“Oh I’d let you kill her too,” Aerian chuckled as she curled into Domi her hand now resting on Virra “We just need to..” There was a knock cutting off Aerians words as Aerian looked to Zia who had moved to answer the door.
The other side saw a man, dark blonde cropped hair and in green garb that barely kept him covered “Lady Harley asks you join her in the main hall, she also states that you may come alone or with the others, so long as you come unarmed,”
“She’s not as dumb as we thought,” Zia mused softly
“You are to remain here Zia until we determine your crime and a suitable punishment, you are to answer to the court in due time,” The man replied to Zia, who shrugged and walked back to the bookcase.
“Fine!” She spat coldly
“Well least she didn’t execute you on sight, be grateful, we got this. Tell Harley we’ll be there in a few minutes, I just want to get changed,” Aerian nodded and the door closed as she sat and pulled herself from the bed “And thus the game begins,” She sighed now opening a wardrobe and digging within, as she peeled out of her top and pulled on the dark leather one from within, this much like the one worn by Harley only without the knifes, as she pulled out holders that would hold blades strapping them to her thighs. She pulled her hair back tying it off before tossing her weapons into the wardrobe.
“Oh, goodie…” Domi said as Aerian stood from the bed and smacked her bottom and then swept Virra in his arms, kissing her deeply before letting her go.
“I don’t like being unarmed,” Virra muttered after, taking Domi’s nose and removed the throwing knives upon straps at her thighs and at her hips, boots and lower back and upper back, tossing them with Aerian’s. Domi inclined a brow and Virra looked to him. “What? A girl has to be prepared.”
He simply chuckled and shook his head, removing his weapons to join with his two lovers. “Let’s get this done.” But abruptly drew Aerian close to whisper in her ear. “Virra still has the mechanism of a blade in the sole each boot.”
“Good,” Aerian replied softly, a sharp click was heard showing him the blade hidden under the sleeve of the garment she now wore “Not dumb enough to in unarmed, dragon bone ribbing, on the top hides the blade hidden within, just in case Harley tries to be cute in any way,” She flicked her wrist and the blade retracted as she turned to face Zia “Lock the door, don’t need you ending up dead all over my nice room,” Aerian swept past her and out of the door, quickly flanked by several guards they made their way to the large open room.
Harley was propped on a large chair that was clearly meant to represent a throne as Aerian rolled her eyes and walked down the few short steps.
“Holy, yummy I’ve missed that view walking down those stairs Aerian,” She looked past Aerian to see Domi and Virra with a smile “And they follow, I must admit I wondered if they would,”
Virra was on Aerian’s left and Domi on the right. “You knew we would.” She stared calmly, there was a darker edge to her words.
“True, you are correct I knew you would, it’s clear you are a package, a family, we were once too, Aerian and I, we reigned chaos on this world, well no we didn’t but we did have fun, though I admit I was the lost puppy back then and now I am what she was,” Harley smiled softly “I’ve become you Aerian, right down to the hair,” she tossed her hair in a mock motion with a grin “Still the hottest girl I ever did see though, you’ve grown baby, I have missed you so much and all these ingrates they just want me to curl up and die so they can take over my empire, even you’re little pet Zia she tried to blow me up you know, led me to a cavern filled with dynamite and boom!! Just like that, the blast knocked me into a mining shaft and well I got lucky on the water bath landing, so mean of her right?”
She slid up from her seat as she made her way to Virra rising on her tip toes to try and stand over her but remained a few inch too short “Wow you’re tall! And pretty and smart, and sexy and everything to her I used to be, that makes me sad,”
Virra adjusted with an inclined brow, though appeared passive, whatever she felt internal was not revealed. “Is that so? There is much you don’t know about me, bug.”
“I know your father used to run the slave trade, we would take down rogue girls for him from time to time, you always looked so sad at his side, I suspected one day you’d get away though admittedly wish you would have come work for us, same with this one, always looked so miserable, but never far from your side,” She grinned watching Domi then Virra “Even now he fiercely protects you without ever revealing he is, last I heard your daddy ran afoul of Kane and his family, went and got himself all dead, Ceremon has fled to the outskirts after his grand plan to take over fell flat on its face,” She shook her head with a chuckle “Again, and you place yourself in the heart of my baby and simply cast me aside as if I meant nothing to her all those years, is that fair? Should I just be ignored because I wanted to be so much like her, strong and a killer and fierce and loyal and I never ever let her down, and one night she just ups and leaves, no note, no word, no message just vanishes into the wind,” Harley actually sounded hurt as she spoke, before she stepped back “She broke my heart, but I get it, she was afraid of me, afraid I’d become every bit as good as her, she never did love herself though, so I get it,”
Aerian recognized that flash of fury in Virra’s dark eyes when her father was spoken of, though tilted her head calmly. Domi remained just add calm, composed. “You done? Yes, I can understand bring hurt. But did you really stop and think as to the real reason she left?” Domi spoke.
“They whisper, and talk as if I don’t hear,” Her words were louder now as she turned around motioning to those around her “They say I’m crazy and out of control, that I kill because I love to, that I drove her away,” Harley sighed as she made her way back to her throne “And they may be right, maybe my baby did leave me because I’m crazy, but if I’m so crazy why are they still standing? I mean most of them have slept with Aerian, or me, or both and no craziness from me, I like to kill because it reminds me how fragile life is,”
“No Harley you kill because it gets you wet, then you come back here expecting them to service whatever sick desire you have, but in reply to your question not all of them are here, my closest friends now lay in a grave because they were an issue for you, where’s Kia or Kellan? You drove Zia out because she is scared witless, they are afraid of you Zia,” Aerian cut her off as she turned and sat she smiled softly.
“Because I am the leader, and a leader needs to be feared or they take liberties, Kellan tried to hurt me, so he had to go,” Harley began.
“Kellan wouldn’t harm you, he was loyal, he is the only reason I didn’t cut you in half myself, you killed them because they were a threat, Kia wouldn’t harm a fly she was a thief through and through, she liked the shadows and to take and to give herself, you’re a scared child Harley controlling them through fear,” Aerian kept her voice level but the anger was there as they spoke now.
“Not as much as they’re afraid of you, you come to my home armed to the teeth, with your pretty man and your pretty girl, and the traitor,” She eyed Virra “Tell me something is she here to cut my throat and take back The Ever Present? And you three will lead, with me out of the way?”
Virra looked to Harley for a moment, stepping forward. “Is that what you want? Because we did not have such a plot, it’s amusing that you think so, Harley. Unless you truly are paranoid as the whispers say. You loved her once, take that and listen to her. She wants to help you.”
“Not once, still do, always will,” Harley replied darkly “But she left, left me to these heathens and betrayers,”
“You’re wrong. The family, is that what you think of them? Just a bunch of betrayers? Think. What did you used to find them as? You have lost a part of you and that can be traumatic. If what you’re doing is true, you are no better than her.” Virra stated.
Harley looked to Virra before rolling her hips to return to being sat as she eyed Aerian “And what about you Aerian? Just why are you here, with your two pretties?”
“Because you need help Harley, Virra is right you lost part of yourself, and if I’m honest I am afraid that one day you will come looking for me and I will have no choice but to end this twisted game once and for all,”
“And kill me?” Harley clapped with a glint of joy in her eyes, Aerian remained quiet her previous words more than clear in their intent, Harley slumped back now the glimmer gone as she sighed heavily “I don’t want to fight with you Aerian, let’s be honest I couldn’t take you in a one on one fight and even if I got lucky those two would cut me down before your dead body hit the ground, which does leave us with a pickle,”
“They would, probably before you had the chance to finish me off, so either way doesn’t work out well for you, and honestly Harley you dead is the very opposite of what I want, I’m here I’m unarmed, and I’m already risking losing my family because they didn’t know about you until Zia showed up and opened up this wound I was ignoring,” Aerian had while talking made her way closer to Harley, as she got closer Harley sat then sprung clear across onto Aerian again pinning her to ground.
“Now, now, there’ll be no sneaking up on me,” Aerian had been well prepared for the move jamming her hand between the blade and her throat as it bit through the flesh of her palm she snapped her hand into Harleys hair yanking her off of her chest, rolling back and landing on her feet, as Harley made her way to her feet to rush Aerian, Aerian caught her clean on the side of the head sending her to the floor.
“Damnit Harley I’m trying to fucking help you, but I swear to god you raise a blade to me one more fucking time and I will end your crazy ass!” Aerian snapped her hand in frustration sending blood to spatter into the ground.
Domi neared Aerian. To gather the injured hand in an inspection, going into a pocket to remove some cloth and wrap it around her wound though he never spoke, not a single word.
Virra on the other hand kept her dark gaze on Harley. “Do you even want help?” She came back, extending a hand. “You don’t bite the hand that had nurtured and fed you, when you needed it. Counterproductive, if you think about it.”
Aerian let Domi dress her wounds before looking to Harley “We’re done for now, I can’t deal with you while you’re so damn irrational, when you’re ready to talk like an adult you know where we are,” Aerian took Virras in her now bandaged hand and Domis with the other leading her out to the bedroom they occupied before.
Once they entered the bedroom, Virra turned Aerian’s hand over and removed the bandage. Guiding her to sit on the bed. “You know. That blade could have been poisoned. Be more careful. Domi get the health pack from my bag, we need to clean this up and stitch it.”
He nodded moving to search her bag.