For complete disclaimers, see part 1.
Author's note: Please feel free to leave feedback by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Presently, year 3000 AI …
The wooden door to Allen's guest room creaked open as white eyes peered inside. Anna had been antsy since they had returned to the house. She wanted to sit and talk with Thomas. However, Allen had forbid her to see her. She would have disobeyed him if she didn't understand where he was coming from; she did understand. Knowing how tired and sore Thomas was to fight the previous night against Valils and then also having to deal with Lizandrous in the early hours of the morning.
Anna carefully took in the sights of the room. She spotted Furry who was sleeping on the floor at the foot of the bed. Smiling at seeing how it was lying with its feet in the air and one paw was twitching. She wondered what sort of dream the blue beast could have for its feet to move in sleep.
She inched inside of the room without letting the door make any further sounds. Her eyes fell onto the queen sized bed where Thomas was resting with Hattie. It was a sweet scene to see the formidable woman protecting the young girl. She carefully walked to the side of the bed and pulled up a chair. It was only sunrise and she wasn't sure if the blue eyed woman would wake up anytime soon.
She remembered having some interesting words with Furry while the blue furred beast accompanied her back to the house. It had been obvious that it wanted to stay with its friends. She wasn't even sure why the beast was sent to accompany her when it was clear Thomas needed help. Her white eyes looked over the three resting individuals and smiled. Everyone was safe and sound. It all brought a small measure of relief to her heart even though she didn't understand why.
Anna glanced toward the one window to the room. She couldn't see the sun, but knew it was rising. A small amount of light was already cascading around, revealing the simplicity of the room. She wondered if Allen had ever thought to have any guests at all. Remembering when she was really young, Allen had shown her this room. However, she didn't remember the circumstances which brought her to this place. She just knew Allen was not her real father and he looked after her as if he were.
She had a mysterious feeling she had also met everyone in this room before. It was as if they were all long lost friends or something along those lines. She could feel strange emotions running rampant in her heart. They were mostly directed at Thomas and she felt ridiculous for having these emotions. For one thing, she knew the woman was much older than her. She also assumed she must have someone else waiting for her at home. Her beauty was indescribable with her black long hair and bright blue eyes.
Anna glanced at the bed to the face which had engulfed her mind, only to be frozen when blue eyes were openly staring at her. She stayed perfectly still as she tried to come up with a reason for her presence. Feeling uncomfortable by those eyes, Thomas continued to stare at her like that.
Thomas couldn't believe her eyes. She saw Anna sitting next to the bed as if time had turned back to before when everything was okay and evil had yet to mar the land. However, her mind furiously clamped those distant memories away as she continued to stare at her. Not sure what the young woman wanted, she knew she didn't remember much. She had felt it in their encounter the night before. “How long has it been?” She asked softly as not to wake up Furry or Hattie.
“It has only been a couple of hours.” Anna replied quietly.
Thomas looked passed Anna toward the window. She felt relieved only a couple of hours had passed and not days. Her body was still sore and tired. She had only woken up to be reassured by Furry's and Hattie's presences. Being in a safe place, she didn't realise the young woman was in the room. Her mind had wandered into the past and only a chance glance at the window had brought her back to the present. She wasn't even sure if her unexpected visitor realised she had been awake for a while.
“Is there anything that I can get for you?” Anna offered politely. She was still dressed in her nightgown with a light coat covering her shoulders. Her white eyes took in everything Thomas was willing to show her. She could see the relief flood through those blue eyes and wondered what it was about.
“What are you doing here?” Thomas asked gently. She didn't want to scare her away. Feeling her heart wanting to reach out to Anna, her arms wanted to wrap around the warm flesh that was the reason for her existence. Blue eyes could see deep into white eyes which were so open to all of the emotions swirling inside her as if her eyes were windows to her soul.
“I wanted to talk to you.” Anna replied slowly. She felt reluctant to talk now since the person who held her dreams was before her. Wondering where all of these emotions were coming from, a warm rush of feeling was urging her to move over to the bed and engulf Thomas in a hug. She would have acted on her desire if it had not been for the door opening.
“There you are.” Izana said in relief. She looked around the room to notice Furry on the floor and Hattie safely snoozing on the bed next to Thomas. She smiled as she spotted the blue eyed woman was wide awake. “Good morning, Thomas. Father will be in shortly to see you. So you better scoot, Anna, before he finds out you're here.” She then disappeared back out.
“She looks out for you.” Thomas commented as she looked back at white eyes. She could see the conflict within them. “You can stay if you want. You won't be in trouble. I'm good at making up excuses.” Blue eyes twinkled at that last comment. She smiled as Anna beamed brightly in return.
“Why were you out there?” Anna asked curiously.
Suddenly, the door opened once more and Allen stepped inside. He stopped at the door and was shocked to see Anna sitting there. His blue eyes flickered between the two women and wondered how things had gotten so complicated. He only smiled inwardly at the picture he was seeing. Both of them really did complement each other in their beauty. He would have easily fallen for either of them, but knew they were off limits and already involved with each other.
He stepped further into the room at Thomas's nod of the head. He remained at the foot of the bed right next to Furry's sleeping form. He smiled openly at seeing the blue beast like this. It had been a while since he had witnessed the lion-like creature resting peacefully. He was even glad Hattie was resting as well. “There is business to discuss. Would you like to take it to my study?”
Thomas knew Allen was trying to be considerate of her condition. However, he had seen her in much worse and knew she wasn't going to let anyone know her weaknesses. She carefully detached herself from Hattie and swung her legs over the bed to land on the wooden floor. Still dressed in her clothes from before, she would have changed if she had a spare set of clothing. She was sure Kayla and Katsi would have forced her to redress.
“Furry, get up.” Thomas called. She watched as golden eyes popped open. Slowly getting to her feet, she reached for her friend. Her hand gently rested on its blue fur. “ Vigoratus. Sorry I couldn't do this before. I need you to return to the house and make sure Kayla and Katsi are alright. They must be worried about all of us.”
Furry felt invigorated at Thomas's touch. It stretched out its muscles and yawned widely before registering what she was asking. “What about Hattie?” It growled with a slight slur as if it had a lisp to its speech. Golden eyes looked toward the bed where Hattie was still resting.
“I'm sure she is perfectly safe here.” Allen interrupted.
Thomas ignored Allen's comment. It was clear he didn't understand the situation. There was still a chance Hattie could shift into her beastie form and wreak havoc. “I think it is time we woke up Rumeria. She has been sleeping for the past ten years.”
“Do you think she will come?” Furry asked.
“Only one way to find out.” Thomas replied.
Jacob, Mike and Langley continued to walk through drifts of snow without stopping for the night. They were heading north since it was the general direction where they would encounter the village. It was rumoured to be a place where humans could still be free with only a minor number of shifters around. They would take shelter and gain information there before fulfilling their mission.
Jacob continued without looking back at his friends. Knowing they were worried about him since he had a few mental attacks, kept him moving. He was still unsure if it was his mind playing tricks on him or if they were for real. Hoping to be able to accomplish the mission, he would get out of the strange area.
Jacob had been to places that snowed. However, he had never been to an area where it constantly snowed all year round. His green eyes looked high above at the sky which was starting to lighten. The sun was rising somewhere. He wished for the warm rays to touch him. It would be the greatest feeling in the world at the moment. He wasn't really cold except that the mental attacks had left him shaken and he knew the sun could melt those worries away.
“Are we there yet?” Mike asked tiredly for the millionth time this morning. It was clear they were all tired and were only making little progress. He was wrapped up well and was starting to sweat. It was still cold, but the night's exertion was getting to him. “I think my feet are frozen.”
“Will you man up and zip that fly trap of yours?” Langley was also tired and wondered how long Jacob was going to push them. There fast progress last night had slowed down dramatically. It didn't help that their scenery didn't change. Everything looked the same and it was getting harder to determine how far they had travelled. “Jacob, how much further are we going to go?” She asked breathily.
“It's not much further.” Jacob replied swiftly as he scanned the area with his green eyes. He was alert in case danger came without warning. Being only moments away from shifting into his beastie form, he would defend his friends. He knew what it meant to lead and would do so knowing he would sacrifice himself for his friends' lives.
Suddenly, two arrows flew through the air and thudded the tree beside them. It was obviously a warning since no one was injured and the bower had aimed perfectly to pierce the target's heart if it had one. Everyone went still and surveyed the area with their eyes. They could not see the bower.
“Who goes there?” Sam yelled. His bow was strung tight and ready to release another arrow if the three people didn't answer to his satisfaction. He had been given this task right after everyone got back to the house as punishment. Otherwise he would have been trying to woo one of the girls. He didn't mind the punishment since it was a simple guarding post duty. However, he had no energy to shift if he needed to since he had spent most of his energy last night fighting Edgar. “Speak or I will shoot you to death.”
Mike decided to speak since he was more social than the others. He lifted his chin so his voice would carry to where the bower was. “We're lost travellers seeking shelter and food. Do you know anywhere or anyone who would help us?” He asked in a voice which sounded so tired and desperate. He wondered if the bower would direct them.
“Where do you hail from?” Sam asked. He could feel they were telling the truth, but how much truth was still questionable. Blue eyes narrowed as he wondered if he should call for Allen and let him decide. His arm was perfectly still and poised. He had stood in this same position for days just in case the need arrived where he had to stand guard over someone or something extremely dangerous.
“We hail from Igareth.” Mike replied concisely.
Sam stood stock still. He had heard of the town before. It was more of a mercenary town where various meetings were held. He was curious now as to why these three travellers were here in this valley when it was dubbed a no go zone from the outsiders. Everyone steered clear. Blue eyes narrowed as he tried to figure out why they were here. He could see their gear which was well prepared for travel and safety. Letting out a sigh, he took in a deep breath before letting out a long calling whistle.
Jacob, Langley and Mike braced themselves as they heard the shrill whistle which could have been passed as the wind. They weren't sure what would greet them, but were prepared just in case. Keeping their backs together, they stayed close. It was a standard formation in case they were attacked from all sides.
Brown eyes scanned between the many grey trees. She could only see the white of snow broken up by bits of brown and grey. Hmm… if it snows all year round, why is it only an inch deep? I wonder if there is an abominable snowman. She looked left and right without seeing anyone. Maybe the bower is an abominable snowman. Her brown eyes couldn't detect any life form.
Jacob watched his area and stayed alert. He knew Langley was zoning off like she usually did since it was how she coped with stressful situations. He also knew Mike would be so relaxed he could have been passed off as sleeping. However, he was different from his friends and was strung up tight. His mind going through the natural loop of checking each area and making sure he had his gear. His green eyes swept left and right. He knew the bower was somewhere in front of him since it was the direction the arrows had originated from.
His hands were near his daggers which he concealed on his person. However, he could feel his body ready to respond by shifting into his bear form. He would have done so already, but he was afraid to agitate whoever had stopped them. A flush of adrenaline passed through his body as his arms and legs tingled at the expectant confrontation. He didn't care whether the watcher was more powerful or not. The only thing he cared about was the fact that he was responsible for the wellbeing of his two close friends.
Listening carefully, his ears were cocked as he heard the wind pick up slightly. His eyes were drawn to the position right in front of him. He would have gasped in shock and shown a surprised expression on his face, but didn't. His green eyes were staring into sparkling blue and he had to wonder how long the bower had been standing there in plain sight.
Sam held his bow steady. His arrow was notched and ready to fly at any suggestion the three travellers were hostile. They can't be evil if they have made it into the valley. That is if the myths are true about this place. Hopefully they won't do something we will all regret. His blue eyes watched each person carefully. He wasn't even surprised there was a woman among them who was obviously a warrior. There were plenty of women in his clan who also were warriors. It was also known there were some males who knew how to fight, but chose the village life instead of the warrior life. However, it was true his clan was a clan of warriors. If there was a war, they were prepared.
Sam kept his eyes glued on the three travellers. His arm still felt fine even though they had been standing around for some time. He felt a hand on his shoulder and would have jumped out of his skin, but restrained himself. Not needing to look, he knew it was his brother who had come. Allen would know what to do.
Allen stood tall next to his younger brother. They looked so much alike; however, their personalities were yards apart. His own blue eyes scanned the three travellers with interest. He knew immediately they were warriors. Glancing left and right, he was proud of the group he had brought along. Some were young and some were old, but he knew they were ready. A set of hand signals were made using his left hand; he looked at everyone before they silently agreed and moved out.
Allen watched his warriors at work. There was no further need of him or his brother except to lend support if they needed it. He had left the village straight away without even being able to tell his guests what was happening. There was really no need to inform them since the travellers were inside the clan area and it looked like a minor situation.
Twin blue eyes watched carefully as the warriors carefully fanned out without being seen. They assembled in their appropriate positions which surrounded the three travellers. A nod passed around the group of six before they made their move on the three travellers.
“What will you do with them once we've apprehended them?” Sam asked in a mere whisper. He was still poised with his bow and arrow. His blue eyes watched closely as his comrades closed in on the three travellers. There would be minimum fuss since everyone was going in without weapons. They were only going to pose a threat in numbers, but were going to try and be peaceful. His eyes had seen two young warriors ready to shift at a hair's breadth if need be. The older warriors were more relaxed and looked it too, but experience had taught him not to underestimate people on their looks. They were actually the most dangerous since they could be peaceful one minute and in a second they could unleash hell.
“I will find out what they are doing here while showing them my hospitality as their host. It would be regretful if we were to start off on the wrong foot. They could be powerful allies in the future from the world outside. I'd rather be sure than have to face Thomas. She will obviously be the final word.” Allen explained in a soft voice.
“Do you really think she actually will know once she sees them?” Sam asked and was given an affirmative nod. He still had his doubts about her. Yeah sure, she can fight. Anyone can fight though, even if she is one of the best that I've seen. She has shifted into several beasts before my eyes, which is unusual. She can wield magic. She has a beast friend who is more lion than human. She hasn't aged at all in the ten or so years that we've known her. She has even lent us knowledge and skills as well as helped the villagers. Who is she really? Why does brother always consult with her? I wonder what they talked about in their first meeting. His thoughts were looping again. These thoughts of doubt always recurred in his mind when he saw her or if she was mentioned. He did trust her, but he would trust her more if he truly knew her.
Allen could see the wheels turning in Sam's head. He had seen those eyes go inward ever since Thomas had appeared in their lives. He didn't fault his brother, however some things were better left unsaid. Speaking to Thomas, she had revealed everything she knew since he had been chosen to safeguard a person that was dear to her heart. He had thought it was a mother-daughter issue at first, but after the years had passed he knew differently. The fearsome woman didn't have parents or children. She was alone with only a beast for a friend and a past too long for her to recount. He had seen her old eyes and knew she was the myth come true. She was the woman who had helped the first Allen settle on this land.
He had known of her existence through his parents and ancestors, but had never sought her out. They had told him she would come and go at her own will. He had felt curious at the telling of the tale and had wondered why it was even passed on. She seemed so insignificant. She had not won them battles or bled for the clan. For all he knew, she had provided them land to build on and passed on a bit of knowledge and wisdom. She was not considered one of them.
When he did finally get to meet her, he couldn't believe his eyes or ears. She had told her name and shifted into a Black Panther. He was as shocked as his comrades at the time except for his brother who had been curious. His brother had not heard the full stories since it was knowledge only for the leader of the clan. He had talked to her while she was injured in her own home. Being surprised, he had seen how only after a few hours she looked alright although weak. He had heard her request of him. “ Please keep her safe. She is important to me.”
He had abided to her request and had taken in Anna as if she were his own daughter. Looking out for her, he raised her to be who she was today. He loved her as a father should and took care of her. However, over the years of knowing her, oddities came alight. Thomas had revealed nothing at first and continued to keep her distance, only showing up when business arose. He had pestered her until she caved in one day.
Year 5013 AD or 2998 AI…
Allen had been going in and out of meetings all day. The council at the human village had wanted to develop a trade agreement for some produce. Also there was the warrior's meeting where weapons which had been issued were being recalled for maintenance. He was tired and irritable when Thomas decided to visit him at his home.
Allen sighed as he stared at blue eyes. She was only there since the human village needed some tools for a new sewage system and some manpower. He sat at his oak desk with his fingers tapping together and elbows on the table. In deep thought, He was thinking about how he wanted to help, but didn't want to hinder his clan.
“It will only take a few weeks. They just want to upgrade a few areas. It's not a huge job which will take years to complete. I'm sure you can supply some manpower. Why not let some of the warriors go? Count it as a training exercise for better social relationships with allies.” Thomas suggested persuasively. She casually sat in a chair facing him. Her blue eyes were amused at his mannerisms. They were similar to the first Allen's behaviors.
“You do make a good point. It would help both of us in the end if you put it that way. I'm just concerned I will not be able to be there if an issue rises. If the warriors get into a fight, they will be sure to put their pride on the line. I don't want trouble. This may be asking for it in many ways. I don't know if it will be worth it.” Allen explained hesitantly as he placed his hands flat on the table.
“Trust your warriors. I'm sure they will know the weight of the training exercise. They all have brains and the older ones will be able to guide the younger ones. Just have a little faith in them. You have trained them well. They will not disappoint you.” Thomas countered confidently as she gave a small reassuring smile.
“It's not my warriors that I am concerned with. It's the villagers who worry me. The villagers know we are all shifters. They don't trust lightly and will spark any action from us as a threat or a possible threat. I don't want to have any of my warriors condemned for a villager's peace of mind.” Allen explained worriedly. He ran his fingers through his sandy blonde hair.
“Don't worry my friend, I will see to it personally they are well treated. Anyways, I will be there to oversee the entire project. I doubt they will try to start anything with your warriors knowing your reputation.” She smiled as a little laugh escaped her lips at seeing Allen blush slightly. Knowing of his prominent reputation as a leader and warrior, the villagers feared him. However, she knew he was a giant teddy bear who had sought her advice on many occasions since their first meeting.
Allen managed to wipe the blush off his face and became serious. He looked her in the eye and saw her prepare for what he was going to say. Having her full attention, he hoped she didn't stick with her usual routine. “You have been a wonderful friend and have asked little of me. I have taken care of Anna as my own daughter. I want to know what she is to you. Why did you ask me to take her in? Why have you kept your distance from her? What are you planning? Who is she?”
Thomas stared at Allen for some time. She did not utter a word or react in any way. A deep sigh escaped her lips as she lowered her eyes to the wooden floor. Her hands were resting lightly on the arms of her chair with her fingers tapping a tune that Allen didn't know. She lifted her eyes once more and was about to speak, but Allen got his say first.
“Don't try to tell me that it's not the right time. I need to know so I can understand her and you. Both of you are shrouded in mystery. I want to trust you wholeheartedly, but I find I can't. I need the truth. Please tell me the truth. Who is she? What is she to you?” Allen pleaded desperately.
Thomas closed her blue eyes momentarily. She had wanted to put this matter off for another few years; not to burden her friend so soon. However, he had a right to know. He was her friend and Anna's father. She had to tell him. “Why do you insist me to tell you now?” She asked as she tried to gauge if she could put this talk off for another time.
“When she was younger, she went to the human village. Izana was with her and so was I. The trip there was fine…” Allen explained carefully. He had seen how happy Anna was on that morning as they made their way to the human village. It was surprising they kept the reputation even though there were shifters, humans and half shifters now living within the village. However, it was still a splendid place and everyone got along well with each other.
Allen had left Anna and Izana to go and explore. He wasn't really concerned about their safety since they were only going to the playground with the other children. Smiling at them, he told them to have fun as he went to attend to the matter which brought him to this village in the first place. There were a few issues he had been discussing with Jonathon when he heard a commotion near the playground. He would have sat back and continued with his business meeting, but Anna and Izana were over there.
He managed to run as fast as he could to see if his children were safe. However, he almost had a conniption as he saw a villager with a sword raised toward Anna. He saw how Izana was preparing to defend the both of them as Anna looked fearfully at the man. Not stopping to think, he quickly caught both of his children up into his arms and out of harm's way. He would have shown the full force of his anger upon the man who had dared to raise a weapon at his children. However, Jonathon had already quickly apprehended him.
Allen took Anna and Izana home immediately. There was no way he was going to let anything further scaring his children like that man had done to them. He had been angry and shaken to the core by the un-honourable act. They were only children.
He had come back to the village with an entourage of warriors to settle the matter in case he was met by resistance. Being prepared, he was going to argue with Jonathon to allow him to investigate and interrogate the villager who had tried to attack Anna. However, the sheriff allowed him full reign so long as he talked to the villager first. He had been shocked by his manner and further stunned by the culprit.
“…It was then I realised the man had gone berserk and had no recollection of the incident. It was like he didn't even know any better, as if something had taken over his entire body for that moment. It was just like the huge creature when we first met.” Allen explained dramatically as if it were the most traumatising and nerve wracking story ever.
Allen stared into Thomas's eyes throughout the telling. He had seen the shock momentarily passing through her gaze which was quickly hidden away. Continuing to tell his tale, he recounted how Anna was able to locate the bloody field. He even told of how some people would out of nowhere start to kneel on their knees and start bowing at her. It was confusing as to why these peculiar things were happening.
Thomas waited patiently as she listened to what Allen had to tell. He had painted some very interesting images in her mind. She had known about the villager going berserk and would have intervened, but everything was under control once Jonathon detained Luric, the weaver. Even questioning Luric herself, she knew it hadn't been his fault. Something had stirred his deep instincts to attack and ensure his survival. She had the same impression from the huge creature. Being there on every occasion when people had either bowed or attacked. She had watched from afar and had not been needed to interfere. However, the bloody field brought back dark memories since it had only occurred a few weeks ago.
She was there in the woods with a horde of Karan. They were human looking male creatures who would lull people into thinking they were sweet and charming. However, they would change into beautiful women with snarling faces and purple eyes. Then they'd attacked by dancing around their victims and breaking their legs before devouring their organs. They were unique creatures who were only active for three hours in the evening which was the time they fed. Otherwise, people would see them as normal humans lazing about. The only thing which could distinguish them from humans was the colour of their eyes. It was the only clue.
She had found them on her land during the time they were out looking for food. She had not fallen for their tricks and had attacked immediately. They were dangerous since there were so many of them. However, she hacked her way through them all with her transformed claws. Knowing it would be a long fight, she had conserved as much magic as possible. She had managed to kill half of them before they were able to break one of her legs. Howling in pain, she knew there was to be no rescue from anyone. She had assigned Furry to stay at home with Hattie who had appeared in the room where she had died.
Thomas put the pain behind her as she moved around with only one good leg. She managed to kill most of them before her other leg was broken as well. The five remaining Karan's had cornered her to a tree. Three slashes were delivered to her body as she grunted in pain. She was slashed again where she was thrown up and hooked by a branch against the tree. Blood pooled at her feet as the purple eyed creatures came closer to feed upon her fresh organs. She could see the end coming as she hung there with her back pierced by a protruding broken branch. Not being able to move as the creatures eyes glowed more and more as they bid closer.
She would have cried out in pain, but knew it would do her no good. This was how she was going to die; a lonely death at the hands of a horde of Karan. She would have died if her body had let her. Searing pain pulsated from her core being as ancient magic was ignited by her blood. Screams rendered the air as five Karans were torched where they stood. Her blue eyes were shocked to see them burning. The magic within her had come forth without her consent. She had no control over it and hung there as the screams ended. The horde of Karan was no more.
She felt bile rising to her lips. Blood continued to pool at her feet as she stared around at the bloody field. Body parts littered the ground and the liquid of life was sprayed everywhere. Not one patch of snow was left white. She would have tried to pull herself off the tree if her arms would work. Knowing she had to get home, she resorted to using magic to teleport herself. It was the only way. Later when she was better, she would return to clean up her mess. She hadn't heard Allen and his people or the fact they had seen her hanging there. They hadn't even recognised her.
Thomas pulled her mind back to the present to see Allen waiting patiently. His blue eyes stared into hers. He looked like he was about to explode with another rant with the way she could see his pulsating vein at his temples. She would tell him what he wanted to know even if she was reluctant to do so. He had pushed her too far this time and she would let him feel the weight of her world. Her words came out harshly. “Anna is the reason for the world to continue to exist. She convinced me to help humanity. I would have stood by and watched everything be devoured by darkness.” She sighed heavily as her anger seeped from her. Her voice softened as she continued the telling. “However, she told me she loved the world and the people in it. I couldn't refuse her request and did her bidding. After the incident there were four of us instead of two. Furry took care of all of us. The Anna you know is one of those four as am I. I want her to be protected and happy. She will be if I am not there with her. Trouble follows me around as you've noticed. I fear for her life since she is human. I still love her even if she doesn't remember.”
“She was only a young girl when you asked me to look after her.” Allen said gently as he let her words sink in. He was getting some answers which he had not dared to think about. Now everything was being confirmed. “Is she the same Anna you knew?”
“Her soul was reborn in another body. I know it is her. I can feel it. I won't tell her any of this. I don't want to burden her.” Thomas said compellingly. She could feel the growing conflict within him on her behalf. She knew he was trying to figure out a way for both of them to be happy. “You don't need to think any more on the matter. I have already paved a way for us to restore humanity around the world. By then, both of us will no longer have a place here as it should have been in the first place.”
“What do you mean?” Allen asked. His curiosity peaked as alarm bells rang loudly within his mind. He had heard the undercurrent of her words. There was no way he would have been mistaken.
“We weren't meant to survive when we cleansed the world of the evil. Both of us should have perished. This land would belong to Furry. Furry would have been happy here. The people shouldn't have been changed into beasts and monsters shouldn't have been born. Something went wrong during the cleansing. I still don't know what it was.” Thomas explained in a deflated manner as if there was no hope in the world. She felt raw, but knew Allen would trust her now more than ever. “Please keep this between us.”
“On my honour.” Allen replied solemnly.
Presently, year 3000 AI …
“Rumeria will come soon.” Thomas informed. She looked into golden eyes which flared briefly before settling back to their normal glow. Knowing Furry was a little upset that it wouldn't be able to watch Hattie, but it had to check up on Katsi and Kayla. Her absence from the house when Hattie had transformed would have spooked them. She should have been there to make the young girl calm down. Even her presence within the same room as her at the moment was soothing.
“So she is awake.” Furry commented flatly.
Thomas smiled grimly since she really didn't want to rely on Rumeria. It was unfair and a little cruel. She had been grateful the bat beastie had come to help her, but she knew it was a lost cause. The helpful woman had fallen for Hattie, well it looked like it. By allowing the woman to serve her it would be torture because she'd be assisting Hattie. However, the green eyed creature would be heartbroken if she were to find out about the truth.
Her blue gaze swept the room and landed on Anna who had been listening to the entire conversation without really understanding. Her heart pounded within its confines as she wanted to reach out and erase her confusion. She wanted the young woman to be happy and carefree without the burden that was on her shoulders. Just a little longer.
Year 2014 AD or 0001 BI…
Thomas smiled as she gazed into those green eyes. Her heart was pounding furiously as every bit of her skin tingled in apprehension. Her blue eyes which were always steely had softened to look upon this person who meant more to her than her own life. She had surrendered her heart to this person who was not only a woman like herself, but a gentle soul who accepted anything. Her mouth went dry as she stood directly in front of her. Slender fingers gently caressed her cheek. Her instincts were screaming to take this woman back to her room, but she didn't listen. She didn't want to force herself upon this blonde beauty.
Her eyes strayed down to soft lips. She wanted to feel them upon her own. A taste of the sweet nectar was all she wanted. Allowing herself to swing the gates of her emotions wide open to show how much this woman meant to her. However, she stopped these thoughts.
“Are you alright?”
Thomas could have slapped herself. She had been standing there like a goofball on the sidewalk of a busy street. People in business suits were walking around them as if they were just one more obstacle. The sun was shining high as she gazed around to get her bearings.
“You feel fine, T. You do look a little flushed. Maybe we should find a place to get you out of this heat. What do you say?” Her voice was soft like the sweet chime of bells. She looked into blue eyes which had lost their momentary haze of before.
“Anna… um… I think we should head to your place. It's closer than mine.” Thomas replied hesitantly as she willed her blush to disappear. She knew it was a good option since there was air conditioning and it was only a block away. Anna did own an apartment in one of the tall buildings in the business district of the city. “We'll be able to cool off there.”
Anna smiled brightly. They had met up in the middle of the day since their work schedules had coincided perfectly where they both had the afternoon off. It was lovely and they had enjoyed a simple conversation when Thomas had suddenly stopped. It was not like her to fall into a daze out of nowhere.
A short time later, Anna was getting a glass of water for Thomas who she had left on the lounge. Her air conditioning was set perfectly to be cool, but not too cold. Ice chinked in the glass as she brought it over to where her older friend was resting her eyes with her head tilted back. She carefully sat next to her, trying not to disturb her too much. The glass of water rested in her hands, ready to offer it once those blue eyes opened.
Thomas spoke without opening her eyes. She felt tired even though she hadn't done anything strenuous. Her desk job had been simple. She only had to arrange a few appointments for the boss of the company she was currently working for and spent the rest of the morning waiting for the time to pass. “Do you ever think I'm strange?”
Anna placed the glass of water on the wooden coffee table. She turned bodily to face her. Concern creased her brow as she was even more worried now since Thomas sounded so deflated as if the world had crumbled before her eyes. She gently took her hands and held them before meeting half open blue eyes. “I should be the one asking you that. How many people do you know would stop for a stranger to pick an eyelash from their cheek?” She asked with a smile.
Thomas smiled in return. Their first meeting had been strange since she had been stopped by her blonde beauty in the middle of the street for an eyelash. People had stared at them like they had been friends and it was a natural reaction. None of the bystanders had known they were complete strangers.
“I know the answer would only be me.” Anna answered her own question with a slight laugh to defuse the tension in the air. She even rubbed Thomas's larger hands in her own to soothe the normally easy going woman before her. However, she felt her grow more thoughtful.
“I didn't mean the question like that. I just wanted to know if it was strange that we barely know each other even though it has been two years. Yeah, we meet up and talk about our job or how our day was going, but that is all superficial. Do you think it's strange we don't know each other like other people would with their friends?” Thomas asked lightly. Her blue eyes watched Anna consider her question. It was strange to only ask now.
“I don't like to talk about my past. So I choose not to ask about yours. I still consider you as my friend. You are my friend.” Anna replied as she gazed into those blue eyes. She could feel the need in them for something in which she didn't know what it was. Her heart was hammering as her hands were tingling from holding Thomas's hands.
“What if I've lied to you?” Thomas asked precariously.
“I'm sure you didn't mean any harm by it.” Anna answered trustingly.
Thomas opened her eyes wide and slowly sat up. She stared into green eyes that she trusted. Suddenly rushing forward, she pushed Anna back onto the lounge as her lips felt soft flesh in a flush of emotion. Her arms held the beautiful blonde gently by the shoulders while her body rested on top of her. Most of her body weight was braced by her elbows as she stayed connected to bliss. Her eyes were held mightily shut. It was a bad idea to come up here. I can smell her everywhere. I can't hold back. Will she hate me for this? She felt those lips part in invitation and couldn't resist the temptation to plunge her tongue within to have a taste.
Thomas felt as if all of her senses had been heightened by this one act. She could feel Anna's petite body below her. Their chests were pressed together in a loving caress. Both their legs were intertwined as if they had been lovers for many years. Their hands had automatically started to roam each other's bodies while their minds were muddled. She gently let one hand trail across a smooth stomach which surprisingly caused a soft groan of pleasure. It felt like she was on fire as she pressed her advantage at being accepted. She could feel the emotions being returned.
Anna had been surprised at first. She had felt unsure whether she could let go and fall into these wonderful emotions. Dreaming of a passionate union and it was being realised only now. Her heart was pounding madly. A burning blaze was consuming her from the inside out. Her mouth was being passionately explored as fingers trailed against her stomach. She couldn't hold in the groan of pleasure that passed her lips. There were no thoughts as all she wanted was to feel. She wanted to lose herself in this passion.
Their lips parted as Thomas breathed heavily for air. She stilled her movements as she looked into green eyes which held unrestrained love. Her body wanted to continue. It wanted to finish what it had started. She could see the want in Anna's eyes, but knew they couldn't go any further. “I don't want to be your friend.” She whispered.
Anna felt Thomas's warm body pressed against her. She didn't want to stop. The whispered words slowly penetrated her mind and she knew she wanted the same thing. She wanted her in the same way that had been described in countless love novels. The passion, ecstasy and emotions which connected two people intimately were what she craved. Her hand gently traced a flushed cheek. “I've been waiting for you.”
Sam's arrow was notched and he was a hair's breadth from releasing it. His blue eyes were trained onto his possible targets. The three travellers remained where they were as he watched his comrades close in. He waited for any sign for him to either fight or stand down. Even his older brother was watching closely with the same instincts; to be prepared for whatever ensued.
Suddenly, a screech was heard high above them all as something black flashed around. It was descending rapidly while avoiding the many branches that covered the area. A creature landed in a cloud of snow from the sudden impact close to where the three travellers were.
Sam accidentally let loose his arrow and knew it would have hit whatever had landed in that cloud of snow. Shocked by this amateur act, he lowered his bow. He didn't feel the need to notch another if he was going to accidentally let another arrow loose. Glancing toward Allen, he expected he would see disappointment in those eyes, but he didn't.
Allen was shocked. His blue eyes had widened as his nose hadn't been wrong. He had smelt her as if she had been right under his nose. The snow had settled and he saw the green eyes which were looking around in amusement. Her black leathery wings were folded as she placed her hands on her hips. He would have laughed at her pose, but knew she had somewhere to be. Stepping forward, he smiled warmly in welcome.
“Rumeria.” Allen greeted warmly.
“Allen.” Rumeria squealed cheerfully. She shifted to her human form as she rushed forward and gave Allen a hug. Smiling exuberantly, she felt his return squeeze. “What are you doing out here?” She asked as she returned the arrow which had been shot at her accidentally.
Allen smiled. He glanced around at the grinning faces of his comrades. Not expecting anything less since Rumeria was scandalously clad. Her long curly black hair was still soft and silky as if she had only just washed it. He knew better though since she had been asleep ever since Thomas had told her to rest. “I have these three in my territory.” He answered quietly as he didn't want to say anymore since the three travellers were listening and watching. “Don't you have somewhere to be?”
“Yes, but I had to see this. I smelt it.” She turned around and looked at the three travellers. Her nose pointed her to the green eyed blonde. She could see his curiosity even as she was curious about him. He smelt the same as somebody else. However, she didn't ponder too long. Her green eyes went back to Allen. “I should get going. I'll see you back at the house.” Rumeria said happily before she shifted and flew off.
Allen smiled as he knew exactly what Thomas's summons was like. He could feel happiness radiating from Rumeria at being needed. She had a purpose. She had Thomas's bidding to do.
Allen turned his attention to the three travellers. There was no reason he could not still continue with his prior plan although the element of surprise had been spoilt. His blue eyes took in the travellers again. He was a little too far to notice a few minor details. Seeing their features clearly, he could feel who was a beast and who was human. He faced the blonde haired man since he seemed different somehow to the other two.
“Greetings; my name is Allen. I am the leader of my clan. You have stepped into my territory and so I was called here by my warriors. May I know your names?” Allen asked concisely. He had displayed a manner befitting for a leader and even nodded his head in greeting at the three travellers. Displaying himself without any intentions, he didn't want to cause harm and wasn't looking for any.
“My name is Jacob. These are my friends, Mike and Langley. We are travellers who are headed toward the human village. Can you please direct us on the right path and perhaps spare us some travelling rations?” Jacob asked politely. He had lowered his stance, but was still hair triggered. He was a little surprised to see so many warriors. Even the bower looked like he could take on many people as if they were bred to fight.
“Please accept my hospitality and come by our clan first. We can give you supplies and give you directions.” Allen said with a welcoming smile. He turned on his heel without getting an answer since it was not really a request. Being noble-like, he was also being a little pompous. He didn't need to look to see Jacob and his friends were following. His warriors were doing a splendid job of making sure they had no other choice.
Rumeria flapped her wings as she soared through the sky. The cool wind was blowing against her leathery wings and hair as she chose to ride one current of air before switching to another. Happiness flowed throughout her being as she felt droplets of snow melt onto her skin. She was having so much fun as she stretched her wings out to their fullest. It had been a very long rest and now she was summoned by the one person who held the key to Hattie's soul.
Her green eyes took in the grey, brown and white tableau before her as she soared by. There were many things which were the same and many things which had changed. She had noticed at first that the territories had altered even though the land hadn't. Her sense of smell had been heightened and she knew where everything should be. She could slowly see the outline which marked Allen's clan.
She smiled brilliantly as she came closer. Her eyes were riveted to the main house which was calling to her. She knew Thomas was in there and waiting. Her eyes narrowed as she began her descent. However, midway through, she caught the scent of something that was familiar to her. Confusion marred her face as she landed gracefully on the open porch. Her eyes were glued to the door as many people stared at her as if she had the potential to cause harm.
She shifted back to her human form and opened the door without knocking. There was no need to be polite in this place since her master was here. Thomas was the only thing that mattered. Her green eyes stared at the stairs for all of two seconds before she started to run up. The scent which had her confused was getting stronger as she got even closer to where the blue eyed woman was. She reached the door and yanked it open before her eyes rested on the bed.
Thomas stood at the foot of the bed. Her blue eyes stared at the shock that marred Rumeria's face. She felt Anna stir at the sudden intrusion and knew she recognised who it was. “Rumeria, I have a task for you.” She stated.
Rumeria looked toward Thomas with a question in her green depths. She slowly approached her without looking at the bed again. Her feet were hesitant since she knew why she had been summoned. Feeling her heart weigh heavily, she tried to get some clues from the blue eyes which had at one time been so open. She had immediately seen the guarded look as if her master was hiding what she was feeling from everyone. A look around the room already told her to whom she was hiding from.
“It is her, Rumeria. She has been back for two years now and she is well. I need you to be with her for a little while so I can attend to some matters. Furry will be going back to the house to check on Kayla and Katsi.” Thomas informed carefully as she stared into those green eyes. She was worried about Rumeria. Knowing, her servant and friend had been greatly saddened by Hattie's passing. It was a deep feeling which shrouded the creature in darkness. It had taken some time to return the happiness back into her life before being asked to rest. She had seen the weariness within her soul and knew it would do her good. “She doesn't remember.”
“I guess we are in the same boat now.” Rumeria replied with a slight smile. She understood why the fearsome woman had asked her to do this; having heard it from her dearest friend who had passed on. Being the only one who could tame the beast within the young girl besides the master, it was all to do with blood. Thomas and Hattie had the same blood. They were kindred although she was still unsure as to what extent. However, the only reason she was able to calm the beast was because she was special. She was like Furry.
“I'm sorry Rumeria, but things aren't what you think they are. I will explain later. Perhaps you would like to take Hattie home and she can be cared for by both Furry and you. I should be home in a while as well.” Thomas suggested as if it were the obvious course of action. She believed it would be best for Hattie to wake up at home rather than here in a strange place. It would also allow her to have a reason to leave if she needed one.
“I will take Furry and her home. I can still feel magic in the air and Furry is nowhere near ready to run at the speed in which I fly. I will take care of them both for you while you finish up here. I know it is nearing the time.” Rumeria replied as if she were pledging an oath. Looking at Furry with a weird expression on her face, she was surprised it was up and about with its injuries. She would have been out like a light bulb until the magic had dissipated from the air. It just showed how strong the beast was and how determined as well. They really were alike in many ways.
Thomas smiled briefly and nodded her head. She stepped aside to allow Rumeria to attend to Hattie. Her blue eyes and tone of voice had warned her not to be too hopeful that things would return to the way she remembered it to be. She was glad in a way; the bat beastie was here and could lift some of the burden off her shoulders. Now she could focus on other matters.
She watched as Rumeria gently lifted Hattie into her arms as if she were holding a delicate child. Seeing the care she was taking for the little girl's safety, she even caught Furry's grateful smile toward the bat beast. They were close friends after all since they were magically kindred. She found out about how her second servant was able to exist and realised it was exactly like her blue companion. They were both beasts summoned by their master's hand. They were to exist only to assist and obey their owners.
They all walked outside to allow the green eyed woman enough room to shift into her bat form before taking on her two burdens for a quick flight home. Thomas was present to watch this transformation as well as the members of Allen's clan. She had seen the many eyes which were riveted onto them since Rumeria was beautiful just as Furry was majestic. Everyone would always want to watch them even if they could not touch.
Thomas handed Hattie over when the painless transformation was finished. Her blue eyes had stared at the young girl for a while before watching Rumeria fly off with Furry clamped between her legs. She would have laughed at the sight since the blue beast looked as though it wanted to do anything else, but be embarrassed. It was too late anyways since it was the only way for her friend to travel.
Thomas turned on her heel as her eyes scanned the vicinity. People were going back to what they were doing before. The spectacle had ended and she was who she was. No one paid much attention to her even if they had witnessed her do extraordinary things. They would dismiss it since she was not a warrior of the clan. She was an outsider. Her blue eyes landed on Anna who was staring worriedly at her.
“Are you alright?” Anna asked concernedly.
Thomas felt her heart pounding again. She could feel her body wanting to do what it had not in so many centuries. Her mind was restraining every single muscle as she looked deep into those white eyes and saw past Anna's current appearance. She could feel her true essence and knew they were the same person. The young woman was who she was even if she didn't have green eyes or blonde hair.
Anna lifted her hand and gently caressed Thomas's face. She was being so bold in public to act this way. Not knowing why, but it felt like she had done this before. Their bodies were a short distance from each other and yet it seemed too far away. She wanted to close that distance and feel the blue eyed woman's arms around her body. The desire to be kissed by this powerful beauty holding a strange power over her was so overwhelming.
“You guys are strange.” Izana interrupted whisperingly as she voiced her thoughts. She stood a metre away from both of them, looking from one to the other. The weirdest feeling made it seem like she was not meant to be there and she was witnessing something very private. Looking around, she had noticed several people could have been thinking along the same lines as her. She wouldn't really blame them since she could clearly see it up close. However, she was amused that Thomas and Anna had stepped away from each other in all innocence. If she hadn't known them, she would think they were a couple. “So what are you going to do now?”
“I need to speak with Allen before I can do anything else.” Thomas replied carefully to keep her cool in front of Allen's daughter. She looked around and could see several people avert their eyes. A slow blush was making its way up her face since she knew what they were thinking. She could clearly see Anna's blush which left her cheeks rosy red. It would have been funny to see and she'd laugh if she had been in Izana's shoes. “We should go inside. It is still a little chilly out here.”
Suddenly, Anna fell to her knees. She was staring into the distance while her face was scrunched up in pain. Her entire body was shaking uncontrollably as Izana and Thomas knelt to assist her. However, her white eyes were looking at green. She gaped at the blonde haired man as daggers pierced her heart. It felt as though she wanted throw herself at the man to stop the ache which appeared out of nowhere.
Thomas looked Anna over quickly as her eyes had widened at seeing her pain. She wasn't sure what was going on until she tried to look and see what the young woman was staring intently at. Her own chest began to ache and she knew this was a sign of things to come. She stepped in front of her to shield her and was relieved slightly that it did work. Her blue eyes watched the man being escorted by Allen and his warriors. She knew his name instinctively as if she had known him all his life. He was Jacob.
She watched until Allen and the group disappeared into the tavern. Befuddled, she had seen those green eyes before and was confused as to how this could be. Her entire being wanted to check to see who Jacob was in relation to her. It would be the only reason as to why they had reacted as they did to those green eyes which had momentarily watched them from afar. She turned swiftly on her heel and knelt down to lift Anna into her arms.
A few minutes later, she was back inside Allen's house in Anna's and Izana's room. Gently placed the young woman under the covers, she made sure she was alright. She had seen how Anna's complexion had paled during the incident. Wondering how this was to be, she had to find out. She knew who he was, but how?
“Please take care of her while I pay your new guests a visit.” Thomas stated in a purr which hid her concern over the white eyed beauty and her curiosity over the new guests. She was glad Izana cared for her sister. They shared a cute sisterly bond. She wondered what it would be like if she had a sister in which she could look after. However, she pushed the thought aside as the reason she was leaving Anna's side approached.
She scoured the tavern with her blue eyes. The tavern keeper was already nodding their head in acknowledgement. She would have walked over and talked to Dave, but she had found the reason she was there. Her eyes stared at green orbs and she could see him squirming under her intense gaze from across the room. She was lucky the inn was not busy this morning since she didn't break her gaze as she walked over to the only crowded table.
She let her senses roam free to judge these three new faces. Her mind automatically knew one was human, Mike, and the other was horse beast, Langley . However, Jacob was a slight mystery. She could see numerous possibilities in which he could change. She could see he favoured his bear form and wondered why his friends hadn't noticed. Noticing how close they were by their mannerisms, her blue eyes didn't miss the fact each one was still looking out for each other as if it were second nature.
“Thomas!” Allen yelped in surprise as if he had been caught doing something he shouldn't. He quickly stood up and faced her. Seeing how she was distracted by the new guests, he felt as though he were somehow intruding within her boundaries. He involuntarily took a step back at her intent gaze which was directed at Jacob. “Is there something I can help you with?” He asked hesitantly.
Thomas continued to stare at Jacob. Searing stabs of pain were piercing her heart as she found herself wanting to hug this man as if he were the love of her life. She was confused and didn't know whether she should voice her concerns or not. Her heart pounded loudly within her chest as she tried to figure out who Jacob was and why he made her feel the way she did.
Thomas finally closed her eyes and turned her attention to Allen. She could see the worry in his eyes. I guess I would be too if I saw him acting the way I have. She gently placed her hand on his shoulder and smiled to lighten the tension in the room which she had only noticed. “I will be leaving with Anna. It's time to take her home.” She purred quietly and smoothly for his ears only.
“Now?” Allen asked loudly in surprise.
Thomas nodded her head firmly once. She could see he had not been prepared for this even though she had informed him in the beginning she would one day take her. Her eyes never left her friend as he stood there unable to form a sentence. She could see he wanted to delay her, but it was time to leave. Her mind had already decided its priorities. She still had to get back home to attend to Hattie.
“Can I come and visit?” He asked as he fumbled to get his brain working.
“Silly question; you come over anyways.” Thomas said good-naturedly as she smiled and released Allen's shoulder. She turned on her heel and didn't look back, not wanting to cause any more trouble than she had. Hiding her concerns well enough from everyone in the tavern, she had seen enough of the new guests to know who she should keep an eye on. She would probably send Furry out, but for now… It's time to go home. Finally, we will be able to work it out. Hopefully, I won't make another mistake. Hopefully, she will remember. Hopefully…
To be continued…
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