Hunting Shadows

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Chapter 17

For a moment, she didn’t know where was she as she gazed around the strange bedroom. Rarely did she ever wake up feeling safe in an unknown room and yet, that’s exactly what she felt. Safe. Getting up and going to shower, she remembered then the wild sex she’d had with Jayson; twice. Once in the garage after their motorcycle race and once in the training room after their fight; her face flamed red and she glad he wasn’t there to see her turn crimson.

Once dressed, she made her way down the stairs toward the kitchen where she could see Jayson making eggs and bacon with hash browns and coffee.

“You cook?”

“Of course; I’m 5,000 plus years old, of course I can cook.”

She laughed at his mock offended tone and slightly annoyed look.

“Sleep well lass?”

“Yes, thank you… I had forgotten what a good night sleep without nightmares felt like.”

“Oh aye; a good workout will do that for you.”

His eye sparkled mischievously and she blushed, turning her head to the side so he couldn’t see how red she was. She thought she would be sore after all the exercise she got last night, but oddly enough she wasn’t… though she did want more.

“Would you like breakfast lass?”

“Yes please, smells wonderful. Thank you.”

He inclined his head toward her as he made up plates.

“So, tell me, what happened to your face, and your eye?”

“I was 16 when it happened. I got into a fight and was ambushed by a group of Blades. Ten to one; suffice it to say; I lost that fight. They had me pinned down and one of them had a wicked five-inch dagger that he used to cut my face.”

He pointed to the jagged scars running from his hairline, across his face and down his neck. She nodded sympathy and horror mingling in her eyes. She had seen how far down his scars went.

Not just covering his mangled face, but along and down his chest and shoulders as well.

“And what about your eye?”

“My eye was so badly damaged that I couldn’t see out of it. The doctors took it out and gave me an eyepatch to wear for a few hundred years. I started to research robotics and machinery, computer systems and eventually could create my own eye.”

He lifted his left eyelid popping the mechanical eye out of its socket. She gasped as the metal plating around his eye socket came into view. Where there should have been damaged scar tissue, there were instead wires and metal plating. Getting up from where she was seated across from him, she went over to get a better look at the mess that was his eye and face.

“How much of it is metal and wires?”

“From my nose to my ear and the top of my cheek is metal. The wires extend back into my brain where the interface for the eye is.”

“Wow… that’s incredible.”

“Thank you, lass; you know you’re the first human I’ve told since the Blades killed my family. Why aren’t you repulsed by it though?”

“I have a morbid fascination with robotics and cybernetics? Also, I’ve come across worse.”

She shrugged, and picked up his eye to examine it more closely.

It looked like any other glass eye; it had an iris and pupil that contracted when turned toward the light; in fact, it looked exactly like his right eye.

“I made it to mimic a real eye in function and look, along with a few extra additions. I have a built-in scanner that allows me to scan my surroundings, it monitors my vital signs, it helps me to know the weather and I can see in infrared when I need to.

“It also has a heads-up display, meaning that while I’m in combat it allows me to be a little faster than my opponents, because it calculates movements so I can anticipate them.”

She marveled at the tiny computer eye sitting in her palm. Giving it back to him, she watched as he pushed it back into the socket, blinking again to realign the nerves with the wires.

“You were recording and predicting my movements when we were fighting then?”

He nodded, and shrugged. “It’s something my eye does naturally. And I like the way you move.”

The way he lowered his voice and looked at her sent a pleasant shiver over her skin. No one ever looked at her like that; like she was strong and sexy and capable without being hard.

“As great as it’s been being with you… I do have to get home.”

“Alright; we can finish up and I’ll take you back. Do you want to go in the car or on the bike?”

“The bike, most definitely.”

He laughed, and watched her quietly while they finished up breakfast. Once finished, they cleaned up and he led her back down to the garage. Only instead of going to the left side where the motor garage was, he led her down a short hallway to the right side where his personal garage was. Flicking on a light, it illuminated a custom-built bike that looked like a Harley Davidson. It had low riding handlebars, a very wide back tire, and an 1100cc engine, with long forks in the front.

The bike was completely black with a sinister looking skull on the front of it where the headlight was.

The handle bars were black with a chrome finish. The gas tank had blue flames running down it. As Jayson fired up the engine it roared with authority, like an engine not to be messed with.

It was like a proud beast waiting for the chance to show enemies it would eat them alive.

“It’s also equipped with two mini guns that come out of the saddle bags and oscillate, and it comes with nitrous.”

He grinned wickedly at her, with just the barest hint of his fangs showing, a dangerous gleam in his glowing eyes as he motioned for her to join him on the bike. She shivered, biting her lower lip as the raw animalistic power danced over her skin. There was something dark and powerful about this bike.

He beckoned to her again, and held up a helmet and leather jacket for her. Shrugging into the snug riding jacket, she tucked herself behind him, feeling the power of the engine rumbling beneath her.

“Ever do it on a bike?”

“Once or twice. You?”

“Ha-ha, oh aye, it’s definitely thrilling.”

She wrapped her arms around his waist, feeling his strong heartbeat beneath the rumble of the bike as he maneuvered out of the garage. The door clicked shut behind them and Jayson gunned the engine. They sped down the long driveway and onto the road.

The wind whipped by them and the sun sparkled off everything turning the world around them to a white blur.

“Did yah want to do it on a bike then lass?”

His thick Scottish brogue crackled through the earpiece in her helmet. And she laughed, not surprised with his sex drive or the fact that he wanted to do it again. And to be honest with herself, she wanted to do it again as well. The only thing was it was the middle of the morning.

“And where would we be doing it on the bike in the middle of the morning?”

She could practically feel him grinning.

“I know a place, if you’d like to join me?”

“Well… I don’t know I do have to get home and feed the cat.”

His deep rumbling laugh sent vibrations running up through her body. Oh, but she was quick.

“I’ll make it worth your while; trust me.”

Since they were already on the back roads surrounding the city, he took them down a gravel road that led away from the city and deeper into the rolling country side. The trees were just starting to turn color and once they turned onto a wooded gravel road that was little more than a foot across Jayson turned the engine low and continued along the forested pathway.

They came out into a small clearing over-looking the sprawling expanse of the city and the surrounding forestry. It was breath-takingly beautiful.

Taking off the helmets, she grinned in delight as she got off and went to the very edge of the overhang.

They weren’t incredibly high above the city, but just high enough that a fall from that high would seriously injure or kill them.

“This is amazing. Where did you find this place?”

“I’ve known about it for a while. It’s a great quiet little place to come when you don’t want to be found.”

“No kidding, it’s great.”

She didn’t hear him come up, and gasped when he slid his arms around her, burying his face in her neck inhaling her scent of woman and pomegranate and grapefruit shampoo.

His fangs grazed her neck and she shivered in pleasant expectation. Not of being bitten so much; but in everything else. He slid his right hand up her body to cup and knead her right breast. She leaned back into him, already feeling his bulge against her butt. Biting her lower lip, she tilted her head back into his shoulder, and her right hand moved behind her to stroke him through the rough fabric. A low growl of pleasure vibrated from his throat and against hers. She responded with her own growl.

He moved back towards the vehicle sitting quietly in the small clearing behind them, with Eryn still tucked against his body.

His left hand slid down beneath the waistband of her pants and he began rubbing her clit through her panties. She groaned, her eyes slipping shut as he leaned her against the bike, and knelt in front her. What was it about her that made him crazy? That made him want her again and again?

Reaching up he pulled her panties off and began teasing her. She moaned in pleasure, running her hands through her hair. No body made love to her like Jayson did. What was it about him that made her wild? She craved his touch, and loved it when he obliged her. It was a few minutes before he came up, sliding up her body like a graceful predator as she shuddered from climax.

His eyes hooded and his fangs showing slightly, he watched as she undid his pants with an efficient quickness that surprised him. She took in him in hand, massaging him for a couple minutes before she began teasing him with her tongue. He let her have her way with him, driving him high and higher, her tongue and mouth teasing and sucking, driving him closer to the edge. Just before he reached that peak, she stood up gracefully and leaned over the bike, splaying her hands against the leather seats; she wiggled her butt back and forth, invitingly.

He growled in pleasure a moment before he drove himself fully into her. She moaned his name and it sent a thrill of pleasure down his body. Thrusting against her, he growled in pleasure as she writhed against him meeting him stroke for stroke. Keeping his left hand on her hips, he slid his right hand in front of her, and began massaging her clit driving her higher and higher to climax as his own body climbed with her.

She screamed his name in pleasure as her senses over loaded and her body shattered; he quickened his thrusts and joined her, his body convulsing around hers as he came. She shuddered against the bike, panting heavily. It took a few minutes for their bodies to calm down enough, and in the meantime, they sat watching the city and the sun climb lazily across the horizon. Smoke from Jayson’s cigarette curled lazily into the blue.

“It’s a good thing we’re around trees otherwise that would be damaging the environment.”

Jayson just chuckled and pulled her closer. She leaned against his side, content for once in the feeling of being safe and happy.

“So where are the other jewelry – trinket thingies?”

“You still want to go after them, don’t you?”

“Of course.”

“Alright then; the next one to find would be the earrings of Charisma.”

“Excellent; where were they last known to be?”

“In a box in the bottom of the ocean….”

“Alright, let’s go then.”

He laughed at her enthusiasm. He had a sneaking suspicion that all the sex in the world wouldn’t deter her from her goal. She was waiting on the bike, watching as he put out his cigarette, crushing it into the dirt and walked over to the bike. He started the engine and began maneuvering carefully down the pathway, until they were back on the gravel road speeding toward the city.

He dropped her off at her apartment; and went to park the bike.

“I know your there… I can feel your presence.”

He spoke over his shoulder to the dark shadow in the corner of the garage. The shadow materialized into the living form of a very pissed off JB. The Reaper and the vampire appraised each other.

“Who are you and what are you doing with my wife?”

Jayson snorted; before lighting a cigarette.

“Last I heard; she wasn’t your wife since the day you died pal.”

JB snarled, showing jagged teeth. His eyes gleamed dangerously and shadows smoldered deep within their blue-black depths. He didn’t bother to deny the claim though.

“Stay the hell away from Eryn; she’s mine.”

“Boy, you better check yourself; she doesn’t belong to you or anybody else for that matter.”

“She’s mine to protect. You don’t deserve her.”

Jayson laughed at that.

“Like you do? She’s not yours to protect anymore pal.”

Enraged; JB growled and lunged at Jayson his scythe flashing in the dimness of the underground parking garage. Jayson’s sword came up blindingly fast parrying the blow from JB’s scythe. The screech of metal against metal rang through the garage and Jayson staggered back against the force of the blow. Growling; his fangs fully extended; Jayson launched himself at JB bringing his sword in a graceful deadly lunge.

JB disappeared right before he came into contact; only to reappear a moment later, throwing a charge of black lightning at Jayson.

Jayson countered with his own charge of lightning; the two bolts colliding in a blinding flash of dark blue-black light that sporadically fizzled into the air. The creatures moved together, always keeping an eye on the other. Jayson’s face looked demonic and his eyes glowed viciously. JB was all writhing shadows and black lightning, the Reapers glory terrifying; his eyes burning with the depths of hell. There was a moment of tense angry silence, broken only by the occasional crackling of electricity.

JB’s phone beeped. “We’re not done here.” He snarled before disappearing in a flash of black red light.

“Not by a long shot pal.”

Jayson snarled into the darkness. His cigarette had remained between his lips and he took it out blowing smoke into the damp air.

Well, that must have been one of the shortest fights of Jayson’s career and Eryn’s belated husband. He wondered what she ever saw in him. Going up the stairs, he wanted to know as much about JB as possible before he saw him again.

Knowing he could have just as easily found the information he sought through other channels, he respected her enough that he figured it would be best to get it from her instead.

“Tell me about JB.”

“What do you want to know?”

“What kind of powers he possesses, how strong he is and if he’s going to be a threat to me.”

She was watching him warily; packing last minute things and making sure Midnight’s timed automatic feeder was well stocked. She sighed, running a hand through her short hair.

“That’s a long story not worth rehashing; but since you’ve asked I might as well tell you since it might be in your best interest to know.”

Jayson leaned against the counter, waiting for her to continue.

“Me and JB grew up together, went to school together, got married, and had a daughter. We lived a normalish happy married life…. Until he died.”

Her eyes had gone hooded and distant. It was a look he knew well and yet, he understood her pain.

“The year after he died, he came back as something else… a shell of his former self that if I fell back in love with him within a week, he could keep his human life. I didn’t; I couldn’t…. I – I… I was terrified of him.”

He could hear the disgust and self-loathing in her voice. The hardness in her eyes and the stiffness of her body spoke volumes about what she really thought of her late husband coming back. It was little short of a miracle she hadn’t gone insane with having that kind of connection to a creature of death.

“When he came back… he was Hades servant. A Reaper. I don’t know the full extent of his powers or of what he’s capable of. As for him being a threat… Most likely.”

Jayson nodded deep in thought. He watched absently as Eryn finished gathering the last-minute supplies she would need.

“Do you still love him?”

She was taken off guard by the suddenness of the question. If she was being honest with herself… she had loved him greatly before he had died, but now that he had come back as a Reaper, she wasn’t entirely sure if she was more afraid of him, disgusted by him or if a part of her still loved him.

She considered Jayson’s question thoroughly before answering.

“I did love him, when he was human and alive.”

She shrugged, and in that small movement he could see that she meant it, but that she had also come to terms with the fact that her partner and husband had died. She still wasn’t quite sure what she felt towards him now and it reflected in the livid green pools of her eyes.

Jayson wanted to reach out and embrace her; let her know he was there for her. But at the same time, something held him back; whether it was the cold determination that settled over her or the hardness in her eyes. She shouldered the backpack by the door, made sure to lock it and headed out with Jayson close behind. She had remained quiet and withdrawn since their conversation about JB in her apartment.

The man waiting for them at the dock looked more like a pirate who would rob you blind than an expert sailor and boatman. He greeted them formally; let them know where they would be staying and the duration of the trip.

They departed the next day, heading out into rough waters and a sky the color of darkening gun metal. Eryn clung to the side of the small ship, holding on for dear life as the boat maneuvered and crested the rising waves.

“You’re sure you wanted to do this today?”

The captain called down to her from the steering cabin. She nodded stiffly. The wind tore at her clothes and blew through her hair. She glanced over at Jayson who stood proudly at the ships prow; staring intently out to sea as if nothing in the world could touch him. Unlike her, he actually looked like he belonged on a ship; from the moment, they had stepped aboard the S.S Marina, he had talked with Captain Darugan; helping with the ropes and different stations aboard the ship.

“What-cha doing?”

Jayson glanced down at her, she looked slightly green and she held herself very rigidly, he could see the barest tips of her fingers glint with metal and her knuckles were white from gripping the railing so hard.

“I was inputting data about JB and mapping our route into my computer. My eye and wrist computer are connected; essentially giving me wireless access to the files on my computer to my eye and allowing me to view them whenever and wherever I need to. Don’t like ships?”

“Ah, I see. No; I’m not good on the water. To be honest, the choppy waves are making me a bit sick; if you’ll excuse me.”

She turned and practically ran to the side of the ship, hurling into the waves crashing against the side of the boat as it rocked over the water. Jayson came up behind her, chuckling and rubbed a hand down her back. It took them a little over a couple of hours to reach their destination which as it turned out was in the middle of the ocean. The captain let the anchor go and the small ship came to a halt on the choppy waves.

“Well, if my G.P.S is correct we should be nearly directly above where the earrings should be located.”

His deep Scottish brogue somehow seemed fitting on the boat while he stood on deck, looking like a true commander.

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