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Chapter #30 Layers

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Princess Alisha wakes up to a new day, but finds Vincent has wondered off. As she finds him practicing with his newly attained swords, does she find something within herself?

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Chapter 1

Police cars parked outside a fresh crime scene kept civilians at bay to prevent anyone from disturbing evidence. An old rusted car pulled in front of the home police were guarding. The engine sounded awful, it seemed a car part was capable of falling off at any given point. A three-hundred and eighty pound lieutenant detective removed the keys from the ignition and stepped out of his car. The car raised from the ground considerably upon his exit. The aged detective had short curly red hair and brown eyes. The man’s face exuded years of hardship and experience. The man pulled out a lighter with a fancy design on the outside, lit his cigarette, and flipped the lighter in the air, catching it with his free hand and placed it back into his pocket before proceeding to view the crime scene.

As the lieutenant detective approached, an officer walked over to fill him in on all the details.



“Sorry to tear you away from the kingdom crisis, but it appears to be another of those bizarre suicides. Wife comes home sees husband laying on his back, bullet to the chest, exit wound from the back, but the bullet hit the wall on the opposite side of the room. Ballistics has matched the bullet to the victim’s gun, but the gunpowder residue is on the victim’s hand. No signs of a struggle, but there was clearly another suspect present.” the officer informed.

“And why do you think that?”

“Forced entry. Window broken from the outside to unlock the backdoor. And this was personal. Nothing has been reported stolen, just like all the other bizarre suicides.”

Lieutenant detective Hobbs looked at the evidence provided, “So, the assailant breaks the back window here. Proceeds to the living room, sits down in this chair here. Waits for this schmuck to get home, but somehow gets the guy to kill his self.”

“This one’s got us confused. The positioning just doesn’t add up. He couldn’t have shot himself with this evidence.” the officer scratched his temple, “There’s not even any sign of tampering. I’ve never seen anything like this.”

The detective squatted down looking at the chair and put on a latex glove, “Here, take this in for testing.” he ordered while picking up a long black hair. After he put the hair in a zip bag and handed it over to the officer, he ordered them to dust the chair for finger prints.

“Whoever’s causing these string of bizarre suicides, he isn’t very smart. Big mistake leaving behind hard evidence like this.” the officer assumed.

“If this is the same guy that knocked off all the others then he’s too smart to make mistakes like these. He doesn’t care if he’s caught. It doesn’t matter to him if he’s sloppy. Makes him more dangerous.”

“How can you be sure? Maybe he just finally slipped up.”

“The only thing all of these ‘suicide’ victims have in common is the detective that investigated them at some point in the past.” Hobbs pointed out while taking another draw off his cigarette.

“What detective?”

“My old partner, Notch.” Hobbs remained pondering about the supposed suicides, wondering just how Seth was pulling them off.

Back in the forest at the gypsy’s camp Bo helped Wraith fold up the tent to give back to Enrique. Alisha walked over to the gypsy’s travel carriage and knocked on the door to return some mouth wash he had given her due to the fact that she didn’t have a toothbrush.

“Ah, finished already?” he answered.

“Yes, thank you.” she replied politely. Alisha took a quick glance at the camp area before asking, “Enrique, have you seen Vincent?”

“Yes, I have actually. He wandered out that direction early this morning.” he pointed.


“Dunno, maybe he needed to answer nature’s call, know what I mean? Only reason I knew though is cause he triggered my string of cans there when he wandered off.”

“I think I’ll go look for him.” Alisha stated.

“Princess, may I ask you a personal question?”

Alisha was weary, but allowed the questioning anyhow. “Sure.”

“Which one of the two is your boyfriend?”

Alisha was stunned, “My, my boyfriend?! Neither, I’m not seeing anyone. Now is hardly the time to be searching for love.”

“Oh? Alright then. My apologies.” Enrique began to return inside his travel carriage until he was stopped by the princess.

“Enrique! Why do you ask?” she wondered.

The gypsy laughed slightly, “I just thought I picked up on a vibe last night. It appears to me that they both fancy you, but as you stated, now isn’t the time to go searching for love, right?” he smiled before returning inside this carriage.

“Right.” the princess replied questioning herself. “Both?” she thought out loud. She then turned and began walking off in search for Vincent. Alisha stepped over the string with cans tied to the trees as not to sound off that alarm. Alisha noticed foot prints on the soft soil and followed the trail. After fifteen minutes or following his tracks she began to hear huffing and grunting sounds. The princess slowly approached a little slope which led to a small brook of flowing clear water with healthy greenery all around.

The fair skinned beauty stood watching the silver haired teen swinging both his katana blades. Alisha was flustered by the sight of the shirtless young man practicing with his new weapons. She took notice of his muscled back and biceps. Sweat trickled down Vincent’s tight pecks as he practiced more offensive maneuvers. Within an instant, one of Vincent’s swords burst into scattered sharp metallic blades and flew around in the air at his control. The teen controlled his broken sword pieces like a swarm of bees then forced them all to stop and begin circulating around him in a large circle.

“That’s amazing.” Alisha complimented with a face of sheer astonishment.

Vincent was so focused that he hadn’t noticed her watching him train, “Princess?!” Vincent returned the bits of katana back into an actual sword and connected the two back as one to return to its sheath.

“Oh, you don’t have to stop on my account.” she explained walking down the slope towards Vincent. “How long have you been training with that sword of yours?”

“I dunno. A while.” he said wiping the sweat from his forehead.

Alisha noticed the circular pattern of scars on Vincent’s chest once he faced her direction, “What’s that? On your chest there?”

“Oh,...” he replied touching the scars, “...when the seven of us all removed the swords from a rock we all got scarred the same way somehow.”

“Why?” she asked walking up to him.

“I don’t know. Probably cause we weren’t supposed to swipe these swords.”

Alisha hesitantly reached forward and gently ran her fingers on Vincent’s naked chest, feeling of the mysterious scars. “Does it hurt?”

“Not anymore.” he answered uncomfortably. Vincent put his shirt back on and walked over to the brook to splash a bit of water on his face. “How did you find me out here?”

“Enrique noticed you leave this way earlier this morning.”

“He told you I wandered off, did he?”

“No, I asked him if he knew where you were.”

“Oh? You noticed I was gone, hm?” he quipped.

“What is that supposed to mean?” she asked.

“Nothing, nevermind. Let’s....go back to the camp.” he replied wandering by her.

Alisha stepped in Vincent’s way and looked him face to face, “Is something bothering you? Are you mad at me or something?”

“No. Let’s just, go back.” he answered in an aggravated tone.

“Well it sure feels like you’re mad about something. Did Wraith do something I don’t know about?”

“You know.”

“Know what?”

“Your boyfriend.”

“My what?! Boyfriend? Wraith isn’t my boyfriend. What made you think he was my boyfriend?” she asked with irritation.

“I saw you holding his hand last night at the camp fire.”

“So! He made a pass at me and I denied him. I just met him. Not to mention Raziel just went all psycho and killed my family.” she explained as she began to cry, “So I’m not exactly looking for a boyfriend at the moment thank you very much.” The princess began sniffling and wiping tears from her eyes.

“Ugh, why are you crying.” Vincent complained.

“Um, let’s see, maybe because I’m all alone now. Family friend takes out my whole family, I’m left hiding in the woods with a gypse and two guys that couldn’t care less about my life or what happened to my mom, dad, and brother. Bo’s the only one that seems to care my whole life is ruined now. It’s obvious to anyone that meets you and Wraith that you don’t care about anyone but yourselves.” she rambled.

Vincent felt awkward standing before her as she broke down yet again. The boy sighed before opening his arms and stepping forward.

“Wha, what are you doing?” she sobbed.

“Something I remembered that stupid shark-dog said.” he explained before embracing her.

Alisha was stunned by Vincent’s actions, but willingly accepted his offering of affection. The broken girl paused in the warmth of his arms and chest before wrapping her arms around him and placing her face on his clothed pecks to cry upon. Vincent’s first intentions were to shut her up from crying, but in that moment of embrace he began to feel stirrings with in his heart. Something about witnessing Alisha cry brought him pain from with-in. It’s the first time in his life someone else’s emotions weighted on him.

The princess leaned her head back up right and chuckled, “I’d gotten make-up on your shirt.”

Vincent sighed, “It’s fine. Don’t worry about it.”

Alisha looked straight into Vincent’s eyes while he held her in his strong arms. A calm breeze blew through the trees. Autumn leaves danced in the air while falling to the ground. The cool waters flowed through the brook ever so smoothly. The teen hearts pounded in sync. Their faces so close and moist lips closer. In the first moment since her world fell apart, she felt safe. Alisha’s firm chest pressed against Vincent’s tighter as she moved closer. Lost in the moment she placed her lips only a centimeter away from contact with Vincent’s.

The silver haired teen’s face blushed a bright red, he moved his head back and away from the would-be kiss, “Really. It’s, it’s fine. Really.”

The princess swallowed and took a deep breath as she stepped away from the orphaned boy. She had been swept away in the moment, but had returned back to her senses.

“Maybe we should head back.” Vincent suggested.

“Yeah, yeah. Maybe we should head back. That’s a, that’s a good idea.” she agreed returning from the passed moment.

“I’m gonna, get my swords.” he explained. Vincent walked over and strapped his sheathed katanas to his side. He looked at the princess. She appeared dazed, “I’ll lead the way.”

“Yeah, you do that.” she gasped.

Alisha followed closely behind Vincent as he retraced his steps back to camp. Alisha continued replaying the moment by the brook inside her head. She began wondering more about the silver haired teen while blocking branches from her face and watching her footing.


Vincent didn’t bother paying any mind to Alisha’s sounds.

“HM!?” she announced more vocally.

“Ugh.” Vincent rolled his eyes as he led the way back, “What is it?”

“I was just wondering, can I ask you a personal question.”


“I don’t know. I’m curious I guess.”


“Why don’t you talk about yourself? Like when we talked the other day. Are you shy? You don’t have to be shy around me.”

“No, I’m not shy! Geez. I’m just, ugh. I’m just not that interesting. That’s all.” he defended, offended by the ‘shy’ remark.

“Well, like before. You said you didn’t have parents, or you didn’t really know them before. Why is that? What happened there?” she inquired.

Vincent stopped and looked up at the sky, “Ugh. What is it with you? Why do you wanna know about them? What do you care?”

“I don’t know. I guess maybe I’d just like to know you better. Is that such a terrible thing? To know you better?”

“It just seems dumb.”

“It’s dumb to know you more?”

“No, it seems dumb to ask about them. Who cares about them? They don’t define me.”

“Well, I was curious. You said they got rid of you, right? Why did they do something like that?”

“Ugh, because I was born. There, are you happy now?” he stopped and turned back to look at Alisha. “I was born with this stupid hair color and it freaked’em out. It was a bad omen or something and they gave me away. They wiped me and flushed me away. I ended up at an orphanage after that.”

“You were just a baby?”

“Yeah. My mistake was birth. Can we drop this now?”

“You don’t like to talk about it do you?”


“Because of the strong hurt feelings?”

“No, because I get more pissed off everytime I think of those losers. I hate’em.”

“You can’t hate them.” she condescended.

“Look, not everybody cryies about their mommy and daddies, okay?” he snapped back. “Now let’s just move on.” he said continuing on his way.

Alisha stood motionless by his insensitive remark. Vincent continued, but noticed her staying put.

“What are you doing? Come on.” he could tell she was hurt and probably about to cry again. Vincent sighed and walked over to her to hug her again.

Alisha was upset and brushed his arms away from her, “Get away. I don’t want a hug from you! Is that why you’re so mean to me? So, you can hurt my feelings and hug me ‘to make it all better’?” she accused.

“What? No. Jus’ seems like hugs stop you from blubber’n.”

Alisha gasped, “What! Is that the only reason you’ve been hugging me? To shut me up?” Vincent stood in front of her without a single clue of what to tell her. The young blonde gasped again, “IT IS! You’re just being nice so I’ll stop talking.”

“No, no, no, that’s not it. You just, I mean I...” Vincent was confused and hadn’t a clue where to go from this point. So he walked forward for another hug which she wrestled away from.

“What’s wrong with you?” she replied.

“Well what do you want me to do?! I don’t know? All this talk crap and hugs and emotional stuff! It’s not me! I don’t know what I’m doing! What do you want from me?!” he shouted back in a sheer misunderstanding of the entire situation.

“Vincent, all I want is to be able to talk with you.” she answered in a more calm tone.

Vincent was huffing and feeling like a complete fool, “You need to understand, I’m not used to this whole ‘talking about myself’ and my parents and stuff. I’ve never done this before.” The silver haired asian took in a deep breath of relief, “Look, I’ll help you get to where you wanna go and then you won’t have to deal with me anymore and you can find new people to ask all sorts of annoying personal questions.”

“Is that what you want to do? Drop me off somewhere and then just leave?”

“What would I stick around for?”

A pause in the conversation crept in, “Let’s just go.” she replied with disappointment.

Alisha removed another protective layer from Vincent’s emotional shell, but wasn’t entirely ready for the revealed truths. Regardless, she continued close behind him once again.

Ten minutes into walking back to the camp Vincent noticed some smoke off to his right. It seemed odd and out of place in the middle of a forest. Was someone else camping nearby? “Stay here.” he warned Alisha before wandering slowly over to the smoke to investigate. A foul unpleasant odor began to become stronger as he creeped closer to the smoke emitting from behind the bushes. To Vincent’s surprise he discovered a fully grown deer entangled in thick spider webs, but even more shocking were the burned holes from the deer’s neck. The deer revealed holes burned through its nostril’s, mouth, and neck as if something it had breathed in burned through its flesh.

“Oh my God, what happened to that poor deer?” Alisha inquired behind Vincent.

“What are you doing creeping up on me like that? You startled me half to death. I could have cut you down. What if I thought you were an enemy?” he snapped.

“Oh shut up, you’re not going to cut me. So what happened to that poor deer?”

“I don’t know, but let’s just go back to camp before someone sees us. I don’t think we’re alone.” Vincent led Alisha away from the tortured animal, still curious about who else was near.

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