Test day. It was a Monday, a black day. The pumpkin in the air might as well have been napalm. The shadows swirled like smoke and ash, clinging dearly to the dark bodies that followed after the heavy steps of Samantha’s victi- er, students. She marked and kept the beat of the dirge with her thumb, that new ring clanking, keeping their march in-line. How she smirked at each and every one. After the first, since it was Monica. She was the sunniest of her platoon, the happiest in that troop, all awaiting their doom. The little whore was wearing one of Samantha’s night shirts... and only the shirt, baggy enough to cover all up to her knees. Its giant Saints logo clashed so much with the room, garnering many looks, making her flush and squirm under the attention.
But the show must go on. No one could stay in the doorway for long. One by one they assembled, until only Minos was left. He was all smiles as he started through the door, chuckling, but paused. He snuffled, snorted, growled as he plodded over.
“Oh my! Good morning to you too,” she exclaimed, giggling-turned-moaning when he pushed against her chest. He inhaled, hard enough to raise her, her shirt, and the desk under, revealing to all her lack of panties. But that was old news. And everyone knew that. Instead, they were watching Minos. Peter leaped to his feet, starting over as red started to consume his vision. Ayn moved her table away, and shot a worried glance towards Norman... whom, compared to everyone else, looked completely calm. Even as froth dripped from Minos’ lips.
The red disappeared. Minos gasped, trying to recoil, but it was too late. Monica had the bull by the horns. She tittered, rubbing them, and made sure her chest was pressed firm against his face, which was an amalgamation of fear, hatred, and arousal all in one.
“Now now. Wait until the test is over, okay? Then you can do your special way of getting rid of the smell,” Monica said, cooing... and... finally allowed him to stand. She kept a firm hand on his left horn, though, stroking it, slow, steady, as he sat in a chair beside. Her arm would serve well as a blinder between their two tests, but Samantha didn’t really care. Monica could have cheated; hell, she was tempted to give her an answer key for averting another crisis. Though that didn’t stop Samantha from smelling her hands anyways, basking in the scent of soft... “ocean”.
Thank goodness I took a shower this morning, She thought, and put the two tests on Monica’s desk. She patted the whore’s head, beaming. “Thanks. Make sure he keeps his cool, okay?”
Samantha handed out the rest of the tests, then headed for the d-
“Where are you going?” Ayn exclaimed.
“You don’t need me here now, do you? Just do your test and put it on the podium. The answer key is nowhere in the room, and, if you cheat, oh well. You are only harming yourself in the end. I am not your babysitter.” Just your warden... she shook her head. “I wish you all luck.”
“What are you going to be doing,” Minos asked. He could barely keep his voice steady- no, barely might have been giving too much credit with how it rose and warbled, trembling in octaves and tone.
“I’m going for a small walk,” she answered, though.
After all, Lilith is expected to be upstairs during school hours, so this gives me ample time to-
She shook her head again, and closed the classroom door. She rushed to the entrance of the Black Halls, keeping her mind as blank as she could. She knew her goal; she thought about it for a long... long... LONG ASS time the night before, once the Black Hall’s autumnal scents had completely been flushed out, once she was completely free of the constant buzzing. But now, now more than ever, she couldn’t give a single thought to anything. Not even to doors- okay, some thought to doors.
As much as she would have loved to simply rend it apart, it would look less suspicious if she simply used her card. From there her mind would be blank, following after the trail she left before. Her marks faded, but the bits of cloth she tore from the night before in her drunken state hid so well against the stone. The smallest of indication they had was being the most minor of blemishes of silk against gritty stone.
Got to hand it to drunk me, she thought, against her better judgment, but was quick to silence it as she went straight three pathways, left one, straight for one, right once before heading straight two. There were two lefts in a row, then, finally, a right, where the room with the alpha’s body again. She pocketed the claw this time, leaving a bit of cloth in the cuts, which only left walking around the corner and to that hall’s middle for her destination.
Samantha touched one of the many odd stones to the right. The wall slid away, and she made haste to the skull, hoping it was still there.
A gristly gag rippled down the hall.
It was close that time, but Samantha felt her skin actually try to detach from the muscle when she jumped. If it wasn’t for the cold steel on her thumb, she had no doubt she would have easily leaped out of that suit. Time seemed to stand still, to draw that otherworldly sound out, taking with it what color the hall had to offer and to coat her back in rime again, latching her two parts back together.
Only when it was secure and frozen over did that sound leave completely. Samantha managed a few, hard steps before the sound returned, just as long, as nasally- and that’s when it dawned on her: snoring. Scarlette was snoring.
Samantha, with this assumption, found the warmth to hurry to the plinth. To the skull on it. The eyelids were tensed, trying to stay against the large eyes. And they reverberated with another round of that gagging sound. She waited for it subside, then picked up the skull, giving it a small shake, “waking” Scarlette up. At first she was annoyed, then surprised, then relieved as a calmness washed over those purples, actually sighing as wind pushed through her throat again. Surprisingly, it was far easier to get the wind to go; the dragon on her thumb fanned its wings, keeping the metal at bay, adding to its growing folds as the flesh under ripped apart to let those gusts through.
“I didn’t ex...pect to see you back,” she stated. “A... after lasssst time.”
“It worked,” Samantha said. “She believed me, but I am on borrowed time. Tell me: why does Lilith come down here?”
“I don’t kn...ow. I am always f...aced out towards the ha...llway, so I only ssssee what she doesss when she arr...ives.”
“Okay? So... does that mean... you mean to tell me she does more when she gets in here, in this room?”
“I am not entirely sssssssure... I can only see one way.”
Samantha hummed, mulling it over as she checked the room. It was barely larger than a business cubical (a normal cubical, not the gilded cage she was given), but there didn’t seem to be a line nor crease out of place in the steel box... Much like her room. Look what surprises that held. No, she wasn’t scrutinizing enough. That had to be it... She ran a hand over the metal, gripped at it, trying to find a handle or a button of any kind, but found nothing. Metal started to flare from her fingers, sinking in, but, no matter how deep she delved, it was all the same, blasted metal. No thinner, no thicker.
And a fucking waste of time.
She cursed at it, for what it was, and raised Scarlette again, looking into those eyes.
“Throw me a bone here,” Samantha exlcaimed. “Give me something- anything! What does she do when she comes in here?”
A dark shadow crossed over Scarlette’s visage.
“Ssshe picks me up and g...gloats about how ssshe hasss Johhny n...now. About h...how hap...p...py they are, about-”
“I need you to calm a little. It’s hard enough keeping a stream of air going.”
“S...sorry... She p...picks me up... and something clicks.”
Samantha grimaced, shook her head... and created an orb of light. It started out as the six, tiny balls she originally made in Lilith’s office, but her fury over the succubus combined them into a white-hot rage, making that metal blinding to stare at. Thankfully, she wasn’t looking at all of it. Just the plinth. And the small, gray button on the top of it. It was right behind where Scarlette normally sat, easily told apart by the ring of... “dust” that had congealed where she was placed. Yes, dust... and that was the explanation Samantha was sticking to –REALLY poor choice of words there.
In fact, it was a wonder Samantha hadn’t noticed sooner –the button, that was. It was the only part of the plinth not covered in that thick coat of “dust”, kept clear. She pressed until it clicked, and the wall at the back of the room, once as thick as the metal around, slid down into the ground, revealing a tunnel, heading down. An eerie purple glow pulsed up it, washing over the two of them
“W... where does that lead?” Samantha said. “Oh. Right. You couldn’t have seen it.”
“It’sssss okay. I know you are... quessstioning for yourselfffffffff-”
“Sorry!” She took a deep breath, and slowed the air rushing through the skull. The dragon on her finger seemed to have grown four times since she was down here, easily a whelp in its own right. “So... any ideas?”
“I don’t k... know... I hear... voicessssssounds every so offffften-”
“Then what have you heard?”
“Enough to know.”
“Th...that you aren’t meant to be here.”
She pulled out her phone, stilling her hands long enough to see the time. She had begun to tremble, her breathing ragged, even more ragged than the skull she held, set back on the plinth.
“That’s all the t-time I have.” She stated, but gave Scarlette a sad smile. “I’ll be back, though.”
Scarlette’s eyes shimmered, knowing it to be true (now), and Samantha ran for the exit, fumbling along the way. She needed to still her breathing, her heart; she had time. Not as much as she hoped, but she had ti-
She squeaked as she heard metal slam behind, and dove to the left.
Into a door. Closed. The whelp on her finger had fanned its wings, its ten metal ends shrieking into the steel, digging deep as it slowed her before impact.
Odd, she thought, and stood, slowly, looking at the door. Last time I was here all of them were open...and this ring is far more useful than I want to give it credit for.
She watched as the dragon pulled its wings free, and yawned, shrinking back to its normal size. Its scales looked more polished, though, and she could swear the tips had a golden tint. That could have been the lights, though, or her mind, running rampant. Against her wishes... She shook her head, and looked to that door again. Still closed. Even the shield was shut... Every part of her was yelling, telling her to leave, to run, as fast as she could, back to her Black Halls.
But she ignored it, curiosity piqued, renewed. She cocked her brow, every hair on her head, on her nape, on her arms prickling, telling her not to, begging her to stop, that it wasn’t too late, but she pressed on until she opened that shield.
Meeting a pair of silvers.
They growled, snarled, and clawed at the door, bending, creaking out. Samantha fell on her rear, crawling back until she hit the other wall, lurching to her feet. Yellowed teeth pushed their way through the small slit, its black maw pulled back, tongue lapping, speaking a language she did not know. She pressed her hand against her ear, and (aside the dragon chirruping and nibbling at it) silver energy bled in, wrapping around the speech, echoing... clearing.
“Let me out of here!” It... He shrieked, repeating again and again as he slammed against the door, whimpering. “Where am I? Who are you? Let me the fuck out!”
“Who are you?” Samantha said. Her throat buzzed a little, twisting it into something she didn’t really know, and the lycan stopped banging against the door, panting. The silvers returned, looking through the shield again, glaring at her.
“I am Amadeus. Amadeus Rasputin, of the Broclau Pack.”
“I am Samantha Coffey, of New Orleans.”
“An American? Then am I in America?”
“Where is that, exactly?”
“West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.”
“Which state, dammit!”
It slammed against the metal, its claws actually making through two of the holes the dragon made... but couldn’t go any further. She could see small, blue lines of electric sizzling the flesh there, lancing from the metal into those ebon tips.
“American harlot! Don’t play coy with me!”
“I’m not! Because of its location, it’s hard to discern which one we’re really in. We do count as West Virginia, though.”
“Oh, so a bunch of hicks have taken me hostage.” He slammed the door again, growling. “Let me out!”
“Why? Afraid I’ll KILL YOU?”
“Kind o-of... but I’m not exactly m-m-meant to be here, either.”
He huffed, and the eyes disappeared a moment, flashing through again and again as they paced back and forth before it.
“So. We’re pretty much alike, then, in circumstance. We have no idea why we are really here and are left in the dark... Difference is you are able to move while I am not.” He pushed against the door again, one huge, silver moon gleaming, twinkling as it looked at her. “We have a similar foe, if that’s the case. Let us help one another here. I bet you could use a powerful ally such as I, so LET ME OUT.”
“I... I c-can’t-”
“I promise! I vow I will not hurt you. All you need to do is let me out- just help me out. Please. We can help each other, but only if you open the door.”
“I-if I do-”
“You will have an ally instead of an enemy. You will want one when I return to Broclau and tell them what had become of me. We will bring destruction upon this area, damned be to the Mireclaw Pack.”
“The lycans who control this territory. We will have justice, so, for your own sake, you best let me out. Please.”
“I... I can’t.”
He snarled, and the metal shrieked as he lunged at it again. Foam flew through the slit, teeth scraping at it, leaving behind blood as he yowled and cried out.
“Foolish bitch! Do you have any idea what you are doing? You are keeping the alpha of the Broclau hostage. If you let me out now, you will be granted mercy. If you don’t,” he slammed the door, bending it more, “I WILL MAKE CERTAIN YOU WILL BE THE FIRST ONE GUTTED.”
“I can’t! D-don’t you get it? We shouldn’t e-e-eeeven be talking... You’ll give me away.”
“What was that? I’ll give you away? Is the person who trapped us that much more a threat than the beast you see before you? What am I saying; of course she is! But I swear I can be your protector. So... is she that big a threat to you?”
“I... I think she is. T-to her, our lives m... mean nothing.”
“Then let me out. I can save you. I can protect you. I can KILL HER. MY PACK WILL BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO.”
Samantha... shook her head. She lumbered to his door, blinking at last, her tears allowed to be freed.
“I can’t.” The dragon on her hand hissed as it glowed, pressed against the door. The metal, once hellbent to come out, shrieked and pushed in. The lycan cried out, whimpering, scraping at the back wall as the metal closed in, but he couldn’t stay away from it forever, and it finally had him by the neck.
“W-what are y-”
The light flashed, and the hall echoed with sickening crunch, first of his neck then his head against the back wall. The metal slithered away, leaving his corpse to fall to the ground. Samantha watched a moment, made sure his body didn’t even twitch... then closed the shield. She left, trembling, shaking something fierce along her walk back to the Black Halls.
If Lilith didn’t know she was there before, her mind was now betraying her, an explosion, a hurricane of questions and panicked gibberish that were unable to be cleared. She managed to stumble as far as Minos’ room when she had to stop, to hold her head, lest it burst out onto the ground there and then. She leaned against the cold metal.
And heard noises.
Grunts, growls, moans echoed from inside... and, against her better judgment, Samantha slid back the cover. Monica was bent over the bed, her breasts bouncing, slapping together, covered in a fresh layer of his lust. Her tongue lulled, drooling down onto her chest, as Minos was but one with the darkness behind, impaling that fair-skinned lass. Samantha’s shirt was discarded onto the floor, a basin for an already exorbitant amount of his lust.
“Right there, big boy,” Monica whispered, licking at his sheets, thrusting back against. “K-keep g-goi... ah...”
Minos snarled, and leaned down, biting her neck. His horns scraped and tore at the bed as it groaned and cracked under his thrusts, but he allowed her to sit up as she gripped one of his horns. His hand had slipped around as well, cupping, squeezing her breasts before rubbing lower, teasing her bud so much while his member continued to thrust. Even now it was still hidden, cloaked in that darkness, though, as Samantha was locked and forced to watch, it seemed to take its time to bottom out, the leathery sack seen smacking against her hand again and again.
She grabbed his shoulder, allowing his other hand to grope and maul her breasts. He pinched the left, making her squeal. He hissed, grunted, and was forced to stop as Monica rose off his member. She turned around, giggling, and he grabbed the back of her head, whatever she was about to say reduced to hurried mumbling as he pumped her throat full.
Minos heaved a heavy sigh, and looked to the door... meeting Samantha’s gaze. Tears beaded in his reds, but were quickly wiped away as Monica pulled herself off, giving him a sloppy kiss.
“You’re not done yet, are you?” She managed to pant out, giggling as she cooed. “We have all night.”
Samantha... slid the shield shut again, and went to the classroom. The tests were all on the podium; shame the top one was plastered in tears. Samantha had no idea where they were coming from, or why her hands were covered in metal, why the dragon had grown, nor why wind howled as she went up to her room. In fact, she had no idea where the sobs were coming from either as she sat in the dark at her desk, grading under a rather hazy bulb. She would tell Lilith that her light needed one soon, but she doubted her phone had the best service. It was all a little off at the moment, and it seemed to have effected her breathing and chest too.
The weekend came again so soon, the week lost to overview and critique. As expected, the majority of her students did... average. The exceptions were, of course, Junmei and Ayn, achieving perfect scores. Bella was the next highest, and needed the least amount of time; however, she took a day of her own, simply relaxing with Samantha, listening to jazz. Samantha tried her best to hide her smirk, seeing the paint on her saxophone, but let it all go when she visited Buffy, her console covered in it. She didn’t bother with Minos, who gave silence in kind, while Monica would not, giving every excuse under the sun why she got a perfect zero.
“It was weirdly worded,” she stated. “How was I to know?”
“It was a true or false question... and you circled ‘or’.”
Samantha shook her head, finding herself once more outside the mom-and-pop store. After all, she had a date that weekend. And was in dire need of it. She wore a bright red top that night, hidden under a black jacket, matching her skirt –and, soon, Mahna’s T-shirt. He wore sweatpants, as well, bagged around his tennis shoes, silent against the concrete as he lead her to his car, a simple, beige sedan.
He helped her into the passenger seat, where she couldn’t help but gaze at his waist. It was eye level, and she could see the left leg was a bit tighter against him than the rest of those pants. It stayed tight until just short of the middle of the thigh, leaving her both wanting... yet a bit disappointed. At herself, mostly, for comparing it to a literal shadow.
The car whispered to life, and he turned to her, beaming.
“Where do you want to go,” he asked.
“I don’t know,” she said, simply happy to be away from the Halls. “What did you have in mind?”
“I thought we would start off with a meal at the restaurant, then swing by the movie theater, and end with watching the sunrise in the park.”
“That sounds perfect... Do you know what’s playing?”
“Last week was that shitty reboot, but they planned for a superhero mara... you don’t mind superhero movies, do you?”
“Not at all.” At least, not while I’m with you.
He smiled wider, maybe even brighter to Samantha’s yearning heart, and the evening was one long sweep of color and excitement, ending with a slow, rising purple then orange over the horizon. Though there wasn’t much talk, there wasn’t need. Mahna must have understood that simply being together was enough, and so they walked so close, held hands so tight on the grass, stilling each other’s shivering as the dew washed over them and the green, and waited for their solar usher to force them back to the car.
He drove her back to the Academy, but even then they weren’t soon removed from each other. They took the long way around, up along the interstate, simply enjoying the silence, the freedom the two shared, until they parted with a simple kiss, another date set in a month. Hopefully then, it will be more than simply holding hands, than a simple kiss; at least, that’s what Samantha hoped.
She entered the Black Halls, a spring in her step even as tired as she was-
Minos was waiting for her.
He was leaning against the door, a pair of nose plugs pushed far into his nostrils, glowering at her. She wondered, though, if his scowl was meant for her... or himself.
“Have a fun time?” He said- accused. He was definitely accusing her; what right did he have? Rather, what fuck did Samantha have to give?
None, of course.
She didn’t bother answering him, heading for her room, ready for a nice nap then time with her fellow hunters tomorrow. After all, she had no time for him; that’s what Monica was for.