Son of a Sable Night
Chapter 3: Still Let Me Sleep
"Eighty three," Wufei said to me this afternoon.
"Piss off," was my reply.
I had grown increasingly paranoid and was getting less rest, which
meant I was seeing more of Relena in order to keep my strength up.
And the longhaired man, Maxwell, was still following me. He never
made a move and always watched me from a distance, giving me a mocking
smile and a slight nod whenever I spotted him. I had no choice but to
try and ignore him.
My pact with Wufei barred me from taking a life.
In a moment of weakness, I had bargained away the majority of my
power for a brief stay of execution. Even if I could break an oath sworn
and sealed by my blood, Wufei would kill me before I could slip back
into my old pattern of feeding and flight. He was too good of a predator
to let me get very far. Damn him.
On my way to Relena's, I made a detour and stopped in the diner
where I'd hid the first night when I knew, for certain, that I was being
I took a seat on one of the padded stools lined with chrome and
upholstered in fire engine red. It took me a few minutes before I could
flag down the waitress. When I did, she stopped in front of me and
tapped a false nail on the glossy counter while flashing me a smile.
"Coffee, cutie?" she asked. Her nametag said Crystal, but she looked
more like a Susan.
I shook my head. "Soup please. To go."
She rattled off a list of what they had left, since the senior
dinner crowd had just left, and gave her opinion on what she thought was
the best of the lot.
When her eyes shifted to the right of me, all the muscles in my neck
and shoulders tensed up. The padded seat of the stool next to me
whistled as someone sat down. As in a movie theatre, common courtesy
dictates that one never sits down next to a stranger unless there are no
other empty seats and the counter was deserted, save for an old man
hunched over a plate of meatloaf down at the very end.
"Coffee please; black," said a very smooth, very pleasant, tenor
I didn't turn to look at him and every fiber of my being screamed
for me to run.
"Sure thing, cutie. Let me just get this order taken care of first,"
Crystal drawled. She looked a bit taken aback at the man's choice of
seating since I made no move to acknowledge him.
From the corner of my eye, I could see the cuff of a maroon cable
knit sweater pushed halfway to the man's elbow. His arm looked fairly
thin, sinewy and lean, and tapered down to a finely boned wrist
encircled by a silver watch with a tan leather band that accented the
way his large hands flared out.
I watched out of the corner of my eye as his long, beautiful fingers
picked up a butter knife from the setting on the counter. Would he try
and stab me with it? I braced my foot on the bumper rail running under
the counter. He propped it upright and pinched either side of the blade,
sliding his slim fingers down the length of it, then reversing it and
repeating the process.
I was mesmerized, until instead of propping it on the surface of the
counter again, the man flipped the knife into the air. I jumped to my
feet and raised a hand to deflect the toss.
The old man at the far end of the diner, dropped his fork onto his
plate and Crystal stared at me with the paper bag containing my order
clutched in one hand.
"You're very jumpy," said Maxwell. He didn't look at me, although
I'm certain he knew how I must have looked; standing there, half
crouched, with a hand in front of my face like a paranoid escapee from
the nuthouse, while he innocently balanced the scarred piece of cutlery
on the back of his knuckles.
I regained my composure and pulled a crumpled twenty out of my
pocket and tossed it towards the waitress. She set the bag down and
stepped back as if she expected me to pull a gun next and order her to
empty the till.
"Keep the change," I said.
"Say hello to the girls for me would you, Heero," the braided man
said. He flicked his wrist and flipped his hand over, catching the
butter knife in his palm. He lifted his chin and twisted his head to the
side just far enough that I got a good look at one violet eye peering at
me through a veil of heavy lashes. "Give my regards to Wufei as well."
I left. Quickly.
The slap of my shoes on the sidewalk was faster than usual as I
tried to get as much distance between me and death personified. Getting away
from my own thoughts was not as easy.
I kept picturing those large hands, with their long fingers that
sported smooth, rounded nails that peeked, ever so slightly, above each
calloused tip. Treize had hands like that. Musician's hands... Artist's
hands... Hands capable of subtle movements that could inspire poets and
Only, Treize's hands were reduced to ash years ago. I had found the
remains of the man who had been my creator, with an Eastern blade buried
in his breast.
The same blade that would claim me in eighty-three days if Maxwell
didn't take me first.
That thought in my mental dialogue made me shiver for more than one
reason. It got me thinking about those hands again and how they would
feel gliding over my skin, digging into my ass, clawing against my back,
stroking my chest, touching me, caressing me, making me forget what I
was and why I had forsaken love for an eternity of emptiness.
What plagued me more than his hands, was the fact that I couldn't
remember ever wanting someone so much. Was it all a perverse desire to
taunt death...or to subconsciously invite it? It hadn't been that way
with Wufei, but in all fairness he hadn't been actively hunting me at
the time and there had always been a barrier between us. At some level,
I'd always resented that he had killed the man who still had so much to
I often wondered if that was the reason he gave me an option in that
warehouse; ten years to prove to him that I might be a worthy opponent.
I usually convinced myself that was nothing but a fantasy and that I was
just a little experiment to him: see how the fledgling struggles to
survive when he was pushed out of the nest early and now his wings were
When I got to Relena's, I was feeling more stressed and more
paranoid than ever before. Adrenaline and desire was burning my blood
and I stabbed the buzzer impatiently until Hilde answered the door.
"Hey," was all she said as she let me in.
The brunette wandered away and I headed towards the stairs. I
bounded up them, taking three at a time, and when I got to the second
floor I discovered an obstacle waiting for me outside Relena's door.
"You!" Dorothy snarled and advanced on me.
"I'm here to see Relena," I said calmly, hoping to avoid whatever
storm was brewing.
Her voice turned to ice and she took another step closer to me, "I
know that you asshole."
I stayed my ground and held up the bag I was carrying as if it were
some sort of shield or ward that would keep her a safe distance away.
No such luck. She looked at the bag and got even more angry.
Dorothy stabbed a finger accusingly at my chest and hissed
venomously, "I know exactly what you are and I know what you're doing to