Sunday, November 6, 2011

Story of Sebastian, Chapter Five

Story of Sebastian, Chapter Five
Features adult language.
When we last saw Sebastian on October 2nd, he’d found Paul’s target and was preparing for his first fight as an angel.

Sebastian found a quiet spot, out of sight of his new companion. He didn’t want to scare her or make her think he was inept. He had a feeling she’d be more bothered by the latter. He wondered how to find out about his powers and settled for testing his old skills first.

He concentrated on trying to do all the things he could before his death. Thankfully, they all seemed to work. Not so thankfully, they only worked as well as they had in his first life. Sebastian rolled his shoulders and shook out his hands. Since he’d never bothered to practice them, they weren’t his best option. He wasn’t going to be much help this way.

Gods, he wished he had a sword. Sebastian choked back a startled cry as his sword appeared in his hand. He twirled it around, comforted by the familiar motions. He concentrated again and it disappeared. He took a calming breath and puzzled over this new development. Maybe the thought had triggered it?

Sword, the word rattled in Sebastian’s brain and he watched as it appeared to grow out of his hand. So, the weapon was tied to his essence somehow, meaning he’d always be armed. The thought was reassuring. He practiced a few more times until darkness began to close in. Even though magic wasn’t his strong skill, he was able to summon the sword quickly when he’d finished practicing.

Sebastian marched back toward the fire and the girl next to it. Sorcha looked up as he approached. “You okay?”

“Just getting prepared,” he hedged as he sat again.

“For what?”

“You seriously think I’m just going to watch you battle who knows how many of those things?”

“Maybe you should watch and learn,” she grinned.

Damn, she was really looking forward to the coming fight. Sebastian wondered what made her eager as he watched Sorcha stoke the fire. When she smiled wider something rang out in his head, begging to be acknowledged. He pushed the memory aside, wanting to focus on the fight ahead.

Sure enough, the shadows moved in around them. So intent on tracking them, he barely heard her whispered order not to move. Right, they were supposed to be clueless humans. His sword hand itched and Sebastian found himself wanting to do battle as much as she did. Old yearnings for blood and battle welled up and demanded release. Judging the movements around them, there were definitely a lot out of dark ones to unleash his frustration on.

Careful to use only his gaze to track them, he watched the shadows creep closer and tighter around them. Sebastian’s focus returned to the woman across from him, noticing she observed them with the same skill. One moved close to smell her and he wondered exactly how long the bloody woman would wait to strike out.

Sebastian’s eyes narrowed as a claw sifted through Sorcha’s long red hair. The woman was definitely crazy. Before the thought finished, her short sword snaked around and the clawed hand fell to the ground. Unearthly screams lit the air—the dark ones’ battle cry—and Sebastian stood to pounce. The sword’s appearance at his side was instinctual and immediate.

He needn’t have worried. Sorcha held her own against five enemies as he was attacked. Sebastian fought like a madman, ignoring the knowledge that he couldn’t be killed. Dark one’s claws were poisonous and he couldn’t run the risk of being incapacitated. Not when Sorcha’s life hung in the balance.

Sebastian dropped a dark one with a thrust of his sword, kicking the pieces into the fire. The flames rose with the addition and the shadows shrank from it. He quickly killed another one and added it to the fire. Even the small light would be enough to create a safe zone. Who knew Grylocks were so flammable?

Sorcha’s yell cut off his smirk. “You’re scaring them off, you idiot!”

He watched as the fire died suddenly, under her influence no doubt. The woman really was nuts, a walking death wish. His eyes adjusted to the light of the semi-full moon above them. Sebastian scrutinized the battle as her form disappeared and reappeared among the remaining shadows. She had raw talent and senseless luck on her side, but she needed some more practice.

After dispatching his last opponent, he admired her drive. Sorcha never surrendered and never seemed to tire. Sebastian finally broke through and started fighting at her back. They mirrored each other’s movements, the dance continuing until the shadows stopped attacking. Then the fire flared back to life, a bonfire in the desert.

Sebastian took in her smiling face and shaking arms. Sorcha’s panting proved she was winded, but still she moved methodically to study their perimeter before resting. Abruptly, she jumped up and let out a shout of triumph. Sebastian’s eyebrows rose as she danced a victory lap around the fire.

“Happy much?”

He hadn’t realized he’d spoken until she stopped and blushed. “Sorry, I’m not used to an audience. I’ve been doing this alone for so long.”

Sebastian felt like he’d been slapped in the face. The memories he’d ignored earlier rose unbidden and uncontrollable.

Meeting Dubhan, fighting beside him, and Dubhan saying he’d been alone a long time. Dubhan drunkenly rambling about a woman with red hair and green eyes. Dubhan staring up at him from a dungeon. “Just get yourself out of here and find Sorcha…Sorcha, tell her—shit— tell her I messed up okay. Tell her I’m a rotten fucking person and she deserves a whole lot better…”

Sebastian’s head rolled on his shoulders. He moved to a spot clear of bodies and dropped his ass into the dust. His last few minutes of life were still foggy, but why hadn’t he put two and two together when Paul had ordered him to find Sorcha? He groaned—because Dubhan had only used her name twice in all their years together. Maybe it was a different girl?

Sebastian thought over everything he knew about both of them. Her fighting style was almost identical to Dubhan’s and she used similar weapons and tactics. Dubhan must have noticed her real talent and trained her. She’d settled into cleaning her weapons, completely ignoring him, and even that routine reminded Sebastian of his only friend. She had to be Dubhan’s Sorcha—there were too many coincidences.

An idea formed in his mind and Sebastian smiled at her. She might be the damnation of him, but maybe, just maybe, she could be Dubhan’s salvation. Sebastian knew he had to move quickly before Paul chimed in with orders. The plan was sound but missing a timeline.

First up, Sorcha needed more training. Raw talent and a few tricks wouldn’t defeat the dark sorcerer holding Dubhan captive. Sebastian acknowledged he still had to learn about his new gifts. Not to mention, figure out the rules of the game he was playing. Good thing rules always had loop holes. The trick would be finding them in time.

Sebastian felt a shiver of awareness and glanced up to see her looming over him. “Headache?” she asked.

He shook his head, trying to avoid the choice between lying and explaining.

“Message from the Gods?” she asked sarcastically.

A slow grin spread as his plan got a jumpstart. “Hard to get anything by you.”

“Really?” She quickly hid the excitement. “I wasn’t sure how it worked.”

“Yep. We need to get a move on. How do you prefer to travel?” Sebastian looked around.
Sorcha began moving and motioned for him. Sebastian followed her over to an old jeep on the edge of camp. As she patted the seat, he groaned.

“What, no love for antiques?”

“Has this thing run since WW2?” Sebastian thought it came right out of a warzone.

“Have some faith.” She tied a bag down in the back and pointed to the passenger seat. “Hop in and tell me where to go.”

Sebastian held on for dear life as the thing bounced over the rough trails when she broke the silence again. He asked her to repeat it because he wasn’t sure he heard right.

“Sorry, I was talking out loud,” she answered. “I like to spend my driving cussing out the son of bitch that got me in this predicament.”

“What son of a bitch? What’d he do?”

She shrugged and turned hard to avoid a boulder. Sebastian was pretty sure he left his stomach behind, the simple lap belt digging into his gut as the jeep righted itself. He silently prayed they hit roads soon.

Sorcha swerved again. “Men are fucking bastards! Love you, leave you, and tell you it’s for the best. How the hell is a broken heart better?”

Sebastian wisely kept his mouth shut and let her carry on with her tirade. There was certainly no love lost for Dubhan. He’d have to be careful to leave his friend’s name out of the discussion. At times though he wondered if Sorcha was trying to convince herself of everything she ranted. Maybe all wasn’t lost.

“So what’s your story?” She turned her attention to him.

“Not much to tell. This is a recent change for me, still learning. I do know I need your help.” He answered as honestly as he could. “I’m just kind of doing this as I go.”

“So where exactly are we headed?”

“We have to work our way to Ireland. Your first mission is there.”

“Why do I feel a ‘but’ coming?” She asked.

“You need training.” Her icy stare would have killed him cold if someone hadn’t beaten her to it. “You’re good, but you’ll need to be better.”

“Fuck. Off.”

Sebastian went back to being quiet, thankful when the tires slid onto asphalt. This was going to be a barrel of fun. It was obvious she would be super accommodating and help him out of the goodness of her heart. He kicked the rusty floorboard as his inner sarcasm burned, but Sebastian remained silent.

“Don’t kick the jeep. It likes to kick back…”

Sebastian barely held on as she sent the jeep into a series of swerves and donuts. Somehow he knew she wanted to launch him out of her rust bucket and he refused to get airborne. He fought the urge to leap from the vehicle and kiss the ground when the tires finally stopped squealing.

 Instead he smiled calmly back at her. “Feel better? You still need more training.”

“You’re going to be hard to get rid of, aren’t you?”

“You’ll grow to like me.” He winked.

“Great.” She snorted as she slid the jeep back into drive and slammed the gas.

It’d been weeks since he’d first found Sorcha and Sebastian was worried. He hadn’t heard back from Paul yet and he knew the fucker wasn’t dead. All the rules of servitude still applied and he was pretty sure they would have lifted if Paul died. Sorcha had greatly improved on her fighting and he knew it was more to spite him. He didn’t care the reason, he wanted her progress.

“Are we done on this boat ride from hell yet?” Sorcha’s head popped back up over the railing.

He hid a smile. Sorcha, it turned out, was not very seaworthy. “We’re almost there.”
Her head nodded once before it disappeared again. The sound made Sebastian’s own stomach churn and he stepped back a few paces to stare into the horizon.

“Don’t worry, we’re coming,” he mumbled under his breath.

“Can’t we just shimmer the rest of the way?”

Shimmering was what her people called moving through space. Sebastian almost took pity on her. Almost. It was sort of karmic retribution for the trouble she’d been. Every time they’d trained, she’d tried at least once to kill him.  Shamefully, he liked her resolve.

“Please,” she pleaded.

Sebastian sighed and explained it again. “Then we’d be missed on the boat. This was your idea after all.” His reminder earned him another dirty look, comical with the green cast to her skin. “I’ll see if I can find you some crackers.”

The mere mention of food had her lurching over the side again. Sebastian went to look for something she might be able to keep down.

The captain bumped him and stopped. “Sorry. Your sister still not on her sea legs?”

Sebastian grinned at the ruse. Being siblings gave them the excuse to bicker constantly. “Only if her sea legs have a permanent place at the boat’s rails.”

The captain nodded. “Tell the cook I sent you to the kitchens. Get the poor girl some ginger ale and crackers. I’ll see if the medical staff can send something to her room.”

He knew the captain meant sedatives or anti-nausea medication. Usually Sebastian would have turned it down with the danger they faced, but he was willing to knock her out with a hammer at this point. Sebastian shook the man’s hand and thanked him, turning to retrieve Sorcha from the edge.

He looked around and didn’t spot her. If she shimmered or disappeared off the side of the boat, he was going to strangle her. Thankfully, Sebastian hadn’t informed her that by thinking of her he could find her. He hurried to the location, worried she wasn’t on the move.

Sorcha was passed out in a deck chair, her skin a blue-green shade. The poor girl was probably freezing and dehydrated. Sebastian shook his shoulders out and picked her up carefully, nervous when she didn’t stir. Noticing her chapped, dry lips for the first time, he felt like a bastard. He was really just using her in this little side trip and he didn’t like the new feeling of guilt.

Afraid to leave her alone too long, he carried her back to their little room and phoned the kitchens instead. As he studied her breathing, he began to wonder if Paul was leaving them alone long enough for Sebastian to form an attachment to the little chit. It would be diabolical enough. Let the hunter start liking the prey and then order him to kill her. The worst part—Sebastian knew he couldn’t disobey a direct order. Gods, this was a new kind of hell.

Return for the continuation of Sebastian’s story on December4th, here on Digital Digest. For more fantastic reads, check out our ebooks from Amazon and B&N!

~Jennifer Feuerstein~

Copyright © 2011 Jennifer Feuerstein
All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, locations, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, or have been used fictionally. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, locales, or events is entirely coincidental. No portion of this work may be transmitted or reproduced in any form, or by any means, without permission in writing from the author.

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