DISCLAIMER – This story features images of violence, adult language, and some adult situations.
The following story is Copyright © 2015 Padraig O’C. Copying this story without permission from the author is strictly prohibited.
The night. A time of day that signalled the end of work, and the beginning of play for many denizens across the world. For Bellingham the night had many meanings. Unlike its big sister in the south, Seattle, Bellingham lacked many of the more obvious vices. There were no strip joints, there were only bars, and a few select clubs. Many of them were decently safe, and there was a definite sense of not having to worry about roofies. At the same time the large college populate of the local unviersity caused a growith of parties, and over drinking in bars, and local houses. No, the night for Bellingham marked the end of work for many, and the beginning of drudgery for others.
For Nyla Clarkson, the night would signal a time of anxiety. She had a descision to make as she sat in her apartment trying to figure out what to do. Her eyes were focused upon the notes upon the desk near her television. A series of folders she had pulled from the archives mixed with papers covered in handwritten notes. The contents of the desk culminated into wher hole for the project for Erickson over at the Tribune, and, also for the work on the case. Much of the work Erickson had her dealing with people she really wished to avoid in general.
“Clarkson this is Erickson,” A voice message said as she sat on a couch listening to it her smart phones speaker setting, “I got a private calls from an anonymous source, we want you to interview Warren Colson’s younger son Gerald.” She listened to it and then grimaced, she did not hate Gerald, but the boy did not know when to turn it off. He was always trying to play her somehow. One reason their relationship had ended was because of the man’s slightly domineering tendencies. That and he brought out the worst in her.
Gerald had grown up it seemed though, a little bit. He still had that love of cars, and still liked to play around. But from what her cousin Lisa had said, the son of Warren Colson was working his way into becoming a full time lawyer. Apparently their previous meeting had been just by chance, he had stopped by to drop of a few briefs for the college that day. Still, she did not really want to interview him and have that on her mind. Her eyes focused on the pile of clothes she had collected during her thought process. Most of it was jeans, a jacket or two and a blouse. Did she want to be a bit more glitzy tonight because of she was meeting?
She decided to wait and jumped in the shower to get her head cleaned off. A few moments later she was using a electric razer to shave back the fuzz on the right of her head. With a deft hand she finished and then glanced at herself. “So I guess my usage of the gym now and then is paying off.”
Nyla for a few years had been a bit on the pudgy side. Nothing wrong with that, but her life had always felt as a kid that she was lacking energy. Then after becoming a reporter, and working with Jack she had started to burn off what was left of that from her childhood. She was not solid muscle or ‘cut’, but she was definitely able to hold her own in a fist fight now. That left her with still slightly broadish soldiers, and slightly large head (as some people liked to joke).
What to wear though? Gah do I just want to give in and wear a dress? Deidre loves them, I’ve never had a thing for them. She also has a ton more shows than me! For someone who had lipstick she would likely fail a westerner’s modern normative test of being a girl One reason why she disliked people trying to shove her into that box. After some time she decided that since she was stuck riding her bike she would go all out. Grabbing a pair of tight pair of gothic pants a friend had fashioned for her (Finn to be specific), she then found a nice top and started to rummage around through her piercings. She sighed and grit her teeth as she held a finger to each ear and ignored the minor touch of pain. Piercing one’s ears through magic was usually a bit difficult, luckily she had done it enough times to be decent at it.
She chose a pair of small dangly earrings each with a small dreamcatcher on them. Everyone on the rez would think I’m some kind of wannabe. The truth was the little earrings would keep the Mara she’d noticed outside upon returning to stay away. Plus they were a nice pair once again made by a friend from the Skuallup nation. Then she picked out a nice tight blouse demi-top that showed off a bit of cleavage while leaving her arms, and navel bare. Add a few rings, and she was done. Oh and a bangle on each arm (each inscribed with a hold word in aramaic in case the golem turned up again).
Finally ready for a date she pocketed a few items for later, and pulled ona pair of gloves, and a scarf to wrap around her neck over her jacket. It was then she decided she was presentable to randomly appear and deal with one Hokulani Nakamura. I am putting way too much effort. This chick seriously pissed me off last time, and me her. Why are we meeting again? She blinked. Its like cough syrup or something with crack in it. It was a bit strange, even self destructive.
Life had problems, and it had obstacles. Then there was just plain, simple, masochistic rip off the band-aid bad kind of times. This may be one of them. Her mind was completely off its game when she rode along the street into town that night. The street lights were shining down as they usually did. As she passed along the northern neighborhoods that led into the letter streets she once and a while caught a glimpse of shadowy figures lingering on the edge of the street lamps. These were the Seal People, the folk of the sea that wish to take the lives of the living. Why they were out in force at night was a bone chilling fact. In recent memory she had only seen them flock once in great numbers, and it had been the time when her mother’s father, Harald Ekstedt had passed away down in Seattle.
She slowed as she stopped and noticed another lingering thing the darkness and she peered into the Shadow. A dark black shape was following after her, a black hound. She blinked as she hissed. Faerie Hounds rarely came, but the black ones always signalled something dire. Nyla was unsure if she wanted to coninue her date at that time, and then the thing was gone heading in another direction. This told her something big was coming, but not toward her. But what?
The Down and Up was alive that evening. Several people were outside along the road. A bouncer held guard at the door.and was dressed in a thin brown designer jacket, and a pair of trousders. The man appeared to be chinese by descent, and wore a pair of dark glasses. His hands were gloved, for reasons unknown to Nyla. Strange fashion statement there Morpheus. She found a parking spot and slowly wove a protective ward over the bike to discourage people from stealing her baby. The usage of magic was difficult, as it required a small regent, and an inscription in ogham. Magic was so confusing at times.
Lets do this. Her thoughts were still in disarray as was her self-esteem. After surviving the time in the Dawn Court, she was a bit energized with faith in herself. She was going to walk straight into that bar, past the bouncer, and deal with the challenge. It was a challenge after all, right? Too bad that was not at all how it happened.
Nyla was a good looking lass, one that could easily turn a look. Her problem when she was turned out, was how she acted. There was a lot of self confidence as a youth that was never truly built up in social interaction. So when her time came after waiting in line for about half an hour to get in, she found herself smack dab in front of the bouncer. The man was talking on his phone during most of his interaction with potential customers.
Her attention was momentarily taken away from the line as she gazed through the open door of the club. A local DJ was working a nice beat in the background as she swore she could hear a bit of music she heard fromt he radio recently. One of those songs that pounded away and just let the dancers give into the beat. Her attention was so taken by the sound that her reverie was snapped back into realit when she was told, “Nope.”
Nope? Who?! She blinked when her eyes met the glasses covering those of the bouncer. His face was resolute in blocking her entry.
“What do you mean nope?” she asked, the long tendrils of hair hanging over the left of her face almost covering her left eye. He looked behind her and let in a pair of college girls who were wearing cocktail dresses. Please do not tell me this is about me not wearing a dress.
“I’m suppose to make you wait.” His reply confused her for a moment. Then she felt a hand on her shoulder. A soft touch that caused her spine to tingle when she nearly jumped.
“Thanks Ichi,” a voice said from behind her. Nyla’s first reaction was to spin around and punch the offending individual.
“Stop doing that,” she whined.
“Doing what.” Damn you Hoku. Second time and your again in control. Nyla spun around, releasing herself with the hand wiwtha jerk as she faced the quirking smirk of Hokulani. The woman was wearing a summer dress combo that combined a tight pencil skirt bottom that ended just above her knees. Then another piece of black gauzy material began just above her navel and reached all the way up to her neck line. Then a Holy abs. She was caught unawares by Hoku’s slightly cut musculature. Daayum. Now for once Nyla was regretting how she had acted on their ‘blind date’. At points the dress’ fabric looked more like lace, or even spider webbing. Nyal was a bit dumbstruck in the back at her mind. Wow.
“Joining in on the conspiracy of stalkers I have that like to mysterious sneak up -behind- me.” This time she toned down the whine in her voice, to more of a joke. Why she was even easing up was likely her libido. This is what happens when I hit a serious dry spell. She chided herself. Truth be told all that stress from the night before, plus her boss was not helping the sistuation.
“You have a conspiracy of stalkers?” Hoku inquired coyly. The other woman could only giggle. The laugh elicited from Nyla gave Hoku an in as the polynesian leaned inward as she offered an arm to Nyla. All the reporter could do was take a deep breath and prepare for the plunge. There was no reason for her to be freaking out about things right?
“Oh – I’ve been doing research for a Tribune article, and I think its causing a few people to tail me.” A swift nod from the bouncer was all the two received as he let them enter without warning. He, and Hoku appeared to know each other, which fascinated her. Okay, she’s got connections that could be useful. It would not be the first time she went on a date.
“Is it about that big upcoming negotiation between the tribe, and the county?” Hoku asked her lightly by whispering in her ear. Music was lightening int he background, as the DJ took a break for the evening. Her date led her over toward the bar, and gave a nod to the bartender, and it was then that Nyla noticed that Finn was tending that night. She knows Finn? The tall Selkie was busy already moving about the area behind the bar top, and slung a few drings while setting down a line of shot glasses.
“This is a mud slide ladies,” he said to a pair of slightly inebriated college lasses watching him. His tall frame moved fluidly as he flipped a shaker behind him and then poured at the vodka chocolate liquer mixture.
“No that’s a russian qualude,” Nyla corrected him. Finn responded by sneering a bit to himself as he dropped a drink down for Hoku which contained some fairly colorful liquers. Then he ignored Nyla for a moment as the polynesian woman drank while still leaving a hand gently caressing Nyla’s arm. That evening was different than before, and Nyla knew it. She was not rigid, and she was not at all pushing aside the feeling of Hoku’s hand against her arm. In fact it was nice to have some human contact.
“How did you know about my article? And how do you know Finn?” she asked after a few moments of trying to get Finn to pay attention to her order. The Selkie was too busy in his own limelight, and basking in the feminine wiles of the college students.
“My father owns real-estate up here, and I know Finn from Seattle,” Hoku responded, “Look. Ny, or Quinn. I know I’m a weird, I know you are also a bit antisocial.’
“I am -not- antisocial.” Nyla hissed defensively.
“Calm down Raven girl, I am not trying to piss you off.”
“Well you are!” another hiss, and Hoku could tell that Nyla was retreating back into her shell.
“I am sorry for coming onto you so strong Ny,” the words came without interest in forgiveness, just a stark apology bereft of any expectation of reciprocation.
“What?” Nyla blinked, as she turned to face the other woman on the bar stool beside.
“I’m a dominant minded person Ny. I um have a bad tendency of poking peoples buttons. I saw how off you were on our ‘blind date’, and I decided to see why your sister was speaking so highly of you. She kind of shilled you out to me.”
Nyla blinked, Deidre had sold her that hard. Wow. I must be like a tanking house. Her eyes then snapped back at Hoku.
“Well, sorry wrong phrase of meaning, she did not shill you. But, lets just say she dropped a few hints that I would find you -hot-.” Nyla blushed at the comment, being considered attractive was always a moral booster for her. When you dealt with Fae most your life being called “stupid half blood” or “mortal-born” after a while causes your self-esteem to plummet.
“Okay sweet talker, what did you want me here for?” Nyla broke in after Hokulani quieted for a few seconds. Music began to slowly reawaken in the background as the DJ signalled his return to the stage. A deep base song started. Drum beats that signalled the coming of a newer more primal song. The music just kept pulling over, and over in the background. A song pierced the song. “War is coming near.” A warning, and then suddenly things just moved slowly as the song repeated the warning over and over again.
She felt her arm being give a gentle tug as she was pulled out from the stool. The young woman gave in as Hoku lead them both out onto the dance floor. A new song was starting, and broke the air as it permeated the song. It was a singer discussing the coming for someone. A call to be intelligent.
“I was a fool.” She listened as she gave a smile. Hoku moved before her and started to slowly move, swaying her hips slowly. Her long hair which was free that night pulled around her neck, as she leaned backward. Her hands reached out as Nyla took them. The two then moved slowly as the song reminded them of the old fashioned pop music both had grown up with from the early nineties. “For love.” So sappy, but hella this fun.
The song went on, and then another. Nyal lost track of time as she felt relaxed for the first time in months. No weird feelings. She then noticed that her jacket was gone her tattooed arm was in full view of everyone. Her was in general covered up to prevent interested Fae in targetting her for various reason. Hoku traced a finger around it, “Nice ink, got anymore?”
The question broke the quiet whicht hey had been dancing in for about ten minutes. She pursed her lips as she tried to think about how to explain it.
“Its a protective sign from evil,” she replied nonchalantly. Doing her best to think of an explanation.
“Nice, I got a few marks on my back, I’m thinking of getting my entire arm done in Maoli Kanaka emblems to honor my mother’s people,” she gave a smile.
“How will your father’s family react to that?” Nyla chuckled.
“Badly, they already think I’m connected to the Yakuza since I have friends over in the Bosozuko in Tokyo,” Hoku replied.
“You have friends who are Japanese bikers?” Nyla asked a bit surprised.
“Totes, I love bikes,”’ she asked. The woman was closer to Nyla now, her arms wrapped around the reporters shoulders. Unlike their complete terse original meeting this one was far more relaxed, it was fun. The background was still filled with music when Nyla pulled out her phone and showed the other woman a picture of herself in full biker riding leathers upon her old refurbished motorcycle.
“Holy Shit is that a Black Hawk?” Hoku asked as she took the phone and stared at the picture.
“Not its a 841, my grandfather rode it one like it.” She smiled.
“Seriously…wow that is…wow.” Hoku was gushing by now, almost speechless really.
“I take it you are not just a teacher then?” the reporter asked.
“I never told you what I do? I’m a consultant my father’s company. He’s been helping to remodel some property where your sister works. I’ve been bugging her since she’s the only one around that can stand me, or isn’t freaked out about my hair,” the Polynesian laughed.
“Seriously? Wait are you working over at Fenrdale High with her?” she asked.
“Yeah, otou-san has me doing some work there to rebuild their bleachers for the football field.” They were starting to head back to the bar by now. Both fairly animated in discussion. A true break from all the craiziness of the past few weeks, of the past few years of Nyla’s life. Since she was what, thirteen? Yeah thirteen. She had been dealing with the complications of being of Fae blood. Most members of her family where the typical mundane human, others were Fae. The Clarkson bloodline had been mixing with the supernatural for generations. Something she was starting to utterly, hate.
There were perks, sure, but there was far more to pay when things did not go right. Then reality snapped back in for her as they were standing outside near the bike.
“Nice piece of machinery Ny,” the other woman said. It was more than cold outside. A bone chill that lashed at them, and both ignored it. The ability to do so would only last so long.
“I had fun tonight,” Nyla replied. They had dance for what felt like an hour, and talked for perhaps a bit longer. The date had in reality far from long. Perhaps an hour or so tops. And yet, Nyla could sense a difference in the experiences. This last date possessed somethign more. Just a calming feeling that removed that anxiety driven monkey from her back for the past few minutes. It gave her a serious sense of tranquility as she moved toward the the bike to leave.
Hoku sensed that the date was over, and gave a sigh. She reached over and traced a hand across the back of the motorcyle while Nyla began to place the helmet over her head. The other woman slowed down for a second as she paused to look into Hoku’s eyes.
“Don’t get yourself killed okay?” the woman said. What the hell? Nyla gave a confused look as Hoku only smiled and kissed her on the cheek in a swift unforseen movement. Then without a word the polynesian disappeared back into the crowd of the club leaving Nyla alone. The dark night was already starting to chill her as Nyla summoned a bit of magic to warm her skin as she prepared to head home. Is everyone in on something I’m not?
Once again her reverie was broken, and yet things were not so bad. At least she had fun.
Next Part: Chapter 15
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