Dark Journey Chapter 1 Part 1

February 16, 2010
By , Vassalboro, ME
6th of Iunius, 60 E.L. (Era of Life)
City of Kett, Tavor

Blood red light spilled across the Brye Sea, staining the waves as they lapped the shore, pounding on the cliffs. The last light of the dying sun illuminated the streets of the seaport city Kett. The city’s inhabitants scurried to and fro like mice, finishing tasks and heading home after a long day’s work. The temple bells rang, signaling the end of the work day. A general feeling of good will hung over the city, though the people on the street grumbled and yelled at those in their way.
A girl stood in the window of one of the houses, breathing in the fresh summer breeze that blew in off the sea. The wind molded her clothes around a slim, but muscled, frame. Hair the color of dark blood, a deep, rich scarlet, danced around her face in the wind. The girl looked down at the bustle of people, a sly grin on her face. Her eyes were a dark blue, so dark that they almost seemed black. They were the coldest eyes you could ever hope to look upon. There was no warmth in them, no compassion. They were the eyes of a killer.
“Kerri!” a voice called from inside the house. The girl turned around and walked into the other room. A striking woman stood in the center of the room. Her golden blonde hair fell to her waist in gleaming waves and cool grey eyes stared out of a foxy face. Her lips were a bright red that stood out against her pale skin. She was tall and curvy, the kind of curves that caused men to stop in the middle of the road to stare.
“Hello Vixen,” Kerri said with a cold smile. “How goes the gang?” The woman rolled her eyes, exasperated.
“They’re completely useless at following orders,” Vixen, leader of every major gang along the Brye Sea, complained. “I ordered one of my boys to make a hit on this old widower who put me in his will as his only heir. It was a simple hit. No muss, no fuss. The man lives alone, and his brain’s rotten with age anyways. The idiot not only failed to kill the old b**tard, but he got himself caught too!” Vixen pulled a knife from her belt and threw it at the wall in her rage. Kerri looked at the knife, then looked back at Vixen, her eyebrow raised.
“You need me to take the hit?” she asked, her voice empty of any emotion.
“No, I slipped the old dotard some poison hemlock in his wine,” Vixen said, waving away the request. “I’ve got a much more important hit for you.”
“What is it?” Kerri asked, a thread of eagerness in her voice. There was a slight gleam in her eye that made Vixen smile proudly.
“His name’s Brynn,” Vixen replied. “He’s a Priest of Life. He’s a favorite of Mother Rebecca’s, and she’s planning on signing a petition that will put a major cramp on my rum and whiskey industry.” Kerri nodded, understanding.
“Time and place of the hit?” Kerri asked, her voice professional. Her hand caressed the hilt of her dagger, as if she couldn’t wait to put it to use.
“I want it done tonight,” Vixen said, a hard note in her voice. “He has a room in the Temple of Life. Room 9.”
“My lucky number,” Kerri murmured, grinning wolfishly. “Age?”
“He’s about a year younger then you, I think, so he’d be sixteen now,” Vixen said. There was a strange look in her eye that Kerri didn’t understand. It looked almost like… longing. But it was gone in an instant.
“Any preferred method?” Kerri asked, shaking off the strangeness.
“No, just make sure it’s messy,” Vixen replied, her eyes cold and pitiless now. “And make sure that they know it’s from me.” With that she turned and stalked out of the room, slamming the door behind her.
Kerri looked around the room, the sly smile back on her face. Walking over to one of the walls, she ran her fingers down the edge of one of her blades. The sharp metal sliced her finger, making it bleed.
Laughing softly, Kerri watched the blood run down her finger. With a quick flick of her tongue, she licked the sweet, coppery substance off her skin, letting the taste awaken her hunter’s senses. Her blue eyes blazed and she ripped the sword off the wall, spinning and slashing, her hair flying like a curtain around her.
Kerri looked out the window. The last of the light was fading quickly. She walked up to the still open glass and stared out across the sea, its waves dancing and leaping, pounding on the rocky shore
I’ll wait another hour, she thought, stroking the sword handle. Give him time to get all cozy in his bed. And then…then The Cat will pounce! With that she spun around and went back to slashing and hacking at the air, a maniac smile on her lips.


Kerri slipped down the stairs, swathed in black, her sword strapped to her back. Various other knives bristle out of her assassin’s uniform, glinting in the light of the lanterns.
Opening the door, Kerri stepped into her favorite place in the world. The musky smell of animals combined with the sweet scent of hay hit her like an intoxicating wave. Kerri inhaled deeply, a smile playing across her lips.
She walked down the aisle between the stalls. Horses poked their heads out and nickered softly. Kerri smiled and gently stroked their necks as she walked past. She felt something tense inside her relax. Her bitterness and anger fell away, leaving her open to the love that poured off these animals.
The horse in the last stall stuck his head out and nickered loudly, tossing his head. Kerri grinned as she walked over to him. The stallion was medium sized, about fifteen hands. He was rugged and muscled, built to survive out in the wild. The color of storm clouds, his grey coat was speckled with dapples. His black forelock fell into his eyes as Kerri laid her hand on his nose.
“Hello Storm,” she murmured, stroking his velvet nose. Storm inhaled, his nostrils flaring at her scent. He pushed his nose into Kerri’s chest, nickering softly. Kerri laid her head on his forhead, breathing deeply. A sense of peace fell over her. This was the one place in her life where it wasn’t kill or be killed. This place was about partnership.
“I’m going on another hit tonight, Storm,” Kerri, murmured, still resting her head against that of her stallion’s. “A priest. He’s a year younger then me. His name is Brynn.”
Storm pulled back and looked at Kerri with loving, intelligent eyes. He lipped at her hair affectionately, his breath tickling her neck. Kerri laughed, a pure, joyous sound. She stroked Storm’s sleek neck, gathering her defenses back around her.
“Hello Kerri,” a drawling voice said from behind her. Kerri whipped around, her knife in hand. A darkly handsome young man leaned against the wall, his black eyes watching her.
“Bane,” Kerri replied, her voice cold. All the warmth of the stable had leaked away, leaving her icy once more. “What are you doing here?”
“Looking for you,” Bane said, his voice a purr.
Kerri felt her stomach lurch, repulsed by him. Many girls panted after the dangerously handsome Bane, but whenever Kerri saw him all she could think of was a slippery, disgusting worm.
“Well, now you’ve found me,” Kerri replied, not lowering her dagger. “I’ve got stuff to do, Bane. Vixen needs me to do a hit tonight. Good-bye.” Kerri turned and began to walk away.
“Not so fast,” Bane hissed, grabbing her upper arm in a vise-like grip and whipping her around so they were nearly nose to nose. Kerri could smell his foul, beer-soaked breath, mingled with the smell of the cinnamon bark he always chewed. It nearly made her gag as she glared up at him.
“Get your hand the f*** off me,” she snarled. Bane grinned, a wild light in his eye.
“Make me,” he whispered, leaning closer to her, lips parted.
Kerri grinned savagely at him. Tensing her arm, she flexed her bicep. Bane stared at her as her muscle bulged under his hand, forcing his fingers apart. Yanking her arm out of his grip, Kerri punched him as hard as she could in the face. When she punched him, she didn’t see herself hitting his face. She saw her fist coming out the other side of his jaw.
The punch rocked Bane back, slamming him into the stall door. He swore, cursing Kerri as he went for his dagger. Kerri dropped into a crouch, knife at the ready.
But they had both forgotten Storm.
With a bugling battle cry, Storm lunged over the stall door, catching Bane’s arm in his fierce teeth. Bane screamed in pain as the stallion reared, hauling Bane up with him. Storms front legs struck the boy twice in the back, causing him to whimper. Storm dropped him and came down, nostrils flaring, a wild, angry light in his eye.
Kerri didn’t waste a moment. Leaping onto the moaning Bane with a cat-like grace, she held her dagger to his throat. Her anger beat on her, urging her to sink that piece of metal into his jugular. She could feel Storm’s fierce protectiveness and rage. She could feel the anger of every horse in the building, for they had all suffered the heavy hand of Bane.
Do it, whispered a voice in Kerri’s head. Do it now. You know you want to. It’s so easy. He’s helpless. Sink your knife into his throat. He deserves it.
Kerri shook off the voice, staring deep into Bane’s eyes. He looked back at her, his eyes full of true fear. A single tear ran down his cheek.
“Know this, Bane,” Kerri whispered, pressing the knife against the soft skin of his throat. “I came very near to killing you. Touch me again, and I will not quell that urge.” Bane gave a small nod.
Off him in a flash, Kerri ran out the door. She wrapped the chill of anger around her and stalked off into the night to feed the urge to kill.

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