1328 Maryzell Ln
Kruhl took in air, with short jagged breaths, and eyes clenched shut. Her entire body trembled, awash with a flood of emotions, mixed revulsion and frustration most predominant among them.
She’d become weak. She curled her lips in a sneer and opened her eyelids. One hand enveloping a breast and kneading the flesh. She moaned and bit her lower lip, glancing over her shoulder to ensure Teressa did not wake. It had been the better part of a day since they’d fled their enemies and the pair had barely spoken to one another since.
The once-king wanted nothing more than to battle their enemies, but she possessed neither the means nor the strength necessary. This body was soft.
She peered down at her free hand, flexing it before her face. Kruhl had allowed herself to succumb to the desires of her body, to allow a human to dominate her in bed… yet again.
She rose to her feet, turning her back on the other woman, arms folded across her naked chest. Curse Reesha for sending her to this world!
She clenched her teeth and balled her fists at her side. She had been among the greatest of her people’s warriors and she’d been reduced to this simpering doe-eyed slip of a human girl. If she weren’t so useless she would have taken on the police clan and saved Agent Amelia. She would have made those fools rue the day they’d ever crossed Kruhl!
Instead, she’d fled like a coward, and now she was frittering her time away instead of taking action. Her gaze again darted to Teressa, who had spent the time since their escape brooding, a slow simmering anger bubbling just under the surface. She’d spoken little more than two words to the former king, instead she spent her time whittling away at a hunk of wood with a strange folding knife she’d retrieved from one of the unusual pouches built into her trousers.
Kruhl looked about the little rolling home, which Teressa called a camp trailer, and crinkled her nose. It was dirty and smelled of rotted wood. They’d come to this place after their escape and had been there ever since. She tucked her arms over her breasts, peering through the little window beside the door.
Though she was far from an expert on this world, she recognized farm country when she saw it, even if it was a fair bit dustier than Eirdon’s fields. Beyond that, there was little else to see, branches, from the large copse of trees which surrounded the camper, obscured much of her view, but a large aging red building with wide double doors and white trim could just be made out through the tangle of evergreens.
Her mind wandered a million miles away, grasping for some solution to the mess she’d dug for herself. Were it not for her, Reesha would have never stood a chance of banishing Odalrik to this place. True, it had been the Sorceress who’d invoked the spell, but her old master was far too powerful and wily to be taken alone. Without Kruhl’s aid, she never could’ve gained the upper hand.
Teressa emitted a soft moan and Kruhl craned her neck back to gaze on the woman.The younger Van den Broeke sister jerked to a sitting position, small pert breast jiggling a little from the sudden movement. Her eyes were just as intense as the previous night, and, as she watched, the other’s countenance creased into a frown.
She thought back to their previous night of lovemaking, the intensity, the pure wild rage the other exhibited produced a stab of remembered pain in her loins. Kruhl hadn’t experienced the like since before Leoffa’s passing. His betrothed possessed a turbulent personality and sometimes her volatility translated into the bed chamber. It made for some of the most passionate lovemaking of the former Assar’s life. Though the sensations of her tiny new body differed, the intensity had been on the same scale.
Kruhl padded over to the bed, positioned herself beside the other woman, kissing her on the cheek before pulling away. Teressa regarded her, jaw clenched, rage burning with such intensity Kruhl thought perhaps she’d angered her, but then her lover’s features softened and she pulled the once-king close, wrapping both arms about her waist. Lips brushing her neck.
It unnerved Kruhl, that the other could so easily overpower her, but a part of her liked it. She would never have admitted it aloud, but when they were abed, she found that if she allowed the other to take control that the pleasures could be indescribable. She trembled, preparing herself for another round of sex, but when the other’s hands reached between her legs Kruhl, surprised even herself, and fastened her fingers around the other’s wrists.
“We should talk,” Kruhl said. “I realize this thing with your sister has–”
Teressa pushed Kruhl with such force that she lurched across the bed and almost took a nosedive over the edge before grasping ahold of the adjacent counter. She peered at the other, eyes wide, panting for breath.
“I’m sorry.” Teressa said, voice tense, almost confrontational. She shook her head and her features and voice softening. “I didn’t mean to—”
Kruhl righted herself and swallowed, glancing at her companion. She’d known that the strength disparity between them was significant, but hadn’t realized the full extent until that moment. How weak must she be in this form that the other could throw her about with so little effort?
“Forget about it,” Kruhl said, her voice trembling though she fought hard to keep it even. When she again glanced at her lover, tears were sliding down the other’s cheeks.
Kruhl pulled her close, wrapping her arms about Teressa’s larger frame. “I know this is difficult, but I understand how you feel.”
“Do you?” Teressa replied, her body stiffening in Kruhl’s arms. She pushed the other away, this time with only enough force for her to keep the other at bay. “I don’t even know if Amy’s alive. She’s my sister… and I just drove off and let them take her, God, what kind of person does that?” She gawked at Kruhl, eyes wide, voice devoid of any emotion, as if she were still trying to process what happened.
Kruhl peered back, her expression a near match to Teressa’s. When at last she spoke, she did so in a halting quivering tone. “Do not blame yourself. Respect her sacrifice. Agent Amelia knew what she was doing. She would want us to carry on.”
“Easy for you to say, you’re not the one who abandoned her own sister.”
“No,” Kruhl agreed. “But I impaled the love of my life in the abandoned her to die.”
Teressa looked as if Kruhl had slapped her. She stared at the tiny woman, then emitted a lengthy breath of air. She folded her arms across her chest, fire smoldering in her eyes, turning away from Kruhl eyes studying the wall just to her left. “We don’t stand a chance without Amy. My illusions will not get us very far. My sister was the only one of us with any actual power. Without her we might as well crawl into a hole and die.”
Kruhl did not speak, instead she looked out at the aging barn, a thoughtful expression on her face. Several long moments later, she met the other woman’s gaze, golden globes gleaming. “There may be a chance, but we need Waldere.”
“You talk about that sword as if it will solve all our problems. Just what can that thing do?”
Teressa swallowed and met the once-king’s gaze. There was an odd gleam in Kruhl’s eyes as she spoke.
Ashley stopped, staring down at the RPR module, before glancing back up to studying her surroundings. The guidance system had led her to an older area of town, populated by houses identified by the suit’s AI system as Cape Cod style cottages. Basically they were cute, neatly decorated, World War II era homes, all painted in pastel colors and off-whites.
To her though, they were just houses, albeit small old ones, and the only interest she had was in one home in particular or, more specifically, its occupant. She might now identify as the girl whose body she’d come to possess, but her mindset was still of a masculine sort. The minor details only mattered if they contributed to the greater whole. Pretty flowers and pastel colors weren’t relevant information and thus she only regarded them as a row of houses.
She stopped in front of a home, peering down at the module, eying the small red rectangular device to ensure she was in the right place. Satisfied, she nodded and slipped it back into her jeans pocket. The girl took a moment to study the building, frowning as she regarded the mailbox, which was so overstuffed, the front hung ajar. That was not encouraging.
Ashley had traveled all the way to Grove City, hoping to find the owner of this home, and now it seemed like he’d been away for days if not weeks. She cursed between clenched teeth and jerked the RPR module back out of her pocket. She’d wasted valuable time on this lead and it had been for nothing. Maybe it wa—
The young woman stopped. An alert had popped up on the RPR’s display, noting that there was a lot of ambient astral energy. She peered up at the house again, lips pressed together in a thin line, studying the readings. The signature was close enough to the one emanating from staff girl she doubted it was unrelated. Perhaps her trip hadn’t been a dead end after all.
She switched to thermal view and held the unit up. The southwest corner of the home, viewed through the display, was lit up like a Christmas tree.
“Goddammit,” she cursed.
Ashley did not understand what it meant, but she didn’t believe it could mean anything good. She jabbed the screen, toggling the thermal view off and paused only a moment, before activating the ASM Algorithm. She’d had enough with this incognito bullshit. A fresh approach was needed.
As she waited, Ashley frowned and peered out across the horizon. A black speck appeared, growing larger by the moment. A grin spread across her soft features. It was time to bust some heads.