1328 Maryzell Ln
Kruhl lay on her side, bedsheets draped over her bare form, hand clasped over her privates. After they finished their lovemaking, a sense of contentment flooded over her and she lay awash in the sensation.
Back home, she’d taken the virginity of many females, but experiencing it from the other end was something different altogether. Sex as a male was more of a throbbing, pulsating pleasure centered in one place. As a woman those elements were there, but a simple touch in the right place would send ripples of tingling ecstasy rippling through her body. She never imagined it would be so… all encompassing.
Her lady parts were aflame, throbbing with a dull ache, but also an emptiness. She was incomplete after the experience, as if she would never be whole until she again allowed Teressa to penetrate her. She trembled, an icy shiver racking her body.
Her hand slipped free of her privates and she held it in front of her eye, rubbing the blood between the flats of her fingers. Though their lovemaking had painful, it was not at all unpleasant. Teressa had deflowered her, or, as the other girl put it, she’d popped her cherry. It was a euphanism, she’d understood without explanation.
Kruhl found herself thinking of the other woman’s unique anatomy. She’d long heard tales of individuals who were both male and female, possessing the form of a woman, but the private parts of a man. At the time, such stories seemed far-fetched and the once-king discounted them. Now, it seemed, her thinking might need some revision. She possessed no understanding of hormones and had never heard the term transgender. Other than the whisperings of fellow Assar, Kruhl possessed no frame of reference for such an anomaly.
She rolled over, regarding Teressa between cracked eyelids. The other woman bore a sleepy smile and her eyes had drooped closed. Kruhl leaned forward, pecking her on the lips and a broad smile stretched across her mouth as she studied Teressa.
She was slender and tall and bore small pert breasts and shoulders that seemed just a little too wide for her frame, but that wasn’t so unusual even for human females. Kruhl detected no outward signs that Teressa possessed so unusual of a form.
“What?” Teressa asked with a loud yawn, a smile of her own cracking her lips.
Kruhl eyed her a moment longer before speaking. “How?”
Though the question was simple, it carried a depth of meaning that the younger Van Den Broeke understood at once. Teressa cupped her face and closed her eyelids.
“I’m transgender,” she said, hands sliding away. Kruhl blinked, but did not respond and Teressa released a lengthy breath, pressing her lips together.
“I used to be a boy, but I always felt like I should have been a girl. About three years ago, I stopped living in denial and admitted the truth to myself. A while after that, I began my transition. Er… that is to say, I started living as a girl full time and began taking a medicine of a sort that helped me develop a more feminine figure.”
Teressa’s explanation was simplistic, and didn’t convey as much meaning as she would have preferred, but it was a subject the former Assar knew nothing about. Terms like ‘assigned male’ were likely a little beyond the other’s grasp. It seemed easier, for the time being, to keep it simple.
Kruhl nodded, her mind reeling at the implications of what the other said. If such a medicine existed to make men more feminine, might there not be one to produce the opposite effect for women? Before she had a chance to inquire further, the door burst open and the other Van den Broeke hurtled into the room, a wild, wide-eyed expression marking her features.
Amelia’s eyes took in the lovers, and she quickly averted her gaze.
“We, uh, need to get out of here. I think we may be in danger.” She licked her lips, a slight, almost undetectable tremor in her voice revealing her discomfort.
“What, why?” Teressa asked, sitting bolt upright, careful to keep the blanket pressed over her naked breasts.
“This may sound a bit paranoid, but I haven’t been able to contact AEGIS since we came here. At first I thought there was something wrong with the phone line, but a laptop just burnt up on me. I can’t shake the feeling that someone or something is trying to prevent me from getting help.”
No one spoke for several long minutes, and then almost as if on cue, the sound of car tires screeching and a long succession of car doors slamming shut broke the silence.
Any pretense of modesty flew out the window as Teressa flung the bedding off her unclothed form and collected her stray bits of discarded clothing scattered about.
Kruhl looked around, eyes gleaming with confusion. She did not understand what the sounds signified, but she was no fool and picked up on the sense of urgency from the other women. She sprang from the bed on all-fours and scurried around in search of her own clothing.
Under ordinary circumstances, Amelia would have retreated from the scene, but when faced with danger, things like modesty were a luxury with which she could not afford to adhere.
Amelia reached for her gun, but remembered that she’d used up all her ammunition and dropped her hand. She moved along the outside of the room, avoiding making eye contact with either woman, and pulled the corner of the drapes open, careful to do so with slow, smooth movements so those without would be less likely to catch sight of her.
Police cars ringed the house, and dozens of officers knelt behind their vehicles, weapons in hand.
She sucked air in through her teeth, cursed under her breath, and slipped the drapes closed before returning her attention to the other two women who were in various states of dress.
As an investigator, she did not believe in coincidence. It seemed unlikely that the police’s arrival was unrelated to her latest attempt at contacting AEGIS. If their enemy disconnected the phones and destroyed the laptop, why wait to attack? They could have struck at any time.
She was unable to shake the feeling of wrongness encompassing this entire situation and try as she might, there didn’t seem to be a reasonable explanation for any of it. Something more was happening than met the eye and it made the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end. What was she missing?
She balled both fists. The agent would not stand by and let their enemies control the situation. Something needed to be done. She turned to face her younger sibling, mind already made up. “Once you finished getting dressed, get to the car, I’ll keep them occupied.
She slipped out through the door before either woman could issue an objection. Teressa and Kruhl met each other’s gazes, then rushed to the doorway at the same moment, but the elder Van den Broeke had already disappeared down the hallway. The creak of the front door sounded in the distance, dispelling whatever thoughts they had of chasing after Amelia.
Teressa turned her wide-eyes on Kruhl and gulped. They were running out of time.
Amy stood, hands clenched at her side, staring down at the sea of squad cars, police officers, and the automatic weapons which they bore. Though a shiver of fear worked its way down her spine, anger soon supplanted it. She grated her teeth and fought back the fire burning deep inside of her.
Carter Rathdrum, a father, a husband, and, above all, a good man had died by their hands. Worse, even if Amelia survived this mess, it was unlikely she would be able to tell his family how he’d died. She would not let his selfless act be for nothing.
These were police officers, men and womaen who had taken oaths to uphold the law and defend the innocent. They had already gunned down the mental hospital and the roadside along their escape path. She doubted they’d have any reservations about shooting up the neighborhood.
How many more people had they harmed with their blatant disregard of the laws they’d sworn to uphold?
The revelation that they may be under the influence of Odalrik, did little to temper her rage. How could they have let it get so bad? None drew Amy’s more ire than their leader. The Avery she had known was a person of integrity with a rigid, unbending sense of duty and responsibility. What had changed? How had Odalrik compromised her?
Gunfire rang out. Amelia threw her arm up to shield her face, but it was just a reflex. She was ready for what followed. Bullets whizzed through the air, and stopped motionless, suspended as if on wires. Amy gritted her teeth, waving her arm, sending the projectiles slamming into the ground with a series of soft thuds.
“Gwyneth Avery!” She called out the Chief’s name at the top of her lungs, but if the other woman was present, she did not show herself.
Instead, a tall figure in a flowing black robe stepped forward to meet her challenge. Its cowl concealed its face, but Amelia just made out the tip of a thin delicate chin. It walked hunched over in a lurching gait, pulling a long wooden staff, its tip grating across the pavement. Atop it was affixed an emerald gem that pulsated with fetid green light.
The figure stood upright, planting its staff into the soil and turned its shrouded head upon Amy. She strained her eyes, hoping to glimpse the face that lurked beneath the cloth, but she could see nothing of its features save for a glint of noxious illumination glimmering in its eyes. The stranger tilted the staff forward, and a beam of putrid green light shot out, straight toward the agent. She had only seconds to prepare herself before the attack landing home.