Thursday, August 28, 2008

A different brand pt2

It wasn't easy to move and lay down, but she did it without complaint, only a hiss of pain before she settled and stared up at the wall. Focusing on the stained plaster to distract her through the wave and ache.

Venge chewed the meat slowly, hoping not to make himself even hungrier by having the nibble. He came out to the front room again, wondering how Sari was faring and how much he hadn't been told, not that she'd say anything Rave hadn't already. "When's Vara due back? Patrol's been heavy tonight," he yawned as the last bits of flesh were swallowed down.

Sari was pacing the front room, looking worried. She turned with a heavy sigh and shook her head. "I thought she'd be back by now.." She closed her eyes and clenched her scraped hands into fists, breaking open some of the sealed scratches.

"Sari, it's bad, but none of your are telling me how bad. That's my sister in there and she's got a taste for blood right now," he needled, pointing to the other room. "What happened out there? Who were they? Where? Before it happens to anyone else, I need to know."

"Maul." She whispered softly, sighing again and starting to pace nervously again. "I think they were his goons.. look at the mark.. I'm pretty sure it's his." Her fingers raked back through her hair and she fought at frustrated tears that threatened. "Where? about three blocks from here.. we were just out for the day, supplies, work, know.. it was in the middle of the day Venge.. They jumped us and dragged us in the alley.. about ten to fifteen guys.. Why? Heh.. have you taken a look at Vara or Raven...? Beautiful, young, healthy, no visible scars.. and not hanging around a lot of guys. Maul's had his eye on them awhile.. all three of us shot down him and his boys at a party a couple weeks ago.." Maul was known in other sectors where he'd gotten control and had alot of muscle, he was the one to go to if you wanted to buy or sell or arrange a snatch and sell.

Venge’s expression darkened more still. He couldn’t do much about any more than two at a time and Maul was no lightweight on his own. Iain could hold his own against a few, but they’d need more than just themselves. “I’m not sure that accepting their offers would have turned out any better. You need a better watchdog. I can’t be here often enough.”

"We probably need to move.. honestly, how long do you think it will take for them to find us? How are we supposed to get food or work?" Sari nearly punched the wall but turned away and just swung at the air. "I'm so.. everything right now!" Her arms folded around her middle and her head shook sadly.

“One day at a time. They best you one day, you take another route, go another way, find a way. You do what you have to do to survive. Right now, that might be finding a way to be sure they don’t.”

"I've.. we've survived this long, three girls on our own. No men to keep or protect us or abuse us.. But it's just us, Venge.. We can't go up against Maul and his men.. look what happened with us all together.. we got away but not without a cost." She held up her wrist to show the half mark that they had managed to get on her, if it hadn't been for Raven -freaking out- when they branded her, Sari would have had the full mark and Vara would have been dragged into the van. Both she and Vara had poison in their blood, so once they could get a hand free -they used that as a weapon. "Maybe it's time to find a little bit safer place.. not that there's much.. but we've been here long enough to be known if they come looking."

Her key was so quiet in the lock and she moved in almost silently, she'd warned Rase to follow behind and be quiet, her hand was laced with his as she came in. She stood there listening to Sari go on in her frustration, anger, and fear.. Vara knew too well what she was feeling. "If we had a place to go, that would be wise.. we don't have anywhere to go." She spoke quiet, trying not to startle Sari as the words just came out from her thoughts, which reflected Sari's statements.

Venge felt the air change as the door opened and listened as Vara entered, tipping his head at the curious stranger behind her. The hand clasped in her own told him he was a welcomed guest, not someone forcing his way in behind her. “You could go anywhere you wanted in the world. It wouldn’t be any better, though. Glad you’re alright,” he said, coming closer to Vara to greet her warmly, though wary of the man with her. “I haven’t met your guest. Can I help you with your things? Rave’s in the back and I can just take them back to her to help put them away.”

Rase walked in slowly, taking in the surroundings that seemed light and cheerful compared to what he was used to. The dark-haired man moved strangely and reminded him of the people in front of the med center once the docs were done taking what they needed and poured the patients out in the street. “Pan, like Peter,” Rase smiled, letting lose of Vara’s hand to offer his to Venge.

Sari spun at Vara's voice, the relief washing over her face in an instant, though just as quickly her expression shifted to wary and suspicious of the strange man. "I'm glad you're home.." She watched this Pan guy with a guarded trust, Vara was holding his hand and had brought him in with her. "I didn't know you were bringing a date home.. I would have picked the place up." The apartment was far from messy, kept mostly tidy and clean by he girls, it was a little run down but still much brighter than one might find elsewhere. Their art and decor is what really brought the place to life despite the blemishes of the building.

Vara gave the girl a bit of a smile and she tugged Rase gently into the room, closing the door behind them. "This is Venge, Raven's brother.." She introduced him first as he'd approached them while Sari hung back -not quite glaring. "..and that's Sari.. Raven is resting?" She looked to Venge, knowing he had probably started tending to her. "How is her arm?" She shrugged out of her coat, handing the heavy garment to Venge as it held what supplies she'd been able to lift, in its pockets and lining. She glanced at Sari as the other girl's wings fluttered. "Pan helped me get home safe.. and saved me from a few run ins with the patrol.." She explained how they came across each other in a brief statement, but it was likely enough to appease the others a little.

Venge took the coat and not the offered hand in greeting - who knew where else it had been. The man looked rugged and dank, smelled worse and the name seemed too ‘cute’ for him. “I’ll just get this out of your way. Glad you’re home.” He blew a kiss for Vara and slid away to the back to tend to Rave with whatever he could find in the pockets, being careful of all the contents.

“Friendly bunch,” Rase muttered to himself, taking his hand back and brushing it down his jacket. He unslung the pack from his shoulder, hoping he’d be offered someplace to put it and himself that wasn’t the center of attention. “Sari, nice to meet you.” He tried with the girl at least since this was her home.

Sari watched Venge go off and she exchanged a look with Vara that said she had many questions. With his movement and words Sari's attention turned to their guest. She offered him a slight smile and a nod. "Charmed.. I'm sure." She held out her hand to him where Venge had not. "You'll forgive our manners.. it's late and we've been worried. I'm tired and sore -it makes me a touch cranky."

At least Sari was being somewhat friendly, maybe not warm with open arms but she wasn't trying to toss him out or injure him. Vara watched the two interact -she hoped the girls would like him -since she had the intention of keeping him. Sari's colors were darker tonight, shades of deep purple and blue -reflecting her 'mood', tired, in pain, worried.. dark.. even so -she was beautiful. The wings of a butterfly.. she looked like a fairy.. Vara sighed and tried to stretch a little to keep from getting stiff.

Rase took the other girl’s hand in a brief light grasp, not trying to delve into the images that flowed freely in her forethoughts, though it was usually inevitable. The questions that took form enough for him to ‘see’ made him smile a little. “I don’t want to be a bother. I just wanted to make sure she came home in one piece.“

Sari chuckled ever so softly and gave another small nod of her head, letting go of his hand as she motioned around her. "It's not a bother.. really. Please make yourself comfortable. Thank you for seeing her home.. in one piece. We're quite fond of her." She took a step to move to the side of the room, nodding to Vara in acceptance of his being there. He made the tiny feelers on her hand tingle enough to put a small smile on her face. She eased herself down into a chair that accommodated the wings, sitting sideways to lean into the cushions a little.

Vara was relieved that Sari wasn't being more sour, they'd all been through quite a bit and being so tired, sore and on edge did have a way of making people unpleasant. She kissed Sari's cheek on the way by. "I'll check on Raven a little later.. let Venge get her settled and rested I hope." She moved past her friend and motioned for Rase to go into the room to the back of the common area.

Rase wasn’t sure staying was a good idea although her friend’s welcome was warmer than the man’s had been. He followed Vara’s lead for now, giving Sari another smile, keeping the thoughts to himself about what he’d seen in her recent memory. The girl was a strong fighter and had a mouth on her when riled, something he’d keep in his own memory just in case. He hadn’t met the other girl yet, but assumed the dark haired girl with them was Raven, the girl at the back, sister to the man he’d just met. “I’m kinda fond of her being in one piece, too.”

Sari chuckled again. "Good.. then we agree to do our best to keep her that way.." Her head tipped against the chair and she closed her eyes for a moment, the long day was starting to win out on her.

Vara reached to lead Rase into her room, even if he only stayed a few minutes to be sure she was settled safely she felt they would be more comfortable in her private space rather than the open room. She dropped down on the end of the bed and bent to pull her boots free, but stopped and grabbed the post of the bed instead. The bruises and scrapes were starting to ache again as the effects of her ink wore off. She bit down on the sound and slowly sat up, leaving her boots on for now. "Thanks for getting me here.." She breathed out a heavy exhale and tried to ignore the pains for now.

“What was that? Let me see. I thought you were feeling better,” he said, watching her carefully now. He didn’t want to talk too loudly, not sure how thick the walls were. It was out of habit to talk quietly when he wasn’t in the club. He dropped his pack on the floor and helped her with the boots.

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