Detours on the Path to Revenge (Part One)
Sitting on the ledge at the edge of the pool, Jair once again tried to decipher her dream. It had come again last night, only it was getting more vivid. Idly, Jair wondered why she keeps dreaming about a man she has never seen before. She smiled at her overly vivid imagination, remembering how her father always said she spent too much time daydreaming as a child. Still it was an odd dream, and it was always the same.
Standing by the edge of the sunny pool, Jair basks in the warmth and beauty as the jungle's melody soothes her soul. Peaceful tranquility floods through Jair's body filling her muscles with blessed lassitude. Slowly, a sense of unease penetrates the serenity. Jair's arms and legs fill with sand as the air thickens around her. All sound ceases. Jair struggles in vain to keep her mind, and her ability to react, connected to her heavy body. Time slows to a crawl. Jair slowly turns around. Shadows shift and change, gathering into a man on a horse leaping out of the forest. His blood-curdling scream pierces the silence, echoing through the forest, as his monstrous sword flashes lighting.
Dressed all in black, the man is Darkness incarnate; his movements so fluid, Jair cannot tell where he ends and the horse begins. His ebony hair whips around the black streaks and swirls that writhe around his face frantically. The man is the stuff of nightmares, thundering towards her. Jair hears the snap as her mind removes itself, rooting her body to the ground that is trembling before his onslaught. Gleaming metal slices through the air, arcing towards her.
From behind her, an arrow whistles past her ear shooting towards the horse. Feather fletching scores her neck, drawing a thin line of blood. Silently, the arrow buries itself in the black beast's chest. Jair feels the beasts heart straining to beat around the intrusive point. The horse rears up frantically trying to pull away from the pain lancing through its heart. Jair stares in fascination at the hooves pawing the air above her. Heat from the horse's huge chest washes over Jair's face as blood from it's wound drips in her eyes, warm and sticky. The thudding of the slowing heart resonates in Jair's head.
With a blinding flash, Jair stands in the desert, the hot sands burning her bare feet. Light as air, Jair floats off the burning sand, pulled over the dunes towards the clanging of metal against metal. She crests a peak and the motion stops. In the valley below, the Dark One fights another. The new man is dressed in white and has painted his face blue.
/what is it with the face paint?/ Jair wonders flippantly.
Their swords flash in the sunlight, the blows causing sparks to leap from the blades. The clanging seems to go on forever, wound upon wound inflicted until the sands turn red with blood, and still the fighting continues. Desperate to get away, Jair cannot wrench her eyes away from the battle. Nausea rises within her, threatening to over whelm her.
The Blue faced man reaches behind his back, spinning and throwing in the same motion... and the Dark One staggers, a dagger sticking out of his chest. His scream of fury fades to a gurgle as the Bluefaced ne moves to stand over him. Impassively, the Bluefaced One raises his sword and drives his sword through the Dark One's heart. With one final look of disgust, the Bluefaced One turns and vanishes into the sand. Jair blinks and the scene shifts again.
Jair's eyes are open, but there is nothing to see. The air is cold and damp, with a foul clinging odor. Wrinkling her nose in disgust, Jair stretches out her hand, taking a tentative step forward. Something tangles her foot, and Jair crashes to the ground, head cracking against the rock. The world tilts and careens out of control, only to steady as a dim light appears. The glow increases until Jair sees the Dark one's face, lying dead next to her.
Leaping back in terror, Jair screams uncontrollably. The sound bounces around the cavern twisting, the echoes blending and merging into a hideous sound. Voices are whisper "retrieve time... time is not at an end... take it ... bring back the end of time... end of time is not at the end... there is no time... find time... " The echos build until Jair's head shudders with the whispering force. Hysteria threatened to overwhelm Jair and she sobs in the corner, unable to escape the whispering voices, unable to leave the cavern with no doors, unable to take her eyes off the blood stained body of the dark man. The sword is still shaking as it protrudes from his heart. Jair clamps her hands over her ears, and clenches her eyes shut before slowly scooting towards the body. The whispering fades with each halting step until it recedes to a dull hum in the back of her head as kneels beside the Dark One's body.
The hideous sword makes her stomach churn. Bile builds in the back of her throat threatening to overwhelm her. Using both hands, Jair wrenches the blade out and drops it to the ground. With a grimace, she gingerly slides the dagger out of his chest. Sorrow swells as she absorbs the damage from multiple wounds.
/No one should have to die so horrible... no one deserves this../
Jair reaches up to brush a strand of hair from his face. The dark man's eyes snap open - fury flashing in their depths and a shuddering breath wracks his body.
Someone starts shrieking in terror, shaking the cavern again... and Jair wakes to realize it is her own voice.
Jair shook her head, and laughed. Such a strange dream must surely have some hidden meaning, but no matter how hard she thought, the meaning eluded her. Grinning to herself, Jair was forced to admit he was rather handsome, in a dark way - the way his muscles had moved beneath the leather tunic and leggings. No man in her village looked half as powerful, like a god come down to walk among the mortals. Jair chuckled again at her flights of fancy, deciding to go for a quick swim before returning to the village. She had already been gone for two days; soon her mother would send someone to find her. Jair knew someone would find her secret pool if she wasn't careful. This was her place, and she didn't want to share it with anyone.
She rose from her spot, and quickly removed her robe, hanging it on a tree branch behind her. Then she turned and dove neatly into the pool. Swimming underwater, she emerged a few feet from the cliff on the far side. Nimbly, she scaled the cliff and pulled herself up over the edge. The river was not especially large or fast here, cascading gently over the edge of the cliff to fall some 15 feet into the pool below. There were enough boulders spaced just right so that, with a few leaps, it was possible to end up standing in the middle of the river on a large rock that jutted out over the falls. From there, Jair could dive into the pool below with ease. Looking around, she smiled at the view of the forest around her. Just as she was about to dive, a flock of birds exploded from the trees below, startling Jair. Instead of the graceful dive she had planned, she fell awkwardly, wincing as she tried to correct her fall, trying not to belly flop, knowing it was going to hurt.
Kronos could hear the rushing of the waterfall before he could see the river through the trees. Ahead of him, the path he was following seemed to end abruptly, seeming to drop into the river. Pulling up before he left the cover of the trees, Kronos listened for any sounds ahead of him indicating the presence of other people. Scowling at the need to take such precautions Kronos again cursed Methos for leaving him. His eyes darkened as the familiar rage and overwhelming compulsion to exact painful revenge flooded through him. Following Methos had proved more difficult that Kronos had expected. The last village has been able to describe Methos perfectly; adding that he had passed through one a few weeks earlier. Kronos vowed for the hundredth time he would find Methos and make him pay dearly for this betrayal. Until then, travelling alone necessitated a certain level of caution. Petty bandits had attacked Kronos several times in the last few weeks. Always they assumed a man travelling alone would be an easy target. While any fight with mortals was easily won, it wasn't worth the wasted time and energy and only delayed his pursuit of Methos.
Certain he was alone in the forest, Kronos dismounted his horse and walked to the edge of the path. It did not end in the cliff he had feared, but rather was a small ledge on the edge of a river. The waterfall he had heard flowed gently over the edge of a true cliff off to one side filling a pool nearly 20 feet across before slowly meandering on it's way at the other end. The ledge he stood on was not more than a foot or so above water level. Kronos bent down to take a drink and was startled by a flock of birds exploding out of a tree across the pool. Instantly alert, his dark eyes scanned the forest searching for what had spooked the birds.
A blur of motion near the falls caught Kronos' attention. His hand instinctively reached for his sword as his tanned face whipped around to track the movement. Cautiously, Kronos stepped back into the cover of the forest. The object looked to be a naked body, female if the size was any indication, washing over the falls. Kronos watched in grim fascination as the body splashed unceremoniously into the pool. Seeing no further movement from above the falls, Kronos glanced back to the pool, idly wondering where the body would surface.
To his surprise, the woman exploded up out of the water nearly dead center in the middle of the pool, creating as much of a splash surfacing as she had falling. For a few seconds, as the sun glittered off the water drops, the woman looked like Venus rising out of the ocean. Her arms stretched over her head reaching for the sky, pulling her breasts taught, her dark nipples clearly visible even at this distance. Then the woman slowly sank back into the water. With a flash of a shapely rear and strong thighs, the woman gave a sharp kick and disappeared under water back under water. Stepping further into the shadows, Kronos sat back on his heels and waited to see what would happen next.
The woman surfaced for the second time, her head simply rising out of the water, near the edge of the falls. As Kronos watched in fascination, the woman seemed to float up and out of the water, climbing up the face of the cliff with ease. When she reached the top, she quickly pulled herself up and over, only to disappear yet again. As he searched for signs of her, the woman reappeared at the top of the falls, standing on a rock in the middle of the river, water rushing over the cliff on either side of her. She stood before him, golden skin glistening in the sunlight, her body completely outlined, and Kronos felt his body react to the sight before him. <<note to self: again must get a guy's opinion of how this feels!!!>> As he watched, she gathered herself and jumped. Involuntarily, Kronos stepped forward as if to stop her only to laugh darkly at his own foolishness. Contrary to the painful fall Kronos had witnessed just minutes before, this time the woman pulled her body in on itself and seemed to spin in circles in the air. Just at the last moment, she wrenched open her body and dove cleanly into the water.
Again she surfaced in the center of the pool, this time slowly rolling onto her back, floating on top of the water. Her breasts and the tops of her thighs bobbed in gentle rhythm to the ripples made by the waterfall. Watching her, Kronos realized it had been some time since he last took a woman. Reviewing his plans, Kronos decided it was time to "acquire" a new slave for the weeks ahead. Besides, he rationalized, he could always sell her in the next city or kill her if she slowed him down.
As Kronos stood, intending to call the woman over to him, she swiftly flipped over and disappeared under water only to surface a few moments later next to the cliff. The ease of her ascent up the face of the cliff again impressed Kronos - such agility would be highly prized in a properly trained slave. He waited with anticipation for her to appear in the middle of river, only this time she seemed to leap out away from the falls. Instead of jumping, she pulled her head back towards the cliff. Kronos was certain she would crush her skull on the edge. Instead, her legs whipped around and up so, once again, she dove cleanly into the water. When she surfaced this time, her eyes met Kronos'. Before he could react, her face broke into a brilliant smile and she raised her hand, waving excitedly. Just as quickly, she disappeared into the water.
Scowling, Kronos eyes the spot she disappeared from warily. The woman had reacted as if pleased to see him. Aware that most people responded to him with varying levels of fear and unease, the smile and the enthusiastic greeting had taken him by surprise. Still wondering about her reaction, Kronos was startled to have the woman suddenly jump from the river to stand in front of him. She spoke in a language he did not recognize, but her smile was unmistakable.
< You're him! The one from my dream. Who are you? Why are you here?> Jair chattered enthusiastically. <Can you hand me my robe? >
Dark eyes devoured the young body standing before him, taking in the shapely legs, taught stomach, full breasts, smooth skin, and clear blue eyes… She stood before him completely naked, her hair streaming down her back, water glistening as it dripped off… Kronos had not felt such strong desire for a woman in years. Then again he reasoned, when the Horseman were still together, they had possessed slaves in abundance. Since Methos had left, Kronos had been far less concerned with enjoying such creature comforts than with finding and repaying his traitorous brother.
/Now though/, Kronos thought with and evil leer, /would be the perfect time to rectify such an oversight./ as he reached out for her.
Stamping her foot, irritation clear on her face, the woman and pointed sharply behind him.
"Hello - are you listening? Can you hand me my robe?"
Her sudden hand movement startled Kronos into instinctively reaching for his dagger. Seeing his reactions she giggled and brushed past him, still chattering animatedly.
"A little jumpy there eh? So who is the man in the blue face, and why are you two fighting? " She patted his horse affectionately, still babbling.
"You needn't scowl so… you really would be almost handsome if you didn't… Why do you paint your face so? Where are you from?"
Kronos was momentarily stunned. He had never been so completely disregarded. His mind spinning, Kronos watched her pull the robe she grabbed from the tree behind him over her head, and realized that whatever language she was speaking, she had been asking for her robe.
How intriguing… Kronos thought. He enjoyed women with some spirit for fight left in them. He could see that she would be worth the trouble and her stunning body would make her worth a small fortune when he sold her. A cold smile crossed Kronos' face in anticipation of "training" his new slave. The robe clung to her wet body as she turned back to face Kronos. He again reached out for her just as she began shaking water from her hair. The sudden commotion caused Kronos' horse to jerk away. Turning just in time to catch the horse, Kronos took several moments just to get the mount back under control. When he looked around, she had disappeared.
Confused and angry, Kronos started to walk around the horse, when he heard her voice coming from above him in the trees. As he looked up, she dropped a bag that he barely managed to step out from underneath. The bag landed with a thud on the ground next to him.
"I suppose expecting you to catch that was a bit much huh?"
Even with out understanding the words, Kronos could feel the sarcasm in the message. Kronos realized she had wanted him to catch the bag. With a sneer, he casually picked up the bag and began looking through it.
"Uh-hum... That's mine, not yours... Exactly what do you think your doing?" Jair asked him quietly.
He looked up again, as she tilted her head to one side staring at him expectantly. It was obvious she wanted something, but Kronos couldn't decide what. Getting irritated with this game, Kronos scowled and shouted at her to come down emphasizing his command by pointing at her and then sharply to the ground beside him.
"You can't understand me can you?" she asked him questioningly.
"Well, are you going to catch me if I jump, or just step out of the way again? What's your name?" Finally she pointed to herself and spoke, "Jair". Then she pointed to him, the question apparent in her face.
"Kronos" he growled. "Now come down here!" he fairly shouted, pointing at the round again.
She held out her arms, but when he made no move to catch her, she sighed and just fell backwards. Spinning around the branch, she dropped lightly to her feet a short distance away. Kronos scowled at the move. He had expected her to jump down, and landing on her feet would have been difficult at best. Her backwards spin
This was not what he had told her to do. Grabbing the bag, she
pointed at the horse and motioned for him to get up. It took a few
moments for Kronos to realize that she was asking him to mount the horse.
She seemed to intend on travelling with him. His eyes narrowed as
he considered the woman. She did not appear afraid, and she did not
seem to be hiding anything. Deciding that he could wait a while longer
to take her, and knowing that he would have her no matter what, Kronos
concluded that mounting his horse made little difference at this point.
Even if she tried to run, he would be
able to catch on foot or horse.
This decided, he quickly swung up onto the horse. Before he was fully seated, she grabbed him arm, and using his foot for leverage, jumped up behind him. Kronos started to twist around to throw her to the ground to walk as a slave should, when her felt her breast press into his back as her arms wrapped around his waste. He could feel her legs tightening their grip on the horse as she pushed herself up to lean her head over his shoulder. Her breath was warm against his ear and she pointed around him at a small trail he had not noticed before then. Then she pointed to a trail he hadn't noticed off to one side.
A short distance down the path, Kronos found a crossing to the river. Smiling at the realization that she was heading in the same direction as he wanted to go in his pursuit of Methos, Kronos began thinking of ways he would enjoy her this evening. Across the stream, the path became a wide track that wandered off in to the forest. Once they crossed, she lapsed into silence, and Kronos became lost in him imaginings of revenge and pleasure.
It was several hours later that Kronos realized she was snoring quietly.
Her head rested against his back, and her arms were loosely wrapped around
his waste. It was a novel sensation, not unpleasant, but certainly
unexpected. Chuckling to himself, Kronos thought of how nice it was
that she would be well rested for his
entertainment this evening.
~ End of Detours: Part One ~
to Pathfinder's Homepage