THE REUNION: PART ONE - The Assembly
Dispassionate eyes watched as the fire hesitantly caressed the pale cream parchment; the flame daintily taking whisper of a taste. Time stopped for a moment as the fire savored the taste of it's ivory lover before tenderly enveloping the paper in a glowing yellow embrace. Greedily, the wild tendrils danced across the surface, leaping and twisting higher in a frenzy of lust and hunger. The paper sighed inside the flame's wild dance, surrendering to the passion of the moment, withering as it was swept up in a chaotic blend of blackened orange embers. Dying under the flame's boundless passion, the paper crumbled in on itself.
Glittering grey eyes watched the flame's passionate consumption noting the tiny details, the way the paper seemed to curl in on itself, only to turn and open fully to the flame's caress, how the flame writhed around itself seeming to seek confirmation of its own existence. The eyes watched, but the mind remained blank. Not thoughts of the words the note had contained or the slender fingers that had written them. The man's watched as the flame itself died leaving behind only a tortured gray mass, twisted beyond recognition. Kronos stared at the remains of the note, heedless of the changes in himself. Turning on his heel, Kronos stalked out of the tree house without looking back.
Kronos saddled his horse without a word, ignoring the blood bay's stamping and head tossing. After double checking the horses tack, Kronos ducked into an alcove set back behind the stalls. In the shadows, Kronos' fingers traced a path on the stone wall, searching for the small chip in the rock. With a grim smile, Kronos pushed the chip to one side, released the secret latch and sliding into the hidden room before the stone door completed its screeching slide open.
The changes that had started at the fireplace were completed inside the mysterious room. The cave seemed to darken as Kronos, Leader of the Four Horsemen, adeptly dodged the horse's razor sharp teeth before swinging astride the furious mount. Glittering steel armor over shifting shadow rode a mount from the fires of hell itself, and as this breathing nightmare galloped through the jungles of Val Island, only one thought resonated through their combined souls - "The Horsemen ride again."
Warm candle light washed over the mud stone walls, warming and softening the dark, rough texture. A plain, plank oak table and stools were placed off to one side of the large open room. The kitchen area was visible along the back wall, looking deceptively primitive. To the other side was a fire place and raw-cut pine sofa and chairs. Niches and shelves built into the walls all around the room held candles off all sizes, the only source of illumination in the "hut".
It was on this sofa that the Master and Mistress of the "hut" were struggling. Neither could remember what had started the argument, and neither was able to gain a decisive upper hand to claim "victory". Mistress Mel reached up and grabbed a large handful of Master Caspian's brown hair where it had escaped the tie that normally held it out of his eyes. Her vicious yank was rewarded with an explosive grunt and a few more inches of room to maneuver her other arm free.
Caspian struggled to hold the wildcat beneath him still. When Mel's other arm wiggled out of his grip, he abandoned the pretext of containing her. Mel's small fists pounded against his back, doing little besides irritating Caspian. The game was rapidly losing it's entertainment value. Caspian lunged for Mel's wrists, intending to pin her down, but missed when an inhuman screaming bugle reverberated outside the hut. Caspian's hesitation won him a sharp knee to the groin.
Mel laughed as she bounced up of the couch singing, "Victory is mi-ine, I won, I won," all the way over to the door. She glanced back once at Caspian moaning on the floor, but he was immortal, and she hadn't kneed him *that* hard. As she pulled back the hide flap covering the entrance to their home, Mel froze in surprise. The eerie sound had come from the blood bay stallion pawing the air above her head. The long black mane billowed out from its neck as the stallion can down stamping and tossing its head. Mel studied the man dresses in black leather, small steel plates of armor glittering across his chest. His shoulder length hair was as wild as the stallions mane while the cruelty in his eyes made hard counterpoint to the stallion's malevolent snorting and tossing. Mel knew who this man was, and his clothing told the reason for his appearance.
A slow grin spread across Mel's face as she anticipated the "fun" Kronos's appearance heralded. Such thoughts and plans were interrupted by the near neck-snapping tug on her long blond braid.
"Were you anyone else, I would kill you for that." Caspian hissed
in her ear before shoving her into the thick wall of the door frame and
walking outside. Caspian's dark green eyes glittered with malice
recognized the man before him.
"We ride?" Caspian rasped.
The stallion screamed and Kronos nodded. Caspian's maniacal laughter
echoed in the clearing as he ducked back inside the hut. Mel was waiting, holding his leather armor and sword. Caspian changed clothing quickly, ordering Mel to see to his horse.
"They are already saddled." Mel said matter-of-factly.
"They?" Caspian growled the question as he looked up from one of the buckles. It took him a moment to absorb the tight fitting leather pants and steel studded jerkin that Mel wore. He noted the sword at her side and throwing knives attached to a belt slung across her chest shoulder to hip.
"You are not coming with." Caspian ordered.
"And just who the hell do you think you are? Has playing with Jungle Boy turned your brains to rotted bananas? You can't tell me what to do! I'll damn well -" Mel's furious tirade was cut short as Caspian's fist connected solidly with her chin. Mel's eyes crossed breifly before her bones turned to jello and she slid into Caspian's waiting arms.
"I said you weren't coming with." Caspian muttered. He carried Mel's lithe body back to the sofa. He quickly tied her wrists above her head and loosely secured her ankles to the other end. A tender smile crossed his face as he carefully lifted her head to put a pillow under her. Outside, the stallion screamed it's impatience, and Caspian heard his mare snort in irritation at being kept waiting. Caspian jumped up and swiftly gathered a towel and some ice from the freezer.
"You're only mortal, and that's gonna hurt when you come to." Caspian whispered as he wrapped the ice in the towel. He placed a soft kiss on her slightly swollen chin before placing the ice wrap over it. He stood over her for one last moment, swiping his hair out of his eyes to drink in a final look at the face that haunted his dreams even when she slept next to him.
Outside, the insane glint returned to his eyes as he vaulted astride the painted mare. The laughter built in his chest and exploded out of his mouth. His mare shied away as Kronos's stallion lashed out at the frightening sound. Kronos just smiled in satisfaction.
<One down - two more to go> Kronos thought darkly as he swung his stallion around and galloped towards Silas.
Mel was standing on the deck looking out over the beautiful snow covered
mountain. Thousands of snow lined pine trees filled her field of
crisp, clean, cold air filled her lungs as she took a deep breath and let out
a long relieving sigh.
"So beautiful here," she thought.
Mel could see the very tiny dim lights from the city far, far below. Tiny little lights from small little houses. It was so serene here on the mountain. Mel looked up to the sky seeing the first flakes of new snow beginning to float lightly to the ground. Although it was obviously very cold she was quite warm in her ankle length fake fox fur coat.
She turned to walk back into the cabin and there standing on the other side of the sliding glass doors was Fox Mulder, holding a tray with the finest china tea set she had ever seen. A sweet smile spread across Mel's face as she looked at Fox, who was wearing only a towel wrapped neatly around his waist. He had the lovliest grin on his face.
As Mel went to take a step toward the doors to join Fox in the nice, warm cabin it began to sleet and she was stopped before she could even take a step. In fact, she couldn't move at all. Her ankles held fast right where she stood and she suddenly realized that her hands were raised above her head. She tried to get them to move, but they seemed to be stuck in mid air.
"How could this be?," she thought.
Mel tried to pull down on her arms with all her might, twisting and turning. The sleet was falling like quarters from heaven now. Harder and faster. The whole time Fox just stood in the doorway with his tea tray and that sweet little grin.
"Why aren't you helping me?," she yelled at him.
Mel looked up to the sky and just as she did she was hit square in the jaw by a golfball sized piece of hail.
Mel's eyes shot open as she swung her head from right to left, trying to get her bearings. She started to calm down as she recognized her surroundings.
"I'm in the Hut."
She let out a sigh of relief that was cut short when she realized that her hands and ankles were tied to the sofa and damn, did her jaw hurt!
~ End of The Reunion Part One ~
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