Part 6 of many. "A dove’s last cry, And silence settled, Dusted records" -
only new information is that whoever is planning to exterminate us, mistakenly thinks that you are our leader and you have fire powers. The rest we already knew, so I'm going back to sleep."
Luke shrugged at me with wide eyes, and I turned around to walk stiffly back to my seat. He might have been the one that took over in Petram's absence, but our family had fallen apart. He would learn soon enough who was in charge. I spent the plane ride on my computer, reading articles that I had downloaded back in New York for other missions. They detailed some of the more populated downworlders hangouts. Now that I knew where our information was spreading from, I would be investigating some of the sources. I read about a coffee house where you could be served by fairies, and a whore house that catered to those who had a taste for empusa women. One place that caught my attention was a place that seemed to host a mix of MMA and dog fights. It was a small bar on the outside, but the basement spanned under multiple properties around the original building. Werewolves fought for the entertainment of a seedy assortment of monsters and I thought it sounded like a perfect place.
By the time the flight landed, I had a cohesive plan laid out clearly in my mind along with what I was going to wear and an emailed typed out and ready to be sent to a personal shopper to get clothes for Will. It was kind of off topic, but I figured he would need more clothes than the ones he had on. We got off the plane and went through baggage claim. Will was much more amiable now that he had had a chance to sleep but that wasn't saying much. He was still uncomfortable with the amount of people around us, which was completely understandable. I remembered being jumpy and anxious for months in public after living as an animal for ten years let alone five hundred. Still, he was doing remarkably well and relaxed considerably when we got in the taxi.
Amber greeted us in the lobby, throwing herself at Luke and covering his face in kisses. He swung her around, never taking his eyes off her face. Bored, I watched them for a while before realizing I didn't have to stay. I got into the elevator and turned to see Will hurrying past the happy couple, with a look of slight disgust of his face, and joined me in the elevator. At first, he was puzzled about the size of the elevator and why they would include such a small room in the building. I explained that it was basically a box that moved up and down to different floors on a pulley system.
We rode silently in the elevator which was honestly more unpleasant than if we had spoken. Tension accumulated between us until it was taut enough to cut with a knife. I was sure that my face had becoming an alarming shade of red, but luckily Will was looking at anything but me. When we got to the apartment, I quickly stepped out of the elevator and climbed onto the counter next to the fridge.
"What in god's name are you doing?" Will asked as I stretched up, fishing around the top of the fridge.
"I am trying to find the key I left up here." I turned my head to reach farther and finally felt my fingers brush the keys. I grabbed them and jumped lightly down, "I do not trust that girl in the lobby. Luke can say anything he wants, but there is no way I was going to let her have free reign in my house."
I lead him down the residential hall and unlocked the door across the hall from me. Will was less than interested in the room, so I showed him around the kitchen, living room, and my rarely used movie room. Will nodded politely through the tour, but was overall lackluster in his response. That is until we got to the gym.
"So that is all for this building," I smothered a smug grin.
"How can there possibly be more?" He responded. He seemed tired and if he was still a wolf, his tail would be flicking with irritation and I could see he could not wait for the tour to end. Still, I was amazed that he kept himself in check this much.
I led him back towards the bedrooms and through the bridge. When I opened the door, I watched as the irritation and boredom faded to be replaced with interest and admiration. As I showed him the equipment that my training rooms boasted, he asked genuine questions that I was more than happy to answer. By the time that we got to the last room, one with springs in the floor that I used to practice tumbling and acrobatics, Will was animated and both of us were at ease talking about the things that came naturally to us. Will walked around tentatively, not liking the way that the floor moved under him.
"Is it safe?" He asked. He knelt down to touch the floor.
"Of course. It is just a bit less solid than you are used to. Watch!" I commanded and shooed him to the side of the room. He looked a bit skeptical as I prepared to do a run across the room. I was planning to do a round off onto a back tuck or a hand spring, basic stuff, but I was tired from the last couple of days and didn't feel like doing anything else. I got a running start and went into the round off. Just as I was jumping into the back tuck, I was unceremoniously plucked from the air.
"What the hell man?" I yelled as Will set me down on the ground again.
"You don't know do that kind of thing. You would have hurt yourself!" He exclaimed. Will glowered down at me, no doubt remembering when he had tried to teach me to do something similar. He himself was very proficient in the field of gymnastics due to his extensive training with the hunters. He had tried to teach me some of the basic skills when I was younger, but I hadn't paid much attention so I had had hurt myself multiple times during the short session. I didn't understand why he said this now though. I had had more than enough time to learn the tricks and skills that he taught about and much more.
"Of course I know how to do this kind of thing." I told him with a slight amount of irritation. "I know how hard I need to push off and the amount of air I need to make the jump. There was no reason to stop it. I could probably do even better than you, especially since you haven't done this in over a century."
Will rubbed his chin and took a step back, "Is that so Dove?"
I nodded, catching the challenge in his voice. We went to opposite sides of the room and removed our shoes. I could feel adrenaline running through my body as I planned my passes. I would start with the most basic stuff and work my way through the harder skills. Meanwhile, Will looked the most excited I had seen him since we got to New York.
"The rules are simple." Rolled my shoulders before continuing, "Whoever lasts the longest with the most difficult skills will win this little game. Prepare to lose."
Compared to my constant movement, Will was deadly still. He kept his eyes trained on me as I told him the rules, and his legs were slightly bent. He did not think he was going to lose and I knew it. He was always the best at anything physical that he attempted, but he had no idea the amount of muscle and skill that paranoia and constant practice could produce. Take that world!
I ran first, jumping hard and taking time to hit my body positions so that every little movement looked sharp and precise. I stuck the landing with my hands my side instead of keeping them up for balance. I straightened and turned to him nonchalantly. His jaw was now set and his eyes slightly wider than they were earlier. That was certainly not what he had expected. It was his turn though so he quickly wiped that expression off his face and focused on the task at hand. He was strong in his pass, but he didn't get as much air as he could have and his movements were a bit sloppy. Never the less he stuck the landing and turned back to me. He was still good. Very good, and if he got a bit more practice, he would probably be right back to top form again. Luckily, I like a challenge.
"You are better than I thought dove," he admitted, "but that doesn't mean you are going to beat me anytime soon. Even when I'm rusty."
After that, the competition became more heated. We flew across the room, flipping and trying different ways to defy gravity. We goaded each other and insulted each other's form over the slightest of thing. This brand of arguing felt different than in Yellowstone though. It didn't get out of control, nor did either of us actually get angry. It felt more like a harsher version of the repartee we used to share. Will started slowing down and getting out of breath around the two-hour mark. I wasn't feeling too bad, in fact I was feeling energized.
"Ready to tap out wolf boy?" I asked grinning. Will scowled and shook his head as if there was an invisible insect flying around it.
"You wish!" he growled between breaths, "Where did you even learn how to do this shit?"
I laughed and shrugged as he straightened out painfully, "Trial and error bub. Pain is the best teacher and I am a fairly good student."
Will didn't respond so I just went to the next part of the challenge, "Can you match this? I'm going to flip over you while you are standing up. For you to match it, you have to flip over something that is the same number of inches taller than you that you are taller than me."
Now he had me by over a foot, so this was something I was not a hundred percent sure that I could do. Will looked skeptical as well, which made me even more determined to do. He straightened up anyways and I moved to the farthest end of the room from him. I psyched myself up and felt energy flow through my limbs. I ran towards him and pushed off as hard as I could. I rocketed higher than I expected and almost didn't tuck to roll my body in time. As I landed, I smelled something burning. I looked at the path I ran and discovered blackened footprints in the mat with smoke still curling off of them.
My cheeks reddened and I turned to apologize, seeing that Will was angry again. I knew Luke got uncomfortable and freaked out when things burned on accident and I always felt bad