Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters related to the VHD movie nor do I own any of the Thundercats Charaters. Kale however is mine. If you wish to use her as a character in one of your stories, please contact me for permission.
Authors Notes: This is a work of Fan fiction. So please read on and enjoy.
WARNING: The following work of fiction contains sexual references. If you are under 13, HIT YOUR BACK BROWSER BUTTON NOW. If you find sexual discussions offensive, please don't offend yourself by reading further.
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Forward to others: would be flattered if you did.
Always and Forever
Chapter 1 The Hunt Is On
The sun played hide and seek through the leaves of the great trees. The weather was warm, and a light breeze swirled through the upper branches. D followed the etchings in the bark, made by the three werewolves, Kale followed, making sure the strange girl rode comfortably behind her. They'd been following the trail for about a week, still villages were nowhere to be seen. "D?" called Kale, shifting her restrained passenger once more. "We need to stop."
"Well I don't know about you, but I'd like some lunch, and our friend here is killing my back."
The girl moaned as D pulled her off Max, and laid her at the base of one of the 300-year-old trees. "The river isn't far," he said. "I'll get some water."
"Take Max, he may need to drink."
"Kale, what's wrong?" She'd winced uncomfortably as she set her feet on the ground.
"I'm ok, but I think later on we should make up a new herb patch." He watched with a heavy heart, as she sat down next to the girl. He wished he could take her pain away. "I'm ok, D. Really," she assured him, seeing his worry in his eyes, even when he tried not to show it. "Go on. I'll be ok. I'll wait here."
His concern undaunted, he led the horses off through the trees to the river. "She's strong, D," said the sym, once out of sight of Kale, "and she's getting stronger everyday."
"She's afraid of me."
"Now where do you get that idea from?"
"Last night. I tried to hold her, and..." he closed his eyes to the memory. Kale had flinched at his tough. Recoiled in her sleep, turned away from him. He understood why, but still it hurt. He never thought he could feel this way about a women, but Kale was his, she was/is his everything, and now, when she needs his strength the most, she's running away. "...She's afraid of me."
"No, D. she's not afraid of you. The memory of what happened is still very fresh. It'll take time for her subconscious to remember your touch. She'll come around."
D watched as the horses bent their muzzles to the water. With the tip of his finger he tested it's temperature. Cold, too cold for him, but just right for Kale to have a swim if she wanted to. It was quite warm. Though he relished most heat, he knew Kale could not and she had not gone swimming in the last couple days, she had to be feeling the heat. "Something on your mind?" asked the sym.
"I was just wondering if Kale wanted to have a swim. I wish I could join her."
"Oh boy, here we go again," huffed the sym. "Look, D. we all have a cross to bear, yours just happens to be being a Dhampire." D rose quickly, and began searching through Kale's saddlebags. The horor of the thought dawning on him fully. "Oh now what?"
"A cross to bear,"
"Kale isn't wearing her cross!"
"I don't remember seeing it on her the night she was taken."
"Well you weren't exactly looking for it either if I recall."
"Without that necklace, Kale is unprotected."
"I wouldn't say she'd helpless," D opened Max's security compartment and looked through the small pouches there.
"It's not here,"
"Well maybe she's wearing it."
"No, she's not."
"Then we'll get her another one."
"Alright, Smart Ass, Where?" the sym raised D's hand to have the palm face him. The fabric of the glove had become thin, and the sym was able to see out, to some degree.
"I don't have an ass," it said sarcastically, "and besides, you can make one out of practically anything."
"That's not the point," snapped D, lowering his hand and gathering the reins of the horses.
"She's not protected NOW. I've got to get back to her."
"Hi," Kale whispered as the girl finally woke. "You feeling better?"
"Who are you?"
"I'm Kale. Don't worry, you're safe for now."
"My sister...Those things!"
"Take it easy, you're not strong enough o go off on your own yet."
"No!! No more!!" screamed the girl as D came rushing through the trees with the horses.
"Easy, it's alright," Kale eased the girl back against the tree. "This is D, he's with me. He's ok. He won't hurt you."
"Kale, you don't have your crucifix with you do you?"
Kale lowered her eyes to her feet. She hated remembering anything lately. None of it was all that good, accept for a few points. "No, they took it."
"We'll have to get you another." D examined their guest's neck, the wounds were nearly gone, and things were looking better that she wouldn't under go any changes.
"What are you doing?" asked the girl, as D inspected her teeth, and then left her.
"She's ok?" asked Kale
"She's fine. Get some rest. I'll hunt for a nice sized rabbit."
"D, you'd better let me do that. Remember the last time?" D made no expression, but then again he didn't look at her either.
The last time he'd hunted a rabbit, was the night the slavers had taken her. He'd hunted before, and wanted to show Kale, that not only she could kill a bunny. That and he learned that if she watched him while he worked, she became rather excited; which was great for what he'd planed next. Only thing was, D had somehow gotten onto a particularly stubborn rabbit. He'd spent most of the night stumbling around after it, throwing his daggers only to miss the little critter and cursing its existence in a language 12,000 years forgotten. Kale nearly wet herself from laughing and couldn't get a steady shot at the critter to help end it's tormenting of D. D ended up drawing on his Vampire powers to hold the thing still, long enough for him to grab it and kill it. It took him even longer for him to calm Kale down for him to make love to her. It was the last time he'd touched her that way. Other than his caressing her after he'd carved his name on her chest.
"No," he finally said, shaking off his embarrassment. "You're not protected. I'll not risk you."
"No Kale. I'm not losing you again. Not ever." Only Kale saw the flash of his eyes, and knew not to argue further. His back was up, and he was most unreasonable when that happened. "I'll go." She settled back against the tree and nodded. D headed off into the trees, the horses chewing on the grass around them.
"Is he always like that?" asked the girl.
"No," said Kale, holding her knees. "Not always. So what's your name anyway?"
D's hunting prowess proved superior to that of the local hares, and he'd returned to Kale in record time, though the size of the rabbit left much to be desired. "You're lucky you're not trying to impress a prospective mate," Kara had stated. "That size rabbit wouldn't win you anyone."
As part of their agreement, if D killed it, Kale cooked it, and she noticed how there was little blood left in the furry creature. She kept to herself as she prepared an amount of the meat for D. Browning it sufficiently on the outside, but leaving it mostly raw inside, just the way he liked it. She didn't linger and smile as she use to when D stroked her hand and fingers when taking his food. She'd pulled her hand back quickly, afraid of a longer touch, and of what it would lead to. They'd slept separately that night, though he didn't sleep. He waited for the wolves to come, but they never did.
The next day they were on the move again. D worried about Kale, for they hadn't been able to change the herb patch, and she was again ridding uncomfortably. Though the camp blankets across her saddle helped some. About four miles from where they'd stopped, they came upon a strange sight. A lone dark haired woman, with an orange-red flower in her hair, stood in their path. She wore a brown sack like dress, drawn at the waist by a rope, with a longbow and quiver of arrows across her back.
"Let her go!" she said, with a heavy accent that neither of them could really place. Kale rode up next to D and stopped, Kara looking over her shoulder.
Kale strode Max closer only to have an arrow land in the ground in front of her. She raised her right arm, triggered her crossbow into form, an arrow already loaded, and fired into the trees where the attack had come, knowing full well her aim was low. She heard the arrow thump into the tree, and watched the tree limbs shake as the other person retreated. She then turned and rode Max past the warning arrow. "I'm Kale. This is D."
"Where is the other girl?" said Willa.
"Dead. Killed by the ones who took them both." From the trees on either side, other girls stepped out, some with bows drawn others not. Max pranced anxiously at the new comers closing in. His orders of protecting Kale not haven been rescinded. Kale helped Kara get down, then allowed Max to trot away and rejoin D. "Your girl was in no danger from us," she called.
"She speaks the truth sister," called Kara, as her friends helped support her. "They weren't the ones who hurt us."
Willa nodded. "Do you know what these things are?" she asked.
"Yes," called Kale, "We're here to stop them."
"Come with us." The two northlanders followed as Willa led them deeper into the great trees. Soon Kale could see a clearing with the higher tree branches shading it. She looked up and saw huts and bridges suspended from, or built around the trunks of the giant stands. She motioned for D to look. He only nodded, silently saying he'd seen the village.
"Maybe that's why we hadn't seen any villages," she whispered. "No one ever looks up anymore. I'd forgotten that."
"Here," called Willa, as she stepped onto a lowered platform. "The girls will tend your horses. Come with me."
"No need. Max, Nightmare, stay close. Eat grass." Kale let the reins fall lax as she got down. The two horses went immediately to the tall grass around the base of the support trees. Kale and D stood next to Willa and Kara, as the platform was raised into the trees.
Kale could see D's jaw clench and his hand grasped one of the ropes. He hated heights as much as she did, but with better reason. He'd told her once that Dhampires were of the earth, and drew their strength from being close to it. He hated crossing water, but when it was necessary, he'd do it. But heights he tried to avoid. An unassisted or uncontrolled decent could kill or cripple him permanently.
She stepped closer to him and drew his eyes to hers. Look at me, they told him, and he did. Finding solace and comfort in their green depths. The lift stopped and she led him toward one of the huts, hiding the view to the ground. He hated looking away from her. For a moment he could see her gentleness coming back. He thought that if he could look into her eyes long enough, he'd be able to wipe away her fears and bring her smile back once and for all. But she'd never keep contact with his eyes for more than a few seconds. He'd see her concern for him, her worry, and her desire to help him. Then a fear that would creep in from memories too fresh to burry for long, and her moment of love for him would be stolen, replaced by fear, dread, and embarrassment. How he hated that moment, when she'd turn from him, the sound of her nervous heart racing with his own. Sometimes, like now, he'd place his right hand on her shoulder, giving her a gentle reassuring squeeze, only she wouldn't turn and embrace him as he hoped she would. She'd just close her lovely eyes and walk away.
"Take Kara to her hut. Make her comfortable." Willa commanded. "There is something I want you to see." She led the two strangers across the wooden deck and hanging bridges that even Kale would have preferred not to cross, to a hut set apart from the others. Inside were two girls, tied to posts, weary, almost asleep. Their feet and legs blistered. "These two were attacked about three days ago," she said.
D went to them and began to first inspect their necks and teeth. "Its too late for them," he said. Kale held Willa back as D took two of her garlic coated arrows and plunged them into the girls' chests. Willa screamed in horror and called for her guards, as Kale tried to hold her back and explain why they had to die. The guards rushed in and pinned the two to the wall of the hut. Willa turned to them with furious tear filled eyes. "You killed them!" she cried. "I wanted you to help them!"
"It was too late for them!" Kale shouted. "To let them die was kinder than the life they'd soon be forced to lead."
"Your highness, Look!" the women turned to where the murdered girls were still tied, only their skin had turned to ash and began falling to the floor in waves of dust.
"By the great trees!" said Willa, astonished, turning back to them. "Explain!"
"Vampires," said D, and nothing more.
"What is Vampires?"
"Vampires are people like you and I, who are sick, and it has no cure, if not caught soon enough," said Kale. "They slowly die inside, but exist in a world of darkness. They can only survive on the blood of others. They can also pass on the sickness, by forcing those they bite to taste their blood, as what happened with them."
"There's more you're not saying," said Willa. Kale nodded.
"A great deal more, but I don't think you're ready or willing to hear all of it."
Willa slowly nodded and turned back to where her two tribeswomen were tied, only to find a pile of ash. "You're right," she said sadly. "Will you kill this thing?"
"It's what I do," said D.
"For a price, am I right?" Willa sneered.
"Sometimes," he said. "What we need most right now, are traveling supplies and medicinal herbs."
"Provide a list of what you need. When these things are dead, you will get what you need. I'll see to it." She pointed to the two guards. "Escort them to Kara's hut. They can stay with her and watch over her till this blows over."
"Kara is fine. The vampire didn't give her any of his blood," said D.
"She was bitten more than a week ago, she's shown no signs," D never looked at the woman, didn't even raise the brim of his hat to reveal his eyes. He was more concerned with the wooden spear that still pointed at his chest.
"You can let them go," said Willa. "Burn this hut, no one is to know how they died. Spread the word of this illness to the others. You two are to check everyone for bite marks. Two wounds on the neck close together. If found, they are to go to this man at once." The woman led them all from the hut, and the last of the guards began to untie the bridge ends from the deck. Then rejoining their people at the main part of the village, they watched the hut burn, careful not to allow the whole tree to burn as well.
"We are the guardians of the trees," said Kara, watching from the window of her hut. "We know how to burn a hut, without destroying the trees. Rest well sisters. We shall plant trees on your graves."