Description:  This is a Vampire Hunter D fanfic story

WARNING: Some portions of the following work of fiction contain explicit sex 
and sexual references that may be uncomfortable for some. If you are under 18
(or whatever age is appropriate for your location), HIT YOUR BACK BROWSER 
BUTTON NOW. If you find explicit sex offensive, please don't offend yourself 
by reading further.

Disclaimer:  I do not own any of the characters related to the VHD movie.  
This is not is not intended to infringe on the rights of Hideyuki Kikuchi, 
Streamline Pictures, or anyone else. Also the song "The Thunder Rolls" is 
the property of Garth Brooks, and his producer Allen Reynolds. Please also 
read the story "Drawing Blood" By Cathy Krusberg at 
http://www.altvampyres.net/vhd/drawbld.html (located in the VHD Archives) 
for further references to the relationship between D and Doris, that D 
reflects on later in this story.  I enjoyed her little story so much I 
thought it should have been in the movie, which is why it is mentioned here.
It brings a better closure to the movie.  Also see the web site 
http://www.ragnarokfox.net/alucard.html for information on Alucard, D's
younger brother, who is also mentioned in this story.  My thanks to Cathy, 
for allowing me to mention her story. Also my thanks to Dragoon Trowa Barton,
for giving me the information on Alucard, although I do not know very much 
of Alucard, from what searches I have don on the net, I decided to make him 
into a bit of a playboy, sort of a teaser for D.  But not to worry, he does 
not stay this way.  Read on, carefully, when concerning Alucard, there is a
twist in this story.  You will see.  Enjoy.

Authors Notes:  This story takes place about 10 to 12 years after D leaves 
Doris.  This is a work of Fan fiction.  So please read on and enjoy.

Author: Charlotte MacFarlane
Email: duckey@ns.sympatico.ca
Feedback:  Please, yes, lots.
Forward to others:  would be flattered if you did.

Feathers on the wind
Chapter 1 Awakenings 

He looked up from the ground.  The rocks were still sliding down the 
surrounding hills.  He hated the west.  But he had to come.  A vampire had 
actually thought he could get away.  Well he'd proved him wrong.  The beast 
now lay in a pile of ash after he forced him into the sun.  It was a fitting 
end for it. He ravaged women and men alike, all across the eastern frontier, 
and then fled west to do it all over again.

"Is it over?" asked a small voice from his left hand.

"I think so." He'd been traveling further west to the coast, hoping to meet 
ships traveling further west, and eventually arrive at the shores of his 
homeland.  Not that he really had a home.  Only he'd been hindered of late. 
Sand storms, twisters, floods, and now earth quakes.  He hated the western 

"Good, now what say we get out of here."

He agreed, for the first time.  But just as he was getting to his feet, 
another shook the ground. "Aftershock!" he shouted, as the ground opened up 
and swallowed him.

"D?  Are you awake?" asked the symbiot.  It raised his left hand and pushed 
back his hair. "D wake up!"

He coughed and the salty taste of blood passed over his tongue.  Well it 
wasn't the first time he'd cut his lip.  It will heal, just as quickly as 
other wounds.  "Where are we?"

"About 30 feet lower than we were a moment ago.  What's that sound?"

He stood and listened.  "Sounds like water." He said, and from one of the 
many caves in this new cavern came an ankle high wave.  It wasn't fresh 
water.  It was cloudy and murky.

"Oh, now that is sick."

"Look whose talking." It washed over his boots, but it didn't move like 
water.  It rolled over the ground and around his feet like a kind of ooze.  
He followed it where it had come from, wondering what else he'd find.
"D, I think this is a bad idea."

"Quiet, I need to listen." The corridor opened from a split in the earth 
about 15 feet long, to a concrete hallway that extended another 25 feet 
inward.  He turned a button on his combat belt to add just a little light to 
the gloom ahead.  Not that he really needed it, but it was reassuring to 
have.  At the end of the old hall, he found a huge room.  Light fixtures hung 
from the cracked ceiling, along with wires, old pipes, and ductwork.  The 
room was heavily damaged, and none of the lights worked anymore.  The ooze 
continued to over flow his feet and was starting to get deeper.  He stepped 
onto an old metal desk just as a surge of fluid moved up his legs and a human 
body pushed over the edge of a deep pool of the fluid.

The body was swollen and bland, without signs of any advanced decomposition, 
but the person had been dead a long time.  He looked out over the surging 
fluid.  There were bodies floating up everywhere.  "I think this was an Ark." 
He said finally.

"A what?"

"An Ark.  A place where people of great importance were placed in suspension, 
to survive the coming holocaust.  When my father learned of it, he called me 
home.  We hibernated for close to 600 years before it was necessary for us to 

"I remember.  Your father made you drink enough blood, both our teeth were 

"I'd rather you didn't mention that."

"So what happened here?"

"Some say, from what Arks were found, that though they were designed to 
survive the holocaust, they could not withstand the years of earthquakes, and 
other events.  Their structures were weakened or destroyed, but always the 
power sources failed, and the people died."

"Well, that's not good, so lets get out of here, that stench is getting to 

He turned to leap off the desk and return the way he came when he heard 
someone cry out.  He turned back and looked out over the pool, and saw 
someone trying to stay afloat in the ooze.

"Help!!" the figure screamed, obviously female.  "I can't swim in this!!!  

He ran as fast as he could to the edge of the pool, which was hard to find in 
the murky depths.  He grabbed a length of wire from the ceiling and stretched 
out his hand.  Not even coming close to her, he removed his sword from his 
back.  With it's sheath still on, he held it above the shank and stretched 
out once more.  "Grab on!!" he ordered.

Her hands grasped the sheath several times, but slid off.  However, 
determination and the instinct of self-preservation drove her to try again.  
Finely she grasped the sheath and was able to hold tight.  He dragged her 
through the slime to its edge, and helped her to the safety of firm footing.

She tried repeatedly to wipe the ooze from her face, barely succeeding enough 
to see.  He tried to help her, his hands being cleaner than hers, but she 
pushed him away.  "Get away!!!  Don't touch me!!!" she staggered to her feet 
trying to put on an air of defense, when all she was, was scared half out of 
her mind.  "What have you done to me!!!" she accused.

"Miss, please calm down." He stepped toward her in his dim light, but she 
jumped back, tripping over debris beneath the surface.  She fell backward as 
the tank surged again, and a body floated across her lap.  She screamed at 
its sight, all wrinkled like a raisin, and swollen at the same time.  She 
pushed it off her and scrambled away.

She followed the feel of the wall around to the corridor, where she noticed a 
light.  A glimmer of hope of escape eclipsed her terrified mind, as she ran 
for the light, stumbling over debris and other bodies as she went.

"Wait!" he called repeatedly, but she kept going.

"Let her go!" said the symbiot, "some thanks for saving her from drowning."

"She's scared," he said, ignoring the voice.  "She could get killed.  Girl!  

She stepped out into the blinding light and screamed.  It was too bright.  
She couldn't take it.  She tried again to see, but it was no good.  She saw 
blurred shadows pass through the light, and could hear footsteps, then a deep 
rumbling growl.

D reached the end of the cavern in time to see her scramble by, a great beast 
pursuing her.  "Oh well, she's lunch."  He ran into the light drawing his 
sword.  He struck the creature several times across its back, sparks flying 
as the metal hit heavy scaled plating.  The creature turned and lunged at 
him, he leapt back.  "You have to get under it!"

"I know!" the creature rose to bring its slashing claws down on him, but he 
raised his sword and slit the soft underbelly, from its tail to chin.  The 
creature spilled its innards over the ground, its blood mixing with the slime 
river that flowed.  It died before it hit the ground.  He ran past it to the 
strange girl, she sat in the slime-blood river, gasping for air. 

"Are you all right?" he asked, looking her over to be sure none of the 
crimson flow came from her.  She fainted into his arms.

"You do have that affect on women, don't you, D."

"Shut up." He picked her up over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes and 
started back along the chasm, looking for a means to climb out.  If the 
creature got in, there was a way out.

D watched her from across the fire.  Unsettling dreams clenched her newly 
awakened mind; most likely memories of the coming madness.  She tossed in her 
sleep from side to side, wanting to run he was sure, run from the madness, 
the war, death and destruction.  She suddenly screamed and sat up, her long 
brown hair flying past her frightened eyes. "Are you better now?" he asked.  
She turned sharply at the sound of his voice.  Peering at the blurred figure 
through fire highlighted locks of gold.  "I'm not your enemy," he said, 
"here," he tossed a bag across the fire, stuffed full with supplies for her.  
"After I got you settled here, I went back down to the Ark.  The storage room 
was broken open.  I found your picture on one of the bags.  I assume it was 
your personal affects.  I went through the other bags and took some clothes 
and other items.  I hope the clothes fit you.  No one else survived so they 
won't be missed."

"Where am I??" she asked, visibly still shaken from her ordeal.

"A cave, above where I found you.  I don't normally hold up in caves, but it 
started to rain and you needed shelter." He watched her as she, again, tried 
to wipe off the unseen slime she'd been submerged in for so long.  "Easy, I 
found a river after climbing out of the chasm.  I washed off all that stuff."

She didn't listen as she continued to wipe her arms and chest.  She'd been 
forced long ago to wear a white body suit, complete with sleeves and 
leggings, some dignity given her at least.  She wore it still as she sat 
before him, a blanket over her legs.  She crawled from her sleeping place and 
supported herself against the cave wall as she stood. 

"Please, rest.  You've been through a lot," he said, crossing the cave to 
her.  She pushed him away and followed the sound of the rain.  He followed.  
"Wait!" He turned her to him, only to have her shake him off.  She turned 
again and kicked her left leg high as her turn completed.  He knew the 
maneuver very well, a roundhouse kick it was called, he stepped back before 
her foot came near him.  Still weak from what happened, the maneuver 
unbalanced her and she fell back.  If D's fast moves had not caught her, she 
would have fallen off the narrow path to the cave, possibly breaking her neck 
in the fall down the cliff.

"Fainted again did she?" said the voice, as D looked onto her again 
unconscious form.

"Do shut up!" he snapped, suspending her in his arms. "She's frightened, and 
hasn't a clue as to what is going on.  I don't blame her for acting this 

"Well you know, you could calm her down a little.  They always said fine wine 
gets better with age."

"Don't even suggest it." He said, spreading the blanket back over the girl.

"Well it's not like she'd put up much of a fuss." D slammed his left hand 
into the dirt, hurting himself as well as the symbiot.  "Ouch!  That hurt!"


Everyone was staring.  He knew people stared at him, wherever he went, but 
this time it was mainly morbid curiosity.  He could imagine what they were 
thinking, not that he really cared.  He rode up to the tavern, the only place 
in this shore town that had any rooms to rent.  He slid carefully from his 
saddle, the Ark girl suspended in his arms without any effort.  Her duffle 
bag already slung on his back, he entered the establishment.  Taking a moment 
to look at his surroundings, he strode to the bar.  "I need a room." He said 
to the keeper.

"Obviously," sneered the bald man, a sly smile across his lips.  D just stood 
there. The man's smile faded under the newcomer's cold chiseled gaze.  
"Shelly!" A tall tavern maid emerged from the kitchen.  "Take these two love 
birds to room seven."

"Yes sir," said the girl, grabbing the room's key from the wall cabinet. 
"This way sir."
She led him up a flight of stairs and down the hall, stopping only a moment 
to straighten the hall's cracked mirror.  She then unlocked the door and 
ushered them in.  "Would you like a hand?" she asked.  D looked back to her.

"Turn down the bed," he said.  In a flutter of skirts, the woman went to the 
double bed and pulled back the covers.  She then put one pillow aside and 
stepped back.  D strode over and gently put the girl down and covered her.  
"I stopped by your physician's office, but he wasn't there.  Do you know when 
he'll be back?"
"He's in the brothel down the street." She said.  D shook his head.  "No, not 
that, he gives the girl's check-ups every two months."

"Get him."

"Is she very sick?"

"Get the doctor, woman!" He pushed her out the door and then went back to the 
girl, laying the back of his right hand against her forehead.  Her fever was 
still climbing.  He pulled off her duffle bag and his sword and laid them at 
the foot of the bed.  He took the washbasin to the lavatory, poured cold 
water from the tap and took a small raged cloth off the shelf.

He returned to her side and started wiping her forehead.  She opened her eyes 
and looked at him.

"Who...who are you?" she asked quietly.

"I was wondering when you'd ask that.  I'm called D.  What's your name?"

"Kale," she whispered.

"Kale. Not to worry.  A doctor has been sent for.  We'll have you back on 
your feet in no time."
"No..." she tried to rise, but he held her down.  "No...no doctors...no 
more...NO!!!" she screamed over and over, then fell silent as sleep took her.

"Quite a set of lungs on this kid."

"Quiet! Someone's coming."

The door burst open as the tavern woman led another man in.  "What's wrong?" 
she asked, out of breath, the doctor wheezing too, obviously from running 
back to the tavern.

"You can go." D said to the woman.  "Doctor, catch your breath.  I needed you 
here quickly, but not exhausted."

"Sir please, I heard screaming."

"Out!!" He again pushed the woman out and closed the door.

"What seems to be the problem?" the old doctor asked, wiping his brow with 
his sleeve.

"She's got a fever."

The man set to work, looking over the girl, as D explained how he'd found 
her.  Secure that whatever he told the old man; he could not tell anyone else 
for fear of losing his practice.  Surprise reflected in the old man's eyes 
when D mentioned the Ark.  "No one has ever survived." The physician said.    

"Where is this place, I'd love to see it."

"Can't.  It was engulfed in a lava flow just as I got out.  I did get this 
though."  D handed the physician a large book from the girl's duffle bag.

The doctor quickly looked through the pages.  "I don't recognize this, do 
you?" D shook his head, not being able to voice the lie he had to tell.  The 
old Earth dialect had not been used in close to 7,500 years.  Much of the old 
language was still around but no one could read it any more.  He could, but 
he could not say that, for fear of someone figuring out what he was.

The doctor stopped flipping the pages, to a section that showed both the male 
and female forms.  They were tied, or secured, by their ankles to a 
mechanical base, and had hundreds of wires leading from the base to various 
parts of the body.  There were tubes leading from their genitals, obviously 
to remove the body's waste, as well as other tubes leading down their noses 
and mouths, to lungs and stomach.

The doctor rose and opened the room door, calling for the tavern girl.  She 
appeared immediately, not having gone far from a fellow woman who may have 
been in trouble.  "I want you to go down stairs and get a bottle of strong 
liquor.  I'll also need some clean clothes."

"Yes sir."

"What is it?" asked D, as the healer rolled up the girl's sleeve.

"What it looks like, in this diagram, is that she had wires in her skin.  See 
here." He showed D the hundreds of tiny red marks on her arm.  "These are all 
over her.  We need to clean them, make sure there's no infection in them."

Realizing this meant disrobing the girl, he stepped back.  "I can't...she...I 
don't know her."

"That's alright.  Shelly has helped me a lot with my female patients.  I'll 
get her to assist." D nodded.  The door then opened and closed, as Shelly 
returned carrying not one, but two bottles of liquor and a pile of fresh 

Assuming the doctor needed her, she went to the opposite side of the bed and 
followed the doctor's instructions.  D turned and looked out the window, 
giving the girl her privacy, but still being near by for her security.

Some time later, Shelly tapped his shoulder, saying she was redressed and 
covered.  The doctor readied a needle with serum to fight diseases, that 
often killed people now a days, and while D held her still, the doctor 
administered the shot.  If D had not been holding her she would have run off 
the bed, tearing the needle through her flesh, and probably striking the 
doctor as well.  All she could do was scream, and beg for them to stop.

The doctor removed the emptied needle, giving the area one final wipe clean, 
and placed the syringe in a special case, to be sterilized and used again 

"She'll fall asleep soon." He said.  "Try and get some food into her."  She 
suddenly started to heave.  The doctor quickly emptied the water basin out 
the window, a common practice, and brought it to the side of the bed just as 
D rolled her over.  She threw up into the basin, noxious cream-colored bile.  
Then she stopped and returned to sleep.  D wiped her face as he laid her 
down.  "This is probably why she's sick," said the doctor, covering the 
expelled fluid with a towel.  "I'll take it and examine it.  She may need 
some antibiotics."

"Take this too." D handed him a small vile.  This is a small amount of the 
fluid she was submerged in.  There may be something there."

"Thanks, this will help."  He put the vile in his bag and left, taking Shelly 
with him.

It was a cool breeze that brushed her face, the sweet smell of rain on the 
wind.  She opened her eyes to see the window across the room open.  A dark 
blurred figure went to the window and slid it shut.  She watched the figure 
turn and enter the small anteroom.  She could hear thumping on the wall 
opposite the newly closed window, a woman's moans of pleasure reached through 
the boards followed by a man's grunts and moans of exertion.  The dark figure 
was next to her then, putting a bowl of water on the nightstand.  "Did they 
wake you?" he asked, wiping her face with the cold cloth.

"No," she whispered. "Where are we?"

"An Inn, coastal town.  I don't know the name of it."  He let her sit up.     

"You're not going to try and run again are you?"

"No." She drew up her knees and pressed her forehead to their sturdy surface 
beneath the blankets, hugging her arms around her legs.

"How do you feel?" he asked.

"Peachy," she said, "just peachy." He dropped the cloth into the basin and 
picked up her duffle bag from the floor.

"If you're up to having something to eat, you'll need to put some more 
clothes on.  What you're wearing has an insulating quality although it's a 
bit translucent."  She looked up to him, as he respectfully averted his gaze 
when she dropped her knees.

"Thanks." She went through the bag and pulled out a pair of blue jeans and an 
oversized black t-shirt.

"I hope you won't think me forward, but I measured your feet while you slept, 
and I bought you a pair of boots.  Though there wasn't anything practical in 
the storeroom that would fit you.  They're next to the bed."
She swung her legs off the bed and examined the boots.  They were rather a 
plain design, but practical.  Made of black leather rising all the way to her 
knees.  The sole was thick stitched leather that flexed easily as she stood.    

"They fit fine, thank you.  That was very kind."  She slowly strode past him, 
still slightly off balance.  He let her go.  Best to let her stumble and fall 
in private than in front of strangers.

After a few paces around their small room, he opened the door.  "Ready." 
Hugging her arms to herself she followed him into the hall.  There were 
people in the corridor waiting for free rooms without numbers.  Each man 
fondling the woman they had with them, many of the men also fondling 
themselves.  D steadied the girl with a reassuring hand on her shoulder and 
they proceeded through the crowd of gropers.  One man reached out and grabbed 
Kale's arm, pulling her to his lap.

"You're a pretty one.  Hope he didn't wear you out."  He sneered, trying to 
plant a liquor-laden kiss to her cheek.  Her arms pinned in his grasp, all 
she could do was cry out.  The man suddenly released her, and D pulled her to 
his side, letting his cloak fall around her.  He'd drawn one of his long 
daggers and held it to the man's throat.

"Hear this and remember.  She's with me." The man nodded.  D turned to face 
the other men, they all nodded, and returned their attentions to the women 
they had already with them.  D sheathed his blade and continued on his way, 
the girl tucked safely beneath his cloak.

She left his side to descend the stairs, and then followed him to a table at 
the back of the room.  As they settled themselves the tavern woman, Shelly, 
stepped up.  "It's good to see you up and around," she said to the girl.  "I 
was a bit worried.  You still look a little pale, you should try and get some 

"I'll have a rare steak with the usual dinner plate.  Kale?"

"Nothing heavy please," she said.

"I have a pot of chicken soup on," Shelly offered.  "It's said to cure all 
sorts of ails."

"Yes, thank you"

"Tea?" she offered.  Kale and D both nodded and the woman was off to the 

They sat quietly waiting for their food.  Kale looking around the room trying 
to make sense of the blurred images she saw.  D watching her.

She had a slender look about her, most likely from losing weight during her 
sleep, her body using up its fat reserves.  She had a roundish face with 
modest cheekbones and straight slender nose.  She had tired looking green 
eyes, almost the color of jade.  She would stand just over 5 feet tall with a 
slender figure, full breasts, and hair that flowed down past her shoulder 

He raised his left hand to swat a fly from his face, and heard his symbiot 
snicker quietly, "She is a looker isn't she?"  He clenched his hand tight, 
closing the thing's lips tightly together.  Satisfied it got his message he 
released his had to accept the meal Shelly brought to him.  

"Enjoy," she said, setting the pot of tea, milk and sugar in the middle of 
the table.

D gave her a few coins and began first on the steak.  The meat was hot, but 
not totally cooked.  The blood ran from the cuts he made mingling with the 
potatoes and vegetables.  It wasn't fresh, but blood was blood, and he ate it 
all the same, a small glimmer of pleasure from the salty taste it left in his 

"It isn't good for you to eat it that raw," Kale said.

"Eat your soup," he said, and soaked up more of the blood with his bread 

After a few spoonfuls of the soup she turned to him again.  "What will happen 
to me now?"

"That's up to you," he said, taking another bite of meat.  He swallowed and 
continued.  "I live across the sea.  In a couple days a ship will arrive 
heading that way.  I'll be on it.  You can either stay here, or come with me.  
I can teach you how to survive in this world, then when you feel you're 
ready, you can go your own way."  She looked around the room.  Still seeing 
blurred figures.  

Suddenly their table was knocked aside, sending their food to the floor, a 
man landing between them.  Another appeared and dragged him away, continuing 
their fight.  D grabbed the girl and moved quickly to the bar. "You want to 
stay here?" he asked her, feeling her tremble in his grasp.  She shook her 
"Are you all right?" asked Shelly.

"We're fine.  But replacement meals are required.  This time, we'll take them 
in our room." D then pulled the girl with him up the stairs and back down the 
hall.  Many of the men and women, still waiting, watched them go.  He sat her 
on the bed examining her to make sure she wasn't hurt.  "You're alright.  No 

"What happened?" she asked still shaken, the noises of the couple in the next 
room getting louder.

D pounded on the wall, and the noise stopped.  "Bar fight." He said.  "You 
alright, you seem a little distant."

"I don't have my glasses.  I couldn't find them in the bag."  D picked up the 
bag and emptied its contents onto the bed.  Removing the clothes they were 
left with jewelry and other women's affects.  "If they're here, they'd be in 
a blue plastic case with Vogue written in gold paint on the cover."  He found 
the case and handed it to her.  She opened the case, took out a small pair of 
silver framed glasses and put them on.  

Finally she could see clearly.  Though the small room was really nothing to 
admire.  "Thanks," she said, seeing him standing at the window.  "How long 
have we been here?"

D didn't turn, but took his hat off and carefully removed bits of food that 
clung to it from the fight.  "Almost two months." He turned then and hung his 
hat on the bedpost.  "I don't usually stay this long in one place, but..."

"I'm sorry."

"What for?"

"For being a burden.  Most people would just dump me at a hospital and not 
look back."

He sat down across from her, pushing the rest of her bag's contents aside. 
"There is much you need to know," he said.  "There are no more hospitals.  
All of what you knew is gone."

"Then why did you...Oh..."

"No, listen to me.  You are safe with me.  I wouldn't have left you here, 
even if there was a ship to set sail the day I rode into town."  He looked 
through the items on the bed, trying not to frighten her further.  "You need 
someone to help you right now, not use you.  You must have been very 
important to your people to be preserved the way you were."

"Is that what you think?  I'm nobody!  I worked in a grocery store!!  They 
just pulled up and grabbed me!!"
"Easy.  For whatever reason they did it, you're here now.  I'll help you as 
best I can."  He looked up at a knock on the door.  He flipped the covers 
over her belongings, went and opened the door.  Shelly stepped in and put a 
large tray down on the table on the opposite wall from the bed and left.  
"Come on, we can finish our supper."

"I'm not hungry any more.  You go ahead."

"Kale.  You need food.  Come on."  Reluctantly she went to the table and ate 
more of her soup.  "We can't carry all that stuff with us," he said after a 
time.  "Pick out the clothes that fit, and whatever small items you want to 
keep.  We'll sell the rest.  I have enough money to pay the inn keeper and my 
fare back across the sea, but we'll need more for you."

"I understand."

"Kale, I'm not trying to be mean."

"I know, D.  I understand, really I do."

He nodded and they finished the rest of their meals in peace.  Now that she 
had her glasses, she could better appreciate her unlikely savior's handsome 
appearance.  His hair was long and auburn, a dark contrast to her own brown 
locks.  He had a slim oval face with strong chiseled features, a straight 
nose and modest check bones.  His eyes were blue, a lighter shade than the 
sky, and reflected a kind of sadness that she suspected ran very deep.  His 
shoulders were broad and strong; from under his cloak she could see strong 
muscles carve his chest, his shirt clinging tightly to his torso attesting to 
that fact.  Of what she could see of his arms, they too were strong, and his 
hands broad and strong from what she could feel when he'd grabbed her before.  
His legs were long and well muscled, and she wondered what he did to become 
so buff.

"Something the matter?" he asked, swallowing the last bite of his food.

"No. I just couldn't really see you before."

"Why didn't you say anything about needing glasses?"

"I don't know.  I guess...I guess I was scared." He nodded.  Someone, who was 
less scrupulous than he, would exploit a weakness like that.  "Is there a tub 
in there?" she asked, pointing to the lav.


"I'd love a bath.  Do you mind?"

"No, but hot water costs here.  The inn keeper is very greedy."

She went to the bed and sifted through the mass of jewels.  She picked out a 
large ruby ring with diamonds in a gold setting.  "Here," she said, handing 
the ring to him.  "It isn't mine, well you know, but see if he'll take this." 
They turned to the sounds from the next room.  She blushed brightly.  "And 
see if he'll shut down that room.  That noise is embarrassing."

"I'll see what I can do," he said.  He took the jewel and the tray and left 
the room, locking it as he went.

The water was hot.  Not burning hot, but nice all the same.  Not only had the 
innkeeper given them enough hot water for two baths, but he also gave them a 
dozen fresh towels, and he closed the brothel room next to them.  She was 
relaxed; a bath always helped her with that.  She lay in the water up to her 
chin thinking.  Trying to remember what had happened after she was grabbed 
from work.  But the more she tried the more frustrated she got, so she gave 
up trying.  If she remembered, she'd remember.

In the main room, D put her belongings in the bag, made the bed and dumped 
out the bag again.  He separated the items into different piles.  Rings, 
earrings, necklaces, bracelets, make up & toiletries, and a pile for 
everything else.  The clothes Kale took with her to try on in the lav after 
her bath.  Among all the chains, D could only find one crucifix.  He 
carefully untangled it from the others and laid it on the nightstand.

Kale immerged from the lav, her hair wrapped in one of the towels and clothed 
in the white body suite and a blue t-shirt that extended past her hips.  She 
put a stack of clothes on the table and stuffed another stack into her duffle 
bag.  "Too big or too small." She said.

"This is the rest. I put your glasses case in your bag.  Here, put this on." 
He handed her the cross.

"I'm not religious." She said.

"It's got nothing to do with religion.  Please trust me and wear it.  And 
don't hide it, always have it showing."


"I'll explain later.  Have a look through all this.  What you don't want 
we'll sell."  She went through each pile and picked out what she wanted.  A 
gold ring with silver setting and five tiny diamonds, her grandmother's he 
learned.  She had a chain, so there was nothing more she wanted from there.  
She chose a couple small pairs of stud earrings and left the bracelets alone.  
She then went through the miscellaneous pile, pulling out a small device with 
headphones, and some thin cases the size of her hand.  "What are those?" he 

"My music.  When I get depressed, I like to sing.  It cheers me up." He 
nodded.  "I had bought a pack of 36 batteries the night they grabbed me.  
There they are.  I just hope they survived.  I don't think you have AA 
batteries any more."

"No I don't think so."

She pulled a few things from the toiletries pile and put it all in her duffle 
bag.  "There.  The rest I don't need."

D stuffed the remains into one of his saddlebags and set it under the table.

"We'll go out tomorrow.  The rain should stop then."

"You might as well get a bath too.  There's plenty of water."

"I was thinking I might."


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