WARNING: Some portions of the following work of fiction contain depictions of bondage, torture, rape, and explicit sex, including same-sex activity. 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. The full disclaimer for this work of Vampire Hunter D fanfiction is at the beginning of Chapter 1. ================================================================= Heaven's Door Chapter 8 Dark Side of A Woman Tabeo rode back down the length of the caravan, making sure everything was alright. But he noticed he hadn't seen Kale. He looked back up the line, no, not there. "Tab?" "What!!?" the dark haired man called back, annoyed that he was bothered, yet, again by the boy. "Have you seen Kale? She's not with the line." "Back there somewhere," he said, pointing over his shoulder. Tabeo nodded and ran his horse to the back of the line. There. She was awkwardly riding sidesaddle on Max, still looking out over the sands, hoping D would ride over the next dune. She'd fallen behind as well, in danger of Max's steady hoof beats being picked up by the sand predators, now that they were getting closer to Giant Sand Devil territory. "Kale," he called, riding up to her. "Kale, come on, you're getting left behind." "Have you seen him?" she asked, peering through the slit of the sun visor across her eyes. "No, not yet," he replied. She sounded upset, and rightly so. D was gone far, far, too long even for their comfort. He was worried, for him and for Kale. She hadn't slept well recently, if she'd slept at all. "I've got to keep looking. Max?" As if for the thousandth time asked, Max shook his head, tossing his silver mane from side to side. Tabeo tried to reach the reins of the horse, only to have it try to bite his hand. 'Hodg will know.' "Kale, keep moving, I'll be right back." The teen rode his horse back up the line at a gallop, looking for his oldest brother. Not finding him on the line, he glanced to where the lead riders had stopped. There, he could see the tell tail staff of the one who was in charge. His brother. "Hodg!" he called riding up to him. "You gotta come. It's Kale. She's falling farther & farther behind, and she'd not doing too good." He nodded to the boy, and turned to his horse. "Keep watching," he said to the riders. "They're not far away. I'll halt the caravan in the hollow." "Yes sir." "Where is she, Tabeo?" "At the other end." Tabeo led him back. Kale had fallen back another thirty feet in that short time, and appeared about to pass out. "Kale," called Hodg, her panicky green eyes sought him out from behind the visor, her question reaching him even before she spoke it. "Do you see him?" Her voice was shaky, her determination to stay awake ripping at her worry for him. "No. Not yet." He replied softly. "He's got to come back," she turned back to the horizon. "I can't loose him." "Kale, you're exhausted, come on." Hodg took hold of Max's reins; the horse didn't protest this time. "Tabeo, here," he handed the boy the staff. "I need both hands for a bit. Stop the caravan in the next dune. The main caravan is coming. We'll wait here for them. I'm going to look after Kale." The boy took the staff, his breath quickened as he realized the authority it symbolized, that he was now appointed. "I won't let you down." "I know. You're in charge now, little brother. Go to it." The boy nodded and rode back to the head of the caravan. The staff held high, and all knew who to turn to for help. "Come on. I'll get you to my wagon." Neither Kale or Max resisted, as Hodg pulled at the reins and ran the horses faster to one of the wagons. Inside, Hodg spread out some light sheets over a bunk, poured a glass of water, and turned to the northern girl. She was looking out one of the small windows, intent on the horizon. "He's out there, somewhere," she said, almost crying. "He'll come back. You'll see." "I can't stay here," she said, heading for the door, only to have Hodg stand in her way. "You won't make it a day, you're driving yourself crazy. Come on get some rest." "What if he didn't take enough water? What if he's hurt, and there's no blood around that he could use? What if..." Hodg hushed her with a gentle hand to her cheek. Her green eyes were wide with worry, her heart raced so fast he could almost hear it. He wiped a stray tear from her eye, then, gently, he kissed her. A moment later he stepped back, his expression soft. She couldn't believe he'd kissed her. Why? 'D won't like it,' she thought. Suddenly her world spun wildly, and then nothing. Hodg caught her light form as she passed out. "I figured that would work," he said quietly. He picked her up and tucked her beneath the sheets. "I hope D will forgive me." The small 15-wagon caravan stopped in the hollow, all wagons side-by-side, ready to join the main group, reuniting the separated families of each wagon, to the families in the group. "Holly Sand Storms!" exclaimed one of the observers. "Tabeo, come look at this!" Tabeo rode over and looked through the spyglass handed him. "Oh Sands!" he said, "I've got to get Hodg!" He ran his horse back down to his family wagon, and ran inside. "Hodg," he saw Tab picking himself up off the floor, nursing a sore jaw. "Sorry, didn't mean to interrupt." Hodg sat at the small table, going over the books. The sales at the Teni market were better than any previous trip. Perhaps people heard of Keir's death, and flocked to the market to hear form witnesses as to what happened. "Hodg!" He went to the door at Tab's call, checking on Kale as he went. "Quiet, will you," he urged, as Tab pushed his way inside. "Kale only went to sleep an hour ago." "I don't care. How dare you!" "What?" "You know very well what! You turned control of the caravan over to Tabeo! He's a child. Not only that..." "Lower your voice! Now!" "I'm your next younger brother. You should have given the staff to me!" "Tab. I gave it to Tabeo because he was the closest at the time. Besides you said yourself, you wanted to lead a caravan for a whole trip. Tabeo is only in charge till the main group gets here." "I don't care! You should have chosen ME! You will fix it! Now! "D?" called Kale, rousing slightly. "No, Kale, ssshhh. He's not here yet. Rest." She calmly returned to her slumber, and Hodg turned back to his brother. "You screwing around with her too?" Tab asked. "You're as bad as the slavers. Fix this NOW!!" Hodg threw his fist and Tab dropped to the floor. "Hodg!" came Tabeo's voice, rushing into the wagon. He saw his older brother on the floor getting to his feet. "Sorry, didn't mean to interrupt." "This isn't over!" said Tab, and pushed passed the boy. "Out of my way squirt!" "Tab," called Hodg. "We'll discuss this later. When you've calmed down." "Sorry." "Don't be. What's wrong?" "You gotta come see this, and bring Kale." "She's only been asleep for a while." "Bring her!" "All right." Within moments the three were ridding back to where the lead riders had stopped to signal the main group where they were. By now they were within sight, but still one required the spyglass to see any details. The trail of bright green smoke snaking it's way int the sky, the signal the main group had been searching for. "Take a look," Tabeo handed Hodg the glass who, though habit, put it's strap around his neck before raising it to his eye. "What is it?" asked Kale, still fighting to say awake. "I'll be lost on the sand," said Hodg, "It's D, he's leading the main caravan." Kale grabbed the spyglass, almost unseating Hodg, by his neck, off his horse. "D!" "Yeah, it's him," squawked Hodg, managing some how to stay on his horse, while getting the strap off his neck. "But who's that with him." Kale followed the rope from D's hand. She dropped the glass, Hodg just catching the strap before it hit the sand. Her eyes wide, shock across her face. "Kale? Who is it?" "It's......Gideon," before he could say anymore, Kale put Max into a gallop heading for D. 'Why?' she thought, 'Why would he bring him back?' she stopped and looked at him as he rode the last few horse lengths to her. Her question to him plain to see. D halted Nightmare, and Gideon dropped to his knees. He glanced down her body, noted how gingerly she rode sidesaddle. He then turned to the man on the sand. All he wore was the rope around his neck and hands. His body badly burned by the sun. he looked back to her, the sadness she'd seen lifted from his gaze over the last two years, returned a new. 'He knows,' she though. Carefully he leaned over and kissed her. His worry, his hurt, his rage, and more, was said to her in that moment. For a long time they just stood there, their lips parted and all that needed saying could be seen in their eyes. How he knew her, and yet still, somehow, she managed to hide this from him. The pain in her eyes of his knowing was nothing to what she'd felt physically. How can you look at me? Her eyes asked him. How can I not? His replied. Behind them the main caravan passed. Ten, fifteen, thirty wagons in all. The shouts of reunited families and loved ones washed past them; the dust was all that was left. "Lets go," he said, to the man on the rope, his expression telling her that he brought him back for her. Kale fell into step beside him, the red-blistered man half dragging half walking behind them. Hodg set up a separate tent for D & Kale, knowing that her right for desert justice was greater and more immediate than all the rest. The freed girls all found welcome homes among the desert nomads, till they were able to travel close enough to their homes for them to return. D stood near the entrance to the tent, watching. The slaver had been tied spread eagled, as often Kale had been, between two huge poles, which had nothing to do with supporting the tent. Kale stood in front of him, waiting. Gideon started back at her, his eyes tearing from not being shaded or protected from the sun. his skin was red, and blistered, from sunburn, his genitals were badly burned. Having never really been exposed to the sun before, the skin was tender and easily burned. "Water," he gasped finally. At that moment, Hodg entered with a pale of dirty water. Kale took it and threw the water on Gideon. The man bucked wildly, the sting of the fluid on his burns like sheets of broken glass being raked edge first into already aggravated wounds. "That's all you'll get," she said, and handed the bucket back. "That wasn't clean water," Hodg said. "Oh?" queried Kale. "That was a mix of used wash water & human waste water." "Your point?" "I thought you and D needed to..." Kale's expression was cold, he'd never seen such distain on a woman's face before, "...oh never mind. Oh, here's the honey you asked for. Why do you want it?" "You might want to leave," she said, taking the jar. "You won't like what you see." "I believe you," he glanced once to D, who didn't move, then left. Kale turned back to the man who'd tried to break her. "I told you once that I would be the one who'd kill you. And I did say slowly." She began to pour the sticky contents of the jar over his red hide. "Every place on Earth has ants. And ants just love a picnic." "NO!" "That's what I said," she sighed. "Did you listen?" He said nothing. "I didn't think so." She stepped back with D, and sat down at the table by the door. Soon the desert insects began to crawl out of the sand, drawn by the smell of food. Gideon screamed as the tiny bugs crawled across his skin. Their legs like needles, jabbing into his burned flesh. D watched Kale from the corner of his eye. Her eyes were cold, and sharp, her expression unyieldingly stern. Her body tense, but betrayed no intention to help the tied man. She frightened him. Even when she spoke of the arcks and how she'd stop the people within, she seemed worse now. He feared for her sanity, and her heart. Morning came. The sun turning the sky from black starlight, to red-orange then blue as the sun climbed higher in the sky. Slowly life came to the caravan, as people began to wake and move about, getting things ready for the journey ahead. In one tent, set apart from all the rest, no one had slept. The night air was filled with agonizing cries, that continued even after dawn. Several men approached with ten horses in harness. "Kale," called the leader, "I brought the horses." "Thank you Hodg," called a woman inside. "We'll be right out." A few moments past and a nude man was pushed out the door. No one took pity on him. He deserved what he got. His sunburned body was covered in tiny bite wounds, slash marks, and whip lashes. The slash marks spelled out words across his back, chest, stomach, and buttocks. 'I WAS A SLAVE MASTER', 'I RAPPED WOMEN', and 'I ENJOY BEATING GIRLS'. One of the men holding the horses reins even spat on him, as D & Hodg pulled him to his feet. That's when they saw the ultimate humiliation. His penis was gone, not even a little stub remained for him to relieve himself with, and his testicles were gone, the blood from the wounds, dry, down the length of his legs. "I thank you, and your people, for the loan of the horses." She said to Hodg. "It's our honor," said Hodg, "I had a little sister, older than Tab. He took her, we haven't found her yet." "I'm sorry." She led the group over to the next dune, and had each of Gideon's extremities tied to two of the horses. She was then given a whip and the men retreated to the top of the dune to watch. "You'll never hurt another girl again," she said coldly. She cracked the whip and the horses bolted, held back by the strain of the others all pulling on the tiny man. The popping of limbs, coming out of joint, was heard even by the nomads, his cries merely hoarse whispers now. D stepped up and drew his sword, setting each team free by severing the man's arms and legs, below shoulders and hips. "D!!!" "That's enough!" he said turning to her. "He deserves to die!" "And he will! Slowly, like you wanted." "He hurt all those people! He profited by putting girls on their backs!! He killed Mina!!!" "Kale," he could see her shaking, her rage more than what Gideon had done to the others, but to her. "Say it, Kale." He whispered, his right hand to her cheek, "Say it." She tried so hard not to cry, didn't want to believe she wasn't as strong as she portrayed. But his touch, his voice, his eyes, all pleading for his Kale to return, hurt her more than anything in her past. She clutched him tightly, her cries echoed across the dunes. "He rapped ME!!!!!! He wouldn't stop!!! I tried!! D!!! I tried!!!!!!" "I know," he let he cry, the man who'd tried to destroy her, dead on the sand. "He said he'd break me," she gasped. "I think he did." "No, my Kale, he didn't. To break you, is to make you fear fighting back, fear facing what had been done to you. You fought back, and now you've faced what happened. You'll be stronger for it. You'll see." "D, get me out of here, please." As with many times past, when she'd been upset by something, he drew his arm and cloak around her and together they returned to the camp. The freed teams had returned to their handlers, and where hitched to their wagons. By midday the caravan was moving south again, leaving the desert to deal with the dead. Next Back to the Fanfic Archive.