WARNING: Some portions of the following work of fiction contain explicit sex.
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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.
Author: Charlotte MacFarlane
Feedback: Please, yes, lots.
Forward to others: would be flattered if you did.
Of the Heart
Chapter 10 Return to Donrath
Kale couldn't bring herself to go very far. Not with Lunk & Balldie planning something. There had to be a way to make the elders see them for the killers they were. D watched her as she sat outside the thick stand of trees looking down the hill at the fire glow of the camp. "You should get a little sleep," D offered. "They won't try anything tonight, it's too dark. We barely made it this far unscathed." Although he could see fine in the Dark, Kale could not, and when they got to the trees, finding the thicket on the hill was a little hair raising.
"I can't sleep, D," she squeaked, fighting with her voice to not betray her, but not succeeding. "She's down there, & those two are planning something. I just know it."
"We can't help them, if we're not ready. Come on."
"You go D. I just want to sit a while. K?"
He kissed her brow. "Ok."
He didn't really fall asleep, but then again, he couldn't rest through the constant tapping on his hat. When he opened his eyes & looked up, he was met with a drop of cold water right in his eye. "Perfect," he muttered, as he moved out of the drip. Then he noticed Kale was still sitting where she was the night before. Out in the rain. She as soaked through to her skin, and she was violently shivering. Quickly he pulled his cloak around her, the brim of his hat over her head. "Kale," he turned her face to him, but her gaze never left the camp. Her lips were almost blue, and her eyes were held wide in determination to stay awake. "Honey, come on. You're freezing."
"She's down there D," she whispered through near chattering teeth. "I can't...I just can't..."
"Yes you can. Come on." He pulled her to the shelter of the thick trees and began removing her wet clothes. She hadn't realized he'd really done it, till he put a cup of hot tea in her hands, encouraging her to drink. It was from her weak tea bag, and it didn't even taste like tea anymore. Just colored water with a little creamer powder and what was most likely the last of their sugar. Not wanting to disappoint him for his effort, that and the beverage was at least hot, she drank as much as she could.
"What do we do now?" she asked, as he rubbed her extremities through the blanket to help warm her.
"We wait till the rain stops, then we move on."
"But D! She's...!"
"I know you want to protect her, so do I. But she has her family now. She doesn't need us. They don't want us, and we've advised those who will listen, we can't do any more."
"D? Kale?" They turned to the woods outside as one of the young trackers ran for their cover.
"How did you...? Never mind. What happened?" she asked.
"Well, you were right. The Bald guy, and his so called son, got caught in their own lies."
He brushed his rain covering off, as he continued. "After the council meeting broke up, my grandfather had to go back, not sure why. Maybe he had doubts, I don't know. But anyway, my dad went with him and they caught Balldie, Lunk, and some other guy, going over, and doctoring our maps, and planning the attack for today. While the elders tried, convicted, and executed them, we packed up camp."
"You couldn't have," she urged, "I was watching all night!"
"What you saw were the camp fires. We kept them going, and used branches & bowes to make the tent silhouettes. We used the darkness to move our entire camp a mile from where we were."
"So she's ok?"
The boy nodded. "Densa & Rilu themselves asked me to find you and tell you the Lessira is fine, and we're heading south. Following your map. Some of the elders are skeptical, but they figure, we trusted the wrong guy, who had profits on his mind. I'm guessing you had Lessira's best interest at heart, and that's why we're going."
"Thank you for telling me." she eased, and returned to her tea.
"One more thing. Rilu sends these," he pulled out a small box and handed it to D. "Tea. Rilu saw you liked the tea she made the other day. She'd like you to have this as a thank you."
D tucked the box away. "Tell her thanks."
"I will. I gotta get going. They said they'd only wait for me till mid day, then I'd have to catch up. good bye."
When he was gone, D turned to her. "In the end, they helped themselves."
"Yha," she answered distantly. "Now she's gone." He reached his arm around her shoulder to comfort her. "I've got a change of clothes in my bags. I'm gonna get dressed, then we'll get out of here."
"Once the rain clears," he insisted, and poured more water for boiling.
What Lunk and Katlyn had said at least was right. The afternoon three days later, the pair crested the last major hill before the town of Donrath. Where everything started. "You can wait here," he offered, seeing her become rigid and her eyes searching rapidly around the horizon.
"No!" she stated sharply. "Just don't be too far away." He gave her shoulder a reassuring squeeze and together they went on.
The town hadn't changed much, a couple small houses were added, but the Bar & Inn was still the same, accept the name. "Who is Ed?"
"I'd say Sam sold the bar."
"Then were is he?"
"Wait here, I'll go find out." As D went into the bar, Kale watched around her. The last time she was on this spot, was the start of the worst year of her life. She couldn't remember much after Danton had taken her out of the yard. She tried to fight, but only managed to knock down one man before someone hit her head with what she suspected was one of the thick sticks from the near by wood pile.
The next thing she knew she was stripped and in a four foot high cell, cutting her hand to lead D to her. She shuddered at the memory, reminding herself, that that's all it was. A memory. She was safely back with D now, and though things were saddening now, they could only get better. She hoped.
The bar was just as busy as he remembered, thought the number of rooms for rent were cut in half to make rooms available to the new whores brought in, little else had changed. The patrons were still boisterous, fights were still common; as he had to step back from two men just getting started. The drinks still stank, as large amounts of alcohol usually did in a crowded room, and the bar still lined the opposite wall to the entrance. It was here he went, and flagged down the busy bar man. "I'm looking for the owner."
"That's me. What's your pleasure?"
"I seek information, nothing more."
"Well make it quick, I'm busy."
"I'm looking for Samual Stence, he owned this establishment over a year ago."
"Sold the place to me."
"That's not what I asked."
"Yha, well, don't know, don't care. Now either you buy something, or take a girl upstairs, or leave, take your pick. I've got customers."
As D turned to leave, an older man stepped up to him. "Sam took a bad spell after Mina was taken," he said. "Kept saying that a hunter would rescue her. I'm guessing that's you. You'll find him at the clinic, at the end of the street, east end of town. He may see you, he may not, it all depends on his mood."
"My thanks," with that D left. Outside Kale was looking off over the horizon, but she didn't seem to be enjoying the view. Her chest heaved with nervous breath, her eyes didn't seem to focus on anything in particular, and her hands laced through Max's main with whitening knuckles. "Kale?"
"The desert," she said shakily, "It's just over those hills. Isn't it?"
"D. Lets get out of here. Soon."
"We will. I know where Sam is. We wont be long." He led her down the main street to the clinic, a single level structure that resembled an old general store. Finding the door locked, he rang the bell. Kale stayed close to him this time, not wanting to be alone any longer.
"I'm sorry, we're closed for the evening," called a woman's voice.
"I'm looking for Samual Stence," he called. "I was told he was here."
The door opened and a rather large woman with a sweet face stepped out. "What do you want with Sam?"
"He asked me to bring his daughter home."
"You! Sam goes on and on about the hunter who'd gone after his daughter," she turned her attention then to Kale. "Your father will be so pleased you're home safely."
She was taken aback of course, but broke the news to the woman as gently as she could. "I'm sorry miss. I'm not Mina."
"You're not? Then where...?" Kale extended her hand to D, who produced the wooden box wrapped with string. "Oh no. NO! This will kill him! Please leave. Let him be please!"
"I made a promise to him," he said. "I must keep it."
The woman shook her head. "Alright. But please, be as gentle as you can. Ok? He's not a well man."
"There is no way to gently tell someone about a death, but I will do what I can."
She led them through the halls to a room near the back, passing people who appeared to have obvious psychological problems, others in rooms crying, while orderlies in the halls assisted other, more violent individuals, back to their rooms. "I've tried to get him to one of the better facilities in the city, but he wouldn't go." She explained, as she entered the room. "Wait here." She steppe up to a man in a wheel chair, next to the window. Outside was the expanse of hills, where on the other side, lay the desert. "Sam. You have visitors."
"Not today," replied a weak voice.
"You'll want to see these visitors, Sam. You've been waiting for them."
The man turned to see D standing in the door. "No tricks?" he asked.
"No tricks Mr. Stence. I told you I'd go after the slavers who took both my woman, Kale, and your daughter, Mina."
"You found them?"
D slowly stood before the withering form in the chair. Sam had lost a considerable amount of weight, he was basically skin and bones. His muscles were practically nonexistent, and his face was hollow along the cheeks and temples. "Sadly yes," he gently placed the box on Sam's lap. "I'm sorry Sam. They killed her before I could catch up. I'm sorry."
The old man glanced from D to the nurse, and then finally to Kale, who remained near the door. "I see you had no trouble getting your bitch back alive," he snapped, turning back to D. "I know..." he croaked out, "I had no right to make the deal I had made! But you had no right to just let my baby die."
"Mr. Stence," Kale began. "She tried to survive. But what they did to her...to us...as horrible. She couldn't' take it. I tried to help..."
"Shut up!!" he wiped the tears from his eyes. "How would you know!? YOU SLUT!! You never lost a child! I hope one day you do, so you know first hand the pain of the heart you'd feel!! Get out!! GET OUT!!!" Kale did leave, her heart breaking all over again. How dare he assume he was the only one hurting. She pushed passed many of the patients, knocking over a couple of orderlies as she rushed out the doors. Max stood there, waiting, and she threw her arms around his neck for support.
"You had no right to do that!" D shouted. "You have no idea what she's gone through this last two years. If you ever assume that your pain is greater than hers, you think of this. She nearly bled to death to leave a blood trail strong enough for the horses to follow. She'd've died if it would have saved your daughter. She didn't know Mina was dead when I got her back, and all she could think of was getting her out of that hellhole. Remember that!" He then left, rushing after Kale, passing the orderlies, returning to their feet. He found her outside, clinging to Max, barely able to catch her breath. He managed to untangle her arms and have her hold him instead.
"I won't feel it, D," she said, "I won't. I can't, it's too much." He felt her body stiffen against him, as an odd change befell her. Her crying slowly ceased, her breath became steadier, and when she stepped back to look at him, the light in her green eyes had died. She was like she appeared when he first met her.
"No, D," even her voice was different. Not cheery, or full of hope like she had been. "I won't feel it. I can't."
He held her to him, but even her touch felt...defeated. "Lets go Kale. The floating city will be close come morning. We'll rest when we get to father's"
They spent the night under a huge old tree, at the top of the deep ravine the floating city always followed through the area. Kale hadn't regained herself, she was still as she had become. He could only describe it as defeated and depressed. He wasn't sure what to do. He tried talking to her, but she wouldn't say much of anything. He only hoped his father had some advice, though he loathed to ask or even seek refuge in Dracula's house. There wasn't any place else they could go.
The drone of the great engines that held the city aloft became steadily louder through the night and dawning hours. Then he saw the tops of the skyscrapers move from around the mountains. It was still hours away, but a simple signal would bring the air taxi to them. He reached into his pocket and threw a couple of pouches of powder into the fire. The white smoke turned to a brilliant red and stretched across the sky. He then sat next to Kale & waited.
"It wont be long now," he eased and held her to him. 'This is all my fault.'