Blood red hair whipped through the wind while her blade sunk into the arm of a man who foolishly threw a fist aimed for her nose. Her leg planted itself between both of his, digging her hip into his belt buckle. The other blade was pressed into his throat and with an easy twist of her waist, her foot kicked his out from beneath him and the body fell over a well built thigh as his neck sprayed warmth across her face.
A black cloud formed around her fist while she flipped the dagger so the blade traced her forearm. The next brute lunged for her. A smile caught her lips while her black fist shot forward, making contact with his chest. The energy circling her hand pulsed twice and then the man exploded with a shredded scream.
Pain shot through her back; the next foe striking her with a metal bat. She grit her teeth and spun on him, connecting her elbow with his jaw. She continued in the movement so her blade could sheathe itself within his cheek. Her momentum pulled her forward and she planted her foot, shooting her fist into the cheek bone to push it off her knife. As he fell, she brought her knee up into his chest to pause the decent just long enough to slip the knife into the back of his throat.
The girl could sense another presence now behind her closing in and she spun on them just in time for the man to impale himself upon her blades. She ripped the daggers out to each side, allowing the downpour of gore when his belly split open.
Finally, she closed her eyes and stepped back from the last foe to fall. Pulling in a long breath, white light spilled from her armor, circling her body and healing the damage in her spine. Her pale grey eyes slid open slowly and she regarded her companions at the edge of the bodies.
A tall, skinny boy with symmetrical, deep chiseled cheeks and a lion’s mane of wild black hair. Another man almost the same height as the first, built with thick muscles and a tangle of dark brown hair spilling into his violet eyes; the left pale and perverted by a long scar reaching down from his hair line. Beside him a shorter man with thick, auburn curls reaching well passed his shoulders, who’s deep blue eyes had been her first memory of this never-ending mission starting so long ago.
All three were smiling at her with pride.
This had been her first fight alone within this new body and they couldn’t have been happier to see her instincts guide her so flawlessly.
Her legs gave way beneath her, though and black spots took over her vision while she fell to the ground. Her body was convulsing and shivering. There was a fire racing across her skin.
Came the shout from Kivas; the one with the scarred eye. She let out a long groan while the pain exploded like lightning bolts up her spine. She was seeing colors dance behind her eyes.
“Hang on,” that was Abdaziel, the shorter one. “This is a weaker body than she’s used to. Her power and the battle must have over-stimulated it and her brain is trying to understand what just happened. The body is trying to reject the power. She has to ride this one out until everything settles again. There’s nothing we can do.”
Fear galloped within her as his words sunk in and thuds were bringing her team closer. A gentle, long fingered hand came to rest on her shoulder, agitating the flames eating at her skin. She cried out. There was a squealing within her head and pressure was building up as if her skull might split in half. Gods stop the pain!
“I need you to breathe for me,” deep baritone voice. That was the taller one, Gabe. He was continuing to repeat that she needed to breathe while she was slowly reaching this conclusion.
She sucked in a deep breath, counting to five and then letting it back out.
“Good girl. Don’t fight it, okay. Just keep breathing.”
But there was so much agony!
“Don’t think of the pain,” he interjected. “Think back to the first time we met instead. Can you remember that? I came with Edge and we met you and Abdaziel in a beautiful forest. Do you remember the smell of the rainfall that day? Go back to it for me. We interrupted you dancing. You loved the rain, and the sound of it rustling the leaves was all the music you needed. You had mud splashed on your face and your pants and you’d thrown a handful of it at my face when we came into the clearing. Remember that?”
She could see it in her mind now, playing like a movie. Yes, she remembered. He could have easily blocked the mud in a hundred ways with his power and reflexes, but he allowed it to strike and had smiled with vibrant white teeth. It was the first time she had decided that she liked brown eyes because his left one was a golden center in the middle of muck beside it’s cobalt blue companion. He didn’t speak much while Edge reported orders from the Court to her guardian, just bowed at the waist and introduced himself.
She was laughing before she finally realized the pain had subsided and the image in her head faded with the tendrils of his psychic fingers pulling away. He was holding her bloodied hands within his. She would never admit how much joy it had brought the day he came to her with the request that he be recruited as a guardian.