Predators were not created equal. That table full of vampires spoke as much. Like sheep dogs vs tigers they could not come close. Yet how strange it was that two such predators that rarely work together, seamlessly took down their target. Tearing them down, piece by piece. Bone by bone. It was surprising how well they worked together in a wordlessly synchronistic way, feeding off one another in an intricate dance that could only be perfected by true knowledge of one another. How they moved, how they spoke, how they crushed one's enemies. It was entertainment. How easy it was to watch them all scramble and hang themselves. How easy it was to sense their weaknesses within their psyche... it would be the very ropes that could have hung them all. It had been a while since she had seen a good old fashioned lynching. Was this not the perfect place for it.
With every demeaning moment Roscoe opened his wretched lips to speak, to reveal his hand made it that much more of a possibility. How did such a man survive this long? Perhaps if there were less of that moonshine coursing through her veins she would have broken him where he stood, in front of the people he ruled. Even Darcy's hair trigger temper was getting more difficult to keep tamed. Her cowboy all but snapped at the edge of his leash rabidly, like all it would take was one word from her own sinful lips and everyone would be dead. It would be a slaughter. How tempting it was. It could be the perfect send off. Yet Risque seemed far more curious of his simple minded motives. After all, when you learn what a man wants, truly desires you can destroy them with one move. It was a move she perfected. When she was far more sober that was. Perhaps she had allowed this charade to go on too long. How dangerously dulled she allowed her senses to become. Add that subpar moonshine and it was all but hazy. Once Roscoe's hand was revealed, slammed upon that table like an insult... it went downhill fast. A tornado of a mess that was over before she knew it. Somehow, their very fate relied upon a shoot off. How quickly her mate took the bait before she could even put an end to this nonsense. What ever had this world come to? Did she even hear that correctly? Their world had suddenly become one of those westerns that Darcy adored to watch.
She never understood those movies. She never understood how all could be settled by a showdown at sunset. That had to be what this was? How quickly Darcy was to speak for them both, throwing caution to the wind, speaking for them both. She would not understand this world. Nor how the moonshine possessed her mate to accept clear bait without a glance in her direction. He had spoken for her. Normally this would have been a grave error.. Yet did she not encourage him to destroy this forsaken dust bowl? He had dealt with it in a far different way than she would have. Perhaps she should reserve her judgement until after... It would do little harm to let this play out... a little. Perhaps give herself a little time for her system to burn through that shine. Yet it hardly stopped her from shooting him that venomous glare, even after the vampires and people filed out of the barn to enjoy that spectacle and those assurances that he would win. She could have strangled him. Yet the world felt strange.. It was distracting one that clearly worked in Darcy's favour.
It was almost disappointing to find out they would be shooting at bottles and not at one another. Did all she had to look forward to wither and die before her? What was the enjoyment of shooting at bottles. Couldn't they shoot at each other like any sane enemy.
It felt like a children's game with children's winnings. If this is what dominating one's enemy looked like. At the very least it would be quick.. And Darcy would win and they could be finished with this hellhole. Darcy confidently assured he had this... again. The pair rose from that table Risque immediately felt her equilibrium shift a lot. She tightened her grip upon Darcy's very hand as she admitted her senses... had fled. Why did.. It all appear so funny? None of this was funny. How quickly her cowboy assured her that it was the moonshine that was to blame. Perhaps it was. For all of this. It made it easy to put the blame on something else, other than herself who drank that foriegn backwoods poison that tasted so vile. This place was hardly civilized.. She even saw the humans lineup like sheep to fill up their plastic cups.... From beverages in a box. A BOX! What kind of animal drank from that?
Regardless, she felt inclined to agree with him. She did feel fuzzy like the world bled into the world around her. It was clearly affecting him too. Could he even shoot straight? Ten years rested within his hands and ability to aim. She still held his hand for support... without even realizing that his hand remained within her own. From another perspective it would have looked like the pair were holding hands, talking strategy rather than using him to stand. She was far more focused on what he had to say.... And the word that escaped him. They were doomed.
Yet, he did have a point... she did feel softer like someone had kneaded her out somehow... how the world seemed stranger, more palatable especially with very few around for a moment. "A sphere? Or a blob?" She offered, unable to hide the skepticism from her lightly accented words. No she did not feel like that, she looked down at her body to make sure everything was as it should be... She was always aware of every part of her, like she could control every movement within her mind's eye.. But not now. "Non... non... I don't feel like either of those things but I do feel..... Lighter..." like she could float away like a balloon with helium. It was then that realization that she still was holding his hand that saw her take it back. She would walk herself or not walk at all! They were above such things as holding hands. Especially with... witnesses.
Soon after, the pair joined the crowd outside... the mass was nothing short of eager for the spectacle of two grown men shooting at vases.. Was it? Risque moved slower as if not trusting the world around her not to get up and move on her, the traitorous thing. She would need to remain ever more vigilant... oh what was that, a rooster of all things? Well sort of vigilant. Kacey had the nerve to block her, boldly looking Risque in the eye like she was her equal. How little did she care for this sudden obstacle nor that bossy tone she took with either of them. She needed to be dragged down into the dirt until her mouth filled with it. She was sure she wouldn't be so chatty then, or at least no one else had to hear another word. Risque hardly stepped down, her power unfurling to shake that unearned confidence of hers. Whether she realized it or not, she looked away... but the words still hung in the air like... angry buzzing bees.
They were duped. Darcy had led them into a perfect trap. It was bad enough she was to observe such a sport without bloodshed... now she had to take part in it? She didn't shoot... she sliced, she stabbed, dismantled and any number of things with various weapons of her choosing. Guns were not her. But how hard could a children's game be... it was not the first time she had shot a gun... Even though she was certain those crates were moving. Did they rig them to move to make the trial harder?
Darcy's reply only seemed to prompt a frown upon her perfect features as she narrowed in on the crates that much more before demanding his gun as if to prove a point to herself that this was futile. Even more so when she misfired that gun. The thunderous crack and recoil seemed to garner her attention far more than the way the people all but dispersed to avoid getting hit. However, it was a very unlucky rooster that paid for that shot with his life, in a puff of feathers. The irony of murdering France's animal was not at all lost on her. Good. She seemed pleased with herself as Darcy sang her praises even though it was clearly an accident. She looked at the unruly gun with certain contempt, handing it back to Darcy. Children shrieked with glee and horror as they ran to encircle the dead bird, as she hardly saw which sad creature plucked up the bird to turn it into stew. She had done them a favour.
It would seem Kacey and her girly little pink gun was nothing but smug as she started off that challenge with the first shot. The glass bottle broke into a spray of glinting shards giving them a perfect score already. Roscoe seemed eager to shoot after, looking to equal his wife... only he missed, shooting the crate instead. He was far too hasty. A curse erupted from his lips, not handling the fact that he did worse than his own woman. How that must have irritated his inflated ego. Beaten by a woman. She could see it even from here as he puffed out his chest in cheer masculine bravado. The crowd hardly cared one way or another as they roared their applause. A deathly silence rolled in like a dense fog. Not a damn person in that crowd made a noise as Darcy took his position to shoot, his boots crushed the soft grass beneath them.
Darcy stood within the clearing where they were intended to shoot, his gun already within his hand. He looked like he was born with a gun in his hand even intoxicated he was in his element, maybe it was the alcohol or the confidence but he caught her eye. He looked desirable, lining up his shot while explaining his actions for Risque alone. She studied his hands, observed the way he positioned his stance to line up his shot. He stilled his form like only the undead could, which was impressive coinciding how much they had drank. He made it seem so easy, just like she did with her knives.. Fluent.. Elegant. Even though such a man would never be described as such.
A startling gunshot sounded. That bullet was too fast for any mortal eyes and yet even Risque in this state could see the projectile of that bullet rip across the field... catching a glint almost in the pale moonlight when suddenly the glass shattered, no, exploded. The excitement could not be withheld even for the enemy. The crowd did not discriminate against a good shot. Talent was talent. Darcy did not boast like Roscoe did, merely confident in himself as he strut toward Risque himself, as though it was her opinion that only ever mattered. "Effective." The word lingers on her tongue like the taste of a lover. The crowd could barely settle for her own turn. One look at her no matter the clothes that lingered upon her sinful figure or the boots that graced her feet would be enough to conceal the feline queen and what she was. Not one of them. It was like dressing a tiger as a house cat, it was never going to pass.
Darcy positioned himself behind her. If he was worried about the shot, it never showed for even an instant. He stood, a steady supportive force pressed along her back, his arms embracing her like he would never dare in public in Sacrosanct. Nothing existed. Not the murmurs nor the petty people.. Not Roscoe nor the children who gaped at them. He steadied her arms to line up with that perfect shot, he guided her in a way she would have never tolerated... before. Her mind shifted to that request within the truck. The moonshine was playing tricks within her mind, she was sure. She wet her lips, within that intimate hold. She would damn him if he tried to pull that trigger for her.
'Just like dis, Darlin.' His words lingered within her ear unaffected by the pressure upon her shoulders. She knew true pressure, this moment despite the stakes was nothing. Darcy fell back like a shadow, not attempting to control that scenario that teetered upon that very moment. She inhaled not because it was required but to steady herself, as she held that pose. Both hands wrapped around that gun in a two handed stance, her strong legs braced for the recoil. Her finger caressed that trigger... for just a moment... just a..
The gun jerked within her hand as it discharged.The loud sound abrasive to her ears. She nearly hissed at it. Lowering the gun she was soon met with the sound of glass breaking. Somehow.... She did it. The she-devil hardly knew how she managed it and yet the smug kitten got the cream look upon her perfect features and acted as if it was her intention all along. The perfect shot. She refused to look surprised as she was. Silence so thick it could be sliced into like a cake descended the crowd for a few short moments.... It could only be described as stunned.
Roscoe cursed all too loudly when the cheers swallowed it entirely.
"Just like that." But the words were lost to the rowdy crowd. Risque heard Darcy's blatant surprised question. Her own question answered that it was not Darcy. If not him.. than who? Perhaps it was her.
"Did I not have my finger on the trigger?" She retorted, a question with a question. Guns do not shoot themselves, obviously she did it, there was no other logical choice. It couldn't have been him, he wasn't touching her any longer. Her pale calculating gaze narrowed upon him before the piercing annoyance that was Kacey. Her shrill voice claimed Risque had cheated. How her lip curled, she had just about enough of that simpleton. The bitch had the nerve to snatch the gun right out of Risque's hands. A hiss escaped her, while those kitten fangs flashed.
"I had just about enough from your whore mouth.." Risque's voice was deathly soft, good threats rarely needed volume to be effective. Risque was surprisingly not an angry drunk... but when the opportunity arose when someone dared to question her dominance in such a blatant manner...
Darcy was far louder to come to her defence. Risque's hand tightened around the gun in her hand. How many bullets did Darcy say he had in that gun? There was certainly at least one more to put into her head. Or perhaps it was better to stick to her strengths. "I'll scalp you and feed your hair to the goats.." words one would never expect to grace her lips and yet they were spoken regardless. Risque easily reached for her knife.. It was too clean anyways. Risque took a step forward all but shattered her personal space to snatch that gun back... it did not need her grime all over it. It was not hers... Tempers flared like an incinerator. Roscoe reached to pull Kasey to him, plucking her from reach as if sensing the murderous waves from the vampire queen.
"Aw look who needs protecting." Risque goaded... A knife in one hand, a gun in the other.
Roscoe's forceful voice interrupted, as loud as he was tall. He attempted to appear like a peacemaker, prepared to bow down and live up to his word like a man with honour. To settle the apocalypse that was about to descend to their very world. Risque hardly trusted a damn thing he said. That was when... the crack of another gunshot echoed. Surprise even crossed Risque's usually fathomless features, her gaze automatically went to scour for where she heard that gunfire... Before she could even cast a glance upward Darcy had tugged her protectively into himself, to shield her body with his own. That single fired bullet had found its mark dead center of the imperious Roscoe's head. He stood for a moment, his features stunned and frozen that way before he collapsed much like one would expect a giant to fall. She could feel vibrations of the collision rumble within earth below as if he caused the earth to rattle..., that look of surprise still frozen upon his features. The bigger they are.. The harder they fall. The crowd began to scream and chaos soon followed.. erupting like a volcano.. an exhale of a breath that had been held. Who did it? Darcy had released her the second the danger was over. His gaze rose to peer up to the same place she had heard that gunshot. Abruptly, he was cut off from his findings when Kacey, like a snake in the grass, found her opening.
The gun wasn't even warm and still she accused her, if she was going to shoot anyone it would have been her and then her husband. How quickly people are to blame the outsiders.. How quick they were to believe one of their own. The first one to yell the loudest... usually fed the mob where to place that blame. All they needed was one finger to point and they would turn like a pack of rabid dogs. Logic hardly mattered in times of panic. How quick the vampire goons were to appear to fight for their temporarily fallen leader, eager to back up Kacey's frantic lies. Not a single person could see beyond her pathetic desperation, she all but wore it like cheap perfume.
Risque's hand wasn't even raised! Anyone with eyes could see it. They began to surround them, closing in on her and Darcy.
Good. That sadistic voice within her mind seemed eager for blood shed. More to kill. Darcy attempted to speak his logic but it was clear they were having none of it with their leader 'dead' and an emotional mate all too eager to have Risque and Darcy to take the fall. Could they not go to a single place here without hell breaking loose?
Darcy abandoned his speech, his words were wasted breath anyways. Risque handed Darcy back his gun... It was hardly a sign of resignation. It was simply ridding herself of the excess weight before she began to do what she did best. They began to lunge straight for them, Darcy was ready to shoot at Risque's first opponent which fell almost immediately when the bullet struck him. Darcy parried away from the one that went for him. That familiar southern voice of her lover urged her to leave. And flee?? She ignored such a ridiculous notion. This was one battle she refused to turn from! She was not going anywhere until she was through with what was left of those rednecks. Their blood would stain the floor like a blood red carpet she would tread... She had no need of keeping these boots clean. Perhaps they called it the dirty south for a reason.
The midnight haired queen was hardly aware that Darcy had already hightailed it... The knife was already raised within her hand.. The pair of women all but stared at one another. She could end her from where she stood but who didn't enjoy getting one's hands dirty. "You might be able to shoot your little baby gun... but I know things I can do with knife that can..." She took each step forward punctuated with her words when suddenly Darcy's speed caused a makeshift wind, disturbing her long blueblack locks, her speech destroyed.
They were outgunned.. The sheer numbers they had could have prolonged the inevitable.. But inebriated, Risque hated to admit that they had a chance. Those final words never left her mouth when Darcy mumbled something she didn't hear. One moment, she was ready to fight.. The next she was hoisted over Darcy's shoulder with little more than a string of french curses all but escaped her lips. What was he doing? Risque's outrage was clear. Not only that her newly purchased toy had fallen from her belt. A sad parting gift to the host it would seem. "What are you doing? I do not run.. I destroy my enemies in the most visceral way possible. I do not flee. I will paint their dirt they love so much with their blood... put me down. I will handle this." She hissed as he sped away, bullets sang past them. She could not stand being a sitting duck.
He didn't listen. His primary objective was to leave this place it would seem. "Darcy!" She spat like a hissing cat. She kicked her legs and then fell dangerously quiet, which was never a good sign. All she could do was throw that blade with surprising accuracy at Kacey... It landed, and a satisfying sound of a scream reached her ears as the woman's shooting arm was cradled against her. The woman would heal and truly got off easy considering she would heal..
That was when a glint of something caught her eye... up on the roof. She couldn't make it out, the world was hazy... and far from steady, even less so as she was jostled as Darcy ran. The man above was nothing more than a silhouette.. So vaguely familiar and yet not at all. She could not place a finger on it.
She was jostled once more that prompted a perturbed grumble and lost her line of sight..
Enemies it would seem... were never in short supply.
Risque was bristled... wanting nothing more than to face those threats with her bare hands if she had to. But these backwards fools were not worth the ruin of her manicure that by some miracle remained intact. A good manicurist was worth their weight in gold.
One minute she was being carried the next she was within that truck. She'd barely noticed the door opening. Darcy was lightning quick to climb into that driver's side. Both vampires clearly were in no shape to drive and yet it never stopped them before. Rules... laws were beneath them. So long as Darcy kept them on the road.
Her rage simmers like water about to boil over. Risque could sense him about to speak.. or perhaps it was all in her mind. His lips barely moved. Her hand rose to silence him all the same. "Not. A. Word. Just. Drive." She replied tersely. She peered out her window, that neighbouring horse had her ears pinned flat against her skull in response to the commotion. A vampire that drew too close to his hind end immediately got kicked and then run over while that truck backed up. A moment later after a thunderous roar from that engine and a dangerous spray of gravel and dust they were temporarily unable to gain traction, as those thick wheels with deep tread spun in an effort to gain momentum. Didn't anyone ever pave their roads?
It felt wrong to run from a fight. In fact, it went against every fibre of her being. The way the truck jolted suddenly unsettled her very guts in a feeling she was unfamiliar with. Mortals would call it queasiness. She did not get queasy. It was quick to pass whatever it was. The she-devil was in denial that the uneasy sensation in her stomach was a common human sensation. One clearly brought on with enough moonshine that could kill a horse
She swore the remaining southern coven followed them for a good few roads well beyond the city limits...those figures soon faded into the night.
After a few long moments of nothing but the roar of the engine, Risque broke the silence. "It would seem we have finally lost them.." Her head angled to face him.
"I will never understand the south... like why does almost everyone's name end in y?" She tastes every bitter word that bled into the cabin. It was not long before her rigid spine settled into her seat a sigh escaped her lips.. her body finally releasing some of that tension.
"It is the moonshines fault... all of it. We will never speak of this night to anyone Darcy... None of it. We had a... great time.. We fed, we drank too much... we crushed our enemies. Not one word of it to anyone at Syn.. not one... We did not get drunk and flee." There was more to share and it was like her mouth hardly wanted to form them.. A strange soft sound escaped her unbidden as she looked out of the window.. accustomed to seeing those endless farmers fields after a night of it. Her shoulders were shaking.. Was she trembling? Why was she shaking?
But she wasn't.. despite all unlikely circumstances.. and the ridiculousness that transpired.
She was laughing.
It was far from funny.. or maybe it was. The look upon their faces. Risque winning a shootout of all things. The south was a strange beast that Risque could never possibly understand. Her mate's world was a baffling place.
"We can never just go to a party can we?" She questioned after the laughter fade and yet there was amusement in her words all the same.
"You haven't come into any.... new powers, have you?" She probed without giving away her victory. But something had occurred this very night but she couldn't quite figure it out. Like who was that being who shot Roscoe.. If it were not Darcy.
They might have started a war. Then again wars had started on less.
She should know.