All right, all right… I'll dredge this up from its yearlong vacation… Yay summer.
Brenan and Xaavir slipped out of the Sapphire at dusk, taking a roundabout way to the waterfront of Seattle. They were almost unnoticed, except by a couple of stray dogs lurking in the alleyways of the streets. Most of the way they were silent, but as they neared the viaduct Xaavir dropped a question casually to his brother.
"So, Brenan… what was that about 'at least you got the girl' earlier?"
Brenan sighed. "You're not dumb, Xaav. Who do you think I like? Or liked."
"Uhh… Hlen?" Xaavir said, puzzled.
The hawk demon rolled his eyes. "Maybe you are dumb. It wasn't that obvious after all, was it?"
"Well everyone else picked up on it. Damn it Xaavir, I love—ohshit."
Two figures clothed in the seeking garb of the Hunters had caught Brenan's sharp eye. "Xaav, don't look behind us. We're being followed by two Hunters. When I shift forms, you shift as well. Meet you at Pier 69. Got it?"
Xaavir nodded slightly. "So, you did you say that you loved—"
Brenan slid into his hawk form, letting out a shriek that told Xaavir clear as day to shift and run. So the cat demon did so, bounding his way across to old Waterfront Trolley tracks and onto the main waterfront area. It was the twilight time of day, and neither one of the boys had thought about the hundreds of people that liked to walked along the waterfront on a Friday night in the summer.
Xaavir ran to Pier 69, which was a big area of wood built about the water. Brenan flew overhead, shrieking his hawk scream at Xaavir again and flicking a wing back where there were obviously Hunters flowing through the crowd. Brenan shifted quickly and almost fell down as he landed on the pier. Xaavir didn't bother shifting. Brenan leaned low and whispered into Xaav's ear. "I'll meet you over by the beach at Art Museum Sculpture Park. Be there as soon as you can. We'll beat an escape along the waterfront trail."
Xaavir nodded his head as Brenan took to the skies again. The panther-Xaavir looked quickly around for an escape route, then settled for jumping off the pier into the sixty foot deep water below.
Xaavir did like water, but not when it was foul, oily Puget Sound water. That was the kind of water he found when he swam underneath the pier, hoping to evade the Hunters by the simplest means. He waited there for a few minutes, then cautiously began to swim out from underneath the pier, making his was northward along the waterfront by means of water.
Even supernaturals, with heightened strength and stamina, could get tired. And poor Xaavir, after swimming over to the first beach access by the sculpture park, was rather tired. Brenan splashed out into the surf to help pull the panther into shore. More people just trying to enjoy a romantic Friday night out on the waterfront in Seattle were screaming at the big panther. Panthers are big anyway, but Xaavir was even larger than the normal big cat. Brenan was muttering to the panther-Xaavir but Xaavir didn't really hear him.
"C'mon, Xaav. You're scaring the humans. Human now, please, human. We have to get out of here… hurry up, Xaav."
"Tired… want Keela… sleep." Xaavir finally turned human and staggered his way up to the beach. Brenan pushed past the shocked people and led his brother up to the asphalt trail.
"Nothing to see here, nothing to see, lets go people… so much for magical relationships… come on, Xaavir. Got to run a little bit, but not far. Hurry up, brother." Brenan kept dragging Xaavir up to the path, trying to pull him into a slow run.
"What?" Brenan was confused by his brother. "No, we're not going on the Argosy now. We have to run for our lives."
"No, we get on the Argosy. They can't… can't hit us over open water. Remember?" Xaavir was tired, but he tried to head back into the water.
"Can't hit us over open water?"
"Yeah. Velnd told us ages ago, back when Mom and Dad were still alive. They're just average humans over the open water, and they're trackers can't find us when we're in the water. And it's night, so they're weaker than us." He dropped the whole Argosy thing. The Argosy was a passenger boat that did rounds of Puget Sound, and Xaavir knew that they likely wouldn't be able to catch it in his weakened state. Brenan could fly to it, but there was no way that Brenan was going to leave his brother stranded in the water.
"Right. Hit the water!" Brenan took a flying jump off the rocks bordering the sound. It was a good thing that he had more power in his muscles then the average teenage male, or he would have hit the rocks a few feet under water. Xaavir made his way down more slowly, slipping into the water as a panther. His energy was returning, but he was getting very tired. Brenan was in better shape, but he was worried about Xaavir. And he had been flying, which drained him a little. They couldn't stay in the water forever.
The duo swam over to a ship after about a half an hour of treading water that was getting loaded at the grain terminal, holding onto the ropes tethering the ship in their human forms. "What now?" Brenan asked.
"I need to get back to the Sapphire. I need rest." Xaavir was clearly exhausted by this time, and Brenan was more concerned. "Think they finally gave up on us, and went after the others?"
"I don't know," Brenan said after they swam back up onto the land warily, "but you smell like a fish."
"Hey, you don't smell so wonderful either. How do we get back to the Sapphire?"
Brenan smiled and took out a lock pick. "Steal a car."
"You know that's a bad habit to get into, and even harder to break."
"Well, I don't intend on breaking it anytime soon, so it's okay. Let's go." They walked back to the waterfront at a moderate pace. Neither of their pendants heated up, so they assumed that they had thrown their trackers. Brenan picked the locks on a car that they found, and Xaavir sparked it so the engine turned on. There wasn't much glass in the beat-up Volvo, but it would be enough to get them back to the Sapphire.
Brenan drove very fast as they're pendants began to get warmer the closer they got to the Sapphire. "They've either found the Sapphire or it's a really bad coincidence."