A/N - Hey so this chapter I realize has been a long time coming. I just really haven't had the heart to continue it. The idea is there I'm just worried I'm going to mess it up. I'm making no promises but I don't plan on stopping again soon. I'd like to have a chapter up every week but it depends on work and everything else. I'd love your feedback but if all you're going to do is say it sucks. Don't read it and walk away. Thank you and without further ado the long awaited chapter – Sunrise.
The morning light danced across Raynes' skin. Wearily she cracked open her right eye fearful of what malevolent sight would befall her. A sigh of relief escaped her lungs as the threat of her nightmares vanished, pushed back into the dusty reclusive corners of her mind. Stretching and flexing each limb slowly, the sweat that gathered around her form last night beaded together and ran lightly down her appendages. Scrunching her nose in disgust, her first order of business would be to clean this human body before she drowned in her own secretions.
The house was eerily silent as Rayne set out to find Sarah. The other women in the shelter were still blissfully unaware of her presence, asleep even as the sun climbed higher in the morning sky. Following a strange but admittedly not unpleasant aroma Rayne found herself in what appeared to be a kitchen. Sarah had her back turned humming an off key tune while flipping a golden object up up up until it SPLAT back down into an iron skillet.
"Excuse me." Rayne's voice was raw. Her throat was bone dry and the water she drank last night was long gone. If Sarah was startled by her uncouth appearance she made no movement to indicate it. Flipping the object a final time she laid her spatula down and turned.
"I see you're an early riser!" Sarah stated with glee. "I'm assuming you'll be wanting a shower then hmm?" Rayne nodded meekly at the woman's question, how someone could be so cheerful so early was beyond her. "Fantastic, there's a bathroom straight down the hall to your left and I took the liberty of selecting some garments I thought to be about your size from the donation box. I washed them last night; they'll be in the dyer. I'll set them by the door while your showering." Rayne's mind struggled to keep up with the kind woman's words, drenched in a southern accent and hurled at her with unbelievable speed, the task was much more daunting than it appeared.
Taken aback by the woman's undeserved hospitality Rayne only managed a feeble "Thank you," before disappearing down the hallway in search of the bathroom. "There's towels in the cupboard next to the sink!" Sarah's voice rang softly behind her, following Rayne's movements like a shadow.
Situated in the tub Rayne now stared angrily at its levers. She moved them in every direction possible but still no water flowed. The dull silver gleamed under the artificial lighting, it shimmered laughter at her inability to succeed. Resting her head against the cool tile walls she had a horrible thought. If I cant even get this stupid faucet turned on how the hell am supposed to stop a demon?
Calming her abused nerves Rayne studied the graceful curve of metal noticing a small switch. Flipping it back she was thoroughly unprepared for the shock of cold water as the nozzle dumped its icy contents over her head. Quickly twisting the knob toward the letter H she was rewarded with warmth. Sighing to herself she made quick work of cleaning off her body with the soap she found earlier. Scrubbing furiously Rayne managed to hold onto the slippery little bastard, only dropping it once.
Everything looked so much easier when she was watching it happen though others eyes. Rayne forgot what it was like to be frail and fragile, after all it had been over 300 years since she'd done these things for herself. I hated it just as much back then, I guess something's really don't change. She thought to herself, a sardonic smirk crawling up on her downturned lips. Carefully stepping out of the tub she wrapped herself in the soft comfort of her towel. Quietly opening the door a crack she peaked down to see if Sarah had come by. Reaching down she opened the door slightly wider and scooped up the small bundle. A note fluttered down to wooden floor as she straightened upward.
I hope you like them dear. Don't worry about the unmentionables those are new! Come and join us for breakfast when you're all changed. We don't bite.
Rayne looked puzzled and stared at the pile of clothes in her arm noticing panties and that funny contraption called a brazier woman in this period insisted on wearing folded on top. Frowning at the painful looking thing she walked back into the bathroom and changed.
The wire swathed in silk still rubbed uncomfortably against her rib cage and the panties, while she was flattered, were definitely a size to small. The dress however was made of soft cotton and floated elegantly down to her knees. Her dark hair hung limply, damp and hopelessly tangled despite her meager attempts to brush through it with her fingers. Turning toward the mirror her completion stared back haunting her with how utterly human she looked. Her light green eyes appeared hooded and sad, lined with circles denoting her fitful sleep. Sighing quietly to herself she stepped out of the bathroom and headed towards the kitchen.
"There you are!" Sarah's voice called out merrily. "Thought you might have drowned in there." Her playful banter and sweet nature soothed Rayne's irritated thoughts. Sitting in one of the chairs she was surprised to note they were alone. Noticing Rayne's stricken face Sarah laughed. "You just missed breakfast, the ladies are on and about their day, don't worry there will be plenty of time for introductions later. Until then, eat up." Sliding a plate stacked with golden circles Rayne came to realize she was looking at food. Raising her fork she hesitantly put a piece into her mouth. It was warm, sweet, and the thick syrup seemed to fill the angry cracks falling from the sky had left in her soul.
"Silly me," Sarah spoke softly, making quick work of clearing the dishes the others left behind, "I've forgotten my manners, what's your name child?" Kind eyes peered at her questioningly. Rayne opened her mouth to speak and then promptly shut it. Centuries had washed away the memory of her last name but quirking her lips in irony she gave herself a new one. "Rayne Philana." Philana was Greek for lover of mankind. Laughing at her own private joke she noticed Sarah's bright expression darken slightly.
"Alright dear I have chores to attend to, I'm assuming you aren't from around here so why don't you explore Brooklyn and see if you find anything you like." She handed Rayne an envelope, scrawled messily across the top of it was her name. Frowning in confusion she looked to Sarah for an explanation. "I don't know dear it was sitting on the front steps this morning when I went to fetch the paper." With that brief and less then helpful explanation Sarah turned and left the room.
Opening the seal Rayne reached in to pull out a stack of green paper and a bunch of plastic cards. Her shock wore off as she realized exactly what she was looking at. Birth certificate, passport, credit cards, cash and a note written in that same messy scrawl. How convenient, Rayne thought, being human 101, a crash course brought to you by Magda and The Elders. Snorting at the thought Rayne scooped her new life back into the envelope leaving out only the note.
Do not disappoint us; we are watching you. Report to 9000 85th Avenue North, Brooklyn Park for debriefing tomorrow at noon. Good luck Rayne.
Rolling her eyes at the cryptic and demanding note that reeked of Magda's personality, Rayne stashed her envelope under the mattress of her bed. With no pockets to speak of she simply stuffed her ID and money in the wired contraption strapped around her chest.
The day passed uneventfully. Wondering around Brooklyn sounded much more fun than it actually was. Eating had been a chore as she vowed to never again approach a vender on the street; and she still couldn't understand why everyone kept giving her these odd looks when she reached in her bra to pay. Sighing for what felt like the millionth time that evening she dragged her tired limbs up the deteriorating staircase and was surprised to find the door unlocked.
Closing and locking it behind her she wandered into the kitchen where nine sets of eyes instantly riveted themselves to her. Well that's a little disconcerting. She managed to drudge up a smile and only then did Sarah seem to shake out of her stupor and make introductions. "Welcome back Rayne. This is Cadi, Agnes, Reina, Candis, Inara, Eva, Enya, and Timora."
Each woman smiled and waved at the mention of her name. Rayne became perplexed as the list went on, her knowledge of languages had not abandoned her alongside her wings and the names of these women were unique to say the least. All pertaining to innocence and purity with various origins ranging from Hebrew to Greek, yet they all looked American. How strange. Rayne's deceptive thoughts were cut short when she noticed the food set out on the table. Her stomach growled loudly betraying her hunger. The woman laughed good-naturedly and gestured for her to sit and join them.
The next few hours passed quickly as she ate in silence listening to the women tease and talk amongst themselves. They certainly didn't look or act homeless, but then she remembered this was a shelter. Peering closer she noticed faint bruising on Eva's and Inara's arms. Turning to observe the other women Rayne saw they too had the sickly yellow marks of fading violence splayed across various body parts. Food threatening to come back up she realized this was a battered woman's shelter.
Again she felt the shock register throughout her body, a sharp snap of disbelief through her muscles and then slowly dissipate into saddened resignation. At a loss for who could want to harm these kind, accepting women Rayne felt that old familiar spark of hatred flare up and smolder. I am not human she reminded herself. No matter how much I look like them or act like them that chapter of my life is closed forever. Mollified by her thoughts she noticed the noise level descend from a 7 to a 1. Rayne looked up to see what had stalled the conversation. The ladies were clearing their places and getting ready for bed. Following suit Rayne mimicked their actions.
Lying in bed with pajama's Sarah had dredged up Rayne stared silently at the ceiling. Surrounded by the soothing sound of her eight new friends breathing she slipped off into a deep slumber.
"We have got to stop meeting like this." The smooth sensual voice dripped with disdain, deep and rich like expensive chocolate. Rayne knew it was a dream and yet her heart rate accelerated non-the-less. As a demon Tynan could do things to her here she would definitely feel in the morning.
"It's my subconscious idiot I don't remember inviting you in." Her short temper would be her undoing. Instead of terror she felt anger and annoyance. Intrigued by her unusual response Tynan stepped closer, still not allowing her to turn and face him. His position was one of power and Tynan really, really liked power.
"Well aren't we feisty, and fresh off your fluffy white cloud too." At the mention of home Rayne's shoulders stiffened the wound of falling was still raw. Seeing his jab hit on target Tynan smirked at her back and continued picking at the scab of her weakness. "Don't worry, the others those fools sent were exactly the same, you will fail just as they did." Hearing her deepest fear spoken allowed infuriated her. How dare he act as though he knew her? Tynan laughed at her rage, she was a fiery one indeed - all the more fun to play with.
Taking another step forward he grabbed her arm. Gasping in shock as she felt his cool calloused fingers run over her wrist. Clamping down on a scream as he carved into the smooth whiteness of her skin Rayne fought against his hold. "Until we meet again little angel." The darkness faded and the only thing she felt was the sting of her blood pooling together on her wrist dripping lazily, delicately, to the floor.
When she awoke that morning she noticed two things. The sun hung deceptively high in the sky, nearing the time she needed to leave and her right arm throbbed painfully. Turning it in horror she noticed the crude T cut into her arm. Stupid Bastard, Rayne's thoughts were murderous as she ripped the ruined sheet, using it as a makeshift bandage to hide the bloody letter from view. Running a frustrated hand through her now thoroughly tangled hair she got up and prepared to face Magada's messenger.
- A/N wow that took a retarded amount of time….. I hope you liked it. The next chapter will be much more exciting but I had to set it up as best I could. Please review and be gentle with me, I know there will be mistakes I'm just too lazy/tired to comb through them all, play nice - it's been years after all.