PART II:

Michel turned over, in disbelief of his comrade's hanging state. A rope to her ankle, the tree kept her hostage.

"Well, well, well. Look what the cat dragged in. A couple of nosy dirty little stalkers." Bronze feathers, pale naked skin, and talons that could claw into one's soul—it was a harpie descending before Michel. Michel fixed his footing, prepared to scrap with this half naked humanoid bird. "I'm sorry. You cannot pass. This area is off limits to…outsiders." She forwarded.

"You heard her, scram." He anchored his crossbow on his shoulder, spitting out a toothpick between his teeth. It seemed the two were a duo, and Michel wasn't heading out without a fight. They teased, giving him false hope of an escape. He didn't budge, staring the two down while he absorbed his surroundings.

"Kick their ass, Michel!" Eren cheered him on, upside down, getting a little heavy headed from her position. If only she had her gun. A vest pocket probably wasn't the best place for it. Surely, as she thought of a way to free herself, an assault came her way. She could only hear a muffled reply coming from the bird before she jumped up in a battle cry, opening her big mouth- her fire ball shoot. The flaming projectile came straight at Eren, and all she could do was hold her breath in. Eren wouldn't call out for help. She wasn't a helpless girl in distress. She'd take the punch and roll with it, but thankfully Michel was there to counter it with his blade. Agile he was, going head on with the zig zag gliding harpie. She did it to play with Michel's head, but little did she know that was easier said than done. On the sidelines, the trench coat hunter loaded his crossbow. Michel could surely be a one-man army, but Eren wasn't going to stand here and watch him 'steal' all of the action.

"Pocket knife, pocket knife…" She searched her person, pulling out her dagger. With quick aiming, she tossed it into the rope, a clean get away. Falling on her feet, she snatched into the ground, grabbing her pistol, and BANG! The bullet burrowed into the crossbow, knocking it out of his hand before he could fire.

"Ugh, bitch! Eh, so you wanna' play dirty, aye?" He pulled out his rile and went hunting.

Michel had his plate full as well, being swapped around like a carpet duster. Her talons clawed deep into his sides, hands around his choking neck. She hissed, her owl stare ripping him apart with revulsion. "May your corpse burn for our mother Sessni!" She gasped a breath's worth of carbon dioxide, the ball of fire igniting in her throat. Michel had mere seconds to pull away from her clutches, reaching a hand to his side. Not much of a utility belt, but it carried the poison he needed. He burrowed a sharpened iron piece into the gut of the beast, the tip breaking from the plastic encasement into her veins. He fell on his feet, watching the bird spiral into the cold hard ground. She croaked, death not too far behind.

"She isn't my goddess…" He whispered to himself, catching a gleam from underneath the harpie. Could it be? He kicked her over, picking up their first shard. "The seal…ughh!" The remnant dropped from his grasp, a migraine suddenly overwhelming him to his knees. Panting heavily, he shook his head from the side effect, rushing to Eren.

"Come out, come out wherever you are!" The hunter silently reloaded. Eren had one last bullet to spare, but it wasn't going to be easy with the hunter's agility challenging her. Against a tree she stood, gun on standby, trying to keep her breathing steady and silent. One, two, three! "Gotcha!"

SWOOSH. Barrel to barrel they stood, until a streak of black dropped down into him. Michel emerged, a bloody blade at hand. "I coulda' had him." Eren was proud.

"I found something by the harpie. I think you should take a look at it."

x-x-x-x-x

They didn't find Sessni's casket, but they did find a shard. It wasn't a complete loss. Eren gave Julie the shard, cleaned herself up, and then fixed herself in front of the flat screen in the family room. Eren could never get used to Julie's designer taste. Contemporary apartment downtown and regal furnishings in her private estate? She couldn't make up her mind, Eren thought as she flickered through the channels.

"Oh wait! It's girl's gone wild!" The little bunny slouched into the couch, bucking his knees to the side. "Let the battle begin."

"You little perv! I'm not watching a bunch of sluts make fools out of themselves!" How was he even turned on by this stuff? Wasn't he a rabbit? Eren was thinking too much of it.

In another room, Coe joins Sophia. She was already in her evening gown, the same style as Julie, since technically it was her clothes when she was around Sophia's age. It was a tad bit short, but Sophia managed. From the agar of the door, Coe welcomed himself, jumping on the bed aside her. His dark eyes looked up at her saddened face, and he couldn't help but ask, "What's wrong? I think you did great today. Don't take Julie so seriously. She could be a little hard on the training court. She just wants you to break out from your shell, be a little more barbaric!"

"I know…it's just, I never had to physically defend myself before…I'm not built for this."

"Not yet. Today is Saturday. I bet by next Saturday your muscles will collapse, surrender to the agony, and let your true colors blossom!"

"What?" Sophia meekly replied, shirking back.

"Um, scratch that. But hey, I know what'll make you feel better…Michel is next door taking a shower! Let's snoop!" The foot tall tiger jumped down onto hardwood floor waiting for Sophia to follow. She seemed red, as if she has never done this before. Oh, maybe he was tainting her!

"That's disrespecting his privacy!"

"Oh come on. One little snoop won't hurt."

"I refuse! And shame on you Coe for thinking such perverse things!"

"Aww I just wanted you to feel better. I know you like Michel. You ask about him a lot. He's a really nice guy, but he isn't the talkative type. So maybe you should pay him a visit and talk to him. On your way there, sit back to a peep show! It's harmless. What he doesn't know won't hurt him. And besides, it might be your only chance in seeing him naked! Now come on!" He darted out of the bedroom, knowing Sophia would follow his leading little paws.

"Well, I guess he's right."

Once inside his bedroom, they cautiously tip toed by the bathroom door. Not every bedroom had its own bath, but Michel was seen as a senior along with Jeremy in Everit. With the water running in the shower noted, Coe slithered through the slightly open door, signaling Sophia the coast was clear. From the angle they were in, the shower bath combo was seen clearly, and she'd almost feel guilty for it. She subconsciously held her breath, the water vapor kissing her face. His wet backside was facing them both. This had to be a sin!

Her face flushed, her knees buckling. She had to block out those thoughts from slipping into her head, but the fervor was seizing her body like wild fire. "He's a god send…an angel…he has such a sexy toned lean body…with a well chiseled derriere! No wait! What am I saying? He…wouldn't be into someone like me…I'm too young for him, surely not his type. He's probably in his mid 20's. And he could have a girlfriend…doesn't he Coe? Coe?"

"What?" He muffled, small mint balls dribbling from his tiny mouth.

The sudden stop of water tapping the tub got them both hot footed, rushing out of the bathroom promptly. "Ugh! The door is stuck!"

"You're not pulling hard enough! Where's that muscle? Shush! He's coming! Hide! The bed! Under the bed!"

Michel needed to quell his worries. That shard…did it truly instantly healed his wounds? He'd check his sides again, not a trace of blood to be seen, yet, his top was torn and stained from the talons of that harpie. He tucked the towel around his waist as he searched his drawers for PJ's. He slipped into a pair of pj long pants. "Strange, how did these mint balls get here?" Good thing for them, Coe trailed them to the front door, but on a not so lucky note, Coe was over due for a sneeze! Sophia's hair tickled his tiny button nose, and a little 'chu!' blew into the bed skirt. Cover blown in a matter of seconds! Coe knew the jig was up, exposing himself as he walked out innocently. "You're on your own, kid."

Traitor. She had no other choice but to do the same, embarrassed for them both. She looked up at him, "Heh, I can explain." She crawled out, "Actually, I can't…I'm sorry for sneaking into your room, Michel. I just wanted to see you—"

"Naked?" He smiled with a tease.

She blushed cherry red, hiding her face with her backhand. "I wouldn't! It was Coe's idea!" She was a little confused when he offered her his hand. She took it respectfully, and once up on her feet, she bowed. "Please accept my apology. I just—I need to tell you something…" This was hard. It was difficult enough to confess to him, even harder to confess to him when he's glistening wet. Ok! Just think happy clean thoughts, she deemed. She took a deep breath, "Michel, I really came in here to tell you that I…I l—"

CRASH! There was never a dull moment! The entire north wall crashed into them, glass debris and all. Sophia's cry quelled once she opened her eyes to Michel mounted over her on the floor.

"What's going on in here?" Julie broke in, "Good lord…" What a behemoth! The dark furred giant creature could easily weigh over 15,00 lbs. He was in shackles, around his feet and neck. A demon hound, in her estate, Julie couldn't believe it. But she could promise him he wasn't sleeping over.

Eren stormed in, her gun at hand. "What the devil? God damn!" Eren didn't give him a chance, firing bullets into the beast's skull. Nothing. He was immune; the silver had no affect. His size overpowered his weakness. Michel got Sophia to her feet, but only briefly she'd stand as the beast snatched Sophia. His gigantic head bumped into Michel, ramming him into the wall away from his target.

"Gah! I'm all out!" Eren cried.

"Sophia!" Michel called out to the fleeting demon.

Eren watched as he assembled his garments. "Michel, what are you doing?"

"I'm going after her."