When Kali finally stopped the bike I lifted my face from her shoulder and looked around. We were parked in front of a motel with a bar across the street from it. The sun was setting behind us giving the area a foreboding look. She climbed off the bike and smirked at me.
"We'll stay the night here. They should have some water for you to drink." Before waiting for a reaction from me she walked into the motel office leaving me alone with her bike.
I looked around at the place she had brought me. The motel looked like almost every other one in America. It was simply called "The Hole". A few more bikes, cars and RVs where parked beside it. The bar across the street looked even worse than the aptly named motel.
It was built in an old west saloon style and was called "The Shoot Out." The bar at least looked somewhat historically accurate since it was made out of wood and looked like a well weathered building you'd see in a western movie. Well, other than the bikes parked around it and the neon signs of various beer brands in the windows. The area around the two buildings looked like any other patch of desert I'd been through. It looked like someone had dumped the motel and bar out in the middle of nowhere and forgot about them.
While I was taking in my surroundings, Kali finished checking in and walked out. I felt her move up behind me. It was strange, when I was near her it felt like there was a huge thunder storm near by. As soon as she left the feeling went with her. I shivered and looked over my shoulder at her. She was smiling warmly.
"Well let's go get dinner." Kali pointed across the street with a gloved finger. "They serve authentic western meals in there. You know what that means!" She laughed richly. "Meat and beans!"
Her laugh couldn't help but make me smile. I stood up awkwardly; stepping off the bike and nearly fell over. She quickly caught me and pulled me upright. "Hey man, be more careful." Kali laughed and gave me a little push towards the motel.
"You go put your gear away and meet me at the bar. OK?" She put the room key in my hand. "Hope you don't mind if we share." Kali winked and walked off. I watched her walk away. More so I watched her hips sway as she walked away.
I didn't know women could radiate such raw sexuality so casually and seem completely unaware. No, I was wrong. Kali was fully aware of the effect she had on men. That much was obvious in the confident way she moved.
After putting my bags away in the tiny room we were sharing and washing up a little, I walked across the street to the bar. It looked like a ruff and tumble place. Not the kind of spot for a tourist. I hesitated for a moment before walking in, trying to be casual and confident.
Upon surveying the room I wasn't very surprised to see a lot of leather and jeans wearing bikers. A lot of them looked like the stereotypical biker. With tattoos and lots of hair, some of it not on their faces. The rest still looked like tough guys. The few people who looked up when I entered gave me a contemptuous look before returning to whatever they were doing.
Kali was not surprisingly the center of attention. By no means was she the only woman in the room. The other girls were dressed in various short skirts or pants. Either leather or some type of jeans, but none of them looked remotely as impressive as Kali.
She was leaning against the bar looking very casual and indifferent to the people around her. The front of her catsuit was unzipped to between her breasts showing a simple tattoo of a triangle with dots at each point, lines extended into the triangle from these points meeting in the center at yet another dot. The tattoo was right over her heart and just barely visible. She had a glass of some sort of liquor in one hand, her other hand was playing with the zipper, drawing attention to her chest. Her vibrant blue eyes suddenly turned and met mine.
I watched her face light up. She was smiling all of a sudden like her true love had just walked into the room. Staring into her eyes, I felt like the rest of the room had melted away leaving just the two of us. With one slender hand she motioned me over.
I walked over, grinning like an idiot I bet. She moved aside giving me just enough room at the bar to squeeze up beside her. I was close enough to feel her breath on my cheek when she talked.
"Do you want anything to drink?" I nodded still unable to snap out of the idiot mode she seemed to put me in. She laughed slightly, the sound danced across my skin. It felt like we were in some intimate place far removed from the smell and crowd.
"Let me guess..." She leaned in even closer making her next words seem far more sensual than they were. "You want water?" Her mouth was right over my ear. I could feel the heat rising to my face so fast I could barely react to stop it. As if I actually could.
I shouldn't have been that embarrassed. She hadn't even done anything, I hadn't even done anything. Too flustered to talk I just nodded again. As she leaned over to talk to the bartender I felt her body press into mine. This time the blush was a little more appropriate. I was so engrossed in the feelings she brought to me I didn't even hear her conversation with the bartender, or the large man behind me who suddenly picked me up and slammed me into the bar then flung me to the ground.
His first attack left me gasping for air. While I huddled in on myself on the ground, I got plenty of time to look over my assailant. He was probably as tall as me, but that was hard to tell lying on my back. Unlike me, he had filled out his frame. His tattoo covered arms were huge, and his chest was equally impressive. I had a feeling this guy could bench-press a dozen of me without breaking a sweat. He had a scruffy beard that was just long enough to be called one but no hair on his upper lip. His long black hair looked fitting against his deeply tanned skin; it was even pulled back into a pony tail.
He was wearing a sleeveless shirt and leather vest, with jeans and old army boots. There was something odd about his eyes; it took me a few moments to realize that they were yellow. They looked just like the eyes of a cat.
"How the hell does a skinny jerk like this get you...?" He kicked me in the stomach as he talked. The guy glanced at Kali who looked pissed.
"That's none of your business." She stepped around him and knelt beside me. "Are you OK?" Her voice was soft and gentle. I felt her fingers caress through my hair. I finally looked away from they guy who attacked me and up at her. She smiled.
"I... don't think anything is broken. So... yeah. I'm OK." I couldn't help but smile back. The huge guy apparently didn't like touching moment going on between me and Kali. He suddenly lunged forward and grabbed me by the front of my shirt. I make a startled yelp as he hauled me to my feet.
"I'm going to fight you. And If I win. She's mine. If you loose. You're gone." He growled out the words just an inch from my face. All I could think about wasn't my coming beating but just how bad his breath smelled.
Kali stood up and glared at him. "You can't challenge him! He's not even one of us!" I couldn't help but think about how odd that sounded. I never thought that bikers were so well, close. It just sounded unusual.
"This is my territory! I'll challenge who ever I like!" The guy growled at Kali who didn't back down only looked more pissed off.
"Coward." As soon as she finished saying the word, his hand lashed out. My eyes couldn't track the sudden movement. All I saw was him shift and Kali went flying into a table.
"I am no... Coward!" He nearly roared out the word coward. But I wasn't paying any attention to him. I was staring at Kali willing for her to move, to get up, to breathe, anything to show that she was alright. She moaned softly in agony and shifted slightly but stopped suddenly, letting out a sharp cry of pain. The instant I heard that sound I felt something inside me I'd never felt before in my life.
Every since I was a child I'd been a pacifist. Always avoiding fights and breaking up the ones I found. It always upset me to see people arguing. Never once in my life had I lost my temper or even gotten very mad. Yet, in that moment that Kali cried out in pain, pain caused by this man in front of me, I felt rage, pure rage not anger. He had hurt her and I wanted to hurt him worse.
The man turned towards me with a satisfied smirk. The world around me bled away. All I saw was his smirking arrogant face. I reacted without any conscious thought. My knee came up in one sharp motion connecting with his groin. A look of shock and pain flashed across his face, chasing away his arrogance. He dropped me and stepped back, grabbing himself. The instant I hit the ground I side kicked him in the chest. The kick knocked him back into the bar. Before he could react I was on him. I jumped into him knees first and grabbed him by his vest with one hand. My other hand began to hit him over and over again in his face.
I don't know how long I was hitting him, I don't know at what point he passed out. But eventually people pulled me off him. I tried to struggle out of their grip and attack the guy again. I only stopped when he slid off the bar and hit the ground with a heavy thud.
Reality hit me with full force. I had just beat a man senselessness, for all I know I beat him to death. He looked very dead lying face first on the ground, a puddle of blood forming around his head. I just stared at him in shock.
Gentle hands on my face pulled me out of my sinking depression. Kali's beautiful face appeared before me. At first I couldn't hear her around the roaring blood in my ears, but slowly my world was returning to normal.
"Daniel? Daniel? Are you OK?" Her voice was full of worry, a little bit of blood was on the corner of her mouth. The only sign that she'd been hurt. Still dazed I reached up a hand and touched the side of her face. Her skin was soft, warm and smooth. She smiled when I touched her and nuzzled her face into my hand.
"I'm OK, but what about you? Are you OK?" I kept looking her over trying to find any more damage. Other than looking a little shook up she seemed just fine.
"I'm fine. He just knocked me senseless for a moment." She laughed softly and kissed me gently on the forehead. "My hero."
I grinned at her like a fool and didn't mind for once. The men holding onto me gently put me down. It was then that I realized throughout the whole fight no one had tried to help either one of us until I knocked the man out. I looked around me puzzled. Everyone was casually cleaning up like nothing had just happened. Some of the bikers looked a little confused but not too bothered by the going ons.
"What's going on? Why didn't anyone try to stop us?" A deep voice came from behind me, answering my question.
"He challenged you. We couldn't interfere until the fight was over." I turned around and looked at the speaker. He was a hardened looking old man with a long gray beard and sun worn face. In his youth he must have been impressive looking, but now his shoulders weren't as strait and his still fierce black eyes seemed tired.
"Consider it a matter of honor." He walked past me and picked up the unconscious man, then slung him over his broad shoulder. "You won fair and square. We welcome you as an equal." With that cryptic comment he walked off. Several younger men followed him out.
I looked at Kali hopping for an explanation. She only touched a finger to my lips. "First we eat dinner, then I'll explain what happened."
"OK... but only because I'm hungry." I smiled at her slightly. She grinned and pulled me over to a table in the back. Before the people in the room were staring at me disdainfully, now I got looks of respect.
She sat me down and as soon as she was seated as well, a plate of food was set down in front of both of us. I looked up at the waitress who smiled and winked at me.
"On the house kid." She laughed and patted me on the back. "You fight like a wolf!"
"Um... thanks?" I stared at her sheepishly. She just laughed at my expression and walked off.
Kali leaned into me and kissed my cheek. "You're cute." I blushed for the third time that night and shook my head.
"I'm just hungry." The food in front of me was pretty simple. A medium cooked steak with a side of beans and mixed vegetables. The "traditional" western meal. Oh well, I was ravenous and it actually looked good.
All throughout dinner I noticed that the people in the room were different. At first I thought that it was just that I wasn't used to bikers. Then I realized that even some of the bikers seemed ill at ease with their surroundings. There were a number of people who looked even more out of place than me in my plain jeans and T-shirt. A few people in business suits were at the bar talking casually with bikers and women who of all types. Kali seemed to notice that I was gradually becoming more and more puzzled.
She leaned into me and kissed my cheek again. "Don't worry, after dinner I'll answer all your questions."
I nodded and said nothing, this time willingly. I also noticed that a lot of the people in the room felt like Kali did. Like they had an aura of electricity around them. Being in that bar felt like I was in the middle of an electrical storm about to break.
After dinner Kali lead me out of the bar by my hand. Numerous people I didn't know nodded to me as I left. In only an hour things had changed so much. We walked across the street hand in hand. Kali was almost skipping, she looked so happy and beautiful. I felt like I was walking beside a Goddess who had blessed me enough to let me touch her hand. She half walked half skipped to our room and unlocked the door.
Kali walked in first smiling at me as she backed in. She could say so much with a smile, it made me blush yet again and her laugh. I let her drag me over to one of the beds. She pushed me down onto it and sat beside me.
"So... ask away." She laid down and stared at me with a smirk. I mulled over all the questions I could ask, and failed to find one. Of all the strange events that had happened that night I couldn't think of a single thing to ask.
"I don't know where to start... this entire day has felt unreal." I shook my head slightly and stood. "It's just... so strange. Meeting you... coming here. Getting into that fight." I looked down at my bloody and bruised hand. When I was beating his face in I didn't feel any pain, only now was it starting to hurt.
Kali stood and took my hand. She slowly lifted it to her face and softly blew across the cuts and welts. Her breath was warm and felt soothing. As I watched, she ran her tongue over the wounds. I was too shocked to react. She licked at the wounds and I felt warmth spread through my hand. When she pulled away it was healed.
She turned away from me and sat on the bed. I stared at her puzzled and in a casual manner she began to unlace her tall boots.
"Go ahead and ask." She never looked up from her boots as she talked. "I'm sure you're curious how I did that."
"Well, of course! You just healed my hand... and all you did was lick it!" I flexed my hand and found it felt perfectly fine. It wasn't my imagination. She had actually healed it. "How did you do that?"
"I can do a lot." She slid off her boots and laid back unzipping her cat suit to below her breasts, never exposing them. "You see this tattoo?"
I nodded and stared at the strange triangle tattoo. It wasn't something you'd expect someone to usually get.
"It's not really a tattoo. It's more like a birth mark. I was born with it. So was my mom." She shrugged and zipped the cat suit back up. "It marks me as a blood mage. That's what I am. Blood holds power and I can tap into that power. Through your blood or my own. That's how I healed your hand. I used your own power to heal your hand."
I sat down on the bed opposite her, reality was apparently slipping away from me. She went on talking.
"Normally I have to manipulate the blood, write it into runes and cast a spell. But you weren't hurt bad and all I had to do was force your own power to do what mine does natural. Heal." Kali sat up with a sigh. "That man who attacked you was like me. Not a blood mage but like me in the sense... He's... a werejaguar too. That's my other 'secret'... I'm a shifter. Three times a month I'm fuzzy." Her large blue eyes looked deeply into mine as if pleading me to believe her.
For a while I just stared at her. Slowly taking in this new bit of information. This beautiful woman who was staring at me wasn't even human. That power I felt from her must have been natural. Something all shifters probably do. It explained the feeling I got from the people in the bar. I realized that it wasn't the first time I'd felt it. Just the most I'd ever been immersed in at once. A lot of emotions went through me, from fear to disbelief. In the end I made up my mind.
"So... you're a cat?" I smiled at her slightly and she relaxed as if some great tension had been released inside her. "Does that mean if I scratch your chin you'll purr?"
She laughed and I grinned at her. "Actually I probably will." Her smile grew and she began to purr. It was very odd hearing her and know that she was actually honest to God purring.
I fell back onto my bed laughing. It felt good to laugh. Tonight had been stressful, I needed to relax. She moved over to my bed and laid down beside me. "So, it doesn't bother you?"
Kali smiled down at me gently, looking serene and happy. She no longer resembled the confident, sex goddess of that afternoon. Now she just looked almost normal. She had her insecurities, and was genuinely afraid I was going to reject her. In that moment I knew I was looking at the real Kali, not the Kali she pretends to be. She never looked more beautiful to me than in that moment.
"No." I said softly smiling at her. "It doesn't bother me in the least."
She laid her head on my chest and put an arm around me. I smiled more and enjoyed the feeling of her curled around me. She smelled of jasmine and her hair was just as soft and silky as it looked. Her skin was warm and soft. In her arms I found happiness that night.