Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Lost Tales: The 12 Nuts of Christmas, Part 9 - Josh

Key: MC, MD, Sleep
December 21st
It was a very dark night, although not as cold as previous evenings, Josh was slowly moving through an alley way with a stake in his hand. He was being careful, cautious as he moved across the snow. Trying not to make a sound. Before him was his prey, a demon in the middle of stalking his own prey, a young woman moving down the street. The demon crouched behind a dumpster, waiting slowly for his victim to walk past the alley, waiting for his moment to strike, his moment to take another’s innocence.

The clicking of the woman’s heels could be heard echoing ever closer to the alley way. The demon positioned himself in the perfect position, his back leg moving to get a sprinter’s start. His arms gripping the side of the dumpster, ready to pull himself into a run as he was about to take this innocent young woman. The woman’s clicking of her heels got closer and closer. Her shadow could be viewed easily on the ground ever closer. As she moved into the entrance way of the alley the demon pulled himself up to strike. But before he could he was grabbed around the neck and had a stake plunged into his back from behind.

Josh held his quarry tightly as it struggled, he had missed the heart but was close enough. The silver in the stake acted quickly and the demon started to burn and catch fire. Josh pulled the stake out and backed off as the demon wailed and cried then hit the ground and disintegrated into a puff of ash.

Josh looked around eagerly, but after a few moments sighed disappointedly. “Damn it, that’s the fourth one tonight where the hell is she.” He said pulling out a stolen Angel's hunting list. He previewed the ever changing list and then spied a likely candidate transformed into a bat and flew off. Gliding over the city looking for the next monster, or demon, or even vampire on his list. All the while searching for the real target of his interest.

After a few minutes he happened to find what he was looking for, a Nehalem, or half angel half human hybrid, who had been using his powers of influence to swindle people of their money. Not normally a capital offense, but in the grand tradition of greed, the money that he had swindled had left the people he took it from poor and destitute, many had moved into poverty, some had to turn to crime in order to stay alive, and others still died from a lack of food or proper medical care. This individuals actions had caused ripples of suffering to move through the world, and now he was going to pay for that suffering.

Unlike most normal attacks which occurred in the dark places that evil usually walked, this one was going to have to take place somewhere much nicer. He transformed back to normal at the front lobby of a large banking firm. He brushed himself off and walked into the lobby and started to look around. He could feel the Nephalem was close. The power of an angels blood is hard to mistake, and he knew it well. After a few moments he determined his quarry was on the top floor, not surprising. He moved to the elevator and rode it to the top. As the doors opened he backed into a corner, a woman was walking past, dressed very professionally complete with high heels and her hair in a bun.

He slipped out of the elevator and hid as he heard the secretary knock on the main door, and then open it. “Mr. Kyle your 7:00 appointment is here to see you.” She said with a professional smile. Josh could hear an acknowledging grunt from inside the room and moved behind a pillar as the secretary smiled at an unseen person. “Miss Shadow, Mr. Kyle will see you now.” She said politely.

Josh turned so fast the he embedded his face into the marble pillar then pulled it out again quickly to see Shadow move into the mans office. “Well at least I know where she is this time.” He said with a smile. As the secretary closed the door and walked back towards her desk, Josh slowly started to sneak through the office.

He knew Shadow wouldn’t take long to get into position and he needed to get into the room before she left in order to intercept her. He was half way to the door when a loud crash could be heard from inside of the office. The crash was followed immediately by the sounds of a struggle, and from the sounds of it Shadow was doing most of the breaking.

The secretary quickly stood up and ran to the door, she was going to try and see what was going on inside, but before she could get there Josh slid up behind her and grabbed her shoulder. The young secretary gasped and jerked a bit as her eyes and mind went blank.

Josh peeked inside, Shadow was more then holding her own and the Nephalem was slowly backing into a corner. He moved the secretary to her desk and whispered into her ear. “You will remember nothing.” Then with a quick squeeze the young woman sighed and fainted. Josh lowered her head softly to the desk and left her to sleep off what he had done.

He moved to the door and observed the fight. Inside Shadow with her dagger had managed to back the Nephalem into a corner. The half breed angel was rather angry at her though for destroying his office and reached up to the wall and pulled out a very old sword, the kind that was actually built for combat and not just wall decoration.

Shadow smirked a bit as the man flailed the sword at her, she dodged easily and jumped up onto his desk then flipped over him, spinning and slicing the half breed across the arm. The Nephalem pulled back and growled, being a banker, even one with half angel DNA did not make him overly fit.

But as Shadow moved towards the man he swung his sword and hit the release for the chandelier. The large glass fixture immediately started a rapid decent downwards. Without thinking Josh flew at full speed at Shadow and pulled her out of the way of the falling decorative ornament. The impact of him grabbing her, and the subsequent face first slam into the wall left her a bit dazed but caused less damage then the chandelier.

“What the hell are you doing here?” She asked a bit confused as she stood up and readjusted her back and everything else he had knocked out of place.

Josh smiled a bit at her “perhaps we can discuss that… after we finish with him?” Josh pointed to the banker who was now running at both of them with his sword over his head screaming.

Shadow looked up at the rather serious scene only to have Josh block the incoming sword with his silver stake, then kick the Nephalem clean in the chest and send him flying back across the room. “You have been very naughty this Christmas haven’t you Mr. Kyle” Josh said with a rather sadistic grin as he walked towards the Nephalem waving his stake back and forth. “Robbed from the poor and kept it for your self… not very charitable, to say nothing of being angelic.”

Shadow moved around him with her dagger and struck at the man, he ducked barely and moved backwards right into Josh’s stake. The man jumped then looked down at the tip of the stake sticking out of his chest. The look on his face went from surprise, to… laughter?

Josh blinked and looked at the man who then turned to look at him. “I’m a Nephalem, not a vampire, I’m not allergic to silver, and in fact I rather like it.” He said with a greedy grin before punching Josh in the face. The vampire fell back into the wall and landed in a few filing cabinets.

Shadow swung at Kyle but he managed to block with his sword as he pushed the stake that was sticking out of his chest, far enough back pop out of his back. He swung Shadow’s own blade up and over with his and flung the angel off balance as he moved and pushed her hard into the desk.

She fell into it and then slid up and over the other side. Damned Bankers and waxing their desks. I mean really? Waxing your desk? What the hell!

Kyle picked up the stake and turned it upside down in his left hand then charged at Josh, swinging for his head with the sword. Josh quickly dodged to the right only to have the man use his momentum to spin himself around sending the stake right for Josh’s heart.

The vampires eyes grew wide with the realization of what was about to happen, a millisecond before Shadow hooked her dagger around the side of the stake to stop its momentum.

Kyle looked shocked and turned his head, slowly, ominously, to look at Shadow. Shadow’s face portrayed her feelings perfectly, she was angry… very, very angry. “You can steal,” she started “you can cheat, you can destroy people’s lives… but no one stakes my boyfriend!” She grunted and twist her dagger sending the stake our of Kyle’s hand. Then with perfect control slashed his left arm, twisted the dagger over and sliced the top of his thigh.

Kyle grunted in pain and dropped to his knees covering his wounds with his hands as Shadow stepped behind him and wrapped her dagger around his throat then whispered into his hear. “Trying to stake him… makes me very, very, angry.” She growled then in one skillful twist took Kyle’s head clean off.

His head rolled to the side as his body slowly fell forward. The instant the body hit the ground both his body and his head flashed out of existence. No sign that they were ever there. A moment latter another flash and all of the damage in the room was repaired, there was even another name tag on the desk, it was like Mr. Kyle had never existed.

Josh looked around a bit confused as he picked himself up off of the ground. “What the hell was that?” he asked while working a kink out of his shoulder.

Shadow glared and grabbed him by the shirt and pulled him to her angrily. “That was you nearly getting yourself killed!” she shouted. “What the hell are you doing here?”

Josh grinned a bit sheepishly, “its Christmas… your supposed to spend time with the people that you love, which means you. But, I know your list is really full this time of year so I figured getting you to take time off would be impossible, so I kind of, decided to try and track you down and spend it with you, on your terms. Hunting demons and all.”

Shadow’s anger was a bit disarmed by the rather sweet comment as she loosened up her grip on his shirt. “You nearly got yourself killed you know.” She said making sure that he knew she was not happy about that brief tactical error.

Josh grinned just a bit, “yes but I also saved you from the chandelier falling on your head.” He pointed to the chandelier that was once again hanging from the ceiling. “Why did everything get fixed when he died?” Josh asked really curiously.

Shadow smirked and let go of Josh, “Because he was a Nephalem, when you destroy one, everything they have done in their lives is reversed, they almost literally erase themselves from history. All the people whose lives that he ruined are now how they would be if they had never had any interaction with Mr. Kyle. Whether they are better or not all depends on the other choices that they made in their lives.”

Josh looked at the room, and then at his completely destroyed clothes, and all the dust that was covering him and her. “Then why do we still look…” he moved a bit and grabbed his shoulder and physically relocated it into place by hand “and feel like crap?”

Shadow smiled and leaned in a bit giving him a soft kiss. “Because were the ones who stopped him, consider it a reward.” she turned and sat on the desk and her dagger disappeared.

Josh just kind of groaned as he relocated his knee. “Some reward… couldn’t they give us a consolation prize… something that hurts less maybe?” he asked stretching out.

Shadow smirked as she pulled out her list, and started to look it over. Josh moved to her and sat down next to her looking at the list. “So who do we take on next?” he asked, eager to spend time with her.

Shadow raised an eyebrow and looked at him with a sideways grin. “I… will be taking on a Satyr, You, will be going home.” She said rolling up her list and then letting it disappear.

Josh grinned and shook his head. “No way, I am going with you.”

“Yes way, you are going home.” Shadow demanded as she stood up and put her hands on her hips and glared.

Josh smiles and slid up nose to nose with Shadow, playfully running his hands around her waist. “Your really cute when your forceful… did you know that?” he said with a smile.

Shadow rolled her eyes. “No way buster your not sweat talking your way out of this…”

She was cut off by josh kissing her, slowly at first, then deeper, more passionately. She tried to fight it but finally let herself get lost in the kiss. When it finally broke she smiled and was about to playfully scold Josh for changing the subject when she opened her eyes and saw his were gazing hypnotically into hers. “Relax now Shadow… and look into my eyes.”

“That’s… not….fair…” was all shadow got out before her eyes glazed over and her body visibly relaxed.

Josh smiled and stole a soft kiss before speaking again “Shadow you are OK with me going with you, you know I will be safe, and stay out of your way, you know I just want to be with you. Understand?”

Shadow nodded albeit reluctantly as Josh grinned and snapped his fingers. Freeing the dazed Angel from her trance. Shadow shook her head and glared at Josh then smirked. “Alright smart ass, you want to go with fine... I could use someone to carry all of my equipment, and you’ll need armor… come with me!” She grabbed Josh by the arm and jerked him towards a portal. But just before entering she stopped and pulled him close. She kissed him softly. Then pulled them both through the portal.

The last words that could be heard as they vanished through the portal was Josh shouting “On ward to the armory! And to all a good night!”

Part 12: Xander

Shadow is the property of RubyRain and used with permission. 

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