The iron claw in the velvet glove

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Part two The unseen danger.

The following day the nasty weather has finally broken, the sea is nice and calm, so Hisashi gives his men the order to head home. When they pull into the harbour they see a strange ship is docked and the moment their lord sees it he says, “Fedor. Fedor* is here.” (*God's gift)

    “Who is he?” Arata asks, looking at him with curiosity.

    “My husband’s brother, however he is the same as me a Soul Drinker. He was adopted by Alric’s mother Titan.”

    “I see. So what does he look like?”

    “You’ll see.”

They make their way down the gangplank and before they reach the bottom they hear a deep man’s voice call, “Hisashi, my dear friend.”

    “Fedor,” he laughs, running over to give him a hug. “So good to see you my dear old friend.”

The commander watches the tall slender Westerner point a hand at his leader and says in a firm voice, “I don’t know, you’ve got your men all worried, not telling them why you made a trip alone to China, and in the end only allowed this young man to accompany you. Out with it, say over dinner?”

Hisashi nods and replies, “I would like that, old friend. And I promise you I will tell you everything.”

    “I hope I’m included,” comes a slightly muffled man’s voice.

Fedor steps to one side to reveal a man who is dressed in a fine Kimono wearing a white mask.

    “Narsus*. Oh my goodness, good to see you,” replies Hisashi, giving him a hug. “Yes, yes, you’re more than welcome to join us.*(valiant)

Arata watches the tall man give his leader a pat on the side of his face and replies, “I should hope so, as I can tell you’re hiding something. Isn’t he, Fedor?”

    “He sure is, so you better tell us everything.”

    “I will, I will. Come.”

Then the tall masked man points his hand at the commander and asks, “Care to join us?”

    “No, I’d better get home to my love.”

    “Not your wife?”

Arata laughs and replies, “No, not yet.”

    “Ah then you best make her an honest woman before I make an honest man out of you.”

Fedor and Hisashi laugh at the commander’s confused expression, then he too starts to laugh.

Narsus places a hand around the young man’s waist and says, “You might like being with a Vampire.”

    “Kind of you to offer,” replies Arata, still laughing. “Sorry to say I’m not in to men.”

    “Shame,” says Narsus, placing his long fingers under the man’s chin. “It would be a different story if I removed my mask, you would not be able to resist me. Is that not so, Fedor?”

The Western Soul Drinker nods and replies, “Trust me, I’m the same as you, only interested in women, but even I find him incredibly attractive. I have no emotions, yet he can make me blush.”

The commander watches the Vampire’s dark brown eyes flash silvery blue as he tilts his head slightly to his left and asks, “Tempted to find out what lies beneath?”

    “No, no,” replies Arata as he quickly takes a step back.

Narsus releases a soft laugh and says, “All right, don’t say I didn’t offer.”

Fedor slaps him on the arm and says, “Stop.”

    “Sorry old friend. I’ll stop.”

Hisashi shakes his head and says, “Go my son, before he reveals his face and captivates you forever.”

The Vampire claps his hands and replies as he laughs, “Nice one.”

This is when the commander realises it is nothing than a little game they are playing, like old friends do when they have not seen each other in a long time, he gives them a smile, performs a shallow bow before he continues up the road to his home.

However, his dear love is not there to greet him by the door to help him remove his sandals, this makes him begin to worry, could she be ill?

He runs through the house to the bedroom to find her lying on the bed, looking very pale.

    “My love,” he says, taking her into his arms.

Hanako eyes open, she wraps her arms around him and says, “You’re back.”

    “Yes, I’m home.”

The young lady starts to undress him, but he stops her and asks, “Are you unwell?”

    “No, just a little tired as I’ve not been sleeping well whilst you’ve been away.”

    “My poor Hanako,” replies the commander, going on to give her a kiss.

They carry on undressing each other and get intimate.

All of a sudden Arata feels like he is unable to get his breath, he becomes aware of something sharp within his chest, he looks down to see long needle like nails sticking into him.

All the energy seems to be going from his body, he manages to pull the claws from his chest and push Hanako off.

    “Who are you?” he pants.

    “I’m your love.”

   “No you’re not. What have you done with Hanako?”

   “I’m Hanako. Your love.”

The commander shakes his head, he tries to crawl away only to have the thing leap on top of him, digging its needle like claws into his back and he is rendered unconscious.


#30 at Fantasy
#6 at Dark fantasy
#17 at Short stories

Text includes: supernatural, fantay, romance

Edited: 10.12.2018

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