Author's Note: Many thanks to the awesome reviews received. I have written this next chapter in your honour. I will continue to update gradually. Many thanks again, especially to Tracy137 for renewing this great idea. I appreciate all of my fans, if I had the space here, I would list each of you.
Thanks again to my awesome fans!
Blade Trinity: DRAKE
Chapter 3: Kaida and Drake
Dying sunlight finally surrendered to the darkness. Stars began to spark and wink in the distant sky. A full moon sat heavy and low over the metropolis city line. Within her apartment Kaida sat curled up on the couch. She was still holding the same mug of tea she'd had when she sat down; twenty minutes ago. Needless to say; she hadn't moved much. She'd been staring at the same spot on the floor too.
Quite frankly; it shocked her to have a home to come back to. Two months unconscious meant her rent didn't get paid; her utilities hadn't been paid. But by a mysterious benefactor; her bills and rent were paid. There was even food in her fridge; by the expiry dates she could tell they were purchased earlier today. Who had done it and why; she had no clue. It certainly wasn't her research team.
Earlier in the day; around noon; she'd finally had it out with Graham. In the eight weeks she'd been out of commission; he'd sold her work, her life and everything that kept her going, to Jonathan Brooke. Graham had told Brooke that the research was dead; they weren't going to find anything useful. Brooke, being the practical business man; had given Graham and her team a new assignment; without her. Now, she had no job; nothing to pay her bills with. And all because Graham got jumpy.
Heaving a heavy sigh; she forced her stiff limbs to stand. Balancing the mug in one hand; she absently patted her pockets; it was an old habit. She was looking for her cigarettes. She'd quit years ago; but it seemed okay to start again. After all; she was jobless, career-less and would soon be homeless. Yeah, she definitely needed a smoke. One last check confirmed her keys, smokes and she was set to leave.
Instead of heading out for a walk; she went up to the roof her building. With her mug in one hand; dressed in a heavy black and red hoodie and dark jeans; she was comfortable. Crossing the roof; she paused, looking at her feet. She was wearing flip-flops, and her feet were chilled, but she didn't care. She stared at the rough, tar-papered roof. There were areas of exposed brick and broken stone under her feet. To her right was the main rooftop entrance; the black door was badly dented and painted in gang symbols.
Kaida looked around the roof; just double-checking she was alone. No one moved in the deep darkness of night time. Thin vapours of heat and exhaust puffed into the air; only to waft across the sky in a gentle white-smoke of human existence.
God, she felt tired.
Making her way to the edge of the roof; she leaned on the rough brick surface. The wall was high enough that she could lean and not risk falling over. She was short for a woman; only five feet four inches. Clearly this wall expected her to be three inches taller in order to throw herself over the edge. Instead; she set her mug down and took out her smokes. Putting one between her lips; she dug out her lighter and lit up. God, how she had missed lighting a cigarette. There was something oddly soothing about the motion. Not to mention the first inhale of toxins...yeah, this is what she needed right now.
Several minutes of peace went by; she was about to light up her second smoke; when she felt company. Kaida was too tired to deal with dumb-asses. She considered saying something; but didn't want to attract attention. She just wanted to be alone. Strange, considering she'd been in a coma for two months already. But then, ever since the disaster at the club, she'd preferred to be alone then be with people.
"Nice mug," The deep voice said clearly.
Kaida hadn't expected the voice to be so close. She looked to the left and had to look up. She arched a brow at the sight of the man. He sat casually on the edge as if he could float instead of fall to the ground.
"Sorry?" She asked.
He nodded to the mug she held absently in her left hand. "I like it."
She looked at it; not having really seen it before. It wasn't like she had a lot of mugs. But this one was her favourite. Absently she ran her fingers over it. There was a slogan on it, one she had custom engraved on it years ago. The slogan was simple: "Vampires suck and I like it. So bite me."
Kaida arched a brow again; not your average guy, clearly. "Thank you. Most people shy away from me."
He smiled; a mere curl of those full, kissable lips. "I am not most people."
"Clearly not." She muttered. Kaida considered the fresh cigarette in her hand. "Do you mind?" She indicated the smoke.
"No, but you just finished one. Doesn't that make you a chain smoker?" He asked. As if he was unfamiliar with the concept.
Kaida was startled that she was enjoying this strange man. "I guess so. But I have a reason to be chain-smoking right now." She reached into her hoodie and took out her lighter.
The man smiled; a brief flash of teeth against his golden skin. At least, that's what she thought it was; it was dark outside. But still; his skin held a dark golden color to it. Not like fake tan; but a genetic trait.
He muttered something; but she missed, so distracted was she.
"What?" She asked, slightly defensive.
He looked her up and down and smiled gently, again. "The shirt, the lighter, the mug..." He sobered, a serious look settling over his face. "You like vampires." It didn't sound like a compliment.
If he had joked about it; laughed at her. She would have had a quick-fire comeback. But the seriousness of his expression; the sadness in his voice...she was speechless for a second.
"Yeah, I do." She said sternly. "But I am not a Dracula fan; like you think of him. I like the original vampire."
He arched a dark brow; gazing at her a moment. When she met his eyes; he looked away, gazing across the city. "What do you know of the original vampire?"
She shrugged, "As much as one can about a myth." Wihtout thinking about it, she started to ramble. "Vampires aren't the pretty, doe-eyed creatures we see in movies. Have you seen what they did in Twilight?"
The man flinched and cringed, "No." He couldn't bring himself to watch that sugar-coated fluff.
"Good." She nodded approval. "It was a horrid representation. Sure it works for teens and kids, but the real thing...?" She shook her head, "Most humans wouldn't know what do if a real vampire met them in the street. They'd probably just faint or something stupid."
He glanced at her, carefully, not really looking at her. "And you wouldn't?"
She shrugged, "I've met a real vampire before." She paused, the memories tried to surface, she pushed them back down. "He wasn't any Twilight junkie. He was a predator." She stopped herself and shook her head. "Sorry, I'm not really the best company tonight."
The man beside her shook his head. "You are the most interesting conversation I've had in a very long time. I find it refreshing."
She stared at him. He had a nice profile. It suited his face. There was no cosmetic surgery to this man. It was obvious from his shirt, that the man had a muscled build. His legs, what she could see, were muscled and powerful.
She sighed in defeat, He's a gym-buff.
"I have never stepped into a gym." He seemed to struggle with the last word; as if it didn't quite fit in his mouth.
Kaida arched a brow, "Did you just...read my mind?"
He froze, or rather went utterly still. If she blinked; it was like he would vanish. She stared hard at him.
"I don't care if you did. You're not the first telepathic person I've known. I'll just have to keep my shields in check." She sipped at her tea; enjoyed the mint and honey flavour.
She sucked back another lungful of smoke. The cigarette was almost out; she couldn't remember smoking it, but clearly she had. Kaida considered lighting a third.
"You said that you had a reason to chain-smoke. It seems to be weighing heavily on you." He spoke carefully; as if struggling with English.
Kaida sighed, tossed her cigarette over the side; took out a third.
"Allow me," He moved a few inches closer. She flinched away, without thinking. He paused, hand extended with a gold-plated lighter at the ready. "My apologies." He looked at his hand as if unsure of himself. "I thought it was polite."
Kaida mentally cursed herself. "It is," She said gently, "Thank you. I am not accustomed to people."
When she leaned in to light her smoke; he said, "Me either."
She glanced up at him. In the low glow from the lighter flame, she stared into dark brown eyes. The age, the eons of time that stared back at her were startling. She stood back from the lighter and sucked on her cigarette.
"I have made you uneasy." He sounded incredibly sad by that. "I will leave you.
Kaida knew she had to act fast if she wanted him to stay. "Please, stay." She forced a light smile. "I am..." She sighed heavily, "I just got out of the hospital and I am jobless. I could very well be homeless at the end of this month.
"And yet you seem hopeful." He said carefully.
She sighed, "Someone, I don't know who, has paid my rent and bills for the last two months. I have no way of thanking this person. And I am not sure if I can find a job to pay them back and keep my place." She shook her head, "Never mind, I am total killjoy." She looked at her mysterious companion. "My name is Kaida Jones, by the way."
He glanced at her, as if unsure again. "I am called..." He paused, as if searching for his name, "You may call me Drake."
Kaida was nervous so she resorted to familiar behaviour. "Good name. Strong. Do you know it's origins?"
He looked at her, "Do you?"
She nodded, "Originally from the Latin word for Dragon. Once denoted a man who kept the inn of the dragon or in older cultures, it was a title of a warrior. Dracus et Victus was the first use in old Latin of the official title. But if you go back further, to Samaria and older cultures, you will find references."
He nodded, "Keep going."
She looked away from him; staring out the glowing lights of the city. "It originally was given to great warriors, who were braver than any other. They would often be seen as unofficial rulers in the place of the real king or emperor in times of war or conflict."
"I am impressed." Drake said lightly, "That doesn't happen often."
She regarded him seriously for a moment. "For some reason I believe you. That doesn't happen often either." She absently flicked ash from her cigarette.
"You said you need a job." He casually mentioned.
Kaida frowned but nodded, "Yes."
"Well, I might have something for you." He reached into his leather coat and held out a black business card. He held it out to her. She stared it for a long time before taking it.
The black card was matte finished with a shiny gold dragon embossed on it. The name DRAKE was typed in gold lettering to the left side. There was an address under it but no phone number. She turned it over; it was black on the other side, no decoration.
"What is-" She looked up and stopped, he was gone! She leaned over the edge a little; looking down on the street, he wasn't there. Kaida shook her head, tossed her cigarette over the edge. "I shouldn't smoke so much after quitting." She stared at the card in her hand.
Off the distant left; she heard his voice. "Stop by any time after sunset; we have a lot to talk about."
Kaida looked to the left; but there was no one there. She rubbed her left hand over her eyes. She wasn't hallucinating; the card was very real. But...Kaida stopped her thoughts. Shaking her head; she collected her mug and headed back inside.
As she lay in bed; the sound of pre-dawn birds her only company, she looked at the card on the bedside table. He'd said he had a job for her; and he'd told her to stop by after sunset. Perhaps she should hear him out.
Rolling over to her side; she put her back to the mysterious man and his business card. Her eyes closed but sleep was slow to come. There was no sense of time passing. But each time she blinked; she could detect the increasing amount of daylight. Hours...that's how long she lay half-asleep, half-awake.
Finally she was able to close her eyes and they stayed closed. She dreamed of dragons and vampires and of her sister, dying. It was the same as always, except for the dragons, those were new.