Note: Yeah, I'm back and the dusty trail that I've left behind me becomes more of a hassle each day. But I've managed to find some spare time and decided that I should continue… You know you've missed me.

Sad to say, but this story isn't really going the way I wanted it to… I'm not going to edit the first couple of chapters, (keeping them as learning experiences…) but I will be writing with much more intent from here on out…

This I promise you.

Chapter 4:

Upon sweet air the music drifted and handsome figures danced. Bright colors and charming laughter seemed to guide this night into morning as Helena entertained her guests. Of course, this meant that Christie had to tolerate it as well…

She should've been used to this atmosphere but it seemed to choke her each and every time she had to make appearances with Helena. These snotty, wastes of life couldn't live a day if they didn't have their check books… It made her sick just having to rub elbows with them.

But here she was, smiling a practiced smile and making small talk while Helena stayed in her sights, dressed in a white gown. Christie herself chose a black evening dress, sleek and fitting with a ribbon around her neck.

In the distance she could hear the light laughter of her charge. Oh how it made her cringe, every sound, every graceful movement… "Only a while longer," She reminded herself mentally. The tournament would start and then would be her time to strike. And what a sweet time that would be…

The thought of gutting the French eyesore ruined her mood for keeping up this charade, forcing her to excuse herself from the small party that had surrounded her. People seemed to flock to her when she practiced her art of kindnesses. Any other time they would avert their gaze from her eyes or her white hair.

As it should be…

To the balcony she stalked, finding it void of company. Unnoticed a breath passed her painted lips. Out here she felt eased, the moon stood freely in the sky and the air was rid of the fragrances that polluted her senses back in the ballroom. Mindless chatter was pushed from her head as she focused on the scene in front of her.

Humans… Always wanting to impress or show off whatever they had. Money, jewels, connections… Despite what was said by scientists around the globe, Christie felt humans were the lowest of all animals. They merely followed the simple instinct of wanting… Yes there was the need to feed and the need for love. But love between animals and between humans was so much different.

Tossing a glance back to the circus that they called a "Social Event" she could see a group of men and women not to far from the balcony door. Two men were discussing a topic and when one of the females asked about it she was given a "No, no, you wouldn't understand." gesture. Another woman started to make her way to a table to refresh her glass, but before she was two steps away some man took her glass and filled it for her.

Yes, it looked kind enough, but it was all a matter of control. And though most of the stuck up women here were used to being waited on hand and foot, most women with a sense of pride and self-respect could see the way it put them down. Being told what they should do, how they should dress, that they weren't able to do certain things because of the mere fact that they female.

"Never…" She stated silently to the moon above, "I shall never be controlled like that…" And though she worked for Donovan, she didn't let him call the shots. He told her who to watch or kill, but she did it in her own method.

From behind her a sound raised above all the rest in the noisy place. Christie gave a silent curse and turned back to rejoin the party. Someone had enticed Helena to sing. She herself never cared for opera, but being charged as Helena's companion she had no choice but to listen every time she sang, this time being no exception.

As she passed through the room it seemed that everyone became frozen. No one moved or dared to make a sound as Helena's voice took hold of their attention. The familiar sound no longer had the effect as it once had on her, but it was still preferred over the access chattering these fools around her produced.

Reaching the front of the crowd she could see Helena standing beside the piano, having no need for someone to accompany her. Helena once told her the name of the song she was currently singing, the song her dear mother once taught her, but the name now slipped her mind. Helena's face was one that seemed at peace when singing. It was the only time that her expression seemed true.

"Let her sing, if only for tonight…" The thought slipped into her mind, "She won't be able to enjoy it for much longer…"


(A week and two days later)

The hotels glass doors slid open silently as she crossed the threshold of the prepaid building. Her eyes flicked across the lobby from behind lavender hair, checking for any person that could cause her problems. Luckily no one was up at this hour.

It was out of pure need that she needed to rest here. Only two days before the tournament began and she was in bad shape. She needed a shower, fresh clothes (Her current outfit had been stolen from a shop on the corner and been worn for three days now), and a sleep… She somehow sprained her ankle and hurt her arm. Anymore nights in the city gutters and she wouldn't be able to fight at all…

Her steps carried her soundlessly to the front desk and the late night clerk didn't seem to pay her any special attention. "I'm here for the tournament." She stated bluntly. This got the clerks attention as he hurried to pull out a book and pen.

"Please sign here!" Excitement was obvious in the man's eyes, also, curiosity, "Hey… You were in the last tournament as well, weren't you? I remember your hair!" Ayane signed where need be and received her key, "The guy who won the tournament last year is here as well!"

Ayane froze, her key almost falling from her hand. The clerk continued on about it until she interrupted him, "Can you tell me which room he's in?" Looking blank for a few moments the clerk pulled out another book and flipped through the pages.

"Ah! He's on the top floor, K-6." Ayane looked nervously at her key which read E-3. So he would be above her and out of her way as she would be for him. Giving a nod to the man she headed for the elevator and pressed the button that called for it.

Her reflection in its doors seemed to be a distant memory to her. When had she last looked into a mirror? Resting her forehead against her reflection, and discovering a smudge of dried blood, she rubbed at her face. The doors behind her, that is, the glass doors that led into the hotel from the outside, opened.

She didn't bother to turn around; she could see them clearly from the reflection in front of her. But as the shadowed figure stepped out of the darkened streets and into the hotels light her whole body froze.

The visage, one she had only seen through memory, was now slowly making it's way into the building. The broad shoulders seemed slumped, the emerald eyes dull and his vision downcast. His hair was also the object of neglect. What could have driven him to this state and why was he still up?

Her heart was pounding in her ears and the elevator's ding sounded like a gong as the elevator finally opened to admit her. Without a breath taken she entered it and pressed herself against its side, hoping her figure hidden from his view. Hurriedly her finger mashed the button for the third floor.

Looking up Ayane was able to steal one last glance at him before the doors concealed her from sight. She could've sworn her heart almost broke from seeing him like this. The need to tell him everything would be OK burned inside her. But if she did that now then all she had suffered though would've been for naught.

But to her horror and suspense his head flicked up and brought his gaze onto her as the elevators door closed tightly, "Ayane!" She could hear him call out to her though the doors, but she did nothing… could do nothing as she placed her hand on the door that now reflected only her.

The sound of his voice had brought the strong urge to cry and soon she could not hold it back any longer. Once inside her hotel room with the door locked she dropped down and covered her face.

Would he come in search of her? Or would he simple think her a dream forged by the weary mind? She wanted neither and in the end, she would have none. The night passed with her in silence and soon the sun rose on a new day.

With its presence she lifted herself and dragged her body to the bathroom. It wouldn't be long before he found her, but what she would do then was a mystery, "It will happen and when it does… I'll just have to take it how it comes…" Her own voice felt unknown to her, but it did provide comfort to a degree.

With the tub filled and her clothes discarded she let the warm water take her somewhere else. Back to a time when her heart felt at home in another's hands, "I only have to wait… Soon I shall return home, return to my true home…" Her eyes slid closed as she sank deeper into the waters grasp, seeking the comfort she so desired.