So here it is. The prologue of Credence. I'm posting this to prove that the sequel DOES exist, and if I continue at therate I'm going, should be posted at the beginning of December. But for now, enjoy!
Allen rolled over sleepily without opening his eyes. He felt a little stiff, but, he supposed, after the night before, he should be grateful that he was only suffering a little stiffness. A rather silly grin spread across his face at the thought.
"What the fuck are you smirking at, idiot?" Kanda's sharp voice broke the relaxed silence in the room with all the subtlety of a brick through a window.
Allen blinked his eyes open slowly, focussing on Kanda's face where it floated above him. Despite the prickly tone, Kanda's face was free of his usual scowl; one corner of his mouth quirked up when he saw Allen looking at him, which for Kanda was as good as a full-fledged grin.
Allen said nothing, rolling onto his side and propping his head onto his elbow. Kanda's hand came to a rest on his bare waist, thumb sweeping back and forth across smooth skin absently. "What?" he said eventually, when Kanda's eyes refused to leave his face and the gentle motions of his thumb threatened to send him back to sleep.
Kanda didn't reply, though the faintest of flushes spread rather prettily across his nose as he leaned over and pressed his lips to Allen's.
The kiss was hesitant and soft, as though Kanda was unsure whether it would be welcome, despite what had passed between them the night before. Allen snorted internally. As if he'd have allowed anything to have occurred between them if he'd thought that he'd have regretted it the following morning.
To prove it, he threaded his hand in the still loose hair at the back of Kanda's neck and brought them closer together, pressing his mouth fully onto Kanda's and sliding his tongue provocatively across the older man's lower lip.
A rough noise that might have been a moan had it been allowed to fully develop trembled from Kanda's lips and into Allen's mouth as Kanda's hand slid from Allen's waist and up his side, trailing along his back and burying long fingers into tangled brown hair.
Allen's head was pulled back so that Kanda could see his face, resting their foreheads together and breathing heavily.
"No regrets then?" Kanda asked, just to be sure. He hated revealing that he felt anything even like insecure to anybody, but Allen had changed his mind before, and Kanda needed to make sure that Allen knew exactly what he was getting himself into. Kanda had wanted him for quite some time, even if he hadn't realised it, and now that he had had him, he didn't ever want to go back to how it was before.
"Never," Allen breathed, his eyes slightly glazed, and he blinked a few times, trying to bring Kanda's face into focus, but struggling because of the lack of distance between them. He let go of Kanda's hair and brought his hand round to Kanda's face, cupping his jaw tenderly as a small smile broke out across his face. "Never" he emphasised.
"Well good," Kanda sniffed haughtily. "Because I'd have to kill you if you did." And he tried not to feel too offended when Allen laughed at him.
Josephine King was no coward. Life on the streets had taught her that in order to survive, she had to be scarier than anyone else. Granted, that hadn't been entirely achievable- as a child it had been impossible not to be afraid of some of the adults who stalked the city's streets, especially since she had a desperate secret to hide as well as her general well-being to be concerned about. If any of the thugs that she came into contact with on a daily basis had realised that 'Joe' was actually Josephine, then who knew where she'd have ended up.
Of course, who knew where she would have ended up without Allen's interference?
She shook that thought away. That part of her life was over now.
Last night, Tyki had taken her to an upmarket hotel, booked her into her own private suite of rooms, and then this morning, he had taken her shopping.
Shopping. In Paris.
Well, of course, shopping full-stop was still a novelty. All her life she had had to steal to survive. Why pay for something that she could get for free? It was only after Allen… she cut that thought of there, before it could take her down a road she had no wish to go down.
But Tyki was different. He had treated her like a lady, something she found new and exciting. She had been pretending to be a boy for so long, she had almost forgotten what it was like to wear a skirt.
Now she had a new, complete wardrobe. Hats and gloves, corsets and petticoats, dresses with trumpet-shaped skirts that clung to her hips and rustled luxuriously as she walked. Heeled boots and shawls, bonnets and parasols, skirts and blouses, beach wear and evening gowns of silk that draped from her shoulders and hung in a shimmering train. Jo had never even seen half the styles and colours that her newly-stocked wardrobe contained. And Tyki spoilt her rotten. Anything she admired, it was hers. Diamonds and gold, glittering sapphires and emeralds, she now owned more jewellery than she had thought existed, broaches and hatpins, rings and necklaces, it was endless.
And as she promenaded back to the hotel on his arm along the banks of the Seine, she had noticed the admiring looks that they had attracted.
Tyki had not attempted to get close to her though, which puzzled her a little. From what she had seen growing up, it was typical for a man to spend his money buying trinkets for his whore, and the fact that Tyki didn't seem to want anything from her just confused her more. Surely the man would not be spending so much of his money and time on her if he didn't want something from her.
Sure, he had taken her away from… them, saved her from going back into danger. He was a man of God, after all… maybe he didn't do that, like a monk. She pondered this. As far as she knew, monks were dirty old men with grabby hands that lusted after young boys, not handsome, suave young gentlemen who spoke to her softly, like she was something precious. That worried her. Tyki was treating her like something fragile, easily broken, as if she had not spent the formative years of her life crawling through gutters. She wondered if that was because of how he had found her, having a breakdown and punching a solid brick wall to vent her frustration. Maybe she had been in more danger than she thought, those few weeks she spent in Allen's company.
Dammit. She swiped at her eyes angrily, wiping her cheeks on a lace-edged handkerchief and accidentally smearing the delicate rouge she had dabbed there. She promised herself that she would not cry any more, Allen Walker and his… boyfriend (and how that thought made her shudder- she had been attracted to a dammed homosexual), were part of a life that she wasn't part of anymore, and if she heard his name mentioned every again, it would be too soon.
Tyki picked at his fingernails with an air on complete unconcern. "That's what I said, isn't it?"
"Our sources say he disappeared from the Order months ago. What is he doing turning up in France?" Lulubell frowned, pulling her blonde ponytail over her shoulder and finger combing it.
"He wasn't alone either" Tyki added with a grin, a magician pulling off a great trick. "That sword-wielding exorcist was with him, the Japanese one."
Lulubell's tiny frown deepened ever so slightly. "I'm not sure I understand" she admitted, though she seemed untroubled by the inaccuracy of her information. "Our source said that Walker had abandoned the Order, a traitor, no longer one of the fold." She grimaced as the ambiguity of the situation truly struck her. "So what would an exorcist be doing with him? Has more than one exorcist turned their back on the order?"
"I don't think that he'd turned his back on the Order," Tyki said with a sly grin. "I just think that being around Walker has some benefits that he'd rather not go without."
It took a lot to surprise the female Noah, but the expression on her face now as she realised what Tyki was hinting at was pure unadulterated shock. "What?"
"Not that I blame him…" the male Noah mused thoughtfully, continuing as though Lulubell had not spoken. "Walker has always been attractive, and even disguised…" he trailed off, licking his lips suggestively.
The other Noah lifted her head and sniffed disdainfully. "You and your deviance sicken me. Now, what of the girl?"
Tyki shrugged, a motion that showed his supreme unconcern. "She's lived with the brat, she might know something. And when her usefulness has been served, I'll get rid of her. You think Rhode would like a new doll?"