Abandoned Reverence



Author's Note: This will be my first completely finished (hopefully) and fully submitted chapter story. I don't like the idea of 'borrowing' ideas, but I once read this DBZ fic with chapters, and the author clearly stated that she wanted to see ten reviews before she would post the next chapter. I really liked that idea, so here you go. The next chapter to this story is already written out and waiting, all you have to do is submit a review (good or bad, I don't mind) and only then will I upload the next chapter. I really hope this works (it only will if you like my story enough to send a review). Enjoy! ~_^

-Veledore



* indicates thought

~ indicates flashbacks



Prologue:

The night breeze sifted along its lazy course playing with the black spiky bangs of her hair and blowing soft kisses on her flushed cheeks. A stream of tears dribbled along her face tracing her jaw line with its salty mixture. She sniffled once reaching absently with her hand to wipe the drops away. A violet spark glimmered in the depths of her dark eyes-a wild fire not ever to be tamed.

*I can't believe I'm letting this get to me,* she thought fiercely suddenly ashamed by her portrayed weakness. *Jeff was always a lying cheating jerk,* she thought trying once again to reassure herself. *You'll be better off without him,* she thought firmly. Her head told her these things, but heart knew it wouldn't be so easy.

They had grown up together, gone to school together, shared laughs and sorrows. Kindred spirits destined by all means to be lovers, perhaps something even more. *Soul mate,* Hilde bitterly tasted in her mind cringing at the mere prospect. Yeah, right, what a load of crock. Jeff's problem was that he couldn't keep his tongue to himself (literally) and that he didn't know how to keep his pants zipped.

Yet still, Hilde sighed, he had been something special. When they were both fifteen years old, he took her to a year-round carnival to the top of the Ferris wheel were he asked her if she would be his girl. It was Valentine's Day, and every year afterward they went back to the exact same ride, rode the exact same cart (number sixteen) and made out at the top like the hormone-crazed teenagers they were. *Six years,* she thought incredulously.

Her favorite thing about him had been his brilliant mind especially in his writing. They were both journalists for their small newspaper growing more and more popular by the issue. He was the editor and called her his 'Top Agent', or at least he had until the shimmering blonde big-breasted Mindy had crawled into his lap telling him that her rich daddy would really appreciate it if she were hired on as a top journalist. That was another one of Jeff's weaknesses, money. He could never quite get enough of it.

Disgusted, Hilde pushed herself up from her slumped position over the railing of her balcony overlooking a currently peaceful sea-green ocean. A dazzling layer of diamond stars glittered overhead against a majestic blue backdrop, and Hilde didn't want to pollute such beauty with thoughts of him. She turned and walked back through the double sliding glass doors into her single bedroom apartment.

Hilde was proud of her abode; it wasn't any kind of fancy first class luxury suite mind you, but it most certainly wasn't cheap either. To the left was her living room where a homely blue couch sat against the north wall, and matching loveseat faced the west. Her generous sized entertainment center holding a TV, a stereo with speakers, a VCR, and a DVD player was perched cattycorner to the loveseat. All of the floors were wooden (save the kitchen's which were white tile), but a thick light green rug covered the living room providing a soft cushion to a barefoot passerby. To the left nestled a small dining room with one large oak table and a few chairs were strewn about its length. South of the dining room was another room with a cozy kitchen and unusually bright fluorescent lights. Next to the kitchen and adjoining the living room was a hallway leading to the bathroom and her master bedroom.

Sliding the door close behind her so that the nightly chill wouldn't seep in, she paused for a moment considering her options. She could watch a little TV, try and pass the time with the miseries of other people, but she felt too glum for that. *Only one solution then,* she thought making her way through the dining room to the kitchen and reaching for the cabinet over looking a stainless steel sink and removing a bottle of liquor. She usually made it a point not to use alcohol to throw off her problems, but tonight she felt so depressed it seemed like the only good and desirable choice.

Her body didn't take to the alcohol well, and it didn't ever take too much to get her drunk. After a bottle she was stumbling around her living room laughing out loud at nothing in particular and tripping over every corner of every piece of furniture in the room. Half of another bottle and she was out like a light sprawled on the floor, one leg propped on the seat of the couch and one hand loosely holding the bottle she hadn't even bothered pouring in a glass. The remains of its brewy contents leaked in a dark puddle on the ground.

While she dozed a nightmare slipped in quietly not giving her enough time to wake. The dream started normally enough, she was in a park on the jogging path she ran daily. She was running in the dream as well and she passed the same faces seen every day giving them greetings as she followed the dirt road with trees growing thickly on either side. Suddenly Jeff appeared before her and she slammed into his chest. His arms snaked around her waist in a possessive hold and for a moment she leaned against his torso breathing in his scent. It smelled strongly of his cologne-a powerful spicy mixture. She felt then that her actions were wrong and pulled back looking into his deceivingly captivating hazel eyes. Realization hit her like a wave and she pulled away turning to leave, but felt her arm jerk back. When she examined her wrist she found a pair of handcuffs, one link closed on hers, and the other on his. "We were meant for each other Hilde," he whispered into her ear when she turned and tried fleeing. "Now we'll be together _always_."

"NOOO," she screamed, in her physical body a lump rose in her throat making it hard to swallow the sound.

"It's too late," Jeff whispered evilly as she struggled. "No one else will have you, you're mine."

"NOOO," she cried her eyes snapping open and her body jerking upwards. She instantly regretted the action as a splitting headache wracked through her head. She groggily laid back down trying to sort through a melange of emotions coursing warp speed through her mind. His words echoed hollowly through her bones as the nightmare was recounted.

~ Hilde pranced through the halls not pausing as she passed the secretary's desk. She had done it, Jeff would be so proud! Earlier that morning he had told her about his desire to get an exclusive interview with Robert Haverd, the democratic candidate running for president. It hadn't been easy; in fact it had taken the better part of all afternoon, but pulling a few strings here and talking to the right people, Hilde had managed to get him his interview. He'd probably let her go and perform it as well which made her feel even giddier. This would be the best break the 'West Jost' had ever seen.

She threw open his office door and leapt in-only to find breasty Ms. Mindy practically giving Jeff a lap job, his hand burrowed up her shirt. She hadn't said a word, just turned and stormed off throwing the papers in her hand on the floor. Behind her she could hear his calls fading.

She had reached her home with a heavy heart crying for a while, drinking a bit, then crying some more, and to her disgust, waited for him to call. Wanting, needing to hear his explanation. ~

The call had come, and Hilde could still hear high-pitched whiny sounding voice on the other line. "But Hilde baby, I thought you wanted us to see other people."

"I said I thought we needed a time out from our relationship you idiot!" Hilde screeched losing her previous cool.

"Well, you should've been more specific," he defended himself in a more tranquil tone. He knew she was losing her edge.

"Oh I'm sorry," Hilde seethed, "I didn't realize I was being so insensitive to your stupidity!"

"Come on now Hilde, don't talk like that to me, we might have to reconsider our relationship," he taunted lightly.

Hilde blew up at that point. "What relationship you moron?!?! I can't take this anymore!! We're OVER!"

His words from her nightmare once again surfaced and she thought them over with alarm. *Could he really hold this much power over me?* she wondered. Fear clutched at her heart as she thought, *Maybe I was wrong to dump him, maybe my subconscious is trying to tell me that I've been with him for so long, anyone else wouldn't feel right.* She balled her fists tightly and slammed them on the floor. *_Damn_ you Jeff, you cause me nothing but pain and heartache.*

Pushing the thoughts from her mind she tried once again to sit up and found the throbbing in her head tolerable to the point where she could shuffle into the kitchen and swallow a few aspirin dry. She began to recede back to the couch (not quite sure if she could make it to the bedroom) when she heard the thump. It came from outside, on her balcony in fact.

Freezing-all thoughts of sleep and headaches gone-Hilde edged to the table where her purse unceremoniously was dumped. Reaching carefully inside the leather bag, her eyes never leaving the double sliding doors, her hand closed around the narrow tube of pepper spray. The gun she possessed lay in the drawer of her nightstand in the bedroom. This would have to do.

Cautiously she tiptoed to the door. No other sound had come since the last one, but Hilde wasn't willing to take any risks. She felt better because the lights were on, but at the same time she cursed the glare bouncing off the glass and making it harder for her to see out, but whoever (if anyone) was on the other side, they would have a good view of her. For this reason she moved to the right pressing her self against the wall and reaching to open the door from the side making sure to keep her hand concealed behind the latch. With a snap and a swoosh the door slid open and Hilde spun around the corner finger ready to spray a cloud of the bitter vapor into the eyes of her opponent.

What she saw instead caught her quite off guard. Crumpled in a heap on the ground was the figure of a person. Blood trickled from cuts made on both his limbs and his trunk. He was curled in a fetal position with one of his arms bent at an odd angle. His blue jeans were cut in many places and blood stained large spots on them. His black T-shirt was also ripped, but the dark color made and blood unseeable. The feature that caught and held Hilde's attention though was the stranger's hair. It was a long chestnut braided mane somewhat tangled, but it made him look rather odd.

Hilde didn't waste time dragging the unusual character from the balcony to the living room where she managed to hoist him on a couch all the while questions danced about in her head. They would have to wait though, right now the man needed her attention.

She pulled his feet so that they draped over the edge of the couch, and pulled his arms so they lay at his sides. She didn't know if this position was comfortable, or safe-medical matters were not her specialty, but it couldn't be hurting him, she figured. Luckily, the oddly bent arm didn't appear to be broken (she had no way of telling though if it were sprained or fractured). Rushing to the bathroom, she pulled out an entire bag of cotton swabs and the bottle of rubbing alcohol.

*I hope I don't hurt the guy,* she thought dropping the items on the carpet next to the couch. *I really have no idea what the heck I'm doing.* Breaking open a hole in the plastic bag she pulled out a handful of the cotton balls, and uncapping the bottle, she poured the substance over the cotton cushion until it was sopping. Starting with his face, she carefully wiped away the smears of blood circling the contours of his mouth, and the dried gore on his cheeks. His eyes flickered slightly beneath their lids when her hands touched his chin as she tilted his face upwards.

She had to remove his shirt to reach all of the scratches along his ribs and stomach taking a definite notice of his refined well-toned muscles. *Just checking,* she defended herself when her conscious tried to reprimand her roaming eyes. *And appreciating,* she added with a small smile rolling him on his side so that she could tend to his back.

The only cuts on his legs were minor scratches around his ankles (she graciously noticed), but a nasty purple and green bruise was forming on his shin. She sucked her breath at the sight of it and ran to the kitchen retrieving a plastic sandwich bag full of ice and a few paper towels. Reaching his side again, she winced as the ice was lowered onto the nauseous looking wound.

Immensely satisfied with her work, she sat back once again getting a good look at his profile. His cheeks (once uncovered beneath all the gore) were very smooth and they gave his face a rather babyish appearance. Hilde found it absolutely adorable. A slight murmur reverberated through his lips as he slept and brought Hilde back to reality.

Walking back to the open door of the balcony, she saw an article of clothing previously overlooked. A dark blue-jean jacket sprawled on the ground. Bending to seize the sleeve of the jacket, she paused. A low grumbling raspy sound could be heard from below. Cautiously stepping to the rail bordering the edge of the balcony, she peered through the open spaces of wrought iron and observed two burly men wearing black suits searching the ground below with flashlights and obviously not using discretion by keeping their voices down. *I wonder who they are?* Hilde wondered, then added, *and what they want.* She shivered. Whoever they were, she didn't like their feel. They were dangerous, she knew.

Stepping back quietly, she closed the door thankful it only produced a soft 'click' and dimmed the lights. She didn't want the men getting the idea that whatever they were looking for was in her home. *Which probably is the case,* Hilde thought glancing at the sleeping figure on the couch. All at once, the day's stresses mingled with her current headache exhausted Hilde. She shambled over to her loveseat and plopped down tilting her head back so that it rested on the comforting cushion.

She realized that her hands were still clamped on the man's jacket, and she brought it closer for inspection. She reached into one of the two pockets with overlapping flaps in the front and pulled out a dark brown leather wallet. *Innocent looking enough,* she thought and smiled wryly in her guest's direction. *But, I _could_ say the same about you.* She unfolded the material and observed close to nothing. A few loose credits were folded in the longest part, but only two credit cards (both under the name of 'Duo Maxwell') and a small blurred picture decorated the inside folds. *That's odd,* Hilde detected. *No identification. Woah, this guy's got to be trouble.* Once again she looked untrustingly at the now-considered intruder.

Curling up in the corner farthest from the couch, Hilde rested keeping her eyes open and watching just in case he should wake. Soon though, sleep overcame her weary body and she dozed comfortably if not peacefully while outside the silver moon ran her nightly race pausing for small intervals to play with the glistening stars.

***

Okay, that's it, chapter one (I guess you really could only count this as a prologue though). Remember, if you want me to put up the next chapter you have to write a review, and when I get ten of them, I will post my next chapter. Also, if you having the most burning desire to give me your idea for a direction for this story, e-mail me at: veledore@hotmail.com I'm not promising that I'll use it, but if it's really good maybe I'll find a way to work it into the story (of course you will get credit). Thanks for reading my work, hope you liked it!

-Veledore