(One Year Later…..)

(Smokey' POV)

The night was restless in the small town of Bethlehem, and so were my boys. We waited until it was the blackest: until the sun went down and blanketed the area in a sheet of darkness. Their helpless citizens scuttled to their homes, locking their doors and turning out their lights. They had no protection out here in the wilderness. They were too far West for the Church to care. It was too small of a town that consisted only of a single saloon, farm houses and a general supply. No one would miss it. He only hoped that one bandit he heard of had moved on since last month.

I looked to my right at Chuckles. He was my second in command of the Jackals a tall, lanky guy with a spiky mohawk. We were a small time gang that looted and pillaged small town for their women and goods. We would go in at night when their law enforcement had their heels propped up on desk and hats over their eyes. I licked my lips then grinned as Chuckles did the same.

"Ready boss?" he asked with that dark glint in his eye. He held his worn shotgun up at the ready. Five other guys behind me stirred with their trigger fingers itching to kill something. They've been too deprived for too long.

"Let's go boys!" I replied baring my teeth like a starved wolf.

We left our bikes behind a collection of tall boulders and started sprinting toward the nearest bunch of buildings. Our forms remained hidden in the shadows and everything was silent save our callous breaths panting. I promised these boys riches and the youngest of the women; which was fourteen by the looks of her as she crossed the street before sunset. Scorpion claimed her as quick as one could blink.

Shouting and hollering we ran into the main street, lighting bottles of alcohol on fire and tossing them into the small sheriffs house. I ran into the shamble of a building to finish off the 'man of the law' only to find he was already passed out on the floor with a whiskey bottle in his hand. I roared with laughter. It couldn't be any easier.

I could hear screaming of women from outside and my ears perked in interest and anticipation for my next mate. Deciding to leave the sheriff to be burned alive, I made my way outside. What few people were in this town were already scrambling across the streets to escape to their horses. Some of the men were fighting my Jackals feebly with pitchforks and whatever else they could find. Such weakness.

I placed my hands on my hips and stood proudly in front of the burning sheriff's office. My lips pulled back into an evil grin. Another town, another profit.

"Look Smokey!" Chuckles' spikey-haired form drug the fourteen year old girl into view. She struggled, bit and fought every second of it, but it was vain. He had already staked his claim.

Tears poured from the young woman's eyes as Chuckles nuzzled her neck, "Don't worry it will only hurt a litt-" the sound of blade impacting with flesh interrupted him. His eyes went wide and the girl slipped out of his hands and darted away. Taking a single step he fell over, the fire light glinting off a silver dagger handle protruding from his back.

"Jackals!" I screeched and pulled out my gun as a dark figure darted across the rooftops of the saloon. By the time I shot in that direction it had moved away so quick I couldn't tell where it was. Was it even human?

Out of the corner of my eye it made another appearance. The person sprinted by so fast it looked like nothing but a haze as it brought a blade around in an arc and sliced through Scorpions stomach, knocking his gun away, then another long silver blade was thrown and hit Black Jack square in the chest. From the shadows that played upon the ground I knew it was a female.

"Shoot her! Shoot her now you sons of bitches!" I raged at the remaining three men. They released their wailing women and pulled out their own weapons. For a moment I saw the woman's eyes widen as she made a dash for the cover of a building and disappeared into an alley.

I glanced at my diced up comrades pooled in their own blood; a snarl came to my lips. "Find her! I want her head!" No one messed with the Jackals.

My three remaining Jackals separated into different alleys of the main street. I slipped in to the one she ran off into keeping to the shadows with my gun held high. It was black as hell here with only the dancing flames of the sheriffs house lighting up small nicks of the town.

I heard a scream and ran towards it to find Razor strung up by his neck. His eyes were hollow and depthless; his mouth distorted into a silent scream.

"God damn you!" I shot into the sky, mainly at the ledges of the houses along the main road. "Show yourself coward!"

Another grunt of pain came from a hundred meters away, but I didn't bother run toward it. The hell I was finished. The crazy bitch can live for all I give a damn! Still clutching the rifle like it was my lifeline I darted as fast as my legs could take me to the outskirts of town. I sprinted into the main street leaving behind my fallen comrades. I could always find new ones, better ones than a few crack heads with an itchy trigger finger.

Just as I was about to round a corner and head into freedom my line of sight was covered with the blackness of a boot. I swore something broke when it made contact with my nose. My body was thrown three feet back from the sheer strength of a kick. What kind of woman had that kind of strength?

I looked up groaning from my bloodied nose. After the dots cleared I saw a tall, built silhouette of a woman dressed all in black, hair braided down her backside and eyes that could have been the jewels of hell themselves. All in all, she was terrifying.

Using the same boot she pushed me back into the dirt. Her face came into the light and that's when I knew what she was. Underneath her matted bangs a cross tattoo led down to the middle of her nose.

"Tell me Jackal, what am I?" she dug her heel into my ribcage as she hissed between her teeth. Her voice was sensual and dark.

I grunted against the pain, spitting out gobs of blood, "Fuck you!"

She tsked, brought a fist around and hit me hard in the face, "Answer me!" With the force of a brick wall she proceeded to back hand me against the ground.

Dazed I was thrown back into the dirt, rolling and groaning until she picked me up by my jacket collar and brought me close to her young face. She couldn't have been much older than twenty eight, "Who am I?"

"A fucking Priest!"

"No!" She thrust me back, "My name is Heather ,and I kill people like you for a living". She stood, brushing her long sleeves off like she had just completed a daily task.

The sound of knuckles cracking brought my head up and she pulled another knife from its sheath attached to her calf. It looked barely longer than her hand but sharp as fuck.

"Get out of here, and if I see your face around these parts again", the woman ran her gloved fingers sensually up the blade until the tip, "Our next meeting won't be as pleasant". Just the sound of her threatening voice brought chills to my already frozen spine.

Without questioning I crawled away until I could regain my legs again with every intention of bringing way more men next time. I wouldn't let myself live knowing a single woman could hold so much power. She had to die.

(Heather POV)

I wiped the blood on my gloves off on my pants, and waited until he was a good thirty meters away before I launched the knife. It spiraled and made square contact between his shoulders. The man was plague from the start, and no good would have come from letting any of them live. As soon as his yelping echo died into the night I turned around and headed for my house on the outskirts of town.

This is how it's been for the past year, or has it really been a year? It's felt like a life time.

I wouldn't say anything to the townsfolk. They paid me enough just to keep them safe not to talk to them after the deeds were done. It was the only way I could get by in the world, and the only place that would accept someone of my background. After making sure the drunken sheriff was pulled safely out of the burning building I walked away ignoring the stares of gratitude and fear from the men and women that parted as I went through them. They were grateful for me, but at the same time feared me. I could tell by the look in their eyes and how they just barely scooted away when I was near them.

My house was just a small, shamble of a building consisting of only a living room and a single bedroom. Compared to what my room was like in the city it was paradise. Lighting a few candles I settled down to read a pre war book with a cup of amber ale. So this was my life from here on out, I thought nonchalantly, as my eyes danced across the old text; my mind half into the book and half wandering into space.

I set the book aside and took a ginger sip of the cold beverage letting my lips trace the edges of the liquid before I spoke, "So how did you find me?"

A figure slid out of the dark in a wraith like motion, "It wasn't too hard. You're not keeping too low of a profile".

"How clumsy of me", I bitterly replied setting the cup down on the coffee table, "been hunting long?"

I felt the figure move behind me, "It's a big wasteland". Goosebumps rose on my skin as I felt the tension in the air tighten like a noose around a scrawny neck.

I stood up and turned. "So they sent you to track me down? Aren't you their prized Priest?"

Gabriel hadn't changed much in the past year; in fact he hadn't changed at all. He was still as much of an emotionless statue as he was before. "Shouldn't they have sent someone less important to hunt little old me down?"

He sighed running a hand down his face, "Heather this has gone on long enough. You know the rules of the Church just as well as anyone".

"So you've come all the way to try and take me back?"

He only stared back, the meaning of his words clear in his eyes.

"Ohhh", I nodded, "And if I don't go back you have to kill me right?"

No knife in the world could cut the tension between us now. My muscles tightened ready for anything he might try. It wasn't beyond him to kill a friend to protect his beliefs, and I intended to fight back with every ounce of strength I could muster.

His eyes dropped and I could see the regret start to pool around his pupils, "I'm sorry about Michael Heather. Not a night has gone by when the nightmare don't plague me", his shoulders sagged slightly. "If I could have changed anything…" He let loose a ragged breath, "I know you were his friend".

"I loved him Gabriel".

Light blues locked with mine in surprise, but he said nothing.

"That's right. I loved him. Before him I never had anything to connect me to the world after my life was taken from me, but when I met him everything changed. I was able to bear the existence that was forced on me as a little girl. He was all I had", my voice didn't waiver and my lips didn't tremble. It was as if a ten ton weight had been lifted from my shoulders when I finally revealed in words how I felt. As Priest and Priestesses, we weren't allowed to love unless it was God's love. Our emotions were shoved so far deep in us they weren't permissible to surface. Gabriel was always the perfect example that. Maybe that's why they chose him as the leader.

The Priest stood in front of me, his lips moving but not able to form words. He knew all too well how it felt to lose someone you loved. It was one thing Michael never revealed to me about him. He would say it was a friend's trust they had not to tell anyone of Gabe's past life, about someone he once loved apparently and lost.

"Come back with me Heather", his voice hacked the strained silence, shaky and uncertain. "The Priest are no more in the city; we are no longer needed".

My brow quirked, "Is that so? They finally ridded themselves of us huh".

"We've integrated into society. They feared our power and told us as long as we stay in the city we were allowed to work".

I couldn't help but chuckle, "Like caged animals. Michael was right about them then".

His jaw tightened, "It is better than living as a fugitive always on the run, and killing for pay. You do the devils work Heather".

"Don't you dare fucking tell me what work I do!" I suddenly screamed and even he stepped back in surprise, "I would rather die than live under the leash of a bunch of ancient and ignorant leaders. At least out here I'm protecting someone instead of being a slave!"

"You abuse your power Heather. That is a dangerous thing".

He tensed as I walked so close our noses were nearly touching, "It is the power I sacrificed my life for, and I will use it how I please". Cutting my eyes away I walked over to the table next to my arm chair and took a long swig of the ale, "So if you're planning to fight let's get it over with so I can go to sleep".

I turned back to him expectantly, brown eyes melding with blue without uncertainty. I was not without weapons and he was in my territory now, but the chances of me winning a battle against the strongest of Priest were slim but undefined.

His let out a woosh of air, "You are my friend Priestess; no matter how misguided. I'm not going to live with being the cause of death for two comrades in my life". He pulled his cloak over his head and walked to the door. Before he left he turned his head over his shoulder, "God has not abandoned you Heather. You are still a sister of our family, and you know where to find us".

I waited til the hum of his bike was miles away before I chugged the last of the alcohol down and threw the cup against the wall. I think it's time for a night out.

Throwing up some shorts and a tight black shirt I pulled up my boots and rode my old bike toward the small city of Sodem. It was a city the Church abandoned long ago and now nothing but drinkers, hookers and party goers lived there. It was the only place I could go to drown myself in sorrow without remembering why I was there in the first place.

XOXOXOXOXOOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO(Black Hats POV)XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

I watched Gabriel leave, fighting the urge to lunge out at him the moment he stepped out her door. From the look on his face he wasn't as successful as he intended to be. I could tell her words affected him in more ways than he wished. My old friend looked ageless as if time never touched him; he was still just a dog on a leash.

Heather on the other hand…

She had become strong, stronger than the day we were separated. She now thought for herself and finally came to realize what the corruption of the Church truly was. She wasn't afraid to kill, and that's precisely why the queen had chosen her. Even if this was a task by my keeper it was hard to not embrace Heather once I saw her. She was still so very beautiful even in her depression. I had watched her for weeks and reveled in the sensuality of her style of killing those raiders a few hours ago. Her moved were swift and more deadly than last time. Her body language was bold and mature and her eyes showed no remorse when she snuffed out their lives.

I ran my tongue over my teeth. She was more perfect than ever before. I patted my pocket where her father's bracelet had been for the past year. I closed my eyes for a split second remembering the details of my transformation. Everything became so clear. I could hear, feel, smell and see everything as it truly was. I heard her screams and felt her pain from deep within that hive. The queen gave me a gift I intended to share. I wanted the gift to ease her hurt.

Moments later after Gabriel disappeared into the desert she came out dressed in short gray shorts and a black shirt that detailed every curve. Curious I watched her drive away in another direction.

I grinned, revealing two white fangs. She was heading toward Sodem.

So sorry this took forever I've been sooooooo busy with being a senior and getting ready for college and taking bazillions of test and what nots. Anyway mucho appreciated for the REVIEWS! Must have more!

The next chapter will be interesting I hope;)