Chapter One

Who the Fae Are You?

Bo sat at the bar of the Dal with her ever faithful best friend and partner Kenzi. The young woman was helping herself to Trick's stock as the man himself talked in the lower levels of the bar with Hale and Dyson. The two women were the only ones in the Dal due to Trick closing it until fully recuperated from the Garuda attack. Bo was still reeling from her slip into her darker side; the sensation has been mind blowing. There hadn't been any trouble to address since the Garuda's defeat. Most of the Fae were still keeping low profiles. It was for this reason that the sound of boots coming towards them caught Bo and her companion off guard.

The two turned on their stools to see a woman coming towards them. She was about Bo's height, and her skin was pale. She wore a white blouse under a red vest with black laces down the front. Her jeans were black and formfitting, and she also wore knee-high leather boots. A leather duster clung to her upper body but flared out once it reached her hips. Her hair was a flaming red color and her eyes were a nearly neon shade of green. The sight of her sent Bo's heart pounding as her Succubus instincts kicked in. Kenzi was also awed by her appearance, though for completely different reasons. The woman's eyes locked on Bo and a smirk curled her lips. She walked over to the two women and clasped her hands behind her back in a formal posture. Bo raised an eyebrow.

"Can I help you?" she asked.

"Actually I believe you can," the mystery woman replied, her voice slightly accented. "I was looking for an old friend of mine, but you are an interesting specimen." Bo realized that the woman's accent was an Irish one. She also picked up on the woman's attentive eyes as they flashed with a predatory hunger. Very much unlike Bo's own hunger.

"I doubt this friend would be here, the Dal is closed." Bo told her, not bothering to hide her implication. The woman's smirk never faded.

"I doubt that he leaves much," she stated. "Back to you though, the Succubus that everyone is talking about. Strong, Beautiful, Champion of the Ash himself. Slayer of the Garuda." Bo's eyes narrowed as the woman listed off things about her. She didn't like that she knew so much about her. The woman's eyes were getting brighter as she spoke; making Kenzi increasingly uncomfortable.

"Bo, daughter of Aoife, grand-daughter of the Blood King himself. A very powerful Fae indeed." the woman continued.

"Okay then," Kenzi interrupted, "freaky chick just got freakier!" The woman's glowing eyes turned to Kenzi then, and the human's blood chilled under her gaze.

"Kenzi, human companion of the Succubus. A master thief and con-artist. Recently was in a relationship with another human named Nate," the woman's eyes narrowed and her smirk grew more devious. "That didn't end well though, did it?" Kenzi stood and looked ready to jump the woman who seemed pleased by her reaction. Bo moved to stop her friend but a voice stopped them all.

"What is going on?" a familiar strong voice demanded. The woman's green eyes flicked over the two women's shoulders. Bo turned to keep and eye on both the woman an who and just come from below the Dal. Trick stood with Dyson and Hale flanking him and an irate look set on his usually gentle face. The other two men seemed caught off guard by the woman that Kenzi looked inches away from strangling. Trick's expression grew wary as he slowly made his way behind his bar where he would be at eye level with the others. The red-headed Irish woman never took her gaze off Trick.

"What are you doing here?" Trick asked the woman. A laugh came from her. The sound was deep from her gut rather than giggly.

"Oh Trick, why must you always assumed the worst?" the woman asked.

"Probably because that is what comes from your visits," Trick replied.

"You've already faced the Garuda, what more could I do to cause problems?" the woman asked innocently. Trick's expression made her laugh again as Bo moved to Kenzi's side. "Honestly, I came to see what was going on around here. The Garuda was vanquished here, there was a Naga for an Ash, the Succubus here, and you of course." Trick seemed less than pleased at the woman's listing of almost all the secrets that had been closely guarded by all of them, yet he didn't appear surprised either.

"Okay, just who is the crazy psychic chick!?" Kenzi asked.

"She isn't a psychic, Kenzi." Trick told her gently.

"Then can Dyson kick her out or something?" Kenzi asked, her voice high pitched in her anxiety. The woman's eyes only grew brighter like flames.

"Did I strike a nerve?" she asked coyly. Kenzi rounded on her with a growl.

"Oh its on," she hissed and went to lunge at her. The woman didn't flinch as Kenzi reached for her, but Bo stopped her friend before she could get farther.

"Cass," Trick reprimanded. The woman's glowing eyes dimmed to her original lime green shade. Bo noticed that they were much duller than when she had originally came in the Dal, but pushed the observation to the back of her mind. The Irish woman unclasped her hands from behind her back to end the formal pose she hadn't moved from. She lost her smirk but looked calm and collected.

"Sorry about that," she apologized. Trick sighed heavily but nodded in acceptance of the apology.

"You've become more disciplined," Trick commented. The woman's smirk returned again, but a smaller version of her previous one.

"It tends to happen over the years," she quipped. "Besides, I've learned a few things. Like when to know what's available for the taking," at this her eyes roamed between the two women as well as Dyson and Halle. "an what isn't." Her eyes once again locked on Trick as she finished, eyes starting to brighten minutely.

"Cass," Trick warned, but the woman waved him off.

"Don't worry, I'm fine." she told him. "I would love to stay a while longer and chat, but I have a few others to visit before I settle down." With that the mystery woman turned on her heel and headed for the door.

"What do you mean?" Trick called after he when she reached the door. She looked at him over her shoulder, eyes glowing with predatory intelligence again.

"I'm moving here," she revealed. Then she left the Dal without another word. Four people were soon sitting at the bar with varying degrees of confusion. Kenzi was still livid, Bo was lost, Dyson was intrigued, and Hale was at a loss for words. Trick seemed drained after his conversation with the woman and leaned on the bar for support.

"Who was that?" Bo asked first.

"Cassandra Kane," Trick answered somewhat grimly. Recognition dawned on Hale and Dyson.

"The Cassandra Kane?" Hale asked incredulous. "Are you serious?" Trick nodded and Halle grabbed a shot Kenzi had just poured. Much to the human's dislike.

"How do you know her?" Dyson asked as the two women were quickly left behind in the conversation.

"As you can imagine, we met not long before the rest of the Fae began their talks about her. I had unknowingly outbid her for an artifact, and she wanted it back. Instead of asking nicely she opted for trying to steal it, and I caught her and persuaded her to come to an agreement. As such, she received a few scrolls and I kept the artifact. Afterwards she would visit me often to trade information and different rarities."

"Wait, can we back up a minute please?" Bo asked. "Just who is Cassandra Kane?"

"She's a Hunter, an extremely rare type of Fae. She is the only one known in existence at the moment." Trick answered.

"Hunters are just like the name suggests, they are a predatory kind of Fae that hunt down everything from knowledge to other beings." Dyson added.

"Yes," Trick agreed. "They use to be far more common, but over the generations the pure genes needed to birth one are impossible to find. A Hunter can be born of any type of Fae, but most have certain traits passed down from the parents that can blend to create a perfect predator. Hunters are very powerful, and its almost impossible to know the full extent of their abilities. As Dyson said, they hunt down various items or pieces of information to add to their collections. Cassandra is so famous in the Fae world because she has almost anything another would want, and is desired by both sides."

"What do you mean, 'desired by both sides?" Bo asked. "She isn't unaligned is she?"

"She is unaligned so she can travel anywhere and make deals with anybody," Halle elaborated.

"And the uh... hunting and collecting part? What does she 'hunt?'" Kenzi asked nervously.

"Cassandra hunts down anything that is rare or worth something. Including other beings. She leaves potential 'candidates' for her collections alone only if they prove themselves capable enough to warrant her approval. Hence our connection." Trick explained.

"Wow," Bo breathed.

"She knew everything about our lives," Kenzi told them while gesturing to herself and Bo. "How?"

"Cassandra has superior instincts, I don't know how she does it but as a Hunter she can find out almost anything about another. Though I will admit that usually means that she is targeting someone." Trick said slowly.

"What!" Kenzi squeaked. The human grabbed the bottle she had poured shots from and took a swig of it with wide eyes. Hale moved to stand behind her and Dyson tightened his grip on the bar.

"I could be wrong though," Trick hastily added. "Her lifestyle may be a bit... eccentric... but she has the potential of being a good ally for all of us. All I'm saying is watch your backs." Bo glanced back at the door of the Dal where the Irish woman had disappeared. Her eyes had glowed with power and a predatory lust, not sexual but more primal. A part of her wondered if they had more in common than first glance suggested. Only time would tell.

Review please, what do you think do far? -Reaperess