I know it's been a while, and I truly apologize! End of the semester is approaching rapidly and I've picked up extra hours at work. But have no fear! I definitely don't plan on abandoning this story...I happen to like it too much :D. So I give my thanks to everyone for their support so far-seriously you're awesome-and ask that you bear with me, and enjoy the next chapter!
A Warrior's Bond – Chapter 4
"What the hell happened!?" Trick exclaimed as Bo carried Tamsin, rushing to set her unconscious form on his couch. The color was fading from the blonde's complexion and her expression twitched in discomfort.
"I-I don't…" Bo struggles as she kneels next to the couch, her eyes never leaving Tamsin.
"We were attacked by an assassin." Dyson stated as he entered the room, the assassin's hidden blade and one of his throwing knives in his grasp.
"He was after me! Tamsin—she…she knocked me out of the way and h-he stabbed her. She was fine though, she just collapsed!" Bo stammered in hysterics.
"What was happening as she collapsed?" Trick asked as he laid the back of his hand to Tamsin's forehead, checking her symptoms.
"He got me with one of his throwing knives, she made me feed off her to heal." Bo stated sadly, feeling the guilt of adding to Tamsin's pain, "She said I needed to be strong in case another one showed up."
"I see." Trick states as he turned to Dyson silently asking to confirm his suspicions. The wolf lifts the blade near his face and inhales deeply, his eyes sharpening as he nods slightly.
"See what!? I swear I didn't take that much Trick, and she said that she's had worse and survived so what's—"
"Tamsin's been poisoned, Bo." Dyson states solemnly.
Bo's heart dropped. She stared off into space with a clenched jaw at the revelation.
"Wha…what?" the brunette stuttered in shock as she looked back to the weakening blonde.
"I smell it on his knives too." The wolf continued softly, careful not to cause the devolving Succubus to snap into one of her fits. Her only response was to choke down the lump in her throat before speaking in a broken tone.
"She knew…" Bo stated with a broken tone. She wanted that Splitter to come back to life for her to beat him around some more, then she wanted Tamsin to be better so she could slap the shit out of her for doing something so stupid…something that saved Bo's life but could end her own. Her eyes softened as she turned to Trick, "Tamsin knew they were poisoned, that's why she made me feed off of her!"
"A noble act indeed…I'd expect nothing less from a Valkyrie as strong as herself." Trick stated, trying his hardest to decide between smiling at Tamsin proving her worthiness of being at Bo's side as her Valkyrie, or to burst into tears at the idea of her meeting such an early end before truly bonding with Bo—let alone even telling the brunette about it.
"Well, we just gotta find the antidote, right? That's how poison works!" she stated hysterically.
"Truth!" Kenzi pipes up, "We fixed my nasty foot stew virus…let's just call Lauren and—" she stops with a wince at mentioning her best friend's ex, afraid of the possible outcome only to be surprised.
"Yes! Lauren! She'll know how to save her!" the brunette exclaimed, whipping out her cellphone to contact the doctor only to have Kenzi walk up and place her hand on Bo's wrist, stopping her from hitting 'call'.
"Do you think it's a good idea to call your current ex-girlfriend for help saving the girl she thinks you cheated on her with?" the Russian girl states softly, knocking Bo's shoulders down into a slump.
"I'll play middle man, she doesn't need to know who it's for if it's coming from me." Dyson volunteered, "Never thought I'd see the day that I'd be the first person Lauren wanted to see." He teased as he left with a flourish to deliver the contaminated blade to the doctor.
"Good, meanwhile we need to do some research on Splitters. I might be able to figure out who hired our intruder. They're a pretty serious choice for a hit, very expensive given their talents…" Trick thought out loud as he turned to his bookshelf to begin searching for some answers.
Bo remained on her knees before Tamsin's unconscious form. She lifted a hand to gently push a lock of golden hair behind her ear and out of her eyes, leaving her hand on Tamsin's cheek.
"I swear…if you die on me I'll bring you back to life just to kick your ass." Bo swore, her voice cracking as she looked away trying to hold her tears at bay.
"Nice incentive…" Tamsin stated weakly, earning Bo's shocked expression as well as bright smile to see the blonde awake. "I don't give up that easy though."
She attempted to sit up only to groan in pain and grab her stomach in an effort to stop the sharp pains routing from her wound. Bo quickly leaned forward, helping the blonde lay back down slowly to ease her agony.
"Stop moving around, the poison might spread quicker." Bo's guilty tone would be obvious to anything with a pulse. Tamsin turned her head to face Bo, seeing her anguish—of course blaming herself and wishing it was her lying on death's doorstep instead of the blonde. It was one of the qualities she admired most about Bo, how much she wanted to keep those important to her out of harm and pain no matter what it did to her. Tamsin flashed a weak smile at the thought of being considered someone important like that.
"Don't cry for me Argentina…I've fought samurai warlords with poisoned arrows still stuck in my body." The blonde snarks in a more weakened tone, however she manages to have her trademarked grin firmly in place. Bo chuckled slightly at the comment.
"One day you'll have to tell me all of your war stories."
"That'd be like you telling me about every hookup you've ever had…times the three centuries I've been around…" she chuckles before breaking into a coughing fit. Bo winced at the painful sound, not knowing what to do but offer her hand for Tamsin to clench to release some tension.
"You didn't have to do it." The blonde looked up to the Succubus with her brow furrowed in confusion, curiosity sparkling in her pale eyes, "It wouldn't have hit you this fast if I didn't feed off you…Why would you do that if you knew you could die?" Bo sounded as if her heart was breaking…sure, her friends have risked their lives for her before, but this seemed like an all-new high.
Tamsin searched Bo's deep brown eyes as she thought of a response. She didn't think about the consequences…she just acted. Lord knows that Bo would have done the exact same if she could, why was it so shocking for Tamsin to return the favor? Out of the corner of her eye, the blonde could see Trick trying hard not to eavesdrop on their hushed conversation as he handed Kenzi a book to read through. The barkeep met her gaze with a knowing smile and nod. Bo may not know the reasoning behind saving her life, but Trick did and was proud.
"You'd do the same for me…I guess you're rubbing off on me, stud…" with that, the blonde swallowed roughly and clenched her eyes shut in a wince.
"Dyson went to take the poison to Lauren to figure out how to reverse it. 'Til then, we're all looking up that assassin to figure out who hired him. As soon as he gets back, I swear even if I have to castrate some creepy ass Under Fae to do it…I'm gonna save you." Bo vowed, not an ounce of doubt in her voice.
"If you get yourself killed for me Bo, I swear I'll find you in your afterlife somewhere and beat the hell out of you." The blonde replies in a teasing tone, trying to avoid such a serious conversation. The poison was working some cruel magic on her body and the pain was beginning to move past uncomfortable.
"Well, maybe I'll end up in Valhalla and you can visit and try to kick my ass." The brunette teased as she lifted a blanket from under the couch to drape over the blonde, not noticing the effect her light-hearted comment had on her.
Panic ran across Tamsin's face in a flash, barely leaving her expression in time for Bo to place a soft kiss on her forehead. Her heart twanged at the loving gesture along with the oath the brunette made to her. At this rate, even if she survived this she'd still never get to be with Bo. Not if she ever wanted to actually see Bo in Valhalla—or if she ever wanted to even get to Valhalla again. Especially if the person who placed the hit is who she's suspecting…
"You need to rest. I'm going to go check out that Splitter, see if I can find some clues or something." Bo stated, leaving another loving caress to Tamsin's cheek before strutting out of the room.
"She's got it just as bad as you do, hot stuff." Kenzi states, smiling knowingly at Tamsin over the dusty tome in front of her. The blonde turns to the Russian girl feigning confusion.
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"Bull shiz. Bo's my bestie and we share everything with each other. She's a freaking sex machine, you think she doesn't consult me about that sort of thing too?" the brunette responds proudly, sitting up in her chair with a bright smile as Trick cleared his throat, his discomfort obvious at the mentioning of his grand daughter's…extracurricular activities.
"We didn't—" Tamsin started to defend herself only to be silenced by Kenzi.
"—Exactly. You didn't. And Bo's already doting on you and leaving you cute little forehead kisses and swearing to cut off some creepy monster Fae's junk for you. I officially give you my blessing to make a move or two. Just…when you guys eventually do it, give me some kinda heads up? That first-time-getting-together marathon thing is something I don't wanna relive." She finishes with a dramatic shiver down her spine.
Tamsin was trying to figure out if the poison was starting to affect her brain, or if Kenzi just told her she was officially Team Tamsin when it came to the people pining after her bestie. She'd always thought Kenzi would root for Dyson, they have that big brother, little sister kind of relationship she witnessed first hand as some of the strongest Fae warriors she'd ever met risked their lives to save this human girl. She'd even guess that Kenzi would backup Lauren; they seemed to have bonded since figuring out a way to fix the parasite from the Morrigan.
Wait. Lauren…Bo had a freaking girlfriend still, didn't she?
"Why would you say that? Aren't Lauren and—"
"They broke up, Tammers. Doctor Hotpants thought Bo was cheating on her, like emotionally." Kenzi's expression finished the thought without true words. Tamsin's eyes went wide in realization and her jaw unlatched as though she was planning to respond but nothing escaped her lips.
Bo was starting to get actual feelings for her...
Her heart was jumping for joy at the thought. The wonderful flashes of every cheesy romantic comedy that Tamsin would swear she despised came before her mind's eye. She could actually have that. All those fantastic stories of the unstoppable team that a Valkyrie made with their warrior could star her and Bo one day. The legendary unaligned Succubus continuing her free existence as moral justice for both Fae and Human surviving against all odds with the support of her loyal friends, and her Valkyrie.
The fairy tale ending Tamsin envisioned was quickly torn away as tears tore their way from her eyes to trace down her pale cheeks. She turned her head away from the company in the room to bury it in the side of the couch, hoping that her pain could lead to a blissful unconsciousness where she can forget of the gypsy curse plaguing over the happiness that was just within her grasp.
Hours had passed since Dyson left to get Lauren's opinion on the toxin from the Splitter's blade. Tamsin had only awoken twice, both times from a shooting pain that she would fight through until it dulled enough for her to fall back to her resting state. Bo switched on and off from holding a cold, damp cloth to the blonde's forehead to soothe her rising fever and pacing vigorously.
Tamsin's condition was slowly worsening. Bo watched on helpless as the color continued to drain from her face and her eyes became bloodshot from holding back the tears of pain. Always trying to be the tough guy, even when suffering from a deadly poison.
The brunette was taken from her thoughts as she turned her troubled gaze to the Valkyrie. Her hair seemed to be losing its luster in addition to dark circles appearing around her eyes. The wound in her abdomen had slowed bleeding enough to begin healing. One actual plus to the toxin that was making the blonde deteriorate before their eyes was that it seemed to almost cauterize the wound, leaving the edges a sickly infected black color that was slowly spreading from the injury through Tamsin's veins.
"That's it! I can't just sit here anymore and watch her waste away!" Bo exclaimed, releasing her frustrations out on a wall by driving her fist into the stone with a flash of angry blue eyes. She didn't even flinch at the pain caused by her knuckles cracking into the old stones, skin tearing from the impact causing blood to run down her hand. "Someone find me something to go after, anything!"
"Bo, there's nothing we can do until Dyson contacts us about the poison. We don't even know where to start looking."
"He had an accent!" Bo exclaimed, realization sparking in her eyes as she strutted over to look over Kenzi's shoulder to the tome of toxins and antidotes, "Can you look things up by Eastern European origin?"
"Eastern European…" Trick pondered to himself, earning curious glances from both Kenzi and Bo, as his face darkened, "No, couldn't be."
"Couldn't be what, Trick? No more secrets, not with this." Bo states harshly, taking steps towards her grandfather.
"It's just…I've heard of a poison from Romania. Gypsies used it against warriors who mocked the powers of their magic. The stronger you are, the slower and more painful it works through your system. It's a torture mechanism and can only be broken by the same magic. I can only hope that I'm wrong." Trick finished with a tortured tone. He'd seen what this toxin had done to people during the war and wouldn't wish it upon anyone.
"Well, Tamsin's strong. That means we have more time before she…" Kenzi trails off, motioning around to fill in the blank that she didn't wish to.
"True, but as I said…It's a torture technique. Because Tamsin is such a powerful Valkyrie it's going to become extremely painful. Her will is the only thing that will keep her alive, but once that's broken? The pain could send her into shock, or even a coma. It will keep her on the edge of death for who knows how long…if it gets to that point, there's nothing we'd be able to do." Trick finishes solemnly, seeing the rage building behind Bo's eyes.
The Succubus' vice like grip began to crack into the edges of the table she was leaning against, trying to keep herself from succumbing to the beast trying to take her over. Her eyes flashed an ominous blue and her expression moved between angry and disoriented as she tried to fight her coming urges.
"If another one of those bastards even dare to show their face…I swear…They're going to wish they had gotten me the first time. I'll tear the flesh from his bones with a smile on my face if he thinks about—Gah!" Bo's dark rant is cut off by a yelp of pain as Kenzi jabs one of Lauren's injections through the back pocket of her jeans. Her eyes fade back to their normal brown as she rubs her butt trying to soothe the pain and turning her normal frustrated glare at her roomie, "Does it always have to be my ass when you do that?"
"Works best, babycakes. You need a level head while we save TamTam, think you can do that for me?"
"Yeah…yeah," Bo shakes her head clear of the fog that settled during her outburst, "I don't know what came over me."
"The time for the Dawning is nearing. The longer you wait the more likely it is for you to fade into those outbursts. You'll have to enter the temple soon Bo, or else—"
"I can't even think about that now. Not until Tamsin is better." Bo cuts her grandfather off, turning her darkened eyes to Tamsin's slightly shaking form beneath the blanket she had spread over her. "She saved my life Trick…She might die so that I wouldn't have to. Why would she do that?"
"I can think of a few reasons. The largest being that she's literally the personification of Guardian of Warriors. It's…well it's in her nature to say the least."
"But why me? What did I do to deserve something like that? A Valkyrie's blessing is…it feels like a fairy tale."
Trick struggled with his oath to Tamsin not to reveal the nature behind the feelings developing between the two. Explaining it to Bo might awaken a new drive that could save her life in the Dawning, not to mention it could aid in solving the heartbreak he sees plaguing the girl because of her own nature. He knows firsthand how Succubi can only devout themselves to a certain kind of person and be both happy and healthy. It involves a certain trust for when they do need to feed off others, and a powerful emotional bond.
"I need to hear from Dyson what strain the toxin is and how it's enchanted. Chances are, it's from a very powerful gypsy sorceress and we'll have to find someone equally as powerful to enchant an antidote." Trick's explanation is cut off by his phone ringing.
"Speak of the wolf now." Kenzi remarks dryly as she flips a page in her book while Trick answers the call. The Russian girl sits forward swiftly, smacking the table with wide eyes, "Shit balls! I found it!" Bo rushes to her side, studying the page to see it written completely in Romanian with several gypsy symbols.
"Since the hell when do you read ancient Romani?"
"I got a cousin that's a gypsy, a lot of my family thought she was just a quack that joined a traveling circus. She's a pretty cool chick though, haven't talked to her in a while. Dude! I so gotta tell her I kicked Baba Yaga's ass!" Bo just stares blankly at Kenzi until she rolls her eyes, "Fine…we kicked Baba Yaga's ass. Back to saving the warrior babe, Eroului Blestem means 'Hero's Curse'. This here is an incantation on how to make the poison that breaks at a hero's will."
"That's the one." Trick called as he covered the phone with his hand, affirming Kenzi's discovery before returning to his conversation.
"Well, does it say how to reverse it?" Bo states, her hope spiking.
Kenzi flips to the next page and furrows her brow in confusion as she turns back to the page with the curse. She applies pressure to the book to open it more at the spine and sees a small shred of paper between the pages.
"Uhh…Trickster? Someone ripped the page we need out of your book."
"What? No…not you Dyson, hold on." Trick pulls the phone away from his ear as he walks over to Kenzi to inspect the tome, "That's impossible…all of my books are in mint condition for their age. I used this very one only weeks ago when I made that milkshake to slow Bo's devolution."
"Someone planned this." Bo states with an intense look of thought as she stares forward, figuring out their next step as Trick moves back to the phone to finish his conversation.
"We'll figure it out BoBo," Kenzi comforts her friend with a hand on her shoulder and a small smile, "Come on, lets go find my cousin. She might be able to help us out."
"More then you know," Trick states as he hangs up the phone with a huff, "Lauren can't pinpoint the magics behind the toxin. She's a doctor, not a sorceress. Take one of the knives with you and see if your cousin can help. Dyson's going to talk to a sorceress on the Light compound as well. Both sides have outlawed curse, it'll be easy enough to find someone to bless an antidote once we figure out what kind of magic we need."
Tamsin groans to herself through clenched teeth as another wave of pain rushes from her wound and through her muscles. Bo slides to her side, gripping the blonde's hand with her own as she picks a damp cloth from a bowl of water to hold to her forehead.
"Come on Tamsin, fight through it." The brunette mumbles to herself as Tamsin continues struggle with the poison slowly destroying her will. The pain becomes greater as Tamsin's groans turn into light bursts of a shout. Bo winces at Tamsin's pain, as though she was feeling it herself deep in her core, but she plays it off as simply the pain coming from Tamsin's vice grip on her hand.
Bo can only stand seeing the agony before her for so long before a genius plan occurs to her. She softens her grip on Tamsin's hand and tosses the cool cloth back into the bowl as she takes a breath to calm herself. She runs her free hand gently from Tamsin's temple down the side of her face and to her jawline, gently pulsing the blonde with her powers.
Tamsin's last cry of pain softens to light gasps, as she calms herself with the help of Bo's touch. The blonde opens her eyes to reveal light rims of gold surrounding her pupils as her gaze locks onto Bo's soft smile.
"Even when you're wounded and poisoned you're still beautiful…" Bo states softly, getting lost in the moment as well as the Valkyrie's eyes as they fade back to their usual pale cross between green and blue. The poison may be slowly destroying her will and putting her through hell, but Tamsin's eyes still show all their expression and fierceness. Bo take's that as a good sign.
"Bo?" Tamsin's voice cracks a little as she winces and swallows, trying to wet her throat to speak clearer. "Ughn…what's happening to me…"
"The poison is magical…It's meant to torture powerful warriors by slowly eating at their will. Me and Kenzi are going to go and talk to someone who might be able to help. I need you to hold on for me, okay?" Bo states as she continues to pulse Tamsin gently to hold back her pain.
"Keep doing that, stud, and I'll do anything you want." The blonde teased earning a chuckle from Bo. Tamsin's expression softens and her eyes search Bo's as she asks, "It's that gypsy poison, isn't it? The one that's outlawed?" Bo flashes her a sad smile and nods, "No big…It's not as bad as it sounds, really. I barely feel a thing!" The blonde tries to say only to wince at the end of her sentence with a smile that says 'I tried'.
"I'm going to get you better, even if I have to go to Romania to do it. Hang in there Tamsin, like you said…you've been through worse, right?" Bo smiles, trying to lift the girl's spirits.
"Oh you have no idea. I'll tell ya one day." She responded while leaning back and closing her eyes.
"I'll hold you to that." Bo pauses for a second before leaning forward. She pushes her hair behind her ear and gently lays a kiss upon Tamsin's lips. She pulls back before the blonde has a chance to respond. Tamsin's eyes open slowly, showing confusion, "That's to remind you to fight. Don't let this thing break you…there's too much to live for."
"Trust me…I don't have too much to live for." Tamsin states, holding her tears back.
"You have me." Bo finishes with a slight curl of her lips before leaving the bar with Kenzi.
Tamsin fights to hold back her tears at Bo's words, "I wish."
"She's right you know." Trick responds with his nose in a book.
"You don't know how wrong you actually are." Trick looks up, waiting for her to continue only to see her struggling to sit up while holding onto her abdomen.
"Tamsin! Stop, you're going to hurt your—Oh no…" Trick's eyes go wide as Tamsin lifts the side of her tank top.
On her left rib cage a black mark, not unlike a tattoo, mars the blonde's skin. The mark consists of several swirls surrounding the shape of a mystical eye that seems to glare into the soul of whoever looks at it. The dark lines of the mark are surrounded by darkened, sickly looking veins as though the mark was the center of a horrible bruise. Tamsin lowers her shirt and winces as she leans back to lay into the couch. She turns a blank expression to Trick, addressing his shock.
"Now you know why I can't get close to Bo."
"That's a Romani black magic penance curse mark. I've never truly seen someone living with one before." Trick's awe was unsettling.
"That's because my personal hell isn't to be paralyzed, weakened, or dead. I thought I beat her you know." The blonde states with a depressed chuckle before leveling her empty stare to the ceiling, "I thought that I had the perfect lifestyle where I wouldn't be able to stick around enough to even find my warrior. Hell, I dealt with the worst of the worst as a Bounty Hunter; I had no hope of meeting a noble and honorable warrior. It was perfect…"
"Why didn't your people help you?" Trick asked in sympathy as he sat down in the chair facing the couch.
"I haven't seen Valhalla in over a century…Once in a great while I'll run into another Valkyrie but they've been ordered to stay away from me so as to not cause trouble with who I got this from. One cursed Valkyrie is bad enough." A tear ran down Tamisn's cheek as her emotions started escaping her.
"I'm afraid to ask—" Trick started only to be cut off by the blonde.
"What she cursed me with? Hah. If I told you I guarantee you'd cast me out on my ass just like they did in Valhalla."
Trick could see the unease apparent on the blonde's face and how much this fate really was eating away at her. He concluded it had something to do with her bond with Bo, but he wasn't positive to just what extent the penance ran.
"Tamsin, we can't help you until you start being honest. We aren't going to cast you away like the other Valkyrie's did. You're one of us now, Bo's made that very clear if it wasn't already." He finished, trying to make a joke and keep the air about them light—and failing miserably.
Tamsin turned her gaze to study Tricks, seeing if he was truly genuine. She couldn't help but think that these people were far too noble for their own good. She has done nothing to earn this kind of respect, hell she tried for weeks to toss his grand daughter into prison. Now she was about to tell him that being around her is dooming her to an eternity of unrest.
"I want your word, that what I'm about to tell you won't stop you from tossing me on my ass. I need your help Trick…I'm already in too deep for my own good, Bo's as well. She's getting attached to me and I can't just up and leave her now." She begged.
"On my blood honor…trust me that's one of the most precious things I can give." Trick offered. He also realized he was going to have to share with the blonde about his past if she was going to stick around. It'll explain more about how Bo is so strong.
Tamsin took a breath and released it in a wheeze, "Emilina…She didn't curse me exactly…she cursed my bond with Bo." Trick's curiosity is piqued, but the confusion is still apparent on his expression. The blonde rolls her eyes and sighs as she continues, "I took her husband to Valhalla, she thought that I killed him to take him away from her."
"You're a Valkyrie, Tamsin. He died a warrior's death, you merely did your duty." Trick comforted the blonde, seeing how she was struggling.
"Maybe…but Sorceresses aren't granted passage to Valhalla, only warriors. All she saw was the one who took her lover from both her mortal life, as well as their afterlife together. So she decided to give me the same fate that she thought I gave her. I'm not allowed to find happiness with my bound warrior in any existence. If I swear my spear before Bo…" she stops and swallows the lump in her throat while holding the tears burning her eyes back, "She…She will be doomed to an eternity as a restless soul."
"And you've been cast from Valhalla…so even if you don't bind yourself to Bo in this life, you can't be with her in her afterlife either." Trick states, his eyes wide in realization and shock of the hole the blonde was dug into.
"You've gotta help me Trick…I don't know how much longer I can handle seeing Bo and not telling her!"
"Have you ever considered telling her? Bo is strong, she may be able to help you find a solution, as will the rest of us." Trick tries to reason.
"If I tell her, if I explain the whole situation, Bo will offer her guardianship anyway. She'll say that she doesn't care for the consequences and she just wants to go through this life." Tamsin states, her expression darkening as she spoke, "I won't be able to deny her Trick, it would kill me. This poison seems like the best solution right now…Bo can live on as the hero she is meant to be and she'll be safe to see Valhalla one day." A tear escapes from the ducts of her eyes.
"She will…She's also going to be that hero she's destined to be with you backing her up." Tamsin turns to see Trick's wide smile, complete confidence in his prediction, "And when the time comes, you'll be the one to take her soul to paradise."