The second leg of my journey began almost as soon as we landed. I rushed from one gate to another in order to board immediately. I had planned it that way because there was nothing worse than airport sitting. For normal humans, it was just a boring wait, for me it was torture. All those sights and smells over-loaded my werewolf; the surge of emotions coming from every direction—love, lust, sorrow, longing, rage, frustration, pity—all of it tempted my incubus and gave my control a hard work-out. Not that I couldn’t, but it was better if I didn’t have to wait.
As I boarded the flight, I nearly choked on my own vomit; I could distinctly smell four unwashed men who had recently had sex with the same partner. They were all in the first-class cabin which meant they all had probably spent their waiting time with the same prostitute in the first-class lounge. I enjoyed a good multi-partner tryst as much as any incubus, but that was not what had happened and I could smell the syphilis from here. How none of them had noticed or cared enough to protect their junk disgusted me.
The flight from Madrid to New York was an eight hour trip. I was ready to actually sleep on this flight, but as soon as I sat down, I saw a good reason to stay awake. She was three people behind me—tall, lithe, buxom—her pixie-cut brown hair had been frosted and spiked to match a smattering of chrome studs in her ears and face. All of that got my attention, but what kept it was the distinct contradiction of her clothing choice. She wore a long sleeve, plain white blouse with a comfortable khaki skirt and delicate sandals. She had a feminine silver bracelet encircling her tiny wrist and she smiled like an angel on her way to a baptism.
Then she sat down next to me across the aisle. She smelled like the perfection of femininity: all natural musk from a workout hours before and the light scent of rose soap. Everyone noticed her, but I knew whose attentions would matter. I smiled at her and nodded, giving her an approval she hadn’t sought, and didn’t know she wanted.
She rewarded me with half a grin and a bashful nod back to me. I chuckled softly and turned my attention to the coming line of boarders. I would have eight hours to get to know this girl, I needn’t rush the process.
I was a pack animal, and I preferred the company and closeness of my family, but the cramped space in the plane, and the plethora of odors coming from what were essentially my prey, had me closing my eyes and meditating on the bars of the cage behind which I kept my beast. I needed to bolster them daily to keep them from cracking under the pressure the beast always exercised on my control. It wasn’t just my incubus behind those bars, my wolf also stood behind them, growling at me, ordering me to free it. Without my control, the wolf would emerge, and not only would that girl beside me be in danger of losing her aural chi to me, but she would also be in danger from a possessive wolf who liked what he saw and salivated at what he smelled.
I could afford to feed them both to keep myself strong, in fact, I needed to feed both beasts within, but I had to maintain control of their feedings and never allow myself to lose the balance I had fought so hard to find. Unbidden, the image of Sarah and Michel losing their lives struck me hard and my father’s voice rang in my ears. “Come to me, Alex. Are you coming?”
He knew I was on my way; he was taunting me. How he could sweep past all my defenses like they were nothing baffled me and pissed me off. Get out of my head you bastard! You know I’m coming.
His teasing laughter echoed through my mind, but then he was gone again, just the continuous reminder to come to him repeating itself at the edge of my consciousness.
“Are you ok?”
My eyes snapped open at the whisper of lilies in the field. I looked over to the contradictory woman and saw her light grey eyes observing me with genuine concern featured strongly in them. More time had passed than I expected, we were already aloft and I hadn’t felt the pressure from take-off. “I’m alright. I had a rough night, but it’s getting better.” I felt my lips turn up in a half-smile that reflected her own.
“You looked like you were having a fight with yourself.” Her astute observation threw me for a moment. I was not used to humans actually seeing me.
“Not so much myself, as with my father.” My years of practicing honesty were not going to be wasted on petty lies that I didn’t have to speak.
She nodded and pursed her supple royal purple colored lips. The gaudy lipstick was the only make-up on her face, but it fit the look of her fashion. “I do that too. All alone in my heard, I go over the argument I have either had or the one I want to have. Unfortunately practice doesn’t usually make an argument less destructive and it doesn’t take back words already spoken in anger.”
“True, but it helps us categorize our own thoughts and feelings and it gives us an outlet for expressing our mixed emotions, much like dreaming does.”
“What was the argument about?” she asked, all curiosity and innocence.
I closed my eyes as soon as the stab of pain hit my temple. My eyes were changing again, but it only took a moment for them to revert back. One deep breath later I answered her question. “He called me earlier today demanding my return home. I haven’t been home in more years that you would believe and all of the sudden he needs me. But he is my father, and I cannot break the bond we have no matter how hard I may want to or try. So, here I am, on a flight back to him.” I laughed at the ridiculousness of my situation. “I don’t even know why he wants me so bad.”
“Wow, that sounds exactly like what happened to me,” she noted with a laugh. “I just got a call from my dad too. He wants me in Dallas and he wants me there now. I have no earthly idea what he wants, but I have to go.” She sighed and chuckled again and then I saw it.
Her eyes changed from light grey to bright, emerald green. It happened in a flash, and I almost missed it when she blinked, but it was there and then it was gone. She saw the look in my eyes and mistook it. I felt her succubus stab at me, trying to wipe away the memory of the green eyes, but instead of finding my memory, she found my incubus and immediately pulled back with a startled jump.
“What the hell?” She whispered, trying to keep the humans around us from noticing our sudden interaction.
I couldn’t help but laugh at her question. “Yes, exactly.”
She gave my laughter a confused look before she realized what she had said and laughed with me. “Yes, that’s true.”
I help my hand out to her. “Alex Wolfe.”
She took it and squeezed. “Sylvia Gray.”
“I’m heading to Dallas as well, Sylvia. You wouldn’t happen to be the daughter of Yuruch, would you?”
She nodded and sighed. “That I am.”
And now I was awestruck. She was my sister, but more than that, she was not a crazed halfling like most of our siblings. She was calm, funny, composed. “Where did you learn control?” I asked, unable to keep my surprise hidden.
She lifted a pretty brow at me. “Probably the same place as you. Stephan found me when I was an infant and raised me in his school for special brats.” She winked at me, joking, but we both knew her description was far from a lie.
“You must have graduated before me.” So she was an older sister. Interesting.
“I left in 1903,” she whispered so low, only I would be able to hear her.
“Long before me. Stephan found my in ’66. I was twelve at the time.”
She gave me her half smile. “So you’re the Alex I’ve heard so much about.”
“What have you heard?”
Sylvia shrugged. “Just a lot. Stephan and I keep in touch. But more importantly, you do realize that you can’t actually go to Yuruch, right? You need to hide away and keep yourself away from him at all costs.”
“I know. I have a plan, but I can’t stay away from Dallas. The urge to follow is too strong.”
She sighed. “True. I’m going to die there. A seer I know told me that if I go, I am going to die. I can’t stop myself, but I’ve accepted my fate. I’ve had a really good life and if it’s time, then it’s time.”
“I’m so sorry,” I held my hand out to her. There was nothing I could do to save her, we both knew that.
She took my hand and smiled again. “Thank you.”
For a long time we held each other’s hands, preparing for our arrival and bolstering each other up. She was my sister, and I was her brother, and we both received comfort from that.