Chapter XVII -- Witchy Woman

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Spring, 1875 / Goblin's Toe, Wyoming

Clementine Blue sat perfectly still as the spell of healing that she'd cast turned the pain of her wounds into dulled memories of their former selves; once the cover of glamour had proven worthless through the vampiric nature of those that had joined her after the last layover.

Acute awareness from her sensorial third eye had flared warning about the true nature of the man and woman who now shared the closed confines of the stagecoach; asking upon arrival as they had, for the shades to have been drawn in an effort to keep the interior as cool as possible while they traveled.

She'd complied easily enough, hoping beyond hope that the glamour would make her uninteresting and vague as they'd settled in.

The tall angular vampire carried himself with steely assurance marked by his squared jaw and piercing ice blue eyes, while removal of his top hat had also revealed close-cropped blond hair, cut flat across the top of his head.

Once settled in for the trip, he'd introduced himself as Leviticus LaRouchette and the raven-haired woman as his niece Natalia De Lascanti; while he spoke, she'd caught just the faintest touch of a foreign accent that hinted at something not quite French, but definitely European of some sort or another.

They appeared to be city folk, dressed as he was in a full vested suit while his niece wore a frilled long dress designed to show elegantly rounded cleavage to those who might have otherwise noticed such things.

The Vampiress De Lascanti smiled, dark red lips curled in amusement when she'd asked what a young woman like Clementine was doing traveling alone as she was without an escort such as she had in her uncle.

Both the clean bone white teeth of her smile and the piercing dark green of her eyes had left Clementine chilled - as unintentional as it may have been in the process.

While her uncle's accent had been faint, De Lascanti's was thick and definitely French; having spent enough time around passing immigrants to have learned the various foreign languages she'd picked up as a child.

Her quickly crafted lie of being under the ever-watchful eye of the stage driver during her journey appeared to have placated concern for the moment; however, she was just as sure that they'd seen through that false truth as easily as they'd seen through the glamour, just having chosen not to have called her on it as of yet.

She'd learned enough about blood hunters as a child to avoid annoying them, while hoping that they'd fed properly before setting out upon the long journey that they now shared with her.

Seated with legs folded back beneath her and swaddled within the relative comfort and safety of the seat opposite them, she'd watched as they casually bathed her with glances of curiosity masked as benign disinterest while they traveled.

Kept calm as she quietly repeated the initial incantation that would cast a blistering fireball, she'd wondered how difficult it must be for them to be this close to their prey and not try for a taste of her blood.

The half-demon result of relations forced upon her mother had given her stronger powers than that of any witch she'd ever met, including more natural skills that she'd inherited and carefully honed with careful study and much practice.

Immune to vampiric charm through the power of her demon sire, she'd found herself able to meet their gaze evenly which only served to cause just a hint of amusement as they'd studied each other within the coach.

All but a few quick words remained to complete the spell and they'd regret ever having made such a move as they may have tried against her - damage from the resulting inferno balanced against that of keeping her life and blood intact.

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