Chapter 10: The Seeker

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The wind whipped around her as she cruised down the familiar suburban streets, and she was in high spirits. It had been a good day. She engaged her graduate class in a lively discussion on the origins of fables borne from obscure historical events. For the students, the exercise challenged them to contemplate the veracity of folk legends against mere myth. Their professor knew better. Though humans throughout the ages created their own mythologies filled with angels and gods and demons, those entities bore their own name for themselves.

Archons.

And many of the stories told about them were not nearly as fictitious as the modern world believed. Skepticism had its uses, and truly it helped the world advance to its current age of scientific "enlightenment," but it often blinded society to the hidden threat that could undermine all of humanity. That was why people like her, the Balancers – humans born with cryptic gifts able to combat the archons – were ever vigilant.

Amber Walker shook her head from those thoughts. The discussion in the Harvard classroom interested her, and one of her students showed uncanny insight to the topic, which certainly piqued her attention, but she also wondered what awaited her at home. When she got the call to hurry there, she cancelled her office hours for the day and jumped on her bike.

Finally, she saw her house up ahead, and eased up on the throttle to spare her neighbors its thundering roar. Coming to a halt in her garage, she kicked the stand down and removed her helmet, shaking her long, golden brown hair free. She smiled as she traced the unique fairing of "Seeker," her custom-built Ducati 899, with her fingertips.

Now let's see what my irrepressible wife wants with me, she thought with equal parts anticipation and concern.

As soon as she passed through the garage door, she was ambushed by an unseen attacker. She kept her wits about her, prepared for a fight, but holding her counterattack. This type of trap happened before, several times, and so she was not surprised to find herself with her back against the wall and staring into the face of her loving wife.

"Hi, lover," Courtney said, with her customary cool smile gracing her face. Her deep brown eyes danced with playful promise. "You're home early."

"You called me, remember?" Amber said, unable to hide her own smile.

Courtney laughed – such a beautiful sound – and wasted no time pushing Amber harder against the wall and kissing her fervently, forcing her tongue into her mouth. Amber returned the kiss, though she became a bit concerned when Courtney became more aggressive with her. Courtney leaned into her, trapping her, and gripped the back of her neck. She enjoyed the thrill, but when she tried to push back and free herself, she met resistance. Courtney was taller and outweighed her and had little trouble keeping the smaller woman pinned.

"Where do you think you're going?"

"Be good," Amber scolded playfully. "Kevin might see us."

"Nope. I sent him to your sister's house for the night. I have you all to myself right now."

Amber frowned. "Is that why you had me cancel my office hours? Courtney, you know I love you, but I have responsibilities to my students, too. If you want me to..."

Courtney put her fingers to Amber's lips, silencing her. "As much as I'd love to tie you down for the night and have my way with you..." Courtney's smile faded "...there's something almost as important that we have to do tonight."

Amber pursed her lips and waited patiently for her wife to continue.

"Taylor is back," Courtney said. "I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner, but I didn't want to upset you."

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