Ashes

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A slow smile spread across Lucy's face, her fond gaze trained on the sleek wolf sauntering beside her. She had taken on the habit of summoning the wolf whenever she felt lonely. She still summoned Plue, but Chance was more acquitted for her current assignment. She was on an S-class mission. 

During the Tenrou island group's absence, Macao had granted her S-class because someone had to shoulder the hefty missions, and she had been the only suitable candidate. Lucy trekked soundlessly, her feet padding along the vegetation and undergrowth.

"Lucy-sama, do you think we can stop for some steak? I'm hungry," Chance whined. Lucy glanced at him, amusement shining clear within her chocolate and sapphire speckled eyes.

"You're always hungry," She laughed, and the wolf barred his pearly white canines at her, in what resembled a smile.

"So are you. Just last mission, you just had to stop to get some waffles," Chance pointed out, his opal colored eyes flashing with happiness.

"True...but don't bring my love of waffles into this!" She giggled, in mock irritation.

They both continued on with a small bounce in both of their steps. They had just finished getting a summary of what had to be done on their mission, and Lucy was already tense and trying to locate the young woman she had been hired to find.

She had gone missing days earlier, and the young mayor had pleaded with her to bring the woman home. She had apparently been his wife and had mysteriously disappeared one day in the forest.

Lucy watched the light filter through the overhanging canopy of leaves. The wood had a very serene feeling to it, almost soothing the blonde. She had been terribly tense since the whole Laxus fiasco. She flinched at the thought. Even thinking about him was painful. She wondered again, was he okay? A branch snapped somewhere in the woods, it's sharp cry startling her from her thoughts.

She whirled around to face the noise, and Chance growled lowly, the feral noise bubbling up like a warning call. That's when she felt it. An overwhelming, vile presence. It chilled her blood and made her want to curl up into a ball and disappear. When a patch of dried leaves crumbled under someone's foot, she curled her fists tightly. Chance barked, barring his teeth aggressively. He stood in front of her, his posture rigid and tense. She soothingly stroked his glossy raven coat.

"Don't worry. I'll take care of it."

She calmly observed her surroundings and noticed the edge of a person's silhouette barely noticeable through the thick and unrelenting foliage.

"Come out now! Quit these foolish games!" She commanded, washing away all traces of emotion. Even when her mind acknowledged the fact that the mysterious person could be Laxus.

The thought made her insides clench, and no matter how hard she tried to push it down, excitement bloomed throughout her chest. She watched as a figure slid into view, and she noted with disappointment that the figure was too thin and petite to be Laxus.

The graceful individual was a woman, adorned in a skin-tight red dress, that emphasized her womanly figure. It clung tightly in the chest area but flowed in soft waves from the waist-down. Toffee brown hair flowed down her back, and her lavender eyes glinted evilly. 

"Why, hello there, Lucy," The woman purred. 

Lucy bristled and glared fiercely at the opposing woman.

"Who are you?" She bit out, her tone clipped and demanding. The woman tisked, and held up a murky bottle, with an almost milky appearance. She felt as if she recognized that from somewhere...Where had she seen a milky substance? She knew it was a spell...

Lucy's eyes widened with understanding, as the situation finally dawned on her. 

'The bottle!'

 Her mind screamed at her, and she felt an immense amount of rage swirl within her veins, begging to be released.

'That woman...she did it!'

Lucy copied Chance's snarl and wished for nothing more to just tear the patronizing woman's throat out.

She had been the one who poisoned Laxus. He was now a lunatic, and unable to control himself. He chilled her to the bone and made her take caution and have a slight fear of the one person she used to trust her life to. This woman was responsible for all her months alone, all her bitter worrying and sleepless nights. She bit her lip in an attempt to not charge in and attack blindly.

"Who the fuck are you?!" Lucy roared, her anger still blazing like a raging bonfire.

The woman giggled, twirling a lock of her mud-colored hair playfully.

"Oh, you know, Laxus's old lover. We were extremely close...I'm surprised he never mentioned me," She said with a mock gasp, a smirk still playing on her lips. "Then again, you are nothing but a mere whore. I mean, he could have at least picked out a decent replacement for me! But, I guess he just needed something to take out his sexual frustrations on," The woman cooed, and Lucy was a second from killing her. She clutched her knuckles until they turned white, her grip so tight they bruised.

'Don't lose control, don't lose control, don't lose control,' She chanted in her head.

"So, I had to punish Laxus for picking you as a lover. What a disgrace...You know, I really enjoyed his pained screams of agony when the potion first activated...bitch didn't know what hit him. He doesn't even love you...all you were to him was a useless toy."

Lucy snapped.


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