Beautiful and Deadly (30)

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     "New look?" Klein raised an eyebrow at her when she entered the room. His blonde hair was lighter under the morning light leaking from above.

     Aeress almost forgot about her makeover or transformation-whatever it could be called. "Yeah. I guess." 

      He shrugged and she appreciated that he didn't question further. "Well, you already know we got to warm up. Give me four miles, now." 

      Aeress immediately got on the track and welcomed the distraction. 


     "Harder. Harder!" he commanded. She groaned in frustration, throwing the hits and kicks he taught her. "Okay, stop! Time for one-on-one."

     She wiped her forehead and was greeted by a hell of a lot of sweat. Her muscles-while somewhat worn out-mostly pumped with newfound energy. This fusion process definitely had its benefits, though she still remembered how uncomfortable it really was. 

     They entered the mat area, circling each other like two jungle cats. But before she could charge him, she felt a presence behind her. She twisted her body so that she could nail the mystery person right in the jaw. He went down quickly, having been caught off guard by her whip-like attack. 

     She did not know the man and looked to Klein in inquiry. "What the hell is going on?" 

     He crossed his arms. His biceps bulged under the pressure. "You think they will test you with one man? I'm not preparing you for preschool now, I'm preparing you for the trials."

     A surge of confidence swept through her mind. She gestured to him tauntingly. "Bring it on, Calvin Klein!" 

     He took a few steps back. There was a taunting curl to his lip. "My pleasure." 

     Aeress got to work as she was charged from all sides. A kick here. A punch there. She didn't bother to see who went down and who remained up. She cut them down like she was a farmer collecting their harvest. 

     She thrummed from within, thriving on the sparring. She even laughed. She couldn't recall having more fun in her life.

     A woman came up, with a knife in hand. Aeress literally caught her by the throat and lifted her off the ground-the weight was slight and in no way unmanageable. Taking the knife, she watched the blue flames burst from the weapon and prepared to sink it right into her chest-

     "Aeress!" she blinked, dropping the woman as well as the knife instantly. She looked over to Klein who looked around, ready to hold her down if he needed to. 

     He stepped over some of the unconscious bodies. Low groaning and moaning could be heard. Some of them were out cold. "What exactly were you about to do?" It was both a fearful and curious demand.

     Her brain was still stuck in the fog. "I was going to free her." 

     "You mean kill her?" He tilted his head at her.

     She shook her head, leaving the fog behind. "No, freedom is different than murder."

     "Did..." He studied her so closely that it finally made her nervous. "Godhead tell you this?" 

     "Yes. It's crazy, but... maybe I'm crazy, because I believe her." There was a drop of pride and steadfast resolution in her heart.

     He was quiet for a little while. "Okay, then, Aeress. But warn me next time before you try to free one of my workers." 

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