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[Fiction] Mistakes [Complete]


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Chloe was relieved as the headache waned through the course of the day; she wasn't sure if it was her nova metabolism finally overcoming the effects of last night, or if she was just getting numb. Either way, it was a blessing.

Thoughts of blessings turned her thoughts toward the silver chain around her neck. It was the first time she had worn these twisted links without the silver cross her mother had given her. It felt strange to not have the jewelry around her neck; she didn't wear the necklace all the time, but when she did, she was used to having the cross on it as well.

The chimes over the door sang out as someone entered, and Chloe snapped out of her fugue. Straightening the front of the t-shirt and making sure her short jean skirt was covering everything, Chloe picked up her tray and notepad and headed back out onto the floor. It was almost dinnertime, and things would be picking up soon.

"Hey!" she said with a big grin when she saw Big Tony peeling off his coat. Three more of his friends were with him; older gentlemen who always tipped well and treated her nicely. This would be a good night, if they paid out like they normally did.

His smile was just as big as he gave her a hug. "Hey, Chlo," he said enthusiastically, "you look as radiant as ever." His east coast accent was a thick as Vinny Teti's, the assistant manager. He gave her a kiss on the cheek and said, "Is my boy back there?"

"Yeah, Little Tony is in his office," Chloe said, giving a peck on the cheek in return. Big Tony was an affectionate guy; it had weirded her out until she realized that he did it to everyone he liked. "Do you want me to seat you and get him?"

"You know what," he chuckled, "that doesn't sound like a half-bad idea. What'd I tell ya, Romano? What a sweet girl, eh?"

"Yeah Big T, a sweet girl," Romano said, giving her a hug and kiss too. Like Big Tony and Vinny, he had a thick accent - what kind, Chloe had never asked. "Savin' an old man a trip to the back of the store."

Chloe received two more hugs and kisses before she lead the four man to their table in the corner. "I'll be right back," she said and hurried back into the kitchen, knowing they were watching her go. It would have bothered her a few months ago; now, she was relieved that all they would do is watch. She was beautiful; men were going to stare. And women.

She did not want to think about women, and instead she threw herself into her work. Despite her efforts, a hot flush darkened her face as she slipped through the kitchen, telling the cook, Mark, that the owner was here. Chloe kept going past the freezer and the bathroom, and stopped at the door marked 'Manager.'

"Tony?" she called out, rapping on the door. "Big Tony is here."

"I'll be right there," he called through the door, his voice untouched by the accents of most of his immediate family.

Chloe bypassed the normal practice of bringing out water and instead got her new table frosted glasses from the freezer. They sometimes wanted wine later, but they always wanted beer to start.

Setting the glasses and pitcher down, she pulled out a spare chair and sat down. "So," she said, pulling out her pad and holding the pen in the ready position, "what can I get you gentlemen tonight?"

She heard the door chime again, but Chloe ignored it; one table at a time, especially when the table in question was the owner and his friends. But when Romano muttered, "What the fuck!" she glanced over her shoulder.

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Satyr had been fairly busy dealing with the arson case over the last month. No one had been caught in relation to the fire... Satyr could not, or would not identify his assailants to the proper authorities.

Still, his insurance covered the rebuilding of his home and several of his lost personal tresures. He lamented the loss of his personal library, but he knew of several bookstores in several countries in which he could begin to rebuild his collection.

So it was he found himself in the rather drab city of Seattle, wandering through several unique book shops when his stomach growled at him.

Ach, I've neglected ta eat again. He looked about his surroundings and wondered at what sort of eatery or pub he could find in this part of the world.

It occoured to him that he was fairly close to Chloe's place. He hadn't really seen her since... they were together.

Before he had realy decided to go to Portland he was already there. He knew she worked at a Italian resturant near her house, and he quickly found himself only a block or so from her house. A neighbor of hers was surprised by Satyr's sudden arrival.

"Exscuse me, lad, do ye know where I might find an Italian resturant near here?"

Moments later he walked through the doorway of Anthony's Pizza with an audible chime of doorbells, noting several gentlemen who almost appeared to be sterotypes from your average mob film, they all seemed rather shocked by Satyr's appearence.

"Hallo lads, Can I getta table?"

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The restaurant was bright, and Sylvan's glow was soft - comparatively. And with her back to the door, with her hair pulled up in a loose knot, she didn't look anything like herself. She was still a little irked.

Geez, girl, it was a simple mistake, she told herself as she spun around on the chair and stood to her feet. And he just came in from outside. He's sun-blind. "Actually," she said, holding her pad out aggressively, "that's my job. I'm helping these gentlemen. But I'll be right with you." Her smile was warm and teasing as she faced him.

The look on his face was completely worth it.

Chloe gave him another reassuring smile and sat back down at the table. Immediately after Romano had told her what he wanted, Big Tony murmured, "You know him, Chlo?"

"Yeah, he's a," How does one describe Satyr?, "friend." The pause was unnoticeable to the baselines. Satyr probably caught it, if he was listening to her conversation.

"You let us know if he bothers you," Romano said, and the look on his face gave her shivers. It was cold and serious - deadly serious was the term that leapt to mind.

"I will," Chloe promised sincerely. She dropped off the order with Mark and took a deep breath, her hands fluttering down the front of her body. The t-shirt was fine - not very sexy with the gray background and the caricature of Big Tony holding a steaming pizza - but the skirt and soft leather boots showed off her legs perfectly. She didn't quite feel naked, but it was... revealing. And after last night, she wasn't sure she was up to anything.

But she had a job to do, and she grabbed a glass of ice water and a menu. "Welcome to Anthony's Pizza," she said, showing him to a table. "Our special today is the linguine with the marinara sauce, and I personally recommend our battered calamari. Do you need a few moments to look over the menu?"

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"I know exactly what I be wantin'..." He let the statement hang suggestively in the air as he looked deeply into her eyes and smiled playfully.

He found that the slight embarrasment on her face before her presumed employer was worth her previous teasing of him. "...th' spagetti and meatballs, please." He seeming pointed at random at an item on the menu to make his desision.

"By th' way.. when di' we become..." he allowed for a pregnant pause. "... friends?" He gave her a wink. He took a moment to look over the premesis as Chloe wrote down his order for the line-cook. When he spoke next it was in a serious and hushed tone. "Chloe, when da ye get off?"

Chloe's face turned red as she blushed heavily. "8pm." She mumbled under her breath. Satyr compared her reaction to his gentle teasing and realized something was bothering Chloe.

"Is somthing th' matter, lass?"

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"I... I can't talk about it here," she said softly and evenly, but he could hear the pain in her voice. But she seemed in the mood to confess: "I made a mistake. A big one. A huge one." Her lips tremble as she said, "You may not like me anymore."

She spun away from him, dashing over to the kitchen. Mark took the order with a concerned frown; before he could ask if she was ok, she spun away from him. She didn't need his sympathy. She wasn't comfortable talking with him about this.

But she was comfortable talking to Satyr about it? The thought stopped her in mid-step, sloshing the soda out of the glass on her tray. Why was she comfortable talking to him? He was a sex fiend, a pervert, a...

Her friend. He really was a friend. Someone she could confide in; someone she could trust with something like this. Which left one question.

When the hell did that happen?

"Hey," she said, setting his soda down in front of him. "How are you, by the way?" Behind her, she was aware of Little Tony moving to his father's table; she spare her boss a glance. He was recieving an urgent whisper from his father; it looked very serious. What is that all about?

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Satyr felt something that felt remarkably like his heart sinking into his stomach as she said: "I made a mistake. A big one. A huge one. You may not like me anymore."

What coulda she have possibly done that might offend me?" He stammered a "Wha-?" as she went to the kitchen. He was quite confused as his mind raced through the possibilities. Did she rejoin CoMA? Did she run off to join a convent? Did she take an oath of celebacy? Satyr visibly shuddered at that thought.

He watched as she returned to his table with a perplexed look upon her face. "Are ye an nun, now?" His look of fearful questioning was quite sincere. She flashed a look of shock, and then, "No! Why in the world would you think that?!"

Satyr let his ghaze go to a reflection of light on the table. "Ach, I wondered what migh' make me nigh like you anymore." By the tone of his voice Chloe could tell that the very idea of the nun lifestyle greatly disturbed him, just as his lifestyle probably greatly disturbed most nuns.

"Wel, if we canna talk of it here, I'll have ta stay put until ye leave then." He looked back up to her with a smile that spoke volumes about how he felt about her.

"I'm good, I recently bought a few acres of land, and the ground was broken on the rebuilding process of my house yesterday." He gave her an unmistakable look. "Once ye are free, I'll have to take ye across the pond for a visit."

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"I'll need to get a passport," Chloe said, looking thoughtful. Yes, she had traveled down to Rio without one, but she had been out of her mind at the time, and Blur hadn't offered to drop by the Post Office and get one. But Satyr could see that the offer intrigued her. "Sure."

Little Tony was next to her with a startling suddenness. "Hey, Chlo, who's your friend?" he asked casually, but there was a hint of something darker in his tone.

"Little Tony, this is Satyr," Chloe said, blushing. "I'll um... sorry. I'll see to the other table."

Still blushing, she hurried over to check on Big Tony's table. Why did she have to completely lose herself whenever Satyr came around?

"So, you know our Chloe," Little Tony said, his eyes latching hard onto Satyr. "You guys go back before her little incident?" To be clear, he made a gun with his fingers and mimed shooting it - at Satyr's chest, the nova couldn't help noting. "Or you one of them mushrooms popping up to take advantage of the rain fallin' in her life?"

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Satyr was a bit taken aback by Tony's slightly veiled threat. "Ach no, I met 'er last July... we're ah... friends." He gave Tony a warm charming smile. "Well, that's great! Lil' Chlo needs as many friends as she can get. Lemme buy you a drink, what are you drinking?"

Satyr smiled to himself as he glanced at the wine menu. "How abou' a Sauvignon Blanc?" Tony leaned in close to Satyr conspiratorly. "That's a good one; my personal favorite. But say, tell ya what - you hurt Chloe, I'll destroy you, ok?"

Clearly Satyr was missing something about this conversation. He continued the whispered tone. "I consider Chloe ta be one of me closest friends. I'd never knowingly hurt 'er." Satyr's eyes gleamed with green light. "Besides, ye know I'd never hurt her, don't ye, Tony?"

"Sure kid. Any friend of lil' Chlo's is a friend of mine." Tony put his arm around Satyr's shoulders warmly. "Hey Chlo, He's a good guy!" he said laughing as he patted Satyr on the back. Satyr simply laughed along with Tony, looking at Chloe with a wide smile.

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Chloe turned and straightened from setting down wine bottle in front of Big Tony. She missed his suspicious frown as she smiled at Satyr and Little Tony. "Yeah, he's good people," she said, using a phrase she had heard bandied about the restaurant. She gave Satyr an extra-warm smile as she moved back into the kitchen.

For Chloe, the time flew by; the dinner crowd rolled in, and she didn’t have the luxury of feeling time’s flow. For Satyr, watching the Chloe work was not the most enjoyable thing in the world and time moved a bit slower. Granted, he loved watching her dash back and forth in that short skirt and cute boots, but by the time he was done eating, he was ready to do more than watch.

Just before the end of her shift, there was a lull in the rush. Chloe sighed with relief as she leaned against the counter, enjoying the chance to stop moving. And in ten minutes, she would leave with Satyr, and she’d have to tell him what she had done. Agony coiled in her gut, and she ignored it as she rang up Satyr’s bill. “Here you go,” she said, forcing a nervous smile as she put the ticket down. “So are you up to going to my-”

The door chimed, and Chloe glanced at the door. A small crowd, seven or eight people, stood in the doorway. The light fell across them, and Chloe felt a shiver of unease. Belinda, who was supposed to stay until close, tilted her head at the door in a clear signal. Chloe tried not to sigh; since she was leaving, Belinda should have seated them, but it wasn’t worth arguing over.

There were eight, and they were of Asian descent, which was not unusual in this area. They were dressed in street clothes; very loose and casual. “Hi, welcome to Anthony’s Pizza,” she said, but she realized that they weren’t even looking at her. She followed their line-of-sight to find it focused on Big Tony.

Chloe almost didn’t see the gun; it was just the tail of the grip, but it was unmistakable. With a gasp, she dropped the tray and jerked backwards. “Gun!” she managed to squeak just before all hell broke loose.

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Satyr had been leaning back in his chair enjoying his fourth bottle of wine as another waitress, Belinda, decided to take her break at his table, she made several points to mention how she wanted to travel and was quite curious about paganism... Satyr merely smiled politely at her and listened as she basically threw herself at him. She was shooting pheromones at him like she was a firing squad and he had been given his last cigarette.

She wasn't unattractive by any stretch of the imagination; she had a girl-next-door smile and a nice figure. Merely six months ago Satyr would have taken her someplace private and had his way with her just as she was begging him to, but now...

Satyr found himself more often than not, following Chloe with his eyes, admiring her legs, noting that she was obviously troubled by something. He would send her a warm smile whenever eye contact was made.

It was nearly the end of Chloe's shift as Belinda was getting up to get back to work and leaving her phone number with Satyr, despite that he hadn't asked for it when Chloe's voice rang out over the dinnertime conversational din. "Gun!"

Satyr looked up in time to see several Asian men dressed quite casually. He noted at least three of them were reaching for weapons.

Satyr acted instinctively and incredibly stupidly.

He was a blur as he jumped up from his chair and in a flash of green light he was across the room standing before the lead man as he brought his pistol to bear and most of the men behind him were stunned momentarily by Satyr's sudden appearance.

One of the men in the middle of the group yelled "Die Tony!" in Cantonese as Satyr grabbed the wrist of the man before him and looked deeply into his eyes and channeled quantum toward one particular goal. "Drop. Your. Weapons." Given that he looked to be creature out of Greek mythology, and that he wore a Scottish kilt, one wouldn't have pegged Satyr to be able to speak flawless Cantonese... but there it was.

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She was frozen with shock and fear; no matter how often violence inserted itself into her life, she was never ready for it. Chloe wanted to run, wanted to hide, wanted to stop it, but she watched frozen as the adreniline slowed the world to a crawl.

But Satyr moved, putting himself between the rest of the room and the men with guns. Crazy! her brain managed to squeak to itself. But that compelled her to move as well, even as most of the shooters dropped their guns.

Thick green vines with purple flowers burst from the ground outside the door, forcing their way past the Asian gang, Satyr and Chloe to form a wall of green, shielding the rest of the restaurant from the armed men - or in the case of several of them, unarmed men. "Go in peace," she said, her voice firm and unwavering. Inside, she was screaming in pure fear, but something larger than herself held her in place and let her be strong.

Please don't let Satyr get hurt, she silently prayed, even as the gang members turned their eyes to her. "Lady, that was a mistake," one of them said in accented English - she could only presume that it was accented by whatever language Satyr had just been speaking.

"You should go now," Sylvan said, her glow brightening as the vines blocked out the lights. Her powers rolled through her body, fear and adreniline putting everything into a sharp focus. The thorns turned inward, the vines coiling their painful lengths, green whips waiting to snap at the gang. Sylvan's wings flared to life, strangely intimidating, if only because of their inhuman beauty.

The young men faced their Father and Mother in a moment, faced the terrible Nature that succurred them and killed them: kind and ugly, fatal and beautiful. The pizza shop had become the Wild, and they were prey before its awesome power.

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Satyr was so focused on the hit-men he almost failed to notice Chloe rush to stand at his side. She was incredible, vines rose from the earth outside the diner and wrapped around the men who until a moment ago had absolutely no qualms about turning this diner into a bloodbath.

Satyr never took his eyes off the hit men, but he stood in awe of Chlo- No, he stood in awe of Sylvan. In this moment she was the goddess Satyr believed her to be. He knew her well enough to know that like him, she was scared half to death, even though she hid it well. He simply lent his power to hers, taking her hand in his.

The logical area of Satyr’s mind screamed. What th’ ‘ell da ye think yer doing?? This isna yer figh’! Satyr was many things, he was no coward, but he never cared for physical confrontations that could lead to people getting hurt, unless they asked nicely. He now found that he was here facing down Chinese Hit-men from killing everyone in this place. He stole a glance to his right and saw the reason. Chloe. His memory jogged to something he had said not too long ago, I like who I am when I am with ye.

Satyr rose to match her intensity. He grew another full foot taller and packed on about fifty pounds of muscle. His horns became full antlers in a wide spread. His eyes glowed a deep green. When next he spoke his voice was thunderous and booming in accented English. “Ye heard ‘er. LEAVE!”

With that, those of the gunmen that any fight left in them turned and ran looking as though they had seen the Hunter aspect of nature and felt it’s true wrath, yet lived to tell about it. Satyr could tell they counted themselves fortunate.

As the Hit-men fled, several of the diner’s employees ran out the back, as getting passed the wall of vines would have been tricky. Satyr’s form returned to his more familiar state and he slumped into a nearby chair, his legs shaking. “Ye were… lovely, lass.” He said looking up to Chloe.

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"I was terrified," Chloe gasped. Satyr was quickly looking down at her as her legs gave out and she sat down hard. Her wings shattered into a brightly colored dust as they snapped under her weight. "Where... where'd Tony and the others go?" She clearly could see through the enclosing vine with perfect clarity. With a slight narrowing of her eyes, the vines curled and slithered out the door of the restaurant, coiling up as tame green snakes while they waited for their borrowed life to expire.

Romano was there with startling nimbleness, bracing his bad leg with a hand on the chair, offering the other one to Chloe. "Come up off the floor, girl," he said gruffly, "we have to get Big Tony out." The rest of the older men at the table were clustered around Big Tony, and Chloe's eyes widened as she saw the barely concealed guns they all had. As Romano moved her out of the way, the first of the tears fell down her shocked face. Gone was the goddess; left behind was the shocked waitress with a strange aura.

The group of men started to hustle Big Tony out, but the big man said, "Wait. Chlo... we'll talk later, ok?" He waited until he got a small, uncertain nod from her before he let his men herd him out into a waiting car.

The customers sat around uncomfortably; Belinda immediately began to calm them, offering them a discount on dinner. Still in shock, Chloe slowly gathered herself to her feet, shaking badly. "Satyr, can you get me home?" she quietly asked, holding her hand out to him. "I think I'd like to go home."

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Satyr quickly recovered from his shock, he watched as Big Tony was hustled out in a mass of hired muscle, some family, some aspiring to be family. He watched as the first tears fell from Chloe's cheeks. He wanted to wipe them for her, but all of the firearms present in the room made him hesitate from drawing attention to himself.

He watched in silence as the vines wilted slightly in the cool air of the night. He continued to sit as his legs were still a wee bit wobbly from the shot of adrenaline to his system.

"Satyr, can you get me home?" Chloe had come up next to him and extended her hand. He looked up gave her a warm smile; she was a bit in shock. "I think I'd like to go home." He took her hand, wiping her tears with the other. "Sure thing, lass."

Satyr started walking down the sidewalk and Chloe stopped him with a tug on his arm. "Please, Satyr... Not here.... can I just go home?" Chloe asked, her voice still shaking. "I want to be home." Satyr turned with a smile and wrapped his arms around her. She buried her face in his shirt and held him tightly. “We can be there momentarily, lass.” In a flash of light they were standing on her lawn.

“I belie’e this be yer stop.” He held her a moment longer, rubbing her back gently. He could feel that Chloe wanted to lose herself in the sensation, wanted to be held and comforted. She pulled back saying “Thank you.” with a smile. Chloe took his hand and led him into her house.

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She was still shaking when she entered her safe, warm kitchen. Chloe walked straight over to her tea kettle and began to heat up the water inside. Her eyes watched the flickering gas flame; she could feel Satyr watching her, and she wondering if he was entranced by her, or the by flame of quantum he saw in her.

"That... what was that?" she whispered, her voice low. "I knew that something was wrong with the job. The offer was too generous. But when they didn't want me to dress in skimpy clothes, I thought that they just wanted cheap nova labor. Comparatively cheap."

Deep brown eyes that had just been so full of life and power were darkly troubled as she looked at him. "What was that?" she asked, her voice shaking. "Was that... a gang hit? And why did Tony and his friends have guns?" Her voice became louder as she said, "I've joked with them, seen pictures of their families, even watched some Op Vids that they posted of their families' achievements. I am - was their friend."

The kettle whistled, and Chloe jumped. She turned off the gas and took down a mug; but after staring at her tea selection, she put the mug away despondantly. "What is wrong with me?" she whispered darkly. "Last night was so stupid, and now I find out I've been working for gun-toting criminals! With famil-" Comprehension dawns and she moans. "I'm really, really stupid."

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The last time Satyr had been in this room, he had been nude and quite sweaty. He was not unaware of this fact as he watched her prepare tea for the two of them.

He listened to her work through what had just happened. "Aye, Tony an his... friends are 'gun-toting criminals'." His words conveyed more emotion than Satyr was prepared to admit. "The men we... removed were likely Triad." He stepped closer to her.

"What will ye do now?" He asked as she poured water into two cups which bore no relation to each other, othern being cups. "I don't know. I can't think." Clearly the shock of the situation hadn't worn off yet. Chloe pulled some herbal tea from a cabinet and moved the conversation to the living room, neatly avoiding her bedroom as she did.

They allowed the tea to steep as they sat closely together on the couch. Chloe just wanted someone she could trust nearby, and Satyr... Satyr was Satyr.

"What happened last night, lass?"

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Chloe blushed and paled, an impressive feat for someone with her skin tone. "I... Little Tony got some Ampwells as a gift," she murmured. "And he couldn't drink it..." Her eyes were sad as she said, "I just got lonely, and I started thinking... And I slept with someone else while I was drunk. I think. That's what I was told, anyway."

Satyr was shocked for the second time today. "Ye slept wi' someone... else." Clearly this was the thing that she had worried about telling him earlier. If Chloe had been anyone else Satyr wouldn't have cared; he realized how hypocritical of him it was of him to have any reaction at all, but despite himself he recoiled slightly from Chloe. His brow furrowed. "Who?"

This reaction was what she had feared, and a thousand teachings returned, all of them labeling her as a dirty daughter of Eve. But more than the direct descendant of that cursed woman, she was a fallen woman, too. Despite all of her new advances in her thinking, Chloe found herself falling straight back into the old thoughts and the old guilt. First Warren, then Satyr and last Meghan. I've slid, step by step, into sin.

But a tiny voice in her mind railed, arguing, He is not our boyfriend; we've made no committment to him. And he of all people has no right to question who we sleep with or how often. But Chloe wasn't quite ready to take that voice and give it the power to be real; she buried it, hid it away like a cloak drawn over a scarlet letter.

"Meghan Cutter," Chloe breathed, and saying it make it more real, and worse somehow. "The Girl Made of Titanium." Just saying it brought a flash of memory back, and Chloe shuddered as she remembered the cool, smooth skin under her hands; remembered the way that it had felt against her lips.

The memory of that brought a few others through the alcohol-enduced haze, and Chloe swallowed hard as she realized that she had liked it. Not just liked it because someone was slaking her loneliness, but liked it because her body had enjoyed the way Meghan's had felt. "And I think I'm a little gay," she whispered, nearly hoarse from the tears threatening to pour over her cheeks. It was the final shame and she stood up, maybe to flee, maybe to hide.

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Satyr watched her, he was relieved when he heard the identity of the person who had taken advantage of Chloe, and although he hid it well as he empathized with the growth pains she was enduring right now. Discovering finally who she is, after a lifetime of having her identity forced upon her by friends and family.

"Chloe." Satyr looked into her with those deep soulful orbs, his voice both kept her from running away from this, but it also comforted her. "Ye, needn't be ashamed of who ye are."

He rose to and outstretched a hand to her very much as he did at the Pow Wow, yet still not invading her space. "Ye are na’ falling inta downward spiral of sin." He spoke with volumes of understanding.

“Ye are discovering who ye are. It is na’ a crime ta be different. Ye are gonna ta continue ta discover more about yerself everyday for the rest of ye life. Dinnae start hating yerself because ye don’t fit inta what ye thought ye’d be doin’ at this point in ye life.” Chloe began to feel a great deal calmer, simply from his mere presence.

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"It's not just that!" Chloe said, getting a little angry. "You aren't supposed to be ok with this! Aren't you jealous? You should be jealous! And stop calming me down. I don't need to be calm. I need to be guilty!"

The moment the words were out, she heard them, and stopped in mid-rant. "That sounds... so harsh," she sighed, pressing a hand to her eyes, looking completely worn out. "Does my family's faith really sound that way?" Satyt was silent, letting her work though it, in her own time. "I guess so."

Her eyes focus on a distant place as she whispered, "I just forget - forget that life's not all about sin or being separated from God or even making everyone happy. I just forget that, and I remember the old ways, and they are comforting in their familiarity. They're easy, and I want easy, because nothing else is." She shook her head. "Sometimes, I want to just fly away. Just away and start over. Somewhere where the flowers always bloom, and I can just lie in a field and listen to the grass sing as the wind bends it in emerald waves. Somewhere simple."

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"Dammit, Chloe. Of course I'm jealous." Noting his Soothe effect didn't work so well, he dropped his offered hand which she never took; he collected his thoughts briefly. "I care deeply about you, nothing will change that."

He calmly took a sip from his tea. "Wha' are ye supposed to be guilty of? Guilty of being taken advantage of while ye were piss drunk by someone who might be described as a giant living titanium vibrator?" Satyr said with a smirk. Chloe merely sputtered "duh-dur-duh..." with a confused look.

A tear breaches the edges of Satyr eye as Chloe speaks of someplace simple to fly away to. "Chloe, I can offer ye that chance at a new life. Ye know I can, I would be happy ta do so." He looked at the floor rather shyly. "Me door is always open to you."

"But even if ye do agree to it, it'll ha'e ta wait until after yer trial." Satyr mused for a moment. "Why don ye tell me about what happen' with ye back there at th' resturant.. hm?"

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Fear washed over her as she heard him offer what she wanted the most. Temptation. Sweet temptation, and he's made my body sing once. What could he do if he could make my heart and soul sing, too?

"I don't make you do anything, Chloe." Warren's statement was strident in her mind, and she knew that Satyr only did to her what she wanted him to do to her. If he made her body sing, then it was because she wanted him to do it. And if he came to make her heart and soul sing...

"The restaurant?" She flashed back to that moment, to that rush of fear and conviction when things had started to become crazy. "All that happened is I acted, and for once no one was hurt, or died."

"That's not all," Satyr said, gentle but firm, as was his way.

Chloe knew what he was asking about; she knew that he wanted to talk to her about the strange power flux she had experience. She knew what he wanted it to be, what he wanted it to imply. "I don't know what that was," she admitted, shrugging as casually as she could when tension rolled through her muscles. "I've never had a power surge like that before."

"Nae, lass," he said, and his eyes were shining as he picked up her hand. "I mean ye coming ta me side, puttin' yeself in danger."

"That?" Chloe was surprised. "That was just... I couldn't leave you alone against them. I mean, you're far stronger than I, but... Leaving you to face them alone never occurred to me." She gave him a twisted smile. "If you hadn't grabbed his wrist, we would have been on the other side of the wall. But you had to be a big hero, didn't you?" She chuckled to show him that she was teasing.

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"Well, it simply wouldna have been useful ta watch a bunch of baseline mobsters riddled wit' holes as I sat an did nothing." Satyr said with a smile, his tone playful, teasing in return that his actions had little to do with the concept of defending a few baseline criminals. "What kinda nova would I be?"

He knew the truth of what he didn't ask. He saw it in her eyes. Somewhere deep down she had asked herself if she could love him. Satyr had never intended to have the feelings for her that he did, but the fact that she now questioned it herself somewhat validated his beliefs. It wasn't everything, but it was something.

"Do ye think ye have gotten it out of yer system yet?" With a smile, Satyr gestured to the cushion next to the one he was occoupying on the couch. "Or do ye plan on standing there and yelling some more, lass?" Chloe thought briefly and then shyly sat down next to him with a slightly sulky look on her face.

Satyr inexplicably kept his hands to himself. "So what da ye want ta do now?" Chloe sounded very tired as she said "Now? I... guess I have to find a new job," she sighed. "So, ye will quit yer job, then?" he sipped more of his tea. "I have to," Chloe groaned. "I can't knowingly associate with criminals. It would look really bad for my trial." Satyr nearly laughed at that.

"Once this is all over, we could easily find something for ye at Argus, I wouldna even need ta put in a good word for ye." He fought the urge to take her in his arms and explain how it would all work out and then rip her clothes off. He controlled himself as he regained his train of thought. "We did make a pretty good team, didna we?"

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"Yeah," Chloe smiled. The expression was as much relief as it was fond remembrance; they were moving past the ugliness from tonight and looking forward to the future. "Yeah, that was awesome." She almost asked if that was normal for him; if he had ever surged with power like that before, but she was afraid to ask, and afraid to know.

"Thank you for being there tonight," Chloe added, a little shyly. "I don't know what would have happened if you hadn't been there. I kinda... freeze up when things get crazy like that. You stepping forward helped me unfreeze.

There was a look in his eyes, one she knew well. He leaned forward, ever so slightly, and she hopped to her feet, shattering the mood. "And I hate to break up this moment," she said, a blush rising on her cheeks, "but I have to check something." Leaving the frustrated Satyr on the couch, she moved over to her telephone table by the door and picked up her OpNet device. Turning on the screen, she checked her financial statements to see how long she had before she was running in the red. Her assessment of her checking account gave her little hope, but on a whim, she checked her investment account, the one Flicker had been managing for her.

The numbers in there were very, very different from what she remembered. So many numbers! she gasped. The noise brought Satyr over to her; she could feel him at her back as she hastily looked at her history. At first, she thought Flicker had been busy. Then she realized that Flicker had put her money into some profitable investiments and just let them grow. And grow they did; Chloe realized that she wouldn't have to work anytime soon, maybe not until after the trial. A quick calculation made her sway on her feet.

"I'm... a millionare," she whispered. She spun around to face Satyr, a smile on her face. "I'm a millionare!" Laughing, she threw her arms around him in excitement. For a moment, a long moment, it was just a hug. But all too soon she was aware of his eyes, of his smiling lips, of that lean body hidden under his clothes. "I..."

Then she gave up talking, and stood on tiptoe to kiss him.

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Satyr was horribly put out by her suddenly killing the mood by jumping up to check her OpNet device. "Suppose she ha gotten some sort of bad news via OpMail. Suppose she lost yet another family member, not like she had that many left, but wha' about me needs?"

Satyr suddenly remembered who he was thinking of in this derisive way. This was Chloe, not some whore he was taken home from the bar. They were far too close for him to make jokes at her expense.

She gasped and his worst fears were realized. Someone was dead. He was right behind her as she finished her gasp. He had the time to see a rather comfortable financial portfolio. "I'm... a millionare," she whispered. She spun around to face Satyr, a smile on her face. "I'm a millionare!" Laughing, she threw her arms around him in excitement.

Satyr held her in his arms as his libido took a backseat. He simply enjoyed the rare moment of joy in her life with her. The he drew back looking up into his eyes. He looked right back into her gorgeous brown eyes. She started to say something, "I..." but she instead rose up and kissed him.

Satyr immediately deepened the kiss and picked her up into his arms, holding her high above him. Eventually he set her back down, slowly breaking the kiss. "Congratulations, lass." He whispered to her breathlessly. "Thank you," she answered, still smiling up at him.

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Here she was in his arms again, and part of her wanted to just fold into him, and accept whatever pleasure he could offer her. But she had already tasted that forbidden fruit, and while it was sweet indeed, she knew that it wouldn't help her situation. It would salve her pain for a while, but it wouldn't solve anything.

"So I don't need a job," Chloe said, stating the unnecessary as a ploy to help regain her balance. "I can easily live off the money that Flicker has made for me." She shook her head before letting it rest against Satyr's shoulders, and enjoying the sensation of being close to him. She was strong, but not inhuman.

"Which means I'll be stuck at home all the time," Chloe sighed, realizing the downside of this. "That means I'll need something to do to fill my free time now. I guess I can practice my powers, like Machina suggested." She knew that Satyr had a way that they could fill time, but Chloe wasn't sure that more sex was the answer. It was a nice thought, but it could also cause problems.

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Satyr looked thoughtful as he regarded her. "Well, practicing wit' yer powers wouldna be a bad idea, but why don ye study as well. Ye obviously enjoy a good read now and again." He said as he gently rubbed her back.

He squeezed her briefly as a term of affection. "Ye know, I could make the time to visit every few days or so, just ta keep ye from gettin' stir crazy." He said as he kissed her on the top of her head. "We could go have a picnic somewhere within th' city limits, Forest Park is quite beautiful this time of year."

"Aye, either way, we shoul' celebrate this now." He said as he leaned back to catch her eye. "Wha' would ye like ta do?"

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Chloe smiled but looked sad as she said, "I can't leave the house, except to work, Satyr. So as much as I want to have a meal in the park with you, I can't." And she did. Looking up at his achingly handsome face, she realized that she did want to spend time with him. She liked being here in her house with him; she liked the idea of being at his house with him.

He wasn't scary, not like she had first thought. Those horns that poked out of the curling hair weren't frightening, they were intriguing, and something to run her fingers over. She was barely aware that she was already doing that, as her other hand tangled in his hair gently.

"I want you to stay with me," she whispered. "I like you, Satyr." She smiled, a little shyly. "Would you like to watch a movie with me?"

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"Ach, I... like ye as well." He felt a tingling sensation run throu his body as she ran her fingers through his hair. He heard her ask him to stay. "Aye, how can I leave now?" He gave out a quiet moan. He leaned down to her and caressed her neck as he kissed her.

Moments passed as they lost themselves in eachother. In the moment Chloe seemed even more open to it than the last time they were here. he reached down helping her up so that she could wrap her legs around him.

He supported her with a hand on her ass, gently squeezing it as the mood struck him. She had stopped caressing his head and had moved her hands down his back. She felt his arousal and as much as she wanted to... she needed to slow down. They conceivably had all night. She broke the passionate embrace of kissing and biting.

Leaning her forehead against his she breathlessly apologized. "Sorry." She was all too aware that she had started it this time. "Whate'er for?" Satyr was too drunk in the moment still to understand. "Satyr, I like this, I really do. She said with a smile. "But, can we just watch a movie for now?"

Satyr snapped back to reality, he could see it. They had made the deal over a month ago to teach eachother, as he taught her about religion and spirituality, She taught him how to form interpersonal relationship that didn't somehow involve sex or a twenty-four hour party.

He set her down with a gentle kiss, letting her know that in case she forgot who she was dealing with, anytime she wanted to start that back up, he was very willing. "Aye, lass. What shall we see?"

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"You're a guy, so no romantic movies, comedy or otherwise," Chloe mused, moving over to her large display OpNet terminal. It was one of the few things that had been salvaged from her wreaked apartment, the one she had shared with Josh for so long. Sometimes, she couldn't help but feel sad when she saw this machine, but today, it didn't matter. Josh was dead and gone, and she was happier for it. Part of her was horrified that she was happy over anyone's demise, but Chloe was willing to be selfish on this one.

She turned on the console, thankful that the first thing she had done when getting the machine to Portland was to change the background image. Somehow, having a picture of her and Josh on their wedding day would be kinda awkward. Now, the pastoral scene that she had replaced it with was very nice - perfect for a nova who fancied himself an avatar of nature.

"Action? Adventure? Westerns? What's your poison?" Chloe asked, grinning at Satyr. Now this was a little embarrassing for her; she's had sex with him, but she doesn't even know what movies he liked. Yeah, well past time to sort these things out. Let's see if we're compatible outside the bedroom.

And if he says 'Porn,' I'm gonna kill him.

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Satyr glanced at the entertainment center. "I love most movies, honestly. I wouldna be against seeing a romantic comedy." He said as he sat down on her couch to disguise his arousal.

"Perhaps we could find something somewha' pagan in nature, perhaps a film coulda explain it better than I." He crossed his legs. "We shoulda be celebrating this proper. Do ye ha'e any alcohol?" Chloe glanced toward her kitchen. "I think I have half-a-bottle of Ampwells in my fridge."

"Not good enoug'." With that Satyr was in his hotel room in the blink of an eye. He went to the bar and pulled some homebrew he managed to save from his house fire. Moments later he re-appeared in Chloe's living room in a flash of green, holding three bottles by their necks in one hand and two crystal wine flutes in the other.

He noted Chloe was just starting a movie as he adjusted to his surroundings. "Wha' are we watchin'?" He asked as he found his spot on the couch and quickly began pouring. "It's called "The Dark Path", it seems to be a murder mystery with some pagan overtones."

"Well, hopefully it's not "The Craft III" Satyr said with a chuckle.

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"Hang on," Chloe said as he handed her a glass. She got a blanket and spread it over his lap; next, she snapped the lights off. Pulling the blanket back, she slipped under the soft blanket and sat next to him, leaning in until she was comfortable. Nervously, she took the wine glass from him. One glass. That's it. "Cheers," she said, tapping the edge of her glass with his.

One drink had her curling her toes; unlike the Ampwells, this didn't have as much of an alcoholic taste, but she could feel the affect it was trying to have on her system. "Wow," she said, setting down her glass so that she could start the movie, "that stuff must knock baselines out."

"Aye, it can," Satyr agreed, draining his glass and slipping his loose arm around her shoulders. Together, they settled in to watch the movie, even if Satyr's fingers wouldn't stop stroking her exposed shoulder. It was nice to do something with him that wasn't so charged with sexual tension. And the movie itself was interesting; fast-paced and exciting, but with realistic characters. And there were some pagan overtones, but they were subtly done and aided the movie rather than drove it. Chloe was uncomfortable with some it - it was very different from what she had seen before - but it was exciting to see some of the things Satyr had been telling her. And according to him, it was somewhat realistic.

"What did you think?" she asked as the credits rolled. She turned slightly so that she could see him.

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Satyr smiled at Chloe. "I was rather impressed that she didn't have any "Magical Powers", that woulda ha'e been an easy mistake to make in this age." He finished off the second bottle. "Aye, It wa' far more accurate to ha'e 'er be an insturment of Karma in the end." He said with an appreciative smile.


Satyr clearly enjoyed the soundtrack as he tapped his hoof to it. "Obviously there were some areas where the movie took an artistic special effects licence, particularlly with the antogist's abilites. I found that borderline insulting." He re-filled his glass and offered to refill hers, He gave no indication of intoxication which Chloe found quite surprising given how much he had drank that evening. She smiled as she leaned her glass over so that he could fill it.

Satyr was all too aware of her closeness and the the fact that she was just a little intoxicated. He smiled warmly at her, showing a lot of restraint as he did so. "Once, ye are no longer stuck here," He gestured to the walls of her house. "I'd like to take ye out for dinner, somplace ye have ne'er been." His eyes grew distant. "Possibly Kenya, or Greece." He looked into her lovely brown eyes. "I think ye woulda love th' Highlands."

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"I never wanted to travel much," Sylvan sighed, settling back under the blanket. This was incredibly nice; it reminded her of some of her more comfortable moments with Kevin. She spared a moment to wonder how he was doing before she pushed those thoughts away. One guy at a time.

"But it sounds interesting, an' cheap, if you're my guide," she chuckled, poking him lightly in the side. He jumped away from her prodding finger, and she tickled him a little harder. "'Ey, now!" he said, turning on her with twitching fingers. And while he had remembered to put down his glass, she had not. All too soon, the glass tipped, and the alcohol spilled over her shirt and the blanket. "Ack!" she yelped as the chilled liquid hit her skin.

"Sorry," Satyr said, not appearing sorry at all as the wine soaked through her shirt.

"No, yer not," Sylvan giggled and for the first time, she heard how badly she was slurring. "Oh-kay, 'nough fer me." She leaned over and sat the glass down on her coffee table, unwittingly grinding the spilled drink further into her shirt and blanket. She flopped back onto the couch and grinned up at Satyr. "Now wha?"

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Satyr looked over to Chloe noting that her light grey shirt now left very little to the imagination. Her sensitive skin reacted to the cold liquid spilled upon it. She looked up at him with her simply gorgeous brown eyes and grinned.

"Now wha?"


Any chance he had at fighting his raw sexual nature disappeared the moment she smiled at him.

Satyr answered by standing up from the couch and turning and kneeling on the floor at her feet. She giggled and squirmed a bit as he made the graceful manever. He reached out and ran his fingertips up her freshly shaven legs, right up to the edge of her tight, cut off shorts. She stopped giggling, Chloe bit her lip in anticipation of what he might do next as his intentions were unmistakable. They locked eyes as he brought his hands down her thighs and gently pried apart her knees.

She offered no resistance as he rose up and knelt on the edge of the couch, resting his hands on the back of the couch above her head and he brushed his lips against hers. She eagerly accepted his kiss and it quickly became much more passionate as she wrapped her legs around him. She wanted him to take her.

That very fact both excited him and gave him pause. He was intrigued enough to break the kiss and look into her eyes without his libido colouring his judgment if only for a moment. She was aroused, but she was also intoxicated enough that this wasn't really her choice, she was letting him lead. If he let himself take her, he would be taking advantage of Chloe. Just as GMoT had done only the night before. If this situation had presented itself only a few months ago, he may not have cared.

He caressed her face, kissing her gently on the lips. He then said the very last thing either of them expected him to say. "Ach, I cannae do this now, lass."

Chloe blinked up at him in surprise. Her rosebud lips pursed and she elegantly said, "Buh-wha?" Satyr pulled away from her standing up. "Becau'e, I'm guessing ye are mor' intoxicated righ' now than ye were jus' last night." Chloe blushed. "No," she said softly. "Not more. But still, too much." She appeared to be sobering up. Satyr smiled at her as he offered a hand to help her up. "Ye shoulda change shirts." He glanced at a clock on the wall, it was nearly midnight. "Unless ye think I shoulda go?"

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Reality was crashing back around her, and Chloe resigned herself to no more alcohol, ever. One glass. Yeah, right. Satyr's hand was deliciously warm in hers, but the hard edge of reality was beating down on her. She was partially willing, but also determined. She and Satyr needed to have a real relationship, not a life-long fuck-fest. Well, they would if they did get together.

Did she want to get together with him? She hadn't been sure for a long time, but he was different than she had thought he was. There was certainly more than she had thought there would be; he was kind and spiritual, two things she had always looked for, despite the fact that spiritual used to mean Christian.

She was wondering what they could be together, and she looked forward to finding out. That was a little surprising to her, but not as surprising as it would have been before she had leapt to his side in the diner. She had really meant it when she had told him she liked him.

She heard the sadness in her voice as she said, "Yeah, you probably should go." She smiled at him with an incredibly gentle expression. "When will you come back to visit?"

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Satyr held her gaze as he also heard the sadness in her voice. He wanted to hold her in his arms. Sex wasn't the very last thing on the list of things he wanted from her, but it didn't have it's usual top positioning. "Whene'er ye like, of course." He chuckled. "I wouldna want ta wear out me welcome, though." He glanced in the direction of her bedroom as he said so.

He wanted to say a lot of things in that moment, he wanted to tell how he had stopped his search for The Maiden, but not because he felt it was her, but because he simply didn't feel that the maiden could offer him anything that Chloe couldn't. Chloe just felt right. So much so that he didn't want to leave just yet, but he knew it was right to do so. He unfortunately found himself trying to quickly think of ways to delay his departure.

"Ye ha'e me private number, call me whene'er ye th' mood strikes ye." He said with a wry smile. "If'n ye needs more practice wit' ye plant communion or anyt'ing ye let me know. Day or nigh', I'll be there." He was aware she was overcoming the toxins in her system and at this precise moment she was reconsidering who Satyr was to her, she was asking herself if he could represent more than just hours of awesome sex to her. Chloe had real feelings for him, he saw it at the diner, he'd seen subtle signs for months now.

He noted how with every move and look she sent him signals that she unconsciously wanted him to stay. He wanted to stay, but it wasn't time to press the issue with her, she would had to ask him and he couldn't force her. This is entire situation was very alien to him. So have a beautiful woman before him who wanted him to take her; he could plainly see it, but he could do nothing. Why?

Satyr did the only thing that made sense to him in this situation. He stood there looking at her longingly for possibly a full second and then he acted. He took her into his arms, dipped her and very passionately kissed her.

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Skill is a wonderful thing, and Satyr certainly had plenty of skill. But skill is an empty thing without passion. So many women thought that they had experienced the best that Satyr could offer.

They had been wrong. So had Satyr.

Passion and skill combined in a magical sensation, pulling the two of them into a whirlwind of bliss. Chloe groaned and clung to Satyr, shivering as he cradled her close to his body. For Satyr, he was just as surprised and lost as she, and together, they tumbled into estcasy.

Finally, he put her back on her feet, holding her up as she leaned against him. The only sound in the room was their panting and the sound of blood racing through their veins. "Stay," she whispered, her voice soft. "Not for sex. Just hold me and talk to me, please.

"Stay, please. Leave in the morning."

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He had planned to leave as soon as he said goodbye properly with the kiss, but the kiss took on a life of it's own. He felt everything change in that long moment. He felt her return every ounce of passion. It was pure bliss. No matter what the future brought, they would always have this moment. If anything it was nearly as powerful as when they were last... together, but if anything this was much more intimate. It didn't go on too long, all too soon they were back in her house and she was steadying herself against him.

Satyr was shocked to say the least, he steadied himself with a hand to the wall. He had started an apology when she stopped him. "Stay," His stomach twisted in on itself and his heart leapt. "Not for sex. Just hold me and talk to me, please. Stay, please. Leave in the morning."

He made a awkward gesture toward the door even as he gently continued to caress her back. "But I shouldna... ha'e..." He stammered, but then he just stopped try to make sense of the thoughts that never quite made it to his mouth. He brought his free hand back and held her.

He had nothing urgent on his schedule, but even if he had there was really no choice in the matter. "I'm no' going anywhere." He looked down to her as she rested her head on his chest, finding herself oddly comforted by the sound of his heartbeat. He kissed her on her forehead. She looked up at him and smiled shyly at him, taking his hand in hers she lead him around as she turned off the remaining lights and the tv.

Then in the very quiet and almost pitch-black house she lead Satyr to her bedroom and then silently closed the door behind them.

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