A Story by Jesse W.

Samantha Haine journeys into the wilds of Northern Maine to take down a renegade Lord on the orders of The Black Queen


She hoped the snow masked her presence, but somehow, she felt the eyes following her.

Normally, this sort of thing was beneath her. Lords, by their nature, were selfish, prone to indulgences of lust and power. She was no exception, having been interrupted during a delightful little orgy in Quebec when the manservant had arrived. At first, she had desired to turn him away, but the name of his Lord had stilled her. One doesn't deny Regina Black a personal request, especially when the words 'in your debt' are uttered.

Such a request presented an opportunity that Samantha simply could not refuse. To be owed a favor by the most powerful Lord on the planet, it was enough to pry Samantha Haine away from the moaning and the flesh and place her deep in the wilderness of Northern Maine that white, frigid night. She stepped on the 3 feet of snow, her shoes leaving no prints to be traced.

And yet, someone was tracking her. She could feel it. There were eyes on her, eyes on the snow where her feet wouldn't leave tracks. There was no breath on the wind, no sounds in the night. Whatever was out there was moving silently, so silent she could not sense it. Most Lords had senses well beyond that of a normal person, and Samantha was no exception. On a good day, she could see several miles with the same clarity as someone seeing several yards away. The snow dampened her sight a bit, but even so, she should still see whatever was coming.

She felt the comforting sensation of her lover encircling her torso and sliding up into her head. She felt her eyes shift and the light around her bent for a moment, making her feel like she was underwater before clearing, showing her a more detailed picture of the wintry landscape. There were men marching through the snow, dressed in heavy furs and armed with spears. They crept slowly through the deep snow, their bodies buried under the weight of all that fur. Their bodies were a deep blue, nearly black; they were as cold as the air around them, and if they weren't moving, she doubted she could see them. They were dead, dead warriors come to slay the invader to their territory.

She smiled, baring the fangs her constant companion gifted to her. The men never hesitated as they neared her, their weapons bared as they came within feet of her. She felt her hands vibrate as she summoned forth a small ounce of her tremendous power, focusing the heat in her mind into her fists. They turned a deep blue, the hottest of flames, melting the snowflakes before they could reach the ground. She saw no fear, no acknowledgment of this event. If she hadn't before, she now knew these men were men in form only. Their minds were lost, perhaps long ago.

She made quick work of them, her blue flames leaving no trace of the deformed vessels or of the snow for several yards in every direction. The trees remained untouched, as Samantha did not wish to deal with a magical wildfire. She stepped through the steaming water, idly repairing the damage her outfit had taken. Her dark purple pants stitched themselves together while her black button-up shirt and purple tie changed from burnt to brilliant as her magic washed over her. Her leather boots and suspenders remained undamaged; it was very difficult to damage dragon leather.

Her rattlesnake emblems shined bright in the night as her boots walked the steaming water until they again touched snow. She walked another mile until she found what she'd been searching for. The snow fell around her, and the wind whipped her long, red/purple hair as the flakes flew, but not ten feet in front of her, in a perfect arch, the snow simply stopped. The trees were dead, the ground gray and not one solitary flake of snow glided to the ground. Her eyes linked to a flake in the sky, drifting along the wind to the arch. She followed it as it fell and felt a chill that had nothing to do with the cold as it faded into dust.

She was impressed by the display of power. This area sat on natural lines of power, the kind of magic the Earth summoned up from its core to maintain all that lived on its surface. The one who had done this had clearly manifested their ability in a tremendous fashion to defend the area. She reached out with her own power, then abruptly recoiled in shock. The lines of power were dead here, and there was no magic emanating from this gray land. It was simply...untouched, but how? Even the strongest Lord couldn't create something this strong and constantly keep it charged. They would have an aneurysm or seizure, or simply die from the constant strain. How had he done this?

Her worries were cast aside as a new figure stepped out of the gray. Wearing a drab, brown dress, the kind Samantha herself would have worn at that age, was a little girl with white hair. Her skin was ashen, as though she had died, but her eyes were bright, a vision in blue.

“Hello,” the girl greeted her, “You must be Samantha Haine. He told us you'd be coming.”

Samantha nodded, “Are you here to kill me, little one?”

The dead girl shook her head, “Our Lord didn't say that. He wanted me to guide you from the edge. He thought you might get lost. Most people do.”

“I'm not most people.” Samantha let loose a wild smirk as she spoke.

“No,” the girl agreed, “You're like him. Have you come to kill him?”

Samantha paused before answering, considering the girl. She held a perfect neutral expression, the kind a slave would generate when they held a secret thought their master would not appreciate.

“I have,” she finally answered.

“Please kill him,” the child whispered, “I've lived too long. I need sleep.”

“Killing him will kill you?” Samantha demanded, stunned despite herself.

“It won't hurt to try,” the girl answered, extending her hand, “I'll take you to him.”

Samantha regarded the girl for a moment, their eyes locked together as the powerful Lord considered this poor girl before her. She was just like the men she had slain before, truly dead inside. Some force, some magic had reanimated them. Lords were capable of temporary reanimation, but none had ever been able to sustain it for longer than five minutes. In truth, all that occurred was a stimulation of the electrical impulses that had disappeared upon their death. This brought back a cold form of their former selves, one with all the memories and some of the personality, but always devoid of genuine emotion. The bodies were soulless, and when the Lord lost their grip, they welcomed death like a lover's embrace.

Samantha stepped off the snowy platform and down to the gray Earth. She felt the change immediately, the shifting of the Earth beneath her. The air tasted warm and rotten, a dead taste that was like eating spoiled food. It made her squint her face in disgust.

“He makes that face sometimes,” the girl said, “I don't think he likes it here.”

“So why does he stay?”

“Robin,” the girl said this simply, as though that answered every question she might have.

“...Take me to town.”

The girl turned and walked ahead, leaving Samantha to catch up. The Lord followed her hesitantly, but kept sight of her as they moved through the gray. Her name was Sarah and she was 108 years old, older than Samantha herself. She'd been 7 when their Lord had arrived and had witnessed some of his wonders. He'd made the crops grow, flowers bloom, turned winter snows into summer showers. All this and more he had done for Robin.

Robin had been 18 the day their Lord had joined them, and from that day on, he had been smitten. He'd offered her jewels, clothes, the promise of a new, better life exploring the world at his side. She always refused him. Sarah had always been amazed at that. Most people could never refuse him anything. Samantha knew exactly what she meant. All Lords have the ability the manipulate people, and most were able to do it as easily as breathing. Samantha was capable of manipulating an entire football team, if she so chose. But there were some people in the world who could not be controlled, no matter how much power was poured into them. She likened it to magnetic attraction, while most metals like copper and steel were magnetic, items like gold weren't. These people were called nulls by the Lords, and they were dangerous.

Some were more dangerous than others. A little more than 60 years ago, in New York City, there had been a null who'd discovered their existence. They called him the Mad Gasser. He killed 6 Lords back then, all of them in their sleep. He would creep up to their houses and open their windows, slide a tube into their home and pour the gas in. Eventually, she and a man named Howitzer had put the Mad Gasser down. It had been quite the challenge, as she was accustomed to simply using her magic to put someone down. Were it not for Howitzer, she was sure she would have fallen.

She could see the village now. There were some thirty people milling around. There was a well that had long since dried up. An old man who must be ancient by now was sitting there, reading a remarkably preserved copy of The Aeneid. A mother and her children were sitting on the front steps of their home, talking among themselves in secret voices. A man was chopping wood several yards ahead of them, splitting the logs in half before tossing the halves onto a monstrously large pile by his house. They were all dressed in the same drab clothes as Sarah, brown pants, white shirts and black coats. For Samantha, it was like stepping back in time and seeing that same village in Verdun where she had first learned of things like death and magic. She didn't like it, not even a little.

Sarah lead her through the village, ignoring the looks of vague interest as Samantha stepped through the square. They were approaching the largest house near the center of town, with a beautiful statue in the center. It was a statue of a beautiful woman dressed in a flowing ballroom gown, birds clinging to her as her hand stretched out towards the moon. There was something about it that reminded Samantha of The Little Mermaid, that Disney movie that came out not too long ago. It was like something out of a fairy tale.

“He made that for her,” Samantha surmised.

“Very romantic,” Sarah agreed, her voice only mildly interested.

The girl lead her up the steps to the house's double doors, where two sentries dressed in the same furs and armed with spears stood guard. They stiffened when she approached, but she was unconcerned, barely noting their existence until she caught a good look at them. Her breath stilled and an icy feeling crept over her.

I burned them! Samantha thought in disbelief.

Sarah knocked on the door a few times, and a voice echoed from inside. A pleased voice, the voice of a teenage girl. Someone ran downstairs, the heavy footfalls making their way to the door. The doors flew open in an instant, making Samantha stiffen for a moment before her eyes widened in surprise.

What had opened the door was a young woman of 18, with magnificent blonde hair and brilliant blue eyes. Her skin was remarkably pale, but not ashen like the rest of the occupants of this poor village. She was like when Dorothy went to Oz, that dramatic shift from sepia to technicolor that stunned her when she had been in Chicago in 1939. This girl was shockingly alive, and it made her stand out when paired against the backdrop of this dead place.

“Hello!” she greeted her with an excited voice, “My, we don't get very many visitors! Please, come in.”

“I think I'll leave you here,” Sarah muttered, “There's only so much I can take.”

“Oh, be nice, Sarah,” the girl who must be Robin rebuked her softly, “Please pardon her, Miss. Haine. Sarah's forgotten how we treat our guests.”

Sarah shook her head, her eyes downcast as she turned and walked away. Samantha followed her with her eyes as the little girl walked on. She wasn't a little girl, and likely hadn't been in a long time. All she wanted was to die, to go to sleep. Samantha could sympathize. There'd been a time when she was about that age when she would have given anything to die.

Robin invited her inside the house. It was lit with gas lanterns, producing a hazy light that would bend with the flame. She lead her to the living room, where there was a sofa in front of the fireplace. Lying on the sofa, throwing a tennis ball up and down, was a man dressed in a pair of black jeans with no shirt. He was well built, with long black hair that reached down past his shoulders. His charcoal eyes made him appear as lifeless as Sarah, but she could see the fire behind them.

“Lord Desmond Black,” Samantha greeted him.

“Sam,” Desmond returned, not bothering to get up.

“You know I hate that, Dez,” Samantha seethed, “My name's Samantha.”

“D'you realize if you put Sam in front of your name, you get Sam Haine, like Samhain, the demon of Halloween?”

“That's not how you pro-”

“Sweetie,” their dialogue stalled as Robin made her presence known again, “Would you like me to make some tea?”

Desmond politely declined and asked her to excuse them while the two talked alone. Robin cast Samantha a wary look but stepped into a different room, leaving the two Lords to settle their business.

“Mother sent you.”

“Yes,” Samantha knew it wasn't a question ,but she answered anyway, “She wants you to come home.”

“Home to Iceland.” Desmond scoffed, “And if I go, what's the likelihood I'll make it out of there alive?”

“Very unlikely,” the younger Lord admitted, “How did you do this?”

Desmond chuckled, finally rising to his feet to speak to her. He stretched his muscles and Samantha licked her lips. He was incredibly well built, the muscles on his back stretched taught against his unblemished skin. He had a tattoo of a winged black dragon, whose head stretched onto his neck and wings covered most of his shoulders. The horned tail stretched all the way down to the small of his back in a stunning display of artistry. When he turned, Samantha couldn't help but smile a hungry smile. His body was toned everywhere, with a brilliant eight pack of abdominal muscles that she would love to feel on the tips of her fingers. His chest was broad and strong, like a body builder's. There was a vein on his right pectoral that stretched all the way up to his neck. Samantha wanted to lick that vein and see if she could make him cry her name.

“Like what you see?” He inquired, his mouth stretched into a sinful smirk.

“Very much,” Samantha sent him her own smirk, “But I'd prefer an answer to my question.”

Desmond narrowed his eyes, and the shadows grew as the fire dimmed. Now Samantha's smirk turned vile, and her constant companion slid up her arm. Its head reached her fist and she felt the fangs come to her knuckles, preparing her for a fight.

“I'd be careful if I were you, precious,” Samantha warned, “If you want a fight, I won't stop with just you. I'll take Robin first.”

Desmond's eyes took on a nasty light, his mouth narrowing in a thin line as the rage overtook him. Still, he wouldn't move. Desmond Black was incredibly powerful, having lived for more than three hundred years on this Earth. He was the last child of two Lords, at least until the birth of Yeal Rothman last month. Regina Black's only child was powerful indeed, but nowhere near as powerful as she was, and they both knew it. He would put up a fight, without a doubt, and that fight would obliterate the town and everyone in it. But she didn't want to end it that way. Regina wanted her son dead, yes, but she wanted his body intact.

The length of a mother's love.

“Fine,” Desmond said, “But answer me this first: why does Mom care now? It's been 101 years since I first did this, so why the f**k should she care now?”

“I didn't ask,” Samantha said, and it was the truth. She wanted to know why it mattered to her now, but in the end, Regina Black wouldn't lower herself to answer the questions of Samantha Haine.

“...I'll tell you, but I want something in return,” Desmond sighed, his gaze softening as he turned away from her to the fire, “Take Robin somewhere, and keep her safe. She's not like the rest. The magic keeps her vibrant, vital. The rest of them will never be able to leave here, not alive anyway.”

“Then they'll simply walk away from here and fade away,” Samantha retorted.

“They'll live forever,” Desmond stated, “As will Robin. I don't care about the rest of them, but Robin deserves a place in the world.”

“Oh, don't pretend she's the love of your life!” Samantha roared, “You had lovers all over the world this past hundred years, I've heard the stories! So many men and women, Dez, how can she be so special?”

“Because I couldn't have her,” Desmond exclaimed, his face twisting into a grimace, “You know how easy it is to be one of us, Samantha. Humans are so easily influenced, so desperate for manipulation of some kind. Half the time, I don't even have to use my magic, and when I do, they're willing to kill for as much as a moment with me. But to meet someone, such a rare someone, who won't bend even an ounce for me. Heh, she called me 'Serpent.' Thought I was Satan come to tempt her. Might as well have been, I suppose.

“I poured every ounce of magic into her, hoping I could break that damned null barrier they have. Somehow, someway, I was determined to fight my way to her heart. Or her p***y, at least.”

Samantha made a face.

“I'm not like you, Haine. I'm a member of the House of Black, son of Regina Black, nephew of Simon Black. I was raised with the old stories of vampires, werewolves and magic. I knew of the location of one of them.”

“One of what?” Samantha asked, exasperated by his ramblings.

“A Jinn.”

Samantha's laugh was short and savage, more like the cackle of a hyena. No one could blame her for her reaction, of course. Jinn were legendary creatures, the kind that had been mythologized hundreds of times in a variety of different ways. Some claimed Jinn were merely ancient Lords that were abnormally generous, a theory she ascribed to. Some believed the Jinn to be nothing more than myth. Others thought they were spirits, either true ghosts or some sort of chaotic spirit, though no Lord had ever met a chaos spirit and the Lords consistently swatted annoying pests like ghosts out of their world. One Lord, Boatswain Elkhart, had discovered his own Lordship shortly after the death of his sister due to a malevolent ghost and had made it his mission to cast all spirits out of the mortal realm. She'd met him once in the '30s in Los Angeles, when he'd been hunting the spirit of a serial killer. He was insufferably self-righteous and refused to use his powers for his own pleasures like the rest of them. He'd brought up the subject of Jinn during their short adventure together, and declared them nothing more than myth.

“I don't care if you are a Black,” Samantha sneered, “Your family's ancient and powerful, but you don't control a Jinn.”

“We've never had need to control it, merely possess it,” Desmond sighed, “It was in an oil lamp, an ancient one from China. The Jinn was displeased to be awoken for such...petty needs, in his own words. My first wish was for Robin to adore me, and she did and she does. I took the time to choose my words carefully, to insure there would be no trickery. He was impressed by my effort, and was kind enough to state that most Jinn would corrupt a wish out of revenge for being a slave.”

“Every slave enjoys his petty recompense,” Samantha agreed.

“She was infatuated with me, and resisted every effort her father made to break us up, so much so she declared her intent to kill herself should she be taken from me. Her father tried to kill me one night, so I killed him. She was so upset, so displeased, but her love for me was so great she forgave me. She asked me for a favor, though. She wanted for no one she loved to ever die again, so I wished that everyone in the village would exist forever, and for her to remain young and vibrant for all time.”

“Did it work?” Samantha asked, curious.

“You saw the people coming in,” Desmond reminded her.

“They weren't what I would call alive,” Samantha folded her arms in disagreement.

“The words I used were 'exist forever,' remember? Poor wording and the Jinn ran rampant.”

“That's three wishes,” Samantha counted, “What happened to this Jinn once you ran out of them?”

“I had two more,” Desmond admitted, “One I used to seal the town away from everyone else.”

“I saw that on the way in. At first, I thought it was ley lines.”

“So you're starting to believe me?”

“Not even a little,” Samantha smirked, “What you're doing here isn't the result of some mythical magic like a Jinn. No, what you've done is harness a Lord's power for yourself and channeled it into these people, enough to make those 'wishes' real and you channel a bit of your own when you're here to make your little w***e-”

She was propelled across the room in an alarming display of power, slamming into the wooden wall and knocking down several paintings. She rose up in an instant, her arms blazing with a blue flame and her eyes turning into cat-like slits as her constant companion ascended into her mind, her teeth sharpening into fangs as the poison flowed into them.

“You will not call her that again,” Lord Desmond Black snarled, his own eyes black as night while an odd violet hue shined from his hands.

If one were to examine a person underneath the thrall of a Lord with a Geiger-counter, they would find their radiation levels around 15000 Bq, about twice the amount of a normal healthy adult. Because most Lords wouldn't stay with a human for very long, the long term consequences were very minimal. Were there a Geiger-counter in that desolate place in the wilds of Maine at that moment, the readings would be off the scale as the house was destroyed in one violent blast, shattering the wood and casting the occupants out into the gray.

Samantha slid to a stop on the cold, dry ground. Her tie was on fire and her shirt was ripped in several places making her look like some sort of office stripper. She growled, focusing a small ounce of her power to mend her outfit, turning as she heard someone step behind her.

The little girl, Sarah, looked up at her, a hopeful look in her eyes.

“Are you going to kill him?”

Samantha frowned, but nodded all the same. She didn't believe him at all when the disowned Black had declared a Jinn as the source of his power, but her own theory about him capturing and using of Lords to fuel his efforts here was thin. He'd need many Lords to maintain this place for just a week, and they'd likely die from the monumental effort.

Still, it was the only theory she had that made any sense.

“Where is he?” she growled.

Sarah pointed behind her, and Samantha turned, her hands lighting up in blue fire again. She shouldn't have wasted the energy. Desmond was staggering towards her, supported by a dirtied Robin, his face bruised and bleeding. He looked up, his eyes barely held open. Even so, she could see little trickles of electrical energy on his face, his body mending itself from the onslaught of her attack.

She took a moment to assess her own injuries. Her abdomen was on fire, a sharp white hot pain that increased every time she took a breath. Her arms were bleeding and there was a piece of wood embedded in her collarbone, and there was a cut above her left eye. She imagined there was electrical energy running over her body as well, the inherent power that came with Lordship automatically healing her body.

“I yield,” Desmond muttered, stepping away from Robin to stand before her, “I yield, Samantha.”

“...Where are they?” Samantha demanded, clinging desperately to her theory, “Where are the Lords you've taken?”

Desmond smiled a bloody, lightning smile, “There are no Lords. There was only a Jinn.”

“So where is it? This so-called Jinn?”

“I don't know,” he whispered, “After I made my fifth wish, it disappeared. That's what they do.”

She frowned, “So what was your last wish?”

He took a breath and let it out, his breathing visibly easier and his stance more upright, “I wished to know what happened to my baby brother.”

“Brother?!” Samantha laughed, “You have no brother. We all know this.”

He shrugged, “Believe what you will. But that's why you're here, Samantha. My mother, the great Lord Regina Black. She refused to let the world know what had happened to her youngest son, and I understand why. She couldn't do it with magic, though. She had to do it herself. My baby brother died cold and alone in the arms of his mother...our mother.”

Samantha could see how pained he was by the knowledge of this, whatever knowledge it was. She couldn't care less about this man and his pain, but if he knew something about the oldest and most powerful Lord that she could use...oh, the possibilities.

“What did she do?” she whispered, somehow managing to keep the eagerness out of her voice.

“...He was a null,” Desmond explained, “Beyond her control. And that simply would not do.”

She didn't need any more from him, and for the first time, she truly believed him. In their entire history, there had only been one null born from a Lord. He'd been born on April 20th, 1889 in Austria-Hungary to a very weak Lord named Klara, who was barely considered more than a human but was respected as a Lord regardless. Klara had died of one of the few natural ailments that could kill a Lord, cancer, and her son had gone on to become a mass murderer.

The less said about him, the better.

For a null to be born from the seed of a Black, the oldest and strongest living clan of Lords to date, it was the sort of thing that could send tremors through their community. She would have had to keep that knowledge safe, even from her own son. But he must have had suspicions for a very long time and had never been brave enough to ask her, not that she could blame him. She'd met Regina, and knew just how powerful she was. The air vibrated in every room she was in, the sheer force of her power shaking the world around her. Anything that could potentially threaten her status would be dealt with, swiftly and silently.

But if Desmond was telling the truth about his mother, then he was telling the truth about the Jinn. And if there were such things as Jinn...

“The Jinn disappeared?” she asked, her mind reeling.

She felt a raw flash of heat strike her on the chest, and she was sent flying into the ground. She rose up in an instant, her eyes flinty and her fangs bared. She stalked forward, casually deflecting blast after blast from the fallen Black, her vision funneled into one consumed by the sight of her enemy. She felt the frigid wind rise as she pulled on her energy, gathering it in her right hand. It blazed a blue fire that stretched to her fingertips, all while bursts of lightning emanated from her palms. She sent a single, flaming burst of power, aimed squarely at the renegade's heart.

The girl screamed as pure power raged through her lover's body, frying his insides and turning them into jelly. His heart was pierced by the power, and it began to pump massive amounts of blood as the energy poured into him. The fire boiled his blood in his veins, his body convulsing and steaming in the frozen air. Finally, with one last raw attempt to pull air into his lungs, Lord Desmond Black fell to the Earth, never to rise again.

There were no cheers or cries from the people of the village, no songs of joy to be sung. There was nothing but silence, broken by the sound of weeping as Robin slid closer and closer to her fallen angel.

“Oh, shut the f**k up,” Samantha muttered, casually sending a blast of energy into the blonde girl, sending her flying.

“No...” she turned and found Sarah among the group that had gathered several yards away, twiddling her fingers as her eyes shined from shedding tears, “No, no, no.”

“...I'm sorry,” she said, her eyes downcast so she wouldn't have to see the poor girl's disappointment.

She gathered them all together in the village square, to garner what they wanted to do next. She was not one for sentiment, at least not at the best of times. But this was not the best of times, no, not at all. This was tragic...and she would do what she could. The villagers wanted to leave, they had grown tired of their village and, if they could not pass into the next world, they would rather be away from this one. She agreed that they should leave, and promised to destroy the village. Robin remained inconsolable, refusing to do nothing but cry while she held the body of Desmond Black.

She knew the parameters of Desmond's wishes. The villagers would never die, but would be bound forever to this world. It was a terrible fate for a person who felt as though they were ash and looked it as well, but at least this way, they could explore the world at their leisure. It was all she could do for them.

For Robin, she had something else in mind. She approached the girl from behind, her footsteps silent as a graveyard at midnight, but she needn't have bothered. The poor thing was too upset to even notice her. She laid her hand on the blonde's head and sent up a flash of pure power, intruding on her nervous system and memories. This was a technique not often done by Lords. As hedonistic and selfish as the Lords could be, most of them were not monsters. To control a person for a time, that was nothing at all. To mildly influence them, that was even easier. But to twist a person's mind and memories to suit their own needs? That was beyond the scope of most moral compasses, even her own, but this was an exception.

She felt the girl shudder beneath her grasp, her mind folding into a different shape. Gone was the girl who Desmond Black turned into a slave. Samantha took the name and face of Desmond Black away from her mind, though she could not take her love for him. Without a name or a face, all Robin would know is that there was a man she loved above all others and that he wanted her to live a good life away from him. Samantha Haine became her oldest friend, confidant and lover in one fell swoop, the kind of woman Robin would trust implicitly, without any doubt or sense of mistrust. It was exactly what she needed if she were to embark on a new life somewhere.

As she held the girl's head in her hand, she felt a warm sensation of muscle slide away from her head. Her constant companion slid down the length of her arm and, for one terrifying moment, she feared her oldest friend would abandon her. She felt a strong sense of disappointment come from the serpent, and she knew that she had been foolish. She used her free hand to stroke her friend, and felt a sense of love and warmth sent in return. The snake slid forward, sliding to her fingertips. She held back a gasp of pain as her fingers bled, and was entranced herself as the blood slid down the girl's face. It flowed along her neck to her collarbone, pooling into a small oval shape. The blood sank into the girl, forming a white color bordered by black with small, green spots therein.

“I didn't know you could do that,” she whispered, a small smile gracing her lips, her eyes locked on the egg.

She would set this woman up with a good home, an escrow account and a personal servant. But more than that, she would submerge her memories forever from her, locked deep in her subconscious. There were many possibilities for this girl's memories, all the delicious tidbits Desmond Black may have dropped without realizing, the late night post-coital discussions, the bored moments in his life where he spoke of his family, his uncle...his mother. Oh, the possibilities.

That night, in Ogunquit, the blonde girl lay spent in their hotel bed underneath the covers, a soft, satisfied smile gracing her features. Samantha lit a fresh rain incense stick (blatantly ignoring the hotel's rules against such items) and inhaled, enjoying the scent before retreating to the bathroom. She set a small cup of ice cubes on the sink before inhaling once again to steady her nerves. She picked up the largest ice cube and ran it along the length of the bathroom mirror, sliding in a pattern that would cover ever part of the mirror. The ice melted quickly as she poured her energy into it, allowing it to cover the glass in its water. She did this several more times, each time with a new ice cube, covering the glass more and more. On her fifth ice cube, the mirror began to crack at the top. The cracks grew larger and longer as the water flowed down the reflective surface, covering the mirror in a spider's web of broken glass.

“Reykjavik.” she flicked the glass and it shattered into a thousand pieces, revealing a dimly lit hallway littered with priceless paintings and antiques.

She sent a soft ounce of calm to Robin, silencing her concern and sending her off to bed from the frightening interruption to her sleep the shattering sound had made. She sighed, calming her nerves. She did not like the idea of contacting Reykjavik, but she had taken on an assignment from the Black Queen. She was required to report in.

A figure stepped onto the hallway, dressed in a pair of black pants and impressively polished black leather shoes, with a white shirt, black tie and waistcoat. The waistcoat held a white raven patch on it, the only thing that signified to her who he was.

“Mr. Hooper,” she greeted him.

“Lord Samantha Haine,” the man returned, his eyes narrowing, “Would you like a moment to change into something more appropriate?”

She smirked, pleased to have set him off a bit. She was dressed in her leather pants and suspenders with a black lace bra, and nothing else. Mr. Hooper was the other half to Mr. Cooper, the yin to his yang. Neither were very fond of Lords acting in a disreputable manner, but Mr. Cooper was much more critical of her. Perhaps it was because he had rescued her as a child from Verdun, not that that gave him any kind of power or responsibility over her life. It made her grateful this was Mr. Hooper speaking to her; while he disliked it, Hooper's discomfort would put him off enough for her purposes.

She hoped.

“Am I not pretty?” Samantha smirked, running a hand along her neck and resting it between the curves of her chest.

Mr. Hooper blanched, clearing his throat before pressing on, “What have you to report?”

“Why isn't Lord Black speaking with me directly? I was sent to kill her son, after all.”

“It is not for you or I to demand knowledge of the Black Queen's whereabouts,” Mr. Cooper frowned, “The Lord of Lords requires a report, Lord Samantha Haine.”

“Fine,” Samantha sighed, running a hand through her hair, “Lord Desmond Black is dead. I wiped the village from the face of the Earth.”

“I see. Tell me, what of Desmond's body?”

“...I had to damage it. I repaired the damage and left him in a marked grave in the ruins.”

“Lord Black was quite specific on returning his body intact,” Mr. Cooper reminded her, his frown firmly fixed, “I shall have to inform her of your failure. Perhaps she will be mollified by your repairing the damage. Tell was he able to rule that village for so long? The drain on any Lord-”

“He sold me some nonsense about a Jinn.” Samantha rolled her eyes, “I searched the buildings and found a group of bodies, most of them mummified. One of them had a cell phone, but it was dead. I think they may have been Lords.”

Mr. Cooper seethed visibly, “Disgraceful. We should discover their identities immediately.”

“My instructions were to leave nothing, so I left nothing,” Samantha reminded him, “Everything is burnt, including the bodies.”

Mr. Cooper glared at her for a moment before softening his gaze, “Quite right, too. It is disappointing that we do not have the bodies to examine, but you did your duty. And Lord Desmond was always powerful...and you did repair the damage. I'm sure the Black Queen will be grateful for your services.”

“I want payment,” Samantha stated, “And I'm sure Regina Black doesn't appreciate being indebted to the likes of me.”

“...What did you have in mind?”

“A night in the Black Archives. Unrestricted access.”

“For what purpose?” Mr. Cooper asked, his gaze narrowing.

“It's the oldest library of the Lords since Alexandria was destroyed. Desmond told me a story about how the Jinn were responsible for us, the Lords, and it's made me curious. I'd like to learn more about our history.”

“I see...and what else did he tell you?”

“That he'd like to suck my tits and his mother was a w***e,” Samantha pursed her lips in disgust, “He was quite revolting, even for a Lord.”

“I see. Tell me, Lord Samantha...why are you not telling me everything?”

Samantha sighed, “The only other thing he did was gush over the girl he 'loved.' He was trying to make a baby with her, to replace someone. He wouldn't say who. Did he have a child, Mr. Cooper?”

“...That is the business of the Blacks, Lord Samantha.” Mr. Cooper sighed, apparently mollified, “I shall report to Lord Black immediately.”

The mirror solidified in an instant, a sort of anticlimax that Samantha was used to with the Blacks. They had their ways about them, as bland as they were eccentric. But above all else, they were powerful, and the powerful were always suspicious of everyone around them. It was the nature of things. She'd hinted at things, played on some of their suspicions so much as to arouse them but not enough to outright confirm them. Regina Black would, without doubt, agree to her payment, but there would be stipulations. It wouldn't be a day, more like a few hours. She would be released into the archives, but she wouldn't be alone, at least not for the whole time. She'd receive some lowly servant of House Black or the Lords' Court, someone who would walk away to take a piss, leaving her 'alone' for a while so she could seek what she truly wanted.

It was the way of the Lords, and especially the Blacks. They were the subversive kind.

But all they would find is a Lord seeking the truth of Lordship. She would start with the Jinn, because that was where Desmond said it began. She would observe the Black lineage, whose earliest member everyone knew to be Alexander III of Macedon, but would spend most of her time in the early entries. At last, when the tour came to an end, she would be escorted out, with no books or scrolls, no papers or notebooks. Her observers would return to the Lord of Lords and report their findings, and she would determine that Samantha was telling the truth...but she would still observe her for a time further, maybe a year or so. By the end, she would be positively bored and order the end of her observation.

Then, she would start her search.

The Jinn were real. That was the only thing aside from Robin she'd taken from her experience in the wilderness. And there was one out there for sure, somewhere in the world. She would find it, find that powerful creature, and any others she could find. And once she had them, she would strike and topple the Black Queen, along with any other Lord she wished.

Perhaps...all of them.

© 2016 Jesse W.

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Added on September 8, 2016
Last Updated on September 8, 2016
Tags: supernatural


Jesse W.
Jesse W.


I'm a 27 year old man from South Carolina. I write poetry and stories and hope to gain some feedback on them. :) more..

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