Clara did not knock and entered the bathroom as though she owned it. It seemed appropriate considering that moments ago, relatively speaking, she received a first-hand demonstration on the use of modern razors.
“Clara?” Elizabeth asked.
“Who else?” Clara quipped.
She walked over to the sink, and after a bit of experimentation, figured out how to make the faucet work. Behind her back, a cloud of steam rose out from the shower, followed by a yelp. That’s when the naked mass of a woman jumped out of the tub, all in an attempt to escape the searing heat.
“Hot!” Elizabeth yelled.
Clara wanted to laugh since this scene had all of the elements of a classic gag, but that would do little to prepare Elizabeth. A shame that she forgot to clean up before broaching the subject.
Elizabeth’s skin was red on her back and side. Her hair was covered in conditioner, and she also managed to nick her leg. The wound was bleeding, although that would soon stop.
“Sorry,” Clara said. “I figured they would have fixed that sort of nonsense by now.”
The other was not paying attention, preoccupied with the cut and the application of toilet paper to slow the bleeding. Clara used this opportunity to wash her hands, clearing away the blood but not the memories.
“What happened?” Elizabeth asked upon noticing the black feathered wings.
Clara sighed and hoped that this reaction was muted by the running water. Clara grabbed the soap after a quick rinse, noticed there were streaks of blood everywhere.
“What do you mean?” Clara asked in an attempt to stall.
“Your wings,” Elizabeth said. “They are badass.”
Clara contorted her body in such a way to get a partial view of her rear-end before saying, “I thought I had a great ass?”
Elizabeth smirked. It appeared that this turn of phrase had not been in use during her time. How many ways could that be interpreted if one had no clue what the expression meant?
“I meant to say your wings are cool… swell… the cat’s meow,” Elizabeth said while looking for signs of recognition on Clara’s face.
“Now you decide to speak proper English?” Clara asked with a smirk. She then expanded her wings to their full size before adding, “They are the bees knees, aren’t they?”
Meanwhile, Clara was busy wiping down every surface that had blood in an attempt to clean away the evidence. She only managed to dilute the mess. Still, it appeared more pink than crimson.
“Yes…” Elizabeth began to say until she noticed the bloody footprints leading into the room. “What—”
Before Elizabeth finished that statement, Clara folded her wings and moved to embrace the amazon. Given their difference in height, Clara had to do a quick hop to wrap her arms around Elizabeth’s neck and plant a kiss.
Elizabeth was bewildered, but her sense of reason soon went down the drain. In response, she moulded her wet body into Clara’s and leaned into the kiss. The kiss was invigorating. Clara’s willing body and breasts radiated heat even through the leather. Clara willingly parted her lips, taking in Elizabeth’s tongue, and surrendered to the passion.
Their embrace lasted for minutes. They danced using their tongues, since Elizabeth was hesitant to explore Clara’s exposed back. Every so often, they came up for air, and this separation only served to deepen their desire. So why was Clara crying?
“What—,” Elizabeth tried to say.
Lost in the moment, Clara wanted nothing more than those lips and was not about to tolerate any interruptions. For the first time, she was exposed, vulnerable, but unaware of it.
“What—,” Elizabeth repeated.
“Don’t,” Clara said and tried to place a lone finger over Elizabeth’s lips.
“W—,” Elizabeth attempted to ask.
“Please,” Clara pleaded.
With the knowledge that this would go on as long as there was proximity, Elizabeth tore herself away. Despite her smaller stature, the perky brunette was the embodiment of strength. Not entirely unexpected, since Clara could wield a heavy truck door like a baseball bat.
Clara fell to her knees and began to cry. All of the emotions that were bundled up and concealed over the years chose this moment to make an appearance. As judged by the severity of Clara’s reaction, they had done so with a vengeance.
Elizabeth sensed that something life altering had taken place in the last five minutes. The change in her wings, the bloody footsteps, the need for an escape, and emotional breakdown were all indicators of trauma.
For now, there was nothing to be done about her hair, so she grabbed a towel and approached Clara cautiously. She gingerly knelt beside Clara and placed a hand on her exposed shoulder.
Clara’s reaction was immediate; she fell into Elizabeth’s arms. Tears streamed from her eyes, which would soon become puffy and red. Elizabeth held on tight and let this wave of emotion take its course. No matter how hardened an individual appeared to be, there were limits.
“I— killed her—” Clara managed to say through all of that sobbing.
“Who?” Elizabeth said in a calm and soothing voice.
“Goddess—” Clara blurted out, showing frustration at her own loss of control.
“Shhhhhh,” Elizabeth repeated. “It’s okay.”
Clara went on crying for a good five or ten minutes. Elizabeth stayed with her the entire time, realising that a fresh towel would be needed after this.
Eventually, Clara pulled away, took a deep breath, and smiled awkwardly. There was still much for her to deal with, but that moment of vulnerability had done a great deal of good for the soul. She had killed a lot of creatures in her years, many who pleaded for their lives. They were the worst, often looking so innocent before she performed the coup de grâce.
Every kill, beginning with Jack, her first love, the one who tried to torture her for information, had been one more drop of water held back by a dam. Hecate had been one drop too many, and despite the shock, this incident had been a boon for Clara.
“Thank you,” Clara said in a nasal voice, before she sniffled to breathe better.
Elizabeth smiled but realised that her bathroom was now a sauna. Steam permeated the air while humidity clung to the walls, turning into droplets that ran down every surface. The floor was also soaked and succeeded in washing away any evidence of blood.
“Oh shit!” Elizabeth said, when the cause dawned on her.
She jumped to her feet, shut the sink’s tap, and returned to the tub to ensure the water could support human life. Once the temperature was just right, Elizabeth jumped right back in. Still, it was too late; her hair needed another wash.
Clara’s weak smile turned into a smirk; the light humour helped her settle back into her normal state of mind. When Elizabeth stuck out her arm to drop her sopping wet towel, Clara burst out laughing.
There was still that mess to deal with, but Clara was more centred now and better able to think. Once a plan formed in her mind, Clara adopted the cat-who-ate-the-canary smirk.
“Are there any empty units in this block?” Clara asked.
While Elizabeth’s voice was muffled by the water, the answer came clear enough, “Units in the opposing block are being renovated… Why do you ask?”
Clara got to her feet and opened the curtain to get a better view of Elizabeth before replying, “The less you know, the better.”
With that, Clara left the bathroom, looked out the window, and quickly refined her plan. She would have no trouble reaching the fire escape on the other side, even under a heavy load. No one would suspect the bodies had flown across an alley.
Clara looked at the sky and guessed there was a solid hour before the alley was bathed in daylight. Still, she removed her leather pants and bustier. That way, if anyone called in a sighting, the police would dismiss the call. Who would trust a witness claiming they saw some naked chick with black wings leaping between buildings?
That meant she would need to pick the fridge clean to get her energy levels up and with luck, would remain accelerated. Clara concentrated until she could hear individual drops fall in the shower.
“Let’s eat,” Clara said, but an errant thought crossed her mind.
Clara reached down on the floor and picked up the amphora. Despite Hecate being no more, the glowing liquid was still filled to the brim. Clara had also been fortunate that the amphora had righted itself rather than flood this floor in ambrosia.
Clara did not dwell on that aspect. Instead, she poured three glasses and downed them all. It did not have the pep that Sparky’s bolt provided, but it was enough.
“This should help,” Clara said while picking up the first body.
Disclaimer: This chapter is currently in development. There are likely typos, errors, omissions, inconsistencies and so forth. Please do not treat this as a polished and completed work!