-B17-

Silvia sorts through the long line of manga novels upon the bookstore shelves. Walking her fingers between issues of Battle Princess Mintaka, she stops towards the end of the editions, pulls out a copy of the latest, and examines the cover. With an eager bite of her lower lip, her piercing green eyes quickly analyze the art and study the hints to the story within. Completely entranced by the possibilities, she cracks open the to the first few pages, brushes back her long, fiery red hair, and adjust her glasses upon her freckled face.

A slender figured woman steps behind her, crosses her dark skinned arms, and cracks a wry smile. Tossing her short, black hair back, she giggles smugly between the bookshelves of the aisle, and stares harshly upon the only other person in the vicinity. Drawing a long breath, the woman makes her presence known. “Silvianistria... Interesting choice for your disguise.”

Silvia’s green eyes spring wide open, her pupils narrow, and her body tenses up with abject recognition. Awkwardly relaxing her posture, she quickly replaces the book back on the shelf in front of her, pivots towards the end of the aisle, and quickly steps away. The slender figured woman narrows her glare, cocks her head, and hems. “Don’t act like YOU don’t know ME.”

Continuing her quick pace towards the end of the shelves of books to her sides, Silvia directs a quick, short tone back. “I’m sorry. You’ve mistaken me for someone else-”

The slender woman appears right in front of Silva. Her sharp grin wide on her face, she narrows a cutting gaze upon Silva, rests her hands on her hips, and straightens her posture. “Don’t play this game with ME. You know I could always see through your illusions. Let’s TALK.”

Silva abruptly halts in the aisle in the bookstore, glances around the busy activity surrounding the two women, and sighs. “Fine, Demitria. Or, are you going by something else these days?”

Demitria leans forward slightly with a wide grin detailing her amusement. “Demitria is fine. Let’s take this discussion outside, down the alley way. Out of sight of... the locals.”

A long sigh leaks out from Silvia as she stands up straight, frowns with a stoic tint, and grumbles. “Fine. You lead.”

Demitria snickers to herself, rolls her dark blue eyes, and struts effortlessly through the patrons of the bookstore. Silvia maintains a cautious distance, and slips through the wake. Outside the store, Demitria leads the way around the corner of the building front, down a long empty alley way, and halts after passing enough debris. “This should be out of sight enough.”

Silvia steps over to the opposite of the alley, stands near the old, brickwork of the wall, and positions herself in the shadow of a large dumpster. “Fine. Why are YOU here?”

Demitria quirks her brow, grimaces indignantly, and shakes her head. “By the gods, it’s been years since I’ve actually seen you. I thought you’d be a little more welcoming.”

Glancing up and down Silvia’s figure obscured by loose fitting clothes, Demitria smirks and lifts an eye brow upon her dark toned face. “And THIS disguise certainly doesn’t command the respect I thought a proud servant of our queen Lady Nox would desire.”

Silvia straightens her stance, frowns resolutely, and crosses her arms with a harsh glare at Demitria. “AGAIN. Why are YOU here?”

Shaking her head in disgust, a disappointed tone weighs down Demitria’s voice. “First, drop that silly disguise. It took me years to locate you, and I’m not going to talk seriously to this ridiculous human form you’ve crafted.”

Silvia grits her teeth, stares at Demitria, and waits. After tense seconds, Silvia rolls her eyes and groans. “Fine. Only for a few minutes.”

Demitria nods vaguely appreciative. “Thank you.”

Closing her eyes, Silva slowly exhales a long breath. Her facade fades away. The long, fiery red hair pales to a silvery white. Her skin darkens down from the freckled pale to a gray with darker gray markings. Two swept back horns materialize from their anchor points on the sides of her temples. Her piercing green eyes remain with a faint glow radiating from the irises.

Demitria grins wide as her teeth sharpen, fingernails lengthen, and intricate markings trace out upon her darker skin. A long tail whips out into existence, and her dark blue eyes flash with an ethereal fire. With a quick toss of her black hair, a pair of curling horns grow out from her forehead. She smiles at Silvia and laughs. “Now was that so hard? It is good to see you, again.”

Silvia grits her teeth, narrows her green eyes with a flit glow, and growls. “Okay. Finally, WHY are you HERE?”

With a playful sigh, Demitria dismissively waves of the serious tone and shakes her head. “By the gods, I’m here because I figured you were sick of this plane of existence, and wanted to go back to the Dark Realms.”

Quickly and shortly, Silvia plainly states. “No thank you. Is that all you wanted?”

Demitria blinks out her shock, snaps her full attention to Silvia, and puzzles. “Excuse me? No? Did I hear you correctly?”

Silvia growls out and snarls up her upper lip. “Yes. I have NO interest in going back to the Dark Realms. Lady Nox is banished to who knows where at this point. I’m done with it all. I’ve got better things now.”

Cracking a sharp frown on her face, Demitria aims her radiant blue eyed glare to Silvia, and grumbles. “Better things? Like what? Tell me. I’ve done a little scouting before hand... What is it? Some kind of questionably rewarding, mundane human career? That house you’ve taken up residence in and claimed with your paltry decorations and FRUSTRATING hexes?”

She searches Silvia’s face, grows a mean, toothy grin, and darkly chuckles. “That human pet of yours?”

Silvia puffs out her chest, maintains a stoic glare upon Demitria, and sighs. “He’s not my pet.”

Demitria leans close, smirks smugly, and giggles. “Oh, but you’ve certainly made the project of him. Quite an improvement over the years when you first enthralled him. I would have gone for something a little dumber and muscular. But, you always liked a challenge.”

Gritting her teeth, Silvia reveals her sharp canines and growls out. “It’s NOT like that. We’re... TOGETHER. And yes, he knows exactly who I am.”

Demitria blinks blankly, cocks her head to side, and gawks in absolute disbelief. “You are... telling the truth. Oh my... I never would have thought. Well...”

She twists a devious smile on her face, and chuckles to herself. “That’s certainly interesting. A twist of fate I never thought you’d be a part of. Well, nothing I can’t work around.”

Narrowing her dark blue glare upon Silvia, Demitria focuses her demanding tone. “Since, I NEED YOU to help me open a portal to the Dark Realms. I’d like to go back.”

Silvia shakes her head slowly, postures defiantly, and growls. “No. I’m not allowed to aid in any such manner. It’s of part the agreement I had to make when I was STRANDED on this realm by YOURS and WESTER’S mistakes. You’ll have to find someone else. And, I don’t even have the materials to start trying to access that realm anyway.”

A smirk appears on Silvia’s gray tone faced, and she rolls her illuminated green eyes. “Your just out of luck with me. I’m certain one of the many others that were stranded her will be happy to help. I’m not.”

Demitria snarls up her upper lip, scrunches up her nose, and crosses her arms. “Well. THIS won’t do. I guess I’ll just have to remove all your reasons to stay here! Then, you’ll have no choice. I think I’ll start with that pet of yours.”

Silvia twists her expression on her face, grits her teeth, and spits out her irritation. “PLEASE, don’t ruin my marriage. Okay? Just don’t try that bullshit. It won’t work.”

Halting mid thought, Demitria giggles derisively, rolls her eyes, and gasps amused. “Marriage? With a human? Oh, that’s too funny. Did you do one of their ceremonies? Oh gods, I do hope someone recorded it so I can laugh at it all. That’s a good cover to make him believe this ruse of yours...”

She drops her sentence, closely examines the resolute stare from Silvia, and blinks in genuine surprise. “Wait... No... You... Really?!”

Narrowing her gaze, Demitria’s dark blue eyes flash with ethereal fire and search Silvia’s form. “You mean OUR kind’s marriage?! I sense the magic aura now. Oh my gods... I never would have thought-”

After a long pause, a sly smirk creeps out onto her face, and Demitria giggles her devious amusement. “Oh. Oh! This changes my plans. Why I think I’m going to postpone my quest to get to the Dark Realms.”

Silvia rears her head of long, silvery white hair back, shifts her weight to her other foot, and twist her mouth uncertainly. “Well, that’s progress, I guess.”

With a toothy grin, Demitria quickly gestures out a series of magical glyphs into the air with her long fingernails, and smiles devilishly. “Yes, it is! Oh, my dearest cousin... I think I need to visit our family in the home realm and give them the exciting news!”

Silvia’s eyes spring wide open. She blinks back to awareness, shudders harsh into the situation, and scrambles out a series of opposing magical gestures. “WAIT! WHAT? NO! Don’t you fucking dare-!”

Demitria waves with her free hand as the final part of her hovering tapestry of energy solidifies. The translucent wave envelops her and she disappears into a vaporous mass. The miasma collects and zips off into the air, and speeds off through the skies above. Silvia stumbles forward as her arm passes through the residual magic, and catches herself before lunging head first into the opposing brick wall.

Frustrations surge out into her body and she slams her fists against the wall. “FUCK! Oh, fucking great... What was I thinking... Gods damn her...”

After leaning against the wall, Silvia pushes her self back upright, draws in long, calming breaths, and gazes up into the clouds. She exhales a long sigh, pulls her cell phone out, and quickly navigates to a number. As her horns disappear, her hair reddens, and skin pales with freckles, she puts the phone against her ear. Walking slowly out of the alley way, she draws in a long breath. “Hey! How are you doing? ... Don’t worry, I’m fine. Just got done with the bookstore, but... Um, could you check the fence enchantments? ... Yes, I’ll tell you when I get back.”

She grits her teeth, grimaces, and groans. “I think it’s time we talked about my parents.”