B2 — 16. Pure Hearted Blunders

Rachel turned her head back to her companions.  “All of them are up; it might be best to see Anthony first.”

“The Legendkin, eh?”  Maria hummed. “I heard a bit about him earlier today.  Some women were saying he’s pretty shy. He’s mostly kept to himself, but he’s supposed to be a looker.”

Scarlet swallowed, turning to look up, black, red-halo eyes returning; the unnatural display looked strange with her slight blush.  “We could go see Kyle; I mean, if we’re going to see them all.”

A smile touched Rachel’s lips.  Is she in love?  Something about him must be really attractive to her; I suppose he is an Incubus, and it would be good to see if we’re affected by his control magic.  Maria should have us covered in case one of us is susceptible. Plus, Scarlet usually isn’t like this; it would do her good to act a little more human.

“It’s not a bad choice…”  Her ears twitched as she heard Anthony open his door and talk to an FBI agent outside his room.

“Hey, which way was the kitchen again?”  His tone was fairly neutral, but the low hum made her ears twitch.  He does have a lovely voice … I can’t believe this is the first time I’ve heard it.  Of course, he’s mostly been asleep or silently practicing with his spear in that room.

The agent yawned, scratching his hair.  “I’ll—I’ll take you. Do you really gotta take the spear with you, though?”

“Does it bother people?  Just having it out is practice; David said it was fine after I explained the function.”

“Yeah, I know, but … nevermind.  It actually looks pretty cool.” He said moving with him back down the hall; he took him to the third-floor break-room.  “I’ve never seen a weapon like it.”

Anthony’s relaxed tone touched with a hint of excitement.  “Oh? Are you interested in weapons?”

“Yeah, a bit,” the agent said.  “I watch a Medieval YouTube channel that goes into detail on a lot of the battles.  It’s pretty cool learning how they fought in Europe.”

Rachel turned her focus back to the group, but her ears continued following Anthony and the agent’s conversation.  “No one wants to see the Succubus?” She asked with a smile.

“Who’d want to see some chica that’s all about seducing guys,” Maria huffed.  “I’m with Scarlet, let’s see what this Incubus is all about.”

“Is he hot?”  Fiona asked with a smirk, floating a few feet away from Scarlet.

“Eh, I guess,” Scarlet cleared her throat.  “I mean, he’s definitely different … he kind of looks like what I’d imagine an anime character looks like.”  She mumbled, vision darting to the side.

“Oh, now I’m interested!”  Fiona giggled. “A real-life anime guy?  Sign me up!”

Rachel chuckled.  “So, his looks are what’s interesting, y’all?”

“Eh—no, not all of it,” Scarlet stammered.  “I mean, he kind of looks a little shy, and—and I just … he’s not wearing a shirt…”  She cut off; it almost seemed like she bit her tongue, face turning the same color as her name.  “It’s not like I’ve been looking—it’s just … he was sleeping, and—uhm, nevermind,” she stammered, thoughts seeming to go out of control.

“Oh?”  Maria grinned, nudging Scarlet as she hid her face.  “Already gettin’ sneak peeks? Naughty girl, are ya? Didn’t see that in ya!”

“No—no, no, I’m not—it’s just his shirt, okay…”  Scarlet backtracked.

Rachel hummed thoughtfully.  “Well, to be fair, I did hear one of the girls mention him bare-chested before.  Apparently clothes are uncomfortable because of something with his skin.”

Scarlet’s eyes turned back to blue, seemingly trying to avoid looking at the Incubus.  “It must be those—those glowing cracks on his s-skin. It’s kind of pretty…”

“Now I’m really interested,” Fiona mumbled, and Rachel wouldn’t be surprised to see her drooling.  “An anime-guy with pretty glowing skin?”

Randy’s eyebrow was raised as he listened to their conversation by the door.  “Does this really have something to do with what you’re doing with the Military, or do you just want to see some eye candy?”

“N-no—eye candy,” Scarlet mumbled, but Fiona butted in.

“Nope, definitely interested in eye candy!”

Maria chuckled.  “At least you’re honest, but I’d like to see what the hype’s about.”

“Huh,” Randy leaned against the doorway with a creased brow.  “You into horned guys, then?”

“Oh, Horns too?”  Fiona swallowed. “He sounds like the anime bad-boy demon type!”

“I have no clue what you guys are talking about,” Rachel said, happy to see Scarlet coming a little out of her shell.  “What’s an anime bad-boy demon type?”

“No—he’s not like that,” Scarlet interjected.  “He’s s-shy looking … Anthony looks more like the cool-guy, bad-boy!”

“Really?”  Rachel hummed, now interested.  “He has a nice voice.”

“You too?”  Maria asked.  “I guess tone would interest a Hare, though … I mean, you go through hearing enough voices.”

For some reason, her dad’s words flashed back into Rachel’s mind.  I can tell by your voice that something has changed; your voice is less harsh on the ears.”  The thought dulled her interest.  Why would he say that?  I’ve heard some harsh voices, but … that’s how he heard me before?  Was my voice annoying? Is that why he kept me at arm’s length?

“Rachel?”  Fiona asked.

“Hmm?”

“It’s just—you looked a little nervous.  It’s just—it’s not like you.” Scarlet whispered.  “Did you want to talk about something else?”

“No—I was just thinking about something else.  Don’t worry about it; it doesn’t concern this.”  She said with a fake smile.

“If you say so,” Scarlet said.

Randy yawned, looking down the hall at a few people moving between offices and softly talking about plans to shelter some of the Beastkin that were arriving.  “Hey, Rachel, how soon until Hughes and Bailey arrive?”

“Oh?  Happy to get rid of us?”  Maria smirked.

“Na, this is simple work compared to the other complicated stuff going on.  I’ve been out of the loop with the group David assigned me to. I’d like to get caught up to speed.”

“That makes sense,” Fiona said, tone concerned.  “How are the other Beastkin doing out there?”

All of them turned to Rachel for answers.

Scratching the back of her head as she continued following Anthony and his escort’s conversation, her ears shifted a little; he seemed interested in all sorts of weapons and found someone to share that with.

“From what I know, they’re doing a lot better.  Most of the chaos and initial panic about aliens, monsters, dimensional creatures, and mutated government attack robots have been quelled.”

“Mutant government attack robots…”  They all muttered with creased faces.

“Yeah, there was some group that was convinced that’s what we were; everyone changed was some kind of weapon used by the government to start a government regime and take over the Democratic Republic of the U.S., controlled by his Twitter account.”

“That’s insane,” Randy muttered.

“Who knows with Twitter, though; I could see it,” Maria chuckled.  “Thing takes over people’s lives.”

“Mutant government attack robots,” Fiona repeated.  “That doesn’t even make sense?”

“There were a few high schoolers that had a time-traveling theory and managed to convince some of their student body about it, mainly because the two Beastkin in the school went along with it like a game.

“A Aberationkin Angel-type was kidnapped by some demon-cult that thought if they got her tears, then they’d bring back their dark lord.  They also needed tears from a demon, so they took an Aberationkin Demon-type … I saw a few of them back at my school.”

“Did they torture them?”  Scarlet asked in horror.

“No, no, well … I guess,” Rachel mumbled, looking up at the ceiling.  “They tickled them … I don’t know how that translates in court, but … yeah, they tickled them until they cried, but the Demon-girl managed to break out after two hours.  The Angel-girl’s been rescued by the Coast Guard; they were using a houseboat.”

“People are crazy,” Randy grunted.

Rachel shrugged.  “I did a report once about the number of visitors to Miami; we get tens of thousands of overnight visitors a day coming through here, and thousands more staying longer.  In Miami alone, not including the surrounding cities like Miami Beach, Hialeah, and Kendall, we’ve got like four-hundred and fifty thousand people, excluding all the tourists.”

She turned to Randy.  “Do you know how many people are in Miami-Dade County?”

“You’re not wrong,” Randy sighed.  “We have about two-point-seven million people in the county, excluding tourists; we broken the record of overnight visitors last year at sixteen and a half million for the year.  We get a lot of tourists, and that’s one reason why we have an FBI headquarters here.”

“That’s crazy,” Fiona folded her arms.  “I didn’t think we had that many people come through here.  I am kind of an otaku, though…”

“The hell’s that?”  Maria asked.

“Japanese,” Rachel quickly stated.  “Something my dad hates … someone that basically doesn’t communicate with too many people and stays in-doors on technology all the time.”

“I’m lumped into that boat,” Scarlet sighed.  “I used to be pretty social in junior high, but … I kind of withdrew in high school.”

“You’re sayin’ you were a Vampire before you became a Vampire?”  Maria chuckled.

“Hey, rude!”  Fiona huffed. “I’ll have you know, I made a lot of money being an otaku, and had a lot of people I could talk to online.”

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“Well,” Scarlet brushed back her hair to scratch her neck.  “I guess you could say I lived a Vampire’s life … now that I look back on it.”

Knowing how close this was hitting for Scarlet, Rachel swapped the subject.  “Anyway, Serah and Bree met up further up the building. They’re heading this way; we can go meet them.”

Randy nodded.  “Alright, but … I just thought of something; is it a good idea to put Agents Hughes and Bailey in the same room as the Incubus?”  He asked with concern.

“Pfft,” Maria scoffed.  “I can keep them safe.”

“Yeah,” Rachel smiled at her.  “Let’s hope your purifying skills are up to the task; we need to test our abilities to see where we need to improve.  I’m sure David understood that when assigning them to us. We won’t let anything happen to them.”

He slowly nodded.  “Okay, I suppose that makes sense.”

“Yeah, let him try to seduce her,” Maria growled.  “It ain’t happenin’ on my watch. That girl’s got a good man already.”

“Oh, which one?”  Randy asked with a raised eyebrow.

“None of your business,” Maria sniffed.  “Unless … you interested in one of them?”  She asked with a small smirk.

He cleared his throat.  “No, it’s just … wait…” He muttered a curse.

Maria winked at him with a short chuckle.  “Should have stayed silent; which one is it?”

“Yeah,” Randy chuckled, cheeks turning a bit red.  “Got me there. I haven’t gotten used to all these new abilities people have.  You should consider law enforcement…”

“Hey, hombre, don’t change the subject,” Maria snapped.  “Which one, eh? I might even put in a word, ya know.”

“Ack,” He scratched the back of his head, ruffling his brown hair a bit.  “You can’t lie, right? Then say you won’t tell her.”

Maria’s eyes creased with her grin.  “Yeah, I won’t say a word.”

He clicked his tongue, vision shooting to the other three girls.  “I put my foot in my mouth, didn’t I … fine, whatever,” he sighed, “it’s Bailey.”

“Hmm,” Maria smirked.  “Serah, huh? Tryin’ to test me?”

He cursed.  “Alright,” Randy motioned for them.  “Let’s just go meet them; I’ll let the cards fall where they do…”

Scarlet and Fiona’s moods seemed to lift as they giggled; they walked halfway down the hall before Randy turned to Rachel, cheeks flushing even further.  “Yeah … I don’t know where they are.”

Rachel took the lead.  “They’re up here to the left; they’re close.”

They followed her until they caught sight of Bree and Serah; they’d changed into more casual clothes, likely some back-up gym clothes, but they kept their weapon vests.  Randy quickly left down another hall before they reached them.

“Huh,” Serah mumbled, watching him turn the corner.  “I thought I needed to brief him on the escort, but I guess he can get the information from the other members.”

Maria and Fiona gave each other knowing looks.  “Yeah, I’m sure he can.” Fiona giggled.

Bree seemed a lot more cheerful than when Rachel had last seen her.  “So, what are you four planning? David just told us that we were to be your escorts to wherever you wanted to go.”

“We heard you’ll all be leaving tomorrow, too,” Serah asked with a bit of concern.  “Is everything okay?”

“Well, technically, we’ll be leaving tonight,” Scarlet said, looking out of the glass walls at the brightly lit grounds below.  The sun had fallen more than an hour before they exited the room.

Rachel nodded.  “Yeah, we’re fine.  If you two stay in Miami, then I’m sure we’ll probably meet again.”

“Hmm, I wonder about that,” Maria said, nudging Bree.

Fiona, Scarlet, and Serah looked between Bree’s flushing face and Maria’s secretive smirk.

“Something you’d like sharing with the class?  Because I’m lost.” Serah asked.

“You seriously haven’t heard?”  Maria lifted an eyebrow.

A soft sigh left Rachel’s lips.  “It’s pretty personal, Serah; I only know because of my ears, and Maria’s statement is a little polysemous,” she said with a glance at her.

“Poly—huh?”  Maria asked, scratching her forehead.

“It can be taken multiple ways,” Scarlet chimed in.

“Right,” Rachel continued, “don’t worry, Bree, no one knows the details but the Assistant Director; they just speculate that Maria healed something.”

Bree breathed a heavy sigh of relief.  “Thanks, Rachel. I was a little self-conscious about it.”

“Ack,” Maria popped her tongue with irritation.  “My bad, my mouth can get ahead of itself sometimes.”

“Well, okay then,” Serah mumbled before smiling.  “Tell me when you’re ready.”

Bree shifted a little, holding her left wrist against her stomach, but nodded shyly.  Clearing her throat, she asked, “So, what are we going to be doing?”

“Meet boys!”  Fiona giggled.

“Huh?”  Both women’s brow creased.

“Well, we’re going to go meet the Incubus,” Rachel corrected.  “We need to understand a bit about our own resistances, and it shouldn’t be an issue with Maria nearby.  Just being in her presence should combat the passive hormone effects with her passive purifying effects. That’s my working theory, anyway.”

“The Incubus?”  Bree asked with uncertainty.

Serah’s tone mirrored Bree’s reluctance.  “You’re sure we’ll be okay?”

Maria put her hands on her hips.  “Yeah, of course. I’ll be here.” She said with confidence.  “Don’t worry about a thing!”

“How reliable, for a word klutz,” Fiona giggled.

“Hey, I said I was sorry,” Maria grumbled, flipping back her hair as she turned to glare out of the window.

They all grinned.

“I know the way,” Rachel said, turning to walk down the hallway Randy had taken.  “There’s an elevator down here that’ll take us to the third floor.”

The others followed her to the office; they went up to the third floor and continuing further back to the rear of the building.  They noticed an agent outside of his room as they entered the hallway. He seemed a bit nervous at the sight of them.

“I got confirmation from Head Supervisor David, but … are you sure?  We had a few hysterical women already try to get back in … it was like they were having withdrawals.”

“We have our own detox agent,” Rachel replied.  “Thank you for the concern, and we won’t intrude if he wants us to leave.”

The agent nodded, stepping aside.

Knocking on the door, he opened it saying, “Hey, Kyle, you’ve got some guests.”

The Incubus’ voice was deep but soft.  “Oh, alright, give me a moment to put on a shirt.”

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Rachel resisted a smirk as she caught Scarlet’s vampiric eyes staring through the door, cheeks red; a hard lump dropped down her throat.  Face flushing further at his voice.

I don’t think he needs hormones with Scarlet; she really is infatuated with him.  I guess it’s nothing she wouldn’t see if he was at the pool, but still … although, she hasn’t told us if her vision can penetrate clothes.  She could just be embarrassed to say it.

After a minute, he said, “Alright, I’m ready.”

He opened the door, allowing them to walk in.

Kyle stood up, waiting to greet his unknown guests.  He wore a black button-up shirt that fit his body reasonably well and could have been a bit small for his lean, but solid physique.  His black skinny-jeans weren’t skin tight, but close-fitted, and were pulled down a bit to allow a long tail its freedom as it hovered at his side.  His D-ring belt was undone, and he wore black boots that came up above his ankles.

His physical appearance made Rachel understand Scarlet’s flustered attitude; he was more on the pretty-handsome side rather than rugged.  He seemed to have lean muscle, and there seemed to be bright pink glowing cracks that bled through his black shirt, the only visible one being on the left side of his neck; they pulsed softly and were spaced out from his neck to his shins.

The long, wicked-looking barbed tail stiffened when he caught sight of them, arcing to hover by his head; the tail seemed to have rough skin, but the barbed end appeared to be made of sapphire, glowing with an inner light.

His hair was mostly blue with black streaks, and his horns curved around his head, curving to frame his eyes.  They began at the back of his head, just above his ears, wrapping around with a slight bow to end with sharp points above his eyebrows.  His fingernails and eye color matched the horns.

Kyle’s eyes immediately drew their attention; the whites were as black as night, showing large illuminated blue irises that were gradient, darker on the outside, brighter on the inside, while his black pupils appeared to glisten like water.

“Huh?”  His eyes widened as his features shifted from relaxed to shock.  “Why—did you bring girls? Please—please get them out!” He shrank back.

“It’s okay,” Rachel soothed, stepping closer.  “Maria is a Unicorn Mythickin; she should be able to purify your area charm effect.”

“What?  You—you’re a Mythickin?”  Kyle asked, turning to look at Maria.

“Chill,” Maria huffed, moving in to take a seat on a couch by the door.  “You’re not wrong, Scarlet; he’s got that pretty-boy vibe. Not my type, but not bad looking.”

“Hey,” Scarlet’s already red face deepened, and she curled into a ball, vanishing in shadow.

“Tch, Maria!”  Fiona growled. “Rachel, where’d she go.  I’ll go talk to her.”

Rachel shot a glare at Maria.

“What?  I was only speaking the truth … geez, the girl’s too shy for her own good.”  Maria mumbled, lips pursed as she looked at the wall.

Rachel breathed out a heavy sigh.  “It’s usually not what you say, Maria, but how you say it … she’s in the janitor’s closet down the hall, Fiona.  You made her cry.” Rachel whispered, knowing Maria could hear her.

“My bad,” Maria mumbled, scratching above her long left ear.  “I’ll go apologize…”

“I’m afraid you can’t; not yet,” Rachel said, pointing at Bree and Serah.

They both had their lips pursed, shaking their heads disapprovingly at Maria.

“Right, yeah, okay, I messed up … story of my life.”

Kyle’s shock turned to confusion.  “Um—what’s going on?”


Artwork:  I had a picture done for Kyle, but it isn’t perfect and doesn’t fit the scene well.  I’ll post it for you guys to have a rough depiction before I get a better one made.  This was commissioned by Likesac like … a while ago.

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