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   Chapter 4 04

NEIN (girlxgirl) By alabastersnow Characters: 22848

Updated: 2018-10-31 22:29


________

E I N S A M K E I T

(n.) Loneliness.

________

"WELCOME BACK TO Psychcom, " the man dressed in futuristic black clothing said. Natasja figured he was the teacher. He looked to be in his mid-forties, with some white hair adorning his beard. The clipboard in his hand seemed tiny compared to his large stature of muscle mass and height. He was intimidating. Maybe because he didn't seem capable of smiling. "And to those of you who don't know me because you're delayed, " he eyed Natasja. "I am Professor Inkwell."

Natasja's first class according to her schedule was Psychcom, which she later found out was actually short for Psychological Combat, and it was taken with Sabraels and Dumas together. The Galizurs had a more basic training. There were about twenty trainees in the room with her, and she just couldn't tell which ones were Sabraels and which ones were Dumas. They were dressed in normal clothes, like normal people you see in everyday life. In jeans, t-shirts, bomber jackets: they didn't even look like they were about to go into "combat".

The large room looked like any other gym in any other ordinary educational institution, except there were weapons of guns and knives to the side and everything was, again, painted white. Natasja had always wanted to know what this academy's obsession with white is.

"Natasja!" A hand fell on her shoulder and the redhead jumped in surprise.

"Lily! You scared me." Natasja held a hand against her chest, smiling back at the bubbly blonde.

"How did your first night with-" Lily coughed. "You know go?"

"It was fine, " Natasja remembered what happened again and internally cringed at being caught red-handed last night. "We didn't talk much."

Lily nodded thoughtfully. "She doesn't talk much. What do you think? You know, about her?"

I think she's fascinating. Her scars. Her body. Her voice. How she respects her surroundings.

"She's blind, " Natasja said bluntly, and Lily snorted out a laugh.

"Oh wow, none of us knew that, Sherlock. I guess the entire campus just started calling her the Blind Killing Machine because they felt like it."

"Hmm, I guess you are right." The redhead mused, slightly distracted. "What exactly is this... 'psychological combat'? Do the minds fight?" Her french lilt was apparent.

Lily snorted. "You're funny. They teach us how to mentally handle it when you cause pain on another person. They teach us emotional control in doing so, and especially in killing."

"Shh!" someone shushed them and Lily made a face at them.

"As you all know, every month, we have visitors, " professor Inkwell said, his tone the same throughout his sentence. The room hung in silence in anticipation for his next words. It was like they already knew. "It's execution day."

Lily tensed up beside Natasja, and so did the vibe in the room. People began to shift uncomfortably on their heels, but Natasja noticed a few that stood stock-still. They were expressionless, quiet, not even looking at each other.

Sabraels.

"What does he mean by that?" Natasja whispered to Lily, feeling the temperature in the room suddenly drop at the man's words.

"Every month we get visitors, " Lily repeated what he said, hesitantly. "Prisoners, or criminals that have death sentences. They get passed to us."

Natasja felt a constriction in her chest at the realization.

"But isn't that a little wrong?" She was incredulous. "Criminal or not, they have the right to be put down humanely!" She cringed at the fact that she had to use the phrase 'put down' as if they were talking about animals.

"We don't do the killing." Her British companion said lowly. "You guys do." She tilted her chin to where the Sabraels were.

"O-oh."

"We're trained to kill at some point. But for now they teach us to get used to seeing someone die in front of us. Only Sabraels have actually seen someone murdered in front of them."

A bit of humanity for mortality.

"Mama, no!"

"It's ok, ma chèrie. Just do what he says."

She had never tasted anything so vile in her life.

Suddenly, a door slammed shut and Natasja was yanked back into reality from another one of her flashbacks. She was suddenly afraid of what she was about to see.

Lily gripped her arm in a vice until she could feel the blood circulation in her arm almost stop. No matter how horrifying a scene they were about to witness, they couldn't look away.

Two masked men walked in, with a handcuffed prisoner walking in between them. He was a blubbering mess; a scrawny, bushy-bearded man with petrified eyes. He wore a simple white shirt that looked like it had been slept on for a week and tattered, linen pants. He was barefoot.

"He'll slip in his own blood, " Lily noticed the state of his feet as well. "Well, that actually depends on who's going to do the execution this month. Usually it's-" She gasped, her eyes widening.

Natasja turned her head just in time to see a familiar figure sashay to the newcomer. She realized that she recognize that confident gait anywhere. It was Kael.

Her head was slightly turned to the right, allowing her left ear to hear what's going on. She had this elegant way of doing it, as if she were trying to tip her head the most she can without imbalancing the imaginary books on her head. Her attention seemed to be directed to professor Inkwell. Apparently she had been called to do the demonstration.

Professor Inkwell nodded at the two men and they dropped the criminal to the floor, a loud thud and clang from the handcuffs echoing across the still room. Kael calmly walked up to them, and nodded in their direction. She knew exactly where to stop walking, knew exactly which direction to go. The two men then took a few steps back, keeping an eye in case anything were to happen; not that Kael needed any help after what she did next.

"You may begin, Miss Maddox."

The room held its breath as Kael stood over the man for a moment.

"Please, I'm begging you, " the man was almost flat on the floor, his dirty handcuffed hands shaking and allowing the metal to clang against the floor. His bearded face was pressed to the ground, saliva dripping out while he begged. "I was provoked. I did what anyone would have done-"

A mouth-gurgling scream interrupted the rest of his sentence. Kael had slammed her foot down on the man's wrist, forcing the metal to dig into skin and muscle. Blood immediately pooled from the wound, and the man stared at his hands in shock. His mouth bled from when he bit his tongue in pain, the blood mixing with his drool as he lay his head on the floor.

"What the fuck, what the fuck, what the fuck." He was incoherent. He lifted himself up, and did the same to his hands. Natasja suddenly felt nauseous.

His wrist was almost dangling off.

"Miss Maddox, " Professor Inkwell's tone was low.

Kael made a sound that was close to a disappointed sigh before she reached down and grabbed the man by his unruly hair, yanking him up to her waist level. She felt for his chin, and changed positions so she could show the audience. Her stunning grey eyes were behind a pair of sunglasses, but even without seeing her eyes Natasja could tell the blind woman was indifferent to what she was about to do.

The man tried to reach up to claw at her hands, but only ended up splashing blood on her sweatpants and white shirt. His mutilated wrist lamely smacked against her arm. Without missing a beat, Kael's forearms flexed, and a loud crack echoed across the room. The man slumped to the floor, his neck twisted so much the cervical bone had protruded from the back of it. Natasja squeezed her eyes shut and turned her head away. He was dead.

The room was silent. No one clapped, no one bustled. Even sound seemed to mourn the death of a life.

Professor Inkwell cleared his throat and walked over to Kael.

"Well done, Miss Maddox, " he patted her shoulder as if congratulating a fellow classmate. "A quick death. The wrist was unnecessary, but thank you for the demonstration."

Natasja felt sick to her stomach. Kael didn't even flinch when she killed that man. It was as if she was a totally different person to the one she met last night. It was like she wasn't even human. There was not a single muscle that twitched or flinched in her hard, stiff face as she took that man's life. Not even hints of regret now, even as she stood over the corpse of a criminal. A human.

The redhead knew she needed to learn to stomach death if she wanted to get revenge for her parents. But watching Kael so coldly take another's life triggered something within her soul. She had seen that look before. On the night of her parents' death.

"Can you imagine being a monster enough to do that?" Lily shuddered beside her and Natasja wanted to do the same.

"No, " Natasja lied, her tone indifferent. "I can't imagine what it's like."

______

She was more cautious around Kael since then. She told herself it was because she needed to figure out what she's dealing with first, but deep down inside she knew that she was petrified. Back in their room, Kael was the polite person she had bumped into on her first day. But outside, she was cold. So, very cold. For the past week, they had developed a routine. Kael would get ready for bed while Natasja spent time at Lily's dorm. An hour later, when Natasja was sure that she was asleep, she walked back to their dorm and went to bed after Kael. Then the next morning, Kael would get up first for her trainings, and Natasja would rise two hours after she had left.

The only time they interacted with each other in their own dorm was when Kael got back earlier one day and walked in on Natasja doing her yoga. The redhead was so flustered she had muttered a small 'hi', picked up her mat, and rushed out. She just couldn't seem to be a normal functioning human being around the attractive grey-eyed woman. She avoided her as much as possible.

It's been three days since the execution.

Natasja was still deep in thought about her blind roommate when she spotted two tall figures dash across the field, front flip, and simultaneously threw knives at a wooden training post. As both knives hit the target within inches apart, they started to rapidly talk to each other in that intriguing language of theirs, shoving each other and going nose-to-nose. Natasja shook her head and smiled, knowing immediately that her british friend was nearby and most likely buried in another book. She spotted the blonde quickly, sitting under a shade with a thick book on her lap. As she was walking towards her, the two boys ran back, panting and still shoving each other.

"That was pretty cool, eh, Lily?" The curly-haired boy paused to catch his breath. He had a lean but fit build, and an almost childish twinkle in his eye as he regarded the blonde who had yet to acknowledge his presence.

"Shut up, Oushka, " The black-haired bulky guy next to him scoffed. "You suck, man. That was clearly a blowout." Blake was half Filipino and half Samoan. He barely did any workout and was built like a tank. It was in his genes to be massive.

Both Duma boys just stood there, hands on their hips, panting and waiting for her response. They didn't even notice the red-head standing there.

Natasja held back a smile when Lily's eyebrows just scrunched up, which meant she was doubling her focus on th

e book. She shifted to place both feet in a criss cross position, indian-style, and brought the book closer to her face. It must be at the climax already.

Natasja was just about to plop herself down next to Lily when movement at the corner of her eye caught her attention. People parted quickly and she looked to see that same girl who had opened the door for her at the stone mansion causing people to move out of her way quickly. This time, she wore gym shorts and a black shirt, her strides purposeful and quick. Her vivid green hair was tied up into a ponytail, further exposing the dragon tattoo etched unto her pale skin. Her face was a mask of indifference, but something in her eyes and the way her mouth quirked a bit said that she was excited for something. Galizurs and Dumas steered clear of her, many recognizing her as a Sabrael. She was headed towards the academy training arena.

For a reason Natasja couldn't quite place, she decided to follow her. Perhaps the girl was just excited to work out, but Natasja was curious to know more about her housemate. The girl never talked to her, and never even acknolwedged her presence most of the time. Heck, Natasja didn't even know her name. This won't hurt anyone.

The girl didn't even look back when she entered through the voice automated, bulletproofed-glass doors. Natasja waited a few minutes, hesitating, before following her in. She knew there was a lobby area before entering the actual training arena, so she decided to grab some workout gear from her locker and change into it, just so she wasn't out of place.

To her surprise, security guard stood just inside. He took one look at her and said in a gruff voice, "The arena is closed on Saturdays."

"B-but I saw a girl walk in here a while ago, " Natasja almost squeaked. "She has green hair."

The guard raised an eyebrow. "What's your division?"

"I'm Sabrael." She said in a small voice. The way this guard sized her up made her feel inferiorly tiny.

The guard scoffed and laughed. Then he jerked his chin at her, "Right. Get out. Don't you have classes to get to?"

Only Galizurs had classes on Saturdays. Natasja clenched her fist, her first rays of annoyance of the day seeping in.

"May I please borrow your blood sweeper?" Natasja asked kindly through clenched teeth. Her mother taught her to be kind, no matter how she felt.

"My what?"

"Your blood sweeper." Natasja enunciated a little clearer. She was referring to the gun strapped to his belt that uses the same technology they used to open their doors; it was a laser that analyzed their blood and fingerprint components according to all of their stored information in the academy. Their blood was their resume, their passport, their identity.

"Look, lady, I told you-"

Suddenly, a hand snatched the sweeper from his belt, grabbed Natasja's wrist, and placed the gun directly on top of her skin. The device scanned in less than a second, the name "Sabrael" being said in an automated robotic voice.

It was the green-haired girl from the stone mansion. Natasja's Sabrael housemate.

She popped her bubble gum and smacked the gun to the shocked guard's chest. "She's Sabrael. You could have gotten yourself killed."

She jerked her head in Natasja's direction. "C'mon. Someone wants to talk to you."

Natasja closed her mouth and quickly followed the girl. She looked over her shoulder to see the guard run his hands through his hair and blow out a breath. She smirked. That showed him not to judge by appearances.

As they got closer to the arena, she heard grunts and the sound of bodies hitting the floor. Her green eyes widened as she beheld the scene in front of her.

About five men were surrounding Kael. They circled around her, trying to breathe quietly as the blind woman took on her defensive stance.

Kael was dressed in a black sports bra and muai thai shorts, her black hair pulled back from her face in a tight ponytail. Her expressionless grey eyes were wide open, her lips parted as she took in steady breaths. Her feet and fists were wrapped with black cloth. And she moved like she had been anticipating their throws at her every time. She blocked and dodged kicks and punches, her muscles contracting with the effort. It was impossible.

Suddenly, mid-fight, she craned her neck in the opposite direction from Natasja. A small smile graced her full lips, so small you could barely notice it. But Natasja saw it.

Kael delivered a low-sweep of her powerful thighs, and two men were down with grunts. She punched another one at his throat, then used his hand to wrap it around an incoming guy's fist. She kicked him at the knee, bringing them both down. The last guy tried to quietly jump her from behind, but she anticipated it and moved away, allowing him to land on his feet. Again, she did another leg-sweep and the guy fell backwards, his head hitting the matt.

It all happened in less than ten seconds.

Natasja was in awe. She had never seen anyone move so effortlessly as her. She was even more so fascinated by this blind woman, even though she was hands-down the most dangerous woman she had ever met yet.

Kael walked over to where they stood, her gait like that of a cat's. No one could even tell she was blind, except when she slightly turned her head in order to catch certain sounds.

When Kael veered to the left, the girl beside Natasja didn't say a word. Natasja wondered if she should say something to let Kael know where they were.

But the tall, german woman knew where she was going. She merely bent down, felt around until she retrieved her towel, and walked back in the direction towards Natasja.

The little things like that. Amazing.

When she walked to where the red-head stood, Natasja expected her to stop. But her eyes widened when the taller woman walked until their chests were almost touching and she could feel the heat radiating from her steaming body. Kael leaned in, bringing her face closer to Natasja's. Instinctively, the red-head closed her eyes, her fists clenched at what was to come.

Instead of being kissed like she expected, she felt wisps of hair tickle her ear as the german woman softly breathed her in.

"Ah, so it's you, tank girl."

She knows my smell?

"I found her following me, just like you said, " the green-haired girl chuckled. "Anyway, I gotta go talk to Corban. See you back at the mansion. Don't scare her too much, Kael." She chuckled.

"Wait, " Natasja blurted out before she turned away. "What is your name?"

"Aspen." She winked, and Natasja was hit by how different she seemed to before. She almost looked playful.

When Aspen walked away, Natasja took a trembling gulp at being left alone with Kael. She felt safer with Aspen. She wanted to drag her back.

"So, tank girl, " Kael spoke and Natasja's head turned back to the black-haired woman at the mention of her ridiculous nickname for her. "Why are you avoiding me?"

Natasja was taken back. "What? I'm not avoiding you." She quickly tucked strands of smooth red hair behind her ear, a nervous habit she had.

Kael tilted her head, the act swinging her ponytail to the side and exposing the side of her neck; drawing Natasja's gaze to it. "Are you afraid of me?" She didn't ask the question as a way to interrogate Natasja, but it sounded like she was curious.

"No, of course not!" Natasja shook her head quickly. "Why would I be?" And why do you suddenly care if I'm avoiding you?

Kael's perfect brow raised. "I looked for you because the Dr. Grey has an assignment for us." She completely dismissed Natasja's rhetorical question.

Natasja wasn't sure she was hearing words right. "What?"

Kael sighed and translated what she just said in perfect french. Natasja's eyes widened even further. How many languages did she know?

"Yes, I heard you, " Natasja replied in english. It didn't matter if Kael could speak french. She had to practice her english. "I'm just surprised since I've barely begun training."

"You'll be training under me."

Natasja had to physically shake her head to erase a mental image of her words in actual physical form. Dammit.

"For how long?"

"We have 6 months before the assignment. I'll brief you the details in our room tonight."

Kael then moved around her to grab her walking stick - why does she still need a walking stick when she can fight five men at once- and her waterbottle.

"B-but I'm busy tonight, " Natasja really didn't want to be alone with Kael. "Maybe we can talk about it tomorrow at the cafe across our house?"

Kael stopped what she was doing. She moved to stand in front of the red-head again and placed her hands on her ribs, right underneath her breasts.

Natasja's breath caught in her throat. What the fuck was she doing?

Strong, long, lithe fingers moved slowly up her sternum, carressing her skin through her thin shirt. The fingers lightly tapped along the tops of her breast until they stopped over her left.

"I'll tell you again, " her voice came out husky, her hand still on top of Natasja's left upper chest. "I'll discuss the details with you tonight in our room."

Natasja ground her teeth. "And I'm telling you, politely, that I'm busy."

Kael tsked. "You're lying, " she moved her hand away from her heart. She'd been checking her heartbreat! The sneaky little- "I don't like being lied to. Haven't your parents taught you anything?"

Something in Natasja snapped and she frowned. She hated it when people mentioned her parents like it was a topic she could normally talk about. Something about Kael made her want to challenge her. She was still terrified of her, but she wouldn't allow herself to be treated this way.

"Fine, then, since you're so desperate to tell me tonight, " Natasja was annoyed, exposed. "But you should know that I'm not obliged to do things you like. The world doesn't revolve around you, Miss Maddox, and I certainly don't either."

When Kael raised her hands again Natasja instinctively slapped them away, shocking even herself. She leaned in close to the german woman's ears, tiptoeing. She whispered, "If you can't learn how to respect me, then you don't deserve mine either, capichè?"

She gave a yelp when Kael hooked a finger in her belt loop and dragged her closer. "I don't need to earn your respect. Because you already do. You're under me, and I'm the best." She meant it training-wise, but Natasja's mind wandered there.

Natasja pushed her away, panting. Anger was a boiling kettle in her head. How dare this woman try to manipulate her with her sexual innuendos?

Kael just gave a low chuckle, once again gathering her things. "I'll see you tonight."

Natasja lifted her chin and thought long and hard of a good comeback but the sight of Kael's tight, sweaty body so close to hers couldn't make her think clearly.

"N'importe quoi. Bye." She wouldn't let this woman fluster or distract her. Ever.

"Oh, by the way, Miss Armand, " Kael called, slinging the towel over her shoulder and staring into nothing.

Natasja was already walking to the door. Shut up, shut up. Kael was only nice and friendly because the Academy required her to. The real her was manipulative, proud, and ignorant. Her blindness wasn't even a disability and Natasja didn't feel sorry for her at all.

"I'm taking a shower right now. Care to join me?"

Natasja ran out.

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