[size=18]Sting of Defeat - Part 2[/size]
2000-JUL-31 by Janella Vallonia
Janella's refusal to obey orders was one of the problems she had met during her short time fighting in the Dark Queen's army. Although she had abandoned the army for a different reason, inevitably, if she had stayed, her spiteful stubborness would've no doubt landed her in just as much trouble with the commanders as her other transgressions did. Janella wasn't thinking about those days now, however. She thought of Jesse's words as he had left the park, his demand that she report either with the ring or without to his place within an hour. She had no intentions of going there, of seeing him, of touching him or listening to him brag about defeating her for the Diamond. Their relationship, or whatever it was that had developed between them, was based on greed, rivalry and waning lust. Such ties were transient; Janella, at this point, considered her campaign in that regard as over.
She scratched roughly at her cuts and cursed her ripped and dirty clothes while stalking towards the Red Dragon Inn. The street was fairly dark, the town's lamps glowing softly, casting whitish-yellow light only a few feet in either direction of their posts. She barged into the Inn's common room, ignoring the clerk's call for her messages. Janella had only one priority at the moment, and the key to it was almost certainly waiting for her upstairs.
Janella crossed the familiar hall, drew to a halt before the door to her rented quarters. Satisfied with the lock, she opened it and stepped into the room, pushing the door closed. She was not alone, a shadowed figure was seated on the side of her bed. Janella pulled her gloves off, tossing them to the floor, cursed, and hissed, "I lost!"
Panther watched her, couldn't help but swallow, at a sudden loss for words when Janella turned, slipped off her hood, and then her torn, crimson bandeau a second later. She flopped down on the bed across from him and calmly extended her legs, unlacing her boots. Meanwhile, she told him about her fights, and finally how the quest had narrowed down to her against Jesse. "He can rot in the bloody Abyss, " she muttered, and slid her ripped pants off. Bare, Janella's tanned skin lacked its normal, healthy glow. Her muscles and curves were all still there, naturally, but the warrioress was marked with blood, sweat, scratches and black and blue bruises. Panth's excitement changed to genuine concern. He reached for her, but she jumped up and hurried to the next room. "I'll be fine, damnit, " he heard her snort.
The faucet sounded, water splashing in the porcelein tub. Panth's ears picked up nearly every one of her moves, her feet stepping gingerly on the tiles then into the bath, the towel shaken, her small sigh as she squeezed a sponge over her body. It was too much to resist. He stood up, sneaking to the doorway, peeked around the bend and whistled. Janella's eyes caught his, but she didn't stop, though she dropped the sponge and gathered her hair back behind her neck, offering him a complete view, her mood shifting.
"I should tell you what I found... " Panther stole towards her slowly, keeping his voice serious. Janella drew an impish smile, leaning forward, pulling him close and exuding heat, pressing her wet skin into his arms. "They're at the Jack Pot Inn, Janella...."
To his amazement, she merely grinned and nodded. Did she already know that? He looked curious, then gave a low growl of surprise and started backwards when Janella suddenly pushed a sponge down his back. He tried to grab her waist, but she held up a finger and shook her head, her gaze intense. She then stepped deliberately up to him, at the edge of the tub, her body against his again, he could taste her breath.
"We have enough time... " Janella traced his mouth, initiated the second offence with a predatory smile. "Give me a drill before we start the run through."