I present you Chapter 2 of Between the Crossfire. Hope to write a bit more later this week and post chapter 3 around Thursday or Friday. So glad that we have no homework during California State Testing :)
Odd wasn't it? It is currently in the dead of evening where everyone has already gone home, and someone shows up at your front door, all bloodied up as if he had just returned from a midnight the sight of blood dripping from his messy locks, Levy screamed out in horror, nearly slamming the door in shock. The door's action was quickly halted by a resisting hand from the stranger, a grunt of dissatisfaction from the man. He winced visibly from the wound that sported beautiful on his side and urged the young lady to open the door.
"Ow... Fuck that stings," the man cursed loudly, his long messy locks shrouding his face. "What kind of greeting was that?"
Levy could only stare back at him in wide suspicion and responded back shakily, "W-what?..."
The man stared back at Levy with the intensity of tiger before averting his eyes to look at his bloodied side. "I said, what kind of shitty greeting was that? Is it some sort of normal routine for you to be slamming doors in other people's faces? Or perhaps you are an introvert?"
The 24 year-old blushed furiously at his inquiry. Certaintly she wasn't an introvert! Even though she is always surrounded by books, at least she can converse normally with the people. And her action with the door was more of a reflex, than a greeting. Did he not know that during these nights, it was especially dangerous to hear strange noises out in the front, as if it was an occult group targeting you or a rapist? What a rude gentleman... Levy wanted to retort back.
Despite his rugged appearance that resembled a notorious hoodlum and his language was atrocious, the man's tone and accent showed that he came from a high class. He seemed about her age... a bit older. Levy couldn't help but gaze at his toned muscles that seemed to bulge from his cream collared shirt, that was covered by a dark vest. A ragged cravat slightly tainted in blood hung loosely around his neck, while a light leather overcoat was slung in the crook of his arm.Who is this man?... A nobleman perhaps?Levy thought.
But back to the matter on hand.
"Well," the female scowled at the now smirking man. "I apologize for screaming at you, and for nearly shutting the door on you. I had confused you with-"
"A fantasy character, right? Some guy named Jack the Ripper?"
Levy stared at him with eyes as wide as saucers, the mistaken man giving her a deep chuckle. " Gi hi hi hi. Don't take it the wrong way, Shorty. I ain't some mystic or do any of that black magic crap. It just so happens that I overheard you scream Jack the Ripper."
Embarrassed with herself, Levy fiddled with the frays of her shawl, her checks burning in humiliation. How could she ever be so stupid as to blurt out her thoughts! And I thought that I was the quiet one in the family.
Suddenly, the man began to cough violently, his body convulsing with every hack and pant. Sweat began to break out on his forehead as the man tried to regain strength. Alarmed, Levy threw the door back open and felt her body stiffen at the sight of more blood splattered against the cobbled street.
"You are hurt!" she exclaimed.
"No shit, Sherlock." The man vulgarly spat. "How long did it take you to realize that I was fucking bleeding out here?"
"Shortly after you insulted me for being an introvert,"
Even though Levy was small, she had a pretty big heart for a brute like this one. Especially since he was hurt. The female quickly took his arm that was leaning against the door frame and draped it over her shoulders. She gasped at the sudden weight change and nearly stumbled into a pile of books.
"Watch out, Shorty." the said man snickered, obviously enjoying the frustration of the 24 year old.
Levy ignored the man's remark and managed to haul him safely through the main foyer of the library, to the entrance of her upstairs town house. Unlatching the wooden door, the duo came across a flight of stairs that eventually led them up into a cozy living room that could accommodate for about 2-3 persons. A kitchenette stood on the opposite side, clad with basic kitchen necessities and accompanied by snug breakfast nook.
The man blinked wearily at the town house's simplicity for a seemingly sophisticated woman such as her. As he was continued to be dragged by the lady, the man noticed a square object covered with a white sheet that was tucked away in an open coat closet. He frowned his studded eyebrows in suspicion but the thought was quickly whisked away as his keen nose detected a smell that he had never encountered.
The smell was between a mixture of old pages basking in the warmth of sun and recently used ink. But there was also an underlying smell that the man couldn't quite put his finger on. It smelled like... Lavander. Yes, the scent of lavander had caught this man's attention, for all the women he came across in his life wore heavy cheap purfume that seemed to suffocate you as they drew closer. In this day and age, lavendar was rare and the stranger relished at the scent of it.
And it had all radiated from the midget 24 year old who was currently wobbling in her hallway, obviously struggling with the heavy feat.
Our oblivious heroine was too busy concentrating on her important task and didn't realize that she was given a hot gaze from a certain crimson-eyed man. As the duo continued to amble down the surprisingly long hallway, they came across a bedroom with a bed, a small wardrobe, a basin, and at least three large bookcases that took about half the size of the room. Even while being dizzy and nauseous, the man's sense were still working perfectly fine, especially his nose.
And yet again, did he breathe in the smell of books and flowers.
With a wheeze and a pull, Levy pulled the man on last stretch and plopped him down onto a simple brass bed with a mattress that was not too stiff and a comforter. He sighed blissfully at the feel of his aching back against a soft surface and felt himself sink into the bed. But, that was interrupted by another dull throb from his wound that continued to bleed.
At the sound of her mysterious guest's groan, Levy hurriedly kicked off his iron clad boots and untied the man's cravat, trying hard not to let her eyes stray to his prominent adam's apple. Focus here... Don't start fantasizing anything strange now.Levy reminded herself as her hands worked the vest free.
In a matter of minutes, the female ripped open his collard shirt, only to be greeted by an adonis sculpted torso that was unusual tanned for someone from this country. Levy marveled at the abs the man sported, rock hard muscle that flexed out as he let out every shuddering breath. Shaking her head to clear the nasty thoughts, Levy gently tugged away the last remnants of his shirt to earn a painful moan.
She quickly placed a cool hand at his forehead and nearly jolted in shock. "You have a high fever!" she nearly screamed.
Before her guest could retort back with an untactful comment, Levy switched on the silver faucets and left the chilling water fill the basin. She almost ran into a full sprint out of her room and fetched several washcloths, a roll of bandages, her sewing kit, and a bottle of alcohol. There was no time for this man to be treated at the hospital, so she would have to make do.
Levy rushed back into the room with her required materials. First, she set down the filled-to-the-brim basin and soaked in a cloth the color of a delicate gray. After placing the dripping cloth on her patient's forehead, Levy busied herself by cleaning the wound. The wound seemed quite recent, for the majority of the external blood had been absorbed by another cloth.
But now, here came the fun part; the patching up process. It wasn't the size of the wound that bothered with blunette, but it was the deepness that made her cringe in disgust. Meanwhile, the man beside her was completely awake and bit back a snarl of anguish as Levy jabbed a finger at the throbbing area.
"Don't do that, Shorty." he scowled. "It fucking hurts, you know."
She glared up at him with defiance and lifted a finger. "Call me a Shorty one more time and I will poke you again."
The man grunted and lapsed into silence as he heard the sound of rustling thread and something dipping into a liquid-like substance. The female nervously twisted another cloth and came into the black haired man's view. "Here," she said opening his mouth and stuffing his mouth with the cloth.
He nearly spat out the rolled up object and wanted to retaliate, if he had not seen the glimmer of a pointy needle. The young blunette turned to him, the ends of her bandana swishing, and sighed. "This is going to hurt... But please bear with me."
After a grueling hour and half, Levy slumped with exhaustion as she finished wrapping the man's torso. She could hardly contain her shock about her splendid mending work. She was no medic or surgeon, but she managed to sew him back up! An utter stranger to top that! On the other hand, the man had let a sigh of relief that he was not bleeding to death and nor was the wound affected.
"Hmph. Good job Shorty," he muttered before receiving another painfully but light jab from a certain finger. He tensed up in reaction while the female giggled.
Levy began gathering up her doctoring tools, carrying the tainted water basin between her hip and the alcohol in her other hand. A sloshing of water could be heard from outback, and she returned with the now clean bowl. Maybe she should become a nurse on the battlefield instead of a nerdy bookworm. But, it was already impossible to apply for a medical education at this age, so Levy waved away the thought.
While preparing to discard the needle and the leftover bandages, Levy was stopped by a low murmur of "What's your name?"
She blinked a few times and pointed at herself. "Me?"
"Who else? You don't want me to keep calling you Shorty right?"
That earned a glare coming his way. "My name is Levy, Levy McGarden."
"Interesting... Gajeel." the man scoffed, acting uninterested and callous. "Thanks..." he whispered every so quietly forcing Levy to strain her ears.
The said female shrugged and grinned. "You are welcome."
And so began their sunny days together.
R&R please~ Will grant cookies for those who review ;) Reviews, criticism, suggestions, and advice would be much appreciated.