Chapter SevenMature

3 months Prior

Rayna climbed over the bank, mask in hand. Even through her ragged breath, and shattering teeth she wore a triumphant smile. Rush probably hadn't figured that his bride would be carrying a knife in her garter. His ignorance saved her life. Rayna, however, was not naïve or trusting when it came to matters of Orkson and company. She had expected the absolute worst for this ceremony, and what she got was the inevitable.  Her smile diminished as she recalled the events leading up to this moment. Lawson was killed. That wasn't allowed to happen. He wasn't supposed to die, not like that. She glared up at the cathedral. The guests had all cleared had all cleared out and gone home, or attended  the reception afterwards, in which the bride was notably absent. Either way, she knew she had to get far away from Dablu , and make herself scarce, before someone found out she wasn’t swimming with the fish anymore.

She rung the water from her cold wet dress, and ran as fast as she could. Lawson's house, where she had lived since her parents death 12 years prior, was centrally located in the town. Running she made it there in about ten winded minutes. The house was a towering structure of art. The roof swayed with the foundation, in an eye catching zig zag.

Rayna took a deep breath in before she threw open the front door. Her heart stilled. The place still smelled of cherry tobacco from Lawson's pipe. The small kitchen counter was cluttered with gadgets, and stray bolts, a project he would never get to finish. Her jaw locked as she clamped her teeth together. Lawson would never smoke his pipe, or finish a project while grumbling about in his old language, again. For that somebody would pay in blood.

Freya!” She called from the bottom of the stairs while grabbing what she could fit into an old suitcase. Lucky for her, most of the weapons her uncle bestowed upon her were made to be carried obscurely. She only took the basics; What little money they had in a coffee can under the sink, clothes, toiletries, and weapons. “Freya!” She called again. The dog was so stubborn for a hunting mutt. Rayna pulled the now ruined dress off and hurried into her own bedroom. It was quaint in its simplicity, but nothing she would terribly miss. She gathered blankets, and clothing. She headed upstairs to fetch the stubborn she wolf. The dog lay on Lawson's bed on the loft. Her neck was extended, as she sat pretty awaiting her owner. Rayna sighed. On the small table by Lawson's bed lay a worn, leather bound journal. She eyed it curiously. She had never seen it before.  She recalled how Lawson had been expecting his death at the wedding. Of course he left the journal there intentionally, he wanted her to find it. She kicked the bedside table, releasing a small dose of animosity. Followed by a string of colorful words, she had learned from Lawson when she was twelve. Her foot throbbed.

She made her way into Lawson's closet. Inside was a cloak he wore whenever he wanted to go about his business unnoticed. She tried it on over her slip. It swallowed her tiny frame, hiding the feminine curves of her body. She observed herself in the tall antique mirror that sat in the corner of Lawson's room. She held the mask up to her face, and stood straighter. The effect gave her the chills. She looked like a Vigilante, or someone who people might shy from on the street. It was exactly what she needed, and who she needed to be.

She turned to Freya. “Lets go,” But her voice was muffled by the max. Freya whimpered and bowed as she finally submitted to Rayna.Rayna quickly took the mask off. Slowly, Freya made her way off the bed. Rayna contemplated leaving Freya here, she was old, and the journey might damn well kill her, and slow Rayna down in the process. The dog's wet nose nudged Rayna's hand urging her forward.

Rayna glanced down at Freya. She recalled how much her uncle loved her. When Rayna first moved in with Lawson, she criticized him for never taking a wife. His response was infuriating. “The only female I need in my life is Freya. She's happy ta see me when I come home, keeps my feet warm, and her mouth shut. Da only thing she cannae do is fetch my ale from the ice box. What say you Min Kjaere?”

Rayna sighed. Even though she was old and senile now. Lawson would still want her to be taken care of.

They made their way downstairs. Rayna threw on a pair of leather boots, that extended and laced to her knee. She wrapped the cloak securely about her form. She glanced at Freya who seemed disheartened in her masters absence “I know what you're thinking dog. We'll see that we give him a proper ceremony when we get where we're going. But now we have a train to board for Valhalla.”

The End

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