Story: Perpetual existence & elapsed love (chapter 3)

Authors: Lena-Ann-Rene

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Chapter 3

Title: Chapter 3 So Close

[Author's notes: This might be confusing, but bear in mind that Éliane is Madlax, not an OC.
Natalia is an actual character from el cazador de la bruja (Ep:11)]

Disclaimer: I do not own Madlax or El Cazador , Both shows belong to BeeTrain, -But i do own this story.

Thoughts are in "Bold"

The chair slid fully under the table as a mid-height blonde got up and left for her first class hotel room to join Ellis. The room where Natalia was currently staying seemed as large as a house rather then a room, she knew that this would surly empress her old time bounty hunter friend, Nadie. Natalia stood before the door to her room thinking of what to talk about with Ellis when she opened the door. There was a lot on her mind; she had no one to express it to but the cute, short witch who was awaiting her in the large first class room that her savior Éliane had already prepaid. "Should I tell her about Eli and what she is, what she did for me and how mysterious everything about the elegant blonde who saved my life and became the closest person to me? I... I think I will." Natalia took in a deep breath and proceeded to open the large wooden door in front of her. When she stepped in she heard a noise coming from the large bathroom at the end of her room. "Must be Ellis taking a shower", she figured,"although I don't see why she couldn't take one in her room, after all Eli did get her a room just as good as this one but with a better view." Natalia walked passed the large king-sized bed that she and Éliane had previously shared, although they slept at least two people apart so it wasn't as interment as she would have liked, she still enjoyed the fact that she was sleeping with the girl. As she neared the bathroom she slowly extended her right arm towards the door knob, reaching to turn it. Before Natalia was able to even grasp the knob, the previously running water switched off and a moment after that the door knob turned. Standing before her was Ellis, nude without a stitch of clothing to her. "Ell...Ellis I am sorry for ..."-"Huh?" The mid-height blonde sighed in relief for she remembered that the witch named Ellis wasn't keen on getting embarrassed about being naked in front of someone and especially in front of someone as close to her as Natalia. "hehe, never mind that, But aren't you going to get dressed?" Ellis looked at the girl confused. "Why I'm not in a hurry and I don't have to go anywhere so I don't see the "-"Second guess that because I happen to have made dinner plans for the two of us and either way its impolite to walk around nude in someone else's hotel room." Elis turned around, and walked to her suitcase to get her best dress, worn only on special occasions. Taking out the dress Ellis asked, "What time is dinner?"-"8:00PM, so don't you be late little miss!" Natalia chuckled at Ellis's indifferent expression and walked off. "Wait Natalia where are you going?" Ellis managed to yell before the former shut the door. "Ohh, I'm just going out to get ready for our little date ... so don't you be late now." The girl shut the door and left, living Ellis to herself.

"Now what should I wear?" Natalia thought as she crossed the road, heading for the large super mall in the middle of town. " Eli is definitely like a husband isn't she ...she goes off to work and leaves me, the wife alone to do what ever I please while she works to provide me with everything that I could ever want." Natalia contemplated whilst walking to the high class part of the mall. Éliane had given her a large sum of money in cash to spend on whatever she likes, this generosity made the mid-height blonde more then happy. In the past she would create scams, hoax's and even going as far as occults to gain money from the foolish people who believed in them but to be given money out of kindness or generosity was new to her and it made her happy to finally be cared for in this good kind of way.

A rack full of elegant dresses that each cost 2,000 at the least filled Natalia's view as she searched for one that would look best on her slender, mid-height body. A long strapless white dress filled Natalia's view and she couldn't take her pale-blue eyes off of it. "Excuse me sir", she softly said to the man wearing a fancy dark suit with a bright blue tie that must have been bought in this store for not many

stores sold clothes this high in class. "Yes, how may I help you?" Natalia pointed at the white dress that had stolen her heart. "I would like to buy that for my friend." She stated. "Ohh but miss this fine dress costs 5000.00." "No problem, but before I forget, could you have it tailored?"-"Yes ... I'll have it done right away." The old man took the dress and left to hand it to the tailor. "Éliane should like that dress, after all she wore a dress similar to this when we first met. Well now, I guess I have to find one for me!" Natalia walked up to another rack of dresses, this one had many shorter ones that were less formal then the dress she choose for her friend. Brushing a hand trough them the mid-height girl spotted a not so revealing knee long blue dress with a mini jacket to cover her shoulders. She reached an arm out and grabbed the dress, walked over to the counter where the clerk stood and paid for it. All she had left to do now was to wait patiently for the well dressed old man to return with the elegant white dress. "I wonder if she is thinking about me right now. I hope she likes the dress." ... 15 minutes later ... The old man walks up to Natalia holding a well tailored white dress packaged in a see trough bag. "All done young lady", the man quickly hands Natalia the packaged dress, Natalia looks over it, "thank you". The man hurries off to his next customer.

Natalia reaches out her red razor cell phone, while walking towards a cab. "Should I call her now and see how she's doing ...yeah I think I will." She opens the yellow door, gets in, "Drive me to Le Cirque!" The cab driver nods, starts the car and drives off. "So why are you going to that fancy place?" Natalia looks up surprised by the drivers casual attitude, "I'm going there for an important dinner with my friend ... I need to tell her something, well no actually a lot of thin-" "Ohh ... so it's a girl is it." "Yeah she is a very important friend and I need to tell her the truth about..." The cab driver smiled to himself, then began, "Well she would be important ... wouldn't she? If you're taking her out to such an expensive restaurant then she must be, right? Natalia looked up at the front mirror trying to catch his expression. "Yes I care about her! Now would you mind doing what I am paying you for and not asking me anymore questions? The man sighed, giving up on his tormenting. The rest of the drive was filled with silence and an occasional coughing noise. After another 20 minutes the yellow car stopped, reaching the destination. Natalia got out, paid the annoying man and walked off, towards the restaurant. It was only 7:00PM and Natalia would surely have to wait for at least an hour before Ellis, her date would arrive. Waiting wasn't hard, for this restaurant wasn't just a place to eat fancy food and drink fine wine, but a place to be immersed in, by the entertainment. A red and yellow cloth evoking a circus tent hung over the ceiling in the large chamber of the restaurant emerged with a beautifully painted wall. Circus performers sprung up and down on a trampoline the size of her excessively large room, clowns juggled 20 things at ones and acrobats did the seemingly impossible. Natalia was filled with amazement and awe, she had been an acrobat in the past and she even knew some rather impressive magic tricks but the sight still amazed her every time. The mid-height blonde ones worked at a same name restaurant in los Vegas so she was keen on seeing the one here, in Mexico City. "This is amazing, it's not worse then the one in Vegas fact I would say that this is even better then Vegas. I think Ellis will like this place; after all she did tell me that she liked the circus and my magic tricks." Natalia chuckled at her musing thoughts then quickly reverted all her attention to the acrobats doing a triple flip trough mid-air.

Ellis wasn't the best at finding places on maps, but fortunately for Ellis Natalia hired a limo just for her precious friend. Ellis finally found a dress she thought looked nice on her, a short yellow knee length

dress woven out of fine silk. The adorable short blonde stumbled upon Natalia's closet right after the latter left and was unable to stop trying out the girls high priced dresses ever since. "Hmm ...I wonder if she'll get angry with me when she realizes that I rampaged her closet" Ellis thought as she checked her watch to see the time. "7:00PM!" Ellis yelped as she grabbed her purse and rushed out of the room towards the elevator. The drive was 40 minutes at the least and she was not fanatical on being late. As she got into the long car Ellis remembered the attractive tall blonde who went out to get Nadie, "I hope nothing bad happened to Nadie ... and why wont she just get a cell phone - it would be much easier for me if she did." "We will be arriving in about 20 minutes miss Ellis." The chuffer stated, he wore a finely made uniform with out a crease in sight, unlike the annoying cab driver who Natalia had to deal with earlier this day. The view was breathtaking, tall buildings fleshed trough Ellis's eyes. "I wonder what Natalia wants to tell me, and why she invited me to such a high class place ... I wonder if she likes me as more then a friend ..." The car abruptly stopped at a red light. "Ohh, Miss it seems that there was an accident so we might have some delays, I'm terribly sorry for the inconvenience, but it looks like it will at least take us 30 more minutes!" Ellis quickly moved her head forward to see the clock at the front of the car. "7:40! Sir how far are we from the destination?" The man looked surprised, even dough the girl couldn't see him; she still sensed that he felt uneasiness. "15 miles Miss." "Then I..."-"It will take longer on foot, that you can be sure of Miss." Ellis set back down; she realized how thoughtless the idea of getting there on foot really was. "So what happened, why can't we get trough?" The man thought for a minute before answering the adorable short blonde. "I think the white pickup truck hit the smashed remains of a car over there", the man pointed to his left, "Do you see?" Ellis jerked her head to the left and peered out the tinted glass window. All she could see were crowds of people, a police car and traffic jammed up along the crowded street. Ellis quickly realized that she wouldn't be able to see what was happening from this part of the car, so she made her way towards the front of the limo. Now that she was at right behind the driver's seat she figured she could get the same view as him. The adorable short blonde brought her body up, moving face right for the window. What filled her eyes were two damaged vehicles, one mildly damaged while the other totaled. A body like figure seemed to reside in the white pickup, it wasn't moving, but she didn't feel the stench of death coming from it so she knew that whoever lay motionless in the white truck was only unconscious. She looked over to the other vehicle; there was something dark red seeping out of the totaled black car. "What is that ..." Ellis gasped as it hit her, "Its blood, its all blood. The stench of death is coming from that car. At least 2 people were in it, now they are all dead." Before she could notice, Ellis began to breathe in and out hard, as if she ran a marathon. The adorable short blondes blue eyes turned into hazed orbs streaming with sorrow and power intertwined. Ellis's control over her body vanished completely as the witches powers that she harbored seeped trough the car, invisibly flowing in the direction of the totaled black vehicle. The people in the crowds all gasped at the sight, the impossible was occurring right in front of their eyes. Blood slowly began to seep back into the corpses inside of the wrecked remains of a car. Soon the bodies, now fully intact floated out, hovering above the wreck. "It's a miracle ... my god it's a miracle!" the people in the crowds shouted while the bodies dissented down to the ground. A doctor ran up to the 3 bodies, kneeled down and checked each persons pulse: first the man in his 30s then the woman in her late 20s and then a child around 5. The doctor yelled in dismay, "They ... they have a pulse, they are alive, all of them!" Everyone in the crowds began to cheer, with excitement and disbelief. Ellis turned around in her seat, now facing forward - she did not know what had happened just a moment ago, yet

she felt drained and filled with happiness. "Why is everyone cheering?" she asked puzzled - she wasn't consciously aware of what her powers had done. "Ohh Miss did you not see? ... Well, a miracle has just occurred. The people inside of that black car floated out as if held by Gods divine hand and placed down gently to the ground, fully revived." Ellis's eyes grew wide in disbelief, "How is that even possible ... it couldn't have been my power, I can't do something that grand, but then why don't I remember what just happened?" Ellis kept on contemplating for most of the time, whilst waiting for the police to let the traffic pass. A man wearing a dark blue police uniform approached the limo; the driver slid down the window, "Yes how may I help you?" the driver asked the uniformed authority. "Ohh, I am just here to inform you that the traffic should get moving pretty soon." The driver smiled politely and asked the uniformed man, "Do you by any chance know how much longer it'll be before we get moving?" "Yes, about 10 more minutes." The man said then walked off, not leaving time for the driver to thank him. The driver turned around to face Ellis, "Looks like it won't be long now Miss." The adorable short blondes hand slid in her pocket, searching for a watch. A metallic feel caressed her hand, Ellis grabbed for the metallic watch in her overcoat pocket. She brought the silver watch up to meet her blue eyes. "7:55PM!" she yelped in panic, the driver heard her yelp and responded. "Don't worry I'm sure she'll understand, after all this is an unexpected dela-..." "What time will we get there?" The girl demanded. "At about 8:30 Miss."

"Where is she, its already passed 8:00PM, I wonder if something happened?" Natalia set idle for an hour, absorbed by the performance, not even noticing that her friend wasn't there yet. A female acrobat grabbed a bar 22 feet in the air, ascending to where her partner was awaiting her. They were performing Romeo and Juliet. The man caught her by the arm, pulling Juliet into an embrace. He looked down at her, looking her straight in the eyes, confessing he's love for her. The two love birds let go, falling away from one another, right before reaching the marble surface of the stage both caught a rope, swinging toward one another into another heart felt embrace. Natalia pondered, "Wow, this is sure one grand show. I wish Ellis could see this ... I bet she would say that Romeo is just like Nadie but more romantic, and she's Juliet. After all to save the world Nadie killed Ellis, then herself because she couldn't live without her companion. Luckily Blue Eyes revived them so they had their happy ending - unlike Romeo & Juliet." Natalia's thoughts were interrupted when the waiter approached her table asking her if she would like to order now or wait for her guest's arrival. "I would like to wait, thank you, but could you bring me your finest wine." The waiter, an exceptionally attractive dark burgundy -haired woman in her late 20s, looked down at Natalia, trying to calculate her age. "May I see your ID please?" Natalia looked at the woman realizing that it wasn't going to be as easy to get what she wanted as she previously thought. Looking over the waiters name tag Natalia decided to play the oldest trick in the book. The mid-height blondes hand slipped in her Chanel purse, searching for her leather wallet, finding it she took out a spare couple of hundred dollars. Standing up she winked at the waitress. Now completely up she filled up the empty space between her and the attractive waitress named, Vanessa. The mid-height blonde leaned in the direction of the waiter's right ear whispering, "Here is my ID, now please get me the finest wine you have." Natalia's hand slipped the money in between the attractive waitresses well shaped breasts. "Ohh I see, right away Miss", the attractive waitress winked back. "But out of curiosity how old are you really?" Natalia thought for a moment on whether or not she should tell the woman, "I'm old enough to ..." Natalia said in a sensual voice, caressing every syllable in her

unfinished sentence. Taking in a deep breathe, Natalia continued completing her sentence "... I'm old enough to see you after work if you want." The woman's face looked motionless for a moment until her checks turned burning red at the thought of the girl's implications. "Well then maybe I should give you my number, so you can call me." Natalia couldn't believe what she heard, she was only teasing, and she didn't expect the older woman to take it seriously or come up with such a good comeback. "Hmm ... How should I respond, do I want her number or do I want to play a joke on her ... I want both." Natalia smiled at Vanessa, still standing only inches away. "Alright then ... so if you ever want more of that green stuff between you're ..., you can call me and we can ..." The woman didn't look like she was going to back down anytime soon, she smiled at Natalia seductively, "Here this is my number, the dark burgundy -haired waitress handed Natalia a yellow posted with a number written on it. "I see, thank you, I'll call, promise." Vanessa didn't move, "Aren't we forgetting something, your number Miss ..." - "Natalia" the girl answered, "Then Miss Natalia may I have your number?" Natalia forgot all about her end of the bargain, "Ohh, right my number", Natalia blurted out. Reaching into her purse to find a card with her number printed on it, the mid-height blonde quickly found it and handed it off to the dark burgundy-haired waitress. "Thank you, I'll be sure to call", Vanessa gave the girl another wink, and walked off hurriedly to tend to her other customers. Natalia watched the woman go off into the distance. "I am diffidently giving her a good tip, she is fun", mused the mid-height blonde before realizing that she should probably check on the time. She dug her hand in the 2,000 dollar purse, yet again searching for the golden watch. 8:33PM, "Ellis, you sure are going to be sorry for being this late."

"Miss we are here and, I am very sorry for your arrival being this late." Ellis crawled out of the limousine as soon as it stopped, right in front of the 5 star restaurant, Le Cirque. The adorable short blonde closed the limo's door shut, running off into the fancy restaurant. The first thing that filled Ellis's eyes was the sheer size of the place, since she was half Natalia's size, this place looked twice as big and twice as grand to her. Second, she saw the circus-like design and a painted wall, surrounded by giant glass walls. Acrobats springing up and down while maneuvering trough the air, clowns juggling 20 things at once and magicians doing magic tricks filled her view, this mesmerized her. All Ellis wanted to do at the moment was to set down and watch the performance. Ellis stood there motionless as a man wearing a tuxedo approached her. The man now standing to Ellis's left asked her, "Are you lost Miss?" Ellis didn't respond, and then the man waved a hand in front of her face. "Still no response? Miss Do you have a reservation!" Ellis turned around, facing the well dressed man she said "Yes I'm here to have dinner with a girl named Natalia tonight, she should already be here." The man hearing her reply looked down to a clipboard with a list of customers names. Moments later his head jerked up, the man was pleasantly smiling at Ellis, "Please follow me Miss!" The restaurant was even larger then it looked, walking to the table took about 3 minutes.

Natalia's good mood stayed throughout the evening, though waiting wasn't exactly enjoyable. The mid-height blondes head lay on the table, her hand held an empty glass of fine wine preserved from 1880. Foot steps were nearing in her direction; she opened her eyes and looked up. The mid-height blonde mumbled "Ellis you're finally here ...and you are 40 minutes late." The shorter girl set down across from Natalia, starring in her direction. "Well aren't you going to tell me why you're late?" Ellis smirked, "Well it's a long story." Natalia set herself up straight, returning the gaze. "That's all right; I want to hear why

you're late." Ellis took in a deep breath, and then told the mid-height girl everything that happened. Natalia was shocked by what she heard, but nevertheless believed the girl. Natalia's hands slid across the wooden table, cupping Ellis's smaller left hand in-between. "So that's why your late ... I guess it's alright then, but you had me worried. I drank a bottle of wine worrying over you!" Ellis couldn't help letting out a barely audible giggle. "Natalia you drank the wine because you wanted to get drunk, not because of me." A laugh escaped Natalia's light pink lips, "Well I guess that's true then." The girls' set motionlessly for a couple of minutes, just looking at one another until the dark burgundy-haired waitress came up to the table, grinning all to conspicuously at the two. "So this is your date? Well, you got good taste I'll give you that." Natalia was about to say something when Ellis beat her to it, "May I have a giant lobster and four cornels of corn! Wait ... make that 2 lobsters!" - "Alright then, got it." Vanessa still wearing the highly seductive smile on her face, looked down at Natalia, "And what about you miss Natalia, what would you like to eat tonight. You must be hungry, no starving - so do you want to here our special for tonight?" Natalia clearly saw trough the older woman's carefully selected and sexually paved words. "She is so hitting on me and she's damn fun, hmm... and she's getting a nice juicy tip." Natalia looked up at Vanessa, swaying the woman to come closer, Vanessa noticed and complied. Natalia leaned toward Vanessa, whispering "Yes I want to hear what your special is, and if it can cure my hunger." Vanessa smiled, moving in closer to Natalia's face until both of their breaths collided. The attractive waitress whispered back sensually, still fixing her gaze on Natalia. "Well then today's special is, a steaming hot, spicy, delicious ... pasta soup." "Then I'll have that please."After hearing Natalia's reply Vanessa moved back, away from the girl. "Will that be all?"- "Yes" "yes", both girls replied simultaneously. The waitress smirked at Natalia before descending from her view. "You know I think she was flirting with you Natalia." "Huh, was she now?" Natalia's expression changed to a staggered stare, "So she noticed it too?" "I am jealous you know, but I have to admit that I am also impressed." Natalia wasn't sure on how to respond to that so she just smiled and said, "Thanks for the double complement Ellis, I appreciate it." Ellis nodded, and then reached out for the ¼ full bottle of wine. Natalia saw the attempt and grabbed the bottle away from her, chugging the remaining wine down in one gulp. "Now Ellis I don't think Nadie would want you becoming a helpless underage drunkard like myself..." - "But I am goanna need that if I have to listen to you for the rest of the evening." Natalia found this response rather amusing, and just as insulting. "Ellis judging by that response I'd say ... you're already drunk." The adorable short blonde became confused by the statement, deciding to just sit and wait silently for the food to be served. Natalia took it as a silent treatment designed to make her feel guilty. A few minutes later the Flirtatious waitress was walking back with the prepared dishes, smiling broadly. Vanessa first picked up the two lobster platter, placing it in front of Ellis, then the soup for Natalia. And at that Vanessa winked, then said suggestively, "Enjoy, but save some room for desert." Before Natalia could even remark the dark burgundy-haired waitress had already left to attend her other costumers. Ellis instantly dug into her delicious lobsters, ripping its red shell off and swallowing down the soft white meat. The first lobster was gone in less then 2 minutes. Taking slow half a spoon sips, Natalia on the other hand was keen on taking her time to devour today's special. The adorable short blonde's dish was now totally empty, Natalia's bowl still half full. Whipping her mouth, Ellis noticed that the other girl's bowl was sitting, pushed away from her, half full. "Natalia if you aren't going to finish it then can I have the rest?" "Sure I don't mind." Ellis grabbed the bowl away fiercely, eating it up in a record of 20 seconds.

Now that Ellis was completely done with her meal, she focused her attention to Natalia, looking straight at the mid-height blonde, incredulously. Natalia took Ellis's starring as her queue to began and explain why she invited Ellis here in the first place. "Ellis aren't you wondering why I invited you?" "Yes you said that you wanted to talk to me about something important to you, you wanted a friend to hear you out ...right?" Natalia's face lit up, the witch named Ellis could read her better then anyone. "Yes that's exactly why I invited you to dinner, but how should I began ... Ellis?" - "Yes" "would you like to hear what happened to me after you and Nadie left, and how I met Éliane?" Ellis nodded, "Yes sir!" Clearing her trout, Natalia began to retell the events leading up to her meeting Éliane.

4 Months ago

My beautiful mansion was aflame, burning uncontrollably. It happened the night you and Nadie left me to go south, to Win Marika. I was in my bedroom, on the phone with the white house. I told them about you and that you're a real witch. Then I hung up and set down on my bed reminiscing about you, after that I don't remember anything but that I passed out. I remember a tall girl with knee long hair and burning forest green eyes standing over me. The girl was standing in between the doorway, she was breathing in and out hard, gasping for air. Something was happening to her; it looked like she was fighting not to lose something important to her. I fainted after I saw her but I do remember felling like I was flying trough the air. I woke up lying on a grassy surface 40 feet away from my burning mansion, I tilted my head to the left and saw her the beautiful green eyed sandy blonde laying beside me, the girl who saved my life. I reached my arm out to her, softly touching her on the shoulder to wake her up, but then something happened. I witnessed her past; I was feeling outermost sadness, and her longing for something or someone. Her past was long; I had so many of her memories flooding into me all at once. I couldn't see them but I felt them, a book, blood shed, love and something powerful blocking the rest of her memories off. A mental wall blocked her memories off ... the memories related to the book. I think I fainted after feeling her memories related to the book, and the wall. Beautiful green eyes and long sandy blonde hair filled my view. She smiled at me and introduced herself as Éliane Santamïere, I did the same. Éliane thanked me for what I did for her, she said that I returned her memories, freeing her from something and saving her life. I think it had to do with me accidently reading her memories, but not only reading them but returning them as well. She kneeled down to me, asking what I wanted most. I smiled and told her that what I wanted was to travel south to see you and Nadie again. She agreed to help me find you and well she kept her promise, I did find you Ellis.


Ellis was surprised by what the older girl had told her. "Umm ...So does that mean that you have the power to bring peoples lost memories back to them?" - "Yeah, I guess so but I didn't bring back all of her memories and the ones from ... I think 160 years ago are fragmented. Also she doesn't remember anything at all from after the 1840s to 1999, but she remembers everything from 1999 to 2009. Isn't that weird?" Ellis's face wore a confused expression, none of what Natalia said made sense. "She's 160 years old?" "I don't know, maybe she's older. But I do know one thing ... she's immortal!" Ellis was still unconvinced, "But judging by what you said, wouldn't it make more sense if the stuff from the 1800s was just something she read in a book or watched in a movie and thought that it really happened to her. Like you said she only remembers fragments from the 1840s but she remembers everything from 10 years ago clearly ... so it would make sense to say that everything about her being that old is just a delusion." Natalia was amused by the girl's flawed attempt to rationalize everything, but Ellis ignored one fact, the fact that Éliane was immortal. "Ellis she's immortal and anyhow you're a witch with mystical powers and I have memory reading abilities, so it's not really hard to believe that she's an actual immortal especially for us." "Ok, but when she returns we'll ask her to prove it." "Well ... sure we'll do that." The performers were still doing their triple flip maneuvers and the magician, creating amazing illusions. Natalia set up straight, seeing Vanessa approaching with the dessert platter in her right hand and a coffee mug in her left. The dark burgundy-haired waitress grinned like an idiot when she neared the table where Natalia sat across from Ellis. Vanessa placed the platter down on Natalia's table, the lush variety of desserts spellbound Ellis. Vanilla cheesecake sprinkled with the finest chocolates, German black forest cake, winter coconut cake, all of the cakes looked delicious and Ellis knew that she was currently suffering an indecision crisis the only cure, to order on of each. "I would like everything that's on that platter please!" Natalia looked up at Vanessa giving her a glance indicating that she didn't want her to take Ellis seriously, Vanessa understood. "I'm sorry but you can only choose one, ok." A scowl of disappointment showed on Ellis's adorable face, but she understood, "Fine then I'll have the Winter Coconut Cake" "And who ... I mean what will you be having, Natalia?" "You, Vanessa!" The dark burgundy-haired waitress smirked. Natalia instantly realized what she said, giving a futile attempt to take it back. "I'm kidding! But really I don't want any dessert." "Ohh okay ... The dessert will be right out and I'll join you ... just as you ordered." Vanessa gave Natalia another wink, and hurried off to get the cake and return to join Natalia. The two girls set in silence, Ellis starring at Natalia amused by the girls flushed expression, Natalia avoiding eye contact. "So looks like Vanessa will join us ... you." Natalia had wanted to express not only how she and Éliane met but also what she felt for the tall sandy blonde who saved her life. The mid-height blonde was about to express how she feels about the sandy blonde but an engrossing sent of roses and coconuts seeped trough her nostrils. Vanessa moved a chare up to Natalia's table, joining her with a coconut cake for Ellis and a Chocolate Black Forest for herself. The burgundy-haired waitress hesitated for a brief moment before breaking the silence, "Well since I joined ... would you like to hear about me, I have seen a lot of the world and I can tell you all about it if you'd like." Natalia sighed in relief, for she had thought the flirtatious waitress would surely say something awkward and paved with sensuality. Natalia pointed at Ellis, "Ok then Vanessa but first of all I'd like to introduce you to this girl right here, Ellis". Vanessa looked over

at the adorable short blonde for a second, and then reached out her right hand for Ellis to shake. "Hi! As you already know I'm Vanessa ... Vanessa Rene and it's a pleasure to meet you." Ellis innocently smiled at Vanessa, returning a good firm handshake. As Vanessa shook Ellis's hand she couldn't help herself but ponder whether she should ask Natalia about her relationship with Ellis, "The girl looks like she's at least 4 years younger then Natalia; I wonder if I should ask Natalia if she's in a relationship with Ellis ... I should." Vanessa asked "Natalia before I tell you all about me can you answer me one question?"- "Sure, what is it?" "Are you in a romantic relationship with Ellis ... because you know Ellis is to young for you and you need a..."-" And you are to old for me, but to answer your question, no I and Ellis are not in that kind of relationship and no I'm not available." Vanessa's face lit up in amusement "I didn't ask if you were available you know ... and maybe I wanted to know if Ellis was single, because I have a 16 year old cousin who is in desperate need of a beautiful young bride." Hearing those words Ellis jerked her head up at Vanessa. "I don't want to be a bride, I love someone more then the world and..." - "Oh, and so who do you love that much?" "An arrogant and naïve bounty hunter named Nadie, I love her!" This was surprising to Vanessa. "Hmm... an arrogant and naïve bounty hunter sounds promising, but she really should get a job change if her best description is naïve and arrogant." Ellis responded "Yeah she promised me she'd quit after this last job she's on right now." Vanessa Looked frozen in the moment remembering the salient morning she had spent with Madlax in bed after a turbulent night of dashing bright strikes of light followed by loud roars of thunder seeping trough branches of lush green trees surrounding the wooden cabin that they filled.

Vanessa's memory of the morning after

A beautiful green eyed sandy blonde lay in my arms, Madlax. Her hair went down to her belly button, she looked like an angel with her eyes closed. No she was an angel with me, but to everyone else she was Gods merciless hand who would kill whole villages filled with woman and children who didn't deserve to die if ordered by the high council of the clergy. I knew that she didn't want to; I saw it in her, the sadness in her forest green eyes transcended on to me. I knew she wasn't free even trough she could fight with such freedom and dance without a single restraint, she still had something that kept her from living a life of her own and I was going to fix that. "Madlax are you awake?" The sandy blonde mercenary rubbed her eyes then looked up to face me. "Now I'm awake thanks to you Vanessa Rene." I couldn't help but chuckle at Madlax's adorable expression and the way she said my name. "Don't mention it Madlax." I gently grabbed a string of her soft sandy hair, rubbing it delicately. I didn't know why at the time but her hair, her body, her everything felt different then anything that I had ever touched before. "Otherworldly ... that's what you feel like Madlax and that's one of the reasons that I love you." "Vanessa I am otherworldly because I'm not the same as anyone in this world, I can never die and I have power one could only dream to have, but you know I'd give all of this up for you..."-

"Then give it up! Madlax you don't have to do what the damn clergy orders you to because with your power you can do whatever you desire without any of the limiting factors that the rest of us have." I embraced her whole body holding her with my hands wrapped around her waist, lying below her warm otherworldly body before saying what I truly wanted, so she couldn't disappear or runaway from me. I whispered, "Run away with me, just the two of us free of all and everything ... Madlax I want to be with you so if you truly love... then lets be free." She gazed right in my eyes, happy and smiling sincerely, I already knew the answer. "Yes let's be free Vanessa Rene, for you I'd do anything and I do truly love you!" All I could do to show my contentment was kiss her in the most passionate way possible ... "Vanessa Rene what are you doing?"-"Kissing you"...

Present: Le Cirque

Natalia waved a hand in Vanessa's face, "Snap out of it!" Vanessa looked around, at first not realizing that she was daydreaming, a moment later the sweet aroma of her chocolate cake brought her back to reality. "Are you ... where am I? Ohh sorry I was just lost in reflection, but what did you just say Ellis?" Ellis looked at Vanessa. "I said that I love Nadie and that she's a bounty hunter, right before you zoned out." - "Ah, so that's where we left off. Well I used to be in love with someone who was sort of akin to a bounty hunter but more professional and not at all naïve." This statement aroused curiosity in Natalia; she wanted to hear more about Vanessa's love life. Natalia nudged the attractive dark burgundy-haired waitress on the shoulder urging her to continue. "So I take that you want to hear about that person, am I right?"-"Yes" Yes", both Ellis and Natalia answered in parallel. "Ok then I'll give you a brief summery of her. Her name was Madlax; a beautiful hired gun that I fell in love with..."-"How did you two meet?" Ellis blurted out impatiently. "My fiancé hired her as a bodyguard to protect me and I fell in love with her." Natalia's pale blue eyes widened at Vanessa's words, "Wow! Vanessa you are actually an interesting person, for a 20 something year old waitress." Ellis couldn't take the suspense so she blurted, "What happened to your fiancé and did you end up with Madlax?" "Thank you for the complement Natalia and Ellis you want to hear what happened with me and Madlax right..." - "Yes!" "Okay, I'll tell you the gist of it ... Madlax and I spent quality time together in Sonica, a month later I told her I loved her and... she said it back. Something happened to her. I don't think that she died but she might have... well anyway after she was gone I broke off the engagement with my ex-fiancé and stayed single ever since." flabbergasted couldn't even began to describe how Natalia felt about what Vanessa told her. "She seemed like the kind of person who flirts with everyone and doesn't know what true love is... at first but that's not true at all. I misjudged you Vanessa Rene." Natalia looked at Vanessa with newfound respect. "Vanessa I didn't know that you had such a tragic past! I'm sorry for how I acted towards you but I still

don't understand why you flirted with me like that." "That's simple; I flirted with you because your fun ... and the scent of your perfume reminds me of Madlax. Where did you get it?" For a second there wasn't a word heard as Natalia tried to remember where she obtained this particular perfume. "I think Éliane gave it to me as a gift but where did she get it?" "I don't know where it's from but I know who gave it to me. My savior Éliane presented the perfume of evergreens to me." A look of astonishment formed on Vanessa's face. "My ex-fiancé's first name was Elian, isn't that ironic?" "What! That's paradoxical, but I'm sure that they're not the same person. After all Éliane is a girl and Elian is a guy so we are not talking about the same person." The mid-height blonde's expression was truly compelling and Vanessa noticed it, "Natalia this has been fun you know." - "Yeah it has been an enjoyable evening, but you know I came here to talk my heart out with Ellis yet ended up expressing everything to a complete stranger instead. Vanessa I'll be sure to give you a call when I need a helping-ear." "And I will be sure to listen but can you ask Éliane where she obtained that perfume for me?" Natalia nodded her head, reached in her purse grabbed her red razor cell phone and began to dial Éliane's phone number. "I'll call Éliane now to ask her about the perfume for you Vanessa." Natalia pressed the call button; the phone rang 4 times before it was finally answered animatedly by Nadie, "Hello, who's calling my Éliane?" Natalia was confused. "What do you mean by that ... Wait is it you Nadie?" "Yes sir!" "Well it's nice to hear your voice again but could you give the phone to Éliane, I have something to ask her." "Well I can't right now because she's driving and I wouldn't want to distract her to much so just ask me, and I'll ask her then tell you." "Fine then Nad..."- "Can I ask her myself?"Vanessa interrupted reaching her hand out for the phone, attempting to snatch it from Natalia. "Nadie my friend wants to ask Éliane something so I'm handing the phone to her." Natalia let Vanessa have the phone. "Hello is this Éliane?"-"No this is Nadie but you can ask me and I'll ask her, alright?" - "Yes that's alright but your The Nadie whom is a bounty hunter right?" - "Yeah that's me, why?" - "Well you see Ellis told me how she feels about you and I was wondering how you feel about her. I won't tell her if you don't want me to but I just want to know if you are in lo..." - "Ellis is like a family to me, she's very significant. But how does she feel about me?" - "She loves you more then anything even your naivety and arrogance Nadie." Vanessa leaned back in her chare continuing the conversation. "It's alright if you don't tell me, after all I'm a total stranger am I not." Nadie loudly chuckled at this, "Yeah you are and so is the girl driving my car!" - "About that, can you ask her where she got a hold of the evergreen perfume, the one she gave to Natalia?" - "Sure it'll be a second"; Nadie covered the phone with the palm of her hand and turned to face Éliane. "Eli where did you get the evergreen perfume that you gave to Natalia?" Éliane focused herself on the road ahead, grabbed a pretzel out of her shorts pocket and placed it between her teeth. A minute passed by as Éliane pondered while slowly chewing a pretzel. Where did she obtain the evergreen perfume? "Oh yes I remember, I got it in Sonica 10 years ago ... I bought it because it reminded me of the memories of her." Nadie nodded, brought the phone up to her right ear and proceeded to answer Vanessa's question. "She bought it in a country called Sonica." - "Wow, so that's why ... Well thanks Nadie." "No problem." Vanessa said good-bye to Nadie and handed the phone back to Natalia. The mid-height blonde took the phone back, and proceeded to ask Nadie on when she and her savior Éliane would return. "We ought to arrive at the hotel by tomorrow night. Ohh and we

have a lot to tell you and Ellis so Éliane is going to arrange dinner for the day after we arrive, at some classy restaurant. Bye then!" Nadie hung up, and Natalia did the same. A share was slid under the table as Vanessa got up to leave. "I have to leave you now, to my dismay so bye Natalia, Oh Ellis Nadie cares for you deeply. Vanessa was gone before Ellis could even respond. Natalia turned to Ellis, smiled and said "I have some good news Nadie will be back tomorrow night, and looks like Nadie and Éliane are taking us out to a classy restaurant." A broad smile formed on Ellis's face. "Hey Ellis if your done then we should get going." - "Yes sir!"

Next Day at Natalia's Hotel room

"Wake up Natalia, today is the day that they arrive, we should prepare!" The mid-height blonde slowly opened her eyelids, "Ellis you don't have to shout in my ear you know." - "I'm sorry it's just that I want to see Nadie so much..." Natalia pulled the silk sheets that were over her off, sitting up and sliding off her king-sized bed. She strolled over to her walk-in closet, opened the door ... "Oh Ellis would you come over here now please." Ellis's face turned pale as she remembered what she had done yesterday when her friend went out shopping, "This isn't good." Slowly Ellis moved toward the mid-height blonde until she was standing right next to Natalia. "Ellis please look inside my closet then honestly answer me if you know who might have done this." Ellis complied. "So who did this young lady?" - "A girl by the name of Ellis... I did this, but for a good reason!" "Hmm, and what might that be?" Ellis swallowed hard before opening her mouth again, "I wanted to look good for our date, so I tried on a few of your dresses and well I didn't hang them back on the hangers because I was in a hurry to get to Le Cirque." Natalia looked over Ellis's face to make sure the adorable short blonde was telling the truth. "I believe you, but if you want to wear one of my dresses again then you better start hanging these now. Oh and you can't leave till all of them look as they did before you rampaged my closet, understood?" -"Yes Sir" -"good! I'll be in the swim pool so when you're done you know where to find me." Natalia squatted down, searched over the colorful mess of clothing laying on the closets surface until a yellow string bikini caught her eye. She picked the two piece up, stood up grabbed a blue towel and left for the pool downstairs.

The only thought that filled Ellis's mind was how to hang all of the clothes up. There were at least 50 dresses lying on the floor and she needed to hang each and every one neatly. Ellis got down to her knees picked up a strapless red Valentino and grabbed a hanger, proceeding to neatly hang it. "There has to be a way for me to get out of doing this..." A neatly packaged white dress hanging to the far left of the closet caught Ellis's eye. "Wow this one is stunning and it looks new ... I wonder if Natalia got this for Éliane. After all it seems a bit too long to fit Natalia." Ellis stood up and walked out of the room-sized closet, towards the phone on the cabinet next to the bed. "This is first-class so maybe I can get someone from room service to

hang all of these for me while I go out tanning." She grabbed the phone and dialed the room service number written on a metallic plate attached to the phone. "Ring...ring... hello how may I help you?" -"I would like for you to send someone to clean my closet up." "Sure they'll be right up." Ellis slammed the phone down contented, then walked slowly toward the hotel room door absorbing the vigorous atmosphere. A knock on the door came, pounding right before Ellis could open it. As Ellis drew to open the door she articulated, "Hmm ... must be the room service guy." She turned the knob, the door swung open. "Hi were you the one to order room service?" -"Ye..s" Ellis's face turned whiter then salt, Natalia stood in front of her aware of the trick she had tried to pull and almost got away with. The mid-height blondes face was stern. "Ellis you said that you would hang all of my dresses not someone from room service but you, because you made this mess in the first place!" The adorable short blonde starred down at the floor, ashamed of her failed scheme. Natalia noticed the girls remorse and decided to let it go, smiling she began. "Ellis you don't have to worry. What you did was wrong but it wasn't wrong in a bad way ... compared to the deceptions I pulled in the past yours isn't even noticeable. So then don't you want to go swimming or what?" Ellis smiled a full smile at Natalia, nodding her head the entire way up and down, "Yes Sir."

Nadie's car: day of their arrival at Harington hotel

An old gas station with a Spanish seven eleven filled Éliane's view as the Lamborghini Reventon she drove neared it. There were no gas stations or motels for the most part of their drive, both Éliane and Nadie were more then relieved when they spotted the old station. Éliane stopped the car to fill it up with gas and Nadie went into the seven eleven to buy some tacos and pretzels. 5 minutes later Éliane had finished filling the gas tank. Nadie was still in the shop, so the sandy blonde set herself down in the driver's seat, grabbed the very last 6 pretzels from her pocket and stuffed them in her petite mouth awaiting the crimson haired girls return. A few more minutes passed by, but Éliane decided against going in the shop and leaving the car on its own. "Why is she taking so long? This is starting to bother me..." -"Bang...Bang" gun shots came from inside the seven eleven. Éliane yelped "Nadie!" Jumping out of the Lamborghini the sandy blonde was about to dash inside the store to see if Nadie was okay but something stopped her. "Wait Nadie is immortal so even if she did get shot it wouldn't matter." Éliane decided against going, leaving the car alone in a situation such as this was foolish and she wasn't keen on repeating the same mistake. She set back down in the leather seat and put the paddle to the metal. At full speed the Lamborghini dashed towards the seven eleven. Éliane's face bore a wicked smirk; her mind was set on driving the car straight inside of the seven eleven, fetching Nadie and driving off into the sunset. Glass shreds fell streaming downwards onto Éliane's vehicle as it literally drove trough the stores front window. Éliane scrolled the driver's window down sticking her left hand out with a gun aimed at a man wearing a brown cowboy hat and a jeans jacket. "It's the bastard who shot his gun." Éliane mercilessly pulled the trigger, "Bang."

The man fell dead on the spot. The sandy blonde looked around, not seeing Nadie she shouted, "Nadie get in the car, or I'll leave without you!" A few seconds later a crimson haired girl ran out of the bathroom at the end of the store, Nadie. Approaching the car she noticed the corpse lying next to the cash register. "Nadie you can't get in." Nadie fell dumbstruck "What, why not?" -"Well that's simple it's because you forgot to buy me pretzels. So if you want to get the hell out of here then get me pretzels!" Nadie found this mirthful but she had no time to reflect over it. Nadie dashed up to a store shelf of pretzels, grabbed 3 extra-large packs then made her way to the car, almost tripping in the process. "Get in Nadie." The crimson haired girl soared right into the passenger's seat landing lopsided. Nadie immediately repositioned herself slammed the door shut and snapped the seatbelt on, shouting "Drive, step on it!" -"Yes sir, lets drive!" The car started, roared a few times and dashed out. Nadie was astonished by her savior's irresponsible nature. "Wow she drove right thru the store to snatch me. Talk about unusual." Nadie's hand slid down to where Éliane's right hand was resting, stroking it tenderly for a few minutes. "The sunset is beautiful isn't it - Éliane?" -"Yeah it's striking but you know what it reminds me of ... it reminds me of you. The setting sun is crimson, resembling your hair and the azure skies are your gleaming blue eyes." Nadie couldn't help but feel delight. "So aren't you al little poetic today Eli?" -"I guess I am, but you know its true you are like the sunset to me ... maybe that should be your nickname... Sunset!" Nadie couldn't help but laugh at the girl's childish idea, "Then how about I call you, Umm let me think. Well you have long sandy blonde hair and a set of forest green eyes so you remind me of ... the yellow beach next to a lush pine forest! ... SandyForest, that's your nickname." Éliane smiled an open mouth smile at Nadie, her eyes shined like two rare gems in the setting sun. "Ok so I am SandyForest and you are Sunset ... but you know that name doesn't sound very charming, still it's cute." Éliane grabbed a pack of pretzels, ripped it open and clutched a mouthful. Reaching an arm out, Éliane offered Nadie the pretzels. Nadie accepted, "Thanks for the pretzels ... but Éliane what you would like to use the nicknames for is?" The sandy blonde didn't respond until a stupid idea came to her, "Let's use them as names of affection in bed ... you know like lovers do when th..." -"Huh, wait did you just say... no never mind, no lets not use those names like that!" Éliane shrugged giving out a soft chuckle, "Alright then we wont." Nadie sighed in relief and a few moments later reached out her right arm to turn the Radio on. The sandy blonde stopped her, "Let's listen to my iPod instead. Nadie it's in your right pocket." Nadie stuck her right hand in the pocket and felt a slick metallic phone shaped item. Nadie pulled it out then handed it off to Éliane, "here." The sandy blonde took the black iPod video and placed it in a frame with a connector sticking out. "So what kind of music do you listen to Nadie?" -"Well I don't really have a preference so you can choose." "Fine but don't whine if you don't like it." Éliane turned her finger on top of the iPods touch sensitive navigation device, switching to the playlist menu and selecting the playlist titled: "Romantic/Love songs."

How long has it been since I fell in love with you?

My feelings only increase

Will you notice them?

Even though I've never once put them into words?

Hold me tight- if this is how it feels

I didn't want to know

What it was like to be in love with someone

I love you- my tears won't stop

And so I wish

That I had never met you

"What song is this?" -"Eternal snow, do you like it?" -"Yeah ... it makes me think about Elli..." Before Nadie could finish something prevented her - Éliane had initiated to sing along with the lyrics.

"How long will I be thinking of you?

My sighs fogged up the window glass

Can a candle flame

Still melt my trembling heart?

Hold me tight, tight enough to break me

So that even in an icy wind or a blizzard

I won't feel cold

I miss you- every time I think of you

Tonight, too, I hold

This half-finished muffler, all alone

If there was an eternally falling snow

Could it hide my feelings for you?"

Nadie experienced the passion in the sandy blonde's voice first hand. "She is such a fine singer, her voice is the most prominent that I have ever heard ... she's better then the actual vocalist of this song. I wonder if she's remembering Vanessa right now."

Hold me tight- if this is how it feels

I didn't want to know

What it was like to be in love with someone

I love you- the feeling wells up in my chest

I want to shout to the wintery sky

"I want to see you right now"

Éliane hummed the songs ending, and then pressed the pause button on the iPod. The crimson haired girl turned her neck to face the right side of the sandy blondes face. "Éliane you know you're a very good singer." The sandy blonde smirked, "Why thank you Nadie." Éliane looked over the GPS device in-between her and Nadie, checking their location. They were only 30 miles from Mexico City, where the hotel was located. "Nadie we should be there in about an hour or so, but before we get to the hotel - I'd like to make the reservations for tomorrow evening." After another 45 minutes the two began to notice small suburb houses then many diminutive and large businesses scattered along the avenue and further cars parked along the streets. A large building which at first appeared to be a hefty hotel came in view shortly after Éliane drove the Lamborghini trough downtown. Nadie was in awe of the restaurants sheer size "Is this the place?" -"Yeah this is L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, and I am sure that you'll like the food and dancing. Oh ...and I'll be right back." -"Wait can't I come inside?" The sandy blonde shook her head no, "I need someone to guard the car while I'm gone, and so are you up to the task?" Nadie let out a soft chuckle, "yes sir!" And with that Éliane slammed the car door and left to make reservations for tomorrow's somber engagement that would change each and every one of their destinies.


[End notes: 10 Chapters to go :)]

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