Story: Perpetual existence & elapsed love (chapter 5)

Authors: Lena-Ann-Rene

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Chapter 5

Title: Chapter 5 France

[Author's notes:

Natalia is an actual character from el cazador de la bruja (Ep:11)

Elian is an OC however he's practically a clone of Carrossea Doon (MADLAX)


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

Thoughts are in "Bold"

At French Airport

The flight lasted 19 hours and Madlax slept trough the entire flight. A loud French announcer's voice over the telecom and Nadie yelling right in her ear awakened Madlax from her sleep. She looked around, seeing no other passengers, then out the window, noting a few airplanes parked in view. Madlax jumped up and out of her seat. "Have we arrived?" Nadie sarcastically replied "Oui Monsieur" then dashed off to where their bags were placed. Madlax wiped the drowsiness from her eyes subsequently walking to the end of the plane. "Nadie do you know French?" Nadie replied whilst tossing a backpack over to Madlax. "No, I just know a few phrases ... do you?" -"I can't speak it but for some reason I understand it... I must have known French in the past." Nadie nodded, placed a bag over her shoulder and proceeded out of the airplane, Madlax followed.

The airport appeared at least twice as big as the one in Mexico, most of the signs were written in French but fortunately for Nadie the restrooms had symbols, so she knew which one to go into. While Nadie went to the bathroom Madlax observed the people arriving and leaving the airport. There were all kinds of people, some rich and well dressed, others clearly tourists but all had one thing in common -they were all here for a reason. Madlax grew tired of waiting for Nadie to finish using the facilities and decided to leave the girl for awhile. As Madlax walked passed rows of people waiting to get on their planes she noticed a pretzel stand on the second floor of the airport. She dashed to the escalators and took the one going up. "I'll get a regular pretzel for me and some new kind for Nadie... I wonder what she likes." The sandy blonde hopped off the escalator and landed before the small pretzel stand. The tall slightly overweight pretzel man looked down to Madlax, scratched his scalp, and then asked. "comment puis-je vous aider?" Strangely enough Madlax understood his question "he asked ... how may I help you. I don't speak French so I'll just point at what I want to buy." The sandy blonde fervently pointed at an oversized fresh baked pretzel and at a normal sized one. The pretzel man understood her body language, pulled out both pretzels, wrapped them up, and then said. "ce sera trois dollars." Madlax nodded, reached in her shorts pocket, pulled out 3 one dollar bills and handed them to the man. She dashed to the escalator having the urge to just plain jump to the first floor but controlling it, since it wouldn't be good if she drew to much attention. Madlax arrived back next to the restroom, just as Nadie exited. The sandy blonde fronted Nadie with a wide smile enveloping her face, reached her right arm up and handed Nadie the pretzel. "I hope you like it ... its some kind of new experimental flavor!" Nadie made a face at Madlax for getting her something experimental, bit a crumb off the pretzel and remarked with her mouth full. "This is ghood! Tastes likhe pizza." Madlax chuckled at her very funny friend. "Don't talk with your mouth full." Nadie picked her bag back up and proceeded to the exit. Madlax asked Nadie as she opened the large glass door. "Is the hotel far from here ... should we walk or take a taxi?" Nadie stepped out unto the street, turned to Madlax and replied. "The map says its 3 miles from here, so let's walk and enjoy the streets of France."

A beautiful forest was situated to the far left, at the end of the boulevard. Nadie looked around in awe of the old European styled street. There were boutiques with window displays of elegant dresses, naughty lingerie and even traditional French chocolate. Nadie had a strong urge to rush inside of the

boutique with the chocolate and sample one of every kind, Madlax had a similar idea but with the lingerie. The streets were paved with bright red bricks and other kinds of rocks that made Madlax feel Nostalgia all the more. A path leading to another main street came into view; Madlax turned to Nadie and softly asked. "So which way do we go?" Nadie appeared to skim trough the map, trying to find their current location. After a minute Nadie's blue eyes gazed up at Madlax's and she pointed to the path. Both girls made their way trough an abundant amount of curves and turns till Madlax noticed they were walking in a circle. The sandy blonde tapped Nadie on the shoulder, walked in front of her and showed the girl where they actually needed to go. The paths lead to a large hilly street with more exquisite boutiques and a staggering amount of French restaurants. Nadie looked ahead as far as the eye could see and noticed a tall building with a bright sign on it. The crimson haired girl pointed her index finger to the hotel 3 blocks away. "Madlax that's the five star hotel were staying in, looks like we found it." Nadie's phase quickened to a jog as she neared the hotel. The hotel appeared grander then what Nadie had expected, there was a lush garden of roses and other flowers surrounding it and the first floor was covered in wine like plants. From across the road Nadie noticed two guards guarding the front gates of the hotel with traditional French military uniform and old riffles from the late 1800s. Nadie stopped to wait for the cars to pass and for Madlax to catch up. The lights finally turned green and Nadie made her way across the street with the sandy blonde trailing close behind. Both guards moved aside and let the girls pass trough the gates leading to the lush garden and the Hotel itself. Nadie rushed trough the garden, not admiring the rare beauty of the Hotels private plot. Madlax however walked in a snail's phase admiring each and every flower, and smelling the roses. "Madlax! Come on, let's go get a room ... and you can admire the garden later." -"Actually there is a problem ... you see I don't have a credit card and I only have a few hundred left in cash so we cant get a room here... unless you have money." Nadie spun around with a half terrified, half frustrated expression paved on her face. "You don't have money... but I thought you were rich or something ... what happened?" Madlax walked closer to Nadie with a strange unreadable expression and a twitching eyebrow then softly said. "I did have a lot of money but I spent a lot of it on these airplane tickets and gave the rest to Natalia ... I didn't do a good job counting my money did I?" -"Well then what are we going to do now? Where are we going to stay?" The sandy blonde didn't respond for a minute, taping a finger against her lips in deep thought. "Nadie let me see that map." The crimson haired girl complied and handed Madlax the 2 year old map. Madlax glanced over the map, seeing a list of restaurants and fancy Hotels on the map key, looked back to Nadie and said. "This map is expired but there might still be a cheap inn close to here ... about 2 miles from here, do you want to check it out?" -"That sounds better then sleeping on the streets, but you know I was getting used to the fancy way of life, and now...this."

On their way to the inn

The sun was almost set as the two girls finally found the old street the inn was on, or supposed to be on. Nadie ran trough the street, not noticing any signs of an inn. All that spanned the view were small cabin houses. Nadie ran back up to Madlax then said in an annoyed voice. "Well I can't find the inn and you

said it was here... Madlax if you understand French then can you read it?" The sandy blonde looked at Nadie then to a street sign. "The letters are the same in English and I understand French so ... yeah I can read it." -"Good then can you read what it says on that sign, the one behind you." Madlax turned around and complied. "It says, Inn, one hundred dollars a night. Wait a second the word inn is the same in English, so why did you have me read it?" -"Just making sure."

The room Madlax and Nadie got was a small room with a single bed and an outhouse for a bathroom. Nadie dumped her backpack on the bed with a thud and subsequently followed it with her arms stretched out, landing on the undersized bed. Nadie felt something crawl below her, at first she thought it was her imagination but soon she felt two more things crawl below her and trough her hair. She slowly brushed her hand trough her hair, a strange squishy thing bumped against her fingers, and then she felt a sting of pain. Nadie brought her hand back to her face and looked over it, noticing a big red bump on her pinky. A shiver of fear ran down her spine and before she knew it, she was shooting up from the bed and soaring straight into Madlax. The unsuspecting sandy blonde fell back at the impact, hitting the concrete floor with her back. A serge of Anger weld up in Madlax's eyes when she saw the one who painfully pushed her down. "Nadie why did you push me... I'm immortal but that still hurt." It took a moment for Nadie to snap out of her fearful state. "Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to fall on you... its just that a bug bit me and its still in my hair isn't it?" Madlax's anger evaporated as did the pain. The sandy blonde looked over Nadie's head, seeing an oversized cockroach, "Oh god! Nadie there is a roach in your hair!" Nadie didn't respond yet her body tensed up as she was getting ready to scream or perhaps lose consciousness. Before Nadie could react Madlax closed her eyelids shut and swept her hand trough Nadie's hair, swishing the roach to the floor. The next thing the sandy blonde did was grab a clear glass smoking tray and throw it down hard on the cockroach, squashing the bug instantaneously. Nadie turned around to see what had happened; she saw a cracked ash tray with the body parts of a squashed roach scattered over it. "Thanks for doing that, but who's going to clean it up?" Madlax responded in determination, "You clean it up, because I saved you from its terror. I'll go see if I can cook us something ... although I'm not sure if the food will stay down." Reluctantly Nadie complied, picking up the cracked ash tray with her gloves on and placing it in a zip lock bag without touching the bug's remains. She tossed the bag in the trash, and then went inside the kitchen which Madlax was currently occupying. A loud Yell stopped her from moving any further. "Nadie don't come in here! I don't think we'll be having dinner here unless you like fried roaches and ketchup!" The sandy blonde rushed out of the kitchen, grabbing Nadie's hand and dragging the girl with her. Both decided that it was safer outside then in the roach infested inn. Nadie brushed a few roaches off her bag and then grabbed it, strapping it over her shoulder. Madlax kicked the door open and the two walked out hurriedly. The sandy blonde sighed then looked at Nadie and whispered in surrender. "We aren't getting that money back, and it looks like we'll have to sleep somewhere in a park tonight. But don't worry Nadie! I will fix this first thing tomorrow!"

The girls made their way to a lush park of green oak and pine trees, Madlax settled at the top of a foot hill, under a pine tree. She laid out a sleeping bag then turned to Nadie. "We have to sleep together ... but I know that you don't mind." Nadie briefly smiled at the sandy blonde then crawled in the green sleeping bag and made herself comfortable. "Madlax aren't you getting in?" -"Yeah but before I do ... I

want to take a relaxing walk to smell and feel the nature around me, alone." Nadie stretched out her arms and yawned, realizing that she didn't get any rest while on the plane and that Madlax slept for the whole 19 hours. "Well then have a nice walk, but don't wake me when you return." Madlax nodded and ran off into the darkness of the night.

The sky was cloudless and starry with constellations invisible to people in the northern hemisphere. A crescent moon lit the way for Madlax as she ran at full speed, trying to clear her mind and figure a way to get money. The paths ahead split into two and Madlax instantly knew which to take -the longer, more dangerous one. She had a few ideas on getting money but neither of them seemed appealing to her. "I won't steal from an unsuspecting person ... and I'm definitely not doing work to get money. There has got to be a better way -the bank." Madlax made up her mind, next thing tomorrow she was going to the bank. "I'll pretend that I need to do something, but actually go to the bank and get a lot of money." Madlax stopped in her tracks, turned around and began a jog back to where Nadie was resting -unlike Nadie she was good with directions. The plan was to get a map of the French federal bank , which she knew was close by, and then write out a preparation sketch of how she would proceed with getting inside and out of the well secured vault -undetected.

Next morning 6:30AM

Madlax woke up as the sun rose and nudged Nadie on the shoulder several times before the girl opened her eyelids and yawned. The plan for the day was to take Nadie to a café, get some breakfast and then find a way to ditch Nadie and go to The French bank. Madlax hopped out the sleeping bag, stretched her arms wide, and turned around to face Nadie who was doing the same. "Nadie how would you like to get some breakfast? We haven't eaten anything since yesterday ... so let's go to a café!" A smile beamed across Nadie's drowsy face. "That sounds good to me." Madlax knelt down, reached her arms out, grabbed the green sleeping bag and folded it neatly into her backpack. She stood back up and slowly walked down the foot hill, into the park, Nadie followed. The crimson haired girl reached out the map from before and looked over the café listings, then to get the sandy blonde's attention; she bumped Madlax on the shoulder and showed the girl where the closest café was located. Both agreed on going there -the café was across the street from the Bank.

A small yet atmospheric room with small circle tables and a coffee stand with a display of fine French desserts filled the view. Nadie felt an urge to order as many chocolate desserts as she could afford, but recognized she couldn't afford that many. The sandy blonde walked up to the cash register, got the employees attention and pointed at the coffee cake and drink she wanted, then urged Nadie to do the same. Nadie had a tuff time with indecision but eventually ordered a small cappuccino and an extra-large piece of dark chocolate cake. Nadie and Madlax settled at a table facing the window to the side of the Bank across the street. Both girls noted how much this particular café resembled Starbucks, the walls were the same tone, the atmosphere and layout also seemed similar and there were even CD stands. The employee arrived shortly with the food and drinks. Madlax took a sip of her extra creamy

drink, wiped her mouth, and looked up to face Nadie's gaze. Madlax needed to find a way to ditch the girl at the café or take the girl to the Bank with her then make up an excuse to use the restroom and steal the money during that limited amount of time. "Nadie, do you by any chance have a check you need to cash or a bank count?" The crimson haired girl pondered for a minute, subsequently remembering the five-thousand dollar check the young man gave her at the fancy restaurant in Mexico City for winning a bet. Nadie strapped the black bag off her shoulder, opened it up and found what she was looking for. "The check ... it has the same symbol as the Bank across the street, how ironic is that?" Nadie pulled the green check out, placing it before Madlax's face and pointing to the 5,000 signature. A beam spread over the sandy blonde's elegant face and her eyebrows leveled in a determined form. An idea hit her straight on the spot, "We go to the bank ... she cashes the check while I pretend to need to use the restroom but actually sneak inside the Banks safe, get money and finally sneak back undetected. Yeah this should work." Madlax pulled her arm out and snatched the check, looking it over herself to see its authenticity. "It's real ... do you want to cash it Nadie? The Bank is right across the street so we can go there after we finish our food, how does that sound?" Nadie wiped her mouth, then swiftly snatched the check back and nodded in agreement and said. "Well at least now we won't have to sleep under the stars." Both girls wolfed down the desserts quickly, pushed their chairs in and walked out the front door. Madlax remembered being on some of her missions in the past and at least 7 of them involved robbing a bank or stealing something of value, so this wasn't something new. A few cars passed by then the lights turned green and the girls quickly crossed the street. The large brick and cement bank stood in front of Nadie and Madlax. The sandy blonde noted that the security was tight, cameras were planted all around the bank and inside, covering every inch of activity that could be of threat. Nadie rushed inside eagerly, swinging the doors wide open and gaining a lot of attention from the onlookers. Madlax sighed and followed her friend inside. The bank appeared even more ultramodern then Madlax anticipated, guards were present all over the place and Madlax wouldn't be surprised if there were hidden cameras in the restrooms. There was a long line of people in front of the bank employee windows, waiting to cash checks or withdraw money. Nadie took a spot in the line and turned to Madlax. The sandy blonde smiled at Nadie and softly said. "I ... I have to use the restroom, so I'm going to go now." Nadie didn't show any signs of resistance and shrugged in response.

Madlax stopped at a small rack of stock and insurants advertisements and picked out a small brochure with a layout of the Bank printed on the back. The plan of the Bank seemed innovative to Madlax, the brochure even explained why the Bank was so safe and a good place to store your money in. "The security is tight and a vault in a place like this is sure to have complex motion sensors planted all over ... I am goanna have too turn off the motion sensors somehow. I can probably percolate trough a steel wall with my power." Madlax neared the women's restroom, swung the door open and strode inside. All the stalls were empty, which made the job that much easier, Madlax walked in the largest one at the end of the restroom and closed the door behind her. She gazed up at the ceiling; there were white square shaped ceiling boards big enough for her to fit in them if opened. Madlax stepped on top of the toilet and pushed a ceiling board back, revealing a ventilating passage. She soared into the small opening, grabbed onto the boards inside and edged the rest of the way in. Madlax had a photographic memory of recent events and could clearly visualize the layout of the building, she knew her relative location and destination, the only problem was getting there undetected. Madlax made her way, slowly

creping trough the cramped vent passage until she was sure she had to make a turn right. Something stopped her from moving ahead, she heard voices coming from the second floor of the Bank. "So I must be close to the control room ... the safe should be only 15 feet from here." Madlax was known for her ability of being exceptionally sly on missions; she remembered having done jobs requiring total stealth on behalf of the Organization. A large fan spun at the speed of 1 round a second, Madlax smiled at the minor challenge of dogging the propelling metal blades. She jumped down to where the fan was spinning, arranged her body into ready position, stepped back then fired right trough the fans blades at the speed of 20mph ... missing the razor sharp blades by a strand of hair. Madlax landed on all fours, took in a few long deep breaths, then rose back up to her feet on the other side of the fan. A few ideas plagued her mind on how to proceed next. "I have two options; one is to slip inside the vault from above it and, two is to walk right in after switching off all the cameras. Now which would the old me chose ... I think I'd chose option 2, yeah it feels like more fun." The passage became brighter as Madlax neared the area right below the control room. She slid a square covering sheet just enough as to see if the guards were on duty. Two men set in grey comfy chairs, the one on the right enjoying a strawberry doughnut and the other sipping on coffee. Madlax could easily take care of useless security guards such as these. The sandy blonde slid a square fully open and bound down soundlessly behind the two unsuspecting men. An instant latter both men lay unconscious, one with scorching hot coffee spilled all over his shirt and the other with a donut smeared across his face. Madlax stepped over them and proceeded to shut down the motion sensors in and around the vault. An array of multicolored buttons appeared before Madlax's deep green eyes confusing the girl to death, but thankfully there was an instruction booklet laid next to the control panel. Madlax flipped through the pages and found one page listing a combo of numbers necessary to shut off the sensors. She followed the instructions, pressed enter, and then watched the camera display as the red laser like lights faded. "Well all I have to do now is to sneak inside and out the vault before these guys wake up and find the security switched off." Madlax climbed back into the vent and advanced until she was right on top of the pure steel vault. She took in a deep breath and focused her mind. A barely visible wave of light originated from her body and formed into a net of dancing particles. The net like shape then floated over the steel vault and dissented till it was cutting right trough the hard steel. Madlax kept her eyes closed, aware of what her powers were doing. A few minutes passed before the net shaped object was finished cutting trough the metal. Madlax reached out a green miniature flashlight, switched it on, and beamed it to the small hole in the steel chamber. She saw a rack of small safes and a whole section for money and rare items. Madlax exclaimed "Bingo!" as she dropped downward, into the large vault. A shelf of diamonds caught Madlax's eye almost immediately. "Now that I got here ... what should I take?" Madlax shined the flashlight on the colorless diamonds that glimmered in response. She walked up to the shelf, reached out a small black pouch bag, scooped up as many diamonds as her hands could hold and heaved them inside the bag. Next Madlax ran to the opposite side of the vault and untied a bag labeled "100 dollar bills". Stacks of fresh green riches filled her view; she grabbed as many stacks as she could physically stuff in her backpack. Madlax happily sighed as she zipped up her backpack and placed it back over her shoulder. "This ought to be over 100,000 in cash, plus the value of the diamonds!" Contented with her takings, Madlax stood straight up then swiftly ascended up trough the hole she made. Before turning off the flashlight Madlax checked the map over to see if there was a faster route out -there was. Madlax noticed that she'd be out faster if she went trough the opposite end of where she came from. The climb

back lasted half the time it took to reach the vault and in next to no time the sandy blonde was out the vent and on top of the same toilet, in the same stall as she started. She opened the stall and marched out, a bit cautious of her surroundings.

Nadie stood bored almost to death as the line finally progressed to her. A woman asked, "How may I help you?" Nadie felt relieved when she saw the bank window for English speakers, even thou that line was the longest. "I would like to cash a check." Nadie reached her arm out and handed the woman the check. The bank lady took it and stated "It'll be a moment." Nadie turned around and looked trough the lines of people, not seeing Madlax. A tap on the shoulder made Nadie jump in surprise then turn to see who did it. Nadie shouted in pleasant surprise. "Madlax, why did you take so long?" The sandy blonde just smiled without responding to the girls previous question, then asked. "Are you almost done cashing that check? If you are then let's get out of here." The banker woman placed an envelope with 100 dollar bills in Nadie's hand and thanked her for coming to the bank. Just as Nadie placed the new envelope inside her shorts pocket Madlax clutched her arm and pulled the crimson haired girl out the bank. "What the hell are you doing?" Nadie asked as the sandy blonde pulled harder. Madlax stopped, briefly glanced at Nadie and whispered. "I'll explain when we're far away from that Bank, but for now keep walking." Nadie complied. The two walked without saying a thing till they were back at the park. Madlax ran up to the granite frame of a fountain, set down on the structure and motioned for her friend to do the same. When Madlax was certain there were no people in close proximity to her, she pulled out the small black sack and handed it to Nadie. "Look inside! I think you'll like what you see." Nadie's left hand held the bag in place and her right untied a small white string. At first Nadie's expression was unreadable, but then it hit her square between the eyes. "Madlax are these real diamonds? How did you get them... what did you do?" The sandy blonde snatched the bag back, turned to face Nadie, smiled secretively then softly whispered. "I got them from the bank ... I also took a backpack full of 100 dollar bills. That is why I told you to continue waking until we were far out of sight..." -"You robed the French bank!" The sandy blonde shrugged, and then said. "Don't complain. Now we can stay at the 5 star Hotel, like we planned to." Madlax placed the sack back in her shorts pocket, stood up and walked over to a large interactive map display. The display featured a touch interactive system where one could press their finger to where ever they wanted to go, next draw a route they'd like to take and press print -all for a dollar. Madlax placed her finger to the edge of the map and pushed the zoom in button. Nadie walked over to see what her friend was doing. Madlax turned around to face Nadie and stated. "I'm making a map that will lead us to the ancient High council Mansion ... it's almost one hundred miles from here so what do you say about renting a car?" -"Your idea sounds good." The interactive display machine took a few minutes to complete the printed version of the map. Madlax grabbed the map and placed it inside her green jacket. Nadie ran up to the street and yelled "We need a cab don't we?" The sandy blonde walked over to Nadie and responded. "No I would rather walk to the Hotel. After we get there we need to call the car agency and take two long hot showers." -"Why two showers... cant we take one together, at the same time?" Nadie's expression turned to a scheming grin, but the sandy blonde didn't respond to her comment and so Nadie gave up on trying at aggravating the girl.

The two walked for a mile, till they were across the street from the Hotel. Nadie gazed at the green eyed girl beside her, she couldn't figure out why her relationship with Madlax dropped from the level of

almost lovers to just friends. "Ever since she asked me to call her Madlax ... everything went down hill for us ... I wonder if she remembered something important. I have to know." When the lights turned green Nadie took the sandy blonde's left hand into her right and the two hurriedly crossed the two way road. The guards at the tall barred gates moved aside and let the girls' trough to the Hotels private garden. Both girls walked slowly, admiring the red, blue and yellow flowers surrounding the plot of land. A bright red rose in full bloom caught Madlax's eye, she walked over to it and smelled the aroma, then spun around and whispered into Nadie's left ear. "This flower, it reminds me of you ... what flower would you say reminds you of me?" Nadie slightly blushed, next gazed over the lush flower garden and noticed a flower right to Madlax's right. "This flower reminds me of you." Nadie pointed down at the yellow rose with spots of an orange, almost red tone. Madlax smiled then looked around. "Do you want to know what flower reminds me of Vanessa?" -"Yes, which one is it?" Madlax ran towards the end of the garden, crunched down and smelled a fully blooming purple Daffodil, "This one is sort of like Vanessa ... its colors and the way it smells, I remember seeing flowers similar to these in a memory I had with her. I gave her a bouquet of Daffodils and she smiled at me, her sea blues eyes lit up and fluttered my heart... yeah her flower is a Daffodil." The sandy blonde felt nostalgia sweep trough her eyes, nose and mind, she remembered a special moment spent with Vanessa. A few moments later Madlax rose to her feet and began to walk towards the large wooden doors of the Hotel.

Madlax handed 10,000 dollars upfront to the French hotel manager. He took the money, picked up a brochure and handed it to Madlax then spoke in butchered English. "I'm soarrey but whe are booked, whe have no rooms available -exhipte one." Madlax made out what he said and replied. "We'll take the room then, but what room is it?" -" I belhve it's the honeymoon lovhers swhet." Nadie looked over the tall sandy blonde arranging a room, she wondered "did he just say honeymoon lovers suite." Nadie's thoughts were confirmed when she and Madlax reached the 4th floor and found their room number. Madlax turned the key and swung the door open. A large pink and heart shaped king-sized bed was positioned in the far end of the oval shaped room. The flooring was a smooth pink carpet and the walls were all red with romantic symbols painted over them. As Nadie stepped in something caught her eye -there was a life-size tequila glass shaped Jacuzzi bubbling with water planted to the far left of the room. Madlax also noticed something peculiar, she saw a strange looking drawer with small bottles that read, "Pheromone" on the labels. Madlax shut the door and eccentrically looked straight at Nadie, who did the same. An awkward silence filled the room, both girls were speechless and stunned by how romantically oriented their room was. Madlax cleared her trout, chewed her lip, and then finally spoke. "You know, I heard that this is one of the world's most romantic places to stay at. They say it's unavoidable for the two people who stay here to make love ... I think we'll be the first to prove them wrong." Madlax let out a nervous laughter and gazed down to the floor. Nadie's lips turned into a disappointed frown at the last bit of what Madlax stated, however the frown twitched into a mischievous smirk as Nadie recalled the first part of the sandy blonde's statement. Nadie mumbled too softly for Madlax to hear. "Don't be so sure of that. I don't think we'll prove... them wrong." A white phone next to the heart shaped bed caught Madlax's eye, she made her way to the phone, picked it up and dialed a number she obtained from the interactive display machine downtown. While Madlax spoke on the phone Nadie took her dirty clothes off and climbed inside of the bubbling glass shaped Jacuzzi. She felt a wave of refreshment seep trough her body as the bubbly water massaged her skin. At a closer

examination the crimson haired girl noticed that the water was fresh mineral water. She tilted her head to the right, seeing if Madlax was done with the conversation -she wasn't. "This is a perfect opportunity to get her to fall in love with me ... I wonder if the pheromones will work on her? What am I thinking ... I'm here to help her find her past and lost love, not to seduce her." A soft voice interrupted Nadie's thoughts. "May I join you?" Nadie turned around and saw Madlax stripped down to her red bra and underwear leaning on the rim of the Jacuzzi. "Yes! Yes you may." Nadie stammered. The sandy blonde complied, swooshing up and landing in the boiling hot water in one elegant motion. Nadie felt an arm brush against her own; she looked to the right and become aware of Madlax seated beside her. Nadie's blue eyes traveled down and around observing every detail of the sandy blonde's body, remembering the morning where she found herself kissing Madlax as passionately as a lover would. A heat overcame the crimson haired girl's body; she felt her cheeks turn a bright red. "Why are you blushing?" Madlax asked, oblivious of her friend's thoughts. Nadie only blushed harder then deceivingly answered the girl. "The water is boiling hot ... it's to hot." -"Yeah you're right, let's get out of this boiling pot before we get boiled alive." Both girls climbed out of the glass shaped Jacuzzi and each grabbed a white towel, wiping the water off. "Nadie I called the car renting agency and they should have a car delivered by tomorrow so we'll go to that mansion tomorrow." Madlax softly said as she walked to the shower and locked the door behind her. Nadie let herself fall to the soft carpeted floor in total exhaustion. She wasn't good at adjusting to new time zones and she would probably faint if forced to stay up for another minute. "Madlax I want to know your past as much as you do ... I guess its woman's curiosity."

Madlax turned the water off, stepped out of the shower and grabbed a towel to dry with. After drying off her body the sandy blonde placed a silky red night gown over her body -not wanting to provoke what happened the last time she slept in the nude. She slowly opened the door and walked trough, seeing Nadie spread across the carpet, fast asleep and snoring. "Well I don't want to wake her so I'll let her stay asleep on the carpet, after all its soft." Madlax quietly tiptoed to the bed, careful not to awaken the girl laid across the floor, threw down the sheets and scrambled in the soft comfy love-bed. Only one thought filled Madlax's head -the thought of learning something about her past. In all honesty she was more interested in learning more about who Vanessa Rene was then who she was in the past but something inside her told her that the two were connected -if she learned about the book, organization and her past then she'd learn about Vanessa Rene as well. Madlax turned to her side, restlessly pondering on what tomorrow would bring.

Earlier that day in Mexico City, Natalia & Elian

Madlax had left Natalia with 20,000 dollars before going to France with Nadie so the girl could support herself and Ellis while she was gone. A young man by the name of Elian left his phone number with Natalia after the two shared a nice dance together, and she was just about to call him but he beat her to it. Natalia heard the phone ring from across the room and dashed straight for it -thinking that the caller must be Éliane. She picked it up on the fourth ring and answered. "Hi Éliane, how are you?" The caller

responded. "It's pronounced Elian, and I'm doing well." Natalia instantly realized the caller on the other end was the handsome young man from the restaurant then apologized. "So why are you calling me ... could it be to ask me on a date?" -"Actually your guess is almost right but not quite. I called to tell you that I'm staying at the Harington Hotel -same one as you." Natalia was surprised by the statement and didn't respond, and then Elian added. "I would like to have lunch with you today Natalia, I have a lot to converse with you about -concerning the girl you call Éliane. So how about you meet me at the café across the street from this hotel ... say in an hour." Before Natalia could reply, Elian had already hung up. Natalia placed the phone back down and set herself on the water bed. "He said he knows things concerning Éliane ... could he know about her past? I will meet him; I need to know what he knows." The bathroom door swung open and Ellis walked out yawning and stretching her arms out. Ellis grabbed a jacket out of the closet and walked towards the hotel room door. "Where are you going?" -"To the park, and I wont be back till late in the afternoon." The short blonde replied as she shut the wooden door behind her. Natalia sighed, deciding to see Elian in an hour. She stood up from the bed and proceeded towards the walk-in closet. As the lights switched on a simple evening dress caught her eye, it was blue with red and grey lines intersecting. Next she formed her hair into a braid, clutched her Chanel purse and hurried out and down the stairs.

Elian arrived at the café half an hour earlier then Natalia, dressed in simple yet neat attire. The café was a small place where one could get some fine coffee and an uninterrupted conversation. Elian set at one of the white round tables right outside the café -where he was easy to spot. A thought crossed his mind as he sipped on a cup of coffee. "I need to know where Madlax is, and how much she remembers. She could be the key to finding the book and if so then I need her aid." Elian tilted his head to the far left. Facing the road, noticing an attractive blonde dressed in a partially crosshatched blue dress crossing. "So you chose to come here Natalia -good choice." The blonde neared his table, instantly noticing his presence. She pushed out a chair and made herself comfortable then spoke. "Before we speak of anything else, tell me ... are you a member of the high council clergy?" -"I was, but I quit a very long time ago and now I oppose them." Natalia pressed a finger against her lips. "So why did you quit, and what do you know about Éliane?" Elian stirred a spoon in his coffee then responded. "I quite because of personal reasons and also a realization came to me ... would you care to hear a brief description of my story?" -"Yes, tell me about yourself." Elian took a few sips of his coffee, wiped his mouth and proceeded to describe his side of the truth.

"I was a very high ranked member of the organization who searched for the book for his own reasons, although I pretended to do it for the organizations sake. The book that I'm speaking of is of course the one that Madlax... Éliane is searching for. Do you know what the book is Natalia?" -"No, and I don't think she knows either but it's magical in some way, isn't it?" Elian let out a soft chuckle then replied. "Well I guess you could call it magical, but there is a better explanation, the book is a piece of highly advanced technology ... I don't believe its right to describe something as magical if you lack a better description." Elian took a sip of his coffee and continued. "I believe that your friend is a creation of the book ... she isn't physically human -that is why she's immortal, but what surprised me is the fact that she turned the redhead immortal ... she's just like the book, if not more powerful." Natalia was surprised by the mention of her friend not being human, and asked. "If she isn't human then what is she?" -"more

then human ... when her powers awaken, she could be called a god. The reason I left the organization is because they won't change ... we now have proper science to explain the books powers yet they won't acknowledge the truth. Saying things like, your friend is Gods-hand and the book is his will is foolish. The book, I know what it is and I saw it with my own eyes. How old do you think I am Natalia?" -"You are 22 maybe a few years older." Elian shook his head. "Wrong, I'm over 186 years old, I know I don't look it but I am. The book turned me partially immortal 160 years ago by accident, it locked your friend inside of its realm and before she disappeared she turned my fiancée, Vanessa Rene immortal." Natalia was astonished as the déjà vu hit her. "Did he just say Vanessa Rene ... the waitress? And come to think of it, she told me about her fiancés name being Elian ... so she's immortal too and her bodyguard -Madlax?" Natalia swallowed her shock and asked Elian if her thoughts were correct. "You said Vanessa Rene right? Well I have a question about her ... did she leave you for a woman named Madlax?" Elian's eyes became wide ovals and his jaw practically fell to the floor. "How does she know about that? I thought she didn't know her past." Elian took a few deep breaths, trying to calm down, and then spoke in a shaky voice. "Yes she did, she left me for Madlax or as you call her, Éliane. How did you know that?" Natalia's jaw fell twice as low as Elian's had before her, the fact that this Vanessa Rene woman who she had met just a few days ago also happened to be Éliane's lost love hit her square in the face. Natalia took a moment to remember how to speak, and then whispered. "She tolled me." -"Who -Madlax?" Natalia shook her head, "No Vanessa Rene told me a couple of days ago." Elian was again struck by Natalia's words. "You met Vanessa and you didn't know who she was?" Natalia nodded violently in response. "Wow, I haven't seen her since 160 years ago, but I'm glad she's well. Listen do you know where she is or her phone number?" Natalia thought for a moment then reached in her purse and pulled out a rolled up piece of paper. She reached her right arm out and handed the paper to Elian; he took it and instantly unrolled it. Elian grabbed a slick cell phone from his pants pocket, dialed the number written on the paper and awaited for Vanessa to pick up. The phone rang 6 times and then the operator answered and said this number was unreachable from this location. Elian sighed, slammed the phone down on the table and looked straight at Natalia. "She isn't in a reachable location, but are you sure you met a woman named Vanessa Rene who tolled you she loved Madlax and about me?" -"Yes and she even flirted with me ... you know what the funny part is -Vanessa spoke on the phone with a girl setting right next to Madlax, not ever realizing that her true love could be so close." Elian laughed at the idea of the Vanessa he knew flirting with someone, and then boldly asked. "How did she flirt with you?" First Natalia made a face at him for asking such an inappropriate question, but then she replied -telling him everything that happened that night. By the time Natalia finished Elian was laughing like a madman. It took him five minutes to stop his sudden emotional outburst and calm himself to where he could look at Natalia without giggling. "I'm sorry for that reaction, normally I don't laugh but this to me is indeed funny." Elian wiped the tears of mirth from his eyes, composed his posture and proceeded with his main conversation. "Natalia you have informed me with more then I can handle, I am only obliged to do the same so I am inviting you to my estate in England ... will you accept my proposal -I have lots to tell you." Natalia nodded her head and then excitedly said. "Yes I would love to go to England ... but why are you inviting me?" -"Like I said before, you informed me and its only natural for me to do the same. There is a second reason and a third, the second is that I want to get to know you better and the third is because the organization might go after Madlax's friends to get to her." -"Elian you just flirted with me?" Natalia remarked playfully but then changed her tone to a more serious one and asked. "You didn't tell me why

the organization wants Madlax gone ... why do they?" -"She's a threat to their plans somehow -they believe she would annihilate them if she remembered her past, so they want her gone. Madlax was a tool of their organization for millennia and she is the sol reason their organization still exists -she is what the book grated humanity. Their concern is that she is now free from the books restraints, she doesn't have to serve the organization anymore, and she's her own person with a free will and if she remembers the organizations wrongs... she'll surely avenge them. Natalia she's free because of your memory returning ability so I'm very grateful to you and so is she."

Ellis at the park

Ellis loved Nadie and she wanted to be with Nadie but she wasn't immortal -yet, and she was going to change that. The park was almost empty today with only a few old folk gossiping on the benches and children running around by the slide. A wide river filled Ellis's view as she ran trough tall strands of glossy green grass. The circular park was surrounded with tall leafy trees and the river ran down the middle of the park. Ellis ran until she was on a small white wooden bridge crossing the river. She set down on the wooden planks and threw her feet over the water. The sun was right about to set and hit the waters reflection. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and not a ripple in the crystal clear water -today was the perfect day. Ellis crooked her back lower, raised both her hands and splashed them in the water. A small ripple formed and vibrated trough the water, she slapped the water and another ripple formed. Ellis didn't come here to enjoy the scenery and smell the freshness but she came here to exercise her witch's powers in peace and serenity. She focused her mind on rippling the water more and more. Nothing happened, so she decided to try a different approach to evoking her powers. Ellis dipped both hands under the water and thought of what she wanted how much she wanted it and yet couldn't have it. A few moments passed and nothing seemed to change until she sensed a growing vibration tinge her hands and rock the bridge she set on. Ellis opened her blue eyes, looked around and noticed the previously still and lifeless river flowing at dashing speeds that could sweep someone unfortunate enough to fall in away. The speed of the gushing water only increased and she had a hard time getting up and walking off the bridge without falling off. Ellis managed to reach the tall green grasses on the opposite side of where she started. A single drop of sweat trickled down her forehead and landed in her palm. Ellis softly fell in the grass and took in a few deep breathes -she was beat. A thought came trough her mind. "Did my powers work? The water became fast and I feel drained, so I did do something. Then the secret to evoking my power could it be -desire." Before Ellis could finish thinking, she observed that the water in the river was becoming more rapid; the stream looked like a deadly whirl pool. "I don't have control of my powers after I evoke them. I have to learn to control them ... not just use them." Ellis focused her mind on desire then switched her thoughts to calming the river to a halt. She kept her eyes fully focused on the water this time. After a few minutes she realized the stream slowed down, another couple of minutes later all movement had seized -it was as if nothing had happened. Ellis picked herself up with the last of her physical strength and walked to a small wooden bench facing the river; she set down and closed her eyelids. The only thoughts that streamed trough her

mind were thoughts of Nadie. "At first we were friends, then we became like family, and now I want more but I'm stuck as just family. Nadie I love you so much, I wish you could feel just how much I love you. I will keep on trying; I won't give up till I can control all of my potential power." Ellis gathered her strength and focused on making waves out of the body of water before her. A small splash made its way to Ellis's feet then another reached to her knees, a third hit just bellow her waist. Ellis felt the power take possession of her, the surroundings became blurry and she experienced a serge of exhaustion overthrow her. At this point there wasn't anything she had control of, her mind became blank and she could barely feel the outside world ... she became numb to the world around her. All the water from the river ascended 20 ft in the air and formed into a swirling tsunami. Ellis's body was unconsciously controlling the powerful wave as it raised even higher -higher then any tree. The wave aimed itself straight for Ellis; the water shifted back then pored straight on like a tsunami. The grass immediately drowned under the rushing water and trees ripped from their roots as the tide hit them but Ellis was untouched by the deadly murky waters plaguing the entire of the park. The people previously enjoying themselves in the park began to run for their lives, Ellis however stood as still as a rock and appeared as if possessed by a demon and protected from the deadly tide. Her breaths became even as the tide finally vanished into a large puddle and nothing was left of the river. Ellis's body lifted itself up in the air and levitated to the only tree left standing, then fell on to the highest branch.

Two hours later Ellis found she was lying on a tree top in a flooded park. She carefully climbed down the tree stem and stopped when she reached the shallow water. Ellis wasn't sure of what happened to her and why the entire park appeared as if a hurricane hit it but then an idea came to mind "My powers must have done this, I must have lost consciousness whilst evoking them". She jumped down, making a diminutive splash in the knee deep water, looked around again and began to walk through the water in the direction of the Harrington Hotel.

Ellis and Natalia 9:00PM at hotel

Natalia agreed to travel with Elian to his mansion in England if Ellis would agree to come along. The mid-height blonde was sitting on a bar stool in the small restaurant on the first floor of the hotel, drinking a root bear and waiting for Ellis to comeback from the park. Natalia raised her right arm up and motioned for the waiter to get her another drink. Elian told her he planned on leaving tomorrow afternoon and that she should call before hand when she made up her mind. Natalia waited for Ellis to return for 2 hours and became bored to death. Just as Natalia stood up and began to walk towards the elevator at the far end of the restaurant, she saw a girl walk trough the front doors, dripping wet with every inch of her clothes and body soaked. After a second glimpse Natalia was sure the girl was Ellis. Natalia dashed over to Ellis and helped the girl walk to the elevator.

Natalia looked at Ellis for a while, trying to figure out why the adorable short blonde was soaked. "Did you go swimming?" Natalia remarked. Ellis shook her head then responded in a trembling voice. "I used my powers to make waves from the rivers water and I lost control... the rest is history." -"So you went

to the park to use your powers, didn't Nadie tell you not to?" Ellis felt a tinge of guilt spiral down her back. "I'm doing this for her, and she promised to never bounty hunt again -she broke that promise." The elevator stopped, its doors opened and both girls stepped out.

The adorable short blonde slammed the door shut and tore her wet clothes off right after she came in; Natalia threw her a clean towel and pajamas. Ellis dried off her body, slipped on the pajamas and fell on the bed, landing next to Natalia. "What did you do today?" Ellis curiously asked. "About that ... what do you say about going to England?" -"What's England -is it a restaurant?" Natalia let out a soft chuckle. "No silly, England is a country far away, like France. It's beautiful and fun, I'm sure you'll enjoy it more then this desert." For a moment Ellis appeared as if she was thinking, and subsequently she stated. "Ok lets go to England -When do we leave?" Natalia sighed in relief. "We leave tomorrow; all I need to do now is make a phone call." Natalia rolled over, stretched her right arm out and clutched the phone. She dialed Elian's number and had to wait 4 rings before he picked up. "Hello Natalia, does this call mean your coming?" -"Yes it does." Satisfied with Natalia's response, Elian said, "good-bye and see you tomorrow", then hung up the phone. Natalia placed the phone down and rolled back to Ellis. "We are leaving tomorrow so you should pack your things today... Ahh, wait you don't have many things -I do."

Madlax and Nadie: on their drive to the Organizations mansion

The sandy blonde heard a knock on the door, soared out of bed and ran to open the door. She looked up at a mirror planted in the ceiling, seeing her appearance was appropriate, Madlax swung the door open. A French hotel employee stood before her with a sheet of paper in his right hand and car keys in his left, he handed her the paper and keys then ran off. Madlax slammed the door shut with her left leg, walked over to a red heart shaped love cushion and softly landed on top. She gazed over the paper, which read, "Car: red & black BUGATTI VEYRON, Parked at spot 23c." Madlax noted the numbers in her head, stood up, threw down the paper, and then proceeded to wake Nadie up. Nadie had stayed asleep on the floor for the entire night and snored as loud as a man -which kept Madlax awake for at least half the night. Madlax yelled. "Wake up Nadie ... there's a cockroach in your hair!" Nadie's body sprang up and the girl rushed inside the bathroom. A few moments later Nadie came out of the bathroom rubbing her eyes. "There's nothing in my hair, you lied." -"I know, but it's the only way to get you to stop snoring." Madlax threw the car keys at Nadie and she caught them. "Nadie you drive, I'll just sit back and gaze at the country road and eat some pretzels. Come on lets go!" The sandy blonde walked over to the bed, grabbed her backpack full of money and threw Nadie the other bag. Both rushed out as if their lives depended on it. The Hotel had three garage floors, each with enough space for 1000 cars. Madlax got confused with the floor number and the two girls ended up checking all 3 floors for the red & black VEYRON. Madlax took the passengers seat and reclined comfortably into it. Nadie seized a few glances of Madlax then twisted the key in, and started the car with a roar. Madlax turned her head to face Nadie's right side and softly asked. "Do you know the driving laws of France?" Nadie let out a thunderous laugh, and then said. "Actually I don't even have a driver's license, but I know you don't have one either." Madlax thought about where they were going for a moment. "We are going to the organizations historic location ... but I wonder if the actual organization still remains there today." Nadie drove onto the busy main street and stopped at a traffic light. "Madlax do you think you'll actually find your answers at that mansion?" -"No... but I will be closer to the truth." Nadie smiled as the traffic began moving again. Madlax moved her body upwards, feeling how small the car really was. "Nadie when we reach the country road I want you to go as fast as this car will let you -we're talking 250mph." Nadie nodded her head and yelled, "Yes Sir."

[End notes: 8 chapters left...]

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