Violent Content Warning: This story contains scenes of a violent nature.
Alternative Content Warning: This story also contains scenes of a romantic nature between two women. This story is not for those under the age of eighteen.
Uber Warning: This story is an uber. The two characters are based off of the leading ladies of XENA WARRIOR PRINCESS.
Authors Notes: This is number 3 in my Phantom Love story line. To be able to follow this story, please read Phantom Love and Phantom Love 2 before proceeding. All POSITIVE comments are welcome. Negatives I will simply ignore. Send your thoughts to email@example.com.
Phantom Love 3
I awoke alone this morning. I was having a bad dream, something about water. Beside the bed, I saw a note.
Went swimming. Be back soon.
I smiled and returned the note to the night stand. I could smell the ocean air drifting into the room. The window near my head was open. I sat up, turned, and glanced out. It was a beautiful, sunny morning with just the right chill in the air. I didnt want to move from my spot, but I also wanted to join Dalana. So, Dalana won out and I get up.
Dalana just finished the sixth book to her "Graveyard Messenger" series. I never ask her what shes writing or what shes going to do with her plots. Just like any other person, I hop on my Trek and peddle down to the one bookstore in town and buy it. Being in the same house, I have the advantage of an authentic Dalana Marks autograph. My love is a beautiful writer....and human being.
I grab my black sweats and decide to walk down the beach. I walk downstairs and out the sliding glass door. Never in a million years did I dream I would have my own private stretch of beach, along with a house and a beautiful woman. Im almost to the spot where Dalana always swims. No one is around, no neighbors walking their pets. Nothing. Every nerve in my body tells me that this is not right. Somethings not right.
"Hey!" I turn my head to see a small boy standing on the rocks on the jetty. Hes pointing wildly out toward the open ocean. "There! Over there." I look from the boy to the area he is pointing to. Seeing nothing, I shrug at him. Just to be sure, I look again. I see Dalanas head surface and then drop.
Without thought, I wrestle out of my hooded sweatshirt and pull at my shoes. The coldness of the water doesnt register as I dive in. She surfaces again, her face contorted in pain. Im scared. Dalana is a very strong swimmer. What could be wrong? Just as I get closer, I see red. "Dalana." I grab her to hold her above water. "What happened? Are you bleeding?"
"Get out." she breaths, exhausted. "Logan. Swim. Get us out of the water." I need no further encouragement. The shore never felt so far away. As we plant our feet and begin walking out of the surf, I notice where the blood is coming from. She has a cut running the length of her calf. We both collapse onto the beach.
"Dalana! Logan! You girls okay?" We look over and see our retired neighbor, Mr. Hopper.......I saw everything from the window after Logan walked by. Started to come and meet you when I saw you dive into the water like one of those Baywatch girls." he smiled. I grabbed my discarded sweatshirt and placed it against Dalanas cut, wiping the excess blood.
"Honey, what happened?"
"What?" I gasped.
"It was a shark. He didnt bite me or anything. Just chased me. I was swimming for shore when I scraped my leg on something."
"How did you see her so far out?" Mr. Hopper asked.
"I didnt." I said quietly. "At first." I chucked my thumb over to the rocks. "That kid on the rocks pointed her out." He looked over at the jetty.
"I dont see any child." I look over to where the boy had been standing. He was gone.
"He probably ran when he saw what was going on." I said.
"I mean, Young Lady, I didnt see one at all."
"No offense Mr. Hopper........" Dalana started.
"Ohhhhh now I know Im old and couldnt see you out there, but I can see the rocks from where I was standing."
"The important thing is Dalanas okay." I stood on shaky legs. "Come on, Baby. Gotta get your leg bandaged." I reached down and helped her to her feet. I put my left arm around her waist to help support as she walked slowly back towards the house. "Do you want me to carry you?" She chuckles softly.
"Thanks for the sweet offer, but I think I can manage."
"Okay." I smiled. I opened the door for her and we both stepped in. I walked us straight to the couch. "You sit down and Ill get the stuff out of our bathroom."
"Logan, change out of those wet clothes before you catch cold."
"Dalana, your bleeding. The dry clothes can wait."
I ran up the up the stairs to the master bath. As I grabbed the first aid kit out of the bathroom, I keep thinking about the boy. I just KNOW he was there. Am I going insane? Nahhhhh. I grab the bandages and return to my love. "Here we go." I sit down beside her and realize that she has begun to cry. As I began to tend to Dalanas leg, she looked at me strangely. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah. Where in the world did you come from? I thought I left you in the bed."
"You did. Which wasnt very smart." I scolded. "I decided to go get you. This kid was standing on the rocks and pointed to you. Didnt see you until he did." I finished up by wrapping the bandage around her calf. "I think we should take you to the doctor."
"Its just a scratch, Logan."
"Okay, but if it starts to hurt you, Im taking you to the doctor."
"All right." she sighed. She moved off the couch and up the stairs, to the one place I knew she was going, her computer. Every time something interesting....or dangerous happens to her, it inspires her to write more. Judging by the size of the incident, shell be pecking away on that computer for hours.
I stand, with a smile, and I return the first-aid kit to the bathroom. As I return it to the shelf that I just snatched it off of a few moments ago, I remove my soaked T-shirt. I reach for my hair dryer and begin to dry my long hair. As I finish up, I neatly comb out all the tangles. Just as I turn to leave, I feel a breeze blow through the bathroom. It was strong enough to blow my hair around into my eyes. "Whoa." I comment. I step out of the bathroom, back into the living room. I look around. Now I am baffled. "Honey?"
"Yeah." she says without missing a letter or turning around.
"All the windows are closed." I state. I hear the typing stop and she pushes back against the desk.
"And?" she questions. "I havent opened any."
"But I......" I gestured to the bathroom. I stopped the thought. "Never mind." She shrugged, returning to her typing.
"Baby, comb your hair. Looks like a mouse burrowed it." she laughs. I duck into the bathroom again. Looking the mirror, my previously neat hair is now once again out of place.
"Shit." I comment and begin to repeat the process of combing.
I didnt think anything else about the boy and the mysterious breeze, until dinner that night. I was making homemade lasagna for Dalana. I put my hand down on the counter when suddenly, I couldnt move it. I yanked and pulled, but my hand stayed in place. "Dalana!" I was looking directly at my hand. Nothing was holding it to the counter, nothing I could see anyway.
"What is it?" She moved to my side. Then she realized I was yanking violently to free my hand. "What....."
"Calm down. You probably spilled something on the counter that glued your hand to it." She was fighting back a smile. She grabbed my wrist and pulled. It didnt move. I felt a rush of air above my hand and then pain.
"Honey, whats wrong?"
"Gods that hurt." I squeezed my eyes shut.
"What is it?"
"Give me your hand." I formed it into a fist and showed her exactly what made my hand hurt. "It felt someone just did this.....Like when you pound your fist on your desk, except my hand was in the way."
Now her mouth was open in disbelief. Then she looked down. Sure enough a very defined redness was forming on the top of my hand. "Try it now." I did. My hand released. I cradled it, rubbing the sore area for a moment. "Are you all right?"
"Yeah. We both examined my palm and the counter. No clue as to why it suddenly decided to stick to the counter.
The strange occurrences cant be denied. We cant deny it. I lie awake tonight. No sleep for me. Dalana is awake next to me. I dont think she will sleep either. "Dalana?"
"Xena never hurt you right?"
"Right. She loved me. She protected me......What are you saying, Logan?"
"Nothing important, Baby. Go to sleep."
Sometime during the night, I managed to doze off. A sharp thud awoke me. I rubbed my eyes as the light next to Dalana came on. "Honey..." I stopped short when I realized, Dalana is still asleep. I sat up quickly, scanning the room for anything out of the ordinary. My rational mind tried to calm me. Maybe Dalana got up earlier to use the bathroom and left the light on. My heart was threatening to leave my chest. I was scared. I would be the first to admit it. A very defined squeaking that I knew all to well came from Dalanas side of the room. It was the wooden chair at her computer sliding across the floor. Many a night that sound would wake me as Dalana got up from her computer after a night of writing. I watched in total shock as her chair moved from the desk, back slowly across the floor, stopping after moving about two feet. My first instinct was to grab Dalana and run. Instead, I shook my girlfriend awake. "Dalana. Wake up."
"Logaaannnnn." she whined. "What is it?" I pointed to the chair and the light. "What in the world are you doing and why did you wake me up?"
"Dalana, I didnt do it. I heard a noise. I woke up and the light beside you came on. Then your chair moved, by itself I might add, across the room." She looked at the chair, then at me.
"Youre serious. Arent you?"
"Not to use a pun, but dead serious."
"Logan." I waited as she contemplated her next words. "Are you seeing
anything or did you just hear the chair move?" I looked back to the chair.
"Holy shit!" I screamed and tried to scramble out of bed, but Dalana held me in place.
"Logan! Stop. Whats wrong?" I pointed to the chair. "Honey, that chair hasnt moved." she tried to reason.
"I know that." I whispered. I looked over and met her eyes. "Theres someone sitting in it."
I have seen that look on Dalanas face before. It was one of surprise and shock. She slowly looked back to her desk chair. "Logan." she whispered. "I dont see anything, Love." She turned back. The look on my face as I stared at it was enough to convince her that I was really seeing something. "What does he look like?"she whispered.
"Brown hair. Skinny and pale." Several agonizing seconds passed. Then something even more unbelievable, he spoke. "He died of sickness."
"Logan, your scaring me."
"Your scared?" I said with a smile, a nervous smile. I shook my head and closed my eyes, praying hed be gone when I opened my eyes......and he was. "Hes gone."
Needless to say, no more sleep. Instead Dalana wanted to discuss, for a lack of a better statement, why I was seeing dead people. "Dalana, you saw Xena. So why are you so jumpy about this?"
"Because in the kitchen, some-thing hurt you, slammed a fist down on your hand. Xena never hurt me." I rubbed my hand, remembering. "I just cant understand why your doing this now."
"What do you mean?"
"In most cases when someone sees deceased, it usually begins when their children."
"What the hell are you talking about?"
"Trust me, Logan. You dont write six ghost novels without learning a thing or two." I sighed heavily.
"Why me, Dalana?"
"I dont know. There must be some reason for this. Well just have to wait this out."
"Wait it out!"
"No! I dont have the flu, Dalana! Im seeing DEAD people! How the hell am I supposed to wait it out?"
She didnt have an answer for me. I guess I really didnt expect her to. As the sun rose, we both breathed a sigh of relief. I opened the balcony doors and walked out. I leaned on the railing, on my forearms, and waited for Dalana to join me. "Heres your coffee." I took the mug and wrapped my arm around her. She leaned on the railing beside me. I heard the sound of a child laughing. I looked down and saw the boy from the rocks running below us with a kite. I looked over and as I suspected, she didnt hear him.
"Do you see a little boy running down that way?" I pointed.
"Figures." I sigh.
"What little boy, Logan?"
"He was the same kid who was standing on the rocks when you got in trouble. He pointed out towards the ocean and thats how I saw you." She looked down the beach, almost straining to see what I was talking about. "This is weirding me out, Dalana."
"Me too, but Im not going anywhere. I promise. You didnt leave me when I told you that you were the exact duplicate of a ghost in my house." she smiled.
"True." I grinned.
"I wonder why your able to see them."
"I wish I could stop. It scares me."
"It would scare anyone, Baby." she reassured.
It was later that evening when a sense of dread came over me. It was during our usual TV time. Sitting on the couch, I glanced around the entire room. "What is it, Logan?"
"I dont know." The unexplained breeze from the bathroom, blew through the room. I was startled when I turned to my left. For a moment I thought Dalana had switched sides, but she didnt. It wasnt Dalana......It was Gabrielle. "Gabrielle?" Her head dropped.
"Gabrielle is sitting next to me." She stood and moved in front of her.
"Shes sad.......Whats wrong?" Xena. I heard in my head. Hurt. I was speechless. I turned my body and made her meet my eyes. "Wheres Xena?" Dahok. "Dahok."
"That was the spirit that was in this house before you came."
"Somehow when Xena and Gabrielle join, hes powerless."
"But when their apart....."
"Dalana, where was the first time you saw Xena in this house?"
"In my room."
"Physically when was the first time she touched you?"
"The bathroom.....Most of the time I saw her was in the bathroom."
Thinking the same thing, we rushed upstairs to the master bath. "Shes not in here." I
"Logan, turn on the shower."
"Just do it....hot water." I did as she asked. I didnt realize what she was trying to do until after she closed the door. The steam from the shower was fogging up the big mirror over the sink. "Talk to her. Ask her something."
"How do I know shell answer? Youre the one with her soul."
"Yeah, but you can see them. I cant. There must be some reason why their targeting you this time instead of me."
I took a step forward. "Xena, where are you? Gabrielle needs you." We waited several agonizing seconds before we turned to each other. "What now?"
"What about her, Dalana?"
"She was missing from Xena and Xena reached out to me."
"Cant you see?" I looked at her quizzically. "Now its Xena whos missing. You carry Gabrielles soul remember? So, she reaching out to you."
"One big difference."
"When we came to the same house and merged, Dahoks power was destroyed. Were together now. That doesnt explain why shes missing. Do you feel any different?" I watched as she thought for a moment.
"Actually I feel......I dont know strange. I didnt notice it until you asked me."
"Theres got to be a way to find Xena. Maybe you can remember a method or something.
Research?" I smiled. She returned my smile. "At least were both still in good.....spirits."
"Ohhhh brother." she groaned.
Nighttime now is getting to be nerve racking. Gabrielle has not appeared or said anything else to us. Im worried. Im concerned about Dalanas welfare more than my own. I cant let anything harm her. I wrapped my arms around her and kept her close to me. I dozed for a brief time, but awoke to Dalana shaking me. "Logan."
"What is it, Honey?"
"I heard a noise."
"From where?" I noticed all of the lights in our bedroom were on. Whatever it was, it
scared her enough to wake me.
"The foot of the bed."
"It felt like someone just grabbed the foot board and shook it." I threw back the covers and crawled to the foot of the bed. Very slowly, very quietly, I glanced over the foot board and down to the floor. I sighed in relief, no one there.
"Logan, Im scared. We cant live like this." I turned around and crawled back to her, wrapping my arms around her. She began to cry.
"I dont want you going through this, Dalana. I rather move."
"Move where? Huh?" I shrugged. "Theyll follow you. Theyll follow us. It doesnt matter where we are."
"Yeah, but I didnt have this kind of trouble until I moved into this house. Same for you? Right?" She nodded. Dalana hated to admit we might have to move. She loves this house and so do I. "If you want to stay, well stay. Its your choice, Baby." I kissed the top of her head. If my love wants to stay here, Ill live with the visitors.
I heard thumping noises. I released her and stood up. It was coming closer. "Logan...." She heard it, too.
"Someones coming up the stairs." I whispered.
"Logan." She stood and moved to me.
"Its okay. Stay behind me." Whatever this was, it was about to show itself. I took a deep breath and let it slowly leave my lungs. As soon as the noises reached the other side of our door, they stopped. We both waited...and listened. The only sounds were Dalanas excited breathing. I started towards the door.
"Stay there. Im just going to open the door." Seeing her frightened expression, I tried to reason. "If it wants in, its going to get in. With or without my help." I stated.
I summoned up my courage and opened the door. The light from the room illuminated the area in front of me. Nothing. Suddenly and brownish flash flew past me. I turned around and looked back into the bedroom. The entity lifted and pinned Dalana to the wall. Her hands went to her throat as if she were being straggled, but I could not see anything, alive or dead. I ran back in. Just as I approached her, I was propelled back by the unknown force. Luckily the blow threw me back onto the bed and not the floor. I once again charged it. Again thrown, this time farther away, with one big difference. Arms. Two arms cradled me and softened the blow to the hardwood floor. Through my T-shirt, I felt coldness. I scrambled to my feet and turned to see my helper. "Xena." I breathed. Not taking the time to notice me, she ran towards where the entity had Dalana pinned. Xena drew her sword, slashed at the cloud of mist. An unearthly howl seemed to echo through the entire house. The important thing was Dalana was released. She fell the two feet back to the floor. I immediately ran to her. As I started to pick her up to move her to safety, another pair of hands appeared. This time it was Gabrielle. Dalana was still choking from the lack of oxygen and could not stand on her own. Together we moved her away from the battle that was beginning to tear our bedroom apart.
We managed to get her to the far corner of the room. "What the fuck is that?" I ask Gabrielle.
"Dahok." Gabrielle stood, taking a defensive stance with her staff in front of us. I leaned back into the corner and cradled my love. The blue tint to her skin was beginning to fade. Her breathing returned to normal. I noticed she was rubbing her neck. Taking my eyes off the fight, I gently moved her hand away.
"Shit." I gasped as I examined her neck.
"What? What is it?"
"Theres a huge hand mark on your neck. The outline of her attackers hand was clear. The hand was about three times larger than my own with definite claw marks extending from the fingers. This was a true demon.
I turned my attention back to the entity, who was slowly changing form, weakening maybe. Taking the chakrum from her hip, she sliced into the mist. A scream like Ive never heard before came from within the room. We watched mesmerized as Dahok exploded and disappeared. The lights that had dimmed during the confrontation, now were burning at normal brightness. Xena turned and walked back towards. "Everyone okay?" We nodded. We stood. No one spoke for several moments, until Gabrielle.
"I guess you want to know whats going on." We looked at each other and nodded simultaneously. They smiled at each other. I leaned into Dalana.
"This outta make a great number 7 Graveyard Messenger." She elbowed me playfully in the side.
The next morning, knowing the truth, we felt more relaxed than we have felt in days. It was all one of Xenas brilliant plans. Again, it included us. To draw Dahok out of hiding, Xena pretended to disappear, leaving her realm. My sudden gift was actually so I could see Gabrielle when she appeared to tell us Xena was gone. We were the bait. Xena knew when Dahok thought Gabrielle was alone, the only way to ensure Xena couldnt return was to kill her soul, Dalana. By trying, it drew Dahok out of hiding to where Xena could finish him.
As I lie here and watch my love sleep, I thank the gods. I know that as long as were together, Dahok will never be released into the world. I close my eyes, content that we are safe now.
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