Precious Metals

Chapter 3: Too Far, Too Hard

© 2008 by DaHaloChick

This page was last modified: 2008/01/25


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Roxohnda clasped hands tightly with her maître, grinning at her. "Thank you for the extra lesson. I needed it."

Shaina smiled at her student. "Not as much as you think you did. You're good, Roxohnda, you just need to realize it."

Roxohnda was sure that if one more person told her that, she would snap. Everyone always thought it should be so easy for her to be so confident, but Roxohnda knew that was her downfall. She was all too aware of her flaws, and often dwelled on them. Still, it was undeniable that she had talent. The Goddess Athena had granted her the power of the Perseus cloth, and Roxohnda did not take that lightly.

Roxohnda gave her maître a worried look behind her mask. Even after becoming a Silver Saint, technically equal to the Ophiuchus Saint herself, she came to Shaina for help on too regular of a basis for her liking. Roxohnda was afraid she would stay too attached to her teacher. Although she greatly admired and appreciated Shaina and would always hold her in great esteem, she knew she needed to become a Saint in her own right. She had to break free and go on her own.

That was where her Boys came in. Oscar, Sanjiro, and Peter were her closest friends here in Sanctuary. For some unknown reason, the four of them had bonded almost instantaneously. She had been self-conscious at first because she was the only girl in their little group, but they treated her as if she were just one of the guys. She appreciated them more than she'd admit for that.

'Which reminds me, I have to meet them at the bar soon.' She bowed to Shaina in thanks and spun on her heel, heading towards her own hut to get ready. She was excited to let loose with her friends tonight.

She finally reached her hut, as plain and minimal as all female Saints abodes were, and quickly slipped in, taking off her cloth and storing it in its box. Her heart leaped with pride whenever she saw the box she stored her cloth in. It was a reminder of how far she had come.

When she had first come to Sanctuary, it was by the hands of Astreya, a Saint known for his knack for finding children with promising cosmos. She remembered clinging to the taller man's hand as a young girl, a hood over her tiny head, trusting of Astreya but scared of where she was going.

Astreya had spent their trip from France to Sanctuary telling her many stories of the Goddess Athena and her Saints. It all sounded like a mystical fairy tale to Roxohnda. Still, Astreya had made it very clear that being a Saint was serious business, and that it would require hard work.

Roxohnda was simply happy to have a home. Having been without parents since she could remember, the idea of someone finally taking her to a home after seeing so many other children leaving foster care with new parents was elating. She was going to finally be important, not lost in the shuffle like she had been so many times. The emptiness she carried as a little girl was filled with thoughts of serving Athena.

She was confused when she was greeted with a welcome and a mask. She was told that no man was to see her face; that if they did, she would either have to love them or kill them. She would not understand the severity of those choices until she became old enough to do so.

Still, she did not question. She put on her mask and began training with the other little girls her age. She had actually thought of the training as rather fun until a master was chosen for her. Ophiuchus Shaina made it very clear to her students that what she was going to put them through was no fun and games. It took Roxohnda a while to adjust to, but soon, she was at her own pace, working hard and growing as a fighter. She looked up to her confident, powerful teacher. She wished she could be as respected as Shaina one day.

That was what Roxohnda believed was her downfall. Rather than setting her own personal goals, she picked someone to aspire to. It made the times when she wasn't at the top of her game hard on her. Thank Athena, she thought, that Shaina was as supportive of a maître as she was. Even now, having made her own name for herself, she still relied on the support of Shaina, which is why she knew she needed to let go.

She smiled. 'I'm a warrior of Athena now, truly and fully. Now, my Goddess relies on me. I must be worthy of that'

With a sudden new spring in her step, Roxohnda wondered what she should wear tonight, and if the possible appearance of a certain someone should influence her choices or not.

* * *

Roxohnda was greeted by her boys with hugs and pats on the back. It was obvious to her that they had been drinking already.

"What took you so long, Roxy?" Sanjiro asked playfully.

"I was training with Shaina for a while."

Oscar rolled his eyes. He wasn't surprised in the slightest. "You're going to work yourself into infierno itself, Roxohnda."

"Nah," she grinned. "Sanctuary's high up enough. I got some room to work with before

I get that far down."

The four of them laughed, catching the attention of the bartender whom immediately took more drink orders. They chatted for a while before two blue-haired men entered the bar.

Roxohnda's eyes shifted to the front door with a grin. There he was, and he was coming right for her.

"Hey there, pretty lady," Milo said with a wink. "How's it going tonight?"

Roxohnda smirked. "Fine, thank you." Her three companions all gave Milo greetings which he returned.

Milo sat next to her with his companion. "Roxohnda, this is Kanon."

She shook the other man's hand as he grinned. "You look like you've seen a ghost there, Roxohnda."

She looked at him oddly. "I feel like I've met you before..."

Kanon laughed. "You haven't met me, but you've more than likely met my brother, Saga."

Her eyes lit up in recognition. "Oh, right! You two are twins! Well, it's nice to meet you, Kanon."

Kanon smiled and joined in a conversation with the two of them before slipping away into the corner of the bar. He'd gotten Milo into a conversation with Roxohnda. The rest was up to him now.

The Gemini Saint sat back in his new chair, eyeing the two of them thoughtfully. She seemed energetic enough to handle Milo's personality, and there was mysteriousness to her with those sunglasses that he liked. She was cute, and from their short conversation he could tell she had some intelligence. Slowly, he began to understand why this woman in particular had given Milo such an itch. He frowned as he saw Milo order a beer. Hadn't he already been drinking before he picked him up? 'Just don't screw this up, buddy.'

Milo fell easily into their pattern of chattiness. Unlike the first time when he had gotten caught up in their conversation, though, he stayed alert and aware, because this time, he had a mission. He took a swig of his beer before beginning.

"So," Milo began, putting on the hunters look he gave her when they first met. "How are you adjusting?"

"I'm doing alright. I've been making friends with more of my group," she said, not wanting to speak of business in a public place like this.

The Scorpio Saint nodded in understanding. "That's good. You're training is going well, I hope?"

Roxohnda nodded. "Very well. I'm lucky to have such a great teacher." Milo took a long, hard swig as the thought of the green-haired warrior.

His eyes gleamed. "Any guys catch your eye now that you've actually been interacting with them?"

She smirked. 'He's doing it again' "Not any of the Silver Saints, anyway."

Milo put on a flattered look. "Oh, might you be saying that I have caught your attention?"

She laughed. "Well, you're kind of hard to miss there, buddy." She really did enjoy this playful banter.

Milo scooted closer, placing his cheek against hers and whispering softly into her ear. "Good, because a pretty thing like you shouldn't be without...companionship."

Roxohnda's face flushed. Something suddenly didn't feel right. "I...think I'm fine by myself..."

Milo took her shaky voice to mean that he had her hooked. He chuckled. "Well, I bet I can prove you wrong, Roxohnda. I can show you just what you're missing out on."

She swallowed hard. She had to admit that Milo was damned attractive, even downright sexy, but this was only their second meeting! She hadn't expected him to come on this strong so fast. "Hey...don't you think you're laying it on a little thick tonight, Milo?"

He pressed his lips against her earlobe gently, smiling when he heard her breath hitch. She was being stubborn, and he could feel her resolve slipping. "You can't deny the fact that we clicked the first time we met. You know you felt it."

Roxohnda knew she indeed could not ignore that fact. She felt dizzy with the heat of his breath on her ear. Still, through her lust she still had a gut feeling that there was something horribly wrong with the scenario. "Milo, I'm sorry, but no. We just met—"

"Saints have to take chances on things like this, because we never know if we will be waking up with the world the next morning." He smirked. "Why not wake up beside me tomorrow, hmm?" He remembered using that line years ago, and it had worked like a charm.

She pulled back. Now she was just plain annoyed. "I said no, Milo," she said in a low voice, not wanting to embarrass him. "You're making me uncomfortable. Please stop." She gave him the most serious look she could muster.

Milo was still smiling, daring to run a finger along the side of her sunglasses and putting the other on her waist. He should have counted himself lucky that he could not see the look she was giving him behind them. "Come on, Roxohnda. You can relax around me. I'm not out to hurt you. I like you." He put on a humorous grin. "I'll even let you take these sunglasses off and won't hold you to that silly vow—"

A crack rang through the air as Roxohnda struck him in the face with her left hand. His head jerked. The bar went silent. Kanon cringed, knowing that his poor friend had just blown it big time.

"Don't touch me again," she said angrily. Her hand was shaking. Who in the hell was this man? Certainly not the Milo she had met her first night at this bar. "You obviously have no respect, Milo." She struggled to keep a calm face. "You certainly aren't the man I thought you were. That's a pity." She jammed her hand into her pocket, slamming money onto the bar for her drink and storming out of the establishment.

Milo could not feel the physical sting of her strike nor could he clearly make out the howls of laughter that followed the French woman's exit. He was frozen, head turned to the side, cheek swelling, and pride shattered. He did not know what to do or say. He was completely and utterly stunned.

He vaguely felt hands grab him. "Come on, Milo," Kanon said, "Let's get you home. We'll regroup there."

Milo could not answer; all he could do was pathetically let himself be led out by the Gemini Saint.

'I tried too hard...'

* * *

'He went too far!'

Roxohnda was positively furious. She had pegged him as a flirt, so she couldn't fault him for being suggestive, but she had asked him several times, very clearly, to back off, and still he pawed at her like some sort of ravenous animal!

'What in the hell does he think I am? Some piece of meat he can just screw whenever he wants because he's gorgeous?' She growled at herself for that last thought. How she could still think of him as such after what just happened was beyond her.

She felt angry and shocked and violated. He had seemed so nice, and he had played off his advances as nothing more than a game. She hadn't minded that. Then, without warning, he starts trying to bed her in front of an entire bar with no regard for her feelings! She scratched her ear as if he had breathed some sort of disease on her that she had to get off. She felt gross and nauseous.

She had really liked him, too. He had a great smile, and he was as charming as anything, but none of that could counteract what he had done. Her mind was fogging with confusion. She had liked him so much, and now he had gone and ruined it all! She wanted to strangle him, shake him by his shoulders and ask him why. The connection they had forged that first night snapped like a cord. It ached in her chest.

She fought back tears as she reached her hut. Silently, she made a promise to herself.

She would never, ever let Scorpio Milo get that close to her again if she could help it.

The End of Chapter 3 -- Continued in Chapter 4


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