The Cry of the Planet Chapter 14
By Edyn Cross
"I know what you're doing and I want you to stop it immediately," Gast said approaching Hojo.
It was evening and the four Shinra employees had spent the rest of the day after lunch unpacking and setting up lab equipment in the Mansion basement. Lucrecia was up in her bedroom unpacking her personal things and Vincent had gone for a walk and had been away for well over an hour. Hojo was going over some research documents in front of a fire in the Mansion living room when Gast confronted him looking extremely pissed off.
"What are you talking about," Hojo tried to act like he didn't know.
"You know damn well what I'm talking about," Gast said. "Why all the sudden interest in Lucrecia?"
"Sudden?" Hojo said innocently. "I believe it's been quite clear that I've had a certain interest in her for some time now."
"That's horse shit and you know it, Hojo," Gast was getting more irritated with Hojo's usual cockiness. "The first time I've seen you take ANY interest in her was when Mr. Valentine stepped into the picture."
"What? You don't believe me?" Hojo said smiling. "Then why don't you ask her yourself, hmm? Why, I took her to dinner and out dancing less than a week ago and if I remember correctly, she had a lovely time."
Gast could do nothing but stare expressionlessly at Hojo.
"That's what I thought," Hojo's smile faded into a scowl. "Not that I need your consent anyway. This isn't your matter to begin with and Lucrecia should be none of your concern."
"You're damn right she's my concern!" Gast was turning red. "That girl has been with us since the beginning and I don't want to see her get hurt. Not one bit. And if she DOES get hurt, emotionally or physically "
"Hah!" Hojo exclaimed. "Are you threatening me?!"
Gast seemed to consider this, "Yes. Yes I am."
"You let Lucrecia do what she wants to do," Gast said. "If she wants to be with you, that's fine. But, if she chooses to be with Mr. Valentine or any other man for that matter, you need to let her be. It isn't your place."
Hojo was enraged. "How DARE you give me orders! I don't need you to "
"Shut up, Hojo," Gast cut him off. "Let Lucrecia make up her own mind. And if I see that girl hurt one bit, you'll be off this project. Period. AND I'll make sure that even President Shinra himself won't be able to salvage what's left of your work and your reputation. Do you get me, young man?"
Hojo got up from his chair, quickly walked towards Gast and stopped with his face within two inches of Gast's.
"We'll see," Hojo hissed in a whisper.
Hojo quickly walked upstairs and disappeared into the bedroom with the basement stairs. Gast sighed gratefully that this confrontation didn't turn violent, especially considering Hojo's personality. Gast sat down in a large chair in front of the fire and rubbed his eyes wondering where he'd went wrong with him.
Even though Gast would never admit it, mainly because of Hojo's naturally cocky personality, he believed that Hojo was one of the best scientists that he had ever known. His theories were well thought out, his research all top notch, but Hojo's eccentric and selfish character was always holding him back. But, that was nothing new, he had been like that since Gast knew him. His ego wasn't feeding off of praise, but seemed to come naturally. Hojo graduated at the top of his college class when he was only eighteen years old. Gast had followed Hojo's college career in the one and a half years it took him to earn his degree and easily convinced Shinra Inc. to hire him straight out of school. Gast found out that the problem with Hojo wasn't that he was the best, it was that Hojo KNEW he was the best. If anyone deserved to have an inferiority complex, it was Professor Hojo.
Gast leaned his head back with the fire throwing a warm blanket over the room and dozed after a very, very long day.
Vincent walked around the lamp lit town for an hour and a half before he got utterly bored. The night had gotten chilly, but left Vincent quite comfortable in his navy blue suit. Most of the businesses closed up for the evening at around eight, but the only bar in town was open and completely crowded until one in the morning. Vincent figured if he lived in a town like this, he would spend all his time at the bar, too. No one had acknowledged him, or even met eye contact with him, as the citizens well know whom he worked for and what he was. The suit of the Turk had become a symbol of fear, just as President Shinra had arranged.
Vincent passed by a few shops, looking past the closed sighs and into the stores. The only shop in town that really grabbed Vincent's interest was the weapons store. While peering through the dark glass with his hands cupped over his eyes, he saw a few Wutainese katanas and shinkens that he would like to have a look at, not to mention the whole row of guns in the glass display case.
When he made his way back to the Shinra Mansion, instead of going in the front door, he walked around the side to the back. There were neatly trimmed hedges and flawless grass that lead all the way back to the mountains. Even though no one had lived in the Mansion for years, President Shinra seemed to keep everything maintained to his standards. He climbed the stone porch steps and leaned his elbows on the black metal railing looking over the yard, which radiated a strange blue lit by the moon.
Vincent was lost in his thoughts, some about the job, most about Lucrecia. They were to head out to Mt. Nibel tomorrow to visit whatever it was the scientists were here for and he wondered what could make three scientists go nuts as they have been.
Vincent turned his head up to the moon, closed his eyes, and inhaled deeply. He thought he smelled Lucrecia's perfume, but decided that he was just being obsessive again. Then he felt a small hand grip his arm. Instinct above all else took control over Vincent and he grabbed the hand with one hand, twisted it around the owner's back, pulled out his gun and pressed it against the back of the person's head. The whole motion took about two seconds. About a second after that, Vincent realized that person was Lucrecia and let go.
"Oh, Lucrecia," Vincent said apologizing expecting her to get mad. "Are you okay? Did I hurt you? I'm so sorry."
But Lucrecia was smiling, "Oh, man. I would hate to be your enemy. You Turks are ruthless!"
Vincent holstered his gun and noticed Lucrecia rubbing her shoulder. "Hey, are you sure you're okay?"
"Yeah," She said. "Where have you been? You've been gone for hours, I was looking for you."
Vincent leaned back against the bars looking over the land. "Just sightseeing was all. Not much to do here past eight o'clock unless getting slobbering drunk every night is your favorite pastime."
Lucrecia laughed then leaned on the bards beside him, her upper arm against his. "Well, if I lived in a town like this I would probably get drunk every night too, just to get away from it."
Vincent looked at her thoughtfully.
"What?" Lucrecia said feeling his eyes on her.
"Nothing," Vincent said looking back over the yard. "What did you want me for?"
Lucrecia looked at him, "What do you mean?"
"You said you were looking for me," He replied.
"Oh, um, I don't remember," The darkness covered her blush.
They stood there side by side for better than ten minutes without speaking. The moon peeked a bit more over the Nibel Mountains casting a soft light over Lucrecia, but leaving Vincent in the shadows. Vincent looked over at Lucrecia, seeing her features lit by the moon and his heart sank. Her blue eyes seemed very distant as she looked at the mountains, and Vincent wondered where her mind was. He thought of what happened earlier that day in the basement, how close she was to him and how she didn't pull away. He would give anything to feel her touch again, but didn't know how to ask. Or was he afraid to?
He looked over to see Lucrecia shiver, but she was trying to cover it up and doing a very poor job.
"Here," Vincent said taking off his jacket. "Take this."
"No, I'm fine," Lucrecia shook her head.
"Please. I can see you shivering," Vincent rested his jacket over her shoulders.
"Thanks," Lucrecia said pulling the jacket around her. Vincent's cologne and scent immediately took over her senses and she closed her eyes inhaling. She opened her eyes again to see Vincent looking back over the yard.
"You know," Lucrecia said. "You are the most quiet man I have ever met in my life. Usually a guy would talking non stop about himself."
Vincent only smiled at her.
"What are you thinking about?" She asked.
"Nothing in particular," He said turning away from her.
"It's late," Lucrecia said. "And I'm tired. I think I'm going to turn in. Thanks for the company, Vincent."
Vincent watched as she turned and started walking towards the door to the Mansion. She put her hand on the knob and turned it.
"Lucrecia," Vincent almost yelled. "Wait."
She turned around and walked back over to him, "What? What is it?"
"I don't know," Vincent choked. "I'm sorry, goodnight."
Surprising them both, Lucrecia stepped closer to Vincent and kissed him lightly on lips, then pulled away a few inches. Vincent, shocked, just stood there wide-eyed as she lightly kissed his lips again. The third time Vincent finally figured out what just happened and lost it. As she kissed his lips lightly the third time Vincent returned the kiss putting one hand on the side of her neck and the other around her waist pulling her body to him. Lucrecia wrapped her arms around his neck and let one of them find its way to the back of his head running through his thick hair. Lucrecia lightly parted her lips allowing Vincent's tongue to enter and he did so gently, lightly playing with her tongue and she returned the favor. One of her hands made their way to his back and then slid down and stopped leaving her four fingers resting inside the back his pants. Vincent moved his hand from around her waist gently brushing her breast and up to her head where he undid her ponytail letting her chestnut brown hair fall down to her shoulders. Lucrecia parted from his lips and slid down nibbling and kissing his neck while he leaned into her ear, his breath so quick and so warm. Lucrecia was beginning to feel a slight warmth in her pants as he breathed into her ear and then brought both of her arms out in front and pushed him away.
"No," Lucrecia said breathing roughly. "We can't. I can't."
"Lucrecia," Vincent said softly. "What's wrong?"
"I shouldn't be doing this," she said looking scared. "I'm sorry. I should go."
Vincent touched her arm and she shook off his hand and ran towards the door with tears in her eyes then shut the door behind her without looking back. Vincent, dumbfounded with what just took place, sat down where he was and leaned his back against the railing. He rested his elbows on his knees and wondered why she could have started what just happened and was afraid to finish it. What did she have to be afraid of?
Vincent winced, feeling like what just happened with Lucrecia made his desire for her increase a thousand fold. He stood up habitually straightening out his clothing and walked towards the porch door. Seeing himself in the reflection, he noticed that Lucrecia still had his suit jacket and decided he would wait until morning to get it back. He felt awful thinking that he had done something to hurt her and wanted to make it right again. After he returned to his room, undressed and got into bed, he spent almost an hour staring at the ceiling with only one thing on his mind.
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