The Flame Rose- part one
These characters are the property of Spelling / Fox Inc. and Revolution Films. I am not trying to infringe on their rights, nor am I making any money from this story.
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The story itself is my version of what went on inside Sasha and Cash’s heads when they first met. Part One includes the episodes "Prince of the City" and "Nightstalker". The series did not have a particularly strong timeline, so I have decided to pretend that there were 2-3 weeks between these two episodes. The story opens to the scene, which occurred on the night Cash came to live at the Compound and saw Sasha standing on the balcony with Julian. Enjoy…
PS. The two songs used are;
Richie Sambora – "If God was a woman."
Richard Marx – "Now and Forever."
As he neared the Luna compound, Cash had some last minute misgivings about the job he had taken on. He was still technically a fledgling and had only been Primogen for 24 hours. Guarding the Prince could turn out to be a handful, especially since he hadn’t quite decided if he thought Julian Luna had been involved in the death of his sire. The guy had a way with words, though. The way Julian had talked last night there hadn't been any way Cash could refuse him without insulting Stevie Ray’s memory. Well, he would give his Prince a chance and if the guy was clean, there was no loyalty like Gangrel loyalty; and if he wasn’t, well Gangrel justice had quite a reputation as well!
Then he was roaring through the gates and pulling to a stop in the middle of the courtyard.
"Yumm…." The sound of appreciation tumbled out of Sasha’s mouth the moment she set eyes on the guy who had just arrived at the Compound.
Hearing the female voice just as he was about to get off his bike, Cash turned his head to identify the source and felt a fist of lust slam into his gut. With the lust came something else. Recognition, he thought. ‘Cept he’d never met this girl with her fiery curls, pale-pale skin and come-hither mouth before. Cash felt a smile begin to spread on his face then tuned in on what the Prince, who stood next to her on the balconyon the first floor, was saying to him.
"…small guesthouse out back. You can have your things moved out tomorrow."
"Got all my stuff in the saddlebags," Cash responded with a gesture then turned his attention back to the girl with Luna. Walking closer, he felt the smile grow again, "How ya doin’?" It was probably too soon to call her "babe", but that smile on her face told him that would change soon.
"Nice bike." Sasha wondered briefly if he could hear her heartbeat all the way down in the courtyard. And he was going to work for Uncle Julian? Well he could be her bodyguard anytime! He knew it too. The look in his eyes made her feel sooo hot.
"Thanks. Maybe we can take a ride sometime."
About to jump at the invitation, she felt a twinge of irritation when Julian broke in; "Oh, I’m afraid that can never happen, Cash." There was no mistaking the warning in her uncle’s voice. Kinda sweet actually, almost like having a father. She would have to fix that later! Luckily, the new bodyguard didn’t seem too scared off.
"Cool, I guess I’ll just go out back and howl at the moon." Oops, major back-off sign from the Prince. Wonder what their relationship is. I thought Luna was seeing the Toreador Primogen. As he started to walk away, he heard the girl speak again.
"Oh, I think I’m gonna like it here. ‘Night Uncle Julian." Uncle? Was the girl some sort of human relation to the Prince? No wonder Luna had wanted Cash to back off! Definitely forbidden fruit…
"Yeah, baby, spin for papa." Cash grinned. This was one hell of a bike, well taken care of, too. His instincts had been dead on when they honed in on Sasha Luna. Too bad she was off limits ‘cos after the warning the Prince had delivered to him just this morning, there was no way Cash was getting his bacon in the frying pan…
"I don’t usually let anyone touch my bike…" The voice faded out but the look Sasha gave him as she sauntered into the garage told Cash that she wasn’t kidding. This was one highly treasured bike.
"I was…working…on my own bike…when I noticed that…they brought this one in on the trail. Thought I’d check it out…and make sure it was runnin’ okay." Beautiful man, just beautiful. Smooth as a schoolboy in the middle of his first crush.
"So what do you think, Cash? Is it runnin’ okay?" It was obvious she wasn’t too impressed by his excuse. Come to think of it neither would he have been if someone had messed with his bike. Should he try a compliment?
"It’s a real nice bike. Real pretty." Cash went back to his own bike.
"Well maybe I’ll let you take it for a ride sometime if you tell me what you especially like about it." The flirtatious smile was back.
"Nice frame, tough as Hell, timing’s real good, runs a little hot…you may need to prime it from time to time." Cash smiled a little. At least she couldn’t say that he didn’t know what he was doing.
"Thanks, I’d like that!" The look in her eyes left no doubt as to what Sasha wanted ‘primed’. Cash wondered distractedly if his heartbeat would have shown through his jeans had he still been human. When she stepped closer, he had a quick mental picture of a fly caught in a spider-web.
"Did you notice?"she continued, "I’m wearing a dress."
"Yeah, I noticed…" Caught in a web? He was being reeled in! God, she was a looker!
"Well, I hardly ever wear dresses. I wore this one for you."
Okay, time to back down! "Look I better get back to work. I don’t want anyone to see us talking." With that he turned his back on her and walked to the other side of his bike.
Sasha hesitated for a second. But Cash was definitely interested so all of this must be ‘cos Uncle Julian warned him off last night. "What’s wrong with us together." And let him just try and use Uncle Julian as an excuse!
Think, Cash! Maybe if you didn’t look at that sexy mouth of hers… Think about what the Prince said! "We’re not the same kind."
"Oh, what kind are you?" Sasha smiled, inserting just enough flirtation in her voice to make him wonder if she was thinking about the flavour of his skin.
"I’m from gypsy blood. We stick close together."
That didn’t stop her. Walking around his bike, she moved closer to him only to have him take a step back.
"Why do you move back from me? Don’t you like me?"
Cash felt his self-control slipping. Just a taste… "You’re what they call forbidden fruit."
Oh, she had him now. Sasha smiled. "Yeah? So what would happen if I kissed you right now?"
I’ll die and go to heaven. "Julian would probably tear my heart out and eat it. I don’t know if that’ll be worth it."
"But you can’t really say for certain. You’ve never kissed me before!"
Oh, but he knew. He knew when he bent his head and pressed his lips against hers. He knew when the heat of one kiss made the blood boil in his veins. He knew that this was the love of his life. Why did she have to be the Prince’s niece?
"So you’re off duty now?"
The question took a while to reach his brain. "Yeah, but…"
"Good. I need a ride. Uncle Julian wants me to meet him at this club called ‘The Haven’."
"Yeah, okay, if Julian said so. Little ride in the night aint never hurt anybody before."
If God was a woman, with long blond hair, would you kneel at her alter, and offer her prayer, could she be your addiction, could she make you sin, if God was a woman, and you were her man…
Cash looked down at the girl next to him and decided that he could get seriously religious if God turned out to look anything like Sasha Luna. Yeah, Richie Sambora had it right, some women were definitely worth a prayer. Feeling someone approach, Cash turned his head slightly and sent the hapless human male stumbling backwards with a look. No way was he going to share her company, not even with other Kindred. Enough of them had made a beeline for Sasha since their arrival nearly an hour ago to annoy the hell out of him. But somehow he’d managed to get rid of them all. Not that he blamed them. Even amongst so many Toreador and assorted other Kindred, Sasha could hold her own. He felt pride that she was here with him and leaned closer to her.
Turning back from watching the people on the floor, Sasha looked up at Cash and smiled. Luring him here had been a great idea. Although Cash had assured her that Julian was here, there had been no sign of him for over an hour. The club had a really nice atmosphere and Cash had been showing huge signs of jealousy. Setting the glass of wine he’d got her on the bar, she leaned in and kissed him hard. Cash smiled at her and drew her arms around his waist before burying his hands in her hair and kissing her back. A soft, gentle kiss that went on and on and on until someone whistled and destroyed the moment. Smiling shyly at him, Sasha drew back a bit and retrieved her wine. She left the other hand resting on his arm and was about to suggest they go for a ride, a long ride, when someone came up behind her. From the look on Cash’s face, she had a good idea who it was, too.
"Cash showing you a good time?" Goody. Uncle Julian didn’t sound at all pleased to see her, probably because he didn’t want her with Cash. Ah, well if that’s the way he wants it, Sasha thought.
"Yeah, he’s a doll. Nice place, Uncle Julian."
"Thanks." The reply was a little abrupt and Julian immediately turned his attention towards Cash. Gesturing for Cash to follow him he made sure Sasha overheard him ask Cash to do a job for him.
"I’m always ready." Cash was wondering if he’d get to hurt any Brujah when he noticed the ice in the Prince’s eyes.
"What is Sasha doing here?"
Oh, hell, Cash thought, should have known… "She said you wanted her brought to the club." Hoping to appease the angry Prince, Cash let some of his chagrin at the screw-up shine through.
With a look in Sasha’s direction, Julian gave an imperceptible nod and continued talking politely, knowing that the Gangrel would get the message; "I wonder if you could take my niece home for her protection? I wouldn’t want any Kindred hothead to take advantage of her. Could you do that for me?"
"Yeah, no problem." Great, Julian might know his niece well enough to realise this was her doing, but he was still pissed as hell that Cash hadn’t taken his earlier warning to heart.
"Good. That would save me the trouble of having to put such a creature to death…like the mangy dog he is!" Julian’s voice dropped at those last few words, reminding Cash that the Prince had once been an Enforcer, and that when the previous Prince had wanted an entire Clan of Brujah killed he had sent Julian, alone!
The two men returned to Sasha and Julian leaned down to kiss her cheek. "I’ll see you at home."
Watching the Prince walk away Cash sighed and held his hand out for Sasha. "Come on I’ll take you back."
Sasha frowned; "I don’t wanna go back."
"Look we don’t have a choice. That’s just the way it is for us."
Sending a look in Julian’s direction, Sasha decided she’d probably caused Cash some problems by making him bring her here and went with him without another word. But this was not going to end here. Julian couldn’t just turn up after ten years absence and start telling her what to do.
Sasha had watched Cash get into the limo with her uncle several hours ago. But when Julian returned, there was no sign of Cash. Hunting through the house for her uncle she came across two guards telling a third how Cash had been in a fight with this guy and things had been broken. Now both of them were locked up in some mental hospital… Having heard enough, Sasha turned back and ran smack into Lillie Langtry, Uncle Julian’s live-in-lover. "Lillie, did you see it, the fight I mean? Is Cash hurt?"
Smiling to calm the young girl, Lillie took her arm and guided her back up the staircase. "No, Cash is fine. He knows how to handle himself. He’ll be back tomorrow morning…"
But Cash still hadn’t returned when she got up the next morning. As the day wore on, even Lillie’s assurances that Cash would be fine started to grate on her nerves. It was like nobody cared. So it was up to her to get him out then. First she’d try to convince Uncle Julian; then if that didn’t work she’d go spring him free herself. Couldn’t be too hard when you considered the amount of warnings always being sent out about escaped maniacs!
Finally she heard Julian’s voice and came across him talking to his friend, Archon, in the garden.
"…not Cash I’m worried about."
Julian’s words immediately made Sasha’s temper flare up. "Why not. Does this have anything to do with me?"
As always Julian’s face lit up at the sight of his great-greatgranddaughter. Ignoring her words, he smiled at her. "Sasha."
"Don’t smoothe me over, Uncle Julian! I know what’s going on. You have lawyers that could get him out in five minutes. But you like him locked up. That way he can’t see me!"
"I’m trying to protect you Sasha."
"From what Julian? Are you a mobster like people say? Is that what Cash is? Is that why you don’t want us together?"
"You know, you can believe that if you want. But I have powerful enemies, Sasha. And if they attack Cash and you’re with him, you could get hurt. I don’t want to loose you. You’re important to me. Understand?"
She nearly softened at that. After all, Julian was the only person aside from her grandpa and her parents that she’d ever really loved and wanted to be loved by. Until now. "And Cash is important to me. I need him Julian!"
Cash was bone weary. He’d only just finished explaining what had happened at the hospital to Julian. All his people were out looking for this nutcase Starkweather and the Primogen were meeting in an hour to discuss further action. All he wanted to do was sleep. The moment he entered the guesthouse, he felt the presence of someone else. Looking around quickly, his eyes fell on Sasha, who had fallen asleep on his couch. A feeling of peace settled inside him and he went over to kiss her cheek, before lifting her up and carrying her to his bed. Then he took off his shoes and lay down next to her.
Whenever I’m weary from the battles that rage in my head
You make sense of madness when my sanity hangs from a thread
I lose my way but still you seem to understand
Now and forever, I will be you man.
He had needed her here tonight. Needed the sense of home and belonging she gave him. Just holding her like this, listening to the calming sound of her breathing, somehow it made the whole world settle back in its rightful place. He pressed closer to her, inhaling her scent. Rosewater and almond oil, she’d told him one night when he’d been sniffing her like a dog in heat. He reached out a hand to brush his fingers through her hair, watching as the curls straightened out, then jumped back into place. Shifting, he kissed her forehead, her eyelids, then trailed his lips across her cheek, gently pressing them against her lips. Waking a little, but keeping her eyes closed, she whispered his name and snuggled closer. And something broke inside him, making him bury his head in her neck and tighten his arms around her.
Sometimes I just hold you too caught up in me to see
I’m holding a fortune that heaven has given to me
I’ll try to show you each and every way I can
Now and forever, I will be your man.
He had to talk to Julian. Soon. The need for Sasha was getting stronger and stronger every day. Prince’s niece or not, she was meant to be his. To be Gangrel. To be free. He’d ask Julian tonight after the meeting! Yeah, that’s what he’d do. Tonight…
Now I can rest my worries and always be sure
That I won’t be alone anymore
If I’d only known you were there all this time
All this time.
Stealing another kiss, he got off the bed, moving slowly as to not disturb her. Then he pulled the duvet over her, put his shoes back on and went back to work.
Until the day the ocean doesn’t touch the sand
Now and forever, I will be your man
Now and forever, I will be your man.