A Bridge Between Worlds - Chapter 5

A Bridge Between Worlds - Chapter 5

A Bridge Between Worlds Ch. 05

The next day, Mike and Melody began working through their morning routine as per usual.  Upon dressing, they were informed by a servant at their door that their presence was needed in King Farzan’s quarters at the top of the tower in the middle of the courtyard.  Knowing this must be something of extreme importance, they hurried to the tower and began the long elevator ride up to the top.  As the elevator stopped, a pair of guards greeted them, clad in armor and wielding fierce-looking battleaxes.

“Please, come in.  His Excellency is expecting you,” one of them said, opening the door to Farzan’s inner sanctum for them.

Stepping inside, they now stood in the middle of a luxurious, tropical paradise.  The room was lavishly adorned and decorated, containing numerous couches and cushions for entertaining guests and relaxation.  The walls of the circular entry room were lined with curtains and draperies made of the finest silk.  All of them were colored blue and embroidered with the symbol of the Water Jinn.  As they marveled at the lush environment surrounding them, Farzan entered through one of the curtains.

“Welcome, my friends.  Please, this way,” he said.

Following Farzan through the curtains, they now found themselves in a large meeting area.  The room was circular and decorated like the entryway, but rather than the numerous cushions scattered throughout the room, there was but one seating area.  A circular sofa sat in the center of the room around a table.  Upon sitting with Farzan at the table, Mike noticed that the sofa, while comfortable, was more rigid in its cushioning than some of the ones in the entryway appeared to be.  It was clear that this was an area for work, not leisure.

“So, I am sure you are wondering why I have called you here today,” Farzan began.  “I will explain everything once our final guest arrives.”

“Speak of the devil and he shall appear!” came a voice from the entryway.  A moment later, King Salim joined them.

“Ah, there he is!  Mike, Melody, you remember King Salim of the Fire Jinn, do you not?”

“How could I forget?” Mike replied, extending his hand to Salim.

“It is good to see you again,” Salim said warmly, shaking his hand.  “I must apologize for my behavior at our last meeting, Mike.  I was… impolite to you.”

Waving his hand, Mike responded, “Completely unnecessary.  You were ensuring that the Council was, in fact, acting in the best interest of your people.  I respect that more than anything.”

Pleasantries exchanged, the group sat at the sofa surrounding the table in the center of the room.

Farzan began, “Now then, the reason for this meeting is to discuss the final two genie servants and their masters, both of whom are part of the Fire Jinn, hence King Salim’s presence.”

Nodding, Salim continued, “From the very beginning of our discussions of your involvement in these affairs, these two masters have always been a cause for concern and worry.  Observe.”

With a wave of his hand, Farzan dimmed the lights in the room and brought up the ethereal globe of Earth.  Two points of red light appeared on the globe, one in New York, and the other in London.  Twisting the globe around, Salim brought the focus onto the New York location.

“Both of these masters have been with their genie servants for quite some time, at least two hundred years each,” Salim said.  “They have gained a complete mastery of their wishing capabilities, and have become wealthy and powerful as a result.  Thus, convincing them to agree to the amendments to our laws will be no easy feat; I have always doubted that it is even possible.”

“All right, let’s have a look at the first one,” Mike said, zooming in on the point of light.  Bringing up a biography, he read aloud, “Anthony Trapani, age two hundred thirty.  Publicly a respected businessman, but in private, has been a powerful organized crime boss since the 1930s.  Changes his appearance to give the impression of a child taking over the family business every so often, throwing off suspicion in regards to his longevity.  List of female conquests… long, but not as long as it could be for a two hundred thirty year-old, I suppose.”

“Despite that, it seems children are a big part of his personality,” Melody observed.  “Over the years, he has fathered over sixty children.  In spite of his illegal activities, he is well known in both his public and private lives to love them with all his heart, spending almost all his free time with them.”

“Quite a dichotomy, wouldn’t you agree?” Salim asked.

“Sure is,” Mike mused.  “Melody, I think we need to make an appointment to meet with Mr. Trapani on his turf.”

“You mean we shouldn’t announce our presence like we’ve done before?  Why?  He doesn’t have any magical barriers like Hiro did.”

Mike replied, “It’s all part of getting inside his head and understanding how he thinks.  He sees himself as a businessman in all things, regardless of the legality of the activity.  He’s a man who craves respect, and going against that might cause him to refuse to even hear us out.  Remember, he’s not some immature college student, not like Shane Walker was.  Trapani is a man to be taken seriously, and that’s what we should do.”

Nodding, Melody said, “All right, then.  I’ll make the call.”

*****

Strolling through his factory, Anthony Trapani checked through his daily schedule on an iPad Holo.  Noticing he had an upcoming appointment in the next thirty minutes, he began to make his way towards his office overlooking the floor of the factory.  Along the way, he chatted with several of his workers, knowing each of them by name and asking how their families were doing.  Anthony loved his employees, and never wished for his diamond-smuggling business to bring harm to them, which was why he kept that part of his dealings in an undisclosed location.  As he watched one of them put the finishing touches on a repulsor-lift for a hover-train, Anthony couldn’t help but chuckle at the operation he had built; from manufacturing tires to now helping to build some of the most technologically advanced vehicles the world had ever seen.

At the turn of the twentieth century, he was just a tiny kid from Sicily, on the run from the mob boss who had murdered his family.  After receiving a name change at Ellis Island, resulting in his hometown of Trapani becoming his last name, he was granted entry into New York City, where he began his struggles to make a better life for himself.  He worked for fifteen years, saving everything he could, but with limited success.  Soon, Anthony had little choice but to turn to a life of crime, not only for food, but also for protection.  The rough streets of New York didn’t take kindly to tiny child immigrants, but joining up with bigger and stronger individuals who had also immigrated to America gave him a fighting chance at life.  Still, he was a small fish in a huge ocean, at least, until one fateful day just shy of his twenty-second birthday.

On that day, he and his boss, Gino, had been assigned to speak with a local shopkeeper about his refusal to pay protection money to the leader of the gang Anthony was employed with.  The shopkeeper was an honest man, and had made his shop successful enough that he did not want or need to associate with criminals.  Still, that success made him a target all the same.  Though he still resisted, Anthony and Gino began to trash the shop a bit, hoping to convince the man, but nothing was working.  During their romp, the two men heard a frightened yelp coming from the back storage room.  Opening the door, Gino discovered the shopkeeper’s sixteen-year-old daughter.

She was very beautiful, and Gino had a well-known weakness for beautiful girls and women; he was well known among the prostitutes of New York, and could advise anyone as to the best women in town.  Gino now began to threaten that he would punish the man’s daughter if he did not comply with their demands.  Anthony at first thought this was just an idle threat, but when Gino began to rip her dress apart and lower his pants, he knew that his boss was serious.  Anthony panicked; he had joined up with a group of men that he had deemed at least to be somewhat honorable, never targeting women and children, yet the rape of an innocent girl was about to occur right before his eyes.  He pleaded with Gino to leave the girl alone, but was promptly told to shut up.  Seeing no other choice, Anthony drew his snub-nose revolver and fired a single shot into Gino’s temple, killing him before he could harm the girl.

As Anthony dropped his gun and sunk to the floor, his hands trembled as he realized exactly what he had done: he had murdered his superior.  Anthony knew he would now be blacklisted and marked for death, as there was never an excuse to turn on one’s own boss.  As he was about to get up and sprint out of the shop for his life, the shopkeeper hugged the young man, thanking him for sparing his daughter.  The man understood that Anthony had to run, but refused to let him leave before thanking him.  He gave the boy an old pocket watch, telling him that it would change his entire life for the better.  Anthony had no clue what the man was talking about, but thanked him nonetheless before running for his life.  The man shouted to him that he only needed to set the time when he arrived home.  This action, as it turned out, had brought Anthony into the company of the woman who became the love of his life.

“Good morning, my love,” came a sweet, feminine voice.

Snapping back to reality, Anthony replied with his slight Brooklyn accent, “Good morning, Apollonia.”  The workers on the factory floor whistled and laughed as Anthony planted a long kiss on his wife’s lips.

As the pair walked up the stairs towards the offices, her form-fitting cream dress flowing gracefully with every move she made, Anthony took a few moments as he did every day to admire his lovely wife.  She was tall with gorgeous olive skin and deep brown hair that appeared almost black, yet shimmered in the right light.  Her face was soft and warm, with full, rich lips, and dark, almond-shaped eyes.  Apollonia’s breasts were a full C-cup and quite nice, but by far her most wondrous asset was her inviting, heart-shape behind.  Every time she walked up the stairs, it was a chore for Anthony not to push her down and take her over and over again.

“Enjoying the view as usual?” she asked with her trademark Italian accent, eying him over her shoulder.

“You know me too well,” Anthony said with a chuckle.  “Now, what’s this first meeting on the schedule regarding?”

Shaking her head, Apollonia replied, “They did not say.  They only said that it is a matter of immediate importance that affects you directly.”

Rubbing his chin in confusion, he then asked, “Who are these people?”

“Their names are Mike and Melody Braxton, but that is all I know about them.”

“Did you sense any danger from them?”

Anthony was always careful to steer any potential violence away from his place of business; the factory was a legitimate company, and the last thing he wanted was for his employees to be inadvertently caught up in an attempt on his life.

“None, as far as I can tell.”

“Very well, let me know when they arrive.”

Stepping inside his office, he relaxed at his desk for a while, reviewing productivity reports for the month on his computer.  Soon a soft knock came at the door leading to Apollonia’s adjoining office.

“Come in.”

“Mr. Trapani, your first appointment of the day is here,” Apollonia said.

“Very good, send them in.”

Standing to meet his guests, Anthony was greeted by two individuals: a blonde haired young man with a look of quiet confidence in his eye, and a beautiful redhead with striking emerald eyes.  Both were dressed in tan suits.  After running his fingers through is slicked, black hair, Anthony extended his hand in greeting.

“Morning, I’m Anthony Trapani.”

“A pleasure, sir.  Mike Braxton.  This is my wife, Melody,” Mike replied, shaking his hand.

“Melody?  A beautiful name, for quite a beautiful woman,” Anthony remarked, kissing her hand.  “Your husband’s a lucky man.”

With a cute giggle, Melody replied, “Thank you, but I’m the lucky one.”

Glancing at the pair with a smug look in his eye, Anthony only replied, “I’ll bet.”

“Please, have a seat,” Anthony said, gesturing towards the chairs at his desk.  “Can I offer you anything to drink?”

“Not for me, thank you,” Mike replied.  Melody shook her head no.

“Alright,” Anthony said, sitting at his desk with them.  “Now then, let’s get down to it.  Why did you two need to meet with me so suddenly?  My wife informed me that it is ‘a matter of immediate importance’, correct?”

“That’s right,” Mike replied.  “It concerns the life story of a young boy who immigrated to America from Sicily in the year 1900.  A boy who, despite living for years in poverty, managed to change his luck for the better and make his family one of the wealthiest and most successful in America.”

With a slight chuckle, Anthony remarked, “Impressive.  You’re familiar with the story of my great-grandfather, my namesake.”

“We are,” Mike said.  “That is, if he was in fact your great-grandfather.”

The smile disappeared from Anthony’s face.  “What do you mean?”

Flashing her megawatt smile, Melody said, “We know the truth, Anthony.  We know everything about you.  Your escape from Sicily, your struggles to work your way up in America, the decision you made to kill you boss, and everything else that resulted from it… including Apollonia.”

After pondering this information for a few moments, Anthony pressed a button on his desk.  “Apollonia, would you join us please?”

The graceful and beautiful woman stepped into the office a moment later, walking over to her husband.  “Is everything alright?” she asked.

He wrapped his arm around her waist as she stood beside him, saying, “It seems our friends here are under the impression that my great-grandfather and I are one in the same.”

With a confused look on her face, Apollonia asked, “Are you aware that the first Anthony Trapani came to America over two hundred years ago?”

“We are,” Mike replied.  “And we also know how he has managed to survive for all these years.  It’s all thanks to you, Apollonia.”

“I… don’t understand,” she said.

“Apollonia, it’s ok,” Melody reassured her.  “We know the truth.  You’re a genie.  Just as I am.”

Turning to her husband, Apollonia said, “Your new friends are quite intelligent, my love.”

“Looks that way.”  Eyeing the pair, Anthony asked, “What exactly is it you want?  I had the understanding that genies couldn’t sense each other.”

“That is normally true.  However, there are extenuating circumstances,” Melody answered.  “We are here at the request of the Council of Four.”

“Oh, I get it,” Anthony said, feeling as if he knew where this was going.  “They must not be too happy with some of my… off the books activities, and they sent you to shut me down.  Is that it?”

Melody began, “No, that is not-”

“Well, I don’t give that up so easily!  Apollonia, I think it’s time you show our friends out.”

Walking up to Mike, she said, “It is time for you to go, I’m afraid.”

“We’re not done yet,” Mike said calmly, staring straight at Anthony.

“Please, this way,” Apollonia said, reaching for Mike’s arm.

“You lay a hand on my husband, and you will regret it,” Melody advised her.

Apollonia paused at her threat, looking to Anthony for his reaction.  He nodded, indicating for her to “show them out.”  But as soon as she touched Mike’s shoulder, she found her wrist in the iron grip of Melody’s hand.

“Your actions are ill advised, girl,” Apollonia said to her.  “As you must know, my husband’s business attracts a number of dangerous individuals.  I am well practiced in using any means necessary to protect him from threats.”

“That may be,” Melody replied, “but the Council anticipated that this might happen.  I’m more than capable of overpowering you, that I can promise.”

The two women locked eyes for several moments, neither conceding an inch in their self-confidence.  Apollonia was first to break the tension, attempting to perform a Judo throw to flip Melody onto her back.  Melody was more than ready, landing square on her feet and using her momentum to fling Apollonia over her head, landing the woman flat on her ass.  She panted for a few seconds as she caught her breath, turning to stare at Melody in sheer amazement.

“It seems… I underestimated you,” she said to Melody.

As Melody took her seat next to him, Mike asked, “Mr. Trapani, may we continue to have a serious discussion now?”

After taking his wife’s hand to help her up, he replied, “I suppose.  You sure you’re not here to shut me down?”

“Positive,” Mike said.  “While I may not agree with all of your choices, Apollonia has, for the most part, served you in only a protective capacity.  This is well within the laws set by the Council.  As far as they’re concerned, your choices are your own.”

Mike continued to elaborate on the amendments to the laws and the Council’s desire for Anthony to agree to the new laws.  Anthony listened intently, running his fingers along his wife’s soft skin all the while, as he often did to help calm his mind in an unfamiliar situation.

“So what you’re sayin’ is… as it stands, these amendments don’t apply to me, is that right?” he asked.

“Correct,” Melody replied.

“And they only affect me if I agree to them?”

“That’s right,” Mike said.

“Why would I do that?  I mean I’d be giving up one of my biggest bargaining chips, a trump card that could save my ass in a desperate situation.  Why give that up?”

Looking Anthony square in the eyes, Mike answered, “Because it’s the right thing to do.”

“In your opinion,” Anthony stated simply, pointing at Mike.

Smirking, Mike asked, “What about that shopkeeper’s daughter you saved all those years ago?”

“What do you mean?”

“In your opinion, killing your boss to save her was the right thing to do.  I’m sure others in your gang would have disagreed, but that didn’t change what you knew to be the honorable thing to do,” Mike explained.

“Be that as it may, I fail to see how that has any impact on us today,” Anthony countered.

“No?  What if a man like Gino had gained a genie?  He would have been able to do what he almost did to that poor girl, but to anyone and everyone.  He would have unlimited power to rape anyone he pleased, all without consequence,” Mike replied.

After several long moments, Anthony said, “That… would be horrible.  But I’m not like Gino; I would never do that.”

“I know you’re not,” Mike said.  “That’s why I’m asking you like this.  Remember, Melody and I could have appeared to you magically and tried to force ourselves upon you, but we didn’t.  We made an appointment and asked to meet with you on your terms, all because we realize that you are a man to be taken seriously.  You’re a man who, in spite of his illicit activities, does possess a sense of honor and decency.  There are certain lines you won’t cross.  That’s why, I believe, you know this to be the right thing to do.”

“I don’t know…” Anthony mused.

“Mr. Trapani,” Melody continued, “please don’t do it for us.  Do it for your family.  What if you could prevent something horrible from happening to one of your daughters or granddaughters, but chose not to?”

Glaring at Melody, Anthony growled, “You leave my family outta this.  I love them with all my heart.  They’re my whole world.”

“I know they are,” Melody replied.  “That’s why this must be done.  For their sake, if nothing else.”

Trying to come up with an excuse of some kind was useless for Anthony; he knew they were right.  He looked up into his wife’s eyes and could see that she felt the same way.  Kissing her hand tenderly, Anthony made his decision.

“Alright, I’m in.  On one condition.”

“And that is?” Mike asked, cocking his eyebrow.

“There’s a place in Brooklyn, tiny little pizza kitchen.  It’s called ‘Sal’s Under the Bridge’, obviously under the Brooklyn Bridge.  My wife and I are gonna treat the two of you to dinner there tonight.  We got a deal?”

Melody’s eyes lit up.  “Of course!  I’m just… a bit confused.”

Chuckling, Anthony replied, “In my family, food is how we show love and respect.  It’s essential to our way of life.  I can’t tell you how many business deals I’ve made over the dinner table in all my years, so this is only natural.”

Mike shook Anthony’s hand across the desk, saying, “Count us in.  I’m never one to turn down Brooklyn-style pizza!  We do have one more errand to run today, over in London, but we’ll be back tonight.  Seven o’clock work?”

“Sounds perfect,” Anthony said with a grin.

*****

“I can’t help but be impressed,” Farzan said.  “They are already so close to accomplishing everything we had hoped for.”

“I agree,” replied Salim.  “Still, I cannot help but worry.  This final task is like nothing they will have faced before.”

As the two men watched Melody finish the amendment declaration with Anthony and Apollonia, appearing within the globe of Earth they had used before, they soon shifted their view over to London.  This was the location of the final genie servant, as well as her master, Edward Baldwin.  This man would be by far the toughest nut for them to crack, having been with his genie for well over three hundred years.  Edward was a quiet, private man, but also insatiable when it came to women; he had used his genie’s powers indiscriminately over the centuries to bed thousands of women, many of them completely against their will.  Even with his callous treatment of women over the years, his actions of late seemed to be escalating in severity, often indulging in pain and mutilation with his conquests.  The Council was powerless to stop these actions, as the pain he caused was of his own doing, yet they worried he would soon go so far as to kill someone if left unchecked.

“From the very start, this man has troubled me.  I have always feared that, even with their dedication, Mike and Melody may not be able to succeed in convincing him.  What if he turns hostile?” Salim asked.

“Do not fear for their safety,” Farzan said with a laugh.  “Melody is more than capable of protecting them both, or have you forgotten Selena’s recount of their training in the desert?”

“That is true, I suppose,” Salim replied.  “Still, let us keep an eye on them, just to see how things progress.”

“Of course.”

“King Farzan!” A guard shouted as he entered.  “A group of human aircraft are flying near us, we need to hide the palace.”

“Damn…” Farzan sighed.  “Very well, divert all magical power to concealing our palace.”

“It will be done, your Highness.”

Turning back to Salim, Farzan said, “I suppose we won’t be able to monitor them after all.  With the amount of magic it takes to conceal our palace, I doubt we would have enough left over to watch their meeting with Mr. Baldwin.”

“It seems all we can do… is wait,” Salim agreed.

*****

Standing atop the Tower of London, Mike watched Melody as she concentrated on the city around her.

“Can you get a fix on their location?” he asked.

“Almost… got it!  There they are!” she finally said.  “This last genie has gone to great lengths to conceal her master’s whereabouts.  They look to have made a home in an abandoned section of the tube.”

“Huh, odd,” Mike mused.

Everything they had learned about their final target seemed to unsettle him.  Even with their research on him, Mike still was at a loss as to how he could convince him to agree to the new laws.  His gut was screaming to him that they had no chance of success this time around.  Still, Mike was stubborn, and planned to give it his best shot.

“You ready?” Melody asked, taking his hand.

“As I’ll ever be,” Mike replied.

With a surge of magical energy, the pair disappeared, arriving in front of a large, iron door deep underground.

“This is as far as we can go magically,” Melody explained.  “Like Hiro, this master has erected a protective barrier around this place.”

Stepping forward, Mike knocked on the door, his insides churning a bit as the door reverberated from his banging.  At first, there appeared to be no movement, but a small rectangular window soon slid open, revealing a pair of dark brown eyes.

“Yes?” came a smooth, British voice.

“Mr. Edward Baldwin?” Mike asked.

“Depends on who’s asking.”

“My name is Mike Braxton.  This is Melody, my wife.  We need to speak with you.  May we come in?”

“What is this regarding?”

“Persephone,” Melody answered.

The man eyed them for several moments before sliding the small window shut.  He then opened the door, revealing himself to the pair.

“Mr. Edward Baldwin, I presume?” Mike asked.

“I am indeed,” he replied with a grin.

Edward was quite a tall drink of water by any standards.  Standing over six and a half feet tall, his frame appeared rather powerful, reminding Mike of an Olympic swimmer.  His face was framed by a powerful-looking jaw and flowing blonde hair, extending down to about his earlobes.  A hint of stubble and a knowing, toothy grin gave him a very striking appearance.  Edward wore a pair of black slacks and a black dress shirt, unbuttoned just enough to give a glimpse of his large pectoral muscles.  Though he was well over three hundred years old, Edward appeared to be not a day over thirty, easily in the prime of his life.

He motioned for them to come in, bringing Mike and Melody into his home, formerly a junction station for the old London tube system.  After the city had switched over to hover trains in the last half-century, the old rails had been abandoned in favor of the above ground transportation.  Thus, Edward had repurposed this area into a private hideaway for himself, furnishing it with comfortable chairs and sofas, as well as a massive two-story self-portrait along the back wall.

“Persephone!  Come down here please!” he called.  “Please make yourselves at home.  May I offer you a drink?  Brandy?  Bourbon?”

“None for me, thanks,” Mike replied.

“Me either, thank you,” Melody agreed.

“No worries,” Edward said, pouring a generous glass for himself.

Hearing footsteps from the nearby stairs, the trio was soon joined by a gorgeous woman about Melody’s apparent age with jet-black hair and milky skin.  Her long hair was neatly pinned back with a barrette, framing her elegant face beautifully.  She was adorned by a simple black dress, held up by a pair of spaghetti straps, that hugged her curvy figure perfectly, pushing up her D-cup breasts to incredible heights as her cleavage bounced with every step she took.

“Hello, Master.  Who is this?” the woman asked in a sultry British accent.

“Ah, Persephone, there you are.  This is Mike and Melody,” Edward said, introducing them.  “They said they have something to talk to us about, concerning you in particular.  Do you know that they’re talking about, love?”

Glancing at the pair for a few seconds, she replied, “I am uncertain as to their purpose for being here, but I can sense that Melody is… not unlike myself, if I make my meaning clear.”

“Inescapably,” Edward confirmed.  Looking Melody up and down while pacing the floor, he mentioned, “You, my dear, are quite a lovely specimen.  Your master has exquisite taste as to his ideal woman.”

“Thank you,” Melody replied tentatively.

Turning to Mike, Edward smirked and asked, “Would you very much mind if I, er, tried her out?”

Processing what he was asking, the pleasant look soon disappeared from Mike’s face.  “Yes, I actually would mind.  Very much,” he finally answered.

“Ah, well no bother then.  Persephone, if you would?”

“Of course, Master.”

With a flash in her eyes, Persephone conjured up an exact clone of Melody, lying nude on a nearby sofa with a look of lust in her eyes.  At the same time, Edward’s clothing vanished, exposing his powerful, chiseled body.

“Oh, Master Edward,” the clone moaned, thrusting her ass into the air in doggy-style position.  “I need you… please, own me.”

Walking over to the sofa, Edward’s cock sprang out to its fully erect size, more than eleven inches in length.  “Well, if you insist dearie,” he said with a grin.  The sofa she knelt on adjusted its height to give Edward the perfect angle to penetrate the Melody clone with.

“Oh my God… your cock is the greatest ever!” she cried as he began thrusting into her.

Mike was disturbed by this sight, and could tell that Melody felt the same way by the look on her face.  Still, he managed to put aside his disgust for the time being, knowing that they had a job to do.

“Mr. Baldwin, we have some business to discuss with you,” Mike said calmly.

“Ah… of course… out with it, then.  I can multitask,” Edward said in-between his thrusting.

“Alright then,” Mike muttered to himself.  “We’re here at the request of the Council of Four.”

“The Council… interesting… oh wow, Melody… you have one… fantastic twat,” Edward grunted.  “Easily one of my… top five… all time.”

Melody said nothing in reply, as she was just trying to keep her composure.

“Um, the Council has recently made some amendments to the laws governing servant genies,” Mike explained.  “However, in order for the amendments to take effect for you and Persephone, you must agree to them.  We are here to ask if you will do so.”

“Well, then… ah… what would… change?” Edward asked, still absorbed in Melody’s clone.

“Essentially, servant genies would no longer be able to use their powers to interfere with another person’s free will.”

“Almost… almost… oh yesssss!” Edward hissed, shooting his cum into “Melody’s” pussy.  “Alright then… well, I suppose if the Council thinks it necessary, that’s good enough for me.  What do I need to do?”

Mike was surprised by his affability, but was certainly not going to resist, considering everything they knew about Edward.  “Melody will take care of everything,” he said.

Motioning to Persephone, Melody said, “If the two of you will face each other and join hands, please.”  As Edward approached Persephone, his clothes reappearing on him, the familiar ring of blue light encircled them as Melody spoke.  “As a representative of the Council of Four, I am authorized to make the aforementioned amendments to the magical contract binding Edward and Persephone.  Do the two of you understand and accept the changes as they have been explained to you?”

After a moment of silence, Edward chuckled and said, “Actually, I think I’ve changed my mind; I don’t want to do this.”

Melody was confused.  “I don’t understan-”

Mike placed a hand on her shoulder, stepping forward.  “This is all just a game to you, isn’t it?” he asked incredulously.

Laughing, Edward replied, “Took you this long to figure that out, eh mate?  The Council wants to interfere with my way of life.  That makes them, and by extension, you, my enemy.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t have a little fun with ya first.”

“We can’t force you to agree to the amendments, but you should be aware that, in continuing down this road, we will use all means available to ensure that no innocents are harmed through your use of Persephone’s powers.  We’re not going anywhere,” Mike said.

Locking eyes with Mike, a wicked smile spread across Edward’s face.  “Well then, I suppose I’ll just have to do something about that.  Persephone.  Kill.”

Melody immediately sensed an enormous amount of power welling up within Persephone, unleashing itself by engulfing her in a pillar of fire.  Persephone turned her attentions to Mike and launched a stream of flame at him, his eyes widening in shock.  As Mike shut his eyes, attempting to shield himself with his arms, he soon realized that he felt no heat.  Looking up, Mike found Melody in front of him, having extinguished the fire with powerful blast of water.  She now wore the same blue armor he had seen the guards wearing at the Palace of the Water Jinn.

“M-Melody?” he asked tentatively.

“I’ll handle this,” she said with confidence.  Drawing her scimitar, she turned to Persephone.  “You don’t want to do this,” she warned.  “It won’t end well for you.”

“We shall see,” she replied.

Engulfing her body in fire once more, Persephone began to rocket around the cavernous room at high speed, bounding off of the walls and ceiling as the flames around her grew hotter.  Firing off a volley of three fireballs, Melody dodged them easily with a couple of backflips before launching a stream of water towards Persephone.  Though the retaliation did not connect, it did force Persephone to change directions, giving Melody a moment’s breathing room.

Mike, are you seeing this?

Sure am.  What kind of magic is this?  I didn’t think a servant genie could ever be this strong.

Whatever kind of magic she’s using, it’s definitely not Jinn related.  Salim and Farzan would have been able to detect if she was capable of this using her own innate powers.

Ok, for now, concentrate on her.  I’m betting Edward knows something about this.  I’ll deal with him.

Mike, please be careful.

No worries!  He can’t hurt me as long as you’re around.

As the two women continued to clash around the perimeter of the room, Mike approached Edward.  The man had a joyous, maniacal look in his eyes, and was thoroughly enjoying the spectacle around him.

“You mind explaining how a genie servant like Persephone is able to use magic so powerful?” Mike asked with authority.

“Yes, I actually would mind.  Very much,” Edward replied with a smirk, repeating Mike’s quip from earlier.

“Very funny,” Mike snorted.  “Seriously, what’s going on here?”

With a hearty laugh, he replied, “I’m not giving away my secrets!  What’s the fun in that?”

Sighing in frustration, Mike said, “Well, doesn’t matter.  Melody’s too strong for Persephone anyway.”

In the meantime, the fight between the two women raged on.  Having been weakened by Melody’s aquatic attacks, Persephone had switched to more of a hit-and-run approach.  She first became an intangible cloud of smoke, allowing her to conceal her exact location for a few moments.  Melody countered by relying on her heightened senses to predict and block incoming attacks.  Next, Persephone managed to regain her flame-engulfed state, increasing her speed to be able to practically teleport around the room.  This was soon halted when Melody coated the room in a thick mist, concealing her own location while still revealing Persephone’s.

“Why are you doing this?” Melody shouted, still looking for an opening to subdue Persephone with.  “The Council is not your enemy!”

“I do not serve the Council!  I serve Master Edward!” she shot back.  “He has declared the Council, by its actions, to be his enemy, therefore they are my enemy as well!”

Holy shit, Melody thought to herself.  She shouldn’t be able to do that!

Melody now knew she would have to end this fight quickly if she was to discover the reason for Persephone’s ability to rebel.  Following Persephone as she climbed a wall and onto the ceiling, Melody chased after her as fast as she was able, slowing her pace with intermittent blasts of water.  Having caught up to her in the middle of the ceiling, Persephone turned to face Melody, stunning her with a powerful blast of fire in the face.  Though she stumbled for a moment, Melody soon recovered and froze the portion of the ceiling Persephone was standing on, causing her to lose her footing and plummet to the floor below.  Persephone slowed her decent by powering up her fire again, but Melody had anticipated this.

Diving down to the ground at full speed, Melody landed right near Mike and Edward and, before Persephone could gain her bearings enough to continue the fight, immediately wrapped her in a bear hug from behind.  Persephone tried to shake her off, but to no avail.  Her attempts to summon up more fire were quashed by Melody changing her body to pure, icy cold water, reducing Persephone’s temperature and extinguishing any fire she managed to summon up.  Soon, Persephone lay on the ground, panting and shivering from Melody’s final attack.

Standing over her opponent, Melody said, “I don’t know… where you managed to gain… such magic, but even it… is no match for me.”

Edward strolled up behind Melody.  “In her hands? Perhaps,” he whispered.  “But not MINE!”  On his final word, a long, black katana appeared in his hand, which he used to run Melody through from behind.

“MELODY!” Mike screamed, running to her side as Edward withdrew his sword from her back.  “Oh no… no, nonono, you’re gonna be ok,” Mike said in desperation, cradling his wife in his arms.

“What… happened?” Melody gasped, unable to comprehend how a human managed to harm her like this.

“Melody, I wish for you to be perfectly healthy,” Mike cried to her.

He felt the tingle.  Her eyes flashed.  Yet, nothing happened.  Melody’s wound was as bad as ever.  Mike was dumbfounded that the most basic connection between genie and master, the wish, had been severed.

“Mike… I love… you…” Melody managed to eek out, her body falling limp in his arms.  In the blink of an eye, she was gone.

“Oh don’t look so sad, mate,” Edward jeered.  “You’ll be joining her soon enough.”

“You bastard…” Mike seethed with righteous anger, picking up his fallen wife’s sword.  “You fucking BASTARD!  I’LL KILL YOU!!!”

Raising the scimitar high overhead, Mike charged straight for Edward.  The man simply deflected his drunken attempt, laughing at Mike the whole time.  Mike attacked again and again, attempting to strike him from any angle he could, but it was no use.  Edward seemed to know exactly what Mike was planning to do even before Mike could think of it.  After toying with Mike for a few minutes, Edward tripped him up and slashed a nasty gash on his leg as he fell to the floor on his back, Melody’s scimitar clattering to the ground just out of arm’s reach from him.

“You really are pathetic,” Edward said, pinning Mike down under the sole of his boot.  “I killed your wife, and this is the best you can do in reply?”

Mike still couldn’t comprehend any of this.  He and Melody were already dead, so how could she have been harmed in the manner she had been?  For that matter, where in the world had Edward acquired a weapon capable of harming a Major Genie like Melody?  In those final moments, all the answers seemed to escape him.

“As pathetic as you are,” Edward sneered, “I can honestly say that I won’t miss you one bit, Mr. Braxton.  Goodbye, and good riddance.”

Mike felt a hot, searing pain pierce his chest as Edward stabbed his katana straight through Mike’s heart.  He struggled for a few moments, gasping for air and attempting to pull the sword out, but with no success.  The last thing Mike felt before his vision faded to black was the sensation of Edward spitting on his face.

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