INCANDESCENT FALTER

"Bliss."

She knew the face even though she had never seen it before. The cascades of golden hair, the penetrating gray eyes, the flawless cream-white skin. This was the one she had been searching for, here was her redemption at long last.

Payne's whisper came again: "Bliss?"

Both women stood silent in the enveloping gloom of the warehouse. Payne was faintly aware of a steady dripping somewhere in the recesses of the abandoned building. The air suddenly felt heavy and moist, seeming to lurk about them as a spy. Payne pushed back the urge of the Snake to raise up its curious head.

With deliberate, reverberating steps Bliss moved forward. Her strides were long and graceful despite the obvious caution that marked her face. Stopping dangerously close to Payne, Bliss reached out and took the other woman's hand, weaving her fingers through the ornamented ones of Payne. "Sister."