Title: Fifty Shades of Green
Warnings: Sex scenes, violence and character deaths.
Chapter 4: The Farmhouse
I awoke a little after twelve noon. There was an alarm clock to my left and I was in a roomy double bed in a strange bedroom.
Leo wasn't around.
Panicking, I kicked back the covers and padded out of the room and found myself in a quaint farmhouse on the upper floor. I descended the staircase and looked straight into the lounge and froze.
Leo was sitting comfortably on the couch and he was gazing at some documents on the coffee table in front of him. "Are you going to stand there all day? I have a glass of orange juice for you and some cereal."
I jumped, startled that he knew I was here. I quickly moved downstairs and took a seat on the sofa next to him. He passed me a glass of orange juice with a slight smile.
"I ... um. I slept well." I confessed. It was true - I felt rested and ready for the day ahead.
"The cereal is on the breakfast bar. Go help yourself." Leo turned back to his papers and continued pouring over the material.
I was immensely curious, but Leo shot me a warning look and I walked off to find my breakfast, or rather brunch. It was way too late to be a morning meal.
As I chewed through some round oat parcels smothered in milk, I blanched. It tasted like cardboard. Looking around for anything to sweeten the concoction, I came up empty handed.
"Eat it as it is."
I jumped as I spied Leo standing in the door frame, casually leaning against the wood. "Can I have some sugar on it?"
"No." Leo came towards me, his expression stern. "You may have some fruit during the day - but nothing artificial. Definitely no sugar or sweetener or anything that will do bad things to your energy levels."
"Is there a phone here?" I asked, finishing my tasteless meal and depositing the bowl in an empty bowl in the sink. "I need to ring in and let my employers know I'm going to be off for a while. How am I going to explain this?"
Leo waved a hand at me, shaking his head. "It's been taken care of. April has some contacts over at Lenox Hill. She's spoken to Human Resources."
"Oh." I stopped in my tracks.
"I told you not to worry about that." Leo walked toward me briskly, taking my face in his two big green hands. "You must start to listen to me and follow my orders."
I felt like my face was trapped between two massive green crushing weights. However, Leo didn't increase the pressure - he just ensured he had my full attention.
"Sit down on the sofa." Leo instructed, directing me over to the couch.
"Aren't I going to learn how to defend myself?" I asked, confused.
"Not on a full stomach. Not if you don't want to be sick." Leo smiled wryly. "Rest for half an hour first, then I'll take you to the barn. We'll start your training there."
I nodded breathlessly. He was such a magnet for my eyes, that powerful and muscular frame, those blue orbs that pierced my soul and his magnificent swords strapped securely to his shell. Oh. The swords. The handles were eye-catching and there was something Japanese written on the hilt of each weapon. "What does that mean?" I asked.
Leo tilted his head and looked at me with his intense gaze. "What? What are you referring to?"
"Your swords. The handles have something written on them." I said, gulping as he magestically drew one katana and examined the handle of his weapon with a slight smile.
"Seishin-teki shido-sha. It is Japanese for spiritual leader. When I became a Master, I earned the title. All of my brother's have their own titles." Leo looked at the Japanese symbols running along the hilt of his sword lovingly.
"Can I ask you a question?" I asked, a little wary of the way he was fondling that frightening weapon.
"Go ahead." Leo looked up at me and sheathed his weapon with a flurry of stunning moves.
"How am I going to learn all eighteen disciplines? I think one would be hard enough." I gulped. My mouth was strangely dry.
"You won't be learning them individually. They cross over into each other. When learning survival - you will be required to access several disciplines to accomplish your mission." Leo explained patiently. "Some of what you've read is redundant - for example Bajutsu ... do you remember what Bajutsu is?"
"Is that the horse riding one?" I asked, hoping I was right.
Leo grinned at me proudly. "Yes. Motors have replaced horses, so driving skills are taught in place of Bajutsu. Master Splinter has named this artform Yonrinsha-jutsu - which basically translates as The Art of the Automobile. You learn how to fight and throw weapons from a moving vehicle and how to drive during stressful combat conditions."
"Wow." This was mind-blowing.
"A lot has changed and Ninjutsu has evolved over the centuries to accommodate the age in which it is taught." Leo continued, watching me carefully.
"What will I be learning?" I asked.
"Many things." Leo mused. "For now, I want you to learn some basic techniques for simple self-defence. I'm going to start with unarmed combat to loosen you up a little. We'll move onto weapons training when I think you're ready."
"What will happen after that?"
"We then move on to practice situations. My brothers, sensei, Casey and April will be involved. You will be thrown in to different situations and expected to use various disciplines to survive an enemy attack." Leo's eyes narrowed. "My family won't be easy on you. So learn your lessons well. You're going to need them."
I gulped. This sounded hard. "This sounds ... scary stuff."
"I wouldn't throw you into a practice sitution without preparing you for it first." Leo said, his eyes glowing with humour.
"The reward system. I'm afraid I won't ... I don't ..." My voice trailed off. All this new information was blowing my mind, and I realised I was in over my head.
"Explain. What are you afraid of?" Leo asked, his eyes twinkling with the mischevious streak I was getting so used to.
"Are we ... anatomically correct ... you know ... to do ... stuff?" Oh, God! I sounded like a teenager.
Leo grinned broadly. "We'll manage. I am larger than your average human male in that regard but I'm sure we'll cope."
"What if it hurts? If it doesn't work?" My breath caught and I looked up at him as he tried not to laugh.
"Then I'll find some other way to please you. There are many ways to please a woman. If it's too big to fill you, I'll find a way of satisfying you. I promise." Leo was trying to regain control of his laughing. He breathed deeply a couple of times to balance his emotions and looked at me seriously. "It's going to be okay. You're worrying needlessly. Trust me."
"Okay." I felt a sudden desire coarse through my veins. An intense and erotic throbbing began at my core and radiated outward as I felt myself blush deeply.
"What are you thinking about?" Leo asked in a breathy voice.
"You ... us ... doing things." I felt my voice catch and I looked up at Leo. He was gazing at me intently and his body had stiffened. He was merely staring at me, looking at me fondly.
"You smell different. It's seductive. Intoxicating." Leo's voice dropped an octave. He walked towards me and looked into my eyes with a lusty haze on his expression.
"I smell different?" I wasn't quite sure I liked the direction this conversation was taking. "How? Why? Is it ... bad?"
Leo grinned at me and moved closer until his beak was merely inches from my lips. "You are aroused. I can smell it. Your whole body has this heady aroma. Your pores are full of it." Leo dipped his head and ran his nostrils over my arm, breathing in my scent rapidly.
"Leo, I ... I want you." I felt his arm muscles against my face as I buried my head into his shoulder. He shuddered and steadied himself. Then he drew back, breathing heavily.
"A taste of what's to come. If you please me and learn well." Leo's beak was suddenly on my lips and my eyes widened in surprise. I would have gasped, but his mouth covered mine completely. I felt the roughness of his beak against my lips and opened my mouth for him, groaning as he accepted the invitation and plunged his tongue deeply into my mouth. His tongue was rough and intrusive and large. He ran it along my upper teeth and then the lower set - then he danced nimbly with my own tongue. I pressed my tongue against his and felt his immediate reaction as his body stiffened and he lowered me onto the breakfast bar. His mouth didn't lose contact for a second, but now I felt the hardness of his plastron flush against me as I instinctively bucked my hips against him.
The pressure lifted and I realised I had closed my eyes in a blissful haze of desire. I opened them to see Leo standing above me with a curve curling his beak into a naughty smile.
"A taste." Leo held out one hand to me and helped me shakily get to my feet. I nestled against his shoulder as he waited patiently for my body to stop trembling.
"Wow." I gasped, my core moist and ready for him.
"Come now. We will begin your training." Leo led me out of the farmhouse and into the barn with a steady stride. I had to jog alongside him to keep up, and when we were inside the structure Leo turned to me. His eyes are cold and steely.
"Have you ever done martial arts before?"
Oh, the shame of it. Falling over my own feet as I tried to accomplish a front kick. Ending up on the floor of the dojo with the class laughing at my clumsiness. "Once or twice. I was never very good."
Leo nodded. "How long ago was this?"
I blushed. "I was twelve. I was being bullied at school and thought learning some self-defence would help."
"Did it help?" Leo asked, his eyes dark and undreadable.
"Not really. I didn't learn much, and I never used in in a real situation." I babbled a little, watching him cool and collected and merely looking at me with his singular determination.
"I am going to test your reflexes." Leo announced suddenly. "Don't be afraid. I'm going to launch a series of moves in your direction to assess how fast you are. I don't expect you to block these. None of them will land on you."
I gulped. Here goes nothing. My training has begun. "Okay ..."
The next few minutes were pure hell, fuelled by adrenaline and panic. Leo was quicker than I could see at times, and I would flinch and tense as I saw his fist or leg almost connecting with me. True to his promise, not one blow landed on me. Although, I could feel the rush of air as each strike came perilously close. At the end of this torment, I was shaken to the core and breathing heavily.
Leo merely stood before me, watching my reaction.
"I didn't do very well, did I?" I asked, feeling tears coming to my eyes. This was all so overwhelming, and I had no idea what Leo was even looking for. All he would find was an inept idiot with no firm footing.
"Why would you say that?" For the first time, Leo looked completely baffled. "You can't do well with that form of exercise. I'm just testing your subconscious reflex - seeing if you automatically pivot or try to block. You didn't do so bad."
"No?" I felt like I had failed this exercise.
"The first series of moves were from a kata I know very well. During these moves, you subconsciously stood to the side creating a smaller target. You weren't aware that you were doing this - but I moved around and you continued to place yourself sideways to my attack. You raised your arm when I struck at you. True, you didn't block me, but at times you came very close. Most interestingly of all, you had very sharp reflexes and automatically shifted out of the way of my assault without even realising it. You tired during the second set of moves, so I slowed down to give you time to recover. You need to work on building stamina to last longer than a few minutes."
"Wow. You got all that from just two minutes?" I was deeply impressed.
"During the second set of moves, the slower set, your reactions were impaired by fatigue. You didn't even notice I had slowed down considerably." Leo mused, thinking aloud.
"No, I didn't." I confirmed, amazed by his observation.
"Stamina. We'll work on that first. No point in teaching you moves if you tire after two minutes." Leo pointed to a set of black pyjamas sitting on a hay bale. "Get dressed into those."
I dressed rapidly, silently thanking the stars I had not fallen over trying to put on the trousers. They were light-fitting and snug. There was a Japanese symbol etched onto the shoulder.
"What does this say?" I asked, pointing to the symbol. It was bright red and travelled down my shoulder a little.
"Kunoichi-oshiego." Leo nodded. "It means you are a ninja-in-training."
"Okay." I walked up to Leo, fully clothed in my new black pyjama set. "What do I do now?"
"Try to keep up." Leo grinned his naughty smile and suddenly took off out of the barn, running into the woods surrounding the farmhouse.
It took me a while for my brain to catch up, and then my feet were moving as I followed him, panting heavily after a few short minutes. Continuing to run at full speed I felt my pulse throb in my ears as exhaustion quickly descended over me. Leo was sprinting in intervals, then waiting for me to catch up, then sprinting on.
He wasn't even breaking a sweat.
I, on the other hand, was dripping beads everywhere. My whole body was drenched with the stuff.
After five minutes of intense running, I stopped by a tree and panted and wheezed. I felt like I was dying, and it was so hard just to breathe.
"Keep moving." Leo ordered, watching me from a distance. I could tell he was unimpressed by my efforts. "You must keep running."
"Leo, help!" I felt my legs buckle beneath me and I hit my head on a tree root as I went down. Everything momentarily went black and the pain in my head felt as if I had split my skull in two.
When I came back round, I was in Leo's arms and he was carrying me back to the farmhouse. He looked shame-faced and he was staring blankly ahead. He sat me on the sofa and then sat beside me, watching as I finally gained control over my breathing.
"I'm ... I'm sorry." I gasped, inhaling more air and wheezing. "I've not done much exercise. Ever."
"It's not your fault. I got over-excited." Leo patted my shoulder. "We'll take it slower."
Relaxing on the sofa, I watched as Leo walked over to the window. He was brooding and thoughtful.
"I'm sorry ..." I attempted to apologise again but Leo waved his hand at me to stop.
"I over-estimated your level of fitness. I'm afraid a month won't cut it, Gia. You're going to be here for some time." Leo turned to look at me, to guage my reaction. "I'm surprised. I've never seen anyone so unfit in my life."
I felt misery consume me at his disappointed words. I felt the tears coming and turned away, trying to hide my sadness from him.
Then I felt him beside me. He was trying to get me to look at him. "Leo, no. I'm all sweaty and icky."
Leo turned my chin so I was looking directly into his eyes. "It's going to be all right. I don't mind you sweaty. Listen, I've never done this before either. You're my first student. I don't want you to fear learning. I was just trying to make it fun. I know that was the last thing you felt during our run."
"What are those?" I sniffed, looking at the documents on the table. Leo had been reading them earlier in a very focused way.
"Deeds to the farmhouse." Leo explained quietly, his eyes dark. "Casey and April leave them here in case anything should happen to them. They want my family to inherit this place when they are gone."
"You keep deeds to the house out like that? What if they are stolen?" I gape at him, trying to process the information.
Leo laughed out loud and a grin split his face as his shoulders shook. "Can you imagine anyone stupid enough to steal from a family of ninja? Besides, they aren't normally on the coffee table. There is a safe behind a framed photo where we keep them. There's an alarm system fitted to it - if anyone tries their luck, we'd know and be here within the hour."
"Why were you reading the deeds?" I asked, interested.
Leo turned away and closed his eyes. Pain flashed across his features momentarily, internal pain. When he looked at me again, I saw he had regained control and was just gazing at me. "There's a lot going on at the moment. The guy that brought you here. Casey Jones. He's quite ill at the moment. He's having treatment, but the future is uncertain. The farmhouse is in Casey's name and he's leaving it to us. I was just going through the deeds and making sure there's no nasty surprises ahead."
"Oh." I leant forward and took Leo's nearest hand in both of mine. I curled my fingers around his chunky green digits and held him securely. "I'm sorry, Leo. I didn't know."
"It's okay. He's in denial about everything, anyway. Casey doesn't want anyone to feel sorry for him." Leo shrugged. "He's always been the same. He's been kicked to a bloody pulp in a street fight and gone to see his favourite hockey team play the morning after. He's tough."
"Tough people survive, Leo. He'll survive." My hands tightened around his. I had no idea if I was speaking the truth, but knew that Leo desperately needed to hear that everything was going to be okay.
"We'll see." Leo turned away from me again. His shoulders shook with silent sobs.
"Leo?" I was horrified. I hadn't expected him to break down into tears before me. Rooted to the spot, still holding his hand within my own - I waited and wondered what the hell to do.
Leo was struggling valiantly to get himself under control. His emotions were too powerful, however, and small noises of anguish began to escape his closed mouth.
I released his hand and leant foward, awkwardly enclosing him in a big hug. It was harder than I expected. Leo was hunched forward, his shell protectively concealing most of his vulnerable skin. Instead of trying to uncurl him, I wrapped my arms around his head and held him to my breast. He almost toppled at the sudden intrusion, and his feet scraped the floor trying to balance himself. I held on tightly as his sobbing became worse and his whole body shook with sadness. Then, something magical happened; Leo melted into me, his arms wrapping round my body and he held me so tight I could barely breathe. He turned his body fully so he was properly against me, and secured himself against my frame - trusting me to support him.
I held on to him, gently rocking his sobbing body as he cried out all his pain and fear. No words were spoken. We just remained that way until he was spent, all the tears shed.
Finally, he disentangled himself from my body and sat upright. His bandana was dark with the moisture of his tears. He breathed a couple of times to steady himself, and closed his eyes in disappointment.
"Are you okay?" I asked, patting him awkwardly on the shoulder.
"I'm sorry. You did not need to see that." Leo said, his voice a controlled mask covering his fears and emotions.
"I'm glad you got it out, Leo. No use keeping all that bottled up." I continued to pat him, feeling his muscles relax beneath my hand.
Leo looked up at me, his eyes wide. In that moment he looked so young, innocent and lost. He was also looking at me with a slightly awe-struck expression on his face. "You're right. Thank you."
"Any time." I chuckled. I felt emboldened by his admission and grabbed his arm suddenly, pulling him down into my arms. We lay on the sofa, flush against each other, and the mischief slowly returned to Leo's eyes.
"Are you seducing me in my moment of vulnerability?" Leo asked, his voice amused and husky.
"I'm giving you what you need." I smiled, kissing his gorgeous green forehead. "Is that why you wanted to teach me, Leo?"
"For sex?" Leo's eyeridge shot up in amusement.
"No. You can't do anything about Casey. But you can do something about me. You can help me learn self-defence." I babbled.
Leo brooded for a moment, then he nodded slowly. "Yes. The physical thing is a little ... unexpected."
"Do you want to make love?" I asked him. My voice was thick with desire. He needed release, distraction and love.
"It was supposed to be a reward." Leo admonished with a slight smile.
"For the most part. I think you really need this, Leo." I watched him carefully. His eyes had darkened with arousal.
"I have a confession to make." Leo said softly. He suddenly looked unsure and vulnerable. I wrapped my arms around him more tightly.
"What?" I asked softly. "You haven't done this before? Leo. I know already. You don't have to worry about it."
Leo looked up at me, surprised. "How did you know?"
"All your macho talk was just a front. Tough guys do that, Leo." I explained gently.
Leo breathed deeply, centred himself. "I don't want to disappoint you."
"You could never disappoint me, Leo." I smiled at him. He looked deeply into my eyes and saw only genuine love in my expression. He grinned and his insecurity vanished instantaneously.
"Come with me." He rose to his feet in a magestic manner and held out a hand to me. I took it, standing also. He had a naughty look in his eyes and it was so much better than vulnerability and pain.
Suddenly, he swept me into his arms with a chuckle and carried me upstairs to the bedroom I had woken up in. He put me down at the foot of the bed and suddenly looked unsure.
"Okay, Leo. Let's do this." I grabbed him and toppled us over onto the bed. Leo laughed as he shuffled up to the pillow and looked down at me with a dreamy expression.
I got to my knees and peeled off my ninja outfit slowly. I watched him carefully as I unclasped my bra and revealed my breasts to him.
He paled instantly, eyes wide, and jumped off the bed as if he were being attacked by hordes of monsters. He didn't stop to explain his reaction, but ran straight through to the bathroom and barricaded himself inside. I put my bra back on and redressed worriedly. I hadn't expected that reaction. For all his tough talk, Leo was surprisingly vulnerable. He had so many different sides to himself - Fifty Shades ... of green.
I walked over to the bathroom and knocked on the door gently. "Leo. You okay?"
"Fine." A terse response from behind the locked door. I sighed, sitting at the door and waiting impatiently for him to emerge. At last, the door opened a crack. I saw a big blue eye staring out from the gap. "I'm sorry. I don't know what happened. I'm twenty-one for shell's sake! I should be able to handle a topless woman in my bed!"
I chuckled a little, watching his eye carefully through the gap. "It's your first time, Leo. Don't be so hard on yourself. I'm okay, really. Just worried about you."
Leo opened the door slowly. He sank beside me and kept his eyes locked on the floor.
"Leo. Really. It's okay." I smiled reassuringly. "We can help each other. You can teach me all the wondrous ninja stuff. I can teach you ... how to be intimate."
Leo sighed, disappointed with himself. "It's not as easy as I thought it would be. I am not a tactile person generally. I've barely hugged anyone in my life, let alone cuddled close to someone and held their hand. It's all so new to me. I guess that was one step too far."
"Don't worry about it." I pulled him close. He settled against my breast, eyes closed. "We'll get there."
I remained on the floor with him for well over an hour, my buttocks numb from the hardness of the wooden boards. Holding him close, I tried to think of what had happened in the last few hours.
Leo wasn't as invincible as I thought.
It took stripping down and baring my breasts to completely unravel him.
The idea of teaching him how to be intimate was a heady thought.
Could I really do this?