Death's Sweet Caress (Anita Blake XO, ADULT, UC) [WIP]

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Death's Sweet Caress (Anita Blake XO, ADULT, UC) [WIP]

Post by Whimsicality » Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:37 pm

Title: Death's Sweet Caress
Disclaimer: I own absolutely nothing, all characters and original Roswell/Anita verse settings belong to other very lucky people.
Pairings/Couples/Category: UC/Crossover. This is a Liz centric story set entirely in the Anita verse. Pairings are to be determined and won't be revealed until at least ten chapters in.
Rating: Adult, there will be violence and sex; this is crossed with Anita Blake after all!
Summary: Liz dies and ends up somewhere quite different than she expected. Alien battles have nothing on vampires, werewolves, and zombies. What has she gotten herself into now?
For Roswell this is set in the future as Max is sent back. For AB this starts right before Killing Dance and will continue most likely through all the books, currently have written chapters up to and through Burnt Offerings.


Author's Note:
This is the story of the Future Liz who sent Max back to change the past, one who loved Michael with all her heart though she never acted on it. This is not a polar story and other than flashbacks will not bring in the Roswell Universe at all as this story is set after her death in the Granolith Chamber so if you’re a die hard Dreamer you can still read this as there won’t be a lot of Liz/Michael mentions and there won’t be any Max bashing. As for why her story continued after her death you will have to read and find out. ;-) And technically this is the Future Liz from my story When Dreams Change but you in no way have to have read that story to understand this one.









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Chapter One ~ Not Exactly Heaven



Liz could hear her breath coming in short sharp gasps that she knew were sending bursts of pain through her body even if she could no longer feel them; all immediate sensations long lost to the raging ache that spread from her toes to the base of her skull.

Max disappeared in a flash of green and a triumphant smile curved her lips for the first time in almost two years. If he succeeded than she would never marry Max, the man she had once loved and now hated with a coldness dulled only by time. If their plan worked she would never have to watch the man she loved die without ever having kissed him or held him or heard him say what they both felt.

As her vision darkened and she welcomed the warm caress of death pulling her away she felt a sudden sharp tug and heard a whispered apology in her quickly fading mind. Then all conscious thought left her and she drifted away.



~



The first thing she saw when consciousness returned was an open grave, not the most encouraging of sights when you thought you were dead, and only years of practice at hiding her emotions in battlefield conditions enabled her to not squeal like a little girl.

Her breath was coming in those short sharp gasps again and she realized with sudden shock that said breaths didn’t hurt, in fact nothing hurt. She almost didn’t remember what lack of pain felt like.

Propping herself up with her elbow she saw that she was laying on her right side in the middle of a cemetery. It was dark and the only thing lighting the scene was the crescent moon over head and the distant glow of streetlamps. The cemetery was devoid of all life other than her, assuming that she was in fact alive, and none of it looked familiar.

A cold chill crept down her spine and she rose gracefully to her feet, surprised to feel no soreness in the knee that had plagued her since the battle when they lost Isabel. Had Khivar captured her and kept her alive somehow, was this a warp?

No, she knew what a warp felt like and even in her weakened state would have known if that presence invaded her mind again. Either she was dead, dreaming, or something decidedly alien was going on.

All of her senses were heightened when her changes manifested and her night vision was nearly as strong as her vision in full sunlight so spotting the wallet on the dark and bumpy ground next to her didn’t even register on her unusual meter. She hadn’t carried a wallet since high school and so hoped it belonged to someone who had visited the cemetery. With any luck it would have a driver’s license indicating the city she was in and a good estimate of what year it was.

The only assumption she could make at this point was that her being here was a side effect of using the Granolith, and if it had moved her through space it could have easily moved her through time as well. The black leather was cool against her fingertips and of high enough quality to bring a wistful smile to her face. It smelled like Michael’s jacket and for a brief moment her eyes shined a little too brightly.

Digging her nails into her palm hard enough to draw blood to the surface she forcefully brought herself to the present and flipped open the wallet, then stared at it for precisely five seconds before it slipped from her suddenly numb fingers and fell with a soft thud onto the grass, her own face staring back up at her from the damp green blades.

Realizing she was starting to hyperventilate again she closed her eyes and took a deep breath. The air tasted of trees; trees as old as the graves around her, and of freshly turned earth, rich with the combination of new life and old death. There wasn’t even a hint of a breeze and the graveyard was so quiet she could hear the distant sound of cars on what must be a freeway, and water trickling from a broken sprinkler on the opposite side of the hill.

Slowly opening her eyes she spread her awareness as far as she could, cataloging every sight and sound in her vicinity. When she was conscious enough of her surroundings that she would know the instant something changed she moved her exploration to herself.

Her body held no mysteries for her and she had been completely aware of its functions and capabilities for years now, an absolute necessity when the only thing between you and death was yourself. Fighting a sudden surge of panic she realized that had was the key word. No longer could she predict every single electrical impulse and muscle reaction; her body was a stranger to her now.

The muscles were younger and stronger than they had been since the invasion started winning and they started losing. Her nerve endings were more sensitive and her senses more enhanced, everything was more efficient and effective.

There was something else in here with her; something that tasted of power and violence, something that wasn’t human and never had been and it terrified her. Hadn’t she been far enough from human? Did she have to become even more of a freak?

A single tear slid down her cheek before her finely honed anger, as sharp as a blade and just as deadly, rose and cleared her thoughts. Taking one more deep breath she stopped analyzing her inner self and focused on the surface.

Her hair was longer, just brushing the bottom of her shoulder blades and fell in natural soft waves instead of the unnatural straightness of before. The heeled black leather boots were the same as were the tight black jeans and her top; including to her sudden joy the jacket she had taken from Michael’s cooling body. That explained the smell. It wasn’t the wallet, it was her and that made everything just a little bit better.

The knives that were always tucked in her boots and the one on her forearm were still there as well and she took comfort in the fact that despite the unknown territory she was armed with more than her abilities. Sometimes cold hard steel was all you had to rely on and she had learned long ago not to fall in the trap of trusting your powers and nothing else.

Feeling in control once again she reached down for the second time and picked up the wallet, coolly examining the drivers license that had so shocked her before. It was her face, her new hair, even the jacket was the same.

Elizabeth Winters; age 26, height 5’3”, weight 108, hair brunette, eyes brown. The address listed was a house in St. Louis Missouri and the license expired on September 13th 1995; not only was she in the past but she was younger as well which helped explain her new and improved physique.

Just how powerful was the Granolith? With a shudder she realized she didn’t really want to know.

Now calm, or as calm as one could be when a mystical alien device had thrown you through space and time and altered the very fabric of your being, she delved further into the wallet. There were several folded hundred dollar bills and a house key along with what looked like a business card. It was blank and white on the front while the back had one word and a phone number on it in a barely legible scrawl; that is if RPIT counted as a word.

Glancing back at the driver’s license she memorized the address and tucked the wallet in her back pocket, and the key in her right jacket pocket. The house that she supposedly lived in would be a good place to start.





A/N: The to be determined part of the pairings does mean you get a vote. I am leaning towards a triumverate so you can vote for a shifter and a vampire and the only two completely out of the ruling are Richard and Jean-Claude. Richard cause he irritates me and Jean-Claude because I'm keeping him with Anita. Other than that, give me your choices and some reasons for said choices and we will see!

A/N2: I added the pretty banner!
Last edited by Whimsicality on Sat Jul 17, 2010 4:51 pm, edited 18 times in total.
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There was nothing more she wanted to do than crawl back into bed, wrap herself in Michael, and spend the day trading kisses and learning what made him sigh, what made his breath catch, what made him purr in the back of his throat. - Liz in Hunted by Ashita

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Re: Death's Sweet Caress (Anita Blake XO, MA) Ch. One ~ 12/14

Post by Whimsicality » Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:11 am

tigerr100: Seeing your review totally made my day, specifically the first sentence ;-). I just recently reread the AB series myself which is what made me drag this story back out and get to work on it and I’m so glad to make another Roswell/AB fan happy! I’m glad you like my other crossover too and I hope you like the new parts and thank you so much for the feedback!
Yasmania: Lol, don’t worry, I squeal too when I read my reviews :-D This was my very first AB crossover idea and I loved it but ended up going for my mommy Anita fic first so I’m glad that this one seems to be a good idea too! We will learn more about Liz’s powers in the next chapter and then a few down the road. I do love Nathaniel and I promise he will be in this fic but I don’t think I’m going to pair him romantically with Liz only because I can’t see her seeing him in that light, more as someone to protect and like a little brother. But he will still be a main character!
And no, no necromancing. A human part of a triumverate doesn’t actually need any supernatural abilties but the vampires tend to go for powerful humans, any power, not just animating. So she is powerful but she won’t become another Anita, totally different direction for her powers. I’m glad your enjoying it and here’s a new chapter on time and everything!
KiaraAlexisKlay: Yay! I love that you love AB crossovers in general and my stories in particular, lol :-D I am definitely leaning towards Asher and I love Rafael so he’s one of my current two main choices for her guy. Since this is set so early I can change Asher’s animal to call since he doesn’t end up with that until after sex with Anita like six or seven books after where I am so it can be changed. And while I’ve been leaning towards Asher and either Micah or Rafael I do absolutely love Wicked and Truth and want to pull them into the story somehow, even if its not paired with Liz…hmmm.
But no one other than Jean-Claude and Richard are really ruled out, that’s one of the reasons this is set so early in the series so Anita isn’t attached to any other men yet and they’re free, lol. Hope you like the new part!





Chapter Two ~ Beneath the Surface




Walking out of the gates and onto the sidewalk she glanced up and down the street, keeping her senses stretched out as far as they would go. Now that she was out of the cemetery she could feel the rest of the city and it pulsed with power. There were beings here with enough juice to send shivers down her spine and raise every hair on her body.

What the hell had she gotten herself into? Even when trapped in a room with a full troop of Antarian soldiers each wielding their own abilities she’d never felt anything like this.

Not only was it stronger but this power was different than anything she had ever felt before. It was primal and alive in a way that the cold alien powers were not. It reeked of death, blood, sex, and other things she didn’t have a name for.

It prickled against her skin and slipped underneath it, touching her in places that no one should be touching.
Shuddering she slammed up her strongest shields, willing to take the loss in awareness if it meant never having to feel that again.

The street was quiet, the normal quiet of nighttime, nothing unusual or threatening about it but she was spooked enough to jog until she reached a cross street that led towards busier areas, ones that were still awake and bright with garish color.

Several blocks later she finally saw a cab and when she flagged it down counted her blessings that it didn’t already have a fare. Telling him the address she settled back in the seat, ignoring the stench of stale cigarette smoke and other less pleasant things, and stared out the dingy window.

Under her passive gaze the streets grew quieter again and the buildings less dense until she could see that they were clearly on the outskirts of town, or at least this portion of town.

The road he turned down was dark, no street lamps to light the way. The house was near the end, butting up against a forest with no near neighbors. It should have been creepy but instead it looked peaceful and delightfully lonely.

After paying the exorbitantly large fare and watching him pull out of the driveway, headlights disappearing quickly in the darkness, she turned around and stared at the house, her house.

It was a small brick structure that looked nothing like something she would pick out. At least it was defensible she thought with a frown, maybe that was the point although she hoped it didn’t mean that there was a war brewing in this world as well. Dying was her escape from war and if this new life of hers pulled her back into one, her very exhaustion would lead to her dying again.

Pulling the key out of her jacket pocket she approached the front door with a certain amount of trepidation, did she live alone? Was this even her house or was she stuck out here with some stranger? The key fit into the lock perfectly and she couldn’t decide if she felt relieved or apprehensive at that fact so when she stepped across the threshold and felt an instant wave of peace it was a pleasant, if unnerving, surprise.

The power that had been beating against her shields was gone and when she dropped them she couldn’t help but smile. Somehow this house was shielded, permanent barriers in place to prevent her from feeling everything outside, and she was willing to bet, keeping anyone out there from sensing anything in here.

What she didn’t know was how it was possible. Antarian powers were very personal and radiated from an individual, for instance Max could shield more than one person but he himself had to be within that shield, he couldn’t set a shield and walk away from it.

Something like this wasn’t possible in her world, by alien or changed human means. Pushing it into the back of her mind she catalogued it as yet another mystery to be solved later.

Venturing further into the house Liz noted that there were very few personal touches although the inside was definitely more to her taste than the outside. The floors were a beautiful golden hardwood and the walls were a mix of warm cream and soft burnt orange.

The living room was to the left past the small entrance hall and had a large stone fireplace and a matching set of furniture in deep crimson. Smiling a little more she turned to the right of the hall and found a large spacious kitchen almost as large as the Crashdown’s kitchen and far nicer with cream and gold marbled countertops and beautiful wooden cabinets.

There were three bedrooms and two bathrooms, a little excessive for one person but wonderfully spacious and totally hers. After years living in cramped conditions with a group of people she didn’t necessarily like, not to mention a husband she didn’t want to touch, and his best friend that she very much did want to touch, having a lot of empty space was sounding pretty damn wonderful.

There was also a library slash office, a large pantry off of the kitchen, and two walk in closets. The attic was a respectable size and could be used either for storage or an extra room if needed and the basement turned out to be the best surprise yet.

It had enough room that she could train without having to worry about damaging the walls and she could easily get some exercise mats installed, her body may have currently been in perfect shape but it wouldn’t stay that way if she didn’t work for it.

Returning to the main house she opened the ceiling height fridge and found it empty, frowning she realized she would need to go shopping in the morning, which meant braving this new world.

She felt faint all of a sudden and had to grip the counter edge hard enough she almost cracked it to keep herself standing. When had she made the decision to stay and make this her home? Was it truly her decision or was something else influencing her?

Shaking her head to clear it she discarded that last option. No matter how powerful the beings here were they wouldn’t be able to influence her without her knowing it.

Khivar had very thoroughly mindraped her in the nine months she spent as his guest and as a result her mental defenses were the strongest of anyone in their group, so strong that the second time she suffered his hospitality he hadn’t been able to get in and had almost killed her for it.

Even if someone more powerful than he was able to break through her defenses she would know it, and it would have to be by brute force, no subtle influence would work on her.

There had been files on the desk in the office not to mention all sorts of interesting books on the shelves. It was time to educate herself on this new world and decide if staying here was an option she could afford to make, or if she even had a choice.


~


Later that night the woman known as the Executioner walked into St. Paul cemetery with a frown on her face, a frown that quickly melted into shock. The cemetery almost glowed with power, the energy tingled down her spine and she swore under her breath as it pressed against her own. Hopefully this wouldn’t interfere with the raising, Bert would be very unhappy if she couldn’t raise this particular corpse.

Flashing the clients a nice smile she set up as usual, usual until she pulled the machete across the chicken’s throat. Trying to ignore the unrecognizable force rippling even stronger against her skin she created her circle but couldn’t ignore it any longer when she closed it.

Gasping as a surge of pure force rushed through her she closed her eyes and gritted her teeth in an effort to keep it contained. The power was almost as strong as it had been when she had killed two humans to close a circle and was just as intoxicating.

Clenching her fists she opened her eyes and with a hoarse voice called Jeremy Strong from the grave, it took all she had to not raise the entire cemetery with him.

Later when the clients were finished with her zombie and she had laid him back to rest she made her way shakily to her car. What the hell had happened in that cemetery? She had no idea and she needed to fix that, fast.





A/N: Sorry if I seemed to spend a lot of time describing the house but I feel like Liz would have explored the whole thing and this way later on I won’t have to spend as much time describing scenes in the house as they crop up.

Also as a note to anyone who hates the fact that she’s already set up with a house and the other things that will be revealed in the next chapter I have three reasons. One is a plot based one that will be revealed later on, the second is that given her abilities she could have easily molecularly manipulated herself enough money to purchase a house and provide herself with a back story, and the third is simply that I didn’t want to have to spend several chapters on her establishing herself with a place to live etc when I could jump right into the plot instead :-D. I promise there will be no more instantaneous fixes or all exposition chapters. Please review!
Last edited by Whimsicality on Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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There was nothing more she wanted to do than crawl back into bed, wrap herself in Michael, and spend the day trading kisses and learning what made him sigh, what made his breath catch, what made him purr in the back of his throat. - Liz in Hunted by Ashita

Polar Attraction - Not just for Polarists...

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Re: Death's Sweet Caress (Anita Blake XO, MA) Ch. Two ~ 12/21

Post by Whimsicality » Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:47 pm

thetvgeneral: Yes sir (or mam ;-)) you may have some more! Thanks for the feedback :-D
Ashita: It broke my heart to write it in a universe where Michael was dead…there is at least one scene still quite a ways away that made me cry to write where she talks about him. And I totally agree that Season Three Liz should have kept her spine, in fact it should have grown stiffer rather than disappearing completely, damn writers. And gah do I want to hit Richard, I actually haven’t written a single scene with him in yet for this series yet for just that reason…Thank you again for your feedback and for being my beta and even though you’ve already seen it, I hope you enjoy the chapter!
Yasmania: I do love Rafael and have considered him although for plot reasons I’m leaning towards including him in a slightly different fashion but you’re the first vote I’ve had for Damian. I do love his red hair but for some reason his character always struck me as somewhat immature and a tad passive/aggressive which really wouldn’t work for Liz, not after Max. But we shall see! I’ve written the next 8 or so chapters and still haven’t gotten to pairings so we have a while :-). I’m definitely aiming for an Anita/Liz friendship rather than the rivalry route although trust will take some time to develop. But I think they both need a female who can understand where the other is coming from without judgement, something their sorely lacking in their own universes. So glad you’re enjoying the story and I hope you like this chapter too! Thank you for all of your lovely, loyal, feedbacking!
KiaraAlexisKlay: Lol, well I hoped, but its nice to see it confirmed in words! And it is weird to wrap your brain around an original timeline Liz. Occasionally I’ll go to reference something in my writing and be like wait, that wouldn’t have happened to her. But at the same time its lot of fun to make references to how I see the original timeline going, lots of room to play with! Oh and I’m glad you picked up on the power differences too! I do sometimes see the alien powers written as more primal and instinctual but with the exception of Michael they all seemed kind of clinical to me and the Anita powers are so intense in nature that I wanted to show that contrast. As for the Granolith, heehee, let’s just say it will have its moment to speak :-D Thanks for the feedback!




A/N: Thank you all for your feedback on pairings, it will be quite a while before we get there as I want her to be well established in the universe and don’t see her jumping right into something after all she’s been through. Also as a note on the structure of the fic, it’s not really a linear story like most of mine. It does happen in order but it kind of jumps around and is almost like a drabble fic in a sense so while it won’t go back in time sometimes it will vary between three chapters that happen in the same day, to several months between timeline wise. That will be indicated either in the chapter itself or a note above but just something to keep in mind. Anyways, on with the fic and all of you should praise my fabulous new beta Ashita for her very quick and wonderful editing!





Chapter Three ~ Oz Would Have Been Safer



Vampires, zombies, and werewolves, oh my. Maybe she should have been more afraid in the cemetery last night. Where in hell had the Granolith sent her? Aliens had been a tough concept for her to swallow at first but as a budding scientist she could not ignore the possibility of other intelligent life in the Universe, it made sense.

Not only that but she had seen proof, not just in their abilities but on the molecular level. She knew aliens existed with the same surety that she knew the chemical compound of gunpowder and that brown hair was a dominant gene in her family.

The Supernatural was not something she was prepared to accept so easily, yet it seemed she had no choice. The books in the library, the files on the desk, even the internet connection she had discovered on her new computer all made it clear that these things were real, and not only real but accepted by mainstream America. In St. Louis itself there were Vampire strip clubs, restaurants, even a Circus for Christ’s sake.

Then there was that too. She hadn’t had much use for religion, both as a scientist and as a disillusioned girl who didn’t think that a real God would have allowed the horrors that she had seen in her short life to occur if he existed.

Yet here they had proof that faith was real, that something out there was strong enough to repel a Vampire, but only if you believed. Sighing she closed the book in front of her; it seemed she would have to rely on other things for protection as she didn’t think such symbols would work for her.

The files had given her a brief outline of her ‘life’ in this world. Strangely enough as she read through them she had felt brief flashes of memory of said life, flashes that both encouraged and terrified her. It would be easier to convince others of this back story if she had real memories to back it up but what if these memories became so strong that they erased her real ones?

What if she no longer remembered the sixteen-year-old girl shot in her parent’s café? What if she no longer remembered Maria, the first casualty of the Antarian invasion? What if…what if she no longer remembered Michael?

Fingering the cuff of her leather jacket she made a silent vow to herself that no matter what this new world and this new life brought she would never forget her true past and she would never forget the man she loved.

Her biggest problem right now was why? Why had the Granolith allowed her to live? Why had it sent her here? As much as she would miss home she knew she wouldn’t have been able to go back, if the past truly was changed then the future belonged to the Liz who changed it and not her.

Truth be told she didn’t want to go back, the memories were too sharp, the misery sunken too deep into her heart. She couldn’t relive that life, even if they managed to make it better, she didn’t even want to try. But why had she been given this second chance? What about this world had brought her here? Was she needed? Or was it her with the needs?

Closing her eyes she centered herself and tried to reach out, to connect with the Granolith. Towards the end as she changed its programming, she had been able to feel it in her head, almost communicate with it in a way but now there was nothing. Not even the faintest hint that it had ever existed in this world. Grinding her teeth her eyes shot open. That was just fine, if she wasn’t going to be given any answers she would just have to find them herself.

Her life in this world started in the same place as her life before, Roswell, New Mexico. Only in this one at age fifteen instead of living peacefully another year before being shot and healed by a reincarnated alien prince, her parents and the entire diner were attacked and killed by a pair of werewolves on a revenge spree, she was the lone survivor.

Somehow she wasn’t infected and resisting all attempts by the court to place her in a foster home, she graduated high school two years early and legally emancipated herself at the age of sixteen.

She then went on to graduate from UNM with a Masters degree in Molecular Biology with a focus on the Preternatural at the age of twenty-two. That same year she became New Mexico’s official Executioner and occasional freelance Bounty Hunter.

Despite hunting shifters who went rogue she was also involved in Preternatural rights and was a strong voice against shifter discrimination, something that gained her very mixed media attention in her home state although she wasn’t nearly as widely known outside of it.

Apparently at some point in the last year she had grown tired of her duties and decided to move to St Louis in a semi-retirement. St. Louis already had an Executioner and wouldn’t need her for those duties unless the infamous Anita Blake was out of action. Although she had agreed to assist RPIT, the nation’s leading preternatural police task force, whenever they requested her help.

Her abilities in this world were attributed to a strong and strangely varied wealth of psychic powers, powers that were not public knowledge. As for the other power she had felt lurking inside of her that first night there was no explanation in the files and a pit of dread in her stomach told her that the lack of that knowledge was going to bite her in the ass, sooner rather than later.

Slipping her wallet into her back pocket once again she strode out of the office and down the stairs, locking the door behind her as she headed into town. She had an appointment with Rudolph Storr the head of RPIT that morning, a sort of introduction before they needed her on a case.

Luckily there had been a garage attached to the house with a very nice black sedan inside. It had been a long time since she had driven a car without trying to lose someone following her, or having the speed with which she reached the destination literally meaning the difference between life and death, and she found she rather enjoyed maneuvering through traffic with honked horns or the occasional angry yell being the worst threats she faced. Of course given how long it took her to get through said traffic and to the police station something told her she probably wouldn’t enjoy it for long.

Dolph Storr was tall, very tall, about a foot and a half taller than her to be precise. It would have been intimidating but she was used to tall men, the shortest Antarian male she’d seen was 6’1”.

Even their women were tall; Isabel had been the rule, Tess and Ava the exception. The memory of bloodied blond curls flashed through her mind and she shoved it away, focusing on the here and now with gritted teeth and iron determination.

“Nice to meet you Sergeant Storr.” She said, shaking his hand with a bright smile and empty eyes. She couldn’t say she liked seeing that her entire hand could fit inside the boundaries of his palm. Just because she was used to men being twice her size didn’t mean she enjoyed it.

But Sergeant Storr wasn’t using his size to intimidate her like a lot of large men did; he just had an undeniable physical presence, and it made her like him a little bit more that he wasn’t looming intentionally.

The other man in the room, an Officer Zerbrowski, was grinning at her and had been since he’d offered to walk her to Storr’s office when she first arrived. Liz arched an eyebrow at him questioningly, guessing from the ring on his finger that he wasn’t grinning because he wanted to jump her bones. She wasn’t actively using any of her gifts on the men but she knew a cheater when she felt one and Zerbrowski wasn’t it, a flirt sure, but that was all.

“Is it a requirement that all vampire executioners be tiny beautiful women?” He asked, suppressed laughter in his tone, and Storr shot him a warning glance. He shrugged and winked at her. “Just saying.”

Liz had to assume he meant Anita Blake which so far none of her magically appearing memories had provided an image of. “Being underestimated can make the job easier.” She said with an easy smile back at him, of course it could also make it more difficult but you had to work with you were given. The Antarians had learned not to underestimate her by the end; it would have been safer for her if they hadn’t.

“I’ve heard you’ve done some bounty hunting in addition to the ordered vampire kills.” Storr said, his voice a low rumble, and she turned her gaze back on him, empty-eyed once more.

There was nothing overt but she could feel the disapproval and she could guess why. Most cops didn’t like bounty hunters, that knowledge was part common sense and part memory, and she understood why. Bounty hunting was just one legal step away from being a vigilante in some cases, plus they got paid to do what Cops did, and got paid better.

“I work with the police when I can Sergeant, I prefer it as a matter of fact, but when people are getting killed I do what I can.” She shrugged and smiled, a smaller colder smile than she had given to Zerbrowski. “In a perfect world the law would be all it took to keep people safe, but if this was a perfect world than we wouldn’t be here talking right now.”

She could tell the man wasn’t completely satisfied with her response but he would accept it, for now. “We don’t have anything that needs your attention right now but we appreciate you being on call to us. Our other preternatural expert has been of great assistance to us and two pairs of eyes are better than one. Is it true you don’t have another job right now?”

He asked and she nodded, a little surprised when he gave her a satisfied smile. “Well then be warned I intend to take full advantage of the fact that you don’t have a boss that will get pissed off when we call you in at all hours.”

“I doubt you would let that stop you if I did Sergeant Storr.”

He grinned, white teeth flashing against dark skin. “Very true Ms. Winters.”

Liz couldn’t help but smile back, something inside of her lightening at his willingness to show humor with her. It would be strange working with the law rather than hiding from it, and them not hating her would make the adjustment a lot smoother.
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There was nothing more she wanted to do than crawl back into bed, wrap herself in Michael, and spend the day trading kisses and learning what made him sigh, what made his breath catch, what made him purr in the back of his throat. - Liz in Hunted by Ashita

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Re: Death's Sweet Caress (Anita Blake XO, MA) Ch Three ~ 12/28

Post by Whimsicality » Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:02 pm

Yasmania: Well she wasn’t in St. Louis, still in Roswell, so it wasn’t this pack that attacked her so wolves are not ruled out for pairing or ‘primal stirrings’ ;-). And LOL, I loooove the idea of Michael as a vampire, I really considered somehow bringing him in to this universe but there is a reason I’m not which will be seen at some point. *loves being vague* Plus we’ll have some tearjerker scenes where she talks about him. Thank you so much for your feedback and I hope you enjoy this new chapter with some more AB universe characters!

Ashita: Thank you for the feedback my lovely beta! ;-) I’m glad you like how I’m portraying future Liz, I am having a lot of fun writing her although its definitely been interesting because of the three stories I’m writing right now, in one she’s a child, in one she’s a teen, and then in this one she’s a battle hardened adult, lol. I think I’m developing multiple character disorder. And yay! For liking Zerbrowski, he’s one of my favorite AB characters and I wanted to pull off his slightly lecherous charm. And thank you so much for your super fast awesome betaing skills, lol, and even though you’ve read and edited this chapter, I hope you still like it ;-)


A/N: First chunk of Anita scene and a few pieces of dialogue were taken from Killing Dance although shifted to third person and altered to include Liz. I do not own the words or characters; they belong to Laurell K Hamilton. Also thank you to Ashita for her fabulous betaing!





Chapter Four ~ Careful What You Wish For





Liz had settled in over the past few weeks, getting used to waking up to the large empty house, getting used to having a full night’s sleep, and grudgingly becoming accustomed to never having to use the gun under her pillow.

The police had only needed her on one case and it had ended up being some regular humans playing at ritual and nothing they really needed her help on. There had been two stakings for people killed with dying wills and other than that, a whole lot of nothing.

So she had wandered around, gotten to know the city so she could get a few places without needing directions or a taxi. She had read and studied everything in her files until she could recite it backwards and forwards, photographic memory and a world where nothing important could be written on paper coming in handy.

The flashes of images she’d never really seen were still disturbing, even more so when she didn’t notice that the memory was new at first, but she was gradually accepting it as she didn’t really have any other options.

She had yet to discover what that strange stirring of power was inside of her, power that sometimes overwhelmed her with primal surges of anger or desire or bloodlust that woke her ice cold and shaking with memories she wished she hadn’t seen or lived through in the first place.

The rest of her abilities seemed to be about the same, maybe a little stronger with the exception of the molecular manipulation. She had never been particularly adept at that skill, not like the others, and now it was almost gone entirely.

Liz leaned back in her desk chair and sighed. She was bored and it was time to admit it to herself. Physically she had already been recuperated from years of being on the run and fighting for her life, emotionally and mentally would take longer, assuming it happened at all, but she as was well on her way as could be expected.

Just sitting here, waiting for calls to come in, was driving her insane and convinced her more than anything that the Granolith had a reason for dumping her into this city. Retirement just didn’t make sense, not with her temperament.

Maybe it was time to look for a job, even something part time; she needed to find something before she started wishing for blood and battles that would surely come as soon as she let herself think the words.

The phone rang before she could start figuring out what she could even do for work and when she heard Zerbrowski’s voice on the other end she grinned, at least she wouldn’t be bored this evening.


~


Anita stared up at Dolph, her skin still shivering from trying to cross the line. A new horror spread through her mind. “It’s a spell to both contain and keep out the dead and I can’t cross it.”

Dolph stared down at her. ‘What exactly does that mean Anita?”

“It means,” said a female voice, “that she didn’t create the circle.”

Two women stood just inside the door, which was unusual for crime scenes in this city. One was tall and slender, wearing a purple skirt suit and looked entirely too eager for Anita’s taste. She was the one who had spoken.

The other woman was petite and dark like Anita herself; dark hair, dark eyes, the largest difference being her skin which had a natural golden tint to it that you only got from non-Caucasian heritage. Anita had Hispanic blood herself but her porcelain skin came from the other half of her family.

The small woman looked anything but eager, her face was serious and her eyes watched Anita with respect and curiosity, she smiled when she saw Anita looking and Anita nodded slightly, it was nice to see respect even if she didn’t know what she’d done to earn it.

The two women crossed the room, edging around the circle, and stood next to her while Dolph offered her his hand. Anita shook her head, knowing she couldn’t stand yet and just looked from the women to him. “This is Detective Reynolds.” Dolph said as he gestured to the taller woman, something in his voice telling her that he wasn’t happy about her being here. “And this is Elizabeth Winters, the…”

“Vampire executioner for the southwest.” Anita said, interrupting him. Their odd fraternity wasn’t so large that she didn’t recognize the name. The fact that she was a woman, and not an animator, made her unusual even for vampire executioners and Anita tried to remember unusual things.

“I told you I didn’t believe Ms. Blake had set the circle.” Elizabeth said to Dolph after giving her a slight nod.

“I’m aware of that Ms. Winters.” Dolph said dryly although his tone was warmer for her than for the other detective.

Anita still didn’t understand exactly what was going or why there had ever been speculation that it was her circle, but she had a feeling she wouldn’t like the answers and it had been a damn long night already.

“You’re flashing the room dear.” Detective Reynolds leaned down and whispered in her ear.

“That’s why the underwear matches.” Anita said calmly and the detective looked surprised while the smaller woman had to suppress a grin, her eyes twinkling as they met Anita’s again.

Dolph had someone fetch a chair when Anita made it clear she couldn’t stand on her own and when it was fetched both Dolph and Detective Reynolds took an arm to help her up. She didn’t like it but wasn’t going to protest until the other woman touched her and all the hair on her body stood at attention. She jerked away and Dolph helped her to the chair, looking between the two women with caution.

“What’s wrong Anita?”

“Too much magic.” She said flatly, rubbing at her arm as she leaned gratefully in the chair and suppressed the flash of irritation at appearing weak.

Dolph pushed until the female detective revealed she had tried to read Anita’s aura, after that she was dismissed although Elizabeth Winters was allowed to stay for a while. Anita was tying too hard to suppress her fury at the witch’s presumption to care why she was allowed to stay. If you wanted to know something about her just ask damn it, the last thing she needed was random women going around trying to touch her magic.

“Did you really believe I’d drawn the circle, Dolph?” Anita asked, wanting to know when they gotten a witch on payroll but not sure if she should ask in front of the other executioner. It was strange to have another consultant there who wasn’t a cop and she wasn’t sure how to treat her.

“For a moment I thought it was possible yes, although Ms. Winters here was very firm that you hadn’t. You didn’t like Robert.”

“Christ Dolph, if I killed everyone I didn’t like St. Louis would be covered in bodies.”

He shrugged and Anita frowned but turned to the petite dark-haired woman who had turned her face away to study the circle, largely Anita thought, to give them the illusion of privacy. “Why didn’t you think I killed him Ms. Winters? I don’t believe we’ve met.”

“No we haven’t but please call me Liz.” The woman said, turning back to face them with a slight smile. “I didn’t think you had done it for a few reasons. First, from what I’ve heard of you, rituals aren’t your style. If you had killed this vampire it would have been with a shotgun or maybe a stake, not a death circle crawling with magic.”

Anita couldn’t dispute that and waited for her to continue, curious about this woman who seemed to know more about Anita than Anita did about her. It didn’t exactly make her happy, but then again this woman had defended her against murder charges that even Dolph had believed could have been true. That cut her a lot of slack.

“Second, Robert here had no warrant out for him, no strikes on his record, and he wasn’t a threat to you, he just wasn’t powerful enough to be a threat to anyone. There was no motive. I don’t think you kill people because you don’t like them Ms. Blake, and if you did you wouldn’t leave a body for anyone to find.”

Anita hid her smile at that last comment, not wanting Dolph to realize how close that was to the truth. The woman was right, if she had for some reason wanted to kill Robert and it hadn’t been a sanctioned kill then no one would have found the body. There was a time when that would have bothered her, not anymore. The question was why did this woman seem to have such a firm grasp on Anita’s personality?

Anita studied her, more closely than she had when she first saw her, seeing the hints of hidden weapons, the way she held her body in studied casualness but to a trained eye was clearly someone who was prepared for any attack. She met her steady gaze and was startled to realize that behind the warm friendliness of those chocolate eyes was the same coldness that could creep into hers. Maybe the woman understood her because they were more similar than just surface appearance.

To some people that would have been grounds to smile wider, try to strike up a friendship. To Anita, it just meant she would be cautious around her, trust her less. It was a sad but true fact that Anita wasn’t sure she wanted to be friends with someone like herself.

Later, after she’d spoken with Dolph privately and was heading towards the Circus of the Damned with Edward to hide from the assassins after her, she tucked a reminder in the back of her head to do some digging on Elizabeth Winters when she had the chance. You couldn’t be too careful.
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There was nothing more she wanted to do than crawl back into bed, wrap herself in Michael, and spend the day trading kisses and learning what made him sigh, what made his breath catch, what made him purr in the back of his throat. - Liz in Hunted by Ashita

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Re: Death's Sweet Caress (Anita Blake XO, MA) Ch 4 ~ 01/05 Pg 2

Post by Whimsicality » Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:44 pm

thetvgeneral: Thanks for the feedback!
Ashita: Thank you! I love your comments as my beta and a reader ;-), And I’m glad you’re liking how I portray Anita because I feel I have my Liz voice down but this and Wander Into Darkness are my only AB stories so it’s good to know I’m pulling off my AB voice too :-D
Yasmania: They will become friends, I promise, it’ll just take a while because neither of them are very trusting, Anita especially, and I didn’t want them to just click right away. And there will be events coming up that help ;-) And I agree, Tammy irritated me, especially later on, Larry is way too good for her! Thank you for the review and I hope you enjoy this chapter too, should give some clarification on Anita and Jean-Claude’s relationship.


A/N: I think I’m officially switching to Tuesday’s for updates because Monday’s are just too busy at work for me. Also thanks to Ashita for her fabulous betaing! How she manages to help me with my stories and write all of her amazing fics I dont know :-D


Chapter Five ~ That New Memory Smell




Liz walked down the hospital corridor with something akin to nerves fluttering in her stomach; it was a strange feeling for the battle-hardened hybrid. Even stranger here in this world where none of her enemies existed; none of the ones she was used to anyways. She was going to visit Anita Blake, who had been injured although not in a police case.

She didn’t know the details; didn’t want to, but she did want to be friends, or at least civil acquaintances, with the woman whose city she was now living in. The woman who was dating the same Master of the City who had oh so politely asked to meet Liz; a courtesy call for the new executioner in town.

She thought it was strange since her reputation was nowhere near as widespread as Anita’s, and as far as she knew executioners and Vampires, even big important Vampires, did not have business meetings.

Her best guess was that the rumors about her not being human had piqued his interest. After all, a regular human girl without even the resistance to vampires that animators had, yet who killed them for a living, was a little strange.

The fact that none of what she had just thought even struck her as weird just proved how deeply she had assimilated into this world. She shook her head and strode forward, now was not the time to dwell on the past but think of the future. She wasn’t a regular human girl, not even close, but that didn’t mean she was ready for the Master of the City to know that.

~

Anita was glad she was leaving soon. She was not cut out for hospital stays and visits from Edward while she felt weaker than normal, especially after she’d agreed to owe him a favor, were disturbing rather than comforting. Not that visits from Edward were ever really comforting.

Liz Winters slipped into the room just as Edward was starting to leave. Before Anita could move past her surprise and decide whether or not to introduce them, their eyes met and a moment of startled recognition flickered across the other woman’s face. “Edward?”

“You know each other?” Anita asked, surprise and wariness clear on her face.

Keeping her gaze on Edward, Liz replied. “Sort of, we worked a case together once a couple of years ago. In Wild Rose, Wisconsin.”

“Hmph.” Was all Anita said at first, her eyes dark as she turned this new information over. “Pretty name.” She finally added, clearly curious about what happened and reluctant to ask.

“It was a pretty town.” Liz said with a smile, “Not so pretty monsters though.”

Edward raised an eyebrow and turned so he was facing both women. “It was a couple of were-bears who went rogue.”

Anita’s eyes widened, that was one were she hadn’t faced and was damn glad of it.

“They were big; really, really big.” The brunette added, meeting her gaze with a faint smile. “Really big.”

Edward just gave one of his expressionless smiles. “It was a challenge.”

The two women’s eyes met at the same time and they cracked identical grins. It was such an Edward statement.

Anita looked away first, not quite comfortable with sharing such a friendly moment with someone she’d only met twice.

Her knowing Edward made her even less comfortable with it. If Harley had been any indication of the people Edward worked with it made her wonder what might be wrong with Liz.

Edward left after that with a nod to both of them and Liz hovered for a moment before taking a seat beside Anita’s bed.

“I wanted to see how you were, and to ask your opinion on something.” She said somewhat diffidently, her head cocked to the side as she eyed the other woman who seemed well on her way to recovery from whatever had happened to her.

The animator eyed her right back, wariness clear in her eyes, but waited silently for Liz to continue.

“The Master of the City has requested my presence at the Circus tonight. The invitation implied that it was a courtesy visit to keep relations smooth with the new executioner, but I suspect there’s more to it than that.”

Anita’s eyes widened in surprise before narrowing in calculation. Jean-Claude hadn’t mentioned this to her and no ‘we were in the middle of a crisis’ excuse was going to fly with her for withholding this bit of information. She did appreciate that Liz had come to tell her rather than her hearing about it after the fact, but also wasn’t quite sure what to tell the woman.

She had shared her suspicions of the other woman with Jean-Claude, her questions over how a purely human woman with no known abilities or extras, no matter how well trained, could do what she did. Without her necromancy shielding her Anita knew a vampire would have killed her long ago, and while people like Edward managed without extras, they were the exception, not the rule.

If Jean-Claude could get some answers, for both of them, it would go a long way towards soothing her nerves. However his lust for power might push him to take steps she wouldn’t approve of and she didn’t know how to warn the other executioner, or even if she should.

When had the monsters become more important to her than the ‘good guys’?

Shaking her head to clear it of those all too frequent, but no less disturbing thoughts, she tried to phrase her words carefully. “Jean-Claude likes to know everything that’s happening involving the Preternatural in this city as part of protecting his people, and as an executioner you’re included in that.”

“And he wants to make sure I’m not some blood thirsty vigilante.” Liz commented dryly.

“Something like that,” Anita nodded with a faint smile. She couldn’t bring herself to mention the other concerns, wasn’t even sure how to go about it if she was so inclined, and was grateful when the other woman seemed to accept her answer. Although, something in her dark eyes told Anita that she knew there was more going on.

“I’ll leave you to your rest then.” Liz said after a few silent moments had passed, standing gracefully and giving Anita a nod before slipping out of the room.

~

Between disorienting memories of people she knew she’d never met, and wondered why it was so important that she did know them, and preparing to face one of the strongest monsters in town – who was most likely determined to out her less than human status – well let’s just say Liz definitely wasn’t bored any longer.

She wasn’t sure if she should be happy, or mad, about that. Either way she was pretty sure she was screwed.
Last edited by Whimsicality on Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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There was nothing more she wanted to do than crawl back into bed, wrap herself in Michael, and spend the day trading kisses and learning what made him sigh, what made his breath catch, what made him purr in the back of his throat. - Liz in Hunted by Ashita

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Re: Death's Sweet Caress (Anita Blake XO, MA) Ch 5 1/12 A/N 1/25

Post by Whimsicality » Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:35 pm

thetvgeneral: Sorry for the delay and I hope the meeting is as good as hoped for! Thanks for the feedback!
Ashita: Yay for my loyal beta and feedbacker! :-D I’m glad you liked how I wrote Anita’s reactions in that scene. As much as I love Edward I would be nervous about anyone he worked with and so I definitely saw that as more of a red flag than another reason to trust Liz. And I love writing Edward so I’m glad you enjoyed reading him! I already know you enjoyed this chapter so thank you thank you thank you for betaing it for me!
Yasmania: Thanks for the review! As for why Liz already knows Edward, more on that will come into play once we get past the next book or two, this is going to be a long one and Edward will feature more heavily later on. And LOL, I love the idea of Spike but don’t want to do a multi crossover, sticking with Anita Blake although we may or may not see another Roswellian in the future (not Michael just so you don’t get your hopes up;-) ) Enjoy Jean-Claude, hopefully I pulled him off a little more calculating that my version in Wander Into Darkness


A/N: So sorry about the delay, I had a funeral to attend early this week and then catching up at work after being gone for so long, the next chapter shouldn’t take so long. Also hopefully I should have Wander Into Darkness up soon, the next chapter’s a biggie so I want it just right.
Oh and a note on the title. I do not play chess or know much about it but there were some references to it in this chapter and it seems like the kind of thing Jean Claude would be skilled in so the title is actually a chess term I thought fit the story that per Wikipedia is: To adjust the position of a piece on its square without being required to move it. Adjustment can only be done when it is the player's move and the adjustment is preceded by saying "I adjust" or "j'adoube"



Chapter Six ~ J’adoube



The next evening a young blond, wearing nothing but a pair of painted on leather pants, led Liz into the bowels of the circus. Her senses told her that he was a were, that electric tingle and liquid way of moving that nothing human and nothing dead could match. Judging by the rumors she had heard of the Master’s power, she assumed he was a wolf and the picture in her head of silvered fur and golden eyes suited him.

Once he led her into the black on red on black room though, he faded from her thoughts, flirtatious smiles and bantering words lost to a pair of cool blue eyes that made her remember hate and loss and war.

Those eyes tried to pull her in, drown her in sweet silk that promised things he couldn’t deliver but she resisted effortlessly, the pull sliding away as if she was made of glass rather than flesh and bone. Her mind was no longer free for the taking. She’d learned that skill the hard way and paid for the lesson with pain and blood and tears.

His sensuous lips quirked into the tiniest impression of a smile as he graciously gestured to the chair in front of the country sized desk and she sat with boneless grace, not bothering to hide the predator they both knew she was. Give a little, hide a little; it was all a game she really hadn’t missed since the last time she played it with different pawns and a different king.

There was silence between them, calculating and assessing, but her patience had not returned with her health and so she leaned forward with an intensity only willing eyes could see. “I will do my job, help where I’m needed. I have no interest in your politics and I am no one’s toy or weapon.”

The eyes grew colder, more remote, but the hint of a smile widened and having met Anita she was pretty sure she knew why. She was nowhere near as blunt as the other executioner but Michael had rubbed off on her through the years and sometimes, most of the time, she dispensed with the diplomatic words that had once been her stock in trade.

“Very well mon mystérieux, you will do your job and I will do mine.” The stunningly beautiful corpse said with an elegant nod of his head and she accepted his words in the spirit they were given, layers upon layers.

She leaned back in her chair with an exasperated sigh that probably revealed too much, realizing deep inside, that interested or not her involvement in their politics was not under her control.

N more than anything else in her life had been under her control since a bullet slammed into her abdomen pushing it’s way under her ribs to lodge near her heart until a naive but well-meaning boy decided to play God.

A few more casual pleasantries were dispensed and then the same leather clad form lead her back to the entrance, flirtations still engaged but a new wariness in his blue eyes, eyes that were alive and warm instead of cold and still. They were beautiful, as had been Jean-Claude’s, but she still longed for a pair of intense whiskey eyes that had kept her sane as one by one everyone fell except the one person they secretly wished would fall.

Shaking her head to clear it of old guilt and older regrets, she gave the young man, Jason, a smile and a wink before disappearing back into the chaotic disaster that was the circus, pulsing and garish and disturbing on so many levels that it almost made her wish for UFO’s and sparkling orange alien costumes. Almost.

But new possibilities for emotional pain were better than rehashing old ones and so she smiled at the fanged hawker selling stuffed versions of the equally fanged clowns hanging over the circus entrance.

Evil vampire clowns, possibly evil vampire masters, and something lurking inside of her that she didn’t understand and knew she didn’t want to, she could survive this; she could even survive it with a bounce in her step.

Besides, smiling always confused them.

~

Sometime before dawn Anita watched as Jason disappeared out the office door before turning to face Jean-Claude, arms crossed over her chest and eyes challenging as she stared at her lover.

He just smiled for a moment, clearly amused, until she huffed in irritation and seriousness flowed over his features like ice water. “I have never felt anything like her. She is powerful but the nature of her power is beyond me, I cannot touch it or affect it.”

“Is she human?” Anita wasn’t sure that question mattered but she had to ask, the lines were blurring more everyday but while she could still categorize she would, thick black boxes holding everyone in their place.

He shrugged, a graceful but empty motion. “I do not know ma petite, she smells as human as you do.”

At that Anita stiffened, knowing exactly how not completely human she smelled. “Not vampire, not shifter, could she be a human servant?”

“Non, I would have recognized the feel of such a bond.”

She sighed and propped a hip on his desk, tearing her eyes from his distractingly beautiful face and staring sightlessly at the wall behind him. She didn’t like mysteries or puzzles or anything she didn’t understand, they made her twitchy and it was a well-earned paranoia. Especially given that she’d just barely survived the last powerful strangers who came to town.

“I’ll keep an eye on her through RPIT and if you hear anything…” She trailed off and risked a glance at him, seeing the calculating stillness of his face and frowned. “Don’t start anything Jean-Claude.”

He spread his hands in a universal gesture of ‘who me?’ his face ageless and innocent and she shook her head. Sometimes she blamed fate for over complicating her life and sometimes she blamed herself for not staying away from those who complicated it the most.

Hopefully Liz would prove to be an ally or at least a non-influential acquaintance but with her luck she knew better than to count on it.






A/N2: Mon Mystérieux means my mysterious one in French.
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There was nothing more she wanted to do than crawl back into bed, wrap herself in Michael, and spend the day trading kisses and learning what made him sigh, what made his breath catch, what made him purr in the back of his throat. - Liz in Hunted by Ashita

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Re: Death's Sweet Caress (Anita Blake XO, MA) Ch 6 ~ 1/31

Post by Whimsicality » Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:49 pm

thetvgeneral: So sorry about the wait and thank you so much for the feedback, the first comment after I post always make me grin :-D
Ashita: Thanks you! I too love showing hints of Michael in her personality; I think that would be her way of honoring the dead not to mention that after fourteen years you figure she’d have picked up a few traits. And I’m glad you liked Anita and JC because while I feel pretty good about my Liz voice, and even my Anita voice, JC is harder one to write… Anyways, thank you so much for the review and for betaing chapters even when I don’t post them :lol:
KiaraAlexisKlay: Yay for love! I love seeing the words ‘I love this’ lol. And I’m glad you like that I did future Liz, I certainly enjoy writing the more adult broken perspective, I have a few tear jerker scenes coming up a little later on that will reference her past in those intervening fourteen years. As for Liz’s furryness, well that’s in this chapter so yay again! I’m glad you liked JC and the Michael moments and I hope you enjoy this chapter too!


A/N: Sorry again about the wait, I’ve been working non stop on a new Polar series I’ll start posting soon and on the When Dreams Change rewrite so I can get to the point of reposting that and as a result my crossover muse has taken a hit. I still don’t have a new chapter for Wander Into Darkness but hopefully I’ll get some time to work on that this week. And all hail Ashita for not only betaing this chapter as always, but also reminding me to post it :-D



Chapter Seven ~ What Am I?


The shotgun kicked into her shoulder as she fired and she knew it would leave a painful bruise. Seeing the vampire’s head explode was more than worth it. She limped forward and blew three more shells into his chest; she had gotten the heart once earlier but wanted to be sure.

Now there was nothing but bits of spine poking up from the neck and you could see the wooden floor through the almost six inch hole in his torso. He was well and truly dead and never getting up again.

Liz sighed and let herself sink to the floor, rolling her head to see if the two policemen huddled behind her were still alive. One was and he gave her a respectful nod as he spoke into the radio, letting the cavalry know it was safe to come in.

A vampire who liked kidnapping and killing cops, still seemed awfully stupid to her but it had been the fastest execution order she’d ever seen put through. He’d managed to kill six before she caught up to him, and now one more during the hunt. If they had followed her she might have felt guilty but he’d already taken the one now dead and his partner had shown up minutes after she got here – he was damn lucky to be alive.

Now she got to go home. In an effort to keep any competition to a minimum, and in a nod to her more flexible schedule and lack of other responsibilities, Liz was taking most of the executions or cases in the areas farther away from St. Louis. It was still in Anita’s territory, but Anita dealt with the city itself and the ones closest to it unless both of them were called in.

It helped with Liz’s boredom and she thought the other woman might even be appreciative. They’d actually worked one case together which had gone surprisingly well although Liz could still tell that the other woman didn’t trust her completely.

Not that she blamed her, if it had been her home and Anita the one moving in she would have felt the same way. The problem was she needed the other woman’s help, and she didn’t like asking favors of people who didn’t trust her.

Feeling the rising ripples of power inside her at the smell of blood in the air, Liz knew she didn’t have a choice – she couldn’t put it off any longer. She dug her fingers into the deep gash on her leg and let the pain clear her head. No need to scare the nice policemen.

Seven hours later, she was finally on the road and only an hour away from the city, wounds bandaged and statements given. Some of the police had looked a little shocked that a tiny little thing like her, without the reputation of the Executioner, had been able to take out the vampire but she didn’t let it bother her.

The speculations on her not being human didn’t really bother her either; it wasn’t like they’d ever guess the truth, especially since even she didn’t know what she was anymore.

Liz gripped the steering wheel harder and eased her foot off the gas. It would be stupid to get herself killed in a car accident mere hours after surviving the best efforts of a four hundred year old vampire.

Tonight she had an appointment to speak with Anita at her office at Animator’s Inc.; maybe she’d be able to give her some answers.

~

Anita stared at the woman sitting across from her and resisted the urge to stroke her gun in its holster. Liz had never given her a reason to believe she was a threat, even watched her back on that hunt, but there was something about the other woman that just rubbed her the wrong way.

Anita was honest enough with herself to admit that it might just be that another woman, another very pretty woman, was doing the same job she did and just as well. It didn’t help that Dolph liked her, although he still didn’t trust her, especially not when he was starting to doubt Anita because of her association with the monsters.

But Anita rested her hands on the desk and resisted temptation because this same woman that part of her felt was stealing her town, regardless of how ridiculous that was, had come to her for help. “What can I do for you today Ms. Winters?”

“Please call me Liz.” She said with pained expression and Anita nodded, allowing herself to smile.

“Alright Liz, how can I help you? Do you need a zombie raised?”

“No, nothing like that. I need your expertise in a different kind of preternatural matter, a personal one, not police business.”

Anita could tell it was costing her something to ask like this, here in her brightly lit office, and she could read the genuine worry in the other woman’s voice. It wasn’t fear, but close enough to it and she felt herself soften, reminding herself that when she let herself, she genuinely liked Liz. “What’s up?” She asked, trying to inject a lighter tone to her voice and knew she didn’t quite succeed when Liz gave her an ironic smile.

“I’ve told you about some of my gifts.” Liz said and Anita nodded. When they went on a hunt together, Liz had shared that she was telepathic, could read auras, and occasionally saw glimpses of the future in addition to a natural resistance to vampiric gifts.

It went a long way towards explaining why this otherwise human woman was so successful in her field. Once she assured Anita that her shields were too strong for Liz to get a read on her, she had even been okay with it, mostly.

However Liz’s words implied that she had abilities she hadn’t shared with Anita, and despite knowing that she had never shared with Liz anything about her abilities other than her animating it bothered her. Anita never claimed to be consistent.

“There’s something else. I felt it when I first got to town, a power in me that was different than anything I had known before. I didn’t know what it was until a few weeks ago when it, when it… manifested for the first time.” Anita had a feeling that manifested hadn’t been her first choice of words.

“I still don’t know exactly what it is, or what it means, or how it happened. I’ve done what research I could but you have more knowledge and resources than I do.”

“What is this power exactly?” Anita asked, realizing that she would help if she could, and wanted to in fact, but needing to know more.

“If we lock this door is anyone likely to come in?” Liz asked and Anita shook her head, nearly burning with curiosity now. “Promise not to shoot me.” The other woman said as she rose to her feet and for a moment Anita thought she was joking. The look in Liz’s eyes convinced her otherwise and she nodded again, slower this time but keeping her hands on the desk and away from her gun.

Liz gave a grateful sigh and then moved to the door, flipping the lock before moving into the center of the room, a few feet back from the desk. She started unbuttoning her shirt and Anita stiffened but tried to move past it when the other woman shot her another pained glance that said more than words that she wasn’t happy about this either.

Liz dropped the last of her clothes on the floor and stepped away from them, relaxing her shoulders with obvious effort and closed her eyes, when she opened them again they weren’t brown anymore, they were pure amber with slitted pupils and Anita swore “Jesus!”

Those were cat’s eyes but if this was just lycanthropy Liz wouldn’t need her help so she kept still and watched less than patiently, it took effort not to go for her gun but she managed it.

Liz smiled at her and then changed from one blink to the next. The fur rippled over her skin like water over stones and her body curved with it into the form of a large leopard without any of the violence of a regular shift. There was no clear gunk and none of the obvious pain and near mutilation that she had seen when others shifted.

Instead it was a smooth and almost beautiful change, over in less than thirty seconds. When it was done a large chocolate leopard stood in front of her, spots barely visible, looking at her through warm amber eyes rather than the usual green or yellow.

The leopard sat back on its haunches, tail curling around it and watched her for a moment, not making any moves towards her. “I’ve never seen anything like that.” Anita said out loud, proud of herself for how steady her voice was and the fact that she still hadn’t pulled out her gun.

The leopard dipped its head and suddenly rippled again, the fur sliding away into nothingness and Liz was kneeling on the floor of her office, naked with a few scattered scars glinting in the light. She rose and stretched, shaking herself lightly as if to remove the last bits of leopard before quickly dressing herself and moving back to her chair, meeting Anita’s gaze with a calm serenity that Anita found hard to believe.

“I’m not a lycanthrope; I’ve never been bitten or scratched and they don’t change like that. I don’t have to change at the full moon, it’s not hereditary in my family, and as far as I know, a witch hasn’t cursed me. I’ve certainly done no spell myself. I don’t know what the hell it is or how it happened but I really want to.”

She looked tired all of a sudden and she ran her hand through her long brown hair. “If it’s natural, somehow, I’ll deal with it but if someone did this to me…” She didn’t look tired anymore, just cold and empty. It reminded Anita of Edward; it reminded Anita of herself when she looked in the mirror these days. “I want to know who and why.”

Anita didn’t bother asking what she would do to that person, she already knew the answer and for once she decided to trust. “I’ll see what I can find out.”
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Re: Death's Sweet Caress (Anita Blake XO, MA) Ch 7 ~ 2/15 Pg 3

Post by Whimsicality » Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:23 pm

barbara87413: Thank you for reviewing! And I’m so glad you’re enjoying the story even though you haven’t read the rest of Anita Blake! It’s definitely a series worth reading although it can get a little intense in some parts, sorry for the delay but here’s a new part and thanks again for your feedback!
thetvgeneral: Thank you! Yeah I definitely wanted Anita and Liz to be friends, but have it take a while for them to trust each other. Hope you enjoy the new part!
Ashita: You rock, betaing and always reviewing, plus of course writing your own amazing stories…:-D I’m glad you liked the imagery, I try and write it so I can picture it but always worry either that it won’t actually come through, or will be too graphic and just unpleasant. And I’m really glad that you like my characterizations of Anita, and of a wartorn Liz, because neither of them are innocent or trusting, and with Anita definitely not consistent, lol. Anyways, thanks again for the review and the betaing!
Yasmania: I definitely wanted Jean-Claude to notice the similarities and be amused by them so I’m glad you liked that, I was more worried about pulling him off then the girls :lol: And yeah, when I realized that to show her Liz was going to have to strip it cracked me up because Anita is so uncomfortable with that stuff and since the ardeur hasn’t made itself known yet she’s even more prudish. And we’ll see more results of that trust in this chapter so enjoy! Thank you as always for the faithful reviewing!

A/N: Some parts of this chapter are taken from Burnt Offerings and shifted into third person, I do not own that book or any of the parts of it used here.





Chapter Eight ~ Can’t Run, Can’t Hide




Anita could only think of one person to call after Zane hung up on her, one person that might be able to help without causing more problems with shifter politics than she wanted to deal with right now. Even if Anita still hadn’t found an answer to her problem.

When Liz answered the phone on the second ring, Anita felt a tiny amount of tension in her shoulders relax. “Can you meet me at the St Louis University Hospital? I have a problem and I think you can help.”

“Sure, what’s up?” The other woman asked, her voice going from friendly to cold and serious when she heard Anita’s tone.

“There’s a shifter in trouble, one of mine.” Anita didn’t feel the need to quibble over terminology on the phone and Liz would know she meant one of hers to protect. “He’s helping another shifter,” here she hesitated but plunged forward. “A leopard, I killed their alpha when he tried to kill me and apparently the one who’s stepped forward is abusing them. I want your help but if you do this…” She trailed off and let the, you might be exposed, linger in the air unsaid.

There was a brief silence and then, “When you say abused what do you mean?”

“Stephen told me he’s pimping them out, that’s how Nathaniel, the leopard he’s protecting, got hurt.”

There was a longer silence before the other woman spoke again, rage simmering audibly under her still cold voice. “Damn it. I’ll be there Anita, and I appreciate you telling me what I’ll be walking into. I can’t say that I appreciate you asking until I know what this is going to cost me, but I will be there. I’m only twenty minutes away.”

She hung up and Anita flew for the parking lot; there would be time for pleasantries later.

She saw Liz as she came towards the hospital doors, the other woman having clearly just arrived and her hand was under her coat, presumably carrying her gun. Anita approved, pushing through the doors next to her and only having a brief moment to realize that she didn’t have Nathaniel’s last name and might not be able to find them.

The sounds of screams and breaking glass clued her in that she wasn’t going to need that last name. She exchanged a glance with Liz and they both pulled out their guns and headed towards the noise, Anita brushing off a worried nurse with the comment “We’re with the Regional Preternatural Investigation Unit.”

A man wearing green surgical scrubs flew out from behind a wall dividing the emergency room with its curtained cubicles in half, and Anita let herself drop into the cold empty place that always preceded violence.

Zane stepped into view, stalking around the partition and ignoring the other people crumpled on the floor. Anita had never seen him before, but the fangs in his mouth as he grinned at them were unmistakable and she heard Liz mutter “Fuck” under her breath. He was carrying a smaller man with hair so long and beautiful, she mistook him for a woman at first; that must be Nathaniel.

Both she and Liz had their guns raised and aimed; hers at the shoulder showing above Nathaniel’s frame and Liz’s at the center of his forehead. Anita wanted to avoid killing anyone if she could, but Liz had the most to lose here and if she wanted to aim to kill Anita certainly wasn’t going to stop her.

Liz remained silent, leaving Anita to address the shifter, “I’ll only ask once Zane. Put him down.”

“He’s mine, mine!” Zane declared angrily, moving towards them aggressively and Anita started to pull the trigger, but a low growl coming from right next to her made her hold off, just for a moment. Zane stopped moving at the sound of the growl, but if he started again she was going to shoot.

Anita risked a glance at Liz and saw that her eyes were glowing; the brown disappeared into a shining amber, the pupils slit ever so slightly. The other woman holstered her gun and walked towards Zane, every movement predatory and screaming of power.

Her voice was low and purring when she finally spoke. “You are not alpha Zane, you cannot claim him.” Then she smiled and Anita saw that her teeth were now slightly pointed like Zane’s own fangs, she hadn’t realize Liz had learned to control her unique shifting this well. It both encouraged and unnerved her.

“I’m alpha enough.” Zane said with a low growl but Anita could see the flicker of uncertainty in his eyes and knew Liz could too.

Suddenly Liz moved, too fast for her eye to catch except for the edges, and Zane was flat on his back, Nathaniel still cradled in his arms, with Liz’s elongating nails digging into his throat. “Do you wish to challenge me Zane? To prove that you are alpha?”

He swallowed, hard, and she made a sound that was half purr, half growl. “If you win I’ll let you keep him, keep all of them.” The voice was taunting and it was clear to all three of them that Zane had no hope of winning, not if he couldn’t stop her from tackling him. Even with his arms full, if he’d been strong enough to take her, he wouldn’t be on the floor right now.

But he wasn’t ready to give up yet and he threw Nathaniel at Anita with one arm while throwing himself at Liz in a full body tackle. Anita fell to the floor, wrapping her free warm around the copper haired shifter, trying to keep her gun hand up and aimed.

For a moment she thought Zane had managed to surprise Liz, maybe even wound her, and felt a flash of anger and guilt. Then his body moved and he was slammed back to the floor, Liz straddling him in a movement so fast and smooth, she could have been made of water instead of flesh and bone.

His neck was bent at an awkward angle, her hand holding his face down forcefully as she sat on his chest. It looked incongruous, the tiny woman sitting on his lean six-foot frame and keeping him from moving. Even in shifters, size counted, and Anita realized that Liz was stronger than she had given her credit for. Right then that was a good thing.

Suddenly, Zane started to cry, and Liz eased back her hand and rose to her feet. “You will not hurt Nathaniel ever again and you will go with the police without a fight or I will kill you.”

Her voice was cold and hard and Anita knew she could do it but there was something else in her eyes - compassion and protection, and Zane must have felt it too because he rose to his knees and looked up at her with an expression close to adoration on his face.

“You’ll keep us safe.” It was half question, half statement and Liz looked at Anita with empty eyes for one long moment before closing them and nodding.

Her hands were buried in Zane’s hair and his arms were wrapped around her waist, face buried in her stomach as he thanked her over and over again. When Liz opened her eyes as the police filtered in and their gazes met, there was such a staggering mix of grief and peace in the other woman’s eyes that Anita had to look away.

The other woman was well and truly outed; doctors and nurses had seen her take out Zane and no one human could have done it that way. Even worse, she had taken responsibility for a whole group of people whom she had never met; a responsibility for their lives and their deaths, and none of it would have happened if Anita hadn’t asked her to come.

She owed Liz; she owed her big.
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There was nothing more she wanted to do than crawl back into bed, wrap herself in Michael, and spend the day trading kisses and learning what made him sigh, what made his breath catch, what made him purr in the back of his throat. - Liz in Hunted by Ashita

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Re: Death's Sweet Caress (Anita Blake XO, MA) Ch 8 ~ 3/6 Pg 4

Post by Whimsicality » Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:26 pm

Emerald_iceus: Thanks for the review! I'm so glad you're enjoying the story and I am very sorry about the long delay before the last update :oops:
Lizzie: You did review twice so I am definitely feeling the love :D Thanks! And I did go post over there so now they should be caught up now :oops: We'll start seeing hints of the Council in the next chapter, and after all that we'll see more of how Anita and Liz fit in into my little altered universe. Enjoy!



Chapter Nine ~ Embracing the Beast



Partly because she owed Liz and neither of them could stay full-time in the hospital to guard the two injured shifters, and, partly because Stephen was hers and she couldn’t allow him to be hurt by Sylvie for standing up for his friend, and partly because it was her fault the leopards, Richard, and the pack were all in this mess, Anita called on her status as lupa and got them three werewolf bodyguards.

When Dolph came in after she’d called him and before the other werewolves arrived, he stared at the two of them, Anita sitting in her chair by Stephen’s bed and Liz standing next to Nathaniel. “I don’t see any detectives in here.”

Both of them gave him tight smiles and Anita spoke up, “I just told them we were with the squad, they assumed the rest.”

He grunted but let it slide, eyeing all four of them with distant cop eyes. “What are you two doing here, involved in this mess?”

He didn’t like their answers, didn’t like that Liz had threatened to kill Zane in front of witnesses, didn’t like that three werewolves were being called into bodyguard the two injured men because cops just weren’t enough to protect them from the real threats.

He still didn’t like that Anita was dating Jean-Claude, but he let it go, even complimented them both on their abilities if a little backhandedly. Then he left and the three werewolves came in.

The three of them were willing to guard the two men and followed Anita’s orders, but clearly weren’t comfortable with Liz and Nathaniel being there. At one point Anita’d been sure Liz would say something. That she would interfere when there was talk of Sylvie, talk of Anita dying, and the brief display of pack power when Anita had distinctly felt her, a pool of warm rippling energy, strong but different from the wolves.

But she had left the threats to Anita, only watching the others with electric amber eyes before giving Anita a brief hug as she left for her date with Jean-Claude. Anita wasn’t sure about leaving her there alone with the wolves, afraid of what would happen if Sylvie showed up and there was a fight, but she had thrust this position of alpha on Liz. She couldn’t undermine her, not now.

So she left to meet Jean-Claude, a million worries flying through her head and the usual grudging lust already stirring in her veins.



~



Liz sat next to Nathaniel’s bed and ignored Kevin, the werewolf watching her from the other side of the room. Due to the lack of any prior reaction in her life, she and Anita had thought that her power was different enough from true lycanthropes that they couldn’t sense her power.

Clearly they had been wrong. Zane knew what she was before she revealed herself; she had seen the knowledge in his eyes. So had the wolves and they treated her just as they would treat any other dangerous alpha who wasn’t their own.

It made her nervous, almost as nervous as the warm electric prickling she had felt when she touched Zane, the same prickling she could feel now from the body lying on the bed next to her. She didn’t want the responsibility for someone else’s life; that had been the best thing about coming here – knowing nobody else was depending on her.

Oh sure, at hunts and crime scenes the cops needed her to watch their backs; Anita too, but that was a one night responsibility to help as they fought against a bad guy. Taking over a group of shifters meant a hell of a lot more than that. Meant things she thought she’d left behind in the ashes of dead family and the glowing green light that had killed Liz Parker for good.

Nathaniel’s eyes slid open and she saw that they were a striking shade of lavender, absolutely beautiful when contrasted with his creamy skin and long mahogany hair. The boy was undeniably beautiful and when she saw the pain and fear in his eyes she upgraded him to man. He was a young man but he had been through enough that he no longer deserved to be called boy. Not by her or anyone else.

“Hi Nathaniel, I’m Liz. We’re in the hospital and you’re healing.”

It had been on the tip of her tongue to say ‘you’re okay’ but without knowing the full extent of the situation she was now neck deep in she didn’t want to make a statement like that. It was too much like a promise she might not be able to keep.

“Alpha?” He asked in a soft voice, so low that she knew a regular human wouldn’t have heard him.

She didn’t want to nod; it meant confirming what she had silently promised Zane, but she did it anyway, the fear and pain radiating from him and the knowledge of what he’d been through convincing her that she didn’t have any other choice. She wasn’t going to let him be raped and tortured again if she had the power to stop it; it might be foolish but she wasn’t built that way.

He still looked afraid, and he had a right to be given what Anita had told her of his previous alpha, so she gave him a genuinely warm smile and gently took his hand. “I will protect you, you’re safe here.”

The werewolf across the room cleared his throat and she could see both he and Stephen watching the two of them. “Even if Sylvie shows up? Will you protect him them?”

Liz stood; a quick and graceful movement that spoke of violence and death and let her eyes go hard and cold although she didn’t drop Nathaniel’s hand. The power in her rose and for the first time she truly embraced it and let it pour out of her until it filled the room with electric energy.

“I am his alpha and I will protect him from any who seek him harm.” She smiled, a deadly grin although her teeth remained unpointed for now. “I will kill to back up my threat wolf, I know what being alpha means and since right now you’re protecting him that means I’ll kill to protect you as well.”

The swell of power had brought him to his feet, a growl rising in his throat, but he looked startled at her last words as did the other two shifters. “You are a leopard, I know you are our lupa’s friend but that does not mean you have to kill to protect us.”

“I won’t kill to protect you because of Anita. I would kill for you because you are here, risking your life for one of mine. I would kill to protect Stephen because he was injured by one of mine while protecting another.”

“You are true alpha, our Nimir-Ra.” Nathaniel said, his voice stronger than before, and when she looked down, the fear was almost gone from those lovely eyes, replaced by adoration and a longing as strong or stronger than she had seen in Zane.

It frightened her, to see someone dependent on her and trusting her that much after such a short time, but she didn’t let it show.

Some primal part of her had woken up when she had seen Zane earlier, a part that her first few shifts hadn’t revealed. She was their alpha, whatever that meant and whoever they were besides Zane and Nathaniel, and she was well and truly stuck with it now.

Collapsing back into her chair, she tried to ignore the intent stares from the three men in the room. Anita was so going to pay for this.
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Re: Death's Sweet Caress (Anita Blake XO, MA) Ch 9 ~ 3/13 Pg 4

Post by Whimsicality » Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:27 pm

Emerald_iceus: Lol, there will definitely be Asher! I promise! But first, here's some council action :D And thank you very much for the feedback!
thetvgeneral: Thanks! I hope you enjoy this part too :)


A/N: So some parts of this chapter were taken from Burnt Offerings by Laurell K Hamilton, those parts do not belong to me.




Chapter Ten – Déjà Vu






“When you said our people Jean-Claude, will that include any of the leopards?” Anita asked as a sudden thought struck her. Maybe there was a reason Zane had come to the hospital alone and no one else had been there to help Nathaniel.

“It may, ma petite.” Jean-Claude said carefully, still watching Asher in the back seat. “The Master of Beasts has power over more than just my wolves.”

“Then I need to make a call, give me your cell phone.”

“Who are you calling ma petite?” He asked as he pulled the slim black machine out of a pocket she hadn’t known such tight pants could hold. Jean-Claude was full of surprises tonight.

“An ally.” She said shortly as she flipped it open and dialed with one hand, her glance flicking warily to the golden-haired vampire in the backseat.

Liz might just kill her for dragging her into another dangerous situation so shortly after the last, but she also knew that the other woman took her responsibilities seriously. If any leopards were there, then she would be even angrier if she weren’t there to help. If there weren’t any leopards, then the Council might let her leave, maybe.

It gave her a slight pang of guilt that she was planning on asking her to come more for her and Jean-Claude’s protection than the wereleopards, but other than Edward, she couldn’t think of anyone else she’d rather have at their backs to face the bogeymen of the vampires.


~


Liz stared up at the fanged clowns and for the briefest moment, wished she were back in Roswell; fighting sociopathic aliens suddenly didn’t seem so bad anymore. She had arrived just in time to watch Jean-Claude, whom she hadn’t seen since their first meeting, rip another vampire’s throat out. It was nost a good sign for the rest of the evening. Neither was seeing Anita slip a mini Uzi under her jacket.

She frowned and pulled her own weapons bag from her trunk. There was no Uzi for her, so she’d have to settle for her sawed-off, combat shotgun slung over her back, and her two custom made Kimber 1911’s. All three could blow plenty big enough holes in vampires or weres with her ammunition, but an automatic would have been nice.

At least she wasn’t wearing a dress and heels; instead she was in the same leather pants, leather jacket, and black t-shirt she’d worn to at the hospital.

There were blessed knives with a high silver content tucked into each side of both of her leather boots; one of the apparent perks of her unique form of shifting was a lack of that particular allergy. She grabbed one last thing out of her trunk and walked to Anita, tossing her a spare pair of boots. “I thought you might prefer those to heels.”

Anita flashed her a grateful smile and ignored the angry glares of the female vampire as she shucked her heels and pulled on the boots. “I knew there was a reason I called you.”

Liz grinned, but didn’t laugh as she might have if these were different circumstances. All the instincts and reactions she had learned and honed while fighting a losing war were flooding back. Her tightest shields were in place and she could still feel the death and pain emanating from the bowels of the circus.

People were going to die tonight and she intended to make sure it wasn’t her, or Anita, or any of those she now called her own. Not if she could help it.

“Another human will not help you tonight.” The female vampire stated arrogantly.

Jean-Claude remained silent, watching her with blank blue eyes, and Liz stepped forward before Anita could speak for her. “No one said I was human.”

The vampire just sneered, “I would sense if you were shifter or vampire, you are neither and you are no threat.”

Liz just smiled, cold and calm. Whoever this vampire was she, was just a flunky, and Liz would nost be goaded into revealing her powers, any of them, before it was necessary.

Finally the woman turned away and they all entered the Circus. Liz hissed at the skin on the door, but shook her head when Anita looked at her. Something about the scent teased at the back of her mind, but it wasn’t a leopard and that was all she could confidently say.

She followed Anita and Jean-Claude silently after Anita shot the vampire and left her bleeding and screaming on the stairs. She listened to Jean-Claude’s warning not to kill but offered no comment, they were the experts and she would follow their lead, to a point.

Once that point was reached she would have to make her own decisions; hopefully it wouldn’t come to that although she knew better than to expect this night to end so easily.

Liz watched and resisted the urge to intervene when Anita confronted the one they called the Traveler until she smelled the peculiar musk that she had first scented on Zane and Nathaniel. Watching as two leopards slunk into the room behind the darkly handsome shifter and the blond vampire; she couldn’t help tensing or stop her power from crawling up under her skin to surround her with its electric warmth.

It was time to live up to her promises.

As Anita threatened Fernando, Liz locked eyes with the leopard that showed the most aggression, the leopard that she knew was now one of hers.

Another vampire who tingled with shifter energy entered the room and once the initial confrontation had passed, she finally learned the leopard’s name. "Elisabeth," Padma said condescendingly and the leopard snarled at him, at Anita, at everyone. Her fangs were ivory-white, and at less than ten feet, impressive as hell.

Liz let her own eyes bleed to amber and an answering growl rumbled in her throat, causing the leopard to take another belly crawl forward.

"Elisabeth." That one word flung outward again burned along her skin, the strange nature of Padma’s power intermingling with her own. The leopard came up short, like she'd hit the end of her leash. She rolled on the floor, struggling, slashing the air.

"She hates you, Anita," Padma said. His voice was normal now, conversational, but whatever he was doing to the wereleopard was still happening. Liz could no longer feel it on her skin, her shields had adapted instinctively and her own unique blend of alien and shifter was now protecting her.

"Stop it," Anita managed to gasp out, and Liz knew that the other woman had no such protection.

"She would kill you if I let her. You killed the one she loved, their leader. She would have her revenge."

"You've made your point. Let her go."

"Mercy for one who hates you so?" He asked curiously as he stepped into the room, slippered feet barely touching the floor, as if he rode always on tiny currents of his own power.

The leopard, Elisabeth, collapsed on her side, panting heavily. She watched Anita and Liz with pale green eyes, the look cold and threatening.

"When I called them," Padma said, "She tried to bargain with me. They have no alpha and yet she tried to bargain. Elisabeth would bring the leopards without a struggle to do with as I like, if I would let her kill you. Help her kill you." The Beast Master motioned behind him, and a small, slender woman stepped up beside him, like she'd been waiting in the hallway for his call. Like a well-trained dog.

She was nude except for a necklace that must have weighed five pounds and burned with diamonds. Her skin was that pale shade of dark that says African-American via Ireland. Bruises decorated her face, running in purple stains down her body. She was one of the most beautiful women Liz had ever seen, even with the bruises. She was perfectly proportioned from forehead to slender feet. Her eyes were brown and flicked from the leopard on the floor to Jean-Claude to the rat-man. Back and forth, back and forth, until finally she settled on Liz’s amber gaze.

She pleaded with her eyes, and Liz didn't need words to know that she was saying, ‘Help me’.

"When Elisabeth came, she brought the others with her. I chose Vivian as my present to myself." Padma stroked her hair absently, the way you'd pet a dog. "I will give her a gift for every harm I do her. She will be rich, if she survives."

“Elisabeth had no right to turn any of them over to you. I am their alpha and you will let them go.” Liz stated smoothly, confidently, all trace of growl gone though her eyes still glowed as she stepped forward to face the master vampire.

He laughed and everyone else winced from the burn she could feel pressing against her shields. “I will take you as well when she falls; I think you will last longer in my bed.”

Liz just smiled and held out her hand. “Come to me Vivian, I will not let him hurt you anymore.”

Padma’s laughter abruptly cut off and he tightened his hold on the small woman’s arm. “You shouldn’t make such promises.” Then his power roared towards her in a wave, calling to her beast and licking across her skin like flames.

After a few moments she cocked her head to the side and smirked at him, her eyes fading back to their normal chocolate brown. “I’m sorry, was that supposed to do something?”
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Whimsicality's Fics

There was nothing more she wanted to do than crawl back into bed, wrap herself in Michael, and spend the day trading kisses and learning what made him sigh, what made his breath catch, what made him purr in the back of his throat. - Liz in Hunted by Ashita

Polar Attraction - Not just for Polarists...

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