In the main theatre of Guilty Pleasures, Alec picked around the bodies carefully uncoiling intestines and then tying them into one long rope. He quickly became covered in gore, the blood and innards crusting in his hair, face and everywhere else. Richard watched him, trying not to let it bother him and trying to hold the contents of his dinner in. He and his pack did not participate in the slaughter, he made sure that it was part of their agreement. They agreed readily enough. As Trever said, they didn't want him to be uncomfortable in their relationship.

Speaking of Trever, the red haired vampire came up to him and gave Alec a disgusted look. "I wish he'd stop that."

"Why don't they stop him?" Richard asked, fulling agreeing with Trever.

Sighing, he said, "It keeps him occupied and amused. We don't want him wandering off. But you don't want to see what Kev is doing. Trust me on that."

Richard thought about asking, but he'd seen what the vampire did to Nathaniel, and decided he didn't want to know that badly. "Now what?" he asked instead. There were no vampires left here to challenge Orion's court and the other Masters either had made truces with him or weren't going to defy him. Kale had sent photos of the massacre to all the vampires Masters in the United States. The fact that he'd been able to so quickly and easily take out such a powerful Kiss with so few vampires made everyone else nervous.

"We're going to be sending some of our people here to pick up and start over. They'll be working with you, of course, to make things run smoothly." His voice indicated that Richard and his pack weren't above being killed if things didn't go smoothly. It also indicated that they would be allowed to do what they needed to do without disruption.

"What about the authorities?"

Here Trever laughed and flashed a pointed smile. "We own the authorities. Kale and I have lived here for the past three hundred years. You think we wouldn't have gotten our fingers in the authorities? We sent a few words to the right people..." his voice trailed off, not needing to finish the statement. Richard carefully marked that in his memory as something to be remembered and disseminated in his pack. He didn't think, however, that they would be doing anything to defy the new vampires.

"Where's Anita?" he asked.

"Her body?" Trever asked back, tilting his head a little.


Trever pressed his lips together in thought. "I believe Kale has it. He took it with him when he was taking pictures." His face suddenly turned rather green for a moment as Alec held up a liver like Yorick's skull. from Hamlet before sniffing it and taking a bite from it. "Let's go talk somewhere else, shall we?"

Fully in agreement, Richard said, "Yes, please."

They picked their way carefully through the bodies. Richard thought his wolf would be... excited about the dead around him... but it was quiet. These rivals were dead, yes, but not by his hand. And the hands that did it were making sure that no one else would take control. Trever led the way to what used to be Jean-Claude's office up above the club. "Thankfully," Trever said, "No one was in here when we started, so it's still usable."

Inside, Richard noticed that some redecorating had begun, taking away the velvet curtains and anything plush. It looked far more business like now. Behind the desk, which Richard knew would be replaced, sat Kale and next to him, leaning on the desk, was Maddy. She sat with him in his apartment while her companions were at the club. She offered her support and strength while his connections to Anita and the others were cut. Maddy didn't like the idea of killing them all, but she had been overruled. As the twins said, they needed to make a statement. Orion assigned her then to watch over Richard, lest he do something damaging. Her presence had been an enormous comfort. She was there to hold him when he cried and didn't ask for anything in return nor did she radiate sexual desire for him, which he would have used likely to replace Anita for her. She held him just like a friend as any other human.

Seeing him, she smiled. "Richard, how are you doing?"

"I'm fine, though I could have been better if I didn't have to watch Alec down there."

She made a face as Kale rolled his eyes. "It's keeping him happy and contained," she said. "Just like Kev... who is..." her voice trailed off.

"Worse," Kale offered.

"So I've been told." He felt better to know that more than one person were disturbed by Alec's actions, though he kept on wondering what exactly worse entailed. Wondering, but not enough to ask.

Putting down the papers he'd been looking at, Kale asked, "What can I help you with?"

"I'd like Anita's body. As whole as possible."

Kale did the same exact head tilt that Trever did when he brought it up to him downstairs. It rather creeped him out. "Why?"

Taking a deep breath he said, "I want to give her a proper burial. A proper Christian burial. I know that's what she'd want, and I ... I loved her. It's not her fault what happened to her. I want to give her this one last bit of respect for the woman she used to be when we first met." And he waited for their response, breath held. This, in a way, was a test for him. A test to see how much they would respect his wishes on how to handle his pack. For Anita had been a part of his pack, and a part of his life.

Kale's eyes flicked to Trever's, holding them. He knew some sort of communication was going on between the two of the. Maddy seemed to know too, from her patient waiting expression. "I don't see why not," Kale said finally. "I know Kev wanted to .. play with her. But he wanted to do it while she was alive. He's lost all interest now."

"And Alec... I don't think he understands who she was and he has more than enough bodies. Lan and Orion have no use for her. Personally, we were rather surprised what happened," Trever picked up.

"Who would have thought she'd actually be ... willing to offer herself to Orion? She actually had a kinder death because of it." Kale sounded like he was offering comfort and trying to give him peace of mind for what happened. Remembering a snatch of conversation he heard between Kev and Lan, Kev complaining about how quickly and easily Anita died, he did find it comforting. He accepted the twins' gesture.

"Anita lost a great deal of sense when she became involved with Jean-Claude. But thank you for this."

"Not a problem," Kale said meaning it completely, glad to help Richard in this. "If you give me a moment, I can show you where we put her and then you can take care of her."

Orion had them packed the night before. So, all that they needed now was to wait for their car to pick them up, the twins having returned the SUV earlier. They needed the space so that Alec, who currently sat quietly on the floor listening to his iPod and reading, and Kev, who leaned on the wall watching the humans walk by, wouldn't try to kill each other. Both Kev and Alec had been given hard scrubbings. Fortunately, neither Kev or Alec had problems with bathing. Alec even was meticulous about it. Their blood ruined clothes had been burned. They had planned ahead so none of their blood-soaked clothes were fabulously expensive. It wasn't in good taste, after all, to get those things ruined for such a... base matter.

He looked over at the twins, who were quietly talking to themselves. When they felt him looking at them, they lifted their heads and looked back at them. "You did well," Orion said. "This was a good idea. And I needed the vacation."

They grinned at him, identical grins. "Thanks," Kale said.

Lan and Maddy also looked pleased with the praise. They had all done good work. This job took a lot of effort and coordination to pull off, and they managed to do it with ease and style.

Yes, Orion decided, it had been a good week.

Hostile Takeover
Murder Mayhem and Mistakes ~ Fan Fiction ~ Hostile Takeover Analysis