Murder, Mayhem and Mistakes

And there they were. Two lost little puppies... and Kev. I honestly wished I could get rid of him, but the twins were insistent. Lan would be devastated without him. They also said that Kev would do whatever Lan told him to do. While not entirely reassuring, it would have to do. Lan had dressed in tight black leather pants with a silvery t-shirt. It went well with his tumbled down, night-black, hair accentuating his deep brown eyes. Alec wore tight fitting jeans with blue, untied, Converse sneakers and a blue dyed leather jacket that covered up his shirt but not the velvet collar around his neck with word "puppy" on it. Kev wore loose jeans and a blood-red shirt that clashed, almost, with his hair. The shirt had faded stains on it which reminded me of bloodstains. He was probably a messy eater. They all carried designer duffel bags.

"Now then," One of the twins (both dressed in navy blue Italian suits with brown overcoats) said to the three of them. "Remember what we talked about."

Kev and Alec nodded their heads while Lan smiled angelically and said, "Of course! I couldn't forget it."

I wondered what they'd told him. I'd have to ask later. It could be important. Kev stared at me, a tiny smile on his face, flashing just enough fang for me to see. I knew he did this on purpose. He wanted to unsettle me. I wouldn't let him. Even if I wanted to be holding my gun. I gave him my own smile. One saying "if you try anything I will kill you." After all, I am the executioner.

He giggled.

He giggled the most disconcerting giggle I've ever heard. It sent shivers down my spine, activating that sort of fear impulse of our monkey ancestors felt when approached by a deadly predator. I shook it off. I refused to let him get to me.

The other twin rubbed his hands together. "Okay, we're off. If you need us, don't hesitate to call. Do enjoy yourselves, boys."

They gave me identical parting handshakes and left. Watching them go, I had a brief tang of regret. If only they had been susceptible to the ardeur. It would have been fun with a pair of red headed twins.

"It smells like cat poo," Alec declared suddenly, coming out of his slightly spaced look and focusing on the here and now.

"And I'm bored," Kev added. Lan said nothing but looked expectantly at me. I caught a sudden, quick flash of calculation, but then it vanished. I wondered if I had actually seen it.

"If you come this way, I can show you where you're staying."

I didn't hear the screaming at first. I was too far down and away, in Jean-Claude's bedroom as we discussed what to do with Auggie. Jean Claude did and he lift his head up suddenly, sitting up causing the sheets to slip down his white skinned body like water. I gave him a curious look, wonder what had caught his attention. And then I heard it. Painful howls of the weres and vampires. I could feel them through my bond, but I couldn't understand why I didn't feel them earlier.

"What's going on?" I made it a question. Jean-Claude shook his head.

"I do not know, ma petite but I suggest we go find out."

We quickly pulled on our clothes, I making sure I had my gun, this time pulled out and ready to use. Jean-Claude, of course, carried nothing but himself, confident that he could handle anything that came his way. As the Master of the city, he had every right to be. That didn't stop him from getting barreled down by something fast. He slammed into the wall with a resounding crack. When I could see his attacker, my eyes widened in surprise.

It was Alec! Standing on Jean Claude's chest, with a feral-wild expression on his face, his fingers crooked into claws he looked like he'd tear Jean Claude apart. Just as quickly, however, Jean Claude stood up in a silky motion, grabbing Alec by the nape of his neck. Alec went limp like a kitten and I could see blood staining his clothes and mouth like a hyena just having fed. Giving the fledgling a shake, he asked, "What are you doing?"

"What I was told to do!"

"And who told you to attack me?"

"That," a familiar voice said, "Would have been me." I turned to see Lan walking over to us. His entire affect had changed. The vacant look gone from his eyes, leading to sheer bloodthirsty calculation. He still walked like a dancer but with intending steps. Steps of someone in control, in complete power. He, like Orion his king, was letting us know that we lived and died at his whim. "He turned out to be a surprisingly good tracker. For being completely insane, that is. Now then. Let him go."

"Why are you attacking us?" I demanded. "What ... " I felt at a loss for words. "What is the point?" But I thought if I could keep him talking, I could get the upper hand.

"Several reasons, but I have something you might like to have." He tossed something long, like a snake at me. I caught it reflexively. It was a braid of hair, with some scalp on it. One that I knew intimately. It was Nathaniel's! "It's a gift from Kev." Without thinking I raised my gun and shot it at him three times with blessed bullets. They missed him because he was suddenly in front of me grabbing my wrist so tightly that I knew he was just on the verge of breaking it. Looking at Jean-Claude, he said, "I believed I asked you to do something." His voice held a threat with no mercy.

Jean-Claude dropped Alec, who scuttled to stand behind Lan. "There, I have dropped him, now let ma petite go."

Lan laughed. "The twins were right, you are a terrible negotiator. I imagine it's all the sex. You see, you made a mistake. I never said I was going to let her go and you never asked."

At that, I stomped on his foot with my heel and all my strength. He growled but didn't let go, his hand flashing out striking me hard on the face. "Behave, human or I'll let Kev have you. And he's been begging me to." I saw stars and my head swam as I had trouble concentrating. Lan yanked the gun from my hand and tossed it behind him. I saw Alec catch it and tuck it away somewhere.

"You're not going to give me to your minion and take Jean-Claude yourself?" I asked, hoping he'd pass me off to Alec which would allow me to grab the gun.

"Do you really think I'm that stupid?" He turned to Alec and barked, "Go find Orion and the others. Quickly!" And then we were alone.

I looked at Jean-Claude desperately, waiting for him to do something. I saw hesitation in his eyes, as he watched Lan. I knew why, and I didn't blame him for it. We'd been tricked, and tricked horribly. We didn't know what Lan was capable of. We didn't know what special gifts he'd been given from Orion, or even Orion's power itself. They had complete control of the situation, they knew everything about us, and we knew nothing. How did they do this?

As if reading my thoughts, and he probably was, Lan cheerfully said, "The Twins are masters of the internet, give them enough time and they can find out anything about you. Like your social security number." Which he then proceeded to rattle off. "If you stayed with the wolf and not this poofter, you might have lived."

"What does that mean?" Jean-Claude asked.

"It's rather simple, really. We're taking over your city," Orion said, stepping into the hallway. Jean-Claude looked like he wanted to go for Orion's throat, but the twins were with him, flanking him, and behind him a blood splattered Kev. He looked like an Adam Pollack painting done only in red. Kev smiled at me, his eyes full of promises of up-coming horror. And I knew he wouldn't try and rape me. No, I knew he would only torture me and make sure I felt every moment of it, which would be worse than rape. Then, when he finished his game, he would let me die slowly. Behind him I saw Alec, hovering in the shadows and letting his elders do the talking.

The twin on the left, wearing black jeans and a dark red shirt which most likely didn't show any of the bloodstains I knew had to be there, said "You're a liability. And she's far too dangerous to live."

The other twin, finally wearing something different from his brother, a neatly done black linen button down shirt and black slacks. "I mean, really, what sort of moron gives unlimited power to a human, of all things. Kev would be a better choice for such things."

"Except he'd kill Jean-Claude during the sex," Lan said cheerfully

I looked at Orion, studying him as the twins talked. He looked as impassive and blank as ever, clearly having his court speak for him. He didn't need to speak. His icy blue eyes just watched over all of us, not passive, but just waiting. Not a single move to be wasted from him. I couldn't read him at all, and he was the one who ran the show. He ruled our fate now. I kept on waiting for him to speak, but it was the twins who kept talking.

Gesturing back behind him, the one in the t-shirt said, "So, we decided to clean up the place a little. Get rid of the weres that wouldn't back us, and your vampires. They were... "

"Mildly amusing," his brother said. "Really, I would think they would present more of a challenge."

Kev broke in at this point. "They were too busy angsting over the years to fight." He gesture over at Alec, "That one even managed to take out freak face, and he's not even three months old."

Asher! My heart sped up and threatened to beat its way out of my chest. They'd killed Asher! And Nathaniel... most likely Micah and everyone else... I couldn't feel any of my animals to call. Any of them... except Richard? His name gasped from my lips and I felt a burgeoning of hope swell inside of me, all inside of me, like a great longing for release.

"Richard has decided to leave your services," Orion said finally. He spoke the words with all the emotion of an accountant reciting numbers. "He felt that he could protect his pack better with us."

"You see," Lan said, whispering in my ear, sending my skin shuddering, "You beat a dog enough and it'll leave you and find a new master who'll treat it better." His voice became breathy and I found myself aching for him. "Richard decided he had had enough abuse at your hands. At least none of us will make him feel guilty for loving another."

The ache in me continued to rise, and I could feel the ardeur seeking out to ensnare all of these men. All of these powerful, strong men. Even Kev and Alec, it desired. Jean-Claude felt like a distant memory as I tried to join with them. But it slipped off of everyone like they were protected with ice. Ice as cold as the arctic north or even the emptiness of space. Yes, the emptiness of space with no emotions but the vast vacuum of icy death. Their Master, their King protected them, much like any other Master would.

I heard Jean-Claude whisper in fear, "Ma petite, no. Do not do this! You will be the death of us!" But his voice sounded miles away, so far that I could almost not hear him. I found Orion, and offered up the warmth of my body, the inner heat inside of me with promises of power untold, if only he would join with me, letting me melt the ice around him.

He walked towards me, his face still as blank and empty as a dead man. Lan loosened his grip on me, stepping back for his lord and sire to take control. My breath caught in my throat as he placed a single deathly-cold finger under my chin, tilting my head back so that he could look me directly in the eyes. I felt myself caught in them, so perfectly pale blue they almost seemed white, drinking me in, studying me, weighing me to see if I was worth his attention.

"You really wish this, don't you?" he made the statement a question. "You wish to try and have me?"

I could only nod, my voice completely caught in my throat unable to move.

"It would kill you."

Smiling a little I said, "Many things were supposed to kill me. They did not."

"Chance only works on the situation at hand. The past luck has no effect on today's."

"I believe my luck will hold." I said confidently. "I want this."

One of the twins said quietly, "She has been spoken to and heard. And she has spoken and heard."

I didn't know what it meant, but it felt old, like an invocation to a ritual with long ago men huddling against the spirits, trying to ward them away. Taking sacred oaths of duty, blood oaths that would end in triumph or death. But I didn't have time to dwell on the words for Orion opened his mind up to me.

Ice rained into my mind, severing me from the heat, swallowing it, covering it so much that it drew any and all warmth from me. I felt his power- it was stronger than any mind I had touched before, so focused and intent. Honed so razor sharp that it tore into my mind. I heard Jean-Claude begin to scream and then I screamed myself, my mind fading in the cold and weight of Orion's mind. Of this stony ice king.

Hostile Takeover
Change of Plans ~ Fan Fiction ~ Epilogue