Dance in the Abyss (Anita Blake,XO,Mature,UC) Ch 9 7/3 [WIP]

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Dance in the Abyss (Anita Blake,XO,Mature,UC) Ch 9 7/3 [WIP]

Post by Whimsicality » Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:04 pm

My Awards for Wander Into Darkness, the first story in this series.

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For Anita

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Runner-Up for Best Crossover Fan Fiction




Thank you all so much for your votes! You Rock my world!!













Title: Dance in the Abyss, third in the Lost Souls series.
Disclaimer: I own absolutely nothing, all characters and original Roswell/Anita verse settings belong to other very lucky people.
Pairings/Couples/Category: UC/Crossover. The main characters are Liz, Tess, and Alex from the Roswell verse and all the main Anita verse characters. As this will largely be set with the three Roswellians as young teens, pairings will most likely not come up for them, for Anita the pairings will be canon.
Rating: Mature, there will be violence and references to sex; this is crossed with Anita Blake after all!
Summary: The continuing adventures of Liz, Tess, and Alex in the Anita verse. With puberty comes big changes for the Blake triplets and their lives are about to get more complicated than ever. Sequel to Wander into Darkness and Growing up Blake

Author's Note: Like Wander into Darkness this will have a standalone plot as well as leading into the third story in the series which will show them as adults and finally reveal my pairing plans. For Anita this is largely true to canon including all of the most recent books with the main difference being the ardeur. When the Granolith’s energy affected the triumvirate it gave her complete control over it and removed the desperate need from it, so at this time her only lovers are Jean-Claude, Asher (who is also with Jean-Claude since my Anita isn’t a hypocrite), Micah, and Nathaniel. Other than that, the plot of the books won’t really affect things but, if you have specific questions feel free to post them in comments or send me a pm. Richard is still part of the triumvirate, but won’t feature much as he avoids them. Also, all hail Ashita, the most awesome beta ever!






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~ Chapter One ~




Anita leaned against the back porch railing, her eyes never leaving the trembling frame of her smallest child, who was currently curled up underneath the largest tree in the yard, as far from the house as she could get without leaving the property.

“She hasn’t been any better, but it hasn’t been worse,” Micah said softly as he touched her shoulder and handed her a fresh cup of coffee. “Marianne can’t get here for another two days; her protégé is having difficulties of her own.”

Anita nodded and sighed, leaning back into him and accepting the comfort of his warmth as helpless frustration rose in her throat like hot acid. There was no enemy to fight, no sickness a doctor or Alex could heal, just Lizzy’s own powers growing too strong for her to handle, and despite all of her own power, there was nothing Anita could do to make it better.

Just being near her daughter made it worse, as her very presence overwhelmed Liz with Anita’s darkest memories, memories she wouldn’t wish on an enemy much less someone she loved. Suddenly Liz convulsed, her long brown hair swirling around her shoulders as her knuckles whitened against her legs, muscles straining with tension.

Before Anita could decide if it was worth the risk to make sure she was okay, her other two children came sprinting out of the house, Alex shooting her a sad smile over his shoulder as they crossed the lawn to their sister.

They curled up on either side of her, surrounding her in a cocooning tangle of limbs, and Anita sighed with relief as Liz’s body went slack, her face losing some of its tension as she buried it in her brother’s neck while Tess rubbed soothing circles on her back.

They couldn’t go on like this; every episode took a greater toll on Liz, and she didn’t know how long her daughter, no matter how strong, could survive the constant onslaught. And as with everything else, where one child went, so would the other two.


~


‘It hurts,’ Liz said plaintively, attempting a mental pout since her mouth was pressed against Alex’s soft cotton shirt.

‘We know,’ Alex replied soothingly, hugging her closer as Tess combed her fingers through Liz’s hair, both of them swamping the bond with love and concern.

‘What was it this time?’ Tess asked after several moments, inner tone cautious and worried.

‘There was a pile-up on Watson, six people died, two teenagers.’ Liz stated flatly, curling deeper into the embrace of her siblings in an attempt to drive away the pain-filled memories of the dying screams still echoing in her skull, along with the lingering grief of the survivors.

Tess tightened her hold on the brunette as she met Alex’s scared blue eyes over Liz’s head, both of them trying to conceal their fear from their sister.

Liz’s range had increased dramatically in the past six months, and her shielding had been falling consistently. She picked up almost everything in a thirty mile radius when she lost control, but seemed to be particularly sensitive to the bad things – pain, death, and violence. It woke her screaming with nightmares that sent everything not bolted down in the house flying, and had driven the three of them to sharing a bed for the first time since they were seven.

All of them had felt their power increasing with puberty, but neither of the other two had been affected so drastically, as their powers were physical in nature, and while they were stronger in range and ability, it didn’t really affect them unless they were in use.

But Liz, Liz was getting worse. She had lost weight and refused to leave the house unless it was to visit the Circus, forcing Anita to hire a tutor in order to keep up her schooling. Both of them felt like they were losing her, just as surely as they nearly had seven years ago when a crazy man stabbed her with a knife, but this time, they did not know if their powers would be enough to save her. Not when it was their powers causing the harm.

Liz sighed, pinching Alex’s stomach with one hand and tugging on one of Tess’s curls with the other. ‘Stop worrying so loud, you’re giving me a headache.’

Alex managed a chuckle, and he and Tess both forced down their emotions, not wanting to add to her burden, both feeling helpless to do anything else.

All three of them were silent for several minutes, bond opened to its fullest extent, no words necessary between them as they laid there, content to be together and safe knowing that their parents were watching. But eventually Liz shifted restlessly, and then climbed to her feet, pulling Tess and Alex up with her. “Let’s go see if Maman will let us visit Papa Jean-Claude and Uncle Asher. I need a distraction.”

“Isn’t it early for them to be awake?” Tess asked, squinting up at the low sun with a doubtful expression on her face.

Liz just smiled, linking her arms through theirs, and stated with the surety of foreknowledge. “They’ll be awake by the time we get there.”

The blonde nodded, used to her sister’s way of knowing things she shouldn’t be able to by now, and the three of them wandered over to the porch where Maman and Papa Micah were standing, watching the three of them with visible concern.

“Feeling better?” Micah asked calmly, his gold-green eyes warm with affection and worry as they skimmed across all three of them before settling on Liz.

She nodded, smiling wanly. “Can we go to the Circus?”

“Are you sure that’s a good idea?” Anita asked, unable to hide the fear in her voice as she almost reached out to touch her daughter before catching herself and gripping the porch railing instead.

Liz shrugged, her lips twisting down for a moment before she forced the smile back. “I need a distraction and I think the worst has passed, for now.”

Her mother studied her intently for a moment before nodding. “I have to get to work, and Micah’s on call for the Coalition, but Nathaniel can drive you.”

Liz’s smile brightened and she pulled the other two up the steps, pausing long enough to give each parent a brief peck on the cheek, holding her strongest shields and using the physical contact with her siblings to protect her, before dragging them into the house and calling, “Papa, Papa!”

Nathaniel appeared when they reached the kitchen, coming out of the small room that held the washer and dryer. He looked at them quizzically, automatically reaching out to pull Liz into a hug, which she accepted gratefully, snuggling happily into his arms. She loved all of their papas, but she was closest to Nathaniel, and despite his own dark past, always found him the easiest to be around apart from her siblings.

“Maman said you can take us to the Circus to visit Papa JC and Uncle Ash,” Alex said helpfully when Liz didn’t speak up. Nathaniel raised an amused eyebrow at the nicknames, but nodded.

“Alright, let me go see which car she wants us to take to work and we can go.”

Liz reluctantly pulled away from him and leaned against the counter, fingers twitching restlessly as he gracefully disappeared down the hallway. Their papa had retired from stripping the year before to take a more active role in the Coalition, but he still retained the innate grace of not just a shifter, but a dancer as well.

Alex and Tess noted her nervous twitching and exchanged identical smirks before moving to tickle her, her distraction preventing her from seeing what they were up to until it was too late.

Nathaniel returned to the kitchen, keys dangling from his fingers, to see Liz shrieking with laughter as she struggled to get away from her siblings. “Save me, Papa!” she managed to gasp out between giggles, and he willingly joined the fray, dispensing tickles to all three of them equally until it descended into a free for all that ended with all four of them lying on the linoleum floor, limbs randomly entangled and giggles still escaping every few seconds.

“You guys are evil,” Liz muttered, affection and annoyance warring for control of her voice, and both of her siblings laughed, each reaching out to tug on her hair.

“Like you haven’t instigated anything before,” Alex said dryly. “Need I remind you of the shampoo incident?”

Liz tilted her head to smirk at him. “That was pure genius.”

Tess chuckled, resting her head on her brother’s shoulder. “I have to agree with her, Alex, it was brilliant.”

“Brilliantly evil,” he grumbled, and their papa laughed, the warm sound making all of them smile.

“Let’s agree that you’re all equally evil,” he stated amicably as he rose to his feet and pulled both girls up with him, leaving Alex to scramble up on his own. Nathaniel eyed the way he towered over all of them for a moment before turning towards the front door with an arm around each of his daughters. “I still can’t believe you two share genes with this giant.”

Alex grinned as he darted ahead of them and held open the door. “You three midgets are just jealous.”

“Right,” Tess commented sarcastically, rolling her eyes. “We’re just jealous of the way you always forget to duck when getting out of the car.”

He flushed and Liz detached herself from Nathaniel to cling to him instead. “Aww, we love you anyway you big, giant klutz.”

Alex laughed and ruffled her hair. “And I love you too, you tiny, ticklish midget.”

She stuck her tongue out at him, but didn’t let go of his arm until they reached the car, where she slid into the back seat with Tess, letting Alex take the front. Maybe she was going to go crazy, she didn’t know for sure, but at least she had her family to make her remaining moments of sanity more fun.
Last edited by Whimsicality on Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:38 pm, edited 17 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: Dance in the Abyss (Anita Blake XO Mature) Ch. 1 ~ 1/7

Post by Whimsicality » Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:16 pm

barbara87413: Thanks for the feedback! I'm glad you're enjoying the continuing adventures of the triplets :D
garcia88: Thanks for the feedback! I'm crazy excited to be posting it too, this is one of my favorite series to work on, and we will definitely find out more about Liz as it progreses.
cjsl8ne: Thank you! Liz will be okay, eventually, lol. I'm glad you're enjoying the new story!
KiaraAlexisKlay: K! I miss you! And I'm glad you're loving this next installment in the series cause I'm definitely having fun writing it. You make me blush, but I'm very glad you think I'm still pulling of the characters, and the weaving of the two universes. And I agree, it wouldn't be the same with just Liz, each triplet is equally important, and it's their interaction together that I love writing the most (as this chapter should make clear, lol). Love you too and I need more of your awesome stories! Especially maybe some Rath/Liz action.... :D











~ Chapter Two ~




Liz closed her eyes when they were still blocks away from the Circus, a tingling wave of energy rushing through her. Laughter, fear, greed, fascination; it was a melting pot of emotions, a human, and not-so-human, stew that never failed to make her a little dizzy. What it also managed to do though, was block out the rest of the city with its deeper pain and trouble, a trait that made her burgeoning headache more than worth it.

Beneath the swirling chaos of the attractions, lay the cool serenity of the catacombs below, filled with vampires whose thoughts were blessedly silent, and shifters who were easier to block out than run of the mill humans. Just as they turned into the parking lot, she felt two hearts start beating, the rich royal blue of Papa Jean-Claude, and the vibrant red of Uncle Asher blooming in her mind. She smiled and clapped, singing out, “They’re awake!” as she propelled herself out of the car and towards the employee entrance.

Her siblings and Nathaniel followed more sedately, and she grinned up at Graham, who was guarding the door, amusement flickering in his brown eyes. He swung open the door for her without comment and she skipped inside, taking the steps two at a time and ignoring the occasional startled glance or chuckle from shifters she passed in the halls. She followed her internal eye unerringly towards Jean-Claude’s bedroom, and burst through the doors to see he and Uncle Asher just sitting up.

Throwing herself on the bed in between them, she wrapped her arms around her papa, glad that he had a shirt on, and buried her face in his chest. He held her close and stroked her hair, exchanging a guarded glance with Asher, who stood and vanished into the bathroom. “What is wrong, ma reine?”

Liz lifted her chin so she could meet his eyes, smiling at the love and concern she could feel swirling in his mind. “Nothing, Papa, I just missed you. Maman said we could visit.”

He placed a gentle kiss on her forehead. “You know you are always welcome, ma reine, but tell me truly; did you have another vision?”

She nodded reluctantly, looking away from his penetrating gaze and resting her head on his chest once more, reassured by the rhythmic beats of his heart against her ear. “I hate feeling it when they die,” she said softly, blinking back tears as she felt Tess, Alex, and Nathaniel crawl onto the bed with them. “It’s hard not to follow them when they fade.”

Jean-Claude stilled so completely, that if she couldn’t still feel his soothing thoughts, she would have thought he’d died again for the day. He gripped her chin, fingers firm but gentle, and tilted her face so she had to look at him again, blue flames burning in his eyes. “Don’t ever follow them, ma reine, do you understand me? You belong here, with us.”

“I know, Papa, I don’t want to follow them. I don’t even want to feel them,” she replied, voice breaking, and he rested his forehead against hers, holding her as tightly as he could without causing bruises.

“We will fix this, ma reine; we will, I swear it.”

It wasn’t like her papa to lie. Like Maman, he preferred brutal honesty, although he usually said it prettier than Maman did. So Liz could only hope that he wasn’t lying this time either, because she was telling the truth; she didn’t want to find out what was on the other side of the sucking black she felt in the minds of the dying, but she worried that one day, she wouldn’t be strong enough to pull herself away.

A sudden burst of sunshine yellow intruded on her mind, and she turned her head to see Jason bouncing into the room, blond hair mussed and a wide grin on his face. “Were they telling the truth when someone said that the two prettiest girls in the city were here?”

Tess giggled and then hopped off the bed into his waiting arms, laughing as he spun her in circles before depositing her back on the silk coverlet and bending down in front of Liz and Jean-Claude. “Where’s my hug, sweetness?”

Liz gave her papa a peck on the cheek, and then reached out to Jason, grinning as she spun dizzily through the air and reveling in the irrepressible joy the shifter always radiated. There were many different mental flavors of joy that made up her family, but despite having his own darker side, his was always the lightest and most sincerely happy.

Asher came back into the room, lips tilting in a half smile, and she pulled away from Jason to throw her arms around her uncle. He was always so reserved, and all three of them enjoyed showering him in physical affection whenever they could, forcing him to accept their exuberance.

She knew most thirteen-year-olds weren’t as expressive or willingly immature as she and her siblings were, not even taking into account whatever age they really were, but she didn’t care. Living with the gifts, and the family, that they grew up with, had taught them that life was serious, deadly business, and when it wasn’t, you should take every chance to have fun that you could. Maman still had trouble with that, and sometimes, especially lately, Liz did too, which was why she refused to be serious today.

Batting her eyelashes up at her uncle, she put on her wheedling voice, “Can we watch you trounce Alex again?”

“Hey!” her brother exclaimed, pulling his lanky form off the bed and coming to loom beside them. “I resent your implication.”

“You mean you resemble it?” Tess asked sweetly from her place by the closet, where she was attempting to ‘help’ Jean-Claude dress for the day.

“I just need more practice,” Alex muttered, making both girls giggle.

“I would be honored to give your brother another lesson,” Asher stated before anyone else could make a comment, his face warm and amused as he brushed her Liz’s hair away from her face. “Why don’t you three wait for me in the armory while I…”

He trailed off and Alex grinned, winking at Jason. “Snack on the prettiest boy in the room?”

“That would be you string bean; I am no boy,” Jason replied haughtily, sky blue eyes twinkling.

“I notice you didn’t dispute being the prettiest,” Nathaniel commented dryly from where he still lounged on the bed, making all three teens laugh.

Jason shrugged, leaning against the bedpost in a casually suggestive pose. “Why dispute fact?”

Tess claimed Asher’s other arm, and Liz turned slightly to face the wolf, shaking her head. “Our papas are the prettiest, and Uncle Asher.”

Jason pouted, collapsing on the bed next to Nathaniel and pretending to brush away tears. “You don’t think I’m pretty, sweetness?”

The brunette rolled her eyes, although an affectionate smile teased at her lips. “I think you’re very pretty, just not as pretty as my papas.”

Tess giggled as Jason’s pout deepened and pulled away from Asher, tugging Liz along with her and grabbing Alex with her other arm. “Come on; let’s go find some coffee before hitting the armory.” Nathaniel cleared his throat and the small blonde shot him an innocent smile. “It’s only our second cup of the day; we haven’t hit the limit yet.” He watched them levelly for a moment before nodding, making Tess flush slightly and Jason snicker. “Bye all my pretties!” she called as she pushed Liz and Alex out of the room, turning Jason’s snicker into a small fit of laughter before the door closed behind them.


~


“I wish you were coming to school tomorrow, Lizzy,” Alex said as they walked down the hall towards the kitchen. “We’re supposed to be getting those robot babies sometime this week.”

Liz shuddered. “No thank you, that’s an even better reason to not step foot on the campus. It’ll be bad enough having two of those in the house; you’ll be lucky if Maman doesn’t shoot them.”

Tess snickered. “Think the teacher would buy that excuse?”

“It definitely beats claiming the werewolf ate your homework,” Liz said dryly, shooting Alex a sideways glance.

“I was seven!” he exclaimed. “Are you ever going to let me live that down?”

Both girls shook their heads, grinning widely. “Nope!”

He pouted all the way to the kitchen, only stopping when Liz handed him a steaming mug of coffee, her lower lip trembling as she widened her eyes as large as they could go. “Don’t be mad, Alex, you know we love you.”

He rolled his eyes, but wrapped an arm around her shoulders, taking a sip before replying. “The benefit of living in your head is immunity to your pouting, missy.”

She shrugged, leaning into his half-hug and taking a long sip of her own coffee. “It still works on everyone else but Maman.”

“I know,” he said despondently. “Sometimes, being the only boy in this trio sucks.”

“Do you need us to be more masculine? We can start scratching and spitting and talking about racks,” Tess said sincerely, batting her eyelashes at him until he threw his empty sugar packets at her.

She grinned and turned towards the door. “Come on, let’s go watch you wallow in testosterone while Asher kicks your butt.”

“Brat,” he muttered as he and Liz followed. “Evil brat.”

‘But I’m your evil brat!’ she responded silently and he sighed and nodded, yes she was.
Last edited by Whimsicality on Mon Jun 06, 2011 1:54 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: Dance in the Abyss (Anita Blake XO Mature) Ch. 2 ~ 1/22

Post by Whimsicality » Sat Feb 12, 2011 9:01 pm

garcia88, barbara87413, cjsl8ne, booktv-girl2310: Thank you all so much for the feedback! I'm glad you're all enjoying the triplets and their bond with each other and their family because I seriously have so much fun writing this series. We have some more bonding/angst in this chapter, and then the plot shall kick off in the next :D














~ Chapter Three ~




Alex and Tess walked down the hallway of their school, both feeling incomplete without their third. Being in high school, being Seniors in high school, at their age was strange enough, but making them do it without Liz, who had always been their grounding influence, was cruel and unusual punishment.

‘Why did we put ourselves through this again?’ Alex asked plaintively as he pointedly ignored the mutters and stares from those around them, some merely curious and some far less benign.

Tess sighed, slipping her arm through Alex’s and resting her head on his shoulder. ‘Because we stupidly thought that we should have some ‘normal’ experiences. Clearly we were idiots.’

‘Clearly,’
Alex agreed as they turned down the more deserted hallway that led to the library, revealing one of their more aggressive classmates barring the way with a malicious smirk.

“Where’s your freak sister?” he taunted, using his taller and broader frame to loom over them. “Still hiding at home like a scared little girl?”

“You mean like you did after she told the whole quad about your fake sex life?” Alex asked sarcastically, his grip on Tess’s arm tightening as he felt her rising anger through their bond.

The boy paled, and then sneered. “Whatever, she was lying. Just like you’re lying about her being sick. She’ll be back as soon as she gets rid of it.”

Alex frowned, confused and wary. “Gets rid of what?”

“Unless she decides to keep the kid; your family does have a habit of keeping mutant strays,” the boy stated, ignoring Alex completely as his smile widened triumphantly.

“You think she’s pregnant?” Tess exclaimed, shocked by the insinuation, which was something that had never crossed their minds as a possible rumor, not at their age, even though they were in the same grade as kids four or more years their senior.

“With a mom like yours, it’s no surprise she got an early start.”

The last remark snapped the restraining holds on their self-control. Lockers started to rattle and the faint acrid smell of smoke filled the air as the two Blake triplets glared furiously at the boy, who gulped and started to back away, his voice high and panicky. “Don’t do your freak things here!”

“Run,” Alex growled, his fists clenched and eyes burning.

The boy ran.

Tess slumped against her brother, taking slow deep breaths as she let the flames curling around her fingers die out. He wrapped an arm around her and steered her towards an empty classroom, pulling his cell phone out of his pocket after settling her at one of the desks. “We’re going home and we’re not coming back,” he said firmly, his lips pressed into a thin line when he saw the tears glittering in her eyes.

“Isn’t that running away?” she asked softly, without any real protest in her tone.

He shook his head. “No, it’s avoiding an unnecessary abusive environment. We don’t need to be here; we have enough credits to get our diplomas and go to college right now, or stay home and tutor with Liz.” His voice was deadly serious and his free hand was still clenched into a first, but he managed a small smile, trying to lighten the mood. “Besides, you can’t tell me you want to do that evil robot baby assignment.”

Tess shuddered, shaking her head vigorously before tilting it to the side. “Well you’ve certainly got the college vocabulary down; going to be a lawyer now?” she teased, humor and affection overriding her earlier distress as she accepted his attempt to make her smile.

He rolled his eyes, but smiled back, pressing two keys on the cell phone and lifting it to his ear. “It’d probably be a good idea; we could use a lawyer in the family, given everything.”

The blonde snorted delicately, nodding her agreement. Given their powers, and temperaments, legal action of some sort was probably inevitable in their future. Of course, she was more a fan of running and changing their identities, an urge she didn’t completely understand, but Maman probably wouldn’t approve, and she would miss everyone too much.

Alex reached Papa Micah and then they made their way out of the school, ignoring all further attempts to talk to them, and waited at the curb for their ride home, both silently rejoicing at the thought of never entering the cement structure again. Being normal really wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, and honestly, for them, it was a lost cause anyways.


~


Liz didn’t want to die. She loved her life; she loved her family in all its crazy, unconventional, hugeness, and she loved her siblings more than anything. That last one, no matter how happy it made her, was her current problem.

If her abilities didn’t stabilize, if she lost one of the daily battles she was growing more and more tired of, then she would die. This she was sure of. And if she died, they died. That was the nature of their bond; something that had only grown stronger since they first dropped into Maman’s lap seven years ago.

When she broke her leg falling off her bike, Tess and Alex both collapsed with stabbing pains. When Alex’s appendix burst, it was her and Tess’s reaction that ensured he got to the hospital in time. And when Tess lost control of her power and almost killed herself when she got trapped in their now burnt to a crisp tree house, all three of them ended up at Lillian’s with burns although Tess had been alone.

Marianne, Maman’s witch friend, said that their bond was the strongest she’d ever seen, even stronger than Maman and Jean-Claude’s through the triumvirate. All of which meant that Liz couldn’t die, at least not until she could figure out a way to keep Tess and Alex from dying too – a price she wasn’t willing to pay.

Lately she’d been feeling a strong, but vague sense of dread anytime she thought about her family, especially her siblings. She couldn’t help but worry that she was at fault, that she would be the cause of whatever trauma was lying in wait. Maybe if she just went insane, locked herself in her own skull, maybe they would escape the fallout.

‘Don’t even think about it, Elizabeth Claudia Blake!’

Liz looked up, jumping slightly in shock as she saw both of her siblings standing over her, glaring. She smiled sheepishly and gave a small, innocent wave. “What are you two doing home?”

“We quit school,” Alex said, expression never changing. “Now don’t change the subject. How dare you think about leaving us? It doesn’t matter if you died and we didn’t, without you we would never be okay again.”

Tess nodded, her expression fierce as she reached down and yanked Liz to her feet, pulling her into the middle of a tight hug between her and Alex. ‘If you try and lock us out, we will find you, even if we have to live in your head 24-7.’

Liz had tensed when they first wrapped their arms around her, but hearing the desperation in their mental voices pushed her over the edge and silent tears started to run down her face as she hugged them back, trembling from head to toe. ‘I’m sorry. I won’t, I promise.’

They stayed that way for almost twenty minutes, no more words exchanged, just emotions, as they grounded themselves in each other, reinforcing their bond and blocking out everything and everyone except the three of them. When they finally pulled away, Papa Micah and Papa Nathaniel were standing in their bedroom doorway, watching them worriedly.

Liz wiped away her tears and gave them a shaky smile, taking two steps towards them before Nathaniel moved almost faster than she could see to pull her into his arms. Micah doing the same with the other two a moment later.

“Everything okay?” Micah asked, his voice concerned, but firm, as he looked at each of them in turn.

“It will be,” Liz managed to say, tilting her face away from Nathaniel’s chest to meet her other papa’s gaze.

“Good,” he said with a warm smile, the skin around his gold-green eyes crinkling as he glanced down at Tess, then up at Alex. “So why exactly did you two pick today to quit school? And it had better not be about those babies, no matter how glad I am to not have them in the same house as your Maman.”

Tess giggled, but Alex frowned, his eyes darkening. “We got sick of taking crap about our families. Someone,” he paused, eyes darting apologetically to Liz before meeting Micah’s gaze again. “Someone was spreading a rumor that Liz was pregnant and that’s why she’s out.”

Liz gasped and two growls echoed through the room, their papas exchanging heated glances as their arms tightened protectively around their children, both fighting the predatory instinct to hunt down the offenders and tear them limb from limb. “Liz’s tutor can take all three of you easily, or we can enroll you in the University for next semester; you already have enough credits and the Dean can’t wait to have you back,” Micah stated, a hint of a growl still underlying his voice.

“Not until Liz is ready,” Alex said firmly, shaking his head, and Tess nodded her agreement, earning a wide smile and a few more tears from their sister.

“Let’s call Maman and have her come home early; I think we need a family dinner,” Nathaniel said gently after dropping a kiss on Liz’s hair, then guided her towards the hallway, the other three following dutifully behind.

‘Love you.’ Liz sent to Tess and Alex, and smiled as she felt their phantom arms join Nathaniel’s in hugging her close. She couldn’t leave her family behind, she refused to. No matter what it took, she would be strong enough to survive – there were no other acceptable options.
Last edited by Whimsicality on Mon Jun 06, 2011 1:55 pm, edited 2 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: Dance in the Abyss (Anita Blake XO Mature) Ch3 2/12 A/N

Post by Whimsicality » Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:25 pm

barbara87413: Thank you for the feedback! I promise Liz will be okay, eventually :D.
garcia88: Yes, the triplet bond is definitely important, and we'll get to them in college in the sequel. And Liz will get better, just going through some growing pains :wink: Thanks for the feedback!
cjsl8ne: Thanks for the feedback! Control will come, I promise! And here's that action you anticipated :lol:
booktv-girl2310: I'm so glad you're enjoying the story! Thanks for the feedback!
thetvgeneral: Your welcome! Thank you so much for reading it and letting me know you liked it!
Touch of the Wind: I've had this story plotted for ages and I swear you read my mind, lol, anyways, here's something happening with Tess :wink:, and there will be more to come. The beginning is a bit Liz centric, but as this chapter and the next few will show, each of the triplets has their own arc for this story, I am trying to keep it balanced between the three. And thank you for the feedback on the prior stories! My favorite part of this series is definitely writing the AB crew as parents and/or amused/afraid bystanders and their interactions with the triplets.








~ Chapter Four ~




Anita ignored the stares of the few customers who looked up and recognized her, and fought down her instinctive irritation as she followed the waiter towards a private table at the back of the restaurant. It was one of their twice-a-month family outings, and the triplets had wanted to try the new French restaurant that Asher had coaxed Jean-Claude into adding to his collection of businesses. Despite the nationality of two of her lovers, Anita wasn’t all that fond of French food, other than perhaps the desserts on the rare occasion she felt like indulging her sweet tooth, but she wasn’t going to deny the children what they wanted, not now.

Unfortunately, not everyone’s schedule had worked out for the evening, which was one of the many reasons they aimed for two a month, and it was too early for Asher and Jean-Claude to join them (which meant she’d probably have to come again at least once, much to her chagrin), leaving just her, Micah, Nathaniel, and the triplets. Although, at the moment they were missing Tess, whose jujutsu class was running late, so Merle would be bringing her when it was done.

It wasn’t easy juggling family and a career; especially a career like hers, which in essence was three full-time jobs. It was made even more difficult by who and what made up the rest of the family, but they did their best to make sure that they always set aside time to spend with each other as a group, both at home, as well as evenings out since, despite the lack of blood relation, her children had inherited her stubbornness, and refused to bow or hide from their family’s notoriety.

Tonight, especially, Anita was trying to be on her best behavior. She was still furious about what had happened at their school the day before, and at the fact that Tess and Alex refused to give her a name so that she could get that boy expelled, or worse. But she was making an effort to be calm because they were all worried about Liz, who had been stressed and snappish all day, and completely unable to explain why, except that she knew something was wrong. She just didn’t know what.

Finally the walk, and stares, ceased, and Anita slid into the secluded booth gratefully, smiling at Micah when he let her have the outside, and reached for her menu while adjusting her thigh holster with her other hand for faster access. Motherhood had not dimmed her protective instincts, or likeliness to leave the house armed; quite the opposite actually, and she was still eternally thankful that the men in her life accepted that facet of her personality. Which, she thought with a wry smile, was probably why her children were smart enough to withhold names from her.

“Uncle Asher said we should try the Coq au Vin,” Liz said quietly, catching Anita’s attention and giving her a soft smile, clearly also trying her best to be cheerful.

Anita smiled back, and then bit back a chuckle at Alex’s suggestion. “I vote we skip dinner and go straight to dessert,” he muttered, greedily eyeing the long list of pastries and other confections on the dessert menu.

Nathaniel, sitting across from her with Liz tucked into his side, smiled warmly at Anita, a mischievous twinkle lighting his lilac eyes. “Sounds good to me, although Jean-Claude might be upset if you eat all of that without him.”

Anita rolled her eyes, flushing, and looked down at her menu, refusing to reply and hiding a small smile at Liz’s answering giggle. She had been almost relieved when plans had changed and Jean-Claude couldn’t come, knowing that he would make her try everything on the menu, his taste for using her taste buds in no way diminished by time. And although she didn’t begrudge him the pleasure, she wasn’t exactly thrilled by it either, especially given the endless amusement it provided her children when they watched the two of them haggle over her food choices, ‘helpfully’ piping in with their own suggestions.

The waiter brought their drink orders – wine for Micah, and Nathaniel, water for her, and three root beers for the kids – and then left again, giving them a few more minutes to make their dinner selections. Anita had finally settled, after much deliberation, on the Bouillabaisse, when the sudden, sharp tinkle of broken glass made her look up, hand reaching instinctively for her gun.

Liz had knocked over her drink, the dark, fizzing liquid pooling on the table and staining her shirt, and blanched, her hands clenching into fists as her body tightened into the all too familiar bow of a vision seizure. Alex gasped, all of the blood draining from his face, and whispered “Tess” in a heart-broken, terrified voice, just as Liz began to scream.


~


Tess slipped out of her jujutsu outfit and wrinkled her nose at how damp it was, irrefutable evidence of just how long and hard the afternoon’s session had been. Two years ago, she had started Judo with Maman and loved it, but had eventually wanted to add another martial art to her repertoire. So, that summer, after their birthday (the day they had shown up in the road in front of Maman) and some research, she had signed up for jujutsu. It had quickly become her new favorite activity.

Her siblings preferred their weapons – Liz had her guns and her latest obsession with the throwing knives Uncle Edward had given up, and Alex had coaxed Uncle Asher into teaching him how to duel, but Tess had discovered that she loved the sheer physicality of unarmed combat. When she was training, or in a sparring session, nothing existed except for the motion of her body, and her opponent’s body, everything else faded away into a silent world of grace and speed and force. It was kind of magical.

It was also useful, as Maman was proof of, and jujutsu in particular was perfect for her and Liz’s long-term (and secret) goals, since it involved learning how to fight an armed opponent when you were not. Her next goal was to get Liz to join her; she just needed to use logic, the one weapon Liz couldn’t resist, and point out what would happen if Liz ever didn’t have her guns and knives. And ignore her protests that her abilities worked quite well as a weapon on their own; it might be true, but they could be countered. Besides, Tess was tired of being the only thirteen-year-old girl in her classes.

A sharp rap on the door interrupted her thoughts, and was followed by Merle’s deep growling voice, muffled slightly by the wood, and sounding very unfriendly to anyone who didn’t know him the way she did. “You almost done?”

“One sec!” she called back cheerfully, wiggling into her nice skirt and blouse for dinner, then fluffing her curls before digging into her bag for her body spray and quickly spritzing herself, wishing she had time for a shower. But she knew that Merle and Caleb, her watchdogs for the evening, wouldn’t be able to eat until after they’d dropped her off at the restaurant and into the safe hands of her family.

She knew Maman had enemies, as did her papas, and even the triplets themselves since certain ignorant people saw them as abominations, but sometimes having bodyguards follow them everywhere they went, annoyed and embarrassed the crap out of her. Taking one last, regretful look in the mirror, she shoved her workout clothes into her small duffel bag and slung it over her shoulder, then walked out of the small changing room and smiled at the two men. “We can go.”

“Finally,” Caleb muttered sullenly, earning a smack on the back of the head from Merle and an eye roll from the petite blonde as she exchanged an amused grin with the older shifter, before taking her place between the two men as they walked out of the dojo and into the small parking lot that adjoined it.

Something prickled the hairs on the back of her neck and she glanced around uneasily, good mood draining quickly, although she saw nothing out of the ordinary. Maybe Liz and her vague visions were just making her paranoid. She turned back to the car as Merle opened the passenger door for her, and felt her heart stop in horrified shock when Caleb’s head snapped back, blood suddenly fountaining from his throat in vulgar red spurts that she couldn’t look away from.

There was a wailing screech of something sharp against metal, and then a large, furry body was flying through the air towards her, a low growl throbbing through the evening air. The sound broke her out of her frozen panic, and she ducked instinctively, physical reactions honed in training finally coming into use, a teeny voice inside her head feeling a completely inappropriate surge of pride.

Merle intercepted the attacker before she had finished rolling away, fur flowing over his body as he slammed the other shifter into the ground with a bone-cracking thud. Snarls, grunts of pain, and the sound of tearing flesh reached her ears immediately after.

Her stomach rolled sickly and all the hair on her body stood on end as the smell of Caleb’s blood washed over her. Stumbling to her feet, she backed away from the two grappling weres, body shaking with tension. After a dazed moment, she mentally slapped herself, and turned to run for the dojo, heart pounding furiously in her ears. The car wasn’t strong enough to protect her; she needed to get behind walls.

She only made it two steps before she froze again, gasping in horrified terror as she met a pair of slit, yellow eyes, gleaming with malicious intent. Before her brain could even process the movement, a sudden sharp pain tore through her leg and she collapsed in agony. The burning pain spread from her leg, and into her blood, sending her spiraling towards a black pit, growls and screams and a mind-numbing terror chasing her into unconsciousness even as she cursed herself for not thinking to set the bastard on fire.
Last edited by Whimsicality on Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:20 am, edited 2 times in total.
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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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Re: Dance in the Abyss (Anita Blake XO Mature) Ch. 4 ~ 3/29

Post by Whimsicality » Fri Apr 15, 2011 4:53 pm

booktv-girl2310: Thanks for the feedback! Here's what happened, no more cliffies for a bit :wink:
garcia88: Thank you for the feedback! Tess will be okay, and as for the other questions, we'll get those answers soonish. And we will definitely see some Anita ass kicking! :D
cjsl8ne: Thank you for the feedback! As you'll see in this chapter, Tess is okay, for now, and we'll find out the why's eventually :-D
Touch of the Wind: Your review made me laugh, so thanks!
Synera: Here you go! Hope I didn't keep you waiting too long, and thanks for the feedback!


A/N: As for the less than friendly feedback I received, it was dealt with privately, and I just wanted to reiterate my gratitude to and appreciation for all the feedback, patience, and support, all my other readers have shown, even when real life kicks my butt. You guys rock my world!









~ Chapter Five ~




Liz had stopped screaming and was staring out the windshield, her body stiff with tension and her eyes wild. Alex was buckled into the same seat, his arms around her and his eyes closed as he focused on whatever he was seeing in her head. The tiny brunette had only spoken once, ordering them to get to the dojo where Tess had lessons before clamming up.

Anita wanted, needed, to know what had happened, but Liz wouldn’t speak no matter the prodding, all her attention inward, and Anita just had to pray that her and Alex still being conscious meant that Tess was alive.

She screeched through another red light, ignoring the horns and curses of the other drivers, and impatiently waiting for sirens, the fastest form of backup. A moment later she finally heard them, but not from behind her. At the end of the street, which she realized with a lurch, was the street they’d been trying to reach, there were three cop cars and an ambulance, lights whirling garishly.

The moment she pulled up to the curb, before she’d even engaged the brake, Alex had wrenched the car door open, both children spilling out of the car and sprinting towards the two men who were setting a stretcher down inside the ambulance.

Anita saw tousled blonde curls and blood stained bandages and sprinted after them, not noticing or caring that her engine was still running and her car doors were open. She could taste her pulse in her mouth, icy with fear, and struggled to remember to breathe. This couldn’t be happening, not to her children, anyone but them.

The two EMT’s tried to stop her children from reaching their sister and Liz sent them flying backwards with a wave of her hand, Alex already glowing as he reached Tess’s side and gently touched her leg, the glow spreading into the blonde’s tiny, fragile body, while Liz placed her hands on Tess’s temples, her eyes closed tightly in concentration.

Within minutes, minutes that felt like hours to a terrified Anita, both of them slumped while Tess’s eyes slid groggily open. Anita’s heart started beating again, and she realized that Micah and Nathaniel were holding her up between them, her knees having given out from sheer panic.

Liz started crying, deep wracking sobs that shook her whole body, and she flinched away when Tess sat up and tried to hug her. “It’s my fault. I should have seen it,” she stuttered out, voice breaking with anguish and limbs trembling violently. “It’s my fault. I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.”

Nathaniel and Anita both stepped forward, anxious to comfort her, and stopped in shock when Tess grabbed Liz’s shoulders and shook her, hard. “You are not God, Liz, so stop thinking you can control everything. Now shut up and hug me.”

The brunette choked, emitting a strangled sound somewhere between a laugh and a sob, and then flung herself at her sister, clinging to her fiercely and reaching blindly for Alex, who pulled them both into his arms, taking advantage of his lanky frame to hold them in his lap, tears streaming silently down his face even as he smiled.

Anita snapped out of her stupor and took the last two steps to reach them, letting Alex pull her into the hug and feeling Nathaniel and Micah wrap their arms around all four, finally letting her own tears of relief fall.

Tess was okay, she was okay. They were all okay.


~


Faint and luminescent, it seemed to radiate bitter sadness, barely visible in the garish lights from the surrounding police cars. It disturbed him and Alex looked down, focusing on Caleb’s body, preferring that morbid view to whatever was hovering above it, something no one else, including his sister, could see. They already had Liz, and now Tess to worry about; they didn’t need to bring his sanity into question too.

Liz shivered, turning her face into his side, and Alex tore his gaze away from the bloodied corpse to stare down at his sister, instinctively stroking her back for comfort. Liz was strong, the strongest of all of them, but right now she was like a piece of spun glass, and he was afraid that she would shatter under one more blow.

The terror and guilt that had consumed her when she saw Tess being attacked, it had almost drowned both of them, and only their burning need to get to their sister had prevented the two of them from giving into that sucking pull and never coming out again. If Tess hadn’t survived…Alex shook his head, she did, that was all that mattered. And now he just needed to figure out a way to protect both of his girls until Liz’s powers had settled down.

Her powers would settle down, they had to, and Tess would be fine, and he would stop seeing things that weren’t there or feeling something cold and alien pulse inside of him whenever he wasn’t distracted by something else. The Blakes didn’t give up, ever.

Alex sighed, forcibly shifting his gaze to his other sister and away from the corpse his eyes had returned to against his will. He and Liz were sitting on the steps of the dojo, watching quietly while the police milled around, collecting evidence. Tess was with Anita, giving her statement to Zerbrowski, the only police officer friend of Maman’s that all of the triplets liked.

Caleb was the only casualty among their people; Merle would survive, although only his shifter status had saved him from losing his leg and arm. The guilt over the death, and the injury, were swamping Liz and Tess, and Alex had been keeping up a steady, silent litany of reassurance that it wasn’t their fault. Unfortunately, they were both too stubborn and self-sacrificing for their own good, and they were both very good at tuning him out.

Of the attackers, one was dead, taken down by Merle, but the other two had escaped, although wounded, the trail of blood stopping shortly past the parking lot. The police had brought in dogs, but none of them had been able to follow the trail, and Alex had a feeling that later tonight, once all of the police were gone, a different kind of pack would be searching for the scent.

The one who attacked Tess had stopped short of mauling her, just tearing her leg to ribbons from the top of her thigh nearly to her ankle. The smell of her blood, how pale she had been, Alex knew he would see it in his nightmares. If Alex and Liz hadn’t gotten there in time, she would have lost the leg, and possibly her life. But that wasn’t what still scared Alex, wasn’t what was making Liz shiver as she burrowed even deeper into his embrace.

They could both feel the warm electricity coursing through their sister’s blood, changing things, adding things, irrevocably turning from her not-quite-human, to not-quite-something else. Maman wasn’t ready to admit that the attack had infected her, had shut down the conversation every time someone brought the possibility up, but their papas knew the truth, Alex could see it in their eyes. It was why Micah hadn’t left Tess’s side even once, still had an arm wrapped around her as they talked with the police, while Maman alternated between pacing and staring angrily at the lone attacker’s corpse, her fingers twitching over her gun like she wanted to raise him and kill all over again. A sentiment Alex fully understood, and appreciated.

‘We don’t need to kill him again; we need to kill whoever sent him.’ Liz said suddenly, interrupting his reverie, and Alex shot her a startled glance, wondering what exactly she knew.

Before he could ask, Papa Nathaniel sat down on Liz’s other side, wrapping his arm around her and gently squeezing Alex’s shoulder. “We’ll go to the Circus tonight once Tess and Anita are done; we’re all staying with Papa Jean-Claude and Uncle Asher tonight.”

Alex nodded, his gaze locking back on Tess, whose distress was vibrating through their bond. They all knew police procedure, how could they not with a Maman like theirs? But that didn’t make it any easier to answer question after question about her attack, to relive the terror and pain of the claws sinking into her leg, to see again Caleb dying in an endless shower of blood that was playing over and over in her mind, and therefore her siblings’ minds.

Alex had to fight the urge to go over and take his sister away, stop them from hurting her, no matter how necessary it was. From the way Anita and Micah’s bodies were tensed, he knew they felt the same way, and Officer Zerbrowski shot their Maman the occasional wary glance, as if preparing himself for her wrath.

Liz straightened a little bit, still leaning on him and Papa Nathaniel, but no longer as withdrawn inside herself. Her tone was soft and her thoughts were blocked from him, revealing no hint of her true emotions. “The ones who attacked Tess, they were lions. Are we going to be fighting the Pride now? Is Maman going to kill Haven?”

Their Papa stiffened and Alex jerked his head back to look at Liz in shock. He had seen the images in Tess’s mind, but he hadn’t put together the pieces yet, and the puzzle they formed could turn St. Louis into a war zone. The angry part of him, the part of him that burned with the need to make someone else suffer for Tess’s pain, wanted their Papa to say yes, yes they would be going to war, that Maman would kill whoever got in her way.

The part of him that abhorred unnecessary violence, the part of him that did not want anyone else in his family getting hurt, that knew that war killed more innocents than those who were guilty, that part of him prayed that Papa Nathaniel said no.

“I don’t know, Lizzy,” Nathaniel finally admitted, voice soft and his large violet eyes dark with worry. “Can you see anything?”

Alex’s breath sucked in sharply. No one but he and Tess ever asked Liz what she saw. Unless she told them about one of her visions, the family didn’t ask her to talk about them, didn’t pressure her to predict what might happen. The situation really was dire if Papa Nathaniel was willing to break that unspoken rule, and dread squirmed in Alex’s gut as he realized that the adults were as scared and uncertain as they were.

Logically he knew that, understood it, but emotionally he just wanted Maman and their papas to make everything better, to tell them that it would all be okay. Puberty, second lives, none of that made him ready to be all grown up.

After a long pause, Liz shook her head, nervously biting her lip as her eyes darted over to their Maman. “Everything’s jumbled up and it keeps changing.” Her lips thinned and her eyebrows lowered, anger trickling into her tone. “No one’s made any decisions yet, but I do know one thing.” She clutched Alex’s hand tighter, and shifted her gaze to lock with Nathaniel’s. “Someone wanted to hurt Maman, and they’re not done yet.”

Her voice shook and her body hunched in on itself. “This won’t be the last attack, this was just the beginning.”

Those ominous words made all three of them fall silent, unconsciously drawing closer together for comfort as they watched the organized chaos around them, each lost to their own fears. Their family was powerful and had all sorts of resources that normal families did not, but they weren’t invulnerable, and if someone really wanted to hurt them, they would find a way.

Liz was fighting a losing battle with her abilities, Tess was changing into something even less human than she’d been before, and Alex was seeing things that weren’t there. Plus, they now had an unknown number of enemies trying to hurt them. Alex felt a sudden nostalgia for a certain psychopath who’d just been trying to summon a demon. At least that crisis he knew they could handle.
Last edited by Whimsicality on Mon Jun 06, 2011 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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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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Re: Dance in the Abyss (Anita Blake XO Mature) Ch. 5 ~ 4/15

Post by Whimsicality » Fri Apr 29, 2011 4:51 pm

Yasmania: Thanks for the feedback! I'm glad you liked the twist, and as for your question about it, we will find out the answer, eventually :lol:. And I haven't forgotten DSC either! It's on my list to try and resurrect this summer if I get a few other things finished, so we shall see.
garciaa8: Thanks for the review! And it does seem like that sometimes, lol, but I promise, my goal is one big happy Blake family once all is said and done, just between their own natural luck, and Anita's chaos, it'll take a while :wink:
Synera: Thanks for the review! And I'm glad you noticed Alex too! We'll find out more about him next chapter :D
cjsl8ne: Thanks for the feedback! We will definitely find out more about Tess and the other two and the fallout of this soon.

A/N: Elizabeth and Caleb had become lovers by this point in my AB verse.













~ Chapter Six ~






Anita glared furiously at Micah and Jean-Claude, hating that they were being the voice of reason. She didn’t want reason right now; she wanted vengeance, preferably as bloody and painful as possible. Lions had attacked her daughter, lions had killed one of her leopards, as far as she was concerned, the next step was dragging Haven and his lions in with as large as a force as they could muster, and letting Valentina at them until they talked. She’d even help the pint sized torturer, happily wielding the rack, knives, or whatever other medieval devices that Jean-Claude kept stashed in the depths of the Circus.

The only reason she was even willing to consider torture over execution, was Liz’s insistence that the lions who had attacked hadn’t been working alone. But Jean-Claude, with Micah’s backing, had insisted that they should see if Haven knew of any other lions in the area, because he wouldn’t risk her displeasure with such an attack.

If she thought past her rage, she might even agree, but the familiar, all consuming red haze had blanketed her mind and she wasn’t feeling particularly inclined to fight it. Unfortunately, her men were ignoring her, and had already delegated Asher, Wicked, and Truth to go speak to Haven. Anita watched them leave, arms crossed over her chest and anger burning like acid on her tongue.

“Well, if no one’s going to listen to me anyways, I’m going to go see how Tess is doing.” She said bitterly, shaking off Micah’s comforting hand and turning away from Jean-Claude’s empathetic gaze, wishing it was that easy to tune out his feelings.

Elizabeth stood in the stone corridor outside the door, blocking her path. Anita glared, hand resting pointedly on her gun, and Elizabeth snarled. “Caleb is dead and all you care about is your precious freak of a child.”

The red haze clouded Anita’s vision, buzzing in her ears like a swarm of angry hornets, and she pulled her gun. Before she could pull the trigger, a silent shout shook the underbelly of the Circus. ‘Shut up! Everyone just shut up!’

Liz appeared in the hallway behind Elizabeth, casually flicking the adult shifter out of her way with a telekinetic powered flip of her hand, the woman thudding against the wall with a pained grunt that made Anita’s lips curl into a vicious smile, until she noticed that Liz was glaring at her too.

Her daughter continued to speak silently, but intensely, the force of her thoughts almost painful, underscoring her fury and desperation since Liz never spoke like this to anyone but her siblings. ‘Someone is dead, two more people almost died, and my sister is trying to deal with what happened to her, and what’s going to happen to her. Someone out there did this, on purpose, and instead of screaming and bitching and fighting, you need to be figuring out who it is, because I can’t see everything.’ Liz’s tiny body shook with a muffled sob and Anita reached for her, but was shocked to find a barrier of invisible force blocking her way.

Liz shook her head fiercely, angrily wiping away her tears as she resumed glaring. ‘Marianne will be here in the morning, I want to talk to her when you’re done.’ Then she spun on her heel and disappeared down the corridor, the slam of the triplets’ bedroom door making Anita jump, her nerves, already strung wire tight, vibrating with helpless anger and frustration.

Elizabeth made the mistake of moving, drawing Anita’s attention and reminding her that she had drawn her gun with the intention of finally shooting the bitchy thorn in her side. “Get out,” she growled, her fingers almost twitching with the need to pull the trigger. Something in Anita’s eyes, either her inner leopard, or just her own inner bitch, made Elizabeth pale and she fled, disappearing towards the exit. Anita stared at the stone door for a moment, breathing deeply and convincing herself that she’d just done the right thing, if not necessarily the smart thing, and holstered her gun before slowly turning to face her men.

Her lips twisted into a wry, bitter smirk and she placed her hands on her hips, eyes skimming over all of them before settling on Jean-Claude. “So, who needs to die this time?”


~


It was warm, electric, primal, and powerful; it was invading her body and she wanted it to stop. She and her siblings were already different, different even by this world’s standards, and she had long ago accepted that. It was part and parcel of having her family, of having Liz and Alex, the other halves of her soul. But this didn’t include them, this strange stirring of power wasn’t moving through their blood and rearranging things, and that, more than anything else, terrified her.

She could have accepted this new, life changing, occurrence, if they were changing too. She could do anything as long as she had them. But they weren’t changing, in less than a week they wouldn’t be sprouting claws and fur and suddenly feeling the urge to eat bloody, living meat. She shuddered, curling tighter into herself.

They’d been curious, when they were younger, what it was like being a shifter, and had had many long conversations with Papa Micah and Papa Nathaniel, as well as all the other members of the pard. All of which meant that Tess had a uniquely intimate knowledge of exactly what changes her body was experiencing, of what was to come, of what she would be from now on. She didn’t think shifters were bad or less, nor was she afraid of them, anymore than she was afraid of anything else with the power to hurt her. Frankly regular humans scared her more than anything else, and they already had plenty of reasons to hate her, this wouldn’t change that.

But she was afraid that she wouldn’t be like her papas, that she’d be like the old lupa, or that crazy man who had held Micah’s pard hostage. Or that her differences, the parts of her that weren’t from this world, would warp things, twist things, until she wasn’t a shifter but was truly a monster. A monster like the man from her second life who still woke her with screaming nightmares, nightmares that weren’t nightmares at all, but memories that she wished had stayed buried in her subconscious.

‘You aren’t capable of becoming a monster, Tess,’ her sister stated firmly, crawling onto the bed and wrapping her arms around her as Alex curled into her other side, his arms encircling both of them in a cocoon of love and protection. ‘Do you remember the nice little lecture you gave me the other day? When I was being stupid?’ Liz asked and Tess sighed before nodding reluctantly, knowing where this was going but not seeing any way out of it.

‘Good. Then you won’t mind me taking a turn,’ her sister continued dryly, then gently pinched Tess’s side. ‘Don’t be stupid. We love you, we’re still stuck in your head just like you’re stuck in ours, and nothing can change that. We won’t ever leave you alone; we won’t ever let you become someone you don’t want to be, anymore than you would us. Got it?’

A smile turned up her lips unbidden and Tess nodded again, less reluctantly. ‘I just wish you were changing too,’ she finally said, knowing they would understand what she meant, how afraid she was of being just her, after seven years of being a part of TessLizAlex, one soul that just happened to inhabit three bodies.

They both hugged her, widening the connection until it was all of them jumbled together, instead of three people sharing thoughts, something others, including their Maman, found incredibly uncomfortable, but that to them was normal, a natural state of being, just as much as when they were in their own heads. When they finally disengaged, Tess felt a little more like she could handle what was happening, and so Liz shared everything she’d seen in Maman and their papas’ heads, and heard from their discussion, including the group that had been sent to Haven.

‘I don’t think he has anything to do with it. There’s a connection there, but it wasn’t Haven, he wants Maman too much,’ she told them, worrying at her bottom lip as she strained to see more and failed. ‘But I still can’t see who’s behind this,’ she frowned, frustration, anger, and fear, swamping their bond. ‘All this power, driving me insane, and it won’t show me the one thing we really need.’

‘It’s not your fault, Lizzy,’
Alex reassured her, Tess sending her agreement. ‘And whoever it is, they will die, not us. If Maman and our papas won’t do it, than we will,’ he added, mental voice steely, sending atavistic shivers down both of the girls’ spines. They agreed with him, and would do what was necessary to protect each other and the rest of their family, but hearing his, their, intent, so baldly stated was a little shocking.

Eventually the three of them fell asleep, curled into a ball in the middle of their bed, while their family worried and watched, all waiting for the next blow to fall.


~


When Anita spotted Haven’s bright blue spiky hair coming through Jean-Claude’s bedroom door, she almost shot him on principle, only the fact that Asher was standing in front of him preventing her. The Rex held up his hands in a placating gesture when he saw the look on her face, and Asher gently touched her arm. “Haven did not order this, he is here to help.”

Anita growled, shaking off his hand and folding her arms over her chest as she glared at the lion. “How can you help, when one of your lions did this.”

“If one of my lions did this, Anita, I’ll bring you their head on a platter,” Haven said, his eyes cool and hard, remnants of his mobster past rather than the beast inside of him. “But you do need my help. You have someone here who might want to know what she’s turning into.”

Micah, Nathaniel, and Jason all visibly winced as Jean-Claude shot Anita a warning glance, feeling her sudden rage through her bond as her hand tightened on her gun. “You will never speak of, or to, my daughter. Is that clear?” She didn’t bother waiting for his reply before turning to face Jean-Claude again. “Have you narrowed down the list of Master Vampires with a grudge against us?”

“It is a long list ma petite, but there are few with the power to linger unnoticed in my city, Requiem is tracking down the whereabouts of the most likely suspects. Richard has already sent over several wolves, but they lost the trail of the injured lions.”

“So basically, we have nothing,” she gritted out from behind clenched teeth and Jean-Claude moved faster than her eyes could track to stand directly in front of her, hands closing on her arms as he stared down into her eyes.

“We are doing everything we can to find the ones who did this, and to protect against any further attacks.” His voice was quiet, barely audible, but as cold and deadly as frostbite. “I promise you ma petite, that no one will hurt our children again, and the ones responsible will pay.”

Her throat tightened and she leaned into his embrace, finally relaxing her tight rein on her emotions and accepting the slight comfort his presence provided, though she didn’t let her tears fall, and wouldn’t, not until the monsters who dared to hurt her baby were cold and rotting in the ground.
Last edited by Whimsicality on Mon Jun 06, 2011 2:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dance in the Abyss (Anita Blake XO Mature) Ch. 6 ~ 4/29

Post by Whimsicality » Tue May 17, 2011 12:48 pm

cjsl8ne: Thanks for the feedback! We will see what happens with Tess soon :-D
garcia88: Thank you! Yeah, Tess did get thrown a curveball, but she's strong! They'll all make it through this, eventually ;)














~ Chapter Seven ~






Marianne arrived bright and early the next morning, just as Liz said she would, although Anita had not expected her two tag-alongs. Becca, Edward’s adopted daughter, had shown signs of natural talent just three years ago, and Anita had given him Marianne’s name as a trustworthy person to teach her control. The girl had exceeded everyone’s guess when it came to power level, and she was now living with Marianne during most of the year, not yet at the point where she could be away from Marianne long enough to go to school.

Peter, her older brother, had never given up on his goal of being like Edward, not even after the botched job that almost cost him his life and changed his species, but had apparently decided to keep an eye on his sister. Not that Anita could blame him, in fact, given that both of his step-children were now in St. Louis, embroiled in the mix of her current disaster, Anita fully expected Edward to show up too. But that could wait, for now she had an emotional teenaged witch, and a far too sarcastic for his own good assassin trained young-adult, invading the already tense to the point of bursting Circus. It was a nightmarish recipe.

She hadn’t slept for even a minute the night before, not even when Jean-Claude and Micah ganged up on her and sent her to bed; it had been useless, her mind racing and gut roiling with anger and fear, preventing her from resting. Finally, her men had given up, and Nathaniel had steadily been plying her with coffee and food (the latter of which she ignored), using the kitchen Jean-Claude had finally installed at the Circus, while leopards, vampires, wolves, rats, and one brave lion, all filtered in and out of his office, each reporting jack shit when it came to anything regarding whoever had attacked her daughter.

So despite the less than welcome entourage, she was quite happy to see Marianne, who at the very least could provide a welcome distraction from her circling, increasingly agitated thoughts. Both of the witch’s eyebrows were raised as she took in the crowded room, reeking of tension that even a non-sensitive could feel. “Either you understated the situation with Liz, or your life got interesting again,” she stated dryly, gracing Anita with a faint smile.

Anita smiled back, feeling her tightly coiled muscles relax ever so slightly in the woman’s calming presence, and asked sarcastically, “When is my life ever not interesting?”

Marianne’s smile widened and she took Anita’s hands, leading her towards the chairs by the desk, Becca following dutifully behind while Peter elected to remain by the door with the shifters. “Start with Liz,” the vargamor said after they sat down, “And we’ll deal with the rest later. Her powers are growing stronger?”

Anita nodded wearily, fears and frustrations rushing back as she found herself glad that Jean-Claude was asleep for the day so that he wasn’t trying to soothe her, something that had become more aggravating than calming in the past twenty-four hours. “Her visions are getting more frequent, and her range had increased, and –” her voice wobbled, angering her more at the evidence of weakness, “She only sees bad things, pain, and death; I can’t even touch her.”

Green eyes soft with compassion, Marianne squeezed her hands, but remained silent, the power radiating from her increasing in strength as she drew on her own gifts, including insight just as eerily accurate as Anita’s daughter’s, although less darkly focused. After a moment, she hummed softly, gaze sharpening as she turned her attention back to Anita. “She’s not the only one whose powers are growing,” she stated cryptically, making Anita’s brow rise as she wondered if Marianne was referring to Tess’s attack, or if the children were keeping something from her.

“Liz will adjust to the strengthening of her abilities; I can help her with some exercises, but I need to talk to all three of the children –” she paused, lips curling into a smile, “I believe they’re already expecting me.”

Anita sighed, leaning back in her chair, the fingers of her right hand drumming restlessly on the butt of her gun while she waved Marianne towards the corridor with her other; psychics, even ones she was related to and loved, could be so damned annoying.


~


Alex looked up towards the doorway from his spot on the girls’ (and temporarily his) bedroom floor, blue eyes sobering as he caught sight of the beautiful auburn-haired woman standing in it, and staring directly at him with a gently chiding expression. “You are no less important than your sisters, Alex, and you know better than to ignore anything strange, especially when it comes to your abilities.

Both of his sisters’ head snapped towards him, eyes wide and faintly accusing, while Liz’s held a faint touch of guilt at once again missing something important, guilt he quickly rushed to soothe. “I didn’t want to worry you; we’ve had enough to deal with even before last night,” he said pleadingly, knowing it was a lost cause even as they both invaded his mind, waiting patiently until he gave in and showed them the memories and feelings he’d been hiding from them – spikes of cold power and glimpses of things he couldn’t explain, especially when Maman came home from a night of work at Animator’s Inc.

“You’re a necromancer,” Liz breathed with shock, face pale as she laced her fingers through his.

“Or at the very least, an animator,” Marianne stated firmly, joining them on the floor, sitting down cross-legged with limber ease. “And you know exactly how dangerous ignoring that power can be.”

Alex hung his head, squeezing his sisters’ hands back when he felt soothing comfort and forgiveness seeping into the bond from both of them, no hint of anger or reproach, just a desire to help anyway they could.

“Good,” Marianne said with a warm smile at all of them, “That bond is going to get all three of you through your changes.” Liz opened her mouth to ask a question and the vargamor shook her head before she could. “No, I don’t know how Tess’s new status will affect the two of you. You may both become shifters as well, you may become carriers like your mother, or there might be no bleed over, although I think that possibility is least likely.” Nodding her head towards Alex, her expression grew more serious as she continued. “The same goes for Alex’s powers. Only Liz’s control has prevented the two of you from experiencing more instances of her power, and I know there have been times you’ve kept from your parents. You need to be completely honest, with each other, and with your family, or something very dangerous could happen if your powers meld or feed off each other.”

The three of them exchanged glances before nodding their understanding and acceptance. They trusted the witch as they trusted few outside their family; she had helped all of them deal with their powers when they first manifested and through various incidents over the years, as well as helping their Maman. If anyone could be considered an expert, or at least knowledgeable, on their unique status, it was her. And they’d learned to heed her warnings; they didn’t need anything worse occurring in their chaotic lives, especially not something preventable.


~


Anita was hovering anxiously in the living room, waiting impatiently for Marianne to come back from speaking with the triplets, when Zane led someone else into the office, stepping aside and revealing a glowering Haven. Her fingers automatically tightened on her gun, body poised for violence as his light blue eyes locked with hers, sparking with anger. “Justin is missing,” he snarled, hands clenched into fists, clearly furious at the possibility that one of his lions was involved in what had happened.

She didn’t particularly care about his personal feelings, too consumed with her own fury that the brother of the old Rex had apparently decided to avenge his brother – years after the fact – by attacking her family. That bloodline really was too stupid to live. Gritting her teeth, she included Jason, Claudia, Micah, and Haven in her gaze. “Spread the word, I want him now, and I want him alive.” Her lips curved upwards, viciously baring her teeth. “Uninjured isn’t recommended.”

Tilting her head, she focused just on Haven. “I’m telling the police,” she stated, no room for question in her tone. “They have more manpower than we do, but I have no problem with you arranging for his death while in custody, once I have the information I need.”

His lips twitched as if to protest, but he wisely kept silent, nodding his agreement before turning to leave, almost everyone in the room following, Micah pausing to gently caress her cheek before vanishing into the corridor. Marianne and her children appeared in the doorway once he was gone, serious faces making it clear that they had overheard. “Will you stay here with them? Rafael is sending over more guards, but they can’t help with certain things,” she asked the witch, barely waiting for the answering nod before turning to leave as well, sending a lingering glance at the triplets over her shoulder before steeling herself to go tell Dolph truth tainted with lies, that fact not bothering as it once would have.


~


After the office door closed behind their Maman, the triplets exchanged silent glances, worries and fears expressed in an instant as Liz shook her head, indicating lack of any idea of where the lions were, or what was going to happen other than the ever present sense of dread she’d, and therefore they’d, been living with for weeks. Papa Nathaniel approached them, wrapping his arms around the girls’ shoulders and squeezing gently. “Maman and Papa Micah will be fine, and they will catch the ones who did this,” he stated with a rare show of firmness, before giving them a small smile. “Now what do you want for breakfast?”

“Pancakes,” Tess replied after a moment, “With strawberries and whipped cream.” All four of them smiled, remembering the first meal he’d ever made for them, before they became a family, and Nathaniel nodded, dropping a kiss on Tess’s head before leaving the room and heading towards the kitchen, dragging a protesting Zane with him and leaving the triplets, Becca, Peter, Marianne, and Fredo, their current bodyguard, alone in the office.

Liz sighed and dragged her siblings to the couch Peter was leaning on, collapsing onto it and resting her head on Alex’s shoulder while holding Tess’s hand, all three of them feeling drained from the stress of everything that was happening. Peter glanced down at them, eyes dark with amusement as they found and held Liz’s. “You three are never boring.”

She didn’t deign to reply and Tess rolled her eyes, waving a flippant hand in his direction. “You’re just jealous of our glamorous, exciting lives.”

Liz snickered and Alex shot all three of them an irritated glare. “Personally I think boredom is highly underrated, and if he wants our ‘excitement’ so much, he can have it.”

Becca piped up for the first time since her arrival, blue eyes dancing merrily as she toyed with a strand of her unruly chestnut hair. “He wouldn’t know how to handle it; he’s all talk.”

All of the triplets burst into laughter at that, humor relieving the tension, and it was Peter’s turn to roll his eyes, shooting his sister an annoyed frown and muttering “Brat”, which only increased their hilarity as the three chorused in unison, reveling in the lighthearted moment that was sure not to last. “But she’s your brat!”
Last edited by Whimsicality on Mon Jun 06, 2011 2:02 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: Dance in the Abyss (Anita Blake XO Mature) Ch. 7 ~ 5/17

Post by Whimsicality » Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:21 pm

A/N: Thank you very much for the feedback you two! I'm glad you enjoyed it :D And here's Edward for those looking forward to his visit!














~ Chapter Eight ~






Anita stalked into the station, doing her best to conceal the depth of her anger, and knowing she failed when every cop who saw her tensed, hands reaching subconsciously for their guns. Zerbrowski grinned at her, eyes darkening only momentarily at her ill concealed scowl, before waving her towards Dolph’s office with a sleazy, but somehow charming, wink. She attempted a smile back that didn’t get past a grimace, and then stalked down the hall, knocking once on Dolph’s door before pushing it open, the “Come in” leaving his lips after she’d entered.

He frowned at her, but didn’t comment, instead leaning back in his chair and crossing his arms over his chest as she leaned against the door, too tense to sit. “A werelion named Justin Geier is involved in the attack; he has a grudge against me, and we have reason to believe that he’s not working alone, and that there will be other attempts,” she said flatly, voice as cold and empty as her eyes.

Dolph made a grating, humming sound in the back of his throat, mouth twisting into a grimace as he asked, “Do I even want to know why he has a grudge against you?” She didn’t bother with a reply and he sighed. “Go talk to Bob, and we’ll get his name and sketch out to all the uniforms in the city. I’m glad to see you cooperating with us on this.”

“I want the bastards who hurt my little girl caught, and I will do whatever it takes to accomplish that,” she replied, not caring when his face tightened at the implications of her words. “Call me if he turns up.” His eyes narrowed, and when she opened the door again to leave, she made sure the federal marshal badge clipped to her pants glinted in the light. It had been years since she was just the civilian consultant with little to no rights, and she had no problem using her now well-worn badge as a battering ram to get what she wanted.

The time of moral qualms and questioning her rather loose association with the law was long gone, and these days she was content with, and skilled at, not getting caught.

After dredging up her memories of Justin for Bob, she left the station, hitting a drive- through for some coffee on her way back to the Circus. She needed a few extra minutes to calm down before seeing her children again, not willing to be away from them longer than she had to, but not wanting to overwhelm Liz with anymore emotional stress than she had to.

Claudia and Bobby Lee had arrived by the time she got back, and everyone was in the informal dining room that had been installed next to the kitchen, sitting or standing around the large table, which was covered in platters of pancakes topped with strawberries and whipped cream, making her smile despite herself as she remembered the first morning with the triplets in her house.

Tess caught her eyes from the chair closest to the door, and for a moment Anita saw something else peeking out from the pale blue pools, a hint of gold and brown that made her smile falter as her own beast stirred in recognition. Tess’s own smile dimmed slightly, but then returned, clearly through force of will. “Maman?” she asked, drawing everyone else’s attention. “Will you call Lillian?” She gestured to her siblings, both now watching Anita with the same intent gazes. “We want to know if they’ve been infected too.”

Anita felt like protesting her daughter’s assumption that she was infected, but the words died in her throat. It would do neither of them any good to deny the inevitable, and Tess would have more support than any other new shifter had ever had – her daughter would be fine, no matter how many people Anita had to kill to ensure that fact. So instead she smiled, and squeezed Tess’s shoulder. “Of course, but first, any pancakes left for me?”


~


After she’d eaten, and called Lillian, the triplets had asked to speak to her and Nathaniel alone in Jean-Claude’s office. Anita forced herself to sit, taking the love seat with Nathaniel and waiting patiently while the triplets fidgeted on the couch, Tess and Liz staring at Alex, who was staring intently at his hands, fisted together in his lap. Tess huffed and pinched him and he jumped slightly, scowling at her before finally raising his gaze to meet Anita’s, who raised a questioning eyebrow, carefully hiding her amusement.

“Liz’s powers aren’t the only ones that have been growing,” he said quietly, unknowingly echoing Marianne’s earlier words. “I,” he paused, scrunching up his face before assuming a shaky smirk she knew he’d picked up from Jason. “I can see dead people; and feel them.”

Anita’s jaw dropped.

It wasn’t possible. She wouldn’t wish her ‘gift’ on anyone, much less one of her children. Being able to call the dead had made growing up a nightmare, including visits from dead pets, and a dead professor, the constant sense of isolation, of being different, filled with a power she couldn’t always control and one that many people considered evil, along with those who wielded it. Throw in what she knew about the Council’s view of Necromancers, assuming his power reached that level, and the possibilities terrified her.

Blinking, she saw similar fear reflected in her son’s blue eyes, along with hope that she would understand, and she forced herself to smile, one that became real when she opened her arms and he crossed the space between them with one long stride, hugging her and Nathaniel tightly. Yes, the thought of her son having her power terrified her, but no more so than Liz’s powers, or Tess becoming a shifter. They could handle this, and unlike her, Alex would have support and training to deal with everything that came up.

“Have you, have you raised anything?” Anita asked when he pulled away, studying his face and not finding anything but worry, about his sisters not himself if she knew her son, and relief that she had taken the news so well.

He shook his head. “No, just felt things, usually when you come home from work, and I,” he paused and looked uncomfortable, “I saw Caleb’s soul.”

Anita squeezed his hands, remembering the first soul she saw, her great-aunt Katerine’s, hovering at her funeral. It was a disorienting experience even now, after she’d seen dozens, and she hated that he hadn’t felt he could tell her right away, all of her children were far too self-sacrificing for their own good.

Before she could make a comment to that affect, someone knocked on the door, opening it after a moment to reveal a stoic Claudia. “A man, who says he’s Edward, is here to see you; he refused to let me disarm him.”

Anita bit back a grin at the thought of Edward’s expression at being asked to disarm, and glanced at Liz, who nodded. “Go ahead and let him in Claudia; I’ll vouch for him.” She didn’t bother to add that he could probably find a way in anyways, despite the formidability of the rats.

Claudia disappeared, and reappeared several moments later followed by Edward, clad in black jeans, a tight black t-shirt, and weapons; only two were visible (one gun and one knife), but she knew there were more. He cocked one blond eyebrow at her, pale blue eyes empty and amused. “I was on my way to town to talk to you, and who do I find already visiting, but my stepchildren. I can’t wait to hear what scrape you’ve gotten yourself into now; you always get the interesting enemies, Anita.”

Anita rolled her eyes as her children chuckled, Liz and Alex waving while Tess twitched, eyeing the assassin with the look that said she was contemplating forcing physical affection on him. Nathaniel shot her a quelling look and she pouted, crossing her arms over her chest as Edward shot her one of those brilliant grins that looked so out of place when you knew who, and what, he really was.

“Well, I see three of the trouble makers; where are my two?” Edward queried, lips curling into a smirk as his gaze returned to Anita. “We have quite a bit to discuss, and I prefer to keep an eye on those two,” he stated dryly, “Fewer disasters strike that way.”

“Aww, but Eddie, I thought you looked fetching with green hair,” Tess said perkily, beaming at the older man while her siblings snickered.

Anita swallowed her own laugh as she remembered the result of the one time the triplets had slept at Edward and Donna’s house, and the picture she still had hidden away. “Claudia, could you get everyone from the dining room? Might as well have everyone on the same page.”

Edward moved to the side of the door and leaned against the wall, still watching her steadily. “Does the name Tau mean anything to you?” he asked, amusement fading from his eyes and leaving ice behind.

Anita frowned and shook her head. “Not as a name; it’s the nineteenth letter of the Greek alphabet, and has a numerical value as well I believe.”

He chuckled. “Interesting, but not applicable. It’s an African name, of a vampire, although the gender hasn’t been confirmed. What has been confirmed, is that this Tau has his or her eye on becoming a Master of the City, and Missouri is his or her’s last known location. I came to warn you, in case Tau made the foolish mistake of challenging your lover.”

The door opened, and Becca and Peter entered, followed by Zane, Fredo, and Bobby Lee, while Claudia remained outside, standing guard. Becca made a happy little sound and flung herself at Edward, who allowed the hug with an expression a disturbed Anita could only call fond. Even after all these years, Edward as a father still unnerved her. Not that she as a mother wasn’t still hard to wrap her head around sometimes, but most of the time, it would be far harder to picture herself without her children.

Peter just nodded at his stepfather, his face attempting to be as stoic as the blond man’s and not quite succeeding, although he came close enough to make Anita sad, and a little afraid of what her children would look like at that age; would they too be able wear those dead, empty eyes? Alex gave her one last hug before joining his siblings on the couch, and she decided that it didn’t matter; all she wanted was for them to survive to that age.

“So, now that I’ve explained why I’m here, please do explain what’s going on?” Edward asked after Becca released him and sat down on the couch arm next to Alex, Peter leaning on the wall next to her in a clear mimic of Edward’s pose.

“Justin Geier, the brother of the old Rex, along with some other unknown lions, attacked Tess,” Anita said, voice going flat as her own inner killer rose to the surface. Edward’s eyes flicked to her daughter for a moment, the tiniest hint of concern in his gaze, before returning to her. “We know he’s working with someone else, and we know the attack wasn’t the last.”

Edward’s lips twitched into a cold smile. “Any bets on the likelihood of my vampire and your dead lion walking working together?”

Anita smiled grimly, but it was Liz who answered, her young voice as cold and hard as the adults’. “No bet; I still can’t see this vampire, but Justin can’t guard his thoughts so well.” She grimaced. “I don’t know where they are though.”

Tess poked her. “Let the adults do some of the work, Lizzy, they have to earn their keep.”

Zane and the kids all laughed, and even Peter cracked a smile, while Anita exchanged a dark glance with Edward and Nathaniel. They’d earn their keep, and make sure that the deaths Justin and Tau suffered ensured no one would be stupid enough to attack their children again.
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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: Dance in the Abyss (Anita Blake XO Mature) Ch. 8 ~ 6/2

Post by Whimsicality » Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:22 pm

A/N: Well, I am a horrible person. This chapter killed me, I'd love to blame my summer classes starting, but honestly it was the dreaded 'middle of the fic' and I was stuck. But, I finally managed to write it, and I have every other chapter mapped out in detail, so, (and I know I've said this before but bear with me) there shouldn't be any more month long delays. Thank you all so so much for your feedback and patience, and I promise, we'll get into the action soon. :)















~ Chapter Nine ~






Lillian had brought a portable blood testing kit with her, sensing from Anita’s tone over the phone that any way to speed up the process would be appreciated. She’d set up in the room adjoining Jean-Claude’s office, moving with competent efficiency. The triplets had patiently submitted to having their blood drawn, Liz and Tess more gracefully than Alex, who was not fond of needles. Micah, Nathaniel, and Anita were the only other adults in the room, Anita hovering by the door and resisting the urge to pace, while Micah and Nathaniel sat on either side of the triplets, who were huddled together on the couch.

The silence had grown to near oppressive levels when Lillian finally looked up from her equipment, no hint of what she’d learned visible in her stoic expression. “Tess will change on the full moon,” she stated bluntly, her words engendering little reaction other than some restless shifting on the part of the triplets, and a frown from Anita, merely confirming what they already knew, even if they hadn’t admitted to themselves.

The doctor’s brow furrowed briefly as her gaze flicked to Anita before settling on Liz and Alex. “As far as I can tell, the two of you are like your mother. You’re both carriers, but with no reaction silver or any of my other tests. I do not believe you will shift on the full moon, but you should be careful, as it is still possible that you could infect someone else, and it’s no guarantee of immunity from future attacks.” The two of them nodded seriously and the wererat’s lips curved into a faint smile. “As to whether or not you’ll have a beast or any other eccentricities like your mother, I can’t offer even a guess.”

All three of her children smiled at that comment, glancing almost simultaneously at her with amusement glinting in their eyes. Anita smiled wryly back at them, before shifting her attention to the doctor. “Thank you Lillian, we appreciate you coming so quickly.”

The doctor waved her off. “Any time, I’m happy to help.” She smirked at the children. “And I will see my three favorite patients again next month for their physicals.” The triplets grimaces were synchronized, as were their nods, and everyone chuckled.

Anita’s smile faded and she looked at Micah and Nathaniel. “Marianne wanted to speak with me; can you make sure everyone gets lunch?” Both of her lovers nodded and she smiled gratefully at them before turning to go, after one last affectionate, but concerned glance at her children. Her muscles tightened in dread as she stepped into the hallway, wondering what the vargamor, in all her wisdom, wanted to discuss.

Her dread was unfounded, and Marianne smiled warmly at her as she stepped into the dining room, the table cleared and ready to be set for lunch. “Do not worry, Anita, I have no intentions of adding to your stress,” the blonde woman stated with only the barest trace of amusement in her tone as Anita’s lips quirked ruefully. “Quite the opposite, I wanted to remind you to take time for yourself as a woman, not just a mother or Executioner or Necromancer.”

Anita had settled into the chair next to her and raised her eyebrows, no words needed to express the likeliness of that happening in the midst of the current crisis.

Marianne chuckled. “I know it seems impossible, but as long as I’ve known you, there has never not been a crisis, or the aftermath of one, and if you do not take time to breathe, to enjoy, to be, you will be ill equipped to continue handling them without losing yourself.” Anita shifted in her chair, not sure what to say, and the other woman’s gaze sharpened. “It is not just your children who are too self-sacrificing for their own good.”

Anita flushed and Marianne squeezed her hands. “Just remember to forget all your titles sometimes, however difficult that might be. I know your children, and lovers, will be happy to see it.” She managed a nod in response, carefully burying the memory of the conversation away so that Jean-Claude wouldn’t pluck it out of her mind the moment he awakened.

“I must return to the pack, but Becca and Peter will be staying here with Edward for now. I don’t think you’ll need my help again for the current situation, but you know you can call me if you need anything.”

Grimacing at the thought of two more children (however old Peter thought he was) invading the Circus while they were awaiting a potential attack, but returned Marianne’s hug with a firm one of her own, still eminently grateful for the woman’s continued help over the years. Help she was sure she would need again, and often.


~


Papa Micah had pulled Tess away for a conversation, so it was just Liz, Alex, and Nathaniel who walked back into the office, where Becca, Peter, Edward, and the guards were waiting. “No new superpowers for me and Liz,” Alex declared in a forced, jovial tone, slumping onto the couch next to Becca, who gave him an empathetic smile.

Liz grimaced and leaned in closer to her papa, feeling the same tension in his body that she felt as she looked up and caught his violet gaze. “Do you need help with lunch, Papa?”

He relaxed slightly and nodded with a smile. “Thank you, Lizzy; if you’ll help clean up from breakfast, I can get lunch ready more quickly.”

“Oh good, I’m starving,” Peter muttered, and Liz grinned mischievously at him.

“Then you won’t mind helping me do dishes,” she chirped cheerfully.

He gaped and darted a quick look at his step-father, who looked coolly amused, and then groaned, stepping away from the wall to follow her and Nathaniel out of the room.

Liz chuckled at the sullen look on his face as they entered the kitchen. “Is the big bad bounty hunter too manly to wash dishes?” she teased as she rolled up her sleeves and moved to the sink, turning the hot water tap and pulling out two pairs of gloves from a nearby drawer.

Instead of pouting further, he accepted the gloves from her without complaint. “If the scary psychic girl can do it, I think I’ll manage,” he retorted dryly.

“Scary psychic girl, think that comes with a costume?” she asked with a grin, handing him the plate she’d just scrubbed and pointing towards the dishwasher.

“At least a cape,” he agreed, “Only fair, after all Edward and your mom have costumes.”

She laughed. “One of these days we’ll have to get them to wear them, at least long enough to take pictures.” Their eyes met and they both snorted as they shook to their heads at the likelihood of that ever occurring before returning to the dishes, stress, for the moment, held at bay.


~


Papa Micah had pulled her into one of the guest bedrooms and guided her to a settee, wrapping his arm around her as she snuggled into his side, both reassured and unsettled by his presence, underlain by his beast which she had only ever sensed through Liz’s gift before, and now could feel on her own in an entirely different, primal way. “I wish I was a leopard,” she whispered, closing her eyes and breathing in his familiar scent, the scent of the pard, of home.

He hugged her tighter, dropping a kiss on her head. “You will always be a part of our pard, and our family.” Tipping her chin up so that she had to look at him, he smiled crookedly. “And at least you’re a cat, it could be worse.”

She smiled back, nose wrinkling at the thought of being a wolf, or a hyena, or worse, a rat. Shuddering slightly, she sent a mental apology to Rafael and her guards. She loved them, she did, but their animal forms were creepy. “Will, will I have to spend full moons with the lions?” she asked, clenching her hands together at the thought of changing for the first time around a bunch of strangers, strangers like the ones who had attacked her.

“No,” he stated firmly, those green-gold eyes she loved so much unusually hard,” Not unless you want to. I meant what I said, kitten, you’ll always be a part of our pard.”

“What…what does it feel like, to change for the first time?” she forced herself to ask. She’d seen it, from the outside, all the triplets had, and played with the leopards once they’d changed, but the change itself had been too personal for Liz to feel comfortable tapping in to, and Maman hadn’t wanted them to try it anyways.

Her papa regarded her seriously for a moment. “It hurts, and it feels strange, like there are two of you, and one is tearing the other to pieces.” She flinched and he squeezed her shoulder. “But it also feels amazing, like you’ve never been alive before. Your blood burns with energy and the world, the things you see and hear and smell; you’re a blind man seeing the sun for the first time.”

She smiled hesitantly, a teeny tiny part of her excited at the idea, excited at being able to understand and share something like that with two of her papas. Before she could say anything, she stiffened as fear and anger swamped her bond with her siblings. “Something’s happened.”


~


Alex shifted uneasily on the couch, feeling contemplative blue eyes on him that for once, did not belong to his sister. Turning his head, he raised an eyebrow at the auburn haired girl sitting next to him. Becca smiled. “You feel different now.”

He frowned. “What do you mean?”

She leaned forward, eyes brightening with enthusiasm. “Your power. You and your sisters have always felt like warm little suns, bright, and strong, very strong. But now, now yours has a sharp, cold edge, like your Maman’s.”

His eyes widened at that piece of information, struck by the similarities to how he’d always felt his sisters in his head. “Do the others feel differently too?” he asked curiously.

“Tess does, her energy now feels wild, untamed, and Liz,” she shrugged and smiled ruefully, “She’s always felt a bit different, fuzzier, harder to sense.”

He snorted. “Unless you’re in her head twenty-four seven.”

She grinned at him. “Consider yourself lucky, what if Peter was your brother, and you were stuck in his head all the time?”

A soft chuckle reached them from across the room and they both turned to see Edward watching them with amusement. Becca’s cheeks tinted pink and Alex laughed. “I don’t know, some more testosterone in the bond might be a nice change.”

She giggled, but was prevented from retorting by his Maman sweeping into the room, face dark and eyes sparking with fury. “The Coalition’s been attacked, seven shifters are dead.”
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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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