Spoilers: All of Roswell is up for grabs and for Anita Blake it's set during The Killing Dance.
Disclaimer: I own absolutely nothing, all characters and original Roswell settings belong to other very lucky people as do all other universes used.
Warnings: There will be references to death, sex, violence, and the use of adult language, but nothing too explicit. If needed, more specific warnings will be posted.
Summary: The wrongful exercise of lawful authority. When the St. Louis pack proves unable or unwilling to deal with their reprehensible leaders, someone else steps in.
Richard watched silently as the man, who was almost as tall and broad as Richard himself, walked across the clearing, his power surrounding him like a cloak – not flaunted, just there, radiating out from him in waves of primal heat that every pack member could feel. His hair was tawny, a darker shade of blond than Marcus’s, and longer, the loose curls ending just above his shoulders and framing a strong face, currently empty of expression. His eyes were the color of burnt caramel and locked on the pack leader, although Richard could tell by the deceptively relaxed set of his shoulders that he was well aware of the exact position of every other shifter standing amongst the trees.
When he was maybe ten feet away from the stone chair that Marcus sat in, Raina lounging on the Ulfric’s lap while Sebastian and Jamil stood guard on either side, he stopped. There was a heavy silence, anticipation building as they waited for the stranger, the stranger who was undeniably an alpha, to speak. After a moment, he obliged them. “Greetings, Marcus Fletcher, Ulfric of the Thronnos Rokke pack.” Marcus regarded him stonily before acknowledging the greeting with a short nod. A faint smirk twisted one corner of the stranger’s mouth, before disappearing so quickly Richard thought he might have imagined it. “My name is Michael; I come before you because my mate and I wish to move to your territory.”
Silence reigned again. Michael seemed to feel no inclination to add to his stated reason for entering their lupanar, and Marcus remained unresponsive. Richard wasn’t surprised, he had already been declared Freki, the tensions in their pack, in the entire shifter community, were running high, and the man, the wolf, standing before them, was equally as powerful, the only wolf Richard had ever come across who matched his own strength. Welcoming him into their pack almost guaranteed a future challenge. Refusing would be grounds to challenge Marcus now, should this Michael choose to do so.
In the end it was Raina, instead of either man, who spoke first. She rose to her feet, oozing sex and danger as she stalked towards Michael, dark light burning in her eyes as she invaded his personal space, her power filling the clearing with its vicious taint. The man looked unimpressed, sparing her only a brief glance before returning his gaze to Marcus, neither moving closer to her, nor farther away, his power maintaining the same constant pulse. Anger flashed across Raina’s face at the dismissal, and she boldly traced her fingers down his chest, nails scraping across his cotton shirt. “Where is this mate you speak of? Is she, or he, afraid to come before the Thronnos Rokke?” Her voice was derisive, intended to provoke, something she excelled at, but to Richard’s somewhat pleased surprise, she failed.
Michael merely looked back down at her, one eyebrow raised, and replied in a calm, steady voice. “My mate is working; if the Ulfric chooses to allow us to remain in St. Louis, she will be happy to present herself to the pack.”
“Was this not important enough to leave work?” Raina hissed scornfully, her beautiful face twisting with anger and offense that Richard knew she did not truly feel.
The man chose not to reply, instead returning his steady gaze to Marcus, appearing perfectly serene, although Richard could sense the coiled tension lurking beneath his skin. He found himself hoping that Marcus said yes. While strong, the other wolf was clearly not aggressive, nor prone to playing the sort of games that Raina and Marcus loved. If a fight was inevitable, it would be nice to have another wolf he could actually trust at his back.
Raina snarled and slunk her way back to Marcus, bending down and whispering something in his ear before flicking her gaze over the restless pack. “Clearly this stranger and his mate do not respect us; they are not worthy of being Thronnos Rokke.” Marcus looked resigned as she spoke and Richard cursed her poison tongue. She wanted a challenge, she wanted to watch the pain and blood and death, and he doubted she cared if Marcus lived or died, although if it suited her plans, he also had no doubt that she would interfere to ensure his survival.
Marcus stood, gathering his own power about him until the air vibrated with the strength of it. It wasn’t enough to overwhelm the stranger’s, not nearly. “Your request is denied; you are not welcome in Thronnos Rokke territory.” The words fell into the clearing like stones in a still pond as all the wolves, excluding Marcus, Raina, Richard, and Michael, shifted restlessly.
Michael bowed his head, and smiled. Dread spooled in Richard’s gut, his muscles tightening as his beast sensed the impending violence and called for blood. “Then I challenge you, Marcus Fletcher, Ulfric of the Thronnos Rokke clan.” He lifted his head, smile widening as his gaze shifted to Raina, who sported a look of smug satisfaction. “Your lupa is correct, we do not respect you.” Raina growled and Marcus looked surprised while angry murmurs swept through the pack. “You are a weak Ulfric. You allow yourself to be emasculated by an insane Lupa. You do not serve your pack.”
Shocked silence took over the lupanar as the angry murmurs and restless twitching died away. No one spoke to defend against the stranger’s accusations, and Richard felt an unwelcome sense of shame, finally allowing himself to wonder if it would have been better to surrender his morals and kill Marcus before it came to this, to a stranger doing for his pack what he could not.
Raina’s face was expressing true fury for once, and Marcus looked both tired and angry as he stepped down from his throne and onto the soft dirt of the forest floor.
“I accept your challenge.”